02 January 2011

Top Ten Books I Most Anticipate in 2011

Since it's the new year, let's look forward to the great books that we'll be able to enjoy in the next year!

#10 - Shadowspell by Jenna Black

On top of spending most of her time in a bunkerlike safe house and having her dates hijacked by a formidable Fae bodyguard, Faeriewalker Dana Hathaway is in for some more bad news: the Erlking and his pack of murderous minions known as the Wild Hunt have descended upon Avalon. With his homicidal appetite and immortal powers, the Erlking has long been the nightmare of the Fae realm. A fragile treaty with the Faerie Queen, sealed with a mysterious spell, is the one thing that keeps him from hunting unchecked in Avalon, the only place on Earth where humans and Fae live together. Which means Dana’s in trouble, since it’s common knowledge that the Faerie Queen wants her – and her rare Faeriewalker powers – dead. The smoldering, sexy Erlking’s got his sights set on Dana, but does he only seek to kill her, or does he have something much darker in mind?

To add to all of Dana's problems, now the fairies aren't looking to kidnap her and keep her from her father--they want her dead.

#9 - Crossed by Allison Condie

no blurb yet

Since much of Matched's appeal was in its promise of an action-packed sequel, I had to put that sequel on this list.

#8 - Across the Universe by Beth Revis

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awake on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into a brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone—one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship—tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Teen space opera, a rather under-represented category in YA right now.

#7 - Blackveil by Kristen Britain

Karigan G'ladheon was a regular girl until she stumbled across a dying man. There were two arrows embedded in his back, and wherever his horse was taking him, he was going to die before they got there. He gave Karigan his horse, cloak and his broach – the symbol that he was one of the King's Green Riders – and, with them, his mission. To deliver a message to the King. He made her swear to do it... even though the Shadow Man who killed him will be hot on her trail.

That mission made her a Green Rider. Now, her first, legendary mission is long complete. Karigan has learnt to wield the magic her green rider broach allows her to access, and she's used it to defy some of the most terrifying dark magicians of the age. But while Mornhavon the Black has gone, he's not defeated. His restless spirit haunts Blackveil, the lethal, corrupt forest that stands beyond a failing magical wall at the edge of King Zachary's territory. Karigan's destiny is leading her there, and when her King asks her to join a mission to Blackveil to save the remnants of a dying race, it seems she has little choice but to follow it...

The Green Rider books are so absorbing and good, high fantasy at its best. However, the author has the unfortunate problem of having a real life, so the books are incredibly slow to come out - this is the fourth of the series, the first was published in 1998. The painfully slow pace sets up lots of suspense, making this book highly anticipated :D

#6 - XVI by Julia Karr

In the year 2150, being a girl isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially when your sixteenth (read sex-teenth) birthday is fast approaching. That in itself would be enough to make anyone more than a little nuts, what with the tattoo and all – but Nina Oberon’s life has taken a definite turn for the worse. Her mother is brutally stabbed and left for dead. Before dying, she entrusts a secret book to Nina, telling her to deliver it to Nina's father. But, first Nina has to find him; since for fifteen years he's been officially dead. Complications arise when she rescues Sal, a mysterious, and ultra hot guy. He seems to like Nina, but also seems to know more about her father than he’s letting on. Then there’s that murderous ex-government agent who’s stalking her, and just happens to be her little sister’s dad.

This book looks like an awesome view of gender and female sexuality as well as a commentary on patriarchy and rape culture. I have really high hopes that it'll be wonderful.

#5 - Rage

Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was . . . different.

That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a different kind of blade—a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control.

A unique approach to the topic of self-mutilation, Rage is the story of a young woman who discovers her own power and refuses to be defeated by the world.

The first book in this series was life-changing. It was an amazing look at eating disorders that, more than anything else I've ever seen, heard, or read, has helped me to truly understand the body image spiral that leads to these diseases and how hard it really is to change. I hope that Rage, about self-mutilation, is half as thought-provoking, because that will mean it is an amazing read.

#4 - The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal

Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia has led a privileged life at court. But everything changes when she learns, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection. Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city, her best friend, Kiernan, and the only life she’s ever known.

Sent to live with her only surviving relative, a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks. Then she discovers that magic runs through her veins – long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control – and she realizes that she will never learn to be just a simple village girl.

Sinda returns to the city to seek answers. Instead, she rediscovers the boy who refused to forsake her, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor’s history, forever.

High fantasy about a girl who is raised as a princess but finds out she's actually the stunt double. I think this is a great reversal of the "but I'm really royalty" traditional plotline. Plus, high fantasy, which I love, and I've won an autographed ARC, so I'm super excited!

#3 - Wither by Lauren DeStefano

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.

Everyone's calling it "the YA version of a Handmaid's Tale" which makes it very intriguing for me. It's about girls forced into polygamous marriages and forced to bear children at a young age due to the decreasing fertility of the human race, which again leads to gender and patriarchy discussions, and whether you can "value" a human being by owning them like a possession.

#2 - Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales by Tamora Pierce

Collected here for the first time are all of the tales from the land of Tortall, featuring both previously unknown characters as well as old friends. Filling some gaps of time and interest, these stories, some of which have been published before, will lead Tammy's fans, and new readers into one of the most intricately constructed worlds of modern fantasy.

Anything Tamora Pierce writes will be highly anticipated by me.

#1 - Eona by Alison Goodman

Where there is power, there is betrayal…

Once she was Eon, a girl disguised as a boy, risking her life for the chance to become a Dragoneye apprentice. Now she is is Eona, the Mirror Dragoneye, her country’s savior—but she has an even more dangerous secret.

She cannot control her power.

Each time she tries to bond with her Mirror Dragon, she becomes a conduit for the ten spirit dragons whose Dragoneyes were murdered by Lord Ido. Their anguish floods through her, twisting her ability into a killing force, destroying the land and its people.

And another force of destruction is on her trail.

Along with Ryko and Lady Dela, Eona is on the run from High Lord Sethon’s army. The renegades must find Kygo, the young Pearl Emperor, who needs Eona’s power if he is to wrest back his throne from Sethon. But if Eona is to help Kygo, she must drive a dark bargain with an old enemy that could obliterate them all.

Because Eon was simply amazing, and as intriguing as it was to watch a girl hide out as a boy, I have a feeling that Goodman is going to make the transition back to living as a girl even harder on Eona, which is a fresh angle I am highly anticipating watching.

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