Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What Makes a Villain? What Makes a Hero?

The final book in The Young Elites trilogy came out last month and let me tell you--I was counting down the days. And you know what? It was SO good. So, so good. Beyond what I imagined it could be.

I'm still formulating thoughts for how I want to talk about it, so in the meantime, I'm brushing off last year's posts  for those of you who never read the series...because you really, really should!

Earlier this month, I posted my review of the first book in the trilogy, THE YOUNG ELITES. Today, I'm reposting a feature from when Penguin Teen invited me to talk about villains when THE ROSE SOCIETY came out because....well, I really liked the post. And I love how villains play a big part in this trilogy!

Stop back on Monday as I talk (Completely spoiler-free, of course!) about why I'm so in love with this series (Rather than, you know, an actual review of THE MIDNIGHT STAR because it's way too spoilery!!)



In THE YOUNG ELITES, the main character is antihero Adelina Amouteru, and it's unclear if she'll be a villain or a hero by the end of the series.

Then again.... 

“You are the hero of your own story.”
~Joseph Campbell, famous mythologist


right!? 

Villain or hero, you're always the victor when it comes to seeing things through your own eyes.

That's why so many villains have depth. That's why so many people want to read about villains these days. They don't want to watch the movies and TV shows of old where villains are static characters.

They want that meat, that depth. They want something like WICKED by Gregory Maguire, which makes the Wicked Witch from THE WIZARD OF OZ seem more heroic. They want the uncertainty of VICIOUS by V.E. Schwab, where nobody is heroic, but some are moreso than others. They want to root for the bad guy in Joss Whedon's cult classic Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog starring Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion, even though Dr. Horrible is planning to destroy his nemesis Captain Hammer and get accepted into The Evil League of Evil, and feel deeply for him.

YOU GUYS. I was watching Shrek the Musical on Netflix recently, which is a live recording of a Broadway musical that I saw in NYC a few years ago, and there is this ONE SCENE. IDK how it impacted me the first time I saw it, but watching it now, it struck me really hard. When Fiona and Shrek have a misunderstanding and Fiona goes off to marry Lord Farquaad, Shrek sings this song called "Build a Wall," and Shrek just...snaps. He's done. This world is over. He's not going to be good anymore. This moment is so strong with angst and strife that in this moment, he could have become evil forever if things had gone one way instead of the other. 

And in the end, isn't that how it is for every villain, for every hero? One defining moment. We all have the potential to be good, just as we do to be evil. One small thing can tip us in either direction. We all know that Shrek is a hero and not a villain, but if you watch the musical, check out "Build a Wall." You can see Shrek leaning toward evil because of where life has taken him, and the moment is breathtaking.

At the end of THE YOUNG ELITES in the Acknowledgments, Marie Lu writes,

“THE YOUNG ELITES began as a hero's journey--a boy takes on the task of mastering his powers and vanquishing the villain. The story didn't work, though, and I was left struggling in the middle of nowhere, trying to figure out why. One day, as I mulled this over with my agent, Kristin Nelson, she said, 'Hey, what about this Adelina girl? She's an interesting side character.'
'Oh, yeah,' I replied, distracted. She's a fun bad girl to write. I hope I can keep her around if I redo this.'
Kristin said, 'Maybe she should be the star.'
Sometimes, all it takes to see the right path is a flash of brilliant insight from someone else. I realized the problem was that I didn't want to tell a hero's journey; I wanted to tell a villain's."

~Marie Lu, THE YOUNG ELITES Acknowledgments


When I read that passage, I thought it was both great knowledge for aspiring writers, as well as fantastic insight into the birth of THE YOUNG ELITES. Plus, Marie Lu says she wants to tell a villain's story and Adelina is certainly no hero.

So does this mean she'll become the ultimate villain, or will she change her ways by book three and be on the side for good?

It's hard to say!!!

For now, that Will She or Won't She is part of what makes THE YOUNG ELITES so great. You never know quite where you stand with Adelina, especially when she embraces her darkness and says things like this:

“I am Adelina Amouteru... I belong to no one. On this night, I swear to you that I will rise above everything you’ve ever taught me. I will become a force that this world has never known. I will come into such power that none will dare hurt me again.”
~Adelina Amouteru, THE YOUNG ELITES

 
Adelina tries SO HARD to be good, but nothing works. She starts to think it may not be worth it.

