Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners by Libba Bray is a 1920s supernatural murder mystery, with a good dose of horror, and just a dash of steampunk.  Evie O’Neill is a flapper who enjoys parties, speakeasies, and generally having a good time.  However, she also has a hidden talent, Evie can learn people’s secrets by holding objects that they own.  When she causes a scandal in her small Ohio town her parents send her off to live with her uncle, who owns and runs a museum on the occult, in New York.  While this is supposed to be a punishment, Evie is “posi-i-tute-ly” thrilled to get the chance to live it up in Manhattan with her good friend Mabel.  

Soon after arriving though the police ask Evie’s uncle for help in a recent murder, involving a cryptic message and occult symbols.  As the body count rises, the connection to a man long dead and an ancient evil become increasingly clear.

Mixing Ziegfield girls, speakeasies, and lots of 1920’s phrases (at times a bit over the top-ski) with ancient and occult evils, makes for a fun and suspenseful read.  The Diviners is the first book in a series, so Bray does spend time focusing on the stories of (intriguing) side characters that don’t seem to fully fit into the plot of this first book, but will probably be featured in books to come.  

If you enjoy The Diviners some other books you may want to try:
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys - a richly detailed historical murder mystery, taking place in 1950s New Orleans
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters - As people are dying due to Spanish influenza and the Great War in 1918 many are turning to the supernatural world to connect with spirits on the other side.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

2013 Teens' Top Ten Announced!

Votes have been tallied and the official 2013 Teens' Top Ten books are:

10. Butter by Erin Jade Lange
A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death-live on the Internet-and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn't go through with his plans? With

9. Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
Mirabelle's past is shrouded in secrecy, from her parents' tragic deaths to her guardians' half-truths about why she can't return to her birthplace, Beau Rivage. Desperate to see the town, Mira runs away a week before her sixteenth birthday--and discovers a world she never could have imagined. In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems--the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who's a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again. But fairy tales aren't pretty things, and they don't always end in happily ever after.

8. Every Day by David Levithan
A, a teen who wakes up every morning in a different body, living a different life. There's never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. It's all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with--day in, day out, day after day.

7. Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Crewel : a novel by Gennifer AlbinAdelice Lewys has a secret. She wants to fail. Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she's exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras being chosen to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege and eternal beauty. It also means the power to manipulate the fabric of reality. But if controlling what people eat, where they live, and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn't interested. Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and now she has one hour to eat her mom's overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister's academy gossip and laugh at her dad's jokes. One hour to pretend everything's okay. And one hour to escape. Because tonight, they'll come for her.

6. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Legend holds that Glendower, a vanished Welsh king, sleeps beneath the hills until he's needed. The first person to find him will be granted a wish--either by seeing him open his eyes, or by cutting out his heart. Gansey has it all--family money, a car, time for extracurriculars and friends--but he's always loved the tales of sleeping kings. He thinks he's found one, too, or at least the area where one might be: in the town of Henrietta, Virginia. And the best way to be there is to attend the prestigious Aglionby Academy for Boys. Blue is the daughter of the town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, but is too practical to believe in things like spirits or true love. Her policy is to stay away from Aglionby boys...but it may be that one in particular can change her mind about magic, and maybe even love.

5. Poison Princess by Kressley Cole
She could save the world or destroy it. Sixteen year old Evie Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were visions of the future and they're still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. Who can Evie trust? As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it's not always clear who is on which side .

4. Pushing the Limits by Kate McGarry
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much "impossible." Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

3. Insurgent by Veronica Roth - ebook
Every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves and herself while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocableĆ¢e"and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

2. The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
Sage, an orphaned thief with a sharp tongue and a sharper wit. After being plucked from the streets by a nobleman named Conner, Sage learns that Conner plans to choose one of the orphans to impersonate a long-lost prince in the hopes of averting a civil war. Conner's rules of play become quite clear after he murders one of the boys who will not compete. Suddenly winning matters very much. He knows that Conner's motives are questionable at best, yet he also realizes he must be chosen to be the prince or he will certainly be killed. As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a stunning twist raises the stakes to an even deadlier level. Nothing is sacred, nothing is predictable, and nobody can be trusted.

