January 2019 Young Adult Releases To Be Wildly Excited About!

This first month of 2019 is already promising to be wildly exciting for YA releases! Some huge titles are releasing and getting ready to blow our minds and set the standard super high right upfront. I, for one, am cramming in desperate rereads as the old favourite authors add to their series and also trying to decide between the dozens of fresh-faced books and newer authors to try. Can we just…have them all? Please?

Here are some I’m specifically excited for!

The Wicked King (#2) by Holly Black


If you haven’t read The Cruel Prince yet, my first question is: WHY NOT. It’s a murderous twisty tale of fae and intrigue, of betrayal and loyalty, and a enemies-to-lovers storyline that will absolutely steal (and stab?!) your heart. It ended in such a cliffhanger and I’ve been angsting desperately for this sequel foreverrrr. Now it’s finally here and I am READY.


King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo


While this isn’t technically a sequel, it is a spin-off the Grisha series! Leigh Bardugo wrote the first Shadow & Bone trilogy and gradually it grew to giving us the Six of Crows duology and the Language of Thorns fairy tales. I’m not sure if it’ll be as good if you haven’t read, at least, the Grisha books, so get onto that! You still have time. I’m WILD for this series because it’s centring around Nikolai, the part-prince-part-pirate hearthrob who was a secondary character in the Grisha books. Now he’s stealing the whole page.

A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer


Her contemporary books are some of my all time favourites so OF COURSE I long to see what she does with a fairy tale retelling fantasy! It promises beasts and cursed princes and broken promises and a girl with cerebral palsy and towers and MAGIC.

I feel like I’ve been ready and hyped for this one forever!

Stain by AG Howard


Another author I’ve been following since her debut series, Splintered, which was an Alice in Wonderland retelling. Now we’re back in the retelling realms with a Princess and the Pea reimagined. Which also is quite different to the usual ones that get retold?! A girl without a voice must win back a kingdom and save a prince!

The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin


What if King Henry VIII was…in a modern contemporary highschool!? This is going to be such a fascinating modernised retelling and I am HERE for it. It’s narrated by a girl determined to find out why local highschool heartthrob seems to be following in the infamous terrible Henry VIII’s footsteps…and why his girlfriends (and he has a lot) often end up dead…

The Girl King by Mini Yu


This is the tale of two sisters who become rivals in a war to claim the title of Emperor. Their father takes the title away from them, promising it to a distant male cousin instead. Both his daughters, Min and Lu, are furious and are not about to stand for this. But the accidentally become enemies in the process…because who truly deserves the throne?! It promises ambition, sacrifice and betrayal, as well as shapeshifters and swords and hidden powers!

YA November Releases To Make Your Heart Beat Faster

It’s amazing how the year can be winding down, but our TBR can be winding up. It’s probably winding up to smack us in the face, too, for all the books we’re collecting but frantically have no time to read. Yet, though. The holidays are coming! So as we amble into the last month of the year, let me hinder help you out by reminding you of these fanatic YA new releases.

It’s ok to buy yourself a Christmas present. I am just saying.



Oh if this isn’t one of my most highly anticipated books this year! And it’s already been met with rave reviews and hit the NYT bestseller list too! It’s the story of a girl with golden eyes who is forced to be the king’s concubine…but she’s in love with another girl. It promises love! revenge! power! And honestly we are just here for #ownvoices authors, with diverse settings and lgbtqia lead characters. This one’s already in my possession and I can’t wait to dive in!

BRIDGE OF CLAY by Markus Zusak


It’s definitely probable that you’ve heard of The Book Thief right? Well here’s Zusak’s latest book! This time it’s about the Dunbar brothers, who are a tumbled group of tragedy and trouble. Honestly the blurb doesn’t give us too much of an idea what this book is going to present, but I am excited, because the author has such a unique and beautiful way of telling stories. They never just stay on the page. They stay with you and make you ponder for months.




Another from a famous and incredible author (who also brought us the infamous Shatter Me series!), except this one veers away from the magical and instead tells a contemporary story of a Shirin, who is 16 and loves music and break dancing and is very much over being stereotyped and hated for being a Muslim. The story is set a year after 9/11, so you can imagine the upheaval America is still in. Shirin is the kind of person who keeps her guard up, until she meets someone called Ocean, and things begin to change. I’m super excited for this because Mafi’s prose is always gorgeously magical, and this story promises to be personal and very poignant.



This entire cover speaks to my soul. It’s an epic fantasy that promises prophecies and magic, rebellions and rage, impossible odds and unlikely friendships.  We get a motley cast of four (Cassa, Alys, Evander and Newt). Cassa has sorted of inherited the rebellion from her parents, and is struggling to keep it going, while their world is ruled by an infallible prophecy that Cassa and her crew have to uncover. I am so excited to start this one! It also gloriously promises a cast of diverse ethnicities with asexual and bisexual characters, and I’ve heard it called similar to Six of Crows. So hey, I don’t know about you, but I’m sold.

The Book Brief: The Very Best New Release Books in October


Each month we bring you the best new release books in our Book Brief

Fiction Books

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

I am not going to ruin this outrageously funny book for you by telling you what happens this time round to Don. However Rosie and Don have been married for 10 months so expect the expected! Lots more lists, lots more misunderstandings, lots more laughs and even tears. Absolutely charming! Chris

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel delivers a brilliant collection of contemporary short stories that demonstrate what modern England has become. Mantel brutally and acutely writes about gender, marriage, class, family, and sex, cutting to the core of human experience. Unpredictable, diverse, and even shockingly unexpected, each story grabs you by the throat within a couple of sentences. A magnificent writer at the peak of her powers.

Amnesia by Peter Carey

When Gaby Baillieux releases the Angel Worm into the computers of Australia’s prison system, freeing hundreds of asylum seekers, she sets off a chain reaction. These prisons are run by US companies, and so the doors of some 5000 American institutions have also opened. And to some watching eyes, the secrets of both countries threaten to pour out.

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

Lila is wise in the ways of the world and she is about to embark on a new type of existence. From homelessness to a home, from wandering around in the world of hard knocks to a sheltered life in Gilead, from loneliness and mistrust to companionship and marriage to the Reverend Ames. All familiar names and themes from Marilynne Robinson’s previous prize winning novels. Lila questions everything as she tries to make sense of her new world just as the reader does. Chris

A History of Loneliness by John Boyne

Set in Ireland and a different sort of troubles. The Catholic Church is being brought to its knees over numerous allegations over child abuse. The cover up is distressing. John Boyne walks us through this utterly unbelievable time with the character Odran. His tragic life and his vocation to the priesthood. He is an innocent in many ways and sees the good around him. This is an amazing novel that Boyne has given us. Please do not be put off by the subject. Chris

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce

The companion novel to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry about Queenie the person he was walking towards. They had been friends, in fact she had loved Harold but something pulled them apart. Harold a quiet and ordinary man. Queenie feisty and not ordinary. But what does ordinary mean? A profound experience. Read in what ever order you want but please read. Chris

Nora Webster by Colm Toibin

It is the late 1960s in Ireland. Nora Webster is living in a small town, looking after her four children, trying to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. The portrait that is painted in the years that follow is harrowing, piercingly insightful, always tender and deeply true. Colm Toibin’s Nora is a character as resonant as Anna Karenina or Madame Bovary, and Nora Webster is a novel that illuminates our own lives in a way that is rare in literature. Its humanity and compassion forge an unforgettable reading experience.

Non-Fiction Books

Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty changed the way people cook and eat. Its focus on vegetable dishes, with the emphasis on flavour, original spicing and freshness of ingredients, caused a revolution not just in this country, but the world over. Plenty More picks up where Plenty left off, with 120 more dazzling vegetable-based dishes.

My Story by Julia Gillard

Here, in her own words, Julia Gillard reveals what life was really like as Australia’s first female prime minister. Refreshingly honest, peppered with a wry humour and personal insights, Julia Gillard does not shy away from her mistakes, admitting freely to errors, misjudgements, and policy failures as well as detailing her political successes.

