More, as promised!
POD, Stephen Wallenfels (297 pages) – a POD is a sort of alien flying thing that destroys (”zaps” says the back cover, a little playfully) people who venture out of their houses. Josh and his father are trapped in their house, slowly running out of food. Megs is – a little more tenuously – trapped in a multi storey car park, with “dangerous security staff” lurking in the hotel next door. What’s more dangerous? The PODs, or the humans left?
First sentence: The screeching wakes me.
Dust Girl, Sarah Zettel (292 pages) – the first of the American Fairy trilogy. It’s 1935 and dust storms are tormenting Kansas. This is bad for Callie, whose mother insists on staying in Slow Run, waiting for Callie’s father (who is never coming back). When Callie’s mother also disappears in a violent storm, Callie befriends Jack, and they hitch rides on trains (hobo-style) to California. But! Callie is about to learn that the supernatural world is alive and well, and is looking for her (and indeed, she might be one of them).
First sentence: Once upon a time, I was a girl called Callie.
Reunited, Hilary Westman Graham (325 pages) – Alice, Summer and Tiernan used to be best friends, and best fans of the group Level3. But the band split up, and so did they. A few years later, at the end of high school, Level3 announces a one-time-only reunion concert. So Alice, Summer and Tiernan go on a road trip together to the concert, but will they be able to reestablish their friendship?
First sentence: “Is the blindfold really necessary?” Alice asked her parents.
Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe, Shelley Coriell (299 pages) – Chloe is super popular at school, until her best friend suddenly goes cold on her and turns her into a social outcast. So Chloe joins the school radio station - which is so not cool, but necessary - where she becomes the host of a call-in show, with mixed (and possibly romantic?) results.
First sentence: I loved being a burrito.
This is so not happening, Kieran Scott (315 pages) – This is the conclusion to the trilogy that began with She’s So Dead to Us and continued with He’s So Not Worth It. Ally and Jake being their senior year together together, but a bit shakily. Then life gets complicated and seems to be pulling them apart: as high school ends will they end too, or stick together?
First sentence: “Chloe’s pregnant?” Jake blurted, pushing himself up off the ground.
Bullet Boys, Ally Kennen (320 pages) – “Alex, Levi and Max follow the young soldiers from the local army camp on the moor. But harmless rivalry develops into something far more incendiary. When the boys discover a cache of buried weapons near the training grounds, deadly forces are brought into play.” (catalogue)
First sentence: Alex never killed hares.
A Breath of Eyre, Eve Marie Mont (342 pages) – Emma lives partly in the real world and partly in the imaginary world of the books she reads and the stories she makes up in her head. When reading an old copy of Jane Eyre during a lightning storm, Emma suddenly finds herself catapulted into Jane’s shoes: and the brooding gaze of Mr Rochester… (You could try it with one of our not-so-old copies of Jane Eyre.)
First sentence: There was no possibility of taking a swim that day.
The Rise of Nine, Pittacus Lore (August/September). This is the third in the Lorien Legacies series (the first being I Am Number Four, which also became a movie). You can read a short extract here. The Rise of Nine begins with Six as narrator, and things are going not too well for the Lorien survivors, although the awesome Nine may yet save the day?
If you haven’t already discovered this on the catalogue, and you’ve been hanging out for the next instalment in the series, reserve it now!
LIANZA is the professional association of people working in library and information-related fields in New Zealand. Each year they give awards for excellence in New Zealand literature, including a young adult section. This year the YA finalists are all about thrillers, suspense, action, and a bit of horror.
The Shattering, Karen Healey – “Summerton is perfect: gorgeous weather, stunning scenery, cute out-of-towners to meet. But sharp-tongued Keri has been left shattered with grief by her older brother’s suicide. She discovers her other frineds have also lost brothers in suspicious circumstances. Does Summerton hold dark secrets?” (catalogue)
Read more about The Shattering on the author’s website.
Pyre of Queens, David Hair – “Mandore, India, 769 AD: An evil sorcerer king has devised a deadly secret ritual: he and his seven queens will burn on his funeral pyre and he will rise again with the powers of the demon king, Ravana. But things go wrong when one queen, the beautiful, spirited Darya, escapes with the help of the court poet. Jodhphur, India, 2010: At the site of ancient Mandore, four teenagers meet and realise that the deathless king and his ghostly brides are hunting them down. As vicious forces from the past come alive, they need to unlock truths that have been hidden for centuries and fight an ancient battle… one more time.” (catalogue)
This is the first book in the Return of Ravana series, from the author of The Bone Tiki.
