Countdown Pick #1: The Vespertine (The Vespertine, #1) by Saundra Mitchell (3/7/2011)
It’s the summer of 1889, and Amelia van den Broek is new to Baltimore and eager to take in all the pleasures the city has to offer. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset—visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. However, a forbidden romance with Nathaniel, an artist, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own—still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him. When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia’s world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she’s not the seer of dark portents, but the cause.
As a Baltimore native I was super excited to hear about a book based in 1889 Baltimore. I'm very curious to see how Mitchell describes good ol'Baltimore and if I'll know the areas she references. But aside from my Baltimore geekdom, there's romance! Of course it's forbidden which only makes it that much better. I'm already in love with the idea of Amelia and Nathaniel together and book's not even out...what a romantic I am. So with home field advantage, a high stakes romance, and maybe a little bit of fortune telling thrown in, what more could you want in a 2011 debut?
Countdown Pick#2: Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand (1/4/2011)
In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into placeand out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to makebetween honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.
Talk about your love triangle alert? If Hand's main character is thrown into a reality where she's part angel, I can only imagine that coming to grips with news like that would be enough to fill a girl's plate. Add a handsome and wholesome boy she's dreamed of (literally) and a boy, his polar opposite - tempting her at the same time, what do you get? An instant out of me for sure! I'll be curious to see if the part-Angel gives in to the temptation of a bad boy or if the nice guy doesn't end up finishing last...aren't you curious too? Did I mention it's a series opener too?
Countdown Pick #3: Half Moon (The Crescent, #2) by Jordan Deen (1/13/2011)
I'd been a fool for coming here with them, and now... no one would come to save me. The world that hid in the shadows of humanity was full of enemies.Faced with death, Lacey Quinn ran away from the only family she'd ever known. That... was just the beginning.As the decision she's made sinks in, Lacey struggles to fit in with the pack and find the key to bonding with her werewolf soul mate, Brandon. But, lies can only be concealed for so long. Adjusting to a powerful new best friend, a twelve-year-old roommate with a nauseating Barbie fetish, and a lost love that won't stop haunting her dreams, she knows she has no hope of having a normal future-ever again.After a long talk with the dead mother she never knew, and an almost deal-breaking night out with Brandon, Lacey starts spiraling into the underworld-a place where all things are possible and everyone is out to kill her.With mysterious legends of witches and sorcery marring her past and clouding her future, she quickly learns-werewolves aren't the only ones lurking in the woods...waiting to claim her powers for their own.
Now I will admit that I've already gotten the chance to read this (thanks to being a part of the book's blog tour) and it rocked! I included this one on the countdown for a bunch of reasons - but mainly because the copy I read was an electronic galley and I'm counting down until I can get my hands on a copy of my own! But I also wanted to include it because the romance and love triangle in The Crescent series gets turned up (more than a notch in this installment. It's romantic for sure, not to mention much steamier this time around. I melted the whole way through and was totally putty in Jordan Deen's hands!