Buzzworthy Books 2017 From Simon & Schuster Canada

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 Jacquelynne Lennard

Good morning! My name is Jacquelynne Lennard, and I am a marketing assistant at Simon & Schuster Canada. Some of you may know me, but for those who don’t I first started out on the book-publishing scene back in 2011 when I started my first book blog called The Hardcover Obsession. There I started to gain a better knowledge of how publishing worked, and also met some fellow book lovers, and bloggers who to this day I still call friends. From there I went on to work at Penguin Canada in 2013 when they launched their online community, and imprint, RazOrbill Canada. I worked there for about 2 years, and then decided it was high time I made a career choice and applied to Humber College to their Creative Book Publishing program. I went on to work an internship at Dundurn Press, and now here I am at Simon & Schuster Canada! Some little known facts about me: I am, and always have been, a total “booknerd,” I don’t own any bookshelves so my books are stacked from the floor to ceiling in my apartment, I am a total nerd from Doctor Who to Star Wars to Harry Potter (Got a tattoo to solidify my love of that one!) to World of Warcraft, and lastly I will forever and irrevocably always have a soft spot in my heart for young adult, fantasy, and sci-fi fiction.

To Be Published February 7th, 2017 by Simon & Schuster
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Until May 1987, fourteen-year-old Billy Marvin of Wetbridge, New Jersey, is a nerd, but a decidedly happy nerd.

Afternoons are spent with his buddies, watching copious amounts of television, gorging on Pop-Tarts, debating who would win in a brawl (Rocky Balboa or Freddy Krueger? Bruce Springsteen or Billy Joel? Magnum P.I. Or T.J. Hooker?), and programming video games on his Commodore 64 late into the night. Then Playboy magazine publishes photos of Wheel Of Fortune hostess Vanna White, Billy meets expert programmer Mary Zelinsky, and everything changes.

A love letter to the 1980s, to the dawn of the computer age, and to adolescence — a time when anything feels possible — The Impossible Fortress will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you remember in exquisite detail what it feels like to love something — or someone — for the very first time.

AH! THIS BOOK! It’s sweet, funny and so befitting for nerds, misfits, and gamers everywhere. Billy and his two best friends decide to rob their local convenience store to get copies of the new playboy featuring Vanna White. Their plan is simple, woo the convenience store’s daughter, learn the security system and break in at night. Little did Billy know he’d end up falling for Mary (the daughter), a computer loving, programming nerd, just like him. I recently got to meet Jason at an event in Toronto, and I absolutely could not stop gushing about how much I loved his book. Although I didn’t grow up in the 80’s I felt connected with the characters, and references. This book is totally Oceans Eleven meets Ready Player One, with a little bit of The Rosie Project for good measure.

To Be Published February 28th, 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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A girl with a secret talent must save her village from the encroaching darkness in this haunting and deeply satisfying tale.

Alys was seven when the soul eaters came to her village.

These soul eaters, twin sisters who were abandoned by their father and slowly morphed into something not quite human, devour human souls. Alys, and all the other children, were spared – and they were sent to live in a neighboring village. There the devout people created a strict world where good and evil are as fundamental as the nursery rhymes children sing. Fear of the soul eaters — and of the Beast they believe guides them — rule village life. But the Beast is not what they think it is. And neither is Alys.

Inside, Alys feels connected to the soul eaters, and maybe even to the Beast itself. As she grows from a child to a teenager, she longs for the freedom of the forest. And she has a gift she can tell no one, for fear they will call her a witch. When disaster strikes, Alys finds herself on a journey to heal herself and her world. A journey that will take her through the darkest parts of the forest, where danger threatens her from the outside—and from within her own heart and soul.

This YA fantasy is about a village, twin sisters who are soul eaters, and a girl hiding a dark secret from everyone around her. The cover is beautiful, the writing is absolutely enthralling and the storyline is an odd mix of a Grimms’ Fairy Tales with a modern day twist. It is a deeply satisfying book that will make you want more long after the story has ended.

To Be Published March 28th, 2017 by Salaam Reads
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A trio of friends from New York City find themselves trapped inside a mechanical board game that they must dismantle in order to save themselves and generations of other children in this action-packed debut that’s a steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair.

When twelve-year-old Farah and her two best friends get sucked into a mechanical board game called The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand — a puzzle game akin to a large Rubik’s cube — they know it’s up to them to defeat the game’s diabolical architect in order to save themselves and those who are trapped inside, including her baby brother Ahmed. But first they have to figure out how.

Under the tutelage of a lizard guide named Henrietta Peel and an aeronaut Vijay, the Farah and her friends battle camel spiders, red scorpions, grease monkeys, and sand cats as they prepare to face off with the maniacal Lord Amari, the man behind the machine. Can they defeat Amari at his own game…or will they, like the children who came before them, become cogs in the machine?

One of our first Salaam Reads middle grade novels that is out this year is an action packed, urban fantasy, steampunk novel that is basically Jumanji with middle eastern flair. Farah, and her two best friends are sucked into a mechanical board game called The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand. There they must defeat the architect in order to save themselves, and everyone else who are trapped inside. It’s a perfect book for readers looking to dive into a diverse middle grade novel with relatable characters, and a fast paced action packed plot.

