Zoe needs a change, and a change she is going to get.
She's seventeen & had a very rough year. Her father died while exploring a cave and her neighbours have vanished from their home.
When the mother of all blizzards hits her hometown and her mother is trapped in a grocery store, she sets off on her own to find her brother Jonah and their two dogs who've gotten lost in the woods.
After finding Jonah, things somehow get worse when a creep called Stan the Man appears, attacks Zoe & Jonah and attempts to kill their dogs.
They are saved by what Zoe thinks is an angel. A shirtless teenage boy who appears out of the blue and with a click of his fingers sends a river of fear flowing through Stand and in turn changes the colour of the snow around them.
The boy is called X. Well, that's what Zoe calls him at least, and he's no angel. In fact, he's from Hell. Except it's not called Hell, it's called the Lowlands and it turns out X is a bounty hunter, sent to capture evil souls that roam above ground. The rules of the Lowlands are strict, and although Zoe finds herself falling for X, she knows it's not meant to be.
Soon, she's swept up in X's world and the dangers that inhabit it. And it's not just her that's in danger, it's her entire family. The Edge of Everything is a great modern-fantasy romance with a twist that will be gobbled up with glee by both boys and girls and the high school I work at, and that's a great thing!
I recommend it to ages 14 and up!
"Guilt doesn't sleep, it eats."
I love that line and if there's one sentence that runs like an electrified rope through this novel, it's that one.
Carver Briggs is being eaten up inside because his three best friends, Mars, Eli & Blake were killed in a car accident at the same time that Carver was texting Mars, who happened to be driving.
Not only does Carver blame himself, the entire town except Eli's ex-girlfriend Jesmyn, seems too as well.
Carver seeks help through psychiatrist Dr. Mendez and with his help he's able to develop coping mechanisms when depression and panic attacks descend upon him like a cloud stuffed with hammers.
This is a story about loss, grief, self-hatred and of course guilt. Guilt that worms its way into your brain and bores you out until you are just a walking husk. An extra for the Walking Dead. Anyone that has experienced guilt of any level with find some level playing field with Carver.
The novels cuts back and forth between Carver's current status, which is dead-bone afraid of what his future holds, and his time with his three best friends. They are typical teenage boys who are silly, dumb yet thoughtful and kind to each other at the same time.
There is a lot of heart in this novel. It's a fantastic read that I will be pushing on the students at the school library I manage with a relentless fury. Check it out if you haven't already.
When Tess & Max are sent to the English countryside for the summer to stay with their aunt Evie, the last thing they expect to find is a magical castle tucked away behind a series of hedges.
But that's exactly what happens.
There are truly wonderful things to see at the castle, mazes, fish under the drawbridge, swans, a magical carousel and of course William, a boy that is about the same age as Tess.
William acts as a friend and guide as he unveils the magic behind the castle.
Throughout their adventures, William provides a constant warning: don't go near the hawthorn trees. When Max forget to heeds this advice, Tess finds herself on a mission that could have disastrous consequences.
The Castle in the MIst is fun, exciting read tailor made for fans of Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series. I can't wait ot get this into the hands of our Year 7s at the school library I manage, they are going to devour it!
Prepare to never think of beetles the same way again.
When Darkus' dad vanishes out of thin air while working at the Natural History Museum, everyone is perplexed as to what happened.
Darkus is forced to move in with his loveable yet eccentric Uncle Max.
Darkus soon learns that Max's neighbours, Pickering & Humphrey, are not only maniacs that hate each other, they also have a massive beetle collection.
One of them, a rhinoceros beetle that Darkus names Baxter, displays amazingly smart behaviour. In fact, Darkus is able to train Baxter like a loyal pet, and together they set out to solve the mystery of the disappearing dad.
With a cast of madcap characters and really creepy villain, Beetle Boy is a great new book that our Year 7 & 8 students are going to love. Filled with action, comedy and suspense, Beetle Boy is a great read for fans of The Last Wild or of course Roald Dahl.
Black Hole Sun / Won't You Come / And Wash Away the Rain
Soundgarden's dark lyrics were floating around my mind while I read this thrilling sci-fi adventure from Kevin Emerson.
The year is 2213, but no one's really counting anymore because the Earth is dead, swallowed by the sun as it goes supernova.
Earth's population has gone to Mars, but it's only a short stay because Mars isn't safe from the sun's wrath either.
Mars is just a place for the Earthlings to get their act together before they embark on a 150 year journey to a new home.
Liam was born on Mars, and the thought of leaving it behind is crushing, but he goes along with it because leaving is better than being melted to nothing. Liam's friend Phoebe is also disappointed about leaving, together they reminisce about their time together and get ready to board the last starliner to leave the red planet.
As the hour to leave approaches, Liam becomes convinced that humans are not alone on Mars. Soon, he and Phoebe make a series of discoveries that seem to prove his theory. These discoveries will also put Liam and his friends and family in great danger.
Last Day on Mars is the perfect YA sci-fi adventure. The pace is full throttle but not overwhelming, the world is 100% believable, you can tell Emerson has done his research without making the scientific descriptions dry at all. It's Dune for teens, it's Indiana Jones in space, it's Star Wars on Mars, it's the Ice Pirates (yes, I pulled that name), call it whatever you want, you'll be grabbing the sequel to this hard hitting series as soon as you can.