Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl...
...for the paranormal romance fans among us. Sleepy town, girl with horrible curse, boy dreaming about someone he's never met, secrets, intrigue--the works!
In the medley of books released in the Twilight , there have been some amazing novels and some duds. This is one of the amazing ones. Beautiful Creatures was one of the William C. Morris Award honorees, chosen by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) as the best books written by a first-time author writing for teens. And it wasn't alone!
Ash by Malinda Lo...
...gives us a fresh look at an ages-old, multicultural fairy tale. I mean it--check out how many different versions there are of Cinderella, it will blow your mind.
In this version, Ash (Cinderella) meets up with the dark/evil fairy Sidhean (don't ask me how to pronounce that, because I don't know--Look it up, I plan to). She thinks Sidhean can make all her problems (evil stepmother, etc.) go away. But that isn't really what happens. Then Ash meets Kaisa, the king's huntress, and she learns to love again. But what about the super-evil Sidhean? You'll have to read Ash to find out. Definitely a little Dark Fantasy connection in this one.
The Everafter by Amy Huntley...
...is one I'm really looking forward to reading. It's narrator is a girl using mystical objects, her own belongings, to relive moments of her history and finding that now, she can change them...her first kiss, a trip to Disney World, her sister's wedding, all can be different. How can she do it? Well, it's because she's dead.
The final honoree we already have: Hold Still by Nina LaCour,which I very strongly recommend.
To refresh your midterm-fogged memories: Caitlin is paralyzed by the death of her best friend Ingrid, who committed suicide. Caitlin sinks into depression, shuns family and friends, refuses to see a therapist, and only leaves her home when school begins in the fall. But when she finds Ingrid's journal, she begins to see her friend's struggles and deal with her own. It's an incredibly moving novel for anyone who's known someone struggling with depression, loss, or just missing a friend (people move away, you know. When you say "Tenth grade" I say "Ugh!").
It was amazing! I couldn't believe this was Nina LaCour's first novel; it was written brilliantly.
The winner of the William C. Morris Award was Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan...stay tuned for a full review coming soon!