Seraphina by Rachel Hartman is a fast paced, beautifully imagined fantasy. Seraphina is a talented musician working at the royal court, but she also has a dangerous secret she has to keep - she is half dragon. In the world of this novel dragons can inhabit their natural form or a human form called a Saar. While in their human form they have forged a treaty with Seraphina's home country of Goredd, but it is a tenuous peace with both sides still holding deep prejudices against each other.
Seraphina finds herself thrust into the very heart of conflict. The story is adventurous, mysterious, political, and romantic. Seraphina is a character to root for and one who will find her way into readers' hearts. Pick up this fabulous book (or it's sequel Shadow Scale) and let it transport you to a new world.
Horror stories scare me and this one was no exception. Micheline Helsing (yes, she's related to THE Van Helsing) is a tetrachromat and a ghost hunter. Tetrachromats can see spirits that regular humans cannot, but Micheline is particularly unique. She uses a special camera to trap and destroy ghosts who are terrorizing the human world. Micheline is good at her job; together with her loyal team she fights off creatures that would leave most of us hiding under the covers. It's a scary job, but Micheline isn't afraid, until the night she disobeys orders and goes after a dangerous spirit alone. Now she and her friends are racing against the clock to defeat an unknown, powerful evil before it consumes them from the inside...literally.
The Loners is the story of a group of teens in an extraordinary situation, "When a virus deadly to adults infects their high school, brothers David and Will and the other students soon break into gangs that fight each other for survival and the hope of escaping their quarantine." Check it out if you like dystopias, adventures, or stories of survival!
The list of nominees for the 2016 Eliot Rosewater award are also available. Start reading now and then vote for your favorite! You could help decide next year's winner!
Aristotle and Dante is a sensitive, thoughtful portrayal of friendship and finding yourself. Both of the main characters are teen boys who feel out of place in the world around them, until they find each other. Together they navigate the ups and downs of teenage life; friends (or lack of them), family, independence, and love.
An added bonus of this particular book are the complex parent child relationships. Unlike many YA novels, the parents in this book are very present in their sons' lives. Dante is the only child of intellectuals and Aristotle is the youngest child of self made, hard working people. Both of them love their parents, but both of them find different aspects of their lives hard, if not impossible, to share with them.
This is a great realistic fiction for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider. The world is a big place, just because you haven't found where you belong yet, doesn't mean you won't.
Guy in RealLife by Steve Brezenoff is the story of two wonderfully weird teenagers who (literally) crash into each other's lives. Lana is a quiet, creative Dungeon Master who's entire social calendar revolves around the high school Gaming Club and Lesh is a sullen, metalhead who's recent grounding has led to a newfound love of MMORPG. They probably shouldn't be friends, they definitely shouldn't be together, but they just can't stay apart.
This book was a refreshing YA romance. The characters are real and interesting. Both Lesh and Lana were very sympathetic and I was rooting for both of them throughout the whole book. I definitely want to hang out with Lana and embroider some cool stuff on skirts or tote bags. I don't know if I'd want to hang out with Lesh IRL, but I'd probably go on a quest with him. He is a pretty decent healer.
If you enjoy realistic fiction, romance, gaming, snark, embroidery, D&D, or heavy metal, you should check out Guy in Real Life.