Hot Off the Proverbial Presses: January 28, 2014

Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles Ron Currie JrFlimsy Little Plastic Miracles by Ron Currie Jr.

A bold and arresting story about the impossibility of love and the inevitability of grief by the acclaimed author of Everything Matters!

Ron Currie, Jr.’s first two works of fiction, God Is Dead and Everything Matters!, dazzled readers and critics alike with their audacity, originality, and psychological insight. Hailed by the New York Times’s Janet Maslin as a startlingly talented writer,” Currie once again moves and provokes us with his latest genre-bending novel, one that asks why literal veracity means more to us than deeper truths.

The protagonist of Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles is named Ron Currie, Jr., and as you’d expect, he’s a lot like the guy who wrote the book. Both of them are writers; both of their fathers are dead; both are deeply in love with women whose beauty and allure are matched only by their elusiveness. When Currie the character travels to a small Caribbean island to begin a new book about the woman he loves, he inadvertently fakes his own death, which turns out to be the best career move he’s ever made until he learns that the one thing that the world will not forgive is having been told a deeply satisfying lie.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: So Cassie-la read this when it came out in hardcover and greatly enjoyed it. Especially because of the blending of fact and fiction from both author and protagonist Ron Currie Jr. If you also enjoyed it, check out his prior novel Everything Matters!

Cruel Beauty Rosamund HodgeCruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Okay, while the name choices leave something to be desired, we were intrigued by the twist on the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast and the machinations of the young lady to free her country. Not to mention the touches of Persephone and Hades in the summary.

Uninvited Sophie JordanUninvited by Sophie Jordan

The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she’s destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton’s tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn’t feel any different, but genes don’t lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he’s not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Fun and intriguing premise that takes The Scarlet Letter and gives it a wacky science fiction twist — specifically with a girl whose genetics deem her a murderer. If done right, this is one could be amazing. Or the worst.

The Unbound Victoria SchwabThe Unbound: An Archived Novel by Victoria Schwab

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy — not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s really safe.

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?

With stunning prose and a captivating mixture of action, romance, and horror, The Unbound delves into a richly imagined world where no choice is easy and love and loss feel like two sides of the same coin.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: It’s the continuation of the fabulous series that began with The Archived! We cannot wait to continue this truly enriching and inventive story about a girl who is tasked with keeping the shells of the dead, Histories, asleep inside the mysterious Library.

Her Dark Curiosity Megan ShepherdHer Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it.

Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father’s island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her.

As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again.

As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Whereas the first book was a retelling of The Island of Dr. Moreau, this one is based on the short story The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Bring on the young adult re-imagined horror!

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