February e-ARCs I Need to Read

February is here! Well, it started yesterday, technically, but you get the point.

With a new month comes a new list of ARCs that I need to read! I’m unfortunately a bit past on the dates of some of these already, but I have high hopes for catching up. I’m trying not to beat myself down too much, as last week was a bit rougher than normal.

See something on this list that you’re excited to read? Feel free to drop a comment! I’m always a lover of discussion, so I get excited when I  see one of you is also excited for a book I’m eager to read.

Separators

DELETEThe New Girl

by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Released on February 1st, 2022
Young Adult Fiction—Mystery, Thriller

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Lia Setiawan has never really fit in. When she wins a full ride to the prestigious Draycott Academy on a track scholarship, she’s determined to make it work even though she’s never felt more out of place. But on her first day there she witnesses a girl being forcefully carried away by campus security. Her new schoolmates and teachers seem unfazed, but it leaves her unsure of what she’s gotten herself into. As she uncovers the secrets of Draycott, complete with a corrupt teacher, a golden boy who isn’t what he seems, and a blackmailer determined to get her thrown out, she’s not sure if she can trust anyone–especially when the threats against her take a deadly turn.

I know, I know. I can already hear some of you going, “WHAT. Belle you haven’t read this yet?” And I raise you to that, despite my ever raving joy and continous in-store selling for Jesse’s debut The Obsession, Sourcebooks Fire ignored my requests for an ARC of the book (probably because I continuously brought up their public exclusion of bloggers from any reviewing opportunities). I ended up getting it through Edelweiss+ a little while ago (still too close to review it by its release date), but I’m a bit nervous to read this one, I’ll admit. I know it’ll be amazing, but I just haven’t worked up the courage to actually crack it open yet.


DELETECastles in their Bones

by Laura Sebastian
Published by Delacorte Press
Released on February 1st, 2022
Young Adult Fiction—Fantasy, Romance

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A spellbinding story of three princesses and the destiny they were born for: seduction, conquest, and the crown. Immerse yourself in the first book in a new fantasy trilogy from the author of the New York Times bestselling Ash Princess series.

Empress Margaraux has had plans for her daughters since the day they were born. Princesses Sophronia, Daphne, and Beatriz will be queens. And now, age sixteen, they each must leave their homeland and marry their princes.

Beautiful, smart, and demure, the triplets appear to be the perfect brides—because Margaraux knows there is one common truth: everyone underestimates a girl. Which is a grave mistake. Sophronia, Daphne, and Beatriz are no innocents. They have been trained since birth in the arts of deception, seduction, and violence with a singular goal—to bring down monarchies— and their marriages are merely the first stage of their mother’s grand vision: to one day reign over the entire continent of Vesteria.

The princesses have spent their lives preparing, and now they are ready, each with her own secret skill, and each with a single wish, pulled from the stars. Only, the stars have their own plans—and their mother hasn’t told them all of hers.

Life abroad is a test. Will their loyalties stay true? Or will they learn that they can’t trust anyone—not even each other?

I’ve been trying to get into reading more fantasy, and I’ve been told Laura Sebastian’s books can do that! I honestly thought I had more time to read this one before its release day, but here we are and it’s already here. Either way, I’m still very excited to read this and will be picking it up very soon.


DELETEFire Becomes Her

by Rosiee Thor
Published by Scholastic Press
Released February 1st, 2022
Young Adult Fiction—Historical, Fantasy

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In Rosiee Thor’s lavish fantasy novel with a Jazz Age spark, a politically savvy teen must weigh her desire to climb the social ladder against her heart in a world where magic buys votes.

Flare is power.

With only a drop of flare, one can light the night sky with fireworks . . . or burn a building to the ground — and seventeen-year-old Ingrid Ellis wants her fair share.

Ingrid doesn’t have a family fortune, monetary or magical, but at least she has a plan: Rise to the top on the arm of Linden Holt, heir to a hefty political legacy and the largest fortune of flare in all of Candesce. Her only obstacle is Linden’s father who refuses to acknowledge her.

