Fantasy. Despite being the raja's daughter, Mayavati can't escape her horoscope, which predicts that she will marry "death and destruction." With war looming and her father pressuring her to make a terrible sacrifice, Maya makes a risky decision: she marries the enigmatic Amar and goes with him to Akaran, his Otherwordly kingdom. As she explores Akaran, with its glass garden, Night Bazaar, and beautiful, sinister magic, Maya discover that there's more to her husband -- and herself -- than she dared imagine. Similar to Renée Ahdieh's The Wrath and the Dawn, this lush, romantic fantasy will captivate fans of fairy tales and Indian mythology.
Historical Fantasy/Mystery. Faith Sunderly's family has only just arrived in the small island community of Vane when Faith's father, a disgraced naturalist, is found dead. Local gossip declares his death a suicide, but smart, headstrong Faith is certain it must be murder. Among her father's many secrets and specimens, she finds an extremely rare tree -- one that feeds on lies and bears fruit that reveals the truth. Can Faith use the tree to find her father's killer, or will eating its fruit doom her to share his fate? Featuring shady archaeologists, disturbing visions, eerie post-mortem photography, and razor-sharp social commentary, The Lie Tree will please fans of mystery, fantasy, and horror alike.
Mystery. When 17-year-old Thisbe Locke disappears from the Coronado Bridge, she leaves behind her ex-boyfriend's stolen car and a lot of questions. For instance: Did she jump? Thisbe's sister Ted refuses to ask that question, but she has lots of others: Where is Thisbe? Is her disappearance related to her recent (and humiliating) break-up? And how could someone so level-headed be involved in such a bizarre situation? Told by multiple characters who all have different information about Thisbe, this complex, perfectly paced read is part mystery, part thriller, and entirely riveting.
Fiction. Montgomery Sole doesn't quite fit in at her small-town California high school: she has two moms, she's obsessed with unexplained phenomena, and her best friends are her fellow "mystery club" members. Just because Monty is used to being an outsider, however, doesn't mean she's prepared to be targeted by a bigoted new classmate and his evangelist dad. Monty can only hope that her "Eye of Know" amulet ("visions untold" for just $5.99!) will give her insight into thorny issues of family, faith, and identity. If you like wry humor, diverse characters, and stories that ask deep questions without getting preachy, don't miss Saving Montgomery Sole.
Fiction. Ever since he had a disastrous, public panic attack in middle school, Solomon Reed hasn't left his house. Now 16, Sol takes online classes and finds support from his family and fandoms (Star Trek is his fave). Enter Lisa, Sol's hyper-driven former classmate. Secretly convinced that she can "cure" Solomon's agoraphobia and land a psychology scholarship, Lisa begins visiting Sol, bringing her boyfriend Clark with her. It's not until the experiment turns into a real friendship -- and Sol and Clark grow closer -- that Lisa begins to question her own motives. Pairing witty dialogue with "achingly real" (Kirkus Reviews) emotions, Highly Illogical Behavior is a perfect pick for readers of realistic fiction.
Focus on: Urban Fantasy
Though it often takes place in a city, urban fantasy doesn't depend on geography -- it's about contemporary characters living in a world that looks like reality, but with a magical twist. To find out more, check out the books below.
Urban Fantasy. Inside the American town of Fairfold there is a forest, and inside the forest lies a horned prince, asleep in a glass coffin. The locals know better than to bother him, or any of their other fearsome faerie neighbors. Siblings Hazel and Ben, however, used to protect the prince by hunting the monstrous fae in the forest, until secrets disintegrated their relationship. When the glass coffin is shattered and Fairfold is attacked, Hazel and her brother are forced to confront their painful past. Those who appreciate the atmospheric, unhurried style of Maggie Stiefvater or Charles DeLint should definitely pick up this intriguing urban fantasy.
Urban Fantasy. Coney Island teen Lyric Walker is just as shocked as everyone else by the arrival of the Alpha, a beautiful yet brutal race of undersea warriors. But for Lyric, the shocks keep on coming when she discovers that her own family isn't entirely human. As violent intolerance erupts between the humans and the Alpha, Lyric's secret becomes increasingly difficult to hide -- especially after she finds herself powerfully attracted to Fathom, the proud, fierce Alpha prince. Blending supernatural romance, pointed social commentary, and high-stakes action, this series opener introduces a "race-against-the-clock world that's waiting to implode" (Kirkus Reviews).
Urban Fantasy. Toronto high schooler Scotch has her share of problems with school, her friends, and her multiracial family. But those problems seem mundane compared to the incurable rubbery spots on her skin and the floating horse heads she keeps seeing. As Scotch's confusion grows, the Chaos arrives and turns reality inside-out: legendary creatures prowl, a volcano emerges from Lake Ontario, and Scotch's brother disappears inside a giant bubble. Determined to find him (and maybe herself, too), Scotch ventures out into the unstable city. While it has strong elements of urban fantasy, world mythology, and magical realism, "this multicultural mashup -- like its heroine -- defies category" (Kirkus Reviews).
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.
Paranormal Mystery. After moving from New York to Shizuoka, Japan, 16-year-old Katie meets Tomohiro, a brooding senior with a nasty reputation -- and the incredible ability to make his drawings come to life. Tomo's mysterious power turns dangerous when Katie is around, however, and soon their already risky attraction is complicated by forces both human (the Japanese mafia) and supernatural (the Kami, ancient Shinto gods). The high-intensity turmoil of Katie and Tomo's relationship will appeal to fans of shojo manga or paranormal romance, and the imaginative, suspenseful story will leave readers desperate for Rain, the next book in the Paper Gods series.