Monday, April 1, 2019

Bookexpo 2019 Buzz selections!



May 29-31, 2019
Javits Center, NYC

Check out the Buzz selections!


Adult Selections


How We Fight for Our Lives
Saeed Jones
Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: October 8, 2019
From award-winning poet Saeed Jones, How We Fight for Our Lives is a stunning coming-of-age memoir written at the crossroads of sex, race, and power.

“People don’t just happen,” writes Saeed Jones. “We sacrifice former versions of ourselves. We sacrifice the people who dared to raise us. The ‘I’ it seems doesn’t exist until we are able to say, ‘I am no longer yours.’ ”

Haunted and haunting, Jones’s memoir tells the story of a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Through a series of vignettes that chart a course across the American landscape, Jones draws readers into his boyhood and adolescence—into tumultuous relationships with his mother and grandmother, into passing flings with lovers, friends and strangers. Each piece builds into a larger examination of race and queerness, power and vulnerability, love and grief: a portrait of what we all do for one another—and to one another—as we fight to become ourselves.

Blending poetry and prose, Jones has developed a style that is equal parts sensual, beautiful, and powerful—a voice that’s by turns a river, a blues, and a nightscape set ablaze. How We Fight for Our Lives is a one of a kind memoir and a book that cements Saeed Jones as an essential writer for our time.


My Dark Vanessa
Kate Elizabeth Russell
William Morrow
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
“A hard story to read and a harder one to put down . . . a well-constructed package of dynamite.” – STEPHEN KING

A brilliant, all-consuming read that explores the psychological dynamics of an emotional and sexual relationship between a precocious yet na├»ve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher—and the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

Amid the rising wave of sexual assault allegations against powerful men in 2017, thirty-two-year-old Vanessa Wye learns of one that involves her intimately: her high school English teacher Jacob Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by another former student.

The scandal brings back memories of her past and the idyllic campus of the exclusive boarding school she attended in Maine. A scholarship student, serious, lonely, and yearning for adulthood, Vanessa was both baffled and enthralled when Strane singled her out for his attention. Here was a man three times her age who recognized and praised her intellect, writing talent, and beauty—and, at fifteen-years-old, she fell into a fiery and life-defining affair with him.

Now, nearly two decades later, another woman has shone a spotlight on Strane, and Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenaged self willingly engaged in the relationship or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? How can she accept that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may have seduced and abused other girls?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and the time of the affair and its aftermath, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. A masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and the far-reaching effects of abuse, this thought-provoking, impossible to put down literary debut raises vital questions about agency, power, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is a powerful and timely novel that brilliantly captures and reflects this current cultural moment and the shifting mores transforming our relationships and society itself.


The Secrets We Kept
Lara Prescott
Alfred A. Knopf
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
It’s the dawn of the Cold War, and words have been weaponized.
In Moscow, Olga Ivinskaya is arrested. She is the muse of Boris Pasternak, the Soviet Union’s most famous living writer. The State is aware that Pasternak is working on a novel, titled Doctor Zhivago, that criticizes the October Revolution, and seeking to acquire intel and pressure the author, sends his lover to the Gulag.
Meanwhile, in Washington, the newly formed CIA has begun smuggling books banned by the USSR back into the Motherland; to show Soviet citizens how their government is keeping great literature from them, and how true freedom can only thrive within a democracy.
After three years in the labor camps, Olga is reunited with Boris. He finishes the novel, only to see it banned by the State. As the couple battles increasing persecution by their government, the CIA establishes a mission to acquire the manuscript, covertly print it, and smuggle it back behind the Iron Curtain.
The Agency enlists former OSS agent Sally Forrester to vet and mentor a new member of their typing pool, Irina Drozdova, in the art of carrying and delivering intelligence, so that she may slip Doctor Zhivago to Soviet citizens during an upcoming World’s Fair.
The story unfolds around the Soviet State’s persecution of Boris and Olga, the growing relationship between Sally and Irina, and the CIA’s clandestine Zhivago mission. And it follows Pasternak’s masterpiece as it travels around the world. This is an intricate and timely story of political and social persecution and the war of words between the US and the USSR.
It explores themes of sexism, sexuality, secrecy, and how people change over time.

Such a Fun Age
Kiley Reid
Putnam Books/Penguin Random House
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Truman Capote Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Kiley Reid's SUCH A FUN AGE, about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection between them that threatens to undo them both, exploring the complicated nature of transactional relationships, of being a "grown up," and of doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, to Sally Kim at Putnam, in a major deal, at auction, for publication in fall 2019.

