Friday, September 4, 2015

Most Popular New Books for 2015 So Far...

So, 2015 is about 2/3 over.  Wondering what books are new and popular this year?  Check them out below!

Contemporary Fiction

  

1.  99 Days by Katie Cotugno - Molly Barlow is facing one long, hot summer--99 days--with the boy whose heart she broke and the boy she broke it for: his brother.

2.  All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven - Told in alternating voices, when Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school--both teetering on the edge--it's the beginning of an unlikely relationship, a journey to discover the "natural wonders" of the state of Indiana, and two teens' desperate desire to heal and save one another.

3.  Cameron and the Girls by Edward Averett - A boy suffering from schizophrenia falls into a love triangle with a girl in his junior high class--and a girl in his head.

4.  Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen - Sydney's charismatic older brother, Peyton, has always been the center of attention in the family but when he is sent to jail, Sydney struggles to find her place at home and the world until she meets the Chathams, including gentle, protective Mac, who makes her feel seen for the first time.

5.  None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio - When Kristin Lattimer is a champion hurdler and she's madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she's decided that she's ready to take things to the next level with him. But Kristin's first time isn't the perfect moment she's planned--something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy "parts." 

 

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Mystery

  

1.  Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver - Two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident, a missing nine-year-old girl, and the shocking connection between them.

2.  Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes - Seventeen-year-old Max, his girlfriend Parvati, and best friend Pres form Liars, Inc., expecting that forging notes and lying for their peers will lead to easy cash, but when Pres asks Max to cover for him, it may be a fatal mistake.

3.  Finding Paris by Joy Preble - When Leo's sister Paris goes missing, she and her new friend Max must follow Paris's secret notes and clues to find her.

4.  The Good Girls by Sara Shepard - When a rich bully and someone else dies, Mackenzie, Ava, Caitlin, Julie, and Parker wonder if they're being framed. Or are they about to become the killer's next targets?

5.  The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer - Descended from a long line of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. So after senior-class president Erin Donohue -- perfect saint to the community -- turns up dead, Lily believes it's her job to find the culprit. But Lily has feelings for Erin's ex-boyfriend, Matt, which makes both of them suspects and makes Lily's investigation ... complicated.

 

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Action/Adventure

  

1.  Shipwreck Island by S. A. Bodeen - Sarah's dad and stepmom then decide to take the whole family on a special vacation in order to break the ice and have everyone get to know one another. They'll fly to Tahiti, charter a boat, and go sailing for a few days. It'll be an adventure, right? Wrong. Dead wrong.

2.  Sweet by Emmy Laybourne - The luxurious celebrity cruise launching the trendy new diet sweetener Solu should be the vacation of a lifetime. But Laurel's already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host Tom Forelli--the hottest guy ever!--and she's too sick to even try the sweetener. And that's before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange. Tom knows that he should be grateful for this job and the chance to shed his former-child-star image. His publicists have even set up a 'romance' with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when the hosting gig turns into an exposĂ© on the shocking side effects of Solu, it's Laurel that he's determined to save. 

3.  Burning Nation by Trent Reedy - Idaho is a war zone under Federal occupation, and Danny Wright and his friends in the Idaho Militia are determined to fight back, running guerrilla missions against the army--but what at first seemed like a straightforward battle against governmental repression quickly grows murky, and Danny finds that even winning the war does not mean an end to tyranny.

4.  What Waits in the Woods by Kieran Scott - A hiking trip in the woods in upstate New York is out of the comfort zone for sixteen-year-old city girl Callie Velasquez, but she wants to bond with her new friends Lissa and Penelope, not to mention her new boyfriend, Jeremy--however, nothing could have prepared her for the true human darkness that waits for her in the wood.

5.  The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey - Not every gift is a blessing. Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite. But they don't laugh. Melanie is a very special girl.

 

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Historical Fiction

  

1.  The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough - In Seattle in 1937 two seventeen-year-olds, Henry, who is white, and Flora, who is African-American, become the unwitting pawns in a game played by two immortal figures, Love and Death, where they must choose each other at the end, or one of them will die.

2.  A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin - England, 1814. After accidentally setting her father's stables on fire while performing a scientific experiment, Miss Georgiana Fitzwilliam is sent to Stranje House where she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads-or their hearts.

3.  The Notorious Pagan Jones by Nina Berry - Pagan Jones went from America's sweetheart to fallen angel in one fateful night in 1960: the night a car accident killed her whole family. Pagan was behind the wheel and driving drunk. Nine months later, she's stuck in the Lighthouse Reformatory for Wayward Girls and tortured by her guilt--not to mention the sadistic Miss Edwards, who takes special delight in humiliating the once-great Pagan Jones. But all of that is about to change. Pagan's old agent shows up with a mysterious studio executive, Devin Black, and an offer. Pagan will be released from juvenile detention if she accepts a juicy role in a comedy directed by award-winning director Bennie Wexler. The shoot starts in West Berlin in just three days. If Pagan's going to do it, she has to decide fast--and she has to agree to a court-appointed 'guardian,' the handsome yet infuriating Devin, who's too young, too smooth and too sophisticated to be some studio flack. The offer's too good to be true, Berlin's in turmoil and Devin Black knows way too much about her--there's definitely something fishy going on. But if anyone can take on a divided city, a scheming guardian and the criticism of a world that once adored her, it's the notorious Pagan Jones. What could go wrong?

