After two slow months for new releases in YA, January has arrived! Fully prepared to take up all your spare time and empty your bank account of spending cash. But is that really such a bad thing? To me, not really. Especially when I have the opportunity to round up a list of all the books most likely to receive five star ratings from us bookworms. And there’s STILL so many more exciting releases I wasn’t able to include! On here though you can find a dystopian, three contemporaries, a (very exciting) historical fiction read, and a mystery. There really is something for every reader on here. So without further ado…let’s cut to the books!
The Continent by Kiera Drake- January 1
It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten so excited for a dystopian, but The Continent is well worth my anticipation. Keira Drake’s debut, which came out in the beginning of January, definitely brings about The Day After Tomorrow vibes for me. The story follows aspiring cartographer (a plot point I can’t wait to see expanded upon), Vaela. For her entire life she’s made maps of the war torn Continent, a desolate tundra wasteland where The Hunger Games-esque battles reign supreme. Hardly the place for a birthday trip, yet that’s exactly where Vaela goes…only to wind up trapped and abandoned in the unforgiving wild. Pretty much Hatchet reimagined! There’s a lot I’m looking forward to with this one, from the survival aspects to the world so unlike anything I’ve seen done before. And yes, the absence of any romance (at least in the synopsis) is a huge plus for me. I haven’t read many reviews for this one, so let me know what your thoughts were!
The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti- January 3
The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett sounds like the best kind of crossover between the TV show Search Party (which I love) and the book No One Else Can Have You (which I didn’t). Hopefully MC Hawthorn’s quest for truth ends up resembling the former rather than the latter. This is especially true when I think Sedoti’s debut could quickly descend into straight up ridiculousness. Or it could be utterly fabulous. The only thing I know for sure is that Hawthorn is a burgeoning Sherlock, obsessed with finding out who in her small town is behind the disappearance of it girl Lizzie Lovett. But upon closer inspection not everything in Lizzie’s life is as perfect as it appears- and Hawthorn intends to sift through the fact and fiction by infiltrating her life. Yeah. I’m sure nothing shady will happen with that. Let me tell you though, I can’t wait for all these separate mystery threads to come crashing together. I’m in business for a good mystery, and hopefully this one keeps me on my toes.
Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist- January 3
Having read Josh Sundquist’s memoir, We Should Hang Out Sometime, I can say with absolute certainty he’s hilarious. And with this in mind I’m also assuming his first foray into fiction will carry that same trademark humor. After all, this contemporary starts with MC Will accidentally groping a girl, sitting on another student, and driving a classmate to tears. But from there things only get better, with Will developing a crush on a girl named Cecily. Except when an experimental surgery becomes available, giving Will eyesight for the first time ever, he realizes what he’s been told of Cecily’s appearance is a lie. Does it matter? Not really, but Will nonetheless feels betrayed. As the blurb says, Will will then explore “the nature of love, trust, and romantic attraction”. This is one of the books on my Diversity Bingo TBR, and for good reason. Though I’ve read stories with blind characters before, there’s never been much emphasis on how sight affects our relationships. I’m so excited to read Sundquist’s perspective, and have my eyes opened a little wider.
A List of Cages by Robin Roe- January 10
A List of Cages is one of the books I selected for my Diversity Bingo TBR (check it out here), and I’m even more excited to read it now than I was then. It’s a contemporary that deals with mental illness and family ties, starting when protagonist Adam Blake lands an elective course with his school’s psychologist. He’s tasked with a job that at first seems simple enough; tracking down a troubled student. However Julian is far from an anonymous face, he’s the foster brother Adam hasn’t seen in five years. Happy to be reunited, Adam quickly discovers Julian is hiding something from him, a secret Adam is determined to uncover. But what happens if his involvement costs both boys their life?
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson- January 24
Probably the one book on this list I’m most excited for, Allegedly is also the grittiest, darkest, and by far the most likely to get my tear ducts working overdrive. Jackson’s debut tells the story of Mary B. Addison, a young woman sentenced for the killing of a white baby that died while in the care of herself and her mother. Flash forward six years and Mary is being transferred out of juvenile detention and into a group home. But with the impending birth of her child Mary is compelled to finally tell the truth about what happened that day, and set the record straight once and for all. I was moved a lot in 2016 by books that took a somewhat pessimistic stance on our current justice system, and I expect Allegedly to fall right in line with favorites of mine like Exit, Pursued By a Bear. However Jackson is also set to add another layer to her story with the incorporation of race, and I can’t wait to see how it impacts the book. If anyone’s already read this one (I’m thoroughly jealous), let me know what you thought!
Wait for Me by Caroline Leech- January 31
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, adding a new voice to historical fiction in the process. Add it to your shelf!
What books are you most looking forward to in January? Are any of these on your TBR? Let me know in the comments!