Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

 

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?

There was plenty of action, mystery, and romance in this new series opener. Ismae is a likeable character who reminded me a lot of Katsa from Graceling by Kristin Cashore. Her first assignment takes her into the high court of Brittany where she must serve as a Mistress to Gavriel Duval, an advisor to the duchess and a man her convent suspects is a traitor. To complicate matters, she must also work with Duval to find out if anyone in the high court is double-crossing the duchess, Anne. Court politics will have readers stumped as to who really is loyal to the duchess and action packed scenes with Ismae completing her orders move the story along. Duval’s friends and the high court also add to a well-rounded cast of characters.   – Kathy, Teen Librarian

The Fault in Our Stars -John Green

He’s in remission from the osteosarcoma that took one of his legs. She’s fighting the brown fluid in her lungs caused by tumors. Both know that their time is limited.

Sparks fly when Hazel Grace Lancaster spies Augustus “Gus” Waters checking her out across the room in a group-therapy session for teens living with cancer. He’s a gorgeous, confident, intelligent amputee who always loses video games because he tries to save everyone. She’s smart, snarky and 16; she goes to community college and jokingly calls Peter Van Houten, the author of her favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, her only friend besides her parents. He asks her over, and they swap novels. He agrees to read the Van Houten and she agrees to read his—based on his favorite bloodbath-filled video game. The two become connected at the hip, and what follows is a smartly crafted intellectual explosion of a romance. From their trip to Amsterdam to meet the reclusive Van Houten to their hilariously flirty repartee, readers will swoon on nearly every page.

After reading John Green’s other books ( Looking for AlaskaPaper Towns, An Abundance of Katherine’s) I would say this is far and away my favorite.  I was a little skeptical when I first read the book description because I did not know if I wanted to read a book about cancer. However, this book is far more than that, with cancer serving as a backdrop for a story about love, friendship, and life. I didn’t think I could laugh and cry  as hard at the same time over any book, but I was doing just that after reading this.  This book was funny, touching, and tender all at once.  – Kathy, Teen Librarian

Announcing the 2011 Teen Nutmeg Award Nominees!

Check this out…

The nominees for the 2011 Teen Nutmeg Book Award are:

1. All of the Above by Shelley Pearsall.

2. Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson.

3. Alphabet of Dreams by Susan Fletcher.

4. The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd.

5. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart.

6. The Last Dragon by Silvana De Mari.

7. The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt.

8. Unwind by Neal Shusterman.

9. Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor.

10. Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate.

Children of the Lamp: The Akhenaten Adventure – P.B. Kerr

akhenaten adventure

John and Philippa Gaunt are twelve-year-old not-very-identical twins. The twins realize there’s something amiss with their world when a string of strange things begin to happen after their wisdom teeth are extracted–they dream the same dreams, become stronger, their zits clear up, and wishes made in their presence inexplicably come true. And, when their estranged Uncle Nimrod asks them to come to England for the summer during one such shared dream, the discovery of their destiny is set in motion.

John and Phillippa discover that they are descended from a long line of Djinn and have great inherent powers. They must call on these powers a lot sooner than they anticipated, though, because the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten is not as dead as history has so far declared and his legion of seventy magical djinn could tip the balance of power in the magical realm and affect the whole world order.

This is a fun new series about “genies” or as Kerr calls them Djinn.  I love to hear about how they can live in lamps or bottles and fly on whirlwinds.  Good adventure stories.   – Jessica, Teen Librarian

Feathered – Laura Kasischke

feathered

Afterward, Terri will tell everyone that, from the beginning, she knew something terrible was going to happen on spring break.

Something bad was going to happen.

She knew.

It was supposed to be the perfect vacation: hot guys, impeccable tans, and no parents. But for two high school seniors, an innocent car ride will drive them into the heart of their worst nightmare.

Feathered is a provocative and eerie tale that flies readers from safe, predictable suburbia to the sun-kissed beaches of Cancún, Mexico, and into mysterious Mayan ruins, where ancient myths flirt dangerously with present realities.

This was a quick read.  The chapters are short and alternate between Anne and Michelle’s voices.  This is a creepy book – kind of like a horror movie, you start yelling at the screen, “No! No! Don’t go in there!!!!” Recommended for older readers.  – Jessica, Teen Librarian

The Sorcerer King – Frewin Jones

the-sorcerer-king

Tania has brought the long-lost Queen Titania back to Faerie from the Mortal World of modern London. But when they cross between the worlds, they find only devastation.

The Sorcerer King of Lyonesse—ancient enemy of the Faerie Court—has been released from his amber prison. As the wicked sorcerer regains his power, King Oberon, Tania’s father, is imprisoned and the Faerie Court is being destroyed.

Tania and her true love, Edric, must travel the Realm to try to find and rescue King Oberon, who is their only hope for defeating the evil Sorcerer King. And Tania must prepare for battle . . . and to fight a war that she may not survive.

The third book in the series, The Sorcerer King does a good job wrapping this story up in a realistic way.  Not everyone survives, but good prevails in the end.  Exciting and enjoyable.  I also love these dreamy covers, don’t you?  – Jessica, Teen Librarian

The Lost Queen – Frewin Jones

the lost queen

Tania is a princess of Faerie. And now she must return to the Mortal World.

Once, Anita was an ordinary girl on the eve of her sixteenth birthday. Now she has assumed her true identity as Tania, the long-lost princess of the elegant Faerie court. She and her true love, Edric, must return to the Mortal World to seek her Faerie mother, Queen Titania, who disappeared hundreds of years ago searching for Tania. In London, Tania is torn between her mortal life and her new one. Dangers lurk, and Tania’s two worlds soon collide in amazing and frightening ways she never could have anticipated . . .

I really like this series.  Just the right blend of romance, magic, and adventure.  Having made it to the Faerie Court and discovering her rightful place, Tania must now go back and confront the life she lived while unaware of her identity while trying to save her mother, Titiana. An excellent sequel to The Faerie Path.   – Jessica, Teen Librarian

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