Thursday, October 19, 2017

Audiobook Review: Saint and Misfits by S.K. Ali

Rating: ★★★  | Release Date: 07/11/17 | Contemporary | 8 hours 5 minutes

High school sophomore Janna Youself feels like a misfit; at home she’s boxed out by her brother and mother’s relationship, at school she’s the only hijabi Muslim. In her mosque’s youth group she is surrounded by perfect Muslim saints--including Farooq. Farooq is held up as a golden boy but what no one knows is he's really a monster who tried to sexually assault her.

We follow Janna through the last weeks of her sophomore year and at the heart of the book is Janna learning how to open up about her sexual assault. There is a ton going on in this book; including an Islamic quiz bowl competition, Janna’s crush on a non-Muslim, bullying from mean girls, her brother’s sudden engagement, her parents divorce and also a there's a new boy at the mosque who's caught her attention.

Audiobook narrator Ariana Delawari has this great bright, sharp voice that fits the nervous energy of Janna but she does read slow, this was the first time I’ve ever listened to an audiobook at a faster speed.

This book is from Salaam Reads, an imprint at Simon & Schuster created specifically to publish Children’s/YA featuring positive portrayals of Muslim characters.

Saints and Misfits is a voice-y, coming of age story and I’m curious to see what debut author Ali does next.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

New Cover Who Dis: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

First released in 2007, City of Bones  by Cassandra Clare holds a special place here at Books and Sensibility as the first book we ever reviewed.

10 years later, this book  has spun off to include--and I'm just estimating here-- a floppity-jillion books, short stories, graphic novels and novellas; a TV show and one terrible movie I saw see in an empty theater on opening weekend. To celebrate the 10 year anniversary Simon and Schuster released a new cover for City of Bones. Let's take a look:

The Orignal
The original cover is the classic. Go to any used bookstore and  9 times out of 10 you will find the paperback version of this cover. This cover is one of the very few YAs to have a  naked chest, in fact I can only think one other YA book (Altered by Jennifer Rush, but they covered it up on the paperback) that did this and while I get it's supposed to show  the runes it's just....a weird choice for YA.

The Remix
In 2015, the entire Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series had re-designed paperbacks with the characters in dynamic poses. I really like these covers, they just scream urban fantasy.  I also love a good stepback.

The Redux
Now both the 2007 and 2015 cover look way cooler in person because they're shiny and textured. I haven't seen this new cover in person but from the pictures I've seeen it's kind of ...meh.  As much as I love simple covers, this new doesn't tell me much and if I didn't know what this was I don't think I'd pick it up.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Books and Sensibility Six Year Blogaversary + Giveaway (US) !

Jess and I at maybe 13 or 14 at our grandparent's house. I think I'm reading Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

From Top left: BEA 2016; Kat meeting Marie Lu at a 2013 Penguin Event in NYC; Meeting Maggie Steifvater at Dream Thieves signing in 2013;  Jess getting Hidden Figures signed;  "the  official company headshot; Jess and Amber from DuLivre at BEA16; Hidden Figures signing in 2017; Jess w/ Lamar Giles at NovaTeen 2014; Us with Kendare Blake at BEA 2016

When Jess and I started this blog I honestly didn't think it was going to last longer than a few months, (like every other blog we started) but here we are six years later !  In those six years we've gotten to see a lot; like the beginnings of amazing projects like WNDB and NoVa Teen Book Festival

I have a clear memory of being 17-years-old in Borders (*pours one out*) and feeling sad that soon I couldn't read YA and I'd have to read boring "adult books". This was in 2006,  right before the Twilight boom. Little did I know there would be even better YA books published in my adulthood and that I'd tumble across a community of  like-minded and diverse readers that enjoyed YA as much as I did.

We may not be the biggest or most influential blog out there but we're still here and plan to keep it going as long as we can ! Now, to celebrate 6 years we're looking to the future at what's new and upcoming so we're giving away a physical copy of one (1) book from  Barnes and Nobles' 27 Most Anticipated October YA !  I chose this list because I like the inclusive-ness and enthusiastic break downs of each book.

- Kat 

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