2015 was a great year for books, as well as for stories in general across several media. Rather than making me sad that such an amazing year is nearly over, though, this makes me excited for what’s to come. I feel that we’ve reached a point where the kind of stories I want to read are more visible and accessible than ever, and the hope and sense of possibility this gives me are worth celebrating. On that note, here are my most anticipate book releases for 2016 (all blurbs come from the links provided):
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
The Ballroom by Anna Hope
Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Booked by Kwame Alexander
Children’s Fantasy Literature - An Introduction by Michael Levy and Farah Mendlesohn
The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley
Everfair by Nisi Shawl
League of Dragons by Naomi Novik
Finnengan’s Field by Angela Slatter
Icon by Genevieve Valentine
Mystery & Mayhem: Twelve Deliciously Intriguing Mysteries by Various
An anthology of children’s mystery short stories whose contributors include Frances Hardinge, Robin Stevens, Susie Day, Clémentine Beauvais and more. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
Roses and Rot by Kat Howard
Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki
This Census-Taker by China Miéville
Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins
What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan
Too Like the Lightening by Ada Palmer
Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens
Binny Bewitched by Hilary McKay
Crosstalk by Connie Willis
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
Necessity by Jo Walton
***I’ll be back soon with a list of comics I’m looking forward to in 2016. What about you? What are the stories you’re excited about?
The fourth and final installment in the spellbinding series from the irrepressible, #1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.I’d say this list is not in any meaningful order, but the fact that this book comes first exposes that as an obvious lie. There’s nothing I’m anticipating more than the conclusion to Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle. It’s all too possible that I may not survive.
All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny?
1911: Inside an asylum at the edge of the Yorkshire moors, where men and women are kept apart by high walls and barred windows, there is a ballroom vast and beautiful. For one bright evening every week they come together and dance. When John and Ella meet it is a dance that will change two lives forever.I loved Wake and I’m really looking forward to seeing what Hope will do next.
Set over the heatwave summer of 1911, the end of the Edwardian era, THE BALLROOM is a tale of unlikely love and dangerous obsession, of madness and sanity, and of who gets to decide which is which.
Addie has always known what she was running toward. In cross-country, in life, in love. Until she and her boyfriend—her sensitive, good-guy boyfriend—are careless one night and she ends up pregnant. Addie makes the difficult choice to have an abortion. And after that—even though she knows it was the right decision for her—nothing is the same anymore. She doesn’t want anyone besides her parents and her boyfriend to know what happened; she doesn’t want to run cross-country; she can’t bring herself to be excited about anything. Until she reconnects with Juliana, a former teammate who’s going through her own dark places. Once again, Christine Heppermann writes with an unflinching honesty and a deep sensitivity about the complexities of being a teenager and being a woman.A new novel in verse from the author of Poisoned Apples, one of my favourite books last year.
Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn't expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during high school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one's peers and families.Intriguing blurb plus amazing cover? Of course I’m sold.
But now they're both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who's working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention into the changing global climate. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world's magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world's every-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together—to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.
Twelve-year-old Nick is a soccer-loving boy who absolutely hates books. In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel The Crossover, soccer, family, love, and friendship take center stage as Nick tries to figure out how to navigate his parents’ divorce, stand up to a bully, and impress the girl of his dreams. These challenges—which seem even harder than scoring a tie-breaking, game-winning goal—change his life, as well as his best friend’s. This energetic novel-in-verse by the poet Kwame Alexander captures all the thrills and setbacks, the action and emotion of a World Cup match.New Kwame Alexander! The Crossover was amazing and this sounds great too.
Fantasy has been an important and much-loved part of children's literature for hundreds of years, yet relatively little has been written about it. Children's Fantasy Literature traces the development of the tradition of the children's fantastic - fictions specifically written for children and fictions appropriated by them - from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century, examining the work of Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum, C. S. Lewis, Roald Dahl, J. K. Rowling and others from across the English-speaking world. The volume considers changing views on both the nature of the child and on the appropriateness of fantasy for the child reader, the role of children's fantasy literature in helping to develop the imagination, and its complex interactions with issues of class, politics and gender. The text analyses hundreds of works of fiction, placing each in its appropriate context within the tradition of fantasy literature.I really enjoyed Farah Mendlesohn and Edward James’ A Short History of Fantasy, and I can’t wait to see what great books this will introduce me to.
A powerful collection of essays on feminism, geek culture, and a writer’s journey, from one of the most important new voices in genre. The book collects dozens of Hurley’s essays on feminism, geek culture, and her experiences and insights as a genre writer, including “We Have Always Fought,” which won the 2014 Hugo for Best Related Work. The Geek Feminist Revolution will also feature several entirely new essays written specifically for this volume.I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read of Hurley’s non-fiction, and these essays sound right up my alley.
