Hello lovely readers! This week we have a few great events. You can check out our side bar to keep up with events in the SF Bay Area, or you can check out this post that has all the events for the upcoming few months.  As always we highly recommend verifying all events prior to attendance because life happens and that can mean changes or cancellations. We plan on attending some events and hope to see you there. Don't be shy, make sure to say hello. We love to talk about everything books and more.

You can always catch us tweeting about the events we attend on Twitter 
@Ravenousreadr & @DiamondXGirl 

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Monday, September 26 @ 7pm

Copperfield's in Santa Rosa
Tuesday, September 27 @7pm

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Wednesday, September 28 @ 7pm

DAVID ARNOLD in conversation with JANDY NELSON

Books Inc. in Palo Alto
Wednesday, September 28 @ 7pm

The Ones
by Daniel Sweren-Becker
Published: September 6th 2016
Publisher: Imprint
Source: Audible
Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Cody has always been proud of being a One. She and her boyfriend James were two of the lucky babies from the 1% of the U.S. population that were randomly selected to benefit from genetic engineering. Now, she and the rest of The Ones are excelling. They are healthy, beautiful, and talented. They aren't otherworldly, just perfect. And to some, that's not fair. The Equality Movement, capitalizing on the growing fear and jealousy, gains political traction and actually outlaws their existence. Society shows its darker side as The Ones are marginalized. The line between right and wrong blurs in the face of injustice and Cody becomes closer to a group of radical Ones intent on fighting back. James begins to fear just how far she is willing to go for the cause.
My Thoughts 

I moved this book to the top of my TBR because I love sci-fi and the concept of X-Men. I finished this book in a day because it's thought provoking and very well a possibility in our [not too distant] future. 

It is not impossible to think of the day when we can genetically screen out and engineer embryos. A lot of people wish for this day when they think about all of the negative outcomes of genetics. But what if we not only eliminated the negative outcomes but also all the average ones, too? Right now we live in a world where we accept luck and fate and chance (and hard work, of course) when it comes to intelligence and physical abilities but if certain people were bred to be better? I've seen this show before and Dark Angel wasn't pretty (ok, the Jensen Ackles parts were). 
Let’s be clear: while genetic engineering might one day become so common no one blinks at its use, the transition to that era is going to be fraught with controversy. The first generation of genetically engineered babies is going to have a tremendous advantage over their peers. Of course, there’s also the chance they will engender a tremendous amount of resentment.
Now imagine these were the people who got jobs before us average Janes and Joes. If they didn't really have to try at school or they got the guy/girl because they have the best of the physical traits. You can see how this would become a problem and how people might turn on them. There's been so much unrest with Dolly and anything related to genetics! 

The author, Daniel Sweren-Becker, talks extensively about how he came to write such a book. "History tells us that when a powerless minority provokes fear in the majority there are usually tragic consequences," he points out. This subject is especially dear to me because I once majored in biology, with my intent to go into genetics counseling (aka the person you talk to when you're worried your genetics might produce an offspring with undesirable outcomes). 

The Ones is a book that'll keep you guessing till the end, with a few twists in there. If you're looking for a sci-fi read this fall, I highly recommend this one! 

#LeaveMe | September 15th, 2016

Gayle Forman found way to turn a lice epidemic into an equally empathetic and heartwarming story that will engage adult and YA readers alike. 

Adulting. Eventually we all have to do it and at some point, you'll wish you could run away from it. So when we had the chance to hear Gayle Forman speak about how she turned that experience into a relatable story, we had to be there. Right before release, we reviewed Leave Me, a novel slightly outside our YA comfort zone. Today we are here to share how Gayle's accompanying tour brought equal feels and some deep thinking about the changing pressures on women in today's society.

Moderating the discussion, YA author Jandy Nelson shared her reading experience with the audience. "I don't often have an experience where the book has felt even more than my own life. From the first page to the last, I was hooked and stayed up reading till 4am," Jandy illustrated. She went on to ask how a book about escape was different for Gayle, considering writing is her escape mechanism. "It was more like a revenge fantasy! I was on vacation, googling 'heart attack symptoms' because I was having chest pains. When I came home and saw the cardiologist, I wondered, 'What if I have to have this brutal surgery? Who will take care of the kids?' I'm the default parent. Who would take care of me? So I wrote 30 pages of a book about a woman who runs away from it all," Gayle shared.

