Highlights: July 2018

We hope that you are all still enjoying summer time! As we start to enter the dog days of the season, our book piles keep growing, giving us lots of options to take to the pool or the lake or the park. Here are some of our most anticipated releases of July!

Serena’s Picks

22817368Book: “Bright We Burn” by Kiersten White

Publication Date: July 10th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Oh man, oh man, oh man. I’m so nervous!! I absolutely loved the first two books in this series that is re-imaging history through the perspective of Lada, a female version of Vlad the Impaler, and her brother, Radu. There were real tears in the last book and I was constantly vacillating between fear and anger as I watched my precious characters be raked across the coal again and again. And by the end, everything was even more broken than it had been to start. How can this end in anything other than gallons of even more tears?? It’s rare for me to be excited for a book that is sure to be heart-wrenching, but the masterful characterization and historical detail have carried this series so far. It’s kind of a “put me out of my misery” situation going on over here, but of the very best variety.

36896898Book: “Spinning Silver” by Naomi Novik

Publication Date: July 10th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I absolutely adored “Uprooted” when it came out several years ago. Not only was it a completely unique fairytale that was only loosely connected to familiar stories, but it was the magical white stag in fantasy fiction: a stand alone book. So it’s weird to then be excited by a…sequel? But it’s not a sequel? But the cover art is clearly trying to pair the two together? Really, I think it’s only the cover art and the fact that this is also a fairytale that tie these two together because nothing in the description even distantly refers to events/characters from “Uprooted.” (Mostly, I’m calling “publishing shenanigans” on this one, with publishers just wanting to bank on the success of that book.)  Instead, it looks like this is going to be some type of “Rumpelstiltskin” interpretation. But, just like “Uprooted” had only minuscule parallels to “Beauty and the Beast,” I’m looking forward to what I hope will be another mostly new story with only the loosest similarities.

36518517Book: “Dreadful Company” by Vivian Shaw

Publication Date: July 31, 2018

Why I’m Interested: “Strange Practice” was a quirky little novel that completely took me by surprise last year. I don’t read that much urban fantasy, and the two series I do follow are fairly typical of the genre. So this one, set in London and featuring a heroine who serves as a doctor to the supernatural beings in her city was like a breath of fresh air! I enjoyed the many winks to classical monster/supernatural cliches and the neat tie-ins to the type of “ailments” these beings might suffer from. Gretta herself was a strong leading lady and not prone to some of the more irritating tendencies that befall other urban fantasy heroines (like rushing in even when they’re much more under-powered than their colleagues). The story also neatly tied things up in one book, but left just enough room for the story to grow. In this second outing, I’m particularly interested in who the new big bad will be and whether or not Gretta will make any inroads on the romance side of things.

Kate’s Picks

36750068Book: “The Last Time I Lied” by Riley Sager

Publication Date: July 10th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I greatly enjoyed Sager’s debut novel “Final Girls”, so when I found out that he had a new one coming out I was all over it. While that one seemed to be an homage to the slasher killer girls of cinema, “The Last Time I Lied” seems like it’s a loving tribute to Nancy Drew and intrepid girl detectives. Our main character Emma was at Camp Nightingale when her bunkmates disappeared mysteriously. As an adult Emma is invited to come back and be a counselor at the reopened camp. But when she gets there in hopes of getting some closure, instead she finds that her friends may have been involved in a mystery… and that she may have a new, scarier one to contend with. This hits so many of the themes I love in a thriller mystery, so you know that I’m very excited for this one.

29569206Book: “Give Me Your Hand” by Megan Abbott

Publication Date: July 17th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: While I’ve had a hit or miss time with Megan Abbott up until now, her most recent book “You Will Know Me” was a definite hit for me. Abbott has a talent for writing a pretty twisted up mystery with compelling characters, and so I’ve had high hopes for “Give Me Your Hand”, her newest novel. While we aren’t dealing with gymnasts and driven teenagers this time, instead we have Diane and Kit, two women who were friends as teens, and now are pitted against each other as adults in a working environment. Even worse, Diane divulged a terrible secret to Kit when they were teens, a secret that has haunted Kit ever since. A lot of fans of thrillers have been waiting for this book, so you know the buzz is a din for it.

