I have, literally, just come back from a wonderful morning at the Penguin offices, for a special 'between the lines' live day. The lovely people at Penguin opened their doors to all their book bloggers and let us interview Marie Lu ('Legend') and Aussie author Gabrielle Williams ('Beatle meets Destiny' and the upcoming 'The Reluctant Hallelujah'). Plus, we were also given a sneak peek into some upcoming 2012 titles!
Honestly, I was already pretty excited for 2012 to roll round, now I am apoplectic with anticipation! There will be some fantastic new Aussie YA books, like Williams's 'The Reluctant Hallelujah' (seriously, I cannot stress this enough - the book is gonna be big. Be prepared!). Also a YA psychological drama from Australian crime writer, Leah Giarratano, called 'Disharmony' sounds disquieting and brilliant. A new book from Doug MacLeod called 'The Shiny Guys' piqued my interest as a 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' for the younger set. A novel about 'Losing It' by Julia Lawrinson sounds hilarious and the cover is divine. And, of course, Kirsty Eagar's new 'Night Beach' caused quite a stir and is, without a doubt, amongst the most-anticipated books coming out of 2012.
So excited was I, that I came home and decided to compile my very own (rather gargantuan) list of anticipated 2012 titles.
Some books are missing (mostly because there was no cover or pub date set) but for the most part this is a fairly comprehensive 2012 wish list. I gathered the publication months from publisher websites if I could, or Goodreads if I couldn't (so they might be a wee bit out of whack, my apologies in advance).
Feel free to give me a heads-up about any books I have overlooked or should be on my radar!
This is a love/hate release for me. Ms Briggs has altered her contract so she only has to release one book a year. We haven’t had a Charles & Anna book since 2009, so I am beyond excited to re-visit their story. But we sacrifice a Mercy release, with the next book not coming out until 2013. I totally get it. Briggs was writing at break-neck speed and if she needs to slow down to focus on her writing, then so be it. That doesn’t mean that I won’t miss having a Mercy installment every year, or that I won’t be wishing for more Anna & Charles stories in the interim. It is what it is, and you just know that whatever Briggs produces . . . it’s going to be brilliant. Fact.
That is one breathtaking front cover. Need I say more?
Another big Penguin release, this time about a Cinderella Cyborg! I'm quite excited for this one, ever since I became a wee bit obsessed with the new TV show 'Once Upon A Time'. I'm liking the fairytale-revival, and 'Cinder' has a cool steampunk twist that make it doubly-intriguing.
‘The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight’ by Jennifer E. Smith
amazing title for a YA love story that starts out in a busy airport. If this was a movie, I'd go and see it, but since it’s a book I intend to curl up with it and get lost in the no doubt gooey goodness!
This is a wonderful slice of Aussie contemporary romance about a female engineer who is thrown into the professional deep end when she's sent out to the remote Pilbara work site. She battles sexism, kamikaze kangaroos and one very tempting site manager. I was given an advanced copy for review, and I've got to say I was swept away ... to the point of actually contemplating going and working in the remote outback for a couple of months.
'The Gathering Storm' Katerina Alexandrovna #1 by Robin Bridges
To be honest, when I first saw this cover and got the Russian-vibe, I was sold. When I read the blurb and discovered it was a paranormal YA concentrating on necromancy in pre-revolutionary Russia. . . I was doubly-sold. I’m a total history buff, and Russia has been a point of interest since studying the 1905/1917 revolutions. I am so, so excited for this book – it sounds like a fantastic blending of complicated Russian politics and terrifying voodoo. I’m dying for this one (pardon the pun).
Last year I read ‘Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side’. I was a little nervous about this vampire YA, since the front cover looked more ‘tween’ than ‘teen’. But I was surprised at how funny and romantic the book was, and how delightfully biting & witty the leading man, Lucius was (pun totally intended). I really loved the book, and while I didn’t read it as the first in a series, I’m glad it’s not a stand-alone and there will be more Jess and Lucius to come.
I have never read a Kimberly Frost book, but when I saw the cover and read the blurb of this one, I became insanely curious. Plus, I love that title.
