Book Mail: Anthologies, a teen spy, a haunted funeral home, a gothic mystery, and more!
One hundred billion galaxies and surely in one of them I have learned how to train my dogs to read all this book mail all day while I work, then put their little paws against my head while I sleep and transfer all the information and feelings directly into my brain, right? Because in that world, I might stand a chance at getting all the book mail consumed. If I got more dogs.
I’m reading as fast as I can! And here’s a roundup of all the book mail that’s arrived in the past couple of weeks.
Get out your TBR lists, your order lists, your library card, and be ready to dive into lots of new and interesting books!
All descriptions from the publishers.
Eternally Yours by Patrice Caldwell (ISBN-13: 9780593206874 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 09/20/2022, Ages 12-17)
Give in to this irresistible paranormal romance anthology filled with tales of the mortal and the monstrous. In Eternally Yours, fifteen of today’s bestselling writers explore love in its many forms . . .
Contributors include Kalynn Bayron, Kendare Blake, Kat Cho, Melissa de la Cruz, Hafsah Faizal, Sarah Gailey, Chloe Gong, Alexis Henderson, Adib Khorram, Anna-Marie McLemore, Casey McQuiston, Sandhya Menon, Akshaya Raman, Marie Rutkoski, and Julian Winters.
Vampires and merpeople, angels and demons—the stories in this anthology imagine worlds where the only thing more powerful than the supernatural, is love.
A girl in a graveyard goes on an unexpected date, a shipwrecked sailor makes a connection on a forbidden island, a piano melody summons a soul mate. Creatures of folktales and legend, of land and sea, of centuries past and life after life, all wrapped into one spellbinding compendium. Once you sink into its pages, it’ll never let you go.
Bhai for Now by Maleeha Siddiqui (ISBN-13: 9781338702095 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 10/04/2022, Ages 8-12)
A fresh and fun new spin on the Parent-Trap story, by Indies Introduce author Maleeha Siddiqui
Ashar is busy with the ice hockey team, studying to get into the best school, and hanging out with his friends.
Shaheer and his father are always moving, following his dad’s jobs. Shaheer has given up hope of finding a place where he can put down roots, a place that feels like home.
The two boys have nothing in common.
But when they meet on Shaheer’s first day at his new school, it’s like looking in a mirror.
They quickly figure out that they’re twins, separated as babies. And they are determined to do whatever it takes—including secretly switching identities—to get to know the parent they’ve been separated from.
This is the story of two long-lost brothers who, while they might not like each other, just might need each other. Bhai for Now is by turns heartwarming and hilarious, and with an unforgettable Muslim family and friendship story at its core.
Payden’s Pronoun Party by Blue Jaryn, Xochitl Cornejo (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781645675587 Publisher: Page Street Publishing Publication date: 10/04/2022, Ages 4-8)
“I’m not sure I’m a boy… so maybe he is not best for me.”
Payden has always used he/him pronouns, until one day Payden realizes those words might not fit. Payden’s parents promise to throw a big party to introduce whatever pronouns Payden chooses—but which pronouns are the best match? On a colorful quest, Payden talks to friends about a rainbow of possibilities: he, she, they, ze, and so many more! The right pronouns are just waiting to be tried on.
Put on your party hats and learn about the magical variety of pronouns in this thoughtful story that imagines a world of unquestioning support for gender exploration, celebrates all the different ways a person can present, and provides a blueprint for people of any age who are pondering what gender means to them.
Monarch Rising by Harper Glenn (ISBN-13: 9781338741452 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 10/04/2022, Ages 14-18)
In a chilling near-future New United States of America, Jo Monarch has grown up in the impoverished borderlands of New Georgia. She’s given one chance to change her fate… if she can survive a boy trained to break hearts.
Today is the day Jo Monarch has been wishing on the moon about her entire life. It’s the day of the Lineup, when she could be selected to leave her life in the Ashes behind. The day she could move across the mountains to a glittering, rich future.
Once Jo is plucked from the Lineup, the real test begins. She still needs to impress the New Georgia Reps at tonight’s Gala, and her path forward leads straight to Cove Wells. The damaged stepson of one of the Reps, Cove has been groomed as an emotional weapon, taught that love is a tool — and he’s set on breaking Jo’s heart next.
