In April I wrote about books coming up in Spring that we’re really looking forward to. Well, we’ve now ordered them! Save for the ones that, guttingly, have been delayed (The Raven King, by Maggie Stiefvater and The Last Star by Rick Yancey). The publishing calendar; it’s a bit fickle!
So, here they are, ready to be reserved:
Lair of Dreams, by Libba Bray.
Queen of Shadows, by Sarah J Maas.
The Rose Society, by Marie Lu.
Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell.
We’re always on the lookout for new stuff on the horizon, so we’ll let you know when other interesting news shows up on our radar.
We have ordered some new books!
A Book of Spirits and Thieves, Morgan Rhodes. The first book in a spin-off series from Falling Kingdoms. “Crystal Hatcher, Modern-day Toronto: It’s a normal afternoon in her mother’s antique bookshop when Crys witnesses the unthinkable: her little sister Becca collapses into a coma after becoming mesmerized by a mysterious book written in an unrecognizable language. Maddox Corso, Ancient Mytica: Maddox Corso doesn’t think much of it when he spots an unfamiliar girl in his small village. Until, that is, he realizes that she is a spirit, and he is the only one who can see or hear her. Her name is Becca Hatcher, and she needs Maddox to help get her home. Farrell Grayson, Modern-day Toronto: Rich and aimless Farrell Grayson is thrilled when the mysterious leader of the ultra-secret Hawkspear Society invites him into the fold. But when he learns exactly what he has to do to prove himself, Farrell starts to question everything he thought he knew about family, loyalty, and himself… Fate has brought these young people together, but ancient magic threatens to rip them apart.” (goodreads.com)
The Stars Never Rise, Rachel Vincent. “Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she’s too busy trying to actually survive. Her town’s population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago. When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she’ll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie’s sin has put her in serious trouble. To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie? Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can’t survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.” (goodreads.com)
We have also recently ordered some new classic (and “modern classic” and “classic sci fi”) novels for the Young Adult collection. This was an educational experience: I didn’t know Algernon was a mouse! Some of the new titles are:
Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes (obvs.)
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
Dune, Frank Herbert
The fill-in boyfriend, Kasie West
When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley. The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship. (Goodreads)
First lines: In some part of my brain, probably the logical part that seemed to be missing at the moment, I knew I should let go and walk away, maintain some of my dignity. Instead, I gripped his waist more securely by wrapping my arms around him and pressed my cheek against his chest. Logic was definitely not ruling my brain right now. Desperation was.
Crimson bound, Rosamund Hodge
When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat. Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night? (Goodreads)
First lines: “In all your life, your only choice,” Aunt Leonie said to her once, “is the path of needles or the path of pins.”
Rachelle remembered that, they day that he killed her.
Reborn, Jennifer Rush
The Branch is in shambles, but Anna, Sam, Cas, and Nick can’t rest easy. Remnants of the organization lurk unseen and the flashbacks to their old lives are only getting stronger–especially Nick’s. Following scattered memories and clues from his Branch file, Nick sets off alone in search of answers and in search of the girl who haunts his dreams. But the sleepy town where she lives in full of secrets and Nick soon learns that uncovering their shared past may have deadly consequences. (Goodreads)
First lines: I never took to fighting like the others. I could do it well enough. Maybe I was even good at it. But I didn’t like it. Or maybe it was because I liked it too much.
Dorothy must die: stories, Danielle Page
A collection of three prequel novellas to the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series by Danielle Paige! These three prequel novellas to the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series follow the iconic characters from the beloved classic The Wizard of Oz as their lives intertwine to bring about the downfall of Oz. Dorothy begins a journey down a darker path. Glinda the Good Witch may not be so Good. And the Wizard realizes that Oz is his destiny. Kiss the land where troubles melt like lemon drops goodbye. Here there’s danger around every corner and magical shoes won’t be able to save you. Long before Amy Gumm got swept away from a Kansas trailer park . . . Dorothy Gale received a mysterious package on the night of her 16th birthday: a pair of red high-heeled shoes. And with a knock of her heels, Dorothy returned to the magical land that made her a star–and Oz would never be the same again. (Publisher’s summary)
First lines: They say you can’t go home again. I’m not sure who said that, but it’s something they say. I know it because my aunt Em has it embroidered on a throw pillow in the sitting room. You can’t go home again. Well, even if they put it on a pillow, whoever said it was wrong. I’m proof alone that’s not true.
