Category Archives: Children & Young Adults

Corrine Jackson. If I Lie. New York: Simon Pulse, 2012.

lieWhen you’re in high school, things can seem very black-or-white. Girl cheats on her boyfriend who is a Marine on duty in Afghanistan, she’s trash. When that boyfriend is MIA after a firefight, the whole town shuns her and calls her ugly names.  Since this girl is the child of a woman who ran off with another man, even her own father treats her with a cold disdain. Like mother, like daughter.

This is Sophie Topper Quinn’s life. Quinn–the name her father insists on–has learned to accept her father’s cold manner. In the years since her mother left, Quinn has wondered what role she might have played in her mother’s departure. She can’t say that her father’s behavior is unreasonable, but she is shocked to find herself so on her own after a photo surfaces on Facebook that shows her kissing someone other than Carey Breen. No one knows that Quinn turned to someone else after Carey told her her that he was gay and asked her help in covering that for him in their small military town.

To keep Quinn out of trouble, her dad arranges for her to volunteer at the Veterans Administration Hospital in nearby Fayetteville.  There she becomes friends with George Wilkins, a retired military photographer.  George recognizes Quinn’s talent and enlists her to work with him on the Veterans History Project. Quinn’s edgy defensiveness does not put off George and as their friendship grows, he helps her navigate additional curve balls–like her mother’s return–that come her way.

Although If I Lie focuses on how Quinn responds the turmoil in her life, readers also get a look into the lives of other characters, particularly George, Quinn’s mother, and Carey’s best friend, Blake.  All have behaved in ways that they regret, without mercy or grace to themselves or those closest to them. By placing this coming-of-age novel in a military town in the Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell Era, Corrine Jackson has produced a book that will engage both young adult and mature readers.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Children & Young Adults, Coastal Plain, Cumberland, Jackson, Corrine, Onslow

Lisa Williams Kline. Winter’s Tide. Grand Rapids, MI: Zonderkidz, 2013.

winterstideStepsisters Stephanie and Diana have come to an uneasy truce over the last few years, but it’s still hard to get along. In Winter’s Tide, the fourth installment in the Sisters in All Seasons series, the girls face challenges within their two intertwined families and with each other.

When a popular girl walks by Diana in the hall at school and whispers that hateful nickname all the kids call her, “annnnnn-i-mal,” under her breath, Diana finally snaps. Both girls are suspended for fighting just before Christmas, and Diana’s mom and dad couldn’t be more disappointed. Stephanie feels terribly guilty, since it’s her fault that Diana gets called “annnnn-i-mal,” but she’s worried that if she reveals her secret, Diana won’t understand that it wasn’t intentional. Both girls are distracted, however, when tragedy strikes Stephanie’s side of the family.

First, Stephanie’s stepbrother from her mom’s re-marriage is driving drunk and gets into a car accident on Christmas Eve. Matt has always been mean to Stephanie, so she refused to say a prayer for him in church that night. Now this car accident feels like her fault, too. Next, Grammy Verra, Stephanie’s favorite grandparent, falls ill. Since it’s winter break, Stephanie, Stephanie’s dad, Diana, and Diana’s mom all drive down to Emerald Isle, North Carolina to stay near her. Diana is immediately entranced by the nearby animal life, including whales, horses, and even Grammy Verra’s dog, Jelly. When the girls meet a local boy, Jeremy, trouble begins: he takes them out on a secret trip on his dad’s boat to see the horses on Shackleford Banks, and everything goes wrong. Stephanie’s secret comes out, and the boat starts to float out to sea, potentially leaving them stranded. Will the sisters be able to reconcile, and will they find a way to get out of danger? If so, will Grammy Verra and Matt be OK? And will Diana finally be able to move past her bullies?

Check out this title in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2013, Carteret, Children & Young Adults, Coast, Kline, Lisa Williams, Novels in Series, Piedmont, Wake

Jennifer Estep. Crimson Frost. New York: Kensington Publishing, 2013.

