Review: Defy Me (Shatter Me, #5) by Tahereh Mafi - Jessica's Review


Title: Defy Me (Shatter Me, #5)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Hardcover, 352 Pages
Published April 2019


Summary: Juliette’s short tenure as the supreme commander of North America has been an utter disaster. When the children of the other world leaders show up on her doorstep, she wants nothing more than to turn to Warner for support and guidance. But he shatters her heart when he reveals that he’s been keeping secrets about her family and her identity from her—secrets that change everything. Juliette is devastated, and the darkness that’s always dwelled within her threatens to consume her. An explosive encounter with unexpected visitors might be enough to push her over the edge. 

As most of you know, we here at The Book Bratz have been huge fans of the Shatter Me series for the longest time. Seriously -- Aaron Warner is the #1 book boyfriend and we honestly fight over him all of the time because we love him so much. So when we found out that the series would get extended by three books, we were absolutely thrilled. So I just finished reading the 5th book in the series -- there's one more to go -- and I'm such an emotional, crying mess because of how incredible the story was, so I immediately hopped on my computer to write my review before I forgot about it. So without further ado, let's get into my review!

As the summary explains, at the end of Restore Me, we find out that Juliette is not who she seems. There is an entire world of secrets that she doesn't have access to, an entire life before she came into The Reestablishment, that she doesn't know about. And now she and all of her friends are being held captive, so they have to figure out how to get out of that while also finding a way to figure out all of the secrets and things that have been kept from them for so long.

You guys, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK. Seriously. This book has basically rocketed up to my #1 favorite book in a long time. I tore through the entire thing in roughly 24 hours because I couldn't put it down, always wanting to know what would happen next. There's literally so much that happens in this book, and so much information that you learn about The Reestablishment and all of the characters in the story. There are plenty of plot twists to keep the story moving, which is also part of the reason that I finished the book so quickly. This is also, to my knowledge, the shortest (or at least one of the shorter) books in the series, less than 360 pages, so it's pretty quick to get through. Which is great if you're looking for a gripping read, but super sad if you're like me and you don't want the story to end!

My favorite character in this book, as usual, was Warner. He's so fiercely loyal and defensive of Juliette/Ella that it just made my heart really fall in love with him and more and more. Without spoiling anything, all I'll say is that there are definitely some things that go down in this book that make me and Amber and Emily fight over him as our ideal book boyfriend, that's for sure!

(Minor spoilers here, skip to the next paragraph to avoid them!) My book was the B&N exclusive edition as well, so I got to read a steamy deleted scene between Aaron and Juliette, and also some files from The Reestablishment. So if you're trying to find a place to get a copy of the book, I'd recommend the B&N route if you're looking for some deleted scenes and cool files!

(***MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR SPOILERS HERE, PLEASE SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH TO AVOID THEM!***) Oh my god, okay, so we *have* to talk about the proposal thing because my little fangirl heart just can't take it. I've always told Amber and Emily that I really hoped they would get married one day, and the moment where Warner realized he wanted to marry Ella literally had me squealing and crying and clutching the book to my chest happily. And then when he actually proposed to her? Oh my god. OH MY GOD, MY HEART. I seriously cannot handle it. I seriously hope we get to see the wedding in the next book, because that would literally just send my happy little romantic heart into heaven. And the fact that it ended with a birthday party for Warner, on a happy note? I was just so shocked that our heart wasn't thrown into the blender at the last minute. Which *does* make me a little bit suspicious... 

Overall, I absolutely loved DEFY ME, and I'd 100% recommend you go read it as soon as possible. If this is a series that you haven't started yet, I seriously encourage giving it a shot, because I was never a huge sci-fan fan before this but this still became one of my absolute favorite series of all time. I'm anxiously awaiting the last book in the series (nooooooooooo!) to come out next year, and I know I'll be staining the pages with all of my tears because of all adorable and intense and emotional it's going to be. Hats off to Tahereh Mafi for once again destroying my heart with her amazing writing. I wish Aaron Warner was a real person so I could marry him -- don't tell my boyfriend that! But seriously guys, you NEED this book. For real. Right now. Which means stop reading this review and head over to Amazon. What are you waiting for?!



