Waiting on Wednesday: The Raincoast Books TeensRead Winter/Spring 2016 Preview Edition

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Last Saturday, I was invited to attend the Raincoast Books TeensRead Preview of their upcoming Winter and Spring 2016 titles at the Toronto Reference Library. Hosted by Vanessa of Ampersand Inc. and Jenn from Lost in a Great Book in Toronto, it was my first time taking part in the preview! I've missed out participating online the past couple of years, so I was really glad I could finally join in the excitement!

We watched a live stream of the event from the Vancouver Public Library, and for those bloggers who couldn't make it either location, they were invited to watch via Google Hangout. Raincoast Books also very generously provided each of us a tote bag filled with two ARCS, buttons and posters!

The Raincoast Books team introduced over 30 highly anticipated YA titles to us, and here are my top picks to add to your TBR!

Title: Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1)
Author: Susan Dennard
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen
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On a continent ruled by three empires, everyone is born with a "witchery," a magical skill that sets them apart from others. Now, as the Twenty Year Truce in a centuries long war is about to end, the balance of power-and the failing health of all magic-will fall on the shoulders of a mythical pair called the Cahr Awen.

The biggest thing on Safi and Noelle's minds is saving money for their planned future in the Hundred Isles. Noelle, a Threadwitch, can see the emotional Threads binding the world. Safi, on the other hand, is a Truthwitch-she always knows when a person is telling a lie. A powerful magic like that is something people would kill to have on their side-or to keep off their enemy's side-and so Safi cannot even admit what she truly is.

With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and privateer) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must rise above their doubts and fight to learn who they are and what they are made of, if they are going to stay alive and preserve the balance of their world. 

Susan Dennard's highly anticipated Truthwitch has already built up a dedicated fandom and the book doesn't even officially release until January 2016! 

Title: Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1)
Author: Brenda Drake
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: Entangled Teen  
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Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels-magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books-rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world's most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren't busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik's world and her own, before both are destroyed.

It was my first time hearing about Brenda Drake's Thief of Lies, but the premise of magical knights and dangerous libraries sounds so cool. 

Title: These Vicious Masks
Author: Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Reads 
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Evelyn has no interest in marriage and even the dashing Mr. Kent can't make her want to live up to society's expectations. She'd much rather assist her beloved sister Rose in becoming the world's first female doctor. But everything changes the night she meets Sebastian Braddock - not only is the reclusive lord both vexing and surprisingly attractive, he's also quite possibly mad, and his interest in Rose is galling. So when Evelyn wakes up to discover that Rose has disappeared, she immediately suspects Sebastian.

But then she discovers that Sebastian's strange tales of special powers are actually true, and that Rose's kidnappers have worse in mind for her than simply ruining her reputation. Surrounded by secrets, lies, and unprecedented danger, Evelyn has no choice but to trust Sebastian, yet she can't help but worry that Sebastian's secrets are the most dangerous of all…

Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas's These Vicious Masks was pitched to us as Jane Austen meets X-Men, and that's all I needed to know I simply must read this book.

Title: In Real Life
Author: Jessica Love
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Press 
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Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another. 

There's just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she's supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah's romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and meets Nick's girlfriend, whom he failed to mention. And it turns out his relationship status isn't the only thing he's been lying to her about. Hannah knows the real Nick can't be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has one night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.

Jessica Love's In Real Life sounds exactly like the kind of YA contemporary novel I love to read. Can you imagine falling for your online BFF, only to have all your plans implode when you meet in person? I already feel so bad for Hannah! And did someone say road trip?! 

Title: Tell the Wind and Fire
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Clarion Books
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From New York Times bestseller Sarah Rees Brennan comes a magic-infused tale of romance and revolution that is lush, dramatic, and poignantly timely.

Tell the Wind & Fire is about a young girl called Lucie who lives in a New York very different from the New York we know: the city is torn between two very different kinds of magic, and Lucie’s own family was torn apart years ago by that conflict. Lucie wears magic rings and carries a burden of guilt she can’t share with anyone.

The light in her life is her sweetheart boyfriend Ethan, but it turns out Ethan has a secret too: a soulless doppelganger created by dark magic, who has to conceal the face identical to Ethan’s with a hood fastened by a collar nobody but a Light magician with magical rings can take off… and who introduces himself to both of them by, for reasons nobody can understand, saving Ethan’s life… 

I've been so intrigued about Tell the Wind and Fire ever since the book deal was first announced and mentioned the novel was inspired by Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities! Add in magic, a mysterious doppelganger, and an urban fantasy setting, and you have a book that's definitely not one to be missed.

Title: Love, Lies and Spies
Author: Cindy Anstey
Release Date: April 19, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Reads 
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Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She's much more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, fashionable dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she's determined not to form any attachments. Instead, she plans to secretly publish her research.

Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman of leisure he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting eligible ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana's traveling companions . . . and Juliana herself.

I don't know how I possibly missed hearing about Canadian author Cindy Anstey's YA debut Love, Loves and Spies sooner, but I'm ever so glad Raincoast Books brought it my attention! Pitched as an homage to Jane Austen, Love, Lies and Spies sounds like a perfect read for YA historical fiction fans! And I love how its cover also reminds me of the redesigned Penguin Classics covers. 

Title: The Square Root of Summer
Author: Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Roaring Book Press 
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This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It's a little bit like a black hole. It's a little bit like infinity.

Gottie H. Oppenheimer is seventeen. Great at math. Tall. Half-German. Motherless. And she's losing time. Literally.

When the fabric of the universe surrounding her sleepy seaside town begins to fray, it sends Gottie through wormholes to her past: 

To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn't even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her childhood best friend Thomas moved to Canada, leaving her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie's past, present, and future are about to be changed forever.

Time travel, romance, and an absolutely gorgeous cover? Harriet Reuter Hapgood's YA debut The Square Root of Summer instantly attracted notice among everyone at the preview event, myself included! 

There are definitely more books I could've included in this post, such as Veronica Rossi's RIDERS and Canadian author Danika Stone's ALL THE FEELS, but I told myself to somehow find a way to keep it under ten picks. The year is not even over yet and there are already so many YA books to anticipate reading in 2016!

Thanks so much to Raincoast Books, Vanessa, and Jenn for hosting a fantastic blogger event to preview the upcoming Winter and Spring 2016 titles!

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  1. This is the first I've heard of These Vicious Masks – it sounds awesome and right up my alley! As is Love, Lies, and Spies, which was already on my TBR list. Basically, I love books set in Victorian times :D

  2. I'm a big Sarah Rees Brennan fan so I'm so excited for Tell the Wind and Fire! It sounds amazing. Really looking forward to Truthwitch as well, I keep hearing very good things about it. And I love the cover of These Vicious Masks!