Category Archive: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: 5 Pet Peeves + 5 Fab Fixes for Romance in Books

TopTenTuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a list created by the book loving crew at The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday is a different topic and everyone is invited to join in the fun. So let’s do this!

Everyone loves romance, even if you don’t specifically read romance novels. No matter what genre you prefer, there is often a romantic subplot skipping through the story. Especially in YA. Teens are preoccupied with finding love. How could they not be with all those new hormones coursing through their bodies? Since YA encompasses every genre imaginable, it should be the best place to find a wide range of romantic scenarios, but too often YA lit falls victim to the tried and true cliche. Here’s a list of the worst offenders and what I would rather see instead…

LoveTriangle-Twilight1. The Love Triangle

What bugs me about love triangles is not their shape, but their composition. The vast majority of these trios are two hot boys vying for the love of one girl, and frankly it’s boring. Why not mix it up and make the heroine choose between a hot boy and a hot girl. Or make the other girl or boy the heroine’s competition for the third person’s love. Or make the fight not about romantic love, but about friend love. Or have the objects of lust not notice the heroine so she has to pursue them without knowing if either even likes her! See? I just gave you way more than one fix for this overused trope, so please stop writing heroine + hot boy + another hot boy.

2. The Heroine with No Girlfriends

Maybe it’s something about writers who were loners as teenagers, but I’m so sick of the shy, nerd girl who isn’t popular and doesn’t have any friends except maybe one (who is always more popular than the heroine), and then this hot guy comes along and shows interest in her and wow! Her whole life changes! Please, this isn’t a low-budget TV show without the funds to give the lead actor more than one friend. This is a book! It doesn’t cost you anything to make the heroine a sociable musician or popular athlete or smart-girl-who’s-not-a-loner. Give her some pals! Give her a life! It’s not only the lonely who are looking for love.

3. The Perfect Boy

Often the heroine’s love interest is good-looking, smart and rich. And oh so mysterious. Plus his eyes are probably blue. Bonus points if he has an accent. I know that romance is supposed to be a fantasy, but I want some realism! Give me characters with a range of looks and talents and economic backgrounds. Make the protagonist fall for someone who is not seemingly perfect, who has faults and makes mistakes and isn’t impossibly tuned into the heroine’s feelings. No one needs to be perfect to be loveable. Trust me.

4. The Innocent Virgin

Things have changed since I was a teenager. The Internet wasn’t good for much in the ‘90s. It took many minutes simply to load a photo. Needless to say, I learned about sex by talking to my friends, listening to rumours, watching movies, and going out with guys. But in the 21st century, information about sex is everywhere! Most pre-teens know more about it than I did in my mid-twenties! That’s not to say they have experience yet, but for better or for worse they have information regarding the act the previous generation did not. So when I read about teen characters who are all innocent and clueless, I can’t help but roll my eyes. It’s just not believable, unless they’ve been held captive in a backwoods cabin with no computer their whole lives. This doesn’t mean your characters can’t be virgins. They can be, just make sure they’re not completely naive regarding the subject.

5. Love Taking Precedence Over Possible Death

I admit that most of the entries in my teen diaries were all about boys, but I was not living in a dystopian wasteland or trying to survive a war or hiding from hungry zombies. Yet I read books with these life-and-death stakes where the romantic leads spend way too much time making moony eyes at each other. Come on! You’re about to get your brains eaten! You would not be thinking about kissing him, you’d be thinking RUN! To fix this, moony eyes and romantic thoughts should only occur when the characters are momentarily safe.

And there’s my list! I’m sure you noticed I didn’t mention Instalove. That’s a pet peeve so big I’ve already written an entire blog post on it – complete with fixes as well. Check it out here.

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I would love to read some romances that subvert these overused cliches. If you have any recommendations, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!


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Top Ten Books I Can’t Believe I Haven’t Read Yet

TopTenTuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a blog hop created by the book loving crew at The Broke and The Bookish. Every Tuesday is a different topic and everyone is invited to join in the fun by creating their own top ten list.

I consider myself well-read in science fiction and fantasy. Certainly I’m no stranger to the punk genres. So I’m ashamed to admit a few of the major classics, particularly in the early cyberpunk movement have slipped through the cracks. A few others on my list today are books I’ve avoided due to being a fan of the movie adaptations, something that can spoil reading the original story.

