New YA: July 20-26.
The Fire Wish (Jinni Wars), by Amber Lough:
Basically, Amber Lough’s The Fire Wish is The Parent Trap, except that it’s set in old-timey Iraq and the girls are orphans. Other than the setting, there’s not a whole lot that stands out here, and the strengths and weaknesses all balance each other out: The worldbuilding is slight and the narrators’ voices are extremely similar (minus), but the pacing keeps the pages turning and while it’s the first in a new series, it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger (plus).
One Past Midnight, by Jessica Shirvington:
Shirvington clearly put a lot of time and thought into the mechanics of the world. Every time I had a question—has Sabine ever tried to find her other self? Is she two people in one world, or living in two different timelines? What’s the best place to hide a key when you’ve been committed to a psych ward?—she answered it, and then proceeded to answer three more that even I, in my infinite nitpickery, hadn’t thought of.
Like No Other, by Una LaMarche
Homeroom Diaries, by James Patterson and Lisa Papademetriou
The Year of Chasing Dreams, by Lurlene McDaniel
BONUS SLASHER MOVIE SIMILARITY: Terrible police work. After coming face-to-face with the still-at-large serial killer who murdered her parents, Ivy has been in Witness Protection for years. She has changed everything about herself: her name, her interests and activities, her favorite colors and taste in music, even. And yet…her handlers and psychologist don’t find it at all strange that every so often, she gets an anonymous gift in the mail that references her past life. Really? REALLY??
Strange and Ever After (Something Strange and Deadly), by Susan Dennard
Dissonance, by Erica O'Rourke
Endless (A Shadowlands Novel), by Kate Brian
Just Like the Movies, by Kelly Fiore
Marina, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Quarantine #3: The Burnouts, by Lex Thomas
New paperbacks (that I've read):
Not Exactly a Love Story, by Audrey Couloumbis:
It’s not a book that I’d recommend to readers who like their stories fast-paced and plot-driven, but if you’re craving a smart, quietly humorous, dialogue-heavy, character-based romance, I’d give it a go. (Though I wouldn’t recommend that anyone use Patsy’s decisions as a playbook—in a different genre of book, she’d be dead, dead, dead.)
The Eye of Minds (Mortality Doctrine, Book One), by James Dashner:
Like the Maze Runner series—especially the sequels and prequel—the focus is far heavier on the action and the plotting than on characterization, and the third-person narrator tends to tell readers what our hero is feeling, rather than showing us (Michael knew his friends could see the anxiety on his face). For the most part, though, it’s a solid techno-action adventure and I have no doubt that the Dashner Army will not only be super happy with it, but will immediately start clamoring for the inevitable sequel.