Thin Space, Jody Casella, (243 pages) Ever since the car accident that killed his twin brother, Marshall Windsor has been consumed with guilt and crippled by secrets of that fateful night. He has only one chance to make amends, to right his wrongs and set things right. He must find a Thin Space—a mythical point where the barrier between this world and the next is thin enough for a person to step through to the other side. But, when a new girl moves into the house next door, the same house Marsh is sure holds a thin space, she may be the key—or the unraveling of all his secrets.As they get closer to finding a thin space—and closer to each other—Marsh must decide once and for all how far he’s willing to go to right the wrongs of the living…and the dead. (Goodreads)
First Lines: “Marsh”
The light was bright. Glaring. I tried to turn my head, but a sharp tug locked me in place. Ugh! Something was clamped between my lips. It snaked down my throadt so I couldn’t breathe. I jerked my hands, wating to claw whatever the hell is was away, but someone’s fingers curled around mine and held them down.
“You’re Ok, Marsh.”
Man Made Boy, Jon Skovron (361 pages)Sixteen-year-old Boy’s never left home. When you’re the son of Frankenstein’s monster and the Bride, it’s tough to go out in public, unless you want to draw the attention of a torch-wielding mob. And since Boy and his family live in a secret enclave of monsters hidden under Times Square, it’s important they maintain a low profile.Boy’s only interactions with the world are through the Internet, where he’s a hacker extraordinaire who can hide his hulking body and stitched-together face behind a layer of code. When conflict erupts at home, Boy runs away and embarks on a cross-country road trip with the granddaughters of Jekyll and Hyde, who introduce him to malls and diners, love and heartbreak. But no matter how far Boy runs, he can’t escape his demons—both literal and figurative—until he faces his family once more. (Goodreads)
First lines: In the beginning, there was zero. And then God said, let there be one. Computers, Internet, phones, text messages – our entire digital lives can be broken down into code. And any code can be simplified into birnary And binary is nothing but a string of ones and zeroes. At each moment, a choice. Yes or no. Everything we create, everything we do, everything we are, comes down to that. It is so simple. And so beautiful.
The Darkest Path (320 pages)A civil war rages between the Glorious Path–a militant religion based on the teachings of a former US soldier–and what’s left of the US government. Fifteen-year-old Callum Roe and his younger brother, James, were captured and forced to convert six years ago. Cal has been working in the Path’s dog kennels, and is very close to becoming one of the Path’s deadliest secret agents. Then Cal befriends a stray dog named Bear and kills a commander who wants to train him to be a vicious attack dog. This sends Cal and Bear on the run, and sets in motion a series of incredible events that will test Cal’s loyalties and end in a fierce battle that the fate of the entire country rests on him. (Goodreads)
First lines: When I woke up in the examination room, I was handcuffed to the bed. A loop of steel circled my right wrist, holding it fast to a guardrail. My left arm lay throbbing at my side, the skin swollen taut from where Sergeant Rhames had broken my wrist with a baseball bat.
How I became a ghost, Tim Tingle (141 pages)Told in the words of Isaac, a Choctaw boy who does not survive the Trail of Tears, HOW I BECAME A GHOST is a tale of innocence and resilience in the face of tragedy. From the book’s opening line, “Maybe you have never read a book written by a ghost before,” the reader is put on notice that this is no normal book. Isaac leads a remarkable foursome of Choctaw comrades: a tough-minded teenage girl, a shape-shifting panther boy, a lovable five-year-old ghost who only wants her mom and dad to be happy, and Isaac s talking dog, Jumper. The first in a trilogy, HOW I BECAME A GHOST thinly disguises an important and oft-overlooked piece of history.(Goodreads)
First Lines: Maybe you have never read a book written by a ghost before. I am a ghost. I am not a ghost when this book begins, so you have to play very close attention. I should tell you something else. I see things before they happen. You are probably thinking “I wish I could see things before they happen. Be careful what you wish for.”
Seeing Red, Kathryn Erskine (344 pages)Life will never be the same for Red Porter. He’s a kid growing up around black car grease, white fence paint, and the backward attitudes of the folks who live in his hometown, Rocky Gap, Virginia.
Red’s daddy, his idol, has just died, leaving Red and Mama with some hard decisions and a whole lot of doubt. Should they sell the Porter family business, a gas station, repair shop, and convenience store rolled into one, where the slogan — “Porter’s: We Fix it Right!” — has been shouting the family’s pride for as long as anyone can remember? With Daddy gone, everything’s different. Through his friendship with Thomas, Beau, and Miss Georgia, Red starts to see there’s a lot more than car motors and rusty fenders that need fixing in his world.When Red discovers the injustices that have been happening in Rocky Gap since before he was born, he’s faced withunsettling questions about his family’s legacy.(Goodreads)
First Lines: Folks don’t understand this unless it happens to them: When your daddy dies, everything changes. He’s not around anymore to teach you how to drive a truck when Mama isn’t looking, or tell you man stuff that J isn’t old enough to hear, or listen to you holler when you’re mad and say, “I hear ya, son,” while he lets you figure out what you’re going to do about it.
Hideous love, Stephanie Hemphill (293 pages)An all-consuming love affair. A family torn apart by scandal.A young author on the brink of greatness.Hideous Love is the fascinating story of Gothic novelist Mary Shelley, who as a teen girl fled her restrictive home only to find herself in the shadow of a brilliant but moody boyfriend, famed poet Percy Shelley. It is the story of the mastermind behind one of the most iconic figures in all of literature: a monster constructed out of dead bodies and brought to life by the tragic Dr. Frankenstein. Mary wrote Frankenstein at the age of nineteen, but inspiration for the monster came from her life-the atmospheric European settings she visited, the dramas swirling around her, and the stimulating philosophical discussions with the greatest minds of the period, like her close friend, Lord Byron.(Goodreads)
First lines: I am Mary. I want to be a beauty, but I am not. I want to be free, but I am not. I want to be equal, but I am not. I want to be favourite, but I am not. I want to be loved, yet I am not.
The counterfeit family tree of Vee Crawford Wong, L. Tam Holland (357 pages) When Vee Crawford-Wong’s history teacher assigns an essay on his family history, Vee knows he’s in trouble. His parents—Chinese-born dad and Texas-bred Mom—are mysteriously and stubbornly close-lipped about his ancestors. So, he makes it all up and turns in the assignment. And then everything falls apart.After a fistfight, getting cut from the basketball team, offending his best friend, and watching his grades plummet, one thing becomes abundantly clear to Vee: No one understands him! If only he knew where he came from… So Vee does what anyone in his situation would do: He forges a letter from his grandparents in China, asking his father to bring their grandson to visit. Astonishingly, Vee’s father agrees. But in the land of his ancestors, Vee learns that the answers he seeks are closer to home then he could have ever imagined.(Goodreads)
First lines: Dad was like China, full of sad irony and ancient secrets. There were the words he used to describe the country he had abandones, and they were full of philosophy and poetry, like him, and I didn’t understand them at all.