The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two
By Catherynne M. Valente
Feiwel and Friends, 256 pages, $18.99
If books were translated into colours, the Fairyland series would be a metallic rainbow. Valente's world is so rich with playfulness and detail and wonderful weirdness, both young readers and adults will be delighted with it. The third book in the series follows September, now driving a Model-A, back to Fairyland for more adventures. This time, she must travel to the moon to find her friends, A-through-L, a Wyverary (a wyvern who is also a library), and Saturday, a Marid (blue-skinned, born of the ocean, and somewhat unstuck in time). The moon of Fairyland is marauded by a Yeti; conquering him is September's task. A sound fairy tale and adventure story, this is also a book about ideas, imagination, and how to grow up without losing a sense of awe. Absolutely top-drawer.
By Veronica Roth
HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books, 544 pages, $21.99
If you don't know about Veronica Roth yet, this is your five-minute warning. Allegiant is the final book in the wildly popular dystopian trilogy – a film adaptation of the first book, Divergent, will be released early next year. In a society split into factions based on singular virtues, "divergent" Tris Prior struggles with having more than one dominant trait. The factions have crumbled, and a war for control breaks out. With a corkscrew plot and action, action, action, it is a feverish read. And, that ending, oh, that ending. Brace yourself.
By V.E. Schwab
Tor Books, 368 pages, $28.99
Ferocious fun. Technically for "new adult," or regular adult, audiences, Vicious will be welcomed and devoured by slightly younger readers who have an appetite for bad guys. Victor and Eli are college roommates who make some dangerous discoveries with their studies: namely, about the existence of those with supernatural powers. The friendship turns to rivalry as a struggle for power threatens to eclipse the young men's sense of right and wrong. Told along parallel plotlines 10 years apart is a coming-of-age tale and one of revenge most ruthless.
If You Could Be Mine
By Sara Farizan
Algonquin Young Readers, 247 pages, $13.21
This heartbreaker of a story is about two young women in love in Iran, where homosexual relationships are illegal, and can have dangerous consequences. When Sahar learns of Nasrin's impending arranged marriage, she is prepared to take drastic measures for the two to be together by appealing for sexual reassignment surgery. Told in a fairly straightforward style, the relation of the anguish of threatened love is very real, and speaks to experiences largely untouched upon in books for young adults.