Review/ Spring 2015 Debut Fiction Sampler

Review/ Spring 2015 Debut Fiction Sampleron March 2015
Source: ARC From Publisher

The Penguin Random House Library Marketing Spring 2015 Debut Fiction Sampler is filled with fresh new voices that will appeal to all types of readers—from literary fiction devotees to coming-of-age fans to thriller fanatics and more.

Be among the first to discover this spring’s hot new authors! This is a great resource for building your personal TBR pile, but also makes a perfect Readers’ Advisory tool.

SPRING 2015 DEBUT FICTION SAMPLER

The Silver Swan
by Elena Delbanco (Other Press, May 2015)
The Ghost Network: A Novel
by Catie Disabato (Melville House, May 2015)
House of Echoes: A Novel
by Brendan Duffy (Ballantine Books, April 2015)
Hausfrau: A Novel
by Jill Alexander Essbaum (Random House, March 2015)
Muse: A Novel
by Jonathan Galassi (Knopf, June 2015)
The Library at Mount Char
by Scott Hawkins (Crown, June 2015)
The Star Side of Bird Hill: A Novel
by Naomi Jackson (Penguin Press, June 2015)
Bradstreet Gate: A Novel
by Robin Kirman (Crown, July 2015)

When I was in Netgalley I had noticed this Spring 2015 Debut Fiction Sampler so I went ahead and downloaded it because I am always looking for new and exciting reads especially when it comes to debut authors.

There is fifteen sneak peeks in this sampler. Each sampler includes the cover and a sneak peek. I love when publishers come out with these sneak peeks because as a book lover, reader and reviewer you always want to know what is going to hit the shelves before they hit the shelves.

I have no idea if these books will be available at BEA or not but I know they have been added to my every growing wish list.

These sneak peeks are just enough to get you into the book and checking to see when they will be released.  Here is the ones that peeked my interest:

From a real-life ambassador’s wife comes a harrowing novel about the kidnapping of an American woman in the Middle East and the heartbreaking choices she and her husband each must make in the hope of being reunited.

When bohemian artist Miranda falls in love with Finn, the British ambassador to an Arab country, she finds herself thrust into a life for which she has no preparation. The couple and their toddler daughter live in a stately mansion with a staff to meet their every need, but for Miranda even this luxury comes at a price: the loss of freedom. Trailed everywhere by bodyguards to protect her from the dangers of a country wracked by civil war and forced to give up work she loves, she finds her world shattered when she is taken hostage, an act of terror with wide-reaching consequences.

Diplomatic life is a far cry from Miranda’s first years in Mazrooq, which were spent painting and mentoring a group of young Muslim women, teaching them to draw in ways forbidden in their culture. As the novel weaves together past and present, we come to see how Finn and Miranda’s idealism and secrets they have each sought to hide have placed them and those who trust them in peril. And when Miranda grows close to a child who shares her captivity, it is not clear that even being set free would restore the simple happiness that once was hers and Finn’s. Suspenseful and moving, The Ambassador’s Wife is a story of love, marriage, and friendship tested by impossible choices.

Charlotte Silver dazzles with a ruefully funny coming-of-age novel that follows two recent Bennington grads who are determined to make it in the Big Apple.

Bennington College, founded in 1932 as a suitable refuge for the wayward daughters of good families, maintains its saucy reputation for attracting free spirits. There, acres outnumber students, the faculty is composed of fading hippie and clothing is largely optional. Or, as J. D. Salinger put it in Franny and Zooey: a Bennington-type “looked like she’d spent the whole train ride in the john, sculpting or painting or something, or as though she had a leotard on under her dress.”

Cassandra Puffin and Sylvie Furst met in high school but cement what they ardently believe will be everlasting friendship on Bennington’s idyllic Vermont campus. Graduation sees Sylvie moving to New York City, where, later on their twenties, Cassandra joins her. These early, delirious years are spent decorating their Fort Greene apartment with flea market gems, dating “artists”, and trying to figure out what they’re doing with their lives.

The girls are acutely and caustically observant of the unique rhythms of the city but tone deaf to their own imperfections, which eventually drives a wedge between them. Equal parts heartfelt and hilarious, Bennington Girls Are Easy is a novel about female friendships—how with one word from a confidante can lift you up or tear you down—and how difficult it is to balance someone else’s devastatingly funny lapses in judgment with your own professional and personal missteps.

