Buzzworthy Books 2017 From Raincoast Books

Buzzworthy Books is a semi-annual series on Pop! Goes The Reader in which my nearest and dearest friends in publishing discuss the books they’re most excited about releasing from their respective publishing houses in the following six months.

About Melissa Pellegrin

Hello! My name is Melissa and I am the Publicity Assistant at Raincoast Books — a Canadian distribution company for such publishers as Chronicle Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Macmillan, and Sourcebooks. At Raincoast I am most often working on Young Adult titles and expecting my colleagues to get as excited as I do about upcoming books! I’m a proud Hufflepuff and if I’m not reading, you can find me drinking tea and singing along to the Hamilton soundtrack.

Young Adult

Published January 3rd 2017 by Clarion Books
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Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He’s sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did.

Norah can’t leave the house, but can she let someone in? As their friendship grows deeper, Norah realizes Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can lie on the front lawn and look up at the stars. One who isn’t so screwed up.

Readers themselves will fall in love with Norah in this poignant, humorous, and deeply engaging portrait of a teen struggling to find the strength to face her demons.

Under Rose-Tainted Skies is a beautiful novel that thoughtfully takes you inside the mind of the main character, Norah, as she experiences the terror of trying to leave her house and managing her obsessive compulsive disorder. Louise Gornall brings her own experience with mental illness to this novel to create an empathetic portrayal of the realities behind mental illness. I loved Norah’s voice, and despite the tough subject matter, the wry humour that is woven throughout this book.

To Be Published January 31st, 2017 by Flatiron Books
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Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or a performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find to magic in this world…

Welcome, welcome to Caraval — Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Caraval is a debut fantasy from author Stephanie Garber, the first in a two book series. With a vividly-imagined and magical setting, an unbreakable bond between sisters, and romance, Caraval is an enchanting and enthralling novel that will sweep you away and keep you flipping the pages until the very end.

To Be Published March 7th, 2017 by Clarion Books
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Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it’s senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing he no longer knows himself. If Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

This humor-infused, warmly humane look at universal questions of belonging is a triumph.

Character-driven novels always tend to be my favourites, and this is no exception. The Inexplicable Logic Of My Life centers on the main character, Sal, as he attempts to reconcile who he thought he was with the person he is becoming and navigate through the messiness of life. With a captivating cast of characters that you can’t help but fall in love with, The Inexplicable Logic Of My Life is another gorgeous book from the author of Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe.

To Be Published March 7th, 2017 by Chronicle Books
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Piper Perish inhales air and exhales art. The sooner she and her best friends can get out of Houston and get to New York City, the better. Art school has been Piper’s dream her whole life, and now that senior year is halfway over, she’s never felt more ready. But in the final months before graduation, things are weird with her friends and stressful with three different guys, and Piper’s sister’s tyrannical mental state seems to thwart every attempt at happiness for the close-knit Perish family. Piper’s art just might be enough to get her out. But is she brave enough to seize that power when it means giving up so much? Debut author Kayla Cagan breathes new life into fiction in this dynamic, utterly authentic work featuring interior art from Rookie magazine illustrator Maria Ines Gul. Piper will have readers asking big questions along with her. What is love? What is friendship? What is family? What is home? And who is a person when she’s missing any one of these things?

A contemporary novel that explores growing up, growing apart from what you’ve always known, and discovering the difficult choices that come with following your dreams. Throughout the book there is an underlying theme of art and expression, making it the perfect choice for creative readers. Piper Perish is a remarkable debut!

To Be Published May 2nd, 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire
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Fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen will fall in love this contemporary debut about finding yourself — and finding love — in unexpected places.

Ocean breeze in her hair and sand between her toes, Anise can’t wait to spend the summer before her senior year surfing and hanging out on the beach with friends. Santa Cruz is more than her home — it’s her heart. But when her aunt, a single mother, is in a serious car accident, Anise must say goodbye to California to help care for her three young cousins.

Landlocked Nebraska is the last place Anise wants to be. Sure, she loves her family, but it’s hard to put her past behind her when she’s living in the childhood house of the mother who abandoned her. And with every Instagram post, her friends back home feel further away.

Then she meets Lincoln, a charismatic, one-armed skater who challenges her to swap her surfboard for a skateboard. Because sometimes the only way to find your footing is to let go.

Anise’s summer is turned upside down when her aunt suffers a terrible accident. Laura Silverman explores complex family dynamics in her debut, as Anise has to face hard realizations about her disappearing mother and being a support system for her three younger cousins. Girl Out Of Water touches on the importance of family and friends, learning to let go, and features an adorable love interest making this an excellent summer read!

To Be Published May 16th, 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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From the acclaimed author of When We Collided comes a vibrant, compelling story of love, loss, faith, and friendship.

Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake and spending quality time with her parents. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters — in her faith and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp—one for troubled kids — Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?

Emotionally-charged and unforgettable, Emery Lord’s storytelling shines with the promise of new love and true friendship, even in the face of life’s biggest challenges.

