New in YA: November Picks from Our Teen Advisory Board

We are extremely grateful for our dedicated and talented Teen Advisory Board this month and every month. After reading many books, the board has put together an excellent list of YA November releases sure to please any reader. Look for thrilling mysteries, captivating romances, and new twists on well-known tales below. One of their picks, These Violent Delights, has been selected by the board as the official November pick in Blue Willow's YA First Editions Club subscription program.  (A little hint for you all: subscriptions make great birthday and holiday gifts.wink ) Enjoy, friends! 

The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wei Chim

Anna Chiu has always lived her life in the background. She already had enough on her plate with high school alone, but as her mom's mental illness calls for her to stay in bed most of the time, now she has to take care of her siblings as well. However, when she starts working at her dad's restaurant and starts spending time with the delivery boy, Rory, she becomes the main character in her life. Through tears (lots of them) and laughs, the reader experiences how every little thing can alter Anna's life. But no matter what, she keeps in sight those who love her, even when they can't show it. This emotional book will charm any reader.
—Victoria S.

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The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White

Guinevere, the queen of Camelot, is not actually who everyone thinks she is. She is actually just a placeholder created by Merlin with no knowledge of her past. The only people who know her secret are her husband, King Arthur, and her personal knight, Sir Lancelot. As Guinevere protects her kingdom from the evil Dark Queen and other possible threats using her knot magic, she begins to learn about her past. With her best friend and maid Brangian, her knight, and Arthur by her side, she struggles to fit into her role as queen and protect her kingdom and the people she loves at the same time.

I really enjoyed this book! Throughout the book there is constant motion and almost always something going on. The constant action made it hard to put down and always had you wondering what is going to happen next. This book was also interesting because she changed some of the typical gender roles of some of the characters, such as Sir Lancelot, who is a woman. This book is full of magic, knights, and secrets. It skillfully ties many folklore stories together to create a great book about the magical world of Camelot and its inhabitants.
Jillian P.

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The Queen’s Council: Rebel Rose by  Emma Theriault

Fairy tales meet revolution in Emma Theriault's first book, Rebel Rose. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, Belle, the princess we all know and love, is faced with a new set of challenges. Crowned queen in an attempt to save Avignon from the same fate as their French neighbors, Belle is forced into a role and title that she never wanted. Using her newfound power, Belle must find a way to save Avignon and its commoners in order to protect the people she holds closest.

A thrilling afterstory to the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast, Rebel Rose is a refreshing and empowering take on a princess we all know. The author molds Belle into a strong woman who is unafraid to voice her ideas and opinions. Theriault transforms this tale as old as time into a powerful lesson of history and shows that being a princess is so much more than tiaras and tea parties.
Olivia H.

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Love & Olives by  Jenna Evans Welch

Liv is a teen who controls her own life. After her father left when she was 8, she decided the best revenge would be to live a good life, and she didn't need him for that. She changed everything about herself so that she would fit in, but when her dad writes her, asking her to come back to Santorini, Greece, everything changes. What could he possibly want after nine years? She decides to show her Atlantis hunter of a father that she is doing perfectly fine without him. Soon, she realizse that there might be more to this trip than just Atlantis. Every page contains a new surprise that keeps the reader guessing. Readers can relate to Liv in so many aspects, and follow her on her emotional roller coaster. Liv will have to encounter things she thought she already knew, and face things she had stored away for so long. I simply loved this book! The journey of growth and sympathy that Liv goes through is one that will inspire readers.
—Victoria S.

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Here the Whole Time by Vitor Martins; translated by Larissa Helena

Martins's down-to-earth writing is front and center in this LGBTQ romance. Here The Whole Time follows an overweight gay kid, Felipe, who struggles with consistent bullying, handling his crush on his neighbor Caio, and his long list of body insecurities. With winter break right around the corner, Felipe can't wait to be away from all of the mean kids and have some alone time with his mom. That plan of his is interrupted when Caio stays with Felipe and his mom over winter vacation. Suddenly, Felipe is bombarded with facing all of his issues head-on over two weeks, with Caio being right in the center of all of the ongoing tornadoes.

This book was amazing for so many reasons! For one, the character development was incredible. Also, this book had the perfect balance of seriousness and funniness. There were moments of reflection on overcoming bullying, expressing your emotions, and trusting your intuition. On the other side of things, Felipe's jokes and metaphors had me laughing out loud! The supporting characters in this novel are some of the best I have ever read. Each one backs Felipe but doesn't overpower him, making them excellent additions to the story. They also all increased the overall success of the plot, making this book even more of an enjoyable read! I highly recommend this book to fans of Love, Simon and rom-coms in general! Trust me, this is one adorable book you won't want to miss!
Gabriella T. 

