Anticipated Books (Summer-Autumn) 2015: YA July-August

2015Welcome to the next post in my Anticipated Books series for the second half of 2015. YA books have become a permanent part of my reading diet. Some of my favourite authors are writing for this age group and there are just so many great titles out there. Consequently, I’ve had to spread my YA picks over three posts. This is the first one. 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! 

July
jenniferlynnbarnes-thefixerJennifer Lynn Barnes – The Fixer (Bloomsbury USA Childrens, Thriller)
When sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick is sent to live with her older sister, Ivy, she has no idea that the infamous Ivy Kendrick is Washington D.C.’s #1 “fixer,” known for making politicians’ scandals go away for a price. No sooner does Tess enroll at Hardwicke Academy than she unwittingly follows in her sister’s footsteps and becomes D.C.’s premier high school fixer, solving problems for elite teens.

Secrets pile up as each sister lives a double life. . . . until their worlds come crashing together and Tess finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy with one of her classmates and a client of Ivy’s. Suddenly, there is much more on the line than good grades, money, or politics, and the price for this fix might be more than Tess is willing to pay.

Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for more in this exciting new series.

rachelcaine-inkandboneRachel Caine – Ink and Bone (NAL, Fantasy)
In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn.…

carolinebcooney-nosuchpersonCaroline B. Cooney – No Such Person (Delacorte Press, Historical Fiction)
From the author of the multimillion-copy bestseller The Face on the Milk Carton, this riveting new thriller, set against the backdrop of a bucolic summer town on the Connecticut River, will have readers guessing until the very last page, as a seemingly innocent sibling rivalry and newfound young love turn into something much more devastating than anyone could ever have imagined.

Miranda and Lander Allerdon are sisters. Miranda is younger, a dreamer, and floating her way through life. Lander is older, focused, and determined to succeed. As the girls and their parents begin another summer at their cottage on the Connecticut River, Miranda and Lander’s sibling rivalry is in high gear. Lander plans to start medical school in the fall, and Miranda feels cast in her shadow.

When the Allerdons become entangled in an unimaginable tragedy, the playing field is suddenly leveled. As facts are revealed, the significance of what has happened weighs heavily on all. How can the family prepare for what the future may hold?

lauradockrill-loraliLaura Dockrill – Lorali (Hot Key Books, Fantasy)
Colourful, raw, brave, rich and fantastical – this mermaid tale is not for the faint-hearted.

Looking after a naked girl he found washed up under Hastings pier isn’t exactly how Rory had imagined spending his sixteenth birthday. But more surprising than finding her in the first place is discovering where she has come from.

Lorali is running not just from the sea, not just from her position as princess, but her entire destiny. Lorali has rejected life as a mermaid, and become human.

But along with Lorali’s arrival, and the freak weather suddenly battering the coast, more strange visitors begin appearing in Rory’s bemused Sussex town. With beautifully coiffed hair, sharp-collared shirts and a pirate ship shaped like a Tudor house, the Abelgare boys are a mystery all of their own. What are they really up to? Can Rory protect Lorali? And who from? And where does she really belong, anyway?

saranickerson-thesecretsofblueberriesbrothersmoosemeSara Nickerson – The Secrets of Blueberries, Brothers, Moose & Me (Dutton Books for Young Readers, Contemporary)
A story filled with heart about finding something all your own while the world changes around you

A talented new middle-grade voice tells a story filled with heart about finding something all your own while the world changes around you.

Determined to make some extra money, twelve-year-old Missy and her older brother Patrick get summer jobs picking blueberries at a local farm. For Missy, though, blueberry picking quickly becomes about more than just money— it’s the perfect distraction from the fact that her two best friends have gone off to summer camp without her and that her dad is getting remarried. Why can’t everything go back to the way it used to be? Back to normal? But, Missy soon discovers that the summer is full of secrets: the secrets to making her family feel whole again; the secrets to keeping her two best friends from changing and leaving her behind; the secrets of a local farm’s blood feud; and most importantly, the secrets of blueberries. A moving, relatable story about finding something special within yourself and a place to call your own in even the most tumultuous of times.

amandapanitch-damagedoneAmanda Panitch – Damage Done (Random House Books for Young Readers, Thriller)
22 minutes separate Julia Vann’s before and after.

Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best friend.

After: She has a new identity, a new hometown, and memories of those twenty-two minutes that refuse to come into focus. At least, that’s what she tells the police.

