Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Looking Forward in 2014: Books

So this year is already full of highly anticipated new reads, continuing reads, debut authors, etc. It's also too hard to keep up with it all!

A thing to know about me, while I do enjoy watching television (I have a couple of shows that hold my attention), I am more of a reader than anything else. So I figured that my first post for 2014 on Novel Reality should be about something that I am extremely passionate about -- BOOKS!

Over the holiday season, I've had countless people approaching me, blaming me for their newly found addiction to books. Many of my friends have borrowed multiple books from their local libraries, spent some time at a bookstore, or downloaded an e-book! It's quite fun to hear the stories!

With the start of the new year, I know that some people are wanting to try new things or get back into something that they've let go. In some cases, that thing or something is reading. Well, since reading is my thing, I would love to tell you about some reads that I am looking forward to in 2014. Hopefully, you'll find some interest but even if you don't, I hope it allows permission for you to search for books you love!

Here are my Top 5 Most Anticipated Reads of 2014:

Beware of potential SPOILERS! Due to some of these books being sequels or continuations, the previous book(s) may be spoiled by the synopses of the newer books.

1. City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6) by Cassandra Clare
Will Be Released: May 27th, 2014

Goodreads Summary: Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance? Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last installment of the Mortal Instruments series!

Why: I am beyond excited for this book. The Mortal Instruments series is the series that got my back into reading. To be honest, I don't even remember how I was introduced to the first book, but I do know that I haven't looked back. A world full of fantasy, romance, friendship, supernatural creatures, angels & demons -- The Mortal Instruments is a series that will forever remain at the top of my list of fantastic storytelling.

2. The Infinite Sea (The Fifth Wave, #2) by Rick Yancey
Will Be Released: September 16th, 2014

Goodreads Summary: How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

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Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

Why: This series was actually my first experience will Sci-Fi. And it was absolutely fabulous. Rick Yancey is an author that I would love to read more from. I've tried his Monstrumologist series, which is another species of awesome, but there is nothing quite like The Fifth Wave. The first book was definitely one of my favorite books in 2013, so I can't help but be thrilled about the release of the second one. Aliens, war, explosions, romance -- what more could you need?!

3. Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1) by Danielle Paige
Will Be Released: April 1st, 2014

Goodreads Summary: I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

Why: Um, well, aren't you immediately curious about why a story that we've all grown up with is being twisted and turned into an action/adventure or thriller experience?! That's the instant draw to this story. Not to mention that Danielle Paige is a new, up & coming author that I want to support and this is her first novel!

4. The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus, #5) by Rick Riordan
Will Be Released: October 7th, 2014

Goodreads Summary: Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the "Argo II" have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen-all of them, and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood-the blood of Olympus-in order to wake. 

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it "might" be able to stop a war between the two camps. 

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the "Argo II" will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

Why: Well, if you've read Percy Jackson & the Olympians, then you can understand that Heroes of Olympus is equally fantastic. Blood of Olympus is the fifth and final book in this series and there is a LOT riding on this book. Riordan hasn't let me down yet with any of his books (I honestly don't think the man has it in his to write a subpar book), so I anxiously await for what he will do to my feels with this one.

5. Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi
Will Be Released: January 28th, 2014

Goodreads Summary: Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

Why: This series was actually my "surprise" series of 2013. By "surprise", I mean I went into the series thinking and feeling that I wouldn't like it. And to my credit, the first 150-ish pages of the first book, Under the Never Sky, were absolutely atrocious for me. But I was told by many, many of my friends and fellow readers to keep reading, "it gets better". And it definitely did get better. I have loved every minute of this literary journey. Into the Still Blue is the final book in this trilogy, and I am really excited about how Rossi plans to conclude one of the biggest adventures of my year!

Well, those of my Top 5 picks. Of course, I am awaiting more than just five, but these choices actually have the potential to keep me up at night, if they're not done right (which I have no real concerns about). I trust my authors. I trust in their abilities, but even with Rossi's book being the closest in release (a couple of weeks), everything is STILL TOO FAR AWAY! I need my books now!

When I am done reading each of these, I'm sure I will have many opinions and perspectives that I would love to share with you all -- so stay tuned for that!

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