Anticipated Books (Winter-Spring) 2014: YA April-June

2014We’re almost there! Welcome to the penultimate post in my Anticipated Books series for the first half of 2014. Today I’m sharing the second half of my picks for books published for the YA crowd. For some of these I already have an (e)ARC or review copy, so they’ll definitely be read and reviewed. And for the rest, I’ll have to see whether I get the chance to get my hands on them!  

April
jenniferarmentroutJennifer L. Armentrout – Don’t Look Back (Mystery, Hodder & Stoughton)
Samantha Franco has it all. Until, that is, she and her best friend Cassie disappear and only Samantha resurfaces: with no recollection of what happened.

And Cassie stays missing. Gradually, Samantha begins to piece together her memories of that night. If she can do that, she may yet be able to find her friend. And, little by little, something begins to emerge…

Then she gets the note.

Don’t look back. You won’t like what you find.

kelleyarmstrongKelley Armstrong – Sea of Shadows (Fantasy, Atom)
They hear the spirits. They must obey.

In 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 by an ancient evil, Moria and Ashyn must race to warn the empire of a terrifying threat. Accompanied by a dashing thief and a warrior with a dark history, the sisters battle their way across a wasteland filled with reawakened monsters of legend. But there are more sinister enemies waiting for them at court – and a secret that will alter the balance of their world forever.

The first volume in the Age of Legends trilogy, Sea of Shadows is a thrilling dark fantasy where evil hides in every shadow and the deadliest monsters of all come in human form...

avadellaira-loveletterstothedeadAva Dellaira – Love Letters to the Dead (Contemporary, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.

alangibbons-hateAlan Gibbons – Hate (Contemporary, Indigo)
In 2007 Goth Sophie Lancaster was murdered just for looking different – inspired by her story, Hate is a hard-hitting real-life thriller about friendship, courage, loss, forgiveness and about our society and communities.
Eve’s older sister, Rosie, was bright and alive and always loved being the centre of attention. Then one day, she is brutally murdered.

Six months later, Eve meets Antony and discovers that he was there the night Rosie died and did nothing to help. Is there any way she can ever get past that?

Inspired by the tragic murder of Sophie Lancaster, which saw Sophie and her partner Rob viciously attacked in Stubbylee Park, Bacup, Lancashire because of the way they dressed, this is a hard-hitting real-life thriller about friendship, courage, loss, forgiveness and about our society and communities.

lisa-greenwald©peterdresselLisa Greenwald – Welcome to Dog Beach (Contemporary, Amulet Books)
Eleven-year-old Remy loves Seagate, the island where her grandmother had a house and where her family spends every summer vacation. But this year’s different. Remy misses her dog, Danish, who recently passed away. The usual Seagate traditions don’t feel the same—and neither does her relationship with her two best friends, Micayla and Bennett. Micayla’s family is moving to Seagate year-round, and she’s spending more time with the year-round kids. Bennett’s doing “boy stuff” with new kid Calvin and his snobby sister Claire. Remy takes comfort in the company of Dog Beach—which is where she hatches her plan to bring her friends closer and recapture the Seagate magic. This start of a new series is filled with summer treats, activities, and the spirit of friendship and invention that are Greenwald’s trademarks.

shannonhale-dangerousShannon Hale – Dangerous (SF, Bloomsbury USA Childrens)
How far would you go to save the ones you love? And how far would you go to save everyone else?

Maisie Danger Brown just wanted to get away from home for a bit and see something new. She never intended to fall in love with a boy at space camp. And she certainly never intended to stumble into a frightening plot that just might destroy everything and everyone she cares about. But now there’s no going back – Maisie’s the only thing standing between danger and annihilation. She must become the hero the world needs, before she loses her heart . . . and her life.

