Top Ten 2016 Releases I Totally Meant to Read But Didn’t

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten 2016 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn’t Get To (But TOTALLY plan to).  I’m almost embarrassed to say how easy it was for me to pull together this list.  The list of 2016 books I meant to read far exceeds the number of 2016 releases I actually read.  I also own all of these as e-books so I think It’s all good though because as an added motivation to get these titles read this year, I’ve signed up for NovelKnight’s Beat the Backlist reading challenge and most of these titles are on my reading list.  Wish me luck!

Top Ten 2016 Releases I Totally Meant to Read But Didn’t Get To

(But Still Totally Plan to!)

* * * * *

1. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

(Read the Goodreads synopsis..)

* * * * *

2. And I Darken by Kiersten White

(Read the Goodreads Synopsis…)

* * * * *

3. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

(Read the Goodreads synopsis…)

* * * * *

4. To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

(Read the Goodreads synopsis…)

* * * * *

5. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

(Read the Goodreads synopsis…)

* * * * *

6. The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

(Read the Goodreads synopsis…)

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7. When We Collided by Emery Lord

(Read the Goodreads synopsis…)

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8. Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley

(Read the Goodreads synopsis…)

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9. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

(Read the Goodreads synopsis…)

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10. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

(Read the Goodreads synopsis…)

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Question:  What 2016 releases did you fully intend to read last year but never quite made it happen?

Waiting on Wednesday: Spotlight on Shimmer and Burn by Mary Taranta

New WoW“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week is Shimmer and Burn by Mary Taranta.  Hopefully I’m not just judging a book by its cover here, but I definitely have to confess that the gorgeous cover is the number one reason why I was initially interested in this book.  After reading the synopsis though, my enthusiasm has only grown because it sounds like it’s going to be a very exciting read.  I also really like the premise of one sister trying to do whatever she can to save the other sister.

Shimmer and Burn

by Mary Taranta

Publication Date:  August 8, 2017

shimmer burnFrom Amazon:

To save her sister’s life, Faris must smuggle magic into a plague-ridden neighboring kingdom in this exciting and dangerous start to a brand-new fantasy duology.

Faris grew up fighting to survive in the slums of Brindaigel while caring for her sister, Cadence. But when Cadence is caught trying to flee the kingdom and is sold into slavery, Faris reluctantly agrees to a lucrative scheme to buy her back, inadvertently binding herself to the power-hungry Princess Bryn, who wants to steal her father’s throne.

Now Faris must smuggle stolen magic into neighboring Avinea to incite its prince to alliance—magic that addicts in the war-torn country can sense in her blood and can steal with a touch. She and Bryn turn to a handsome traveling magician, North, who offers protection from Avinea’s many dangers, but he cannot save Faris from Bryn’s cruelty as she leverages Cadence’s freedom to force Faris to do anything—or kill anyone—she asks. Yet Faris is as fierce as Bryn, and even as she finds herself falling for North, she develops schemes of her own.

With the fate of kingdoms at stake, Faris, Bryn, and North maneuver through a dangerous game of magical and political machinations, where lives can be destroyed—or saved—with only a touch.

 * * * * *

I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your WoW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Debuts I’m Excited to Read in 2017

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten 2017 Debuts I’m Excited For.  It’s so hard to choose just ten because it looks like 2017 is shaping up to be just as fabulous as 2016 was when it comes to debut novels.  After much agonizing, here are the ten I’m most excited about (as of today anyway!)

Top Ten Debuts I’m Excited to Read in 2017

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1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

(expected publication:  February 28, 2017)

Goodsreads Synopsis:  Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. Movie rights have been sold to Fox, with Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) to star(Read more…)

* * * * *

2. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

(expected publication:  January 31, 2017)

caraval stephanie garber

Goodreads Synopsis: Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world…

Welcome, welcome to Caraval—Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.  (Read more…)

* * * * *

3. Gilded Cage by Vic James 

(expected publication:  February 14, 2017)

gilded cage

Goodreads Synopsis:   Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?   (Read more…)

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4. City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

(expected publication:  January 24, 2017)

Goodreads Synopsis:  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Gone Girl in this enthralling YA murder mystery set in Kenya.

In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.  (Read more…)

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5. A List of Cages by Robin Roe

(expected publication of 3rd book:  January 10, 2017)

Goodreads Synopsis: When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he’s got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn’t easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can’t complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian–the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years.

Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He’s still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what’s really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives. (Read more…)

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6. Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

(expected publication: May 1, 2017)

Goodreads Synopsis:  Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.

Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves  (Read more…)

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7. Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

(expected publication: March 28, 2017)

Goodreads Synopsis:  The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever. (Read more…)

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8. After the Fall by Kate Hart

(expected publication:  January 24, 2017)

Goodsreads Synopsis:  A YA debut about a teen girl who wrestles with rumors, reputation, and her relationships with two brothers.

Seventeen-year-old Raychel is sleeping with two boys: her overachieving best friend Matt…and his slacker brother, Andrew. Raychel sneaks into Matt’s bed after nightmares, but nothing ever happens. He doesn’t even seem to realize she’s a girl, except when he decides she needs rescuing. But Raychel doesn’t want to be his girl anyway. She just needs his support as she deals with the classmate who assaulted her, the constant threat of her family’s eviction, and the dream of college slipping quickly out of reach. Matt tries to help, but he doesn’t really get it… and he’d never understand why she’s fallen into a secret relationship with his brother. The friendships are a precarious balance, and when tragedy strikes, everything falls apart. Raychel has to decide which pieces she can pick up – and which ones are worth putting back together.  (Read more…)

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9. Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

(expected publication: February 28, 2017)

Goodreads Synopsis:  A 17-year-old pirate captain intentionally allows herself to get captured by enemy pirates in this thrilling YA adventure.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

Debut author Tricia Levenseller blends action, adventure, romance, and a little bit of magic into a thrilling YA pirate tale. (Read more…)

* * * * *

10. Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

(expected publication:  February 7, 2017)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Empress:  Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.

Fugitive:  Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he’s forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.

Madman:  With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.

A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.  (Read more…)

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Question:  What debuts are you most looking forward to reading in 2017?  Did any of my anticipated titles make your list?

Waiting on Wednesday – Spotlight on Empress of a Thousand Skies

New WoW“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week is Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza.  I’m excited for this book but it just sounds like it’s going to be such a wild ride.  I was also drawn to it because some of the advance reviews say that it’s perfect for fans of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.  I’m reading those now and just love them so definitely want to give Empress of a Thousand Skies a chance if it’s anything like The Lunar Chronicles.

Empress of a Thousand Skies 

by Rhoda Belleza

Publication Date:  February 7, 2017

From Amazon:

For fans of Pierce Brown and Firefly comes an epic sci-fi fantasy that Kiersten White, author of And I Darken, calls “dazzling–an adventure as sweeping in scope as the galaxies it spans!”

Empress:  Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.

Fugitive:  Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he’s forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.

Madman:  With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.

Rhoda Belleza crafts a powerful saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy in this exhilarating debut, perfect for readers of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman’s Illuminae Files.

Check out this Advance Praise for Empress of a Thousand Skies!

“This is a multiplanet, multiculture, multitech world and a timely tale. An exceptionally satisfying series opener.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“Fans of calculating political maneuvering and expansive, interplanetary plots will find much to enjoy in Belleza’s Firefly-esque debut.” —Publishers Weekly

“Belleza’s debut is dazzling–an adventure as sweeping in scope as the galaxies it spans!”  —Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of And I Darken

“An epic space opera with all the elements of an addictive read–danger, deception, unlikely allies, and the fate of worlds hanging in the balance. A stunning debut.” —Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Beautiful Creatures & author of The Lovely Reckless

“This book glitters like stars. With a heart-pounding plot, twisty secrets, and characters you can’t help but root for, Empress of a Thousand Skies had me turning pages well into the night!”  —Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling author of the Across the Universe series

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your WoW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top 10 Reads of 2016

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Best Books Of 2016 (you choose — best books overall of what you read regardless of pub date, of a particular genre, 2016 debuts, 2016 releases, etc).

I had a great year reading-wise in 2016 and found it very hard to choose just ten favorites.  Most of these are 2016 releases, but I did sneak one 2015 and one 2017 release onto the list just because I loved them so much.  These are basically the 10 reads that moved me the most in 2016.  Some made me laugh, while others made me cry.  The common denominator between them all – they were all so beautifully written.  Here’s hoping that 2017 is an equally great year for reading!

