Stay Bookish Zine - Issue No 5

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photo by Joséphine 4



As any avid bookworm knows, writers are multitalented wizards. They can make you cry over characters you just met, compel you to care about their struggles, and—perhaps most enchantingly—immerse you in atmospheric, detailed worldbuilding. Whether a story is set in your hometown, in a country you’ve never visited, or in a nonexistent fantastical kingdom, a vivid setting can make you feel as if you’re roaming the city’s streets along with the main character. Here at Stay Bookish Zine, we believe books can be one of the most convenient ways to see the world. That’s why, in our fifth issue, we aim to take you on a world tour through YA novels. We share recommendations

that will send you to settings around the globe, shed light on mythology and folklore from diverse cultures, and spotlight the experience of being a YA reader in countries from Ecuador to India. Author and journalist Anna Quindlen once wrote “Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.” We couldn’t agree more. And as you peruse this issue, we hope you find not only stories that transport you to a new city or country, but also ones that make you fall in love with whatever corner of the world you call home.



















BOOKISH NEWS - Aru Shaw and the End of Time movie - Throne of Glass series - Fantastic Beasts trailer

International Settings





cover photo by Erika E.


lifestyle 76


were you featured in this issue? SEE PAGE 65 TO FIND OUT!










FEATURED BOOKTUBER Giselle @ Book Nerd Canada



photo by Joséphine 8




BOOKISH NEWS compiled by Alexandra P.

On March 26, fans of the series

Cline’s novel of the same name,

series by Alexandra Bracken,

A Court of Thorns and Roses

was released. Upon its first

was released! Starring Amandla

got treated to a sneak peek of

week, Ready Player One earned

Stenberg, known for her role

the movie script! While there’s

$64.3 million in the United

on the movie, Everything,

still a long way to go before we

States and Canada.

Everything, based on Nicola

see our favorite characters on

Yoon’s novel. The movie hit

the big screen, it was quite a

theaters on August 3.


Fans of the Throne of Glass series were quite surprised when the new title to the

On August 3, The Miseducation

On March 30, Netflix began

seventh and last installment

of Cameron Post film hit

streaming the second season of

of the series was announced!

theatres in New York, and it was

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Kingdom of Ashes will be

released in selected theatres

based on Lemony Snicket’s

released on October 23, 2018,

around the United States and

gloriously gothic tales of the

marking the end to Aelin’s

Canada on August 10. It is

Baudelaire orphans.


set to release in the United Kingdom on August 31. Based on Emily M. Danforth’s YA novel

On March 29, the movie Ready

The trailer of the upcoming

of the same name, the film

Player One, directed by Steven

movie The Darkest Minds,

spotlights a young girl sent to a

Spielberg and based on Ernest

based on the award winning

gay conversion therapy camp in small-town Montana.

The new trailer for the sequel of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them movie, The Crimes of Grindelwald spotlights one of the most anticipated movies of winter! Especially since it features a young Dumbledore! The movie will hit theaters on November 16.



Jenny Han’s To All the Boys

rights to Aru Shah and the

Kingdom of Death and find

I’ve Loved Before series got

End of Time, a young adult

the reincarnations of the five

the movie treatment, making

novel by Roshani Chokshi! The

legendary Pandava brothers,

the series one of the most

story follows, Aru-Shah, who

protagonists of the Hindu epic

anticipated adaptations! The

has a tendency for lying and

poem, the Mahabharata.

movie was released on Netflix

also spends her summer in the

on August 17.

Ancient Indian Art and Culture Museum. A small lie leads to

The actors who will reprise

the awakening of a powerful

the roles of Tessa and Hardin,

Paramount Pictures won in

demon, the Sleeper and Aru

based on Anna Todd’s After

auction over Netflix the movie

will have to journey into the

series, have been chosen! Julia Gordani Telles will be Tessa and Hero Fiennes Tiffin will be Hardin in the upcoming movie! The movie is set to release in February 2019.



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From Blogger to Author: An Interview with Cait Drews written by Alexandra photos by Cait Drews *Opens castle doors* Welcome Cait, to my humble castle! To your right there is a never-ending pile of TBR books and to your left three rows of cake! Make yourself comfortable and let’s start! Thanks so much for having me! Let’s talk about your backstory as a writer. Who or what inspired you to write? What created the need in you to start writing? I grew up surrounded by piles of books and when I read through those (far too fast) my parents always gave me more. I think it was almost inevitable that I’d start writing?! Although my true kick-starter was my little sister (she was eight and I was 12) who started penning stapled-together novels and got far too much attention for it. I had to join in. The most humble origin story, right?!



What is your daily writing routine? Any favorite snacks you like to have close by? I don’t actually write daily! I prefer to do intense-writing-sessions (sometimes writing up to 30,000-words in a day) for first drafts, and then go a little slower for second drafts and edits. And I use snacking as my break from writing instead of multitasking. Otherwise my laptop would be more crumbs than keys. How did the story of A Thousand Perfect Notes come to be? Did you have a personal experience or anything similar to what Beck goes through your story? My protagonist, Beck, and I do share one thing: we both play piano! Although I admit I had a really great piano experience while Beck’s is… not so great. (Sorry, Beck!) My inspiration behind it came from so so many sources, including: my love of classical music, a whiff of gen-

derbent Cinderella, and some references to famous composers’ lives. Do you find parts of yourself in your characters? Who was the hardest character to write? I definitely relate to my characters here and there, although I do like to challenge myself by writing characters with different personalities to mine! I probably relate to Beck the most, with his awkwardness, hate of being in the spotlight, and suspicion of cakes made from beetroot. His friend-turnedlove-interest, August, was a little harder to write considering she’s a very friendly extrovert. Beck and my introverted hearts took a while to warm up to her! And now the dreaded words: revision process. Something all writers can relate to being the hardest part. How did you overcome it? Revisions are hard, but I’m extremely motivated by that chance of a finished novel that someday people can hold and read! Do you have any writing tips for all the aspiring authors out there? Write the book you want to read, the book you can’t find, and the book that makes your heart beat a little faster. And don’t quit on your books or your dreams! Make yourself finish, make yourself write more books and different books,



learn how to revise, listen to advice, and challenge yourself. Let’s move on to your blogging. How long have you been a blogger? And what kind of magic do you use in order to create such amazing pictures in your blog posts? I’ve been blogging for almost 7 years now, which feels like such a looooong time. I definitely use magic for my blog posts though, a little bit o’ dark wizardry never goes astray. I also can’t help but mention the tweets! They always make me laugh and also make my day! I think one got mentioned on a café board too? How did this great habit began? Aww thank you! My ultimate goal is to make people laugh so SUCCESS! I started off just tweeting to promote my blog, but now I love the challenge of fitting a funny thought, or list, or even a mini story, into the word count. You are a blogger, a Twitter icon, a booksgrammer and now a published writer! How can you juggle everything? The trick is basically cake. If you’re not eating cake then, well, that’s the problem right there. I also need to mention that you create your own art! Where can we find it? I do enjoy making origami creations, which you can find on my etsy store:! Your favorite beverage? Oooh right now I’m stuck on banana milkshakes. Not super great for winter but eh. One must suffer for deliciousness. Favorite baked goods and with what kind of topping/icing? Can I say cake and ice cream?! Is ice cream a topping? (It should be honestly.)



Your ideal place to read? On my bed! I do most of my reading and writing here…or on the floor. Like the professional I am deep down inside. Dragon or unicorn? DRAGONS. What kind of superpower would you want to have? Honestly being immortal would solve a lot of my TBR pile problems. There are far too many good books in the world, and I must read them all?! If you could bring only one fictional character in life, who would that be? I would slightly cheat and sneak myself into The Scorpio Races world by Maggie Stiefvater…because that world! Those characters! November cakes! And man-eating horses and windy Irish seas! What’s next in your upcoming writing? I’ve always got something in the works but it’s all top secret mwhhaha. But I’ve been doing edits for my second book coming out in 2019 and am currently outlining a little magical realism project just for fun! Unfortunately, it’s time to wrap this interview up. Tell me Cait, what is your message to your readers through your debut novel? I hope everyone enjoys it and manages to laugh, or cry (or both) during these pages! It wasn’t the lightest book ever to write, but I hope readers leave wrapped in little threads of hopefulness and with a definite hunger for small cakes shared with someone incredibly special. *Opens castle doors* Also you can choose to either take with you a baby unicorn or a dragon egg, as a parting gift! *fills pockets with dragon eggs* Thanks again for having me, it’s been so nice!

Author bio: C.G. Drews lives in Australia with her piano and the goal of reading every book in existence. Consequently, her brain has overflowed with words and she spends her days writing novels to make you laugh or cry (or both). She never sleeps and believes in cake for breakfast. She blogs at You can find Cait on: Instagram: @paperfury Twitter: @PaperFury Website: Goodreads: C. G. Drews STAY BOOKISH ZINE


2018 Sophomore Author Slambook compiled by: Marie, Priyanka, Emily R., and Chelsea C.

photo by JosĂŠphine 18


On writing... When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Before I can even remember! I wrote a “book” and made my parents put it in the post to…I’m not even sure where I thought it was going! (And I’m pretty sure they didn’t do it.) Then I started writing seriously when I was 16. Can you describe your sophomore novel for us in five words? Fractured badass band seeks glory. How did the process of writing your second book differ from your first book? It’s like everyone says: you have a lifetime to write the first book, but you only have a year(ish) to write the second. For my second book the process was similar to the first—a full rewrite, multiple big revisions, lots of changes—but in a SUPER compacted time frame. Five years versus two. It’s also very different writing a book you know for certain is going to be published—you have to try to forget that and just write. When you’re not writing, you’re… Watching Pretty Little Liars (still), listening to podcasts (You Must Remember This is a fave), embroidering things, buying red lipstick. What can you tell us about your next writing projects? It’s all the things I love to read but have always been afraid to write: intense relationships, scarily perfect settings, mental illness, and more. Fun questions... What’s a book you would recommend to everyone? Northern Lights (or, The Golden Compass) by Phillip Pullman. Lyra is one of my favourite characters ever. What is your Hogwarts house? I…don’t know. Cue gasps, but: I don’t really care about Harry Potter that much! But if I had a daemon, it would be either a leopard or… a dolphin.

R E B E C C A B A R R OW If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why? I would love to go to Barbados, because it’s where half of my family is from and I’ve only been once, a long, long time ago. And it’s beautiful and the music and food and everything is the best. One bookish (or TV show/movie) character you feel like you can relate to the most? I really relate to Nell from Winner Take All by Laurie Devore. She’s high strung but has a heart of…maybe not gold, but something semi-precious. In ten years, I’m hoping… To have many more books in the world, living in a cool place with a menagerie of cats. Website: Twitter: @RebeccaKBarrow STAY BOOKISH ZINE


personal, cathartic process for me. Wild Blue Wonder healed a lot of wounds. When you’re not writing, you’re… Dancing, eating, watching British costume dramas. What can you tell us about your next writing projects? My debut middle grade novel, I, Cosmo, comes out next year. It’s the story of one dog and his humans—and how he tries to keep a family together while everything around them falls apart. Fun questions... What’s a book you would recommend to everyone? Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.

CARLIE SOROSIAK On writing... When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? At the age of four, I figured out that people called “writers” created books (these magical things didn’t just drop, fully formed, out of the sky). I have always desperately wanted to tell stories. Can you describe your sophomore novel for us in five words? Grief, guilt, siblings and magic. How did the process of writing your second book differ from your first book? I think that any sophomore novelist will tell you that book two is more difficult than book one, because you’re writing under a variety of pressures: deadlines, expectations, a deeper fear of failure. But this was also a much more 20


What is your Hogwarts house? When I was a graduate student at Oxford, I was in St. Hugh’s College, which is the unofficial Hufflepuff of Oxford. To quote Jennifer E. Smith: “I’m a Hufflepuff, and that’s enoughlepuff.” However, I’ve always seen myself as part Ravenclaw. If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why? Right now, I’m desperate to go to Yosemite National Park. I’ve been so many places, and have hardly explored my own backyard! One bookish (or TV show/movie) character you feel like you can relate to the most? Cath from Fangirl. Books! Anxiety! Totally me! In ten years, I’m hoping… To have had a dog for ten years. I am desperate for a dog.

Website: Twitter: @carliesorosiak

On writing... When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?​​ When I was really little, like under 10! Can you describe your sophomore novel for us in five words? Passionate, swoony, funny, feminist af, sparkly. How did the process of writing your second book differ from your first book? So. many. rewrites. When you’re not writing, you’re… Being lovingly bullied by my very vocal golden retriever, Ollie! What can you tell us about your next writing projects? A companion novel to When Dimple Met Rishi following Rishi’s jock brother Ashish will be out in summer 2019! Ashish has lost his dating mojo in this one, and turns to two very unlikely sources to get it back...his parents.

Fun questions... What’s a book you would recommend to everyone? The Prophet by Khalil Gibran, one of my faves from when I was an adolescent. What is your Hogwarts house? Gryffindor when I’m mad (pretty rare for me), Hufflepuff all other times.

S A N D H YA M E N O N If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why? Anywhere in Europe! I’ve wanted to go for so long now. One bookish (or TV show/movie) character you feel like you can relate to the most? Haven’t really found any so far, sadly! In ten years, I’m hoping… To still be writing books that move people <3

Website: Twitter: @smenonbooks STAY BOOKISH ZINE


When you’re not writing, you’re… spending time with my five rescued sighthounds! We have a greyhound, a galgo, a saluki, and two Italian greyhounds—not to mention three birds and a lot of fish! What can you tell us about your next writing projects? Up next is the sequel to Reign of the Fallen. We recently released the title, Song of the Dead, and I can promise more adventure, more romance, and probably- give that nifty title- more drama and death! Fun questions... What’s a book you would recommend to everyone? The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston; it’s nonfiction that reads like the most incredible adventure story. I learned so much while reading it, and it was super fun!


On writing...

