Today is my mom’s birthday. Actually, it’s both my mom’s and my aunt’s birthdays (they’re twins). Like me, they both read a lot, but I’m not sure what they’d think of the latest titles that made their way into my weekly mailbox post. I have a feeling that they might not be as enthused about some of them as I am (and as maybe you are), but I don’t think that means anything about our taste in literature. From paranormal fantasies and new Dystopian worlds to realistic looks at families in a contemporary world, there is certainly a lot of diversity in the books that found their way to me this week. Let’s check them out more closely, shall we.
Like many of you, I love standalone books, but from time to time over the last year, I’ve become really immersed in a new series. Two of the books that I want to talk about today: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa and Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler are books three and two of their respective series. They’re also part of a series that I’m really looking forward to read, but alas, I haven’t had the chance yet in my busy schedule. Kessler’s new novel is about a girl who uses self harm to relieve some of her emotional pain and becomes one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse (or maybe, in this case, horsewomen?). Rather than picking up exactly where the first novel picks up, it focuses on a new character entirely. In contrast, Kagawa’s series about Meghan, a girl who learns that she’s half faerie, half human in the first novel is the conclusion of a series that has had many North American readers on the edge of their seats throughout 2010. If you’re read the previous books in these series (or these ones), please don’t give any spoilers away – both for my sake and that of my readers who still might be interested in checking out these book – but definitely let us know what team you’re on or how you felt about the series overall.
Throughout 2010, I’ve been reading a wide variety of books, but one genre that has me completely fascinated is Dystopian YA fiction. There is just something about imagining a society that is at once so close and yet so far from our own that has given me a lot of time to think and many hours of pleasure. Perhaps it is for this reason that I’m looking forward to Kate Kacvinsky‘s debut novel, Awaken so much. Read this general synopsis and see if it sounds like something you’d be up for too: it’s the year 2060 and everything – other than a soccer game once in awhile – is done digitally. Kids and adults alike don’t go to work or school: instead they work over the internet. Even dates take place in digitally remastered spaces rather than deal with the potential weather problems. Madie is a little uncomfortable will all of this, but she continues on as normal, until she meets Justin and realizes that she isn’t the only one who prefers to live offline. I for one can’t wait to read this book, but what do you think.
Finally, Bonnie Rozanski recently asked me to take the time to read and review one of her backlist novels that didn’t get as much exposure as it deserved, despite being shortlisted for Foreword’s YA Book of the Year Award in 2008 and receiving a silver medal at the Independent Publishers’ Book Awards the same year. Have I peeked your interest? Then you ought to check out Borderline, which is about a younger version of J.D. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield, who feels ignored by his parents because of their obsession with caring for his younger brother with autism. Add in a contemporary setting in which the lakes and rivers have been over fished, the forests are shrinking, and a wolf, and you have a pretty good understanding of what to expect.
Now, I know that I’m looking forward to these books, but what are your thoughts? Have you read any of them already or the other books in the same series? Want to know more about when some of these will be officially released most importantly, have I peaked your interest in checking out one of the books that you haven’t heard of before? Wherever situation you fall into, let me know, because gushing over new books is so much more fun with someone else.