Covers, Skates, and Dessert Pizza – Any Way You Slice It Cover Reveal!

When I was in middle school, I took skating lessons with my best friend and her brother. They were legit good skaters, whereas I was just happy to learn the basics, but I loved being at the rink with other skaters, trying out new skills and feeling a little magical as I swished over the ice.

So of course I’m super psyched to share the relaunched cover of Any Way You Slice It by Kristine Carlson Asselin, which not only features life at the rink, but also family struggles, a new crush, and yep, pizza. Plus the book has a gorgeous new cover, which I get to share with you:

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Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday the 13th, guys! This morning I got to take Bodo the dog on a walk that partly included a nearby cemetery, so I’m feeling the spooky vibes this morning. Here’s to a good fall-y weekend, and some micro-book reviews.

I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Touching and well crafted, but I kept thinking–is this really YA?

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Funny, smart, and thoughtful. One of my new favorite YA contemps.

The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas
Couple twists didn’t quite work, but a fun thriller, with a female relationships at its core.

Coming out in Kid Lit

Today is National Coming Out Day, which got me thinking about LGBTQIA+ representation in YA and children’s literature. While there certainly can be more stories featuring realistic, nuanced representations of LGBTQIA+ characters (protagonists! friends! heroes! parents! etc!), I’m heartened by the books young readers do have today, to let them know that their feelings are valid and that they can be the main characters of their own stories.

Which means that, of course, I need to share some of my recent favorite reads featuring LGBTQIA+ characters.

Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard: a great look at sexual identity and gender identity, as Pen struggles against her family and friends’ ideas of what it means to be a young woman. I also loved the minor characters in this. #teamblake

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown: a twist on the coming out story, as very out Jo hides her sexual identity when she moves to a small, conservative town.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee: bi, gay, and asexual representation in this super fun and touching historical adventure. I’m psyched for the sequel, which will follow Felicity!

George by Alex Gino: one of the sweetest and most sensitive coming out stories, about a young trans girl who just wants to be Charlotte in her school’s production of Charlotte’s Web.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: one of my new favorite contemporary YAs, about theatre and friendship and first love and figuring out who you are and how to share that with the world.

As I Descended by Robin Talley: in case you want some classically-inspired scares and intrigue with your representation, this one’s a female take on Macbeth, starring two young women at an elite boarding school.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour: one of my new favorites full stop, this is a fantastic look at first love and friendship and loneliness and grief and reaching out to those we love.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo: a powerful and hopeful story about a young trans girl trying to make a new start for herself.

Other books you’d add to this list? Share ’em in the comments! In the meantime, remember–you are valid and you deserve love.

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA recently–things have gotten busy with work and life and Bodo the dog. One of the things that’s been keeping me busy has been a web design class, which is awesome and maybe means I’ll update this site sometime in the near future. In the meantime, here’s a look at what I’ve been reading, in fifteen words or fewer:

Chime by Franny Billingsley
Fun and creepy, with a great voice, while also being about gaslighting and abuse.

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
Interesting blend of contemporary MG and fantasy. Major middle school friendship feels.

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown
Sweet and touching story of family, religion, and coming out. Also manages to subvert expectations.

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys–and happy September! Suddenly it’s felt like Boston realized fall is coming, and I feel like everything should be baking and books and coziness. (Okay, that’s how everything should be all the time.) Let’s get the long weekend started with a few fifteen-word-max book reviews!

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Absolutely loved this quiet look at grief and love and family and mistakes and hope.

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
I adore Woodson’s writing, and this novel for adults is both heartbreaking and hopeful.

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
Should definitely be a movie, ala True Grit. I love a girl out for revenge.

Links Galore

Lots of links I’ve been saving:

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! It’s been a week of travel, good friends, good food, eclipses, and books. Looking forward to a relaxing weekend at home, and of course more books. Let’s get the weekend rolling with a few fifteen-word (or fewer) book reviews.

Flying Lessons and Other Stories, edited by Ellen Oh 
Lovely and heartbreaking and genuine collection of middle grade stories featuring diverse voices and authors.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
A powerful and disquieting story about one girl’s struggled to survive Stalin’s Gulag.

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
I’m fully Team John Ambrose McClaren. Sorry, Peter, you’re not good enough for Lara Jean!