When a riot breaks out back in the Ashes the night of the Gala, Jo’s dreams might all go up in smoke. Can she really have everything she’s ever wished for… when it means leaving all her loved ones behind in the fire?
Harper Glenn’s debut is as gripping as it is prescient, an unflinching meditation on whether love can save us from ourselves, and what it takes to be born anew.
The First to Die at the End by Adam Silvera (ISBN-13: 9780063240803 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 10/04/2022, Ages 13-17)
In this prequel to #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon They Both Die at the End, two new strangers spend a life-changing day together after Death-Cast first makes their fateful calls.
It’s the night before Death-Cast goes live, and there’s one question on everyone’s mind: Can Death-Cast actually predict when someone will die, or is it just an elaborate hoax?
Orion Pagan has waited years for someone to tell him that he’s going to die. He has a serious heart condition, and he signed up for Death-Cast so he could know what’s coming.
Valentino Prince is restarting his life in New York. He has a long and promising future ahead and he only registered for Death-Cast after his twin sister nearly died in a car accident.
Orion and Valentino cross paths in Times Square and immediately feel a deep connection. But when the first round of End Day calls goes out, their lives are changed forever—one of them receives a call, and the other doesn’t. Though neither boy is certain how the day will end, they know they want to spend it together…even if that means their goodbye will be heartbreaking.
Told with acclaimed author Adam Silvera’s signature bittersweet touch, this story celebrates the lasting impact that people have on each other and proves that life is always worth living to the fullest.
Ignatius and the Battle at Dinas Affaraon: Ignatius Series Book 2 by D.A. Mucci (ISBN-13: 9781737277842 Publisher: St Barts Publishing LLC Publication date: 10/05/2022, Ages 13-18)
The sweat pours from his brow…as Iggy forges a sword from a meteorite.
Will it be the weapon to save them?
As the evil and obsessed Emperor Mallak plans to kill Iggy for his crystal amulet, Iggy is distracted by Raraesa. His crush makes it hard to focus, but he’s becoming a master smith. With that comes the muscles that will make him a great fighter, too.
There’s just one problem. A dark wizard, a Death Knight, and five thousand soldiers have been tasked with hunting him down.
Where will he hide?
The mysteries of the Nostaw Warrior still haunt Iggy. There must be a reason he was given the sword and he prays it will help him return to his place and time, but Pennsylvania seems far off.
Is the answer on the Island of Cambria?
You’ll love this second book in this YA, coming of age fantasy, because the looming battle could be epic, and might change Iggy’s life.
Get it now.
The Truth About Everything by Bridget Farr (ISBN-13: 9781635830804 Publisher: North Star Editions Publication date: 10/11/2022, Ages 14-18)
Gut a fish. Rewire a truck. Survive the collapse of the US government. All lessons fifteen-year-old Lark has learned during “homeschool” with her conspiracy-theorist-doomsday-prepping parents. If only she’d also learned the fundamentals of human biology or even how to read. When Lark gets her first period and realizes how much she doesn’t know, she ignores her fears of everything outside their rural Montana farm and secretly attends school for the first time.
At high school, Lark discovers the world is very different than she has been told, from the basics of the internet to government takeovers that never happened. Lark uncovers the holes in her parents’ beliefs and realizes that she must decide her own truth. But it won’t come without sacrifices.
Tasting Light: Ten Science Fiction Stories to Rewire Your Perceptions by A. R. Capetta (Editor), Wade Roush (Editor) (ISBN-13: 9781536219388 Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication date: 10/11/2022, Ages 14-17)
In a mind-bending MITeen anthology, ten top YA authors use emerging technologies to explore startling new realities.
What doesthe future hold? Ten speculative short stories by leading young-adult authors imagine what the world could be through the lens of technologies emerging today. When the modification industry transforms how humans look, sound, and interact, a nonbinary teen braves the “reinvention room” to accept a gift from the dead. In an accidental city in space, a young apprentice holds neighborhoods together with braided carbon filaments until distraction and inspiration arrive in the wake of a visitor. Entitlement-fueled drug use alters the landscape of white privilege, robots remember the Earth, and corporate “walkers” stroll for unknown subscribers—until one hacks the system. In tales buzzing with possibility, hope, innovation, anger, and tenderness, Tasting Light offers a dazzling challenge to connect with open minds, hearts, and senses in a fast-changing world.
