New Year, New Books: A Guide to Books in 2015

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It’s 2015! How did this happen?

Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live, NBC, 2008
*takes deep breath*

It’s ok. We’re all going to be ok.

Why? Because a new year means lots of new books for us to fall in love with. 2014 was a good year book-wise. I read a lot of great titles, discovered a bunch of new (and new to me) authors. But I think 2015 is shaping up to be just as fantastic. These are the books I recommend adding to your to-read list (or use your gift cards to pre-order!)

#BookIdPunchALionInTheFaceFor

To borrow a hashtag from Lindsay at Me on Books…I need these books and I would face down the king of the jungle if that means I could read them immediately.

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Inked by Eric Smith (Bloomsbury Spark, January 20)

Are you following Eric on Twitter? If not, you should be. Not only does he work for one of my favourite publishers, he’s just generally awesome. I put forward his recent Prince Robot cosplay as evidence of this fact. The only downside to Inked is that it’s an ebook from Bloomsbury Spark, so I won’t have a beautiful blue copy for my bookshelf.

Get In Trouble by Kelly Link (Random House, February 10)

If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that when Rebecca from Book Riot recommends a book, you put that book on your to-read list. It helps that I developed a taste for short stories for the first time ever in 2014. (Related: I’ll take any short story recommendations you can give me!) 

Dove Arising by Karen Bao (Viking, February 24)

SPACE!

I’ve been waiting for this book forever. In fact it was a Waiting on Wednesday pick on my personal blog all the way back in March 2014. But it’s original Fall 2014 publication date was pushed back into 2015.

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Bone Gap by Laura Ruby (Balzer + Bray, March 3)

Small town, missing girl, magical realism. Does anyone else think this sounds like the perfect read for Twin Peaks fans? 

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman (HarperCollins, April 21)

I’ve actually never read a Neal Shusterman book,  but this one sounds too good to hold out any longer. Caden Bosch is on a ship that’s headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Mariana Trench. But that’s not all this novel is about. It’s also about one fifteen year old trying to live with mental illness and survive the treacherous waters of high school.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (Razorbill, April 28)

Set in a Rome-inspired world, An Ember in the Ashes is a new epic fantasy about one girl, posing as a slave, fighting for her family, and one soldier fighting for his freedom. This one is going to be big!

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Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham (Little Brown, May 19)

Scarlet is a clever, Muslim American girl ready to solve mysteries in her hometown of Las Almas. Highly recommended for Veronica Mars fans.

Sweet by Emmy Laybourne (Macmillan, June)

Embark on a voyage about a celebrity filled cruise to promote a new diet sweetener that guarantees weight loss in just five days. A great opportunity to explore our society’s obsession with weight and appearance. 

Second Life by S. J. Watson (HarperCollins, June 2)

I remember being utterly enthralled by S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep. Second Life is a bit different — it’s about a woman named Julia who tries to finds answers about her sister’s murder by exploring her online life — but I’m willing to bet it’s every bit as intense.

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The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes (Dial/Penguin, June 9)

I love books about cults. They’re such fascinating social phenomena. And books about them are few and far between. I’ve got to take them while I can get them.

Time Salvager by Wesley Chu (Tor, July 7)

As an avid Doctor Who fan it’s no surprise that I love time travel stories. It’s a tough genre to get right, but since Wesley Chu’s accolades include a John W. Campbell Best New Writer Award and an Alex Award, I think he can pull it off.

Contemporary

A read a lot of YA contemporary in 2014 and I need a break from it in 2015. But I’m still going to find time to fit in these four titles.

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My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga (HarperCollins, February 10)

Just a heads up — there are going to be a lot of YA contemporary books about illness and suicide in 2015. But the main one that’s caught my eye is My Heart and Other Black Holes. Not only does it sound like an emotional read, but it also features a teenage girl who loves science! 

None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio (Balzer & Bray, April 7)

I’m a big supporter of LGBTQ novels for Young Adults and None of the Above, the story of Kristin Lattimer, an intersex teen, is one to watch for in 2015. It’s great to see intersex people (slowly but surely) gaining a voice in the YA world. 

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (Balzer & Bray, April 7)

Two LGBTQ YA books coming out on the same day! How will people ever decide what to read first. Becky Albertalli’s upcoming novel about “sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier” is funny, honest, and not to be missed. 

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera (June 16, Soho Teen)

I’ve been seeing Adam Silvera’s début novel everywhere since the cover was revealed on Hypable. It’s a story about love and loss and it will almost certainly make you cry. Plus I keep seeing Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind being thrown around as a comp title. Doesn’t that make you so curious about it? (You should also follow him on Twitter postehaste)

New Books from Favourite Authors

Début authors and new series are always exciting but there’s nothing like a new novel from one of your favourite authors. It’s like coming home.

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Hellhole by Gina Damico (HMH Books for Young Readers, January 6)

I’m going to level with you. When I first received a copy of Gina Domino’s début novel, Croak, I didn’t think it would be my kind of book. But I fell in love with her sense of humour and great characters. Now I will read anything she writes no matter what it is.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (Tor, Febraury 24)

Victoria Schwab is the best. She writes great characters, weaves intricate plots and builds amazing worlds. While you wait for this novel about magic and multiple Londons, check out The Archived and Vicious.

Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein (Doubleday Canada, March 31)

If you’ve already read Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire, then you understand why Elizabeth Wein is one of my favourite authors. If you haven’t…what are you waiting for? Go read them (and have lots of Kleenex on hand)!