Equal parts romance and action-adventure, this explosive story is sure to leave both longtime Shannon fans and avid sci-fi readers completely breathless.

danielleljensen-stolensongbirdDanielle L. Jensen – Stolen Songbird (Fantasy, Strange Chemistry Books)
For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.

lackeyedgehill-victoriesMercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill – Victories (F, Tor Teen)
With evil Mordred in charge of Oakhurst Academy, a school for magicians, can Spirit White and her friends save their fellow students and prevent the end of the world?

margipreus-westofthemoonMargi Preus – West of the Moon (HF, Amulet Books)
In West of the Moon, award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Margi Preus expertly weaves original fiction with myth and folktale to tell the story of Astri, a young Norwegian girl desperate to join her father in America.

After being separated from her sister and sold to a cruel goat farmer, Astri makes a daring escape. She quickly retrieves her little sister, and, armed with a troll treasure, a book of spells and curses, and a possibly magic hairbrush, they set off for America. With a mysterious companion in tow and the malevolent “goatman” in pursuit, the girls head over the Norwegian mountains, through field and forest, and in and out of folktales and dreams as they steadily make their way east of the sun and west of the moon.

chrispriestly-throughdeadeyesChris Priestly – Through Dead Eyes (Fantasy, Bloomsbury USA Childrens)
Alex joins his father on a business trip to Amsterdam. During the day he hangs out with the daughter of a family friend. They visit the usual sights but also coffee shops and flea markets off the beaten track. At one of these markets Alex spots an ancient-looking mask. Before he knows what he’s doing he buys it. Later, in his hotel room, he feels compelled to put the mask on. Alex is sucked into a parallel Amsterdam, one from centuries before which begins to reveal the dark past of both the building he is staying in and the little girl who once lived there . . . edging stealthily towards the terrible twist.

christianschoon-undernamelessstarsChristian Schoon – Under Nameless Stars (SF, Strange Chemistry Books)
Zenn Scarlett’s novice year of exoveterinarian training on Mars isn’t quite going to plan…

After facing a plot to destroy her school and its menagerie of alien patients, could things get worse? Yes, they could: her absent father has been kidnapped.

Desperate to find him, Zenn stows away aboard the Helen of Troy, a starliner powered by one of the immense, dimension-jumping beasts known as Indra. With her is Liam Tucker, a Martian boy who is either very fond of her, very dangerous to her, or both. On the verge of learning the truth about her father, Zenn’s quest suddenly catapults her and Liam thousands of light years beyond known space, and into the dark heart of a monstrous conspiracy.

Braving a gauntlet of lethal environments and unearthly life forms, Zenn’s courage is tested as never before. With the fate of entire worlds in the balance, she is racing headlong into trouble… again.

tessharpe-farfromyouTess Sharpe – Far From You (Mystery, Indigo)
A gripping thriller that follows Sophie as she tries to track down her best friend’s killer. An astonishing, beautifully plotted debut that marks the arrival of a powerful new voice in YA/crossover fiction.
Nine months. Two weeks. Six days.

That’s how long recovering addict Sophie’s been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend Mina died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong – a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered.

Forced into rehab for a drug addiction she’d already beaten, Sophie’s finally out and on the trail of the killer. But can she track them down before they come for her?

sarahskilton-high&drySarah Skilton – High & Dry (Contemporary, Amulet Books)
Framed for a stranger’s near-fatal overdose at a party, blackmailed into finding a mysterious flash drive everyone in school seems anxious to suppress, and pressured by his shady best friend to throw an upcoming match, high school soccer player Charlie Dixon is juggling more than his share of drama. Add in a broken heart and the drinking he’s been doing to soothe it, and he’s near the breaking point. In this fast-paced, layered mystery, Charlie spends a frantic week trying to clear his name, win back the girl of his dreams, and escape a past friendship that may be responsible for all his current problems. This book captures the tone and style of the best crime fiction while also telling a high-stakes story of peer pressure gone tragically awry.

jenniferesmith-thegeographyofyouandmeJennifer E. Smith – The Geography of You and Me (Contemporary, Headline)
Lucy lives on the twenty-fourth floor. Owen lives in the basement. It’s fitting, then, that they meet in the middle — stuck between two floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they’re rescued, Lucy and Owen spend the night wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is back, so is reality. Lucy soon moves abroad with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

The brief time they spend together leaves a mark. And as their lives take them to Edinburgh and to San Francisco, to Prague and to Portland, Lucy and Owen stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and phone calls. But can they — despite the odds — find a way to reunite?

