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January 2015

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  • Books, dystopia, Fantasy, GLBT, Horror, Mysteries, Nicola, Sci Fi

    New books

    10.01.15 | Permalink | Comments Off on New books

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsWhisper the dead, Alyxandra Harvey

    Cousins Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope are all dealing with what it means to be a Lovegrove. For Gretchen, it means she often feels like her head is going to explode. As a Whisperer, Gretchen constantly hears the whispers of other witches’ spells. And while this does help her to know when one of her own spells is going wrong, the incessant buzzing and pain the whispers cause makes it difficult to use her gift.But when something evil begins to menace Mayfair, Gretchen must find a way to master her power. Along with her cousins, a madcap named Moira, and the icy yet irresistible Tobias Lawless, Gretchen faces deadly threats and unimaginable loss in the hopes of preventing the terrible Greymalkin Sisters from rising again. (Goodreads)

    First lines: Gretchen was on her way to the Worthing Musicale when her head exploded. She finally knew exactly what a ripe melon felt like when it burst open. Frankly, it was knowledge she could have done without.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsWater Born, Rachel Ward

    Nicola’s dad has been terrified around water for as long as she can remember, and will never come to watch her swim. But then Nicola starts to hear a voice in the pool which changes everything. When girls start drowning, who’s to blame? What secrets lurk beneath the surface? (Goodreads)

    First lines: You need eyes in the back of your head with kids, don’t you? They’re there one minute, gone the next. Someone nearby shouts and it brings me back to my senses. I look around and she’s not next to me. Nicola. I can’t work out where she is, but she can’t be far away. I only took my eyes off her for a second, didn’t I?

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBreathe, Annie, Breathe, Miranda Kenneally

    Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race. But the training is even more gruelling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.(Goodreads)

    First lines: As a kid, I had the worst mile time ever. Our gym teacher made us the mile a few times a year for something called the Presidential Fitness Test. I’d huff and puff and wonder why the hell President Bush cared how far I could run laps around the playground. I always came in dead last.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsBreakdown, Sarah Mussi

    It is 2084. Nuclear radiation has poisoned the country. Society has fallen apart. Starvation is rampant, and power shortages have resulted in piles of obsolete gadgetry. Necessity has driven those who’ve survived to complete self-reliance, if they have the means to do so. For Melissa and her Nan, survival is just about possible, so long as they can guard the tiny crop of potatoes in their back garden and find enough fuel to cook on – and as long as they are safely barricaded inside their home by curfew.
    For after dark, feral dogs hunt, and violent gangs from the old Olympic Stadium (now a miserable ghetto) roam to loot and plunder. If they catch you, they are not merciful; so when Melissa falls into the hands of Careem’s gang, her prospects look bleak. But Careem soon realises that she might just be more valuable alive, as a ransom victim. However, he hasn’t reckoned with Melissa’s resourcefulness. Soon part of his young gang are completely beguiled by Melissa and her story of a hidden valley in Scotland – a place that sounds like a comparative paradise, if they can get there. But apparently only Melissa knows the way, and only she can lead them there. But Melissa is hiding a secret. She has never been to Scotland in her life, let alone a mythically Elysian valley there. Can Melissa’s stories keep her alive long enough to escape – or will they get her killed? (Goodreads)

    First lines: The light fades. I crouch and peer into the blackness. I can’t see anything. Can’t hear anything. But it won’t be long. They’re out there. They’ll catch our scent soon.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsParty games, R.L Stine

    Her friends warn her not to go to Brendan Fear’s birthday party at his family’s estate on mysterious Fear Island. But Rachel Martin has a crush on Brendan and is excited to be invited. Brendan has a lot of party games planned. But one game no one planned intrudes on his party—the game of murder. As the guests start dying one by one, Rachel realizes to her horror that she and the other teenagers are trapped on the tiny island with someone who may want to kill them all. How to escape this deadly game? Rachel doesn’t know whom she can trust. She should have realized that nothing is as it seems… on Fear Island.(Goodreads)

    First lines: I saw Brendan Fear walk into the diner where I worked with some of his friends, but I had no idea how my life would change that night. As I wiped down a table, I followed him with my eyes as he lead his three friends down the narrow aisle to the booth in the back corner. How could such a normal scene lead to so much horror – and even murder?

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsTake back the skies, Lucy Saxon

    Catherine Hunter is the daughter of a senior government official on the island of Anglya. She’s one of the privileged – she has luxurious clothes, plenty to eat, and is protected from the Collections which have ravaged families throughout the land. But Catherine longs to escape the confines of her life, before her dad can marry her off to a government brat and trap her forever.
    So Catherine becomes Cat, pretends to be a kid escaping the Collections, and stows away on the skyship Stormdancer. As they leave Anglya behind and brave the storms that fill the skies around the islands of Tellus, Cat’s world becomes more turbulent than she could ever have imagined, and dangerous secrets unravel her old life once and for all…(Goodreads)

    First lines: Rain fell lazily from charcoal-coloured clouds as Catherine Hunter sprinted through darkening streets, her long hair tied in a tight braid and tucked beneath a black knitted cap. Her thick woollen coat and black work trousers disguised her gender quite nicely. She was practically unrecognisable; only the people who knew her well would have been able to tell who she was.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsTicker, Lisa Mantchev

    When Penny Farthing nearly dies, brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick manages to implant a brass “Ticker” in her chest, transforming her into the first of the Augmented. But soon it’s discovered that Warwick killed dozens of people as he strove to perfect another improved Ticker for Penny, and he’s put on trial for mass murder. On the last day of Warwick’s trial, the Farthings’ factory is bombed, Penny’s parents disappear, and Penny and her brother, Nic, receive a ransom note demanding all of their Augmentation research if they want to see their parents again. Is someone trying to destroy the Farthings…or is the motive more sinister? Desperate to reunite their family and rescue their research, Penny and her brother recruit fiery baker Violet Nesselrode, gentleman-about-town Sebastian Stirling, and Marcus Kingsley, a young army general who has his own reasons for wanting to lift the veil between this world and the next. Wagers are placed, friends are lost, romance stages an ambush, and time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart.(Goodreads)

    First lines: A girl with the clockwork heart shouldn’t be running late, but I was. Narrowly avoiding a fruit cart, I hurtled into the thick of rush-hour traffic astride my new Vitesse. The motorized, high-wheeled cycle had been special-ordered from Grimthorpe’s Custom Velocipedes, and I was still getting the hang of the throttle. Traveling at a speed one could only define as “breakneck,” I defied physics and the traffic laws to swerve between a hansom cab and several irate pedestrians.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsKiss Kill Vanish, Jessica Martinez

    Valentina Cruz no longer exists. One moment, she was wrapped in Emilio’s arms, melting into his kiss. The next, she was witnessing the unthinkable: a murder in cold blood, ordered by her father and carried out by her boyfriend. When Emilio pulled the trigger, Valentina disappeared. She made a split-second decision to shed her identity and flee her life of privilege, leaving the glittering parties and sultry nightlife of Miami far behind. She doesn’t know how to explain to herself what she saw. All she knows now is that nothing she believed about her family, her heart, or Emilio’s love, was real. She can change her name and deny her past, but Valentina can’t run from the truth. The lines between right and wrong, and trust and betrayal, will be blurred beyond recognition as she untangles the deceptions of the two men she once loved and races to find her own truth. (Goodreads)

    First lines: “Jane, darling, you have to keep still.”
    Darling.
    I keep still. My muscles are screaming to stretch, release, contract, do anything but press my bones and blood into this pose for one more agonizing second, but I keep perfectly still.
    “If you weren’t so beautiful, I would have to be such a perfectionist,” Lucien mumbles.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe darkest minds, Alexandra Bracken

    When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.
    Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.
    When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.
    When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.(Goodreads)

    First lines: When the white noise went off, we were in the garden, pulling weeds. I always reacted badly to it. It didn’t matter if I was outside, eating in the Mess Hall, or locked in my cabin. When it came, the shrieking tones blew up like a pipe bomb between my ears.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe assassin’s blade, Sarah J. Maas

    Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan’s most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin’s Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas – together in one edition for the first time – Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn’s orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free? Explore the dark underworld of this kick-ass heroine to find out. (Goodreads)

    First lines: Seated in the council room of the Assassin’s Keep, Celaena Sardonthien leaned back in her chair. “It’s past four in the morning,” she said, adjusting the folds of her crimson silk dressing gown and crossing her bare legs beneath the wooden table. “This has better be important.”

