Sunday, December 15, 2013

Most Anticipated Teen Books: Winter 2014

This winter has been especially chilly and snowy so far, and I think I'm going to need books to get me through to spring. So I'm burrowing under blankets, warming my tea and latching onto these highly anticipated YA releases! 

December 31

The Promise of Amazing – Robin Constantine
What it’s about: Wren is average. She’s the quiet good girl who’s always done what she’s supposed to, until her passive strategy starts backfiring. She wants to change but doesn't know how. Grayson was the king of St. Gabe’s until he was expelled for being a “term-paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change but doesn't know how. One fateful night, their paths cross at Wren's family's Arthurian-themed catering hall. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

Why I’m excited: Because the online description says The Promise of Amazing is for fans of Maureen Johnson and Stephanie Perkins, both of whom I adore. I’m always craving a teen romance that breaks the cookie cutter mold, and this sounds like another potentially amazing one.

January 7
The Impossible Knife of Memory –Laurie Halse Anderson
What it’s about: For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own. Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over?

Why I’m excited: Because Anderson is a YA master, and The Impossible Knife of Memory is sure to be a must-read of the season, if not the year. Hayley is bound to be a strong girl who will hopefully blossom into an even stronger woman throughout the course of the book.

January 21
Avalon – Mindee Arnett
What it’s about: Jeth Seagrave and his crew have made their name stealing metatech: the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light. In a world where the agencies that patrol the outer edges of space are as corrupt as the crime bosses who control them, it’s as much of a living as anyone can ask for. For years Jeth’s managed to fly under the radar of the government that executed his parents for treason—but when he finds himself in possession of information that both government and the crime bosses are willing to kill for, he’s going to find there’s no escaping his past anymore.

Why I’m excited: Because Avalon supposedly has a Firefly feel, and if Jeth is anything like Malcolm Reynolds, then I’m on board. Literally. I’ve seen a lot of love for this one in the Twitterverse, so I’m expecting an action-packed space odyssey.

February 11
The Tyrant’s Daughter – J.C. Carleson
What it’s about: In an unnamed Middle Eastern country, fifteen-year-old Laila has always lived like royalty. Her father is a dictator of sorts, until one day he is killed in a coup. Laila flees to a life of exile in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Overnight she becomes a nobody. Even as she adjusts to a new school and new friends, she is haunted by the past. Far from feeling guilty, Laila’s mother is engineering a power play—conspiring with CIA operatives and rebel factions to gain a foothold to the throne. Laila can't bear to stand still as yet another international crisis takes shape around her. But how can one girl stop a conflict that spans generations?

Why I’m excited: Because this book promises to be a thrilling tale of political intrigue. And if the author can make Laila relatable for the average teen when she’s in Washington D.C. (and in the unnamed Middle Eastern country) then this could surely be a hit.

March 4
Panic – Lauren Oliver
What it’s about: Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of twelve thousand people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do. Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she discovers she is braver than she ever thought. Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him through the game. But he's not the only one with a secret. For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

Why I’m excited: Because the book has already been optioned by Universal, even though it’s months away from publication. Plus I’m super curious as to what the Panic entails. I’m picturing something like the final task in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. But I suspect it will be much more panicky. And crowded. But just as fantastical.

The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkoski
What it’s about: 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. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Why I’m excited: Because a general’s daughter with rebellious tendencies buying a slave boy with rebellious tendencies is an explosion of tension I can’t wait to devour. Also:

Are any of these books on your to-read list this winter? Let me know in the comments!

*Book descriptions were adapted from those on

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