Top Ten…Most Anticipated Debut Novels For 2015

Happy New Year friends! Here we are at the beginning of a fresh new year with so many amazing things on the horizon. I, for one, am super excited for this year and all of the possibilities it has in store for me. So today I’m wishing all of you all the best in 2015 and that it’s filled with lots of wonderful bookish things!

Source: The Broke and The Bookish

Source: The Broke and The Bookish

Speaking of books and new possibilities, this is an exciting year for so many debut authors. There are a ton of books coming out this year that sound absolutely fantastic, and today I’m sharing some of them with you here.

So, for my first Top Ten Tuesday of the year, I give you my most anticipated debut novels of 2015!

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Anne and Henry / Becoming Jinn / An Ember in the Ashes
When Reason BreaksRed Queen / Tiny Pretty Things
The Night We Said YesMagonia / Dead To Me / The Witch Hunter

Book Feels: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

I’ve never read a book quite like The Ghosts of Heaven and I definitely went outside of my comfort zone when I decided to pick this one up. The cover art and book summary were intriguing though, and I decided to give it a shot. As I’m writing this review it’s been a couple of weeks since I finished this book, and I still can’t say for certain what my thoughts and feelings are about it. All I know is that I still think about it from time to time and wonder what exactly it was all about. Which I suppose is the sign of a well-written book.

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The Ghosts of Heaven is broken up into four separate short stories, that are distinct in tone and style from one another, but when put together as a collection, you can see the thread of commonality that runs through them all. In the introduction of the book the author explains that you can read the collection in order, or you can read in whatever order you’d like. I chose to read them in order because that’s just the kind of person I am. Even before I got into the first story, I was sucked in by the introduction. It was a beautifully written account of the beginning of the universe, and being the science geek that I am, I totally loved it. As a matter of fact, I would say it was my favorite part of the entire book.

As I mentioned, the book is broken into four very different sections. Part one is set during pre-historic times and focuses on a young girl trying to become a larger presence in her tribe. She knew there was something more to her existence. Along her journey she likely discovers the first form of written communication but because of certain circumstances she never gets the chance to share her knowledge. This portion of the book was written in verse and I really enjoyed how the writing really conveyed not only what, but also exactly how the character was thinking.

The second section focuses on a young woman who is trying to tap into the power passed down to her through her lineage. She’s faced with an extremely bleak set of circumstances and is continually trying to determine the source of the mysteries that surround her. This story was really depressing for me and I just couldn’t shake the bleakness of the main character’s situation.

The third story takes part during the turn of the 20th century and is set in an insane asylum. I found this story pretty creepy and there were times I felt so haunted by some of the characters. It’s the story of a doctor and his daughter who come to live in the building with its patients, and how they adjust to that life. As you get further in, you start to learn about one of the patients there who has an inexplicable knowledge of the doctor and his past. By the end the story takes on a little bit of a twist and I was actually pretty pleased with where it left me.

The last story is set some time in the distant future on a space station travelling to the far reaches of the galaxy in search of a new home for the human race. We follow one of the people on the ship and as the story progresses we learn along with him that things are not exactly what they seem to be on board. Out of all the stories in this book, the ending of this one really confused me. I’m still not certain I understand exactly what happened.

I did find the fact that each story had a common thread to be extremely compelling and intriguing. I liked how the author found ways to introduce that theme in each story in a distinct but cohesive way. Each time the theme popped up it was a lightbulb moment for me.

This book is beautifully written and the imagery and symbolism was amazing. Although I do have to admit that sometimes I didn’t quite get the symbolism and that frustrated me. Overall, I had a hard time connecting to this book, and that was my major disappointment with it. In my mind, you can have the most beautifully written words but if I can’t connect to them I’m left feeling like something fell short.

This book is certainly not going to appeal to everyone, but when all is said and done I decided to give it three stars. While I didn’t find a connection to any of the stories, I can still appreciate how well it was written and the value of the book as a whole. I would suggest giving it a try to see for yourself if it’s a book you enjoy. Then come back here and let me know what you think, as this book is sure to spark some lively discussions.

