I decided to check out Buzz Books 2015: Young Adult Fall/Winter, a publication that has excerpts of up and coming releases from new authors and established authors. When I’m looking for a new book to read (or in this case an advance reading copy or read-to-review copy) I often struggle with deciding if it’s going to be something I enjoy. When I’m deciding on an ARC to request from NetGalley, the synopsis is obviously a huge part of my decision. Sometimes, however, the synopsis teases just enough to get me curious, but it may not be something I’d normally be keen on. This Buzz Books publication is a nice middle ground. I’m able to read a short excerpt and decide how I feel about the writing style and story without having the pressure of a full book to read. When you write, you need a hook to grab the reader. It’s what keeps them reading. These excerpts are one quick shot to show readers what kind of book it will be and if it’s worth their time. It’s only the hook. I hated the short length of some of these (because I really wanted to finish it!) and my book list got significantly longer.
The only excerpts I skipped were those of sequels. Here are some of the novels that I want to check out on a scale of desperate-to-read-where-is-my-wallet to this-sounds-interesting/cute:
*･゜ Legacy of Kings Eleanor Herman: Herman’s debut novel and first of the Blood of Gods and Royals series. This historical fiction is about Alexander, the heir of Macedonia and the young man who will become Alexander the Great. The excerpt is in two (although there seems to be more in the full copy) equally interesting voices and life situations. It sounds like it will be quest based in the going-on-a-quest vein of Odysseus and Jason and the Argonauts. I love Greece’s history and Greek gods, so the combination of historical and magical is something I’m highly interested in getting my hands on. Published on August 25th, 2015.
*･゜ Inherit the Stars Tessa Elwood: The only reason this isn’t first on my list is because I read it ages ago. I still can’t believe it hasn’t been published yet. I absolutely loved this book set in the future where three ruling families rule three interplanetary systems that are running out of resources for life. This forces them to enter into precarious alliances, headed by the marriage of the daughter of Fane and the son of Westlet. Romance, intrigue, and deception are stuffed into this book. I highly recommend it. My review is here. It will be finally published on December 8th, 2015.
*･゜ Illuminae Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: I’ve heard a lot about this novel, set to be the first in a trilogy. I was pretty excited to check it out because I like the mixed media look of text, transcripts, and pictures. It looks like a lot of work went into making each piece of media as legitimate looking as possible. I particularly loved the web pages. The excerpt consists of alternating transcripts of Kady and Ezra’s interviews. It gives us a good look at who the protagonists are and how they feel after an attack on their mining town. They’re sarcastic, but under that sarcasm is the worry and confusion of not knowing what is going on. It’s clear from the excerpt and synopsis that something more is going on than fleeing from enemy ships. The excerpt made me decide to put this on my list. Available October 20th, 2015.
*･゜ Nightfall Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski : A horror post-apocalyptic thriller, this excerpt tells of a town where sunrise and sunset doesn’t function the same way it does in our world. Sunrise comes every 28 years, and when the sun sets, you get out. At night, the others come. The excerpt for this novel is short, but it teased just enough of the story and mystery contained within it to get me interested. I don’t know who these “others” are, but it seems like the horror of this story will sneak up on you until you’re hiding under the covers. It sounds amazing and scary. Hopefully I’m not disappointed. It will be published on September 22nd, 2015.
*･゜ This Raging Light Estelle Laure: After her dad goes crazy and her mom disappears, Lucille is suddenly in charge of the care of her life and that of her younger sister’s. This excerpt had a great voice for Lucy and kept the mystery of what happened to her father hidden. That is what I really want to know, so of course I’ll have to check it out. This debut has a great writing style that I could see myself loving. It’s coming out on December 22nd, 2015.
