Top New Book Releases to Read This Month

Top New Book Releases to Read This Month

On the radar

February comes fully loaded with new releases: novels, essays, memoirs, science fiction  ..so many new books are going to hit the shelves that you’re simply going to want to read them all.

Keep reading to find your next best read!

BIOGRAPHIES & MEMOIRS

For fans of Wild, When Breath Becomes Air, and The Year of Magical Thinking.

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death, by Maggie O’Farrel (Knopf)

Pub Date: February 6

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I’m not gonna lie, Maggie O’Farrell‘s memoir is not an easy read, but if you can stick with it, you’ll end up loving this incredible, astonishing story.

Seventeen near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined Maggie’s life, from the childhood illness that left her bedridden for a year, to an encounter with a disturbed man on a remote path and, most terrifying of all, an ongoing, daily struggle to protect her daughter–for whom this book was written–from a condition that leaves her unimaginably vulnerable to life’s myriad dangers.

In taut prose that vibrates with electricity and restrained emotion, O’Farrell captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminates the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life itself.

The Line Becomes A River: Dispatches From The Border, by Francisco Cantú (Riverhead Books)

Pub Date: February 6

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A powerful story that goes behind the headlines. For Francisco Cantú, the border is in the blood: his mother, a park ranger and daughter of a Mexican immigrant, raised him in the scrublands of the Southwest. Haunted by the landscape of his youth, Cantú joins the Border Patrol. He and his partners are posted to remote regions crisscrossed by drug routes and smuggling corridors, where they learn to track other humans under blistering sun and through frigid nights.

Plagued by nightmares, he abandons the Patrol for civilian life. But when an immigrant friend travels to Mexico to visit his dying mother and does not return, Cantú discovers that the border has migrated with him, and now he must know the whole story.

The Line Becomes a River is one of those books that everybody needs to read just right now.

I’ve Got This Round: More Tales of Debauchery, by Mamrie Hart (Plume)

Pub Date: February 6

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Mamrie Hart—the New York Times bestselling author of You Deserve a Drink—is back with more tales of debauchery. 
 
When Mamrie simultaneously enters her 30s and finds herself single for the first time since college, the world is suddenly full of possibilities. Emboldened by the cool confidence that comes with the end of one’s 20s plus the newfound independence of an attachment-free lifestyle, Mamrie commits herself to living life with even more spirit, adventure, and heart than before.

I’ve Got This Round is disarmingly honest and funny to the core! perfect for when you’re in need of a good laugh. Readers will find the same shameless honesty and the inimitable candor of You Deserve a Drink, with even more spirit, adventure and heart.

Educated: A Memoir, by Tara Westover (Random House)

Pub Date: February 20

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Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education.

When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention, a coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

BUSINESS & INVESTING

Superconnector: Stop Networking and Start Building business Relations That Matter, by Scott Gerber, Ryan Paugh (Da Capo Lifelong Books)

Pub Date: February 27

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Forget networking the way you know it in favor of an even more powerful and effective approach to creating and enhancing connections.

In Superconnector, Scott Gerber and Ryan Paugh reveal a new category of professionals born out of the social media era: highly valuable community-builders who make things happen through their keen understanding and utilization of social capital. Superconnectors understand the power of relationship-building, problem-solve by connecting the dots at high levels, and purposefully cause different worlds and communities to interact with the intention of creating mutual value.

How can you become a Superconnector? Of utmost importance is practicing Habitual Generosity, acting on the knowledge that your greatest returns come when you least expect them and that by putting others’ needs first the good karma will flow back to you tenfold. Superconnector is a must-read for those seeking personal and business success.

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Checked, by Cynthia Kadohata (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)

Pub Date: February 6

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From Newbery Medalist Cynthia Kadohata comes a brilliantly realized sports novel about a hockey player who must discover who he is without the sport that defines him.

