Highlights: July 2019

Oh, July. The month where summer comes into its own and everything becomes super patriotic. It’s a fun game to find the most bizarre, July-4-themed things you can (similar to the game you play in the fall where you try and spot the pumpkin spice all over the place). Last year, Serena found a T-shirt at Target that said “My favorite color is freedom” and with a few adjustments, like cutting off the sleeves, it now makes regular appearances at silly things like volleyball games and such. Anywho. Here are some more books we’re looking forward to reading this month!

Serena’s Picks

22819354Book: “Age of Legend” by Michael Sullivan

Publication Date: July 9, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I’ve been devouring Sullivan’s “The Legends of the First Empire” series, and this was the first book I had to wait for. Luckily not long, though I was still too impatient to wait for the audiobook, even though I was really enjoying that version of the story. This epic fantasy series has been incredibly solid with the first three entries of the story, and with this, happening several years after the events of the first books, I’m excited to see where Sullivan takes things. There were some major changes and events at the end of the last book, so it should be interesting. You’ll be hearing more from me about this book this week…

36510722Book: “Gods of Jade and Shadow” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Publication Date: July 23, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I’ve really enjoyed the books I’ve read by Silvia Moreno-Garcia in the past, so I’m always game when I see a new title from her. This one is particularly interesting on concept alone, however! A Mayan god of death sends a young woman on a question to resolve a war between himself and his god-brother. It’s billed as a dark fairytale that pulls from Mexican folklore. I’m really excited about this one. It’s always great to find new fairytales and folk legends, especially ones that come from cultures that aren’t the “go-to” for many books of this type. I can’t wait to read this! Plus, that cover is awesome.

29226553Book: “Dark Age” by Pierce Brown

Publication Date: July 30, 2019

This book has seen several delays in publication date. I think it was originally supposed to come out last January? Needless to say, I’ve been anxiously awaiting its arrival and regularly checking to make sure that it is still on schedule. While I didn’t love the previous book and first in this new trilogy as much as the original “Red Rising” story, I’m still invested in Darrow’s ongoing struggles to right the wrongs in the galaxy. The last book also introduced a host of other characters, some of whom I enjoyed more than others. Many of their stories were left on cliffhangers, essentially, so the publishing delays for this book have been killer! Soon though, very soon!

Kate’s Picks

43261389Book: “Season of the Witch” by Sarah Rees Brennan

Publication Date: July 9, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Any additional Sabrina content while I wait impatiently for the next season of the show to come back is good. And on top of that, this is a prequel to the series, so it’s going to build upon the mythology of the show. “Season of the Witch” takes place during the summer before Sabrina’s 16th birthday, and focuses on the relationship she has with her mortal friends, specifically her boyfriend Harvey. When she thinks about casting a spell to see how deeply he feels about her, a spirit with not so good intentions decides to interfere. Since we’re waiting forever for the next comic collection in print form (SERIOUSLY, THREE YEARS AND COUNTING), I am going to take any kind of print media that I can get, and I hope that “Season of the Witch” will make the show’s mythology all the richer.

41212413Book: “Growing Things and Other Stories” by Paul Tremblay

Publication Date: July 2, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Paul Tremblay is one of those authors that I am always going to read no matter what. I’ve enjoyed everything of his that I’ve read, and I am always excited for something new to come out. And even though I am usually a bit wary when it comes to short stories collections, I am looking forward to “Growing Things and Other Stories”. This collection takes a number of stories stories that Tremblay has written over the years and puts them together into one book, with ranges from cosmic horror, t0 ghost stories, to throw backs to some characters that may seem familiar to those who know is previous works (hello again, Merry and Marjorie from “A Head Full of Ghosts”). Tremblay is not only good at bringing scares, but also ambiguity and pathos, so this collection will no doubt be filled with ALL the emotions.

