Archive for the ‘supernatural romance’ Tag

New Books Highlight: Literary Remixes

The literary remix is fast becoming its own genre. Let me define: literary remix is when an author takes a work of literature or lore and reworks it as a new piece of fiction. Whether the story uses the same character names and relatively the same plot but puts it into a different time or place, or uses the plot and its symbolism as bones to build a pretty new story around – a lot of authors take inspiration from literature and lore. It’s a really fun genre because if you’re familiar with the original, the reworked piece is more vivid. It’s fun to see where the plot is similar, or how the author of the remix has transformed objects, places and people for the modern day or future. Here are a few new books that remix either fairy tales or canonical literature.

Fairy Tales

Rags and Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales, edited by Melissa Marr and Tim PrattRags & Bones

The fact that this is a remix is right in the title: twists on timeless tales. Melissa Marr works in the fairy-tale remix genre often, so it is not surprising that she co-edited this. It features new stories by authors like Neil Gaiman, Margaret Stohl, Rick Yancey and Holly Black. Each story reworks a classic piece of literature or lore, and in the remixing author identifies which story inspired them, and tells you a bit about why. This is the most fun to read if you know the stories being reworked, but if you don’t you will be inspired to find them.

Hero by Althea KontisHero by Althea Kontis

This is the second volume in the Woodcutter sisters series. The author remixes not one but many fairy tales, even throwing in some Greek mythology for good measure. Most of Saturday Woodcutter’s family understands their magical gifts – everyone but her, it seems. So when the tossing away of a magic mirror puts her whole family in danger, Saturday is ready to take on the adventure in the hopes of better-understanding her gifts. She set sails on a conjured sea only to be imprisoned by a blind witch who mistakes her for her brother. But the witch has other prisoners and with their help Saturday may be able to orchestrate their escape – if she doesn’t accidentally fall in love first.


Black Spring by Alison CroggonBlack Spring

This is a dark and story paranormal romance retelling of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. In this remix, the style of writing and the structure of the story remain very close to the original work – but author Croggon sets the story in a world in which women practicing magic has been made illegal, and main character Lina may have supernatural powers. As in the original, Lina is in a star-crossed lover situation with her adopted brother, Damek, which amps up the danger Lina faces. It is as haunting and atmospheric as the original, with even more Gothic touches and a paranormal overtone.

Still Star-Crossed by Melinda TaubStill Star Crossed

This is not a classic remix because it is set after the events in the original story, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Author Taub imagines what comes next after Romeo and Juliet have both died (and now you’re totally saying, “I have always wondered!”). Verona has found some piece in its grief over the young lovers’ deaths. But the Montagues and the Capulets have not set aside their rivalry. Their is violence in the streets, and Prince Escalus decides he must take action: by forcing a Montague to wed a Capulet, thereby uniting the two families once and for all.

Thorn Abbey by Nancy OhlinThorn Abbey

Based on the classic Gothic novel Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Tess has transferred to elite boarding academy Thorn Abbey. Despite her lack of confidence – or perhaps because of it – she draws the attentions of Max de Villars. However, Tess, and everyone at the school in some way or another, seems to be haunted by the ghost of Max’s last love, Becca, who tragically drowned the previous year. Tess’s roommate was especially changed by Becca’s death, and now seems to be channeling her madness towards Tess and Max’s union.


New Books Highlight: Chilling Reads for Halloween

There are a lot of horror-type books written these days. Even non-horror fans can find horror books they like simply because authors are rolling thrilling, chilling moments and plot lines into all kinds of genres in all kinds of ways. Check out a few brand new ones guaranteed to be a little haunting:

Thin Space by Jody CasellaThin Space by Jody Casella

For realistic fiction fans: Marshall survived the car accident that killed his twin brother. This fact consumes him with guilt and drives him to search fora  way to communicate with the dead in an effort to somehow assuage his guilt. He seeks a thin space, where the barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead is not as solid, something he could potentially reach right through. A woman in his neighborhood – Mrs. Hansel – may have created one with her death, but a new family moves into her home before Marsh can investigate. He befriends the new residents and soon has their help locating the thin space. He’s barely keeping it together as the weight of regular life coupled with keeping dark secrets weighs on him. This is a spooky – and yet realistic – story, with a chilling atmosphere of grief, guilt and secrets.

Sneak Peek! “Every morning, I walk by Mrs. Hansel’s house and plan my break-in. Today I think about kicking down doors, shattering windows. I have a one-second flash of myself climbing down the chimney. Which just shows how far gone I am lately.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Jody Casella)

The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April HenryThe Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry

She wakes to hear what she thinks is her death sentence. All she knows is what she can see and hear – the ramshackle cabin surrounded by nothing, and the two men fighting over killing her. Who she is and how she got here is a mystery.  Spurred into action by fear, she moves fast and manages to escape, but has no idea where she should go. Thanks to a stranger she meets soon after her first escape, she manages to evade capture and begins to piece together her story. But what she finds about who would want to silence her is shocking. It’s a race against the clock that will keep you turning pages.

