As it’s October, we’ve started ordering things that are going to be published next year. Here’s a small selection so far, and we’ll let you know when anything else rather interesting comes up also!
Panic, Lauren Oliver (March 2014) – the new book by the author of the Delirium trilogy. Some people think the plot sounds familiar. We shall see. “Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do. Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought. Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for. For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them – and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.” (goodreads.com)
Into the Still Blue, Veronica Rossi (January/February 2014) – This is the conclusion to the trilogy that started with Under the Never Sky. “Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it’s time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world. The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do – and they are just as determined to stay together. Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won’t even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost. Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn’t just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he’s also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.” (goodreads.com)
Cress, Marissa Meyer (February 2014) – the third in the Lunar Chronicles. “Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker – unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.” (goodreads.com)
Heartbeat, Elizabeth Scott (January/February 2014) – “Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with. But Emma can’t tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her. Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn’t have interested Old Emma. But New Emma – the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia – New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge. Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?” (goodreads.com)
It’s not quite summer, but some days, with all the sunshine happening it feels a lot like it is. Well it certainly looks like it from here in the library where we can’t feel the cold, only see the sunshine.
Nantucket Blue, Leila Howland (294 pages) – For Cricket Thompson, a summer like this one will change everything. A summer spent on Nantucket with her best friend, Jules Clayton, and the indomitable Clayton family. A summer when she’ll make the almost unattainable Jay Logan hers. A summer to surpass all dreams. Some of this turns out to be true. Some of it doesn’t. When Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy that forces the girls apart, Jules becomes a stranger whom Cricket wonders whether she ever really knew. And instead of lying on the beach working her caramel-colored tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise for the summer. But it’s the things Cricket hadn’t counted on- most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off-limits- that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality. A beautiful future is within her grasp, and Cricket must find the grace to embrace it. If she does, her life could be the perfect shade of Nantucket blue.
First lines: “Even without Holly Howard and Dori Archer, who’d been suspended for drinking on campus, we were supposed to win that game. The sun was high and white, and the breeze carried the scent of sweaty, shampooed girls and a whiff of the fresh asphalt from the schools paved driveway.”
My Beautiful Hippie, Janet Nichols Lynch (186 pages) – It’s 1967, and Joanne’s San Francisco neighborhood has been invaded by hippies coming to be part of the “summer of love” – a development that thrills Joanne but disgusts her parents. In the midst of preparations for her sister’s wedding, Joanne meets Martin, an enigmatic and irresistible hippie, and begins to see him secretly. Over the course of the next year, Joanne discovers and an alternative culture of acid tests, street theater, anti-war demonstrations, and psychedelic dances that both fascinates and frightens her. But as her two worlds collide, Joanne must decide whether to stay in her middle-class family or follow free-spirited Martin into a new kind of life.
First lines: “I was in a hurry as usual, rushing down the hill on Ashbury street. Only minutes before Denise’s bridal shower was about start, my mother had sent me to the Sunrise Market for a tub of Cool Whip. I turned the corner onto Haight Street and smacked right into him.”
Rules of Summer, Joanna Philbin (337 pages) – When seventeen-year-old Rory MchShane steps off the train in East Hampton, it’s as if she has entered another universe, one populated by impossibly beautiful people wearing designer clothes and driving expensive cars. She’s signed on to be the summer errand girl for the Rules – a wealthy family with an enormous beach-front mansion. Upon arrival, she’s warned by other staff members to avoid socializing with the family, but Rory soon learns that may be easier said than done. Stifled by her friends and her family’s country club scene, seventeen-year-old Isabel Rule, the youngest of the family, embarks on a breathless romance with a guy whom her parents would never approve of. It’s the summer for taking chances, and Isabel is bringing Rory along for the ride. But will Rory’s own summer romance jeopardize her friendship with Isabel? And, after long-hidden family secrets surface, with the Rules’ picture-perfect world ever be the same?
First lines: “She really should have just told someone. Just dropped it casually into conversation the last day of school, when people were talking about their summer plans. Oh, really? You’re going to tennis camp? You’re spending a month at Wildwood? You got that internship in New York that you applied for six months ago? Well that’s great. I’ll be spending the summer in the Hamptons.
Riptide, Lindsey Scheibe (277 pages) – Grace has one summer to prove she’s good enough. For Grace Parker, surfing is all about the ride and the moment. Everything else disappears. She can forget that her best friend, Ford Watson, has a crush on her that she can’t reciprocate. She can forget how badly she wants to get a surf scholarship to UC San Diego. She can forget the pressure of her parents’ impossibly high expectations. When Ford enters Grace into a surf competition—the only way she can impress the UCSD surfing scouts—she has one summer to train and prepare. Will she gain everything she’s ever wanted or lose the only things that ever mattered?
First lines: “I stretch out my legs, enjoying the hot sand against my calves. Early morning sun creates an orange sheen on the ocean as I search for a big set of waves. The endless white formations roll in; lines of blurred corduroy become distinct opportunities – or not – as they roll closer to the local surf break.”
