Book List App 2015
by Mike Mullin Year Published: 2011 Speculative
While 15-year-old Alex Halprin's parents visit relatives in Illinois, a supervolcano under Yellowstone Park erupts, leaving the United States covered in volcanic ash. With no food or water and a rapidly-changing climate, Alex, determined to survive, sets out from Cedar Falls, Iowa, in search of his family. On his harrowing journey, Alex is joined by another survivor, Darla Edmunds, and her mother, and witnesses acts of violence as humans become desperate for resources.
by Pete Hautman Year Published: 2011 Romance
Penned "with wry humor and a comic's sense of juxtaposed phrases and timing," (BL) author Hautman's love story follows the stumbling, growing attraction between high schoolers Wes and June. At her sixth school in four years, June is not looking to attach herself to anything or anyone, knowing that her father's business will eventually relocate her family once again. Opportunity knocks (literally) when Wes accidentally gives her a black eye, and June can't resist Wes. In spite of the bumps they encounter along the way, the duo forms a deep bond. But how long will it last? (COMPENDIUM BOOK)
by Kirkpatrick Hill and LeUyen Pham Year Published: 2013 Historical Fiction
In a 1920s Alaskan gold rush town, five-year-old Bo is living with her adopted fathers, a pair of blacksmiths who took her in as an infant after her mother abandoned her. Throughout the story, the trio navigate the ups and downs of everyday life in this cold, bustling community, from games and celebrations to work and frightful moments. All the while, Bo's papas are never far off, and the caring nature of their small town is demonstrated through the kind actions of the many supporting characters. A year passes, and as their time in this town nears an end, Bo and her unique family cast a hopeful eye to the future—one that will surely see them closer than ever. (COMPENDIUM BOOK)
by Mark Slouka Year Published: 2013 Realism
In the midst of their high school careers, John Mosher and Ray Cappicciano meet and quickly become friends, relying on one another to get through the personal issues that mark their lives. When Ray falls in love with Karen Dorsey, however, the trio begin to seriously consider the possibility of breaking away from their hometown, and begin to take steps to achieve this goal.
by Stephanie Kuehn Year Published: 2014 Realism
A lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy must either surrender his sanity to the wild wolves inside his mind or learn that surviving means more than not dying.
by Lisa O'Donnell Year Published: 2013 Realism
On her fifteenth birthday, which is also Christmas Eve, Marnie and her little sister Nellie bury their parents in their back yard. They refuse to even tell anyone that they are dead. Marnie just has to get through a year, to her sixteenth birthday, then she can legally be Nellie's guardian. Lennie, the old neighbor from across the street, suspects they need his help. However, as the year drags on, more people begin asking tougher questions, and in the end Marnie, Nellie, and Lennie have only each other to answer for.
by Lauren Oliver Year Published: 2012 Speculative / Romance
In an effort to cure all discord throughout the country, the America of the future has outlawed the ability to feel love, believing this emotion to be the cause of the nation's troubles. Lena, nearing the age of 18, is about to receive the neurological procedure that will remove her capacity to feel passionately about anything, but everything changes when she meets a boy her age named Alex. As her feelings for Alex start to reshape her very being, Lena begins to question her community and the totalitarian government that runs the nation.
by Libba Bray Year Published: 2014 Historical Fiction
Evie O'Neill can't believe her luck-here she is in the Roaring '20s in the bright lights of New York City, visiting speakeasies, movie palaces, and the best shopping centers in the world! The one downside to her supposed exile is that she has to live with her crazy old uncle, Will, who is the curator of the Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult. It seems Evie has arrived at the Museum the same time as a demon, one who begins a spree of occult-linked murders. Considering the name of her uncle's museum, Evie and Uncle Will are immediately embroiled in a supernatural investigation, one Evie is uniquely gifted for solving-she is a diviner. (COMPENDIUM BOOK)
by Rainbow Rowell Year Published: 2013 Romance / Realism
Eleanor and Park exist on the fringes of established social circles at their high school in 1980s Omaha. Park is half Korean and a devoted listener of punk and New Wave music, while Eleanor, with her fiery mane of red hair and prickly personality, easily stands out among their peers. Thrown together by chance (and a lack of seating on the bus), the pair finds a camaraderie fueled by their shared social status, and as they begin to learn more about each other, they end up falling helplessly in love. Alternating chapters describe the couple's experiences in their own voices, illuminating their moving and oftentimes humorous journey as they overcome difficulties at home and at school. (COMPENDIUM BOOK)
by Ann Aguirre Year Published: 2011 Speculative / Dystopian
