Try Not to Breathe, by Jennifer R. Hubbard (233 pages) – Ryan, sixteen-years-old and back home from a mental hospital after a suicide attempt, meets Nicki. She isn’t afraid to ask him about his depression and his secrets, and ‘trusting Nicki just might be the catalyst Ryan desperately needs to start living again.’ A bit grim! But happy all the same.
First line: ‘It was dangerous to stand under the waterfall, but some kids did it anyway, and I was one of them.‘
Pink Smog : Becoming Weetzie Bat, is Francesca Lia Block (185 pages) – This is a prequel to Weetzie Bat, a fairly controversial book in some parts of America. Which is usually an indication of quality when it comes to YA literature! Well, that’s my opinion. Anyhoo, if you’re familiar with that book you will want to read this, the prequel. I have trouble with prequels since I already know how they end, you know? But that’s just me and my problem with the third Underworld movie really.
First: ‘The day after my dad, Charlie, the love of my life, left, and an angel saved my mom from drowning, I woke up with a slamming headache and a wicked sunburn.‘
Torn, by Cat Clarke (374 pages) – Four girls – Alice and Cass, and Polly, and Rae – are stuck in a cabin in the Scottish Highlands with Tara, the ‘queen of mean’. She’s a real bully, so Cass decides to teach her a lesson. Aaaaaaand so shortly there are four girls and one dead body. ‘A compelling story of guilty secrets, troubled friendship and burgeoning love.’
First line: ‘A funeral without a body is like a wedding without a bride. Or a groom.‘
Double, by Jenny Valentine (246 pages) – Chap is mistaken for Cassiel, a missing boy, and subsequently takes on this new identity. He moves in with Cassiel’s family, but soon discovers that they have some pretty dark secrets. Thrills, mystery, and unputdownableishness.
First lines: ‘I didn’t choose to be him. I didn’t pick Cassiel Roadnight out of a lineup of possible people who looked just like me.‘
Velvet, by Mary Hooper (323 pages) – It is Victorian England, and not a time to be poor! So Velvet is pleased when the glamorous psychic, Madame Savoya, plucks her from the steam laundry to become a lady’s maid. She gets to wear nice clothes and live in a grand house. But the more she learns about Madame Savoya’s spiritual medium shenanigans, the less ideal her new life seems.
First line: ‘Velvet had fainted too many time, according to Mrs Sloane, and was liable to be dismissed from Ruffold’s Steam Laundry.‘
The Wrong Grave, by Kelly Link (183 pages) – A collection of short stories about the supernatural, blended with humour. And some pretty neat sketches by Sean Tan.
Dark Eyes, by William Richter (373 pages) – Wallis “Wally” Stoneman was born to Russian parents but adopted by a wealthy New York couple. Now she’s a rebellious teen, out to find her birth mother, who stole a fortune from her birth father, a Russian gangster who has just escaped from prison. He is out for revenge and the fortune. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo for teens, a reviewer suggests!
First line: ‘Valentina stirred awake and found Mrs Ivanova leaning over her bed, gently squeezing her shoulder.‘
Wisdom’s Kiss, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (284 pages) – Via the catalogue: ‘Princess Wisdom, who yearns for a life of adventure beyond the kingdom of Montagne, Tips, a soldier keeping his true life secret from his family, Fortitude, an orphaned maid who longs for Tips, and Magic the cat form an uneasy alliance as they try to save the kingdom from certain destruction. Told through diaries, memoirs, encyclopedia entries, letters, biographies, and a stage play.’
First line: ‘Trudy’s sight revealed itself one warm summer night when the child was older that three.‘
Ticket to Love, by Marilyn Kaye (305 pages) – Four young women head to New York for the ‘mini-break adventure of a lifetime’. Megan’s a shopaholic, Erica is meeting an online boyfriend, Jen wants to meet a celebrity, and Serena’s in it for the museums. But! Can they all find love/form relationships/retain their illusions in the face of a stark and indifferent reality?
First lines: ‘Megan could her her mobile ringing as she twisted the key in the lock. Entering her flat, she dropped her shopping and fumbled in her bag for the phone.’
My Very Unfairy Tale, by Anna Staniszewski (198 pages) – Jenny is twelve, and for the last three years has been the designated adventurer whose job is to protect magical kingdoms ‘far and wide’ from all sorts of unsavoury things. She also lives in the real world, but her adventuring is taking her away from her friends and family. SO when she get given one final impossible task, she takes it. “Speedy and amusing,” wrote a reviewer.
First lines: ‘You know all those stories that claim fairies cry sparkle tears and elves travel by rainbow? They’re lies. All lies.‘