She's on that verge.

There's a snapping point coming.

The question becomes...

Is The Young Elites Trilogy ultimately centered around a villain or a hero?

Which road is Adelina going to take?

To find out, readers will have to continue Adelina's journey in THE ROSE SOCIETY, and then meet her final reckoning in THE MIDNIGHT STAR.

Which way do YOU think Adelina will choose?

 Haven't read THE YOUNG ELITES?


Seriously, everyone should read this series. It's so fab!!!

This feature post was first on A Backwards Story September 22, 2015.

~*~
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Title: THE YOUNG ELITES
Author: Marie Lu
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers // Penguin
Received: Purchased
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18755539-cutlass
SUMMARY:

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.


Monday, November 28, 2016

{Review} TITANS by Victoria Scott

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

Titans
  TONIGHT THE TITANS will run.
I can see their eyes glowing red from my hard-won place outside the fence. Grown men jostle me from both sides, sloshing pints of beer, hollering over one another as they place last minute bets. The moon dips low in the sky, lured by grumbled curses and bare-knuckle fights and cigarettes pinched between dirtied fingertips.

My parents don't know I'm here. I snuck out my bedroom window with Magnolia an hour before midnight, an hour before the race would begin. Last year, I watched the machines run on a local sports channel—one of the few my family could afford. The Gambini brothers should have been thrilled. The first year and already they had cameramen and a spot in homes across Detroit.


(Page 3, US Hardcover Edition)

     “Life isn't always a fairy tale. Life is rarely a fairy tale. Sometimes, the real point is pursing a worthwile goal, even if you fall short in the end."

~Astrid, TITANS


So let me preface this by explaining that I have a borderline obsessive adoration for horses. Take me anywhere near one and I turn into an enthusiastic child, all I wanna do is kiss the animal's nose and coo over how gorgeous it is. So when I heard about TITANS by Victoria Scott, the imagery of mechanical horses on a racetrack was an immediate sell. That intriguing bit alone was enough to lure me in, but I'll tell you that this story has so much more to offer. TITANS is set in a near future version of Detroit, where the game of racing has grown to accommodate fantastic creatures called Titans. They are half car, half horse, lifelike yet made of gleaming steel. Astrid, our main character, has a mixture of fascination and hatred for them. They are awe-inspiring, but her father's habit of gambling on them has put her family in jeopardy, and it's easy to filter her anger and fear onto the mechanical creatures. All of that changes when Astrid gets a chance to enter the races on an early model Titan. If she wins she'll secure the financial safety of her family, and the stable presence of her best friend, Magnolia.

Now if you're in the mood for a well done side of romance in your fantasy/adventure, I'll tell you that you won't find any here. Don't get me wrong there is love in this book, but it focuses more on the familial and friendship aspects, on the way a girl in a position of desperate fear and longing can form a genuine bond with a horse made of machinery and computer programming. It hit me right in the feels, the whole book, from start to finish. This is Astrid's story, this about her journey to save her family from financial ruin and the emotional scars that consequently blossom to put distance between them. Her successive pushes forward are a mixture of luck—moments that make the story feel realistic and hinged on chance—and her gift of seeing patterns, her mathematical intelligence—which makes her an intriguing character and not the typical underdog that comes out of the starting gate without an ace up her sleeve. The way her mind narrates while she's racing is so raw, fast flying thoughts, like she's seeing numbers on top of everything around her. Scott has a gift with imagery, and the way she describes the tracks and practically solders your mind to Astrid's has you feeling every moment and emotion with extreme intensity.

The thing I think I love the most about this book, is that while it's a Fantasy, Scott keeps it down to earth, she makes you feel like some version of this world is something you could see some day in the future. Mechanical beasts with the potential for feeling aside, at it's core TITANS is story about the people that make us, the ones that bring out the best in ourselves and see us through the bad times. Magnolia, Astrid's best friend, may not feel like she has an important place in the plot, but it's my opinion that she is paramount. She's a piece of familiar stability as Astrid moves into a world that is overwhelming and competitive and unfamiliar. Honestly I don't think Astrid would have ever entered into the plot itself if not for the presence of a best friend to support her. And her family unit grows to include her manager, her trainer, unexpected puzzle pieces that make Astrid feel strong, less alone in the world. It's a nice heartwarming undertone that somehow perfectly balances out the tension of races with dangerous jams and the fear you  have for what might happen to Astrid and those she loves if she doesn't win.

