It’s that time, when publishers large and small, booksellers, authors, industry professionals, and bloggers make their way to the biggest book trade show of the year: Book Expo America. This year, BEA isn’t at the scenic Javits Center in New York City, but rather at McCormick Place in Chicago! And this year, Thea is attending both BEA Bloggers and BEA overall–and as usual, she’s got a long list of books she’s eager to scoop up at the show.
As per our annual tradition, here’s The Book Smugglers’ Most Coveted Books at BEA 2016.
The Graces by Laure Eve
A secretive loner discovers her own hidden powers when she’s adopted into three glamorous witches’ fold
When a glamorous family of teenage witches brings a mysterious new girl into their fold, they unwittingly nurture a powerful black magic that could destroy them all. This paranormal YA fantasy features intrigue, spells, and a devastating twist. In The Graces, the first rule of witchcraft states that if you want something badly enough, you can get it . . . no matter who has to pay.
Everyone loves the Graces. Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer Grace are captivating, wealthy, and glamorous. They’ve managed to cast a spell over not just their high school but also their entire town—and they’re rumored to have powerful connections all over the world. If you’re not in love with one of them, you want to be them. Especially River: the loner, new girl at school. She’s different from her peers, who both revere and fear the Grace family. She wants to be a Grace more than anything. But what the Graces don’t know is that River’s presence in town is no accident.
This fabulously addictive fantasy combines sophisticated and haunting prose with a gut-punching twist that readers will be dying to discuss. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars as well as nostalgic classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the 1996 movie The Craft, The Graces marks the beginning of a new wave of teen witches.
The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano
From New York Times bestseller Lauren DeStefano comes a gorgeous tale of friendship found and fought for against a haunting danger.
Lionel is a wild boy, who doesn’t much like to be around other people. He’d rather be a purring cat or a wolf stalking the woods.
Marybeth is a nice girl. She doesn’t need to be told to comb her hair or brush her teeth, and she’s kind to everyone at the orphanage . . . Lionel most of all.
Different though they are, Lionel and Marybeth are best friends in a world that has forgotten about them. So when a mysterious blue spirit possesses Marybeth—and starts to take control—they know they must stop it before the real Marybeth fades away forever.
From New York Times bestselling author Lauren DeStefano comes a haunting tale of friendship, love, and the magic of childhood . . . and what lies beyond, just right for readers of Serafina and the Black Cloak.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Welcome to Caraval—the spell-casting fantasy destined to become a sensation.
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor who she has just met, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
From the acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood comes a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters—triplets—separated at a young age, who must fight to the death to become Queen.
Becoming the Queen Crowned of Fennbirn isn’t just a matter of royal lineage…it’s about strength, skill, and survival. In every generation, a set of triplets is born: three girls, separated at a young age, who must use their coveted magic in a battle that will cost two of them their lives, while the victor gets the crown. Mirabella is a fierce elemental whose power can be channeled through hungry flames or vicious storms. Katharine, a poisoner, has the deadliest of potions at her disposal and can consume them without any effect. And Arsinoe, a naturalist, has the ability to command any animal to do whatever she pleases. With powers that intense, this will surely be a fight to remember.
The shameful truth, though, is that Katharine and Arsinoe have yet to manifest any magic. Once the sisters turn sixteen and meet again, it will be impossible to hide—from the people of Fennbirn and from each other. However, the Arrons and Milones, the families who raised Katharine and Arsinoe respectively, won’t give up their chance at the throne without a fight. Let the battle for Queen begin.
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
“A dark, thoroughly modern fairy tale crackling with wit and magical mayhem.” –Leigh Bardugo, New York Times bestselling author of the Grisha Trilogy
In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now–but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.
In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters–and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.
But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair. . . .
Inspired by the Russian folktale “Vassilissa the Beautiful” and Sarah Porter’s years of experience teaching creative writing to New York City students, Vassa in the Night weaves a dark yet hopeful tale about a young girl’s search for home, love, and belonging.
Metaltown by Kristen Simmons
Metaltown, where factories rule, food is scarce, and hope is in short supply.
The rules of Metaltown are simple: Work hard, keep your head down, and watch your back. You look out for number one, and no one knows that better than Ty. She’s been surviving on the factory line as long as she can remember. But now Ty has Colin. She’s no longer alone; it’s the two of them against the world. That’s something even a town this brutal can’t take away from her. Until it does.
Lena’s future depends on her family’s factory, a beast that demands a ruthless master, and Lena is prepared to be as ruthless as it takes if it means finally proving herself to her father. But when a chance encounter with Colin, a dreamer despite his circumstances, exposes Lena to the consequences of her actions, she’ll risk everything to do what’s right.
In Lena, Ty sees an heiress with a chip on her shoulder. Colin sees something more. In a world of disease and war, tragedy and betrayal, allies and enemies, all three of them must learn that challenging what they thought was true can change all the rules.
An enthralling story of friendship and rebellion, Metaltown will have you believing in the power of hope.
Windwitch by Susan Dennard
On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.
Windwitch continues the tale begun in Truthwitch, with a focus on Merik–cunning privateer, prince, windwitch, and reader favorite.
Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal
A new novel from beloved fantasy author Mary Robinette Kowal featuring the mysterious spirit corps and their heroic work in World War I.
Ginger Stuyvesant, an American heiress living in London during World War I, is engaged to Captain Benjamin Hartshorne, an intelligence officer. Ginger is a medium for the Spirit Corps, a special Spiritualist force.
Each soldier heading for the front is conditioned to report to the mediums of the Spirit Corps when they die so the Corps can pass instant information about troop movements to military intelligence.
Ginger and her fellow mediums contribute a great deal to the war efforts, so long as they pass the information through appropriate channels. While Ben is away at the front, Ginger discovers the presence of a traitor. Without the presence of her fiance to validate her findings, the top brass thinks she’s just imagining things. Even worse, it is clear that the Spirit Corps is now being directly targeted by the German war effort. Left to her own devices, Ginger has to find out how the Germans are targeting the Spirit Corps and stop them. This is a difficult and dangerous task for a woman of that era, but this time both the spirit and the flesh are willing…
Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer
The first book of Terra Ignota, a four-book political SF epic set in a human future of extraordinary originality
Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer–a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away.
The world into which Mycroft and Carlyle have been born is as strange to our 21st-century eyes as ours would be to a native of the 1500s. It is a hard-won utopia built on technologically-generated abundance, and also on complex and mandatory systems of labelling all public writing and speech. What seem to us normal gender distinctions are now distinctly taboo in most social situations. And most of the world’s population is affiliated with globe-girdling clans of the like-minded, whose endless economic and cultural competion is carefully managed by central planners of inestimable subtlety. To us it seems like a mad combination of heaven and hell. To them, it seems like normal life.
And in this world, Mycroft and Carlyle have stumbled on the wild card that may destablize the system: the boy Bridger, who can effortlessly make his wishes come true. Who can, it would seem, bring inanimate objects to life…
And that’s it from us! What books are on your BEA 2016 radar?