Four New Books

We’ve got a fantastic mix of books this week! April 23rd is the release date for JANE AUSTEN GOES TO HOLLYWOOD, a contemporary novel starring two sisters; DARIUS & TWIG, a contemporary novel about a writer and a middle-distance runner; and SPIRIT’S CHOSEN, a Japanese-inspired fantasy tale. April 30th is the release date for ECHO, a science-fiction/fantasy novel about the end of the world.

Which books are you drawn to?


janeJane Austen Goes to Hollywood
By Abby McDonald
Candlewick

Hallie and Grace Weston couldn’t be more different. Older sister Hallie thinks all the world’s a stage –her stage, to be exact –while even-tempered Grace tries to keep her dramatic sister in check. When their father dies, leaving everything to his snooty new wife, the sisters face a new challenge: uprooted from their home and friends, they’re forced to move into a relative’s guest house–in shiny, status-obsessed Beverly Hills.

Plunged into a strange and glamorous new world, the penniless Weston sisters try to rebuild their lives. Aspiring actress Hallie throws herself headlong into the Hollywood scene–and an intense affair with musician Dakota. Meanwhile, shy Grace manages to find an unlikely ally in the bubbly entrepreneur Palmer, but still yearns for the maybe-almost-crush she left behind.

But is Hallie blinded by her cinematic visions of true love? And can Grace find the strength to step off the sidelines?

(Picture via Goodreads and summary via Amazon.com)


DariusDarius & Twig
By Walter Dean Myers
Amistad Press

New York Times bestselling author and current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Walter Dean Myers was asked to write a novel about friendship by his fans. Here it is.

Darius is a writer struggling to find his own way, with only his alter ego, Fury, a peregrine falcon, and Twig, his best friend, in his corner. Twig, a middle-distance runner, has the skills to make it but wants to dictate his own terms for success. He may be a winner on the track, but it doesn’t stop him from getting picked on. For these friends, money is tight; there are bullies and absent adults and, most disturbing, the notion that their Harlem life doesn’t have much to offer. They need to navigate their world: the thugs, the seamy side of sports, the uncertainty of their prospects. And they need to figure out how to grow up together, but apart.

This raw teen novel is the latest from highly acclaimed award-winning author Walter Dean Myers.

(Cover image and summary from Goodreads.)


SpiritsSpirit’s Chosen
By Esther M. Friesner
Random House Books for Young Readers

Himiko’s world is falling apart. An attack by the Ookami clan has left many from her tribe dead or enslaved. And those who remain in the ransacked Matsu village are certain they’ve angered the gods. Amid the chaos and fear, Himiko hatches a plan to save her beloved tribe. Traveling through the treacherous wilderness with her best friend Kaya, their only goal is to free her clanfolk from the Ookami. At every turn she encounters other tribes and unforeseen challenges. But just when it seems that she will outwit Ryu, the cruel Ookami leader, she is captured. Held agains her will, Himiko starts to realize that not all of the Ookami are her enemies and every step of her unconventional journey has prepared her for something greater than life as a princess. Though she may not see her path as clearly as the spirits seem to, there’s more adventure (and even unexpected love) for this young shamaness and warrior.

(Image and summary via Goodreads)


echoEcho
By Alicia Wright Brewster
Dragonfairy Press

A young adult science fiction adventure novel, this story features a strong, but flawed heroine and themes of friendship, loss, faith, tolerance—and the end of the world. With the countdown clock showing 10 days until the end of their planet, everyone has been notified and assigned a duty—but the problem is no one knows for sure how everything will end. Energy-hungry Mages are the most likely culprit, traveling toward a single location from every corner of the continent. Fueled by the two suns, each Mage holds the power of an element: air, earth, fire, metal, water, or ether. They harness their powers to draw energy from the most readily available resource: humans. Ashara has been assigned to the Ethereal task group, made up of human ether manipulators and directed by Loken, a young man with whom she has a complicated past. Loken and Ashara bond over a common goal: to stop the Mages from occupying their home and gaining more energy than they can contain. But soon, they begin to suspect that the future of the world may depend on something unexpected—Ashara’s death.

