A weekly feature I started to showcase the exciting new releases hitting shelves this week.
Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson
Three days before her drama club's trip to Italy, Jessa Gardner discovers her boyfriend in the costume barn with another girl. Jessa is left with a care package from her best friend titled "Top Twenty Reasons He's a Slimy Jerk Bastard," instructing her to do one un-Jessa-like thing each day of the trip. At turns hilarious and heartwrenching, Instructions for a Broken Heart paints a magical Italy in which Jessa learns she must figure out life-and romance-for herself.
Are You Going to Kiss Me Now? By Sloane Tanen
High school junior Francesca Manning is an outsider, an aspiring writer and secret devourer of celebrity gossip mags. A fake essay to Seventeenwins her the celeb-schmoozing opportunity of a lifetime, but after the plane crashes, she's stranded on a desert island with five of the most clueless, self-involved headcases to escape Hollywood. Happily skewering their foibles in witty observations on her iPhone proves surprisingly educational for Francesca. The group must work together to survive-if they don't insult each other to death first.
Captured (Divided Realms #1) by Maggie Wood
(Updated edition of The Princess Pawn.)
A teen is transported to an enchanted realm—could she be the hero that the kingdom seeks?
Fifteen-year-old Willow Kingswell has been listening to her Nana's tales of faeries and enchanted kingdoms for as long as she can remember. But when she is magically transported to the realm of Mistolear, she is stunned to learn that the stories were true, and that she is actually a princess. Suddenly, Willow has to fit into a royal family she didn't know she had, deal with customs she doesn't understand and sort out her feelings for Brand, the handsome knight who has sworn to protect her.
On top of everything, she may also be the key to saving Mistolear from a terrifying spell. The nefarious faerie prince Nezeral has pitted two kingdoms against each other in a life-or-death chess match, in which people are the game pieces. As a pawn, Willow now glows with the light of the game and must find the courage and cleverness to battle Nezeral before her loved ones fall. Could a meager pawn really be the most powerful piece on the board?
The Darkening (Divided Realms #2) by Maggie Wood
(Updated edition of The Princess Mage.)
Life is returning to normal since Willow defeated the faerie prince who had ensnared Mistolear in a deadly game. She is refining her skills at Mage School and spending time with her new friends, especially Brand, the handsome knight who has sworn to protect her. Unfortunately, he also drives her mad with his old-fashioned rules about "proper courtship."
The peace does not last, however, as a misstep in Clarion dooms Willow to play another twisted faerie game. If she loses, faeries will once again be free to wreak havoc in the realms of Mistolear and Earth. The Game Master, King Jarlath of the Unseelie Court, throws Willow and Brand into the Goblin's Gauntlet where goblins, phookas and a host of bloodthirsty creatures are on the hunt. In a surprising move, Jarlath sends his own children into the game as well. Dacia, the female twin, is ruthless and cunning. Theon, the male, is clever, flirtatious and, like all faeries, devastatingly beautiful. Willow struggles to resist Theon's charm, while Brand's jealousy simmers—but with the fate of two realms hanging in the balance, both must push their emotions aside. Can Willow and Brand trust the faerie siblings, or is there more than one game being played?
Shine by Lauren Myracle
When her best guy friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover who in her small town did it. Richly atmospheric, this daring mystery mines the secrets of a tightly knit Southern community and examines the strength of will it takes to go against everyone you know in the name of justice.
Against a backdrop of poverty, clannishness, drugs, and intolerance, Myracle has crafted a harrowing coming-of-age tale couched in a deeply intelligent mystery. Smart, fearless, and compassionate, this is an unforgettable work from a beloved author.
Behind the Gates by Eva Gray
In a terrifying future world, four girls must depend on each other if they want to survive.
Louisa is nervous about being sent away to a boarding school -- but she’s excited, too. And she has her best friend, Maddie, to keep her company. The girls have to pretend to be twin sisters, which Louisa thinks just adds to the adventure!
Country Manor School isn’t all excitement, though. Louisa isn’t sure how she feels about her new roommates: athletic but snobby Rosie and everything’s-a-conspiracy Evelyn. Even Maddie seems different away from home, quiet and worried all the time.
Still, Louisa loves CMS -- the survival skills classes, the fresh air. She doesn’t even miss not having a TV, or the internet, or any contact with home. It’s for their own safety, after all.
Or is it?