My Top 10 Reads of 2016

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1. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

  Read My Review…

* * * * *

2. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

behold dreamers

 Read My Review…

* * * * *

3. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

 

Read My Review…

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4. Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

girl in pieces

 Read My Review…

* * * * *

5. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows

 Read My Review…

* * * * *

6. The Girls by Emma Cline

 Read My Review…

* * * * *

7. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

 Read My Review…

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8. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

 Read My Review…

* * * * *

9. The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown

Read My Review…

* * * * *

10. The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

 Read My Review…

* * * * *

Question:  What were your favorite reads of 2016?  Did any of these titles make your list?

Waiting on Wednesday – Spotlight on Daughter of the Pirate King

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week is Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller.  I had never heard of this book prior to receiving an advert from Netgalley last week. As soon as I read the review below from Anna Banks, which describes the heroine Alosa as a lady Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, I ran to request an ARC. That just sounds way too good to pass up.  Sadly, I didn’t get approved for the ARC, but thankfully only have to wait until February to get my hands on this book.

Daughter of the Pirate King

by Tricia Levenseller

 

From Amazon:

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map―the key to a legendary treasure trove―seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

Debut author Tricia Levenseller blends action, adventure, romance, and a little bit of magic into a thrilling YA pirate tale.

Check out this Advance Praise for Daughter of the Pirate King:

“Readers should rejoice, because we now have a lady Jack Sparrow on our hands!” — Anna Banks, author of the New York Times Bestseller Of Triton.

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your WoW selection for this week. 🙂

Top 10 Books I’d Love Santa to Leave Under My Tree

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree (or non-book bookworm items).  Yay for an easy topic this week!  The hardest part for me was only picking 10 books since I currently have so many on my To-Be-Read list that I haven’t purchased yet. Are any of these titles on your Christmas wishlist?

Top Ten Books I’d Love Santa to Leave Under My Tree

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1. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick 

scrappy little nobody

  (Read more…)

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2. Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham

 (Read more…)

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3. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

 

(Read more…)

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4. The Mothers by Brit Bennett

 (Read more…)

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5. The Blazing Star by Imani Josey

 

 (Read more…)

* * * * *

6. To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey

bright edge eowyn ivey

 (Read more…)

* * * * *

7. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

 (Read more…)

* * * * *

8. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

 (Read more…)

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9. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

(Read more…)

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10. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

 (Read more…)

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Question:  What books are you hoping Santa brings you this year?

Waiting on Wednesday – Spotlight on The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

New WoW“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week is The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord.  The stunning cover is what first caught my eye, but once I read the synopsis and all of the advance reviews, I knew this book just had to go on my wish list. It sounds like it’s going to be a beautiful and moving read.

The Names They Gave Us

by Emery Lord

Publication Date:  May 16, 2017

From Amazon:

From the acclaimed author of When We Collided comes a vibrant, compelling story of love, loss, faith, and friendship.

Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake and spending quality time with her parents. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters-in her faith and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp-one for troubled kids-Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?

Emotionally-charged and unforgettable, Emery Lord’s storytelling shines with the promise of new love and true friendship, even in the face of life’s biggest challenges.

Check out this Advance Praise for The Names They Gave Us!

“A vividly drawn novel of how we believe, how it changes, and how it changes us. In Lucy Hansson, Emery Lord gives us a narrator so vibrantly real that by the last chapter she felt like a friend I’d grown up with. Lucy’s journey is as unforgettable as her voice.” – Anna-Marie McLemore, author of Morris Award Finalist THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS and National Book Award longlisted WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS

“This is more than a love story. When We Collided carefully yet effortlessly puts mental illness in conversation with the beauty and struggle of adolescence. It is a book I wish could have written, but am so much better for having read.” ―Julie Murphy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of DUMPLIN’ and SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY on WHEN WE COLLIDED

“Searingly honest, gut-wrenchingly authentic, and deeply romantic, When We Collided is a gift of a novel. It tackles tough topics with nuance, and will make readers both laugh and cry, sometimes within the span of a page.” ―Jasmine Warga, author of MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES on WHEN WE COLLIDED

“A five-star must-read romance for older teens (and up) that will challenge readers toward a better understanding of a too-often marginalized and stigmatized segment of the population, When We Collided is an important book not only for this generation of teens, but those who’ve come before . . . and those who will come after.” ―USA Today on WHEN WE COLLIDED

