My Most Anticipated Book of 2014
The American Library Association’s Midwinter meeting is probably my favorite convention of the year. Booktalking is a huge part of all the shows we attend, but there is something about the anticipation of the Monday morning press conference that makes these discussions feel different at Midwinter. You can almost physically feel the excitement and anticipation and superstition that fills the air at the show, as exhibitors and attendees alike speculate what books will take home the coveted awards and be crowned as the best books of the year at the annual Youth Media Awards. I love speculating about my favorite titles (in-house and out!) and I especially love hearing about the titles that people are passionate about that haven’t fully hit my radar yet. I always come home with a reading list a mile long and a new found sense of determination that this will be the year that I keep up with all the great titles being published. Some highlights from this year’s conference are Counting by 7s, Maggot Moon, Out of Easy, and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. This one has been on my list for a while now but the midwinter buzz has pushed it back to the top!
It’s this way that I was introduced to one of my current favorite trilogies, The Daughter of Smoke & Bone. When The Daughter of Smoke & Bone first came out a few years ago it was a title I was aware of, and one I knew was growing in popularity, but it wasn’t one I’d been tempted to pick up yet. Having picked up some great reviews from the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, and receiving multiple starred reviews from the trade journals, come Midwinter it was one of THE titles people could not stop talking about. It was a favorite contender to go home with one of the major awards, and while it sadly did not, the buzz surrounding it had fully caught my attention and I promptly checked a copy out of my local library when I returned.
The book starts off like this, “Once upon a time an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.” Needless to say I was hooked from page one, and the more I read the more and more captivated I was. This series has a lot going for it in my opinion including a steamy romance between star-crossed lovers Karou and Akiva, a battle between good and evil (but which side is good and which side is evil??), a strong kick-ass heroine, and amazing world building. Which is why even though I came home from Midwinter with a to-read list that is taller than my nightstand, the book I am anticipating the most in 2014 (so far) is without a doubt Dreams of Gods & Monsters (April 2014) — the sure to be thrilling conclusion to this amazing trilogy.