Catching Up: 30 Recent YA Series Entries

YA librarian Lindsey Tomsu rounds up recent YA series entries that teens won’t want to miss, from X-Files prequels to superhero sequels.

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Connolly, Tina. Seriously Shifted. 240p. (Seriously Wicked: Bk. 2). Tor Teen. Nov. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780765383754.

Gr 7 Up –Cam is torn. Her mom, Sarmine, wants her to follow in her footsteps, but Cam has no desire to be a witch, let alone a wicked witch. After saving the new boy’s soul from a demon her mother conjured, who then got loose in Something Wicked, she’s now faced with a trio of her mother’s witch acquaintances who decide to have some fun at Cam’s school. They each pick one helpless student and compete to see who can make their student’s life the most miserable. Cam soon thinks one of the three has some pretty nasty ulterior motives, so she’s forced to learn a bit of magic in order to have any hope of stopping them. A quirky, modern take on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Connolly’s series will appeal to those who enjoy humorous tales, magic gone awry, and cuteness galore. Added bonus—currently the two volumes can be read in any order.

Evans, Maz. Who Let the Gods Out? 320p. Scholastic/Chicken House. Apr. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781338065565.

Gr 6 Up –Virgo is bored in the realm of gods and goddesses. She’s nearly 1,965 years old and never given any serious responsibilities. Virgo knows she could totally handle such a simple task as delivering an elixir of life to an immortal who happens to be trapped in a secret prison on Earth under Stonehenge. Instead of waiting for permission, she grabs the elixir and heads to Earth. Virgo will show everyone she can do more than refill the stationery. As far as she’s concerned, she had good intentions, so she shouldn’t be held responsible for the unintended consequences (she accidentally landed on Elliot’s farm and acted so weird that it got him curious enough to follow her, which then led to him unleashing the daemon Thanatos from his prison). As punishment, the Constellations strip Virgo of her powers—effectively making her human—and give her the task of returning Thanatos to his jail cell. With the help of Elliot, a retired lady-crazy Zeus, and some other Olympians, Virgo hopes she can fix this epic mistake and maybe be put back in charge of ordering the stationery. Evans’s debut novel is a humorous take on traditional Greek and Roman mythology. Readers will enjoy Virgo’s ego and her immature naïveté and poor, bumbling Elliot, who proves that heroes can be found in all places.

Falkner, Brian. Clash of Empires. 352p. (Battlesaurus: Bk. 2). Farrar. Jul. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374300777.

Gr 7 Up –What would have happened during the Napoleonic Wars if Napoleon had had access to a very unique war machine—dinosaurs? In this alternative history duology, Napoleon has won the Battle of Waterloo and is now sending his evil general Thibault to conquer the rest of Europe with his fleet of battlesaurs. England’s hope lies with a boy named Willem, the hero from the previous volume, who is sent to lead a secret attack against Napoleon’s army. This underrated series has great elements that will, with a little hand-selling, appeal to a wide range of readers—dinosaurs, what-if history, magic, and action-packed battles. Not to be taken too seriously, this is a fun read, especially for young teens looking for something a little bizarre.

Garcia, Kami. Agent of Chaos. 320p. (The X-Files Origins: Bk. 1). Imprint. Jan. 2017. Tr. $18.99. ISBN 9781250119568.

Gr 7-10 –High school senior Fox Mulder can’t get over the disappearance of his younger sister, Samantha, a few years ago. When kids go missing at his new school and Fox stumbles upon the police discovering the body of one of the boys taken, his photographic memory starts to fill in the blanks as he realizes the cases might be connected. With the help of his crush, Phoebe, and his friend Gimble, whose dad is a retired Air Force major who believes in crazy conspiracy theories, Fox sets out to see if the person taking these children might be the one who took Samantha. When the trio actually figure out who the kidnapper might be, the police refuse to listen to a bunch of teens, which puts Fox’s life in danger. Added to this, Fox doesn’t know he is being watched by a young man called “X” and his boss, a man with a penchant for smoking cigarettes. While The X-Files was a popular TV show from the 1990s, this new series, which focuses on the origins of Mulder’s willingness to believe, does a good job standing on its own as a riveting mystery for teens unfamiliar with the original source material. Garcia adeptly writes a teenage Mulder who is beginning his descent into the weird and the mysterious in his obsession to find out what happened to his sister. While the mystery wraps up, there are enough unanswered questions that could lead to further adventures. Give to teens who like mysteries and the supernatural, and point them to the TV show for more stories to help convert them into die-hard fans.