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Many thanks to Brittany at Book Addicts Guide for allowing me to borrow her ARC! Her fabulous generosity in no way affected my review.

TMYK21469108The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
Publication: 1/6/15 by Roaring Brook Press – Macmillan
Pages: 366 | Format: ARC | Source: Borrowed
Purchase this book

A bold, genre-bending epic that chronicles madness, obsession, and creation, from the Paleolithic era through the Witch Hunts and into the space-bound future.

Four linked stories boldly chronicle madness, obsession, and creation through the ages. Beginning with the cave-drawings of a young girl on the brink of creating the earliest form of writing, Sedgwick traverses history, plunging into the seventeenth century witch hunts and a 1920s insane asylum where a mad poet’s obsession with spirals seems to be about to unhinge the world of the doctor trying to save him. Sedgwick moves beyond the boundaries of historical fiction and into the future in the book’s final section, set upon a spaceship voyaging to settle another world for the first time. Merging Sedgwick’s gift for suspense with science- and historical-fiction, Ghosts of Heaven is a tale is worthy of intense obsession.

 

 

Waiting on…Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson

I took one look at the cover of this book and I HAD to learn more! It’s definitely got that steampunk vibe and the tagline “All is fair in love and revolution” is EVERYTHING!

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I really enjoy alternate reality novels, so this story of a British-ruled America that involves magic and rebellion was immediately appealing! I also love a good female heroine and it sounds like Verity is my kind of girl. There’s just something so satisfying when a young woman discovers her own inner strength! Girl power for the win!

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TMYK

22718701Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson
Publication: 7/14/15 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Pre-order this book now

A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing.

It’s 1888, and sixteen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children’s young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.

Waiting on…Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

Let me start off by saying, there’s not much info out there about this book yet. There’s the teeny tiny blurb below and also this quick description from this article that I found online…

Sales tells the story of 17-year-old Arden Huntley and a blogger named Peter. Peter’s blog is the same as Sales’ upcoming novel, and Arden finds so much comfort and understanding in his words that she sets out on a road trip to NYC to find him. What comes next is parties, dancing, and music, and some revelations that show maybe Peter and Arden both aren’t who the other thought they were.

Other than that there’s not much out there. Which is to be expected considering it doesn’t come out for almost a year! No seriously, we’re looking at a nine month wait until this one comes out. But no matter, I’ll read anything by Leila Sales so I know this book will be an auto-buy for me. All I really need to know is that it’s about blogging and is set in NYC…SOLD!

I’m only slightly obsessed with the cover, actually make that MASSIVELY obsessed! The colors, the font and the epic galaxy design on the bottom! I mean…who doesn’t love SPACE?!

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Actually, I know this is weird but the bottom of the cover totally reminds me of all of those space cat gifs I love. Yep, I love cats and I love space, so it only makes sense for me to be obsessed with space cats! Would you just look at this little guy…

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TMYK

23310761Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
Publication: 9/15/15 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pre-order this book

Tonight the Streets Are Ours is a YA novel about a teen girl living in the suburbs who becomes obsessed with a blogger in New York City, and sets out to track him down in real life.

Fangirl Friday: Leigh Bardugo Book Tour & EPIC Giveaway

I read the Grisha Trilogy earlier this year and as you can tell from my review of Ruin & Rising (one of my very first in fact), I absolutely loved it! I adored how Bardugo strung together the most exquisite sentences to create an amazing story set in the most gorgeous world. The characters she created for this trilogy are some of my very favorite literary characters, each and every one of them brings something so unique and special to the books.

When I heard that she would be going on a book tour for Ruin and Rising, and that one of the stops would be in my neck of the woods, I knew I had to go! So, this past Tuesday I made the 90 minute drive down to the “big city” to see one of my very favorite authors in person! It was a good day!

Because I left straight from work, I was about 20 minutes late for the 6pm start, but thankfully I was JUST in time for Leigh’s reading from her upcoming novel, Six of Crows, releasing October 2015. You guys, this book is going to be so amazing! The excerpt she read was just perfect and it was so cool to hear Leigh’s own tone and inflection when reading her work. I was mesmerized!

