This week, I’m taking a look at the new releases of December 2016 in the YA genre. It’s one of the genres that I read most, so I’m hoping for books that I just can’t wait to start reading! By the way, other new releases of December 2016 can be found by genre right here on Goodreads.
- Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill (Clash of Kingdoms #1)
Publication date: December 27th 2016
Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer. However, it’s not so simple. The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.
- The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee
Publication date: December 27th 2016
An evocative novel about a teen aroma expert who uses her extrasensitive sense of smell to mix perfumes that help others fall in love while protecting her own heart at all costs. Sometimes love is right under your nose. As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, sixteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking—all while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. Still, Mimosa doesn’t want to spend her life elbow-deep in soil and begonias, she dreams of a normal high school experience. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman’s son to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realise that falling in love isn’t always a choice you can make. At once hopeful, funny, and romantic, Stacey Lee’s The Secret of a Heart Note is a richly evocative coming-of-age story that gives a fresh perspective on falling in love and finding one’s place in the world.
- Teach Me to Forget by Erica M. Chapman
Publication date: December 2nd 2016
This is the story of Ellery, a girl who learns how to live while waiting for the date she chose to die. Ellery’s bought the gun, made arrangements for her funeral, and even picked the day. When her plans go awry and the gun she was going to kill herself with breaks, she does the one thing she has control over–return it and get a new one. Ellery gets caught by the security guard who also happens to be someone she knows–the annoyingly perfect Colter Sawyer from her English class. Colter quickly uncovers what she’s hiding and is determined to change her mind. After confessing a closely held secret of his own, he promises not to tell hers. Ellery tries to fight her attraction to him as the shadows of her past cling tight around her, but when she’s faced with another tragedy, she must decide whether she can learn to live with what she’s done or follow through with her plan to die.
- Lost Girl by Chanda Hahn (Neverwood Chronicles #1)
Publication date: December 13th 2016
Wendy doesn’t remember anything about Neverland—or the experiments done on her there as a child. Seven years later, all she wants is a normal life, but shape-shifting shadows plague her dreams and turn her life into a waking nightmare. When the shadows attack at a football game and a boy disappears right in front of her, she realises these wraith-like shadows are real. They’re not just haunting—they’re hunting. A mysterious boy named Peter, his foul-mouthed sidekick, and a band of misfit boys intervene before Wendy faces a similar fate. But can they trust Wendy enough to take her to Neverwood Academy and reveal all of their hidden secrets when she’s hiding a secret of her own, or will the dreaded Red Skulls find her and drag her back to Neverland?
- Alterations by Stephanie Scott
Publication date: December 6th 2016
If anyone saw Amelia Blanco’s prom boards, they’d think Ethan Laurenti was her boyfriend. But all these plans are just dreams, and she’s the girl who watches him from the kitchen while her parents cook for his famous family. When Amelia’s abuelita enrolls her in a month-long fashion internship in NYC, Amelia can’t imagine leaving Miami–and Ethan–for that long. As soon as she gets to New York, however, she finds a bigger world and new possibilities. Her pin boards become more about creating her own style. By the time she returns to Miami, Amelia feels like she can accomplish anything, and surprises herself by agreeing to help Ethan’s awkward, Steve-Jobs-wannabe brother, Liam, create his own fashion app. As Liam and Amelia get closer, Ethan realizes that this newly confident, stylish girl may be the one for him after all. The “new and improved” Amelia soon finds herself in between two brothers, a whole lot of drama, and choice she never dreamed she’d have to make.
So, let’s take stock of what we’ve got. First up is a story that could be interesting, about a young girl that needs to track down the boy she used to love who might have killed her father. Of course he probably didn’t and together they will end up fighting something bigger in the next books. I think I’ll wait on the rest of the series before deciding if I’ll read it. The second book seems inspired by Süskind’s Perfume, but given a YA twist with a girl in the leading role. The first paragraph of the blurb weirds me out so much that I won’t be reading it. Number 3 feels a little bit like a John Green-ish book: big teenage drama entwined with a love story. I don’t like drama and I don’t like weepy books, so I’ll pass this one by. And then we get to the fourth on the list, and this is my favourite. It’s not just my favourite of the list, it’s already on my to-read list and I’ve put it on my Christmas wish list as well. I love modern adaptations of fairy tales, and Peter Pan just happens to be one of my favourite fairy tales (together with Robin Hood, in fact). I loved Tiger Lily and I can’t wait how this author has spun a new story from Peter Pan’s legend on. And lastly, the fifth book feels like a typical YA teen romance: ‘ugly’ girl who pines for popular guy but he doesn’t notice her, girl goes away and comes back changed, confident and amazing, girl finds someone else but then boy starts liking her. Result: girl is caught between the new boy who likes her for who she is and the boy who she loved a long time but who hasn’t started appreciating her after she changed. But that’s not a bad thing, it’s one of my guilty pleasures, so I put this one on my to-read list as well.
How about you? Will you put any of these on your to-read list? Or is it already so full of books that you don’t dare to add new ones? (believe me, I know the struggle!) Let me know!