After the ALA Midwinter convention, I posted about the books I picked up, linking the titles to the GoodReads descriptions, along with publisher and publication date information.
I thought I’d do that again with my BEA picks — starting with the titles I packed in my luggage. Perhaps next week I can give a peak of what was in the two boxes I sent home. Look for a wrap up of the highs (and lows) of this year’s convention this week from both Kim and myself.
I hope you find this a useful and fun references for titles coming up to keep on your radar. Not all of the books have covers yet, but I’ve tried to include covers where possible.
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler, September
I read this one already and completely adored it. It’s lighter on plot, but it’s an interesting look at what power we have to shape our own futures.
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, September
The companion novel to Perkins’s debut Anna and the French Kiss. Not the same plot or characters, which is really refreshing.
Crossed by Ally Condie, November
Sequel to Matched, which I finally just got around to reading. I’m interested in how this story progresses.
Simon and Schuster
Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, September
This was probably THE biggest buzz book at BEA for young adults. Another debut author.
Perfect by Ellen Hopkins, September
Companion novel to Hopkins’s Impulse.
Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez, October
This one looks like it’s up my alley — a story about music competition with some romance added.
Sirenz by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman, available now
This is supposed to be a cleaner read and it’s the first in a trilogy.
Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey, September
Debut author with a paranormal that features a gay main character.
Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars by Nick James, September
A debut science fiction title that looks like it will have loads of good guy appeal.
Want to go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman, July
I’m super excited about this timely story about the trouble that can pop up when the internet becomes quite real and scary.
Pretty Bad Things by CJ Skuse, July
This looks insane (in a good way): a road trip with twins to Las Vegas where lots of crazy things go down.
Forever by Maggie Steifvater, July
The final installment in the series — I actually liked this paranormal series and know my teens are going to flip when they can win this this summer.
13 gifts by Wendy Mass, September
Have I mentioned how much I love Wendy Mass before? I’m stoked for this companion to 11 Birthdays and Finally. I flipped through and see we’ll be visiting some of those characters again, and I’m eager to see what goes on in their world now. Perfect middle grade novels.
Pie by Sarah Weeks, October
The publicist gave me this one after hearing how much I adore Wendy Mass and was excited about 13 Gifts. This looks like a sweet middle grade novel.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater, October
It’s Steifvater’s first stand alone novel. This was getting huge buzz at the Scholastic booth.
First Day on Earth by Cecil Castellucci, November
I’ve been a fan of Castellucci’s previous books, and this one looks really good to me, too.
Underground Time by Delphine de Vigan, December
I’m fairly sure this is an adult title, and it’s about office bullying. Timely, for sure.
Fracture by Megan Miranda, January 2012
It seems to me the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012 will involve a lot of “there was an accident and someone woke up” kind of stories. This is one — main character wakes after an accident and doesn’t know whether she’s a miracle or freak.
All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin, September
Zevin’s name on a book is enough to sell me on it, but in this one, coffee and chocolate are outlawed. As a non-coffee drinker and non-chocolate lover, this speaks to me on a level that is probably opposite everyone else who’d be interested in this book.
If I Tell by Janet Gurtler, October
A girl catches her mother making out with her own best friend. Drama! Tension! This looks fantastic.
Supernaturally by Kiersten White, July
This is the sequel to Paranormalcy, which happens to be the last book my teen book club at work read and discussed before I left. They were begging me for the sequel, so to say I’m excited I managed to get this for them is an understatement.
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, November
Another debut author and another huge buzz title at BEA. I’m not sure I’m totally sold on the concept, but I’ll give it a fair shot.
Shut Out by Kody Keplinger, September
I quite liked Keplinger’s first book, The DUFF, and I’m curious what her sophomore effort will look like.
How to Rock Braces and Glasses by Meg Haston, September
I think this sounds like it will resonate with a lot of middle school readers. A younger YA title.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, September
This was one of Little Brown’s buzz titles, and for good reason: it looks like it will have huge appeal for readers. Taylor’s last novel, Lips Touch: Three Times, was one I really liked.
Bunheads by Sophie Flack, October
It’s an interesting trend to see more than one title coming out in this batch featuring a 19-year-old main character. It makes me wonder if YA is trending up in age a little bit. Also, I got this book signed and it was, by far, the slowest signing I’ve ever waited for. The book looks really good though, with huge appeal.
Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker, January 2012
This sounds like a great Dairy Queen read alike.
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr, January 2012
Janssen has read this one and says it’s really good. I’ve only ever read one Sara Zarr (after thinking I’ve read none, I realize I have read Story of a Girl — perhaps one of the first YA books I read during grad school) but I look forward to this one.
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, January 2012
I think this book might have been a bigger buzz title than the Taylor one. It’s part text, part image: another trend I noticed this year. I think it’s a good trend, too, if it’s done well.
The Rivals by Daisy Whitney, February 2012
This is the companion to Whitney’s The Mockingbirds. I began this one on the plane home and am already convinced it’s far better than her first. The writing is beautiful (I’ve even marked some fantastic lines already) and Alex, who starred in the last story, is a much stronger character now. I’m eager to see where this continues.
As you can see, there are a few that I’m extremely excited about, and you can see some of the trends emerging for fall 2011 and spring 2012. Other books will resonate with my teens like crazy, even if they aren’t my cup of tea.
Although it appears there’s quite a bit of contemporary, my luggage picks were the bulk of contemporary titles I picked up this year. It looks to be a thin year in that genre yet again, but what is publishing looks strong and timely. I’m holding out for a renaissance for this genre because it’s been really lacking the last couple of years — or at least, the attention for it has certainly been shadowed by big name fantasy/dystopian/paranormal titles and series.
Kelly Jensen is a former librarian turned editor for Book Riot. She's the author of IT HAPPENS: A Guide to Contemporary Realistic Fiction for the YA Reader and the forthcoming Feminism For The Real World (Algonquin Young Readers, Spring 2017).