In an inventive debut that hits shelves today, Laline Paull blends dystopian fiction with a surprisingly sympathetic cast of insect characters in The Bees.
Flora 717 is a worker bee from the lowest caste in her hive, and her sole motto is to accept, obey and serve the Queen. When an environmental crisis strikes, Flora's uniqueness comes in handy as she's assigned to new tasks—much to the dismay of the hive's elite. Soon Flora's new knowledge and experience land her at odds with the Queen herself, and she must decide where her loyalties lie.
Paull's tale certainly dips into the fantastical, but the extreme concepts of the novel, such as the fertility police and the hive mind, are all true to bee behavior, and our reviewer promises, "you will never look at the activity in your flower garden the same way again."
Check out the beautifully designed trailer below:
What do you think of the, ahem, buzz around this debut, readers?
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read a Q&A with Laline Paull about The Bees!
Author Justin Go is winning high praise for his "ambitious, sprawling and compelling debut novel," The Steady Running of the Hour.
The adventure begins as Tristan Campbell, young postgrad in California, receives a letter from an English law firm suggesting that he may be next in line to inherit millions. The original beneficiary disappeared in 1924, and now it's up to Tristan to find some solid evidence linking him to this beneficiary—his possible great-grandmother Imogen Soames-Andersson.
Armchair travelers will delight in the fast-paced action as it swings from America to England, France, Sweden, Germany, Iceland and even into the Himalayas, while the time period alternates between the present and pre-WWI England.
With plenty of mystery, romance, adventure and race-against-time excitement, The Steady Running of the Hour has plenty of charm and appeal. Watch as Go breaks down his novel's epic quest in the trailer below:
What do you think, readers? Is this unique debut going on your TBR list?
Our teen top pick for April is Printz Award winner John Corey Whaley's refreshingly unique novel, Noggin. When 16-year-old Travis Coates is faced with terminal cancer—acute lymphoblastic leukemia—he decides to donate his head to a cryogenic lab. But instead of "waking up" to a future of flying cars and jet packs, he's reinstated just five short years later with the body of a teen who suffered from brain cancer.
Travis is suddenly thrust back into a world that has moved on without him: his girlfriend and first love is engaged to someone else, his parents grieved, his best friend is navigating college and yet Travis is the same high schooler he was five years ago.
With plenty of wit and head puns, Whaley makes a bizarre concept absolutely lovable and surprisingly moving.
Check out the quirky trailer from Simon & Schuster below:
What do you think, readers? Interested in picking up Whaley's second teen novel?
The story unfolds in three separate sections, each centered on the larger story of the Hungarian Gold Train during World War II. Readers follow three different men through three different time periods: Jack, a young Jewish-American captain in the war; Amitai, an Israeli-born art dealer in the current day who deals with repatriated items; and Dr. Zobel, a pioneering psychiatrist at the turn of the 20th century in Budapest.
An intricate gemstone peacock pendant holds the key to the novel's decades-spanning mystery, but the male narrators and Waldman's unique female characters (Jack's love Ilona, his daughter Natalie and the suffragette Gizella) truly make this novel shine.
Watch the captivating trailer for Love & Treasure below:
What do you think, readers? Are you interested in this new historical novel?
ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read our web-exclusive Q&A with Waldman for more on Love & Treasure!
We're highlighting a new batch of the most humorous, unsettling and vibrant short story collections this April, and one of our favorite stars from NBC's "The Office" may surprise you with the strength of his literary muscle.
B.J. Novak is most often recognized for his role as Ryan, the Dundler Mifflin temp, but his first collection, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, is anything but a vanity project. Novak’s Harvard degree in English and Spanish literature combined with his sharp, absurdist style of humor are more than enough to convince us that he’s the real deal.
With 64 pieces that dip into everything from pop culture and celebrity to Mark Twain’s word choices in Huckleberry Finn, Novak delivers a fresh and emotionally astute literary debut.
The hilarious trailer stars Novak himself as he desperately tries to get his chic yet snobby Parisian crush (a fellow "Office" alum) to notice him.
What do you think, readers? Are you planning to read Novak's first collection? Is he giving Gary Shteyngart some competition for most entertaining book trailer?
