The Rules (Project Paper Doll), by Stacey Kade:
Ariane’s narration is funny and thoughtful, and her paladin tendencies make her immediately likable. In order to disappear into the background, she observes human behavior (and high school culture) very closely, and her habit of constantly second-guessing each action with an “Okay, what would a regular human do?” keeps her perspective fresh while also evoking all of Dexter Morgan's most entertaining moments.
Nobody's Secret, by Michaela MacColl:
Aspects of it work. Fans of Emily Dickinson—well, those who don’t find the basic premise vaguely sacrilegious*—will definitely appreciate the requisite bee, gingerbread and coconut cake cameos, but more especially the poetry that MacColl uses in the chapter headings and directly in the narrative. Newbies, meanwhile—although Emily is 15, I’d peg this book as an upper middle-grade/lower-YA crossover—will hopefully discover how easily accessible and enjoyable Dickinson’s poetry can be.
The Program, by Suzanne Young:
Teen readers will not only be enthralled by the storyline and the romance, but also relate to feeling controlled and out of control, to Sloane’s struggle to hide her pain and to the desire to please one’s parents while also wanting to break free of them.
The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden), by Julie Kagawa:
Cool premise, action-packed, nice post-apocalyptic western vibe (Jackal is rarely seen without his ankle-length duster), but with slim characterization and weak dialogue. It’s very definitely got an audience, and fans will be happy with it, but I’ll be sticking to Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines as my vampire series of choice.
Gorgeous, by Paul Rudnick
Life After Theft, by Aprilynne Pike
The Last Academy, by Anne Applegate
The Servant, by Fatima Sharafeddine
Sketchy (The Bea Catcher Chronicles), by Olivia Samms
The Ward, by Jordana Frankel
The Boyfriend App, by Katie Sise
The Silver Dream: An InterWorld Novel, by Neil Gaiman, Michael Reaves and Mallory Reaves
Spirit's Chosen (Princesses of Myth), by Esther Friesner
The Haunted House on Raven's Roost, by Jim &. Ann Sheridan
Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman, by Neil Gaiman and Maria Dahvana Headley
Darius & Twig, by Walter Dean Myers
The Elite (Selection), by Kiera Cass
Exile (Mercy Novel, A), by Rebecca Lim
Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood, by Abby McDonald
manicpixiedreamgirl, by Tom Leveen
Natural Born Angel: An Immortal City Novel, by Scott Speer
Obsidian Mirror, by Catherine Fisher
Quintana of Charyn: The Lumatere Chronicles, by Melina Marchetta
Arclight, by Josin L. McQuein
The Loop, by Shandy Lawson
New paperbacks (that I've read):
Dreamless (Starcrossed), by Josephine Angelini:
When I wrote about Josephine Angelini’s Starcrossed earlier this week, I listed “Lack of Love Triangle” as being one of the many things in its favor. Because, really. Who among us is not suffering from Love Triangle Fatigue?
You know where this is going, right? Right: I should have kept my big trap shut.
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Harlequin Teen), by Kady Cross:
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar suffers from the same problem as The Girl in the Steel Corset—it’s insanely repetitive. This time, instead of being treated to various iterations of the phrase “ropey red hair,” all the characters stand around quirking their eyebrows at one another.
Pushing the Limits (Harlequin Teen), by Katie McGarry:
Pushing the Limits is a she-said/he-said romance about a couple of high school seniors who discover two things: opposites attract, and sometimes those who appear to be completely different on the outside are actually very similar on the inside. (So, really, opposites aren't really opposites? Or something. Maybe I'm overthinking this. ANYWAY.)
Keep Holding On, by Susane Colasanti:
Is bullying an important issue, relevant to the target audience? Of course. Are child abuse/neglect, rape, depression, poverty and teen suicide also important? Duh, yes. Are the messages that Keep Holding On promotes—hope and survival—things that teens need to hear? Of course. So although the storyline was a surprise, I could have easily gotten past that if the book had been, well, better.
Kill Switch, by Chris Lynch:
Crackling, believable dialogue, and a storyline that features moments of such tension that my skin is crawling just thinking about them. Despite the brevity of Daniel's voice, the complexity of the familial relationships is top-notch.