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Random House Books for Young Readers – January 27, 2009

Liza didn’t witness the war between the humans and the Faeries, but she lives with the after effects.

In Franklin Falls, a town devastated like all the others during the war, the townspeople are fearful of magic.  Since the war and all the death caused by the Faeries, they fell nothing good can come from it. 

When Liza’s baby sister was born with eyes as silver as moonlight and faerie-pale hair as clear as glass, her father did what was expected.  He took her up on a hillside and abandoned her.  He said, “If the faerie folk want her, let them take her.”  Liza slipped out of the house later that night in an attempt to save her sister, but it was too late – the animals got there first.

Three weeks after losing her sister, Liza’s life changes forever.  Strange visions keep popping into her head.  The visions scare her and lead her to believe she has magic inside of her just like her sister did.  Liza runs from everything she’s known.  She runs away from Franklin Falls and into the woods she’s been warned against all her life.   Her only companions are her cat and a boy named Matthew – who has secrets of his own.

Together they make their way through dangerous terrain hoping to find answers to the many questions they have.  What they find out leaves them questioning everything they’ve been taught.

BONES OF FAERIE is a fast-paced story.  As a reader, it is easy to get attached to the characters.  Liza’s visions are marked by italics for easy identification throughout the story and the language is clean which makes this appropriate for even young fantasy fans. 

Click here to visit the BONES OF FAERIE website.

Be sure to stop by Janni Lee Simner’s page too.

As a bonus, here is a short story set in the same world as BONES OF FAERIE.

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Bones of Faerie

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Little, Brown Young Readers – May 1st, 2008

Imagine, in the blink of an eye, in the flash of a blue light, you and every other human on the planet are reduced to less than six inches tall.

Imagine what it would be like in the world where nothing else was reduced in size.  All the animals, insects, food, and shelter remained their regular size.  Your backyard literally becomes a jungle.

IN THE SMALL presents just that scenario.  Survivors struggle to make it to the safety of the home of their make shift leader, picking up stragglers along the way.  Word has it, there are demons in their midst so Mouse, the leader, does his best to keep everyone together until they they make it to the safety of his home where he is hoping he’ll find his mother, sister, and grandfather alive. 

The story moves very fast and anyone who enjoys reading about the post-apocalypse and survival will love this graphic novel.  It is scheduled to be made into a movie in 2010.

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In the Small

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St. Martin’s Griffin – February 3rd, 2009

Ever has survived the unthinkable.  She is the lone survivor of the automobile accident that took the lives of every member of her family – including the family pet.  Since her “near death” experience, she hasn’t been the same.  Not only is she battling with feelings of guilt for being alive, she now has psychic abilities.  She can read minds and nothing is secret anymore.  In order to block out the noise that constantly surrounds her, she keeps her iPod cranked to dangerous levels, hoping to distract herself.

Her self-isolation naturally leads to a lack of friends.  Only Haven and Miles, outsides in their own rights, keep Ever company at school and on occasional weekends.

One day flows into the next, until a new boy shows up at school.  Damen causes quite a stir with his amazing good looks and charming personality, but there is something strange about him too.  Damen silences the noise in Ever’s head.  Whenever he talks, he is all she hears.  Whenever he touches her, everyone around her seems to disappear and a warm, tingly feeling creeps up her body.  This would be great if Ever felt she could trust him, but something just doesn’t seem right about him.

Ever must come to terms with her life while dealing with a mysterious woman that seems to have a connection to Damen.  Ever refuses to learn more about her psychic abilities and would rather them just disappear, but in trying ignore them, she puts herself in danger.

Can Ever find a way to live with her abilities and is Damen worthy of her trust?  Read EVERMORE by Alyson Noel to join Ever on her journey through the Immortals Series.  The second novel, BLUE MOON, will be available August 2009.

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Evermore

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St. Martin’s Griffin – December 23, 2008

CRACKED UP TO BE is the story of Parker Fadley.  She once held the position of queen bee of the school.  She was the Captain of the cheerleaders, always landed on the honor roll list, and had the same basketball-star boyfriend since freshman year.

After a particularly wild party at her boyfriend’s house, something happened that left Parker with major feelings of guilt.  She no longer feels like she deserved to live the life of perfection and slowly starts alienating herself from everyone and everything she once thought was so important.  The problem is, the people around her don’t want to let her slip into the background.

If you are in the mood for a light pick-me-up then CRACKED UP TO BE isn’t the book for you. It is filled with page after page of pain.  Parker has to deal with feelings of loss and helplessness and discuss all of her painful experiences and poor decisions in therapy once a week.  

You’ll read obsessively until you learn what happened to change Parker’s life so drastically. The author eludes to the event throughout the story, but only reveals the whole picture when Parker is forced to come to terms with her decisions.  While the entire book is filled with painful, awkward, and difficult situations, the story still ends on a hopeful note.  It is definitely a book you don’t want to miss.

