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Review - Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Publication Date: September 10th, 2013
Publisher: Ember
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal

Kami Glass is in love with someone she's never met—a boy she's talked to in her head since she was born. This has made her an outsider in the sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, but she has learned ways to turn that to her advantage. Her life seems to be in order, until disturbing events begin to occur. There has been screaming in the woods and the manor overlooking the town has lit up for the first time in 10 years. . . . The Lynburn family, who ruled the town a generation ago and who all left without warning, have returned. Now Kami can see that the town she has known and loved all her life is hiding a multitude of secrets—and a murderer. The key to it all just might be the boy in her head. The boy she thought was imaginary is real, and definitely and deliciously dangerous.

This book--this book!! I cannot even begin to properly describe my love for this book.

All her life Kami has had a voice in her head - she calls it her imaginary friend. It's normal for her, comforting even. Then one day, a boy moves in to town and this boy has a special voice, a familiar voice. Yes, he is the voice inside Kami's head. But how did this link become forged? Why?

The book is choc-full of sorcery, romance, hilarity, life-and-death situations - in short, it's near perfect. Brennan's dialogue is quick and easy and rings true. It's a fantastic summer read for teens who want something fun with a dash of supernatural and a pinch (ok maybe a few pinches) of romance. And make sure you're on the look out for Untold - the follow-up to Unspoken. And if you enjoyed this one, check out Brennan's other series The Demon's Lexicon. Just as fun!!
Katherine from Books Inc. Laurel Village

What are we waiting for?! - The Prey by Tom Isbell

The Prey by Tom Isbell
Publication date: January 20th, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page count: 416 pages

The Maze Runner meets The Hunger Games in this heart-pounding trilogy. Orphaned teens, soon to be hunted for sport, must flee their resettlement camps in their fight for survival and a better life. For in the Republic of the True America, it's always hunting season. Riveting action, intense romance, and gripping emotion make this fast-paced adventure a standout debut.

After a radiation blast burned most of the Earth to a crisp, the new government established settlement camps for the survivors. At one such camp, the sixteen-year-old "LTs" are eager to graduate as part of the Rite. Until they learn the dark truth: "LTs" doesn't stand for lieutenant but for Less Thans, feared by society and raised to be hunted for sport. They escape and join forces with the Sisters, twin girls who've suffered their own haunting fate. Together they seek the fabled New Territory, with sadistic hunters hot on their trail. Secrets are revealed, allegiances are made, and lives are at stake. As unlikely Book and fearless Hope lead their quest for freedom, these teens must find the best in themselves to fight the worst in their enemies.

Why we can't wait: I've been looking forward to a new, awesome, dystopian trilogy and I think this will be it. The Prey sounds like weird, YA take on that short story, The Most Dangerous Game which has always been one of my favorites. Hunting kids for sport?! Yeah, I'm in!
Anna from Books Inc. Palo Alto

What Books Inc. is currently reading - Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
Publication Date: November 4th, 2014
Publisher: Disney Press
Page Count: 243 pages

"What if who you are on the outside doesn't match who you are on the inside? "
Grayson Sender has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: "he" is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender's body. The weight of this secret is crushing, but sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection, or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson's true self itches to break free. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher's wisdom be enough to help Grayson step into the spotlight she was born to inhabit?
Debut author Ami Polonsky's moving, beautifully-written novel about identity, self-esteem, and friendship shines with the strength of a young person's spirit and the enduring power of acceptance.

What we think: I am love, love, LOVING this book. Grayson is the kind of character you just want to be friends with. She's kind-hearted, but slightly damaged and her secret is killing her. I also love that this is a novel about a transgender middle school kid rather than a teen. This whole thing is fabulous. Just read it.
Anna from Books Inc. Palo Alto

 

Review - The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Publication Date: November 4th, 2014
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Action/Adventure

"730. That's how many days I've been trapped.""18. That's how many days I have left to find a way out."
DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible....
JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her biggest secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister....
MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail one by one. She's about to give up, when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window.....
In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, they all come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out.

