Due to the news about EgmontUSA closing down, a lot of people are wanting to buy Egmont books in a show of support for their authors. SO. Here are some of the Egmont titles I've covered over the years:
Get Happy, by Mary Amato:
It isn't immediately obvious—her ukulele-lust and her songwriting and her friendship with Fin screen it very well—but Minerva is an angry, angry girl. Bad, unpleasant feelings toward a deadbeat dad are entirely, easily understandable, but she goes a step farther than most heroines: She takes out her frustration, insecurity and jealousy by harassing Cassie online. Uncomfortable and unpleasant, yes, but Amato does an especially good job with it by walking a careful line: She shows Min's thought process and state of mind, but doesn't condone her actions.
Milan isn’t the setting in name alone, it’s a whole character unto itself. Due to the whole demon-swooping-down-on-her-whenever-she-leaves-the-house thing, Mia doesn’t get the opportunity to explore it much, but her complete immersion into the Italian language, her love for the food, and her observations about the differences between American and Milanese culture are constant, believable and palpable. This story is more about the atmosphere than the action, which makes it feel more like traditional horror than action-with-a-paranormal twist.
Amity, by Micol Ostow:
Micol Ostow’s Amity gave me goosebumps, and I read it on a hot summer day in broad daylight. Which is an EXCELLENT quality in a horror novel, and very much in keeping with the reaction my 12-year-old self had while reading Amity’s most obvious inspiration, Jay Anson’s The Amityville Horror. But while many of the details come from the Anson book—the flies, the Red Room in the basement, the layout of the house and grounds*, the specifics of the paranormal phenomena—as a whole, the book echoes and celebrates a much more legendary source: Stephen King’s The Shining.
A Really Awesome Mess, by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin:
Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin’s A Really Awesome Mess is a he-said, she-said story about finding your way through pain, anger, loneliness and grief...through love, forgiveness and friendship. And just in case it’s starting to sound a bit too mushy for your tastes, keep in mind that there are also plenty of hijinks, including lots of illegally obtained porn and a purloined piglet.
Since You Left Me, by Allen Zadoff:
Sure, it’s a plotline straight out of an episode of Saved By the Bell, but it isn’t the plotline that makes Allen Zadoff's Since You Left Me special: it’s Sanskrit’s voice. As he lies and lies and lies, as he works through his heartache, deals with his family and comes to terms with his feelings about religion and responsibility, his voice is so snarkily hilarious* that you’ll laugh through all of the painful moments. At least, I did.
Bitter Melon, by Cara Chow:
Bitter Melon isn't a story we haven't read before: Teenager gains confidence from newly-found talent, finds love and gets out from under the thumb of domineering parent. But it's a storyline that works, and Frances isn't a saint. She's not always completely likable—there's some nice symmetry between Frances' treatment at her mother's hands, and Frances' treatment of her friend Theresa—but she's generally believable.
Wish You Were Dead, by Todd Strasser:
MODERN LOIS DUNCAN. YAAAAAY!!!
The False Princess, by Eilis O'Neal:
Nice upending of the long-lost princess trope, with plotting that ends up being more complex than it first appears.
Also, how much do I wish that more imprints would create Pinterest boards of their books? (Preferably including pub date info?) SO MUCH.