Wednesday Books Showcase: November Through April Releases￼
When this publishes, I will have been back to work two days. I’m writing it the weekend before. Here’s the problem: I just had three months off. I read SO MUCH. Seriously. I did. I came within ten books of clearing out my library holds queue (and pretty much successfully staggered my holds so I rarely had trips where I got a ridiculous amount of books). I read tons of book mail. A few days ago, I hauled my 11th grader to his high school (before school has even started, so gross!) and dropped off two big boxes and a bag of books for the Language Arts department. I’ve got a big pile to go to my school. My point is, I was starting to feel like I kind of had some control here. Then the day’s book mail arrived–four packages and one big box. Now, I’ve said it before: I will never complain about getting so many free books. It’s literally my childhood dream come true. But do I sometimes quite literally feel anxiety that interrupts my life because of the piles of books just WAITING for me? I do. Is book mail probably the ONLY even somewhat enjoyable thing in my life that causes me anxiety? Yep. I’ll take it. So I sometimes get up in the middle of the night to organize my TBR piles. So what? There are worse problems.
All of this is to say, hey, I got some more books. Let me tell you about them.
Pull out your TBR lists or get ready to add to the orders for books that stock your library or classroom shelves. Today I’m sharing with you forthcoming titles from Wednesday Books. All annotations are from the publisher.
Of Cages and Crowns by Brianna Joy Crump (ISBN-13: 9781990259029 Publisher: Wattpad WEBTOON Book Group Publication date: 11/22/2022, Ages 12+)
For goddess-touched girls, there is only one destiny: the Culling
From the moment Monroe Benson is born with a mark on her hand and the ability to summon fire from her fingertips, her life will never be her own. She’s goddess-touched, which means she’s destined to participate in the Culling, an age-old competition to determine the next queen of Erydia. For most of her seventeen years, her family has managed to keep Monroe—and her powers—hidden. But now, as Queen Viera calls for the Culling to start, and war looms on the horizon, Monroe can no longer hide. She must face her destiny whether she wants to or not.
For the ten goddess-touched girls, all with different powers, the inevitably of this fight to the death has always ruled their lives. The tradition is both barbaric and cruel, but to make matters worse—Monroe isn’t prepared. She hasn’t trained her whole life for this day. She doesn’t want to be in the spotlight. She doesn’t want the crown.
While Monroe struggles with her fate, a rebellion is brewing in the castle and in the country. A group called the Culled are banding together; their goal—to topple the monarchy. And the more they rise, the more merciless Viera is with her kingdom, recruiting younger and younger people from poorer and poorer places to fight in a war no one wants to be waging.
When Monroe finds herself on the front lines of the rebellion’s inner circle, only one thing stands in her way: Cohen. The queen’s son and the man who will be king. The pair grows close, yet Cohen’s dedication to duty, to family, to tradition stands in stark contrast to the boy Monroe sees at night in the kitchens, secretly making the two of them a snack.
As the fight crescendos around them, and the death of innocents becomes a reality, the choices Monroe makes will reverberate through the kingdom . . . and her heart forever.
Swift the Storm, Fierce the Flame by Meg Long (ISBN-13: 9781250785121 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 01/17/2023, Ages 12-18)
A girl hellbent on finding the friend she lost. A planet on the brink of total destruction. Only one way to find answers amidst the chaos: team up with a traitor to stage a revolution,in Meg Long’s Swift the Storm, Fierce the Flame.
After a mission gone awry two years ago, Remy Castell has been desperately searching across worlds to find the friend she failed to save—the friend who changed her life by helping her overcome the brainwashing she was subjected to as a genetically engineered corporate agent.
Since then, she’s been chasing the only lead she has: fellow genopath Kiran Lore, the same secretive ex-squadmate who left her for dead when she compromised their mission. She nearly caught up to him on Tundar before joining the infamous sled race alongside outcast Sena and her wolf companion Iska. Now, all three of them have tracked Kiran back to Maraas, the jungle planet where Remy lost everything. But nothing on Maraas is how it was two years ago. Syndicates and scavvers alike are trying to overthrow a megalomaniac corpo director. Remy definitely wants nothing to do with that; fighting against corpos is as useless as trying to stay dry in the middle of the giant hellstorm that encircles the planet. But the storm—and the rebellion—are growing stronger by the minute.
When Remy finds Kiran, he doesn’t run like she expects. Instead, he offers her a deal: help with the revolution and he’ll take her to her friend. But can she really trust the boy who betrayed her once before? With the entire planet on the edge of all-out war, Remy will have to decide just how far she’s willing to go to save one girl before the impending storm drowns them all.
Begin Again by Emma Lord (ISBN-13: 9781250783363 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 01/24/2023, Ages 12-18)
Filled with a friend group that feels like family, an empowering journey of finding your own way, and a Just Kiss Already! romance, Emma Lord’s Begin Again is an unforgettable YA novel of love and starting again.
As usual, Andie Rose has a plan: Transfer from community college to the hyper competitive Blue Ridge State, major in psychology, and maintain her lifelong goal of becoming an iconic self-help figure despite the nerves that have recently thrown her for a loop. All it will take is ruthless organization, hard work, and her trademark unrelenting enthusiasm to pull it all together.
But the moment Andie arrives, the rest of her plans go off the rails. Her rocky relationship with her boyfriend Connor only gets more complicated when she discovers he transferred out of Blue Ridge to her community college. Her roommate Shay needs a major, and despite Andie’s impressive track record of being The Fixer, she’s stumped on how to help. And Milo, her coffee-guzzling grump of an R.A. with seafoam green eyes, is somehow disrupting all her ideas about love and relationships one sleep-deprived wisecrack at a time.
