Waiting on Wednesday: Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

UnderwaterPublisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux

Author: Marisa Reichardt

Release date: January 12, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads: Morgan didn’t mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something right. But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgive—first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then, herself.

But Morgan can’t move on. She can’t even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she’s underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school.

When it seems Morgan can’t hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside.

Underwater is a powerful, hopeful debut novel about redemption, recovery, and finding the strength it takes to face your past and move on.

Why I’m excited: I can’t really explain why I am excited for this one. I mean, other than the fact that a lot people I respect are raving about it. And the fact that the description and cover are amazing. And the fact that this sounds like a powerful, beautiful, hard to read, honest contemporary. Okay, maybe I can explain it. I’m really looking forward to reading this debut.

Top Ten Tuesday: Debut Novels from the Beginning of 2016 I’m Looking Forward to

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten 2016 Debuts Novels We Are Looking Forward To

UGH. Could this topic BE any harder? Seriously, I already have 72 books on my 2016 releases shelf on Goodreads, and most of those are from the first half of the year! But I’ll try. I’m not including one of my most anticipated 2016 debuts because I’ve already read it, but I want to mention THE SERPENT KING by Jeff Zentner, because you should ALL add it to your TBR. It’s fantastic.

So this was way too hard to narrow down for the whole year, so I’ve limited it to ten books from the first four months of 2016 – January to April. They are in publication date order. All titles linked to Goodreads so you can add them to your TBR too!

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira // PUB DATE: January 12

The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry // PUB DATE: January 26

Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto // PUB DATE: February 2

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin // PUB DATE: February 2

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman // PUB DATE: February 9

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig // PUB DATE: February 16

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor // PUB DATE: March 1

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton // PUB DATE: March 8

The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter // PUB DATE: March 15

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw // PUB DATE: April 19

Are you looking forward to any of these debuts? Any I should add to my TBR?

Waiting on Wednesday – More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

More Happy Than NotPublisher: Soho Teen

Author: Adam Silvera

Release date: June 16, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Happiness shouldn’t be this hard

The Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto — miracle cure-alls don’t tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. But Aaron can’t forget how he’s grown up poor or how his friends aren’t always there for him. Like after his father committed suicide in their one bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it’s not enough.

Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn’t mind Aaron’s obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn’t mind talking about Aaron’s past. But Aaron’s newfound happiness isn’t welcome on his block. Since he’s can’t stay away from Thomas or suddenly stop being gay, Aaron must turn to Leteo to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he is.

Adam Silvera’s extraordinary debut novel offers a unique confrontation of race, class and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx.

Why I’m excited: More Happy Than Not sounds heartfelt, sad, happy, heartbreaking, and wonderful. I’ve been seeing several authors I love talking about this one on Twitter, and I am really intrigued. I know it’s several months away, but I wanted to share so I can help build up the excitement for this one. I’m looking forward to checking it out.

What are you waiting on?

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated 2015 Debut Novels

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Most Anticipated Debut Novels For 2015

This is a hard post. Not because I don’t think I can come up with ten but because 2015 is going to be an amazing year for books and I already have so many books I’m looking forward to reading. I’ve somehow narrowed it down to 10, but you can see more books on my 2015 releases shelf on Goodreads that I’m looking forward to. That shelf grows pretty much every day.

In no particular order, the ten debut novels (titles linked to Goodreads as always) releasing in 2015 that I’m most anticipating are:

2015 Debuts 1— My Heart & Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga – I just won an ARC of this from Stacee from Too Fond of Books and I AM SO EXCITED.
— Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – I actually have an ARC of this one that I’m looking forward to digging into soon
— Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay
— No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss
— The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

2015 Debuts 2

— We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach
– More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
— Shutter by Courtney Alameda
— Mosquitoland by David Arnold
— The Way We Bared Our Soul by Willa Strayhorn

What about you? What debut novels are you looking forward to in 2015? Let me know in the comments so I can load up my Goodreads shelf! 🙂

ARC Review – The Revealed by Jessica Hickam

The RevealedTitle: The Revealed

Author: Jessica Hickam

Genre: Dystopian, Sci-Fi

Publisher: SparkPress

Publication Date: June 17, 2014

Paperback: 314 pages

Stand alone or series: First in a projected series

How did I get this book: e-ARC via NetGalley

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to SparkPress for letting me read this.

