Celebrate Harry Potter & J.K. Rowling’s Birthdays This Week (YA Book Events NYC 7/30-8/5)

It’s Harry Potter week! Well, kind of. This week Potterheads will celebrate Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s birthdays. But that’s not the only thing happening this week. Check out the full schedule below and make sure to follow YA Book Events NYC on Twitter to stay up to date with all the bookish events happening around the city.

Monday, July 30

Launch Event for The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Join NYT best-selling author Alexandra Bracken as she celebrates the release of the newest book in her Darkest Minds series, The Darkest Legacy. Free event.

Jennifer Gilmore: If Only w/ Adele Griffin at Books Are Magic (7:30-8:30 p.m.)

Acclaimed author Jennifer Gilmore will discuss her new novel, If Only, with Adele Griffin (Be True to Me). Free event.

Tuesday, July 31

Launch Event for The Life & Lies of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Celebrate Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s birthday by joining Irvin Khaytman as he introduces his new book, The Life & Lies of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. Free event.

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Celebration at The Strand (6:30-10 p.m.)

To celebrate Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s birthdays, The Strand is hosting an incredible party that will include two trivia events, one for those 21 and under, and another for those 21+. Please note, the 21+ event is already sold out. Tickets for the 21 and under trivia event are available for $10.

Launching Kara Thomas’ The Cheerleaders at McNally Jackson (7 p.m.)

Join Kara Thomas as she celebrates the release of her latest thriller, The Cheerleaders. She’ll be in conversation with NYT best-selling author Karen M. McManus (One of Us Is Lying). Free event.

Wednesday, August 1

NYC Double Launch Event for Heart of Thorns and Sea Witch at Books of Wonder (6-8 p.m.)

Celebrate a wonderful double NYC launch event for two wonderful new teen books: Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton and Sea Witch by Sarah Henning. The event will be moderated by Zoraida Cordova (Bruja Born). Free event.

The Merciless Event at Barnes & Noble Upper West Side (7 p.m.)

Celebrate the release of the Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition of The Merciless by Danielle Vega. Free event.

Saturday, August 4

Fantastic Middle Grade Reads at Books of Wonder (1-3 p.m.)

Join Tui Sutherland (The Lost Continent), Peter Lerangis (Max Tilt), Sayantani Dasgupta (The Serpent’s Secret), Katie Slivensky (The Seismic Seven), and Stacy McAnulty (The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl) as they share their latest novels. Free event.

12 Book Boyfriends To Spice Up Your Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and for those of us who don’t have plans, the best way to spend the holiday is with a good book. And why not a book with the man of your dreams? Here’s who I plan on spending my V-Day with. Who’s your favorite book boyfriend? Let me know in the comments below!

1. Owen Gentry (Confess)


I just finished this book and I’m still not over it. Owen is amazing. He’s cute, funny, and so incredibly sweet. This book was incredible and so is Owen.

2. Will Herondale (The Infernal Devices)


I love Will. Not only does he love books but he quotes them with ease. He’s a man after my own heart.

3. Etienne St. Clair (Anna and the French Kiss)


St. Clair is a Brit who grew up in America who can speak French. Talk about multicultural. Besides that he’s also hot, sweet, and an all around good guy.

4. Josh Wasserstein (Isla and the Happily Ever After)


Oh Josh. He’s got some issues that he needs to work through but despite his struggles he still mentions to be so incredibly loving towards Isla and it’s wonderful.

5. Prince Kai (The Lunar Chronicles)


Almost every guy in The Lunar Chronicles is one of my book boyfriends but Kai has a special place in my heart. The way he falls so hard for Cinder is so endearing and cute.

6. Levi (Fangirl)


Levi is such a cute, tall dork. I love how he just gets Cath and her fangirl ways. Any guy that willingly listens to a girl read her fanfiction is a great guy in my book.

7. Prince Maxon Schreave (The Selection)


Maxon and America are my OTP. The way Maxon falls head over heels for America and loves everything about her is too cute for words. He treats her like she’s already his queen.

8. Tobias “Four” Eaton (Divergent)


Four is the definition of having a hard shell but being such a softy on the inside. He’s so protective of Tris and just loves her so much. It’s unbelievable.

9. Daemon Black (The Lux Series)


Daemon has such a bad boy persona and although I hate to admit it I’m a sucker for a bad boy with a nice center. And Daemon is just that and more.

