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New Young Adult books for February 2017

Written by · Published Feb 1, 2017

Life in a Fishbowl, We Come Apart, Traitor to the Throne, All About Mia, Fir, Silver Stars

Life in a Fishbowl, by Len Vlahos

“Jackie’s life wasn’t perfect, but at least it was normal. That is, until her dad received a terminal cancer diagnosis. Then he went and did what anyone faced with mountains of medical bills and a family to support would do: he sold his life to the highest bidder. Which turned out to be a TV station.

“Suddenly everyone from psychotic millionaires to cyber-savvy nuns wants a piece of Jackie’s family as they become a reality TV sensation. Jackie’s life spirals out of control just as her dad’s starts to run out, and meanwhile the whole world is tuning in to watch her family fall apart.”

We Come Apart, by Sarah Crossan & Brian Conaghan

“Jess would never have looked twice at Nicu if her friends hadn’t left her in the lurch. Nicu is all big eyes and ill-fitting clothes. He’s working on his English but he has to practise with the teachers because no one speaks to him. He’s so not her type.

“Appearances matter to Jess. She’s got a lot to hide. Nicu thinks Jess is beautiful. His dad brought Nicu and his mum here for a better life, but now all they talk about is going back home to find Nicu a wife. The last thing he wants is to get married. He wants to get educated, do better, stay here in England. But his dad’s fists are the most powerful force in Nicu’s life, and in the end, he’ll have to do what his dad wants.”

Traitor to the Throne, by Alwyn Hamilton

“This is not about blood or love. This is about treason.

“Nearly a year has passed since Amani and the rebels won their epic battle at Fahali. Amani has come into both her powers and her reputation as the Blue-Eyed Bandit, and the Rebel Prince’s message has spread across the desert - and some might say out of control. But when a surprise encounter turns into a brutal kidnapping, Amani finds herself betrayed in the cruelest manner possible.”

All About Mia, by Lisa Williamson

“Mia Campbell-Richardson, 16, is ballsy, gorgeous and kind of a disaster. Unlike her brilliant sisters, academic Grace, 19, and champion swimmer Audrey, 13, middle child Mia has no idea what she wants to do with her life. Struggling at school and unable to deal with her parents’ easy acceptance of perfect sister Grace’s fall from grace, Mia goes into a tailspin.”

Fir, by Sharon Gosling

“Cut off from civilization by the harsh winter of northern Sweden, there’s only four walls protecting the Strombergs from the suffocating pine forests that surround them. But soon it becomes clear that the danger within the old plantation house is even greater than what lies outside.”

Silver Stars, by Michael Grant

“Summer 1943. The enemy has been bloodied, but Nazi Germany is very far from beaten. Now the American army is moving on to their next target: the Italian island of Sicily. With heavy memories of combat, the three young soldier girls - Rio, Frangie and Rainy - now know what they are willing to do to save themselves, and understand the consequences of those actions. On the front lines, they will again come face to face with the brutality of war until they win or die, while simultaneously fighting their own personal battles. No one will emerge unscathed.”

The Challenge, by Tom Hoyle

“The Challenge is a web-based 48-hour challenge competition which has become a cult hit among teens in the local area. But the tasks they are are being set are becoming wilder and more dangerous, and the whole challenge looks to be getting dangerously out of control. But it’s not something you can do by half measures - you’re either in or you’re out - and once you’re involved, it’s very hard to get out.”

Heartless, by Marissa Meyer

“Long before she was the Queen of Hearts, Catherine Pinkerton was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favourite of the unmarried King of Hearts but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

“Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness and monsters, fate has other plans.”

Dawn Study, by Maria V. Snyder

“Despite the odds, Yelena and Valek have forged an irrevocable bond - and a family - that transcends borders. Now, when their two homelands stand on the brink of war, they must fight with magic and cunning to thwart an Ixian plot to invade Sitia. Yelena seeks to break the hold of the insidious Theobroma that destroys a person’s resistance to magical persuasion. But the Cartel is determined to keep influential citizens and Sitian diplomats in thrall - and Yelena at bay.”

The One Memory of Flora Banks, by Emily Barr

“Flora has amnesia. She can’t remember anything day-to-day: the joke her friend made, the instructions her parents gave her, how old she is. Then she kisses someone she shouldn’t, and the next day she remembers it. It’s the first time she’s remembered anything since she was ten. But the boy is gone. She thinks he’s moved to the Arctic. Will following him be the key to unlocking her memory? Who can she trust?”

The Bone Sparrow, by Zana Fraillon

“Subhi is a refugee. Born in a detention centre, all he knows of the world is that he’s at least 19 fence diamonds high, that the nice jackets never stay long, and at night the sea finds its way to his tent, bringing with it unusual treasures. Bringing him Jimmie. Jimmie lives on the Outside. Carrying a notebook that she’s unable to read and wearing a sparrow made out of bone around her neck - both talismans of her family’s past and the mother she’s lost - she strikes up an unlikely friendship with Subhi across the fence. As he reads aloud the tale of how Jimmie’s family came to be, both children discover the importance of their own stories in writing their futures.”

