Over on Book Riot this week…
- Bookish costumes for your pet.
- If you aren’t already, you should hop in and have fun with the Instagram #RiotGrams challenge this month.
- A round-up of YA books set in Puerto Rico.
Over on Book Riot this week…
I’m thrilled to be back on Round 1 of Young Adult Speculative Fiction this year for the Cybils Awards. Speculative fiction is deliberately broad – it encompasses traditional science fiction and fantasy, but also encompasses more nebulous genres like alternate history, horror, and dsytopias. Check out the full category description here.
Nominations officially opened October 1, and so far, we’ve got a great selection of books to read and discuss. But there are still a lot of worthy titles that haven’t been nominated, and that’s where you, dear readers, come in. Each person is allowed to nominate one title per category, so I’ve created the list below as suggestions – these are all books I think we round 1 panelists should consider for the shortlist. Won’t you help us out by nominating one of them? Be sure to check your nomination against the existing nominations first. Titles published for the YA market between October 16, 2016 and October 15, 2017 are eligible.
Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Tool of War by Paolo Bacigalupi
The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski
Merrow by Ananda Braxton-Smith
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
Waste of Space by Gina Damico
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
The Exo Project by Andrew DeYoung
Bull by David Elliott
Invictus by Ryan Graudin
Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge
The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E. K. Johnston
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid
Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B. Larson
Exo by Fonda Lee
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Mars One by Jonathan Maberry
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean edited by Kirsty Murray, Payal Dhar, and Anita Roy
Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor
Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel Jose Older
Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic
Zero Repeat Forever by G. S. Prendergast
Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds
Blood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick
Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts
A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith
Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser
The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle Van Arsdale
The Takedown by Corrie Wang
The Adjustment by Suzanne Young
Today’s edition of “Anatomy of an Anthology” comes from Amber J. Keyser, editor of the nonfiction YA anthology The V-Word, published by Simon Pulse and available now.
Amber J. Keyser
Your Anthology’s Name
The V-Word: True Stories of First-Time Sex
A collection of personal essays by women about first-time sexual experiences.
How did you get your idea/what was the initial spark?
There were three inspirations for this book. The first was my children who were tweens at the time and who were asking lots of good questions about sex and sexuality. The second was an article written by Ferrett Steinmetz for The Good Men Project called Dear Daughter: I Hope You Have Awesome Sex. The third was an overheard conversation between two moms talking about how they didn’t even want to know if their kids were thinking about sex.
Where did you begin researching your idea and/or developing the idea into a more clear, focused concept?
I read every book about sex written for teens that I could get my hands on. Some were outdated. Some were very judge-y and proscriptive. Most were heteronormative and non-inclusive. Even the best books were focused on specifics like methods of birth control, types of STIs, how to masturbate, and various kinds of sexual behavior. None talked in depth about how you know you are ready for sex or what it’s actually like to have sex, physically and emotionally. That was the gap my anthology was going to fill.
What steps did you take from idea to proposal?
I did quite a bit more research into topics such as: the state of sex ed in the US, the efficacy (or lack there of) of abstinence-based approaches, the importance of sex-positivity, the role of pornography in the sex lives of teens, gender fluidity, the spectrum of sexual identity, and the influence of media (traditional and social) on teen sexuality. After that, I worked hard to refine the overview of the anthology relative to the gap I perceived in the market. I recruited an author friend to write a sample essay and found subject area experts willing to be interviewed.
What was included in your proposal to your publisher?
Did you use an agent? If you didn’t use an agent, how did you find a publisher?
Funny story! I ran into Michelle McCann, an editor friend of mine on a soccer pitch. (Our boys were both playing.) She mentioned that she had recently started acquiring for Simon & Schuster and was looking for YA nonfiction on themes of body, mind, and spirit. I mentioned my anthology idea to her, and she pitched it to the acquisitions team based on our conversation. Once everyone was enthused, I hustled to get a proposal together. My agent, Fiona Kenshole, got involved at this point and was absolutely invaluable in getting us through the very difficult and protracted contract negotiation process.
How did you find your writers?
