Friday, January 31, 2014

Lost Children of the Far Islands by Emily Raabe

Twins Gus and Leo and their little sister, Ila, live a quiet life in Maine—until their mother falls ill, and it becomes clear her strength is fading because she is protecting them from a terrible evil.
Soon the children are swept off to a secret island far in the sea, where they discover a hidden grandmother and powers they never knew they had. Like their mother, they are Folk, creatures who can turn between human and animal forms.
Now they must harness their newfound magic for a deeper purpose. The ancient, monstrous King of the Black Lakes will stop at nothing to rise to power, and they are all that stands in his way. Their mother’s life hangs in the balance, and the children must battle this beast to the death—despite a dire prophecy that whoever kills him will die.

Can Gus, Leo, and Ila overcome this villain? Or has he grown too strong to be defeated? Lost Children of the Far Islands is a story filled with magic, excitement, and the dangers and delights of the sea.
~Goodreads

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers 
Number of Pages: 288
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Anja, age 9

Thursday, January 30, 2014

School of Charm by Lisa Ann Scott

Who’s got time for hair curlers and high heels when you’re busy keeping baby turtles alive?
Chip has always been a tree-climbin’, fish-catchin’ daddy’s girl. When Daddy dies, Mama moves her and her sisters south to Grandma’s house and Chip struggles to find her place in a family full of beauty queens.
Just when she's wishing for a sign from Daddy that her new life’s going to work, Chip discovers Miss Vernie’s School of Charm. Could unusual pageant lessons and secrets be the key to making Chip’s wishes a reality?

Full of spirit, hope, and a hint of magic, this enchanting debut novel tells the tale of one girl’s struggle with a universal question: How do you stay true to yourself and find a way to belong at the same time?
~Goodreads

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Number of Pages: 304
Type: Hardcover 

Reviewed by Anja, age 9

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Promise Bound by Anne Greenwood Brown

Calder and Lily never imagined falling in love would mean breaking apart. But ever since Lily started wearing a glass pendant that once belonged to Nadia, Calder's adoptive mother, she's been having vivid dreams of what life was like for the mermaid matriarch. In fact, she's been dreaming as if she were Nadia! And Nadia, it seems, made a promise before her death. A promise to reunite Calder's biological mother with her son. Lily knows merfolk are bound to keep their promises. Calder's not buying into it, though. He chalks up the dreams to stress. He wants Lily to focus on the future—their future, not the past. Which forces Lily to send Calder away. Calder goes, feeling rejected and more than a little tempted to revert to his hunting ways. 

What both of them overlook is the present: Calder's sisters, Maris and Pavati, are fighting for control of the mermaid clan, and now that Lily and her dad have transformed into mer-creatures, both mermaids vie for daughter and father as allies. Which of the two mermaids can be trusted? Will Lily make costly mistakes, forcing her to descend to the depths of Lake Superior? And if Calder returns, will he be the same merman Lily grew to love? The stakes are high, with many lives at risk, but Calder and Lily must confront the past as well as their darkest impulses if they want a chance at being together.
~Goodreads
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Number of Pages: 368

Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Rachel, age 18

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Alliance by Mark Frost

Readers of I Am Number Four, The Maze Runner, and Legend will love this sophisticated adventure series by the co-creator of the groundbreaking television show Twin Peaks, with its unique combination of mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural.

After exposing the sinister underground society of students known as the Knights of Charlemagne, Will West stays at the Center over the summer to explore his newly developing physical and mental abilities. Meanwhile, his roommates investigate the Knights' shadowy purpose and discover unsettling information about their own backgrounds. Will and his friends must quickly figure out what's going on and separate friend from foe as they prepare for the coming fight.
~Goodreads

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 352
Type: Hardcover 

Reviewed by Lily, age 13

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson

From a former CIA officer comes the riveting account of a royal Middle Eastern family exiled to the American suburbs.
When her father is killed in a coup, 15-year-old Laila flees from the war-torn middle east to a life of exile and anonymity in the U.S. Gradually she adjusts to a new school, new friends, and a new culture, but while Laila sees opportunity in her new life, her mother is focused on the past. She’s conspiring with CIA operatives and rebel factions to regain the throne their family lost. Laila can’t bear to stand still as an international crisis takes shape around her, but how can one girl stop a conflict that spans generations?