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I’ve known I wanted to be an author since high school, where my creative writing teacher really encouraged me. Can you describe your sophomore novel for us in five words? The Dead Rule the Living How did the process of writing your second book differ from your first book? My first book took much longer to write than my second. The process changes with each book, really, but with my second, I did more planning/ world building in advance of drafting, so the words just flowed.



photo by Beth

What is your Hogwarts house? Slythergryff! Part Slytherin, part Gryffindor. Weird, but there you have it. If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why? I’d go back to Ireland. It’s the place where I’ve felt most at home other than Virginia, and picture don’t even do its beauty justice. Plus, the food! Ohhh, the food. You can’t beat lasagna with fries. One bookish (or TV show/movie) character you feel like you can relate to the most? Alice Quinn from The Magicians; she’s very driven and hard on herself, just like me when I want to reach a goal. In ten years, I’m hoping… That I still enjoy my life as much as I do now, complete with writing more books, rescuing more dogs, and seeing new places. Website: Twitter: @SG_Marsh

On writing... When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I think I was in primary school. Every now and then the teacher would set us a task to write a story, and everyone else’s would be like a page and a half long. I’d be going up for extra paper the whole afternoon and end up with some sprawling eight-page adventure about magic/unicorns/exciting quests. Aside from the unicorns not much has changed. Can you describe your sophomore novel for us in five words? Exciting, fast-paced adventure, dark, magical. How did the process of writing your second book differ from your first book? Not too much. I watched way too much Columbo while I was working on the original draft, and it was handwritten, meaning that I had to type up the whole thing and then edit from there. Like Rise of the Reaper, the first book in my fantasy series, it sat doing nothing for more than ten years before I decided to re-write both books. I’d been writing and editing a video game site that I co-owned for years and it had helped me to hone my writing, so when I came back to the books I saw that they needed overhauling. If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why? When you’re not writing, you’re… Machu Picchu. It’s always fascinated me—the Incan Trying to find the time around being with my city in the clouds. To look out over that once lost family to get peace enough to play video games city… where thousands of feet have walked, souls or relax. moved, those people now long gone from this world. It’s like a sad echo of another world, another What can you tell us about your next time, just beautifully cradled by the mountains… it writing projects? takes my breath away. Like the first two books, I need to re-write and overhaul the third book in the Broken Lands One bookish (or TV show/movie) character you feel series—Time’s Grim Machinery. It’s a time-travel like you can relate to the most? one, with some dark sub-stories going on—it’s Bastian from The Neverending Story. That was me, fun, but it will be hard work wrestling it into a as a kid. It was who I still kind of wish I was. shape that I’m happy with. In ten years, I’m hoping … To have many more books out and that they’ll Fun questions... actually sell so that I can buy my house, take care of my family, and also help my mum out. And I want to What’s a book you would recommend create more worlds to explore. More magic, more to everyone? adventure. Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett and the Adrian I also want to have learned to make decent Mole books by Sue Townsend. carrot cake.


What is your Hogwarts house? Ravenclaw. I like the colour best. In all seriousness, I think it’s the one I prefer the most. I’m not sure that I really fit elsewhere.

Website: Twitter: @SketchStone STAY BOOKISH ZINE


second book. From a technical standpoint, this helped me figure out how to elicit certain emotions or reactions when I needed to. On the other hand, it added this pressure I didn’t feel when working on my first book. When you’re not writing, you’re… Teaching high school English, cuddling my dogs, watching unhealthy amounts of TV with my wife, hiking, indoor rock climbing, hosting my Monday night Instagram cooking show, or playing video games. What can you tell us about your next writing projects? It’s top secret right now, so I can’t say anything other than that it exists!

Fun questions...

R A N DY R I B AY On writing... When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? From a young age, I always loved stories in all forms, so I knew that someday I’d want try try creating my own. I didn’t actually write short stories or novels growing up, though. Mostly I consumed them, took creative license with school assignments, and daydreamed a lot. But I believe doing those things helped prepare me for the moment when I actually sat down and tried to write something of my own. Can you describe your sophomore novel for us in five words? Former best friends seek reconciliation. How did the process of writing your second book differ from your first book? I was much more aware of audience with my 24


What’s a book you would recommend to everyone? The Blues for Mister Charlie by James Baldwin. (Technically, it’s a play. But whatever.) What is your Hogwarts house? Gryffindor! If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why? Harry Potter World in Florida. I went once and it was the happiest day of my life. I’d like to return and take up permanent residence in Hogwarts Castle. One bookish (or TV show/movie) character you feel like you can relate to the most? Steven Universe. He’s basically my soul in cartoon form. In ten years, I’m hoping… I can grow a full beard.

Website: Twitter: @randyribay

On writing... When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was about five years old—around the same time I realized how much I loved to read. But I didn’t take it seriously as a potential career until I turned twenty. Can you describe your sophomore novel for us in five words? Sisters. Music. Grief. Abandonment. Hawaii. How did the process of writing your second book differ from your first book? I was definitely more aware of a looming schedule, but I also made a conscious decision to write Summer Bird Blue before Starfish released. But there was definitely more pressure with the second book because I was under contract and I knew I had to write something that was at least “as good as” the first book. Obviously that’s going to be subjective for everybody, but still— imposter syndrome is very, very real! When you’re not writing, you’re… Busy entertaining my four-year-old and twoyear-old. And I do like video games and bingewatching TV shows. Stardew Valley recently took over my life. Speaking from experience, do not buy this game if you’re on deadline. In the words of Admiral Ackbar, “It’s a trap!” What can you tell us about your next writing projects? I just turned in the first draft of my upcoming circus book to my editor. It doesn’t release until Fall 2019 and the title hasn’t been announced, so the only thing I can share at the moment is that it’s a YA contemporary about a girl who dreams of being a trapeze artist and runs away to join the circus. Fun questions... What’s a book you would recommend to everyone? Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. No hesitation. What is your Hogwarts house? Ravenclaw!

A K E M I DAW N B OW M A N If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why? Oh, Harry Potter World for sure, because I still haven’t been. I need to try Butterbeer! One bookish (or TV show/movie) character you feel like you can relate to the most? I mean, I relate to Kiko from Starfish a whole lot, but I feel like that’s cheating. So maybe Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. He was socially awkward and didn’t know how to talk to people, which I very much relate to. In ten years, I’m hoping… That I’m still lucky enough to be able to write books that people want to read.

Website: Twitter: @akemidawn STAY BOOKISH ZINE


book, I actually had no idea that it was going to be a trilogy. I went into book one without much of a plan, and as a result I had to do a bunch of revision and rearranging to get it where it needed to be. Book two, however, I knew exactly what needed to happen, which made the revision process a little less hectic. When you’re not writing, you’re... Thinking about writing. But also watching Netflix, playing video games, and baking. What can you tell us about your next writing projects? Lots and lots of fantasy!

Fun questions... What’s a book you would recommend to everyone? The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

TA R A S I M On writing... When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I had always dabbled with words ever since I was a little kid, so by the time I started to sit down and write novels for fun when I was 14, it felt like the next natural progression for me. I don’t think there was a precise time I realized it, but I do know that reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time kind of lit the kindling under me. Can you describe your sophomore novel for us in five words? Time, explosions, angst, steampunk, India. How did the process of writing your second book differ from your first book? Writing Chainbreaker was different than writing Timekeeper because when I was writing the first 26


What is your Hogwarts house? Gryffindor, with rising Slytherin. If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why? This is so hard, because I want to go to so many places! Right now, in this very moment, I think I’d most want to go to Scotland. One bookish (or TV show/movie) character you feel like you can relate to the most? Zuko from Avatar: the Last Airbender. In ten years, I’m hoping... That I’m still churning out books for my readers!

Website: Twitter: @EachStarAWorld.

On writing... When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I have written my entire life—diaries, poetry and stories. I went to Kenyon College and majored in English and Creative Writing. In my twenties, I worked with kids as a counselor but always wrote on the side. Then, when I had my own kids, I decided to go back to earn my MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. It was after receiving this degree that I tried to actually publish my work. Can you describe your sophomore novel for us in five words? Photographer Linc redesigns her life. How did the process of writing your second book differ from your first book? It was very different because I sold it on proposal. So, I was really starting from scratch. And it went through many variations, for example in one version it was a dual POV book. When you’re not writing, you’re… Hanging out with my 12-year-old twins, reading, watching TV, doing house chores, helping to run the Parent Association, running a kids’ literary journal, sometimes teaching. What can you tell us about your next writing projects? Well, I just had my third book (my Junior book???) release as well in April. A Middle Grade book entitled Every Shiny Thing, I co-authored with my friend Laurie Morrison. I just sent a picture book in verse to my agent about a young girl who lives year-round at the beach. I’m about 25 pages into both a MG in verse and another YA, neither of which are probably far enough along to go into detail…but I’ll tell you the main characters’ names! Josie’s the MG and Evie’s the YA. Fun questions... What’s a book you would recommend to everyone? Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell and Lillian Hoban. What is your Hogwarts house? Hufflepuff/Ravenclaw? I can never decide! Huffleclaw? Ravenpuff?

CORDELIA JENSEN If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why? I would like to visit the Oregon coast, I have never been there and The Goonies has always been (and always will be) my favorite movie. Also—Machu Picchu! One bookish (or TV show/movie) character you feel like you can relate to the most? Is it cheating to say Mira in Skyscraping? Haha. My kids have told me I am like Mrs. Murphy in Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s One for the Murphys, which is like the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me, so I guess I will say that. In ten years, I’m hoping… My kids are graduating college and I have published a picture book they can read to their children one day.

Website: Twitter: @cordeliajensen STAY BOOKISH ZINE


When you’re not writing, you’re… …working full-time or snuggling a very needy old Siamese cat after that. What can you tell us about your next writing projects? I’m currently working on the sequel to Of Fire and Stars, Of Ice and Shadows, which comes out in 2019. It isn’t necessary to read Inkmistress first, but those who have might notice a few extra things.

Fun questions... What’s a book you would recommend to everyone? Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust.

AU D R E Y C O U LT H U R S T On writing... When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I didn’t. I’m still a bit confused that I ended up one. Can you describe your sophomore novel for us in five words? Bisexuality, bloodshed, betrayal, journey, hope. How did the process of writing your second book differ from your first book? Inkmistress was written in a much shorter timeframe than Of Fire and Stars, and yet the chapters were often drafted more slowly. It was frustrating at times, but meant that less revision was needed in the end. 28


What is your Hogwarts house? RAVENCLAW! If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why? I’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand for its natural beauty. One bookish (or TV show/movie) character you feel like you can relate to the most? Not many people in the YA community have probably read this book, but the character I relate to most is probably Gwen Davis in The Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys. In ten years, I’m hoping… That the world is a place of more acceptance, equality, and kindness for all people.

Website: Twitter: @audwrites

On writing... When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I don’t remember a specific moment. I wanted to be an author since I was a kid. I loved creative writing assignments in school and thought I was pretty good at it, so that was formative for me. I still remember some of the papers I wrote: an all-girls scene of Lord of the Flies, an essay on George Michael, and a first week of school assignment called “Who Am I,” which I ended with “I’m not quite finished yet.” Can you describe your sophomore novel for us in five words? Obsession. Betrayal. Stylish. Deceptive. Debatable. How did the process of writing your second book differ from your first book? Everything about the process was different. Unscripted Joss Byrd was first-person narrative with flashbacks. All of This is True is multiple POVs plus a book within a book. It’s frustrating how there is very little carryover from one novel to the next! When you’re not writing, you’re… Teaching child stars on TV and film sets, Broadway, too. For fun, I go to concerts, ride horses, walk around the high school track, do my hip-hop dance workout, eat sushi, quote teen movies, and heckle really bad TV shows. What can you tell us about your next writing projects? I’m the worst at this. I hate sharing unfinished projects! But I will say that I’m writing one manuscript that’s creepy and plotting another manuscript that’s funny. Fun questions... What’s a book you would recommend to everyone? A blank notebook. Write down your thoughts, observations, memories, quotes, overheard conversations, anything you like. What is your Hogwarts house? I’m sorry! I’m not fluent in Harry Potter. * ducks from tomatoes being thrown at me *

LYG I A DAY PEÑAFLOR If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why? I’m happy wherever my friends and family are, but I hope they all end up in Hawaii. One bookish (or TV show/movie) character you feel like you can relate to the most? I relate to William Miller in the movie Almost Famous a lot. Because I always end up writing quietly in the corner while surrounded by famous people. In ten years, I’m hoping… To be healthy (always #1), to still enjoy writing, to have a film of Unscripted Joss Byrd in the world—I’ve co-written the screenplay with Joseph Greco (Canvas), who has signed on to direct. I also want to have a go-to wardrobe; this means owning a classic outfit for any occasion so that I’d never have to shop. Website: Twitter: @lygiaday STAY BOOKISH ZINE


about my work until I had a polished draft. But it was also nerve-wracking to write a novel that was already under contract, because I never knew if the end result would live up to that original idea! When you’re not writing, you’re… Tromping across fields with a large dog named Hank. Sharing Goldfish crackers with my toddler. Drinking wine with my husband. Driving ridiculous distances with the whole crew. What can you tell us about your next writing projects? I’m just finishing up an adult novel, at the moment. My next YA is still only an outline—but I’m excited about both! Fun questions... What’s a book you would recommend to everyone? The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth.

E M I LY A D R I A N On writing... When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Right around the time I really learned to read— first or second grade. I don’t remember ever coming up with a viable backup plan, or even an alternative dream job. Can you describe your sophomore novel for us in five words? Get me out of here. How did the process of writing your second book differ from your first book? I sold this book on proposal, so I wrote it with the knowledge that it would be published, which was not the case for my first book. I had much more feedback at every stage. My editor and I had long phone calls about everything from plot to themes to character motivations. It was exciting to talk about the story when it was still in its earliest stages; in the past, I was always pretty private 30


What is your Hogwarts house? I’ve never been big into Harry Potter, but I googled “sorting hat” and took the first quiz that came up, just so I could tell you: I am a Ravenclaw! Evidently! If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why? This is a boring answer, but right now I would probably visit my hometown of Portland, Oregon. I miss my family. Particularly, I’d like to squeeze my niece. One bookish (or TV show/movie) character you feel like you can relate to the most? Pretty much every time Curtis Sittenfeld writes anything, I’m like, “Same.” (I suspect I’m not the only person who feels this way; her novels and short stories are populated with women who feel extremely…real.) On television, I always saw a lot of my teenage self in Parenthood’s Amber Holt. In ten years, I’m hoping… To have published a few more books. To have lived in a few more places. To have tromped across many more fields. Website: Twitter: @adremily

On writing... When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Growing up I loved storytelling in all its shapes so it’s always been a part of me, but I think sometime around high school I started to wonder if writing as a profession was even possible. Can you describe your sophomore novel for us in five words? Exploration of friendship and love. How did the process of writing your second book differ from your first book? Rough. It’s absolutely true that each novel is different and requires you to re-learn the process of writing because this novel was rough! I had so many doubts about it and myself from beginning to end. I wasn’t sure I would ever get to where it needed to be, and I still toy with scenes in my head or things I’d wish I’d explored more, but overall I’m happy with it. When you’re not writing, you’re… Reading, baking, and trying to learn wheel throwing (pottery) while being a nomad. What can you tell us about your next writing projects? Book 3 is a bit of a word vomit at the moment, and I’m trying to decide if it’s a historical magical realism or alternate history magical realism or a pile of crap magical realism. Basically it’s a mess of scenes and emotions, but it needs to be right now. Once I’m done I can take a step back and see what’s there and what isn’t. I’m also toying with expanding the Kitchen Witch short story I wrote for the Hanging Gardens Tumblr! Fun questions... What’s a book you would recommend to everyone? I don’t have one! I read a lot of different genres and age groups so I tailor my recommendations to whomever I’m speaking to and what they’re looking for. What is your Hogwarts house? On my first Pottermore test I was Ravenclaw, but I retook it two years ago and I was Gryffindor. At first I flat out refused (REFUSED) before I realized it was true. I’d recently decided to quit my fulltime job and pack up everything I owned to spend more time with family and self. It was a big move

MIA GARCIA and something that felt very Gryffindor of me. Currently I consider myself a Gryffinclaw. If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why? Too many places! I’d love to visit the parts of Scotland I never went to while I lived there. I’d love to spend more time at home in Puerto Rico and drive around the island from place to place. If readers want to continue to support the rebuilding effort in PR please visit One bookish (or TV show/movie) character you feel like you can relate to the most? I’m pretty sure I’m a combo of the entire Belcher family from Bob’s Burgers. In ten years, I’m hoping… I live in a home with at least ONE secret room hidden behind a bookcase. AT LEAST ONE. Website: Twitter: @MGarciaWrites STAY BOOKISH ZINE


A Veteran Booktuber written by Nusaiba photos by Sophie & Chelsea C.


iselle runs Book Nerd Canada, a book blog and BookTube platform. An active member of the Canadian and global book community, Giselle has run her BookTube since 2013. She provides honest input and valuable discussion on representation in literature. Stay Bookish interviewed her about recent booktubing challenges and her perspective as a longtime blogger and BookTuber.