32928987Book: “Scream All Night” by Derek Milman

Publication Date: July 24th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: You all know that I love horror movies like whoa, and so when I heard about a book that has themes of old horror movies, a film studio, and an emancipated youth having to revisit his horror movie past, I was absolutely interested. While I’m not sure if this is something that can REALLY be classified as horror (the description makes me wonder, but what do I know, I am sure that “Scream All Night” is going to have a lot of fun horror easter eggs that I will enjoy spotting. Hell, even the main character’s first name is Dario, and that alone made me smile. Even if this doesn’t end up being a ‘true’ horror novel, the themes of going home again, horror cinema, and quirky characters is enough to make me truly intrigued by this book.

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

 

Highlights: June 2018

Summer is here!!! Cook outs, volleyball, walks around the many lakes, you name a summer activity and the odds are one of us is taking advantage of it! And who can forget finding a nice sunny (or shady in Kate’s case) spot to read outside. Here are the books we’re most looking forward to in June!

Serena’s Picks

34519536Book: “Whisper on the Tide” by Sarah Tolcser

Publication Date: June 5th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I just finished up the first in this series  and I’m definitely geared up for the second! I absolutely loved the romping adventures on the high seas from the last book, and am excited to find out what will come of our two protagonists. Will Caro finally begin to understand her place in the world? Will Markos continue his streak of not being an arrogant nincompoop? And, most importantly, will we continue to get all the sailing facts?? I love sailing facts.

34357122Book: “Starless” by Jacqueline Carey

Publication Date: June 12, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I’ve had a very hit and miss relationship with Carey’s work. I absolutely loved her Kushiel’s Dart series and really enjoyed her Naamah Kiss trilogy. Both had incredible world-building and two fantastic heroines at their heart. But I’ve also read some of her urban fantasy, and I absolutely couldn’t stand it. It’s still hard for me to reconcile the fact that one author could spark such extreme opposite reactions. I’m hoping that this return to high fantasy, with a young hero who fights in a world where a dark god is rising, will be the key to my enjoyment of this author once again.

36301023Book: “My Plain Jane” by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Publication Date: June 26th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I absolutely loved the super quirky, super weird, but super lovely “My Lady Jane” that these authors penned a few years ago, retelling the would-be-tragic story of Lady Jane Grey. Here, they tackle another famous Jane, this time pulling from literature rather than history. That’s right folks, it’s a Jane Eyre adaptation! My excitement for this book is completely out of control, but after having my doubts put in place so firmly with their handling of the first book, I can’t help but have high hopes for their take on one of my favorite novels!

Kate’s Picks

35226186Book: “Providence” by Caroline Kepnes

Publication Date: June 19th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I love Caroline Kepnes and her “Joe Goldberg” series so, so much, that I of COURSE am putting her newest book, “Providence” on my list. Two teenagers have a deep connection, until one is kidnapped. When he resurfaces a few years later, he has been forcibly changed, and has gained ‘powers’ that he has no control over, powers that can hurt others. Kepnes always does such a good job of pulling complexity from all of her characters, and with themes of love, friendship, and H.P. Lovecraft being prevalent in this newest book lord knows she’ll be able to create something very special and very unique. It may be a bit of a departure from the thriller genre (with a gallows humor twist) that her devoted fans are used to, but if she can make someone like Joe Goldberg appear to have actual depth and feelings, think of what she can do with characters who AREN’T sociopathic creepazoids.

