Archive for the ‘New Books’ Category
This week, in honor of the joyous chaos that is the END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR (OMG!!), I’ve got three recommendations for three brand new books that are just randomly awesome. They’re a little something different to help you kick off the summer time.
This novel-in-verse is completely captivating. If you’re a fan of Ellen Hopkins or Carol Lynch Williams, check this one out! 10th grader Emma was raised in Japan and feels strong ties there, even when her family is uprooted back to her “home” country, the U.S.A. Her mother is ill – hence the move across the world – and so Emma has more to deal with than the average teenager struggling to fit in in a new place. Emma can’t help but feel displaced, even though she’s supposed to feel at home in a country where her native tongue is spoken daily. Her friends back in Japan are reeling from the devastating tsunami, and Emma is torn between wanting to be with them and needing to be with her ailing mother. To take her mind off things, her grandmother helps her find a volunteer position through which she makes friends and begins to adjust to life stateside. But when she gets the chance to return to Japan, she finds she has grown roots in America – will she leave or stay?
“Third time it happens
I’m crossing the bridge
over a brown-green race of water
that slides through town
on my way to a long-term care center
to start volunteering
to get my courage up” (Text copyright 2013 by Holly Thompson)
You might remember Andrew Smith from the haunting, twisted sci-fi books The Marbury Lens and Passenger. In Winger, Smith does something completely different. This is classic realistic fiction from a male perspective, with a similar style to John Green. Ryan Dean West’s life is complicated. He’s in love with his best friend, who treats him like a little brother. His roommate is scary. And his boarding school is…well, boarding school – lots of drama and high expectations and rugby. Always, there will be rugby. Ryan Dean West makes mistakes, but who wouldn’t in a situation like that? Fortunately for us, his mistakes are honest to life and hilarious to read about.
Sneak Peek! “I said a silent prayer. Actually, silent is probably the only type of prayer a guy should attempt when his head’s in a toilet.” (Text copyright 2013 by Andrew Smith)
This is a true story. Aaron Hartzler grew up in a home where every day was filled with thoughts of the imminent Rapture – Jesus’s second coming/the end of the world. But as Aaron got older, he grew more attached to his life on Earth, and less excited about the Rapture and the prospect of Heaven. In short: he has a crisis of faith during his teenage years. Aaron tells the story of his conflict and the adventures he finds himself on as he moves from merely conflicted to full-on rebel, learning lessons that aren’t found in the Bible. For anyone who has faith, questions about faith, or doesn’t practice or even believe: a true and believably funny story about finding your way.
Sneak Peek! “Something you should know up front about my family: We believe that Jesus is coming back.” (Text copyright 2013 by Aaron Hartzler)
Summer is almost here! Summer Reading has started, school is winding down (okay, exams don’t feel like “winding down” but they do signal the end is near!), and the sun is shining. We could use a few more warm days, but soon enough we’ll be complaining about the temperatures and running inside for the air conditioning. On that note: the library has free air conditioning all summer long. Come hang out when you need a break!
Without further ado, some awesome new summer reads. Pick these up ASAP!
Ahh first love! Summer is a great time to explore romance, whether fictional or in real life. In Anthem for Jackson Dawes, the first love happens to be between two young cancer patients, Megan and Jackson. Sound familiar? While it does have some similarities to The Fault in Our Stars, this story has a very different feel. Less raw sarcasm, more quiet hope. Jackson is the only other teen in the pediatric cancer ward with Megan, and she takes comfort in his presence as she pushes everyone else out of her life. But every love has an ending, and ends come too fast when you’re sick: when Megan goes back into the real world, she is left only with the memories of Jackson to sustain her and bring her back to life.
Sneak Peek! (from Megan’s anthem to Jackson) “Jackson Dawes. He’s as tall as doors, standing in his battered old hat, singing his battered old songs, slapping his fingers down the length of the stand like an upright bass.” (Text copyright 2013 by Celia Bryce)
A Cinderella story perfect for the summer months. Cousins Zoe and Jess just landed their dream summer jobs – working at Fairyland Kingdom theme park. With a huge college grant on the line for outstanding interns, Zoe has a lot riding on this summer. But when she’s assigned to “serve” the Queen, and finds herself woefully distracted by all the handsome Princes running around, things do not seem promising. As the title implies, Zoe – and all of us – can’t make every dream come true, even in Fairyland Kingdom, but the tough choices she must make between friends, family, and boys, lead to a happy ending.
