These books will give you all the feels you’re looking for in one quick read! Don’t get us wrong, we love getting sucked into a good series or 600+ page book, but we don’t always have the time or energy to fully commit to starting one. Sometimes you just want the magic, romance, intricate world-building, and the (hopefully) satisfying ending – all in a limited number of pages!

 

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Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. by Judy Blume
This iconic Judy Blume novel follows Margaret as she shares her secrets and spirituality and is now a major motion picture starring Rachel McAdams and Kathy Bates!
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Mall Goth by Kate Leth and Kate Leth
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me gets a Y2K twist in this coming-of-age young adult graphic novel from acclaimed comic artist Kate Leth about a 2000s goth teen whose favorite part of her new town is the mall.
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I Have Something to Tell You—For Young Adults by Chasten Buttigieg
The young adult adaptation of the hopeful and refreshingly candid bestselling memoir by the husband of a former Democratic presidential candidate about growing up gay in his small Midwestern town is a must-read, and only 224 pages!
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Last Violent Call by Chloe Gong
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Chloe Gong comes two captivating new novellas surrounding the events of Foul Lady Fortune! Reunite with your favorite characters from the Secret Shanghai Universe in the pages of these short and sweet novellas!
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Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin
Jason Reynolds and his best bud, Jason Griffin had a mind-meld. And they decided to tackle it, in one fell swoop, in about ten sentences, and 300 pages of art, this piece, this contemplation-manifesto-fierce-vulnerable-gorgeous-terrifying-WhatIsWrongWithHumans-hope-filled-hopeful-searing-Eye-Poppingly-Illustrated-tender-heartbreaking-how-The-HECK-did-They-Come-UP-with-This project about oxygen. And all of the symbolism attached to that word, especially NOW.
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The Lucky List by Rachael Lippincott
Rachael Lippincott, coauthor of #1 New York Times bestseller Five Feet Apart, weaves a captivating, heartfelt, fast-paced love story about learning who you are, and who you love, when the person you’ve always shared yourself with is gone.
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Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds and Danica Novgorodoff
Even if you've already read Jason Reynolds' bestselling book Long Way Down, you don't want to miss this beautiful graphic novel version. Paired with gorgeous illustrations, Jason Reynolds' powerful words come to life in this book that takes place over a matter of 60 seconds as Will decides whether to seek revenge on the man who killed his brother, or not.
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In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens
A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to save him when he is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour in this swoony adventure that is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Pirates of the Caribbean. This fantasy love story includes pirates, magic, and major sea shanty vibes!
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The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed
Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give, this unforgettable coming-of-age debut novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots.
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We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian
This book is ultimate squad goals! After coming back from a losing season, the Field Hockey Wildcats have 24 hours to come together as a team before their first game on the new season.  You won't be able to put this book down as secrets are revealed and friendships are tested.
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When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey
When accidental magic goes sideways and a boy winds up dead, Alexis and her friends come together to try to right a terrible wrong. Their first attempt fails—and their second attempt fails even harder. Left with the remains of their failed spells and more consequences than anyone could have predicted, each of them must find a way to live with their part of the story.
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Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
The books in Elisabeth’s world are not normal. Books of magic are dangerous and can transform into terrible monsters, and she’s spent her entire live protecting the kingdom from their power. When the library’s most dangerous book is released, Elisabeth finds herself framed for the crime. Now the only person she can turn to for help is her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn. Once you’ve read Sorcery of Thorns, pick up the ADORABLE sequel novella, Mysteries of Thorn Manor!
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Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott
In this moving story that’s perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, two teens fall in love with just one minor complication—they can’t get within a few feet of each other without risking their lives. Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Yet, as the two start to fall in love, distance is harder than it has ever been for either one of them.
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An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
Beautifully written world of faeries? Check. Headstrong heroine? Check. Star-crossed romance between the said heroine and a faerie prince? You bet. All of this in one gorgeous standalone novel? It’s basically a dream come true.
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The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
Sparrow is a cursed town where every year, three witches seek revenge on the town by possessing the bodies of three girls in order to lure boys into the harbor and drown them. For Penny, this is just the way things are, but when Bo comes to town, clueless to their curse, Penny may be the only one who can help him.

Everyone deserves to see themselves in the books that they’re reading. That’s one of the best parts about fiction. This feels doubly true for romances, as no two couples are exactly alike. Here are a few that you can cozy up to and enjoy ASAP.

23 Must-Read Romances Featuring Characters Who Are BIPOC

1. Misfit in Love by S.K. Ali

It’s officially wedding season! In this fun and fresh sequel to Saints and Misfits, Janna hopes her brother’s wedding will be the perfect start to her own summer of love, but attractive new arrivals have her more confused than ever.

 

2. Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury

A rich, dark contemporary fantasy debut following a teen witch who is given a horrifying task: sacrificing her first love to save her family’s magic. The problem is, she’s never been in love—she’ll have to find the perfect guy before she can kill him.

 

3. A Pho Love Story by Loan Le

When Dimple Met Rishi meets Ugly Delicious in this funny, smart romantic comedy, in which two Vietnamese-American teens fall in love and must navigate their newfound relationship amid their families’ age-old feud about their competing, neighboring restaurants.

 

4. Made in Korea by Sarah Suk

Frankly in Love meets Shark Tank in this feel-good romantic comedy about two entrepreneurial Korean American teens who butt heads—and maybe fall in love—while running competing Korean beauty businesses at their high school.

 

5. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, Tracy Deonn’s YA contemporary fantasy Legendborn offers the dark allure of City of Bones with a modern-day twist on a classic legend and a lot of Southern Black Girl Magic.

 

6. Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi

From New York Times bestselling author Mary H.K. Choi comes a funny and emotional story about two estranged sisters and how far they’ll go to save one of their lives—even if it means swapping identities.

 

7. Your Heart, My Sky by Margarita Engle

Acclaimed author Margarita Engle tells a painful, poignant story of love in a time of hunger inspired by her own family’s struggles during a dark period in Cuba’s history.

 

8. How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

The Hating Game meets I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter in this irresistible romance starring a Mexican American teen who discovers love and profound truths about the universe when she spends her summer on a road trip across the country.

 

9. Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon

Sandyha Menon does it again with this amazing Beauty and the Beast retelling set at an elite boarding school in Colorado. When, Grey Emerson the heir to the Emerson family ignites the centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. So when she finds out that he attends St. Rosetta’s academy, Jaya devises a plan to make him fall in love with her only to break his heart.  The only problem is that Grey Emerson is not not what she expected and, to her annoyance, his brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. Be sure to check out the next book in the Rosetta Academy series, Of Princes and Promises!

 

10. The Meet-Cute Project by Rhiannon Richardson

Mia hates rom-coms. They’re forced and not at all realistic. But her friends love them and so she begrudgingly watches them. So when she has to find a date for her sister’s wedding, her friends have the perfect plan: they’re going to recreate the perfect meet-cute from all the rom-coms that they’ve watched. It’s a little crazy, a little out there, and maybe just a little bit perfect.

 

11. A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

This book was a Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club YA pick and deservedly so. This feel-good romance, set in the English country side will warm your soul. Not to mention, make you hungry after you read all the delicious food descriptions.

 

12. Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

Imagine running into your destiny at 5am in a bodega in Brooklyn. That is exactly what happens to Pablo, a young NYU drop-out, while he’s working the midnight shift at his job. When international pop-star Leanna Smart walks in to his store for a late night snack the two of them immediately hit it off and a whirlwind romance begins.

 

13. Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali

What happens when a mad, sad fiery girl meets a beautiful cinnamon roll boy with secrets? An unforgettable romance following two Muslim teens who meet during a spring break trip.

 

14. There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

If you loved When Dimple Met Rishi, then you’ll love this book! There’s Something About Sweetie follows Rishi’s brother, Ashish, and a confident fat athlete named Sweetie as they both discover what love means to them.

 

15. Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Penny Lee is ready to leave behind her mediocre high school years when she flies across the country for college…and then she meets Sam, the struggling barista who quickly becomes her closest confidant. But only over text.

 

16. Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Kiko Himura is struggling with her social anxiety, stifling family, and understanding of her half-Japanese heritage. When she doesn’t get into her dream art school, her childhood friend Jamie invites her to join him on a road trip touring art schools on the West Coast. As the trip unfolds, Kiko is free to learn more about herself, while realizing that she has feelings for Jamie as well. 

 

17. The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith

The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith

Amber Smith’s contemporary novel isn’t exactly a romance as it follows the year after Brooke’s mother kills her father. But it’s only as Brooke starts to fall for her biracial classmate Dani that she is able to start piecing her life back together and letting go of the past.

 

18. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Dimple Shah is excited to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers – especially because she thinks it means that her parents have put their plans of finding her “Ideal Indian Husband” on hold. But little does she know that Rishi Patel’s parents are sending him to the same camp, with the hopes that he can woo her to be his future wife.

