Dead Silent, Sharon Jones (329 pages) When Poppy Sinclair and her boyfriend visit snowy Cambridge, she doesn’t expect to discover the body of a student – arms outstretched in the act of smearing bloody angel wings on the chapel’s floor. Suddenly, Poppy is faced with the possibility that the one closest to her heart might be the one committing the most malicious of crimes. Dodging porters and police, dreading what she might find, Poppy follows the clues left by a murderer bent on revenge… (Goodreads)
First lines: It had to be here. The soles of his shoes squeaked from marble to wood and he ran between the choir stalls, swinging the torch beam like a whip that could beat back the night. How could he have been so stupid as to lose the book? If he didn’t find it he was dead.
Dorothy must die, Danielle Page (452 pages) I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know? Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still the yellow brick road, though—but even that’s crumbling.What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.(Goodreads)
First lines: I first discovered I was trash three days before my ninth birthday – one year after my father lost his job and moved to Secaucus to live with a woman named Crystal and four years before my mother had the car accident, started talking pills, and began exclusively wearing bedroom slippers instead of normal shoes.
Noggin, John Corey Whaley (338 pages)Listen — Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t. Now he’s alive again. Simple as that. The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but he can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still 16 and everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too. Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, then there are going to be a few more scars. Oh well, you only live twice.(Goodreads)
First lines: Listen – I was alive once and then I wasn’t. Simple as that. Now I’m alive again. The in-between part is still a luittle fuzzy, but I can tell you that, at some point or another, my head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado.
Insanity, Susan Vaught (368 pages) Never, Kentucky is not your average scenic small town. It is a crossways, a place where the dead and the living can find no peace. Not that Forest, an 18-year-old foster kid who works the graveyard shift at Lincoln Hospital, knew this when she applied for the job. Lincoln is a huge state mental institution, a good place for Forest to make some money to pay for college. But along with hundreds of very unstable patients, it also has underground tunnels, bell towers that ring unexpectedly, and a closet that holds more than just donated clothing….When the dead husband of one of Forest’s patients makes an appearance late one night, seemingly accompanied by an agent of the Devil, Forest loses all sense of reality and all sense of time. Terrified, she knows she has a part to play, and when she does so, she finds a heritage that she never expected.(Goodreads)
First lines: There was something wrong with the dog. I saw it when I left the store, nothing but a little thing. I would have stopped to give it some love, but I had to get back before Imogene started to worry. Don’t go out tonight, boy. Death’s walking on two legs.
Sorry you’re lost, Matt Blackstone (312 pages)When Denny “Donuts” Murphy’s mother dies, he becomes the world’s biggest class clown. But deep down, Donuts just wants a normal life—one where his mom is still alive and where his dad doesn’t sit in front of the TV all day. And so Donuts tries to get back into the groove by helping his best friend with their plan to get dates for the end-of-the-year school dance. When their scheme backfires, he learns that laughter is not the best medicine for all of his problems. Sometimes it’s just as important to be true to yourself.(Goodreads)
First lines: There’s a gum wrapped at my feet. Juicy Fruit. I wish I new who dropped it so I could tell him not to litter at my mom’s funeral. The room is musty and smells of lemon. My starchy shirt and stiff suit are drenched in sweat. The priest tells me it’s time. Not for telling people to pick up their gum wrappers, but time for the service.
Never come back, David Bell (411 pages)Elizabeth Hampton is consumed by grief when her mother dies unexpectedly. Leslie Hampton cared for Elizabeth’s troubled brother Ronnie’s special needs, assuming Elizabeth would take him in when the time came. But Leslie’s sudden death propels Elizabeth into a world of danger and double lives that undoes everything she thought she knew….
When police discover that Leslie was strangled, they immediately suspect that one of Ronnie’s outbursts took a tragic turn. Elizabeth can’t believe that her brother is capable of murder, but who else could have had a motive to kill their quiet, retired mother? More questions arise when a stranger is named in Leslie’s will: a woman also named Elizabeth. As the family’s secrets unravel, a man from Leslie’s past who claims to have all the answers shows up, but those answers might put Elizabeth and those she loves the most in mortal danger.(Goodreads)
First lines: I saw people in uniform first- two cops, two paramedics. They were standing in the living room of my mom’s small house, their thumbs hooked into their belts, muttering to one another. Small talk and jokes. One of them, a cop about my age, laughed at something, then looked up and saw me in the doorway.