On the differences in writing adult versus YA, Gayle had to distance herself from Maribeth so she wrote it in the third person (though she aligned with Adam from Where She Went). Jandy expressed that she had hoped for more sex, since this is an adult novel!
"If I Stay was very much me writing about being young and falling in love. Leave Me is the middle aged love story," Gayle shared, "I get accused of happy endings but I put my characters through a lot in the beginning!" Gayle expected people to hate Maribeth - and some did - but wonders why Maribeth wasn't able to go away and get people's understanding of what brings her to that point. The pair likened it to Hilary's recent health crisis and the way people responded - it's what women do. 

As for what's next, she couldn't say much but it is an YA novel. You can pick up most of Gayle's collection of books (plus Jandy's) to break your heart and put it back together again, which is available now (signed!) at Books, Inc

A few months ago, Gretchen McNeil tweeted about her author friend, Tracey Martin, who has an upcoming YA contemporary. Never ones to sleep on new books, we immediately checked it out!

We are here today to unveil the cover for all of you.

by Tracey Martin
Published: October 24th 2016
Publisher: Leap

Sometimes when you lose control, you find yourself.

It took ten seconds for Gabrielle to skid on a patch of black ice. Ten seconds to wreck her car and her back. Ten seconds to ruin her Olympic dreams. 

Ten seconds to kill her younger sister. 

Eight months later, Gabrielle’s haunted by guilt, dependent on drugs to numb her pain and alcohol to numb her brain. Then Erik Tennyson crashes into her. Soon Gabrielle’s immersed in the ghostly legend surrounding the Tennyson orchard, convinced that her sister is linked to its mysterious origins. If she can just discover the truth, maybe she can put her sister's spirit to rest. But as Gabrielle grows closer to Erik, her world skids out of control once more. Instead of appeasing the dead, she starts remembering how to live.
Yeah, it's pretty dang gorgeous. The premise reminds us of For This Life Only (which we LOVED). Hold tight for upcoming reviews...We are so excited to read it! 

Tracey Martin wanted to be an astronaut, a doctor, and an actor, possibly all at once. Instead, she studied psychology, and that led her to have an epiphany–imaginary people are way more fun than real ones. And so she became a writer.

She likes her coffee simple, her music epic, and her movies to contain explosions. A city girl at heart, she doesn’t understand how she and her husband ended up living in New Hampshire, but writing keeps her off the mean, small town streets.

Although she considers herself a hermit, she’s a friendly one. You can find her online at TA_Martin and on her website.

Welcome to Day #4 of the Die Young With Me Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of Die Young With Me by Rob Rufus (9/20/16), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Rob and 10 chances to win a copy of Die Young With Me, as well as two chances to win a Punk Rock Prize Pack in the Grand Prize Giveaway!

Die Young With Me Mixtape by Rob Rufus

When I was a kid, I loved making mixtapes.  No, my young readers, not Spotify playlists or burnt CDs – mixtapes.  This was a chore, a project, a damn art!  You had to pick the perfect songs for the vibe of the mix, you had to stick on the label evenly over the holes, you had to give it an amazing title and sync it up just right, pressing the buttons of your duel cassette stereo like you were writing a testimonial – which, in a way, you were.

Because talking about feelings sucks.  It’s hard enough as an adult, but as a teenager…forget about it.  The best way to express your feelings is to let someone else do it for you – especially when they can do it with a catchy hook.  So, in memory of the mixtape (RIP), here is a mix of songs that bring me back to the rose-tinted jams of my youth.

As a teenage cancer survivor punk rocker skateboarding loser, making a teen mix is a little complicated.  But dig it – whether songs about the hospital (“Paper Thin”) or songs about fitting in (“Cool Kids”), all these songs have an underlying theme of “screw it.”  Because, sick or not, I was still a kid, and I couldn’t grasp the reality of mortality.  Moreover, I didn’t care.  As River City Rebels so eloquently put it – life’s a drag, life’s a drag, why wait!  LETS SKATE!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot – the amazing title.  Hm, how about we go with this:


Stop by A Dream Within a Dream tomorrow for the next stop on the tour!
Blog Tour Schedule:

September 19th - Mundie Moms
September 20th – BookHounds
September 21st – PageTurners
September 22nd – The Ravenous Reader <--That's us! 
September 23rd – A Dream Within a Dream
September 26th – Positively Book Crazy
September 27th – Crossroad Reviews
September 28th – Book Briefs
September 29th – Addicted 2 Novels
September 30th – Once Upon A Twilight

by Rob Rufus
Published: September 20th 2016
Publisher: Touchstone
Source: Publisher
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 

Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Add on Goodreads

In the tradition of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl comes the incredibly moving true story of a teenager diagnosed with cancer and how music was the one thing that helped him get through his darkest days.