Earlier this year I read ‘The Missing’, a book from Shiloh Walker that came out in 2008. I loved it, but was a little surprised that it read like the first book in a series, but there was no hint of more to come . . . and then the cover for ‘The Departed’ dropped. Three years after the first book came out; Walker has decided to write a follow-up with secondary character Dez Lincoln in the lead. I would have liked it if the series continued to follow Cullen and Taige, but I’m just happy I read the first book without having to wait three years for the next one.
I fell head-over-heels into crazy love with Christian Grey and James’s ‘Fifty Shades’ contemporary romance series. This series completely exploded onto the romance scene, and now everyone is practically salivating for the final installment (it’s gooooood, trust me!).
I loved Alderson’s debut YA paranormal, ‘Hunting Lila’. So of course I was excited to learn that, not only was ‘Lila’ a series (with second book coming in August) but Alderson was contracted for another book series about demon slayers. OMG, freak-out! ‘Fated’ sounds amazing and I know that Alderson has the chops to carry off this Buffy-esque urban fantasy – if ‘Hunting Lila’ is anything to go by, ‘Fated’ will be Alderson’s second time capturing lightning in a bottle.
it has been waaaaaaay too long since we last hung out with the Ciara, Shane and the retro vampire crew. So much happened in ‘Bring on the Night’ – there were careening plot twists and curveballs, jaw-dropping revelations and transformations that totally changed the entire outlook of the series. I loved it! But it has been a painful wait between books . . . so I’m kind of glad that Smith-Ready is easing fans back into this series with a novella that picks up where ‘Bring on the Night’ left off, and prepares us for the finale, ‘Lust for Life’.
‘Across the Universe’ was one of the most kick-ass YA books I read in 2011. A love story and intergalactic murder mystery, Beth Revis offered up something wholly original and spooky in her tale of a spaceship with a murderer on board. There was a big reveal at the end of ‘Across the Universe’, concerning how Elder and Amy first met. It was jaw-dropping and will surely have interesting ramifications going into ‘A Million Suns’. Beth Revis is one of the most interesting new voices in YA, and I have high hopes for her second outing.
I have only just 'discovered' Ms Honey, after reading her temptingly twisted 2010 novel, 'The Good Daughter'. Now I fully intend to consume everything she writes!
Oh. My. God. I became addicted to Gabrielle William’s written word with ‘Beatle Meets Destiny’. When I interviewed her back in February she mentioned that she was writing a new book that Penguin would (hopefully) pick up, and she gave the very vague description of a Melbourne to Sydney road trip with a very important package. Well, it turns out that that ‘package’ is a dead body, the cover is glorious and the title sublime. Gabrielle was actually at the Penguin 'between the lines' live day, talking about 'Hallelujah' and getting us book bloggers all giddy for its release. The book sounds glorious!
Kirsty Eagar is, hands down, one of my favourite Australian young adult writers. ‘Raw Blue’ was her heart-breaking contemporary novel, and ‘Saltwater Vampires’ her Aussie horror-fest. Both books are out-standing, and her newest book, ‘Night Beach’, seems to be an interesting mix of both genres; once again turning Aussie sun, sand and surf into an unlikely Gothic setting, but with interesting dilemmas and tensions for her young characters. The cover is delicious and gives me goose-bumps. I am dying to get my hands on this one!
I have only just jumped onto the Wolfboy/Wildgirl bandwagon, but now I’m a devout fan and I can’t wait for their sequel. ‘This is Shyness’ was a fantastic blend of urban fantasy, speculation and realism. Shyness is a metaphor, Wolfboy and Wildgirl are lost soul-mates and I can’t wait to return to the darkness of Shyness with them.
Holy heck! I cannot believe an entire year went by without a new Kleypas release. The beloved romance author took 2011 off as a little recovery period (and no wonder, she does write at break-neck speed). But now I am so excited that she’s back, and intending to release three books in her contemporary romance ‘Friday Harbor’ series. Now, I was not a fan of first book ‘Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor’, mostly because I thought it was more of a novella (with a novel’s price-tag). My only complaint was that I wanted more story . . . so hopefully this complaint will be addressed with the three books coming for us in 2012! I am also hoping for a Joe Travis book sometime in the future (putting that on my Christmas wish list right now, in fact!)