How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True, Sarah Strohmeyer (295 pages) – Seventeen-year-old Zoe and her cousin Jess eagerly start summer jobs at New Jersey’s Fairyland theme park, but Jess does not get her dream role and Zoe is assigned to be personal assistant to the park’s “Queen,” winning her no friends. Zoe learns there is a dark core under the glittering facade of the fairy-tale themed amusement park (cough, Disneyland, cough). For starters, her boss has a blacker heart than Snow White’s stepmother, and the other interns are worse backstabbers than Cinderella’s step-sisters. On the upside, she has the chance of romance with a real-life Prince Charming, and a shot at winning a big heap of cash. If she can just live through a summer in the Fairyland Kingdom.
First lines: “There was no getting around the fact that Tinker Bell was a little bitch. The tiny, white powder-puff bichon frise with professionally manicured toenails scampered under the thornbush and out of sight.”
October is the month for The House of Hades by Rick Riordan, Just One Year by Gayle Forman (author of If I Stay), The Eye of Minds by James Dashner (The Maze Runner), Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff (How I Live Now), of course Allegiant by Veronica Roth, and we’ve just ordered these:
The Waking World, Tom Huddleston. Not to be confused with Tom Hiddleston (Loki in Thor (trailer looks good in 3D!)). “The Island is in peril. For years, bloodthirsty Marauder pirates have raided along the coast, carrying off goods and cattle. Now they’re growing bolder, striking further inland, even taking slaves to man their black ships. An invasion is underway. As the son of a wealthy Law, young Aran should be safe. The underground farmstead of Hawk’s Cross lies miles from the sea, and even the killing winds that sweep down from the moors can’t penetrate those solid steel gates. But Aran doesn’t want to be safe, he wants to be a warrior: to fight for his friends, his family and his home. Many tales have been told of the boy who became our greatest King. Very few have spoken of the future…” (goodreads.com)
Elegy, Amanda Hocking. The fourth and final book in the Watersong series. “Now that Gemma holds the key to breaking the siren curse, the stakes have never been higher. At last, a future with those she loves – and a romance with Alex – is close enough to touch… but not if Penn has anything to say about it. Penn is more determined than ever to have Daniel for her own and to destroy Gemma and Harper along the way, and Penn always gets what she wants. Now a final explosive battle is about to begin, and the winner will take everything Gemma holds dear.” (goodreads.com)
Homeland, Cory Doctorow. The sequel to Little Brother. “A few years [after Little Brother], California’s economy collapses, but Marcus’s hacktivist past lands him a job as webmaster for a crusading politician who promises reform. Soon his onetime girlfriend Masha emerges from the political underground to gift him with a thumbdrive containing a Wikileaks-style cable-dump of hard evidence of corporate and governmental perfidy. It’s incendiary stuff – and if Masha goes missing, Marcus is supposed to release it to the world. Then Marcus sees Masha being kidnapped by the same government agents who detained and tortured Marcus years earlier. Marcus can leak the archive Masha gave him – but he can’t admit to being the leaker, because that will cost his employer the election. He’s surrounded by friends who remember what he did a few years ago and regard him as a hacker hero. He can’t even attend a demonstration without being dragged onstage and handed a mike. He’s not at all sure that just dumping the archive onto the Internet, before he’s gone through its millions of words, is the right thing to do. Meanwhile, people are beginning to shadow him, people who look like they’re used to inflicting pain until they get the answers they want.” (goodreads.com)
set during a war (both real and imagined):
Dusk, Eve Edwards (293 pages) – When Helen, a young hard-working nurse, meets aristocratic artist Sebastian, she doesn’t expect to even like him, let alone fall in love. But against the troubled backdrop of wartime London, an unlikely but intense romance blossoms. And even the bloody trenches of the Somme, where they are both posted, cannot diminish their feelings for each other. But Helen is concealing a secret and when a terrible crime is committed there are devastating consequences for them both. When lives are being lost, can true love survive in the brutal backdrop of WWI?
First lines: “‘Nurse, I’m ready for the next patient. What do we have?’ Helen checked her hastily scribbled notes for the surgeon. Dr Cameron was one of her favourites among the medical staff, a cheery Scot, short of stature, whose balding crown glowed in the operating theatre lights with a steady and reassuring beam. “
Shahana, Rosanne Hawke (195 pages) – Shahana lives alone with her young brother in the shadow of the Line of Control, the border patrolled by Pakistani and Indian soldiers that divides Kashmir in two. Life is hard, but Shahana ekes out a living with her beautiful embroidery. Then she finds a boy lying unconscious near the border. Zahid is from across the Line of Control, and Shahana takes a terrible risk by sheltering him. But how can she give Zahid up to the authorities when she knows he’ll be imprisoned – or worse?
First lines: “The early sun was shining as Shahana skipped down the village bazaar. Her beloved big brother Irfan was taking her to tent school. Their cement school had never been rebuilt after the earthquake. Shahana had on her blue qameez and white shalwar; she was nine and had just learned how to iron her school uniform. Today would be exciting.”
Torn, David Massey (274 pages) – In war-torn Afghanistan, a girl walks right into a hail of bullets: Elinor watches it with her own eyes. The young British army medic risks the line of fire to rescue her, only to realize the girl is gone. To find the missing, mysterious child, Elinor enlists the help of an American Navy SEAL. But in all the confusion, with coalition troops fighting every day to maintain a fragile peace, does Ben have something to hide? Elinor came to Afghanistan with the hope of changing hearts and minds: What she’s about to discover will make her question everything she ever believed about love and war.