Maberry, Jonathan. Devil’s Advocate. 320p. (The X-Files Origins: Bk. 2). Imprint. Jan. 2017. Tr. $18.99. ISBN 9781250119582.

Gr 7-10 –Fifteen-year-old Dana Scully feels like a freak. Her inability to connect with anyone at her new school is not helped by the horrible nightmares she is having that are coming true. When the ghost of a girl appears to Dana and seems to try to tell her that her death was not an accident, Dana turns to the one boy who has shown her any kindness—her lab partner, Ethan. When they learn that a number of high schoolers have been involved in car accidents lately, Ethan sneaks them into his uncle’s office to see his police case files on the deaths. Meanwhile, Dana and Melissa visit Beyond Beyond, the small town’s popular occult boutique, where one of the owners, Sunlight, tells Dana her visions are a gift. When Dana’s senile grandmother says Dana is being visited by an angel, Dana realizes the ways in which the teens died resemble the ways that Jesus’s disciples died. Could there be some sinister religious cult secretly murdering teens? Dana doesn’t realize her visions have put her in the killer’s line of sight. This new series focuses on the origins of Scully’s skepticism. Unfortunately, Maberry’s Scully novel doesn’t have the same level of teen appeal as Garcia’s volume on Mulder. In the original TV show, Scully was presented as a religious person, so it makes sense for that aspect to be a part of her origin story, but teen readers hoping for more typical supernatural elements may be turned off by that aspect of the plot. Some settings and characters appear in both installments in the series, so it is advised to read them in order.

Tromly, Stephanie. Trouble Makes a Comeback. 304p. (Trouble: Bk. 2). Penguin/Kathy Dawson Bks. Nov. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525428411.

Gr 7 Up –In Trouble Is a Friend of Mine, new girl Zoe was recruited by oddball Digby to be his accomplice in trying to understand the disappearance of his young sister many years ago. There’s nothing daredevil Digby won’t do if it means possible answers. At the beginning of the second volume, Zoe is dating a football player and living a quiet, normal life now that Digby left town to follow a lead. Her peace and quiet do not last long, though, when he pops back, declaring his need for her help. Should she stay with her near-perfect life or give everything up and take a chance with Digby? This over-the-top series that mixes fantastical schemes, a dash of romance, and two quirky characters will leave readers rolling their eyes at the silliness of it all while simultaneously falling in love with and cheering for the protagonists.

Yee, Lisa. Batgirl at Super Hero High. 240p. (DC Super Hero Girls: Bk. 3). Random. Jan. 2017. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781101940655.

Gr 6 Up –At the end of Supergirl at Super Hero High, Barbara Gordon saved the day when she figured out who was opening off-limits interdimensional portals, and Principal Waller named her the Hero of the Month. Barbara, who has been doing tech support for the school part-time, is surprised when Waller offers her a chance to transfer schools despite not having any actual superpowers. With the help of her friends, Barbara embraces the character of Batgirl and convinces her father to at least let her try out the new school. While she can keep up academically, everyone still expects her to answer their tech requests and she is at risk of failing PE because she can’t fly or run super fast. When a tech project for Harley Quinn’s website goes rogue and threatens to take down the Internet, everyone blames Barbara, and she fears she will be unable to gain back their trust and prove she deserves to be a hero. Yee continues the adventures of the DC Universe’s most famous female superheroes in this tween series that coincides with the Mattel and LEGO toy line. Each story is entertaining, focusing on regular tween problems without being overly didactic, and has some hidden narrative gems for die-hard DC fans.

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Boone, Martina. Illusion. 480p. (Heirs of Watson Island: Bk. 3). S. & S./Simon Pulse. Oct. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481411288.