So when Senator Holt announces his run for president, Ingrid uses the situation to her advantage. She strikes a deal to spy on the senator’s opposition in exchange for his approval and the status she so desperately craves. But the longer Ingrid wears two masks, the more she questions where her true allegiances lie.

Will she stand with the Holts, or will she forge her own path?

This one is my next read, and I’m so over-the-moon thrilled for it. Not only does this book have a demiromantic, bisexual main character (two identities I indentify with), but I’ve received several recommendations from friends. I’m confident I’ll love this book, so make sure to keep an eye out for my review that’ll come soon.


DELETECold

by Mariko Tamaki
Published by Roaring Brook Press
Releasing on February 8th, 2022
Young Adult Fiction—Mystery, Thriller

pre-order-button-SPH-300x93    DELETE

A boy, a murder, a girl, a secret. A YA novel about a shocking crime, told by a boy who died—and a girl who wants to know why.

Who was Todd Mayer, and why don’t any of his fellow students at Albright Academy seem to know, or want to say, anything about him?

Todd Mayer is dead. Now a ghost, hovering over his body, recently discovered in a snow covered park, naked and frozen. As detectives investigate Todd’s homicide, talking to the very people linked to the events leading to his death, Todd replays the choice that led him to his end.

Georgia didn’t know Todd. But ever since she heard about his death, she can’t stop thinking about him. Maybe because they’re both outcasts at their school, or because they’re both queer. Maybe because the story of Todd people keep telling feels like a lot of fake stories Georgia has heard people tell. Plus Georgia has a feeling she’s seen Todd somewhere before, somewhere he wasn’t supposed to be.

I just recently started this book, and I’ll be honest, the first couple of chapters gave me Jack Frost vibes. I know this isn’t a retelling, in fact it’s not close at all. But I’m very intrigued by the story where I’m at, and I do plan on continuing.


DELETEOphelia After All

by Racquel Marie
Published by Feiwel & Friends
Releasing on February 8th, 2022
Young Adult Fiction—Contemporary, Romance

pre-order-button-SPH-300x93    DELETE

A teen girl navigates friendship drama, the end of high school, and discovering her queerness in Ophelia After All, a hilarious and heartfelt contemporary YA debut by author Racquel Marie.

Ophelia Rojas knows what she likes: her best friends, Cuban food, rose-gardening, and boys – way too many boys. Her friends and parents make fun of her endless stream of crushes, but Ophelia is a romantic at heart. She couldn’t change, even if she wanted to.

So when she finds herself thinking more about cute, quiet Talia Sanchez than the loss of a perfect prom with her ex-boyfriend, seeds of doubt take root in Ophelia’s firm image of herself. Add to that the impending end of high school and the fracturing of her once-solid friend group, and things are spiraling a little out of control. But the course of love–and sexuality–never did run smooth. As her secrets begin to unravel, Ophelia must make a choice between clinging to the fantasy version of herself she’s always imagined or upending everyone’s expectations to rediscover who she really is, after all.

I’ve been seeing nothing but happy buzz for this book, so I’m extremely excited to pick it up here soon. Also, getting to see the cover in person, I just know this is a book I WANT to own and have on my shelf.


DELETEFinding Her Edge

by Jennifer Iacopelli
Published by Razorbill
Releasing on February 8th, 2022
Young Adult Fiction—Contemporary, Romance

pre-order-button-SPH-300x93    DELETE

For fans of Emma Lord and Abbi Glines, Jennifer Iacopelli’s swoony, romantic new novel follows elite ice dancer Adriana Russo as she finds herself drawn to both her old dance partner and her new one.

Adriana Russo is figure skating royalty.

With gold-medalist parents, and her older sister headed to the Olympics, all she wants is to live up to the family name and stand atop the ice dance podium at the Junior World Championships. But fame doesn’t always mean fortune, and their legendary skating rink is struggling under the weight of her dad’s lavish lifestyle. The only thing keeping it afloat is a deal to host the rest of the Junior Worlds team before they leave for France.