Are there any BookTube trends you’ve taken part in?

Stay Bookish: Hey Giselle! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. We’re so excited! To start: Why did you start the Book Nerd Canada platform?

Probably the only trend I really took part in was the book haul videos. Though that was already linked to the Stacking the Shelves book haul found on my blog.

Giselle: I started the Book Nerd blog because I liked sharing my honest opinions with everyone. It’s fun helping people decide whether or not to pick up a book and read it.

From your channel, your reviews, and your “My Thoughts” series on your website, it’s clear you are vocal and brave about discussing topics that are difficult to talk about. The “My Thoughts” series includes sincere discussion on issues such as sexual harassment. How did you get comfortable expressing your opinion online, or did it come naturally to you?

What would you say is the biggest challenge to running a BookTube channel? The biggest challenge is finding time to record all the videos. Since juggling a full time job, a blog and a channel, it’s a struggle to be on top of everything at once. Was finding time the biggest challenge to running a BookTube when you started? Yes it definitely was one of the biggest challenges. But another hurdle was finding rele-

"It's fun helping people decide whether or not to pick up a book and read it." 32


vant topics to talk about and stay “different” from what everyone else was doing.

I guess it just came naturally to me. I’m an opinionated person, so having a topic or issue that I feel strongly about, the words just flow and I ended up with “My Thoughts.” Are there any future topics you hope to cover in your BookTube or your blog’s “My Thoughts” section? Most definitely. I had a whole post about how racism affected my own life, but I decided to not post it at the time. I’m still contemplating on whether or not to publish it.

Are there are any topics or issues that you wish there were more books around? If so, why? More books about suicide and depression please! Only because as a teenager, I struggled through my own anxiety and depression. Knowing you’re not the only one can really help. It was such a taboo subject (back then), that I needlessly had to research on my own to find help. Even if there’s a negative representation like the show, 13 Reasons Why, I still believe it gets people talking and listening.

How might books and shows better represent mental illness? 13 Reasons Why and beyond? I think it’s important for books and shows to send a message that a romantic relationship can’t be the solution to depression. Most books, shows and even movies show how the main protagonist’s partner will do anything to save them. When in reality, the protagonist is the only one who can save themself. I think that’s more of a realistic ending, since more and more people are living and coping with depression.

Speed Round! Our theme for this issue is Travel/Around the World. Where is one place in the world you’d like to visit?

An underrated book?

Capri, Italy.

One book you are looking forward to that will be published in the upcoming year?

You’re an active reader and community member. Are you a writer too? (If so, would you ever want your writing to be published?) Nope, I’m just a book worm :)

Guards of the Shadowland series by Sarah Fine.

Becoming by Michelle Obama. Hogwarts House? Ravenclaw.

Where to find Giselle? Giselle can be found on YouTube, Goodreads, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Giselle’s blog and BookTube are currently on hiatus, but Giselle is still active on social media.



Meet Romy THE INTERNATIONAL BOOKSTAGRAMMER written by Priyanka photos by Romy


hile going through my Instagram feed, the most unique and beautiful bookstagram pictures I come across are taken by @romysbooks. I am very glad that Romy agreed to do this interview with us! Enjoy learning about this enthusiastic international bookstagrammer! Stay Bookish: Hey Romy! I am so excited to learn about you and your unique bookstagram. So, what made you want to start a bookstagram account? Romy: Hey Priyanka! Believe me, the feeling is mutual. I started my bookstagram way back in 2015 when my bookshelf was just a baby and I still had curly bangs. I stumbled across a bookstagram account and I was amazed by how many books she had and by her photography skills. So I decided that I wanted that, too. Only that my first pictures were a low quality, weirdangled mess, haha! I guess I’ve come a long way. How would you describe your “theme” on your bookstagram account? I tried many themes so far and I must say, this one is my favourite. It perfectly represents the coziness of my room (at least I hope so!). I’m trying to make people wish they were sitting next to me, a cup of tea in the one hand, nose stuck in a book, and chocolate in front of us. My theme is warm and full of fairy lights, pillows, funkos and, of course, all my book babies! Do you think bookstagram is an effective platform to express your opinion on books? A thousand times yes. Though it’s mostly focused on the art of bookish photography, I always thought of it as a great way to express my feelings about the books I read (sometimes with a little too many capital letters. You know, when the fangirl takes over). I found some of my favourite books thanks to all the positive voices on bookstagram! It’s a great way to write small reviews and to recommend all those books we love. Your Instagram is booming! It’s so gorgeous, too. What is your favorite part of having



platform that reaches out to other people who also love books? Thank you so much! I never imagined my account becoming so big. Eleven thousand people is huge for me, especially with the fact that there aren’t as many people living in my hometown. My favourite part has to be the interaction. I get to know so many lovely people and I seriously can’t imagine my afternoons without discussing and fangirling/-boying about all the books, shows and everything else! Luckily I have quite a few active followers, so I can interact with them daily. Direct messages also never fail to make me smile. Bookstagram is just a beautiful way to get our love for books out into the world! What are your views on the Instagram community? How supportive are they? How has been the response so far? Well, I call them dearies, so

this has to say a lot! The bookstagram community is just lovely. I always get the sweetest comments and amazing response. Also, especially when talking about more serious things, I feel like many people take their time for reading my texts which always warms my heart. People on bookstagram are beautiful, every single one. What tools do you use for your bookstagramming? I am not a professional! I use my mobile phone (which is a Samsung Galaxy S7) to take my pictures and edit them with VSCO afterwards, that app is magical.

all! Quite the opposite in fact. Bookstagram helped me improving my English as well as reading a ton of English books. I am glad that I’ve chosen this language to interact with people. Of course I am always nervous about making mistakes or sounding weird, but writing and talking in English gives me the perfect opportunity to reach people from all over the world which is something that amazes me every day once again.

Do you face any problems regarding people using you bookstagram pictures without your permission? I’ve seen my pictures flowing around on other accounts here Most of the people who and there and of course it’s follow you on Instagram not the best thing ever, seeing speak English and as you are a people claim your work as theirs. bilingual, does that cause any But as long as people share my problems when you write the pictures giving me credits or at captions or interact least stating that they haven’t with them? taken them themselves, I take There are no problems at



it as a compliment. At least it shows me that they like my work. I’d always appreciate credits though. It’s more respectful and can make more people smile. A lot of people find reading to be an escape from reality for a bit. Do you feel this way ever? I do. Because I probably won’t be able to explore cities of starlight, ride dragons or go for an epic heist. I like my life the way it is but it’s just that sometimes, reality isn’t enough. Or maybe something is going on that occupies my mind even though I don’t want it to. Taking a book and diving into its world, getting to know these characters as if they were friends of mine, it’s the perfect escape. To me, books are magic. Humans making fictional people and worlds come to life just with their words... sounds like magic to me. What would be the one piece of advice you’d give new bookstagrammers just starting out? Do whatever makes you happy! Just grab your books and a phone or a camera and shoot all the pictures! Your theme doesn’t have to be the most perfect of them all, because every single bookstagrammer probably started with too many filters and bad lighting. Try new things every day and stick with whatever works best for you. You create a bookstagram for yourself first place. So that’s why it should make yourself the happiest. Do not focus on pleasing others. Again, do what makes your smile grow wide and your eyes shine. Now answering the fun questions, let the fangirling begin! Favourite book? It’s been Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro for three years now. This book is seriously so underhyped. The story deeply touched me and whenever I grab the book and go back, reading that last page that made me cry so many times, I feel my eyes burning all over again. It’s a beautiful book and I think every single one should read it.

Favourite TV show? I have two, and please don’t make me choose between them. The 100 and The X Files. Two shows that aren’t much alike but my love for them is so huge! Especially for their main characters, oh how much I love them. (And pshhh, I am such a sucker for slow burn romances, so Bellamy & Clarke and Scully & Mulder totally own my shipper heart!) Favourite social media platforms? Instagram and Pinterest, for all the inspiration! Hogwarts House? I might be a mixture of Hufflepuff and Gryffindor. So, Gryffinpuff? Any hidden talents? Certainly not cooking or baking. Well, I am good at dealing with other people’s emotions. I’m a listener and I’m always trying to give honest advice. 3 adjectives that would describe you? caring, sarcastic and chaotic. Any book recommendations for our readers? Apart from Never Let Me Go, definitely The Hunger Games, Six of Crows, A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Darker Shade of Magic and anything by Mona Kasten. She’s by far my favourite German author and her books deserve to be read by people from all over the world! I had so much fun answering these questions. I am glad you had fun answering questions. Thank you for the lovely book recommendations! They are awesome and hope to read them myself. Also, thank you so much for your time and effort for this interview. Hope to see more of you and your beautiful bookstagram in the future!

WHERE TO FOLLOW ROMY: Instagram: @romysbooks






International Settings written by Chelsea C., Sophie B., and Emily R. photos by Chelsea C.



In the past few years, people have been asking to see more diversity in YA lit: different sexual orientations, different cultures, different mythologies… Now, we’re asking for different settings because the truth is, readers are a diverse bunch who come from places all over the world! Trying to find books that take place outside the United States can be hard, firstly because the setting of a book is rarely the selling point of a story, and secondly, simply because there aren’t that many. Fortunately, we’ve done the research for you to help you start mapping the world with books. Here are classics you might not have known were set outside of the United States, and other little gems that’ll make you want to start travelling yesterday.

Central America

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

The one about falling in love with the world through travel Eighteen-year-old Bria Sandoval is at a standstill. It’s the summer after her high school graduation, she’s been neglecting her art, and she longs for a sense of independence that she never felt under her parents’ roof. As a result, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—but when it turns out to be a slow-paced, tourist-trapfilled bore, she abandons ship for a solo backpacking adventure through Belize and Guatemala. What follows is an engrossing, emotional story of reluctant romance, creating your best self, and most of all falling in love with the world and its people. Kirsten Hubbard’s knack for writing vivid settings shines through on each page, giving us a vibrant look at each city and town Bria visits. Be warned, though: after reading this book, you’ll want to do nothing but go on a backpacking trip of your own. STAY BOOKISH ZINE


Eastern Asia

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan The one that shows mental illness through a different lense

Dealing with mental illness is never easy, but we have stories to help us get through some of the hard times. That being said, it can be frustrating to see how the characters and their entourage deal with certain situations when their reality doesn’t reflect yours. Throughout the world, subjects like mental illness aren’t always dealt with in the same way due to cultural differences. When you’re looking to be understood, to read about characters who get it, sometimes you have to search for a long time. The Astonishing Color of After is a tale of loss and hope that shares the story of a girl named Leigh who’s determined to find her mother whom she is convinced became a bird after dying of suicide. For people with a soft spot for Taiwan, magic and reality confusion, strong family relationships, and self discovery, this one’s for you.



Ink by Amanda Sun

The one to satisfy your love of mythology Ink takes us all the way to Japan and even introduces us to some Japanese folklore while we’re there. Katie moves from the United States to Japan to live with her aunt after her parents die. She accidentally meets a boy whose drawings literally come to life, and their meeting makes his abilities spiral out of control. Since Katie is new to Japan (just like most of us!) we get to learn at the same time as her. It’s not a description-heavy book, but there’s enough of the Japanese culture woven into the story that you absorb more information than you think. Not only do we learn about modern Japan, but this story revolves around some Japanese mythology, which is a great way to learn about historical Japan. If that wasn’t enough to sell you, this trilogy features beautiful artwork throughout its pages!

Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee The one about a boy learning to survive North Korea is a country with very limited information. Most of what we know is from the news and what we read online, but it’s never easy to tell what is true or not. Every Falling Star is a memoir aimed towards a young adult audience about life growing up in North Korea. Sunju starts off with a good life: his dad is a military man and his family lives in the capital. They have money, food, a home, but no idea about what life is like outside the capital. Their lives change suddenly when his dad loses his job and they have to move to a poor town. Circumstances leave him orphaned and on the streets, forcing Sunju to learn quickly how to survive. While not the feel-good YA book you might be used to, Every Falling Star is a great story that teaches you tons about North Korea, which most people don’t know much about. It’s a story full of hope and courage, and one you likely won’t forget.



Western Asia Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed The one about choosing your own path in the face of overwhelming obstacles

Building your own identity and making your own choices, even if it means defying your parents’ expectations and rules, is a common theme in YA. (I call it the “It’s your dream, Dad, not mine!” trope.) However, few YA novels do it as well and feature the same sky-high stakes as Written in the Stars. The story follows Naila, whose conservative immigrant parents have always made it clear that they will choose who she marries. So when Naila falls in love with a boy at her school, her parents take her on a trip to their homeland of Pakistan. There, her story turns terrifying when she realizes her parents already have a husband picked out—and they’re forcing her to marry him and remain in Pakistan indefinitely. As Naila searches for a way out, she must reconcile the differences between her parents’ expectations and her own identity, all while facing life-altering stakes. The result is a heart-pounding, enraging, heartbreaking story that will have you cheering for Naila from beginning to end.



Like Water on Stone by Dana Walrath

The one that spotlights a lesser-known chapter of history World history is full of people and events that rarely get spoken of—people and events that are good and evil, joyous and tragic, and everything in between. One such event is the Armenian genocide, which took place in the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey and surrounding areas) in 1915. Like Water on Stone tackles this difficult chapter of history, spotlighting three young Armenian siblings on the run following a horrifying attack on their home that leaves them orphaned. Told in flowing free verse that counteracts the heavy subject matter, this book will break your heart and maybe even teach you about a lesserknown piece of history.

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman The one about recovering from loss and uncovering your identity

Veda is a young Bharatanatyam dance prodigy who dreams of dancing professionally. But when a car accident leaves her a belowknee amputee and takes away her career goals in the process, she re-learns her art, discovers how to dance with her prosthetic leg, and remembers the inherent joy of dancing. Meanwhile, her story also includes a subtle spiritual side. The protagonist’s loss of her limb takes away the thing that matters most to her—competitive dance—but in doing so, it makes her ponder what is truly important. Watching Veda decide what her Hinduism means to her and discover that dance can be spiritual rather than cutthroat can only be described as magical. Set against the vividly-written backdrop of Chennai, India and told in beautifully rhythmic verse, A Time to Dance will take your breath away.




The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

The one for the respectable (and a little wild) gentlemen and gentlewomen of this world A good laugh, a few tears, and a tour of Europe is what this book has in store for you! The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a historical YA novel that shares the story of a young man, accompanied by his best friend and his sister, as he embarks on a journey to travel through Europe before settling down to be a proper working man. With this gripping adventure filled with unexpected turns of event, Mackenzi Lee does a great job giving you a taste of what life was like way back when in different parts of Europe. Even if you’re not a fan of historical fiction, for the pleasure the company of these characters will bring you alone, and to broaden your horizon in terms of diverse settings, you must give this story a try!



Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor The one for everyone Reading book after book taking place in the same few towns can be tiring and frustrating because the truth is, teens all over the world experience amazing adventures every single day. It’s hard for international readers to find a story taking place in their home country, but fortunately there is one story that will take you along as it sets foot in a lot of different places that aren’t often seen in YA literature. And that book is Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Primarily set in the Czech Republic, this book also takes place elsewhere, in France, Morocco, and more, all while telling a gripping paranormal story that dabbles in fantasy and romance as well. In terms of setting and themes, this book has got a little something for everyone!

Rook by Sharon Cameron

The one that mixes a little historical with a splash of dystopia In a post-apocalyptic Paris, anyone who is against the revolution is put to death. Sounds familiar, right? Rook takes the story of historical France and sets it in the future with a dystopian twist. Some of the people sent to prison to await their death are disappearing, with only a redtipped rook feather left behind. This story follows Sophia and her new fiancé, René, as they play cat and mouse with not only each other, but the authorities as well. The author does a great job of painting the picture of this sunken, crumbly version of Paris! If you’ve been looking for a different kind of dystopia to scratch that itch then check this one out!

For more great international stories, keep an eye out for these upcoming books! Descendant of the Crane by Joan He - China Bright Eyes by David Kudler - Japan Gumiho by Kat Cho - South Korea We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal - reimagined Arabia The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf - Malaysia Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram - Iran



Exploring Race and Police Brutality Through the Lens of a Black Gay Teen:

Anger is a Gift Spotlight written by Shelumiel Delos Santos photo by Renée

So you have read Angie Thomas’s critically and commercially acclaimed The Hate U Give. Or perhaps you have picked up Nic Stone’s Dear Martin, or Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely’s All American Boys before that. No matter the case, there is no denying that the young adult community has been having important, difficult, but open conversations about racial inequality and the modern-day civil rights movement in recent years. And the latest to join this crop of socially-aware young adult novels is Mark Oshiro’s debut, Anger is a Gift, the queer #BlackLivesMatter book I didn’t know I had been waiting for. Oshiro’s contemporary novel takes place in West Oakland, California—a character in and of itself—and follows Moss Jeffries and his closeknit friends as they enter sophomore year. Moss lost his father in a police shooting six years prior, and he has crippling anxiety and lives with PTSD. As his underfunded school becomes increasingly militarized—with random locker searches, metal detectors, and a police officer stationed at the school halls—he and his friends decide to get organized and protest. But when students push back, things go awry and tragedy strikes, leaving Moss face-to-face with yet another loss. There is obviously a lot to unpack here. But the author does a phenomenal job of examining what it means to be a black gay teen now and looking not only into race but also class, all the while balancing raw, brutal scenes with pockets of levity. The nuances with which he presents timely yet challenging issues is highly commendable. The candid dialogue 46


on mental health and the celebration of queer communities of color—accepted, though not without adversities—is both refreshing and much needed. And in an industry in which the grownups are often portrayed as being against the teens, Oshiro’s concern is with showing positive examples of adult support. On race, class, and privilege. Anger is a Gift has a wonderfully diverse cast of characters and offers a thoughtful, if visceral, look into how systemic racism works. It has black and brown characters front and center of the narrative, with intersectionality in gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability. It also explores class and privilege, as Moss’s best friend Esperanza is a transracial adoptee of two white parents. Which is the main source of friction between the two friends. Because although Esperanza is Latina herself, her parents’ money and privilege act as blinders preventing her from fully comprehending Moss’s situation and why he is upset about everything that is happening in his school. Oshiro adds layers by depicting how white liberal guilt presents further social challenges. On state-sanctioned violence and school militarization. “Do we go to a prison or to a school?” the protagonist asks his mother after the announcement that a resource officer has been invited back to their school and will be conducting random locker searches. It is rhetorical, of course, but it captures succinctly

the conversation the author invites the reader into. What does it look like when the school demonizes its student body? When money is spent in “protecting” them instead of actually educating them? Spoiler alert: it isn’t pretty. There are several instances of police brutality targeting students for the crime of speaking up. In one particularly frustrating scene, an epileptic student is falsely accused and deliberately hurt. And I remember vividly thinking that I was maybe reading a dystopian book. Because there was no way, I rationalized, that the people in positions of power could be this insidious—especially since the ones on the receiving end of bullying and intimidation and, in certain cases, assault were just teens. Teens who wanted to go to school and have access to education. And then I would see news on Twitter about school walkouts and students standing up to government officials, and I would be hit by the sudden realization that Anger is a Gift couldn’t be more reflective of the ongoing cultural reality. On student activism and community. In the story, Moss and his friends devise a plan to push back against injustice and the criminalization of students in their school. The author himself has had a lot of experiences with protests and marches, experiences from which he drew inspiration for his writing. But he admitted in one interview that he had never intended for his work to be a commentary on the activism that students and teens are doing right now.

Which is ultimately what it has become, however coincidental. It provides excellent insight into the vulnerability and resolve of youths demanding meaningful changes and the resilience of a community confronting institutionalized racism. Ours is a culture of defining anger as unfavorable, an emotion that is inherently bad, but Oshiro uses it as a gift. He uses it to channel his distaste for the world into something that helps. On unapologetic queerness. To echo contemporary YA and NA author Dahlia Adler, there are probably more queer and trans people of color in this novel alone than in all of YA combined, and that is not completely hyperbolic. There are gay, lesbian, trans, nonbinary, bisexual, and asexual characters in Anger is a Gift. Not one of them has a coming out arc. And that is what I appreciate the most in Oshiro’s work; that we can have this group of queer teens who can be openly queer and explore their orientation in a social justice book. That the author is evidently not just filling diversity quotas. The answers are not easy and clear-cut in Moss’s world, but the message is. We are here. And that is at once validating and empowering. Reading this debut, you might not recognize yourself in any of the characters and their struggles. But it is an invaluable window into an experience that is common for black and brown teenagers in America. And I am stoked to see a whole lot more from Mark Oshiro. STAY BOOKISH ZINE


Our Writing Playlist

propulsive writing music, but furthermore, the song characterizes Megan’s growth and the selfmisconceptions she learns to confront. What Megan learns on life and love come down to the question Florence repeats: “Did I build a ship to wreck?” “Romeo and Juliet,” Dire Straits

written by / photos by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka Co-authors of Always Never Yours We come up with writing playlists the way we come up with ideas—not in one concerted effort, but gradually, over weeks and months of coming upon perfect reflections of our characters or concepts on Spotify or iTunes. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to compile those reflections of Always Never Yours, our YA contemporary debut centered on Megan Harper, who relates to Romeo and Juliet’s Rosaline—she’s dumped before every one of her boyfriends finds true love—until she’s cast to play Juliet in her high school production and falls for a Romeo she never expected. “Ship to Wreck,” Florence + The Machine We don’t think we could find a YA writer who doesn’t love Florence + the Machine. We’re no exception. “Ship to Wreck,” the opening track from Florence’s perfect third record, provides



We love a good Romeo and Juliet reinterpretation. Obviously, right? One of our favorite artists in common is Dire Straits, and compositionally and instrumentally this song sweeps you up in the story’s epic romance and tragedy. We found even greater inspiration in the contemporary, wry voices given to the characters, which captures the cynical and flippant remove Megan feels from Romeo and Juliet. We have a feeling Megan would resonate with the frustration of the Straits’ Romeo: “You promised me everything, you promised me thick and thin. Now you just say, ‘oh, Romeo, yeah, you know, I used to have a scene with him.” “Worth the Tears,” Sheer Mag Whenever we formulate a new character, we often find one song to epitomize the character wholly and completely. For Megan, the song was “Worth the Tears,” from the tremendous female-fronted punk group Sheer Mag. First, we imagine Megan loving punk for the uncompromising honesty and blunt-force delivery. But second, the song perfectly captures Megan’s conflicted feelings on romance and relationships. Despite Megan’s

people who thought they didn’t care yesterday, but today, they do. “Do I Wanna Know,” Arctic Monkeys

repeated failures in love, she’s not bitter or overcautious. She’s eager to wring every possible ounce of fun and closeness from her next inevitably doomed relationship. The chorus of “Worth the Tears” felt written for her: “But at least I tried, and the time we had was worth the tears that you made me cry.” “Friday I’m In Love,” The Cure The Cure’s hit happens to be Austin’s favorite writing music regardless of the book, which was convenient in writing Always Never Yours because it’s perfect for Megan. When the book opens, Megan is defined by her incessant pace in dating and new relationships. The week’s turnaround the Cure’s lyrics describe feels about right, from “Tuesday, Wednesday, break my heart” to “Friday I’m in love.” There’s deeper resonance in the change from “Thursday, I don’t care about you” to “Friday I’m in love,” for Always Never Yours is finally and fundamentally the romance of two

This one’s not for Megan. It’s for Owen, the guy with whom Megan becomes close over the course of Always Never Yours. Unlike Megan, Owen’s tentative and cautious, caught between wanting and fearing rejection. “Do I wanna know if this feeling flows both ways?” the Monkeys’ Alex Turner croons. Owen finds himself wondering exactly that throughout Always Never Yours. Plus… we just imagine him really liking British rock.

Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka’s Always Never Yours was released on May 22 and is available in bookstores now.



photo by Joséphine 50




being an


reader: what is it really like? written by Pam, Marie, Priyanka, & Nathasya photos by Chelsea C.

The young adult community is filled with readers from all around the world. From the United States to Ecuador, from Indonesia to India to France, everything can be radically different. Access given to books, shipping costs, bookish events and fairs, book blogging, and even reading itself is completely different from one place to another. Today, our little group of international readers will give you a glimpse of what being an international reader is really like.

on reading translations ”A war between availability and faithfulness.” - by Pam, from Ecuador. Having books translated into your own language is the best because you have access to them, and even though the words may not be the exact same of the author’s, you’re still getting the story. There are many books that never get to be translated into other languages, and it’s a shame. Some of us have the privilege of being able to find these books in English and read them in English, but most can’t. I remember when I only read books in Spanish because I wasn’t fluent enough in English to understand. Translations were more than important, they were absolutely necessary. But even translations aren’t perfect. Translators do their best to use their knowledge to give us a story that resembles the original as much as possible, but language is a tricky thing.



Jokes, expressions… They can go over our heads if they’re not in the original language. Sometimes even book titles can end up being awkward when they’re translated. With translations there’s always a war between availability and faithfulness to the original content. We love them because we can read the story, but we can also get quite fussy about things like titles that are nothing like what the original meant to say. That said, translated YA books are very important for bookworms all over the world. For some, translations are the only way they can understand those stories, so there’s a constant push for foreign publishers to acquire and translate US/UK/AUS titles as soon as possible.

on book bloggers and ARCs “International bloggers don’t get as many chances as other bloggers.” - by Marie, from France. As bloggers, all we want to do is talk about books. Yet, as international bloggers, sometimes, books are complicated to come by. Being a book blogger comes with certain perks and incredible privileges that sometimes come in the form of actual books, ARCs. “ARC” is short for Advance Reader’s Copy, meaning books that aren’t finished copies. As book bloggers, we are allowed to ask for ARCs from publishers and, if we get lucky, we might even get a chance at getting a physical or digital copy of a book before its publication date. ARCs are a privilege, making us feel part of the book publishing process, allowing us to hype up books we want to see succeed, giving us chances at reading incredible books before they’re released to the world. Yet, as international bloggers, we, more often than not, don’t get that chance. For bloggers living outside of the United States, holding an ARC of a book in their hands before its publication date feels even more unlikely to happen. Despite the requests and hopes, disappointment exists far too often for international bloggers for us to ignore it. Obviously, there are so many things to take into account, shipping costs and rights, for the most part, making getting physical ARCs complicated.

bloggers. We logged on NetGalley, and most titles we could usually request appeared with a whole new request button called “Wish for it.” Territorial rights and other restrictions for digital copies have arrived. Giving us fewer chances, shutting us out. The problem is not that we want to get free books—the problem lies deeper than that. International readers don’t have the same access to books, libraries, books events, and everything else where they might get the books they want. Getting books shipped take funds international readers don’t have all the time. Teenagers love the young adult books they find themselves in and need to read more, but they can’t. There are lots of bloggers relying on ARCs, on these little “wishes,” to get a new book to read, to continue chatting about books, to keep on doing what they love: talking about books, writing, and the beauty of it all.

Instead of relying on being able to boost new books that way, we take chances on e-copies, with wonderful websites such as NetGalley and Edelweiss. Yet, back in December 2017, something happened for most international STAY BOOKISH ZINE


on access to books “Do international readers get access to latest books like others readers do?” - by Priyanka, from India. To answer the above question; Sometimes we get the access to latest books but not always. There are times when we have to struggle a lot to find the book we want to read. When you love reading books which are published in the UK or the USA, you need to wait for them to release in India. Even if they release on the same day,​we don’t get copies of the book until after a week. There are only few books which are talked​about in bookshop and the copies are made available. Specially, YA books are not seen in bookshops or libraries until you request them, or you have to wait for a long time before they are made available in the bookshops. Amazon or ebooks are the best chance to get books without waiting for too long. On Amazon, you can pre-order books and find books which are not available in bookshops. In the past few years as my reading has increased, I have depended a lot on Amazon or ebooks. Specially ebooks, because you don’t need to wait for them to be delivered and you can start reading on the same day that they are released. When it come to cost, ebooks are very cheap. But if you go to bookshops, books are given at very expensive rate which sometimes can’t​be affordable. So buying books online at



a cheaper rate with delivery charges is more affordable. On Amazon I have gotten books at 200₹ or 300₹. I mostly don’t choose the oneday delivery option because most of the time I order a series of books together, so the time of delivery is different if I take the one-day option. And some books are not eligible for that service. I have never bought a hardcover book; they always range from 900-1000₹ when they are released. And most of them are imported versions, which get lot of shipping charges and take a long time to arrive. Since I have started reading I have depended mostly on paperbacks, ebooks, and website like Netgalley. There is no harm in waiting for books for weeks, but when you read a book, you feel like talking about it with other people. And when most people in the book community are talking about it, you just get excited about the book and I have to wait for it. It is fun to read books with your friends from the book community. As a reader in India, I hope we get access to books at same time as other countries.

on book events and fairs “Bookish events and book fairs: we don’t get many of those over here” - by Nathasya, from Indonesia. One of the first things I found out I’d been missing when I joined the book blogging community was the existence of bookish events. WHAT? Yes, I didn’t know that there were many Comic Con-like events happening about books, especially young adult books, in the West. The first time I found out about bookish events was when I studied abroad in the UK. YA Lit Con is one of the biggest YA book events there and I had the best time attending the event. The second thing I found I missed was book fairs. The first time I went to a book fair was, again, in the UK. I attended the Tynemouth Station Book Fair in Newcastle and it was heaven for me. I found many new books to read, met fellow bookworms, and was introduced to different genres I wouldn’t necessarily pick up if I were in a bookstore by myself. It was such a new and great experience as a bookworm that, for the next two years I was in the UK, I attended as many book fairs as I could. Now, I’m back home in Indonesia, and unfortunately, YA bookish events don’t happen where I live. I understand that this is probably due to

the lack of YA fandom in Indonesia. The only YA books translated into Indonesian are the really popular ones such as novels by John Green or Jenny Han. Many of the YA books I read are not translated into Indonesian; therefore, not many people here actually read YA books. When it comes to book fairs, not many book fairs take place in Indonesia. For the last two years I’ve been home, the only book fair that featured a wide selection of young adult books I’ve heard of is an event called Big Bad Wolf, where you can buy both Indonesian and English books for half the price. They have a robust selection of books, including young adult books that I won’t easily find in local bookstores. But that’s about it. As an international reader, bookish events and book fairs are the two things I wish happened more abroad. I think as bookworms, we all would love to have more book-related events and fairs happening. I mean, what’s more fun than finding new books to read and meeting your favourite authors and fellow YA readers all in one place, right?



books we want published already

written by Emily R. photos by Chelsea C.