J.C. Carleson delivers a fascinating account of a girl—and a country—on the brink, and a rare glimpse at the personal side of international politics.
~Goodreads

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers 
Number of Pages: 304
Type: Hardcover 

Reviewed by Ellie, age 17

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

COVER REVEAL: Sacrifice by Jennifer Quintenz


Title: Sacrifice (Daughters of Lilith: Book 3)
Author: Jennifer Quintenz
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Secret Tree Press
Release Date: January 31, 2014

BLURB
Just when Braedyn Murphy thought she understood the danger descending on Puerto Escondido, a new threat arrives.  A cult devoted to Lilith has taken up residence in the little town, and when Cassie gets tangled up its intrigue, Braedyn realizes she might have to chose between protecting her friends and stopping Lilith from reclaiming this earth.

With her duties to the Guard wearing on her, Braedyn turns to Lucas for solace.  Together they wonder if now is the time to claim their one night together—knowing that one night is all they may ever have.

Darker forces have their own plans for Braedyn and the Guard.  Braedyn knew this fight could be brutal—but how much can one girl be asked to sacrifice in order to save the world?

SERIES BOOKS
Thrall by Jennifer Quintenz
Incubus by Jennifer Quintenz

PRAISE FOR THRALL, BOOK ONE
"Before you even start this review, put down anything you are doing and go read Thrall. It's AMAZING! BREATHTAKING! Engaging and smart, Thrall leaves you speechless!"
~Savannah, Books With Bite

"The writing style is so smooth, yet gripping. Add some good characters, well-paced story and you have something that I like. No, not like. Love...No surprise that Thrall gets full five stars and the highest recommendations I can give."

PRAISE FOR INCUBUS, BOOK TWO
"If you like gutsy fantasy of the urban variety this should definitely be on your 'must read' list. Don't let the YA label put you off either, like all the best YA fiction, this can be enjoyed by adults as well. I give it an unreserved 5 stars."
- Tahlia, Awesome Indies

"This is one of those books that I have been looking forward to since June of last year... I loved this book and I'm so happy I finally got to read it. I recommend the entire series for the fully developed characters, the impressive mythology, and the fight scenes. I am dreading waiting for the next book."


AUTHOR 
Jennifer Quintenz is an award-winning film and television writer, author, and graphic novelist. She has written for Twentieth Television, Intrepid Pictures, and Archaia Studios Press. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.

What do you think? Have you read any of the Daughters of Lilith books?

Happy reading!
The (YA) Bookcase Team

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Hundred Horses by Sarah Lean


From the author of A Dog Called Homeless, winner of the Schneider Family Book Award, comes a gentle tale with a touch of magic about the power of friendship, the truth of belonging, and the most special of a hundred horses. Nell is not happy about spending her school vacation with relatives she doesn’t know. But when a half-wild and mysterious girl named Angel steals Nell’s suitcase, the two girls are tied in an adventure of Angel’s devising. Nighttime meetings and a horse that might just be magical pique Nell’s curiosity and soon she may find a way to put together the mystery of who Angel truly is, understand the legends about the herd of a hundred horses, and also discover something special about herself.
~Goodreads

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books 
Number of Pages: 224
Type: Hardcover 

Reviewed by Anja, age 9

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lord and Lady Bunny: Almost Royalty by Polly Horvath


In this hilarious sequel to Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire!—that even includes a guest appearance by J. K. Rowling a.k.a. "Oldwhatshername"—Madeleine wants nothing more than to save money for college, but her impractical, ex-hippie parents are broke. When the family unexpectedly inherits a sweet shoppe in England that has the potential to earn serious profit, they see an answer to all their problems. . . . Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—formerly of the detecting persuasion—are looking for new professions, and Mrs. Bunny decides she would like to be Queen. Soon they, too, are headed across the pond. Brought to you by National Book Award-winning author Polly Horvath and illustrator Sophie Blackall, the adventures of Madeleine and the Bunnys are zanier than ever.
~Goodreads

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade 
Number of Pages: 304
Type: Hardcover 

Reviewed by Anja, age 9

Friday, January 17, 2014

Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens


An edgy, realistic, and utterly captivating novel from an exciting new voice in teen fiction.
Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.
When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.
A searing, poignant book, Faking Normal is the extraordinary debut novel from an exciting new author--Courtney C. Stevens.
~Goodreads

Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Number of Pages: 336
Type; Hardcover 

Today is a guest review from a local Minnesota teen found through the lovely Passionate Bookworms blog! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Faking Normal, Izzy! 

