On the day that she visited the funeral home to arrange her own funeral, Diana Cowper was murdered. Author Anthony Horowitz might never have been aware of the somewhat unsensational murder of elderly mother of a relatively well-known actor if he had not been approached by Daniel Hawthorne, an abrasive former detective turned police consultant with an unusual proposition. Hawthorne suggests that Anthony shadow him on the case and turn the events into a murder mystery story, which Hawthorne is certain will be a bestseller, due not so much to the intrigue of the case but to Hawthorne’s particular brilliance as a detective. Although he is off-put by Hawthorne’s egotism and other personality flaws and fears that such a book would be difficult to sell, Anthony finds the circumstances of Diana Cowper’s death so unusual and engaging that he must know what happens to her. And unless he agrees to Hawthorne’s book, he might never find out how the story ends. As the investigation unfolds, Anthony learns more dark secrets than he ever expected about Diana, her son, and Hawthorne himself. But every time he thinks of quitting, the mystery spurs him on, until he begins to wonder if he, the writer, is destined to solve it himself.
This meta-literary mystery is a fun, suspenseful read with enough twists, red herrings, and maddening clues to keep you going to the very end. The meta-literary framing, along with the brilliant yet barely likeable detective, sets the story as a kind of modern Sherlock Holmes novel, although the characters of the detective and record-keeping assistant are far from Holmes/Watson clones. I suspect this mystery may not be for everyone, as the meta-literary format is somewhat unique and experimental, but personally, I loved it. I particularly loved the moments when theories I had ended up being theories that Anthony would pursue–and then later have scornfully debunked by Hawthorne. I recommend it to mystery readers who like character-driven novels and who are open to interesting framing devices.
Jane would have grown up a slave if not for the War Between the States. Instead, she grew up helping her white mother defend the plantation against the onslaught of the undead who began to rise after the Battle of Gettysburg. Although the agreement to end the War so that North and South could join forces against the undead shamblers included the abolition of slavery, Black people are far from equal—arguably not even free. When Jane was rounded up with the rest of the Black teens on the plantation and sent to a finishing school where she would train to defend wealthy white women from shamblers, she hoped it would be an opportunity to gain some sort of liberty and life experience. Instead, she finds herself hampered by the racism and sexism that pervade her society. But when she and a classmate uncover a deadly conspiracy, they find themselves in grave danger and caught between the desire for self-preservation and the knowledge that if they don’t do something, the entire world could be lost to the undead.
This novel is stunning: well-written, nuanced, thought-provoking, timely, and with a gripping and richly imagined historical sci-fi that is nearly impossible to put down. Jane is a compelling and complex protagonist, and it is a pleasure to root for her against both the zombies and the disturbing social institutions that try to hold her back. For all of its thrilling adventure, it never shies away from a powerful and disturbing look at racism and its impact. I loved every page and highly recommend it to teen and adult fans of sci-fi, dystopia, or even historical fiction.
A lot of great YA Fiction is slated for release in 2019! Here’s a preview of some books to expect. As always, publication dates and summaries are based on the info publishers have made available thus far and may be subject to change.
Continuing Series and Sequels
UNDYING by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (1/8)
An Unearthed novel
THE WICKED KING by Holly Black (1/8)
The Folk of the Air, Book 2
YOU WON’T SEE ME COMING by Kristen Orlando (1/8)
Black Angel Chronicles, Book 3
FIRESTARTER by Tara Sim (1/15)
Timekeeper, Book 3
IMPRISON THE SKY by A.C. Gaughen (1/22)
The Elementae series
SONG OF THE DEAD by Sarah Glenn Marsh (1/22)
Reign of the Fallen, Book 2
THE VANISHING STAIR by Maureen Johnson (1/22)
Truly Devious, Book 2
RANSACKER by Emmy Laybourne (1/29)
Sequel to BERSERKER
CHILDREN OF VIRTUE AND VENGEANCE by Tomi Adeyemi (3/5)
Legacy of Orisha, Book 2
THE EVERLASTING ROSE by Dhonielle Clayton (3/5)
The Belles, Book 2
GRAVITY’S PULL by Marinaomi (3/5)
Life on Earth, Book 2
RUSE by Cindy Pon (3/12)
Sequel to WANT
THE FALL OF CRAZY HOUSE by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet (4/8)
Sequel to CRAZY HOUSE
ALL FOR ONE by Melissa de la Cruz (4/9)
Alex and Eliza, Book 3
THE RED SCROLLS OF MAGIC by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu (4/9)
A Shadowhunters Novel
FINALE by Stephanie Garber (5/7)
Caraval, Book 3
HER ROYAL HIGHNESS by Rachel Hawkins (5/7)
Royals, Book 2
NEXUS by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings (5/7)
The Andromeda Saga, Book 2
THE CLOCKWORK GHOST by Laura Ruby (5/14)
York, Book 2
SPLINTERED by Jon McGoran (5/14)
Spliced, Book 2
THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT SWEETIE by Sandhya Menon (5/14)
Companion to WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI
BIRTHDAY by Meredith Russo (5/21)
Follow-up to IF I WAS YOUR GIRL
STORM AND FURY by Jennifer L. Armentrout (6/11)
The Dark Elements, Book 4
#MURDERFUNDING by Gretchen McNeil (8/6)
#MurderTrending, Book 2
Fantasy & Sci Fi
THE SIMILARS by Rebecca Hanover (1/1)
When six clones of current and former students enroll at her boarding school, a teen finds herself in the uncomfortable position of interacting with the clone of her dead best friend.
