For the Record

Title: For the Record

Author: Charlotte Huang

Series: Standalone

Publication: November 10th 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Pages: 320

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like… until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything

Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen heartthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.

Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule… Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?

My Thoughts:

It’s a rare thing when a book leaves me speechless, and For the Record has done just that.


This book is any girl’s dream come true – especially the girls like me who used to dream they would become famous singers (even though I can’t sing – I sound like a dying whale). This book brings every American Idol, The Voice, and America’s Got Talent fan’s dreams to life. It was beautifully done. For the Record is a complex book full of vivid characters, the deep ties of friendship, and the uncertainty of success.
You guys want a testament for how good this book is? I was approved for this book on Monday via Netgalley and I already have it finished. BAM! How’s that? Forget NaNoWriMo, homework, and the book I was supposed to be reading – I would gladly replace all of it with this book over and over again.


For the Record is about a girl named Chelsea who receives a life changing phone call. She is suddenly thrust out into the spotlight and becomes the lead singer of a famous rock band. Through her eyes we are privy to all the inner workings of a tour, of a band, and of rock star life. It’s quite a change from small town life if you ask me, and Huang handles the transition perfectly. Chelsea neither loses herself to the sensations of being famous nor does she let the turbulence of fame turn her into a simpering flower. She is flawed, of course – no character should be perfect, but it only makes her story that much easier to relate to. Sure I was frustrated with her and certain things she chose to do or say, but that’s what makes a good character. If they don’t do at least one thing to piss you off (no matter how small and silly it is), the character simply isn’t real enough. Like I said, no one is perfect – so props to Huang for creating a character that embodies that.
In fact, all of the characters are so vibrant in this story that it’s impossible not to love them all. They all have their infuriating moments, but there are also the moments where their personalities jump off the page and draw you into their fantastical world. Each and every one of them was unique in their own little ways – it was glorious. I love characters – you can have the lamest plot ever, but as long as your characters shine brightly enough I’ll still devour the book like it’s nobody’s business. Though, having both is always a plus. For the Record does both, the plot and the characters work in tandem to weave together a breathtaking story about what it takes to be famous.
Overall, For the Record is an addictive book that I wish I’d heard about sooner. I will savor this book and the memories that it brings forth. Charlotte Huang has created a brilliant debut novel that deserves to have a home on every single bookshelf.

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Coming Soon: November 2015

Get ready to add these 10 upcoming young adult novels to your bookshelf! I went down the rabbit hole of Goodreads and my bookshelf to see which books our community is most excited to read and carefully crafted this list!

  1. Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young

Summary:

When Audrey Casella arrives for an unplanned stay at the grand Hotel Ruby, she’s grateful for the detour. Just months after their mother’s death, Audrey and her brother, Daniel, are on their way to live with their grandmother, dumped on the doorstep of a DNA-matched stranger because their father is drowning in his grief.

Audrey and her family only plan to stay the night, but life in the Ruby can be intoxicating, extending their stay as it provides endless distractions—including handsome guest Elias Lange, who sends Audrey’s pulse racing. However, the hotel proves to be as strange as it is beautiful. Nightly fancy affairs in the ballroom are invitation only, and Audrey seems to be the one guest who doesn’t have an invite. Instead, she joins the hotel staff on the rooftop, catching whispers about the hotel’s dark past.

The more Audrey learns about the new people she’s met, the more her curiosity grows. She’s torn in different directions—the pull of her past with its overwhelming loss, the promise of a future that holds little joy, and an in-between life in a place that is so much more than it seems…

Welcome to the Ruby.

November 3rd 2015 by Simon Pulse

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2. The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

Summary:

Artist Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Leonardo da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive . . . and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in Beatrix’s own family’s closet tear them apart?

November 3rd 2015 by Feiwel & Friends

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3. The Lies About the Truth by Courtney C. Stevens

Summary:

Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.

As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she’s unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she’ll always be trapped in the past.

November 3rd 2015 by HarperTeen

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4. Need by Joelle Charbonneau

Summary:

Teenagers at Wisconsin’s Nottawa High School are drawn deeper into a social networking site that promises to grant their every need . . . regardless of the consequences. Soon the site turns sinister, with simple pranks escalating to malicious crimes. The body count rises. In this chilling YA thriller, the author of the best-selling Testing trilogy examines not only the dark side of social media, but the dark side of human nature.

November 3rd 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers

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5. All In by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Summary:

Three casinos. Three bodies. Three days.