33918887Book: “Bruja Born” by Zoraida Córdova

Publication Date: June 5th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: So if you remember I read Córdova’s first “Brooklyn Brujas” book “Labyrinth Lost” and was mildly entertained by not completely enthralled. But when I found out that it was going to be the start of a series I knew I’d keep going, and THEN when the second in the series sounded like a mix of “American Horror Story: Coven” and “Pet Sematary”, I was SOLD!!! The second in this unique series follows Lula Mortiz, the sister of our first protagonist Alex. When her boyfriend dies, she tries to bring him back using her magic. And, as one might expect, there are unintended consequences. Given that I wanted to learn more about the Mortiz sisters within their home turf of Brooklyn, this book is going to give me all that AND more. I’m looking forward to a darker tale of love and loss and magic.

36381091Book: “The Cabin at the End of the World” by Paul Tremblay

Publication Date: June 26th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Much like Caroline Kepnes, Paul Tremblay is one of my favorite authors writing at the moment. Both “A Head Full of Ghosts” and “Disappearance at Devil’s Rock” messed me up but good, both in terms of fear and sadness, so I have no doubt in my mind that “A Cabin at the End of the World” will do the same. It sounds like a combination of “Funny Games” and countless apocalypse stories, as a girl and her fathers are trapped in a cabin the woods with a doomsday cult that invades their living space, saying that a horrible and personal sacrifice must be made to prevent the end of days. So not only do we have a home invasion and an innocent family in danger, we also have the fact that Paul Tremblay knows how to twist the emotional knife relentlessly. So of course I’m all about it.

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

Highlights: May 2018

Okay, so after a bit of a false start that led to multiple snow storms in April (including an honest to God BLIZZARD), May is here and now, NOW, spring is finally here. We’re celebrating by exploring the outdoors, opening the windows, and anticipating a number of new books. Here are the titles we’re looking forward to this month!

Serena’s Picks

35842338Book: “The Surface Breaks” by Louise O’Neill

Publication Date: May 3rd, 2018

Why I’m Interested:  “Beauty and the Beast” will always be my favorite fairytale, but as a young girl, I also had a special place in my heart for “The Little Mermaid.” However, unlike “Beauty and the Beast,” that story has become a bit harder to swallow as I’ve gotten older. I mean, everything else aside…she’s sixteen!!! At least they don’t put an age on Belle! But, all of that said, I love fairytale retellings and ‘The Little Mermaid” doesn’t really have a ton of them. I’m a little wary about the “groundbreaking feminism” that this book is hyped to have (I’m now wary of much hype about anything it seems), but I’m excited to check it out and judge for myself. The cover is absolutely gorgeous, if nothing else!

36039814Book: “The Queen of Sorrow” by Sarah Beth Durst

Publication Date: May 15, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Well, this is kind of a strange pick because it’s book three in a trilogy of which I’ve only read the first, “The Queen of Blood.” But I loved that book with its original fantasy world made up of cities built in trees and deadly spirits that only the most powerful queen can control. I’m trying to avoid looking too closely at the plot description of this story, since I haven’t gotten to book two yet, but it seems that Daleina is still queen and is now beginning to go head-to-head with her old school frenemy, Merecot. Merecot was only in the first book for a very short portion, but I really loved what we got from her there. She was incredibly powerful, witty, and a bit sociopathic. But there was also a strange bond between her and Daleina. Will be a bit until I finally get to this, but it’s always nice when a trilogy/series is already finished when you’re reading it and therefore don’t have to deal with any waiting!

34739766Book: “Onyx & Ivory” by Mindee Arnett

Publication Date: May 15, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Yet another new fantasy series to start! At least I’m guessing it’s a series/trilogy, though I’d love to be proven wrong as standalone fantasy stories are rare gems. This story features Kate, a young woman attempting to live her life under the radar for two reasons. Her father was a traitor to the crown, attempting to assassinate his close friend the King, and she possesses a rare, and outlawed, magical skill to command animals. Corwin is the King’s second son. While the traditions of the land say that he and his brother are both viable heirs for the throne, Corwin has never felt worthy.  Partly due to his perceived abandonment of his childhood friend and young love, Kate, after her father’s actions and execution. But, of course, they’re thrown together once again and their futures are not what they had planned.