With stories by:
Charlotte Nicole Davis
Nasugraq Rainey Hopson
Undercover Latina by Aya de León (ISBN-13: 9781536223743 Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication date: 10/11/2022, Ages 8-12)
A Latina teen spy goes undercover as a white girl to stop a white supremacist terrorist plot in a fast-paced middle-grade debut from a seasoned author of contemporary crime fiction.
In her debut for younger readers, Aya de León pits a teen spy against the ominous workings of a white nationalist. Fourteen-year-old Andréa Hernández-Baldoquín hails from a family of spies working for the Factory, an international organization dedicated to protecting people of color. For her first solo mission, Andréa straightens her hair and goes undercover as Andrea Burke, a white girl, to befriend the estranged son of a dangerous white supremacist. In addition to her Factory training, the assignment calls for a deep dive into the son’s interests—comic books and gaming—all while taking care not to speak Spanish and blow her family’s cover. But it’s hard to hide who you really are, especially when you develop a crush on your target’s Latino best friend. Can Andréa keep her head, her geek cred, and her code-switching on track to trap a terrorist? Smart, entertaining, and politically astute, this is fast-paced upper-middle-grade fare from an established author of heist and espionage novels for adults.
Better Than We Found It: Conversations to Help Save the World by Frederick Joseph, Porsche Joseph (ISBN-13: 9781536224528 Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication date: 10/11/2022, Ages 12-15)
From the New York Times best-selling author of The Black Friend and a seasoned activist comes an indispensable guide to social and political progressivism for young people and anyone wanting to get more involved.
Every generation inherits the problems created by the ones before them, but no generation will inherit as many problems—as many crises—as the current generation of young people. From the devastations of climate change to the horrors of gun violence, from rampant transphobia to the widening wealth gap, from the lack of health care to the lack of housing, the challenges facing the next generation can feel insurmountable. But change, even revolution, is possible; you just have to know where to start. In Better Than We Found It, best-selling author Frederick Joseph and debut author Porsche Joseph make the case for addressing some of the biggest issues of our day. Featuring more than two dozen interviews with prominent activists, authors, actors, and politicians, this is the essential resource for those who want to make the world better than we found it.
Featuring interviews with:
Mari Copeny, aka Little Miss Flint
Daniel Alejandro Leon-Davis
Willy and Jo Lorenz
Brittany Packnett Cunningham
Brandon T. Snider
Grave Things Like Love by Sara Bennett Wealer (ISBN-13: 9780593703557 Publisher: Random House Children’s Books Publication date: 10/11/2022, Ages 12-17)
A contemporary YA romance with a paranormal twist: what happens when in between trying to decide which boy is the right boy, a girl finds out the funeral home her family owns might be haunted?
Elaine’s home is a bit . . . different. It’s a funeral home that has been in her family since the 1800s—and it’s why everyone calls her Funeral Girl. And even though she’s lived there her whole life, there are still secrets to be found.
When Xander, a cute new boy with a penchant for ghost hunting, arrives in town, Elaine feels an instant spark. His daring and spontaneous ways help her go from Funeral Girl to Fun Girl. Then there’s Miles, Elaine’s oldest friend, who she’s starting to see in a completely new light.
After Xander convinces her to stage a seance one night, Elaine discovers that her home might be haunted by a kindred spirit—the daughter of the funeral home’s original owner. But who wants to be haunted by the dead when there are boys to spend time with? After all, you only live once. . . .
Dark Room Etiquette by Robin Roe (ISBN-13: 9780063051737 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 10/11/2022, Ages 14-17)
We Were Liars meets Room in this masterfully plotted psychological thriller from the critically acclaimed author of A List of Cages, Robin Roe.
Are you afraid of the dark?
Sixteen-year-old Sayers Wayte has everything—until he’s kidnapped by a man who takes it all away. A man who tells him that the privileged life he’s been living is based on a lie.
To survive, Sayers must forget the world he once knew and play the part his abductor has created for him. But as time goes by, the line between fact and fiction blurs, and Sayers begins to wonder if he can escape without losing himself entirely.
A dark journey with a poignant return to hope in its finale, Dark Room Etiquette matches edge-of-your-seat-suspense with lyrical, powerful writing to create an unforgettable tale of survival that will resonate with fans of Black Ice and Hatchet.
