So I arrived, I saw some of my favourite bloggers in the land (and some new faces - and failed to see lovely Stacey from The Pretty Books but I'm getting used to that, elusive lady that she is!), then we were ushered into a swanky Apprentice-style board room for the main event.
Let me tell you this for free, guys and gals, Atom have some awesome titles lined up for 2012 and I'm genuinely excited about every book they spoke to us about. Get your Goodreads 'I NEED these books in 2012' lists ready because look and what treats we have to look forward to:
Trapped - Michael Northrop:
Yes! I've been tempted all year to buy the American hardback of this one because it just sounds so damn good.
Summary (from Goodreads): The Breakfast Club meets The Blizzard of the Century: A young adult suspense novel from PW Flying Start author Michael Northrop.
Scotty and his friends Pete and Tommy are among the last kids waiting to get picked up at their high school. The snow has been coming down for hours, and it's starting to look like no one is coming for them. As the snow piles higher, their teacher Mr. Gossell leaves them behind to seek help--and disappears into the drifts outside.
Now the seven remaining students are on their own, with no food and no electricity, facing a night of sleeping on classroom floors. Will their friendships survive the night . . . and will THEY?
Creepy! And creepy is always welcome - we definitely need more creepy in YA. I love the UK cover as well, it reminds me of the old school Point Horrors, which I adore (just ask Sarah from Feeling Fictional, who bought almost the full set for me!)
Night School - C.J. Daugherty:
Now this sounds awesome. Any sort of private boarding school drama is always going to get my vote - ah, it takes me back! But Night School is darker than your average Enid Blyton, by far. I'm thinking more Vicious Little Darlings, maybe? We'll see.
Summary (from Goodreads): Sometimes school is murder.
Allie Sheridan's world is falling apart. She hates her school. Her brother has run away from home. And she's just been arrested. Again. This time her parents have finally had enough. They cut her off from her friends and send her away to a boarding school for problem teenagers.
But Cimmeria Academy is no ordinary school. Its rules are strangely archaic. It allows no computers or phones. Its students are an odd mixture of the gifted, the tough and the privileged. And then there's the secretive Night School, whose activities other students are forbidden even to watch.
When Allie is attacked one night the incident sets off a chain of events leading to the violent death of a girl at the summer ball. As the school begins to seem like a very dangerous place, Allie must learn who she can trust. And what's really going on at Cimmeria Academy
Two other things. One, C. J. Daugherty is lovely and, two, I'm happy because my hair is currently the colour of the cover model's, yay.
The Book of Blood and Shadow - Robin Wasserman:
I need this book in my life! It sounds dangerous and exciting and utterly compelling, just look at that synopsis.
Summary (from Goodreads): It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up.
When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark. But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead. His girlfriend Adriane, Nora's best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora's sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.
Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world.
Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.
Prague is becoming a bit of a hot spot for YA, isn't it? First Daughter of Smoke and Bone and now this one. Actually, that's only two books so it's not exactly a trend but, still, if Prague becomes the new Twilight you heard it here first.
Under the Never Sky - Veronica Rossi:
Billed as a post-apocalyptic Romeo and Juliet, I can see this one being a massive hit next year, especially with the Hunger Games movie making dystopia even more accessible. I'm interested to read this one - I have high hopes for the love story so fingers crossed.
Plus, they all live in domes Simpsons movie/Stephen King style - what's not to love? Also, it's a debut. Win!
Summary (from Goodreads): Aria is a teenager in the enclosed city of Reverie. Like all Dwellers, she spends her time with friends in virtual environments, called Realms, accessed through an eyepiece called a Smarteye. Aria enjoys the Realms and the easy life in Reverie. When she is forced out of the pod for a crime she did not commit, she believes her death is imminent. The outside world is known as The Death Shop, with danger in every direction.
As an Outsider, Perry has always known hunger, vicious predators, and violent energy storms from the swirling electrified atmosphere called the Aether. A bit of an outcast even among his hunting tribe, Perry withstands these daily tests with his exceptional abilities, as he is gifted with powerful senses that enable him to scent danger, food and even human emotions. They come together reluctantly, for Aria must depend on Perry, whom she considers abarbarian, to help her get back to Reverie, while Perry needs Aria to help unravel the mystery of his beloved nephew’s abduction by the Dwellers.
Together they embark on a journey challenged as much by their prejudices as by encounters with cannibals and wolves. But to their surprise, Aria and Perry forge an unlikely love - one that will forever change the fate of all who live UNDER THE NEVER SKY.
Bunheads - Sophie Flack:
Bunheads is going to be awesome! I love the cover, the title, the concept - everything. Black Swan meets Mean Girls - Bunheads sounds totally up my street and I love that it's a theme we don't see explored very often in YA.
Summary (from Goodreads): As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances and complicated backstage relationships. Up until now, Hannah has happily devoted her entire life to ballet.
But when she meets a handsome musician named Jacob, Hannah's universe begins to change, and she must decide if she wants to compete against the other "bunheads" in the company for a star soloist spot or strike out on her own in the real world. Does she dare give up the gilded confines of the ballet for the freedoms of everyday life?
This one prompted a lot of excitement at the event; why does March have to be so far away?
172 Hours on the Moon - Johan Harstad*:
This one was published in Norway a few years ago to huge success and I'm so excited it's being released over here. It sounds like a proper sci-fi (think Alien and Moon, we were told) and we definitely need more of that in YA. I think this one's going to be really popular with both boys and girls (always a plus) and seems as though it could make sci-fi more accessible to more casual readers of the genre. That includes me, so I'll let you know!
We've been promised this one is more than a little unsettling - bring it on, Harstad, bring it on!
Summary (from Goodreads): Three teenagers are going on the trip of a lifetime. Only one is coming back. It's been more than forty years since NASA sent the first men to the moon, and to grab some much-needed funding and attention, they decide to launch an historic international lottery in which three lucky teenagers can win a week-long trip to moon base DARLAH 2 - a place that no one but top government officials even knew existed until now.
The three winners, Antoine, Midori, and Mia, come from all over the world. But just before the scheduled launch, the teenagers each experience strange, inexplicable events. Little do they know that there was a reason NASA never sent anyone back there until now - a sinister reason. But the countdown has already begun...
*Apologies if this isn't the right cover
Adorkable - Sarra Manning:
Seriously, I feel like Sarra Manning (first lady of British teen fiction) has taken every single thing I've whinged about wanting more of in YA and rolled it into one glorious book! I already know I'm going to absolutely love Adorkable and it's definitely rocketed straight to the top of my wishlist for 2012.
It's going to be awesome. Alas, no cover as yet.
Summary (from Goodreads): Jeane Smith is seventeen and has turned her self-styled dorkiness into an art form, a lifestyle choice and a profitable website and consultancy business. She writes a style column for a Japanese teen magazine and came number seven in The Guardian's 30 People Under 30 Who Are Changing The World.
And yet, in spite of the accolades, hundreds of Internet friendships and a cool boyfriend, she feels inexplicably lonely, a situation made infinitely worse when Michael Lee, the most mass-market, popular and predictably all-rounded boy at school tells Jeane of his suspicion that Jeane's boyfriend is secretly seeing his girlfriend. Michael and Jeane have NOTHING in common - she is cool and individual; he is the golden boy in an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt. So why can't she stop talking to him?
So there you have it - how great do they all sound? And all the books are so diverse as well, which I love. Hooray for so much contemporary!
I want to say a huge thank you to Atom for putting on scuh a great event - I had a brill night.