After a string of brutal murders in Las Vegas, Cassie Hobbes and the Naturals are called in to investigate. But even with the team’s unique profiling talents, these murders seem baffling: unlike many serial killers, this one uses different methods every time. All of the victims were killed in public, yet the killer does not show up on any tape. And each victim has a string of numbers tattooed on their wrist. Hidden in the numbers is a code—and the closer the Naturals come to unraveling the mystery, the more perilous the case becomes.

Meanwhile, Cassie is dealing with an equally dangerous and much more painful mystery. For the first time in years, there’s been a break in her mother’s case. As personal issues and tensions between the team mount, Cassie and the Naturals will be faced with impossible odds—and impossible choices.

November 3rd 2015 by Disney-Hyperion

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6. Soundless by Richelle Mead

Summary:

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever…

November 10th 2015 by Razorbill

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7. Da Vinci’s Tiger by L.M. Elliott

Summary:

Young, beautiful, and witty, Ginevra de’ Benci longs to take part in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence. But as the daughter of a wealthy family in a society dictated by men, she is trapped in an arranged marriage, expected to limit her creativity to domestic duties. Her poetry reveals her deepest feelings, and she aches to share her work, to meet painters and sculptors mentored by the famed Lorenzo de Medici, and to find love.

When the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, arrives in Florence, he introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers—a world of thought and conversation she has yearned for. She is instantly attracted to the handsome newcomer, who admires her mind as well as her beauty. Yet Ginevra remains conflicted about his attentions. Choosing her as his Platonic muse, Bembo commissions a portrait by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them—one Ginevra can only begin to understand. In a rich and enthralling world of exquisite art, elaborate feasts, and exhilarating jousts, she faces many temptations to discover her voice, artistic companionship, and a love that defies categorization. In the end, she and Leonardo are caught up in a dangerous and deadly battle between powerful families.

November 10th 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books

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8. Unforgiven by Lauren Kate

Summary:

High school can be hell.

Cam knows what it’s like to be haunted. He’s spent more time in Hell than any angel ever should. And his freshest Hell is high school, where Lilith, the girl he can’t stop loving, is serving out a punishment for his crimes.

Cam made a bet with Lucifer: he has fifteen days to convince the only girl who really matters to him to love him again. If he succeeds, Lilith will be allowed back into the world, and they can live their lives together. But if he fails…there’s a special place in Hell just for him.

Tick-tock.

Spread your wings and cry as bad boy dark angel Cam finally reveals his anguished heart in the epic new FALLEN novel, UNFORGIVEN.

November 10th 2015 by Delacorte Press

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9. Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick

Summary:

Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life.

After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer.

But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows.

As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…

November 10th 2015 by Simon & Schuster

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10. Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern

Summary:

A heartrending but ultimately uplifting debut novel about learning to accept life’s uncertainties; a perfect fit for the current trend in contemporary realistic novels that confront issues about life, death, and love.

Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she’s going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that will tell her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease, the degenerative condition that is slowly killing her mother. With a fifty-fifty shot at inheriting her family’s genetic curse, Rose is skeptical about pursuing anything that presumes she’ll live to be a healthy adult—including going to ballet school and the possibility of falling in love. But when she meets a boy from a similarly flawed genetic pool, and gets an audition for a dance scholarship in California, Rose begins to question her carefully-laid rules.

November 24th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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Coming Soon: September 2015

Get ready to add these 25 upcoming young adult novels to your bookshelf! I’ve taken picks from both my bookshelf and from Goodreads, you won’t want to miss them.

  1. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Summary:

 Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

September 1st 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Children

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2. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Summary: 

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

September 1st 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

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3. Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

Summary: 

When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, she gets closer to the truth about herself and must decide if there’s room for love in a heart so full of hate.

September 1st 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers

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My Review

4. Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa

Summary: 

A captivating and profound debut novel about complicated love and the friendships that have the power to transform you forever, perfect for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Mira is starting over at Saint Francis Prep. She promised her parents she would at least try to pretend that she could act like a functioning human this time, not a girl who can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby.

Jeremy is the painfully shy art nerd at Saint Francis who’s been in self-imposed isolation after an incident that ruined his last year of school. When he sees Sebby for the first time across the school lawn, it’s as if he’s been expecting this blond, lanky boy with mischief glinting in his eye.

Sebby, Mira’s gay best friend, is a boy who seems to carry sunlight around with him. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and impromptu road trips, designed to fix the broken parts of their lives.

As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible.