I am ridiculously excited for this book. So much happened in third book ‘Unseen’, including missing appendages and a buck-naked Dijn menace. Cass and Luis were just starting to heat things up by the end of the third book . . . so I am mostly excited to see where things go for them, amidst all the chaos of a weather warden child army. Also, I love the (mostly naked) Dijn, Rashid. He’s so annoyingly charming and I raise my eyebrows at his interest in Cass. I’m so smitten with Rashid, that when I met with Rachel Caine back in May, I double-checked with her that he would have a role in ‘Unbroken’. . . and she confirmed! Woo-Ho!!
I saw this cover and coveted immediately. Then I read the first chapter preview and was practically salivating . . . I love the old-world romantic feel of this book, coupled with the eerie witch-hunting plot concerning priests of the ‘Brotherhood’. I predict this will be one of the hottest new YA series of 2012, already creating quite an excited stir at Penguin's 'between the lines' live day. Witches are the new supernatural du-jour of 2012, bring it on!
Okay, I love the ‘Guild Hunter’ series. I am missing the original characters of Elena and Raphael, but until the series refocuses on their story, I have no problems with reading a collection of short stories set in Singh’s wonderful angelic world.
You know what’s ridiculous? That we haven’t had a new Jane Jameson book since 2009! I know, it’s criminal! To be fair, in the interim Molly Harper has given us a fabulous new paranormal series called ‘Naked Werewolf’, and a fantastic contemporary romance called ‘And One Last Thing’. So Jane’s hiatus is forgivable (barely). I have missed Jane like crazy, so this book is one of my absolutely most-anticipated. I intend to clear a whole weekend to read this one (factoring in all the pauses I’ll need to roll around on the ground laughing).
Okay. So I haven’t really loved the last two BDB books. And I really didn’t like Payne and Manny’s book. Like most fans I’m just really hanging out for Qhuinn and Blay’s book (the Warden assures us it’s coming . . . but we need some minor heartbreak hurdles before we can get it. Damn!). But if Qhuay’s book is the most-anticipated, Tohrment’s is coming a very close second. Tohr is the broken brother, ever since his mate, Wellsie, died early on in the series. Fans should get ready for a book with a lot of angst and anger with Tohr. But I’m totally ready for it . . . I kind of think that Payne and Manny were just stalling, serial fodder to get to the good stuff with Tohr.
I seriously worship at the word altar of Shelly Laurenston. I discovered her earlier this year with ‘Magnus Pack’, and then I went on to devour the ‘Pride’ series pretty much in a single weekend. She’s incredible. She writes sexy bad-assery like nobody else I know and I hope there is no end in sight for her ‘Pride’ series. . . especially because I have my fingers firmly crossed for an eventual Johnny and Kristan book (the adorable teen lovebirds!).
I love Stacia Kane and I’m crazy about Chess Putnam. ‘Downside’ is one of the grittiest, most twisted and wonderful urban fantasy series and I have missed not having a new installment in 2011. I’m desperate to know where Chess and Terrible are at, and to get dragged back into Chess’s messy/beautiful life.
Described as 'Alias' for YA and I was sold. Plus that cover is damn fine! I swear, I drool a little bit just thinking about this one. Is it 2012 yet?!
I loved the first book in this series, ‘Delirium’. This Dystopia stems from a cure for love, in a society where Romeo & Juliet is a cautionary tale and a revolution. I loved the whole concept of this loveless world. ‘Delirium’ ended on a terrifying cliff-hanger, so I am crazy desperate to know what happens next!
This series just got even more awesome. At the end of ‘Heartless’ Alexia gave birth to a bouncing baby ___? And the series is now undergoing a major shake-up. I can’t wait to read how Carriger integrates this new curve-ball into an already audaciously original series. Bring it!
Okay, I declared myself a Hart fan way back in ‘The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie’. I loves me a good tragic hero, and Hart fits the bill to a tee. His meek wife died in childbirth, and his crazy mistress was killed in Ian’s book. More intriguing still is the rumblings that Hart was a jilted groom in his youth . . . enter Eleanor Ramsay. We met her in ‘The Many Sins of Lord Cameron’ and I liked her instantly, since she seemed to have the Mackenzie men all figured out. I especially liked the sneak-peak at the end of that book, when Eleanor comes to Hart with some, *ahem*, interesting photos that could ruin his political career. Hart has always been my favourite mad Mackenzie (with Daniel vying for second place) and I cannot wait to read his book!
