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January 25, 2010

This Week's New Releases

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This week's new releases are all about fantasy and teen drama, with six buzzworthy titles sure to satisfy your cravings for everything from other-worldly adventures and star-crossed lovers to twisted fairy-tale endings and even a zombie romance. Sure to keep you on the edge of your seat are Catherine Ryan's dystopic UK hit INCARCERON and BONES OF FAERIE by Jannie Lee Simner, while the more grounded CULTURE CLASH by L. Divine and Leslie Connor's WAITING FOR NORMAL temper the atmospheric fiction of Frewin Jones's THE ENCHANTED QUEST and I KISSED A ZOMBIE AND LIKED IT with high school social issues and coming-of-age survival stories.


New Releases for January 26


Hardcover

THE ENCHANTED QUEST: Faerie Path #5 by Frewin Jones (HarperTeen)
Far from the Realm of Faerie, a quest to save immortality . . .

A deadly plague is sweeping through Faerie, and no one is immune to its bite. Now, with the guidance of the Dream Weaver, Tania, Rathina, and a mortal ally, Connor, must head off to find the Divine Harper --- the only one who can help Tania renew the Faerie Covenant of Immortality. Their quest will soon take them outside the borders of Faerie, to hostile and unwelcoming lands beyond.

On their travels, Tania and her companions encounter danger at every turn as they battle pirates, contend with mysterious and mystical beings, and try to outwit those under the sinister grip of the Dark Arts. But when Tania's beloved Edric appears, it looks as if they have help at last. Or do they? As tensions and dangers rise, Tania is forced to question everything and everyone around her in order to decide if she is prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her loved ones.

INCARCERON by Catherine Fisher (Dial Books for Young Readers)
Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from Outside Incarceron. Very few prisoners believe that there is an Outside, however, which makes escape seems impossible.

And then Finn finds a crystal key that allows him to communicate with a girl named Claudia. She claims to live Outside --- she is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, and doomed to an arranged marriage. Finn is determined to escape the prison, and Claudia believes she can help him. But they don't realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye. Escape will take their greatest courage and cost more than they know.


Paperback

DRAMA HIGH: CULTURE CLASH by L. Divine (Dafina)
Ever since she discovered a love for drag racing, it's full speed ahead for Jayd Jackson. . .
Fed up with the way her school's handling Cultural Awareness Day, Jayd and her crew decide to form the first African Student Union. Now some notorious haters are out for blood. But that's not the only multicultural activity Jayd's got cooking. On the boy front, Jayd discovers she loves being behind the wheel of her friends' hot rods, but she can't deny her attraction for Emilio, the new Latino sophomore at South Bay High. Emilio seems to be crushin' hard on Jayd too. And now that Jayd may be South Bay's last virgin, she wonders if it's time to take things to the next level.

I KISSED A ZOMBIE, AND I LIKED IT by Adam Selzer
(Delacorte Books for Young Readers)
Algonquin “Ali” Rhodes, the high school newspaper’s music critic, meets an intriguing singer, Doug, while reviewing a gig. He’s a weird-looking guy --- goth, but he seems sincere about it, like maybe he was into it back before it was cool. She introduces herself after the set, asking if he lives in Cornersville, and he replies, in his slow, quiet murmur, “Well, I don’t really live there, exactly. . . .”

When Ali and Doug start dating, Ali is falling so hard she doesn’t notice a few odd signs: he never changes clothes, his head is a funny shape, and he says practically nothing out loud. Finally Marie, the school paper’s fashion editor, points out the obvious: Doug isn’t just a really sincere goth. He’s a zombie. Horrified that her feelings could have allowed her to overlook such a flaw, Ali breaks up with Doug, but learns that zombies are awfully hard to get rid of --- at the same time she learns that vampires, a group as tightly-knit as the mafia, don’t think much of music critics who make fun of vampires in reviews. . . .

BONES OF FAERIE by Janni Lee Simner (Random House Books for Young Readers)
The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so 15-year-old Liza has been told. Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza’s world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Then Liza discovers she has the Faerie ability to see --- into the past, into the future --- and she has no choice but to flee her town. Liza’s quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds.

Janni Lee Simner’s first novel for young adults is a dark fairy-tale twist on apocalyptic fiction --- as familiar as a nightmare, yet altogether unique.

WAITING FOR NORMAL by Leslie Connor (Katherine Tegen)
Addie is waiting for normal. But Addie's mother has an all-or-nothing approach to life: a food fiesta or an empty pantry, her way or no way. All-or-nothing never adds up to normal, and it can't bring Addie all to home, where she wants to be with her half sisters. But Addie never stops hoping that one day, maybe, she'll find normal.