Outcasts by Jill Williamson
Release date: 1/7/14
Three brothers and a young girl fight for survival within the towering walls of the Safe Lands. Despite its name, the city is ravaged with disease and infested with corruption. Each brother follows a mission: to find a cure for the sick; to free the captives; to take down the Safe Lands in a rebellion.
The second in her Safe Lands series, Outcasts is quickly earning a reputation as an intense story set in a captivating world. As a fan of Williamson’s fantasy series, Blood of Kings, I’ve been eager to get lost in another story by this worthy author.
The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson
Release date: 11/9/13
Lonely Gisela spends her days serving her stepmother and grasping at memories of a happier childhood. When a handsome Duke throw a grand ball, Gisela is determined to attend and to have one last glimpse of the beauty of her past.
Dickerson won my heart as a reader with her debut novel The Healer’s Apprentice, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. The beautiful simplicity of the story and the lovely characters she creates are difficult to resist. I am eager to get my eyes on her latest happily ever after story, inspired by the familiar tale of Cinderella in The Captive Maiden.
Cress (The Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer
Expected release date: 2/4/14
The third novel in the Lunar Chronicles series, Cress follows the story of a girl briefly mentioned in the series’ acclaimed story, Cinder. The story features unforgettable cast members, including Cinder, Captain Thorne, Scarlet, Wolf and the dreadful Queen Levana.
With Meyer’s gift for a perfect meld of sci-fi and fairy tales retold, this series is one not to miss. Cinder was a fabulous story and very clean content-wise. I’m very hopeful to find Cress to be another gem.
Shadow Hand by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Expected release date: 2/25/14
The day of Lady Daylily’s wedding draws near. Unlike the princesses of fairy tales, she will wed not her true love, but his awkward and foolish cousin. Daylily has always been the dutiful daughter. This time, however, she rebels, disappearing into the legendary Wilderlands and the land of Faerie. Though not her true love, her betrothed pursues her into peril, determined to rescue her.
If you’ve followed my blog long, you’ll be familiar with this name. Stengl continually amazes me with her brilliant characters and sharp dialogue. She possesses an elusive ability to seamlessly draw symbolism into her stories without distracting from the tales. Shadow Hand revisits a fascinating character from an earlier novel in the Tales of Goldstone Wood called Veiled Rose. I can hardly wait until this one hits the shelves.
Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
Release date: 2/1/11
A young Japanese boy dreams of one day being a Samurai warrior It seems impossible, since he is the son of a fisherman. When he is stranded and then rescued by sailors on an American vessel, Manjiro begins a grand journey that will take him across the globe.
I stumbled upon this inspired-by-history novel on a rack of books for sale at the public library last summer and was immediately intrigued. My mother recently added it to her library, and has raved about the craftsmanship of the story and the power in its telling. I may have to snag this one as soon as she finishes the last page.
Stay Where You Are and Then Leave by John Boyne
Release date: 3/25/14
From the author who penned The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, an unforgettable tale of two boys who become unlikely friends during World War II comes an intriguing story about the son of a World War I soldier. His father promises not to go away, but then he leaves on a secret mission. Four years later, the boy discovers that his father is being treated in a local hospital. He vows to find his father and bring him home. I’m hopeful to find this novel every bit as engrossing and moving as Boyne’s WW II story.
Interrupted by Rachel Coker
Release date: 3/27/12
In the midst of the Great Depression, Allie’s whole life implodes. Her mother succumbs to illness and Allie is sent to a new family far away. Still lost in her grief, Allie isolates herself from the new family faces around her. The last person she hopes to see is the one she blames for her mother’s death, but her former best friend isn’t going to let Allie off so easily. Interrupted landed on my reading list when it was nominated as a finalist for the 2013 Christy Award.
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes
Release date: 9/17/13
Henkes captured my household with his delightful children’s stories about two charming mice in Chrysanthemum and Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse. The quirky characters and layers of humor meant for adult and child alike made these oft-repeated bed-time tales. I was thrilled to see this book announced and can’t wait to see what glories he brings to middle grade fiction.
The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson
Expected release date: 3/25/14
Piper scrapes out a meager existence by finding and selling scraps on Meteor Fields. When she finds a strange girl amidst the flotsam, she immediately recognizes the mark that changes everything. The girl’s arm bears the Mark of the Dragonfly, an emblem which means her return home will mean a payday to trump paydays for Piper, if she can just get there. Thus begins a grand adventure.
Something about the description of this book reminds me of the magical world created by Marissa Meyer in the Lunar Chronicles. Without having read the book, it’s difficult to say whether this is an accurate hunch. But two girls on a dangerous journey, one returning to the past and the other grasping at the only hope for her future… what’s not to like? I’m intrigued.
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Release date: 5/20/09
This book may well turn out to be one of those good ones that somehow slipped past unnoticed. I’ve heard some buzz about it lately, and since it was first recommended to me by a friend, I’m more curious than ever to get into this story set in a world in which parents of a child who reaches the age of thirteen have the ability to choose whether to keep the child or to have them “unwound,” and essentially destroyed.
Umm… I meant… I still need to read Scarlet!
I still need to read Lunar! Captive Maiden is in my TBR pile and very close to the top. And I read Interrupted a few years ago. The others look intriguing, especially that Outcasts one. *wink*
Interrupted and Cress are high up on my TBR list too. I have a couple books by Jill Williamson, but I haven’t read them yet. XD
Awesome! It’s hard to keep up with all the great books coming out these days. Sometimes I think reading could be a full time job – if only it paid! 🙂
Oh, my, some of these look SO good! Adding to my list!!
Yay! I’m glad – hope you enjoy them!