Ahhh, 2017 is among us. That means new year new you, right? Or you could just go the easy route and get pumped for all the super exciting YA releases hitting shelves in the first half of 2K17. I know that’s what I’ll be doing. So in an effort to get organized (I need some kind of resolution), I rounded up what I consider the ‘IT’ books you’re going to want to get your hands on, January-June. From exciting sequels to hot debuts and everything in between, it’s about to go down! So without further ado…lets cut to the books!
1.Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken
Passengers was one of my favorite books of 2016, being an exhilarating blend of history, romance, and action. It also ended with a cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers. So as to say, I have to know what happens next in Etta and Nicholas’s journey! But thanks to the bookish gods that be Wayfarer, the conclusion to this duology, will grace the world with its presence in January 2017. The excitement is palpable. This is one of few series where I have no idea what direction the author is heading in, but I do have a few ideas. And, spoiler alert, they’re all awesome. Alexandra Bracken gave an interview with Entertainment Weekly where she elluded to a lot of awesome plot points, as well as readers seeing more of Etta’s mother, Rose. She’s an integral player who’ll really serve to expand the universe, and enhance the reading experience. I expect great things from this book, and there’s still time for you to go back where it all started with Passenger.
2.Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Caraval is one of the hottest releases of winter 2017, drawing comparisons to one of my all time favorite books, The Night Circus. It’s original, it’s epic, and it’s got raving reviews to back it all up. Though I’ve been let down in the past by so called 4.37 star ratings on Goodreads, I choose to remain optimistic. One of my favorite reviewers wrote that the action is nonstop, with each chapter bringing a new twist in the ever expanding story. I also love the idea of strong sister bonds, which is a central plot point between protagonists Scarlett and Tella. And with that comes the story’s conflict; Scarlett must find her sister before the carnival is over in five days, less she disappear forever. Books with a set timeline are always hit and miss for me, but I hope Garber can carry Caraval’s strong suits all the way through for an awesome January read.
3.History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Adam Silvera’s debut, More Happy Than Not, but that had less to do with the story itself and more about my expectations. I’m more than willing to give Silvera another shot though with History Is All You Left Me. It tackles mental illness, death of a loved one, and moving on all in 320 pages, hopefully undershot ith Silvera’s trademark humor and wit. All the reviews I’ve read cite how hard they fell for protagonist Griffin, as well as other MC Jackson. This is a huge plus for me (stellar characters = key to my reader’s heart), and from the looks of things this is a story that’ll really hard on the subtleties. Best of all, from the excerpts I’ve read, Silvera never plays the part of the puppet master, instead letting the feels roll out organically. HIAYLM looks to be so much more than a typical contemporary, but an exploration of personal experience. I can’t wait to spend the frigid winter months delving into a story so very human.
4.The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Hate U Give, a fictional account of a police shooting and subsequent fallout, has been on my radar for a while. There’s never been a book more relevant for 2017, and I can’t wait to see how Angie Thomas delivers this important story. I was a bit let down by another take on Black Lives Matter, All American Boys, so I’m hopeful that this widens my view on the issue. Numerous publishers certainly think so, with Balzer + Bray recently winning a thirteen house auction to the six figure rights. Oh, and Fox pictures has optioned to make the film, with Amandla Stenberg set to star. To me, it seems like this book is on the surefire track to success (as well as shaping some lives in the process) and I want to be there when it happens. Amongst a stacked 2017 lineup this just might be my most anticipated release, and I can’t wait to see everything come full circle for this one of a kind story.
5.The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein
Shut the front door. This is not a drill. Elizabeth Wein has made my reader heart swell just a little bit bigger, as she’s penned a prequel to Code Name Verity. AKA the historical fiction book that will make you fall, forever and eternally, in love with period pieces. I must say thiugh I’m disappointed to just now be finding out about The Pearl Thief. Valuable potential fangirl opportunities were wasted. But at least now I only have to wait five more months until my eyes can feast on a piece of Wein writing once again. This uber exciting book is a prequel to the story of Verity (or Julie, as she’s known here), just before she learns to fly. It also has absolutely nothing to do with espionage, or war, or any of the topics we’re so accustomed to in typical Wein books. In fact, I think this might be her very first work not set somewhere in World War II. It’s strictly a coming of age tale, set against a historical backdrop. I hope this new avenue for Wein proves to be just as fruitful, and I’m bestowed with a fabulous read come May.
