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October 31, 2014

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A Whole Lotta Secrets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 [...]

Weekly Reviews: Monster Thrillers

Benjamin Percy’s Red Moon is a political thriller as much as werewolf horror novel, in the same way that World War Z is about military strategy. Red Moon reflects the current state of our world, in particular terrorism, persecuted minorities, and the importance of energy sources in today’s political decision-making. In fact, Justin Cronin (author of The [...]

Weekly Reviews: Murder in London

Two excellent murder mysteries set in 19th century London begin our week. Veteran action/thriller writer David Morrell mixes fact and fiction in his latest, Murder as a Fine Art. It has been so successful that he plans to write at least one more book featuring Thomas De Quincey and his daughter Emily. Morrell was awarded the International Thriller Writers’ [...]

Review: 17 and Gone

Last week, I reviewed 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma (Dutton, 2013). That review was for people who, well, don’t want to know too much about a book going on. So, short version of 17 & Gone for those readers is that Lauren is seeing ghosts, including a girl who may still be alive, [...]

Review: 17 and Gone

17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma. Dutton Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 2013. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. The Plot: Lauren’s beat up old van breaks down on a snowy day on the way to school, and because of that, she sees the missing poster she must have passed day after [...]

Weekly Reviews: Debut Novels

Weekly Reviews: Debut Novels

Today’s reviews are all notable debut novels by women. I spent part of my spring break tearing through Kimberly McCreight’s Reconstructing Amelia, and let me tell you — teens are going to eat this up. It came out just yesterday, so go order a couple copies now. There are several appeal elements here. First, the [...]

Even More Weekly Reviews: Serial Killers

Even More Weekly Reviews: Serial Killers

We have a huge backlog of wonderful reviews right now, so this week we’re giving you even more weekly reviews.  The great film reviewer Jonathan Rosenbaum once commented that “it’s pretty safe to say that there are more serial killers in movies than there are in real life” and puzzled over why so many viewers [...]

Weekly Reviews: Sequels

Trilogies. How many of us shudder at the thought? How many of us miss those great standalone novels? A whole story arc in one book – imagine! On the other hand, many readers enjoy knowing that there is more to come. In a student bookgroup meeting last week, as we discussed what to read next, [...]

Weekly Reviews: Speculative Fiction

Today we review three thrillingly original works of speculative fiction. Let’s start with a post-apocalyptic, dystopian debut novel. The Office of Mercy is being marketed as a Hunger Games readalike. (I’ve also seen comparisons to recent Alex Award winner, Pure). However, debut author Djanikian is more concerned with ethical questions than fast-paced action. The Alphas had good intentions [...]

The Six-Gun Tarot

A few weeks ago, I posted about genre fiction and teen appeal. At that time I made a promise to myself that I would read more genre titles this year. So far so good because by reading The Six-Gun Tarot I covered three in one – fantasy, horror and western. Teens are going to love [...]