10. Raffe (Angelfall)


Raffe is literally an angel. With wings! Well, kind of. But Raffe isn’t a sweet angel with a halo. He’s got an edge but protagonist Penryn is able to wear him down.

11. Liam Stewart (The Darkest Minds)


If Liam’s good looks don’t immediately suck you in his Southern charm and drawl definitely will. He’s so genuine and kind, and he’ll instantly tug at your heart strings.

12. Adrian Ivashkov (Bloodlines)


Adrian is the rich, bad boy you know you shouldn’t want but you just can’t resist his charm. Honestly, though, Adrian has a big heart and he treats his ladies right.


POLL: Who’s the Best Man Crush Monday? Pt. 2

Last week I asked you guys who’s your favorite Man Crush Monday thus far and because I’ve done so many I divided it up into two parts. Although there were many great contenders last week including Four from Divergent  and Gale from The Hunger Games, the winner has been determined.

In a very close race the winner is Jace Wayland from The Mortal Instruments series. I love Jace and I could talk about him for days but I already did that in another post so I’ll spare you all.

This week we have part two of the man crush battle. Vote below to choose who you think is the best man. After a winner is decided there will be a final vote between the two to see which man is actually the most crushable. I’ll be posting the final battle on Saturday therefore you only have 24 hours to vote for your fave in this round, so don’t miss out.

Don’t see your fave on the list? Let me know in the comments who’s your favorite fictional man and I’ll try to include him in an upcoming Man Crush Monday.

Woman Crush Wednesday: Suzume “Zu”


Zu was the bright little dot of sunshine in The Darkest Minds trilogy. That’s not to say she didn’t have her own issues and problems. She doesn’t speak and has seen her fair share of darkness. Even so, the fact that she’s pretty young compared to everyone else and the crew (Ruby, Chubs, and Liam) feel responsible makes Zu one of the key elements that keeps this little family together.

I really liked the journey Zu goes on in the books. Spoiler if you haven’t read the series yet! Zu eventually does speak and when she does she has a lot to say. Being quiet, she’s a great listener and has seen and heard things no child should have to witness. She hates what the dystopian America she lives in has done not only to the children that have abilities but also to the adults that have turned to drastic measures to survive.

Zu wants to live in a better world. A safer world where she and her friends don’t need to be afraid anymore. Where they don’t have to run and hide? I think the fact that Zu, who believe is only seven in the books, can eloquently say what everyone is saying and thinking.

She’s brave, a little funny, and wise beyond her years. She’s an adorable little girl and one of my favorite characters in this trilogy. Also, there’s apparently novellas centered around Zu that I haven’t read yet but I’ve heard are really good so check them out as well.

“Everyone is so afraid of each other,” Zu continued. “I don’t want to look at a grown-up and assume they’re thinking of how much they can get for me. I don’t want them to look at me and think of how badly I could hurt them. Too many…too many of my friends are in pain. They’ve been hurt very badly by what they’ve been through, but they’ve taken care of me. That’s the other side of everything. Because there are people who are afraid, and then there are people who are so brave. We only survived being hungry and scared and hurt because we had each other.” – In the Afterlight

Woman Crush Wednesday: Vida


Vida doesn’t show up in The Darkest Minds trilogy until book two, which is shame because she’s one of my favorite characters. When we first met Vida I wasn’t sure if she was going to be one of the good guys or not but she actually turns out to be a helpful ally to Ruby even when Ruby neglects to realize how much she needs a friend like Vida.

What I love most about Vida is she’s brutally honest and overprotective. She doesn’t sugar coat things for people’s benefit and let’s you know exactly what she thinks of you with no hesitation. Vida has a hard core but a soft center. When she does let people into her life she doesn’t let go. It’s hard for her to trust people but once she does she’s in it for the long haul.

Also, according to Ruby, Vida’s gorgeous and she has blue hair but I couldn’t find a picture that accurately represents the hair color and her beauty. And her relationship or friendship (it’s unclear really) with Chubs is so fantastic. Their quips with each other are so cute and funny. I just want them to love each other and be happy together always.

Honestly, I would love another Darkest Minds book just to see how she and the others are dealing with the world now. In the series the U.S. is hit be a disease called IAAN that kills kids or gives them abilities that they call Psi. Vida went through a lot when the disease hit and she also lost a lot. I’d love Vida to find happiness and although I think she’s already found a new family I’d love to see the affect that has on her.

You can learn more about Vida and all her friends in The Darkest Minds trilogy. Check it out!

Then he was stepping back, away, letting distance flood between us again. His voice was low, rough. “Give ’em hell, darlin’.”

“And for the love of God, bitch, don’t get stabbed this time!” Vida added.

Man Crush Monday: Cole Stewart


If someone asked me the best thing to come from The Darkest Minds trilogy I’d say the Stewart Brothers hands down. Besides the fact that they’re both hot with a southern charm that’s just to die for, they’re both great people even though they handle things very differently.

I won’t discuss Liam here because he already had his Monday. Today’s all about Cole. Cole has this bad boy/tough guy exterior but he truly only cares about two things: keeping his little brother safe and finding a cure for IAAN, the disease that gave kids powers.

This post is going to be spoiler free so I won’t go into all the wonderful things Cole does in the trilogy and just how amazing he is but I will say that at first I was weary of Cole. I wasn’t sure if we could trust him or not mostly because he was such a wild card. Even so, one can tell from his actions that he has the best intentions and just wants to do what he believes is right, any way he can.

Also, side note, did anyone else, just for a second, kind of like him with Ruby. Just for a second! No, just me? Okay that’s fine. Anyway, Cole is awesome and I might dare say my favorite Stewart (although Liam comes in a very very close second). His sass and smirk are great and he has a heart of gold. I’d reread the trilogy just for him (well, the last two books anyway).

“You gotta stand up and walk, Gem. You have to walk out of here. Not just for them, but for yourself. Come on. You have to walk out of here on your own two feet. – Cole Stewart, In the Afterlight

Man Crush Monday: Charles Carrington “Chubs” Meriwether IV

Photo Courtesy Of imgbuddy.com
Photo Courtesy of imgbuddy.com

Oh Chubs. I feel for Chubs. He’s given so many nicknames in The Darkest Minds trilogy I won’t dare try to list them all.

There’s so many reasons to love Chubs. First of all, he’s a cute nerd with his glasses and random knowledge. He knows how to sew because his father, a doctor, taught him just in case Chubs or someone he knew got wounded on the road. Besides that, Chubs just knows a lot of medical stuff in general, which makes him a very useful friend to have when you’re on the run, which is almost all the time for kids in this dystopian trilogy.

Additionally, Chubs is sassy and overprotective. When newcomer, Ruby, joins his tight knit group, Chub’s is the opposite of welcoming. He doesn’t want anything to do with her and would prefer their group leader, Liam, toss her back on the road where she came from. Unfortunately, or luckily depending on how you look at it, Chubs is ignored and Ruby becomes part of the group.

Chubs sass is unparalleled, however. He let’s his opinions be known throughout the novels and rarely sugarcoats things. If Liam is an optimist, Chubs is a realist. He knows his dystopian world is jacked up and he fully acknowledges that. All the same, Chubs provides comic relief throughout the books dropping the best one liners I’ve ever read.

Lastly, Chubs is my MCM this week because not only can he make people laugh, he’s also the glue that holds his group together. Chubs doesn’t have time for the drama, all he cares about is the survival of his newly constructed family. Chubs is brave when he needs to be and speaks up when he knows one (or two) of his friends are in the wrong. Although he’s often not seen as the leader of the group, I don’t think their group would’ve survived if they didn’t have Chubs.

To see Chubs sass in all it’s glory read, The Darkest Minds trilogy ASAP.

‘That is physically impossible,’ Chubs groused. ‘He’d be–‘
‘Actually,’ Liam began, ‘Cole once did try to–What?’
‘Oh, I’m sorry,’ Chubs said, ‘apparently the middle of my sentence interrupted the beginning of yours. Do continue.’ – Never Fade

Man Crush Monday: Liam Stewart


Try to picture the sweetest guy you know. Now multiply that by 100. That’s Liam Stewart. He’s sweet, caring, strong, and the male lead in The Darkest Minds trilogy.

As a Psi kid, a teen with a superhuman ability (in Liam’s case, telekinesis), Liam has gone through a lot including having to leave his parent’s home to escape being put in an internment camp for Psi kids. He was then a soldier for the Children’s League before he left and was then put in a camp that he later breaks out of, causing a lot of casualties that he hadn’t anticipated.

Liam is a natural born leader who believes the best in everyone and he always does his best to protect those he cares about, which is almost everyone. Plus, he’s the perfect southern gentleman. Although his naivety can sometimes be annoying, in this dark series of books, his positive outlook is illuminating.

