Books We’re Looking Forward To In May

Here are some of the new books we are looking forward to in May…

May 2

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han — While helping plan her father’s wedding, senior Lara Jean struggles with choosing a college and questions how graduation is going to change her relationship with her boyfriend Peter.

The Battlemage (Summoner, Book 3) by Tarah Matharu — Fletcher and his classmates from Vocans Academy — including the elf Sylva and the dwarf Othello – -travel through the ether, where they must pursue a mortally dangerous quest to rebuild their world and broker peace.

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, Book 3) by Sarah J. Maas — Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr — Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. “[A] remarkable odyssey…an enthralling story…a deftly, compassionately written mystery” (Booklist starred review).

Rebel Rising (Star Wars: Rogue One) by Beth Revis — When Jyn Erso was five years old, her mother was murdered and her father taken from her to serve the Empire. But despite the loss of her parents she is not completely alone-Saw Gerrera, a man willing to go to any extremes necessary in order to resist Imperial tyranny, takes her in as his own, and gives her not only a home but all the abilities and resources she needs to becomea rebel herself.

May 9

A Face Like Glass by Francis Hardinge

The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty

We Have No Idea by Jorge Cham

May 16

Flame In The Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Grace and the Fever by Zan Romanoff

Grit by Gillian French

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner

May 23

Crazy House by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet

The Fashion Committee by Susan Juby

The Gauntlet (The Cage, Book 3) by Megan Shepherd

Lord of Shadows (Dark Artifices, Book 2) by Cassandra Clare

The Queer, There and Everywhere by Sarah Prager

May 30

Crossing Ebenezer Creek by Tonya Bolden

Dark Breaks The Dawn by Sara B. Larson

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel

Books We’re Looking Forward To In April

Here is a look at some of the new books coming out in April…

April 4

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett — Seventeen-year-old Bailey moves to California to live with her father and, perhaps, finally meet an online friend and fellow film buff, but soon finds herself attracted to an annoying co-worker. “You’ve Got Mail gets a teenage spin in this story…movie quotes kick off each chapter, and the California backdrop is an ideal setting for this uncommonly nuanced summer romance” (Booklist starred review).

But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure — After a month in a coma, eighteen-year-old Eden finds it hard to resume her life and relationships but forms an unlikely connection with Joe, who visits his best friend, Jaz, another coma patient, every day. “Rendered with insight and compassion, Eden’s struggles to make peace with the human condition add up to a riveting coming-of-age story” (Kirkus starred review).

Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr — Gem has never known what it is to have security. She’s never known an adult she can truly rely on. But the one constant in her life has been Dixie. Gem grew up taking care of her sister when no one else could: not their mother, whose issues make it hard for her to keep food on the table, and definitely not their father. “Readers’ hearts will ache for Gem, who so desperately wants to follow a different path than her parents, as she tries to carve out a better life for herself and her sister” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren — When Trixie dies, her brother and her best friend, who are falling in love, struggle with grief and guilt which threatens their fledgling romance. “Biren’s debut novel offers a tender look at a particular moment in the lives of two teens, a moment that feels real and uncontrived, [and she] proves deft at filling in the back story without overshadowing the problems of the present” (Kirkus starred review).

Looking For Group by Rory Harrison — Dylan doesn’t have a lot of experience with comfort. His room in the falling-down Village Estates can generously be categorized as squalid, and he sure isn’t getting any love from his mother, who seemed to—no, definitely did—enjoy the perks that went along with being the parent of a “cancer kid”. His only escape has been in the form of his favorite video game—World of Warcraft—and the one true friend who makes him feel understood, even if it is just online. “This book is a triumph, allowing honesty, excitement, humor, and heart to step over gender and sexuality constraints and tell a beautiful story” (Kirkus starred review).

