April 24, 2018

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Book Review: Grades 9 Up Fiction | July 2013

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Covers for Grades 9 & Up Fiction

School Library Journal starred reviewsCLEMENT-MOORE, Rosemary. Spirit and Dust. 400p. Delacorte. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-385-74080-7; PLB $20.99. ISBN 978-0-375-98970-4; ebook $10.99. ISBN 978-0-375-98271-2.
Gr 9 Up
–Daisy Goodnight, a 17-year-old psychic wunderkind, is a college student but occasionally she helps the FBI on murder cases. When the Feds whisk her away for another job, what starts out as a routine homicide investigation turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse. Enter crime boss Maguire. He kidnaps Daisy to extort her powers to find his kidnapped teenage daughter and to track down the magical Black Jackal, an ancient Egyptian artifact. A secret brotherhood wants the jackal, too, and neither the brotherhood nor Maguire has any scruples about doing whatever it takes to get it. Maguire pairs Daisy with his handsome young thug-with-a-conscience, Carson, and sends them off on a pulse-pumping hunt. What ensues is a perfectly balanced, dynamite combo of action, suspense, mystery, romance, and the paranormal topped off with a dash of humor. Daisy and Carson race across state lines, searching for clues in cemeteries, libraries, and museums. Along the way, they wrestle mummies, flee from the ghost of the Pompeii volcano, and encounter helpful spirit remnants of dead relatives. As Daisy and Carson get closer to the jackal, they discover that it has the potential to unleash unlimited spirit power. In the wrong hands…well, there’s the rub. Daisy is an endearing, strong heroine. Her magical interactions with the spirit world are made utterly believable by finely drawn, evocative details of how she achieves them and the side effects she suffers each time she does. This is one of the best YA novels of the year.–Jennifer Prince, Buncombe County Public Libraries, NC

School Library Journal starred reviewsLAFEVERS, Robin. Dark Triumph. Bk. 2. 400p. (His Fair Assassin Series). Houghton Harcourt. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-547-62838-7.
Gr 9 Up
–In this sequel to Grave Mercy (Houghton Harcourt, 2012), Sybella leaves the convent where she has learned her assassin’s skills and returns to Brittany, where she must endure her father’s unspeakable cruelty and the incestuous love of her half brother. Determined to undermine D’Albret at every turn and stay loyal to Duchess Anne, she carries out covert operations and looks for opportunities to use her skills and bring evildoers to justice. She helps to foil a plot to capture Anne and frees the Beast of Waroch, the duchess’s most loyal and fierce champion, from D’Albret’s prison, all the while waiting for an opening to kill her father. When the knight knocks her out and takes her along with him, her cover is blown and she despairs that no one will be able to stop D’Albret’s reign of terror. As with the first book, LaFevers has filled the pages of her novel with adventure, and the pace is electrifyingly fast. The characters are well drawn, and even the secondary figures have dimension. Sybella’s quick-thinking and fearless approach to terrifying personal and political situations renders her an incredibly strong protagonist with whom readers will identify. The love that develops between her and Beast provides a model of a healthy relationship built on mutual trust and understanding. Realistic details of 15th-century Breton life abound, providing an overall clear and accurate picture of the times. There is much talk about St. Mortain as the Lord of Death, which some may find disturbing, but these topics are handled well and the story will leave readers eager for the series’ finale.–Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, formerly at LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI

School Library Journal starred reviewsMADISON, Bennett. September Girls. 352p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-125563-2.
Gr 10 Up
–Before the school year is even completely over, Sam’s dad quits his job and takes the 17-year-old and his older brother, who’s home from college, to a sleepy Outer Banks beach town for the summer. Sam’s mom left abruptly months earlier and the three are still reeling from her sudden departure. Ensconced in a rundown rental, the boys spend the summer partying, swimming, and trying to get to know the beautiful, blond, ephemeral-looking girls who seem to be everywhere in town. There’s something odd about them; for one thing they can’t take their eyes off Sam–which is not a problem he’s used to. It turns out that he holds the key to unlocking the curse that has been cast upon the lovely young women. Well, he can help one of them at least. Legends of mermaids, magic, and curses coupled with teenage lust and in-your-face raunchy lingo (including myriad derogatory references to girls and sexual innuendos) make this a unique attempt to combine seemingly disparate elements. This novel is Hans Christian Andersen’s “Little Mermaid” meets modern teenage angst. Sam’s voice rings true and is quite compelling as he copes with his mother’s abandonment and his first forays into love. A fairy tale for a decidedly older audience.–Ragan O’Malley, Saint Ann’s School, Brooklyn, NY