Kate’s Picks

36000789Book: “The Outsider” by Stephen King

Publication Date: May 22nd, 2018

Why I’m Interested: This is probably obvious from the get go, but given that Stephen King is one of my favorite authors I would be remiss to leave his newest book, “The Outsider”, unacknowledged. This one is more like the “Mr. Mercedes” canon, with more emphasis on evils of a non-supernatural kind, in which a child is murdered and someone is falsely accused for it, while the real killer continues on a spree and remains undetected. King is always going to be a priority for me and my reading list, and while he has his ups and downs, I always enjoy the journey that he takes me on. While I did like “Sleeping Beauties” enough, I’m excited to see King back on his own.

36347888Book: “Our Kind of Cruelty” by Araminta Hall

Publication Date: May 8th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: As you guys know, the Joe Goldberg Duology (please be a series!) by Caroline Kepnes is one of my favorite reads lately, potentially all time. Though a lot of that is because of the humorous voice that Joe has, it’s also the creepy stalker perspective that I enjoy. So I am very intrigued and interested in Araminta Hall’s new book “Our Kind of Cruelty”. This one involves Mike, who knows that he and Verity are meant to be together even if she doesn’t know it. So he figures that if he just keeps track of every move she makes, he’ll know the right time to ‘win’ her back. While I have a feeling it’s not going to be as ‘fun’ as “You” or “Hidden Bodies”, I’m ready to be scared by this kind of tale again.

36373481Book: “The Death of Mrs. Westaway” by Ruth Ware

Publication Date: May 29th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: While it’s true that “The Lying Game” left me a bit underwhelmed, I still like Ruth Ware and her thriller writing skills and am excited about her newest book “The Death of Mrs. Westaway”. In her newest thriller, a woman named Hal is accidentally left an inheritance meant for someone else. Hal, a cold reader who scams people with tarot readings, thinks that she can probably fake her way into getting the money, and goes to claim the inheritance. But, of course, it becomes quite clear that things are very, very wrong. I’m down for a return to a gothic thriller with questionable characters and strange circumstances, and if this can return to “In a Dark Dark Wood” levels of excellence I will be completely stoked.

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

Highlights: April 2018

Spring is basically here in the Star of the North (barring any last moment snowstorms. Fingers crossed)! Both of us really love spring, as it lets us open our windows, get outside, and experience rain, flowers, and the outdoors. So with the turning of the season, here are the books we are looking forward to in April!

Serena’s Picks

33816845Book: “Stormcaster” by Cinda Williams Chima

Publication Date: April 3rd, 2018

Why I’m Interested: While I still haven’t fallen in love with the “Shattered Realms” series in quite the same way I did with the first series (“Seven Realms”), it has had an upwards trajectory. I quite liked “Shadowcaster” overall and had a terrible time with that cliffhanger-esque ending! I do have concerns though. In my review of the last book, I touched on the fact that there have now been upwards of 5-6 POV narrators, and from the looks of this book, we’ll be getting even more! I mean, there’s a reason I stopped reading “Game of Throne.” Most stories simply can’t support that number of protagonists and the simple fact is, not all characters are created equal, and less strong POVs then actively undermine a story where readers are desperate to get back to their favorites. But, concerns aside, there’s no doubt I’ll be picking this one up as soon as possible!

35140574Book: “The Diminished” by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson

Publication Date: April 10th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: For one thing, I really like that cover. I will ALWAYS prefer covers that don’t have models, but this one really takes good advantage of a solid font choice and simple colors. Well done! The premise sounds kind of familiar: a world where everyone is born as twins. Rare single children are destined to rule. People whose twin dies are “diminished.” But I feel like the other examples I’ve come across were vaguely sci-fi/dystopia, where as this is a solid other world fantasy, featuring two protagonists: Bo, a born single destined to rule and Vi, a “diminished” with few prospects before her. Sounds intriguing!

