One new sci-fi/fairy tale and three paranormal novels provide plenty of heart-pounding reading for middle school and high school fans.
Sixteen-year-old vampire Pearl discovers she can withstand sunlight after an encounter with a unicorn in Sarah Beth Durst’s Drink, Slay, Love. Her family sends her up to the local high school to procure refreshments (i.e., students) for the upcoming king’s feast. Pearl becomes attached to perky Bethany and gorgeous Evan, but her violent subterranean life ultimately forces her to choose sides. A lively antihero, Pearl is fierce, smart, and sarcastic in this sweet, unusual romance. Durst creates an original, tough-as-nails brood of vampires…who will leave you thirsty for more. (14 years and up)
In Marissa Meyer’s debut novel Cinder, the first book in the Lunar Chronicles series, teenage cyborg mechanic Linh Cinder is treated as subhuman while living with her evil guardian stepmother and two stepsisters. A chance encounter with New Beijing’s Prince Kai changes Cinder’s life forever. As Cinder aids in Kai’s search for the missing heir to the Lunar throne, she and the prince are drawn to each other. Add in plague, androids, hovercrafts, and a palace ball for a sci-fi/fairy tale mash-up that is out-of-this-world fantastic. (12 years and up)
Diabolical is the fourth book in Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Tantalize series. When guardian angel Zachary teams up with wolfboy Kieren to make a daring rescue at the mysterious Scholomance Academy, they find themselves locked in and joining forces with an eclectic group of students to face down their demonic instructor, an axe-wielding caretaker, and the very hounds of hell. The Harry Potter–worthy final battle between good and evil — with a welcome dose of devilish humor added in — make this installment an expertly woven narrative, bringing new readers up to speed while satisfying invested fans with a happily-ever-after ending. (14 years and up)
The daughter of a demon and a fallen angel living in Pandemonium, one of Hell’s cities, Daphne is the unlikely heroine in Brenna Yovanoff’s The Space Between. But when her favorite brother, Obie, disappears on Earth, Daphne must venture from her protected life to the gritty sludge of Earth to find him. Aided by Truman, a self-destructive mess of a boy, Daphne must scramble to understand Earth as she attempts to complete her mission. And thanks to alternating narration by Daphne and Truman, the teenagers’ hard-earned love unfolds compellingly. (14 years and up)