The holidays are almost here and for me, it's always a crazy busy time of year, as it is for a lot of people. But with all the craziness also comes a lot of fun. There are family get togethers, friends celebrating left and right, the wrapping of packages (which my family has made an art form) and the giving of gifts. As much as I love to receive presents (I mean who doesn't?) I actually love giving them even more. Picking out the perfect present for someone, wrapping it up to make it even more personal, and seeing the faces of loved ones open up a great gift that they'll love is the best ever! While I do try to find perfect presents for everyone on my shopping list, I also tend to throw in a book along with whatever else I've found them. Bibliophiles or not, I enjoy helping to add or create a library/collection of great books for everyone on my list. Here are a few coming out in December that I'd love to receive and might possibly throw in for some friends and family as well.
Countdown Pick #1: Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding (12/03/2013)
For Kellie Brooks, family has always been a tough word to define. Combine her hippie mom and tattooist step dad, her adopted overachieving sister, her younger half brother, and her tough-love dad, and average Kellie’s the one stuck in the middle, overlooked and impermanent. When Kellie’s sister finally meets her birth mother and her best friend starts hanging with a cooler crowd, the feeling only grows stronger.
But then she reconnects with Oliver, the sweet and sensitive college guy she had a near hookup with last year. Oliver is intense and attractive, and she’s sure he’s totally out of her league. But as she discovers that maybe intensity isn’t always a good thing, it’s yet another relationship she feels is spiraling out of her control.
It’ll take a new role on the school newspaper and a new job at her mom’s tattoo shop for Kellie to realize that defining herself both outside and within her family is what can finally allow her to feel permanent, just like a tattoo.
I'm not sure that I've read or heard anything that sounds quite like this one, and different is usually a good thing. Especially when you find yourself following a good deal of series, and sticking within the same types of genres a good deal of the time. A change of pace, and a revisit with Spalding's great writing style sounds like a great plan for December.
Countdown Pick #2: These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (12/10/2013)
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.
Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.
Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?
Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.
The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.
I think science fiction is going to making itself into a strong presence towards the end of this year and moving into the beginning of 2014. Everywhere I turn there seems to be another new title that fits the bill that I find myself wanting to add to my list and this one is no different.
Countdown Pick #3: The Initiate: A Divergent Story (Divergent, #0.2) by Veronica Roth (12/17/2013)
With no description available from the publisher for this novella quite yet, all I can say is that even with the third and final installation coming out in the Divergent trilogy back in October, I don't think anyone is ready to say goodbye quite yet. So each and every bit Roth and the publishing house is willing and ready to give readers, I think we'll all take it with no complaints, am I right? This will be the second novella in what I've heard will be out of four total. So at least with this one's release right around the corner, we still have another two to look forward to checking out.
Countdown Pick #4: Ashes to Ashes by Melissa C. Walker (12/23/2013)
If I Stay meets the movie Ghost in this first book in a teen duology about a teenage-girl-turned-ghost who must cling to the echoes of her former life to save the people she left behind.
Ashes to Ashes is author Melissa Walker's sweeping, romantic, and emotionally rich story about the things that torment and tempt us, even from the Great Beyond. This book is perfect for fans of Die for Me and Imaginary Girls, and its breathtaking ending will leave readers anxiously awaiting the series conclusion, Dust to Dust.
When Callie's life is cut short by a tragic accident, she expects to find nothingness, or maybe some version of heaven.
Instead, her spirit travels to the Prism, an ethereal plane populated by the ghosts she thought were fictional. Here she meets a striking and mysterious ghost named Thatcher, who is meant to guide her as she learns to haunt and bring peace to the loved ones she left behind.
However, Callie uncovers a dark secret about the spirit world: The angry souls who always populate ghost stories are real, dangerous, and willing to do whatever it takes to stay on Earth, threatening the existence of everyone she ever cared about.
As she fights to save them, Callie will learn that while it may no longer beat, her heart can still love-and break.
If this is even close to Gayle Forman's If I Stay, I'm sure I'll love it. That book stayed with me long after I finished the last page, and I still recommend it to everyone every chance I get. This one seems to have put a unique spin on the afterlife that I'm anxious to read more about.
Countdown Pick #5: Strykers by K.M. Ruiz (12/24/2013)
250 years after nuclear war, the dregs of humanity fight to survive on a ruined Earth while the rich and powerful plan to secretly ascend to another planet. But the enslaved soldiers of the elite rulers are a deadly new kind of human who are desperate for freedom and plan on fighting back against their masters.
Threnody Corwin, a psion with the ability to channel electricity like lightning through anything she touches, is a soldier for the human government. On a suicide mission, Threnody and her team of Strykers are recruited by an unknown enemy: Lucas Serca, one of the most powerful psions alive, who is masquerading as human. Forming an uneasy alliance, the two groups escalate their fight with the ruling government and worldwide chaos ensues. When a new kind of psion power is discovered that could reshape the wasted planet, the renegades must race to save society before it destroys itself, but the cost is high and in the end, there is no such thing as compromise.
In this novel from K.M. Ruiz, there is only survival.
Survivalist stories will never get old. Much like the good majority of us out there can't resist rooting for the underdog, watching/reading about characters that are forced to survive obstacles and situations that we may or may not have had any experience with is addicting.