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Monday, December 15, 2014

Most Anticipated Books of 2015

These are just a few of the books I’m excited for – there are many more that are coming in 2015 (particularly from Australian authors) but aren’t listed below because there’s no cover/blurb or definitive title yet.

Vikki Wakefield’s third book is one of those, as is Trinity Doyle’s (blogger turned author!) debut ‘Pieces of Sky’ …. I’m also holding out hope for Cath Crowley’s latest ‘The Howling Boy’, and that a 2015 book listing for Melina Marchetta on Goodreads (called; ‘Shaming the Devil’) is totally legit … Marchetta was recently part of a Penguin High Tea in Sydney, and many bloggers made mention of this new book which she said is adult, and her agent describes as literary-thriller (*squeee*!). Not to mention A.S. King’s new book ‘I Crawl Through It’ – there aren’t enough *squees* in the world to express how excited I am for that book! 
But for those books that do have more information available about them they are listed by release-month below. You’ll find it’s an eclectic list of forthcoming titles, and that’s because this list reflects my own reading tastes and the books that are intriguing me. 
Maybe you haven’t heard of some and you can add them to your own growing ‘forthcoming’ list, and maybe there are some that don’t appear here but you think I should be aware of – PLEASE, if that is the case, send me titles! I love finding books to get excited for!

Enjoy!

JANUARY

·      The Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa Strayhorn
This novel sounds so interesting – with a hint of A.S. King-type appeal.
‘Five teenagers sit around a bonfire in the middle of the New Mexico desert. They don’t know it yet, but they are about to make the biggest sacrifice of their lives … When they trade totems as a symbol of shedding and adopting one another’s sorrows, they think it’s only an exercise.’

·      Please Remain Calm (This is Not a Test #2) by Courtney Summers
The sequel to Summers’ incredible 2012 novel ‘This is Not a Test’ – I AM SO EXCITED/TERRIFIED FOR THIS SEQUEL!

·      All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
When I first heard about this, I cringed at the tagline: ‘The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park,’ because I’m deeply suspicious of any promotional line that just mentions two of the biggest YA novels to come out in the last two years and says “Oh yeah, this is just like those!”
Nuh-uh, not convinced.

But then I received an advance reading copy of this from Penguin Teen Australia, along with an accompanying letter from Niven describing what gave her the idea for this novel about two teenagers who are obsessed with death  … I was very moved by Niven’s story behind the story, and I started reading the book right away.

Let me just say: I’m not surprised that the novel was optioned for a movie before it even hit shelves, and Elle Fanning is set to star.

·      The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
‘To fight her destiny as the missing heir to a powerful and dangerous secret society, sixteen-year-old Avery West must solve an ancient puzzle in a deadly race across Europe …’ – ssshhhh. This blurb had me at ‘secret society’ (I’m envisioning a YA version of ‘The Skulls’)


·      I Was Here by Gayle Forman
I am excited for this book, even while I’m really hoping that it’s stand-alone contemporary YA (some are saying ‘New Adult’). Because I tend to love the first books of hers – ‘If I Stay’ and ‘Just One Day’ – but hate the unnecessary follows-ups – ‘Where She Went’ and ‘Just One Year’.

·      The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
This middle-grade debut sounds glorious; ‘Mark is not like other kids at all. Mark is sick. The kind of sick that means hospitals. And treatments. The kind of sick some people never get better from. So Mark runs away. He leaves home with his camera, his notebook, his dog, and a plan to reach the top of Mount Rainier--even if it's the last thing he ever does.’ I especially love the idea of this novel because sickness explored in YA and adult fiction inevitably remains within the confines of sick-beds and hospitals … so I love the idea of a child protagonist realising what so many people would actually love to do when they find themselves in such dire circumstances: just run away.

·      Before I Go by Colleen Oakley
‘…a young woman with breast cancer who undertakes a mission to find a new wife for her husband before she passes away.’ I just want to keep this one for a good crying day.

·      I'm Glad I Did by Cynthia Weil
Look, I normally hate when a book’s blurb pitch reads: “If you liked X, and Y, then Z is the book for you!” … that being said, this book is pitched as: ‘Mad Men’ meets ‘Nashville’, it’s set in 1963 and is written by Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Cynthia Weil. Count me in!