(Picture via Goodreads and summary via Amazon.com)

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New Releases

Here are two more books — both released on April 9th! Nine Days sounds exactly like the kind of book I want to read under the table during class (maybe I will).

nine daysNine Days by Fred Hiatt

Delacorte Books for Young Readers

A fast-paced contemporary thriller in the vein of James Patterson and Anthony Horowitz set against the bustling backdrop of Hong Kong, Vietnam, and the border of China. This heart-pounding adventure takes place as two teens, an American teenage boy and his friend, a Chinese girl from his Washington, DC-area high school, must find her father who has been kidnapped—and they only have nine days. –Picture and summary via Amazon.com

 

Revenge ofrevenge a Not-So-Pretty Girl by Carolita Blythe

Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Faye doesn’t mean to hit the old lady she and her friends are mugging. But she does. The old lady isn’t moving, but Faye has no reason to feel guilty for leaving her there. The old lady might be ancient and wrinkly now. But back in the day, she was as beautiful as they come—a famous movie star. And everyone knows that pretty and mean always go together. But Faye does feel guilty. So she comes back. Slowly, Faye and the old lady form an unlikely friendship, one that pulls Faye out of her life with her abusive mother and destructive “friends” and allows the old lady relief from her loneliness. –Picture and summary via Amazon.com

 

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New Releases This Week

We’ve got three new releases this week, all of them on April 9th. It’s a great mix, too–historical fantasy, dystpoian science fiction, and a contemporary fantasy thriller. Which ones are you going to check out?

witches
Hammer of Witches by Shana Mlawski
Tu Books
Review by Crystal

Baltasar Infante can weasel out of any problem with a good story.

But when he encounters a monster straight out of stories one night, Baltasar faces trouble even he can’t talk his way out of. Captured by the Malleus Maleficarum, a mysterious witch-hunting arm of the Spanish Inquisition, Baltasar is put to the question. The Inquisitor demands he reveal the whereabouts of Amir al-Katib, a legendary Moorish sorcerer who can bring myths and the creatures within them to life.

Now Baltasar must escape, find al-Katib, and defeat a dreadful power that may destroy the world.

As Baltasar’s journey takes him into uncharted lands on Columbus’s voyage westward, he learns that stories are more powerful than he once believed them to be–and much more dangerous. –Picture and summary via Amazon.com

awakening
Awakening by Karen Sandler
Tu Books

Once a Chadi sector GEN girl terrified of her first Assignment, Kayla is now a member of the Kinship, a secret organization of GENs, lowborns, and trueborns. Kayla travels on Kinship business, collecting information to further the cause of GEN freedom.

Despite Kayla’s relative freedom, she is still a slave to the trueborn ruling class. She rarely sees trueborn Devak, and any relationship between them is still strictly forbidden.

Kayla longs to be truly free, but other priorities have gotten in the way. A paradoxically deadly new virus has swept through GEN sectors a disease only GENs catch. And GEN warrens and warehouses are being bombed, with only a scrawled clue: F.H.E. Freedom, Humanity, Equality.

With the virus and the bombings decimating the GEN community, freedom and love are put on the back burner as Kayla and her friends find a way to stop the killing . . . before it’s too late. –Picture and summary via Amazon.com

Strangelets
Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon
Soho Teen

17-year-old Sophie lies on her deathbed in California, awaiting the inevitable loss of her battle with cancer…
17-year-old Declan stares down two armed thugs in a back alley in Galway, Ireland…
17-year-old Anat attempts to traverse a booby-trapped tunnel between Israel and Egypt…

All three strangers should have died at the exact same moment, thousands of miles apart. Instead, they awaken together in an abandoned hospital—only to discover that they’re not alone. Three other teens from different places on the globe are trapped with them. Somebody or something seems to be pulling the strings. With their individual clocks ticking, they must band together if they’re to have any hope of surviving.

Soon they discover that they’ve been trapped in a future that isn’t of their making: a deadly, desolate world at once entirely familiar and utterly strange. Each teen harbors a secret, but only one holds the key that could get them home. As the truth comes to light through the eyes of Sophie, Declan, and Anat, the reader is taken on a dark and unforgettable journey into the hearts of teens who must decide what to do with a second chance at life. –Picture and summary via Amazon.com

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