 

19. American Panda by Gloria Chao

17-year-old Mei is a freshman at MIT, following the next step in her parents’ plan for her to become a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer.  What Mei can’t tell them is that she hates germs—and that she has a massive crush on her Japanese classmate. 

 

20. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Artistotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle and Dante might feel like a throwback, but if you haven’t read it yet – really what are you waiting for? Aristotle meets Dante, another Mexican-American teen, at a local swimming pool, and in each other, both loners learn more about who they are.

 

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

Lara Jean Song writes love letters to the boys she’s loved, including her sister’s ex-boyfriend – and hides them in a box in her room. Then her letters are mailed out, and Lara Jean fakes a relationship with one of its recipients, all while trying to figure out how she really feels about each of her crushes. What could go wrong?

 

22. Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

Janna thinks of people in three different categories in her world, and she places herself at Jeremy firmly in the misfits. Janna thinks she and Jeremy are from two different worlds, but the old adage “opposites attract” can be very true.

 

23. For All Time by Shanna Miles

The Sun Is Also a Star meets Outlander in this vivid, utterly romantic debut novel about two teens who relive their tragic love story over and over until they uncover what they must do to change their fate.

 

26. Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle

Hitch meets The Sun Is Also a Star in this “mega swoon-worthy, effortlessly cool” (Casey McQuiston, New York Times bestselling author) novel about a self-professed teen love doctor with a popular radio segment who believes he can get a girl who hates all things romance to fall in love with him in only three dates.

 

Look for more romance? Check out these swoonworthy books or  LGBTQ+ love stories!

We fantasy and paranormal lovers like to think that we’ve seen it all: monsters, demi-gods, witches, and ghosts. It can sometimes feel like there’s no lore left untouched, so when we stumble upon a book with a fresh take on an old legend – or a new legend altogether – it’s basically the best day ever. Fast-paced, mesmerizing, and a little spooky, here are ten books with whose wholly original legends will keep you reading late into the night.

17 Books with Totally Unique Legends We Love

1. Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley

In this charming debut fantasy perfect for fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Girls of Paper and Fire, a witch cursed to never love meets a girl hiding her own dangerous magic, and the two strike a dangerous bargain to save their queendom.

2. Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

The Shadowhunters must catch a killer in Edwardian London in this dangerous and romantic sequel to Chain of Gold, from bestselling author Cassandra Clare.

3. A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth

The Cruel Prince meets City of Bones in this thrilling urban fantasy set in the magical underworld of Toronto that follows a queer cast of characters racing to stop a serial killer whose crimes could expose the hidden world of faeries to humans.

4. The Girl from Shadow Springs by Ellie Cypher

The Revenant meets True Grit with a magical twist in this thrilling and atmospheric debut fantasy about two teens who must brave a frozen wasteland and the foes within it to save their loved ones and uncover a deadly secret.

5. Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury

A rich, dark urban fantasy debut following a teen witch who is given a horrifying task: sacrificing her first love to save her family’s magic. The problem is, she’s never been in love—she’ll have to find the perfect guy before she can kill him.

6. The Coming Storm by Regina Hansen

Music, myth, and horror blend in this romantic, atmospheric fantasy debut about a teen girl who must fight a powerful evil that’s invaded her Prince Edward Island home—perfect for fans of An Enchantment of Ravens.

7. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

From the New York Times bestselling author of An Enchantment of Ravens comes an imaginative fantasy about an apprentice at a magical library who must battle a powerful sorcerer to save her kingdom.

8. The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

One girl must uncover secrets of the past to save her friend from a terrible curse in this dark and mesmerizing story of love, revenge, and redemption inspired by the myth of Medusa. Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.

9. The Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black

Follow the journey of Kaye as she is finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient and violent power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms.

10. Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton

Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton

Long ago, a village made a bargain with the devil: to ensure their prosperity, when the Slaughter Moon rises, the village must sacrifice a young man into the depths of the Devil’s Forest…Only this year, the Slaughter Moon has risen early. So, what will happen when the lies they uncover will turn their town—and their hearts—inside out?

11. The Rattled Bones by S. M. Parker

The Rattled Bones by S.M. Parker

After her father’s death, Rilla is haunted by ghostly visions tied to an uninhabited island near her home in Maine. Soon, she and an archeological student begin to uncover the island’s secrets and the terrible things that once happened there. Based on true events, this is a mesmerizing paranormal story with a mystery that will keep you at the edge of your seat.

12. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

The small town of Sparrow, Oregon is plagued by three sisters who were drowned for witchcraft centuries prior.  Each summer, they return, stealing the bodies of three girls in order to lure boys into the water and to their own deaths. This year, an outsider arrives at Sparrow, not believing the danger.  This is a suspenseful, witchy tale that nods to Salem while exploring romance, secrets, and of course, revenge.

13. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Lush and romantic, An Enchantment of Ravens will lead you into a breathtaking adventure through the exquisite world of the fair folk,  immortal beings with dangerous power.  However, the fair folk cannot perform human Craft – anything created by hand –so portrait artist Isobel is highly sought out. When she offends Rook, the autumn prince, by painting sorrow into his portrait, she is whisked into his world, where she must use all the wit and skill at her disposal to survive against the fair folk’s ruthless laws.

14. The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

Alys’s world is defined by fear of the soul eaters, two no-longer-human beings who killed everyone in her village when she was a girl, sparing only the children. Taken in by a devout, rigid community, Alys does not speak of the connection she feels with the soul eaters or the beast that is said to control them. For Alys has secrets of her own, secrets that may connect her to the beast itself.  Though it may send shivers up your spine, The Beast is an Animal is a modern fairy tale in its own right, darkly captivating and deeply satisfying.

15. Shades of Darkness by A. R. Kahler

Kaira is ready to start fresh at Islington, a boarding school where she hopes she can put her past behind her.  That is until bodies begin to turn up on campus, seemingly part of some ritual. There is an ancient entity deep in Kaira’s mind that she can harness to find the killer, but it may mean giving up her humanity. Fantasy blends with a contemporary murder mystery in this genre-bending first book of the Ravenborn trilogy.

16. Angel Thieves by Kathi Appelt

An ocelot. A slave. An angel thief.
Multiple perspectives spanning across time are united through themes of freedom, hope, and faith in a most unusual and epic novel from Newbery Honor–winning author and National Book Award finalist Kathi Appelt.

 

17. The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad

From William C. Morris Finalist Nafiza Azad comes a thrilling, feminist fantasy about a group of teenage girls endowed with special powers who must band together to save the life of the boy whose magic saved them all.

 

If you like unique legends, you should also try these 8 Creepy Books!

Whenever I start a book with more than one point of view, I always know I’m in for something special. Through the eyes of more than one character, the world of the story suddenly has twice (or three or more) times the dimension, and as a reader, we are privileged with that much more information about the other characters: more feelings, secrets, and backstory that we never would have known from only perspective. Here are 12 books that make use of different points of view:

12 Books with Multiple Perspectives

1. Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali

After Zayneb confronts her teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how “bad” Muslims are, she is sent to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break. Adam got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and has stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister. Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father. So what will happen when these two paths cross?

2. Angel Thieves by Kathi Appelt

An ocelot. A slave. An angel thief. Multiple perspectives spanning across time are united through themes of freedom, hope, and faith in a most unusual and epic novel from Newbery Honor–winning author and National Book Award finalist Kathi Appelt.

3. Barely Missing Everything by Matt Mendez

Juan has plans. He’s going to get out of El Paso, Texas, on a basketball scholarship and make something of himself. His best friend JD has plans, too. He’s going to be a filmmaker one day. Soon Juan and JD are embarking on a Thelma and Louise­–like road trip to visit a man on death row, who might be Juan’s father. But there are some things you just can’t plan for…

4. Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell

In this sci-fi reimagining of Les Misérables, a Thief, a Guardian, and an Officer become the unlikely heroes of a planet on the brink of revolution. Romance and emotions rise as Chatine, Marcellus, and Alouette’s lives and destinies collide. Together, they just might be the key to shaping the future of their planet, Laterre.

5. Bad Girls with Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten

badgirlswithperfectfaces

When Sasha’s best friend Xavier rekindles a relationship with his toxic ex, Ivy, Sasha poses online to seduce and expose Ivy for who she really is. Primarily from Sasha and Xavier’s points of view, this lightning-fast thriller will make your head spin trying to guess what happens next.

6. Tradition by Brendan Kiely

Jules and Bax are both students at prestigious, privileged Fullbrook Academy, and while their experiences are very different, they each feel the discomfort of being outsiders, which means we feel it through their alternating narratives. When they meet, they recognize in each other a similar instinct for survival, and as their lives intertwine, and the pressures to play by the rules and remain silent about the school’s secrets intensify, they see Fullbrook for what it really is and decide to fight it.

7. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

allamericanboys

Rashad is brutally beaten by a police officer who falsely accuses him of stealing from a convenience store. His classmate, Quinn is in the crowd of onlookers, but the cop is his best friend’s brother, and he freezes. In the days that follow, Rashad and Quinn grapple with the hard truths that are circulating their town – truths about prejudice and racism, and the alternate points of view powerfully illustrate two sides of a divided issue coming together to stand up for what’s right.

8. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

thenowheregirls

Grace, Rosina, and Erin are all outcasts at their high school who come together to take a stand against the pervasive rape culture that ran a girl out of town the year before. Each is unique in their own way: Grace, the new girl, who is burning with the need to make a difference; Rosina, the queer punk girl desperate to escape the burden of her mother’s expectations; and Erin, whose obsession with marine biology is not enough to make her forget the trauma of her own past. What’s equally special about this book is that it takes the time to switch into the points of view of minor characters, some of whom are never named, but who represent a whole spectrum of girls within one small town.

9. Zero Repeat Forever by G. S. Prendergast

zerorepeat

Eighth is a member of the Nahx, with no voice or name, only a mission to dart Humans and protect his partner. Meanwhile, Raven is just a girl at summer camp when the Nahx invade and kill her boyfriend. Suddenly, she and Eighth are thrust together, and must put aside their differences if they want to survive. Having both Eighth and Raven’s points of view makes their growing connection feel that much stronger.

10. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

whendimple

Dimple doesn’t realize that her parents have sent her to a summer program for web developers with an ulterior motive: to find a husband. Rishi, on the other hand, knows he’s being sent to the same course with the task of wooing his potential future wife. With both points of view in mind, the reader always knows what’s going on, and can fall in love with both characters at once.

11. You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon

youllmissme

Adina and Tovah are twin sisters who’s lives take divergent paths when they receive the results for a test for Huntington’s disease–a rare genetic disorder that one twin has and the other does not. Reading both sisters’ perspectives and how each one comes to terms with their new reality and circumstances they deal with is a real joy and feels like double the amount of story.

12. Strange Fire by Tommy Wallach

strange fire

Two civilizations, the cities of Anchor and Sophia, have had a different response to the apocalyptic event that destroyed the world generations before. Brothers from The Anchor travel and preach against technology of the past, only to uncover a group of rebels that want the opposite. It will take points of view from all sides to make the whole picture clear.

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. You’ve invested a tremendous amount of emotional energy, and perhaps, personal well-being, into two fictional characters who you know are meant to be together. They might not know it yet, but you’re hundreds of pages deep in this book, and you are ready for them to just make out already (odds are, you were ready on the page where they met). And then they finally do, and it was worth the wait. Here are some of our most swoon-worthy kisses in books:

1. Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett: Zorie and Lennon

Zorie and Lennon are former friends-turned-enemies, but they’re forced to stick together when a camping trip gone awry leaves them stranded in the woods together. AKA the perfect opportunity for them to discover their feelings for each another.

“You want to know what I think?” Lennon says, head dipping lower as he tries to get level with my eyes. “I think that if the uni­verse were trying to keep us apart, it’s doing a shitty job. Because otherwise, we wouldn’t be out here together.”

“I wish we weren’t!”

“No, you don’t,” he says firmly.

“Yes, I do. I wish I’d never come on this trip. I wish I didn’t know any of this, and I wish—”

Without warning, his mouth is on mine. He kisses me roughly. Completely unyielding. His hands are on the back of my head, holding me in place. And for a long, suspended moment, I’m frozen, unsure of whether I want to push him away. Then, all at once, heat spreads through me, and I thaw.

I kiss him back.

And, oh, it is good.

2. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: Lara Jean and Peter

Lara Jean is mortified when the personal letters she wrote to her crushes are mailed to each of them. But, love can still prevail, especially when you find your current crush alone, in a hot tub.

“That thing you brought up earlier . . . you caught me off guard, so I didn’t know what to say. But . . . well, I like you too.” It comes out so fumbly and uncertain, and I wish I could start over and say it smoothly and confidently. I try again, louder. “I like you, Peter.”

Peter blinks, and he looks so young all of a sudden. “I don’t understand you girls. I think I have you figured out, and then . . . and then . . .”

“And then?” I hold my breath as I wait for him to speak. I’m so nervous; I keep swallowing, and it sounds loud to my ears. Even my breathing sounds loud, even my heartbeat.

His pupils are dilated he’s looking at me so hard. He’s staring at me like he’s never seen me before. “And then I don’t know.”

