Three interesting-looking books that will be arriving in the next month (as long as they don’t fall off the boat/plane).
Under a Painted Sky, Stacey Lee. They (you know, them) say this is a book for Code Name Verity lovers, which we are! “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.com)
Everybody Knows Your Name, Andrea Seigel & Brent Bradshaw. Ford and Magnolia come from quite different backgrounds. “When the two teens are cast in Spotlight, a reality TV singing competition, both see it as their chance to start anew. With each episode, as they live together in a Hollywood Hills mansion and sing their hearts out, Ford and Magnolia fall in love. But how genuine can that love be when a television audience is watching their every move—and when their pasts are catching up them so much faster than they can run?” (goodreads.com)
Black Dove, White Raven, Elizabeth Wein. Speaking of Code Name Verity! Here’s the new novel by author Elizabeth Wein. “Emilia and Teo’s lives changed in a fiery, terrifying instant when a bird strike brought down the plane their stunt pilot mothers were flying. Teo’s mother died immediately, but Em’s survived, determined to raise Teo according to his late mother’s wishes-in a place where he won’t be discriminated against because of the color of his skin. But in 1930s America, a white woman raising a black adoptive son alongside a white daughter is too often seen as a threat.
“Seeking a home where her children won’t be held back by ethnicity or gender, Rhoda brings Em and Teo to Ethiopia, and all three fall in love with the beautiful, peaceful country. But that peace is shattered by the threat of war with Italy, and teenage Em and Teo are drawn into the conflict. Will their devotion to their country, its culture and people, and each other be their downfall or their salvation?” (goodreads.com)
This time, some realistic fiction:
Backlash, Sarah Darer Littman. Lara thought Christian liked her, possibly enough to invite her to the Homecoming dance, so she’s shocked when she sees what he writes to her on Facebook. Lara has worked hard on her appearance, and things have been improving for her; she thought she was happy in high school, but this is a devastating turn of events. “As online life collides with real life, things spiral out of control, and not just for Lara. Because when the truth starts to come together, the backlash is even more devastating than anyone could have ever imagined.” (goodreads.com)
Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story, David Levithan. If you read and loved Will Grayson, Will Grayson, it is possible that Tiny was one of the reasons why. “Now Tiny finally gets to tell his story—from his fabulous birth and childhood to his quest for true love and his infamous parade of ex-boyfriends—the way he always intended: as a musical! Filled with honesty, humor, and ‘big, lively, belty’ musical numbers, the novel is told through the full script of the musical first introduced in Will Grayson, Will Grayson.” (goodreads.com) Yay!
Seed, Lisa Heathfield. “All that Pearl knows can be encapsulated in one word: Seed. It is the isolated community that she was born into. It is the land that she sows and reaps. It is the center of her family and everything that means home. And it is all kept under the watchful eye of Papa S. At fifteen years old, Pearl is finally old enough to be chosen as Papa S’s companion. She feels excitement… and surprising trepidation that she cannot explain. The arrival of a new family into the Seed community – particularly the teenage son, Ellis – only complicates the life and lifestyle that Pearl has depended upon as safe and constant. Ellis is compelling, charming, and worldly, and he seems to have a lot of answers to questions Pearl has never thought to ask. But as Pearl digs to the roots of the truth, only she can decide what she will allow to come to the surface.” (goodreads.com)
Grimm’s away this week, but I’m still here to report the most exciting books we’ve ordered recently! If they sound interesting to you, go ahead and reserve them now, although they won’t arrive for a little while yet.
The cage / Megan Shepherd
“When Cora wakes up in the middle of a desert, the last thing she can remember is driving to a ski resort with her brother. She comes across five other teenagers in this unfamiliar world, and they learn that they have been selected by highly intelligent aliens as study subjects; they are watched and controlled at all times. Each captive has been paired with another-with the charge to procreate within 21 days or face a fate worse than captivity. Cora can’t forget home, and her constant search for an escape puts her at odds with the rest of the group, who begin to see her as a threat to their survival.” (School Library Journal)
The Glass Arrow / Kristen Simmons
“In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.” (Goodreads)
Dearest / Alethea Kontis
“Readers met the Woodcutter sisters (named after the days of the week) in Enchanted and Hero. In this third book, Alethea Kontis weaves together some fine-feathered fairy tales to focus on Friday Woodcutter, the kind and loving seamstress. When Friday stumbles upon seven sleeping brothers in her sister Sunday’s palace, she takes one look at Tristan and knows he’s her future. But the brothers are cursed to be swans by day. Can Friday’s unique magic somehow break the spell?” (Goodreads)
Some fiction sequels we’ve been hanging out for.
