New YA: April 8-14.
Strangelets, by Michelle Gagnon:
As it has a number of similarities—a rotating focus on various teenagers suddenly left alone in a mysteriously empty and hugely dangerous world—Michelle Gagnon’s Strangelets is likely to appeal to fans of Michael Grant’s Gone series. As in Gone, the characters have to decide who will lead and who will follow, to work towards an understanding of what caused their predicament while also finding a safe haven and, above all, to survive their environment and each other. Like Gone, the premise will require some suspension of disbelief, and both books are far more plot-driven than character-driven, though the multinational cast of Strangelets makes for a broader variety of perspectives, belief systems and outlooks.
Mojo, by Tim Tharp:
At page eight, I was completely and irrevocably in love with Mojo, and more specifically, with the voice of its narrator, high school junior Dylan Jones. I didn’t fall in lurrrve with the boy himself—instead, I developed something far more rare: a sort of awe at what a fully realized character he is. I believed in him unreservedly from the very first page—through crazy situations and plot twists—and, even as I watched him make mistake after mistake, felt nothing but affection for him.
Rapture Practice, by Aaron Hartzler:
There’s plenty of humor—the official Kirkus review called it “hilarious,” though I found it more subdued than that—but I had a lump in my throat for almost the entire 400 pages. It’s written with such emotional honesty that it’s impossible not to empathize with Hartzler’s young self: regardless of whether he’s writing about his Big Questions about God and religion or getting caught in a lie about buying the Pretty Woman soundtrack.
Return of the Mystic Gray (Crater Lake), by Steve Westover
Revenge of a Not-So-Pretty Girl, by Carolita Blythe
Awakening (Tankborn Trilogy), by Karen Sandler
Dead River, by Cyn Balog
Zom-B City, by Darren Shan
Hammer of Witches, by Shana Mlawski
Inferno: Chronicles of Nick, by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Mountains Beyond Mountains (Adapted for Young People), by Tracy Kidder and Michael French
Nine Days, by Fred Hiatt
New paperbacks (that I've read):
The Obsidian Blade (Klaatu Diskos), by Pete Hautman:
That’s when the pacing changes, and The Obsidian Blade goes from low-level-Ray-Bradbury-subtly-weird to off-the-wall-Jasper-Fforde*** crossed with The-Matrix-on-47,000-pounds-of-Sweet-Tarts-hyperweird. Plus some serious meditation on faith, religion and destiny, madness and vanity. Basically, it gets nuts, in the best possible way. And, in addition to being a rip-roaring adventure on its own, it sets the stage for some epic weirdness to come.
What Happened to Goodbye, by Sarah Dessen:
It's got family drama that's so realistic that I spent entire pages on the verge of tears, not because it's a sad sort of book, but because Dessen perfectly captures the push-pull between an estranged mother and daughter, without ever making either one into the bad guy. They both make mistakes, and they certainly don't—sometimes won't—understand each other, but they're both real people.