Must Read Fiction Blog

Must Read Fiction

Make time for books! Columnist Mandi will share the fiction she most enjoyed reading this year, as well as her favorite music, and fashion tips. Stay with us on the LCLS TeenLib for great reviews and more. Be sure to contact us with ideas and suggestions.
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September 23, 2015
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her...but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead...quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

Description from Overdrive:

September 23, 2015
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Marcus, a.k.a "w1n5t0n," is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school's intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.

But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they're mercilessly interrogated for days.

When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.

Description from Overdrive:

July 10, 2015
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight. 

Now a major motion picture. 


July 10, 2015
Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

I'm the daughter of murdered parents.
I'm the friend of a dead girl.
I'm the lover of my enemy.
And I will have my revenge.

In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she'll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process.

Sharp and incisive, Daughter of Deep Silence by bestselling author Carrie Ryan is a deliciously smart revenge thriller that examines perceptions of identity, love, and the lengths to which one girl is willing to go when she thinks she has nothing to lose.

From the Hardcover edition.


May 29, 2015
Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she's suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she's comin' for you, New York!

It's history in the making from acclaimed writer G. Willow Wilson (Air, Cairo) and beloved artist Adrian Alphona (RUNAWAYS)! Collecting MS. MARVEL (2014) #1-5 and material from ALL-NEW MARVEL NOW! POINT ONE #1. (less)

May 29, 2015
Undertow by Michael Buckley

Sixteen-year-old Lyric Walker’s life is forever changed when she witnesses the arrival of 30,000 Alpha, a five-nation race of ocean-dwelling warriors, on her beach in Coney Island. The world’s initial wonder and awe over the Alpha quickly turns ugly and paranoid and violent, and Lyric’s small town transforms into a military zone with humans on one side and Alpha on the other. When Lyric is recruited to help the crown prince, a boy named Fathom, assimilate, she begins to fall for him. But their love is a dangerous one, and there are forces on both sides working to keep them apart. Only, what if the Alpha are not actually the enemy? What if they are in fact humanity’s only hope of survival? Because the real enemy is coming. And it’s more terrifying than anything the world has ever seen.

April 22, 2015
Paper or Plastic By Vivi Barnes

Welcome to SmartMart, where crime pays minimum wage... 
Busted. Alexis Dubois just got caught shoplifting a cheap tube of lipstick at the local SmartMart. She doesn’t know what’s worse—disappointing her overbearing beauty-pageant-obsessed mother for the zillionth time…or her punishment. Because Lex is forced to spend her summer working at the store, where the only things stranger than the staff are the customers.

Now Lex is stuck in the bizarro world of big-box retail. Coupon cutters, jerk customers, and learning exactly what a “Code B” really is (ew). And for added awkwardness, her new supervisor is the totally cute—and adorably geeky—Noah Grayson. Trying to balance her out-of-control mother, her pitching position on the softball team, and her secret crush on the school geek makes for one crazy summer. But ultimately, could the worst job in the world be the best thing that ever happened to her?


Vivi Barnes was a featured author at the 2015 Lake BookFest.

April 22, 2015
Red Queen By Victoria Aveyard

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.


March 26, 2015
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. 

Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.



March 26, 2015
Jackaby by William Ritter

“Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion--and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary--including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

June 16, 2014
Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners--and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's, young ladies learn to finish...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but the also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage--in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education.

Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail's legions of fans have come to adore.

May 19, 2014

Travis Coates has a good head...on someone else's shoulders. A touching, hilarious, and wholly original coming-of-age story from John Corey Whaley, author of the Printz and Morris Award-winning Where Things Come Back.

Listen-Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn't.
Now he's alive again.
Simple as that.

The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but Travis can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy's body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he's still sixteen, but everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she's not his girlfriend anymore? That's a bit fuzzy too.

Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, there are going to be a few more scars.

Oh well, you only live twice.


April 14, 2014
Of Poseidon

Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen's not fully convinced that Emma's the one he's beennbsp;looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark provesnbsp; that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help--no matter what the risk.


February 19, 2014
Olivia Brophy and the Sky Island by Chris Tozier

Olivia’s life is in turmoil ever since she accidentally froze all of the world’s water and her aunt and uncle were kidnapped by the Wardenclyffe thugs. With the help of a black bear named Hoolie, she must travel across America to undo the damage she caused. Hungry and wounded, she stumbles into a secret valley invisible to the outside world. There she meets an ancient civilization with no intention of letting her leave.

