Some cool books coming out this month, including from adult author Sherrilyn Kenyon and
deceased (or possibly undead) author Louisa May Alcott. And more!
We start with the lovely and talented Jeri Smith-Ready. Sheâ€™s
already a successful author of grown up urban fantasy (WICKED GAME) and romantic
fantasy (EYES OF CROW).
Now she debuts a new YA series with SHADE. Mystery, ghosts,
romanceâ€¦ This one is right up my alley. I asked Jeri a little about her spooky
RCM: So, whatâ€™s the pitch?
16-year-old Aura can see ghosts. Then again, so can everyone around the world
who was born after her. In fact, they have a word for the moment of her birth:
the Shift. Aura suspects that the Shift might be connected to her missing
mystery dad and an event that happened at Newgrange tomb in Ireland a year
before her birth.
Ghosts can be annoying at their best. At their worst, as dark, powerful
"shades," they can be deadly. So Aura's major goal in life is to undo
the Shift and make the ghosts go away.
And then, her boyfriend dies and becomes a ghost.
RCM: Well, thereâ€™s an obstacle to True Love for you. What inspired you to write
Jeri: SHADE contains
so many things I love: music, stars (twinkly orbs, not celebrities), and
Scotsmen.Â But what kept me going through all those drafts was the heart of
Auraâ€™s story: her grief at losing her first love, then her joy at getting him
back as a ghost.Â Itâ€™s the ultimate fantasy for anyone whoâ€™s lost someone
close.Â We wish they could return to usâ€”as themselves, not just a memory or an
idea or â€śa flat image in a hundred photographs,â€ť as Aura says.Â So I tried to
hold onto that longing and be true to it on every page.
Check out Jeriâ€™s
webpage for a beautiful book trailer, plus excerpts from the book.
am also very excited about SORT OF LIKE A ROCK STAR,
by Matthew Quick. It
absolutely didnâ€™t sound like anything Iâ€™d want to read; I was just going to skim
the first bit of the ARC to tell you about it, and ended up devouring this
story. Itâ€™s funny and sad and hopeful, full of oh-so-quirky (genuinely, humanly
Amber Appleton and her mother (and her dog) live in a bus. But the
self-proclaimed princess of hope refuses to sweat the small stuff. She awesomely
holds together a merry band of school misfits, teaches English to a group of
soul singing group of Korean immigrantsâ€¦ and deals with terrible tragedy.Â Will
she keep her optimism and hope?
Literary and lovely, I didnâ€™t think Iâ€™d love this (Lives on a bus? Terrible
Tragedy? Quirky misfits? Present tense?) but I couldnâ€™t put it down. Besides the
present tense, there are a couple of verbal tics I was unsure of, but I loved
Amber Appleton so much that they just rolled into her voice, and all I cared
about was her journey. (There was Kleenex involved, people. Copious Kleenex.)
Also on the
horizon, NYT Bestselling paranormal romance author Sherrilyn Kenyon branches
into the YA market with INFINITY, the first in the
Chronicles of Nick series. Itâ€™s sort of a prequel to one of her popular
characters, Nick Gautier. Here, Nick is 14 years old, still mortal, and clueless
to the world of the supernatural. Thatâ€™s all about to change as he falls in with
the immortal vampire slayers, the Dark Hunters. (Fans of the series will find
familiar characters here.)
Nick must battle zombies and demons, as well as bullies and the travails of a
misfit teen, on top of finding out about the Dark Hunters. Nickâ€™s voice is
appropriately young and thereâ€™s a good bit of humor as the tone swings from
comedic carnage (he is aided by a zombie hunter named Bubba) interspersed with
the more adult points of view of the villains and the Dark Hunters. Despite the
presences of a pretty, spunky love interest, the focus is squarely on Nickâ€™s
paranormal adventures. Fans who read Kenyon primarily for the romance may be
disappointed, but fans who enjoy the band of brothers camaraderie will likely
find much to enjoy. (May 25th)
Here are some more quick takes:
Rick Riordan, author of
the popular Percy Jackson series, starts a new series with THE RED PYRAMID, this one
based on Egyptian Mythology. In the first of the Kane Chronicles,
siblings Carter and Slade are raised apart, but their famous Egyptologist father
brings them together for an experimentâ€¦ One which unleashes the Egyptian god
Set, who banishes their father and sets the sibs running for their lives in a
globe-trotting adventure. (This is middle grade, but the Percy series had broad
I suppose it bears mentioning that there is a book coming out called LITTLE VAMPIRE WOMEN by
â€śLouisa May Alcottâ€ť and Lynn Messina. It begins
â€śChristmas wonâ€™t be Christmas without any corpses!â€ť If these humorous retellings
are your thing, this one is being described as hilarious. Iâ€™ll let you make up
your own mind about that. Iâ€™m just the messenger on this one.
Doctorow had a new dystopian book out this month. FOR THE WIN features the
same subversive spirit and prescient topic as the authorâ€™s previous book, LITTLE BROTHER. Hereâ€™s the
highlights: A shadow economy built on multiplayer online games, virtual
dystopia, rebellion of the youth against a corrupt systemâ€¦ Different and cool,
this will appeal to the wired generation.
ENDLESS SUMMER, by Jennifer Echols, is a
sequel to her romantic comedy THE BOYS NEXT DOOR,
following immediately on itâ€™s heels. Lucky for you, â€śENDLESS SUMMERâ€ť is both
books in one volume, so if you missed the first, itâ€™s no prob. Jenniferâ€™s GOING TOO FAR, is a
finalist in this years RITA contest. Her characters are wonderful, her stories
are emotional, and even the comedies have meat to them. Just trust me on this.
Buy her books.
There are just a few of the May releases to get you started. Lots of books come
out in the summer, so expect great things in the next few months, when Iâ€™ll
catch you later!
(Thanks to Jamie Harrington (www.totallythebomb.com) and Jenny Martin (http://jmartinlibrarian.wordpress.com/) for their helpful
suggestions. My friends have great taste.)
writes Young Adult books because she loves to read them.
Visit her webpage or blog
to find out more about her award winning Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil series, and
her gothic romance, THE
2 comments posted.
Thank you for reviewing young adult books. I'm a Mom that reads what my kids do so I know what going into their heads and you save me time by your reviews. Thank you Agin
(Vickie Hightower 4:03pm May 19, 2010)
I enjoy reading young adult books myself and often pass them onto my kids and can recommend them after my own reading.
(Valerie Bongards 4:57pm May 22, 2010)