I’m Not Her by Janet Gurtler
Brainy Tess Smith is the younger sibling of the beautiful, popular, volleyball-scholarship-bound Kristina. When Kristina is diagnosed with bone cancer, it drastically changes both sisters' lives. Sometimes the things that annoy us the most about our siblings are the ones we'd miss the most if we lost them.
In this YA literary coming-of-age novel that will appeal to readers who love Jodi Picoult and Sarah Dessen, sisters Tess and Kristina discover not only who they are, but who they can become.
What is Real by Karen Rivers
Dex Pratt is seventeen years old, a star basketball player and a budding filmmaker. And his life has been turned upside down. His parents have split up and his mother has remarried and taken him to a new life in the city. When his father attempts suicide and fails, Dex returns to their small town to care for him. He is not, however, prepared for how much everything has changed. Gone is the suburban split-level on the outskirts of town. Gone are the new cars, fancy bikes and other toys. Now he and his wheelchair-bound dad live in a rotting rented house at the back of a cornfield. And, worse, his father has given up defending marijuana growers in his law practice and has become one himself.
Unable to cope, Dex throws his camera in the trash and begins smoking himself into a state of surrealism. He begins to lose touch with what is real and what he is imagining. And then there are the aliens…And the crop circle…And the girl-of-his-dreams…
What Is Real presents a poignant portrait of suburban family life gone south. Dex Pratt is smart, funny, creative and compulsive; he's also angry and disillusioned. But most of all he's a character that readers won't soon forget.
The Break-Up Diaries by Ni-ni Simone and Kelli London
The only thing more intense than teen love is a break-up with the uncertainty of a make-up. This exciting new series serves up two tales of love that will shake-up your assumptions of relationships. So buckle up, it's time to get real, learn to deal, and move on with this first volume of The Break-Up Diaries.
Hot Boyz Ni-Ni Simone
Chance Kennedy always gets what she wants, even if she has to bend the truth to do it. She's set her sights on extremely fine and college-bound Ahmad King, and she will do anything to become his girl. There's only one problem: she didn't count on love entering the picture. Now she's scrabbling to make things right before the tiny white lie she's told to lock down her guy blows up in everyone's face. Now, the girl with everything may lose it all...
The Boy Trap Kelli London
Pretty, popular, and with mad potential, Gabrielle Newton is, hands down, the girl to know. But Gabrielle only has time for Tyler Scott, Lakeview High's hottest new athlete. He's the golden ticket to her dream: becoming an NBA star's pampered wife. But when Gabrielle plays Tyler one time too many, suddenly more than their relationship is on the line...
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming... The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.
Costa Award winner Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final idea of much-loved Carnegie Medal winner Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel of coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults.
Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
When Anna was little, she and her mother used to search for sea glass, but since they looked at night, they called it moonglass. Now, ten years after her mother's mysterious death, her father is working as head lifeguard on the same beach where her mother grew up and her parents first met and fell in love.
Reluctant to get close to anyone (including her father) and not pleased about having to start at a new school, Anna begins to spend more time alone, running the length of the beach and wondering about who her mother really was. After meeting a lifeguard named Tyler, she slowly lets her guard down and together they start exploring the abandoned houses that dot the beach.
But when learning more about her mother's past leads to a painful discovery, Anna must reconcile her desire for solitude with ultimately accepting the love of her family and friends.
Addie on the Inside by James Howe
The Gang of Five is back in this third story from Paintbrush Falls. Addie Carle, the only girl in the group of friends is outspoken, opinionated, and sometimes…just a bit obnoxious.
But as seventh grade progresses, Addie’s not so sure anymore about who she is. It seems her tough exterior is just a little too tough and that doesn’t help her deal with the turmoil she feels on the inside as she faces the pains of growing up.
Told in elegant, accessible verse, ADDIE ON THE INSIDE gives readers a look at a strong, smart, and sensitive girl struggling with the box society wants to put her in. Addie confronts experiences many readers will relate to: the loss of a beloved pet, first heartbreak, teasing…but also, friendship, love, and a growing confidence in one’s self.
Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton
Anna is dreading another tourist-filled summer on Dune Island that follows the same routine: beach, ice cream, friends, repeat. That is, until she locks eyes with Will, the gorgeous and sweet guy visiting from New York. Soon, her summer is filled with flirtatious fun as Anna falls head over heels in love.
