Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Top Ten! 2014 Debuts I'm Totally There For

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovelies over at The Broke and Bookish. For more information on how to participate, please check them out!

If there's something good I have to say about 2013, it was the authors. I grew ridiculously fond of the Thirteeners, one and all, and I'm looking forward to the talent that is unfolding in 2014!

I tried to steer toward the must-haves that already had covers, which is why a few of my favorite titles are not on the list. Not to worry - they'll get their day pretty soon!

The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex #1) by Lindsay Cummings

An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

I've been waiting for this one since before it had a cover. I personally love Moira Young's Dust Lands and anything involving a girl who knows how to be strong and tough and defend her family. The cover just adds to the gritty feel of the blurb and the author's world.

add on goodreads | releasing june 10 2014

Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1) by Danielle Paige
I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!
I grew up in Oz. Even as a little girl curled up on the couch with my nose buried in a book full of words written before I was born, I could feel the inherent girl power within it: princesses ruled, a man who was a false wizard and an usurper of the throne was removed by a said princess, and little girls defeated foes twice their size. 

That being said, I have mixed feelings about Dorothy - the traditional protagonist - being the bad guy, but I'm also all for stories being turned on their heads. It'll be interesting to see how this one turns out!

add on goodreads | releasing april 1 2014

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco 
A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret - one that would just kill to get out. 

This is probably my most wanted title of the year. You probably already know about my obsession with Japan, right? And last year, though I've always been crazy about anime, I went on a dark, horrorish-specific binge - that in spite of me being a total, blood-hating baby, so I ended up having to press mute and squeeze my eyes shut quite a few times.

That being said, this is most definitely up my alley. I've been following Rin's blog since she announced her book deal, and I can't wait to see how it turns out!

add on goodreads | releasing august 5 2014

Falls the Shadow by Stefanie Gaither 
When Cate Benson was twelve, her sister died.

Two hours after the funeral, they picked up Violet’s replacement, and it was like nothing had ever happened. Because Cate’s parents are among those who decided to grant their children a sort of immortality—by cloning them at birth. So this new Violet has the same smile. The same laugh. That same perfect face. Thanks to advancements in mind-uploading technology, she even has all the same memories as the girl she replaced.

She also might have murdered the most popular girl in school.

Or at least, that’s what the paparazzi and crazy anti-cloning protesters want everyone to think: that clones are violent, unpredictable monsters. Cate is used to hearing all that, though. She’s used to standing up for her sister too, and she’s determined to prove her innocence now—at whatever the cost. But the deeper she digs for the truth, the further Cate's carefully-constructed life begins to unravel, unveiling a world filled with copies and lies, where nothing and no one—not even her sister— is completely what they seem.

In a pulse pounding debut, Stefanie Gaither takes readers on a nail-biting ride through a future that looks frighteningly similar to our own time and asks: how far are you willing to go to keep your family together?
I don't think I need to really say anything about this one. I mean, the summary says it all, right? Would you honestly turn down something this heart-pounding? Clones, murder and manipulation, oh, my! 

add on goodreads | releasing september 16 2014

Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis 
When Sky falls from Blackfin Pier and drowns on her sixteenth birthday, the whole town goes into mourning – until she shows up three months later like nothing happened.

Unravelling the mystery of those missing months takes Sky to the burned-out circus in the woods, where whispers of murder and kidnapping begin to reveal the town’s secrets. But Sky’s not the only one digging up the past – the old mime from the circus knows what happened to her, and he has more than one reason for keeping quiet about it.

This has a very Imaginary Girls feel to me, and since that is one of my favorites, I'm hoping this will strike a chord in me as well!

add on goodreads | releasing may 14 2014

Sekret (Sekret #1) by Lindsay Smith
Yulia’s father always taught her that an empty mind is a safe mind. She has to hide her thoughts and control her emotions to survive in Communist Russia, especially because she seems to be able to read the minds of the people she touches. When she’s captured by the KGB and forced to work as a psychic spy with a mission to undermine the U.S. space program, she’s thrust into a world of suspicion, deceit, and horrifying power where she can trust no one.

She certainly can’t trust Rostov, the cruel KGB operative running the psychic program. Or handsome Sergei who encourages her to cooperate with the KGB. Or brooding Valentin who tells her to rebel against them. And not the CIA, who have a psychic so powerful he can erase a person’s mind with his own thoughts. Yulia quickly learns she must rely on her own wits and power to survive in this world where no SEKRET can stay hidden for long.
I've gotten to know Lindsay through Twitter the past year. She's sweet, knowledgeable and enthusiastic - and so is the summary for her debut. I used to be obsessed with Russian history back in middle school, particularly the tragically doomed Romanov family. But espionage, history and dystopia blended with it? Dream come true.

add on goodreads | releasing april 1 2014

Extraction (Extraction #1) by Stephanie Diaz
Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her sixteenth birthday, when she’ll be tested for Extraction in the hopes of being sent from the planet Kiel’s toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves Promising enough to be “Extracted,” she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life.

What she finds initially in the Core is a utopia compared to the Surface—it’s free of hard labor, gun-wielding officials, and the moon's lethal acid. But life is anything but safe, and Clementine learns that the planet's leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers—and that means Logan, too.

Trapped by the steel walls of the underground and the lies that keep her safe, Clementine must find a way to escape and rescue Logan and the rest of the planet. But the planet leaders don't want her running—they want her subdued.
Yes, yes, yes! Ladies and gentlemen, this is the debut that will rock your shelves this year. I had the pleasure of pre-reading a draft of this for Stephanie, and it is definitely all that the summary promises and then some. 

add on goodreads | releasing july 22 2014

Half Bad (Half Life Trilogy #1) by Sally Green

In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

This is really, really my cup of tea: spicy (witches, witches and more witches!), flavorful (a modern-day London with a fantastic twist) and obviously willing to leave a haunting aftertaste. Can we forward-fast to March already?

add on goodreads | releasing march 4 2014

Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1) by Danielle L. Jensen 
For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.
I fell in love with Clare B. Dunkle's Hollow Kingdom series in 2012 - though I don't think I ever got around to reviewing it here, as with many things I loved in 2012. Ah, well. In any case, this sounds a lot like it - and trolls? Yes, please! I love faeries, but I think they are rather overdone at this point.

add on goodreads | releasing april 1 2014

The Story of Owen by E.K. Johnson 
Listen! For I sing of Owen Thorskard: valiant of heart, hopeless at algebra, last in a long line of legendary dragon slayers. Though he had few years and was not built for football, he stood between the town of Trondheim and creatures that threatened its survival. There have always been dragons. As far back as history is told, men and women have fought them, loyally defending their villages. Dragon slaying was a proud tradition. But dragons and humans have one thing in common: an insatiable appetite for fossil fuels. 

From the moment Henry Ford hired his first dragon slayer, no small town was safe. Dragon slayers flocked to cities, leaving more remote areas unprotected. Such was Trondheim's fate until Owen Thorskard arrived. At sixteen, with dragons advancing and his grades plummeting, Owen faced impossible oddsarmed only with a sword, his legacy, and the classmate who agreed to be his bard. Listen! I am Siobhan McQuaid. I alone know the story of Owen, the story that changes everything. Listen!
Dragons are a huge soft spot for me. My current WIP also is centered around them, so this must be the year of scaly, fire-breathing reptiles for me! The idea of a dragon epic in our present day is humorous and endearing. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

add on goodreads | releasing march 1 2014

Are any of my anticipated debuts on your list? Any that you think I should know about?


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