This week, sci-fi, horror and paranormal stories, and a companion to the Mortal Instruments series.
Inheritance, Malinda Lo – the sequel to Adaptation. “The triangular spaceship hovered motionless in the sky above Reese Holloway’s house, as inscrutable as a black hole. It had seemed like a good idea when they were inside: to tell the truth about what happened to them at Area 51. It didn’t seem like such a good idea now. Reese and David are not normal teens – not since they were adapted with alien DNA by the Imria, an extraterrestrial race that has been secretly visiting Earth for decades. Now everyone is trying to get to them: the government, the Imria, and a mysterious corporation that would do anything for the upper hand against the aliens. Beyond the web of conspiracies, Reese can’t reconcile her love for David with her feelings for her ex-girlfriend Amber, an Imrian. But her choice between two worlds will play a critical role in determining the future of humanity, the Imria’s place in it, and the inheritance she and David will bring to the universe.” (goodreads.com)
The Waking Dark, Robin Wasserman – from the author of the Skinned trilogy. “They called it the killing day. Twelve people dead, all in the space of a few hours. Five murderers: neighbors, relatives, friends. All of them so normal. All of them seemingly harmless. All of them now dead by their own hand… except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town. She doesn’t even know why she killed – or whether she’ll do it again. Something is waking in the sleepy town of Oleander, Kansas – something dark and hungry that lives in the flat earth and the open sky, in the vengeful hearts of upstanding citizens. As the town begins its descent into blood and madness, five survivors of the killing day are the only ones who can stop Oleander from destroying itself. Jule, the outsider at war with the world; West, the golden boy at war with himself; Daniel, desperate for a different life; Cass, who’s not sure she deserves a life at all; and Ellie, who believes in sacrifice, fate, and in evil. Ellie, who always goes too far. They have nothing in common. They have nothing left to lose. And they have no way out. Which means they have no choice but to stand and fight, to face the darkness in their town – and in themselves.” (goodreads.com)
Unbreakable, Kami Garcia (October) – the first book in a new series by Beautiful Creatures co-author. “When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon – a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night. Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon – battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.” (goodreads.com)
The Shadowhunter’s Codex, Cassandra Clare (November) – this is the shadowhunters’ manual, complete with Clary’s artistic doodlings of her friends and family. “Part encyclopedia, part history, part training manual – complete with commentary from Shadowhunters who have seen it all – this beautiful guide is a perfect supplement to the… series.” (goodreads.com)
Here are some new titles we’ve ordered recently for the YA collection.
Through the Zombie Glass, Gena Showalter (October) – this is the second in the White Rabbit Chronicles, where Alice in Wonderland collides with the undead. “After a strange new zombie attack, Alice fears she may be losing her mind… A terrible darkness blooms inside her, urging her to do wicked things. The whispers of the dead assault her ears and mirrors seem to come frighteningly to life. She’s never needed her team of zombie slayers more – including her boyfriend, Cole – than she does now. But as Cole strangely withdraws and the zombies gain new strength, Ali knows one false step may doom them all.” (goodreads.com)
Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy, Elizabeth Kiem (September) - ballet, spies and a bit of the supernatural come together in this gripping-sounding novel. “Marina is born of privilege. Her mother, Sveta, is the Soviet Union’s prima ballerina: an international star handpicked by the regime. But Sveta is afflicted with a mysterious second sight and becomes obsessed with exposing a horrific state secret. Then she disappears. Fearing for their lives, Marina and her father defect to Brooklyn. Marina struggles to reestablish herself as a dancer at Juilliard. But her enigmatic partner, Sergei, makes concentration almost impossible, as does the fact that Marina shares her mother’s ‘gift,’ and has a vision of her father’s murder at the hands of the Russian crooks and con artists she thought they’d left behind. Now Marina must navigate the web of intrigue surrounding her mother’s disappearance, her ability, and exactly whom she can – and can’t – trust.” (goodreads.com) The title pays homage to John Le Carre, perhaps the ultimate spy novelist.
In the Age of Love and Chocolate, Gabrielle Zevin (November) – any book with the promise of chocolate should be worth reading, and particularly if you’ve read the other two in the Birthright series. “Now eighteen, life has been more bitter than sweet for Anya. She has lost her parents and her grandmother, and has spent the better part of her high school years in trouble with the law. Perhaps hardest of all, her decision to open a nightclub with her old nemesis Charles Delacroix has cost Anya her relationship with Win. Still, it is Anya’s nature to soldier on. She puts the loss of Win behind her and focuses on her work. Against the odds, the nightclub becomes an enormous success, and Anya feels like she is on her way and that nothing will ever go wrong for her again. But after a terrible misjudgment leaves Anya fighting for her life, she is forced to reckon with her choices and to let people help her for the first time in her life.” (goodreads.com) This dystopian series is really well regarded.