If you're in the mood for a piece of urban fantasy with beautifully visual narration and a main character who easily grows to feel like a sister or a piece of your own heart, then TITANS by Victoria Scott should find its way into your hands as soon as possible.

~*~
C O N T E N T R A T I N G S

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG (Romance is not a key component of this story. Aside from a minor stunt flirtation for the cameras there isn't much about it in the plot)
Language: PG ( No cursing )
Violence: PG13 (I'll keep this at 13 to be safe, just because their are parts of the races that get violent, though there's not much in the way of gore or death. But the violent tension is very very palpable.)
Other:  
~*~
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

The thing that struck me first about this cover is that it urges you to turn the book on its side in order to properly design it.  I'm sure they could have altered it to orient from top to bottom but I don't think it would have had the same emphasis. This angle let's you have a really good view of the Titans, mechanical red eyes standing out. The way the mechanisms show up inside the title itself is a show that these mechanical characters are going to be heavily present in the book.
  ~*~
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Title: TITANS
Author: Victoria Scott
Release Date: February 23rd, 2016
Publisher: Scholastic
Received: Purchased
SUMMARY:

Ever since the Titans first appeared in her Detroit neighborhood, Astrid Sullivan’s world has revolved around the mechanical horses. She and her best friend have spent countless hours watching them and their jockeys practice on the track. It’s not just the thrill of the race. It’s the engineering of the horses and the way they’re programmed to seem so lifelike. The Titans are everything that fascinates Astrid, and nothing she’ll ever touch.

She hates them a little, too. Her dad lost everything betting on the Titans. And the races are a reminder of the gap between the rich jockeys who can afford the expensive machines to ride, and the working class friends and neighbors of Astrid’s who wager on them.

But when Astrid’s offered a chance to enter an early model Titan in this year’s derby, well, she decides to risk it all. Because for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, it’s more than a chance at fame or money. Betting on herself is the only way she can see to hang on to everyone in the world she cares about.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

{Review} P.S. I LIKE YOU By Kasie West


 
O P E N I N G   H O O K:


  A lightning strike. A shark attack. Winning the lottery. 
  No. I lined through all the words. Too cliché. I tapped my pen against my lips.
  Rare. What was rare? Meat, I thought with a small laugh. That would go really well in a song.
  My pen drew a couple more lines, blackening the words to unrecognizable before I wrote a single word. Love. Now that was rare in my world. The romantic version, at least.

(page 1, US hardcover edition)



“Fridays were the worst. I had to wait all weekend before I'd get a reply. Was I really already looking forward to Monday? That was backward thinking.”
~Lily, P.S. I LIKE YOU


Are you a mood/atmosphere reader? I am!!!

Over the weekend, I felt like reading Kasie West's upcoming 2017 release BY YOUR SIDE, so I did...and then it made me really want to read more of her books! I've been meaning to get to P.S. I LIKE YOU for months now, so I was finally happy to have that chance.

And......what made it even better??? YOU GUYS. This takes place over Thanksgiving Break!!!!!!!!!!!

I really loved that the characters in the book were celebrating Thanksgiving and that we're about to do the same thing!!!!

So if you love books that take place in "real time," you ABSOLUTELY want to read P.S. I LIKE YOU this week!!!!!

One reason I really love Kasie West's books is because they're full of family, friendship, and sweet, fluffy romance. They're always squeaky clean and I can even feel VERY comfortable recommending them to tweens in need of a good YA romance (Especially great with the upcoming holiday season!). I'm not a huge contemporary reader, but Kasie West is definitely one of my favorites in the genre!

(And if you want to read more books by her, check out my reviews of PIVOT POINT, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, and my personal favorite, ON THE FENCE!)

