Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Recent Releases

Teen Scene
September 2015
"In the suburbs I learned to drive
And you told me we'd never survive…"
~ from Arcade Fire's The Suburbs
Recent Releases
Never Always Sometimes
by Adi Alsaid

Fiction. Back when they started high school, best friends Julia and Dave made the Never List. In it, they outlined all of the clichéd teen activities (such as life-changing road trips, skinny dipping, hair dye experiments, and running for prom king) that they'd never, ever do. Now, nearing the end of senior year, they decide to break their own rules and see how many "nevers" they can accomplish. The results are hilarious, poignant, and surprising -- especially when Julia and Dave tackle number ten on the list: never date your best friend. With "all the fun of a classic teen movie" (Booklist), Never Always Sometimes will satisfy fans of Stephanie Perkins and John Green.
The Fixer
by Jennifer Barnes

Thriller. High school drama leads to secrets, intrigue, and murder in this suspenseful new thriller. Sixteen-year-old Tess has just moved from Montana to join her older sister, Ivy, in Washington, DC. In the District, Ivy is famous for her abilities as a political "fixer," and after enrolling at the elite Hardwicke School, Tess discovers that she, too, has a knack for solving sticky problems. Then Tess discovers a shocking connection between a classmate and a high-profile government scandal, and the sisters' worlds collide. If you can't get enough of the tangled relationships and high-stakes power plays in TV's Scandal or Ally Carter's Embassy Row series, don't miss The Fixer. 
Bright Lights, Dark Nights
by Stephen Emond

Fiction. Walter has always been the kind of guy who doesn't attract much attention. When he meets Naomi, who shares his awkwardness as well his sense of humor and love of music, he's surprised to find that she likes him just as much as he likes her. However, after Walter's cop father is accused of racial profiling, Walter (who's white) and Naomi (who's black) are thrown into the media spotlight. Can their fledgling relationship stand up to the opinions and prejudices of their community? Expressive illustrations skillfully flesh out the urban setting of this thought-provoking story. For another complex teen couple navigating the intersection of race and romance, try Anna Banks' Joyride.
by Paul Griffin

Adventure. If they hadn't gone to the party, Matt and his friend John might never have ended up stranded in the Atlantic. But when tourists Driana, Stef, and João invited the guys to a luxe party in the Hamptons, how could they say no? And how could they guess that Stef's reckless windsurfing would lead to a disastrous rescue attempt, leaving all five teens drifting on the open sea? Now, far from help, they desperately try to survive injuries, sharks, scorching heat, and rapidly mounting psychological pressure. Similar to Matt de la Peña's The Living, Adrift offers diverse characters and riveting tension. 
Six Impossible Things
by Fiona Wood

Fiction. Ever since his dad announced that he was bankrupt, gay, and leaving, Dan and his mom have been having a tough time. Struggling with finances, they move into a smelly old Victorian house, and private school student Dan has to transfer to public school, where most of his classmates see him as a "complete nerd/loser." Thank goodness for Estelle, his dazzling new next-door neighbor and fellow misfit. "Effervescent and sweet" (Kirkus Reviews), this quirky tale from Australian author Fiona Wood will please romance readers as well as those looking for authentic, guy-centric coming of age stories.
Focus on: Suburbia
The Vast Fields of Ordinary
by Nick Burd

Realistic Fiction. Stifled and stuck in an Iowa suburb until he leaves for college in the fall, Dade is weary of his bickering parents, his pathetic job at Food World, and most especially of pining after Pablo, his "friend" and (even though Pablo has a girlfriend) regular hook-up. Then Dade meets handsome, enigmatic, and somewhat dangerous Alex Kincaid -- and falls in love. Fans of Brian Sloan's Tale of Two Summers, Peter Cameron's Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You, and other novels with true-to-life, well-drawn characters won't want to miss this one.
How to Steal a Car
by Pete Hautman

Fiction. With nothing to do but loiter at the mall or work on her summer assignments (reading Moby-Dick and writing a "how-to" essay), 15-year-old Kelleigh escapes the oppressive boredom of her suburban life by stealing a car. Once she gets away with it a few times -- after all, she tells herself, it's not like boosting cars is any worse than her mom's drinking or her dad's cheating -- it's hard to resist more, and riskier, thefts. Though Kelleigh's voice is biting and bleak, readers who like angsty, character-driven stories will want to follow her all the way through her remorseless summer of crime. 
Girl Defective
by Simmone Howell

Fiction. Obscure music is the soundtrack to Skylark Martin's life, which is hardly surprising, since she lives above her family's vintage record store. Besides her nostalgia-loving father and eccentric younger brother, Sky doesn't have much of a social life until she starts hanging out with the store's latest employees: Nancy, a wild older girl with connections to their Melbourne suburb's shady underground scene, and Luke, the brooding, attractive brother of a local girl whose tragic death might not have been an accident. If you prefer realistic stories packed with sharp observations and multi-layered characters, this mysterious, music-infused story is for you.
The Suburban Strange
by Nathan Kotecki