Adults in YA: Why We Still Read, Part 8


If you're an avid YA reader, there's no way you've escaped hearing about the stigma that surrounds the genre -- the fact that people who read YA even though they're older than the "targeted market" are often seen as immature, nostalgic, or stuck in their younger years. Recently, after our university newspaper posted an opinion piece in which the writer talked about how we all need to "read our age" -- meaning, basically, that we should break away from YA and focus on the classics such as Dickens -- we decided to send out a Tweet and ask if there were any other YA readers that were over 18 out there. Not to start trouble or stir up angry feelings, but just to see -- just how many "out of the age range" YA readers are there? Our Tweet was as follows:


SOS! 🗣 Do you read YA even though you’re 18+? If you do, please DM us or reply to this Tweet — we have a post idea, and we need your help! #replytweet

— The Book Bratz (@thebookbratz) March 14, 2019

Well, it's safe to say the response we got was absolutely overwhelming. We got nearly 1,000 people over the age of 18 who wanted to tell us why they still read YA even though they're past the "marketable" age-range for the genre. We had so many amazing responses that we wanted to take the time to share them all with you -- but since there are so many, it turns out that we had to make it a series! For 10 whole weeks, we're going to be sharing 10 reasons (100 in total!) why "older" YA readers stick with the genre, and why it's important to them. So without further ado, here are 10 readers above the age of 18 who explained to us why they still read YA:



YA stories are fast paced and well-thought out, covering topics and issues that adult novels sometimes shy away from but that are so important for society as a whole -- not just teenagers! And as an adult, I love going back and exploring the world from a teenage point of view -- it was a time of firsts, and important firsts at that, and if we forget about what it was like for us back then, we risk becoming less empathetic humans who forget the power and strength of young people. 
-@Angstygeek

Reading is meant to be fun and YA stories, like T. A. Barron's Merlin series or Frank Beddor's Looking Glass Wars or Anthony Horowitz's Stormbreaker, are just as entertaining as any grown-folk read (and sometimes more so). YA is also at the forefront of LGBT acceptance; just look at the success of Becky Albertalli's Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda and how meaningful it is. When was the last time an "adult" book touched that many lives? 
-@willvanstonejr

I'm 27-years-old and I still read YA because even as an adult, I still connect to young adult books. I'm drawn to them for their rich characters, or complex plots, or their nuanced treatments of serious subjects. Even though I'm not a teen anymore, YA deals with a lot of themes I can still relate to, like finding your voice and your place in the world. And as a bonus, I'm a teacher, so I can relate to my students over common reading material. 
-@yabytheway

I read YA for the same reason that I read any other book. Something (it's probably the cover, TBH!) about the book sends a spark into the reading part of my brain and makes me want to know more. Readers who dismiss YA books for whatever reason are really missing out on some amazing literature. YA encompasses everything that other genres have and sometimes more. If reading a book can bring you joy, then why should the fact it may be YA matter?  
-@albert_bowes

I'm 32, and I read YA. For me, it's not the nostalgia that draws me in -- I was never a princess or a fierce fae warrior. The characters' experiences are nothing like my own, but I read it for the escapism. It's so easy to find a character-driven adventure with a light or dark tone that hits the spot in YA! 
-@AmberR_Duell

I enjoy reading YA literature (even though I'm about to be 28 years old) because it's interesting. The adventures and magic that are a part of so many of these books draws me to them. The relatable story-lines and characters sometimes remind me of my life now and before when I was a bit younger. YA is just a broad genre that speaks to me more than other genres. I don't want to read adult romances and every nonfiction book that's just not for me. I like stories that make me use my imagination and give me that "movie in my mind."  
-@toomanybooks326

The reason why I still read Young Adult novels is because this genre got me into reading. I’ve tried reading books for “my age” and they don’t capture my attention like a YA novel. I feel like there is a sense of adventure and growing that you can really see in a young adult character. The story lines in each book seem to be much more diverse in terms of worlds to me as well. Just because you’re a certain age shouldn’t define what you're reading or your reading preference. 
-@felicia_32

I am no longer a young adult by any means, but I still read YA books. I find YA books often tell some of the most imaginative stories, and they so often feel very connected to the world as it is now. They explore current ideas, trends, prejudices and issues in ways that make them feel relevant and important. But most of all, there are so many YA authors out there writing excellent stories. 
-@notsotweets

I like YA novels, because it feels like they combine multiple genres within one book. With "adult" books, it's often the case that you either read something romantic or something serious or a mystery, while with YA you can find all of that in the same book. 
-@janneke_kocak

[I read YA] because it's the only place I remotely see myself represented. Also, I made friends through YA -- bloggers, authors, publicists, agents etc -- and I don't know how I could give that up. And yeah, sure, I read adult books too, but YA seems more sophisticated, thought out, and put together. There's more diversity, not just in race or religion, but also in general experiences, and I've gotten to understand life better by reading YA. 
-@AvidReaderBlog

What are your thoughts about reading YA past the "age-appropriate" market? If you have something else to add on this topic, feel free to comment down below and share your opinions! Also be on the lookout for another post next week, where we share even more thoughts from other 18+ YA readers!

