In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren and Alea from Pop Culture Junkie. If you want more details, click here. In My Mailbox explores all the books that I get in a week, whether it's in the mail, borrowed from a friend, borrowed from the library, or bought from a bookstore.
Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman (Paperback/ Putnam Juvenile/ January 2010)
Looking for a new beginning after a terrible mean girl past, Charlie Healey realizes there’s no escaping high school drama.
Charlie Healey thinks Harmony Falls is the beginning of a whole new life. Middle school was brutal. But high school is Charlie’s big chance to start over and stay out of drama, except that on her first day she runs into Will, her ex–best friend, who had moved away. Now a varsity athlete and hotter than Charlie remembered, Will hangs with the crowd running the school. But Charlie doesn’t understand their power until an innocent delivery guy falls victim to a near-deadly hazing prank.
Torn between doing what’s right and her secret feelings for Will, Charlie must decide whether to turn in her very best friend or live with the guilt of knowing what he did.
Rosalind Wiseman’s first novel for young adults is a fresh, funny, and juicy read about friendship, betrayal, and how far some will go to be accepted.
After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick (Paperback/ Scholastic Press/ February 2010)
Jeffrey isn't a little boy with cancer anymore. He's a teen who's in remission, but life still feels fragile. The aftereffects of treatment have left Jeffrey with an inability to be a great student or to walk without limping. His parents still worry about him. His older brother, Steven, lost it and took off to Africa to be in a drumming circle and "find himself." Jeffrey has a little soul searching to do, too, which begins with his escalating anger at Steven, an old friend who is keeping something secret, and a girl who is way out of his league but who thinks he's cute.
Dawn by Kevin Brooks (Paperback/ The Chicken House/ December 2009)
Dawn's dad is a recovering substance abuser, a one-time child molester, and...a born-again Christian. Religion: That's his latest addiction.
But as far as Dawn is concerned, the Man Upstairs has robbed her of the father she once loved--drugs, drinks, and all.
Which is why Dawn's gone shopping for Bibles. For research. To know her enemy. Because, to get her old dad back, she's going to have to do away with this God guy.
She'd just better pray that the fallout from her father's past life of crime doesn't catch up to her first.
Candle Man by Glenn Dakin (Hardback/ EgmontUSA /September 2009)
Murder, mystery, and adventure aren’t your typical birthday presents . . .
But for Theo, anything that breaks up his ordinary routine is the perfect gift.
A mysterious “illness” and Theo’s guardians force him into a life indoors, where gloves must be worn and daily medical treatments are the norm. When Theo discovers a suspicious package on his birthday, one person from the past will unlock the secret behind Theo’s “illness” and change his life forever.
Molded into an exhilarating steampunk adventure that gives birth to the next great fantasy hero, Theo Wickland, Candle Man: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance is the first book in a trilogy by debut author Glenn Dakin.
Invisible Lines by Mary Amato (Paperback/ EgmontUSA /November 2009)
An upbeat teen with a talent for drawing and soccer who hails from the wrong side of the tracks learns to bloom where he's planted. When seventh grader Trevor moves to the trashy Hedley Gardens project with his single-parent mom and younger siblings, he decides "it's going to be my year." Entering a new school in a rich neighborhood, Trevor is accidently placed in an advanced science class. Encouraged by the eccentric teacher to discover the world of mushrooms, Trevor applies humor and evasive tactics to fit in. He draws original designs on his classmates' shoes, and he tries out for an elite soccer team knowing he can't pay the fees. However, Trevor's plans for success derail after the star soccer player sabotages him. Narrating in the present tense, Trevor instantly engages readers with a resilient and infectious can-do attitude that eventually enables him to turn the tables on his rival. Amato's mushroom metaphor aptly fits her young hero, who emerges from unpromising surroundings by following his mom's advice "to rise above it."
Tricks by Ellen Hopkins (Hardcover/ Margaret K. McElderry/ August 2009)
"When all choice is taken from you, life becomes a game of survival."
Five teenagers from different parts of the country. Three girls. Two guys. Four straight. One gay. Some rich. Some poor. Some from great families. Some with no one at all. All living their lives as best they can, but all searching...for freedom, safety, community, family, love. What they don't expect, though, is all that can happen when those powerful little words "I love you" are said for all the wrong reasons.
Five moving stories remain separate at first, then interweave to tell a larger, powerful story -- a story about making choices, taking leaps of faith, falling down, and growing up. A story about kids figuring out what sex and love are all about, at all costs, while asking themselves, "Can I ever feel okay about myself?"