Gr 9 Up –Barrie and her love Eight are estranged, leaving Barrie desperate to find an end to her family’s curse once and for all. When the spirits of Watson Island awaken—the very ones who cursed it generations before—Barrie is forced, yet again, to trust the mysterious Obadiah, who has an agenda and motives she still can’t decipher. The finale to Boone’s Southern gothic trilogy will leave readers appeased as she manages to wrap everything up. Hand this one to fans of the series and teens who love supernatural romance and very detailed multigenerational family sagas. Teens will want to read this series again in its entirety to take everything in at once.

Brown, Jennifer. Dare You. 480p. (Nikki Kill: Bk. 2). HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. Feb. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062324467.

Gr 9 Up –In Shade Me, readers were introduced to Nikki Kill, a girl living with a rare condition called synesthesia, which, in her case, causes her to “see” words, numbers, and emotions in vivid colors, such as the night her phone rings and she sees orange, telling her it’s an emergency. Turns out, a Jane Doe lies in the hospital and Nikki’s number is the only one listed in her phone. Nikki identifies her as rich girl Peyton Hollis and soon gets wrapped up in potentially deadly family secrets. At the start of the second volume, Nikki is forced to work with Detective Martinez as members of the Hollis family attempt to frame her for Peyton’s murder. She is certain she knows who the real killer is, but she must find proof so she can prove her own innocence. Hand this one to teens who enjoy tough-as-nails main characters and good old-fashioned murder mysteries.

Cremer, Andrea. Turncoat’s Gambit. 336p. (Inventor’s Secret: Bk. 3). Philomel. Nov. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780399164255.

Gr 9 Up –The Resistance wants her. The Empire is hunting her. Charlotte is on the run from everyone after discovering that the revolution she’s been fighting for her whole life may not be everything she thought it was. Now, with the help of the pirate LaChance, she and her friends are trying to find safety. But as in any good political standoff, there is a turncoat among her group. Whom can Charlotte trust? Who is really on her side? Add to collections where the first two books in this alternative history where Britain won the Revolutionary War are popular.

de la Cruz, Melissa. Double Eclipse. 368p. (Summer on East End: Bk. 2). ebook available. Putnam. Nov. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399173561.

Gr 9 Up –Mardi and Molly Overbrook, teen twin witches, made a slight mistake during a party and are shipped away by their father to spend the summer with their “aunt” Ingrid on East End. He wants the girls to learn how to control their magic before the White Council decides to exile them. After the twins survive their first summer, Molly decides to head back to Ingrid’s for some rest and relaxation while Mardi convinces her father to let her spend her vacation with her boyfriend, Trent, who also just happens to be the god of war, Tyr. Then a new boy appears and causes the twins to backtrack on their goal of staying out of trouble, and family secrets expose the identity of the girls’ real mother. The sisters’ faith in each other is put to the test. Once readers get over the confusion of the gods and goddesses of Norse mythology having witchcraftlike magical powers, many teens will enjoy this series that focuses on the younger characters in de la Cruz’s adult “Beauchamp Family” books, which began with Witches of East End.

Delaney, Joseph. Dark Army. 416p. (New Darkness: Bk. 2). HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Sept. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062334565.

Gr 8 Up –Apprentice-turned-Spook Tom Ward lost his life in the battle with the Kobalos. What his friends don’t expect is his magical resurrection, which Prince Stanislaw decides to use to his advantage, forcing Tom; his own Apprentice, Jenny; and Grimalkin, the famous witch assassin, back into action in the war of good against evil. Matters are made worse when Tom is confronted by Alice, his former love, who is now the girlfriend of the leader of the dark side. Delaney continues the more mature stories of Tom’s post-Apprentice adventures. This is darker and gorier than the original “Last Apprentice” series, and teens who enjoyed watching Tom grow up will be excited by the chance to read about him fulfilling his role as a Spook. Delaney takes his characters’ relationships with one another to new levels in this series, putting many in actual danger and messing with everyone’s emotions as Tom questions whom to trust.

