Hello 2013! What books are slated for this sprightly new year? A ton! I’m not joking. There’s so many good titles to pick from that I had serious trouble narrowing the list to the usual top six. But alas, I have to be picky and so Goodreads ratings, Blogger reviews and hype have all been considered in the choosing. Below are six highly anticipated YA novels with a January 2013 release date. And, as a special New Year bonus, I’ve added an honorary mention of books that just barely missed the list.
“The Archived” by Victoria Schwab
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive. Releases January 22nd 2013 by Hyperion.
Bonus Tidbit: Krista, my sister and fellow YA book reviewer, has already read and reviewed “The Archived” at Nawanda Files with praise for Schwab’s writing, world building, plot, characters and, well, everything. Krista is a tough sell and has read enough YA books to be critical, but she went many days exclaiming how ingenious “The Archived” truly is. Besides Schwab’s new Archived series, she wrote “The New Witch” in 2011, another YA fantasy.
“Splintered” by A.G. Howard
Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now. Releases January 1st 2013 by Amulet Books.
Bonus Tidbit: I reviewed “Splintered” at Nawanda Files, and anyone who has a love for Wonderland should be head over heels for Howard’s rendition. She pays homage to the original with rich and vivid detail and an orchestrated madness, but in the same breath, Howard cleverly spins the plot so it never feels tired or old. “Splintered” is Howard’s magical debut.
“Just One Day” by Gayle Foreman
When sheltered American good girl Allyson “LuLu” Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Releases January 8th 2013 by Dutton Juvenile.
Bonus Tidbit: Forman is the author of the beloved YA novel “If I Stay” that requires a box of tissues while reading. I attended YallFest in Charleston, SC this year, and on a panel with about five other authors, Forman noted that she’s good friends with fellow YA contemporary writer Stephanie Perkins, who wrote “Anna and the French Kiss” as well as the companion novel “Lola and the Boy Next Door.”
“Through the Ever Night” by Veronica Rossi
The sequel to “Under the Never Sky” (spoilers from book 1 ahead): It’s been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. Releases January 8th 2013 by HarperCollins.
Bonus Tidbit: We named Rossi one of the top debut authors of 2012 for “Under the Never Sky,” a novel that provokes a love-hate relationship, a classic fish-out-of-water story and a dystopian world that will leave you craving for more. Rossi also featured an inside look at her process for world building in a video featurette, which includes drawings of places in her series.
“Prodigy” by Marie Lu
The sequel to “Legend” (spoilers from book 1 ahead): June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—-June and Day must assassinate the new Elector. Releases January 29th 2013 by Putnam Juvenile.
Bonus Tidbit: Marie Lu was an Art Director at a video game company before becoming a full-time writer, and the film rights to “Legend” has already been sold to CBS Films. Of all the books on the list, “Prodigy” has the most reviews on Goodreads and almost the highest rating with a sold 4.46. The next book beats it out by a tenth of a point.
“Boundless” by Cynthia Hand
The third installment to the “Unearthly” series: The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.
Bonus Tidbit: “Unearthly” is set in the beautiful Wyoming mountains — close to Hand’s Idaho residence. Normally this wouldn’t seem like big scoop, but in the first book, Clara travels to Grand Teton and climbs Inspiration Point. After taking a month long road trip across America with my brother, we stopped at Grand Teton to also hike Inspiration Point, and I can say that Hand probably had her own experience trekking up the steep mountain because the detail is spot on.
More YA Titles
“Altered” by Jennifer Rush
YA Dystopian: Releases January 1st 2013 by Little, Brown & Co.
“Shades of Earth” by Beth Revis
YA Science Fiction (“Across the Universe” #3): Releases January 15th 2013 by Razorbill.
“Prophecy” by Ellen Oh
YA Fantasy: Releases January 2nd 2013 by HarperTeen.
“Asunder” by Jodi Meadows
YA Fantasy (“Newsoul” #2): Releases January 29th 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books.
“Everbound” by Brodi Ashton
YA Paranormal (“Everneath” #2): Releases January 22nd 2013 by Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins.
“Nobody But Us” by Kristin Halbrook
YA Contemporary: Releases January 29th 2013 by HarperTeen.
“The Madman’s Daughter” by Megan Shepherd
YA Historical: Releases January 29th 2013 by Balzer + Bray.
— Becca Ritchie