What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin | February 23
A psychological thriller set in Hollywood – I’m already so there. On the hottest night of the year in June of 1980, Kelly Michelle Lund murders an Oscar-nominated director at a party at his home. At only 17, the world wants to know why she did it, what could possibly be her motive. She refused to say a word and spent the next 25 years in prison. Five years after she’s released her movie legend father is brutally murdered at his home – shot in the head just like the director all those years ago. In the spotlight once more, Kelly discovers some unexpected allies who believe she’s innocent…of both murders.
This one reminds me of Elizabeth Little’s Dear Daughter, a novel I loooved! Both feature socialite/celebrity daughters locked away for crimes they might not have committed.
Hanging Mary by Susan Higginbotham | March 1
You know how I love the Civil War. The instant I came across this book I knew it was one I would be reading! Mrs. Surratt’s boarding house became infamous as the meeting place for those linked to Lincoln’s assassination and she was eventually arrested on co-conspiracy charges and hanged (the very first time the US executed a woman.)
I love biographical fiction, especially when it tells a side of a story lost to history. This really could go either way, though. Higginbotham is a historical fiction powerhouse although her novels seem to focus more on medieval England. I’d like to believe she would do this story justice unlike other novels I’ve read that take the fiction part VERY seriously. (Mrs. Poe, for example, practically turned Poe into a sex god!)
The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters | March 8
A retelling of Hamlet! I was never big on Shakespeare in high school, but I do love retellings, so count me in! Also, it’s Cat Winters.
1920s Oregon. A girl with a White mother and an African-American father. A few years previously, Hanalee’s father was killed by a drunk-driver and now that man is out of jail…and claiming he’s innocent. The man who really killed her father? The doctor who treated him – the doctor who is Hanalee’s new stepfather. Let’s be real, Shakespeare was cray and I imagine this retelling will be just as wild! (I’ve already got a hold on this one at my library!)
Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye | March 22
This is my exception: I recently received an amazing swag package for this one and I’m so ridiculously excited! It was perfect timing too, since I was in the middle of another of Faye’s books when this arrived.
Jane Steele is a Jane Eyre reimagining but with murder. Ohhh yes. How could I possibly say no after that amazing tagline, “Reader, I murdered him.” Yeah, try walking away from that one! Gothicy and gritty and oh so bloody, I have nothing but the highest of expectations for this one and I have a feeling Lyndsay Faye will surpass them brilliantly!
The Midnight Watch by David Dyer | April 5
The Midnight Watch is the only novel here written by a man. Last year I took a look at my reading stats and was pleasantly surprised by what I discovered: the majority of the novels I read in 2015 were written by women. Since then I’ve been hyper-aware of authors when browsing shelves or accepting review copies. (as of today I’ve read 21 books this year and only 5 were written by men.)
As much as I’m focusing more on female authors, I felt drawn to this novel about the Titanic, but more importantly, the crew of the SS Californian. For as much as I read historical fiction, I can only recall one other novel I’ve read that dealt with the Titanic (the AMAZING Katherine Howe novel, The House of Velvet and Glass.) I’m especially intrigued to see the other side, that of the Californian and her crew.
The Secrets of Flight by Maggie Leffler | May 3
I recently discussed backlist titles and one was Flygirl, a WWII-set YA about an African-American girl who can fulfill her dreams of becoming a pilot…if she passes as White. The Secrets of Flight is also a WWII pilot novel detailing a lifetime of secrets and sorrow and the 15-year-old girl who can help ease the pain.
The summary doesn’t explicitly mention it, but from what I’ve gathered from early reviews, this novel has another similarity to Flygirl: in order to join the WASP, Mary must make the choice to abandon her identity – in this case, her Jewish heritage. I’m extremely intrigued by this one and you can bet I’ll be counting down the days until it’s released!
A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams | June 28
After falling HARD for last year’s Along the Infinite Sea, I have since made the decision to discover the rest of Beatriz’s novels. It doesn’t even matter what this one is about, I’d read it all the same. That said, this is SUCH a Leah book that I wouldn’t be surprised if she came out and admitted she wrote the whole thing with me in mind!
Jazz Age! A WWI affair (potentially leading to a scandalous divorce!) Gatsby! I’m usually not into love triangles, but Beatriz pulled it off SO well in Along the Infinite Sea that I have absolutely no doubt she’d crush my heart yet again.
Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal | July 5
Another WWI novel, but this time with ghosts! An American heiress has it all: wealthy, she’s living in London, and she’s engaged to a captain (and intelligence officer.) As for Ginger’s part in the war efforts, she’s a medium in the Spirit Corps.
When a soldier heads to the frontlines, they first must report to the Corps in the event of their death so the Corps can then pass on necessary intelligence information. When Ginger discovers the presence of a traitor, she finds she’s on her own, no one will believe her. It’s up to Ginger to uncover the Germans’ secrets.
The Scourge seems more Young Adult than my beloved Middle Grade, but I’m willing to overlook that for the awesomeness that is Neilsen. A lethal plague tears through the country and Ani is shocked when the required government test comes back positive: she’s infected. She’s sent to Attic Island, a quarantine colony for other infected people. Instead of sitting by and accepting her fate (for those infected never survive very long) Ani makes the decision to discover what’s really behind the plague – and colony.
City of Strangers by Louise Millar
I love, love Millar’s novels. 2013’s Accidents Happen quickly became a favorite and 2014’s The Hidden Girl was a wild and exciting ride. The wait for a new novel is a killer, but one I’m happy to suffer if it means a fantastic book. City of Strangers was released in October in the UK and UGH COME ON US. A pair of newlyweds return from their honeymoon to discover a dead man in their apartment. WHAT!
Beast by Brie Spangler
A retelling of Beauty and the Beast with a transgender Belle!!!!