August, Bernard Beckett (204 pages, New Zealand author) – Tristan and Grace are in a car wreck, waiting for rescue (if it happens!). As they wait, as one does, they review their very different lives and philosophies. “A compelling novel about will, freedom and what it means to live” (cover).
First sentence: For a moment the balance was uncertain.
Scorpia Rising, Anthony Horowitz (402 pages) – the final mission, the cover declares! No! Alex must put Scorpia out of business, once and for all, but is this the mission to end all missions, and to end Alex? We hope not!
First sentence: The man in the black cashmere coat climbed down the steps of his private, six-seater Learjet 40 and stood for a moment, his breath frosting in the chill morning air.
Where She Went, Gayle Forman (260 pages) – the follow up to the über popular If I Stay. Three years after Mia ended it with Adam they’re back together for one night in New York City, a chance to put things to rest (or to respark something?).
First sentence: Every morning I wake up and I tell myself this: it’s just one day, one twenty-four-hour period to get yourself through.
Plague, Michael Grant (526 pages) – the fourth in the Gone series. Quelle horreur, this one sounds ghastly. There is a plague threatening Perdido Beach (one that is described in graphic detail on the back cover! Guts! Being eaten away from the inside out!), and there’s still the grim reality of what happens to you at fifteen.
First sentence: He stood poised on the edge of a sheet of glass.
Invincible, Sherrilyn Kenyon (420 pages) – The second on the Chronicles of Nick series. Poor Nick is once again challenged by the presence of all manner of horrific supernatural creatures, affecting his life in so many ways, from the inconvenient (his principal thinks he’s gone to the bad, making school a problematic place) to the downright deadly; he must figure out how to raise the dead or he might find himself counted as one of them.
First sentence: They say when you’re about to die, you see your entire life flash before your eyes.
The Running Dream, Wendelin Van Draanen (332 pages) – Puts one’s own annoying, minor running injuries into perspective. Jessica is a runner, until she’s involved in a terrible accident and loses a leg. A story of coming to terms with a significant loss, reestablishing your identity and your place, and overcoming odds.
First sentence: My life is over.
All You Get is Me, Yvonne Prinz (279 pages) – Roar’s father goes all green on her, installing them on an organic farm, where she must spend the summer adjusting from her city sensibilities, coping with falling in love, the fact that her mother is gone, and with the fallout from her father’s crusade against the bad working conditions of Mexican farm workers.
First sentence: My mom always promised me she would keep me safe, and then she disappeared.
As Easy as Falling off the Face of the Earth, Lynne Rae Perkins (352 pages) – Ry’s train strands him in the middle of seriously nowhere and he’s got to get to somewhere, a journey that is peppered by a series of scrapes, mishaps and “comedic calamities” (catalogue).
First sentences: Wait a minute. Was the – had the train just moved?
The Floating Islands, Rachel Neumeier (388 pages) – “The adventures of two teenaged cousins who live in a place called The Floating Islands, one of whom is studying to become a mage and the other one of the legendary island flyers” (library catalogue).
First sentence: Trei was fourteen the first time he saw the Floating Islands.
The Education of Hailey Kendrick, Eileen Cook (256 pages) – Hailey is the perfect girl who never does anything wrong, until one night, together with a secret accomplice, she does something quite wrong and gets into a rather lot of trouble, which her secret accomplice escapes. Now her friends don’t want to know her, her teachers don’t trust her, everything’s a mess, and she’s keeping quiet about the identity of said secret accomplice. Is it worth it?
First sentence: There was a matter of life and death to deal with, and instead we were wasting our time discussing Mandy Gallaway’s crotch.