Some more newly-ordered titles!
The Anatomy of Curiosity, Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanoff. These three authors read and critique each other’s work regularly: they have a writing group, which is cool. The Anatomy of Curiosity is the follow up to The Curiosities, and similarly it contains illustrations and annotations about their writing process, which would be really interesting for writers and other creative people.
“In an unassuming corner of Brooklyn, a young woman learns to be ladylike, to love context, and to speak her mind from a very curious sort of tutor… In a faraway land convulsed by war, a young soldier hears the desert’s curious hum as he disarms bombs with the person he doesn’t know how to love… In a place so shriveled by drought that any drowning is a curiosity, a young writer tries again and again to tread water beneath the surface of a vast and unusual sea.” (goodreads.com)
Black Widow: Forever Red, Margaret Stohl. We did a double-take over this novel, thinking surely this is a graphic novel? But no, Black Widow gets some well-deserved attention from Margaret Stohl, co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series.
“Natasha Romanoff is one of the world’s most lethal assassins. Trained from a young age in the arts of death and deception, Natasha was given the title of Black Widow by Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room, Moscow’s infamous academy for operatives. Ava Orlova is just trying to fit in as an average Brooklyn teenager, but her life has been anything but average.The daughter of a missing Russian quantum physicist, Ava was once subjected to a series of ruthless military experiments-until she was rescued by Black Widow and placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. Ava has always longed to reconnect with her mysterious savior, but Black Widow isn’t really the big sister type. Until now. When children all over Eastern Europe begin to go missing, and rumors of smuggled Red Room tech light up the dark net, Natasha suspects her old teacher has returned-and that Ava Orlova might be the only one who can stop him. To defeat the madman who threatens their future, Natasha and Ava must unravel their pasts. Only then will they discover the truth about the dark-eyed boy with an hourglass tattoo who haunts Ava’s dreams.” (goodreads.com)
Young Man With Camera, Emil Sher. “T– is used to getting grief. He gets it from his mom, who blames herself for his accident years earlier. He gets it from Mr. Lam, who suspects every kid of stealing from his shop. Worst of all, he gets it from Joined at the Hip, a trio of bullies so vicious that they leave T– terrified of even using his entire name. But T– has his own strength too: his camera, which captures the unique way he sees the world. His pictures connect him to Ms. Karamath, the kind librarian at school; his friend Sean, whose passion for mysteries is matched only by his love for his dog; and especially Lucy, a homeless woman who shares his admiration for the photographer Diane Arbus. When Lucy is attacked by Joined at the Hip, T– documents the assault on film. But the bullies know he has the photographs, and their anger could be deadly. What’s the right thing for T– to do? Do pictures ever tell the whole truth? And what if the truth isn’t always the right answer?” (goodreads.com) The novel is interspersed with T–’s photographs, which is pretty cool.
March 2016 is a good month for bestselling authors, and we’ve just recently ordered some titles we think will be really popular.
Lady Midnight, Cassandra Clare. This is the new book in the new Dark Artifices series and people have been hanging out for it for ages. “Los Angeles. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to discovering exactly what it was that killed her parents and getting her revenge. Raised in the Los Angeles Institute with the Blackthorn family, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian Blackthorn. A series of murders in the city catch her attention – they seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of her parents. Could the murderer be the same person? And her attention isn’t the only one caught: someone has been murdering Downworlders as well. The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute: if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, they’ll return Mark Blackthorn to his home. The catch: they have only two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise it’s open war between faeries and Nephilim. The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race against time to catch the killers, even as they begin to suspect the involvement of those closest to them. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.” (goodreads.com)
The Winner’s Kiss, Marie Rutkoski. This is the final book in the Winner’s trilogy. “War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it, with the East as his ally and the empire as his enemy. He’s finally managed to dismiss the memory of Kestrel, even if he can’t quite forget her. Kestrel turned into someone he could no longer recognize: someone who cared more for the empire than for the lives of innocent people – and certainly more than she cared for him. At least, that’s what he thinks. But far north lies a work camp where Kestrel is a prisoner. Can she manage to escape before she loses herself? As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover unexpected roles in battle, terrible secrets, and a fragile hope. The world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and Kestrel and Arin are caught between. In a game like this, can anybody really win?” (goodreads.com)
Yellow Brick War, Danielle Paige. Dorothy Must Die #3! (Is she going to?) “In this dark, action-packed third book in the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series, Amy Gumm – the new girl from Kansas – must do everything in her power to save Kansas, kill Dorothy, and make Oz a free land once more. Amy Gumm’s mission to take down Dorothy Gale is not going according to plan. Dorothy has found a way to bridge the worlds of Oz and Kansas, and if the power-hungry dictator of Oz has her way, Kansas will be destroyed forever. Now, Amy has to team up with the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked to save her home, restore the balance between the magic and nonmagic worlds, maybe get the guy – and kill that not-so-sweet Kansas farm girl once and for all… Danielle Paige’s twisted versions of beloved Oz characters are back, including the biggest, baddest, most famous of all: the Wicked Witch of the West. Welcome to the other side of the rainbow. Here there’s danger around every corner, and magic shoes won’t be able to save you.” (goodreads.com)
We’re starting to order some great looking fiction that will be coming out next year. March looks like a fantastic month; we’ll let you know about that in a few weeks, but in the mean time here’s a couple of Februaries.