If you’re a reader, the feeling is probably

storyline or setting you’d like to explore. Either

familiar. You think of a great concept for a book

way, the desire to read a book that doesn’t

you’d like to read. You scour the internet to see

actually exist can be a major book nerd problem.

if something like it exists. You ask your friends for recommendations. But sadly, you come up

We asked our staff and readers to share their


dream stories—stories that they hope to see on shelves someday. Responses range from specific

Maybe you struggle to find aspects of your

novel ideas to general themes we want to see

identity represented in literature, and you wish

more often, but they have one thing in common:

for fictional characters who are more like you.

they’re all excellent ideas. Writers and literary

Maybe you have a burning idea for a great

agents, feel free to take note!



ONE COMMON THEME WE CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF: CREATIVE F/F ROMANCES! “F/F romance story, involving a teen girl and a

“Girl with chronic pain falls in love with girl who

ghost, solving mysteries in the mid 19th century.”

has congenital analgesia!” —Emily Rasmussen

—@MarriedToBooks3 “we need more F/F in high fantasy!” —Hollie

IN FACT, WE WANT MORE QUEER REPRESENTATION IN GENERAL. “I want a Mulan retelling where the MC is actually

women, I would’ve appreciated to see characters

trans.” —@lost_in_a_story

question themselves the way I did, I would have love to see the struggle of feeling justified in

“aromantic asexual w/ a group of amazing

one’s identity as part of the LGBTQ community

feminists! there’s also cute little coffee shops and

when being in an m/f relationship. Those are

bookstores involved. (I would not be opposed to

things I still hope to see! Stories portraying

crime fighting.)” —Emily M.

diversity regarding sexual identity have been more present these past few years in YA lit, but

“Something I would have love to see growing

many of them have male main characters and I’d

up were more queer female characters. As a

love to see more young women represented in

someone who’s interested by both men and

the same way!” —Sophie B.


“I would give A N Y T H I N G for one of those

of the kingdom is chosen by a tournament in

takes-place-over-the-course-of-24-hours books

which anyone can participate and people are

set during a girl’s quinceañera”

tested on a host of stuff like strength, diplomacy,

—Emily Rasmussen

shrewdness, how they present themselves, whether they care about the people of the kingdom etc.” —@inkdin



BASICALLY, WE WANT (AND NEED!) DIVERSE BOOKS! “an anthology that features a bunch of diversity.

in fantasy, sci-fi and, contemporary who aren’t

like that’s it, just a bunch of stories with characters

the secondary characters. More diversity in love

we don’t normally see in YA!” —Emily M.

triangles and interracial relationships (as in a person of color with another person of color who

“queer people of color, non-binary people, and

is a different race).” —Stacy Nguyen

characters with mental illnesses and disabilities


“A dystopian with no dentists and the heroine’s

‘chosen one’, where the hero/heroine fights to

brother wears braces. That’s be worse than the

claim what’s there’s instead of getting it handed

zombie apocalypse.” —@alexperc92

to them on a plate.” —Holly


“YA or adult fantasy set in an alternative London

American Revolution !!!!!!!” —@WillasRamblings

in 1800s.” —@carliMAREE


“Girl attends a training ninja camp in place of her

what kind of trouble that would bring” —Chelsea

sick twin brother and eventually gives honor to their family by saving a whole town, The Parent

“I want a YA heist novel, female led, kind of like

Trap x Mulan style. (Is there romance? Yes, def.

Catch that Kid meets Oceans 8, but where all the

Ninjas fall in love too.)” —@heykebe

women are essentially villains but we love them anyway” —@IndigoWayworth 58


GIVE US BOOKS WITH LITTLE TO NO ROMANCE, PLEASE! “Something that seems to be popular in MG

but instead beautiful friendships; I want fantasy

books that needs to become a thing in YA books

where the enemy-to-lover trope becomes enemy-

are platonic relationships! I want contemporary

to-best-friend instead!” —Sophie B.

stories where there is no swoon worthy romance,


be written. Not all YA teen reader are 16. Some

and their struggle and doubts about the future.

are 18 and in need of reassurance, and they

Those stories are missing. Those stories need to

deserve a little bit of love too!” —Sophie B.

Longing to read a book that doesn’t yet exist

picking up a pen (or a laptop) and writing it

can be painful, but it helps to know that you’re

yourself! The world needs your story, and we’re

not alone. And the next time you have an idea

ready to read it.

for a fantastic, never-before-seen story, consider



Lost in translation The challenges of adapting novels into different languages written by Bex and Zoe photos by Joséphine As a translation student and book lover, the idea of being a literary translator is nothing short of a dream for me. Working with brilliant authors and helping them to share their work with the world would be an incredible honour beyond telling. However, literary translation is not as easy at it might seem on the surface. There are so many pitfalls to fall into, and though I can claim no professional experience, I am here to tell you about some of them. One of the easiest things to mess up is imagery. Similes, metaphors, idioms, and proverbs are what add an extra spark to a novel, making the plot, world, and characters come alive. In short, they are key to making a book a book, so getting them spot on is so important. The problem is that they’re notorious for creating problems in translation; an incorrect translation of a metaphor or idiom could lead to a lack of understanding in the target language, or worst case, it could offend the people that you’re translating for! 60


Idioms are particularly tricky, because unlike the others, their meaning won’t immediately be apparent from the words themselves. Take “to have other fish to fry,” for example; it’s something that we say when we have something else more important to do, but that’s not obvious from the words alone. Instead, it’s part of our knowledge of the English language. You could try to translate it literally if you wish, but the likelihood is that your target language won’t have the exact same image to describe this phenomenon. There are often equivalents though, as seen with the French “avoir d’autres chats à fouetter,” which translates roughly into English as “to have other cats to skin.” That might sound totally weird (at least to me as an English speaker), but it’s a completely normal expression in French. That’s certainly food for thought. The one thing that is perhaps more difficult than this is trying to translate words that don’t exist in your target language. For the first point, consider the Welsh word Hiraeth. Many Welsh people believe that the word cannot be translated, though it roughly means “homesickness or wistful longing for a home that no longer or never did exist.” As you can imagine, translating that as one word wouldn’t be fully possible. That leaves you with a few options: leave it as it is and add some sort of explanation, paraphrase it as I’ve just done, or use a more general term such as ‘homesickness’ instead. I’m not really in favour of the last one because you will often lose a lot of the word’s poetic effect by doing this, but sometimes you have to make the tough call and do it for the sake of understanding. Unfortunately, some things really do get lost in translation. But what about words that don’t exist at all? Here I’m talking mainly about fantasy and science-fiction books, because they usually contain a wealth of new words and terms. The best way to go would probably be to keep the term, because obviously it’s the

author’s own creation, but you should probably do some research to see if the new word is similar to any offensive words in the target language—as you can imagine, getting that wrong could have disastrous results! So, you’ve translated a book, well done! However, your work is not over yet. Actually, the last task might be the hardest one. Sorry! You’ve reached the stage where the book is legible, but how do you even begin to emulate your author’s incredible writing? The answer is, very carefully. You need to be extremely familiar with the author’s style and might have to consult them from time to time to discuss certain things. Although it’s inevitable that a bit of your own style will slip through, in literary translation it is generally best to remain as invisible as possible. You are just the doorway that the words pass through on the way to the other language. Each individual translator will probably have their own strategy for this though, so there are no set rules. Translating a book is hard, but I can imagine that the results are more than worth it. At the end of the day, it means sharing the love of a great book across the world, but the next question is how does the book get across the world? How was it chosen to be translated? These questions go back to the publishers and the translators. The Subsidiary Rights departments of various publishers work to pair books with foreign publishers. They do this through conferences such as BEA or international book fairs such as Frankfurt and Bologna. These international publishers look for books that can appeal to an international audience, so Americancentered books often do not get picked up, as international readers find it hard to relate to the characters and the world. The way a publisher gains interest in a book internationally happens differently than a book published in its own language. Sometimes it is a translator’s own interest in a book that leads them to approach a publisher, and sometimes it is a publisher pitching to another international publisher. It is at the book fairs that a lot of this happens. For some books, samplers of a translation are written so a publisher can get a feel for the book to see if they want to buy the rights. In this case, the translator who writes the sampler might not end up translating the book for the publisher as the other publisher will have their own favourite translators.

In most cases, the publisher depends on other readers to see if a book is a good fit, as it is not in their language. Instead of looking at the New York Times Bestsellers list, they look at books that would appeal to their audiences or a book that might sell better in a different language. The only way that a book can be translated by an international publisher is by granting publishing rights. Sometimes it is the author that holds these rights and sometimes it is the publisher. This is just another reason why the route to international publishing is a crazy path. The rights can be difficult to attain, or the right person might not have them. With these rights come not only new languages but new covers and new editions. There are many different routes and many different destinations for a book to land in. I find it fun to look and see which of my favourite books have been published in other countries and which are not in their original language. All of these books had to go on long journeys to get to my bookshelf and I am so glad that I get to know that they are being loved around the world.



the future of

LGBTQ+ YA "you can exhale now,


written by Hollie photo by Renée


itting in the cinema watching Love, Simon, I felt myself doing the same thing. Reading a YA novel depicting the heart-warming coming out story of Simon Spier is one thing, but watching it on the big screen, in a multiplex theatre, backed by one of the biggest film distributors in the world is something else. I try to consume as much LGBTQ+ media as possible, from books to films to television shows, even if it’s with just one same-sex side couple. To me, seeing a community of people represented in any form deserves support. But, with this content comes barriers to reach into the mainstream. There are films that are hidden behind Netflix algorithms, shows that are cancelled after only a few episodes, books that aren’t published, but written by young users on Wattpad and AO3 because all they want is to see themselves in stories. Over the years, we’ve seen YA leading the way for progress, with books on LGBTQ+ lives, loves, and struggles becoming



loved bestsellers. They make it to everyone’s TBRs, are given spaces on the internet to garner interest and thrive in a community that always wants more of them. It’s why Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda did so well, because book lovers had always been craving a story where the main character is happy and loved and also very gay. The success of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda made the movie, Love, Simon possible. The very idea that a character, a part of the LGBTQ+ community, deserved his own story, watched by millions, in theatres across the globe means so much to other media that’s yet to be published or picked up by a film studio. There is a demand and publishers, film studios, and television companies should all take note that this is only be the beginning for representation for LGBTQ+ people in the media. Our stories are worth telling, and the best way to support that cause is to go and see Love, Simon (as many times as you want!), pre-order debuts with a LGBTQ+ protagonist, and stream all the shows!

Love, Simon has paved the way for voices old and new to finally get the recognition it deserves. There is now no publisher or CEO that can say that LGBTQ+ content can’t sell. We’ve still got a long way to go, however. While Love, Simon was gearing up for its cinematic release, the film adaptation of bestselling YA novel The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth, despite winning the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury prize at Sundance Film Festival, struggled to find a film distributor to release it in theatres. Love, Simon is also one perspective of a very wide and diverse community of people and experiences. Of course, to have a light-hearted and happy portrayal of coming out is super important. The amount of times, as a queer person, I’ve enjoyed a fluffy romcom and thought to myself this would be so much better if it was gay. But, now that the doors have cracked just a little, we now need to bust them wide open. We need positive and accurate portrayals of queer girls, trans people, bisexuals, intersex folk, and people outside of the gender binary. Simon Spier is a white, cismale with a middle class.

upbringing One size does not fit all, and so the support we have for Love, Simon needs to extend to stories about queer people of color especially because despite Love, Simon being so successful, there are still so many people a part of the community that do not see themselves positively represented in the media. A large part of the problem is due to the overwhelming support for stories about only white gay men (many not even written by gay men) and lack of interest in anything else and anyone else who may not fit that definition, but is still a part of LGBTQ+ community. And so what is the direction of LGBTQ+ YA lit? To me, I can only hope for a positive future for our community. I can only hope that the continued support and demand for LGBTQ+ YA shakes publishers awake. There are still YA imprints that have next to no representation in their novels, and in 2018, it shouldn’t be the case. So, for all members of the community and our allies, keep reading, keep promoting, and keep calling out.



MATCHING BOOKS TO YOUR travel destination written by Lia There are approximately eight travel guides for the exact same destination lying around my living room at this exact moment. My parents have spent many hours reading through them, jotting down the best tourist spots or bookmarking the places with the prettiest views. And I have done none of that. Except for the almost obligatory five to ten minutes flipping through every now and then just so I won’t seem uninterested. Because that’s not what it is, I’m not uninterested. My preparations for a vacation are just somewhat unusual compared to my parents’. While my parents scour the internet and the many travel guides for the best tips, I spend my time reading other things: fictional things. I read books and stories and, sure, I also look at pictures. Perhaps I fell in love with Prague not when I visited it a couple of years ago, but even before I visited it. Because when I was there, I didn’t just see the stunning architecture and the beautiful bridge over the river. No, I saw all that but more. I saw Zuzana doing her ballerina puppet act on the bridge with Karou by her side. I saw Kaz giving his vampire tour when dusk was setting. I saw the Poison Kitchen with its coffin tables and gasmasks. Because even though I knew they weren’t really there, I could still feel that magic shimmering through the surface. I saw Prague the way Laini Taylor saw it when she wrote the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy: full of magic and mystery.



When you read a book, you see the world in the way the author sees it, and some authors have a remarkable and magical way of looking at the world. It lets us forget about the bad things and focus on the beauty of the world. Of course there are also bad things in fictional worlds— sometimes more bad than good—but even bad things can be beautiful. Especially if we know those bad things aren’t reality. Books are usually really good at creating an atmosphere, which is for me one of the most important things when I’m visiting a place. Sure, the architecture can be gorgeous and there might be great museums, but the thing I remember from my travels is always the little things. And those little things are usually determined by the atmosphere. When I read books set in a city before I visit or even when I visit, I get a good idea of what to expect of the atmosphere, not of all the tourist attractions. I have always loved stories and perhaps that’s why I love big cities so much: they’re filled with stories. Perhaps it is also explains why I love Berlin most of all: it’s overflowing with stories of love and loss and pain. Having that extra layer of more stories, fictional ones, only adds to the experience. You don’t just see what’s there, you also see what isn’t there.

Stay Bookish Readers’ Colorful Bookshelves @STAYBOOKISHZINE

Jill @ A Booknerd Reads

Sophie @ Sophiesticated Books

Haley Watson @ Fangirl Fury

Sarah R. Hatch @ Written Word Worlds



For the Love of Gods written by Nusaiba photos by Renée & Nusaiba From Disney imprint Rick Riordan Presents to gems like Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, YA is raising a globe’s worth of mythology and folklore inspired stories. What work goes into these stories? What new stories will we see? I spoke with writers and bloggers about trends in mythological novels, the process of researching and writing them, and why they are so popular.