Gleason, Colleen. Chess Queen Enigma. 360p. (Stoker and Holmes: Bk. 3). Chronicle. Aug. 2016. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781452156491.

Gr 8 Up –Evaline Stoker, sister of the famous Bram, and Mina Holmes, niece of the famous Sherlock, are back again to solve yet another mystery that they never intended to get caught up in. The girls have been hired to act as “chaperones” (aka secret bodyguards) for Betrovia’s Princess Lurelia, who is coming to London with an important delivery—a letter that contains clues to the whereabouts of a centuries-old chess queen missing from an elaborate chess set. When the letter is stolen, the girls must locate it before their archnemesis, Ankh, finds it and uses the chess queen to unlock a treasure trove of ancient secrets. This is another great entry in a series that focuses on the fictional relatives of a famous fiction writer and a fictional detective. Evaline and Mina are complete opposites, so readers will connect with them as they struggle to work as partners. Previous fans of the series and mystery lovers will enjoy this installment.

Glines, Abbi. Under the Lights. 336p. (Field Party: Bk. 2). S. & S./Simon Pulse. Aug. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481438896.

Gr 9 Up –Glines revisits Lawton, AL, in a second story about the various teens of Lawton High. Returning to her childhood home, Willa has to come to terms with the realization that she made some bad choices in her past, which her family members are struggling to forgive. To punish herself, she refuses to let anyone—especially boys—get too close to her. Brady, Lawton’s star quarterback, used to be Willa’s best friend, but he finds it hard to accept the new Willa. Gunner used to be the third wheel in Brady and Willa’s childhood friendship, and his father owns the town. After a chance encounter, Gunner befriends Willa and discovers that she is not the person everyone thinks she has turned into and that she is the only person whom he can really talk to. When both boys break a childhood pact—that neither boy would ask Willa out—it’s up to Willa to decide whom she will let into her heart. This series’s entries are well-done emotional romances that focus on the football players of Lawton High and the girls they love. Each installment can be read as a stand-alone.

Hehir, Tim. Julius and the Soulcatcher. 368p. (Watchmaker: Bk. 2). Text. Jun. 2016. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781925240177.

Gr 9 Up –London is obsessed with orchids. If Julian thought his last adventure with the diary of the watchmaker was exciting enough, now his grandfather’s bookshop has acquired a journal of Charles Darwin. Unfortunately for him, two body snatchers are on his heels, along with an odd man who appears to suck all the warmth out of any room he enters. Why do all these seemingly bad guys want Darwin’s journal so badly? An intriguing Dickensian steampunk that combines time travel and real-life historical figures, this series will be enjoyed by teens looking for unique mash-ups. Each title can be read as a stand-alone.

Higgins, Jane. Havoc. 352p. (Southside: Bk. 2). Text. Jul. 2016. pap. $8.99. ISBN 9781922147295.

Gr 9 Up –The cease-fire between Southside and Cityside is broken when the latter detonates bombs on Southside. The casualties are high, and the Moldam Bridge is destroyed. Among the rubble, Nik finds a girl who says nothing but the word havoc again and again. When the Cityside’s director of security makes a threat that this bombing was just the beginning, Nik and his friends must get word to his father to warn him and his One City activists that more danger is coming. He instead uncovers evidence of biological warfare and a nasty conspiracy. While this second volume can stand on its own, readers may want to track down the first book, The Bridge. It has been a long wait for a sequel, but teens who enjoy political thrillers and action will appreciate this Australian import.

Isbell, Tom. The Release. 368p. (Prey: Bk. 3). HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Feb. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062216083.

Gr 9 UpPrey introduced readers to the radiation-blasted Republic of the True America where orphaned “LT” (Less Than) teens are sent to resettlement camps only to be raised and then hunted for sport. Fifteen survivors escaped and sought the safety of the fabled New Territory. Capture saw Hope, Cat, and Book happy to have escaped but feeling guilty for all the other Less Thans they had to leave behind, so the three teens decided to mount a rescue mission to save their peers. In the final volume, all the Less Thans are free but still on the run from Chancellor Maddox, who is more determined than ever to see her Final Solution come to pass. Will the teens be able to find complete freedom, especially when one among them seems to have a personal vendetta and will stop at nothing to accomplish it? Isbell’s series is perfect for fans of fast-paced postapocalyptic adventure stories such as James Dashner’s Maze Runner or Alexander Gordon Smith’s “Escape from Furnace.”

