It’s the first of the month!
As one of our new features, on the first of every month, we’re going to post a list of young adult, and some middle grade, books that are celebrating their release dates this month. We’ve also put in little blurbs with the whichever book we are most excited to read.
Here is all the fantasticness you have to look forward to this month!
Plain Kate by Erin Bow.
Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver’s daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden talismans are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade”: a dangerous nickname in a country where witches are hunted and burned in the square.
For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate’s father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.
Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he’ll give Kate the means to escape the angry town, and what’s more, he’ll grant her heart’s wish. It’s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes she can’t live shadowless forever — and that Linay’s designs are darker than she ever dreamed.
The Duff by Kody Keplinger
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “Duffy,” she throws her Coke in his face.
But things aren’t so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
Losing Faith by Denise Jaden
When Brie’s sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie’s world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don’t know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.
As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don’t line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith’s final night…a secret that puts her own life in danger.
Firelight by Sophie Jordan
With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness leads her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.
“Having already made a name of herself in historical romance, Sophie’s debut YA novel is highly anticipated by fans everywhere (myself included). The book is about Jacinda, a Draki (human/dragon shapeshifter) who has the rare ability to breathe fire, and her family’s attempt to live among humans after some… rebelliousness on Jacinda’s part. In the human world, she finds herself drawn to Will, whose family hunts her kind. I have no doubt that Sophie will rise above the standard to create a wonderful world and 3D characters. I can’t wait to read it!” -Christine
Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She’s spent years keeping everyone at a distance—even her closest friends—and it seems her senior year will be more of the same…until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can’t seem to stay away from him. What she doesn’t know is that Luc works in Acquisitions—for Hell—and she possesses a unique skill set that has the King of Hell tingling with anticipation. All Luc has to do is get her to sin, and he’s as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance.
Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and the angel, Gabe, is going to do whatever it takes to make sure that Luc doesn’t get what he came for. And it isn’t long before they find themselves fighting for more than just her soul.
But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay…for all of them.
As a former Catholic School girl, any book that could potentially capture that unique experience has me intrigued. Personal Demons follows a senior who is being lead into temptation by Hell and trying to be saved by Heaven. In what promises to be a fun romp that will have Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young” echoing in my head as I read, Personal Demonds is at the head of my “To Be Read” list! – Katie
Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn”t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.
Reckless by Cornelia Funke
For years, Jacob Reckless has been secretly disappearing to another world, a world behind a mirror, a world for which his father abandoned his family. The mirror world is Jacob’s escape from reality. It’s a place for treasure hunts and magnificent quests. A world where witches haunt the forests and giants and dwarfs roam. A world locked in a deadly war.
Jacob’s secret seems safe, until one day his younger brother Will follows him, with disastrous consequence. Faced with a curse that is quickly turning Will to stone, the Reckless brothers are thrust into a race against time to find a cure before Will is lost forever.
Inspired by the Brothers Grimm, master storyteller Cornelia Funke introduces a lush, enchanting world where fantasy meets reality. Reckless is a thrilling adventure, a tale of heroism and loyalty, filled with danger, mystery, and magic–with fairy tales and legends re-imagined as never before.
Grace by Elizabeth Scott
A fable of a terrifying near future by critically acclaimed author Elizabeth Scott.
Grace was raised to be an Angel, a herald of death by suicide bomb. But she refuses to die for the cause, and now Grace is on the run, daring to dream of freedom. In search of a border she may never reach, she travels among malevolent soldiers on a decrepit train crawling through the desert. Accompanied by the mysterious Kerr, Grace struggles to be invisible, but the fear of discovery looms large as she recalls the history and events that delivered her uncertain fate.
Told in spare, powerful prose, this tale of a dystopian near future will haunt readers long after they’ve reached the final page.
Twelfth Grade Kills (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod) by Heather Brewer
It all comes down to this.
Vlad’s running out of time. The Elysian Council has given him weeks to live, and that’s if the Slayer Society doesn’t kill him – along with all the citizens of Bathory – first. Then there’s the issue of Vlad’s father, who may or may not still be alive after all these years, and oh yeah, that tiny little detail in the Pravus prophecy about Vlad enslaving Vampirekind and the human race. So much for college applications.
In this epic finale to Heather Brewer’s heart-stopping Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, dark secrets will be revealed, old friends will become enemies, and warm blood will run cold. Just be careful it isn’t yours.
