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Year 2008: Best Books

As 2008 comes to a close, we at Teenreads.com have compiled some of our favorite books of the year for teens. Along with the blockbusters BREAKING DAWN and BRISINGR, we spotlight THE TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD, a collection of five fairy tales courtesy of J.K. Rowling that gives new insight into the world of Harry Potter; THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins, the first installment of a trilogy set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present; THE KINGDOM ON THE WAVES, book two in the historical epic The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, in which M. T. Anderson recounts Octavian’s experiences as the Revolutionary War explodes around him; and THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU-BANKS, E. Lockhart’s story of a teenager who finds a way to infiltrate her school’s boy-only secret society and practically becomes a criminal mastermind by the age of 16.

This year, Libba Bray concluded her Gemma Doyle trilogy, Meg Cabot drew closer to wrapping up the Princess Diaries series when its next-to-last installment, PRINCESS MIA, released, and James Patterson continued his Maximum Ride fantasy/adventure series with THE FINAL WARNING. Readers were lucky enough to be reunited with Cathy Vickers in the sequel to the groundbreaking interactive novel CATHY’S BOOK, and MELTING STONES returned Tamora Pierce’s fans to the world of The Circle Opens quartet. Other series updates in 2008 included Blue BloodsThe CliqueConfessions of Georgia NicolsonThe DemonataLily Dale and The Luxe.

We also revisit the series titles that made their debuts in 2008. Among them are GOSSIP GIRL: THE CARLYLES, Cecily von Ziegesar’s follow-up Gossip Girl series featuring the Carlyle triplets of Nantucket; THE DANGEROUS DAYS OF DANIEL X, James Patterson's sci-fi adventure about a boy who uses his unique gifts to hunt down the killer who brutally murdered his parents; and GRACELING, an impressive debut fantasy novel in which Kristin Cashore introduces audiences to Katsa, a teenage girl who has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight.

Additional standouts in 2008 included PAPER TOWNS, the highly anticipated return of Printz Medalist John Green in an irresistible plot combining a friendship tale, a road trip and a mystery; CHAINS, Laurie Halse Anderson's compelling examination of the very different implications of freedom and loyalty for slaves during the American Revolution; THE GOOD NEIGHBORS, which marks the first time Holly Black has written about the faerie world in graphic novel form; and the winner of the 2008 National Book Award in the Young People's Literature category, WHAT I SAW AND HOW I LIED, Judy Blundell’s coming-of-age novel set against a backdrop of mystery, lies and shattering reality.

We hope you enjoy our year-end feature and make new discoveries along the way, as you look forward to what lies ahead in 2009.

After Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson

The day D Foster enters Neeka and her best friend’s lives, the world opens up for them. D comes from a world vastly different from their safe Queens neighborhood, and through her, the girls see another side of life that includes loss, foster families and an amount of freedom that makes the girls envious. Although all of them are crazy about Tupac Shakur’s rap music, D is the one who truly understands the place where he’s coming from, and through knowing D, Tupac’s lyrics become more personal for all of them.

Appetite for Detention written by Sloane Tanen; photographed by Stefan Hagen

Following the success of Sloane Tanen’s adult books comes a title aimed directly at teens. From back-to-school anxiety and chick cliques to gym class, teachers and other eye-rolling icons of school life, these photographic scenes of the teen experience are as ingenious as they are hilarious. Specifically concerned with the trials and tribulations of high school and teendom, APPETITE FOR DETENTION will have teens everywhere (and more than a few adults) laughing with recognition.

Black Rabbit Summer by Kevin Brooks

Thoughtful Pete, tough Pauly, twins Eric and Nicole, strange Raymond: As kids they were tight; now they've grown up- --- and apart. They agree to get together one last time. But, twisted by personal histories and fueled by pharmaceuticals, old jealousies surface. The party is soon over, and the group splinters off into the night. Into the noise and heat and chaos of the carnival. Days later, a girl goes missing. The prime suspect in her disappearance? One of their own, one of the old gang. Pete doesn't know what to believe: Could one of his childhood friends really be a cold-blooded killer?

