The Rains by Gregg HurwitzAfter a meteor strike turns adults 18 and older into vicious, zombie-like hosts for parasitic aliens, the thought of growing up becomes scarier than a death sentence. Though 15-year-old Chance and his older brother Patrick have (so far) managed to fight off the predatory adults, they know their safety may be short-lived: Patrick's 18th birthday is only days away. Desperate, the brothers (along with Patrick's girlfriend Alex) venture out into danger, hoping to find answers before Patrick's time is up. Full of gritty, pulse-pounding action, The Rains is perfect for fans of Rick Yancey's 5th Wave series or Isla J. Bick's Ashes trilogy.
The Diabolic by S.J. KincaidGenetically engineered to be an emotionless bodyguard, a Diabolic bonds to a single person, doing whatever it takes to keep them safe. For teen Diabolic Nemesis, that means impersonating her privileged charge, Sidonia, and becoming a hostage to the Galactic court in Sidonia's place. Treachery lurks everywhere at court, and while trying to convincingly fake emotions, Nemesis is shocked to actually feel them – especially when it comes to Tyrus, the Emperor's heir. If you love high-stakes, futuristic science fiction like Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles, don't miss this "philosophical, twisty, and addictive" (Kirkus Reviews) series opener.
My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier At ten years old, Rosa is smart and charming...and probably a psychopath. For years, her 17-year-old brother Che has been concerned by Rosa's sadistic, manipulative tendencies, and since their Australian family's recent move to New York City, Che's protective concern has turned to alarm. As Rosa's disturbing behavior escalates and dark family secrets come to light, Che -- who's already dealing with making new friends and falling in love with fellow boxer Sojourner -- faces a painful question: is he afraid for his sister, or of her? Diverse, compelling characters and gripping psychological tension make My Sister Rosa difficult to put down.
Heartless by Marissa MeyerLady Catherine "Cath" Pinkerton doesn't want to be queen. Though her ambitious parents are thrilled when the King of Hearts takes an interest in her, Cath would prefer opening a bakery over marriage (she does a delectable lemon tart). Cath's choices, however, are narrowed by a tangled knot of politics and fate as she's courted publicly by the king and secretly by the alluring new court joker, Jest. Expanding on the whimsical world of Lewis Carroll's Wonderland, this delicious backstory for the head-chopping Queen of Hearts will captivate readers who relish fractured fairy tales and sympathetic villains.
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola YoonCan a single day change the direction of your life? Both Natasha and Daniel believe it might, though for different reasons: practical, scientific Natasha is making a final attempt to stop her family's deportation to Jamaica, while dreamy Korean-American Daniel is headed to a prestigious but unwanted college interview. Neither of them expects to meet the other, or to feel an undeniable bond that kicks off a confusing yet unforgettable 12 hours. With lyrical writing, multiple perspectives, and authentic characters, this tale of a whirlwind relationship will "appeal to cynics and romantics alike" (Kirkus Reviews).
Also Known As by Robin BenwayAs the daughter of international spies, 16-year-old Maggie is well-traveled, an expert safe-cracker, and has never had to go to school. That last fact changes with her first solo assignment: she's got to infiltrate an elite private high school in New York and get close to wealthy Jesse Oliver, whose father has intel that could destroy Maggie's parents' spy ring. Though she's lacking in typical high school social skills, Maggie finds help from a snarky new friend and quickly realizes that she doesn't have to fake her interest in Jesse. For further witty, romantic tales of teen espionage, try the sequel, Going Rogue, or Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series.
Etiquette & Espionage by Gail CarrigerSophronia Temminnick's mother has high hopes that Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy will transform her troublemaking daughter into a proper Victorian lady. Little does she know that while the school does indeed teach deportment, it also instructs the girls in the arts of espionage and assassination -- much to Sophronia's delight. Set in the same 19th-century world as author Gail Carriger's popular Parasol Protectorate series, Etiquette & Espionage offers a winning combination of twisted history, mystery, and madcap adventure.
Sekret by Lindsay SmithIn 1963 Russia, the Cold War rages quietly, and Yulia Chernina discovers that psychic powers are both an asset and a liability. Targeted for her ability to "read" objects and people through touch, Yulia is kidnapped by the KGB, who want her to join their training program for psychic spies. With her family's lives on the line, Yulia has no choice but to comply…and wait for the right moment to run. Filled with complicated relationships and unexpected reveals, this thriller with a science fiction twist also boasts an intensifying pace that will keep you reading to the last page and into the sequel, Skandal.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinAfter crash-landing in France in 1943 and being captured by Nazis, a female wireless operator for the British (who goes by Queenie, Eva, Verity, and various other aliases) reveals bits of code in exchange for reprieve from torture...and to postpone her execution. Woven into Verity's confession is a powerful, gritty tale of war, friendship, espionage, and great courage -- one that reviewers describe as "gut-wrenching" (Booklist), "heartbreaking" (VOYA), and "downright sizzling" (Horn Book). If you feel the same way, be sure to check out the follow-up, Rose Under Fire, and watch out for The Pearl Thief, a prequel due out in 2017.
Palace of Spies by Sarah ZettelUnwilling to go through with a terrible arranged marriage, 16-year-old orphan Peggy Fitzroy finds herself in dire need of a job. That's why she agrees to pose as Lady Francesca, a (recently deceased) lady-in-waiting at the court of King George I. At court, Peggy carries tales of palace intrigue to her mysterious employers while also investigating the death of the real lady Francesca. Detail-rich descriptions will draw you in to the world of 1716 London, and clever, fiery Peggy is a heroine you'll want to root for. Bubbling over with excitement, humor, and romance, this series opener will please all kinds of readers, especially those who love historical mysteries.
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