First lines: “Five a.m. I’m woken by yapping dogs and the first distant call to prayer, carried to me on a light breeze. My first morning in Afghanistan. Private Elinor Nielson, recently qualified medic, first tour of active duty. That’s what I keep telling myself – over and over like a demented idiot – to calm my nerves.”
The Elementals, Saundra Mitchell (296 pages) – In 1917, war spells the death of one age in Europe; the rise of motion pictures heralds the birth of a new one in America. Caught between both are two extraordinary souls, bound by destiny. Kate Witherspoon has lived a bohemian life with her artist parents. In 1917, the new art form of the motion picture is changing entertainment—and Kate is determined to become a director. Meanwhile, midwestern farm boy Julian Birch has inherited the wanderlust that fueled his parents’ adventures. A childhood bout with polio has left him crippled, but he refuses to let his disability define him. Strangers driven by a shared vision, Kate and Julian set out separately for Los Angeles, the city of dreams. There, they each struggle to find their independence. When they finally meet, the teenage runaways realize their true magical legacy: the ability to triumph over death, and over time. But as their powerful parents before them learned, all magic comes with a price.
First lines: “Ordinary girls are untroubled by destiny. Unfortunately, neither Amelia van den Broek nor Zora Stewart Birch was entirely ordinary. They leaned against the dining counter, watching the whole of the world grow smaller as they rose into the air on the great Ferris wheel.”
Faerie After, Janni Lee Simner (264 pages) – After a devastating war between humanity and Faerie, Liza’s world was forever changed. Plants and trees became aggressive, seeking to root in living flesh and bone, and newborn children were discovered to have magic powers. Liza was one of these children, and with her abilities she brought her mother back from the ruined Faerie realm and restored the seasons to her own. Now there are signs of a new sickness in the forest. Piles of ash are found where living creatures once stood. Liza investigates and discovers the Faerie realm has continued to deteriorate, slowly turning to dust, and that its fate is inexorably linked to that of the human realm. To find a solution, Liza must risk crossing over, putting herself and all she cares about at risk. Will Liza be forced to sacrifice her life and the lives of her friends in order to save both worlds?
First lines: “He came to me in the rain, as the first maple leaves were surrendering their green. Beyond the path where I waited, their veins burned orange and red beneath a steel-gray sky, and their branches hissed restlessly as they reached for the falling water.”
Out of this Place, Emma Cameron (402 pages) – Luke spends his days hanging out at the beach, working shifts at the local supermarket, and trying to stay out of trouble at school until he can be on his own. Bongo gets wasted, blocking out memories of the little brother Social Services took away from his addict mom and avoiding the stepdad who hits him. And Casey, the girl they both love, longs to get away from her strict, controlling father and start anew in a place where she can be free. When their lives all take very different and surprising paths, will these three friends find a way to come together again?
First lines: “A cave on Pebble Beach, /a bike ride from home, /where the sting of salt air /tears away the built-up wondering /of what to do- /on the last day of holidays, /about Casey, /with my life. /Tomorrow, /school will throw a cover /over the last six weeks /and pack it away. /I don’t mind.”
Last Chance Angel, Alex Gutteridge (367 pages) – What would you do for another chance at life? When Jess is knocked off her bike in a traffic accident, she finds herself at the gates of heaven before her destined death date. Given one last chance to say goodbye, she heads back to Earth to visit friends and family. Closely kept secrets are revealed to the now-invisible Jess, and one shocking discovery leads her to the biggest choice she’ll ever have to make.
First lines: “It was a spur of the moment decision to take the bike, one of those uncharacteristic impulses which can change your life and your death. We’d been given this really hard maths homework and I’d left it until the last minute. Even my brother, Jamie, couldn’t work it out and he’s two years older than me and went through all the GCSE stress last year. There was no point bothering Mum.”
The Rose Throne, Mette Ivie Harrison (390 pages) – Ailsbet loves nothing more than music; tall and red-haired, she’s impatient with the artifice and ceremony of her father’s court. Marissa adores the world of her island home and feels she has much to offer when she finally inherits the throne from her wise, good-tempered father. The trouble is that neither princess has the power – or the magic – to rule alone, and if the kingdoms can be united, which princess will end up ruling the joint land? For both, the only goal would seem to be a strategic marriage to a man who can bring his own brand of power to the throne. But will either girl be able to marry for love? And can either of these two princesses, rivals though they have never met, afford to let the other live?
First lines: “”Princess Ailsbet, your father demands your attendance at court this morning,” said Duke Kellin of Falcorn, bowing. He was King Haikor’s new favourite, looked hardly older than Ailsbet, and was dark-haired, tall, broad-shouldered, and handsome in a dark sable cloak over a silver-embroedered tunic.”
Linked, Imogen Howson (359 pages) – Elissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. But for the last three years, she’s been struggling with terrifying visions, phantom pains, and mysterious bruises that appear out of nowhere. Finally, she’s promised a cure: minor surgery to burn out the overactive area of her brain. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the shocking truth behind her hallucinations: she’s been seeing the world through another girl’s eyes. Elissa follows her visions, and finds a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. The twin sister she never knew existed. Now, Elissa and Lin are on the run from a government who will stop at nothing to reclaim Lin and protect the dangerous secrets she could expose—secrets that would shake the very foundation of their world.