Smartly observed and wonderfully romantic, Jennifer E. Smith’s new novel shows that the center of the world isn’t necessarily a place. Sometimes, it can be a person.

jerismithready-thissideofsalvationJeri Smith-Ready – This Side of Salvation (Contemporary, Simon Pulse)
David confronts his desires and his demons in this novel about what it means to be left behind—literally, figuratively, and spiritually—from the author of the Shade trilogy.

Everyone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he knows for sure: The closer he gets to Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels.

Then his parents start cutting all their worldly ties in preparation for the Rush, the divine moment when the faithful will be whisked off to Heaven…and they want David to do the same. David’s torn. He likes living in the moment, and isn’t sure about giving up his best friend, varsity baseball, and Bailey—especially Bailey—in hope of salvation.
But when he comes home late from prom, and late for the Rush, to find that his parents have vanished, David is in more trouble than he ever could have imagined…

scotttracey-darkboundScott Tracey – Darkbound (Fantasy, Flux)
Malcolm has seven days to save Carrow Mill’s teenagers from themselves

Malcolm Denton hates being a witch almost as much as he hates being one of the Moonset children. After an argument with his four coven siblings, Malcolm feels even more isolated by his resentment toward his birthright and the magic that goes with it. But when he meets a beautiful demonic creature, new options open for Malcolm, including a life without magic and freedom from the coven bond that keeps him trapped. To get what he wants, Malcolm has to uncover a twenty-year-old secret, dig up a body, and find a murderer.

He has to hurry, though, because the demon’s dark song has infected Carrow Mill’s teenagers, making them passionate, violent, and deadly.

May
jenniferbrown-tornawayJennifer Brown – Torn Away (Contemporary, Little Brown US)
Born and raised in the Midwest, Jersey Cameron knows all about tornadoes. Or so she thinks. When her town is devastated by a twister, Jersey survives — but loses her mother, her young sister, and her home. As she struggles to overcome her grief, she’s sent to live with her only surviving relatives: first her biological father, then her estranged grandparents.

In an unfamiliar place, Jersey faces a reality she’s never considered before — one in which her mother wasn’t perfect, and neither were her grandparents, but they all loved her just the same. Together, they create a new definition of family. And that’s something no tornado can touch.

Clarke1-1Cassandra Rose Clarke – The Wizard’s Promise (Fantasy, Strange Chemistry Books)
All Hanna Euli wants is to become a proper witch – but unfortunately, she’s stuck as an apprentice to a grumpy fisherman. When their boat gets caught up in a mysterious storm and blown wildly off course, Hanna finds herself further away from home than she’s ever been before.

As she tries to get back, she learns there may be more to her apprentice master than she realized, especially when a mysterious, beautiful, and very non-human boy begins following her through the ocean, claiming that he needs Hanna’s help.

helenedunbar-thesegentlewoundsHelene Dunbar – These Gentle Wounds (Contemporary, Flux Books)
What do you do in the wake of a life-altering tragedy? Survive.

After a horrible family tragedy, Gordie moves in with his half-brother Kevin’s family. It is an ideal arrangement, because Kevin is his safe haven and the only person who can deal with Gordie’s post-traumatic stress disorder.

