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Archive for the ‘New Fiction’ Category

New Fiction

Posted by Kristi on March 30, 2011

Bitter Melon by Cara Chow 

Frances, a Chinese-American student at an academically competitive school in San Francisco in the 1980s, has always had it drilled into her to be obedient to her mother and to be a straight-A student so that she can go to Med school.  But is being a doctor what she wants?  It has never even occurred to Frances to question her own feelings and desires until she accidentally winds up in speech class and finds herself with a hidden talent.  Does she dare to challenge the mother who has sacrificed everything for her? 

The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman 

Jen and Wes do not “meet cute.” They do not fall in love at first sight. They do not swoon with scorching desire. They do not believe that they are instant soul mates destined to be together forever. This is not that kind of love story. Instead, they just hang around in each other’s orbits…until eventually they collide. And even after that happens, they’re still not sure where it will go. Especially when Jen starts to pity-date one of Wes’s friends, and Wes makes some choices that he immediately regrets.

Virgin Territory by James Lecesne 

Dylan Flack is uprooted from his cozy life in New York City by the death of his mother. He finds himself transplanted to Jupiter, Florida.  Away from everything he knows and without his mother, each day stretches darkly into a future without hope. Enter: the Virgin Club, a nomadic group of trailer kids whose parents drag them all over the country in search of sightings of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Although not looking for membership in any club, Dylan falls in love with their leader, Angela, who believes that change occurs in direct proportion to desire and the willingness to take risks. In a series of misadventures and brushes with the law in what Dylan comes to think of as “virgin territory,” she teaches Dylan to risk a future without his favorite parent.

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler 

Things in Delilah Hannaford’s life have a tendency to fall apart. She used to be a good student, but she can’t seem to keep it together anymore. Her “boyfriend” isn’t much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition. Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family’s painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?

Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel 

For thirteen years, Ben Tomlin was an only child. But all that changes when his parents bring home Zan – a baby chimpanzee. Ben’s father, a behavioral scientist, has uprooted the family to pursue his latest research project: a high-profile experiment to determine whether chimpanzees can acquire advanced language skills. Ben’s parents tell him to treat Zan like a little brother. Ben reluctantly agrees, and it isn’t long before Ben is Zan’s favorite, and Ben starts to see Zan as more than just an experiment. But to Ben’s father, Zan is only a specimen, no more, no less. Soon Ben is forced to make a critical choice between what he is told to believe and what he knows to be true – between obeying his father or protecting his brother from an unimaginable fate.

The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel 

Ingrid Bell and her five teenage cousins are such a close-knit group that they don’t really mind sitting at the kid table—even if they have to share it with a four-year-old. But then Brianne, the oldest cousin, lands a seat at the adult table and leaves her cousins shocked and confused. What does it take to graduate from the kid table? Over the course of five family events, Ingrid chronicles the coming-of-age of her generation. Her cousins each grapple with growing pains, but it is Ingrid who truly struggles as she considers what it means to grow up. When first love comes in the form of first betrayal (he’s Brianne’s boyfriend), Ingrid is forced to question her own personality and how she fits into her family. The cousins each take their own path toward graduating into adulthood—only to realize that maybe the kid table was where they wanted to be all along.

The Running Dream by Wendelin van Draanen 

Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She’s not comforted by the news that she’ll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run? As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels both in the spotlight and invisible. People don’t know what to say or act like she’s not there. Which she could handle better if she weren’t now keenly aware that she’s done the same thing herself to a girl with cerebral palsy named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she’s missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her. With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that’s not enough for her now. She doesn’t just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her.

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New Fiction

Posted by Kristi on November 26, 2010

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan 

Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Butterfly by Sonya Hartnett 

Plum Coyle is on the edge of adolescence. Her fourteenth birthday is approaching, when her old life and her old body will fall away, and she will become graceful, powerful, and at ease. Over the next couple of weeks, Plum’s life will change. Her beautiful neighbor Maureen will begin to show Plum how she might fly. The older brothers she adores will court catastrophe in worlds that she barely knows exist. And her friends, her worst enemies, will tease and test, smelling weakness. They will try to lead her on and take her down.

Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto by Eric Luper 

Seth Baumgartner just had the worst day of his life. His girlfriend dumped him, he spied his father on a date with a woman who is not his mother, and he lost his fourth job of the year. It’s like every relationship he cares about is imploding, and he can’t figure out what’s going on. To find answers, Seth decides to start an anonymous podcast called The Love Manifesto, exploring “what love is, why love is, and why we’re stupid enough to keep going back for more.” With the help of his best friend Dimitri and Dimitri’s sister Audrey, Seth tracks down his father’s mystery date, hits the most infamous bogey in the history of golf, and discovers that sometimes love means eating the worst chicken-salad sandwich you can ever imagine.

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford 

The Sullivan sisters have a big problem. On Christmas Day their rich and imperious grandmother gathers the family and announces that she will soon die…and has cut the entire family out of her will. Since she is the source of almost all their income, this means they will soon be penniless. Someone in the family has offended her deeply. If that person comes forward with a confession of her (or his) crime, submitted in writing to her lawyer by New Year’s Day, she will reinstate the family in her will. Or at least consider it. And so the confessions begin…

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian 

Natalie Sterling wants to be in control.  She wants her classmates to elect her student council president. She wants to find the right guy, not the usual jerk her school has to offer. She wants a good reputation, because she believes that will lead to good things. But life is messy, and it’s very hard to be in control of it. Not when there are freshman girls trying to get senior guys to sleep with them. Not when your friends have secrets they’re no longer comfortable sharing. Not when the boy you once dismissed ends up being the boy you now want – but only in secret, with nobody ever finding out.  Slut or saint? Winner or loser? Natalie is getting tired of these forced choices – and is going to find a way to live life in the sometimes messy, sometimes wonderful in-between.

Stringz by Michael Wenberg 

Jace’s mom moves them from one place to another so often that sometimes he’s been in four schools in a single year. To cope with all that instability, Jace has vowed to never let himself get attached to anyone or anything – other than his beloved cello. But when his mom takes them to Seattle, where they’re living with tough Aunt Bernice, Jace wonders if this time things might really change. Because money is tight, Jace plays his cello on the street in downtown Seattle, and one evening, someone throws a folded $100 bill with a business card attached into Jace’s open cello case. That card changes everything; it’s from a famous cello instructor who offers to take him on, giving Jace a shot at winning a large cash prize. Will he make the grade?

Adios, Nirvana by Conrad Wesselhoeft 

Since the death of his brother, Jonathan’s been losing his grip on reality. Last year’s Best Young Poet and gifted guitarist is now Taft High School’s resident tortured artist, when he bothers to show up. He’s on track to repeat eleventh grade, but his English teacher, his principal, and his crew of Thicks (who refuse to be seniors without him) won’t sit back and let him fail.

The Freak Observer by Blythe Woolston 

When her younger sister dies, Loa’s clockwork galaxy collapses. As she spins off on her own, Loa’s mind ambushes her with vivid nightmares and sadistic flashbacks – a textbook case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. But there are no textbook fixes for Loa’s short-circuiting brain. If she keeps her eyes open and her neurons busy, there’s less chance for her imagination to brew up nightmares and panic attacks. Maybe then she’ll be able to pry her world from the clutches of death.

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New Fiction

Posted by Kristi on August 13, 2010

Compromised by Heidi Ayarbe 

Living with a con-man dad, Maya’s spent half her life on the run. But when her dad ends up in prison and foster care fails, Maya grasps at her last possible hope of a home: a long-lost aunt, who may not even exist. So Maya formulates a plan, and with her wits, two unlikely allies, and twenty dollars in her pocket, she sets off in search of this aunt, navigating the unpredictable four hundred miles from Reno to Boise. Life on the streets, though, becomes a struggle for survival. And with each passing day, Maya’s definitions of right and wrong are turned upside down when she’s confronted with the realities and dangers of life as a runaway. She can’t help but wonder if trying to find her aunt—and some semblance of stability—is worth the harrowing journey or if she should compromise and find a way to survive on her own.