Since this was an anthology for teens, I started with YA authors who were already writing about sex in honest, realistic, and explicit ways. With these women, I had confidence that they knew the audience, knew the material, and were brave enough to share their own experiences. These writers helped me connect with others. When my author pool was still overwhelmingly white and straight, I put out a very targeted call for open submissions to several private Facebook groups, looking for women of color, transwomen, and queer women.
On reflection I really wish I had done this earlier. I feel good about the diversity in the collection (including three women of color, a transwoman, and six queer women), but it could have been better. Several women of color that had agreed to write for the collection had to back out at the last minute (two because of time constraints and one from nervousness about the topic). It was too late in the process for me to find alternatives. Also I really wish I had actively sought out disabled women writers. My advice for new anthologists is to start early and make finding diverse contributors a top priority.
How did writers pick their story or essay topic ideas? What process did you as editor use to vet them?
Other than the open submission call, I spoke with each potential contributor in advance and asked them to tell me their story. In this way, I could choose stories that expressed a range of experiences. I was also able to eliminate ones that definitely wouldn’t fit (usually because one of the sexual partners was under the legal age of consent or if the essay portrayed the sex as shameful). For most of the essays I did a lot of advance vetting because I didn’t want to commission an essay and then be forced to reject it.
As an editor, were you responsible for contracts between you and your writers? Did your publisher or agent handle the administrative/legal side of things?
All of the contributors entered into a contractual agreement with me. My literary agency helped write and execute those contracts. My publisher was responsible for registering the copyrights.
How did the editing process work between you and your writers?
Usually we began with a conversation and then did two to three pretty intensive rounds of revision. The most common revision comment that I gave was that the author needed to be more explicit in the descriptions of sex. Often the first drafts had detailed descriptions of the events and emotions that led up to the actual sex but then the essay would fade to black. For some authors it was incredibly hard to break that not-so-subtle taboo against talking about sex.
Money talk: how did you get paid for your work?
I received an advance on royalty contract.
How did your writers get paid?
I paid the writers out of my advance.
What role did you take on as editor of the anthology? Were you hands on? Hands off?
I was pretty much all grabby-hands. Honestly, my biggest mistake was being too hands on in the editorial progress. It was the first time I had ever edited other people’s work, and I was way too heavy-handed at first. My inexperience almost drove one contributor away. She was kind enough to allow me to start over with her piece. Another established author gently guided me toward a more effective editorial approach. It was hard to balance my vision for the overall collection with the needs of each contributor.
How did you communicate with your writers? What sort of information did you share with them and how?
After an initial phone call, we communicated via email and through track changes and comments within the manuscript. I shared some parts of the draft manuscript, specifically the introduction to the whole collection and the short intro for their essay. Otherwise, they didn’t see the other essays until post-publication.
Where and how did you decide to include your own work in the collection?
Well, someone had to go first! *GRIN* I don’t think I ever considered not including my work. I had something to say after all.
Where and how did you come to “direct” the anthology? Did you have an idea of how you wanted pieces to progress early on or did you wait until all pieces were available to you to begin constructing the collection?
I waited until I had all the pieces in place. Order was complicated. I must have rearranged the essays a dozen times. I tried to balance out the order of appearance for positive and negative as well as straight and queer. Sometimes essays were linked through common or opposing thematic elements so I ordered them to emphasize those similarities or differences. This is an area where my acquiring editor was incredibly helpful.
How involved was your editor/publisher throughout the creation process, prior to turning in a manuscript?
Since the acquiring editor was someone I know really well, we talked pretty frequently during the process. If there was a contribution I was on the fence about, we discussed it. If I had an editorial conundrum, she offered suggestions about how to handle it. She was crucial in figuring out how all the pieces of the collection fit together.
When the manuscript was a complete draft, what was the process when you passed it on to your editor/publisher?
My editor focused her efforts on the parts of the collection that I wrote rather than on the essays themselves. She had a few minor concerns (mostly legal ones), which I passed on to the contributors, but otherwise, the final form of the essays was the one that emerged from the author’s interaction with me.
How did you communicate changes and/or concerns between writer and your editor/publisher?
I was always the intermediary, sharing pertinent comments with each writer individually and personally. This was time consuming, but I never simply forwarded things on.
When it came to the package of your anthology, how much say did you have in the cover or design? How much were contributors involved in that part of the process?
I had a lot of input on the jacket copy (because I am pushy that way) but very little on the cover. The contributors weren’t involved in this part.