First lines: “As Elissa and her mother entered the waiting room, the sky above Central Canyon City was a chill, predawn gray, the spaceport a colorless blaze on the horizon. Lines and points of light pricked up from the canyon floor far below.”
Catch Rider, Jennifer H. Lyne (279 pages) – Tough-as-nails fourteen-year-old Sid may not have expensive boots like the privileged teen riders in Virginia, but she knows her way around horses. Working with her Uncle Wayne since childhood, she’s learned to evaluate horses, break and train them, care for them . . . and ride like a professional. Amid turmoil at home, she dreams of becoming a catch rider—a show rider who can ride anything with hooves. In this salty, suspenseful teen novel, an unexpected opportunity to ride a top-notch horse in an equitation show takes the small-town girl all the way to Madison Square Garden.
First lines: “It was raining hard and the lightning was getting close. I ran the red gelding down the path in Dunn’s Gap and listened for that moment when a horse is at a full gallop and none of his feet touch the ground, because during that split second, we’re flying.”
Crown of Midnight, Sarah J. Maas (418 pages) – After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king’s contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes. Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king’s bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she’s given a task that could jeopardize everything she’s come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon — forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice. Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?
First lines: “The shutters swinging in the storm winds were the only sign of her entry. No one had noticed her scaling the garden wall of the darkened manor house, and with the thunder and the gusting wind off the nearby sea, no one heard her as she shimmied up the drainpipe, swung onto the windowsill, and slithered into the second-floor hallway.”
Tall Tales from Pitch End, Nigel McDowell (377 pages) – Ruled by the Elders, policed by an unforgiving battalion of Enforcers and watched by hundreds of clockwork Sentries, Pitch End is a town where everybody knows their place. Soon-to-be fifteen-year-old Bruno Atlas still mourns the death of his Rebel father ten years ago, and treasures the book of stories he secretly uncovered: the Tall Tales from Pitch End. After discovering a chilling plot planned by the Elders, Bruno flees, escaping to the mountains where a bunch of disparate young Rebels are planning a final attack on Pitch End. With secrets and betrayal lying around every corner, Bruno will find himself fighting not only for his life, but the life of the town.
First lines: “Bruno Atlas didn’t speak, didn’t scream, only thought with eyes shut tight and a mind full of crimson fireworks: This is it and I’ll be gone soon. I’ll not be here any more. I’m going to die.“
Wild Awake, Hilary T. Smith (375 pages) – Things you earnestly believe will happen while your parents are away: You will remember to water the azaleas. You will take detailed, accurate messages. You will call your older brother, Denny, if even the slightest thing goes wrong. You and your best friend/bandmate Lukas will win Battle of the Bands. Amid the thrill of victory, Lukas will finally realize you are the girl of his dreams.
Things that actually happen: A stranger calls who says he knew your sister. He says he has her stuff. What stuff? Her stuff. You tell him your parents won’t be able to— Sukey died five years ago; can’t he— You pick up a pen. You scribble down the address. You get on your bike and go. Things . . . get a little crazy after that. Also, you fall in love, but not with Lukas.
First lines: “It’s the first day of summer, and I know three things: One, I am happy. Two, I am stoned. Three, if Lukas Malcywyck’s T-shirt was any redder I would lean over and bite it like an apple.”
When You Were Here, Daisy Whitney (257 pages) – Danny’s mother lost her five-year battle with cancer three weeks before his graduation-the one day that she was hanging on to see. Now Danny is left alone, with only his memories, his dog, and his heart-breaking ex-girlfriend for company. He doesn’t know how to figure out what to do with her estate, what to say for his Valedictorian speech, let alone how to live or be happy anymore. When he gets a letter from his mom’s property manager in Tokyo, where she had been going for treatment, it shows a side of his mother he never knew. So, with no other sense of direction, Danny travels to Tokyo to connect with his mother’s memory and make sense of her final months, which seemed filled with more joy than Danny ever knew. There, among the cherry blossoms, temples, and crowds, and with the help of an almost-but-definitely-not Harajuku girl, he begins to see how it may not have been ancient magic or mystical treatment that kept his mother going. Perhaps, the secret of how to live lies in how she died.
First lines: “When someone you love has died, there is a certain grace period during which you can get away with murder. Not literal murder, but pretty much anything else. “
Absent, Katie Williams (180 pages) – When seventeen-year-old Paige dies in a freak fall from the roof during Physics class, her spirit is bound to the grounds of her high school. At least she has company: her fellow ghosts Evan and Brooke, who also died there. But when Paige hears the rumor that her death wasn’t an accident–that she supposedly jumped on purpose–she can’t bear it. Then Paige discovers something amazing. She can possess living people when they think of her, and she can make them do almost anything. Maybe, just maybe, she can get to the most popular girl in school and stop the rumors once and for all.
First lines: “”When you die,” Lucas Hayes once told me, “it’s like every wound your body has ever had – every skinned knee, paper cut, pimple – opens up and says See? I told you so.” Lucas had held Brooke Lee as she’d jittered and bucked, rolled and foamed, and – yeah – died, so I figured he knew what he was talking about. My best friend, Usha Das, took a different view.”
Much action this week, in various forms (zombies, assassins, fairytales gone wrong).