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit, April 2)  

Paolo Bacigalupi’s brilliant novel The Wind Up Girl will haunt you long after you finish reading it. I’m not the only one who thinks so, since TIME Magazine picked it as one of the top ten books of 2009 and it won both the Hugo and the Nebula. 

All the Rage by Courtney Summers (St. Martin’s, April 14)

I am a recent Courtney Summers convert. She doesn’t shy away from the tough topics and she writes about them honestly and beautifully.

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I am Princess X by Cherie Priest (Scholastic, May 26)

I will go on and on about Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker series to anyone who will listen. It’s zombies mixed with steampunk. I know it sounds like a weird combo but it just works. This novel about webcomics and long lost friends should be just as great.

Love May Fail by Matthew Quick (HarperCollins, June 2)

I went on a bit of a Matthew Quick bender over the last year or so. It started with Silver Linings Playbook, then Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, then The Good Luck of Right Now…and now I own all of his books and I need more.

A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes (Razorbill, June 23)

Morgan Rhodes’s Falling Kingdoms series is one of the best YA high fantasy series out there. But I may be even more excited for A Book of Spirits and Thieves — a fantasy series written in alternating perspectives between modern-day Toronto and the ancient kingdoms of Mytica.

Armada by Ernest Cline (Crown, July 28)

To quote my own review Ready Player One was “like candy for my ultra dorky soul.” It was funny and clever and action packed. The wait for Armada has been a long one but the end is near!

Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente (Tor, August 18)

I can’t top the publisher’s synopsis of this book which describes it as “a decopunk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery set in a Hollywood — and solar system — very different from our own” and “a solar system-spanning story of love, exploration, family, loss, quantum physics, and silent film.” 

An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet (Clarion, October 6)

No cover for this one yet but I couldn’t make this list and leave it off. Leah Bobet’s 2012 début Above remains one of my favourite novels to this day. Her books will always be at the top of my wishlist.

Amazing Covers

There are a lot of good reasons to read these books. They all sound excellent. But I would be lying if I said the cover wasn’t what originally caught my eye. Imagine how beautiful these will be when they’re printed.

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The Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa Strayhorn (Razorbill, January 22)

If you could trade your biggest burden for someone else’s, would you do it? That’s all I’m going to say for this book.

Lost & Found by Brooke Davis (Penguin Canada, February 3)

Two seniors, set out with a small girl to try and find her mother. Together they learn about growing old, grief, and family.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (HarperTeen, February 10)

Fantasy blends with dystopia in this dark and dangerous new series.

Mosquitoland by David Arnold (Viking, March 3)

I know, I know. I said I was going to read less contemporary YA but this one has a road trip! (Also quirky characters and great prose.)

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One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart (Chronicle Books, March 31)

My friend and fellow Women Write About Comics contributor, Ardo, loved Beth Kephart’s Small Damages, so she was already on my radar. This gorgeous watercolour infused cover just sealed the deal. 

5 to 1 by Holly Bodger (Knopf, May 12)

The year is 2045 and as a result of decades of gender selection, boys in India now outnumber girls 5 to 1. I know everyone is suffering from dystopia burnout but this one may make the genre relevant again.

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten (Simon Pulse, July 7)

Pitched as Gone Girl meets Thirteen Reasons Why. Those are very different books so I’m curious to see how they relate. Until then I’ll just stare at the simple, yet compelling cover.

Company Town by Madeline Ashby (Tor, October 3)

This book has moved from Angry Robot to Tor, so the cover may change. But no matter the cover this science fiction thriller about a Korean expert of self defence, living on an oil rig contaminated by a serial killer, is one to keep an eye on.

Comic Fans

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SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki (Drawn & Quarterly, April 28)

Jillian Tamaki is one half of the fabulous, mega-talented team that brought us This One Summer, so of course this collection about a prep school for mutants and witches is a must read.

Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond (Switch Press, May 1)

I am not a Superman fan but I love Lois Lane. She’s smart and resourceful and I hope this is the first in a new trend of female comic book character novels. 

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (HarperCollins, May 19)

We have a number of Nimona lovers here at Women Write About Comics. But whether you’ve followed the webcomic from the beginning or are approaching it for the first time, it will soon be available it one, beautiful, bound collection.

Sequels

There’s still time for you to check out these amazing series before the next instalment comes out!

Polaris by Mindee Arnett (Avalon #2, Balzer + Bray, January 20 2015)  The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Trilogy #2, Farrar Straus Giroux, March 3)  Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman (Seraphina #2, Random House, March 10) Half Wild by Sally Green (Half Bad #2, Viking, March 24) Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blackman (Prisoner of Night and Fog #2, Balzer + Bray, April 21) Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen (Scarlet #3, Bloomsbury, May 19) Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen (The Malediction Trilogy #2, Angry Robot, June 2) The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (The Queen of the Tearling #2, Harper, June 9) Deceptive by Emily Lloyd-Jone (Illusive #2, Little Brown Books, July 14)
Polaris by Mindee Arnett (Avalon #2, Balzer + Bray, January 20)

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski (The Winner’s Trilogy #2, Farrar Straus Giroux, March 3)

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman (Seraphina #2, Random House, March 10)

Half Wild by Sally Green (Half Bad #2, Viking, March 24)

Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blackman (Prisoner of Night and Fog #2, Balzer + Bray, April 21)

Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen (Scarlet #3, Bloomsbury, May 19)

Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen (The Malediction Trilogy #2, Angry Robot, June 2)

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (The Queen of the Tearling #2, Harper, June 9)

Deceptive by Emily Lloyd-Jone (Illusive #2, Little Brown Books, July 14)

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