When I think of exceptional YA bloggers, Jennifer Hubert Swan always comes to mind. Her blog Reading Rants is entertaining, smart, and sassy, like her. Jennifer is a YA triple threat: an author, middle school librarian, and book reviewer. She is also a reality TV junkie, novice foodie, and iPad-obsessed, collector of original SVH paperbacks. She has served on several national youth book award committees through the American Library Association. Jennifer is also the author of Reading Rants: A Guide to Books that Rock! published by Neal-Schuman. When not reading or writing, she enjoys quilting, social networking, and eating out in New York City’s amazing restaurants. I will definitely add her selections to my spring reading list.
Spring is busting out all over (actually it snowed in my neighborhood yesterday, but a girl can dream, can’t she?) which means it’s time to review the bumper crop of crisp new 2013 ARCS that are flooding my mailbox. I give great thanks to the galley gods for the following five books that I cannot wait to read.
This book about a young avant-garde artist in a futuristic Brazil who falls hard for a doomed royal is already generating major buzz around le old Internet, which of course, I am mightily susceptible to. There’s a lot here to like. Post-apocalyptic city founded and run by women? Check. Bloody pagan rituals paired with futuristic technology? Check. Rich literary science fiction featuring non-white characters? Check. I have a feeling this title is going to make a big splash in the YA lit world this year.
Ages 14-18 | Publisher: Scholastic| March 1, 2013
By Jaclyn Moriarty
The Year of Secret Assignments is one of my all-time favorite books and a reliable go-to title in my book talking repertoire. So a small squee of excitement escaped my throat when I unwrapped this clever little fantasy about two teens exchanging notes across worlds. Madeline is from our world and Elliot is from Cello, and both of them are dealing with parent troubles that could benefit from cross-dimensional advice. Corner also appears to be a series starter, which means more marvelous Moriarty is on the way. Hooray!
Ages 12-18 | Publisher: Scholastic| April 1, 2013
As someone who came of age in an evangelical Christian community, I am always wildly curious to hear other folks’ stories about growing up Biblical. Aaron Hartzler’s humorous memoir about reassessing his relationship to the Rapture as a teen looks like it is right up my alley.
Ages 15 & up | Publisher: Little Brown| April 9, 2013
It’s the fast paced, grit-astic sequel to one of my 2012 Top Ten books of the year. (http://www.readingrants.org/2012/12/01/2012-top-ten/) Need I say more?
Ages 13 & up | Publisher: Macmillan| May, 2013
By Alex London
I am always intrigued when a middle grade author jumps ship to YA. I know London from his comical middle grade Accidental Adventures series, but this science fiction thriller that seems like a futuristic twist on The Prince and the Pauper looks to be something completely different. I anticipate missing my subway stop more than once while reading this book.
Ages 12 & up | Publisher: Penguin| June 2013
—Nicki Richesin is the author and editor of four anthologies; Crush, What I Would Tell Her, Because I Love Her, and The May Queen. She is the San Francisco correspondent for DuJour and a frequent contributor to Sunset, The Horn Book, 7×7, The Huffington Post, and Daily Candy. Find her online at https://nickirichesin.com/.