Whisper to me, Nick Lake
Cassie is writing a letter to the boy whose heart she broke. She’s trying to explain why. Why she pushed him away. Why her father got so angry when he saw them together. Why she disappears some nights. Why she won’t let herself remember what happened that long-ago night on the boardwalk. Why she fell apart so completely. Desperate for his forgiveness, she’s telling the whole story of the summer she nearly lost herself. She’s hoping he’ll understand as well as she now does how love—love for your family, love for that person who makes your heart beat faster, and love for yourself—can save you after all. (Goodreads).
First lines: These are the things you need to know:
1. I hear voices.
2. I miss you.
3. I wish I could take back what I did to you.
Riverkeep, Martin Stewart
The Danék is a wild, treacherous river, and the Fobisher family has tended it for generations—clearing it of ice and weed, making sure boats can get through, and fishing corpses from its bleak depths. Wulliam’s father, the current Riverkeep, is proud of this work. Wull dreads it. And in one week, when he comes of age, he will have to take over. Then the unthinkable happens. While recovering a drowned man, Wull’s father is pulled under—and when he emerges, he is no longer himself. A dark spirit possesses him, devouring him from the inside. In an instant, Wull is Riverkeep. And he must care for his father, too. When he hears that a cure for his father lurks in the belly of a great sea-dwelling beast known as the mormorach, he embarks on an epic journey down the river that his family has so long protected—but never explored. Along the way, he faces death in any number of ways, meets people and creatures touched by magic and madness and alchemy, and finds courage he never knew he possessed.(Goodreads).
First lines: “Your hands are shaking, Wulliam.”
Wull shrugged and shifted his grip on the mug.
In another life, Laura Jarrat
American sisters Hannah and Jenny Tooley have spent their lives dreaming of flying to the UK and visiting all the places their English mother has told them about. But Jenny’s dream turns to a nightmare when she vanishes without a trace. Hannah and her father arrive in England to a big police investigation. As Hannah gets to know some of Jenny’s friends and acquaintances, she realises that her sister is up to her neck in something – and the mysterious text messages she’s receiving bear this out. She is particularly drawn to Harry and, against her better judgement, begins to fall in love.(Goodreads).
First lines: Your text is where this story starts, Jenny.
I need you. Please come.
And so here I am: coming.
How to disappear, Ann Redisch Stampler
Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she’s pretty sure she can get away with anything…until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette’s house. Which is why she has to disappear. Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. But straight A’s and athletic trophies can’t make people forget that his father was a hit man and his brother is doing time for armed assault. Just when Jack is about to graduate from his Las Vegas high school and head east for college, his brother pulls him into the family business with inescapable instructions: find this ruthless Nicolette Holland and get rid of her. Or else Jack and everyone he loves will pay the price. As Nicolette and Jack race to outsmart each other, tensions—and attractions—run high. Told in alternating voices, this tightly plotted mystery and tense love story challenges our assumptions about right and wrong, guilt and innocence, truth and lies.(Goodreads).
First lines: There is a body in the woods. The flash of an electric yellow blanket in the moonlight, unfurling as it’s dragged along. A glimpse of nylon binding at the edges, sweeping the ground at the corner where the arm has fallen out.
End game, Alan Gibbons
There are not many things Nick Mallory knows for sure. He knows there was a car crash. He knows he is in hospital. And he knows he feels furious with his father. What he doesn’t know is why.
As his memories start to return, Nick finds himself caught in a net of secrets and lies – where truth and perception collide and heroes and villains are not easy to tell apart.(Goodreads).
First lines: He was here again last night, the man with the dead eyes. He was in my room. He was in head. I don’t have a name for him yet. I don’t have names for many things since it happened. What I have is a jumble.
How it feels to fly, Kathryn Holmes
The movement is all that matters. For as long as Samantha can remember, she’s wanted to be a professional ballerina. She’s lived for perfect pirouettes, sky-high extensions, and soaring leaps across the stage. Then her body betrayed her. The change was gradual. Stealthy. Failed diets. Disapproving looks. Whispers behind her back. The result: crippling anxiety about her appearance, which threatens to crush her dancing dreams entirely. On her dance teacher’s recommendation, Sam is sent to a summer treatment camp for teen artists and athletes who are struggling with mental and emotional obstacles. If she can make progress, she’ll be allowed to attend a crucial ballet intensive. But when asked to open up about her deepest insecurities, secret behaviors, and paralyzing fears to complete strangers, Sam can’t cope. Sam forms an unlikely bond with Andrew, a former college football player who’s one of her camp counselors. As they grow closer, Andrew helps Sam see herself as he does—beautiful. But just as she starts to believe that there’s more between them than friendship, disappointing news from home sends her into a tailspin. With her future uncertain and her body against her, will Sam give in to the anxiety that imprisons her? (Goodreads).
First lines: I focus on the movement. My arms extending away from my shoulders. My back curving and arching. My knees bending and straightening. My feet pressing into the floor. I focus on all that, and for just a moment, I’m able to forget that I’m in a cozy meeting room, not a dance studio.
Bad apple, Matt Whyman
Like all good law-abiding citizens, sixteen-year-old Maurice no longer considers going off the rails as just a teenage phase. It can only mean the mark of a troll…But these trolls aren’t confined to causing trouble online: now they’re in our homes, on our streets and have ruined life as we know it. As a rule Maurice tries to avoid trouble – until the day he crosses paths with Wretch, a very bad apple indeed. And with tensions rising, can these two teens put their differences aside in order to survive? (Goodreads).
First lines: “Why can’t they just go back where they came from?” The man addressed the television as if he expected a direct answer. “There should be laws!”
On the screen, the reporter stood before a crater. It spanned the complete width of a freeway, sixty kilometres south of Dallas according to the sliding news ticker. Judging by the way several vehicles teetered over the edge, a catastrophic event had occurred without warning.
Ivory and bone, Julie Eshbaugh
Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives. As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along. (Goodreads).
First lines: The darkness in this cave is so complete I can no longer see you, but I can smell your blood.
“I think your wound has opened up again.”
“No, it’s fine.” Your words echo against the close walls. Even so, your voice sounds small. “I ran my fingers over it. It’s dry.”
Downriver, Will Hobbs
No adults, no permit, no river map. Just some “borrowed” gear from Discovery Unlimited, the outdoor education program Jessie and her new companions have just ditched. Jessie and the others are having the time of their lives floating beneath sheer red walls, exploring unknown caves and dangerous waterfalls, and plunging through the Grand Canyon’s roaring rapids. No one, including Troy, who emerges as the group’s magnetic and ultimately frightening leader, can forsee the challenges and conflicts. (Goodreads).
First lines: I stumbled on a rock that was barely sticking up, my legs were that tired. Flailing for balance, with the pack working against me, I slipped in the mud and almost went down. I still Couldn’t believe this was really happening. I couldn’t believe my dad had done this to me.