Top Ten Books on my Winter TBR pile

Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish): 10 books on my winter TBR pile. This year, I am going to finish the Debut Author Challenge. Come Hell or high water, I will succeed. That means I need to get 6 more debut books off my TBR shelves before the end of the year! And once I’m done with those I am going to get to those fabulous sequels that somehow I never have time for.

The Debut 2011 Authors:


1. Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton – I’ve heard nothing but brilliant things about Tessa’s work, so I fully expect Blood Magic to live up to the hype it has gotten. So much so that I even bought this book in hardback!

2. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand – I’ve read reviews of Unearthly written by people who usually dislike YA PNR, especially the type with angels! So, I am sure I am going to love it.

3. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini – I’ll be honest, I’m not that excited about Starcrossed… am I off my head for being skeptical?

4. Die for Me by Amy Plum – Oh, Paris. I am expecting Phantom of the Opera and fully expect to get it!

5. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton – Another urban fantasy author breaks into the YA market! I love it when adult authors write for YA audiences, so I expect very good things from Kelly.

6. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – This book is stunning and yet utterly disturbing. I simply can’t imagine not adoring it.

The YA sequels I have been longing to read:

7. Muse by Rebecca Lim – I adore Rebecca’s Mercy series (read my reviews of Mercy and Exile) and cannot wait to start this. If it weren’t for the Debut Author priorities, I would be all over this book right now!

8. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater –  I KNOW. How could I not have read this book?? I really really really adore this series, and I cannot wait to start Forever… no, really!

9. Defiance by Lili St. Crow – It makes me sad and excited to know that this series is complete – can’t wait to see what violence Dru has been up to!

10. Rip Tide by Kat Falls – I absolutely adored Dark Life, which unfortunately didn’t get the praise it deserved. Still, cannot wait to start on the sequel! (Btw, make sure you buy the US version of this book. The UK cover is something awful!)

October 2011: Books I Can’t Wait to Read!

This October is packed with some fabulous new releases, but I thought I’d highlight the ones that I am particularly looking forward to! If you want a few more comprehensive lists of October releases, check out Tor’s Fiction Affliction posts for Paranormal Young AdultFantasyScience Fiction, and Urban Fantasy/PNR releases, Tez Says for a list of October releases, and Literary Escapism’s gigantic list of upcoming release dates.

Muse by Rebecca Lim – Oct. 27th 2011 (UK)
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – Oct. 6th (UK)
Two books by two of my favourite YA authors! I adored Mercy and Exile, so I cannot wait to read the third installment in Rebecca Lim’s series. As for The Scorpio Races… is there anyone out there who isn’t looking forward to reading this one?
Reckoning by Lili St. Crow – Oct. 27th 2011 (UK)
Just Your Average Princess by Kristina Springer – Oct. 11th 2011 (US)
Reckoning is the last book in Lili St. Crow’s Strange Angel series, and I’m rather sad about it. I’ve had my ups and downs with this series, but even still, I’m sad to see it end. Just Your Average Princess, on the other hand, is bound to be a fun, light-hearted romp. I really enjoyed Kristina’s The Espressologist, so I am looking forward to seeing what else she comes up with!
The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams – Oct. 25th 2011 (US)
Debut Author! I pimped The Shadow Reader in a Waiting on Wednesday post a while back… and now it is finally coming out! Really really looking forward to this one.
So, what’s on your October purchase list?

Shelf Analysis: ARCs vs. Final Copies

You know that feeling when you see the cover of a new book for the first time and think “I need to know that book”.  I think of it like falling for someone the first time.  Where you see them is important (coffee store or university library – science fiction shelf or biographies), and so is their reputation (whether they are friends of friends – if there is a quote from your favourite author on the cover).  But let’s all be honest, good looks come first.  If they aren’t attractive you won’t go out of your way to get to know them.  Sure, you can fall for someone who looks like Jensen Ackles and they can turn out to be a complete waste of neurons – just like that bloody Hush, Hush book and…

Ok, maybe I went a bit crazy with the metaphor.  But I think you get my point.

