My Spring 2017 TBR List

Hello, hello!

Top Ten TuesdayHappy Tuesday! I’m home from school today thanks to a mid-March snowstorm, and while I can’t say I want winter to last any longer, I’ll take any opportunity to read a little longer, sleep a little later, and bake and blog a bit more. On that same note, it seems strange to write about the books I hope to read this spring with snow still piling up outside my window, but it’s that time of year for The Broke and the Bookish‘s seasonal TBR lists! At this point, you surely know how it works: I’ve rounded up several novels I hope to read in the coming months {in addition to the books I’ve already featured earlier in the year}. I like to think of it as a no-pressure way to bring some variety to my bookshelf. What do you want to read this spring?

A Season of Daring GreatlyTo kick off my list, I have A Season of Daring Greatly from seasoned author Ellen Emerson White. I’ll admit, I was originally drawn to the book solely for its clever cover, but the synopsis kept my interest: mere days after her high school graduation, the main character starts an athletic career on a major league baseball team. A similar premise has found success on the small screen {have you watched Pitch?}, so I have my fingers crossed it resonates with the YA audience  – myself included! – just as well. {already out}

FireworksLike many an author in the YA genre, Katie Cotugno is a writer I continually see in reviews and discussion, though whose work I have yet to check out. I’m hoping to change that this spring with the release of her novel Fireworks, a fun romp in which two best friends are unexpectedly thrown into stardom. Realistic fiction is right up my alley, YA can always use another music-centered plot, and ’90s settings are some of my favorites. Needless to say, I’ll be grabbing this as soon as it hits shelves. {out April 18}

Forget Me NotOn the middle grade side of things, I’m looking forward to reading Forget Me Not by debut author Ellie Terry. Already garnering several words of praise, the novel follows narrator Callie as she navigates moving to a new school, making and keeping friends, and dealing with Tourette syndrome; just as exciting as the plot is the prose, Callie’s story written in verse. It releases today, so I hope a copy will make its way into my local library circulation soon. {out today!}

I Believe in a Thing Called LoveIf the bright colors on the cover of Maurene Goo’s sophomore novel, I Believe in a Thing Called Love, doesn’t have you thinking spring, I don’t know what will. The story inside seems to me to be just as fun: after years of failed flirting attempts, Desi turns to Korean dramas for lessons on how to win over her crush. With promises of a sweet heroine, strong family relationships, and scenes that have readers laughing out loud, this sounds just like the fluffy, light-hearted read I’ll need come May. {out May 30}

One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will MatterWith a title as humorous as One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, should I expect anything less than good things from Scaachi Koul’s memoir? Koul currently writes for Buzzfeed, and in her first published book, it’s said that she brings the same “clear eye and biting wit” that one can find in her work on the web. I love a good essay collection when things get busy {i.e. hours of AP preparation are made all the better with a few funny passages}, so I’m counting down the days until I have a copy for myself. {out May 2}

The Fashion CommitteeI consider Susan Juby’s The Truth Commission a hidden gem of the YA shelves; it has a set of memorable characters, a sharp sense of humor, and a wonderful blend of quirk and heart. You can thus imagine my excitement when I came across her newest book – and companion novel! – The Fashion Committee, slated for release this May, in which characters and friends Charlie and John compete for a spot at the same prestigious art school that won my heart the first time around. I can’t wait for its reappearance. {out May 23}

The RefugeesSince devouring Flying Lessons and Other Stories in one sitting, I’ve been itching to try another anthology. Add in the current political climate, and I think there’s no better time than the present to read The Refugees, a collection of short stories centered around the Vietnam War by author Viet Thanh Nguyen. Since its publication in February, it’s been praised by readers and critics alike; I think it will only be a matter of weeks before I too get to fall in love with the characters Nguyen has crafted. {already out}

The Sky is EverywhereMy spring reading list has no shortage of new releases, but when it comes to backlist novels I hope to read, I have my eyes on only one: Jandy Nelson’s The Sky is Everywhere. Her debut, the book has been described as “a celebration of love [and] a portrait of loss” as the main character finds comfort in other after her older sister’s sudden death. I’m excited to fall for a new love triangle, of course, but more importantly, I’m excited to finally have reason to join in the Jandy Nelson fan club. {already out}

WindfallWhen someone is looking for well-developed characters and cute romances, I’m quick to recommend any book by Jennifer E. Smith, as she has time and time again delivered pitch-perfect contemporaries. That said, it’s been far too long since I last picked up a novel of hers, which is why, perhaps, I’m so anxious for the release of her next book, Windfall. With an interesting premise, a well-drawn protagonist, and a colorful cover to boot, I can’t see why Smith wouldn’t be keeping up her streak. {out May 2}

