Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Top Ten Books I Picked Up at ALA Midwinter

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie. I decide to showcase top ten books I picked up at ALA Midwinter. The following books are in no particular order. Most of the following are front list titles and I included synopsis for all ten along with the publication date and publisher.

1. Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins - June 14, 2016 published by Macmillan 

I was surprised this was even available at ALA Midwinter and I am fortunate that I will be able to read it before the pub date.

Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.

2. The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury - February 23, 2016 published by Penguin

I am super excited about this Aladdin retelling. Aladdin is my favorite Disney movie and I can't wait to immerse myself into this wonderful and magical world.

She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world...

When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years -- a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

3. The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith - March 22, 2016 published by Simon & Schuster

I heard about this book at the Simon & Schuster's Book Buzz at ALAMW and I added it to my TBR. Pitched in the tradition of Speak, Simon & Schuster sold me! I needed to obtain this title and I was fortunate to pick up the display copy on the last day of ALAMW.

In the tradition of Speak, this extraordinary debut novel shares the unforgettable story of a young woman as she struggles to find strength in the aftermath of an assault.

Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.

Told in four parts—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year—this provocative debut reveals the deep cuts of trauma. But it also demonstrates one young woman’s strength as she navigates the disappointment and unbearable pains of adolescence, of first love and first heartbreak, of friendships broken and rebuilt, and while learning to embrace a power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart.

4. Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan - April 5, 2016 published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Urban fantasy and a retelling of A Tale of Two Cities..YES, please!

Tell the Wind & Fire is about a young girl called Lucie who lives in a New York very different from the New York we know: the city is torn between two very different kinds of magic, and Lucie’s own family was torn apart years ago by that conflict. Lucie wears magic rings and carries a burden of guilt she can’t share with anyone.

The light in her life is her sweetheart boyfriend Ethan, but it turns out Ethan has a secret too: a soulless doppelganger created by dark magic, who has to conceal the face identical to Ethan’s with a hood fastened by a collar nobody but a Light magician with magical rings can take off… and who introduces himself to both of them by, for reasons nobody can understand, saving Ethan’s life…

5. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch - April 12, 2016 published by Simon & Schuster

A romantic contemporary in Italy is definitely a novel up my alley. The synopsis sounds intriguing and the cover art is adorable! I have been obsessed with Italy ever since I visited Italy back in 2009 so it's a no brainer that I have this book on my TBR.

A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and ever herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

6. The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas - April 19, 2016 published by Random House

This psychological thriller caught my eye after I heard about it on twitter. Chilling!!!!

"Gripping from start to finish, The Darkest Corners took me into an underbelly I didn't know existed, with twists that left me shocked and racing forward to get to the end."-Victoria Aveyard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Queen

For fans of Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places and Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars, The Darkest Corners is a psychological thriller about the lies little girls tell, and the deadly truths those lies become.
There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.
Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.
Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.
But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.
Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.

7. Wishing Day by Lauren Myracle - May 3, 2016 published by HarperCollins

This Middle Grade novel seems the perfect combination of whimsical and cuteness.

On the third night of the third month after a girl’s thirteenth birthday, every girl in the town of Willow Hill makes three wishes.

The first wish is an impossible wish.
The second is a wish she can make come true herself.
And the third is the deepest wish of her secret heart.

Natasha is the oldest child in a family steeped in magic, though she’s not sure she believes in it. She’s full to bursting with wishes, however. She misses her mother, who disappeared nearly eight long years ago. She has a crush on one of the cutest boys in her class, and she thinks maybe it would be nice if her very first kiss came from him. And amid the chaos of a house full of sisters, aunts, and a father lost in grief, she aches to simply be...noticed.

So Natasha goes to the willow tree at the top of the hill on her Wishing Day, and she makes three wishes. What unfolds is beyond anything she could have imagined.

8. Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee - May 24, 2016 published by Penguin

This novel has been on my TBR list since I heard the rights for it. Stacey's debut novel, Under a Painted Sky, is fantastic and I couldn't wait to read more by her.

From the author of the critically acclaimed Under a Painted Sky, an unforgettable story of determination set against a backdrop of devastating tragedy. Perfect for fans of Code Name Verity.

San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.

On April 18, an historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Mercy can't sit by while they wait for the Army to bring help. Fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, yet Mercy still has the 'bossy' cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenaged girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?