Freak Magnet by Andrew Auseon 

Charlie is the freak. Gloria is the freak magnet. They’re pretty much destined to meet. And when they do, sparks fly…for Charlie. Gloria, well, she just thinks he’s like every other freak who feels compelled to talk to her, although a little better-looking than most. While Charlie has his head in the clouds, Gloria’s got hers in a book: her Freak Folio—a record of every weirdo who’s talked to her in the last year (it’s a big book). But never before has she felt the pull to get to know one of them better. Until now.

Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler 

KJ Carson lives an outdoor lover’s dream. The only daughter of a fishing and wildlife guide, KJ can hold her own on the water or in the mountains near her hometown outside Yellowstone National Park. But when she meets the shaggy-haired, intensely appealing Virgil, KJ loses all self-possession. And she’s not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that they’re assigned to work together on a school newspaper article about the famous wolves of Yellowstone. As KJ spends time with Virgil, she also spends more time getting to know a part of her world that she always took for granted…and she begins to see herself and her town in a whole new light.

Carter’s Big Break by Brent Crawford 

After somehow surviving his freshman year, Will Carter is unexpectedly cast in an independent film opposite the world’s biggest tween sensation, Hilary Idaho, who’s looking to give her image a makeover. With Hollywood knocking on his door, Carter gets a taste of the good life. Suddenly, his small town, boring friends, and embarrassing family don’t seem as great as they used to. As is prone to happen when Carter is around, the film spirals out of control, and he begins to fear that he’s not the “somebody” he thinks he is and more of the “nobody” he’s pretty sure he always has been. But maybe, with the help of a few friends, he’ll learn to see things in a whole new light. Sequel to Carter Finally Gets It.

Blindsided by Priscilla Cummings 

In many ways, Natalie O’Reilly is a typical fourteen-year-old. But a routine visit to the eye doctor produces devastating news: Natalie will lose her sight within a few months. Suddenly her world is turned upside down. Natalie is sent to a school for the blind to learn skills such as Braille and how to use a cane. Outwardly, she does as she’s told; inwardly, she hopes for a miracle that will free her from a dreaded life of blindness. But the miracle does not come, and Natalie ultimately must confront every blind person’s dilemma. Will she go home to live scared? Or will she embrace the skills she needs to make it in a world without sight?

The Half-Life of Planets by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin 

Lianna is an aspiring planetary scientist…and also a kissing expert, with maybe too much experience.  So this summer she decides to conduct an experiment: She’s going to give up the kissing part.  It shouldn’t be too hard for her–after all, none of her kissing partners so far have been worth the lip time. That is, until Hank comes along. Hank has never been kissed.  He’s smart and funny—sometimes without intending to be—and a little socially challenged. Hank’s got Asperger’s syndrome. This means he knows every track that Kirsty Maccoll has ever appeared on, but not when to shut up about it. He also doesn’t know when to say the things he should. Things like, I don’t have a father. I want to hold your handI want to kiss you. It would appear that Hank and Liana are in for an interesting summer—if the planets align correctly.

Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick 

Amber Appleton lives in a bus. Ever since her mom’s boyfriend kicked them out, Amber, her mom, and her totally loyal dog, Bobby Big Boy (aka Thrice B) have been camped out in the back of Hello Yellow (the school bus her mom drives). Still, Amber, the self-proclaimed princess of hope and girl of unyielding optimism, refuses to sweat the bad stuff. But when a fatal tragedy threatens Amber’s optimism–and her way of life, can Amber continue to be the rock star of hope?