Sneak Peek! (from the Prologue) “There was no getting around the fact that Tinker Bell was a little bitch. The tiny, white powder-puff bichon frise with professionally manicured toenails scampered under the thornbush and out of sigh. Aghast, I stared at her diamond-studded collar swinging perilously from her leash like a noose swaying from the gallows.” (Text copyright 2013 by Sarah Strohmeyer)
With “summer” right in the title, you know this is a sure bet for a beach read. This incredibly fresh and unique dystopian tale takes us to a futuristic Brazil wherein men are no longer the dominant gender, having been nearly wiped out by a plague 400 years earlier. In the matrilineal society of Palmares Tres, 16-year-old artist June Costa dreams of greatness. Until she becomes entangled in a love affair with this year’s Summer King, Enki, the boy who will be sacrificed at year’s end so the city can continue to thrive. June’s art thrives, and as Enki’s sacrifice draws near, the two escape the political turmoil of their city, risking everything in the process.
Sneak Peek! “When I was eight, my papai took me to the park to watch the king die.” (Text copyright 2013 by Alaya Dawn Johnson)
For whatever reason, it seems like a lot of new books in series have come out this spring. With summer just around the corner (okay, so the weather doesn’t really reflect that…but it is almost June!), and school winding up to wind down (exams! final projects! yikes!) treat yourself to a simple and satisfying series conclusion or continuance and be taken away to another world. Here are three new ones I am super excited about:
This is the riveting final book in the Lumatere Chronicles (Finnikin of the Rock, Froi of the Exiles) series begun three years ago. Froi and his companions must trek through Charyn to save his love Quintana and raise an army to defend her unborn heir. Meanwhile we learn more about Lumatere as the story alternates between Froi’s journey and events in Lumatere. The amazing fantasy world that Marchetta has built does not disappoint in this final installment – our questions are answered, our love for characters (even unlovable Quintana) deepens, and we all want to go back to the beginning of the trilogy to relive the magic.
Sneak Peek! (from the Prologue) “There’s a babe in my belly that whispers the valley, Froi. I follow the whispers and come to the road. And I travel for days on the back of a cart with the lice and the filth and the swill of the swine.” (Text copyright © 2012 by Melina Marchetta)
Aptly named, this is the final book in the otherwordly Hush, Hush saga (Hush, Hush, Crescendo, Silence). War between the Nephilim and the fallen angels is on the horizon. Complications arise when Nora, now the leader of the Nephilim, is expected to lead her clan in the war against her boyfriend Patch’s people. Full of secrets, lies, surprises, and, of course, love.
Sneak Peek! “Scott didn’t believe in ghosts. Dead men stayed in the grave. But the tunnels crisscrossing under Delphic Amusement Park, echoing with rustling, whispered sounds, made him rethink.” (Text copyright 2012 © by Rebecca Fitzpatrick)
This is the sequel to Cold Kiss. Wren Darby is exploring her supernatural abilities, still getting used to what it means to have the kind of power she feels cursed with. Although he also has power, boyfriend Gabriel does not like what Wren can do, which causes her to seek understanding through the dangerous company of Bay and Fiona. As they draw Wren deep into something she may not be ready for – and as she deals with her younger sister’s burgeoning abilities – she faces the realization that she is not defined by her magic.