32603079Book: “Wanderers” by Chuck Wendig

Publication Date: July 9, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Given that I love me some post-apocalyptic fiction and this book is getting early buzz comparisons to “The Stand” in theme and depth, I am incredibly excited to read “Wanders” by Chuck Wendig. When a mysterious malady starts to affect people, and they begin walking with a purpose but do not respond to their surroundings, thus begins a global disaster that will reflect the perils of fear and hysteria rather than the actual threat, and it might be up to a teenage girl named Shana and a now disgraced scientist named Benji to help bring the sleepwalkers to safety, and to help rebuilt society. Clocking in at 800some pages, this is going to be a whopper of a book, but I am very excited by the prospect of it.

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

Highlights: June 2019

We’ve had a bit of a chilly start to this summer, but even so we are looking forward to warm weather, outdoor activities, and the grilling of delicious foods. Summer is here! And along with a new season, we have some new book titles that we’re looking forward to!

Serena’s Picks

42201395Book: “Sorcery of Thorns” by Margaret Rogerson

Publication Date: June 4, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I really enjoyed “An Enchantment of Ravens.” For me, it had the perfect balance of a solid fairytale, a sweet romance, and some really humorous dialogue between its main characters. So I’m really excited to see another book by this author! And what’s more, it’s about warrior librarians! Obviously that’s going to peak my interest. I also have to point out that whomever they have hired for the cover art for both of these books is firing on all cylinders. I love both of these covers so much, and even without previous knowledge of the author, this cover would have been enough to get me to pick it up at a library or a bookstore.

40696990Book: “Fray” by Rowenna Miller

Publication Date: June 4, 2019

Why I’m Interested: There’s going to be a theme here, because this is another book that follows one I really enjoyed previously. “Torn” was an interesting political fantasy novel, delving into some pretty complex issues dealing with income inequality and political systems within a fantasy realm. The story was rather long and could be slow at points, but it also dealt with some complicated economic and class-based topics in the midst of it all. I enjoyed the main character and am willing to be more sold on the romance at its heart. I also am curious to see how the complicated brother/sister relationship will play out.

40042001Book: “Shadow & Flame” by Mindee Arnett

Publication Date: June 4, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Yes, yes, another sequel! No debut authors/series this month for me. I very much enjoyed “Onyx & Ivory” and wasn’t quite sure when it ended whether or not there was going to be a sequel, even though it definitely seemed to be setting up for one. So I was thrilled when I saw that this was scheduled for release this June. I’m excited to see where the author takes things from here, now that the views on magic are beginning to change and a villain is now at larger (rather than the general, societal conflict that took up much of the first book’s plot). I also enjoyed the romance quite a lot in the first book. It’s always nice to see new versions of romance other than the enemies-to-lovers one we see so often. And this series features the second bloom romance, a rarity indeed.

Kate’s Picks

41716679Book: “Searching for Sylvie Lee” by Jean Kwok

Publication Date: June 4, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I admittedly haven’t read anything by Jean Kwok, but I’ve been wanting to pick up “Girl in Translation” for years. So when “Searching for Sylvie Lee” ended up in the blog mail, I was pretty damn excited to pick it up (and made a serious mental note to finally read “Girl in Translation”, dammit). Part immigrant family story, part mystery, the oldest daughter of a Chinese immigrant family, Sylvie, disappears after going to visit a relative in the Netherlands. Her younger sister, Amy, is desperate to track down her last known location, and goes on a mission to find out where Sylvie has gone. But on her journey she uncovers family secrets, lies, and the push and pull of identity. It sounds heavy, but I’m very excited to read it.

42190273Book: “The Last House Guest” by Megan Miranda

Publication Date: June 18, 2019

Why I’m Interested: While I will own up to the fact that I didn’t really care for “All the Missing Girls”, I did enjoy Megan Miranda’s YA novel “Fragments of the Lost”. So given that I feel like I need to pull a best two out of three scenario, I have put Miranda’s newest book “The Last House Guest” on my to read list! Sadie and Avery have a close friendship in spite of their townie and rich vacationer relationship that is seen so often in a New England coastal town. But when Sadie is found dead and it’s ruled a suicide, Avery is devastated. It doesn’t help that the townspeople, including Sadie’s detective brother, blame her. But Avery thinks that things aren’t as clear cut as they seem, and decides that not only is she going to clear her name, she’s going to find out what happened to her friend. I’m intrigued by the girl friendships and the small town mystery!

