It's that time of year again when I overuse the word 'intrigued'!
I’m a bit late in delivering my ‘Most Anticipated Books’ list for 2014. Apologies. But as you’ll see, I just had SO MANY books to include and then more books kept pinging onto my radar and I kept adding to the list … so, apologies for the lateness.
As always, below is not the complete list of books I’m excited about for the coming year. Some books are on my radar, but still in-development and without completed blurb or cover.
A few of them are;
• The Howling Boy by Cath Crowley – I’m even more excited for this book since reading this blog post about it
• Loyal Creatures by Morris Gleitzman – I interviewed Mr. Gleitzman earlier in the year and he told me a bit about this book. It sounds like it’s destined to break my heart, and be a favourite
• The Minnow by Diana Sweeney – winner of the Text Prize 2013 (which has a stellar track record in Aussie YA)
• Waer by Meg Caddy – this was shortlisted for the Text Prize and was so good, they decided they’d be publishing this one as well.
• The Flywheel Erin Gough – a book discovered by Hardie Grant Egmont’s Ampersand Project that sounds *incredible*. It’s contemporary YA with a lesbian protagonist.
• Sky Hunter Conspiracy by Caroline Stills – another book to emerge from the Ampersand Project, and if that title is anything to go by it will be amazing!
• The Foretelling of Georgie Spider by Ambelin Kwaymullina - third book in 'The Tribe'
Peter Pan Graphic Novel adaptation by Renae De LizThis was a KickStarter campaign that I contributed to because PETER PAN GRAPHIC NOVEL, PEOPLE! You can currently view the first 17 pages online and, yes, they’re breathtaking. Right now De Liz has said Volume One will be available in Winter 2013-2014 (so between Dec-Feb?) and right now it’s only those who contributed to the KickStarter campaign who will be receiving physical copies (like me!) But you can sign up for alerts if this should change and more copies will be made available to the general public.
Text Publishing kindly sent me a copy of this and I've started reading … it’s beautiful. I love Laurie Halse Anderson, and she just gets better and better with each book.The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Line Witching Savannah #1 by J.D. HornThis is being published by 47North, a publishing imprint of Amazon. I’m not thrilled about that, but I am curious. And this sounds like another series I could get happily dedicated to, about a family of witches. The blurb name-checks Charlaine Harris (the original cover did look more ‘cozy mystery’), but the new cover looks like Deborah Harkness. I’ll give it a go.
The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods‘a girl finally meeting the African American side of her family explores racism and how it feels to be biracial, and celebrates families of all kinds.’ Sounds incredible, and the cover is gorgeous.
Minders by Michele JaffeSounds a bit like ‘Minority Report’. I’ll give it a go.
How They Met, and Other Stories by David Levithan18 stories from David Levithan about love, in all its many forms. This will be beautiful.
I've already read this, and it’s more good stuff from Loretta Hill. She has a good track record.The Girl in the Yellow Vest by Loretta Hill
No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale‘high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is found murdered. Strung up like a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield.’ This sounds a little Heathers-esque. That cover is great. I’m predicting this is going to be a big book of 2014.
Fake ID by Lamar GilesFrom the blurb: ‘And I definitely shouldn’t tell you about my friend Eli Cruz and the major conspiracy he was about to uncover when he died—right after I moved to town. About how I had to choose between solving his murder with his hot sister, Reya, and “staying low-key” like the Program has taught me. About how moving to Stepon changed my life forever.’ ... colour me intrigued.
Cemetery Girl: The Pretenders by Charlaine Harris and Christopher GoldenI’m putting aside the bitter disappointment everyone seems to still feel over the conclusion of the Sookie Stackhouse series (I myself still haven’t been moved to crack it open) and the seeming monetary-motivation behind the “lexicon” ‘After Dead’. I’m putting that aside (and the terrible, terrible cover – what even is that?!) and giving ‘Cemetery Girl’ a try. It’s the first in a graphic novel trilogy illustrated by Don Kramer.
Dirty Magic and Cursed Moon The Prospero's War by Jaye WellsI haven’t read Wells’s ‘Sabina Kane’ series (though I own books #1 and #2) but I have heard good things. I’m really excited to start this new series of hers – there’s a female cop protagonist, werewolves and a Magic Enforcement Agency (… okay, okay. It sounds like a lot of other urban fantasy books out there) but it’s been a while since I delved into a new UF series and this one has me intrigued. There’s a wizard too!