The Boxer and the Spy by Robert B. Parker

When a shy high school student’s body is found washed up on the shore of a quiet New England beach town --- an apparent suicide --- 15-year-old Terry Novak doesn’t know what to think. Something just doesn’t add up, so he decides to do some investigating of his own with the help of his best friend, Abby. It doesn’t take long before they learn that asking questions puts them in grave danger, and surviving is going to be a fight. Fortunately, Terry has been learning a thing or two about fighting, thanks to a retired boxer named George, who teaches the boy to use his head and always keep his feet set beneath him --- lessons Terry takes to heart in more ways than one.

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

As the Revolutionary War begins, 13-year-old Isabel wages her own fight...for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.

Cruel Summer by Alyson Noël

Having recently discarded her dorky image --- and the best friend that went with it --- Colby Cavendish is looking forward to a long hot season of parties, beach barbeques, and hopefully, more hookups with Levi Bonham, the hottest guy in school. But her world comes crashing down when her parents send her away to spend the summer in Greece with her crazy aunt Tally.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14: Debate Club. Her father's "bunny rabbit." A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15: A knockout figure. A sharp tongue. A chip on her shoulder. And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.

Frankie Landau-Banks. No longer the kind of girl to take "no" for an answer.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place --- he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their timely ghostly teachings --- like the ability to Fade. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are things like ghouls that aren't really one thing or the other.

How to Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle

Three girls who couldn't be more different have one goal in mind: to get out of Niceville, Florida. Vicks is the wild-child fry cook whose boyfriend left for college and isn't returning any of her calls; Mel, the good girl in expensive jeans who just wants everyone to like her; and Jesse, the trailer-dwelling human morality meter who has discovered a life-altering secret.

Identical by Ellen Hopkins

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family --- on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that's where their differences begin.

Kendra by Coe Booth

Kendra’s mom was only 14 when she had Kendra. Then she left Kendra with Kendra’s grandmother and went on with her life. Now Kendra is 14, and her grandmother wants her mother to start acting like a mother --- especially when Kendra starts getting in trouble with boys. Kendra isn’t sure she has anything to say to her mom --- not after all these years. But when her trouble turns serious, where else can she turn?

Letters to a Bullied Girl: Messages of Healing and Hope Olivia Gardner, with Emily Buder and Sarah Buder

Olivia Gardner, a northern California teenager, was severely taunted and cyber-bullied by her classmates for more than two years. News of her bullying spread, eventually reaching two teenage girls from a neighboring town, sisters Emily and Sarah Buder. The girls were so moved by Olivia's story that they initiated a letter-writing campaign to help lift her spirits. It was a tender gesture of solidarity that set off an overwhelming chain reaction of support, encouragement and love. 

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is only 17 years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works --- and how to work the system. Smart, fast and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

When Alice was 10, Ray took her away from her family, her friends --- her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over. 

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she’s been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return. That’s how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn’t seen in 10 years, and Cora’s husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking website around. A luxurious house, a fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future --- it’s a dream come true. So why is Ruby wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?

Madapple by Christina Meldrum

Aslaug is an unusual young woman. Her mother has brought her up in near isolation, teaching her about plants and nature and language --- but not about life. Especially not how she came to have her own life, and who her father might be.

Marley Z and the Bloodstained Violin by Jim Fusilli

Marley Z is a hip, outgoing and confident New York City kid just starting eighth grade. When her best friend is accused of stealing a priceless violin on display at The Juilliard School, Marley steps in to prove her pal’s innocence. So begins her mad dash around the city --- from the Metropolitan Museum, to stately doormen buildings, to a violin teacher’s artsy brownstone, to her favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant. Suspects and motives appear and vanish, but intrepid Marley won’t stop until she has the right answers.

Nation by Terry Pratchett

Mau is the only one left after a giant wave sweeps his island village away. But when much is taken, something is returned, and somewhere in the jungle, Daphne --- a girl from the other side of the globe --- is the sole survivor of a ship destroyed by the same wave. Together the two confront the aftermath of catastrophe. Drawn by the smoke of Mau and Daphne's sheltering fire, other refugees slowly arrive: children without parents, mothers without babies, husbands without wives --- all of them hungry and all of them frightened. As Mau and Daphne struggle to keep the small band safe and fed, they defy ancestral spirits, challenge death himself and uncover a long-hidden secret that literally turns the world upside down.