Hockey is Conor’s life. His whole life. He’ll say it himself, he’s a hockey beast. It’s his dad’s whole life too—and Conor is sure that’s why his stepmom, Jenny, left. There are very few things Conor and his dad love more than the game, and one of those things is their Doberman, Sinbad. When Sinbad is diagnosed with cancer, Conor chooses to put his hockey lessons and practices on hold so they can pay for Sinbad’s chemotherapy.

But without hockey to distract him, Conor begins to notice more. Like his dad’s crying bouts, and his friend’s difficult family life. And then Conor notices one more thing: Without hockey, the one thing that makes him feel special, is he really special at all?

Fly Girls: The Daring American Women Pilots Who Helped Win WWII, by P. O’Connell Pearson (Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing)

Pub Date: February 6

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In the tradition of Hidden Figures, debut author Patricia Pearson offers a beautifully written account of the remarkable but often forgotten group of female fighter pilots who answered their country’s call in its time of need during World War II.

Through grit and pure determination, 1,100 of these female pilots—who had to prove their worth time and time again—were finally allowed to ferry planes from factories to bases, to tow targets for live ammunition artillery training, to test repaired planes and new equipment.

Though the WASPs lived on military bases, trained as military pilots, wore uniforms, marched in review, and sometimes died violently in the line of duty, they were civilian employees and received less pay than men doing the same jobs and no military benefits, not even for burials. Their story is one of patriotism, the power of positive attitudes, the love of flying, and the willingness to do good with no concern for personal gain.

Hopeless Heroes: Here Comes Hercules!, by Stella Tarakson (Sweet Cherry Publishing)

Pub Date: February 22

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When Tim Baker breaks his mum’s favorite vase, it’s the least of his problems. The Greek hero he’s released is in danger of doing far worse. Hercules is only trying to be helpful but he’s just hopeless. It’s time to send this dim demigod home before Tim becomes ancient history.

A magical adventure, and a funny way to learn about Ancient Greek Gods.

FICTION

An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books)

Pub Date: February 6

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One of the most anticipated novels and Oprah’s Book Club selection, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones is a masterpiece. Exceptionally good!

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.

An American Marriage is an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward–with hope and pain–into the future.

The Great Alone: A Novel, by Kristin Hannah (Holtzbrinck Publishers)

Pub Date: February 6

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Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

The Great Alone is a splendid portrait of human frailty and resilience; a tribute to the modern American pioneer and to Alaska -place of incomparable beauty.

Asymmetry: A Novel, by Lisa Halliday ( Simon & Schuster)

Pub Date: February 6

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Splendid. Lisa Halliday‘s debut novel explores the imbalances that spark and sustain many of our most dramatic human relations: inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice.

Told in three distinct and uniquely compelling sections; “Folly,” tells the story of Alice, a young American editor, and her relationship with the famous and much older writer Ezra Blazer. A tender and exquisite account of an unexpected romance that takes place in New York during the early years of the Iraq War. By contrast, “Madness” is narrated by Amar, an Iraqi-American man who, on his way to visit his brother in Kurdistan, is detained by immigration officers and spends the last weekend of 2008 in a holding room in Heathrow. These two seemingly disparate stories gain resonance as their perspectives interact and overlap, with yet new implications for their relationship revealed in an unexpected coda.

A stunning debut from a rising literary star!

White Houses: A Novel, by Amy Bloom (Random House)

Pub Date: February 13

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Lorena Hickok meets Eleanor Roosevelt in 1932 while reporting on Franklin Roosevelt’s first presidential campaign. Having grown up worse than poor in South Dakota and reinvented herself as the most prominent woman reporter in America, “Hick,” as she’s known to her friends and admirers, is not quite instantly charmed by the idealistic, patrician Eleanor.

But then, as her connection with the future first lady deepens into intimacy, what begins as a powerful passion matures into a lasting love, and a life that Hick never expected to have. She moves into the White House, where her status as “first friend” is an open secret, as are FDR’s own lovers.

Amy Bloom’s new novel moves elegantly through fascinating places and times, written in compelling prose and with emotional depth, wit, and acuity.

