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Nailer is a teenager growing up in a world dramatically changed by global warming. He ekes out a meager living as a ship breaker on the coast of Louisiana. One day he comes across a wealthy girl in a shipwreck and his life changes forever. If you like post-apocalyptic novels such as Hunger Games or Divergent, give Ship Breaker a try. Drowned Cities is a companion volume that takes place in the same world.
Cassie has just been recruited by the FBI special school, where preternaturally talented teen profilers and behaviorists and math geeks and con artists come together to catch serial killers. Think Criminal Minds, and then add Cassie’s own personal history with mysterious and horrifying violence, and all the snarky competition of teens living together and competing for mentorship. It’s riveting.
All the Truth That’s In Me
An outcast in her village, Judith cannot speak; all she has are the thoughts in her head to keep her company. Thoughts filled with longing for a boy she knows she can never have, and seeking a life so very different from her own. Slowly things begin to shift and change and when her village falls under attack old ghosts are exposed, truths are uncovered, and Judith’s voice is finally heard.
This book stands apart in a sea of young adult books helmed by fierce female protagonists. Eighteen-year-old Bitterblue rules the kingdom of Monsea, a land ravaged by her late father, King Leck, whose grace allowed him to control his subjects’ minds. Her strength comes in her desire to truly understand her kingdom and rule it justly. Plus, there’s a dreamy thief, mystery, and unmatched world-building to spare. For fans of fantasy looking for something deeper.
Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant
Flamboyant Delilah Dirk is captured and imprisoned when she meets shy Lieutenant Selim. All Selim wants is a quiet life with occasional hot tea, but he is dragged into Delilah's swashbuckling orbit. There are unladylike scrapes from which to be extricated, many involving swordplay, treasure, scary Ottoman rulers, and devious officials. Quiet reflections in Delilah's flying boat offer an amusing breather. The lushly illustrated panels are stunning; the crisp dialogue tickles the funny bone.
-Diane, Beacon Hill
Whether you’ve read and enjoyed his other works, or just enjoy the short story form, Junot Diaz’s debut short story collection, Drown, is a must read. These engaging, accessible, and down to earth stories, featuring his signature character Yunior, will not leave you disappointed.
-Katherine, Queen Anne
For girls about to rock, I salute you! I also suggest you read this fun novel about Summer Carlson, a teenage girl who manages rock bands. You’ll get a realistic, behind-the-scenes view of what it’s like to be in a band, along with romance and mystery. Local author Emerson is a musician who knows his stuff, creating a believable story that is the first in a planned trilogy. I can’t wait for the next book!
A Thunderous Whisper
Set in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War, Ani, a lonely Basque girl and her new friend, Mathias, are recruited to deliver secret messages to members of a spy network, and Ani discovers she’s stronger and braver than she ever realized. When her world is shattered by the bombing of Guernica, this newfound strength and courage are put to the test. A moving story of friendship, resilience and spirit.
-Lupine, South Park
When We Wake
Tegan accidentally becomes the first person to be cryogenically frozen---and survive. Now she's awake again, 100 years later, and trying to figure out her new world. Nothing is the same, and figuring out who to trust is harder than Tegan thinks it will be.
-Kate, Madrona-Sally Goldmark
The Summer Prince
In a distant future Brazil full of music and dance, poverty and riches, June and her best friend Gil fall in love with the newly elected prince, Enki, a gorgeous young artist who will live for one year as the leader of his people before being sacrificed by the matriarchs and making way for a new summer prince. Can June use her subversive art and illegal nanotech to save him, or is his destiny fixed?
-Wally, West Seattle
The Pied Piper in space, Beast as a surfer dude, and Gretel with a smoking habit - this edgy anthology of Brothers Grimm fairy tales retold by authors of young adult fiction casts some of your favorite childhood stories in ways you've never imagined. Each story keeps the basic premise of the original intact while giving it a new voice that will bewitch and enchant you.
The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim
Action packed contemporary-fantasy about… dragons. Yes, dragons exist in our world and feed off carbon, which is bad for our industrialized human existence. Dragon slayers including Owen - teen heir apparent to a dragon fighting dynasty - attempt to keep humans safe. It is a lonely and dangerous existence, until Owen moves to a new community and meets Siobhan, a virtuoso willing to become his bard and friend, even at the risk her own life.
In this gripping, action-filled mystery, Tucker Pierce must figure out the significance of a series of enigmatic events and what exactly the shadowy SYLO soldiers are doing. Tucker lives a normal, if slightly boring, life since his family relocated to picturesque Pemberwick Island. Everything changes with the arrival of SYLO (overtly sent to protect) and complete technological disconnection from the outside world. I love Tucker’s fight and intelligence and couldn’t wait for the next volume!
A young man who likes to explore his school's surroundings in Spain finds more than he bargained for when he visits a house playing lovely music. The author weaves together the stories of three different eras and individual’s stories into one very intriguing and lovely tale. You become very invested in the story and characters. It reminded me a bit of Hugo, or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. A little dark, but wonderful.
Mermaid in Chelsea Creek
In beaten-down Chelsea, MA, Sophie grapples with an unfeeling mother, a witch-like grandmother living at the town dump, and a string of strange occurrences that begin after she blackouts. Local legend has it that a girl who devours salt will save everyone from danger - and guess what Sophie has just developed a taste for? Replete with talking birds and lyrical writing, this book bridges the gap between coming of age stories and magical realism.
Runaways: Pride & Joy
What would you do if you found out your parents were supervillains? And that you have superpowers too? In this graphic novel series, six friends go on the run when they accidentally discover that their parents are a gang of supervillains who run Los Angeles.
In the Shadows
My pick for "Most Beautifully Mysterious," or “Most Mysteriously Beautiful,” book of 2014. This is a story about love, magic, and conspiracy, and is told in alternating narratives that slowly weave their way together from past to present and future. With words by Kiersten White, and illustrations by the wonderful (and local) Jim Di Bartolo, you'll want to read - and look - at this gem again and again.
Princeless, Vol. 1: Save Yourself
Can we just say, hands down one of the best comics I’ve read in ages! Not only is there lots of epic action, but a powerful message is hidden in-between the lines. Reading behind such an influential and strong heroine, Princess Adrienne shows us what it’s like to resemble her definition of a real princess.