Countdown Pick #1: I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler (4/1/2011)
"For the first time in my life, I didn't feel envy..."
Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that's okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. But, the smiles of her picture perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn't hold it together, who will?
Janet Gurtler tests the bonds of sisterhood in this moving debut that readers of Jodi Picoult and Sarah Dessen will savor.
Goodreads says "Janet Gurtler tests the bonds of sisterhood in this moving debut," and that was enough to pull me in. I have one older sister that I'm extremely close to so I'm nervous that this book may be a little sad and potentially scary for me but I also think I may find myself unable to let go. I usually stay away from absolute tear jerkers (I have to be really in the mood for them) because reading is my break from everyday life and the stress that comes with it. Not to mention the fact that I have a tendency to be way to emotional about fictitious characters, but I want to give this one a go. Tess faces a scary reality; her sister is diagnosed with cancer and while that would be hard enough to handle, she also must be the glue that holds her family together, the strong one. I'll have my tissues ready, but the countdown has begun. (This book was formerly titled The Weight of Bones)
Countdown Pick #2: Wither by Lauren DeStefano (Chemical Garden, #1) (3/24/2011)
By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out? Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?
Now I have to admit that I've already had the chance to read this fantastic debut but couldn't leave it off the list, because I know how much everyone is going to love this one. DeStefano drew me into this one with the beautiful cover art, and I'm dying to post my review but have been asked to hold off until we get closer to the release date. So put this one on your wish list because you're going to want the other two installments in the trilogy as soon as you come to the last page. I've enjoyed a few of my first tries at dystopian set novels this year but they're still not my absolute favorites when I've got to choose between the genres on the shelves. But what I'll say is the summary of this book had me practically drooling I was so anxious to get my hands on this book and I can only imagine the explosion it's going to create among readers and reviewers come release day! If this is what DeStefano came up with for her first novel I can't even guess at how wonderful the other installments in the trilogy will be. And on that note, be sure to check back, because I've got an extra copy of Wither that I'll be giving away after the holidays!!!!
Countdown Pick #3: Entwined by Heather Dixon (3/29/2011)
Azalea and her younger sisters dance in the mysterious silver forest every night, escaping from the sadness of the palace and their father’s grief. What they don’t understand—although as time passes they begin to get an inkling of the danger they are in—is that the mysterious and dashing Keeper is tightening his snare with deadly purpose. Luckily, Azalea is brave and steadfast. Luckily, a handsome young army captain also has his eye on Azalea. . . . Lush, romantic, and compelling, this debut novel by Heather Dixon will thrill fans of Shannon Hale, Robin McKinley, and Edith Pattou.
While Dixon has a previous work on the shelves, this will be her Young adult debut. Again this is one I've been lucky enough to have had he chance to read and again another review that I can't wait to share with you guys. But alas, it's got to wait until closer to it's release date. So all I can really say is that if all fairy tale remakes were as rich and entertaining as this one was, I might not ever read anything else. Dixon's got major promise and will dazzle readers with her story of royalty, magic and intrigue. He words were something I can't describe really. They had an almost lyrical feel to them with how easily they flowed and not to mention how quickly she had me engaged and unable to put her pages down. Her characters are realistic but at the same time they had that fairy tale feel to them, where the girls are very lady like and proper and encompass all that a princess should be, and the men for the most part are charming and dashing and will ride to the rescue to rescue the damsels they love! It was great, I felt like a girl reading Cinderella for the first time, fantastic...can't wait to get copies for all my friends!
Countdown #4: Future Imperfect (Future Imperfect, #1) by K. Ryer Breese (4/26/2011)
Ade Patience can see the future and it's destroying his life. When the seventeen-year-old Mantlo High School student knocks himself unconscious, he can see days and decades into his own future. Ade's the best of Denver's "divination" underground and eager to join the heralded Mantlo Diviners, a group of similarly enabled teens. Yet, unlike the Diviners, Ade Patience doesn't see the future out of curiosity or good will; Ade gives himself concussions because he's addicted to the high, the Buzz, he gets when he breaks the laws of physics. And while there have been visions he's wanted to change, Ade knows the Rule: You can't change the future, no matter how hard you try.
His memory is failing, his grades are in a death spiral, and both Ade's best friend and his shrink are begging him to stop before he kills himself. Ade knows he needs to straighten-out. Luckily, the stunning Vauxhall Rodolfo has just transferred to Mantlo and, as Ade has seen her in a vision two years previously, they're going to fall in love. It's just the motivation Ade needs to kick his habit. Only things are a bit more complciated. Vauxhall has an addiction of her own, and, after a vision in which he sees Vauxhall's close friend, Jimmy, drown while he looks on seemingly too wasted to move, Ade realizes that he must break the one rule he's been told he can't.
The pair must overcome their addictions and embrace their love for each other in order to do the impossible: change the future.
Like with all debut authors, readers can never know what to expect when picking up their books. If I have only the cover image and cryptic summary on the back of the book to go by, I have to say...my curiosity is totally piqued. It sounds like Ade's gift of seeing the future is also a little bit of a curse as well. And what addictions is Vauxhall struggling with? The little bit that the summary gives readers alone has me all anxious and tense so I'm thinking this is going to be a book I stay up late reading, just so I can find out what happens next. I guess I better be all caught up on my sleep before this one releases in April.
Stay tuned for another edition of the countdown and more fantastic reads to look forward to in 2011!