October isn’t the flood of new releases that we got last month, but there are still tons of fall releases dropping each week. Today, several highly-anticipated new titles are hitting shelves, including two arcs I loved.

Books I’ve Read

“One year after the fire, my doctor removes my mask and tells me to get a life.”

Scars Like Wings delivers on the promise of the cover copy: it’s a heartfelt, occasionally tearjerking story of a teen trying to find a new normal one year after an immense loss. In a moving, introspective style, Erin Stewart delves into a messy path to recovery and asks what it takes to truly choose life. 

My full review goes into more detail about two elements of the story that pleasantly surprised me. The result is a gorgeous book that truly felt YA. 

I do have one significant reservation about Scars Like Wings. The book gets a lot of mileage out of mocking “inspiration porn” and Ava is disgusted by being referred to by strangers as “brave” or “an inspiration.” Stewart says she consulted extensively with burn survivors while writing, but she is not one herself. Given that the book is being marketed towards teens who don’t have similar experiences as an example of the resiliency of the human spirit, I’m not sure the book truly subverts that trope. 

I couldn’t blame him and I couldn’t blame the shipwreck gene either. This looming disaster was all mine.”

I also loved The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake.

As an original contemporary, The Last True Poets of the Sea is spectacular. Full of high stakes, mystery, and adventure, the story feels huge in scope, even though we’re just following a single girl through a single summer. I loved the humor, the honesty, and the deep character growth. This is a story of survival: painful, messy, but always worth it. Readers looking for f/f YA that still has everything they love about mainstream m/f reads will love this one. 

As a Twelfth Night retelling, though, the book leaves much to be desired. My full review goes into more detail about why I loved Violet’s journey but was left a little cold by the romance.

Books On My TBR

I’ve seen some great early reviews of The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys. I’ve been trying to read more YA historical fiction, so this goes on my to-read list.

I’m also interested in The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis, The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy, Shadow Frost, the first in a new trilogy by Coco Ma, and fantasy Crier’s War from debut Nina Varela.

Of course, I have my eye on Stephen Chbosky’s triumphant return to fiction, Imaginary Friend.

And I absolutely have to pick up Julie Murphy’s first Middle Grade, Dear Sweet Pea. (If you need a Julie Murphy fearless fatness fix right now, find a copy of The (Other) F Word anthology. I adored her ode to Ursula.

Other Books On My Radar

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