The Glass Witch by Lindsay Puckett (ISBN-13: 9781338803426 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 10/18/2022, Ages 8-12)
Her bones are glass, but her heart is magic. Adelaide Goode has never been good enough. Everyone knows she’s the weakest witch born to the Goode family in centuries. And now her mom is betraying her in the worst way possible: abandoning her in Cranberry Hallow, where she has no friends at all, for three whole months! And she’s pushing her to compete in the town Halloween pageant!If Addie is going to be stuck in this town, her mother won’t get away so easy…so she sets off the curse that’s been haunting her family for centuries. But she doesn’t plan on the curse turning her bones to glass and setting a 300-year-old witch hunter after her.With the aid of a monster-obsessed neighbor and a twitchy-nosed, furry friend, Addie must hunt down the ingredients necessary to break the curse before the stroke of midnight. And if she doesn’t…she might just erase magic from her family, and her town, forever.
Zara’s Rules for Finding Hidden Treasure by Hena Khan, Wastana Haikal (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781534497627 Publisher: Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers Publication date: 10/18/2022 Series: Zara’s Rules #2, Ages 7-10)
From the beloved author of Amina’s Voice comes the second book in the delightful Zara’s Rules middle grade series following Zara as she starts her own business!
Zara lives for bike rides with her friends—so when her shiny, brand-new bike goes missing from the park one day, she’s crushed. After her parents insist she earn the money for another one herself, Zara’s determined to start a business. But what kind? A lemonade stand? Not profitable enough. Selling painted rocks? Not enough customers.
Zara’s starting to get discouraged when she and her friend Naomi finally come up with the perfect idea: The Treasure Wagon, a roving garage sale that unloads knickknacks from the Saleem family basement and makes money all at once! But when a mix-up gets Zara in hot water again, will she have to give up everything she’s earned toward her new bike?
Working Boats: An Inside Look at Ten Amazing Watercraft by Tom Crestodina (ISBN-13: 9781632172594 Publisher: Sasquatch Books Publication date: 10/25/2022, Ages 7-10)
This visually engaging book filled with cross sections and exploded views of working boats is perfect for children—and even adults—curious about the mechanics of boats and the lives of people who work on boats.
Filled with full-page spreads of cross sections of ten intriguing working boats, this book provides a glimpse into their inner workings, as well as highlights of each boat’s unique engineering components that enable it to do the job it was built for.
Want to know what goes on behind the scenes of a Coast Guard rescue, what it’s like to work on a science research vessel, or what’s involved in crabbing? The book includes illustrated details about each boat’s mission and jobs people do on board, as well as a glimpse of what life is like on a working boat.
Packed with information that’s fun and practical, the book also includes details about maritime instruments, such as how a radar works, on-water safety gear, diesel engines, and mechanics, such as how water is pumped through a fire boat.
You Don’t Know What War Is: The Diary of a Young Girl from Ukraine by Yeva Skalietska (ISBN-13: 9781454949695 Publisher: Union Square & Co. Publication date: 10/25/2022)
An inspiring memoir of resilience by a young survivor of the war in Ukraine, as told through her diary entries—a harrowing and ultimately hopeful survival story.
Yeva Skalietska’s story begins on her twelfth birthday in Kharkiv, where she has been living with her grandmother since she was a baby. Ten days later, the only life she’d ever known was shattered. On February 24, 2022, her city was suddenly under attack as Russia launched its horrifying invasion of Ukraine. Yeva and her grandmother took shelter in a basement bunker, where she began writing this diary. She describes the bombings she endured while sheltering underground and her desperate journey west to escape the conflict raging around them. After many endless train rides and a prolonged stay in an overcrowded refugee center in western Ukraine, Yeva and her beloved grandmother eventually find refuge in Ireland. There, she bravely begins to forge a new life, hoping she’ll be able to return home one day.
Creature: Paintings, Drawings, and Reflections by Shaun Tan (ISBN-13: 978-1646142002 Publisher: Levine Querido Publication date: 11/01/2022)
From the creator of THE ARRIVAL, a collection of essays illuminating his thoughts and advice for writers and artists, young and old.
