Welcome to Smugglivus 2011! Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2011, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2012.
Who: Doret,editor of The Happy Nappy Bookseller a blog with strong focus on MG and YA titles by and about PoC. Recently she compiled a list of MG & YA Authors of Color Published in 2011 that is well worth a read.
Give it up for Doret, folks!
In the invite Ana and Thea explained what Smugglivus is in case I didn’t know, like that was even possible. I love me some Smugglivus and it’s my pleasure to take part in these festivities. This is first time in ten years that I am not working at a bookstore during the holidays. I must admit I miss the rush of it. So getting the chance to share some of my favorites from this year and some 2012 titles I am looking forward to is irresistible.
Huntress by Malinda Lo
This was my first favorite of 2011 There’s so much to love about Lo’s sophomore YA novel, from the action to the romance. The main characters Kaede and Taisin’s are very well crafted. Their first kiss wasn’t until about midway into the story but it was well worth the wait.
The Cheshire Cheese Cat by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright illus. by Barry Moser
When I started reading this I couldn’t put it down. I am not usually a fan of stories with talking animals but Deedy and Wright made this one hard not to love.
Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach
Is Stupid Good and an excellent debut. A must read for fans of Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford.
What Can’t Wait by Ashley Hope Perez
The author created a very realistic and likable main character in Marisa. I’ve already had a chance to read Perez next novel, The Knife and the Butterfly (via netgalley) which comes out in February and it’s very good. I heart netgalley but what I don’t love is being placed on a publishers netgalley naughty list. Three of my recent request to one house were rejected. Someone really misses the NBA. Well Mr or Ms Basketball fan the season begins on Dec. 25 so stop being such a galley scrooge.
(Serenity Now) Ahhhhhh much better.
I do mysteries the way The Book Smugglers do Sci fi/Fantasy and I am always on the look out for new authors to love.
Vanished by Sheela Chari
It had the right amount of creepy and unexplained darkness. Neela has the right amount of personal introspective qualities needed in a sleuth. She reminded me a little of Glida Joyce.
There are a lot of great 2012 titles that have caught my eye. It was very difficult to narrow it down, as you can see I didn’t such a great job.
Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson (Feb)
If anyone has the skill to pull a little beauty out of a novel that has to do with Hurricane Katrina and meth addiction it’s Woodson.
Ship of Souls by Zetta Elliott (Feb.)
I am always moved by Elliott’s writing and I am looking forward to getting this book in my hands. Even more so because there are ghosts involved.
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta (March)
Froi the bad boy turned good is center stage in this follow up to the amazing Finnikin of the Rock.
Into The Wise Dark by Neesha Meminger (March)
“Pammi has a secret – she is an Able. At night, she travels through time to an ancient city called Zanum. She’s been visiting Zanum since she was seven and she’s kept it a secret from everyone-including her own mother. Especially her mother.
Everything’s been fine . until now.
On the night of an important Zanum ceremony, Pammi follows her gut instinct and defies an elder’s orders, inadvertently leading evil directly to the door of the city she loves. Now the evil that plans to wipe out the ancient city is coming after her. Can she save herself, and Zanum, before it’s too late? Or will she seal the doom of all Ables and witness the annihilation of everyone she loves?”
Whenever an artist I am a fan of admits to being pushed to the brink emotionally at the time they were creating their most recent work, I can’t help but to want it that much more.
Happy Families by Tanita S. Davis (May)
Teenage twins Ysabel and Justin Nicholas are lucky. Ysabel’s jewelry designs have already caught the eyes of the art world and Justin’s intelligence and drive are sure to gain him entrance into the most prestigious of colleges. They even like their parents. But their father has a secret—one that threatens to destroy the twins’ happy family and life as they know it. Over the course of spring break, Ysabel and Justin will be forced to come to terms with their dad’s new life, but can they overcome their fears to piece together their happy family again?
I love the name Ysabel but more importantly I am always impressed by Davis and after reading her first two novels, I know she has a way with family dynamics.
The Quick Fix by Jack D. Ferraiolo (May)
The author published the Big Splash way back in 2008, (I called it a cross between Dick Tracy meets Half Moon Investigations meets Codename KND) so I had pretty much given up on a sequel. So I am very excited about this release.
37 Things I Love (in no particular order) by Kekla Magoon (May)
Ellis only has four days of her sophomore year left, and summer is so close that she can almost taste it. But even with vacation just within reach, Ellis isn’t exactly relaxed. Her father has been in a coma for years, the result of a construction accident, and her already-fragile relationship with her mother is strained over whether or not to remove him from life support. Her best friend fails even to notice that anything is wrong and Ellis feels like her world is falling apart. But when all seems bleak, Ellis finds comfort in the most unexpected places. Life goes on, but in those four fleeting days friends are lost and found, promises are made, and Ellis realizes that nothing will ever quite be the same.
Magoon actually has two books (a very nice surprise for my reader’s heart) coming out, Fire in the Streets (Aug), the follow up to awarding winning and excellent The Rock and the River.
Speed of Light by Amber Kizer
This is the third book in Kizer’s Fenestra series, I love how well the characters and storyline are developing together. I think it’s one of the best YA series out right now that deals with angels. The second one was released just this year, so this one coming out so soon after is a pleasant surprise.
The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani (Jan)
This is a wonderful debut with a main character that’s hard not to love.
GirlChild by Tupelo Hassman (Feb)
This novel has some serious YA cross over appeal and should not be missed.
Boy 21 by Matthew Quick (March)
A must read for Chris Crutcher fans. This excellent debut was the first 2012 novel I read. If the rest of my reading year continues as is, I may have to send the author a note of thanks.
For now I’ll say thanks so much to The Book Smugglers. May everyone find a lot great books to love in 2012 Happy Smugglivus.
Two people can win one copy of one of Doret’s favorite books of their choice. To enter, just answer two questions in the comments:
1. One novel you loved by an author of color this year
2. A novel you’re looking forward to reading in 2012 by an author of color.
The contest is open to residents in U.S., Canada and Mexico only and will run till December 24 11:59PM (PST). Good luck!