Nick of Time: An Adventure Through Time by Ted Bell

The setting is England, 1939, on the eve of war. Nick and his younger sister, Kate, live in a lighthouse on the smallest of the Channel Islands. Nick and Kate come to the aid of their father who is engaged in a desperate war of espionage with German U-boat wolf packs that are circling the islands. The information they provide to Winston Churchill is vital as he tries to warn England of the imminent Nazi invasion. 

Paper Towns by John Green

When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night --- dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge --- he follows her. Margo has always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she has always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q…until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.

Runemarks by Joanne Harris

Seven o’clock on a Monday morning, five hundred years after the end of the world, and goblins had been at the cellar again…. Not that anyone would admit it was goblins. In Maddy Smith’s world, order rules. Chaos, old gods, fairies, goblins, magic, glamours --- all of these were supposedly vanquished centuries ago. But Maddy knows that a small bit of magic has survived. The “ruinmark” she was born with on her palm proves it --- and makes the other villagers fearful that she is a witch (though helpful in dealing with the goblins-in-the-cellar problem). But the mysterious traveler One-Eye sees Maddy’s mark not as a defect, but as a destiny. And Maddy will need every scrap of forbidden magic One-Eye can teach her if she is to survive that destiny.

Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers

In his new novel, Walter Dean Myers looks at the Iraq War with the same power and searing insight he brought to the Vietnam War in FALLEN ANGELS.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling

THE TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD, a wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers' attention in the book known as HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS. Now, thanks to Hermione Granger's new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J.K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore. Never before have Muggles been privy to these richly imaginative tales: "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot," "The Fountain of Fair Fortune," "The Warlock's Hairy Heart," "Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump," and of course "The Tale of the Three Brothers." But not only are they the equal of fairy tales we know and love, reading them gives new insight into the wizarding world.

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

When Evie's father returned home from World War II, the family fell back into its normal life pretty quickly. But Joe Spooner brought more back with him than just good war stories. When movie-star handsome Peter Coleridge, a young ex-GI who served in Joe's company in postwar Austria, shows up, Evie is suddenly caught in a complicated web of lies that she only slowly recognizes. She finds herself falling for Peter, ignoring the secrets that surround him…until a tragedy occurs that shatters her family and breaks her life in two.

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

Daniel X's secret abilities --- like being able to manipulate objects and animals with his mind or to recreate himself in any shape he chooses --- have helped him survive. But Daniel doesn't have a normal life. He is the protector of the earth, the Alien Hunter, with a mission beyond what anyone could imagine.

Gossip Girl: The Carlyles by Cecily von Ziegesar

In the new titles of the Gossip Girl series, readers will follow the Carlyles, plus three other teenagers living in gorgeous apartments, attending the most exclusive private schools --- the familiar Constance Billard School for Girls and St. Jude's School for Boys --- and treating New York's Upper East Side as their personal playground.

Gossip Girl, the Carlyles #2: You Just Can't Get Enough by Cecily von Ziegesar

After a whirlwind first week on the Upper East Side, the Carlyles have made their mark on Manhattan's Golden Mile. Owen is new BFFs with Rhys Sterling, but what will happen when they both fall for the same girl? Baby stole resident it girl Jack Laurent's boyfriend...and then Avery stole Jack's popularity. Now Jack is on the warpath, and she wants nothing more than to send the Carlyle girls packing their Louis Vuitton trunks. Is the UES big enough for all their drama?

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

GRACELING tells the story of the vulnerable-yet-strong Katsa, who is smart and beautiful and lives in the Seven Kingdoms where selected people are born with a Grace, a special talent that can be anything at all. Katsa’s Grace is killing. As the king’s niece, she is forced to use her extreme skills as his brutal enforcer. Until the day she meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat skills, and Katsa’s life begins to change. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace --- or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away...a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules and level of audience participation may change, but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves by M. T. Anderson

Fearing a death sentence, Octavian and his tutor, Dr. Trefusis, escape through rising tides and pouring rain to find shelter in British-occupied Boston. Sundered from all he knows --- the College of Lucidity, the rebel cause --- Octavian hopes to find safe harbor. Instead, he is soon to learn of Lord Dunmore's proclamation offering freedom to slaves who join the counterrevolutionary forces. In Volume II, M. T. Anderson recounts Octavian's experiences as the Revolutionary War explodes around him, thrusting him into intense battles and tantalizing him with elusive visions of liberty.

