NetGalley puts out this great compilation every season of some of the hot new Young Adult books that will be coming out. Here are my thoughts on the 13 books featured (I feel like every time we get to preview fewer books, but whatever). Covers link to Goodreads.
Solo by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess (7/25)
Cover: I could go either way on this. There are some elements that I like, but others that seem a little…cheap maybe? It’s nothing special is what I’m trying to say I guess. 5/10
Premise: Okay, so I’m remembering now that Kwame Alexander is the one who wrote The Crossover which I have heard is really good. I’m sure this one is amazing too, but poetic verse isn’t really my thing. The story itself seems like it’s going to be super heavy which is also something that I’m not naturally drawn towards. (I like happy and fluffy, okay? Sue me.) 3/10
Excerpt: There’s something kind of mesmerizing about the way the poems are written. The rhythm feels kind of disjointed and it doesn’t always make sense or fall the way you think it might. At the same time, I’m having a hard time understanding everything. I always feel like I’d be able to understand better if the story was just written in paragraphs. And I also wonder how authors decide where to break up the lines of the poem. It just isn’t something that I really understand intuitively. 4/10
TBR?: No, but mostly just because it’s written in verse.
Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust (9/5)
Cover: The cover is really simply beautiful. At the same time it looks a little mature for YA. Like, it looks like it’s an adult book, not Young Adult. I still like it though. 8/10
Premise: I love fairy tale retellings, so I’m really hoping I’d like this one. The summary itself is a little ambiguous so I’m not exactly sure what to expect though. And again, even though this book is about two young women the summary reads like an adult novel to me. I feel like this book could either be great, or something that I dislike completely. 6/10
Excerpt: But actually? This excerpt hooked me with the first few lines. “Lynet first saw her in the courtyard. Well, the girl was in the courtyard. Lynet was in a tree.” For some reason, that just feels like really fresh narration to me. It makes me excited to keep reading. I notice that the chapter is labeled as “Lynet” so that makes me think this is probably a multiple POV book. That could be good, or it could be bad. We’ll see I guess. 8/10
TBR?: Yes. I’m cheating a little because I actually already have an ARC of this one on my Kindle.
The House at 758 by Kathryn Berla (10/17)
Cover: This cover is pretty intriguing to me. I like the fonts. I like the images. I like that it looks like such a clean and simple design, but it’s also kind of complex at the same time. I feel like the title itself holds all kinds of possibilities. This book could literally be about anything and be in any genre. 7/10
Premise: This book sounds like it could be pretty good. I still have no idea what’s going down in the house at 758, but it sounds like we’ll probably get to see a pretty great relationship develop between our main character and her grandfather. I’m into it. 7/10
Excerpt: I’m not sure about this one…there are some parts that I really liked, but the narration is kind of an internal monologue/stream of consciousness. Maybe once the book gets going we’d get more of a plot. In the end, I just want a little bit more than this book is giving me. 6/10
TBR?: Maybe. I’ll see what other people say about it.
Your One & Only by Adrianne Finlay (2/6/18)
Cover: Yeah, I like this cover quite a bit. The design is really cool to me. I don’t love the colors or the font choice, but other than that, I like what the cover’s trying to do here. 8/10
Premise: Meh. This book doesn’t sound super original. I feel like I’d be super into this book like ten years ago, but today it doesn’t get me very excited. Already I feel like the summary is exposing some plot holes that I wouldn’t be able to get past. 5/10
Excerpt: I don’t know. The excerpt wasn’t so bad, but I still don’t feel any sparks of outstanding originality like I would want from a book in this genre. I don’t really understand how the Althea’s can feel each other’s emotions even if they’re clones? I just get the feeling that most of this book wouldn’t really make sense to me. 6/10
TBR?: Probably not.