Check Out The Previous Posts:

Part One
Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven


12 Of Our Favorite Beach Reads!


Summer is officially almost here, which means it's time to start getting ready for beach trips -- which, of course, involves bringing lots of books to pass the time in the sun. So today on the blog, we decided to highlight 12 of our favorite beach reads for you all to check out. Hopefully you find some new books for your TBR! We chose books that were so gripping that we could hardly put down, and had the perfect binge-reading vibes, filled with incredible characters and gripping stories to read while spending your day in the sun. So without further ado, here they are!


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So those are our 12 favorite beach reads -- some sweet and romantic, some dark and gripping, and everything in between! 

What are some of your favorite books to read at the beach? Comment down below and let us know!



Review: Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett


Title: Serious Moonlight
Author: Jenn Bennett
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 432 Pages
Published April 2019


Summary: After an awkward first encounter, Birdie and Daniel are forced to work together in a Seattle hotel where a famous author leads a mysterious and secluded life in this romantic contemporary novel from the author of Alex, Approximately. Mystery-book aficionado Birdie Lindberg has an overactive imagination. Raised in isolation and homeschooled by strict grandparents, she’s cultivated a whimsical fantasy life in which she plays the heroic detective and every stranger is a suspect. But her solitary world expands when she takes a job the summer before college, working the graveyard shift at a historic Seattle hotel. In her new job, Birdie hopes to blossom from introverted dreamer to brave pioneer, and gregarious Daniel Aoki volunteers to be her guide. The hotel’s charismatic young van driver shares the same nocturnal shift and patronizes the waterfront Moonlight Diner where she waits for the early morning ferry after work. Daniel also shares her appetite for intrigue, and he’s stumbled upon a real-life mystery: a famous reclusive writer—never before seen in public—might be secretly meeting someone at the hotel. To uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must come out of her shell…discovering that most confounding mystery of all may be her growing feelings for the elusive riddle that is Daniel.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, and I'm so glad I did, because I really enjoyed reading this one! I first heard about Jenn's writing when our Twitter friend Brooke reached out and told me that as a fan of YA contemporary romance, she was an author I should be paying attention to. She was even kind enough to buy me a copy of Alex, Approximately, and I knew from the minute I read the opening pages that I was going to be hooked for a lifetime. So, needless to say, when I was approached by the publisher asking if I wanted to review Serious Moonlight, I couldn't wait to jump on board! So without further ado, let's get into my review:

As the summary explains, Birdie is a lover of mysteries, and she's surprised when one falls right into her lap after she takes on a graveyard shift at a local hotel. Something else she isn't expecting to happen? Meeting Daniel, a boy full of secrets and elusive magic tricks. It's a summer for the books, and a lot of things come to light that she was never expecting to see.

This was honestly such a delightful read. Pretty much everyone I know is a fan of Jenn Bennett, and it was great just being able to gush over the story as I read it alongside some of my other blogger friends. As our friend Mo pointed out, it was so easy to get into Birdie's voice and fall in love with her story, even if it was sad at times. She's definitely a fascinating and hilarious narrator to follow around, that's for sure!

Something that I thought was really important that was covered in this book was the way sexuality is portrayed so unapologetically. Sex is definitely something that comes up a few times in this book, and the fact that there never seems to be a tone of regret -- not in terms of being a teen embracing her sexuality, although there are some other forms of potential regret that I won't spoil for you -- was just really inspiring to see on the page. Teen girls have sex. Sometimes they have a little of it, sometimes they have a lot of it -- sometimes they don't want to have any at all! As a reader, I was just really pleased to see the fact that Birdie didn't seem to face her sexuality with any sort of shame or disgust. It's definitely a sex-positive story, in my book! (See what I did there?)

Something else that I really loved about the book was the whole mystery-solving aspect. My dad has been a detective for over 25 years, so I've always been a lover of mysteries, and both following a mystery along in the novel while also seeing so many allusions to famous detectives and mystery stories was a treat. Plus, that live interactive Clue game -- how awesome! I wish I could've been a part of something awesome like that.

