The Unwritten Rule, Elizabeth Scott (210 pages) – The unwritten rule is of course don’t fancy your best friend’s boyfriend (a theme from the last batch of new books). This time, Sarah’s doing a pretty good job of avoiding Ryan (being Brianna’s boyfriend), until they’re “thrown together” one night. The first sentence sums it up.
First sentence: I liked him first, but it doesn’t matter.
After Tupac & D Foster, Jacqueline Woodson (151 pages) – Neeka and her best friend form a bond with D Foster, and the three girls explore life, and the music of Tupac Shakur, learning tough lessons in the process. (A Newbery Honor Book)
First sentence: The summer before D Foster’s real mama came and took her away, Tupac wasn’t dead yet.
Stuck on Earth, David Klass (227 pages) – Ketchvar III comes to Earth in order to answer the following question: “Should the Sandovinians release the Gagnerian Death Ray and erase the human species for good?” In order to do this (answer the question, not erase the species) he inhabits the brain of Tom Filber, the geekiest geek, ironically almost an alien himself, so geeky is he. Needless to say, Ketchvar becomes quite involved in Tom’s life, which may well be a good thing for Earth.
First sentence: We are skimming over the New Jersey countryside in full search mode, hunting a fourteen-year-old.
Split, Swati Avasthi (280 pages) – Jace Witherspoon has escaped his abusive home and gone to live with his brother. “A riveting portrait of what happens after,” the cover says.
First sentence: Now I have to start lying.
It’s Not Summer Without You, Jenny Han (275 pages) – the sequel to The Summer I Turned Pretty. “Teenaged Isobel ‘Belly’ Conklin, whose life revolves around spending the summer at her mother’s best friend’s beach house, reflects on the tragic events of the past year that changed her life forever.” (Catalogue)
First sentence: It was a hot summer day in Cousins.
Shooting Star, Frederick McKissack Jr (273 pages) – Jomo Rodgers is a very good (American) football player, on the varsity team at school etc. He feels the pressure to be more than very good, cranks up the training and finds himself dealing with the question, to use steroids or not?
First sentence: Breathing is a natural process, yet Jomo Rodgers found himself flat on his back trying to remember how to do it.
Broken Memory, Elisabeth Combres (132 pages) – Emma’s mother is murdered by the Tutsis, and Emma (a Tutsi) is taken in by an old Hutu woman and brought up in her home, gradually coming to terms with her terrible past. A story inspired by the genocide in Rwanda.
First sentence: They are there.
Headgames, Casey Lever (282 pages) – Steven Byrd learns the hard way that girls who think you’re a waste of space and who then invite you to be a part of their secret game are probably up to no good. “Everyone has secrets. But who will be the first to crack?” asks the cover.
First line(s): Bell. Ancient History. Ms Landers was away on Year 9 camp, so the class had been off-loaded onto the Resource Centre.
Lockdown, Alexander Gordon Smith (273 pages) – The first in the Escape from Furnace series. Furnace is a maximum security prison, a mile under the earth’s surface. When Alex Sawyer is convicted of a murder he didn’t commit he is sent there, and realises quickly he must escape or face a life worse than death.
First sentence: If I stopped running I was dead.
No and Me, Delphine de Vigan (246 pages) – Lou lives in a quietly disfunctional family, where her father is barely holding up and her mother hasn’t left their appartment for years. She meets No, a homeless girl, and invites her to live with them. A novel about ” the true nature of home and homelessness”.
First sentence: “Miss Bertignac, I don’t see your name on the list of presentations.”
Daywards, Anthony Eaton (3341 pages) – Book three in the Darklands trilogy. Dara, Jaran, Eyna and their family must leave their home when the ghosts of a dead civilisation return to haunt them.
First sentence: The day Da Janil died, Dara had expected to be let off hunting duty.
The Summer I Got a Life, Mark Fink (195 pages) – Andy and Brad are brothers who don’t exactly get along. When their Hawaii holiday turns into time on their uncle and aunt’s farm in Wisconsin things might seem to be distinctly average, but then Andy meets Laura, who is amazing, and all things considered the summer might end up being not so terrible.
First sentence: I was totally pumped!
Anonymity Jones, James Roy (196 pages)
Finders Keepers, Marilyn Kaye (216 pages, Gifted series)
Where There’s Smoke, John Heffernan (205 pages)