1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun. When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution. As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Waiting for Allegiant

Allegiant by Veronica Roth (the third and final book in the Divergent series) is out today!

 If you can't wait for your hold to come in (you can reserve the book, audio book, or ebook) check out some of these titles to tide you over.

Enclave by Ann Aguirre
New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20's. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a Hunter who once lived Topside. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight.

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
In America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota--and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it's worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life. . . .

The Testing  by Joelle Charbonneau
The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.  Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one. 

 The Maze Runner by James Dashner
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. But he's not alone. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade--a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. . All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they've closed tight. And every thirty days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.  But the next day, a girl is sent up--the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising  is the message she delivers. 

Brain Jack by Brian Falkner
In a near-future New York City, fourteen-year-old computer genius Sam Wilson manages to hack into the AT&T network and sets off a chain of events that have a profound effect on human activity throughout the world.

The Always War by Margaret Peterson Haddix
For as long as Tessa can remember, her country has been at war. When  Gideon Thrall is awarded a medal for courage, it's a rare bright spot for everyone in Tessa's town -- until Gideon refuses the award and runs away. Tessa is bewildered, and can't help but follow Gideon to find out the truth. But Tessa is in for more than she bargained for. Before she knows it, she has stowed away on a rogue airplane and is headed for enemy territory. But all that pales when she discovers a shocking truth that rocks the foundation of everything she's ever believed--a truth that will change the world.

Epic by Conor Kostick
On New Earth, a world based on a video role-playing game, fourteen-year-old Erik persuades his friends to aid him in some unusual gambits in order to save Erik's father from exile and safeguard the futures of each of their families.

Human.4 by Mike Lancaster
Humanity, like computers, can be upgraded.  And old versions disappear. . . . At some unspecified point in the future, when technology is as advanced as possible and we are a race of super beings, some old audio tapes are discovered.  On the tapes is the story of fourteen-year-old  Kyle Straker.  Hypnotized, Kyle missed the upgrade of humanity to 1.0.  He isn't compatible with our new technology. And through the recording, he narrates what the upgrades really mean.  And it's absolutely terrifying.

Legend by Marie Lu
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family, June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, Day is the country's most wanted criminal. When June's brother, Metias, is murdered Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl. . . . Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction.

 The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl.

Starters by Lissa Price
In the future, teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. One girl discovers her renter plans to do more than party--her body will commit murder, if her mind can't stop it.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman
In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would "unwind" them. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can't be harmed -- but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.

Variant by Robison Wells
After years in foster homes, seventeen-year-old Benson Fisher applies to New Mexico's Maxfield Academy in hopes of securing a brighter future, but instead he finds that the school is a prison and no one is what he or she seems.

Uglies (Uglies, #1)Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there. But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world -- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all.

Friday, October 18, 2013

New YA Books at the Library This Week (10/14 - 10/18)

Blackout by Robinson E. Wells     YA WELLS
The virus has spread... and four teens are infected. This new life isn't what I asked for. And if I can't learn to protect myself, it will destroy me. My mission is clear. My enemies will fall. And nothing will stand in my way. I knew there was something wrong with me. But maybe I can be more than just a freak. People always underestimate me. They only see a pretty face. And that mistake is going to cost them.

Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart     YA HART
Of all the recommendations on that stupid career aptitude test, not one of them was "undead fugitive." Jake is a slacker burnout whose idea of the perfect last night on Earth is playing video games in his basement. Amanda is the most popular girl in school, who doesn't even know Jake's name. Cass is the teen psychic sent by the government to hunt them down. Until last week, Jake, Amanda, and Cass had no reason to think their lives would ever intersect. But that was before Jake and Amanda contracted a mysterious zombie virus, devoured half their senior class, and took off for Iowa in search of a cure. As the two of them grapple with the existential guilt of eating their best friends (and their growing attraction to each other), Cass struggles with a psychic dilemma of her owne"one that will lead the three of them on an epic journey across the country and make them question what it means to truly be alive. Or undead.