Fire & Ash, Jonathan Maberry – the fourth in the zombie series that started with Rot & Ruin. “Benny Imura and his friends have made it to Sanctuary, they’ve found the jet and they’ve discovered that civilization is struggling to regain its foothold in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse. Scientists are on the verge of finding a cure for the zombie plague. It should be time for celebration, but it’s not. Benny’s best friend, Chong, has been infected by an arrow dipped in the flesh of a zombie and he hovers between life and death and Dr McReady, a researcher who may have the critical formula for a cure, has gone missing. So Benny convinces Captain Ledger to mount a search and rescue mission to find the doctor and help Chong. But with the Reapers still pursuing their plan to turn all zombies into super-fast shock troops even if they can save Chong, can they save themselves?” (goodreads.com)
The Elites, Natasha Ngan – “Hundreds of years into the future, wars, riots, resource crises and rising sea-levels have destroyed the old civilisations. Only one city has survived: Neo-Babel, a city full of cultures – and racial tension. Fifteen-year-old Silver is an Elite, a citizen of Neo-Babel chosen to guard the city due to her superior DNA. She’d never dream of leaving – but then she fails to prevent the assassination of Neo Babel’s president, setting off a chain of events more shocking and devastating than she could ever have imagined. Forced to flee the city with her best friend Butterfly (a boy with genetically-enhanced wings), Silver will have to fight to find her family, uncover the truth about Neo-Babel and come to terms with her complicated feelings for Butterfly.” (goodreads.com)
Allies & Assassins, Justin Somper – the first book in a new series (I think!) by the author of the Vampirates series. “They killed his brother. Now they’re coming for him… As the second prince of Archenfield, Jared never expected to rule. But behind the walls of the castle is a dark and dangerous court where murder and intrigue are never far below the surface. Now his older brother is dead. The kingdom is his. And the target is on his back. Can he find the assassin before the assassin finds him?” (goodreads.com)
Briar Rose, Jana G. Oliver – one for readers who love fairytale reimaginings (this one, Sleeping Beauty). “For Briar Rose, life is anything but a fairy tale. She’s stuck in a small town in deepest Georgia with parents who won’t let her out of their sight, a bunch of small-minded, gossiping neighbours and an evil ex who’s spreading nasty rumours about what she may or may not have done in the back of his car. She’s tired of it all, so when, on her sixteenth birthday, her parents tell her that she is cursed and will go to sleep for a hundred years when the clock strikes midnight, she’s actually kind of glad to leave it all behind. She says her goodbyes, lies down, and closes her eyes… And then she wakes up. Cold, alone and in the middle of the darkest, most twisted fairy tale she could ever have dreamed of. Now Briar must fight her way out of the story that has been created for her, but she can’t do it alone. She never believed in handsome princes, but now she’s met one her only chance is to put her life in his hands, or there will be no happy ever after and no waking up.” (goodreads.com)
with leading men:
Being Henry David, Cal Armistead (304 pages) – Seventeen-year-old “Hank” has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything – who he is, where he came from, why he’s running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David-or “Hank”-and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of, Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, to stop running, and to find his way home.
First lines: “The last thing I remember is now. Now, coming at me with heart-pounding fists. My eyes shoot open, and there is too much. Of everything. Blurred figures, moving. White lights. Muffled waves of sound. Voices. Music. Chaos.”
Period 8, Chris Crutcher (276 pages) – Paul “the Bomb” Baum tells the truth. No matter what. It was something he learned at Sunday School. But telling the truth can cause problems, and not minor ones. And as Paulie discovers, finding the truth can be even more problematic. Period 8 is supposed to be that one period in high school where the truth can shine, a safe haven. Only what Paulie and Hannah (his ex-girlfriend, unfortunately) and his other classmates don’t know is that the ultimate bully, the ultimate liar, is in their midst.
First lines: “Near midnight Paulie Bomb pulls his VW Beetle onto the shoulder of Ridgeview Drive and kills the engine. He’s just finished his shift at The Rocket Bakery and Coffee House, where Hannah kept him company for the last hour. He releases the seat back a couple of inches and breathes deep, staring over the blanket of city lights below.”
The Freedom Merchants, Sherryl Jordan (426 pages) – In 1615, corsair pirates from the Barbary Coast prowl the coasts of England and Ireland, attacking ships and raiding villages for slaves to sell to masters in the Mediterranean. When 13-year-old Liam’s brother is captured, Liam is desperate to get him back and travels with a small band of monks to the heart of the pirate world, into the turmoil of religious persecution, and the horrors of slavery.
First lines: “Liam was the first to hear the bell. He was sitting huddled by the fire, his fair head bent over the wooden fox he was carving. Behind him, firelight and shadows wrestled together on the rough door, and over his head smoke swirled about the high, thatched roof.”
Darius & Twig, Walter Dean Myers (201 pages) – Darius is a supersmart writer, Twig is an outstanding middle-distance runner. Best friends. They need to navigate their Harlem world: the gangs, the bullies, an absent dad, an abusive uncle, the sleazy side of sports, the uncertainty of an artist’s prospects. And they need to figure out how to grow up together, but apart.
First lines: “High above the city, above the black tar rooftops, the dark brick chimneys spewing angry wisps of burnt fuel, there is a black speck making circles against the gray patchwork of Harlem sky. From the park below it looks like a small bird. No, it doesn’t look like a small bird but what else could it be?”
Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, Evan Roskos (310 pages) – James Whitman hugs trees and tries to save animals. He talks to an imaginary pigeon therapist named Dr. Bird. He often hates himself, but loves to recite Walt Whitman because it can be recited with exclamation points! His parents believe that life is better since they kicked his sister, Jorie, out of the house but James feels her absence deeply. How can James continue to wake up with a celebratory YAWP like his namesake poet-hero? James tries to connect the dots around his sister’s mysterious expulsion, but his mission falters as he discovers that some of her secrets are not that different from his own. Secrets that not even Dr. Bird can help with. It’s going to take some radical intervention for James to help his sister and truly celebrate himself.
First lines: “I yawp most mornings to irritate my father, the Brute. “Yawp! Yawp!” It moves him out of the bathroom faster. He responds with the gruff “All right.” He dislikes things that seem fun.”
This week, sci-fi, horror and paranormal stories, and a companion to the Mortal Instruments series.
Inheritance, Malinda Lo – the sequel to Adaptation. “The triangular spaceship hovered motionless in the sky above Reese Holloway’s house, as inscrutable as a black hole. It had seemed like a good idea when they were inside: to tell the truth about what happened to them at Area 51. It didn’t seem like such a good idea now. Reese and David are not normal teens – not since they were adapted with alien DNA by the Imria, an extraterrestrial race that has been secretly visiting Earth for decades. Now everyone is trying to get to them: the government, the Imria, and a mysterious corporation that would do anything for the upper hand against the aliens. Beyond the web of conspiracies, Reese can’t reconcile her love for David with her feelings for her ex-girlfriend Amber, an Imrian. But her choice between two worlds will play a critical role in determining the future of humanity, the Imria’s place in it, and the inheritance she and David will bring to the universe.” (goodreads.com)
The Waking Dark, Robin Wasserman – from the author of the Skinned trilogy. “They called it the killing day. Twelve people dead, all in the space of a few hours. Five murderers: neighbors, relatives, friends. All of them so normal. All of them seemingly harmless. All of them now dead by their own hand… except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town. She doesn’t even know why she killed – or whether she’ll do it again. Something is waking in the sleepy town of Oleander, Kansas – something dark and hungry that lives in the flat earth and the open sky, in the vengeful hearts of upstanding citizens. As the town begins its descent into blood and madness, five survivors of the killing day are the only ones who can stop Oleander from destroying itself. Jule, the outsider at war with the world; West, the golden boy at war with himself; Daniel, desperate for a different life; Cass, who’s not sure she deserves a life at all; and Ellie, who believes in sacrifice, fate, and in evil. Ellie, who always goes too far. They have nothing in common. They have nothing left to lose. And they have no way out. Which means they have no choice but to stand and fight, to face the darkness in their town – and in themselves.” (goodreads.com)
Unbreakable, Kami Garcia (October) – the first book in a new series by Beautiful Creatures co-author. “When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon – a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night. Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon – battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.” (goodreads.com)
The Shadowhunter’s Codex, Cassandra Clare (November) – this is the shadowhunters’ manual, complete with Clary’s artistic doodlings of her friends and family. “Part encyclopedia, part history, part training manual – complete with commentary from Shadowhunters who have seen it all – this beautiful guide is a perfect supplement to the… series.” (goodreads.com)
featuring fairy tales and ghosts
The Shadow Girl, Jennifer Archer (325 pages) – For as long as Lily Winston can remember, she has never been alone. Iris, a shadowy figure who mimics Lily’s movements and whispers in her ear, is with her always—but invisible to the rest of the world. Iris is Lily’s secret. But when Lily’s father is killed in a tragic accident, his cryptic final words suggest that he and Lily’s mother have been keeping secrets of their own. Suddenly, Iris begins pushing Lily more than ever, possessing her thoughts and urging her to put together the pieces of a strange puzzle her father left behind. As she searches for answers, Lily finds herself drawn to Ty Collier, a mysterious new boy in town. Together, Lily and Ty must untangle a web of deception to discover the truth about her family, Iris, and Lily’s own identity.
First lines: “Ty Collier shivered as he paused in front of the Daily Grind coffee shop to wipe his boots on the mat beside the door. Cold weather was nothing new to him; he had grown up freezing his butt off every winter in Baltimore. But this morning something besides the frigid air raised goose bumps on his skin.”
Spy for the Queen of Scots, Theresa Breslin (402 pages) – As lady-in-waiting to Mary, Queen of Scots, the beautiful Ginette – known as Jenny – is the young queen’s closest childhood friend. Growing up in the elegant but ruthless French court, surrounded by enemies and traitors – not least the jealous, manipulative Catherine de Medici, and Mary’s own scheming half-brother, James – Jenny has always been fiercely loyal to her mistress. But when she overhears a mysterious whispered plot, closely followed by several unexplained deaths at court, she puts her own life in danger and turns spy for Mary. Jenny quickly realises not a soul at court can be trusted, and when she and Mary return to their Scottish homeland for Mary to claim her throne, they face even greater peril.
First lines: “”They are ready for you, my lady.’ ‘But I am not yet ready for them,’ Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, replied abruptly, looking up from her writing desk in a disdainful manner. Then she recovered herself and spoke more kindly to the man standing at the door of her chamber. ‘I need a few extra minutes to prepare. Would you grant me that courtesy?’”
