Happy New Year! I want to kick 2020 off by bringing back a fun monthly series: releases I can’t wait to read! Without further ado, here are the novels coming out this month that sound fantastic.
Clean Getaway by Nic Stone | January 7
An 11-year-old boy goes on a road trip with his grandmother through the segregated south as he learns the world hasn’t always been a warm and welcoming place for kids like him.
Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano | January 7
One summer morning 12-year-old Edward boards a plane along with nearly 200 other passengers including a Wall Street prodigy, an injured vet returning from Afghanistan, and a woman fleeing her controlling husband. Then tragedy strikes and suddenly Edward is the sole survivor of a horrific plane crash, instantly gaining national attention. That alone sounds like a thrilling story, but this is based on a true event?!
The God Game by Danny Tobey | January 7
What initially seems to be a thrilling, harmless new video game – albeit one run by underground hackers and controlled by a mysterious AI that believes it’s God – soon turns deadly as threatening messages appear and shadowy figures track players in real life.
A HUGE thank-you to St. Martin’s Press for an ARC!
House on Endless Waters by Emuna Elon | January 7
An author reluctantly agrees to visit his birthplace of Amsterdam to meet with his Dutch publisher, despite promising his late mother he would never return to that city. While touring the Jewish Museum with his wife, his eye catches on a looping reel of pre-war photos of Dutch Jewish life…and to his surprise, Yoel sees his mother’s face staring back at him, along with her husband, York’s older sister, and a baby he doesn’t recognize. What follows is a search for the truth, revealing Amsterdam’s dark wartime history and underground networks of havens for Jewish children.
A HUGE thank-you to Atria for an ARC!
How to Speak Boy by Tiana Smith | January 7
Quinn and Grayson have been debate rivals for years, they can’t stand each other. But when their AP Government teacher mixes up their cubbies, they begin exchanging anonymous notes, completely oblivious to the other’s identity. Over time, they become friendly – even falling for each other, but with the state tournament looming in the future, they need to figure out what they really want out of life…or risk their own happiness.
Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz | January 7
This novel tells the story of a 17-year-old girl who, after being held captive for seven months, managed to flee her abductor and is now struggling to reconnect with her family and the girl she once was.
A HUGH thank-you to Wednesday Books for an ARC!
A Long Time Comin’ by Robin W. Pearson | January 7
There’s no room in Granny B’s house for regrets or hand-holding; you best take your worries up with Jesus. Then her granddaughter appears on her doorstep, burdened with secrets of her own. As Beatrice and Evelyn ease into cohabitation, a box of old letters is uncovered, revealing a painful past.
A HUGE thank-you to Tyndale for an ARC!
Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen | January 7
Ever Wong’s summer takes an unexpected turn: gone is the strict educational program in Taiwan. In its place is Loveboat, a free-for-all summer with zero supervision. Despite the carefree attitude and numerous hook-ups, Ever soon learns there’s much more to these students than meets the eye.
You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley | January 7
Mia Graydon’s life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too — unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man. Still, she doesn’t think much of them, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own—he’s been dreaming of her too.
A HUGE thank-you to Berkley for an ARC!
The Better Liar by Tanen Jones | January 14
When her father passes away, Leslie receives a rude awakening: she will only get her part of the inheritance if her sister – her estranged sister who ran away as a teen – also collects. They get the inheritance together or not at all. When she learns her sister is dead, Leslie needs to find a way of getting that money and hires a woman to play the role of Robin, just for a week, just until the cash comes through. But as the days wear on, Leslie quickly realizes this stranger holds secrets of her own.
Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain | January 14
Set in North Carolina, this novel bounces between 1940 and 2018. Anna Dale wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone and desperate for work, she accepts and soon finds herself where prejudice runs deep. In the present day, Morgan finds herself serving a three-year sentence for a crime she took the fall for. Her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will see her released immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to leave prison, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.
A HUGE thank-you to St. Martin’s Press for an ARC!
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks | January 14
On Zoe’s twelfth birthday, she receives a letter from the father she’s never known. He tells her he’s innocent of the terrible crime he’s been convicted of…but can she believe him? While her father weighs heavily in one hand, Zoe also struggles to prove herself worthy of an audition for Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge.
Lucky Caller by Emma Mills | January 14
When Nina decides to take a radio broadcasting class her senior year, she expects it to be a walk in the park. Instead, it’s a complete disaster. The members of Nina’s haphazardly formed radio team have approximately nothing in common. And to maximize the awkwardness her group includes Jamie, a childhood friend she’d hoped to basically avoid for the rest of her life. The show is a mess, internet rumors threaten to bring the wrath of two fandoms down on their heads, and to top it all off Nina’s family is on the brink of some major upheaval. Everything feels like it’s spiraling out of control―but maybe control is overrated?
Pixie Pushes On by Tamara Bundy | January 14
Pixie’s defenses are up, and it’s no wonder. She’s been uprooted, the chickens seem to have it in for her, and now her beloved sister, Charlotte, has been stricken with polio and whisked away into quarantine. So it’s not surprising Pixie lashes out. But her habit of making snap judgments–and giving her classmates nicknames like “Rotten Ricky” and “Big-Mouth Berta”–hasn’t won her any friends. At least life on the farm is getting better with the delivery of its newest resident–a runt baby lamb. Raising Buster takes patience and understanding–and this slowing down helps Pixie put things in better perspective. So too does paying attention to her neighbors, and finding that with the war on she’s not the only one missing someone. As Pixie pushes past her own pain to become a bigger person, she’s finally able to make friends; and to laugh about the fact that it is in places where she least expected it.