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New Fiction

Posted by Kristi on February 27, 2010

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk  

Being a hefty, deaf newcomer almost makes Will Halpin the least popular guy at Coaler High. But when he befriends the only guy less popular than him, the dork-namic duo has the smarts and guts to figure out who knocked off the star quarterback. Will can’t hear what’s going on, but he’s a great observer. So, who did it? And why does that guy talk to his fingers? And will the beautiful girl ever notice him?

King of the Screwups by K.L. Going
 

Liam Geller is Mr. Popularity. Everybody loves him. But he’s got an uncanny ability to screw up in the very ways that tick off his father the most. When Liam is kicked out of the house, his father’s brother takes him in. What could a teenage chick magnet possibly have in common with his gay, glam rocker, DJ uncle who lives in a trailer in upstate New York? A lot more than you’d think. And when Liam attempts to make himself over as a nerd in a desperate attempt to impress his father, it’s his “aunt” Pete and the guys in his band who convince Liam there’s much more to him than his father will ever see.

Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson 

Ever since Mrs. Amberson, the former-aspiring-actress-turned-agent, entered Scarlett Martin’s life, nothing has been the same. She’s still in charge of the Empire Suite in her family’s hotel, but she’s now also Mrs. Amberson’s assistant, running around for her star client, Chelsea – a Broadway star Scarlett’s age with a knack for making her feel insignificant.  She’s also trying to juggle sophomore classes, her lab partner who is being just a little TOO nice, and getting over the boy who broke her heart.  In the midst of all this, her sister drops a bombshell that threatens to change her New York life forever…

Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers
 

It seems as if the only progress that’s going on at Progress juvenile facility is moving from juvy jail to real jail. Reese wants out early, but is he supposed to just sit back and let his friend Toon get jumped? Then Reese gets a second chance when he’s picked for the work program at a senior citizens’ home. He doesn’t mean to keep messing up, but it’s not so easy, at Progress or in life. One of the residents, Mr. Hooft, gives him a particularly hard time. If he can convince Mr. Hooft that he’s a decent person, not a criminal, maybe he’ll be able to convince himself.

The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz
 

Summer is here, and 16-year-old Allie, a self-professed music geek, is exactly where she wants to be: working full-time at Berkeley’s ultra-cool Bob and Bob Records. It’s the perfect setup for her to develop her secret identity as The Vinyl Princess, author of both a brand-new zine and blog. From the safety of her favorite place on earth, Allie is poised to have it all: love, music and blogging.  But business at Allie’s beloved record store is becoming dangerously slow—not to mention that there have been a string of robberies in the neighbourhood. At least her blog seems to be gaining interest, one vinyl junkie at a time…

Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani
 

Viola doesn’t want to go to boarding school, but somehow she ends up at an all-girls school in South Bend, Indiana, far away from her home in Brooklyn, New York. There’s no way Viola’s going to survive the year—especially since she has to replace her best friend Andrew with three new roommates who, disturbingly, actually seem to like it there. She resorts to viewing the world (and hiding) behind the lens of her video camera.  Boarding school, though, and her roommates and even the Midwest are nothing like she thought they would be, and soon Viola realizes she may be in for the most incredible year of her life.  But first she has to put the camera down and let the world in.

Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can’t Have by Allen Zadoff
 

Life used to be so simple for Andrew Zansky–hang with the Model UN guys, avoid gym class, and eat and eat and eat. He’s used to not fitting in: into his family, his sports-crazed school, or his size 48 pants.  But not anymore. Andrew just met April, the instant love of his life! He wants to find a way to win her over, but how? When O. Douglas, the high school legend quarterback, saves him from getting beaten up, Andrew sees his chance to get in with the football squad.  Can a funny fat kid be friends with a football superstar? Can he win over the Girl of his Dreams? Can he find a way to get his mom and dad back together?  And how far should he go to be the person he really wants to be?

