As black Friday descends upon us this week, I want to remind you all to BUY BOOKS for your friends and family.
*cue cheesy sales music*
I’ll be happy if you buy any books this season, but you’ll tickle me pink if you buy one of my friends books. That’s right, a ton of my friends had debut novels come out this year! We all want writing careers, but we also need to support the artists who are just starting to share their words with the world. And I can guarantee you these books are awesome. Every person listed below either went to school with me, or was in my personal writing group.
THE VERY NEARLY HONORABLE LEAGUE OF PIRATES #1: MAGIC MARKS THE SPOT by Caroline Carlson
Pirates! Magic! Treasure! A gargoyle? Caroline Carlson’s hilarious tween novel The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot is perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events and Trenton Lee Stewart’s Mysterious Benedict Society.
Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for thirty-seven minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors, and she already owns a rather pointy sword. There’s only one problem: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags. But Hilary is not the kind of girl to take no for answer. To escape a life of petticoats and politeness at her stuffy finishing school, Hilary sets out in search of her own seaworthy adventure, where she gets swept up in a madcap quest involving a map without an X, a magical treasure that likely doesn’t exist, a talking gargoyle, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous—and unexpected—villain on the High Seas.
PARCHED by Melanie Crowder
In this haunting, lyrical novel told from three perspectives, Sarel has just witnessed the violent murder of her parents. But she is not completely alone on the drought-ridden land. Nandi is the leader of a pack of dogs who looks out for her pups and for skinny Sarel-girl. Nandi knows they are all in trouble, and she knows, too, that a boy is coming—an escaped prisoner with the water song inside him. A hard-hitting but ultimately hopeful survival story.
THE WIG IN THE WINDOW by Kristen Kittscher
Fans of the humor and clever clues in the Sammy Keyes books will enjoy The Wig in the Window, first in Kristen Kittscher’s funny middle-grade mystery series. Best friends and seventh graders Sophie Young and Grace Yang have made a game out of spying on their neighbors. On one of their midnight stakeouts, they witness a terrifying, bloody scene at the home of their bizarre middle-school counselor Dr. Charlotte Agford (also known as Dr. Awkward).
At least, they think they do. The truth is that Dr. Agford was only making her famous pickled beets. But when Dr. Agford begins acting even weirder than usual, Sophie and Grace become convinced that she’s hiding something—and they’re determined to find out what it is. Soon the girls are breaking secret codes, being followed by a strange blue car, and tailing strangers with unibrows and Texas accents. But as their investigation heats up, Sophie and Grace start to crack under the pressure. Will solving the case destroy their friendship?
ROGUE by Lyn Miller-Lachmann
Kiara has Asperger’s syndrome, and it’s hard for her to make friends. So whenever her world doesn’t make sense—which is often—she relies on Mr. Internet for answers. But there are some questions he can’t answer, like why she always gets into trouble, and how do kids with Asperger’s syndrome make friends? Kiara has a difficult time with other kids. They taunt her and she fights back. Now she’s been kicked out of school. She wishes she could be like her hero Rogue—a misunderstood X-Men mutant who used to hurt anyone she touched until she learned how to control her special power.
When Chad moves in across the street, Kiara hopes that, for once, she’ll be able to make friendship stick. When she learns his secret, she’s so determined to keep Chad as a friend that she agrees not to tell. But being a true friend is more complicated than Mr. Internet could ever explain, and it might be just the thing that leads Kiara to find her own special power.
BEHIND THE BOOKCASE by Mark Steensland
A girl stumbles into a fantastic world in this tale perfect for fans of Coraline, Alice inWonderland, and The Twilight Zone. Spending the summer at her grandmother’s house is the last thing Sarah wants to do—especially now that Grandma Winnie has died—but she has no choice. Her parents have to fix the place up before they can sell it, and Sarah and her brother, Billy, have to help. But the tedious work turns into a thrilling mystery when Sarah discovers an unfinished letter her grandmother wrote: Strange things are happening behind the bookcase. . . .
Sarah’s mother dismisses the letter as one of Grandma Winnie’s crazy stories, but Sarah does some investigating and makes a remarkable discovery: behind the bookcase is a doorway into Scotopia, the land where shadows come from. With a talking cat named Balthazat as her guide, Sarah begins an unforgettable adventure into a world filled with countless dangers. Who can she trust? And can she face her fears, not only in Scotopia, but also back at Grandma Winnie’s house, where more secrets and strange goings-on await her?
45 POUNDS by Kelli Barston
Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:
She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 2 months, and wants Ann to be a bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less).
Welcome to the world of informercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, endless run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—and some surprises about her not-so-perfect mother. And there’s one more thing—it’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin—no matter how you add it up!
ENTANGLED by Amy Rose Capetta
Alone was the note Cade knew best. It was the root of all her chords.
Seventeen-year-old Cade is a fierce survivor, solo in the universe with her cherry-red guitar. Or so she thought. Her world shakes apart when a hologram named Mr. Niven tells her she was created in a lab in the year 3112, then entangled at a subatomic level with a boy named Xan. Cade’s quest to locate Xan joins her with an array of outlaws—her first friends—on a galaxy-spanning adventure. And once Cade discovers the wild joy of real connection, there’s no turning back.
THE COLOR OF RAIN by Cori McCarthy
If there is one thing that seventeen-year-old Rain knows and knows well, it is survival. Caring for her little brother, Walker, who is “Touched,” and losing the rest of her family to the same disease, Rain has long had to fend for herself on the bleak, dangerous streets of Earth City. When she looks to the stars, Rain sees escape and the only possible cure for Walker. And when a darkly handsome and mysterious captain named Johnny offers her passage to the Edge, Rain immediately boards his spaceship. Her only price: her “willingness.”
The Void cloaks many secrets, and Rain quickly discovers that Johnny’s ship serves as host for an underground slave trade for the Touched . . . and a prostitution ring for Johnny’s girls. With hair as red as the bracelet that indicates her status on the ship, the feeling of being a marked target is not helpful in Rain’s quest to escape. Even worse, Rain is unsure if she will be able to pay the costs of love, family, hope, and self-preservation.
ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE by Kate Karyus Quinn
The spine-tingling horror of Stephen King meets an eerie mystery worthy of Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series in Kate Karyus Quinn’s haunting debut. On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.
A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon. Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese’s fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.
New Adult and Adult
LOSING IT by Cora Carmack
Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible—a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half a brain would ever believe.
And as if that weren’t embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theater professor. She’d left him naked in her bed about eight hours earlier. . . .
Also out this year by Cora Cormack: FAKING IT, and FINDING IT
IVORY by F.M. Sherrill
As a child in the desert kingdom of Gryth, Ivory witnessed the brutal murder of her parents at the hands of a sinister race known as the Lecs. Now Queen of her people, a vengeance-fueled Ivory launches a final battle to annihilate the enemy once and for all. But on the eve of war, betrayed by her own kind and left in the hands of the Lecs, she’s forced to learn the shocking truth about their two peoples, and the diabolical curse that’s plagued them for centuries.
Armed with newfound knowledge and unexpected allies, Ivory must face the real enemy that’s haunted her all her life, and make a choice that will mean the difference between a new beginning and the end of the world. Ivory is an exercise in duality made reality; an exploration of darkness and light, male and female, sun and moon… seen through the eyes of two cultures ripped apart by an ancient evil whose pain resonates through the ages like the beating of a drum.
Go buy these books!