# of pages: 277
Jillian does not believe in paranormal activity, but yet she works running her father’s paranormal investigation firm ever since he left her to fend for herself and her dying mother. She tells clients what they want to hear in order to earn money to pay the electric bill, but that does not stop her from judging those who do believe in the paranormal. When a high school classmate offers to pay big money for her to find her missing boyfriend, Jillian jumps at the chance until the mysterious new student, Sky, inserts himself into the investigation claiming that there is supernatural activity at work here. As Jillian and Sky work the case she faces the possibility that supernatural occurrences might actually exist.
Fans of mysteries and fantasy will enjoy this light, fun story about a teenage girl trying to do it all. There is a lot about Jillian’s backstory that has not been uncovered yet, including a mysterious obituary she finds of herself dated six months in the future listing a sister among her family whom she’s never heard of. There’s plenty more stories Jillian can and probably will tell in future volumes.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
# of Pages: 338
Kaylee is desperately trying to find a kidney donor for her brother who is very sick. Her and her mother have been tested and are not matches so she really wants to find her father who ran off shortly after DJ’s diagnosis. Her best friend, Nate, then introduces her to a new social media site called Need. Need members can only join by invitation and once you are in you can choose something to ask for that you think you “need.” In exchange the program will ask you to do something in order to earn whatever you asked for. Kaylee distrusts this site, but is desperate and asks for a kidney for her brother. Meanwhile, her classmates are receiving new cell phones, computers, etc. and all for doing tasks they consider innocent. When a boy is asked to deliver a box of cookies to a classmates’ door he does not think anything of it until the next day when that classmate is in the hospital due to a severe peanut allergy. Did he cause her death? What about the other mysterious happenings all over the neighborhood? Are these high school students to blame or are they innocent bystanders?
Morality and responsibility for ones own actions are strong themes in this book. We live in a very media based materialistic society and many teens feel they deserve or “need” all the cool things their friends seem to have. This book asks the question of what would you do if you could get your every wish fulfilled? The eventual outcome of who is behind Need is very believable and satisfying, if not a bit scary in its realistic nature. Fans of The Testing will enjoy this new book from the same author.
Published February 25, 2016
RAC , Romance
Tags: friendship, promise, Romance, trust
# of Pages: 327
Kahlen was turned into a siren when she was a teenager after witnessing her entire family’s demise at the hands of the sirens that preceded her. Kahlen finds the life very sad and struggles to forget the faces of the people they drown with their songs in the Ocean in order to appease Her. At the same time, she loves the Ocean and believes she cares about her too. One day she meets a young man in a library and despite the fact she cannot speak around him he finds her interesting anyway. They spend very little time together before she realizes she is falling for him and makes the decision to stay away because she still has 20 years on her sentence as a siren. Months later, after a devastating event, she finds herself running back to him and they have an amazing day together. Can they find a way to be together? Is being together safe for either one of them?
Once again Keira Cass has created an interesting tale of two people who have an instant connection and yet are not able to be together due to her situation as a siren. The fact that the ocean is a character is unique and Cass finds a way to make that work so that you both like and hate the ocean at the same time. Readers will appreciate that Kahlan and Akinli’s story finishes in one book. The story is captivating, but it would have lost something if it was stretched out for any longer than one novel. Fans of the Selection will enjoy this title.
** Special Review**
Genre: Futuristic Sci/Fi Thriller
# of Pages: 259
Avalon wakes up in her cryochamber and learns that she has been frozen for 100 years. She also remembers that when her father predicted that a meteor would strike earth, and completely decimate life as they knew it, only 5000 people were allowed into the underground habitat that was created to sustain life until humans could return to the surface again. Since such a limited number of people were allowed into the habitat only younger people were allowed and Avalon was forced to say goodbye to her beloved father. Upon reawakening, Avalon notices some strange happenings in the habitat including that some people seem to be getting deathly ill when they are supposed to be immune from such diseases due to a vaccine everyone receives once they come out of the cryochamber. Who could be behind this? Whom can she trust in this new place surrounded by people she does not know? Should she speak up and ask questions or simply take the safer route and follow the rules?