With the Norse chaos god Loki freed from his prison, Gwen Frost should be extra careful. Besides an evil god, she also has to look out for his Champion, a murderous girl called Vivian, and her army of Reapers. Life at the Mythos Academy, high in the supposedly peaceful mountains just outside of Asheville, has never been more dangerous. And yet, Gwen has never been so happy. Logan Quinn, the boy she’s had a crush on forever, has finally asked her out. He’s even given her a winter present– a beautiful snowflake necklace. They’re sitting together in a local coffee shop when Gwen’s reality finally comes crashing down around her. She’s arrested by the Protectorate, her world’s governing body, for the crime of…freeing Loki from imprisonment.

It all seems like some ridiculous joke. Gwen almost died in the attempt to keep Loki from being unleashed on the world, and now she’s being accused of helping him to escape? The Protectorate is very serious, however, in its accusation. Soon the entirety of Mythos Academy knows that Gwen is an evil Reaper, and they all want revenge. This would be uncomfortable in a normal high school, but at Mythos Academy, a training school for the descendants of ancient warriors, it’s definitely deadly. Will Gwen be able to survive not only Loki and his Champion, but the anger of her fellow students? Will she ever clear her name? And will Logan stand by her during her trial, even when his father is the head of the Protectorate?

Young adult readers ages 13 and up will enjoy the continuing adventures of Gwen and her friends in this fourth installment in the Mythos Academy Novels.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2013, Buncombe, Children & Young Adults, Estep, Jennifer, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Antony John. Elemental. New York: Dial Books, 2012.

In the future, there will be a plague so great that it almost wipes the entirety of the human race off the planet. Sixteen-year-old Thomas lives with a small band of fourteen survivors, including his father and his brothers, Ananias and Griffin. This post-apocalyptic world is all Thomas has ever known, but like many teenagers today, Thomas feels as though he doesn’t belong. While everyone else in their small colony on Hatteras Island can control the four elements in some way, Thomas has no power. The others even seem afraid to touch him, as though his lack of power is contagious. Then, one stormy day, everything changes.

The adult Guardians (as they call themselves) have failed to predict a terrible storm. Quickly, Thomas and the other children flee to a shelter on the abandoned wasteland of Roanoke Island. But when they try to return, they discover something far more horrifying than a storm’s damage– their families have been kidnapped by pirates. Vowing to resist, the youngsters retreat back to Roanoke Island. With each passing day, they discover that their powers grow stronger and stronger, and that they possess more and different abilities than they ever thought. Spying on the pirates reveals still more– there is something special about Griffin, Thomas’ younger brother, and the pirates want him enough to kill. Although Thomas knows he doesn’t have a power, he has also been feeling stranger and stranger the longer they stay on Roanoke. Is it possible that the Guardians lied as well when they said he didn’t have a power? And if he does, what could his power be?

A gripping take on the legend of the Lost Colony, this dystopian novel brings the past to life in a future just as haunted by pirates, disease, and mysteries as the 16th century.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Children & Young Adults, Coast, Dare, John, Antony, Novels in Series, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Jennifer Estep. Dark Frost. New York: Kensington, 2012.

Gwen Frost is supposed to be a normal high school student, or at least as normal as any of the superhero-like kids she attends the Mythos Academy with can be. Unbeknownst to the residents of Asheville, the elite private boarding school nearby isn’t filled with rich kids, but with the descendants of mythological warriors.  Unfortunately, the Greek goddess Nike has chosen Gwen to be her champion. This means that the evil Reapers, servants of the Norse chaos god Loki, want her dead. Or at least she thinks that’s why.

Gwen’s mother was also Nike’s champion, until she was killed in a car crash two years ago. As Gwen soon discovers, the car crash was no accident, and her mother was guarding a dagger of terrible power that the Reapers want more than anything. Convinced that Gwen knows its whereabouts, Loki’s mysterious and wicked champion plays a deadly game of cat and mouse, trying to trick her into revealing its hiding place. Gwen knows nothing, other than that she must find the dagger before the Reapers. But with her best friend Daphne in crisis, a pregnant Fenrir wolf on her hands, and confused teenage love on her mind, it’s hard to focus. Will Gwen be able to overcome her personal demons in time to face the very real demons?

