Can you believe a fresh year is almost upon us? I had a wonderful bookish 2015 and I'm excited to find out what literary adventures await me next year! These 12 books are all on my radar for the first half of 2016. I'm particularly excited about "Morningstar" by Pierce Brown, the conclusion to my favorite trilogy! Linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for Top Ten Tuesday.
(Book summaries are adapted from Goodreads.)
12th Beside Myself by Ann Morgan: A literary thriller about identical twins, Ellie and Helen, who swap places at age 6. At first it is just a game, but then Ellie refuses to swap back. Forced into her new identity, Helen develops a host of behavioral problems, delinquency and chronic instability. With their lives diverging sharply, one twin headed for stardom and the other locked in a spiral of addiction and mental illness, how will the deception ever be uncovered?
2nd Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson: Reclusive literary legend M. M. “Mimi” Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years but now, flat broke, she must write a new book for the first time in decades and her publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. When Alice Whitley arrives at the Banning mansion, she’s put to work right away -- as a full-time companion to Frank, the writer’s eccentric 9-year-old, a boy with the wit of Noel Coward, the wardrobe of a 1930s movie star, and very little in common with his fellow fourth graders. As she gets to know Frank, Alice becomes consumed with finding out who his father is, how his gorgeous piano teacher Xander fits into the Banning family equation -- and whether Mimi will ever finish that book.
2nd Ginny Gail by Charlie Smith: A sweeping, eerily resonant epic of race and violence in the Jim Crow South. Delvin Walker is just a boy when his mother flees their home in Chattanooga, accused of killing a white man. Taken in by the proprietor of the town’s leading Negro funeral home, he discovers the art of caring for the aggrieved, the promise of transcendence in the written word, and a rare peace in a hostile world. Yet tragedy visits them near-daily, and after a series of devastating events -- a lynching, a church burning -- Delvin fears being accused of murdering a local white boy and leaves town.
2nd Youngbloog by Matt Gallagher: The U.S. military is preparing to withdraw from Iraq and newly-minted lieutenant Jack Porter struggles to accept how it’s happening -- through alliances with warlords who have Arab and American blood on their hands. As Iraq plunges back into chaos and bloodshed, Jack becomes obsessed with a strange, tragic tale of reckless love between a lost American soldier and Rana, a local sheikh’s daughter. "Jarhead" meets "Redeployment."
9th I'll See You in Paris by Michelle Gable: After losing her fiancé in the Vietnam War, Laurel Haley takes a job in England, hoping the distance will mend her shattered heart. Laurel expects the pain might lessen but does not foresee the beguiling man she meets or that they’ll go to Paris, where the city’s magic will take over and alter everything Laurel believes about love. Thirty years later, Laurel’s daughter Annie is newly engaged and an old question resurfaces: who is Annie’s father and what happened to him? The key to unlocking Laurel’s secrets starts with a mysterious book about an infamous woman known as the Duchess of Marlborough. Annie’s quest takes her from a charming hamlet in the English countryside, to a decaying estate kept behind barbed wire, and ultimately to Paris where answers will be found at last.
9th Morningstar by Pierce Brown: Final book in the (amazing!!!) Red Rising trilogy. The book I'm most anticipating in 2016!
16th All the Winters After by Sere Prince Halverson: Alaska doesn't forgive mistakes. That's what Kachemak Winkel's mother used to tell him. A lot of mistakes were made that awful day 20 years ago, when she died in a plane crash with Kache's father and brother -- and Kache still feels responsible. He fled Alaska for good, but now his aunt Snag insists on his return. She admits she couldn't bring herself to check on his family's house in the woods -- not even once since he's been gone. Kache is sure the cabin has decayed into a pile of logs, but he finds smoke rising from the chimney and a mysterious Russian woman hiding from her own troubled past. (I'm excited about this one as I love all things Alaska!)
16th Free Men by Katy Simpson Smith: A captivating historical novel, set in the late eighteenth-century American South, that follows a singular group of companions -- an escaped slave, a white man, and a Creek Indian -- who are being tracked for murder. In the few days they spend together, the makeshift trio are seduced by the need for money and commit a heinous murder that soon has the forces of the law bearing down upon them, led by a probing French tracker named Le Clerc. Sent to pick up their trail, he must decide which has a greater claim: swift justice, or his own curiosity about how three such disparate, desperate men could act in unison.
16th Girl in the Dark by Marion Pauw: A taut, riveting domestic drama about a long-lost brother convicted of a horrifying crime and a sister’s fight to clear his name. A single mother and lawyer, Iris has a colorful caseload, a young son with behavior issues, and a judgmental mother. She also has a brother -- shocking news she uncovers by accident. Why did her mother lie to her for her entire life? Curious about this sibling she has never known, Iris begins to search for long-buried truths. What she discovers surprises -- and horrifies -- her. Her older brother is autistic -- and in prison for brutally murdering his neighbor and her daughter.
23rd A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab: Book two of the A Darker Shade of Magic series.
22nd Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye: "Reader, I murdered him." A darkly brilliant Gothic retelling of "Jane Eyre." Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked -- but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors. A fugitive navigating London's underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr. Thornfield, seeks a governess. (Intriguing -- and that cover!)
17th The Fireman by Joe Hill: A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country. Dragonscale is a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies -- before causing them to burst into flames. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads -- armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. Nurse Harper Grayson treated hundreds of infected patients and now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted...and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.