Archive for the ‘new books’ Tag
Valentine’s Day is over, but why not look at some romances? Are you gagging right now? Okay, then I’ll throw in a totally anti-romantic one, too. This week, two love-centric books and one that is guaranteed to make you forget about romance and that stupid person you have a crush on who does not know you exist.
For Emerson and her BFF Trina, this is the Year of the Boy. They’re determined to boost their social status by finding some boyfriends. Emerson’s only got one little problem, though. She can read the minds of the guys she locks lips with. What seems like a curse (you don’t really always need to know what someone is thinking), has its perks when Emerson realizes she can steal test answers while she steals kisses. Even with her shallow nature – she’s addicted to lip gloss – Emerson is a completely endearing character who grows up a lot during this Year of the Boy.
Sneak Peek! “It’s important that you know: my obsession with lip gloss has officially ruined my life.” (Text copyright © 2012 by Katie D. Anderson)
Erin, unbeknownst to her friends and family, is the genius behind the popular advice blog Miss Fortune Cookie. When her ex-friend sends a letter, Erin dishes out advice as usual. But then she sees her advice acted upon and is not exactly thrilled with the results. In her efforts to clean up the mess she caused, keep her blogging identity secret, and not drive the rest of her friends away, Erin finds her own path to love, not through fortune cookies.
Sneak Peek! “My friends and I were riding home from school on Muni, clinging to an assortment of slippery handholds, when Linny almost blew my secret identity. Intentionally.” (Text copyright © 2012 by Lauren Bjorkman)
And now for the utterly unromantic choice:
Another in Doctorow’s line of awesomely dark and cool high tech dystopian novels. Marcus Yallow’s past as a “hacktivist” means he’s well-regarded amongst plugged in teens in futuristic California. Despite being locked up for his hacking work, he lands a great job putting his tech skills to work for a politician he can believe in. When hacker friend Masha gives him a flash drive loaded with seriously bad news, he is torn between feeling the need to leak it to further undermine the corrupt government, and knowing that he risks his life, job, and more if he does so.
Sneak Peek! “Attending Burning Man made me simultaneously one of the most photographed people on the planet and one of the least surveilled humans in the modern world.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Cory Doctorow)
Every time we order new books here, there is a process that they have to go through before they can go on the shelves for you to check out. Sometimes that process takes longer than other times, but usually we are pretty fast. This week I thought it would be fun to highlight three brand new books that aren’t even on the shelves yet so you can plan in advance for the moment they will be available!
That means that there are not links to the catalog for each title, but I have still included the cover image when possible so you’ll know what you’re looking for, and the sneak peek…
The Wrap-Up List by Steven Arntson
Everyone gets assigned their own personal Death, with a capital D, who helps them depart. Gabriela’s Death sends her a letter one day informing her she has but seven days left before he comes to escort her to the afterlife. That sucks. But what’s worse is that it looks like Gabriela will die before ever having kissed someone. A few of her friends have yet to experience kissing, too, so before she dies, Gabriela makes it her mission to set their romantic lives in order. As the week winds down, Gabriela learns that if she can determine her Death’s weakness, she might just be able to stay alive to enjoy her new-found confidence.
Sneak Peek! “Some people die from heart attacks, and some from falling off ladders. Some are killed in car accidents. Some drown. Some, like my grandfather Gonzalo, die in war.” (Text copyright © 2013 Steven Arntson)
Alyssa Gardner knows that madness runs in her family. Her great-great-grandmother, Alice Liddell, told her mad dreams to the author Lewis Carroll who was inspired by them to write Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa’s ability to hear plants and animals leads her to wonder if there is some truth to Alice’s story. She comes to realize that in order to break the curse of insanity, she must descend into Wonderland and right the wrongs her great-great-grandmother perpetrated there years ago.
Sneak Peek! “I’ve been collecting bugs since I was ten; it’s the only way I can stop their whispers. Sticking a pin through the gut of an insect shuts it up pretty quick.” (Text copyright © 2013 Anita Howard)
This is the first book in a series called Finishing School. Sophronia in uninterested in girlish pursuits, much to the annoyance of her mother who is desperate for Sophronia to become a proper lady. She enrolls her in a prestigious finishing school, Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. When Sophronia begins there she is skeptical, but she soon learns that the school is somewhat different than your typical finishing school. Girls there are taught, among the normal things like singing and sewing, the tricks of the trades of espionage. Carriger also writes the steampunk Parasol Protectorate series (adult fiction).
