Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's topic is Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward To In 2015. These might not be the "top ten"... but they're the first ten I found on my Goodreads "to read" list that will be published in 2015. That list is getting unwieldy. (I'm going to use larger images for this post than I usually do; 2015's crop of books has some absolutely gorgeous covers that must be seen!)
Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein - I really haven't read a lot of jinn fiction. Actually, I can only think of a handful of books in my TBR pile that feature this sort of paranormal creature... and the number of books I've read with jinns is even smaller.
Synopsis: Forget everything you thought you knew about genies!
Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin deepens, and her eyes glisten gold thanks to the brand-new silver bangle that locks around her wrist. As she always knew it would, her Jinn ancestry brings not just magical powers but the reality of a life of servitude, as her wish granting is controlled by a remote ruling class of Jinn known as the Afrit.
To the humans she lives among, she’s just the girl working at the snack bar at the beach, navigating the fryer and her first crush. But behind closed doors, she’s learning how to harness her powers and fulfill the obligations of her destiny.
Mentored by her mother and her Zar “sisters,” Azra discovers she may not be quite like the rest of her circle of female Jinn... and that her powers could endanger them all. As Azra uncovers the darker world of becoming Jinn, she realizes when genies and wishes are involved, there’s always a trick.
The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman - This one is intriguing. At first glance, it looks like a contemporary... but then we've got a spell that erases memories, so maybe it's contemporary fantasy. In any case, it looks like an interesting read!
Synopsis: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets We Were Liars in this thought-provoking and brilliantly written debut that is part love story, part mystery, part high-stakes drama.
What would you pay to cure your heartbreak? Banish your sadness? Transform your looks? The right spell can fix anything…. When Ari's boyfriend Win dies, she gets a spell to erase all memory of him. But spells come at a cost, and this one sets off a chain of events that reveal the hidden—and sometimes dangerous—connections between Ari, her friends, and the boyfriend she can no longer remember.
Told from four different points of view, this original and affecting novel weaves past and present in a suspenseful narrative that unveils the truth behind a terrible tragedy.
The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick - This one sounds a bit like Cloud Atlas, with its broad scope and a story that stretches throughout history.
Synopsis: A bold, genre-bending epic that chronicles madness, obsession, and creation, from the Paleolithic era through the Witch Hunts and into the space-bound future.
Four linked stories boldly chronicle madness, obsession, and creation through the ages. Beginning with the cave-drawings of a young girl on the brink of creating the earliest form of writing, Sedgwick traverses history, plunging into the seventeenth century witch hunts and a 1920s insane asylum where a mad poet's obsession with spirals seems to be about to unhinge the world of the doctor trying to save him. Sedgwick moves beyond the boundaries of historical fiction and into the future in the book's final section, set upon a spaceship voyaging to settle another world for the first time. Merging Sedgwick's gift for suspense with science- and historical-fiction, Ghosts of Heaven is a tale is worthy of intense obsession.
Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai - This book looks like it might be either a companion or a sequel to Inside Out & Back Again. That book was the first verse novel that I read and reviewed for this blog... and I've been loving that format ever since. There's not much of a synopsis for this one yet, but if it's similar to the other book, it'll be contemporary or historical fiction. (This author's books get the loveliest covers. The cover for Inside Out & Back Again is similarly pretty, with soft colours and silhouettes.)
Synopsis: Listen, Slowly features a 12-year-old Southern California girl who reluctantly takes a summer trip to Vietnam.
Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley - Though the synopsis describes it as "Neil Gaiman's Stardust meets John Green's The Fault in Our Stars" (because any book that deals with illness is going to be compared with the latter), I'm still intrigued by the sound of this story. I like books where the real world collides with a bit of fantasy.
Synopsis: Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.
Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.
So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.
Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.
Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?
Maria Dahvana Headley's soaring YA debut is a fiercely intelligent, multilayered fantasy rich with symbolism and steeped in allegory. Her John Green–meets–Neil Gaiman approach to character development and world building will draw readers of all genres, who will come for the high-concept journey through the sky and stay for the authentic, confused, questioning teen voices. Jason and Aza’s fight to find each other somewhere between sky and earth is the perfect anchor for Headley’s gorgeous, wildly vivid descriptions of life in Magonia.
Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell - What is this? Steampunk Cinderella? Yes, please! (And look at that cover! It's pretty enough to hang on a wall as a piece of art.)
Synopsis: Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home.
But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.
Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince... but realizes she doesn't want a fairy tale happy ending after all.
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes - This one is actually a fairy tale retelling, but it looks like it might have some similarities with Julie Berry's All the Truth That's in Me, which I really enjoyed.
Synopsis: When seventeen-year-old Minnow stumbles out of the woods one winter morning, she is haunted and handless and covered in someone else’s blood. She has just escaped the strict religious commune run by a cruel man named the Prophet. In exchange for freedom, she leaves behind her family, her home, and Jude--an outsider boy who changed everything.
But the real world isn't the sanctuary Minnow imagined. Soon, she gets arrested and placed in juvenile detention. Now, Minnow is being questioned by an FBI psychiatrist about the night she escaped, the same night the Prophet was burned to death in his own home—a murder Minnow may be responsible for.
A modern retelling of the Grimm fairy tale, "The Handless Maiden," in which the Devil orders a girl's hands cut off, The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is the story of a girl growing out of the wreckage of corrupted faith.
The Third Twin by C. J. Omololu - This one just looks like an interesting premise. It looks kind of thrilling, actually.
Synopsis: Identical twins. Identical DNA. Identical suspects. It's Pretty Little Liars meets Revenge in this edge-of-your-seat thriller with a shocking twist.
When they were little, Lexi and her identical twin, Ava, made up a third sister, Alicia. If something broke? Alicia did it. Cookies got eaten? Alicia's guilty. Alicia was always to blame for everything. The game is all grown up now that the girls are seniors. They use Alicia as their cover to go out with boys who are hot but not exactly dating material. Boys they'd never, ever be with in real life.
Now one of the guys Alicia went out with has turned up dead, and Lexi wants to stop the game for good. As coincidences start piling up, Ava insists that if they follow the rules for being Alicia, everything will be fine. But when another boy is killed, the DNA evidence and surveillance photos point to only one suspect: Alicia. The girl who doesn't exist. As she runs from the cops, Lexi has to find the truth before another boy is murdered. Because either Ava is a killer... or Alicia is real.
Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee - Not to be confused with Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi! It seems that many of the books I've enjoyed lately have been historical fiction... so I really should try to read more of it. This book looks quite good... and the cover is lovely!
Synopsis: A powerful story of friendship and sacrifice, for fans of Code Name Verity
Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.
This beautifully written debut is an exciting adventure and heart-wrenching survival tale. But above all else, it’s a story about perseverance and trust that will restore your faith in the power of friendship.
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver - How can I not read this one? I've really enjoyed the other books I've read by this author... and this one looks really good, too.
Synopsis: New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.
Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara's beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it's too late.
In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.
What books are you looking forward to in 2015?