5 – no – 6 new Young Adult novels that have me salivating

2014 is chocked full of new YA books that have me salivating and wiggling on the edge of my seat to read.  Here are five that are coming out this month alone.  The last two have me jumping out of my skin (well, not literally, but you know what I mean.)

Release Date:  Jan. 21, 2014:

Now that Nikki has rescued Jack, all she wants is to be with him and graduate high school. But Cole tricked Nikki into feeding off him, and she’s begun the process of turning into an Everliving herself… which means she must feed on a Forfeit soon — or die.

Terrified for her survival, Nikki and Jack begin a desperate attempt to reverse the process using any means possible. Even Cole, who they expected to fight them at every turn, has become an unlikely ally — but how long can it last? Nikki needs to feed on Cole to survive, Cole needs Nikki to gain the throne in the Everneath, Jack needs Nikki because she is everything to him — and together, they must travel back to the Underworld to undo Nikki’s fate and make her mortal once more. But Cole isn’t the only one with plans for Nikki: the Queen has not forgotten Nikki’s treachery, and she wants her destroyed for good. Will Nikki be forced to spend eternity in the Underworld, or does she have what it takes to bring down the Everneath once and for all?

In this stunning conclusion to the Everneath trilogy, Brodi Ashton evokes the resiliency of the human spirit and the indomitable power of true love.

Release Date:  Jan. 23, 2014

Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.

After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

Release Date:  Jan. 28, 2014

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy — not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s really safe.

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?

With stunning prose and a captivating mixture of action, romance, and horror, The Unbound delves into a richly imagined world where no choice is easy and love and loss feel like two sides of the same coin.

 (Who’s with me on this one huh???)

Release Date:  Jan. 28, 2014

The earth-shattering conclusion to Veronica Rossi’s “masterpiece” Under the Never Sky trilogy and sequel to the New York Timesbestselling Through the Ever Night (Examiner.com).

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it’s time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won’t even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn’t just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he’s also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

(Yeah, baby!)

Release Date:  Jan. 28, 2014

The Year of Souls begins with an earthquake—an alarming rumble from deep within the earth—and it’s only the first of greater dangers to come. The Range caldera is preparing to erupt. Ana knows that as Soul Night approaches, everything near Heart will be at risk.

Ana’s exile is frightening, but it may also be fortuitous, especially if she can convince her friends to flee Heart and Range with her. They’ll go north, seeking answers and allies to stop Janan’s ascension. And with any luck, the newsouls will be safe from harm’s reach.

The oldsouls might have forgotten the choice they made to give themselves limitless lifetimes, but Ana knows the true cost of reincarnation. What she doesn’t know is whether she’ll have the chance to finish this one sweet life with Sam, especially if she returns to Heart to stop Janan once and for all.

With gorgeous romance and thrilling action, the final book in the Incarnate trilogy offers a brilliant conclusion to the compelling questions of this fascinating world, where one new girl is the key to the lives of millions.

(Most definitely looking forward to this one!)

Release date:  Jan. 28, 2014

Lying is unbearable, betrayal is inevitable, and choosing which path to take is impossible.

Olga Gay Worontzoff ended her senior year as an eighteen-year-old girl totally in love with Nate, enjoying their new romance and about to attend the university of her dreams. Now she’s spending her summer in the weird subculture of the Underworld, with charmingly witty and powerful angels, and problematic demons, trying to rescue Connor, the best friend and secret crush she was unable to save during a freak accident.

But Nate has other things on his mind, mainly Grace. She’s their first assignment as joint spirit guides, and Olga’s feeling hurt and jealous. His mysterious behavior has Olga questioning everything she believed about him and now she must decide whether to stick to their plan, or follow her heart. Unfortunately, a series of mistakes threatens everyone around her and plants Olga in the center of cosmic events much larger than she ever imagined.

Only one thing is certain: the chilling truths uncovered during her journey will leave no one untouched.


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Under the Never Sky – a Review

under the never skyWhile in Ft. Myers for two weeks, I picked up Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but my mind was quickly changed. Within the first 5 pages I was hooked. I absolutely loved this book and can’t wait for the sequel to come out.

The story was unlike any I’ve read before. I liked the authenticity of it, the grittiness of it. The story is told from male (Perry) and female (Aria) points of view. At first, the alternating chapters were a little hard to get used to, but I immediately fell into the cadence and looked forward to each character’s view of the world.

I loved watching Aria grow from being an outcast and sent to die in the outer wasteland known to her and her kind as the Death Shoppe, to her becoming a strong, warrior-like woman, who can survive cannibal attacks, dangerous and violent electrical Aether storms, and savages.

I enjoyed that Aria and Perry were so very different from each other. Aria was born in Reverie, an enclosed city. Everything is ‘perfect’ in Reverie – genetically modified perfect. Life is pristine, clean, safe. Procreation occurs scientifically. Girls don’t get pregnant. They don’t have periods. People don’t get ill. Physical ailments don’t exist. On the outside, where the savages (Perry) lives, the world is quite the opposite.

Each Aria and Perry are on their own journey when they find each other. I like that this story isn’t a typical romance. Their trust and respect for each other comes slowly. It’s tried. They both have something the other wants, but the information isn’t given freely or easily. The sheltered girl and the savage must learn to rely on each other’s strengths to get them through the journey they share together. I fell in love with both characters and the supporting cast.

The world-building is well done. It’s not thrown at the reader all at once. Instead, we’re treated to layers built upon layers over time. There is the technical, perfect Domes of Reverie, and the dangerous, desolate and devastating environment of the Death Shoppe. Each one plays their own roles in Aria’s and Perry’s quest – they both need something from the worlds opposite their own, and they need each other to find it.

I did find Aria a bit whiny in the beginning, but then again, considering her background, I can understand it. I had the impression that Perry was much older than Aria, so when the ‘romance’ began to bloom between them, I was a little weirded out. Then I found out his age and I was okay with it. Even though they are both teens, Perry still seems far more older than Aria, mentally, which gives me the ‘older man/younger woman’ vision in my head. It could be that she’s so naive and her body is ‘waking up’ at the age of 17 that gives me that impression. I found Perry’s description of Aria’s first ‘awakening’ at becoming a woman a little bizarre, funny, creepy and endearing. I’ve never heard a woman’s first menstrual cycle described in such a manner.

If I had to compare it to another book, I’d have to say it has some similar elements as Graceling. It is a dystopian, and while the book is aimed at fans of The Hunger Games, this novel is nothing like The Hunger Games. I will say it should appeal to more older teens – the 16 and up age group. There is some drinking, some mild violence (nothing like what was in The Hunger Games), and one sex scene that was handled with kid gloves (I like this approach in YA rather than full out hot and heavy sex scenes). If you enjoyed Blood Red Road, I think you’ll enjoy Under the Never Sky.

Next week I begin reading the second in the trilogy: Through the Ever Night. I can’t wait.