What’s New In YA? September 27, 2022

 

September 27, 2022

 

Big Lies (Mark Kurlansky)

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Tilbury House Publishers 
  • Reading age: ‎13 – 18 years
  • Grade level: ‎6 – 12

 

On Kirkus’ most Anticipated Books for Fall 2022: Impassioned, thorough, and brilliant: describes the struggle for truth that “keeps the world from descending into chaos.”

In his new book for young readers Mark Kurlansky’s lens is the art of the “big lie,” a term coined by Adolf Hitler. Kurlansky has written Big Lies: From Socrates to Social Media for the next stewards of our world. It is not only a history but a how-to manual for seeing through big lies and thinking critically.

Mark Kurlansky’s bestselling works of nonfiction view the history of the world through unexpected lenses, including cod, salt, and paper. In this new book for young readers his lens is the art of the big lie. Big lies are told by governments, politicians, and corporations to avoid responsibility, cast blame on the innocent, win elections, disguise intent, create chaos, and gain power and wealth. Big lies are as old as civilization. They corrupt public understanding and discourse, turn science upside down, and reinvent history. They prevent humanity from addressing critical challenges. They perpetuate injustices. They destabilize the world.

As with his book World Without Fish, Kurlansky has written A History of Big Lies for young readers, the future stewards of our world. It is not only a history but a how-to manual for seeing through big lies and thinking critically. “I hope that you will keep asking yourself what is true as you read this book and live your life,” he entreats readers at the outset. “If the Age of Enlightenment is not to be followed by the Age of Chaos, we have to think for ourselves.”

A History of Big Lies soars across history, alighting on the “noble lies” of Socrates and Plato, Nero blaming Christians for the burning of Rome, the great injustices of the Middle Ages, the big lies of Stalin and Hitler and their terrible consequences, and the reckless lies of contemporary demagogues, which are amplified through social media. Lies against women and Jews are two examples in the long history of “othering” the vulnerable for personal gain. Nor does America escape Kurlansky’s equal-opportunity spotlight.

The modern age has provided ever-more-effective ways of spreading lies, but it has also given us the scientific method, which is the most effective tool for finding what is true. In the book’s final chapter, Kurlansky reveals ways to deconstruct an allegation. Is there credible, testable evidence to support it? If not, suspect a lie. A scientific theory has to be testable, and so does an allegation. Who is the source? Who benefits? Is there a money trail? Especially in the age of social media, critical thinking counters lies and chaos.

“Belief is a choice,” Kurlansky writes, “and honesty begins in each of us. A lack of caring what is true or false is the undoing of democracy. The alternative to truth is a corrupt state in which the loudest voices and most seductive lies confer power and wealth on grifters and oligarchs. We cannot achieve a healthy planet for all the world’s people if we do not keep asking what is true.”

60 illustrations

 

CREEP  (Lygia Day Peñaflor)

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Clarion Books 
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎9 – 12

 

You meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this twisted, tragic love story that follows Holy Family High School’s cutest couple—as told through the eyes of the classmate who’s stalking them.

Laney Villanueva and Nico Fiore are the perfect couple: beautiful, popular, talented, and hopelessly in love. Everyone looks up to them at Holy Family High School.

But Rafi doesn’t just admire them. She watches them. She’s drawn to them.

Intent on becoming their closest friend, Rafi weaves her way into their lives. She starts small: taking photos of the senior class for the yearbook, joining Laney’s club, and babysitting Nico’s little sister. And it works—soon they invite her to parties, take her on joyrides, and ask her for favors. Rafi’s actions quickly turn invasive, delving deeper and deeper until she’s consumed by their most intimate secrets.

When tragedy strikes the young lovers, Rafi’s obsession spirals, and she will do anything to keep the perfect couple together. Anything . . .

 

MERE MORTALS (Erin Jade Lange)

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎HarperTeen 
  • Reading age: ‎13 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎8 – 9

 

This hilarious, fresh take on a classic vampire tale follows a pair of hundred-year-old teenage vampires who are turned mortal and must face the greatest nightmare of all—high school.

Charlie and her brother, Reg, have been vampires for… a very long time. For a century, they enjoyed the glitz and glamour of life as members of the wealthiest vampire clan. But now, after one careless mistake, they’ve been expelled from the vampire community and dumped in the middle of Nowhere, Iowa to live as mortals.

