Here are some great books to take with you on holiday.

Book cover coutresy of Syndetics
Extremities, David Lubar (205 pages) A group of high school girls takes revenge on their sadistic gym teacher in the most fitting way possible. Two stowaways find themselves on a ship for the dead. An ancient predator stalks the wrong victim. Here are thirteen tales of death, murder, and revenge from the fertile and febrile imagination of master storyteller David Lubar—his first story collection for the teen audience. (Goodreads)

First lines: From the author’s note: I am torn (You will appreciate the delicious irony of those specific words as you make your way through this book). Part of me feels that these stories need no introduction. I want you to plunge into the worlds I’ve created and savour the darkness.

Book cover courtesy of Syndetics
Winter Damage, Natasha Cartheue (310 pages) On a frozen Cornish moor, a fifteen-year-old girl lives in a trailer with her dad and little brother. Ennor’s mother left years ago, when things started to go wrong – and gradually their world has fallen apart. Now her father’s gravely ill, school has closed, and Ennor knows they’re going to take her brother away if things don’t pick up soon. So three days before Christmas, when the wind is cold and her dad’s health takes a turn for the worse, Ennor packs a blanket, a map, a saucepan and a gun into her rucksack, and sets off to find her mum and bring her home. Ennor thinks she knows where she’s going. But this journey will change her life for ever – it becomes a battle for survival, a heartbreaking story of love and friendship, and a fable about not finding what you were looking for, but finding something more important instead . . .(Goodreads)

First lines: There was good in this world and there was evil but the young girl had not learnt the diiference. She didn’t have time for noticing or wondering. Everything was just chores and more.

Book cover courtesy of Syndetics
Close your pretty eyes Sally Nichols (231 pages) Eleven-year-old Olivia has been in care since she was five, and is just beginning her nineteenth placement. Her new home is a secluded farmhouse, centuries old, where she slowly bonds with her foster family. But the house holds dark secrets. Olivia discovers that it was once a notorious baby farm, where unwanted children were left to die. She becomes convinced that the place is haunted. She is desperate to save her new family from the ghosts. The danger is real – but does it come from the twisted mind of a very disturbed child? (Goodreads)

First Lines: I think I might be a witch. Something went wrong when I was born. Other babies got blue eyes and curly hair, but I came out howling and evil. Other babies were sweet and innocent, and their parents loved them, but my mum hated me right from the start.

Truly, Madly, Deadly Hannah Jayne (262 pages)Sawyer Dodd is a star athlete, a straight-A student, and the envy of every other girl who wants to date Kevin Anderson. When Kevin dies in a tragic car crash, Sawyer is stunned. Then she opens her locker to find a note:You’re welcome. Someone saw what he did to her. Someone knows that Sawyer and Kevin weren’t the perfect couple they seemed to be. And that someone—a killer—is now shadowing Sawyer’s every move…(Goodreads)

First lines: “Thank you for coming.” The words rose and fell on the soft pile carpet, and Sawyer wondered whether she should brush the small ball of fuzz from Kevin’s earlobe. It stuck there stark and white against the dark navy blue of his suit.

Book cover courtesy of SYndetics
How to lose everything, Phillip Mattheis (207 pages)One summer, an incredible discovery gives Jonathan and his three closest friends many things they so desperately want – but at what cost? Jonathan, Sam, Schulz, and Eric usually spend their summers hanging out at the park, skateboarding and dreaming about the days when they’ll finally move out of the suburbs. But one summer, the four teenagers find a small fortune hidden inside a mysterious abandoned house, and that changes everything. The dizzying thrill of money and power makes the future seem irrelevant; the only question that matters is what they should buy next. It was a dream come true, but it couldn’t last. What starts out as a blessing soon turns into a curse, as stress, drugs, criminal behavior, dwindling funds—and even death—raise serious questions about their choices, and their futures.(Goodreads)

First lines: When I saw Sam again, he looked like a penguin. It was the beginning of April and it was drizzling. He came up to me and said my name, not quite sure of himself. I was standing there with my friend Will and Will’s friend, whom I ddn’t know. They seemed annoyed by this pudgy, stammering little man.

Book cover courtesy of Syndetics
Defriended Ruth Baron (248 pages) Jason has met the perfect girl. OK, so maybe he hasn’t actually MET Lacey yet, but they talk online all the time. Yet despite spending most nights chatting, Lacey refuses to meet up in person. Suspicious, Jason starts googling, and his cyberstalking leads to a shocking discovery: According to multiple newspapers, Lacey died a year earlier. Soon, Jason finds himself enmeshed in a disturbing mystery. Has he found a way to iChat with the dead? Or is someone playing a dangerous trick? Either way, Jason has to discover the truth before it’s too late. You can’t put up away messages from beyond the grave…(Goodreads)

First lines: So bored I think I might be dead. Jason wrote the imaginary status update in his head as Ms. rowen droned on about the properties of iron. He thought about sneaking his phone from his pocket and posting it to facebook, but Ms. rowen had hawkish eyes and no patience for rule breakers.

Book cover courtesy of Syndetics
Not a drop to drink Mindy Mcginnis (309 pages)
Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.
Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.
But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….(Goodreads)

First lines: Lynn was nine the first time she killed to defend the pond, the smell of sweet water luring the man to be picked off like the barn swallows that dared to swoop in for a drink. Mother had killed the people who came too close to their pond before, but over the next seven years they fell by Lynn’s gun as well, their existence easily wiped out first by a bullet, then by the coyotes before the sun could rise.