Emma Donoghue's 2010 novel Room took the literary world by storm, selling more than 1.5 million copies in the U.S. alone. With only one short-story collection released since then, fans have been waiting a while for a new novel.
Luckily for them, the wait is over: Donoghue returns to her roots in well-researched historical fiction with Frog Music, which hits shelves next Tuesday!
Set in San Francisco during 1876, the novel is based on a real-life unsolved murder at the height of a summer heat wave and a deadly smallpox outbreak. Donoghue's story follows French burlesque dancer Blanche Beunon as she searches for clues to her cross-dressing, frog-hunting friend Jenny Bonnet's murder. Even more complications arise when Blanche's child, who was supposed to be safely cared for outside of Blanche's wild life, surfaces in need of help.
Our reviewer calls Donoghue's latest an "endlessly intriguing" book, filled with "intricate plot developments that will keep you revising your version of the action from one hour to the next."
Watch the trailer, complete with plenty of historic photographs, below.
What do you think, readers? Have you been waiting for this new novel from Donoghue?
Correction 4/1: An earlier version of this blog post listed Frog Music's publication date as April 1, not April 8.
In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, the 23-year-old son of then New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, disappeared along the coast of southwest New Guinea.
The recent Harvard grad was on a trip collecting art from Asmat tribes—mostly elaborate woodcarvings—when his catamaran capsized. After he and a companion waited overnight for rescue, Rockefeller tied two empty gasoline cans around his waist, and headed for shore, never to be seen again.
The official records state that he was drowned at sea, but author Carl Hoffman has been possessed by the mystery for years, and in his new book Savage Harvest, he aims to settle the question of Rockefeller's fate. Through visiting the same village, interviewing Asmat kinsmen, studying the tense political climate of the time and combing through archives of official documents along with Rockefeller's personal correspondence, Hoffman comes to the grim conclusion that he was cannibalized. Whether Hoffman's evidence is substantial enough is for the reader to decide, but it is a tense and riveting read nonetheless.
Watch Hoffman narrate the documentary-style trailer below:
What do you think, readers? Are you interested in new insight into this historical mystery?
Sally Green recently kicked off her much-anticipated Half Life trilogy with the release of her first YA novel, Half Bad. Green weaves a paranormal world of do-gooder White Witches and evil Black Witches into her setting of a modern-day United Kingdom.
Sixteen-year-old Nathan Byrn is seen as "an abomination, a Half Code" thanks to, you guessed it, his White Witch mother and Black Witch father. After Nathan's mother takes her own life out of shame for her role in the affair, he is forced to struggle for freedom from his cruel father, Marcus, and from the regulatory hand of the Council of White Witches.
Murky alliances, questionable methods employed by the self-proclaimed good guys of the Council and a cliffhanger ending make this an absorbing read that's sure to lure fans of strong YA series.
Get introduced to Nathan in the darkly cinematic trailer from Penguin Young Readers below:
What do you think, readers? Does this sound like a book for you?
Today is Trailer Tuesday x2! Author Gwendolyn Heasley (Where I Belong, A Long Way from You) will publish her third young adult novel with HarperTeen this April, and BookPage has the pleasure of presenting the first look at the plucky heroine at the heart of Don't Call Me Baby.
It's a cute and charming story about teenager Imogene, the daughter of a popular Mommy Blogger. The "Mommylicious" blog is incredibly embarrassing for Imogene (imagine having all your private puberty stories published online!). Then Imogene must start her own blog for school, and there's no better time to define herself in her own words—and to turn the tables on Mommylicious.
Check out the trailer:
Giant anacondas, jaguars, swaths of ancient, imposing trees and wild rivers color the Amazonian landscape that author Paul Rosolie explores in his new book, Mother of God.
Part travelogue, part plea for conservation, Rosolie's story is pulsing with a love of adventure and discovery along with a contagious love of place.
Rosalie continually asserts that the encroachment of civilization and industry into the jungle are regrettable: “What is it about our species," Rosalie wonders, "that allows us to watch sitcoms and argue over sports while cultures and creatures and those things meek and green and good are chopped, shot, and burned from the world for a buck?”
There certainly isn't an easy answer, but Rosolie's book makes a strong case for protecting the wild places we have left.
Watch the trailer below to get a glimpse at the incredible landscape of the western Amazon:
What do you think, readers? Are you interested in reading Mother of God?