But just as the fifteen-year-old’s life is becoming normal—star goalie of the high school hockey team, interest from an attractive girl—Gordie’s biological father comes back into the picture, demanding a place in his life. Now there’s no hiding from the grief and guilt, nothing to stop him from falling into a horrible tailspin. The only one who can help Gordie is himself . . . if he can find the strength to confront the past and take back his future.

anndeeellis-theendorsomethinglikethatAnn Dee Ellis – The End or Something Like That (Fantasy, Dial Books)
For fans of Sara Zarr and Stephen Chbosky, an achingly raw and surprisingly funny novel about coping with loss

Emmy’s best friend Kim had promised to visit from the afterlife after she died. But so far Kim hasn’t shown up even once. Emmy blames herself for not believing hard enough. Finally, as the one-year anniversary of Kim’s death approaches, Emmy is visited by a ghost—but it’s not Kim. It’s Emmy’s awful dead science teacher.

Emmy can’t help but think that she’s failed at being a true friend. But as more ghosts appear, she starts to realize that she’s not alone in her pain. Kim would have wanted her to move forward—and to do that, Emmy needs to start letting go.

natashanganNatasha Ngan – The Memory Keepers (SF, Hot Key Books)
“No one can take your memories from you… can they?”

Seven is a thief with a difference – he steals downloadable memories from banks and memoriums to sell onto London’s black market, trading secrets and hidden pasts for a chance at a future of his own. He makes sure he keeps some special stuff back to ‘surf’ himself though – it’s the only real form of entertainment he can afford. But one night, as Seven is breaking into a private memorium in a wealthy part of London, he is caught in the act by one of its residents; Alba, the teenage daughter of London’s most famous criminal prosecutor. Instead of giving him away, Alba promises to keep Seven’s secret – as long as he allows her to go memory-surfing herself. In doing so, they discover a hidden memory about Seven’s past, revealing a shocking secret about Seven’s childhood, the government and a mysterious experiment known as The Memory Keepers…

Now Seven and Alba will have to race against time to unlock the maze of The Memory Keepers – but can they keep themselves out of harm’s way before the London Guard – and Alba’s father – catches up with them?

sarahraughley-featherboundSarah Raughley – Feather Bound (Fantasy, Strange Chemistry Books)
When Deanna’s missing friend Hyde turns up at his father’s funeral to claim his corporate empire and inheritance, she is swept into his glittering world of paparazzi and wealth.

But re-kindling her friendship and the dizzying new emotions along for the ride are the least of her concerns. Because Deanna has a secret – and somebody knows. Someone who is out to get Hyde. And if she doesn’t play along, and help the enemy destroy him…she will be sold to the highest bidder in the black market for human swans.

Now Deanna is struggling to break free from the gilded cage that would trap her forever…

Feather Bound is a dark debut reminiscent of Gabriel García Márquez’s A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings, and the twisted truth behind the fairy tale of Cinderella.

kathrynrose-camelotburningKathryn Rose – Camelot Burning (Fantasy, Flux Books)
An imaginative fusion of steampunk and Arthurian legend
Eighteen-year-old Vivienne lives in a world of knights and ladies, corsets and absinthe, outlaw magic and alchemical machines. By day, she is lady-in-waiting to the future queen of Camelot—Guinevere. By night, she secretly toils away in the clock tower as apprentice to Merlin, the infamous recovering magic addict. Her hidden life is everything she could ever want, but if anyone finds out, it will be over.

Then she meets Marcus, below her in class, destined to become a knight, and just as forbidden as her apprenticeship with Merlin. When Morgan La Fey, the king’s sorceress sister, declares war on Camelot, Merlin thinks they can create a metal beast powered by steam and alchemy to defeat her. But to save the kingdom, Vivienne will have to risk everything—her secret apprenticeship, her love for Marcus, and her own life.

annaschumacher-endtimesAnna Schumacher – End Times (Horror, Razorbill)
Carbon County, Wyoming is like a current running through Daphne’s heart.

When life gets too tough to bear in Detroit, Daphne flees to her Uncle Floyd’s home, where she believes she’ll find solace in the silent hills of her childhood summers. But Daphne’s Greyhound bus pulls over in downtown Carbon County and it’s not silence that welcomes her. It’s trumpets.