When I Was the Greatest by Jason ReynoldsI swear, this blurb is giving nothing away “about the friendship between three friends living in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhood” but that yarn-bombing cover is TO. DIE. FOR. I want.
Bird by Crystal Chan“A girl, who was born on the day her brother Bird died, has grown up in a house of silence and secrets; when she meets John, a mysterious new boy in her rural Iowan town, and those secrets start to come out.” – the cover is beautiful, the story sounds brutal and I’m so excited for this book!
Up From the Grave Night Huntress #7 by Jeaniene FrostWe haven’t seen Cat & Bones since 2011. In the meantime Frost has given us the ‘Night Prince’ series about everyone’s favourite secondary protagonist turned leading man, Vlad (the third – and final? – book of which is also coming out in 2014). Number #7 is going to be the last Night Huntress book, and I’m kinda glad. Ask any fan and they’ll tell you that what started off as such a good idea – pairing the hero and heroine early on without any of that “will they or won’t they?” romantic angst – started to get stale and so-so at about book #5. Lest this turn into a Sookie/Eric snoozefest, I’m happy Frost is bowing them out early.
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew SmithSmith’s ‘Winger’ has been the hot book of 2013 - and I still haven’t got round to reading it! I won’t let the same thing happen with ‘Grasshopper Jungle’.
Maybe One Day by Melissa KantorAbout a girl grappling with her best friend’s illness. Yes. Not since ‘A Time for Dancing’ by Davida Wills Hurwin do I think I've read a book that explores this.
The One Plus One by Jojo MoyesI loves me some Jojo Moyes.
The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly SchindlerThis just sounds like a gorgeous Middle Grade book. The protagonists’ name is Auggie – that alone is enough for me.
Nightingale's Nest by Nikki LoftinFor one thing, that cover is gorgeous. For another, this book is being compared to ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ and that’s more than enough for me (not to mention the two protagonists are called Gayle and Little John – adorbs!)
Prince of Shadows: A Novel of Romeo and Juliet by Rachel CaineRachel Caine does ‘Romeo and Juliet’. *happy dance*
Tsarina by J. Nelle PatrickI’m obsessed with Russian history (as evidence by this review) so a blurb that name-checks Alexei Romanov is definitely on my wish-list. Plus, that cover = *dies*.
School of Charm by Lisa Ann ScottFirst line of the blurb? ‘Who’s got time for hair curlers and high heels when you’re busy keeping baby turtles alive?’ SOLD!
White Hot Kiss The Dark Elements #1 by Jennifer L. ArmentroutUrgh. Why is it when the book cover is not good, I feel the need to apologise for having included it on the list? I don’t know. Anyway. Cover aside – this is New Adult Paranormal Romance territory (I assume? There’s a 17-year-old protagonist). This is the story of a half-demon, half-gargoyle – so it could all go horribly wrong, or it could be great fun. I’ll just have to wait to find out.
Better off Friends by Elizabeth EulbergI haven’t read an Elizabeth Eulberg yet, but this sounds like a great introduction to her.
Night Owls by Lauren M. RoyI’m on the lookout for new urban fantasy to get stuck into, this one is definitely on my radar.
Night Broken Mercy Thompson #8 by Patricia BriggsLet me just brag that I totally guessed Adam’s ex-wife, Christy, would be making an appearance in this book. I asked Ms Briggs about the possibility back in March. I can’t wait for this. Not because I think Christy will be able to drive much of a wedge between Adam and Mercy, but because if Cat & Bones taught us anything it’s that legitimate shake-ups in a ‘happily ever after’ relationship are a good thing for storyline.
Murder of Crows The Others #2 by Anne Bishop‘Written in Red’ is one of my favourite books to have come out of 2013, so I’m absolutely thrilled that I don’t have to wait all that long for the second instalment in what I think could very well become an absolute favourite new series for me.
Nearly Gone by Elle CosimanoThough you wouldn’t know it from the fairly ho-hum cover, this is apparently a ‘Bones’ meets ‘Fringe’ book (two shows I don’t actually watch but, whatever). There’s a serial killer storyline and that’s enough to have me intrigued.