But with every perfect afternoon, sweet kiss, and walk on the beach, Anna can’t ignore that the days are quickly growing shorter, and Will has to leave at the end of August. Anna’s never felt anything like this before, but when forever isn’t even a possibility, one summer doesn’t feel worth the promise of her heart breaking...
Bite Club (Morganville Vampires #10) by Rachel Caine
After discovering that vampires populate her town, college student Claire Danvers knows that the undead just want to live their lives. But someone else wants them to get ready to rumble.
There's a new extreme sport getting picked up on the Internet: bare- knuckle fights pitting captured vampires against each other-or humans. Tracking the remote signal leads Claire- accompanied by her friends and frenemies-to discover that what started as an online brawl will soon threaten everyone in Morganville...
Shift (Shade #2) by Jeri Smith-Ready
Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to.
Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift.
As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets…and her heart.
The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy
Three sisters. One life-changing summer.
Calla loves summer because summer means Duncan. They’ve been best friends for years, but Calla has never worked up the nerve to tell him how she really feels. This summer, the summer before college, is Calla's last chance.
Violet isn't much of a rule breaker in real life. But this isn't real life, this is summer, and Violet is determined to make the most of it. Besides, a little sneaking out never hurt anyone. And sneaking out with James is 100% worth the risk...even though James is completely off-limits.
Daisy has never been the sister that boys notice, but when sparks fly with Joel at the first bonfire of summer, it seems so easy and right. So why is being his girlfriend so complicated?
The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles #2) by Rick Riordan
Ever since the gods of Ancient Egypt were unleashed in the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister Sadie have been in trouble. As descendants of the House of Life, the Kanes have some powers at their command, but the devious gods haven't given them much time to master their skills at Brooklyn House, which has become a training ground for young magicians.
And now their most threatening enemy yet - the chaos snake Apophis - is rising. If they don't prevent him from breaking free in a few days' time, the world will come to an end. In other words, it's a typical week for the Kane family.
To have any chance of battling the Forces of Chaos, the Kanes must revive the sun god Ra. But that would be a feat more powerful than any magician has ever accomplished.
First they have to search the world for the three sections of the Book of Ra, then they have to learn how to chant its spells. Oh, and did we mention that no one knows where Ra is exactly?
Narrated in two different wisecracking voices, featuring a large cast of new and unforgettable characters, and with adventures spanning the globe, this second installment in the Kane Chronicles is nothing short of a thrill ride.
Illusions (Wings #3) by Aprilynn Pike
Laurel hasn't seen Tamani since she begged him to let her go last year. Though her heart still aches, Laurel is confident that David was the right choice.
But just as life is returning to normal, Laurel discovers that a hidden enemy lies in wait. Once again, Laurel must turn to Tamani to protect and guide her, for the danger that now threatens Avalon is one that no faerie thought would ever be possible. And for the first time, Laurel cannot be sure that her side will prevail.
Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin
As if transferring senior year weren't hard enough, Charlotte Locke has been bumped to lower level classes at her new school. With no friends, a terrible math SAT score, and looming college application deadlines, the future is starting to seem like an oncoming train for which she has no ticket.
Then Amanda enters her orbit like a hot-pink meteor, offering Charlotte a ticket to something else: popularity. Amanda is fearless, beautiful, brilliant, and rich. As her new side kick, Charlotte is brought into the elite clique of the debate team—and closer to Neal, Amanda's equally brilliant friend and the most perfect boy Charlotte has ever seen.
But just when senior year is looking up, Charlotte’s life starts to crumble. The more things heat up between Charlotte and Neal, the more Neal wants to hide their relationship. Is he ashamed? Meanwhile, Amanda is starting to act strangely competitive, and she's keeping a secret Charlotte doesn't want to know.
Talented newcomer Alexa Martin delivers a poignant story of first love, jealousy and friendship, where the ups and downs of senior year have never been so complicated. What else can Charlotte do but throw her hands up and ride?
The Royal Treatment (Princess for Hire #2) by Lindsey Leavitt
Desi Bascomb's job as a princess substitute has gotten a whole lot more glamorous now that she's advanced to Level 2 within the Facade Agency. Magical make-up, roller-skating celebrities, and the chance to see Prince Karl again are just some of the major perks. Not to mention, she's landed the role of Fairy Queen in her school's production of Midsummer's Night Dream (opposite her best friend's crush. Which is a little weird, but at least he wears a donkey head during their kissing scene). Life should be perfect, but Desi can't seem to shake the feeling that there is more going on with the agency's magic than she's told. Like why is this mind-bending power exclusive to royals? Is it possible that there could be a bigger way to make an impact in both parts of her life?
