Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
I'm one of those people who reads a lot of reviews before I read a book. The reviews of this one have been very, very mixed. I think the author's story to publication is fascinating - she originally wrote the story online at fictionpress.com before being picked up by Bloomsbury. The story is about a teenage assassin, punished as a slave in the mines but freed in order to compete to be the king's personal assassin. I am a sucker for a good old-fashioned fantasy epic, and I hope this will fit the bill. After reading the first few chapters, I can tell that my teenage self would have thought this was the perfect book; I'm not so sure about my adult self.
Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is one of my favorite middle grade reads and one of the most beautiful books I've held. This story is set in the same world, but it focuses on a boy called Rendi, who has run away from home and gets taken in by an innkeeper as a chore boy. Unlike Mountain, this story has almost zero adventure: it all takes place in the same town, most of it in the same building. Like Mountain, though, it incorporates smaller stories told by the characters within, and these stories go on to have greater meaning near the end. I read the review copy, but I plan to get my hands on a finished copy so I can see the artwork, which blew me away in Mountain.
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
This book is proof that Kelly is the best co-blogger a person could ask for, since she's the reason I'm able to read it. I like the direction Meyer has gone with this sequel: it focuses on Scarlet, but it also follows Cinder's story. Scarlet is a French girl who must rescue her grandmother, kidnapped by a gang of humans with wolf-like qualities. One of the wolves, a deserter of the gang, decides to help. Cinder and Scarlet haven't met up yet, but I've a feeling it will happen soon. I'm curious to see how Meyer (presumably) plans to juggle four girls' stories in the last installment. The pace of Scarlet is slower than Cinder, but so far it's just as enjoyable.
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
You know how sometimes the jacket copy of a book appears to only reveal the very first, small section of the story - just enough to get you interested - but in fact that section takes up the first 70 pages of the book? That happened here. I read those first 70 pages knowing Aria would be exiled, and it was painful to read about her optimism: "Oh, they're going to take me to see my mother!" No, no they are not. That little annoyance aside, I am really digging this dystopian tale about a society that lives in environmentally-sealed pods and the girl who gets into trouble with the wrong people and finds herself exiled into the wilderness, full of savages and aether storms. (Sorry I just ruined the first 70 pages for you.)
Review copies received from the publisher (and Kelly!). Under the Never Sky borrowed from the library.