An absolute tearjerker romance with a powerful message about weightier topics of grief and mental illness.” ―starred review, School Library Journal on WHEN WE COLLIDED

“In sharp contrast to darker, more issue-driven YA books, this title keeps truer to the problems that most teens face. The protagonist’s upbeat attitude will inspire readers to persevere even during the low points in life.” ―starred review, School Library Journal on THE START OF ME AND YOU

“This is the teen world as it should be, full of good times and good friends to temper life’s inevitable sorrows, big and small. Fans of Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti will want to add Emery Lord to their summer reading list.” ―BCCB on THE START OF ME AND YOU

“Lord offers a sweet story of love and loss. . . . The author is gentle with Paige as she struggles to redefine herself both in school and at home, as well as figure out who understands her best as she stumbles toward new romance.” ―Publishers Weekly on THE START OF ME AND YOU

“Reads like an ode to unconditional love that will keep readers firmly believing in believing.” ―Booklist on OPEN ROAD SUMMER

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your WoW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to Reading in Early 2017

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward To For The First Half Of 2017.  For me, this list includes not only 10 upcoming 2017 releases, but also a couple of books where I’m playing catch up on series in anticipation of their latest installments coming out this year.  I’m sure this list will grow, but as of right now, these are my most anticipated reads for 2017.

Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward To Reading in Early 2017

* * * * *

1. Gilded Cage by Vic James 

(expected publication:  February 14, 2017)

gilded cage

Goodreads Synopsis:   Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?   (Read more…)

 

* * * * *

2. The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

(expected publication:  May 16, 2017)

Goodreads Synopsis:  Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters—in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp—one for troubled kids—Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?  (Read more…)

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3. A Gathering of Shadows & A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

(expected publication of 3rd book:  February 21, 2017)

One of my primary goals for early 2017 is to get caught up on this series before the third book comes out in February.

Goodreads Synopsis: The battle between four magical Londons comes to a head in this stunning finale to the New York Times bestselling Shades of Magic trilogy by rising star V. E. Schwab

London’s fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire—and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes and foes struggle alike. The direct sequel to A Gathering of Shadows, and the final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees Schwab reach a thrilling culmination concerning the fate of beloved protagonists—and old enemies.  (Read more…)

 

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4. Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaram

(expected publication:  January 10, 2017)

lucky boy

Goodreads Synopsis:  Solimar Castro Valdez is eighteen and dazed with optimism when she embarks on a perilous journey across the US/Mexican border. Weeks later she arrives on her cousin’s doorstep in Berkeley, CA, dazed by first love found then lost, and pregnant. This was not the plan. But amid the uncertainty of new motherhood and her American identity, Soli learns that when you have just one precious possession, you guard it with your life. For Soli, motherhood becomes her dwelling and the boy at her breast her hearth.

Kavya Reddy has always followed her heart, much to her parents’ chagrin. A mostly contented chef at a UC Berkeley sorority house, the unexpected desire to have a child descends like a cyclone in Kavya’s mid-thirties. When she can’t get pregnant, this desire will test her marriage, it will test her sanity, and it will set Kavya and her husband, Rishi, on a collision course with Soli, when she is detained and her infant son comes under Kavya’s care. As Kavya learns to be a mother–the singing, story-telling, inventor-of-the-universe kind of mother she fantasized about being–she builds her love on a fault line, her heart wrapped around someone else’s child.

Lucky Boy is an emotional journey that will leave you certain of the redemptive beauty of this world. There are no bad guys in this story, no obvious hero. From rural Oaxaca to Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto to the dreamscapes of Silicon valley, author Shanthi Sekaran has taken real life and applied it to fiction; the results are moving and revelatory.  (Read more…)

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5. A Court of Mist and Fury & A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

(expected publication of 3rd book: May 2, 2017)

 

Goodreads Synopsis: Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all. (Read more…)

 

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6. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

(expected publication:  February 28, 2017)

Goodsreads Synopsis:  Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. Movie rights have been sold to Fox, with Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) to star(Read more…)

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7. Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia

(expected publication: January 3, 2017)

Goodreads Synopsis:  Full of twists and turns, Everything You Want Me to Be reconstructs a year in the life of a dangerously mesmerizing young woman, during which a small town’s darkest secrets come to the forefront…and she inches closer and closer to her death.