4.  Audacity by Melanie Crowder - The inspiring story of Clara Lemlich, whose fight for equal rights led to the largest strike by women in American history A gorgeously told novel in verse written with intimacy and power, Audacity is inspired by the real-life story of Clara Lemlich, a spirited young woman who emigrated from Russia to New York at the turn of the twentieth century and fought tenaciously for equal rights. Bucking the norms of both her traditional Jewish family and societal conventions, Clara refuses to accept substandard working conditions in the factories on Manhattan's Lower East Side. For years, Clara devotes herself to the labor fight, speaking up for those who suffer in silence. In time, Clara convinces the women in the factories to strike, organize, and unionize, culminating in the famous Uprising of the 20,000. Powerful, breathtaking, and inspiring, Audacity is the story of a remarkable young woman, whose passion and selfless devotion to her cause changed the world.

5.  I'm Glad I Did by Cynthia Weil - In 1963 sixteen-year-old JJ Green, a songwriter interning at New York City's famous Brill Building, finds herself a writing partner in Luke Silver, a boy who seems to connect instantly with her music, and they start cutting their first demo with Dulcie Brown, a legend who has fallen on hard times, with a secret past.

 

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Paranormal

  

1.  The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead - With their romance exposed, Sydney and Adrian face the wrath of the Alchemists and the Moroi alike as Sydney hunts down a former nemesis and Adrian discovers a secret about spirit magic.

2.  Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole - In order to protect Jack from two of the most horrific Arcana, The Lovers, and the vast army they command, Evie leaves the comfort offered by Death and joins her allies in a frozen and perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland, but for her battle plan to succeed, she must persuade Death and Jack to work together.

3.  Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly - Cam's adopted mother is a wicked witch who wants Cam to be just like her, even as Cam tries to stop her plans for ruling the world, including the latest, which involves summoning a demon that now possesses one of the boys at Cam's school.

4.  Off the Page by Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer - When Delilah is united with Oliver, a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairytale, the line between what is on the page and what is possible is blurred, and all must be resolved for the two to live happily ever after.

5.  The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman - After the brutal murder of her cousin, everything changes for sixteen-year-old Rowan, who must not only seek the evil forces responsible before they destroy her family and village, but also set aside her studies when she becomes betrothed to her best friend, Tom.

 

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Fantasy

  

1.  The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard - When her supernatural powers manifest in front of a noble court, Mare, a thief in a world divided between commoners and superhumans, is forced to assume the role of lost princess before risking everything to help a growing rebellion.

2.  The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black - In the town of Fairfold, where humans and fae exist side by side, a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives awakes after generations of sleep in a glass coffin in the woods, causing Hazel to be swept up in new love, shift her loyalties, feel the fresh sting of betrayal, and to make a secret sacrifice to the faerie king.

3.  Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman - Seraphina, half-dragon and half-human, searches for others like her who can make the difference in the war between dragons and humans in the kingdom of Goredd.

4. Dearest by Alethea Kontis - When Friday Woodcutter, a kind and loving seamstress, stumbles upon seven sleeping brothers in her sister Sunday's palace, she takes one look at Tristan and knows he's her future. But the brothers are cursed to be swans by day. Can Friday's unique magic somehow break the spell?

5.  A Court of Thorns and  Roses by Sarah Maas - Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from stories, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin, a High Lord of the faeries. As her feelings toward him transform from hostility to a firey passion, the threats against the faerie lands grow. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose Tamlin forever.

 

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Science Fiction

  

1.  Firefight by Brandon Sanderson - David and the Reckoners continue their fight against the Epics, humans with superhuman powers, except they may have met their match in Regalia, a High Epic who resides in Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as the borough of Manhattan.

2.  Fairest: Levana's Story by Marissa Meyer - Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her "glamour" to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story - a story that has never been told ... until now. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from "Winter," the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

3.  Dove Arising by Karen Bao - On a lunar colony, fifteen-year-old Phaet Theta does the unthinkable and joins the Militia when her mother is imprisoned by the Moon's oppressive government.

4.  The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel - In an apocalyptic future where girls from the losing faction are forcibly married to boys of the winning faction, sixteen-year-old Ivy is tasked to kill her fiancĂ© Bishop, although when she finally meets him, he is not the monster she has been led to believe.

5.  5 to 1 by Holly Bodger - In a dystopian future where gender selection has led to girls outnumbering boys 5 to 1 marriage is arranged based on a series of tests. It's Sudasa's turn to pick a husband through this 'fair' method, but she's not sure she wants to be a part of it.