Dirt Bomb, Fleur Beale – “Jake’s life is sweet and he wouldn’t change a thing. He’s got no money and doesn’t have a mobile, but he’s got two best mates; Buzz and Robbie. Buzz is generous and doesn’t mind buying stuff for his mates. Robbie has the idea of rescuing an old wreck from a ditch and making it into a paddock basher. Buzz, however, puts a spanner in the works by saying he’s not paying for it all, it’s even stevens or no deal. Robbie gets a job, but Jake refuses. It’s just not his style to work for a boss. But he desperately wants to drive that car, and the others are going to go ahead without him.” (catalogue)
Fleur Beale won the Young Adult award last year for Fierce September, and is the author of the New Zealand young adult classic I Am Not Esther.
The Bridge, Jane Higgins – “The city is at war. Southside, the hostiles live in squalor and desperation. They’re hungry to cross the river. Cityside, ISIS is in charge, the brains behind the war. Its job—keep the hostiles at bay. ISIS only recruits the best for its elite command. Nik is smart. Very smart. So why does ISIS reject him? Before he can find out, his school is bombed. The hostiles take the bridges, and they’ve kidnapped Fyffe’s brother Sol. Now Nik is on the run. And Fyffe is going with him. Across the bridge.” (author’s website)
There’s more information about the book (including a map) at the author’s website.
Recon Team Angel: Assault, Brian Falkner – “It is 2030, and the world is at war with an alien race. The Bzadians. The battleground: Earth. Recon Team Angel, made up of teenagers from around the world, has been training for years. They have learned Bzadian languages. Learned how to operate their weapons. How to work, eat, and think like them. Now it is time to act. Six recon soldiers must slip behind enemy lines, right into the top-secret alien facility inside Uluru/Ayers Rock. But what they discover will shock not just them, but all of humanity.” (author’s website)
Brian Falkner is the author of the hugely popular Brainjack.
In time for the long weekend (happy Queen’s Birthday to you)!
The Dreamwalker’s Child, by Steve Voake (300 pages) – Young Sam lives in the country and hates it. He has no pals and everything is relaxed and peaceful slow and dull. Until he’s in an accident which sticks him in a coma. However! His mind wakes in another world run by giant smart insects who want to wupe humanity from the face of Earth with mosquito-spread disease. It’s up to Sam and his allies to stop this from happening.
First line: ‘When they are first born, most people find the world a fascinating, magical place.‘
The Girl in the Mask, by Marie-Louise Jensen (311 pages) – It is 1715 or so, and Sophie’s duty is to look pretty and get hitched ASAP. She hate all the balls and dances and so on required of her, so when it’s dark she secretly moonlights as a highway robber. Which seems reasonable. She also gets involved with the failed Stuart rebellion, just to add a touch of historical context.
First lines: ‘I didn’t hear my cousin’s voice at first. It wasn’t until the library door was flung open with a bang, making me jump, that I came back down to earth.‘
The Calling, by Kelley Armstrong (326 pages) – This is the second book in the Darkness Rising series (the first is The Gathering). Maya. who has a pawprint birthmark and can talk to animals (I think?), and her similarly supernatural friends have all been kidnapped. They escape! And are now being chased through the Vancouver wilds.
First line: ‘I don’t know who was more anxious – Daniel or Kenjii – but they weren’t making this emergency helicopter evacuation and easier.‘
Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline (372 pages) – In a vast virtual reality world (designed by Willy Wonka’s futuristic twin), Wade Watts escapes the ecological wasteland that is Earth in 2044. The world’s founder died a few years previously and had left his fortune to whoever can solve numerous 1980s-pop-culture riddles throughout the world. 1980s pop culture! Well I am sold. Ready Player One has been showered with praise and awards probably and I think a movie is on its way.
First line: ‘Everyone my age remembers where they were and what they were doing when the first heard about the contest. I was sitting in my hideout watching cartoons when the news bulletin broke in on my video feed, announcing the James Halliday had died during the night.’
From Grimm, since Simon is sickathomewithacold:
Lovetorn, by Kavita Daswani (250 pages) – Shalini has moved from India to Los Angeles, which is a rather large cultural shock (accent, hair, clothes etc.). Additionally, and most differently of all, she is set to marry Vikram (and has been almost her whole life). Then there’s Toby at school, who is bound to turn Shalini’s sense of her destiny on its head.