“Ma’am?” he said. A question. It meant: Do you have any business here?
Angel de la Luna and the 5th glorious mystery, M. Evelina Galang (331 pages) Angel has just lost her father, and her mother’s grief means she might as well be gone too. She’s got a sister and a grandmother to look out for, and a burgeoning consciousness of the unfairness in the world—in her family, her community, and her country. Set against the backdrop of the second Philippine People Power Revolution in 2001, the contemporary struggles of surviving Filipina “Comfort Women” of WWII, and a cold winter’s season in the city of Chicago is the story of a daughter coming of age, coming to forgiveness, and learning to move past the chaos of grief to survive.(Goodreads)
First lines: The day my Father, Ernesto de la Luna, disappeared he gave me one thousand pesos. “I’ll be home in three days,” Papang said, counting the money. “but just in case. Take care of your inay, Angel.” It’s been two weeks. My mother is out of her mind.
The Great American Dust Bowl, Don Brown, (80 pages)A speck of dust is a tiny thing. In fact, five of them could fit into the period at the end of this sentence. On a clear, warm Sunday, April 14, 1935, a wild wind whipped up millions upon millions of these specks of dust to form a duster—a savage storm—on America’s high southern plains. The sky turned black, sand-filled winds scoured the paint off houses and cars, trains derailed, and electricity coursed through the air. Sand and dirt fell like snow—people got lost in the gloom and suffocated . . . and that was just the beginning. Don Brown brings the Dirty Thirties to life with kinetic, highly saturated, and lively artwork in this graphic novel of one of America’s most catastrophic natural events: the Dust Bowl.(Goodreads)
First lines: A speck of dust is a tiny thing. Five of them could fit on the period at the end of this sentence. On a clear, warm Sunday, 1935, a wild wind whipped up billions upon billions of specks of dust to form a savage storn on Amerinca’s plains. Panicked birds and rabbits fled. The temperature plummeted fifty degrees. Electricity coursed through the air. frightened pople raced to the nearest shelter. But the story of the Black Sunday monster started much, much earlier…
The Grey Girl, Eleanor Hawken (262 pages) Poor Suzy thought she’d never get over the terrifying events from her time at St Marks, but she’s resolved to put all thoughts of ghosts and murders (and school…) behind her as she sets off to stay in her aunt’s country estate for the summer. Unfortunately, that quickly looks unlikely. Almost as soon as she arrives Suzy begins to feel watched, and she starts to see strange things. Things like a mysterious grey girl running towards the abandoned boathouse in the dead of the night. Is the girl real – or something altogether more sinister?
Helped by the rather hunky Nate (not that Suzy’s letting herself get distracted, of course) Suzy sets out to discover exactly what happened to this girl. She’s determined not to let another ghost get the better of her, but she might not have any choice in the matter…(Goodreads)
First lines: I saw a ghost today. A grey girl. She was standing at the window of the top-floor dormitory, looking down at the world below. I’ve never seen the girl before and today was the start of my forth year at Dudley Hall.
Where the rock splits the sky, Philip Webb (266 pages)The moon has been split, and the Visitors have Earth in their alien grip. But the captive planet? That’s not her problem. Megan just wants to track down her missing dad…The world stopped turning long before Megan was born. Ever since the Visitors split the moon and stilled the Earth, permanent sunset is all anyone has known. But now, riding her trusty steed Cisco, joined by her posse, Kelly and Luis, Megan is on the run from her Texas hometown, journeying across the vast, dystopic American West to hunt down her father. To find him, she must face the Zone, a notorious landscape where the laws of nature do not apply. The desert can play deadly tricks on the mind, and the quest will push Megan past her limits. But to solve the mystery of not just her missing father but of the paralyzed planet itself, she must survive it–and an alien showdown.(Goodreads)
First lines: Leaning against the doorpost of the smithy, I pretend it is a normal day. For the thousandth time in the last hour, I wonder whether I should say goodbye to Luis or just slip away. The boardwalk outside is as bright as the forge -it always is0under the light of a sun that sits on the horizon and refuses to set.
Sea of Shadows : Age of legends book 1 , Kelley Armstrong, (406 pages)n the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned. Only this year, the souls will not be quieted. Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.(Goodreads)
First lines: After three days of tramping across endless lava fields, Ronan quickened his steps at the sight of the forest. He swore he could soft earth under his feet, hear birds in the treetops, even smell icy spring water. If one had to pick a place to die, he supposed he could do worse.