*･゜ this is where it ends Marieke Nijkamp: A debut novel that I wanted to read and was rejected. Alas, that is the way of NetGalley. This novel is told from the perspective of four teenagers who are being held hostage at a high school. This excerpt was just long enough to get a taste of the four voices and how they will react differently to being trapped in an auditorium with a shooter. Of course, the excerpt ends before the violence starts happening, but it’s long enough to make me eager for the publication date of January 5th, 2016.
*･゜ Not if I See You First Eric Lindstrom: The concept in this debut novel is interesting. The protagonist, who is blind, has a great voice. I wonder how much of her sarcasm is a defense mechanism to keep people away from the things she keeps hidden, like how she feels about her dad’s death. She is just looking to be treated as a normal junior at high school, but things from her past come back to bother her when an old flame transfers to her school. I’m not sure if I would purchase it, but if I found it at the library I’d probably check it out for some light reading between dystopian novels. It will be out on December 1st, 2015.
*･゜ The Thing about Jellyfish Ali Benjamin: I love the style of writing. This debut novel is clearly going to be a coming-of-age story for Suzy Swanson. Mere days ago her best friend drowned, but Suzy quickly becomes convinced that she was actually stung by a dangerous jellyfish. The excerpt was enough to show me that this novel will focus on Suzy’s obsession with this. Ali Benjamin has a beautiful way of writing. Although the protagonist is in 7th grade and not the usual age group I like reading, the style of writing is not simplified. I’m curious to see if she ages throughout the book or if she stays the same age. It’s available on September 25th, 2015.
.*･゜ Everything, Everything Nicola Yoon: I like the idea of a girl who can’t go outside because she is allergic to everything outside and her books come vacuum sealed and de-germed. I’m curious how a romance can develop between her and the boy next door, but there’s only a tease of it in the excerpt. It seems like it has the potential to be a really cute story, but I won’t be able to read it until it shows up at my library. It was published on September 1st, 2015.
Other excerpts sounded interesting but I was unable to get a feel for them either because they were too short or not enough of the meat of the story was hinted at. For these, a lot of my interest in them stemmed from the initial synopsis.
*･゜ The Accident Season Moira Fowley-Doyle: Published on August 18th, 2015, this novel has been getting a lot of praise. Cara, the protagonist, and her family are prone to accidents in October. Unnaturally prone. Sometimes it’s annoying things, like cuts and bruises. Other times it causes deaths of the people involved, like the year her father died. I’m really curious about the how and why of the accident season, but that wasn’t touched on in this excerpt. Unfortunately, it was too short for me to decide how I felt about the writing style, but I will likely check this out in the future.
*･゜ A History of Glitter and Blood Hannah Moskowitz: This one was odd for me. I’ve had this on my to-read list for awhile, back when I requested and was rejected for an ARC. It may have actually been a blessing in disguise. Although I’m still really interested in the story that is described in the synopsis, the writing style just didn’t really do it for me. The desire to read the story is at odds with how clunky and all over the place the writing is. Reviewers say that this is on purpose, that this story is one of those where a character is actually the author of the book you are reading, but it isn’t clear enough early on. The moments where this happen only make the actual author look like a poor writer, which I assume was not the intention at all. I’m not sure if I would have been able to finish reading the book in time for a deadline. Another thing that’s strange to me is that this is under young adult. The semi-explicit sexual contents even in the short excerpt makes me think it should have been labeled as a new adult novel. I’ll check this out at the library, but I probably won’t buy this unless it really hooks me later. It came out on August 25th, 2015
*･゜ These Shallow Graves: Although the excerpt started out strongly in a graveyard where our protagonist is doing questionable rooting around, it ended up at a boarding school in Connecticut where the standard girls-training-to-be-wives happened. It was recommended for fans of Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty, and I can see where that blurb comes from. Perhaps it would be interesting, but the excerpt is nothing to get excited about. It will be available on October 27th, 2015.
All in all, I’m quite excited for a lot of the things that are going to be published soon. My reading list will never end, and that’s okay.
Buzz Books was provided by NetGalley.