MYSTERY & THRILLERS

The Deceivers (A John Wells Novel), by Alex Berenson (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

Pub Date: February 6

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The target was the American Airlines Center, the home of the Dallas Mavericks. The FBI had told Ahmed Shakir that his drug bust would go away if he helped them, and they’d supply all the weaponry, carefully removing the firing pins before the main event. It never occurred to Ahmed to doubt them, until it was too late.

When John Wells is called to Washington, he’s sure it’s to investigate the carnage in Dallas, but it isn’t. The former CIA director, now president, Vinnie Duto wants Wells to go to Colombia. An old asset there has information to share–and it will lead Wells to the deadliest mission of his life, an extraordinary confluence of sleeper cells, sniper teams, false flag operations, double agents high in the U.S. government–and a Russian plot to take over the government itself. If it succeeds, what happened in Texas will be only a prelude.

NON-FICTION

A False Report, by T. Christian Miller, Ken Armstrong (Crown Publishing)

Pub Date: February 6

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On August 11, 2008, eighteen-year-old Marie reported that a masked man broke into her apartment near Seattle, Washington, and raped her. Within days police and even those closest to Marie became suspicious of her story. The police swiftly pivoted and began investigating Marie until she broke down and said her story was a lie—a bid for attention. Police charged Marie with false reporting, and she was branded a liar.

More than two years later, Colorado detective Stacy Galbraith was assigned to investigate a case of sexual assault. She soon learned that the case bore an eerie resemblance to a rape that had taken place months earlier in a nearby town. She joined forces with the detective on that case, Edna Hendershot, and the two soon discovered they were dealing with a serial rapist: a man who photographed his victims, threatening to release the images online. Through meticulous police work, the detectives would eventually connect the rapist to other attacks in Colorado—and beyond.

Based on investigative files and extensive interviews, A False Report is just one of many tales of how sexual assault is investigating today. Painful. But you need to read this!

Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship, by Kayleen Shaefer (Dutton)

Pub Date: February 6

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“Text me when you get home.” How many time have we said that after a joyful night out with our girlfriends? Is it just about safety or is it something more? maybe is it how female friends cement their love?

Journalist Kayleen Schaefer relays her journey of modern female friendship: from being a competitive teenager to trying to be one of the guys in the workplace to ultimately awakening to the power of female friendship and the soulmates, girl squads, and chosen families that come with it.

Schaefer has put together a completely new sociological perspective on the way we see our friends today, one that includes interviews with dozens of other women across the country: historians, creators of the most iconic films and television shows about female friendship (and Galentine’s Day!), celebrities, authors, and other experts. The end result is a validation of female friendship that’s never existed before.

Feel Free: Essays, by Zadie Smith

Pub Date: February 8

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Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world’s preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist.

Arranged into five sections –In the World, In the Audience, In the Gallery, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Free– this new collection poses questions we immediately recognize. What is The Social Network really about? Why do we love libraries? What will we tell our granddaughters about our collective failure to address global warming?

Gathering in one place for the first time previously unpublished work, Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith’s own life. Equally at home in the world of good books and bad politics, Brooklyn-born rappers and the work of Swiss novelists, she is by turns wry, heartfelt, indignant, and incisive–and never any less than perfect company. This is literary journalism at its zenith.

All The Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire®, by Jonathan Abrams (Crown Publishing)

Pub Date: February 13

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When critics compile lists of the Greatest TV Shows of All Time, The Wire routinely takes the top spot. It is arguably one of the great works of art America has produced in the 20th century. Since its final episode aired in 2008, HBO’s acclaimed crime drama The Wire has only become more popular and influential. The issues it tackled, from the failures of the drug war and criminal justice system to systemic bias in law enforcement and other social institutions, have become more urgent and central to the national conversation.

All The Pieces Matter is the definitive, behind-the-scenes take on how it came to be made. With unparalleled access to all the key actors and writers involved in its creation, Jonathan Abrams tells the astonishing, compelling, and complete account of The Wire, from its inception and creation through its end and powerful legacy.