In the meantime, Doug and Gnat are drawn deeper into the world of Junonia, the mysterious city built in the aquifer beneath Florida. Doug works diligently to scientifically document the discovery of giant tardigrades when his secret is accidentally revealed to the last person in the world he wanted to tell, Larry Mutch. Caught in an epic battle, Doug must find a way to save himself, Gnat, and the bully who doesn’t want his help.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Christoper Tozier was awarded a 2011 Individual Artist Fellowship from the State of Florida. He lives in an unnamed Florida scrub where he often sees bears, coral snakes, and giant walking sticks.  The author will be appearing at the 2014 BookFest

December 10, 2013
The Last Dragonslayer

In the good old days, magic was indispensable—it could both save a kingdom and clear a clogged drain. But now magic is fading: drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and magic carpets are used for pizza delivery. Fifteen-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for magicians—but it’s hard to stay in business when magic is drying up. And then the visions start, predicting the death of the world’s last dragon at the hands of an unnamed Dragonslayer. If the visions are true, everything will change for Kazam—and for Jennifer. Because something is coming. Something known as . . . Big Magic.

Adult author Jasper Fforde's foray into children's books will delight readers who like their fantasy with a dash of silliness. Since the Great Zambini disappeared six months earlier, the job of running Kazam Mystical Arts Management has fallen to Jennifer Strange, a foundling two weeks shy of 16, but sensible beyond her years. Jennifer has just begun her mentorship of another foundling, Horton "Tiger" Prawns, when she learns she is the Last Dragonslayer...Publishers Weekly Review


October 29, 2013
Eleanor & Park

A stunning debut young adult novel about two misfits falling in love for the first time.  Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it's like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it's like to be young and in love with a book."-John Green, The New York Times Book Review

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says. So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers. I'm not kidding, he says. You should be, she says, we're 16. What about Romeo and Juliet?Shallow, confused, then dead. I love you, Park says. Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers. I'm not kidding, he says. You should be. Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits-smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you'll remember your own first love-and just how hard it pulled you under. Eleanor Park is the winner of the 2013 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Best Fiction Book.



August 16, 2013
The Book Thief

The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that will be in movie theaters on November 15, 2013, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist-books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.



June 24, 2013

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is, she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Veronica Roth is the New York Times bestselling author of Divergent, the first in a trilogy of dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

March 22, 2013
Croak & Scorch by Gina Damico

This book is currently one of my favorites and I have to tell you about this hilariously creepy novel starring the niece of the Grim Reaper.

Croak: Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.

He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business…

Scorch: Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby is a teenage grim reaper with the bizarre ability to Damn souls. That makes her pretty scary, even to fellow Grims. But now Lex is a pariah in Croak, the little town she calls home. To escape the townspeople’s wrath, she and her friends embark on a wild road trip to DeMyse. Though this sparkling desert oasis is full of luxuries and amusements, it feels like a prison to Lex. Her best chance at escape would be to stop all the senseless violence that she caused—but how can she do that from DeMyse, where the Grims seem mysteriously oblivious to the bloodshed?


Enjoy these Creepy humor filled novels!!!!

March 5, 2013
Christopher Tozier: Coming to BookFest 2013

Christopher Tozier is the author of Olivia Brophie and the Pearl of Tagelus, the first in a middle-grade fantasy series set in the wilds of central Florida and published by Pineapple Press. He was selected as a 2011 State of Florida Artist Fellowship recipient and his poetry has appeared widely.

Olivia Brophie and the Pearl of Tagelus is written for middle-graders. It is fast paced, larger than life and filled with lessons on Florida habitat, above and below the ground. It is the first in a series, and by the end of this initial offering Olivia is in even more trouble than she was throughout the previous 214 pages. Tighten your harness the carnival ride is about to crank into overdrive.” The Florida Book Review.

You can meet this exciting author @4:30pm inside the Tavares Public Library on March 13th, March 14th at the Umatilla Public Library and at 6:30pm during the Author’s Reception at The W.T. Bland Public Library in Mount Dora on March 15th.

February 5, 2013
Shadow of Night

I recently picked up the All Souls series, a #1 New York Times bestseller by Deborah Harkness and it’s exceptionally captivating. A Discovery of Witches introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript. Book Two of the All Souls Trilogy, Shadow of Night, plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies and subterfuge with a rich and splendid tapestry of alchemy, magic, and history.

Check it out in the online library catalog{CKEY}&searchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^&user_id=WEBSERVER