Happy New Year! I hope that 2013 was a fabulous reading year for you, and that you’re already happily making a list of 2014 books to keep an eye out for. I know I am!

Here are a few January and February releases that I’m looking forward to:

Little Blue Lies, by Chris Lynch. I’ve been a Chris Lynch fan since Gold Dust, and a Chris Lynch MEGAfan since Inexcusable. He’s one of those rare authors who is almost completely unpredictable, in that his books vary wildly in tone, subject and voice; reader reaction to his books is often quite divided, which makes them all the more interesting. I’ll read anything that he writes. Judging by the Kirkus review, his new one deals with economic class, the mob, lies and liars, and the post break-up blues. I CAN’T WAIT.

The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean, by David Almond. I recently revisited Skellig, and was absolutely blown away by how timeless it is, but even more so at how Almond writes about the extraordinary within the ordinary, about the beauty that surrounds both life and death, without ever verging on being treacly or saccharine. It’s a gorgeous book. So I’m very much looking forward to Monster Billy Dean, which sounds like it might revisit some of that same territory: especially the idea that beauty can be found in what many would describe as gruesome. I’m pretty post-apocalypsed out, but this one has me excited. Bonus! The majority of the book is written phonetically, which always makes for especially fun reading.

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Tin Star, by Cecil Castellucci. SPACE OPERA REVENGE STORY. Need I say more?

Feral Curse, by Cynthia Leitich Smith. HAUNTED CAROUSEL FTW! I’d be planning on reading it even without the carousel, though, as I love this series to a ridiculous degree. Funny and smart; super romances and friendship stories; a non-preachy thread abGlass Casketout social justice; mysteries and magic and world-saving; and a strong appreciation for genre fiction. How irresistible is that?

The Glass Casket, by McCormick Templeman. I admit it: This one caught my eye purely because of the cover art, which suggests GOTHIC TO THE MAX. But then I read the description, which involves science versus folklore, friendship and family and yes, GRISLY DEATHS, and I bumped it right up to the top of my wants list. I’m vaguely hoping for a Keturah and the Lord Death readalike, but trying to stay open-minded. 

White Space, by Ilsa J. Bick. I’m thinking it’ll be a good fit for Stephen King fans (of which I am one), in that it includes a life-threatening snowstorm and lots of interconnectedness between fiction and reality and a dead horror author. It sounds COMPLETELY NUTS. But in a good way!

Mistwalker, by Saundra J. Mitchell. She writes it, I read it.

What’s on your list?

If she isn't writing Bookshelves of Doom or doing her librarian thing, Leila Roy might be making stuff for her Etsy shop while re-watching Veronica Mars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Babylon 5, Black Books or Twin Peaks. Well, that or she’s hanging out on Twitter. Or both.