Saturday Grab Bag: New This Month & Mashup

24 Jul

New This Month!

Every now and then, we look at books being released this month that have caught our attention. Here are 5 books that have all been released this July that look intriguing.


Sleepless by Cyn Balog

Eron De Marchelle isn’t supposed to feel a connection. He is a Sandman, a supernatural being whose purpose is to seduce human charges to sleep. While he can communicate with his charges in their dreams, he isn’t encouraged to–after all, getting too involved in one human’s life would prevent him helping his other charges get their needed rest.

But he can’t deny that he feels something for Julia. Julia, with her fiery red hair and her sad dreams. Just weeks ago, her boyfriend died in a car accident, and Eron can tell that she feels more alone than ever. Eron was human once too, many years ago, and he remembers how it felt to lose the one he loved. Eron has always felt protective of Julia . . . but now, when she seems to need him more than ever, he can’t seem to reach her . . .

Sandmen are forbidden from communicating with humans outside their dreams. But will Eron be willing to risk everything for a chance to be with the person he loves?

[Description from Goodreads]

Contributor Comments:

I’m excited about this one because one of my favourite graphic novel series is The Sandman by Neil Gaiman. Yes, I know – this book will be COMPLETELY different. But, I have a thing for Sandmen now. And I just like the idea that this book won’t involve vampires or werewolves. It seems like it’ll be a very refreshing YA paranormal romance. This book came out July 13th, so I clearly need to go out and pick this one up soon.

Vanessa Di Gregorio

I’ve never read any sort of story about a Sandman, and the whole concept intrigues me a lot! I’ll have to check it out. Plus, I always love books that deal with dreaming or dream worlds. The cover is pretty in keeping with YA paranormal nowadays, but I’m still loving the flower. Carnations (if that is indeed a carnation…), with their hundreds of petals, just…are cool 🙂

Kat Zhang

I’m beyond excited to read SLEEPLESS!

Cyn’s debut, FAIRY TALE, was really charming and poignant, and this seems in a similar vein. I already have my copy reserved at my local Borders, and I can’t wait to go pick it up this Saturday!

Sarah J. Maas


The Forbidden Sea by Sheila A. Nielson

When Adrianne comes face-to-face with the mermaid of Windwaithe Island, of whom she has heard terrible stories all her life, she is convinced the mermaid means to take her younger sister. Adrianne, fierce-willed and courageous, is determined to protect her sister from the mermaid, and her family from starvation. However, the mermaid continues to haunt Adrianne in her dreams and with her song.

Yet, when the islanders find out about Adrianne’s encounters with the mermaid she is scorned, for this small and superstitious community believes the mermaid will bring devastation to the island if Adrianne does not give herself to the sea.

A powerful and lyrical story of one girl who must choose between having everything and having those she loves.

[Description from Goodreads]

Contributor Comments:

Okay, so I also have a thing for mermaids. I don’t know what it is, but they’re just so…. exotic to me. And I’ll admit it… Harry Potter completely made me fall in love with mermen. I remember being so fascinated in book 4. Plus, I’ve heard that the prose is great – and we all know how much I love lyrical prose! I just think the premise is so great too. This book came out July 1st, so it looks like I’ll need to make a trip to the bookstore!

Vanessa Di Gregorio

Did someone say lyrical prose? I think that catches my attention, always. Of course, if the plot goes nowhere, even the most beautiful prose can only do so much. Unlike Vanessa, I’ve never been a big mermaid fan, but only because the mermaid stories I got my hands on as a kid tended to show them as nice and cute. This book seems to promise a much darker view, and human sacrifices are always fun, right? (Uh, did I really just say that? What I meant was, “Human sacrifices make compelling plot points.” Yup.)

Kat Zhang


The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood

Jessamine Luxson lives with her father, Thomas, an apothecary, in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle. Thomas’s pride and obsession is his locked garden full of dangerous plants, which Jessamine is forbidden to enter.

When a traveler brings an orphan to their cottage, he claims the boy has special gifts that Thomas might value. Jessamine is drawn to the strange but intriguing boy, called Weed. Soon their friendship deepens into love. Finally, Weed shares his secret: He can communicate with plants. For him they have distinct personalities—and some are even murderous. From the locked garden the poisonous plants call to Weed, luring him with promises of deadly power.

When Jessamine falls inexplicably ill, only Weed’s relationship with the Poisons can save her. But Thomas is determined to exploit Weed’s abilities, even if it risks Jessamine’s life—or drives Weed to the brink of madness.

[Description from Goodreads]

Contributor Comments:

After receiving an ARC from Harpercollins Canada, I was excited to read this. And now, after having read it, I can say that I ABSOLUTELY love it! I’ll be writing a book recommendation for this book soon, so keep your eyes out for it! All I’ll say is that I was extremely happy to find out that this is the first book in a trilogy (which I also happen to have a thing for, since 3 is my lucky number!). This just came out earlier this week (on July 20th!), so I’m pretty sure you all need to go out and buy this ASAP. And if you still have doubts, just wait till my recommendation! You’ll regret not listening to me sooner! :p

Vanessa Di Gregorio


The Fool’s Girl by Celia Rees

Young and beautiful Violetta may be of royal blood, but her kingdom is in shambles when she arrives in London on a mysterious mission. Her journey has been long and her adventures many, but it is not until she meets the playwright William Shakespeare that she gets to tell the entire story from beginning to end. Violetta and her comic companion, Feste, have come in search of an ancient holy relic that the evil Malvolio has stolen from their kingdom. But where will their remarkable quest—and their most unusual story—lead? In classic Celia Rees style, it is an engrossing journey, full of political intrigue, danger, and romance.