THE GIRL KING by Mimi Yu (1/8)
When their father bypasses succession customs to name a distant male cousin as his heir, two sisters must embrace an ancient magic and combine forces to reclaim the empire as their own.
WHITE STAG by Kara Barbieri (1/8)
After being kidnapped by goblins and pressed into service by the King’s nephew, a girl finds her humanity slipping away as she begins to feel at home with her captors.
THE GILDED WOLVES by Roshani Chokshi (1/15)
An elite secret society enlists a diverse group of desperate people for a dangerous treasure hunt.
PRETTY IN PUNXSUTAWNEY by Laurie Boyle Crompton (1/15)
A teen must relive the first 24 hours as a new senior in high school until she finds her one true love.
STAIN by A.G. Howard (1/15)
After being raised in exile by a witch, a mute princess returns to her kingdom to claim it as her own.
CIRCLE OF SHADOWS by Evelyn Skye (1/22)
Two apprentice warrior-sorceresses engage on a secret spy mission in an enemy camp in an attempt to prove themselves to their superiors.
THE COLD IS IN HER BONES by Peternelle van Arsdale (1/22)
A teen must undertake a dangerous journey when her only friend is possessed and kidnapped by a demon.
COME FIND ME by Megan Miranda (1/29)
Two teens who both survived tragic events and the disappearances of their brothers discover a mysterious radio signal that seems to be summoning them.
A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY by Brigid Kemmerer (1/29)
A random act of kindness causes a girl with cerebral palsy to be transported to the world of a cursed prince.
KING OF SCARS by Leigh Bardugo (1/29)
To keep his kingdom together, a young king must defeat the dark magic rising inside himself.
THE WILD LANDS by Paul Greci (1/29)
In post-apocalyptic Alaska, two teens must undertake a harrowing journey in order to survive.
STOLEN TIME by Danielle Rollins (2/5)
An early 20th century con artist’s path collides with a late 21st century time traveler.
THE WANING AGE by S.E. Grove (2/5)
Although she’s already reached the age when most people have completely lost their emotions, a teen finds that she still loves her brother so fiercely that she is driven to rescue him when he is kidnapped.
AN AFFAIR OF POISON by Addie Thorley (2/12)
After unknowingly helping her mother assassinate a king, a 17th century teen decides to help a bastard prince reclaim his throne.
CROWN OF FEATHERS by Nicki Pau Preto (2/12)
A war orphan flees her controlling sister, disguising herself as a boy to become a Phoenix Rider.
SPECTACLE by Jodie Lynn Zdrok (2/12)
A young morgue columnists begins having visions of a serial killer’s victims, from the murderer’s perspective, and gets swept up in the hunt to stop him from killing again.
THE AFTERWARD by E.K. Johnston (2/19)
An apprentice knight and a thief find that their country’s “golden age” isn’t quite what it was supposed to be.
TAROT by Marissa Kennerson (2/19)
The bastard daughter of a magician discovers her ability to create new worlds in tapestries.
MIKE by Andrew Noriss (2/26)
A young rising tennis star wonders why he is the only one who is able to see his new, strange friend, Mike.
THE LAST 8 by Laura Pohl (3/5)
One of few human survivors after an alien attack of Earth, a teen joins a group of other survivors but uncovers a dark secret.
THE MANIC PIXIE DREAM BOY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT by Lenore Appelhans (3/5)
Although he knows he is supposed to stay on script, a stock character in a novel goes off-book and finds himself in therapy.
THE OPPOSITE OF ALWAYS by Justin A. Reynolds (3/5)
When his girlfriend dies, a teen finds himself somehow transported back in time to the moment they first met.
BLOODLEAF by Crystal Smith (3/12)
A princess flees the pressures of the crown and practices magic disguised as a commoner.
WHEN THE SKY FELL ON SPLENDOR by Emily Henry (3/12)
After a tragic accident leaves her brother in a coma, a girl and her friends devote themselves to pursuing signs of the supernatural.
BETWEEN THE WATER AND THE WOODS by Simone Smith (3/19)
After using forbidden magic to save her younger brother, a girl must undertake a dangerous journey to warn the king of the dark powers that have been awakened.
GIRLS WITH SHARP STICKS by Suzanne Young (3/19)
Teens at an elite boarding school for beautiful, accomplished young women, discover they are being trained to be auctioned off upon their graduation.
