Hey, Little, Brown books! How you doin’?

Posted 17 November, 2014 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | Pre-Squee, Review | 26 Comments

12371865Unmarked (The Legion #2) by Kami Garcia
YA Paranormal, hardcover, 400 pages
Published Sept. 30, 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

He is here… and he could be anyone.

Kennedy Waters lives in a world where vengeance spirits kill, ghosts keep secrets, and a demon walks among us–a demon she accidentally set free.

Now Kennedy and the other Legion members–Alara, Priest, Lukas, and Jared–have to hunt him down. As they learn more about the history of the Legion and the Illuminati, Kennedy realizes that the greatest mystery of all does not belong to any secret order, but to her own family. With the clock ticking and the life of someone she loves hanging in the balance, Kennedy has to ask the question she fears most: what is it about her past that has left her Unmarked?

Hey, look! I’ve read the second book of a YA series! It’s a miracle. However, I liked the first book better than this one. The second one still held plenty of that Kami Garcia magic. There are plenty of surprises in this installment including that of Kennedy’s origins (alluded to in the blurb), which explains why she hasn’t gotten her mark and been officially accepted into the group. This is why she can’t have nice things… I’m pretending the romance (a triangle between Kennedy and two brothers, no less) just doesn’t exist. It really didn’t play that big a part in the story this time around, so no big loss there. Oh, and there’s a bit of a cliffhanger with this one, which was frustrating.

13590919The Young World (The Young World Trilogy #1) by Chris Weitz
YA Post-Apocalyptic, hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 29th 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

After a mysterious Sickness wipes out the rest of the population, the young survivors assemble into tightly run tribes. Jefferson, the reluctant leader of the Washington Square tribe, and Donna, the girl he’s secretly in love with, have carved out a precarious existence among the chaos. But when another tribe member discovers a clue that may hold the cure to the Sickness, five teens set out on a life-altering road trip to save humankind.

The tribe exchanges gunfire with enemy gangs, escapes cults and militias, braves the wilds of the subway and Central Park…and discovers truths they could never have imagined.

I suppose if I was a teen with no adult supervision and the promise of an early death (as soon as a certain hormone made its way through my body), I’d go as nuts as these kids did. Divided into rather feral tribes, the survivors — all teen and young kids — are, well, just surviving, fighting for every scrap of food, piece of territory and weapon they can get their hands on. Donna, one of the POVs in this story, is a bit annoying and overzealous (it’s as if she’s shouting every little thought that comes out of her head) but I wound up liking her, just as I appreciated Jefferson’s strength and thoughtfulness. This plot didn’t really stand out amongst the piles of other post-apocalyptic young adult novels packing the shelves these days but it still provided a couple of entertaining hours.

18302133Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper
YA Paranormal, hardcover, 398 pages
Published September 23, 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

You don’t know what you must give up to become a witch.

Avery Roe wants only to claim her birthright as the witch of Prince Island and to make the charms that have kept the island’s sailors safe at sea for generations, but instead she is held prisoner by her mother in a magic-free life of proper manners and respectability.

Avery thinks escape is just a matter of time, but when she has a harrowing nightmare, she can see what it means: She will be killed. She will be murdered. And she’s never been wrong before.

Desperate to change her future, Avery finds a surprising ally in Tane—a tattooed harpoon boy with magic of his own, who moves her in ways she never expected. But as time runs out to unlock her magic and save herself, Avery discovers that becoming a witch requires unimaginable sacrifice.

Avery walks the knife’s edge between choice and destiny in Kendall Kulper’s sweeping debut: the story of one girl’s fight to survive the rising storm of first love and family secrets.

I really wanted to love this story. I mean, sea witches! Come on. It starts out well, with that promise but then…love gets in the way. I’m all for romance. I love love stories. But don’t sell me on a sea witch story and then turn it into an instalove romance. It’s not that this was a horrible story or anything, just that it wasn’t what I wanted or what I expected so I was disappointed. And I had a hard time getting behind Avery, the main character. *sigh* I liked the descriptions, though they were a little over-artsy at times.

Upcoming Releases On the Wishlist:

18190208The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker
YA Paranormal, hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: June 2, 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. When she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to die at the stake. Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can track down the person who laid a deadly curse on him.

As she’s thrust into the world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and all-too-handsome healers, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

18713071Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham
YA Mystery, hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: May 19, 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

A voice-driven mystery perfect for fans of Veronica Mars.

Meet Scarlett, a smart, sarcastic, kick-butt, Muslim American heroine, ready to take on crime in her hometown of Las Almas. When a new case finds the private eye caught up in a centuries-old battle of evil genies and ancient curses, Scarlett discovers that her own family secrets may have more to do with the situation than she thinks — and that cracking the case could lead to solving her father’s murder.

18068907The Court of Fives by Kate Elliott
YA Fantasy, hardcover, 448 pages
Expected publication: August 18th 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

A teenage girl secretly competes in her city’s prestigious athletic competitions in this high-fantasy adventure that can be pitched as Game of Thrones meets The Hunger Games meets Little Women.

In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.

Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But at night she can be whoever she wants when she sneaks out to train for The Fives, an intricate, multi-level athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best competitors. Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an unlikely friendship between a girl of mixed race and a Patron boy causes heads to turn. When a scheming lord tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test Kal’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a powerful clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.

About Mary @ TheBookSwarm

26 Responses to “Hey, Little, Brown books! How you doin’?”

  1. I completely agree on Salt & Storm Mary! I so wanted to love that one as well, and I was thoroughly enjoying it until the romance came into play. Then it just went downhill for me which was hugely off-putting because usually the romance is a highlight for me. *sniffles* And the books you listed that you’re looking forward to? YES! Just yes.
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  2. I”m glad you mention that about the insta romance in Salt and Storm – I still plan to read it but now I won’t go in with the wrong expectations. I’ll save it for when I think I can handle some YA heavy romance.

    I haven’t read the Kami books yet but sounds like I need to. I don’t know if I’ll read Young World only because I haven’t been feeling very into dystopian lately (rather burnt on it I think).
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  3. Congrats on reading a YA sequel. I hadn’t heard of this one I like the sounds of the marked thing though.

    I’m not a fan of ‘kids go nuts now that there are no adults’ books.

    *sigh* and the sea witch thing sounded so cool too. I don’t mind romance in my fantasy, but not the other way around.
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