That means training on the same ice as her first crush, Freddie, the partner she left when her growth spurt outpaced his. For the past two years, he’s barely acknowledged her existence, and she can’t even blame him for it.

When the family’s finances take another unexpected hit, losing the rink seems inevitable until her partner, Brayden, suggests they let the world believe what many have suspected: that their intense chemistry isn’t contained to the ice. Fans and sponsors alike take the bait, but keeping up the charade is harder than she ever imagined. And training alongside Freddie makes it worse, especially when pretending with Brayden starts to feel very real.

As the biggest competition of her life draws closer and her family’s legacy hangs in the balance, Adriana is caught between her past and present, between the golden future she’s worked so hard for, and the one she gave up long ago.

Y’all know anything even slightly figure skating related I have to have my hands on. So imagine my excitement and proximate meltdown when I found out that this book would be published. I’m all for taking on this fake dating scheme, and I cannot wait to pick it up.


DELETENot the Witch You Wed

by April Asher
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin
Releasing on February 8th, 2022
Adult Fiction—Fantasy, Romance

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A fake relationship between a magic-less witch and a wolf shifter turns to more in the start of a bewitching new paranormal rom-com series.

Magic-less witch Violet Maxwell wants nothing to do with alpha wolf shifter Lincoln Thorne—the man who broke her fragile, teenage heart. But when the two of them are forced by arcane Supernatural Laws to find mates, Violet and Lincoln agree to fake-date their way to a fake-mating in order to conjure themselves some time.

The joke’s on them. When old feelings make a reappearance—along with Violet’s magic—they both realize there’s nothing fake about their feelings. But there are old secrets and looming threats that could snatch away their happily ever after, again. One thing’s for sure: magic doesn’t make dating and love any easier.

In Not the Witch You Wed, April Asher brings all the hilarity and sweet, sexy moments you love in a romantic-comedy—plus a fun dose of magic—to this spell-binding new series about being sexy, single, and supernatural in New York City.

This one caught me a bit by surprise when I ended up becoming intrigued by it. I’m still new to Adult Romance, much less Adult Fantasy Romance, so I was a bit hesitant in claiming this one for review. However, I am very excited to read it and hope that it does live up to the good word I’ve seen floating around about it.


DELETUSYou Truly Assumed

by Laila Sabreen
Published by Inkyard Press
Releasing on February 8th, 2022
Young Adult Fiction—Contemporary

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In this compelling and thought-provoking debut novel, after a terrorist attack rocks the country and anti-Islamic sentiment stirs, three Black Muslim girls create a space where they can shatter assumptions and share truths.

Sabriya has her whole summer planned out in color-coded glory, but those plans go out the window after a terrorist attack near her home. When the terrorist is assumed to be Muslim and Islamophobia grows, Sabriya turns to her online journal for comfort. You Truly Assumed was never meant to be anything more than an outlet, but the blog goes viral as fellow Muslim teens around the country flock to it and find solace and a sense of community.

Soon two more teens, Zakat and Farah, join Bri to run You Truly Assumed and the three quickly form a strong friendship. But as the blog’s popularity grows, so do the pushback and hateful comments. When one of them is threatened, the search to find out who is behind it all begins, and their friendship is put to the test when all three must decide whether to shut down the blog and lose what they’ve worked for…or take a stand and risk everything to make their voices heard.

I got the chance to meet the author, Laila, at YallFest, and I was so excited when I got the opportunity to read her book. I think this book is going to spark a lot of needed discussions while also giving a perspective that I think more readers need to read from. I’m truly eager to get my eyes into this one’s pages, and I cannot wait to see what Laila has in store just beyond the beautiful cover.