Everfair is a wonderful Neo-Victorian alternate history novel that explores the question of what might have come of Belgium's disastrous colonization of the Congo if the native populations had learned about steam technology a bit earlier. Fabian Socialists from Great Britian join forces with African-American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo's "owner," King Leopold II. This land, named Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary Utopia for native populations of the Congo as well as escaped slaves returning from America and other places where African natives were being mistreated.I have no words for how amazing this book sounds.
Shawl's speculative masterpiece manages to turn one of the worst human rights disasters on record into a marvelous and exciting exploration of the possibilities inherent in a turn of history. Everfair is told from a multiplicity of voices: Africans, Europeans, East Asians, and African Americans in complex relationships with one another, in a compelling range of voices that have historically been silenced.
The deadly campaign in Russia has cost both Napoleon and those allied against him. Napoleon has been denied his victory… but at a terrible price. Lawrence and the dragon Temeraire pursue the fleeing French army back west, but are demoralized when Napoleon makes it back to Paris unscathed. Worse, they soon learn that the French have stolen Termeraire and Iskierka’s egg. Now, it is do or die, as our heroes not only need to save Temeraire’s offspring but also to stop Napoleon for good.LAST TEMERAIRE. *sobs uncontrollably*
In Irish lore, when children go under the hill they don’t come out again.Of Sorrow and Such made me want to read everything Slatter has written. I’m really looking forward to this new novella.
When children go under the hill, they stay where they’re put.
When children go under the hill, parents, though they pray and search, don’t truly think to see them anymore.
In Finnegan’s Field, South Australia (POP. 15,000) the inhabitants had more than enough Irish left in their souls that, despite a century and a half since emigration, they bore these losses with sorrow, yes, but also with more than a little acceptance. A sort of shrug that said Well, it was bound to happen, wasn’t it? Eire’s soft green sadness with its inherited expectation of grief ran in their veins so they did little more than acquiesce, and they certainly did not seek explanations.
Until Madrigal Barker came home.
A year ago, International Assembly delegate Suyana Sapaki barely survived an attempt on her life. Now she has everything: she’s climbing the social ranks, dating the American Face, and poised for greatness. But the secret that drives her couldn’t stay hidden forever, and as she scrambles to prop up her lies and save herself from a political scandal that could kill her, she has a new enemy: the public eye.A sequel to my beloved Persona! Need I say more?
A year ago, Daniel Park was hoping for the story of a lifetime. He got her; he’s been following her for a year. But what do you do when you feel the person has vanished inside the shell, and dangers are building all around you? How much does Daniel dare become involved when his job is to break the story? And how far will he go for a cause that isn’t his?
Imogen has grown up reading fairy tales about mothers who die and make way for cruel stepmothers. As a child, she used to lie in bed wishing that her life would become one of these tragic fairy tales because she couldn’t imagine how a stepmother could be worse than her mother now. As adults, Imogen and her sister Marin are accepted to an elite post-grad arts program—Imogen as a writer and Marin as a dancer. Soon enough, though, they realize that there’s more to the school than meets the eye. Imogen might be living in the fairy tale she’s dreamed about as a child, but it’s one that will pit her against Marin if she decides to escape her past to find her heart’s desire.Another irresistible combination of cover and blurb. Plus I heard great things about Howard’s short fiction this year — it will be great to try her at last.
Montgomery Sole is a square peg in a small town, forced to go to a school full of jocks and girls who don't even know what irony is. It would all be impossible if it weren't for her best friends, Thomas and Naoki. The three are also the only members of Jefferson High's Mystery Club, dedicated to exploring the weird and unexplained, from ESP and astrology to super powers and mysterious objects.A Mariko Tamaki novel! Her comics are perfect; I’m so excited to see what she’ll do in a different medium.
Then there's the Eye of Know, the possibly powerful crystal amulet Monty bought online. Will it help her predict the future or fight back against the ignorant jerks who make fun of Thomas for being gay or Monty for having two moms? Maybe the Eye is here just in time, because the newest resident of their small town is scarier than mothmen, poltergeists, or, you know, gym.
After witnessing a profoundly traumatic event, a boy is left alone in a remote house on a hilltop with his increasingly deranged parent. When a stranger knocks on his door, the boy senses that his days of isolation are over—but by what authority does this man keep the meticulous records he carries? Is he the boy’s friend? His enemy? Or something altogether other?China Miévilleeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.My True Love Gave to Me, Perkins’ anthology of romance stories set around the holidays, was an absolute delight; these summertime love stories by Nina LaCour, Francesca Lia Block, Perkins herself and many more sound like they’ll be just as charming.