What was your favorite part of the anthology creation process?
My absolutely favorite thing was when a new essay from a contributor would show up in my inbox. It was magical to receive these intimate, profound, funny, delightful, and brilliant essays. I was blown away by the women who wrote for The V-Word.
What was your least favorite part?
There was behind-the-scenes, sausage making at the imprint, which was challenging. Anthologies have lots of moving parts, and in my case, there were quite a few people involved (including the publisher’s legal department). I had to be a very strong advocate for both my overall vision and for some of the more controversial essays.
What were some of the biggest lessons you as an editor learned in creating an anthology?
Editing other people’s writing, especially on tender topics, is very challenging. I wish I been a more sensitive and gentle editor. I came away with such appreciation for my own editors. The work they do is invaluable and also very hard. A brilliant editor is a gift to a writer.
What were some of the biggest successes?
I’m really proud of the book itself. It earned several starred reviews and was selected for lots of great end-of-year lists ( New York Public Library 50 Best Books for Teens 2016, Chicago Public Library Best Nonfiction for Teens 2016; ALA Rainbow List 2017, ALA Reluctant Reader List 2017, The Amelia Bloomer List 2017). I think it offers something to teen readers that they won’t find anywhere else. Its strength is in the honesty of each contributor. They are the superstars of this collection.
What, if any, anthologies did you read while putting together your own? What anthologies had you looked at to help you on your own work?
I read quite a few anthologies. For sexual content, I read Losing It. For structure, I read Zombies vs. Unicorns. For tone, I was going for Dear Sugar (not an anthology, but whatever).
If you aren’t already working on another anthology, would you do another one? Why/why not?
Honestly, the sales for The V-Word have been modest. Partially that’s content. Most schools won’t shelve it. Several public libraries have faced challenges (as in book banning challenges) for shelving it. But over and over again booksellers have commented that anthologies just don’t sell. Many bookstores struggle to know where to shelve anthologies. They are square pegs when it comes to typical YA categories.
I did this book because I believed (and still believe) that teens desperately needed it. I would definitely do the planned companion (essays by men about first-time sex) if the stars aligned, but I would go into the project with a more jaded eye. An anthology, in my opinion, is way more work than writing an entire book yourself, and if it is financially structured like mine (a fairly large advance out of which I paid contributors), it might never earn out. Anthologies just aren’t going to pay the rent.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I love this book. I love the women who contributed to it. They taught me many valuable lessons about life and writing and love and intimacy and being real. One of the best things to come out of my work on The V-Word is these enduring friendships with each of these super talented writer-humans. I’m very lucky.
“On The Radar” is a monthly series meant to highlight between 9 and 12 books per month to fit a budget of roughly $300 or less. These lists are curated from a larger spreadsheet I keep with a running list of titles hitting shelves and are meant to reflect not only the big books coming out from authors readers know and love, but it’s also meant to showcase some of the titles that have hit my radar through review copies, publicity blasts, or because they’re titles that might otherwise not be readily seen or picked up through those traditional avenues. It’s part science and part art.
Like with September’s list, I’ve had to cheat for October and go over my high range of 12 titles. October is a spectacularly busy publishing month, and sticking to 12 titles would mean primarily sticking to all of the names you are already aware of. I wanted to go a little bigger than that. These are all YA books with great buzz, great reviews, and/or are by tried-and-true authors that will always be shelf staples.
Book descriptions come from Goodreads. Titles are alphabetical, with pub dates beside them. Titles with a * in front of them are books that are starting or a continuation of a series. I did not include the reasons why these books are on the radar list this month, in part because they’re all either from well-known authors or have recently been in the news for earning various award/honor distinctions.
A year ago, Sunny Nwazue, an American-born girl Nigerian girl, was inducted into the secret Leopard Society. As she began to develop her magical powers, Sunny learned that she had been chosen to lead a dangerous mission to avert an apocalypse, brought about by the terrifying masquerade, Ekwensu. Now, stronger, feistier, and a bit older, Sunny is studying with her mentor Sugar Cream and struggling to unlock the secrets in her strange Nsibidi book.
