In the past few months, I've read a few upcoming 2011 releases, but since those release dates aren't that near yet, I've been holding the reviews. I decided, though, instead of just sitting on how much I've loved some of these books, I'll just make a post dedicated to their cumulative awesomeness and recommend them to you guys.
A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford: This one blew my mind. Clifford's writing is, for me, stunning and fantastic. She has a pretty good sized number of characters, but does a stellar job fleshing even the side characters out. I fell for several of her boys (oh yes, this book has quite a few little hotties that you just want to steal and run away with), but my favorite character actually was one of the girls: Kristen. It's a pretty heavy themed book, and darker than some, but that's part of why I loved it even more. Basically, I think it's pretty freaking awesome, so make sure you look for it, coming February 22 from Greenwillow.
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton: With a strong heroine that can hold her own, and is even stronger and admittedly more badass than the boy who has her back, Angelfire breaks quite a few molds in the genre. The story is fantastic, and paves the way for what promises to be an even better next installment. I loved Moulton's writing, which gets to the point while still being descriptive and not flowery. And her fight scenes. Hot damn this girl can write some pretty darn good fight scenes that put you right in the action. Oh, and Will? One of the single hottest guys in YA. But he's mine. So back off. Watch for this one coming from Katherine Tegan books February 15.
Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard: This one is all about the characters, and Hubbard has nailed them. Grace is fourteen, but intelligent and mature for her age, making her easy for even older readers to relate to and enjoy reading about. And Mandarin. Wow. She is such a well done character, it's hard to describe. But from the intensity in a few key scenes, and the shenanigans that these two find themselves in, Like Mandarin is what great contemporary fiction is all about. Add in how gorgeous and natural the writing is, and it's a total hit. And even better? There isn't romance, and you won't even notice that it's missing. That's how good it is. Look for it coming March 8 from Delacorte Press.
Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer: A ghost story mixed in perfectly with an otherwise contemporary kind of novel. Need I say more? It's a prime example of contemp with a supernatural twist, and Archer has done it so perfectly. She brings the setting to life, builds Tansy in such a fantastic way, and does a seriously amazing job of blending the past and the present. The way everything plays out has a few twists, and overall, this one is just an enjoyable read, and not too creepy despite the ghost angle. It's coming April 5 from Harper Teen.
Compulsion by Heidi Ayarbe: Male POV about a boy with OCD. Everything in me screamed WANT when I heard about this one, and it did not disappoint. The writing really puts the reader right into Jake's mind in such an exhausting way because of his OCD. It's heartbreaking and intense, but downright fantastic and revealing. Jake is such a sympathetic character, and not hitting as much on the romantic interest side because of everything else going on. But add in his interactions with his best friend, the Columbian hottie Luc, and the male side of him that did come out with a certain girl, and it is guttingly real in all the best ways. Look for it May 1 from Blazer & Bray.