Everless by Sara Holland (1/2/18)
Cover: I couldn’t find a cover for this one, but here’s the link to Goodreads. 0/10
Premise: This is another one that I feel like I would’ve been super into a few years ago, but now I just read the premise and feel like there are probably a lot of plot holes. It still has potential, but I’m not holding my breath. 4/10
Excerpt: Well, well, well. It looks like we have another special snowflake main character who has a strange ability that she’s never told anyone about but will undoubtedly be helpful later in the book. The writing itself is good, but the premise feels tired to me. 3/10
All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis (8/29)
Cover: Hmmm…there’s something about the cover that really catches my eye, but then at the same time there’s something I don’t like about it as well. I like that it’s a balance of simple and chaotic, but I don’t like that the background looks so…is illustrated the right word? While the girl looks so real. I wish it had been like a sketch of a girl or something instead. Also, I don’t LOVE the color. 7/10
Premise: The premise doesn’t sound that interesting to me, to be honest. Why does one girl’s actions have such an effect on the society? It’s just not intriguing enough for me to want to pick it up. 2/10
Excerpt: I don’t know…I can understand the social commentary that is being made through this book, but the entire world just seems problematic to me. How can people realistically be charged for every single word they say? It just doesn’t make any sense. 3/10
The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis (10/17)
Cover: I like the idea of the cover, but I’m not a huge fan of the font used for the title, etc. and I feel like that’s a pretty big part of the cover as a whole. So…not super loving it but it’s okay. 5/10
Premise: Yeah, I feel like this book has the potential to be a really touching and deep read. That being said, it’s not necessarily something that I find myself super drawn to. 4/10
Excerpt: The excerpt reads pretty much how I thought it would and that doesn’t make me want to read it any more or any less. 4/10
The Gatekeepers by Jen Lancaster (10/10)
Cover: I think I’m finding that I’m more drawn to covers that are illustrated versus actual photos, but I do like the colors. I’d take a look at the summary after spotting this cover. 6/10
Premise: Wow, so I think this book is likely going to cover some pretty heavy stuff. I feel like that could go really well or really poorly. 5/10
Excerpt: The characters seem interesting and complex. If the author really ends up exploring them, it could be interesting. I like the text exchanges that are added in as well. I’d probably keep reading. 6/10
TBR?: Maybe. I’ll see how other people like it first.
Warcross by Marie Lu (9/12)
Cover: Well, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t more intrigued by the tagline at the bottom than I was by the cover. I don’t know what it is, but nothing really jumps out at me about the cover. I’m not super in love with it. 4/10
Premise: I’m definitely intrigued by the premise, but I’m also wary. I feel like a lot of books are trying to find the success that Ready Player One did with this virtual reality/alternate reality/video game setting and so far none of them have come close. So yeah, I’m interested, but I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if I was disappointed. 8/10
Excerpt: I’m still intrigued and only slightly confused (which is saying something when it comes to sci-fi). I’ll definitely be giving this book a try. 7/10
TBR?: Yes (to be honest, it already was).
All Things New by Lauren Miller (8/1)
Cover: I like the colors, but not much else. The cover doesn’t give any indication of what the book might be about. It looks like a contemporary book? Possibly set in the mountains? I don’t know why I think that, but that’s how abstract this cover is. 3/10
Premise: To be honest, this premise seems super weird to me. It’s kind of a contemporary book, but kind of not. The main character ends up getting a weird power where she can see everybody else’s injuries, illnesses, and hurts? It just seems too weird. Too much of a stretch for me. The writing would have to be very compelling for me to be interested. 3/10
Excerpt: Well…the writing’s not super compelling and the main character isn’t very likable. I know she has some things that she’s dealing with, obviously, but I still didn’t feel very sympathetic to her. Something about the thoughts that she was having about those around her didn’t really endear her to me. 3/10
Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp (1/23/18)
Cover: I don’t think this is the intent, but the cover looks super creepy. Like this is a horror book creepy. At the very least, it looks like it could be a psychological thriller. I kind of like the cover, but I’m not usually drawn to the genre that I feel it represents so I may not have picked it up if I saw it on a shelf. 7/10
Premise: Okay, so it does sound like this book is some kind of thriller. Maybe it could be good then? Like I said earlier, I don’t read a ton of thrillers usually. 5/10
Excerpt: The way that the author is choosing to tell the story is interesting to me with phone calls and letters and flashbacks. With that being said, after finishing the excerpt, I don’t really have much of a desire to continue on with the story. 4/10
TBR?: Probably not.
Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi (10/31)
Cover: The cover is definitely interesting to look at and I’m intrigued by what I see. At the same time, I feel like I’ve seen a similar cover somewhere else. It doesn’t feel totally original to me. 7/10
Premise: I don’t feel like I understand the concept of this book all the way though I am slightly intrigued. At the same time, this book is all about sins and guilt and that makes it seem like this book could be REALLY dark which isn’t something I’m necessarily interested in. Basically, I’m torn. 5/10
Excerpt: The writing is great. I’m still not totally sure about the world that the author’s created and I could see that becoming an issue later in the book, but for now I’m pretty intrigued and would definitely keep reading. 8/10
Love Songs and Other Lies by Jessica Pennington (1/30/18)
Cover: Something about the cover makes it look like this is a collection of short stories or essays. That’s probably what I’d think if I just saw it sitting on a shelf. Other than that, I like the cover fine. I don’t like the color of the Polaroids with the blue background very much, but it’s okay. 5/10
Premise: Honestly, this book sounds like it’s right up my alley. I like books about reality shows. I also like celebrity romances. This seems like a pretty good mash-up of the two. 8/10
Excerpt: I liked the excerpt. The writing wasn’t anything super special, but it kept my attention. I like that we’re switching between both narrators and time periods (then and now). I think that’ll be a great way to add depth and backstory to the book which I think will end up being really necessary. 7/10
Let me know in the comments what you’ve heard about these books!