It’s that time again! Last year I recommended 15 books for 2015 (which I did quite well on – I read 12 and loved 7), so here are 16 for 2016. I may have preordered many of these….
These don’t include books by people I know personally, because I feel a bit . . . weird about that. However, a few of those are: Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, Inferno by Catherine Doyle, Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard, Truth or Dare by Non Pratt, Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens, The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood, False Hearts by Laura Lam, Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton, Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor, Beyond the Red by Ava Jae and obviously MY OWN The Last Beginning.
16) The City of Mirrors (The Passage #3) by Justin Cronin (Orion, May 24th)
In “The Passage “and” The Twelve, “Justin Cronin brilliantly imagined the fall of civilization and humanity s desperate fight to survive. Now all is quiet on the horizon but does silence promise the nightmare’s end or the second coming of unspeakable darkness? At last, this bestselling epic races to its breathtaking finale.
“The world we knew is gone. What world will rise in its place?”
The Twelve have been destroyed and the hundred-year reign of darkness that descended upon the world has ended. The survivors are stepping outside their walls, determined to build society anew and daring to dream of a hopeful future.
But far from them, in a dead metropolis, he waits: Zero. The First. Father of the Twelve. The anguish that shattered his human life haunts him, and the hatred spawned by his transformation burns bright. His fury will be quenched only when he destroys Amy humanity s only hope, the Girl from Nowhere who grew up to rise against him.
One last time light and dark will clash, and at last Amy and her friends will know their fate.
I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life for the end of this series. It was the series that got me hooked on dystopian fiction. I think I might have to reread the others so that I can appreciate this fully, though. I waited so long to read the last book in the Maddaddam series that I didn’t enjoy the last one because I couldn’t remember anything that had happened, and I don’t want that to happen with this too!
15) The Thorn of Emberlain (Gentleman Bastard #4) by Scott Lynch (Gollancz, July 21st)
A new chapter for Locke and Jean and finally the war that has been brewing in the Kingdom of the Marrows flares up and threatens to capture all in its flames.
And all the while Locke must try to deal with the disturbing rumours about his past revealed in The Republic of Thieves. Fighting a war when you don’t know the truth of right and wrong is one thing. Fighting a war when you don’t know the truth of yourself is quite another. Particularly when you’ve never been that good with a sword anyway..
Another series I’ve been reading since I was tiny, and one of the rare explorations I’ve made and enjoyed into High Fantasy. As I’ve spoken about before, Locke Lamora is one of my offical Book Boyfriends, so while the last book was a bit disappointing, I’m still ready and waiting for this one.
14) Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw (Razorbill, April 16th)
Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online community of fanfiction writers, world-class nobody at Melville High. Her best (read: only) IRL friends are Avery, a painfully shy and annoyingly attractive bookworm, and Ruth, her pot-smoking, possibly insane seventy-three-year-old neighbor.
When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, her subjects aren’t the swoon-worthy stars of her fave series—they’re the real-life kids from her high school. Scarlett never considers what might happen if they were to find out what she truly thinks about them…until a dramatic series of events exposes a very different reality than Scarlett’s stories, forever transforming her approach to relationships—both online and off.
I’m trying not to get my hopes up with the internet culture content of this, because it might turn out to be a bit disappointing, which is how I felt about the supposedly internet-based In Real Life. However, it sounds cute and fun, so I think it might be a nice read regardless!
13) Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky (Point, February 23rd)
From debut author Goldy Moldavsky, the story of four superfan friends whose devotion to their favorite boy band has darkly comical and murderous results.
Okay, so just know from the start that it wasn’t supposed to go like this. All we wanted was to get near The Ruperts, our favorite boy band.
We didn’t mean to kidnap one of the guys. It kind of, sort of happened that way. But now he’s tied up in our hotel room. And the worst part of all, it’s Rupert P. All four members of The Ruperts might have the same first name, but they couldn’t be more different. And Rupert P. is the biggest flop out of the whole group.
We didn’t mean to hold hostage a member of The Ruperts, I swear. At least, I didn’t. We are fans. Okay, superfans who spend all of our free time tweeting about the boys and updating our fan tumblrs. But so what, that’s what you do when you love a group so much it hurts.
How did it get this far? Who knows. I mean midterms are coming up. I really do not have time to go to hell.
Nice!!! I love the sound of this. A good internet murder mystery is something I’ve been craving for ages, and this sounds close to hitting the spot!
12) Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz & Kat Helgeson (Chronicle, April 5th)
The story follows the unlikely friendship of two young women forged via fan fiction and message boards, and is told entirely in texts, chats, and blog posts.
Gena (short for Genevieve) and Finn (short for Stephanie) have little in common. Book-smart Gena is preparing to leave her posh boarding school for college; down-to-earth Finn is a twenty-something struggling to make ends meet in the big city. Gena’s romantic life is a series of reluctant one-night-stands; Finn is making a go of it with long-term boyfriend Charlie. But they share a passion for Up Below, a buddy cop TV show with a cult fan following. Gena is a darling of the fangirl scene, keeping a popular blog and writing fan fiction. Finn’s online life is a secret, even from Charlie. The pair spark an unlikely online friendship that deepens quickly (so quickly it scares them both), and as their individual “real” lives begin to fall apart, they increasingly seek shelter online, and with each other.
Another internet based one! Hopefully at least ONE of these will be what I’m looking for….. fingers crossed. (Otherwise I’ll have to write it myself)
11) A Gathering of Shadows (A Darker Shade of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab (Tor, February 23rd)
Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.
In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games—an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries—a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.
But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again—meaning that another London must fall.
ADSOM was excellent, so I can’t wait to see where the series goes. I also love the US cover a lot! Look at that beauty!
10) And Again by Jessica Chiarella (Touchstone, January 12th)
In the spirit of Station Eleven and The Age of Miracles, this exciting literary debut novel imagines the consequences when four ordinary individuals are granted a chance to continue their lives in genetically perfect versions of their former bodies.
Would you live your life differently if you were given a second chance? Hannah, David, Connie, and Linda—four terminally ill patients—have been selected for the SUBlife pilot program, which will grant them brand-new, genetically perfect bodies that are exact copies of their former selves—without a single imperfection. Blemishes, scars, freckles, and wrinkles have all disappeared, their fingerprints are different, their vision is impeccable, and most importantly, their illnesses have been cured.
But the fresh start they’ve been given is anything but perfect. Without their old bodies, their new physical identities have been lost. Hannah, an artistic prodigy, has to relearn how to hold a brush; David, a Congressman, grapples with his old habits; Connie, an actress whose stunning looks are restored after a protracted illness, tries to navigate an industry obsessed with physical beauty; and Linda, who spent eight years paralyzed after a car accident, now struggles to reconnect with a family that seems to have built a new life without her. As each tries to re-enter their previous lives and relationships they are faced with the question: how much of your identity rests not just in your mind, but in your heart, your body?
This looks like a Margaret Atwood type excellent read. I’d get it just for that cover, to be honest.
9) Eligible (The Austen Project) by Curtis Sittenfeld (Borough Press, May 12th)
From the bestselling author of Prep, American Wife and Sisterland comes this brilliant retelling of Pride & Prejudice, set in modern day Cincinnati.
The Bennet sisters have been summoned from New York City.
Lizzy and Jane are good daughters. They’ve come home to suburban Cincinnati to get their mother to stop feeding their father steak as he recovers from heart surgery, to tidy up the crumbling Tudor-style family home, and to wrench their three sisters from their various states of arrested development.
But once they are under the same roof, old patterns return fast. Soon enough they are being berated for their single status, their only respite the early morning runs they escape on together. For two successful women in their late thirties, it really is too much to bear. That is, until the Lucas family’s BBQ throws them in the way of some eligible single men . . .
Chip Bingley is not only a charming doctor, he’s a reality TV star too. But Chip’s friend, haughty neurosurgeon, Fitzwilliam Darcy, can barely stomach Cincinnati or its inhabitants. Jane is entranced by Chip; Lizzy, sceptical of Darcy. As Lizzy is consumed by her father’s mounting medical bills, her wayward sisters and Cousin Willie trying to stick his tongue down her throat, it isn’t only the local chilli that will leave a bad aftertaste.
But where there are hearts that beat and mothers that push, the mysterious course of love will resolve itself in the most entertaining and unlikely of ways. And from the hand of Curtis Sittenfeld, Pride & Prejudice is catapulted into our modern world singing out with hilarity and truth.
The other rewrites in the Austen Project series have been a little disappointing, but I’m looking forward to this one because Sittenfield never goes wrong for me.
8) Timekeeper by Tara Sim (Sky Pony)
Every city in the world is run by a clock tower. If one breaks, time stops. It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old Danny knows well; his father has been trapped in a town east of London for three years. Despite being a clock mechanic prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but time itself, Danny has been unable to free his father.