Reviewed by Izzy, age 16

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tremor by Patrick Carman


In the year 2051, some people have a second pulse…
Like all who have “the pulse,” Faith Daniels and Dylan Gilmore have telekinetic powers—they can move objects with their minds. But there are five “second pulses” in the world who have an even greater power: Almost nothing can harm them. They are virtually indestructible.
Both Faith and Dylan have the second pulse. But the other side has second pulses, too, and they’ve been training for a war that has been brewing their entire lives. As Dylan executes a plan to infiltrate enemy grounds, he’ll have to face his only weakness, and a family secret that will threaten his very existence.
Together, Faith and Dylan are the only hope this world has left, but they must go their separate ways in order to accomplish their plan. Will their love survive?
With richly developed characters and heart-pounding action scenes, the second book in Patrick Carman’s Pulse trilogy continues the electrifying dystopian story of love and revenge.
~Goodreads

Publisher: Katherine Tegen 
Number of Pages: 320
Type: Hardcover 

Today is a guest review from a local Minnesota teen found through the lovely Passionate Bookworms blog! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Tremor, Ben! 

Reviewed by Ben, age 17

Friday, January 10, 2014

Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier

Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is.
She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along.
This stunning conclusion picks up where Sapphire Blue left off, reaching new heights of intrigue and romance as Gwen finally uncovers the secrets of the time-traveling society and learns her fate.
~Goodreads

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. 
Number of Pages: 464
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Lily, age 13

Thursday, January 9, 2014

For Today I am a Boy by Kim Fu

Peter Huang and his sisters—elegant Adele, shrewd Helen, and Bonnie the bon vivant—grow up in a house of many secrets, then escape the confines of small-town Ontario and spread from Montreal to California to Berlin. Peter’s own journey is obstructed by playground bullies, masochistic lovers, Christian ex-gays, and the ever-present shadow of his Chinese father.
At birth, Peter had been given the Chinese name juan chaun, powerful king. The exalted only son in the middle of three daughters, Peter was the one who would finally embody his immigrant father's ideal of power and masculinity. But Peter has different dreams: he is certain he is a girl.
Sensitive, witty, and stunningly assured, Kim Fu’s debut novel lays bare the costs of forsaking one’s own path in deference to one laid out by others. For Today I Am a Boy is a coming-of-age tale like no other, and marks the emergence of an astonishing new literary voice.
~Goodreads
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Number of Pages: 256
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Peyton, age 17

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
~Goodreads

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Number of Pages: 512
Type: Paperback

Reviewed by Amanda, age 18

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (5)

Hosted by Tynga's Reviews
This week we received some awesome books from HarperCollins, Macmillan and Scholastic. Are there any that you are particularly excited for? Tell us in the comments!  



Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
Meridian by Josin L. Mcquein
Mila 2.0: Renegade by Debra Driza
Curses and Smoke by Vicky Alvear Shecter
Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

What did you get this week? 

Happy reading!
The (YA) Bookcase

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Mirk and Midnight Hour by Jane Nickerson


Jane Nickerson's second novel, also set in the "Strands" world, is based on the Scottish 'Ballad of Tam Lin,' and is set in Mississippi during the Civil War. Violet Dancey, a 17-year-old whose father has left to fight in the Civil War, is forced to confront Thomas, a hurt Union solider near her home. She must decide how to approach the enemy--and how to deal with her growing attraction to him.
~Goodreads

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 384
Type: Hardcover

Reviewed by Ellie, age 17

Thursday, January 2, 2014

THE EATER OF BOOKS! GUEST REVIEW: Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.
A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life.
Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.
Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous— Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty…a decision that will affect the lives of millions.
Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world, and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions.
~Goodreads

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Number of Pages: 400
Type: Hardcover
Rating: 4 stars

Reviewed by Alyssa, age 18