INTERNMENT by Samira Ahmed (3/19)
In a future where Muslims have been forced into internment camps, a teen girl starts a rebellion from inside the camp.
NEVER-CONTENTED THINGS by Sarah Porter (3/19)/
After dark faeries entrap two foster-siblings, the teens must fight for their freedom.
THE LAST VOYAGE OF POE BLYTHE by Ally Condie (3/26)
The young captain of a mining ship discovers a traitor among her crew and a routine voyage becomes treacherous.
ONCE AND FUTURE by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta (3/26)
King Arthur is reincarnated as a teen girl and teams up with a teenage Merlin to break the curse of reincarnation.
SKY WITHOUT STARS by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell (3/26)
Three teens get swept up in a rebellion against the elite controlling classes that rule their planet.
THE ACCIDENT by Glasko Klein (4/2)
After a serious car accident, a teen gets a mysterious text message offering him the chance to go back in time for a “do-over.”
THE CHEAT by Sarah Richman (4/2)
After failing a test, a teen accepts the offer in a mysterious text message to go back in time and cheat on the test.
DESCENDENT OF THE CRANE by Joan He (4/2)
A princess embraces illegal magic to find her father’s murderer.
THE DEVOURING GRAY by Christine Lynn Herman (4/2)
When one of them accidentally releases an ancient monster, three teens are forced to overcome their differences to save their town from the curse of darkness.
WICKED SAINTS by Emily A. Duncan (4/2)
A prince and a girl with the power to communicate with gods plan to assassinate the king.
LOVE AND OTHER CURSES by Michael Thomas Ford (4/9)
When a teen finds himself falling in love with the new boy in town, he is in danger of suffering from his family’s ancient curse, which might cause the boy he loves to die.
THE RAVEN’S TALE by Cat Winters (4/16)
Young Edgar Poe’s life turns awry when he is haunted by a shadowy muse named Lenore.
THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT by Swati Teerdhala (4/23)
A soldier and a rebel find their loyalties tested when they fall in love.
AURORA RISING by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (5/7)
After graduating from the Academy that prepared him for interstellar missions, a teen is assigned to lead a less-than-desirable squad, which includes a cryogenically frozen girl from the past.
CASTLE OF LIES by Kiersi Burkhart (5/7)
An army of invading elves traps an ambitious noblewoman in the castle and threatens her plans to seize power herself.
FOUR DEAD QUEENS by Astrid Scholte (5/7)
A young thief and a boy she robbed become suspects when their country’s four queens are murdered.
NOCTURNA by Maya Motayne (5/7)
A face-shifting thief and a grieving prince join forces to fight an ancient evil.
LAST BUS TO EVERLAND by Sophie Cameron (5/14)
A group of misfits find an entrance to a magical world where their problems seem much smaller, but when the doors to their fantasy world start to close, they must chose where to stay permanently.
THE KINGDOM by Jess Rothenberg (5/28)
An android programmed to work in a fantasy-themed amusement park begins having romantic feelings for one of the park employees.
THE BEHOLDER by Anna Bright (6/4)
The daughter of a political leader is sent by her stepmother on a dangerous journey with strict instructions to find a suitable husband.
BLOOD HEIR by Amelie Wen Zhao (6/4)
After being framed for her father’s murder, a princess turns to the country’s seedy underworld for help tracking down the true murderer.
THE HAUNTED by Danielle Vega (6/4)
When her family moves into a haunted house, a teen must take down the ghosts before they get her first.
WHERE I END AND YOU BEGIN by Preston Norton (6/4)
Two teens who have spent years antagonizing each other, somehow switch bodies and use the opportunity to help each other woo their respective crushes.
STRONGER THAN A BRONZE DRAGON by Mary Fan (6/11)
Although she is dismayed that her village chose her as the bride to convince a powerful ruler to serve as their protector, she decides to track down the thief who stole the other half of the village’s payment: an enchanted jewel.
ALL OF US WITH WINGS by Michelle Ruiz Keil (6/18)
Although she thinks she has escaped the dysfunction of her past and started a new life as a governess, a teen accidentally summons demons that want to seek vengeance on those who wronged her.
THE EVIL QUEEN by Gena Showalter (6/25)
A girl with the ability to commune with mirrors discovers that she is destined to become the Evil Queen in the story of Snow White.
WICKED FOX by Kat Cho (6/25)
An immortal, soul-eating fox-girl falls in love with a human boy.
THE STORM CROW by Kalyn Josephson (7/9)
After a devastating attack on her kingdom, a princess hopes to hatch a magical crow to restore balance to her kingdom and avoid an arranged marriage.
THE MERCIFUL CROW by Margaret Owen (7/30)
When a prince fakes his own death, a young mercy-killer becomes his unlikely protector.
VOYAGES IN THE UNDERWORLD OF ORPHEUS BLACK by Marcus Sedgwick and Julian Sedgwick (8/13)
When his brother is killed in WWII, an artist wounded in the London blitz loses his grip on reality and begins a journey into the Underworld in search of his brother.
