Savannah Greyby Cliff McNish There are few well-written horror novels available for young adults, so it’s great to have a new entry that’s both intelligent and imaginative. With the visceral descriptiveness of Stephen King and a black humor all his own, Cliff McNish has created a darkly nightmarish novel with a heroine who possesses a fascinating paranormal ability. Savannah Grey doesn’t understand the dreadful thing in her throat, but she knows that she must protect it at all costs. The narration, most of which is from Savannah’s point of view, is decisively British and strikes the appropriate tone for a teenage girl. It’s also filled with horrifyingly enjoyable, twisted humor that pops up at the most unexpected times, often right in the middle of a massive fight scene with monstrous enemies. I liked Savannah and many of the smart choices she makes, as well as how the plot zips right… Read more »
The Poisoned Houseby Michael Ford A haunted house, a forbidding lady, a master who has gone mad, and a servant girl caught up in the middle of the whole mess. If this premise appeals to you, there’s no doubt you’ll delight in this book. I’m a big fan of Victorian fiction, and the author does a superb job of making the era come alive and keeping the language and decorum pretty true to the period. Abigail Tamper is a 14-year-old servant at Greave Hall, where she’s lived all of her life. Her mother died under mysterious circumstances not long ago, and the troubled Master of the house seems to know more about her death than he will admit. Abi has few confidants among the other servants, and her only protector against the cruel Mrs. Cotten, who rules the household, is her childhood friend Samuel, who is the Master’s son who… Read more »
Necromancer: A Novellaby Lish McBride In case you missed it, this Kindle freebie contains “Death and Waffles,” a companion story to the hilarious book Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. If you enjoyed reading about smart-mouthed Sam and his brief interactions with the pig-tailed, saddle-shoed harbinger of Death named Ashley, this story gives you a little more time with her. And yes, there are waffles. Plenty of them. If you haven’t read the book but enjoy fast-paced action and sarcastic dead-pan humor, I’d highly recommend it–my full review is on GoodReads if you’d like to check it out. This novella, which is currently free on Amazon, comes with a preview chapter for the book as well.
Demonglassby Rachel Hawkins I love a good paranormal book as much as the next person, but sometimes they take themselves too seriously. Enter Rachel Hawkins’ Hex Hall series, which follows the hilarious 16-year-old Sophie Mercer as she enters a reform school for supernatural kids. In the first installment, she learns that her father is a powerful warlock and that she’s inherited powers that are greatly coveted and feared–and tries to stop an attacking werewolf by yelling, “Bad dog!” I’m happy to report that Demonglass retains the same sarcastic humor and snappy, action-packed plot. Sophie is spending some time on her father’s estate to figure out whether she’s going to keep her awesome but pesky powers, and she’s still secretly pining for her missing demon-hunter crush, Archer Cross. Complicating matters is the revelation that cute-as-heck Cal has been betrothed to her for years (hey, they do things differently in the otherworld)… Read more »
Forbiddenby Tabitha Suzuma This is the story of a boy and a girl who fall in love. Lochan and Maya are best friends who have known each other their entire lives and have helped each other and fiercely loved one another through the many brutally painful experiences of growing up. The thing is, they also happen to be brother and sister, and the unholy mess of the repercussions of their choices looms over this entire story. No one who picks up a book like this can be unaware of the potential pitfalls. It’s all too easy for an author to resort to the tasteless exploitation of sticky sentiment or breathy fumblings that heighten the excitement of a taboo relationship. What you’ll find instead with Forbidden is a book written with stunning insight and incredible compassion, and two characters who will absolutely break your heart. There is very little dialogue in… Read more »
Die for Meby Amy Plum Kate Mercier moves to Paris to live with her grandparents following the death of her mother and father. One day, she meets a beautiful boy named Vincent in a cafe and finds herself incredibly attracted to him. But just as she begins to think that there’s a future ahead for them, she discovers that Vincent is hiding a dangerous secret that will affect anyone he gets close to. What I liked about the book: (some spoilers ahead, though it’s information that is revealed fairly early in the story) * The paranormal set-up is a fairly original/unusual one. Vincent and his friends are revenants, undead guardians who help to save humans from potential danger. Their enemies are numas, who are undead evil-doers who try their best to lure humans to their deaths through various different methods. * I rather enjoyed the novelty of having a YA book… Read more »
There’s something about the idea of a human being trapped inside a beautiful wild animal that I find incredibly tragic and romantic at the same time. So for District 13, the YA discussion and craft swap group I recently founded, I thought it’d be fun to exchange handmade bookmarks featuring werewolves as the theme. The rules were that you were to make two bookmarks, one based a YA werewolf book your partner really enjoys and one based on a werewolf book you enjoy. Me being me, I went ahead and made four bookmarks total since I always like to go a little above and beyond–plus it’s always hard to narrow down choices for these things, too! My partner is a fan of Twilight, so I chose two Jacob Black quotes for her, paired them with some images I found online, and printed them onto nice linen cardstock and embellished them… Read more »