The Wicked Will Rise, Danielle Page – the sequel to Dorothy Must Die, a subversive retelling of the Wizard of Oz books by Frank L. Baum. “Amy Gumm must do everything in her power to kill Dorothy and free Oz. To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and then Dorothy must die… But Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy’s only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she’s only just scratched the surface of Oz’s past – and that Kansas, the home she couldn’t wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust – and who is really Wicked?” (goodreads.com) We should get this in early April, all things being equal.
Miss Mayhem, Rachel Hawkins – the sequel to Rebel Belle, and with a cover that’s just as blingy. “Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the important things in life: school, canoodling with David, her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie, and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant. Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they’d rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can’t stay David’s Paladin unless she undergoes an ancient trial that will either kill her… or connect her to David for life.” (goodreads.com) This is also due out in early April.
The Shadow Cabinet, Maureen Johnson – the third in the Shades of London, a spooky series about Rory, who discovers she can see dead people, some of whom are perfectly pleasant and some of whom are definitely not. I am still reeling from Jack the Ripper (book 1, not really a spoiler). The second book ends on a massive cliffhanger (at least I hope it is), so really looking forward to this one. We should be getting it in the next few weeks.
“Rory and her friends are reeling from a series of sudden and tragic events. While racked with grief, Rory tries to determine if she acted in time to save a member of the squad. If she did, how do you find a ghost? Also, Rory’s classmate Charlotte has been kidnapped by Jane and her nefarious organization. Evidence is uncovered of a forty-year-old cult, ten missing teenagers, and a likely mass murder. Everything indicates that Charlotte’s in danger, and it seems that something much bigger and much more terrible is coming. Time is running out as Rory fights to find her friends and the ghost squad struggles to stop Jane from unleashing her spectral nightmare on the entire city. In the process, they’ll discover the existence of an organization that underpins London itself – and Rory will learn that someone she trusts has been keeping a tremendous secret.” (goodreads.com)
We have just now almost this very minute ordered some May Young Adult novels that we’re very confident are going to be completely awesome. Reserve them soon if you don’t want to wait!
A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas – a new series from the author of the Throne of Glass books. “When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world…” (goodreads.com) For older teens.
The Heir, Kiera Cass – the next in the extremely popular Selection series is out in May! “Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.” (goodreads.com)
P.S. I Still Love You, Jenny Han – the sequel to To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. “Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter. She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever. When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?” (goodreads.com) Book cover still waiting to be revealed!