Journeying from Queens to Brooklyn to Seoul, and back, this is a fresh, contemporary retelling of Jane Eyre and a poignant Korean American debut

For Jane Re, half-Korean, half-American orphan, Flushing, Queens, is the place she’s been trying to escape from her whole life. Sardonic yet vulnerable, Jane toils, unappreciated, in her strict uncle’s grocery store and politely observes the traditional principle of nunchi (a combination of good manners, hierarchy, and obligation). Desperate for a new life, she’s thrilled to become the au pair for the Mazer-Farleys, two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter. Inducted into the world of organic food co-ops, and nineteenth–century novels, Jane is the recipient of Beth Mazer’s feminist lectures and Ed Farley’s very male attention. But when a family death interrupts Jane and Ed’s blossoming affair, she flies off to Seoul, leaving New York far behind.

Reconnecting with family, and struggling to learn the ways of modern-day Korea, Jane begins to wonder if Ed Farley is really the man for her. Jane returns to Queens, where she must find a balance between two cultures and accept who she really is. Re Jane is a bright, comic story of falling in love, finding strength, and living not just out of obligation to others, but for one’s self.

For readers of The Tiger’s Wife and All the Light We Cannot See comes a powerful debut novel about a girl’s coming of age—and how her sense of family, friendship, love, and belonging is profoundly shaped by war.

Zagreb, 1991. Ana Jurić is a carefree ten-year-old, living with her family in a small apartment in Croatia’s capital. But that year, civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia, splintering Ana’s idyllic childhood. Daily life is altered by food rations and air raid drills, and soccer matches are replaced by sniper fire. Neighbors grow suspicious of one another, and Ana’s sense of safety starts to fray. When the war arrives at her doorstep, Ana must find her way in a dangerous world.

New York, 2001. Ana is now a college student in Manhattan. Though she’s tried to move on from her past, she can’t escape her memories of war—secrets she keeps even from those closest to her. Haunted by the events that forever changed her family, Ana returns to Croatia after a decade away, hoping to make peace with the place she once called home. As she faces her ghosts, she must come to terms with her country’s difficult history and the events that interrupted her childhood years before.

Moving back and forth through time, Girl at War is an honest, generous, brilliantly written novel that illuminates how history shapes the individual. Sara Nović fearlessly shows the impact of war on one young girl—and its legacy on all of us. It’s a debut by a writer who has stared into recent history to find a story that continues to resonate today.

Freedom Oliver has plenty of secrets.  She lives in a small Oregon town and keeps mostly to herself.  Her few friends and neighbors know she works at the local biker bar; they know she gets arrested for public drunkenness almost every night; they know she’s brash, funny, and fearless.

What they don’t know is that Freedom Oliver is a fake name.  They don’t know that she was arrested for killing her husband, a cop, twenty years ago.  They don’t know she put her two kids up for adoption.  They don’t know that she’s now in witness protection, regretting ever making a deal with the Feds, and missing her children with a heartache so strong it makes her ill.

Then, she learns that her daughter has gone missing, possibly kidnapped.  Determined to find out what happened, Freedom slips free of her handlers, gets on a motorcycle, and heads for Kentucky, where her daughter was raised.  As she ventures out on her own, no longer protected by the government, her troubled past comes roaring back at her: her husband’s vengeful, sadistic family; her brief, terrifying stint in prison; and the family she chose to adopt her kids who are keeping dangerous secrets.

Written with a ferocious wit and a breakneck pace, Freedom’s Child is a thrilling, emotional portrait of a woman who risks everything to make amends for a past that haunts her still.

In this enthralling and atmospheric thriller, one young family’s dream of a better life is about to become a nightmare.

Ben and Caroline Tierney and their two young boys are hoping to start over. Ben has hit a dead end with his new novel, Caroline has lost her banking job, and eight-year-old Charlie is being bullied at his Manhattan school.

When Ben inherits land in the village of Swannhaven, in a remote corner of upstate New York, the Tierneys believe it’s just the break they need, and they leave behind all they know to restore a sprawling estate. But as Ben uncovers Swannhaven’s chilling secrets and Charlie ventures deeper into the surrounding forest, strange things begin to happen. The Tierneys realize that their new home isn’t the fresh start they needed . . . and that the village’s haunting saga is far from over.