First sentence: In a carved wooden frame on my mother’s bedside table sits a photograph of me taken on the day that I got engaged.
The Difference Between You and Me, by Madeleine George (256 pages) – Jesse and Emily are really rather different. One is an activist (or rather, the only member of NOLAW – the National Organization to Liberate All Weirdos) the other is vice president of the student council. But they are attracted to one another. Things get complicated when they end up on opposite sides of an issue – what will win over, their relationship or their commitment to their causes?
First sentence: Jesse is in the sophomore hall girls’ bathroom, the farthest stall from the door, one huge, scuffed fisherman’s boot propped up on the toilet seat so she can balance her backpack on her knee and rifle through it.
Trafficked, by Kim Purcell (384 pages) – Hannah struggles to look after her grandmother in Moldova, so she leaps at the chance to go to Los Angeles to work as a nanny. However, the family treats her like a captive slave, and when she is caught sneaking out the house to visit Colin, her neighbour, she is threatened with prostitution. Hannah, fortunately, has a lot of gumption, and her investigations into her employers captors may lead to the truth about a missing uncle who disappeared mysteriously in Moldova, but they may also put her in danger.
First sentence: Hannah took two small steps forward in the immigration line entering America at LAX.
When the Sea is Rising Red, by Cat Hellisen (296 pages) – Felicita lives an elite life as a member of Pelimburg’s founding family, but she has few choices. When her friend throws herself off a cliff rather than marry the man she’s been assigned to, Felicita fakes her own suicide and escapes to the city’s slums. There she meets Dash (a “charismatic renegade”, what’s not to like?) and the vampire Jannik. Things take a turn for the disturbing when pale corpses begin washing up on the beach. In her death, Felicita’s friend has (maybe unknowingly?) unleashed some sinister magic from the sea, which those who want to overthrow the powerful classes of Pelimburg might use to start a rebellion.
First sentence: She’s not here.
Frost, Marianna Baer (396 pages) – Strange goings on are going on at Frost House, a boarding school with a rather creepy name. Door slam, pictures fall off walls. Leena’s room mate, Celeste, thinks it’s the other students trying to scare her off, but Leena is not so sure, and fears increasingly for her safety: “does the threat lie with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind… or in Frost House itself?” (book cover). Warning: this book may also contain a love interest named David.
First sentence: Before I lived here, before any of this happened, I imagined Frost House as a sanctuary.
Somebody Please Tell Me Who I Am, Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis (148 pages) – Ben is a bit of a star: he’s bright, popular, and talented. He surprises everyone when he enlists in the army straight out of high school, saying he feels compelled to serve his country. But things go horribly wrong when he’s serving in Iraq, and Ben returns with a brain injury: he comes back hardly able to speak or walk, and with no memory of who he is.
First sentence: The knife came out of nowhere.
There is, we hope, something for almost everyone in this week’s selection of new books!
Endure, Carrie Jones (262 pages) – This is the climactic conclusion to Zara’s story! “When evil pixies cause mass destruction and chaos in Bedford, Maine, sixteen-year-old Zara prepares for war, aligning her team of pixies with the humans she loves so much, a task made more difficult by her growing feelings for pixie king Astley.” (catalogue) Nick, or Astley? Astley, or Nick? I couldn’t decide!
First sentences: “Do you want some more spaghetti?” Nick’s voice is so abrupt and unespected that it actually makes me jump in the dining room chair.
This might possibly be a bit like: Wicked Lovely, Melissa Marr; Wings, Aprilynne Pike; Abandon, Meg Cabot.
The Last Echo, Kimberly Derting (360 pages) – the next in the Body Finder series. Violet is now working with a special investigative team, and hopes that her ability to sense the dead will do some good, and save lives and catch killers. But her life is about to get very complicated: she has a connection with Rafe, her partner, which creates tension with her boyfriend, Jay. And then “the collector” appears to have her in his sights: will she be his next victim?
First sentence: Violet strained, searching for the sensation through the suffocating blackness.
This might possibly be a bit like: The Dark Divine, Bree Despain; The Vision, Jen Nadol; Deadly Little Voices, Laurie Faria Stolarz.