Shaun Tan is one of the world’s most highly acclaimed narrative artists—his stories and images are loved by countless young and not-so-young readers around the world. Drawing upon 25 years as a picture book and comics creator, painter, and filmmaker, CREATURE explores the central obsession of this visionary artist, from casual doodles to studied oil-paintings. Beyond sketches for acclaimed works such as THE ARRIVAL, THE LOST THING, and TALES FROM OUTER SUBURBIA, this volume collects together for the first time unseen and stand-alone illustrations, each resonant with unwritten tales of their own. Detailed commentary by the artist offers an entertaining insight into the endless allure of imaginary, non-human beings and what they might tell us about our so-called “normal” human selves. Artists, writers, students, dreamers, and anyone interested in the deeper undercurrents of creativity, myth, and visual metaphor will find inspiration in these pages.
Mending the Moon by Sara Ugolotti (Illustrator), Emma Pearl (ISBN-13: 9781645675600 Publisher: Page Street Publishing Publication date: 11/01/2022, Ages 4-8)
One fateful night, the moon shines so big and so bright that it is too heavy to hold itself up in the sky. When it tumbles down and breaks into many glimmering pieces, Luna sees the whole thing. Her grandfather Poppa warns that without the moon in the sky, the oceans will stop moving and the earth will start to wobble. Luna and Poppa must mend it, but they may not be able to do it all on their own.
The mountain is alive with creatures big and small whose watchful eyes also saw the moon fall. Together, can they find all the shards, stick them together, and get the moon safely back into the sky?
In this enchanting tale with a timeless, folklore feel, a girl, her grandfather, and all the animals of the mountain hold the power to set the world right and forever leave their mark on the moon.
Daisy Woodworm Changes the World by Melissa Hart (ISBN-13: 9781631636370 Publisher: North Star Editions Publication date: 11/08/2022, Ages 8-12)
Thirteen-year-old Daisy Woodward loves insects, running track, and hanging out with her older brother, Sorrel, who has Down syndrome and adores men’s fashion. When her social studies teacher assigns each student an oral report and project to change the world for the better, Daisy fears the class bully—who calls her Woodworm—will make fun of her lisp. Still, she decides to help Sorrel fulfill his dream of becoming a YouTube fashion celebrity despite their parents’ refusal to allow him on social media.
With the help of her best friend, Poppy, and Miguel—the most popular boy in school and her former enemy—Daisy launches Sorrel’s publicity campaign. But catastrophe strikes when her parents discover him online along with hateful comments from a cyberbully. If Daisy has any hope of changing the world, she’ll have to regain her family’s trust and face her fears of public speaking to find her own unique and powerful voice.
Daisy Woodworm Changes the World includes an author’s note and additional resources.
Playing with Smokeless Fire by Barbara Pietron (ISBN-13: 9781940368146 Publisher: Scribe Publishing Company Publication date: 11/08/2022 Series: Legacy in Legend #4, Ages 12-18)
Desperate to restore her spiritual ability, Jeni makes a deal at the crossroads that could be the last thing she ever does.
What’s left after trying everything humanly possible?
Things that are inhumanly possible.
This is Jeni’s mindset when she arrives in Memphis, Tennessee. In the soulful backdrop filled with the ever-present echo of blues guitars, desperation leads Jeni to the crossroads, where she summons a demon to mend her defunct spiritual ability. Although her side of the bargain doesn’t require her soul, the price is steep, pushing her ethical limits. But it’s more than her own life Jeni is hoping to save; her family is in the crosshairs of her foe, so she makes the deal. When the bargain goes sideways, revealing the indomitable nature of the force she is up against, Jeni finds herself in a predicament where strength is useless. Only wisdom and sheer cleverness will allow her to live to fight another day.
Other Side of the Tracks by Charity Alyse (ISBN-13: 9781534497719 Publisher: Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers Publication date: 11/22/2022, Ages 12-18)
This lilting and riveting young adult debut novel about three teens entangled by secret love, open hatred, and the invisible societal constraints wrapped around people both Black and white is perfect for readers of All American Boys and The Hate U Give.
There is an unspoken agreement between the racially divided towns of Bayside and Hamilton: no one steps over the train tracks that divide them. Or else.
Not until Zach Whitman anyway, a white boy who moves in from Philly and who dreams of music. When he follows his dream across the tracks to meet his idol, the famous jazz musician who owns The Sunlight Record Shop in Hamilton, he’s flung into Capri Collins’s path.
Capri has big plans: she wants to follow her late mother’s famous footsteps, dancing her way onto Broadway, and leaving this town for good, just like her older brother, Justin, is planning to do when he goes off to college next year. As sparks fly, Zach and Capri realize that they can help each other turn hope into a reality, even if it means crossing the tracks to do it.