Back to Blackbrick, Sarah Moore Fitgerald (227 pages) – Cosmo’s brother Brian died when he was ten years old. His mum hides her grief by working all the hours God sends and Cosmo lives with his grandparents. They’ve been carefree days as Granddad buys him a horse called John and teaches him all he knows about horses. But the good times have to come to an end and although he doesn’t want to admit it, Cosmo knows his Granddad is losing his mind. So on one of the rare occasions when Granddad seems to recognise him, Cosmo is bemused that he gives him a key to Blackbrick Abbey and urges him to go there. Cosmo shrugs it off, but gradually Blackbrick draws him in. Cosmo arrives there, scared and lonely, and is dropped off at the crumbling gates of a huge house. As he goes in, the gates close, and when he turns to look, they’re rusty and padlocked as if they haven’t been opened in years. Cosmo finds himself face to face with his grandfather as a young man, and questions begin to form in his mind: can Cosmo change the course of his family’s future?
First lines: “My granddad was pretty much the cleverest person I ever met so it was strange in the end to see the way people treated him – as if he was a complete moron. We were waiting for a train one day, not bothering anyone, when this boy said to me, ‘Hey. Hey you. What’s wrong with the old man?’”
Elegy, Tara Hudson (386 pages) – A stalker ghost, misguided Seers, and spellbinding wraiths—Amelia Ashley has faced them all. Now, in the third of the Hereafter books, her greatest hope is to spend the rest of her afterlife with her living boyfriend, Joshua. But the demonic forces return to give her an ultimatum: turn herself over to the darkness or watch them murder one living person per week until she does. Amelia fears she might really be doomed, until the forces of light give her another option. She can join them in their quest to gather souls, with a catch: Once she joins them, she can never see Joshua again. Faced with impossible choices, Amelia decides to take her afterlife into her own hands—and fight back.
First lines: “Once again, I’m staring at my own death. My heart is pounding. My breath is coming in short spurts. And I can’t stop digging my fingernails into the heels of my palms, just so I can feel the little crescents of pain they create.”
The New Normal, Ashley Little (222 pages) – Tamar Robinson knows a lot about loss – more than any teenager should. Her younger sisters are dead, her parents are adrift in a sea of grief, and now Tamar is losing her hair. Nevertheless, she navigates her rocky life as best she can, not always with grace, but with her own brand of twisted humor. Life goes on, and regrets are useless. Tamar isn’t the most popular girl at school or the best-looking, but she’s whip-smart, morbidly funny and – most important of all – tenacious.
First lines: “I am losing my hair. I don’t know why. I’m only sixteen. I’m not starving myself. I’m not undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments. But I have been losing shitloads of hair.”
The River Charm, Belinda Murrell (302 pages) – When artistic Millie visits a long-lost aunt, she learns the true story of her family’s tragic past. Could the mysterious ghost girl Millie has painted be her own ancestor? In 1839, Charlotte Atkinson lives at Oldbury, a gracious estate in the Australian bush, with her Mamma and her sisters and brother. But after the death of Charlotte’s father, things start to go terribly wrong. There are murderous convicts and marauding bushrangers. Worst of all, Charlotte’s new stepfather is cruel and unpredictable. Frightened for their lives, the family flees on horseback to a stockman’s hut in the wilderness. Charlotte’s mother and the children must fight to save their property, their independence and their very right to be a family. Will they ever return together to their beautiful home?
First lines: “Millie wasn’t sure if she was asleep or awake, but there seemed to be a strangely shimmering girl standing at the end of her bed. The girl hovered there, in an old-fashioned white dress – high-necked, long-sleeved and flowing to her ankles. Her long, dark hair tumbled around her pale, pale face.”
The Watcher in the Shadows, Carlos Ruiz Zafon (261 pages) – When fourteen-year-old Irene Sauvelle moves with her family to Cape House on the coast of Normandy, she’s immediately taken by the beauty of the place–its expansive cliffs, coasts, and harbors. There, she meets a local boy named Ishmael, and the two soon fall in love. But a dark mystery is about to unfold, involving a reclusive toymaker who lives in a gigantic mansion filled with mechanical beings and shadows of the past.
First line: “Those who remember the night Armand Sauvelle passed away would swear that a purple light flashed across the sky, leaving in its wake a trail of blazing ashes that faded away over the horizon – a light that his daughter, Irene, never saw, but that would haunt her dreams for years to come.”
Nameless : a tale of beauty and madness, Lili St. Crow (328 pages) – When Camille was six years old, she was discovered alone in the snow by Enrico Vultusino, godfather of the Seven—the powerful Families that rule magic-ridden New Haven. Papa Vultusino adopted the mute, scarred child, naming her after his dead wife and raising her in luxury on Haven Hill alongside his own son, Nico. Now Cami is turning sixteen. She’s no longer mute, though she keeps her faded scars hidden under her school uniform, and though she opens up only to her two best friends, Ruby and Ellie, and to Nico, who has become more than a brother to her. But even though Cami is a pampered Vultusino heiress, she knows that she is not really Family. Unlike them, she is a mortal with a past that lies buried in trauma. And it’s not until she meets the mysterious Tor, who reveals scars of his own, that Cami begins to uncover the secrets of her birth…to find out where she comes from and why her past is threatening her now.
