LGBTQ in YA month 2013: On Non-Binary Gender in YA

LGBTQDated_zps87521a39.jpgHey, everyone!

Welcome to our stop within the LGBTQ in YA month celebration. On BOANW, we’re celebrating non-binary gender in YA, something we’ve talked about previously in our feature, Afternoon Yak. Today we’re going to get into the trans area of the LGBT community, and how it’s being represented (or lack thereof) in YA books. We’re also going to do this discussion style, so let’s get started!

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Out today! “Destroy Me (Shatter Me #1.5)” by Tahereh Mafi, and on 10/30, “Roar and Liv (Never Sky #1.5)” by Veronica Rossi!

Guys, I can’t tell you how excited I am about “Destroy Me”, which is on sale today (in e-book format only) from HarperTeen. This book is from Warner’s POV, and will bridge the gap between “Shatter Me” (book 1) and “Unravel Me” (book 2 – review coming soon!). I’ve been waiting for something from his POV, and I’m so glad I’m getting it in novella form. Makes it easier to focus. Here’s the complete blurb from Goodreads:

Perfect for the fans of Shatter Me who are desperately awaiting the release of Unravel Me, this novella-length digital original will bridge the gap between these two novels from the perspective of the villain we all love to hate, Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of. . .

Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

Set after Shatter Me and before its forthcoming sequel, Unravel Me, Destroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

Hello, awesome, nice to meet you. I definitely can’t wait to sink my teeth into this beauty!

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Bridge to Books needs your help!

Friends Alethea of Read Now Sleep Later, Alyson Beecher of Bridge to Books, and Thuy of RNSL Nite Lite are running an event that’s totally worth your while. Luckily, it’s been confirmed, but we could always need more people coming to see this film. If you’re in the LA area, please consider attending this awesome event!

*NOTE: AS OF POSTING THIS ON 8/10/12, THERE ARE 48 SEATS LEFT! Get your tickets while you can!

From their email:

Bridge to Books and YA Book Council urgently need your help to secure a screening of Fat Kid Rules the World, directed by Matthew Lillard and based on the 2004 Printz honor book by K.L. Going. 
When: Thursday, August 16 at 7:30 pm (tickets must be reserved by 7:30 pm on Friday, August 10)
Where: Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, CA
What: Visit for the movie synopsis, trailer, and tickets ($10 each)
This show is intended for teens and adults. This film is not rated.

Proceeds from the screening will go to To Write Love On Her Arms, a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for those struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.

“To Write Love” is an EXCELLENT charity, and I’m glad they chose it. And I adore Matthew Lillard! I hope I’ll be able to go but it depends on me getting transportation there. Still, I encourage EVERYONE to go if they can.

Birth of a New Witch is on HIATUS!

Hey, folks.

For the next two weeks (or so), the blog is on vacation. And so am I! I’m off to Palm Desert next week for another ten days.

I have two words for you, children: POOL BAR. And reading, but mostly pool bar, by which I will be doing my reading. And watching the Olympics. And napping.

So, aside from my weekly StS post  and scheduled interview for this week, as well as  a few reviews scheduled for the next two weeks, there will be no activity on the blog for the next two weeks. No memes. No other features. But hey, don’t be sad! Once I’m all refreshed and rested up, the blog will be back to its normal awesome status, bringing you the latest in unpopular opinions of young adult novels and more.

If you’re on instagram, I’ll be posting pictures from my trip there real time – you can follow me by clicking on the camera icon on the left. Or on twitter, because my instagram posts also get echoed there, too. Either way.

With many hearts (and no regrets),


Awesome author news!

So, two things in the BREAKING NEWS department, one you might have heard of already, one you might not have.