These are all books of significance within the sci-fi/fantasy canon, and someday I will make time to read them.

(all book blurbs are from Goodreads)

doandroidsdream1. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner #1)
by Philip K. Dick,
A final, apocalyptic, world war has killed millions, driving entire species into extinction and sending the majority of mankind off-planet. Those who remain venerate all remaining examples of life, and owning an animal of your own is both a symbol of status and a necessity. For those who can’t afford an authentic animal, companies build incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats, sheep . . . even humans.

snowcrash2. Snow Crash
by Neal Stephenson
In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous…you’ll recognize it immediately.

3. Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs #1) altered-carbon_US_LtdHb
by Richard K. Morgan
It’s the twenty-fifth century, and advances in technology have redefined life itself. A person’s consciousness can now be stored in the brain and downloaded into a new body [or “sleeve”], making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen. Onetime U.N. Envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Resleeved into a body in Bay City [formerly San Francisco], Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats existence as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning.

neuromancer_book_cover_014. Neuromancer (Sprawl #1)
by William Gibson
The Matrix is a world within the world, a global consensus- hallucination, the representation of every byte of data in cyberspace . . .

Case had been the sharpest data-thief in the business, until vengeful former employers crippled his nervous system. But now a new and very mysterious employer recruits him for a last-chance run. The target: an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence orbiting Earth in service of the sinister Tessier-Ashpool business clan. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case embarks on an adventure that ups the ante on an entire genre of fiction.

5. Galápagos Galapagos
by Kurt Vonnegut
Galápagos takes the reader back one million years, to A.D. 1986. A simple vacation cruise suddenly becomes an evolutionary journey. Thanks to an apocalypse, a small group of survivors stranded on the Galápagos Islands are about to become the progenitors of a brave, new, and totally different human race. In this inimitable novel, America’s master satirist looks at our world and shows us all that is sadly, madly awry–and all that is worth saving.

somewhere in time6. Somewhere in Time
by Richard Matheson
Somewhere in Time is the powerful story of a love that transcends time and space, written by one of the Grand Masters of modern fantasy. Matheson’s classic novel tells the moving, romantic story of a modern man whose love for a woman he has never met draws him back in time to a luxury hotel in San Diego in 1896, where he finds his soul mate in the form of a celebrated actress of the previous century. Somewhere in Time won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and the 1979 movie version, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, remains a cult classic whose fans continue to hold yearly conventions to this day.

Jasper Fforde  7. The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1)
by Jasper Fforde
Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë’s novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide.

The stars8. The Stars My Destination

by Alfred Bester, and Neil Gaiman (Introduction)
Gully Foyle, has managed to survive for 170 days in the airless purgatory of deep space after the wreck of his ship, and has escaped to Earth carrying a murderous grudge and a secret that could change the course of history.

In this pulse-quickening novel, Alfred Bester imagines a future in which people “jaunte” a thousand miles with a single thought, where the rich barricade themselves in labyrinths and protect themselves with radioactive hit men – and where an inarticulate outcast is the most valuable and dangerous man alive. The novel which in large part inspired both the cyberpunk movement of the 1980s and the science fiction New Wave of the 1960s, THE STARS MY DESTINATION has an unrivaled claim as one of the most influential sci-fi books of all time.

9. Doomsday Book (Oxford Time Travel #1) The doomsday Book
by Connie Willis
In the year 2054, students research the past by living in it. So when Kivrin Engle, a history student at Oxford, enters Brasenose College’s time machine for transport back to 1320s England, no one anticipates any problems. But her two-week project takes a frightening turn. A mutant virus has been spreading through Oxford, and Kivrin arrives in the past delirious with fever. She is found and taken to a manor house, and when she recovers, she can no longer locate the time machine rendezvous point. Will Kivrin ever find her way back to the future? Or has she become a permanent exile in a deadly time?

Hyperion10. Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos #1)
by Dan Simmons

On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all. On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope—and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands.

Have you missed any Sci-Fi classics. I’d love to hear about your favorites, and if you’ve read and would like to share any thoughts on the ones from my list.


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Top Ten Books I Want to Read for my Book Riot Book Club

TopTenTuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a blog hop created by the book loving crew at The Broke and The Bookish. Every Tuesday is a different topic and everyone is invited to join in the fun by creating their own top ten list.

I’ve joined Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge. This is a read-a-thon geared toward making me read outside my comfort zone. It includes 24 reading tasks. Some task are easy, such as read a Indie book. Others take a bit more shelf surfing, like reading a novel set in Asia. All my picks fit the Read Harder Challenge task list in one way or another. I’ll be reading them all over the course of the year.

It’s only January, if you want to join in here’s a link to the full details. Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge!

Warning: Entry number 10 is the second book in a series and that blurb contains spoilers.

Salsa Nocturna1. SALSA NOCTURNE STORIES by Daniel Jose Older (Adult)
This book meets my task of reading a collection of short stories. I’ve been looking to add more cultural diversity to my reading list, so when I stumbled on a review of Older’s new book (Shadowshaper – which also sounds amazing) I added him to my list.
The story: A 300 year-old story collector enlists the help of the computer hacker from next door to save her dying sister. A half-resurrected cleanup man for Death’s sprawling bureaucracy faces a phantom pachyderm, doll-collecting sorceresses and his own ghoulish bosses. Gordo, the old Cubano that watches over the graveyards and sleeping children of Brooklyn, stirs and lights another Malagueña. Down the midnight streets of New York, a whole invisible universe churns to life in Daniel José Older s debut collection of ghost noir.


bacigalupi-the_doubt_factory2. THE DOUBT FACTORY by Paolo Bacigalupi (Young Adult)
This book fits my book requirement because it’s written by an author of a different gender. Yes, that really is a category, one I don’t require Book Riot’s incentive to deal with, but any reason to read one of Bacigalupi books is fine by me.
The story: Everything Alix knows about her life is a lie. At least that’s what a mysterious young man who’s stalking her keeps saying. But then she begins investigating the disturbing claims he makes against her father. Could her dad really be at the helm of a firm that distorts the truth and covers up wrongdoing by hugely profitable corporations that have allowed innocent victims to die? Is it possible that her father is the bad guy, and that the undeniably alluring criminal who calls himself Moses–and his radical band of teen activists–is right? Alix has to make a choice, and time is running out, but can she truly risk everything and blow the whistle on the man who loves her and raised her?
Feed3. FEED by M. T. Anderson (Young Adult)
This book fits my National Book Award finalist category. Unfortunately, it didn’t receive the honor in the last decade (which is also part of the requirement) but I’m not changing my pick. Somehow I missed reading this book when it came out, and I want to read it.
The story: For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon – a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires. Following in the footsteps of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr., M. T. Anderson has created a not-so-brave new world — and a smart, savage satire that has captivated readers with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now.
Armada4. ARMADA by Ernest Cline (Young Adult)
This book is not out yet, (Pub date July 28th, 2015) so it fits my book published this year requirement.  I loved Ready Player One, and the wait for a new book by Cline was too long.
The story: Zack Lightman is daydreaming through another dull class when the dropship lands in his school’s courtyard-and when the men in the dark suits leap out of the ship and start calling his name, he’s sure he’s still dreaming. But the dream is all too real; the people of Earth need him. As Zack soon discovers, the videogame he’s been playing obsessively for years isn’t just a game; it’s part of a massive, top-secret government training program, designed to teach gamers the skills they’ll need to defend Earth from a possible alien invasion. And now…that invasion is coming. As he and his companions prepare to enter their ships and do battle, Zack learns that the father he thought was dead is actually a key player in this secret war. And together with his father, he’ll uncover the truth about the alien threat, race to prevent a genocide, and discover a mysterious third player in the interplanetary chess game he’s been thrown into.
Prudence5. PRUDENCE (The Custard Protocol #1) by Gail Carriger (Adult)
Not out yet so I will have to wait a while, but it takes place in Asia! Okay fine, it takes place in India, so I’m stretching a bit. I really want to read this book. After all it’s Gail Carriger, the undisputed Steampunk Queen.
The story: Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (Rue to her friends) is given an unexpected dirigible. She does what any sensible female would under similar circumstances – names it the Spotted Crumpet and floats to India in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea. But India has more than just tea on offer. Rue stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier’s wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis and an embarrassing lack of bloomers, what else is a young lady of good breeding to do but turn metanatural and find out everyone’s secrets, even thousand-year-old fuzzy ones?


It's Kind of a funny story6. IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY by Ned Vizzini (Young Adult)
This book fits the author who was under 25 when they wrote the book category. It’s one of those books I keep meaning to read, but it gets shifted around on the to read stack and I end up reading another book instead. This is the year!
The story: Like many ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner sees entry into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School as the ticket to his future. Determined to succeed at life-which means getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job-Craig studies night and day to ace the entrance exam, and does. That’s when things start to get crazy. At his new school, Craig realizes that he isn’t brilliant compared to the other kids; he’s just average, and maybe not even that. He soon sees his once-perfect future crumbling away. The stress becomes unbearable and Craig stops eating and sleeping-until, one night, he nearly kills himself. Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, isolated from the crushing pressures of school and friends, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.
Lavinia_Novel7. LAVINIA by Ursula K. Le Guin (Adult)
This book works to fill the category of an author over the age of 65 when they wrote the book, and it’s also a retelling of a classic story – yet another task to cover.
The story: In Virgil’s version of The Aeneid the king’s daughter, Lavinia, never speaks a word. Now, Ursula K. Le Guin gives Lavinia a voice in a novel that takes us to the half-wild world of ancient Italy. Lavinia grows up knowing nothing but peace and freedom until her suitors arrive. Her mother wants her to marry handsome, ambitious Turnus. But omens and prophecies spoken by the sacred springs say she must marry a foreigner, that she will be the cause of a bitter war, and that her husband will not live long. When a fleet of Trojan ships sails up the Tiber, Lavinia decides to take her destiny into her own hands and tells us the story of her life—and her life’s greatest love.


Marina8. MARINA by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Young Adult)
This book fits my book originally published in another language. I read a lot of Spanish fiction, so this category isn’t a big deal for me. However, this book sounded pretty darn good and it is YA, my preferred read type.
The story: When Fifteen-year-old Oscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in Barcelona, no one knows his whereabouts for seven days and seven nights. His story begins when he meets the strange Marina while he’s exploring an old quarter of the city. She leads Oscar to a cemetery, where they watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the last Sunday of each month. At exactly ten o’clock in the morning, a woman shrouded in a black velvet cloak descends from her carriage to place a single rose on an unmarked grave. When Oscar and Marina decide to follow her, they begin a journey that transports them to a forgotten postwar Barcelona–a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons–an reveals a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets.


9. HAUNTED by Lynn Carthage (Young Adult)
This is another book that will be published this year, and it’s a young adult novel, another category to fill.
The story: Moving to my stepfather’s English country mansion sounded so promising. But the Arnaud Manor is neglected and unwelcoming, and I get the feeling it isn’t exactly uninhabited. Something wants to hurt us–especially my little sister. Okay, so I might be a little sensitive lately. My parents act oblivious to me, my old life is far away in San Francisco, and the gorgeous guy I just met tells me terrible stories about the infamous Madame Arnaud who lived here long ago, and about missing children and vengeful spirits. The kind of stories that are impossible to believe–until you’re living in one of them, fighting to protect everyone you love…


Cover_of_Brandon_Sanderson's_book_-Firefight-10. FIREFIGHT (The Reckoners #2) By Brandon Sanderson (Young Adult)
This is my science fiction novel, and it’s written by a man, and it was just published this month. I loved the first Reckoners, and the ending left so many questions, while still giving the reader a true ending. Sanderson gets a huge shout-out from me for not messing that up. I’m so sick of series books without endings.
Spoiler ahead!!!!!
The story: Newcago is free.They told David it was impossible, that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet Steelheart–invincible, immortal, unconquerable–is dead. And he died by David’s hand. Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life simpler. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And no one in Newcago can give him answers.
Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as the borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic Regalia, Babylon Restored is flooded and miserable, but David is sure it’s the path that will lead him to what he needs to find. Entering a city oppressed by a High Epic despot is risky, but David’s willing to take the gamble. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David’s heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic–Firefight. And now he will go on a quest darker and even more dangerous than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.

So that’s a sample of the books I’ll be reading this year. 2014 was not a great reading year for me. I’m much more optimistic about my reading selections this year. And I think the Book Riot Challenge is going to help. I’ve already started HAUNTED. I love a good ghost story!


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Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 YA Releases I Meant to Read But Didn’t Get To

TopTenTuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a list created by the book loving crew at The Broke and The Bookish. Every Tuesday is a different topic and everyone is invited to join in the fun. Let’s do this!

Like most voracious readers, I never have time to read all the books I’d like to, so putting together this list wasn’t tough. Hopefully I’ll get to read these 2014 releases in 2015. Better late than never!