40201006Book: “I’ll Never Tell” by Catherine McKenzie

Publication Date: June 1, 2019

Why I’m Interested: You take a summer camp, a group of siblings with shady motives, and a dead girl, and you mix it all up to make a literary cocktail that I absolutely need to read. So I was absolutely interested when I heard about “I’ll Never Tell” by Catherine McKenzie. Twenty years ago, camper Amanda Holmes washed up on the shores of Camp Macaw in a rowboat, dead with a head wound. Though it was clear it was murder, there wasn’t enough evidence to charge anyone with a crime. Now, the camp’s owners have died, and their now adult children are hoping to sort out the inheritance and walk away, even though they have different ideas of what to do with the camp. And when the will is read, the siblings realize that unloading the camp, in any way it may be, won’t be so easy, because Amanda’s death is still unsolved, and it has to be wrapped up. But the siblings may have secrets of their own, and may have reason to leave it unsolved. I will take duplicitous family relationships AND summer camp shenanigans any day of the week, so I’m VERY excited to read this book!

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

Highlights: May 2019

Well okay, so we had to get a couple more snow storms in April just to be spiteful. But now, CERTAINLY, it has to be Spring time for good! With more opportunities to spend time outside (and the promise of Summer coming), we have some books that we can’t wait to read!

Serena’s Picks

9780425281291_StormCursed_FCO_mech.inddBook: “Storm Cursed” by Patricia Briggs

Publication Date: May 7, 2019

Why I’m Interested: My beloved Kate Daniels urban fantasy series just recently concluded, so I’m now only left with one remaining current favorite: the Mercy Thompson series. I also read the “Alpha and Omega” offshoot series, but, oof, I had some major problems with the last book. And what’s worse, those problems directly connect to this series as well. It’s the sort of thing that likely won’t come into play, but I’m still curious to see how this book is handled, being the first one now since the horrid reveal in the other series. The last couple of books have been fairly up and down for me as the author has been experimenting with adding different POV chapters into the story. Here’s to hoping that this is a return to the good ole Mercy-focused books we had earlier in the series!

40006251Book: “The Living God” by Kaytalin Platt

Publication Date: May 21, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I confess: a large portion of my interest in this book has to do with the striking cover. Which is a weird thing for me, I know, since I rarely like books with models on the cover. But there’s something very atmospheric about this one that I find pretty striking. The story description itself is rather confusing to me, but it has to do with two mages, Saran and Keleir, who each have their own distinct magic. When Saran loses her abilities, however, she has to seek out new answers for how to save Keleir from the dark fate of being coming the Living God. Whatever that means? In this case, the increased mystery is intriguing!

40523458Book: “Kingsbane” by Claire Legrand

Publication Date: May 21, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I didn’t love the first book in this series. I didn’t hate it, but there were several sticking points that I struggled with, most having to do with the way the story was being told, more than the story itself. But when I received a ARC of this in the mail, I decided to give it another go. At least one of the storylines, that of Eliana, still intrigues me, especially now that the (way too obvious, in my opinion) secret of her past has been exposed. Rielle’s story…eh, we’ll see! There have definitely been series out there that have improved as they went along, so here’s to hoping this is one of them!

Kate’s Picks

41068144Book: “Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide” by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

Publication Date: May 28, 2019

Why I’m Interested: “My Favorite Murder” is one of my very favorite true crime podcasts, and one of the reasons for that is because of the hosts. Karen and Georgia approach the stories they cover with compassion and a bit of humor, but never at the expense of the victims or the horrors they have to endure. Along with that they are very open with their own lives and the various struggles they’ve had to endure and overcome. One of their big pieces of advice on the show is ‘fuck politeness’, as in if you are in a situation where you feel like you may be in danger, don’t worry about being polite, advocate for yourself and get out by any means necessary. I can’t wait to see how they apply their various experiences and ethos’s in book form. While I’m sure it won’t be applicable to everyone (so many self help books aren’t), I look forward to their wit and insight.

