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Featured Reads: Week of 3/20

March 20, 2017
The Riveted Team
YA Fiction Is Our Addiction

Happy Monday!

Once again, we’ve got a broad assortment of options for your reading pleasure this week! New for this week, we’ve got an extended excerpt of Tom Leveen’s latest YA, Hellworld, a creepy and suspenseful adventure (is “suspense-ture” a thing?) that follows a teen struggling to discover what happened to her mother who disappeared during a ghost hunt. Also from Tom Leveen, we’re featuring a full read of his novel Random, a tense and gripping exploration of cyberbullying and teen suicide. Then on a lighter note, whether you’ve already ventured out to see the lovely Emma Watson in Beauty and the Beast this weekend and need more Belle in your life or are biding your time and building up the anticipation, our extended excerpt of Cameron Dokey’s Belle is for you—it’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast that ventures far from the movie you might be familiar with but is full of the romance and adventure you crave. Finally, we’ve got a full read of The Storyspinner, the first book in Becky Wallace’s The Keepers’ Chronicles, a fantasy series in which a sixteen-year-old girl is caught up in the dukes’ plots for the throne, while a group of magical warriors race to find the missing heir who will change their entire world. 

Of course, that’s not all, last week’s reads are still available for a few more days! Read the extended excerpt of The Shadows We Know By Heart, Jennifer Park’s debut novel about a girl who’s complicated family life starts to unravel after she finds herself falling for a mysterious boy who lives in the forest behind her house (WITH SASQUATCHES!!!). There’s also Donna Jo Napoli’s Hush, the tale of an Irish Princess, kidnapped and sold into slavery, A. R. Kahler’s Shades of Darkness, the first book in his fantasy trilogy described as American Gods meets The Secret History, and Sarah Ockler’s #Scandal, an edgy, comedic novel about what happens when a Facebook scandal goes viral after prom. Plus, we’ve also kept the extended excerpt of Emma Chastain’s YA-novel-in-the-spirit-of-Bridget-Jones’s-Diary Confessions of a High School Disaster available for a bonus week!

Find out more about this week’s reads:

Hellworldby Tom Leveen

In an effort to put her family back together, a teen struggles to discover what happened to her mother who disappeared during a ghost hunt in this haunting new novel from the author of Party, Sick, and Shackled.

Five years ago, Abby Booth’s mom, cohost of a ghost hunting reality show, went missing while filming in a ‘haunted’ cave in Arizona.

Since then, Abby’s life has all but fallen to pieces, most notably because of her dad’s deep depression and how they’ve drifted further and further apart.

But now, at seventeen, Abby has decided that things will change. She plans to go to the same cave where her mom and the crew went missing and to find out, once and for all, what happened there.

With the help of the cohost’s son Charlie, and two of his friends, Abby sets off on a quest for answers…but when the group ends up finding, what they stumble across in that dark, primordial cave in Arizona, is nothing they could have ever imaged.

Abby was investigating a possible haunting…she never expected that there could be something worse.

Randomby Tom Leveen

Who’s the real victim here? This tense and gripping novel explores of the consequences of cyberbullying.

Late at night Tori receives a random phone call. It’s a wrong number. But the caller seems to want to talk, so she stays on the line.

He asks for a single thing—one reason not to kill himself.

The request plunges her into confusion. Because if this random caller actually does what he plans, he’ll be the second person connected to Tori to take his own life. And the first just might land her in jail. After her Facebook page became Exhibit A in a tragic national news story about cyberbullying, Tori can’t help but suspect the caller is a fraud. But what if he’s not? Her words alone may hold the power of life or death.

With the clock ticking, Tori has little time to save a stranger—and maybe redeem herself—leading to a startling conclusion that changes everything…

Belleby Cameron Dokey

The story of Beauty and the Beast finds new life in this magical and imaginative retelling that’s filled with romance and adventure.

By the time her sixteenth birthday comes around, Belle feels more convinced than ever that she is being called by the wrong name. Unlike her older sisters Celeste and April, whose names suit them perfectly, Belle knows that she is not beautiful. She begs to be called by her given name, Annabelle—or even Anna for short—but to no avail. Her solace is her wood-carving hobby, and she longs to find the Heartwood tree: Legend has it that, when carved by the right hands, it can reveal the face of one’s true love.

One day, during a fierce storm, Belle’s father stumbles upon the fabled tree—only to become ensnarled by it and come face-to-face with a terrifying and lonely Beast, who will set him free on one condition: that Belle carves the Heartwood. Belle agrees, never dreaming that she and the Beast have the same wish: to be seen not with the eyes of the mind, but of the heart.

The Storyspinnerby Becky Wallace

Read the deleted prologue of The Storyspinner here!

