A Scroll of 2017 Releases That I’m Excited About

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I’ll update this post when more books are announced and release dates are changed as the year goes on


2017 promises so many new books especially diverse/Own Voices ones (yay!). Here’s a list of releases that I’m excited about:

January

Wayfarer (Alexandra Bracken): The sequel to the time travel/adventure book Passenger. Nicholas and Sophia team up to locate the missing Etta and the much sought after astrolabe that has been taken away in the first book. Release date: 3 January

Windwitch (Susan Dennard): The sequel to the epic fantasy Truthwitch. New alliances are formed, enemies and our heroes are working together. Release date: 10 January

History is All You Left Me (Adam Silvera): Griffin’s life is shaken when his first love and ex dies in an accident. He is tormented by the past, stopping himself from moving forward. Release date: January 17

Caraval (Stephanie Garber):  Two sisters enter a dangerous, magical game. Release date: January 31

Freeks (Amanda Hocking): I’m a sucker for carnival stories. The book centres on Mara whose home is a dark magical carnival. She meets a boy…and things start to go downhill with the carnival employees disappearing. Release date: January 31

February

King’s Cage (Victoria Aveyard): The sequel to the Red Queen series. Mare is under Maven’s wrath meanwhile the Reds continue to prepare for war and Cal tries to find a way to free Mare. Release date: February 7

Empress of A Thousand Skies (Rhoda Belleza): Empress Rhee is on a path of revenge. She wants to reclaim her throne and avenge her family. Release date: February 7

A Conjuring of Light (VE Schwab): Battles between the four Londons ensues in this third and final installment in the Shades of Magic series. Release date: February 21

The Ship Beyond Time (Heidi Heilig): The sequel to The Girl From Everywhere. Nix is now in charge of her future but when she discovers that she will lose a loved one, Nix and the crew travel to meet another Navigator who might help her. Release date: February 28

 

The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas): This book was inspired by Black Lives Matter and I’ve heard so many great reviews! It centres on Starr who witnesses the murder of her friend by a police officer. Release date: February 28

March

Traitor to the Throne (Alwyn Hamilton): The sequel to Rebel of the Sands. Gunslinger Amani gets close to the Sultan’s court in order to bring him down. Release date: March 7

The Bone Witch (Rin Chupeco): Tea resurrects her brother and discovers that she’s a bone witch, a witch with the power of necromancy – which doesn’t do her any favours in her community. She finds comfort in another bone witch who becomes her mentor. Release date: March 7

The Song Rising (Samantha Shannon): The third entry in the Bone Season series. Paige has become Underqueen and struggles to maintain the underworld, not to mention enemies and a new dangerous technology that would put the clairovoyant community at peril. Release date: March 7

A Crown of Wishes (Roshani Chokshi): The sequel to The Star-Touched Queen. Gauri teams up with her enemy king Vikram to reclaim her kingdom in exchange for her fighting skills. They enter the Tournament of Wishes and soon discover that there are more dangerous obstacles than they expected. Release date: March 28 

Strange the Dreamer (Laini Taylor): Obsessed with a mythical lost city, Lazlo Strange sets out to find answers. Release date: March 28

April

 

The Upside of Unrequited (Becky Albertalli): Molly is no stranger to unrequited love (same here, Molly). When her twin Cassie has a new girlfriend, Molly tries to find her courage to win over Cassie’s girlfriend’s sidekick. I hope this book has Oreos. Release date: April 11

May

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (Jenny Han): The third entry in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series which I fell in love with last year. Lara Jean is in her senior year and continues to nagivate through her familial and romantic relationships. I’m looking forward to all the baking and sweet romance. Release date: May 2

Noteworthy (Riley Redgate): Jordan Sun is determined to get fame and auditions for her school’s  all-male a cappella Sharpshooters. Release date: May 2

How to Make a Wish (Ashley Herring Blake): Escaping from a crappy life, Grace goes on midnight adventures and finds solace and unexpected feelings when she meets Eva. Release date: May 2

A Court of Wings and Ruin (Sarah J Maas): The third entry to the ACOTAR series. Feyre is in enemy territory to spy on Tamlin and his ally the King of Hybern as war is brewing. Release date: May 2

