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September 6, 2010

This Week's New Releases

Posted by jordana

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When summer vacation starts, September seems like a vague and distant horizon but, instead of looking at what has passed, it’s also pretty awesome to think that another school year is ripe with a lot of new possibilities. If you’re a little oversaturated with the vampire craze, WILDTHORN by Jane Eagland is just as exciting and suspenseful, without including the undead. But you still like a touch of vampire, THE REFORMED VAMPIRE SUPPORT GROUP takes an amusing look at a vampire’s reality. There’s also a bunch of mystery charged novels like PAYBACK TIME, THE TRAITOR’S GATE and Z.



September 6th
Hardcover

PAYBACK TIME by Carl Deuker (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children)
 
Through the eyes of a distinctly non-athletic protagonist --- a fat high school journalist named Mitch --- veteran sports novelist Deuker reveals the surprising truth behind a mysterious football player named Angel.  When Angel shows up at Lincoln High, he seems to have no past --- or at least not one he is willing to discuss.  Though Mitch gets a glimpse of Angel's incredible talent off the field, Angel rarely allows himself to shine on the field.  Is he an undercover cop, wonders Mitch?  Or an ineligible player?  In pursuit of a killer story, Mitch decides to find out just who this player is and what he's done.  In the end, the truth surprises everyone.
 
WILDTHORN by Jane Eagland (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children)
 
 
They strip her naked, of everything --- undo her whalebone corset, hook by hook. Locked away in Wildthorn Hall --- a madhouse --- they take her identity. She is now called Lucy Childs. She has no one; she has nothing. But, she is still 17 --- still Louisa Cosgrove, isn't she? Who has done this unthinkable deed? Louisa must free herself, in more ways than one, and muster up the courage to be her true self, all the while solving her own twisted mystery and falling into an unconventional love…
 
Paperback
 
 
A boy is trapped in a possessed car that has stalled in the path of an oncoming train. A girl is dragged into a crypt during a field trip to an 18th-century cemetery. A group of friends meet their fate after an unsettling visit with a backwoods psychic. And that's just the beginning.
    
 
Think vampires are romantic, sexy and powerful? Think again. Vampires are dead. And unless they want to end up staked, they have to give up fanging people, admit their addiction, join a support group and reform themselves.

Nina Harrison, fanged at 15 and still living with her mother, hates the Reformed Vampire Support Group meetings every Tuesday night. Even if she does appreciate Dave, who was in a punk band when he was alive, nothing exciting ever happens. That is, until a member is mysteriously destroyed by a silver bullet. With Nina (determined to prove that vamps aren't useless or weak) and Dave (secretly in love with Nina) at the helm, the misfit vampires soon band together to track down the hunter, save a werewolf and keep the world safe from the likes of themselves.

September 7th
Hardcover

DARK SONG
by Gail Giles (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
 
Mark said he heard the dark song when he creeped houses. The song the predator's heart sings when it hears the heart of the prey. I heard it now. Mark said it had always been in me. Lurking. Waiting for me to hear.

Ames is not the person she was a few months ago. Her father lost his job, and her family is crumbling apart. Now, all she has is Marc --- Marc, who loves her more than anything, Marc, who owns a gun collection. And he'll stop at nothing --- even using his guns --- to get what he wants. Ames feels her parents have betrayed her with their lies and self-absorption, but is she prepared to make the ultimate betrayal against them?
 
 
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley --- and likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
 
 
Phoebe finds herself drawn to Mallory, the strange and secretive new kid in school, and the two girls become as close as sisters…until Mallory’s magnetic older brother, Ryland, shows up during their junior year. Ryland has an immediate, exciting hold on Phoebe but a dangerous one at that, for she begins to question her feelings about her best friend and, worse, about herself.

Soon she’ll discover the shocking truth about Ryland and Mallory: that these two are visitors from the faerie realm who have come to collect on an age-old debt. Generations ago, the faerie queen promised Phoebe’s ancestor five extraordinary sons in exchange for the sacrifice of one ordinary female heir. But in hundreds of years there hasn’t been a single ordinary girl in the family, and now the faeries are dying. Could Phoebe be the first ordinary one? Could she save the faeries, or is she special enough to save herself?
 
A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life --- until a beautiful stranger saves her, a stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. Jacinda is a draki --- a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.
Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life.

Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away --- if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that --- even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.
 
A terrible secret. A terrible fate.
When Brie's sister, Faith, dies suddenly, her world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don’t know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.

As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith’s final night...a secret that puts her own life in danger.
 
The First Rule of Torching: Cleanse with fire.
Josh is by far the best zombie Torcher around --- at least, he is in his virtual-reality zombie-hunting game. Josh has quickly risen through the player ranks, relying on the skill, cunning and agility of a real Torcher.

The Second Rule of Torching: Save all humans.
But luckily for Josh, zombies exist only in the virtual world. The real zombie war is now more than 15 years in the past, and the battle to defeat the deadly epidemic that devastated his family --- and millions of others --- is the stuff of history lessons.

The Third Rule of Torching: You can't bring them back.
Charlie is the top-ranked player in the game. Since all the players are shrouded in anonymity, Josh never expects Charlie to be a girl --- and he never expects the offer she makes him: to join the underground gaming league that takes the virtual-reality game off the screen and into the streets. Josh is thrilled. But the more involved he gets, the more he realizes that not everything is what it seems. Real blood is spilling, members of the team are disappearing, and the zombies in the game are acting strange. And then there's the matter of a mysterious drug called Z…

Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something's got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past.

Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe --- until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.
 
Paperback
 
THE TRAITOR’S GATE by Avi (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

John Huffam is sure the tall man's beard is false. He's sure of little else in November 1849, the year he is 14, the year his father is sentenced to London's Whitecross Street Prison.
Maybe the man following John --- who claims to be one Inspector Copperfield --- can explain why. Surely, Pa isn't prepared to reveal the truth, any more than the jovial bailiff, Mr. Tuckum, who knows something, but remains mum. Or the little Frenchman, Mr. Farquatt, who courts John's sister but seems most keen on Pa's work at the Naval Ordinance Office. Or Mr. O'Doul, the Irishman who insists Pa owes him the unimaginable sum of three hundred pounds.
But what about the one-legged, single-mindedly fierce Sergeant Muldspoon, John's teacher? What about the boy's great-great-aunt, Lady Euphemia Huffam, who could pay the debt but won't for reasons of her own? What about the secretive Mr. Snugsbe of All Hallows Church, who hides himself away in the City's most voluminous coat?

Then there's Chief Inspector Ratchet of Scotland Yard, who is after somebody for some crime or other. True, John has a new friend and ally in Sary the Sneak...but what has even she got up her sleeve?

What John learns on his own is that there's a traitor on the loose, somewhere. And he must uncover the villain --- no matter who it might be. Check out our review here.
 
All’s fair in love and war…

Now that Alice and Tally are back on top at their posh boarding school in London, they have more important things to deal with: boys. Alice is struggling to get over her ex-boyfriend, which leads her right into the arms of a mysterious (and possibly bad) new boy. Meanwhile, Tally is walking a thin line as she cozies up to her hot English teacher. Both girls are flirting with disaster, and the heartbreak may be more than they can take…