Crimson Bound, by Rosamund Hodge. Another interesting classic fairy tale adaptation. “When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless – straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat. Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand – the man she hates most – Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?” (goodreads.com)
Looking forward to books we’re looking forward to ordering (we will let you know when we do!):
Lair of Dreams, by Libba Bray. The second Diviners book. We have been looking forward to this for ages (ages!), and it will be published at the end of August. In the mean time you can find out more at:
The series website
The series Facebook page
Queen of Shadows, by Sarah J. Maas. The fourth book in the really popular Throne of Glass series, available in early September.
The Throne of Glass Facebook page is here, plus A Court of Thorns and Roses will be available between now and then.
Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell. Rainbow Rowell fans: we are looking forward to October, when Carry On will get here, featuring Simon Snow. We quite like the idea of this: a novel about a character from a book within a book (which makes him fictional fiction, if this exists!) about whom fan fiction is written (read Fangirl and all will be revealed). Whether or not Carry On also counts as fan fiction is debatable.
This week we’ve ordered three companions to some popular novels. Which got us to thinking about what a companion novel is. Like cousins, we decided. Related, but not as closely as sequels and series.
Lying Out Loud, Kody Keplinger. The companion novel to The Duff (or DUFF, it’s hard to know!), which is going to be a movie soon. “Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend’s house every night because she has nowhere else to go. Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with – secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross.
“Ryder’s the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can’t stand – a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed. But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually like him. Only there’s one small catch: he thinks he’s been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she’s the girl he’s really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?” (goodreads.com)
Off the Page, Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer. The companion to Between the Lines. “Sixteen-year-old Delilah is finally united with Oliver—a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairy tale. There are, however, complications now that Oliver has been able to enter the real world. To exist in Delilah’s world, Oliver must take the place of a regular boy. Enter Edgar, who agrees to take Oliver’s role in Delilah’s favorite book. In this multilayered universe, the line between what is on the page and what is possible is blurred, but all must be resolved for the characters to live happily ever after.” (goodreads.com)
The Remedy, Suzanne Young. A companion to the Program novels. “In a world before The Program… Quinlan McKee is a closer. Since the age of seven, Quinn has held the responsibility of providing closure to grieving families with a special skill: she can become anyone. Recommended by grief counselors, Quinn is hired by families to take on the short-term role of a deceased loved one between the ages of fifteen and twenty. She’s not an exact copy, of course, but she wears their clothes and changes her hair, studies them through pictures and videos, and soon, Quinn can act like them, smell like them, and be them for all intents and purposes. But to do her job successfully, she can’t get attached.
“Now seventeen, Quinn is deft at recreating herself, sometimes confusing her own past with those of the people she’s portrayed. When she’s given her longest assignment, playing the role of Catalina Barnes, Quinn begins to bond with the deceased girl’s boyfriend. But that’s only the beginning of the complications, especially when Quinn finds out the truth about Catalina’s death. And the epidemic it could start.” (goodreads.com)
This week, TV, dance, and a literary legend.
