New Fiction, Starred Review Edition (Part 1)

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Here’s a look at some of the latest fiction titles in the New Books section at CA Library — all of them earned starred reviews from Booklist. Click the links to access the library catalog where you’ll find information on availability, summaries, full reviews and links to…

The True Tale Of The Monster Billy Dean, Telt By Hisself / David Almond — Trapped in his bedroom by a father who fills his mind with mysterious tales and warnings, Billy Dean goes outside for the first time when his father disappears, and he discovers his abilities to heal the living and contact the dead. “One of the most critically acclaimed YA authors working today, Almond refuses to rest on his laurels, and here he delivers his finest book in years.” – Booklist starred review

The Finisher / a novel by David Baldacci — When Quentin Herms is chased from his village into the Quag, a dark forest filled with terrifying beasts and murderous Outliers, Vega uses her skills as a talented decoder to uncover dangerous secrets. “As with Rick Riordan and Ridley Pearson, among others, the interest surrounding a high-profile author writing children’s books should garner this a ton of attention.” – Booklist starred review

Never Ending / Martyn Bedford — Traumatized by grief and guilt after her younger brother dies during a family vacation, fifteen-year-old Shiv is sent away to an exclusive clinic that claims to “cure” people like her. “Alternating chronological stories of the vacation with the stay at the clinic, Bedford skillfully pushes and pulls at the reader’s emotions while carefully revealing the details of the backstory and the aftermath until the two converge.” – Booklist starred review

The Hit / Melvin Burgess — There is a new drug on the mean streets of Manchester which promises the most intense week of your life, and then you are dead–and after he watches a pop star die on stage, Adam thinks that his own life is so miserable that he might just as well try it. “Viscerally exciting and emotionally engaging…sure to excite both thoughtful analysis and heated discussion among its readers. A clear winner.” – Booklist starred review

The Last Forever / Deb Caletti — After her mother’s death, it’s all Tessa can do to keep her friends, her boyfriend, her happiness from slipping away. “Caletti writes movingly here, particularly as Tess reflects on her mother’s final days, and offers up a surprising story about love, loss, and putting down roots in a world that’s constantly changing.” – Booklist starred review

Prayers For The Stolen: A Novel / Jennifer Clement — Born in a rural Mexico region where girls are disguised as boys to avoid the attentions of traffickers, Ladydi dreams of a better life before moving to Mexico City, where she falls in love and ends up in a prison with other women who share her experiences. “Clement’s deft first-person narrative style imbues authenticity to her depiction of a world turned upside down by drug cartels, police corruption, and American exploitation.” – Booklist starred review

Love Letters To The Dead / a novel by Ava Dellaira — When Laurel starts writing letters to dead people for a school assignment, she begins to spill about her sister’s mysterious death, her mother’s departure from the family, her new friends, and her first love. “Well paced and cleverly plotted, this debut uses a fresh, new voice to tell a sometimes sad, sometimes edgy, but always compelling narrative. Fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han, get ready.” – Booklist starred review

The Well’s End / Seth Fishman — 16-year-old Mia Kish and her friends search for answers when a mysterious illness brings their Colorado community to its knees. “The possibilities of biowarfare with a new twist on the life-healing properties of water make the contemporary implications of the story ring unnervingly true. A fast-paced, thrilling adventure story that begs for a sequel.” – Booklist starred review

Half Bad / Sally Green — In modern-day England, where witches live alongside humans, Nathan, son of a White witch and the most powerful Black witch, must escape captivity before his seventeenth birthday and receive the gifts that will determine his future. “Mesmerizing with mystery and heart-stopping adventure…Nathan’s survival is tenuous and marvelous and only just beginning.” – Booklist starred review

The Museum Of Extraordinary Things: A Novel / Alice Hoffman —  The story of an electric and impassioned love between two vastly different souls in New York during the volatile first decades of the twentieth century. “Hoffman unveils both horror and magic in this transfixing tale of liberation and love in a metropolis of lies, yearning, and metamorphosis.” – Booklist starred review

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