Suspense. Witnessing a murder was bad enough, but things get even worse for 17-year-old Stella when she's placed in Witness Protection and moved from Philadelphia to a tiny town in Nebraska. Though her foster family is better than her drug-addicted mom, Stella misses her boyfriend and is desperate to get back to her life in the city. There is one perk to country living: Chet Falconer, an attractive new friend who tests not only Stella's loyalty to her boyfriend, but also her ability to hide her past. Packed with looming threats, surprising revelations, and simmering romance, Dangerous Lies is a small-town love story with a crime thriller edge.
Fiction. Talented high school baseball player Alex wants to proudly proclaim her identity -- just as soon as she figures it out. She loves her adoptive family, but is frustrated by how her white parents ignore her biracial background. She can sense sparks between her and African American ball player Reggie, but she's not sure if he'll understand about her family. And then there's the letter from her birth father -- should she respond? All of these situations spur Alex's need to define herself, and readers who love authentic, character-driven stories will want to stay with her every step of the way. For another multilayered read about a multiracial family, pick up Una LaMarche's Don't Fail Me Now.
Horror. On her return home from boarding school, Delilah Blue discovers that the attraction between her and her crush Gavin is just as strong as it used to be. As their relationship heats up, Delilah learns more about Gavin, who was raised not by parents, but by his house. Ever since he can remember, House has been able to create and or adapt according to Gavin's needs. It's definitely weird, but Delilah doesn't mind…at least not until House becomes dangerously jealous. If you appreciate the unsettling atmosphere and creeping dread of haunted house tales like Bethany Griffin's The Fall, you may be drawn to this contemporary spin on a similar theme.
Fiction. Seventeen-year-old Calvin's connection to Calvin and Hobbes is obvious: he was born on the day the last comic strip was published, his best friend is named Susie, and he can sense the presence of Hobbes, his 8-foot-tall tiger companion. This last fact lands Calvin in the psych ward, but rather than receive treatment for schizophrenia, Calvin sets out across frozen Lake Erie to find Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson and convince him to draw one final, crucial comic strip. Calvin's funny, philosophical narration draws readers into his uneasy relationship with reality, resulting in a bittersweet experience that's perfect for fans of Neal Shusterman's award-winning Challenger Deep.
Fiction. Parker Grant's Rule #1 is ironclad: "Don't deceive me. Ever." The Rules are there so that Parker, who is blind, can structure her life and her relationships with the sighted people around her. And right now, that structure is more important than ever, since Parker is grieving the death of her father, training for upcoming track tryouts, and falling for a new guy while coping with the return of the ex-boyfriend who betrayed her. If you like realistic fiction that's both smart and emotional, you won't be able to resist the "crackling wit, intense teen drama, and a lively pace" (Booklist) of Not If I See You First.
Graphic Horror. If you ever tried to read Mary Shelley's original Frankenstein but couldn't get through it, you may want to try this illustrated adaptation by artist Gris Grimly. In Grimly's vision, Victor Frankenstein's doomed attempt at creating life takes place in a steampunk universe filled with spindly figures, outlandish clothing, arcane machines, and twilit colors. There are some gross scenes of weird science, but the real horror here is deep, dark, and psychological. If you're into classic storytelling with an eerie, angsty tone, this unusual graphic novel is for you.
Horror. Sixteen-year-old Jamie Carpenter saw his father die in a shootout, and now, two years later, he witnesses his mother being kidnapped by…vampires?! After a timely rescue by Frankenstein's monster, Jamie is inducted into Department Nineteen, a secret organization that battles supernatural threats. Everyone who works in the Department has a history with the paranormal, and that's how Jamie learns that his father was an accomplished monster slayer, and that he will have to become equally vicious if he wants his mother back. This 1st in a series (which continues in The Rising) is a thrilling pick for older readers who relish fast-paced violence and "buckets of gore" (Kirkus Reviews).
Gothic Horror. Having failed to save his twin brother Konrad from fatal illness, young Victor Frankenstein takes on a new quest: to bring Konrad back to life. Frustrated with alchemy, Victor and his friends Elizabeth and Henry turn to ancient occult methods to find Konrad in the spirit world and build a new body for him to inhabit. But tension grows among the group as their powers (and their romantic alliances) change, leading to risky -- maybe deadly – mistakes. This follow-up to This Dark Endeavor is more thoughtful and intense, though it offers the same brooding, deliciously Gothic atmosphere.
Gothic Horror. When she and her friends need a safe place to hide, Juliet Moreau heads to Elizabeth von Stein's remote Scottish mansion. Like Juliet, Elizabeth is the descendant of a "mad" scientist; Elizabeth, however, is less conflicted about continuing the experiments of her ancestor (a certain Dr. Frankenstein). She wants to teach Juliet the science of reanimation, but Juliet worries that the knowledge comes with a terrible cost. A Cold Legacy is the final book in a trilogy, and though you can read it as a standalone, you may want to start at the beginning with The Madman's Daughter to get the full effect of this creepy and complicated tale.
Science Fiction. Everyone calls him "Boy." The stitched-together son of Frankenstein's monster and his Bride, Boy feels stifled in his home underneath New York's Times Square, and annoyed that his tech skills can't flourish in the family business (a Broadway show starring mythical monsters and other unearthly creatures). As a small form of rebellion, Boy dabbles in creating computer viruses. When a virus he designed becomes conscious and extremely possessive, Boy is forced to run, taking a wild, comical road trip that introduces him to a confusing new romance, new enclaves of magical creatures, and some hard-won truths.