I decided to share a list of a few of the books I'm looking forward to in 2012. I didn't scour catalogs looking for these, they are just books I already knew about that I'm looking forward to reading.
Small Damages by Beth Kephart/July Of course.
It’s senior year, and the future should be right within reach. But for Kenzie—bright, ambitious, in love with Yale-bound Kevin—the future has been rearranged. She’s pregnant, and she’s determined not to end her pregnancy. Her mother and Kevin refuse to understand. Sent off to an old cortijo in Spain, Kenzie must find a way to endure until her baby is safe in an adoptive couple’s hands. What will she make of the stubborn old cook who plagues Kenzie with demands? How will she ever understand the mysterious young man Esteban—his way with horses and birds, his way of watching her? And what can the eccentric gypsies teach Kenzie about love? There are choices to make. There are questions about home. Small Damages is Spain alive. It is hearts broken and healed. It is heat and color and soul.
This is not a Test by Courtney Summers/June
It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up.
As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, everyone’s motivations to survive begin to change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life–and death–inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?
If I Lie by Corinne Jackson/August
A powerful debut novel about the gray space between truth and perception.
Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.
Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise. I love the synopsis on this! and the cover!
Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson/February
Laurel Daneau has moved on to a new life, in a new town, but inside she's still reeling from the loss of her beloved mother and grandmother after Hurricane Katrina washed away their home. Laurel's new life is going well, with a new best friend, a place on the cheerleading squad and T-Boom, co-captain of the basketball team, for a boyfriend. Yet Laurel is haunted by voices and memories from her past.
When T-Boom introduces Laurel to meth, she immediately falls under its spell, loving the way it erases, even if only briefly, her past. But as she becomes alienated from her friends and family, she becomes a shell of her former self, and longs to be whole again. With help from an artist named Moses and her friend Kaylee, she's able to begin to rewrite her story and start to move on from her addiction.
Incorporating Laurel's bittersweet memories of life before and during the hurricane, this is a stunning novel by one of our finest writers. Jacqueline Woodson's haunting - but ultimately hopeful - story is beautifully told and one readers will not want to miss. Yay new Jacqueline Woodson!
Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame by Lisa Samson/May (my birthday in fact!), Zonderkidz
A hidden attic. A classic story. A very unexpected twist. Twin twelve-year-old bookworms Ophelia and Linus Easterday discover a hidden attic that once belonged to a mad scientist. While relaxing in the attic and enjoying her latest book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Ophelia dozes off, and within moments finds herself facing a fully alive and completely bewildered Quasimodo. Ophelia and Linus team up with a clever neighbor, a hippy priest, and a college custodian, learning Quasimodo's story while searching for some way to get him back home---if he can survive long enough in the modern world.
The Messenger by Siri Mitchell/March Bethany House
Hannah Sunderland felt content in her embrace of the Quaker faith
...until her twin brother ran off and joined the army and ended up captured and in jail. Suddenly Hannah's world turns on end. She longs to bring her brother some measure of comfort in the squalid, frigid prison where he remains. But the Quakers believe they are not to take sides, not to take up arms. Can she sit by and do nothing while he suffers?
Jeremiah Jones has an enormous task before him. Responsibility for a spy ring is now his, and he desperately needs access to the men in prison, whom they are seeking to free. A possible solution is to garner a pass for Hannah. But while she is fine to the eye, she holds only disdain for him--and agreeing would mean disobeying those she loves and abandoning a bedrock of her faith.
With skill and sensitivity, Mitchell tells a story of two unlikely heroes seeking God's voice, finding the courage to act, and discovering the powerful embrace of love. Siri always writes a story that grabs my heart. So yay!
There are a lot of other books I'm looking forward to as well, but this is just a sampling. What are you looking forward to in 2012?