A weekly feature I started to showcase the exciting new releases hitting shelves this week.
The Sharp Time by Mary O’Connell
Sandinista Jones is a high school senior with a punk rock name and a broken heart. The death of her single mother has left Sandinista alone in the world, subject to the random vulnerability of everyday life. When the school system lets her down, her grief and instability intensify, and she ponders a violent act of revenge.
Still, in the midst of her crisis, she gets a job at The Pale Circus, a funky vintage clothing shop, and finds friendship and camaraderie with her coworker, a boy struggling with his own secrets.
Even as Sandinista sees the failures of those with power and authority, she's offered the chance to survive through the redemptive power of friendship. Now she must choose between faith and forgiveness or violence and vengeance.
Extraordinary*: The True Story of My Fairygodparent, Who Almost Killed Me, and Certainly Never Made Me a Princess by Adam Selzer
Jennifer Van Der Berg would like you to know that the book ostensibly written about her—Born to Be Extraordinary by Eileen Codlin—is a bunch of bunk. Yes, she had a fairy godparent mess with her life, but no, she was not made into a princess or given the gift of self-confidence, and she sure as hell didn't get a hot boyfriend out of it.
Here's the REAL scoop . . .
Don’t Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough
Delaney Collins doesn't believe in fairy tales. And why should she? Her mom is dead, her best friend is across the country, and she's stuck in California with "Dr. Hank," her famous life-coach father—a man she barely knows. Happily ever after? Yeah, right.
Then Dr. Hank tells her an outrageous secret: he's a fairy godmother—an f.g.—and he can prove it. And by the way? The f.g. gene is hereditary. Meaning there's a good chance that New Jersey tough girl Delaney is someone's fairy godmother.
But what happens when a fairy godmother needs a wish of her own?
Finding Somewhere by Joseph Monninger
Two girls: Best friends Hattie and Delores feel that life in their small New Hampshire town is a dead end.
One horse: Old and about to be put down, Speed gets a reprieve when Hattie and Delores decide to save him.
A road trip: Determined to set Speed free, Hattie and Delores drive him west in search of rangeland. But the road takes some unexpected turns as the girls get their own taste of freedom—and as they confront the reasons they left home.
Prized (Birthmarked #2) by Caragh M. O’Brien
Roaring Brook Press
Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime. In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole?
Past Continuous by K. Ryer Breese
St. Martin's Griffin
Ade Patience has done what he was told he couldn’t. He’s broken the rules, used his powers to save a life. And no good deed goes unpunished. . . .
Senior year finds Ade and his girlfriend, Vauxhall, deeply in love, indulging themselves with wild dates and exploring their newly strengthened abilities. Only Ade isn’t as happy as he should be. He’s got an itch that he can’t seem to scratch and it has everything to do with his joining the Pandora Crew, a group of radical oracles hell-bent on disturbing the peace, performing Jackass-style stunts, and spreading the mayhem.
When Ade realizes that his involvement with the Pandora Crew is due to his absorbing some of Jimi Ministry’s abusive childhood, he discovers that the only way to rid himself of the infectious memories is to erase his past. And it just so happens that the one guy who can do that lives a few blocks down the street.
The procedure works. The “Jimi cancer” is cleared out. But when Ade returns to his life, he finds that changing the past has changed the present. Vauxhall has no idea who he is and he has to woo her all over again. And it won’t be easy. There are three other people vying for Vauxhall’s attention. Three other guys he has to literally battle to win her back. The worst part: they’re all twisted versions of Ade.
Erasing the past has dramatically altered the present and Ade must join forces with his former rival to defeat . . . himself.
Fetching by Kiera Stewart
Olivia has just about had it with the popular kids at school. She and her friends have done nothing to deserve humiliating pranks and mean name-calling, but that doesn’t stop queen bee Brynne from tormenting them. If only Olivia’s classmates were more like the dogs she helps her grandmother train—poorly behaved, but improvable. Then Olivia hatches a brilliant plan: she and her friends will modify their tormentors’ behavior with the same kind of training that works on dogs. Using cues and responses, distractions and rewards, gets better results than anyone could have guessed. Soon, Olivia and her friends have replaced Brynne as alpha-dogs. But will popularity get Olivia what she really wants?
