This is the first of two posts on books from Book Expo America (BEA).  Instead of doing one post, I decided to split it into two with one focused on young adult (or in the case of the last book, middle grade – Amazon says it’s young adult but the ARC and Tor catalog both say middle grade so I’m trusting those instead).  The other post will be on books that fall into the adult fantasy, science fiction, and horror categories.  Splitting it up this way allows me to highlight the two books I am most excited about first in each post since there were 2 that I had to get or DIE FROM THE SADNESS.

These all have the added bonus of being signed books, which I love!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini TaylorDaughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Ever since I first heard about this book, I have been dying to read it!  I was fortunate enough to discover Laini Taylor’s Dreamdark series when the publisher contacted me about reviewing it.  After looking it up and seeing the beautiful covers, I had to try it, and I was so glad I did.  The second book especially was fantastic.  Then when her collection of three stories Lips Touch: Three Times came out, I bought a hardcover copy and absolutely loved it.  The last story, Hatchling, is one of my favorites.  Each of her books I have read is better than the last, and I am a big fan of her work.  (She also has a graphic novel, The Drowned, but it’s hard to find and I haven’t read it yet.)

So when I heard Laini Taylor was going to be signing copies of Daughter of Smoke and Bone at BEA, I knew I must get this book.  And I did – I was even second in a very long line for the book.  Seeing how Laini Taylor reacted to the line was priceless.  She was so excited and she even took some pictures of the line!  They really promoted this book at BEA with the signing, putting out copies at least twice that I saw, featuring it at some events, and putting up a huge banner.  It made me so happy to see that because I really believe she’s an author who needs to be read more.

I was also happy to see that it had a new cover because I really didn’t like the old one.  It’s still not as striking as the previous covers for Laini Taylor’s books, but it’s at least a big improvement.

I’ve already read most of this one even though I’ve been taking my time with parts of it, and it is fantastic.  Laini Taylor has such a way with words and writes so beautifully.  As mentioned in the description below, there is a “star-crossed love” sort of story in it, which I don’t always like, but I think this one will work for me because even though it is sudden it is a little more complex than a lot of these types of stories are.  (I say “I think” because all the details are slowly unfolding so I don’t actually know them all yet!)  But I love Karou and her two worlds and the wishes and the mystery of what the truth is and the mythology and the writing and the grayness between the two sides.  And Laini Taylor can write prose.  She’s one of those authors I think could find a way to make a grocery list sound amazing because she just phrases her sentences so well, whether it’s just gorgeous, or humorous, or just perfect.  Sometimes she just writes something and it’s exactly how to describe it but you never knew it until she worded it just right.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone will be released in September as a hardcover and ebook.

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages–not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers–beautiful, haunted Akiva–fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Darker Still by Leanna Renee HieberDarker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

This is the first book in the Magic Most Foul series.  I enjoyed Leanna Renee Hieber’s The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, and I am liking the sound of this book more and more, especially after reading the first page.  Plus I love the cover – I have to admit I want that dress! Darker Still will be released in November.

The Picture of Dorian Gray meets Pride and Prejudice, with a dash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

New York City, 1882. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart’s latest obsession is a painting of the handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly life-like gaze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that details of the painting keep changing…

Jonathan Denbury’s soul is trapped in the gilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul.

The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams ChimaThe Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima

This is the third book out of four in the Seven Realms series.  I tried to stay away from books that were part of series I hadn’t read yet at BEA, but I made an exception for this one since I already have the first two books and am hoping to read them this summer.  Thea from The Book Smugglers loved them, and I keep hearing they get better and better (plus she loved Eon and Eona by Alison Goodman and Eona is now one of my favorite young adult books ever).  Oh, and they have a thief and I must admit I love thieves!

The first two books in this series are The Demon King and The Exiled Queen, respectively.  The Gray Wolf Throne will be released in August.

Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana’Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen.

Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that the thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it—he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive—and even that might not be enough.

The Gray Wolf Throne is an epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hand of fate.

Teeth edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri WindlingTeeth edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

This is an anthology of vampire stories (and I got it signed by Ellen Datlow).  I am not normally a vampire fan, but I could not resist this collection of authors.  Catherynne Valente, Neil Gaiman, and Tanith Lee are all in it, plus it has many other authors I’ve been interested in reading – Garth Nix, Cassandra Clare, Ellen Kushner, Holly Black, and Emma Bull.  I’ve read the first few paragraphs of Genevieve Valentine’s and Catherynne Valente’s stories and am intrigued by both.

Fascinated by vampires?

Then feast on nineteen tantalizing, bite-sized tales exploring the intersections between the living, dead, and undead.

The vampires in these stories range from romantic to chilling to gleeful—and touch on nearly every emotion in between. The one thing they have in common is their desire for blood. . . .

Stories from
Genevieve Valentine
Steve Berman
Christopher Barzak
Neil Gaiman
Delia Sherman
Garth Nix
Suzy McKee Charnas
Kaaron Warren
Cecil Castellucci
Jeffrey Ford
Nathan Ballingrud
Kathe Koja
Catherynne M. Valente
Melissa Marr
Ellen Kushner
Cassandra Clare
Holly Black
Lucius Shepard
Emma Bull
Tanith Lee

Down the Mysterly River by Bill WillinghamDown the Mysterly River by Bill Willingham

Bill Willingham is best known for the Fables comics, which I have been meaning to read.  This book is also illustrated by Mark Buckingham, the artist for FablesDown the Mysterly River looks like a lot of fun to read, and it will be released in September.

Down the Mysterly River is the children’s book debut of Bill Willingham, the creator of the #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel series Fables. Complete with illustrations by Fables artist Mark Buckingham, it is a spirited, highly original tale of adventure, suspense, and everlasting friendship.

Max “the Wolf” is a top notch Boy Scout, an expert at orienteering and a master of being prepared. So it is a little odd that he suddenly finds himself, with no recollection of his immediate past, lost in an unfamiliar wood. Even odder still, he encounters a badger named Banderbrock, a black bear named Walden, and McTavish the Monster (who might also be an old barn cat)—all of whom talk—and who are as clueless as Max.

Before long, Max and his friends are on the run from a relentless group of hunters and their deadly hounds. Armed with powerful blue swords and known as the Blue Cutters, these hunters capture and change the very essence of their prey. For what purpose, Max can’t guess. But unless he can solve the mystery of the strange forested world he’s landed in, Max may find himself and his friends changed beyond recognition, lost in a lost world…