To Be Published May 2nd, 2017 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
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Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family — and possibly the boy she loves — behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

Honestly, what can I say about this book that hasn’t been said already? I’m excited for the obvious reason of getting more Lara Jean, and more Jenny Han but also because I am new to the series so after I finished P.S. I Still Love You, I felt like there was so much more to the story, which surprise, surprise there is! And that cover…WOZZAH! I love it.

To Be Published May 9th, 2017 by Gallery Books
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The third exciting novel starring the unforgettable antiquities thief Owl — a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world. From the pen of rising urban fantasy star Kristi Charish, this fast-paced novel is for fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, Jennifer Estep, Jenn Bennett, and fantasy lovers everywhere.

The International Archaeology Association (IAA) is responsible for keeping all things supernatural under wraps. They’re also responsible for ruining the promising archaeology career of Alix Hiboux, better known as Owl.

Needless to say, Owl’s still a little sore about that.

Just to keep Owl’s life lively, the IAA has opened a bounty on the two designers of World Quest, the online RPG that is much, much more than it seems. Owl needs to locate the notorious gaming duo before the other mercenaries do. But finding the gamers won’t be easy since every clue points to them hiding out in the legendary lost city of Shangri-La. Not to mention that the last time Owl and the game designers spoke, their conversation didn’t exactly end on the best note…

Meanwhile, undercurrents of supernatural politics are running amok in Tokyo, dragging Owl and her friends into a deadly game of wits with an opponent who calls himself the Electric Samurai. The cost of losing? All-out civil war between two powerful supernatural factions.

All in all, just another great day on the job.

The Owl series is a new one for me but I have thoroughly enjoyed the first two so far. Owl, the main character, is sarcastic, funny, and has a cat named Captain who hunts vampires! This is the third book in the series and if you love urban fantasy, exotic settings, supernatural beings and a brash, smart, kick-ass heroine, then you’re going to love the Owl series.

To Be Published May 23rd, 2017 by Gallery Books
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A startling and evocative novel, harkening to both One Day and Gravity, a man and a woman revisit memories of their love affair on a utopian Earth while they are trapped in the vast void of space with only ninety minutes of oxygen left.

After the catastrophic destruction of the Middle East and the United States, Europe has become a utopia and, every three years, the European population must rotate into different multicultural communities, living as individuals responsible for their own actions. While living in this paradise, Max meets Carys and immediately feels a spark of attraction. He quickly realizes, however, that Carys is someone he might want to stay with long-term, which is impossible in this new world.

As their relationship plays out, the connections between their time on Earth and their present dilemma in space become clear. When their air ticks dangerously low, one is offered the chance of salvation — but who will take it? An original and daring exploration of the impact of first love and how the choices we make can change the fate of everyone around us, this is an unforgettable read.

An adult novel with great young adult cross over potential. This is One Day meets Gravity with some Romeo and Juliet qualities. Without giving too much away Max and Carys only have 90 minutes of oxygen left while free falling in space, and throughout these 90 minutes they revisit memories of their love affair on a utopian Earth. This story is absolutely heartbreaking, and beautiful, and you might cry, so you definitely should read it! There is a romantic feel to the novel but also has themes of science fiction and dystopian genres, so it’ll appeal to a wide variety of readers.

To Be Published May 23rd, 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Sunny Los Angeles can be a dark place indeed in Cassandra Clare’s Lord Of Shadows, the sequel to the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Lady Midnight. Lord Of Shadows is a Shadowhunters novel.

Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?

And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late.

I have always had a soft spot in my book collection for Cassandra Clare. Although the storylines are all connected with repurposed characters and interwoven plots, I feel as if The Dark Artifices is a different series altogether. As a high fantasy lover, I am excited to see what else Cassie is going to bring to the series as new characters get introduced and as new worlds unfold. I am also thoroughly enjoying the introduction of more LGBTQ, and diverse characters, and also the theme of mental illness.

To Be Published May 30th, 2017 by Simon Pulse
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A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him — wherein he’ll have to woo her — he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Ask what my favourite, most-anticipated book of the entire year is and When Dimple Met Rishi is what I will say. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED this book. Opposites clash and assumptions are shattered in this romantic, laugh-out-loud novel. Anyone, and all ages will love Dimple and Rishi as they try and figure each other out, while trying to not fall in love with each other. This book is adorable, diverse, and just A-MA-ZING, and did I mention how kick-ass our heroine Dimple is? She is brilliant, a little bit nerdy and a whole lot of stubborn. And that cover…absolutely perfect.

To Be Published June 13th, 2017 by Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
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Saints, Misfits, Monsters, and Mayhem is an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life… starring a Muslim teen.

How much can you tell about a person just by looking at them?

Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.

And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him — Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.

While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?

The last book on my list, and one that is dear to my heart. Sajidah, the author, is a powerful and amazing voice to be heard, whether it’s on the page or in person. Her debut young adult novel Saints and Misfits is a coming of age story staring a Muslim teen named Janna. I found myself not being able to put this book down, once I started it was a one sitting, don’t talk to me for the next 12 hours sort of book. The writing is distinct, the voices are gorgeous, and I felt like I had become a part of Janna as she worked through the problems she was faced with. This is by far an office favourite, and one I hope you will all give a chance and add to your #OwnVoices bookshelf.

One response to “Buzzworthy Books 2017 From Simon & Schuster Canada”

  1. Alexa S. says:

    Hold Back the Stars sounds incredible, and I’ll definitely be checking that one out!
    Alexa S. recently posted…TYRR #1: All the Light We Cannot SeeMy Profile

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