GREAT READS HANDPICKED BY GREAT SOUTHERN BOOKSELLERS...

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  • City of Beasts by Corrie Wang

    City of Beasts by Corrie WangIt can get all too easy to joke about the patriarchy and its toxic effects because the jokes help cover up the pain that goes along with a deliberate, toxic system. Somehow, the brilliant Corrie Wang has crafted a novel that actually challenges that notion while delivering a page-turning adventure filled with heart, humor, and radical empathy.

    City of Beasts brings fresh life to the post-apocalyptic YA landscape with characters who just won’t quit and that you’ll have a hard time letting go of. Glori Rhodes is a force of nature, and the cast of characters that flank her are captivating and pulsating.

    City of Beasts by Corrie Wang ($17.99*, Freeform), recommended by Itinerant Literate Books, North Charleston, SC.

  • The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert

    The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy ColbertThis is a story I think many teens will relate to. There is so much pressure to achieve and succeed now for kids, and it starts so early. In addition, one in three Americans is personally affected by addiction. On top of that, every family has its own secrets and challenges. And then you think about how much harder it is to achieve when you start life as a person of color in an incredibly prejudiced and segregated society. Birdie's story is complex, but when you boil it down, it's the normal story of a present-day girl trying to grow up in America.

    The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert ($17.99*, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

  • I'm Not Dying with You Tonight by Gilly Segal, Kimberly Jones

    I'm Not Dying with You Tonight by Gilly Segal, Kimberly JonesOne of the best YAs I've read in years! I'm Not Dying with You Tonight is the story of two strong women who are polar opposites joining together to survive a night of racially fueled chaos. It's so well written and perfectly-rounded. It sucks you in from the first page and leaves you wondering what's next when you finish. This was a joy to read.

    I'm Not Dying with You Tonight by Gilly Segal, Kimberly Jones ($17.99*, Sourcebooks Fire), recommended by Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, FL.

  • The Year They Fell by David Kreizman

    The Year They Fell by David KreizmanThe Year They Fell recounts the lives of Josie, Jack, Archie, Harrison, and Dayana. They went through childhood together as the Sunnies, but eventually became more self-contained and broken after everybody's parents (except for Dayana's) die on the same plane crash. Life is forever changed and they all need time to heal. However, Harrison refuses to accept the validity of the plane crash, and convinces his friends to travel to the site of the crash to find how and why their parents died. Kreizman is such a powerful writer; the perspectives of the five main characters each feel so alive and authentic. So many events are packed into such a hefty plot that will surely leave you breathless in the end. I recommend this book to anyone going through a loss, or some other grief, because they are guaranteed to relate to one of the Sunnies and maybe even leave their tear stains on the pages.

    The Year They Fell by David Kreizman ($17.99*, Imprint), recommended by Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

    Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret RogersonIt is a truth universally acknowledged that those of us who love books, are especially enamored with books ABOUT books and this novel is a very special one of those. Action-packed and romantic, Sorcery of Thorns is a tale of ink-tears, girls with swords, boys summoning storms and volume upon volume of living leather bound books, some of whom behave rather badly. It’s a book about majestic, revered libraries equipped with their own small armies of librarians and sword-wielding wardens. It’s a book about demonic energy and sorcery. It’s a book about brave people with vastly varied strengths and skills, all worthy in their own right, fighting the good fight. Darker, larger in scope but just as brilliantly crafted as her first novel, Margaret Rogerson has captured me once again. I love this book!

    Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson ($17.99*, Margaret K. McElderry Books), recommended by Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL.

  • Far from the Tree by Robin Benway

    Far from the Tree by Robin Benway16-year-old Grace has just had a baby. After going through the pregnancy and choosing adoptive parents for her daughter, she now feels unmoored from her life before and wants to find her own biological family. That's how her biological siblings, Maya and Joaquin, come into the picture. Maya, set apart from her adoptive family in looks and temperament, struggles with the fallout of her adoptive mom's secrets coming to light. And Joaquin, in foster care his whole life, struggles with the idea of being worthy of someone's love. All of them grapple with their sense of belonging, but now that they have each other, maybe that will be easier. Benway has written a touching, sometimes humorous, compulsively readable book that will resonate with anyone searching for their place in the world, showing that sometimes where you are is exactly where you belong.

    Far from the Tree by Robin Benway ($9.99*, HarperTeen), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

  • Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

    Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. JacksonSteph, Jarrell, and Quadir are best friends, going to high school in Brooklyn, when Steph is murdered in the street. Jarrell and Quadir, along with Jasmine, Steph's sister, are left wondering who killed Steph and why. When they discover boxes upon boxes of CDs and tapes of Steph's rap songs, they decide that they are too good to remain unheard. They also figure they can raise money and hire a detective to find out what happened to Steph since the police don't seem to care to find out.

    This story takes place in the late 90s and is told through the point of view of Jasmine, Quadir, and Jarrell with a few flashbacks from Steph. Fans of urban fiction, 90s rap, and mystery alike will all enjoy this one.

    Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson ($17.99*, Katherine Tegen Books), recommended by Bookmiser, Roswell, GA.

  • Kingsbane by Claire Legrand

    Kingsbane by Claire LegrandFuryborn was incredible. Kingsbane is even better! The second novel has even more magic, cliffhangers, and romance. So much packed into this book I want to sit with the author and understand how she can possibly make all this come together so eloquently. Already excited for the next one in this trilogy. This is a wild ride.

    Kingsbane by Claire Legrand ($18.99*, Sourcebooks Fire), recommended by Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC.

  • The Raven's Tale by Cat Winters

    The Raven's Tale by Cat WintersLike Poe's stories, The Raven's Tale is dripping in mood and the macabre. We first meet a 17-year-old Poe as he sits in the Allan pew at Monumental Church, a church that sits on remains of 72 Richmonders who perished in a theater fire in 1811. It's there that Poe spies his muse beginning to form out of the shadows of his imagination, and she's no longer satisfied with mere crumbs of his attention. But the young poet is a week away from leaving for college and his guardian, John Allan is threatening to withdraw financial support if Poe doesn't silence his morbid muse. Absolutely delightful, morbid, and creepy!

    The Raven's Tale by Cat Winters ($17.99*, Amulet Books), recommended by Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA.

  • Normal People by Sally Rooney

    Normal People by Sally RooneyIn Normal People, Sally Rooney has created an exquisite character study in Connell and Marianne's relationship. Like a slow-burning fuse that is destined to detonate, the dynamic between the two manages to be irresistible, infuriating, and all too relatable. Young people will find themselves in these pages, and, believe it or not, feel normal. Great for those who loved Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and Modern Lovers.

    Normal People by Sally Rooney ($26.00*, Hogarth), recommended by Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.

  • Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

    Wicked Saints by Emily A. DuncanEmily Duncan's Wicked Saints is dark, disquieting, and utterly unputdownable. Her ferocious girls and her doubtful princes and her devious gods are compelling and entirely believable, and her world of magic and blood and holy war will frighten and enchant readers, as any good fairy tale should.

    Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan ($18.99*, Wednesday Books), recommended by One More Page Books, Arlington, VA.

  • Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody, Joanne Rendell

    Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody, Joanne RendellThe top reviews kept saying "Les Mis in space!" and "if you liked The Lunar Chronicles, this is for you." Sometimes the reviews are right. If you like retellings and liked the Lunar Chronicles, you're going to love Sky without Stars!

    I certainly did. The characters are fleshed out in a way you don't get from the original. I found myself falling in love and rooting for Marcellus, Aloutte, and Chatine. They're all wonderfully flawed in their own way and I stayed up way too late reading this. I can't wait for the next part of the story. The book wrapped up some loose ends while opening new ones--the best way to keep you excited for more.

    Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody, Joanne Rendell ($19.99*, Simon Pulse), recommended by Story on the Square, McDonough, GA.

  • Fake Plastic Girl by Zara Lisbon

    Fake Plastic Girl by Zara LisbonJustine is surrounded by celebrity and wealth, her shoulders brushing, bumping against it, but never quite attaining any of it for herself.  When she meets her new neighbor, Eva Kate Kelly, a former child actress and shiny social media star, Justine's no longer just gazing at all the beautiful people on her phone, now she's among them.

    A modern take on The Great Gatsby, but with lots more Taylor Swift references (for what it's worth, I am totally in agreement with Justine on what she thinks happened between Swift and Kanye West on that infamous phone call). Fun, neurotic, and twisty!

    Fake Plastic Girl by Zara Lisbon ($17.99*, Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)), recommended by Fountain Books, Richmond, VA.

  • Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young

    Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne YoungA fantastic feminist YA novel with shades of  Stepford Wives and Joss Whedon's Dollhouse TV series. I have been a longtime fan of Young's Program series, and this new book blew me away!  A sinister school for exceptional young ladies, a group of young women whose bond is stronger than any classroom programming, and a grasping patriarchy not prepared for the revolution. This book will have you flipping pages and sharpening sticks of your own.

    Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young ($18.99*, Simon Pulse), recommended by Fountain Books, Richmond, VA.

  • Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

    Heroine by Mindy McGinnisMickey is a teen athlete and a star on her softball team when she and her best friend get in a car accident that changes their lives. Mickey is able to justify her use of painkillers to mask the pain of her recovering injuries but that use quickly turns to abuse as she uses the drugs for the painful shyness she also deal with. As the prescribed pills get harder to get, she turns to the fast, easy, and dangerous high of the needle. Her old friends drift away and she's surrounded with a new circle who enable her descent into addiction. This story is a powerful illustration of how easy it is to go from proper prescribed use of meds to the dangerous abuse of street drugs. This heartbreaking tale will stick with you long after the book is done.

    Heroine by Mindy McGinnis ($17.99*, Katherine Tegen Books), recommended by Fountain Books, Richmond, VA.

  • What We Buried by Kate A. Boorman

    What We Buried by Kate A. BoormanI cannot wait until this book is published because I need to discuss it! Loved the complex relationship of siblings Liv and Jory, and their tangled, twisted memories of growing up with less than ideal parents. Child beauty queens, Mask movie references (the Cher and Eric Stoltz movie), disappearances, family feuds, blackout rages, road trips and nightmarish landscapes help to make this one of the most unique Young Adult books I've read in a long time!

    What We Buried by Kate A. Boorman ($17.99*, Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)), recommended by Fountain Books, Richmond, VA.

  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

    A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid KemmererA tale as old as time with a modern, fresh spin! I loved everything from the smart, empowered characters to the spin on the beast and the curse to the supporting cast of characters--the only problem is a cliffhanger that leaves you on the edge of your seat! 

    A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer ($18.99*, Bloomsbury YA), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

  • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

    The Gilded Wolves by Roshani ChokshiRoshana Chokshi's The Gilded Wolves is a delightful adventure through history as six young people, each with their own demons, chase their dreams, only to find the fate of society in the balance. Besides delving into each character's unique post and how their struggles inform their tenuous hopes for the future, the story also explores the bitterness of letting one's dream, both acknowledged and unacknowledged, go unrealized. Above all, Chokshi's cleverly built scavenger hunt encompassing history, math, science and magic makes it easy to fall in love with each word, as if were again our first time breathing.

    The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi ($18.99*, Wednesday Books), recommended by Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

     A Winter 2019 Okra Pick

  • Parkland Speaks by Sarah Lerner (editor)

    Parkland Speaks by Sarah Lerner (editor)Parkland Speaks is a powerful compilation of essays, poems, photographs and artwork from the survivors of the Parkland High School shooting. I read this book over the course of a week, wanting to spend time with each piece trying to absorb the emotion and experience behind each piece. As a reader, I experience such a  wide range of feelings - sadness for the victims, anger that our country hasn't enacted the change to prevent shootings  like this, but also a lasting sense of hope at these amazing teenagers who are dedicated to sharing their stories and creating true change for the future. Parkland Speaks is  difficult but powerful read that should be required reading for everyone.

    Parkland Speaks by Sarah Lerner (editor) ($17.99*, Crown Books for Young Readers), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

     A Winter 2019 Okra Pick

  • Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus 

    Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus Two Can Keep a Secret proves that there are still twisty, devious mystery stories to be told. No matter how many times I thought 'they're the killer!', the ending still shocked and wowed me. It'll appeal to the My Favorite Murder fan in us all- I couldn't put it down. Just don't read it at home, alone, at night. Speaking from personal experience, that would be a mistake. The final line still has me shivering.

    Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus  ($19.99*, Delacorte Press), recommended by One More Page Books, Arlington, VA.

  • The Wicked King by Holly Black

    The Wicked King by Holly BlackIf like me, you devoured The Cruel Prince, it's impossible to begin this new installment without a fair amount of trepidation--and Holly Black does not disappoint. In this novel, the faerie world expands significantly and Jude's brilliant scheming must face the test of time and several new players. Jude remains an impressively fierce heroine, but she may have met her match...I really don't know how I'll survive the wait for book three!

    The Wicked King by Holly Black ($19.99*, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), recommended by Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL.

  • The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

    The Winter of the Witch by Katherine ArdenI read this madly in 24 hours and couldn’t put it down. The Winter of the Witch sees Vasya Petrovna come fully into her power in every dimension. Each volume in the Winternight Trilogy has been even more enthralling than the first, and this is a richly satisfying conclusion on so many levels, narratively, historically, romantically, and emotionally! It makes me want to start The Bear and the Nightingale all over again!

    The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden ($28.00*, Del Rey), recommended by Underground Books, Carrollton, GA.

  • The Disasters by M.K. England

    The Disasters by M.K. EnglandImmensely original and unbelievably fun! The Disasters is a heart stopping space opera, where teen galactic outcasts are the stars.  Full of diversity, humor, and amazing worldbuilding, the action starts in the first chapter and only increases as Nax and his fellow space misfits run, hide and fight to uncover a vast conspiracy. One of the best debuts I've read of 2018! 