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDead Zone, Robison Wells

    America is at war—and five teens are caught in the crossfire. It began with a virus. Then a series of attacks erupted across the nation. Now the true invasion has begun, and a handful of teenagers with impossible powers are America’s only defence.(Goodreads)

    First lines: Seattle seemed completely deserted. Alec sat in an overstuffed chair in the Columbia Centre, one of a dozen empty skyscrapers in the centre of the city. He was on the twenty-forth floor – it was the highest he felt like climbing; the electricity to run the elevators was out.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsFalling into place, Amy Zhang

    Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? (Goodreads)

    First lines: One the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s Laws of Motion in Physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road. As she lies on the grass with the shattered window tangled in her hair, her blood all around her, she looks up and sees the sky again.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsTell me again how a crush should feel, Sara Farizan

    High-school junior Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. Her Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when a sophisticated, beautiful new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, especially when it looks as if the attraction between them is mutual. Struggling to sort out her growing feelings and Saskia’s confusing signals, Leila confides in her old friend, Lisa, and grows closer to her fellow drama tech-crew members, especially Tomas, whose comments about his own sexuality are frank, funny, wise, and sometimes painful. Gradually, Leila begins to see that almost all her classmates are more complicated than they first appear to be, and many are keeping fascinating secrets of their own. (Goodreads)

    First lines: My cope of The Color Purple lies in front of me on my desk, the spine bent and wrinkled from how many times I’ve pored over the book. I have so many things to say about the beautiful prose, the characters, but I won’t…because I, Leila Azadi, am a Persian scaredy-cat. I can’t believe even English class makes me anxious these days.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsGabi, a girl in pieces, Isabel Quintero

    Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy’s pregnancy, Sebastian’s coming out, the cute boys, her father’s meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.(Goodreads)

    First lines: My mother named me Gabriela after my grandmother who – coincidentally – didn’t want to meet me when I was born because my mother was not married and therefore living in sin. My mom has told me the story many, many, MANY times of how, when she confessed to my grandmother that she was pregnant with me, her mother beat her. BEAT HER! She was twenty five.

    Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe foreshadowing, Marcus Sedgewick

    It is 1915 and the First World War has only just begun. 17 year old Sasha is a well-to-do, sheltered-English girl. Just as her brother Thomas longs to be a doctor, she wants to nurse, yet girls of her class don’t do that kind of work. But as the war begins and the hospitals fill with young soldiers, she gets a chance to help. But working in the hospital confirms what Sasha has suspected–she can see when someone is going to die. Her premonitions show her the brutal horrors on the battlefields of the Somme, and the faces of the soldiers who will die. And one of them is her brother Thomas. Pretending to be a real nurse, Sasha goes behind the front lines searching for Thomas, risking her own life as she races to find him, and somehow prevent his death. (Goodreads)

    First lines: I was five when I first saw the future. Now I am seventeen. I can’t remember much about it. Or maybe I should say I couldn’t remember much about it, until now. For years all I could remember was laughter, nervous laughter, and later, silence, then later still, anger. I felt ashamed, guilty, hurt when I thought about it, but I had quite forgotten what it was. Or rather, I had made myself forget.


  • Books, Chloe

    Book Cover Lookalikes: Holding Hands

    08.01.15 | Permalink | Comments Off on Book Cover Lookalikes: Holding Hands

    Looking for more summer romance perhaps? This week’s theme: give me your hand, and I will give you mine.

    Finale book coverTempest book coverThe Evolution of Mara Dyer book coverAmy & Roger's Epic Detour book coverLeaving Paradise book coverI Heart You, You Haunt Me book coverKiss Me Again book coverOf Beast and Beauty book coverAnnie on my Mind book coverCatching Jordan book coverSomething Like Fate book coverSunrise book cover


  • Books, GLBT, Lists, Rachel

    Short reads for the beach!

    06.01.15 | Permalink | Comments Off on Short reads for the beach!

    Welcome to 2015 here on the Teen Blog! We hope you’ve had a fabulous holiday time & new year, maybe you’ve made some resolutions? If you have, let us know in the comments below! For now, we’ve gathered a few short’n’sweet treats for you, the perfect picks for chucking in your bag to read in a day on the beach. All these books are around 200 pages or less, but they all sound thrilling in their own way. We hope you can find something to suit your tastes, or perhaps a new direction in which to take your reading direction in 2015? Have fun!

