Home       About Me       Review Archive

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


It's time to announce the winner of the The Knife of Never Letting Go (or anything else by Patrick Ness)!

Congrats, Jeanne!

I hope you'll come to fall in love with the Chaos Walking Trilogy as much as I did! Please email me with your full name and address and which Patrick Ness book you would like to receive within the next 48 hours at ayleejaine(at)gmail(dot)com.

Update: Unfortunately, the winner failed to send me an email within the given timeframe. Stay tuned for more giveaways instead!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (17): Raincoast Books Spring 2012 Catalogue

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking The Spine in which an upcoming, eagerly anticipated release is highlighted on the blog.

Is anyone else tired of winter and excited for spring to finally get here? I know I am - not just for the weather to change, but also for the great books that will be released in the springtime. This week, I've chosen a few picks from the Raincoast Books Spring 2012 Catalogue. Raincoast Books is a Canadian company that distributes books from various US publishers, mainly Macmillan Imprints. They are also the company that gave Canadians Harry Potter - and on 100% Ancient-Forest friendly paper, no less - which I obviously appreciate.

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Date: May 8, 2012
Add to Goodreads

Don’t Sweat. Don’t Laugh. Don’t draw attention to yourself. And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.
Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is a human, and he knows the rules. Keep the truth a secret. It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.
When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him. He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?

I'm finally starting to get back into vampires again- after taking a long, much needed break - and The Hunt's post-apocalyptic vampire story sounds intense and awesome.

Monument 14 by Emily Laybourne
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Date: June 5, 2012
Add to Goodreads

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.
A huge store isn’t the worst place to be stranded. There’s food and water, bedding and books. But what if it’s not safe to leave? Emmy Laybourne had us from the get-go with her utterly fresh and fast-paced debut.
Six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids are trapped together in a chain superstore. Together they build a refuge for themselves inside, while outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapon spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

If I was living in a post-apocalyptic world, you want to bet I would be holing up in a superstore with every luxury on hand. I'll be interested to see if the kids of Monument 14 spend the entire book in the superstore or not!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Date: June 5, 2012
Add to Goodreads

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near-impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one unlikely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life– a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha… and the secrets of her heart.

I adore high fantasy but in reality, I don't actually read all that much of it - I would like to change that. I am endlessly fascinated by just the blurb of Shadow and Bone alone, so I can't imagine how awesome the actually story is going to be.

This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Date: June 19, 2012
Add to Goodreads

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually wantto live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what doyou hold on to?

I am quite ashamed to admit that I have never read any of Courtney Summers' raved-about contemporaries. But I am very much willing to make This Is Not A Test, a zombie thriller, my first read of hers.

How about you? Are you waiting on any of these Raincoast Books Spring 2012 reads? Are there any upcoming books from the Raincoast Books Spring 2012 Catalogue that I didn't include here that you feel I should add to my list?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Review: White Cat and Red Glove (Curse Workers #1 and #2) by Holly Black

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: May 4, 2010/April 15, 2011
Pages: 310/325
Source: Bought (paperback) / Borrowed (ebook)
Rating: 4.5 Stars

White Cat:
Cassel comes from a family of curse workers — people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail — he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Red Glove:
When Cassel's oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can't trust anyone—least of all, himself?

In short: Holly Black masterfully creates clever mysteries and an effortless and fascinating alternate universe in the first two books of the Curse Workers Trilogy, White Cat and Red Glove.
I read White Cat and Red Glove right after a string of serious and sad books and it couldn't have been a better balm for my hurt psyche. They were exactly the right books to read at exactly the right time. Thoroughly entertaining, fascinating, and clever, White Cat and Red Glove were completely fun to read. Not a mindless type of fun, mind you - Holly Black crafts very intelligent mysteries in these books that force you to put some serious thought into figuring out what's going on.

