New Book Releases for the Week of April 7, 2015
This week sees new book releases from Balzer + Bray, HarperTeen, Knopf, Random House, and more!
PICK OF THE WEEK
This was an easy one for me, because I LOVED this one so much. I’ve chosen Becky Albertalli’s debut novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda because it’s a wonderful, real, and epically beautiful book. It deserves to be read. Feel free to read my review on my blog to learn more.
More about the book:
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Balzer + Bray – MSRP: $17.99
SYNOPSIS: Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
OTHER YA RELEASES THIS WEEK:
None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
Balzer + Bray – MSRP: $17.99
Genre: Contemporary. Find out more on Goodreads
SYNOPSIS: A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex . . . and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.
What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?
When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him.
But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned–something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.”
Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?
Buy a copy of None of the Above on Amazon!
Fig by Sarah Elizabeth Schantz
Margaret K. McElderry Books – MSRP: $17.99
Genre: Contemporary, mental health. Find out more on Goodreads.
SYNOPSIS: Love and sacrifice intertwine in this brilliant and provocative debut of rare beauty about a girl dealing with her mother’s schizophrenia and her own mental illness.
Fig’s world lies somewhere between reality and fantasy.
But as she watches Mama slowly come undone, it becomes hard to tell what is real and what is not, what is fun and what is frightening. To save Mama, Fig begins a fierce battle to bring her back. She knows that her daily sacrifices, like not touching metal one day or avoiding water the next, are the only way to cure Mama.
The problem is that in the process of a daily sacrifice, Fig begins to lose herself as well, increasingly isolating herself from her classmates and engaging in self-destructive behavior that only further sets her apart.
Spanning the course of Fig’s childhood from age six to nineteen, this deeply provocative novel is more than a portrait of a mother, a daughter, and the struggle that comes with all-consuming love. It is an acutely honest and often painful portrayal of life with mental illness and the lengths to which a young woman must go to handle the ordeals—real or imaginary—thrown her way.
Buy a copy of Figon Amazon!
Don’t Stay Up Late (Fear Street #1) by R.L. Stine
St. Martin’s Griffin – MSRP: $17.99
Genre: Horror, paranormal, mystery. Find out more on Goodreads.
SYNOSPSIS: The second new book in the re-launch of R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series, which sold 80 million copies around the world, making it one of the bestselling young adult series of all time.
R.L. Stine’s hugely successful young adult horror series Fear Street is back after almost 2 decades. Fear Street is a worldwide phenomenon and helped to kick off the young adult craze which is still going strong today. In the second new book in this series, Don’t Stay Up Late, Stine explores the unbridled terror of a damaged young lady sent on a doomed babysitting job.
Ever since a car accident killed her father and put Lisa and her mother into the hospital, Lisa can’t think straight. She’s plagued by nightmares and hallucinations that force her to relive the accident over and over again in vivid detail. When Lisa finds out that a neighbor is looking for a babysitter for her young son, she takes the job immediately, eager to keep busy and shake these disturbing images from her head.
But what promised to be an easy gig turns terrifying when Lisa begins to question exactly who — or what — she is babysitting.
R.L. Stine makes his triumphant return to Shadyside in the new Fear Street book Don’t Stay Up Late.
Snag a copy Don’t Stay Up Late: A Fear Street Novel of on Amazon before it’s too late!
I Am Her Revenge by Meredith Moore
Razorbill – MSRP: $17.99
Genre: Thriller, mystery. Find out more on Goodreads.
SYNOPSIS: She can be anyone you want her to be.
Vivian was raised with one purpose in life: to exact revenge on behalf of her mother. Manipulative and cruel, Mother has deprived Vivian not only of a childhood, but of an original identity. With an endless arsenal of enticing personalities at her disposal, Vivian is a veritable weapon of deception.
And she can destroy anyone.
When it’s time to strike, she enrolls in a boarding school on the English moors, where she will zero in on her target: sweet and innocent Ben, the son of the man who broke Mother’s heart twenty years ago.
Anyone… except for the woman who created her.
With every secret she uncovers, Vivian comes one step closer to learning who she really is. But the more she learns about herself, the more dangerous this cat and mouse game becomes. Because Mother will stop at nothing to make sure the truth dies with her.
