Saturday, January 6

2018 Debut Novels I Am HYPED For

Hello, friends. I am SO PUMPED for today's post for two reasons: (1) it was super-fun to make it (I say this all the damn time, I know, but I mean it now, truly), (2) I found SO MANY fantastic-sounding books while "researching" for this post, and I cannot wait to share them all with you. 

My experience is that debut novels receive considerably less hype than, well... non-debuts,  and so I'll try to make it my MISSION in 2018 to share with you as many debuts as possible, either by reading them & writing reviews or just featuring them in posts. Having a successful debut novel can REALLY make or break an author's career, so do try to support those debuts that you are interested in.

In this post, I have nearly 30 titles listed by genre, along with their blurbs and my thoughts on them, and I TRULY HOPE YOU'LL LIKE IT. On a side note - 2018's book cover game is already so strong and (obviously) not even all the covers have been released!? I AM EXCITED.


Love Songs & Other Lies
by Jessica Pennington

It’s summer romance and second chances, the songs that stay in your head, and the boy you’ll never forget.

Two years after rock-song-worthy heartbreak, Virginia Miller is looking forward to a fun, carefree summer. Her friends just landed a spot on a battling bands reality show, and Vee is joining them for her dream internship on tour. Three months with future rockstars seems like an epic summer plan. Until she learns she’ll also be sharing the bus with Cam. Her first love, and her first heartbreak. Now Vee has more than just cameras to dodge, and Cam’s determination to win her forgiveness is causing TMZ-worthy problems for both of them. With cameras rolling, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending. And if she’s brave enough to expose her own secrets to keep Cam’s under wraps.

THOUGHTS: I'm not the biggest fan of contemporaries, but this one sounds short (it's less than 300 pages long!) and sweet, and I'm a sucker for books where music plays a big part. 



Wrong in All the Right Ways
by Tiffany Brownlee 

Everything in Emma's life has always gone according to her very careful plans. But things take a turn toward the unexpected when she falls in love for the first time with the one person in the world who’s off-limits–her new foster brother, the gorgeous and tormented Dylan McAndrews. 

Meanwhile, Emma’s AP English class is reading Wuthering Heights, and she’s been assigned to mimic Bronte’s style in an epistolary format. With no one to confide in, she’s got a lot to write about. Emma and Dylan try to constrain their romance to the page–for fear of threatening Dylan’s chances of being adopted into another home. But the strength of first love is all-consuming, and they soon get enveloped in a passionate, secretive relationship with a very uncertain outcome.

THOUGHTS: First of all, that cover made me gasp with adoration when I first saw it - it is VERY likely the prettiest out of all the covers listed in this post. The story itself sounds HELLA HEARTBREAKING, but I am 1000% in for the ride.



The Astonishing Color of After
by Emily X. R. Pan

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.

Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.

Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.

THOUGHTS: I chose to list this as contemporary, as it seems more like that than a fantasy, but it does seem to have magical elements! The Taiwanese rep is #ownvoices, and this seems like an incredibly meaningful and beautiful novel. 



Someday, Somewhere
by Lindsay Champion

Dominique is a high school junior from a gritty neighborhood in Trenton, where she and her mom are barely getting by.

Ben is a musical prodigy from the Upper East Side, a violinist at a top conservatory with obsessive talent and a brilliant future.

When Dom's class is taken to hear a concert at Carnegie Hall, she expects to be bored out of her mind. But then she sees the boy in the front row playing violin like his life depends on it --- and she is transfixed.

Posing as an NYU student, Dom sneaks back to New York City to track down Ben Tristan, a magnetic genius who whisks her into a fantasy world of jazz clubs and opera, infatuation and possibility. Each sees something in the other that promises to complete them.

As Dom's web of lies grows, though, so does Ben's obsessive need to conquer Beethoven's famous Kreutzer Sonata. But Ben's genius, which captivates Dominique, conceals a secret, and the challenges of her life may make it difficult to help him.

THOUGHTS: Ah, I just love stories about musically talented people, and this one seems absolutely beautiful, lovely and possibly heartbreaking. ALSO, the cover is INCREDIBLY GORGEOUS. #needit



A Thousand Perfect Notes
by C.G. Drews

An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music - because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?

THOUGHTS: I feel like anyone who reads Cait, Paperfury's blog must be truly intrigued by this, because she's been sharing snippets from her books for SO LONG, and she has fantastic ideas. ALSO, another music-related book, so, obviously, I love the sound of it. 