34726469Book: “Sky in the Deep”

Publication Date: April 24th, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Look, I live in Minnsota. Vikings are kind of our thing. So when I saw this cover and realized it was a YA Vikings story featuring a badass warrior heroine? I was there. What’s more there looks to be some good sibling drama, another favorite topic of mine, when our main character Eelyn discovers her thought-to-be-dead brother fighting against on the side of her clan’s mortal enemies. This one looks action-packed and full of high stakes, both physically and emotionally. Plus, like I said, Vikings. I love me some fairytales and dark fantasy books, but it will be a breath of fresh air to read a story like this!

Kate’s Picks

30223025Book: “Dread Nation” by Justina Ireland

Publication Date: April 3rd, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Uhhhh, ZOMBIES FOR ONE!!! I do love a good zombie story, after all. But along with that, Justina Ireland has taken a historical time period we see a lot (the Civil War), a protagonist that we don’t see as much during that time period (an African American teenage girl), and an alternate history twist to make a super fascinating book description. Jane was born during the Civil War, two days before the dead began to walk and changed America. Black and Native children are trained and used to fight the zombie hordes, and Jane is training to become a warrior against the zombies. But zombies aren’t the only things to be wary of, as Jane soon finds herself in a very human conspiracy. THIS is at the top of my anticipation list to be sure!!

35230481Book: “All the Beautiful Lies” by Peter Swanson

Publication Date: April 3rd, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Swanson’s previous two books (“The Kind Worth Killing” and “Her Every Fear”) were both home runs for me when it came to thriller novels, so of course I wanted to read his next offering. This one kind of has a salacious squick factor, as it involves a man who returns home for his father’s funeral only to mayhaps get tangled up in a dangerous relationship with his stepmother. So while that is definitely yucky, it makes for a creepy and unsettling plot for a thriller novel, so therefore BRING IT ON! Given that Swanson has really impressed me this far, I’m really hoping that this will be the next in a series of being stellar fiction from this mystery author!

35939533Book: “DC Bombshells (Vol.6): War Stories”

Publication Date: April 3rd, 2018

Why I’m Interested: NOOOOOOO, BOMBSHELLS IS OVER!!!!!! I had no idea until I delved into this description! This is hands down my favorite DC Series, and it has come to an end!!!!???? Apparently even the new series that was supposed to come after it got cancelled prematurely, so FUCK YOU, DC, GOD DAMMIT YOU MAKE IT SO HARD TO ROOT FOR YOU!!!! So in this final collection, I have to start to say goodbye to my girls and their wonderful, well plotted and well told alternate timeline stories!!! I DON’T WANT TO SAY GOODBYE!!!! But knowing that I must, I, of course, need to see how it all ends for all my favorite ladies. Will they defeat the Nazis? Will the Batgirls be able to hold down the home front? Harley and Ivy get their happily ever after? Will we see Batgirl and the Suicide Squad again????? So many questions, and I can’t wait for some answers. So we start the beginning of the end with “War Stories.”

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

Highlights: March 2018

In like a lion, out like a lamb! That’s what they say about March. Up here in Minnesota it’s still a bit hard to know if it’s going to be brisk and temperate, or cold and snowy. But with each day we move closer to Spring, so we have that going for us! And since it’s a new month, that means we have some new books we’re looking forward to!

Serena’s Picks

36194120Book: “Burn Bright” by Patricia Briggs

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Why I’m Interested: While I haven’t quite loved the “Alpha & Omega” offshoot as much as the original “Mercy Thompson” series, I still never turn down an opportunity to read a new Briggs novel! I don’t really ready a lot of urban fantasy, having had a pretty hit/miss history with the genre. However, Briggs’ world of paranormal beings and snappy heroines always seems to hit the spot. Anna herself can be a bit too perfect at times, but let’s be real, I’m here for Charles, her hunky werewolf husband! It looks as if this book will take place during the events of the last Mercy Thompson book which found Mercy and Co. running around Europe. Which means….what shenanigans were being gotten into back home? We shall find out!