Pointe, Claw by Amber J. Keyser — Jessie is killing her body to become a ballerina. Dawn is blacking out and waking in strange places. At every turn, the friends encounter the many ways girls are judged and discarded. Should they play it safe or go feral? “Alternating between Dawn and Jessie’s perspectives, Keyser’s writing shimmers with raw emotion and empathy, and her finale, much like in dance, is poetic, bittersweet, and life affirming” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

Racial Profiling: Everyday Inequality by Alison Marie Behnke — In the United States, racial profiling affects thousands of Americans every day. Combining rigorous research with powerful personal stories, Behnke explores the history, the many manifestations, and the consequences of this form of social injustice. “A mandatory addition to teen collections for discussions on inequality and social justice” (School Library Journal starred review).

What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold — When Nina’s mother told her there was no such thing as unconditional love, Nina believed her. Now she’s desperate to keep her boyfriend–but he leaves her anyway. What is she if not a girlfriend? What is she made of? “[Arnold weaves] a narrative wholeness that is greater than its parts. Unflinchingly candid, unapologetically girl, and devastatingly vital” (Kirkus starred review).

Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant — Eva Walker is a seventeen-year-old math genius. And if that doesn’t do wonders for her popularity, there’s another thing that makes it even worse: when she touches people, she sees a vision of their emotions. “This story could be classified as speculative fiction, romance, or a contemporary realistic novel. It is indeed all of the above, and well done on all fronts” (Booklist starred review).

April 11

Beck by Mal Peet and Meg Rosoff — Born of a brief encounter between a Liverpool prostitute and an African soldier in 1907, Beck finds himself orphaned as a young boy and sent overseas to the Catholic Brothers in Canada. At age fifteen he is sent to work on a farm, from which he eventually escapes. Finally in charge of his own destiny, Beck starts westward, crossing the border into America and back, all while the Great Depression rages on. “A heartbreaking, painful work that gives hope to the restorative power of true human connection” (School Library Journal starred review).

The Freemason’s Daughter by Shelley Sackier — Saying good-bye to Scotland is the hardest thing that Jenna MacDuff has had to do—until she met Lord Pembroke. Jenna’s small clan has risked their lives traveling the countryside as masons, secretly drumming up support and arms at every stop for the exiled King James Stuart so that he may retake the British throne. But their next job brings them into enemy territory: England. “An intriguing exploration of the intersection of politics, religion, and customs of the period—historical fiction at its best” (Kirkus starred review).

April 18

Bang by Barry Lyga — Sebastian Cody did something horrible, something no one–not even Sebastian himself–can forgive. At the age of four, he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister with his father’s gun. Now, ten years later, Sebastian has lived with the guilt and horror for his entire life. With his best friend away for the summer, Sebastian has only a new friend–Aneesa–to distract him from his darkest thoughts. “A raw exploration of persistent social stigmas, a beautiful study of forgiveness, and an unflinching portrait of a parent’s worst nightmare” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

Grendel’s Guide To Love and War by A.E. Kaplan — The Perks of Being a Wallflower meets Revenge of the Nerds in this tale of a teen misfit who seeks to take down the bro next door, but ends up falling for his enemy’s sister and uncovering difficult truths about his family in the process. “An outstanding YA novel balancing comedy with substantial themes of love, death, and healing” (School Library Journal starred review).

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman — Meticulously researched, drawing on the 658 letters Vincent Van Gogh wrote to his brother, Theo, during his lifetime, Heiligman weaves a tale of two lives intertwined and the extraordinary love of the Van Gogh brothers. “This illuminating glimpse into the Van Goghs’ turbulent lives and historical period will add compelling depth to readers’ understanding of the iconic painter. Art-­loving teens will be captivated” (Booklist starred review).

April 25

Between Two Skies by Joanne O’Sullivan — Bayou Perdu, a tiny fishing town way, way down in Louisiana, is home to sixteen-year-old Evangeline Riley. She has her best friends, Kendra and Daniel, her wise, beloved Mamere and back-to-back titles in the under-sixteen fishing rodeo. And then the storm comes, and everything changes. Amid the chaos and pain and destruction comes Tru — a fellow refugee, a budding bluesman, a balm for Evangeline’s aching heart. “Told in a strong, purposeful voice filled with controlled emotion and hope, the impact of Katrina on families is as compelling as Evangeline’s drive to regain her sense of self and belonging” (Booklist starred review).

