Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr ( ARC/ October 2009/ Little Brown)
Samara Taylor used to believe in miracles. She used to believe in a lot of things. As a pastor's kid, it's hard not to buy in to the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reason to doubt. Her mother lands in rehab after a DUI and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family. When a young girl in her small town is kidnapped, the local tragedy overlaps with Sam's personal one, and the already-worn thread of faith holding her together begins to unravel.
In her third novel, acclaimed author Sara Zarr examines the coexistence of affliction and hope, and what happens when everything you thought you believed---about God, about your family, about yourself---is transformed.
I love Sara Zarr! So, I know this will probably the example of perfect.
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl ( ARC/ December 2009/ Little Brown)
There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that’s what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
This looks great!
Ash by Malinda Lo ( ARC/September 2009/ Little Brown)
Pushed into indentured servitude for her stepmother in the City to pay off her father’s debts, Ash is consumed with grief. She misses her family and her happy life at the edge of the Wood where old magic used to linger in the air like fairy breath. Her only joy comes from the brief, stolen walks in the woods with the dark and dangerous fairy Sideman. Ash’s single, unspoken hope is that someday he might steal her away, as fairies are said to do.
But on the day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, from Alisa she learns the art of the hunt, how to ride and track. Their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, but it grows and changes, and with it, Ash reawakens her capacity for love—and her desire to live.
Entrancing and romantic, Ash is an empowering retelling of Cinderella about choosing life and love over solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.
Ooh, I heart the cover!
Demon Chick by Marilyn Kaye ( ARC/ September 2009/ Henry Holt & Co.)
" So...my mother sold me to the devil in exchange for political power. And you are...?"
" Brad. Want some music?"
Jessica may not have the warmest relationship with her mother, aspiring presidential candidate Margaret Hunsucker, but it still comes as a shock when she discovers that her mother has sold her to the devil. Will she have to spend eternity in hell with one of Satan’s minions, a demon named Brad? Brad takes pains to explain that they live in one of hell’s better neighborhoods, and he seems like a nice enough guy—but still! And things only get worse when Jessica learns the full extent of her mother’s evil plans. Can she and Brad come up with a plan to save the world?
These and other pressing questions are all answered in Marilyn Kaye’s delightfully satirical Demon Chick.
Not a big fan of the cover on the ARC, it reminds me of the movie Chucky. Other than that this looks interesting.
The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson ( ARC/ September 2009/ Henry Holt & Co.)
Destiny Faraday makes a point of keeping her distance from her classmates at Hedgebrook Academy. Her number-one rule: Don’t get attached. But one day, unexpectedly finding a car at their disposal, Destiny and three of her classmates embark on an unauthorized road trip.
They’re searching for one fair day—a day where the good guy wins and everything adds up to something just and right. Their destination: Langdon, a town that Destiny’s unsuspecting companions hope will hold simply a day of fun. But, as Destiny says, “Things are not always what they seem.” Only she knows that Langdon holds far more than that—a deep secret she has never shared with anyone.
The Miles Between explores the wonder and magic of a very real world where chance, mystery, and secrets abound.
This looks great!
My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman (ARC/ October 2009/ Henry Holt & Co.)
With Roz and Eva everything becomes a contest—who can snag the best role in the school play, have the cutest boyfriend, pull off the craziest prank. Still, they’re as close as sisters can be. Until Eva deletes Roz from her life like so much junk e-mail for no reason that Roz understands. Now Eva hangs out with the annoyingly petite cheerleaders, and Roz fantasizes about slipping bovine growth hormone into their Gatorade.
Roz has a suspicion about Eva. In turn, Eva taunts Roz with a dare, which leads to an act of total insanity. Drama geeks clamor for attention, Shakespearean insults fly, and Roz steals the show in Lauren Bjorkman’s hilarious debut novel
I'm halfway through this and it's awesome so far!
Heaven couldn't be a phone bank, could it?
Charlotte Usher discovers that the afterlife isn't quite what she pictured when she's forced to intern at a hotline for troubled teens. Before she can officially cross over, she'll have to be a source of guidance for one such teen. The problem is she doesn't have much advice to offer since dying hasn't exactly boosted her confidence level.
But when Hawthorne High's leading, love-to-hate cheerleader Petula and her gothic little sis' Scarlet find themselves suddenly resting-in-peace in comas, Charlotte's opportunity to save them will prove to be the risk of a lifetime-for all of them.
Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley ( Hardcover/ August 2008/ Little Brown)
Now I lay me down to sleep,I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
And if I should die before I awake,I pray the popular attend my wake.