The (Epic) Writing Process Emily Duncan was a grad student working at her university’s library when she wrote Wicked Saints. Set for 2019 publication by Macmillan, Wicked Saints is a high fantasy story inspired, in part, by Slavic mythology and folklore. Duncan read everything she could find on Slavic folklore in her library. When she had devoured all she could at her university library, she turned to other libraries. “I read almost entirely folktales over historical texts, because historical textbooks were dry and never gave me quite what I wanted, whereas folktales gave a perfect snapshot of what life would be like during a period of time

that isn’t entirely well-documented (in English, anyway),” she said. Duncan possesses little knowledge of Russian and Polish and even less knowledge of Serbian. She had to rely heavily on translated sources and sources written by Western voices. There’s a degree of trust that goes into using secondary sources, and she has to strongly evaluate the lens and word choice of her sources. Duncan is one writer among many navigating difficult research processes for their works. Research on its own is a massive process. Mythology and folklore, with all its iterations and retellings, present a unique research challenge. Based in New York City, Mithila (Mith) Mintu runs the blog Biscotto’s Books. Mintu reviewed Annette Marie’s Red Winter trilogy, which incorporates elements of Japanese mythology.

"I'm all about the imagery

but still struggle with finding the balance between

description and action," In her review of Red Winter, Mintu recognized the final challenge to the research process: balancing information and story. Mintu wrote, “You can tell Marie did her research well! Each term is explained thoroughly, and though it did sometimes feel like info-dumps, it didn’t matter to me because at least I understood, which I consider more important.” Mintu considers Marie one of her favorite authors, and Red Winter and its sequels blew her away. On the third book, Immortal Fire, Mintu wrote, “Overall, 5 stars. It deserves all of them, and some.” Writer Kessandra (Kess) Costales takes a different approach to research. She recently wrote the YA fantasy When They Beckon and earned the



representation of Seymour Agency’s Kat Enright. Costales researches to shape her stories’ settings and imagery.

Chakraborty, which is actually a trilogy. I really loved how many elements of Arabic folklore are depicted in the novel.”

“I have a loose process for research that I’m always trying to improve upon with each new project,” Costales said. “My focus tends to be on the aesthetics of the story and the vibe I want to have.”

Qamar also read The Blood of Gods and Royals series by Eleanor Herman. She remains hopeful about the future of mythology in YA. She likes that there are more stories with Arabic mythology.

One of the kingdoms in When They Beckon was inspired by Spain, especially in terms of Gothic and Baroque architecture. Costales also researched fashion and implemented flower symbolism (floriography) in When They Beckon.

“It’d be great to see more diversity and more mythological tales from around the world,” Qamar said. “Every culture has interesting magical tales to share.”

“I’m all about the imagery but still struggle with finding the balance between description and action,” Costales said.

"I love learning new myths

Wishing On a Star (Or a Constellation)

are countless readers out there

Blogger Mithila Mintu has read about 20 mythology-based books, not including series sequels. These books range from YA to MG. As someone of South Asian descent, Mintu hopes for more Asian folklore and myth stories. Pakistani book blogger Haniya Qamar also envisions more diversity. She runs a blog titled Voracious Bookling. “I have only read two YA mythology series and extremely enjoyed them,” Qamar said. “One is the famous The City Of Brass by S.A.

and folklore and I think there who feel the same way," Costales hopes more mythologies beyond Greek and Roman are explored. She brought in hints of Philippine mythology to her story with her main character, Salome, who is from a place inspired by the Philippines. “It comes into the story as she reminisces about the stories she’d heard from her mother as a child,” Costales said. “Salome is a dreamer too, so she sometimes imagines going to those islands and seeing those mythical creatures and living those stories.” Costales wants to see more stories with Philippine folklore and mythology.

Stay Bookish asked:

Why are we so fascinated with ancient mythology? “Learning about history is pretty interesting and it gets more enjoyable once we get some kind of twist in the tale,” Qamar said. “Plus when we see our cultural stories in the novels, we get extremely fascinated which leads to our intense excitement of reading that book.”



Duncan noted mythology and folklore attests to the longevity of stories and art. “It’s the allure of the long lasting, that these stories have prevailed where so much else has faded over time,” she said. “I think that’s part of what makes mythology so steadfast and fascinating to us.” Above all, each of these stories is just one story among many. No one story is representative of an entire complex belief system and its respective culture. Costales underscored this. “I love learning new myths and folklore and I think there are countless readers out there who feel the same way,” Costales said. “However, I do hope that readers will not take these stories with the expectation of being taught about a culture. Instead, I hope that they remember them as a story first with an immersive world, not a history or anthropology lesson.”

"Learning about history is pretty

interesting and it gets more enjoyable once we get some kind of twist in the tale,"

YA Around the World EAST ASIAN FOLKLORE: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

PERSIAN (AZERBAIJAN) FOLKLORE: Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi

CHINESE MYTHOLOGY: Serpentine by Cindy Pon

MAYAN MYTHOLOGY: The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes (expected Sept. 18, 2018)

NIGERIAN MYTHOLOGY: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

KOREAN MYTHOLOGY: Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee (expected Jan. 15, 2019)

GREEK MYTHOLOGY: Circe by Madeline Miller*

FRENCH FOLKLORE: Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin (expected 2019)

HINDU MYTHOLOGY: A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi ARABIAN NIGHTS: City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty* NAVAJO FOLKLORE (point to northeastern corner of Arizona,northeastern New Mexico, southeastern Utah): Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse



*Adult fiction, but read by a large YA audience

Photo by Renee



seven ways to be a


written by Kate Lovatt photos by Joséphine

As book lovers, we’re constantly on the hunt for

look much better, with President Trump announc-

new releases and future favourites. But it can

ing cuts to federal funding for libraries, and the

quickly become an expensive hobby to collect ev-

states of Oregon and North Carolina confirming

ery paperback, hardback, and Collector’s Edition

the closure of a number of branches.

of your favourite series. (Take it from someone who’s trying to collect every V. E. Schwab book in

Thankfully, though, it’s not all bad news. There

existence.) Having libraries is, therefore, ideal. We

are many small but significant things we can do

can borrow books without having to buy them and

as readers and consumers to help libraries stay

save on shelf space at the same time. It’s paradise.

open. Not every hero needs superpowers, after all, just resolve, purpose, and a love of books.

But it may soon become paradise lost for smaller communities, if library closures continue at their current rate. Last year, in the UK alone, £66 million was cut from library budgets and 105 libraries were closed, taking the total number of closures since 2012 to 449. In the US, the picture doesn’t



ONE. become a member This is the big one. The first step up the summit.

library stay open and justify its continued exis-

The most important thing you can do as a reader

tence to the government, so if a library is small,

is become a member of your local library. Sounds

but has over 1500 members, it will be less at-risk

simple? It is. All you need to do is go to the library,

than a library that’s equally small, but only has 500

fill out a form (or give a few details), and you’ll be

members. If you have friends or family members

given a membership card. That card is your cape

who enjoy reading, encourage them to join too.

(wear it with pride). Every membership helps the

Their membership might just save your library.

TWO. use the full services of the library Most people think that taking out books is the

fer audiobooks and e-books so you can try a dif-

main service a library offers, and they’re absolute-

ferent medium of reading. E-books are especially

ly right. Libraries exist to offer you new reading

good because you don’t even have to visit the

opportunities. So if you go in and take out three

library to check them out, you can do it by go-

books—even if you don’t read them all—that will

ing on their website from the comfort of your own

go down on the system as books being borrowed

duvet or reading nook. Another way to help is by

and services being used. If you take out three

using their PCs; if you’re in the area, why not use

books every week, that’s 156 books per year.

one rather than taking your laptop to a café? Most

Which is 156 more than if you weren’t borrowing

require a simple log on and you can use them for

any at all.

at least an hour for free. It saves your laptop battery and helps the library prove during audits that

But there’s a multitude of other services you can

their PC services are needed. Everybody wins. Af-

use that contribute to the library’s continued sur-

ter all, as a librarian said to me a few weeks ago,

vival. Printers and photocopiers exist for your use,

‘If our services aren’t used, they’ll be taken away.’

so rather than printing something from home or

So let’s make sure they’re used.

work, try printing it at the library. Libraries also of-



THREE. attend events (or even organize your own) If there’s a writing workshop or an author signing at your local library, and you think it might be interesting, why not give it a go? If it’s free you have little to lose (aside from time), and attending is a great way maximise your use of the library. Despite library budgets being under threat, staff always take care to curate events that are stimulating, fun, and undeniably wholesome. Last year, I went to a poetry reading at my library, and it was so enjoyable that it motivated me to organise my own. I’m currently in the process of doing this with the library manager and she has all the knowledge and experience of previous events to make it work. Librarians are some of the friendliest people on the planet (a universally acknowledged truth) and they’re always delighted when people want to organise events, or get involved with general library activities. Plus, having more events means extra publicity for the library and more visitors.



FOUR. join a book club If you’re constantly on Twitter talking about your current read (me), or are often found updating your blog with a critical analysis of fantasy tropes, you might be in need of a book club. And most libraries worth their shelves will have at least two or three book clubs for genre fiction that you can join free of charge. If they don’t, ask if they can start one, or if you can. That way, you can talk about books with like-minded people until your heart is full of happy, literary feelings. Your library also gets more footfall and another book club out of the deal, so if they have the staff and resources they’ll likely be happy to oblige.

FIVE. volunteer or donate Increasingly, it’s falling to volunteers to run many

SIX. encourage your children to use the library

smaller local libraries that would otherwise have

Young children are the next generation of library

closed. Public Libraries News estimates that 500

users, so it’s vital we show them how great libraries

libraries in the UK are now run entirely by vol-

are. Taking your children to story time events or

unteers. If your library is one, see if you can join

arts and crafts sessions, as well as teaching them

them. Volunteering for a few hours a week will go

how to borrow books from a young age, will help

a long way towards keeping their cataloguing and

them grow up with a love for libraries. Hopeful-

organisational systems running smoothly and it’s

ly, by the time they’re teenagers or young adults,

something for your CV too. Alternatively, if you

borrowing books will be second nature and they’ll

can’t offer time, donate to their funds by buying

understand that libraries are the keystones of

from their book or bake sales. You get the opti-

many local communities.

mum combination of books and cake, and they get money to spend on resources.

SEVEN. write to your local MP or politician and tell them how much the library means to you Despite the bad press they often get, MPs

towards helping your local library survive

are meant to be a voice for the people. Writ-

and thrive. Libraries are one of the few

ing a letter (outdated as it seems) or sending

public spaces left where you can spend time

an email to explain how important the library

free of charge, without any expectations,

is to you and others will get the message

and contrary to popular belief you don’t

across. Politicians are legally obliged to try to

always have to be quiet. They’re a place of

carry out the wishes of the community they

community and a place where people of all

represent, so if you ask for more funding for

ages are welcome, but if we don’t use them

your local library, or request more services,

to their fullest, they’ll face further funding

it’s part of their job to listen. Even just ex-

cuts and eventual closure. If we don’t want

plaining how much the library has benefited

this to happen, we need to keep doing

you will go a long way to keeping it open.

everything we can to be library heroes, and ensure they stay open for future generations

So, whether you’re able to do one of these

to enjoy.

things or all seven, each one will contribute





photo by Joséphine



bookish in TORONTO

There are many things I love about living in the greater Toronto Area, one of my favorite things being the bookstores. Below you’ll find a list of my favorite bookstores in the city. They’re all different but have their own unique charm and characteristics that definitely merit a visit if you’re ever in the area! written by Shelly Zev photos by Chelsea C. & Shelley Zev



BMV Bookstore This used bookstore chain is one of my favorite things to see in the city. While there are several chains (all wonderful in their own way), my favorite would have to be the Bloor location. It’s located right across the street from my local comic book store and it is 4 floors of bookish heaven. The first two floors are all bookish, with the first floor being adult fiction/non-fiction and the second floor being reserved for children’s books including a wonderful collection of YA releases. The basement has music and DVDs and the fourth floor has an extensive graphic novel/comic collection. The entire bookstore has something for everyone and it’s usually quite up to date with new releases. It’s a place I always stop by whenever I’m in the city and I love it.

Glad Day Bookshop Glad Day Bookshop always has a special place in my heart. It’s the first LGBT-based Toronto bookstore and with its recent renovations, it’s become one of my favourite places to visit. Not only is it a bookstore, it’s also a great restaurant and some nights, it also has a pretty impressive dance floor. The selection of books in the store is wonderful, with queer books ranging from non-fiction all the way to children’s books. The store has something for everyone and its original merchandise (like the cute iron-on patch already on my backpack) is a must-buy.

map data ©2018 Google



Bakka Phoenix Books Bakka Phoenix Books is Canada’s oldest bookstore that specializes in Science Fiction + Fantasy books. While it is SFF-based, the store’s collection is wonderful. They have something for everyone, and are always up to date with new releases in every category (Adult, YA, Children’s). Not only is this an independent bookstore worth supporting, it definitely makes for a great photo session (seriously, it’s such a gorgeous store). If the brand new releases are a bit too pricey for you, they have a used books section in their basement as well. map data ©2018 Google

Thunderstruck Bookstore Right across from BMV, Thunderstruck Bookstore is a haven for comic book and manga lovers. It’s currently my Local Comic Book Store (LCBS for short) and I love it. For those who are not as much into comics, it also has an extensive collection of art books which anyone can appreciate. Not only is the location great, the staff is wonderful and friendly.



Mabel’s Fables This children’s bookstore is a bit outside the city but I can’t resist including it. While it is a dedicated children’s bookstore, it has an upstairs floor with a wonderful selection of YA novels. In addition, it has a wonderful couch area with a wall that is decked out with author signatures. I’ve been there only a few times but it still has cemented itself as one of my favorite bookstores.

map data ©2018 Google



Your Reading Horoscopes written by Emily M. and Shelly Z. photos by Joséphine

Have you ever wondered what the perfect book for your zodiac sign would be? Well, look no further! Here are your reading horoscopes for this issue. We’ve picked books based on what mood is usually associated with your sign as well as books in which the character or story matches your horoscope. We hope you’ll take our recommendations into account as you choose your next read for the upcoming season!



LEO: JULY 23 - AUGUST 22 An amazing book for Leos is Leah On the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli! You will definitely recognize Leah’s loyalty and protectiveness from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, but you will also get to see a different side of her! We loved reading her story from her perspective, and we know you will too! Another great novel you’ll want to grab is Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse. Sophia has very limited time left in Tokyo, but some things complicate her last few days in her beloved city. This book is super underrated and deserves all the love; your love!



For the tenacious and hardworking Virgos, you’ll love Geekerella by Ashley Poston. With awkward and witty characters, this ‘opposites attract’ romance will not only make your inner romance heart happy, but your nerdy side as well. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli is another great book that we think you’ll enjoy! Molly works very hard at her job and is also totally awkward with her crushes- well, with all 26 of her crushes. There is a ton of wit and adorableness in this AMAZING novel; check it out!

Meet Cute, an anthology edited by Jennifer L. Armentrout, is a wonderful book with a ton of adorable stories, perfect for the romantic Libras. Each story is completely unique, with all types of personalities, and we think you’ll greatly enjoy it! If you’ve never read an anthology before, we definitely recommend them, starting with this one. Another adorable story for your hopeless romantic heart is Save the Date by Morgan Matson. This book does focus quite a bit on family, but it still has features of a budding romance. Morgan Matson is such an incredible writer that writes the most delightful love stories.



