There are so many great books coming out in the YA category at the moment, so some of these books are already getting buzz (even without sending out samplers) and for some, it may be easy to get lost in the fray. There's a pretty broad range of books here (13 in all!) so there's something for everyone. Here are some standouts:
'Solo' (Kwame Alexander) - This obviously will not be the right book for everyone, and you can tell that immediately when you start reading the poetic verse. It's a coming-of-age story, written in song, about a teenager called Blade Morrison and from seeing the buzz around this book, this might be one I would actually prefer to go the audio route; it's narrated by the author, which is something I love, and would help with any struggle with the fact that it's verse/poetry. Actually reading along at the SAME TIME as hearing it would be amazing too, because I think this might just be a groundbreaker, and it may be easy to dismiss this one based on it being verse. Perfect for music and poetry lovers. Fascinating.
'Girls Made of Snow & Glass' (Melissa Bashardoust) - This is one of those that has had a lot of buzz around it; for me, I was initially drawn in by the simplicity of that beautiful monochromatic cover design of the icicles! Stunning. 'Snow & Glass' is described as a 'feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White Fairytale'; although we've had quite a few retellings of fairytales of late, what I hear is that this is a complex and magical look at the relationship between stepdaughter/stepmother and this is NOT a damsel-in-distress story (thank goodness). The excerpt is a slow introduction into the story but I would love to read this one in its entirety.
'All Rights Reserved' (Gregory Scott Katsoulis) - The title sticks with me right away (I'm a photographer), and it's honestly genius with respect to the premise of the book. Set in a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted (are we that far off?), a girl called Speth chooses to stay silent in protest, and refuses to speak, rather than to pay every time she opens her mouth. When I read this synopsis I immediately began to think about the current day's debates over the right to protest, and THEN the excerpt immediately starts with references to suicide (so trigger warning right away); I know pretty quickly this is not going to be the book for everyone either. Quite a bit of controversial content and lots to talk about. I want to keep reading this dystopian novel as I'd love to see how Speth navigates this frustrating world.
'Warcross' (Marie Lu) - Without a doubt, this was/would have been/is the highlight for me, and by this point, I'm happy to say I've read the book. I read a sampler ahead of time, and preordered the book; after picking it up, I had read it by the next night. Had I not had photos to go take, a dog to walk, and my child to keep alive, I expect I would have read it quicker! Needless to say, I devoured Warcross faster than just about anything I've read of late. While this is about a teenage hacker and a virtual-reality game that has taken over the world, which before this, wouldn't sound like anything I would read, this book is amazing. The imagery and plot take you to a colorful and exciting world very quickly and you become so immersed in it that suddenly Marie Lu has you wanting Book 2 (and she says it's in the works) immediately upon finishing. LOVED it. And all because I read the sampler.
'Beasts Made of Night' (Tochi Onyebuchi) - The short excerpt that I read in this sampler was one that I had been looking forward to reading for a while (the book, which is about dark magic, appropriately debuts on Halloween). The book is set the city of Kos, where a young sin-eater called Taj wrestles with his livelihood and his desires; this novel immediately throws you into the Taj's world, and you can just sense this will be a book filled with rich imagery, complex world-building, and I have high expectations for vivid fantasy and great characters. I hope the buzz delivers!
*Thanks for making my book list even longer!
Note: The whole of this excerpt edition can be found at buzz.publishersmarketplace.com