Speaking of Holly Black, can you believe these are the first books of hers that I have ever read? I have to say, my first impression is extremely positive. Her writing and world building was simply effortless. She was able to weave an entire alternate universe, in which magic exists and everyone wears gloves to avoid getting "worked" by people who wield this magic, with skillful proficiency. The story was never bogged down by too many details involving the backstory of curse working, and yet I still feel like I got a good background of the history anyway.

I adored Cassel, just like everyone else seems to love him. A bit surprising really, because as a con man, he is not the most moral character ever - his first instinct upon entering an expensive home is to think about the various ways he could steal the silver candlesticks, for instance - but he really is a good guy at heart. Even growing up in a mob family full of con artists and crooks, he feels compassion for victims and remorse for people he has played.

My only quibbles are related to a few plot holes and questionable character motivations, but they seem too minor to mention in detail. All I know is that the first two books in the Curse Workers Trilogy were brilliant, fast-paced, and enjoyable, and I have no doubt that the final book, Black Heart (to be published April 3, 2012), will be as well!

Other Reviews:
365 Days of Reading #1 and #2
Icey Books #1 and #2

Author Links:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: Hana by Lauren Oliver

Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: February 28, 2012
Pages: 144
Source: Read online for free (limited time only)
Rating: 3.5 Stars

The summer before they're supposed to be cured of the ability to love, best friends Lena and Hana begin to drift apart. While Lena shies away from underground music and parties with boys, Hana jumps at her last chance to experience the forbidden. For her, the summer is full of wild music, dancing—and even her first kiss. 
But on the surface, Hana must be a model of perfect behavior. She meets her approved match, Fred Hargrove, and glimpses the safe, comfortable life she’ll have with him once they marry. As the date for her cure draws ever closer, Hana desperately misses Lena, wonders how it feels to truly be in love, and is simultaneously terrified of rebelling and of falling into line. 

I adored Hana, Lena's best friend, and her vivaciousness in Delirium, so I was excited that she would be getting her own story. Hana takes place during the time of Delirium but now we're seeing the story through Hana's eyes. I was bummed that the fun-loving girl we knew from Delirium is gone, but considering the events that take place in Hana, it is understandable. The best part of Hana is the best part of any Lauren Oliver read, in my opinion: the writing, which was lovely and powerful, just like it always is.

Would I say that Hana is a must read? Well, no. I don't think it's critical in the overall series as for the most part, it is just a rehash of some of the events that took place in Delirium from a different point of view. However, there was one very significant reveal right at the end of Hana - a true OMG moment - but I can't say I liked it. Highlight to read spoiler: I find it difficult to believe Hana would rat out Lena to the regulators for such an immature reason. I needed more development and explanation in this instance. I hope we will get this explanation in Pandemonium or Requiem.

Author Links:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (16): Random House Spring 2012 Catalog

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking The Spine in which an upcoming, eagerly anticipated release is highlighted on the blog.

Is anyone else tired of winter and excited for spring to finally get here? I know I am - not just for the weather to change, but also for the great books that will be released in the springtime. This week, I've chosen a few picks from the Random House Spring 2012 Catalog:

Peaceweaver by Rebecca Barnhouse
Date: March 27, 2012
Add to Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Hild has always been a favorite of her uncle, king of the Shylfings. So when she protects her cousin the crown prince from a murderous traitor, she expects the king to be grateful. Instead, she is unjustly accused of treachery herself.
As punishment, her uncle sends Hild far away to the heir of the enemy king, Beowulf, to try to weave peace between the two kingdoms. She must leave her home and everyone she loves. On the long and perilous journey, Hild soon discovers that fatigue and rough terrain are the least of her worries. Something is following her and her small band of guards—some kind of foul creature that tales say lurks in the fens. Will Hild have to face the monster? Or does it offer her the perfect chance to escape the destiny she never chose?

I love me some historical fantasy. I also love me a sword-wielding heroine, and if the cover of Peaceweaver is anything to go by, that is exactly the kind of heroine we'll get with this read.