An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir – this book from a new author looks really good! “Laia is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution. Elias is the academy’s finest soldier — and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor. When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.” (goodreads.com)
Maximum Ride Forever, James Patterson (May). Good news! Max is back for what’s being called an “encore episode”. “As Maximum Ride boldly navigates a post-apocalyptic world, she and her broken flock are roaming the earth, searching for answers to what happened. All will be revealed in this last spectacular ‘ride’- a brand-new grand finale featuring all of the nonstop action, twists and turns that readers can rely on in a blockbuster Patterson page turner!” (goodreads.com). Will this really be the last? :-/
Kalahari, Jessica Khoury (February/March). The new book by the author of Origin and Vitro. “When an educational safari goes wrong, five teens find themselves stranded in the Kalahari Desert without a guide. It’s up to Sarah, the daughter of zoologists, to keep them alive and lead them to safety, calling on survival know-how from years of growing up in remote and exotic locales. Battling dehydration, starvation and the pangs of first love, she does her best to hold it together, even as their circumstances grow increasingly desperate. But soon a terrifying encounter makes Sarah question everything she’s ever known about the natural world. A silver lion, as though made of mercury, makes a vicious, unprovoked attack on the group. After a narrow escape, they uncover the chilling truth behind the lion’s silver sheen: a highly contagious and deadly virus that threatens to ravage the entire area—and eliminate life as they know it.” (goodreads.com)
Under My Skin, James Dawson (March). Very cool cover! (you will have to take our word for it for now, unless you have a quick look here). “Seventeen-year-old Sally Feather is not exactly a rebel. Her super-conservative parents and her treatment at the hands of high school bullies means that Sally’s about as shy and retiring as they come – but all that’s about to change. Accidentally ending up in the seedier side of town one day, Sally finds herself mysteriously lured to an almost-hidden tattoo parlour – and once inside, Sally is quickly seduced by its charming owner, Rosita, and her talk of how having a secret tattoo can be as empowering as it is thrilling. Almost before she knows what she is doing, Sally selects sexy pin-up Molly Sue, and has her tattooed on her back – hoping that Molly Sue will inspire her to be as confident and popular as she is in her dreams. But things quickly take a nightmareish turn. Almost immediately, Sally begins to hear voices in her head – or rather, one voice in particular: Molly Sue’s. And she has no interest in staying quiet and being a good girl – in fact, she’s mighty delighted to have a body to take charge of again. Sally slowly realises that she is unable to control Molly Sue… and before long she’s going to find out the hard way what it truly means to have somebody ‘under your skin’.” (goodreads.com)
More from series-world: beginnings, ends, sequels and bridging stories – all to look forward to in 2015.
Fairest, Marissa Meyer. This is number 3.5 in the Lunar Chronicles. We are really looking forward to Winter (number 4, the book, not the season) which comes out at the end of next year, so it’s a happy thing that Fairest will be available in February to tide us over. Fairest tells the back story of Queen Levana (“Long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story,” says goodreads.com, a big tease). The fairytale being referenced here is Snow White, with Levana being the Evil Queen (or is she?).
The Winner’s Crime, Marie Rutkosky. The sequel to The Winner’s Curse, which was one of our picks for 2014. “The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement… if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For – unknown to Arin – Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret. As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them” (goodreads.com).
The Ruby Circle, Richelle Mead (the final Bloodlines novel). “Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. After their secret romance is exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world” (goodreads.com)
Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard. The first in a new trilogy, and recommended for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent. “The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers. To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change. Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control. But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?” (goodreads.com)
All Fall Down, Ally Carter. If you’re a fan of Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls and Heist Society novels then you could be interested in her new series, called Embassy Row. “Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things: 1. She is not crazy. 2. Her mother was murdered. 3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay. As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her – so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door who is keeping an eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands. Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace – no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her… and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world all stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down” (goodreads.com)
Rogue Wave, Jennifer Donnelly. The second Waterfire Saga book, after Deep Blue. “Serafina, Neela, Ling, Ava, Becca, and Astrid, six mermaids from realms scattered throughout the seas and freshwaters, were summoned by the leader of the river witches to learn an incredible truth: the mermaids are direct descendants of the Six Who Ruled-powerful mages who once governed the lost empire of Atlantis. The ancient evil that destroyed Atlantis is stirring again, and only the mermaids can defeat it. To do so, they need to find magical talismans that belonged to the Six… As they hunt for their talismans, both Serafina and Neela find reserves of courage and cunning they didn’t know they possessed. They face down danger and death, only to endure a game-changing betrayal, as shocking as a rogue wave” (goodreads.com)
Across the Barricades, Joan Lingard. The sequel to Twelfth Day of July. Not exactly new, in fact practically a modern classic, but we’re getting new copies and we think you should read this take on Romeo and Juliet set in politically troubled Belfast in the 1970s. Sadie is a protestant and Kevin is a Catholic. They just want to be together, but life is dangerous in a tense and violent Northern Ireland where they (Kevin and Sadie) are supposed to be on opposing sides.
This randomly, accidentally, turned into a horror special, complete with some pretty nice book covers, we think.
