The holidays are upon us, and with a few days at home or on the road, we hope you get a chance to read some great new books! Here are some of the adult books we’ve recently added to the collection that also have teen appeal (many of these come from the recommended titles in School Library Journal’s Adult Books 4 Teens column):
Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki — New York Times bestselling author Pataki follows up on her critically acclaimed debut novel, The Traitor’s Wife, with the little-known and tumultuous love story of “Sisi”, the Austro-Hungarian Empress and captivating wife of Emperor Franz Joseph. “Allison Pataki so vividly depicts the world of the Habsburg court, you’ll feel the silk of Sisi’s gowns under your very fingers as you eagerly turn the pages…sumptuous, surprising, and deeply felt” (Greer Macallister, author of The Magician’s Lie).
Ana of California by Andi Teran — In the grand tradition of Anne of Green Gables, Teran’s captivating debut novel offers a contemporary twist on a beloved classic. Fifteen-year-old orphan Ana Cortez has just blown her last chance with a foster family. It’s a group home next — unless she agrees to leave East Los Angeles for a farm trainee program in Northern California. “A heartwarming homage to a classic with a diverse twist that will be a hit with fans of realistic fiction” (School Library Journal).
Before He Finds Her by Michael Kardos — Everyone in the quiet Jersey Shore town of Silver Bay knows the story: on a Sunday evening in September 1991, Ramsey Miller threw a blowout block party, then murdered his beautiful wife and three-year-old daughter. But everyone is wrong. The daughter got away. Now she is nearly eighteen and tired of living in secrecy. “Teens who enjoy thrillers and mysteries that keep them guessing will gobble this one up” (School Library Journal).
Book of Aron by Jim Shepard — Aron, the narrator, is an engaging if peculiar and unhappy young boy whose family is driven by the German onslaught from the Polish countryside into Warsaw and slowly battered by deprivation, disease, and persecution. He and a handful of boys and girls risk their lives by scuttling around the ghetto to smuggle and trade contraband, hunted all the while by blackmailers and by Jewish, Polish, and German police, not to mention the Gestapo. “The writing is simple and effective. Because of the book’s emotional impact, it should prove to be a valuable addition to those studying the Holocaust” (School Library Journal).
Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith — The best-selling author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series deftly escorts Jane Austen’s beloved, meddlesome heroine into the twenty-first century in this delightfully inventive. “Possesses all the youth and beauty and a good deal of the wit of Jane Austen’s heroine…McCall Smith has written a delightfully droll, thoughtful novel that reflects on money’s enduring role in relationships as well as on the nature of this meddlesome heroine’s long-lived appeal” (Kirkus Reviews).
Find Me by Laura Van den Berg — Joy has no one. She spends her days working the graveyard shift at a grocery store outside Boston and nursing an addiction to cough syrup, an attempt to suppress her troubled past. But when a sickness that begins with memory loss and ends with death sweeps the country, Joy, for the first time in her life, seems to have an advantage: she is immune. When Joy’s immunity gains her admittance to a hospital in rural Kansas, she sees a chance to escape her bleak existence. “Van den Berg’s enveloping novel of a plague and a seeker in an endangered world reveals what it feels like to grow up unwanted and unknown in a civilization hell-bent on self-destruction” (Booklist starred review).
Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig — Four hundred years in the future, the Earth has turned primitive following a nuclear fire that has laid waste to civilization and nature. Though the radiation fallout has ended, for some unknowable reason every person is born with a twin. Of each pair, one is an Alpha–physically perfect in every way; and the other an Omega–burdened with deformity, small or large. Cass is a rare Omega, one burdened with psychic foresight. While her twin, Zach, gains power on the Alpha Council, she dares to dream the most dangerous dream of all: equality. “Fans of dystopias will appreciate this adventure-filled yet character-focused tale that offers hope and explores (in a refreshingly nuanced way) the moral complexities involved in defeating an oppressive and backward government structure” (Booklist starred review).
* Girl Underwater by Claire Kells — An adventurous debut novel that cross cuts between a competitive college swimmer’s harrowing days in the Rocky Mountains after a major airline disaster and her recovery supported by the two men who love her — only one of whom knows what really happened in the wilderness. “With the pacing of a thriller and the heart of a romance, the novel steers readers through one young woman’s survival of a devastating tragedy” (School Library Journal).
* Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capó Crucet — When Lizet — the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the first in her family to graduate from high school — secretly applies and is accepted to an ultra-elite college, her parents are furious at her decision to leave Miami. Just weeks before she’s set to start school, her parents divorce and her father sells her childhood home, leaving Lizet, her mother, and Leidy-Lizet’s older sister, a brand-new single mom, without a steady income and scrambling for a place to live. “Capó Crucet has created an utterly believable character in Lizet, whose struggles with family, studies, friendships, culture, identity, and the nature of home will resonate with older teens who are preparing to leave their own childhood homes” (School Library Journal).
Plague Land: A Somershill Manor Mystery by S.D. Sykes — Oswald de Lacy was never meant to be the Lord of Somerhill Manor. Despatched to a monastery at the age of seven, sent back at seventeen when his father and two older brothers are killed by the Plague, Oswald has no experience of running an estate. He finds the years of pestilence and neglect have changed the old place dramatically, not to mention the attitude of the surviving peasants. “A historical murder mystery brimming with intrigue and secrets. Intense and intricately layered, Plague Land is a ‘must-read’ for connoisseurs of the genre” (Midwest Book Review).
The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan — American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it’s Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain’s future king. And when Bex can’t resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face. “Parallels to the love story of Prince William and Kate Middleton are obvious, but the authors create their own unique and endearing characters” (Publishers Weekly).
The Unraveling of Mercy Lewis by Keija Parssinen — In this intricate novel of psychological suspense, a chilling discovery near the high school ignites a witch hunt in a southeast Texas refinery town, unearthing communal and family secrets that threaten the lives of the town’s girls. “Parssinen has created fully realized teen characters in a religious Southern small town straight out of a Carson McCullers short story” (School Library Journal).
Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight — At the end of a long winter in well-to-do Ridgedale, New Jersey, the body of a newborn is found in the woods fringing the campus of the town’s prestigious university. No one knows the identity of the baby, what ended her very short life, or how she came to be found among the fallen leaves. But for the residents of Ridgedale, there is no shortage of opinions. “Young adult fans of Jodi Picoult or Elizabeth Berg will enjoy this mystery” (School Library Journal).
* Titles marked with an asterisk are on School Library Journal‘s list of the Best Adult Books 4 Teens 2015.