In a post-apocalyptic future, fifteen-year-old Deuce, a loyal Huntress, brings back meat while avoiding the Freaks outside her enclave, but when she is partnered with the mysterious outsider, Fade, she begins to see that the strict ways of the elders may be wrong--and dangerous. (COMPENDIUM BOOK)
by Eliot Schrefer Year Published: 2012 Action / Suspense
Fourteen-year-old Sophie is half American, half Congolese, so when she pays a visit to her mother's bonobo sanctuary in the Congo, she feels as though she doesn't belong. Her apprehensions are quickly put to rest when she meets an orphaned bonobo named Otto and takes on the responsibility of being his caretaker, but things take a dangerous turn when civil war erupts in the country. To escape the bloodshed, Sophie flees into the jungle with Otto, desperately trying to stay hidden while she seeks a safe haven amid the horrors taking place all around her. (COMPENDIUM BOOK)
by Abigail Tarttelin Year Published: 2013 Realism
Sixteen-year-old Max Walker is a golden boy if ever there was one. He is smart, funny, athletic—the captain of the soccer team—is nice to his younger brother, and is the secret crush of all the girls in school. However, the Walker family has many secrets, and the biggest one is about Max—he is a hermaphrodite, or an intersex individual. He (or she) has organs from both male and female parts. All his life he has felt normal, but his parents never talked with him about it. Just when Max finally musters up the courage to ask out the girl of his dreams, an old friend appears in his life again and ruins his big secret. (COMPENDIUM BOOK)
by Robin LaFevers Year Published: 2012 Speculative / Fantasy
In 15th-century Brittany, 17-year-old Ismae flees an abusive father and an unwanted arranged marriage, making her way to the Convent of St. Mortain where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Soon after arriving, Ismae is contacted directly by Mortain, the god of death himself, who reveals he has selected her to be his handmaiden. In order to fulfill this role – and remain within the Convent's secure walls – Ismae must become an assassin and instrument of Mortain's will. Ismae reluctantly accepts, and soon after is sent on her first mission: to observe the Breton noble Duval and kill him if he proves to be a traitor. The task at first seems rather straightforward, but is made all the more difficult by the pair's sudden and growing attraction to each other. (COMPENDIUM BOOK)
by John Searles Year Published: 2013 Supernatural, Suspense
Author Searles' eerie novel tells the story of 14-year-old Sylvie Mason, the daughter of Christian parents who work as demonologists—individuals who help haunted humans. On a cold February night, Sylvie's parents are summoned to an old church to confront their oldest daughter, Rose. Asleep in the car's backseat, Sylvie wakes up to the sound of gunfire. That fateful night leaves her parents dead and Sylvie confused about what really happened. In the year that follows, Sylvie is still grieving and struggling to understand her parents' deaths, when her memory is put to the test at the trial for her parents' alleged killer.
by Max Barry Year Published: 2014 Suspense
There is an exclusive, secret school outside of Arlington, Virginia, where students are taught how to use the power of words to coerce and control any human. Emily Ruff, a runaway, is taken in by the school and quickly rises through the ranks, on track to graduate as a "poet," the best of the best. Along the way she makes the mistake of falling in love. Meanwhile across the world, a poor innocent named Wil is taken captive by enemies of the school, because supposedly his brain cannot be segmented and coerced by the poets.
by Bill O'Reilly and Dwight Jon Zimmerman Year Published: 2012 Biography
Presents an illustrated adaptation of the author's book recounting the final days of President Abraham Lincoln. Features period photographs, maps, and artwork; timelines; biographical sketches; a glossary of military terms; and recommended resources.
by Siobhan Vivian Year Published: 2012 Realism
Every year before prom in Mount Washington High, the List goes up on the wall. Two girls from each grade are selected as the prettiest and ugliest in their class. No one knows who creates the list. No one can deny its power over the hearts and minds of the girls that are selected. Sometimes, being selected as prettiest leads not to vindication and self-esteem, but to doubt and feelings of pressure to live up to the title; and sometimes being deemed ugliest leads to truly courageous and selfless actions. For the eight girls selected this year, what they do with the titles will change their lives forever. (COMPENDIUM BOOK)
by Wesley Chu Year Published: 2013 Speculative / Science Fiction
When IT technician Roen wakes up and hears a voice in his head, he learns that an alien called Tao is inhabiting him. Tao tells him that part of their race, the Prophus, are peaceful but the other half, the Genjix, are savage and coming for Roen. Against his better judgment, Roen begins training to be a secret agent, if only to stay alive.
by Zalickas, Koren Year Published: 2014 Realism
Josephine Hurst is matriarch in her family, and on the surface her family seems perfect. Then her oldest daughter runs off with a new boyfriend, and everything begins unraveling. Her other daughter turns to drugs and mysticism, her son's Asperger's and epilepsy seem to grow worse, and her husband finds relief in alcohol--and the more Josephine tightens her grip on her family, the more they slip away.