House of Echoes is a novel that shows how sometimes the ties that bind us are the only things that can keep us whole.

I love how this books are all different from what I normally would read. I can’t wait to get these books and read them. Do any of these peek your interest enough to pick them up and read?

Review/ Buzz Books 2015 Young Adult Spring Edition

Review/ Buzz Books 2015 Young Adult Spring EditionBuzz Books 2015 Young Adult Spring on January 2015

This second edition of Buzz Books: Young Adult Spring provides substantial pre-publication excerpts from 26 forthcoming young adult and middle grade books. At the end of most excerpts, you will find a link to the full galley on NetGalley! This volume coincides with one of the most important industry events, the American Booksellers Association’s “Winter Institute,” where dozens of authors appear. Now everyone can share the same access to the newest YA voices the publishing industry is broadcasting for the spring/summer season.

Excerpts include new work from established giants of the field (Michael Buckley Sarah Dessen, David Levithan, Barry Lyga, and Carrie Ryan), an author best-known for her adult books (Alice Hoffman), and newsmakers including Paige McKenzie’s The Haunting Of Sunshine Girl, based on the hit YouTube series, and An Ember In the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (already sold to Paramount Pictures in a major deal).

You will find a full range of YA titles previewed here —romance, fantasy, humor, literary and more — and you will find some works for tweens and middle-grade readers by award-winning authors such as Louis Sachar, Rebecca Stead, and Geoff Rodkey.

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I am so happy that Publishers Lunch decided to make a separate Buzz Books for the young adult books and that they expanded it to include more books. This is the second young adult Buzz Book and I enjoyed reading this and getting the chance to get a sneak peek into the upcoming young adult books that are coming out very soon.

The Buzz Books 2015 Young Adult Spring edition features 26 exclusive excerpts of new young adult titles. Each title includes the cover of the book, summary and a few chapters. Just enough to suck you into wanting to read the book or books asap.

Its possible that these books will be at BEA but I can’t say for sure. Hopefully they will be available and I am able to get a few of the titles, if not they have all been added to my ever growing wishlist and will be bought or borrowed when they come out.

The Buzz Books 2015 Young Adult is different from the Buzz Book I reviewed yesterday as its solely young adult fiction titles. The debut books are mixed in with the regular titles.

Here are a few of the titles that peaked my interest:

 

 

First, we feared them. Then we fought them. Now they might be our only hope.

Sixteen-year-old Lyric Walker’s life is forever changed when she witnesses the arrival of 30,000 Alpha, a five-nation race of ocean-dwelling warriors, on her beach in Coney Island. The world’s initial wonder and awe over the Alpha quickly turns ugly and paranoid and violent, and Lyric’s small town transforms into a military zone with humans on one side and Alpha on the other. When Lyric is recruited to help the crown prince, a boy named Fathom, assimilate, she begins to fall for him. But their love is a dangerous one, and there are forces on both sides working to keep them apart. Only, what if the Alpha are not actually the enemy? What if they are in fact humanity’s best chance for survival? Because the real enemy is coming. And it’s more terrifying than anything the world has ever seen.

(After reading the summary I wasn’t sure but I have to say after reading the sneak peek I was intriqued)

 

Sydney has always felt invisible.

She’s grown accustomed to her brother, Peyton, being the focus of the family’s attention and, lately, concern. Peyton is handsome and charismatic, but seems bent on self-destruction. Now, after a drunk-driving accident that crippled a boy, Peyton’s serving some serious jail time, and Sydney is on her own, questioning her place in the family and the world.

Then she meets the Chatham family. Drawn into their warm, chaotic circle, Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance for the first time. There’s effervescent Layla, who constantly falls for the wrong guy, Rosie, who’s had her own fall from grace, and Mrs. Chatham, who even though ailing is the heart of the family. But it’s with older brother Mac—quiet, watchful, and protective—that Sydney finally feels seen, really seen, at last.

Saint Anything is Sarah Dessen’s deepest and most psychologically probing novel yet, telling an engrossing story of a girl discovering friendship, love, and herself.

(I have yet to read a Sarah Dessen book and I think this might be the one that will get me hooked)

A sinister threat. A city in danger. A boy with the power to command the crows. Ferals is the first book in a dark, action-packed trilogy that’s part The Graveyard Book, part Batman, and all high-octane adventure.

