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Pub Day Shout-Outs! for November 3, 2020 featuring Meyer, Cardenas, and Davis

by Ashley Dickson-Ellison (@teachingtheapocalypse)

Here are three books coming out today that I'm excited to read!

Book Cover of Marissa Meyer's Instant Karma

Marissa Meyer's Instant Karma

Description from Publisher:

"In New York Times bestselling author Marissa Meyer's young adult contemporary romance, a girl is suddenly gifted with the ability to cast instant karma on those around her – both good and bad.

"Chronic overachiever Prudence Daniels is always quick to cast judgment on the lazy, rude, and arrogant residents of her coastal town. Her dreams of karmic justice are fulfilled when, after a night out with her friends, she wakes up with the sudden ability to cast instant karma on those around her.

"Pru giddily makes use of the power, punishing everyone from public vandals to mean gossips, but there is one person on whom her powers consistently backfire: Quint Erickson, her slacker of a lab partner. Quint is annoyingly cute and impressively noble, especially when it comes to his work with the rescue center for local sea animals.

"When Pru resigns herself to working at the rescue center for extra credit, she begins to uncover truths about baby otters, environmental upheaval, and romantic crossed signals―not necessarily in that order. Her newfound karmic insights reveal how thin the line is between virtue and vanity, generosity and greed . . . love and hate . . . and fate."

Why I want to read it: The Lunar Chronicles is one of my all-time favorite YA fantasy series, and I am here for anything Meyer writes! (Try Cinder if you're wanting to get started with that series!) I love that she's writing in a different genre with this one. Plus, Jen already read this one and said how much she loved it (see her review here!), so that makes me even more excited!


Mauro Javier Cárdena's Aphasia

Description from Publisher:

"Mauro Javier Cárdenas, the critically-acclaimed author of The Revolutionaries Try Again―'an original, insubordinate novel' (New York Times)―pens a profound story of literature about a man coming to terms with his dysfunctional Colombian family, as well as his own behavior, as an immigrant in America.

"Antonio wants to avoid thinking about his sister―even though he knows he won’t be able to avoid thinking about his sister―because his sister is on the run after allegedly threatening to shoot her neighbors, and has been claiming that Antonio, Obama, the Pentagon, and their mother are all conspiring against her. Nevertheless, Antonio is going to try his best to be as avoidant as possible, because he worries that what’s been happening to his sister might somehow infect his relatively contented, ordered American life, and destabilize the precarious arrangement with his ex-wife that’s allowed him to stay close to his two daughters.

"In fact, he’s busy doing everything except facing his problems head-on: transcribing recordings of his mother speaking about their troubled life in Colombia, transcribing recordings of his ex-wife speaking about her idyllic life in the Czech Republic; writing about former girlfriends whose words and deeds still recur in his mind; rereading stories by American writers that allow him to skirt the subject of his sister’s state of mind without completely destroying his own.

"Written in long, unravelling sentences that accommodate all the detritus of thought―scenes real and imagined, headphones and heartache, Toblerones and Thomas Bernhard―Aphasia captures the immensity of the present moment as well as the pain of the past. It cements Mauro Javier Cárdenas’s place as one of the most innovative and extraordinary novelists working today."

Why I want to read it: I was captivated by this cover (which reminded me of one of my favorite poems) and then was so intrigued by this complicated premise. I love stories that examine the experience of immigration, and I especially loved the description above stating the way the novel "captures the immensity of the present moment as well as the pain of the past." It certainly got my attention!

Book Cover of Tanita S. Davis's Serena Says

Tanita S. Davis's Serena Says

Description from Publisher:

"Award-winning author Tanita S. Davis delivers a heartwarming and humorous middle grade tale about a young Black girl who finds her own voice through vlogging and learns to speak out. Perfect for fans for Sharon M. Draper and Lisa Greenwald.

"JC shines like a 4th of July sparkler. She has the best ideas, the biggest, funniest laugh, and the party starts when she arrives. Serena St. John is proud to be known as her best friend.

"Everything changes when JC returns from the hospital with a new kidney—and a new best friend. Out of the spotlight of JC’s friendship, suddenly things aren’t quite so sparkly in Serena’s world.

L"onely Serena works on perfecting her vlogs, hoping to earn a shot at becoming a classroom reporter. If she can be smart and funny on video, why can’t she manage that in real life? If only she could always pause, edit, or delete conversations. It would be so much easier to say the right thing at the right time . . . instead of not saying what she should, or, even worse, blurting out a secret that wasn’t hers to share.

"Life doesn’t have a pause button—but as Serena discovers her voice through vlogging, she learns that she’s not just there to reflect JC’s light—she’s fully capable of shining on her own."

Why I want to read it: I love this premise and the connection between vlogging and real life. I recently read and loved Henna Khan's Amina's Voice (be on the lookout for a review of that one on Friday, and it was also featured in our read aloud episode!), and this one sounds like it touches on some of the same themes of struggling to find oneself when relationships with friends change. And I love books that feature kids using technology and social media in positive ways!


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Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.

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