Welcome to another installment of Book Birthday Tuesday! There’s another amazing Book of the Month YA pick along with a new series from one of my insta-buy authors. Sometimes the second and third weeks of the month are a bit slow, but there are some great releases this week!
The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee – BOTM YA
By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender.
While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light.
As an affiliate for Book of the Month YA, this was the book I selected for the month of August. I’ve heard a lot about Stacey Lee’s other novels and a nearby bookstore is hosting Lee on her book tour so it was a no brainer. The story sounds interesting and thought provoking, more than just another contemporary. I can’t wait to start reading about Jo and seeing how her story unfolds. (To order through BOTM YA for just $10 use the link in the title!)
Start Here by Trish Doller – Summer TBR
Willa and Taylor were supposed to spend the summer after high school sailing from Ohio to Key West with their best friend, Finley. But Finley died before graduation, leaving them with a twenty-five-foot sailboat, a list of clues leading them to destinations along the way, and a friendship that’s hanging by a thread.
Now, Willa and Taylor have two months and two thousand miles to discover how life works without Finley—and to decide if their own friendship is worth saving.
From acclaimed author Trish Doller comes a poignant tale of forgiveness, grief, and the brilliant discoveries we make within ourselves when we least expect it.
The story sounds like it might tackle some huge issues such as grief and moving on along with forgiveness, a story about two friends who’ve lost their other best friend. It has the potential to be a cute story, stuck on a boat and isolated from everyone else means the characters will really have to deal with what they’re going through. It sounds like a perfect summer beach/pool book so I’ll be adding it to my summer TBR.
The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen – Pre-ordered
What if you fell in love with the one person you’d sworn to destroy?
Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil – and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara’s homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom.
But as she infiltrates her new home – a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas – and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore.
Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people?
Earlier this year I read Dark Shores by Jensen and loved it! It’s been one of my favorite novels this year and made Jensen an instant buy author for me. The Bridge Kingdom has been an Audible Original for almost a year, meaning it’s been available as an audiobook. It will now be available in print or ebook form now though. I believe I read on Jensen’s Instagram that she is publishing this herself, so it will be printed after it’s ordered versus being mass printed like Dark Shores was. This makes it a little more expensive for a print copy, but I have faith The Bridge kingdom will be worth every penny.
Midnight Beauties (Grim Lovelies Duology) by Megan Shepherd – Pass
Ever since she discovered her affinity for magic, seventeen-year-old Anouk has been desperate to become a witch. It’s the only way to save her friends who, like Anouk, are beasties: animals enchanted into humans. But unlike Anouk, the other beasties didn’t make it out of the battle at Montélimar in one piece.
With her friends now trapped in their animal forms, Anouk is forced into a sinister deal involving a political marriage with her sworn enemy, a wicked plot to overthrow London’s fiercest coven of witches, and a deadly trial of fire to become a witch. The price for power has always been steep in the world of the Haute. Now, it will cost Anouk everything.
Wicked and delightful, this spellbinding sequel and conclusion to Grim Lovelies is perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and The Hazel Wood.
Just thought I’d post a reminder that the final book in this duology is being released today! I’ve heard a lot of amazing things about both books, but just haven’t felt the need to pick up Grim Lovelies myself. I hope everyone that has though enjoys this one. Leave your thoughts on this series in the comments, or if you have reviews for either book add the link!