Radiant Days, Elizabeth Hand (287 pages) – Merle is in her first year of art school and it’s 1978. Arthur Rimbaud is a young poet on the verge of genius and it’s 1870. “The meshed power of words and art thins the boundaries between the present and the past – and allows these two troubled, brilliant artists to enter each other’s worlds.” (cover) Arthur Rimbaud really was a teenage poet.
First sentence: Clea was twenty-three, five years older than me.
This might possibly be a bit like: Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly; Francesca Lia Block.
The Book of Blood and Shadow, Robin Wasserman (431 pages) – “While working on a project translating letters from sixteenth-century Prague, high school senior Nora Kane’s best friend is murdered, with her boyfriend the apparent killer. She is caught up in a dangerous web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all searching for a mysterious ancient device purported to allow direct communication with God.” (catalogue) A new thriller from the author of Skinned!
First sentence: I should probably start with the blood.
The Final Four, Paul Volponi (244 pages) – Four basketball players face off in college basketball’s equivalent of the NBA play-offs. As the clock ticks down we find out how they all came to be here – and eventually (we hope!) who will win: the Spartans or the Trojans? (Will history repeat?)
First sentence: Just because the game clock has stopped, don’t believe for a single second that the hearts of the ten basketball players on the court have quite pounding.
The Berlin Boxing Club, Robert Sharenow (403 pages) – Karl Stern is a Jewish boy living in Berlin. Hitler’s Nazi party is in power, and even though Karl’s family are not practising Jews, they are under attack, and Karl longs to prove his worth. Max Schmeling is a German boxing champion who makes a deal with Karl’s father – he will give Karl boxing lessons. Through these lessons Karl gains the confidence to protect his family, but at the same time things are escalating towards World War 2. Max Schmeling really was a boxing champion.
First sentence: As Herr Boch finished the last lecture of the school year, I sketched one final caricature of him into the margins of my notebook.
Deadly Little Voices, Laurie Faria Stolarz (343 pages) – this is the second to last book in the Touch series. Camelia feels like she’s on the brink of losing it: not only can she sense the future, but now she can also hear voices, telling her she’s worthless. So, when she senses that someone’s in danger can she hold it together to help them?
First sentence: A voice startles me awake.
This might possibly be a bit like: The Dark Divine, Bree Despain; The Vision, Jen Nadol; The Last Echo, Kimberly Derting.
The Obsidian Blade, Pete Hautman (308 pages) – and this, the cover tells me, is the first book of The Klaatu Diskos. What then is the Klaatu Diskos? This is a hint: “The first time Tucker saw the disk, his father disappeared into thin air. The Reverend Adrian Feye had climbed onto the roof to fix a loose shingle – and suddenly he was gone. An hour later, the Reverend came walking up the road, tattered and sunburned, bringing with him an unspeaking, yellow-haired, dark-eyed girl.” (cover)
First sentence: The first time his father disappeared, Tucker Feye had only just turned thirteen.
This might possibly be a bit like: I Am Number Four, Pittacus Lore; 172 Hours on the Moon, Johan Harstad.
172 Hours on the Moon, Johan Harstad (351 pages) – as reported a little earlier, this one’s a space travel thriller, where a trip to the moon would seem to be the opportunity of a lifetime for three teens, but only one will make it back.
First sentence: “Gentlemen, it’s time,” Dr ______ [suspiciously blacked out name] said, eyeing the seven men in suits around the large conference table.
Cross My Heart, Sasha Gould (263 pages) – set in 16th century Venice. Laura is safely installed in a convent, until her sister unexpectedly dies, and Laura’s father takes her back home, to marry her sister’s odious old fiance. Doom! Luckily, Laura manages to escape this fate, and earn her way into a secret society of women – The Segreta – whose secrets may or may not be deadly, and may be linked to her sister’s untimely demise. The cover says “clandestine romance, political intrigue, and deadly secrets”.
First sentence: His gondola slips through the water like a knife cutting into dark silk.
The One Dollar Horse, Lauren St John (309 pages) – Casey Blue lives in a tower block in East London but dreams of winning the Badminton Horse Trials (which is as far away from a tower block in London as you can get really). When she rescues a starving horse, it seems like she might be a little bit on her way, but her past (and a boy with “melty, dark eyes”) might derail her.
First sentence: Casey used the twin points of her horse’s ears to line up the jump, like a sniper lining up a target on a gun barrel.