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New Fiction

Posted by Kristi on October 2, 2009

waiting Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti
At the beginning of her sophomore year, Marisa is ready for a fresh start and, more importantly, a boyfriend. So when  Derek asks her out, Marisa thinks her long wait for happiness is over. But several bumps in the road—including her parents’ unexpected separation, a fight with her best friend, and a shocking disappointment in her relationship with Derek—test Marisa’s ability to maintain her new outlook. Only the anonymous DJ, whose underground podcasts have the school’s ear, seems to understand what Marisa is going through. But she has no idea who he is—or does she?
How to Steal a Car How to Steal a Car by Pete Hautman
Some girls act out by drinking or doing drugs. Some girls act out by sleeping with guys. Some girls act out by starving themselves or cutting themselves. Some girls act out by being horrible to other girls.   Not Kelleigh. Kelleigh steals cars.
messed up Messed Up by Janet Nichols Lynch
With all of his biological family out of the picture, R. D. lives with his grandmother’s former boyfriend, Earl. It’s not much, but it’s par for the course in a life filled with the threats of Latino gang violence and failing eighth grade (again). Then Earl dies. R. D. does the right thing—he calls 911 and they come to take his body—but slowly R. D. realizes that as long as no one else finds out, they can’t send him to a group home. So he begins to teach himself everything he’s always avoided: how to shop, how to cook, how to work, how to pay bills.
shine Shine, Coconut Moon byNeesha Meminger

Samar has never known much about her Indian heritage. It’s never bothered Sam, who is busy with school, friends, and a really cute but demanding boyfriend.But things change after 9/11. A guy in a turban shows up at Sam’s house, and he turns out to be her uncle. He wants to reconcile the family and teach Sam about her Sikh heritage.  At first, she’s wary, but slowly Sam begins to realize how important being Indian American is to her identity.

gorgeous Gorgeous by Rachel Vail
She’s looking good…but Allison Avery can’t believe it. Growing up with beautiful, blond sisters, Allison has always been the dark-haired, “interesting-looking” Avery. So when the devil shows up and offers to make her gorgeous, Allison jumps at the chance to finally be noticed. But there’s one tiny catch, and it’s not her soul: The devil wants her cell phone.
vivian same Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian

On her first day of summer art school in the big city, Emily feels like an outsider. She’s left her bland strip-mall and Starbucks existence behind to dive into the artist’s life. Fiona, a bold and inventive student who draws shadows, takes Emily on as a pet project and new best friend. As the semester unfolds and Emily’s skills improve, she begins to see that the glamorous and gritty art life has its own share of petty cliques and drama—just like home.

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New Fiction

Posted by Kristi on July 9, 2009

alongride Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Auden is starting college in the fall, and decides to escape her control-freak professor mom to spend the summer with her novelist father, his new wife, and their baby daughter. Over the summer, Auden tackles many new projects: learning to ride a bike, facing the emotional fallout of her parents’ divorce, distancing herself from her mother, and falling in love with Eli, a fellow insomniac bicyclist recovering from his own traumas.

skunkgirl Skunk Girl by Sheba Karim

Nina Khan feels like an outsider, for two reasons: her perfect older sister, Sonia, and the fact that she has inherited the “Pakistani hairy gene.” It’s bad enough that she has dark hair on her legs, arms, and face, but then she also grows a dark, downy stripe down her back.  On top of all this, her conservative parents don’t allow her to date or attend parties.  How can one teenage girl deal with all of this mortification?

babyducks Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle

Growing up in a world of wealth and pastel-tinted entitlement, fifteen-year-old Carly has always relied on the constancy—and authenticity—of her sister, Anna. But when fourteen-year-old Anna turns plastic-perfect-pretty over the course of a single summer, everything starts to change. And there are boys involved, complicating things as boys always do.

funnychange Funny How Things Change by Melissa Wyatt

Remy Walker has it all: he found the love of his life at home in Dwyer, West Virginia, deep in his beloved Appalachian Mountains. But at 17, you’re not supposed to already be where you want to be, right? You’ve got a whole world to make your way through, and you start by leaving your dead-end town, right?  So when a fascinating young artist from out of state shows Remy his home through new eyes, why is he suddenly questioning his future?

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