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: Kat McKenna, Children’s Marketing & Publicity Assistant for Simon and Schuster UK with some awesome-sounding 2012 books and a Christmas Giveaway!
Please give it up for Kat, everybody!
Hello folks! Merry Christmas to one and all. It’s become yearly tradition for me to take residence at The Book Smugglers during Smugglivus, so once again I return for a festive celebration of some of our upcoming books for the impending year. We’ve got an exciting range this year of YA contemporary, dystopian and paranormal – from ghost stories to adaptations of Greek mythology to retellings of Shakespeare. 2012 is a truly exciting year for us at S&S UK, including brand new series’ from heavyweights such as Philippa Gregory and Darren Shan. I’m here to break down January-May for you guys, though, so read on for a tantalizing preview of things to come. Even better, you can win the whole lot! Just comment below and tell us what you’re most looking forward to out of this little lot, and they could be yours throughout the first half of next year!
Without further ado…
The Future of Us – Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler (January)
The first instalment of next year is brought to us by two YA legends – Jay Asher (author of the bestselling 13 Reasons Why) and Carolyn Mackler (The Earth, My Butt and Other Round Things). Pairing up YA authors is a favourite tradition of mine (uh, John Green & David Levithan anyone?), and Asher and Mackler have united to bring the world another delectable treat of a teen novel – The Future of Us. They tell the story of Josh and Emma, best friends who haven’t exactly been talking since a slightly awkward kissing incident a few months ago. It’s 1996, and with a summer with not much to do, Emma has to her relief just been handed a disk that signs her up to the snazziness that is the internet. When she logs on to discover her Facebook profile 15 years in the future, she thinks it must be a joke. But when it becomes clear that her (and Josh’s) actions in the present appear to be affecting the future profile, Emma starts to wonder if she is in fact staring at a glimpse of her possible life-to-be. Suddenly, questions become important. Who are her friends? What’s her job? And more importantly… what’s her relationship status?! The Future of Us @JayAsherGuy and @CarolynMackler
Smoulder – Brenna Yovanoff (January)
A bold suggestion: Brenna Yovanoff has one of the strongest literary voices in YA fiction. Yes, you heard me. She’s incredible.Smoulder, her second stand alone novel after the haunting, super creepy The Replacement, does not disappoint. Smoulder tells the tale of Daphne, the beautiful but unhappy daughter of Lilith and the Devil. While her sisters are out seducing humans, Daphne is more comfortable in her room collecting mementos of life above on Earth. Daphne is soon forced to the surface to find her beloved missing brother, Obie, on Earth. In turn she experiences a world unlike anything she is used to – and Truman’s, a boy with a death wish whom she must try to save from himself. Weaving dark monsters with creepy settings and a genuinely captivating love story, this is one to read on a winter’s evening – totally creepy and beautifully written. Yovanoff combines a mixed narrative from both first (Daphne) and third person (Truman).
Follow Brenna on Twitter: @BrennaYovanoff
Everneath – Brodi Ashton (February)
First things first – check out the stunning cover on this book! Gooooorgeous. Who doesn’t want that dress? Of course, Everneath is more than just a beautiful package – Brodi Ashton’s first novel is a dark, rich story that delves into the deep underworld, taking inspiration from the Greek myth of Persephone. Nikki Bennett has been literally to hell and back in the past year, disappearing from her family and friend’s sights with no trace. When she returns, she has just six months to say her goodbyes for good – and decide whether to return back as a queen to an evil king, or a slave to the Everneath. Greek mythology is slowly becoming the hot place to be in YA fiction, twisting the past paranormal trend into something with a classic edge, so Everneath is set to satisfy the masses. We publish in February in trade paperback, with the mass market paperback publishing later in the year.
Follow Brodi on Twitter: @BrodiAshton
Falling Fast – Sophie McKenzie (March)
Hopefully by now you guys are all familiar with Sophie McKenzie, but for those of you who aren’t, she’s taken the UK teen market by storm since 2006, when her debut bestseller, Girl, Missing, published – and she hasn’t stopped since. 2012 is a big year for Sophie, with the finale in her Medusa Project series, the bestselling Sister, Missing in paperback and a brand new romance series for older teens – starting in March with Falling Fast. When River’s school put on a play of Romeo & Juliet, they must combine forces with the local boy’s school. There, River meets Flynn – a boy with a troubled past and a turbulent temper… Falling Fast is a gritty love story with a great edge and Sophie’s typically page turning style. If you haven’t given Sophie McKenzie a go yet – start with this one! We promise you’ll lurve her.