Now that she’s Lucy Black, her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the hottest guys in school. And someone much more dangerous. She thought her brother’s crimes were behind her. But now she’s being forced to confront the dark secrets she thought were safely left behind. How far will Julia go to keep her slate clean?

One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It’s only just beginning….

In this deliciously twisted contemporary thriller, family can be a real killer. For fans of We Were Liars and readers who love unique multiple perspectives that leave clues like breadcrumbs until they reach the stunning conclusion.

michellepainchaud-pretendingtobeericaMichelle Painchaud – Pretending to be Erica (Viking Books for Young Readers, Contemporary)
We Were Liars meets Heist Society in a riveting debut!

Seventeen-year-old Violet’s entire life has revolved around one thing: becoming Erica Silverman, an heiress kidnapped at age five and never seen again. Violet’s father, the best con man in Las Vegas, has a plan, chilling in its very specific precision. Violet shares a blood type with Erica; soon, thanks to surgery and blackmail, she has the same face, body, and DNA. She knows every detail of the Silvermans’ lives, as well as the PTSD she will have to fake around them. And then, when the time is right, she “reappears”—Erica Silverman, brought home by some kind of miracle. But she is also Violet, and she has a job: Stay long enough to steal the Silverman Painting, an Old Master legendary in the Vegas crime world. Walking a razor’s edge, calculating every decision, not sure sometimes who she is or what she is doing it for, Violet is an unforgettable heroine, and Pretending to be Erica is a killer debut.

sofiaquintero-showandproveSofia Quintero – Show and Prove (Knopf Books for Young Readers, Historical Fiction)
The summer of 1983 was the summer hip-hop proved its staying power. The South Bronx is steeped in Reaganomics, war in the Middle East, and the twin epidemics of crack and AIDS, but Raymond “Smiles” King and Guillermo “Nike” Vega have more immediate concerns.

Smiles was supposed to be the assistant crew chief at his summer camp, but the director chose Cookie Camacho instead, kicking off a summer-long rivalry. Meanwhile, the aspiring b-boy Nike has set his wandering eye on Sara, the sweet yet sassy new camp counselor, as well as top prize at a breakdancing competition downtown. The two friends have been drifting apart ever since Smiles got a scholarship to a fancy private school, and this summer the air is heavy with postponed decisions that will finally be made.

Raw and poignant, this is a story of music, urban plight, and racial tension that’s as relevant today as it was in 1983.

scottsigler-aliveScott Sigler – Alive (Del Rey, Science Fiction)
From New York Times bestselling author Scott Sigler comes something utterly new: a gripping sci-fi adventure trilogy in the vein of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner. A group of young adults awake in a mysterious enclosed space with no knowledge of who they are or how they got there…and an indomitable young woman must lead them not only to answers but to survival.

A young woman awakes trapped in an enclosed space. She has no idea who she is or how she got there. With only her instincts to guide her, she escapes her own confinement—and finds she’s not alone. She frees the others in the room and leads them into a corridor filled with the remains of a war long past. The farther these survivors travel, the worse are the horrors they confront. And as they slowly come to understand what this prison is, they realize that the worst and strangest possibilities they could have imagined don’t even come close to the truth.

tamaraellissmith-anotherkindofhurricaneTamara Ellis Smith – Another Kind of Hurricane (Schwartz & Wade, Historical Fiction)
In this stunning debut novel, two very different characters—a black boy who loses his home in Hurricane Katrina and a white boy in Vermont who loses his best friend in a tragic accident—come together to find healing.

A hurricane, a tragic death, two boys, one marble. How they intertwine is at the heart of this beautiful, poignant book. When ten-year-old Zavion loses his home in Hurricane Katrina, he and his father are forced to flee to Baton Rouge. And when Henry, a ten-year-old boy in northern Vermont, tragically loses his best friend, Wayne, he flees to ravaged New Orleans to help with hurricane relief efforts—and to search for a marble that was in the pocket of a pair of jeans donated to the Red Cross.

Rich with imagery and crackling with hope, this is the unforgettable story of how lives connect in unexpected, even magical, ways.

barbarastewart-whatweknewBarbara Stewart – What We Knew (St. Martin’s Griffin, Contemporary)
“When I was little, I imagined a monster: Scaly hands. Pits for eyes…”

When Tracy and her best friend, Lisa, were kids, stories about a man-a creep who exposes himself to little girls-kept them out of the woods and in their own backyards. But Tracy and Lisa aren’t so little anymore, and the man in the woods is nothing but a silly story. Right?

But someone is in the woods. Someone is watching. And he knows all their secrets, secrets they can’t tell anyone-not even each other.

“Monsters don’t exist.”

Lisa’s just being paranoid. At least that’s what Tracy thinks. But when a disturbing “gift” confirms her worst fears, it sets the girls on a dangerous journey that takes them beyond the edge of the woods. They swiftly learn however that reality is more terrifying than the most chilling myth, and what they find will test the bonds of friendship, loyalty, and love.

“Once upon a time, two girls were lost in the woods.”

In Barbara’s Stewart’s What We Knew, Tracy and Lisa can’t destroy the evil they’ll face, but can they stop it from destroying each other?

leahthomas-becauseyoullnevermeetmeLeah Thomas – Because You’ll Never Meet Me (Bloomsbury Childrens, Thriller)
Ollie and Moritz are two teenagers who will never meet. Each of them lives with a life-affecting illness. Contact with electricity sends Ollie into debilitating seizures, while Moritz has a heart defect and is kept alive by an electronic pacemaker. If they did meet, Ollie would seize, but turning off the pacemaker would kill Moritz.

Through an exchange of letters, the two boys develop a strong bond of friendship which becomes a lifeline during dark times – until Moritz reveals that he holds the key to their shared, sinister past, and has been keeping it from Ollie all along.

jessvalance-birdyJess Vallance – Birdy (Hot Key Books, Contemporary)
A darkly compulsive tale of friendship and obsession.

Frances Bird has been a loner for as long as she can remember. But when she is asked to look after the new girl at school, the sparky Alberta Black, they soon become inseparable, doing everything together, and even creating their own sign of togetherness – a blackbird. After a while though, Bert wants to do things without Frances, and see other people without her there. And that won’t do…No that won’t do at all…

daniellevega-survivethenightDanielle Vega – Survive the Night (Razorbill, Horror)
An illicit rave in the New York City subway system turns deadly in this pulse-pounding, spine-tingling sophomore novel about peer pressure and toxic friendships by the acclaimed author of The Merciless.

An illicit rave in the New York City subway system turns deadly in this pulse-pounding, spine-tingling sophomore novel about peer pressure and toxic friendships by the acclaimed author of The Merciless.

Fresh out of rehab, Casey gets a visit from her best friend Shana, intent on sneaking Casey out for the notorious Survive the Night party. Casey knows that probably isn’t the best venue for her recovery, but she also knows drugs were never her real problem—Shana was her problem.

As usual, Shana won’t take no for an answer—and Casey won’t give it, especially when Shana tells Casey her ex Sam, who she’s hoping to reunite with, will be at the party as well. Casey vows to stay out of trouble and use her sobriety to patch things up with Sam.

But the party takes a terrifying turn: Casey finds her friend Julie dead, and realizes someone or something is picking her friends off one-by-one. Trapped underground until dawn, hunted by a slippery entity they’ve only glimpsed lurking in the dark, flooded tunnels, their only hope is escape—but for Casey, true survival means ridding Shana of her life once and for all.

lynnweingarten-suicidenotesfrombeautifulgirlsLynn Weingarten – Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls (Electric Monkey, Thriller)
Gone Girl meets 13 Reasons Why in this stylish, sexy, and atmospheric story about friendship packed with twists and turns that will leave you breathless.

They say Delia burned herself to death in her stepfather’s shed. They say it was suicide.

But June doesn’t believe it.

June and Delia used to be closer than anything. Best friends in that way that comes before everyone else—before guys, before family. It was like being in love, but more. They had a billion secrets, tying them together like thin silk cords.

But one night a year ago, everything changed. June, Delia, and June’s boyfriend Ryan were just having a little fun. Their good time got out of hand. And in the cold blue light of morning, June knew only this—things would never be the same again.

And now, a year later, Delia is dead. June is certain she was murdered. And she owes it to her to find out the truth…which is far more complicated than she ever could have imagined.

Sexy, dark, and atmospheric, Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls will keep you guessing until the very last page.

