Every Other Day

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Title: Every Other Day

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Summary:  Every second day Kali is just your average 16-year-old girl, who reluctantly transferred halfway through first semester junior year from a gifted high school program run by her father’s university to public school.  She has no friends,  a mother who disappeared when she was just a kid, and an absentee father who doesn’t seem to understand her at all.

But every other day she is something else entirely.  She is confident and beyond strong.   And, on those days she is not human.  She is the thing that hunts and kills supernatural creatures that would do harm to the human race and she is practically indestructible.   Kali doesn’t know what she is on those days, but she knows there is no denying her need to hunt and destroy evil.

One day, Kali notices a demon mark on the back of the most popular girl at school.  A mark that means she will be dead within 24 hours.  Unfortunately,  it is on a day when Kali is simply a human.  Without the benefit of super strength or extraordinary healing powers Kali decides to try to save this girl.  It’s a decision that will change everything.  It will create friendships, threaten family relationships, endanger lives, and change the hunter within Kali.

Who will like this book?:  If you like strong-willed, tough female main characters in paranormal settings this is the book for you.

If you like this, try this: Strange Angels series by Lili St. Crow, Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, Raised by Wolves and Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Recommended by: Jen, Fairfield Woods Branch Teen Librarian

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The White Queen & The Red Queen

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Title: The White Queen and The Red Queen

Author: Philippa Gregory

Summary: Move over Tudors, here come the Plantagenets. Before Henry VIII and his six wives, England endured the War of the Roses, also known as the Cousin’s War, where two royal houses battled each other for supremacy. These books tell the stories of two women whose lives were intertwined: Elizabeth Woodville of the House of York and Margaret Beaufort of the House of Lancaster. Both women would see their family members on the throne but the crown comes at great personal cost to each of them.

Elizabeth Woodville’s story is told in The White Queen. Of humble birth, she snared the future king of England with her beauty (or by witchcraft, as her enemies would later charge.) She would have a happy marriage and many children but she and her royal sons would be in constant danger from rivals and allies alike. Margaret Beaufort’s life is described in The Red Queen. Married at 12 and a pregnant widow at 13, Margaret would plot, scheme, and shift alliances to see her House regain power – because her only child, Henry Tudor, would become heir to the throne. Fast-paced, full of twists and turns, and featuring characters as fascinating as any women in history, you won’t be able to put these books down – even though you think you know how the story will end.

Who will like these books?: Fans of royal  historical fiction, especially Ms. Gregory’s many loyal readers. If you are into the Tudors, give these books a try.

If you like this, read this: The other books in this series, The Kingmaker’s Daughter and The White Princess. For younger readers, try Patience, Princess Catherine by Carolyn Meyer. Nine Days a Queen by Ann Rinaldi.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

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Title: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Author: Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Summary: It’s Pride and Prejudice…with zombies! Fighting off zombie attacks are a daily chore for the Bennet sisters. During their years of training in China, they have honed their mastery with the sword, becoming famous in their small town for their abilities. Our hero Mr. Darcy happens to also be a famous zombie slayer. It would be a match made in heaven if not for Darcy’s superior status and the disapproving glare of his aunt, the renowned Lady Catherine de Bourgh. With the classic cast of passionate, sharp-mouthed, lovesick characters, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies brings this original tale back to life – literally.

Who will like this book?: If you’re a fan of Gregory Maguire, I’d say this book is for you. If you enjoyed the original Pride and Prejudice, you might enjoy this as well, as it contains many direct passages (and essentially the same plot) from the original.  Even if you don’t like reading the classics, you’ll find this one hard to put down.

If you like this, you should try: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Wicked and Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire. Fool by Christopher Moore. Goose Girl by Shannon Hale.

Recommended by: ZZ, Fairfield resident and avid reader

Graceling

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Title: Graceling

Author: Kristin Cashore

Summary: In Katsa’s world, some people are born graced – they possess a skill or ability that far surpasses that of an ordinary person. A Graceling might be able to swim, sew, cook, or read minds. Katsa, a lady of the Middluns, has what might be the most terrifying: A killing Grace. Her king, Randa, sends her to dole out brutal punishment to those who defy him, and almost everyone across the seven kingdoms shudder when they hear her name.

While on a mission to rescue a kidnapped prince, Katsa meets Po, another royal Graceling with a secret to protect. When they set off together to discover the motive behind the kidnapping, each will discover the true nature of their abilities, and learn that there are even more fearsome Graces than killing. The action never lets up in this terrific debut with enough heart and soul to please readers who might usually avoid fantasy stories.

Who will like this book?: Fans of fantasy adventures and quest stories – even guys. Keep an eye out for the prequel and sequel, coming soon.

If you like this, try this: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The Giver by Lois Lowry. For something lighter, The Unnameables by Ellen Booraem.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian

The Hunger Games

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Title: The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins

Summary: Each year a boy and a girl from each district are selected at random and sent to the Capital of Panem (formerly North America) to serve as tributes (players) in the Hunger Games. This live televised contest is mandatory viewing across the devastated continent. It is a battle to the death and the tribute left standing will be set for life.

When her little sister is chosen for the Games, Katniss decides takes her place. As she makes the journey from her destitute home in District 12 to the shimmering Capital, she begins to see that the Hunger Games are more than just a way to entertain the people: It’s a way to control them. This first book in a new series by the author of the Overland Chronicles will grab you from the first page and not let you go.

Who will like this book?: Adventure fans of all ages will love this book. Fans of dystopian fiction (meaning, set in a not-so-nice future world) and adventure stories. People who like heroes who are not so perfect. Anyone who thinks reality TV is just a little bit scary to begin with.

If you like this, try this: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding. The Compound by S.A. Bodeen.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian

Kiki Strike: The Empress’s Tomb

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Title: Kiki Strike: The Empress’s Tomb

Author: Kirsten Miller

Summary: Kiki Strike and the Irregulars can never get a good night’s sleep: They’re too busy protecting the Shadow City they discovered the previous year and keeping safe from the various hitmen who want them dead. Much to everyones surprise, Oona is finally revealing some of her secrets – Lester Liu, leader of the Fu Tsang is her dad! And even more surprising, he’s suddenly opened his arms to welcome her back as his daughter.

The Irregulars are suspicious, but Oona willingly goes with him, casting doubt on her loyalty. To make matters worse, Anaka’s parents are fed up with her late night adventures and are going to send to her a border school out west. With squirrels attacking strangers in the park, stolen Thai prodigies popping up in the Shadow City, and Oona getting drawn further and further into her father’s grasp, what can the Irregulars do to save New York when they can barely keep their own group together?

Who will like this book?: It’s definitely aimed at the younger female audience who likes a good adventure story with some mystery, plot twists, and a cute guy who can command squirrels to do his bidding. Another great book in the series.

If you like this, you should try: The first adventure in the series, Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City, the Artemis Fowl series, Ella Enchanted, Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy, and H.I.V.E series.

Recommended by: ZZ, Fairfield resident and avid reader

Ella Enchanted

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Title: Ella Enchanted

Author: Gail Carson Levine

Summary: At birth, the fairy Lucinda “gifted” Ella  with obedience. Whenever ordered to do something, Ella can’t help but to comply. At an early age her mother dies and at the funeral she meets Prince Char, her first best friend.  A few years pass before her father starts being courted by the awful Dame Olga, who has two monsters for daughters – Hattie and Olive. To make matters worse, Hattie soon discovers that Ella will do anything she says.  The story follows Ella as she learns to deal with these new step-devils, some ugly – and rather old – suitors, trolls, and of course her curse. Only Lucinda can remove the curse, but the problem is Lucinda never takes back a gift. Can Ella save her life before it all falls apart?

Who will like this book?: If you want a classic fairy tale, this is the book for you. A charming Prince, a witty female lead, evil humans and creatures, and some unexpected magical friends add up to the essentials of this fairy tale. It has more dialogue than action, but it’s fast-paced and hilarious. And apart from the characters and basic plot outline, it’s not anything like the movie.

If you like this, you should try: Anything else by Gail Carson Levine–she has a series of fairy books, as well as The Wish. Other good fairy-tale books are Tithe by Holly Black, Artemis Fowlby Eoin Colfer, almost anything by Dianna Wynne Jone or Shannon Hale, and the Wolf Tower series (Wolf Tower is the name of the first one) by Tanith Lee.

Recommended by: ZZ, resident of Fairfield and avid reader.