Friday, 25 December 2009

FIVE Challenge: Most Anticipated 2010

FIVE Anticipated Titles for 2010

Further explanation of the FIVE Challenge here.

The category here is pretty self explanatory...books you'd give your first born to get your hands on. Just a warning my fave genre within YA skews toward contemporary fiction with a romantic edge (emphasis on the edge, not just a smooch fest). It's also a vampire/werewolf-free zone.

I seriously couldn't stick to five as there are many published authors that have something new and then the whole host of newbies coming too. I've split this into five well established authors, five sophomoric efforts and five debut authors to stick to the five theme.


THE MOCKINGBIRDS - Daisy Whitney (Little, Brown- November)

Cover not yet available.
Some schools have honor codes. Others have handbooks. Themis Academy has THE MOCKINGBIRDS. They're an underground, student-run secret society at the prestigious boarding school and their job is to serve as the judge, jury and prosecution of the students, for the students and by the students. It's about justice, it's about honor, it's about speaking up, with a bit of forbidden romance thrown in!

Courtney Summers is a HUGE fan of this one and that's enough for me. Though I could see the description as a cliched boarding house/secret society caper, I am expecting more. I am one of those individuals that lived in a boarding school so I have a bit more of a reference than "I've read Harry Potter, it's just like that, right?' sigh. I love reading about boarding schools because it is intense, so much so I can't really explain it but I would like to read Daisy try :) I'm buzzed!

For months, Cass Meyer has heard her best friend Julia, a wannabe Broadway composer, whispering about a top-secret project. Then Julia is killed in a sudden car accident, and while Cass is still reeling from her death, Julia’s boyfriend and her other drama friends make it their mission to bring to fruition the nearly-completed secret project: a musical about an orphaned ninja princess entitled Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad.

Cass isn’t one of the drama people. She doesn’t feel at home with Julia’s drama friends, and she doesn’t see a place for her in the play. Things only get worse when she finds out that Heather Galloway, the girl who made her miserable all through middle school, has been cast as the ninja princess.

Cass can’t take a summer of swallowing her pride and painting sets, so she decides to follow her original plan for a cross-country road trip with Julia. Even if she has a touring bicycle instead of a driver’s license, and even if Julia’s ashes are coming along in Tupperware.

First Pink, now this! I am going to be thrashing around in musical theatre heaven.

ALL UNQUIET THINGS - Anna Jarzab (Delacorte BYFR - January 12)
Carly: She was sweet. Smart. Self-destructive. She knew the secrets of Brighton Day School’s most privileged students. Secrets that got her killed.

Neily: Dumped by Carly for a notorious bad boy, Neily didn’t answer the phone call she made before she died. If he had, maybe he could have helped her. Now he can’t get the image of her lifeless body out of his mind.

Audrey: She’s the reason Carly got tangled up with Brighton’s fast crowd in the first place, and now she regrets it—especially since she’s convinced the police have put the wrong person in jail. Audrey thinks the murderer is someone at Brighton, and she wants Neily to help her find out who it is.

As reluctant allies Neily and Audrey dig into their shared past with Carly, her involvement with Brighton’s dark goings-on comes to light. But figuring out how Carly and her killer fit into the twisted drama will force Audrey and Neily to face hard truths about themselves and the girl they couldn’t save.

I need grit bad and this sounds like it has grit a-plenty. I have heard great things from a person that has read it and I trust them implicitly so colour me eager. They also said that it was Marchetta-esque...she sure knew how to tug my chain!

SEA - Heidi R. Kling (Putnam Juvenile - June 10)
Haunted by recurring nightmares since her mother’s disappearance over the Indian ocean three years before, fifteen-year old California girl Sienna Jones reluctantly travels with her psychiatrist father’s volunteer team to six-months post-tsunami Indonesia where she meets the scarred and soulful orphaned boy, Deni, who is more like Sea than anyone she has ever met.

She knows they can’t be together, so why can’t she stay away from him? And what about her old best friend-turned-suddenly-hot Spider who may or may not be waiting for her back home? And why won’t her dad tell her the truth about her mother’s plane crash? The farther she gets from home, the closer she comes to finding answers.

And Sea’s real adventure begins.

She had me at " friend-turned-suddenly-hot" (I explained my skew, correct?). What can I say? I'm shallow and I appreciate an author who appreciates Friday Night Lights :) Seriously, I have heard great things about this lovely and me want.

THE RISE OF RENEGADE X - Chelsea Campbell (EgmontUSA - May 11)
Damien Locke knows his destiny--attending the university for supervillains and becoming Golden City's next professional evil genius. But when Damien discovers he's the product of his supervillain mother's one-night stand with--of all people--a superhero, his best-laid plans are ruined as he's forced to live with his superhero family.