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Master of One by  Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett

Full of fae secrets, evil sorcerers, and impossible heists, Master of One follows the story of the six components of the Paragon, a powerful relic left behind by the fae before Queen Ever-Bright wiped them out. Each outcasts to the crown in their own way, the six members find a renewed purpose as they unravel horrible secrets and form inseparable bonds. With courage, wit, and a little magic, it’s up to them to avenge an entire race, but the Queen is always watching…

Delving further than solely the main external conflict, Jones and Bennett have assembled a thoroughly developed and unique cast of characters that readers are sure to connect with. I was engaged by the mystery and eager to watch them complete their dangerous quest. The kingdom and magic system were very interesting. Overall, the authors have crafted an intriguing world and characters that I look forward to learning more about in the sequel!
Veronica P.

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How to Pack for the End of the World by  Michelle Falkoff

If you knew that the world was going to end, what would you do? That is the question that the founding members of the Eucalyptus Club, Amina, Wyatt, Hunter, Chloe, and Jo, set out to answer every week at Gardner Academy. During their time of their first year at Gardner, they take on a new challenge, each focusing on different ways the end of the world could come about. Every member brings their expertise from their specific background to create games of survival that all members of the group play. By playing and living in their games they created, these teens get so caught up in the future that they come to ask, is it worth worrying about the future if you aren't really in the present?

How to Pack for the End of the World  is an intriguing novel of allegiances, survival, and normal high school drama that everybody would enjoy. The plot is ever-changing, keeping readers on their toes and the characters looking over their shoulders at every turn. Falkoff creates a fictional, yet realistic setting, with themes echoed thorough the novel that parallel real world issues today. The author shows that even though teenagers may be young, they have the capacity to invoke real change in the world.
—Olivia H.

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These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

In 1926, the city of Shanghai is just as cruel and unforgiving as its inhabitants, and violence lingers in every corner as the tension between rival Scarlet and White Flower Gangs is at an all-time high. On opposing ends of the blood feud lie Juliette Cai and Roma Montagov, former lovers and sworn enemies. Hardened by years of heartbreak, they’ll do anything to protect their city and prove their worth. However, their resolve is tested when whispers of a monster spread throughout the city, and an inexplicable madness leads people of all loyalties to tear at their own throats. As the mania threatens to shut down the city, the two heirs find that they have no choice but to turn to one another and put an end to the chaos, or else let it be the end of them.

In this retelling of Romeo and Juliet, Chloe Gong crafts a vibrant and riveting story that instantly immerses readers into the bustling city of Shanghai. I devoured this book, eager to get to the source of the mystery and shocked by the many twists and turns the protagonists encountered along the way. On top of an action-packed plot, the author introduces a compellingly multifaceted cast of characters and, with a masterful use of tension, a beautiful romance that left me aching for more.
—Veronica P.

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This is Not a Ghost Story by Andrea Portes

This book was amazing. It's intriguing, with a narrator you know nothing about. It has you on the edge of your seat with every odd occurrence, begging to know more of Daffodil's past. When she enters a mansion she'll be watching all summer long, the reader thinks that's creepy enough. But then, strange neighbors start to appear, and they don't seem to go away. With a heart-wrenching tale of love, loss, and thrilling mystery, readers will find themselves swept away into this mysterious mansion alongside Daffodil.
Victoria S.

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Super Fake Love Song by  David Yoon

Super Fake Love Song is a book that makes your heart throb. When main character, Sonny Dae, becomes star struck with the new girl Cirrus, he "accidentally" lets her believe that he's a lead singer of a band known as the Immortals. Suddenly, he's in over his head trying to convince her he's a rock star—even recruiting his friends to build a makeshift band of buddies, and signing up to play in a talent show.

When Sunny and Cirrus fall for each other; he sees no other option for escape than following through with creating a band. After all, the show must go on. The novel's comedic touch keeps the reading light, and it's difficult to not love the a-dork-able Sonny Dae and his group of loyal friends throughout all their adventures and mishaps. Ultimately, this is a funny read that will have you rooting for Sonny, but also have your heart aching for him. Sonny's character is complicated, and his struggle with finding his identity and his true self is one that is relevant to young people everywhere.
—Grace H. 

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