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman
Date: April, 10, 2012
Add to Goodreads

It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up.  When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love.  When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark.
But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead.  His girlfriend Adriane, Nora's best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora's sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.
Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.

The beginning of this synopsis - girl wakes up in hospital after having learned of an accident involving her, her boyfriend, and two friends, and must figure out the mystery - reminds me of the premise of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, which I loved. Here's to hoping The Book of Blood and Shadow is as intriguing as it sounds!

The Girl in the Park by Mariah Fredericks
Date: April 24, 2012
Add to Goodreads

When Wendy Geller's body is found in Central Park after the night of a rager, newspaper headlines scream,"Death in the Park: Party Girl Found Strangled." But shy Rain, once Wendy's best friend, knows there was more to Wendy than just "party girl." As she struggles to separate the friend she knew from the tangle of gossip and headlines, Rain becomes determined to discover the truth about the murder. Written in a voice at once immediate, riveting, and utterly convincing, Mariah Frederick's mystery brilliantly exposes the cracks in this exclusive New York City world and the teenagers that move within it.

I adore mysteries - when they're done right. And fortunately, I tend to be a bit slow on the uptake, not figuring out the mystery until the end reveal, so I am usually left very satisfied by them. I also love New York City as a setting so I'm looking forward to The Girl in the Dark!

How about you? Are you waiting on any of these Random House Spring 2012 reads? Are there any upcoming books from the Random House Spring 2012 Catalog that I didn't include here that you feel I should add to my list?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Review: Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver

Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: September 1, 2011
Pages: 307
Rating: 5 STARS

Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone. That same night, an alchemist's apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable. Will's mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.

In short: Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver is a wonderful and whimsical MG fantasy that reminded me how much I love the genre.
Reading Liesl and Po reminded me how much I love MG and how much I miss reading it. I get so caught up in all the YA releases that everyone is reading and loving that I forget about all the MG releases that also sound amazing. Liesl and Po is truly a special gem of a book, a wonderful MG fantasy that had me smiling at the adorable characters and tearing up at the poignant premise.

Every element characteristic of an MG fantasy was present in Liesl and Po - unexplained and whimsical phenomena, magical elements, cartoonish characters, etc. - so much so that at times, it almost seemed cliched because it was so ideal. This may be irritating for people who are looking for an MG read that breaks the mold a bit, but I was fine with it because I adore these elements, personally.

Lauren Oliver's signature beautiful writing was of course present in Liesl and Po - fantastical and gorgeous and effortless. The use of the third-person omniscient point of view lets the reader see the story through the eyes of many different characters, which makes for very effective storytelling. I was impressed that Lauren Oliver was able to translate her usual realistic teen writing into whimsical MG writing - if I hadn't known any better, I would have thought that she's been writing MG all along!

I read Liesl and Po when it was made available free online by HarperCollins for a limited time, but I will most definitely be purchasing a beautiful finished copy. I look forward to seeing Kei Acedera's wonderful illustrations in ink. And I also look forward to reading a lot more MG in the future!

Other Reviews:
Alison Can Read
i swim for oceans
Poetry to Prose

Author Links:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (15): Penguin Spring 2012 Catalog

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking The Spine in which an upcoming, eagerly anticipated release is highlighted on the blog.

Is anyone else tired of winter and excited for spring to finally get here? I know I am - not just for the weather to change, but also for the great books that will be released in the springtime. This week, I've chosen a few picks from the Penguin Spring 2012 Catalog:

A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink
Date: March 20, 2012

When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants charged with protecting the world's past, present, and future. Unbeknownst to her, she has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself torn between the angelic brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong, because temptation will be hard to resist, even for an angel. 

I love the combination of paranormal plus historical fantasy. Also, because I've read a lot of not so great angel stories, I'm eager to have my mind changed about them and I'm hopeful that A Temptation of Angels can accomplish that!

