Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
Publication Date: March 17th, 2015
Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
Page Count: 384 pages
Genre: Historical fiction
Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician--not an easy thing if you're a girl, and harder still if you're Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail. This beautifully written debut is an exciting adventure and heart-wrenching survival tale. But above all else, it's a story about perseverance and trust that will restore your faith in the power of friendship.
Talon by Julie Kagawa
Publication Date: October 28th, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Page Count: 464 pages
Genre: Fantasy & Magic
In Julie Kagawa's groundbreaking modern fantasy series, dragons walk among us in human form. Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser. Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George. Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey--and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him--and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons. In Julie Kagawa's groundbreaking modern fantasy series, dragons walk among us in human form. Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser. Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught.
What it's about:
Love, vengeance, and greed spark a deadly quest for magic in the third book of the Falling Kingdoms series
Prince Magnus has just witnessed torture, death, and miracles during the bloody confrontation that decimated the rebel forces. Now he must choose between family and justice as his father, the cruel King Gaius, sets out to conquer all of Mytica. All Gaius needs now are the Kindred--the four elemental crystals that give godlike powers to their owner. But the King of Blood is not the only one hunting for this ancient, storied magic. . . .
THE KRAESHIANS join the hunt. Ashur and Amara, the royal siblings from the wealthy kingdom across the Silver Sea, charm and manipulate their way to the Kindred, proving to be more ruthless than perhaps even the King of Blood himself. THE REBELS forge ahead. Princess Cleo and vengeful Jonas lead them, slaying with sweetness, skill, and a secret that can control Lucia's overpowering magic--all so they can use the Kindred to win back their fallen kingdoms. THE WATCHERS follow Melenia out of the Sanctuary. They ally in the flesh with King Gaius, who vows to use Lucia's powers to unveil the Kindred.The only certainty in these dark times is that whoever finds the magic first will control the fate of Mytica...but fate can be fickle when magic is involved.
Why we can't wait: If you know me at all, you know I'm obsessed with Morgan Rhodes' Falling Kingdoms series. Like. OBSESSED. This series has been one of my favorites since it first came out and I'm dying to get my hands on Gathering Darkness. Mystery, magic, violence, rivalries, revenge, and romance make up this phenomenal story. I'm freaking out guys. Seriously, FREAKING OUT. Can it be December already!?
Anna from Books Inc. Palo Alto
What it's about:
At the dawn of time, there were 13 Houses in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now only 12 remain....
Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can't solve for 'x' to save her life--so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.
When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens--including its beloved Guardian--Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House's new leader. But, a true Cancrian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.
Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus--the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend--has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho--along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard--must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.
But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?
Embark on a dazzling journey with "ZODIAC," the first novel in an epic sci-fi-meets-high-fantasy series set in a galaxy inspired by the astrological signs.
Why we can't wait:
I love science fiction. There isn't enough of it it the YA world. I want more. I think I've found it. An exiled guardian of the 13th Zodiac sign?! 12 worlds all revolving around their specific sign?! A group of inexperienced teens working together to save the UNIVERSE!? Yeah I'm totally hooked. For some reason this also reminds of Guardians of the Galaxy which is the best movie ever.
Anna from Books Inc. Palo Alto
Isla attends a boarding school in Paris, her best friend is autistic, and she’s been in love with a boy named Josh since Freshman year. She’s an introvert, a lover of comics, and an A+ student. Everything about Isla is pure emotional perfection. I constantly found myself identifying with her trials of love and her struggles with holding on to the various pieces of her life. Perkins’ way with words is both poetic and lyrical, sparking a joy and sadness that can only come from beautifully written stories.
I admit that I haven’t read any of the other books in the Anna series. I started with Isla and the Happily Ever After after being told that I didn’t need to read the books in order and I just happened to have a copy of Isla sitting on my shelf. But now, I know I have to read about Anna and Lola as well. Perkins captures the angst and intensity of first love in a way I could fully believe and relate to - when you fall head over heels for someone only to lose them and feel like you’re suffocating. I obsessed over this book for days after reading it, reliving the most intoxicating moments over and over again.
Reviewed by Anna at Books Inc. Palo Alto
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For readers of" A Game of Thrones" and "The Hunger Games" comes an epic new series.
The night Quin Kincaid takes her Oath, she will become what she has trained to be her entire life. She will become a Seeker. This is her legacy, and it is an honor.
As a Seeker, Quin will fight beside her two closest companions, Shinobu and John, to protect the weak and the wronged. Together they will stand for light in a shadowy world.
And she'll be with the boy she loves--who's also her best friend.
But the night Quin takes her Oath, everything changes.
Being a Seeker is not what she thought. Her family is not what she thought. Even the boy she loves is not who she thought.
And now it's too late to walk away.
What we think: I'm only about 50 pages in, but OH MY! Set in our own world with a magical twist, Seeker is a must-read for fans of Graceling and Shadow and Bone. Quin is a tough chick and I love her attitude. John is a bit of a mystery, but I'm excited to see how his character develops. Seeker is also told from multiple POVs which is something I ALWAYS love! If you're a fan of fantasy, adventure, and a bit of mystery, DEFINITELY add this one to your TBR! -- Anna from Books Inc. Palo Alto
by Pseudonymous Bosch
People may be wondering if Pseudonymous Bosch's new book, Bad Magic, can live up to the high expectations garnered from his popular Secret Series, and the answer is absolutely it can. Bad Magic has the same cheeky wit Bosch is known for combined with a fast paced story of intrigue, self discovery, and wonderfully bad magic. His footnotes are hilarious (and educational with allusions to such famous pieces of art as Gilligan's Island, The Loveboat, and William Shakespeare's The Tempest), and the story is never dull as the main character, Clay, is put in exceedingly more ridiculous situations where he is forced to uncover the truth on a mysterious island. Even though it has elements any fantasy or mystery lover would enjoy, ultimately Bad Magic is about standing up for yourself and believing in your own abilities. Clay begins his journey shy and troubled, and ends with courage, a sense of adventure, and friends he never thought he'd have. A perfect read for those who loved the Secret Series, but also anyone who loves a good old rollicking adventure. Ages 10+
Reviewed by Irene at Books Inc. Palo Alto
From the award-winning star of Channel 4's Lost + The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Titan Books brings you an enchanting and mischievious debut, The Squickerwonkers by Evangeline Lilly.
Books Inc. in The Marina very excitedly welcomes actress and author Evangeline Lilly in celebration of the first volume of this eccentric and visually stunning cautionary tale, The Squickerwonkers! Meet Selma of the Rin-Run Royals, a clever little girl who is spoiled to the core. One day Selma stumbles upon a band of colorful marionettes, and gets more than she bargained for. The remarkable Squickerwonkers of the fabulous Squickershow are about to teach Selma that she'll not always get her way.
Please note: This event is free and open to the public. Priority in the signing line will be given to those with a Books Inc. receipt for The Squickerwonkers.