it’s in the stars: uranus in retrograde

I wouldn’t be surprised if most people don’t know about planets being in retrograde other than Mercury in retrograde, because Mercury in retrograde gets ALL the hype because it’s the most chaotic retrograde. However, other planets do go into retrograde as well and you can focus on different aspects of your life during them to get fortuitous results.

Right now, Uranus is in retrograde and will be until January 10, 2020. 

This retrograde is a good time to focus on your independence and freedom. Independence and freedom are really important themes in most YA books, because being a teenager is full of authority figures and parents telling you what to do and REBELLION and trying to figure out how to be your own person.

With that in mind, today’s It’s In the Stars feature will focus on books & characters that deal with independence and freedom.



there’s something about sweetie | sandhya menon

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT SWEETIE is the companion to WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI, and focuses on Ashish, Rishi’s underachieving, athletic brother, and Sweetie McNair, a girl struggling with her confidence and her mother’s expectations about her weight. Though there is of course a romance, the real focus is on Sweetie gaining independence from her mother’s ideas of who she should be and how she should present herself and feel about herself because of her weight, and about her journey to gaining confidence.



girls with sharp sticks | suzanne young

I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!!!! I read GWSS on a whim a couple weeks ago and am so in love?!?!? It’s about a creepy school in the near future that trains girls to be perfect ladies, but the girls start noticing there’s something more sinister going on and start “waking up” to the realities of the sexism and misogyny in their lives. If there was ever a perfect book for freedom and independence, it would be this book. I also love that even though the girls fight for freedom from the men who control them, they don’t lose sight of their love and camaraderie with each other.



the right swipe | alisha rai

Can I just…gush about THE RIGHT SWIPE for forever? Would that be fine? Yes? Okay. THE RIGHT SWIPE is a romance featuring two people from rival dating apps. Even though it has a fair amount of romance and fluff, it also deals with the very serious topic of sexual harassment and emotional abuse. Throughout the book, Rhiannon, the lady MC, is trying to find freedom from a past relationship that almost destroyed her career in the technology/dating app sector after the abusive guy she was with spread nasty rumors about her and tried to destroy her reputation. This book made me feel so seen and that aspect of it came completely out of left field, and that is why I will stan this book forever.

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it’s in the stars: full moon in aquarius

Today marks the beginning of the full moon entering Aquarius. The full moon in Aquarius is a period full of unexpected surprises. During this time, definitely expect the unexpected and stay on your toes!

In the spirit of the unexpected and unconventionality, today I’ll be recommending some books that use unconventional formats.



shatter me – tahereh mafi

I guess there’s not too too much that’s unconventional about SHATTER ME other than the crossing-out style of writing, but also, this is a super unique dystopian and worth sharing on an unexpected/unconventional list. The writing style was so not what I would’ve expected for that genre the first time I read it because it was so poetic and lyrical. It definitely read like a lyrical contemporary despite all the dystopian happenings.



illuminae – amie kaufman & jay kristoff

Now, I have a confession to make…I haven’t finished this book either time I tried to read it despite loving the format. I got about 100-150 pages in but I just couldn’t do it. Probably because the space stuff confused me because I’m really not a space YA person in any format. But, this book is

“Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more”



all of this is true – lygia day penaflor

A lot of people hated this book because it does feature a character who commits sexual assault but surprisingly…I kind of dug it. I didn’t feel like the book redeemed him. But that’s another conversation. ALL OF THIS IS TRUE is told in interviews about a group of teens who befriended the author of a book they were all obsessed with, and she basically becomes the leader of their crew and it gets all cult-y and stuff. It’s really bizarre and dark and vaguely problematic, but I guess I’m allowed to like one problematic book.



miss peregrine’s home for peculiar children – ransom riggs

I would like to point out that Ransom Riggs is married to the illustrious aforementioned Tahereh Mafi. However, she is a WAY better writer than he is. Honestly, the first time I read Miss Peregrine, I HATED it. It’s told in regular prose but has creepy vintage images accompanying it. Honestly, I found the whole book very gimmicky and didn’t like that half the story was him describing the photograph I could see on the next page. And I don’t even remember what the story was about other than creepy children and something about a grandfather, which tells me the plot wasn’t that interesting to begin with.


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it’s in the stars: buck moon

In astrology, each month has a full moon with a different name and different spiritual properties and meanings. July’s full moon is the Buck Moon, because it’s apparently when male deer’s antlers are fully grown. Whereas other moons encourage enacting big changes, the moon for the slow, summer month of July encourages us to take stock of what we already have and slow down.

Because of the heat of the month and that idea of taking things slow, today I’ll be sharing some Southern Gothic YA that I want to read.



I have been meaning to read Martina Boone’s COMPULSION series for…an embarrassingly long time. It’s about a girl who is shipped off to a weird island when her mother dies to live with her aunt, but discovers that one of the founding families has been cursed by an ancient spirit, while the other two have been given magical gifts called compulsions. This one also apparently has a slow burn romance, which makes it extra perfect for the slowing down of Buck Moon season.