    The Disasters by M.K. England ($17.99*, HarperTeen), recommended by Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA.

  • This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher

    This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea PitcherFive teens are invited to a locked-room, murder mystery night and the one who solves the mystery will will a $50,000 scholarship. But when they arrive and find out who their competition is for this scholarship, they realize that they have an actual death (murder?) in common.  They quickly realize that the scholarship was a ruse and they're really there to figure out/confess to what happened a year about when another boy died.

    This is a fast paced thriller, very much in the vein of I Know What You Did Last Summer,very much Clue meets Pretty Little Liars.

    This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher ($17.99*, Margaret K. McElderry Books), recommended by Bookmiser, Inc., Roswell, GA.

  • What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera 

    What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera When Arthur goes to New York for the summer, he expects it to be a lot like the Broadway plays he adores. But it's not. Ben, on the other hand, is much more pragmatic, in that native New Yorker way. When they meet, Arthur falls head over heels almost immediately, and his enthusiasm may rub off a bit on Ben...but things don't exactly work out in real life the way they do on stage. With alternating chapters from Arthur's and Ben's points of view, this is another wonderful read from Albertalli and Silvera, and fans of both authors won't be disappointed (and fans of musical theater will love it even more).

    What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera  ($18.99*, HarperTeen), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

  • Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

    Bridge of Clay by Markus ZusakA sweeping epic family story that will continue to echo long past the final page, Bridge of Clay will most certainly be the MOST talked about book of the Fall on both the kids and adult lists. No one, once introduced to the achingly sweet, tragic, rough and tumble Dunbar Boys could ever forget them even for a moment. Bridge of Clay is an absolute must-read for those long rainy or snowy autumn weekends.

    Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak ($26.00*, Knopf Books for Young Readers), recommended by The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

  • Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

    Shadow of the Fox by Julie KagawaA phenomenal beginning to what should be a fantastic series! I loved all the details of this world. Kagawa sucks you in with her characters. Can’t wait for the second installment!!

    Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa ($19.99*, Harlequin Teen), recommended by The Story Shop, Monroe, GA.

  • The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

    The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi LeeFelicity wants to be a doctor. Unfortunately it's the 1700s and that kind of thing is JUST not done. Living in Scotland, working at a bakery, she can't get anyone to hear her petition to study. She travels to London to see if she can make any headway there and is met with similar disappointment. However, the opportunity to present herself to a doctor that she idolizes presents itself and she travels to Germany to do just that. What happens next is an adventure that Felicity didn't know she was looking for.

    The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee ($18.99*, Katherine Tegen Books / Harpercollins Children’s Books), recommended by Bookmiser, Inc., Roswell, GA.

  • Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd

    Grim Lovelies by Megan ShepherdMegan Shepherd has done it again with Grim Lovelies: a book so perfectly formed one can't imagine that it hasn't been around forever. It's simply a classic. Anouk was enchanted from animal to human by a Witch who holds her captive as a household slave. She and the other "Beasties" will do anything to preserve their humanity. She wishes to be like the "Pretties" (humans) with their fast cars and high fashion she can see from the small window in her Parisian townhouse/prison. But there is SO much more!! Anouk and her other Beastie friends discover that they have more power than they have been led to believe if they can only beat the clock and keep the spell safe forever. This is not a sufficient description for this book. Great diversity of characters! There are also Goblins!!!! Really cool Goblins!!!

    Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd (PRICE*, PUBLISHER), recommended by Fountain Books, Richmond, VA.

  • A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma

    A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren SumaCatherine House is a place for girls who need to escape, but the house holds its own dark secrets. When a bruised and brokenhearted Bina arrives at the house, she is seeking both refuge and reconciliation. Years ago her own mother harbored behind these same walls, and Bina desperately wants her mother to chase after her and choose her. Haunted, dark, lovely magical realism!

    A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma ($18.95*, Algonquin Young Readers), recommended by Fountain Books, Richmond, VA.

  • Surviving Adam Meade Shannon Klare

    Surviving Adam Meade Shannon KlarePerfect for fans of Friday Night Lights and romance! Claire is the coach's daughter, and after rough break up with her football playing first love and a move to a new town, Claire has sworn off dating, especially athletes. Enter Adam Meade, who has a lot more going on than the popular jock image he portrays. Sparks fly between Claire and Adam, and despite her best intentions, Claire can't seem to resist the boy she most wanted to avoid.  Cute and sweet, but the MVP award goes to Adam's adorable grandma! 

    Surviving Adam Meade Shannon Klare ($16.99*, Swoon Reads), recommended by Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA.

     A Summer 2018 Okra Pick

  • The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby

    The Other Side of Lost by Jessi KirbyA Wild for a younger audience. A wonderful look at grief, social media, and honesty. And a bonus that it could be an introduction or John Muir and Yosemite, as well. 

    The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby ($17.99*, Harper Teen), recommended by The Story Shop, Monroe, GA.

  • Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton

    Heart of Thorns by Bree BartonFrom the publisher: Inventive and heart-racing, this fierce feminist teen fantasy from debut author Bree Barton explores a dark kingdom in which only women can possess magic—and every woman is suspected of having it.

    From The Country Bookshop: Heart of Thorns is by far one of the best books I have read in a long time. The writing was perfect, flowing beautifully and ending with a cliffhanger that was impossible to ignore. There was never a dull moment—each page packed with mystery, love, and action. I am eagerly awaiting Book Two.

    Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton ($17.99*, Katherine Tegen Books), recommended by The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

  • The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood

    The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica SpotswoodOne part Little Women, one part Sarah Dessen, with the small-town charm of Gilmore Girls, The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls is everything you want in a contemporary YA novel.

    Sweet, funny, honest, and heartfelt, the story follows four sisters as they navigate a summer that will change all of them in different ways. One sister tries to move on after a breakup, while another works up the nerve to do the breaking. One sister finds the potential for romance with a longtime crush, and another makes a friend who helps her discover what she wants. At the end of it all, the only thing that doesn't change is that the Garrett Girls will do anything to support and protect each other.

    The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood ($10.99*, Sourcebooks Fire), recommended by One More Page Books, Arlington, VA.

  • The Unfortunates by Kim Liggett

    The Unfortunates by Kim LiggettPrivilege can be deadly...

    Because of his parents wealth and power, teenager Grant has gotten away with murder.  Call it afluenza, but Grant's guilt and disgust with himself pushes him to make a drastic plan for self-punishment.  His quest for justice for the people he killed leads him to the Appalachian trail and a devastating cave in.  Now Grant has to help a small group of city kids survive, because it appears that something or someone is down in the caves with them. The Unfortunates also gets a million bonus cool points because it's set here in Richmond, Virginia!

    The Unfortunates by Kim Liggett ($18.99*, Tom Doherty Associates), recommended by Fountain Books, Richmond, VA.

