Smugglivus Smugglivus Guest Author

Seven Young Adult Fantasy Books You Shouldn’t Miss From 2017 By Katherine Locke

Welcome to Smugglivus 2017! Throughout this month, we will have guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2017, looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2018, and more.

Next on Smugglivus: Katherine Locke, YA and romance author, author of this year’s excellent The Girl with the Red Balloon

Please give it up for Katherine!


SONG OF THE CURRENT by Sarah Tolscer

A swashbuckling adventure led by badass lady…let’s go with privateer? Caro that inverts some fantasy tropes, while playing up others in ways that felt fresh and exciting. The perfect mixture of a smartly paced book, lyrical prose, and deep worldbuilding. The sequel WHISPER OF THE TIDE is one of my most highly anticipated sequels. A stunning debut from an author to watch.

WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones

An ode to Labyrinth, this gem of a fantasy novel is so immersive, you’ll be dreaming about it long after the last page. Liesl marries the Goblin King to save her sister, but the bargain isn’t as simple as that. There are choices, and things to lose, and long-buried secrets to uncover. Wintersong is dark, seductive, poetic, complex, and promising. The sequel, Shadowsong, lands in February, so pick up Wintersong and catch up now!

THE BONE WITCH by Rin Chupeco

An exquisitely crafted story, The Bone Witch is the story of a girl with a rare sort of magic. It’s about leaving home and discovering who you are, the most quintessential of young adult stories, but it lends a fairytale edge to this layered, fascinating world. Overshadowed by a controversial book with a similar name, The Bone Witch seems to have slipped off many people’s radars, but it should be top of your holiday TBR.


I am not typically a reader who falls for anti-heroine books. They’re a hard sell for me. But I fell head over heels for this visceral, sharp, edgy Chinese fantasy and its frighteningly compelling protagonist Xifeng whose magic is fed by eating hearts. Yes, you read that right. This book exceeded all my expectations–and my expectations were high.


True confessions: I haven’t read this one yet. But I’ve been told it’s right up my alley, and I’ve been dying to crack it open because it sounds amazing. This is the story of a girl who tries to save her people by offering herself as a bride. When that fails, she and her only ally turn to a Library of All Things, where they believe they change their fates. Books with libraries, destinies, fates, loves, and girls willing to put it all on the line? Yes, PLEASE.

WILD BEAUTY by Anna-Marie McLemore

McLemore’s debut The Weight of Feathers was impressive, and her second book, When The Moon Was Ours, was dazzling (and long-listed for the National Book Award.) She’s an autobuy author for me, and her books are slow, luscious reads. Wild Beauty follows in that vein. The story of a family whose lovers disappear if they fall too deeply in love, their lives are upended by a strange boy who appears in their garden. Estrella and the boy, Fel, search for his beginnings, while untangling Estrella and her family’s threads too.


The cover caught my eye, and I’m so glad it did, because this is an ever-delightful romp of a book. When bisexual Bridger needs a job, he takes the first one he can find–which he soon discovers is being an assistant to a man in charge of keeping the mythological world apart from our world. Balancing high school, his new crush, and this ridiculous job keeps Bridger busy, and readers entertained. I giggled so much reading it on a plane that my seat-mate asked me what book I was reading. 10/10, would giggle again.


Katherine Locke lives and writes in a very small town outside of Philadelphia, where she’s ruled by her feline overlords and her addiction to chai lattes. She writes about that which she cannot do: ballet, time travel, and magic. When she’s not writing, she’s probably tweeting. She not-so-secretly believes most stories are fairy tales in disguise. Her Young Adult debut, THE GIRL WITH THE RED BALLOON, arrives Fall 2017 from Albert Whitman & Company!


  • tee+d
    December 20, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    10/10 and I would giggle with you! LOTS of great books on this list, and glad to be reminded of more I haven’t gotten to yet!

  • Sam@WLABB
    December 21, 2017 at 9:33 am

    I thought Red Balloon was great. I want to know more about he Balloonmakers and hope to get some answers in the second book. Wild Beauty was gorgeous and I am now in love with McLemore’s writing.

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