Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan

I put I’ll Be There on my library queue because Tee at YACrush said it was “perfect in every way”. It seemed like it was just going to be a regular book where a boy and girl meet each other, and I generally prefer books with fantastical elements, so it sat in my book pile unread for a couple of weeks.  When I finally got to it, I couldn’t believe I had waited so long. Tee was right; I’ll Be There is extraordinary.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Morning Glories Vol. 1: For a Better Future

by Nick Spencer (writer), Joe Eisma (illustrator), and Rodin Esquejo (cover art)

The first glimpse we get of Morning Glory Academy is a seemingly typical school scene. A female student is caught passing a note. As a punishment, her teacher has her tell the class about her forthcoming science fair project, an advanced-sounding Chemistry experiment. We start to realize that Morning Glory has a pretty good science program. The teacher’s dismissal of the project is a clue that the school's curriculum is even more rigorous than we originally thought. And then the student goes on to say that her Chemistry project can actually be made into an explosive, and that’s when the blackboard blows up.

Friday, February 17, 2012

YA Department Super Special #1: The Mortal Instruments and Demon’s Lexicon

Superman versus Batman; The Justice League; X-Men versus Avengers. Comics do team-ups and crossover specials all the time, so why not YA? In the grand tradition of the Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys Super Mysteries, I give you the YA Department Super Special #1: Angel Blood, Demon Blood, in which Jace from the Mortal Instruments series teams up with Nick from the Demon’s Lexicon trilogy. Check out the synopsis below.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Among Others by Jo Walton

Before I even start, let me just say: read this book. If you like reading, you need to do it. Among Others by Jo Walton is wonderful. I loved it so much. OK, insane gushing out of the way, here is the synopsis (from the Amazon book description):

Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled--and her twin sister dead.

Fleeing to her father whom she barely knew, Mori was sent to boarding school in England–a place all but devoid of true magic. There, outcast and alone, she tempted fate by doing magic herself, in an attempt to find a circle of like-minded friends. But her magic also drew the attention of her mother, bringing about a reckoning that could no longer be put off…

Monday, February 6, 2012

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Ever since I read a New York Times article a few years ago proclaiming that angels were the new vampires in YA (an article which I cannot seem to locate and may very well have made up), I avoided angel books. However, as someone who is suspicious of articles proclaiming any sub-genre either “the next big thing” or “so over,” I should have known better. And if I had, I might have read and enjoyed Unearthly by Cynthia Hand that much sooner.

Here’s the synopsis (from the author's web site):

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?