December 9, 2017

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Book Review: Grades 9 Up Fiction | November 2013

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Grades 9 & Up

redstarAVASTHI , Swati. Chasing Shadows. illus. by Craig Phillips. 320p. Knopf. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780375863424; lib. ed. $17.99. ISBN 9780375963414; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780375895272.

Gr 8 Up –Teen twins Holly and Corey, children of a Chicago police officer, are fast friends with Savitri, who is also Corey’s girlfriend. One night after the three complete a challenging freerunning session, Savitri witnesses a hooded shooter targeting Corey and Holly in their car. Corey is killed and Holly is hospitalized in a coma. Devastated, Savitri diligently attempts to revive Holly and tries to identify the shadowy murderer, perhaps someone seeking revenge against the twins’ father. When Holly finally awakens, Savitri realizes that her friend has changed. She refuses to accept her brother’s death and slips into a downward spiral of delusion through which she believes she can rescue him from a fantasized Shadowlands, inspired by the Hindu myths she learned from Savitri. Savitri, determined to heal Holly, even considers turning down her acceptance to Princeton to stay close by. When Holly’s deteriorating mental health begins to directly impact Savitri and puts her very life in jeopardy, Savitri must make important choices between friendship, loyalty, and survival. Fans of Cecil Castellucci’s Year of the Beasts (Roaring Brook, 2012) will especially appreciate this book’s themes and its hybrid format that alternates chapters from Savitri’s and Holly’s points of view in both compelling text and adept black-and-white graphics–graphics that ultimately deliver a sad and powerful twist.–Diane P. Tuccillo, Poudre River Public Library District, CO

redstarBEAUDOIN , Sean. Wise Young Fool. 430p. Little, Brown. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316203791. LC 2012032472.

Gr 10 Up –This coming-of-age story is told in alternating story lines, leading up to Ritchie Sudden’s arrest and his time in a juvenile detention center. Three years before the story begins, the teen’s sister died in a drunk-driving accident, his father left and married a younger woman, and his mother started dating a younger woman. Ritchie picked up the guitar and poured his emotions into it. Now, he is entering his junior year in high school. He is in a hard-core band with his only friend, El Hella. They are trying to build their band, while Ritchie jumps from one bad relationship to the next and commits a felony. When the band rises to stardom, Ritchie has an emotional explosion that ends in his arrest. His time in juvie is told through short journal entries. His plan to keep from getting beaten up is to be antisocial and keep his head down. This doesn’t work out and two inmates try to kill him. He narrowly escapes by pulling off an incredible stunt and finally comes out of his shell. There are a lot of messages about the importance of safe driving and staying away from drugs and alcohol without being preachy. This is not a typical rock band story; it is actually interesting. The author does a brilliant job getting into the head of a troubled teen and does not shy away from racy topics.–Erik Carlson, White Plains Public Library, NY

The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue:

ABEDI , C. J. Fae. 266p. Diversion. 2013. ebk. $4.99. ISBN 9781626811010.

ARONSON , Sarah. Believe. 296p. Carolrhoda Lab. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 97814 67706971; ebk. $12.95. ISBN 97814 67716178. LC 2012047184.

ASKEW , Kim & Amy Helmes. Exposure. Bk. 2. 224p. (Twisted Lit Series). Merit. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781440552618; ebk. $17.95. ISBN 9781440552625.

BATES , Marni. Invisible. 274p. Kensington/KTeen. 2013. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9780758269386; ebk. $8.99. ISBN 9780758289131.

BLAIR , Jamie. Leap of Faith. 240p. S & S. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442447134. ebook available.LC 2012043125.

CABOT , Meg. Awaken. Bk. 3. 343p. (Abandon Series). Scholastic/Point. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545284127.

CASTOR , H. M. VIII. 422p. chart. S & S. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442474185. ebook available.

DENNARD , Susan. A Darkness Strange and Lovely. 416p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062083296. ebook available. LC 2012038125.

DEVINE , Eric. Dare Me. 304p. Running Pr./Teens. 2013. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9780762450152; ebk. $9.95. ISBN 9780762450800. LC 2013937586.

DUNIVAN , Dennis W. Escape from Communist Heaven. 392p. further reading. glossary. photos. Sentient Publications. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781591812296. LC 2012048708.

ELKELES , Simone. Wild Cards. 352p. Walker. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780802734372; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9780802734563.

