Welcome to another edition of Must Read Monday!
This feature is where I spotlight older, recent, or upcoming releases I am looking forward to. The lists will include all genres I like to read, everything from picture books to comics, children’s lit to adult fiction!
This week: two soon-to-be-released contemporary young adult titles from new-to-me-authors. First up is Unbecoming, the latest novel from British novelist Jenny Downham. Downham is the author of several young adult novels (including Before I Die), but I am sorry to say I have not yet had the opportunity to read her books. Yet. There’s just something about the multi-generational component of Unbecoming that has captured my attention, and I look forward to this read. Next up is Exit, Pursued by a Bear by Canadian author E.K. Johnston. In addition to having an unforgettable title and engrossing premise, I have also been hearing great buzz about this title from authors and reviewers I follow.
Unbecoming by Jenny Downham
Expected Publication: February 23, 2016 by David Fickling Books (this edition)
Three women – three secrets – one heart-stopping story.Katie, seventeen, in love with someone whose identity she can’t reveal.Her mother Caroline, uptight, worn out and about to find the past catching up with her.Katie’s grandmother, Mary, back with the family after years of mysterious absence and ‘capable of anything’, despite suffering from Alzheimers.As Katie cares for an elderly woman who brings daily chaos to her life, she finds herself drawn to her. Rules get broken as allegiances shift. Is Mary contagious? Is ‘badness’ genetic?In confronting the past, Katie is forced to seize the present. As Mary slowly unravels and family secrets are revealed, Katie learns to live and finally dares to love. Funny, sad, honest and wise, Unbecoming is a celebration of life, and learning to honour your own stories.
Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
Expected Publication: March 15, 2016 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
Hermione Winters is captain of her cheerleading team, and in tiny Palermo Heights, this doesn’t mean what you think it means. At PHHS, the cheerleaders don’t cheer for the sports teams; they are the sports team—the pride and joy of a tiny town. The team’s summer training camp is Hermione’s last and marks the beginning of the end of…she’s not sure what. She does know this season could make her a legend. But during a camp party, someone slips something in her drink. And it all goes black.
In every class, there’s a star cheerleader and pariah pregnant girl. They’re never supposed to be the same person. Hermione struggles to regain the control she’s always had and faces a wrenching decision about how to move on. The assault wasn’t the beginning of Hermione Winter’s story and she’s not going to let it be the end. She won’t be anyone’s cautionary tale.