1. THE YOUNG ELITES by Marie LuBookCover-YoungElites

I loved the action-packed but thoughtful Legend series and am just as excited about Lu’s latest saga of complicated characters in a dangerous dystopian world.

2. THE WINNER’S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski

I enjoy high fantasy chock full of secrets and deadly stakes (like this book is supposed to be) and am intrigued by the concept of a general’s daughter buying a slave and falling in love with him. Admittedly, that story will be tough to pull off (please no instalove!), but I’m hoping the rave reviews are right about this novel.

3. HALF A KING by Joe Abercrombie

A disabled prince battles to regain the throne he never wanted. Sounds like everything I want in a book – action, adventure and a tortured main character coming told terms with himself.

4. THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE by Jennifer MathieuBookCover-TruthAboutAlice

This is a story about a “Alice the slut” told from the POV of those around her. Even though I’m many years out of high school, I’m still fascinated and horrified with how the rumour mill and the opinions of one’s peers can destroy a girl’s reputation. Therefore I want to read this book.

5. PANIC by Lauren Oliver

This book is supposed to be scary. I hope all the hype is true. Scary YA is hard to find.


I loved Please Ignore Vera Dietz even though I’m not usually into contemporary YA. This just proves that A.S. King is a brilliant writer. Now she’s written a book with a paranormal / fantastical twist. I can’t wait to read this! Luckily, I don’t have to wait because it’s already 2015.

7. THE WALLED CITY by Ryan Graudin

In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, the teens come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out. Well damn! Sign me up!

8. THE PERFECTIONISTS by Sara Shepherd

This is a revenge mystery that explores female friendships. Reading books about psychologically abusive gal pals (like Beautiful Malice and Lessons From a Dead Girl) has become something I do. So let’s give this novel a whirl.

9. SHE IS NOT INVISIBLE by Marcus SedgwickBookCover-Afterworlds

A book within a book about coincidences and a blind girl – sounds original and intriguing.

10. THE TYRANT’S DAUGHTER by J.C. Carleson (contemporary political thriller)

When her father is killed in a coup, Laila and the remaining members of her royal Middle Eastern family are exiled to an American suburb. This is written by a former CIA officer. How can I not want to read this?

11. AFTERWORLDS by Scott Westerfeld

UGLIES is one of my favourite book series. Of course I want to anything else by Scott Westerfeld.

Okay, I know, that’s eleven, but I couldn’t decide which book to cut so they all made the list! Here’s to happy catch-up reading in 2015!

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Top Ten Tuesday: 2015 YA Debuts



Top Ten Tuesday is a list created by the book loving crew at The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday is a different topic and everyone is invited to join in the fun. So here we are! As part of the 2015 site revamp, the WriteOnSisters are taking up the Tuesday challenge.

Here is our first post: Top Ten Most Anticipated Debut Novels For 2015.

I’ve selected YA books since I read and review mostly YA. I’ve picked these based on blurbs. It’s hard to tell if I found any books featuring characters of diversity. I’m hoping at least a few of them will.

I’ve sorted my picks by release date and not by preference. There is a huge crop of new YA authors, and they all show tremendous promise. Selecting just ten books wasn’t easy. In fact I couldn’t and included a bonus 11th pick.


The Conspiracy of Us1. THE CONSPIRACY OF US, by Maggie Hall
When: January 13, 2015
Why: The armchair travel factor is huge with me – the better the location, the better I like it. This one had me at Istanbul back alleyways. That sounds both exotic and sleazy, a great combo.
What: Avery West’s family can shut down Prada when they want to shop in peace. She’s part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle. The Circle members believe Avery is the key to an ancient prophecy. Some want to use her as a pawn. Others want her dead. Avery must follow a trail of clues from the monuments of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul. But as Avery learns the truth about herself, she exposes a stunning conspiracy the might plunge everyone into World War 3.


Tunnel Vision2. TUNNEL VISION, by Susan Adrian
When January 20, 2015
Why: A cool superpower! And I’m all for more male YA protagonists.
What: Jake Lukin just turned 18. He’s decent at tennis and Halo, and waiting to hear on his app to Stanford. But he’s also being followed by a creep with a gun, and there’s a DARPA agent waiting in his bedroom. His secret is blown. When Jake holds a personal object, like a pet rock or a ring, he has the ability to “tunnel” into the owner. He can sense where they are, like a human GPS, and can see, hear, and feel what they do. It’s an ability the government would do anything to possess: a perfect surveillance unit who could locate fugitives, spies, or terrorists with a single touch. Suddenly he’s juggling high school, tennis tryouts, flirting with Rachel Watkins, and work as a government asset, complete with 24-hour bodyguards.