Sneak Peek! “I’m flying, soaring, swooping, dizzy with power and the sharp bite of the December air on my cheeks. The world is wide-open sky, cloudless and clear, and I can go anywhere.” (Text copyright © 2012 by Amy Garvey)
This week I want to show you three brand new books that share some traits with books you may have already read. We all know how it feels to hunt for a book that is kinda like the last great book you read. Sometimes it is hard to pin down exactly what you liked about that last book, but sometimes you know just what you’re looking for. Here are three you might like if…
If you like the pace and subjects of books by Ellen Hopkins like Identical and Tilt, or you liked the style and setting of Looking for Alaska by John Green you should try…
Escape Theory by Margaux Froley (A Keaton School Novel)
Devon has never really fit in at her prestigious California boarding school. Because she plans to study psychology at an even more prestigious college -Stanford University – she decides to use her lack of social life and her misfit status to her advantage by becoming a peer counselor. It seems fairly straightforward until the stunning suicide of a classmate, Jason Hutchins aka Hutch, rocks the school. Devon is called upon to hear her peers’ struggle with accepting the death, all the while struggling herself to understand how and why it happened. To make things trickier for Devon, she might have loved Hutch. And she might know more about his death than what the school wants students to know.
Sneak Peek! “Devon’s eye caught the harsh glare of the setting sun. She blinked and looked down, realizing she was rubbing her right palm where Hutch had kissed her before.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Margaux Froley)
If you like books by Meg Cabot and Lisi Harrison you should try…
Lexi is popular, has lots of great friends and a nice family…oh, except for their obsession with her younger sister’s beauty pageants, as though beauty was all that mattered. Lexi has always been the girl with a “great personality,” but what does that even mean? One day she decides she’s sick of being ignored by the guys she likes, by her family, by everyone. She wrangles her confidence – luckily it’s abundant -to step up and take the world on with her great personality, letting her inner beauty outshine everyone around her.
Sneak Peek! “Applying butt glue to my sister’s backside is, without question, not the first way I’d choose to spend a weekend.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Elizabeth Eulberg)
If you liked The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty, the quirky fantasy of books like A Wrinkle in Time and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente you should try…
A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty (The Colors of Madeleine Book One)
Madeleine Tully lives in rainy Cambridge, England, with her kooky mother. Meanwhile in the Kingdom of Cello – which may or may not be Fairyland – Elliot is desperately searching for his father who went missing a year ago on the same night his uncle was found dead. Things are amiss in Cello, it seems, where Dangerous Colors are raining destruction. When Elliot and Madeleine both discover a gap between their parallel worlds they begin to communicate and events in their lives begin to intertwine.
Sneak Peek! ” Madeleine Tully turned fourteen yesterday, but today she did not turn anything. Oh, wait. She turned a page.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Jaclyn Moriarty)
It looks like it’s going to be another gloomy weekend, and I know you’re in the middle of AP exams, all kinds of final projects, and the general mania of the last few weeks of school. You’re stressed to the max with everything you have to remember, so I propose you let go and dive into a book or three that deals with forgetting - whether accidental or forced.
Kyla has been marked as a teen terrorist, and dealt with in the horrible fashion her government deems fit. She’s been slated, as in, clean slate: her memory has been wiped clean. She must start from the beginning, relearning how to walk, talk, and be. This is Kyla’s last chance to reform so she’s instructed to be grateful. Fitted with a bracelet that monitors her every thought – and will kill her if she gets angry or violent – she finds she just can’t adjust to life as a Slated. She is different from the others – plagued by what she thinks are memories, memories that should have been erased. Meanwhile, innocent people are disappearing and it’s becoming harder to believe that only the dangerous get Slated.
Sneak Peek! “Weird. All right, I haven’t got much experience on which to base this judgment. I may be sixteen and I’m not slow or backward and haven’t been locked in a closet since birth – as far as I know – but Slating does that to you. makes you lacking in experience.” (Text copyright © 2012 Teri Terry)
Allie and her two best friends, Robbie and Kim, all suffer from a rare disease that makes them allergic to sunlight. They find their strength at night – the only time of day they can be outside and feel free. Rebelling against their confinement, the three start to practice the stunt sport of Parkour, bounding, climbing, jumping and scaling buildings and structures. They push each other harder, each longing to feel the danger of what they are doing. But one night they see something that Allie thinks is murder. Instead of forgetting like she should if she wants to stay out of harm’s way, she takes it upon herself to investigate what she saw. One of those thrilling books that will make you shout at the characters, “Don’t go in there!,” as you frantically turn pages.