The Rabbit Hunter by Lars Kepler | January 14
Detective Joona Linna is finishing out a sentence at Kumla prison for assaulting an officer in the course of his last investigation when he is summoned to a meeting with the Swedish Prime Minister. The Foreign Minister has been brutally murdered. There’s a chance more political figures could be targeted. The police need Linna to find the killer and neutralize the threat, so he’s granted a temporary release from prison. But when another murder occurs, Linna realizes he’s dealing with something far more complex, and far more terrifying, than anyone imagined.
A HUGE thank-you to Knopf for an ARC!
Gone by Nightfall by Dee Garretson | January 21
It’s 1917, and Charlotte Mason is determined to make a life for herself in czarist Russia. When her mother dies, Charlotte is forced to put her plans to go to medical school aside to care for her unruly siblings. Then a handsome new tutor arrives. Charlotte has high hopes that he’ll stay, freeing her up to follow her dreams of becoming a doctor. But there’s more to Dmitri that meets the eye. Just when she thinks she can get her life back, Russia descends into revolution and chaos. Now, not only does Charlotte need to leave Russia, she needs to get her siblings out too–and fast. Can Charlotte flee Russia, keep her siblings safe, and uncover Dmitri’s many secrets before she runs out of time?
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord | January 21
Pepper’s family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, Jack’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.
A HUGE thank-you to Wednesday Books for an ARC!
The Wife and the Widow by Christian White | January 21
Set against the backdrop of an eerie island town in the dead of winter, The Wife and The Widow is an unsettling thriller told from two perspectives: Kate, a widow whose grief is compounded by what she learns about her dead husband’s secret life; and Abby, an island local whose world is turned upside when she’s forced to confront the evidence of her husband’s guilt. But nothing on this island is quite as it seems, and only when these women come together can they discover the whole story about the men in their lives.
A HUGE thank-you to Minotaur Books for an ARC!
The Words I Never Wrote by Jane Thynne | January 21
Bouncing between present day New York and 1936 England, this novels tells the story of a chance discovery inside a vintage typewriter case that reveals the gripping story — and heartbreaking secrets — of two sisters on opposite sides of World War II.
A HUGE thank-you to Ballantine Books for an ARC!
Forever Strong by Piper J. Drake | January 28
Jiang Ying Yue assumed her kidnapping was random, that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. After all, who would want to harm her? But then her rescuer—a charismatic former soldier who takes her breath away—uncovers a traitor in her father’s organization. Now, Ying Yue realizes that she’s become a pawn in a dangerous game, and her kidnapper won’t be satisfied until she disappears for good.
A Girl’s Guide to the Outback by Jessica Kate | January 28
Samuel Payton is a passionate youth pastor in Virginia, but beneath the surface, Sam’s still recovering from a failed business. His coworker—start-up expert Kimberly Foster—is brilliant, fearless, and capable, but her mother’s rejection from a young age till now has left her defensive and longing for a family. Two people have never been more at odds—or more attracted to one another. And every day at work, the sparks are flying. When Kimberly’s ambitious plans for Sam’s ministry butt up against his risk-averse nature, Sam decides that obligations to family trump his work for the church. He quits the ministry and flies home to Australia to help his family save their struggling farm—much to Kimberly’s chagrin. As Kimberly’s grand plans flounder, she is forced to face the truth: that no one can replace Sam. To what lengths will she go to get him back?
Mermaid Inn by Jenny Holiday | January 28
Eve Abbott has a problem-actually, make that a lot of problems. And they’re all going to get worse the moment her toes hit the sand in Matchmaker Bay. Once a blissful summer escape, now the tiny town just reminds Eve of loss. Inheriting her aunt’s beloved Mermaid Inn is the only reason Eve is coming back. She’s definitely not ready to handle nosy neighbors, extensive renovations, or the discovery that a certain heartbreaker still lives down the street… Police Chief Sawyer Collins always does the right thing, even when it costs him everything. Like Evie. He’s spent the past ten years trying to forget her–to forget how right she felt in his arms, to forget the pain in her eyes the day she left. The last thing he expects is to see her back in town or to find that the spark between them is as strong as ever. Sawyer knows this is his only chance to prove that his feelings have always been real… before Eve turns tail and leaves for good.
A HUGE thank-you to Forever for an ARC!
The Other People by C.J. Tudor | January 28
Driving home one night, stuck behind a rusty old car, Gabe sees a little girl’s face appear in the rear window. She mouths one word: ‘Daddy.’ It’s his five-year-old daughter, Izzy. He never sees her again. Three years later, Gabe spends his days and nights travelling up and down the motorway, searching for the car that took his daughter, refusing to give up hope, even though most people believe that Izzy is dead. Fran and her daughter, Alice, also put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people who want to hurt them. Because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe’s daughter. Then, the car that Gabe saw driving away that night is found, in a lake, with a body inside and Gabe is forced to confront events, not just from the night his daughter disappeared, but from far deeper in his past.
When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald | January 28
For Zelda, a twenty-one-year-old Viking enthusiast born with Alcohol Fetal Syndrome who lives with her older brother, Gert, life is best lived with some basic rules. But when Zelda finds out that Gert has resorted to some questionable—and dangerous—methods to make enough money to keep them afloat, Zelda decides to launch her own quest. Her mission: to be legendary. It isn’t long before Zelda finds herself in a battle that tests the reach of her heroism, her love for her brother, and the depth of her Viking strength.