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower, by Brittney Cooper (St. Martin’s Press)

Pub Date: February 20

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So what if it’s true that Black women are mad as hell? They have the right to be. In the Black feminist tradition of Audre Lorde, Brittney Cooper reminds us that anger is a powerful source of energy that can give us the strength to keep on fighting.

Black women’s eloquent rage is what makes Serena Williams such a powerful tennis player. It’s what makes Beyoncé’s girl power anthems resonate so hard. It’s what makes Michelle Obama an icon. Eloquent Rage reminds women that they don’t have to settle for less.

Named “Best/Most Anticipated Book of 2018”, Eloquent Rage celebrates the power of rage. Humorous, intimate… simply splendid. One of those books you don’t want to miss.

The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats, by Daniel Stone (Dutton)

Pub Date: February 20

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David Fairchild, a late-nineteenth-century food explorer, traveled the globe and introduced diverse crops like avocados, mangoes, seedless grapes to the American plate.

Kale from Croatia, mangoes from India, and hops from Bavaria. Peaches from China, avocados from Chile, and pomegranates from Malta. Fairchild’s finds weren’t just limited to food: From Egypt he sent back a variety of cotton that revolutionized an industry, and via Japan he introduced the cherry blossom tree, forever brightening America’s capital.

Along the way, he was arrested, caught diseases, and bargained with island tribes. But his culinary ambition came during a formative era, and through him, America transformed into the most diverse food system ever created.

Stealing the Show: How Women Are Revolutionising Television, by Joy Press (Atria Books)

Pub Date: February 27

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Female writers, directors, and producers have radically transformed the television industry in recent years. Shonda Rhimes, Lena Dunham, Tina Fey, Amy Schumer, Mindy Kaling: these extraordinary women have shaken up the entertainment landscape, making it look like an equal opportunity dream factory.

But things weren’t always this rosy. It took decades of determination in the face of preconceived ideas and outright prejudice to reach this new era. In this endlessly informative and wildly entertaining book, veteran journalist Joy Press tells the story of the maverick women who broke through the barricades, starting with Roseanne Barr (Roseanne) and Diane English (Murphy Brown), whose iconic shows redefined America’s idea of “family values” and, showrunners like Amy Sherman Palladino (Gilmore Girls), Jenji Kohan (Weeds, Orange Is the New Black), and Jill Soloway (Transparent) created characters and storylines that changed how women are seen and how they see themselves, in the process transforming the culture.

The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South, by Radley Balki; Tucker Carrington (Perseus Books)

Pub Date: February 27

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After two three-year-old girls were raped and murdered in rural Mississippi, law enforcement pursued and convicted two innocent men: Kennedy Brewer and Levon Brooks. Together they spent a combined thirty years in prison before finally being exonerated in 2008. Meanwhile, the real killer remained free.

The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist recounts the story of how the criminal justice system allowed this to happen, and of how two men, Dr. Steven Hayne and Dr. Michael West, built successful careers on the back of that structure. For nearly two decades, Hayne, a medical examiner, performed the vast majority of Mississippi’s autopsies, while his friend Dr. West, a local dentist, pitched himself as a forensic jack-of-all-trades. Together they became the go-to experts for prosecutors and helped put countless Mississippians in prison. But then some of those convictions began to fall apart.

POLITICS

The Unmaking of the President 2016: How FBI Director James Comey Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency, by Lanny J. Davis (Scribner)

Pub Date: February 6

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During the week of October 24, 2016, Hillary Clinton was decisively ahead of Donald Trump in many polls and, more importantly, in the battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Then FBI Director James Comey sent his infamous letter to Congress on October 28, saying the bureau was investigating additional emails that may have been relevant to the Hillary Clinton email case.

Comey’s decision to send his October 28 letter, so near to the election, not only violated long-standing justice department policies but also contained no new facts of improper emails at all, just pure speculation.

