So Stegosaurus Wilde, TheDinoWhisperer, and I (Bronto Incognito) recently attended the North Texas Teen Book festival and it was fantabulous!
Even though I didn’t get half my books signed, there are now *** more books I felt I HAD to add to my TBR (Or in some cases move further up my TBR). And I thought since not all of you got to attend the festival (or didn’t get to sit on every panel) I would share with you some of my newest desires! (Because who doesn’t like adding things onto their TBR?)
Also, click on any of the covers or the titles to hit up GoodReads and add these beauties to your own TBR!
1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the Stilts, finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
So unless you’ve been living under a rock (or have been trapped my your mountain of TBR books), this book received a lot of hype. I mean A LOT of hype. After the die-down some people loved it and some people went, “Meh.” I’ve still wanted to read it either way, but hearing Victoria Aveyard talk about her world-building, and seeing the GINORMOUS line to snag her signature…I really just needed to move this one from a Maybe to a Definitely! Even TheDinoWhisperer was convinced, and she’s a SUPER pick reader!
2. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
If anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
Here’s another book with mixed reviews. Some people loved it, others hated it. I don’t read much contemporary and was perfectly happy to skip this one, but there was all this talk about a twist ending (just like in that description right there) and I’m a sucker for the promise of a good plot twist. So we’ll see how this goes…
3. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side.
At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. In it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.
Until one day, he does…
So honestly I still know almost nothing about this book, but really I don’t need to. Holly Black wrote it and now I want to read it.
The only reason to add it to this list here is because…well I totally forgot that Holly Black wrote this book and now it’s back on my radar. WANT TO READ!
4. Serpentine by Cindy Pon
Lush with details from Chinese folklore, SERPENTINE tells the coming of age story of Skybright, a young girl who worries about her growing otherness. As she turns sixteen, Skybright notices troubling changes. By day, she is a companion and handmaid to the youngest daughter of a very wealthy family. But nighttime brings with it a darkness that not even daybreak can quell.
Girl wakes up with a snake tail and learns she’s part Chinese demon.
Done. I’m there. I’m in.
Do I have to say more?
5. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.
One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.
I find this concept fascinating. Like, we’re actually getting to see someone in a fantasy world buying a slave because you know, that’s a totally normal thing to do. At least in her world. It’s YA so of course she’s going to fall in love with him, but The covers are gorgeous and I love the premise. Me want!
6. Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor
When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.
Let me start by saying that I participated in a class/critique group that Janet did at DFWCON last year and it was amazing. Plus she’s super funny and even as a Southerner I still love her accent!
That said, I’m down for some good time travel. I feel like we don’t get nearly enough of that in YA. Let’s go time jumping!
(Also, this entire panel may or may not have turned into a book/Doctor Who crossover discussion by the end, but that’s neither here nor there.)
7. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey.
Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger—and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But that’s the least of Jane’s problems. She’s about to become Queen of England. Like that could go wrong.
I don’t think I ever knew about Jane Grey until watching a biopic on Netflix starring a young Helena Bonham-Carter (though fair warning, there is a nude scene in this movie, despite its PG-13 rating). I always remember the scene when she’s getting beheaded and she’s so stressed because she can’t find where to put her head on the block with the executioner’s bag over her head.
Just stab me with the feels right now!
But I’m pretty sure on this one, based on the description, that these 3 lovely authors are going to give Lady Jane a new, happier, less headless ending.
8. Morpheus Road: The Light by D.J. MacHale
Marshall Seaver is being haunted, by a character who only exists on the pages of a sketchbook – a character Marshall himself created.
Marshall has no idea why he is being tormented by this forbidding creature, but he is quickly convinced it has something to do with his best friend, Cooper, who has gone missing. The nightmare that is bigger and more frightening than he could ever have imagined.
This book has been out for a while, but I personally just picked it up. Haven’t read it yet, but when I took it to get signed MacHale asked, “Have you read this yet?”
MacHale: “Then I’m going to give you instructions on how to read this.”
And then he signed this:
Read this book just before bed!
Nope, not creepy at all. Not in the least.
Good thing I like creepy books….
9. Doll Bones by Holly Black
Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. . .
Who doesn’t want to read about a doll made of a murdered girl’s bones? I mean, come on! That’s gold right there!
10. The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt
Raccoon brothers Bingo and J’miah are the newest recruits of the Official Sugar Man Swamp Scouts.
Twelve-year-old Chap Brayburn is not a member of any such organization. But he loves the swamp something fierce, and he’ll do anything to help protect it.
And help is surely needed, because world-class alligator wrestler Jaeger Stitch wants to turn Sugar Man swamp into an Alligator World Wrestling Arena and Theme Park.
So really Stegosaurus Wilde wants to read anything by Kathi Appelt, but we decided to showcase this one because it’s one of her most popular.
11. The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd
Age: Middle Grade
Emma’s ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous musicians–every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream.
But when Emma’s dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task–finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town’s cemetery. If Emma fails, she’ll let down generations of extraordinary ancestors . . . including her own mother. But how can she find something that’s been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost?
Don’t you just love the gumball-y colors on the cover of this book?! Plus adventures in a graveyard? Bonus!!!
12. Cloak Society by Jeramey Kraatz
The Cloak Society: An elite organization of supervillains graced with extraordinary powers. Ten years ago they were defeated by Sterling City’s superheroes, but the villains have been waiting for the perfect moment to resurface. . . .
Twelve-year-old Alex Knight is a dedicated member of Cloak who has spent years preparing for the day when Cloak will rise to power again. But during his debut mission, Alex does the unthinkable: He saves the life of a Junior Ranger of Justice. And the more time he spends with her, the more Alex wonders what, exactly, he’s been fighting for.
A story about supervillains. Supervillains with super powers. Who are also kids. It’s like Sky High but in reverse! And if you know Stegosaurus Wilde, you know she loves her some Sky High!