Books I'm Looking Forward To: April
Everything feels extremely uncertain right now, and authors are rightfully concerned about their books that are debuting in the coming months. Right now, Amazon is delaying book shipments, bookstores are being forced to close, and libraries are not providing in person services. While none of that this good news, it doesn't mean that books will be forgotten during this time. If anything, we need books and the arts in general more than ever. We've all turned to Netflix and reading and music to take our minds off of the situation, and these artists need our support too.
Luckily, there are tons of ways to do this. While authors aren't getting to hold traditional book launches, many are transitioning them to places like Instagram Live, so make sure you follow the authors you love on social media. Continuing on the social media theme, it's now more important than ever to talk about the books you enjoy online and leave reviews on Goodreads and Amazon to spread the word.
Another great option is to request that your library add these books to their catalogue. Many libraries are increasing their online catalogue purchases, so if your library is looking for purchase requests, it's a great way to support authors. If you're not familiar with getting e-books through your library, most of their websites have a guide, and it's super easy to get books on your Kindle or any device you read on.
Beyond that, pre-orders, as always, are helpful. Many independent bookstores have online stores to shop from, and they'll ship the books to you. Barnes and Noble seem to be doing the same. E-books and audiobooks are also always good options to immediately get books in your hands.
I'll keep making these Books I'm Looking Forward To posts at the end of each month for as long as this books goes on (or maybe longer). If you have books that you're looking forward to in April that I missed, please leave them in the comments so that we can highlight as many amazing authors as possible.
Also, major shout out to all the amazing artists who made these covers because this might be one of my favorite months of book covers yet. There are so many beautifully illustrated ones.
This is the only one on the list that I've gotten the chance to read already, so I can wholeheartedly recommend it. While it does deal with a heavy topic, the story will sweep you up in it, and the romance is perfectly executed. Check out my review for a full summary, and stay tuned for an interview with Liz.
Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegmund-Broka
Juniper and Fitz are both college bound seniors touring schools along the East coast. Though they both have very different views of how their future are going to go, when they run into each other in Boston, there's an instant connection.
I'm excited about another book comped to Emergency Contact and with an eye towards the anxieties of choosing a college and moving out. I'm also excited to see how Fitz's mother's Alzheimers will be handled as that's a condition that I'm glad to see more representation for in YA.
I've read and reviewed both of Emily and Austin's prior books, so if your looking for more reading ideas check out Always Never Yours and If I'm Being Honest.
by Marisa Kanter
Halle and Nash have formed a friendship online through their mutual love of books. She's a popular YA book blogger under the pseudonym Kels and he's a graphic novelist. They're best friends behind the screen, but, in real life, when Halle moves to Nash's town, he doesn't know she exists. Halle is nervous that if she reveals her identity it'll ruin everything.
I absolutely can't wait to read this one. The summary gives me Eliza and Her Monsters vibes, which is super exciting because I love that book. Also, I'm always eager to read books about online friendships because it's something that's super important to me. As a book blogger, it'll also be interesting to read about a character who has my job.
by Kelly Quindlen
Codi is seventeen and has never been to a party and never been kissed. That is until her two best friends decide its time to crash a party. When Codi finds popular kid, Ricky, kissing another boy in a dark corner, she gets swept up into the world of the cool kids in exchange for her silence. As her summer becomes filled with parties and her romantic life starts to exist because of a girl named Lydia, the only problem is that her friends are completely missing from the picture.
This one sounded like a lot of fun from the description I read and the Goodreads reviews. Also, who doesn't want to read a swoony LGBTQ romance to take your mind off of the world right now? I also like that it seems to focus on the idea of what a "real" teenage experience is.
by Jennifer Dugan
I have been on the edge of my seat waiting for this book for months and months now, and I can't believe it's almost here. The cover is gorgeous, and the premise is even better. It combines two concepts I love- comic book shops and Romeo and Juliet. Jubilee works at her parent's indie comic book shop while Ridley's parents own one of the largest comic book chains. They come together at Comic Con before they realize the competition between their two families.
As someone who still feels a weird sense of sadness for the comic book/DVD store that used to exist in my town but was out of business before I was even born, this hits all the right notes. I also like the footnote in the description that there's a lot of discussion about how much of your own life you can or should give up for the people you love. I think that's central to the teen experience where everything changes so much and there are so many difficult choices. I reviewed Jennifer's first book Hot Dog Girl last year and also got the chance to interview her.
by Sara Zarr
Kyle's life is destroyed when he finds out about his mother's affair. His parents have been covering it up and want Kyle to until they get through the family reunion. The news shatters everything he thought he knew about his life, and, as a result, he pushes everyone around him away to try to find some balance again. Eventually, though, he has to reevaluate what's important to him before he loses everything.
I've read a couple of Sara's books and enjoyed them. This seems like one of the quieter books on the list, and I'm thinking it might be good to dive into since we have more time now to slowly soak in stories. If you're curious about my thoughts on her other books, check out my reviews of Gem and Dixie and Story of a Girl.
by Gae Polisner
When JL's life starts to fall apart, she retreats into herself and her hobby of raising tropical butterflies and her older boyfriend. They're all escapes from her complicated life, but they also force important people out of her life when she needs them most. As her boyfriend gets ready to leave, JL tries to decide whether its harder to lose him or lose everything else in her life she's ever known.
This one has been well reviewed on Goodreads, and I'm also excited about the book taking on her mother's dissociative identity disorder and how JL is forced to cope with that. There's not a ton of representation on that front, and I'm also glad that there's a focus on parental relationships and their complexity. This book has a lot of very sensitive topics running through it, so I'm slightly nervous, but this has the chance to be really powerful and eye opening.
by Jeff Garvin
Ellie's father used to be a famous musician until a botched illusion on live TV sent it all tumbling down. Now they live together in a trailer where Ellie goes to online school. While they play birthday parties here and there, the jobs get fewer as time goes on. Without insurance, her dad can't treat his heart condition and Ellie has bipolar II that she's not able to medicate. When the chance to revive his career comes along, Ellie seizes it and begins to execute the plan. The only problem is that her father doesn't know the full story.
I'm always looking for books that have mental illness representation because those books are so important, so I'm looking forward to this one. It seems like it will make important points about the importance of access to mental healthcare (and healthcare in general) regardless of income, and it also seems to heavily focus on the complications of when teens are forced to step up and facilitate the adults in their lives.
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