35297394Book: “The Wicked Deep” by Shea Ernshaw

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Why I’m Interested: The book description lists one for fans of “Practical Magic” and “Hocus Pocus.” So…yeah, I’m there. From the description, it also sounds quite a lot like it’s drawn inspirations from sirens, with three witches who were drowned many centuries ago, returning to lure boys to their deaths in the sea each summer. Of course, we have our heroine, a local girl. And our hero, a poor unsuspecting boy who wanders into the wrong town during the wrong part of the year. This book could either be fantastic or trope-ridden. I have hopes for the former, but whenever there are descriptions of “weak-willed” girls being temptresses, I’m also a bit hesitant about what exactly we’re getting at.

33918881Book: “The Heart Forger” by Rin Chupeco

Publication Date: March 20, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Really, Kate and I are both interested! We both read and enjoyed “The Bone Witch,” and I’m so excited to get to this book! The first one didn’t exactly end on a cliff hanger, but there is still a significant jump in time between the main narrative of Tea’s life as an Asha, and her older self’s reflections and actions. What happened between these periods of time?!? I have to know! The author has also found the magical equation where I both dread and look forward to events to come, knowing the outcomes, at least to some extent. The world-building and magical system are intricate and intriguing, and Tea pretty much has a pet dragon, so that’s pretty awesome.

Kate’s Picks

35533431Book: “The Broken Girls” by Simone St. James

Publication Date: March 20, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I am a huge fan of Gothic fiction, and I am always excited to see new tellings of this genre that have been updated for a more modern time. “The Broken Girls” has narratives that take place in and around an old school in the middle of the Eastern U.S. countryside. This is the place that parents would send their daughters that they didn’t want to deal with, and since they’re seen as ‘broken’ no one really cared when one went missing. But when a body is found in a well on the property, a modern day reporter (still haunted by her older sister’s murder years earlier) becomes invested in the outcome. It sounds haunting and timely given the way abuse and harassment towards women has been in the news.

35857495Book: “Bring Me Back” by B.A. Paris

Publication Date: March 8, 2018

Why I’m Interested: While “The Breakdown” was a bit of a slog at first, it completely changed the game in the last fourth, and blew me away. Then and there I knew that I was going to assuredly read anything else that B.A. Paris came out with next. This one involves a husband who leaves his wife in the car while he goes to get gas on a French vacation, and when he comes back she’s gone, never to be seen again. A few years later, he and his new wife (who is his former sister in law) find an object that may be connected to the woman they both loved. This just sounds creepy and paranoia inducing, and I am definitely expecting it be totally knocked off my feet by this in the end. At least I’m hoping to be.

34728667Book: “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeymi

Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Not only does this sound like it’s going to be some mythology based fantasy with dark themes, it’s also a diverse title in a genre that has a serious need of more diversity!! I do admit that this could have the potential for teetering a bit too towards high fantasy for me, but I am totally willing to give it a go because it sounds action packed and unique in a lot of ways. And plus it sounds like there’s some business about reaping souls, and oh goodness gracious is that right up my alley. I also saw an excellent video of Adeymi unwrapping her first copy of this book, and her pure unadulturated joy made me all the more excited to read this book.

Highlights: February 2018

What? It’s only February? How is winter not over yet?! But I guess we have Valentine’s Day to look forward to! And the most important love of both of our lives: books (jk, husbands…it’s our cats.) Here are the books we’d most love to get our hands on this month!

Serena’s Picks

17312156Book: “Tempest and Slaughter” by Tamora Pierce

Publication Date: February 6, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Um, because I absolutely adore Tamora Pierce?? This book has been torturing readers for five years now, showing up on Goodreads and then having the publication date get pushed back year by year. But it’s finally here guys! For those familiar with Pierce’s world of Tortall, this book is a prequel to her “Immortals” series and follows the early life of Numair, the romantic hero of those stories. Which is super exciting. But also super worrying. What will these books be like, taking place before he’s even met Daine? From what we got in those books, Numair was a bit of a ladies man before meeting her, and I’m just not sure I’m up for reading about his romantic entanglements when I am all “Numair/Daine forever!” But, what am I talking about, it’s not like that concern is going to stop me!