Sneak Peek! “Sophronia intended to pull the dumbwaiter up from the kitchen to outside the front parlor on the ground floor where Mrs. Barnaclegoose was taking tea. Mrs. Barnaclegoose had arrived with a stranger in two. Meddling old battle-ax.” (Text copyright © 2013 Gail Carriger)
OOOO don’t you just love cracking into a new series? There’s something special about reading a story you know is just the beginning of something. This week in New Books Highlight, we’ve got THREE (!) brand new series to jump around over.
This book is going on my list of 2013 Awesome YA Covers, first of all. It’s neon and cool and looks like a video game I want to play. Second of all, it’s a new, fresh take on some things we have seen in other YA books before such as the afterlife and a rebellious struggle between good and evil led by a powerful female protagonist. In Level 2, the first book in a series called the Memory Chronicles, Felicia is dead but happily living in the good memories from her life while plugged into her memory chamber in the hive-like colony of Level 2. When a bad memory breaks through and demands that she come with him, Felicia comes face-to-face with the complex reality of the afterlife and becomes part of a rebellion against conniving “angels” who are keeping the dead trapped. When’s the sequel out?!?!
This is one to add to the list of post-apocalyptic stories. If you’re like me and feel like this genre just keeps expanding in amazing ways and getting better, you’ll definitely be excited to read this one. It’s eight years after an alien invasion almost wiped out humanity on earth by taking away all the adults. Holt is a loner, survivor, and hunter, fending for himself in this gritty new reality. It’s a weird world made up of orphaned children, gangs, and the ever-present aliens. When he joins forces with Mira and Zoey, his loner ways are challenged, but he finds himself on a fast-paced adventure across a war-torn country. The series is called Conquered Earth.
Another post-apocalyptic-type story, but also another with a really interesting take on the action. In Ruby’s world, the teens who survived a deadly epidemic now find themselves with psychic abilities ranging from what has been deemed mildly safe (labeled as Blues or Greens) to what the government has decided is truly dangerous (Reds and Oranges). Even the Blues and Greens are imprisoned in horrible work camps to keep them out of the government’s way. Ruby has been posing as a less-threatening Green, even though her powers are much stronger and she is truly an Orange. An anti-government faction breaks Ruby and others out of the work camp, their will to survive is tested as they come face-to-face with what society has become.
So there you have three awesome new series to get started on!
This week I picked out three new books – new books that are just DYING to be taken home and read – that are all about chance encounters and are all very different from each other. Don’t you just love that as a plot element? Think about it: The Fault in Our Stars, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Shine by Lauren Myracle…the list of books that hinge on wonderful chance encounters between two characters is practically endless! But then I started thinking, in some ways, aren’t all books about chance encounters in some ways? That’s deep.
Sid has grown up happy in a quiet, contented sort of way, on a remote island with loving foster parents who have never made him long for his real parents. When Fariza, a new young girl arrives and becomes part of his foster family, things begin to change for Sid. Then, in the midst of an otherwise normal summer, a stranger lands on the island with something to say. Sid’s mother and a half-brother he is just now learning about, have gone missing and he is compelled to help find them and reconnect with the family he might wish he never had.
Sneak Peek! ” Sid, this is Fariza.” Sid looks up at the sound of Megan’s voice. She is standing in the kitchen doorway, her hand resting lightly on a little girl’s head.” (Text copyright © 2012 Sarah N. Harvey)
Amateur photographer Sara thinks she is just accompanying her father on a totally regular trip to New York City until Sam wanders in front of her camera lens. Intrigued by his strangeness, she agrees to accompany him as he wanders around the city on a series of missions, trading information and items for others. Along the way during their day-long journey around the city, they meet artists and other interesting people. Sara’s world is undeniably altered…
Sneak Peek! “I shouldn’t have noticed him. I wasn’t even looking in his direction at first.” (Text copyright © 2012 Colored Paper Clips)
At first glance, this title might sound like a pretty boring name for a memoir. Author Wes Moore discovers himself? Actually, it’s more interesting than that. By chance, author Wes Moore discovered another person with the same name as him, but a very different story. The author’s life wasn’t perfect: his father died, a move to a new city shook him up and he started skipping school and getting into trouble, but thanks to his own determination and his mother’s hard work and love, he excelled in life. When he was a successful senior in college, he read about a man named Wes Moore who was serving a life sentence for murder. Moore realized the story could have been his own. He contacted him and so began a strange friendship.
