Amanda’s (Almost) Auto-Buy Authors

Hi, lovelies! Back in April, I did a post about my ‘Auto-Buy Authors‘ where I talked about authors that I love to the point where I automatically buy their books when they have a new release. There were quite a few authors that I thought have the potential to make that list, but have only published one or two books. So, I thought I’d share a list of some authors that are on their way toward that list, but don’t have enough published books for me to really say for sure yet.

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Tehlor Kay Mejia
I wrote this list in a note while I wrote my original auto-buy author post, so since then, I’ve read two more of Mejia’s books and I definitely think she’s moved solidly into auto-buy territory. I loved the We Set the Dark on Fire duology and I recently really enjoyed Miss Meteor which is co-written with Anna-Marie McLemore. I’m also very excited to read the second book in the Paola Santiago series.

Katie Henry
Henry has three books out and I’ve genuinely enjoyed all three of them. They’re contemporary books that generally involve a serious topic, but wit humor and thoughtfulness. I read This Will Be Funny Someday and totally loved it. There’s a toxic relationship and some lying, but I think it was all done with care. She has an untitled book coming in 2022 that I already can’t wait for.

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Hanna Alkaf
I read The Girl and the Ghost as one of my first books of 2021 and I absolutely devoured it. I don’t read historical fiction often, but I’ve heard really great things about The Weight of Our Sky and I absolutely am excited to read Queen of the Tiles when it’s released.

Emily Henry
Henry is coming quickly toward the definite auto-buy list because of her adult romance. I really liked Beach Read and I recently read People We Meet On Vacation and I liked that one even more. I don’t know if she’s planning to write more YA books, but I really loved all three of her YA books too.

Justin A. Reynolds
I want to add him to my auto-buy list, but he’s only published two books so far. Now, I’ve loved both of these books so, so much. I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. But, it’s still a bit early to say for sure. I highly recommend both Opposite of Always and Early Departures.

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Dahlia Adler
Adler wrote Cool for the Summer, which I believe will be making several of my ‘2021 favorites’ lists when I make them. But this is the only book I’ve read by Adler. So, despite the book having a huge emotional impact on me, I can’t quite add Adler to my auto-buy list yet.

Laura Pohl
I really loved the audiobooks for The Last 8 and The First 7. I am beyond excited to read The Grimrose Girls later this year. I absolutely think she’ll make it to my auto-buy list, but I want to try more books by her first.

Adalyn Grace
The All the Stars and Teeth duology was a really great one. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what she publishes next.

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Bethany C. Morrow
I loved both A Song Below Water and the sequel, A Chorus Rises. Morrow has a few books coming out in the near future. One is a retelling, which I think I’ll skip, but I’m really excited for Cherish Farrah in 2022.

Katy Rose Pool
I am absolutely obsessed with The Age of Darkness trilogy. The third book isn’t even out yet, but I know I’m going to love it. I also follow Pool on Instagram and she’s been talking a bit about what she’s working on next, vaguely of course, and I already can’t wait to read whatever it is.

There are so many incredible authors out there and I wish that I could read them all. But these are some of the authors that are right on the tipping point of making their place on my auto-buy author list.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

This Will Be Funny Someday by Katie Henry

Summary:
A girl walks into a bar… then onto a stage, and up to the mic.
Sixteen-year-old Izzy is used to keeping her thoughts to herself—in school, where her boyfriend does the talking for her, and at home, where it’s impossible to compete with her older siblings and high-powered parents—but when she accidentally walks into a stand-up comedy club and performs, the experience is surprisingly cathartic. After the show, she meets Mo, an aspiring comic who’s everything Izzy’s not: bold, confident, comfortable in her skin. Mo invites Izzy to join her group of friends and introduces her to the Chicago open mic scene.
The only problem? Her new friends are college students—and Izzy tells them she’s one, too. Now Izzy, the dutiful daughter and model student, is sneaking out to perform stand-up with her comedy friends, and she can hardly remember all the lies she’s telling to keep her two lives separate.
Her controlling boyfriend is getting suspicious, and her former best friend knows there’s something going on. But Izzy loves comedy and this newfound freedom. As her two parallel lives collide—in the most hilarious of ways—Izzy must choose to either hide what she really wants and who she really is or, finally, truly stand up for herself.

