I’m about two weeks too late to be writing a March New Releases post, but this month just had too many great books for me not to do one. As my TBR pile can testify too, it was very difficult for me to narrow down this list to only six books. However I did it, which means this compilation is especially stacked- with a fairy tale retelling, a grisly science fiction, and four contemporaries all jostling for top seat. If I ever had to direct someone to great recommendations, my finger would point anywhere with the words ‘March’ and ‘new releases’ thrown in. So without further ado…let’s cut to the books.
Hunted by Meagan Spooner
After watching (and loving) the Beauty & the Beast remake, I’m fully prepared to welcome more reimaginings into my life. I’m only familiar with Meagan Spooner from her work as coauthor of the Starbound trilogy (which I never actually read), however the premise alone of Hunted gives me high expectations. It retains the same core as Disney’s version of the story, with protagonist Yeva forced to journey into unknown woods to save her father. That’s where many of the similarities end though, as I expect the “hidden valley and crumbling castle” of Spooner’s invention to be much more laden with the Russian folklore of the setting. Not to mention the cryptic question posed by the synopsis; “who will survive the Beauty, or the Beast?” I can’t really tell how romance based Spooner is going to make things, though I hope it’s enough so that when things finally come to a head readers will feel the consequences. A promising book!
Nemesis by Brendan Reichs
I mentioned Nemesis in my last post, which was all about the science fiction/fantasy reads I’m most excited to check off my TBR. It was definitely one of those things where talking about the incredibly unique story only made me more excited to check it out. So of course I have to mention it again as a March new release! If you missed the post which, shameless plug, you should go check out, then let me tell you what this story is all about. Essentially, protagonist Min is murdered every two years…only to wake up in a field unharmed. But on her sixteenth birthday, which coincides with the hurtling of an asteroid towards Earth, nothing happens. Meanwhile a conspiracy between her entire sophomore class is a thread that will tie all three circumstances together. I’m really hoping Reichs blends together horror elements along with the science fiction, as this story just has so much potential to be like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Do me a solid and add this one to your TBR.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
I’ve read hardly any contemporaries this year, but Alice Oseman’s Radio Silence seems pretty close to being the perfect “issues book”. Oseman crafts a story of friendship, finding your voice, and shattering expectations in her story of Frances and Aled- two teens who should be the perfect couple, but instead find themselves as best friends. However will the two be able to look beyond who they are now, and work for who they could be? It’s a very simple seeming, character driven story line (with close comparisons to Fangirl), which is exactly how I like my books. Oseman is still very close to being a teen (she’s only 23!!!), so it’s my hope that this is fully apparent in her writing, and will help pull me closer to her characters. Oh, and did I mention this book centers around a podcast? Because it does and it sounds awesome. I can’t wait to grow along with this story, and learn from the mistakes of our protagonists. I’m preparing to be moved!
You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner
I chose You’re Welcome, Universe as my read for the Deaf/d/Hard of hearing topic on the 2017 Read Diverse Books Challenge. Whitney Gardner’s debut appeals to a younger demographic than I think most of the books on this list will, but nonetheless I feel this is an important read for us all. The story follows Julia, a gifted artist, who attends the Kingston for the Deaf. Or that is until she’s expelled for using graffiti to defend her best friend. Before she knows it her mothers have sent her into the public school system, where she’s an outcast as the only deaf student. Julia finds solace in tagging buildings around the community, but quickly finds herself dragged into an all out graffiti war with a talented (and mysterious) artist. I’m unsure of what larger themes Gardner plans on addressing within her platform, but I think art will feature strongly in them. Though one of my favorite reviewers gave it a less than stellar review, the general consensus has been strong- it holds a very impressive 3.92 on Goodreads. If you’ve read this one yet I’d love to know if you were one of the readers who loved it so much!
Wonderful Feels Like This by Sara Lovestam
Besides having an amazing cover, Wonder Feels Like This can also boast a synopsis that sounds just as fun, moving, and all around bubbly as the title would suggest. Sara Lovestam has crafted a friendship like no other, struck up by teenager Steffi and retirement home resident Alvar over a mutual love of jazz. As the two grow closer Steffi learns about Alvar’s childhood in World War II era Sweden (Lovestam’s home country), and is inspired to pursue her dreams of being a jazz musician. Many of the themes are similar to those I mentioned for Radio Silence (ie finding yourself, taking chances, embracing change), but Wonderful seems like a much more optimistic story. I can’t wait to learn more about the culture and history of Sweden, as it’s a place I’ve always dreamed of visiting. I’m also incredibly interested to see how Lovestam handles Alvar and Steffi’s friendship, as I’ve never seen anything quite like it before in YA. I have a feeling this one is guaranteed to put a smile on your face!
Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
I read The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner last spring to mixed feelings. I enjoyed it, but wasn’t moved in the way so many other readers were. Surprisingly, Zentner’s sophomore effort has a lot less hype surrounding it than I would have anticipated. And perhaps because of that I’m in turn more eager to see if Goodbye Days will be that book for me. The story is set into motion by a tragedy involving texting while driving, a much more demonstrative platform than Zentner’s previous book. Protagonist Carver is wracked with guilt over his role in a car accident that killed his three best friends, unable to begin picking up the pieces of his life. He’s possibly facing a prison sentence, and in any case still has to contend with the distraught family members of his friends. How does someone process a loss when guilt is surrounding them? That’s the question Zentner wants to answer. And I’m very excited to see the weight he adds to this painfully real question.
What March new releases are you most anticipating? Are any of these on your TBR? Let me know in the comments!