35098412Book: “The Queen’s Rising”

Publication Date: February 6, 2018

Why I’m Interested: This book has a plot synopsis that sounds fairly familiar to those who read a lot of YA fantasy: young woman dreams of only one thing, but is perhaps too average to accomplish said thing. Suddenly gets caught up in political shenanigans and realizes her role is something more than she had imagined. But I like those stories, so I’m always up for another! Plus, this one seems to have an interesting system set up with five “passions” that people can be skilled in that will earn them patronage once they come of age. So I will be curious to see how that will play out in the story of a brewing war.

30129657Book: “Honor Among Thieves”

Publication Date: February 13, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I’m always on the look out for a good YA sci-fi story. They’re sadly underepresented it seems. So I was thrilled when I stumbled upon this new release by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre. I’ve read a few books by Rachel Caine in the past and enjoyed her writing. Plus, the plot description of this one is right up my alley. Zara is a criminal on the run. That is until she gets caught up in a group that recruits people to explore space with sentient alien ships. And when Zara meets her ship, Nadim, she realizes that much more is going on. I love that this story seems to be focused on the pairing of Zara and a sentient ship! How fun is that!

Kate’s Picks

35068432Book: “I’ll Be Gone In The Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer” by Michelle McNamara

Publication Date: February 27, 2018

Why I’m Interested: As you’ve all probably figured out, one of my weaknesses is true crime, and while I don’t read as much of it anymore I still enjoy a good book about it. Michelle McNamara was a crime writer who did extensive research on the unsolved murders perpetrated by The Golden State Killer, but sadly she passed away unexpectedly at age 45 in 2016. Now the book she was working on has been finished, and word is that it’s well researched, atmospheric, and potentially could bring up new leads in the Golden State Killer case. Her death was a tragedy, but her words will always live on.

35235624Book: “The French Girl” by Lexie Elliott

Publication Date: February 20, 2018

Why I’m Interested: When a group of college students spend a week at an idyllic countryside farmhouse and a sexy interloper shows up, you KNOW something terrible is going to happen. And that means that I am one hundred percent interested in it. Switching between the past and the present, “The French Girl” sounds like it’s going to be a paranoid and tense thriller in which the puzzle pieces are presented slowly but surely between two times. Also, it’s going to involve a body that’s found in a well, and desperate people trying to cover up their culpability. Yes please. I have high hopes that this will be a page turner.

345069121Book: “The Prince and the Dressmaker” by Jen Wang

Publishing Info: February 13, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this new graphic novel looks like a sweet and lovely story about friendship and identity. When Frances is hired by Prince Sebastian to be a personal dressmaker, she is surprised to find out that Sebastian wants her to make dresses. For by night, Prince Sebastian turns into Lady Crystallia, a fashion icon like no other who longs to be the toast of Paris. Representation is so important in books, and I’m excited to see that “The Prince and the Dressmaker” has a main character who appears to be gender non-binary.

What books are you looking forward to that are coming out in February 2018?

Highlights: January 2018

2018!!! Whaaaaat? [Insert witty comment that somehow accidentally ages oneself and reveals that 2018 might be a decade from a certain graduation year for one of us…and not the graduation you’d wish in this instance.] But never mind that! We will also NOT discuss the dumpster fire that was 2017. Instead, we choose to remember last year by all of the excellent books we read, and will look forward to 2018 as nothing more or less than another year during which we will read even more! So, without further ado, here are a few books we’re looking forward to this month!

