Waiting On Wednesday: Second Book Edition!

There are sooooooo many books that I am just dying to read this year. If you need proof, check my Most Anticipated 2018 Releases master page. I am in awe of authors in general, but I know that writing your second book can almost be harder than writing the first.  These are the books that I’m praying to God don’t fall to the sophomore slump. I have the utmost faith in all of these authors–their debuts were AMAZING and these second novels look incredible…

PS These are also all standalones, a series edition will be coming soon 🙂

99 PERCENT MINE by Sally Thorne

Official Description: No synopsis yet. How mysterious. I’m still pumped.

Release Date: October 2, 2018 by HarperCollins

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Official Description: Seventeen-year-old Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying she doesn’t have the answers to everything. Whether it’s as minor as her favorite food, or as important as her sexuality, she often feels lost in a world that’s just too big for her. But there is one thing she is absolutely sure of—she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea.

But then Lea dies in a tragic accident, and her mother sends her to live with her aunt in Hawaii while she deals with her own grief. Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, being abandoned by her mother, and the absence of music in her life. With the help of the “boys next door”—a teenage surfer named Kai, who smiles too much and doesn’t take anything seriously, and an eighty-year-old named George Watanabe, who succumbed to his own grief years ago—Rumi tries to find her way back to her music, to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish.

Release Date: Fall 2018 by Simon Pulse


The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde

Official Description: As a rock star drummer in the hit band The Brightsiders, Emmy King’s life should be perfect. But there’s nothing the paparazzi love more than watching a celebrity crash and burn. When a night of partying lands Emmy in hospital and her girlfriend in jail, she’s branded the latest tabloid train wreck.

Luckily, Emmy has her friends and bandmates, including the super-swoonworthy Alfie, to help her pick up the pieces of her life. She knows hooking up with a band member is exactly the kind of trouble she should be avoiding, and yet Emmy and Alfie Just. Keep. Kissing.

Will the inevitable fallout turn her into a clickbait scandal (again)? Or will she find the strength to stand on her own?

Release Date: May 22, 2018 by Swoon Reads

What second novels are you looking forward to?

REVIEW: Starfish, Akemi Dawn Bowman (Sept. 26, 2017)

Starfish | Akemi Dawn BowmanI read this in two hours on a Saturday morning. I started crying within the first few chapters and I Did. Not. Stop. As a Korean-American adoptee who has dealt with social anxiety and low self-esteem my entire life, I honestly I don’t know if I can accurately describe how much Starfish meant to me, but I’m going to do my best.

THE 411: Kiko has always had a hard time with her identity due to the fact that she is half-Japanese—she doesn’t feel completely accepted by white society, yet doesn’t feel ready to embrace her Japanese heritage. Her parents are divorced, leaving her and two brothers with their narcissistic mother. Her only reprieve is her art, and her dream of attending the Prism art school in New York City. After her dreams are dashed, she’s left to pick up the pieces, as well as deal with the reappearance of her childhood best friend, Jamie.

I don’t know if I’ve ever connected more with a written character than Kiko Himura. I grew up in mostly white Iowa and was almost always the odd duck out. This, in addition to my natural inclination to be self-deprecating, has led to me feeling inferior and ugly for being Asian. And I’ve felt this way my entire life. Reading Kiko’s thoughts about herself, her eyes, her skin tone, was like taking a look at my diary.

Her relationship with Jamie made my poor little heart so happy. As kids, we don’t see colors. Kids are just kids. Friends are just friends. And Jamie leaving when she started realizing that she looked different just reinforced Kiko’s belief that there is something wrong with her Asian features. My love life is practically nonexistent, partly because it’s never been a priority for me, but also because one of my deepest fears is being rejected for being Asian. There’s a scene involving Kiko at a party that is pretty much my worst nightmare personified. At the end of “Starfish,” Kiko isn’t magically cured of her anxiety or 100 percent accepting of herself, but she’s on the right path. And that gave/gives me hope.

It was also amazing to see the depiction of a narcissistic parent in a novel. I wish 10-year-old Kate had had this book.

And Akemi Dawn Bowman, you’ve found a fan for life. I can’t wait for your forthcoming novel.  I was truly touched—I cannot stop singing its praises.

MY RATING: ✰✰✰✰✰ (and one of my favorite reads from 2017 so far)
RECOMMENDED FOR: everyone with a heart aka everyone

Thank you so much to Simon and Schuster for my galley. Starfish is available now.