Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

2010 Lincoln Award Winner Nominee

Edith Wharton meets The Gossip Girls in this intriguing novel about five teens of different social classes in Manhattan during the late 19th century. Despite the strict rules of society and the best-laid plans of parents and others, they lead dangerously scandalous lives. - Ms. Monegato

A big, sumptuous tale of catty girls, dark secrets and windswept romance unfurls in this compulsively readable novel of late-19th-century New York City socialites. Godbersen weaves a tenuous web of deceit, backstabbing and pretense that follows four teens: Elizabeth Holland, a prim and proper lady of old-money society, is betrothed to one man, though furtively loves another; Henry Schoonmaker, a debauched playboy who must marry Elizabeth or be disinherited; Diana Holland, Elizabeth’s younger sister who is in love with her fiancĂ©; and Penelope Hayes, a member of the nouveau riche who will stop at nothing to win Henry’s affections. As Elizabeth and Henry’s wedding approaches, the spectacle unfolds in a wondrously grandiose scene, making for a fun, though not entirely unexpected dĂ©nouement. A delicious new twist along the Gossip Girl vein, readers will clamor for this sharp, smart drama of friends, lovers, lies and betrayal. - from Kirkus Reviews

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

2010 Lincoln Award Winne Nominee.

If you enjoy Fairy Fiction, you will like this book. It is reminiscent of the novels by Holly Black. Aislinn is an engaging main character, a teen that has the power to see fairies, but she must keep it a secret from them. The Summer King is in hot pursuit of her, to make her his Queen. That's all I'm giving away - you have to read it! It's a hip, romantic tale about urban fairies! - Ms. Monegato
Melissa Marr adds elegantly to the sub-genre of Urban Faery with this enticing, well-researched fantasy for teens. Wicked Lovely takes place in modern-day Huntsdale, a small city south of Pittsburgh whose name evokes the Wild Hunt of mythology. High school junior Aislinn and her grandmother have followed strict rules all their lives to hide their ability to see faeries because faeries don't like it when mortals can see them, and faeries can be very cruel. Only the strongest faeries can withstand iron, however, so Aislinn prefers the city with its steel girders and bridges. She takes refuge with Seth, her would-be lover, who lives in a set of old train carriages.

But now Aislinn is being stalked by two of the faeries who are able to take on human form and are not deterred by steel. What do they want from her?

One is Keenan, the Summer King, who has been looking for his Queen for nine centuries, bound by the rules and rituals that govern his quest. The other is Donia, a victim of those rules, consigned to the role of Winter Girl when she failed Keenan's test, yet still in love with him. Certain that Aislinn is the woman he must marry, Keenan shows up as a charismatic new student at her high school, unaware that she sees his true form. He's determined to court her and is puzzled by her rebuffs. Suddenly, none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe is working anymore, but things aren't going as Keenan expects either. Both will have to change, make startling compromises and enlist surprising allies if they want to break free from the wicked game that has ensnared them.

Their greatest challenge will be to avoid the fatal traps laid by Keenan's mother, the Winter Queen. She will lose her power if Keenan finds his mate, and she will do anything to stop this. Unfortunately, she's a little too over the top to be totally threatening, a campy version of Hans Christian Andersen's Snow Queen -- part Disney witch, part Endora in "Bewitched." But this didn't stop me from devouring the book.

Marr creates a fully realized world that conveys the details and the politics of faery life. The suspense remains taut, as the point of view shifts between Aislinn, Keenan and Donia, allowing the reader to develop sympathy for all of them. Marr's lyrical language and sensual imagery capture both the confused emotions and the physicality of adolescence.-The Washington Post

The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding

2010 Lincoln Award Winner Nominee

A phenomenally scary body of work - read this with the lights on!
I couldn't put it down! A very sophisticated story for this genre; very well-researched. The plot moves quickly and with many surprises. Mr. Wooding's powers of description are impressive. - Ms. Monegato
Jack the Ripper meets the supernatural in this Bosch-like horror tale set in an alternate Victorian London where supernatural "wych-kin" lurk around every corner waiting to prey on humans. Hot on the trail of a vampirelike "Cradlejack," 17-year-old wych-hunter Thaniel stumbles upon beautiful Alaizabel Cray, who unknowingly has been possessed by an "old wych" named Thatch. Determined to rescue Alaizabel from Thatch and the sinister cult responsible for depositing the evil spirit in Alaizabel's body, the innately chivalrous Thaniel slashes and burns his way through a nightmarish city crawling with enough ghastly human and supernatural villains to stock a wax museum. Eerie and exhilarating, this book marks a thematic and stylistic departure from Wooding's earlier, more contemporary teen novels of partying, drug addiction, and pyromania. Instead, he fuses together his best storytelling skills–plotting, atmosphere, shock value–to create a fabulously horrific and ultimately timeless underworld where heroes battle menacing foes to save the world from demonic overthrow. -From School Library Journal