Eyes of the Forest (Henry Holt and Company, 2021) by April Henry is a bit different than the author’s usual YA mystery or thriller. This one has humor and purple prose (you’ll have to read it to find out) as well as danger.
The problem: Bob is missing. Only Brigid can help.
Bob aka R. M. Haldon is a fantasy writer of an epic series who has writer’s block and is not writing the book, Eyes of the Forest. Seventeen-year-old Brigid is his biggest fan and has maintained R. M. Haldon’s fantasy world database since she was twelve. Her classmate Derrick loves LARPing (live action role play) but is not sticking to only pretend events. Ajay is involved because he invited a girl to lunch.
It really is a fun read. The book was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award and was on the Tome Society “It List.”
Read some fun facts about April or check out all her teen books.
I expected to like The Left-Handed Booksellers of London (Katherine Tegen Books, 2020) by Garth Nix, and I wasn’t wrong. What’s better than fantasy mixed with booksellers? I’m so happy it is a series and that book two is already out.
Set in an alternative 1983, eighteen-year-old Susan Arkshaw goes to London early for college, but also plans to find out more about her father–a man she’s never met. She doesn’t expect to run into magic. But then she meets Merlin, a left-handed bookseller, in the very upsetting occasion of him killing “Uncle Frank” with a prick of a pin. When he protects her from a horse-sized bug, and says “we’ll both be dead if we stay,” she follows him out the window. It turns out her quest and his overlap. Will they both get the answers they are searching for?
I like the humor, mysteries, and of course the magical parts of this adventure. More than any of the author’s other books, I’d love to see this one made into a movie.
This bestselling author has a number of fantasy titles plus some stand alone books–check them out on his website. Read about Garth Nix here. And, yes, as his FAQ answers, Garth Nix is his real name.
The Kingdom of Back (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2020) by Marie Lu is such an unexpected story–history and fantasy–about the other Mozart. The sister.
It’s 1759 and Nannerl Mozart wants to be recognized as a musical prodigy. She doesn’t want to be forgotten. Her younger brother Wolfgang is getting more and more attention. While she helps him with his compositions, she is secretly composing herself. But when a stranger from a dream promises she’ll be remembered, things go oddly wrong.
This is Marie’s first historical novel. And is a standalone book. Most of her other books are series. Read about all her titles here. Read about The New York Times bestselling author here. I’m really looking forward to her newest title coming next April: Stars and Smoke.
Winterwood (Simon Pulse, 2019) is another winner by Shea Ernshaw the author of The Wicked Deep.
Each month at full moonrise, Nora Walker enters the woods in search of lost things. “The things that are lost at Jackjaw Lake in summers past are once again found in the woods. Appearing as if the forest is giving them back.” But she never expected to find a body.
I found this spooky romantic book unputdownable. There’s a fun trailer on the author’s website for this book.
Read about NY Times bestselling author Shea and her other books here. I’ve got more books to read! 🙂
The Kingdom (Henry Holt, 2019) by Jess Rothenberg is a freaky good YA novel. The story is told in an interesting way with a mixture of events in the present, such as post trial interviews, and those in the past with what happened from the main character’s viewpoint. It will keep you guessing and on edge.
Ana is a Fantasist at a theme park where everyone’s fantasy can come true. Bioengineered species–formerly extinct–exist along with the beautiful Fantasist sisters. But then Ana, and others, experience things beyond their programming. When a maintenance worker goes missing, Ana is put on trial for murder. Did she really kill someone?
This is Jess Rothenberg’s second book. Read about the author here. And check out the foreign additions of The Kingdom here.