Most Anticipated Releases — March 2018

Back in the saddle again! It’s crazy how fast these months seem to be going by, but I’m going to try not to think about that.

Instead, I’m going to share with you my most anticipated book releases coming in March. I even have books on here this time that aren’t strictly YA. I’m so proud of me.

Children of Blood and BonePerhaps the book I’m most looking forward to out of all of them is Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. The hype for it has been insane and apparently also well-deserved.

Zélie Adebola’s world was once full of magic and people who could control flames, harness waves, and even summon souls, but after the magic disappeared, a ruthless king began hunting down maji.

Alongside a rebel princess, Zélie must hide her growing powers and elude her enemies, including the crown prince. Steeped in West African culture and beliefs, Children of Blood and Bone sounds like it hits all the right targets for me. Plus, look at that cover. Absolutely stunning.

Release date: March 6th

9781449489427_frontcoverI had the privilege of reading an ARC of The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace, and now I’m super excited to buy my own copy and for you guys to read it, too. This is the second poetry volume of Lovelace’s, following The Princess Saves Herself in This One, which I have yet to read, so I cannot compare the two. But I think it’s safe to say that fans of the first will love this sequel, and I believe it will earn Lovelace a lot of new fans, too. Her poetry is super powerful, super feminist, and absolutely worth your time. Weeks after finishing it, I’m still riding the natural high it gave me, and I’ve been thinking about the poems inside constantly.

Release date: March 6th

to kill a kingdomThis twist on The Little Mermaid has held my attention for quite some time. A story about a siren princess who kills princes? A siren whose condemned to a life on land as a human without her song after killing one of her own? A siren that must bring the heart of Prince Elian to her queen before the winter solstice or never return home again? A prince who feels his calling is hunting sirens? And they have to “work together”? Oh yeah, I’m here for it.

To Kill a Kingdom sounds amazing, especially for being both a standalone and Alexandra Christo’s debut novel. I’m very interested in reading about Lira, the siren; she seems like an extremely cool character.

Release date: March 6th

the sun does shine

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row is an autobiographical memoir by Anthony Ray Hinton with Lara Love Hardin. I got to choose this as an ARC from NetGalley, which I am currently reading, and I’m so glad I did. This is one of those books that can really change a person as it addresses the racial biases of the US justice system and the prison system, the hypocrisy and cruelty of the death penalty, and our views on the value of human life and human connection.

Anthony Ray Hinton, a black man living in Alabama, was once wrongfully declared guilty on two counts of murder, attempted murder, and armed robbery and sentenced to death by electrocution. The memoir follows his life experiences, his time on death row, how he coped and changed the lives of his fellow death row inmates, and ultimately how he won his release in 2015. I really cannot wait for you guys to pick up this one, because so far it’s been incredibly moving and astounding.

Release date: March 27th

9780803739260_NearlyGone_JKT.indd

I once read The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen, and it has forever shaped my interest in Holocaust history and World War II, particularly when it comes to remembering how these events were even possible. Because of that, I trust her.

Mapping the Bones returns readers to 1942, this time following Polish twins, Chaim and Gittel. This historical fiction novel seems to be covering many points I learned in my Holocaust history class: the inhumane, cramped ghettos; the small bands of fighters trying to shepherd Jews to freedom and fight back against the Nazis; the way families were ultimately killed or separated from each other; the Sobanek concentration camp; and, most chilling of all, how often German scientists preferred to experiment on twins.

I think this will be a hard read but an enriching one, too. I’m keen to see where Yolen is going to take me, how vivid Chaim and Gittel will be as characters, and what becomes of them. I already know I’m going to cry.

Release date: March 6th

blood water paintI’ve chosen a fair number of books with hard topics this month, and Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough is no exception. This novel is written in verse, first of all, and how cool is that? Second, it follows the true story of Artemisia Gentileschi, an iconic, female Italian painter.

