Books recently received.


Behind again, shocker. And I'm going to have to do a second one of these for the books that arrived while I was at Midwinter. My life, it is complicated. (I don't know if I've mentioned this, but in case I haven't! The reason I've been doing this posts is thus: What with the full-time job and regular life and all, I am unable to read and review every single book that arrives on my doorstep (let alone the ones that I buy and the ones that I check out from the library), so these posts allow me to at LEAST let you know that they are books that are out there in the world.)

Forgiving Maximo Rothman, by A. J. Sidransky

A man is murdered in New York; the detective who gets the case finds the murderee's diaries and reads ALL FORTY YEARS' WORTH, looking for clues. Historical fiction framed by a crime story.

X, by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon

THIS ONE. As I said at Kirkus, it's a fictionalized account of Malcolm X's pre-Malcolm X life. I have heard uniformly excellent things about it, and I am so sad that I haven't found the time to sit down with it yet. MAYBE THIS WEEKEND.

Unlovely, by Celeste Conway

BALLET HORROR, WHAAAT. If I'd realized that I might have a Suspiria readalike on my hands, I'd have read it already. THIS WEEKEND FOR SURE. Stars a college-aged guy, which used to be unusual in YA, but is becoming more and more commonplace. I suddenly want to see stats on the average age of YA protagonists over the last fifteen years...

Spelled, by Betsy Schow

Reverse-ish Wizard of Oz, in which Dorthea of Oz—who is facing an arranged marriage—accidentally wishes her parents to a far-off land called 'Kansas'. I am cautiously interested.

Fallout, by Paul Thomas

Number five in the Tito Ihaka series, which stars a Maori cop in New Zealand. I love crime novels set in other countries, and I have an especially soft spot for Bitter Lemon Press in general, so I just went ahead and ordered the first book in the series. BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY I CAN'T START IN THE MIDDLE.

Lion Heart, by A. C. Gaughen

Speaking of picking up series in the middle... I tried with Lady Thief, I really did. But EITHER the series is not a good fit for me, period, OR I should have started at the beginning with Scarlet. Anyway. This is the third in the series—which is a re-imagining of Robin Hood in which (SPOILER) Will Scarlet is actually Maid Marian—and in all honesty, based on what I read of Lady Thief, I'm unlikely to pick it up unless you convince me otherwise in the comments. 

Hold Me Like a Breath, by Tiffany Schmidt

First book in the Once Upon a Crime series, and I am inclined to read it based on the series name alone. Daughter of a crime family that deals in black market organs, but hasn't been brought into the business because she has an autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise easily. So she's grown up super-cloistered... and of course, she ends up totally on her own, etc., etc. Based on the bruising, I'm assuming that it's a retelling of Princess and the Pea? Maybe?

Breaking Sky, by Cori McCarthy

I was a huge fan of Color of Rain, so I've been looking forward to this one. It sounds totally different—it's about teen fighter pilots—and the premise sounds a lot more... run of the mill... than Color of Rain, but I'm still hoping for another gem.

Fish in a Tree, by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

School troublemaker has been secretly dealing with dyslexia for years. Which SOUNDS very Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You-y, but Booklist and SLJ have both given it stars, so we'll see.

Summer by Summer, by Heather Burch

Girl nannying in Belize loves her young charge but can't stand his older brother, and the feeling is mutual. The two opposites end up stranded on an island during a dive trip. I have no doubt that this one will be full of surprises galore. (Though really, you never do know—a tired premise with a strong voice or super-nuanced emotional arc can sometimes be JUST THE THING.)

The Cipher, by John C. Ford

Boy solves ancient riddle central to modern-day encryption, thriller-y goings-on ensue. The Morgue and Me was a solid mystery with a solid voice, so I'll be taking this one for a spin soon.

Landry Park, by Bethany Hagen

Dystopian about an upper class girl who discovers that her fancy lifestyle is only possible to everyone else living in misery. So, basically, it sounds like The Hunger Games—minus the Games—from the perspective of someone who grew up in the Capitol. Which could be interesting.

Cherry Bomb, by Caitlin R. Tiernan/Kathleen Tierney

Third in a series about a half vampire/half werewolf lady. This installment involves a ghoul/djinn war, an artifact of power, and some HALF-GHOULS. It sounds so completely bananas that I just ILLed the first one in the series.

The Truth About Us, by Janet Gurtler

Privileged party girl gets in trouble, has to do community service in a soup kitchen. While she's there, she meets this boy DOT DOT DOT. Gurtler writes pretty solid contemporary YA romance, but I'm going to wait until I'm in EXACTLY THE RIGHT MOOD.


January 4.

November 23.

November 15.

November 2.