I LOVE a good duology, especially when it’s sci-fi or fantasy. One book is never enough, but waiting for a series to be completed can be maddening. That’s why I think duologies are the sweet spot. With a series of two, you don’t have to wait too long to find out what happens to the characters, but you get just enough to really sink into them and get to know them. Sure, I appreciate stand alone novels, but for fantasy or sci-fi specifically, there’s so much to the world that I love being able to spend some extra time appreciating all the nuances.

Here are some of my favorite sci-fi and fantasy duologies!

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Ravensong by Cayla Fay

The Ravensong duology

After lifetimes of protecting the mortal world from demons, Neve is spending her current one stuck in high school. When she meets Alexandria, Neve begins to learn what falling in love feels like and look forward to something other than receiving her full powers when she turns eighteen. If you like Irish mythology, sapphic war goddesses, and the grumpy/sunshine trope, you'll love Ravensong. Don't miss the sequel, Clarion Call!

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Wings of Ebony by J. Elle

The Wings of Ebony duology

“Make a way out of no way” is just the way of life for Rue. But when her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for her and her younger sister changes forever. Rue’s taken from her neighborhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghizon—a hidden island of magic wielders. Don't miss the sequel, Ashes of Gold!

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Slayer by Kiersten White

The slayer duology

Nina was never than interested in the violent lifestyle of a Slayer, preferring, instead, to be a healer. But that all changes because of Buffy, the famous vampire slayer, whom her father died protecting. Now Nina is the Chosen One and the last Slayer ever. Now it’s her job to fight the forces of evil, no matter how reluctant she might be. Don't miss the sequel, Chosen!

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Splendor and Spark by Mary Taranta

The shimmer and burn duology

In order to save her sister’s life, Faris must smuggle magic into a plague-ridden neighboring kingdom with the help of a myserteous magician and a power-hungry princess. But there are things darker than poison that lie in The Burn, and Faris will again be faced with impossible choices. Does she risk everything to save the kingdom of Avinea, even if it means betraying her sister’s trust? Or does she succumb to the poison inside?

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The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

The prisoners of peace duology

Greta is a Child of Peace. The rules are simple: if you want to rule, you must give one of your children as a hostage to Talis, the de facto rule of the world. This Child of Peace now serves as collateral. Should you start a war, your hostage dies. This system, which has worked for centuries, is suddenly threatened by Elian, a hostage form the new American alliance, who pushes the boundaries constantly. Then, Elian’s country declares war on Greta’s, taking the hostages hostage, and infuriating Talis. Greta must find a way to break all of the rules to keep herself and Elian alive. Don't miss the sequel, The Swan Riders!

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Zero Repeat Forever by G. S. Prendergast

The Nahx Invasions duology

Murderous creatures called Nahx invade Raven’s summer camp and kill her boyfriend. Eighth’s job is to evade the humans and let his Offside do the shooting, which only lasts until a human gets her. This fast-paced, thrilling duology follows Raven and Eighth as they venture through this violent new world where survival means needing to trust each other. Don't miss the sequel, Cold Falling White!

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Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells

The Shatter the Sky duology

Did someone say f/f romance with dragons?! Oh yea, that's right, I did! Follow Maren as she sets out to rescue her girlfriend by stealing a dragon from the corrupt emperor and infiltrating the empire in disguise. Don't miss the sequel, Storm the Earth!

Whether you already love these podcasts, podcasts like them, or have been wanting to get into podcasts for the first time, we’ve got the perfect pairings for you. Take the quiz to find out what book to read next!

Pick a Podcast to Listen to and Get a Book Recommendation!

Looking for more? Check out these thrillers you should add to your TBR!

Feminists unite! Check out these titles about totally rad women doing awesome things, and be inspired to be and do anything to make this world a better place!

7 Must-Reads Books for Budding Feminists

1. After the Ink Dries by Cassie Gustafson

What does it mean when you thought you knew someone? What does it mean when that person is your new boyfriend? Courtney Summers meets Deb Caletti in this page-turning suspense story of what it is to face hard truths about yourself and others, and how to find strength when you need it most.


2. The Degenerates by J. Albert Mann

In the tradition of Girl, Interrupted, this fiery historical novel follows four young women in the early 20th century whose lives intersect when they are locked up by a world that took the poor, the disabled, the marginalized—and institutionalized them for life.