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Cracked Up to Be

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Things aren’t getting any easier in the FAYZ (Fall-out Alley Youth Zone) since the big Thanksgiving Battle against Caine and the other Coates Academy kids.  In fact, everything seems to be going from bad to worse.  Sam, the appointed leader of Perdido Beach, is feeling the pressure of all the day to day decisions.  The biggest problem that everyone is facing is starvation.  With the fear and confusion that followed the disappearance of everyone 15 and over, the kids that were left did what they wanted – including eating what they wanted. Nothing was done to preserve food for the future, so meats and vegetables went bad, leaving food in short supply.  The kids in Perdido Beach and Coates Academy are left eating what canned food is left.  One day it might be asparagus for breakfast, wax beans for lunch, and hot dog relish for dinner.  No one is in good spirits and when Caine recovers from his encounter with The Darkness and makes another move for power, things only get worse.

Sam is suffering from all the stress, Little Pete’s powers are getting scarier every day, some of the kids that haven’t developed powers are beginning to start trouble, and important people are switching sides.  Danger is at its all time high.  Death seems imminent.  

Michael Grant has produced a very satisfying sequel.  The tension and excitement in the story is palpable.  Character development continues to be a strong point.  The new characters that are introduced add to the plot, but our favorites from GONE continue to play a large role in the story.  HUNGER is the second book in a six-part series.  Michael Grant is currently working on the third which will be titled LIES.  HUNGER will be released June 2009, but be sure to read GONE first, you’ll need the backstory to really appreciate the sequel.

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It has been years since Alice lost her mother to cancer, but she still hasn’t recovered.  The three things that give her any peace at all are writing and playing music, her best friend Claire, and her loving boyfriend Blaze.  Sadness covers her like a blanket and prevents her from enjoying some of the new things going on in her life.

Alice’s father has remarried and he and his new wife are expecting a baby.  Alice feels nothing but resentment toward Victoria, the new wife, and the baby that is on the way.  When Ivy finally does arrive, Alice doesn’t even go to the hospital to see her and doesn’t want anything to do with her once she comes home.

Alice is devastated when her father tells her the whole family is going to visit Victoria’s parents over Thanksgiving break.  She is forced to ride the whole way sitting next to Ivy in the backseat acting as a human pacifier in order to keep her quiet. 

While Thanksgiving is relatively painless, Alice is ready to get back home.  With her father called away for a work emergency, Victoria and Alice must make the drive home alone.  A big winter storm is moving into the area fast and Victoria decides to leave a little early to stay ahead of it.  Alice takes a Tylenol PM to prepare herself for the ride so she can get some sleep and not be expected to talk to Victoria or take care of Ivy. When she wakes up with the car stuck in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nothing but white, she realizes she may have made a mistake.  Maybe she should have been paying attention.

Lisa Schroeder weaves together individual poems to create a heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and healing.  Alice is forced to take stock of her life and decide what really matters.  Working together with Victoria becomes a necessity, not only for their survival, but for Ivy’s survival as well.  Alice’s struggle with her family and faith come alive for the reader as we experience everything through her eyes.  The relationship between Alice and Blaze is refreshing.  The devotion the two have for each other is rare for two teenagers in this day and age.  Readers will be brought to tears while reading this incredible story of personal triumph and transformation.

For more information about Lisa Schroeder and her books visit her website at http://www.lisaschroederbooks.com

wintergirlsLia fights a war every day. 

A war with herself. 

A war with food. 

At 95 pounds she still feels fat.  When she looks in the mirror she sees the pockets of fat hanging on her body.  Everyone else is just blind.  Two stays in a treatment facility hasn’t cured her; it just forced her to develop techniques to survive in a world of food.  She picks the bruised apples at lunch so she has an excuse to cut some of it off, she sews quarters in the lining of her robe to add weight when she has to stand on the scale in front of her stepmother, and she cuts herself – just little cuts in order to let the pain leak out of her body.

When Lia learns that Cassie, her best friend, has been found dead in a motel room, maintaining any healthy habit is extremely difficult.  Not only does she have to listen to her own voice obsessing about every calorie of food she consumes; now she has to deal with Cassie making her ghostly appearances and cheering her on and encouraging her to get skinnier so Lia can join Cassie on the “other side.”

Lia must decide where she wants to be – in the world with the living or stuck in the frozen world where she has trapped herself.   

Laurie Halse Anderson has done it again.  With this being the tenth anniversary of the release of SPEAK, it is a wonderful time for WINTERGIRLS to debut.  It is an extremely powerful and honest look at the life of an anorexic girl.  You will be choked up and at a loss for words by the time you get to the final page.