A Girl Like That
by Tanaz Bhathena

A timeless exploration of high-stakes romance, self-discovery, and the lengths we go to love and be loved.
Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school. You don't want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is it that eighteen-year-old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieced together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that.

This beautifully written debut novel from Tanaz Bhathena reveals a rich and wonderful new world to readers. It tackles complicated issues of race, identity, class, and religion, and paints a portrait of teenage ambition, angst, and alienation that feels both inventive and universal.

THOUGHTS: Partly, I'm excited for this because of the #ownvoices Muslim rep, but I think what truly caught my attention is that I love stories that are told about someone through various characters' perspective. Potentially heartbreaking book, as well, me thinks. 



Fat Girl on a Plane
by Kelly DeVos


High school senior Cookie Vonn’s post-graduation dreams include getting out of Phoenix, attending Parsons and becoming the next great fashion designer. But in the world of fashion, being fat is a cardinal sin. It doesn’t help that she’s constantly compared to her supermodel mother—and named after a dessert.

Thanks to her job at a fashion blog, Cookie scores a trip to New York to pitch her portfolio and appeal for a scholarship, but her plans are put on standby when she’s declared too fat too fly. Forced to turn to her BFF for cash, Cookie buys a second seat on the plane. She arrives in the city to find that she’s been replaced by the boss’s daughter, a girl who’s everything she’s not—ultrathin and superrich. Bowing to society’s pressure, she vows to lose weight, get out of the friend zone with her crush, and put her life on track.


Cookie expected sunshine and rainbows, but nothing about her new life is turning out like she planned. When the fashion designer of the moment offers her what she’s always wanted—an opportunity to live and study in New York—she finds herself in a world full of people more interested in putting women down than dressing them up. Her designs make waves, but her real dream of creating great clothes for people of all sizes seems to grow more distant by the day.

Will she realize that she’s always had the power to make her own dreams come true?

THOUGHTS: This is by FAR one of my most awaited releases of 2018, and I fully expect to fall in love with this story. WE NEED MORE FAT REPRESENTATION, and I just looooove the idea of a girl going into fashion to create clothes for people of all sizes. I'm seriously too excited to form coherent words, so let's just stop there, but AH, THIS SOUNDS SO GOOD. 




Let's Talk About Love
by Claire Kann

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting--working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she's asexual). Alice is done with dating--no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.

THOUGHTS: The heroine is  black, bi-romantic and asexual - AND the book has received quite a lot of praises so far, so yay for good rep! Also, how adorable does this sound??? Plus, it is super-short with little more than 300 pages, so it definitely seems like the perfect, cutesy contemporary for a cold winter day.



Heretics Anonymous
by Katie Henry

Michael is an atheist. So as he walks through the doors at St. Clare’s—a strict Catholic school—sporting a plaid tie, things can’t get much worse. His dad has just made the family move again, and Michael needs a friend. When a girl challenges their teacher in class, Michael thinks he might have found one, and a fellow nonbeliever at that. Only this girl, Lucy, is not just Catholic . . . she wants to be a priest.

But Lucy introduces Michael to other St. Clare’s outcasts, and he officially joins Heretics Anonymous, where he can be an atheist, Lucy can be an outspoken feminist, Avi can be Jewish and gay, Max can wear whatever he wants, and Eden can practice paganism. After an incident in theology class, Michael encourages the Heretics to go from secret society to rebels intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies. When Michael takes one mission too far—putting the other Heretics at risk—he must decide whether to fight for his own freedom, or rely on faith, whatever that means, in God, his friends, or himself.

THOUGHTS: Okay, so this is pitched as The Breakfast Club meets Saved! and on one hand, I'm like, yay, I love TBC! On the other hand, though, this doesn't really sound anything like TBC, so. BUT STILL. I love the part where Lucy is defined as an "unspoken feminist"!



Nice Try, Jane Sinner
by Lianne Oelke

The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than failure is pity. After a personal crisis and her subsequent expulsion from high school, she’s going nowhere fast. Jane’s well-meaning parents push her to attend a high school completion program at the nearby Elbow River Community College, and she agrees, on one condition: she gets to move out.

Jane tackles her housing problem by signing up for House of Orange, a student-run reality show that is basically Big Brother, but for Elbow River Students. Living away from home, the chance to win a car (used, but whatever), and a campus full of people who don't know what she did in high school… what more could she want? Okay, maybe a family that understands why she’d rather turn to Freud than Jesus to make sense of her life, but she'll settle for fifteen minutes in the proverbial spotlight.