INVENTING VICTORIA by Tonya Bolden (1/8)
In the post-Reconstruction South, a young black woman wrestles with her identity when she is offered the chance to join “high Black society” in the nation’s capital.
ALL IS FAIR by Dee Garretson (1/22)
After receiving an encoded telegram, a young woman escapes an English boarding school to become a World War I spy.
SOMEDAY WE WILL FLY by Rachel Dewoskin (1/22)
When her mother disappears, a Jewish teen and her family flee to Shanghai from Nazi-occupied Poland.
THE WEIGHT OF OUR SKY by Hanna Alkaf (2/5)
Separated from her mother in a violent race riot, a teen must fight against her OCD and rely on an unlikely ally to find her way back home.
ANGEL THIEVES by Kathi Appelt (3/12)
A teen who is forced to steal angel grave markers to pay his room and board stumbles upon a connection to a slave mother desperate to get her daughters to safety and a caged ocelot starving near the bayou.
SHERWOOD by Meagan Spooner (3/19)
After Robin Hood’s death, Maid Marian takes on his dangerous mission.
A PLACE FOR WOLVES by Kosoko Jackson (4/2)
Two teen boys fall in love as they attempt to fight their way back to their families during a terrifying war in Kosovo.
WHITE ROSE by Kip Wilson (4/2)
A girl and her friends begin resisting the Nazi regime by circulating anti-Nazi propaganda.
IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF TRUE by Susan Kaplan Carlton (4/9)
A Jewish girl tries to hide her religion when her family moves to the deep South and encounters prejudice and hate crimes.
PLANET EARTH IS BLUE by Nicole Panteleakos (5/14)
A nonverbal girl struggles in her new foster home without her older sister, but hopes to see her again for the launch of the Challenger space shuttle, with which they are both obsessed.
DEATH PREFERS BLONDES by Caleb Roehrig (1/29)
A young socialite and her drag queen friends moonlight as cat burglars and find their lives in grave danger.
THE LONELY DEAD by April Henry (1/29)
A teen who can speak to ghosts becomes a suspect in her best friend’s murder and must track down the real killer.
THE DECEIVERS by Kristen Simmons (2/5)
After being accepted to an elite school, a girl gets swept up in the administration’s secret agenda to con the city’s officials.
IF YOU’RE OUT THERE by Katy Lautzenheiser (3/5)
When her best friend moves across the country, bizarre social media posts lead a teen to believe that her friend may be being held against her will.
KILLING NOVEMBER by Adriana Mather (3/26)
A teen becomes a suspect in the murder of a fellow student at an elite boarding school for spies and assassins.
THE LOST by Natasha Preston (4/2)
Two teens trying to figure out what happened to the girls who have disappeared in their town find themselves imprisoned with a series of challenges designed to keep them from escaping.
KEEP THIS TO YOURSELF by Tom Ryan (5/7)
After losing his best friend, a teen gets wrapped up in the hunt for the serial killer who murdered him.
LAST THINGS by Jacqueline West (5/7)
When strange things start happening in the woods, a metal band performer finds himself in danger and a teen fan claims to be able to protect him.
THE LOVELY AND THE LOST by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (5/7)
A teen who spent her childhood alone, lost in the woods, is enlisted to help search the wilderness for another missing child and begins to uncover some unsettling truths about her adoptive family.
THE THINGS SHE’S SEEN by Ambelin and Ezekial Kwaymullina (5/14)
A dead teen tries to help her detective father solve the mystery of another girl’s death.
ALL EYES ON US by Kit Frick (6/4)
When an anonymous stalker begins texting them, a secretly gay teen and the actual girlfriend of her fake boyfriend team up to find out who is threatening them and why.
WHEN WE WERE LOST by Kevin Wignall (6/4)
After their plane crashes in the jungles of Costa Rica, a small group of teen survivors fight for their lives.
THE ME I MEANT TO BE by Sophie Jordan (1/1)
A teen finds herself caught between a solemn pact and her heart when she falls in love with her best friend’s ex, whom she promised never to date.
MATCH ME IF YOU CAN by Tiana Smith (1/8)
Even though her best friend is a match-making expert, a teen tries to set up her own date for Homecoming but winds up in a complicated love triangle.
A SKY FOR US ALONE by Kristin Russell (1/8)
A teen searching for answers after his brother’s death must face some hard truths about his small hometown, even as he finds a kindred spirit and falls in love.
WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS by RuthAnne Snow (1/8)
When a suicidal teen goes missing after prom, her three best friends try to find her while confronting struggles of their own.
96 WORDS FOR LOVE by Rachel Roy and Ava Dash (1/15)
Overwhelmed by her upcoming transition from high school to college, a teen travels to India on a soul-searching journey.
FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN by Emma Mills (1/15)
In an attempt to get funding for a marching band trip, a teen tries to convince her small town’s only famous resident, a country singer, to come back and headline a fundraiser.