Homecoming, Kass Morgan. This is the final in the 100 trilogy, which the TV series The 100 is based on, so cover your eyes maybe because there might be spoilers! “Weeks after landing on Earth, the Hundred have managed to create a sense of order amidst their wild, chaotic surroundings. But their delicate balance comes crashing down with the arrival of new dropships from space. These new arrivals are the lucky ones – back on the Colony, the oxygen is almost gone – but after making it safely to Earth, Glass’s luck seems to be running out. Clarke leads a rescue party to the crash site, ready to treat the wounded, but she can’t stop thinking about her parents who may still be alive. Meanwhile, Wells struggles to maintain his authority despite the presence of the Vice Chancellor and his armed guards, and Bellamy must decide whether to face or flee the crimes he thought he’d left behind. It’s time for the Hundred to come together and fight for the freedom they’ve found on Earth, or risk losing everything – and everyone – they love.” (goodreads.com)
Dance of Fire, Yelena Black. The sequel to Dance of Shadows. “All dancers dream of the chance to try out for the Royal Court Ballet Company. Only two dancers from the elite New York Ballet Academy will have this honour. Vanessa is one of them. She dances with grace and elegance, and a fury that is unmatched. Justin – strong, sexy and caring – will be her partner. But the thrill of travelling to London for this once-in-a-lifetime competition is shrouded by their past and the demands of an ancient organisation. The Lyric Elite needs them to win the contest and to infiltrate the Royal Court Ballet in order to seek out a dark society of Necrodancers. Vanessa will dance like she has never danced before, but not for them. Vanessa is there to find her missing sister, Margaret, and she won’t let anything get in the way of that … Fierce rivals, dark forces and hidden motives weave together in a gripping thriller for fans of Black Swan and Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments.” (goodreads.com)
A Study in Scarlet, Arthur Conan Doyle. This is the first Sherlock Holmes mystery, first published in 1887. This edition is unabridged. “See how Holmes and Watson met for the first time. A baffling murder with puzzling clues and evil villains takes place and the … cold and quirky detective, with his razor-sharp deductive mind and obsessive attention to detail, is on the case. Told from the journals of his faithful companion, Dr. John Watson, join us for a trip to 221B Baker Street and the beginning of the legend of Sherlock Holmes.” (goodreads.com)
Three interesting-looking books that will be arriving in the next month (as long as they don’t fall off the boat/plane).
Under a Painted Sky, Stacey Lee. They (you know, them) say this is a book for Code Name Verity lovers, which we are! “Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.” (goodreads.com)
Everybody Knows Your Name, Andrea Seigel & Brent Bradshaw. Ford and Magnolia come from quite different backgrounds. “When the two teens are cast in Spotlight, a reality TV singing competition, both see it as their chance to start anew. With each episode, as they live together in a Hollywood Hills mansion and sing their hearts out, Ford and Magnolia fall in love. But how genuine can that love be when a television audience is watching their every move—and when their pasts are catching up them so much faster than they can run?” (goodreads.com)
Black Dove, White Raven, Elizabeth Wein. Speaking of Code Name Verity! Here’s the new novel by author Elizabeth Wein. “Emilia and Teo’s lives changed in a fiery, terrifying instant when a bird strike brought down the plane their stunt pilot mothers were flying. Teo’s mother died immediately, but Em’s survived, determined to raise Teo according to his late mother’s wishes-in a place where he won’t be discriminated against because of the color of his skin. But in 1930s America, a white woman raising a black adoptive son alongside a white daughter is too often seen as a threat.
“Seeking a home where her children won’t be held back by ethnicity or gender, Rhoda brings Em and Teo to Ethiopia, and all three fall in love with the beautiful, peaceful country. But that peace is shattered by the threat of war with Italy, and teenage Em and Teo are drawn into the conflict. Will their devotion to their country, its culture and people, and each other be their downfall or their salvation?” (goodreads.com)
This time, some realistic fiction:
Backlash, Sarah Darer Littman. Lara thought Christian liked her, possibly enough to invite her to the Homecoming dance, so she’s shocked when she sees what he writes to her on Facebook. Lara has worked hard on her appearance, and things have been improving for her; she thought she was happy in high school, but this is a devastating turn of events. “As online life collides with real life, things spiral out of control, and not just for Lara. Because when the truth starts to come together, the backlash is even more devastating than anyone could have ever imagined.” (goodreads.com)
Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story, David Levithan. If you read and loved Will Grayson, Will Grayson, it is possible that Tiny was one of the reasons why. “Now Tiny finally gets to tell his story—from his fabulous birth and childhood to his quest for true love and his infamous parade of ex-boyfriends—the way he always intended: as a musical! Filled with honesty, humor, and ‘big, lively, belty’ musical numbers, the novel is told through the full script of the musical first introduced in Will Grayson, Will Grayson.” (goodreads.com) Yay!
