Looking forward to 2017: Anticipated YA Books

Hello gentle reader,

On this blog I’ve already mentioned five YA releases I’m looking forward to reading in 2017: CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber, THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE by Mackenzi Lee, TRAITOR TO THE THRONE by Alwyn Hamilton, SHIMMER AND BURN by Mary Taranta and GILDED CAGE by Vic James.

Today I’m adding seven books to this list, in no particular order:



Release date: 21st February 2017 by Tor Books

Blurb: London’s fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire—and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes and foes struggle alike.

Why it’s on my TBR list: I loved the first two books in this Fantasy trilogy and I can’t wait for the final instalment!



Release date: 28th March 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men

a mysterious city stripped of its name

a mythic hero with blood on his hands

a young librarian with a singular dream

a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled

alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

Why it’s on my TBR list: I enjoyed Laini Taylor’s first trilogy and I loved her short story THE GIRL WHO WOKE THE DREAMER. I’m curious to read this new series.



Release date: 28th March 2017 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Blurb: The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

Why it’s on my TBR list: I’m always on the lookout for YA Fantasy debuts and this one sounds intriguing.



Release date: 16th May 2017 by Walden Pond Press

Blurb: New York, a puzzle (laid into the city) that’s never been solved, three teens determined to solve it, and at the end of it – a treasure beyond all imagining.

Why it’s on my TBR list: It’s about a treasure hunt in New York and it’s written by Laura Ruby. That’s enough for me.


THE VALIANT by Lesley Livingston

Release date: 14th February 2017 by HarperCollins Canada

Blurb: In Ancient Rome, the youngest daughter of a proud Celtic king is captured and sold to a training school for female gladiators—and its most influential patron is none other than Julius Caesar himself.

Why it’s on my TBR list: I’m really not sure about the blurb but I can’t resist a story set in Ancient Rome.


THICK AS THIEVES by Megan Whalen Turner (THE QUEEN’S THIEF #5)

Release date: 16th May 2017 by Greenwillow Books

BlurbKamet, a secretary and slave to his Mede master, has the ambition and the means to become one of the most powerful people in the Empire. But with a whispered warning the future he envisioned is wrenched away, and he is forced onto a very different path. Set in the world of the Queen’s Thief, this epic adventure sees an ordinary hero take on an extraordinary mission.



THE END OF OZ by Danielle Paige (DOROTHY MUST DIE #4)

Release date: 14th March 2017 by HarperCollins

BlurbAmy Gumm must do everything in her power to save Kansas and make Oz a free land once more.

Why it’s on my TBR list: I enjoyed the first three books in the series and I’m curious to find out how it all ends.

What about you? Which books are you looking forward to reading in 2017? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

ROW80 Check-In 8: 5 Writing Tips from Laini Taylor

Hello gentle reader,

It is already time for another ROW80 check-in! My goals for this fourth round are as follows: Write or edit every day

This week I was waiting to hear from my beta readers on The Last Queen after my latest round of edits, so in the meantime I did something which has nothing to do with my Darklands trilogy. I dug up an unfinished first draft and added some 5000 words to it, and it was a lot of fun. I also worked on my query and researched agents. Finally I worked on a Super Secret and Super Exciting Project (code name TADA): you’ll find out all about it on 1st December!

Now, on to an inspiring story to keep us going this coming week. Today I’m sharing Laini Taylor’s writing tips. The following article was published on the Publishers Weekly website on 16 November 2012. In case you’ve missed it, here it is:

Laini Taylor‘s Days of Blood & Starlight (the follow-up to Daughter of Smoke & Bone) is filled with dazzling writing, not to mention fantasy, suspense, and a page-turning story. Take notes, because Taylor’s sharing her 5 writing tips.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a small child, but I was thirty-five before I finished my first novel, because I have issues with perfectionism. It took me a long time to learn to finish what I start, and I’ve developed a lot of tools and tricks for keeping myself moving forward through a story when a big slice of my brain wants nothing so much as to stop and rewrite everything I’ve already written. It can be exhausting, but the upside is that I love to revise. The main thing I’ve learned is that we all have to learn to work with—and appreciate—the brain we’ve been given, and not waste time wishing things were easier.

1. Know what you love. Try imagining the book that would light your heart and mind on fire if you came across it in a bookstore—the one that would quicken your pulse and keep you up all night reading. What would it be? Details, details: when, where, what, who? Think it up, imagine it fully, then bring it forth. That’s the book you should be writing.

2. Never sit staring at a blank page or screen. If you find yourself stuck, write. Write about the scene you’re trying to write. Writing about is easier than writing, and chances are, it will give you your way in. You could try listing ten things that might happen next, or do a timed freewrite—fast, non-precious forward momentum; you don’t even have to read it afterward, but it might give you ideas. Try anything and everything. Never fall still, and don’t be lazy.

3. Eliminate distractions. Eliminate Internet access. Find/create a place and time where you won’t be bothered. Noise-canceling headphones are great. Hotel-writing-sprees are even better if you can make that happen every once and a while: total dedicated writing time. During my second draft pass on my last book I made 20,000 words happen in a week, which is practically supernatural for me, and it would never have been possible without three nights in a hotel in my own city. It’s an incredible splurge, and a huge liberation, and you might just deserve it!

4. Get your characters talking. Dialogue is the place that books are most alive and forge the most direct connection with readers. It is also where we as writers discover our characters and allow them to become real. Get them talking. Don’t be precious. Write dialogues. Cultivate the attitude that every word you write need not end up in the book. Some things are just exercises, part of the process of discovery. Be willing to do more work than will show. The end result is all that matters. Be huge and generous and fearless.

5. Be an unstoppable force. Write with an imaginary machete strapped to your thigh. This is not wishy-washy, polite, drinking-tea-with-your-pinkie-sticking-out stuff. It’s who you want to be, your most powerful self. Write your books. Finish them, then make them better. Find the way. No one will make this dream come true for you but you.”

How are other ROWers doing? Here is the Linky to support each other!