I think I stop breathing when I hear him say “I don’t know.” Did I screw things up that badly that now he doesn’t know? It can’t be over, not when I finally found my courage. I can’t let it be. My heart is pounding like a million trillion beats a minute as I scoot closer to him. I bend my head down and press my lips against his, and I feel his jolt of surprise. And then he’s kissing me back, open-mouthed, soft-lipped kissing-me-back, and at first I’m nervous, but then he puts his hand on the back of my head, and he strokes my hair in a reassuring way, and I’m not so nervous anymore. It’s a good thing I’m sitting down on this ledge, because I am weak in the knees.

3. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson: Isobel and Rook

Rook is an immortal prince, and Isobel is a prodigious artist who stands accused of painting him with mortal weakness in his eyes. He whisks her away to stand trial for her “crimes,” but their personal feelings soon get in the way.

His eyes narrowed. Then he extended his hand. Unthinkingly I reached for it to help pull him up. But as soon as our skin touched he clasped his fingers around mine and pulled, and I landed on his chest with a thump. The coat drifted down after, settling neatly over our legs. Rook gave me a charming smile. I glared back at him.

“I’ll use iron on you!”

“If you must,” he said sufferingly.

“I really will!”

“Yes, I know.” I became conscious of the fact that his chest felt very solid, and I was straddling his slim waist. Our uneven breathing rocked us against each other slightly. Molten heat pooled in me again, ebbing lower.

I didn’t use iron on him.

Instead, I leaned down and kissed him.

This is a terrible decision, I thought. I’ve gone completely mad and I need to stop this instant.

But then Rook made a sound and parted his lips beneath mine, and I’m afraid that for a time I ceased listening to my brain entirely.

4. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz: Ari and Dante

Aristotle and Dante are two teenage loners who strike up an unlikely friendship in one another, though it takes some time for them to realize that their relationship has also become something more.

“What did I say when you kissed me?”

“You said it didn’t work for you.”

“I lied.”

He looked at me.

“Don’t play with me, Ari.”

“I’m not.”

I took him by the shoulders. I looked at him. And he looked at me. “You said I wasn’t scared of anything. That’s not true. You. That’s what I’m afraid of. I’m afraid of you, Dante.” I took a deep breath. “Try it again,” I said. “Kiss me.”

“No,” he said.

“Kiss me.”

“No.” And then he smiled. “You kiss me.”

I placed my hand on the back of his neck. I pulled him toward me. And kissed him. I kissed him. And I kissed him. And I kissed him. And I kissed him. And he kept kissing me back.

5. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon: Dimple and Rishi

Dimple Shah is not looking for a boyfriend when she goes to a web developing summer program, but her parents have other ideas and conspire to send potential match Rishi Patel to the same program. Initially, Dimple is less than thrilled, but she does, eventually, come around.

Rishi reached out and casually tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear, and without meaning to, she sucked in a breath and leaned in to his touch.

His brow cleared, and his eyes turned to honeyed fire as they drifted down to her lips, which, she noted, were now parted. It was like her body was this traitor, acting without her brain’s permission. Especially considering what you were thinking earlier, that annoying voice tried to interject. Are you seriously going to let hormones get the best of you when there are important things to consider?

But when Rishi dipped his head down and pressed his mouth to hers, his rough stubble scratching against her chin in the most delicious way, her brain shut up entirely. His arms wrapped around her waist, cinching her to him, and she put her hands in his hair, feeling the silken strands between her fingers.

6. City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare: Clary and Jace

Could we write a list about kissing without Clary and Jace? Of course not. While our Shadowhunter power couple didn’t always have a straightforward path to love, their first kiss in the greenhouse at midnight is the one that started it all.

He’d called her beautiful. Nobody had ever called her that before, except her mother, which didn’t count. Mothers were required to think you were beautiful. She stared at him.

“We should probably go downstairs,” he said again. She was sure she was making him uncomfortable with the staring, but she didn’t seem to be able to stop.

The moon, directly overhead now, lit every­thing nearly to daylight brightness. In between one step and another she saw a white spark struck off something on the floor: It was the knife Jace had been using to cut apples, lying on its side. She jerked hastily back to avoid stepping on it, and her shoulder bumped his—he put a hand out to steady her, just as she turned to apologize, and then she was somehow in the circle of his arm and he was kissing her.