Seed, Lisa Heathfield. “All that Pearl knows can be encapsulated in one word: Seed. It is the isolated community that she was born into. It is the land that she sows and reaps. It is the center of her family and everything that means home. And it is all kept under the watchful eye of Papa S. At fifteen years old, Pearl is finally old enough to be chosen as Papa S’s companion. She feels excitement… and surprising trepidation that she cannot explain. The arrival of a new family into the Seed community – particularly the teenage son, Ellis – only complicates the life and lifestyle that Pearl has depended upon as safe and constant. Ellis is compelling, charming, and worldly, and he seems to have a lot of answers to questions Pearl has never thought to ask. But as Pearl digs to the roots of the truth, only she can decide what she will allow to come to the surface.” (goodreads.com)
Grimm’s away this week, but I’m still here to report the most exciting books we’ve ordered recently! If they sound interesting to you, go ahead and reserve them now, although they won’t arrive for a little while yet.
The cage / Megan Shepherd
“When Cora wakes up in the middle of a desert, the last thing she can remember is driving to a ski resort with her brother. She comes across five other teenagers in this unfamiliar world, and they learn that they have been selected by highly intelligent aliens as study subjects; they are watched and controlled at all times. Each captive has been paired with another-with the charge to procreate within 21 days or face a fate worse than captivity. Cora can’t forget home, and her constant search for an escape puts her at odds with the rest of the group, who begin to see her as a threat to their survival.” (School Library Journal)
The Glass Arrow / Kristen Simmons
“In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.” (Goodreads)
Dearest / Alethea Kontis
“Readers met the Woodcutter sisters (named after the days of the week) in Enchanted and Hero. In this third book, Alethea Kontis weaves together some fine-feathered fairy tales to focus on Friday Woodcutter, the kind and loving seamstress. When Friday stumbles upon seven sleeping brothers in her sister Sunday’s palace, she takes one look at Tristan and knows he’s her future. But the brothers are cursed to be swans by day. Can Friday’s unique magic somehow break the spell?” (Goodreads)
Some fiction sequels we’ve been hanging out for.
The Wicked Will Rise, Danielle Page – the sequel to Dorothy Must Die, a subversive retelling of the Wizard of Oz books by Frank L. Baum. “Amy Gumm must do everything in her power to kill Dorothy and free Oz. To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and then Dorothy must die… But Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy’s only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she’s only just scratched the surface of Oz’s past – and that Kansas, the home she couldn’t wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust – and who is really Wicked?” (goodreads.com) We should get this in early April, all things being equal.
Miss Mayhem, Rachel Hawkins – the sequel to Rebel Belle, and with a cover that’s just as blingy. “Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the important things in life: school, canoodling with David, her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie, and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant. Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they’d rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can’t stay David’s Paladin unless she undergoes an ancient trial that will either kill her… or connect her to David for life.” (goodreads.com) This is also due out in early April.
The Shadow Cabinet, Maureen Johnson – the third in the Shades of London, a spooky series about Rory, who discovers she can see dead people, some of whom are perfectly pleasant and some of whom are definitely not. I am still reeling from Jack the Ripper (book 1, not really a spoiler). The second book ends on a massive cliffhanger (at least I hope it is), so really looking forward to this one. We should be getting it in the next few weeks.
“Rory and her friends are reeling from a series of sudden and tragic events. While racked with grief, Rory tries to determine if she acted in time to save a member of the squad. If she did, how do you find a ghost? Also, Rory’s classmate Charlotte has been kidnapped by Jane and her nefarious organization. Evidence is uncovered of a forty-year-old cult, ten missing teenagers, and a likely mass murder. Everything indicates that Charlotte’s in danger, and it seems that something much bigger and much more terrible is coming. Time is running out as Rory fights to find her friends and the ghost squad struggles to stop Jane from unleashing her spectral nightmare on the entire city. In the process, they’ll discover the existence of an organization that underpins London itself – and Rory will learn that someone she trusts has been keeping a tremendous secret.” (goodreads.com)
We have just now almost this very minute ordered some May Young Adult novels that we’re very confident are going to be completely awesome. Reserve them soon if you don’t want to wait!