Under a painted sky, Stacey Lee
Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail. (Goodreads)
First lines: They say death aims only once and never misses, but I doubt Ty Yorkshire through it would strike with a scrubbing brush. Now his face wears the mask of surprise that sometimes accompanies death: his eyes bulge, carp-like, and his mouth curves around a profanity.
The tightrope walkers, David Almond
A gentle visionary coming of age in the shadow of the shipyards of northern England, Dominic Hall is torn between extremes. On the one hand, he craves the freedom he feels when he steals away with the eccentric girl artist next door, Holly Stroud—his first and abiding love—to balance above the earth on a makeshift tightrope. With Holly, Dom dreams of a life different in every way from his shipbuilder dad’s, a life fashioned of words and images and story. On the other hand, he finds himself irresistibly drawn to the brutal charms of Vincent McAlinden, a complex bully who awakens something wild and reckless and killing in Dom. (Goodreads)
First lines: I was born in a hovel on the banks of the Tyne, as so many of us were back then. It was a three-room dilapidated upstairs flat, in the same terraced row where Dad had been born, and just upriver from Simpson’s Shipyard. Rats slunk under the floorboards, mice scuttled in the walls. The bath hung on a nail on the wall, the toilet was the foot of steep steps outside.
The walls around us, Nova Ren Suma
On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement. On the inside, within the walls of the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom. Tying their two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries…What really happened on the night Orianna stepped between Violet and her tormentors? What really happened on two strange nights at Aurora Hills? Will Amber and Violet and Orianna ever get the justice they deserve—in this life or in another one? (Goodreads)
First lines: We went wild that hot night. We howled, we raged, we screamed. We were girls – some of us fourteen and fifteen; some sixteen, seventeen- but when the locks came undone, the doors of our cells gaping open and no one to shove us back in, we made the noise of savage animals, of men.
The tragic age, Stephen Metcalfe
This is the story of Billy Kinsey, heir to a lottery fortune, part genius, part philosopher and social critic, full time insomniac and closeted rock drummer. Billy has decided that the best way to deal with an absurd world is to stay away from it. Do not volunteer. Do not join in. Billy will be the first to tell you it doesn’t always work— not when your twin sister, Dorie, has died, not when your unhappy parents are at war with one another, not when frazzled soccer moms in two ton SUVs are more dangerous than atom bombs, and not when your guidance counsellor keeps asking why you haven’t applied to college. Billy’s life changes when two people enter his life. Twom Twomey is a charismatic renegade who believes that truly living means going a little outlaw. Twom and Billy become one another’s mutual benefactor and friend. At the same time, Billy is reintroduced to Gretchen Quinn, an old and adored friend of Dorie’s. It is Gretchen who suggests to Billy that the world can be transformed by creative acts of the soul. With Twom, Billy visits the dark side. And with Gretchen, Billy experiences possibilities. Billy knows that one path is leading him toward disaster and the other toward happiness. The problem is—Billy doesn’t trust happiness. It’s the age he’s at. The tragic age. (Goodreads)
First lines: Pick a subject. Grab a word or headline or rumour. Read about it. Google it. Wiki it. Search and surf it. Stuff it. One site leads to another and then another. A new subject or word or phrase grabs your attention. It takes the place of the first one and you follow that trail, moving on and one, subject to subject, site to site, skimming the surface, never really digging deep, adhesive picking up lint, on and on until you’ve forgotten what it is that got you started in the first place.
The trap, Steven Arntson
In 1963, when twins Henry and Helen and their best friends, Alan and Nicki, try to find Alan’s missing brother, Carl, they stumble into the knowledge of their “subtle forms” that can separate from their physical bodies, and into a criminal’s plot to make himself immortal–at any expense. (Publisher)
First lines: The last day of summer break before the start of my seventh grade year was the first time I ever got punched in the face.
Eye of Newt, Michael Hague (Graphic Novel)
Legendary fantasy illustrator Michael Hague takes readers on a strange and fantastic journey in “Eye of Newt”! As a young wizard’s apprentice, Newt, embarks on a wonderful and perilous quest through the mysterious Netherworld and beyond, he learns a dark secret that could shape his entire destiny. (Goodreads)
This week: two romances and two sequels (not romances, really).