Young adult readers ages 13 and up will enjoy this third book in the Mythos Academy Novels.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Buncombe, Children & Young Adults, Estep, Jennifer, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Jennifer Estep. Kiss of Frost. New York: Kensington Publishing Corp., 2011.

High school is a hard time for a lot of kids, and Gwen is no different. The popular girls tease and snub her, and the handsome boy she has a crush on is dating an Amazon. Literally– Savannah is an Amazon, a direct descendant of those powerful ancient warriors, just as her boyfriend (and Gwen’s crush) Logan Quinn is a Spartan. At the Mythos Academy high in the mountains above Asheville, ancient mythology is still alive and well in the several hundred young men and women who attend school there. At Mythos, they learn fighting skills and the history of their illustrious ancestors. After, many go on to become the heroes that defeat the very real monsters living on into the modern age.

Gwen isn’t a hero, or at least she doesn’t think she is. As a Gypsy, Gwen has the power of psychometry: she can read others’ memories and emotions simply by touching them or their belongings. Logan and his warrior buddies are trying to teach her how to fight, but it’s not working very well. Then the whole school heads off to a resort in the Smoky Mountains for Winter Carnival, a yearly holiday where students ski, drink hot chocolate, and like typical high school students, go to wild parties. Gwen doesn’t want to go– she’d rather stay at Mythos and read in her room. But Daphne, Gwen’s best friend, refuses to let her stay behind. Soon, they’re all on a bus to the fancy resort, and Gwen should be excited…except something sinister is going on. Last year, a Reaper, one of the chief enemies of heroes like the Mythos Academy students, tried to kill Gwen and failed. Maybe it’s paranoia, but Gwen is getting the distinct feeling that it’s happening all over again. Will her winter holiday end in disaster, or even death? Will Logan Quinn ever notice her? And, worst of all, will Daphne drag her to all the late-night parties?

Young adult readers ages 13 and up will enjoy this second installment in the Mythos Academy Novels.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Buncombe, Children & Young Adults, Estep, Jennifer, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Ryan Jakubsen. Portals III: Band of Rogues. Kernersville: Alabaster Publishing Company, 2011.

portals In Ryan Jakubsen’s conclusion to the Portals trilogy, the Pierce brothers, dropped  on Grandfather Mountain by a tornado and lost in other-world realms linked by portals, move through one final gateway. Their mission?  To find home.

Having fixed the portal that will transport them stateside, brothers Axel, Alex, and Exile are ready to say goodbye to their brother Jacob, the new warrior king of wolf-man hybrids, a faction of “manimals.” Joined by Lucy and Jackellel, the group ventures on, this time in a dimension where trees have eyes, ancient Pierce kin reign, manimal spiders joust, and the “shrockney” beatle conjures instant death. But control of the portals is unstable, and a War of the Rogues is blooming. When a written message from the Pierces to their hosts disappears by way of courier concussion, the company’s safety is jeopardized. The addition of mysterious newcomers Araknia and The Dark One keeps suspicion, lies, and allegiances ever-puzzling and occasionally deadly while the Pierces travel.

Told by cosmic, animal, and human voices, the brothers’ story imaginatively beams from a spaceless battlefield to North Carolina locations like the UNC School of Law and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Families and their journeys are taken to new worlds in fifth-grader Ryan Jakubsen’s last installment of this series for young adult readers. Follow the portal home? If only it were that simple.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library Catalog.

2 Comments

Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Avery, Caldwell, Children & Young Adults, Jakubsen, Ryan, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Orange, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Watauga

Trish Milburn. White Witch. Memphis, TN: Belle Bridge Books, 2012.