“‘[Liam’s] so busy looking inside people to find the good that he misses the knife they’re holding in their hand.'” – The Darkest Minds 

Woman Crush Wednesday: Ruby Daly


The Darkest Minds trilogy is one of my favorite series and that’s mainly because I loved the main character, Ruby Daley. Although she’s very fearful of her own powers she’s not afraid to use them to save the people she loves and care about. She’s fiercely loyal and selfless. Although she makes mistakes (everyone does) she owns up for them and eventually learns from them.

Besides that she’s beautiful with her long brown hair and green eyes. She’s kind and caring but also powerful. With the ability to control people’s mind she could do anything she wants and probably get away with it. Instead, however, she resists the power lust of her abilities and chooses to control them, using her powers only when absolutely necessary.

If you haven’t read these books yet, I definitely recommend them. Great characters, great story, and great writing.


Book Review: In The Afterlight


*This book is part of my POPSUGAR 2015 Reading Challenge*

Synopsis from Amazon:

Ruby can’t look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government’s attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. Only Ruby can keep their highly dangerous prisoner in check. But with Clancy Gray, there’s no guarantee you’re fully in control, and everything comes with a price.

When the Children’s League disbands, Ruby rises up as a leader and forms an unlikely allegiance with Liam’s brother, Cole, who has a volatile secret of his own. There are still thousands of other Psi kids suffering in government “rehabilitation camps” all over the country. Freeing them–revealing the governments unspeakable abuses in the process–is the mission Ruby has claimed since her own escape from Thurmond, the worst camp in the country.

But not everyone is supportive of the plan Ruby and Cole craft to free the camps. As tensions rise, competing ideals threaten the mission to uncover the cause of IAAN, the disease that killed most of America’s children and left Ruby and others with powers the government will kill to keep contained. With the fate of a generation in their hands, there is no room for error. One wrong move could be the spark that sets the world on fire.

I can’t believe this trilogy is over. It’s so hard to leave these characters because it they were so good (or bad)! And the ending was perfect as well, which is a rarity for these dystopian trilogies.

In the Afterlight started very closely to where Never Fade ended, with Ruby and the crew trying to find a way out of the recently destroyed L.A. After finally securing a way out and making there way to the Children’s League old headquarters, the group stumbles across old friends and encounter multiple issues.

Once at the headquarters things go from bad to worse in a matter of seconds with high stakes, raised tensions, and various opinions trying to figure out the best way to free the camps and find the cure to IAAN, the disease that made these kids who they are.

Ruby struggles to keep all her secrets in check, especially Cole’s dark secret, and struggles to maintain a relationship with Liam. Liam’s not innocent either, keeping his own secrets. They both struggle to trust each other when they need each other the most, causing more harm than good.

Meanwhile there’s multiple plans in motion to save all the kids in the camp and change the scope of America for the better. Unfortunately things have to get much worse before they get any better and everyone’s lives are put at risk and many are lost.

This book took me on a roller coaster of emotions. I was stressed, happy, sad, upset, angry, and annoyed. I wanted Ruby to me honest about her feelings and secrets with Liam. I wanted to give all these kids a hug. I wanted to slap President Gray, his whole family, and all the PSFs. More than anything I just wanted everyone to have their happy ending.

I won’t spoil the ending by saying if I got the happy ending I was looking for. What I will say is I’ve ready a lot of dystopian trilogies (The Hunger Games, Matched,etc.) and this is quite possibly the only one that gave me a satisfying ending. It was realistic and of course the world wasn’t perfect by the time it ended but enough was resolved for me to believe it would be.

If you haven’t given The Darkest Minds trilogy a try yet you definitely need. It’s worth a read and you won’t regret it. Thanks to Kieran Scott for recommending the series to me and giving me the last book. One of the greatest books I’ve read in a while. Check it out.

*Side note: I really loved the fact that when you put all the titles together of the trilogy it says, “The Darkest Minds Never Fade In The Afterlight.” Cool.

Favorite Line:

“What I’m trying to get at is, as bad as everything seems, I think, at its heart, life is good. It doesn’t throw anything at us that it knows we can’t handle—and, even if it takes its time, it turns everything right side up again.”

Stars: 5 out of 5. So good! I want to read this whole trilogy over again. Especially knowing how it all ends now, reading it again would be interesting.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!!! For explanation please see previous.

Other Reviews


Deadly Darlings

Icey Books