A brilliant achievement from New York Times best-selling author Ellen Hopkins -- who has been called "the bestselling living poet in the country" by mediabistro.com -- Tricks is a book that turns you on and repels you at the same time. Just like so much of life.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Hardcover/ Scholastic Press/ September 2008)
If there really are only seven original plots in the world, it's odd that boy meets girl is always mentioned, and society goes bad and attacks the good guy never is. Yet we have Fahrenheit 451, The Giver, The House of the Scorpion—and now, following a long tradition of Brave New Worlds, The Hunger Games. Collins hasn't tied her future to a specific date, or weighted it down with too much finger wagging. Rather less 1984 and rather more Death Race 2000, hers is a gripping story set in a postapocalyptic world where a replacement for the United States demands a tribute from each of its territories: two children to be used as gladiators in a televised fight to the death.Katniss, from what was once Appalachia, offers to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, but after this ultimate sacrifice, she is entirely focused on survival at any cost. It is her teammate, Peeta, who recognizes the importance of holding on to one's humanity in such inhuman circumstances. It's a credit to Collins's skill at characterization that Katniss, like a new Theseus, is cold, calculating and still likable. She has the attributes to be a winner, where Peeta has the grace to be a good loser.It's no accident that these games are presented as pop culture. Every generation projects its fear: runaway science, communism, overpopulation, nuclear wars and, now, reality TV. The State of Panem—which needs to keep its tributaries subdued and its citizens complacent—may have created the Games, but mindless television is the real danger, the means by which society pacifies its citizens and punishes those who fail to conform. Will its connection to reality TV, ubiquitous today, date the book? It might, but for now, it makes this the right book at the right time. What happens if we choose entertainment over humanity? In Collins's world, we'll be obsessed with grooming, we'll talk funny, and all our sentences will end with the same rise as questions. When Katniss is sent to stylists to be made more telegenic before she competes, she stands naked in front of them, strangely unembarrassed. They're so unlike people that I'm no more self-conscious than if a trio of oddly colored birds were pecking around my feet, she thinks. In order not to hate these creatures who are sending her to her death, she imagines them as pets. It isn't just the contestants who risk the loss of their humanity. It is all who watch.Katniss struggles to win not only the Games but the inherent contest for audience approval. Because this is the first book in a series, not everything is resolved, and what is left unanswered is the central question. Has she sacrificed too much? We know what she has given up to survive, but not whether the price was too high. Readers will wait eagerly to learn more.
Hunted by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast (Hardback/ St. Martin's Press/ March 2009)
What if the hottest guy in the world was hiding a nameless evil and all he wanted was you?
At the start of this heart-pounding new installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey's friends have her back again and Stevie Rae and the red fledglings aren't Neferet's secrets any longer. But an unexpected danger has emerged. Neferet guards her powerful new consort, Kalona, and no one at the House of Night seems to understand the threat he poses. Kalona looks gorgeous, and he has the House of Night under his spell. A past life holds the key to breaking his rapidly spreading influence, but what if this past life shows Zoey secrets she doesn't want to hear and truths she can't face?
On the run and holed up in Tulsa's Prohibition-era tunnels, Zoey and her gang must discover a way to deal with something that might bring them all down. Meanwhile, Zoey has a few other little problems. The red fledglings have cleaned up well--they've even managed to make the dark, creepy tunnels feel more like home--but are they really as friendly as they seem? On the boyfriend front, Zoey has a chance to make things right with super-hot ex-, Eric, but she can't stop thinking about Stark, the archer who died in her arms after one unforgettable night, and she is driven to try to save him from Neferet's sinister influence at all costs. Will anyone believe the power evil has to hide among us?
Second Glance by Jodi Picoult (Paperback/ Washington Square Press/ August 2008)
It is August in Comtosook, Vt., yet suddenly the temperature fluctuates wildly, rose petals mysteriously fall like snow, patches of land are completely frozen and roiling garter snakes cover the ground. Suspense and the supernatural are artfully interwoven in this 10th novel by Picoult (Perfect Match, etc.), in which a man desperately seeks to join his fiancee in death, and a 1930s eugenics project comes back to haunt a small town in Vermont. Ever since his beloved Aimee was killed in a car accident, Ross Wakeman has deliberately put himself at risk, hoping to die. When nothing works, and a job with a paranormal investigator brings him no closer to Aimee, he moves in with his sister, Shelby, in Comtosook. As chance would have it, strange phenomena are plaguing the town, and Ross is drawn into an investigation of a piece of land that local Abenaki Indians claim is an old burial ground. In the process, he meets lovely Lia Beaumont, who has some mysterious connection to sinister goings-on 70 years before in Comtosook. Many more characters are essential to the elaborate, engrossing plot, including Spencer Pike, once a eugenics expert and now a tormented old man in a nursing home; Meredith Oliver, a genetic diagnostician with an uncanny resemblance to Lia Beaumont; and Ross's eight-year-old nephew, Ethan, who suffers from a condition that makes him allergic to sunlight. Picoult's ability to bring them all vividly to life is remarkable. Firmly rooting her otherworldly tale in everyday reality, she produces a spellbinding suspense novel offering insight into the human spirit and the depths of true love.
FTC: All links and excerpts* are from Amazon.com. I am NOT getting paid to link to them.
*Excerpt for Invisible Lines was taken from Barnes and Noble, I am also not getting paid to link to them.
Sarah J. Maas Galore!
22 hours ago