August
linasalsenas-beyondcluelessLinas Alsenas – Beyond Clueless (Amulet Books, Contemporary)
Marty Sullivan’s life ends, basically, when her parents enroll her in a private high school. A private, Catholic, girls-only high school. Meanwhile, at their local public school, her best friend, Jimmy, comes out of the closet and finds himself a boyfriend and a new group of friends. Marty feels left out and alone, until she gets a part in the school musical, Into the Woods, and Jimmy and his new crew are in it, too! Things start looking even better when Marty falls for foxy fellow cast member Felix Peroni. And Felix seems to like her back. But the drama is just beginning. . . . Can Marty and Jimmy keep up their friendship? And is Marty’s new beau everything he appears to be? Or is Marty too clueless to figure it all out before it’s too late?

jeffbartsch-twoaccrossJeff Bartsch – Two Across (Grand Central Publishing, Contemporary)
Highly awkward teenager Stanley Owens meets his match in beautiful, brainy Vera Baxter when they tie for first place in the annual National Spelling Bee-and the two form a bond that will change both of their lives.

Though their mothers have big plans for them-Stanley will become a senator, Vera a mathematics professor-neither wants to follow these pre-determined paths. So Stanley hatches a scheme to marry Vera in a sham wedding for the cash gifts, hoping they will enable him to pursue his one true love: crossword puzzle construction. In enlisting Vera to marry him, though, he neglects one variable: she’s secretly in love with him, which makes their counterfeit ceremony an exercise in misery for her.

Realizing the truth only after she’s moved away and cut him out of her life, Stanley tries to atone for his mistakes and win her back. But he’s unable to find her, until one day he comes across a puzzle whose clues make him think it could only have been created by Vera. Intrigued, he plays along, communicating back to her via his own gridded clues. But will they connect again before it’s all too late?

joebeernink-nowherewildJoe Beernink – Nowhere Wild (HarperCollins, Post-Apocalyptic)
A dark and riveting survival story set against a rugged northern landscape…

Izzy is just thirteen when a flu pandemic turns the world upside down. After her sister is attacked by a roving gang of looters in what remains of their town, Izzy flees to the wilderness with a man who claims he will protect her.

Sixteen-year-old Jake is stranded and alone in the unforgiving northern Manitoba backcountry. His mother and grandfather have died and his father has gone missing, the plane meant to return them from a summer camping trip having failed to arrive. Desperate to find a way home, he begins a trek over some of the most forbidding landscape in the country.

Both Jake and Izzy are forced to make decisions and take on responsibilities they could never have imagined. With the harsh northern winter fast approaching, they must draw on every shred of resourcefulness and courage as they try to save themselves and, ultimately, each other.

francescaliablock-theislandofexcessloveFrancesca Lia Block – The Island of Excess Love (Square Fish, Fantasy)
In The Island of Excess Love, Pen has lost her parents. She’s lost her eye. But she has fought Kronen; she has won back her fragile friends and her beloved brother. Now Pen, Hex, Ash, Ez, and Venice are living in the pink house by the sea, getting by on hard work, companionship, and dreams. Until the day a foreboding ship appears in the harbor across from their home. As soon as the ship arrives, they all start having strange visions of destruction and violence. Trance-like, they head for the ship and their new battles begin.

This companion to Love in the Time of Global Warming follows Pen as she searches for love among the ruins, this time using Virgil’s epic Aeneid as her guide. A powerful and stunning book filled with Francesca Lia Block’s beautiful language and inspiring characters.

chibarrosovak-intothedangerousworldJulie Chibbaro – Into the Dangerous World (illustrated by Jean-Marc Supervise Sovak) (Viking Books for Young Readers, Historical Fiction)
An astonishing blend of text and art that breaks new ground in YA fiction

Aurora—Ror, for short—was raised on a Staten Island commune. She lives to create art, and has never attended school. When her sculptor father torches the commune, taking his own life, Ror, her mother, and sister find themselves in a homeless residence in Manhattan. On the city’s streets, and in its museums and galleries, Ror finds herself pulled in many directions. Her father wanted her to make classic art. The graffiti crew she joins, Noise Ink, wants her to stay within their lines. Her art teacher wants her to go to college. But what does she want? Ror’s soul-searching—expressed in remarkable pictures and sharp-edged prose, set in the gritty Manhattan of 1984—is cinematic in its scope, and its seamless blend of text and art makes Into the Dangerous World a groundbreaking event in young adult fiction.

gennifercholdenko-themonkeyGennifer Choldenko – The Monkey’s Secret (Hot Key Books, Historical Fiction)
A segregated town, a hidden boy, a courageous girl – and a mystery in desperate need of solving.