Compulsion by Heidi Ayarbe
Today has to be perfect.
I look at the clock.
Ten fourteen. One plus one is two plus four is six plus ten is sixteen minus one is fifteen minus two is thirteen. OK.
I turn from the clock and walk into the hallway. "Ready.”
Saturday will be the third state soccer championship in a row for Jake Martin. Three. A good number. Prime. With Jake on the field, Carson City High can’t lose, because Jake has the magic: a self-created protection generated by his obsession with prime numbers. It’s the magic that has every top soccer university recruiting Jake, the magic that keeps his family safe, and the magic that suppresses his anxiety attacks. But the magic is Jake’s prison, because getting it means his compulsions take over nearly every aspect of his life.
Jake’s convinced the magic will be permanent after Saturday, the perfect day, when every prime has converged. Once the game is over, he won’t have to rely on his sister, Kasey, to concoct excuses for his odd rituals. His dad will stop treating him like he is some freak. Maybe he’ll even make a friend other than Luc.
But what if it doesn’t work?
What if the numbers never go away?
Acclaimed author Heidi Ayarbe has created an honest and riveting portrait of a teen struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder in this courageous and breathtaking novel.
The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch
After the death of her free-spirited mother, sixteen-year-old Alex Lee must leave her home in northern California to live with her wealthy grandmother in Savannah, Georgia. By birth, Alex is a rightful, if unwilling, member of the Magnolia League, Savannah's long-standing debutante society. She quickly discovers that the Magnolias have made a pact with a legendary hoodoo family, the Buzzards. The Magnolias enjoy youth, beauty and power. But at what price?
As in her popular adult novels, Crouch's poignant and humorous voice shines in this seductively atmospheric story about girls growing up in a magical Southern city.
Me and Tennessee by Hernandez Sheridan
Every summer, fourteen-year-old Rachel leaves her home in England to stay with her grandparents in Florida. But this year, there's an exciting change when Rachel meets Jed, a brooding, cynical guitar player, and Kyle, an idealistic future soldier. Shy, lonely Rachel blossoms under the attention she receives from the boys, and she finds herself strongly drawn to both. But as the summer unfolds, so does the tension, jealousy, and attraction between them, and conflicts threaten to destroy their friendship. Things become even more complicated when Rachel is assaulted by one of Kyle's friends, spurring an explosive reaction from one of the boys, and consequences none of the three could have foreseen.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.
Everfound (Skinjacker #3) by Neal Shusterman
While Mary lies in a glass coffin aboard a ghost train heading west, her minions are awaiting her re-awakening by bringing lots of new souls into Everlost to serve her. Meanwhile Jackin’ Jill has met Jix, a fur-jacker—a skin jacker who can take over the bodies of animals, most notably jaguars. Jix serves a Mayan god who collects Everlost coins, and has his own agenda. In the concluding volume of The Skinjacker Trilogy, Neal Shusterman reveals new sides of the characters of Everlost, who are pitted against each other in a battle that may destroy all life on Earth.
So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti
When Brooke's crush, Scott, moves from their suburban town to New York City, she decides to follow him there. Living with her formerly estranged dad and adapting to a new school are challenging, and things go from bad to worse when Brooke learns that Scott already has a girlfriend. But as she builds her new life, Brooke begins to discover a side of herself she never knew existed. And as she finds out, in the city that never sleeps, love can appear around any corner...
Angel Kiss by Laura Jane Cassidy
Jacki King is fifteen and adjusting to her new life in a small village. She's missing Dublin but she's making new friends: artistic Colin, feisty Emily - and Nick, gorgeous yet unavailable. But no sooner is Jacki settled than the torturous headaches and nightmares begin - followed by strange visions, voices and signs...Jacki refuses to believe that something paranormal is happening. But then she discovers the unsolved murder that occurred in the village years before...
GO BUY DIVERGENT! Seriously. That book was amazing. I'll be reviewing several of this week's releases soon -- I'm a little behind because of school, but I'll be free after this week. Look for my Moonglass review and a giveaway next Monday! I've heard really great things about Shine and Shift, and I'm really intrigued by Angel Kiss. Lots of great releases this week!
What new release are you most excited for?