Death by Latte – Linda Gerber

Death by…series: Book 2

It was only a few weeks ago that Aphra Connolly’s life changed completely. She had been living a quiet existence on her father’s secluded island resort, until Seth Mulo turned up and stole her heart . . . and provided information that led her to find her mom in Seattle. But the reunion isn’t quite what she expected. Aphra’s mom, Natalie, doesn’t seem happy to see Aphra, and Natalie’s boyfriend, Joe, insists that Aphra go home. Even worse, Seth shows up, only to ask her to return the ring he gave her the previous summer. At least Natalie’s hunky neighbor is sympathetic. But when Joe is found dead at a nearby coffee shop, Aphra discovers her whole trip to Seattle has been based on a lie. And now someone just might be trying to kill her. . . .

I really like this mystery series.  These books are pocket-sized and are a really quick, easy read! Aphra is a fun character, fast, smart, and generally someone you can root for when things go wrong.  Try these, but start with Death by Bikini.  – Jessica, Teen Librarian

Death by Denim – Linda Gerber

Death by…: Book 3

Aphra Connolly is being chased by some very dangerous people. She knows her survival depends upon staying far away from love interest Seth, and listening to her mom’s lectures on the finer points of anonymity and survival. But how is a girl supposed to live under the radar and not think about her boyfriend when she’s in Paris—the most romantic city in the world? When her mom’s contact in Paris is found floating in the Seine with a deadly message stuffed in his mouth, Aphra realizes that she will never be able to stop running unless she confronts the situation head-on. Sneaking away from her mom, Aphra tracks down the criminal mastermind in Italy, only to unwittingly reveal Seth’s location. And her mistake has just put them both in mortal danger. . .

I really ❤ this series!!  These books are so quick to read, the mystery is good, and Aphra and Seth are a good pair. I love how everyone always tries to protect Aphra and then she ends up saving the day.  Great for on the beach or traveling!   – Jessica, Teen Librarian

Death by Bikini – Linda Gerber

Aphra Behn Connolly has the type of life most teenage girls envy. She lives on a remote tropical island and spends most of her time eavesdropping on the rich and famous. The problem is that her family’s resort allows few opportunities for her to make friends – much less to meet cute boys.

So when a smoldering Seth Mulo arrives with his parents, she’s immediately drawn to him. Sure, he’s a little bit guarded, and sure his parents are rather cold, and okay he won’t say a word about his past, but their chemistry is undeniable. Then a famous rock star’s girlfriend turns up dead on the beach – strangled by her own bikini top – and alarm bells sound.

Is it too great a coincidence that Seth’s family turned up just one day before a murder? As the plot thickens, Aphra finds that danger lurks behind even the most unexpected of faces…

A really fun summer murder mystery.  Aphra is a good character, the mystery was believable and the beach resort sounded gorgeous.  Recommended for summer fun!      – Jessica, Teen Librarian

Princess of the Midnight Ball – Jessica Day George

A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn…

Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.

I love when authors rewrite the old fairytales I used to read as a kid.  This one was very good.  Galen is an admirable hero and the princesses truly make you feel sympathy for their plight.  The King Under Stone is a good, creepy bad guy.  A good, fun read. – Jessica, Teen Librarian

The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

**Winner of 2009 Hugo Award, 2008 Newbery Award, and a Locus Award for best YA Novel. **

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy.

He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.

There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy-an ancient Indigo Man beneath the hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer.

But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family. . . .

A weird, but touching tale of friendship and family that proves that even after we’ve stopped living, we can still love.  Bod is a wonderful character and his adventures are interesting. Recommended.   – Jessica, Teen Librarian

Sphinx’s Princess – Esther Friesner

Nefertiti was far more than just a pretty face.

Nefertiti may be the dutiful daughter of a commoner, but her inquisitive mind often gets her into situations that are far from ordinary, like receiving secret lessons from a scribe. And she’s the kind of girl who acts first, and apologizes later whenever she witnesses injustice or cruelty. But she is also extraordinarily beautiful. And news of her striking beauty and impulsive behavior attracts the attention of her aunt, the manipulative Queen Tiye, who sees Nefertiti as an ideal pawn in her desire for power. Even though Nefertiti is taken from her beloved family and forced into a life filled with courtly intrigue and danger, her spirit and mind will not rest. She continues to challenge herself and the boundaries of ancient Egyptian society.

Loved it!  I love the Egyptian setting and Nefertiti is someone I always found mysterious so it was fun to read a book based around what is known about her life.  She is very spirited and smart and I’m excited to see what happens to her in the second book.  For those intrigued by historical settings, Egyptology, and strong female characters.   – Jessica, Teen Librarian

The Possibilities of Sainthood – Donna Freitas

Antonia Lucia Labella has two secrets: at fifteen, she’s still waiting for her first kiss, and she wants to be a saint. An official one. Seem strange? Well, to Antonia, saints are royalty, and she wants her chance at being a princess. All her life she’s kept company with these kings and queens of small favors, knowing exactly whom to pray to on every occasion. Unfortunately, the two events Antonia’s prayed for seem equally unlikely to happen. It’s not for lack of trying. For how long has she been hoping to gain the attention of the love of her life – the tall, dark, and so good-looking Andy Rotellini? Too long to mention. And every month for the last eight years, Antonia has sent a petition to the Vatican proposing a new patron saint and bravely offering herself for the post. So what if she’s not dead?

I wasn’t sure how much I would get into this book because I am not really religious, but the book totally hooked me.  It’s not really about Antonia’s religious beliefs, but about her growing up and learning to be comfortable with herself.  I really liked the love story, too!   – Jessica, Teen Librarian

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