I always look forward to Book Expo America (BEA) and I usually attend all three days, but this year I could only go on Thursday, the last day. I know I missed a wonderful children’s book and author breakfast and a number of opportunities for autographs by some of my favorite authors. Luckily, some of the publishers had galleys left over from signings from previous days so I was still able to get some great ones.
Just as the exhibit area opened on Thursday I joined a line of other eager attendees that snaked though the Penguin booth and grabbed Marie Lu’s book Prodigy, the second book in her Legend dystopian series that continues the story of June and Day. I recently listened to Legend, the first book, on audio and loved it.
There have been a number of second or third books in series by authors I love that have already come out that I’ve missed, so I was thrilled to see Kristin Cashore autographing Bitterblue. More than an hour early, I joined the line waiting for her and got the scoop from the woman behind me in line on some of the other hot galleys she’d snagged over the previous days. She was excited about the galley she’d gotten called Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. Luckily, that was a leftover one that I’d picked up that morning. The author first wrote it when she was 16 on an online writers’ forum and now, ten years later, it’s been refined and published by Bloomsbury. It features a notorious female assassin turned captive who must compete against thieves, killers, and warriors to win her freedom from prison to serve as the king’s champion, and it’s being marketed for fans of Games of Thrones. She also said that there was a long line to get a signed copy of Diana Peterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars, a post-apocalyptic retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion–and who can resist anything Austen related?
Another galley and autograph I was very happy to get was that of David Levithan’s Every Day. I’d heard him read from the first chapter of his book in early May at a publisher’s presentation, but no galleys were available then. I can’t wait to read it because it sounds amazing! It’s a unique story about A, who wakes up every day in a someone else’s body–without any choice about who A will be. A has learned not to get attached, until as Justin, he falls in love with Justin’s girlfriend.
I also got the latest from Jackson Pearce (author of Sisters Red): Fathomless, a dark retelling of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. Another galley that I picked up that has a great cover is Jeff Hirsch’s Magisterium, which isn’t a sequel to The Eleventh Plague. Magisterium is about a girl living in a 22nd century that’s been split into two. An explosion occurred years before and it created the Rift, a world with advanced technology and the mystery of what’s on the other side of the Rift.
Lili Peloquin’s galley of The Innocents is the saga of two sisters who move to their untrustworthy stepfather’s estate in a gothic story that’s being compared to the TV series “Revenge.”
I wasn’t lucky enough to get some highly anticipated new galleys, including Libba Bray’s 1920s novel The Diviners, which has a touch of the occult and murder; The Kill Order by James Dashner, a prequel to The Maze Runner (2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults); Margo Lanagan’s The Brides of Rollrock Island, a selkie tale; Gabrielle Zevin’s Because It Is My Blood, the sequel to All These Things I’ve Done; Shannon Hale’s fantasy Princess Academy: Palace of Stone, the sequel to Princess Academy; Caragh M. O’Brien’s Promised, the last in the dystopian Birthmarked trilogy; Ally Condie’s Reached, the last book in the Matched (2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults) trilogy; Melissa Marr’s new series starter Carnival of Souls, a tale of demons and witches with a Games of Thrones-like power struggle; Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys, the first in a new series; Lois Lowry’s Son, a sequel to The Giver; Mike Mullin’s Ashen Winter, the sequel to his survivalist tale Ashfall; and Finale, Becca Fitzpatrick’s final book in the Hush, Hush series.
What a bounty of riches these books are! I can’t wait to read or get my hands on all of them! What galleys are you most excited about?
— Sharon Rawlins, currently reading Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series
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