First lines: “Of all the cars in New Haven to fall before, I chose Enrico Vultusino’s long black limousine. The Dead Harvest had been dry for once, but Mithrus Eve had brought a cargo of snow, a white Mithrusmas for New Haven after all.”
Still Star-Crossed, Melinda Taub (340 pages) – Romeo and Juliet are gone. Will love live on? Despite the glooming peace that’s settled on Verona after the recent tragedy, Montagues and Capulets are brawling in the streets. Faced with more bloody battles, Prince Escalus concludes that the only way to truly marry the fortunes of these two families is to literally marry them together. Everyone is skeptical, but none more so than the pair selected, for the most eligible Montague bachelor is Benvolio, Romeo’s best friend, still anguished by the loss of his companions, and the chosen Capulet maid is Juliet’s older cousin Rosaline, the girl Romeo first loved and whose refusal of Romeo’s affection paved the way for bloodshed. Contrary to their late cousins, there’s no love lost between Benvolio and Rosaline, yet they forge a bond to end the renewed feud not only to escape their forced betrothal, but to save their lives and the city of Verona itself.
First lines: “In fair Verona’s streets, the sun was hot. Late summer was upon the city, and the sun, oh, it beat. It dazzled off the cobblestones so the beggars groaned and burnt their bare dirty feet. It poured down on the merchants so the sweat trickled down their necks on market day. And the great families – well, they were safe in their cool stone houses, cellars deep enough to hold a bit of chill in, but when they did emerge after sunset, the air was still hot and thick.”
with one word titles:
Falling, Cat Clarke (72 pages) – It’s a hot summer night, Cam is having the party of the year, and Anna has big plans. Her best friend Tilly’s come out, and Anna wants to set her up with the only other gay girl in school. That should take the heat off Anna and her own guilt over cheating on Cam. As the party hots up, Anna sets off a chain of events that will change all their lives forever.
First lines: “You’re not supposed to kiss someone who ISN’T your boyfriend. It’s pretty much the first rule of relationships. But that’s what I did last night.”
Strangelets, Michelle Gagnon (272 pages) – 17-year-old Sophie lies on her deathbed in California, awaiting the inevitable loss of her battle with cancer. 17-year-old Declan stares down two armed thugs in a back alley in Galway, Ireland. 18-year-old Anat attempts to traverse a booby-trapped tunnel between Israel and Egypt. All three strangers should have died at the exact same moment, thousands of miles apart. Instead, they awaken together in an abandoned hospital—only to discover that they’re not alone. Three other teens from different places on the globe are trapped with them. Somebody or something seems to be pulling the strings. With their individual clocks ticking, they must band together if they’re to have any hope of surviving.
First lines: “Sophie Page felt herself getting closer. Every inhalation drew further apart from the previous one until there were measurable gaps between them.”
Golden, Jessi Kirby (277 pages) – Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost may be a distant relative of poet Robert Frost, but she has never taken the road less travelled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap – one that might be the key to unravelling a town mystery – she decides to take a chance.
First lines: “There’s no such thing as a secret in this town. But I’m keeping this one, just for today. I fold the letter once, twice, three times and slide it into my back pocket like a golden ticket, because that’s what it is. A ticket out.”
Crash, Lisa McMann (233 pages) – Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that. What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode and nine body bags in the snow. The vision is everywhere – on billboards, television screens, windows—and she’s the only one who sees it. And the more she sees it, the more she sees. The vision is giving her clues, and soon Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it’s someone she knows.
First lines: “My sophomore psych teacher, Mr. Polselli, says knowledge is crucial to understanding the workings of the human brain, but I swear to dog, I don’t want any more knowledge about this. Every few days I see it. Sometimes it’s just a picture, like on that billboard we pass on the way to school. And other times it’s moving, like on a screen. A careening truck hits a building and explodes. Then nine body bags in the snow.”
Unbreakable, Elizabeth Norris (479 pages) – Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but civilization is slowly rebuilding, and life is starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up, asking for Janelle’s help. Somebody from an alternative universe is running a human-trafficking ring – kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths. And Ben, with his unique abilities, is the prime suspect.
First lines: “Some days are so perfect, they just don’t seem real. They’re the days when you wake up and aren’t tired, when the sun is shining and the breeze kicks up from the ocean, keeping you from getting too hot or too cold, and everything you do goes right. Like you’re inside of a movie with your own soundtrack, where you’re so happy that you can’t help just spontaneously breaking into a smile. Some days are like magic.”
Stung, Bethany Wiggins (290 pages) – There is no cure for being stung. Fiona doesn’t remember getting the tattoo on her right hand – the one she knows she must conceal at any cost. She doesn’t remember her world exploding. She doesn’t remember her house falling apart. She doesn’t remember humanity dividing. But it has, into those who have the tattoo and those that don’t. Those bearing the tattoo have turned into mindless, violent beasts that roam the streets and sewers, preying upon the unbranded, while a select few without tattoos live protected inside a fortresslike wall. But Fiona has woken up branded, on the wrong side of the wall and … normal.
First lines: “I don’t remember going to sleep. All I remember is waking up here – a place as familiar as my own face. At least, it should be. But there’s a problem.”