New Year, New Books

February 8, 2015

A common New Year’s resolution that some people may struggle with is to read more, but with fun debut books from authors of all kinds being released, achieving that goal shouldn’t be hard! Here are five of my most anticipated books of the coming year:

1. “My Heart and Other Black Holes” by Jasmine Warga (release date: Feb. 10): Sixteen-year-old physics obsessed Aysel has been planning her suicide for months, and has only one problem: she’s not sure she can do it alone. However, when she discovers a website called “Suicide Partners,” she meets Roman, a teenage boy who’s also looking for a partner. Although the two have nothing in common, they slowly begin to fill each other’s lives, and Aysel must decide between committing suicide and convincing Roman to give their lives another chance. While teen suicide isn’t usually a topic that I enjoy reading about because I usually end up feeling terrible about life, this novel seems to have a more positive spin that I’m hoping to enjoy.

2. “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard (release date: Feb. 10): Mare Barrow lives in a world separated by blood: the Red-blooded commoners serve the Silver-blooded elite, who have superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red thief who finds herself thrown in front of the Silver court, where she learns that has an ability of her own. To cover up this discrepancy, the King forces her to become a “long lost” Silver princess. Mare uses her new hierarchal position to aid a growing Red rebellion, playing a dangerous game that could almost certainly lead to her death. This is Aveyard’s debut novel, and I can hardly wait to jump into this fantasy world.

3. “A Darker Shade of Magic” by V. E. Schwab (release date: Feb. 24): The first book in a new series by young adult author Victoria Schwab, it tells the tale of Kell, one of the last Travelers in a world where these rare magicians can choose parallel universes to visit at will. Kell is the official Red Traveler, a personal ambassador between each of the three Londons: Grey London, which is ruled by the ballistic King George, Red London, presided over by the Maresh Dynasty, and White London, controlled by whoever has murdered his way to the throne. While I haven’t read any of Schwab’s previous books, I am very much looking forward to this one; it’s been a while since I’ve read any novels with magic in them!

4. “An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir (release date: Apr. 28): In a brutal Ancient-Rome-like world, scholar Laia and academy soldier Elias are each fighting for a purpose: Laia wants to save her brother from execution, and Elias for his freedom. The Martial Empire is ruled with an iron fist, and even the slightest hint of betrayal means certain death. When the two cross paths at the academy, they find that their decisions could alter the kingdom’s future drastically. I think I’ve subconsciously been avoiding dystopian novels for the past couple of months, but this book is the one that’s going to cause me to throw myself back into the genre with arms wide open.

5. “The Wrath and the Dawn” by Renee Ahdieh (release date: May 12): Inspired by the classic tale “A Thousand and One Nights,” this story is about 16-year-old Sharhzad, who volunteers to marry 18-year-old Caliph, ruler of Khorasan, who takes a new bride every night only to have her executed every sunrise. Sharhzad, however, volunteers with an ingenious plan to stay alive and take vengeance on the boy who murdered her best friend. Of course, the main character survives the first night and finds herself falling for the very man who caused the deaths of scores of young girls. While I’ve read fairytale retellings like “The Lunar Chronicles” series, I have yet to read any books reminiscent of classic Arabian tales.

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