 

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Nonfiction

  

1.  The Star Wars Cookbook by Robin Davis - Wookiee cookies and other galactic recipes

2.  I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka - Chronicles the friendship between an American girl and her pen pal from Zimbabwe, discussing how a class assignment was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives.

3.  Roadmap: The Get-it-Together Guide for Figuring Out What to do With Your Life - This welcome antidote to the conventional career guide answers the old question -- "So, what are you going to do with your life?" -- in a groundbreaking way. From the team behind the campus and online resource and the inspirational TV series in its eleventh season, ROADMAP helps emerging careerists think deeply about how they can enter the workforce and thrive, using Roadtrip Nation's interest-based approach.

4.  Braids, Buns, and Twists by Christina Butcher - hic hair is all the rage from runways to blog to city streets. This book presents 82 classic and contemporary styles and provides step-by-step tutorials for each one.

5.  Freaking Out: Real-Life Stories About Anxiety by Polly Wells - Presents thirteen true accounts of teenagers with varying levels of anxiety disorders, exploring how they addressed their anxiety and dealt with such issues as peer pressure, perfectionism, grief, and self-mutilation.

 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September is...

... Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

A memoir told through the journals, letters, and stories of young cancer patient Esther Earl.
Regine Stokke began to blog about her day-to-day life shortly after she was diagnosed with leukemia in 2008. Regine's stated purpose with her posts was to give people a sense of "what it's like to live with" such a serious illness, and her blog became an almost instant classic. It was first adapted into book form in 2010, and became a best seller in Norway. Regine was also a very gifted photographer, and had her photos exhibited at both the 2009 and the 2010 Nordic Light photography festivals in Kristiansund
Life threatening cancer brings Francis and Amber together. But Francis's recovery is taking a different path from Amber's. He's actually getting better. And although he knew who he was before cancer, before Amber, now he has no idea how to live--or how to let go.
Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life.
Everything changes for Isabelle, not quite fifteen, when she is diagnosed with lymphoma--but eventually she survives and even thrives.
Alice is ready to go out in a blaze of glory, but then she discovers she's in remission from cancer and she must deal with all of the mistakes she's made and the people she's hurt
Although Jeff and Tad, encouraged by a new friend, Lindsey, make a deal to help one another overcome aftereffects of their cancer treatments in preparation for eighth-grade graduation, Jeff still craves advice from his older brother Stephen, who is studying drums in Africa.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

10 years ago today...

Hurricane Katrina made landfall.

Hurricane Katrina is raging and you are inside the Superdome! Miles has only lived in New Orleans with his dad, a musician, for a few months when Hurricane Katrina hits. Father and son haven?t exactly been getting along. Miles is obsessed with football; his dad?s passion is jazz. But when the storm strikes, they?re forced to work through their differences to survive a torturous few days in the Superdome. Paul Volponi, known for writing books that capture the pulse of urban life in New York City, creates a gripping hour-by-hour portrayal of what life was like for those left behind once the floodwaters began to rise.
Ten years after Hurricane Katrina made landfall in southeast Louisiana-on August 29, 2005-journalist Gary Rivlin traces the storm's immediate damage, the city of New Orleans's efforts to rebuild itself, and the storm's lasting effects not just on the city's geography and infrastructure-but on the psychic, racial, and social fabric of one of this nation's great cities. Much of New Orleans still sat under water the first time Gary Rivlin glimpsed the city after Hurricane Katrina. Then a staff reporter for The New York Times , he was heading into the city to survey the damage. The Interstate was eerily empty. Soldiers in uniform and armed with assault rifles stopped him. Water reached the eaves of houses for as far as the eye could see. Four out of every five houses-eighty percent of the city's housing stock-had been flooded. Around that same proportion of schools and businesses were wrecked. The weight of all that water on the streets cracked gas and water and sewer pipes all around town and the deluge had drowned almost every power substation and rendered unusable most of the city's water and sewer system. People living in flooded areas of the city could not be expected to pay their property taxes for the foreseeable future. Nor would all those boarded-up businesses-21,000 of the city's 22,000 businesses were still shuttered six months after the storm-be contributing their share of sales taxes and other fees to the city's coffers. Six weeks after the storm, the city laid off half its workforce-precisely when so many people were turning to its government for help. Meanwhile, cynics both in and out of the Beltway were questioning the use of taxpayer dollars to rebuild a city that sat mostly below sea level. How could the city possibly come back? This book traces the stories of New Orleanians of all stripes-politicians and business owners, teachers and bus drivers, poor and wealthy, black and white-as they confront the aftermath of one of the great tragedies of our age and reconstruct, change, and in some cases abandon a city that's the soul of this nation.

Four acts document distinct perspectives on the pivotal events that preceeded and followed Katrina's passage through New Orleans, a catastrophe during which the divide between race and class lines has never been more pronounced.