40867676Book: “The Night Before” by Wendy Walker

Publication Date: May 14, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I enjoyed Wendy Walker’s previous book “Emma in the Night”, so when I saw she had a new book coming out I put it on my list. In “The Night Before” is about two sisters, Rosie and Laura, who have led fairly separate lives and are trying to forget their problematic childhood. After Laura moves in with Rosie and her family the tension is high, but it’s when Laura doesn’t return from an Internet arranged date that things start to take a dark turn. Now Rosie has to try and figure out what happened to her sister, and what kind of trouble she may have found… or caused. The dangers of Internet dating meets suburban angst? I’m so there.

36285129Book: “Let Me Hear a Rhyme” by Tiffany D. Jackson

Publication Date: May 21, 2019

Why I’m Interested: It’s full disclosure time. “Let Me Hear a Rhyme” is probably not going to make it up on the blog, if only because it’s not a thriller, horror, or graphic novel, and with all the options coming out in the coming months I feel like I need to focus on my genres. But, that said, Tiffany D. Jackson is one of my favorite YA writers writing today. And I have already read “Let Me Hear a Rhyme” thanks to the kind people at Edelweiss+. Guys, it is so good. Taking place in Bed-Stuy in the 1990s, “Let Me Hear a Rhyme” follows Qadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine, three teens reeling after the shooting death of Jasmine’s brother Steph. Steph was an up and coming musician who had big dreams, hoping to make it big like fellow Bed-Stuy rapper Biggie Smalls, who was also killed too soon. Qadir and Jarrell cook up a scheme to make sure that Steph’s music is heard, and they try to market his songs as if he’s still alive, looking for a record deal. Meanwhile, Jasmine wants to find out what happened to her brother. This book is raw and powerful, and it has not only a lot of good points about social justice issues that are still relevant today, it has some great 90s music nostalgia.

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

Highlights: April 2019

Ok. The days are getting longer. Easter is this month. Surely, surely spring is finally on its way! No, no, we DON’T want to talk about the blizzard that struck last April. And frankly, “April showers” even sounds fine by us. As long as the precipitation is in liquid form! As we patiently continue to wait for the return of the warm weather, here are some books we are looking forward to this month!

Serena’s Picks

39735900Book: “Through the White Wood” by Jessica Leake

Publication Date: April 9, 2019

Why I’m Interested: For one, look at that beautiful cover? You know I’m always a sucker for covers that don’t feature models, but this one in particular stands out with its deep blue tones and the striking white eagle. I’m pretty sure I requested this one based only on that cover. But the story itself also sounds intriguing featuring a young woman in Russia who has the ability to control ice. After tragedy strikes her village and she finds herself an outcast, she becomes caught up in a events taking place on a much grander scale where her abilities are not to be feared but instead could be the saving grace for her entire country.

39863306Book: “The Sword and the Dagger” by Robert Cochran

Publication Date: April 9, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Another intriguing cover, but I’ll admit to being drawn in mostly by the book description itself for this one. Set during the Crusades (in), an unlikely trio, a Christian princess, her fiance, and a Muslin assassin (definitely in), find themselves on a shared journey to intercept Gengis Khan (soooo in). That also all sounds completely bonkers, so I’m really curious to see where the story goes. Obviously, with the make-up of the group itself, I expect there will be a lot of conversations about faith, friendship, and loyalty, so I’m also intrigued to see how those aspects of the story play out. It seems like it could too much to tackle in one book (and of course I always have fears of love triangles with things like this), but I’ll remain optimistic.

40618519Book: “The Unbound Empire” by Melissa Caruso

Publication Date: April 25, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I’ve loved the first two books in the “Swords and Fire” trilogy, so it’s no wonder that this, the final book in the series would make its way on this list. One of the things that has impressed me most about this developing trilogy is how the stakes have risen with each book. That being the case, I’m so excited to see where this finale will take us! The groundwork for a huge conflict has been laid out, with Amalia and the fire warlock Zaira at its heart. But there are also political ramifications for society as a whole that have been building up: how will the lives of the bound Falcons look going forward? I’m also curious to see where Caruso will take the romances in this book. The second book pretty much did the impossible by introducing a love triangle that I didn’t immediately hate. But sticking the landing is everything for something like this, so we’ll just have to wait and see!