DELETEAll the Right Reasons

by Bethany Mangle
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Releasing on February 15th, 2022
Young Adult Fiction—Contemporary, Romance

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The Bachelor meets Gilmore Girls in this laugh-out-loud young adult romance about a girl who joins her mother on a reality dating show for single parents—only to fall for a contestant’s son.

Cara Hawn’s life fell apart after her father cheated on her mother and got remarried to a woman Cara can’t stand. When Cara accidentally posts a rant about her father online, it goes viral—and catches the attention of the TV producers behind a new reality dating show for single parent families.

The next thing Cara and her mother know, they’ve been cast as leads on the show and are whisked away to sunny Key West where they’re asked to narrow a field of suitors and their kids down to one winning pair. All of this is outside of Cara’s comfort zone, from the meddling producers to the camera-hungry contestants, especially as Cara and her mother begin to clash on which suitors are worth keeping around. And then comes Connor.

As the son of a contestant, Connor is decidedly off-limits. Except that he doesn’t fit in with the cutthroat atmosphere in all the same ways as Cara, and she can’t get him out of her head. Now Cara must juggle her growing feelings while dodging the cameras and helping her mom pick a bachelor they both love, or else risk fracturing their family even more for the sake of ratings. Maybe there’s a reason most people don’t date on TV.

Ironically, I got my hands on the digital galley of this book before I found out my co-owner at Turn the Page Tours was approved for a tour of it. While I won’t be a part of that tour (because tour pressure can be a bit much for me nowadays), I am still excited to pick this book up and am eagerly anticipating it.


DELETEThe Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea

by Axie Oh
Published by Feiwel & Friends
Releasing on February 22nd, 2022
Young Adult Fiction—Fantasy

pre-order-button-SPH-300x93    DELETE

Deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations. Floods sweep away entire villages, while bloody wars are waged over the few remaining resources. Her people believe the Sea God, once their protector, now curses them with death and despair. In an attempt to appease him, each year a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God’s bride, in the hopes that one day the “true bride” will be chosen and end the suffering.

Many believe that Shim Cheong, the most beautiful girl in the village—and the beloved of Mina’s older brother Joon—may be the legendary true bride. But on the night Cheong is to be sacrificed, Joon follows Cheong out to sea, even knowing that to interfere is a death sentence. To save her brother, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong’s stead.

Swept away to the Spirit Realm, a magical city of lesser gods and mythical beasts, Mina seeks out the Sea God, only to find him caught in an enchanted sleep. With the help of a mysterious young man named Shin—as well as a motley crew of demons, gods and spirits—Mina sets out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms once and for all.

But she doesn’t have much time: A human cannot live long in the land of the spirits. And there are those who would do anything to keep the Sea God from waking…

Having previously read and LOVED Axie Oh’s XOXO, I knew I couldn’t wait to read her next book. This is in a completely different genre from XOXO, but despite that, I’m hoping it’ll still have Axie’s author flair like her previous release that really got me hooked into her story.


DELETEDelilah Green Doesn’t Care

by Ashley Herring Blake
Published by Berkley Books
Releasing on February 22nd, 2022
Adult Fiction—Romance

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A clever and steamy queer romantic comedy about taking chances and accepting love—with all its complications—by debut author Ashley Herring Blake.

Delilah Green swore she would never go back to Bright Falls—nothing is there for her but memories of a lonely childhood where she was little more than a burden to her cold and distant stepfamily. Her life is in New York, with her photography career finally gaining steam and her bed never empty. Sure, it’s a different woman every night, but that’s just fine with her.

When Delilah’s estranged stepsister, Astrid, pressures her into photographing her wedding with a guilt trip and a five-figure check, Delilah finds herself back in the godforsaken town that she used to call home. She plans to breeze in and out, but then she sees Claire Sutherland, one of Astrid’s stuck-up besties, and decides that maybe there’s some fun (and a little retribution) to be had in Bright Falls, after all.