Kraus, Daniel. The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Vol. 2: Empire Decayed. 784p. S. & S. Oct. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781481411424.

Gr 10 Up –Zebulon Finch was 17 when he was gunned down in 1896. Only moments into his afterlife, he is mysteriously resurrected but with a catch—he will walk the earth for a century and experience multiple lifetimes. In the first volume, he traveled with a circus, fought in World War I, and accompanied a Hollywood starlet around town. The second entry follows his next 50 years as he deals with Hitler and the Nazis, tries to live a happy life in the suburbs of 1950s America, experiences Woodstock, and somehow ends up in a tomb beneath the World Trade Center. Will Zebulon figure out why he was resurrected? This series is not for everyone, as it is a tough, complex, and long read. However, teens looking for something wholly unique and those who enjoy in-depth character development will latch on to Zebulon’s second chance at a 100-year-long life. With a little bit of selling, history buffs would also appreciate the detailed historical environments in which Zebulon finds himself “growing up.”

Marr, Melissa. One Blood Ruby. 368p. (Seven Black Diamonds: Bk. 2). HarperCollins. Feb. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062084163.

Gr 9 Up –Readers met Lilywhite Abernathy in the first volume, Seven Black Diamonds, the daughter of a powerful mob boss who is half fae—something that is illegal in her world. Sent to a boarding school, she meets the Black Diamonds, a secret group of fae teens who have been sent to destroy the human world from the inside, and they ask her to join them. The second title opens with the Queen of Blood and Rage asking Lily to negotiate a peace deal with the human world, something Lily knows will be extremely hard to accomplish. As the new heir to the fae world, Lily already faces prejudice from the fae people for her “half-breed” status. When her plans are foiled by someone on the inside who does not want to see a peace agreement met, Lily has to decide where her allegiance lies—with her human or fae family. Readers will be left with unanswered questions, leaving room for a third installment. Give to teens who enjoy political intrigue with a touch of the fairy world.

Petty, Heather W. Mind Games. 304p. (Lock & Mori: Bk. 2). S. & S. Dec. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481423069.

Gr 9 Up –In Lock & Mori, Miss James “Mori” Moriarty first met the annoying Sherlock “Lock” Holmes when a body appeared in Regent’s Park and Lock challenged Mori to solve the case, which was stumping even the police, before he does. The second volume begins with Mori’s abusive father in jail for the murders. She is soon taunted by anonymous letters and learns that the police are receiving tips that Mori is the real killer, which are hard to disprove. Who would want to frame Mori? With the help of possible on-again/off-again romantic interest and adversary/reluctant sidekick Lock, Mori tries to uncover the truth. Bound to be popular where the Sherlock TV show has a huge fandom, this series will also bring in original Holmes fans and those who enjoy murder mysteries.

Sandford, John & Michele Cook. Rampage. 336p. (The Singular Menace: Bk. 3). Knopf. Jul. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780385753135.

Gr 9 Up –Shay Remby and her group of activist friends have been slowly uncovering the secrets of the Singular Corporation. First, her brother Odin raided a research lab in Oregon and discovered horrible experiments being conducted on animals. Then Odin was kidnapped, and Shay rescued him from another secret lab along with a girl, Fenfang, who was being experimented on. Now, she and her group have released their exposé of the underhanded business Singular has been taking part in, but it seems that Singular may not be their ultimate target. As news spreads of the corporation’s nasty experiments, the CEO is killed in an airplane accident, scientists mysteriously disappear, and the company appears to be erasing itself from existence. Could it be that there is a much deeper conspiracy and cover-up going on? An excellent wrap-up to an action-packed thriller trilogy.

Stine, R.L. The Dead Boyfriend. 288p. (Fear Street). St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne. Sept. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250058959.