Follow Sophie on Twitter: @SophieMcKenzie_
Unrest – Michelle Harrison (May)
Michelle Harrison’s debut in 2009, The 13 Treasures, took the children’s fiction world by storm when it won the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize. As each respective book followed, the series gained many fans, whilst growing darker and spookier. And with this natural progression, it makes perfect sense that Harrison returns in 2012 with a read suited to the teen/YA audience. Unrest is a classic, creepy ghost story – NOT to be read before bed, I might add (seriously, trust me)! When seventeen year old Elliot experiences near-death, his life is changed for good. He suddenly must deal with a new set of complications – sleep paralysis, out of body experiences… and an ability to see ghosts. These are no Caspers either; Elliot is haunted by visions of the woman who used to inhabit his flat, now dead and naked, with cut wrists and a devastating mystery to be solved. When he takes up a job at Past Lives, an open air historical village, he is determined to figure out his visions are in fact hallucinations, or if more ghosts will show themselves… Once again Michelle Harrison weaves lyrical, descriptive text with a brilliant story of love, loss and the otherworldy, and Unrest is set to propel her to the next level.
Follow Michelle on Twitter: @MHarrison13
When You Were Mine – Rebecca Serle (May)
When You Were Mine (cover art not final) has been the subject of lots of gossip on the Internet already, having been optioned for a film before it’s even published! With rumoured cast such as Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood) and Hailee Stanfield (True Grit), it’s sure to be a hot topic for the next year. The book itself is a smart contemporary twist on the story of Romeo & Juliet – or more accurately, of Romeo & Rosaline. Rosaline was said to be Romeo’s first love, so what if the greatest love story ever told was the wrong one? When You Were Mine joins Rosie and Rob, best friends and then some, as their blossoming love story is trampled by Rosie’s gorgeous cousin Juliet. Smart, sassy and cool. Rebecca Serle is a hot new talent in the YA contemporary world so be sure to keep an eye out for this one!
Follow Rebecca on Twitter: @RebeccaASerle
The Hunt – Andrew Fukuda (May)
AHHHHHHHHHHH. Ahem. Allow me to regain my composure. I’ve made no secret of my love for The Hunt, a terrifying and utterly page-turning debut from new talent Andrew Fukuda. Did I mention the cover? AHHHHHH. The Hunt takes us into a dark, scary world in which most of the human population has been eaten to extinction by its much scarier counterparts – vampire-esque creatures that thirst for human flesh and blood beyond control. Gene, our narrator, is one of the few remaining humans who must live in secret in this world with no sunlight, no emotion, no hope – his parents and sister killed years ago, he relies on his daily routines to keep him safe and away from suspicion. When a Hunt is announced, Gene is selected as one of the few lucky participants to train, hunt down and massacre seven specially raised humans (called hepers). As the selected group are moved to the Heper Institute and propelled into the spotlight, Gene must continue to hide his true identity from his peers… If you loved The Hunger Games, Rot & Ruin, and The Passage, this book is for you. Add it straight to your list! (AHH)
Follow Andrew on Twitter: @AndrewFukuda
And that’s it for now! There are many other titles that I could gush about but I’d be here all day. Instead, be sure to keep an eye on www.simonandschuster.co.uk/kids for the latest instalments – and sign up to our teen newsletter here. You can also find us on Twitter – @simonkids_UK – where we update and chat regularly – come and join the party!
Don’t forget to comment and let us know which book you’re most looking forward to, to be in with a chance of winning each and every single one of them. You lucky devils!
Wishing each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Kat (@kat99999 on Twitter!) x
You’ve heard the lady! Leave a comment here telling us which of these books you’re most looking forward to, to be in with a chance of winning each and every single one of them. Contest is open to all and will run till December 31 11:59PM (PST). MERRY CHRISTMAS and GOOD LUCK!