Faking Faith by Josie Bloss
After a humiliating "sexting" incident involving a hot and popular senior, seventeen-year-old Dylan has become a social outcast—harassed, ignored, and estranged from her two best friends.
When Dylan discovers the blogs of homeschooled fundamentalist Christian girls, she's fascinated by their old-fashioned conversation themes, like practicing submission to one's future husband. Blogging as Faith, her devout alter ego, Dylan befriends Abigail, the group's queen bee. But growing closer to Abigail (and her intriguing older brother) forces Dylan to choose: keep living a lie or come clean and face the consequences.
"Josie Bloss writes about obsession—characters who are obsessed with band or music, obsessed with a boy, obsessed with someone else's life. They're themes to which all young adults—popular or not—can relate." —INDIANAPOLIS STAR
Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie by S. J. Adams
Since sixth grade, Debbie Woodlawn has nursed a secret, heart-searing crush for her best friend, Lisa. Side by side, they watched countless 80s sit-coms and took vows of premarital chastity. But Debbie's never really been a fan of Full House or abstinence rallies, and all those years of pretending go down the drain when Lisa hooks up with the most boring guy at school. This earth-shattering event provokes Debbie to do the unthinkable: confess her love to Lisa.
But first, Debbie embarks on a holy quest guided by the two founding—and only—members of a wacky, made-up faith called the Church of Blue. Their fast-paced, hilarious adventure leads to nudity in a church coat closet, an unexpected kiss in a cemetery, and eye-opening revelations about someone Debbie's been ignoring far too long—herself.
Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Emily is sick and tired of being a middle sister. So when she gets an assignment to describe what she'd change about a classic novel, Emily pounces on Little Women. After all, if she can't change things in her own family, maybe she can bring a little justice to the March sisters. (Kill off Beth? Have cute Laurie wind up with Amy instead of Jo? What was Louisa May Alcott thinking?!) But when Emily gets mysteriously transported into the world of the book, she discovers that righting fictional wrongs won't be easy. And after being immersed in a time and place so different from her own, it may be Emily-not the four March sisters-who undergoes the most surprising change of all. Lauren Baratz-Logsted's winning confection will appeal to fans of Little Women as well as anyone who enjoys a modern twist on an old favorite.
Kill You Last by Todd Strasser
Shelby's life in Soundview has always been comfortable. Her dad provides a luxurious lifestyle for his family through his photography business. He makes a ton of money taking headshots of pretty young teens who are desperate to become models. Shelby has always enjoyed driving around town in a red sports car, shopping with her best friend at her side. And her Mom is laidback, so it's all good.
However, as reports of girls disappearing from nearby towns start to appear on the news, Shelby's seemingly perfect life begins to fall apart. The three missing girls have one thing in common - they were all clients of her dad's photography business. Secrets begin to surface as the investigation continues. Shelby receives threatening e-mails, battles the nosy media, and tries to keep her family together. Now that her dad is implicated in the disappearances, can Shelby figure out a way to clear his name? Or is dad not as innocent as he seems?
Inheritance (Inheritance #4) by Christopher Paolini
Not so very long ago, Eragon—Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider—was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.
Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances.
The Rider and his dragon have come further than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaësia? And if so, at what cost?
This is the much-anticipated, astonishing conclusion to the worldwide bestselling Inheritance cycle.
The Ripper (The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries #4) by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec
Haunted by the past . . .
The year is 1888, and the scent of blood lingers heavy in the London air. Stefan Salvatore thought he could escape his violent origins by settling in the peaceful countryside of England, but when a heinous murderer named Jack the Ripper surfaces, Stefan fears darkness will always follow him. Drawn into the investigation, Stefan assumes the worst: This is the work of a vampire. And the more he learns, the more he becomes convinced that the killer is someone close to him—and that he can never outrun his past.
Based on the popular CW TV show inspired by the bestselling novels, Stefan’s Diaries reveals the truth about what really happened between Stefan, Damon, and Katherine—and how the Vampire Diaries love triangle began.
I'm really excited to read The Sharp Time this week! I just love that sort of vintage cover, and how great of a name is Sandinista Jones? It sounds like a bittersweet contemporary read.
What new release are you most excited for this week?