LET’S GO SWIMMING ON DOOMSDAY by Natalie C. Anderson (1/15)
In order to save his family from jihadists, a boy is forced to become a child soldier and attempts to mitigate the horrors he experiences by undertaking the dangerous role of a double agent for the Americans.
OUR YEAR OF MAYBE by Rachel Lynn Solomon (1/15)
After a teen donates a kidney to her best friend (and secret crush), their relationship becomes unexpectedly complicated.
THE BIRDS, THE BEES, AND YOU, AND ME by Olivia Hinebaugh (1/22)
A straight-laced teen takes a stand against abstinence-only education, handing out sex information and contraception in the bathroom of her high school.
THE FIELD GUIDE TO THE NORTH AMERICAN TEENAGER by Ben Phillipe (1/22)
A Canadian teen tries not to get too involved in the complex social scene at his new Texas high school.
ONLY A BREATH APART by Katie McGarry (1/22)
To escape her dark home life, a teen must rekindle a friendship with the former best friend who broke her heart.
THE LOVE AND LIES OF RUKHSANA ALI by Sabina Kahn (1/29)
When a teen’s conservative Muslim parents discover that she is gay, they derail her future by sending her to Bangladesh where she must struggle to stay true to her identity.
A DANGER TO HERSELF AND OTHERS by Alyssa Sheinmel (2/5)
Although she believes her confinement in the mental institution is a mistake, a teen must confront the terrible events that led the doctor and the judge to send her there.
FLIGHT OF A STARLING by Lisa Heathfield (2/5)
Two circus-performer sisters find their relationship strained when one sister enters into a forbidden romance with a non-circus boy.
NO ONE HERE IS LONELY by Sarah Everett (2/5)
After her best friend and her crush die in a car crash, a teen turns to her late crush’s online persona for comfort.
WATCH US RISE by Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan (2/12)
Two young activists start a Women’s Rights Club, despite the opposition they face from their school administration and others in their community.
THE YEAR I DIDN’T EAT by Samuel Pollen (2/12)
As a boy struggles with anorexia, his family life begins to fall apart and someone discovers his secret journal.
THE ART OF LOSING by Lizzy Mason (2/19)
A teen finds out that her boyfriend has been hooking up with her younger sister, but is consumed by guilt after her sister ends up in a coma as a result of a drunk driving accident.
THE MUSIC OF WHAT HAPPENS by Bill Konigsburg (2/26)
Two teen boys, each with a secret to keep, fall in love over an unusual summer.
RAYNE AND DELILAH’S MIDNIGHT MATINEE by Jeff Zentner (2/26)
Two teens try to deal with difficult decisions their senior year while hosting a local TV show with B-Rated horror movies.
SORRY, NOT SORRY by Jaime Reed (2/26)
A teen faces a difficult decision when her former best friend needs a kidney donation.
BARELY MISSING EVERYTHING by Matt Mendez (3/5)
Two Latino teens struggle to realize their dreams despite the obstacles posed by the endemic racism of the culture around them.
CHICKEN GIRL by Heather T. Smith (3/5)
A teen tries to regain her optimism after experiencing online bullying.
FAT ANGIE: REBEL GIRL REVOLUTION by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo (3/5)
After her sister is killed in Iraq, an LGBT teen decides to escape her school bullies and intolerant mother by going on a road trip inspired by her sister’s last letter.
FIELD NOTES ON LOVE by Jennifer E. Smith (3/5)
After his girlfriend dumps him, a teen places an ad looking for a stranger to take her place on the road trip they had planned.
THE ISLAND by D.A. Graham (3/5)
A boy jumps at the chance to be on an island survival reality show until he realizes he is in way over his head.
THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF OKAY by Laura Steven (3/8)
When private photos of her appear on a slut-shaming website, an aspiring comedian takes a stand against sexism.
A COLD DAY IN THE SUN by Sara Biren (3/12)
The only girl on the ice hockey team becomes the center of attention when the team is featured on TV.
HEROINE by Mindy McGinnis (3/12)
After a devastating accident, a teen athlete struggles with a growing addiction to prescription pain killers.
IZZY + TRISTAN by Shannon Dunlap (3/12)
Two teens from different backgrounds fall in love and embark on an epic romance.
THE SOUND OF DROWNING by Katherine Fleet (3/12)
Although she is desperate to stay in her relationship with her first love (even though it must stay a secret) a teen falls for the new guy in her small OBX town.
TIN HEART by Shivaun Plozza (3/12)
After receiving a life-saving heart transplant, a girl struggles with her identity in her second-chance life.
DIG by A.S. King (3/26)
Five teens struggle to make ends meet while trying to live up to their wealthy grandparents’ expectations.
XL by Scott Brown (3/26)
A short teen who has always longed to be tall finds his relationships strained when he has an unexpected and extreme growth spurt.
THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE by Ria Voros (4/2)
After her famous mother’s mysterious disappearance, a teen starts a new friendship and begins to uncover secrets about her mother’s past.
EVERY MOMENT AFTER by Joseph Moldover (4/5)
Two teens are still struggling with grief and guilt from a horrifying incident of gun violence in their elementary school years.
HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE DARK by Kathleen Glasgow (4/9)
A teen’s world turns dark with grief after her mother dies.
THIS BOOK IS NOT YET RATED by Peter Bognanni (4/9)
When their beloved movie theater is slated for destruction, one teen and his fellow cinema employees hatch a plan to save it.
THE MEANING OF BIRDS by Jaye Robin Brown (4/16)
When her first girlfriend dies, a teen finds herself struggling to process her grief without the help of her love.
IF I’M BEING HONEST by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (4/23)
A teen with a justified reputation for being horribly mean tries to change herself in order to get her crush to like her.
BRIEF CHRONICLE OF ANOTHER STUPID HEARTBREAK by Adi Alsaid (4/30)
A teen advice columnist who writes an eMag about love fears that she can’t go on with her writing when she has her own heart broken.
HOW TO BE LUMINOUS by Harriet Reuter Hapgood (4/30)
When her eccentric single mother disappears, a budding artist finds herself only able to see the world in monochrome as she processes her grief.
DEPOSING NATHAN by Zack Smedley (5/7)
A teen must come to terms with his complicated relationship with his best friend when he is called to testify against him in court.
HOPE AND OTHER PUNCHLINES by Julie Buxbaum (5/7)
Two teens whose lives were each affected by the tragedy of 9/11 meet at a summer camp and have a chance to help one another heal.
LAURA DEAN KEEPS BREAKING UP WITH ME by Mariko Tamaki (5/7)
When a girl begins to question whether her on-again-off-again relationship with her seemingly perfect girlfriend is healthy.
SOMEWHERE ONLY WE KNOW by Maurene Goo (5/7)
A K-pop star falls in love with a tabloid reporter over a midnight cheeseburger.
WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH by Elizabeth Acevedo (5/7)
A high school student balances her aspirations for becoming a chef with her need to care for her young daughter.
DON’T DATE ROSA SANTOS by Nina Moreno (5/14)
When she falls in love for the first time, a teen wonders if there is anything to the stories her grandmother tells about the family curse that destroys all the Santos women’s relationships.
AMELIA WESTLAKE WAS NEVER HERE by Erin Gough (5/21)
Two teen girls begin a secret campaign to expose their swim coach’s pattern of sexual harassment, and in the process they fall in love with each other.
BRIGHT BURNING STARS by A.K. Small (5/21)
A fierce competition and mutual love interest strains the friendship of two dancers at the Paris Opera Ballet School.
GOING OFF-SCRIPT by Jen Wilde (5/21)
A TV writing intern is furious when the show’s head writer steals her script and rewrites her lesbian character as straight.
SYMPTOMS OF A HEARTACHE by Sona Charaipotra (5/21)
After graduating from med school at age 16, a girl struggles with her career as a doctor, especially after she falls in love with a patient.
THE VOICE IN MY HEAD by Dana L. Davis (5/28)
When her terminally ill sister decides to pursue medically assisted suicide, a teen hears a voice in her head compelling her on an insane road trip that the voice claims will save her sister’s life.
IF IT MAKES YOU HAPPY by Claire Kann (6/4)
A girl is dismayed when she is crowned Summer Queen and swept up in a series of publicity obligations, including the expectation that she’ll fall for the Summer King.
THIS TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT by Misa Sugiura (6/4)
A teen finds a cause to fight for when her mom tries to sell the family business to the same family who exploited her grandparents during the Japanese Internment during WWII.
TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL by Aminah Mae Safi (6/11)
Two teen girls from different social classes who hate each other find themselves falling in love.
SOMETHING LIKE GRAVITY by Amber Smith (6/18)
A transgender boy and a girl grieving the loss of her sister find their paths colliding after a near-fatal car crash.
THE VIRTURE OF SIN by Shannon Schuren (6/25)
With the prospect of being forced to marry someone against her will, a teen finally finds the courage to try to break out of the cult in which she lives.
WE WALKED THE SKY by Lisa Fiedler (7/2)
Although her grandmother found freedom from her dysfunction family when she joined the circus, her granddaughter’s life is turned upside down when she is forced to leave it so that her mom can pursue a normal job.
PAST PERFECT LIFE by Elizabeth Eulberg (7/9)
When a teen sends in her college applications she discovers that she has been living her life under an assumed identity.
THE SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE by Sandy Hall (7/9)
A new college freshman expects to start life with a clean slate, but is dismayed when a boy she hated in high school winds up in most of her classes.
THE UNDOING OF THISTLE TATE by Katelyn Detweiler (7/23)
When a famous bestselling teen novelist falls in love, she is tortured by the secret she keeps from everyone, including the boy she loves—that she didn’t really write her books.