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Date: June 14, 2012

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen year old Samantha wishes she was one of them… until the day Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything.

Jase can sense that his beautiful neighbor is missing something in her sterile home, and as the two fall fiercely in love, his family makes her one of their own.

But when the bottom drops out of Sam's world, which perfect family will save her–and will her perfect love survive? 

Ever since reading Anna and the French Kiss last year, I've been opening my mind to the possibility that maybe contemporary romance isn't as bad as I thought it was. Maybe it can even be kind of amazing? And I'm thinking My Life Next Door might be kind of amazing too.

Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn
Date: June 14, 2012

Sixteen-year-old Violet loves reading manga and wearing scarves made from kimono fabric, so she’s thrilled that her father’s new painting commission means a summer trip to Japan. But what starts as an exotic vacation quickly turns into a dangerous treasure hunt.
Her father’s client, the wealthy Yamada family, is the victim of a high-profile art robbery. Someone has stolen van Gogh sketches from the Yamadas’ Seattle mansion, and is holding them hostage until the Yamadas can produce the corresponding van Gogh painting.
The problem is that nobody knows where this painting is hidden, and until they find it, all of their lives are in danger. Violet’s search for the missing van Gogh takes her from the Seattle Art Museum, to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo, to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery deepens, Violet’s not sure whom she can trust.
But she knows one thing: she has to find the painting and the criminals—before it’s too late.

Ever since reading and loving White Cat, I've been really into the heist/con concept in novels. It takes a considerable amount of intelligence in an author to pull off a considerably good heist and mystery, and I'm hopeful Diana Renn will deliver in Tokyo Heist. Plus, I love Tokyo as a setting!

The Vindico by Wesley King
Date: June 14, 2012

Led by the sinister Baron, the Vindico are a group of super villains who have been fighting against the League of Heroes for as long as they can remember. The Vindico kidnap a group of teenagers and train them to be the next generation. Mysteriously arriving at the Baron’s mansion together, James, Lana, Hayden, Emily and Sam are forced to train with their mentors and given powers beyond their wildest dreams.

While struggling to uncover the motives of this evil group, the teens learn to trust each other and even form friendships. They plan to rebel against their mentors as soon as they are deemed ready to fight against the League of Heroes, but then they learn things may not be as cut-and-dry as they seem: both in their new roles and in their outside lives.

The Vindico sounds super fun! I adore superhero stories. I also love multiple narrators, but I think it's pretty tricky to get it done right, so hopefully Wesley King can pull off having distinct voices in all of his characters.

How about you? Are you waiting on any of these Penguin Spring 2012 reads? Are there any upcoming books from the Penguin Spring 2012 Catalog that I didn't include here that you feel I should add to my list?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Review: The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking #2 and #3) by Patrick Ness

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Published: September 8, 2009/September 28, 2010
Pages: 519/603
Source: Bought
Rating: 6 STARS

The Ask and the Answer:
Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode...

Monsters of Men:
"War," says the Mayor. "At last." Three armies march on New Prentisstown, each one intent on destroying the others. Todd and Viola are caught in the middle, with no chance of escape. As the battles commence, how can they hope to stop the fighting? How can there ever be peace when they're so hopelessly outnumbered? And if war makes monsters of men, what terrible choices await? But then a third voice breaks into the battle, one bent on revenge.

In short: The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness are emotionally taxing reads, but the payoff is so worth it - beautifully written, tremendously complex in plot, and powerfully inspiring in message.
I've decided to combine my reviews for the second and third book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy (The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men) because I realized there was so little I could tell you without revealing some major aspects of the plot. If that isn't a testament to how dynamic and surprising the plot of these final two books is, than I don't know what is.