Fantasy. Though she's just a sophomore when she starts at Suburban High, timid 15-year-old Celia is quickly befriended by the Rosary, a sophisticated senior clique notorious for their morbid style. Even weirder than Celia's unexpected new friends are the near-fatal accidents plaguing Suburban's female students -- they only happen just before each girl turns 16. After learning an eye-opening secret from her chemistry partner, Celia is drawn into a dangerous paranormal mystery -- one she'll have to unravel before her own 16th birthday. Find out in this dark, eerie fantasy and its sequel, Pull Down the Night.
Dare You To
by Katie McGarry

Romance. "Fairy-tales happen, just not to me. Time to tell the prince he rescued the wrong girl." Tough, tattooed skater girl Beth is sure that perfect baseball star Ryan won't stay interested in her once he understands how messed up she is. After all, she wouldn't even have moved to Ryan's upscale suburb if she hadn't gotten into trouble for protecting her drug-addicted mom. But as their secret relationship gets more serious -- and more steamy -- Beth starts to realize that she and Ryan might be more alike than she suspected. If you like gritty, emotionally intense reads, you'll fall for this gripping love story.

Monday, August 10, 2015

New @ Your Library

Recent Releases
by Anna Banks

Fiction. A chance meeting leads to unexpected consequences for two Florida teens in this moving, realistic story. While Carly is responsible and devoted to her family (especially her parents, who've been deported to Mexico), Arden is reckless and loves causing trouble for his overbearing, racist father (who happens to be the sheriff). After a dramatic encounter outside a convenience store, Carly reluctantly becomes Arden's pranking partner, and they strike up a fragile relationship -- one that might be too fragile to withstand the harsh truth about Arden's dad's anti-immigrant activities. For another "relevant, risky, and romantic" (School Library Journal) read, try Marie Marquardt's Dream Things True, due out next month.
Emmy & Oliver
by Robin Benway

Fiction. Born on the same day, best friends Emmy and Oliver were inseparable -- until second grade, when Oliver was kidnapped by his father. Even after his disappearance, Oliver's influence shaped Emmy's life: her parents reacted by becoming anxious and overprotective. Now, ten years later, as high school senior Emmy sees freedom within her reach, Oliver suddenly returns home. Similar to Sara Zarr's Sweethearts (but more romantic), Emmy & Oliver is a gripping look at reunited friends facing the emotional scars of the past and figuring out what they want from the future.
The Devil You Know
by Trish Doller

Suspense. Cadie barely knows Matt and Noah, but when the cousins invite her along on their road trip, she jumps at the chance for a break from her stressful family life. At first, Cadie's passionate fling with sexy, troubled Noah distracts her from the red flags. But eventually, the hints of past violence pile up, and Cadie can't deny her suspicions that one of the guys is a killer -- and that if she continues on their journey into the wild Florida Everglades, she might not make it out alive. Perfectly paced to build maximum terror, this steamy thriller delivers a "swift and satisfying" (School Library Journalconclusion.
by Daniel José Older

Urban Fantasy. When a local mural mysteriously begins to weep, Brooklyn teen Sierra Santiago is unsettled, but it's not until she's attacked by a walking corpse that she really gets scared -- and curious. Though her abuelo Lázaro seems to have some answers, a stroke has left him unable to communicate anything except cryptic messages about "shadowshapers." Stalked by a merciless enemy, Sierra will have to uncover the truth -- and tap into the spirit powers of her Caribbean ancestors -- in order to protect everyone she loves. Filled with intriguing magic, authentic dialogue, and a realistically multi-ethnic cast of characters, Shadowshaper is a must-read for fantasy fans.
More Happy Than Not
by Adam Silvera

Science Fiction. If you could erase your worst memories, would you do it? In Aaron Soto's near-future Bronx neighborhood, the Leteo Institute offers to do precisely that in their "cutting-edge memory-relief" procedure. Though Aaron certainly has awful memories (such as his father's bloody suicide), he's also got the support of his family, friends, and girlfriend. But would that support disappear if they knew about his attraction to Thomas, a fellow fantasy geek from a neighboring housing project? Would it be better to just forget that he might be gay? If you like wrestling with the complex issues surrounding identity, memory, and the cost of happiness, don't miss this gritty and provocative debut.
Summer Love
One Man Guy
by Michael Barakiva