For the trendsetting Scorpio, a perfect new release for you is All of This is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor. This meta book about teens who befriend a famous YA author only to find themselves, and their secrets, be the focus of her next novel is great!. Not only is the subject unique, the way it’s told—through letters and interviews—makes it a one of a kind novel. Similarly, Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough is a unique novel that youwill love. While it’s a historical fiction novel, which may not appeal to everyone, it’s told in beautifully written verse. This element makes the book captivating and definitely a must read.

As honest and optimistic people, Sagittarius readers willlove the new YA anthology How I Resist, edited by Maureen Johnson. While this is a non-fiction collection, the short pieces by every single contributor will get readers thinking and it will influence their pre-existing leadership abilities. In addition, Sagittarius readers will love Furyborn by Claire Legrand. This first in a new YA fantasy series stars two women who will rise to be queens. Both characters will resonate with readers and the wonderful and varied ensemble cast makes it even better!





For Capricorns this reading season, we recommend Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro. This novel is focused on Moss, a Hufflepuff teen who channels his anger regarding the American justice system into creating change in his community. There’s a lot more to this story than what meets the eye, making this a perfect read for anyone, but these traits are what make it particularly great for Capricorn readers. For Capricorns who are looking for a novel about family and friendships, we recommend Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim. This novel is about a group of friends going on a road trip to New Orleans, each looking to gain something different from the trip. Every friend is so completely unique and different that Capricorns will definitely be able to relate to more than one character.

If you are an Aquarius, you might be courageous and unique. We have some books that are perfect for you! Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle is adventurous, with one of the main characters leaving home on a whim to live with her brother in the city. Kendall meets Max and together they witness a terrible event, leaving them trying to perform as many random acts of kindness as they can. Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant has an original premise that we loved. Any time Eva touches someone or their belongings, she feels what they feel. But when she touches the jacket that belongs to a cute boy, Zenn, it leaves her with such a worrying feeling that she wants to avoid him, but that’s easier said than done.



For the romantic Pisces, From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon is your next perfect read. This imaginative novel writtenin the form of letters to female directors has the most adorable romance! Plus, the main character’s inability to see what is right in front of her may seem familiar to you. You’ll also want to pick up Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith, which wasn’t like anything we had ever read before! It has an interesting concept and a budding romance that is adorable! One of the main characters is also a bit out of touch with reality, which Pisces will find themselves identifying with.



For you energetic, supportive, and road trip lovin’ readers, we have some amazing books tailored just for you! Far From the Tree by Robin Benway is the story of three biological siblings coming together after being split apart, put into foster care or adopted. Even though they just met, they form a close relationship offering love and support to one another. Spoiler Alert: this just might make you cry. Puddin’ by Julie Murphy, the companion novel to Dumplin’, is also a great novel about friendship and showing everyone just how awesome you are. Let’s just say loyal friends, a bubbly main character, and an adventure filled road trip are what’s waiting for you in this wonderful book!



For the creative Taurus, here are a few books that you will love! Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee is about a girl who is in love with Leo Tolstoy, and is the creator of a famous web series. This novel is a great book about dedication, patience, friendship, and more. You also get some diversity with some great LGBTQ+ representation! Another wonderful book is Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu. The main character is FED UP with the sexism that goes on around her school. So, she decides to create an anonymous feminist zine to change things; in doing so, she unites the girls (and boys!) at her school.

As people who are into adventurous and creative concepts, Gemini readers will definitely love Scythe by Neal Shusterman. This series examines human mortality and artificial intelligence in an innovative way that will definitely get you thinking. The characters all have their own unique motivations and traits that Gemini readers will appreciate. Another book you’ll love is the highly-acclaimed Legendary by Stephanie Garber. The sequel to Caraval has everything a Gemini would want: adventure, original concepts, and very unique qualities.

CANCER: JUNE 21 - JULY 22 If you’re a Cancer, you will love #famous by Jilly Gagnon. This is a great, underrated book with amazing characters and various points of view. Did you remember Alex from Target? This book has the same concept, but you get to see their perspectives on the situation! It’s really interesting and super cute. This next book might be from a few years ago, but is still really great for Cancer signs! Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here

by Anna Breslaw follows a girl who writes fanfiction and only has two IRL friends: a bookworm teenager and a hilarious 73 years old lady. But when Scarlett’s favorite tv show is canceled and she grows further apart from her crush, she turns to the fanfic message boards… with some problems. Cancers will identify with Scarlett’s compassion, patience, and creativity!




What’s Your Natural Bookish Habitat? created by Sophia Lin photo by Marie

Some bookworms can sit down just about anywhere to peruse a few chapters of their current read. For the best reading experience, however, most of us have a natural bookish habitat, a preferred place that helps us focus on whatever world we want to get lost in. If you aren’t sure what yours is, we’re here to help. All you have to do is answer a few questions to find out! Before sitting down in your natural habitat, you want to make sure you are hydrated and ready for those chapters you’re about to devour. Your drink choice is: (A) Coffee - In fact, well over 50% of your body might be made of coffee, just to stay up late for just one more page. (B) Water - Coffee isn’t your thing, and most drinks aren’t either. (C) Tea- You don’t like coffee like everyone around you probably does, but you like a bit of flavor in your drink that water doesn’t necessarily provide. Every bookworm needs easy access to the next book when they’re done with the one they’re reading. You automatically reach for: (A) The bookshelf - even if it’s across the room, it’s worth seeing the entire collection in full bookish glory. (B) The phone - you want the easiest access anytime, anywhere and there are less chances of a book being ruined. (C) The nightstand/coffee table - you leave your books scattered across the place, including your TBR pile. Maybe you’ll accidentally pick up a book you read last week, but you don’t care if you enjoyed it - you just want a book. Your childhood consisted of: (A) Nothing - you were born with a book. (B) Sandcastles, dirt and other kids. (C) Causing mischief around the house. 84


Some bookworms want to cuddle up with a buddy while diving into the pages. Who’s your buddy? (A) Your favorite person - chances are, they’re reading the same book and both of you want to bounce your feels to each other. (B) A puppy - they’re the cutest little creatures and serve as a wonderful distraction when you need it most. (C) No one - you like being in solitude where no one can judge your reading choices or hear your screams of despair when your favorite character dies. You’re working on a new design for your bedroom. Your design is: (A) Simple - you want bookshelves and maybe a splash of your favorite color or two, but nothing drastic (in your opinion). (B) Themed - you want your design to fit a theme with colors, props, etc. (C) Random - you don’t want a theme, you just want it to be you. Too much reading can be bad, so you: (A) Walk across the room only to get back into position and crack open the book. (B) Take photos outside and enjoy nature. (C) Conjure something edible in your kitchen.

You now have the ability to travel anywhere at any time in history (if you so choose)! Where do you go? (A) Egypt - you’re interested in one of the most important places in history… but maybe the Library of Alexandria as well. (B) Shicheng City, China - Atlantis might be fictional, but you want to visit what some may call the “Atlantis of the East,” even if it is now underwater. (C) A fictional universe - you want to stay where you are and stay immersed in your favorite worlds. Who cares about time travel?

Your go-to snack while reading is: (A) Fudge Covered Pretzels - Salty and sweet, two different amazing combinations. It’s an excuse to eat chocolate, right? (B) Whatever is with you - you’re a walking vending machine, full of random snacks to keep you running. (C) Popcorn - nothing beats good old popcorn. Besides, aren’t books like movies but in your head? Your patronus is: (A) A phoenix, as mystical as the creatures you read about. (B) A turtle, a representation of one thing you love about the outdoors. (C) Patronus? What patronus?

Mostly A’s: A library, surrounded by books

Mostly B’s: A beach, surrounded by the sound of waves

Mostly C’s: A cozy cottage, surrounded by silence

There’s no better place than the library as your natural habitat. Surrounded by books and fellow bookworms, you’re right at home and could get lost in the shelves if you could.

You love going to the library and being surrounded by books all the time, but sometimes you just want to go out into the world. You’re surrounded by beautiful scenery and have front seats to a breathtaking sunset every night - you’re definitely not complaining.

You enjoy solitude from the universe, immersed in the worlds crafted by your favorite authors. Sometimes you’ll have a fellow bookworm or two stop by and visit you, but otherwise you are perfectly content with no distractions whatsoever. STAY BOOKISH ZINE


Fill-in-the-blanks Adventure edition created by Zoe Today started off as a normal day, I got out of bed and headed to school on my bike. The weather was ____________, my favorite type of day. Right as I got to school, something imadjective

mediately felt ____________. My best friend __________________________, started shouting adjective

insert favorite character here

“______!” at me. I started to ______, and we ran into the woods with just our ___________. verb


plural noun

Most adults told us that these woods were ____________, but we always spent a lot of time adjective

in them testing out our new __________________ abilities. I asked ___________________, superpower ability

name of best friend

why they had shouted _______________, they said, “The ________________ was at school, verb from before

name brand store

looking for us.” They would soon discover our secret. I knew then that we could never go back, our lives were about to change forever.



“Book” Is The Word

The theme of this month’s issue is international reading, so this word search is made of the word “book” in various languages! Find the words in the list below! The words may appear horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, and only forward.

created by Katie BESTIL (Dutch) BOEK (Danish) BOOK (English) BUCH (German) BUKU (Indonesian)

CARTE (Romanian) HON (Japanese) KITAP (Turkish) KNIGA (Russian) LIBRO (Spanish)

LIVRE (French) LLYFR (Welsh) REZERVOVAT (Czech) SHU (Mandarin)



THE LEATHER JACKET: WEARING IT VS. THROWING IT IN THE TRASH written by Nathasya E. and Sophie B. photos by Erika

Everyone loves a bad boy and that’s a fact, right? ...or is it? Depending on who you’re talking to, the idea of the innocent pretty girl falling for the dark, brooding guy can provoke two reactions: uncontrollable swooning, or eye rolling so intense the person can see their own brain. Why is that? Because the story of the good girl ending up with the bad boy has been alive for a very long time. Hush Hush, The Mortal Instruments, Mara Dyer… We all know them, but not all of us love them. Is anybody right in this scenario? Two YA readers discuss their opposing views regarding this cliché. Sophie: I first dipped my toes into YA with the Twilight series, and I’m not ashamed to say I loved those books. What I read right after I can’t remember, but I know in that first year of discovering YA, I read many books that had the bad boy cliché, and I loved them all. Was it my young innocence that made me blind to how problematic some of those oh-so-handsome boys were? Maybe. But that feeling of having heart eyes while reading, of enjoying every interaction between the main character and the bad boy, and of excitement and longing I felt while reading all those books when I first got into YA has followed me all these years later. Being a bit older and, I like to believe, a bit more mature, I can now recognize when a bad boy isn’t just dark and mysterious, but rather bad and toxic all around. But when I get a well-written book with a swoonworthy romance, I’m an absolute sucker for bad boys and I’ll shamelessly embrace the cliché with open arms!



Nathasya: High-five, Sophie! Twilight was the first series featuring bad boy that I remember reading. Like many YA readers, I enjoyed reading the bad boy trope in YA books. Who doesn’t love the dark, moody, handsome boys turned into sweet and loving boyfriends? SWOON. However, as I got older I realized that not all bad boys are portrayed well in YA books. There are many YA bad boys out there who are borderline abusive and manipulative. Many got away with it because they were branded as the “bad boy” in the story, as if that label excuses their manipulative behaviors. So, I don’t think that all bad boys in YA are equal. Some are bad boys and some are just bad news. Sophie: True that. But do the ones who are bad news really embody what a bad boy is? Let’s quickly talk about another cliché: In movies and books, the teen who spends all their time reading is often branded as a nerd, not cool, not popular, etc. Real life, thankfully, isn’t the exact reflection of fiction, but there is some truth to that. Being an avid reader in high school didn’t make me the target of bullying and didn’t label me as The Nerd of my grade,

but I was not part of the “popular crowd.” As a young thirteen-year-old girl, reading books that had the bad boy cliché made me feel valid in my interest and personality because the love interest of the bad boy was, usually, like me. Maybe they were an outcast, innocent and pure, nerdy, geeky, shy… Whatever their main trait, they were, to put it simply, ordinary. And that made me feel understood. Why? Because when you’re a teen, you don’t want to be just ordinary, you want to be extraordinary, you want to be different, you want to be important. Maybe I didn’t think exactly in those terms when I was younger, but I knew I wanted to be someone, and if the “ordinary” main character could get with this dark and broody guy, it meant that I could be important to people too. Reading books with the bad boy trope told me I didn’t need to change in order to be somebody. I could keep being me, and that would be more than enough for the people I was going to build strong relationships with, platonic or romantic. It told me I was worthy of attention and love.



Nathasya: While I’m all for the good girl being loved and worthy of attention (because truthfully the majority of heroines in YA books deserve all the love), the “bad boy” label often becomes an excuse. The reason many girls are drawn to bad boys is because if a bad boy wants something, he goes for it. Most of these bad boys don’t care about what people think and do what they want anyway.

the feels, others have a more critical approach to books; fortunately, the bad boy cliché provides both feeling and strong character development.

I’m not going to deny that it’s exciting to read about boys who won’t give up getting the girl. However, there are also bad boy characters who are borderline jerks. There is a difference between a bad boy and a jerk, and sometimes as readers we don’t notice it. The jerks show all the dominant traits bad boys usually have. So, what’s the catch? A jerk doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process. He only goes for what he wants without thinking of other people’s feelings—including the girl’s. I hate when the bad boy is just too arrogant, to the point of being abusive and manipulative, but the girl doesn’t realise it. Many heroines in books rationalize it by believing that’s the only form of love he knows. Nah, girl. He’s just awful.

The feelings, I’ve already talked about, but the character development. The character development! When you look at it from a critical point of view, you don’t get much better than the bad boy. What makes a bad boy exactly? A dark past, some personal troubles maybe, a to hell with it attitude, snarky comments, a big reputation… Love, empathy, and hope are not usually associated with him at the beginning of a story, but eventually, most of the time, they are by the end of. And for all readers who are suckers for some good character development, there you have it. Following the journey of a character as they discover love, as they learn how to make space for others in their life, to think farther than tomorrow, is a beautiful thing really. As always, this had to be well done: too much character development where the bad boy loses all his personality by the end of the book isn’t great; I’m looking at you Jace Wayland!

