Hot Off the Proverbial Presses: July 2, 2013

Awaken Meg CabotAwaken (Book 3 in the Abandon Trilogy) by Meg Cabot

The dark reimagining of the Persephone myth comes to a thrilling conclusion.

Death has her in his clutches. She doesn’t want him to let go.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera knew by accepting the love of John Hayden, she’d be forced to live forever in the one place she’s always dreaded most: the Underworld. The sacrifice seemed worth it, though, because it meant she could be with the boy she loves. But now her happiness — and safety — are threatened, all because the Furies have discovered that John has broken one of their strictest rules: He revived a human soul.

If the balance between life and death isn’t fixed, both the Underworld and Pierce’s home back on earth will be wiped away. But there’s only one way to restore order. Someone has to die.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: A young adult re-imagining of the Persephone and Hades myth by Meg FREAKING Cabot. Enough said.

William Shakespeare's Star WarsWilliam Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher

Return once more to a galaxy far, far away with this sublime retelling of George Lucas’s epic Star Wars in the style of the immortal Bard of Avon. The saga of a wise (Jedi) knight and an evil (Sith) lord, of a beautiful princess held captive and a young hero coming of age, Star Wars abounds with all the valor and villainy of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. ’Tis a tale told by fretful droids, full of faithful Wookiees and fearstome Stormtroopers, signifying…pretty much everything.

Reimagined in glorious iambic pentameter—and complete with twenty gorgeous Elizabethan illustrations–William Shakespeare’s Star Wars will astound and edify Rebels and Imperials alike. Zounds! This is the book you’re looking for.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Rife with the possibility for plenty of Star Wars puns! Bonus: Elizabethan aliens and droids, oh my!

The Humans Matt HaigThe Humans by Matt Haig

“I know that some of you reading this are convinced humans are a myth, but I am here to state that they do actually exist. For those that don’t know, a human is a real bipedal life form of midrange intelligence, living a largely deluded existence on a small waterlogged planet in a very lonely corner of the universe.”

The bestselling, award-winning author of The Radleys is back with what may be his best, funniest, and most devastating dark comedy yet. When an extraterrestrial visitor arrives on Earth, his first impressions of the human species are less than positive. Taking the form of Professor Andrew Martin, a prominent mathematician at Cambridge University, the visitor is eager to complete the gruesome task assigned him and hurry back home to the utopian world of his own planet, where everyone enjoys immortality and infinite knowledge.

He is disgusted by the way humans look, what they eat, their capacity for murder and war, and is equally baffled by the concepts of love and family. But as time goes on, he starts to realize there may be more to this weird species than he has been led to believe. Disguised as Martin, he drinks wine, reads poetry, develops an ear for rock music and a taste for peanut butter. Slowly, unexpectedly, he forges bonds with Martin’s family, and in picking up the pieces of the professor’s shattered personal life, he begins to see hope and beauty in the humans’ imperfections and begins to question the mission that brought him there.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: A book told from the POV of an alien life form meets Matt Haig’s hilarious dark comedy sounds amazing.

Shine Shine Shiny Lydia NetzerShine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer

When Maxon met Sunny, he was seven years, four months, and eighteen-days old. Or, he was 2693 rotations of the earth old. Maxon was different. Sunny was different. They were different together.

Now, twenty years later, they are married, and Sunny wants, more than anything, to be “normal.” She’s got the housewife thing down perfectly, but Maxon, a genius engineer, is on a NASA mission to the moon, programming robots for a new colony. Once they were two outcasts who found unlikely love in each other: a wondrous, strange relationship formed from urgent desire for connection. But now they’re parents to an autistic son. And Sunny is pregnant again. And her mother is dying in the hospital. Their marriage is on the brink of imploding, and they’re at each other’s throats with blame and fear. What exactly has gone wrong?

Sunny wishes Maxon would turn the rocket around and come straight-the-hell home.

When an accident in space puts the mission in peril, everything Sunny and Maxon have built hangs in the balance. Dark secrets, long-forgotten murders, and a blond wig all come tumbling to the light. And nothing will ever be the same.…

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Sounds like a slice of life story set on the moon. With robots!

A Midsummer Night's Scream R.L. StineA Midsummer Night’s Scream by R.L. Stine

Oh, what fools these actors be!

It was a horror movie that turned into real horror–three young actors lost their lives while the camera rolled. Production stopped, and people claimed that the movie was cursed.

Sixty years later, new actors are venturing onto the haunted set. In a desperate attempt to revive their failing studio, Claire’s dad has green-lit a remake of Mayhem Manor—and Claire and her friends are dying to be involved. At first, Claire laughs at Jake’s talk of ghosts and curses. He’s been too busy crushing on her best friend Delia to notice that she’s practically been throwing herself at him. What does he know? And anyway, this is her big chance to be a star!

When shooting starts, though, the set is plagued by a series of horrible accidents—could history be repeating itself?

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: To be honest, this is probably terrible, but we needed to share because that title.

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