This is the first of what may or may not be a monthly thing. I figured that since I’m choosing my favourite upcoming titles for the elsewhere newsletter anyway, why not put the same titles here, with the synopses? (The newsletter only has the titles, covers and release dates.) Anyway, here are March titles of interest to me:
Charisma, Jeanne Ryan (March 3rd)
Sarah Dessen meets Robin Cook? How could I resist? I also like that it’s supposedly a medical thriller with social justice commentary. Having hopes for this book 🙂
A chance at the ultimate makeover means deadly consequences in this Sarah Dessen-meets-Robin Cook thriller
Aislyn suffers from crippling shyness—that is, until she’s offered a dose of Charisma, an underground gene therapy drug guaranteed to make her shine. The effects are instant. She’s charming, vivacious, and popular. But strangely, so are some other kids she knows. The media goes into a frenzy when the disease turns contagious, and then deadly, and the doctor who gave it to them disappears. Aislyn must find a way to stop it, before it’s too late.
Part medical thriller, part social justice commentary, Charisma will have readers on the edge of their seats.
Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz (March 3rd)
This title have been circling around my tumblr dashboard for awhile already, because not only it’s a queer POC young adult book, it’s one that has a picture of a POC on the cover. (This is actually a rare and special thing!) Anyway, here’s the book synopsis:
From the award-winning author of Break and Teeth comes a raw and honest exploration of complicated identities in a novel about a girl living on the fringe of every fringe group in her small town.
Etta is tired of dealing with all of the labels and categories that seem so important to everyone else in her small Nebraska hometown.
Everywhere she turns, someone feels she’s too fringe for the fringe. Not gay enough for the Dykes, her ex-clique, thanks to a recent relationship with a boy; not tiny and white enough for ballet, her first passion; not sick enough to look anorexic (partially thanks to recovery). Etta doesn’t fit anywhere—until she meets Bianca, the straight, white, Christian, and seriously sick girl in Etta’s therapy group. Both girls are auditioning for Brentwood, a prestigious New York theater academy that is so not Nebraska. Bianca might be Etta’s salvation…but can Etta be saved by a girl who needs saving herself?
I had really enjoyed reading Moskowitz’s Teeth, so I’m looking forward to this!
Bone Gap, Laura Ruby (March 3rd)
A confession: I had wanted to read this ever since the cover reveal, on the basis of the cover alone. My mind always kind of blurs together every time I read the synopsis, I think because I like to go into this kind of fiction without knowing too much about it. Anyway, there have been a lot of good buzz about this title, and if I am to go by Harper’s recent fantasy releases, this should be an interesting read!
Bone Gap is the story of Roza, a beautiful girl who is taken from a quiet midwestern town and imprisoned by a mysterious man, and Finn, the only witness, who cannot forgive himself for being unable to identify her kidnapper. As we follow them through their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures, acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.
This is another that first drew me in because of the cover. It’s by Viking, and their books can be a hit or miss for me, but there’s that beautiful cover, and the fact that many of my favourite book people are excited about it, and that John Corey Whaley blurb. One of my favourite books from last year is John Corey Whaley’s Noggin, which took me by surprise in the sense that I thought it was going to be “interesting” and then it turned out to be “amazing”, and I guess I’m hoping that Mosquitoland will be my Noggin of 2015.
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. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.
Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, Mosquitoland is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.
This is the sequel to Seraphina, which may be one of the most interesting dragon books (and especially YA dragon books) in recent times. Seraphina was published a couple of years ago. Let’s just say that this is long, long-awaited.
The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part girl, part dragon, who is reluctantly drawn into the politics of her world. When war breaks out between the dragons and humans, she must travel the lands to find those like herself—for she has an inexplicable connection to all of them, and together they will be able to fight the dragons in powerful, magical ways.
As Seraphina gathers this motley crew, she is pursued by humans who want to stop her. But the most terrifying is another half dragon, who can creep into people’s minds and take them over. Until now, Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny?
Vanishing Girls, Lauren Oliver (March 10th)
Honestly, the synopsis doesn’t exactly wow or excite me, since “edgy and compelling” isn’t always my cup of tea, but this is Lauren Oliver. That fact alone is enough to make me want to read the book.
Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it’s too late.
In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.
Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You, Todd Hasak-Lowy (March 24th)
I like the cover, the long title, and the fact that it’s told in lists. I don’t know why I can’t deal with verse novels, but lists are fine with me. Either way, I can’t wait to see how it turns out!
A heartfelt, humorous story of a teen boy’s impulsive road trip after the shock of his lifetime—told entirely in lists!
Darren hasn’t had an easy year.
There was his parents’ divorce, which just so happened to come at the same time his older brother Nate left for college and his longtime best friend moved away. And of course there’s the whole not having a girlfriend thing.
Then one Thursday morning Darren’s dad shows up at his house at 6 a.m. with a glazed chocolate doughnut and a revelation that turns Darren’s world inside out. In full freakout mode, Darren, in a totally un-Darren move, ditches school to go visit Nate. Barely twenty-four hours at Nate’s school makes everything much better or much worse—Darren has no idea. It might somehow be both. All he knows for sure is that in addition to trying to figure out why none of his family members are who they used to be, he’s now obsessed with a strangely amazing girl who showed up out of nowhere but then totally disappeared.
Told entirely in lists, Todd Hasak-Lowy’s debut YA novel perfectly captures why having anything to do with anyone, including yourself, is:
3. ridiculously complicated
4. possibly, hopefully the right thing after all.
Black Dove, White Raven, Elizabeth Wein (March 31st)
I fell in love with Elizabeth Wein’s writing with Code Name Verity, and even more so with Rose Under Fire. Unfortunately, her historical fiction before Code Name Verity are now out of print, but at least I can look forward to her next one!
Emilia and Teo’s lives changed in a fiery, terrifying instant when a bird strike brought down the plane their stunt pilot mothers were flying. Teo’s mother died immediately, but Em’s survived, determined to raise Teo according to his late mother’s wishes-in a place where he won’t be discriminated against because of the color of his skin. But in 1930s America, a white woman raising a black adoptive son alongside a white daughter is too often seen as a threat.
Seeking a home where her children won’t be held back by ethnicity or gender, Rhoda brings Em and Teo to Ethiopia, and all three fall in love with the beautiful, peaceful country. But that peace is shattered by the threat of war with Italy, and teenage Em and Teo are drawn into the conflict. Will their devotion to their country, its culture and people, and each other be their downfall or their salvation?
In the tradition of her award-winning and bestselling Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein brings us another thrilling and deeply affecting novel that explores the bonds of friendship, the resilience of young pilots, and the strength of the human spirit.
First, it’s Lisa Yee. And it’s YA – I’ve only ever read her middle grade fiction before. And I guess it’s a story that I’m familiar with and like to read about: the kid that worked all his life toward one goal that he isn’t even really sure he wants, but then something happens and it all falls apart.
Lisa Yee gives us her most fascinating flawed genius since Millicent Min.
Higgs Boson Bing has seven days left before his perfect high school career is completed. Then it’s on to Harvard to fulfill the fantasy portrait of success that he and his parents have cultivated for the past four years. Four years of academic achievement. Four years of debate championships. Two years of dating the most popular girl in school. It was, literally, everything his parents could have wanted. Everything they wanted for Higgs’s older brother Jeffrey, in fact.
But something’s not right. And when Higgs’s girlfriend presents him with a seemingly innocent hypothetical question about whether or not he’d give her a kidney . . . the exposed fault lines reach straight down to the foundations of his life. . . .
Book descriptions are from GoodReads, of course.
And to think only a few weeks ago I was saying to Kit that all the best books are being published in May/June, when so many good ones are coming out this month!