As House of Orange grows from a low-budget web series to a local TV show with fans and shoddy T-shirts, Jane finally has the chance to let her cynical, competitive nature thrive. She'll use her growing fan base, and whatever Intro to Psychology can teach her, to prove to the world—or at least viewers of substandard TV—that she has what it takes to win.

THOUGHTS: I hate to watch reality tv, but somehow I love to read about characters on reality tv, so this one seems right up my alley. Also, I've heard nothing but fantastic things about this one so far.



Sky in the Deep
by Adrienne Young

Seventeen-year-old Eelyn’s world is war. Raised to fight alongside her Aska clansmen in a generations-old blood feud against the Riki, her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki if she wants to make it back to the fjord after the thaw. But when she begins to see herself in the people she's been taught to hate, the world Eelyn once knew begins to crumble. And after the village is raided by a ruthless clan many believe to be a myth, Eelyn is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend who has tried more than once to kill her. Together, they must end the blood feud between their clans or watch their people be slaughtered.

A lush, Viking-age inspired fantasy about loyalty, forgiveness, and the definition of family.

THOUGHTS: First of all, THAT COVER looks super-badass. Second of all, any Vikings inspired fantasy is a potentially MIND-BLOWING fantasy. Also, I absolutely adore when family dynamics and ties are explored in fantasy worlds, so that's a YES from me. On a side note - this is apparently a STANDALONE, and there are so few of those in the fantasy genre that I'd probably want it just for that. 



The Wicked Deep
by Shea Ernshow

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…
Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were 
tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

THOUGHTS: Question: is it bad that I am rooting for the witches in this scenario? 'Cuz their anger towards the town seems pretty valid, hmm? ANYHOW, this is pitched as "Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic meets the Salem Witch trials", so I expect all the witchy-awesomeness there is. 



Secondhand Origin Stories
by Lee Blauersouth

Opal has been planning to go to Chicago and join the Midwest's superhero team, the Sentinels, since she was a little kid. That dream took on a more urgent tone when her superpowered dad was unjustly arrested for protecting a neighbor from an abusive situation. Now, she wants to be a superhero not only to protect people, but to get a platform to tell the world about the injustices of the Altered Persons Bureau, the government agency for everything relating to superpowers.

But just after Opal's high school graduation, a supervillain with a jet and unclear motives attacked the downtown home of the Sentinels, and when Opal arrives, she finds a family on the brink of breaking apart. She meets a boy who's been developing secret (and illegal) brain-altering nanites right under the Sentinel's noses, another teenage superhero-hopeful who looks suspiciously like a long-dead supervillain, and the completely un-superpowered daughter of the Sentinels' leader. Can four teens on the fringes of the superhero world handle the corruption, danger, and family secrets they've unearthed?

THOUGHTS: Apparently, this is incredibly diverse AND action packed, and I couldn't possibly be more excited for it.



The Vanishing Kingdom
by Laura E. Weymouth

Five years ago, Ev and Len Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night took a turn when the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, Ev and Len found temporary refuge.

When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except themselves.

Now, Ev spends her days sneaking into the woods outside her boarding school, wishing for the Woodlands. Overcome with longing, she is desperate to return no matter what it takes.

Len, on the other hand, is determined to find a place in this world. She shields herself behind a flawless exterior and countless friends, and moves to America to escape the memory of what was.

But when Ev goes missing, Len must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Len wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.

THOUGHTS: I don't have any siblings, but I love reading about sibling relationships, and this one sounds so complicated, yet fantastic. ALSO, the Woodlands sound fascinating, cannot wait for all the magical description. 



By a Charm and a Curse
by Jaime Questell

Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for.

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

THOUGHTS: This is one of the only titles in this post that I'm not FULLY excited for. I saw kinda mixed things about it + it looks like a re-imagining of The Night Circus, and I really didn't like that one. Also, the blurb feels kind of... all over the place? Let me know what you think in the comments, especially if you've already read this.



The Hazel Wood
by Melissa Albert

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

THOUGHTS: One of my most awaited releases, so it's TRULY sad that even though I own an ARC, I still haven't picked it up. *hides forever* I'LL PICK IT UP SOON, FOR SURE!



