He knew me because he said I was awesome. And I was awesome. Maggie Cunningham, The Awesome. Fuck yeah. Title: The Awesome Written by Eva Darrows Genre: Contemporary/Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Speculative Fiction Publisher: Ravenstone Publication Date: May 2015 Paperback: 352 pages Seventeen-year-old Maggie Cunningham is tough, smart, and sassy. She’s also not like other […]
It’s Friday, which means we are over at Kirkus for our regular weekly column! Today Thea takes a look at YA speculative fiction novel Undertow by Michael Buckley. Undertow is NOT what she was expecting. In a good way. Head over to kirkus to read the full review.
There are those books that grab you by the throat and don’t let go. Infandous is one such book. This is a short review of a short novel that is perfectly concise in its telling, beautiful in its writing, featuring a narrator with a strong voice and a story that is moving, discomfiting and ultimately […]
“I’m not afraid of dying. But I am afraid of dying here.” She swept her hand over the room, the tavern, the city. “I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.” Title: A Darker Shade of Magic Author: V.E. Schwab Genre: Fantasy Publisher: Tor Books Publication Date: February 24 2015 Hardcover: 400 Pages […]
It’s Friday, which means we are over at Kirkus for our regular weekly column! Today Thea reviews Lovecraftian contemporary fantasy novel Harrison Squared by Daryl Gregory. Starring an awesome protagonist, Harrison Squared is a lot of fun (and Thea’s favorite novel to date from Daryl Gregory). Get the full review here.
“Inspirations and Influences” is a series of articles in which we invite authors to write guest posts talking about their…well, Inspirations and Influences. In this series, we invite writers to talk about their new books, older titles, and their writing overall. Today we are delighted to have Fiona Wood over to talk about the inspirations […]
I recently picked up a couple of highly anticipated contemporary Young Adult novels to read. Coincidentally, they are both Aussie novels which are now being published in the US with stories featuring positive focus on female characters and their bourgeoning sexuality and sense of self. Wildlife (Poppy/Little, Brown; Sept. 16th, 2014) is a stand-alone companion […]
Title: Child of a Hidden Sea Author: A.M. Dellamonica Genre: Contemporary Fantasy, Speculative Fiction Publisher: Tor Publication Date: June 2014 Hardcover: 336 Pages One minute, twenty-four-year-old Sophie Hansa is in a San Francisco alley trying to save the life of the aunt she has never known. The next, she finds herself flung into the warm […]
Title: I Kill the Mockingbird Author: Paul Acampora Genre: Contemporary, Middle Grade Publisher: Roaring Brook Press Publication Date: May 20 2014 Hardcover: 176 Pages When Lucy, Elena, and Michael receive their summer reading list, they are excited to see To Kill A Mockingbird included. But not everyone in their class shares the same enthusiasm. So […]
Title: Everything Leads to You Author: Nina LaCour Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, PoC, LGBTQIA Publisher: Dutton Juvenile Publication Date: May 15 2014 Hardcover: 307 Pages A love letter to the craft and romance of film and fate in front of—and behind—the camera from the award-winning author of Hold Still. A wunderkind young set designer, Emi […]
Old School Wednesdays is a weekly Book Smuggler feature. We came up with the idea towards the end of 2012, when both Ana and Thea were feeling exhausted from the never-ending inundation of New and Shiny (and often over-hyped) books. What better way to snap out of a reading fugue than to take a mini-vacation […]
Title: Strange Country Author: Deborah Coates Genre: Rural Fantasy Publisher: Tor Publication Date: May 27 2014 Hardcover: 336 Pages After facing Death himself and banishing a reaper bent on the destruction of Sheriff’s deputy Boyd Davies, Hallie Michaels had hoped things would finally settle down; that she and Boyd would find more time to spend […]
Title: One Man Guy Author: Michael Barakiva Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, LGBTQIA Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Publication Date: May 27 2014 Hardcover: 272 Pages Funny and heartfelt, One Man Guy serves up the raucous family humor and gentle romance of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, as told with David Sedaris–style wit Alek Khederian should […]
Title: We Were Liars Author: E. Lockhart Genre: Contemporary Young Adult, Magical Realism Publisher: Delacorte Press Publication Date: May 13 2014 Hardcover: 240 Pages A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. […]
Title: The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy Author: Kate Hattemer Genre: Contemporary YA, POC Publisher: Knopf Books Publication Date: April 8 2014 Hardcover: 336 Pages Witty, sarcastic Ethan and his three friends decide to take down the reality TV show, For Art’s Sake, that is being filmed at their high school, the esteemed Selwyn Arts […]
Title: Fat Angie Author: e.E. Charlton-Trujillo Genre: Contemporary YA, LGBTQIA Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication Date: March 12 2013 Paperback: 272 Pages Her sister was captured in Iraq, she’s the resident laughingstock at school, and her therapist tells her to count instead of eat. Can a daring new girl in her life really change anything? Angie […]
Title: Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass Author: Meg Medina Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, PoC Publisher: Candlewick Publication Date: March 26 2013 Hardcover: 272 Pages One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind […]
It’s SFF awards season! The Hugos and the Nebulas are now open for nominations, and after running through our longlists earlier this week, I found myself appalled at the lack of short stories, novelettes, and novellas I had read and reviewed in 2013. In order to rectify that discrepancy, I’m attempting to read a bunch […]
Title: The Impossible Knife of Memory Author: Laurie Halse Anderson Genre: Contemporary YA Publisher: Viking Juvenile Publication Date: January 7 2014 Hardcover: 372 Pages For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have […]
Contemporary YA Round-up: The Blonde of the Joke by Bennett Madison & Wise Young Fool by Sean Beaudoin
Another quick round-up of recent reads – Contemporary YA this time (can you tell I am catching up with ALL THE THINGS before the end of the year?) “There are three and only three rules for shoplifting,” Francie instructed me. From the very first day Val meets the outrageously blond Francie, she realizes that Francie […]
I’ve been reading a few graphic novels lately and wanted to share two of my recent favourites. Sixteen year old Tamrika Fuller is happy with her life. With good friends and good grades, she’s content to keep her options open for her future. But when her parents reveal they’ve been saving for several years to […]
Title:Reality Boy Author: A.S. King Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult Publisher: Little, Brown Publication Date: October 22 2013 Hardcover: 368 Pages Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth—which the entire world […]
Title: The Art of Wishing Author: Lindsay Ribar Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, Young Adult Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers Publication Date: March 2013 Hardcover: 314 Pages He can grant her wishes, but only she can save his life. Margo McKenna has a plan for just about everything, from landing the lead in her high school […]
Title: Vicious Author: V.E. Schwab Genre: Speculative Fiction, Superheroes Publisher: Tor Publication Date: September 2013 Hardcover: 368 Pages A masterful, twisted tale of ambition, jealousy, betrayal, and superpowers, set in a near-future world. Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In […]
Title: She Is Not Invisible Author: Marcus Sedgwick Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult Publisher: Orion Children’s Publication Date: October 3 2013 Hardcover: 354 Pages Laureth Peak’s father is a writer. For years he’s been trying, and failing, to write a novel about coincidence. His wife thinks he’s obsessed, Laureth thinks he’s on the verge of a […]
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The Book Smugglers
1 : a book review blog specializing in speculative fiction and popgeekery for all ages since 2008.
2 : a digital-first publisher of speculative fiction and nonfiction since 2014.
3 : 2017 Hugo Nominee for Best Semiprozine
4 : a duo of awesomely badass book nerds