New Books Highlight: Secrets Hidden in the Depths
If that seems like an intriguing and magical title, it’s because all three new books I want to share are just that: intriguing and magical. There’s lots of fantasy written for young adults, but lately it seems there has been more magical realism or supernatural realism than before. These books are somewhat fantastical – in that there are sometimes other worlds, creatures other than humans, with magic and mythology abounding – but they take place in world that we recognize as our own. Think of books by Maggie Stiefvater or Margo Lanagan that re-tell and re-imagine mythological and fairy stories. If you like those writers, you will definitely like these three new books.
When Noah and his sister Lo make their way to the island where their grandmother lives for the summer, they don’t plan for mystery or adventure. Noah is headed to an important internship with a noted marine biologist, and Lo is just along for the change of scenery which she hopes will inspire her art and help her heal from an eating disorder. Soon, however, both notice strange things are afoot on the isolated island. Noah meets Mara when he tries to rescue her from drowning. She is unlike any girl Noah or Lo has known, but something holds her back from getting close to them. What is her secret? And will finding it out put Noah and Lo in harm’s way?
Sneak Peek! “‘No one is happy in the inbetween,’ said Gemm. ‘Not even selkies.'” (Text copyright © 2013 by Betsy Cornwell)
Another novel with a mystery from the sea at its heart – this time it’s mermaids, not selkies, although the two are closely related. Sam and his father and brother are still reeling from the sudden loss of their mother. She up and left months ago, and now that summer has arrived Sam’s dad takes them all to a sleepy seaside town for a chance to recover. Sam and his brother see this as a real chance to let go, and soon find themselves in the midst of friends and parties and the fun of summer in a beach town. But they also notice that all the girls are blonde and bewitching – which wouldn’t be a problem except that they are all a little strange, too. Sam falls for DeeDee – although all the girls chase him – and soon comes to learn who these strange, ephemeral looking girls are. And that he may hold the secret to unlocking the curse they are under. Bonus: Sam’s voice is completely approachable by anyone. Don’t be put off by the kissing cover!
Sneak Peek! “The summer following the winter that my mother took off into something called Women’s Land for waht I could only guess would be all eternity, my father decided that there was no choice but for him to quit his despised job and take me and my brother to the beach for at least the entire summer and possibly longer.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Bennett Madison)
Canny Mochrie has always been able to see something Extra – bits of magic on the edges of things, a feeling that pervades. She has always felt different, not only because of the Extra but because she seems too distant from people, too brown compared to others on her Pacific island, Southland, and a little strange. When she accompanies her step-brother on a research trip to the Zarene Valley – site of a coal mining disaster that her brother is researching – she instantly knows there is some connection between herself and the Zarenes. The Valley abounds with magic, she can see the Extra everywhere. She is drawn to Ghislain Zarene, one of the children of the Valley who can perform magic, but is trapped there by the magic, too. Canny finds connection in the Valley – although she is torn between it and her island home – for reasons she will come to understand run deep within her.
Sneak Peek! “Canny and her teammates stood on platform nine of Castlereagh Station and watched everything they’d seen the night before in Founderston play again in reverse. ” (Text copyright 2013 © by Elizabeth Knox)