The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door, by Karen Finneyfrock:
Celia is smart, creative, curious, sensitive, loves reading, and loves words, but she doesn't talk like someone reading a Diablo Cody script. When she mouths off to one of the jerks at school, she keeps it simple ("You're stupid and mean, and you suck at basketball"; "Keep marching, hate parade"), and in so doing, the moment isn't about the words she chooses, but about the fact that she chooses to to speak up. When she speaks up in defense of others, it comes off as realistic and as real-world possible, rather than as something you'd see in a movie: and that makes it all the more inspiring.
How to Lead a Life of Crime, by Kirsten Miller:
There is nothing not to love about How to Lead a Life of Crime. Flick is immediately likable, and has the world-weary voice of a noir hero. The world of Mandel Academy is cleverly thought-out and witty, the storyline moves along quickly, Miller doesn't take any lazy shortcuts in terms of plot or personality, and the interplay between the Mandel students—especially their utter lack of trust in each other and constant jockeying for position—is hugely entertaining. It's pretty spot-on in terms of current events, too, in that it plays on our (or at least my) suspicions about big business, the finance industry, and politicians.
Crash and Burn, by Michael Hassan
Fuse (The Pure Trilogy), by Julianna Baggott
Mind Games, by Kiersten White
Neferet's Curse: A House of Night Novella, by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Shards and Ashes, by Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong, Veronica Roth and Kami Garcia
Under Shifting Glass, by Nicky Singer:
Under Shifting Glass is about beginnings (birth, family, new realizations about old relationships) and endings (death, the end of friendship, the end of childhood); it’s about different kinds of families (blood, chosen, kindred spirits), about jealousy and about the realization that there is room in your heart for more than one person at a time. In another book, a convergence of so many storylines that drive the same themes home could easily feel contrived, but in this book, which celebrates connections of all sorts—Jess calls them ‘joinings’—it just...works.
New paperbacks (that I've read):
Devilish, by Maureen Johnson (new cover art!):
The characters are well-rounded and likeable, the plot twists are twisty and there's genuine suspense. There was a sense of closure at the end and the book works well on its own, but there's plenty of room for more. I'd definitely read a sequel.