Glass Sword, Victoria Aveyard. This is the sequel to the action-packed Red Queen, a sort of dystopian-fantasy class struggle. “Mare Barrow’s blood is red – the color of common folk – but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince – the friend – who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind. Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever? The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known – and pits Mare against the darkness of her own heart.” (goodreads.com)
Riders, Veronica Rossi. The new novel by the author of the Under the Never Sky trilogy. “For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does. Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse. Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen – Conquest, Famine, and Death – are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence. They fail. Now – bound, bloodied, and drugged – Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for – not to mention all of humankind – he needs to convince the sceptical government officials the world is in imminent danger. But will anyone believe him?” (goodreads.com) The four horsemen of the apocalypse? Excellent!
Introducing a mystery, some futuristic suspense, and an old/new book from the queen of book covers with spectacular dresses.
The Siren, Kiera Cass (January 2016). This is a re-release of a novel the author wrote before the best selling Selection series. “‘You must never do anything that might expose our secret. This means that, in general, you cannot form close bonds with humans. You can speak to us, and you can always commune with the Ocean, but you are deadly to humans. You are, essentially, a weapon. A very beautiful weapon. I won’t lie to you, it can be a lonely existence, but once you are done, you get to live. All you have to give, for now, is obedience and time…’ The same speech has been given hundreds of times to hundreds of beautiful girls who enter the sisterhood of sirens. Kahlen has lived by these rules for years now, patiently waiting for the life she can call her own. But when Akinli, a human, enters her world, she can’t bring herself to live by the rules anymore. Suddenly the life she’s been waiting for doesn’t seem nearly as important as the one she’s living now.” (goodreads.com)
These Shallow Graves, Jennifer Donnelly. “Set in gilded age New York, These Shallow Graves follows the story of Josephine Montfort, an American aristocrat. Jo lives a life of old-money ease. Not much is expected of her other than to look good and marry well. But when her father dies due to an accidental gunshot, the gilding on Jo’s world starts to tarnish. With the help of a handsome and brash reporter, and a young medical student who moonlights in the city morgue, Jo uncovers the truth behind her father’s death and learns that if you’re going to bury the past, you’d better bury it deep.” (goodreads.com)
The Game of Lives, James Dashner. “Michael used to live to game, but the games he was playing have become all too real. Only weeks ago, sinking into the Sleep was fun. The VirtNet combined the most cutting-edge technology and the most sophisticated gaming for a full mind-body experience. And it was Michael’s passion. But now every time Michael sinks, he risks his life. The games are over. The VirtNet has become a world of deadly consequences, and Kaine grows stronger by the day. The Mortality Doctrine—Kaine’s master plan—has nearly been realized, and little by little the line separating the virtual from the real is blurring. If Kaine succeeds, it will mean worldwide cyber domination. And it looks like Michael and his friends are the only ones who can put the monster back in the box—if Michael can figure out who his friends really are.” (goodreads.com)
Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer, was first published in 2005. In three years it will be eligible for a Young Adult card.
What is Twilight? Well, it is the story of a girl who falls in love with a vampire (and vice versa) with some rather stressful consequences. It was/is/has been a publishing phenomenon, probably bigger than The Hunger Games although not as big as Harry Potter. There were movies, there was fan fiction, there were lots of similarly-themed books.
We’re wondering how Twilight will fare in a post-apocalyptic dystopian book world. Maybe a bit of supernatural romance will make it seem a better place?
With this in mind, we’ve ordered copies of the 10th anniversary edition. We are told there is extra bonus content. It should be here in October. Reserve it now!
These are two titles we’ve ordered recently, one sci-fi, one urban fantasy with angels.
