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Beautiful Creaturesby Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Oh, what a fine, fat book this is. Beautiful Creatures plays out over 600+ pages, and every page is worthwhile. There are some wonderful, rich, and powerful sentences that need to be reread. The main character, Ethan, has a strong voice; you’ll wish you could be his friend. The entire book will have you reading in a Southern accent. In the Southern Gothic tradition, the town of Gatlin plays a character, with its Civil War history, small-town bigotry, and cooking contests. Gatlin's good old average Americana is balanced with an underlying layer of strange mystery. There is a distracted librarian with hidden depths, crazy aunties with a surprising strain of sanity in their sweet madness, and a lovely and turbulent teenage love story. And sometimes, it's funny! The authors find humor in the oddest of moments. I loved this book from the very first page to the very last page. I loved the cover. I loved the afterward. Beautiful Creatures is one of the best books that I read in 2009.
Synopses & Reviews
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
Praise for Splintered:
"Fans of dark fantasy, as well as of Carroll’s Alice in all her revisionings (especially Tim Burton’s), will find a lot to love in this compelling and imaginative novel."
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Alyssa is one of the most unique protagonists I've come across in a while. Splintered is dark, twisted, entirely riveting, and a truly romantic tale."
"Brilliant, because it is ambitious, inventive, and often surprising — a contemporary reworking of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,’’ with a deep bow toward Tim Burton’s 2010 film version."
—The Boston Globe
"It’s a deft, complex metamorphosis of this children’s fantasy made more enticing by competing romantic interests, a psychedelic setting, and more mad violence than its original."
" Protagonist Alyssa...is an original. Howard's visual imagination is superior. The story's creepiness is intriguing as horror, and its hypnotic tone and setting, at the intersection of madness and creativity, should sweep readers down the rabbit hole."
"While readers will delight in such recognizable scenes as Alyssa drinking from a bottle to shrink, the richly detailed scenes that stray from the original will entice the imagination. These adventures are indeed wonderful."
"Attention to costume and setting render this a visually rich read..."
"Wonderland is filled with much that is not as wonderful as might be expected, and yet, it is in Wonderland that Alyssa accepts her true nature. The cover with its swirling tendrils and insects surrounding Alyssa will surely attract teen readers who will not disappointed with this magical, edgy tale."
—Reading Today Online
"Creepy, descriptive read with a generous dollop of romance."
—School Library Journal
YALSA’s 2014 Teens’ Top Ten
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever--and one secret could change everything.
In this much-anticipated sequel to The Suburban Strange brothers, Bruno and Sylvio transfer to Suburban High and find themselves entangled in its otherworldly mysteries and the uber chic clique known as the Rosary.
A supernatural coming of age novel--the first book in a dynamic and dramatic new series--about the shy Celia Balaustine and a mysterious group of misfits at her new high school, Suburban High.
Jael has always felt like a freak. Shes never kissed a boy, she never knew her mom, and her dads always been superstrict—but thats probably because her mom was a demon, which makes Jael half demon and most definitely not a normal sophomore girl. On her sixteenth birthday, a mysterious present unlocks her familys dangerous history and Jaels untapped potential. What was merely an embarrassing secret before becomes a terrifying reality. Jael must learn to master her demon side in order to take on a vindictive Duke of Hell while also dealing with a twisted priest, best-friend drama, and a spacey blond skater boy who may have hidden depths.
Author Jon Skovron takes on the dark side of human nature with his signature funny, heartfelt prose.
Praise for Misfit
« “An impeccably paced and unusually profound urban-fantasy novel. Thoughtful, scary and captivating.” -Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Shy Celia Balaustine is new to Suburban High, but a mysterious group of sophomores called the Rosary has befriended her. Friends aside, Celia soon discovers something is not quite right at Suburban. Girls at the school begin having near-fatal accidents on the eve of their sixteenth birthdays. Who is causing the accidents, and why? As Celias own birthday approaches, she is inexorably drawn into an underground conflict between good and evil—the Kind and the Unkind—that bubbles beneath Suburban High. Plentiful references to music and art—along with the intriguing underworld mythology—make this supernatural series debut a page-turner.
About the Author
Jessica Spotswood lives with her playwright husband and a cuddly cat named Monkey. She's never happier than when she's immersed in a good story, and swoony kissing scenes are her favorite. You can visit her at www.jessicaspotswood.com.
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