Word By WordFinally, for my fellow “word nerds” and budding lexicographers, can we all agree to read Kory Stamper’s Word by Word at some point this spring? Stamper, an editor and writer at Merriam-Webster, invites the audience into the history of dictionaries, including such tidbits like the first use of “OMG” and the length it can take to define a single word. Readers who have already seen a copy have awarded it high praise, which I take to mean that this nonfiction piece will have me smiling from beginning to end. Yes please. {out today}

Have a wonderful day!
Bella

Top Fifteen Debuts of 2017

Hello, and happy Tuesday!

Top Ten TuesdayI’m a broken record at this point, but The Top Ten Tuesdays around the new year are some of my favorites, as they provide an opportunity to look ahead to some of the year’s best releases, a chance I’ll gladly take advantage of, any time of year. I won’t dilly-dally much longer, as you surely know the drill by now: this week’s prompt is Top Debuts of 2017, this fun feature is hosted by the lovely bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish, and I’m curious: what debuts are you excited for?

one-of-us-is-lyingThe Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars? Karen M. McManus’ debut already had me interested with that comparison, a fact that held true as I read over the synopsis. One of Us is Lying sounds like the a perfect read for this mystery fan, with an unexpected murder, unreliable narrators, and juicy motives. Its May release date begs the question: what better graduation present than a new book? {out May 30}

how-to-break-a-boyComplex characters are my jam, and it sounds like the protagonist of Laurie Devore’s How to Break a Boy is a prime example. Olivia is a self-proclaimed “mean girl,” using manipulation – as in, have a fake boyfriend manipulation – in an effort to get back at her former best friend. I’ve already have this one on hold at my local library, because any revenge book makes an excellent snow day read. {out January 31}

youre-welcome-universeI’d read Whitney Gardner’s You’re Welcome Universe on its synopsis alone – there’s not nearly enough deaf representation in young adult books, and I’m not one to resist a story of a graffiti war – but that the author included illustrations throughout the book sealed the deal. Gardner’s art is lovely {pop over here for a perfect example} which means that we readers are in for a treat. {out March 7}

juniper-lemons-happiness-indexJulie Israel’s novel had me sold as soon as I heard the title, and that confetti-dotted, well-designed cover only added to my excitement. I have reason, however, to look forward to its release; the story follows Juniper on her search for a mysterious “you” after her sister dies, leading her to many a memorable character. In other words? It’s all the elements of a perfect contemporary novel. Sign me up. {out June 27}

the-education-of-margot-sanchezI like to think that coming-of-age novels are a Bella literary staple; I turn to them again and again, only because I find them so fun to read. The debut The Education of Margot Sanchez is one to add to the bunch this year, and the story sounds like a winner: Margot is grounded after stealing her father’s credit card and is forced to work in her family’s grocery store to pay back the money. Bonus points for the eye-catching cover. {out February 21}

speak-of-me-as-i-amLoss seems to be a recurring trend in this year’s batch of debuts, but I have no complaints: narratives that deal with the delicate subjects of death and grief provide emotionally-packed storylines like no other. Case in point: Sonia Belasco’s debut, Speak of Me as I Am, in which main characters Melanie and Damon bond over their respective losses and their roles in their school’s production of Othello. Yes and yes. {out April 4}

the-heartbeats-of-wing-jonesThere’s a number of areas in which the YA world is lacking, but one notable topic is sports. Where are the stories about teenage athletes? Katherine Webber’s The Heartbeats of Wing Jones aims to fill the void, its main character, Wing, joining her school’s track team after a tragic accident involving her brother. Who can say no to family dynamics and a healthy blend of heart and humor? Not me, that’s for sure. {out March 14}

rollAs for middle grade publications, there’s one novel I have my eye on: Roll, a sweet summer-set story about competitive pigeon rolling. Didn’t know such a hobby existed? Me either. Thankfully, first time author Darcy Miller has a description handy: it’s “a strange but awesome hobby that involves training a kit of birds to simultaneously somersault backward through the air while flying.” Color me intrigued. {out May 25}

girl-out-of-waterIt was only after I followed Laura Silverman on Twitter {she’s a gem, if you’d like to as well} that I realized her first novel, Girl Out of Water, was coming out this year. It’s a good thing, because my excitement over it – a story that blends first love, family troubles, and surfing – is growing by the day. It comes out in May, which I take to mean that a pre-order may be in order. {out May 1}