I love Emery Lord’s books because they always feature extremely relatable and flawed characters — The Names They Gave Us is no exception. A captivating and heart-wrenching story that follows Lucy as she is forced out of her comfort zone and into new situations — a break from her boyfriend, dealing with the reappearance of her mom’s cancer, being at a new camp surrounded by unfamiliar people, and questioning her faith — and how each of these hardships shape you as an individual. The Names They Gave Us will stay with you long after you’ve put it down.

To Be Published May 16th, 2017 by Feiwel & Friends
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There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be — whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

I have to credit Kathy at A Glass Of Wine Blog for initially bringing The Love Interest to my attention when she requested it for a feature on her blog. I wasn’t sure what to expect based on the title alone, but as soon as I found out that this is a book about tropes, I was hooked. Cale Dietrich takes all the usual tropes from YA novels and subverts them brilliantly. An original concept, a humorous plotline, and a teenage spy school — What more can you ask for?

To Be Published May 30th, 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and never had a B. But in her charmed school life, there’s one thing missing — she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a known disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet.

When the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides it’s time to tackle her flirting failures. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has watched obsessively for years — in which the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos. All’s fair in love and Korean dramas, right? But when the fun and games turn to feelings, Desi finds out that real-life love is about way more than just drama.

Maurene Goo’s I Believe In A Thing Called Love is a fun, heartwarming story of falling in love – for real.

I Believe In A Thing Called Love is an adorable romantic comedy where the main character, Desi, employs the tactics she learns about in K-Dramas to help her snag the attention of the new boy in school. Of course, mishaps ensue and everything does not go exactly as planned. A fun and engaging book that would be another perfect summer read!

Middle Grade

To Be Published March 7th, 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Charlie isn’t looking forward to sixth grade. If he starts sixth grade, chances are he’ll finish it. And when he does, he’ll grow older than the brother he recently lost. Armstrong isn’t looking forward to sixth grade, either. When his parents sign him up for Opportunity Busing to a white school in the Hollywood Hills, all he wants to know is “What time in the morning will my alarm clock have the opportunity to ring?” When these two land at the same desk, it’s the Rules Boy next to the Rebel, a boy who lost a brother elbow-to-elbow with a boy who longs for one.

From September to June, arms will wrestle, fists will fly, and bottles will spin. There’ll be Ho Hos spiked with hot sauce, sleepovers, boy talk about girls, and a little guidance from the stars.

Set in Los Angeles in the 1970s, Armstrong and Charlie is the hilarious, heartwarming tale of two boys from opposite worlds. Different, yet the same.

This is an immersive debut novel from author Steven B. Frank that powerfully brings to life the two boys who have many differences but become good friends through it all. An authentic novel that will make you go back to your own years in middle school, this is another standout book of the year.

To Be Published March 7th, 2017 by Clarion Books
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The triple Caldecott winner David Wiesner brings his rich visual imagination and trademark artistry to the graphic novel format in a unique coming-of-age tale that begins underwater. A young mermaid, called Fish Girl, in a boardwalk aquarium has a chance encounter with an ordinary girl. Their growing friendship inspires Fish Girl’s longing for freedom, independence, and a life beyond the aquarium tank. Sparkling with humor and brilliantly visualized, Fish Girl’s story will resonate with every young person facing the challenges and rewards of growing up.

Fish Girl is a stunning graphic novel written by Donna Jo Napoli and David Wiesner — a 3-time Caldecott winner who also illustrated the book — and tells a fascinating tail tale about a girl held in captivity who befriends an ordinary girl and wishes for life outside of her aquarium walls. While touching on some dark themes, the book remains poignant and illuminating, with humour lighting up the pages.

To Be Published March 14th, 2017 by Feiwel & Friends
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Astronomy-loving Calliope June has Tourette syndrome, so she sometimes makes faces or noises that she doesn’t mean to make. When she and her mother move yet again, she tries to hide her TS. But it isn’t long before the kids at her new school realize she’s different. Only Calliope’s neighbor, who is also the popular student body president, sees her as she truly is — an interesting person and a good friend. But is he brave enough to take their friendship public?

As Calliope navigates school, she must also face her mother’s new relationship and the fact that they might be moving — again — just as she starts to make friends and finally accept her differences.

Ellie Terry’s affecting debut will speak to a wide audience about being true to oneself.

This novel is written from two points of view — Calliope’s perspective, which is told in verse, and Jinsong’s perspective told in prose. Ellie Terry deftly provides an insightful and important look at Tourette syndrome, which is ever more effective given that she has the condition herself. With a beautiful message about accepting your differences and staying true to yourself, Forget Me Not is one to add to your TBR list.

2 responses to “Buzzworthy Books 2017 From Raincoast Books”

  1. Alexa S. says:

    So many pretty covers in this post! I’ve read Caraval and absolutely loved it. Really excited for Piper Perish and The Names They Gave Us!
    Alexa S. recently posted…TYRR #1: All the Light We Cannot SeeMy Profile

  2. Nate says:

    So many awesome books! Thanks for this great info!

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