"Okay is just a word I use so I won't have to talk about what's inside. Okay is a word that means I am going to keep my secrets."
~ from Benjamin Alire Sáenz's Last Night I Sang to the Monster
New and Recently Released!
The Here and Now by Ann BrasharesScience Fiction. The popular author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants changes gears in this twisty, fast-moving time travel adventure. From the plague-ravaged Earth of 2098, Prenna and her community have traveled back to the present, hoping to prevent the planet's devastation before it happens. The community's strict rules forbid Prenna from getting too close to classmate and "Time Native" Ethan, but a bizarre prophecy throws the teens together in a desperate quest to thwart a murder and change humanity's destiny. Want to be swept up in another romantic race against the future? Try Cristin Terrill's All Our Yesterdays.
Nearly Gone by Elle CosimanoMystery. At first, the cryptic messages in the newspaper's Missed Connections column just seem weird. But math genius Nearly Boswell quickly is convinced that the messages are coded clues to the recent string of murders at her high school -- murders for which she's being framed. To prove her innocence, Nearly will have to use not only her math and science knowledge to decipher the killer's puzzling clues, but also her unusual ability to sense people's emotions through touch. Smart, edgy, and darkly gripping, Nearly Gone is a great pick for fans of supernatural thrillers like Lisa McMann's Crash or Olivia Samms' Sketchy.
The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E.K. JohnstonFantasy. Once, dragon slaying was a noble calling, with slayers guarding their neighbors from ferocious, carbon-hungry dragons. These days, however, most slayers work for big cities and corporations. That's why the citizens of Trondheim, a tiny town in rural Ontario, are so grateful for the protection of a renowned family of slayers like the Thorskards. It's also why Siobahn, a gifted musician, agrees to become bard (and algebra tutor) to trainee slayer Owen Thorskard and to join his family's campaign to return dragon slaying to its roots. Similar to The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde, this modern, inventive spin on dragon lore will enchant readers with its strong characters, quirky humor, and intricate world-building.
The Winner's Curse by Marie RutkoskiDystopian Fantasy. Though she isn't sure why, Kestrel -- the discontented daughter of a Valorian general -- feels compelled to buy Arin, a young Herrani slave. Despite their initial unease and mutual manipulation, Arin and Kestrel are irresistibly drawn closer. But the barriers of power and privilege might be too big for them to overcome -- especially after a bloody uprising turns their world upside down. Filled with multifaceted characters and complex politics, this provocative page-turner raises questions about love, loyalty, trust, and revenge. Whether describing the delicious thrill of romance or the brutal violence of battle, The Winner's Curse will leave you breathless…and impatient for the 2nd book in the trilogy.
Noggin by John Corey WhaleyFiction. Travis Coates is back from the dead, but he still can't get a life. As a terminally ill 16-year-old, Travis had agreed to have his head cryogenically frozen, thinking he'd be revived in the far future. Instead, it's only five years later when he wakes up with his head attached to a donor body. Though Travis is grateful, adjusting to his new reality is confusing: his gay best friend Kyle is back in the closet, his girlfriend Cate is engaged to some other guy, and he's still stuck in high school while everyone else has moved on. If you appreciate angst sprinkled with humor, don't miss this "satisfyingly oddball" (Kirkus Reviews) coming-of-age story.
When mental illness, addiction, and other challenges become too tough to deal with alone, the teens in these books turn to support groups, therapy, and rehab to help them cope.
Get Well Soon by Julie HalpernRealistic Fiction. Anna Bloom has skipped so many days of school due to anxiety and depression that her parents have committed her to a mental hospital. Instructed to keep track of her feelings in a journal, Anna instead writes (but never mails) honest and sharply funny letters to her best friend, Tracy. At first, her letters are filled with complaints about the hospital's hideous decor, her fellow patients, and a therapist who seems obsessed with Anna's weight. But after a while, Anna opens up to new perspectives...and maybe a new relationship. For more of Anna's refreshingly snarky observations, check out the sequel, Have a Nice Day.
OCD Love Story by Corey Ann HayduRealistic Fiction. When Bea meets Beck, he's having a panic attack during a blackout at a school dance. They end up kissing before the lights come back on, which makes things awkward when they meet again, this time in group therapy. Beck has OCD (which includes a constant need to wash his hands and an obsession with the number eight), and while Bea claims she only has a few "little anxieties," it soon becomes clear that her issues are much more severe -- and more dangerous. Can Bea and Beck's love survive if they see each other for how they really are? Find out in this unflinching yet disarmingly hopeful romance.
The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine JinksHumorous Fantasy. Forget the smolderingly gorgeous vampires of Twilight; Australian author Catherine Jinks' vampires border on being pathetic -- especially permanently 15-year-old Nina Harrison. Her boring life is a far cry from the exciting escapades of vampire Zadia Bloodstone, the heroine of the novels that Nina writes under a pen name. And the whiny other members of her nonviolent vampires' support group are starting to really grate on her nerves...until one of them is staked, and Nina must pull the group together to find and fight the slayer who threatens them all. Action-packed, hilarious, and decidedly offbeat, this fang-in-cheek adventure is a must-read for paranormal fiction fans.
Recovery Road by Blake NelsonRealistic Fiction. After one too many intoxicated escapades, attitudinal party girl "Mad Dog Maddie" Graham lands in one of several rehab facilities located on aptly named Recovery Road. Maddie hates pretty much everyone at Spring Meadows and lives for Tuesday-night movie outings with her one friend, Trish. Then, one movie night, Maddie meets Stewart, a fellow recovering addict. Their connection is instantaneous and intense, and they fall for each other, hard. Poignant, honest, and thought-provoking, Recovery Road will enthrall readers who love the richly developed characters and gritty stories in Ellen Hopkins' books.
Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire SáenzRealistic Fiction. Eighteen-year-old Zach can't quite remember how he landed in rehab, and he's not sure he wants to: "Remembering makes me feel things. I don't like feeling things." But neither Zach's therapist nor his roommate, Rafael, are willing to give up on him, so Zach begins the agonizing work of confronting his alcoholism and abusive family life so that he can finally face the monstrous pain of his past. Sophisticated readers who enjoy delving into heavy subjects will be captivated by the graceful writing and raw emotion in this memorable novel from the award-winning author of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
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