american-streetI can count on one hand the number of YA novels I’ve read that directly deal with immigration, a number far too small for an issue that is central to so many teenagers’ lives. Perhaps this is why I’m looking forward to the release of Ibi Zoboi’s American Street, a novel about a Haitian teen as she adjusts to America without the guidance of her mother. The premise alone has me thinking Zoboi will be an author to watch. (out February 14}

if-birds-fly-backHere in New England, I’m facing a few more months of snow and chilly weather, but Carlie Sorosiak’s debut, If Birds Fly Back, already has me thinking of summer. Realistic fiction at its finest, the novel follows main characters Linny and Sebastian as they fall for one another over their shared obsession for novelist and filmmaker Alvaro Herrera. It hits shelves in June, and needless to say, I can’t wait to grab my own copy. {out June 27}

done-dirt-cheapIt’s not everyday that you see a book, a debut no less, with as high and consistent of early praise as Sarah Nicole Lemon’s first book, Done Dirt Cheap, a fierce and gritty story that brings alive its southern landscape with main characters Tourmaline and Virginia. With reviewers promising lyrical prose and swoon worthy romance, you can be sure that this novel already has a place on my bookshelf. {out March 7}

city-of-saints-and-thievesI’m not as active on Twitter as I used to be, nor am I browsing as many blogs, but I still haven’t seen much chatter over Natalie C. Anderson’s debut. It’s a shame, because City of Saints & Thieves, a YA mystery set in Kenya, sounds incredible, taking its protagonist deep into her family history and plans for revenge. Its publication is mere weeks away, which means I’m all the closer to reading it myself. {out January 24}

when-dimple-met-rishiIf the cover of Sandhya Menon’s first book, When Dimple Met Rishi, doesn’t make you smile, I’m not sure what will. And if the premise doesn’t have you counting down the days until May, we need to chat. In all seriousness, Menon’s romantic contemporary, in which the main characters have been arranged to be married by their parents, has been  praised as “charming and sweet and funny.” What better combination than that? {out May 30}

the-hate-u-giveFinally, if there’s any one new release I – and others! – will be reading this year, it’s Angie Thomas’ highly-anticipated debut, The Hate U Give. The buzz is understandable: inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, it follows Starr after the murder of her best friend by the police in what is sure to be a powerful and compelling story. My only wish? That February didn’t feel so far away. {out February 28}

Have a terrific Tuesday!
Bella

Twelve Anticipated Releases for 2017

Hello!

Top Ten TuesdayHappy Wednesday, friends! I won’t lie: between a draining cold and an abundance of mid-term projects, winter break is looking all the more appealing. I love the holidays, but I think the vacation is also an opportunity to refresh and plan for the year ahead. Of course, the new year is only what one makes of it, but nevertheless, I love the figurative fresh start the comes with the turn of the calendar.

Blame the avid reader in me, but one of the things I like to plan for most is my TBR list, adding to it the new novels released by my favorite authors. I’m not alone; one of the most popular topics in The Broke and The Bookish’s weekly feature, Top Ten Tuesday, happens to be this week’s prompt: Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward To For The First Half Of 2017. I’m a day late, but I still wanted to share the novels I can’t wait to get my hands on in 2017 – I’ll talk books any day of the week :) I’ve limited this list to novels I don’t already own {that means the wonderful Becky Albertalli’s The Upside of Unrequited isn’t included}, and the titles are listed in rainbow order, naturally. What books are on your TBR list?

the-last-of-augustFirst on my list is Brittany Cavallaro’s The Last of August, the sequel to her humorous modern take on Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Charlotte. In this installment, detective duo Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson team up once again to solve a case on their winter break: what secrets lie behind Charlotte’s uncle’s disappearance? {the title hails from character August Moriarty}. The novel comes out on Valentine’s Day, so I think I’ll be buying it as a personal treat. {out February 14}

this-would-make-a-good-story-somedayIf you haven’t yet read The Misadventures of Family Fletcher, let me be blunt: you’re missing out. A sweet family-centered contemporary at its finest, the Family Fletcher – and its sequel, The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island – make me smile, as the next book from author Dana Alison Levy, This Would Make a Good Story Someday, is sure to do as well. Who can resist a summer road trip story, complete with rambunctious siblings and embarrassing parents? Not me, that’s for certain. {out May 16}