Enders, Lissa Price (January 2014) – getting in early with this sequel to Starters. “With the Prime Destinations body bank destroyed, Callie no longer has to rent herself out to creepy Enders. But Enders can still get inside her mind and make her do things she doesn’t want to do. Like hurt someone she loves. Having the chip removed could save Callie’s life – but it could also silence the voice in her head that might belong to her father. Callie has flashes of her ex-renter Helena’s memories, too …and the Old Man is back, filling her with fear. Who is real and who is masquerading in a teen body?” (goodreads.com)
These are all due to arrive some time in September (or early October if the boat is super-slow). Some suspenseful stories (with a bit of fantasy), and one about discovering your niche.
Shadows, Robin McKinley – “Maggie knows something’s off about Val, her mom’s new husband. Val is from Oldworld, where they still use magic, and he won’t have any tech in his office-shed behind the house. But – more importantly – what are the huge, horrible, jagged, jumpy shadows following him around? Magic is illegal in Newworld, which is all about science. The magic-carrying gene was disabled two generations ago, back when Maggie’s great-grandmother was a notable magician. But that was a long time ago. Then Maggie meets Casimir, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen. He’s from Oldworld too – and he’s heard of Maggie’s stepfather, and has a guess about Val’s shadows. Maggie doesn’t want to know… until earth-shattering events force her to depend on Val and his shadows. And perhaps on her own heritage.” (goodreads.com)
All the Truth That’s in Me, Julie Berry – “Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember – even if he doesn’t know it – her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever.” (goodreads.com)
This Song Will Save Your Life, Leila Sales – “Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.” (goodreads.com)
The Messengers, Edward Hogan – “When fifteen-year-old Frances is sent down to the coast to Helmstown, to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin, she meets and befriends Peter Kennedy, a somewhat tramp-like character who lives in a beach hut along the seafront. As soon as they meet, Peter recognizes that Frances is a messenger, just like him. As messengers, they experience black-outs, and when they come round, they have the ability to draw, in minute detail, the scene of an accident. Although Frances can’t change the past, she realises that she can change the future, at least for a chosen few.” (goodreads.com)
A not-so-futuristic dystopian story, some gothic horror, and another new book from the prolific David Levithan.
Gated, Amy Christine Parker. “In Mandrodage Meadows, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban community have thrived under Pioneer, the charismatic leader who saved them from their sad, damaged lives. Lyla Hamilton and her parents are original members of the flock. They moved here following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking to escape the evil in the world. Now seventeen, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned: Pioneer is her leader. Will is her Intended. The end of the world is near. Like Noah before him, Pioneer has been told of the imminent destruction of humanity. He says his chosen must arm themselves to fight off the unchosen people, who will surely seek refuge in the compound’s underground fortress – the Silo. Lyla loves her family and friends, but given the choice, she prefers painting to target practice. And lately she’d rather think about a certain boy outside the compound than plan for married life in the Silo with Will. But with the end of days drawing near, she will have to pick up a gun, take a side, and let everyone know where she stands.” (goodreads.com)
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, April Genevieve Tucholke. The first in a new series. “Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town… until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery… who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.” (goodreads.com)
Two Boys Kissing, David Levithan. Based on actual events, Two Boys Kissing tells the story of two seventeen year olds who have a crack at the Guinness World Record for kissing. Their participation in the 32 hour marathon becomes “a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites – all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other” (goodreads.com). From the author/coauthor of Boy Meets Boy, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and so much more.
Fighting Pax, Robin Jarvis – “Throughout the world, Dancing Jax reigns supreme. The Ismus and his court are celebrated and adored, and the Ismus is writing the much-awaited sequel to Dancing Jax. But when someone accidentally reads the manuscript, the true, evil purpose of Austerly Fellows is finally revealed. Can the resistance halt the publication of Fighting Pax? Or is humanity doomed and will the Dawn Prince arise at last?” (goodreads.com)
Burn for Burn and Fire with Fire, Jenny Han – from the author of The Summer I Turned Pretty. Revenge, with a hint of paranormal. “Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister. Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person – her ex-best friend – and she’s ready to make her pay. Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she’s not the same girl anymore. And she’s ready to prove it to him. Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won’t stop until they each had a taste.” (goodreads.com, on Burn for Burn)
Descendant, Lesley Livingston – the sequel to Starling. “The last thing Mason Starling remembers is the train crossing a bridge. An explosion… a blinding light… then darkness. Now she is alone, stranded in Asgard – the realm of Norse legend – and the only way for her to get home is to find the Spear of Odin, a powerful relic left behind by vanished gods. The Fennrys Wolf knows all about Asgard. He was once trapped there. And he’ll do whatever it takes to find the girl who’s stolen his heart and bring her back – even if it means a treacherous descent into the Underworld. But time is running out, and Fenn knows something Mason doesn’t: if she takes up the Spear, she’ll set in motion a terrible prophecy. And she won’t just return to her world… she’ll destroy it.” (goodreads.com)
Counting by 7s, Holly Goldberg Sloan – “Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life… until now. Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.” (goodreads.com)
The Secret Ingredient, Stewart Lewis – “Olivia doesn’t believe in psychics. But the summer before her senior year of high school, she meets one in an elevator. ‘This summer will be pivotal,’ the psychic warns. ‘Please remember – all your choices are connected.’ Olivia loves her life in Silverlake, Los Angeles, but lately, something’s been missing. And after getting this strange advice, her world begins to change. A new job leads Olivia to a gorgeous, mysterious boy named Theo. And as Olivia cooks the recipes from a vintage cookbook she stumbles upon, she begins to wonder if the mother she’s never known might be the secret ingredient she’s been lacking. But sometimes the things we search for are the things we’ve had all along.” (goodreads.com). It is suggested that fans of Sarah Dessen and Jay Asher might enjoy this – test this theory out if you are!