Dare Me by Eric Devine     YA DEVINE
When Ben Candido and his friends, Ricky and John, decide to post a YouTube video of themselves surfing on top of a car, they finally feel like the "somebodies" they are meant to be instead of the social nobodies that they are. Overnight, the video becomes the talk of the school, and the boys are sure that their self-appointed senior year of dares will live in infamy. Every dare brings an increased risk of bodily harm, but Ben cannot deny the thrill and sense of swagger that come with it. The stakes become even more complex when a mysterious donor bankrolls their dares in exchange for a cut in the online revenue the videos generate. But at what point do the risk and the reward come at too high of a price? What does it take to stay true to one's self in the face of relentless pressure?

Jiu Jiu. Vol. 1 by Toya Tobina     YA MANGA JIU
Werewolves at the door...and in the house Reads R to L (Japanese Style), for audiences rated teen plus. Born into a family of Hunters, Takamichi's destiny is to pursue and slay demons. When her twin brother is killed, she is saved from despair by a pair of Jiu Jiu shape-shifting familiars in the form of two wolf pups named Snow and Night. Now Takamichi is in high school and an active Hunter. Snow and Night can't wait to attend school in their human form to "protect" her. But are they ready to go off leash...' Takamichi's Jiu Jiu Obedience Training Goals 1. Stop them from following you to work 2. Avoid exposing them to the full moon 3. Save them from execution

Goddess by Josephine Angelini      YA ANGELINI
Can you change your fate? The gods' thirst for war already has a body counte"and Helen is plagued with visions of destruction. She must find a way to imprison them once again, or risk unleashing immeasurable chaos. Her powers are increasing" and so is the distance between Helen and her mortal friends. Uncertain whether to fear or revere her, the once-solid group divides. To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a dangerous Tyrant is lurking among them . . . and all fingers point to Orion. Still unsure whether she loves him or Lucas, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, for an all-out war is coming to her shores. Starcrossed and Dreamless are international bestsellers. Now Josephine Angelini delivers a thrilling conclusion to this epic trilogy of love, hate, revenge, and fate. With worlds built just as quickly as they crumble, a goddess must rise above it all in a final battle to change a destiny written in the stars.

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan     YA BRENNAN
It’s time to choose sides… On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways. But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?
Book 2 in the Lyburn Legacy.  If you need to catch up book one is Unspoken.  

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles     YA ELKELES
After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek's counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else's family drama. Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek--someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Teens' Top Ten

You can cast your vote for the Young Adult Library Association's (YALSA's) Top Ten Teen Books of 2013 through Saturday, October 19th. 

Vote and stay tuned for the winners!

Nominees include:

Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Tilt  by Ellen Hopkins
I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Insurgent by Veronica Roth (ebook)
Every Day by David Levithan
Immortal City  by Scott Speer

and more!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

As Cath enters her dorm room on her first day of college she is immediately greeted by Levi, the overly friendly boyfriend (?) of her surly upperclassman roommate Reagan.  Cath is less than thrilled.  For the first time she will not be sharing a room with her twin sister Wren, who is ridiculously excited to experience all things college.  The one thing she can still take comfort in is Simon Snow (think Harry Potter) and the fanfiction she has been carefully crafting for him over the years - and Cath isn’t just writing for herself, on the fanfiction site she has thousands of followers reading, commenting, and dying to see her next installments.  

Content with keeping her head down, going to class, and surviving on peanut butter  and power bars (seriously, she decides it’s just easier  to not deal with figuring out the dining hall), however, Reagan finally takes pity on Cath and drags her down to get real food, and cautiously Cath makes a few friends.  However, when her fiction writing professor lets her know that she thinks fanfiction is no more than plagiarism, and family matters become uncertain and chaotic, Cath begins to question how much she really wants a “college experience,” or if she’d rather just spend her time concerning herself with Simon Snow.

Almost all the characters Rowell has created in Fangirl are substantial enough to have their own story.  Wren can seem frustrating (and even at times uncaring), but she does make some valid points about Cath’s college experience and it is clear that (whatever they  may be) Wren is working through some of her own issues.  These are characters I wanted keep hanging out with even after I finished the book and I have a new found interest in checking out some fanfiction.