Punk’s not dead in rural West Virginia. In fact, it blares constantly from the basement of Rob and Nat Rufus—identical twin brothers with spiked hair, black leather jackets, and the most kick-ass record collection in Appalachia. To them, school (and pretty much everything else) sucks. But what can you expect when you’re the only punks in town?

When the brothers start their own band, their lives begin to change: they meet friends, they attract girls, and they finally get invited to join a national tour and get out of their rat box little town.

But their plans are cut short when Rob is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that has already progressed to Stage Four. Not only are his dreams of punk rock stardom completely shredded, there is a very real threat that this is one battle that can’t be won.

While Rob suffers through nightmarish treatments and debilitating surgery, Nat continues on their band’s road to success alone. But as Rob’s life diverges from his brother’s, he learns to find strength within himself and through his music.Die Young With Me is a raw, honest account of a brave teen’s fight with cancer and the many ways music helped him cope through his recovery.

My Thoughts 

This year, I vowed to find non-fiction that caught my attention, as it's a genre I don't pick up, like, ever. After reading Being Jazz, I waited patiently for the next non-fiction book to drop into my lap. Folks, here it is in all its 5 star glory.

Die Young with Me is basically everything I want in a book and so much more. I am a huge huge fan of alternative music, huge fan of books I can't put down, and huge fan of books that leave me a little teary at the end. Die Young with Me wrapped all those up in a not-so-neat (because cancer sucks) bow. 

I knew this book was going to be a tearjerker but that it would have somewhat of a happy ending. I mean, Rob lived through cancer in his teenage years; he's here to tell his story. What got to me is how big of a role music played in that. Through the whole book, I was texting my best friend, who is as big of a music geek as I am, about how relatable his teenage experience is and how kids can find empathy and a little piece of themselves in the book.
[Quote from her side of our text convo]: Seriously... We talk about how everyone "likes" music, but it's not a priority to everyone, that's what makes the difference between people like us and others.
This isn't just Rob's story but his transformation through his teenage years and also the transformation his family and friends went through as he became sick and well again - and his journey through music. I love that he included things like the mixtape he made for his girlfriend and how he held nothing back. This is a story of hope but it's a realistic story with all the nitty-gritty details about both the teenage and cancer experience. We even got a little update on all the people in the book, a written version of VH1's "Where Are They Now?".  I also appreciate that there aren't a lot of books written from the male perspective on teenage love and this one brings an additional voice. If I didn't know this book was non-fiction, I would have thought it was contemporary novel. That says a lot about the writing and how compelling the story is, I think.

For those of us who are into the punk/counter culture movement and lived our teen years in the late 90s/00s, you might recognize the Blacklist Royals, Rob's band, as they played a few dates on the 2001 Warped Tour. I squealed a little when Rob spoke of their letter from Kevin Lyman. On top of all the Warped Tour and Punk Isn't Dead playlists on my Spotify account, I added the official Die Young With Me playlist AND followed Blacklist Royals. Really digging their sound and so glad the book exposed them to me. 

Catch an excerpt from the book over at our friends, The Fandom, and be sure to pick up Die Young With Me, in stores now!
Rob Rufus is a musician and writer living in Nashville. His band, Blacklist Royals, has released two full-length albums and played in sixteen countries over the past five years. Rob has written articles for Modern Drummer, Amp Magazine, Digital Tour Bus, and many music sites. Rob also works closely with the cancer community, including the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Stupid Cancer Podcast (the largest advocacy/support organization worldwide for teens with cancer), and Make-A-Wish Foundation. You can find him online at robrufus.net, on Twitter @rob_rufus, and Instagram @dieyoungwithme_official.


We have two giveaways for you today! One for a huge grand prize pack and another for for one finished copy of the book. Be sure to enter both for the ultimate chance to win!