The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things, Ann Aguirre. From the author of the popular Razorland trilogy (Enclave, etc.), this sounds like a lovely romance. “Sage Czinski is trying really hard to be perfect. If she manages it, people won’t peer beyond the surface, or ask hard questions about her past. She’s learned to substitute causes for relationships, and it’s working just fine… until Shane Cavendish strolls into her math class. He’s a little antisocial, a lot beautiful, and everything she never knew she always wanted. Shane Cavendish just wants to be left alone to play guitar and work on his music. He’s got heartbreak and loneliness in his rearview mirror, and this new school represents his last chance. He doesn’t expect to be happy; he only wants to graduate and move on. He never counted on a girl like Sage. But love doesn’t mend all broken things, and sometimes life has to fall apart before it can be put back together again…” (goodreads.com)
A Million Miles Away, Lara Avery. Speaking of romance, reviewers say you will enjoy this if you like Nicholas Sparks: “When high school senior Kelsey’s identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn’t know about the tragedy is Michelle’s boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can’t bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister. As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can’t deny that she’s falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn’t want.” (goodreads.com)
The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant, Joanna Wiebe. The sequel to The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant. “Life and death, light and dark, spirit and flesh-on Wormwood Island, the lines are always blurred. For Anne Merchant, who has been thrust back into this eerily secretive world, crossing the line seems inevitable, inescapable, destined. Now, as Ben finds himself battling for the Big V and Teddy reveals the celestial plan in which Anne is entwined, Anne must choose: embrace her darkly powerful connection to a woman known as Lilith and, in doing so, save the boy she loves… or follow a safer path that is sure to lead to Ben’s destruction at the hands of dark leaders. Hoping the ends will justify the means, Anne starts down the slippery slope into the underworld, intent on exploring the dark to find the light. But as the lure of Lilith proves powerfully strong, will Anne save others-only to lose herself?” (goodreads.com)
The Hunted, Matt de la Peña. The sequel to The Living. “When the Big One hit, Shy was at sea in style. The Paradise Cruise luxury liner he worked on was a hulking specimen of the best money could buy. And now it’s at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, along with almost all of its passengers. Shy wasn’t the only one to survive, though. Addie, the rich blond daughter of a mysterious businessman, was on the dinghy he pulled himself into. But as soon as they found the rest of the survivors, she disappeared. The only thing that filled the strange void of losing her was finding Carmen, his hot coworker, and discovering a way to get back home. But Shy’s luck hasn’t turned. Not yet. Back on the dinghy, Addie told him a secret. It’s a secret that people would kill for-have killed for-and she has the piece that could turn everything on its ear. The problem? Shy has no idea where Addie is. Back home in California seems logical, but there are more ways to die back home then Shy could ever have guessed. And thanks to what Shy now knows, he’s a moving target.” (goodreads.com)
Conspiracy of blood and smoke, Anne Blankman
The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: She used to be part of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and fled Munich, she lives with a kindly English family, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel Cohen, is a reporter in town. For the first time in her life, Gretchen is content.
But then, Daniel gets a telegram that sends him back to Germany, and Gretchen’s world turns upside-down. And when she receives word that Daniel is wanted for murder, she has to face the danger she thought she’d escaped-and return to her homeland.
Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture and recognition, even though saving Daniel will mean consorting with her former friends, the Nazi elite. And as they work to clear Daniel’s name, Gretchen and Daniel discover a deadly conspiracy stretching from the slums of Berlin to the Reichstag itself. Can they dig up the explosive truth and get out in time-or will Hitler discover them first? (Goodreads)
First lines: The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone bicycled down the country lane. Desolate fields, their grasses winter-brown and glistening from the afternoon’s rainfall, stretched out on either side of the road. The first strains of twilight darkened the distant hills to black, and nearby a few muddy sheep grazed, pausing to gaze blank-eyed at Gretchen as she peddled past.
Magonia, Maria Dahvana Headley
Aza Ray is drowning in thin air. Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live. So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name. Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia. Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie? (Goodreads)
First lines: I breathe in. I breathe out. The sky’s full of clouds. A rope is looping down from above, out of the sky and down to earth. There is a woman’s face looing at me, and all around us, hundreds upon hundreds of birds.