Jin, Dai, and Mei Lee are three teenagers trapped in Hak Nam, a walled slum of greasy brothels, desperate poverty, feral gangs, and the bloodthirsty Brotherhood governing all. Mei Lee is a prostitute desperate to escape. Jin is a street urchin looking for a sister sold into slavery. Dai is a disgraced son left in the city to reclaim his own honor, with a set number of days before the doors to the outside world are shut forever. Walled City has a cool film-noir in Shanghai feel, and I personally appreciated having three well-rounded, diverse protagonists. Perfect for fans of action, adventure, and characters with fresh and engaging story-lines.
Marie from Books Inc. Chestnut St.

What Books Inc. is currently reading - The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
Publication Date: May 26th, 2015
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Page Count: 384 pages

Paolo Bacigalupi, "New York Times"-Bestselling author and National Book Award Finalist, dives once again onto our uncertain future with his first thriller for adults since his multi-award winning debut phenomenon "The Windup Girl."
In the American Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, and California skirmish for dwindling shares of the Colorado River. Into the fray steps Angel Velasquez, detective, leg-breaker, assassin and spy. A Las Vegas water knife, Angel "cuts" water for his boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert, so the rich can stay wet, while the poor get nothing but dust. When rumors of a game-changing water source surface in drought-ravaged Phoenix, Angel is sent to investigate. There, he encounters Lucy Monroe, a hardened journalist with no love for Vegas and every reason to hate Angel, and Maria Villarosa, a young Texas refugee who survives by her wits and street smarts in a city that despises everything that she represents. With bodies piling up, bullets flying, and Phoenix teetering on collapse, it seems like California is making a power play to monopolize the life-giving flow of a river. For Angel, Lucy, and Maria time is running out and their only hope for survival rests in each other's hands. But when water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only thing for certain is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.

What we think: I know this isn't YA, but Paolo Bacigalupi is an AMAZING author and The Water Knife is no excpetion. I'll read anything he writes, knowing I'll love it before I even open the book. The Water Knife is adventurous, exciting, and fast-paced. Plus it's eerily close to a reality we could be living if this drought keeps up. If you're as big a fan of Paolo as I am, you don't want to miss out on this one!!
Anna from Books Inc. Palo Alto

 

What's on our TBR? - Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick & Althea and Oliver by Cristina Moracho

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
Publication Date: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 400 pages
Genre: Action/Adventure, Mystery

Danger is hard to resist in this sexy thriller from Becca Fitzpatrick, the "New York Times "bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.
Britt Pheiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants--but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.
Britt is forced to guide the men off the mountain, and knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there...and in uncovering this, she may become the killer's next target.
But nothing is as it seems, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?
"Black Ice" is "New York Times "bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick's riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous...

 

Althea & Oliver by Cristina Moracho
Publication Date: October 9th, 2014
Publisher: Viking Children's Books
Page Count: 364 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

What if you live for the moment when life goes off the rails and then one day there’s no one left to help you get it back on track?
 
Althea Carter and Oliver McKinley have been best friends since they were six; she’s the fist-fighting instigator to his peacemaker, the artist whose vision balances his scientific bent. Now, as their junior year of high school comes to a close, Althea has begun to want something more than just best-friendship. Oliver, for his part, simply wants life to go back to normal, but when he wakes up one morning with no memory of the past three weeks, he can’t deny any longer that something is seriously wrong with him. And then Althea makes the worst bad decision ever, and her relationship with Oliver is shattered. He leaves town for a clinical study in New York, resolving to repair whatever is broken in his brain, while she gets into her battered Camry and drives up the coast after him, determined to make up for what she’s done.

Their journey will take them from the rooftops, keg parties, and all-ages shows of their North Carolina hometown to the pool halls, punk houses, and hospitals of New York City before they once more stand together and face their chances. Set in the DIY, mix tape, and zine culture of the mid-1990s, Cristina Moracho’s whip-smart debut is an achingly real story about identity, illness, and love and why bad decisions sometimes feel so good.

 

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