Sneak Peek! “Nikki and I were chasing each other around the living room. Every time she caught me I’d scream, but I loved every second. I was three.” (Text copyright © 2012 Wes Moore)
This week there’s not much rhyme or reason to the new books I want to highlight. They are just brand new to the Shorewood Library and have shiny new stickers on them that say 1/13! It’s a new year, people!
This is a very different and very fresh take on the post-apocalyptic theme that comes up again and again in YA books. In a world that has been devastated, in which the environment has been so degraded that trees no longer grow, 17-year0ld Banyan is a tree builder. He scavenges and hoards bits of scrap metal and other waste to create a replacement forest, one that does not shift or change. He’s never seen a real tree in his life, but he’s hear the stories about the old world. When Banyan stumbles across a clue to the possibility of real, growing trees, his world is irrevocably changed and he must seek them in spite of the danger.
Sneak Peek! “They figured me too young for a tree builder. I could see it in their eyes. Bunch of rich freaks, staring at me like I needed to impress them. But I did need to. That was the problem.” (Text copyright © 2012 by Chris Howard)
A brand new historical fiction novel that takes us to vibrant and mysterious Renaissance Italy. Giulia, the illegitimate daughter of a nobleman with what would seem to be a predetermined fate, finds something altogether different when her forced cloistering at a convent leads her into a world of painting. A warning that came just before she left – to be careful what she desires her fate to be – haunts her as she finds romance, friendship, and skill in the art of painting. Does she know what she desires? Can she be the master of her own destiny?
Sneak Peek! “Milan, Italy, Anno Domino 1487. The clouds broke apart and sunlight flooded down, burnishing the rough bark of the apple trees and tossing their shadows across the grass. Giulia caught her breath at the sudden beauty of it, her charcoal stick racing across the paper on her knee as she tried to capture the moment before it vanished.” (Text copyright © 2012 by Victoria Strauss)
And now for something completely different…
This book is a real life diary from Wartime Chicago, rich with all the fascinating details of what it was like to grow up and be a teenager at that time. It’s daily life, it’s just like yours, but it’s so, so different. Joan’s daily record of the political atmosphere as America watches the world succumb to Hitler’s war and then finally becomes involved after the bombing at Pearl Harbor. Joan is 14-20 years old through the course of the diary. It’s entertaining, amazingly well-written and beautifully thought-out.
Sneak Peek! “Saturday, December 28, 1940. The world’s not going to come back the way it was…London is brave somehow – burning and huddled in shelters, yet walking also into the unlighted streets…London is Troy.” (Copyright ©2013 Susan Signe Morrison)
How about looking at some books that really have guys’ interests at heart? I mean, not every book out there has to involve a love triangle.
In a bleak war-ridden future world: Nik is a high school student destined for greatness as a member of ISIS, the Internal Security and Intelligence Services. But when Nik is passed over, his life changes tracks. Soon, his best friend Sol has gone missing, and Nik is on the hunt, even if it means crossing over from the relative safety of Cityside into the dangerous outside world of the Southside. But ISIS is also on the hunt, for Nik.
You might remember Will Carter from Carter Finally Gets It and Carter’s Big Break. Here he is in his sophomore year at Merrian High, without having learned much from the previous year’s hilarious and socially disastrous events. Carter’s on the bench for football, in a state of confusion over his on-again off-again girlfriend, and primed and ready for a fight with just-out-of-juvie Scary Terry Moss. Brilliantly funny.
Set in a future less bleak but just as divided as that of The Bridge, this story is a gripping thrill ride. The privileged Citizens and struggling Outsiders of future London live completely separately. The government, run by the Citizens, is not a friendly one, but Hunter has to live with it since his father works for them. When Hunter meets, and soon teams up with, Outsider Uma, he is awoken to the secret world of the Outsiders.
This week I’m showcasing some new nonfiction at SPL that has to do with self-betterment/inspiration, just because it’s that time of year when we all think about such things. Yeah, I know: no one really keeps their New Year’s resolutions. But, it’s still worth it to start the year off with an inspiring book or two. Who knows, maybe this really will be the year you achieve your dreams! YOLO!