  • She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah) by Ann Hood

    She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah) by Ann HoodA great story about the beginnings of pop culture obsession pre-social media. Full of nostalgia and innocence. Every character is faced with the same dilemma of being at the point in their lives where they are trying to figure out where they fit in the society around them. I also loved that the end was a happy one. Great read. 

    She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah) by Ann Hood ($16.99*, Penguin Workshop), recommended by Books on Broad, Camden, SC.

  • Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

    Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl"The first thing you must do is stay calm."

    This was the advice offered by The Keeper to Bee, Martha, Cannon, Whitney and Kip when they find themselves in the Neverworld Wake the first time. The Neverworld Wake is 11.2 hours the friends relive over and over a hundred, a thousand, possibly a million times as they search for answers about Jim's death, about the accident that threw them into the Wake, about the people they all thought they knew best in the world.

    This psychological thriller of the most fascinating sort--one in which one's worst nightmare is relived again and again--is an absolute beach bag MUST for fans of Gone Girl, We Were Liars and We Are the Goldens.  

    Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl ($18.99*, Delacorte Press), recommended by The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

     A Spring 2018 Okra Pick

  • Legendary by Stephanie Garber

    Legendary by Stephanie GarberI wasn't sure it could be done, but Legendary is as good if not better than Caraval. I think the strength of this new novel lies in the expansion of the world and addition of a unique mythology, but there is so much to be said about Tella as the main protagonist as well. This book is full of the same magic, intrigue, gorgeous writing and romance that made Caraval one of my favorite books last year. I can't wait to see what Stephanie will write next.

    Legendary by Stephanie Garber ($18.99*, Flatiron Books), recommended by Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL.

  • I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain by Will Walton

    I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain by Will Walton

    The avid readers of Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA have fallen in a collective swoon for Will Walton's newest work, I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain. Part novel, part poem, the books chronicles a difficult summer of discovery, loss, love, and poetry for its young protagonist, Avery.

    "How in the world do I review this book? It's a love poem; it's a eulogy; it's poetry; it's prose; it's uplifting; it's heart-cracking," says Janet.

    "Suffused with pop music and funeral rituals, and complex, genuine love, I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain is a nod to the vital importance of music and poetry as life-saving forces," adds Elizabeth.

    "On the first day of summer, Avery brings home a stack of poetry. Later that summer, as he tries to navigate crushing loss and disappointment, he turns to that poetry again and again; the reading and writing of it. This book is Avery's bold and thrilling record of his heartbreak, love, grief, and family. It's about creating art through pain, and dealing with pain through art. It blew me away," writes Tyler.

    "With a little help from the last century's greatest poets, Walton gives us an empathic and graceful, yet monumental, handling of what it's like to get through that which you think you cannot survive," writes Erica.

    "It's not often I read a book in one sitting, but this one grabbed me and wouldn't let go," writes Hannah.

    I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain by Will Walton ($17.99*, Push), recommended by Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.

     A Spring 2018 Okra Pick

  • Anger Is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

    Anger Is a Gift by Mark Oshiro Mark Oshiro easily captures the defiance and vulnerability quintessential to teen voice. These characters are vibrant and powerful--crafted with a truthfulness specific to our current political climate but also with a timeless understanding of teen life from any era. 

    Anger Is a Gift by Mark Oshiro ($17.99*, Tom Doherty Associates), recommended by McIntyre's Fine Books, Pittsboro, NC.

  • From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon

    From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon The story of a teen filmmaker and her circle of friends--old and new--From Twinkle, with Love is sure to be a summertime hit. Recommended for fans of romantic comedy, both teen and adults readers!

    From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon ($18.99*, Simon Pulse), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

  • Furyborn by Claire Legrand

    Furyborn by Claire LegrandFuryborn is exactly the kind of ambitious, well-written YA high fantasy that I've been looking for. It's a novel that is female focused and driven, with girls who are strong, powerful, pissed off, damaged, unabashedly sexual and in control. The writing is so beautiful I found myself re-reading sentences simply for the pleasure of it. It's a story that is complex, compelling and carefully crafted. Claire Legrand is a jewel, I can't wait for the next installment.

    Furyborn by Claire Legrand ($18.99*, Sourcebooks Fire), recommended by Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL.

  • Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

    Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake It is my solemn wish that everyone pick up a copy of Girl Made of Stars. It's the sort of story that hurts to read sometimes, but ultimately leaves you full of hope. This novel is the perfect example of literature for young people that can and will give almost anyone a bit of perspective and birth or nurture compassion within them. This book is important. This book is compulsively readable and full of beauty. This book should be your next read.

    Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake ($17.99*, Houghton Mifflin), recommended by Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL.

     A Spring 2018 Okra Pick

  • Run, Hide, Fight Back by April Henry

    Run, Hide, Fight Back by April HenryTense, terrifying and thrilling!  Teens find themselves in mortal danger when a shooting at the mall traps them together, and they must depend on one another to have any chance of survival  Some of these teens are hiding secrets, but then again, so are the terrorists who are holding them hostage. All too realistic considering the world we live in now, based on the question we all have asked ourselves: What would you do if you were in danger in a place you should have been safe?  Sometimes you run, sometimes you hide, and sometimes you fight back! 

    Run, Hide, Fight Back by April Henry ($17.99*, Henry Holt and Co.), recommended by Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA.

  • Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

    Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker RhodesGhost Boys is a devastating novel. It will grieve you in the way our news cycle seems to be an unceasing parade of grief. But it is also hopeful, full of compassion, and a compelling case for the fact that "we can all do better, be better, live better." Jerome's story is heartbreaking, and the telling of it is necessary. Just as the telling of Emmett Till's story is necessary, though it so often goes untold. Rhodes has crafted a beautiful novel that will facilitate many conversations with young people; Ghost Boys is essential for the middle school classroom as well as for family discussion. This is a novel to be shared with children; read it with them, discuss it with them, together we can gain the tools we need in order to live better.

    Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes ($16.99*, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), recommended by Cavalier House Books, Denham Springs, LA.

     A Spring 2018 Okra Pick

  • The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan

    The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. PanThe Astonishing Color of After is the kind of novel that you want to force on everyone you know. There is visceral sorrow and pain here, but the magic woven throughout imbues every bit of the story with just enough wonder and hope to hold you up. The writing is stunning and full of intoxicating descriptions; scenes of a giant red bird descending and the scents and sights of a Night Market in Taiwan completely blew me away. What color am I after reading this book? Technicolor.

    The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan ($18.99*, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), recommended by Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL.

  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

    Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi Zelie is a girl with magic in her blood, in a land where magic has been destroyed and outlawed by the cruel king. When she accidentally rescues the princess and the prince/captain of the guard comes after her, Zelie goes on the run with her brother and the princess, discovering that she has been chosen by the gods to bring magic back to the world. But before she can defeat the king and save her people, Zelie must face her own powers and what this mission might cost her and the people she loves. With rich world building and fantastic mythology, readers of Leigh Bardugo's Grisha trilogy will love this book.

    Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi ($18.99*, Henry Hollt & Company), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

  • People Like Us by Dana Mele

    People Like Us by Dana MeleFrom page one, this book draws the reader. Prep schools, a dead body, main characters with secrets, grumpy detectives, unrequited love and emailed blackmail from the aforementioned dead body- and that's all just in the first few chapters. Kay might be a scholarship student, but she's also a queen bee, desperate for a soccer scholarship and even more desperate to keep her secrets. As she uncovers the mysteries of a dead girl, she also unveils secrets of the people she thought she knew best, people just like us. A thrilling page turner!

    People Like Us by Dana Mele ($17.99*, G.P. Putnam's Sons for Young Readers), recommended by Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA.

  • Blood and Sand by C. V. Wyk

    Blood and Sand by C. V. Wyk Attia is the last of her warrior people after the Romans conquered her land. Now she's a slave, given to Xanthus, a champion gladiator, as a reward for his victories in the arena. Attia has vowed to fight the Romans until she gains her freedom or dies trying, but she doesn't count on Xanthus, a fellow slave, treating her with such care and gentleness. As the two form a relationship that goes beyond their shared bonds, Attia finds herself fighting for Xanthus as much as herself. This book will appeal to fans of strong, fierce female characters, and though there's no magic, fantasy fans will have much to love in the world of the ancient Romans.

    Blood and Sand by C. V. Wyk ($17.99*, Tor Teen), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

  • Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

    Thunderhead by Neal ShustermanThunderhead is a rare sequel that is even better than its predecessor. Shusterman has an incredible ability to subvert all expectations, and even when I thought I knew what would happen, a new twist would turn my perception on its head! Rowan and Citra both stayed true to their characters, which is difficult to do in a dystopian world. I loved every minute and will be putting this duology into every hand I can!

    Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman ($18.99*, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers), recommended by Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.

  • Alone by Cyn Balog

    Alone by Cyn BalogDespite its title, you should most definitely not read this book while you're alone. Isolated in a rundown, sprawling mansion that was once an elaborate murder mystery retreat, Seda and her family are mostly immune to their temporary home's creepy and eccentric history. But when a group of teenagers come seeking refuge, a scavenger hunt meant to entertain ends up entangling everyone into one horrific night of terror. Is it the house, or something else that is haunting Seda as she tries her best to protect her family and the unwelcome guests from harm? Balog interjects the house's past throughout the novel, and I've never wanted to visit a fictional place more. The perfect book for thrills and chills, with a devious and delightful ending!

    Alone by Cyn Balog ($17.99*, Source Fire), recommended by Fountain Bookshop, Richmond, VA.

  • Everless by Sara Holland

    Everless by Sara HollandFirst in a new series! People pay for everything with their time (days, months, years) which is extracted from their blood and transformed to coins. The royalty lives for centuries while the common folk are taxed and punished with their lifeblood.

    Everless by Sara Holland ($17.99*, Harper Teen), recommended by Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC.

  • The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed

    The Nowhere Girls by Amy ReedI loved this book!! So important. Please read it and share it with girl and boy teens and the people who care about them. I wish we had heard more from Amber. Maybe in a future book? There aren't many books out there about teens trying to change the culture of their schools and their communities through peaceful activism. The Nowhere Girls tells it like it is. Some of it is clumsy. Sometimes it doesn't work or takes a while to get off the ground. But it is always worth trying. I really did love this book.

    The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed ($17.99*, Simon Pulse), recommended by Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA.

  • Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills

    Foolish Hearts by Emma MillsClaudia tends to keep to herself at school, only coming out of her shell at home with her best -- pretty much only -- friend. When a series of events conspire to throw Claudia together with the resident mean girl, Iris, they end up having to participate in the school's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. It's not all bad, though, as Claudia and Iris start to become friends, and a cute boy shows interest in Claudia. But Claudia has to learn to navigate her relationships -- new and old, with siblings, friends, and romantic interests -- which is not as easy as it seems like it should be. Claudia's extreme snark had me laughing out loud, and the poignancy of her friendships had me wiping away a stray tear or two. Emma Mills remains one of my favorite contemporary authors.

    Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills ($17.99*, Henry Holt & Company), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

  • The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

    The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio IturbeFrom a young reader at Page 158 Books: "It is one of the best books I have read for some time. This book spoke to me in so many different ways: my emotions, my knowledge of history, my passion for books, and my heart."

    The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe, Lilit Thwaites (Translator), ($19.99*, Henroy Holt & Company), recommended by Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC.

  • All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

    All The Crooked Saints by Maggie StiefvaterBizarre, original, and entertaining! As per usual with Stiefvater's books, it was magical and full of complex characters.

    All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater ($18.99*, Scholastic Press), recommended by Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC.

  • The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater

    The 57 Bus by Dashka SlaterFrom Page 158 Books: It was fascinating to step into the life of a gender non-binary individual. I really enjoyed that perspective.

    From the publisher: If it weren't for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.

    The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater ($17.99*, Farrar Straus Giroux), recommended by Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC.

  • Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

    Little & Lion by Brandy ColbertAfter Pointe (um, hello, go read that if you haven’t), I waited and waited and waited for Brandy Colbert’s next novel. I was not disappointed. Tackling the always timely topics of sexuality, mental health, and the beautifully, murky path that we walk when we love someone. Perfect for fans of Julie Murphy and Nina LaCour.

    Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert ($17.99*, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), recommended by Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.

  • Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

    Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca ZappiaIf you have ever had a meaningful internet friendship or been a part of a huge fandom, this book is for you. Eliza is the anonymous author of one of the biggest webcomics ever and I loved being pulled into her many worlds. This book is pitch-perfect, romantically perfect, and perfect perfect. Did I mention I think it’s perfect?

    Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia ($17.99*, Greenwillow Books), recommended by Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.

  • American Girls by Alison Umminger

    American Girls by Alison UmmingerWhen fifteen-year-old Anna can’t stand her home life, she steals her stepmother’s credit card and runs away to Los Angeles to stay with her aspiring actress half-sister and ends up getting hired to research the Manson girls, a real group of murderous young women in the 1960s, for an indie film. What Anna ends up finding isn’t quite refuge; instead, it’s a clear look at herself and a realization about the dark heart of American girldom (as well as a little romance).

    American Girls by Alison Umminger ($9.99*, Flatiron Books), recommended by Hills & Hamlets Bookshop, Chattahoochee Hills, GA.

  • Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

    Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica HesseFrom the publisher: "Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. She likes to think of her illegal work as a small act of rebellion. Beautifully written, intricately plotted, and meticulously researched, Girl in the Blue Coat is an extraordinary, gripping novel about bravery, grief, and love in impossible times." The national bestseller and winner of the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery

    Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse ($9.99, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), recommended by Writer's Block Bookstore, Winter Park, FL.

