There are so many great books coming out this year, and the majority of them of debut authors. Usually when I think about the books I’m looking forward to, it’s always the new authors. The ones that bring something new to big gigantic pile of books that get published every year.
This year I am particularly happy because I’m starting to see a change in Young Adult when it comes to diversity in the genre. There are quite a few authors that are releasing books with protagonists that don’t add to the slush pile of white girls in this genre. I’m white myself, but I want to see every person represented in this genre. If you aren’t white, this is a very tough genre to go into when you can’t see yourself being represented. Okay, see now I’m blabbing. Let’s just shut up now and look at the BOOKS!
1. The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh:
THE WRATH AND THE DAWN (PENGUIN/PUTNAM, MAY 12, 2015):
A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and break the cycle once and for all.
This is my most anticipated read for the year. It’s just a plus that it’s a debut. And it’s inspired by A Thousand and One Nights! What could be more fabulous? I SHIP IT MOST OF ALL.
2. An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir:
LAIA is a Scholar living under the brutal rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who vow to save her brother from execution.
ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.
When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they will find that their destinies are more intertwined that either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.
Vow your blood and body to the empire.
Keep your heart for yourself.
There is so much buzz and hype surrounding this book that I could have a stroke and then I could suffer from a hemorrhage. I am a dramatic bitch.
3. Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee:
Rocky meets Gattaca in this thrill-ride of celebrity, competition, and responsibility.
Carr “the Raptor” Luka is an athletic phenom, a rising star in the weightless combat sport of zeroboxing. Training and competing aboard the lunar orbiting city-station of Valtego (where It’s More Fun on the Dark Side TM), all he’s ever wanted is to win the championship title.
His talent and marketability don’t go unnoticed by the top brass of the Zero Gravity Fighting Association. They assign him a brandhelm; after all, anyone who wants to be anyone needs a dedicated personal marketing strategist. Beautiful and ambitious, Risha is one of the genetically engineered Martian colonists that Earth dwellers view with resentment and suspicion. It isn’t long before she’s made Carr into a popular celebrity, and stolen his heart along the way.
But success could be the worst thing that happens to them. As his fame grows, Carr must come to terms with the fact that he’s become an inspirational hero on Earth, a once-great planet now angry at falling into the shadow of its more prosperous colonies. When Carr learns of a far-reaching criminal scheme, he becomes the keeper of a devastating personal secret. Not only will his choices place into jeopardy everything he holds dear, they may spill the violence from the sports arena out into the solar system.
You had me at Rocky Meets Gattaca. No explanations necessary.
4. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed:
This heart-wrenching novel explores what it is like to be thrust into an unwanted marriage. Has Naila’s fate been written in the stars? Or can she still make her own destiny?
Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before it’s too late.
A modern day tale of an arranged marriage? Plus, just look at the beautiful cover. It’s simple, but strikingly powerful. HELL YES. GIVE ME ALL THE THINGS.
5. Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood
A girl takes her sister’s place in an arranged political marriage between two intergalactic royal houses. The stakes are raised when the heroine finds she may be the illegitimate daughter of her family’s sworn enemy.
And…because I suck at making things even:
6. Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein:
Forget everything you thought you knew about genies!
Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit.
To the humans she lives among, she’s just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she’s learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny.
Mentored by her mother and her Zar “sisters”, Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn . . . and that her powers could endanger them all. As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.
A ruling class of Jinn…that is so intriguing, and dammit now I want to read it. Let’s hope the MC doesn’t suddenly become yet another special snowflake. I am sick of those. They need to go away.