Children of Blood and Bone
by Tomi Adeyemi

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

THOUGHTS: This is one of the most talked about and awaited novels in the YA community right now, and it really-truly sounds fantastic. It also has #ownvoices black rep, and ah, it sounds incredibly unique and I AM SO HERE FOR THIS WORLD.



by Sara Holland

In the land of Sempera, time is extracted from blood and used as payment. Jules Ember and her father were once servants at Everless, the wealthy Gerling family’s estate, but were cast out after of a fateful accident a decade ago. Now, Jules’s father is reaching his last hour, and she will do anything to save him. Desperate to earn time, she arrives at the palace as it prepares for a royal wedding, ready to begin her search into childhood secrets that she once believed to be no more than myths. As she uncovers lost truths, Jules spirals deeper into a past she hardly recognizes, and faces an ancient and dangerous foe who threatens her future and the future of time itself.

THOUGHTS: I heard kinda mixed things about this, yet I am super-excited for this one, because fantasy world's where time has a huge role - e.g. Timekeeper - intrigue me so much. Also, that "ancient and dangerous foe" sounds interesting as hell.



Not Even Bones
by Rebecca Schaeffer 

Nita doesn’t murder monsters and sell them online.

Her mother does that.

Nita just dissects and packages their bodies. But when her mother brings a live one home, Nita decides to follow her conscience and help him escape — and ends up sold on the black market in his place.

DEXTER meets THIS SAVAGE SONG in Rebecca Schaeffer's dark debut, sure to appeal to readers who love morally grey characters, mythical monsters, criminal underworlds, and fast-paced action.

THOUGHTS: To be honest, the author had me at the title, which sounds SO INTRIGUING and DARK. Love it. And then the whole morally gray characters, criminal underworld and monsters bit came and I'm not sure how I'll wait until this one is released. *cries*




by Somaiya Daud

A YA fantasy/SF trilogy inspired by the author's Moroccan background, in which a poor girl from an isolated moon must become the body double to the cruel imperial princess, and learns that life in the royal palace is far more dangerous and complicated than she imagined.

THOUGHTS: So little is known about this one, but it sounds hella intriguing! I love body-double stories, and ROYAL STORIES are the bestest thing ever. Plus, YESSS to a Morocco inspired story. 



A Blade So Black
by L. L. McKinney

Pitched as a retelling of Alice in Wonderland with the butt-kicking of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with a black teen heroine at its center, Alice is a warrior who battles Nightmares in the dark and terrifying dream realm known as Wonderland.

THOUGHTS: Umm, I think that pitch speaks for itself - I'm super-pumped to hear more details, though!




Ash Princess
by Laura Sebastian

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed “Ash Princess.” Pretending to be empty-headed and naive when she's not enduring brutal whippings, she pushes down all other thoughts but one: Keep the Kaiser happy and he will keep you safe.

When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can't keep her feelings and memories pushed down any longer. She vows revenge, throwing herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser's warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn't expect to develop feelings for the Prinz. Or for her rebel allies to challenge her friendship with the one person who's been kind to her throughout the last hopeless decade: her heart's sister, Cress.

Cornered into impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she's willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she's willing to sacrifice to become queen.

THOUGHTS: To be honest, I wasn't that interested in this at first, but... khm, the cover convinced me. I MEAN, sure, the plot sounds cool, too! But I'll have no problem deleting it from my TBR if the reviews are bad... STILL EXCITED! 




Brightly Burning
by Alexa Donne

Seventeen-year-old Stella Ainsley wants just one thing: to go somewhere—anywhere—else. Her home is a floundering spaceship that offers few prospects, having been orbiting an ice-encased Earth for two hundred years. When a private ship hires her as a governess, Stella jumps at the chance. The captain of the Rochester, nineteen-year-old Hugo Fairfax, is notorious throughout the fleet for being a moody recluse and a drunk. But with Stella he’s kind.

But the Rochester harbors secrets: Stella is certain someone is trying to kill Hugo, and the more she discovers, the more questions she has about his role in a conspiracy threatening the fleet.




Gunslinger Girl 
by Lyndsay Ely

Seventeen-year-old Serendipity "Pity" Jones inherited two things from her mother: a pair of six shooters and perfect aim. She's been offered a life of fame and fortune in Cessation, a glittering city where lawlessness is a way of life. But the price she pays for her freedom may be too great....

In this extraordinary debut from Lyndsay Ely, the West is once again wild after a Second Civil War fractures the U.S. into a broken, dangerous land. Pity's struggle against the dark and twisted underbelly of a corrupt city will haunt you long after the final bullet is shot.

