Three brothers and a young girl fight for survival within the towering walls of the Safe Lands. Despite its name, the city is ravaged with disease and infested with corruption. Each brother follows a mission: to find a cure for the sick; to free the captives; to take down the Safe Lands in a rebellion.
The second in her Safe Lands series, Outcasts is quickly earning a reputation as an intense story set in a captivating world. As a fan of Williamson’s fantasy series, Blood of Kings, I’ve been eager to get lost in another story by this worthy author.
Eleven year-old Ophelia’s father brings her and her older sister Alice to a magical museum in a city in which it always snows. When science-loving Ophelia wanders off to explore the museum in search of dinosaurs and fossils, she finds a boy locked in a small room. He tells an impossible story and asks for her help. Ophelia, who only believes things which can be scientifically proven, is torn about helping the boy, who says he must find a magical … Continue reading →
Seventeen year-old Michelle Pearce is barely scraping by. Her grades plummet. The bullying she endures at school only escalates. Even the perky high school counselor seems a bit over her head with Michelle and the fury penned inside her.
Enter Nate. He’s just about the last thing Michelle wants hanging around the gas station she works. Impossibly tall and somber, Nate is just too nice to dislike. She tries. Fails.
They begin working together and at first out of boredom, Michelle pries into Nate’s life. She finds more sadness and more compassion than she could have imagined. … Continue reading →
The Girl Who Played Chess With an Angel by Tessa Apa
From my review: “As she wrestles with her father’s sudden death and her mother’s bitterness, Florence begins to see life beyond her own needs. In her tenuous friendship with Max, she finds the courage to ask an even bigger question: is God real? Both Max and her mother are quick to provide their own answers to this deep question, but that’s not enough… Filled with yearning and honesty, Florence’s journey is as captivating as she is. Apa dares to dive deep, to genuinely question, and to allow her characters that which makes them so human: permission to doubt. She brings an authenticity to her debut novel that few authors are able … Continue reading →
Most of the human population has been decimated by the first four waves of a highly intelligent alien attack. Though no one has learned to identify the enemy, the ominous shape of the mother ship hovering in the sky above the earth strikes fear in the hearts of the few who survive.
Sixteen year-old Cassie trusts no one. She survives by moving from place to place, reliving the past, when the most terrible conflict she faced was her unrequieted affection for Ben, fellow student and popular athlete. Now Cassie simply bides her time until she can no longer run from the … Continue reading →
The last place sixteen year-old Melissa Keiser wants to return to is Anna Maria Island. The echo of laughter and cruel taunts still haunt Missy, even after four years. Her best friend Julie insists that things will be different now, but Missy is afraid to believe her. Until popular Sam King begins to act as though Missy is completely irresistible. She struggles to understand Sam’s desire for her and his friend’s weird overprotective behavior toward her. Josh, it seems, won’t leave Missy alone to make her own mistakes. But when Missy pursues him, he … Continue reading →
A crow with a taste for blood, a computer playing a deadly game, a terrifying Mothman, and a killer refrigerator, among many other bizarre and frightening villains feature in these dark, suspenseful short stories. An unlikely team of heroes includes a zombie and son of a witch. On a devastated planet, a young princess fights for her life, seeking hope for her people. A man whose bodily functions elicit a broad range of powerful emotions begs for death before his anger-inciting burps cause the world to destroy itself. A struggling “ghost-relocation expert” makes a deal with a murder victim only to discover he’s made a deal with something else … Continue reading →
Two years ago, Tessa’s best friend Noelle disappeared, leaving behind only her red bicycle and shattered memories. Tessa forces herself to accept the likelihood that her friend is dead. Then, in a shocking revelation from Noelle’s brother, Tessa learns that her friend is alive. That she’s been rescued from her captor. That she’ll be coming home.
Desperate to revive the kinship she once shared with Noelle, Tessa calls and visits, trying again and again to see her friend, only to be told Noelle isn’t ready. When she’s finally able to confront her, Tessa finds Noelle – who now insists on being called Elle – to … Continue reading →
When fifteen-year-old Clary witnesses a murder, she is determined to find out what’s happening. Unfortunately, she’s the only person who can see the perpetrators and the victim literally disappeared post-mortem. As she tries to reconcile herself to the strange happenings, she encounters one of the vicious youths again, only to discover that he belongs to an elite and mysterious group called Shadowhunters who protect ordinary mortals (which they call mundies, or mundanes) from demons. What they still aren’t sure about is why Clary can … Continue reading →
Thirteen year-old Edna is out of control, and her wealthy, indulged parents are out of ideas for how to handle her. As a last-ditch effort to reform their daughter, Edna’s parents drop her off at an isolated cabin in the desert with only her stoic grandmother and Vietnam veteran grandfather for company. Furious, Edna pulls out all her most manipulative, most challenging behaviors, but this time they have no effect. She is left with no choice but to survive the next two months with her grandparents, zero technology and a never-ending chore list. Her feelings about the desert change when she meets … Continue reading →