The fifth book in Chris Colfer's magical #1 "New York Times" bestselling "Land of Stories" series takes you on "An Author’s Odyssey"! Fifteen-year-old Conner Bailey must venture into his own short stories to recruit help saving the fairy tale world and all who live there. With the aid of his twin sister, Alex, he encounters pirates, cyborgs, superheroes, and more. However, it’s a race against time, as the Masked Man and other dark forces are m...

The life of college junior Megan revolves around soccer, but her dreams of becoming a professional are threatened when her mother secretly registers her to be a Bluebonnet debutante - the most elite debut for young ladies in all of Texas. To avoid causing family strife, she attempts to conform to Bluebonnet’s exacting standards while finishing her soccer season. Being a part of both isn’t easy, especially when you throw in some catty colleague...

When 82-year-old Evie Snow dies peacefully in her sleep, she finds herself back at her former apartment building in her younger years and unable to reach her personal heaven. Upon discovering that her soul is too heavy to move on to the afterlife, Evie realizes she must unburden the secrets of her past life that have weighed her down for over 50 years.

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Tara Krishnan’s junior year of high school isn’t off to a great start: her best friend is spending the year studying abroad, meaning that Tara will be left alone to navigate the clique-filled halls of Brierly, where she’s never quite felt she fit in with her wealthy, mostly white classmates. To make things more interesting, NASA has just intercepted a message from outer space confirming that there’s life on other planets. In fact, the world so...

Best friends Kaz and Ruby should be in for the weekend of their lives - they’re off to the Remix music festival! Not only will they get to see their favorite band perform live, they’ll also have the chance to finally get over their respective exes and get some partying in before the summer’s over. Too bad both of their exes will also be at the festival…

Graham and his best friend, Roxy, are nerds. Uber nerds. Together, they obsess about "Harry Potter", video games, and comics - especially their favorite series, "The Althena Chronicles". When the reclusive creator of Althena announces that he’s appearing at New York Comic Con, Graham knows he and Roxy have to go - and that it’s the perfect place to tell her that he loves her.

Fans of Philip Reeve’s futuristic "Mortal Engines" quartet or "Larklight" trilogy will be glad to know the author is back with a new steampunk odyssey, which takes place in a future where passengers ride trains (that have their own personalities and consciousness) between worlds. At the beginning of "Railhead", Zen Starling is just a petty thief who loves to ride the rails when he can. Before long he’s caught up in a swirl of events that will ...

Wylie doesn’t expect to fall for a guy at her brother’s going away party - she’s here to spend time with her brother Joshua, not make small talk - but she especially doesn’t expect to fall for a guy who can fly and lives on an island where teenagers never grow up. When the mysterious Phinn whisks away both Wylie and her two brothers to Minor Island, the Dalton siblings are in for an experience they’ll never forget.

Abe Sora has ALS, and he’s going to die, and soon. Unlike in many other YA novels that feature a terminally ill protagonist, there’s no hope for remission or salvation. In "Last Leaves Falling", Abe struggles to find a new normal in a life where he won’t go to college, or play baseball, or walk, or fall in love, or...anything. Two new friends he meets in an online chatroom bring a feeling of belonging that he thought he’d lost forever, but eve...

Josie can’t believe that she and her girlfriend, Annette, are actually escaping their small Minnesota town (and Annette’s alcoholic mother) to attend an elite boarding school in Connecticut. There, she hopes they’ll be free of the stigma of small-town gossip, and that Annette will be safe from her mother’s verbal and physical abuse. But from the moment they arrive, Josie feels Annette pulling away from her, attaching herself to a group of popu...

Book Review: “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin
Book Reviews / April 5, 2014

I started reading The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin with little idea of what it was about - but even the little bit that I knew made it sound like an intriguing read. The jacket copy thrown around on the internet was enticingly vague: A. J. Fikry's life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died; his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history; and now his prized possession, a rare collec...

Book Review: “Empire of Bones” by N.D. Wilson
Book Reviews / April 4, 2014

The third and final book of "The Ashtown Burials" features so many characters, doing so many things at once, in so many places, that even quite close to the end I couldn't believe it was going to conclude the trilogy. I fully expected another cliffhanger, hooking us for a surprise fourth book, à la "Brisingr". The good news—if you'll pardon my relief—it really does end here. More or less. In fact, it ends so abruptly that I was taken...

Book Review: “The Journal of Curious Letters” by James Dashner
Book Reviews / April 4, 2014

Atticus Higginbottom, Tick to his friends, is a 13-year-old science geek who gets bullied at school, trips over his own feet, and plays champion-level chess. Few people would guess that such a boy would have the makings of a hero who might one day save the world. Somebody seems to have guessed, however. Somebody calling himself M.G. (short for Master George) begins sending Tick a series of clues, leading to an opportunity to save tho...

Book Review: “The Taking” by Kimberly Derting
Book Reviews / March 30, 2014

The Taking is the first book in a sure-to-be epic new series by Kimberly Derting. I’m a big fan of Derting’s Body Finder series, so I had complete confidence that The Taking would be a great and organic story. Which it was! Derting really excels at...

Book Review: “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” by Arthur Conan Doyle
Book Reviews / March 29, 2014

Sherlock Holmes had already appeared in two novels, but his popularity did not really take off until the brief "adventures" collected in this book began to appear in monthly issues of "The Strand Magazine", from 1891 to 1892. And though there are two novels and three volumes of short stories still to come, these 12 mysteries include some of Holmes's most memorable and celebrated cases. Few of them are concerned with actual murder or ...

Book Review: “The Idiot” by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Book Reviews / March 27, 2014

Published in a series of magazine issues in 1868-69, this is one of the masterpieces by the author of "Crime and Punishment" and "The Brothers Karamazov". It made me laugh a great deal, but it is not a comedy. Its climax is mysterious and chilling, but it is not a thriller. Dickensian in its large cast of vividly colorful characters and satire on the society of its time, it is not quite a picaresque. Tragic to a truly disturbing degr...

Book Review: “Froi of the Exiles” by Melina Marchetta
Book Reviews / March 25, 2014

An "Adult Content Advisory" remains in effect for the second book of the "Lumatere Chronicles", in which the fate of kingdoms depends on the actions of highly sexed young adults. Even more than in "Finnikin of the Rock", in which the figurative and literal rape of a kingdom is involved in the tale of a nation divided 50/50 between captives and refugees. But now the people of Lumatere have been reunited; the curse has been broken that...

Book Review: “House of Ivy & Sorrow” by Natalie Whipple
Book Reviews / March 19, 2014

Josephine Hemlock, like her mother, grandmother, and all female relatives before her, is a witch. She lives in a world where all magic is considered “dark.” Only a witch's choice to consume (bad) or control (good) determines whether a witch is evil or virtuous. The Hemlocks are held in high regard for being a family of powerful - yet controlled - witches. In "House of Ivy & Sorrow", all magic comes with a price, a warning and rule fo...

Book Review: “The Sign of (the) Four” by Arthur Conan Doyle
Book Reviews / March 17, 2014

The second book of the Sherlock Holmes canon was first published in 1890 under the five-word title "The Sign of the Four". Since then, it has often been republished under the four-word title "The Sign of Four". The confusion actually originates in the book itself, in which both phrases are used interchangeably. Although Holmes did not really become a hit until Conan Doyle followed up with a series of short stories (later collected in...