Highlights: January 2020

Happy New Year and Happy New Decade! It really seems like we are getting a fresh new start as we roll into a new version of the roaring twenties. What will the new year, and new decade, bring? Well we know that January will bring a new slew of books! Here’s what we are looking forward to this month!

Serena’s Picks

40877706._sy475_Book: “Woven in Moonlight” by Isabel Ibanez

Publication Date: January 7, 2020

Why I’m Interested: The cover alone is enough to make me want to check this book out. Beautiful and unique, it’s always lovely to see covers put together with such care. I’m sure it will get picked up off bookstore shelves quite frequently. Beyond that, it’s a YA fantasy novel inspired by Bolivian history and politics. I know next to nothing about these topics, so I’m excited to see what this book has to offer. The main character, Ximena, has been serving as a double for the Condesa, the last member of a royal family who is now living in exile with her people. But when the usurper “offers” a political marriage, Ximena goes in her place in search of a way to restore her people to their homeland. So far the reviews seem very positive, so I’m excited to see what this book has to offer!

9781250184627_fe33eBook: “Hostile Territory” by Paul Greci

Publication Date: January 28, 2020

Why I’m Interested: I love survival stories, and it’s been a long time since I’ve read one. To be fair, I also know I have unreasonable standards for survival stories and often end up coming down rather hard on them. Knowing that, I have to limit myself so I don’t just go into a rage over the entire genre. But given that it’s been a while, this book about a group of teens who end up stranded in the Alaskan wilderness after an earthquake takes out their camp and some of their friends sounded like a prime opportunity to get back in the genre. I’m a little concerned about the reference to military aspects in the cover and description. But then again, I loved “Tomorrow, When the War Began” and that was both a survival story and a military action adventure. We’ll see what this one brings!

45046604Book: “The Bard’s Blade”  by Brian D. Anderson

Publication Date: January 28, 2020

Why I’m Interested: Another fun cover, another hooked reader! I haven’t read any of Anderson’s books, though I know he’s written several fantasy series. This one, about two young people who grow up in an idyllic country, protected from evil and the outside world by a magical barrier, who now have to venture out to stop a growing malevolent force, sounds pretty fun. I’m curious to see what role music will play in the story since it’s part of the title, and one of the main characters, Lan, is mentioned as being a talented musician. Is there a magical element to music? I’m really not sure about much about this book, but it will be fun to dive in and find out!

Kate’s Picks

37650881._sy475_Book: “Jane Anonymous” by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Publication Date: January 7, 2020

Why I’m Interested: Usually when you read a thriller that involves a kidnap victim, you are going to get one of two scenarios. The first is that it’s going to be from the side of the investigators and/or family members who are hoping that the victim will come home safe. The second is that it’s going to be from the perspective of the victim themself during the ordeal. So the fact that “Jane Anonymous” is both from the victim’s perspective during their captivity AND following her in the aftermath really caught my attention. “Jane” is trying to readjust to her life after she was held prisoner for almost a year. While her family and friends are happy she is home, she isn’t feeling connected to them, and is having a hard time coping with coming back to a life she will possibly never relate to again. It sounds dark and deep, and I love that Stolarz wanted to explore a reality that victims may have to come home to, and how hard it can be.

One of Us is Next FINAL cover.inddBook: “One of Us Is Next” by Karen M. McManus

Publication Date: January 7, 2020

Why I’m Interested: I loved the first in the series, “One of Us Is Lying”, and I also loved Karen M. McManus’s second book “Two Can Keep A Secret”. So it’s really no surprise that I’m feeling VERY excited for the follow up to “One of Us Is Lying”, “One of Us Is Next”. It looks like this time around we’re back to Bayview High, and dealing with a new malicious app and group of students! Instead of a gossip app it’s now a game, and if you don’t play by the rules your truths will be exposed. Oh hell yes. I am hoping that McManus will be three for three with her YA thriller mysteries, and given how strong she has been with her past two books she will probably deliver!

45046527Book: “American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins

Publication Date: January 21, 2020

Why I’m Interested: This one is less thriller and more of a literary work, but given how much buzz I’ve heard about it, I couldn’t leave it off this list. Lydia is a book seller in Acapulco, and has mostly been shielded from the slowly building violence that is being perpetrated by the cartels. But one day, one of the higher ups in a cartel comes to her store, and takes interest in two of her favorite books. Lydia is unaware that this man is a powerful and dangerous individual, and the fact that her husband is about to publish a tell all expose on him is going to rock all of their lives. This sounds like it’s going to be a guy punch of a novel, and I, for one, cannot wait to read it.

Edit 1/26: In light of all the controversy surrounding “American Dirt”, I have to walk back my choice to highlight this book. I’ll keep it up for transparency, but if you want information on why I’m changing my mind, HERE and HERE are two great articles why. 

What books are you looking forward to this month? Let us know in the comments!

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