My favorite character in this story was definitely Aunt Mona, but Daniel was a close second! Aunt Mona was just so unapologetically herself, with her bold outfits and rash decisions and funny commentary. I basically saw her in my head as a young Christine Baranski, which made her character even funnier in my own head. Every time she was on the page, I loved how fiercely loyal and protective she was of Birdie, and also how hilarious she could be!

Another great thing I loved about this book was the setting. I haven't ever been to Seattle (or the West Coast) at all before, so I loved learning about it through Birdie's eyes. I loved all of the tourist attractions and the little diners and mom-and-pop shops. Jenn definitely does a great job of describing Seattle in a way that even readers who haven't ever been there can find themselves plopped right into the middle of the story. That's A+ writing, in my opinion!

Overall, I really enjoyed Serious Moonlight, and I'd definitely recommend it to anybody looking for a heartwarming, fascinating read that they can curl up with over a cup of tea. This book has it all -- romance, secrets, mystery, and adventure! -- so there's definitely lots to love. It's safe to say that I've officially found myself hooked on yet another Jenn Bennett book, and I'm so glad that Brooke reached out to me last year to recommend Alex, Approximately! Now if you'll excuse me -- it's time to add more of Jenn's books to my TBR!



Waiting On Wednesday: Reverie by Ryan La Sala


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read! 

This week Amber's waiting on... 

Title: Reverie
Author: Ryan La Sala 
Genre: Fantasy, LGBT
Publisher: Sourcebooks 
Publication Date: January 1st 2020

Summary: 
Inception meets The Magicians, except with better wigs and a maniacal drag queen sorceress attempting to unravel the reality of Connecticut (yes, the state) and replace it with something…well something better than Connecticut. Ryan La Sala’s debut fantasy is an #OwnVoices story following Kane Montgomery, a gay teenager piecing his life back together after an attack robs him of his memories. As Kane searches for who he was, he uncovers a war for the creative rights to reality itself, each battle played out in an imagined world turned real: a reverie. Reveries are worlds born from a person’s private fantasies, and once they manifest they can only be unraveled by bringing their conflicts to resolution. Reveries have rules and plots, magic and monsters, and one wrong step could twist the entire thing into a lethal, labyrinthine nightmare. Unraveling them is dangerous work, but it’s what Kane and The Others do. Or did, until one of The Others purged Kane of his memories. But now Kane is back, and solving the mystery of his betrayal is the only way to unite his team and defeat reality’s latest threat: Poesy, a sorceress bent on harvesting the reveries for their pure, imaginative power. But what use might a drag queen sorceress have with a menagerie of stolen reveries? And should Kane, a boy with no love for a team that betrayed him, fight to stop her, or defect to aid her? Reverie is about the seduction of escaping inwards, about the worlds we hide within ourselves, and the danger of dreams that come true.

2020 is going to start off with a bang with Reverie! I been eyeing this one for a while and I fell even more in love when I saw the cover. i already know from now that this is going to be a five star read! 



What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links so we can stop back! 

Blog Tour: The Path Keeper by N.J. Simmonds (Playlist & Competition!)


Music and writing go hand in hand like pen and paper. Words, mood, flow and pace carry the emotion of both books and songs, so it stands to reason that many people enjoy putting together a playlist for their favourite books.
When I started writing this guest blog, I intended to list all the songs that inspired me to write The Path Keeper. Then I changed my mind. Instead I asked those who had read ARCS of my first in a urban fantasy romance series and asked them to tell me the songs that the book reminded them of.

I was blown away by the response and the fantastic songs about I was sent!
Here is an 8-song playlist for The Path Keeper created by the perfect experts, ie those who enjoyed reading it, and why the song reminded them of the book. -N.J. Simmonds


“The lyrics and mood of this song sum up The Path Keeper perfectly. It’s romantic but mystical and dark, plus it’s all about longing and waiting and knowing they shouldn’t be together but can’t help it.”



“These lyrics about his search for her, and their fated love, really reminded me of Zac and Ella.”




“I know this was originally created for Twilight, which is nothing like The Path Keeper, but the themes of waiting for someone over a thousand years makes this so perfect for Zac.”




“She starts with ‘I should be over all the butterflies…but I’m into…and even after the worst nights, I’m still into you’. After all Zac goes through to be with her, it’s like the first time every time, lifetime after lifetime.”