Having raised her eleven-year-old daughter mostly on her own while dealing with her unreliable ex and running a bookstore, Claire Sutherland depends upon a life without surprises. And Delilah Green is an unwelcome surprise…at first. Though they’ve known each other for years, they don’t really know each other—so Claire is unsettled when Delilah figures out exactly what buttons to push. When they’re forced together during a gauntlet of wedding preparations—including a plot to save Astrid from her horrible fiancé—Claire isn’t sure she has the strength to resist Delilah’s charms. Even worse, she’s starting to think she doesn’t want to…

I’ve been screaming about this book since it initially got announced for publication, and I’m shocked that we’re just a couple weeks away from it being placed on shelves. I did try reading this one a couple months ago, but decided to put it down until it got closer to the book’s release date.


DELETEExtasia

by Claire Legrand
Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Releasing on February 22nd, 2022
Young Adult Fiction—Fantasy, Horror

pre-order-button-SPH-300x93    DELETE

From New York Times bestselling author Claire Legrand comes a new, bone-chilling YA horror novel about a girl who joins a coven to root out a vicious evil that’s stalking her village. Perfect for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Grace Year.

Her name is unimportant.

All you must know is that today she will become one of the four saints of Haven. The elders will mark her and place the red hood on her head. With her sisters, she will stand against the evil power that lives beneath the black mountain–an evil which has already killed nine of her village’s men.

She will tell no one of the white-eyed beasts that follow her. Or the faceless gray women tall as houses. Or the girls she saw kissing in the elm grove.

Today she will be a saint of Haven. She will rid her family of her mother’s shame at last and save her people from destruction. She is not afraid. Are you?

This searing and lyrically written novel by the critically acclaimed author of Sawkill Girls beckons readers to follow its fierce heroine into a world filled with secrets and blood–where the truth is buried in lies and a devastating power waits, seething, for someone brave enough to use it.

A couple months before Covid-19 hit the US officially (and even less before it was unofficially attended for), I got the chance to meet Claire in person at Anderson’s Bookshop’s annual teen festival. I’ve been to it twice now, and the last time I got to go, Claire was a part of it. I remember meeting her, and she was honestly one of the nicest people I’ve encountered yet (though, I will admit, it threw me off that I was taller than her, because I’d thought she would be taller than I was at 16-17). Still, despite me not being too big a fan of horror, I am a big supporter of Claire and her books and cannot wait to see what this one has in hold for us.


DELETEFull Flight

by Ashley Schumacher
Published by Wednesday Books
Releasing on February 22nd, 2022
Young Adult Fiction—Contemporary, Romance

pre-order-button-SPH-300x93    DELETE

Everyone else in the tiny town of Enfield, Texas calls fall football season, but for the forty-three members of the Fighting Enfield Marching Band, it’s contest season. And for new saxophonist Anna James, it’s her first chance to prove herself as the great musician she’s trying hard to be.

When she’s assigned a duet with mellophone player Weston Ryan, the boy her small-minded town thinks of as nothing but trouble, she’s equal parts thrilled and intimidated. But as he helps her with the duet, and she sees the smile he seems to save just for her, she can’t help but feel like she’s helping him with something too.

After her strict parents find out she’s been secretly seeing him and keep them apart, together they learn what it truly means to fight for something they love. With the marching contest nearing, and the two falling hard for one another, the unthinkable happens, and Anna is left grappling for a way forward without Weston.

A heartbreaking novel about finding your first love and what happens when it’s over too soon. Ashley Schumacher’s Full Flight is about how first love shapes us—even after it’s gone.

This one, I can’t even explain why I got it. I did not like Ashley’s previous release Amelia Unabridged due to my perception that she did not handle the mental health representation in it well at all (and in fact, it honestly left me with a bad taste in my mouth). You can take a look at my review for that here. Despite that, I was given this one to read and review. I’m interested to see if she does better in her second novel, and I’m hoping she does, because my expectations were sorely crushed by her first. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m still a little mad that she tried to convince readers in the previous release that love was a “fix-all” for your mental health.