Eventually, Sunny knows she must confront her destiny. With the support of her Leopard Society friends, Orlu, Chichi, and Sasha, and of her spirit face, Anyanwu, she will travel through worlds both visible and invisible to the mysteries town of Osisi, where she will fight a climactic battle to save humanity.
Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.
At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.
They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.
Sarah Jacqueline Crow and James Holt work in the vast maguey fields that span the bone-dry Southwest, a thirsty, infinite land that is both seductive and fearsome. In this rough, transient landscape, Sarah Jac and James have fallen in love. They’re tough and brave, and they have big dreams. Soon they will save up enough money to go east. But until then, they keep their heads down, their muscles tensed, and above all, their love secret.
When a horrible accident forces Sarah Jac and James to start over on a new, possibly cursed ranch called the Real Marvelous, the delicate balance they’ve found begins to give way. And James and Sarah Jac will have to pay a frighteningly high price for their love.
After battling a sleeping sickness, The Diviners are up against a group of new and malevolent foes–ghosts! Out in Ward’s Island sits a mental hospital full of lost souls from people long forgotten. Ghosts who have unusual and dangerous ties to the Man in the Stovepipe Hat also known as the King of Crows.
With terrible accounts of murder and possession flooding in from all over New York City, the Diviners must band together and brave the ghosts haunting the asylum to bring down the King of Crows.
Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them, a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua . . .
Justyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.
Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.
Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.
It’s a new day in the Empire. Tyrus has ascended to the throne with Nemesis by his side and now they can find a new way forward—one where they don’t have to hide or scheme or kill. One where creatures like Nemesis will be given worth and recognition, where science and information can be shared with everyone and not just the elite.
But having power isn’t the same thing as keeping it, and change isn’t always welcome. The ruling class, the Grandiloquy, has held control over planets and systems for centuries—and they are plotting to stop this teenage Emperor and Nemesis, who is considered nothing more than a creature and certainly not worthy of being Empress.
Nemesis will protect Tyrus at any cost. He is the love of her life, and they are partners in this new beginning. But she cannot protect him by being the killing machine she once was. She will have to prove the humanity that she’s found inside herself to the whole Empire—or she and Tyrus may lose more than just the throne. But if proving her humanity means that she and Tyrus must do inhuman things, is the fight worth the cost of winning it?
Being the middle child has its ups and downs.
But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—
Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.
And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.
Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?
Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.
Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.
But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.
Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.
But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?
Leah Westfall, her fiancé Jefferson, and her friends have become rich in the California Territory, thanks to Lee’s magical ability to sense precious gold. But their fortune has made them a target, and when a dangerous billionaire sets out to destroy them, Lee and her friends decide they’ve had enough—they will fight back with all their power and talents. Lee’s magic is continuing to strengthen and grow, but someone is on to her—someone who might have a bit of magic herself. The stakes are higher than ever as Lee and her friends hatch a daring scheme that could alter the California landscape forever. With a distinctive young heroine and a unique interpretation of American history, Into the Bright Unknown strikes a rich vein of romance, magic, and adventure, bringing the Gold Seer Trilogy to its epic conclusion. Includes a map and an author’s note.
Jess Wong is Angie Redmond’s best friend. And that’s the most important thing, even if Angie can’t see how Jess truly feels. Being the girl no one quite notices is OK with Jess anyway. While nobody notices her, she’s free to watch everyone else. But when Angie begins to fall for Margot Adams, a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess can see it coming a mile away. Suddenly her powers of observation are more curse than gift.
As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences.
When the inevitable darkness finally descends, Angie will need her best friend.
A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.
And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.
Who are the Nowhere Girls?
They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:
Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.
Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.
Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.
When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.
This is the story of a bear-hearted girl . . .
Sometimes, when a person dies, their spirit goes looking for somewhere to hide.
Some people have space within them, perfect for hiding.
Twelve-year-old Makepeace has learned to defend herself from the ghosts which try to possess her in the night, desperate for refuge, but one day a dreadful event causes her to drop her guard.
And now there’s a spirit inside her.
The spirit is wild, brutish and strong, and it may be her only defence when she is sent to live with her father’s rich and powerful ancestors. There is talk of civil war, and they need people like her to protect their dark and terrible family secret.
But as she plans her escape and heads out into a country torn apart by war, Makepeace must decide which is worse: possession – or death?
Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.
Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.
For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.
The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.
Over on Book Riot this week…