Love-shy, Lili Wilkinson (309 pages) – Penny is a journalist-in-training, and works on the school newspaper. When she finds a boy posting on a “love-shy forum” anonymously, she decides she is going to discover who he is, and write a feature article. But who is the love-shy boy?
First sentence: “I found a story.”
Chopsticks, Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral (unpaged) – unlike your average novel: “In a love story told in photographs and drawings, Glory, a brilliant piano prodigy, is drawn to Frank, an artistic new boy, and the farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness until the only song she is able to play is ‘Chopsticks.’” (Catalogue)
First sentence: [photo of sunlight through an oak tree].
Preloved, Shirley Marr (272 pages) – Amy’s life is full of hassles (mother, friend, reputation, etc etc). She certainly doesn’t need to be haunted by a 1980s ghost called Logan, who’s either dangerous, annoying, or the ideal boy.
First sentence: Whenever my mum decided to give me advice, it often sounded like this: “Amy, don’t bring an open umbrella into the house, because a ghost might be hiding under it.”
Stir It Up!, Ramin Ganeshram (166 pages) – Anjali lives above her parents’ roti shop in Queens (NY), where she develops a passion for cooking, but her dream of becoming a celebrity chef doesn’t sit well with her traditional Trinidadian parents. When the chance to be a part of a reality TV cooking show arises, Anjali jumps: are her dreams about to be realised?
First sentence: My heart pounds as I race around the kitchen with Deema, filling orders, trying not to get behind.
Tessa Masterson Will go to Prom, Emily Franklin & Brendan Halpin (256 pages) – from the people who brought you Jenna & Jonah’s Fauxmance. Lucas and Tessa are best friends, have been forever. Lucas wishes they were more, so when he finally comes out, and asks Tessa to the prom, his world is shaken when Tessa, in turn, comes out as a lesbian. Lucas feels betrayed that she has kept this a secret from him for so long, and when Tessa decides to go to the prom with her girlfriend – and dressed in a tux – and comes under fire as a result, will she be able to count on her best friend for support?
First sentence: Before you read the paper or watch tonight’s news, before you grab the Time magazine in your orthodontist’s office or dig into the police report, before the protesters’ shouts distract you, you should hear the whole thing from the beginning.
Between the Sea and Sky, Jaclyn Dolamore (229 pages) – “Esmerine, a mermaid, grows close to her childhood playmate Alander, a winged man, when they join forces to find her sister Dosia, who has reportedly eloped with a human despite the sisters’ vow to always keep the sea and its people first in their hearts.” (catalogue) “With subtle echoes of Pride and Prejudice” says the cover, which just adds to the charm.
First sentence: It was not every day that a mermaid became a siren, and not every day that Esmerine attended such a party.
Rock On, Denise Vega (297 pages) – Ori has lived a bit in his brother Del’s shadow, but with Del safely away at college, Ori’s chance to step into the spotlight arises. Ori and his band (called The Band to Be Named Later, or TBTBNL) are competing in The Battle of the Bands, and Ori’s the lead singer. But then Del comes back from college, and expects things to revert to the way they were. Can Ori overcome his confidence issues with his brother, and be a true lead singer? Can TBTBNL also win Battle of the Bands glory? Perhaps.
Last sentence: Rock and roll, baby.
This week: historical romance, science fiction, and epic fantasy.
Changeling, Philippa Gregory. “Italy, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger in its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in this year—the end of days. Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit any of her father’s estate. As the nuns walk in their sleep and see strange visions, Isolde is accused of witchcraft—and Luca is sent to investigate her, but finds himself plotting her escape. Despite their vows, despite themselves, love grows between Luca and Isolde as they travel across Europe with their faithful companions, Freize and Ishraq. The four young people encounter werewolves, alchemists, witches, and death-dancers as they head toward a real-life historical figure who holds the boundaries of Christendom and the secrets of the Order of the Dragon.” (amazon.com)
This is the first of a series by one of the queens of historical fiction!
Burnt Ice, Steve Wheeler (New Zealand). The first book in the A Fury of Aces series. A space adventure! “In our future worlds the Administration rules the Sphere of Humankind, the Games Board sanctions and funds wars and conflicts, and the Haulers′ Collective roams the space routes like the caravanners of old. Marko and his crew of fellow soldier-engineers are sent to investigate an unknown planet. When they encounter strange artefacts and an intelligent but aggressive squid species, they are forced to embark on a perilous journey far from the Sphere. They will have to survive not only other alien encounters but also their own Administration′s deadly manipulations. Political factions and galactic media moguls vie for power … and money.” (Text from HarperCollins)
Some titles that will be published soon:
172 Hours on the Moon, Johan Harstad. Johan Harstad is a Norwegian author: this one was published as DARLAH in Norway, and won awards.
“Three teenagers are going on the trip of a lifetime. Only one is coming back. It’s been more than forty years since NASA sent the first men to the moon, and to grab some much-needed funding and attention, they decide to launch an historic international lottery in which three lucky teenagers can win a week-long trip to moon base DARLAH 2-a place that no one but top government officials even knew existed until now. The three winners, Antoine, Midori, and Mia, come from all over the world. But just before the scheduled launch, the teenagers each experience strange, inexplicable events. Little do they know that there was a reason NASA never sent anyone back there until now-a sinister reason. But the countdown has already begun.” (goodreads.com)
The Fame Game, Lauren Conrad. For a complete change of pace: Lauren Conrad’s latest novel finds Madison Parker (frenemy of Jane Roberts in L A Candy) about to become famous in Hollywood. But this comes with the usual backstabbing, rumours and negativity. To top it off, there’s a new girl in town who threatens to eclipse Madison’s star. Who’s going to win the fame game?
Insurgent, Veronica Roth. The anticipated sequel to Divergent which will be released in May. “War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.” (goodreads again)
Here is the author’s tumblr, in which she answers random questions about her books and other stuff.
Thanks to Stephanie for the selections.
In other upcoming news: Markus Zusak, author of the über-popular The Book Thief will be publishing a new novel in September this year, called Bridge of Clay. It’s about time! This is how it is summarised so far: “It’s about a boy. His name is Clay. He’s building a bridge. And he wants that bridge to be something truly great and miraculous.” (goodreads.com). This is suitably mysterious. We will let you know when you can reserve a copy!
In other Australian author news, Melina Marchetta recently blogged about the cover of the upcoming concluding chapter in the Lumatere Chronicles, Quintana of Charyn. You can see it right here. She looks suitably confrontational. Quintana will be published in October this year (can’t hardly wait). In the mean time you should recap on the other two: Finnikin of the Rock, and Froi of the Exiles. Rave, rave <3.
Brooklyn Burning, by Steve Brezenoff (202 pages) – Kid and Felix, two kids living on the streets in Brooklyn, are madly in love. Felix leaves, and Kid is left as the suspect in an arson. But! A year later Scout appears on the scene and Kid gets another chance with love. He – or she! for gender of the main characters is never specified, remarkably – also gets to be in a band. Punk rock!
First line: ‘On the corner of Franklin and India streets in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, is the north wall of Fish’s bar.‘
Unforgettable, by Loretta Ellsworth (256 pages) – Baxter can remember every little thing that happens, from emotions to numbers. When his ability gets his mother’s criminal boyfriend locked away for credit card scam, Baxter and his mum move to a distant town to forget the past (not that he can actually forget it! but you know) where he falls for a girl who he met years ago and never forgot (he can’t!) but who has forgotten him. But the criminal boyfriend might be back!
First line: ‘It’s a warm spring day when Mom takes me to the playground near our apartment.’
All You Desire : Can You Trust Your Heart?, by Kirsten Miller (423 pages) – Catalogue summary has a go: ‘Haven Moore and Iain Morrow have been living a blissful life in Rome, an ocean way from the Ouroboros Society and its diabolical leader. But the mysterious disappearance of Haven’s best friend sends the pair running back to New York, where they encounter the diabolical, scheming Horae.’ So if that makes sense then you will know that this is from the Eternal Ones series and you want to read the sequel.
First line: ‘Haven Moore checked her watch and turned back towards the city.’
Water Balloon, by Audrey Vernick (312 pages) – Marley’s parents have split! And her best friend might not be so friendly anymore. AND she has to take the worst job ever, looking after her grandmother, some five-year-old twins, and all in a place without the Internet. She is stretched as tightly as a water balloon (hence the title) but she does meet a boy. Will love blossom? More importantly will she ever get back on the Internet?
First line: ‘The blitzing began five years ago, in second grade, on one of those amazing spring days that remind you how hot summer can be.‘
The Scent of Apples, by Jacquie McRae (183 pages) – Libby loves her grandfather, maker of cider and so scented by apples, but he is killed in a nasty accident. Faced with her parents’ seeming indifference, Libby takes to hurting herself as a coping mechanism. She is sent to boarding school and meets Charlie, a girl who teaches Libby that life can be about ‘fishing, whanau and laughter’. Libby is involved in another accident, sadly, forcing ’secrets to be revealed and truths told.’
First line: ‘Weeping willows, their skinny arms covered in ghostly green leaves, hang out over the riverbanks.‘
Enthralled : Paranormal Diversions, edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong (452 pages) – The list of contributors that I am not prepared to type out are a real who’s who of teen paranormal fiction authors. There are sixteen stories in this collection, and while some are continuations of various series, many are new stories. Vampires! Fairies! Angels! Probably ghosts! AwoooooooOOOoooo
Glow : Sky Chasers, by Amy Kathleen Ryan (385 pages) – Earth is off the cards, so spacecraft are sent into space (of course) to colonise other planets. Young sweethearts Kieran and Waverly have only ever known life on board Empyrean, and when it’s attacked and most adults killed, their lives are drastically changed. This is the first book in a series.
First line: ‘The other ship hung in the sky like a pendant, silver in the ether light cast by the nebula.‘
Always a Witch, by Carolyn MacCullough (276 pages) – ‘Haunted by her grandmother’s prophecy that she will soon be forced to make a terrible decision, witch Tamsin Greene risks everything to travel back in time to 1887 New York to confront the enemy that wants to destroy her family,’ accurately predicts the library catalogue, reading the tea leaves. This is the sequel to Once A Witch.
First lines: ‘I was born on the night of Samhain. Others might call it Halloween. Born into a family of witches who all carry various Talents. Others might call it magic.‘
Pregnant Pause, by Han Nolan (340 pages) – When sixteen-year-old Eleanor discovers she’s pregnant her parents want her to either go with them to Kenya, as missionaries, or move in with her older, married sister in California – in both cases, she has to adopt out the kid when it’s born. Instead she marries her true love and joins him at his parents’ camp for overweight kids. She is very headstrong! But it’s for the best … or is it.? (I had to read the last paragraph to find out.)
First lines: ‘Okay, I’m pregnant, and so here’s what I’m scared about. What if my kid turns out to be a mass murderer?‘
Keeper of the Night, by Kimberly Willis Holt (308 pages) – Isabel lives on the island of Guam. Her mother takes her own life, and Isabel is left to look after her family; her sister, who has night terrors, her brother, who starts carving words into his bedroom wall, and their father, who is distant, unable to cope, and sleeps on the floor where Isabel’s mother was found. So; a bit grim! But ultimately bouyant.
First lines: ‘My mother died praying on her knees. Her rosary beads were still in her hands when we found her.‘
Rip Tide, by Kat Falls (314 pages) – Ty’s father runs a subsea farm, and his family must deal with the threat posed by sharks, killer whales, and squids. Giant squids! Maybe! Anyway a subsea farm sounds pretty cool to me. I don’t know why exactly. Ty discovers an entire township, dead, tied to a sunken submarine at the bottom of a trash vortex. His parents are kidnapped and Ty worries they might share a similar fate. This is the sequel to Dark Life, set in a post-apocalyptic world with futuristic undersea cowboys to which Disney has picked up the film rights.
First line: ‘Easing back on the throttle, I slowed the submarine’s speed.‘
Where the Truth Lies, by Jessica Warman (308 pages) – Emily goes to school at an exclusive Connecticut academy for rich kids. Her father is the headmaster there; she has friends (who are rich), and her life is just wonderful. But she also has nightmares that may stem from something that happened to her when she was a kid. When the super-hot rebel Del Sugar arrives at school she is swept away. But! He is expelled! And Emily begins to question what she knows and doesn’t know, and soon nothing seems to be really what it seems to not be, sometimes. With a “bittersweet ending” which I just read and can confirm.
First line: ‘I have insomnia.‘
Across the Great Barrier, Patricia C. Wrede (339 pages) – This is book two of ‘Frontier Magic’ (the first is The Thirteenth Child), in which the wild west of the 1800s meets a world where magic is the norm. Catalogue helpfully says, ‘Eff is an unlucky 13th child. And yet, Eff is the one who had saved the day for the settlements west of the Great Barrier. Her unique ways of doing magic and seeing the world, and her fascination with the magical creatures and land in the Great Plains, push Eff to work toward joining an expedition heading west. But things are changing on the frontier.’
First line: ‘Being a heroine is nowhere near the fun folks make it out to be.‘
Could ghosts be the new vampires? Here at the teen blog we’ve recently noticed a whole bunch of interesting ghost stories are being published, some of them with Victorian, 19th-century sensibilities. Could this be the new black? we wonder. We will keep an eye out for more.
The Scorpio Races, Maggie Stiefvater (409 pages) – The Scorpio Races happen each year in November, where riders race waterhorses (presumably underwater). They’re a dangerous sport, and some riders don’t survive. Sean Kendrick has, he’s the current champion, back to defend his title. Then there’s Puck, who is going to be the first female rider ever, not fully aware of what she’s got herself in for. We’re thinking everyone’s going to get more than they bargained for.
First sentence: It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.
Human.4, Mike A. Lancaster (231 pages) – When Kyle volunteers to be hypnotised at a talent show, he doesn’t expect the world to be completely changed when he wakes up. Now everyone behaves like he doesn’t exist, and TVs and computers just display a weird language. So, is this a new real world, or is Kyle still lost in a nightmare?
First sentence (Kyle Straker’s First Tape): … Is this thing on?
Drink Slay Love, Sarah Beth Durst (386 pages) – (The title is an Eat, Pray, Love reference, if you hadn’t already noticed.) Pearl is your average run of the mill vampire until one day she is stabbed through the heart by a unicorn. Now she can be out in daylight, which is kind of useful for vampires, and her vampire family agrees, and puts Pearl to use, enrolling her in high school with the intention of luring innocent humans to the vampire King’s feast (as, you know, the feast). But Pearl starts having second thoughts – especially about one particular cute guy – and finds herself torn between having her friends killed and being killed herself.
First sentence: “One hour until dawn,” Pearl said.
The Summer I Learned to Fly, Dana Reinhardt (216 pages) – Drew is a loner who hangs out in her mother’s cheese shop and owns a pet rat. One day she meets Emmett, a boy with an endless amount of mysteries surrounding him, and begins her first real friendship. The cover says “[it's] about a cautious girl swept up by new feelings. It’s about a charismatic boy in search of a miracle. It’s about what happens when they find each other”, which is quite nice.
First sentence: For some people it’s the smell of sunblock.
He’s So Not Worth It, Kieran Scott (360 pages) – the sequel to She’s So Dead to Us. “Told in two voices, Allie and Jake continue to be bombarded by family issues and pressures from the “Cresties” and their poorer counterparts as they spend a summer dealing with the fallout of their breakup.” (Catalogue)
First sentence: I had imagined my reunion with my father so many times over the past two years, I had every last detail down.
Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake (316 pages) – Cas Lowood is a ghost-killer who travels the country with his mother and cat, following legends and stories to hunt down harmful ghosts and, well, kill them. They arrive in a new town on the trail of the ghost known as Anna Dressed in Blood, who has killed every person who has entered the house she haunts – except, mysteriously, she decides to spare Cas.
First sentence: The grease-slicked hair is a dead giveaway – no pun intended.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Laini Taylor (418 pages) – newly arrived, and featuring in our Most Wanted list: this one is “a sweeping and gorgeously written modern fantasy about a forbidden love, an ancient and epic battle, and hope for a world remade” (cover), which makes it sound fabulous!
First sentence: Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day.
A Long Long Sleep, Anna Sheehan (342 pages) – This is a kind of fairytale-meets-futuristic-semi-dystopian-tale, which sounds really interesting. Rosalinda Fitzroy’s mega rich parents organised for her to “sleep” for sixty years in a stasis tube. When she is kissed awake by a strange boy she discovers the world quite changed, and must reestablish herself. But when an assassin threatens her life, things are turned up a notch, and Rose is forced to uncover some past truths and face the deadly threat head on.
First sentence: I’d try to hold on to my stass dreams as long as I could.
Haunting Violet, Alyxandra Harvey (344 pages) – Set in the 19th century. Violet’s mother is a fake medium, who holds séances to relieve various willing members of society of their cash. But at one particular session Violet is confronted by the ghost of a murder victim, who won’t rest until the killer is brought to justice.
First sentence: I was nine years old when my mother decided it was time I took part in the family business.