This new paranormal YA novel sounds really interesting (mainly thanks to an absence of vampires/werewolves/angels). It’s about a girl who stumbles across the elemental secret of four brothers who can control earth, wind, fire, and water. I am intrigued because it sounds a little like Rachel Caine’s ‘Weather Warden’ series, for the younger set. And, if I am being 100% honest, I am a wee bit dazzled by the front cover’s four hunky men.
Armstrong can do no wrong. I loved the first book in her new spin-off series, 'The Gathering', and I know I'm going to love this second outing too. Bring it on!
This class dystopian sounds interesting and looks edible. A definite must-read for 2012.
I know, I know. The angel thing has now officially been done-to-death. But I can’t help but be excited over just one more angelic paranormal. In this new series, guardian angels are rock-stars. Guardians are modern-day celebrities, and every human being wants the chance to be watched over by one. I love this meshing of biblical wantonness, and I’m intrigued to read how it plays out. Oh, and how’s this for a bizarre-factoid . . . Scott Speer is the boyfriend of Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay from ‘High School Musical’). I know, how weird? And I find it incredibly funny that his Goodreads profile picture is paparazzi snap of him, shirtless. Well, he must know a thing or two about the fame game then . . .
The Australian writer behind ‘Singing My Sister Down’, one of the most sublime short-stories ever written, is exploring the Selkie legend. This is going to be fantastic, trust me.
‘Curse Workers’ is one of my favourite young adult series. Holly Black has woven a complex and thrilling paranormal series around a boy unknowingly raised as an assassin. Cassel is one of my favourite protagonists of all time, and I can’t wait to read where Black takes this series next.
OMG!!!!!!!!! The new ‘Kitty Katt’ book is always a much-anticipated new release, and after the explosive happenings of ‘Alien Proliferation’ I am crazy-insane psyched for this new installment in Gini Koch’s series. Kitty and Martini have a new little addition, and Christopher’s story just got steamy. Bring on the aliens in 2012!
Amidst all the Dystopia that came out in 2011 (trust me, there were quite a few) ‘Divergent’ stood out for being one of the very best. In a world that is segregated according to personality, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior cannot be categorized. I can’t wait to know what happens next with ‘Tris’ and Four, and where this interesting Dystopian society will take them.
I am a big Richelle Mead fan; everything from ‘Georgina Kincaid’ to ‘Dark Swan’ and especially ‘Vampire Academy’ – I love it all. I was sad to read the end of VA, but commend Mead for finishing on a high. I was delighted though, to learn that some of the most interesting secondary characters from VA would be getting their own spin-off . . . well, I was excited until I read ‘Bloodlines’, now I’m not so sure. Sydney isn’t as kick-ass as Rose (but really, who is?) and I’m not really liking the emo-esque Jill. I do love Adrian, and his complex characterization. But for most of that mammoth first book I didn’t know what he was doing there. Is he a love interest for Sydney? Is he a role-model for Jill? I did appreciate the many Australian in-jokes, but I’m not convinced we needed this spin-off series ... however, Felicity made a good point at the Penguin 'between the lines' live day, when she said that it wasn't until 'Frostbite' (book #2 of 'Vampire Academy' series) that the story and world-building really started to pick up the pace. We can safely assume that 'Bloodlines' was laying the groundwork (the same way that book #1 of 'Vampire Academy' set up that universe) in this new series, and the second book should kick things into gear. Felicity also wisely noted that everyone's beloved Adrian was first introduced in 'Frostbite' (so who knows what sort of treats we'll get in 'Golden Lily'?!). I am officially back on this bandwagon.
I am really interested in where Rachel Caine is taking the town of Morganville. With the last two instalments we got a point-of-view switcheroo, beyond Claire’s narration we are now getting into the heads of Michael, Shane and Eve. I’m intrigued as to where all this multiple-narration will lead the series. . .
I really enjoyed Plum’s first book, ‘Die for Me’. She wrote a completely refreshing and compelling paranormal romance without a vampire or werewolf in sight. Furthermore, her setting was Paris, the city of love – making ‘Die for Me’ a standout, original new series. But I did finish the first book wondering who the series would focus on. I finished the first book feeling like Kate and Vincent’s story was over, and towards the end I was getting excited and hopeful that the next book would be set in the same world, but exploring different characters. I was particularly hopeful that book #2 would be about Charlotte and Ambrose, who had some serious unrequited love going on. But I see that ‘Until I Die’ is again about Kate and Vincent . . . Hmmmm. . . I do hope Plum isn’t going to beat a dead horse with these two. I liked ‘Die for Me’ enough to give the second book a chance, but I can’t help shaking the feeling of completion for Kate and Vincent.