3. What Every Girl Should Know by J. Albert Mann

Margaret Sanger grew up with limited means, and she witnessed and experienced incredible hardships early in life. But all of this led to her groundbreaking work as an advocate for women’s health, most notably founding Planned Parenthood in 1916. This fiery novelization of Margaret’s early life introduces us to a young woman with the passion and courage to change the world.


4. Tradition by Brendan Kiely

Jules Devereux is looking to get away from the old-boys club that is Fullbrook Academy. Jamie Baxter also wants to escape Fullbrook and the potential disappointment of both his parents and his coaches with a hockey scholarship. They forge a bond under the pressures of the school. But, is it too much when people are getting hurt? Do they stand together against the wrong, sexist traditions of an institution that thinks it can do no wrong?


5. Period Power by Nadya Okamoto

Nadya Okamoto is on a mission with her part manual, part manifest Period Power. For too long, menstruation has been an ugly secret leaving menstruators ashamed. This leads to a power dynamic that is both unhealthy and unhelpful. Through explanation of what menstruation is and a general acknowledgement of it, we can end the stigma surrounding our periods.


6. I Have the Right To by Chessy Prout

There’s a sad and disturbing epidemic: nearly one in five girls ages fourteen to seventeen are survivors of sexual assault or have attempted sexual assault. In 2014, Chessy Prout was a freshman at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire. A senior boy sexually assaulted her. She tells her story of coming forward to help other survivors find their voice and hopefully help put an end to this horrific act.


7. Our Stories, Our Voices edited by Amy Reed

In these 21 essays written by major YA authors, the intersection of race, religion, ethnicity, and everything else involved in growing up a female in the USA is brought to light. Authors include Ellen Hopkins, Sandhya Menon, Tracy Walker, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Amber Smith, and many more. With these discussions, there is hope to inspire solidarity among all budding feminists.


8. Limitless by Leah Tinari

Learn about the most prominent and important women often over looked by history with the striking art of Leah Tinari. Honoring the achievements of twenty-four extraordinary women, Limitless is sure to inspire young women everywhere that they can aspire to be and do anything.

Looking for more? Check out these must-read books with strong female characters!

Let’s be honest: Thanksgiving, while great, can be super stressful. It makes sense—when you’re surrounded by all kinds of people with all kinds of different thoughts and experiences, it’s easy for the conversation to get out of hand. Here is a list—complete with talking points!—of books you can actually talk about at Thanksgiving dinner to keep things light and fun.

The Perfect Books For Fun Thanksgiving Conversations

1. SLAY by Brittney Morris

Kiera Johnson is a teen game developer who has to go head-to-head with a real-life troll set on ruining her video game.

Talking points:

  • Who loves Marvel movies? Well, this video game is inspired by Black Panther.
  • Also, video games! What’s everyone’s favorite?
  • Also, if you could create a video game, what would it be?
  • This book is so cool because it showcases a totally awesome female STEM enthusiast, which is really inspiring.


2. Road Tripped by Pete Hautman

Stiggy has had it rough and desperately needs to get out of Minnesota. He starts driving the Great River Road, ponders life, and rocks out to his dad’s old iPod.

Talking points:

  • Stiggy is listening to his dad’s iPod, which leads to the question: What’s everyone’s ideal road trip playlist.
  • Also, what was the most epic trip everyone has been on?
  • Stiggy also gets into some hairy situations on this road trip. What’s everyone’s craziest road trip story?


3. Virtually Yours by Sarvenaz Tash

Mariam starts using a dating app that allows people to go on virtual dates. Things gets complicated when one of her matches is none other than her ex-boyfriend Caleb.

Talking points:

  • Would anyone ever consider going on a VR date? What might make it different than an IRL date?
  • The whole dating app headquarters—where Mariam goes to set up her profile—is actually kind of a really interesting place with funny characters.
  • Definitely a great opportunity to talk about the wonders virtual reality, which is becoming really popular.


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

Lara Jean wrote a letter for every boy she had ever loved. Things get complicated when those letters, never meant to be seen by any of them, get sent.

Talking points:

  • Netflix movie alert! Has anyone seen the movie? Is anyone totally excited for the sequel? (Me. I am.)
  • She keeps her letters in a hatbox. A hatbox? I think we should all come up with better places to hide secret love letters.
  • Also, Lara Jean is a baker, which brings me to dessert. Where’s the pie!?


