Next week, St. Martin’s republishes Torn, the second title in Amanda Hocking’s previously self-published ebook series, barely two months after the first one, Switched. They will be arriving quickly; the third title, Ascend, is scheduled for April. The second title in another YA series, Pandemonium, by Lauren Oliver, also arrives this week. Both series, of course, have been optioned for film adaptations. Among the big names, Jodi Picoult’s new book features real (not supernatural) wolves and Lisa Lutz’s sly humor is on display in the fifth in her Spellman series.
Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung (Penguin/Riverhead) is the story of two sisters with very different reactions to their Korean parents and heritage, by one of Granta magazine’s “New Voices.” Kirkus says, “despite some missteps into cliches about abuse, Chung delves with aching honesty and beauty into large, difficult questions–the strength and limits of family, the definition of home, the boundaries (or lack thereof) between duty and love–within the context of a Korean experience. Chung’s limpid prose matches her emotional intelligence.” A syndicated Reuters Q&A with the author appeared in the Chicago Tribune.
Blue Monday by Nicci French (Penguin/Pamela Dorman) is the first in a series of psychological thrillers by the husband-wife writing team of Sean French and Nicci Gerard, and involves the solitary psychotherapist Frieda Klein in modern London. PW says, “with its brooding atmosphere, sustained suspense, last-minute plot twist, and memorable cast of characters, this series debut will leave readers eager to discover what color Tuesday will be.”
Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult (S&S/ Atria/Emily Bestler Books; Center Point Large Print) focuses on prodigal son Edward Warren, who has been living for five years after an irreparable fight with his father, a wolf expert. But he must return to New Hampshire, where his dad lies comatose, gravely injured in the same accident that has also injured his younger sister Cara. Kirkus says, “the thoroughly researched wolf lore is fascinating; the rest of the story is a more conventional soap opera of hospital, and later courtroom histrionics. Readers will care less about Luke’s prospects for survival than they will about the outcome for his wild companions.” Attention ALA Annual attendees; Picoult and her daughter will speak during the ALA President’s Program.
Victims by Jonathan Kellerman (RH/Ballantine; RH Audio; Thorndike Large Print) finds L.A. psychologist Alex Delaware stymied by a string of seemingly random slayings with only one clue left behind — a blank page bearing a question mark. PW says, “Too many plot contrivances make this one of Kellerman’s weaker efforts, but the usual effective interplay between Alex and [his pal Lt. Milo Sturgis] should satisfy series fans.”
Trail of the Spellmans: Document #5 by Lisa Lutz (Simon & Schuster; Thorndike Large Print) is the fifth installment in the popular Edgar- and Macavity-nominated series about San Francisco PI Isabel Izzy Spellman and her eccentric sleuthing family. PW says ”Lutz’s dry, biting humor is in full force, yet theres more than a hint of melancholy to be found in Izzys increasingly solitary pursuits.”
Torn by Amanda Hocking (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin; Brilliance Corporation) is the second paranormal romance in the paperback Trylle Trilogy, after Switched. Kirkus says, “while the writing certainly lacks the depth and polish it takes to win major literary awards, there is no denying that Hocking knows how to tell a good story and keep readers coming back for more.” Hocking was picked up by St. Martin’s after she hit the Amazon bestseller list as a self-published author.
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (HarperCollins) is the sequel to the YALSA Best Teen title, Delirium, with heroine Lena now living the Wilds, having evaded the required government procedure that eliminates amor deliria nervosa (a.k.a love). Kirkus says, “the novel’s success can be attributed to its near pitch-perfect combination of action and suspense, coupled with the subtler but equally gripping evolution of Lena’s character.”
Ripper by Stefan Petrucha (Penguin/Philomel) is the story of orphan Carver Young, adopted by a detective who investigates a vicious serial killer in New York City, with what appear to be uncanny ties to Young. PW: “Petrucha’s story hits the ground running and doesnt let up, the brisk pace making the inevitable twists effective; he also incorporates some fun steampunk-style gadgetry. Appearances by the Pinkertons, Jack the Ripper, and then New York City police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt add flair to the historical setting.”
The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks (Hachette/Grand Central) is the mass market edition that ties in to the film releasing on April 20, 2012, starring Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling and Blythe Danner.