Sneak Peek! “I wake up. But wake up isn’t quite right. That implies sleeping. A bed. A pillow. I come to.” (Text copyright © 2013 by April Henry)

Contaminated by Em GarnerContaminated by Em Garner

Dystopia meets zombies in this thriller. In a bleak future, millions have been transformed into zombie-like creatures thanks to a mass market weight loss beverage. Velvet’s mother was among the unlucky ones. Now, Velvet and her family must live amongst the undead of America. The suspense that comes from Velvet sharing her world with a crew of unpredictable demonized former humans is palpable – and will keep you up at night.

Sneak Peek! “They keep them in cages. The unclaimed. Long rows of narrow, filthy cages lined up along dark corridors lit by bare, hanging bulbs.”  (Text copyright 2013 by Em Garner)

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

From one of the authors of the Beautiful Creatures series comes this haunting new paranormal romance. Kennedy Waters discovers she is a member of an ancient secret society called the Legion when two other members sweep in to rescue her from an attack by a poltergeist. Her mother has just died, so joining forces with the Legion provides some comfort, even as it gets spookier by the minute. The Legion must protect themselves from a demonic force that wants them all dead, and their only hope to do so is to brave the scenes of grisly murders to track down a mysterious device that is supposed to be their savior. From haunted mansions to abandoned mental hospitals – this book takes you to all the creepy spots while keeping you enthralled in the haunting story.

New Books Highlight: Fantastical History

Historical fiction is a genre worth exploring. Yep, I know what you’re thinking: “Read history? No. Way.” I’m here to tell you: yes way. There are tons of different, unique, amazing ways that YA authors are bringing you back in time these days: some of them infuse their stories with fantasy and magic, some of them lean towards elements of the paranormal or supernatural, and some of them seem like magic in the way that they evoke the time and place they take you to. Check out these three new and highly recommended historical fiction/fantasy stories!

Historical Fantasy: Delusion by Laura L. Sullivancover image of Delusion by Laura Sullivan

Sisters Phil and Fee Albion come from a family of illusionists, so they are used to life being full of drama. When things in World War II London get too horrific, they are sent to the country where life feels free of the drama they crave. Or is it? When Phil – determined as ever – decides to get their new country town to sit up and play a role in the ongoing war, she stumbles upon a college for magicians. Their work is nothing like the illusions she and Fee produce, and the magic has power over her she never expected.

Sneak Peek! “Phil sprinted along the bank of the Thames, unbraiding her hair as she ran, so late she didn’t dare ask a passing stranger the time. Even that small delay might be disastrous. This was opening night.” (Text copyright © 2012 by Laura L. Sullivan)

Historical Paranormal Romance: In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters (not yet cataloged) cover image of In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

It’s 1918: World War One rages and the flu epidemic consumes millions worldwide. Mary Shelley Black is sent to San Diego to live with her aunt when her father is jailed for anti-Americanism – a considerable threat when the country is at war. People everywhere are seeking spiritual solace as their loved ones die around them. Mary Shelley (despite being named after a horror novelist) does not believe in spirits, seances, or anything else taht the people around her are going crazy for. When her first love comes back to her as a ghost, however, she must reckon with forces beyond her control and outside of our world.

Sneak Peek! “I stepped inside the railroad car, and three dozen pairs of eyes peered my way. Gauze masks concealed the passengers’ mouths and noses. The train smelled of my own mask’s cotton, boiling onions, and a whiff of something clammy and sour I took to be fear.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Cat Winters)

Historical Fiction: Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Rosscover image of Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross

Maude’s escape from provincial France to the bustling city of Paris has left her with broken dreams and empty pockets. When she answers an unusual ad for the Durandeau Agency, she is thrown into the midst of Paris aristocracy. However, she’s there under a ruse: she’s been hired to act as a “beauty foil” for high-society Isabelle – acting as Isabelle’s friend but there because her plain looks make Isabelle stand out. Drawn deeper into the aristocracy through her friendship with Isabelle, at the same time that she is kept very much outside of it because she is hired help, Maude struggles to keep herself and her dreams from being lost. Based on a short story by French author, Emile Zola, this is a riveting and atmospheric tale.

Sneak Peek! “‘Perfect, just perfect,’ says the stout man. He scrutinizes me, his suit pinching across his rotund torso, and I assume that this is Monsieur Durandeau, but he doesn’t introduce himself.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Elizabeth Ross)

New Books Highlight: Continuing Series

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:

Quintana of Charyn by Melina MarchettaCover image for Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta

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)

Finale by Becca FitzpatrickCover image for Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

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)

Glass Heart by Amy GarveyCover image for Glass Heart by Amy Garvey

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)

New Books Highlight: Manga & Graphic Novels

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!

New Series:

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 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!