Davis shows state by state, using polling data before October 28, and on election day, how voter support for Hillary Clinton eroded quickly. With raw, indisputable data he proves that had the election been held on October 27, Hillary Clinton would have won the presidency by a substantial margin.

Our Damaged Democracy: We the People Must Act, by Joseph A. Califano Jr. (Touchstone)

Pub Date: February 13

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If you’ve been watching the news and worrying that our democracy no longer works, this book will help you understand why you’re right. There is a colossal concentration of power in the Presidency. Congress is crippled by partisanship and dependence on special interest money. The Supreme Court and many lower federal courts are driven by politics. Add politically fractured and fragile media, feckless campaign finance laws, rampant income and education inequality, and multicultural divisions, and it’s no wonder our leaders can’t agree on anything or muster a solid majority of Americans behind them.

With decades as a leader in government, law, and business, Joseph A. Califano, Jr. has the maturity to be party-neutral in his evaluation and the perspective to see the big picture of our democracy. Using anecdotes and examples featuring every modern president and actions of both parties, Califano makes the urgent case that we do not need to agree, but we do need to trust each other and be worthy of that trust, in order to bring back systems of government that protect freedom and promote fairness.

Young China: How the Restless Generation Will Change Their Country and the World, by Zac Dychtwald (St’ Martins Press)

Pub Date: February 13

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How do the Jiu Ling Hou generation (those born after 1990) feel about money, sex, the government, and China’s rising role in the world? Zak Dychtwald examins the future of China through the lens of young generations.

From single-child pressure, to test taking madness and the frenzy to buy an apartment as a prerequisite to marriage, from one-night-stands to an evolving understanding of family, Young China offers a fascinating portrait of the restless generation who will change their country and the world as we know it.

Young China is such a terrific book; thoroughly researched it will help you understand the touchstone issues this young generation faces.

Stranger: The Challenge of a Latino Immigrant in the Trump Era, by Jorge Ramos (Knopf)

Pub Date: February 27

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“There are times when I feel like a stranger in this country. I am not complaining and it’s not for lack of opportunity. But it is something of a disappointment. I never would have imagined that after having spent thirty five years in the United States I would still be a stranger to so many. But that’s how it is”.

Jorge Ramos, an Emmy award-winning journalist, Univision’s longtime anchorman and widely considered the “voice of the voiceless” within the Latino community, was forcefully removed from an Iowa press conference in 2015 by then-candidate Donald Trump after trying to ask about his plans on immigration.

In this personal manifesto, Ramos sets out to examine what it means to be a Latino immigrant, or just an immigrant, in present-day America. With current research and statistics, a journalist nose for a story, and his own personal experience, Ramos shows us the changing face of America while trying to find an explanation for why he, and millions of others, still feel like strangers in this country.

The Left Behind: Decline and Rage in Rural America, by Robert Wuthnow (Princeton University Press)

Pub Date: February 27

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If you’ve been wondering why did rural Americans vote overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, and what is fueling the outrage toward the federal government, this book might explain exactly why.

Drawing on more than a decade of research and hundreds of interviews, Robert Wuthnow brings us into America’s small towns, farms, and rural communities to paint a rich portrait of the moral order underpinning this critical segment of the nation.

Wuthnow demonstrates that to truly understand rural Americans’ anger we have to listen to farmers who want government out of their business, factory workers who believe in working hard to support their families, town managers who find the federal government unresponsive to their communities’ needs, and clergy who say the moral climate is being undermined.

Moving beyond simplistic depictions of the residents of America’s heartland, The Left Behind offers a clearer picture of how this important population will influence the nation’s political future.

Sci-Fi, FANTASY, YOUNG ADULTS

War World, by Rod C. Spence (Gallant Press)

Pub Date: February 5

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Jeremy Austin never asked to save a planet–it’s bad enough being a “B” average student as the son of a world-famous geneticist for crying out loud! He didn’t ask to be attacked by Gnome assassins, didn’t choose to become food for a prehistoric monster, would never have thought consorting with wizards a wise concept, and he definitely would never, ever sign up to do sword combat against the bloodthirsty Gnome King.