Grand Prize Pack

  • Two (2) winners will receive a Punk Rock Prize Pack featuring a finished copy of Die Young With Me, an exclusive poster, a mix tape (ft. an excerpt of the book), Die Young With Me switchback comb (not pictured), and Rob Rufus punk rock vinyls 
  • Enter via the rafflecopter below 
  • US Only 
  • Ends 10/2 at midnight ET
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Small Prize Pack

Shadows and Dreams (ReMade Season 1 Episode 2)
by Andrea Phillips
Published: September 21st 2016
Publisher: Serial Box
Source: Publisher 
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

You live. You love. You die. Now RUN. ReMade.

Every minute, 108 people die.
On October 14th, 2016, from 9:31-9:32 p.m. EDT, 23 of those deaths will be teenagers.
Now they are humanity’s last hope for survival.

Awakened in a post-apocalyptic world and hunted by mechanical horrors, these teens search for answers amidst the ruins of civilization. Fate, love, and loyalty face off in this adrenaline -pumping YA adventure.

ReMade will unfold in 15 episodes.

May likes being in control: with an obsessive drive to succeed and her aim set on Harvard, she knows how to keep her life on course. Plucked from her whirlwind of tests and achievement charts, and dropped into a world where civilization itself has crumbled, she wants more than just answers. But living with deadly allergies means you’re always on the razor edge – one peanut, one bee sting, one toe out of line could be your downfall, and nobody wants to die twice.
My Thoughts

The #ReMade trailer is AWESOME.

A few weeks ago, we shared the ins and outs of Serial Box and Remade. Then we unveiled the covers for the upcoming episodes. Last week, we reviewed S01E01. Come back weekly for ongoing reviews of your new favorite way to consume YA fiction.

I'm always amazed at a comic book's ability to tell a story in a few short pages - and now I'm completely awed by the ability of this team of writers to do just the same...and without graphics. When you only have 39 pages to suck a reader in and keep them guessing for a whole dang week, well, best of luck to you. It's no short feat in the YA world.

But it isn't luck that's keeping my attention; it's the curiosity and characters that have me coming back weekly. Space elevators? Giant alien spiders? Zombie (?) teens? What in the heck is going on here? Episode two opens where episode one left off, with Holden and Seyah jamming the elevator and coming across another group of teens. They're all wondering what is going on - and were they dead? Because that's what they last remember

What I love about this story is how intentional everything is, including the cast of characters. When I mentioned that to Andrea, she shared how important it was to the group of authors to develop a diverse cast. These are real teens, not the white washed group that is far too often pervasive in YA. They have to find a way to work together, including May, the main character in this story, who is allergic to everything and unsure of where her next meal will come from.

Some of the authors held a text chat last week, where they talked about the process of ReMade and gave away a few little tidbits of the story. They also answered our question about what they want all of YOU to know about the series and its characters. You can find the full chat hereAll our Owlcrate friends received a ReMade sampler in their September box. Tell us in the comments what you thought of it! 

The entire season is available in e-book and audio for $21.99 on the Serial Box website or app. Come back next week so we can discuss! 

Jill over at Breaking the Spine started this and I believe that it's awesome" This blog post is to alert those that visit about "the" book that we cannot wait to get our hands on.


This week's WoW is the upcoming novel BLACKSOULS by Nicole Castroman. It is the sequel novel to BLACKHEARTS, that was pretty amazing. I love Pirates so this book called to me like the Siren of the seas and I was so very glad that I read it. It's always refreshing to read a book that has different characters that your used to but that you quickly come to adore. So hurry up! BLACKSOULS and come into my eager hands. I have Rum, let's be friends. 

Blackhearts, Book #2
by Nicole Castroman 
Simon Pulse
Read an excerpt 

Nicole Castroman brings the dangerous pirate ports of the Caribbean to life in this vibrant sequel to Blackhearts—the reimagined origin story of history’s most infamous pirate, Blackbeard.

Edward “Teach” Drummond is setting sail to the Caribbean as first mate on the most celebrated merchant ship in the British fleet—until he rebels against his captain. Mutiny is a capital offense and Teach knows it could cost him his life, but he believes it worth the risk in order to save his crew from the attacking Spanish ships.

