Wednesday 25 January 2017

The Month Ahead... (February)

Trying a new feature here which MAY be monthly (I hope, depending on how I cope with it!) I'm going to shine a spotlight on ten upcoming releases, out over the next month or so, which I've either read and loved or am extremely excited to read. There are so many fabulous books coming out this year that this definitely isn't going to be a comprehensive list or anything, but I'll try and look at a variety of books across genres and age ranges. I'm also going to include a couple that are out in the US but have no publisher here as far as I know - although I'll be mainly looking at stuff which IS coming here. (Thinking probably 2 a month US ones.)

Anything in blue is something I've already read, the rest are ones I'm anticipating. 

January 26th

Waiting For Callback: Take Two by Perdita and Honor Cargill (Simon & Schuster)

Elektra has the movie role she wanted AND she's pretty sure she's got the guy - life is definitely looking up! Until filming starts, she realises that the cast dynamics are perhaps more dystopian than Straker itself, and her new sort-of boyfriend ends up in his own film, on location in Transylvania, surrounded by beautiful girls. Will everything work out?

This was one of my most highly-anticipated contemporaries of the year - I really enjoyed the first WFC book - and it definitely didn't disappoint! As with the first in the series, it's a hilarious read with a fab main character. The excellent dialogue sets it above most of the other similar books in a crowded field (which includes lots of great reads!) while the extracts from a gossip site and emails from Elektra's agent were great touches. 

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera (Simon & Schuster) 

Griffin was waiting for his ex-boyfriend Theo to return to him when the time was right - but Theo is dead now, killed in a drowning accident. As Griffin's universe starts to fall apart, Jackson, who Theo had started going out with a while before dying, becomes an unlikely person to talk to - but will Griffin's secrets tear him apart?

Oh wow! My first Adam Silvera and it's just as wonderful as I'd been told his writing is (but a serious tearjerker; stock up on tissues.) I fell totally in love with Griffin, Theo and Jackson, all three are amazing characters and I thought the details of Theo's relationships with both other boys were incredibly well-portrayed. In addition, I loved Adam's really perfect depiction of Griffin's OCD; definitely one of the best I've seen in YA. In addition, as heartbreaking as it is, it's also hopeful - a stunning look at heartbreak, grief and forgiveness.

February 1st

Riverdale #1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Alitha Martinez (Archie Comics)

I was super-excited for the Riverdale TV show and, as mentioned last week, much of my anticipation vanished when it was announced that Jughead wouldn't be asexual. (Read more on my thoughts on that in this post.) Despite this, I want to give the show a chance - partly because actor Cole Sprouse is pushing for the character to be ace as he is in canon, and I'm really hoping this will happen in a future season - so I'm going to pick up this comic, which will set the scene for it with four short stories from before the series starts. (Apart from anything else, Alitha Martinez's art looks gorgeous!)

Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt (Usborne)

Convention organiser's daughter Lexi Angelo is a girl who knows what she's doing when it comes to events - clipboard in hand, she's her father's top assistant. But when she meets Aidan Green - arrogant, annoying, and inconveniently becoming her new favourite author - several conventions get even more interesting than usual.

Super-charming contemporary which has one of my favourite UKYA romances ever. I love the setting, taking place across numerous conventions, while the relationship between Lexi and her father is a sweet one as well. It's great to see cameos from some awesome authors as well!

February 2nd

All About Mia by Lisa Williamson (David Fickling Books)

Lisa Williamson is such a fabulous author, so this book about Mia - middle sister of 3, feeling overshadowed by perfect Grace, a straight-A student, and future Olympic swimming champion Audrey - is one of my most-anticipated contemporaries of 2017!

February 7th

The Refugees by Vieth Thanh Nguyen (Corsair) 

While I've yet to read The Sympathiser by Vieth Thanh Nguyen, I've heard amazing things about it. I'm trying to read more short stories this year so this collection - giving voice to "lives led between two worlds, the adopted homeland and the country of birth" sounds like a great place to start. 

Wintersong by S Jae-Jones (Titan)

Liesl's sister is captured by the Goblin King, and Liesl must journey to the Underworld to save her. This is being described as a sensual fantasy with similarities to classic David Bowie film Labyrinth and you have to believe I am ALL OVER that. Super-excited!! 

February 9th

The Dragon With A Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis (Bloomsbury)

Young dragon Aventurine sneaks out by herself to try and capture a tasty human, only to be tempted by his hot chocolate and find herself magically transformed into a human girl. Declawed and defanged, she sets out to make the most of the transformation by getting a job as an apprentice chocolatier, but things don't go quite according to plan.

Completely and utterly gorgeous MG - the best MG I read in 2016 - about dragons, chocolate, friends, family and finding your passion in life. I read this one with a massive smile on my face right the way through, and adored Aventurine and new friend Silke. I'm also left in awe of Stephanie after the ending - close to the end I couldn't see how she could wrap things up quickly enough but she pulled it off perfectly.

US releases (both February 14th)

American Street by Ibi Zoboi (Balzer + Bray)

Leaving Haiti, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find a good life in Detroit when she moved there with her mother - but instead, her mother is detained by US immigration. Left to find her feet in the new city and deal with her new cousins and a surprising romance, Fabiola starts to settle in but finds that freedom comes at a cost. This sounds completely fascinating and is getting some incredible reviews; I wish it had a UK publisher but will definitely be getting a copy from the US!

Crazy Messy Beautiful by Carrie Arcos 

Named after the greatest love poet of all time, Neruda Diaz frequently falls in love himself - just never with anyone who loves him back. Up to now, at least - could Callie change this? As Neruda falls faster than ever, though, he is blindsided by the complicated nature of love and art. I love the sound of this one and Neruda seems like an interesting character; I'm excited to find out whether he and Callie can make it together.

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