Danny’s assigned to a damaged clock tower in the small town of Enfield. The boy he mistakes for his apprentice is odd, but that’s to be expected when he’s the clock spirit who controls Enfield’s time. Although Danny and the spirit are drawn to each other’s loneliness, falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, no matter how cute his smiles are.
But when someone plants bombs in nearby towers, cities are in danger of becoming trapped in time—and Enfield is one of them.
Danny must discover who’s stopping time and prevent it from happening to Enfield, or else he’ll lose not only his father, but the boy he loves, forever.
This sounds so unique and wonderful! And LGBT! Whooo!
7) Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman (Simon pulse, February 9th)
Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.
Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.
Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England?
From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.
PIRATES. I’ve only read Celia Rees’ YA take on pirates, so this is going to be fun.
6) Passenger by Alexandra Bracken (Disney, January 5th)
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.
In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.
Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.
Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.
More pirates, maybe! I may have given myself time-travel fatigue by the time my edits on The Last Beginning are finished, but I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out anyway.
5) If You Dare (Deanna Madden #3) by A.R. Torre (Orbit, 28th January)
The rules are the same. I can’t open the door. I can’t leave. I can’t kill anyone.
The only difference is, I don’t set the rules anymore. Guards in grey uniforms do. It is everything I never wanted and everything I always deserved. I write to you now, from a prison cell. My home for the next twenty to thirty years.
That’s the going term for murder.
I love a good female anti-hero, so I can’t wait for more of Deanna. I do have some issues with the progress of her character development (which seemed to refresh at the start of the last book) but hopefully this will correct that. And it sounds delightfully Orange Is The New Black, hooray!
4) Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst (Balzer + Bray, September)
A princess with a forbidden magical gift is shipped off to a neighboring kingdom to marry a prince, but she has to choose between her duty and her heart when she falls in love with his rogueish horse-training sister instead.
Audrey Coulthurst’s Of Fire and Stars pitched as Malinda Lo meets Game of Thrones, about a future queen who falls in love with her fiancé’s sister.
This sounds EXCELLENT. Horseriding and royalty!
3) Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure by Ryan North (Riverhead, June 7th)
Romeo loves Juliet. Or Rosaline. And Juliet loves Romeo. Or Viola. Or Orlando. It’s Shakespeare as you’ve never played him before.
In this choose-your-own-path version of Romeo and Juliet, you choose where the story goes every time you read! What if Romeo never met Juliet? What if Juliet got really buff instead of moping around the castle all day? What if they teamed up to take over Verona with robot suits?Whatever your adventure, you’re guaranteed to find lots of romance, lots of epic fight scenes, and plenty of questionable decision-making by very emotional teens.
All of the endings—there are over a hundred—feature beautiful illustrations by some of the greatest artists working today, including New York Times bestsellers Kate Beaton, Noelle Stevenson, Randall Munroe, and Jon Klassen.
Packed with exciting choices, fun puzzles, secret surprises, terrible puns, and more than a billion possible storylines, Romeo and/or Juliet offers a new experience every time you read it. You can choose to play as Romeo or Juliet (obviously) but you can also play as both of them, or as Juliet’s nurse, or, if you’re good, you can even unlock a fourth playable character! That’s right. We figured out how to have unlockable characters in books. Choose well, and you may even get to write the world’s most awkward choose-your-own sex scene.
Ryan North can’t go wrong, and I love this series a lot. They’re honestly the funniest things I’ve ever read.
2) Kings Rising (Captive Prince #3) by C.S. Pacat (Penguin, February 2nd)
“Damianos of Akielos has returned.”
Damen’s identity has been revealed, and now he must face his master, Prince Laurent, as Damianos of Akielos, the man Laurent has sworn to kill. The struggle that ensues takes them deep into Akielos, where they face their most dangerous opposition yet.
On the brink of a momentous battle, the future of two kingdoms hangs in the balance. In the south, Kastor’s forces are massing. In the north, the Regent’s armies are mobilizing for war. Damen’s only hope is in an alliance with Laurent, against their usurpers. But even if the fragile trust that they have built survives the revelation of Damen’s identity—can it stand against the Regent’s final, deadly play for the throne?
I’M SO READY FOR THIS. Warning: it’s very NSFW, and not suitable for teenagers, but it’s! so! good!
1) The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic, April 24th)
All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
Of COURSE this is number one! I need this yesterday, to be honest. I’m going to hole myself in my room and reread the whole series in April, and worship at Maggie’s feet.
A rebloggable version of this post can be found here.