P.S. I LIKE YOU is another super sweet romance from Kasie West. It brings back old-fashioned letter writing--with a twist! When Lily scribbles some lyrics from her favorite obscure band onto her desk during Chemistry Class, she never expects to come in the next day and find that someone has continued the song! Very few people share her musical interests, and she's impressed. Soon, the two are leaving notes for one another and looking forward to the next day's class just to read each new response. Lily can't decide if she wants to find out who is writing her notes or not...but if it's the boy she likes, maybe it means she'll have a real chance with him?

All of the dynamics I've come to love in a Kasie West novel are at play here. There are great friendships, and even better family moments. Her family moments are always absolute standouts to me. That's one reason I loved ON THE FENCE so very, very much. P.S. I LIKE YOU rivals ON THE FENCE for "Favorite Family," though the two are very different from one another. Lily's family is big and messy and crazy. She has an older sister in college and two younger brothers who love getting into her stuff. One of them even destroys her guitar and makes it harder for her to enter a song-writing contest. Even her parents are interesting, often having contests with one another to see who made the "best" pie or piece of jewelry. Lily's family may embarrass her, but she also loves them to pieces.

And now, this is where I get a little spoilery, so if you want to keep the rest a complete mystery, you should definitely stop reading!

Lily starts keeping a list of the guys who could be the note writer from Chemistry. The two at the top of her list are David, the boy her best friend Isabel keeps trying to set her up with, and her long-time crush Lucas. Regardless of the letter writer, she's bouncing between feelings on both boys in "real life." She likes David well enough and thinks Isabel is trying really hard to set them up...but she can't help but continue to like her long-time crush Lucas. When her younger brother Wyatt's baseball coach turns out to be Cade, the guy Lily most dislikes, she finds him in her life way too frequently for comfort. He's always been a jerk to her. He nicknamed her "Magnet" in gym class--and the name stuck. He dated her best friend Isabel until she broke up with him because he and Lily couldn't get along. He's a bully. But she also can't stop thinking about him. Cade was an interesting character. He's flawed, which a lot of male characters aren't in YA. There was a bullying scene with him and a freshman early on in the book that really soured me to him. Granted, he also had balancing sweet moments, and there is a reason he does the things he does, but still...I don't have to like it! Like Lily, I was never really sure what I thought about him!

P.S. I LIKE YOU probably falls in the middle among Kasie West's books for me, just because I didn't love all the characters. It falls high on the list when it comes to family dynamics! Despite my uneven feelings, I overall really enjoyed this book and think reading it in late November during the holidays is the perfect time of year to devour this book. It will really get you in the Thanksgiving mood!!!

~*~
C O N T E N T R A T I N G S

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG ( kissing...Kasie West never takes it too far for a tween to read!  )
Language:  --
Violence: --described, but there was a scene with torture that squicked me out a bit )
Other:  PG ( light bullying -- made up names such as "Magnet" and "Pink Lightning." A scene with balancing a ball in the hallway that may or may not have been misinterpreation on the main character's part. The main character also lovingly calls her younger brothers Thing 1 and Thing 2, or Things when talking to them both. Lily also has her friend distract a teacher so she can sneak into a classroom and take something another teacher took from her. )
~*~
C O V E R   D E S I G N: 

Okay, this cover is cute! It's sweet and fluffy and fun--just like a Kasie West novel!

I like the atmosphere of the cover, the way it invokes you to have a good time with the characters!
 
~*~
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Title: P.S. I LIKE YOU
Author: Kasie West
Release Date: July 26, 2016
Publisher: Point // Scholastic
Received: Borrowed
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18755539-cutlass
SUMMARY:

Signed, sealed, delivered…
While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!
Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…






Ten Most Recent Books We've Added to our TBR!



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.
Every once in a while I participate in this one when I either
1) Like the theme, and/or 2) Have the time!

This week's topic:
Ten Most Recent Books We've Added to our TBR!

Okay, so this is last week's topic. But Mandy and I spun that into our own Wonderland theme and we were sad to miss out on this theme because it's a really cool one! 

I think this theme really introduces readers to new books, especially ones that may not be coming out for a long time (or even books that are really old that you've just "discovered" and TBRed!)

So here are ten books we've each added recently to our TBR Lists!