Wayfarer, by Alexandra Bracken

“All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed.

“When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected - Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk. Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travellers hot on their trail.”

Wing Jones, by Katherine Webber

“With a grandmother from China and another from Ghana, fifteen-year-old Wing Jones is often caught between worlds. But when tragedy strikes, Wing discovers a talent for running she never knew she had. Wing’s speed could bring her family everything it needs. It could keep Wing from the one thing she truly wants.”

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful, by Eric Lindstrom

“How can you have a future if you can’t accept your past? Mel Hannigan doesn’t have it easy. Mourning the death of her firework of a brother, she tries to fit back into a school she’s been conspicuously absent from, as well as dealing with the loss of three friendships that used to mean everything.

“So Mel tries to lock away her heart, to numb the highs and lows, to live quietly without hope - but also without pain. However, someone new shows her that it can be worth taking a risk, and that opening up to life is what can make it glorious.”

Unconventional, by Maggie Harcourt

“Lexi spends her life at conventions, thanks to her dad’s job as top organizer - it’s her world. So when she finds smug (but cute) interloper Aidan in her Green Room at the first event of the year, she is not impressed. That is until she discovers that Aidan is actually Haydn Swift - author of Lexi’s new favourite novel - and sparks begin to fly.”

Dramarama, by E. Lockhart

“All-round theatre-enthusiast, Sarah - better known by her showbiz name, Sayde - is a girl with ambitions too big for the small and conventional town she lives in. Her life doesn’t have the razzle-dazzle she craves. For once she wants to feel special, noticed and be the centre of attention. This summer Sadye has her talents set on Wildewood’s prestigious theatre summer camp. And with her best friend Demi - a flamboyant falsetto, who is equally thrilled to be leaving their small town of Brenton - they will both experience a season of hormones, hissy fits, jazz hands, song and dance, true love and unitards!

“But despite all the glitz and glam, there comes rivalry and competition, and Sadye will have to prove her talents more than she has ever had to before. Summer at Wildewood will not only determine Sadye’s future - but will also test her friendships.”

Ariadnis, by Josh Martin

“Joomia and Aula are Chosen. They will never be normal. They can never be free. On the last island on Erthe, Chosen Ones are destined to enter Ariadnis on the day they turn eighteen. There, they must undertake a mysterious and deadly challenge. For Joomia and Aula, this means competing against each other, to end the war that has seethed between their cities for nine generations.

“As the day draws nearer, all thoughts are on the trial ahead. There’s no space for friendship. No time for love. However much the girls might crave them. But how you prepare for a task you know nothing certain about? Nothing, except that you must win, at whatever cost, or lose everything.”

Gone Wild, by Robert Muchamore

“The Rock War TV show is the most-watched reality show on British telly, and it’s only halfway through. Jay, Summer, Dylan and their bands have all made it past the tough Boot Camp stage, into Battle Zone. The last six bands will fight it out until the season’s finale, live on Christmas Eve.

“But it’s not all about the music. Summer was hit by a motorbike at the end of Boot Camp. Jay’s brother Theo can’t keep out of trouble - or out of handcuffs. And Dylan, the outsider, is investigating corruption within the workings of the competition itself. They’ve got everything to play for!”

Wild Lily, by K. M. Peyton

“It’s the 1920s and cars and aeroplanes are new. Lily Gabriel is 13 years old: she’s scruffy and confident and takes no nonsense from anyone. Antony is 17: he’s rich, spoiled and arrogant - and Lily is completely and utterly - no nonsense! - in love with him. So join Lily as she falls. Falls in love. Falls out of the sky. Falls through time - and effortlessly, inescapably, falls into her future. Life is never what you expect or what you predict. But if you’re lucky, you hold onto exactly what you need - a young and wild heart.”

History Is All You Left Me, by Adam Silvera

“OCD-afflicted seventeen-year-old, Griffin, has just lost his first love - his best friend, ex-boyfriend and the boy he believed to be his ultimate life partner - in a drowning accident. In a desperate attempt to hold onto every last piece of the past, a broken Griffin forges a friendship with Theo’s new college boyfriend, Jackson. And Griffin will stop at nothing to learn every detail of Theo’s new college life, and ultimate death. But as the grieving pair grows closer, readers will question Griffin’s own version of the truth - both in terms of what he’s willing to hide, and what true love ultimately means.”

Our Own Private Universe, by Robin Talley

“15-year-old Aki Simon has a theory. And it’s mostly about sex. No, it isn’t that kind of theory. Aki already knows she’s bisexual - even if, until now, it’s mostly been in the hypothetical sense. Aki’s theory is that she’s only got one shot at living an interesting life - and that means she’s got to stop sitting around and thinking so much. It’s time for her to actually do something. Or at least try.

“So when Aki and her friend Lori set off on a trip to a small Mexican town for the summer, and Aki meets Christa - slightly-older, far-more-experienced - it seems her theory is prime for the testing. But something tells her its not going to be that easy.”

Jo Dixon

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