Kate’s Picks

40776737Book: “Alien: Echo” by Mira Grant

Publication Date: April 9, 2019

Why I’m Interested: It’s true that Sci-Fi isn’t really my bag, but I am a big fan of Mira Grant and pretty much everything that I have read by her. So I am more than willing to give “Alien: Echo” a try! When twin sisters Olivia and Viola move to a new planet colony with their xenobiologist parents, they expect it to be like other missions their parents have participated in. But when a new threat is found in the form of a new alien, and chaos suddenly takes hold, Olivia has to use her own knowledge of xenobiology to keep Viola and herself safe. Grant is always so creative with her world building, so I’m very excited and hopeful that “Alien: Colony” will be another fun ride from her.

41806986Book: “Little Darlings” by Melanie Golding

Publication Date: April 30, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I’m a big ol’ sucker for a changeling story, so I of COURSE am very intrigued by the premise of “Little Darlings”. Lauren Tranter is the new mom of twins Morgan and Riley, and while she loves her babies she’s been worrying about them since their birth. While at the hospital she thinks she saw a woman try to take her children and replace them with two different beings, and while everyone thinks she imagined it, she’s been on alert. So when the twins disappear for a bit while she takes them to the park, her worst fears may be coming true. The twins, however, are recovered, but when they are returned to Lauren, she sees two babies that are not her children, even though everyone else thinks everything is fine. It sounds upsetting and creepy, and I can’t wait to see how it messes with my head.

40065317Book: “The Invited” by Jennifer McMahon

Publication Date: April 30, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Jennifer McMahon has been pretty hit or miss for me in the past, but when she’s on she is ON. Because of this, I am absolutely going to see what she can do with a haunted house story like “The Invited”. Married couple Helen and Nate have left the city life in hopes of building a new life and house in the countryside. The property has a tragic past, in which a woman named Hattie died on the land a century prior. As Helen starts designing the house and it starts to go up, the tragic history of Hattie and her descendants starts to be uprooted in more ways than one. A haunted house you move into is one thing, but it’s a pretty fascinating idea to be building a house that appears destined to be haunted.

What April new releases are you looking forward to? Share in the comments below!

Highlights: March 2019

Will spring ever arrive? This is the question on every Minnesotan’s mind as we stare out at our snow-covered lawns, our icicle-encrusted roofs and our thermometers that are still, somehow, showing single digits. But at least we can add an extra hour of light in the evenings soon? Literal light at the end of this cold, snowy tunnel?? As always, however, we have a list of books to look forward to to distract us!

Serena’s Picks

42506143Book: “The Shadowglass” by Rin Chupeco

Publication Date: March 5, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I’ve been loving “The Bone Witch” series from book one. Not only is the world-building and dark, death magic completely fascinating, but the narrative is structured in such a way that we have essentially two timelines to follow at once: Tea’s past self and her experiences growing into her Bone Witch powers and the adult Tea who has seen some shit. By the second book, each storyline was jam packed with its own action, and while some questions were being answered here and there, many of the primary mysteries behind how things ended up the way they were in adult!Tea’s timeline in the first book are still unclear. So not only do we need to catch up to that point in this book, but the present timeline was also getting pretty intense in the last book, so it’s hard to even imagine how that will conclude as well!

30518319Book: “A Dangerous Collaboration” by Deanna Raybourn

Publication Date: March 12, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I mean, obviously. I’ve been loving this series from the start and this was the first book that had a serious wait time attached to it given the timing of my discovery of the series. I’m also particularly intrigued by the Gothic, ghost-centric, missing bride angle at the heart of this mystery. I’m sensing some serious “Jane Eyre” vibes all over this thing, and that can only be a good sign! Beyond that, Veronica and Stoker’s relationship seems to be coming to a head, so I’m intrigued to see where the series goes with that! Will this actually be followed through on? Or will we get more of the same will-they-won’t-they we’ve seen for the last several books? I definitely have a preference!