“It’s about taking the good with the bad and carrying on. How love conquers everything.”



“This reminds me of the part when Ella thinks she’ll never see him again and makes a huge decision that sets in motion all sorts of disasters. How she thinks he’s all she has and can’t keep hoping for a miracle anymore.”


“This song reminds me of the part where Zac plays the guitar in Ella’s house and her mother goes crazy. She has just realised who he is and it’s killing her because her daughter will never understand how this boy is linked to them both.”


“Every single word of this song is about their love. The original video may be about mermaids, and Zac’s a totally different kind of forbidden being, but their love is just as impossible.”

The Path Keeper, N J Simmond’s older YA urban fantasy romance series set in London and Spain, is about forbidden love, fate and magic. It does carry a trigger warning and is a lot more mature in theme and content than lots of other YA books, so this is no fluffy romance. If you love these songs then check out the book out May 28!

About THE PATH KEEPER!:
Title: The Path Keeper
(The Indigo Chronicles #1)
Author: N.J. Simmonds
Genre: Fantasy
Publication Date: May 28th 2019
Summary: 
What if all our lives were mapped out before birth? Does anyone have the power to change their destiny? Ella hates London. She misses her old life in Spain and is struggling to get over her past—until she meets Zac. He’s always loved her but isn’t meant to be part of her story. Not this time. Not ever. Little does she know that his secret is the one thing that will tear them apart and force her to live in a world that no longer makes sense. A world full of danger, lies and magic. THE PATH KEEPER is a passionate tale of first loves, second chances and the invisible threads that bind us. Can love ever be stronger than fate?


Follow the Tour!  



About the Competition! 
Every blog tour in the blog has a letter. Collect them all to spell out the answer to this competition question: What does Zac get in the sequel SON OF SECRETS that's very out of character? Prize info and entry details will be posted in The Glass House Glass magazine on release day 28 May 2019. Check out today's letter and competition graphic below.


      

Review: The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Title: The Priory of the Orange Tree
Author: Samantha Shannon
Genre: Adult, Fantasy 
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: February 26th 2019
eBook, 848 Pages

Summary: 
A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens. The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door. Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic. Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel. Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

I took me a while to get through this one. I originally received a copy of The Priory of the Orange Tree at BookExpo in 2018 and I was super excited to start it. In August my family was taking a road trip to move my sister into college and it was a 9+ hour ride there so I figured it was the perfect time to read this beauty. Sadly I struggled with it and I think it was mainly intimidation of seeing that I read what seemed like so much, but had so much more to go. After The Priory if the Orange Tree was released I bought a copy for my kindle and found it a lot easier to read. This time I finished and I adore this book and every character in it. (Except Niclays, I just don't like him. *Shrugs*)

No woman should be made to fear that she was not enough.

The Priory of the Orange Tree is not a Young Adult novel. The characters range from 19 and one character being 64. Though the characters are older I found Priory to read as a young adult novel would. I didn't find it to be too graphic content wise. Naturally there is blood and murder, but nothing too to an extreme. Sexual content wise there is when slightly detailed sex scene, but there plenty of those in upper YA novels. If you are going to recommend this as Young Adult to a reader, I would definitely say it is for more upper YA readers. But again, Priory is categorized as an adult novel. 

Priory is complicated to talk about with out ruining bits of it. I think the world building is fabulously done. Shannon didn't waste a page to describe this lush world. The different cultures, traditions, regions and species. From the Queendom to the Dragon Riders, Shannon made it as if I was standing beside this characters in their journey. In the beginning Priory is overwhelming, there are a lot of names and places being mention but until I got the hang of it, and after I did, the story is easy to follow. Its broke up into four POVs. Ead, Tane, Loth and Niclays. I do wish we got a point of view from Sabran, she is one of my favorite characters in the novel and I loved her story and the complexity of it. All characters face their own battles as the Nameless One looms on the horizon, but can people from radically different parts of the world come together to save the world? 

“In darkness, we are naked. Our truest selves. Night is when fear comes to us at its fullest, when we have no way to fight it,” Ead continued. “It will do everything it can to seep inside you. Sometimes it may succeed—but never think that you are the night.”

Overall Priory is an intimidating book to dive into but with its beautiful writing and complex characters you'll soon be enthralled by the tale. I hope Shannon revisits this world again eventually, where 800 pages was a lot, it also felt too short for these characters. I would love more. Especially of Ead and Sabran. 