Uncanny Valley
Anna Wiener
MCD / Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: January 14, 2020

The Warehouse: A Novel 
Rob Hart
Crown 
Publication Date: August 20, 2019


A terrifyingly plausible, darkly satirical near-future thriller--in an America wracked by violence, unemployment, and climate change, a mega-corporation named Cloud brands itself a global savior. But two of its employees are about to learn the truth.

Cloud isn't just an online storefront. It's changing the world. The company's massive warehouses keep millions of Americans employed, and its green-energy initiatives are turning back the clock on catastrophic climate change.
Best of all, the company's live-work facilities are models for a new, environmentally sustainable way of living. Powered by Cloud's solar farms, these MotherClouds are crime-free, climate-controlled utopias, where workers live minutes from their jobs, not hours, their every need anticipated by Cloud's high-tech facilities.
Or at least, that's the pitch. Cloud's latest two employees--security guard Paxton and stock-picker Zinnia--are learning that life in the Cloud isn't quite as wonderful as it's made out to be. Twenty-four/seven monitoring. Mandatory overtime. The employee star system and the horrors of cut day. Navigating Cloud's massive warehouse, meeting ruthless quotas. But still--it's better than going back outside, right? And at least they've found each other.
Except that Zinnia is not what she seems. She's a corporate spy, infiltrating Cloud on a mission that could bring the company to its knees. And Paxton, with his all-access security credentials? He's her meal ticket.
When Cloud's ailing founder arrives at the MotherCloud on his farewell tour, Zinnia is forced into a desperate scheme that risks Paxton's life, even as it leads her to the horrifying truths at the center of the Cloud.

Young Adult Selections


Frankly in Love
David Yoon
Penguin Young Readers
Publication Date: September 10, 2019

High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.


The Grace Year 
Kim Liggett
Wednesday Books
Publication Date: September 17, 2019


No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

Girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for their chance to grab one of the girls in order to make their fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

 
The Last True Poets of the Sea
Julia Drake
Hyperion
Publication Date: October 1, 2019

Julia Drake’s remarkable debut contemporary YA novel, THE LAST TRUE POETS OF THE SEA, is the story of a wry teenager’s summer of discovery: of herself, of her family and its history—and perhaps, even, of a long-missing shipwreck believed to have brought her family to coastal Maine generations ago.

Following her brother’s hospitalization, sixteen-year-old Violet Larkin is exiled for the summer to her uncle’s house in Lyric, Maine—the same town her great-great-great grandmother founded many years ago after surviving a shipwreck. Wracked with guilt over her apparent inability to be a supportive sister (and over her recent history of personal misdeeds), Violet shaves her head and tries to lose herself in her summer job: scrubbing tanks at the local aquarium.

There, Violet meets Orion Lewis, an ace trumpeter and burgeoning boat builder, and his friend Liv Stone, an amateur wreck hunter with a particular interest in Violet’s ancestors. Together, they embark on a mission to uncover the wreck of the Lyric, the sunken ship that first brought Violet’s family to this town. But if Violet is going to uncover the true history of her family, she’s going to have to first be willing to rewrite her own story and redefine her relationship to her friends, her family, her past, her future—and most important of all, herself.

Inspired loosely by Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and narrated in Violet’s wry voice, THE LAST TRUE POETS OF THE SEA will appeal to fans of Jandy Nelson and Jesse Andrews.



The Revolution of Birdie Randolph
Brandy Colbert
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 20, 2019

Perfect for fans of Nina LaCour and Nicola Yoon comes a novel about first love and family secrets from Stonewall Book Award winner Brandy Colbert.

Dove "Birdie" Randolph works hard to be the perfect daughter and follow the path her parents have laid out for her: She quit playing her beloved soccer, she keeps her nose buried in textbooks, and she's on track to finish high school at the top of her class. But then Birdie falls hard for Booker, a sweet boy with a troubled past...whom she knows her parents will never approve of.

When her estranged aunt Carlene returns to Chicago and moves into the family's apartment above their hair salon, Birdie notices the tension building at home. Carlene is sweet, friendly, and open-minded--she's also spent decades in and out of treatment facilities for addiction. As Birdie becomes closer to both Booker and Carlene, she yearns to spread her wings. But when long-buried secrets rise to the surface, everything she's known to be true is turned upside down.


Scars Like Wings
Erin Stewart
Delacorte Press
Publication Date: October 1, 2019


Relatable, heartbreaking, and real, this is a story of resilience--the perfect novel for readers of powerful contemporary fiction like Girl in Pieces and Every Last Word.

Before, I was a million things. Now I'm only one. The Burned Girl.

Ava Lee has lost everything there is to lose: Her parents. Her best friend. Her home. Even her face. She doesn't need a mirror to know what she looks like--she can see her reflection in the eyes of everyone around her.