But one tragic night changes everything. When Justin’s friend, the star of Hamilton’s football team, is murdered by a white Bayside police officer, the long-standing feud between Bayside and Hamilton becomes an all-out war And Capri, Justin, and Zach are right in the middle of it.
Come Out, Come Out, Whatever You Are by Kathryn Foxfield (ISBN-13: 9781728248042 Publisher: Sourcebooks Publication date: 11/29/2022, Ages 14-18)
The bestselling author of Good Girls Die First is back with a new page-turning thriller for fans of Holly Jackson and Karen McManus.
Welcome to the reality game show that’ll scare you to death! Have you got what it takes to last the night?
On the reality show It’s Behind You!, five contestants competing for prize money must survive the night in the dark and dangerous Umber Gorge caves, rumored to be haunted by the Puckered Maiden, a ghost who eats the hearts of her victims. But is it the malevolent spirit they should fear, or each other?
As the production crew ramps up the frights, tensions rise and the secrets of the cast member start coming to light. Each of these teenagers has hidden motives for taking part in the show. But could one of them be murder?
No Accident by Laura Bates (ISBN-13: 9781728206769 Publisher: Sourcebooks Publication date: 12/06/2022, Ages 14-18)
No matter how you try to hide it, the truth will always come out . . .
When a small plane crash ends with a group of seven teens washed up on a deserted island, their first thought is survival. With supplies dwindling and the fear of being stranded forever becoming more of a reality, they quickly discover that being the most popular kid in high school doesn’t help when you’re fighting to stay alive.
And when strange and terrifying accidents start to occur all around them, the group realizes that they are being targeted by someone who was on the plane, and that the island isn’t their only danger. A terrible secret from a party the night before the flight has followed them ashore—and it’s clear that someone is looking for justice. Now survival depends on facing the truth about that party: who was hurt that night, and who let it happen?
Take a Bow, Noah Mitchell by Tobias Madden (ISBN-13: 9781645677062 Publisher: Page Street Publishing Publication date: 01/03/2023, Ages 14-17)
There Are No Cheat Codes for Showmance
Seventeen-year-old gaymer Noah Mitchell only has one friend left: the wonderful, funny, strictly online-only MagePants69. After years playing RPGs together, they know everything about each other, except anything that would give away their real life identities. And Noah is certain that if they could just meet in person, they would be soulmates. Noah would do anything to make this happen—including finally leaving his gaming chair to join a community theater show that he’s only mostly sure MagePants69 is performing in. Noah has never done anything like theater—he can’t sing, he can’t dance, and he’s never willingly watched a musical—but he’ll have to go all in to have a chance at love.
With Noah’s mum performing in the lead role, and former friends waiting in the wings to sabotage his reputation, his plan to make MagePants69 fall in love with him might be a little more difficult than originally anticipated.
And the longer Noah waits to come clean, the more tangled his web of lies becomes. By opening night, he will have to decide if telling the truth is worth closing the curtain on his one shot at true love.
Retro by Sofía Lapuente, Jarrod Shusterman (ISBN-13: 9781665902755 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers Publication date: 01/24/2023, Ages 14-18)
What starts off as a light-hearted competition to live without modern technology for a year turns into a fight for survival in this unputdownable young adult thriller by New York Times bestselling author Jarrod Shusterman and debut author Sofía Lapuente.
It was never meant to happen this way.
Things were never supposed to get this out of hand.
After a cyberbullying incident at her school goes viral, Luna Iglesias finds herself at the heart of a brewing controversy. When the social media company Limbo—who are also implicated in the scandal—sweeps in with an offer that sounds like an opportunity to turn over a new leaf and receive a scholarship to the college of her dreams, she’s happy to jump on the new trend. It’s called the Retro Challenge, where contestants live without modern technology, wear vintage clothes, party as if the future weren’t already written, and fall in love as if they were living in a movie.
At first, the challenge is fun. But then things get dangerous. Kids start disappearing, including Luna’s friends. There are voices in the woods. Bloodred markings on the trees. And Luna increasingly begins to wonder if all these strange happenings are connected with the Retro Challenge.