TRULY, MADLY, ROYALLY by Debbie Rigaud (7/30)
An American teen’s life gets complicated when she falls in love with a European prince.
HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN by Katy Upperman (8/6)
After her sister’s death, a teen’s life falls apart and she begins to wonder if her sister is haunting her.
PUMPKINHEADS by Rainbow Rowell (8/27)
Two friends who only see each other one season a year when working at a pumpkin patch decide to make their last season together a memorable one.
As a senior and leader of the Larks (a select service organization for young women), Penelope is queen of the school. Sure, there is some tension and drama among the Larks, but that is to be expected when you have that many beautiful, popular high school girls in one place. But when senior Larks begin getting murdered, Penelope’s perfect life suddenly becomes a dangerous nightmare. Desperate to find the killer before any more of her friends perish, Penelope accepts help from the strange and mysterious boy who seems to know more than he is telling her. The more she gets to know him, the more she begins to fall for him–and to wonder if some of his secrets might be darker than he is letting on.
Although I was underwhelmed by the character development, this thriller is definitely a page turner. It will keep you guessing, and although the motive cannot be figured out based on the details you are given, there are enough clues to let you guess the killer in advance, if you want to. Overall, not my favorite teen thriller, but a fun read.
It has always been Neil’s dream to follow in his father’s footsteps in the NSA. Unfortunately, he’s not quite the ideal candidate, with no college degree, no computer coding experience, and a seemingly disasterous set of missteps in his interview process. Yet somehow he lands a job on the team of NSA problem solvers tasked with cracking the impossible codes no one else can solve. At first the work is tedious, but as certain bizarre messages begin to come through, the team realizes that people all over the globe have somehow been infected with the same fungal virus that Neil’s brother, Paul, brought back from a harrowing ordeal in Brazil. Paul and the other victims exhibit advanced intelligence, but also display other behavior changes that connect them to group of Brazilian terrorists. As Neil and the team try to make sense of the seemingly impossible events unfolding around them, an international conspiracy emerges that could threaten the survival of the human race.
Fun, fast-paced, and full of interesting tidbits about mushrooms. I thoroughly enjoyed this sci-fi thriller! It’s light on the sci-fi, so a good fit for thriller fans, adult and teen!
Jane moved to Pirriwee on a whim. Really, everything she’d done since Ziggy was born had been a whim, not just the frequent moves. But in the small seaside town she immediately strikes up an unlikely friendship with feisty, queen bee Madeline and kind, perfect Celeste, and Jane begins to feel a sense of community for the first time in five years. Unfortunately, not everyone in Pirriwee is immediately friendly to the single mom, and when Ziggy is accused of bullying, the kindergarten moms divide into vicious factions. It would all be somewhat funny, if there weren’t a murder on the horizon. . . .
This book grabbed me not so much from the suspense of impending murder (although there was some of that) but from the suspense in Jane’s and Celeste’s life stories. If you enjoy character driven realistic fiction with a bit of suspense, check it out!
The world began in fire, ice, and mist. This is also how it will end. The gods who formed the earth by slaying a giant will in turn be slain by giants, and thus will end the reign of the Aesir and the Vanir, the gods of Asgard. But before the end of the world, the gods went (or perhaps are still going) on adventures that still capture the imagination.
Neil Gaiman breathes life into the ancient stories of the Norse gods, embracing their crass and ignominious qualities along with their cleverness and nobility. The characters and stories he explores are complex and humorous, told with his characteristic narrative style and masterful world-building. In contrast with many mythologies, the Norse tales focus on the gods and their enemies, the giants, almost exclusively. The gods fight their own battles rather than enlisting mortal heroes. Although all of the tales are distinct and–as Gaiman notes in his introduction–occasionally contradictory, still a story arc sweeps from the world’s creation to its destruction and rebirth. The short tales, however, make this book an ideal audiobook to listen to during start and stop activities, such as a commute, and the author’s reading of the audiobook is, as always, superb.
Highly recommended to mythology fans and fantasy fans!
Bethan wants nothing more than for Gran to teach her the magic of their Romani people. But knowing magic is dangerous among the gadjos in the neighboring town, and the birthmark on Bethan’s face seems to betray her as a witch to the fearful villagers who hesitate to buy Gran’s herbal cures. Only the young farmer, Martyn, and his father respect her. Bethan finds herself falling for Martyn, and he seems to have already fallen for her. But as if their cultural differences weren’t enough, Silas, the chieftain’s cruel son, wants Bethan and believes he deserves her body. A horrific violence leaves Martyn all but dead and Bethan empty and forever changed. But Gran knows it is time for Bethan to learn dark magic to save Martyn and exact her bloody revenge on those who wronged her.
After days of pondering this book, I still have strong, mixed feelings. The short review is that despite some flaws (a shallow depiction of gypsy culture and awkward and explication-heavy development of the relationship between Bethan and Gran), it is a gripping and deeply, lingeringly disturbing page-turner that fans of violent revenge stories may enjoy. But survivors of sexual violence should be aware that many scenes are graphic and could prompt flashbacks.