Book #1

Sailing on the same blue waters, Anne barely avoids the Spanish attack, making it safely to Nassau. But lawless criminals, corrupt politics, and dangerous intentions fill the crowded streets of this Caribbean port. Soon, Anne discovers that the man entrusted to keep the peace is quite possibly the most treacherous of them all—and he just happens to hold Teach’s fate in his terrifying hands.

Life and death hang in the balance when Teach and Anne are given a dangerous mission. It’s a mission that will test their love, loyalty and devotion, forcing them down a path neither one could have ever imagined. 


Earlier this week, I met author Kristin Elizabeth Clark, who not only writes YA books but is a bookseller at one of our local indie bookstores. She shared her upcoming YA novel, Jess, Chunk, and the Road to Infinity, with such enthusiasm that I couldn't resist looking it up...And promptly requesting it on NetGalley. Fingers crossed!

by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
 Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Out November 8th 2016

The last time Jess saw her father, she was a boy. Now she's a high school graduate, soon to be on her way to art school. But first she has some unfinished business with her dad. So she's driving halfway across the country to his wedding. He happens to be marrying her mom's ex-best friend. It's not like Jess wasn't invited; she was. She just never told anyone she was coming. Surprise!

Luckily, Jess isn't making this trip alone. Her best friend, Christophe-nicknamed Chunk-is joining her. 

Along the way, Jess and Chunk learn a few things about themselves-and each other-which call their feelings about their relationship into question.

“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

The Ravenous Readers

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We are avid readers from Northern California and if you are a publisher and would like to have your YOUNG ADULT or NEW ADULT book reviewed, please email us. We accept ARCs, as well as books that have already been released. We are also more than happy to do author interviews, guest posts, and contests to promote your book as long as they are in the Young and New Adult genre. Please check our review policy prior to sending me an email, thank you. talesoftheravenousreader

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Upcoming YA Bay Area Book Events

We have compiled all the SF, bay area YA events in this section. If you know of any events that we have failed to post, please let us know. Also, please keep in mind that some events may change and it is always best to verify any event prior to attendance.


Kepler's in Menlo Park
Monday, September 26 @ 7pm

Copperfield's in Santa Rosa
Tuesday, September 27 @7pm

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Wednesday, September 28 @ 7pm

DAVID ARNOLD in conversation with JANDY NELSON

Books Inc. in Palo Alto
Wednesday, September 28 @ 7pm



Linden Tree Books in Lost Altos
Sunday, October 2 @ 4pm
(there are very specific rules for this event so please visit the link and check it out beforehand)

Hicklebee's in San Jose
Sunday, October 2 @ 4pm


Kepler's hosted event at Redwood Shores Library
Wednesday, October 5 @ 7pm

Hicklebee's in San Jose
Wednesday, October 5 @ 3pm

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Monday, October 10 @ 7pm

The Sports Basement in San Francisco
Thursday, October 13 @ 7pm

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Friday, October 14 time TBA

Borderlands Books in San Francisco
Sunday, October 16 @ 3pm

Mrs. Dalloway's North Branch of the Berkeley Public Library
Tuesday, October 18 @ 6:30

Hicklebee's in San Jose
Tuesday, October 18 @ 7pm


Kepler's in Menlo Park
Wednesday, October 19 @ 7pm

A Great Good Place For Books
Friday, October 21 @ 7pm


NYMBC event Books Inc. in San Francisco
Saturday, October 22 @ 2pm


Hicklebees's in San Jose
Saturday, October 21 @ 7pm

Books Inc. Laurel Village in San Francisco
Tuesday, October 25 @ 7pm

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Wednesday, October 26 @ 7pm



Hicklebee's in San Jose
Tuesday, November 1 @ 7pm


Rakestraw in Danville
Wednesday, November 2 @ 7pm

TARA SIM book launch for TIMEKEEPER
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Wednesday, November 2 @ 5pm

Copperfields's in Petaluma
Thursday, November 3 @ 7pm

Books Inc. in Palo Alto
Wednesday, November 9 @ 7pm


Kepler's in Menlo Park
Wednesday, November 9 @ 7pm

Rating System

♥♥♥♥♥ Love it! A must read

♥♥♥♥ Great, give it a try

♥♥♥ Okay, a decent read

♥♥ Meh, read at your own risk

Would not recommend

DNF=Did Not Finish

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