Spells, by Aprilynne Pike (425 pages) – Laurel is a faerie, placed among the humans when she was a baby. A baby faerie! She still lives in the human world (a boyfriend you see) but the faerie realm is threatened, so she’s got to do something about it.
First line: ‘Laurel stood in front of the cabin, scanning the tree line, her throat constricting in a rush of nerves.’
f2m – The Boy Within, by Hazel Edwards and Ryan Kennedy (330 pages) – Skye is in an all-girl punk band, and her world is turned upside-down when she decides to transition to male. Skye becomes Finn, and his family and friends will need to come to terms with this.
First line: ‘Tick the box. M or F.‘
Where I Belong, by Gillian Cross (340 pages) – Human smuggling, Somalia, and supermodels!
First line: ‘Spin the globe, boy,’ my father used to say.‘
Jaguar Warrior, by Sandy Fussell (212 pages) – Atl is an Aztec boy who runs from captivity (and human sacrifice I think?) towards freedom. Who can blame him!
First line: ‘“Why isn’t that boy dead yet?” When the captain shouts, even the temple walls shiver.‘
Shadow of the Dragon: Book 2 – Elspeth, by Kate O’Hearn (374 pages) – The king’s ‘First Law’ is an incredibly restrictive bunch of rules preventing girls from going anywhere near dragons (torture then execution you see) but Elspeth and her sister Kira aren’t having any of it.
First line: ‘The heavy rain that fell from the stormy skies around them did little to dampen the celebrations of the dragon riders cutting through the thick dark clouds.‘
Witchfinder : Dawn of the Demontide, by William Hussey (337 pages) – The Demontide is coming, and Jake Harker is ‘the only one who can stop it.’ Sounds pretty grim! This is the first book in a planned trilogy. There is an official website here.
First line: ‘“HELP! Someone – anyone – please, help me!”‘
Thief Eyes, by Janni Lee Simner (259 pages) – Sixteen-year-old Haley goes to Iceland with her father to try to find her mother, who disappeared there some time ago. She touches a magic coin Hallgerd (Haley’s ancestor – and a sorceress!) that curses her. Haley now needs to break the spell, and sets off with the gorgeous but dangerous Ari.
First line: ‘ Icy rain blew into my hood and dripped down my neck as I knelt on the mossy stones.‘
Bead, Boys, and Bangles, by Sophia Bennett (304 pages) – This is the second book in the Threads series, which is about four girls and ‘their amazing adventure with fashion.’ In this installment Crow’s designs may be manufactured by children in India!
First line: ‘I’ve never seen Crow look so scared. And this time she’s got a point.‘
Greener Grass, by Caroline Pignat (276 pages) – Ireland 1847. The Great Famine! Kit’s family is to be evicted – is there anything she can do to help her family? She will do anything.
First line: ‘They say home is where the heart is. I believed that, once.‘
Borderline, by Allan Stratton (298 pages) – Sami is the only Muslim at his private school. When is father is implicated in a terrorist plot, Sami’s ‘must fight to keep his world from unraveling.’ A thriller!
First line: ‘I’m next door in Andy’s driveway, shooting hoops with him and Marty.‘
Alchemy and Meggy Swann, by Karen Cushman (167 pages) – Meggy is sent from her country village to Elizabethan-era London. From a dire beginning she works her way to improve her lot in the same way that her father, an achemist, attempts to turn base metal into gold.
First line: ‘“Ye toads and vipers,” the girl said, as her granny often had, “ye toads and vipers,” and she snuffled a great snuffle that echoed in the empty room.‘
Burned : A House of Night Novel, by P. C. and Kristin Cast (323 pages) – Book seven in the series, and one of the Most Wanted books this month. Having not read this I do not know what is going on. High Priestesses! Neferet! Bringing back Zoey!
First line: ‘Kalona lifted his hands. He didn’t hesitate.‘
Sources of Light, by Margaret McMullan (233 pages) – Mississippi, 1962, and fourteen-year-old Sam ‘learns to use her camera to look for the shades of gray’ in a black and white world.
First line: ‘The year after my father died, my mother took a job teaching at a small college in Jackson, Mississippi.‘
Spirit Bound : A Vampire Academy Novel, by Richelle Mead (489 pages) – This is the fifth novel in the series. And what happens? ‘Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s and to her best friend, Lissa. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he’s out there, somewhere. He has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. Only this time, he won’t rest until Rose joins him–forever.’ So says the catalogue.
First line: ‘There’s a big difference between death threats and love letters – even if the person writing the death threats still claims to actually love you.‘
Hex Hall, by Rachel Hawkins (323 pages) – Sixteen-year-old Sophie discovers she’s a witch, but after screwing up a love spell she’s sent to Hecate ‘Hex’ Hall, a reform school for witches, shapeshifters, and faeries. Also ghosts and a vampire. There’s a mystery predator also.
First line: ‘Felicia Miller was crying in the bathroom. Again.‘
The Reckoning : The Darkest Power, by Kelley Armstrong (391 pages) – Book three! Chloe is fifteen and is a genetically engineered necromancer, and has feelings for a sorcerer and his brother, a werewolf, all the while on the run from the corporation that created her (and the others).
First line: ‘After four nights on the run, I was finally safe, tucked into bed and enjoying the deep, dreamless sleep of the dead … until the dead decided they’d really rather have me awake.‘
Koh Tabu, by Ann Kelley (260 pages) – A group of girls are stranded on an island after their boat is blown off course. It’s all an adventure to begin with but quickly becomes an all-girl Lord of the Flies + Man Vs Wild mashup.
First line: ‘It all began with my mother changing her mind.‘
Rich and Mad, by William Nicholson (341 pages)
The Island, by Sarah Singleton (294 pages)
Ondine : The Summer of Shambles, by Ebony McKenna (291 pages)
Because I Am Furniture, by Thalia Chaltas (352 pages)