Thursday, March 4, 2010

New teen fiction for March

Spring is almost here, but there is still some winter weather ahead -- here are some suggestions to keep you warm until the last snow melts! Look for these here on BookBag using the World Catalog and Amazon search boxes.

Freefall, by Ariela Anhalt (Harcourt) Fiction. Three students at the prestigious Briar Academy boarding school climbed the hill to the cliffs that night, but only two came back alive: Luke Prescott and his best friend, big-man-on-campus Hayden Applegate. Luke isn't really sure whether obnoxious new student Russell fell off the cliff or Hayden pushed him off, but he's going to have to get his story straight before he's called to testify in Hayden's trial. What to read next If you liked the complex characters and riveting psychological suspense of Blake Nelson's Paranoid Park.

Sweet, Hereafter, by Angela Johnson (Simon & Schuster) Fiction. In this conclusion to the emotionally involving trilogy that began with Heaven and continued in The First Part Last, Shoogy Maple (Marly's friend from Heaven) is at the center of the story. Shoogy has left her parents' home and moved into a cabin in the woods with Curtis, a young soldier who's back from a tour of duty in Iraq and not at all eager to return there. Curtis and Shoogy each have secrets, but while they deal with their private demons, they might also be falling in love. You might want to start with the first book, Heaven, to get the most out of the trilogy.

Freaks and Revelations: A Novel, by Davida Wills Hurwin (Little, Brown) Fiction. When 13-year-old Jason tells his mom that he's gay, she kicks him out of the house (it's the late 1970s), but he manages to survive by turning tricks on the streets of San Francisco. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, angry young punk-rocker Doug is hanging out with skinheads and developing a taste for fistfights. Then Jason moves to L.A., where his and Doug's violent meeting will change both of their lives forever. Based on the real-life experiences of Matthew Boger and Timothy Zaal, this tragic and powerful story ends on a hopeful note but should nonetheless enthrall fans of similarly gritty tales such as Jessica Blank's Almost Home or Adam Rapp's Punkzilla.

How to Ruin Your Boyfriend's Reputation, by Simone Elkeles (Flux) Fiction. Spoiled-rotten American drama queen Amy Nelson-Barak is the last person you'd expect to find on a bus heading toward an Israeli military boot camp, especially when participation in the training is completely voluntary. But because her boyfriend Avi serves in the Israel Defense Force and is going to be stationed at the very same military base where the summer volunteer program is being held, Amy signed up in hopes of surprising him with a visit. Too bad that Avi will be her team's equivalent of a drill sergeant and is thus forbidden from socializing with her. Meg Cabot fans are sure to appreciate Amy's uniquely funny narration and romantic misadventures, regardless of whether they start with this third book in the series or the first, How to Ruin a Summer Vacation.

The World is Mine, by Lyah Beth LeFlore; illustrated by DL Warfield (Simon Pulse) Fiction. Blue Reynolds is on a mission to be the world's next music-business mogul ("Diddy unlocked the door, and I'm gonna kick it in! It's time for somebody else to reign," he says). Blue's dad expects him to go to law school -- and Blue might -- but first, he and his friend Collin want to take a shot at their own dreams. And while he's working on becoming the hottest party promoter in the D.C. area, Blue's setting another plan in motion: to win the affections of "fly and sassy" Jade Taylor. There is lots of drama among the characters of this first installment in the Come Up series.

After Ever After, by Jordan Sonnenblick (Scholastic Press) Fiction. In Drums, Girls, & Dangerous Pie, Jeffrey Alper's big brother, Steven, stayed strong for him during Jeffrey's treatment for leukemia. Now, in After Ever After, Jeffrey is in eighth grade and in remission--but the side effects of his treatments gobeyond physical and learning challenges; for much of his life now, he's felt like "Jeffrey Alper, Official Town Cause." Worst of all, Steven has taken off to Africa to join a drum circle and "find himself," so Jeffrey has to handle the stresses of school, friends, his physical condition, and maybe even his first girlfriend by himself. If you like novels that are emotionally intense and yet very funny, don't miss After Ever After.

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