The Seafarer’s Kiss (Julia Ember): A F/F retelling of Little Mermaid with a bisexual mermaid as main character. Ersel rescues and befriends shieldmaiden Ragna, but is caught by her friend and suitor. Facing the consequences, Ersel seeks help and makes a deal with Loki, leading her to exile and learn to outsmart the god so she can be reunited with the human she has fallen for. Release date: May 4

Ramona Blue (Julie Murphy): With so many responsibilities, Ramona Blue aches for a bigger life outside of her home. When her childhood friend re-enters her life, she finds herself questioning her sexuality. Release date: May 9

Flame in the Mist (Renee Ahdieh): Set in feudal Japan, Mariko is ambushed and escapes from the Black Clan. She later sets out to infiltrate them to discover who’s responsible for the attack, but soon discovers more secrets which changes everything. Release date: May 16

The Crown’s Fate (Evelyn Skye): The sequel to The Crown’s Game. Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter but it’s not easy. A challenger steps forward, threatening her position and the Tsar Pasha’s kingdom. Release date: May 16

Lord of Shadows (Cassandra Clare): The sequel to Lady Midnight. Emma starts dating Mark to protect Julian from the consequences of falling in love with your parabatai. But the Unseelie King has enough of Shadowhunters’ laws which effects the Blackthorns. Release date: May 23

I Believe In a Thing Called Love (Maurene Goo): Straight A student Desi has never had a boyfriend. She’s terrible at romance but she tries to tackle her problems when she pursues the object of her affection Luca like he’s a school project. She learns romance through K-dramas but maybe love is more than that. Release date: May 30

 

When Dimple Met Rishi (Sandhya Menon): Dimple tries to break away from family/cultural traditions including finding the ideal husband and focus on her ambitions. Rishi is the opposite. He embraces tradition and wants his marriage to be arranged. Dimple and Rishi eventually clash… Release date: May 30

June

Tash Hearts Tolstoy (Kathryn Ormsbee): Tash is the creator of a web series, a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina which becomes nominated for an award. Her crush Thom is also a nominee – a window of opportunity to develop this crush into something more. That’s if she can tell him she’s asexual. Release date: June 6

Want (Cindy Pon): A refreshing dystopian novel where the rich are protected from disease via special suits and those who don’t have these suits suffer. Fed up with the injustice of it, Zhou infiltrates the wealthy in order to destroy the corporation behind the suits. Release date: June 13

Our Dark Duet (VE Schwab): The sequel to Our Savage Song. A new monster emerges, bringing monster hunter Kate back home. Release date: June 13

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Mackenzi Lee): Two friends are on their grand tour of Europe and discover a magical artifact that leads to a manhunt across the continent. Release date: June 27

September

Throne of Glass #6 (untitled at the moment) (Sarah J Maas): My darling Chaol deserves his own books. He is sent to the healers in Antica. There he discovers something that will change everything and becomes more vital to saving Erilea (something that should’ve been in Empire of Storms in my opinion). Release date: September 5

One Dark Throne (Kendare Blake): The sequel to Three Dark Crowns where the three sister queens continue to battle each other. Release date: September 13

 

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic (Leigh Bardugo): This is a collection of fairytales in the Grishverse and there will be illustrations by Sara Kipin! Release date: September 26

 

October

Warcross (Marie Lu): Two bounty hunters are hired to hunt down a hacker in a popular VR video game. Release date: October 3

27 Hours (Tristina Wright):  A group of teens fight for their homes and cultures against monsters, time and extiniction. Release date:

 

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Julie C. Dao): A Snow White retelling based on Asian mythology/folklore through the Evil Queen’s POV. Xifeng unleashes a sinister god on the world and her own vicious soul so she could become empress. Release date: October 10

 

 

 

 

November

Renegades (Marissa Meyer): This one comes out on my birthday! Renegades are a group of humans with special abilities and Nova hates them and wants revenge. Things take a drastic turn when she catches one of them Adrian’s attention. Release date: November 7

DecemBER

 

Immortal Reign (Morgan Rhodes): The sixth book in the Falling Kingdom series. Enemies become allies in order to save the world as two dangerous gods set out to destroy it. Release date: December 12