If you are a teacher or librarian planning to recommend it to teens, I recommend you read the long review below.
This novel devotes significant attention to the psychological effects of rape on the protagonist. In particular, Bethan wrestles with how the rape had impacted her identity. Who is she now? Who does she want to be? How can she regain control over ever aspect of her life and self–not just her physical body.
Intertwined with this complex exploration is Bethan’s contemplation of herself as a perpetrator of violence. Gran insists that Bethan herself commit the bloody tortures to complete the dark magic that will raise Martyn from the dead. As Bethan tortures her torturers, she sometimes feels satisfaction in her revenge in addition to a conflicting guilt and disgust at the acts of violence she commits.
Ultimately, for Bethan, the violence is worth it. The men who attacked her are far from innocent and despite their pleas for mercy and the tears in their mothers’ eyes as they see their sons tortured, sometimes to death, the end of resurrecting Martyn justifies the morally questionable means. On a broader thematic level, once her attackers are gone and Martyn is once again by her side, Bethan feels a weight lift and feels hopeful for her own emotional resurrection in the future. Reclaiming her own identity, she tells her village that she did what she needed to do and now she is done with violence and dark magic forever.
So here’s where I’m conflicted. It is a common enough trope for an act of evil to turn a victim to further acts of evil. But that isn’t what’s going on here. I believe we are supposed to like Bethan throughout and to approve of her decision to save her love (and herself) by torturing others. The author copiously records Bethan’s distaste and moral conflict about the tortures she commits, but Bethan’s rejection of violence came too late for me–only after she had used it to achieve her end. When she is uncomfortable with violence, Gran pushes her into yet–yet there is no condemnation of Gran. To Gran and Bethan, people who beat a man to death or rape a girl deserve to be burned alive in front of their mothers, have their eyes gouged out, etc. And on an allegorical level, perhaps they do, but given the sensitive and modern treatment of the other aspects of Bethan’s psychological recovery, her embracing of violence (and indeed the seeming necessity of that violence for her psychological recovery) seemed jarringly out of place and has lingered with me.
For that reason, I can’t decide whether I like this book or not. I certainly enjoyed reading it, but upon finishing, find myself still unsettled and not necessarily in a good way.
Hoping to get back home to his patients ahead of a snowstorm, Ben Payne charters a flight from Salt Lake to Denver and, on a whim, invites the bride-to-be that he met in the terminal, Ashley. She needs to get back home for her rehearsal dinner, and Ben can’t help think of Rachel and how special his own wedding was. They fly out with a chatty pilot and his little dog, only to learn mid-flight that the pilot never filed a flight plan, and the plane is only supposed to seat one passenger. Then, over the frozen mountain wilderness, the pilot has a heart attack. Although Ben and Ashley survive the crash, Ashley’s femur is broken, along with several of Ben’s ribs, and altitude sickness makes their predicament worse. With no one knowing where they are, Ben must use the few provisions they have to survive the snowstorm and drag Ashley down the mountain to safety. Throughout their weeks struggling in the wilderness, Ben composes letters to Rachel on his audio recorder, remembering their relationship and coming to terms with the horrible experience that brought it to an end–as well as the knowledge that, should they survive, his developing feelings for the soon-to-be-married Ashley must also end in heartache.
I really enjoyed this novel. The action of the survival-thriller plot neatly compliments the tragic love story told in flashback. Interestingly, though, it is the suspense of the love story–the desire to find out what happened to Rachel, who is implied at various points to be both dead and alive–that really kept me reading. I’m not sure I would enjoy the new film adaptation, which seems to focus solely on the survival plot. But I would recommend this novel to realistic fiction readers who like action-packed love stories. Although it is literary fiction, romance readers may also find this novel satisfying.
Liz left high school and went straight to Iraq. Her town was a dead end, her mother in prison, her grandmother as selfish as ever, and the military was an escape. There was good and bad, but through it all, she had Ender, a Military Working Dog that she trained and worked alongside. When a bomb abruptly ends her tour of duty, however, she finds herself back in her miserable hometown where even the few friends she used to have can no longer relate to her, no matter how hard they try. But when she has a run-in with an aggressive stray dog, Liz finds a new sense of purpose. She knows that Brutus could learn to be a great companion if only he were given a chance and the right kind of training. Unfortunately, he is on doggy death row. Desperate to save Brutus, Liz takes a job at the animal shelter and begins building her relationship with him–and with the people in her life.
A powerful story of a young woman whose connection to animals helps her rebuild her life after the trauma of war. The characters and relationships are complex and the subject matter heavy. Some of the more complicated action sequences were difficult to follow without any accompanying text due to the chaotic, dark and occasionally unclear black and white illustrations. But the story overall still came across powerfully in the text and artwork. I highly recommend it to mature teen fans of graphic novels and realistic fiction.