Ten Thousand Skies Above You, Claudia Gray. This is the second book in the trilogy called Firebird. “Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions. Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.” (goodreads.com)
Unforgiven, Lauren Kate (November). This is the fifth book in the Fallen series, from Cam’s perspective. “Cam knows what it’s like to be haunted. He’s spent more time in Hell than any angel ever should. And his freshest Hell is high school, where Lilith, the girl he can’t stop loving, is serving out a punishment for his crimes. Cam made a bet with Lucifer: he has fifteen days to convince the only girl who really matters to him to love him again. If he succeeds, Lilith will be allowed back into the world, and they can live their lives together. But if he fails… there’s a special place in Hell just for him. Tick tock.” (goodreads.com)
This week, the sequel to a smash-hit, the third book in a really popular New Zealand series, and something new.
Girl Online On Tour, Zoe Sugg. This is the follow up to the runaway smash hit Girl Online and it’s due to be released at the end of October. “Penny’s bags are packed. When Noah invites Penny on his European music tour, she can’t wait to spend time with her rock-god-tastic boyfriend. But, between Noah’s jam-packed schedule, less-than-welcoming bandmates and threatening messages from jealous fans, Penny wonders whether she’s really cut out for life on tour. She can’t help but miss her family, her best friend Elliot… and her blog, Girl Online. Can Penny learn to balance life and love on the road, or will she lose everything in pursuit of the perfect summer?” (goodreads.com)
Being Magdalene, Fleur Beale. This is the follow-up to I Am Not Esther and I Am Rebecca (in that order) and it should be here soonish. “Four years have passed since Rebecca ran away. The community simmers with tension and rumours of an approaching split, and life has become terrifying for Rebecca’s remaining siblings as Elder Stephen seizes any chance to take revenge on them. Twelve-year-old Magdalene lives in fear that her strong-willed little sister, Zillah, will be his next target. The girls have run out of people who can protect them. To Zillah their path is clear but Magdalene is torn. How can she cause more hurt and shame for her parents? But, equally, how can she face a life with no freedom to be herself? And another question scares her most of all. Without the elders’ suffocating rules that tell her how to live, who would Magdalene be?” (goodreads.com)
Dangerous Lies, Becca Fitzpatrick. This is the new book by the author of the Hush, Hush series (due in November). “Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life. After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer. But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows. As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…” (goodreads.com)
People are saying good things about these books!
Stone Rider, David Hofmeyr. “In the vein of The Outsiders and the early Western novels of Elmore Leonard, this inventive debut novel, a cross between the cult classic Mad Max movie series and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, blends adrenaline-fueled action with an improbable yet tender romance to offer a rich and vivid portrayal of misfits and loners forced together in their struggle for a better life. Adam Stone wants freedom and peace. He wants a chance to escape Blackwater, the dust-bowl desert town he grew up in. Most of all, he wants the beautiful Sadie Blood. Alongside Sadie and the dangerous outsider Kane, Adam will ride the Blackwater Trail in a brutal race that will test them all, body and soul. Only the strongest will survive. The prize? A one-way ticket to Sky-Base and unimaginable luxury. And for a chance at this new life, Adam will risk everything.” (goodreads.com) The Outsiders, westerns, Mad Max, and super-depressing apocalyptic literature? Sounds exciting!
The Fixer, Jennifer Lynn Barnes. The first book in a planned new series. “Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather’s ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems. And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess’s classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting – and complicated – for Tess. Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for this compelling teen drama with a political twist.” (goodreads.com)
Took, a Ghost Story, Mary Downing Hahn. Everyone loves a good ghost story. “Thirteen-year-old Daniel Anderson doesn’t believe Brody Mason’s crazy stories about the ghost witch who lives up on Brewster’s Hill with Bloody Bones, her man-eating razorback hog. He figures Brody’s probably just trying to scare him since he’s the new kid … a ‘stuck-up snot’ from Connecticut. But Daniel’s seven-year-old sister Erica has become more and more withdrawn, talking to her lookalike doll. When she disappears into the woods one day, he knows something is terribly wrong. Did the witch strike? Has Erica been ‘took’?” (goodreads.com)
I Crawl Through It, A. S. King. From the author of Please Ignore Vera Dietz. “Four talented teenagers are traumatized – coping with grief, surviving trauma, facing the anxiety of standardized tests and the neglect of self-absorbed adults – and they’ll do anything to escape the pressure. They’ll even build an invisible helicopter, to fly far away to a place where everyone will understand them… until they learn the only way to escape reality is to fly right into it.” (goodreads.com) Surreal is the word!
We have been busy ordering! Here’s a selection of highly-recommended books.