Serena’s Picks

26032825Book: “The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black

Publication Date: January 2, 2018

Why I’m Interested: Though I haven’t had a chance to review one of her books on this blog, I’m a huge fan of Holly Black. She writes just the sort of dark fantasy that I right up my alley. So, when I saw a new one coming out from her, I knew it would make it onto this list. When I read that the story was going to feature a group of orphaned sisters who had been stolen away as small children and raised in a cruel and capricious Faerie court, I knew I had to get my hands on it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. It’s like Holly Black opened my own personal wish list for fantasy fiction and pulled out this book just for me!

27366528Book: “Beneath the Sugar Sky” by Seanan McGuire

Publication Date: January 9, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I’ve read and loved (to varying extents) the first two novellas in McGuire’s “Wayward Children” series, so it’s a no brainer that I would include her next book on this list. From the description, it looks like we’ll see a continuation of a plot point (Sumi’s death back in book one) that I definitely never expected. Somehow the story features Rini, Sumi’s daughter, who is on a mission to bring her mother back to life. So I’m guessing there’s some sort of “Back to the Future” stuff going on here? Other than that, the title implies that we’re going to spend some time in Sumi/Rini/s world of candyland, one of the worlds we’ve heard about but never visited so far.

33257757Book: “Iron Gold” by Pierce Brown

Publication Date: January 16, 2018

Why I’m Interested: A continuation of the “Red Rising” trilogy!!!…oh…you want more than that? Well, to be honest, that same excitement about the continuation of a much-loved trilogy is also tinged with extreme amounts of worry. I’m always concerned when authors revisit stories that they had originally ended a few years ago. Is there really a new story to be told? Or are they just dipping back in a known well and will somehow retroactively damage the quality of the originals? I’m pleased to see that the story will be set 10 years after the first trilogy and that it will feature more protagonists than just Darrow himself. These avenues will hopefully provide options for keeping this world and story fresh. I’m so excited! I’m so nervous!

Kate’s Picks

29749090Book: “Batman: Nightwalker” by Marie Lu

Publication Date: January 2, 2018

Why I’m Interested: I really enjoyed Leigh Bardugo’s take on Wonder Woman in “Wonder Woman: Warbringer”, which was the first in the “DC Icons” series. This series is a set of  books written by some of the hottest YA authors about some of the coolest DC characters. Up next is “Batman: Nightwalker” by Marie Lu, and I must say that I’m QUITE excited for this one. First of all, it’s about my main dude Batman, specifically Bruce Wayne when he’s a teenager and before he’s officially become Batman. I like Lu’s writing style (I read “WarCross” last year and found it very fun, and I think that she can bring a good amount of edge and excitement to Bruce.)

33918883Book: “Before I Let Go” by Marieke Nijkamp

Publication Date: January 2, 2018

Why I’m Interested: One of the stories that I didn’t really talk about in “Feral Youth” was written by Marieke Nijkamp. It was dark and brooding, and had a lot of hard themes and good characterization. When I saw that she had a new book coming out in January, “Before I Let Go”, I wanted to explore more than just a short story of hers. This book sounds like part small town conspiracy, part psychological chiller piece. When Corey’s best friend Kyra dies in their small Alaska town, she is heartbroken. And when it seems like the townspeople are hiding something, Corey has to delve into the dark secrets to find out what happened to her friend. My guess is this one will be tense and twisty.

35248505Book: “S.T.A.G.S.” by M.A. Bennett

Publication Date: January 30, 2018

Why I’m Interested: It’s another book with bitchy boarding school girls and danger at every turn!! You know I’m into it. “S.T.A.G.S.” already came out in England last year, but it’s finally making it’s Stateside debut and I’m itching to get my hands on it. When Greer gets a scholarship to the prestigious St. Aidan the Great School (or S.T.A.G.S.), she is shunned from the cliquey atmosphere. But she is soon invited to a weekend holiday by a group called the Medievals, the most popular kids in school. Little does she know that her invitation is merely to set her up as bait. “The Most Dangerous Game” meets “Pretty Little Liars”, “S.T.A.G.S.” is sure to be a soapy thrill ride.

What are you most excited to read this month? Let us know in the comments!