There are so many books to look forward to in February that I don’t want to use up any of my space on an introduction! Let’s take a look:
The Third Twin, by CJ Omolulu
Identical twins Lexi and Ava invent a “third twin” persona. Pretending to be Alicia allows them a new and unusual freedom—the ability to experiment with different styles and behaviors, but without lasting consequences. But then all of the boys that “Alicia” has been dating start turning up dead, and Lexi starts to wonder if Ava’s gone DARK SIDE. Ooooo.
This Side of Home, by Renée Watson
Another story about twins who are seniors in high school! This one, though, is realistic fiction set in Oregon, and everything I’ve read about it suggests that it deals with gentrification, family, change, culture, friendship, and figuring out how to balance independence with the emotional and practical aspects of being a twin. So, basically, it sounds meaty and emotionally complex and compelling and EXACTLY the sort of book I want to read RIGHT NOW.
No Parking at the End Times, by Bryan Bliss
EVEN MORE TWINS. Like Maya and Nikki in This Side of Home, Abigail and Aaron are starting to strike out in different directions…but they’re also living in a van with their parents, who recently liquidated their assets and gave them all to a man who’s got them convinced that the end of the world is fast approaching. Kirkus wasn’t entirely won over by this one, but a blurb from Sara Zarr goes far for me—so I’m going to pick it up. (Which reminds me, I really need to find a copy of Vivian Apple at the End of the World, which ALSO deals with the Rapture.)
The Distance Between Lost and Found, by Kathryn Holmes
Debut novel about a group of teens at a church camp in Tennessee who leave their group, mid-hike, and proceed to get lost in the woods. They’ve got very few supplies, next to no survival skills, and even beyond finding their way out of the wilderness, a lot on their minds. I’m hoping it’ll remind me of The Girls of No Return, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, or both.
The Sin Eater’s Daughter, by Melissa Salisbury
I’ve read Kirkus’ review of this one three times through, and I’m still not entirely sure that I know what it’s about. Regardless, it sounds like one that’ll be right up my alley—high fantasy starring a heroine whose skin is poisonous to the touch, heavy on the worldbuilding and court intrigue, lots of character development and FEELINGS. Also, the cover is very pretty.
When My Heart Was Wicked, by Tricia Stirling
Magical realism isn’t always a great fit for me—I do better with concrete than abstract—but Kirkus was so glowing about the writing that I may have to give it a try.
The Bargaining, by Carly Anne West
A slow-building ghost story starring a possibly unreliable narrator? Yes, PLEASE.
Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard
The premise of this fantasy sounds awfully familiar—girl discovers she is the KEY to SAVING THE WORLD—but it apparently has great character development, so I’m allowing it to stay on my radar.
When Reason Breaks, by Cindy L. Rodriguez
This is one of at LEAST three YA books that deal with suicide due out this month, and the one I’m most likely to pick up, both for the Emily Dickinson theme and for the exploration of two very different manifestations of depression: fury and apathy.
Scripted, by Maya Rock
Reality television, dystopia, and revolution: always a fun mix! Sounds a bit more like The Truman Show than The Hunger Games, and I’m super-okay with that.
Beastkeeper, by Cat Hellisen
Elements of Beauty and the Beast, but not a retelling. That ALONE—that Beauty and the Beast may have been part of the inspiration, but doesn’t necessarily provide the bones for the book’s structure—makes me curious about it. Add the Kirkus reviewer’s passion for the originality and for the prose, and I’m SOLD.
The Shadow Cabinet, by Maureen Johnson
I have been dying for this since finishing Book Two, and am entirely ready to experience even more heartbreak. BRING IT, JOHNSON.
If she isn't writing Bookshelves of Doom or running the show at her local library, Leila Roy might be making stuff for her Etsy shop while rewatching Veronica Mars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Babylon 5, Black Books or Twin Peaks. Well, that or she’s hanging out on Twitter. Or both.