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Fever Crumb is the only girl in the Order of Engineers—and though she’s been trained and raised by them, she’s still a little shocked when a rogue archeologist recruits her for his top-secret project, forcing her to leave the Order and strike out into the real and dangerous world of London. Set in the distant, distant future, when most technology as we know it has gone extinct, the world of Fever Crumb is rugged, rough and violent. As Fever herself ventures out into London, she finds that she is exceptional for reasons other than being the only female engineer. And as she begins to parse her past, she’s lead into a thrilling adventure of self-realization, machinery and war.

Not only is Fever one of the coolest female protagonists maybe ever, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Lyra Belaqua (His Dark Materials), Tally Youngblood (Uglies) and Liesel Meminger (The Book Thief), but she’s also at home in a startlingly original conception of London. Reeve’s writing style is as precise as a surgeon’s scalpel with all the emotional wallop of a wrecking ball. Gorgeously imagined, and expertly executed, Fever Crumb is a fabulous read for the precocious, the curious and the clever. For ages 12+

Teenager Mara Dyer wakes up in the hospital with absolutely no recollection of why she’s there or what’s happened, but she’s told she’s the only one of four to survive a terrible accident. So when her parents move her to new town, she not only has to do the normal new kid things like find friends and such but she also still needs to figure out what she lived through. And why is she having mysterious nightmares?

Delicately walking the line between paranormal and psychological this satisfyingly bewildering page-turner will keep readers up into the wee hours of the night. Steamy romance with a swoon-worthy male lead (Noah) will appeal to ladies who like a little love with their mystery. Themes of peer pressure, cliques and post-traumatic stress make this novel a must read for teens. For ages 14+

      Happy Book Birthday to CROSSED by Ally Condie, the highly anticipated to Matched! In Crossed readers will get to venture into the outer provinces of the otherwise highly controlled society as Cassia searches desperately for Ky. Meanwhile, as Ky searches for Cassia, our understanding of Xander grows ever deeper, creating a much more volatile love triangle than in the first installment.

            The switching perspective in Crossed gives us an unprecedented look into the mind of Ky, whose past and present are far more complicated than we’d originally known. As Cassia and Ky search for one another, their longing is palpable and their paths are woven through extreme peril. So keep reading. It only gets more awesome.

 

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan is definitely a Books Inc. favorite! ON SALE NOW!

For the first time ever, Books Inc has selected a single title to promote as a company. When She Woke was selected as our very first BOOKS INC READS novel for its engaging content, compelling characters and contemporary content that is perfectly suited for discussion.!

As the teen voice from Books Inc, NYMBC also highly recommends When She Woke. Read NYMBC’s review below.

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Set in the not at all distant future, this dystopian retelling of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter provides a much breezier read than its predecessor. Set in a United States run by an aggressively conservative religious right, When She Woke is the story of a young woman dyed red (“chromed”) as punishment for having an abortion. Jordan’s clipped, distinctively contemporary tone creates a totally plausible landscape of characters whose disparate opinions on chroming elegantly reflect current viewpoints on polarizing topics like abortion and the death penalty.

Though it’s not marketed for teens, NOT YOUR MOTHER’S BOOK CLUB would like to endorse When She Woke as a book for high schoolers. For one, it’d make a great (and perhaps a bit more enjoyable) companion to The Scarlet Letter, which is typically assigned to sophomores; but we also recommend it because the issues that are ruminated upon in this book are ones that teens are confronted with on a daily basis, if not in their personal lives, then certainly in their lives as American citizens on the cusp of voting age. Though few of us like to think of ourselves as single-issue voters, issues like abortion and gay marriage are so divisive that it can often be hard to consider the other side. One of the elements that make When She Woke so compelling is that the issue of abortion is considered, fully, from both sides. It is a careful and honest contemplation like this that creates a safe place for discussion of dangerous topics, and its books like When She Woke that allow for this kind of invaluable discussion.

With our highest recommendations, for advanced teens.

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Below is a brief description and some questions (for discussion or just to think about) for when you’ve read it.

Hannah Payne’s life has been devoted to church and family, but after her arrest, she awakens to a nightmare: she is lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown, with cameras broadcasting her every move to millions at home, for whom observing new Chromes—criminals whose skin color has been genetically altered to match the class of their crime—is a new and sinister form of entertainment. Hannah is a Red; her crime is murder. The victim, according to the State of Texas, was her unborn child, and Hannah is determined to protect the identity of the father, a public figure with whom she’s shared a fierce and forbidden love.

When She Woke is a fable about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of a not-too-distant future—where the line between church and state has been eradicated and convicted felons are no longer imprisoned and rehabilitated but chromed and released back into the population to survive as best they can. In seeking a path to safety in an alien and hostile world, Hannah unknowingly embarks on a path of self-discovery that forces her to question the values she once held true and the righteousness of a country that politicizes faith.

“Hillary Jordan channels Nathaniel Hawthorne by way of Margaret Atwood in this fast-paced, dystopian thriller. Unputdownable.” —Valerie Martin, author of The Confessions of Edward Day

Questions

1.)    Are there any punishments in our current society as stigmatizing as Chroming?

2.)    Why, in this not-so-distant future, did Jordan decide to create a punishment that made people so visible? Not only from being chromed, but also in the Chrome Wards, where they are videotaped, and once they’re in the real world their location is always tracked and available to public record. How does the theme of sight and surveillance develop throughout the novel?

3.)    How is chroming an effective method of social engineering? Why does it seem destined for failure by the end of the story?

4.)    What about our current socio-political climate makes The Scarlet Letter an apt choice for a contemporary retelling?

5.)    Despite his self-flagellation, Aidan remains silent about his own involvement in Hannah’s choices until the very end of the novel. Do you agree with his and Hannah’s evaluation of the situation, i.e., that it’s more important for people to have faith than it is for one man to admit his guilt? How is he part and party to the structure that created Hannah’s problem? How is he innocent?

 

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