Hello everyone! Its time for another Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader. Today is a freebie day, and since the end of the year is SWIFTLY approaching, we decided to discuss some of our most anticipated releases of 2019 that we still haven’t read but hope to get to before the year is out- no judgment, we all have them! Also, where did the time go!?!?
Like last week, we have picked a few releases that we both really want to read before the end of the year and have also selected a few titles that are unique to us.
Let us know in the comments about some the titles you want to read before the end of year!
Storm of Locusts (The Sixth World, #2) by Rebecca Roanhorse
Published by Saga Press on April 23, 2019
It’s been four weeks since the bloody showdown at Black Mesa, and Maggie Hoskie, Diné monster hunter, is trying to make the best of things. Only her latest bounty hunt has gone sideways, she’s lost her only friend, Kai Arviso, and she’s somehow found herself responsible for a girl with a strange clan power.
Then the Goodacre twins show up at Maggie’s door with the news that Kai and the youngest Goodacre, Caleb, have fallen in with a mysterious cult, led by a figure out of Navajo legend called the White Locust. The Goodacres are convinced that Kai’s a true believer, but Maggie suspects there’s more to Kai’s new faith than meets the eye. She vows to track down the White Locust, then rescue Kai and make things right between them.
Her search leads her beyond the Walls of Dinétah and straight into the horrors of the Big Water world outside. With the aid of a motley collection of allies, Maggie must battle body harvesters, newborn casino gods and, ultimately, the White Locust himself. But the cult leader is nothing like she suspected, and Kai might not need rescuing after all. When the full scope of the White Locust’s plans are revealed, Maggie’s burgeoning trust in her friends, and herself, will be pushed to the breaking point, and not everyone will survive.
I liked- but did not love- Roanhorse’s first novel, Trail of Lightning. In my opinion, it felt like playing the story mode of an epic video game and I just kept getting pulled into meaningless, albeit interesting side quests. However, I still have hopes for the sequel, mainly because a cult has kidnapped Kai and Caleb and Maggies is out for blood. Plus, the world needs more books by native American authors- honestly, I would buy Roanhorse’s books purely for that reason.
(SIDENOTE: This is Emily, and even though this isn’t one of our joint picks, I ALSO really want to read this book. I did LOVE the first one and cannot wait for the second! Well… clearly, I can wait, because for some reason I still haven’t read it, but you get my meaning…)
gods with a little g by Tupelo Hassman
on August 13, 2019
From the acclaimed author of Girlchild, this gritty, irreverent novel sees a young misfit grow into hope
Rosary, California, is not an easy place to grow up, particularly without a mom. So cut off from the rest of the world that even the Internet is blocked, Rosary is a town named by Catholics but run by evangelicals (and the evangelicals aren’t particularly happy about that). It’s a town on very formal relations with its neighbors, one that doesn’t have much traffic in or out and that boasts an oil refinery as well as a fairly sizable population of teenagers.
For Helen and her friends, the Tire Yard, sex, and beer are the best ways to pass the days until they turn eighteen and can leave Sky County. Her best friends, Win and Rainbolene, late arrivals to Rosary, are particularly keen to depart—Rain in part because she’ll finally be able to get the hormones she needs to fully become herself. Watching over them is Aunt Bev, an outcast like the kids, who runs the barely tolerated Psychic Encounter Shoppe. As time passes, though, tensions are amping up for everyone: and threats against the Psychic Encounter Shoppe become actions. What these flawed, lovable characters in Tupelo Hassman’s gods with a little g discover about one another in the process will reshape how they think about trust and family, and how to make a future you can see.
Marginalized outcasts living in conservative religious community and trying to carve out identities for themselves while subverting their upbringings? Yes please. I picked up this book at the behest of Liberty at Book Riot and I am kind of mad that I haven’t read it yet. I guess you could say it kind of carries some similarities to the book above, minus the zombies.
Wicked Fox (Gumiho, #1) by Kat Cho
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on June 25, 2019
A fresh and addictive fantasy-romance set in modern-day Seoul.
Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret--she's a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.
But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead--her gumiho soul--in the process.
Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl--he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He's drawn to her anyway.
With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon's.
Am I the only one who feels like kitsune are having a moment in YA literature? I became aware of this novel and Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa around the same time and I just need to sit down and read this book in a weekend because I am sucker for shape shifter stories with an urban fantasy setting. Give me all the Korean/East Asian inspired fantasy.
Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
Published by Del Rey Books on July 2, 2019
A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world's last hope.
Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.
For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them–and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them–the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart–or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.
Honestly, its embarrassing how many times I have checked the audiobook of this title out from the library. Its one of those “always available” titles at my public library right now and every once a while I’m feeling ambitious and check it out- I have the best of intentions but I have yet to actually press play and let the story suck me in. I bought a physical copy from HPB not too long ago so maybe once classes end I’ll finally have enough mental energy to dedicated to this beast of a book. We’ll see.
(SIDENOTE: Apparently we could have done four joint picks, because I also really want to read this one. My dad read it and immediately called, texted, and recommended it to me over on Goodreads, so basically it’s required reading at this point.)
Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1) by Shelby Mahurin
Published by HarperTeen on September 3, 2019
An alternative cover edition for this ISBN can be found here.
Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.
Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.
Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou's, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.
The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou's most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.
And love makes fools of us all.