38734256-1Book: “Sherwood” by Meagan Spooner

Publication Date: March 19, 2019

Why I’m Interested: A few years ago I read and adored Spooner’s retelling of my favorite fairytale, “Beauty and the Beast,” in her book “Hunted.” There were just enough callouts to the original story for it to feel familiar, but, for the most part, the story was completely new. Add to that a compelling, strong heroine at its heart and you had a hit on your hands! So when I saw that she was releasing another standalone story, this time a version of Robin Hood with Marian as the focus, I knew I would have to check it out! Like has so often (sadly) been the case with “Beauty and the Beast” stories, I’ve read a fair share of Robin Hood stories that cast Marian in a more important role (often the archer herself) and been left underwhelmed. However, given Spooner’s past success and the fact that the book description starts out with the provocative line “Robin of Locksley is dead”…yeah, I’m game to see where this one goes!

Kate’s Picks

34993030Book: “The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick” by Mallory O’Meara

Publication Date: March 5, 2019

Why I’m Interested: As the horror connoisseur on this blog it comes as no surprise that a book about the woman who designed The Creature from the Black Lagoon is something that has caught my attention. Milicent Patrick created the now iconic creature from the Universal Monsters line up, but the credit was stolen by a male colleague, and Patrick’s legacy was stolen from her. Mallory O’Meara, angered by this injustice, went out and found out everything she could about Patrick’s life, and has now written a biography of a woman whose contributions to the horror film industry has been long overlooked. While I’m sure the sexism and misogyny is going to make my blood boil, I can’t wait to learn about a lady horror fan whose impact within the genre was formidable.

38167114Book: “Internment” by Samira Ahmed

Publication Date: March 19, 2019

Why I’m Interested: With our Government and this current administration promoting racist and Islamaphobic policies, “Internment” feels like a timely, and very scary, warning of a novel. It’s the story of Layla, a seventeen year old Muslim American, and how she, her family, and Muslims across the country are rounded up by the Government and relocated to Internment camps, echoing America’s shameful and horrific past of Japanese American internment during WWII. While Layla’s parents hope that remaining silent and compliant will keep them safe, Layla has other ideas, and wants to fight back. Heavy stuff, but given that this ‘what if’ scenario feels all too plausible it’s probably also necessary to think about.

39080472Book: “The Everlasting Rose” by Dhonielle Clayton

Publication Date: March 5, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Given how much I greatly enjoyed “The Belles” last year, I OF COURSE have to put it’s sequel, “The Everlasting Rose”, on my list! When we left off, Rogue Belle Camille has run from her duty to Princess Sophia and has met up with her sister Belle Edel, in hopes of fighting back against Sophia’s oppressive regime. Camille and Edel have to team up to find Sophia’s sister Charlotte, the rightful heir to the Orléans Throne, and have to keep themselves safe and hidden along the way. We’ve entered the revolution part of this dystopian tale, and the stakes are quite high. Will Camille and Edel, along with the help of former guard Remy and an underground rebellion group, be able to save Orléans from tyranny?

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

Highlights: February 2019

After getting slammed by a sub zero nightmare last week, it is now February and we are hoping that temperatures are more reasonable from here on out (aka: above zero). We may be in the middle of winter, but with February comes an air of romance and LOTS of candy, as well as a new crop of books coming out! Here are some titles we’re looking forward to this month.

Serena’s Picks

32949202Book: “Dark of the West” by Joanna Hathaway

Publication Date: February 5, 2019

Why I’m Interested: This debut YA fantasy novel’s description reads more like a historical political piece than anything else, and at this point, I think that’s probably a good thing! I love me some fantasy, but it might be refreshing to find a “Game of Thrones” esque YA work where the emphasis is more on the politics and military maneuvering than anything else. I’m also intrigued by the time period during which it seems to be set as there is mention of airplanes and other WWII era inventions. Add a dash of forbidden romance between teens in rival nations, and I’m there!

