Secrets of Truth and Beauty by Megan Frazer ( ARC/ July 7th/ Hyperion)
And the first runner up is...When Dara Cohen was little, she was a bright, shiny star. She was the cutest seven-year-old who ever sang Ella Fitzgerald, and it was no wonder she was crowned Little Miss Maine.
That was then. Now Dara's seventeen and she's not so little anymore. So not little, that when her classmates find out about her illustrious resume, their jaws drop. That's just one of her many problems. Another is that her control-freak mom won't get off her case about anything. Yet the one that hurts the most is the family secret: Dara has an older sister her parents tried to erase from their lives.
When a disastrously misinterpreted English project lands her in the counselor's office--and her parents pull her out of school to save face--Dara realizes she has a decision to make. She can keep following the rules and being misunderstood, or she can finally reach out to the sister she's never met--a sister who lives on a collective goat farm in Massachusetts. Dara chooses B. What follows is a summer of revelations, some heartbreaking, some joyous; of friendship, romance, a local beauty pageant; and choices. And as autumn approaches, Dara finds she may have to let go of everything she's taken for granted in order to figure out who she really is, and what family really means.
The Everafter by Amy Huntley ( ARC/ September 29, 2009/ Harper Teen)
Madison Stanton doesn't know where she is or how she got there. But she does know this--she is dead. And alone, in a vast, dark space. The only company she has in this place are luminescent objects that turn out to be all the things Maddy lost while she was alive. And soon she discovers that with these artifacts, she can re-experience--and sometimes even change--moments from her life: Her first kiss. A trip to Disney World. Her sister's wedding. A disastrous sleepover.
In reliving these moments, Maddy learns illuminating and sometimes frightening truths about her life--and death.
Project Sweet Life by Brent Hartinger ( Hardcover/ February 2009/ Harper Teen)
For most kids, fifteen is the year of the optional summer job: Sure, you can get a job if you really want one, but it isn't required or anything. Too bad Dave's dad doesn't agree! Instead of enjoying long days of biking, swimming, and sitting around, Dave and his two best friends are being forced by their fathers into a summer of hard labor.
The friends have something else in mind, though: Not only will they not work over the summer, but they're determined to trick everyone into believing they really do have jobs. So what if the lifeguard doesn't have a tan or the fast-food worker isn't bringing home buckets of free chicken? There's only one problem: Dave's dad wants evidence that his son is actually bringing in money. And that means Dave, Curtis, and Victor will have to get some . . . without breaking the law and without doing any work!
Project Sweet Life is designed for the funny and lazy bone in all of us—a true comedy of errors (without any effort!) from seasoned storyteller Brent Hartinger.
Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens ( Paperback/ Now Out/Grove Creek Publishing)
I met someone who changed everything.
My autistic sister's guardian angel. Honest. Inspiring. Funny.
That was the problem.
What could I do?
I did what any other girl would do-I fell in love with him.
Zoë's sister darts in front of cars. Her brother's a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don't see Zoë lost in her broken life. Zoë escapes the only way she knows how: partying.
Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoë's autistic sister. After Zoë is convinced he's legit, angel and lost girl come together in a love that changes destiny.
But Heaven on Earth can't last forever
I got a lot of great books this week! I can't wait to start them. By the way, I finished The Secrets of Truth and Beauty on Thursday and it was one word- fantastic!!