Revelations: A Blue Bloods Novel by Melissa de la Cruz

Schuyler Van Alen's blood legacy has just been called into question. Is the young vampire in fact a Blue Blood, or is it the sinister Silver Blood that runs through her veins? As controversy swirls, Schuyler is left stranded in the Force household, trapped under the same roof as her cunning nemesis, Mimi Force, and her forbidden crush, Jack Force.

Cathy's Key: If Found Call (650) 266-8202 by Jordan Weisman and Sean Stewart

Cathy was your average high school student --- doodling in the margins of her journal, crushing on a cute boy, and hanging out with her best friend Emma. As this story begins, she’s trying to keep a job, her journal is stolen, the cute boy is not who he seems to be, and even Emma’s side project/start-up company, Doubletalk Wireless, is about to get caught up in the mystery surrounding Cathy and her search for the truth about her father. Her presumed-dead father.

Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce

Four years have passed since Evvy left the streets of Chammur to begin her training as a stone mage. At 14, she's unhappy to be on a new journey with her mentor, prickly green mage Rosethorn, who has been called to the Battle Islands to determine why the plants and animals there are dying. Evvy's job is to listen and learn, but she can't keep quiet and do nothing. With the help of Luvo, the living stone heart of a mountain, Evvy uncovers an important clue. Now, with the island on the brink of disaster, it's up to Evvy to avert the destruction that looms ahead.

Bratfest at Tiffany's (The Clique, #9) by Lisi Harrison

The Briarwood boys have invaded OCD and are taking over everything. Worse, the soccer boys have become so popular that the Pretty Committee's alpha status is in serious jeopardy. So Massie lays out a New Year-New Pretty Committee rule: Anyone caught crushing on a boy will be thrown out of the NPC --- forever. But will she be able to follow her own decree when she sees that Derrington has ditched his shorts-obsession in favor of ah-dorable jeans?

Stop in the Name of Pants!: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson #9 by Louise Rennison

Three maybe-boyfriends is a lot for any girl to handle --- red-bottomed or not. Robbie the Sex God is back from Kiwi-a-gogo land wanting to "get coffee", Masimo the Luuurve God says things like "Ciao, Georgia, see you later" and her mate Dave the Laugh snogs her in a pond. It's enough to make any girl mad. Now that she has tearfully eschewed Robbie the Sex God with a firm hand, Georgia is left with two potential snoggees to choose from, and it's high time she left the cakeshop of love for good. This time with a gorgey Italian cakey. Or a nip-libbling Dave the Tart. But certainly not both. Maybe.

Demon Apocalypse: The Demonata, Book 6 by Darren Shan

The sixth novel in the chilling Demonata series by Darren Shan, author of the New York Times bestselling Cirque Du Freakseries, will terrify readers long after the last page.

Death's Shadow: The Demonata #7 by Darren Shan

With Beranabus, Grubbs and Kernel go off exploring the universe of the Demonata for clues about the Shadow behind the demon invasion, Bec is left behind in Carcery Vale for safekeeping. But with Dervish's health on the decline, Lord Loss knows she's the most vulnerable piece of the Kah-Gash. As hoards of demons, werewolves and zombies advance, Bec needs to figure how to reach Beranabus with crucial information about the Shadow-fast.

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered and her father a laudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected strength and has discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world called the realms, where dark magic runs wild. Despite certain peril, Gemma has bound the magic to herself and forged unlikely new alliances. Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds.

Brisingr: Inheritance, Book III Christopher Paolini On Writing

Following the colossal battle against the Empire’s warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still there is more at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.