September 8th 2015 by Balzer + Bray

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5. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

Summary: 

For twenty years, the Palomas and the Corbeaus have been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows—the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.

Lace Paloma may be new to her family’s show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she’s been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it’s a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace’s life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees.

September 15th 2015 by Thomas Dunne

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6. One by Sarah Crossan

Summary: 

Tippi and Grace share everything—clothes, friends . . . even their body. Writing in free verse, Sarah Crossan tells the sensitive and moving story of conjoined twin sisters, which will find fans in readers of Gayle Forman, Jodi Picoult, and Jandy Nelson.

Tippi and Grace. Grace and Tippi. For them, it’s normal to step into the same skirt. To hook their arms around each other for balance. To fall asleep listening to the other breathing. To share. And to keep some things private. The two sixteen-year-old girls have two heads, two hearts, and each has two arms, but at the belly, they join. And they are happy, never wanting to risk the dangerous separation surgery.

But the girls’ body is beginning to fight against them. And soon they will have to face the impossible choice they have avoided for their entire lives.

September 15th 2015 by Greenwillow Books

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7. Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty

Summary:

In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students, one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty, meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.

Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more.

FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.

FACT: Miss James “Mori”Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.

FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.

FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule–they must share every clue with each other–Mori is keeping secrets.

OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.

September 15th 2015 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

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8. Mirrored by Alex Flinn

Summary: 

Celine’s life is the stuff fairy tales are made of. She’s beautiful, talented, and brave. Unfortunately, her tale comes complete with a wicked stepmother! When Violet steps into Celine’s life, everything changes and weird things begin to happen to her—bizarre accidents, strange illnesses, and rabid animal attacks. Celine doesn’t feel safe anywhere. It’s almost as if some hateful witch is out to get her.

And there is. Violet has been waiting all her life to have Celine’s father to herself. Getting rid of his gorgeous daughter is child’s play for a witch as powerful as she is. Happy-ever-after isn’t enough for Violet. She wants to be the fairest of them all, and Celine is in the way . . . but not for long.

Forced to take refuge with her friend Goose and his family, Celine gives up everything she loves and goes deep undercover. But will it be enough to fool Violet, or will Celine’s fate be decided by a reflection in a magic mirror? And where do you find Prince Charming in Miami anyway?

Mirrored is a modern retelling of Snow White—told from the points of view of Violet, Celine, and Goose—with all the magic and mystery readers will love.

September 15th 2015 by HarperTeen

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9. Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales

Summary: 

Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she’s tired of being loyal to people who don’t appreciate her—including her needy best friend and her absent mom.

Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called “Tonight the Streets Are Ours,” the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.

During one crazy night out in NYC filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn’t exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn’t exactly who she thought she was, either.

September 15th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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10. Juniors by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Summary: 

Lea Lane has lived in between all her life.

Part Hawaiian, part Mainlander. Perpetual new girl at school. Hanging in the shadow of her actress mother’s spotlight. And now: new resident of the prominent West family’s guest cottage.

Bracing herself for the embarrassment of being her classmates’ latest charity case, Lea is surprised when she starts becoming friends with Will and Whitney West instead—or in the case of gorgeous, unattainable Will, possibly even more than friends. And despite their differences, Whitney and Lea have a lot in common: both are navigating a tangled web of relationships, past disappointments and future hopes. As things heat up with Will, and her friendship with Whitney deepens, Lea has to decide how much she’s willing to change in order to fit into their world.

Lea Lane has lived in between all her life. But it isn’t until her junior year that she learns how to do it on her own terms.

September 22nd 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

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11. What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

Summary: 

Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.

But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question: Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?

This story—inspired by real events—from debut novelist Aaron Hartzler takes an unflinching look at silence as a form of complicity. It’s a book about the high stakes of speaking up, and the razor thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time.

September 22nd 2015 by Harper Teen

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12. Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Summary:

Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety?

September 22nd 2015 by Greenwillow Books

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13. Nightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski 

Summary: 

On Marin’s island, sunrise doesn’t come every twenty-four hours—it comes every twenty-eight years. Now the sun is just a sliver of light on the horizon. The weather is turning cold and the shadows are growing long.

Because sunset triggers the tide to roll out hundreds of miles, the islanders are frantically preparing to sail south, where they will wait out the long Night.

Marin and her twin brother, Kana, help their anxious parents ready the house for departure. Locks must be taken off doors. Furniture must be arranged. Tables must be set. The rituals are puzzling—bizarre, even—but none of the adults in town will discuss why it has to be done this way.