San Francisco, 1900. Thirteen-year-old Lizzy Kennedy is not like the other girls in her town. She’d much rather be helping her doctor father with his patients than be stuck in frilly dresses and learn how to dance – but unfortunately for her, society (and her Aunt Hortense) has other ideas about what is ‘proper’ for a young lady. This includes not poking your nose in other’s people’s business – but then Jing, their beloved housekeeper, gets stuck in the Chinatown quarantine. Fear rules San Francisco – fear of the Chinese, and mostly fear of the plague rumours that circle them. Lizzie knows she has to help Jing, whatever the warnings. But what she doesn’t expect to find is a strange boy hiding in Jing’s room.

The boy is called Noah. He says he’s Jing’s son – although Lizzie’s never heard of him – and although he’s escaped the quarantine, he can’t risk leaving the house in case he gets rounded-up too. Lizzie wants to investigate, but it seems her questions only get people riled up. Is there really plague in San Francisco? What have the Chinese got to do with it? Just what or who is the mysterious ‘monkey’ – and what has his secret got to do with anything? Lizzie will have to use all of her courage, instinct and cleverness to unravel the mystery of the monkey’s secret, save Jing, Noah and Chinatown – and maybe even her change her own destiny.

betsycornwell-mechenicaBetsy Cornwell – Mechanica (HMH Books for Young Readers, Fantasy)
Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have pushed her into a life of dreary servitude. When she discovers a secret workshop in the cellar on her sixteenth birthday—and befriends Jules, a tiny magical metal horse—Nicolette starts to imagine a new life for herself. And the timing may be perfect: There’s a technological exposition and a royal ball on the horizon. Determined to invent her own happily-ever-after, Mechanica seeks to wow the prince and eager entrepreneurs alike.

kateelliott-courtoffivesKate Elliott – Court of Fives (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Fantasy)
In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.

Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family she can be whoever she wants when she sneaks out to train for The Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best contenders. Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an unlikely friendship between two Fives competitors–one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy–causes heads to turn. When Kal’s powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test her new friend’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.

moirafowleydoyle-theaccidentseasonMoira Fowley-Doyle – The Accident Season (Kathy Dawson Books, Contemporary)
Reminiscent of We Were Liars and How I Live Now, this is a haunting, addictive, magically realistic YA debut about falling in love with the wrong person, the things a family keeps hidden, and what happens when you search for what isn’t meant to be found.

It’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.

Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably and unavoidably accident-prone. Some years it’s bad, like the season when her father died, and some years it’s just a lot of cuts and scrapes. This accident season—when Cara, her ex-stepbrother, Sam, and her best friend, Bea, are 17—is going to be a bad one. But not for the reasons they think.

Cara is about to learn that not all the scars left by the accident season are physical: There’s a long-hidden family secret underneath the bumps and bruises. This is the year Cara will finally fall desperately in love, when she’ll start discovering the painful truth about the adults in her life, and when she’ll uncover the dark origins of the accident season—whether she’s ready or not.

soniagensler-ghostlightSonia Gensler – Ghostlight (Knopf Books for Young Readers, Horror)
Things that go bump in the night are just the beginning when a summer film project becomes a real-life ghost story!

Avery is looking forward to another summer at Grandma’s farm, at least until her brother says he’s too old for “Kingdom,” the imaginary world they’d spent years creating. Lucky for her, there’s a new kid staying in the cottage down the road: a city boy with a famous dad, Julian’s more than a little full of himself, but he’s also a storyteller like Avery. So when he announces his plan to film a ghost story, Avery is eager to join in.

Unfortunately, Julian wants to film at Hilliard House, a looming, empty mansion that Grandma has absolutely forbidden her to enter. As terrified as Avery is of Grandma’s wrath, the allure of filmmaking is impossible to resist.

As the kids explore the secrets of Hilliard house, eerie things begin to happen, and the “imaginary” dangers in their movie threaten to become very real. Have Avery and Julian awakened a menacing presence? Can they turn back before they go too far?

colleenhouck-reawakenedColleen Houck – Reawakened (Hodder & Stoughton, Fantasy)
From COLLEEN HOUCK, New York Times bestselling author of the Tiger’s Curse series, comes the first book in a series about a teenage girl entangled in an epic Egyptian quest full of romance, adventure, and mythology!

