Tuesday, January 5, 2016

10 YA Books I'm Excited About in 2016*

As part of The Sweet 16 Debut Authors' group, I was fortunate to read a lot of arcs for novels that'll be out in the upcoming months.  I also did an interview with each of these author's that'll appear in the days leading up to their novels' release dates.  My advice: Mark your calendars and click Want to Read on your Goodreads account because there are a lot of great novels coming out in 2016.  (And yeah, I see now all of these are out in the first four months of the year.  Maybe I'll do another list if I read any arcs for novels coming out in the second half of the year.)

THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS by Marieke Nijkamp : January 5th

Well look at that!  This novel comes out today!  Not only was Nijkamp's novel the first arc I read, but we also share the same wonderful publisher, Sourcebooks.  This book about a school school has gotten a lot of well-deserved press and advanced promotion, and will blow you away with its honesty.   Oh, and I did an interview with Nijkamp that can found right below this post.


UNDERWATER by Marisa Reichardt : January 12th

I've gotten to know and really respect Marisa Reichardt in the last couple of months.  We share a similar writing style and approach to writing.  This novel also deals with a school shooting, but the
after effects, specifically to one witness who hasn't left her house since the tragedy.  It's an honest, thought-provoking, and funny novel that I'm certain will find a strong audience.


SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN by Jeff Garvin : February 2nd

This novel does what a truly great novel should do--it made me empathize with it's main character with whom I don't have much in common.  The struggles of Garvin's gender fluid main character were quickly my own, and I can honestly say I have an understanding and perspective on a growing segment of society that I didn't have before.  That's quite an accomplishment.


AFTER THE WOODS by Kim Savage : February 23rd

I don't think there are enough YA suspense novels, and after reading Savage's novel of the aftermath of a violent attack on a girl in the local woods I'm hoping more start appearing on shelves.  Savage's novel is unflinching, brutal, and honest.


YOU WERE HERE by Cori McCarthy : March 1st

It turns out that not only do McCarthy and I share a publisher, but we also attended the same college, Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.  This novel, about a group of friends recreating the stunts of the brother of one of the members, takes place in that dead zone time after high school graduation and before college or whatever begins.  It's also a love letter to the quirky locales of Athens, specifically the old mental institution and the abandoned Moonville train tunnel.  Just a great novel.


SAVE ME, KURT COBAIN by Jenny Manzer : March 8th

Man, does Manzer have balls.  I mean, to take one of the rock's most beloved figures and have him figure prominently in her debut novel takes guts, right?  This novel isn't only for music fans though (duh), but anyone who has ever felt and emptiness and gone searching for answers.  I find myself thinking about this novel at odd times, and I think others will, too.


THE SERPENT KING by Jeff Ventner : March 8th

Religion, rock and roll, friendship, and the ties that bind...all are handled expertly here.  I read this months ago, and I still come back to Dill's struggles to come to terms with his family's snake-handling history and the pull between blood ties and following your own dreams.  Great stuff.


MY KIND OF CRAZY by Robin Reul : April 5th

When I ask my high school students what they want in a novel, they invariable mention the characteristics Reul has here: close friendships, a mixture of funny and serious, and teenagers who behave, act, and talk like teenagers.  This novel, about a failed prom-posal (yes, this is a thing) takes you in directions you'll never see coming.  Reul and I also are Sourcebook-mates, and this novel deserves to find a big audience.


SCARLETT EPSTEIN HATES IT HERE by Anna Breslaw : April 19th

It takes a lot in a book to make me laugh out loud (sad, I know), but Breslaw's novel did.  Scarlett Epstein maybe be a big name in writing fan fiction, but her real life is a mess.  Filled with fun pop culture references and memorable characters, this is guaranteed to make you laugh...or your money back!  (Okay, not really.)



Extra Bonus YA Book I'm Excited About:
DENTON LITTLE'S BIRTHDATE by Lance Rubin

Okay, so I'm not entirely sure if this is coming out in 2016, and I haven't read it yet, but after DENTON LITTLE'S DEATH DATE, I know the awesomeness that awaits.  Oh, and that cover?  Amazing.  Oh, and if you haven't read DLDD yet, you have a hole in your life and you don't even know it.  Go read it.


Super Bonus Non-YA Book I'm Excited About:
DISAPPEARANCE AT DEVIL'S ROCK by Paul Tremblay : June 21st


Again, I haven't read this novel yet, but I've read everything else Paul's written, including his most recent, the amazing A HEAD FULL OF GHOSTS (yeah, the one Stephen Freakin' King said terrified him), so I know it's going to be excellent.

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