Book of the Month YA is a monthly book subscription box. Each month, 5 curators pick out their favorite new young adult hardcover books, and you can choose which one you want to receive on the first of the month. You can also add up to 2 additional books for only $9.99 each.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
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About this YA Book Box
The Subscription Box: Book of the Month YA
The Cost: $11.99 a month
ACTIVE DEAL: Get 1st book for $9.99
The Product: Subscribers get to pick from a selection of hardcover books each month. Skip any month you aren't interested in. Add up to two additional books for $9.99 each.
Ships to: The US for free
Book of the Month YA February 2020 Review
Looking for the regular Book of the Month reviews? Find them here!
I'm reviewing All the Stars and Teeth:
Book Summary from Amazon:
She will reign.
As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer―the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.
When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.
But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder―and more peril―than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stowaway she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.
I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.
I knew this book would be my pick immediately from the cover. It was just the sort of dark and magical vibe I have been craving from a book lately! The cover did not lead me wrong! This book was such a fun ride!
Without giving anything away, Princess Amora Montara, our heroine, has spent her entire life being groomed to become the High Animancer of Visidia, a country made of different islands. The High Animancer is essentially a king or queen, but is closely tied to the Soul Magic that runs through the Montara bloodline. In this world, people are limited to choosing only one type of magic and dabbling with multiple elements is strictly forbidden. On the eve of her coronation, events go drastically wrong.
Our heroine ends up on a magical ship, capable of sailing without a crew. The captain is the mysterious Bastian, who has had his magic stolen from him. They make a pact to help Amora regain her kingdom if she assists him with taking back what he has lost, which ends up being pretty dark and complicated. Along the way, there are massive sea creatures, mermaids, hidden bars with curious patrons, and more! This was one of those books that managed to make everything feel totally new and exciting, and the world-building was stellar.
This is probably what I would consider on the darker/grittier side of YA fantasy. Amora's Soul Magic is not pretty and sparkly. It involved blood, fire, bones, and death. Betrayals and violence are always just on the edge of the narrative until they explode into slightly graphic fighting and bursts of conflict. There is a strong undercurrent of mismanaged power and wildly dark politics that run throughout the entire book, and both Amora and Bastian have to deal with years and years of secrets finally coming to a head as they try to regain what has been stolen from them.
I absolutely loved this book and look forward to this story continuing. This book felt a lot like a breath of fresh air for me in terms of YA books right now, and I welcome it with open arms.
And Book of the Month YA includes a bookmark every month.
If you picked this book this month, please let me know what you think of it!
Verdict: My February Book of the Month YA was so much fun! I love gritty YA fantasy with a dash of magic! This book was a perfect weekend read - I couldn't put it down!
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this book if you sign up today? No, but the March selections are currently available! You can potentially select this book as an add-on though, so be sure to check!
ACTIVE DEAL: Get 1st book for $9.99
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of the Book of the Month YA subscription? Which book (or books) did you pick this month?