Side Effects May Vary by Julie MurphyOn its surface, this book may sound like an amalgamation of others that have come before it. A cancer love story (‘The Fault in Our Stars’) about a girl who intends to cross things off her bucket list (‘Before I Die’) … until you get to the part in the blurb that says the protagonist goes into remission and starts recovery, then she has to deal with the fallout of her last months of brutal honesty and living life to the fullest.
Australian Puffin Classics: Looking for Alibrandi by Melina MarchettaI WANT IT!!!!!
Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik DavidsonRjurik Davidson lives in Melbourne. ‘Unwrapped Sky’ features minotaurs. THAT COVER! … These are all more than enough reasons for me to read this book.
Dreams of Gods & Monsters Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3 by Laini TaylorThis gorgeous cover reminds me that I've still got to read book #2.
This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-ReadyThis was always going to be on my list because I’m a HUGE fan of Jeri Smith-Ready. I was a bit concerned though, when I picked up a book that sounded a lot like ‘This Side of Salvation’. However, ‘Vivian Versus The Apocalypse’ by Katie Coyle was a big DNF for me, and I’m confident that Jeri Smith-Ready will deliver where that book didn’t.
The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy WunderIs it just me, or does this cover and title just scream Tavi Gevinson?
Noggin by John Corey WhaleyI still haven’t read Printz-winning book ‘Where Things Come Back’, so I’m going to make it up to myself by reading Whaley’s second outing.
Rebel Belle by Rachel HawkinsA Southern Belle with super-abilities? I’m there. Blurb includes the word ya’ll and I am giddy with excitement.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny HanI’m not sure I've quite forgiven Han for 'We'll Always Have Summer' one of the most disappointing conclusions to a series I've ever read. But I like the title of this new book, it gets big props for having an Asian model on the cover and even if the story sounds a little cotton-candy twee (a girl who writes unsent letters to all her crushes one day discovers that all those letters were sent – and boys start coming out of the woodwork) I can admit that Han writes good teen-angst and this sounds like a slam-dunk for her.
Sea of Shadows Age of Legends #1 by Kelley ArmstrongSo, I didn’t like (and actually, gave up on) Armstrong’s ‘Omens’. So I’m happy to have another opportunity to try another new series of hers, hopefully with a better response.
The Break-Up Artist by Philip SiegelAgain, I love the cover, not to mention a book about a high school student who makes cash by breaking up couples. There’s something almost Veronica Mars ornery about that.
The Fearless by Emma PassI’ll give it a go.
Far From You by Tess SharpeYou would never guess from this (admittedly, not yet finalised) cover, but this is actually a book about a girl whose best friend is murdered by a masked man in the woods, but the authorities deem it a drug deal gone wrong. I much prefer the German (?) cover for this one, but aesthetics aside I am intrigued by something that sounds so gritty.
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige‘Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.’ I’m so freakin’ excited for this.
The King Black Dagger Brotherhood #12 by J.R. WardI’m actually really excited to be revisiting Wrath and Beth.
House of Ivy & Sorrow by Natalie WhippleGreat cover, intriguing title.
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie PerkinsSo, I’m pretty sure the release for this was pushed back a couple of times … should we be worried? ‘Anna and the French Kiss’ came out a lifetime ago (2010), with ‘Lola and the Boy Next Door’ following soon after in 2011. It would seem that ‘Isla’ was meant to come in 2012 … and then 2013 … and now it’s happening in 2014. I don’t know. I’m excited, but reserved. Ms Perkins also has a new novel coming in 2015, which Publisher’s Weekly described: ". . . a [YA] horror novel in the vein of the movie Scream in which a cadre of high school students are being stalked and attacked by a mysterious killer with no obvious motive." Maybe it’s just that that book has zapped all her time?
Midnight Crossroad Midnight, Texas #1 by Charlaine HarrisFor a long time now I've said that Charlaine Harris needs to go back to her cozy mystery roots, and now it sounds like she’s doing just that. Hallelujah!
We Are The Goldens by Dana ReinhardtThis author won me over with ‘The Summer I Learned to Fly’, now I’m determined to read everything she writes. This new book sounds tough, about a girl who discovers her idolised older sister is involved with one of her teachers.
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan MatsonGreat cover. Kelly Clarkson connotations. I’m there.
