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Anticipated Reads: Good Books Make Great Gifts

By Meg Jones, Sarah Ernestine, Genevieve Bernard, Alfie Kimmins, Georgia Wells and Ellie Gibbs

You’ll be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus

2 December, Penguin

A reunion between three old friends turns deadly in Karen M. McManus’ latest heart-pounding thriller. Best friends in middle school, Ivy, Mateo and Cal have fallen out of touch, and high school isn’t turning out the way they’d hoped. But, when they skip school to take a road trip and catch up, they accidentally follow a fellow high school student to the scene of his death. Their secret brings them closer, and it isn’t long before suspicion begins to cloud their coincidental meet-up – what brought them all together that day, and why?

– Meg

The Coldest Touch by Isabel Sterling

7 December, Razorbill

Isabel Sterling, author of These Witches Don’t Burn, is set to chill readers once again this Winter with her newest novel, The Coldest Touch. It all starts, as some stories do, with a curse. Elise Beaumont experiences the death of her loved ones every time she touches them. After the predicted death of her brother, Elise is desperate to break the curse – even if that means befriending a vampire. Claire, a young vampire, is tasked by the Veil to help Elise with the curse and to track down the whereabouts of a supernatural murderer lurking in the shadows of their town. This new sapphic YA (Young Adult) novel is the perfect gift for fans of Afterlove by Tanya Byrne and Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain.

– Sarah

Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim

7 December, Oneworld Publications

This epic story of love, desperate poverty, war and the brutality of occupied Korea is a beautiful debut from Kim. Spanning from 1917 to 1965, in the snow-covered mountains of an occupied Korea to the impoverished streets of Seoul, we follow the intertwined fates of a young girl, Jade, sold by her family to a courtesan school, and that of JungHo, an orphan who has nothing. The two form an unbreakable friendship, but, as they grow into adults and the revolutionary fight for independence alters their lives, Jade must make the decision of whether she will risk everything she has to save the one person who would do the same for her.

– Genevieve

Absynthe by Brendan P. Bellecourt

9 December, Head of Zeus

Described as “Inception meets Metropolis, by way of The Great Gatsby,” this decopunk dystopian fiction set in an alternate timeline tells the story of Liam, a boy born poor but now taking full advantage of the privileges made available to him from working for one of the richest families in Chicago. Set in the years subsequent to their timeline’s version of the “Great War,” a seemingly perfect new world of advanced technologies and medicines has been forged. The great and the good go to Club Artemis, notorious for “Absynthe.” The liquid has a reputation for causing delusions, psychosis and even death, but for Liam it opens his eyes to a crumbling world, lifting the veil on the perfect world the government is leading everyone to believe it is.

– Alfie

A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske

9 December, Pan Macmillan

For the lovers of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and The Binding comes Marske’s new novel, telling the twisting tale of a magic-infused murder mystery, a queer romance and hedge mazes. In this novel’s alternative Edwardian England setting, everything is not as it seems. Young baronet Robin Blyth accidentally uncovers an underground magical society when he takes up a seemingly minor governmental post. One administrative error later and Robin is now the appointed parliamentary liaison to this newfound society.

Overwhelmed and confused, Robin calls upon his unwilling magical counterpart, Edwin Courcey, to help him on his mission to request answers from his missing predecessor. When they unveil a plot threatening every magician in the British Isles, the two discover they have a lot more to uncover than they first realised. Marske’s new novel is a perfect stocking filler for the lovers of magic, mystery and murder!

– Georgia

Homecoming King by Penny Reid

14 December, Cipher-Naught

Homecoming King is the latest instalment from bestselling romance author Penny Reid. This is the perfect gift for anyone who loves all things contemporary and sentimental. The novel follows Rex and Abigail. Rex is perpetually single, doomed to watch his ex-girlfriends marry the next person they date – more often than not, a close friend of his. Abigail is used to singledom and has long since sworn off dating. Except one guy who she has loved since she was a kid. Their paths cross when that guy enters Abigail’s bar, needing a lift home. What comes next is a whirlwind of romance and the perfect stocking-filler.

– Ellie



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