Romance. Summer school is a far cry from the tennis camp that 14-year-old Alek hoped to attend, but his straitlaced Armenian parents insist that he bring his grades up. As it turns out, though, summer school distracts Alek even further from studying, because it's there that he meets Ethan, an impossibly cool skater who shows Alek a world outside of his stifling New Jersey community...and wins his heart.  If you like the funny, earnest tone and distinct cultural backdrop of this coming of age (and coming out) story, you might also enjoy Sara Farizan's Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel.
Fifteenth Summer
by Michelle Dalton

Romance. This year's summer vacation is bittersweet for 15-year-old Chelsea and her family; it's their first visit to the cottage on Lake Michigan since Chelsea's grandmother died. Still grappling with her grief, Chelsea is surprised and elated by her quickly blossoming relationship with Josh, the cute guy who works at the local bookstore. Yet as their connection deepens into love, Chelsea can't help but wonder what will happen when the summer ends. Just like the other books in author Michelle Dalton's Sixteenth Summer series, this charming and sensitive romance is a sure bet for fans of Deb Caletti and Sarah Dessen.
What I Thought Was True
by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Romance. As far as Gwen Castle is concerned, Cassidy Summers is just one of many regrettable one-night stands. Since he's a wealthy mainlander and she's from a complicated, working-class island family, she never expects to spend time with him again. So when Cass turns up on the island with a summer job as a lawn boy, Gwen is annoyed. However, as she gets to know (maybe even love?) Cass, Gwen is forced to re-examine her assumptions, not only about Cass, but also about her family and herself. Want another sweet yet substantial tale of love across class boundaries? Pick up Kasie West's The Distance Between Us.
Nantucket Blue
by Leila Howland

Fiction. Seventeen-year-old Cricket's sunny summer on Nantucket is not going as planned. Her invitation to stay with BFF Jules' family is withdrawn after the sudden death of Jules' mother, forcing Cricket to take a job as chambermaid at an inn. Cricket tries to support her friend, but the grieving Jules freezes her out, even as things start to heat up between Cricket and Zack, Jules' brother. If you like well-developed characters and sweet-but-not-cutesy love stories, don't miss this "lush and moving" (Publishers Weekly) debut and its sequel, Nantucket Red.
Open Road Summer
by Emery Lord

Romance. To distract themselves from their recent painful break-ups, reformed "bad girl" Reagan and her best friend Lilah Dee (a rising country music star) hit the road for Dee's summer concert tour. Complicating their plans for a drama-free trip is Matt, the sweet boy-band refugee who's been hired as Dee's opening act…and her fake boyfriend. Dee's publicists think Matt might improve her image, but it's Reagan who's drawn to him, despite her fear of trusting another guy. Readers who relish road trip stories should definitely check out this "insightful take on friendship, romance, and celebrity culture" (Booklist).

Friday, July 10, 2015

Ouachita Parish New Book Releases!

Recent Releases
Crimson Bound
by Rosamund Hodge

Fantasy. Despite knowing the dangers of the dark forest, apprentice woodwife Rachelle strays from the path and pays the price: she is marked as "bloodbound" to the wolfish, supernatural forestborn and forced to become a killer. As penance, Rachelle pledges to use her deadly new powers to protect  the kingdom from evil. The king, however, orders her to guard his son, Armand, which not only gets in the way of Rachelle's personal mission, but also kicks off an angsty love triangle involving fellow bloodbound Erec. This "unusual, intricately woven story" (Kirkus Reviews) based on Red Riding Hood is sure to captivate fans of the author's previous fairy tale retelling, Cruel Beauty.
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak
by Brian Katcher

Fiction. Overachiever Ana couldn't care less that this year's Washingcon sci-fi convention conflicts with her quiz bowl team's championship, but geeky Zak, a reluctant quiz bowl alternate, is disappointed to miss the con. So when Ana's brother (and teammate) Clayton ditches the quiz bowl for Washingcon, Ana enlists Zak to help her find him. The two of them take turns narrating their wild night-long search, which includes cosplayers, gamers, card collectors, felons, a Star Wars/Star Trek wedding...and a growing attraction that Zak and Ana can't ignore. Similar to Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, this opposites-attract romance offers both genuine emotions and pop culture-inspired humor.
The Porcupine of Truth
by Bill Konigsberg

Fiction. Carson hasn't seen his alcoholic father in years, but now that the guy is dying, 17-year-old Carson is forced to spend the summer with him in Billings, Montana. There, Carson meets Aisha, who's been sleeping at the local zoo since her ultra-conservative father kicked her out for being a lesbian. The two quickly become friends, and after they discover some surprising clues regarding Carson's long-absent grandfather, they take off on a road trip to learn the truth and bring Carson's dad some closure. If you prefer realistic fiction that's both funny and unflinching, don't miss this bittersweet story about prejudice, forgiveness, and family.
Scarlett Undercover
by Jennifer Latham