Daphne’s desire to start again in simple country comfort is instantly dashed as the townsfolk declare that the End Times are here. And incredible occurrences soon support their belief. Daphne does all she can to keep her head down and ignore the signs. She works a job at the local oil rig, helps around the house, hangs out with her pregnant cousin Janie and gets to know Owen, a mysterious motocross racer and fellow roustabout at the rig. But soon a startling discovery shatters her resolve and calls into question all her doubts and fears.

Daphne landed in Carbon County for a reason. She only has to read the signs—and believe.

padmavenkatraman-atimetodancePadma Venkatraman – A Time to Dance (Contemporary, Nancy Paulsen Books)
Padma Venkatraman’s inspiring story of a young girl’s struggle to regain her passion and find a new peace is told lyrically through verse that captures the beauty and mystery of India and the ancient bharatanatyam dance form. This is a stunning novel about spiritual awakening, the power of art, and above all, the courage and resilience of the human spirit.

Veda, a classical dance prodigy in India, lives and breathes dance—so when an accident leaves her a below-knee amputee, her dreams are shattered. For a girl who’s grown used to receiving applause for her dance prowess and flexibility, adjusting to a prosthetic leg is painful and humbling. But Veda refuses to let her disability rob her of her dreams, and she starts all over again, taking beginner classes with the youngest dancers. Then Veda meets Govinda, a young man who approaches dance as a spiritual pursuit. As their relationship deepens, Veda reconnects with the world around her, and begins to discover who she is and what dance truly means to her.

June
scottkandrewsScott K. Andrews – Time Bomb (Fantasy, Hodder & Stoughton)
Three teenagers from different periods of history find themselves flung together by a tear in the fabric of reality. With the help of a mysterious stranger, they learn to harness their abilities to move through time, only just managing to keep one step ahead of the evil Lord Sweetclover. . . who will stop at nothing to capture them.

joellecharbonneau-graduationdayJoelle Charbonneau – Graduation Day (Dystopian, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
She wants to put an end to the Testing
In a scarred and brutal future, The United Commonwealth teeters on the brink of all-out civil war. The rebel resistance plots against a government that rules with cruelty and cunning. Gifted student and Testing survivor, Cia Vale, vows to fight.

But she can’t do it alone.
This is the chance to lead that Cia has trained for – but who will follow? Plunging through layers of danger and deception, Cia must risk the lives of those she loves–and gamble on the loyalty of her lethal classmates.

Who can Cia trust?
The stakes are higher than ever—lives of promise cut short or fulfilled; a future ruled by fear or hope–in the electrifying conclusion to Joelle Charbonneau’s epic Testing trilogy. Ready or not…it’s Graduation Day.

The Final Test is the Deadliest!

corinneduyvisCorinne Duyvis – Otherbound (SF, Amulet Books)
Nolan doesn’t see darkness when he closes his eyes. Instead, he’s transported into the mind of Amara, a girl living in a different world. Nolan’s life in his small Arizona town is full of history tests, family tension, and laundry; his parents think he has epilepsy, judging from his frequent blackouts. Amara’s world is full of magic and danger–she’s a mute servant girl who’s tasked with protecting a renegade princess. Nolan is only an observer in Amara’s world–until he learns to control her. At first, Amara is terrified. Then, she’s furious. But to keep the princess–and themselves–alive, they’ll have to work together and discover the truth behind their connection.

A fascinating premise, clearly and compellingly written and imagined by a startlingly original debut writer.

karenfinneyfrock-starbirdmurphyandtheworldoutsideKaren Finneyfrock – Starbird Murphy and the World Outside (Contemporary, Viking Children’s Books)
In her sixteen years of life, Starbird has never touched a dollar bill. She’s never been in a car. She’s never used a cell phone. That’s because Starbird has always lived on the Free Family Farm, a commune in the woods of Washington State. But all that is about to change. When Starbird gets her “Calling” to be a waitress at the Free Family’s restaurant in Seattle, she decides to leave behind the only home she’s ever known.