The Mark of Cain, Lindsey Barraclough. The sequel to Long Lankin! The horror! Perfect timing for Halloween reserves. This one introduces the charming Aphra (1567). “Four years have passed since the death of Ida Guerdon, and Cora is back in Bryers Guerdon in the manor house her aunt left to her. It is a cold, bitter winter, and the horrifying events of that sweltering summer in 1958 seem long past. Until Cora’s father arranges for some restoration work to take place at Guerdon Hall, and it seems that something hidden there long ago has been disturbed. The spirit of Aphra Rushes – intent on finishing what she began, four centuries ago” (goodreads.com)
Evil Librarian, Michelle Knudsen. How could we not order a book called Evil Librarian? “When Cynthia Rothschild’s best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, Cyn can totally see why. He’s really young and super cute and thinks Annie would make an excellent library monitor. But after meeting Mr. Gabriel, Cyn realizes something isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s the creepy look in the librarian’s eyes, or the weird feeling Cyn gets whenever she’s around him. Before long Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is, in fact… a demon. Now, in addition to saving the school musical from technical disaster and trying not to make a fool of herself with her own hopeless crush, Cyn has to save her best friend from the clutches of the evil librarian, who also seems to be slowly sucking the life force out of the entire student body!” (goodreads.com).
Zomburbia, Adam Gallardo. “My name is Courtney Hart, and I’m here to tell you about things that suck. Being born in a podunk town like Salem, Oregon, for one. Living in a world infested with zombies? That, too. And the meat heads I go to school with? I think I’d actually take the undead over them most days. But I have a plan to get out of here and move to New York. I just have to keep selling Vitamin Z along with your fries at The Bully Burger. The secret ingredient? Zombie brains. I’ve noticed things are getting even worse lately, if that’s even possible. The zombies seem to be getting smarter and faster. If I can avoid being arrested, eaten by shufflers, or catching the eye of some stupid boy, I should be able to make it through finals week still breathing…” (goodreads.com)
Blackfin Sky, Kat Ellis. “When Sky falls from Blackfin Pier and drowns on her sixteenth birthday, the whole town goes into mourning – until she shows up three months later like nothing happened. Unravelling the mystery of those missing months takes Sky to the burned-out circus in the woods, where whispers of murder and kidnapping begin to reveal the town’s secrets. But Sky’s not the only one digging up the past – the old mime from the circus knows what happened to her, and he has more than one reason for keeping quiet about it.” (goodreads.com)
Featuring damsels, or anti-damsels rather.
The Cure for Dreaming, Cat Winters. We like the sound of this, plus, great cover. “Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl – a suffragist – in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women.” (goodreads.com)
Damsel Distressed, Kelsey Macke. An addition to the fairytale retelling genre, from a different perspective. “Imogen Keegen has never had a happily ever after–in fact, she doesn’t think they are possible. Ever since her mother’s death seven years ago, Imogen has pulled herself in and out of therapy, struggled with an ‘emotionally disturbed’ special ed. label, and loathed her perma-plus-sized status. When Imogen’s new stepsister, the evil and gorgeous Ella Cinder, moves in down the hall, Imogen begins losing grip on the pieces she’s been trying to hold together. The only things that gave her solace – the theatre, cheese fries, and her best friend, Grant – aren’t enough to save her from her pain this time. While Imogen is enjoying her moment in the spotlight after the high school musical, the journal pages containing her darkest thoughts get put on display. Now, Imogen must resign herself to be crushed under the ever-increasing weight of her pain, or finally accept the starring role in her own life story.” (goodreads.com)
No Life But This, Anna Sheehan. A kind-of sequel to A Long, Long Sleep which I loved, featuring another not-so-damsel. “Rose spent most of her life asleep. Otto spent his as an object. Rose Fitzroy woke from her long sleep to a changed world and new life. Her friend Otto watched her from afar, longing for what he felt he couldn’t have. But just when things seem to be going right, his own biology backfires, sending him into a deathly spiral that neither of them can stop. His only hope lies on the distant ice moon of Europa, where an experimental treatment might bring him back from the brink. But Europa is in a state of revolution, and Otto’s brother Quin is tangled up in it. With Otto going slowly insane, and Rose haunted by ghosts of her old life, more than one world may soon be destroyed around them.” (goodreads.com)