New Year’s Resolution #1: Write. You should read…
Myers’ slim volume of writing advice – Myers is, by the by, one of the biggest YA authors of the 90s-2000s – packs a punch. Myers gives you some great prompts and practical tips, while also filling you in on a little bit of his own experience and what works for him.
New Year’s Resolution #2: Volunteer and get involved more. You should read…
High school student Talia Leman shares her random and awesome experiences in harnessing the power of herself and kids like her. When she was in the 5th grade she got inspired by the tragedies in the wake of way that Hurricane Katrina affected the people of the south, and took action to raise over $5 million with the help of other kids around the U.S. She was in 5th grade, you guys! Her wonderful writing is really off-beat and funny, and she will inspire you.
New Year’s Resolution #3: Understand others, understand yourself. You should read…
Queer writers from all genres and types of books come together in this anthology to share their experiences and their worlds through writing letters about the future to their younger selves. This is the ultimate “It gets better…” read and will help you find your path to hope and understanding this year, whether or not you are LGBTQ.
So read on and challenge yourself to keep those resolutions!
Are you a fan of realistic books? Books that tell it like it is? Books that show you people just like yourself and those that are startlingly different? Books that explore huge problems that anyone could encounter (but hopefully won’t!), and small problems that plague every average human? Then check out these new gritty, realistic new reads that will have you pondering life’s deeper questions…
(P.S. New to the New Books Highlight: First lines (or first few lines) to get you hooked! For every title I recommend here, I’ll include the first line to give you a little sneak peek!)
Harper Scott’s sister June died right before her high school graduation. And now their parents are splitting up. They also insist on splitting June’s ashes in half, and there Harper draws the line. She and her best friend Laney steal June’s ashes and set off for California to set things right and offer one last tribute to June. Shady Jake Tolan comes on the scene, offering Harper solace – yet also the possibility of another devastating revelation about June’s death, through his mysterious connection to her.
Sneak Peek! “According to the puppy-of-the-month calendar hanging next to the phone in the kitchen, my sister June died on a Thursday, exactly nine days before her high school graduation.” (Copyright Hannah Harrington, 2011)
Alex and Thea Parrot are rich, privileged, loyal and jealous sisters throwing the party of the year when their parents go out of town. The story that unfolds is full of the grit of friend, family and romantic relationships stretched to the max and possibly torn apart as Thea tries to take what Alex has (popularity, looks, and more). Narrated from the alternating perspectives of the sisters, this is a delve into a psychological reality you will be both startled and drawn in by.
Sneak Peek! “She gets into the car and then she can’t drive it. Can’t even start the engine for the gift of the air conditioner. She is a living corpse roasting in sun-warmed leather.” (Copyright Adele Griffin, 2012)
Becca longs to break free from her suffocatingly small town. When she discovers a corpse on the day after her high school graduation – the day the freedom she has longer for is finally within reach – she retreats into herself, afraid of the horror that has come so close to home. Becca’s summer is spent in near-madness as her story becomes intertwined with that of the corpse, Amelia Anne. A little horrifying, totally gritty and raw.
Sneak Peek! “They found her just after dawn on June 24th, crumpled awkwardly by the side of the road with a rust-colored blossom drying in the dirt beneath her.” (Copyright Kat Rosenfield, 2012)
How many of you are insanely busy right now? *Surveys sea of hands indicating everyone*
Let this week’s new books highlight show you some reads you can pick up, put down, come back to later, or just finish in one quick sitting. Short stories and short books are as refreshing as newly fallen snow…
This short read clocks in at just over 200 pages. Along with being a quick read, it is lyrical, poetic, and philosophical. 16-year-old Baz’s life changes when his cruel former master trades him to the mysterious Tadis, who turns out to be a magician. Tadis’s craft and wisdom show Baz the way through his geographical and emotional journey.
Gabe is Elizabeth, and Elizabeth is Gabe. And Gabe hosts a radio show on his local community radio station, called Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, that pulls him into a spotlight he might not be ready for. This is an incredibly unique book featuring a transsexual protagonist trying to make his way in a world that doesn’t totally understand his choice to be a him.
This is a brand new short story collection featuring tales from many of your favorite authors like Paolo Bacigalupi, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Malinda Lo. The stories are all “speculative fiction,” that large genre that encompasses dystopian and apocalyptic fiction. Each story features a diverse perspective: that of the author, most of whom have very diverse backgrounds from multiple cultures, and that of the protagonist or culture they write about.