  • Roar by Cora Cormack

    Roar by Cora CormackI just devoured the young adult fantasy debut Roar by Cora Carmack. Those who loved Truthwitch, The Red Queen, and Graceling will have a favorite new author to obsess over. Even the cliffhanger ending (it is the first book in a YA trilogy after all) could not dim my delight in this discovery.

    Roar by Cora Cormack ($17.99, Tor Teen), recommended by Jill at Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

    Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuireAnother one that you won’t necessarily find in the YA section. This quick, superbly-written fantasy is perfect for anyone who’s ever felt like they don’t quite belong.

    Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire ($17.99, Tor), recommended by the Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.

  • Grendel's Guide to Love and War by A. E. Kaplan

    Grendel's Guide to Love and War by A. E. KaplanA.E. Kaplan has distilled a Virginia summer directly into Grendel's Guide to Love and War. Tom's desire to simply be a good son somehow leads him into a dangerous (but hilarious) prank war with his unsupervised neighbors. Amidst the crazy plans concocted by his older sister and best friend Ed, Tom continues working his summer job mowing lawns and his less than typical hobby: interviewing his elderly neighbors. More than the pranks or the quirky but entirely authentic characters, Grendel's Guide to Love and War is about Tom coming to terms with the realities of life and relationships. The humorous dialogue, emotional content, and incredible supporting cast make this is a unique but relatable book for fans of Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda or John Green's early novels.

    Grendel's Guide to Love and War by A. E. Kaplan ($17.99, Knopf Books for Young Readers), recommended by Johanna, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

    The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

    Molly is a serial crusher. Even though she's had 26 crushes in her 17 years, she's never been kissed, much less had a boyfriend. And now that her twin sister Cassie has her first real girlfriend, Molly can't help but feel like the experience is making them grow apart. Luckily, Cassie's girlfriend has a single best friend, a cute hipster guy, who just might be perfect crush material. Except Molly kind-of likes her awkward, geeky co-worker Reid, too. Molly's struggles with self-acceptance and relationships, both romantic and familial, will strike a chord with YA readers, who will fall in love with Molly as easily as they fell in love with Simon.

    The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli ($17.99, Balzer & Bray), recommended by Melissa, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

    Lazlo Strange is a war orphan, raised by monks, who became a librarian. Stories are his life, and dreams are his future -- specifically, his dream of the lost city of Weep, which has been unseen and mostly forgotten for 200 years. When a hero of Weep unexpectedly shows up looking for outsiders to bring back to help with the city's unexplained problem, Lazlo jumps at the chance, willing to do whatever it takes to get there and see the mystery for himself. When he gets there, it's nothing like he expected, and each answer he finds raises more questions. This magical, lyrical book is beautiful and heartbreaking, and you won't want to leave the mythical world of Weep and the characters who power its story. Fans of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy will not be disappointed. I am eagerly awaiting more from her about Weep and Lazlo.

    Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor ($18.99, Little, Brown and Company), recommended by Melissa, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

  • The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom

    Seventeen year old Gwen's father has disappeared. She refuses to accept that he just abandoned her while on a diplomatic assignment. She uses a "certain set of skills" gained by her father's resources to track him to the underbelly of Europe. Think Taken, except the bad-ass daughter has to save her father. Full of action and excitement.

    The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom ($18.99, Feiwel & Friends), recommended by Mary, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber

    From the publisher: Welcome, welcome to Caraval, Stephanie Garber's sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game. Mary from The Country Bookshop says, "A magnificent mix of mystery, romance, and magic. It had my emotions all over the place."

    Caraval by Stephanie Garber ($18.99, Flatiron Books), recommended by Mary, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

  • The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

    This is one of my favorite books coming out this year and one of the best young adult fantasies I've read in a long time. Chupeco's world building is done carefully and precisely, revealing the pertinent information a little bit at a time. The characters are almost all female and all are strong, brave, courageous, and intelligent in their own right. The plot is complex but well thought out and the writing is cinematic. If this doesn't get optioned for a movie, I'll be surprised. highly recommend this books for those that love The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld or Daughter of Smoke and Bone. This could also easily be an adult crossover for those that enjoy Game of Thrones, Wheel of Time, or Memoirs of a Geisha.

    The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco ($17.99. Sourcebooks Fire) recommended by Foggy Pine Books, Boone, NC.

  • Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan & Cliff Chiang

    If you're craving more episodes of Stranger Things but can't wait for the season two release, you need Paper Girls. From Saga creator Brian K. Vaughn and Wonder Woman artist Cliff Chiang comes this spooky and amazing story of four newspaper delivery girls out in the wee hours after Halloween night. Paper Girls is thrilling and funny, peppered with excellent late 80's phrases in an incredibly unique voice.

    Paper Girls by Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan & Cliff Chiang ($9.99, Image Comics), recommended by Johanna, Flyeaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

    Natasha knows from experience that dreams will get you nowhere, so she keeps herself well-grounded. Even when she's hours away from being deported with her family back to Jamaica. Daniel is a poet at heart, a romantic who believes in fate and destiny, so when he sees a girl standing out from the crowd, he doesn't think twice about ditching his parent-sanctioned college interview to go after her. A series of coincidences have them meeting several times, but is it enough to convince Natasha to believe in the meant-to-be future that Daniel sees? I loved Yoon's gorgeous writing and couldn't help falling in love with the characters myself.

    The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon ($18.99, Delacorte Press), recommended by Melissa, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

  • Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

    Burning Glass will take you to a world that feels like old Russia. It is full of political tension, especially between two brothers, but it’s Sonya’s job to navigate these tense situations and find a way to protect herself and her country.

    Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie ($17.99, Katherine Tegen Books), recommended by Erica, Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS.

  • Replica by Lauren Oliver

    Replica tells the dual stories of two girls affected by scientific revolutions in an ambiguous tale that can be read in any order.

    Replica by Lauren Oliver ($19.99, HarperCollins), recommended by Erica, Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS.

  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

    This book is full of thrilling mysteries and tension while shedding light on a little known tragedy from WWII.

    Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys ($18.99, Philomel Books), recommended by Erica, Lemuia Books, Jackson, MS.

  • Not I I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

    Parker is blind and has been for years. She copes by not caring what anyone thinks of her -- as long as they follow The Rules, a set of what she considers common sense guidelines for dealing with someone who's blind. Rules she enforces even more since her best friend Scott broke her heart two and a half years ago. But when Scott shows back up, Parker starts to realize that maybe she doesn't know everything she thought she did. Lindstrom has a way of getting you into his character's head, making you see things from her perspective that you wouldn't otherwise be able to. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstom ($9.99, Poppy Books), recommended by Melissa, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

    My childhood favorite - read uncountable times.  What young girl doesn't identify with Meg?  After several years, L'Engle wrote several sequels, but Time is a standalone gem.

    A Wrinkle in Time ($6.99, Square Fish), recommended by Rosemary at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.