5. American Panda by Gloria Chao

Seventeen-year-old Mei is a freshman at MIT. (She skipped 4th grade.) She finds it difficult to fulfill her parents dreams of her becoming a doctor because of her hatred of germs. Also, she’s in love with the wrong guy. Complicated.

Talking points:

  • Can you imagine skipping a grade in school? Alternatively, if someone has, was it a big deal?
  • Things don’t go as planned for Mei, which is really relatable. Especially because things can turn out okay or even better because of it. It’s really heartwarming.
  • Mei doesn’t like biology. I don’t like math. What was everyone’s least favorite school subject?


6. Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

Normally Pablo’s midnight shift at the bodega is pretty uneventful. But that all changes when Leanna Smart, an international pop-star, strolls in looking for a late night snack. When you meet the person you are meant to fall in love with at 5 am in Brooklyn, you don’t deny fate.

Talking points:

  • What celebrity do you wish you could go on a date with?
  • What would be your secret hashtag between you and a loved one?
  • What’s your favorite midnight snack. Speaking of food, can someone pass the stuffing?


7. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Clary always thought she was a regular girl, living in New York with her mom and spending time with her best friend, Simon. But that all changes when Clary finds out she is a Shadowhunter, a warrior dedicated to ridding the world of demons, and that a whole world of mythical creatures exists hidden in plain sight.

Talking points:

  • How would you handle discovering that vampires and werewolves are real?
  • Clary is an artist. Do you have any hidden talents?
  • When Calry meets Jace, the connection is almost immediate. Do you believe in love at first sight?


8. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Lina is spending the summer in Italy with her dad, but she’s not really in the mood for the sweeping landscapes of Tuscany. However, when Lina is given the journal that her mother kept while she lived in Italy, Lina decides to set out on a road trip to retrace her mother’s footsteps.

Talking points:

  • Lina goes to Italy, but if you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go?
  • Do you have a favorite ice cream or gelato flavor?
  • On her travels, Lina meets the very-charming, Ren. Do you have a sweet story about falling in love?


Looking for more things to discuss this thanksgiving? Why not check out these YA retellings of classics we all know and love!

Nancy Drew is coming out with a new tv show on the CW and we can’t wait to find out what this female detective has been up to!

While we wait for the new show, we’ve been reading the Nancy Drew Case Files Vol. I and Vol. II, which have been newly repackaged, to get us in the mood for sleuthing.

And while we love the new covers, we wanted to pay homage to the BRILLIANT vintage Nancy Drew Case Files covers of the past.

So what are you waiting for! Take our quiz and get a book rec.


Once you’re done with these, why not pick up one of these Mysteries that you won’t be able to put down until it’s done!

Let’s face it, the characters in “Stranger Things” are extremely busy trying to save their town—and the world—from The Upside Down. But, you have to imagine they find time to kick back with a good book once in a while. Check out these theories as to what their reading.

Which Book Would Your Favorite “Stranger Things” Character Read?

1. Eleven – How We Became Wicked by Alexander Yates

Knowing Eleven’s experience with being a test subject at the Hawkins National Laboratory, it isn’t hard to imagine her relating to a group of people infected by a plague brought by ultraviolet mosquito-like insects called The Wicked. Despite The Wicked’s desire to hurt those left “safe” from the plague, Eleven is sure to have compassion for people put in this impossible position. She’d certainly be right beside Astrid, Hank, and Natalie (the characters of the novel) as they discover the nuanced similarities between The Wicked, The True, and The Vexed and attempt to make things right.


2. Mike – This Might Hurt a Bit by Doogie Horner

Mike cares about his friends a lot, and his dedication to finding Will in Season 1 is a testament to that. However, his own emotions get in his way often, which makes This Might Hurt a Bit a perfect read. Swinging between dealing with the loss of the main character Kirby’s sister and the hilarious prank he and his friends decide to pull, Mike totally relate to the range of emotions that comes with being a young adult dealing with difficult situations but still wanting normalcy.


3. Lucus – Virtually Yours by Sarvenaz Tash

Lucus (along with Dustin, but we’ll get to that) clearly loves love. He’s also a sucker for the latest technology, as is evident from his love of the totally rad radio equipment the boys get from Mr. Clarke. Were he in the 21st century, he’s totally be all over dating apps, making Virtually Yours a top pick. Not only does he get his sweet romance that he may be too embarrassed to talk about with his friends—I don’t know, they seem like pretty cool guys who would support him, but still—but he’d also get the complexities of adding technology to the mix. My only question is who he’d root for Mariam to end up with after she starts her VR dating experience: her ex Caleb, or her new friend Jeremy.