A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas – a new series from the author of the Throne of Glass books. “When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world…” (goodreads.com) For older teens.
The Heir, Kiera Cass – the next in the extremely popular Selection series is out in May! “Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.” (goodreads.com)
P.S. I Still Love You, Jenny Han – the sequel to To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. “Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter. She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever. When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?” (goodreads.com) Book cover still waiting to be revealed!
An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir – this book from a new author looks really good! “Laia is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution. Elias is the academy’s finest soldier — and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor. When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.” (goodreads.com)
Maximum Ride Forever, James Patterson (May). Good news! Max is back for what’s being called an “encore episode”. “As Maximum Ride boldly navigates a post-apocalyptic world, she and her broken flock are roaming the earth, searching for answers to what happened. All will be revealed in this last spectacular ‘ride’- a brand-new grand finale featuring all of the nonstop action, twists and turns that readers can rely on in a blockbuster Patterson page turner!” (goodreads.com). Will this really be the last? :-/
Kalahari, Jessica Khoury (February/March). The new book by the author of Origin and Vitro. “When an educational safari goes wrong, five teens find themselves stranded in the Kalahari Desert without a guide. It’s up to Sarah, the daughter of zoologists, to keep them alive and lead them to safety, calling on survival know-how from years of growing up in remote and exotic locales. Battling dehydration, starvation and the pangs of first love, she does her best to hold it together, even as their circumstances grow increasingly desperate. But soon a terrifying encounter makes Sarah question everything she’s ever known about the natural world. A silver lion, as though made of mercury, makes a vicious, unprovoked attack on the group. After a narrow escape, they uncover the chilling truth behind the lion’s silver sheen: a highly contagious and deadly virus that threatens to ravage the entire area—and eliminate life as they know it.” (goodreads.com)
Under My Skin, James Dawson (March). Very cool cover! (you will have to take our word for it for now, unless you have a quick look here). “Seventeen-year-old Sally Feather is not exactly a rebel. Her super-conservative parents and her treatment at the hands of high school bullies means that Sally’s about as shy and retiring as they come – but all that’s about to change. Accidentally ending up in the seedier side of town one day, Sally finds herself mysteriously lured to an almost-hidden tattoo parlour – and once inside, Sally is quickly seduced by its charming owner, Rosita, and her talk of how having a secret tattoo can be as empowering as it is thrilling. Almost before she knows what she is doing, Sally selects sexy pin-up Molly Sue, and has her tattooed on her back – hoping that Molly Sue will inspire her to be as confident and popular as she is in her dreams. But things quickly take a nightmareish turn. Almost immediately, Sally begins to hear voices in her head – or rather, one voice in particular: Molly Sue’s. And she has no interest in staying quiet and being a good girl – in fact, she’s mighty delighted to have a body to take charge of again. Sally slowly realises that she is unable to control Molly Sue… and before long she’s going to find out the hard way what it truly means to have somebody ‘under your skin’.” (goodreads.com)
More from series-world: beginnings, ends, sequels and bridging stories – all to look forward to in 2015.
Fairest, Marissa Meyer. This is number 3.5 in the Lunar Chronicles. We are really looking forward to Winter (number 4, the book, not the season) which comes out at the end of next year, so it’s a happy thing that Fairest will be available in February to tide us over. Fairest tells the back story of Queen Levana (“Long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story,” says goodreads.com, a big tease). The fairytale being referenced here is Snow White, with Levana being the Evil Queen (or is she?).
The Winner’s Crime, Marie Rutkosky. The sequel to The Winner’s Curse, which was one of our picks for 2014. “The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement… if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For – unknown to Arin – Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret. As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them” (goodreads.com).
The Ruby Circle, Richelle Mead (the final Bloodlines novel). “Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. After their secret romance is exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world” (goodreads.com)
Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard. The first in a new trilogy, and recommended for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent. “The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers. To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change. Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control. But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?” (goodreads.com)