·      The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell
Remember the ALS ice-bucket challenge? … well, this debut from Sarah Benwell sounds like the perfect remedy for anyone who thought that movement felt a little too social-media hollow. ‘Japanese teenager, Sora, is diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Lonely and isolated, Sora turns to the ancient wisdom of the samurai for guidance and comfort. But he also finds hope in the present; through the internet he finds friends that see him, not just his illness.’

·      Save Me by Jenny Elliott
That cover. Yes! (hopefully it’s not a case of great cover, poor plot – hello, ‘Hush, Hush’). It’s a paranormal romance that sounds very quirky, but I’m willing to try: ‘Something strange is going on in the tiny coastal town of Liberty, Oregon. Cara has never seen a whale swim close enough for her to touch it—let alone knock her into the freezing water. Fortunately, cute newcomer David is there to save her, and the rescue leads to a bond deeper than Cara ever imagined.’

·      The Witches of Echo Park (The Witches of Echo Park #1) by Amber Benson
Amber Benson is the actress who played Tara in ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, and she’s been writing fantasy/paranormal novels for a long while now (as well as starring in the Morganville Vampires web-series adaptation of Rachel Caine’s vampire series). This sounds a lot YA-paranormal cliché, but I am still intrigued: ‘When Elyse MacAllister’s great-aunt Eleanora, the woman who raised her, becomes deathly ill, Lyse puts her comfortable life in Georgia on hold to rush back to Los Angeles. And once she returns to Echo Park, Lyse discovers her great-aunt has been keeping secrets—extraordinary secrets—from her.’

·      The Maxwell Sisters by Loretta Hill
I have loved Loretta Hill’s contemporary romances set in outback Australia on engineering sites, but I’m ridiculously excited to find that she’s breaking away from this formula with a new book set in the Margaret River wine region. I like wine. I like Loretta Hill’s writing. This feels like a winning combination to me.

FEBRUARY
·      
The Flywheel by Erin Gough
I interviewed Erin for my Kill Your Darlings article, ‘We Read To Know We Are Not Alone: Examining the Lack of LGBTQI Characters in Australian Youth Literature.’ She’s amazing, and this debut YA is a triumph: I should know, because I was given an advanced copy … and I’d like to share with you the endorsement quote I wrote for the book: “Erin Gough writes lightning on the page - her words leaving a resounding thunderclap in the heart! I wished so hard for The Flywheel to be a real place, so I could go there and knock back caramel milkshakes with Del and Charlie while we waited for the Flamenco Hour. This reads like progress in Aussie YA diversity, a move away from coming-out stories to explorations of the perils and pleasures that come when you are finally true to yourself, but still dealing with the small-minds of others. I do think that the Australian youth literature community will embrace this tender-true love story with open arms, and eagerly anticipate Gough’s next novel.” (see how I rambled there? That’s because it’s awesome and WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS!)

·      A Small Madness by Dianne Touchell
Touchell is the best – her debut ‘Creepy & Maud’ guaranteed I’d read everything and anything she writes. Her second book sounds just as grossly compelling as her debut: ‘Something had shifted inside her, a gear being ratcheted over a clunky cog, gaining torque, starting her up. But it didn't show. How could all of these feelings not show? She was a woman now but it didn't show and she couldn't tell anyone.’

Every Move 'Every series #3' by Ellie Marney 
I love, love, love Ellie Marney's Every series - and I can't wait for more Rachel & Mycroft, especially to find out the fallout from EVERYTHING that went down in 'Every Word'!


·      Skin by Ilka Tampke
“Set in Iron-Age Britain on the cusp of Roman invasion, Skin is a thrilling, full-blooded, mesmerising novel about the collision of two worlds, and a young woman torn between two men.” Ilka is actually in my writer’s group – so I’m doubly excited for this exquisite novel to hit shelves!



·  Bad Behaviour by Rebecca Starford

Rebecca Starford is the co-founder and publishing-director of Kill Your Darlings, and founding member of the Stella Prize steering committee - Bad Behaviour is her first book, and it's getting a lot of early buzz! It's based on Starford's own experience of spending one year at a school in the bush: "In her boarding house fifteen girls were left largely unsupervised, a combination of the worst behaved students and some of the most socially vulnerable. As everyone tried to fit in and cope with their feelings of isolation and homesickness, Rebecca found herself joining ranks with the powerful girls, and participating in various forms of bullying and aggression. Increasingly horrified at her own behaviour, Rebecca soon found herself excluded from this group and subjected to bullying herself." 
I'm so excited for this book! 

