That's right. It's time for my top to-reads! ✨Today I'm sharing the novels I'm most excited about that are releasing in the fall quarter, in October through December of 2019. There are twenty books in this post, in a mix of YA and MG. Check out my picks and then add them to your to-read list! (Incidentally, my to-read list just surpassed two thousand books, so things are going well, LOL.)
1) Cursed by Frank Miller and Thomas Wheeler. As you might remember, I discussed the pre-sales cover change for this YA fantasy novel in a recent post. The book retells Arthurian legend with Nimue, the Lady of the Lake, fighting alongside Arthur and a group of refugee Fey Folk. I've always been most interested in the Lady of the Lake when it comes to King Arthur's story, so of course I'd jump at this illustrated tale! It releases on October 1st. .
2) Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy. This MG contemporary novel from the author of Dumplin' is about a preteen girl who starts secretly answering an advice columnist's letters for her while dealing with her own mess of family and friend drama. I have a soft spot for advice columns, so I look forward to the October 1st release!
3) The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis. This YA fantasy novel follows a group of teen girls living in a Wild West-type world who have been marked with cursed tattoos that doom them to a life of brothel work. After an unexpected murder, they go on the run to find the legendary Lady Ghost, who can supposedly free them. Combining a female-centered ensemble cast with a hard-hitting look at sex trafficking, this book is the last one on this list to come out on October 1st.
4) A Kingdom for a Stage by Heidi Heilig. This YA fantasy novel is the sequel to For a Muse of Fire, one of the best YA books of 2018, which was so original and creative it made me question my writing aspirations. Through multiple formats, the story follows a bipolar girl with dangerous puppetry powers living amidst colonialism in a Southeastern Asia-inspired world. The second book releases on October 8th.
5) The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh. This YA historical fantasy novel by the author of The Wrath and the Dawn places a diverse vampire story in 1870s New Orleans. The book follows a young dressmaker who gets pulled into a sultry romance in a glitzy underworld ravaged by strange murders. This book also releases on October 8th.
6)The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco. This YA fantasy novel comes from an author I much admire for her strange and otherworldly writing, seen in books like The Bone Witch. This new story takes place in a world that never rotates, leaving half in darkness and half in light. Two young goddesses, a powerful healer, and a snarky scavenger go on a journey to reunite the broken hemispheres. This book releases on October 15th.
7) Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwambe Mbalia. This MG fantasy novel combines West African mythology with black American folk legends, which I think is awesome. It tells a Rick Riordan-type tale about a preteen boy getting pulled into a world of modernized myth that he has to both save and survive. I look forward to reading it on October 15th!
8) Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson. This YA contemporary fantasy novel also features modernized mythology, this time with the Minotaur's Labyrinth as a trashy reality TV show. ("It's what she deserves.") I'm kind of vibing with reality TV and social media-centered books right now, and I always love a good retelling. I also heard something about the gods being narrators, but I'm not sure if that's true or not. In any case, this one releases on October 22nd!
9) Revenge of the Red Club by Kim Harrington. This MG contemporary novel is about a group of preteen girls fighting to save their school club, which is all about dealing with menstruation, after the school administration shuts it down. I'm very pro-sex ed and pro-fighting the stigma around female bodies, so I will be on board when this book releases on October 22nd.
10) Beyond the Black Door by A.M. Strickland. This YA fantasy novel, from one of the authors of Shadow Run, follows an asexual teen girl who can explore people's souls through magical doors. Her mother forbade her to enter one such door, which the girl sees around her all the time. When she does give into curiosity and enter it, she gets pulled into a mystery full of courtly intrigue. Check this book out on October 29th!
11) Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon. This YA fantasy novel is about a teen healer whose sister is chosen to be entombed with their dying ruler. Determined to save her sister from a terrible fate, the teen schemes her way into the court to try and heal the ruler before he can die and take her sister with him. Sisterhood, illness and healing, death rituals--you've got my attention! This book also comes out on October 29th.
12) Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater. This YA contemporary fantasy novel by powerhouse Maggie Stiefvater continues the story of Ronan and Adam from The Raven Cycle. I was much more a fan of Blue and Gansey in that series, but this book promises to introduce some new and interesting characters. It will also delve deeper into Ronan's ability to dream objects, animals, and even people into real life. So I'll be ready for it when November 5th comes!
13) Deadly Little Scandals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. This YA contemporary thriller is by an author whose skill at precise and engaging storytelling I greatly admire. It continues the adventure that began in Little White Lies. (I discussed the cover redesign for this series in the same blog post as Cursed.) The duology follows an auto mechanic who meets her estranged grandmother and gets pulled into a Southern debutante season full of shocking secrets about their family's past. The second book releases on November 5th!
14) Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz. This YA contemporary romance has #ownvoices Jewish and chronic illness representation. It follows a teen girl with rheumatoid arthritis who refuses to date because of her illness and a teen boy dealing with a more obscure chronic condition. I am 100% here for more chronic illness rep in YA literature, especially if it's chronic pain, since that's such a big part of my life. So I'll be picking this one up on November 5th too.
15) The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White. Arthurian retellings seem to be in fashion right now, with this author of the brutal Conqueror's Saga joining many others in retelling the legend. Her focus is on Guinevere, who in this YA historical fantasy novel is a changeling secretly chosen by Merlin to protect Arthur just as he protects Camelot. Given Kiersten White's success with her past books, I expect great things! This novel also releases on November 5th.
16) The Toll by Neal Shusterman. One of my most favorite authors returns with the third book in his Arc of a Scythe series! This YA sci-fi novel takes place in a future where, thanks to cloud technology, immortality has been achieved However, in order to maintain the population, certain individuals are chosen and trained as honored "Scythes," who cull people at random. In Neal Shusterman's usual fashion, this is a strange, dramatic, and disturbing examination of the value of life--and as corruption takes over the Scythedom, I expect many more twists to come. Pick up this series finale along with my other choices on November 5th!
17) Coral by Sara Ella. This retelling of "The Little Mermaid," one of the many beautiful fairytales from my boy Hans Christian Andersen, turns the focus of the story towards mental illness. The YA contemporary fantasy novel follows a mermaid with forbidden emotions, a human girl struggling with depression and anxiety, and a famous but troubled human boy who come together at a group therapy home in modern San Francisco. Awesome, right? Check it out on November 12th.
18) Starsight by Brandon Sanderson. The second book in the Skyward series by renowned sci-fi/fantasy author Brandon Sanderson promises to be great. This is my favorite of all Sanderson's stories I've read so far! The YA sci-fi novel continues the tale of a group of quirky teen pilots (plus one ship's AI) trying to uncover the truth about the space war their people have been fighting for decades to protect their ravaged planet. The sequel releases on November 26th, so get it right after Thanksgiving!
19) Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi. This YA fantasy novel is the continuation of the Legacy of Orisha series, a phenomenal, epic story set in a Nigeria-inspired world. It follows a small group of teens as they journey to bring magic back to the land and thereby take power back from the oppressive monarchy. I included this book in a previous top to-read list this year, but then publication was pushed back. The second book in the series comes out on December 3rd!
20) Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen. This YA historical romance novel is about a young lady living during Jane Austen's lifetime who decides to use Austen's novels as a guide to her own courtships. Still, she struggles to discern the intentions of the men around her--and soon a mystery complicates things even more. Like many writers, I am fond of Jane Austen, and I love stories where people try to use science or literature to understand romance. I also like a good mystery, Agatha Christie-style. So I'm excited to get this one, also coming out on December 3rd.
Those are my picks for the quarter! What books are you most looking forward to in October, November, and December? Let me know, and I'll be back on Wednesday with a collection of interesting things that I came across this past quarter.
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