Suddenly Charlie has to deal with zits, tears, and—worst of all—high school. But things start to change when she and Reg find a group of friends, including the deliciously good-looking Dexter. And though Charlie would give anything to be vampire again, she begins to appreciate some of the new experiences that humanity brings too.

But nothing could make them forget the life they’ve left behind. When they’re offered a second shot at immortality, Charlie is desperate to seize it. It’ll just mean a total betrayal of all her new friends, who will have their minds wiped of their memories of her. She can handle that if it means she can live forever… right?

Don’t miss this unique, laugh-out-loud funny novel by acclaimed author Erin Jade Lange!

 

Forest Hills Bootleg Society (Dave Baker, Nicole Goux)

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Reading age: ‎14 years and up
  • Grade level: ‎9 – 12

 

Set in 2005, this gorgeously illustrated, funny, and honest graphic novel follows four teens who stumble into an illicit anime DVD-burning business that shakes up their conservative small town…and their friendship.

When Brooke, Kelly, Maggie, and Melissa buy a bootleg anime DVD at a gas station, they get much more than they bargained for with Super Love XL, a risqué move featuring—among other things—a giant mecha who shoots lasers out of her chest. The four girls are horrified (and maybe a little fascinated). It’s so unlike anything they’ve seen, would probably shock everyone else in their town, and definitely would take over their extremely conservative Christian school. That’s when they have the idea to sell copies to local boys…for twenty dollars a pop.

At first, everything goes perfectly, with the friends raking in cash—pretty soon they’ll even have enough money to buy the matching jackets they’ve always dreamed of! But as the market for mildly titillating anime DVDs grows, the girls realize they’ll need new material. On top of figuring out how to replicate their first success, there’s growing tension within the group. Brooke and Kelly’s romance is on its last legs, and hurt feelings are guaranteed when Melissa starts falling for one of them.

Will the four girls’ shared history be strong enough to see them through this upheaval? Or will they learn that some things can only end in heartbreak?

 

Soul of the Deep (Skin of the Sea #2) (Natasha Bowen) 

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Random House Books for Young Readers 
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 17 years
  • Lexile measure: ‎890L
  • Grade level: ‎9 – 12

 

The stunning sequel to New York Times bestseller Skin of the Sea, in which the world must pay the price for one mermaid’s choice, and a dark force reverberates across realms. Perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and those eagerly anticipating the live-action The Little Mermaid.

One life.
One choice.
One sacrifice.

To save those closest to her, Simi traded away everything: her freedom, her family, and the boy she loves. Now she is sworn to serve a new god, watching over the Land of the Dead at the bottom of the ocean.

But when signs of demons begin to appear, it’s clear there are deeper consequences of Simi’s trade. These demons spell the world’s ruin . . . and because of Simi, they now have a way into the human realm.

With the fate of the world at stake, Simi must break her promise and team up with a scheming trickster of a god. And if they succeed, perhaps Simi can also unbreak her heart along the way, and find herself again.

“Epic and original . . . Simi’s story will stay with me for a long time.” —Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Timesbestselling author of Instructions for Dancing.

 

Well, That Was Unexpected (Untitled #1) (Jesse Q. Sutanto) 

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Delacorte Press
  • Reading age: ‎12 – 17 years
  • Lexile measure: ‎760L
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 9

 

A delightful, hilarious, captivating love letter to Indonesia, and coming of age in a large meddlesome family, and the thrill of finding your person where you least expect it!”–Ali Hazelwood, New York Timesbestselling author of The Love Hypothesis

A laugh-out-loud YA rom-com about a girl who’s whisked from LA to her mother’s native Indonesia to get back to her roots and finds herself fake-dating the son of one of the wealthiest families there, from the bestselling author of Dial A for Aunties and The Obsession

After Sharlot Citra’s mother catches her in a compromising position, she finds herself whisked away from LA to her mother’s native Indonesia. It’ll be exactly what they both need. Or so her mother thinks.

When George Clooney Tanuwijaya’s father (who is obsessed with American celebrities) fears he no longer understands how to get through to his son, he decides to take matters into his own hands.

To ensure that their children find the right kind of romantic partner, Sharlot’s mother and George’s father do what any “good” parent would do: they strike up a conversation online, pretending to be their children.

When the kids find out about their parents’ actions, they’re horrified. Not even a trip to one of the most romantic places on earth could possibly make Sharlot and George fall for each other. But as the layers peel back and the person they thought they knew from online is revealed, the truth becomes more complicated. As unlikely as it may seem, did their parents manage to find their true match after all?