It was at first almost as if he hadn’t wanted to kiss her: His mouth was hard on hers, unyielding; then he put both arms around her and pulled her against him. His lips softened. She could feel the rapid beat of his heart, taste the sweetness of apples still on his mouth. She wound her hands into his hair, as she’d wanted to do since the first time she’d seen him. His hair curled around her fingers, silky and fine. Her heart was hammering, and there was a rushing sound in her ears, like beating wings—

7. Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian: Amelia and Grady

Every year Amelia works at the same ice cream stand, and is excited to finally take a leadership role this summer…but when she arrives, she finds that the late owner’s teenage grandnephew Grady is taking over instead. Things may get, um, heated.

It begins to rain. They stand in silence as the drops multiply. “Come on,” Grady says, taking her hand. “Let’s head inside.”

They look at each other at the same time and book it to the house, branches scraping at their legs as the sky opens up and the rain spills out.

Crashing through the back door, she’s hot and cool all at once. And completely soaked. Her hair sticking to her cheeks, her shirt clinging to her body. Grady, too, is soaked through, his hair in clumps of wet curls, his chest heaving.

He pulls her close to him and kisses her. Their wet bodies stick together. His hands are pulling at her, peeling her shirt up over her head. Then she peels away his. And they are kissing and walking, heading toward the living room couch half-dressed, the rain blurring the view out of every window. The room is dark with the storm until a crack of lightning flashes, brightening everything up.

  

8. Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi: Penny and Sam

Penny and Sam’s have a friendship conducted almost exclusively via text, and they rarely meet in person.  But as they work through their anxieties and emotions, they are inevitably drawn closer together.

“But you know what I’m talking about,” she said. “You’ve known from the day we met. Even on text, where there are no inflections or nuance or tone for non sequiturs. You’ve always spoken fluent me.”

She slugged him on the arm. A meaty little thwock. Sam didn’t know what to read into it.

“I’m glad you didn’t talk about yourself in the third person just then, like ‘speaking fluent Penny,’” he said. “That would have been so gnar. What if all I did was—”

Before he could continue, Penny kissed him square on the mouth.

He didn’t have time to close his eyes, so he knew that she hadn’t closed hers.

Sam stared at her for a moment. Then he went for it.

Colorful bookshelves

There are 6 ways to organize bookshelves…

It is perhaps the book lover’s most difficult conundrum: how does one organize your bookshelves and all of those wonderful stacks of books that you’ve hoarded over the years?

It isn’t easy: after all, there are a lot of books to keep track of, and you want to be able to find what you’re looking for, but you also want it to look good.

I spent weeks contemplating how to do this for my own bookshelf at home, and surveying family members who threw up their hands and said, “Do whatever you want!” The right system might be a little bit different for everyone, but here are some tried and true methods for keeping your books in order.

Which method(s) do you use? Let us know below!

 

Alphabetically by author:

Alphabetically

This is what I use, and I like it because I always know exactly where all of my books are. When you spend a lot of time in libraries and bookstores, it feels natural to stick to the same system that they use. And when you own multiple books by the same author, it more often than not looks aesthetically pleasing to stack them next to each other.

By color:

Books by Color

Organizing by color feels increasingly popular, and I totally get it. Color-coded shelves look so pretty. Odds are good that you know the colors of all of your books (when you’ve held it and photographed it and…oh yeah, read it enough times, you tend to remember these things) so with this system, it’s still relatively easy to find what you’re looking for.

By genre/topic:

Books by Topic or Genre

Sorting your books by genre also makes a lot of sense visually, since sci-fi fantasy books have a tendency to look alike, and contemporary books have a tendency to look alike, and so on. This way, there’s a section of your shelf for whatever you happen to be in the mood for. In addition, if you have a lot of nonfiction, sorting by topic (again, as they do in libraries and bookstores) might just be the most practical choice.

By size:

Books by size

The ultimate aesthetic choice. Revel in the perfect even-ness of your shelf, the way each book lines up comfortably with the books next to it. This method is also combinable with some of the above choices, if only to increase the find-ability of what you’re looking for. 

By series and standalone

Books by Series

If you own all or most of the books in a series, you’re going to want to show them off in a way that looks good. In order to avoid the possibility of some books spilling onto separate shelves and ruining everything (I’ll admit, this is a big concern for me) it might be easier to just organize each series first, and organize your standalone books separately.

By read and unread:

Books Read and Unread

For the reader concerned about new purchases getting lost and forgotten when mixed in with other books, it makes sense to have a shelf (or entire bookcase) devoted to unread books, perhaps sorted in order of priority or how long you’ve had them. While this means that your bookshelf is probably in constant movement, it’s also a great visual reminder of what books you want to tackle next.

 

The City of Bones 10th Anniversary Edition is almost here, and I could not be more excited. The character portraits, the illustrations, that amazing new cover. It all adds up to the perfect collector’s item. It’s been an emotional wait for the Anniversary edition (if we’re being honest, it’s been an emotional ten years of Shadowhunter books), but here are 10 of the best reactions so far:

1.When it was the official 10 year anniversary of CITY OF BONES’ first publication:

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“Happy 10 year anniversary to one of the series that first got me into reading! #cityofbones10”

 

2. And then it sunk in that it’s been ten whole years since the book came out:

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“*how* is this 10years old? Feeling my age now…”

 

3. When you heard about the 10th Anniversary Edition for the first time:

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“THERE’S GOING TO BE A SPECIAL 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF CITY OF BONES AND I AM JUST NOW FINDING OUT ABOUT IT”

 

4. When Cassandra Clare teased one of the new chapter header illustrations: 

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“I’m literally crying rn”

 

5. And then the new cover was revealed…

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“THE CITY OF BONES 10TH ANNIVERSARY COVER IS SOOOO GORGEOUS IM GONNA DIE I NEED IT”

 

6. …And it was just too exciting…

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“O MY GOD I CANT WAIT EEEEEEEEE”

 

7. …And you just needed a little while to take it all in:

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“It’s so beautiful”

 

8. When it sinks in that you only have a few weeks left to wait:

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“I have a countdown on my phone”

 

9. And you know that you’re going to have to convince everyone around you how important this is: 

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“My mum is gonna kill me if I buy it for the fourth time”

 

10. But mostly you’re still processing ten amazing, magical years:

cob10

“Cass, has it been ten years already? Ten great years. Thanks for taking us on such a great adventure with you.”

 

It’s World War I. The Austro-Hungarian prince is on the run, while a British girl disguises herself as a boy in order to serve in the British Air Service. That in and of itself is a story I’d love to read. Add in the idea that the Austro-Hungarians fight with steam-driven iron machines called Clankers, and British Darwinists use fabricated animals as airships, and I needed that book in my hands ASAP.

Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy may have ended five years ago, but it remains, in my humble opinion, one of the coolest, most unique trilogies in YA fiction. Not just because the characters are great or the story keeps you on the edge of your seat, but because of Westerfeld’s totally bananas vision when he sat down and decided to write World War I in the steampunk genre. If the series escaped your attention, you should definitely be checking it out ASAP.

Not convinced that steampunk is your thing? Let me explain how steampunk is everyone’s thing:

Steampunk is, at its core, science fiction in a historical setting. Technology merged with an earlier time. Okay so technically, this is specifically supposed to include steam-powered technology (or maybe just those nifty goggles), but one look at Scott Westerfeld’s Darwin-inspired airships tells us that steampunk can basically include whatever technologies author wants.

Steampunk includes fantasy! Fans of Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices trilogy might be familiar with the merging of magic and tech, as Tessa and her fellow Shadowhunters must face off with clockwork automatons. And why not have a story about a clockwork army alongside vampires, demons, and warlocks? In fact…that kind of sounds like an ideal story. Where steampunk is concerned, it’s the more the merrier, and the technology can take a backseat to fantasy, or vice versa, depending on the book you’re reading.

It can also be more lighthearted. At this point, some of you may be thinking – okay, but what if I don’t want to read about warships and gloom and doom? Well, there’s still steampunk out there for you. In Gail Carriger’s Etiquette and Espionage books, a Victorian finishing school teaches its students all they need to know to survive high society, from proper manners to, yes, espionage. Throw in some vamps and werewolves, and you’re in for a hilariously good time.

Basically…steampunk elements can be bent to work with any genre. Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker includes much of the above (minus, perhaps, the finishing school) as well as…zombies. And pirates. And it rocks a dystopian vibe, even though it’s supposed to be an alternative Civil War novel. Which may sound like a lot to take in, but if it’s executed in the right way (and here it is!), it can turn into that amazing book that you never knew you were looking for, because you never thought to combine all those things in the first place.

 

Odds are, you’ve read or seen steampunk before. Recent hits like the Golden Compass and The Invention of Hugo Cabret are great examples of steampunk! I’ve even seen arguments that older classics, like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, also fit the bill. Considering Victor Frankenstein’s “science” was so ahead of its time, it’s a case worth listening to. Which just goes to show that this genre has been around for a long time, constantly being reimagined or stretched in new ways.

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