  • Kids of Appetite by Dave Arnold

    David Arnold is special. Kids of Appetite somehow combines extreme quirk, mystery, and heart within a literary sensibility that's often undervalued in young adult novels. I loved Arnold's debut Mosquitoland for Mim's singular and compelling voice as she explored her internal and external world. In Kids of Appetite, Arnold once again offers unique voices that linger long after you turn the last page. Mad and Vic are narrators with their own motivations - propelled by the secrets and stories of Baz, Nzuzi, and Coco. Let yourself fall into these characters-- become a Kid of Appetite.

    Kids of Appetite by David Arnold (Viking Books for Young Readers, $18.99), recommended by Johanna at Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson

    We usually think of 'all men are created equal' when considering the start of our country. Ashes, which completes Anderson's Seeds of America trilogy set during the Revolutionary War, reminds us jarringly that this was not the case. Through the trilogy, we experience the hardships, hypocrisies, and always-cherished bonds of friendship from the perspective of Isabel, an escaped slave. Anderson always writes compelling, complicated characters for whom we care deeply. Ashes brings deep satisfaction to the trilogy. Ages 9+.

    Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy $16.99), recommended by Rosemary at Quail Ridge Books. Raleigh, NC.

  • Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick

    Nanette has it all--popular friends, a top spot on her school soccer team and the promise of college scholarships to go with it--but as graduation looms, she’s realizing the life ahead is not the life she wants. As for so many of us, it’s the discovery of that one cult classic novel that thrusts her out of her mold and into the joys--and pains--of life outside the bubble. For anyone who’s ever looked around at life and wondered how the hell they got there, this novel is the perfect fun, reflective read.

    Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $17.99), recommended by Shannon at Scuppernong Books, Greensboro, NC.

  • Wrecked by Maria Padian

    Conundrum: The name of the campus house where Haley's freshman roommate claims to have been raped, and the exact position Haley is put in when she finds herself drawn into the campus investigation. At the same time, Haley is growing closer to Richard, a housemate of the accused and a boy who annoys her, excites her, makes her furious, and makes her laugh. Haley and Richard find themselves on opposite sides of somebody else's war, struggling and scrambling to discern just who is telling the truth about what really happened. Timely, poignant, and thought-provoking, Wrecked should be required reading for every high-school senior.

    Wrecked by Maria Padian, (Algonquin Young Readers, $17.95), recommended by Angie at The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

  • A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

    A Torch Against the Night immediately picks up with Laia and Elias' escape at the end of An Ember in the Ashes. Determined to break Laia's brother out of prison, Laia and Elias begin a breakneck journey across Serra, closely followed by Elias' former best friend, Helene, who has orders to kill them. Detailing the perspectives of Elias, Laia, and Helene, Tahir does an incredible job weaving all three stories together. A Torch Against the Night is exhilarating, thrilling, and heartbreaking, with plenty of unexpected twists and turns.

    A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (Razorbill, $19.99), recommended by Sami at Square Books, Oxford, MS.

  • A Song to Take the World Apart by Zan Romanoff

    A Song to Take the World Apart is immersive, engaging, and full of teenage emotion. Romanoff explores ancient folklore and the way our pasts impact our futures, all through Lorelai's imperfect teenage mind and body. This novel is about the beauty of magic and uncertainty in one girl's family and the daily struggles and singular experiences everyone faces as they come of age.

    A Song to Take the World Apart by Zan Romanoff (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $17.99), recommended by Johanna at Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • Stung by Bethany Wiggins

    Fans of The Hunger Games will love this dystopian remake of Sleeping Beauty.

    In Stung by Bethany Wiggins, Fiona wakes up from a coma to find a strange tattoo on her wrist. The world has changed while she was unconscious, her house is deserted and her family has disappeared, except for her brother, who immediately tries to kill her.

    She flees and discovers that since the honey bees’ extinction, the privileged few fight the marked humans who’ve turned into savage beasts. Hunted by both sides, Fiona fights to make sense of what has happened to her before she turns, too.

    This page turning-thriller will keep readers guessing until the very end.Ages 14 and up

    Stung by Bethany Wiggins (MacMillan) Recommended by Ellen at Hooray For Books Alexandria VA

  • Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky

    A recent U.S. Department of Education survey found that high school girls take the same number of math and science classes as boys and earn slightly higher grades, but only 15 percent of U.S. collegiate women major in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

    Encouraging young women and girls to pursue STEM career tracks has never been more important. Women in Science highlights notable women's contributions to various scientific fields. A fascinating collection full of striking, singular art, the book features 50 profiles and illustrated portraits of women in STEM from the ancient to the modern world, and also contains infographics about interesting and relevant topics such as lab equipment and rates of women currently working in STEM fields.

    Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky (Ten Speed Press) Recommended by Bookstore1Sarasota Sarasota FL

  • This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

    Taking you through an hour in Opportunity High School, during which a shooter comes in and changes everyone's lives, this book will also take you on an emotional roller coaster.

    Told from multiple points of view, you get an idea of what the shooter is like, what has happened in his life that might have brought him to this point, and how he's affected the people close to him.

    A heartbreaking novel that draws you into a small-town tragedy and somehow manages to not give up hope.

    This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (Sourcebooks Fire) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • Bone #1: Out from Boneville by Jeff Smith

    This hugely-successful comic/graphic novel combines humor, darkness, distinct characters, cartoonish and not-so-cartoonish artwork with a great story to make something that is both appropriate and fun for young adults but engaging and clever enough for adult readers, as well.

    Bone #1: Out from Boneville (Tribute Edition) by Jeff Smith (Graphix), recommended by Frank at Fountain Bookstore Richmond VA.

  • Red Queen

    Imagine the violence of The Hunger Games, the backstabbing and betrayal of The Game of Thrones, more superpowers than The X-Men, and a simple girl, Mare Barrow, who becomes betrothed to a prince while falling in love with his brother and at the same trying to protect her childhood friend, Kilorn.

    Red Queen is an amazing debut YA novel that will leave you waiting desperately for the next entry in the series.

    Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (HarperTeen) Recommended by Jill and Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • A School for Unusual Girls

    Georgiana is a disgrace to her family. 

    She does not act properly in social settings. Her physical appearance is unbecoming to those around her. And her aptitude for science and experimentation has caused more than a little ruckus among her family and neighbors.

    When one of Georgiana’s more bold experiments leads to a near fatal fire, her family decided to be rid of her in the only way available to them. They send her to the Stranje House, a school for unruly girls. When they first arrive to the school, Georgiana is horrified by the sights that she witnesses…young ladies strapped to medieval racks or suffering inside an iron maiden. Yet, her family is more than happy to leave her with the head mistress Miss Stranje.

    However, the school might not be all that it seems. Soon Georgiana will find secret passageways, long-forgotten smuggler’s coves, unusual curriculum, and unexpected allies. Georgiana will discover her real purpose at this school is to create an invisible ink that will save many lives across Europe.

    Yet, if she fails, the cost many be more than she could ever imagine.

    Danger lurks in every corner, often from Georgiana herself. Will she be able to find the perfect mixture for the invisible ink, or will her failure create a disaster that will lead to the fall of Europe. Only time will tell. A thrilling tale that will keep you on your toes, and leave you yearning for more!

