I rarely ever buy new books. It's something I can't really afford to do, and if I'm honest, sharing books with friends or buying them second hand is what books are all about for me. It makes them come with a sense of community, and feel a bit more treasured. There's nothing like finding a signed(!) copy of something you're dying to read in a local charity shop (I almost fainted that day), or passing a book on to a friend knowing they'll adore it. The publishing side of me is screaming at myself right now because wow what are you doing?! But I love it.
Anyway, this year for my birthday I mostly asked for book vouchers, and actually treated myself to some new books. It was heavenly and I almost don't want to read them because wow when was the last time I actually bought a new book and I also want them to stay this pristine forever.
Two Can Keep a Secretby Karen M. McManus. I really enjoyed One of Us is Lying by McManus, and the fact that her second book carries on with the numbers theme? I love to see it. The story is set in small town America, where someone is planning to wreak havoc. Ellery moves there to live with her grandmother, and when someone threatens to kill a girl at homecoming (the same thing that happened in the town five years previously), Ellery finds herself wrapped up in a whole web of secrets. I think McManus does YA crime/thriller fiction pretty well, and I'm hoping that continues in this book.
The Lola Quartet by Emily St John Mandel. A lot of the authors from this haul are repeat, and this book falls straight into that. I adored Station Eleven by the author, and it reminded me of all the dystopian fiction I read as a teen. Honestly 10/10 would recommend. This is a pretty short novel, coming in at a little under 300 pages. Set in 2009 in New York just after the global financial crisis, Gavin Sasaki finds himself out out of a job, and is faced with the fact that an old girlfriend of his kept a pretty big secret from him. I'm sure you can see where this is going ... He has a kid. The book is said to have some detective story elements, and I'm intrigued to see how that ties in with the plot.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. I've heard more about the film than the book for this one, but I'm always someone that reads first, watches later. Rachel Chu agrees to spend summer in Singapore with her boyfriend Nicholas Young and his family. She expects an idyllic, small home, but when she arrives she finds that Nicholas is actually part of one of the country's richest families. The novel is said to be pretty hilarious and astute in looking at their relationship in light of these riches.
VOX by Christina Dalcher. This reminds me SO much of Power by Naomi Alderman, or maybe even The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. The novel is set in a dystopian America where all women are restricted to speaking 100 words a day. From there, things only escalate with them forced to quit their jobs. Our main character, Jean, sets out to pout an end to this for herself, her daughter, and all other women out there. I'm a big fan of dystopian fiction, so I'm intrigued to see how (or if) this one plays out very differently to Power/THT.
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. The Hate U Give by the same author was one of my absolute favourite books from last year. Thomas is an author that I think nails emotion, and makes her YA fiction political in an accurate way without it going way over everyone's head. This book tells the story of 16 year old Bri who wants to be the greatest rapper of all time. Her dad used to rap before he passed away and she wants to follow in his footsteps, but be even better. When her family are faced with homelessness because of their poverty, the pressure's on even more to make it. I'm expecting this to be a bit of a tear-jerker too.
The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen. This was my favourite author as a teen: every single new release Dessen came out with I'd be desperate to get my hands on, and it even (just about) trumped my love for Meg Cabot. Emma Saylor and her dad have been living alone together for a number of years after the death of her mother. When she goes to stay with her grandmother and mother's family that she's never met, Emma realises that her mum grew up on the poor side of town, and her dad the rich. The whole trip unpacks a whole tonne of family secrets Emma never knew existed.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. I adore YA/teen fantasy novels - it's something that reminds me of how excited I'd get over books when I was younger. This novel focuses on the story of Zelie Adebola, born into a world of magic, where the magic is ultimately stripped away. Wanting to follow in the footsteps of her predecessors, Zelie is determined to bring the magic back from the enemy. Problems start to rise up when she realises she might have feelings for one of them. The sound of this reminds me a little of The Knife of Never Letting Go, and I'm excited to delve into the world of this book.
Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak. It's been so long since Zusak published something new that I honestly thought The Book Thief may well be his last book. Set in Dublin, it tells the story of five brothers. The story is told in flashbacks, through multiple characters and in different types of text (inc. letters). His writing was so emotive in TBT that I'm hoping this comes through again and doesn't disappoint.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. This is my favourite book of all time. I actually can't put into words the love I have for this, and how much it means to me. I've got a copy already, but it's so old and ugly and I wanted a copy as beautiful (and dark?) as the story. This classic is a love story about young Cathy and Heathcliffe, who love each other but also inspire the worst in each other. An unknown gypsy, Heathcliff is not allowed to marry Cathy, and she's forced to marry a snivelling man called Linton. This drives both Heathcliff and Cathy to despair, sending them on a bit of a spiral of self-destruction.