Jaxina “Jax” Pherson is a teenage runaway. Living in a stolen RV she’s parked in a campground somewhere in the mountains of Buncombe County, North Carolina, all the sixteen year old wants to do is blend in so that no one can find her. Running away from home is difficult when you’re an average teenager, but Jax is not average, no matter how much she wants to be. She descends from a long line of powerful witches who are sworn to bring vengeance and retribution to normal human beings who unjustly executed their kind for centuries. As a witch, Jax should be content to live with her powerful family in Miami, strategically eliminating their enemies.

But Jax has always believed that what her family does is wrong, and has been biding her time to escape. Now, camped out in the Appalachian mountains, all she has to do is matriculate at a local high school, never use magic again, and fade into the background. Or so she thinks. But Jax doesn’t count on Keller. On the outside, Keller appears to be nothing more than a normal boy also attending her chosen high school, but Jax soon figures out that he’s her worst enemy– a hunter. Dedicated to finding and destroying evil, these otherwise normal human beings face the supernatural every day. Unfortunately, Jax has a crush on Keller, and he develops feelings for her as well. With the threat of her angry family coming to find her, and her crush possibly turning on her, what’s a teenage witch to do?

Check this title’s availability in the UNC Chapel Hill Library catalog.

1 Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Buncombe, Children & Young Adults, Milburn, Trish, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Jen Calonita. Winter White. New York: Poppy, 2012.

Isabelle “Izzie” Scott is still adjusting to the revelation that her uncle, North Carolina State Senator Bill Monroe, is in fact her father. The Monroe family may appear polished and smiling for the media sharks during the Senator’s re-election campaign, but away from the cameras, they’re falling apart. Mirabelle, who at fifteen is only a few months younger than Izzie, is still not willing to forgive her father, and neither is Izzie. Their younger and older brothers are fine, but the girls refuse to have anything to do with Senator Monroe beyond their filial duty to uphold his public image.

Meanwhile, mean girl Savannah Ingram, the queen bee of Emerald Prep, is on the warpath. Mirabelle, who used to be one of the most popular girls at Emerald Cove’s elite private school and Savannah’s best friend, is officially a persona non grata. Not only did she finally accept her strange and awkward half-sister as both a member of her family and a friend, but she didn’t help Savannah sabotage Isabelle’s burgeoning relationship with Savannah’s handsome ex-boyfriend, Brayden. Worst of all, one of the most important events in Mirabelle’s life is fast approaching: cotillion, where every young girl in Emerald Cove who is anybody comes out as an official debutante. Contrary to everyone’s expectations, Izzie is also participating. Will the girls survive the demanding preparations designed to turn them into proper Southern belles? As the preparations for the debutante ball become more difficult, boy problems loom, and more bad press appears, so the girls must once again work together to save their family and their own happiness.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Calonita, Jen, Children & Young Adults, Coast, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places

Lisa Williams Kline. Blue Autumn Cruise. Grand Rapids, MI: Zonderkids, 2012.

Diana Williams and Stephanie Verra are back in this third book in the Sisters in all Seasons series. This time, the two stepsisters join Stephanie’s extended family on a cruise to the Caymans to celebrate Grammy Verra’s seventy-fifth birthday.

It’s hard for Diana to leave her regular haunts in North Carolina behind, but the islands hold many exciting new adventures. Unfortunately, Stephanie’s annoying cousin Lauren is also on the cruise, and Diana must learn to get along with her as well. The socially adept Stephanie quickly gets tired of mediating between her cousin and her stepsister, while Lauren just wants to videotape her trip and finds it annoying when Diana won’t agree to take part. But when an animal is in trouble on the ship, all three teens band together to help. As usual, each girl learns valuable lessons about herself, the natural world around her, and interacting with others.

Young adults will enjoy this thoughtful addition to a series that follows the difficulties of growing up, going to high school, and learning to get along with new family members.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Children & Young Adults, Kline, Lisa Williams, Novels in Series