Nothing could have prepared Starbird for the World Outside, or for what it would teach her about the Family—and herself.

From the author of The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door comes this hilarious and poignant story about finding your true calling in life.

helen-grant-booksHelen Grant – The Demons of Ghent (Mystery, Bodley Head Childrens)
Veerle has moved to Ghent to start a new life with her father and his girlfriend, she’s isolated and alone. But not as alone as she had thought . . .

Veerle recognises a familiar face in the crowds one day, a face connected to a past that she has been fighting to get over, a past that involved murder.

A spate of deaths hit the city but has Death followed Veerle to Ghent or is this something new?

katherinelongshore-brazenKatherine Longshore – Brazen (Historical, Viking Young Readers)
Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?

nigelmcdowellNigel McDowell – The Black North (Fantasy, Hot Key Books)
The Divided Isle, once a place of peace and tranquillity, has been ravaged by war. Twins Oona and Morris live with their grandmother in a stone cottage in the quiet southern county of Drumbroken, but the threat of the Invaders of the Black North – the ravaged northern part of the island – is coming ever closer. When Morris, fighting against the Invaders, is kidnapped by one of the evil Briar Witches, Oona must journey to the unknown realms of the Black North in search of her brother.

She is accompanied only by Merrigutt, a jackdaw with mysterious transformative powers, and a treasured secret possession: a small stone in the shape of a plum, but a stone which reveals truths and nightmares, and which the Invaders, and their ruler, the King of the North, seek more than anything. Oona must keep the stone safe at all costs, and find her brother, before the King of the North sweeps his evil hold over the whole island, and destroys it forever.

blakenelson-theprinceofvenicebeachBlake Nelson – The Prince of Venice Beach (Contemporary, Little Brown US)
Robert “‘Cali” Callahan is a teen runaway, living on the streets of Venice Beach, California. He’s got a pretty sweet life: a treehouse to sleep in, a gang of surf bros, a regular basketball game…even a girl who’s maybe-sorta interested in him.

What he doesn’t have is a plan.

All that changes when a local cop refers Cali to a private investigator who is looking for a missing teenager. After all, Cali knows everyone in Venice. But the streets are filled with people who don’t want to be found, and when he’s hired to find the beautiful Reese Abernathy, who would do anything to stay hidden, Cali must decide where his loyalties truly lie.

lisaokaneLisa O’Kane – Essence (SF, Strange Chemistry Books)
Neutrality is the key to longevity.

This motto has governed 17-year-old Autumn’s life in the mid-21st-century Centrist cult, which believes that expressing emotions leads to Essence drain and premature death.

But Autumn’s younger brother’s death casts her faith into question. While sprinting through a park in violation of Centrist teachings, she encounters Ryder Stone, an Outsider who claims Essence drain is nothing more than a Centrist scare tactic. She agrees to join his Community, a utopia of adrenaline junkies living in the abandoned remains of Yosemite National Park.

Autumn learns about sex, drugs, and living life to the fullest. But as she discovers dark secrets beneath the Community’s perfect exterior, she realises that this illusion of paradise could be shattered…

julieannepeters-liesmygirlfriendtoldmeJulie Anne Peters – Lies My Girlfriend Told Me (Contemporary, Little Brown US)
When Alix’s charismatic girlfriend, Swanee, dies from sudden cardiac arrest, Alix is overcome with despair. As she searches Swanee’s room for mementos of their relationship, she finds Swanee’s cell phone, pinging with dozens of texts sent from a mysterious contact, L.T. The most recent text reads: “Please tell me what I did. Please, Swan. Te amo. I love you.”

Shocked and betrayed, Alix learns that Swanee has been leading a double life–secretly dating a girl named Liana the entire time she’s been with Alix. Alix texts Liana from Swanee’s phone, pretending to be Swanee in order to gather information before finally meeting face-to-face to break the news.