Breakout author Stacey Lee masterfully crafts another remarkable novel set against a unique historical backdrop. Strong-willed Mercy Wong leads a cast of diverse characters in this extraordinary tale of survival.

9. Ruined by Amy Tintera - May 3, 2016 published by HarperCollins

I enjoyed reading Amy's dystopian, Reboot, and I cannot wait to read her take on fantasy. And how gorgeous is this cover? It's so simple yet sophisticated.

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

10. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore - September 15, 2015 by Macmillan

I heard great things about this magical realism novel. What drew me to this novel is the fact that it is very Romeo and Juliet like. I cannot wait to start reading this.

The Palomas and the Corbeaus have long been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for more than a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows—the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.

Lace Paloma may be new to her family’s show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she’s been taught since birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it’s a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace’s life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees.

Beautifully written, and richly imaginative, The Weight of Feathers is an utterly captivating young adult novel by a talented new voice.


  1. That is an awesome set of books you picked up there! The Way I Used to Be is one I am super excited for. I really want to read The Weight of Feathers and Summer Days and Summer Nights too. Enjoy!

    1. I am a huge fan of Speak so when I heard The Way I Used to Be is pitched similar, I knew I had to get the book. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Wow! That's a super-exciting haul! I'm really looking forward to reading Tell the Wind and Fire when it comes out in April!

    1. Thanks! I am glad you enjoyed my TTT this week.

  3. Summer Days and Summer Nights" IS A THING?! How did I not hear about this sooner?! I'm currently freaking out about this and am literally jumping up and down like a child!
    I'm so glad you included it in this week's TTT because I wouldn't have known about it otherwise! I LOVED LOVED LOVED My True Love Gave to Me and I have the UK edition of it!
    I hope you really enjoy this one Nicole and i'm so happy for you that you were able to snatch a copy of it at ALA!
    Happy reading!
    Emily @ www.rabbitholereviews.com

    1. YES!!! It's so exciting! The author lineup is awesome!!! I have the UK Edition of MTLGTM too and it's gorgeous! I enjoyed all the holiday stories too and I hope SDaSN has a UK edition as well!

  4. A lot of these are on my wishlist! It's great that you were able to get them :)

    My TTT.

    1. I hope you're able to read a lot of these titles later this year. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Oooo, nice topic. Love & Gelato and Out Run the Moon sound intersting.

    Here's a link to my TTT post for the week: http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2016/01/top-ten-tuesday-10-favorite-indie.html

  6. I can't wait for Darkest Corners, I've read the authors other books (written as Kara Taylor) and loved them so much.
    Fantastic list :D
    Cora @ Tea Party Princess

    1. I didn't know she had other books. I need to check them out. Thanks for letting me know.

  7. Wow, you're lucky to have been to ALAMW, it seemed like an amazing event! I'm so jealous that you got RuinedThe Forbidden Wish and Tell the Wind and Fire! :o I hope you'll enjoy all of them :)

    1. ALAMW is such a great opportunity. I hope you're able to attend one in the near future.

  8. ALA conventions look so fun. I need to get to one someday. I have a handful of these, but I cannot wait for Summer Days. Anthologies are so fun. Hope you love them all!
    My TTT

    1. Definitely try to attend one of the ALA meetings in the future. I hope you get to read Summer Days and Summer Nights! Thanks for stopping by!

  9. YAY! Great choice of topic this week. I always love freebie week as people always do such amazing topics! Looks like you had a great time at ALA, and also managed to pick up a bunch of amazing reads. I really want to read The Forbidden Wish, it looks so good.

    Here's my TTT post if you want to check it out. I picked non-book romances I would love to see get book adaptations.

    1. I heard great things about The Forbidden Wish and thank you for stopping by. Freebies are sometimes nice because of the different things you can do and everyone has something unique to offer.

  10. Wow, awesome books!! I want to read Tell the Wind and Fire as well as Ruined, Outrun The Moon, and The Weight of Feathers, great book list!!

    1. Thank you! I am glad you are excited about Tell the Wind and Fire, Ruined, Outrun The Moon and The Weight of Feathers! I hope you get to read them!

  11. What a great stack! I hope you enjoy your new books! I am so incredibly jealous of Summer Days and Summer Night - can't wait for that one! Also Ruined and The Forbidden Wish are high on my list as well. :)

    1. Thank you! I lucked out on getting SD&SD. I literally walked by Macmillan the second the doors opened and saw a stack of them.