 
·      The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
I loved Cynthia Hand’s first book in her ‘Unearthly’ series, but I never actually read beyond that first book … which is weird, and something I’ve pondered on this blog before. I am meaning to go back and read her debut paranormal series, but before I do that I’m more intrigued by her first foray into contemporary YA. It’s about a girl called Lex whose brother committed suicide: “Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on.”

·      When My Heart Was Wicked by Tricia Stirling
I love the title, and that this sounds like an old school Grimm’s Fairytale (with a twist) about a young girl trying to stay with her good, healing step-mother and avoid her biological mother’s black magic.

·      Conspiracy Girl by Sarah Alderson
I’m a really big fan of Alderson’s, and this new novel of hers sounds amazingly heart-palpitating: ‘Everybody knows about the Cooper Killings – the Bel Air home invasion that rocked the nation. There was only one survivor - a sixteen year-old girl. And though the killers were caught they walked free.’

·      Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai
From the author of award-winning ‘Inside Out & Back Again’: “A California girl born and raised, Mai can't wait to spend her vacation at the beach. Instead, though, she has to travel to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is going back to find out what really happened to her husband during the Vietnam War.”

·      Missing You by Kylie Kaden
I love that so soon after Kaden blew me away with ‘Losing Kate’, she has a new book out next year.

·      A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab
‘Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands.’ Sign me up – I love that cover especially.

·      An Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Soldier in Hitler's Army by Georg Rauch
‘As a young adult in wartime Vienna, Georg Rauch helped his mother hide dozens of Jews from the Gestapo behind false walls in their top-floor apartment and arrange for their safe transport out of the country.’ This sounds amazing! Biographies and memoirs feel like they’re becoming a big thing in YA, and this one sounds like a great introduction to that genre in 2015.

 
·      Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear
Steampunk set in Seattle in the late 19th century! Say no more.

·      Unspeakable by Abbie Rushton
A debut novel about two girls – one who has stopped speaking, and another who might make her start again.

·      We Are Pirates by Daniel Handler
I’m going to guess that this book might be boycotted, and I can understand why people would want to do that. But I was intrigued by this premise before the National Book Award and Handler’s racist remarks: ‘A boat has gone missing. Goods have been stolen. There is blood in the water. It is the twenty-first century and a crew of pirates is terrorizing the San Francisco Bay.’ I’m including the title here because he gave one hell of an apology (admitting he was “monstrously” wrong and did indeed say something racist is a good start) – he also donated over $100,000 to the ‘We Need Diverse Books’ campaign – for that, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.



Rat Queens with new illustrator Stjepan Šejić

As I said in my 'Favourite Books of 2014' post, I was really impressed that series creator/writer Kurtis J. Wiebe took immediate and swift action when it was announced that Rat Queens illustrator Roc Upchurch was part of a domestic violence charge. Wiebe took a strong stand in a complicated situation, and now it has been announced that in late February Rat Queens will welcome a new illustrator in Stjepan Šejić. Kudos to Wiebe for reiterating that he wants to “make comics that include and embrace diversity”, and he's totally living up to that with this new appointment. Bravo!


MARCH

·      Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega #4) by Patricia Briggs
We have not had a Charles and Anna book since 2012. TWENTY-TWELVE! That is insane, and I am insanely excited for this fourth book as a result. Even reading the sparse blurb has me breaking out in excited goosebumps: ‘For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way...’




'Larger-than-life character Tiny Cooper, from John Green and David Levithan’s bestselling novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson, finally tells his own story the only way he knows how—as a stupendous musical.'

·      Little Miss Evil by Kristy Shen & Bryce Leung
‘When you live in a volcano, ride to school in a helicopter, and regularly see your dad on the news with the caption “EVIL GENIUS” underneath his picture, it takes a lot to rattle you.’ I want this book in my life so very, very badly!

·      The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
A new novel from the author ‘Never Let Me Go’ – now this is cause for celebration! I’m especially excited for this because I’ve been reading how much Ishiguro struggled to write it for ten years (partly because his wife didn’t like the first draft). The result will be a novel about "lost memories, love, revenge and war.” 