Secrets. Lies. Betrayal. The weight of her family on her shoulders. There’s so much on the line for Luna, not to mention she’s falling in love with the last guy she expected. Unless she can figure out the truth behind who’s sabotaging the challenge, the next person to disappear may be Luna herself.
Hex You: Sisters of Salem by P. C. Cast, Kristin Cast (ISBN-13: 9781250765697 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 01/31/2023 Series: Sisters of Salem #3, Ages 12-18)
Twin sisters, Mercy and Hunter are witches, direct descendants of the Goode family, the founders of their town. After the murder of their mother at the hands of a foul demon, they have become the protectors of the Gates to different underworlds—ancient portals between their world and realms where mythology rules and the darkest of creatures exist.
Mercy and Khenti are trapped in the Ancient Egyptian Underworld and need Hunter’s help to escape. But while Hunter searches for a way to save them, other evil threatens Goodeville. Amphitrite is still looming–and she wants vengeance against Hunter. With the gates rapidly weakening, Amphitrite lures out a deadly creature and sets it free on the residents of Goodeville. It will take everything in Mercy and Hunter’s power to stop the goddess and seal the gates once and for all.
Artemis Sparke and the Sound Seekers Brigade by Kimberly Behre Kenna (ISBN-13: 9781646033133 Publisher: Regal House Publishing Publication date: 02/02/2023, Ages 9-12)
“…Artemis Sparke is pure energy! …Kenna’s well-crafted debut is a timely gift.” —Leslie Connor, National Book Award finalist and author of The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle and Anybody Here Seen Frenchie?
When Artemis Sparke has had it with humans, she heads to the nearby salt marsh to hang out with the birds, plants, and mollusks who don’t make a big deal of her stutter. The shoreline sanctuary is predictable, unlike her family and friends, and the data in her science journal proves it. But one day that data goes haywire, and her bird friend RT confirms it: the salt marsh is dying. Artemis discovers that the historic hotel where she lives with her mom may be part of the problem, but speaking up would mean confronting the cranky hotel owner who happens to be her mom’s boyfriend and boss. Artemis conjures up help from deceased ecologists, and as she works to untangle their clues, she finds family secrets that could be the key to saving the salt marsh but also may destroy her life as she knows it.
Always the Almost by Edward Underhill (ISBN-13: 9781250835208 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 02/14/2023, Ages 12-18)
A trans pianist makes a New Year’s resolution on a frozen Wisconsin night to win regionals and win back his ex, but a new boy complicates things in Edward Underhill’s heartfelt debut YA rom-dram, Always the Almost.
Sixteen-year-old trans boy Miles Jacobson has two New Year’s resolutions: 1) win back his ex-boyfriend (and star of the football team) Shane McIntyre, and 2) finally beat his slimy arch-nemesis at the Midwest’s biggest classical piano competition. But that’s not going to be so easy. For one thing, Shane broke up with Miles two weeks after Miles came out as trans, and now Shane’s stubbornly ignoring him, even when they literally bump into each other. Plus, Miles’ new, slightly terrifying piano teacher keeps telling him that he’s playing like he “doesn’t know who he is”—whatever that means.
Then Miles meets the new boy in town, Eric Mendez, a proudly queer cartoonist from Seattle who asks his pronouns, cares about art as much as he does—and makes his stomach flutter. Not what he needs to be focusing on right now. But after Eric and Miles pretend to date so they can score an invite to a couples-only Valentine’s party, the ruse turns real with a kiss, which is also definitely not in the plan. If only Miles could figure out why Eric likes him so much. After all, it’s not like he’s cool or confident or comfortable in his own skin. He’s not even good enough at piano to get his fellow competitors to respect him, especially now, as Miles. Nothing’s ever been as easy for him as for other people—other boys. He’s only ever been almost enough.
So why, when he’s with Eric, does it feel like the only person he’s ever really not been enough for…is himself?
She Is a Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran (ISBN-13: 9781547610815 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 02/28/2023, Ages 13-17)
This house eats and is eaten . . .
“A riveting debut from a remarkable new voice! Trang Thanh Tran weaves an impressive gothic mystery in which Jade’s father is determined to restore a decrepit home to its former glory and Jade is the only person who feels the soul-crushing devastation of colonialism lingering within its walls.” —Angeline Boulley, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Firekeeper’s Daughter
A House with a terrifying appetite haunts a broken family in this atmospheric horror, perfect for fans of Mexican Gothic.
