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New titles for young adult readers

Posted: Thursday, November 25, 2010

New books for young adult readers are shelved with adult fiction but distinguished by their yellow-green stickers.

Soul Enchilada, by David Macinnis Gill.

Bug Smoot (Eunice, to her landlord) is a three-time orphan with nothing to her name but a brand-new high school diploma, a moldy apartment, and a sweet 1958 Cadillac Biarritz that she inherited from her grandpa. Unfortunately, it seems that her grandpa financed the car by selling his soul - or rather, since he slipped out without closing the deal, Bug's soul. Now she's got a repo-demon named Mr. Beals riding around with her - and he's not just after the car. Bug's quick mind and wit have been honed through years of racial and misogynistic taunts, but is she a match for a supernatural being? Funny, weird, and sometimes downright gross, everything comes together in this brisk novel.

David Inside Out, by Lee Bantle.

When David's best friend Eddie comes out and starts a Gay/Straight Alliance club, David keeps his distance, afraid he'll be tagged "gay by association". But the reality is that it's more than "by association" - lately, David's been crushing hard on another guy on the track team. Sean's giving mixed messages, though, and, confused, David tries falling for his girl-pal, Kick, who's made it clear she'd be more than happy to be more than pals. But willingness and curiosity don't make things right - they make everything worse, until David decides he needs to learn to be himself.

Except the Queen, by Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder.

Cast out of the Faerie Court for witnessing the Queen's romp with a mortal, sisters Serana and Meteora find themselves separated and thrust into the mortal world, stripped of their magic and youth. Meteora ends up in Milwaukee, at the mercy of another immortal, Baba Yaga, where she finds comfort in friendship with a young woman whose tattooed symbol she recognizes as a sign of danger. And Serana finds herself in New York, taking in a young man tortured by visions showing the end of the faerie and mortal worlds. It is nearly too late when the sisters realize that they have been manipulated all along by the Queen, whose plan may now come to fruition.

Zombie Queen of Newbury High, by Amanda Ashby.

When Mia gets asked to the prom by Rob, the football god, she is over the moon with happiness. It's all too short-lived, as Samantha, the most popular girl in school, decides Rob's too good for plain, quiet Mia, and sets out to steal him for herself. Mia's friend, Candice, a holistic hypochondriac, knows just where to go - her herbalist's shop, where the two fork out Mia's savings for an herbal mixture, some crystals, and three pages of incantations to be read in Rob's presence. The love spell seems effective - the next day, Rob brings Mia Ho-Hos and sits next to her in class, but the weird new guy, Chase Miller, brings her bad news. The incantation wasn't a love spell: instead, it's about to turn everyone who was present into a flesh-eating zombie (except for Mia - she'll be the Zombie Queen). Worse yet, Rob didn't bring her treats to be nice - he's trying to fatten her up, because as Zombie Queen, Mia's first on the menu. A fast, funny twist on high school angst and prom night.

Why I Fight, by J. Adams Oaks.

Wyatt Reaves has been over 6 feet tall since he hit twelve and hit the road with his Uncle Spade. School? What's that? What Wyatt knows is endless work and endless travel. Uncle Spade's got a plan to make Wyatt a bareknuckle fighter and he keeps finding new ways for Wyatt to train: hiring him out to hoist bales of hay for strength and tassel corn for speed, and sending him for beer runs in all weather for endurance. But even though he's been living hardscrabble his whole life, Wyatt's a gentle giant who really doesn't want to fight anyone. He's deferential to his uncle, polite to Spade's ladyfriends, and always a little confused about where he is and what he's doing - until one night when Wyatt, now 18, has had enough and learns to fight back.

All libraries will be closed today for Thanksgiving. Mendenhall Valley Library will be open holiday hours, 12-5 p.m., on Friday, Nov. 26. Douglas and downtown libraries will be closed.



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