Demon Love Spell  V.1 and V.2 by Mayu Shinjodawn of the arcana

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 Sakisakastrobe edge

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:

One Piece Volume 66

Naruto Volume 60

Bleach Volumes 54-56

New Graphic Novels:

who is acWho is AC? by Hope Larson, illustrations by Tintin Pantoja

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.

New Books Highlight: Remixes

This week we’ve got three brand new books (just going on the shelves TODAY!) that all feature stories that are based on other stories. Remixing stories is kind of a popular thing for authors to do right now – for example Marissa Meyer’s Cinder which retells Cinderella as a sci fi dystopian tale. Some very cool things happen when authors pick up a favorite fairy tale or classic story and re-imagine it in their own way.

Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters by Suzanne Weyndr frankenstein

In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, there is no mention of Dr. Frankenstein having a family at all. I seem to remember there being a sister, perhaps, but no daughters.Like Kenneth Oppel in This Dark Endeavor, Weyn adds to the story of Dr. Frankenstein by giving him two unacknowledged twin daughters. After Frankenstein dies, the two girls make their way to his creepy castle to claim it as their inheritance. Told in a Gothic style similar to the original novel, this story unravels in a twisty turn-y tale of romance, mystery, and horror as the two very different twins become captivated by their father’s castle and their father’s madness. If you like Oppel’s Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein series and the original horror story itself, you’ll want to read this one.

Sneak Peek! “From the Personal Diary of Victor Frankenstein, Ingolstadt, Germany, June 15, 1798. What unbearable guilt! I am the most wretched man alive – a blasted tree, shattered. I am abhorrent even to myself. My gentle and good wife, Hildy, dead. Only nineteen years of age and already gone from my arms, defeated in her struggle to give birth to our sweet tiny girls, Giselle and Ingrid.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Suzanne Weyn)

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickersonstrands

This is a retelling of the less-known Brothers Grimm tale of Bluebeard, a fierce but rich man who woos and brings home a young girl to be his next wife, but the young girl quickly discovers Bluebeard has deep, dark, murderous secrets hiding in his castle. In Nickerson’s retelling, Sophia Petheram is orphaned at 17, but unexpectedly invited to be taken in by her mysterious godfather. She accepts his invitation, having no other options, and lands at the lavish Wyndriven Abbey set deep in Mississippi. Things there seem pleasant, until Sophia begins to unravel the mysteries and see past the elaborate facades to the horrific secrets lurking at Wyndriven Abbey.

Sneak Peek! “You see, I had a fabulously wealthy godfather. That was why anything was possible for me.” (Text copyright © 2013 by Jane Nickerson)


Upcoming Books!

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Dark Flame by Alyson Noel
Kiss Me Deadly: 13 Tales of Paranormal Love by Maggie Steifvater, Rachel Vincent, Carrie Ryan and many more
Daniel X: Demons and Druids by James Patterson and Adam Sadler
Sleepless by Cyn Balog

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan
The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May and June by Robin Benway
Hothouse by Chris Lynch

Torment by Lauren Kate (sequel to Fallen)
Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin
Payback Time by Carl Deuker
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (sequel to Beautiful Creatures)
Grace by Elizabeth Scott
The Dark Deeps by Arthur Slade
Twelfth Grade Kills by Heather Brewer
The Genius Wars by Catherine Jinks
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
Blood on My Hands by Todd Strasser

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Misguided Angel by Melissa de la Cruz (Blue Bloods series)
The Mermaid’s Mirror by L.K. Madigan
Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld (sequel to Leviathan)
Ranger’s Apprentice: Halt’s Peril by John Flanagan
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

I took a break from Morris Award nominees (only one left and review coming soon), to read Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor.

This National Book Award finalist is a stunning collection of three fantasy short stories. Ranging from contemporary Kizzy who is enticed by a goblin, to demons and curses in British-ruled India, to immortal shape-shifting creatures, all three center around a kiss that changes lives. Enhanced with beautiful illustrations, Lips Touch: Three Times is a magical and thrilling read.

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

The first book on my list from the Morris Award nominees was Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

Ethan Wate has lived his entire life in Gatlin, North Carolina, a tiny town where nothing ever happens. That is until the day Lena Duchannes starts school. Lena is beautiful and mysterious and the girl of Ethan’s dreams. Literally, he’s been having terrifying dreams for months all starring Lena. The more Ethan and Lena explore their connection the more questions are raised about who or what Lena is and how an old family curse may be keeping them apart.

Beautiful Creatures absolutely oozes atmosphere, has wonderful characters, and tells a suspenseful story of cursed love. There is definite potential for a sequel and I’ve heard it’s already been optioned for a movie.

More Twilight Read-Alikes

So you’ve read all the books, seen both the movies, and need something to pass the time while you wait for Eclipse to come out next June? Here are a few ideas!

ush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
Evermore by Alyson Noel
The Hollow by Jessica Verday
Ash by Malinda Lo
Fire by Kristin Cashore