by Mark Owen and Kevin Mauer Year Published: 2014 Memoir
Mark Owen, a code name for one of the SEAL Team Six members, offers in his own words the stories of the missions he has been on, including play-by-play reportage on the assault on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.
by Rita Williams-Garcia Year Published: 2015 Realism
After spending the summer in Oakland, California, with their mother and the Black Panthers, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern arrive home with a newfound streak of independence. The sisters aren't the only ones who have changed. Now Pa has a girlfriend. Uncle Darnell returns from Vietnam a different man. But Big Ma still expects Delphine to keep her sisters in line. That's much harder now that Vonetta and Fern refuse to be bossed around. Besides her sisters, Delphine's got plenty of other things to worry about--like starting sixth grade, being the tallest girl in her class, and dreading the upcoming school dance. The one person she confides in is her mother, Cecile. Through letters, Delphine pours her heart out and receives some constant advice: to be eleven while she can. (COMPENDIUM BOOK)
by Maggie Stiefvater Year Published: 2013 Supernatural
Blue Sargent's mother is a clairvoyant who can speak to the dead on St. Mark's Eve. On this night, Blue and her mother go to the church graveyard, and Blue stands by as the dead-invisible to Blue-stroll past. But this year is different. This time Blue sees someone, a boy from the nearby Aglionby Academy. The problem is that this boy isn't invisible, which means only one thing-either the boy is someone Blue has killed, or he is her true love. (COMPENDIUM BOOK)
by Lucy Knisley Year Published: 2013 Graphic Novel / Memoir
A graphic novel chronicling the author's experiences growing up as the daughter of a chef and a gourmet, highlighting lessons she learned about food, cooking and life.
by Elizabeth Wein Year Published: 2014 Historical Fiction
During a secret mission in German airspace, American pilot Rose Justice is shot down and captured by the Nazis. Transferred to Ravensbrück, one of the few women's concentration camps, Rose is subjected to horrors that cause her to teeter on the brink of insanity. Just when things seem to be at their most dire, she finds hope in the form of her fellow inmates, who each have tales of their own. Writing in a journal format, Rose narrates her own story in a believable, gripping manner, and readers soon discover there are plenty of secrets in store--not only for them, but for Rose as well. (COMPENDIUM BOOK)
by Nalo Hopkinson Year Published: 2013 Speculative / Fantasy
Born as conjoined twins, sisters Abby and Makeda are now adults and separated. Growing more and more distant thanks to Makeda's discovery of her own magical abilities, the sisters drift farther apart until Makeda decides to find a life of her own among the "normal" humans, a decision that allows her to discover who she truly is.
by Katja Millay Year Published: 2012 Realism
After an unspeakable tragedy, Nastya Kashnikov moves to a new town to live with her aunt and refuses to speak to anyone until she meets Josh Bennett. The two become closer despite Nastya's painful and secret past, and just when Nastya believes she can move on, events cause her to confront her past one last time.
by Gavin Extence Year Published: 2013 Realism
Tired of living a normal, bookish existence and becoming a target for bullies, Alex Woods is inspired by a man named Mr. Peterson to do something extraordinary with his life. When Alex's idea of how to change his life turns out to be something different than most people would expect, however, he quickly finds himself in for more than he bargained for.
by Meg Medina Year Published: 2014 Realism
After moving to a new neighborhood with her mother, 15-year-old Piedad “Piddy” Sanchez enrolls in a new high school and quickly becomes the target of one Yaqui Delgado. Yaqui thinks Piddy is full of herself and is determined to make Piddy the object of her terror. At first, Piddy seems capable of avoiding Yaqui while maintaining her grades and her after-school job. As the bullying escalates, however, Piddy is forced to confront the situation head-on and figure out a way to retake control of her life without sacrificing who she is—a task that's easier said than done, unfortunately, as Piddy's fear and insecurity threaten to get the best of her. (COMPENDIUM BOOK)
Book Title Author Summary MiniReview Unwind Series Neal Shusterman Set in the U.S. after the second civil war over abortion rights, teens who don't measure up to parents' or society's expectations are sent for "rewinding," a process where surgeons break down the body and sell it for parts. As teens escape and runaway, they form unlikely alliances and fight to end Unwinding. Shusterman is a master craftsman, creating strong characters and weaving multiple storylines to create a plot full of conflict and content. I especially love how he interjects real-life related stories (complete with the weblinks) that illustrate or complement the storyline. Thought-provoking and heart-breaking, Unwind is a "dystology" that has stayed with me years after the first read.