His father’s expedition to a planet 2.4 million light years from Earth has gone missing. Jeremy and five high school friends embark on a rescue mission. Surrounded by an army of mercenaries, they travel through a high-tech portal and discover a nightmare planet on the other side–a violent world of alien races and man-eating monsters–a world in despair; anxiously awaiting the arrival of a savior who will defeat the evil Shadow Lord.
For Jeremy, the search for his father becomes lost in a struggle for survival… and escape from those who would put the mantle of planet savior on his shoulders.

Jurassic Park meets Lord of the Rings.. what’s more perfect than that?

Semiosis: A Novel, by Sue Burke (Macmillan-Tor/Forge)

Pub Date: February 6

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An extraordinary debut novel! Sue Burke delivers an intelligent and incredibly engaging story of a bizarre alliance. Colonists from Earth wanted the perfect home, but they’ll have to survive on the one they found. They don’t realize another life form watches…and waits…Only mutual communication can forge an alliance with the planet’s sentient species and prove that humans are more than tools.

Sci-fi at its best!

Tarnished City, by Vic James (Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine)

Pub Date: February 6

Tempest and Slaughters (The Numair Chronicles, Book One), by Tamora Pierce (Random House Children’s)

Pub Date: February 6

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The highly anticipated NEW Tortall Legend from TAMORA PIERCE, the #1 New York Times bestselling author who is legend herself, is a must-read for any fantasy lover!

Arram Draper is on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting trouble. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions.

Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram realizes that one day–soon–he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.

Flight Season: A Novel, by Marie Marquardt (St. Martin’s Press)

Pub Date: February 20

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From Marie Marquardt, the author of Dream Things True and The Radius of Us, comes a story of two teenagers learning what to hold on to, what to let go of, and that sometimes love gets in the way of our plans.

Back when they were still strangers, TJ Carvalho witnessed the only moment in Vivi Flannigan’s life when she lost control entirely. Now, TJ can’t seem to erase that moment from his mind, no matter how hard he tries. Vivi doesn’t remember any of it, but she’s determined to leave it far behind. And she will. But when Vivi returns home from her first year away at college, her big plans and TJ’s ambition to become a nurse land them both on the heart ward of a university hospital, facing them with a long and painful summer together.

Written in alternating first person from the perspectives of all three characters, Flight Season is a story about discovering what’s really worth holding onto, learning how to let go of the rest, and that one crazy summer that changes your life forever.

Tess of the Road, by Rachel Hartman (Random House Children’s)

Pub Date: February

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In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons can be whomever they choose.

Tess is none of these things. Tess is. . . different. She speaks out of turn, has wild ideas, and can’t seem to keep out of trouble. Then Tess goes too far. What she’s done is so disgraceful, and, unfortunately, the past cannot be ignored. So Tess’s family decide the only path for her is a nunnery.

But Tess chooses a different path, she cuts her hair, pulls on her boots, and sets out on a journey. She’s not running away, she’s running towards something…the open road is a map to somewhere else -a life where she might belong.

People Like Us, by Dana Mele (PENGUIN GROUP Penguin Young Readers Group)

I Stop Somewhere, by TE Carter (Feiwel and Friends)

Pub Date: February 27

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Ellie Frias disappeared long before she vanished.

Tormented throughout middle school, Ellie begins her freshman year with a new look: she doesn’t need to be popular; she just needs to blend in with the wallpaper.

But when the unthinkable happens, Ellie finds herself trapped after a brutal assault. She wasn’t the first victim, and now she watches it happen again and again. She tries to hold on to her happier memories in order to get past the cold days, waiting for someone to find her. The problem is, no one searches for a girl they never noticed in the first place.

TE Carter’s stirring and visceral debut not only discusses and dismantles rape culture, but it also reminds us what it is to be human.

 

 

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