Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sampling Samplers: Penguin Teen Spring 2013 Preview

Penguin Teen Spring 2013 Preview
Every now and then, certain publishers put out small, free samplers of their upcoming releases. I've never thought much of them before, but now they will be part of a new feature on my blog: Sampling Samplers.

Sampler 1: 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma

Oh, Nova. <3 She's one of my favorite authors and the three chapters featured in this sampler are very intriguing. The story begins as Lauren finds the missing poster of a girl named Abby Sinclair and latches onto it, pinpointing the origin of Lauren's book-long obsession at the very beginning. It made me wonder if we would get to see who Lauren was before or if we would only come to know her as she is post-obsession.

Funny thing, though: at the same time I started reading this sampler, I started reading my ARC of 17 & Gone. It made for a very strange reading experience, but my questions were answered.

Would I read on?: I would have and did. The full book was... less impressive, I'm sad to say.

Sampler 2: The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar

Do you know how long I've been looking for a book that ties a musical into it? Probably not, but I'm always on the lookout for a book that involves musicals and look into it immediately if I hear of a book with one in it. The Art of Wishing opens with Margo's tryout for Sweeney Todd and I swooned rather embarrassingly. I like the idea and Ribar's take on genies, but something about this feels very... typical. Whether it's in Margo's voice or the characters or how it all progresses, there's little that sets it apart from the many YA books I've already read. I wouldn't pick this up based on this excerpt alone. I'd need good reviews too.

But in other news, if you know of any YA books with musicals tied into them, please tell me! (Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay is one book you don't need to recommend, though. I've read it.)

Would I read on?: Maybe.

Sampler 3: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

I've never read If I Stay or Where She Went. Yes, it's true. I might one day, but I don't have the time right now. Still, Just One Day seems very intriguing. I can see myself getting invested in Allyson's personal journey--not just to find Willem, but to find herself now that she is no longer constricted by the boundaries her life had back home. The excerpt left off right when Allyson agreed to go to Paris with Willem for a day and that's a great yet torturous place to leave off. I'm going to go request this on Edelweiss and hope I get approved.

Would I read on?: Most likely, yes.

Sampler 4: The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

This one may not interest people who haven't read The Name of the Star by the same author, but I did read that book and this excerpt was therefore of interest to me. Rory's voice and personality don't seem to have changed much between books and though I'm not terribly interested, I wouldn't be opposed to reading this either. I like the twist on what Rory can do after the conclusion of The Name of the Star and I want to see where it takes her--and if it will take her back to the people she's trying to find.

Would I read on?: Maybe. I put in a request on NetGalley, so we'll see.

Sampler 5: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

I'm not even sure what to say about this sampler because I've already read the full book and OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS, THE BOOK IS FANTASTIC. I CAN'T EVEN. It had me at Josie the seven-year-old bartender and gripped me more tightly with Josie the ambitious eighteen-year-old trying to escape her mother and New Orleans in general. The author's writing is fantastic and Josie's voice works so well that it's difficult not to get sucked into the story. If I hadn't already read it, I would have been shaking my computer upon finishing this, demanding more.

Would I read on?: I would and did. Once again, FANTASTIC BOOK.

This is honestly the strongest sampler I've read yet because I was interested in all five books featured. Good job!

You can find this sampler on Scribd.