Enchantedly Dark: A Review on Caraval

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Title: Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber

Release date: January 2017

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

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TWs: parent-child abuse

I’m sucker for magical circuses and games, so I was sucked into the world of Caraval. The book centres on Scarlett who enters a magical game that involves her missing sister Tella. Together with Julian, the guy who helped them escape from their abusive father, Scarlett races against time to find Tella and win the game. That’s if she can guard her heart and mind from tricks and the Master (Legend) of the game himself…

The writing is magic itself. It sweeps you away and does envelop you like the game and fairytale-like setting. The characters are well developed – though Scarlett annoyed me every now and then – like she still doesn’t learn her mistakes after 300 pages? I found Tella annoying too but she showed her worth through her romantic but calculating ways. Much of their desperate motives (that eventually lead to disastrous results) are rooted in their desire to escape their father so that made me sympathise.

Julian was an interesting character and he has a secret – which he’s terrible at hiding – and of course that kept me turning the page. I liked how the Master of Caraval remains a mystery and an ominous presence in the end. There wasn’t enough of Aiko, a histographer who helps Scarlett every now and then. I want her journal.

The romance…was it necessary? I felt Scarlett and Julian were more platonic – and worked better that way. I’m sure friendships are enough to raise the emotional stakes when it comes to danger.

The book could’ve had a better ending. It felt choppy and a cop out especially after all the careful and brilliant twists and turns, and well, bloody stuff.

At times, it was hard to get through the book – in particular scenes involving Scarlett’s father, but it was an enjoyable read.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

A Review on They Both Die at the End

Title: They Both Die at the End

Author: Adam Silvera

Publisher: HarperTeen/Simon & Schuster AU

Release date: September 5, 2017

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On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.

I’m still struggling to write my thoughts about this upcoming book about risks, cute but emotional bonding, and challenging fate. So I’m going to make a summary list and use gifs.

The world: I like how ordinary it is but it has a dystopian-like feel because of Death-Cast. I still don’t know how they could know who’s going to die, but I like the mystery.

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The characters: They were well developed and make you want to root for them except for Peck (LOL). Mateo, precious cinnamon roll, representing homebodies and Rufus, the bad boy with an emotional past and who doesn’t force Mateo out of the house.

Relationships: Mateo and Rufus, two Latino boys falling for each other. From awkward first meeting to spending time together without caring….I’m tearing up.

Last thoughts: I felt adventurous after reading the book. Prepare for some fun times as well as sad ones.

They Both Die at the End comes out in September.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Music to My Soul: A Review on Wintersong

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Title: Wintersong

Author: S Jae-Jones

Publisher: Titan Books

Release date: February 7, 2017

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“We must not look at goblin men,

We must not buy their fruits.

Who knows upon what soil they fed

Their hungry thirsty roots?”

Oh gosh, I love Christina Rossetti since my first year at uni, so Wintersong got my attention with “beware of goblin men”. The book centres on Liesel, the dutiful daughter and sister who has a hidden talent in composing. She becomes entangled with the Goblin King when he takes her sister. After sacrificing her life for her sister, Liesel learns the secrets of his realm, the price of her sacrifice, the Goblin Queens before her, and that there’s more to the Goblin King under his intimidating and beautiful façade.

Wintersong‘s greatest strength is the writing which hooked, well more like seduced me. It’s poetic and musical, perfect for a story where music has a major role and influenced by a Rossetti poem, and folklore. I feel inspired to play my piano now.

The plot is a slow-burning one and if you’re looking for action or a much higher ominous presence than the Goblin King, you would be disappointed. However, I liked how the book is focused on Liesel’s inner turmoil and her mental health. I liked how her thoughts and feelings shifted constantly. Her relationships with her siblings teared me up. The romance between her and the Goblin King is okay. The sex scenes were seductive, but it felt weird and there’s the fact that Liesel kept pushing the guy into sexual situations and became dependent on him as if he was the one who could keep her alive, and he also abducted her sister to get her. But he turns into a better person in the end and does the right thing.

Maybe I’m getting tired of stories like Beauty and the Beast and have female characters trying to get their men out of their brooding shells, but I rolled my eyes and sighed as Liesel tried to get the Goblin King to be open with her and heal him through love. I was more interested in Liesel getting back to her family and creating music.

