Six of Crows

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Title: Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Summary: Kaz, a criminal prodigy with a mysterious past, has quickly risen to the top of the criminal underbelly in the international trading hub Ketterdam. If you need the impossible done, he is the one you contact.  And, an impossible, deadly heist is just what someone offers to pay him an unbelievable amount of money to commit.  Kaz is up for the challenge so long as he can assemble the perfect crew.  A perfect crew consisting of:

The agile spy whose ability to sneak into just the right spot has earned her the nickname the Wraith;

The sharpshooter with a gambling problem;

A privileged runaway demolitionist;

A Heartrender who has the magical ability to damage a person’s internal organs- from slowing a pulse to snatching the very breath from their lungs;

A former witch hunter and convict torn between the need for revenge and redemption; and

The criminal mastermind who earned the nickname “Dirtyhands” because no job is too despicable or bloody for him.

Oh, and one more thing… if the six fail it could have deadly consequences for everyone in the world.

Who will like this book?:  This smart cross between heist and fantasy will appeal to fans of both genres.  Bardugo alternates telling the story using  five of the six main characters’ points-of-view, so you get more of a chance to understand each character’s motivation.    That means fans of character driven stories will be equally satisfied with this tale.

If you like this, try this: Kristin Cashore’s  Graceling series, Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch, The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard, and An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Recommended by: Jen, Teen Librarian

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Ink and Bone

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Title: Ink and Bone

Author: Rachel Caine

Summary: Jess and his family are black market smugglers who trade in the rarest and most dangerous of commodities: Books. The Great Library that rules over the world allows people to download and read things, of course, but very few people are allowed to actually own bound copies of books. In order to get an inside look at the mysterious agents who run the Great Library and it’s satellite locations all over the world, Jess is convinced by his father to apply for entry into the elite Library training program and soon he is on his way to Alexandria, Egypt. As he makes friends and enemies in his class and clashes with his surly, aggressive mentor, Jess begins to realize how seriously the Library takes its stance on the value of knowledge above everything else – including the lives of enemies, innocents and the trainees themselves. When his friend comes up with a radical idea that could change the way information is transmitted forever, Jess must decide what is more important: His family and the mission they have set before him, or exposing the secretive and deadly nature of the Library. Either decision will cost him greatly and be impossible to forgive.

One of the great intellectual tragedies in history was the legendary destruction of the Library of Alexandria. Although there are several different theories about what happened and when, what is not in doubt is that countless scrolls containing works by famous authors were lost forever. This imaginative and fast-paced tale imagines a world where the library not only survived, but managed to become the ruling entity of the entire world. Short communications before each chapter give you a sense of what’s to come and the larger scope of the story as you read, compelling you to keep turning the pages to see how it all works out. There is something here for almost every reader: Action, humor, romance and mystery. This thrilling adventure will leave you begging for the second installment of The Great Library series.

Who will like this book?: Fans of dystopian series like Divergent and The Hunger Games. People who love books.

If you like this, try this: The Archived by Victoria Schwab. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian

Zom-B

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Title: Zom-B

Author: Darren Shan

Summary: It begins in a remote village in Ireland.   Footage of vicious zombie attacks and brutal military responses goes viral.  B’s London-based gang of friends and family see the clips, but everyone seems to think it is some kind of hoax.  Some think it is a promo for an upcoming film, others theorize that it is a terrorist plot, or even the ultimate practical joke.  Life goes on for everyone in the rest of the world.

And, life for B means dealing with an abusive and racist father, protecting a battered mother, hanging tough in front of friends, and going to school.   Potential zombies aside, the biggest issue in B’s life is dealing with the urge to go against Dad’s bigotry.  Sometimes it is just easier to agree with him because an unhappy Dad is a violent one.  Unfortunately, it’s becoming evident that  B’s decision to just pretend to go along with Dad’s views is beginning to influence how B behaves towards kids from other racial backgrounds.  Even at school, B is receiving mixed messages about tolerance and B’s finding it hard to separate right from wrong.

However, that internal struggle is momentarily sidelined the day B’s school is attacked by zombies.  The attack is sudden, and B and a group of diverse students  must get over their shock and disbelief immediately if they are to escape the carnage.

Who will like this book?:  This incredibly fast-paced book is great for fans of action and, of course, zombies.  There are some graphic novel-type illustrations that further enhance Darren Shan’s creepy vision of the zombie apocalypse.   This addictive first of a proposed 12 book series already has the next three books in print and subsequent ones are scheduled to be released approximately three months apart.

If you like this, try this:  Of course continue on with the series!  But while you wait, get hooked on Jonathan Maberry’s Rot and Ruin series, Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel series The Walking Dead, and Charlie Higson’s The Dead.