When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification.

And she really can’t imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe.

But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world.

From New York Times bestselling author Colleen Houck comes an epic adventure about two star-crossed teens who must battle mythical forces and ancient curses on a journey with more twists and turns than the Nile itself.

leohunt-13tomidnightLeo Hunt – Thirteen Days of Midnight (Candlewick Pres, Fantasy)
When Luke Manchett’s estranged father dies unexpectedly, he leaves his son a dark inheritance: a collection of eight restless spirits, known as his Host, who want revenge for their long enslavement. Once they figure out that Luke has no clue how to manage them, they become increasingly belligerent, and eventually mutiny. Halloween (the night when ghosts reach the height of their power) is fast approaching, and Luke knows his Host is planning something far more trick than treat. Armed with only his father’s indecipherable notes, a locked copy of The Book of Eight, and help from school outcast Elza Moss, Luke has just thirteen days to uncover the closely guarded secrets of black magic and send his unquiet spirits to their eternal rest—or join their ghostly ranks himself.

tomleveen-shackledTom Leveen – Shackled (Simon Pulse, Thriller)
From author Tom Leveen comes a taut, suspenseful novel about a girl’s abduction that leaves her best friend emotionally paralyzed, until a chance encounter points her toward the truth…and a terrifying new danger.

Sixteen-year-old Pelly has a master plan. After years of therapy, medication, and even a stint in a mental hospital, she’s finally ready to re-enter the world of the living. Pelly has been suffering from severe panic attacks ever since her best friend, Tara, disappeared from a mall six years ago.

And her plan seems to be working, until an unkempt girl accompanied by an older man walks into the coffee shop where she works. Pelly thinks she’s seen a ghost, until the girl mouths “help me” on the way out, and Pelly knows she’s just seen Tara.

Too shocked to do anything, Pelly helplessly watches Tara slip away again as she steels herself against a renewed spiral of crippling anxiety. But rather than being overcome by anxiety, Pelly feels more energized than she has in years. Determined to track down enough evidence to force the police to reopen Tara’s file, Pelly’s master plan takes a turn for the dangerous.

Pelly decides she cannot be shackled by her past—and the anxiety, fear, and grief that comes with it—any longer if she wants to save Tara. But in seeking answers through whatever means necessary, she’ll come face-to-face with true evil. And not all the shackles are in her head…

michellelevy-notaftereverythingMichelle Levy – Not After Everything (Dial Books, Contemporary)
A gritty but hopeful love story about two struggling teens—great for fans of Eleanor and Park, Willow, and The Spectacular Now

Tyler has a football scholarship to Stanford, a hot girlfriend, and a reliable army of friends to party with. Then his mom kills herself. And Tyler lets it all go. Now he needs to dodge what his dad is offering (verbal tirades and abuse) and earn what his dad isn’t (money): He needs a job. It’s there that he reunites with Jordyn, his childhood best friend, and now the token goth girl at school. Jordyn brings Tyler an unexpected peace and, finally, love. But with his family in shambles, he can’t risk bringing Jordyn too deeply into his life. So when violence rocks Tyler’s world again, will it be Jordyn who shows him the way to a hopeful future? Or after everything, will Tyler have to find it in himself?

lygafacinellidifranco-aftertheredrainBarry Lyga, Peter Facinelli and Robert DeFranco – After the Red Rain (Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers, Science Fiction)
A postapocalyptic novel with a cinematic twist from New York Times bestseller Barry Lyga, actor Peter Facinelli, and producer Robert DeFranco.

On the ruined planet Earth, where 50 billion people are confined to megacities and resources are scarce, Deedra has been handed a bleak and mundane existence by the Magistrate she works so hard for. But one day she comes across a beautiful boy named Rose struggling to cross the river–a boy with a secretive past and special abilities, who is somehow able to find comfort and life from their dying planet.

But just as the two form a bond, it is quickly torn apart after the Magistrate’s son is murdered and Rose becomes the prime suspect. Little do Deedra and Rose know how much their relationship will affect the fate of everyone who lives on the planet.

clairemcfall-blackcairnpointClaire McFall – Black Cairn Point (Hot Key Books, Thriller)
Two survivors, one terrible truth.

