Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for giving me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Publish Date: Various
Title: Spring Penguin Teen Preview Sampler
Genre: YA Science Fiction, Fantasy
Rating: 4 Voodoos
I don’t usually read samplers because once I get into a book I want to read it all! But it was hard to resist a sneak peek at what Penguin have to offer in the coming months and I can confirm their are some awesome books on the horizon! What I love about this selection is just how different they are. Such variety! That in itself excites me!
THE DARK DAYS CLUB
by Alison Goodman
New York Times bestseller Alison Goodman’s eagerly awaited new project: a Regency adventure starring a stylish and intrepid demon-hunter!
London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?
The attention to detail that Allison Goodman has given is amazing. In just a few chapters I got a great sense of the 1820′s period that this is set in. Fashion, etiquette and attitudes all work together and yet I didn’t find it tedious or boring because there is an exciting undertone that promises something dark and mysterious. Something just waiting to jump out and push the heroine Helen to embrace her feistier side. I don’t know whether it’s supposed to have a supernatural feel to it but there is definitely a sinister something lerking in the background. I’m quite excited by this one. I may buy this, depending on the price.
SALT TO THE SEA
by Ruta Sepetys
The author of Between Shades of Gray returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war’s most devastating—yet unknown—tragedies.
In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.
Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.
Salt to the Sea is probably that gem that I wouldn’t have seen if it wasn’t for this Sampler. It’s told from four different points of view and while they are all completely different they all hold similar feelings, that of fear, uncertainty but also an undeniably strong need to survive. In just this very short extract we were given very vivid and harsh views of the perils of war and I can already feel connections to the characters. I will definitely be buying this one. I need to find out what happens to this mixed bunch of refugees and soldiers!
REBEL OF THE SANDS
by Alwyn Hamilton
She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from.
Destined to wind up “wed or dead,” Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she’d gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan’s army, with a fugitive who’s wanted for treason. And she’d never have predicted she’d fall in love with him…or that he’d help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is.
I’ve had my eye on Rebel of the Sands for a while now and after reading this sample I’m even more excited for it. Straight away we are shown how brave and independent Amani is. The world she lives in is quite brutal and barbaric but also exciting. It promises so much adventure! There hasn’t been much in the way of magical beasties yet but from the summary I do hope there is! This is one book I won’t be missing this year!
WINK POPPY MIDNIGHT
by April Genevieve Tucholke
The intrigue of The Virgin Suicides and the “supernatural or not” question of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer coalesce in this young adult mystery, where nothing is quite as it seems, no one is quite who you think, and everything can change on a dime.
Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.
Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.
What really happened?
Someone is lying.
For fans of Holly Black, We Were Liars, and The Raven Boys, this mysterious tale full of intrigue, dread, beauty, and a whiff of something strange will leave you utterly entranced.
I’m not sure whether it was just my edition but the formatting of this one confused me a bit. I couldn’t figure out who’s point of view I was reading from and when. It seemed to switch randomly and left me a little frustrated. But saying that I’m still interested in finding out what the story will be about. The characters seem witty and sharp. If nothing else the first line caught me,
‘The first time I slept with Poppy, I cried.’
I haven’t read many contemporary YA books so perhaps I will investigate this one a bit more. It’s definitely one I will keep an eye out for at the library.
THE PASSION OF DOLSSA
by Julie Berry
I must write this account, and when I have finished, I will burn it.
Buried deep within the archives of a convent in medieval France is an untold story of love, loss, and wonder and the two girls at the heart of it all.
Dolssa is an upper-crust city girl with a secret lover and an uncanny gift. Branded a heretic, she’s on the run from the friar who condemned her mother to death by fire, and wants Dolssa executed, too.
Botille is a matchmaker and a tavern-keeper, struggling to keep herself and her sisters on the right side of the law in their seaside town of Bajas.
When their lives collide by a dark riverside, Botille rescues a dying Dolssa and conceals her in the tavern, where an unlikely friendship blooms. Aided by her sisters and Symo, her surly but loyal neighbor, Botille nurses Dolssa back to health and hides her from her pursuers. But all of Botille’s tricks, tales, and cleverness can’t protect them forever, and when the full wrath of the Church bears down upon Bajas, Dolssa’s passion and Botille’s good intentions could destroy the entire village.
From the author of the award-winning All the Truth That’s in Me comes a spellbinding thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final page and make you wonder if miracles really are possible.
While the extracts for Wink Poppy Midnight and Salt to the Sea have intrigued me, I’m sad to say The Passion of Dolssa has not. I didn’t think it would be my kind of thing and after reading this sample I can confirm it definitely isn’t. The writing style was old fashioned to give it the feel that it’s written by monks which will probably work for other people but didn’t for me. I also didn’t really care about the characters or storyline. Maybe I didn’t get to read enough of it to get hooked but, for me, based on this extract alone, I’m sorry to say it’s a miss.