Trending Thursday: BEA Buzz Books 2015

Welcome to Trending Thursday, a periodic Thursday post in which I choose and we discuss some sort of YA trend.

Today I'd like to look at the recently announced Book Expo America 2015 YA Buzz Books and see how they fit into -- or stand out from -- some current YA trends. Some of these don't yet have covers on Goodreads, so if there isn't one, that's why.

Dream Things True 
by Marie Marquardt
St. Martin’s Griffin
September 1, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads: Evan, a soccer star and the nephew of a conservative Southern Senator, has never wanted for much -- except a functional family. Alma has lived in Georgia since she was two-years-old, excels in school, and has a large, warm Mexican family. Never mind their differences, the two fall in love, and they fall hard. But when ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) begins raids on their town, Alma knows that she needs to tell Evan her secret. There's too much at stake. But how to tell her country-club boyfriend that she’s an undocumented immigrant? That her whole family and most of her friends live in the country without permission. What follows is a beautiful, nuanced, well-paced exploration of the complications of immigration, young love, defying one’s family, and facing a tangled bureaucracy that threatens to completely upend two young lives.

Jen's Trend notes:  I'm excited about this one. Of course, there's the whole "ripped from the headlines" aspect as America debates issues surrounding undocumented immigrants. This book also draws on the whole "Romeo and Juliet from different side of the tracks" trope that's popular in YA romantic contemporaries by authors like Simone Elkeles and Katie McGarry. Immigration issues have also been tackled on a more serious note in YA contemporaries like Illegal by Bettina Restrepo or The Vow by Jessica Martinez.

Everything, Everything 
by Nicola Yoon
September 1, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads: My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I'm allergic to the world. I don't leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He's tall, lean and wearing all black--black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. Maybe we can't predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It's almost certainly going to be a disaster. 
Jen's Trend Notes: So of course this book taps into the whole YA Illness Trend, something that's already loomed large in 2015 and that I've discussed on Trending Thursday before. I love this cover and this seems very voice-y to me which makes me excited.

by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski
October 13, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads: On Marin’s island, sunrise doesn’t come every twenty-four hours--it comes every twenty-eight years. Each sunset, the townspeople sail to the south, where they wait out the long Night. None of the adults will tell Marin, Kana, or their friend Line exactly what happens when they leave the island, but when the three are accidentally left behind in the gathering dusk, they learn the truth: at Night, their town belongs to others, and those others want them gone. Fleeing through the now-alien landscape that used to be their home, the three confront shocking transformations and uncomfortable truths about themselves.  They are challenged to trust one another or perish. Marin, Kana, and Line must find their way off the island . . . before the Night finds them. 
Jen's Trend Notes: Horror meets post-apocalyptic thriller? Yes, please! While this could be too scary for me, I think books like this appeal to a lot of readers. With the popularity of shows like The Walking Dead and The 100, this could make a welcome addition to the YA landscape. And I did a previous Trending Thursday post about how island books are always delightfully creepy.

The Death And Life Of Zebulon Finch, Volume 1: At The Edge Of Empire 
by Daniel Kraus
Simon & Schuster
October 25, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads: May 7, 1896. Dusk. A swaggering seventeen-year-old gangster named Zebulon Finch is gunned down on the shores of Lake Michigan. But after mere minutes in the void, he is mysteriously resurrected. His second life will be nothing like his first. Zebulon's new existence begins as a sideshow attraction in a traveling medicine show. From there, he will be poked and prodded by a scientist obsessed with mastering the secrets of death. He will fight in the trenches of World War I. He will run from his nightmares—and from poverty—in Depression-era New York City. And he will become the companion of the most beautiful woman in Hollywood.
Love, hate, hope, and horror—Zebulon finds them. But will he ever find redemption?

Jen's Trend Notes: Wow -- this one sounds like a big hybrid -- historical fiction meets sci-fi meets horror. Like a YA The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, perhaps?

This Raging Light 
by Estelle Laure
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
January 5, 2016 

Synopsis from Goodreads: A teenager and her younger sister try to deal with their mother’s sudden disappearance. Things become further complicated when older sister Lucille falls for her best friend’s brother. 

Jen's Trend Notes: There's not a lot of information to go on yet. There's a Missing Person, which has been a popular trend in 2015.  I always love a good sister story. And this cover is part of the Rainbow Bright cover trend I discussed last week.

What do you think about these? Which are you excited about?


  1. I have never heard of these titles yet, and boy am I glad you posted this!

    Dream Things True sounds absolutely amazing. I've never read a book about undocumented immigrants before, and I'm a big fan of the "Romeo and Juliet from different sides of the tracks" trope. :) Adding this to my wishlist for sure.

