Soraia, Child of the Sea
Leen Lefebre gives us a modern fairy tale of adventure and love in Soraia, Child of the Sea! Princess Soraia’s father is always out conquering with his war fleet and never lets her come along. One day when she meets a shepherd boy and falls in love, she learns that there is more to life than conquests and the gallant deeds of the heroes in her books. Lefebre does a fantastic job of building that fairy tale feel in this book, and Soraia has a really nice heartfelt romance that you can’t help but root for! If you love middle grade or lighter fairy tales, come set sail with Soraia, Child of the Sea!
Fran, The Second Time Around
Amy Bernstein tells the heartfelt and harrowing tale of 8th grader Fran Singer in Fran, The Second Time Around! Fran is your typical 8th grader who loves to hang out with her friends and is looking forward to her part in the school play, but that all changes after a terrible accident that leaves her alienated. Now Fran must start over, rebuilding her friendships. This is a great tale for the middle school world that I think we can all relate to, and Bernstein’s descriptions really bring it all to life in a way that made me really connect with Fran! This is another great middle grade (or YA) book with a touching emotional story, so be sure to come grab a copy the first time around!
Through Hell & Highwater
Victoria Liiv takes us on a magical action-packed adventure in Through Hell & Highwater! The students of Volo Noscere are no ordinary people, each possessing some magical or supernatural quality, but will they be enough to stop the growing magical threat facing our modern world? Liiv sets up some great characters, from werewolves to vampires, and builds a magical world laced with our own! I loved her description and the witty interaction between characters, and I was pleasantly reminded of Percy Jackson. If modern urban fantasy is your magical dish, come dig your claws into the adventure of Through Hell & Highwater!
SkyView: Lord of the Wills
M. Sheehan draws us into a 700 year old struggle in SkyView: Lord of the Wills! William Ward sets out to save the world from an evil force that has been manipulating it for centuries. With the help of SkyView, a device that can see historical events as they happened, he sets out to unveil the secrets of this mysterious foe. Sheehan combines historical fiction, sci fi, and action really well and I was always intrigued to see what would happen next! I was pleasantly reminded of Assassin’s Creed as Sheehan combined modern events with a plot woven through history. If you love historical fiction or mystery thrillers, definitely take a trip through time with SkyView!
Ascension of the Phoenix
Jessica Piro gives us a no excuses beat-em-up thriller with Ascension of the Phoenix! When Detective Leila Well’s life is devastated by a criminal she failed to catch, she tries to cope by joining a fighting tournament. But when hidden powers start to awaken in her, her thoughts turn to that of revenge. Wells is a great character and Piro does a great job of showing her struggle and journey! The action is particularly well-crafted in this one, and the battle between revenge and justice is always one of my favorites. If you love mystery, action, or even superhero lit, come bear those knuckles with Ascension of the Phoenix!
Som Paris delivers an intriguing and deep fantasy adventure with Raven Nothing! Raven awakens in a strange fantasy world and is tasked with journeying to the mountains at the center of the world. Aided by a man named Adap, she must face off against corrupt shaman and bizarre creatures as she makes the perilous journey. Paris’ world was intriguing, as were the characters, but it was the deeper emotional issues that really drew me in! Paris touches on issues many black and trans people face, and it really formed a strong emotional and moral core in this one. If you’re looking for fantasy packed with depth and real world issues, come float out on a piece of ice into the world of Raven Nothing!
Zita Harrison plunges us into a macabre mystery drama with Owl Manor-Abigail! After fleeing the horrors of Owl Manor, Abigail must return years later with no where else to turn. But when mysterious happenings and ghostly presences begin to reemerge, she must trust in an unexpected ally to figure out the manor’s sinister secrets before it’s too late. I loved the creepy setting of Owl Manor, and Harrison’s characters Abigail and Victor are intriguing with their depth and mysterious pasts! This is an all around fascinating read, bringing back the creepy gothic feel of the days of Poe and Shelley. If you love horror/suspense with a classic feel, definitely take a stroll in the chilled halls of Owl Manor!
When Murder Comes Home
Shana Frost spools a great whodunnit with fun characters in When Murder Comes Home! After setting up a bed and breakfast in a quiet little hamlet in Scotland, innkeeper Aileen gets more than she bargained for when one of her ten guests doesn’t show up for breakfast. Now she must team up with a dashing and overzealous detective to answer mystery’s most classic question. This mystery is just fun, and Frost really made it a blast with lovable characters and great twists! It was Murder on the Orient Express with a smile and romance. If you love a more lighthearted mystery, get some gum on your shoe and come inspect When Murder Comes Home!
We’re Moving Where!?
Glen Blackwell helps us discover the charm of a new place in his youth novel We’re Moving Where!? Young Harry’s world comes crashing down around him when he discovers that he’s moving to the Canadian wilderness, and worse yet, away from the internet. Now Harry must discover life away from screens. Blackwell delivers a really heartfelt story of growing as a family, discovering nature, and coping with the culture shock of a new place! I really enjoyed the message and writing in this one, and think it’s a great story we all can connect with. If you love youth lit with a strong moral message, come get off the grid with this one!