There are so many amazing books coming down the pike in the next few months. Seriously, I’m not sure how readers are supposed to keep things straight – if you are part of Goodreads, I recommend starting a few new shelves just to keep up with the fascinating new releases just in YA/Middle School. I can’t possibly talk about everything that I heard about at BEA, but here are some great books to keep an eye out for in your local bookstore.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
At the Scholastic event to promote their fall releases, Maggie Stiefvater previewed the fascinating book trailers she created (with the help of a variety of family members). This will be the start of a four-book series, and it looks fantastic. I have an ARC sitting on my bedside table – will let you know.
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
The Raven Boys will be available as of September 18th from Scholastic Press.
The Diviners by Libba Bray
There has been tremendous buzz for this book even before BEA started. A kind of “Gatsby for Teens” by some, I’m intrigued to see if Bray can keep up the intensity promised in the snippets I’ve read. Again, I have an ARC; the difference with this one is that I want to give it all the time possible to sit and devour it, preferably over one weekend. A summer read, methinks….
Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City–and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult–also known as “The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies.”
When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer–if he doesn’t catch her first.
The Diviners will be available as of September 18th from Little, Brown, a division of Hachette.
An Abundance of Katherines (re-release) by John Green
While I’d say that the Children’s Author Breakfast was entirely wonderful, I’d have to say that hearing John Green speak was a definite highlight. Listening to him speak – via YouTube or in person – is much like reading his books, and he makes you think about things in a different way. There will be a re-release of his second book, An Abundance of Katherines, with a fan-designed cover; be sure to check it out.
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. He’s also a washed-up child prodigy with ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a passion for anagrams, and an overweight, Judge Judy-obsessed best friend. Colin’s on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which will predict the future of all relationships, transform him from a fading prodigy into a true genius, and finally win him the girl. Letting expectations go and allowing love in are at the heart of Colin’s hilarious quest to find his missing piece and avenge dumpees everywhere.
Below is the most recent (at time of writing) nerdfighter video with Green describing his time at Book Expo America.
An Abundance of Katherines is published by Dutton Juvenile – rerelease date TBA.
Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn
This is one of many books from that unusual group of authors known as “The Apocolypies” that is getting tremendous under-the-radar buzz. This is a unique story about a female manga fan who moves to Japan with her father, only to be embroiled in a mystery upon her arrival. There is so much about this book that appeals to me – from the female graphic novel/manga fan to the unique setting to the mystery element; unfortunately, I didn’t find an advance copy, but you can bet that I’ll be in line on release day to buy a copy.
Sixteen-year-old Violet loves reading manga and wearing scarves made from kimono fabric, so she’s thrilled that her father’s new painting commission means a summer trip to Japan. But what starts as an exotic vacation quickly turns into a dangerous treasure hunt.
Her father’s newest clients, the Yamada family, are the victims of a high-profile art robbery: van Gogh sketches have been stolen from their home, and, until they can produce the corresponding painting, everyone’s lives are in danger — including Violet’s and her father’s.
Violet’s search for the missing van Gogh takes her from the Seattle Art Museum, to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo, to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery thickens, Violet’s not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to solve the mystery — before it’s too late.
By the way, there was a panel discussion with some of the Apocolypsies one evening, but I am older and wear out more easily, so took my non-twenty-year-old self back to the hotel to put my feet up for a while. By all accounts (namely: others in our travel group), it was a great event, and the authors were very enthusiastic. There website is here if you wish to learn more about them.
Tokyo Heist will be release June 14th (soon!) by Viking.
Croak (#1), Scorch (#2) by Gina Damico
BEA provides many opportunities to meet the authors of the books you enjoy. I can safely say that Gina Damico was absolutely blown away at the size of the line of people waiting to see her – and it was adorable to see.
I really enjoyed her first book, Croak, and was happy to see that ARCs of Scorch were available. It’s a well-paced and enjoyable read about a reaper – if you’ve ever watched the show “Dead Like Me”, then you will have a good sense of what’s going on. Here’s the trailer for the first book, and I’m presuming that Scorch will pick up where Croak left off…
Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.
He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.
Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rock star crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural-born Killer.
Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?
Croak is already released; Scorch will be released September 12th by Graphia/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.