    I'm not sure if Everything, Everything is going to be something I'll enjoy, but I'll add it to my TBR and I'll be waiting for the early reviews to pop in before I decide if I really want to read it. :)

    Nightfall sounds super creepy--definitely up my alley. ;) And obviously I want to know why the heck the sunrise only happens every twenty eight years!

    This Raging Light sounds a bit underwhelming based on what we have to go on so far, but I'll add it to my TBR just in case. ;)

    1. Aw, thanks! Glad you found it helpful and I should have put on "add to Goodreads" buttons. I was in a hurry!

  2. I want to read Everything, Everything. I actually enjoy the tragedy of Romeo & Juliet, so I already have Dream Things True on my tbr. This Raging Light sounds interesting from that short synopsis.

    1. I'm very excited about Everything, Everything. Hoping to get a longer description of the other book soon!

  3. Of all the titles you've included in today's post, Dream Things True is probably the most exciting one for me! The issue of undocumented immigration is definitely interesting to me. Add in a comparison to Romeo & Juliet, and I'm sold!

    1. These are just the YA books that will be featured in that Buzz panel. Which I never seem to be able to attend!!

  4. I want to read Everything, Everything so BADLY. GIVE THAT TO ME AFSJLKASAJDNSJ
    This Raging Light has such a pretty cover, though. I'm so mad I won't be able to attend this BEA this year as well. HUh. Will Armchair my way through it.

  5. Nightfall and Everything, Everything sound the most interesting to me.

    I'd really like to see how these titles do. From what I can tell BEA doesn't have a great track record predicting what actually does well once the buzz wears off. lol

    1. Ha -- yes, sometimes the BEA Buzz titles don't end up with buzz in the real world. We shall see!

  6. Dream Things True and Everything, Everything sounds great for me. They don't sounds so original since like you mention are part of some trends.
    Thanks for sharing! I'm adding them to my TBR list!

  7. You always inform me of so much with your buzz posts! Love these.

    1) This set up sounds a LOT like a major plot in The Wrong Side of Right. Like eerily similar - the conservative Senator and immigration issues. Though it doesn't involve the romance in the other book. It's so strange to me how concepts begin trending, when they come out around the same time as each other. How do two very different people come up with this and how are they both picked up by different publishers?

    2) I cannot do any more tragic illness plots, and yet, I agree this one sounds appealing. If the heroine's voice is like the synopsis, I agree that I'm already drawn in. But I'll have to find out if it ends in tragedy before committing.

    3) I have no interest in this book at all.

    4) This sounds very strange and not like a YA book to me. A lot of different things happening. I'm curious, but not super interested yet .

    5) This cover looks exactly like The Brilliant Light of Amber Sunrise (tho that's an illness book), which I received recently. I think you did a trend post on those types of covers. The missing persons thing sounds interesting, but there isn't enough here for me to decide about this one.

    Thanks again for sharing these! I wonder how they pick these books because they seem so random. I also wonder if the BEA Buzz books traditionally become big sellers. You should do a post on that! It's totally up your alley :).

    1. 1) Interesting! I think I may skip Wrong Side of Right and wait for this one because from what I'm reading, WSOR skews a little young. I'm not sure how two similar books get published -- maybe a publisher misses out on a book and finds a similar one?

      2) Yeah, I think the tragic illness plot is wearing thin...

      3) 4) 5) Agree! haven't decided if I'm reading those yet...

  8. Everything, Everything and This Raging Light both sound really good!

  9. Nightfall sounds so good my mouth is actually watering :) I'm seeing a lot more contemporaries around nowadays... Is it a trend or am I imagining it?

    1. Ha -- I may wait for your review and see how scary it is!

  10. I'm really hoping I can make it to BEA this year! I'm terrible at figuring out what books are coming out ahead of time (unless they are seriously buzzed about books) so all of these titles are a complete surprise! That being said, i'm definitely interested and I love the parallel between the themes these all explore and the trending themes we keep seeing pop up everywhere. It's definitely fun (if done right).
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

    1. I hope I'll be at BEA -- not sure yet -- and I hope you are there too!

  11. I'm super excited for Everything, Everything. I JUST got approved for it on netgalley which has me squeeing and flailing all over the place because I almost always get disapproved. xD I HOPE IT'S FABULOUS. (Although it is very short?!) I hadn't even heard of most of the authors. Ugh. I'm not keeping up with 2015 books very well. I did better in 2014. lol

  12. I can't believe that BEA is coming up so soon! All of these books sounds great!


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