Women's Fiction, SF, & Fantasy: Pop Fiction Previews, Feb. 2019, Pt. 5 | Prepub Alert

Among the top pop fiction news: Hugo and Nebula award winner Leckie offers her first fantasy, and Renée Knight, who triumphed with the recent Disclaimer, returns with edgy women's fiction.

Adkins, Mary. When You Read This. Harper. Feb. 2019. 384p. ISBN 9780062834676. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062834706. WOMEN’S
After PR power Iris Massey dies from a terminal illness at age 33, friend and colleague Smith learns than in her final months she created a blog full of acute observations on a life cut short. He wants to publish it, but that will require the cooperation of Iris’s hotshot chef sister, Jade, who’s tumbled down into despair over her loss. With a 50,000-copy first printing; a big push at the 2019 Midwinter ALA Conference.

Fforde, Jasper. Early Riser. Viking. Feb. 2019. 400p. ISBN 9780670025039. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780698170346. Downloadable. FANTASY
Best known for his top-selling “Thursday Next” literary fantasy puzzlers, Fforde goes darker in this stand-alone, set in a world of bitter winters during which the human population hibernates and the slightly crazed Winter Consuls are tasked with ensuring their safety. Newbie consul Charlie Worthing learns about a rash of weird dreams, which seem innocuous enough until they start killing people.

Gray, Anissa. The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls. Berkley. Feb. 2019. 304p. ISBN 9781984802439. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781984802453. Downloadable. WOMEN’S
Sisters Althea, Viola, and Lillian are knot-tight, with eldest Althea the de facto matriarch of a family seen as top of the heap in their town. So when Althea and husband Proctor are arrested for mysterious reasons and townsfolk turn their heads in disgust, Viola and Lillian move into their old family home—now Althea’s—to care for their teenage nieces. From award-winning CNN journalist Gray, a debut purchased with a second novel in auction.

Knight, Renée. The Secretary. Harper. Feb. 2019. 368p. ISBN 9780062362353. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062362377. WOMEN’S

When she becomes celebrity Mina Appleton’s personal assistant, Christine Butcher knows that utter loyalty—and utter discretion—is required. Working that hard and keeping all those secrets costs Christine, but what if it’s about to cost Mina? From the author who debuted with the acclaimed Disclaimer (“deliciously captivating, brilliantly twisty, and enticingly addictive,” LJ), which sold to more than 20 territories and to Twentieth Century Fox for film.

Jewell, Lisa. Watching You. Atria. Dec. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9781501190070. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501190094. CD. WOMEN’S

In a tony Bristol, England, neighborhood, beloved headmaster Tom Fitzwilliam's preternaturally smart teenage son suspects that neighbor Joey Mullen is crushing on his dad, while one of Tom’s students suspects that Tom is not as clean-cut as he looks. In a parallel narrative, set two decades previously, a teenage girl swoons over her English teacher, Mr. Fitzwilliam. Jewell is getting increasingly brisk sales, with this book rating a 200,000-copy first printing; just bumped up to December 2018.

Knight, Renée. The Secretary. Harper. Feb. 2019. 368p. ISBN 9780062362353. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062362377. WOMEN’S
When she becomes celebrity Mina Appleton’s personal assistant, Christine Butcher knows that utter loyalty—and utter discretion—is required. Working that hard and keeping all those secrets costs Christine, but what if it’s about to cost Mina? From the author who debuted with the acclaimed Disclaimer (“deliciously captivating, brilliantly twisty, and enticingly addictive,” LJ), which sold to more than 20 territories and to Twentieth Century Fox for film.

Leckie, Ann. The Raven Tower. Orbit: Hachette. Feb. 2019. 432p. ISBN 9780316388696. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316388719. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316388689. Downloadable. FANTASY
Winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke, and Locus awards, Leckie turns in her first fantasy novel. There’s a stone castle, a pretender on the throne, and a god preparing to interfere in human affairs. There’s also a 100,000-copy first printing; fantasy fans, get ready.

Lipman, Elinor. Good Riddance. Houghton Harcourt. Feb. 2019. 304p. ISBN 9780544808256. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780544808287. WOMEN'S

Stuck for space, Daphne Maritch ditches a high school year book dedicated to her mother by the class of 1969, which her mother annotated reunion after reunion with sometimes acidulous comments about who’s been behaving badly. But it’s found in the trash by a nosy neighbor—who happens to be a documentary filmmaker. With a 45,000-copy first printing.

Mallery, Susan. California Girls. MIRA. Feb. 2019. 384p. ISBN 9780778368960 $26.99; pap. ISBN 9780778351252. $15.99; ebk: ISBN 9781488088612. WOMEN’S
Life is not all sunny for three California sisters. Reigning talk-show host Finola finds out through the media that her husband is having an affair with a hot new pop singer who has immortalized their affair in her lyrics. Surfer girl Zennie finds that agreeing to be a surrogate mother for her best friend is no easy wave to ride. And perpetually overlooked Ali is reeling after her fiancé sends his brother to break off the engagement, though the brother does keep coming around to give support. With a 350,000-copy paperback and a 10,000-copy hardcover first printing.

Morden, S.J. No Way. Orbit: Hachette. Feb. 2019. 304p. ISBN 9780316522212. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9780316522199. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316522205. SF

In this sequel to the unnerving One Way, Frank Kitteridge, who’s been abandoned on Mars by the unscrupulous builders of the first base there, learns that survivors at another base are itching to exploit him for all he’s worth. To get back home, he might fight back now. From Philip K. Dick award winner Morden; with a 50,000-copy first printing.

Riley, Lucinda. The Moon Sister. Atria. Feb. 2019. 528p. ISBN 9781982110611. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781982110635. WOMEN’S

In Riley’s popular “Seven Sisters” series, the adoptive D’Aplièse sisters find that their deceased father has left each a clue to her particular origins. Here, Tiggy D’Aplièse is working as a wildlife consultant on a grand Scottish estate when she’s told by an old Spanish gypsy that he’s destined to bring her home. He also tells her the story of Lucía Amaya-Albaycin, who becomes a celebrated flamenco dancer even as the Spanish civil war rages and must choose between passion and dance. With a 50,000-copy first printing; radically upticked sales for each sister’s story.

Santopolo, Jill. More Than Words. Putnam. Feb. 2019. 352p. ISBN 978073521830. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780735218321. lrg.prnt. Downloadable. WOMEN’S
The author of three acclaimed children’s and YA series, Santopolo became an adult author with the New York Times best-selling The Light We Lost. (Plus, there’s a movie coming.) In this new work, Nina Gregory, whose father owns New York’s high-end Gregory Hotels, has been raised to care deeply about her family’s reputation and legacy. But a secret she learns when her father dies has her questioning not just him but other men in her life, including boyfriend Tim and boss Rafael.

Zgheib, Yara. The Girls at 17 Swann Street. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2019. 384p. ISBN 9781250202444. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250202468. CD. WOMEN’S
Once a ballerina in Paris and happily married, relentlessly self-critical Anna Roux stops dancing after a knee injury and eventually moves with her husband to St. Louis, MO. There, anorexia whittles her down to 88 pounds, and she finds herself living at 17 Swann Street, a residency for women with life-threatening eating disorders. Will she recover? Fulbright scholar Zgheib draws on personal experience for her debut.

Author Image
Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Book Review; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president of the National Book Critics Circle, to which she has just been reelected.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

TOP STORIES

LIBRARY EDUCATION

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COMMUNITY FORM

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.