Friday, November 16, 2012

Reading YA with Amanda

2012 is almost over, and with the upcoming holiday season and the end of the semester, this can be a hectic time of year. So why not curl up with a good book? This list has a little bit of this (fantasy and adventure) and a little bit of that (family and mystery), but are some of my favorite Young Adult reads.
Dreamland Social Club by Tara Alterbrando
When Jane's grandfather passes away he leaves his estate to her and her brother Marcus.  With their father in tow, the family relocates to her mother's family home on Coney Island. Jane is excited and hesitant at the same time. Since her mother's death years before, she has been struggling with who she is and where she came from. But it isn't just her life that is a mystery to her, after all there is a carousel horse chained to the radiator in her living  room. Then weird signs start popping up all over the walls at school. Dreamland Social Club, tomorrow afternoon, room 222, you know who you are. The history she discovers in her own house and the more people she meets at her new school only leave her with more questions than answers. Jane wants to learn about her mom and hopefully discover herself in the process. Maybe Leo, the tattooed boy can help? But what exactly is in room 222, and the mermaid ever give up her secrets?  
Alterbrando, Tara. Dreamland Social ClubNew York: Duttons Children's Books, 2011. ISBN-13: 978-0-5254-2325-6. (hardback). Ages 14+.

Envy by Gregg Olsen
Nothing seems to be going right for Katelyn Berkley. She has drifted away from her group of friends and now that she didn't make the cheerleading squad her best friend won't talk to her. Unable to talk to her mom, she is lonely and depressed. But was she desperate enough to kill herself?
The night Katelyn was found dead in her bathtub everything changed for twins Taylor and Hayley Ryan. They are drawn by reasons they can't explain to figure out the truth about what really happened to Katelyn. But the deeper they get into the mystery, the more information about their own past seems to come to light which will change everything.

Envy is the first book in the Empty Coffin series by Gregg Olsen. If you loved Envy, check out
Olsen, Gregg. Envy. New York: Splinter, 2011. ISBN-13:  978-1-4027-8957-1. (hardback). Ages 12+
Olsen, Gregg. Betrayal. New York: Splinter, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-1-4027-8958-8. (hardback). Ages 12+
The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde
For over 400 years, the unUnited Kingdoms have been living in a world underneath the terms of the Dragonpact. Almost sixteen years old, Jennifer Strange is a strong, sassy heroine who just happens to be managing Kazam, an employment agency and home for wizards. Wizards and Sorcerers are struggling to find work as magic in the world and their powers are fading. Just when she thinks she has her hands full with Mystical Arts Management and a new foundling to train, pre-cogs start seeing premonitions of the death of the last dragon. Sometimes it seems that only her faithful Quarkbeast and Tiger Prawns, the new foundling, are the only ones on her side. Jennifer must figure out how to balance the demands of her job while magic seems to be disappearing all around them, and at the same time figure out who the Last Dragonslayer is and convince them not to kill the dragon.

Fforde, Jasper. The Last Dragonslayer
New York: Harcourt, 2012.
ISBN-13: 978-0-5477-3847-5. (hardback). Ages 12+

Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
Seven half-bloods shall answer the call
to storm or fire the world must fall
an oath to keep with a final breath
and foes bear arms to the doors of death

Now that Jason and Percy have reconnected with their home camps, the heroes know that time is running out to start their quest. With the Roman and Greek demigods finally all together, they must figure out what the prophecy of seven means and make it to Greece in time to stop Gaea from waking and hopefully save Hazel's brother Nico before it is too late.

Told from different points of view of several of the demigods, Riordan shares each one's unique voice and sense of whit. The Mark of Athena is a worthy third installment in the Heroes of Olympus series that will have you laughing out loud and hanging by the edge of your seat.
Riordan, Rick. The Heroes of Olympus, Book 3: The Mark of Athena. New York: Disney - Hyperion Books, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-1-4231-4060-3. (hardback). Ages 10+
Riordan, Rick. The Heroes of Olympus, Book 2: The Son of Neptune. New York: Disney - Hyperion Books, 2011. ISBN-13: 978-1-4231-4059-7. (hardback). Ages 10+
Riordan, Rick. The Heroes of Olympus, Book 1: The Lost Hero.
New York: Disney - Hyperion Books, 2010. ISBN-13: 978-1-4231-1339-3. (hardback). Ages 10+

Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride
Sam LaCroix is just trying to adapt to his new life as a necromancer. Just six weeks ago he went from a burger flipper to a powerful necromancer and a member of the local magic council who is now living in his dead enemy's house and is possible dating a very cute werewolf. Sounds completely normal, right? But Sam's self defense and necromancy training isn't exactly going well.  Oh, and on top of it all it seems that his new house may just be trying to haze him.

But he better get a grip on his powers, and fast. First something, or someone is threatening his sister. Then one of his mentor's ends up dead. Sam needs to solve the murder before his new life completely unravels around him. Seems like there is no rest for the necromancer.

McBride, Lish. Necromancing the Stone. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-0-8050-9099-4. (hardback). Ages 14+

McBride, Lish. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0-8050-9098-7. (hardback). Ages 14+

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