School Library Journal starred reviewsSULLIVAN, Tara. Golden Boy. 368p. glossary. Putnam. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-399-16112-4.
Gr 8 Up
–Habo, 13, knows that his albinism makes him a zeruzeru, less than a person. His skin burns easily, and his poor eyesight makes school almost impossible. People shun or mock him. Unable to accept his son’s white skin and yellow hair, his father abandoned the family, and they cannot manage their drought-ravaged farm in a small Tanzanian village. Habo and his mother, sister, and brother travel across the Serengeti to seek refuge with his aunt’s family in Mwanza. Along the way, they hitch a ride with an ivory poacher, Alasiri, who kills elephants without remorse for the money the tusks bring. In Mwanza, the family learns that one commodity can fetch even higher prices: a zeruzeru. Rich people will pay handsomely for albino body parts, and Alasiri plans to make his fortune. Habo must flee to Dar es Salaam before he is killed. After a harrowing escape, he reaches the city and miraculously encounters a person to whom his appearance makes no difference: a blind woodcarver named Kweli. Slowly Habo develops a sense of self-worth as well as carving skills. When Alasiri brings ivory for Kweli to carve, the boy and old man work with the police to send the hunter to prison. Habo’s gripping account propels readers along.  His narrative reveals his despair, anger, and bewilderment, but there are humorous moments, too. Although fortuitous encounters and repeated escapes may seem unlikely, the truth underlying the novel is even more unbelievable. In Tanzania, people with albinism have been maimed and killed for their body parts, thought to bring good luck. Readers will be haunted by Habo’s voice as he seeks a place of dignity and respect in society. An important and affecting story.–Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato

School Library Journal starred reviewsTUCHOLKE, April Genevieve. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. 368p. Dial. Aug. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3889-8. LC 2012035586.
Gr 10 Up
–With their beloved grandmother, Freddie, deceased and their artistic, absentee parents blowing the family money abroad, 17-year-old twins Violet and Luke are as neglected as Citizen Kane, their formerly grand and now dilapidated home on a seaside cliff. Antagonistic Luke and sultry neighbor Sunshine are Violet’s only company until she rents the guesthouse to enigmatic River West. His crooked smile, discerning palate, and penchant for lying leave Violet both enamored and distrustful. He is cavalier with the mind-manipulating supernatural power he is unable, and somewhat reluctant, to control. In a small town with its fair share of lurid tales, River’s appearance brings with it devil sightings, missing children, and disturbing deaths. Tucholke’s gothic tone, plot, and setting, complete with a deteriorating estate full of dark family secrets, is reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier or YA fare such as Kami Garcia’s and Margaret Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures (Little, Brown, 2009). Violet’s narration is frank and perceptive, livened with humor and an almost poetically descriptive lilt. She is a combination of naive and mature, having grown up in relative seclusion with limited supervision. Violet and River’s attraction is palpable, but their romance is tainted by his shifty morals and shady charm. Swearing and sexual situations are non-gratuitous. Adults are easily appeased and generally turn a blind eye. Give this one to fans of creepy mysteries, particularly tales that don’t skimp on the violence. They’ll appreciate the conclusion’s heart-pounding, bile-rising standoff.–Danielle Serra, Cliffside Park Public Library, NJ

School Library Journal starred reviewsWASSERMAN, Robin. The Waking Dark. 464p. Knopf. Sept. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-375-86877-1; PLB $20.99. ISBN 978-0-375-96877-8; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-375-89962-1. LC 2012032802.
Gr 9 Up
–This contemporary thriller opens on an ordinary Tuesday afternoon in a small town in Kansas, when five people with no connection to one another inexplicably commit murders and then kill, or attempt to kill, themselves. This becomes known as “the killing day,” and no one has an explanation for it. The dark story is told from the perspectives of five teenagers, each of whom suffers in a different way due to the crimes, but it’s nearly a year before their linked lives truly converge. After a devastating tornado, the entire town is quarantined and the adults are descending into violent madness. The five teens seem to be the only ones who realize something terrible is happening; they struggle both to stay alive and unravel what’s really going on and who is responsible. While the number of protagonists can be confusing at times, their alternating stories are all compelling. Great dialogue and intriguing subplots add to the action-packed story, which will have readers frantically flipping pages. Wasserman sustains a truly spooky mood throughout, and the suspense doesn’t let up until the final pages.–Sunnie Lovelace, Wallingford Public Library, CT

The following titles are reviewed in the July print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

Grades 9 Up Fiction

ANONYMOUS. Letting Ana Go. 288p. S & S/Simon Pulse. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-7223-5; pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-7213-6; ebook ISBN 978-1-4424-7214-3. LC 2012956565.

ARCHER, Jennifer. The Shadow Girl. 336p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-06-183460-8; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-06-220300-7.

ARNOLD, Elana K. Burning. 320p. Delacorte. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-385-74334-1; PLB $19.99. ISBN 978-0-375-99108-0; ebook ISBN 978-0-449-81076-7.