Brought together by Swanee’s lies, Alix and Liana become closer than they’d thought possible. But Alix is still hiding the truth from Liana. Alix knows what it feels like to be lied to–but will coming clean to Liana mean losing her, too?

TomPollockTom Pollock – Our Lady of the Streets (Fantasy, Jo Fletcher Books)
Ever since Beth Bradley found her way into a hidden London, the presence of its ruthless goddess, Mater Viae, has lurked in the background. Now Mater Viae has returned, with deadly consequences.

Streets are wracked by convulsions as muscles of wire and pipe go into spasms, bunching the cuty into a crippled new geography; pavements flare to thousand-degree fevers, incinerating pedestrians; and towers fall, their foundations decayed.

As the city sickens, so does Beth – her essence now part of this secret London. But when it is revealed that Mater Viae’s plans for dominion stretch far beyond the city, Beth must make a choice: flee, or sacrifice her city in order to save it.

joeshine-ibecomeshadowJoe Shine – I Become Shadow (SF, Soho Press)
Ren Sharpe was abducted at fourteen and chosen by the mysterious F.A.T.E. Center to become a Shadow: the fearless and unstoppable guardian of a future leader. Everything she held dear—her family, her home, her former life—is gone forever.

Ren survives four years of training, torture, and misery, in large part thanks to Junie, a fellow F.A.T.E. abductee who started out as lost and confused as she did. She wouldn’t admit it was possible to find love in a prison beyond imagining, but what she feels for Junie may just be the closest thing to it.

At eighteen they part ways when Ren receives her assignment: find and protect college science student Gareth Young, or die trying. Life following a college nerd is uneventful, until an attack on Gareth forces Ren to track down the only person she can trust. When she and Junie discover that the F.A.T.E. itself might be behind the attacks, even certain knowledge of the future may not be enough to save their kidnappers from the killing machines they created.

michesipesMiche Sipes – An Angel Torched My Homework and Other Lies (Fantasy, Strange Chemistry Books)
Imagine if vampires, werewolves, angels and zombies were merely humans with a genetic mutation . . . could Norms and Differents ever get along?

Carrie Philips just wants her junior year at Clement Academy to go smoothly. Sure, it’s the first high school in the nation to integrate Norms like her with the Differents. But the Diffs are just typical teenagers with teeny-tiny genetic anomalies. They’re certainly not dangerous or anything. At least that’s what Carrie has always believed.

But when several of her fellow students are mysteriously assaulted, cracks form in Carrie’s worldview. Cracks she tries to ignore while defending her friends from anti-Diff backlash and solving the mystery of who’s really behind the attacks.

Then, Carrie stumbles on a bombshell that could forever change how Norms and Diffs see each other. So much for a quiet school year.

sarahjamilastevenson-thetruthagainsttheworldSarah Jamila Stevenson – The Truth Against the World (Fantasy, Flux Books)
In her parents’ San Francisco flat, Olwen Nia Evans, Wynn for short, has been having unsettling dreams about her family’s past in Wales. But her dreams don’t match up with what she’s been told by her dying grandmother, Rhiannon. On the other side of the world, in London, a boy named Gareth Lewis is having disturbing dreams about a frightening encounter with a ghost. A ghost named Olwen Nia Evans.

When he looks for Olwen’s name online, Gareth connects with Wynn in San Francisco as she is preparing to move with her family to fulfill Rhiannon’s last wish to die in Wales. Once Wynn arrives in Wales, she and Gareth join forces to discover the truth of the lost soul that’s haunting them both.

brennayovanoff-fiendishBrenda Yovanoff – Fiendish (Horror, Razorbill)
Clementine DeVore spent ten years trapped in a cellar, pinned down by willow roots, silenced and forgotten.

Now she’s out and determined to uncover who put her in that cellar and why.
When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher sets her free. Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged.

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