Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Adelina Amoutera is a survivor of the blood fever. When the deadly disease swept through her nation, many died; those who survived were left with markings.  Some had odd-colored hair or eyes, some were left with ugly scars. Adelina has silver hair and a jagged scar where her left eye once was.  Her cruel father believes that she is an abomination, a curse to her family's good name, and an obstacle to to their fortune.

Some fever survivors were not only left with scars, but also emerged from the fever with mysterious powers. These people are referred to as the Young Elites and are seen as a threat to a government that wants them destroyed. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them - to train them to eventually overthrow the government and take over power. When Adenina's powers become evident, she is recruited to join the group. Her potential power is unlike any seen, but is also very dangerous if it isn't controlled. She may also be a risk to the group due to the handsome leader's feelings for her. This is a dark fantasy written by Marie Lu, author of the Legend series. The Young Elites is sure to appeal to fans of Legend, Divergent, and Delirium

Sunday, July 19, 2015

QB 1 by Mike Lupica

Wow! What a great sports read! If you are a football fan, or just like sports stories, QB 1 may end up being one of your favorites. Jake Cullen is a freshman quarterback playing high school football in Texas, a state known for extraordinary high school football programs and the pressure that goes with them. Jake is also the brother of Wyatt Cullen, who quarterbacked the team to the Texas State Championship last season, and is currently the starting quarterback for the Texas Longhorns. Both are sons of former NFL quarterback and local legend, Troy Cullen. And, like in many towns, the football stars are royalty - especially winning quarterbacks.

Jake has lived in the shadow of his older brother all of his life. As he starts his freshman season, it seems like he will ever measure up - to his older brother's accomplishments or his dad's expectations. When the starting quarterback gets hurt, Jake is thrust into competition for the starting job. Although many expect the position to be handed to him, Jake must fight for every snap and every ounce of respect. QB 1 is action-packed, but also contains references to the importance of being a team player, becoming a leader, and most of all, building your own identity separate from the expectations of others. You will find yourself cheering for Jake and his high school team as their "rebuilding" season becomes the path to a state championship run. QB 1 has been nominated for the 2015-2016 young adult Golden Sower Award. Don't miss this one!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry

She wakes up on the floor of a remote, ransacked cabin battered and bruised, and worst of all, with no memory of who she is or how she got there. She has no idea why someone is trying to kill her but soon finds herself on the run, with no memory, and no idea who she can trust. Her first attempts to seek help only result in the realization that someone is trying to frame her - and even the authorities will not believe what has happened. 

Desperate and on the run, Kady meets Ty, a kind and helpful boy about her own age. Together they try to piece back together the missing parts of her memory and solve the mystery of what has happened to Kady and the family she cannot remember. Little do they know how dangerous the journey is about to become, but they soon realize that the clock has started ticking and they are running out of time. This is an incredibly suspenseful read with enough twists and turns to make you keep turning the pages. In true April Henry style, this story grabs you from first page and makes you want to finish the entire book in one sitting. The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die has been nominated for the 2015-2016 young adult Golden Sower Award.

Boy 21 by Matthew Quick

Finley, a white Irish boy from a broken family is about to start his senior season at Belmont High, a rough school located in a mob-ridden town. Finley would like nothing better than to escape Belmont and start life in a better place. The only two things he has going for him are basketball and his girlfriend, Erin - his two loves. Finley has worked incredibly hard to become the starting point guard and the leader of his basketball team. Things start to fall apart, though, when Russ arrives at Belmont. Russ was a basketball phenomenon at his former high school but was moved to Belmont following his parents' murder. 

This book is not only about basketball, but also about putting your life back together following tragedy--about making decisions, learning to trust people who care about you, and making sacrifices for the important people and and things in life. Boy 21 is well-suited for lovers of realistic fiction and also for sports fans, and it reminds us how sometimes people can come into our lives unexpectedly, but at at times when we needed them most.  Readers may find this book both heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time. This will be a nice addition to our young adult shelf.

Read an excerpt