Lily Dale: Believing by Wendy Corsi Staub

After her tumultuous summer in Lily Dale, Calla has decided to stay, hoping to unearth more about her mother’s untimely death. As she starts school at Lily Dale High and begins to explore her relationships with Jacy and Blue, her visions begin to occur with greater urgency. There may be a killer on the loose, and he may be after Calla for her role in solving his first victim’s disappearance. Now that Calla believes in her ability, can she learn to use it properly before it leads her into more danger?

Lily Dale: Connecting by Wendy Corsi Staub

Now that Calla has accepted her ability to communicate with the Other Side, she’s desperate to connect with the one spirit whose energy she can’t seem to feel anywhere: her late mother. As ominous supernatural signs imply that the devastating loss might not have been an accident, Calla sets out to uncover the truth, convinced that a shadowy stranger may hold the key. But she gets more than she bargained for when she stumbles across a shocking secret about her mom’s past --- one that will change Calla’s own future forever.

Maximum Ride #4: The Final Warning by James Patterson

Maximum Ride is a perfectly normal teenager who just happens to be able to fly: the result of an out-of-control government experiment. Max and the other members of the Flock --- six kids who share her remarkable ability --- have been asked to aid a group of environmental scientists studying the causes of global warming. Their ability to fly could help the scientists conquer this epic problem. The expedition seems like a perfect combination of adventure, activism --- and escaping government forces who watch the Flock like a hawk. But even in Antarctica, trapped in the harshest weather on our planet, Maximum Ride is an irresistible target in constant danger. For whoever controls her powers could also control the world…

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for vampire Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, a tumultuous year of temptation, loss and strife have led Bella Swan to the ultimate turning point in this fourth installment in the Twilight Saga. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or to pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fates of two tribes hang. Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating, and unfathomable, consequences.

Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman

In this prequel episode from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials universe, Lee Scoresby is just 24-years-old, and he’s recently won his hot-air balloon in a poker game. He finds himself floating North to the windswept Arctic island of Novy Odense, where he and his hare daemon Hester are quickly tangled in a deadly plot involving oil magnate Larsen Manganese, corrupt mayoral candidate Ivan Poliakov, and Lee’s longtime nemesis from the Dakota Country: Pierre McConville, a hired killer with at least 20 murders to his name. It’s only after Lee forms an alliance with one of the island’s reviled armored bears that he can fight to break up the conspiracy in a gun-twirling classic western shoot out --- and battle of wits.

Genius Squad by Catherine Jinks

Now that the Axis Institute for World Domination has been blown up; the founder, Dr. Phineas Darkkon has died; and Prosper English (who enrolled Cadel in the first place) is in jail for myriad offenses, Cadel Piggott has round-the-clock surveillance so he'll be safe until he testifies against Prosper English. But nobody seems to want Cadel. 

When he is approached by the head of Genius Squad --- a group formed to investigate GenoME, one of Darkkon's pet projects --- Cadel is dubious. Genius Squad can offer him a real home and all the technology his heart desires. But why can't he bring himself to tell Saul what the group is really up to? And how can Genius Squad protect Cadel once Prosper English breaks out of jail?

Rumors: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen

After bidding goodbye to New York's brightest star, Elizabeth Holland, rumors continue to fly about her untimely demise. As old friends become rivals, Manhattan's most dazzling socialites find their futures threatened by whispers from the past.

Coraline: The Graphic Novel by Neil Gaiman

When Coraline steps through a door in her family's new house, she finds another house, strangely similar to her own (only better). At first, things seem marvelous. But there's another mother there and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go. Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and all the tools she can find if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

This beloved tale has now become a visual feast. Acclaimed artist P. Craig Russell brings Neil Gaiman's enchanting nationally bestselling children's book CORALINE to new life in this gorgeously illustrated graphic novel adaptation.

The Good Neighbors, Book One: Kin written by Holly Black, illustrated by Ted Naifeh

Rue Silver’s life isn’t at all what it appears to be; her mother has disappeared --- and her father is being blamed for her murder. Is he guilty, or is there another truth behind it all? Rue digs deeper into her family’s past and makes a startling discovery: her mother is a faerie, and she’s vanished back into the faerie realm because of a broken promise. In order to save her, Rue must defeat a dark faerie --- who threatens our very mortal world.