Sneak Peek! “‘Don’t move and don’t scream too loud, no matter what you see,’ Juliet told Rob and me. ‘Promise? On pain of death?’ ‘I promise,’ I said readily. Rob shot me a furious glance. I forced myself to shrug with a chilly deadpan. What else was I supposed to do? Juliet was a force of nature.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Jacquelyn Mitchard)
Seraphina finds herself in a world she does not recognize. A world that is supposed to be her own. The lone – and unharmed – survivor of a massive plane crash, sixteen-year-old Seraphina has no idea who she is, where she came from, or how she survived what should have killed her. The only thread that seems to connect her to a life she was supposed to have lived is a boy who claims they were in love before she disappeared. How can she trust him when she has no memories? How can she forget him when he might be the only who can save her from those who want her to forget?
Sneak Peek! “The water is cold and ruthless, lapping against my cheek. Slapping me awake. Filling my mouth with the taste of salty solitude. I cough violently and open my eyes, taking in the world around me. Seeing it for the first time.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Jessica Brody Entertainment, LLC)
Do you geek steampunk? Here are three new titles that will get you dreaming of dirigibles, steam power, gears, gadgets, goggles, science and history.
This is the first book in Crilley’s new series, Tweed & Nightingale Adventures. True to steampunk form, it’s set in an alternate London in the year 1895. The city is tightly controlled by the secretive government, the Ministry. The possibly corrupt government is at a loss as to what to do when a destructive gang starts spreading mayhem around London and one name is on everyone’s lips: Professor Moriarty. Sebastian Tweed teams up with information broker Octavia Nightingale when his conman father is kidnapped by Moriarty. What they uncover in the computer-laden, automaton-filled world is more sinister than they could have imagined. Part sci-fi, part Sherlock, all awesome!
Sneak Peek! “Tonight, seventeen-year-old Sebastian Tweed was going to be the voice of a fifty-year-old woman. More specifically, he was going to be the voice of a Mrs. Henrietta Shaw – missing and presumed dead for over a year now. He wasn’t happy about it.” (Text copyright 2012 by Paul Crilley)
Another first in a new series, the Secret Order. When Meg’s parents are killed in a devastating fire, all that is left besides her life is a pocket watch. More than it seems, however, the watch turns out to be a clockwork key, one that only Meg can use. What does it unlock? Secrets, clues to a mystery only Meg can solve – with a little help from a possible love-interest. She begins to unravel the web of secrecy around a secret society, and an invention that could change the world but that Meg must destroy. If you like your steampunk with a little romance and a lot of intrigue, this is the book for you.
Sneak Peek! “Six months. It had only been six months. Heavy flakes of snow drifted past the black iron bars of the front gate. I watched one flutter and land on the muzzle of one of the enormous bronze lions standing guard.” (Text copyright 2013 by Kristin Bailey)
Another mystery-infused steampunk, this book is packed with action, humor, and kick-butt heroines. The three not-so-gentle ladies who make up the Friday Society – Cora, Michiko, and Nellie – meet and become partners in action when a ball which they are attending ends in murder. It’s up to them to combine their skills in science, combat, and sleight-of-hand, to solve the mystery. Even with their abundant intelligence, clever disguises, and alter egos, it’s hard to be sneaky – especially when there are eligible bachelors involved. But the three fight hard to save London from certain destruction at the hands of a nefarious woman exacting her revenge against the all-male Society of Heroes.
Sneak Peek! “And then there was an explosion. It was loud. It was bright. It was very explosion-y.” (Text copyright 2012 by Adrienne Kress)
This week I thought I’d post about the new manga and graphic novel titles we’ve got going on. I’m excited about a couple of new series, and the return of some old faves. I know you will be, too!
