October 20, 2017

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Book Review: A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo

When I’m reviewing books for professional publications, I stay quiet about them on social media. I’m always really excited once a review comes out to be able to talk about the book, finally! Here’s one of my most recent reviews, which originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of School Library Journal.    A Line in the Dark […]

A World of Hurt: 7 Dark, Compelling Titles | Adult Books 4 Teens

Teens with an appreciation for gritty, intense reads will appreciate these selections that range from a 19th-century murder mystery to the nonfiction account of two Baltimore teenagers’ scheme to distribute opiates.

Secret Societies, Psychopaths, and Murder | Adult Books 4 Teens

An unreliable narrator with amnesia, a secret society orchestrating conspiracies, a decades-old mystery springing back to life: the novels in the latest Adult Books 4 Teens column contain just about every ingredient we’ve come to know and love in contemporary suspense thrillers.

Book Review: Detour by S. A. Bodeen

Publisher’s description: Livvy Flynn is a big deal – she’s a New York Times-bestselling author whose YA fiction has sold all over the world. She’s rich, she’s famous, she’s gorgeous, and she’s full of herself. When she’s invited to an A-list writer’s conference, she decides to accept so she can have some time to herself. […]

Before and After the Apocalypse

Two science fiction thrillers on review today, from two new Simon & Schuster imprints that highlight speculative fiction: Saga Press and Simon451. Lee Kelly‘s debut, City of Savages, could easily have been published YA. It alternates two YA narrators, sisters, as they survive post-WWIII Manhattan. This is a good post-apocalyptic novel, and readers experience the war itself […]

Red Rising and The Bone Season continue

Two of 2014′s stand-out debuts continue! Pierce Brown’s Red Rising was on our Best of the Year list. The second book of the trilogy is even better. EW posted a great interview with the author (mind those spoilers!) and you can see the cover of the trilogy finale, Morning Star, on Brown’s website. The Mime Order is the […]

Descent

Descent is my favorite book of 2015 so far, and one I expect to see on best lists come next winter. Why? Tim Johnston combines edge-of-your-seat suspense with family drama, tragedy, and an unforgettable setting. The characters are real, which is what makes their fates so suspenseful, of course. And it is incredibly well-written. There are […]

A Trio of Thrillers

Valerie Geary‘s debut novel is a family drama, coming-of-age, psychological murder mystery that builds to thriller pitch. Two sisters deal with unusual family dynamics, and put themselves at risk to clear their father’s name.  It seems fitting that one of the authors who has blurbed the novel is Lisa O’Donnell, who won an Alex Award for The Death […]

Lockstep & Goodhouse

Two excellent science fiction titles today, both featuring teen male protagonists. Lockstep is a hard SF romp that, despite its sophistication, could have been published for a YA audience. Karl Schroeder is a well-known and respected Canadian science fiction author whose output is entirely adult, so his publishers probably did well to keep him in […]

A Whole Lotta Secrets

Today we begin with a psychological mystery then highlight two thrillers, one suspense-filled, another action-packed. I am excited to recommend Tana French’s new Dublin Murder Squad novel to teen readers. I have enjoyed French’s novels since her 2007 debut, In the Woods. She is among the finest literary crime novelists writing today, and in The […]

A Nightmare that Walks like a Girl

Is Melanie a monster or a prodigy? The title of this post refers to the first of our thrilling reads of the day, The Girl with all the Gifts, in which one character, Sergeant Parks, thinks of Melanie as “the nightmare-that-walks-like-a-girl.” He’d rather deal with blood-thirsty zombies than with something that walks and talks like […]

Pure Adrenaline

I’m finally on spring break, and I hope many of you are enjoying (or looking forward to) a vacation around now, too. Speaking of which, do I ever have a great beach read for you (and the teens you serve, too)! This is my first Patrick Lee novel, but it won’t be the last. Great […]

On the Run

Last week I observed that it’s been quite a winter for science fiction, and today we share two more SF recommendations. Both feature an alternate history aspect and siblings on the run. In Daniel Price’s The Flight of the Silvers, six people watch as our world is destroyed before being whisked away to an alternate America. […]

Red Rising

Red Rising by Pierce Brown is the powerful first in a projected dystopian trilogy. This debut lives up to the hype that surrounds, and I don’t use the word “powerful” lightly. The writing is muscular and vivid. The characters come alive. The plot is intense and perfectly paced. This is a great choice for readers who loved Hunger Games (or […]

From Serial Killers to Fairy Tales

We do run the gamut here at AB4T. Quite a variety to introduce today, but all three fall under the broad category of speculative fiction.

Serious Business

Gah! The end of the year approaches, and we still have several 2013 titles to recommend, so forgive me if today’s novels are a bit less thematically similar than usual. With that said, all three of today’s novels take us to some very dark corners of teen life. In Save Yourself, we are introduced to […]

A Trio of Thrillers

Three great suspenseful reads today. Joyce Maynard bases her latest on a true crime spree that took place in the 1970s, the “Trailside Killings”. Her young teen narrator and her even younger sister decide to help their detective father catch the serial killer. The father-daughter relationship is a highlight of this one. Maynard created a […]

The Recent Past

Three novels set in the recent past all center on adolescents betrayed or abandoned by the adults in their lives. Jamie Ford‘s debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, was a hugely successful debut. At the time of publication it was recommended for teen readers, and justifiably so. More recently, it was […]

Year of the Storm

Extremely sharp-eyed readers of this blog may recognize John Mantooth’s name from his story in Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas’s Haunted Legends, which I reviewed a few years back. Of course, since I didn’t mention Mantooth’s story in the review and since even though I am a huge fan of that collection, I myself didn’t […]

The Different Shades of Horror

I am writing this on the Sunday evening of a weekend during which the movie “Insidious: Chapter 2″ made $41 million dollars at the box office. Tomorrow evening “Sleepy Hollow” premieres on Fox and CBS airs the finale of the first season of “Under the Dome”. “The Walking Dead” is on the cover of this […]