    Syndetics book coverGenesis / Bernard Beckett

    Anax thinks she knows history. Her grueling all-day Examination has just begun, and if she passes, she’ll be admitted into the Academy—the elite governing institution of her utopian society. But Anax is about to discover that for all her learning, the history she’s been taught isn’t the whole story. And the Academy isn’t what she believes it to be.” (Goodreads)

    Syndetics book coverDear Zoe, / Philip Beard

    “When 15-year-old Tess DeNunzio loses her stepsister in a freak hit-and-run accident on September 11, 2001, she chronicles her family’s recovery in an epistolary novel that is a tribute to the power of love to heal. Tess struggles with her own ambivalent feelings of guilt. As the first-year anniversary of the Twin Towers collapse and Zoe’s death approaches, the teen dreads the day.” (Adapted from School Library Journal)

    Syndetics book coverMiles from ordinary / Carol Lynch Williams

    “Thirteen-year-old Lacey wakes to a beautiful summer morning excited to begin her new job at the library, just as her mother is supposed to start work at the grocery store. Lacey hopes that her mother’s ghosts have finally been laid to rest; after all, she seems so much better these days, and they really do need the money. But as the hours tick by and memories come flooding back, a day full of hope spins terrifyingly out of control…” (Goodreads)

    Syndetics book coverAu revoir, crazy European chick / Joe Schreiber.

    “It’s prom night—and Perry just wants to stick to his own plan and finally play a much-anticipated gig with his band in the Big Apple. But when his mother makes him take Gobija Zaksauskas—their quiet, geeky Lithuanian exchange student—to the prom, he never expects that his ordinary high school guy life will soon turn on its head. Perry finds that Gobi is on a mission, and Perry has no other choice but to go along for a reckless ride through Manhattan’s concrete grid with a trained assassin in Dad’s red Jag.” (Goodreads)

    Syndetics book coverBoy meets boy / David Levithan.

    “When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he blows it. The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud. His best friend Joni might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away anytime soon, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right.” (Goodreads)

    Syndetics book coverFirst day on earth / Cecil Castellucci.

    “Mal, a high school loner who has all but withdrawn from the world, believes that aliens abducted him four years earlier in the California desert, where he disappeared for three days. And he wouldn’t mind if they came back for him. It’s easy to see why Mal would want to escape Earth: his mother has a drinking problem, his father abandoned them six years ago, and he’s ostracized and taunted at school. When Mal meets a strange man at a support group for alien abductees, Hooper surprises Mal by claiming to be an extraterrestrial. Is Hooper insane–or Mal’s best chance for getting off the planet?” (Publisher Weekly)

    Syndetics book coverThe espressologist : a novel / by Kristina Springer.

    “Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. So it’s not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane’s Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out?” (adapted from Goodreads)

    Syndetics book coverTen miles past normal / Frances O’Roark Dowell.

    “Janie Gorman wants to be normal. The problem with that: she’s not. She’s smart and creative and a little bit funky. She’s also an unwilling player in her parents’ modern-hippy, let’s-live-on-a-goat-farm experiment. The fresh baked bread is good…the threat of homemade jeans, not so much. It would be nice to go back to that old suburban life…or some grown up, high school version of it, complete with nice, normal boyfriends who wear crew neck sweaters and like social studies. So, what’s wrong with normal? Well, kind of everything.” (adapted from Goodreads)

    Syndetics book coverThe whale rider / Witi Ihimaera.

    “Eight-year-old Kahu craves her great-grandfather’s love and attention. But he’s focused on his duties as chief of Ngati Konohi in Whangara, on the East Coast-a tribe that claims descent from the legendary ‘whale rider’. In every generation since the whale rider, a male has inherited the title of chief. But now there is no male heir-there’s only Kahu. She should be next in line for the title, but her great-grandfather is blinded by tradition and sees no use for a girl. Kahu will not be ignored. And in her struggle she has a unique ally: the whale rider himself, from whom she has inherited the ability to communicate with whales. (Syndetics)

    Syndetics book coverAlaska / Sue Saliba.

    “When Mia follows her sister halfway across the world to Alaska, she discovers that love can be found in the most unexpected and beautiful of places. But can Mia find the courage to follow her heart in Alaska? And what if the one you love is not all that you wish them to be?” (Syndetics)



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