6.When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
This May 2017 release has potential to be either a collateral flop or amazing on fifty different levels. Such is the territory with contemporaries. I’m confident enough in the latter though to add it to this list. It’s a nontraditional love story (or, more accurately, anti love story) at its finest, following two Indian American teens as their parents attempt to arrange a marriage between them. In an interesting gender switch up, Rishi is thrilled at the idea of conforming to traditional Indian expectations, and meeting his wife at software programming camp. A camp where his “other half” has been shipped to under the guise of actual career focus. Told in alternating perspectives, I can’t wait to see what happens when everything goes down. The synopsis seems to shine a big light on cultural traditions, something I’m extremely interested in learning about here as well. If nothing else, I expect a sweet and fun read that delivers something a little different.
7.Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
I had no clue Laini Taylor was releasing a new series until this past BEA, when every round-up I watched/read contained a shout out to Strange the Dreamer. While it’s true I’m a Daughter of Smoke and Bone virgin for life, don’t doubt me when I say I’ll jump at the opportunity to read this one from the get go. So willing I’m prepared to look past that horrendous cover (points to anyone who knows what it’s actually supposed to be) and read the story it contains. While all of Taylor’s books offer up pretty cryptic synopsis’, from what I gather this one is all about well, this:
The aftermath of a war between gods and men. A mysterious city stripped of its name. A mythic hero with blood on his hands. A young librarian with a singular dream. A girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled. Alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage. It’s confusing as all get out and I don’t even care! The expected release on this one was September 27 by Little Brown, but has now been pushed back to March 28, 2017.
8.The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro
I finished A Study in Charlotte two weeks ago, to mixed feelings. On the one hand it thoroughly entertained me and proved Brittany Cavallaro has a knack for crafting mysteries. But…the characters were crummy and the Sherlock ties practically textbook. However with such a bomb ending (slight exaggeration, but Cavallaro opened the door to a lot of questions I’m still very interested in having answered), I don’t see how I can walk away without reading the sequel. Curse you Charlotte Holmes! Fortunately, I think there’s a very real chance I enjoy The Last of August over its predecessor. If Cavallaro can strike out on her own, letting the Sherlock inspo flow organically and crafting characters I’m genuinely invested in; there’s nothing stopping this one from being one of my 2017 favorites. Let’s just hope the Valentine’s Day release date isn’t an omen for unnecessary romance.
9.American Street by Ibi Zoboi
American Street, another February 14th release, is an immigrant story, a testament to the American dream, and a blended tale of magical realism. The latter is a huge red flag for me, but with a similar theme to Bone Gap I’m hoping author Ibi Zoboi can deliver in a big way. It’s flown fairly under the radar thus far, but I think that’ll change in the months leading up to its release. I can’t wait to read from protagonist Fabiola’s voice, as her culture combines urban Detroit and Haiti, two new settings for me. Many reviewers have also touched on the many issues Zoboi adds depth to, including abusive relationships, the drug trade, illness, and immigration/deportation. All this weaves together to complete Fabiola’s unique tapestry, as she navigates first love in this new world. I’m so excited for this one and can’t wait to hear from a fresh voice.
10.Wait for Me by Caroline Leech
Let me tell you, I am SO excited for this one. As in ‘counting down the days in anticipation’ excited. I can only hope Caroline Leech, a debut author, delivers in her World War II romance Wait for Me. Star crossed love is really the only way to go in fiction, and the saga between German POW Paul and Scottish Lorna promises to break your heart in the most devastating way possible. One can only hope. I’ve really been yearning for a good historical love story since reading Beth Kephart’s Going Over, and Wait for Me definitely follows in a similar vein. Reviews have been scarce thus far, but after being recently featured on Epic Reads I’m hoping the hype picks up. Oh and don’t even get me started on that cover. I’m almost considering framing it as wall art. I will for sure if this story is everything I hope it will be. January 31st cannot come soon enough.
What books are you most anticipating in 2017? Any on my list? Let me know in the comments!