Sophie: But what about the real thing? The real bad boy, not the jerk. What about when the one who didn’t believe in love starts to learn it might be possible? Some readers are all about

Nathasya: Oh yeah, let’s talk about the 180-degree change that happens to these bad boys. Like you said, the majority of bad boys in literature have dark and troublesome pasts and devil-



may-care attitudes. In most real cases, the bad boy will remain bad. There is always the possibility of change, but the drastic 180-degree change? It’s just not believable. Let’s say that before the bad boy met our main character, he was a party animal and a womanizer. BUT, the moment he meets the girl, he changes into an angel who only cares about her, does every little thing he can think of to make her smile, and stops partying right away. Nope. That’s just unrealistic. This is not good character development. While these changes might happen in long-term, when it comes to YA books, it usually happens in the span of weeks and months. Also, why does only the bad boy change? Surely there is a possibility of the girl being influenced by his way of life, right? Sophie: You know, I’ll admit that’s a pretty good question, and I think a story where the good girl becomes the bad girl could be really interesting! Imagine all the excitement, the danger! And who doesn’t love a little taste of danger? Actually, many people prefer to be safe, myself included, and that’s totally okay! Here’s where the books with bad boys, and now bad girls as well, come into play: they allow readers to get a taste of danger, and live a bit more daringly than they usually do. Where there is a bad boy, there is trouble; the good kind of trouble. The dark and mysterious guy often comes with a past that usually catches up to him, which means he has to face whatever he thought he left behind during the

course of the book, which means the reader will too. For many, reading is a fun activity, and bad boys... well they add a whole lot of fun to a story! They bring a dash of unexpected, some mystery, a touch of unknown, usually some snarky comments, and some ravishly good looks; everything you need to guarantee a good time! Nathasya: I have to admit that bad boys add to the excitement. Like you said, these bad boys bring out the main character’s wild side. However, there are YA books that feature the bad boy trope only for the sake of having Mr. Tall, Dark, and Broody in the story. These boys don’t have any character development that can convince the readers that they are actually nice beneath all the bad boy charisma they choose to show the world. When you feature a character, especially the bad guys, in a story without proper character development, it totally ruins the story. Sophie: In the end, clichés are what they are. Sometime they’re good, sometimes they’re bad, and sometimes they’re just poorly written. The bad boy trope is nothing new, so it’s understandable that readers are getting tired of it. But when done right? I strongly believe this cliché can help build confidence in readers, create a story filled with well-rounded characters, and allow readers to take a walk on the wild side for a while. And who knows, maybe even bring some of that wildness back into the real world with them! Nathasya: Judging from a few new YA releases, the cliché bad boy trope is here to stay. While I’ve seen many readers complain about authors overusing this particular trope, I know that many can’t resist them either. Let’s be honest; when it’s done right, you won’t put the book down. Seeing that it’s not going anywhere, I can only hope that the bad boy trope is done right. May the new bad boys coming our way have crazy-good character developments and are not jerks in leather jackets.




! u o y r o f t s u j e the on

written by Priyanka and Alexandra photos by Papiya

A dedicated reader will not only want to have a huge book collection or a library as big as Belle’s in order to fill it with books! A book lover will also want bookish merchandise to decorate their shelves. Whether they sell book boxes, candles, mugs, art, enamel pins, or tote bags, in the last few years more and more bookish shops have appeared online offering a new Wonderland to readers. Yet, the problem remains that many international readers—primary those who live outside the US—either don’t have access to the stores or the shipping is so expensive that it becomes unaffordable. Below, you’ll find a subscription box service situated in India; to all our international readers: take note!

n s k o o B

d n o Bey

Bookish subscription boxes give readers items related to their favorite books that they will adore. In India there were not many subscription box services,but that number has increased in the last few years and one box that stands out is Books n Beyond. They have different themes each month and they provide unique products related to books which you may not find in India. They have also started custommade boxes where the buyer has to mention what they want in a box and what theme they would be interested in. In turn, Books n Beyond provides the readers with a box based on their preferences. They also sell book sleeves, bookish jewellery, cushion covers, journals, notebooks, and pins with their monthly subscription boxes.



started. We realised how much India was lacking in this sphere and it is us who can do something about it rather than blame the system. We had the opportunity to sit down with the owner of Books n Beyond to discuss all things bookish! Stay Bookish: Thank you for doing this interview with us! Please introduce yourself to our readers. Papiya: Hola! My name is Papiya Banerjee and I am a bibliophile. Well, if that statement wasn’t enough then let me elaborate. I run a bookish and literary gift shop online called Books n Beyond which is a paradise for readers and fandom lovers. I swear, go check it out if you don’t believe me. We are based out of Gurgaon, India and deliver bookish happiness worldwide. Prior to starting Books n Beyond I was working as a Human Resources​Director with one of the leading 5 star hotels of NCR. I have around 12 years of work experience in Human Resources and a lifetime of experience in reading. SB: Can you tell us a bit about how you started the bookish subscription boxes? P: Well, one fine day I was reading a book and was waiting for my monthly beauty subscription box. I realized how much happiness I get while opening a box full of goodies which is a total surprise to me, every single month. I wondered why don’t we have book subscription boxes. The idea was very naive at that moment and then the research started and we found inspiration from a very successful book box business from the United Kingdom. And from there our journey

SB: What is the one thing you always like to include in your boxes? P: Wow, that’s a tough question but honestly, the first thing which came to mind is a bookmark. It’s true, you may have a thousand books with you, but when you need a bookmark, there are none to be found and hence we decided that our boxes will always have enough bookmarks for you. There may be exclusive art prints, promotional stuffs, but a bookmark will always be there. Apart from the beautiful and premium quality bookish merchandise that we also always include. SB: How was your experience of launching your first box? P: Well, it was overwhelming. People were curious to know what a book subscription box is and we were equally anxious to see the reactions and learn about the preferences of readers. SB: Can you tell us about the service Books n Beyond offer to its buyers? P: Books n Beyond started as a book subscription box but now we have all kinds of bookish accessories as well on our online shop. We have a range of merchandise for your gifting needs as well as bookish merchandise which is essential for a bibliophile, like our branded book sleeves, which are famously known as BLEEVEs. We have many accessories available, along with monthly, paired, and quarterly subscription boxes. Also



don’t forget our one-of-a-kind fandom boxes which we launch from time to time. SB: What are your criteria for choosing books or the theme of your boxes? P: As of now we are only dealing with fictional books and our themes depend on the books which are releasing in the near future. We work very closely with publishers and authors when deciding our themes. SB: What are the ups and downs of running a book subscription box business? P: Oh there are so so so so many. It will be difficult to list it down. As any start-up business would face challenges, we had our share too and continue to have them, but the happiness we get when we see India reading and so many

people enjoying what we have to offer makes all our pains look worth it. We never started this business for a profit-making purpose. We wanted to simply reach out to bibliophiles across India and provide them with premium bookish merchandise which was easily available in the west but not in India. SB: What are your plans for future bookish subscription boxes? P: Plan is to diversify, as any start-up will do. There are a lot of exciting new things planned, and it’s a super secret project, so you will just have to bear with us and wait for the reveal. Books n Beyond’s services are as follows: Monthly subscription: $23.80 (₹1599) Two months subscription: $47.61(₹3198) Quarterly subscription: $71.41 (₹4797)

You can find Books n Beyond at: Website: Instagram: @booksnbeyondbox




What Should I Read?

written by Samantha Reynolds photos by Erika M.


ometimes there’s nothing better than escaping into the fantasy world of a Young Adult novel. At other times, we readers crave a plausible and relatable setting within our fantasy realms. In fact, some of the most popular recent releases have seen more realistic settings that are identifiable from across the globe. These recognisable settings can help readers to immediately catapult their imagination to the book world and really picture the surroundings, making the experience even more immersive. So, if you are interested in YA fantasy books with international, real world similarities, you may want to consider one of these: The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon Set in dystopian London and Oxford, the clairvoyant dreamwalker, Paige Mahoney, battles a criminal underground in attempt to overthrow the Scion government and survive the threat of the Rephaim (otherworldly creatures). In her world, clairvoyance is declared ‘unnatural’ and those with such unfortunate gifts are severely persecuted. Pick up this series to become hooked into the world where Paige lives a double life trying to hide her unnaturalness, build relationships and evade capture. The Red Abbey Chronicles by Maria Turtschaninoff In a world ravaged by the Hunger Winter, the setting of this series shows parallels to snowy Northern Scandinavia. Young Maresi journeys to the safety of Red Abbey, a secret refuge island that is only inhabited by women. Here, she relearns what it is like to feel safe. However, when another young girl arrives to escape her terribly dangerous home, everything changes for Maresi. Grab this series for a captivating story of friendship, magic and survival.



Blood Rose Rebellion by Roselyn Eves This book is set in areas of social prestige in Hungary but where the main character, Anna, is exiled for not belonging to her family of magical elites. She suffers from a blood defect leaving her unable to perform even the simplest forms of magic. As rebellion spreads through the region, Anna finds herself caught with a movement that could potentially change the world forever. Take a chance on this rough retelling of the Austrian-Hungarian war through a dystopian lens. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden This novel takes place at the edge of Russian wilderness but with reference to identifiable places such as Moscow. The main character is Vasilisa who is possessed with a second sight to the spirit world, which she endeavours to conceal. When Vasilisa and her community are forced to stop their otherworldly rituals, crops begin to fail and evil creatures encroach on their lives. Pick this novel to see if Vasilisa is willing to release her secret to save her family. The Rebel of the Sands series by Alwyn Hamilton Despite predominantly based in fictional towns such as Dustwalk and Illiaz, the series setting is entirely identifiable with mysterious deserts of the Middle East. A sharpshooting orphan called Amani discovers her genie power to control the desert sand. As a wayward teenager, she dramatically escapes her mundane village to travel across the land with a handsome and secretive stranger, Jin, and defend the world against mythical creatures. Choose this amazing series and make Amani your desert rose.



Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao Set in mystical and enchanting East Asia, this story revolves around beautiful Xifeng who is destined to be Empress. To fulfil her destiny Xifeng will need to embrace the darkness, sorcery and cruelty. Will such a price be too great? Pick this one and find out!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber This book is set on idyllic islands so is easy to picture in the Caribbean. Scarlett, and her sister Donatella, live with their controlling nobleman father. In desperate attempts to flee their oppression, the sisters repetitively try to obtain an invitation to caraval, a renowned circus-like carnival game. They do not expect the personalised letter to arrive. Yet, when it does, they flee to the magical island where the game is much more realistic and deadly than they ever imagined. Will one sister be able to save the other?

Jack of Kinrowan by Charles de Lint Located in Ottawa in Canada, this classic series has clearly identifiable links to the real world yet its plot remains firmly within the fantasy genre. When Jacky Rowan acquires an unusual red cap, she gains sight into faerie realms and seeks victory against the tyrannous forces of evil. Read this epic tale that weaves folklore and myth into the real world to see if Jacky can bring peace back to the realm.



THE READER’S BUCKET LIST Bucket list you ask? Oh yes, every reader’s must have checklist. A list of magical places around the world to visit and open your favorite books. This bucket list has been designed for every type of reader, from those who like to settle themselves down on a picnic blanket and lay back with a book, to those who would love to indulge in a croissant from a café in Paris, and even those who would like to settle themselves down on a bench, looking up at the balcony that holds one of the most romantic tales in beautiful Italy. This bucket list is designed to help readers find their perfect reading spots around the globe. It’s now down to you guys to check them off one by one. Good luck! written by Holly

London London Review Bookshop: Who doesn’t love a bookshop? Especially when combined with the mouth watering delights of a cosy little café. Explore the treasures waiting to be found in old fashioned bookshelves, which are filled with glorious paperbacks, and stroking the beautiful covers of hardbacks (come on, we all do it), every reader will feel at home surrounded by words of wisdom and books filled with adventures. Hyde Park: With the royal rose gardens, animated wildlife, the surreal Serpentine Lake, cosy café life and water fountains all in one place, where else would you want to go to read a book? Hyde Park, which sits in the heart of London, banishes those gloomy day blues, replacing them with open spaces that are perfect for any reader wanting to unwind and relax.





Shakespeare & Company: A little birdy may have already whispered the wonders of this bookshop in your ears, but the gems found in this little shop can be customised by the famous Shakespeare & Company stamp to take home with you and to treasure always. With shelves stacked to the bone, and so many books to browse, where else would you want to read and buy your glorious paperbacks?

Verona: Romeo and Juliet’s Balcony: Why not open up your romantic novels in the birth place of love’s greatest tale? Sit on a bench reading your favourite romantic tale whilst casting your gaze up to the famous balcony, where the fictional character of Juliet called upon Romeo. Whilst there, don’t forget to leave your love note for the heroine of the story and may your romantic desires come true.

The Eiffel Tower: Why not curl up on the grass, blanketed by the sun, surrounded by a picnic whilst staring up at the Eiffel Tower? One of Paris’s most beautiful structures; no wonder the tower attracts so many tourists. But to avoid the hustle and bustle, the gardens below the tower provide safe and beautiful places to unwind and read, surrounded by culture and Paris at its finest.

Lake Garda: Travel on down to one of the many beaches around Lake Garda and enjoy unwinding in front of a beautiful lake surrounded by fresh fruits and rich saltwater. With mountains in the distance and the sound of rippling waves, it is the perfect place to open a book and dive into the magical worlds of fantasy novels.

Prague Prague Castle: If you love reading about kingdoms and castles, what place is better to gaze at whilst digging out those fantasy books you’ve been dying to read? With cosy streets to walk through, and a fantastic view of the majestic castle, there really is no better of a magical place for a fantasy lover to visit. Old Town Square: With the rippling water lying in the fountain, why not bring out those little mermaid retellings and sit in the middle of the Old Town Square? There is no better place to let the sounds of nature and beautiful splash of water awaken your inner siren or mermaid.

United States of America Lake Tahoe: Just one visit to the Sierra Nevada Mountains will have any reader falling in love. With waves the colour of sapphires and the trees a ferocious green, Lake Tahoe is any reader’s dream as a backdrop to reading about those woodland adventures. The Grand Canyon: Fancy overlooking one of the world’s most famous attractions whilst holding your favourite book? No other place could transport you to a whole other world than the Grand Canyon. The colours of the canyon awakening the inner fire within you when reading about those strong heroes and heroines.




Emily Rasmussen



To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Thérapie TAXI

I Really Like You by Carly Rae Jepson


Emily M.



Final Draft by Riley Redgate

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Hellium by Sia

For Good from Wicked

Alexandra P.

Zoe M.



Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Master of Crows by Grace Draven

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Shelly Zev




Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Brave Enough by Katie Gardner

Intro: Epiphany by BTS

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

Pamela Alvarado

Sophia Lin



Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie

River by Eminem & Ed Sheeran

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Stacy Nguyen




The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Forbidden album by Todrick Hall

Home by Reese Lansangan

Shanti M.




The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett

The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik by David Arnold

Tess of the Road by Rachel HartMan

No Choir by Florence + the Machine

photo by Joséphine 100



Sam J Reynolds



A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Eye of the North by Sinead O’Hart

In My Blood by Shawn Mendes

Midnight by Jessie Ware

Holly Sparks

Shelumiel Delos Santos



How Do You Like Me Now? By Holly Bourne

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Sit still, look pretty by Daya

Dirty Computer album by Janelle Monáe

Hollie W

Katie Beasley



Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Yes I’m Changing by Tame Impala

In the Middle by dodie





The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brody Ashton and Jodi Meadows

Fired Up by Yonaka

I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman

Bex Clark @FelicityDarke Revenger by Alastair Reynolds Voulez-Vous by ABBA




Chelsea C.



Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim

The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey

Unsafe Thinking by Jonah Sachs

Oh My! by Seventeen

Erika E.

Wren L.



Wildcard by Marie Lu

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Acoustic Favorites playlist by Spotify

Missing Piece by David Choi

Renée Hicks

Sabrina J.



The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Circe by Madeline Miller

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Twenty One Pilots

Jamie De Leon @jamiesbookshelf Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi Talia by King Princess

Madeline H. @asteriajanvier Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi Broken by lovelytheband

photo by Joséphine 102


photo by Joséphine STAY BOOKISH ZINE












photo by Joséphine