Nanotech, Denis Wright
High School students on a science field trip to Auckland are captured by white supremacist group NAB, whose target is American biologist Professor Meinhoff. He’s made a startling and dangerous breakthrough in molecular biology–a virus that could destroy entire ethnic groups if it falls into the wrong hands. The kidnappers want it. Joe Baxter, his mates and teacher, Bernie, get in the way. Time is running out as they try to escape the kidnappers, save the professor, and ensure that the shocking plan doesn’t succeed. (Publisher information)
First lines: Even waiting around to be murdered can get kind of boring after a while. Don’t get me wrong. I mean, sure, we’ve been though the total freak-out stage, the numb-with-fear stage, followed by the red-and-white anger stage, but now we’re in a passive ‘whatever’ stage.
Rook, Sharon Cameron
History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a saviour of the innocent or a criminal? Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she. As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse. (Goodreads)
First lines: The heavy blade hung high above the prisoners, glinting against the stars, and then the Razor come down, a wedge of falling darkness cutting through the torchlight. One solid thump, and four more heads had been shaved from their bodies.
An ember in the ashes, Sabaa Tahir
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free. Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do. But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy. There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself. (Goodreads)
First lines: My big brother reaches home in the dark hours before dawn, when even ghosts take their rest. He smells of steel and coal and forge. He smells of the enemy. He folds his scarecrow body through the window, bare feet silent on the rushes.
Dream a little dream, Kerstin Gier
Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yes, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially the one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys conduct dark magic rituals. The strangest part is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But what’s really scaring Liv is that the dream boys seem to know things about her in real life, things they couldn’t possibly know–unless they actually are in her dreams? Luckily, Liv never could resist a good mystery, and all four of those boys are pretty cute…(Goodreads)
First lines:The dog was snuffling at my bag. For a drug taking dog was a surprisingly fluffy specimen, like a golden retriever, and I was going to tickle it behind the ears when it bared its teeth and uttered a threatening “Woof!”
This week, for a change, some short stories / novellas. Both these books have content from some popular series: Dorothy Must Die, and the Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix.
Dorothy Must Die: stories, D. M. Paige. Have you read Dorothy Must Die yet? We are told it is excellent! Particularly, probably, if you are sick of Dorothy being the hero of the Wizard of Oz. Good news for fans: Danielle Paige has produced a collection of three related stories: ‘No Place Like Oz’, ‘The Witch Must Burn’, ‘The Wizard Returns’. We see that the next book in the series is due for publication in 2017: these might fill a very small piece of the gap.
To Hold the Bridge: a Tale of the Old Kingdom and other stories, Garth Nix. “Far to the north of the magical Old Kingdom, the Greenwash Bridge Company has been building a bridge for almost a hundred years. It is not an easy task, for many dangers threaten the bridge builders, from nomad raiders to Free Magic sorcerers. Despite the danger, Morghan wants nothing more than to join the Bridge Company as a cadet. But the company takes only the best, the most skillful Charter mages, and trains them hard, for the night might come when only a single young cadet must hold the bridge against many foes. Will Morghan be that cadet? Also included in this remarkable collection are eighteen short stories that showcase Nix’s versatility as he adds a fantastical twist on an array of genres including science fiction, paranormal, realistic fiction, mystery, and adventure.” (goodreads.com)
Crimson Bound, by Rosamund Hodge. Another interesting classic fairy tale adaptation. “When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless – straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat. Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand – the man she hates most – Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?” (goodreads.com)
Looking forward to books we’re looking forward to ordering (we will let you know when we do!):
Lair of Dreams, by Libba Bray. The second Diviners book. We have been looking forward to this for ages (ages!), and it will be published at the end of August. In the mean time you can find out more at:
The series website
The series Facebook page
Queen of Shadows, by Sarah J. Maas. The fourth book in the really popular Throne of Glass series, available in early September.
The Throne of Glass Facebook page is here, plus A Court of Thorns and Roses will be available between now and then.
Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell. Rainbow Rowell fans: we are looking forward to October, when Carry On will get here, featuring Simon Snow. We quite like the idea of this: a novel about a character from a book within a book (which makes him fictional fiction, if this exists!) about whom fan fiction is written (read Fangirl and all will be revealed). Whether or not Carry On also counts as fan fiction is debatable.
Finding Audrey, Sophie Kinsella. The first young adult novel from this very popular author of the Shopaholic series. “Meet Audrey: an ordinary teenage girl with not so ordinary problems. Aside from her completely crazy and chaotic family, she suffers from an anxiety disorder which makes talking to her brother’s hot new best friend a bit of a challenge [Editor: yep, we've been there too Audrey]. But Audrey has a plan to help her face her fears and take on the world again. First stop: Starbucks.” (supplier’s website).