The Six, Mark Alpert. “Adam’s muscular dystrophy has stolen his mobility, his friends, and in a few short years, it will take his life. Virtual reality games are Adam’s only escape from his wheelchair. In his alternate world, he can defeat anyone. Running, jumping, scoring touchdowns: Adam is always the hero. Then an artificial intelligence program, Sigma, hacks into Adam’s game. Created by Adam’s computer-genius father, Sigma has gone rogue, threatening Adam’s life-and world domination. Their one chance to stop Sigma is using technology Adam’s dad developed to digitally preserve the mind of his dying son. Along with a select group of other terminally ill teens, Adam becomes one of the Six who have forfeited their bodies to inhabit weaponized robots. But with time running short, the Six must learn to manipulate their new mechanical forms and work together to train for epic combat…before Sigma destroys humanity.” (goodreads.com)
Blood Will Tell, April Henry. The sequel to The Body in the Woods, and great if you like mysteries and thrillers. “When a woman’s body is found in a Portland park, suspicion falls on an awkward teen who lives only a few blocks away, owns several knives, loves first-person shooter video games, and doodles violent scenes in his school notebooks. Nick Walker goes from being a member of a Search and Rescue team to the prime suspect in a murder, his very interest in SAR seen as proof of his fascination with violence. How is this even possible? And can Alexis and Ruby find a way to help clear Nick’s name before it’s too late?” (goodreads.com)
Beastly Bones, William Ritter. This is the follow-up Jackaby novel. “In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer R. F. Jackaby are called upon to investigate the supernatural. First, a vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens, and a day later, their owner is found murdered with a single mysterious puncture wound. Then in nearby Gad’s Valley, now home to the exiled New Fiddleham police detective Charlie Cane, dinosaur bones from a recent dig mysteriously go missing, and an unidentifiable beast starts attacking animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Charlie calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.” (goodreads.com)
Here’s a selection of interesting-looking stuff that should be arriving around about the time to start thinking about thinking about study plans for exams. This is always the way!
The Library of Souls, Ransom Riggs (September/October). The final instalment of the trilogy with the weird photos is almost here! “Time is running out for the Peculiar Children. With a dangerous madman on the loose and their beloved Miss Peregrine still in danger, Jacob Portman and Emma Bloom are forced to stage the most daring of rescue missions. They’ll travel through a war-torn landscape, meet new allies, and face greater dangers than ever… Will Jacob come into his own as the hero his fellow Peculiars know him to be? This action-packed adventure features more than 50 all-new Peculiar photographs” (goodreads.com).
Dark Tide, Jennifer Donnelly (October). “Once a lost and confused princess, Serafina is now a confident leader of the Black Fin Resistance (BFR). While she works on sabotaging her enemy and enlisting allies for battle, her friends face challenges of their own. Ling is in the hold of Rafe Mfeme’s giant trawler, on her way to a prison camp. Becca meets up with Astrid and learns why the Ondalinian mermaid is always so angry: she is hiding a shameful secret. Ava can’t return home, because death riders await her arrival. And it is getting more and more difficult for Mahdi, Serafina’s betrothed, to keep up the ruse that he is in love with Lucia Volerno. If Lucia’s parents become suspicious, his life–and all of Sera’s hopes–will be extinguished. Political intrigue, dangerous liaisons, and spine-tingling suspense swirl like a maelstrom in this penultimate book in the WaterFire saga.” (goodreads.com)
Sky Key, James Frey (October). The sequel to The Calling, from one of the collaborators behind Pittacus Lore. “Endgame is here. Earth Key has been found. Two keys – and nine Players – remain. The keys must be found, and only one Player can win. Queens, New York. Aisling Kopp believes the unthinkable: that Endgame can be stopped. But before she can get home to regroup, she is approached by the CIA. They know about Endgame. And they have their own ideas about how it should be Played. Ideas that could change everything. Kingdom of Aksum, Ethiopia. Hilal ibn Isa al-Salt narrowly survived an attack that leaves him horribly disfigured. He now knows something the other Players do not. But the Aksumites have a secret that is unique to their line. A secret that can help redeem humanity – and maybe even be used to help defeat the beings behind Endgame. London, England. Sarah Alopay has found the first key. She is with Jago – and they are winning. But getting Earth Key has come at a great cost to Sarah. The only thing that keeps the demons at bay is Playing. Playing to win. Sky Key – wherever it is, whatever it is – is next. And the nine remaining Players will stop at nothing to get it.” (goodreads.com)
And finally, for fans of The Selection:
Happily Ever After, Kiera Cass (October). This is a collection of four Selection-related short stories, plus also: a bonus epilogue! Where are they now! Maps! Illustrations! Scenes from Celeste’s point of view! Bonus Lucy scenes! A cornucopia of extras. Can’t wait.