This week’s diverse new releases are:
The Island of Excess Love by Francesca Lia Block (Henry Holt)
Book Description: In The Island of Excess Love, Pen has lost her parents. She’s lost her eye. But she has fought Kronen; she has won back her fragile friends and her beloved brother. Now Pen, Hex, Ash, Ez, and Venice are living in the pink house by the sea, getting by on hard work, companionship, and dreams. Until the day a foreboding ship appears in the harbor across from their home. As soon as the ship arrives, they all start having strange visions of destruction and violence. Trance-like, they head for the ship and their new battles begin.
This companion to Love in the Time of Global Warming follows Pen as she searches for love among the ruins, this time using Virgil’s epic Aeneid as her guide. A powerful and stunning book filled with Francesca Lia Block’s beautiful language and inspiring characters.
Can’t Look Away by Donna Cooner (Point)
Book Description: Torrey Grey is famous. At least, on the internet. Thousands of people watch her popular videos on fashion and beauty. But when Torrey’s sister is killed in an accident — maybe because of Torrey and her videos — Torrey’s perfect world implodes.
Now, strangers online are bashing Torrey. And at her new school, she doesn’t know who to trust. Is queen bee Blair only being sweet because of Torrey’s internet infamy? What about Raylene, who is decidedly unpopular, but seems accepts Torrey for who she is? And then there’s Luis, with his brooding dark eyes, whose family runs the local funeral home. Torrey finds herself drawn to Luis, and his fascinating stories about El dio de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.
As the Day of the Dead draws near, Torrey will have to really look at her own feelings about death, and life, and everything in between. Can she learn to mourn her sister out of the public eye?
Bombay Blues by Tanuja Desai Hidier (Scholastic)
“Long awaited, anticipated, likely to be debated: Dimple Lala is back. Hidier quietly revolutionized YA literature with Born Confused (2002), and this sequel indicates she’s intent on a repeat. Dimple, now in college and still with beat-dropping Karsh, heads to Bombay ostensibly for a wedding but really for so much more; still, perhaps, born confused, she is in search of home. Dense, lyrical, full of neologic portmanteaus and wordplay (“magnifishence”; “candlecadabra”): This is a prose-poem meditation on love, family and homecoming (or not) posing as a novel.” — Kirkus, starred review
Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo (Random House Books for Young Readers)
“Instead of returning home at the end of a summer spent with their grandparents, Leigh and her older sister Kai receive two one-way bus tickets to Hangtown, CA. Their father has bought a graveyard and the family is moving. For the past three years, Leigh has been a stalwart support system for Kia while she battled cancer. … Leigh’s worst fears are confirmed when Dario, the 20-year-old Mexican immigrant who works at the cemetery (and Leigh’s crush), tells her that her birthday, November 1st, is the Day of the Dead in Mexico. … An impressive debut novel—simultaneously hilarious, clever, and poignant.” — School Library Journal
Taken by David Massey (Chicken House)
Book Description: The trip of a lifetime turns into a fight to the death when six extreme athletes are TAKEN hostage by pirates off the coast of Africa. By the author of TORN.
Six crew members are toughing it out, trying to come together as a team to sail around the world on a grueling challenge for charity. Four are teen military veterans disabled in combat: They’re used to being pushed to the limit. But nothing could have prepared them for being kidnapped by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Suddenly, the trip of a lifetime turns into a dark journey into the African jungle. Taken hostage by a notorious warlord and his band of child soldiers, how will Rio, Ash, Marcus, Jen, Charis, and Izzy survive?
Knockout Games by G. Neri (Carolrhoda Lab)
“New girl Erica falls in with the wrong crowd in an exploration of racial tension in St. Louis. … Neri’s main concern is the ”post-racial“ urban landscape, raising many talking points while letting readers come to their own conclusions.Harsh and relentless, a tough but worthy read.” — Kirkus, starred review
Frida and Diego by Catherine Reef (Clarion Books)
“The intertwined creative and personal lives of two trailblazing artists whose lifestyles were as avant-garde as their work. … Reef offers a balanced and cleareyed examination of this powerful relationship, contextualizing it against the backdrop of national politics in Mexico and international change ushered in by the Great Depression and World War II. … Compelling reading for art lovers.” — Kirkus, starred review
Positive: A Memoir by Paige Rawl with Ali Benjamin (HarperCollins)
“This realistic and honest biography of a young woman living with HIV will draw readers in, shedding light on this difficult topic. … The book beautifully conveys what it’s like to grow up with HIV, dispelling myths about the virus and imparting useful knowledge.” — School Library Journal
Lovers & Haters by Calvin Slater (K-Teen)
Book Description: Fifteen-year-old Xavier Hunter is trying to get good grades and get the hottest girl in school. But with his father and brother both locked up in jail, Xavier’s mom is left to provide for the family, and there’s never enough money to go around. If Xavier wants to be with the hottest girl, he has to look the part, so he does what he has to—even if it costs him his grades, good standing with teachers, and leads him to deal with the neighborhood thugs he’s vowed to avoid so he won’t end up like his brother or father. But Xavier will risk it all for Samantha, because for the first time Xavier feels like he has someone on his side— and he wouldn’t give that up for anything…
Remember, if you want to see more books like these on your shelves, please support the ones out now! Purchase, request, read!