(And thank goodness to Goodreads because it can keep track of this for us!!! I still remember how I used to keep a Word Document before I discovered that site...)



In order from most recent...



1) THE GILDED WOLVES by Roshani Chokshi
Out: 2018 TBA

When the author of THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN announced her new book deal this past week, I RAN to Goodreads to TBR it!!!! I don't know much about it yet, but hey, it's 1) Roshani Chokshi, and 2) Set in Paris!!!

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28588345-the-midnight-star

2) THE LOVE INTEREST by Cale Dietrich
Out: May 16, 2017


I discovered this one looking at Macmillan's upcoming 2017 catalog. The concept is interesting: In a world where two guys are training to be undercover spies, their graduation mission is to convince a girl they're normal by having her fall in love. The only problem? Only one of them can win and survive....

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22299763-crooked-kingdom

3) LINTANG AND THE PIRATE QUEEN by Tamara Moss
Out 2017 TBA--atm, just in Australia! ;_;

I've known Tamara Moss a long time and followed her on her long road to publication. (Fun fact! Tamara is also one of Marissa Meyer's crit partners. You should be jealous of her because she gets to read things EARLY and help shape them into the final book that YOU get to read!)

I''m so excited that Tamara has a publishing deal and will be releasing a middle-grade novel featuring mythology and pirates! I just hope Penguin Random House Australia imports the book to the USA so I can read it, too!!!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28260587-empire-of-storms

4) CLOUDBOUND by Fran Wilde
Out NOW!!!


I read UPDRAFT by Fran Wilde recently and reviewed it earlier this month. Immediately after finishing, I added the sequel CLOUDBOUND to my TBR! I picked it up this past weekend at a book signing with the author, so I'm excited to read it soon!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18054071-like-a-river-glorious


5) DIVIDING EDEN by Joelle Charbonneau
Out June 6, 2017


When I saw the cover reveal for this book, I'd never heard of it! The reveal made me really sit up and take notice. The author previously wrote The Testing series, which I've never read, but have heard good things about. This book sounds like it will be so hard to put down! It's about twins who were never destined to rule--until their parents and elder brother are assassinated. Now they have to fight for the crown and see how far they'll go, when previously, they lived only to protect one another....

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18584855-heartless

6) THE NAMELESS PRINCE by Megan Bannen
Out 2018 TBA

My dream agent is Holly Root, in part because I adore so many of the authors and books she represents. Truth: I follow her on Twitter just so I can find out when she picks up a new author that I might want to read. Her debut was inspired by an ancient Persian poen that lead to the creation of the opera Turandot. It's narrated by a slave and about a cursed princess. We don't know much about it yet, but I already want to read it!!!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25760792-timekeeper

7) THE CROWN'S DOG by Elise Kova
Out November 22, 2016


I added this one when Elise Kova mentioned that she was coming out with a prequel trilogy to her popular Air Awakens series. If you like elemental magic, you need to be reading this series!!!! I believe the first book, AIR AWAKENS, is still on sale for 99 cents, but don't quote me on that. The cover also just recently debuted!!! The book is out in less than two weeks, too!!! Not long to wait!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27414432-rebel-genius

8) ONE DARK THRONE by Kendare Blake
Out 2017 TBA

I recently met Kendare Blake at a book signing and found that the book I'd been anticipating, THREE DARK CROWNS, was the first in a duology. So....I'm gonna wait and read them both together!!!!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24157098-bound-by-blood-and-sand

9) FROGKISSER! by Garth Nix
Out February 28, 2017


I found out about this one when Garth Nix read an excerpt at his recent book signing for GOLDENHAND that I intended. Garth Nix and fairy tales?????? I WILL TAKE THIS NOW, PLEASE. OKAY, THANKS!!!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28954163-the-mountain-of-kept-memory

10) THE VALIANT by Lesley Livingstone
Out February 14th, 2017


This first caught my attention when it was blurbed as being for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Cinda Williams Chima. It might have also mentioned AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White? I forget.... When I saw that it was a historical fantasy with Julius Caesar as a main character and that the girl had to be strong enough to survive in this violent world, I WAS SOLD!!!!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28537304-sacrifice





1) CINDERELLA, NECROMANCER by F.M Boughan
Out: September 5th, 2017. Cover TBA

I JUST DISCOVERED THIS ONE TODAY, and omg my twisted fairytale heart is beating with excitement. It's a Cindrella retelling with necromancy, and it seems like it's one of those stories where you're not sure if the main character will end up a hero or a villain.