 

How to Succeed in Witchcraft  (Aislinn Brophy)

 

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers 
  • Reading age: ‎12 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 9

 

A talented witch competes for a prestigious scholarship at her cutthroat high school in this contemporary fantasy for fans of Never Have I Ever and Sabrina the Teen Witch.

“Captivating, romantic, and deeply powerful” —Aiden Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Cemetery Boys

Magically brilliant, academically perfect, chronically overcommitted—

Shay Johnson has all the makings of a successful witch. As a junior at T.K. Anderson Magical Magnet School, she’s determined to win the Brockton Scholarship—her ticket into the university of her dreams. Her competition? Ana freaking Álvarez. The key to victory? Impressing Mr. B, drama teacher and head of the scholarship committee.

When Mr. B asks Shay to star in this year’s aggressively inclusive musical, she warily agrees, even though she’ll have to put up with Ana playing the other lead. But in rehearsals, Shay realizes Ana is . . . not the despicable witch she’d thought. Perhaps she could be a friend—or more. And Shay could use someone in her corner once she becomes the target of Mr. B’s unwanted attention. When Shay learns she’s not the first witch to experience his inappropriate behavior, she must decide if she’ll come forward. But how can she speak out when her future’s on the line?

“The perfect witchy read” —BuzzFeed

 

Big Bad  (Lily Anderson)

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎ ‎Hyperion Avenue (September 27, 2022)
  • Reading age: ‎18
  • Grade level: ‎12

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Suicide Squad in this adult dark, rompy novel in which the most beloved villains from Buffy must team up to stop the Slayer from ending their evil universe!
Demondale, Callifornia, 1999…Like Sunnydale, but whole lot more evil.

Step into this alternate reality, where chaos reigns supreme. The Mayor’s sun-shade has created permanent darkness over Sunnydale, fully opening the Hellmouth once and for all. Now the newly christened Demondale has become a safe haven for vampires, beasts, and all types of ruffians. It’s never been better to be bad.

Aspiring supervillains (and super nerds) Jonathan and Andrew attempt to hold their own in a town full of monsters, while eleven-hundred-year-old vengeance demon Anya is just looking for something to give her life purpose again, spending her days working at an evil juice bar. But soon word gets out that there’s a new Big Bad on the scene, one more powerful and more destructive than anyone who has come before. She, of course, is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And she’s hell-bent on rooting out all of this reality’s evil by any means necessary.

Now Jonathan, Andrew, and Anya must recruit a team of Demondale’s most notorious villains―including Angelus, Spike, Drusilla, and even Ripper the malevolent magic shop owner―in order to save their world. But it’ll be no easy feat to put their pride and differences aside and stop the worst thing that has ever come to town: good.

Written by acclaimed author and Buffy super fan Lily Anderson, this novel brings together Buffy’s most devious and beloved villains from the Trio to the Whirlwind to Anya, Glory, and Vampire Willow. This is one apocalypse Buffy fans are not going to want to miss!

 

Last of the Talons (Talon #1)  (Sophie Kim)

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Entangled: Teen 
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎10 – 12

 

Last of the Talons is a stunning blend of dark romance and Korean mythology. Sophie Kim writes enemies to lovers with heart-pounding intensity, blurring the line between love and hate. Bloodthirsty, addictive, and searingly romantic.” ―Axie Oh, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea

After the destruction of her entire Talon gang, eighteen-year-old Shin Lina―the Reaper of Sunpo―is forced to become a living, breathing weapon for the kingdom’s most-feared crime lord. All that keeps her from turning on her ruthless master is the life of her beloved little sister hanging in the balance. But the order to steal a priceless tapestry from a Dokkaebi temple incites not only the wrath of a legendary immortal, but the beginning of an unwinnable game…

Suddenly Lina finds herself in the dreamlike realm of the Dokkaebi, her fate in the hands of its cruel and captivating emperor. But she can win her life―if she kills him first.

Now a terrible game of life and death has begun, and even Lina’s swift, precise blade is no match for the magnetic Haneul Rui. Lina will have to use every weapon in her arsenal if she wants to outplay this cunning king and save her sister…all before the final grain of sand leaks out of the hourglass.

Because one way or another, she’ll take Rui’s heart.

Even if it means giving up her own.

 

Kingdom of the Feared (Kingdom of the Wicked #3) (Kerri Maniscalco)

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 
  • Reading age: ‎16 years and up
  • Grade level: ‎11 and up

 

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series comes the steamy conclusion to Kingdom of the Wicked trilogy.