35715518Book: “Crown of Feathers” by Nicki Pau Preto

Publication Date: February 12, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Yes, yes, I just got done saying how nice it will be to read a fantasy novel that has less fantasy, and now here I am highlighting a book with phoenixes at the heart of the story. What can I say? But what really did make this book stand out for me was essentially the swap out of dragons for phoenixes, something I’ve never come across before. I’m curious to see what other elements of the phoenix mythology will come into play or whether much of it will remain similar to other dragon-rider type stories. It also includes a diverse cast of characters, and, again, another war torn country with rebellion at its heart. I’m sensing a theme for the month…

34213319Book: “Four Dead Queens” by Astrid Scholte

Publication Date: February 26, 2019

Why I’m Interested: And we’ve gone full circle and we’re back to the tried and true medieval fantasy story that I find myself reading all the time! But this time there are four, count them, four queens and they all end up…dead? I’m also a sucker for any story that features a pickpocket thief at its heart, and of course, that’s our YA heroine for this story. There does also seem to be some political elements at the heart of the story, so I’m curious to see how that will play out. And, of course, there’s a romance too. That’s always seems to be my tripping point with books like this, so we’ll have to see how that goes!

Kate’s Picks

39863488Book: “The Lost Man” by Jane Harper

Publication Date: February 5, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I have found myself invested in Jane Harper’s “Aaron Falk” mystery series and the fun Australian setting, so when I found out that Harper had written a new standalone thriller, I knew that I wanted to read it as soon as I could. When a dysfunctional family is rocked by the death of a middle brother, family secrets and complicated relationships start to unravel. For Nathan Bright, he starts to wonder if he knew everything about his dead brother, and if his death wasn’t as open and shut as it initially appeared to be. Harper writes dark characters and vast and sprawling Australian settings like few others, and I am very excited to dive into this newest story.

37868569Book: “We Set The Dark On Fire” by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Publication Date: February 26, 2019

Why I’m Interested: We have another non sword and sorcery fantasy series with dystopia/utopia themes and a boarding school location, so you know that I am going to be on board. In an elite school where girls are trained to become powerful wives to powerful men or doting mothers to important children, Dani is on track to live a life of luxury. But she’s hiding the fact that she isn’t from the illustrious background that she claims to be. If she is found out she could be sent back to a life of poverty and hardship. But there is also a resistance growing, and Dani approached to work for them in hopes of bringing equality to their society. It sounds like the kind of fantasy that I like, and I can’t wait to see how it stacks up.

35068618Book: “On The Come Up” by Angie Thomas

Publication Date: February 5, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I was so completely entranced by Thomas’s debut “The Hate U Give” (as was the rest of the world, and deservedly so!) that once I heard that she was writing another book I needed, NEEDED to get on the request list at work. I was lucky enough to request early enough that I will be in the first wave of requests, and let me tell you I can’t wait. Her newest book is about Bri, an aspiring rapper who is hoping to become famous one day. After he father, a rapper with a cult following, died when Bri was young, it’s been her, her mother, and her brother ever since. And when her mother loses her job and they start to slide into debt, Bri is more determine than ever to achieve her dream and make it big. It may not be in my usual genres, but “On the Come Up” is still one of my most anticipated reads of the year.

Highlights: January 2019

Oh man, only one more year until we have to start typing out the year “2020.” That’s just too weird and disturbing to contemplate. So, instead, let’s look at some upcoming titles that we’re excited to check out this month!

Serena’s Picks

35839460Book: “The Kingdom of Copper” by S.A. Chakraborty

Publication Date: January 8, 2019

Why I’m Interested: “The Kingdom of Brass” was on my “Top Ten” list last year and took my completely by surprise. Not again! This time I know enough to be already ALL IN on this sequel. While the first book didn’t end on a cliffhanger, necessarily, things were definitely reaching a peak in the story and our two main characters were in tough positions: one banished from his home land, likely to be set upon by assassins at any moment, and the other trapped in said home land, preparing to be bargained off in a political marriage to ensure the control of a ruling family that wronger her own many centuries ago. There is just so much in this series: so much history, so much deep characterization, and so many conflicting histories and wrongs that it’s almost impossible to imagine resolution. And we won’t even be getting it here, as this is just the second in the trilogy! But I’ll take what I can get!