The Search for Wondla by Tony DiTerrlizzi
Twelve-year-old Eva Nine is being raised by Muthr, a pale blue robot who is loving and maternal (she speaks in the sweet, unflappable tones of a 1950s sit-com mom), in an underground home on the planet Orbona. When a marauder destroys her home, she leaves Sanctuary in a quest to find other humans like herself. Aboveground she finds a fantastic and frightening world populated by malevolent wandering trees, a giant beast who is pursuing her, nasty sand-snipers, and more. With the aid of Rovender, a lanky blue creature with backward-bending knees, and Otto, a giant water bear with whom she can communicate telepathically, Eva faces many dangers, including capture by a taxidermist who wants to skin her in order to create a living fossil for display. This first book in the series concludes with her arrival at her destination in the ancient city of ruins.
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Mackie Doyle seems like everyone else in the perfect little town of Gentry, but he is living with a fatal secret – he is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now the creatures under the hill want him back, and Mackie must decide where he really belongs and what he really wants.
A month ago, Mackie might have told them to buzz off. But now, with a budding relationship with tough, wounded, beautiful Tate, Mackie has too much to lose. Will love finally make him worthy of the human world?
“Having grown up surrounded by fairy tales, the concept of the changeling is nothing new to me. The countless variations and reasons for a child to be replaced with one of supernatural origins was always the foundation, and more often than not that child was not quite right. In the Replacement, it seems as if for once we get to see a modern tale on how that changeling makes his way in the world. Based upon the summary the boy is surrounded by odd and unnatural occurrences and he just might be the cause of them. Rumors about the book infer that it is reminiscent of Grim’s Fairy Tales, and nothing could sell me faster on this book. I can’t wait to read it!” – Katie
Zombies vs Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbelestier
It’s a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths–for good and evil–of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?
The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima
Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean danger isn’t far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery—but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.
Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden’s Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.
The Exiled Queen is an epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.
Torment by Lauren Kate
How many lives do you need to live before you find someone worth dying for? In the aftermath of what happened at Sword & Cross, Luce has been hidden away by her cursed angelic boyfriend, Daniel, in a new school filled with Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. Daniel promises she will be safe here, protected from those who would kill her. At the school Luce discovers what the Shadows that have followed her all her life mean – and how to manipulate them to see into her other lives. Yet the more Luce learns about herself, the more she realizes that the past is her only key to unlocking her future…and that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. What if his version of the past isn’t actually the way things happened…what if Luce was really meant to be with someone else?
Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund
Now a fully trained unicorn hunter, Astrid Llewelyn is learning that she can’t solve all her problems with a bow and arrow. Her boyfriend has left Rome, the Cloisters is in dire financial straits, her best friend’s powers are mysteriously disintegrating, and her hope of becoming a scientist seems to be nothing but an impossible dream.
So when she’s given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and use her skills as part of a scientific quest to discover the Remedy, Astrid leaps at the chance. Finally, she can have exactly what she wants—or can she? At Gordian headquarters deep in France, Astrid begins to question everything she had believed: her love for Giovanni, her loyalty to the Cloisters, and—most of all—her duty as a hunter. Should Astrid be saving the world from killer unicorns or saving unicorns from the world?
“Killer Unicorns, Volume Two. What more needs to be said? The first book was full of butt-kicking girls and butt-kicking unicorns. I can’t wait to see them clash again. And, yeah, maybe I want to see some more of the mystery solved and learn why Unicorns want to kill humans and why virgins are so special and what’s up with the whole Remedy situation. But I’m mostly into this one for the awesome girls fighting the awesome unicorns. It seems like a win-win situation to me.” -Caitlin
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
‘War’, says the Mayor. ‘At last’. Three armies march on New Prentisstown, each one intent on destroying the others. Todd and Viola are caught in the middle, with no chance of escape. As the battles commence, how can they hope to stop the fighting? How can there ever be peace when they’re so hopelessly outnumbered? And if war makes monsters of men, what terrible choices await? But then a third voice breaks into the battle, one bent on revenge – the electrifying finale to the award-winning “Chaos Walking” trilogy, “Monsters of Men” is a heart-stopping novel about power, survival, and the devastating realities of war.
“I’m excited about several of these books, but I’m most excited for what I think may be one of the most underrated YA series being written: Monsters of Men, part of the Chaos Walking trilogy. I remember when I read the first book, The Knife of Never Letting Go, and it kept my brain occupied through a very stressful and scary day. And by the end of the day, all I could think about was what I’d just read. I love dystopian novels, and the world this one created was completely new. It inspired the same edge-of-my-seat reading that Hunger Games caused, but it felt like a completely different book…it was a completely different book. Todd was a character I could really root for, and the visual depictions of the thing that makes this world so different was perfect. I can’t wait to watch this unfold.” -Kate
Leave a comment letting us know which one you are most excited for!
And to all the authors, Happy Book Birthday!