Gr 9 Up –Caitlin has never had a boyfriend before. So when she sees the mysterious Blade watching her at the mall and confronts him, he hits on her, and it is insta-love at first sight. Unfortunately, the romance fizzles pretty quickly, and Caitlin catches Blade out at a club with another girl. In a moment of passion, she loses it, and Blade winds up dead. Deena Fear also claims that Blade was dating her, too. Being part of the famous Fear family, she convinces Caitlin to help her perform a spell to bring Blade back from the dead. Soon Caitlin is seeing Blade everywhere, and it appears he wants revenge. While an enjoyable story, this is unfortunately the weakest of the “Fear Street” reboots. Purchase where the series is popular or there is a horror hole that needs to be filled. Hopefully, the series will bounce back with the next volume.

Thorne, Bella. Autumn’s Wish. 320p. (Autumn Falls: Bk. 3). Delacorte. Jul. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780385744379.

Gr 9 Up –Autumn Falls is back for her senior year of high school. It seems that all her classmates have their futures planned, but she’s panicking because she is scared to make the wrong life-altering decisions. Help comes in the form of a third, and final, magical memento from her recently deceased father—this time a watch that allows Autumn to travel forward in time. Can seeing the future help Autumn make the right choices in the present? This is an extremely satisfying end to Thorne’s series. The time travel is handled in a fresh way (with Autumn able to go forward in time but not interact with time, as she is “invisible” and just witnesses scenes), and readers will want a tissue handy for the ending. Fans of the series, the actress’s film work, and quirky, humorous books will adore this series.

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Cannon, Zander. Kaijumax: Season One: Terror and Respect. 168p. Feb. 2016. ISBN 9781620102701.

––––. Kaijumax: Season Two: The Seamy Underbelly. 160p. May 2017. ISBN 9781620103968.

ea vol: illus. by Zander Cannon. Oni. pap. $9.99.

Gr 9 Up –Devoted single father Electrogor gets himself in a bind when he is accidentally shipped off to Kaijumax, a maximum security prison in the South Pacific for giant monsters. A relatively sweet monster, Electrogor thinks about nothing but escaping back to his children. Standing in his way is Gutpa, a corrupt security guard selling uranium on the side (which many of the monsters are addicted to) to pay his gambling debts. The second volume follows Electrogor and the Humongo who helped him escape as they go on the run and face not only hiding from the police but also other desperate thieves and people just trying to survive. Will Electrogor’s children remember him and forgive him for disappearing? Cannon’s world of Kaijumax is an intriguing one that combines elements of hit TV shows such as Orange Is the New Black, Prison Break, and The Sopranos. While the bright, psychedelic cutesy cartoon art might make these seem like an innocent tales, they subtly touch on a variety of tough topics, such as the horror of prison life, death, violence, greed, and corruption. Teens will be attracted by the idea of a jail for giant monsters and find themselves falling in love with, caring about, crying for, and wanting to kill some of the characters—both monster and human.

Fridolfs, Derek. Fort Solitude. illus. by Dustin Nguyen. 176p. (DC Comics: Secret Hero Society: Bk. 2). Scholastic. Jan. 2017. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780545876841.

Gr 5 Up –After discovering the secrets behind Ducard Academy in Study Hall of Justice, Clark Kent was worried he wouldn’t see his new friends and fellow members of the Junior Detective Agency, Bruce Wayne, and Diana Prince, again. When Clark is invited to spend spring break at Camp Evergreen, he is thrilled to find out they are attending, too. Everything seems great until kids start disappearing one by one. Bigfoot is also roaming the forest, and a boogeyman is scaring campers, so the trio are inspired to reopen the club as the more mature Criminal Investigation Unit to figure out where their friends are going. This second volume continues to tell the story with comic storyboard pages and other found documents, such as emails and journal entries. Fridolfs incorporates popular characters, including Bruce Wayne and Harley Quinn, with lesser-known characters, such as Aquaman and Captain Cold. Tweens will enjoy the simple, humorous story, while older teens will find the book a quick read and catch on to the subtle hints about some of the characters’ future identities as famous heroes or villains. A great series for readers of all ages who love the DC universe.