Two curses.
One prophecy.
A reckoning all have feared.

And a love more powerful than fate. All hail the king and queen of Hell.

Emilia is reeling from a shocking discovery about her sister, Vittoria. But before she faces the demons of her past, Emilia yearns to claim her king, the seductive Prince of Wrath, in the flesh. She doesn’t just desire his body; she wants his heart and soul—but that’s something the enigmatic demon can’t promise her.

When a high-ranking member of House Greed is assassinated, damning evidence somehow points to Vittoriaas the murderer. Now, Emilia will do anything to get to the bottom of these accusations against the sister she thought she knew.

Together, Emilia and Wrath play a sin-fueled game of deception to solve the murder and stop the unrest that’s brewing between witches, demons, shape-shifters, and the most treacherous foes of all: the Feared. Emilia was warned that when it came to the Wicked, nothing was as it seemed. But have the true villains been much closer all along?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kerri Maniscalco delivers sizzling romance, sexy secrets, and unexpected twists in this unforgettable conclusion to the Kingdom of the Wicked series.

Suggested for ages 16 and up.

 

Secrets so Deep  (Ginny Myers Sain)

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Razorbill 
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎9 – 12

 

For fans of We Were Liars and from the bestselling author of Dark and Shallow Lies comes a  paranormal thriller about a seventeen-year-old girl returning to camp to uncover the truth of what really happened there twelve years ago, the night her mother drowned.

Twelve years ago, Avril’s mother drowned at Whisper Cove theater, just off the rocky Connecticut coastline. It was ruled an accident, but Avril’s never been totally convinced. Local legend claims that the women in the waves—ghosts from old whaling stories—called her mother into the ocean with their whispering. Because, as they say at Whisper Cove, what the sea wants, the sea will have.

While Avril doesn’t believe in ghosts, she knows there are lots of different ways for places, and people, to be haunted. She’s spent the past twelve years trying to make sense of the strange bits and pieces she does remember from the night she lost her mother. Stars falling into the sea. A blinding light. A tight grip on her wrist. The odd sensation of flying. Now, at seventeen, she’s returning to Whisper Cove for the first time, and she might finally unravel the mystery of what really happened.

As Avril becomes more involved with camp director Willa and her mysterious son Cole, Whisper Cove reveals itself to her. Distances seem to shift in the strange fog. Echoes of long-past moments bounce off the marsh. And Avril keeps meeting herself—and her dead mother—late at night, at the edge of the ocean.

The truth Avril seeks is ready to be discovered. But it will come at a terrible cost.

 

Foul Lady Fortune (Foul Lady Fortune #1) (Chloe Gong)

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Margaret K. McElderry Books 
  • Reading age: ‎14 years and up
  • Grade level: ‎9 – 12

 

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights and Our Violent Ends comes the first book in a captivating new duology following an ill-matched pair of spies posing as a married couple to investigate a series of brutal murders in 1930s Shanghai.

It’s 1931 in Shanghai, and the stage is set for a new decade of intrigue.

Four years ago, Rosalind Lang was brought back from the brink of death, but the strange experiment that saved her also stopped her from sleeping and aging—and allows her to heal from any wound. In short, Rosalind cannot die. Now, desperate for redemption for her traitorous past, she uses her abilities as an assassin for her country.

Code name: Fortune.

But when the Japanese Imperial Army begins its invasion march, Rosalind’s mission pivots. A series of murders is causing unrest in Shanghai, and the Japanese are under suspicion. Rosalind’s new orders are to infiltrate foreign society and identify the culprits behind the terror plot before more of her people are killed.

To reduce suspicion, however, she must pose as the wife of another Nationalist spy, Orion Hong, and though Rosalind finds Orion’s cavalier attitude and playboy demeanor infuriating, she is willing to work with him for the greater good. But Orion has an agenda of his own, and Rosalind has secrets that she wants to keep buried. As they both attempt to unravel the conspiracy, the two spies soon find that there are deeper and more horrifying layers to this mystery than they ever imagined.

 

Forestfall (World at the Lake’s Edge #2) (Lyndall Clipstone)

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Henry Holt and Co. 
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 18 years
  • Grade level: ‎10 – 12

 

At the lake’s edge, I made my promise. In the forest, I will fall.

The curse that haunted Lakesedge Estate has been broken, but at great cost. Violeta Graceling has sacrificed herself to end the Corruption.