Supernatural Mystery. At 16, talented sleuth Scarlett has already finished high school and started her own detective agency. Though her latest job seems normal enough, it leads to an ancient supernatural conspiracy in Scarlett's family history; to crack the case, Scarlett will have to re-examine not only her personal beliefs, but also her father's unsolved murder. Told in a tough-talking, hard-boiled style, this debut novel introduces a memorable teen detective and a suspenseful, mythology-infused mystery. Readers who want another smart Muslim American heroine may enjoy G. Willow Wilson's Ms. Marvel comics, while those looking for another teen gumshoe should try Sean Beaudoin's You Killed Wesley Payne.
by Noelle Stevenson

Graphic Fantasy. When exuberant, gleefully violent Nimona first offers to be his sidekick, villainous Lord Ballister Blackheart turns her down. Once she reveals that she's a shapeshifter, however, Blackheart is intrigued. And Nimona does have some good ideas for overthrowing Blackheart's archenemies, Sir Goldenloin and the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics... But does she really have her powers under control? Adorably edgy cartoons provide the perfect visuals for this witty and heartfelt fantasy that overturns stereotypes about good and evil. Whether you're a new fan or you've been following Nimona since its beginning as a webcomic, you may find it hard to resist the adventures of this irrepressible anti-heroine. 
If You Like: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Combining humor, profanity, and insight, these unconventional reads about friendship, creativity, and the things that change (or don't change) your life will appeal to fans of Jesse Andrews' Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. The movie of Me and Earl opened in U.S. theaters in June.
Dear Life, You Suck
by Scott Blagden

Fiction. Outspoken, irreverent, and a little too quick with his fists, 17-year-old Cricket doesn't see a lot of options for himself once he leaves the Naskeag Home for Boys. He might survive on his boxing skills, or by taking over for a local drug dealer, but with such a bleak future and an unthinkable past, Cricket's not even sure that life is worth living anymore. Enter Wynona Bidaban, the girl who offers Cricket unexpected new perspectives. Like Me and Earl's Greg, Cricket confronts both the excitement and the bitter unfairness of life with sarcasm, self-awareness, and lots of movie references.
Two Parties, One Tux, and a Very Short Film About the Grapes of Wrath
by Steven Goldman

Fiction. Junior year is turning out to be eventful for Mitchell Wells: his best friend has just come out to him (and only him); he's turned in a somewhat obscene claymation short film instead of a paper about The Grapes of Wrath (didn't go over so well); and one of the most popular girls at school suddenly likes him (?!?!). Prom is coming up, and at this rate, there's no predicting what will happen. If you liked Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower, it's a pretty good bet that you'll like Two Parties, One Tux, and a Very Short Film about The Grapes of Wrath, a drily hilarious and painfully honest slice of high school life.
An Abundance of Katherines
by John Green

Fiction. Recent high school graduate and former child prodigy Colin Singleton falls in love easily. Since third grade, he's had a grand total of 19 girlfriends, all named Katherine, who have all dumped him. Freshly rejected by Katherine XIX, Colin sets off on a road trip with his best friend Hassan, a chubby, Judge Judy-obsessed Muslim with dreams of becoming a stand-up comic. They make it as far as Gutshot, Tennessee, where they befriend a girl who is NOT named Katherine, and where Colin works to perfect a mathematical formula that can predict how long romantic relationships will last. This offbeat male-bonding story should appeal to anyone who thinks that math is fun, road trips have curative powers, or that everyone's story matters.
Now Playing: Stoner & Spaz II
by Ronald Koertge

Fiction. Having been ditched one too many times by his flaky sort-of girlfriend, Colleen, aspiring filmmaker Ben Bancroft wonders whether someone his overbearing grandmother approves of -- like popular, pretty, academically driven A.J., who is just as big of a film nut as Ben -- might be a better match for him. But can A.J. really see past Ben's cerebral palsy like Colleen does? Fans of the 1st book, Stoner & Spaz (and other all-about-the-attiude novels like Barry Lyga's The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl), will be pleased to find the same sort of witty, electric banter in Now Playing, and film buffs will appreciate the movies that are mentioned throughout.
King Dork
by Frank Portman

Fiction. Smart, cynical Tom Henderson is a typical high school loser whose pastimes include coming up with band names (never mind the fact that he's not in a band) and trying to attract "semihot girls." Tom is baffled and annoyed by his teachers' cultish allegiance to The Catcher in the Rye, a book that changed their lives when they were teenagers. But Tom's own life is about to be changed by a copy of the same book -- the copy that his recently deceased father filled with cryptic notes that might explain his mysterious death. Tom's sardonic humor and esoteric musical references continue in the sequel, King Dork Approximately.