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Books, Fantasy, Mysteries, Nicola

New books

12.07.16 | Comment?

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsIf I was your girl, Meredith Russo

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone. And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it. Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew. (Goodreads)

First lines: The bus smelled of mildew, machine oil, and sweat. As the suburban Atlanta sprawl disappeared behind us, I tapped my foot on the floor and chewed a lock of my newly long hair. A nagging voice reminded me that I was only half an hour from home, that if I got off at the next stop and walked back to Smyrna, by sunset I could be back in my own bedroom, the familiar smell of Mon’s starchy cooking in the air.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsWarrior witch, Danielle L. Jensen

Cécile and Tristan have accomplished the impossible, but their greatest challenge remains: defeating the evil they have unleashed upon the world. As they scramble for a way to protect the people of the Isle and liberate the trolls from their tyrant king, Cécile and Tristan must battle those who’d see them dead. To win, they will risk everything. And everyone. But it might not be enough. Both Cécile and Tristan have debts, and they will be forced to pay them at a cost far greater than they had ever imagined.(Goodreads)

First lines: My voice, the one thing about me that had always been valued, suddenly seemed inconsequential in the cacophony of voices filling the courtyard. Questions and demands fought with the cries of those whose nerves had collapsed in the face of this unknown adversary, their collective onslaught driving me back step by step until I stood apart in the snow.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDream on, Kerstin Gier

Things seem to be going well for Liv Silver: she’s adjusting to her new home (and her new family) in London; she has a burgeoning romance with Henry Harper, one of the cutest boys in school; and the girl who’s been turning her dreams into nightmares, Anabel, is now locked up. But serenity doesn’t last for long. It seems that Liv’s troubles are far from over–in fact, suddenly they’re piling up. School gossip blogger Secrecy knows all of Liv’s most intimate secrets, Henry might be hiding something from her, and at night Liv senses a dark presence following her through the corridors of the dream world. Does someone have a score to settle with Liv?(Goodreads)

First lines: Charles really hadn’t made it hard for me to find his dream door: it had a life-size photograph of Charles himself printed on it. The photo showed him wearing a broad grin and a pristine white coat, with the words Charles Spencer, DDS on its breast pocket, and under that: The best dentist you can find for your teeth.

Book cover courtesy of Syndetics23 minutes, Vivian Vande Velde

Fifteen-year-old Zoe has a secret ability: she can travel back in time twenty-three minutes to relive events she wants to change. But Zoe has learned from experience that this is more curse than gift. Things almost never end well and people just tend to think she’s crazy. But when she steps into a bank to get out of the rain and finds herself in the middle of a robbery gone horrifyingly wrong, Zoe knows she’s the only one who can help. The problem is, she has only a limited number of tries to make things right. Plus, a single mistake could get her killed—and not even time travel could bring her back from that. Zoe has always considered herself a loser, about as far from a heroine as a girl can get. Now she has to dig deep to find a strength she never thought she possessed.(Goodreads)

First lines: The story begins with an act of stunning violence. Or…well…maybe not exactly. Maybe, exactly, the story starts when Zoe walks into the bank-except she doesn’t recognise it as a story yet.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDark energy, Robinson Wells

WE ARE NOT ALONE. Five days ago, a massive UFO crashed in the Midwest, killing thousands of people. Since then, nothing–or no one–has come out.THEY HAVE ARRIVED. If it were up to Alice, she’d be watching all of this on the news from Miami, Florida. Instead, she’s the newest student at a boarding school not far from the crash site–because her dad is the director of special projects for NASA, and if anything’s a special project, it’s this. AND THERE’S NO GOING BACK. A shell-shocked country is waiting, glued to televisions and computer screens, for a sign of what the future holds. But when the aliens emerge, they’re nothing like what Alice expected. And only one thing is clear: Nothing will ever be the same again.(Goodreads)

First lines: Want to hear something freaky? Go outside and look at the night sky. Assuming you’re not in a big city, you should see quite a few stars- in the neighbourhood of a few thousand. If you have a good set of binoculars, you can increase that to 200,000. If you’re using a telescope in an observatory, you can see more than a billion.

Book courtesy of SyndeticsThe crown’s game, Evelyn Skye

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side. And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death. Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?
For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her. And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love… or be killed himself. As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear… the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

First lines: The smell of sugar and yeast welcomed Vika even before she stepped into the pumpkin-shaped shop on the main street of their little town. She resisted the urge to burst into Cinderella Bakery – her father had laboured for sixteen years to teach her how to be demure- and she slipped into the shop and took her place quietly at the end of the line of middle-aged women.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDevil and the bluebird, Jennifer Mason-Black

Blue Riley has wrestled with her own demons ever since the loss of her mother to cancer. But when she encounters a beautiful devil at her town crossroads, it’s her runaway sister’s soul she fights to save. The devil steals Blue’s voice—inherited from her musically gifted mother—in exchange for a single shot at finding Cass. Armed with her mother’s guitar, a knapsack of cherished mementos, and a pair of magical boots, Blue journeys west in search of her sister. When the devil changes the terms of their deal, Blue must reevaluate her understanding of good and evil and open herself to finding family in unexpected places.

First lines: The guitar rested against her back the way her mother’s hand had when she was small and afraid. She pulled her fingers into the sleeves of her canvas barn coat, searching for warmth there. Above her, the stars burned cold; everything else was black and silent.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsGirl against the universe, Paula Stokes

Maguire is bad luck. No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch. It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

First lines: There’s a thing that sometimes happens in your brain when you’re the only survivor of a horrific accident. Part of you is happy you’re alive, but the rest of you is devastated.

Book cover courtesy of SyndeticsMoth girls, Anne Cassidy

They called them the Moth Girls because they were attracted to the house. They were drawn to it. Or at least that is what is written in the newspapers that Mandy reads on the anniversary of when her two best friends went missing. Five years have passed since Petra and Tina were determined to explore the dilapidated house on Princess Street. But what started off as a dare ended with the two girls vanishing. As Mandy’s memories of the disappearance of her two friends are ignited once again, disturbing details will resurface in her mind.

First lines: The day before the house on Princess Street was due to be demolished, Mandy Crystal stood by the wire fence, looking through it. She stared hungrily, her fingers tugging on a pendant that was hanging from her neck.

Book courtesy of SyndeticsEvery exquisite thing, Matthew Quick

Star athlete and straight-A student Nanette O’Hare has played the role of dutiful daughter for as long as she can remember. But one day, a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper—a mysterious, out-of-print cult classic—and the rebel within Nanette awakens. As the new and outspoken Nanette attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, she befriends the reclusive author and falls in love with a young, troubled poet. Forced to make some hard choices that bring devastating consequences, Nanette learns the hard way that rebellion can sometimes come at a high price.

First lines: The last lunch period before Christmas break junior year, when I arrived at Mr. Grave’s classroom, he was full of holiday cheer and smiling much more than usual.


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