Blackstone was once a thriving metropolis. But that was before the Dark Summer—a wave of violence and crime that swept through the city eight years ago, orchestrated by the fearsome Spinning Man. Now the Spinning Man is on the move again, and a boy named Caw is about to be caught in his web.

Caw has never questioned his ability to communicate with crows. But as the threat of a new Dark Summer looms, Caw discovers the underground world of Blackstone’s ferals—those with the power to speak to and control animals. Caw is one of them. And to save his city, he must quickly master abilities he never knew he had…and prepare to defeat a darkness he never could have imagined.

(This is another book I wasn’t sure about after reading the summary but once I read the sneak peek I have to say I think I would enjoy this book)

A first kiss. Falling in love. Going to prom. These are all normal things that most teenagers experience. Except for 17-year-old David Hart. His life is anything but normal and more difficult than most. Because of the disease that wracks his body, David is unable to feel pain. He has congenital insensitivity to pain with anhydrosis–or CIPA for short. One of only a handful of people in the world who suffer from CIPA, David can’t do the things every teenager does. He might accidentally break a limb and not know it. If he stands too close to a campfire, he could burn his skin and never feel it. He can’t tell if he has a fever and his temperature is rising. Abandoned by his parents, David now lives with his elderly grandmother who is dying. When David’s legal guardian tells him that he needs to move into an assisted living facility as he cannot live alone, David is determined to prove him wrong. He creates a bucket list, meets a girl with her own wish list, and then sets out to find his parents. All David wants to do is grow old, beat the odds, find love, travel the world, and see something spectacular. And he still wants to find his parents. While he still can.

(This sounds really good)

Maria Dahvana Headley’s soaring YA debut is a fiercely intelligent, multilayered fantasy where Neil Gaiman’s Stardust meets John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in a story about a girl caught between two worlds . . . two races . . . and two destinies.

Aza Ray Boyle is drowning in thin air. Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live. So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—but as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. In Aza’s hands lies fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

(I really like the cover and this sounds like it will be a good read)

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.

Lisa Heathfield’s suspenseful, scintillating debut features a compelling voice that combines blithe naïveté, keen observation, and sincere emotion.

“I love the way Alice Hoffman creates the most ordinary people and then turns their lives magical. . . . [Nightbird] is like reentering a wonderful dream that you vaguely remember.” —Lois Lowry, two-time Newbery Medal–winning author of The Giver

In her first novel for middle-grade readers , bestselling author Alice Hoffman tells a bewitching story of love and friendship that is truly magical.

Twig lives in Sidwell, where people whisper that fairy tales are real. After all, her town is rumored to hide a monster. And two hundred years ago, a witch placed a curse on Twig’s family that was meant to last forever. But this summer, everything will change when the red moon rises. It’s time to break the spell.

( I have never read anything by Alice Hoffman, I know perhaps this will be the intro I need to start reading her books.)

The eagerly anticipated companion to David Levithan’s New York Timesbestseller Every Day

In this enthralling companion to his New York Times bestseller Every Day, David Levithan (co-author  of Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green) tells Rhiannon’s side of the story as she seeks to discover the truth about love and how it can change you.

Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has accepted her life, convinced herself that she deserves her distant, temperamental boyfriend, Justin, even established guidelines by which to live: Don’t be too needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.

Until the morning everything changes. Justin seems to see her, to want to be with her for the first time, and they share a perfect day—a perfect day Justin doesn’t remember the next morning. Confused, depressed, and desperate for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts questioning everything. Then, one day, a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with, the one who made her feel like a real person . . . wasn’t Justin at all.

(I read Every Day so I am excited to see where this will go.)

A postapocalyptic novel with a cinematic twist from New York Times bestseller Barry Lyga, actor Peter Facinelli, and producer Robert DeFranco.

On the ruined planet Earth, where 50 billion people are confined to megacities and resources are scarce, Deedra has been handed a bleak and mundane existence by the Magistrate she works so hard for. But one day she comes across a beautiful boy named Rose struggling to cross the river–a boy with a secretive past and special abilities, who is somehow able to find comfort and life from their dying planet.
But just as the two form a bond, it is quickly torn apart after the Magistrate’s son is murdered and Rose becomes the prime suspect. Little do Deedra and Rose know how much their relationship will affect the fate of everyone who lives on the planet.

