Here they are! The theme this year for our in-store Hot Reads (ages 4-12) event was Humor, and while we did skew humorous in our teen picks, there’s also plenty of drama, romance, and plain old weirdness. Hurray for summer!
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby (HarperCollins, $17.99) When exchange student Roza mysteriously disappears, Finn is the only witness, but no-one else believes she’s been kidnapped. With the help of his classmate and longtime crush Priscilla, Finn is determined to find out what really happened to Roza. And Roza is determined to fight her way back to the town of Bone Gap. Mysterious magical horses! SAT jokes! Bees! Weird, wonderful, and beautifully written, Bone Gap will enthrall fans of E. Lockhart, Maggie Stiefvater, and Andrew Smith. Three starred reviews! –F.
Boys Don’t Knit by T.S. Easton (Macmillan, $16.99) Sentenced to community college classes as the result of an incident that was totally not his fault, Ben picks the best among bad options… and discovers an unexpected talent for knitting. Soon he’s dealing with knitting competitions, nosy parents, cranky old ladies, useless friends, and a bona fide nemesis. “Wacky characters, a farcical plot and a fledgling romance are all part of the fun.” —Kirkus, starred review. Three starred reviews total!
Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen (Candlewick, $16.99) What do you do when your school’s new librarian is an attractive, evil demon who wants to keep your best friend captive for eternity? Obviously you go to your local occult bookshop for answers. “It’s all terrifically entertaining from start to finish, with Cyn’s wry voice narrating her transformation from musical theater-loving, crush-having teen to musical theater-loving, crush-having teen who can also kick some demon butt.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review.
A Hero at the End of the World by Erin Claiborne (Big Bang Press, $15.95) Imagine a world where Ron Weasley killed Voldemort and Harry was left working in a coffee shop. Such is the fate of Ewan Mao–he resents his former best friend Oliver Abrams, who is celebrated as the Slayer of Duff Slan. A fun ride that will have you laughing out loud! Accompanied by delightful illustrations. A Kirkus Starred Review and Best Teen Book of 2014. –A.
The Kidney Hypothetical by Lisa Yee (Scholastic, $17.99) Higgs Boson Bing is a Harvard-bound overachiever with the perfect life, the perfect girlfriend… and the perfect, horrible moment when everything goes wrong. As his life crumbles around him, Higgs discovers that he’s actually kind of a terrible person… and embarks on a journey of reluctant self-discovery, aided by a tattooed, awesomely crabby girl named Monarch. It’s hilarious. And how can you resist a protagonist named Higgs Boson Bing? Two starred reviews! –F.
Noggin by John Corey Whaley (Simon & Schuster, $11.99) After dying at age 16, Travis Coates’s head was removed and frozen for five years before being attached to another body, and now the old Travis and the new must find a way to coexist while figuring out changes in his relationships. Hilarity, hijinks, and some poignant reflections on the human condition ensue! “Whaley’s signature cadence and mad storytelling skillz are worth every page.” —Kirkus. Two starred reviews!
Rook by Sharon Cameron (Scholastic, $17.99) A post-apocalyptic homage to The Scarlet Pimpernel! By day, Sophia Bellamy is a well-bred young lady about to save her family’s fortunes by marrying a rich, airheaded Parisian. By night, she is Le Corbeau Rouge, the Red Rook: a mysterious trickster who snatches prisoners from the very scaffold of the guillotine in a blood-washed, dystopian Paris. Narrow escapes! Romance! Repartee! Swashbuckling! Swordplay! Sink me, it’s awesome! –F. (Read our full review here!)
Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham (Little, Brown, $18.00) Savvy teen P.I. Scarlett investigates what appears to be a straightforward suicide. But things are more complicated than they seem in this fun noir thriller. Great for fans of Veronica Mars! “This whip-smart, determined, black Muslim heroine brings a fresh hard-boiled tone to the field of teen mysteries.” —Kirkus, starred review.
Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman (Random House, $18.99) The thoroughly engrossing, dragon-filled sequel to Seraphina! Prepare to be swept away as Hartman expands the richly-imagined world of Goredd. I felt I was right next to Seraphina for the entire journey. –A.
Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee (Penguin, $16.99) A poignant, beautifully written story of friendship and courage. Fleeing for their lives, Chinese-American violinist Samantha and runaway slave Annamae disguise themselves as boys and travel the Oregon Trail to California. “Emotionally resonant and not without humor, this impressive debut about survival and connection, resourcefulness and perseverance will keep readers on the very edges of their seats.” —Kirkus, starred review. Two starred reviews total! –F.
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Adieh (Penguin, $17.99) A fantastic and lush retelling of the Thousand and One Nights! Prepare to be swept away by the impossible love between Shahrzad and the Caliph. A swoony summer read worth staying up all night to finish. Two starred reviews! –A.