High school senior Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good citizen. When she’s found brutally stabbed to death on the opening night of her high school play, the tragedy rips through the fabric of her small town community. Local sheriff Del Goodman, a family friend of the Hoffmans, vows to find her killer, but trying to solve her murder yields more questions than answers. It seems that Hattie’s acting talents ran far beyond the stage. Told from three points of view—Del, Hattie, and the new English teacher whose marriage is crumbling—Everything You Want Me to Be weaves the story of Hattie’s last school year and the events that drew her ever closer to her death.

Evocative and razor-sharp, Everything You Want Me to Be challenges you to test the lines between innocence and culpability, identity and deception. Does love lead to self-discovery—or destruction?  (Read more…)

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8. The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson

(expected publication:  January 10, 2017)

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I recently received an e-ARC from Netgalley and this one also piqued my interest because of the praise from Anthony Doerr.

Goodreads Synopsis:  A captivating debut novel for readers of Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You and Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep, The Most Dangerous Place on Earth unleashes an unforgettable cast of characters into a realm known for its cruelty and peril: the American high school.

In an idyllic community of wealthy California families, new teacher Molly Nicoll becomes intrigued by the hidden lives of her privileged students. Unknown to Molly, a middle school tragedy in which they were all complicit continues to reverberate for her kids: Nick, the brilliant scam artist; Emma, the gifted dancer and party girl; Dave, the B student who strives to meet his parents expectations; Calista, the hippie outcast who hides her intelligence for reasons of her own. Theirs is a world in which every action may become public postable, shareable, indelible. With the rare talent that transforms teenage dramas into compelling and urgent fiction, Lindsey Lee Johnson makes vivid a modern adolescence lived in the gleam of the virtual, but rich with the sorrow, passion, and beauty of life in any time, and at any age.  (Read more…)

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9. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

(expected publication:  January 17, 2017)

Goodreads Synopsis:  Fans of Star Wars and Divergent will revel in internationally bestselling author Veronica Roth’s stunning new science-fiction fantasy series.

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another. (Read more…)

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10. The Girl Before by J. P. Delaney

girl before

Goodreads Synopsis:  In the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Silent Wife, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception.

Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Emma
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

Jane
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.  (Read more…)

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Question:  What books are you most looking forward to reading in 2017?  Playing catch up on any series like I am?

Waiting on Wednesday – Spotlight on Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

New WoW“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week is Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran.  I was drawn to this book because it just sounds like it’s going to be a moving and emotional read.  I also think it’s going to be a timely read based on how much immigration, and especially illegal immigration, has been in the news recently.

ETA:  I actually just won an ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway last week so I’m stoked that I’ll get to read this sooner rather than later.  Thanks to Goodreads, the publisher, and the author!

Lucky Boy

by Shanthi Sekaran

lucky boy

Publication Date:  January 10, 2017

From Amazon:

A gripping tale of adventure and searing reality, Lucky Boy gives voice to two mothers bound together by their love for one lucky boy.

Eighteen years old and fizzing with optimism, Solimar Castro-Valdez embarks on a perilous journey across the Mexican border. Weeks later, she arrives in Berkeley, California, dazed by first love found then lost, and pregnant. This was not the plan. Undocumented and unmoored, Soli discovers that her son, Ignacio, can become her touchstone, and motherhood her identity in a world where she’s otherwise invisible.

Kavya Reddy has created a beautiful life in Berkeley, but then she can’t get pregnant and that beautiful life seems suddenly empty. When Soli is placed in immigrant detention and Ignacio comes under Kavya’s care, Kavya finally gets to be the singing, story-telling kind of mother she dreamed of being. But she builds her love on a fault line, her heart wrapped around someone else’s child.

“Nacho” to Soli, and “Iggy” to Kavya, the boy is steeped in love, but his destiny and that of his two mothers teeters between two worlds as Soli fights to get back to him. Lucky Boy is a moving and revelatory ode to the ever-changing borders of love.

Check out this Advance Praise for Lucky Boy!

“A fiercely compassionate story about the bonds and the bounds of motherhood and, ultimately, of love.” –Cristina Henríquez, author of The Book of Unknown Americans

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your WoW selection for this week. 🙂