Just as the ships are about to sail, a teenage boy goes missing—the twins’ friend Line. Marin and  Kana are the only ones who know the truth about where Line’s gone, and the only way to rescue him is by doing it themselves. But Night is falling. Their island is changing.

And it may already be too late.

September 22nd 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

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14. The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

Summary: 

A world battered by climate shift and war turns to an ancient method of keeping peace: the exchange of hostages. The Children of Peace – sons and daughters of kings and presidents and generals – are raised together in small, isolated schools called Prefectures. There, they learn history and political theory, and are taught to gracefully accept what may well be their fate: to die if their countries declare war.

Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederation, is the pride of the North American Prefecture. Learned and disciplined, Greta is proud of her role in keeping the global peace — even though, with her country controlling two-thirds of the world’s most war-worthy resource — water — she has little chance of reaching adulthood alive.

Enter Elián Palnik, the Prefecture’s newest hostage and biggest problem. Greta’s world begins to tilt the moment she sees Elián dragged into the school in chains. The Prefecture’s insidious surveillance, its small punishments and rewards, can make no dent in Elián, who is not interested in dignity and tradition, and doesn’t even accept the right of the UN to keep hostages.

What will happen to Elián and Greta as their two nations inch closer to war?

September 22nd 2015 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

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15. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Summary: 

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

September 29th 2015 by Henry Holt and Company

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I’m so excited for all of these books, it is sort of ridiculous, actually. I hope all of you are looking forward to these just as much as I am. What are some of your most anticipated books for September? 

The Girl at Midnight (Original Pub Date: 04/18/15)

“…I like to be around all these books. They’re very good at making you forget your troubles. It’s like having a million friends, wrapped in paper and scrawled in ink”

Title: The Girl at Midnight

Author: Melissa Grey

Series: The Girl at Midnight #1

Publication: April 28, 2015 by Delacorte Press

Pages: 357

Source: Netgalley

Summary:

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

My Thoughts:

Okay, I’ll be honest. I was sort of wary when I started this book. I’d glanced at other reviews from early readers, and while a lot of them were good, there were also a fair amount that said the book bordered on plagiarism. In the synopsis, it describes this book as being a good read for fans of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and The Mortal Instruments, and I agree – but I do not agree with those who say this book is far too similar to the ones listed. When I read this, I found the story to be wholly original. For one thing, this book deals with two separate races: the Avicen and the Drakharin. The main character, Echo, is a human – but she is the only human included in this story.

To start, I want to explain the two races. The Girl at Midnight begins with Echo living with the Avicen, they are basically like bird people. They have feathers for hair and eyes that generally match their plumage. As an example, the character Ivy has pure white feathers, pale skin, and sincere black eyes – she is a dove. The Avicen government is a council of Elders, and the two main sources of power within the council are Altair and The Ala. Now, the Drakharin are dragons – figuratively. They have translucent, shimmery scales along their cheekbones and spines. Their eyes are usually different jewel tones, Caius has emerald hues and his sister’s are described as blood-red rubies. They run on a basic monarchy system, everyone follows the rule of the Dragon Prince. The one difference between their rule and the monarchy is that the Dragon Prince can be voted for by the people, but also usurped by a strong challenger.

This book is one of the first books that I have read that is fully immersed in fantasy. Yes, it takes place in areas of New York, Japan, and Germany – but the world of the characters is complete make believe. Even Echo, the resident human, lives in a home built and protected with magic. I loved every second of it, though. The story was fascinating, a young girl being taken in by an ancient race and raised mostly as one of them. She was a thief, and she puts it to great use by collecting objects of power to trade and stealing large amounts of candy to quell the children of Avicen’s mighty candy cravings. Echo is then given a task by The Ala, to go and hunt down this mystical and make believe Firebird. From that point on, the story takes off on a wild journey that doesn’t even end on the last page. It does not end on a cliffhanger, per sea, but it is clearly not a standalone book.

One thing that I was confused with was the point of view in the book. It started right off the bat switching between characters from the prologue to chapter one, but it then established Echo and Caius as the two main characters. Later, though, there were two more thrown in that left me confused. I was so used to Echo and Caius that when it suddenly switched the Dorian I had to go back and reread half a chapter before I realized what was going on. I got used to it, though, and eventually began to enjoy the switching because it allowed for different angles of the story.