Let’s start with a brief synopsis (via Goodreads):

Lily Atwood lives in what used to be called Washington, D.C. Her father is one of the most powerful men in the world, having been a vital part of rebuilding and reuniting humanity after the war that killed over five billion people. Now he’s running to be one of its leaders.

But in the rediscovered peace on Earth, a new enemy has risen. They call themselves the Revealed – a powerful underground organization that has been kidnapping 18 year olds across the globe without reservation. No one knows why they are kidnapping these teens, but it’s clear something is different about these people. They can set fires with a snap of their fingers and create a wind strong enough to barrel over a tree with a flick of their wrist. No one has been able to stop them, and they have targeted Lily as their next victim.

But Lily has waited too long to break free from her father’s shadow to let some rebel organization just ruin everything. Not without a fight.

What I thought:

I was both really surprised and really impressed with Hickam’s debut novel.

I requested this book on NetGalley because of that amazing summary (and that absolutely beautiful cover!). It sounds super cool, right? Well, it was. Take a dystopian novel then add in what are essentially X-Men mutants, and you’ve got The Revealed. The novel begins with our narrator, Lily, describing the current situation in what is now called the “North American Sector”, which is basically the ruins of the US after a huge war. The US has been mostly destroyed and everyone who survived the war all live on the East Coat. Lily is the daughter of one of two presidential candidates in the first election since the war. Roderick Westerfield is the other candidate, who has a son named Kai. Since the war, a group of people with special abilities called The Revealed has been kidnapping 18 year olds sometime before their 19th birthday. Lily has been marked to be taken, and as such, has been locked up in her home for the year just like every other 18 year old. I’d like to mention that her house is a freaking mansion.

So one of the things I really liked was that Hickam hints at the war, but never truly reveals any details. We don’t know what caused it, how it happened, and we only get a few details for what’s happened since then. I thought this was quite clever, and it kept me reading. I do hope, however, that we get more details as the series progresses. Another thing I liked was how well-done Westerfield was as a villain. He feels positively slimy and icky. When he is touching Lily while they dance at a party, my skin crawled.

The writing was fantastic. I’m surprised this is Hickam’s first novel. She’s a wonderful writer. Hickam’s got great descriptive abilities; I could picture everything she described and her characters are really well done (well, except one, which I’ll mention in a sec). Her writing was my favorite thing about this novel.

Okay. What I didn’t like was Lily actually. She was seriously inconsistent and selfish and immature. She’s gone through so much in her young life that I felt her immaturity was strange. All she wants to do is rebel against her family and she tries (and succeeds) to escape her house several times, which I do understand because her mother is horrible; however, she begins the novel saying her father came to her for advice all the time on his speeches and cared about her opinion, but later she says that since he announced his candidacy, they’ve been on bad terms. Um, what? Also, her love interest in Kai is crazy. Her family used to be close to his but then the war happened and her father and his announced their candidacies; things changed. He betrayed her when they were in high school then joined the military. Now he’s back and she trusts him again, even when he really doesn’t give her much reason to. It wasn’t exactly insta-love, but it was a little too close for my comfort. She was basically like this, “I hate him. I like him. I don’t like him. He’s so hot. I can’t like him. I do like him.” UGH. I would like to say that I thought Lily started off the novel so strong, independent and forceful, and then suddenly she’s whiny, vulnerable, and weak. This was strange, and it happened too quickly to be a believable change.

On the other hand, I really loved Rory, who is an intern in Lily’s mansion’s kitchen. Oh, yeah. She lives in a freaking mansion, but she keeps trying to rebel and escape. What? Anyway, Rory is Lily’s best friend, and she’s great. She’s feisty, strong, and rambunctious, and I would totally be friends with her.

Also, there’s a twist about ¾ of the way through that I thought I knew what was going to happen and was totally SHOCKED. So that’s really awesome. Additionally, I won’t give too much away, but when we finally meet The Revealed and they explain themselves and what’s been happening, I loved that. It was a really cool way to explain their powers. Just all around great ideas in this novel.

The bottom line:

I really liked this novel, and I think this series has a whole bunch of awesome potential. I will most definitely read the next in the series, but I hope that our main character has grown some and gotten over herself. I would recommend this book for sure.

Rating: 7.5 – between pretty good and freaking fantastic

You can learn more about Jessica Hickam on her website. You can also pre-order The Revealed on Amazon.

Reading next: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson