My So-Called Death, by Stacey Jay (229 pages) – Karen snuffs it in a cheerleading accident. But she is re-animated somehow! And now, as a zombie, enrols in a boarding school for the undead. There she must a. solve a mystery and b. fall for gorgeous walking cadaver, Gavin.
First line: ‘My very short-lived career at Peachtree High ended the day I fell from the top of the stunt pyramid and died.‘
Escape Under the Forever Sky, by Eve Yohalem (220 pages) – Lucy is the daughter of the US ambassador to Ethiopa. She’s not allowed to leave the embassy compound. But then she’s kidnapped! Left to fend for herself in the Ethiopian wild, she survives by being smart, clever, and couragous. Based on a true story too.
First lines: ‘Dust is everywhere. Red-brown, soft as silt. It coats the windshield, the dashboard, our clothes, our skin.‘
The Great Wild Sea, by M. H. Herlong (283 pages) – Another story of survival. Three brothers are left on a rickety old boat after their dad disappears. They’re in the middle of nowhere! Together they face a massive storm and forty-foot waves, and then they’re left on a deserted island.
First line: ‘We drove all night to get to the boat.‘
A New Dawn : Your Favourite Authors on Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Series, edited by Ellen Hopkins (174 pages) – Some authors write about the Twilight series. Like the title says! Subject headings include ‘My Boyfriend Sparkles,’ ‘Dancing With Wolves,’ and ‘To Bite, or Not to Bite; That Is the Question.’
Wyrmeweald : Returner’s Wealth, by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell (409 pages) – I am excited by this book! The authors usually write books for children, and I have been hopeful they’d write a book for older people. And here it is! This is the first in a fantasy trilogy, replete with Riddell’s lush drawings.
First lines: ‘The most ancient of the great whitewyrmes turned his mighty head towards the horizon. His nostrils flared.‘
Three Rivers Rising : A Novel of the Johnstown Flood, by Jame Richards (293 pages) – In May, 1889, a massive flood submerged Johnstown, Pennsylvania, killing 2,200 people and decimating the place. Look at these photos! This book tells its story in poem form.
‘Father says he comes for the fishing,
but in truth he comes to keep an eye
on other businessmen.‘
Identity, by Sandra Glover (233 pages) – Louise, Jessica and Cate are three girls who don’t know each other, and, in fact, live hundreds of miles apart. But their lives are somehow connected! Could it have something to do with cloning? Perhaps!
First line: ‘She jogged along the path, listening to her music, keeping her pace steady.‘
Birthmarked, by Caragh M. O’Brien (362 pages) – In the future the world is a dry, hot wasteland. The world is split into those who live inside the wall – the Enclave – and those who live outside the wall. The people inside the wall need babies from outside! It’s complex.
First line: ‘In the dim hovel, the mother clenched her body into one final, straining push, and the baby slithered out into Gaia’s ready hands.‘
Boys, Girls & Other Hazardous Materials, by Rosalind Wiseman (282 pages) – Charlie moves to a new school and wants to shed her mean girl image. But it’s difficult to do for various reasons. ‘A fresh, funny, and juicy read about friendship, betrayal, and how far some kids will go to be accepted.’
First lines: ‘Here’s the deal. My name is Charlie – and, yes, I’m a girl.‘
Shadows : A Dark Touch Novel, by Amy Meredith (280 pages) – The first in a planned series. Sort of a supernatural romance, but with demons.
First line: ‘The ghost slipped between the two pine trees, moving silently, not even leaving footprints in the pine needles in the ground.‘
The Snowball Effect, by Holly Nicole Hoxter (356 pages) – ‘Having lost her stepfather, grandmother, and mother in the span of a year, seventeen-year-old Lainey unexpectedly reconnects with long-lost relatives, copes with her five-year-old brother’s behavioral problems, and endangers her long-term romance when drawn to a young man with an unexpected connection to her mother.’ Thanks, catalogue synopsis!
First line: ‘I wouldn’t say I’d been worried about Mom, but I’d known for a while that things were bad.‘
Your Skirt’s Too Short : Sex, Power, Choice, by Emily Maguire (247 pages) – This non-fiction book ‘discusses sex, power and choice in the context of young women’s lives, providing readers with the courage and knowledge to tackle these issues head on.’ This looks to be a fantastic intro to feminism.
Does My Bum Look Big in This? Body Image and the Media, by Lisa Cox (76 pages) – Another non-fiction book which offer ‘a behind the scenes look at the media industry: showing you how to critically and independently evaluate what you see, hear or read in popular culture.’ This is a great skill to have, frankly!