Larson, Hope. Goldie Vance: Vol. 1. illus. by Brittney Williams & Sarah Stern. 112p. Boom! Studios. Oct. 2016. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781608868988.

Gr 6-10 –Biracial teen Marigold “Goldie” Vance lives with her father in 1960s Florida, where he manages the Crossed Palms resort. Goldie helps out with valet parking and general upkeep. She also thinks she is assistant to the hotel’s in-house detective. When a guest who reported a valuable necklace stolen goes missing and clues hint at a possible international spy ring, the detective offers to mentor Goldie in exchange for her help. Along with her best friends, one who likes to race cars and one who aspires to be an astronaut, Goldie is on the case. The first volume of this comic series collects the first four issues, which will appeal to a variety of readers. The cartoony and vibrant art is reminiscent of that in many popular comics and graphic novels, such as “Lumberjanes” and Raina Telgemeier’s titles, and the cast of characters are diverse and fleshed out. The story flows so quickly, readers will be clamoring for the second installment. Goldie is smart and sassy and can handle her own in dangerous situations, making her an excellent Nancy Drew.

Sanzo. My Girlfriend Is a T-Rex: Vol. 1. Nov. 2016. ISBN 9781626923362.

––––. My Girlfriend Is a T-Rex: Vol. 2. Jan. 2017. ISBN 9781626923881.

ea vol: illus. by author. 180p. (My Girlfriend Is a T-Rex). Seven Seas. pap. $12.99.

Gr 9 Up –Imagine a world in which dinosaurs know they are going extinct, so they evolve into half-human girl/half-dinosaur hybrids to appear attractive to humans and less of a threat. This is the world that Yuuma Asahikawa inhabits. Yuuma’s best friend is obsessed with cute dinosaur girls, but Yuuma has never really met a dino girl he’s liked until the day he runs into Churio, a very pretty T-Rex with absolutely no manners. When Yuuma stumbles upon Churio eating garbage, she tries to scare him with her ferociousness but fails because he finds her too cute. Seeing how dejected Churio is, Yuuma sees a tiny kitten, screams in terror, and asks her to protect him from the horrible monster. Churio scares the kitty away, and a friendship is born. Brief vignettes show the affection the two feel for each other as Yuuma tries to teach Chuiro how to be more human (for instance, buying her a hoodie to wear and advising her not to try eating everything—and everyone—she sees), while Churio helps bring out a soft side in Yuuma, who has a dark past he is trying to atone for. Sanzo’s series is one of the few monster girl mangas that is perfect for teens.

Young, Skottie. Fluff My Life. Bk. 2. Dec. 2016. $14.99. ISBN 9781632158871.

––––. Madly Ever After. Bk. 1. Apr. 2016. $9.99. ISBN 9781632156853.

ea vol: illus. by Scottie Young. 128p. (I Hate Fairyland). Image Comics. pap.

Gr 10 Up –Meet green-haired, angry Gert and her companion, a fly named Larry. When Gert was a sweet little girl, she wished she could visit a far-away land filled with magic and wonder. Little did she know that her wish would come true when a portal appeared in her bedroom one night and sucked her into Fairyland. Queen Cloudia informed her that to return home through a special door, all she had to do was find a key to open it. So Gert set off on her adventure, and nearly 30 years have passed. Now a nearly 40-year-old woman stuck in a child’s body, Gert is tired of her life, as is Larry. They have searched all over Fairyland in vain for the key. Along the way, they have made many enemies. Queen Cloudia wishes she could just kill Gert, but the rules of Fairyland state that no harm can come to a human who is a guest to their realm, so she comes up with a plan: bring a new, smarter child to Fairyland to compete against Gert, locate the key, and get sent home, leaving Gert stuck forever in Fairyland as a resident—a resident who no longer will be protected by their laws. The second volume of the series follows Gert as she inadvertently becomes the Queen of Fairyland—the place she hates the most. Gert’s story will appeal to teens who love the idea of a sarcastic Alice in Wonderland–like girl who is just so over everything that she decides to do whatever she pleases.

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