Hey there TBF fans,
As you well know by now, we are in the second month of this new year-- 2019.
While for some that might mean New Years’ Resolutions still in progress... or the bitter cold of winter, for us book nerds the start of another year means that the amount of days between us and our TBR wishlists are ticking down--slowly, yes, but surely. And while--let’s face it, there are a lot of awesome books coming out in 2019-- everyone’s got a couple of special picks that are close to their heart. I’m no exception-- so here are five of the books I’ll be keeping my eye on this year.
- Dig by A.S. King. Release date: March 26th
First off-- if you a.) haven’t read anything by A. S. King yet and b.) don’t mind accepting an unsolicited book recommendation now and then, then I highly advise you dust off your library card and pick up one of her books as soon as possible. Trust me. The best way I think that I can describe them is as mindbenders. The stories take you in weird directions, show you things that don’t seem entirely real... but like any good labyrinth they take you where you need to go. Dig, itself, centers around five teenagers-- The Shoveler, The Freak, CanIHelpYou?, Loretta the Flea-Circus Ring Mistress and First-Class Malcolm (like I said-- the books are mindbenders). Though each has their own problems, their own expectations, they are all connected by one thing-- their relation of Marla and Gottfried Hemmings who, aside from being the descendents of potato farmers, are worth millions. But none of this wealth will ever be passed down to their grandchildren, as Marla paradoxically summarizes “Because we want them to thrive.” Whatever that “thriving” seems to look like. As the darker secrets behind the Hemmings reputation and fortune, finally begin to see the light, the five teens must decide whether price they’re willing to pay for the family name.
Sounds pretty good, right?
- I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi. Release Date: October 22nd
Is it weird to admit that I’ve always really enjoyed a good apocalypse story? There’s nothing like the world ending to really see who a character is-- and what they hold dear. And Jesse, Cate and Adeem, the protagonists of I Hope You Get This Message, seem as though they’ve got a lot to do before the final curtain. Cate wants to figure out who her father-- a man known only through the stories of her schizophrenic mother-- really is. Jesse, on the other hand, thinks he’s ready for the end. But as the death date-- when aliens from a far off world threaten to end earth-- looms, he finds he isn’t quite so sure. And Adeem must venture beyond the world he’s comfortable with-- code and computers-- to come to forgiveness.
It’s a lot to ask in eight days. Personally, I can’t wait to see whether these three are up to it.
- A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asebedo. Release Date: November 5th
Though I’ll admit that I haven’t yet gotten the chance to read Miranda Asebedo’s debut novel The Deepest Roots, the more I hear about her sophomore work, A Constellation of Roses, the more the novel seems to draw me in. Almost like ...magic-- which is exactly what the book is about.
Our protagonist, Trix McCabe is determined to survive in a world that does not particularly seem to care whether she does. Her mother left her. Her ability to steal almost anything a stranger fails when she needs it most. And now she’s faced with the choice between time in jail or a visit to her estranged relatives in Rocksaw, Kansas.
Needless to say, Trix isn’t particularly interested in putting down roots. But the more she learns about the unusual women of her family, each with their own special--magical, even--gift, the more she finds herself wondering if she can really find a place in Rocksaw, Kansas.
Featuring some of my favorite tropes-- a hardened protagonist, strong female characters and a world where something magical mixes with reality-- A Constellation of Roses will certainly be on my TBR list.
- On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. Release Date: February 5th
Though this might be cheating considering February 5th has come and gone, for Angie Thomas I’m willing to make an exception. Chances are, if you’ve been paying attention to the world of YA this past year, you already know this incredible author. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was not only number one on the New York Times bestseller list but also was adapted into a film just last year! And this sophomore novel looks like it has the potential to be just as big.
The story centers around Bri Jackson, an aspiring rapper who’s had her dreams written off time and time again. But she’s got too much riding on them-- a chance at living up to her hip-hop legend father’s legacy, not to mention saving her family’s home-- to give up.
When one of her songs finally goes viral--though not even remotely in the way Bri had hoped or planned-- and she’s labelled as danger not an up and coming talent, Bri is forced to face the truth of what her identity as a young black woman means for her freedom to express herself.
As usual, Angie Thomas does not pick an easy topic to address in her new novel. But if anyone can tell the truth and make a beautiful story at the same time, it’s her.
- We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia Relase Date: February 26th
Apocalyptic Handmaid’s Tale-esque setting, queer girl romance and Latinx representation? Yes, please!
In the world of Medio, the most a girl can aspire to be is an aid to her husband-- either to run the household or raise children. And Daniela Vargas is nothing if not ambitious.
But her perfect grades hide a dangerous secret-- a past that can never be known and a love for a girl who’s supposed to be her rival.
As Daniela takes the plunge to begin spying for the rebellion in Medio, she’s forced to ask herself-- are these risks worth it? Should she take her place quietly in the background or set the world aflame?
Needless to say, I’ll be counting down the days until February 26th.
And that’s only the beginning of my TBR list-- but since only have finite space, I’ll digress. For now.
But what about you? What books are you looking forward to this year? Feel free to comment with your own top five (or even top ten) list below.