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28588345-the-midnight-star

2) FLAME IN THE MIST by Renee Ahdieh
Out: May 2nd, 2017

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)

The cover for this one caught my eye while I was perusing GoodReads. Samurais, Alchemy, what looks to be a really kickass lead female, oh I will be reading this one. On her way to an arranged marriage, Mariko is nearly killed by a group called the Black Clan. She survives and goes undercover as a boy to try and figure out who put the price on her head. This summary is giving me a lot of really really excited Mulan feels, but with the added edge of political intrigue and not knowing who the bad or good guys are going to be. 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22299763-crooked-kingdom

3) HEAR THE WOLVES by Victoria Scott
Out March 28th, 2017


Hear the Wolves

It's been a while since I've gotten excited over a good middle-grade survival story. This one reminds me just a tad of Julie of the Wolves, which is one of my favorites from my own middle school reading list.  Sloan lives in a small Alaska town that gets isolated during a blizzard. When a neighbor gets injured Sloan and the remaining inhabitants need to make it to a boat on the river which will take them to a doctor. The elements are dangerous enough, but then hungry wolves start hunting them.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28260587-empire-of-storms

4) FROST by M.P. Kozlowsky
Out NOW!!!

Frost

Science fiction in a dystopian setting, I was eyeing this book and itching to buy it for aaaages. Frost is alone in a world full of rogue robots and something called Eaters. Her father's memory is alive, uploaded into a robot, warning her not to risk herself by seeking out medicine for her dying pet. Everything about this book feels like exactly what I need to be reading.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18054071-like-a-river-glorious


5) FURTHURMORE Tahereh Mafi
Out Now!!

Furthermore

DO YOU SEE THIS COVER? DO YOU? It's so gorgeous it hurts my heart. I'd heard a lot about this author's teen series, bur when I found this in the middle grade section I knew I needed to read it soon. The main character, Alice, must travel through a dangerous and magical land to find her beloved father. The world is full of magic and color, both of which Alice seemingly lacks.  From what I can tell it's inspired by so many of my favorite childhood fairytales in a vibrant and intriguingly new pattern.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18584855-heartless

6) MAGONIA by Maria Dahvana Headley
Out Now!!!
Magonia (Magonia, #1)

Another cover that is so pretty it hurts my eyeballs. Magonia is about a girl who, in our world, suffers from a mysterious lung disease. When she finds herself transported to Magonia, a land above the clouds that functions via trading ships, she can breathe. Not only that but she is powerful. With war fast approaching she has to decide if she will fight for the world where she is strong, or the world where all the humans she loves reside. And I swear I just can't get the imagery of ships in the sky out of my head, I'm way too excited to read this.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25760792-timekeeper

7) SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sarah Raasch
Out Now!!!!

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27414432-rebel-genius

8) ONE DARK THRONE by Kendare Blake
Out 2017 TBA

I recently met Kendare Blake at a book signing and found that the book I'd been anticipating, THREE DARK CROWNS, was the first in a duology. So....I'm gonna wait and read them both together!!!!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24157098-bound-by-blood-and-sand

9) FROGKISSER! by Garth Nix
Out February 28, 2017


I found out about this one when Garth Nix read an excerpt at his recent book signing for GOLDENHAND that I intended. Garth Nix and fairy tales?????? I WILL TAKE THIS NOW, PLEASE. OKAY, THANKS!!!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28954163-the-mountain-of-kept-memory

10) THE VALIANT by Lesley Livingstone
Out February 14th, 2017


This first caught my attention when it was blurbed as being for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Cinda Williams Chima. It might have also mentioned AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White? I forget.... When I saw that it was a historical fantasy with Julius Caesar as a main character and that the girl had to be strong enough to survive in this violent world, I WAS SOLD!!!!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28537304-sacrifice

What books are you most excited to read???
 ^_^