How (Not) to Find a Boyfriend, Allyson Valentine – “Sophomore Nora Fulbright is the most talented and popular new cheerleader on the Riverbend High cheer squad. Never mind that she used to be queen of the nerds—a chess prodigy who answered every question first, aced every test and repelled friends at every turn—because this year, Nora is determined to fully transition from social pupa to full blown butterfly, even if it means dumbing down her entire schedule. But when funny, sweet and very cute Adam moves to town and steals Nora’s heart with his ultra-smarts and illegally cute dimple, Nora has a problem. How can she prove to him that she’s not a complete airhead?…” (goodreads.com)
Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia, Jenny Sanchez – “Frenchie Garcia can’t come to grips with the death of Andy Cooper. Her friends didn’t know she had a crush him. And they don’t know she was the last person with him before he committed suicide. But Frenchie’s biggest concern is how she blindly helped him die that night. Frenchie’s already insane obsession with death and Emily Dickinson won’t help her understand the role she played during Andy’s ‘one night of adventure.’ But when she meets Colin, she may have found the perfect opportunity to recreate that night.” (goodreads.com) (What will Rachel make of this cover?)
Some fantasy, and a return to normality!
Raven Flight, Juliet Marillier - the second in the Shadowfell series. “Neryn has finally found the rebel group at Shadowfell, and now her task is to seek out the elusive Guardians, vital to her training as a Caller. These four powerful beings have been increasingly at odds with human kind, and Neryn must prove her worth to them. She desperately needs their help to use her gift without compromising herself or the cause of overthrowing the evil King Keldec. Neryn must journey with the tough and steadfast Tali, who looks on Neryn’s love for the double agent Flint as a needless vulnerability. And perhaps it is. What Flint learns from the king will change the battlefield entirely—but in whose favor, no one knows.” (goodreads.com)
Love in the Time of Global Warming, Francesca Lia Block (September) – “Seventeen-year-old Penelope (Pen) has lost everything – her home, her parents, and her ten-year-old brother. Like a female Odysseus in search of home, she navigates a dark world full of strange creatures, gathers companions and loses them, finds love and loses it, and faces her mortal enemy. In her signature style, Francesca Lia Block has created a world that is beautiful in its destruction and as frightening as it is lovely. At the helm is Pen, a strong heroine who holds hope and love in her hands and refuses to be defeated.” (goodreads.com) Perhaps this book’s title is a salute to Love in the Time of Cholera, a 20th century classic by Gabriel García Márquez?
Emerald Green, Kerstin Gier – the German title is – fantastically – Smaragdgrün. This is the conclusion to the Ruby Red trilogy. “Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is. She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along” (goodreads.com). Gideon, you dastardly young man.
Another gut-wrenching war thriller, the end of two series (one dystopian, one spy), and the other side of the story…
Rose Under Fire, Elizabeth Wein (September) - this is another World War 2 thriller from the author of Code Name Verity, and we’re super excited! “While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?” (goodreads.com)
Champion, Marie Lu (November) – the final book in the Legend trilogy. “He is a Legend. She is a Prodigy. Who will be Champion? June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic – and each other – and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has.” (goodreads.com)
Just One Year, Gayle Forman (October) – Willem gets a crack at telling his story in this parallel/sequel to Just One Day. We suggest you probably read Day first, and also we won’t say too much here for fear of *spoilers*. So, what’s it all about then? “Equal parts romance, coming-of-age-tale, mystery and travel romp (with settings that span from England’s Stratford upon Avon to Paris to Amsterdam to India’s Bollywood) Just One Day and Just One Year show how in looking for someone else, you just might wind up finding yourself.” (goodreads.com) Looking forward to Bollywood!