THOUGHTS: Omfg, this one sounds incredibly badass, and I LOVE THE COVER, especially the colors, AND THE GUNS. I want this like, right now. 



The Tombs
by Deborah Schaumberg

New York, 1882. A dark, forbidding city, and no place for a girl with unexplainable powers.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Kohl pines for the life she had before her mother was taken. She fears the mysterious men in crow masks who locked her mother in the Tombs asylum for being able to see what others couldn’t. Avery denies the signs in herself, focusing instead on her shifts at the ironworks factory and keeping her inventor father out of trouble. Other than secondhand tales of adventure from her best friend, Khan, an ex-slave, and caring for her falcon, Seraphine, Avery spends her days struggling to survive.

Like her mother’s, Avery’s powers refuse to be contained. When she causes a bizarre explosion at the factory, she has no choice but to run from her lies, straight into the darkest corners of the city. Avery must embrace her abilities and learn to wield their power—or join her mother in the cavernous horrors of the Tombs. And the Tombs has secrets of its own: strange experiments are being performed on “patients”…and no one knows why.

THOUGHTS: I promise not every thought of mine is about book covers, but HAVE YOU SEEN HOW GOOD THIS ONE'S LOOKS!? I cannot not mention it. But, yes, the story sounds fantastic, as well. Though, the Cassandra Clare comparisons could cease to exist.



People Like Us
by Dana Mele

Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she's reinvented herself entirely. Now she's a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl's body is found in the lake, Kay's carefully constructed life begins to topple.

The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay's finally backed into a corner, she'll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make...not something that happened.

THOUGHTS: I loooove unreliable narrators - they add so much to thrillers - and Kay has been described as one in various early reviews I've seen around. ALSO, I saw that there are various lgbtq+ characters, and while I get the feeling that this is going to be more back-stabby than girls-supporting-girls, I am still hyped for a mystery that looks to be populated of 90% of female characters. 




The Dark Beneath the Ice
by Amelinda Bérubé

Something is wrong with Marianne.

It's not just that her parents have split up, or that life hasn't been the same since she quit dancing. Or even that her mother has checked herself into the hospital.

She's losing time. Doing things she would never do. And objects around her seem to break whenever she comes close.

Something is after her. But a first attempt at an exorcism calls down the full force of the thing's rage. It demands Marianne give back what she stole. And Marianne must uncover the truth that lies beneath it all before the nightmare can take what it think it's owed, leaving Marianne trapped in the darkness of the other side.

THOUGHTS: Who doesn't love a good exorcism story?



The Window
by Amelia Brunskill

Anna is everything her identical twin is not. Outgoing and athletic, she is the opposite of quiet introvert Jess. The same on the outside, yet so completely different inside--it's hard to believe the girls are sisters, let alone twins. But they are. And they tell each other everything.

Or so Jess thought.

After Anna falls to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window, Jess's life begins to unravel. Everyone says it was an accident, but to Jess, that doesn't add up. Where was Anna going? Who was she meeting? And how long had Anna been lying to her?

Jess is compelled to learn everything she can about the sister she thought she knew. At first it's a way to stay busy and find closure . . . but Jess soon discovers that her twin kept a lot of secrets. And as she digs deeper, she learns that the answers she's looking for may be truths that no one wants her to uncover.

Because Anna wasn't the only one with secrets.

THOUGHTS: For whatever reason I am a sucker for mysteries where a character investigating another's death or disappearance has to realize there were LOADS of things they didn't know. And this one sounds REALLY good omfg. Love how mysterious and DARK the cover is. 





  1. I can’t wait for Cait’s debut!! She deserves it so much and it’s so incredible to see one of our own in the blogging community flourish. It warms my heart!

    1. SAME! I'm really excited to see how her writing voice differs from, or is similar to her blogging voice.

  2. I pretty much want to read all your contemporary picks. Someday Somewhere and Heretics made my list, but all of them sound awesome. I read Jane Sinner last week. It was great. People Like Us was on my list too. I have an odd fascination with prep schools.

    1. Ooh, I'm very excited for Jane Sinner!! Also, same about pref schools. Plus, I'm very happy the cast consists of SO MANY GIRLS. That sounds great.

  3. I think The Tombs might be my favourite cover on the list!! All of these are so exciting though and you are right 2018's cover game is so strong!!

  4. The only one I've heard about is The Hazel Wood LOL and that one is already on pre-order

  5. I'm looking forward to so many of these. I can't wait to try Cait's book! :D


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