But sometimes, when all your plans are in rubble at your feet, you find out what you’re made of. And when Andie starts to find the power of her voice as the anonymous Squire on the school’s legendary pirate radio station–the same one her mom founded, years before she passed away–Andie learns that not all the best laid plans are necessarily the right ones..
Wildblood by Lauren Blackwood (ISBN-13: 9781250787132 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 02/07/2023, Ages 13-18)
A thrilling new fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Blackwood!
Eighteen-year-old Victoria is a Wildblood. Since she was kidnapped at the age of six and manipulated by the Exotic Lands Touring Company, she’s worked as a tour guide ever since with a team of fellow Wildbloods who take turns using their magic to protect travelers in a Jamaican jungle teeming with ghostly monsters.
When the boss denies Victoria an earned promotion to team leader in favor of Dean, her backstabbing ex, she’s determined to prove herself. Her magic may be the most powerful on the team, but she’s not the image the boss wants to send their new client, Thorn, a renowned goldminer determined to reach an untouched gold supply deep in the jungle.
Thorn is everything Victoria isn’t – confident, impossibly kind, and so handsome he leaves her speechless. And when he entrusts the mission to her, kindness turns to mutual respect, turns to affection, turns to love. But the jungle is treacherous, and between hypnotic river spirits, soul-devouring women that shed their skin like snakes, and her ex out for revenge, Victoria has to decide – is promotion at a corrupt company really what she wants?
A fierce, lush fantasy by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Blackwood, Wildblood tells the story of a girl who must find the strength to defeat the demons of the jungle as well as her own to find where she truly belongs.
You Wouldn’t Dare by Samantha Markum (ISBN-13: 9781250846785 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 03/28/2023, Ages 13-18)
A rom com about trying to have the summer of your life before everything changes – only to realize change might be exactly what you need…
When Juniper Nash Abreheart kissed Graham Isham for the first time, she had no idea it would nearly be the end of their friendship.
More specifically, she had no idea that the terrible, unforgivable thing she did to keep their summer fling a secret wouldn’t just ruin their friendship, but also Graham’s entire life. Now, months since the fallout, Junie and Graham spend most of their time sidestepping conversational landmines on the journey back to normalcy.
Junie is sure the strangeness between her and Graham is her biggest problem – until her mom hires Tallulah, her boyfriend’s surly teenage daughter, to work at their family café, and then announces they’ll all be moving in together at the end of the summer. The only bright spot ahead is Junie’s dad’s upcoming visit, just in time for her community theater production. And then poor turnout soon threatens that.
But when Junie starts to realize the feelings she swore to take care of last summer have lingered, saving her production and managing her hostile relationship with Tallulah might be the least of her problems. Graham isn’t just off limits – their friendship has been mended to barely withstand a breeze, and the gale force of Junie’s feelings could be just what breaks them.
Samantha Markum’s You Wouldn’t Dare is about the risks and triumphs that come with being brave enough to take a chance at what you really want, including love.
Ander and Santi Were Here by Jonny Garza Villa (ISBN-13: 9781250843999 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 04/04/2023, 14-18)
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe meets The Sun is Also a Star in this YA contemporary love story from Jonny Garza Villa, Ander and Santi Were Here, about a nonbinary Mexican American teen falling for the shy new waiter at their family’s taqueria.
Finding home. Falling in love. Fighting to belong.
The Santos Vista neighborhood of San Antonio, Texas, is all Ander Lopez has ever known. The smell of pan dulce. The mixture of Spanish and English filling the streets. And, especially their job at their family’s taquería. It’s the place that has inspired Ander as a muralist, and, as they get ready to leave for art school, it’s all of these things that give them hesitancy. That give them the thought, are they ready to leave it all behind?
To keep Ander from becoming complacent during their gap year, their family “fires” them so they can transition from restaurant life to focusing on their murals and prepare for college. That is, until they meet Santiago Garcia, the hot new waiter. Falling for each other becomes as natural as breathing. Through Santi’s eyes, Ander starts to understand who they are and want to be as an artist, and Ander becomes Santi’s first steps toward making Santos Vista and the United States feel like home.
Until ICE agents come for Santi, and Ander realizes how fragile that sense of home is. How love can only hold on so long when the whole world is against them. And when, eventually, the world starts to win.
Pieces of Me by Kate McLaughlin (ISBN-13: 9781250264343 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 04/18/2023, Ages 13-18)
The next gut-punching, compulsively readable Kate McLaughlin novel, about a girl finding strength in not being alone.
When eighteen-year-old Dylan wakes up, she’s in an apartment she doesn’t recognize. The other people there seem to know her, but she doesn’t know them – not even the pretty, chiseled boy who tells her his name is Connor. A voice inside her head keeps saying that everything is okay, but Dylan can’t help but freak out. Especially when she borrows Connor’s phone to call home and realizes she’s been missing for three days.
Dylan has lost time before, but never like this.
Soon after, Dylan is diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, and must grapple not only with the many people currently crammed inside her head, but that a secret from her past so terrible she’s blocked it out has put them there. Her only distraction is a budding new relationship with Connor. But as she gets closer to finding out the truth, Dylan wonders: will it heal her or fracture her further?
Kate McLaughlin’s Pieces of Me is raw, intimate, and surprisingly hopeful.
Filed under: New Releases
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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