Heather agrees to a group camping holiday with Dougie and his friends because she’s desperate to get closer to him. But when the two of them disturb a pagan burial site above the beach, she becomes certain that they have woken a malevolent spirit. Something is alive out there in the pitch-black dark, and it is planning to wreak deadly revenge.

One year later Heather knows that she was very lucky to escape Black Cairn Point but she is still waiting for Dougie to wake from his coma. If he doesn’t, how will she prove her sanity, and her innocence?

A chilling and atmospheric thriller from unflinching and award-winning writer Claire McFall.

erinemoulton-keepersofthelabyrinthErin E. Moulton – Keepers of the Labyrinth (Philomel Books, Fantasy)
A fast-paced, girl-power answer to Percy Jackson that’s perfect for teens!

When Lilith Bennett is invited to Crete for a Future Leaders Conference, she has no idea what’s really in store for her. She finds herself struggling through a series of tests created by the Daughters of Ariadne, a secret sisterhood sworn to guard the ancient Greek Labyrinth and all it contains, and discovers that her mother, killed the year before, has ties to the sisterhood. The Daughters test the physical, mental, and emotional strength of Lil and her friends, but when three members of the Zephylites, an order devoted to the adoration of Zeus, break into the Labyrinth, Lil must decide whether to risk her life–and the lives of her friends–to protect all the Daughters hold sacred.

A superbly-written adventure novel in which courage is tested, myths come to life, and long-held secrets are revealed.

gaylerosengren-coldwaronmaplewoodstreetGayle Rosengren – Cold War on Maplewood Street (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, Historical Fiction)
A compelling family story set during the Cuban Missile Crisis

Joanna’s brother promised he’d never leave like their dad, but now Sam has enlisted in the navy. Joanna can’t bring herself to forgive him—or answer his letters. But when President Kennedy starts delivering nightly updates on TV about the Soviets’ missiles in Cuba, suddenly Joanna’s problems at home—her school crush Theo, the boy-girl party her mom won’t let her attend, the fallout when her best friend Pamela’s parents break up—don’t seem so important anymore. Sam’s on a ship that’s headed for Cuba, and Joanna realizes there can be good reasons to break a promise.

The tense timeline of the Cuban Missile Crisis unfolds alongside turning points in Joanna’s own life as she learns what it means to grow up in a world full of uncertainty.

louissachar-fuzzymudLouis Sachar – Fuzzy Mud (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, Thriller)
From the author of the acclaimed bestseller Holes, winner of the Newbery Award and the National Book Award, comes a new middle-grade novel with universal appeal. Combining horror-movie suspense with the issues of friendship, bullying, and the possibility of ecological disaster, this novel will intrigue, surprise, and inspire readers and compel them to think twice about how they treat others as well as their environment.

Be careful. Your next step may be your last.

Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have been walking to and from Woodridge Academy together since elementary school. But their routine is disrupted when bully Chad Hilligas challenges Marshall to a fight. To avoid the conflict, Marshall takes a shortcut home through the off-limits woods. Tamaya, unaware of the reason for the detour, reluctantly follows. They soon get lost. And then they find trouble. Bigger trouble than anyone could ever have imagined.

In the days and weeks that follow, the authorities and the U.S. Senate become involved, and what they uncover might affect the future of the world.

alexandrasirowy-thecreepingAlexandra Sirowy – The Creeping (S&S Books for Young Readers, Thriller)
Romance, friendship, and dark, bone-chilling fear fill the pages of this summertime thriller in the spirit of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Twelve years ago Stella and Jeanie vanished while picking strawberries. Stella returned minutes later, with no memory of what happened. Jeanie was never seen or heard from again.

Now Stella is seventeen, and she’s over it. She’s the lucky one who survived, and sure, the case is still cloaked in mystery—and it’s her small town’s ugly legacy—but Stella is focused on the coming summer. She’s got a great best friend, a hookup with an irresistibly crooked smile, and two months of beach days stretching out before her.

Then along comes a corpse, a little girl who washes up in an ancient cemetery after a mudslide, and who has red hair just like Jeanie did. Suddenly memories of that haunting day begin to return, and when Stella discovers that other red-headed girls have gone missing as well, she begins to suspect that something sinister is at work.