Fans of futuristic novels such as The Testing, Alive, Across the Universe, or Red Rising will enjoy this title. The plot moves quickly and the characters are interesting and engaging. There is some resolution, but the ending definitely leaves room for a sequel. While some aspects in the story can be found in other similar titles, there is enough originality here to draw readers in and make them want to know what’s going on in this strange habitat controlled by a few people. Recommended.
# of Pages: 360
2016 Iowa High School Award winner
Jazz is the only son of a notorious serial killer named Billy. Billy reportedly murdered over 200 people and Jazz is struggling with the doubts that he could end up just like him. He does not want to become a killer, but he worries it’s already inside him waiting to come out. When he hears of a murder in his small town he goes to the scene to help out since he “knows how serial killers work.” The police reject his help, but eventually come back to him when it’s discovered this new murder is mimicking one of Billy’s early murders. Who would be recreating his father’s grisly murders and why? Can Jazz help the police before more people lose their lives? Can Jazz prove to everyone and even himself that he is not going to follow in his father’s footsteps?
Fans of mystery books will enjoy this title because it has a good amount of plot twists, suspense, and colorful characters. Jazz is truly battling with himself because he will always be the son of the infamous Billy Dent and he needs to figure out what that means for the rest of his life. He does not want to be like his father, but having been raised by him he sometimes does not see life situations the same way that others do. Luckily, he has a small but powerful support system that is helping him realize that he is capable of valuing human life. There is a bit of gore in this title, but nothing worse than an episode of CSI or Criminal Minds.
Published February 3, 2016
Award Winners , RAC , Realistic Fiction , Romance
Tags: accident, dating, family, football, friendship, tragedy, trust
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Romance
# of Pages: 327
Iowa Teen Award Winner 2016-17
Lauren has recently moved in with her aunt and uncle for reasons she would rather not discuss. Being the new girl in the small football-obsessed town for her senior year can be difficult, however, because everyone automatically speculates about her background. Meanwhile, Colby is also beginning his senior year as the star football player of their team who hopes to make it all the way to state this year. The problem is that Colby would rather not play football in college, despite his father’s fervent hope that he will accept one of the scholarships he’s been offered. Lauren and Colby meet unexpectedly one day and find they really like each other, but after a tragedy shakes Colby to the core he wonders if dating is such a good idea at this time in his life. Lauren definitely wants to see more of Colby, but she’s also dealing with the demons of her past. Will their timing ever be right? Will they ever find the chance to get to know each other better or is it not meant to be?
This story is told in alternating chapters with Lauren’s being written in poetry format making her thoughts mirror her mixed emotions at living with her aunt and uncle instead of with her mom. Colby’s story is told in prose which also reflects his thoughts and feelings as he walks the line between what he wants in life and what everyone else wants for him. Recommended for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han.
Genre: Science Fiction
# of Pages: 372
Micheline is the youngest descendant in the Helsing blood line. Her and her friends work catching ghosts and other supernatural beings. They each have special talents that allow them to track down and properly extinguish these harmful beings. At the beginning of the story they are called to a particularly heinous scene where a ghost has killed people in a hospital. They are supposed to wait for backup, but Micheline decides to go in alone and her team is forced to follow. They are attacked by this being and contract a rare disease known as soulchain. Soulchain will kill them if they do not kill the creature that infected them in seven days time. Their parents wish them to lay low while they hunt the dangerous ghost, but Micheline and her team know it is them who must hunt it down to save their lives.
The plot is much more intriguing here than most readers will expect. There is a lot of backstory on Micheline’s family and how her and her father came to be so estranged. There is a fair amount of suspense and plot twists that keep the story active and fast paced. The characters are interesting as their talents and personalities are revealed. Plus, in this world no one is really ever safe, which makes the suspense all the more real. Recommended for fans of science fiction and suspense.