Shutter3. SHUTTER, by Courtney Alameda
When: February 3, 2015
Why: Creep factor! I’m hungry for YA books that can create some shivers! Plus, I’m a fan of group dynamics, hearing about a “team” grabs my attention.
What: Micheline is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She’s aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera’s technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever. When a ghost hunt goes wrong, Micheline and her team are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. Micheline learns that if she doesn’t exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die.


Red Queen4. RED QUEEN, by Victoria Aveyard
When: February 10, 2015
Why: Politics, palace intrigue, and rebellion! Along with whiskers on kittens, these are a few of my favorite things.
What: Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite who are gifted with superhuman “abilities.” Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief. When Mare discovers she has an “ability” of her own, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.


Mosquitoland5. MOSQUITOLAND, by David Arnold
When: March 3, 2015
Why: Who doesn’t love a road trip? Mention quirky characters and a Greyhound bus trip and I’m intrigued.
What: Mim Malone lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. But when she learns her real mother is sick, Mim boards a Greyhound bus heading home. During the thousand-mile journey, Mim meets a cast of quirky fellow travelers and her life takes a few turns she never saw coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.



Duplicity6. DUPLICITY, by N.K. Traver
When: March 17, 2015
Why: I’m hoping for lots of hacking and cool nerd talk before the magic and romance part kicks in.
What: In private, seventeen-year-old Brandon hacks bank accounts just for the thrill of it. In public, he looks like any other tattooed bad boy with a fast car and devil-may-care attitude. Two things shatter his carefully-built image: Emma, the kind, stubborn girl who insists on looking beneath the surface, and the small matter of his mirror reflection, which starts moving by itself.



We all looked up7. WE ALL LOOKED UP, by Tommy Wallach
When: March 24, 2015
Why: A ticking clock, and I love those. This book has the prospect of both deep personal soul searching and epic public chaos. Bring it!
What: They always say that high school is the best time of your life, but for four seniors an asteroid on a collision course with Earth puts that notion to the test. As the four wait with the rest of humanity to see what damage an asteroid will cause, they must abandon all thoughts of the future and decide how they’re going to spend what remains of their present.



Denton Little's Deathdate8. DENTON LITTLE’S DEATHDATE, by Lance Rubin
When: April 14, 2015
Why: Another ticking clock, with a male protagonist! (Insert happy dance here.) With all the action crammed into just 48 hours, it should be a fast and fun read.
What: In a world where everyone knows the day on which they will die, teen Denton has just two days left. When a strange man shows up at his funeral claiming to have known Denton’s long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of some suspicious government characters. . . . Denton’s last days of life are filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.



Ember in the Ashes9. AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, by Sabaa Tahir
When: Apr 28, 2015
Why: Duel viewpoints, lavish world building and epic stakes. I’m in!
What: Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy to save her bother. Elias is the academy’s finest soldier— and secretly, its most unwilling. 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.




10. LOCK & MORI, by Heather Petty
When: September 15, 2015
Why: What I really want is a historical female version of Holmes, it would explain so much about the Holmes/Watson relationship dynamic. But I’ll take a modern version with a female Moriarty in a pinch.
What: 16-year-old Miss James “Mori” Moriarty, is looking for an escape from her recent past and spiraling home life. She takes her classmate Sherlock Holmes up on his challenge to solve a murder mystery in Regent’s Park. The answers lead Holmes too close to all that Mori has been hiding.

Bonus Pick:
Because you'll never meet me11. BECAUSE YOU’LL NEVER MEET ME, by Leah Thomas
When: June 2, 2015
Why: A male coming of age story with a couple of twists that make it sound like it might be a pretty good read. This is one I’ll be picking up for my son to read.
What: Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie has a life-threatening allergy to electricity, and Moritz’s weak heart requires a pacemaker. If they ever did meet, they could both die. Living as recluses from society, the boys develop a fierce bond. But when Moritz reveals the key to their shared, sinister past that began years ago in a mysterious German laboratory, their friendship faces a test neither one of them expected.


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