What Waits in the Woods, Kieran Scott. “It’s a beautiful, sunny day. Callie Velasquez holds hands with her boyfriend Jeremy as they follow Callie’s new BFFs Penelope and Lissa up the trail. The four friends are embarking on a camping trip – a trip that immediately goes awry. They lose their way on the trail, and encounter a charismatic stranger with questionable motives. And when Callie stumbles upon a dead body, it becomes clear that the danger that lies in the woods is deadlier than she could have ever imagined. Tensions mount and friendships are tested as these teenagers try to survive the most sinister of circumstances.” (goodreads.com)
The Rest of Us Just Live Here, Patrick Ness (August/September). Exciting! We like Patrick Ness. “What if you’re not the one who’s so often the hero in YA fiction; who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you were like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again. Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life. Even if your best friend might just be the God of mountain lions…” (goodreads.com)
Plus, we are pleased to see that the last book in The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater now has a title – The Raven King – and will be published at the very end of September. We will order it soon!
My favourite band does not exist, Robert T. Jeschonek
Sixteen-year-old genius Idea Deity believes that he exists only in the pages of a novel written by a malevolent, omnipotent author . . . and that he will die in chapter 64. Meanwhile, an older teen named Reacher Mirage sings lead vocals for the undercover rock band Youforia . . . a band that exists in Idea’s world only as an Internet hoax that Idea himself perpetuated. Then there’s beautiful and mysterious Eunice Truant, who links their destinies. When Idea and Reacher plunge into the reality of Fireskull’s Revenant, the twisted epic fantasy novel they’ve both been reading, chapter 64 bears down on them like a speeding freight train on an unstoppable collision course. Being trapped in a bad book can be a nightmare. Just ask Idea Deity. (Goodreads)
First lines: When Idea Deity first met Eunice Truant, he thought that the back of her head was the front of it. He saw her while trying to escape the men who were chasing me on the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls. Idea was pushing through the crowd of cheering tourists gaping at the fireworks going off on the American side.
Ashes to ashes, Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
New Year’s Eve ended with a bang and Mary, Kat and Lillia may not be prepared for what is to come.
After Rennie’s death, Kat and Lillia try to put the pieces together of what happened to her. They both blame themselves. If Lillia hadn’t left with Reeve… If Kat had only stayed with Rennie… Things could have been different. Now they will never be the same.
Only Mary knows the truth about that night. About what she is. She also knows the truth about Lillia and Reeve falling in love, about Reeve being happy when all he deserves is misery, just like the misery he caused her. Now their childish attempts at revenge are a thing of the past and Mary is out for blood.(Goodreads)
First lines: I’m high up in the rear balcony of Holy Lady of the Sea, and it is pure agony. There aren’t enough tears in the whole wide world. My sobs echo those of the congregation below me.
Arcadia, James Treadwell
On a tiny archipelago out of sight of the rest of the world lives Rory, a ten-year-old boy. He and his mother and a handful of survivors live an exhausting and precarious existence, entirely isolated. The sea is alive, and angry. Every man Rory can remember has been drowned. Everyone knows he’ll be next. One night, for the first time since the world changed and the curse descended, strangers appear on the island. They’re on their way to England, seeking a powerful magic ring. And one of them seems to know Rory by sight. Caught up in their quest, Rory enters an England of terrors and marvels, at the heart of which lies a place where journeys unimaginably longer and older than his will reach their end: Pendurra.(Goodreads)
First lines: From the top of Briar Hill he can see the whole world. Once upon a time there was a stone plaque up here. Rory remembers it, mostly. There was a map on it which told you what you were looking at, which island in which direction.
The catalyst, Helena Coggan
Rose Elmsworth has a secret. For eighteen years, the world has been divided into the magically Gifted and the non-magical Ashkind, but Rose’s identity is far more dangerous. At fifteen, she has earned herself a place alongside her father in the Department, a brutal law-enforcement organisation run by the Gifted to control the Ashkind. But now an old enemy is threatening to start a catastrophic war, and Rose faces a challenging test of her loyalties.(Goodreads)
First lines: The first they knew of it was the crack in the sky. It stretched across the sun, cutting swathes of light from the city streets – a great, black, jagged mouth, from the eastern horizon to the westernmost clouds. Through it came darkness, spilling shadows into the streetlights.
