October is kicking off with some awesome books! May the autumnal winds blow out all the candles on this delicious cake.
Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver (10/4/11)
Poor little Liesl is lonely and grieving her father’s death, locked in a colorless attic (and world) by her evil stepmother, when a ghost named Po appears with its species-indeterminate pet, Bundle. Liesl and Po is a fairy tale that I wish I’d had as a kid but am ineffably thrilled to have discovered today. Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall, Delirium) has crafted a fantastic novel that explores the afterlife and offers any grief-stricken readers lessons on how to overcome loss, providing comfort in the same way Bridge To Terabithia has for years. The journey Liesl takes–accompanied by Po, Bundle, and an alchemist’s apprentice, Will–to deliver her father’s ashes to her mother’s graveside is one full of grim twists and turns with brighter moments along the way.
Eve by Anna Carey (10/4/11)
Forbidden love stories are timeless. But in this new, future-set series, Eve lives in a school with hundreds of other girls, none of whom have never even seen boys–which kinda puts a damper on the whole romance thing. A deadly virus has ruined the world, and Eve and the other ladies have been promised a role in rebuilding America once they graduate. But when Eve discovers that they’ve been lied to, she runs away into a world she’s never experienced, forming alliances with an old enemy and a boy she was raised to fear.
Variant by Robinson Wells (10/4/11)
How’s school been, Figs? Do you have any Most Hated Teachers yet? Aren’t you just thinking that school would be better without adults? WRONG. Having no adults around always sounds cool at first, but think about how much more work you’d have to do! Teaching your friends algebra or cooking for them in the cafeteria doesn’t sound like my idea of a good time.
Benson Fisher is an orphan who gets a scholarship to a boarding school in order to avoid his latest foster family. As soon as he arrives at Maxfield Academy, though, the many cameras along the campus’s barbed-wired fences are a red flag to Benson that this school is unlike the others he previously attended. And our super-smart protagonist is right–it’s a school without adults. Becky, a teenager who administers his orientation, gives Benson the rundown about how all the responsibilities are assigned to the students. Failing to act accordingly will result in detention–a mysterious punishment from which the student never returns.
Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick (10/4/11)
One of the greatest pieces of news I received this week was that this awesomely angelic series isn’t over yet! What was originally going to end as a trilogy has been expanded into a fourth and final novel, meaning more Patch and Nora after Silence! Figs, I’ve been seriously impressed with quick-witted Nora and bad boy/guardian angel Patch ever since Fitzpatrick’s first novel Hush, Hush, and I’m excited to see how they’ll fare in their penultimate battle with this latest Big Bad, who seeks to threaten their love and their world. Typical.
The Apothecary by Maile Meloy (10/4/11)
This middle-grade novel has it all, from science and magic to aspiring spies and actual spies. Young protagonists tend to have it rough these days, what with all the responsibility they bear for saving the world from dastardly villains and immortal bullies, and now saving the world from Russian spies threatening to throw the world into a nuclear crisis. This last one is a challenge left for 14-year-old Lanie and an apothecary’s son, Benjamin, whose father has just been kidnapped. Armed with an ancient book, the Pharmocopeia, the two will mix elixirs in 1950s London to save the apothecary and, by doing so, the world.