This wholly original story is spun from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and includes both folly and suspense that would make the Bard proud.

[Description from Goodreads]

Contributor Comments:

I read Pirates by Celia Rees YEARS ago, and I remember thoroughly enjoying the story, the characters, and the prose! And, I have a bit of a thing for Shakespeare (I took Jacobean and Elizabethan/Shakespeare and his contemporaries type Literature classes ALL throughout my undergrad). So I enjoy the idea of stories that are inspired by or include bits of Shakespeare’s plays. And I can never get enough of political intrigue! This also came out on July 20th, so it looks like I’ll be spending quite a bit of money on my next bookstore trip!

Vanessa Di Gregorio


The Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Bet is sixteen, very intelligent, but only knows as much as her limited education will allow. In Victorian England, girls aren’t allowed to go to school.
Will is also 16, and though not related by blood, he and Bet act like brother and sister. In fact, they even look like brother and sister. And though they’re both raised under the same roof, by the same kind uncle, Will has one big advantage over Bet: He’s a boy, and being a boy means he isn’t stuck in the grand house they call home. He gets to go out into the world–to school.
But that’s not what Will wishes. He wants to join the military and learn about real life, not what’s written in books.
So one night, Bet comes up with a plan. She’ll go to school as Will. Will can join the military. And though it seems impossible, they actually manage to pull it off.
But once Bet gets to the school, she begins to realize the education she’s going to get isn’t exactly the one she was expecting.

[Description from Goodreads]

Contributor Comments:

I love the idea of girls disguising themselves as boys in order to pursue something. Alanna from Tamora Pierce’s The Lioness Quartet did it, and there have been a few sea-faring books that also include girls disguising themselves as boys. So, I’m already intrigued. Plus, she seems like she’ll be a very strong heroine. So I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes out for this one! This one came out on July 7th, so it’s already on bookshelves! Yes, ALL these books are already out – that way you don’t need to pine over them! Just run out and buy them all in one go (that’s MY plan, anyways!).

Vanessa Di Gregorio




Happy reading everyone! Let us know if you ever pick up/have picked up any of the books we’ve mentioned – you know we always love hearing from you!

And are there any new releases out this month that you can’t wait to get your hands on? Or any awesome links you’ve come across? Share them with us in the comments!

15 Responses to “Saturday Grab Bag: New This Month & Mashup”

  1. Julie Eshbaugh July 24, 2010 at 12:50 AM #

    Great post, V! I can’t wait to read the Poison Diaries, but a lot of the other books you mention here are new to me. Thanks for the heads-up. Also, I totally agree with your comment about Janet Fitch’s 10 Rules post. It was so original; not the same advice you’ve read a million times before. 🙂

    • Vanessa July 26, 2010 at 10:19 AM #

      Thanks, Julie! I hope you get the Poison Diaires in the mail soon! I shipped it off to you a while ago.

      And it’s actually tons of fun finding out about new releases for each month! I find such great titles I doubt I would’ve found any other way!

  2. Ereza July 24, 2010 at 4:52 AM #

    lol my TBR pile has just grown a few books taller. Plus the writerly links were really helpful 🙂

    As for more links to YA topics:

    • Sarah J. Maas July 24, 2010 at 12:10 PM #

      Oooh!!!! I already follow the Enchanted Inkpot blog, but I didn’t know about Fierce Heroines until you linked to it! Thank you so much!!! Fierce Heroines is totally going on my googlereader!!!!

      • Ereza July 24, 2010 at 9:40 PM #

        No problem 😀 I figured Fierce Heroines would definitely be of interest.

  3. Lydia Sharp July 24, 2010 at 8:29 AM #

    I just started THE EDUCATION OF BET yesterday. It’s really good. Bet is an awesome MC.

    • Vanessa July 26, 2010 at 10:11 AM #

      Oooh! Good to know! I can’t wait to pick it up!

  4. Kaya July 24, 2010 at 9:06 AM #

    I’m reading the ‘Uglies’ series now by Scott Westerfeld. It’s awesome so far. I’m waiting for ‘Pretties’ to arrive. I may have to check some of these books out.

    • Vanessa July 26, 2010 at 10:11 AM #

      Yeah, the Uglies series is pretty good! I started reading it YEARS ago, but haven’t read the last one yet! (I probably should, though!)

  5. Jennifer July 24, 2010 at 6:03 PM #

    The Poison Diaries sounds a bit like Rappaccini’s Daughter, so I’m definitely going to check that out.

    Gotta say, though, I’m not too keen on many of those covers, article or new release. I miss the days when book covers looked like book covers, instead of some photoshoot you’d find in a magazine.

    • Vanessa July 26, 2010 at 10:10 AM #

      That’s what I thought too! Very similar vibe to Rappaccini’s Daughter (which is my absolute FAVE Hawthorne story!). I think you’ll definitely like The Poison Diaries!

  6. samanthabina July 25, 2010 at 2:08 AM #

    I actually hadn’t seen that article for The Season of Windblown Hair, but it’s kind of fantastic. I’m such a cover whore.

    • Vanessa July 26, 2010 at 10:19 AM #

      So am I! I just love seeing them all side by side too… it’s just so interesting!

  7. Samantha K. Walker July 26, 2010 at 6:01 PM #

    I’m SO glad to hear that “Poison Diaries” is a trilogy!!! I finished it pretty much the day it came out, and was like “That’s it? I need moore!”

    • Vanessa July 27, 2010 at 10:49 AM #

      Wasn’t it just AMAZING?! I flew through that book – I just could NOT put it down!

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