A year after the fire that destroyed her world, her aunt and uncle have decided she should go back to high school. Be "normal" again. Whatever that is. Ava knows better. There is no normal for someone like her. And forget making friends--no one wants to be seen with the Burned Girl, now or ever.

But when Ava meets a fellow survivor named Piper, she begins to feel like maybe she doesn't have to face the nightmare alone. Sarcastic and blunt, Piper isn't afraid to push Ava out of her comfort zone. Piper introduces Ava to Asad, a boy who loves theater just as much as she does, and slowly, Ava tries to create a life again. Yet Piper is fighting her own battle, and soon Ava must decide if she's going to fade back into her scars . . . or let the people by her side help her fly.

"A heartfelt and unflinching look at the reality of being a burn survivor and at the scars we all carry. This book is for everyone, burned or not, who has ever searched for a light in the darkness." --Stephanie Nielson, New York Times bestselling author of Heaven Is Here and a burn survivor

Middle Grade Selections


Free Lunch
Rex Ogle
Norton Young Readers
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
Free Lunch is the story of Rex Ogle’s first semester in sixth grade. Rex and his baby brother often went hungry, wore secondhand clothes, and were short of school supplies, and Rex was on his school’s free lunch program. Grounded in the immediacy of physical hunger and the humiliation of having to announce it every day in the school lunch line, Rex’s is a compelling story of a more profound hunger—that of a child for his parents’ love and care. Compulsively readable, beautifully crafted, and authentically told with the voice and point of view of a 6th-grade kid, Free Lunch is a remarkable debut by a gifted storyteller.


Jinxed
Amy McCulloch
Sourcebooks Young Readers
Publication Date: January 7, 2020

Lacey Chu has big dreams of becoming a companioneer for MONCHA, the largest tech firm in North America and the company behind the "baku" - a customisable smart pet that functions as a phone but makes the perfect companion too. When Lacey finds out she hasn't been accepted into Profectus - the elite academy for cutting edge tech - it seems her dreams are over. Worst of all, rather than getting to choose one of the advanced bakus, she’s stuck with a rubbish insect one.

Then, one night, Lacey comes across the remains of an advanced baku. Once it might’ve been in the shape of a cat but it’s now mangled and broken, no sign of electronic life behind its eyes. Days of work later and the baku opens its eyes. Lacey calls him Jinx – and Jinx opens up a world for her that she never even knew existed, including entry to the hallowed halls of Profecus. Slowly but surely, Jinx becomes more than just a baku to Lacey – he becomes her perfect companion. But what is Jinx, really? His abilities far surpass anything written into his code or built into his motherboard. He seems to be more than just a robotic pet. He seems ... real.


My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich
Ibi Zoboi
Penguin Young Readers
Publication Date: August 27, 2019

Dutton has bought Ibi Zoboi's debut middle-grade novel My Life as an Ice-Cream Sandwich, the story of Ebony Grace, her sci-fi-fueled imagination, and her search for a place she can be herself, set against the backdrop of the hip-hop explosion in 1980s Harlem.



Pavi Sharma’s Guide to Going Home
Bridget Farr
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 17, 2019

The Fosters meets The Great Gilly Hopkins in this moving novel, featuring a foster kid with a can-do attitude who teaches the value of family and home, with humor and heart.

Twelve-year-old Pavi Sharma is an expert at the Front Door Face: the perfect mix of puppy dog eyes and a lemonade smile, the exact combination to put foster parents at ease as they open their front door to welcome you in. After being bounced around between foster families and shelter stays, Pavi is a foster care expert, and she runs a “business” teaching other foster kids all she has learned. With a wonderful foster family in mom Marjorie and brother Hamilton, things are looking up for Pavi.

Then Pavi meets Meridee: a new five-year-old foster kid, who is getting placed at Pavi’s first horrendous foster home. Pavi knows no one will trust a kid about what happened on Lovely Lane, even one as mature as she is, so it’s up to her to save Meridee.

With help from Hamilton, brooding eighth grader Santos, and Hamilton’s somewhat obnoxious BFF Piper, they set off on an important mission with life-changing stakes. Pavi will stop at nothing to keep Meridee from the home that still haunts her nightmares.




Weird Little Robots
Carolyn Crimi
Candlewick Press
Publication Date: October 1, 2019


Candlewick has bought world rights to Carolyn Crimi's debut middle grade novel, Weird Little Robots, illustrated by Corinna Luyken. In a new town with only the robots she creates for company, it only takes a little bit of magic to change everything for nine-year-old Penny Rose. Publication is set for spring 2019.

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