Spring has officially sprung!
Sunshine, rain showers, flowers blooming, and adorable baby animals all over Instagram…
Today I decided to blog about upcoming (and new) YA titles that are arriving very soon – so you can start requesting them from your local library, or, like me, put them safely in your Amazon pre-order cart.
The five titles mentioned below were provided by netgalley in return for an honest review.
The Loveless Princess by Lilian Bodley (May 2017)
Princess Anette doesn’t love her fiancé, Prince Everett, and despite constant assurances from everyone around her, knows she never will. It’s not that he’s terrible, it’s simply that she doesn’t love anyone, or want to be with anyone, the way the rest of the world says she should.
But princesses must marry princes. She’s expected to have her proper happily ever after. So Annette tries her best to be happy in her new life—until she catches her husband with the stable boy, and in a moment of anger wishes Prince Everett would just disappear.
And then he does.
My take: I really enjoyed this YA novel. It’s a unique story with a Princess who really really is not at all interested in marrying a Prince — she’s actually not interested in romance at all. I’m excited for more people to read this one and hear their thoughts.
Odd & True by Cat Winters (September 2017)
Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio.
In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.
My take: This is a fantastical supernatural story that centers around the relationship between two very different sisters. I like how Odette’s character is written – total older sister who wants to live up to her family’s expectations, but hounded by something she has no idea how to deal with…the bravado of Odette is entertaining to read, and I think, makes the story richer.
Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice (came out in September 2014…so not really new-new)
If you love Jane Austen, Mr. Darcy and the art of Manga – you will thoroughly enjoy reading your way through this ‘classic’ Manga featuring the Bennett sisters and Mr. Darcy. Easy to read and can be completed in one sitting with a cup of tea and chocolate biscuits by your side.
Click Date Repeat Again by KJ Farnham (April 2017 – already out on shelves)
Never in her wildest dreams would Jess Mason ever imagine herself being a part of the online dating hype. Yet here she is smack-dab in the middle of it all. And she’s dated her fair share of online crazies to be a new connoisseur of all the weirdos out in the cyber world. After a slew of bad dates and pussy (cat that is) pictures, Jess knows that she needs to finally commit to something—or someone. And suddenly there he is, a man she can actually imagine herself with.
But when Jess is faced with an undeniable attraction to a handsome, unavailable co-worker, she’s conflicted about continuing her quest for Mr. Right-At-Her-Fingertips. Now, it’s feast or famine—and she’s not willing to starve. She certainly can’t have both–that wouldn’t be right. After all, that’s the “old Jess.” The new Jess is ready to start clicking with someone special and make a real love connection.
My take: It takes a lot to impress this romance-loving aficionado. However, this one – this one ticks all the boxes. Characters who are entertaining, interesting, and make you want to cheer their journey on. In this case…for Jess to find her OTP. As she muddles along through the quirky, definitely weird, world of internet dating you laugh and get butterflies in your stomach right along with her. Definitely recommend for a reread!
Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson (November 2017)
The sequel to The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You, inspired by The Importance of Being Earnest.
Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn’t going to do this summer.
1. She isn’t going to stay home in Sacramento, where she’d have to sit through her stepmother’s sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
2. She isn’t going to mock trial camp at UCLA.
3. And she certainly isn’t going to the Air Force summer program on her mother’s base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender’s Game, Ellie’s seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it’s much less Luke/Yoda/”feel the force,” and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn’t appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she’d be able to defeat afterwards.
What she is going to do is pack up her attitude, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she’s going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?
My take: I love Lily Anderson’s writing. I loved reading The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You. I even forced my colleagues at school to read this YA for the first book of our book club. Anderson’s writing is witty, engaging and definitely brings in the ‘nerd/fandom’ side of the genre that is called YA contemporary. This book is just as fun to read, definitely rereadable…and in my Amazon preorder cart.
The following titles were not provided by netgalley, therefore my opinions on unreleased titles are entirely my own and unfounded on any solid textual evidence 🙂
Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts (May 30, 2017)
Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.
At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.
Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.
Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.
The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . .
My take: I cannot wait to get my hands on this book and see if it can live up to it’s awesome description. Fingers crossed!
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (May 30, 2017)
Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
My take: The cover grabbed my attention right away, the bright smile of the girl, the henna on her fingers holding the iced coffee/tea (?) – and not wanting to be too shallow, I decided to investigate further and read the synopsis. Oh my word. Dimple sounds amazing and doesn’t sound like she’s going to accept Rishi and this whole arranged marriage thing too readily. Rishi sounds like my kind of guy, hopeless romantic who probably thinks it will be simple to meet and woo Dimple in one summer. Poor deluded romantic cinnamon roll…but I’m on his side – hoping for a HEA!
The Love Interest by Cole Dietrich (May 16, 2017 TODAY!)
There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.
Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?
Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.
What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.
My take: Spies in the future trained specifically to get close to their marks by seducing them…I’m totally on board. Add in a romance that looks like a ‘love triangle’ trope but really isn’t? I’m in. Totally 100% in!
Plot synopsis of the books listed above were found on Goodreads; however all opinions are my own.