·      Splinters of Light by Rachael Herron
Herron is one of my favourite contemporary romance authors, and I also loved her first foray into contemp-fiction with ‘Pack up the Moon’ – not to mention she was fabulous in the Melbourne Writers Festival session I saw her in this year.

·      Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles
This sounds like it’ll be Jo Knowles at her best – a new novel of interlocking stories: ‘Over the course of a single day, these voices and others speak loud and clear about the complex dance that is life in a small town.’ Jo Knowles is a marvel, her books are gut-wrenching and honest and anything new from her is a gift.

·      The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace
A debut YA fantasy, I admit it’s the cover of this book that first intrigued me and the synopsis itself feels like it’s banking on a ‘Game of Thrones’ popularity surge that’s seen an influx of high-fantasy in YA: “…. in this fantasy realm where dukes play a game for the throne, magical warriors race to find the missing heir, and romance blossoms where it is least expected.”

·      Unabrow: Misadventures of a Late Bloomer by Una LaMarche
LaMarche’s ‘Like No Other’ was one of my favourite books of 2014, hands down. So I consider this memoir of hers to be a real gift – I mean, look at that cover! – not to mention I think every young woman can relate to LaMarche’s late-blooming observations: ‘Una shares the cringe-inducing lessons she’s learned from a life as a late bloomer, including the seven deadly sins of DIY bangs, how not to make your own jorts, and how to handle pregnancy, plucking, and the rites of passage during which your own body is your worst frenemy.’

·      The Lost Boys Symphony by Mark Andrew Ferguson
Behold, one of the best blurbs of 2015: ‘A startlingly original, genre-bending literary debut in which a lovesick college student is abducted by other versions of himself from the future.’
It’s like if Christopher Nolan wrote YA ….

·      Mosquitoland by David Arnold
‘After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the "wastelands" of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland. So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way.’
This sounds SO GOOD! And I love that title/cover. I want, I want, I want!

·      Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
It’s the title that intrigued me at first – mostly because it reminded me of the brilliantly-named ‘Fingerbone’ setting of Marilynne Robinson’s ‘Housekeeping’. Ruby’s book is a contemporary YA mystery, and it sounds mysterious indeed: ‘Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.’

·      Vision in Silver (The Others #3) by Anne Bishop
Bow down to Anne Bishop. Her ‘The Others’ series has fast become one of my all time favourite paranormals – I’m counting her amongst legends like Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews. She has at least three more books planned for the series, and I can’t wait for #3 – to catch up with Meg and Simon again!

·      Witch Upon a Star (A Midnight Magic Mystery #3) by Jennifer Harlow
I just love Jennifer Harlow’s ‘Midnight Magic Mystery’ series. LOVE!

·      The Unleashing (Call of Crows #1) by Shelly Laurenston
IT’S THE FIRST IN A NEW SERIES FROM SHELLY LAURENSTON! OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG!
Also: I thoroughly appreciate that cover.

·      The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski
The Winner’s Curse’ was a favourite book of 2014 – and I have been lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of ‘Crime’ from NetGalley … all I’ll say is that the second book will be a favourite of 2015 too.

APRIL

   
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Courtney Summers is in a league all of her own in YA. ‘All the Rage’ examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?’ The YA readership needs this book right now. Bravo, Courtney Summers, bravo.

·      Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby
I read my first Jessi Kirby in 2013 but didn’t love it. I thought the storyline of ‘Golden’ overshadowed the characters a little bit, but the plot/character balance of her new novel sounds a little more promising: “When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.”

·      Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Dude. I’d read this for the title alone, but it’s also a YA novel with a gay protagonist – love! ‘Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.’



·  Watch the Sky by Kirsten Hubbard

I really loved Hubbard's YA novel Wanderlove, so I'm really excited to read this middle-grade novel from her, about a young boy who is living in his stepfather's doomsday world: "He must follow a very specific set of rules: don’t trust anyone outside the family, have your work boots at the ready just in case, and always, always watch out for the signs. The end is coming, and they must be prepared." 

·      The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre
I really enjoy Aguirre’s science fiction and paranormal series’, so I’m really intrigued to read her try a hand at contemporary YA romance – bonus points for the blurb mentioning a broody boy who plays guitar.

·      Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
Y’know how I said I hate blurbs that go: “If you liked X, and Y, then Z is the book for you!” … I lied, again. This novel is described thus: ‘Neil Gaiman’s Stardust meets John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in this groundbreaking fantasy about a girl caught between two worlds … two races … and two destinies.’

