Friday, December 28, 2012

"I hate waiting": Our most anticipated books of 2013

There is no small amount of irony in the fact that I volunteered to post about our most anticipated books of the new year. My reading diet of late has almost exclusively consisted of the literary equivalent of stuffing and mashed potatoes. I read for comfort, which means I've been re-reading rather than trying new dishes storyworlds. As a result, I am woefully out-of-the-proverbial-loop when it comes to thinking about upcoming books. My co-bloggers, however, have been busy reading and building anticipation. Here are their lists. 

Esso expects 2013 to be the year of series books, and looks forward to reading:

The Final Descent by Rick Yancey 
My dreams have finally come true! I can’t wait to read about Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop going on another twisted adventure. If only I could read about Will Henry forever. Sigh.
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo 
Shadow and Bone was one of my few five star books for the year and I can’t wait to see how Alina deals with the Darkling in this next book.
Infinityglass by Myra McEntire 
Time travel plus great characters, I love this series! It will be interesting to see how McEntire wraps it up, but I’m secretly hoping that she returns to Em as the narrator.
Detergent (aka Divergent Untitled Book #3) by Veronica Roth
After a bad case of “Second Book Syndrome,” I’m hoping that Roth can redeem this last book. I know it’s possible, but we’ll just have to wait and see. [Totally annoying and intrusive authorial note: When I first saw Esso's list, I thought the name she included for this as-yet-untitled-book was a typo, so I responded, "As in the story needs some serious cleaning up? Or was that just a fortuitous typo?" Turns out the author herself has joked about the fake title, which just further proves my extreme out-of-loop-ness.]
Prodigy by Marie Lu
I really enjoyed Legend, and I’m super excited to get back into the series. I’d like to see the action continue without getting bogged down by any unnecessary romance. Fingers crossed.

Rebecca's most anticipated books of 2013 (aka the books she's dying to read) are:

Reached by Ally Condie. 
I am hoping the conclusion to the Matched series is good.  I can't wait to see how the society falls.
Unwholly by Neal Shusterman. 
I was satisfied with Unwind's ending, but I am curious about the sequel. Will unwinding meet its demise?
Detergent (aka Divergent Untitled Book #3). 
Can the experiment be reintroduced into the real world?  Can Tris find herself?  Can Tris and Tobias make it work? Ah!
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
I am ready for another kickbutt girl and her adventures.  Esso's review makes me want to read it now, right now, before I am done with my list!
Cast in Sorrow by Michelle Sagara West
Kaylin Neya is in the middle of a journey surrounded by difficult odds.  Will she make it to her destination and perform her part in the ceremony?  Will there be more books?!?!?

As part of my assignment for this post, I went scouting for links, and found myself astonished (again!) that so many of the books mentioned above have already been "reviewed." Here's your RANT WARNING...

I think that people should not review books they have not read. I think it is wrong that books which have yet-to-be published already have reviews on goodreads! Just Wrong. For example, the third book in the Divergent series has 219 reviews, and has been rated 701 times. Even better: 80% percent of the ratings award the yet-to-be-written/published-book five stars. That's pretty impressive for a book no one has read. What is going on?!?

I am partly confused and somewhat sympathetic. I know there are professional review writers out there, who "blurb" books for money, but I don't think the reviews I saw on goodreads fall into that category. So what motivates people who aren't getting paid to rate a book-not-yet-read? Is it an attempt to make other fans jealous? An overwhelming need to squeal (OMG! I luv this bk s000 much!)? An attempt to curry favor with authors? I don't mean to be a grouchy old person (well, can't help the "old" part), but the pre-rating phenomenon really bugs me. On the other hand, I do understand what it's like to love a book and be super excited about a sequel or companion. So, maybe I'm experiencing a medium > message issue. It would be great if people had a way of expressing excitement about an upcoming book without actually assigning it a rating. You know, on a blog or something. Speaking of which...

Here's a snippet of the conversation we had recently to discuss upcoming posts:
Kara: "I want to read the book that takes place between the end of Fire and the end of Bitterblue."
Rebecca: "Is the author writing that book?"  
Kara: "Uh, not that I know of..."  
[Esso said that she, also, would like to read that book]
As far as I am aware (which really is not very far at all), Ms. Cashore is not currently writing the book I want to read (which is why I'm not assigning a rating!), and may never write that book (which is a sad possibility). Why let a small detail like a book's non-existence stop me from dreaming? SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't read Fire, you have two options: 1) skip the next paragraph; OR 2) read the next paragraph, and accept the fact that I'm going to include details.

I want to live vicariously in Fire's world for just a little while longer (OK, I admit, for a lot longer); to stay right there with her as her relationship with Brigan grows; to watch Hannah blossom into the woman referenced in Bitterblue; to witness the love between Roen and Brocker rekindled; to sit back and watch Mila and Clara's children get to know each other; to find out if the river mare ever allows Small into her heart. That's the book I want to read. In 2013 or whenever Ms. Cashore has the inclination. In the meantime, I'll try to stop snarking and enjoy some of the books my colleagues listed above.

Happy New Year!

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