One of the most fascinating aspects of The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men is the introduction of some very complex politics and character dynamics. A Mockingjay-esque situation is introduced in which there are two power-hungry leaders on opposing sides, one of them acting under the guise of the "good guy". The character complexities are so well done that in the span of chapters, I would change my mind about the alleged goodness and badness of these characters and then back again. Who is the relative good guy in this situation? Who is really telling the truth? Who should Todd trust?

The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men take a decidedly darker turn in the story (and anyone who's read The Knife of Never Letting Go knows that it wasn't exactly a light read either). War, genocide, and torture are major themes in these last two books making for a heavy, emotional read. It took me quite a long to make it through them - not only because of the mammoth page numbers - but also because of the depth of the subject matter.

Ultimately though, despite the seemingly helpless situation, there is one thing that is always present in The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men that keeps you reading - hope. It would've been difficult to make it through these books without the promise of a happy ending. There was hope that peace would win out in the end. There was hope in one of the most inspiring and powerful romances I have ever read. And there was hope that Todd would never completely compromise his morality in situations when almost every other character did. He is, after all, The Boy Who Can't Kill.

Read this series.

Previously, my review of The Knife of Never Letting Go.

Other Reviews:
All of Everything
Tahleen's Mixed Up Files
Teen Readers' Diary

Author Links:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (14): HarperCollins Spring 2012 Catalog

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking The Spine in which an upcoming, eagerly anticipated release is highlighted on the blog.

Is anyone else tired of winter and excited for spring to finally get here? I know I am - not just for the weather to change, but also for the great books that will be released in the springtime. This week, I'm "waiting on" books from the HarperCollins Spring 2012 Catalog:

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Date: April 24, 2012

Everything is in ruins. 
A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them. 
So what does Araby Worth have to live for? 
Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all. 
But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does. 
And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

Masque of the Red Death is a reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe's story of the same name. I've always adored the dark atmosphere created in Poe's stories so I'm thinking I will love this retelling. The synopsis sounds appropriately grim for a Poe retelling, anyway.

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth
Date: May 1, 2012

One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

Okay, who isn't waiting on Insurgent?! After the ending of Divergent, I was left wondering, "Where can the story go from here?". Divergent was one of my favourite reads of 2011, so you can bet that Insurgent is one of my top most anticipated reads of 2012.

Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London
Date: May 29, 2012

This electrifying new trilogy blends the best of paranormal and dystopian storytelling in a world where the war is over. And the vampires won. 
Humans huddle in their walled cities, supplying blood in exchange for safety. But not even that is guaranteed. Dawn has lost her entire family and now reluctantly serves as the delegate to Lord Valentine, the most powerful vampire for miles. It isn’t until she meets Victor, Valentine’s son, that she realizes not all vampires are monsters.... 
Darkness Before Dawn is a fresh new story with captivating characters, unexpected plot twists, a fascinating setting, and a compelling voice. Written under the name J. A. London by a talented mother-son team, the trilogy is perfect for fans of True Blood and the House of Night and Morganville Vampires series.

I've taken a break from vampire books for a few years now, due to the overload of them in our culture, but I think I'm ready to get back into them again. Plus, Darkness Before Dawn is also a dystopian, one where the vampires have won the battle, which intrigues me.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Date: June 12, 2012

Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong—the Reduction—decimated humanity, giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.
Eighteen-year-old Luddite Elliot North has always known her place in this caste system. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. But now the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress and threatening Luddite control; Elliot’s estate is floundering; and she’s forced to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliott wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she abandoned him.
But Elliot soon discovers her childhood friend carries a secret—-one that could change the society in which they live…or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she has lost him forever.

How flipping amazing does For Darkness Shows the Stars sound? I am amazed that even with all these dystopians that have been coming out these past few years, authors are still finding ways to reinvent the wheel and making sure that there's always another new, intriguing dystopian that has us all dying to read it.

How about you? Are you waiting on any of these HarperCollins Spring 2012 reads? Are there any upcoming books from the HarperCollins Spring 2012 Catalog that I didn't include here that you feel I should add to my list?