Pick Your Poison: Bloody, Brutal, and Tragic YA

A salmon cartoon of a bow & arrow, vial of yellow liquid, and dagger, captioned "Pick Your Poison." Hand illustrated.

YA can really be ruthless sometimes. From gory, bloody murder to absolutely tragic & heartbreaking stories, there is no end to the lengths these stories can go. They'll break your heart, and be glad for it. As such, today I'm talking about three fantastically ruthless fantasy stories that I enjoyed reading this year, and I've… Continue reading Pick Your Poison: Bloody, Brutal, and Tragic YA

Thinking About Short Fiction: Prelude & Foreshadow

Recently, it feels as if I don't have the energy to read anything that's high commitment, which mostly means I'm not reading a lot of huge, dense fantasy novels. I've begun listening to more audiobooks while I draw, consuming massive amounts of fanfiction and Webtoons, getting swept away by swoony romances, and also turning to… Continue reading Thinking About Short Fiction: Prelude & Foreshadow

Skyhunter, Crownchasers, and 99 Other YA Science-Fiction Novels

a pinkish comic strip reading "101 Sci-Fi Novels" with a little illustration of two planets and the corner of a sun.

Science-fiction is one of my favorite genres, in part because of how one day, in the future, maybe it can be real. There's such a huge breadth to sci-fi as a genre, ranging from clones to space to alien invasions to robot dogs. Yes, magic is cool, but something just as cool as magic is… Continue reading Skyhunter, Crownchasers, and 99 Other YA Science-Fiction Novels

Not Quite Human: A New Wave of Vampire & Werewolf Fiction

A comic strip of two panels, one of a furry ear and one of an open mouth with fangs. A handwritten caption reads "not quite human."

Trends come and go for books, especially as some titles get popular and spur publishing to welcome more books with similar themes and tropes. One of the most notable in young adult literature is the vampire, werewolf, and other paranormal creature trend, largely spurred by Twilight and other novels during that era. Before I continue… Continue reading Not Quite Human: A New Wave of Vampire & Werewolf Fiction

Nerdy Niches: Slay and Other Books About Video Games, Fandom, & Other Passions

A three square panel comic of a video game controller, a "Boom!" in block text with comic style explosions around it, and books on a shelf. The handwritten title reads "Nerdy Niches."

Protagonists who have a really strong passion, especially for something relevant to popular culture, are always so relatable to read about, and make some of the best quick reads. Whether it's about books or cosplay or video games or something else, reading about how it grounds characters and plays an important role in their lives… Continue reading Nerdy Niches: Slay and Other Books About Video Games, Fandom, & Other Passions

Fairytales & Subversion: Interview with Kalynn Bayron (Cinderella Is Dead) & Retellings You’ll Love

a salmon colored illustration of a swoosh of magic air, with a crown, heel shoe, sword, necklace, and fairy swirling in the cloud. there is a handwritten subtitle "Fairytales & Subversion."

Fairytales and stories have always played a role in culture--passed down orally or transcribed in books. They morph and are rewritten and take on different meaning with the passing of time. Today I'm first talking with Kalynn Bayron, author of Cinderella Is Dead, about her fantasy debut, fairytales, and rebellion. For context, Cinderella Is Dead… Continue reading Fairytales & Subversion: Interview with Kalynn Bayron (Cinderella Is Dead) & Retellings You’ll Love