FALLS , Kat. Inhuman. 384p. Scholastic. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545370998; ebk. $17.99. ISBN 9780545520348.

FEINSTEIN , John. Foul Trouble. 272p. Knopf. Nov. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780375869648; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780375982460; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780375984549.

FORMAN , Gayle. Just One Year. 336p. Dutton. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525425922. ebook available.

GERAGOTELIS , Brittany. Life’s a Witch. 320p. (A Life’s a Witch Book). S & S. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442466555. ebook available. LC 2012047851.

GIRARD , Geoffrey. Project Cain. 341p. photos. S & S. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442476967; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781442477018. LC 2013002672.

GOOBIE , Beth. The Throne. 280p. Red Deer. 2013. pap. $12.95. ISBN 9780889954960.

GOODMAN , Gabriel. The Alliance. 104p. (Surviving Southside Series). Darby Creek. 2013. lib. ed. $27.93. ISBN 9781467705950; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781467707084; ebk. $20.95. ISBN 9781467709705. LC 2012032139.

GRANT , Sara. Half Lives. 390p. Little, Brown. 2013. Tr $18. ISBN 9780316194938.

GRAY, Keith , ed. Losing It. 200p. Carolrhoda Lab. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781467720410; ebk. $12.95. ISBN 9781467720496. LC 2013001077.

GREENWOOD , Arin. Save the Enemy. 288p. SohoTeen. Nov. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781616952594; ebk. $17.99. ISBN 9781616952600.

GRIFFIN , Adele. Loud Awake and Lost. 304p. Knopf. Nov. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780385752725; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780385752732; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780385752749. LC 2012049042.

HADDIX , Margaret Peterson. Full Ride. 352p. S & S. Nov. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442442788; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442442801.

HARTRY , Nancy. Smokescreen. 202p. Tundra. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781770494053; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781770494060. LC 2012949903.

HIGGINS , M. G. Bi-Normal. 191p. (Gravel Road Series). Saddleback. 2013. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781622500048.

JARZAB , Anna. Tandem. Bk. 1. 448p. (The Many-Worlds Trilogy). Delacorte. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780385742771; lib. ed. $20.99. ISBN 9780375990779; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780307977250.

KOERTGE , Ron. Coaltown Jesus. 128p. Candlewick. 2013. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9780763662288. LC 2013931470.

LO , Malinda. Inheritance. 470p. Little, Brown. 2013. Tr $18. ISBN 9780316198004. LC 2012048433.

LOWITZ , Leza & Shogo Oketani. Jet Black and the Ninja Wind. 320p. glossary. Tuttle. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9784805312841.

MCENTIRE , Myra. Infinityglass. Bk. 3. 304p. (Hourglass Trilogy). Egmont USA. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781606844410; ebk. $17.99. ISBN 9781606844427. LC 2013937007.

MCNEIL , Gretchen. 3:59. 360p. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062118813. ebook available. LC 2013000231.

MCQUEIN , Josin L. Arclight. 403p. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062130143; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780062130167. LC 2013002929.

MANNERING , G. R. Roses. 320p. Sky Pony. Nov. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781620879887.

MARTIN , Benjamin. Revenge of the Akuma Clan. 320p. Tuttle. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9784805312742.

MEYER , Carolyn. Beauty’s Daughter: The Story of Hermione and Helen of Troy. 352p. Houghton Harcourt. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-544-10862-2. LC 2013003923.

MORGAN , Kass. The 100. 323p. Little, Brown. 2013. Tr $18. ISBN 9780316234474. ebook available. LC 2013016455.

NOWRA , Louis. Into That Forest. 160p. Skyscape. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781477817254; ebk. $7.99. ISBN 9781477867259.

PLISSNER , Laurie. Screwed. 300p. Merit. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 978-1440557101; ebk. $17.95. ISBN 9781440557118.

RENNISON , Louise. The Taming of the Tights. 306p. ((Mis)Adventures of Tallulah Casey Series). HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062226204. ebook available.

SALES , Leila. This Song Will Save Your Life. 288p. Farrar. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374351380.

WAGGONER , Susan. Neptune’s Tears. 218p. Holt. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780805096774; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780805096781. LC 2013001712.

WELLS , Robison. Blackout. 426p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062026125; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780062233318. LC 2012045523.

WHITCOMB , Laura. Under the Light. 237p. Houghton Harcourt. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780547367545. LC 2012033303.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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