·      The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
‘A girl takes over her twin sister's identity in this emotionally charged page-turner about the complicated bond between sisters.’ This sounds a bit like that Zoe Kazan film ‘The Pretty One,’ so I’ll give it a go.

MAY

·      Dreams of Shreds and Tatters by Amanda Downum
Anything described as a, ‘Lovecraftian urban fantasy’ will get my attention.

·      Day Shift (Midnight, Texas #2) by Charlaine Harris
I think there was a fairly mixed reaction to the first book in Harris’s new series, but I really loved ‘Midnight Crossroad’ – mostly because the series is based around two of my favourite secondary characters from Harris’s other series, Bobo and Manfred! Going into this second novel in the series, I’m mostly hoping that Fiji’s crush on Bobo is further explored … Fiji for the win!

·      Under the Lights (Boys of Fall #1) by Shannon Stacey
‘They were the golden boys of fall: Stewart Mills High School’s legendary championship winning football team. Fourteen years later, they’re back to relive their glory, save the team—and find themselves again…’ Ssshhh. I’m already envisioning this as a “New Adult” Friday Night Lights romance series and I AM SO THERE! Gimme, gimme, gimme.

 
·      Lois Lane: Fallout (Lois Lane #1) by Gwenda Bond
Get ready to GEEK-OUT! ‘Lois Lane is starting a new life in Metropolis. An Army brat, Lois has lived all over—and seen all kinds of things. (Some of them defy explanation, like the near-disaster she witnessed in Kansas in the middle of one night.) But now her family is putting down roots in the big city, and Lois is determined to fit in.’

·      I am Princess X by Cherie Priest
‘Best friends, big fans, a mysterious webcomic, and a long-lost girl collide in this riveting novel, perfect for fans of both Cory Doctorow and Sarah Dessen, & illustrated throughout with comics.’ that’s a lot of awesome in one sentence.


· Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
"Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

· A Sense of the Infinite by Hilary T. Smith

Smith wrote the 2013 novel Wild Awake, which I loved and guaranteed I'll read absolutely anything she writes. 



· Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

I have said before that I just don't think Dessen's books are for me ... which I hate to admit, because Dessen is to YA what Beyoncé is to music - the Queen. So I'm going to try and give this new book of hers a read: "Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world." 

JUNE

·      The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
Trish Doller is amazing. I love her (and Melina Marchetta does too!). This new novel of hers sounds *incredible* – about a road-trip that goes tragically wrong. And if you don’t believe me, just check out her Pinterest inspiration board – intriguing, huh?!

·      The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent
I loved Vincent’s ‘Werecats’ series … until the final book let me down just a little bit. I think that’s partly why I didn’t venture over to her ‘Unbound’ or ‘Soul Screamers’ series – but now I’m ready to join her on a new paranormal venture, because this one sounds so darn good: ‘In these urban fantasies, a 16-year-old girl discovers not only that the Church is run by demons and she is one of the very few who can exorcise them, but also that she must join forces with other rogue exorcists to save her younger sister and ultimately, humanity.’



· The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler 

"The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak."

·      The Unforgiven League of the Black Swan #2 by Alyssa Day
Grrr! I so loved the first book in this series, The Cursed, released in 2013 – so of course I raced out to mark my calendar for the release of second book in this paranormal romance series … but then discovered an Amazon listing that said it had been released in 1999, and there was no stock. Goodreads was just as unhelpful, estimating an early 2014 release date that had already come and gone and was clearly another metadata glitch. Finally we have a (hopefully firm) June 2015 date for this much-anticipated second book, the continued story of Luke and Rio!

·      Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca
This is a young adult romance about best friends reuniting as more than just friends … that’s my romance Kryptonite, best friends getting together. I’m so there!

·      The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi
About a party and a break-up, alternating chapters, first loves and a reference to Sarah Dessen. I’ll read that.

AUGUST

·      Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels #8) by Ilona Andrews
I didn’t love ‘Magic Breaks’, but I’m pretty sure Andrews can turn it all around with a new book – especially because books #9 (2016 release) and #10 (2017) are looming on the horizon, and the long-game is being laid out for readers. I do hope – as always – that Julie, Derek and Ascanio will have a bigger role in this new book (or the hints of a spin-off!).