How Dare The Sun Rises: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana — This profoundly moving memoir is the remarkable and inspiring true story of Sandra Uwiringiyimana, a girl from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who tells the tale of how she survived a massacre, immigrated to America, and overcame her trauma through art and activism. “The title is a critical piece of literature, contributing to the larger refugee narrative in a way that is complex and nuanced but still accessible for a YA audience” (School Library Journal starred review).

North of Happy by Adi Alsaid — Carlos Portillo has always led a privileged and sheltered life. A dual citizen of Mexico and the United States, he lives in Mexico City with his wealthy family, where he attends an elite international school. But when his older brother, Felix–who has dropped out of college to live a life of travel–is tragically killed, Carlos begins hearing his brother’s voice, giving him advice and pushing him to rebel against his father’s plan for him. “An exceptional tale of grief, ambition, love, and maturity” (Kirkus starred review).

Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick — On the outskirts of Juarez, Mexico, Arturo scrapes together a living working odd jobs and staying out of sight. But his friend Faustino is in trouble: he’s stolen money from the narcos to smuggle his girlfriend and her baby into the US, and needs Arturo’s help to get it back. To help his friend, Arturo must face the remorseless world of drug and human traffickers that surrounds him, and contend with a murky past. “Uncomfortable and at times accusatory, Sedgwick’s unflinching narrative is timely and guaranteed to incite discussion, if not debate” (Booklist starred review).

The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares — A novel about love, class differences, and betrayal playing out over the course of a fractured American family’s Long Island summer. Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, but the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families–and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past. “Brashares’s masterful orchestration of plot, multidimensional characters, and intriguing subplots will delight her fans and newcomers alike” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

Books We’re Looking Forward To In March

Here’s a look at some of the new book releases we’re looking forward to in March:

March 7th

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner — Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. But now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, a powerful judge is pressuring the district attorney to open up a criminal investigation. “The story builds suspense while developing not only empathetic but also multidimensional characters…the result is an absorbing effort with emotional and psychological integrity” (Booklist starred review).

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz — Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it’s senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing he no longer knows himself. “[Saenz] offers another stellar, gentle look into the emotional lives of teens on the cusp of adulthood” (Kirkus starred review).

Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali — Nazi Germany. 1936. In the Lebensborn program, carefully selected German women are recruited by the Nazis to give birth to new members of the Aryan race. Inside one of these women is Max, literally counting the minutes until he is born and he can fulfill his destiny as the perfect Aryan specimen. “A heartrending portrait of unlikely friendship and fierce defiance, and an impeccably researched glimpse into a deeply disturbing point in history” (Booklist starred review).

The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend — Milo has two great moms, but he’s never known what it’s like to have a dad. When Milo’s doctor suggests asking his biological father to undergo genetic testing to shed some light on Milo’s extreme allergies, he realizes this is a golden opportunity to find the man he’s always wondered about. “With convincing dialogue, multidimensional characters (including the adults), and a timely topic, this compelling story movingly proves that there are no stereotypes when it comes to family” (Booklist starred review).

Traitor To The Throne by Alwyn Hamilton — In Rebel of the Sands, gunslinger Amani al’Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she’s fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne. “Palace intrigue, military stratagems, even cosmic powers can’t eclipse the complex tangle of love, loss, and loyalty in this Arabian Nights–inspired fantasy sequel” (Kirkus starred review).

Wonderful Feels Like This by Sara Lovestam — For Steffi, going to school everyday is an exercise in survival. She’s never fit in with any of the groups at school, and she’s viciously teased by the other girls in her class. The only way she escapes is through her music–especially jazz. When Steffi hears her favorite jazz song playing through an open window of a retirement home on her walk home from school, she decides to go in and introduce herself. “Sensitive and deeply moving: outstanding” (Kirkus starred review).