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible 

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she’s curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns into an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They’re the good guys. They protect people. They’re…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club’s most respected member—is in town, he’s gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it’s his shot at his dream. What he doesn’t count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

(Another author I can’t believe I haven’t read before.)

Acclaimed writer Margo Rabb’s Kissing in America is “a wonderful novel about friendship, love, travel, life, hope, poetry, intelligence, and the inner lives of girls,” raves internationally bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love).

In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that’s still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who understands Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head over heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the West Coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.

In this honest and emotional journey that National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr calls “gorgeous, funny, and joyous,” readers will experience the highs of infatuation and the lows of heartache as Eva contends with love in all its forms.

Cass has a theory: everyone eventually leaves. Her father walked out, her mother is starting a new family, and she almost lost her best friend to cancer.

When Cass transfers to a preppy new private school, her plan is to stay anonymous by hiding her skater girl veneer beneath plaid skirts and knee socks. But when her cute locker neighbor, Cooper, takes an interest in Cass, keeping a safe distance isn’t easy. And once Cass lets her guard down, the unthinkable happens: Cooper is mysteriously murdered.

As the investigation unfolds, Cass’s close friend, Gav, is suspected as the killer. Determined to find answers, she must go through her list one by one until somebody cracks. However, will uncovering the truth really give Cass what she is looking for?

I’m the daughter of murdered parents.
I’m the friend of a dead girl.
I’m the lover of my enemy.
And I will have my revenge.

In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she’ll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process.

Sharp and incisive, Daughter of Deep Silence by bestselling author Carrie Ryan is a deliciously smart revenge thriller that examines perceptions of identity, love, and the lengths to which one girl is willing to go when she thinks she has nothing to lose.

Sneak out. Make out. Rock out.

Riley and her best guy friend, Reid, have made a pact: they’ll help each other pursue their respective crushes, make something happen, and document the details in a shared notebook.

While Reid struggles with the moral dilemma of adopting a dog to win over a girl’s heart, Riley tries to make progress with Ted Callahan, the guy she’s been obsessed with forever. His floppy hair! His undeniable intelligence! But between a chance meeting with a fellow musician in a record store and a brief tryst with a science-geek-turned-stud-not to mention Ted’s own tentative attentions-cute guys are suddenly popping up everywhere. How did she never notice them before?! As their love lives go from zero to sixty in the blink of an eye, Riley and Reid’s pact may prove to be more than they bargained for.

Filled with cute dogs, cute boys, and a few awkward hookups, this hilarious tale from Amy Spalding chronicles the soaring highs and embarrassing lows of dating in high school.

This brilliant novel by Newbery Medal winner Rebecca Stead explores multiple perspectives on the bonds and limits of friendship.

Bridge is an accident survivor who’s wondering why she’s still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody’s games—or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade?

This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he gets to know Bridge Barsamian. What does it mean to fall for a girl—as a friend?

On Valentine’s Day, an unnamed high school girl struggles with a betrayal. How long can she hide in plain sight?

Each memorable character navigates the challenges of love and change in this captivating novel.

There are a few more books that peeked my interest that will be featured this month in the Waiting on Wednesday post. I have also read and reviewed one of the books in April called The Tapper Twins Go To War With Each Other.  Plus I have another title that I bought that I will be reviewing this month as well.

Does anything peek your interest from this list?

Armchair BEA is now open

Armchair BEA

Its hard to believe that this is the 6th annual Armchair BEA.

Armchair BEA is an online conference that coincidence with BEA (Book Expo America) that is happening in NYC May 27th to 29th.

Attending BEA can be quite expensive when you have to factor in hotels, food, transportation, entrance into the convention and so much more so not alot of people can attend across the world so enter Armchair BEA.

I have been lucky to attend BEA in 2010, 2012, 2013 and once again now but the times I couldn’t attend Armchair BEA was a nice alternative. Of course its not like being there but its just as crazy as if you were there.

Armchair BEA has giveaways, daily discussions, twitter chats and this year they are introducing an Instgram challenge.

If you are unable to attend BEA but looking for a fun alternative then I highly recommend Armchair BEA. Signups to take part are now open and all you have to do is CLICK ON THIS TEXT to take you to the sign up page.