Sunday, March 16, 2014

Most Anticipated Teen Books: Spring 2014

Spring has come! (Thank goodness.)This crop of YA releases is heavy on series finales (three!), but otherwise it’s a mix of new and established authors with settings that range from an alternate nineteenth century British Empire to Soviet Russia to modern-day, fantasy-drenched Prague. I can’t wait for each and every one!

April 1
Sekret—Lindsay Smith

What it’s about: Yulia's father always taught her to hide her thoughts and control her emotions to survive the harsh realities of Soviet Russia. But when she's captured by the KGB and forced to work as a psychic spy with a mission to undermine the U.S. space program, she's thrust into a world of suspicion, deceit and horrifying power. Yulia quickly realizes she can trust no one and must rely on her own wits and skills to survive in this world where no SEKRET can stay hidden for long.

Why I’m excited: Soviet Russia. KGB. Psychic spy. U.S. space program. From the description (even just those key words) I can tell this has potential to be a great historical and political thriller. Yulia sounds like a strong girl and I’m excited to dive into her unique story.


April 8
Dreams of Gods and Monsters—Laini Taylor

What it’s about: In the conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, Karou is still not ready to forgive Akiva for killing the only family she's ever known. When a brutal angel army trespasses into the human world, Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat--and against larger dangers that loom on the horizon. They begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves--maybe even toward love.

Why I’m excited: This series is one of the most imaginative modern-day YA fantasies I’ve read. I’ve been impatiently waiting for the third and final book in the series for over a year, and I can’t wait to revisit Karou and Akiva’s exhilarating yet tortured romance. Plus, angels. And monsters.


The Summer I Saved the World… in 65 Days—Michele Weber Hurwitz

What it’s about: It's summertime and thirteen-year-old Nina Ross is feeling lost. Her beloved grandma died last year, her parents work all the time, her brother's busy and her best friend’s into clothes, makeup and boys. Nina doesn't know what "her thing" is yet so she decides to mix things up. Every day this summer, she'll anonymously do one small but remarkable good deed for someone in her neighborhood in an effort to find out: does doing good actually make a difference?

Why I’m excited: Because every now and then I need a feel-good summer tale. Hopefully with a heartfelt, light romance and an abundance of inspiration. This release sounds like it will fit perfectly, so I'm excited to relax a little with Nina's story and breathe in the scent of summer.


April 22
The Inventor’s Secret—Andrea Cremer

What it’s about: In an alternate nineteenth-century North America, sixteen-year-old Charlotte and her fellow refugees have scraped out an existence on the edge of Britain’s industrial empire. Though they live by the skin of their teeth, they have their health (when they can find enough food) and each other. When a new exile with no memory of his escape or even his own name seeks shelter in their camp, he brings new dangers with him.

Why I’m excited: Steampunk. By Andrea Cremer. That pretty much sums up my excitement, but the concept is fantastic as well. The setting is an alternate nineteenth-century North America where there was no Revolutionary War and the British Empire is a global force of majestic and horrible machinery. WHOA.


She is Not Invisible—Marcus Sedgwick

What it’s about: Laureth Peak's father has taught her to look for recurring events, patterns, and numbers—a skill at which she's remarkably talented. Her secret: She is blind. But when her father goes missing, Laureth and her 7-year-old brother Benjamin are thrust into a mystery that takes them to New York City where surviving will take all her skill at spotting the amazing, shocking, and sometimes dangerous connections in a world full of darkness.

Why I’m excited: Because Sedgwick just won the Printz Award for Midwinterblood (which is on my to-read shortlist), and this is his first release since that honor. The description is vague but intriguing, and I imagine this book will be a mysterious, intelligent read with an interesting perspective.


May 6
The One—Kiera Cass

What it’s about: The Selection changed America Singer's life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of Illéa, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen—and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she's made her choice and she's prepared to fight for the future she wants.

Why I’m excited: Because I need to know if America picks Aspen or Maxon! (Sometimes I’m such a fangirl.) Anyway, this series is an interesting mix of dystopia and The Bachelor, which is why it’s so intriguing. The first two books in the series tugged my heart strings and were an unexpected surprise, so I’m hoping for the same from the conclusion of the trilogy.


May 27
Allies & Assassins—Justin Somper

What it’s about: Prince Anders, the ruler of Archenfield, has been murdered, leaving his younger brother, Jared, to ascend the throne. Sixteen-year-old Jared feels unprepared to rule the kingdom and its powerful and dangerous court, yet he knows he can rely on the twelve officers of the court to advise him. He also knows he can be at their mercy-especially when one of them may be responsible for his brother's death. Unable to trust anyone, Jared takes it upon himself to hunt down his brother's killer-but the killer may be hunting him, as well.

Why I’m excited: Because high fantasy YA with princes and assassins and uncertain loyalties? That basically screams my name. In the interest of full disclosure, I am currently in possession of the DRC (digital review copy) of this novel. I just started it, but am already intrigued by the multiple perspectives and the intricate mystery.


June 17
Ruin and Rising—Leigh Bardugo

What it’s about: The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne. Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army. A weakened Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. As she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields.

Why I’m excited: Because this series is expertly written and plotted. I read the first two last summer, and they were simply unputdownable. I imagine this series finale will be the same, if not better. And I’m not at all worried that my high expectations will go unmet.

Are any of these spring releases on your to-read list?

*Book descriptions were adapted from those on

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