When Jade Nguyen arrives in Vietnam for a visit with her estranged father, she has one goal: survive five weeks pretending to be a happy family in the French colonial house Ba is restoring. She’s always lied to fit in, so if she’s straight enough, Vietnamese enough, American enough, she can get out with the college money he promised.
But the house has other plans. Night after night, Jade wakes up paralyzed. The walls exude a thrumming sound while bugs leave their legs and feelers in places they don’t belong. She finds curious traces of her ancestors in the gardens they once tended. And at night Jade can’t ignore the ghost of the beautiful bride who leaves cryptic warnings: Don’t eat.
Neither Ba nor her sweet sister Lily believe that there is anything strange happening. With help from a delinquent girl, Jade will prove this house—the home they have always wanted—will not rest until it destroys them. Maybe, this time, she can keep her family together. As she roots out the house’s rot, she must also face the truth of who she is and who she must become to save them all.
Immortality: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz (ISBN-13: 9781250861016 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 02/28/2023 Series: The Anatomy Duology #2, Ages 13-18)
Immortality: A Love Story is the eagerly-anticipated sequel to Dana Schwartz’s #1 bestselling gothic romance, Anatomy: A Love Story.
Hazel Sinnett is alone and half-convinced the events of the year before—the immortality, Beecham’s vial—were a figment of her imagination. She doesn’t even know if Jack is alive or dead. All she can really do now is treat patients and maintain Hawthornden Castle as it starts to decay around her.
When saving a life leads to her arrest, Hazel seems doomed to rot in prison until a message intervenes: Hazel has been specifically requested to be the personal physician of Princess Charlotte, the sickly granddaughter of King George IV. Soon Hazel is dragged into the glamor and romance of a court where everyone has something to hide, especially the enigmatic, brilliant members of a social club known as the Companions to the Death.
As Hazel’s work entangles her more and more with the British court, she realizes that her own future as a surgeon isn’t the only thing at stake for her. Malicious forces are at work in the monarchy, and Hazel may be the only one capable of setting things right.
Chaos & Flame by Tessa Gratton, Justina Ireland (ISBN-13: 9780593353325 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 03/28/2023, Ages 14+)
From New York Times bestselling author Justina Ireland and Tessa Gratton comes the first book in a ferocious YA fantasy duology featuring ancient magic, warring factions, and a romance between the two people in the world with the most cause to hate one another.
Darling Seabreak cannot remember anything before the murder of her family at the hands of House Dragon, but she knows she owes her life to both the power of her Chaos Boon and House Kraken for liberating her from the sewers where she spent her childhood. So when her adoptive Kraken father is captured in battle, Darling vows to save him—even if that means killing each and every last member of House Dragon.
Talon Goldhoard has always been a dutiful War Prince for House Dragon, bravely leading the elite troops of his brother, the High Prince Regent. But lately his brother’s erratic rule threatens to undo a hundred years of House Dragon’s hard work, and factions are turning to Talon to unseat him. Talon resists, until he’s ambushed by a fierce girl who looks exactly like the one his brother has painted obsessively, repeatedly, for years, and Talon knows she’s the key to everything.
Together, Darling and Talon must navigate the treacherous waters of House politics, caught up in the complicated game the High Prince Regent is playing against everyone. The unlikeliest of allies, they’ll have to stop fighting each other long enough to learn to fight together in order to survive the fiery prophecies and ancient blood magic threatening to devastate their entire world.
Divine Rivals: A Novel by Rebecca Ross (ISBN-13: 9781250857439 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 04/04/2023, Ages 13-18)
When two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate forever.
After centuries of sleep, the gods are warring again. But eighteen-year-old Iris Winnow just wants to hold her family together. Her mother is suffering from addiction and her brother is missing from the front lines. Her best bet is to win the columnist promotion at the Oath Gazette.
To combat her worries, Iris writes letters to her brother and slips them beneath her wardrobe door, where they vanish—into the hands of Roman Kitt, her cold and handsome rival at the paper. When he anonymously writes Iris back, the two of them forge a connection that will follow Iris all the way to the front lines of battle: for her brother, the fate of mankind, and love.
Shadow and Bone meets Lore in Rebecca Ross’s Divine Rivals, an epic enemies-to-lovers fantasy novel filled with hope and heartbreak, and the unparalleled power of love.
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About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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