Looks matter.  Book covers matter.  They meet your eyes across a crowded bookstore and scream “Pick me!” until you give in.

But sometimes the unthinkable happens.  You fall in love with a cover, the cover of a book you haven’t yet had the chance to read and enjoy but, golly gosh, you have so much hope because surely a book that pretty must be brilliant.  Then, publishing day finally arrives and…

The publishers have changed the cover.

I’ve complied a few recent examples of changes for good and for ill.  I have some pretty fierce opinions about them all, but please let me know yours!

personal demons-1 personal demons-1  personal demons-1
very old // old // new
Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers (September 14th, 2010)
Even though I am super excited about this book, I can’t say I am overly in love with any of the covers.  The first was very much an ARC cover, the second (my favourite) looks a bit bland, and the final cover looks like it belongs on a PNR shelf – not YA.  Honestly, how old are those models?
old // new
Ghost Town (UK cover) by Rachel Caine (October 26th, 2010)
The new cover for this book just came out in Rachel’s newsletter, and while it is a small change… I am not sure I love it.  I am used the the covers of Caine’s Morganville Series to feature random!girls and crappy backgrounds – but this cover so obviously features Eve, and that is bizarre in itself.  I was perfectly happy with my own picture of Eve, and frankly?  This one kinda creeps me out.  I shall likely be getting the hardcover US edition – especially considering my UK copy of Kiss of Death had pages falling out after a single read!
old // new
The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher (January 1st, 2010)
There have been a lot of ARC covers for this book out on the wild-web as it was featured on Teen Fire to help the publishers choose a cover.  This new cover is currently considered the “final” one, but it may change.  Even though I LOVE new cover (*pets*), I think the original was much more guy-friendly.  :/
old // old // already out on the bloody shelves
Betrayals by Lili St. Crow

Ok, I have waited a long time to rant about this cover, so – er – take cover.

I HATE the covers for Betrayals and Jealousy – the second and third books in the Strange Angels series.  And the transition from brilliance (Strange Angels cover) to complete and utter crap (Jealousy cover) can be seen right here.

The Strange Angels series is about Dru and her complete and utter misery (oh, and vampires and whatnot).  It is not about her romantic entanglements – which, while brilliant to read, are not fundamental to the plot.  But looking at the covers to Betrayals and Jealousy you would think that that is all they are about.  That the only thought Dru has is “woe is me, I have two hunky boys to choose from!”.  And that?  That pisses me off.  This is Dru we are talking about here.

The original cover for Betrayals (furthest left) is fantastic.  It matches the Strange Angels cover, and Dru looks like the tough, depressed girl she is.  She has her hood up and her hair all over the place – she can clearly kick your ass.  In the final cover she has her hood down – because gosh let’s not intimidate the cheerleaders – and pushed back.  Oh, and there are two emo guys watching her every move.

I think Betrayals laid the way for the craptastic cover of Jealousy.  The publishers decided a change of direction was in order, and decided to ignore Dru’s angsty goodness and focus on the love triangle.  Et voila!  Let’s dress her up as a prom queen and put her in the arms of some protective hunk – because that’s all teen girls want anyways.  *slams head on table repeatedly*

How can you not get pissed off by this???

*gets off soapbox*

Anyhow, opinions anyone?

July 2010 Releases: Books I can’t wait to read!

July is finally here, and I couldn’t be  more excited.  Considering I hate the heat – and GOD is July miserable – it takes an awful lot to make me look forward to the summer.  But this warm month marks the release of a bunch of books I have been seriously lusting after.  I mean, hello?  Linger!

But besides Stiefvater’s werewolf-book-of-the-Gods, there are a bunch of other YA novels coming out this month that you should be excited about.  There are a few more comprehensive lists out there, check out Tez Says for a list of July Releases, and Fiendishly Bookish for a list of PNR/UF releases.

Other by Karen Kincy – July 1st
Sleepless by Cyn Balog – July 13th
Alas, these are US release dates.  I’ve had trouble finding the UK dates for these – so let’s just be optimistic and assume they come out at the same time!
What books are you excited about?  Got a list of your own?  Tell me!