36621586Book: “The Winter of the Witch” by Katherine Arden

Publication Date: January 9, 2019

Why I’m Interested: January is truly a month of riches, as far as my reading choices go. Alongside “The Kingdom of Brass,” Arden’s “Winternight” trilogy has been one of my most unexpected and most loved series to read in the last few years. And alas, this will be the final book in the trilogy! (You can’t win either way: it’s either second books that won’t resolve the story, or final books that sadly will.) This series has only gotten stronger from book to book, and given the description of this story, it seems that Vasya is going to expand her power and influence even further. I can’t wait to see what happens in the story, but I’m also so excited to spend more time with our favorite witty horse, Solovey, and to see what, if anything, will come from the cautious romance being struck up between Vasya and the Winter King.

43204703Book: “A Curse So Dark and Lonely” by Brigid Kemmerer

Publication Date: January 29, 2019

Why I’m Interested: It’s also important to try new things, dear readers, rather than just obsess over known factors, like previously-loved series. Enter: “A Curse So Dark and Lonely.” I don’t know where I first heard of this book, but it’s been hanging out on my mental lists of books to highlight come January for several months now. We all know what my luck has been like recently with “Beauty and the Beast” retellings, but I just can’t help myself! From the looks of things, this should be yet another interpretation of the story, but one that takes on a darker tone and features multiple POVs, including one from the cursed Prince himself. Color me intrigued!

Kate’s Picks

39863515Book: “An Anonymous Girl” by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Publication Date: January 8, 2019

Why I’m Interested: Given that I really enjoyed “The Wife Between Us”, I was very stoked to see that Hendricks and Pekkanen had a new collaboration coming out in the New Year! And given that my B.A. is in psychology, a story about potential psychological manipulation and gaslighting is always going to catch my eye. When Jessica signs up for a psychological experiment in hopes of making a few bucks, she meets Dr. Shields, the conductor of the study. As the sessions become more controlled and disturbing, however, she starts to wonder what in her life is real and what is just part of the experiment. Hendricks and Pekkanen did a great job with their previous book, and this one sounds a little beyond the usual ‘domestic thriller’ fare. The twistier, the better!

34723130Book: “Slayer” by Kiersten White

Publication Date: January 8, 2019

Why I’m Interested: In high school I was a complete and total “Buffy” addict, so when I saw that Kiersten White was taking on the Slayerverse for her new book, I was ECSTATIC! It follows Nina and her twin sister Artemis, both going to the Watcher’s Academy and training to be Watchers to Slayers, girls with supernatural powers to protect the world from evil. But then Nina’s path changes, and she finds out that she is actually a Slayer herself. And not only that, she’s going to be the last Slayer. White has shown that she knows how to tackle nuanced and fascinating women in both historical fiction and fantasy, and I have every amount of faith in her that she will do the Slayerverse justice! And, uh, maybe we’ll get a cameo from Spike, my all time favorite bad-boy with a heart of gold vampire. Maybe? PLEASE?

38225791Book: “Two Can Keep A Secret” by Karen M. McManus

Publication Date: January 8, 2019

Why I’m Interested: I was completely taken in by McManus’s previous work, “One Of Us Is Lying”, so when I saw that she had a new book coming out I, of course, really wanted to read it. This time it concerns a small town that has a history of girls going missing or ended up dead. When Ellery moves to Echo Ridge, she knows the tragedies of the town mostly because her aunt disappeared there years ago. Five years previous, the homecoming queen was murdered. And now, with a new Homecoming season under way, someone has decided to repeat history, as another girl goes missing. Ellery has her own secrets to contend with, but with a potential killer on the loose she may be in more trouble than she realizes. Oh man I cannot WAIT to read this because it smacks of homages to “Twin Peaks”!

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