Get a copy of I Am Her Revenge on Amazon before it gets YOU.
Kissing Ted Callahan (And Other Guys) by Amy Spalding
Poppy – MSRP: $18.00
Genre: Contemporary. Find out more on Goodreads.
SYNOPSIS: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist meets Easy A in this hilariously realistic story of sneaking out, making out, and playing in a band.
After catching their bandmates in a compromising position, sixteen-year-old Los Angelenos Riley and Reid become painfully aware of the romance missing from their own lives. And so a pact is formed: they’ll both try to make something happen with their respective crushes and document the experiences in a shared notebook.
While Reid struggles with the moral dilemma of adopting a dog to win over someone’s heart, Riley tries to make progress with Ted Callahan, who she’s been obsessed with forever-His floppy hair! His undeniable intelligence! But suddenly cute guys are popping up everywhere. How did she never notice them before?! With their love lives going from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye, Riley and Reid realize the results of their pact may be more than they bargained for.
Pick up your copy of Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) on Amazon!
Lies I Told by Michelle Zink
HarperTeen – MSRP: $17.99
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Mystery. Find out more on Goodreads.
SYNOPSIS: What if, after spending a lifetime deceiving everyone around you, you discovered the biggest lies were the ones you’ve told yourself?
Grace Fontaine has everything: beauty, money, confidence, and the perfect family.
But it’s all a lie.
Grace has been adopted into a family of thieves who con affluent people out of money, jewelry, art, and anything else of value. Grace has never had any difficulty pulling off a job, but when things start to go wrong on the Fontaines’ biggest heist yet, Grace finds herself breaking more and more of the rules designed to keep her from getting caught…including the most important one of all: never fall for your mark.
Perfect for fans of Ally Carter, Cecily von Ziegesar, and Gail Carriger, this thrilling, high-stakes novel deftly explores the roles of identity and loyalty while offering a window into the world of the rich and fabulous.
Get your copy of Lies I Told on Amazon!
ADULT FICTION RELEASES THIS WEEK:
The Dream Lover: A Novel of George Sand by Elizabeth Berg
Random House – MSRP: $28.00
Genre: Historical fiction. Find out more on Goodreads.
SYNOPSIS: A passionate and powerful novel based on the scandalous life of the French novelist George Sand, her famous lovers, untraditional Parisian lifestyle, and bestselling novels in Paris during the 1830s and 40s. This major departure for bestseller Berg is for readers of Nancy Horan and Elizabeth Gilbert.
George Sand was a 19th century French novelist known not only for her novels but even more for her scandalous behavior. After leaving her estranged husband, Sand moved to Paris where she wrote, wore men’s clothing, smoked cigars, and had love affairs with famous men and an actress named Marie. In an era of incredible artistic talent, Sand was the most famous female writer of her time. Her lovers and friends included Frederic Chopin, Gustave Flaubert, Franz Liszt, Eugene Delacroix, Victor Hugo, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and more. In a major departure, Elizabeth Berg has created a gorgeous novel about the life of George Sand, written in luminous prose, with exquisite insight into the heart and mind of a woman who was considered the most passionate and gifted genius of her time.
Buy The Dream Lover: A Novel on Amazon!
A Deadly Web (Bishop Files #2) by Kay Hooper
Jove – MSRP: $9.99 (paperback)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller. Find out more on Goodreads.
SYNOPSIS: John Brodie is a Guardian, a member of a secret network devoted to protecting the psychics in his charge from a ruthless—and virtually invisible—enemy.
Tasha Solomon is unaware of the Guardians’ existence—until the night the gifted psychic suffers a shocking and violent attack and Brodie saves her life.
Tough and resilient, Tasha isn’t used to depending on anyone. But the assault has left her vulnerable. Tasha doesn’t know who wants her dead, or why, or when he will strike again. Now, she is forced to trust that Brodie can guide her through a tangled web of danger and deception toward a safe harbor—one she fears is more elusive with each dark and endless night.
Get tangled in A Deadly Web (A Bishop Files Novel) from Amazon!
The Children’s Crusade by Ann Packer
Scribner – MSRP: $26.99
Genre: Literary fiction, Historical fiction. Find out more on Goodreads.