First, friend of the blog Leigh Bardugo announced the full titles of all three books in her “Grisha” trilogy earlier this week on her blog. They are:

Book 1: “Shadow and Bone”

Book 2: “Siege and Storm”

Book 3: “Ruin and Rising”

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m pretty excited for the next two books! You can read my review of book 1 here, and be sure to pick it up when it drops on June 5th in North America (other places, check with your local bookseller). She’s also running a contest here where you can win some limited edition swag for “Shadow and Bone”! So go check it out.

Now, for news item number two:

Randi Black, author of the awesome “Miss World” will be giving away free kindle copies of her book through Amazon US Friday, May 25, 2012 through Saturday May 26, 2012. You can click this link and it will you take right to the order page. Also, “Miss World” has a new cover! And guess who made it?

That’s right! Me. I made it. So: any other indie authors that need a new cover for the book? I’m your man (well, girl) for the job. You can contact me at usagiko at gmail dot com for more details.

Those who want paperback copies of “Miss World” might have to wait a little longer, though, as we get our new cover issues straightened out with the publisher. But stay tuned! When new copies are available, I’ll announce it here. But until then, you can get your free kindle copy tomorrow and Saturday, and you can read my review of “Miss World” here.

You can look forward to an upcoming interview with Leigh – it’ll be up in mid-June during the UK book tour of “Shadow and Bone”. It’s going to be awesome, so stay tuned!

Fun Stuff: Literary Games for the Book Nerd

Okay, so, I completely and totally blame Felicia Day and her Flog telling me about and getting me addicted to Failbetter Games’ “Fallen London” – a browser-playable social networking text-based RPG sort of game where you go through an alternate-history, steampunky London after getting out of jail. I’ve been having a TON of fun with it, and then when I poked around Failbetter’s site, I found this:

Yes, you heard me. “The Night Circus”, one of my favorite debuts of last year, now has a similar game from Failbetter (and it’s officially sanctioned by the author). And though I wish there were more graphics, this is an absolutely charming text game. No doubt a lot of people coming into it are going to be confused (as some of my friends were when introducing them to “Fallen London” and how to play), but “Night Circus” is far easier to learn, as it follows parts of the book that are written in second person POV, where you as the audience directly interact with the circus itself. It’s in the vein of the “choose your own adventure” genre of books (I LOVED those as a kid), as is “Fallen London”, where you can pick your routes throughout the circus and London (in both separate games) by clicking on the choices given to you with each card you draw.

Anyway, I’m having a blast, and I’d love to have more friends for both games. You can catch me here for “The Night Circus”, and here for “Fallen London”. If you’d like an invite to either game, shoot me a tweet and I’ll do so. I look forward to playing with everyone!

“Under the Never Sky” – now in trailer form!

Whoa. I don’t know about you guys, but this is surprisingly high quality for a book trailer. It does look like it could be developed into a film off of this. I remember when book trailers were new, and budgets were pretty low, so they ended up with a dude shouting into a microphone touting the author’s achievements and the book cover. Now it feels like a mini movie for so many of these books, and it’s a nice thing to see! I’m liking this trend and hoping it continues. And considering all of the crazy stuff that happens in “Under the Never Sky”, I’d say that the trailer got most of it right!


What do you think? Do you like the new trend of book trailers? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

For Your Consideration: Vote for me in Goodreads’ 2012 Independent Book Blogger Awards!

Independent Book Blogger Awards

Vote for this blog for the Independent Book Blogger Awards!


So I’ve been nominated for the 2012 Independent Book Blogger Awards. If you guys could spare a moment and give me your vote, I’d be quite grateful. You can start voting on APRIL 10th, 2012 through the link above. Note that voting ends on APRIL 23, 2012!

Thank you for your consideration!

With love,


Note: On Accepting Books For Review!

Hey guys.

Usagi here. Just a quick note – as of today I am no longer accepting inquiries regarding submitting books for review. Why? I’m drowning in the ones I have now and I need to do these authors right by reading their books and writing their reviews.



I’ll let everyone know once I do start accepting independent inquiries again.

Thank you for your understanding!

With love,