Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, by Beth Fantaskey (354 pages) – Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess, according to new exchange student, Lucius Vladescu. So now Jessica must transform herself from ‘average American teenager to a glam European vampire princess’. It sure ain’t easy.
Witch and Wizard, by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet (329 pages) – This is the first in Patterson’s latest series. Whit and Wisty Allgood are accused of witchcraft and are thrown into prison, along with thousands of other young people. The New Order are out to get all users of magic and crush all expressions of art and liberty. It’s 1984 meets Harry Potter! At last!
Homestretch, by Paul Volponi (151 pages) – Seventeen-year-old Gas runs away from his abusive father and finds work on a racetrack in Arkansas. His new job challenges his racism and he also becomes a jockey! He is short.
The Chosen One, by Carol Lynch Williams (213 pages) – Kyra is thirteen, and lives in a religious community where men have lots of wives. She’s been told she will have to marry a 60-year-old who already has six wives. She’s been reading forbidden books (from a library! yay, libraries) and knows she’s got to get out. But how?
Fire, by Kristin Cashore (491 pages) – A companion book to Graceling (there is one common character). So! If you liked that you will like this, according to Grimm. ‘Cool cover,’ she adds.
Cupid’s Arrow, by Isabelle Merlin (336 pages) – Fleur’s mother inherits a ‘magnificant’ library that belonged to a famous French author, so they head to the ancient French town of Avallon. That sounds like the best thing ever! Mais non! ‘Fleur’s nightmare is just about to begin …’
Secrets at St Jude’s : Jealous Girl, by Carmen Reid (226 pages) – Gina is from L.A. and spends her time in pools, malls, and so on. But she also has to go to school in Scotland, where it rains and is probably a little less glamorous although there are castles and the Edinburgh festival, surely? But it’s all good, and Gina has loads of friends at St Jude’s.
Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld (440 pages) – This sounds pretty great, I think! ‘In an alternate 1914 Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, on the run from the Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn who, disguised as a boy to join the British Air Service, is learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts.’ The book has terrific illustrations throughout.
Exam Stress? No Worries, by Su Dorland (254 pages) – Here’s a guide to overcoming the anxiety that many feel before exams. There are techniques you can use to relax, and – AND! – it comes with a CD with ‘visualisation and relaxation tracks to help you stay calm and focused, and sleep well at exam time.’ Very timely.