This Will Be Funny Someday

Review:
This Will be Funny Someday is a story that follows Isabel, the youngest child (an unexpected pregnancy for her parents), feels like a pig among a family of puppies, always trying to keep up and never succeeding. She has learned to keep her thoughts to herself, never speaking up. So, this pattern follows with her boyfriend, Alex. He is controlling and abusive, though Isabel hasn’t realized that yet. But when she worries that she’ll get in trouble if he sees her, she sneaks into what she thinks is a restaurant. Isabel has hearing issues. It’s not her ears, but some sort of auditory processing disorder. So, she manages to find her way into a loud club and can’t understand what is being said. Little does she know, she just signed herself up to perform as a stand-up comedian. On stage, she becomes Izzy V. She finds a place where she can use her voice.
Izzy meets Mo and some of Mo’s friends. Mo brings Izzy into the stand-up comedy world. I loved all of the parts of this story that had Mo and their friends in it. They were funny because they’re all teaching Izzy about comedy and how to write good jokes. But they’re a diverse group so, they also talk about the struggles of stand-up comedy as a person of color or as someone queer. These are topics Izzy wouldn’t generally have thought of, as she comes from a place of privilege. I thought it was a really great part of the story. Izzy is in a place in her life where she is learning who she is and what kind of person she wants to be. So, learning about the experiences of others is an important thing for her. She doesn’t always act the right way or say the right thing, but I think that was realistic. I didn’t love that she lied about her age, but I think that whole situation was handled well when the truth finally came out.
Now, Isabel’s relationship with her boyfriend was not a good one. It wasn’t completely clear from the beginning, but the more we saw of their relationship the more obvious it was that it wasn’t a healthy one. My favorite thing about this book was that when Izzy started wanting to speak up. Through her stand-up routine, she gains confidence. She starts to believe that the things she has to say matter. So, she starts using her voice in other areas of her life. Like her friendships and at school.
I think this book does so many things all in one story, but it did them all really well. There are some really tough topics (most obvious is the toxic relationship, but there are also discussions of racism and discrimination). I thought that all of these tough topics were discussed thoughtfully and with care. But take that with a grain of salt, as I am not a part of any of those represented in these conversations (aside from queer and female). I love all of Henry’s work so far and I am very eager to see what she will write next.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Let’s Call It a Doomsday by Katie Henry