Charlotte Usher feels practically invisible at school, and then one day she really is invisible.
Even worse: she's dead. And all because she choked on a gummy bear. But being dead doesn't stop Charlotte from wanting to be popular; it just makes her more creative about achieving her goal.
If you thought high school was a matter of life or death, wait till you see just how true that is. In this satirical, yet heartfelt novel, Hurley explores the invisibility we all feel at some times and the lengths we'll go to be seen.
I haven't heard the greatest things about this, though I thought I would give it a try.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly ( Hardcover/ May 2009/ Henry Holt & Co.)
Calpurnia Virginia Tate is eleven years old in 1899 when she wonders why the yellow grasshoppers in her Texas backyard are so much bigger than the green ones.With a little help from her notoriously cantankerous grandfather, an avid naturalist, she figures out that the green grasshoppers are easier to see against the yellow grass, so they are eaten before they can get any larger. As Callie explores the natural world around her, she develops a close relationship with her grandfather, navigates the dangers of living with six brothers, and comes up against just what it means to be a girl at the turn of the century.
Debut author Jacqueline Kelly deftly brings Callie and her family to life, capturing a year of growing up with unique sensitivity and a wry wit.
This looks quite interesting. The said things is that if I hadn't received this book randomly I probably never would have seen it and if I had I probably wouldn't have given it a chance.
How many secrets can you hide in plain sight? Sprout Bradford has a secret. It’s not what you think—he’ll tell you he’s gay. He’ll tell you about his dad’s drinking and his mother’s death. The green fingerprints everywhere tell you when he last dyed his hair. But neither the reader nor Sprout are prepared for what happens when Sprout suddenly finds he’s had a more profound effect on the lives around him than he ever thought possible. Sprout is both hilarious and gripping; a story of one boy at odds with the expected.
Ooh, this looks quite good. Also, I read the first chapter when I got it and it has a pretty good start.
Darkwood by M.E. Breen ( ARC/ May 2009/ Bloomsbury Publishing)
A shining debut novel set in a land of haunting darkness
Darkness falls so quickly in Howland that the people there have no word for evening. One minute the sky is light; the next minute it is black. But darkness comes in other forms, too, and for Annie, the misery she endures in her uncle's household makes the black of night seem almost soothing. When Annie escapes, her route takes her first to a dangerous mine, and later to the king's own halls, where a figure from Annie's past makes a startling appearance. All the while, reported sightings of kinderstalk-mysterious creatures that prowl Howland's dark forests-grow more frequent.
This looks unique.
The Stolen One by Suzanne Crowley ( ARC/ Harper Teen/ June 2009)
When her adoptive mother dies, Katherine Bab takes the chance she has been waiting for her whole life: she moves from her country village to London, to uncover the secret of who she really is. Before long, Kat has become a favorite of Queen Elizabeth herself, and rumors are swirling - could fiery-haired Kat be the secret daughter of the Virgin Queen? Kat's got plenty of other things to figure out, as well . . . such as how to choose between her childhood love and two handsome men at court vying for her affection. This smart, sensual novel drips with intrigue, period detail, and drama and will resonate with anyone who has ever longed to find his or her place in the world.
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe ( Hardcover/ June 2009/ Voice)
Spellbinding, beautifully written novel that moves between contemporary times and one of the most fascinating and disturbing periods in American history-the Salem witch trials.
Harvard graduate student Connie Goodwin needs to spend her summer doing research for her doctoral dissertation. But when her mother asks her to handle the sale of Connie's grandmother's abandoned home near Salem, she can't refuse. As she is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the family house, Connie discovers an ancient key within a seventeenth-century Bible. The key contains a yellowing fragment of parchment with a name written upon it: Deliverance Dane. This discovery launches Connie on a quest--to find out who this woman was and to unearth a rare artifact of singular power: a physick book, its pages a secret repository for lost knowledge.
As the pieces of Deliverance's harrowing story begin to fall into place, Connie is haunted by visions of the long-ago witch trials, and she begins to fear that she is more tied to Salem's dark past then she could have ever imagined.
Written with astonishing conviction and grace, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane travels seamlessly between the witch trials of the 1690s and a modern woman's story of mystery, intrigue, and revelation.
The Salem witch trials have always fasnatied me.
Wow, what an amazing week. The only downside is that I have a lot of books to read, books that I WANT to read, badly I may add, though finals are coming up shortly which means study, study, and more studying!! :(