Tiger & Bunny V.1 by Mizuki Sakakibara
This is a brand new manga series based on the hit anime TV show by the same name! You can watch it on vizanime.com. In the world of Tiger & Bunny, superpowered humans appeared half a century ago, seemingly out of nowhere. People adore these celeb heroes, and devotedly watch them on their TV show, HERO TV. But not all the heroes use their powers for good. Tiger is a hero whose ratings have been slipping, so his corporate sponsors stick him with a new, but very mismatched, sidekick. Together, they are Tiger & Bunny. Hilarity & action ensue!
This new Shojo Beat title is swoon-worthy anime infused with supernatural romance. Miko, our heroine, is a shrine maiden who’s never been too great at her job. When she meets a demon whose powers let him break hearts all over the place, she decides to make her move by casting a spell to seal his powers and stop him from hurting her friends. The spell works…sort of! Volume 3 will be here in June.
Dawn of the Arcana V. 4-9 by Rei Toma
Another great Shojo Beat title! This is a pretty new series, but unfortunately we haven’t been collecting it until now. We’re starting with the most recent titles, but will add the rest of the collection to make it complete by June. This is an epic tale of war and love, with a little supernatural power thrown in. Like the manga version of Game of Thrones.
Strobe Edge V. 1 by Io Sakisaka
A classic Shojo Beat love story! Ninako finds herself in a love triangle, torn between an old friend – whom she finds newly attractive – and the most popular boy in school who seems to find her newly attractive. Love!
New Volumes in Old Series:
New Graphic Novels:
Lin is a pretty average girl, a loner after moving to a new place, focused on her own concerns like writing about an old superhero named Rhea Ironheart. Until she witnesses a crime, returns a mysterious phone call she received months earlier, and is transformed. Pantoja’s illustrations are fluid and cool, with lots of close-ups and a great use of color once Lin transforms. This is dystopian, magical realist, superhero-comic-book-style awesomeness.
This week I found three books on the shelves that all take up subjects most of us just shy away from. Books are so great that way: visionary authors can make you love someone you wouldn’t look twice at in real life, can make you have empathy for situations you’d normally brush off as scary, or unreal, or too far away from you to care about. Get ready to care about these three stories, and expand your mind past your preconceptions
Cricket Cherpin – yep, that’s his name – lives as an orphan in a group home in nowheresville Maine, looking out for the younger boys, worrying his caretakers and worrying about what comes next. He’s read his file and he knows they think he’s a little dangerous, but he’s not sure if his future holds danger or if he can regain control. Or if he should just cut his losses and dive off a cliff. He’s on the verge of getting kicked out of the home, but he’s got eight more months there before he turns 18 and finds out if he’s got what it takes to make it. This is a hilariously dark story for all you fans of John Green and Sherman Alexie.
Sneak Peek! “The shrinkadinks think I have a screw loose. Ain’t playing with a full deck. Whacked-out wiring. Missing marbles.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Scott Blagden)
This is the story of Stephen Crashinksy (“Crash”) who saved his high school from a massive assault planned by David Burnett (“Burn”). In one instant, a regular morning at high school results in ADHD-sufferer Crash becoming a hero, and schizophrenic Burn becoming an anti-hero notorious for his crazy and dangerous scheme. It’s really the story of Crash and Burn’s ten-years growing up together , not as friends, never knowing their fates would be tied in such a strange way. This story is obviously not for the faint of heart, because it looks deeply at several very serious subjects: mental illness and school violence among them. That said, it’s raw, rad, funny, and crazy.
Sneak Peek! (from the prologue) “I’m not gonna lie to you. I’m not exactly the hero that everyone says I am.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Michael Hassan)
Francisco has fought his whole life to be bigger than his Spanish Harlem upbringing might let him. He earns good grades, plays killer basketball, and gets a big-time scholarship to college. When he’s there, he’s pushed and pulled to be the kid from the ‘hood that his college peers want him to be. When he’s back at home, he struggles to be himself and not the kid who goes to a posh school, just the guy that his girlfriend, Reignbow, and friends have come to rely on. But between these struggles, Francisco must make choices about himself, and how powerless he may be to define that.
Sneak Peek! “Are you ready to hear it? Let’s begin by saying what this story is not. For starters, it’s not crap. That’s not to say this story is any good – it’s just not packed with lies.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Greg Takoudes)