Choosing to grind pigments for her father’s paint instead of a life as a nun, Artemisia anonymously grows to be one of Rome’s most talented painters, for women aren’t viewed too highly in 1610. After she is raped, Artemisia must make a choice: to live with what happened to her in silence or to live her life in truth.

I’m excited to see how this book is structured along with how the story is going to be told in verse. I’m excited to hear Artemisia’s voice and to experience her journey toward healing and greatness alongside her.

Release date: March 6th

emergency-contactThe cover for Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi is what got me first. It’s very cute, and I love the colors and art on it.

The novel follows two characters. Penny Lee is starting over at her first year of college out in Texas. Sam, meanwhile, is living a dead-end existence that he knows is temporary; he just has to get through it. When Penny and Sam wind up meeting, their encounter is horrendously awkward, but they still exchange numbers.

So begins their friendship via text where they share their hopes, dreams, anxieties, and vulnerabilities with each other “without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.” And personally, I think that’s beautiful because it’s good to have friends like that, too. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on this one and seeing what Choi makes of it.

Release date: March 27th

the-astonishing-color-of-afterThis book almost slid past my radar, which would’ve been a shame because Emily X.R. Pan is an Asian American author, giving us a half-Asian, half-white protagonist, and there’s magical realism, which is my jam.

After Leigh Chen Sanders’ mother commits suicide, Leigh knows that her mother turned into a bird upon death. Traveling to Taiwan, Leigh both meets her maternal grandparents for the first time and begins her search for the bird that is her mother. The Astonishing Color of After tells a unique story about love and loss, hope and despair, family history and art, reality and fantasy. Plus, it’ll be nice to get a Taiwanese experience from an author with that background.

Release date: March 20th

rainbirdsRainbirds is another debut novel I’m intrigued by. Clarissa Goenawan, an Indonesian-born Singaporean author, gives us a contemporary work set in a fictional Japanese town.

Ren Ishida travels to Akakawa after receiving news of his sister Keiko’s murder. Intending to settle her affairs and discover why Keiko left her family to stay in such a small town, Ren picks up where she left off. He begins working her position as a teacher at a local cram school and staying rent-free at a wealthy politician’s mansion. All he has to do is read to the politician’s catatonic wife.

As Ren gets to know the people of the town and their roles in Keiko’s life, he attempts to figure out the circumstances behind her death. While he searches for solace in Keiko’s passing, Ren recalls memories of their childhood together and dreams of a young girl who is trying to tell him something.

Blending mystery with Japanese culture, Rainbirds is the kind of contemporary novel I make exceptions for when it comes to adding it on my to-read list.

Release date: March 6th

orphan monster spyI’ve put Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen on this list with a healthy amount of caution. Not because I don’t think the book will be good or written well, but because of the subject matter.

This is another historical fiction novel set during World War II and Nazi Germany, but I use the term “historical” lightly. Nothing about the premise of this book is historically accurate, though the location and subject matter may be, which I only point out because the Holocaust is such a sensitive topic.

Sarah, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, Jewish girl, meets a mysterious man after her mother is shot at a Nazi checkpoint. The man is a spy and needs Sarah to do what he can’t: infiltrate a female Nazi boarding school, befriend the daughter of a key Nazi scientist, and steal the blueprints for the bomb that could wipe out Eastern Europe.

While there were certainly Jewish spies in operation during WWII, I think it’s safe to say that none of them were kids or infiltrated a Nazi boarding school; it probably wouldn’t have been possible or of much urgency, so that’s the part here that’s not truly historical. However, if this proves to be a Jewish revenge story, like Inglourious Basterds, or one in which a Jewish character gets to be a hero, saving herself and others, I think that’s an excellent thing. So long as this book doesn’t turn out to be sensationalist like The Lampshade, I believe it will be a worthy addition to the niche of World War II historical fiction.

Release date: March 20th

Whoo, that was a lot of books for this month! I’m happy to have found them, though, and that there’s a lot of variety. So many things to look forward to.

Are any of these on your to-read list? Or is there a book I didn’t mention that you need me to know about pronto? Leave your love in the comments!

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