Landscape With Invisible Hand by M.T. AndersonScience Fiction. The alien vuuv arrived with promises of peace and technological progress, but they wound up destroying Earth's economy, turning life into a hopeless grind for everyone but the ultra-rich. Now, teen artist Adam dreams of buying the vuvv's advanced medicine to treat his chronic illness, but his family can barely afford food. Desperate for cash, Adam and his girlfriend Chloe begin filming their wholesome, 1950s-style dates for the vuuv, who are obsessed with "classic" Earth culture. It's a profitable ploy, but can it survive the bitter collapse of Adam and Chloe's relationship? Sophisticated science fiction readers will relish this "elegant, biting, and hilarious social satire" (Booklist).
Genuine Fraud by E. LockhartSuspense. When you first meet Jule West Williams, she's hiding out at a fancy Mexican resort after the suicide of her best friend, runaway heiress Imogen Sokoloff. You'll sense right away that there's significant history to this friendship…and also that Jule's account of it might not be reliable. As the book moves backwards through Jule's recent past, a portrait of a complex anti-heroine -- skilled at disguise, fiercely ambitious, definitely violent, and possibly deadly -- gradually comes into focus. Fans of the author's twisty We Were Liars will appreciate this equally suspenseful story of privilege, identity, and deception.
You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali PerkinsFiction. Spanning the 1960s through the 2000s, You Bring the Distant Near offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of the Das women: aspiring actress Tara and her activist sister Sonia, uprooted by their Bengali mother to grow up in 1970s New York City; their daughters Anna and Chantal, both navigating the connections and divisions between cultures; and Ranee, the matriarch who rigidly clings to tradition. Each character gets a chance to describe her experiences (personal and political) and her own sense of Indian-American identity. Both culturally distinct and utterly relatable, this family saga holds appeal for all kinds of readers.
They Both Die at the End by Adam SilveraScience Fiction. The countdown begins when you get a call from the Death-Cast service: you'll die within 24 hours. After Rufus and Mateo get their calls, they connect through the Last Friend app and decide to spend their final day together. Neither knows how he'll die, but neither wants to be alone -- and neither expects their last-minute friendship to grow into a genuine (if doomed) romance. If you loved the diverse characters, alternating voices, and single-day timeframe of Nicola Yoon's The Sun is Also a Star, you'll be riveted by this bittersweet, speculative story.
Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney StevensFiction. Seventeen-year-old Billie and her five best friends are so close that people call them "the Hexagon," and Billie couldn't live without them. As a minister's daughter in tiny Otters Holt, Kentucky, Billie faces a lot of expectations, but she knows that her friends have her back. When Billie begins questioning her gender and sexuality, it creates a ripple effect in the Hexagon, leading to an exploration of various kinds of love. Similar to Jeff Zenter's The Serpent King, this small-town coming-of-age story will resonate with anyone who's grappled with their own changing attitudes toward faith, family, and (most of all) friendship.
If you're excited about The Book of Dust
The Lie Tree by Frances HardingeHistorical Fantasy/Mystery. Faith Sunderly's family has only just arrived on the small island of Vane when Faith's father, a disgraced minister and naturalist, is found dead. Gossip declares his death a suicide, but smart, headstrong Faith is certain that it's murder. Among her father's many secrets and specimens, she finds an extremely rare tree -- one that feeds on lies and bears fruit that reveals the truth. Can Faith use the tree to find her father's killer, or will eating its fruit lead her to share his fate? Featuring shady archaeologists, disturbing visions, and razor-sharp social commentary, The Lie Tree will please His Dark Materials devotees who are fascinated by the tension between religion and science.
Seraphina by Rachel HartmanFantasy. Just before the 40th anniversary of the peace treaty between humans and dragons in Goredd, a human prince is murdered. Suspicion immediately falls on the dragons (who are able to take human form), forcing court musician Seraphina to be more careful than ever about concealing her half-human, half-dragon heritage. But when Prince Lucian Kiggs asks for her help investigating the murder, Seraphina finds it difficult to hide her family history…or her inconvenient feelings for Kiggs. With its rich world-building and refreshingly prickly heroine, fantasy readers who love His Dark Materials may also appreciate this unique take on dragon mythology (which is followed by a sequel, Shadow Scale).
A Corner of White by Jaclyn MoriartyFantasy. Madeleine and Elliot live in different worlds -- literally. In Cambridge, England, homeschooler Madeleine and her mom are barely scraping by after leaving Madeleine's wealthy father. In the Kingdom of Cello, Elliot's dad is missing after an attack by vicious Colors (a "rogue subclass" of the colors you see). After Madeleine and Elliot begin exchanging letters through a crack between their worlds, they start to understand more about themselves, their broken families, and the surprising truth about their universes. Tight plotting and a compelling vision of parallel worlds make this imaginative story (the 1st in a series) a complementary read for His Dark Materials.
Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen by Garth NixFantasy. Though many people in the Old Kingdom would love to live in the capital city of Belisaere, Clariel is resentful that her mother's job has forced them to move there. Prickly and willful, Clariel would rather be in the Great Forest, far from the King's court, boring Charter magic lessons, and an unwanted engagement. When political unrest explodes into violence and Free Magic rages through the city, Clariel's desire for freedom leads her to make choices that could have far-reaching and devastating effects. Set in a breathtaking fantasy world with an intricate system of magic, this prequel to the Abhorsen trilogy is perfect for Philip Pullman fans who want another absorbing series.
Fever Crumb by Philip ReeveScience Fiction. If you enjoy the superb alternate-world setting and bold adventure in His Dark Materials, you'll be thrilled by the bleak, futuristic London depicted in this prequel to the Hungry City Chronicles. Young orphan Fever was adopted by Dr. Crumb of the Order of Engineers and has been raised to be supremely logical. When Fever begins working with an archaeologist who may have found technology used by the Scriven (London's former mutant overlords, now extinct), her mind is flooded with memories that aren't her own. Could the rumors of surviving Scriven be true? And could Fever be one of them?
Contact your librarian for more great books!
If you are having trouble unsubscribing to this newsletter, please contact the Millburn Free Public Library at
973-376-1006, 200 Glen Avenue, Millburn, NJ 07041