Playful, ambitious, and exquisitely imagined, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours is cleverly built around the idea of keys, literal and metaphorical. The key to a house, the key to a heart, the key to a secret—Oyeyemi’s keys not only unlock elements of her characters’ lives, they promise further labyrinths on the other side. In “Books and Roses” one special key opens a library, a garden, and clues to at least two lovers’ fates. In “Is Your Blood as Red as This?” an unlikely key opens the heart of a student at a puppeteering school. “‘Sorry’ Doesn’t Sweeten Her Tea” involves a “house of locks,” where doors can be closed only with a key—with surprising, unobservable developments. And in “If a Book Is Locked There’s Probably a Good Reason for That Don't You Think,” a key keeps a mystical diary locked (for good reason).Helen Oyeyemi! Interconnected short stories! Fairy tales! Strange houses! A thousand times yes.
Oyeyemi’s creative vision and storytelling are effervescent, wise, and insightful, and her tales span multiple times and landscapes as they tease boundaries between coexisting realities
You Know Me Well, told in alternating points of view, is the story of two unlikely confidants. Classmates Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for a year, but have never spoken. One night, far from home, their paths cross, and soon, they realize they know each other better than anyone else. They’ll guide each other through their first loves and heartbreaks, which, by the way, don’t involve each other: Mark is in love with his best friend Ryan, while Kate has been in love with a girl from afar, and may have ruined her chance to meet her.I love Nina LaCour, and David Levithan’s collaborative novels with Rachel Cohn were all so great. I’m hoping this one will be along the same lines.
Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer—a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away.The first in what sounds like a stunning socio-political science fiction trilogy.
The world into which Mycroft and Carlyle have been born is as strange to our 21st-century eyes as ours would be to a native of the 1500s. It is a hard-won utopia built on technologically-generated abundance, and also on complex and mandatory systems of labelling all public writing and speech. What seem to us normal gender distinctions are now distinctly taboo in most social situations. And most of the world's population is affiliated with globe-girdling clans of the like-minded, whose endless economic and cultural competion is carefully managed by central planners of inestimable subtlety. To us it seems like a mad combination of heaven and hell. To them, it seems like normal life.
And in this world, Mycroft and Carlyle have stumbled on the wild card that may destablize the system: the boy Bridger, who can effortlessly make his wishes come true. Who can, it would seem, bring inanimate objects to life...
Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong have returned to Deepdean for a new school term, but nothing is the same. There's a new Head Girl, Elizabeth Hurst, and a team of Prefects - and these bullying Big Girls are certainly not good eggs.New Wells & Wongs! Have I mentioned lately how much I love these mysteries?
Then, after the fireworks display on Bonfire Night, Elizabeth is found - murdered.
Many girls at Deepdean had reason to hate Elizabeth, but who might have committed such foul play? Could the murder be linked to the secrets and scandals, scribbled on scraps of paper, that are suddenly appearing around the school? And with their own friendship falling to pieces, how will Daisy and Hazel solve this mystery?
Binny Cornwallis has lost something. Something that wasn't really hers in the first place. With her best enemy Gareth and her beloved dog Max she turns detective to track it down, but the Cornwallis family are anything but helpful. Little brother James and his friend Dill are having an adventure of their own and big sister Clem is acting very strangely. And on top of all this, Binny suspects their next-door neighbour may be a witch...AND A THIRD BINNY CORNWALLIS BOOK. Cue in screaming.
Crosstalk [is] about telepathy—and our overly communicating world. It’s also about helicopter mothers, social media, Joan of Arc, sugared cereals, Bridey Murphy, online dating, zombie movies, Victorian novels, and those annoying songs you get stuck in your head and can’t get rid of.Willis talked at length about this novel, which was then a work in progress temporarily titled The Very Thought of You, when I saw her at LonCon. It sounds so good. It feels like I’ve been waiting for it for ages and I can’t wait to have it in my hands.
In her phenomenally popular essays and long-running Tumblr blog, Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she explores her own past—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers along on her journey to understand and ultimately save herself.Roxane Gay has quickly become one of my absolute favourite essayists. I’m really looking forward to this book.
More than sixty-five years ago, Pallas Athena founded the Just City on an island in the eastern Mediterranean, placing it centuries before the Trojan War, populating it with teachers and children from throughout human history, and committing it to building a society based on the principles of Plato's Republic. Among the City's children was Pytheas, secretly the god Apollo in human form.It seems that final book in Walton’s Thessaly trilogy will be out next summer. I adored the first two and can’t wait to see how it will all end.
Sixty years ago, the Just City schismed into five cities, each devoted to a different version of the original vision.
Forty years ago, the five cities managed to bring their squabbles to a close. But in consequence of their struggle, their existence finally came to the attention of Zeus, who can't allow them to remain in deep antiquity, changing the course of human history. Convinced by Apollo to spare the Cities, Zeus instead moved everything on the island to the planet Plato, circling its own distant sun.
Now, more than a generation has passed. The Cities are flourishing on Plato, and even trading with multiple alien species. Then, on the same day, two things happen. Pytheas dies as a human, returning immediately as Apollo in his full glory. And there's suddenly a human ship in orbit around Platoa ship from Earth.