BARON, Ruth. Defriended. 256p. Scholastic/Point. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-545-42357-1.

BARSON, K. A. 45 Pounds (More or Less). 256p. Viking. July 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-670-78482-0.

BASKIN, Nora Raleigh. Surfacing. 192p. Candlewick. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-4908-1. LC 2012942396.

BINGHAM, Kelly. Formerly Shark Girl. 342p. Candlewick. 2013. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-5362-0; ebook $16.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6406-0.

BRADBURY, Jennifer. A Moment Comes. 288p. glossary. S & S/Atheneum. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4169-7876-3; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4169-8302-6.

CAMERON, Emma. Out of This Place. 416p. Candlewick. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6404-6. LC 2012942672.

CASTLE, Jennifer. You Look Different in Real Life. 355p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-198581-2. LC 2012051743.

COLASANTI, Susane. All I Need. 224p. Viking. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-670-01423-1.

COLFER, Eoin. The Reluctant Assassin. Bk. 1. 341p. (W.A.R.P. Series). Hyperion/Disney. 2013. RTE $17.99. ISBN 978-1-4231-6162-2. LC 2012048160.

CÓRDOVA, Zoraida. The Savage Blue. Bk. 2. 416p. (The Vicious Deep Series). Sourcebooks/Fire. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4022-8206-5.

DAVIES, Anna. Identity Theft. 250p. Scholastic/Point Horror. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-545-47712-3.

DEEBS, Tracy. Doomed. 470p. Walker. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-8027-2373-4. LC 2011050974.

DESSEN, Sarah. The Moon and More. 384p. Viking. 2013. Tr $19.99. ISBN 978-0-670-78560-5.

DOKTORSKI, Jennifer Salvato. Famous Last Words. 288p. Holt/Christy Ottaviano. July 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-8050-9367-4.

DOS SANTOS, Steven. The Culling. Bk. 1. 421p. (The Torch Keeper Series). Flux. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-7387-3537-5.

FARIZAN, Sara. If You Could Be Mine. 256p. Algonquin. Aug. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-61620-251-4.

FITZGERALD, Helen. Deviant. 256p. SohoTeen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-61695-139-9; ebook $17.99. ISBN 978-1-61695-140-5.

FLINN, Alex. Towering. 304p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-202417-6; PLB $18.89. ISBN 978-0-06-202418-3; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-06-220921-4.

FLORES-SCOTT, Patrick. Jumped In. 304p. Holt/Christy Ottaviano. Aug. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8050-9514-2.

FRAIBERG, Jordanna. Our Song. 336p. Penguin/Razorbill. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-59514-268-9.

GOULD, Sasha. Heart of Glass. 326p. Delacorte. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-385-74152-1; PLB $20.99. ISBN 978-0-375-99008-3; ebook $10.99. ISBN 978-0-375-98541-6. LC 2012014714.

GRAY, Claudia. Spellcaster. 400p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-196120-5; ebook $10.99. ISBN 978-0-06-220130-0. LC 2012025331.

GRIFFO, Michael. Moonglow. Bk. 1. 408p. (The Darkborn Legacy Series). Kensington/KTeen. 2013. pap. $9.95. ISBN 978-0-7582-8072-5.

GURTLER, Janet. How I Lost You. 320p. Sourcebooks/Fire. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4022-7794-8.

HIATT, Fred. Nine Days. 239p. Delacorte. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-385-74273-3; PLB $20.99. ISBN 978-0-375-99073-1; ebook $10.99. ISBN 978-0-307-97727-4. LC 2012008653.

HOWLAND, Leila. Nantucket Blue. 294p. Hyperion/Disney. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4231-6051-9. LC 2012035121.

KADE, Stacey. The Rules. 416p. (Project Paper Doll Series). Hyperion/Disney. 2013. RTE $17.99. ISBN 978-1-4231-5328-3. LC 2012033732.

KENNEALLY, Miranda. Things I Can’t Forget. 320p. Sourcebooks/Fire. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4022-7190-8.

KLASS, David & Perri Klass. Second Impact. 336p. photos. Farrar/Frances Foster. Aug. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-374-37996-4.

KONIGSBERG, Bill. Openly Straight. 336p. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-545-50989-3; ebook $17.99. ISBN 978-0-545-50990-9.

LAWSON, Shandy. The Loop. 208p. Hyperion/Disney. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4231-6089-2. LC 2012025510.

LEVEEN, Tom. ManicPixieDreamGirl. 241p. Random. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-375-87005-7; PLB $19.99. ISBN 978-0-375-87060-6; ebook $10.99. ISBN 978-0-307-97576-8. LC 2012027694.

LIEBERMAN, Leanne. Lauren Yanofsky Hates the Holocaust. 240p. Orca. 2013. pap. $12.95. ISBN 978-1-4598-0109-7; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4598-0111-0. LC 2012952950.

LINDSEY, Mary. Ashes on the Waves. 384p. Philomel. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-399-15939-8.

LORENTZ, Dayna. No Easy Way Out. Bk. 2. 480p. (No Safety in Numbers Series). Dial. July 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3874-4. LC 2012032618.

LYNE, Jennifer H. Catch Rider. 288p. Clarion. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-547-86871-4. LC 2012022616.

MAFI, Tahereh. Unravel Me. 470p. HarperCollins/Harper. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-208553-5; ebook $11.99. ISBN 978-0-06-208556-6.

MARTIN, T. Michael. The End Games. 369p. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-220180-5. LC 2012038108.

MCENTIRE, K. D. Never. Bk. 3. 300p. (Lightbringer Series). PYR. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 978-1-61614-771-6.

MCGARRY, Katie. Dare You To. 480p. Harlequin Teen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-373-21063-3.

MCGOWAN, Jennifer. Maid of Secrets. 416p. (Maids of Honor Series). S & S. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-4138-5; ebook ISBN 978-1-4424-4140-8. LC 2012033573.

MCVOY, Terra Elan. Criminal. 269p. S & S/Simon Pulse. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-2162-2; ebook $12.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-2164-6. LC 2012022801.

MEADOWS, Jodi. Asunder. Bk. 2. 416p. (An Incarnate Novel Series). HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-206078-5; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-06-206080-8. LC 2012009696.

MITCHELL, Saundra, ed. Defy the Dark. 480p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-212354-1; pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-06-212353-4. LC 2012029993.

MLAWSKI, Shana. Hammer of Witches. 384p. Lee & Low/Tu. 2013. Tr $18.95. ISBN 978-1-60060-987-9; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-1-60060-988-6. LC 2012048627.

MOULTON, Courtney Allison. Shadows in the Silence. Bk. 3. 480p. (An Angelfire Novel). HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-200239-6; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-06-220301-4. LC 2012005261.

NOYES, Deborah. Plague in the Mirror. 320p. Candlewick. July 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-5980-6. LC 2012947257.

PATRICK, Cat. The Originals. 304p. Little, Brown. 2013. Tr $18. ISBN 978-0-316-21943-3. LC 2012029853.

PAUL, Fiona. Belladonna. Bk. 2. 352p. (The Secrets of the Eternal Rose Series). Philomel. July 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-399-25726-1. LC 2012029564.

PEARSON, Mary E. Fox Forever. Bk. 3. 304p. (The Jenna Fox Chronicles). Holt. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-8050-9434-3; ebook ISBN 978-0-8050-9639-2. LC 2012027677.

QUINN, Kate Karyus. Another Little Piece. 432p. HarperTeen. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-213595-7.

REED, Amy. Over You. 320p. S & S/Simon Pulse. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-5696-9.

REEKLES, Beth. The Kissing Booth. 448p. Delacorte. 2013. pap. $8.99. ISBN 978-0-385-37868-0; ebook $6.99. ISBN 978-0-385-37867-3.

ROECKER, Lisa & Laura Roecker. This Is W.A.R. 288p. SohoTeen. July 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-61695-261-7.

SAMPSON, Jeff. Ravage. Bk. 3. 388p. (The Deviants Series). HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-199280-3; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-06-220293-2. LC 2012028328.

SANDERSON, Brandon. Steelheart. 400p. Delacorte. Sept. 2013. Tr $18.99. ISBN 978-0-385-74356-3.

SCHEIBE, Lindsey. Riptide. 288p. glossary. Flux. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-7387-3594-8. LC 2012048951.

SCHNEIDER, Robyn. The Beginning of Everything. 336p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. Aug. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-221713-4; ebook $10.99. ISBN 978-0-06-221715-8.

SEAMON, Hollis. Somebody Up There Hates You. 256p. Algonquin. Sept. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-61620-260-6.

STANDIFORD, Natalie. The Boy on the Bridge. 256p. Scholastic. Aug. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-545-33481-5. LC 2012033037.

STEWART, Paul & Chris Riddell. Returner’s Wealth. Bk. 1. 372p. (Wyrmeweald Series). illus. Open Road. Sept. 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4804-1610-9; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4804-1515-7.

SUN, Amanda. Ink. Bk. 1. 384p. (The Paper Gods Series). glossary. illus. Harlequin Teen. July 2013. pap. $9.99. ISBN 978-0-373-21071-8.

WENNICK, Elizabeth. Whatever Doesn’t Kill You. 208p. Orca. 2013. pap. $12.95. ISBN 978-1-4598-0083-0; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4598-0085-4. LC 2012952946.