Overall, this is a wonderful fantasy novel. I would recommend this book for any fans of Narnia, A Song of Ice and Fire, or Graceling fans. As for an age limit, I would leave the book for the ages of fourteen and up. There is graphic violence and some mature themes of abuse, there is also the inklings of a boy on boy relationship (which rocks, by the way) to be wary of if that sort of thing makes you uncomfortable. The Girl at Midnight is amazing, reshaping reality to a fantastical world full of magic, fire, and colorful feathers

The Fearless by Emma Pass (Original Pub Date On Blog: 04/13/15)

Title: The Fearless

Author: Emma Pass

Series: Standalone

Publication: April 14, 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Pages: 368

Source: Netgalley

Summary: 

For fans of The Hunger Games, Matched, Divergent, and The Fifth Wave, this fast-paced futuristic thriller tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cass and her fight to protect her younger brother from an unimaginably terrifying enemy.

The Deadliest Enemy feels no fear.

When the Fearless invaded, they injected everyone in their path with the same serum that stripped them of humanity.

Life became a waking nightmare.

Cass has the invasion seared in her memory. Seven years later, she and her brother, Jori, are living on Hope Island in a community of survivors. No one can enter, and no one can leave.

It’s the only way to stay safe.

My Thoughts:

Dystopian novels are some of my favorite types of books. Books such as The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Fifth Wave, as well as The Maze Runner, are all dystopian themed stories. The Fearless, written by Emma Pass, is one of those stories. I love dystopian books, there is something incredibly fascinating about a world where we are no longer in control. Usually, it is the government that is corrupt and the cause of the problems within the novel, like the Capitol in The Hunger Games and Jeanine in Divergent. Here, though, the government is not actually the bad guy.

The Fearless is about a virus, in a way. It was created by a group of scientists looking to eradicate the effects of PTSD in soldiers while they were still in combat situations. As usual, it started off innocent enough – but it soon got out of control. Not only did this “vaccine” take away all types of fear, it made the soldiers completely emotionless, prone to extreme flashes of violence and rage, stronger, faster, and able to see in the dark. We learn that those who have become fearless are marked by milky, silver eyes and decaying flesh. The virus starts to eat them from the inside out. The serum is also highly addictive, which causes frequent usage among the fearless, therefore causing an even faster rotting process. The fearless are not zombies, at least not in the true sense of the word – but they are close enough. Once someone has been given the serum, they become extremely violent and feel the uncontrollable need to make more just like them. The thing is, despite these urges, they can still think and function like normal people for a little while. Add this to their speed and strength and it makes them extremely dangerous.

The book starts off when the main character, Cassie, is ten years old. It is the night of the invasion. One of the things that I love the most about this book is that it starts right in the middle of the action, ten year old Cassie knows that something is going on around the world – but her parents know all the details about it. The book takes place in the United Kingdom, something it took me a while to figure out. They are the last to become overrun by the fearless, and therefore we get to see the very beginning of the invasion there through Cassie’s eyes. It was sort of traumatizing to read, really – but I loved every second of it. Mind you, this is only the first chapter.

The real story picks up a couple years later when her younger brother, Jori, is kidnapped by the fearless right out of their safe haven called Hope Island. Cassie, who now goes by Cass, breaks the number one rule of Hope Island to go after her brother. The laws of Hope state that if anyone is kidnapped by the fearless, they are considered dead unless they return on their own volition and unaltered. Cass, of course, goes after her brother with the help of who I immediately deemed the lover interest. His name is Myo, and he is wonderful.

I love the fact that this book is told from three points of view, Cass, Myo, and Sol. Sol is Cassie’s childhood friend, his father is the one that created Hope Island. I also really liked the fact that romance was not the central plot of this book. Don’t get me wrong, I love romance in books, but it would have hindered the story here. It is still there, it just isn’t the main plot. The whole point of the book is Cassie and Myo teaming up to rescue their respective siblings. Of course, attraction blooms along the way – but it takes forever for it to boil over into anything significant.

Overall, this was a wonderful book. It is packed full of action, adventure, and everything else that you could possibly want. It was a fast read for me, it sucked me in and didn’t let me go until I reached the end. I can’t wait for the rest of the series, I’m really excited to see where Cass and Myo go next. Also, I absolutely love anything to do with zombies, the scary-brain-eating-infection-epidemic kind, not Warm Bodies. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a little bit of action or a good thrill, also, if you just love Dystopian books as much as I do. I would leave this book for ages fourteen and older due to the graphic violence.

But when Hope Island’s security is breeched and Jori is taken by the Fearless, Cass will risk everything to get him back.