Monday, January 6, 2014

Countdown: February 2014

You can't get much more romantic as far as destination cities, than Paris, France.  While I'm hopeful that I'll be able to find a few new reads that fall into the romance department during the "romantic" months, I'm not limiting myself to only those types of reads.  There are so many new titles hitting the shelve this year that I know I'll never be able to keep up.  But it never hurts to try, and these countdown posts keep my list fresh and helps me narrow down my choices when I'm on the hunt for what to read next.  Are there any titles you are looking forward to come February?  Do you tend to find yourself reading romances during February or do you go the opposite route?  Here are a few coming out next month that I'm looking forward to adding to my bookshelf.
Countdown Pick #1:  Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott (02/25/2014)

A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother's life—and her own.

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to the middle of nowhere for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

Victoria Scott's electrifying novel grabs readers by the throat and doesn't let go.

Author of the Dante Walker series, a lot of readers are anxiously awaiting this new release from a fan favorite writer.  I haven't had the chance to check out her previous series, but it's been on my radar for a while and I've been hearing good things.  I'm hopeful that if I enjoy this new release I'll have extra incentive to dive into her first series afterwards.
Countdown Pick #2:  All That Glows by Ryan Graudin (02/11/2014)

Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

I'm wondering if this is a tale where the fae are large and in charge, out in public and for everyone to see, or are they undercover so to speak?  Either way how can anyone resist a story of unrequited love and with some added action and adventure as well?  No one stands a chance!
Countdown Pick #3:  The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe (02/06/2014)

For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave.

But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How can she know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go?

Readers have a lot to look forward to with this one I think.  For starters we can all agree I think that a love triangle adds instant appeal to any book.  As long as the characters are ones you can root for, usually the triangle only ups the ante.  A character like Daisy who from the sound of it is one readers will be supporting from the start due to her familial dedication, all the way through her bout of teenage rebellion.  Who do you think she'll choose?
Countdown Pick #4:  Landry Park (Landry Park, #1) by Bethany Hagen (02/04/2014)

Madeline Landry is born into a world of influence and luxury, a world of estates and gardens fueled by nuclear power and maintained by a caste of people called the Rootless. When a Gentry girl is attacked, it is the Rootless who are blamed, even though Madeline knows better.

As she searches for the truth, she can't escape the rumors of revolution and retribution circulating through the ballrooms, and neither can she escape the city's new golden boy, Captain David Dana, who has secrets of his own. Soon, she finds herself forced to choose between her duty and her desires, her ancestral destiny and her conscience, and her choice will shake the very foundations of the world she was born to rule.

Of course I have to include any title on this list that I come across that falls into the dystopian genre.  This one, like most that reside in this genre sounds like it will be full of action and suspense, and I'm thinking there may just be a hint of romance as well, I'm crossing my fingers.  Regardless, it is definitely got the makings of a series that I'm going to get behind.
Countdown Pick #5:  Split Second (Pivot Point, #2) by Kasie West (02/11/2014)

Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.

This is a sequel that I've been waiting for ever since I finished the series opener, Pivot Point.  I was so upset when I finished and realized that the second installment wasn't out yet, and I've been counting down the days until I could pick this one up and find out where things will pick up and what will happen for these characters that I've come to love.

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