GoodReads Summary:
There are many ways the world could end. There could be a fire. A catastrophic flood. A supereruption that spews lakes of lava. Ellis Kimball has made note of all possible scenarios, and she is prepared for each one. What she doesn’t expect is meeting Hannah Marks in her therapist’s waiting room. Hannah calls their meeting fate. After all, Ellis is scared about the end of the world; Hannah knows when it’s going to happen.
Despite Ellis’s anxiety—about what others think of her, about what she’s doing wrong, about the safety of the ones she loves—the two girls become fast friends. But time is ticking down, and as Ellis tries to help Hannah decipher the details of her doomsday premonition, their search for answers only raises more questions. When does it happen? Who will believe them? How do you prepare for the end of the world when it feels like your life is just getting started?
Let's Call It a DoomsdayReview:
After absolutely adoring Heretics Anonymous, I knew I had to pick up Katie Henry’s new release, Let’s Call It a Doomsday. I’m so so glad that I did because it was even better than I expected it to be.
We follow Ellis as she struggles to keep her anxiety under control. She has intrusive thoughts, some that we get to see on the page. Her biggest worry is that the world is going to end. So, when she meets Hannah at her therapist’s office and then sees her again at school, she’s interested. Especially when Hannah tells her she knows when the world is going to end.
I loved Ellis. She was realistic and thoughtful and I just enjoyed her character. She battled her anxiety every day. She’s Mormon and despite lots of factors, she says true to her faith which was inspiring. Being able to believe so fiercely in something is admirable to me because I don’t have that same faith. Her journey of self-discovery, learning about her sexuality and how to handle her anxiety.
Then there’s Hannah, who is quirky and eccentric. I really liked her at first, but the more I learned about her the more I wanted her to just leave Ellis alone. She was the cause of pretty much all of the conflict in the story and every single one of her motivations were selfish. Despite that, she managed to push Ellis out of her comfort zone, to try new things and of course, she introduced her to Sam, Tal, and Theo.
These three boys were one of my favorite parts. Pot smoking, deep conversation having, ‘five-word-book-title’ guessing kind of friends. I love that they just immediately accepted Ellis into their group. They never pressured her to do anything that they were doing. They were just a funny group of kids.
I really really loved Tal. I loved the conversations about religion they would have. I also loved how he helped her see that there’s more to sexuality than she thought. I thought he brought so much goodness to the story. I 10000% ship them with my whole heart.
Overall, this book was funny, and heartfelt, and just wholesome. It showed anxiety in a realistic way. It talked about religion in a thoughtful way. Sexuality was talked about by several different characters in an honest way. I think this book did just about everything right. It’s one I plan to recommend again and again.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry

Summary:
Michael is an atheist. So as he walks through the doors at St. Clare’s—a strict Catholic school—sporting a plaid tie, things can’t get much worse. His dad has just made the family move again, and Michael needs a friend. When a girl challenges their teacher in class, Michael thinks he might have found one, and a fellow nonbeliever at that. Only this girl, Lucy, is not just Catholic . . . she wants to be a priest.
But Lucy introduces Michael to other St. Clare’s outcasts, and he officially joins Heretics Anonymous, where he can be an atheist, Lucy can be an outspoken feminist, Avi can be Jewish and gay, Max can wear whatever he wants, and Eden can practice paganism. After an incident in theology class, Michael encourages the Heretics to go from secret society to rebels intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies. When Michael takes one mission too far—putting the other Heretics at risk—he must decide whether to fight for his own freedom, or rely on faith, whatever that means, in God, his friends, or himself.
Heretics AnonymousReview:
Heretics Anonymous has been so well-loved by so many people that I trust to the point where I had nothing but really high hopes for this story. I knew that I was going to love it. I did exactly that. I read this in one sitting because I just couldn’t stop.
I loved the setting of a Catholic school. It’s not something I’m overly familiar with so it was something different and unique. I thought the whole book brought up a really interesting discussion about religion. I’ve never been an overly religious person. I’m on the border of agnostic, but I’ve always wanted to be able to have faith and believe as strongly as the Catholics. I also enjoyed the inclusion of the beliefs of the other characters.
I adored this squad. I thought their friendship was fun and realistic. I really liked that they formed their ‘club’ and tried to do things to change some of the more ridiculous rules of their school. But I also thought it was really interesting that they considered the effects of their actions. They made choices to do certain things, but they also tried to think about what those things were doing to the students outside of Heretics Anonymous. I’m not going to go into the things I liked about each character but I will say that it was a diverse cast of friends. Diverse in the sense of sexual orientation, race, religious beliefs, and from an outsider’s perspective, it was done well.
I’ve seen people complain about the romance, that it didn’t need to be included. But I don’t feel that way. I really liked the romance between two members of this squad. It was complicated and sweet and sometimes dramatic. I really liked how things ended. It wasn’t the usual happily ever after, it was more complicated than that and I think that made the story all the more realistic.
Overall, I adored this book and everything about it. Heretics Anonymous was everything I wanted it to be. I cannot wait to read Katie Henry’s newest book. I will definitely be recommending Heretics Anonymous to anyone and everyone that will listen.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.