This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki, Mariko TamakiI’m reading this graphic novel right now (thanks, NetGalley) and it’s gorgeous. Very tender and heartbreaking, captures the wistfulness of youthful summers. It’s well worth a read.
The Chapel Wars by Lindsey LeavittI went to Las Vegas this year and loved it, so I’m super excited for this book.
Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff‘An achingly real and profoundly moving love story about two Minnesota teens whose lives become intertwined through school, role-playing games, and a chance two-a.m. bike accident’ role-playing romance and the 2AM bike ride bit reminds me of ‘Wild Awake’. I’m intrigued.
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana GabaldonHonestly, I’m so freakin excited for this, I can’t even form proper sentences when I talk about it. Suffice to say; when this book does come out, I’m going to be barricading my door to read it in peace. And I’m most looking forward to Ian/Rachel goodness (the excerpts of them on Diana’s Facebook page always send me into a swooning-tither). So, seriously, nobody even attempt to contact me on June 10th – I’ll be reading. DO NOT DISTURB ME!
Outlander TV series on StarzSo, there’s still no release date for when the TV-adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s first book will air. But I’m going to go ahead and take an educated guess that it will somehow tie-in with the release of eighth book ‘Written in My Own Heart’s Blood’ … just cause I imagine Starz would love to whip fans into a frenzy. I was actually on-the-fence about an ‘Outlander’ adaptation for a long time. It’s just such a hard book, never mind that it gets even trickier to adapt when you take into account the leap-ahead in timeline between books and aging of the characters. But then I watched another Starz original series, ‘The White Queen’ adapted from the Phillipa Gregory series, and I was blown away. Now I have full-confidence in this adaptation, and as if that wasn’t enough, I think the casting of Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe is freakin’ marvellous! Now if they’d just announce that David Tennant has been cast as Ian, I'd be one happy chappy …
Lies My Girlfriend Told Me by Julie Anne PetersA lesbian teen romance with twisting heartbreak.
Ruin and Rising The Grisha #3 by Leigh BardugoI blame Wendy Darling. She got me addicted to this series, and now I’m as desperate for the third and final book as everyone else, dammit!
#scandal by Sarah OcklerYes, I like the TV show ‘Scandal’ (and live by the phrase ‘What Would Olivia Pope Do?’) so of course this book has me intrigued for title alone. I have read Ockler’s ‘Twenty Boy Summer’ and liked it, and I’m interested to read how she handles high-school ‘slut-shaming’. I’m hoping this is going to be a powerful/uncomfortable read.
Fan Art by Sarah TregayI liked Rainbow Rowell’s ‘Fangirl’, sooooo …
(Don't You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus QuinnSimple Minds song and that cover. Sold.
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern‘I want someone who will talk to me honestly about things. You're the only person who ever has. Maybe you don't know this, but when you're disabled almost no one tells you the truth. They feel too awkward because the truth seems too sad, I guess. You were very brave to walk up to the crippled girl and say, essentially, wipe that sunny expression off your face and look at reality. That's what I want you to do next year. Tell me the truth. That's all.’ Yes.
Landline by Rainbow Rowell… it’s Rainbow freakin’ Rowell!
Magic Breaks Kate Daniels #7 by Ilona AndrewsCurran, Curran, Curran. *le, sigh*
Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. DawsonThat cover gives me nightmares. Naturally, I’m dying to read it.
Un prince sans royaume Vango #2 by Timothée de FombelleSo, this second book came out in 2011 but the English translation is due sometime in 2014 (thank goodness, because ‘Vango’ left us all on a cliffhanger!) I’m going to keep checking Walker Books for updates on this
Something a little bit new and different I'm including this year is upcoming releases that are more than a year away. But when you see them, I think you'll understand why it's a good time to get excited for them right now!
Harry Potter series by J.K. RowlingBloomsbury Publishing announced that all seven of J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter books will be published for the first time in stunning full-colour editions, illustrated by the award-winning artist Jim Kay (who illustrated Patrick Ness’ brilliant ‘A Monster Calls’). The first in the series Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone will be published in September 2015 and I can’t wait! I've been pretty good about not buying every single new edition of HP that comes out, but I’m going to make an exception for these books because it’s a fabulous idea and Jim Kay is a master.