I read Simon vs. The Homo Sapien Agenda on the very enthusiastic recommendation of my book buddy Carmen. I started it on a Monday night and before I knew it the sun was raising on Tuesday morning as I finished it. And all I wanted to do (other than sleep) was to start it from the beginning again. It was THAT good!
In Holly Black’s dystopian take on the vampire tale, vampires no longer lurk in the shadows; they’re making their existence known by infecting as many people as possible. Coldtowns-entire cities that are closed off and used to quarantine vampires and the infected- are developed to contain the threat. Behind their fortified walls, Coldtowns are completely lawless, run by the vampire gangs who control them. There are some people who enter Coldtown because they’ve been bitten and have no other choice. Others go because Coldtown is known to be a 24 hour orgy of decadence and debauchery and they want to be invited to the party that never ends. No matter your reasons, once you enter, it’s nearly impossible to leave.
Halloween coming up on Saturday means it’s time to get our SPOOKY READS on! So excited to have read and recommend these to help get you in the mood for October 31st!
- Slasher Girls and Monster Boys compiled by April Genevieve Tucholke. This compilation of scary short stories includes some of YA’s best writers, such as Cat Winters, Leigh Bardugo, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu, Carrie Ryan, McCormick Templeman, and AG Howard to name a few. We reviewed this as our #firstreadsfriday selection a few weeks ago and pretty much loved the quality and variety of scary stories all around.
- The Accident Season by Moira Fowley Doyle: This spooky, magical, Irish ghost story set in a contemporary setting is sure to get your skin prickling with its surprising twists and turns. This was our September Book Club pick and you can see for yourself, Ann & Carmen have two different takes on this one.
- The Uninvited by Cat Winters. We reviewed this a few months back and loved it. Winters, yet again, created a World War I era novel where you are steeped in the mythology of the time while surrounded by supernatural and ghostly goings-on. If you’re not familiar with her work, she incorporates these same themes in a distinctive manner in her debut YA novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds.
- The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black. This is a dark fairy tale where magic, faeries and the supernatural unfold into a modern day urban fantasy. Things are not what they seem in this town where a boy sleeps in a glass casket in the forest and then wakes one day, leaving an empty casket and a town in chaos.
- The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. Holly Black’s vampire tale with a dystopian twist is hard to describe but easy to love. Once you sink your teeth into Coldtown you won’t let go. There’s a reason Holly Black appears on this list twice. She has a way with spooky. Check out our full review of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.
- Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson. What happens when the things in your dreams start to appear in real life and the things in your nightmares soon follow? Anderson gives the phrase “life is but a dream” an ominous new meaning in his debut novel. For a full review check our September #FirstReadsFriday post.
- The Devil and Winnie Flynn by Micol Ostow and David Ostow. Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Scream will love this paranormal tale of the weirdest summer internship ever. Micol kills the dialogue while David supplies the visuals. The perfect read for your Halloweekend. For a full review check our September #FirstReadsFriday post.
- A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis. Set in an insane asylum, this dark historical thriller should be read by candlelight on a dark stormy night. For a full review, check our October #FirstReadsFriday post.
Read any (or all) of these selections to get you in the Halloween spirit!
This morning, YALSA announced their Teens’ Top Ten for 2015 and what a varied list it is!
If you don’t know, YALSA is the Young Adult Library Services Association and is a division of the American Library Association (ALA). They are a “national association of librarians, library workers and advocates whose mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens, aged 12-18. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives, YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens.”
Every year, they put out the Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen book groups in sixteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on the Thursday of National Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year. Readers ages twelve to eighteen will vote online between August 15 and Teen Read Week™ (October 18-24, 2015) at www.ala.org/yalsa/reads4teens; the winners are announced the week after Teen Read Week (this week!).
Below is their announcement video followed by a written list to print and take to the bookstore with you next visit.
- The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Scholastic)
- I Become Shadow by Joe Shine. (Soho Teen)
- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. (Simon & Schuster)
- My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak. (Sourcebooks)
- Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas. (Bloomsbury)
- The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare. (Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry)
- The Young Elites by Marie Lu. (Penguin/G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
- The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. (Macmillan/ Henry Holt & Company)
- Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. (Simon & Schuster)
- The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith. (Hachette/Poppy)
If you don’t go check these books out from your local library, we would suggest purchasing them at your local bookstore, like ours, Inkwood Books.
This morning, Entertainment Weekly is reporting more casting news for the film adaptation of Lauren Oliver’s “Before I Fall.” It seems the cast has been fully rounded out to include Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley, Diego Boneta, and Elena Kampouris. They are joining Zoey Dutch as Samantha Kingston and director Ry Russo Young.
As Lauren Oliver mentioned via Twitter to us last month, filming is set to begin in November for a 2016 movie release.
UPDATE: It was announced yesterday that Jennifer Beals will join the cast as Samantha’s mother. Jennifer rose to fame as Alex Owens in the film Flashdance, and has maintained a busy career on both film and small screen over the past 30+ years.
Our November Book Club selection is Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.
Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.
That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.
Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here–it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.
Carry On – The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story – but far, far more monsters.
Join us at Inkwood Books at 7pm Thursday, Nov. 19th.
(Due scheduling conflict November’s book club meeting will be November 19th rather than the 3rd Wednesday of the month.)