yours-trulyAs if I needed another reason to look forward to the new year, Heather Vogel Frederick is releasing a new novel, the companion to the adorable Absolutely Truly. Book Two, named Yours Truly, sounds just as heart-warming: someone sabotages the town’s annual maple festival and it is up to Truly to find out why. I’d move to Pumpkin Falls in an instant – consider it the literary version of Stars Hollow – and so, I’m oh-so excited to revisit Truly and the entire Lovejoy gang. Is it bad to admit I’ve already carved out a spot for it in my bookshelf? {out January 31}

dreamland-burningWhile I haven’t read Jennifer Latham’s debut, Scarlett Undercover, one look at the cover of her sophomore release, Dreamland Burning, and I was sold. Further research into the synopsis has me even more excited: tying together two different settings – one from today, the other from 1921 – the protagonist attempts to uncover the truth behind a brutal murder. Early reviews have been overwhelmingly positive – fingers crossed I’ll soon be able to add my own to the bunch! {out February 21}

first-class-murderYou may sense a growing trend: I love me any mystery or middle grade fiction. Robin Stevens’ delightful series, Wells & Wong Mysteries, then, is a match made in heaven, as young sleuths Daisy and Hazels go about England solving various cases. In their third installment, the detectives find themselves solving a murder upon the Orient Express; my UK friends may have already read it, but I’ll be patiently awaiting its release in April. It couldn’t come soon enough! {out April 4}

the-names-they-gave-usEmery Lord has yet to disappoint: Open Road Summer had my heart swelling; The Start of Me and You remains a favorite; and When We Collided beautifully explored a topic not often seen in YA. Her success is sure to follow in her next release, titled The Names They Gave Us. From the synopsis, it sounds like yet another story using Lord’s winning combination: family and friend dynamics, a blossoming romance, and a summery setting. I’m already counting down the days until it hits shelves. {out May 16}

the-pearl-thiefWhen it comes to YA historical fiction, there’s only one author I continually recommend: Elizabeth Wein, the writer behind World War II narratives Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire. She returns to the same characters in the prequel, The Pearl Thief, sharing just how Julie satisfied her taste for adventure as a teen before the war. Like any bookworm, I’ll never pass up the chance to revisit a beloved protagonist. In other words? It’s only a matter of days before I preorder my own copy. {out May 2}

ramona-blueAfter reading the delight that is Dumplin’, I’m convinced that Julie Murphy can craft female narrators like no other author; her protagonist, Willowdean Dickson, is sassy, funny, and all-around wonderful, as Murphy’s next main character, Ramona, is likely to be as well. Furthermore, if anyone can delicately handle the topic of sexual fluidity, it’d be Julie Murphy. To put it simply? Ramona Blue sounds like a winner. May, come sooner please. {out May 17}

flying-lessons-and-other-storiesEntering into the new year, I hope the literary community can agree on one thing: diverse books are not only needed, they deserve to be celebrated. For that reason, I’m looking forward to picking up Flying Lessons and Other Stories, an anthology by the founded of We Need Diverse Books, Ellen Oh, in the coming year. With contributions from authors like Tim Federle, Jacqueline Woodson, and newcomer Kelly J. Baptist, it’s sure to be a stellar collection. I personally can’t wait. {out January 3}

history-is-all-you-left-meIf Adam Silvera made me cry with his debut, More Happy Than Not, I can only imagine the emotions that will arise with the release of History is All You Left Me. Exploring themes of loss, love, and mental illness, the book follows the protagonist as he enters a downward spiral, “losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices.” Fortunately, it’s mere weeks until it comes out, so I’ll be devouring Griffin’s story before I know it, tissues in hand. {out January 17}

always-and-forever-lara-jeanIf you’re searching for some sweetness and sincerity to add to your reading pile, look no further than Jenny Han, whose To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is as cute as they come. What was originally planned as a duology has grown into a trilogy – to the delight of fans everywhere, myself included – so as to allow the chance for Lara Jean to go to college and decide what that means for her relationships. More of Lara Jean, Peter, and the Song family? Who could say no? {out April 4}

bad-romanceFinally, while it’s only been two years since Heather Demetrios’ last release, I’ll Meet You There, I feel as if I’ve waited forever for the publication of her third novel, Bad Romance. Not only does it sport an eye-catching cover, it also has a compelling synopsis: the main character’s life changes, for better of for worse, when she meets Gavin and they enter a relationship. I’ll be grabbing a copy soon after I graduate – what craziness. {out June 13}

Have the most wonderful Wednesday!
Bella