Subscribe to The Horn Book

More fantastic books for older readers

One new sci-fi/fairy tale and three paranormal novels provide plenty of heart-pounding reading for middle school and high school fans.

Drink, Slay, LoveSixteen-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)

CinderIn 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 Space BetweenThe 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)

Cynthia K. Ritter About Cynthia K. Ritter

Cynthia K. Ritter is associate editor of The Horn Book Guide. She earned a master's degree in children's literature from Simmons College.



  1. All red covers…. more than just coincidence?! Great round-up from a sister publication (I’m the editor of SLJTeen) – thanks

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind