“Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?”

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts–and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany–where she finds herself woefully under prepared–not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers–precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

 

2012 Michael L. Prinz Award winner:

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In the summer before Cullen’s senior year his sensitive, gifted fifteen-year-old brother Gabriel has suddenly and inexplicably disappeared. While Cullen navigates his way through a summer of finding and losing love, holding his fragile family together, and muddling his way into adulthood, a young missionary in Africa is searching for any semblance of meaning wherever he can find it. As distant as the two stories seem at the start, they are thoughtfully woven ever closer together and through masterful plotting, brought face to face in a surprising and harrowing climax. Complex but truly extraordinary, tinged with melancholy and regret, comedy and absurdity, this novel finds wonder in the ordinary and emerges as ultimately hopeful.  It’s about the dream of second chances.

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by  Padma Venkatraman

This is a fascinating story set on a remote island untouched by time. Uido is ecstatic about becoming her tribe’s spiritual leader, but her new position brings her older brother’s jealousy and her best friend’s mistrust. And looming above these troubles are the recent visits of strangers from the mainland who have little regard for nature or the spirits, and tempt the tribe members with gifts, making them curious about modern life. When Uido’s little brother falls deathly ill, she must cross the ocean and seek their help. Having now seen so many new things, will Uido have the strength to believe in herself and the old ways? And will her people trust her to lead them to safety when a catastrophic tsunami threatens? Uido must overcome everyone’s doubts, including her own, if she is to keep her people safe and preserve the spirituality that has defined them.

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Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw this new heartbreaking work  brilliantly explores the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

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Between the Lines

is a romantic fantasy about  high school outcast Delilah McPhee  who can communicate with a prince in a fairy tale book.  Within the fairy tale itself, Prince Oliver is in peril, facing the dragon who killed his father, being imprisoned by pirates who threaten him with torture, and battling a sword-wielding villain. In real life, Delilah and Oliver don’t always act perfectly (she sneaks out of her room, leaving her mother frantic, and he takes Delilah into his fantasy world without asking her whether it’s what she wants). Can she find a way to get Oliver off the page and into the real world where they’ll live happily ever after?  They risk everything to be together and ultimately learn to think about more than their own happiness.

Dystopian titles:

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Blood Red Road (Dust Lands series) by Moira Young

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. When a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba’s world is shattered. Her beloved twin brother, Lugh, is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

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Cinder  by Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

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Eleventh Plague, by Jeff Hirsch

In an America devastated by war and plague, the only way to survive is to keep moving. In the aftermath of a war, America’s landscape has been ravaged and two thirds of the population left dead from a vicious strain of influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among the few that survived and became salvagers, roaming the country in search of material to trade for food and other items essential for survival. But when Stephen’s grandfather dies and his father falls into a coma after an accident, Stephen finds his way to Settler’s Landing, a community that seems too good to be true, where there are real houses, barbecues, a school, and even baseball games. Then Stephen meets strong, defiant, mischievous Jenny, who refuses to accept things as they are. And when they play a prank that goes horribly wrong, chaos erupts, and they find themselves in the midst of a battle that will change Settler’s Landing forever.

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On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt.  But no matter how spectacular it is, Sham can’t shake the sense that there is more to life than traveling the endless rails of the railsea.   When they come across a wrecked train, at first it’s a welcome distraction. But what Sham finds in the derelict leads to considerably more than he’d bargained for. Soon he’s hunted on all sides, by pirates, trainsfolk, monsters and salvage-scrabblers. And it might not be just Sham’s life that’s about to change. It could be the whole of the railsea.

Nevermore, by James Patterson

One last chance . . . for Max, Fang, and Dylan . . . before it all ends. “Nevermore” is one last incredible, explosive adventure with an astonishing ending that no one could have seen coming.

 

 

For fans of the Hunger Games trilogy who want something similar to read, try:

Legend by Marie Lu

Maze Runner, by James Dashner

Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi

Divergent, by Veronica Roth

Girl in the Arena,  by Lise Haines


 Fantasy:

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by Andrea Cremer(prequel to the Nightshade trilogy)

Sixteen-year-old Ember Morrow is promised to a group called Conatus after one of their healers saves her mother’s life. Once she arrives, Ember finds joy in wielding swords, learning magic, and fighting the encroaching darkness loose in the world. She also finds herself falling in love with her mentor, the dashing, brooding, and powerful Barrow Hess. When the knights realize Eira, one of their leaders, is dabbling in dark magic, Ember and Barrow must choose whether to follow Eira into the nether realm or to pledge their lives to destroying her and her kind.

 

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by Sarah Maas

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince.  He offers Celaena her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.   Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

 

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All You Desire(sequel to the Eternal Ones),  by Kirsten Miller

Haven Moore would like to believe that Adam Rosier and his sinister Ouroboros Society are a distant memory. But then her best friend, Beau Decker, disappears, and a cabal of women known as the Horae claim that Adam is responsible.    They tell Haven  they’ll help her only if she promises to lure Adam into their clutches. It’s a plan  Haven and Iain fear may destroy the happiness they’ve been chasing for two thousand years. Because when Haven gets closer to Adam, he proves more alluring than she ever anticipated.

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Strange Angels, by Lili St. Crow

Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called the touch.(Comes in handy when youare traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)

Then her dad turns up dead but still walking and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they are not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever or “whoever” is hunting her?

 Science Fiction:

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A Million Suns(sequel to Across the Universe),  by Beth Revis

Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos. It’s been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed.  Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He’s finally free to enact his vision – no more Phydus, no more lies. But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that’s growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.

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Rise of Nine(#3 in the Lorien Legacies), by Pittacus Lore

Until the day I met Number Four, I’d been on the run alone, hiding and fighting to stay alive. Together, we are much more powerful.  I went to Spain to find Seven, and I found even more, including a tenth member of the Garde,Ella, who escaped from Lorien alive. Now we’re looking for the others.

But so are they. They caught Number One in Malaysia. Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya. They caught me in New York—but I escaped.
I am Number Six.  They want to finish what they started. But they’ll have to fight us first.

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