So, as many of you might know, last week was the fabulous Book Expo America was last week. I haven’t had time to sit down and write a full post about it yet, but I will say this: My husband and I both attended this year, which meant we were able to grab A LOT of books, and even a few extras for giveaways [stay tuned, because they’re coming… SOON]. Since, there are so many that I’m looking forward to, I thought this week’s Top Tuesday (my very first ever, in fact) should center around the ten books I’m MOST excited to start!
1. Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven.
I’m not sure if you know this, but Jennifer Niven is actually a freaking ANGEL. Like, you have to meet this woman – she is the epitome of grace, beauty, and good feelings. Not to mention she’s a BA author who writes books that tear you apart in the BEST. POSSIBLE. WAY. I love her, I love her first book – All the Bright Places – and I am literally going to dive into Holding Up the Universe THE SECOND I finish my promised May TBR and subsequent reviews (I’ve gotta keep my commitments, even if it’s so hard to tear myself away from my shiny new BEA books). If you haven’t read All the Bright Places you need to drop everything (probably even your commitments) and stay up all night reading it tonight. It’s that good. Do you like books that have prose so beautiful it could pass for poetry? Do you enjoy moving character-driven plots that center around what connects us and tears us apart from other people? Do you like to ugly-sob in public because you care so deeply about a character that their choices are physically affecting you? If you said yes to any of those, you MUST become acquainted with Theodore Finch. DO IT. NOW. And then run, don’t walk, to the nearest Jennifer Niven signing, and meet her. You can thank me later.
2. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon.
Last year, I came home from #BEA15 triumphantly in possession of what was then my most anticipated ARC of the year… Nicola Yoon’s debut novel, Everything Everything. I promptly dropped everything [no pun intended… okay, maybe it was intended just a little bit] and started to read. I loved it so much that I called my future-husband on the phone and read long, protracted, passages to him until he was just as engrossed in the story as I was. It changed both of our lives, and we still talk about it to this day. It’s such a poignant story about growing up, taking risks, and the various lengths we will go in order to protect the ones we love. I adore that book. I wanted so badly to meet Nicola at her BEA signing, but there was a schedule mix-up and she didn’t actually sign. 🙁 Still, I managed to grab a copy of her upcoming book, The Sun is Also a Star, and I am already anticipating another original and engrossing five-star read from her!
3. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
OH MY GOSH WHO DIDN’T LOVE AN EMBER IN THE ASHES?!?!?! If you didn’t read it, you’re majorly missing out (and you can’t sit with us… just kidding). I was so excited to get to go to Sabaa’s signing (even though the line was out of control). My husband and I heard her speak at the National Book Festival last year, so it was a pleasure to meet her face to face and get to chat for a few minutes. Plus, A Torch Against the Night looks incredible. Did anyone else notice that they’ve changed to the UK covers for the sequel, instead of matching it to the original US edition of Ember? Interesting, no??? But who cares, because I would drool over this book no matter what the cover looked like. These books are just too good. Sabaa told me that she originally didn’t plan on a sequel last year at all, but then the ideas started up and now this is going to be a TRILOGY. That’s fine by me – I want as much Elias and Laia and Helen as possible!
4. Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
I have a confession: I haven’t actually read any of Tahereh Mafi’s other work. I know… I know… The Shatter Me series is amazing and everybody seems to adore Warren, but I just haven’t read them. They’re somewhere on my list though, so maybe I’ll buy them and devour them one day (perhaps after I finish this little gem and discover that I’m addicted to her writing). My friend Andrea over at BookStoreFinds mentioned that Tahereh and Ransom Riggs are the “Beyonce and Jay Z” of the book world, and having now met her, I have to say that I agree. Tahereh has mad style, and she’s so glamorous that I felt like she belonged on the cover of a magazine, rather than stuck at a table signing books. She’s amazing, and Furthermore looks like a middle grade/YA Night Circus-esque adventure that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into.
5. Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Aime Kaufman
Last year at BEA, they were giving away copies of Illuminae – like they couldn’t give enough of them out. That marketing strategy must have worked, because this year the sequel, Gemina, was definitely one of the most-anticipated books at BEA, and the line for the giveaway on Friday was as long, if not longer, than Sabaa Tahir’s signing. And it was only a book drop – the authors weren’t even present (though Jay was wandering around aimlessly so we did get to see him several times throughout the afternoon Friday). Illuminae is such a unique book – the format is incredible, and the plot is fast-paced and action-packed, plus the AI is amazing, and I’m a sucker for a book or series with a likable AI villain (it’s why I adore The Scorpion Races by Erin Bow so much). So I’m excited to do a re-read of Illuminae and then dive head-first into Gemina.
6. Replica by Lauren Oliver
This was another book that caused some confusion at BEA. There was supposed to be a signing on Wednesday, but it ended up being on Thursday, and then the drop lines for just the book were so long that we got cut off before we reached the front on Wednesday. Luckily, we grabbed a copy Thursday morning first thing (teamwork is awesome), and I can’t wait to see what this whole two stories in one thing is really about. I haven’t read very many things by Lauren Oliver, but I know a lot of people love her and the idea behind Replica is too interesting not to get excited about. Plus, it came packaged in this gorgeous box, and I’m a sucker for beautiful packaging. I also want to add here that HarperCollins had a really great setup for their ARC drops – they dropped all of their ARCs at three different times during the week – one drop time for each day. So if you didn’t manage to get a copy on one day you could try for one of the other days. I really appreciated that – it’s why I was able to grab all of their YA titles throughout the week.
7. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
I didn’t even manage to finish The Lunar Chronicles, but since this book is separate from that series, I wanted to give it a try (I have a two-book/series policy with an author I’m unsure about, so this is Marissa Meyer’s second chance for me to fall in love with her). I’m very intrigued by the premise behind this book, and though I didn’t get into her other series, I do think she’s a great author. I actually have my husband to thank for grabbing this one – the line for tickets was more like a mob and I don’t know how he managed to stay calm and collected and grab the ticket. Plus, he waited in the line to meet Marissa and get it signed for me. That’s true love right there. Oh, and get this – Heartless came in another gorgeous book box – this one a bright red color. It was quite a pretty sight.
8. Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin
Another book I owe my husband for acquiring. Little Brown was doing a dice game where you could roll the dice and get whatever ARC corresponded to the number you rolled. He waited in the line while I went to another event, rolled the dice, and actually got the number for Blood for Blood. CAN WE CUE THE HAPPY DANCE WIFE MUSIC, PLEASE? You should have seen my face when he told me – I was ecstatic, and I hope that this sequel lives up to the thrilling adventure that was Wolf by Wolf.
9. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
I was very gung-ho about getting my hands on a copy of Three Dark Crowns this year. I mean, a story featuring a set of triplet princesses with unique powers and a future that can only end in bloodshed and a single Queen left standing? Um, yes please. I’ll take a slice of that. I was determined to get this Thursday afternoon, since we got cut off just a few people away from getting it on Wednesday (when they ran out of books), and I’m so so glad that we managed to pull it off (we owe a big thank you to the incredible MEREDITH over at HarperCollins, who gave us the insider’s tip on when and where to line up so that we could be FIRST IN LINE for it!).
10. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
We didn’t have any trouble lining up for Audrey Coulthurst’s signing on Thursday, and she was so nice that I already have good feels towards her debut, Of Fire and Stars. The cover is stunning, and I love any story that has magic and royalty, along with a healthy dose of forbidden romance. I think this is going to be one of 2016’s must-have books!
11. Caraval by Stephanie Garber
So sue me, I couldn’t pick only ten, especially since Caraval has been on my WANT WANT WANT list since last year. THIS BOOK IS UNBELIEVABLE. I love everything about it, and I want to continue gushing here, but that would spoil my upcoming review, which I’m trying to hold off on for at least a little while, since this one doesn’t come out until January! But you should know… this is going to be BIG when it comes out, and Stephanie Garber is just the sweetest human being, and I ran into her (read: I didn’t see someone who looked like her and then proceed to stalk her until I could catch a glimpse of her badge and confirm it was her… where would you get an idea like that??), and I just think she’s wonderful in every way (especially in the writes amazing and magical books way). Mark your calendars, get your pre-orders in, and put this one on your can’t-live-without list!
TALK TO ME: See any books you’re also excited about??? Gush over them with me!