The sin eater’s daughter, Melinda Salisbury
Twylla is blessed. The Gods have chosen her to marry a prince, and rule the kingdom. But the favour of the Gods has it’s price. A deadly poison infuses her skin. Those who anger the queen must die under Twylla’s fatal touch.Only Lief, an outspoken new guard, can see past Twylla’s chilling role to the girls she truly is.(Goodreads)
First lines: Even when there are no prisoners, I can still hear the screams. They live in the walls like ghosts and echo between footsteps. If you travel down deep into the belly of the castle, beneath the barracks where the guards sleep, beneath the Telling Room, that is where they linger behind the quiet moments.
Half wild, Sally Green
In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most powerful and violent witch. Nathan is hunted from all sides: nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted. Now, Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, and he’s on the run–but the Hunters are close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father.(Goodreads)
a crossbill calls
another bird replies, not a crossbill
the first bird takes over again
The orphan queen, Jodi Meadows
Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.
She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.
She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.
She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others. (Goodreads)
First lines: The mirrors were an expensive superstition. Not that it mattered to Melanie. Every time we came to the western side of the city, she insisted that we stop and look, and I couldn’t find it in myself to deny her that pleasure.
The art of being normal, Lisa Williamson
David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl.
On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year eleven is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long…
First lines: One afternoon, when I was eight years old, my class was told to write about what we wanted to be when we grew up. Miss Box went around the class, asking each one of us to stand up and read what we had written.
Vanishing girls, Lauren Oliver
Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it’s too late.
First lines: The funny thing about almost-dying is that afterward everyone expects you to jump on the happy train and take time to chase the butterflies through grassy fields or see rainbows in puddles of oil on the highway. It’s a miracle, they’ll say with an expectant look, as if you’ve been given a big old gift and you better not disappoint Grandma by pulling a face when you unwrap the box and find a lumpy, misshapen sweater.
Meteor Men, Jeff parker, Sandy Jarrell and Kevin Volo
On a summer night, Alden Baylor sits in a field watching the largest meteor shower in human history. What begins as teenage adventure becomes something more – the celestial event brings travelers who will change the world completely, and Alden discovers a connection to one of them. How does a young man who had to grow up fast handle the invasion of his planet? Can Alden keep humanity from oblivion?(Goodreads)
This week we’ve ordered three companions to some popular novels. Which got us to thinking about what a companion novel is. Like cousins, we decided. Related, but not as closely as sequels and series.
Lying Out Loud, Kody Keplinger. The companion novel to The Duff (or DUFF, it’s hard to know!), which is going to be a movie soon. “Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend’s house every night because she has nowhere else to go. Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with – secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross.
“Ryder’s the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can’t stand – a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed. But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually like him. Only there’s one small catch: he thinks he’s been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she’s the girl he’s really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?” (goodreads.com)
Off the Page, Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer. The companion to Between the Lines. “Sixteen-year-old Delilah is finally united with Oliver—a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairy tale. There are, however, complications now that Oliver has been able to enter the real world. To exist in Delilah’s world, Oliver must take the place of a regular boy. Enter Edgar, who agrees to take Oliver’s role in Delilah’s favorite book. In this multilayered universe, the line between what is on the page and what is possible is blurred, but all must be resolved for the characters to live happily ever after.” (goodreads.com)
The Remedy, Suzanne Young. A companion to the Program novels. “In a world before The Program… Quinlan McKee is a closer. Since the age of seven, Quinn has held the responsibility of providing closure to grieving families with a special skill: she can become anyone. Recommended by grief counselors, Quinn is hired by families to take on the short-term role of a deceased loved one between the ages of fifteen and twenty. She’s not an exact copy, of course, but she wears their clothes and changes her hair, studies them through pictures and videos, and soon, Quinn can act like them, smell like them, and be them for all intents and purposes. But to do her job successfully, she can’t get attached.
“Now seventeen, Quinn is deft at recreating herself, sometimes confusing her own past with those of the people she’s portrayed. When she’s given her longest assignment, playing the role of Catalina Barnes, Quinn begins to bond with the deceased girl’s boyfriend. But that’s only the beginning of the complications, especially when Quinn finds out the truth about Catalina’s death. And the epidemic it could start.” (goodreads.com)