On diversity, even though I knew that the cast is white, Liesel and her siblings are biracial Asians in my mind. Sorry, it’s just how I keep picturing them. There’s one black character Francois who’s a musical genius. Francois and Liesel’s brother Josef develop a bond and it’s implied that it’s beyond platonic. I hope we get to see more of them in the second book. If you’re black, just be aware that there’s a slur (to refer Francois) in the book. I was a little disappointed that the book didn’t explore more on female sexuality or play more with the themes Goblin Market evokes.

I didn’t like the words that are associated with civilisation/colonisation such as “savage” to describe the goblin festivities, a contrast to human ones. I wish the goblins including Liesel’s attendants had more page time.

Despite its flaws, I enjoyed Wintersong and can’t wait for the sequel 🙂

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

A Book With Everything I Wanted: A Review on WANT

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Title: WANT

Author: Cindy Pon

Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse

Release date: June 2017

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Wow. This book blew me away beyond the blurb and cover. Definitely worth the wait and hype. WANT follows Jason Zhou who infiltrates the elite you to destroy the source of their luxurious lives and the miserable lives of meis like Jason – Jin Corp and its creator Jin himself.

From beginning to end, the plot with refreshing twists to sci-fi dystopian tropes, the characters and writing hooked me in. So did the food mentioned every now and then. God, this book made me hungry.

Just when I thought I was tired of tattooed male characters, Jason Zhou made me feel all warm and fuzzy. He can be dangerous but he’s such a softie and loyal to his late mother and friends. Speaking of his friends, they’re squad goals. Despite the banter and arguments, they stay together and fight through obstacles, not to mention that they’re diverse Asians with different strengths and flaws. My only complaint: not enough of Lingyu, Iris, Victor and Arun. Hopefully they have more page time in the sequel.

Daiyu can be sweet, naïve and have all the traits of a you, but she’s full of surprises. She’s not a damsel in distress or just a love interest or pawn in Jason’s mission. Meanwhile her dad is a villain who really boils up my blood. He’s a man in a suit who knows his power and twists a tragedy to benefit himself. I can’t wait for his downfall.

Anyway, make WANT your number one read this year.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

#PimpMyBio

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It’s July and that means Pitch Wars is coming up soon. This year I’m going to take a chance and enter [nervously sweating].

Let me introduce myself to potential mentors and fellow participants/writers.

  • My name is Natalia. You can call me Natty or Nat.
  • I grew up and live in a city called Sydney, a 3 hour flight away from Middle-Earth (New Zealand) – yeap, I’ve been there and visited Hobbiton too.
  • Age: I’m getting old…in my 20s
  • Graduated uni with a BA in English last year
  • Did a lot of internships including one at Pantera Press, an Australian publisher
  • Currently blogging about books and working in the children’s/YA department at a bookstore
  • YA and fantasy are my specialities. And I’m all for Own Voices and diverse representation.
  • The book that made me a serial reader and a serious writer at 17 is…Twilight. Yeah, I said it.
  • My nerdy tastes are pretty diverse. From Lord of the Rings to Sailor Moon to Disney to historical docos
  • My TBR is endless. It’s a monster that haunts me every minute of every day.
  • I’m a Ravenclaw. I was initially Sorted into Slytherin, but then I forgot my Pottermore password and had to do the Sorting again.

On the book I’m considering entering with, it started as my project for NaNoWrimo in 2015. It’s YA fantasy involving time loops, time travel, mythical monsters and a protagonist with a saviour complex. I drew inspiration from Sailor Moon, Indonesian mythology – to be specific, Balinese, Wayang kulit (Indonesian shadow puppets), Doctor Who and my own multicultural upbringing.

I’ve had a couple of CPs and a mentor who all helped me shape the story up and after countless revisions and tears, I’m happy with it. I’ve pitched my novel through Twitter pitch contests and got likes from agents, a full request and a partial one.

While I’m waiting and there’s Pitch Wars coming up, I thought “why not?”. Pitch Wars might be an unexpected valuable experience I could learn from and I’m also hoping to make friends.

Thank you for reading!