4. Dustin – Love From A to Z by S. K. Ali

As was previously hinted, Dustin is also a big romancer. He’s also incredibly devoted to what’s right and fair. Enter Adam and Zayneb of Love From A to Z who are also devoted to keeping the people they love happy and making the world a more just place. And of course, there’s their chance meeting in an airport, which Dustin would love being a true romantic. Knowing he admires things that are cute (and sometimes not so cute, in the case of the baby Demogorgon) he’ll love this sweet romance.


5. Will – Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells

Of course Will would be totally into a story about a girl who will stop at nothing to save her girlfriend from the agents of the emperor who kidnapped her. The being-an-apprentice-to-a-dragon-trainer is also a huge plus for Will. Overall, we’ve only just started learning about Will from his own words rather than what everyone around him says. But we do know this: he is super brave in the face of scary situations, which makes it easy for him to identify not only with Kaia who has been taken, but with Maren who is on the mission to find her.

Life is tough. Whether it’s internal turmoil or external struggle, these books showcase the loud and proud kind of brave. Maybe we’re not all there yet, though—and that’s okay. Each title shares an aspect of bravery: a Brave Point. Maybe we can just take one or two for now.

Books to Read When You Need to Feel Brave

A Heart in a Body in the World by Dab Caletti

Brave Point: Process

Annabelle didn’t have everything, but she had a lot—friends, family, and love. When she meets a boy who initially flatters her with his attention, she’s flattered. That is, until he betrays her in the most intimate way.

So, she runs. From Seattle to Washington, DC. She runs away from the tragedy. She just runs and writes in her journal—process. Sometimes the hardest part of being brave is identifying what we need to be brave for.


The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

Brave Point: Camaraderie

When Grace Salter learns that the girl who used to live in her house, Lucy, was run out of town for accusing the popular guys of gang rape, she knows she has to do something. After the solitude of processing, bravery often bands together. Grace pares up with Rosina, a queer punk girl in a conservative family, and Erin, who may be an android . . . so she thinks.

Together, the young women band together to form an anonymous group of girls at their high school to resist the sexist culture. Bravery often takes the form of groups standing together to help one another.


Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju

Brave Point: Expression

You have your group. Much like Nima in this book, there’s still some identity work to be done. Being brave doesn’t always mean facing an external struggle. Often, it’s facing our inner struggle, too. After immersing herself in the drag scene, Nima not only finds community, but a piece of herself, too.

Being brave doesn’t have to be taking a big stand for big issues. Being brave can be just being yourself. Vulnerability is probably the bravest act of all.


Brave Face by Shaun David Hutchinson

Brave Point: Survival

Shaun was confused . . . and kind of done. After fighting over and over with his inner demons, he was convinced his future wasn’t any better. He was depressed. He was gay. He was sure he would be unhappy and alone forever. He almost made that happen.

Survival isn’t pretty. We often hear, or say, something like “I’m not thriving . . . but I’m surviving.” Quit literally, Shaun put on a brave face and shoveled his way out of despair. And it’s not pretty. It’s really, really hard. That’s why it’s brave.


Period Power by Nadya Okamoto

Brave Point: Education

Nadya Okamoto is passionate about a taboo issue: women’s menstruation. Often seen as gross and inappropriate, it’s time to rebrand the period. Rather than severely reacting, Nadya set out to educate the masses on what menstruation is and why it’s completely natural.

It’s brave to meet ignorance with education. Really, most of us just want to scream until we change the other person’s mind. That never works. Instead, Nadya wrote her part manifest part manual to get her point across.


I Have the Right To by Chessy Prout

Brave Point: Action

Of course, what bravery round up would be complete without a shout-out for all the activists? Chessy took her tragedy and joined a movement to address sexual assault. A strong member of the #MeToo movement, Chessy is showing her bravery by taking tangible steps toward a better future.

Ultimately, bravery is what you can do in your own time. There is no right or wrong way to be brave, so long as you are standing for what is right for you and others. Being yourself, finding your people, surviving, and spreading the word is how everyone can be their own kind of brave.