In Odd We Trust by Queenie Chan and Dean Koontz

Odd Thomas is a regular 19-year-old with an unusual gift: the ability to see the lingering spirits of the dead. To Odd, it’s not such a big deal. And most folks in sleepy Pico Mundo, California, are much more interested in the irresistible pancakes Odd whips up at the local diner. Still, communing with the dead can be useful. Because while some spirits only want a little company, others want justice. 

When the sad specter of a very frightened boy finds its way to him, Odd vows to root out the evil suddenly infecting the sunny streets of Pico Mundo. But even with his exceptional ability --- plus the local police and his pistol-packing girlfriend, Stormy, backing him --- is Odd any match for a faceless stalker who’s always a step ahead…and determined to kill again?

Life Sucks by Jessica Abel, Gabe Soria, and Warren Pleece

Life sucks for Dave Marshall. The girl he’s in love with doesn’t know he exists, he hates his job, and ever since his boss turned him into a vampire, he can’t go out in daylight without starting to charbroil.

Undead life in its uncoolest incarnation yet is on display in this cinematic, supernatural drama told with gallons of humor and hemoglobin. In striking, colorful, B-movie style artwork and light-hearted, intelligent writing by Jessica Abel, Gabe Soria and Warren Pleece, Dave Marshall’s story comes alive --- in a vampiric kind of way.

The Merchant of Venice by Gareth Hinds

Here is the tale of young Bassanio, who, to win the love of fair Portia, entangles his dearest friend, Antonio, in a dangerous bargain with the moneylender Shylock. Only Bassanio’s heartfelt efforts --- and a clever intervention by Portia --- will save Antonio from paying Shylock "a pound of flesh." Moody and mesmerizing, this graphic novel adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s more controversial plays boasts a chic modern cast, high drama, and all the dark, familiar beauty of Venice.

Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo, Volume 1 by Matsuri Akino

It's been several years since the bizarre Chinese Count known only as D left L.A.'s Chinatown. In that time, life has returned to normal in the world and the nightmares associated with Count D's pet shop of horrors have ceased. But across the Pacific, amidst the bright lights of Tokyo, a mysterious Chinese man has been spotted, and he seems to be opening a new shop...Magical "pets" are the elixirs of people's dreams --- and the potions of their nightmares --- in this continuation of the horrifying and tantalizing tale known as the Pet Shop of Horrors.

Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo, Volume 2 by Matsuri Akino

Bothered by the rumors that Count D sells slaves to clients, Woo-Fei continues his attempt to kick the Count out of Neo Chinatown. Meanwhile, a woman visits the store to sell her cat, hoping that she can give the man of her dreams the ultimate gift... Later, a different woman finds herself beckoned to the shop by a pet she carries in her stomach. Between blackouts and hunts for mythical creatures, Woo-Fei has his hands full with this trouble-making tenant!

Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo, Volume 3 by Matsuri Akino

When the death of a bird ignites a great crisis that threatens to destroy all of Japan, will Count D be part of the solution --- or the problem? Later, it will fall on Count D to help a wife who is treated like a servant and a girl who is imprisoned by her family. But when the Count helps, it usually comes at a steep price...

Rapunzel's Revenge written by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale; illustrated by Nathan Hale

Newbery Honor-winning author Shannon Hale teams up with husband Dean Hale and brilliant artist Nathan Hale (no relation) to bring readers a swashbuckling and hilarious twist on the classic story as you’ve never seen it before. Watch as Rapunzel and her amazing hair team up with Jack (of beanstalk fame) to gallop around the wild and western landscape, changing lives, righting wrongs, and bringing joy to every soul they encounter.

Skim words by Mariko Tamaki drawings by Jillian Tamaki

The time is the early 1990s, the setting a girls' academy in Toronto. Enter "Skim," aka Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth. When her classmate Katie Matthews is dumped by her boyfriend, who then kills himself, the entire school goes into mourning overdrive. It's a weird time to fall in love, but Skim does just that after secret meetings with her neo-hippie English teacher, Ms. Archer. When Ms. Archer abruptly leaves the school, Skim has to cope with her confusion and isolation, as her best friend, Lisa, tries to pull her into "real" life by setting up a hilarious double date for the school's semi-formal. Skim finds an unexpected ally in Katie.

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