And before the summer ends, Stella will learn the hard way that if you hunt for monsters, you will find them.

jonskovron-thisbrokenwondrousworldJon Skovron – This Broken Wondrous World (Viking Children’s Books, Fantasy)
“My fellow monsters,” said Moreau. “No longer will we hide in the shadows, cringing, cowardly, hiding our true potential. You see, the humans do not view us as people. We must force them to expand their view of personhood to include us. By any means necessary.”

A year ago, Boy, the son of Frankenstein’s monster, had never even met a human. Now he’s living with his human “family,” the descendants of Dr. Frankenstein, in Switzerland. That is, until the maniacal genius Dr. Moreau, long-ago banished to a remote island for his crimes against humanity, asks for Boy’s help.

Moreau wants Boy to join his army of animal/human hybrid creatures and help him overthrow human society. Boy will do anything to save this broken, wondrous world from the war that threatens to split it in two. But how much will he have to give up? And is the world worth saving?

williamsutcliffe-concentr8William Sutcliffe – Concentr8 (Bloomsbury UK, Science Fiction)
In a future London, Concentr8 is a prescription drug intended to help kids with ADD. Soon every troubled teen is on it. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Keep the undesirable elements in line. Keep people like us safe from people like them. What’s good for society is good for everyone.

Troy, Femi, Lee, Karen and Blaze have been taking Concentr8 as long as they can remember. They’re not exactly a gang, but Blaze is their leader, and Troy has always been his quiet, watchful sidekick – the only one Blaze really trusts. They’re not looking for trouble, but one hot summer day, when riots break out across the city, they find it.

What makes five kids pick a man seemingly at random – a nobody, he works in the housing department, doesn’t even have a good phone – hold a knife to his side, take him to a warehouse and chain him to a radiator? They’ve got a hostage, but don’t really know what they want, or why they’ve done it. And across the course of five tense days, with a journalist, a floppy-haired mayor, a police negotiator, and the sinister face of the pharmaceutical industry, they – and we – begin to understand why …

This is a book about what how we label children. It’s about how kids get lost and failed by the system. It’s about how politicians manipulate them. Gripping and controversial reading for fans of Malorie Blackman and Patrick Ness.

stephanietromly-troubleisafriendofmineStephanie Tromly – Trouble is a Friend of Mine (Hot Key Books, Contemporary)
Preparing to survive a typical day of being Digbys friend wasn’t that different from preparing to survive the apocalypse.

Her first day not in school (because she cut) in her new hometown that will soon be her old hometown (because she’s getting out of Dodge as fast as she can) Zoe meets Digby. Or rather, Digby decides he’s going to meet Zoe and get her to help him find missing teenager. Zoe isn’t sure how, but Digby—the odd and brilliant and somehow…attractive?—Digby always gets what he wants, including her help on several illegal ventures. Before she knows it, Zoe has vandalized an office complex with fake snow, pretended to buy drugs alongside a handsome football player dressed like the Hulk, had a throw-down with a possible cult, and, oh yeah, saved her new hometown (which might be worth making her permanent hometown after all.)

A mystery where catching the crook isn’t the only hook, a romance where the leading man is decidedly unromantic, a story about friendship where they aren’t even sure they like each other—Trouble is a Friend of Mine is a YA debut you won’t soon forget.

aprilgenevievetucholke-slashergirlsmonsterboysApril Genevieve Tucholke (ed) – Slasher Girls & Monster Boys (Dial Books, Horror)
A powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best thriller and horror writers in YA—for fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, American Horror Story, and The Walking Dead

A host of the sharpest young adult authors come together in this collection of terrifying tales and psychological thrillers. Each author draws from a mix of literature, film, television, or even music to create something new and fresh and unsettling. Clever readers will love teasing out the references and can satisfy their curiosity at the end of each tale, where the inspiration is revealed. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror, to the supernatural, to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for anyone looking for an absolute thrill.

The full roster of authors includes Stefan Bachmann, Leigh Bardugo, Kendare Blake, A. G. Howard, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu, Jonathan Maberry, Danielle Paige, Carrie Ryan, Megan Shepherd, Nova Ren Suma, McCormick Templeman, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Cat Winters.

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  • Bibliotropic

    I really want to read Ink and Bone. Considering requesting my local library to ship in a copy, or at least to get it for me through interlibrary loan. I hear it’s a good one.

    Court of Fives also seems like it could be pretty interesting. Haven’t heard as much about it, but from the description, I’d be willing to give it a try, absolutely.