I’ve been wanting to reread this one since coming up with my own Southern Gothic Jane Eyre retelling idea. I really liked this one the first time I read it when it first came out. SERVANTS OF THE STORM is about Dovey, who’s been heavily medicated since Hurricane Josephine devastated her town and killed her best friend. She starts seeing things and starts questioning what’s real and what’s not. This one gave me serious Southern, give-me-those-collard-greens-(thati’veneverhad) vibes and as I recall did in fact have a lot of southern food descriptions.



I meant to read SWEET UNREST a while ago but never got around to it. It’s about a girl who has weird dreams that get more intense when she moves to an old New Orleans plantation. I probably would have liked this one a lot when I was a teen, but I’m not sure if I should still give it a shot now or if it would just annoy me.



THE RAVEN BOYS definitely isn’t strictly Southern Gothic but it gives Gothic vibes and takes place in Virginia so I’m including it. I’ve been meaning to continue reading this one for forever. I don’t know why I keep starting then stopping it. Anyway. Blue comes from a psychic family but she herself doesn’t have any psychic abilities. She’s been told since she was a child that she will kill her true love with a kiss. She sees a ghostly boy and gets involved with a group of boys at a local boarding school. Magic is involved. This sounds so up my alley and I really do need to continue reading it.


Have you read any of these? What books would you add to this list?

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it’s in the stars: mercury in retrograde

Is it wrong that I’ve been hoping Mercury would go into retrograde since I did my first It’s In the Stars post so I could do a post recommending Mercury in retrograde books? Yes, yes it is, because DAMN, Mercury in retrograde SUCKS. Everyone feels out of whack, everything goes wrong, and usually it’s a straight cosmic disaster. Mercury in retrograde is a time rife with misunderstandings and miscommunications, technology glitches, travel delays, and all sorts of bad things that generally make life unpleasant, so it’s a good time to batten the hatches and close up shop and hide yourself away with a good book.

Today’s It’s in the Stars post will focus on book recs for upcoming books and recent releases that deal with some of the problems that Mercury being in retrograde can cause, so buckle up, because Mercury went into retrograde yesterday!




the right swipe | alisha rai | August 6, 2019

This book is just full of misunderstandings, but the main one happens before the book even starts. Rhiannon Hunter is upset when she runs into Samson Lima again at an industry event (Rhiannon runs a dating app called Crush and Samson is the spokesperson for Matchmaker) because of the time they had a one night stand, made plans to see each other again, and then he stood her up. Samson is still super into Rhi when they meet again, but feels bad because he forgot about their date because his uncle’s health started seriously failing right before his subsequent death and he couldn’t contact her when she deleted him from the app. Being stood up obviously doesn’t let Rhi warm up to him right away again when they meet for the second time, and she spends a lot of the book not really trusting him even when she finds out why he stood her up in the first place.

If you want to know more about why I loved this book so much, you should definitely check out my review.



happy messy scary love | leah konen | may 14, 2019

In this book, horror movie buff Olivia connects online with another film nerd Elm, but when he asks her for a picture of herself, she sends a photo of her beautiful best friend instead. They run into each other over the summer later on, but he doesn’t know who she is. This case of mistaken identity (and, tbh, catfishing, let’s be real) would definitely be a good pick for Mercury in retrograde, though since I haven’t read this one yet, I can’t tell you if it’s actually good or not.


technology glitches


WARCROSS immediately came to mind for this Mercury in retrograde problem. Emika Chen, a bounty hunter struggling to get by in a futuristic world, glitches herself into the virtual reality game Warcross and is then hired by its creator to help with a security issue.

I seriously cannot tell you how obsessed I still am with this book even though I read it last year. I was so not expecting to love WARCROSS because sci-fi and thrillers are not really my thing, but I was unexpectedly hooked and absolutely loved everything about this story, especially Emika’s character and the futuristic Tokyo setting. I didn’t like its sequel, WILDCARD quite as much, but honestly, WARCROSS is a really hard act to follow because it’s so fantastic. Definitely 110/100 recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

Check out my gushing review here.


how to hack a heartbreak | kristin rockaway | july 30, 2019

I also immediately thought of a romance that’s been on my TBR for a while that I seriously need to read my eARC of called HOW TO HACK A HEARTBREAK. It’s about Mel Strickland, a woman who works at a company that trains the next wave of startup geniuses, who she calls “brogrammers.” Frustrated with her job and with the dating scene, she codes her own dating app, JerkAlert, that goes viral overnight. The problem is, the guy she likes at her job doesn’t know she’s the brains behind JerkAlert…

This book sounds super nerdy and fun and I am just all over it. Can’t wait to read this one.


travel delays


field notes on love | jennifer e. smith | march 5, 2019

The book that came to mind for travel for me was this one, Jennifer E. Smith’s latest novel, FIELD NOTES ON LOVE. The premise for this one is that it’s about a teen boy who’s a celebrity because of his mom’s mommy blog and how he goes on a train trip across the US with a girl he doesn’t know because he had to find someone with his ex-girlfriend’s name because the tickets he’d bought for her were nonrefundable and nontransferable. It’s a cute story about love and finding out who you are and would definitely take some of the heat off of Mercury in retrograde times.


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