·      Brown-Eyed Girl (Travis Family #4) by Lisa Kleypas
Ahem - *sqeeeeeee* – sorry, just had to get that out there. A new Lisa Kleypas book is always something to celebrate, but ‘Brown-Eyed Girl’ even more so since it’s the fourth book in what many believed to be a trilogy. The ‘Travis Family’ marked Kleypas’s first foray into contemporary romance, and boy was it good – so much so that when Kleypas ended the series in 2009 with one Travis brother uncoupled, it became one of the questions Kleypas got asked about the most – ‘will Joe get his own book’? Well folks, it is indeed coming – and I can’t wait! 
(P.S. - I do hate that cover though)

·      The Veil (Devil's Isle #1) by Chloe Neill
I hated Neill’s ‘Chicagoland Vampires’ series, and gave up after two books (I really struggled to even get past the protagonist’s name – Merit. WTF?) but that series is currently 11 books deep, with two more scheduled and I’d actually really love to give Neill’s new paranormal series a try in the hopes that it’s more appealing to me. This one might be the winner!

·      Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente
‘Radiance is a decopunk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery set in a Hollywood—and solar system—very different from our own…’ the only bad thing about his book is that it’s not coming out until August. The PAIN!!!!!


SEPTEMBER


· Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

So, I haven't loved the other two Leila Sales books that I've read. But her latest book sounds a little like Cath Crowley's Graffiti Moon (which I love), except replace 'graffiti artist' with 'blogger': "a YA novel about a teen girl living in the suburbs who becomes obsessed with a blogger in New York City, and sets out to track him down in real life." 


OCTOBER


· Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Ummmm. Sooooo. This is going to be a novel based on the fantasy-fiction M/M couple that the protagonist of Rowell's Fangirl wrote fanfiction about. OK? Basically, it's the most gloriously meta piece of fiction to be coming out of 2015 and everyone should be LOSING THEIR MINDS over it! 


FILM and TV ADAPTATION

·      Karen Russell’s St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves
This is going to be amazing. Jenny Bicks of The Big C has signed on for the adaptation of Russell’s short story; ‘The drama centers on mysterious and attractive twins Claudette and Felix, 16, who, when they show up at the elite St. Lucy's boarding school, change the school and the tiny town of Green Hills, Maine, in ways no one could have imagined.’ 


·      Rosalie Ham’s The Dressmaker
Ham’s book was first published in 2000, and went on to become a bestseller – it tells the Australian country gothic tale of Myrtle Tilly Dunnage, who returns to her hometown of Dungatar to care for her dying mother. From the blurb: ‘At first ostracised, the townspeople gradually accept her in order to make use of her extraordinary dressmaking skills and at last, Tilly feels that she might have found home. But small towns are strange places, where vanity rules and, once again reviled, she sets out to teach the town a lesson. In the process she faces the ghosts of her past, and wreaks a havoc that provides a most satisfying revenge…’

Now, I can remember in about 2004/2005 Rosalie Ham actually came to my high school and spoke to us – we’d studied ‘The Dressmaker’ in English, and I for one had thoroughly enjoyed it (even while it stabbed me in the heart, repeatedly!). I can remember even way back then, Ms Ham talking to us about a movie adaptation … and now it’s finally happening, hitting cinemas on October 1st, 2015! Kate Winslet, Hugo Weaving, Judy Davis and Liam Hemsworth are starring … I. CAN’T. WAIT!

·      Outlander returns in April
I’m just going to avoid ranting on how annoying it is that there was even a mid-season break that lasted for SIX MONTHS, and choose to focus on the positives of the first season coming back: *ahem* JAMIEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!
Ye ken?

PODCAST

·      Serial podcast season two
I have become obsessed with the week-by-week investigation into a 1999 Baltimore murder, of which Adnan Syed was given a life-sentence. A second season has been confirmed – no date given yet, and we don’t even know what the investigation will be … but I am excited. From the Serial website: ‘Last week, we asked people who’ve been listening to Serial to chip in if they wanted a second season. This American Life funded the bulk of Season One, but to make Serial ongoing, it needs to pay for itself. Today, we have good news: between the money you donated and sponsorship, we’ll be able to make a second season of Serial. We don’t know yet what the story will be or exactly when we’ll be airing Season Two, but we’ll be working on it as soon as this season ends.’