If I'm honest 2012 was a bit of a lacklustre year for me. I did read some amazing books but, largely, the trends and instalove seeping into a lot of contemporary releases made me sad. 2013 looks like a great year for YA, though, and I'm really excited to delve into some of the books I've been sent. This time I'm focusing on the contemporary titles I've received.
Ketchup Clouds - Annabel Pitcher (Orion - December 27th 2012. Yes, so this isn't a 2013 release but it's so close to a January release date I thought I'd mention it)
I'm half way through Ketchup Clouds at the moment and it's wonderful. The writing is gorgeous and the story is completely compelling. I'm really, really impressed so far.
Summary: Secrets, romance, murder and lies: Zoe shares a terrible secret in a letter to a stranger on death row in this second novel from the author of the bestselling debut, MY SISTER LIVES ON THE MANTELPIECE.
Fifteen-year-old Zoe has a secret - a dark and terrible secret that she can't confess to anyone she knows. But then one day she hears of a criminal, Stuart Harris, locked up on death row in Texas. Like Zoe, Stuart is no stranger to secrets. Or lies. Or murder.
Full of heartache yet humour, Zoe tells her story in the only way she can - in letters to the man in prison in America. Armed with a pen, Zoe takes a deep breath, eats a jam sandwich, and begins her tale of love and betrayal.
Darcy Burdock - Laura Dockrill (Corgi - March 2013)
I've already started Darcy Burdock and it is a really fun read so far.
Summary: Introducing Darcy Burdock, a new, cool, all-conquering girl character with a fresh and distinctive take on the world.
Ten-year-old Darcy is one of life's noticers. Curious, smart-as-a-whip, funny and fiercely loyal, she sees the extraordinary in the everyday and the wonder in the world around her.
Infinite Sky - C. J. Flood (Simon & Schuster - February 14th 2013)
I don't know too much about Infinite Sky but I've heard wonderful things from other bloggers and I'm really excited to read it.
Summary: Iris Dancy’s free-spirited mum has left for Tunisia, her dad’s rarely sober and her brother’s determined to fight anyone with a pair of fists.
When a family of travellers move into the overgrown paddock overnight, her dad looks set to finally lose it. Gypsies are parasites he says, but Iris is intrigued. As her dad plans to evict the travelling family, Iris makes friends with their teenage son. Trick Deran is a bare knuckle boxer who says he’s done with fighting, but is he telling the truth?
When tools go missing from the shed, the travellers are the first suspects. Iris’s brother, Sam, warns her to stay away from Trick; he’s dangerous, but Iris can no longer blindly follow her brother’s advice. He’s got secrets of his own, and she’s not sure he can be trusted himself.
Anthem for Jackson Dawes - Celia Bryce (Bloomsbury - January 3rd 2013)
Oh dear, I'm already prepared to weep at the end of this one. I've heard a few murmurings that this is similar to TFIOS, which I haven't read yet but it looks great, either way.
Summary: Megan Bright and Jackson Dawes are two teenagers who first meet each other on the hospital ward where they are both being treated for cancer. Megan is scared and worried about her illness, but Jackson seems to be an old hand, having been on the ward for ages. And everybody loves Jackson! He is a whirlwind of life and energy, warmth and sparkle. Megan will need to borrow some of Jackson's extraordinary optimism to face her and Jackson's future. A moving story of first love and a remarkably powerful debut novel
Geek Girl - Holly Smale (HarperCollins - February 28th 2013)
I have really, really high hopes for Geek Girl so I do hope it lives up to them. It could be brilliant, it could be a disaster but I've got a good feeling about it.
Summary: Harriet Manners knows a lot of things. She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a "jiffy" lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn't quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she's spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend's dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.
As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world did.
And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?
Which 2013 releases are you most excited about? Any of those I've mentioned above? Let me know!