March 14th

The Book That Made Me, edited by Judith Ridge — Just as authors create books, books create authors — and these essays by thirty-one writers for young people offer a fascinating glimpse at the books that inspired them the most. “Impassioned and intimate, these essays create an eloquent ode to the power of story” (Publishers Weekly).

Freya by Matthew Laurence — There’s far more to Sara Vanadi than meets the eye. In her prime, she was Freya, the Norse goddess of love, beauty, war, and death – though that past hardly seems to matter now. For an ancient goddess in the 21st century, true believers – and the strength they bring – are painfully hard to find. “Like a Rick Riordan–Terry Pratchett mashup, this series debut blends philosophy (free will, destiny, faith), humor, multidimensional characters, and a fast-moving, well-constructed plot into a compulsively entertaining read” (Kirkus starred review).

Maid of the King’s Court by Lucy Worsley — Clever, headstrong Elizabeth Rose Camperdowne knows her duty. As the sole heiress to an old but impoverished noble family, Eliza must marry a man of wealth and title — it’s the only fate for a girl of her standing. But when a surprising turn of events lands her in the royal court as a maid of honor to Anne of Cleves, Eliza is drawn into the dizzying, dangerous orbit of Henry the Eighth. “Exhilarating, romantic, and illuminating; has the potential to turn casual readers into Tudor history buffs” (Kirkus starred review).

A Psalm For Lost Girls by Katie Bayerl — Tess da Costa is a saint–a hand-to-god, miracle-producing saint. At least that’s what the people in her hometown of New Avon, Massachusetts, seem to believe. And when Tess suddenly and tragically passes away, her small city begins feverishly petitioning the Pope to make Tess’s sainthood official. “Richly and evocatively written, Bayerl’s story is ideal for fans of Jandy Nelson and Melina Marchetta” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

The White Road of the Moon by Rachel Neumeier — Imagine you live with your aunt, who hates you so much she’s going to sell you into a dreadful apprenticeship. Imagine you run away before that can happen. Imagine that you can see ghosts–and talk with the dead. Now imagine . . . the first people you encounter after your escape are a mysterious stranger and a ghost boy, who seem to need you desperately. “A richly rewarding stand-alone story evoking far more color than its titular tint might suggest” (Kirkus starred review).

Who Killed Christopher Goodman by Allan Wolf — Inspired by a tragic true event in his past, Allan Wolf examines the circumstances of one boy’s inexplicable murder and the fateful summer leading up to it. “Recommended for most YA collections, this fast-paced novel will appeal to reluctant readers as well as fans of mystery and suspense” (School Library Journal starred review).

Yvain, The Knight of the Lion by M.T. Anderson — In his first graphic novel, National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson turns to Arthurian lore, with captivating art by Andrea Offermann bringing the classic legend to life. “Anderson uses the format’s sparseness of text to maximum effect, fashioning a thought-provoking narrative that reflects the grandiosity of Arthurian England while never relinquishing the human element at the core of this story” (Kirkus starred review).

March 21st

Blood Family by Anne Fine — Edward is four years old when he is locked away with his mother by her abusive, alcoholic partner, Harris. By the time an elderly neighbor spots his pale face peering through a crack in the boarded-up window and raises the alarm, he is seven. Rescue comes, but lasting damage has been done. “A powerhouse of a story about a boy who survives” (Kirkus starred review).

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs — It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown–alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased. “Reichs truly keeps readers guessing throughout, with twists on nearly every page” (Booklist starred review).

Ten Miles One Way by Patrick Downes — Nest and Q walk through the city. Nest speaks and Q listens. Mile by mile, Nest tells Q about her life, her family, her past . . . and her Chimaera, the beast that preys on her mind and causes her to lose herself. “An intricate, unusual love story for readers attuned to compassion” (Kirkus starred review).