DELETEI’m So (Not) Over You

by Kosoko Jackson
Published by Berkley Books
Releasing on February 22nd, 2022
Adult Fiction—Romance

pre-order-button-SPH-300x93    DELETE

A chance to rewrite their ending is worth the risk in this swoony romantic comedy from Kosoko Jackson.

It’s been months since aspiring journalist Kian Andrews has heard from his ex-boyfriend, Hudson Rivers, but an urgent text has them meeting at a café. Maybe Hudson wants to profusely apologize for the breakup. Or confess his undying love. . . But no, Hudson has a favor to ask–he wants Kian to pretend to be his boyfriend while his parents are in town, and Kian reluctantly agrees.

The dinner doesn’t go exactly as planned, and suddenly Kian is Hudson’s plus one to Georgia’s wedding of the season. Hudson comes from a wealthy family where reputation is everything, and he really can’t afford another mistake. If Kian goes, he’ll help Hudson preserve appearances and get the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in media. This could be the big career break Kian needs.

But their fake relationship is starting to feel like it might be more than a means to an end, and it’s time for both men to fact-check their feelings.

I’ve been following Kosoko online for a while now, and I’m really excited for his next release. This book is Adult Romance, so a bit different than his previous Young Adult releases, but despite that, I’m still very excited to see what he has in store for us readers.


DELETEOnly a Monster

by Vanessa Len
Published by HarperTeen
Releasing on February 22nd, 2022
Young Adult Fiction—Fantasy

pre-order-button-SPH-300x93    DELETE

With the sweeping romance of Passenger and the dark fantasy edge of This Savage Song, this standout YA contemporary fantasy debut from Vanessa Len, is the first in a planned trilogy.

It should have been the perfect summer. Sent to stay with her late mother’s eccentric family in London, sixteen-year-old Joan is determined to enjoy herself. She loves her nerdy job at the historic Holland House, and when her super cute co-worker Nick asks her on a date, it feels like everything is falling into place.

But she soon learns the truth. Her family aren’t just eccentric: they’re monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers. And Nick isn’t just a cute boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to bring them down.

As she battles Nick, Joan is forced to work with the beautiful and ruthless Aaron Oliver, heir to a monster family that hates her own. She’ll have to embrace her own monstrousness if she is to save herself, and her family. Because in this story . . .

. . . she is not the hero.

I’ve received several recommendations for this book already (looking at you Riss), and I’m really trying not to speed into reading this one. I want to take my time with it and really enjoy reading it, and for that, I’m trying to wait as long as I can to read it before I run out of the patience to do so. 


DELETEThe Turning Pointe

by Vanessa L. Torres
Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Releasing on February 22nd, 2022
Young Adult Fiction—Contemporary

pre-order-button-SPH-300x93    DELETE

A bold and emotionally gripping novel about a teenage Latinx girl finding freedom through dance and breaking expectations in 1980s Minnesota.

When sixteen-year-old Rosa Dominguez pirouettes, she is poetry in pointe shoes. And as the daughter of a tyrant ballet Master, Rosa seems destined to become the star principal dancer of her studio. But Rosa would do anything for one hour in the dance studio upstairs where Prince, the Purple One himself, is in the house.

After her father announces their upcoming auditions for a concert with Prince, Rosa is more determined than ever to succeed. Then Nikki–the cross-dressing, funky boy who works in the dance shop–leaps into her life. Weighed down by family expectations, Rosa is at a crossroads, desperate to escape so she can show everyone what she can do when freed of her pointe shoes. Now is her chance to break away from a life in tulle, grooving to that unmistakable Minneapolis sound reverberating through every bone in her body.

Like figure skating, if I see a book centering on ballet or something similar to it, I’m all here for it. I never did become the prima ballerina on pointe that I’d hoped to when I was a little kid, but I did learn a lot of lessons from it and remember quite a bit about the art of it. I’m excited to see what the author does with this book, and I cannot wait to read it.


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