So I know almost nothing about this book, but literally everyone that I know has rated it 4-stars or higher, plus I already own the dang thing so WHAT AM I WAITING FOR. Also, witches, hate to love romance, really beautiful cover so basically I’m here for everything about this book and just need to crack the dang thing open!
A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay
Published by Berkley Books on May 14, 2019
International bestselling author Guy Gavriel Kay's latest work is set in a world evoking early Renaissance Italy and offers an extraordinary cast of characters whose lives come together through destiny, love, and ambition.
In a chamber overlooking the nighttime waterways of a maritime city, a man looks back on his youth and the people who shaped his life. Danio Cerra's intelligence won him entry to a renowned school even though he was only the son of a tailor. He took service at the court of a ruling count--and soon learned why that man was known as the Beast.
Danio's fate changed the moment he saw and recognized Adria Ripoli as she entered the count's chambers one autumn night--intending to kill. Born to power, Adria had chosen, instead of a life of comfort, one of danger--and freedom. Which is how she encounters Danio in a perilous time and place.
Vivid figures share the unfolding story. Among them: a healer determined to defy her expected lot; a charming, frivolous son of immense wealth; a powerful religious leader more decadent than devout; and, affecting all these lives and many more, two larger-than-life mercenary commanders, lifelong adversaries, whose rivalry puts a world in the balance.
A Brightness Long Ago offers both compelling drama and deeply moving reflections on the nature of memory, the choices we make in life, and the role played by the turning of Fortune's wheel.
Basically anything written by Guy Gavriel Kay is a total insta-buy for me, and this book was no exception. But right before I read it, I realized I had somehow missed another one that he had written a couple years ago! So I read that one first, absolutely adored it, rated it 5-stars and then never came back to this one. (That was Children of Earth and Sky, in case you were wondering.) If you’ve never read anything by Kay, it’s basically epic historical fiction with a dash of fantasy elements. Like historical magical realism, if that were a thing (and it really should be). His books are just gorgeous and his The Lions of al-Rassan is the only book I’ve ever read and then immediately opened to read again. It’s amazing. Do yourself a favor and pick up some GGK immediately.
The Girl the Sea Gave Back (Sky in the Deep, #2) by Adrienne Young
Published by Wednesday Books on September 3, 2019
The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.
For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.
For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.
This book is another one I have no idea why I haven’t read it yet. Sky in the Deep was one of my absolute favorite reads of 2018 and this is its companion novel. Young’s Viking world is so beautifully depicted and her characters are so well-written, I love everything about them. This was one of my most anticipated novels of 2019, I bought it (from Book of the Month, natch) the moment it was released, and still haven’t read the dang thing. Anyone else find that happens to them with sequels/companion novels where you loved the first one? I feel like I sometimes get intimidated by my own hype.
Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle, #3) by Jay Kristoff
Published by St. Martin's Press on September 3, 2019
SPEAKING OF INTIMIDATED BY MY OWN HYPE. I devoured the first two novels in this series in a matter of days, bought this novel in like 3 different formats when it first came out — eBook, regular hardback and ShelfLove Crate special edition — and yet I still haven’t cracked the dang thing open. It sits, even now, on my bedside table taunting me. I just know I’m in for some heartache when I read this one, and I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to the characters. But, ugh, I also want to know what happens and am sick of avoiding spoilers, so I imagine I’ll jump into this one pretty soon. (Speaking of spoilers, as usual, when a summary involves spoilers, we don’t include it on this site!)
Both Of Us
The Light at the Bottom of the World (Light the Abyss, #1) by London Shah
Published by Disney-Hyperion on October 29, 2019
Hope had abandoned them to the wrath of all the waters.
At the end of the twenty-first century, the world has changed dramatically, but life continues one thousand feet below the ocean's surface. In Great Britain, sea creatures swim among the ruins of Big Ben and the Tower of London, and citizens waver between fear and hope; fear of what lurks in the abyss, and hope that humanity will soon discover a way to reclaim the Earth.
Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Leyla McQueen has her own problems to deal with. Her father's been arrested, accused of taking advantage of victims of the Seasickness-a debilitating malaise that consumes people,often claiming their lives. But Leyla knows he's innocent, and all she's interested in is getting him back so that their lives can return to normal.
When she's picked to race in the action-packed London Submersible Marathon, Leyla gets the chance to secure his freedom; the Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. The race takes an unexpected turn, though, and presents her with an opportunity she never wanted: Leyla must venture outside of London for the first time in her life, to find and rescue her father herself.
Now, she'll have to brave the unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a secretive, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If she fails, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture–and her father might be lost forever.
Everything about this book just sounds unique. The cover is gorgeous. Its a post apocalyptic story that involves a competition with incredibly high stakes. Tick all our boxes won’t you? Plus, so many reviews have raved about the world building and the sense of place, elements that seem perfect for this time of year. Also, THAT COVER THOUGH. From what we’ve heard from friends, this is a super-underrated read for this year and we are HERE FOR IT.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on August 14, 2019
A big-hearted romantic comedy in which the First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends...
First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.
The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.
As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
If we talk anymore about Red, White and Royal Blue we are at risk of being accused of being a corporate shill, which we totally aren’t! But we both have heard amazing things about this one — everything from the m/m romance to the politics to the humor sounds right up our alley. We are both having a serious romance moment right now in our reading lives and this sounds PERFECT to scratch that itch.
What About You?
Well those are our 2019 releases that we are still dying to read. What about you? Any on our list we definitely need to prioritize?