March 28th

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi — Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. “Careful plotting, multiple viewpoints, high-stakes action, and a slow-burn relationship makes this heady fantasy completely engrossing” (School Library Journal starred review).

Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos — Robert Capa and Gerda Taro were young Jewish refugees, idealistic and in love. As photographers in the 1930s, they set off to capture their generation’s most important struggle—the fight against fascism. Among the first to depict modern warfare, Capa, Taro, and their friend Chim took powerful photographs of the Spanish Civil War that went straight from the action to news magazines. “Thoroughly researched and cited, the text offers a unique perspective on WWII by focusing on two expatriates unaligned with a specific country” (Booklist starred review).

Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg — The companion to the award-winning Openly Straight. Ben Carver is back to normal. He’s working steadily in his classes at the Natick School. He just got elected captain of the baseball team. He’s even won a full scholarship to college, if he can keep up his grades. All that foolishness with Rafe Goldberg the past semester is in the past. Except… “Equal parts serious and funny as it addresses homophobia, hazing rituals, and cheating while also delighting readers with a slice-of-life tale set at a private academy” (School Library Journal starred review).

Just A Girl by Carrie Mestrobian — By her senior year of high school, Rianne has exhausted all the fun there is to have in small-town Wereford, Minnesota. Volleyball season is winding down, the parties feel tired, and now that she’s in a serious relationship with reformed player Luke Pinsky, her wild streak has ended. Not that she ever did anything worse than most guys in her school…but she knows what everyone thinks of her. “Rianne’s rich inner life, especially when it’s at odds with what’s expected of her, is captivatingly full of meaningful, compelling drama, and Mesrobian’s frank, realistic depiction of teenage sexuality is a particular bright spot” (Booklist starred review).

Overturned by Lamar Giles — Nikki Tate’s father has been on death row for killing his best friend in a gambling dispute, but he has always maintained his innocence, and now his conviction has been overturned and he is back at the casino, where high school junior Nikki has been operating illegal poker games in the hopes of saving enough money to get out of Vegas after graduation. Now he is determined to find the real killer, and Nikki is inevitably drawn into his dangerous search for the truth. “Nikki is a totally appealing character: gutsy, practical, and strong, at the head of a cast of well-drawn supporting characters. An utterly compelling whodunit” (Kirkus starred review).

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman — Frances Janvier spends most of her time studying. Everyone knows Aled Last as that quiet boy who gets straight As. You probably think that they are going to fall in love or something. Since he is a boy and she is a girl. They don’t. They make a podcast. “Oseman vividly illustrates that the world and its technologies offer opportunities for connection and fulfillment that go far beyond traditional definitions of success” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

Sophie Someone by Hayley Long — Sophie Nieuwenleven is sort of English and sort of Belgian. She and her family came to live in Belgium when she was only four or five, but she’s fourteen now and has never been sure why they left England in the first place. She loves her international school, adores her friend Comet, and is protective of her little brother, Hercule. But it’s hard to feel carefree when her mom never leaves the apartment and her dad has a dead-end job as a car mechanic. Then one day Sophie makes a startling discovery, a discovery that unlocks the mystery of who she really is. “An original narrative that zigs and zags in inspired ways, with a sympathetic heroine leading the way” (Booklist starred review).

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor — The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around–and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever. “Has all the rich, evocative imagery and complex world-building typical of Taylor’s best work. This outstanding fantasy is a must-purchase for all YA collections” (School Library Journal starred review).

Things I Should Have Known by Claire Lazebnik — Meet Chloe Mitchell, a popular Los Angeles girl who’s decided that her older sister, Ivy, who’s on the autism spectrum, could use a boyfriend. Chloe already has someone in mind: Ethan Fields, a sweet, movie-obsessed boy from Ivy’s special needs class. “LaZebnik paints a vivid picture of what the sibling of a person with high-functioning autism might go through. Never resorting to stereotype, she depicts appealing, three-­dimensional characters who flesh out a narrative that is compassionate, tender, funny, and wise all at once” (Booklist starred review).