The Menzies Era by John Howard

An assessment of Australia’s longest-serving Prime Minister by Australia’s second-longest serving Prime Minister – a significant, unique and fascinating history of the Menzies era. John Howard, only ten when Menzies rose to power, and in young adulthood when the Menzies era came to an end, saw Menzies as an inspiration and a role model. His unique insights and thoughtful analysis into Menzies the man, the politician, and his legacy make this a fascinating, highly significant book.

More Fool Me by Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry invites readers to take a glimpse at his life story in the unputdownable More Fool Me. It is a heady tale of the late Eighties and early Nineties, in which Stephen – ever more driven to create, perform and entertain – burned bright and partied hard with a host of famous and infamous friends, regardless of the consequences. This electric and extraordinary book reveals a new side to Mr Fry. 

Also, Anyway… by John Cleese

Candid and brilliantly funny, this is the story of how a tall, shy youth from Weston-super-Mare went on to become a comedy giant. Punctuated with John Cleese’s thoughts on topics as diverse as the nature of comedy, the relative merits of cricket and water-skiing, and the importance of knowing the dates of all the kings and queens of England, this is a masterly performance by a master performer. 

The Wife Drought by Annabel Crabb

For decades, feminism has argued the case for getting women into the workplace. Affirmative action, support schemes, paid maternity leave yet why aren’t women  better represented in the boardrooms and ministries of this country.  The answer may be they need a wife.   The Wife Drought is not a shout of rage, but it is asking us to sit up and listen. To think about flexibilty iin the work place for men and women.  A very informative read, lots of facts and figures and anecdotes about how Annabel herself has coped. Chris

Childrens’ Picture Books

Once Upon An Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers

Letters of the alphabet – make words – make stories. In this funny, thrilling and entertaining book Oliver Jeffers brings to life the alphabet in 26 short stories introducing some new characters as well as some familiar faces. Jan & Danica

A Bean, A Stalk And A Boy Named Jack by William Joyce

You might think you know the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, but you might want to think again. In this fairy tale with a twist, it hasn’t rained in days and the king has dictated that something must be done – his royal pinky is getting stinky! A fractured fairy tale from William Joyce who brought you The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

Books for First Readers

Clementine Rose and the Famous Friend by Jacqueline Harvey

It’s a New Year and Clementine Rose is going to back to school. A new teacher who sets the class a new project and a mysterious guest at Penberthy House who never leaves her room gives Clemmie plenty to think about. Does the guest like children, who is she, why is she so secretive? We will have to read the book to find out! Jan & Danica

Books for Young Readers

Awful Auntie by David Walliams

The next heartfelt and hilarious new novel from David Walliams, the number one bestselling author! A page-turning, rollicking romp of a read, sparkling with Walliams’ most eccentric characters yet and full of humour and heart.

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Our favourirte Demigod is back in an all new adventure! Giants are roaming the earth and forming an army. What is a band of young demigods to do but stand and fight? Will they be able to reach Athens before the great Goddess Gaea wakes? Read the book and find out! Ian

Books for Young Adults

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Darcy, a young writer, get the publishing deal of a lifetime. Only to find that she has trouble writing, and the boundaries between fact and fiction blur as she defers her first year of university and moves to Manhattan. Darcy’s life and her manuscript are revealed in alternating chapters. This book is the perfect blend of contemporary love story and fantastical thriller.

Skink No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen

How to avoid boarding school – Malley decides to take off with someone she’s met online. Richard, her cousin knows that she may be in trouble. He enlists the help of the one-eyed Skink. Undaunted by storms, crazy pigs and flying bullets they search the state for her. Searching for Malley is at time tense and other times laugh out loud funny. Jan & Danica

Childrens’ Non Fiction

Amazing World Atlas by Lonely Planet

With 300 fabulous photographs and lots of humour this is the atlas that will show the kids what the world is really like. With information on popular culture, sport and school life this is the atlas for children 8 and up. Jan

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