Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
This teen novel is a fun modern retelling of Greek mythology—and I don’t even really like Greek mythology! The most interesting things about this story, though, is that I’m positive I’ve read it before…probably when it was on submission and I was interning at Bloomsbury Children’s Books way back in the summer of 2008! The tone, the Nantucket setting, and the main character who doesn’t fit in were very reminiscent of the original…and then there were very specific details that were both in Starcrossed and manuscript. The longer I’m in publishing I’m sure the more this will happen, but wow! I look forward to reading the sequel, Dreamless (next summer), where I’ve been told the romance gets very steamy.
Liesl and Po (ARC) by Lauren Oliver
Lauren Oliver’s first foray into middle grade does not disappoint. It’s a modern-day fairytale with the best elements: sweet girl locked up in an attic, her friend a ghost, an evil stepmother, a dead father, and lots of magic. The supporting characters are just as rich as the main ones, and I hope we find out more about Mo the guard in a future tale. Available in October. A highly recommended read (indeed, my favorite for July).
Mo Wren, Lost and Found by Tricia Springstubb (twice)
A new program at HC for junior editors like myself involves reading an early draft manuscript of a novel and then the final book—and then talk with the editor about the how and why of the changes. What a great idea, right? Mo Wren, Lost and Found is this month’s selection. It’s a really enjoyable coming-of-age story with fantastic characters. I haven’t read the first book, What Happened On Fox Street, but it’s definitely going on my to-be-read list now.
Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions (ARC) edited by Melissa Marr & Kelley Armstrong
This is a fantastic collection of paranormal stories from some of the hottest writers out there—and the stories cover such a range of topics and emotions. From the Wicked Lovely world in “Merely Mortal” by Melissa Marr to the futuristic “Leaving” by Ally Condie and from the humorous “At the Late Night, Double Feature, Picture Show” by Jessica Verday to the sad (and beautiful) “Gargouille” by Mary E. Pearson there is something for everyone. I have particular links to “Scenic Route” by Carrie Ryan because I read it for my bosses during part of the interview process. I guess they liked what I had to say about it in my reader’s report! The anthology is available in hardcover and paperback September 20th.
I Was Told There’d Be Cake essays by Sloane Crosley
The majority of books I read this months were egalleys or ebooks or manuscripts, all of which I read on my laptop at home. I needed something to read on the subway, so I picked up this collection of essays that my friend had lent me months ago. Now that I’ve read it, I can’t believe it took me so long. The author is no more than seven years older than me, so her childhood and early adult experiences—playing Oregon Trail, moving to NYC, having a unique name—rang true with me. She even worked in publishing (although, my experience is much better than hers!). Although this isn’t my typical read, the essays were both insightful and hilarious. Recommended for anyone of my generation.
Clean (ARC) by Amy Reed
I had been told a while ago to read Beautiful by Amy Reed and I just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. But when I got this novel by the same author as a free egalley I couldn’t resist. It’s a powerful story about six teens in rehab told in multiple formats: traditional narratives, script-like group therapy sessions, questionnaire responses, letters. The strength of this novel is how Reed manages to express both the individual and the collective experience. I’m totally rooting for these characters to stay sober now that they got out of rehab in the last chapter!
The Revenant by Sonia Gensler
Willie, a seventeen-year-old in 1896 year, refuses to go back home when her mother sends for her. So determined to avoid a lifetime of farm work and step-sibling babysitting, Willie steals a classmate’s identity and becomes a teacher at the Cherokee Female Seminary. But she’s not the only one there with secrets—a suspicious death of a classmate a year earlier is still haunting the place. Although I am familiar with the Trail of Tears, this historical fiction novel brought to light the conflicts within the Cherokee nation itself (light skinned verses dark; rich and progressive verses poor and traditional) and highlighted the bustling town of Tahlequah. (Historical Book Challenge #5)
Full Manuscripts: 5