Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Top Ten Contemporary Books I'm Looking Forward To In The First Half Of 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

I'm changing this from 'books' to 'contemporary books' because I have a post going up as part of Smugglivus on the brilliant Book Smugglers site tomorrow listing some of the YA and MG SFF I'm especially excited for! But also there are a TON of fabulous contemporaries so I thought I'd share these here.

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Walker) - This Black Lives Matter-inspired YA is getting huge buzz, with big praise from US and UK authors alike. Angie's with the Bent Agency and her UK deal was signed by the wonderful Molly Ker Hawn, who has impeccable taste (as does Brooks Sherman, who represents her in the US.) This novel, about a girl whose world is turned upside down when she's the only witness to the shooting of her unarmed best friend by a police officer, sounds like a stunning and powerful read.

2. Out of Heart by Irfan Master (Hot Key) - Irfan Master's A Beautiful Lie is one of my favourite MG books of the last 5 years and I've been waiting ages for him to release his second novel! I'm incredibly excited that Hot Key have signed this YA about a grandfather donating his heart to someone without a family of his own, and the effect this has on the recipient and on the donor's father.

3. Wing Jones by Katherine Webber (Walker) - Katie Webber is one of the most knowledgeable people around when it comes to YA - as anyone who's seen her chairing an event will agree - and it's no surprise that her debut is a gorgeously written book with wonderful characters. The central relationship here is great but it's the main character of Wing herself, and her fabulous family (particularly her grandparents!) who really captured my heart. (Yes, I've read this one but can't wait for other people to get their hands on it!) Bonus points for having a sporty female lead - the running in the book is awesome - and for the 90s setting.

4. Waiting For Callback: Take Two by Perdita and Honor Cargill (Simon & Schuster) - The mother and daughter duo's debut was a favourite of mine from the early part of last year - it's a fun read with great characters and the dialogue is especially strong. I'm excited to see where Elektra's story goes next and I know that I'll be reading it with a massive smile on my face.

5. Don't Tell The Bridesmaid by Katy Birchall (Egmont) - Similarly to Waiting For Callback, I know that The It Girl series never fails to deliver on laughs and warm, fun characters. The second book was even better than the hilarious first, so I have really high hopes for the final one in the trilogy.

6. A Quiet Kind Of Thunder by Sara Barnard (Macmillan) - Sara's sensational debut Beautiful Broken Things was one of my favourite contemporaries of 2016, perfectly capturing the friendship between a trio of girls. Her upcoming book, about a girl who's a selective mute and a deaf boy, sounds fascinating.

7. Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt (Usborne) - This is another I've read already and am desperate to share with people. One of the few UKYA novels I've read which I'd describe as an out-and-out romance (rather than another type of story with romantic elements), this is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and similar authors. The couple are seriously swoonworthy and the setting, around conventions, is brilliant!

8. Mind The Gap by Phil Earle (Barrington Stoke) - Barrington Stoke continue their track record of publishing incredible authors. Phil Earle is a real favourite of mine because of the huge heart he brings to all of his books and this one, inspired by a true story about a widow who wrote to TFL after they stopped using her late husband's announcements at Embankment station, sounds like it will be a real tearjerker.

9. Margot and Me by Juno Dawson (Hot Key) - Books set in Wales never fail to have that extra bit of resonance for me and this one sounds like it's going to be great! It's the story of a girl who moves to Wales for six months with her mum so that her grandmother, who she doesn't get on with, can look after her mum as she recovers from chemotherapy. Tied in with lead character Fliss's own story are the diaries she finds, written by her grandmother during World War II, and revealing a deep dark secret.

10. And Then We Ran by Katy Cannon (Stripes) - Road trip novels are always favourites of mine and Katy Cannon is a wonderful writer, as shown by her brilliant debut series, which started with Love, Lies and Lemon Pies. I'm excited to read this new one - which follows a girl who wants to be chef, and a boy fighting his parents' wish for him to join the navy, who go on a voyage of self-discovery.

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