Naked '76 by Kevin BrooksHistorical Fiction. Though she's a skilled pianist, 16-year-old Lili Garcia has never played a bass guitar until the moment she accepts a gig as the bassist for Naked, a rising punk band. With reckless abandon, Lili throws herself not only into the 1976 London punk scene, but also into a steamy relationship with bandmate Curtis. At the same time, she feels drawn to William, the passionate Irish guitarist whose talent catapults Naked to the top, even as his political loyalties threaten their success. With cameos by the Clash, Siouxsie Sioux, and others, Naked '76 is an exhilarating, messy snapshot of a fascinating moment in music.
Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin BrownFiction. Jo tells herself that she's not going back into the closet. She's proud to be a lesbian and to be a part of her dad's Christian radio ministry, so when she promises him that she'll "lie low" for her senior year in their conservative new Georgia hometown, she knows it's only temporary. But that's before she falls hard for her new classmate Mary, who might just feel the same way. Is keeping a promise worth walking away from first love? Similar to Bill Konigsberg's Openly Straight, Georgia Peaches offers a thought-provoking look at identity alongside a charming, complicated romance.
The Forgetting by Sharon CameronDystopian Fiction. High walls and a protective Council keep the city of Canaan safe from everything…except the Forgetting. A bloody free-for-all followed by a complete loss of memory, the Forgetting happens once every 12 years, forcing people to keep books of their own memories or risk losing them forever. Only Nadia, whose memories remain secretly intact, is aware of how books can be altered to destroy lives and rewrite history. Readers in search of intense, detail-rich dystopian stories will be riveted by Nadia's quest to discover the unsettling secrets at the heart of her city.
Sea of Ink and Gold: The Reader by Traci CheeFantasy. The small, flat package was the only thing Sefia saved after her father's horrific murder, and she's kept it, unopened, for years as she hides in the wilderness of Kelanna, learning survival skills from her wily aunt Nin. But now Nin has been kidnapped and Sefia needs clues, so she opens the package to reveal a dangerous, highly illegal object: a book. This discovery kicks off a powerful, multi-layered tale of vicious assassins, unexpected allies, and hidden powers. Fantasy fans looking for deep world-building will appreciate the inventive magic and ethnically diverse society in this debut, which is the 1st in a series.
And the Trees Crept In by Dawn KurtagichHorror. The forest is getting closer -- Silla is sure of it. When she and her little sister Nori first ran from their abusive father to their aunt's manor home, it seemed like a much-needed shelter. Just a few years later, however, Aunt Cath is locked the attic, Nori's playmate is an eyeless creature in the basement, and Silla fears that they'll never escape the encroaching forest without being caught by the lurking Creeper Man. If you can't get enough of the eerie mansion and twisted family bonds in this modern gothic tale, be sure to try Bethany Griffin's The Fall or Jennifer McKissack's Sanctuary.
Hellhole by Gina DamicoFantasy. Max Kilgore might be stressed out and geeky, but he's generally a good guy. Yet it only takes one little misstep on Max's part to conjure up Burgundy Cluttermuck, a track-suit-wearing, junk-food-eating devil. Burg won't budge from Max's basement unless Max meets his demands -- which include a free mansion and a hot tub. If Max succeeds, Burg will heal his sick mom. But if he doesn't deliver, the consequences will be bloody. Packed with "wry wit and constant dark humor" (Kirkus Reviews), this irreverent tale of a deal with the devil gone wrong is great pick for fans of Maureen Johnson's Devilish or A.M. Jenkins' Repossessed.
Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff HartHorror. The sudden onset of a zombie virus means that burnout gamer Jake and popular, driven Amanda finally have something in common: they've just devoured almost everyone in their school's cafeteria. Guilt-ridden and desperately clinging to their humanity, Jake and Amanda go on the run. They're followed by the Necrotic Control Division, a military group guided by teen psychic Cass. You'll find identity crises all around as alternating perspectives provide peeks into Jake and Amanda's gory road trip as well as Cass's conflicted feelings about her job. Romance, sarcastic humor, and side of viscera round out this offbeat zombie story (and its sequel, Undead With Benefits).
Evil Librarian by Michelle KnudsenHorror/Humor. At first, smart, sassy high school theater tech Cyn can't fault her best friend Annie for crushing on the hot new school librarian, Gabriel. But then Cyn discovers the diabolical source of Annie's infatuation: Gabriel is actually a soul-sucking demon who's trying to brainwash Annie and make her his bride. Immune to Gabriel's power, Cyn will have to do bloody battle with the forces of darkness in order to save her friend…and maybe take a chance with her own crush in the process. If you've Netflixed every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and you still crave snarky supernatural action, Evil Librarian is for you.
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBrideUrban Fantasy. Samhain Corvus LaCroix (Sam for short) is just a college dropout and a fry cook. At least that's what he believes...until he meets Douglas, a very strange man who identifies Sam as a fellow necromancer -- and a potential rival. And while Sam thinks his encounter with Douglas was weird, it's nothing compared with what's to come. Suddenly, Sam and everyone close to him is in danger, and he'll have to solve the mystery of his identity and master his powers in time to rescue Seattle from a terrible evil. This fast-paced, hilarious, and scary series opener scintillates with action, secrets, great characters, and romance, making it a satisfying (if sometimes gruesome) read.
Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story by Adam RexParanormal/Humor. A far cry from the sparkly, romantic vampire ideal, Doug is turned when he's 15 years old, trapping him eternally in the most awkward phase of his awkward life. Sparkly, he ain't. Still, he tries to get on with his un-life, going to Comic-Con, dodging a gang of TV vampire hunters, finding a vampiric mentor, and crushing on Sejal, the new girl at school. Sejal, meanwhile, is having a hard time finding herself, and Doug's misguided affection is NOT helping. Loaded with sharp-edged dialogue, Fat Vampire is equal parts provocative and straight-up silly -- a good bet for anyone who enjoyed Brian Meehl's Suck It Up or M.T. Anderson's Thirsty.
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