We’ve reviewed a fabulous combination of books in this issue—everything from mysteries to thrillers to fantasies—all with a dash or more of romance. These tantalizing 2012 titles are ready for reading, so place your holds now.
GRANT, Michael and Katherine Applegate. Eve & Adam. Feiwel and Friends. October 2012. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780312583514.
Gr 7 Up—Evening’s (or E.V. as her friends call her) mom is Terra Spiker, the owner and founder of Spiker Biopharmaceuticals. When E.V. is in a car accident that temporarily lands her a wheelchair, her mom brings her to her research facility to heal—and to keep her entertained with the task of “creating the perfect boy”—a.k.a. Project 88715. Enter Solo, a coffee cart boy and orphan, who’s searching for answers about the intriguing project. He wants nothing to do with Spiker Biopharm, unless it means bringing down the whole corporation—that is, until he meets the boss’s daughter.
One of my favorite aspects of Eve & Adam is the twists! I expected a cheesy romance novel about “star-crossed lovers,” maybe, or two teens in love who run away to be together. Needless to say, that’s not the case here. This is much more than a budding relationship book; instead, it takes readers on a roller coaster ride that’s filled with secrets and action, and—yes—some romance. Discovering the fine line between what’s right and wrong is a big focus as the secrets are revealed—as is finding out what kind of person you are because of those secrets. Interesting and action-packed, this is a page-turner!—Destiny B., age 15
RHODES, Morgan. Falling Kingdoms. Razorbill. December 2012. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781595145840.
A long, long time ago, in the country of Limeros, Lucia was stolen from her cradle. She was snatched by two sisters, who lust for power and quickly destroy one another. Lucia winds up in the hands of the King of Blood, whose son begins to lust for her as she begins to come into her magical powers. Then, in the country of Palesia, a boy gets murdered, which sparks a war that destroys all but one country. In Auranos, the reader follows a girl who witnesses her betrothed killing a young boy from Palesia. This girl then travels to Palesia to find a magical cure for her sister. If you can’t keep all of these details straight, don’t worry, the story isn’t all that difficult.
I loved it from start to finish. The first 20 pages took me a week to read, but I finished the rest of it in a day. Don’t let its slow beginning discourage you—the story speeds up considerably. The author keeps you on your toes by making you try to find out who’s the enemy. I loved the constant backstabbing. Eventually, the reader realizes that there’s no enemy, just arrogant humans whose quarreling gets in the way of progress.—Kaleb B., age 14
HALBROOK, Kristin. Nobody But Us. HarperTeen. January 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780062121264.
Gr 9 Up—Nobody But Us is about a young couple on the run from their past in hopes of a better future. Fifteen-year-old Zoe is consistently abused by her father. Everyone in the small town knows that, but no one offers to help her. When Will arrives, he’s quickly attracted to her, and she’s instantly curious about his broken past and his bad-boy ways. Will soon turns 18, and the couple decides to run away to Las Vegas to start a new life together. As incidents with serious consequences occur along the way, the two find themselves doubting everything they once believed could happen.
This is a very captivating book that was hard to put down. Will and Zoe’s persistent love was inspiring. Their journey from their small North Dakota town to Las Vegas will have readers on the edge of their seats with anticipation. This book offers a brutally honest account of the struggle of young love and its hope for a better future, no matter what. I recommend it to anyone who’s interested in romance, multiple points of view, violence, and endings that’ll leave you speechless.—Jazmine W. age 15
Ellison, Kate. Notes from Ghost Town. Egmont USA. February 2013. Tr. $17.99. ISBN 9781606842645.
Gr 9 Up—Sixteen-year-old Olivia Tithe has become color blind and believes that she’s completely losing her mind—just like her mother. When her best friend, and first love, Lucas Stern, dies and returns as a ghost, she tries to unravel the mystery of his death. In order to save her mother and herself, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful it may be.
Honestly, the summary wasn’t particularly interesting to me, but I’m glad I gave the book a chance. The author has a knack for making readers want to come back for more. Olivia is one of those characters readers love to read about. She’s strong, passionate, and doesn’t take no for an answer, even when the odds are against her. The mystery is intriguing enough that readers will find themselves reading faster and faster to figure out what it is, but they’ll also want to slow down so they won’t finish the book too soon. Ellison did a wonderful job, and I applaud her.—Kathleen M. age 16
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