    Fans of The Jane Austen Mysteries, The Agency series, and Wrapped will love A School for Unusual Girls!

    A School for Unusual Girls...A Stranje House Novel by Kathleen BaldwinGretchen (Tor Books) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

    Elizabeth has devoted her life to being a witch hunter, and she's one of the best in the land.

    Then she's accused of being a witch herself and sentenced to burn at the stake. On the run from the most powerful man in the kingdom, she makes new friends with actual witches and wizards, people she'd always thought were her enemies but who end up becoming more of a family than she's ever had.

    Fans of Graceling will love the action and romance in this medieval fantasy. 

    The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • Mosquitoland

    On a Greyhound bus headed from Jackson, MS (aka Mosquitoland) back to Cleveland, Ohio, 16-year-old Mim knows that if she can get to her sick mother by Labor Day, then all the confusion of the divorce, her new stepmom, and the recent move will no longer matter.

    Mim's voice in this amazing amalgam of a love story, a road trip novel, and a coming-of-age story, will stay with you long after you finish Mosquitoland.
     
    Mosquitoland by David Arnold (Viking) Recommended by Jill at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • Rebel of the Sands by Arwyn Hamilton

    Amani is a desert girl who doesn't feel comfortable unless she has a gun in her hand, and who wants nothing more than to leave her dead-end life in a family and town that have no use for her.

    When she meets Jin, a fellow fighter, it seems like she might have met her salvation. If she can convince him to take her with him when he leaves. And if they can manage to escape capture alive. And if Jin's secrets don't tear them apart.

    A fantastically imagined story that will keep you turning the pages until the end. I hope there's more coming.

    Rebel of the Sands by Arwyn Hamilton (Viking) Recommended by Melissa O. at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

    Luna has lived her life in darkness. When she was born, a perpetual eclipse started.

    In the ensuing chaos, Luna's parents, the king and queen of Relhok, were murdered, and Luna was secreted away to a hidden tower, allowing everyone to believe her dead. But now Luna wants more than life in her tower, and her chance comes when Fowler shows up just before an attack on the tower. Now Luna and Fowler are on the run together and must learn to rely on each other in ways neither of them has needed or wanted to before, fighting the monsters born of the darkness and the humans who would tear them apart.

    But they both have secrets that could tear their blossoming love apart.

    The start of a new YA fantasy series with plenty of romance and surprises to keep you turning the pages.

    Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan (Harper Teen)  Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

    Echo lives with the Avicen, a magical people with feathers for hair.

    They are more her people than the human family she ran away from as a child. Sent on a quest to find the Firebird, a mythical object said to posses the power to end an ancient war, Echo meets the Dragon Prince, leader of the Drakharin, mortal enemies to the Avicen.

    With her ragtag group of Avicen and Drakharin, Echo follows the trail to the Firebird, intent on doing what she can to earn her place. But first she has to figure out where it is she belongs.

    Awesome world-building and character development make this a great choice for fans of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

    I can't wait for the sequel!

    The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey (Delacorte Press) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • The Six by Mark Alpert

    For the last 6 years, Adam has been confined to a wheelchair.

    With the help of virtual reality technology that Adam's father has developed, Adam gets to be the hero. Adam's father has also been working of AI technology and after a very dangerous AI escapes into the internet, Adam has a very difficult decision to make.

    Adam only has a little while left to live, but a new technology will allow Adam to have his entire consciousness converted into a computer program. Will Adam go through with the procedure and get to be the hero for real?

    The Six by Mark Alpert (Sourcebooks Inc) Recommended by Jordan at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

    16-year-old Simon is gay, but he hasn't told anyone yet.

    Except for his secret penpal Blue, who's in the same boat, and who Simon has a major crush on. Then someone from school sees Simon's email, and uses it to blackmail Simon. Now Simon has to set up one of his best friends with his blackmailer or risk outing Blue. A romance more than a coming-of-age story, and one that I wanted to read again immediately just to have more of the warm fuzzies it gave me.

    Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (Balzer & Bray/Harperteen) Recommended by Meliissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

    The story is based in China, in a place called Hak Nam.

    Hak Nam is run by drug lords and is filled with brothels. Jin is trying to find her sister, while pretending to be a boy to stay safe and fly under the radar. Dai is trying to find a way out of Hak Nam and he needs Jins help. In return, he agrees to help Jin find her sister. Mei Yee is trapped in a brothel, forced into prostitution with no way out. Dai, Jin and Mei Yee narrate the story, each chapter is told through one of them.

    The Walled City by Ryan Graudin (Little, Brown) Recommended by Christina at Blue Ridge Books Waynesville NC

  • The Arrival by Shaun Tan

    Without a single word, these beautifully detailed and nuanced drawings tell a story of an immigrant trying to establish a better life for his family in a distant country.

    The visual tone of the book implies a past we may think we recognize, but with symbols and customs unknown to any specific time or place, Tan constructs a land where any of us may imagine the incredible endeavor of being alone in a completely foreign landscape. Well-crafted and keenly empathetic.

    The Arrival By Shaun Tan ($21.99, Arthur A. Levine) Recommended by Rachel at Scuppernong Books, Greensboro NC.

  • I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

    How to do justice to a novel that allows you to know each character so intimately that their pain and triumphs are your own?

    I fell head-over-heels for twins Noah and Jude. I couldn’t resist Noah, who has a penchant for contextualizing his life into paintings, or Jude, who takes to keeping onions in her pockets to avoid serious illness. The two share an almost other-worldly bond, but as life rapidly spins beyond their control and they retreat into their own internalized worlds, they lose touch with the others’ heart.

    Their journey back to one another is absolutely stunning.

    Peppered with beautiful imagery and quirky excerpts from Grandma Sweetwine’s folksy bible, I’ll Give You the Sun is a book you’ll wanna hold close to your heart. Or maybe I should just say, I want to give this book to everyone I have ever or will ever meet.

    I'll Give You the Sun By Jandy Nelson ($17.99, Dial Books for Young Readers), recommended by Amanda, Foxtale Bookshoppe, Woodstock GA.

  • Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

    In Scott Westerfeld's new book Afterworlds the readers are treated to two stories in one!

    Afterworlds is set up with alternating chapters where the reader is first introduced to Darcy Patel, a writer, who has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel aptly titled - Afterworlds. Next the reader is immersed in the world of her novel and gets to follow her character Lizzie along on a suspenseful and thrilling ride.

    If you are looking for a fantastic new read then this book is a must!

    Afterworlds By Scott Westerfeld ($19.99, Simon Pulse), recommended by Erin at Foxtale Bookshoppe, Woodstock GA.

  • Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

    A beautifully told coming of age story that takes an amazing turn you won't see coming. Andrew Smith is a genius and you won't believe how much you love this book. Oh...and then there are the six foot tall praying mantises!

    Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith ($18.99, Dutton Juvenile), recommended by Christine, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville NC.