Thomas Allen & Son:
(Spring 2017 Preview)
On March 4, 2017, I co-hosted a blogger hangout day with other members of the book community within the Greater Toronto Area. It was super chill and a low key event to do two things: (1) get posts scheduled and (2) have Ambur (Burning Impossibly Bright), who works at Thomas Allen & Son, showcase titles they were excited for in the upcoming season.
So thank you to Thomas Allen for sponsoring this event and allowing me to assist with co-hosting (which is just my way of saying I did something without really doing much of anything).
A Preview of Spring 2017 Books
Before I start word vomiting all the books you may want to add to your to-be-read piles, I need to first say that Thomas Allen has many lines of books they distribute. However, I will be focusing on forthcoming YA fiction releases as well as key non-fiction titles.
Rylee Adamson Series
We first began with a look at the Rylee Adamson series — which is probably not for me — BUT I can say with certainty that this series is right up many of your alleys. Bolded the keyword there.
My sales pitch to you: New Adult Sexy Urban [Paranormal] Fantasy.
Some key non-fiction books popped out to me, and though I’m not big on non-fiction in general, I can certainly appreciate many of them that have come out or are forthcoming.
Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World
This anthology of essays features so many authors we know and cherish in the book community!
Here We Are is a scrapbook-style teen guide to understanding what it really means to be a feminist. It’s packed with essays, lists, poems, comics, and illustrations from a diverse range of voices, including TV, film, and pop-culture celebrities and public figures such as ballet dancer Michaela DePrince and her sister Mia, politician Wendy Davis, as well as popular YA authors like Nova Ren Suma, Malinda Lo, Brandy Colbert, Courtney Summers, and many more. Altogether, the book features more than forty-four pieces, with an eight-page insert of full-color illustrations.
2 Kinds of People (Joao Rocha)
This is an interactive book you can play /read between two individuals. The premise is like a giant Buzzfeed quiz to view your compatibility and that sound rad as heck.
2 Kinds of People is the interactive visual personality quiz that’s as much fun as a game. It works by showing two illustrations side by side. If you and your partner pick the same one, score it on the foldout wheel in the back, and move to the next. At the end, the number of matches determines where you fall on the Scale of Compatibility, ranging from mortal enemies to soul mates.
Cup or cone? Cash or plastic? Shower or bath? Escalator or stairs? Toilet paper over, or toilet paper under? Like they say, it’s the little things in life that really count.
Young Adult Titles
I’d normally go through each title and talk a bit about it but instead I will feature some books that are now on my radar (and perhaps will be on yours too). So get your Goodreads out and get hyped!
Sarah Fine’s “Beneath the Shine” (18/04/17)
Most buds I know enjoy Sarah Fine (re: of Imposter Queen fame)
In a future United States where those who control technology control the wealth, seventeen-year-old Marguerite’s viral video propels a populist candidate to presidential victory on a platform of “tech for all.” But as the mouthpiece of the new leader determined to break the elite stronghold, Marguerite finds herself on the opposite side of the divide in a new high school full of technocrat teens.
When the enigmatic Percy, with his flamboyant fashion sense, sharp wit, and tragic past, takes an interest in her, she is suspicious. But with everyone against her, she needs an ally. Percy is drawn to Marguerite’s passion for the cause, but the legacy of his murdered scientist parents prevents him from letting her get too close. Soon terrorists strike the capital and technocrat leaders begin turning up dead, and the two must work together to protect both their families and the country.
Jessica Park “180 Seconds” (04/25/17)
This reminds me so much of those social experiment videos you see on YouTube (on SoulPancake for example). As an introvert, I would crumble under immense pressure…but I can see the appeal. Ish.
After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm’s length. Adopted at sixteen, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.
One unsuspecting afternoon, Allison is roped into a social experiment just off campus. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of a crowd, forced to interact with a complete stranger for 180 seconds. Neither she, nor Esben Baylor, the dreamy social media star seated opposite her, is prepared for the outcome.
Gwen Cole’s “Cold Summer” (05/02/17)
Hey now…this book just sounds so great; especially if the fluidity of the two time periods link up properly to weave PTSD in a just manner. Plus, A Thousand Pieces of You cover vibes, yes?
Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.
When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. …But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war.
Gwen Cole’s “The Duke of Bannerman Prep” (05/09/17)
The Great Gatsby comparison title.
Tanner McKay is at Bannerman Prep for only one reason: the elite school recruited him after he brought his public school’s debate team to victory last year. Bannerman wants a championship win. Debate is Tanner’s life—his ticket out of his poor-as-dirt life and family drama, straight to a scholarship to Stanford and the start of a new, better future.
But when he’s paired with the Duke, his plans for an easy ride seem as if they’ve hit the rails. The Duke is the quintessential playboy, beloved by everyone for his laissez-faire attitude, crazy parties, and seemingly effortless favors. And a total no-show when it comes to putting in the work to win.
Emily R. King’s “The Hundredth Queen” (06/01/17)
This could go either amazingly right or horribly wrong. But read the blurb!
As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.
But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.
Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda’s only hope for escape lies in an arcane, forbidden power that’s buried within her.
Skye Melki-Wegner’s “The Hush“ (06/06/17)
This was Ambur’s most hyped title she was excited for; a North American release of a book published in Australia last year. Although I haven’t read This Savage Song, it feels like it, no? Ish?
Chester has taken to the road, traveling from village to village desperately searching for his father, who has disappeared. One night while fiddling to earn a few coins, he accidentally connects to the Song—the music that fuels every aspect of the world, and that it’s illegal for him to interact with. He’s caught and sentenced to death for his crime. Only a licensed Songshaper can bend music to his will.
But someone in the crowd—a member of the infamous Nightfall Gang—stages a daring rescue and whisks Chester into the Hush, a shadowy nightmare mirror-world where Music can be deadly and Echoes can kill.
Patrick Moody’s “The Gravedigger’s Son” (08/01/17)
I have told some readers as to my hype for this book because upon reading the initial blurb (without comparison titles), I thought of The Graveyard Book meets The Night Gardener — AND IT IS EXACTLY THAT, I AM A SEER.
Ian Fossor is last in a long line of Gravediggers. It’s his family’s job to bury the dead and then, when Called by the dearly departed, to help settle the worries that linger beyond the grave so spirits can find peace in the Beyond.
But Ian doesn’t want to help the dead—he wants to be a Healer and help the living. Such a wish is, of course, selfish and impossible. Fossors are Gravediggers. So he reluctantly continues his training under the careful watch of his undead mentor, hoping every day that he’s never Called and carefully avoiding the path that leads into the forbidden woods bordering the cemetery.
Just as Ian’s friend, Fiona, convinces him to talk to his father, they’re lured into the woods by a risen corpse that doesn’t want to play by the rules.
Are there any titles above that caught your eye?