Hot Off the Proverbial Presses: February 10, 2015

Red QueenRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: That cover and the dystopic premise. One of these days we’ll be able to say no to YA dystopias, but today is not that day.

The Shadow Cabinet Maureen JohnsonThe Shadow Cabinet: Shades of London by Maureen Johnson

The thrilling third installment to the Edgar-nominated, bestselling series.

Rory and her friends are reeling from a series of sudden and tragic events. While racked with grief, Rory tries to determine if she acted in time to save a member of the squad. If she did, how do you find a ghost? Also, Rory’s classmate Charlotte has been kidnapped by Jane and her nefarious organization. Evidence is uncovered of a forty-year-old cult, ten missing teenagers, and a likely mass murder. Everything indicates that Charlotte’s in danger, and it seems that something much bigger and much more terrible is coming.

Time is running out as Rory fights to find her friends and the ghost squad struggles to stop Jane from unleashing her spectral nightmare on the entire city. In the process, they’ll discover the existence of an organization that underpins London itself—and Rory will learn that someone she trusts has been keeping a tremendous secret.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Two years is too long to find out how Maureen Johnson’s paranormal series about government mandated ghost hunters continues.

The Country of Ice Crean StarThe Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman

In the aftermath of a devastating plague, a fearless young heroine embarks on a dangerous and surprising journey to save her world in this brilliantly inventive thriller

In the ruins of a future America, fifteen-year-old Ice Cream Star and her nomadic tribe live off the detritus of a crumbled civilization. Theirs is a world of children; before reaching the age of twenty, they all die of a strange disease they call Posies–a plague that has killed for generations. There is no medicine, no treatment; only the mysterious rumor of a cure.

When her brother begins showing signs of the disease, Ice Cream Star sets off on a bold journey to find this cure. Led by a stranger, a captured prisoner named Pasha who becomes her devoted protector and friend, Ice Cream Star plunges into the unknown, risking her freedom and ultimately her life. Traveling hundreds of miles across treacherous, unfamiliar territory, she will experience love, heartbreak, cruelty, terror, and betrayal, fighting to protect the only world she has ever known.

A postapocalyptic literary epic as imaginative as The Passage and as linguistically ambitious as Cloud Atlas, The Country of Ice Cream Star is a breathtaking work from a writer of rare and unconventional talent.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Sounds like Children of the Corn meets Mad Max with a coming of age twist.

The WondersThe Wonders by Paddy O’Reilly

What happens when three ordinary people undergo radical medical treatments that make them international curiosities? They become wonders.

Leon has a small visible mechanical heart; Kathryn has been cured of a rare genetic disorder but is now covered in curly black wool; while performance artist Christos has metal wings implanted into his back. Brought together by a canny entrepreneur, the Wonders are transformed into a glamorous, genre-defying, twenty-first-century freak show. But what makes them objects of fascination also places them in danger.

Challenging our ideas about celebrity, disability and the value of human life, The Wonders is a boldly inventive, acute and moving novel from one of Australia’s finest authors.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: In addition to dystopias, we also can’t say no to novels that are set under the big top. Even if it’s a 21st century big top.

My Heart and Other Black HolesMy Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner.

Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

WHY WE’RE EXCITED: Science + morbidity + that title + young adult characters = give it to us now.

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