Going to extreme lengths (and heights), The Rise of Renegade X chronicles one boy's struggles with the villainous and heroic pitfalls of growing up.

I am a comic girl and I have an unhealthy obsession with superheroes hooking up. The whole notion of a superhero/villian one night stand fills my heart with joy because of my fascination with the Batman and Catwoman's relationship. Don't get me started... Sounds like an entertaining read that contrasts the responsibility of being 'gifted' with decisions we all have to make as teens. Can't wait.


SOME GIRLS ARE - Courtney Summers (St Martin's Griffin - Jan. 5)

Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard--falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High... until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around.

Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend... if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don't break them both first.

Me oh my this book is worth getting your panties in a twist over. I would have been killing for this had St Martin's not done the public a service (thus saving lives) and sent me a review copy weeks ago. Yes I have read it and yes, it's fantastic. In fact it's so good that I can't see another book out-awesome-ing it in 2010. (Echols, that's a challenge directly flung at you.)

PERCHANCE TO DREAM - Lisa Mantchev (Feiwel & Friends - May 25)

No cover available as yet.

Growing up in the enchanted Thèâtre Illuminata, Beatrice Shakespeare Smith learned everything about every play ever written. She knew the Players and their parts, but she didn’t know that she, too, had magic. Now, she is the Mistress of Revels, the Teller of Tales, and determined to follow her stars. She is ready for the outside world.


But the outside world soon proves more topsy-turvy than any stage production. Bertie can make things happen by writing them, but outside the protective walls of the Thèâtre, nothing goes as planned. And her magic cannot help her make a decision between—

Nate: Her suave and swashbuckling pirate, now in mortal peril.

Ariel: A brooding, yet seductive, air spirit whose true motives remain unclear.

When Nate is kidnapped and taken prisoner by the Sea Goddess, only Bertie can free him. She and her fairy sidekicks embark on a journey aboard the Thèâtre’s caravan, using Bertie’s word magic to guide them. Along the way, they collect a sneak-thief, who has in his possession something most valuable, and meet The Mysterious Stranger, Bertie’s father—and the creator of the scrimshaw medallion. Bertie’s dreams are haunted by Nate, whose love for Bertie is keeping him alive, but in the daytime, it’s Ariel who is tantalizingly close, and the one she is falling for. Who does Bertie love the most? And will her magic be powerful enough to save her once she enters the Sea Goddess’s lair?

I need to be delighted, it's been far too long. Missus Mantchev, bring on the delight, wonderment and awe. NOW.

THE DEAD TOSSED WAVES - Carrie Ryan (Delacorte Books - March 9)
Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.

Bring it on like Donkey Kong. Seriously, I would give my first born child for this.

GUARDIAN AND THE GATE - Michelle Zink (Little Brown - April 1)

No cover available as yet.

Lia continues her journey to end the Prophecy in London with a mysterious new guy, an epic journey, and a betrayal of unimaginable proportions.

I admit it. I want to read about this new dark boy that's going to be mixing up the works. There's the whole save the world angle as well (in petticoats no less).

WAYFARER- RJ Anderson (HarperCollins - June 22)

The faeries of the Oak are dying, and it’s up to a lone faery named Linden to find a way to restore their magic. Linden travels bravely into dangerous new territory, where she enlists the help of an unlikely friend—a human named Timothy. Soon they discover something much worse than the Oakenfolk’s loss of magic: a potent evil that threatens the fate of all faeries. In a fevered, desperate chase across the country, Timothy and Linden risk their lives to seek an ancient power before it’s too late to save everyone they love.

This series kind of snuck up on me. I really enjoyed it because it wasn't just a premise, it had the characterisation to back it up. It enchanted me and I wouldn't mind some more of that in my life.


ANONYMITY JONES - James Roy (Random House Aust. - March 1)

Once, in a street not very far from yours, there lived a girl called Anonymity Jones.

Anonymity's life is falling apart. Her father has left to have a mid-life crisis, her mother's new boyfriend is a definite worry, her Europe-bound sister has changed her name (just to make a point) and all her girl friends are now girlfriends, with boyfriends.

And then there's the art teacher.

Anonymity is losing control, and it's decision time. Does she hang on, get out, or get even?

If you are going to buy a contemporary YA title written by an Australian then one of the first books I would recommend is Roy's Town. Not only that but Anonymity Jones has one of the catchiest titles and most appealing cover that I have seen. It just makes my need to read it all the more keen.