To escape death, Leta makes a desperate bargain with the Lord Under, one that sees her living at his side in the land of the dead. And though he claims to have given her all he promised, Leta knows this world of souls and mists hides many secrets.

When she discovers she is still bound to Rowan, Leta goes to drastic lengths to reforge their connection. But her search for answers, and a path back home, will see her drawn into even more dangerous bargains, and struggling to resist the allure of a new, dark, power in Forestfall by Lyndall Clipstone.

 

Michael Vey: The Parasite (Richard Paul Evans)

 

  • publisher: ‎Simon Pulse 
  • Reading age: ‎12 years and up
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 9

 

Michael Vey is back with an electrifying eighth installment of the award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling series. Join Michael and the Electroclan as a new threat arises even more terrible and calculating than the Elgen.

Michael and his friends learn that returning to a normal life is not only more difficult than they imagined, but that normal doesn’t last. Like the mythical Hydra, cutting off the head of the global Elgen only created more enemies.

Michael Vey fans worldwide will celebrate the return of this exciting series with the world’s greatest team of electric superheroes.

 

Straw House, Wood House, Brick House, Blow: Four Novellas  (Daniel Nayeri)

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Candlewick 
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎9 – 12

 

Written entirely on an iPhone, this quartet of YA novellas by Another Pan and Another Faust author Daniel Nayeri showcases four different genres.

This bold collection of novellas by Another series author Daniel Nayeri features four riveting tales. These modern riffs on classic genres will introduce young adult readers to a broad range of writing styles that explore universally compelling themes such as identity and belonging, betrayal and friendship, love and mortality.

Straw House: A Western sizzling with suspense, set in a land where a rancher grows soulless humans and a farmer grows living toys.

Wood House: This science-fiction tale plunges the reader into a future where reality and technology blend imperceptibly, and a teenage girl must race to save the world from a nano-revolution that a corporation calls “ReCreation Day.”

Brick House: This detective story set in modern NYC features a squad of “wish police” and a team of unlikely detectives.

Blow: A comedic love story told by none other than Death himself, portrayed here as a handsome and charismatic hero who may steal your heart in more ways than one. With humor, suspense, and relatable prose, this hip and cutting-edge collection dazzles.

 

Spells for Lost Things (Jenna Evans Welch)

 

 

  • Publisher: ‎Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
  • Reading age: ‎12 years and up
  • Grade level: ‎7 – 9

 

From the New York Times bestselling author of Love & Gelato comes a poignant and romantic novel about two teens trying to find their place in the world after being unceremoniously dragged to Salem, Massachusetts, for the summer.

Willow has never felt like she belonged anywhere and is convinced that the only way to find a true home is to travel the world. But her plans to act on her dream are put on hold when her aloof and often absent mother drags Willow to Salem, Massachusetts, to wrap up the affairs of an aunt Willow didn’t even know she had. An aunt who may or may not have been a witch.

There, she meets Mason, a loner who’s always felt out of place and has been in and out of foster homes his entire life. He’s been classified as one of the runaways, constantly searching for ways to make it back to his mom; even if she can’t take care of him, it’s his job to try and take care of her. Isn’t it?

Naturally pulled to one another, Willow and Mason set out across Salem to discover the secret past of Willow’s mother, her aunt, and the ambiguous history of her family. During all of this, the two can’t help but act on their natural connection. But with the amount of baggage between them—and Willow’s growing conviction her family might be cursed—can they manage to hold onto each other?

 

Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution (Kacen Callender)

 

  • Publisher: ‎Amulet Books 
  • Reading age: ‎14 – 17 years
  • Grade level: ‎9 and up

 

From National Book Award–winner Kacen Callender, a contemporary YA that follows Lark’s journey to speak the truth and discover how their own self-love can be a revolution

Lark Winters wants to be a writer, and for now that means posting on their social media accounts––anything to build their platform. When former best friend Kasim accidentally posts a thread on Lark’s Twitter declaring his love for a secret, unrequited crush, Lark’s tweets are suddenly the talk of the school—and beyond. To protect Kasim, Lark decides to take the fall, pretending they accidentally posted the thread in reference to another classmate. It seems like a great idea: Lark gets closer to their crush, Kasim keeps his privacy, and Lark’s social media stats explode. But living a lie takes a toll—as does the judgment of thousands of Internet strangers. Lark tries their best to be perfect at all costs, but nothing seems good enough for the anonymous hordes––or for Kasim, who is growing closer to Lark, just like it used to be between them . . .

In the end, Lark must embrace their right to their messy emotions and learn how to be in love.