Recommended by: Jen, Fairfield Woods Branch Teen Librarian

Hunger

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Title: Hunger

Author: Jackie Morse Kessler

Summary: Lisabeth can’t take it anymore. Her mother is never around, her friends are catty, all she does with her boyfriend anymore is fight and the Thin Voice in her head is constantly rattling off calories and corresponding exercise needs, as if she doesn’t know how fat she is. On the night Lisabeth decides to end it all, a delivery man shows up just in time to make her an offer: Die, or work for him. The figure in her room, of course, is that most powerful ‘delivery man,’ Death himself. Lisabeth accepts his offer, and is offered the job of Famine, one of the four horseman of the apocalypse.

As Lisabeth grows into her powers of destruction and witnesses the lives of people in pain, she begins to understand more about her own struggles with control. While this sounds like an obvious metaphor, author Kessler brings it to life in a fast-paced, original way that keeps the pages turning. Even if you hate to read, this book, the beginning of a series about the Four Horsemen, will hook you from page one.

Who will like this book? Readers who like books that combine realism and fantasy. People who are interested in how people endure and cope with eating disorders.

If you like this, try this: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. Inside Out: Portrait of an Eating Disorder by Nadia Shivack. Rage, also by Kessler. Two other, very different books with Death as a quirky character, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and the Sandman graphic novels of Neil Gaiman.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian

Pretty Little Liars

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Title: Pretty Little Liars

Author: Sara Shepard

Summary: In this series about four girls from Rosewood, PA, you will learn the true meaning of friendship. In 7th grade Alison DiLaurentis ruled the school and her best friends were right by her side. One night Alison disappears and her friends can’t believe it. They all personally think it was their fault she died. Three years later, the case is still unsolved and things have quieted down about it. The four former best friends – Spencer, Aria, Emily and Hanna – have drifted apart but must now come back together when they receive mysterious notes signed “A” and Alison’s case is reopened with a shocking discovery.

Who will like this book? This book is for readers who can handle mature themes. Also, if you like secret or sneaking around, you will like this book.

If you like this, read this: The Gossip Girl series by Cecily von Ziegesar. The Private series by Kate Brian. The Privilege series by Kate Brian. Also, you might also like the TV show Pretty Little Liars shown on ABC Family, Tuesday at 8/7 c.

Recommended by: Katie, Fairfield resident and avid reader

Epic

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Title: Epic

Author: Conor Kostick

Summary:There is no violence in Erik’s world, only Epic. The global online multiplayer game allows people to create avatars to fight against one another and settle grievances. But Epic is more than just a game. It’s politics. Run by Central Allocations, a group of the richest, most powerful players, they lead a corrupt system that dictates the lives of everyone else.

Fed up with the difficulties his family faces, Erik creates a new type of character. He creates a girl named Cindella with only beauty instead of the typical fighter/elf/magician. But there’s something special about Cindella. When she starts getting attention from NPs (and not for her looks), Eric knows he’s onto something. Teaming up with his group of friends, they set off to fight dragons, find treasure, and slay the corrupt Central Allocations once and for all.

Who will like this book?: Boys and girls who enjoy discovering virtual worlds will find Epic to be a must-read. It’s packed full of adventure and has the interesting twist of a male player with a female avatar. The game system is well described but you don’t need to be a technician to understand the way this excellent sci-fi novel works.

If you like this, you should try: Saga, the sequel to Epic. Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde, 1/2 Prince(manhwa), The 39 Clues series, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Walls of the Universeby Paul Melko, The Game by Dianna Wynne Jones

Recommended by:ZZ, Fairfield resident and avid reader

The Last Olympian

Title: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 5: The Last Olympian

Author: Rick Riordan

Summary: In the final installment of this outstanding series, Percy and company must defend the island of Manhattan from the evil Kronos and the monster Typhon. The Last Olympian has the usual plot twists and turns, but the stakes are incredibly high: If Percy, Annabeth, Grover and the other demigods from Camp Half Blood lose the battle, civilization as they (and we) know it will unravel as the evil Titans take control.

If you haven’t read Percy yet, by gods, what are you waiting for! Begin with The Lightning Thief before the movie hits theatres.

Who will like this book?: Everybody! A great adventure series for guys and girls who don’t love to read, mythology buffs and everyone in between. This is also an outstanding series for teens and parents to share.

If you like this, try this: The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix. The Mark of Solomon series by Elizabeth E. Wein. And it looks like there will be another Camp Half Blood series, featuring new campers, so keep an eye out for that as well.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian