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August 1, 2013

Out This Week In YA (4): Fantasy, Historical Romance, and Coming of Age

Hi guys! Ishita and I have switched post days just for this week, so I'll be taking you through the new releases. Here are the ones I'm most excited for:

Title: All Our Pretty Songs
Author: Sarah McCarry
Release: July 30, 2013
The first book in an exciting YA trilogy, this is the story of two best friends on the verge of a terrifying divide when they begin to encounter a cast of strange and mythical characters.
Set against the lush, magical backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, two inseparable best friends who have grown up like sisters—the charismatic, mercurial, and beautiful Aurora and the devoted, soulful, watchful narrator—find their bond challenged for the first time ever when a mysterious and gifted musician named Jack comes between them. Suddenly, each girl must decide what matters most: friendship, or love. What both girls don’t know is that the stakes are even higher than either of them could have imagined. They’re not the only ones who have noticed Jack’s gift; his music has awakened an ancient evil—and a world both above and below which may not be mythical at all. The real and the mystical; the romantic and the heartbreaking all begin to swirl together, carrying the two on journey that is both enthralling and terrifying.
And it’s up to the narrator to protect the people she loves—if she can.
Goodreads--Amazon--Barnes and Noble 
I'm a sucker for a good fantasy novel, so I'm definitely curious about this one. I really like the idea of music potentially being an instrument (no pun intended) of evil when most would consider it to be beautiful.

Title: The Boy on the Bridge
Author: Natalie Standiford
Release: July 30, 2013
A new breathtaking novel from Natalie Standiford about love and trust during the Cold War.
Laura Reid goes to Leningrad for a semester abroad as Cold War paranoia is peaking in 1982. She meets a young Russian artist named Alexei and soon, with Alexei as her guide, Laura immerses herself in the real Russia--a crazy world of wild parties, black-market books and music, and smuggled letters to dissidents. She must keep the relationship secret; associating with Americans is dangerous for Alexei, and if caught, Laura could be sent home and Alexei put under surveillance or worse. At the same time, she's been warned that Soviets often latch onto Americans in hopes of marrying them and thus escaping to the United States. But she knows Alexei loves her. Right?
As June approaches--when Laura must return to the United States--Alexei asks Laura to marry him. She's only nineteen and doesn't think she's ready to settle down. But what if Alexei is the love of her life? How can she leave him behind? If she has a chance to change his life, to rescue him from misery, shouldn't she take it?
Goodreads--Amazon--Barnes and Noble
So after studying the Cold War for nearly a year through my school's academic decathlon team, I'd be lying if I said that information hasn't stuck with me. That said, I'm really intrigued by the premise of this book, especially since I already know so much of the background information. Besides, it's nice to see the romantic side of things even during such a dark time in history.

Title: Brother, Brother
Author: Clay Carmichael
Release: July 30, 2013
After his grandmother's death, seventeen-year-old Brother sets out, with the abandoned son of a friend, on a 200-mile trip to North Carolina's Outer Banks to find his twin brother, of whose existence he just learned.
Part coming-of-age story, part love story, this is a book about finding out that who you are and where you come from aren't necessarily the same thing.
Goodreads--Amazon--Barnes and Noble
This synopsis leaves much to the imagination, but I can definitely see a lot of potential in it. I'm also curious to know the reason behind a name like Brother.

Title: Earthbound
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Release: July 30, 2013
Tavia Michaels is the sole survivor of the plane crash that killed her parents. When she starts to see strange visions of a boy she’s never spoken with in real life, she begins to suspect that there’s much about her past that she isn’t being told.
Tavia immediately searches for answers, desperate to determine why she feels so drawn to a boy she hardly knows. But when Tavia discovers that the aunt and uncle who took her in after her parents' death may have actually been responsible for the plane crash that killed them--and that she may have been the true intended victim--she flees for the safety of Camden, Maine, where the boy she sees in her visions instructs her to go.
Now, Tavia is on the run with no one to trust. No one, that is, except for her best friend and longtime crush, Benson.
Tavia feels torn between the boy who mysteriously comes to her at night and the boy who has been by her side every step of the way. But what Tavia doesn't know is that the world is literally falling apart and that to save it she will have to unite with the boy in her visions. Only problem? To do so would mean rejecting Benson's love. And that's the one thing Tavia Michaels swore she'd never do.
Goodreads--Amazon--Barnes and Noble
Seems like there are more and more YA novels about sole survivors of plane crashes, but nonetheless, I'm curious about this since the summary lists Tavia as the supposed intended target. Besides, mystery boy in her visions seems like he could be a keeper.

Title: Love Disguised
Author: Lisa Klein
Release: July 30, 2013
Will Shakespeare is about to meet the girl who will change his life forever. After a mixed-up courtship with the Hathaway sisters ends badly, Will jumps at the chance to go to London, where he can pursue his dream of becoming an actor. There, Will meets the unusually tall (and strong) Meg who has earned the nickname "Long Meg" for her height. She's also fleeing her own past as an orphan turned thief. Disguised as "Mack," Meg was once a member of a band of boy thieves who betrayed her. When Will is robbed by those same villains, Meg disguises herself as "Mack" again--telling Will that Mack is her twin brother--in order to help Will recover his money. As Mack, she finds true friendship with Will. But is there more? And who is Meg really fooling with her disguise?
What ensues is a tale involving love triangles, mistaken identities, and the pursuit of hapless villains, as Shakespeare becomes a key player in a lively drama that could have sprung from his own pen.
Goodreads--Amazon--Barnes and Noble
As someone with a serious love-hate relationship with Shakespeare, this one would either be a solid hit or miss for me. I think it's pretty clear Meg's disguise will be more hurtful than helpful, but I'd definitely like to find out why.

Title: Torn
Author: David Massey
Release: July 30, 2013
Witnesses to a mystery on the battlefield, a British medic and an American Navy SEAL confront Afghanistan's fog of war.
In war-torn Afghanistan, a girl walks right into a hail of bullets: Elinor watches it with her own eyes. The young British army medic risks the line of fire to rescue her, only to realize the girl is gone.
To find the missing, mysterious child, Elinor enlists the help of an American Navy SEAL. But in all the confusion, with coalition troops fighting every day to maintain a fragile peace, does Ben have something to hide?
Elinor came to Afghanistan with the hope of changing hearts and minds: What she's about to discover will make her question everything she ever believed about love and war.
A war thriller. A cross-cultural love story with an undercurrent of magic realism. A powerful debut set in modern-day, battle-scarred Afghanistan. This is TORN.
Goodreads--Amazon--Barnes and Noble
What a brilliant choice for a cover--I think it really sums up what this book is all about in a nutshell. It seems that this book would have some serious potential to be powerful and poignant, so we'll see if I can get my hands on a copy.

Other Notable Releases:

And there you have it!

Which of these new releases are you most excited for?
Feel free to sound off in the comments. :)

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