'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 1 May 2011

KBR Recommends: YA Fiction, May 2011

Don't miss this sensational line-up of new YA fiction to hit the shelves this May.

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
(Scholastic, $19.99, 9781407121123, May 2011)

When his best friend Dee fell in love with a faerie, James realized she'd never feel the same way about him.

The only way he could survive the hurt was to throw himself into music. But James didn't realize this path would lead to Nuala, a faerie who promises she can make all his dreams come true.

"If you are a fan of Twilight, then you will love Shiver" - Waterhstone's

"Fantastic" - Bliss Magazine

Pig Boy by JC Burke
(Woolshed Press, $18.95, 9781741663129, May 2011)

On Damon Styles's eighteenth birthday, he is expelled from school. But it's what happens afterwards that changes everything.

Now Damon must come up with a plan. It's the only way he can think straight. First, get his firearms licence. Then, see if the Pigman will give him a job - pig hunting will teach Damon what he needs to know. And he’d better get a lock for his wardrobe so his mother won't find what he's hiding.

Damon’s taking matters into his own hands - but so is the town of Strathven.

A confronting, powerful story for young adults in the vein of J.C. Burke’s CBCA award-winner The Story of Tom Brennan.

Faerie Winter by Janni Lee Simner
(Random House, $18.95, 9781742750682, May 2011)

The war has been over for 40 years, and finally Liza's town is accepting children born with fairy talents. Then a nearby town is destroyed, and Liza discovers that the war might not be over after all. It seems some faeries survived and have crossed over into the human world to continue the fight. And the most powerful and merciless of them all-the Queen herself-may be among them...

Liza is a Summoner. She can draw life to herself, even from beyond the grave. And because magic works both ways, she can drive life away. Months ago, she used her powers to banish her dangerous father and to rescue her mother, lost in dreams, from the ruined land of Faerie.

Born in the wake of the war between humanity and Faerie, Liza lived in a world where green things never slept, where trees sought to root in living flesh and bone. But now the forests have fallen silent. Even the evergreens' branches are bare. Winter crops won't grow, and the threat of starvation looms. And deep in the forest a dark, malevolent will is at work. To face it, Liza will have to find within herself something more powerful than magic alone.

The Ivory Rose by Belinda Murrell
(Random House, $15.95, 9781742750712, May 2011)

Jemma has just landed her first job, babysitting Sammy. It's in Rosethorne, one of the famous witches' houses near where she lives. Sammy says the house is haunted by a sad little girl, but Jemma doesn't know what to believe.

One day when the two girls are playing hide and seek, Jemma discovers a rose charm made of ivory. As she touches the charm she sees a terrifying flashback. Is it the moment the ghost was murdered? Jemma runs for her life, falling down the stairs and tumbling into unconsciousness.

She wakes up in 1895, unable to get home. Jemma becomes an apprentice maidservant at Rosethorne - but all is not well in the grand house. Young heiress Georgiana is constantly sick. Jemma begins to suspect Georgiana is being poisoned, but who would poison her, and why? Jemma must find the proof in order to rescue her friend - before time runs out.

Tantony by Ananda Braxton-Smith
(Black Dog Books, $18.99, 9781742031668, May 2011)

Fermion Quirk’s twin brother Boson Quirk is dead, head down in the bog of stars and circled by his angel-birds.

Now everybody looks sideways at Fermion, and wonders if she’ll go the way of her cursed twin.

Pa talks about everything but Boson, and Moo won’t talk at all.

Then the new voice begins rising inside Fermion, telling her she’s the only one who can save her family.

But, is it safe – is it even right – to do what the voices tell you?

Stresshead by Allayne Webster
(Scholastic, $19.99, 9781862918207, May 2011)

Sixteen year old Dennie Wilson is a Sydney school girl growing up in a legal family: her dad, mum, brother, two sisters and brother-in-law are ALL legal eagles. Dennie feels under pressure to follow the family tradition. Deep down, she doesn't have any idea about what she really wants to do with her life – but she does know she doesn’t want to be a lawyer – she just hasn’t told anyone yet. Add to that, Dennie’s dysfunctional relationship with her on-again/off-again boyfriend Jack and troubles with her best friend Kat and mum’s unexpected health crisis... and it all happens at the busiest time of the year, Christmas.

Dennie develops an unlikely friendship with her mum's best friend Clara, a family lawyer who isn't married and doesn't have any children. If Clara is anything, she is a survivor – but a bit of an ‘unconventional’ one to say the least. An unscheduled night out on the town and bus ride into the unknown, sets Dennie on a course of self-discovery that triggers a chain of events likely to undo everything her family has tried so hard to keep stitched together.

Abandon by Meg Cabot
(Pan Macmillan, $14.99, 9780330453868, May 2011)

The first book in the brand-new dark and dangerously seductive trilogy from bestselling teen author Meg Cabot.

Last year, Pierce died – just for a moment. And when she was in the space between life and death, she met John: tall dark and terrifying, it's his job to usher souls from one realm to the next.

There's a fierce attraction between them, but Pierce knows that if she allows herself to fall for John she will be doomed to a life of shadows and loneliness in the underworld.

But now things are getting dangerous for her, and her only hope is to do exactly what John says...