Debut '19 Interview: Kat Cho & Wicked Fox

In 2019 our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and spread the word about their debut novels. Follow us this year as we pick the mind of the 2019 debuts and chat with them. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, twitter chats and more! 

About Kat!

Kat Cho used to hide books under the bathroom sink and then sneak in there to read after bedtime. Her parents pretended not to know. This helped when she decided to write a dinosaur time-travel novel at the tender age of nine. Sadly, that book was not published. She currently lives and works in NYC and spends her free time trying to figure out what kind of puppy to adopt. Kat’s YA contemporary fantasy debut, Wicked Fox, comes out with Putnam Books for Young Readers/Penguin in summer 2019.

Keep up with Kat: Website / Twitter / Instagram 



Interview! 

The Book Bratz: How does it feel that WICKED FOX is debuting this year?
Kat:  It feels so surreal! I've been working on WICKED FOX since early 2015, so it's been over four years of writing and revising this story. So, now thinking that it will be in the hands of readers makes me feel so nervous and excited at the same time!

The Book Bratz: Where did your idea for WICKED FOX come from?
Kat:  Set in Modern-Day Seoul, Miyoung is a gumiho--a 9-tailed fox that must kill to survive--she lives by keeping under the radar until the day she saves a human boy from a dokkaebi (Korean goblin) and exposes her secret. Now she must navigate a new unlikely friendship-turned-romance and figure out if immortality is worth killing for.
The Book Bratz: Where did your inspiration for WICKED FOX come from?
Kat:  It came from multiple places. I have always loved the idea of exploring morally gray areas when an immortal creature must kill to survive, but so often it was the boy character and set in a Western world. Because I grew up hearing some Korean myths, the story of the gumiho was familiar to me. But, of course, the stories were about foxes who lived in secluded mountain homes and preyed on travelers that no one would miss (or they'd just assume they died while climbing the mountain as people could do back in the day). But take a predator like that and put them in a time period where no one travels by foot across mountains anymore, how would they evolve to survive? I imagined that they would go where the most prey are and use the crowded city of Seoul to hide in plain sight. I also gained a lot of inspiration from Korean dramas with contain tropes that overlap a lot with YA. Things like finding your identity, creating relationships and the struggles we go through to maintain those relationships. There are also really cute moments that aren't necessarily romantic based that I really enjoy in K-dramas (which I tried to capture through Jihoon's friendships and through the interactions with his grandmother)

The Book Bratz: Is there anything from your personal life that you used as inspiration in WICKED FOX?
Kat:  I definitely used my own upbringing in a Korean household to explore what family means to both of my main characters. To want to live up to your parents' expectations is a big aspect of Korean culture. There is a concept of Korean filial piety (e.g. being beholden to your elders and being dutiful to what they expect) that exists even in diaspora homes. For me that meant pursuing medicine throughout college and right after before I found writing again. And for Miyoung, in order to be a good daughter, she must meet her mother's expectations. And Miyoung's mother expects her to kill (without question) to survive. I wondered how her duty to her mother would war with her own guilt over taking lives so she could live and I tried to explore that in WICKED FOX.
The Book Bratz: Can you share a secret about WICKED FOX that not many people know yet?
Kat: Jihoon's dog is named after a K-pop idol.

The Book Bratz:   If you had to create Twitter or Instagram handles for your characters, what would they be?

Kat: I guess Jihoon's would be GamerKing2001 (cause he loves gaming and he was born in 2001, give or take a year) Miyoung would NOT have social media because that could get her too much attention (which she hates.)

The Book Bratz: Do you have any ideas you plan to visit after WICKED FOX?
Kat:  Well, there's the sequel to WICKED FOX, where I will definitely use more mythology (this time it'll be concentrating a bit on dokkaebi). And then I have an idea for a contemporary fantasy with a Korean American protagonist, it'll have a lot of Manhwa/webcomic influences (which is another story-telling medium I adore).

About Wicked Fox!
Title: Wicked Fox (Gumiho #1)
Author: Kat Cho 
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 25th 2019
Buy The Pioneer: Amazon / B&N / Indie Bound / Book Depository 
Summary: A fresh and addictive fantasy-romance set in modern-day Seoul. Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret--she's a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt. But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead--her gumiho soul--in the process. Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl--he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He's drawn to her anyway. With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon's.

Thank you so much Kat for stopping by and answering our burning questions! We are super excited for WICKED FOX and can't wait for everyone else to dive into this story!