FORGET YOU - Jennifer Echols (MTV Books - July 20)

Zoey’s life in her Florida beach resort town is happy and organized. She’s the captain of her high school swim team, and she works for her dad at his popular water park. Then her dad has an affair with one of his employees, and her mother has a breakdown. But Zoey begins a committed relationship with a hot lifeguard, which makes her feel stable, even if things aren’t perfect at home. Everything is still under control.

Until she has a car accident that she can’t remember. She should have been with her boyfriend that night, but he doesn’t seem to know anything about the accident—and he doesn’t seem to care. The person who does care, and knows more than he’s telling, is Doug, Zoey’s darkly handsome arch-enemy who saved her from the wreckage. As Zoey begins to piece together what happened that night, she finds her sense of control over her life was only an illusion. And she inches closer to discovering the darkest secret of all: why Doug has fallen in love with her.

Echols has two titles coming out in 2010 and it was hard to choose. I ADORE her rom-coms so Endless Summer (the follow up to the tremendously entertaining The Boys Next Door) is eagerly anticipated but her newest dramatic novel edges it out. Having loved Going Too Far with all of my being, I am salivating for this one. I already know the dialogue will be snappy, funny and steamy and that the emotional heart will be chest-crushingly good - all Echols titles are!

THE PIPER'S SON - Melina Marchetta (Penguin Australia - March 1)
Melina Marchetta's brilliant, heart-wrenching new novel takes up the story of the group of friends from her best-selling, much-loved book Saving Francesca - only this time it's five years later and Thomas Mackee is the one who needs saving.

Thomas Mackee wants oblivion. Wants to forget parents who leave and friends he used to care about and a string of one-night stands, and favourite uncles being blown to smithereens on their way to work on the other side of the world.

But when his flatmates turn him out of the house, Tom moves in with his single, pregnant aunt, Georgie. And starts working at the Union pub with his former friends. And winds up living with his grieving father again. And remembers how he abandoned Tara Finke two years ago, after his uncle's death.

And in a year when everything's broken, Tom realises that his family and friends need him to help put the pieces back together as much as he needs them.

So...I've read this one already. It's really good. That's all I am permited to say, honestly. I was dying for TPS, I have lost the ability to patiently wait for Marchetta's releases but in my defence there was 12 years between Alibrandi and Saving Francesca - that's six times longer than the Star Wars nerds had to originally wait and see if Han Solo survived after Empire Strikes Back.

Tom's back as are the rest of the gang. It's a perfect way to duck back into the Saving Francesca crew while learning about Tom's extended family, specifically his aunt. It's a different book again from her previous work, it shows growth and sophistication. Very moving.

GRACE - Elizabeth Scott (Dutton - September)

No cover art was available at this time.

When I am safely across the border, the first thing I will do is leave Kerr behind.

I would kill him, but I already know I am too weak for that.

You are seeing evidence of my aforementioned skew here but in my defence, aren't you intrigued already? There's not much more to say than that is there?

ROSE SEES RED - Cecil Castellucci (Scholastic Press - 2010)

I have become a huge fan of Castellucci's work this year and I am looking forward to be entertained even more with this forthcoming title. I have no idea what the book is about but it's sure to be great.

If my comic book and Star Wars references in this post didn't scream GEEK, then consider yourself informed of my geekdom.

Tomorrow... FIVE Hopes for YA in 2010


prophecygirl said...

Thanks for this list, Adele. I'd never heard of The Mockingbirds before, but it sounds good!

towerofbooks said...

Nice choices! I am looking forward to many of these.

Donna Gambale said...

Just envision me hopping up and down and clapping my hands in giddy anticipation. This list is that good.

My favorite comment of yours?
"Bring it on like Donkey Kong. Seriously, I would give my first born child for this."

Michelle Zink said...

Thanks for including Guardian of the Gate in your very esteemed list!


GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

We have very similar 2010 wishlists!:) They all look great, don't they?

readthisbook said...

This is a great list Adele! :) I agree with many of your choices. Is it alright if I do a list with my top 6 most anticipated debuts and top 6 most anticipated sophomore books of 2010? I will link back to you.

Adele said...

Thanks so much.

ReadThisBook...go for it, do your thing! :)

Daisy Whitney said...

Oh wow! Thanks for including The Mockingbirds in your list! Totally flattered. And I will be especially eager to hear your take given your boarding school background (and yes, it's much more than a secret society caper!). I will definitely do everything I can to make sure you get an ARC! And I too am waiting for Guardian of the Gate -- Michelle and I share the same editor. And you know I LOVED Some Girls Are as well. Even better than Cracked up to Be, which is the highest praise I can give.

PS: The Mockingbirds is being published by Little, Brown in Nov. (not Dutton)

Daisy Whitney said...

Oh and yes I can't wait for Grace! I love everything by Elizabeth Scott!