Sunday, February 7, 2010

New teen fiction & fantasy for the new year

If you're looking for something really new to read, here are some fiction and fantasy ideas from first-time authors, as well as the final book by Siobhan Dowd, writer of The London Eye Mystery (2007). Look for all these books here on BookBag using the World Catalog (for your local library copy) or the Amazon search boxes, if you'd like to purchase.

Solace of the Road, by Siobhan Dowd (David Fickling Books) Fiction. At age 14, Holly has been at Templeton House for longer than any of the other residents -- and some of the staff -- when she is finally placed in a foster home. But she still dreams of finding her mother in Ireland, and she can't relate to Ray and Fiona, her would-be family. When Holly finds a flowing blonde wig of Fiona's and tries it on, she feels like someone new--someone older, more confident, and ready to face adventures and adversity on the road in her quest to finally find home. Author Siobhan Dowd died in 2007. Readers seeking the lush language and honest emotion of Dowd's previous novel Bog Boy will treasure Solace of the Road.

It's All Good: A So for Real Novel, by Nikki Carter (Dafina Books) Fiction. Gia, Valerie, Candy, and the rest of the Hi-Steppers are working up a new routine to show their school spirit because the Longfellow Spartans are headed to the state football championship. And, as if the diva-drama within the step team and a potential boyfriend weren't enough for her to handle, Gia's aunt wants her to recruit young women to participate in a "purity class" at church. ("Why doesn't she just ask me to make a sign that says LAME and stick it on my forehead?," wonders virginal-but-not-willing-to-announce-it Gia.) Fans of Step to This, the first So for Real novel, will love catching up with Gia and her friends. Anyone looking for realistic fiction that features Christian characters and values should give the series a try.

Flash Burnout: A Novel, by L. K. Madigan (Houghton Mifflin) Realistic Fiction. In photography class, Blake's teacher calls him "Gritty" and his friend Marissa "Pretty" because their pictures have a predictable style. But Blake could never have predicted that, in taking a photo of a strung-out homeless woman, he was capturing an image of Marissa's long-absent mom. This stunning coincidence complicates Blake's friendship with Marissa--and his relationship with his girlfriend, Shannon--and triggers a chain of events that even Blake's constant stream of jokes can't defuse. Blake's honest, funny, and engaging voice will draw you into his story, which is one that fans of well-developed characters and relationship dramas won't want to miss.

Angela 1: Starting Over, by David A. Bedford (Eloquent Books) Fiction. Angela Fournier is a fifteen-year-old girl who has to leave her school, her friends and her home when her parents divorce. Angela’s mother moves her and her little sister to a lovely coastal town in Texas. Angela makes friends easily in her new school, enrolls in the Honors Program and becomes one of the best dancers in dance class. Although Angela has two best friends she can confide in, she finds herself the target of a group of girls who thrive on making life miserable for her. Angela and her two best friends appear to be on their own when it comes to dealing with this crew, but then they discover something far more sinister than having to fend off the verbal attacks from the mean girls and principal’s disdain. Can Angela and her friends set an injustice right and what price will they have to pay for doing so?

Lips Touch: Three Times, by Laini Taylor (Arthur A. Levine Books) Fantasy. This heady volume offers three stories, three kisses--and three otherworldly consequences of kissing that you won't soon forget. With "delectable language" (Kirkus Reviews) and a dark tone that fans of Charles de Lint, Margo Lanagan, and Melissa Marr will savor, Lips Touch draws readers first into the world of high-school junior Kizzy, an offbeat girl whose parents still practice the ways of the Old Country; next into colonial India and the fires of Hell; and finally into the realm of ancient demons grasping for the warmth of human life. Hypnotic and at times startlingly vivid, this beautifully illustrated trio of novellas will entice even those who don't normally read fantasy.

The Pale Assassin, by Patricia Elliott (Holiday House) Historical Fiction. Spoiled and selfish aristocrat Eugenie de Boncoeur is far too preoccupied with the fashion and parties of 1789 Paris to even notice the political turmoil churning in the city. As the French Revolution heats up and Paris becomes ever more dangerous, Eugenie is shipped off to a convent for her own safety ... but a mysterious man is stalking her from the shadows. With political intrigue, spies, danger, suspense -- and romance -- this captivating novel brings the tumult of the French Revolution to life.

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