Drama and danger abound in this fantasy realm where dukes play a game for the throne, magical warriors race to find the missing heir, and romance blossoms where it is least expected.

In a world where dukes plot their way to the throne, a Performer’s life can get tricky. And in Johanna Von Arlo’s case, it can be fatal. Expelled from her troupe after her father’s death, Johanna is forced to work for the handsome Lord Rafael DeSilva. Too bad they don’t get along. But while Johanna’s father’s death was deemed an accident, the Keepers aren’t so sure.

The Keepers, a race of people with magical abilities, are on a quest to find the princess—the same princess who is supposed to be dead and whose throne the dukes are fighting over. But they aren’t the only ones looking for her. And in the wake of their search, murdered girls keep turning up—girls who look exactly like the princess, and exactly like Johanna.

With dukes, Keepers, and a killer all after the princess, Johanna finds herself caught up in political machinations for the throne, threats on her life, and an unexpected romance that could change everything.

The Shadows We Know by Heartby Jennifer Park

In this haunting and luminescent debut novel, a girl’s complicated family life starts to unravel after she finds herself falling for a mysterious boy who lives in the forest behind her house.

Leah Roberts’s life hasn’t been the same since her brother died ten years ago. Her mother won’t stop drinking, her father can’t let go of his bitter anger, and Leah herself has a secret she’s told no one: Sasquatches are real, and she’s been watching a trio of them in the woods behind her house for years.

Everything changes when Leah discovers that among the sasquatches lives a teenager. This alluring, enigmatic boy has no memory of his past and can barely speak, but Leah can’t shake his magnetic pull. Gradually, Leah’s life entwines with his, providing her the escape from reality she never knew she needed.

But when Leah’s two worlds suddenly collide in a deadly showdown, she uncovers a shocking truth as big and extraordinary as the legends themselves, one that could change her life forever.

Confessions of a High School Disasterby Emma Chastain

In the tradition of Bridget Jones’s Diary, a lovably flawed high school student chronicles her life as she navigates the highs and lows of family, friendship, school, and love in a diary that sparkles with humor and warmth.

I’m Chloe Winter, and my life is kiiiiind of a disaster.

On the plus side, I got the lead in the musical!

On the down side…

1. I’m a kissing virgin (so so so embarrassing).
2. My best friend, Hannah, is driving me insane.
3. I think I’m in love with Mac Brody, the most popular senior guy, whose girlfriend is so beautiful she doesn’t even need eyeliner.
4. My dad won’t stop asking me if I’m okay.
5. Oh, and my mom moved to Mexico to work on her novel. But it’s fine—she’ll be back soon. She said so.

Mom tells me everything is copy. So I’m writing down all the horrible things that happen to me in this diary.

This is the worst year of my life so far, unless maybe it’s the best.

#scandalby Sarah Ockler

Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend, Ellie, gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And especially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.

When Cole surprises her at the after-party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of…and the biggest BFF deal breaker ever. But before they get the chance to ’fess up to Ellie, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising photos of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral.

By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal.

Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know that there’s only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love…

Hushby Donna Jo Napoli

An Irish princess is kidnapped and sold into slavery in this powerful retelling of an Icelandic legend from award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli, a companion to Hidden.

Melkorka was a princess, the first daughter of a magnificent kingdom in medieval Ireland—but all of this is lost the day she is kidnapped and taken aboard a marauding slave ship. Thrown into a world that she has never known, alongside people that her former country’s laws regarded as less than human, Melkorka is forced to learn quickly how to survive. Taking a vow of silence, however, she finds herself an object of fascination to her captors and masters, and soon realizes that any power, no matter how little, can make a difference.

Shades of Darknessby A.R. Kahler

Islington Arts Academy is not an average high school. Nestled in the forests of Michigan, surrounded by trees and nature and virtually no evidence of civilization, it is an oasis for those looking to get away. Perfect for a student like Kaira Winters, who wants nothing more than to put her past behind her and focus on the present…and her looming graduation, just a few months away.

But the past has a way of returning when least expected.

Kaira knows that what happened before, at her old school, wasn’t normal. She knows that what happened to her ex-boyfriend wasn’t natural. But she refuses to believe that the recent death on campus, the one that left everyone on edge, has anything to do with her. She refuses to believe that she could be at fault again.

But just as the past always returns, the truth can never stay hidden for long.

Even if Kaira didn’t cause the first death at Islington, or the second, or the third, she has the ability to find out who did. She has the obligation to stop whatever is coming to campus. To end the darkness that is falling with the same snow that once blanketed the woods in beauty.

But to embrace this power—to relinquish herself to the ancient entity that has been lurking in the corners of her mind–is to let go of her humanity…and Kaira doesn’t know how far she can go before she loses herself completely.