general fiction

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Black Swan Green by David Mitchell

David Mitchell is known for building very intricate worlds and writing novels that span sixty years or more. However, with just as much intrigue and detail, Black Swan Green takes course over only one year, between Jason Taylor's thirteenth and fourteenth birthdays. Jason's world is one made up of eighties pop music, dreaming of lush girls, avoiding hordes of school bullies, understanding parent and politics and trying to hide his stammer.

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Steifvater

I was blessed enough to read an ARC of Maggie Stiefvater's newest book, All the Crooked Saints (to be published in October), and I was not disappointed. It takes place in the middle of a desert in 1962, a place where real miracles happen at the hands of the Saints of the Moria family. These miracles physically change the pilgrim who comes to receive it in order to teach them a lesson mentally.

2015 Top Teen Books

The popular reading site GoodReads recently posted their users' choices for the top Teen books published in 2015 and asked people to vote for their favorite. Here are the top 10 fiction and fantasy / science fiction books for teens, at least according to the masses. What do you think?

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

It's 1987 and 15-year-old Ari has withdrawn from his family and is getting into fights. He wants to know why his older brother was sent to prison, but his parents won't speak of it. His father is haunted from his time fighting in Vietnam and is emotionally distant. He drifts through his days until he meets Dante at his local pool. The two Mexican-American boys form a deep connection, strengthened by their mutual social isolation. As time passes, they realize their friendship could deepen into something more.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I loved this book!!! Stephanie Perkins truly captures the feeling of being in love. It is an extraordinary story of a girl named Anna, set in the City of Lights (Paris). She at first is reluctant to do anything but Etienne St. Clair changes her mind. Etienne St. Clair is the MOST BEAUTIFUL BOY IN THE WORLD. Anna meets a lot of people at School of America in Paris. Meredith is a great girl with a great personality. She is eventually Anna's best friend. Rashmi is a bit judgmental but a well thought out character. Then there is playful Josh. He is Etienne's best friend.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Even though this book is not being published until October 6, I got my hands on an advance copy and was so excited. First, if you haven’t read the Chaos Walking series, I strongly encurage you to find time ASAP and get on it. Ness is really good at writing characters that I can engage with.

Top anticipated July reads

Summer time - the perfect moment to compile an impossibly long list of books to read, right? I agreed to help read in a read-a-thon of To Kill A Mockingbird, the day before Harper Lee's new novel (Go Set a Watchman) is released (let me know if you'd like to pariticpate too, or just come to the read-a-thon).

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

In this light-hearted romance, Lucy and Owen meet in an elevator that gets stuck during a city-wide blackout. Over the course of one night they form a bond that both time and distance can't break. Just days after that night, Lucy moves across the ocean to Scotland and Owen sets off on a cross-country journey with his father to recover from his mother's sudden death. Despite their distance, Lucy and Owen try to keep in touch in the form of postcards, but as time goes on they lose touch. However, both Lucy and Owen find that in spite of their separation neither can move on from the other.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

This debut novel covers a host of serious topics that teens face every day in and out of school, with friends as well as bullies. The story begins with Clay Jensen returning home to find a box of 13 cassette tapes from Hannah Baker, his high school crush who had committed suicide just 2 week earlier. Clay learns that each tape is for someone who Hannah believes has played a part in her decision to commit suicide. Clay is told to listen to each tape to find out what his role was before passing them along onto the next person.

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

In this creative follow-up to the beloved classic The Wizard of Oz, readers are introduced to a drastically different Oz. Dorothy has returned, but instead of the sweet girl who just wanted to go home to Auntie Em, she has become a ruthless dictator, set on stealing up all of Oz’s power for herself and Glinda, the not so good “Good Witch”. In comes Amy Gumm, whose life outside of Oz is very different than Dorothy’s life in Kansas when she is sucked up by her own tornado and dropped into the new Oz.

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