Hmmmmm. Some interesting Eric revelations in ‘Dead Reckoning’ must mean that his and Sookie’s relationship will be a primary focus of this, the twelfth installment. With Harris’s Sookie contract nearly at an end, fans are all aquiver as to how this series will wind-up. I expect a few cliff-hangers to be plotted, and a nail-biting wait between installments. But in the interim we have ‘True Blood’, and now that amnesiac Eric (aka: ‘wuss boy’) is out of our system, we can go on enjoying the hella good adaptation of an incredible series (my fingers are crossed that Quinn makes an appearance soon. . . Please be Vin Diesel, please be Vin Diesel, please be Vin Diesel!)
This is a novel about a young Marine who returns home from his tour of Afghanistan, only to discover his home life is imploding. This will no doubt be the first of many young-adult novels to explore the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Young audiences grew up in a world wrecked by the horrors of September-11. I look forward to books that explore the ramifications of those events for an entire generation who have seen war on their TV screens and grown up with the word ‘terrorism’ firmly ingrained in their vocabulary. Doller’s debut is sure to be powerful, for being amongst the first to explore such vital but sensitive issues from the point of view of Gen Y.
I really do love McLeod’s London-set supernatural about a fae woman whose womb could break a barren curse. I do have my fingers firmly crossed that something heats up between Genny and Malik Al Khan in this fourth instalment!
Elizabeth Hoyt is the queen of historical romance, and for damn good reason. Third instalment, ‘Scandalous Desires’, introduced us to delicious leading man, Mickey O’Connor. Winter Makepeace has big shoes to fill, but I have complete trust in Ms Hoyt and I cannot wait to get back to Maiden Lane.
Okay, don’t hate me, but I have already read this book. I received a super-secret copy for review and devoured it in one day. And it is so goooooood. Imagine all of Marta Acosta’s comedy of manners wit, coupled with delicious Gothicism in a loose modern retelling of Jane Eyre for the young adult audience. Get ready to fall in love with a boy called Jack, and go crazy for a girl called Mary Violet who is très magnifique (that’s French for bloody awesome!).
I am so cra-cra excited for this one! After the explosive events of 'Spell Bound' (not to mention steaming up between Adam & Savannah) 'Thirteen' is going to hit the ground running ... I'll definitely be sad to read the end of this epic supernatural series, but you just know that Armstrong will go out on a high!
It’s a fairly ho-hum front cover with a title that punches you in the gut. The debut novel from Rosenfield is about a girl called Becca whose world in a small town is sent into a tailspin when the body of a girl is found at the side of a dirt road. The narrative structure sounds interesting, intercutting the left-for-dead-girl’s story with that of Becca as violence creeps into her life. Definite must-read for me, it sounds like a coming-of-age Twin Peaks kind of deal and I get chills just thinking about it!
So, I didn’t love the second book in this series, ‘Supernaturally’. I was mostly disappointed because I wanted more about Evie’s (psychotic) ex fae boyfriend, Reth. The book also dragged a bit for me because it was all about Evie coming to realize that normal adolescent behaviour is pretty, well, normal and boring. And the book read that way a wee bit for me too. . . on the up-side, the final half of ‘Supernaturally’ was a total shell-shocking rollercoaster ride, which hints that ‘Endlessly’ will be picking up where all the drama left off. I can’t wait!
I really didn’t know what to expect from Harkness’s first book, ‘A Discovery of Witches’. It was a 592-page brick of a book and took a little while to pick up the pace. But once I set out on that adventure with Diana (last of the Bishop witches) and her suave vampire/professor protector Matthew, I didn’t want to leave them. I was so engrossed in ‘A Discovery of Witches’, I sectioned myself off in my room to get through the mammoth book. I can’t believe I read it way back in February, which is probably why it feels like ‘Shadow of Night’ is taking FOREVER to get here. I can’t wait to pick up Diana and Matthew’s journey where we left off . . .