Buzz Books 2018: Young Adult Spring/Summer
Welcome to Buzz Books 2018: Young Adult Spring/Summer. These substantial pre-publication excerpts reflect a broad spectrum of today’s young adult writing, from fantasy and romance to suspense and humor. You will discover debut writers to put on your radar, while enjoying early samples from some of the biggest authors in the field and even a memoir for younger readers. Readers will be happy to see included Stephanie Garber’s sequel to her New York Times bestselling debut novel Caraval, a previous Buzz Books. Other fantasies are Furyborn by Claire Legrand, Fawkes by Nadine Brandes, and Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. Then come back to the present with Boston Globe advice columnist Meredith Goldstein’s YA debut about a teen science whiz who tries to crack the chemical equation for lasting love or Buzzfeed writer Farrah Penn’s Twelve Steps to Normal, about a father’s recovery from alcoholism. Start reading the bestsellers of tomorrow right now to see why reviewers rave with comments like these: Love Buzz Books! They are so helpful for librarians. This YA sampler is particularly great for any librarian with a sizeable teen population. Some very interesting titles highlighted here, in a wide variety of genres. Then spread the word: your friends and family can download this free edition of Buzz Books at any major ebookstore or at buzz.publishersmarketplace.com. For broader reading, check out Buzz Books 2018: Spring/Summer, also available now, for 40 excerpts from top forthcoming adult fiction and nonfiction titles.
Fawkes by Nadine Brandes: The son of Guy Fawkes attends a school where you’re trained in colour magic, or something. Stone, or something, is slowly taking over his body yet he hopes he’ll be granted the one colour that may help stop the stone taking over. A bit confusing in part, but otherwise well written, and good to have YA from a male perspective.
The Boy From Tomorrow by Camille DeAngelis: A girl and boy begin to be able to communicate despite the 100 years that separate them. Josie is from 1915, and Alec is in 2015, yet they share the same house, and become friends. Middle Grade, and not entirely wonderful so probably won’t be one I track down, sadly.
Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne: Earth has fallen into another ice age, so part of the population have escaped to ships that now orbit earth (and have been doing so for 210 years so far), waiting until they can safely return to ground. The ship Stella is on is mostly farming, and it’s certainly going to fail quite soon… so she’s trying to get off, even if her engineering skills are lacking, and no one really needs a teacher. Still, she applies, and she finally gets a response to her job seeking right after she perhaps ruins things with the one boy she cares about. Will totally get this, as it’s being advertised as ‘Jane Eyre in space’.
Unbreakable by Sara Ella: Skipped as I haven’t read the previous two in this series.
Legendary by Stephanie Garber: Skipped as I’ve read the first in this series, but not quite interested enough to continue.
Chemistry Lessons by Meredith Goldstein: Jerk guy breaks up with a girl who’s too smart for him – well, no, that’s not entirely fair. He meets someone else who ‘gets him’ and they can chat easier. Maya is devastated, but has a great set of friends and an understanding father, and is just about to go on an excellent trip, so… could have been worse. From the synopsis: ‘Maya is miserable until she discovers that her scientist mother, before she died, was conducting research on manipulating pheromones to enhance human attraction. If Maya can finish her mother’s work, maybe she can get Whit back.’ – except maybe she shouldn’t want him back? She’s in her first year of college, stuff him. At this point in time in my personal life where I’m also trying to get over someone, I don’t really have the emotional space to read about someone doing unhealthy things.
Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen: Sarah is orphaned when her mother is shot at a checkpoint, leaving her daughter to scramble through brambles and a broken gate, and run and hide for her life. This takes up the majority of the snippet we get to see in this sampler, however the synopsis goes on to say (and what we can also figure from the title), that Sarah becomes a spy. She must infiltrate a boarding school attended by the daughters of top Nazi brass, befriend the daughter of a key scientist, and steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe. I’ve requested the full ARC of this one, and wait with crossed fingers!
Furyborn by Claire Legrand: Part of this I really liked. Part seemed well written… and then it jumped into a confusing jumble.
We see a Queen (who we learn had to kill her King), give birth to a child in the witness of a man and his son, who have part angel blood, which grants them powers. The father and son are hiding from someone who’s getting closer to finding them, which is why (once the baby is born) the father throws himself from the tower. The Queen shoves the newborn into the boy’s arms, and tells him to use his magic to travel to a certain somewhere… and from there I didn’t really get what was going on.
Although I’m highly sceptical about angel stories (yet to read a good one yet), that part was actually decent. When it jumps into the future it gets quite a bit different, and despite liking the teacher in it that’s as far as I got. I might pick this one up, and I might not…
Twelve Steps to Normal by Farrah Penn: So far I’m yet to enjoy anything James Patterson does or steps near to. However… this wasn’t terrible. A girl is returning home now that her father is out of an alcoholics rehabilitation program, and though she prefers her hometown to where she was sent to stay with an aunt, she’s understandably apprehensive about returning to her friends and her now ex-boyfriend who she had to suddenly leave months beforehand. It was a short excerpt, but I’ll be picking this one up later.
Frat Girl by Kiley Roache: Cassie is down to the final two people vying for a scholarship into her dream university – all she has to do is pitch a killer research project. She’s up against a tech-head, a mini-me to the millionaire offering the scholarship, so she knows her chances are slim… so, she pitches something crazy. Delta Tau Chi is on probation with one year to clean up their act before they’re closed for good. Their crimes are misogynistic behaviour, so feminist Cassie reckons her project can be to sort that out one way or another.
I’ll be picking this one up, too. I like Cassie and her tattoo’d best friend (though I’m getting rather tired of every female YA lead having a gay male best friend, too. Make them the main character for once!)
Reclaiming Shilo Snow by Mary Weber: Haven’t read the first in this series, and going off other reviews it seems like there’s little point to try.
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young: Warrior women – hell yeah, I’m so here for this! Eelyn is seventeen, and has worked hard to be a warrior on the front line when her clan take on the Riki. They fight with sword and axe, have partly shorn heads with the rest braided, and fight even when (for instance) their ribs are still healing.
I don’t quite believe such a calm conversation can happen in the middle of a battle, but eh. I’ve already preordered this one, so let’s see where it goes.