She then took some questions from the small (but very enthusiastic) crowd. It was so great to see so many excited, young readers there. You could tell how much they loved the books and how inspiring it was for them to be there. So many great questions were asked, and some fun facts that stand out in my mind are…

  • Leigh wrote the opening line of Shadow and Bone several times to get it just right!
  • The inspiration for the locations on her Six of Crows novel is vast and varied! Amsterdam, NYC, Vegas and many more. I think she may have even mentioned Venice! So cool!
  • One super fan (it was his birthday that night…so fun!) told Leigh that her books inspired him to learn Russian, which I thought was super cool!
  • A lot of times she gets inspirations for characters from people she knows in real life. How cool would it be to be one of those people!?

After a quick Q&A round it was time for the signing! The line moved pretty quickly and next thing I knew I was standing face-to-face with Leigh. I always get suuuuper nervous when meeting authors, but I think I handled myself pretty well and kept my fangirling in check.

I’d like to give my amazing husband a shout out because not only did he make the drive down with me to keep me company, but he also took some photos while I was in line.
What a guy!

Leigh was so kind and appreciative, and super funny as well! She signed all three of my books and even included some amazing quotes from each as inscriptions on the opposite page. I’m so excited to add these lovelies to my ever-growing author signed shelves. These look so gorg next to my signed Throne of Glass series! I get googly eyes every time I look at them all together.

Before I knew it, our visit was over and it was time to go home! So sad! BUT…not before I grabbed some of the amazing swag that Leigh was giving away, including that amazing Six of Crows dice game that everyone is obsessing over! Here’s a sneak peek…

Pretty amazing swag, right? Well…GUESS WHAT!! All of the items pictured above, plus one other super-secret goodie, could be yours!!
That’s right! I’m giving it all away!
Just click on the image below to enter – US only!

grishagiveaway

Waiting on…Fairest by Marissa Meyer

This week, I’m waiting on Fairest by Marissa Meyer! This book is part of the Lunar Chronicles series and is a “bridge book” between Cress and Winter releasing November 2015. This book tells the story of Queen Levana…but before I go any further lets all stare at this seriously gorg and super creepy gif of the cover art!

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If you’ve read the first three books in the Lunar Chronicles series then you know that Queen Levana is the Big Baddie. Not gonna lie….she scares the crap outta me! She’s evil, ruthless and manipulative, and if you’re not careful she may just brainwash you. And I quote…

“People said Lunars could alter a person’s brain—make you see things you shouldn’t see, feel things you shouldn’t feel, do things you didn’t want to do. Their unnatural power had made them a greedy and violent race, and Queen Levana was the worst of all of them.” 

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But for all of her wickedness and violence, she’s also beautiful (or is she?), mysterious and enigmatic. SO can you blame me for wanting to read her story to figure out why the heck she is as cray-cray as she is? I mean I really can’t help myself.

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TMYK

22489107Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Expected publication: 1/27/15 by Feiwel & Friends
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In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

Waiting on…The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

All of a sudden last week my Twitter and Instagram feeds started blowing up with excited squeals and lots of flailing due to some pretty epic book mail being delivered to bloggers. The highly-anticipated follow up to The Winner’s Curse was finally in ARC form! Being a newbie blogger that I am, I always get so excited when a new ARC is released into the world because then I can fangirl with everyone else about how beautiful the cover is and am able to live vicariously through those lucky enough to get their hands on a coveted copy!

I was a big fan of the ending of Winner’s Curse and cannot wait to see what book two has in store for Kestrel since the first one ended on a serious cliffhanger! Looks like in The Winner’s Crime we get more of the suspense and intrigue we’ve come to love from the first book, and in the description below it looks like it’s only going to get more intense. Considering that it what I loved most about The Winner’s Curse, I have a feeling this book is going to be pretty epic!

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source: goodreads

source: goodreads

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Expected publication: 3/3/15 by Farrar Straus Giroux
Pre-order this book

Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

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.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.