United We Spy, Ally Carter (September) – the final in the Gallagher Girls series from the queen of teen spies. “Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie – and her country – forever.” (goodreads.com)
The Boy on the Bridge, Natalie Standiford (August) – “Laura Reid goes to Leningrad for a semester abroad as Cold War paranoia is peaking in 1982. She meets a young Russian artist named Alexei and soon, with Alexei as her guide, Laura immerses herself in the real Russia – a crazy world of wild parties, black-market books and music, and smuggled letters to dissidents. She must keep the relationship secret; associating with Americans is dangerous for Alexei, and if caught, Laura could be sent home and Alexei put under surveillance or worse. At the same time, she’s been warned that Soviets often latch onto Americans in hopes of marrying them and thus escaping to the United States. But she knows Alexei loves her. Right? As June approaches – when Laura must return to the United States – Alexei asks Laura to marry him. She’s only nineteen and doesn’t think she’s ready to settle down. But what if Alexei is the love of her life? How can she leave him behind? If she has a chance to change his life, to rescue him from misery, shouldn’t she take it?” (goodreads.com). A history lesson and love story all in one. I think Natalie Standiford is great, so this I am looking forward to. This one could be given the coverflip treatment, some people suggest. We shall see!
Stupid Fast, Nothing Special and I’m With Stupid, Geoff Herbach. Over one summer, Felton Reinstein grows into an American Football sensation – he’s always been stupid fast, but now he’s so busy being a jock he hardly has time to notice his family life is coming apart. Reviews say this series is great for fans of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie, for example, or Godless, by Pete Hautman. Note: I’m With Stupid will get here before the others, so if you want to read them in order you might like to suspend your reserve on that one!
Thorn Abbey, Nancy Ohlin (July/August) – this one is a reimagining of the classic Gothic novel Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (which, incidentally, has the famous first sentence, “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”). “Becca was the perfect girlfriend: smart, gorgeous, and loved by everyone at New England’s premier boarding school, Thorn Abbey. But Becca’s dead. And her boyfriend, Max, can’t get over his loss. Then Tess transfers to Thorn Abbey. She’s shy, insecure, and ordinary – everything that Becca wasn’t. And despite her roommate’s warnings, she falls for brooding Max. Now Max finally has a reason to move on. Except it won’t be easy. Because Becca may be gone, but she’s not quite ready to let him go…” (goodreads.com) You can read the prologue at the author’s website here.
If He Had Been With Me, Laura Nowlin (July/August) – This has been getting great reviews, but be warned, it’s saaad! “Throughout their whole childhood, Finn and Autumn were inseparable – they finished each other’s sentences, they knew just what to say when the other person was hurting. But one incident in middle school puts them in separate social worlds come high school, and Autumn has been happily dating James for the last 2 years. But she’s always wondered what if… The night she’s about to get the answer is also one of terrible tragedy.” (goodreads.com)
The Princesses of Iowa, M Molly Backes (July) – “Paige Sheridan has the perfect life. She’s pretty, rich, and popular, and her spot on the homecoming court is practically guaranteed. But when a night of partying ends in an it-could-have-been-so-much worse crash, everything changes. Her best friends start ignoring her, her boyfriend grows cold and distant, and her once-adoring younger sister now views her with contempt. The only bright spot is her creative writing class, led by a charismatic new teacher who encourages students to be true to themselves. But who is Paige, if not the homecoming princess everyone expects her to be?” (goodreads.com)
Belle Epoque, Elizabeth Ross (July) - “When Maude Pichon runs away from provincial Brittany to Paris, her romantic dreams vanish as quickly as her savings. Desperate for work, she answers an unusual ad. The Durandeau Agency provides its clients with a unique service – the beauty foil. Hire a plain friend and become instantly more attractive. Monsieur Durandeau has made a fortune from wealthy socialites, and when the Countess Dubern needs a companion for her headstrong daughter, Isabelle, Maude is deemed the perfect foil. But Isabelle has no idea her new ‘friend’ is the hired help, and Maude’s very existence among the aristocracy hinges on her keeping the truth a secret. Yet the more she learns about Isabelle, the more her loyalty is tested. And the longer her deception continues, the more she has to lose.” (goodreads.com)
Freedom Merchants, Sherryl Jordan (New Zealand author) - “A riveting tale of piracy and slavery set in the early 1600s in Ireland and Northern Africa. Twenty-five years ago, young Liam’s small fishing village on the Irish Coast was raided and its population decimated by brutal corsair pirates from the Barbary Coast who killed, plundered, and took a number of his people back to Northern Africa as slaves to Muslim masters. And now a pirate ship has been wrecked in Liam’s bay, and survivors are struggling ashore…” (goodreads.com)