SYNOPSIS: From the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of The Dive From Clausen’s Pier, a sweeping, masterful new novel that explores the secrets and desires, the remnant wounds and saving graces of one California family, over the course of five decades.
Bill Blair finds the land by accident, three wooded acres in a rustic community south of San Francisco. The year is 1954, long before anyone will call this area Silicon Valley. Struck by a vision of the family he has yet to create, Bill buys the property on a whim. In Penny Greenway he finds a suitable wife, a woman whose yearning attitude toward life seems compelling and answerable, and they marry and have four children. Yet Penny is a mercurial housewife, at a time when women chafed at the conventions imposed on them. She finds salvation in art, but the cost is high.
Thirty years later, the three oldest Blair children, adults now and still living near the family home, are disrupted by the return of the youngest, whose sudden presence and all-too-familiar troubles force a reckoning with who they are, separately and together, and set off a struggle over the family’s future. One by one, the siblings take turns telling the story–Robert, a doctor like their father; Rebecca, a psychiatrist; Ryan, a schoolteacher; and James, the malcontent, the problem child, the only one who hasn’t settled down-their narratives interwoven with portraits of the family at crucial points in their history.
March to Amazon and get your copy of The Children’s Crusade: A Novel.
Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova
Gallery Books – MSRP: $26.00
Genre: Contemporary, Literary Fiction. Find out more on Goodreads.
SYNOPSIS: From award-winning, New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Lisa Genova comes a powerful new novel that does for Huntington’s Disease what her debut Still Alice did for Alzheimer’s.
Joe O’Brien is a forty-four-year-old police officer from the Irish Catholic neighborhood of Charlestown, Massachusetts. A devoted husband, proud father of four children in their twenties, and respected officer, Joe begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to the stress of his job, but as these symptoms worsen, he agrees to see a neurologist and is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family’s lives forever: Huntington’s Disease.
Huntington’s is a lethal neurodegenerative disease with no treatment and no cure. Each of Joe’s four children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting their father’s disease, and a simple blood test can reveal their genetic fate. While watching her potential future in her father’s escalating symptoms, twenty-one-year-old daughter Katie struggles with the questions this test imposes on her young adult life. Does she want to know? What if she’s gene positive? Can she live with the constant anxiety of not knowing?
As Joe’s symptoms worsen and he’s eventually stripped of his badge and more, Joe struggles to maintain hope and a sense of purpose, while Katie and her siblings must find the courage to either live a life “at risk” or learn their fate.
Buy your copy of Inside the O’Briens: A Novel from Amazon!
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Grove Press – MSRP: $26.00
Genre: Literary fiction, Historical fiction, War. Find out more on Goodreads.
SYNOPSIS: A profound, startling, and beautifully crafted debut novel, The Sympathizer is the story of a man of two minds, someone whose political beliefs clash with his individual loyalties.
It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain: a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America, but returned to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.
Get your copy of The Sympathizer today!
Odysseus Abroad by Amit Chaudhuri
Knopf – MSRP: $24.00
Genre: Historical fiction. Find out more on Goodreads.
SYNOPSIS: From the widely acclaimed writer, a beguiling new novel, at once wistful and ribald, about a day in the life of two Indian men in London–a university student and his bachelor uncle–each coping in his own way with alienation, solitariness, and the very art of living.
It is 1985. Twenty-two-year-old Ananda has been in London for two years, practicing at being a poet. He’s homesick, thinks of himself as an inveterate outsider, and yet he can’t help feeling that there’s something romantic, even poetic, in his isolation. His uncle, Radhesh, a magnificent failure who lives in genteel impoverishment and celibacy, has been in London for nearly three decades. Odysseus Abroad follows them on one of their weekly, familiar forays about town. The narrative surface has the sensual richness that has graced all of Amit Chaudhuri’s work. But the great charm and depth of the novel reside in Ananda’s far-ranging ruminations (into the triangle between his mother, father, and Radhesh–his mother’s brother, his father’s best friend; his Sylheti/Bengali ancestry; the ambitions and pressures that rest on his shoulders); in Radhesh’s often artfully wielded idiosyncrasies; and in the spiky, needful, sometimes comical, yet ultimately loving connection between the two men.
Don’t forget to get your copy of Odysseus Abroad: A novel!