In the search for #relatable content, look no further than these stories of people doing remarkable things. These memoirs are all compelling, hopeful, and empowering, making them the perfect additions to your TBRs.

6 YA Memoirs to Add to Your TBR

1. I Have the Right To by Chessy Prout

After facing a surprising backlash from her school community regarding her sexual assault, Prout decided to use her voice to help all sexual assault survivors. Her memoir I Have the Right To shines a light on the institutions that turn a blind eye to such instances of abuse. With the statistics as high as they are regarding sexual assault, this is an empowering, important ready for everyone.


2. Brave Face by Shaun David Hutchinson

Hutchinson was depressed. He was also an outsider because of his sexual orientation. Eventually, everything combusted leading to an attempt to take his own life. When depression starts talking, it’s hard to convince yourself it’s not telling you the truth. Hutchinson did make it out okay, though. More than okay. And his story is one of hope that everybody should read.

Be sure to check it out when it hits stores this summer!


3. Tweak by Nic Sheff

A must read for anyone who was moved by “Beautiful Boy” starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet. In his memoir, Sheff recounts his struggle with drug addiction beginning in his teen years. This heartbreaking, but ultimately hopeful, story is remarkably compelling. It’s a tough read, but so, so important.


4. Soaring Earth by Margarita Engle

Engle lived a life between two places: the lush island of Cuba, and the isolated, hard reality of Los Angeles. As she gears up for high school, the wave of change notable in the 1960s takes hold of everything in her life. It’s a love letter to education, grassroots movements, and identity in a tumultuous world.


5. Enchanted Air by Margarita Engle

Engle was torn between two places: Cuba and Los Angeles. And at the worst possible time: revolution has broken out in Cuba, causing Engle to fear for her far-away family. Then, the Bay of Pigs Invasion creates hostile US/Cuba relations. This is a stunning, poetic, historical read that contemplates the multiple meanings of home.


6. Obsessed by Allison Britz

Allison Britz lived a comfortable life in a nice town until her sophomore year of high school. After awaking from a nightmare in which she was diagnosed with brain cancer, Britz couldn’t shake the possibility of it being a warning. What started with avoiding sidewalk cracks moved into an extremely difficult obsession with “fixes” to her brain’s conjured dangers. Finally, after asking for help, Britz received an obsessive-compulsive disorder diagnoses. Then, she found hope.


Hoping to grow your TBR even further? Here’s a list of must-read books to read for Women’s History Month!

Uh-oh! Christmas is almost here and there are still cookies that need decorating! Create your favorite festive treat and we’ll give you a book rec!

Decorate a Christmas Cookie and We’ll Recommend a Book!

You know all of these inspirational women, but how well do you really know them? See if any of these facts, inspired by the beautiful portraits in Limitless, catch you by surprise!

How Well Do You Know These 5 Important Female Trailblazers?

Dolly Parton – American Singer-Songwriter

We all know and love Dolly from her iconic song “Jolene,” but did you know she also founded Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library? This super cool organization gives a book to children every month from birth until they reach kindergarten! It’s hard not to go nuts for such a literature-positive role model.


Sojourner Truth – American Women’s Rights Activist

Born into slavery and eventually escaping with a baby daughter, Sojourner was known mainly for her outspoken thoughts on Abolition and Women’s rights. She actually changed her name in 1843 from her slave name to Sojourner Truth before calling for across-the-board change.


Julia Child – American Chef

Perhaps you know her from the movie Julie & Julia, or just a genuine love of food and those who make it. But, did you know that during World War II Julia was turned away from serving in WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) and WAC (Women’s Army Corps) because she was too tall? Luckily, she ended up taking all 6 foot two inches of her to the Office of Strategic Services.


Aretha Franklin – American Singer-Songwriter

This superstar musician taught us all to demand R-E-S-P-E-C-T with her amazing take on the song by Otis Redding. (That’s right, she redid it. Not that anyone remembers that because her version is so incredible) Aretha was a child music prodigy, and learned how to play piano completely by ear!


Carrie Fisher – American Actress, Author, and Mental Health Advocate

She was more than just princess Leia; Carrie Fisher was truly a renaissance woman. Among her accomplishments as a terrific actor and author, Carrie was awarded the Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism by Harvard University in 2016.


You can find even more inspiring women in Limitless by Leah Tinari!

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