Tuesday, May 6, 2008

May 2009

Pygmy
5/5/09
Chuck Palaniuk
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The Manchurian Candidate meets South Park—Chuck Palahniuk’s finest novel since the generation-defining Fight Club.

“Begins here first account of operative me, agent number 67 on arrival Midwestern American airport greater _____ area. Flight _____. Date _____. Priority mission top success to complete. Code name: Operation Havoc.”

Thus speaks Pygmy, one of a handful of young adults from a totalitarian state sent to the United States, disguised as exchange students, to live with typical American families and blend in, all the while planning an unspecified act of massive terrorism. Palahniuk depicts Midwestern life through the eyes of this thoroughly indoctrinated little killer, who hates us with a passion, in this cunning double-edged satire of an American xenophobia that might, in fact, be completely justified. For Pygmy and his fellow operatives are cooking up something big, something truly awful, that will bring this big dumb country and its fat dumb inhabitants to their knees.

It’s a comedy. And a romance.

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Kiss of Life
5/12/09
Daniel Waters
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The phenomenon that's been sweeping the country seems to be here to stay. Not only are the teenagers who have come back from their graves still here, but newlydeads are being unearthed all the time. While scientists look for answers and politicians take their stands, the undead population of Oakville have banded together in a group they're calling the Sons of Romero, hoping to find solidarity in segregation.

Phoebe Kendall may be alive, but she feels just as lost and alone as her dead friends. Just when she reconciled herself to having feelings for a zombie -- her Homecoming date Tommy Williams -- her friend Adam is murdered taking a bullet that was meant for her. Things get even more confusing when Adam comes back from the grave. Now she has romantic interest in two dead boys; one who saved her life, and one she can't seem to live without.

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Dull Boy
5/14/09
Sarah Cross
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Sometimes I wish I didn't care what would happen if anyone knew the truth about me. But I do care. I have to keep this - super strength, flying - a secret. No one can know - not my parents, not my friends... It's just that it's getting harder to hide it.

Superpowers are awesome - unless you actually have them, like Avery does. There's only so much he can pass off as "adrenaline" before people start to get suspicious. Probably it's best to lie low, so guys in white lab coats don't come to carry him away, to find out what makes his freakish body tick. Who wants to be vivisected? But flying under the radar becomes a whole lot harder when you can actually fly. It's dangerous to be different, so for now he'll pretend to be normal, unremarkable Avery - a dull boy - anything to keep his secret safe.

What he doesn't expect is the horrifying truth about where his powers came from, who else might have them, and the madness of one villain's plan to turn this superpowered dull boy into something even more powerful and amazing.

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Strange Angels
5/14/09
Lili ST. Crow
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Dru Anderson has been “strange” for as long as she can remember. She travels from town to town with her father, hunting the things that go bump in the night and eat the unwary. It’s a weird life, but a good one–until it all explodes and a zombie busts into her new house.

Alone, terrified, and trapped in an icy town, Dru’s going to need every inch of her wit and training to stay alive. Can she trust the boy who is just a little too adult–and just happens to get bit by a werwulf? Or the strange blue-eyed boy who tells her she’s heir to a long-forgotten power? Can she even trust her own instincts?

Because Dru is not the first in her family to be killed by the darkness of the Real World. The monsters have decided to hunt back–and now Dru has to figure out who to trust, who to fight, and when to run. And not incidentally, she has to figure out how she’s going to get out of this alive.

And she has to do it in the next 24 hours, or it’s all over…

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Once Dead Twice Shy
5/21/09
Kim Harrison
read excerpt
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Madison is dead. After she fled her prom with a mysterious guy and ended up in a crashed car—only to survive and then be struck down by this guy’s magical sword—she has existed in a curious state of purgatory. She still walks around, interacts with others, eats, and sleeps, only now she does so in the company of Barnabas, a light reaper—a kind of angel who fights off dark reapers trying to harvest the souls of people about to make fate-altering decisions. There are also timekeepers, dark wings, guardian angels, seraphs, and magical amulets. If you’re already clutching your head in despair, you won’t be alone: the architecture of Harrison’s world is confusing even after several explanations. However, for ardent fans of the good-looking undead, this has plenty of verve, an enjoyable role reversal (Madison is constantly rescuing the good-guy hunk), and is quite fun when the supernatural characters are placed within a regular high-school milieu. Like it or not, a sequel is rising from the underworld as we speak.


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5/26/09
See No Evil
by Jamila Gavin

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Throughout her cosmopolitan childhood, 12-year-old Nettie has never minded that she doesn’t go to school. Her rarefied world begins to crumble, though, after her favorite tutor, Miss Kovachev, disappears from the family’s opulent London mansion. When her parents evade questions, Nettie determines to find her beloved teacher, and she enlists Bennie, the night watchman’s son, in her search. Clue by clue, they uncover the horrifying truth about Nettie’s father, Vlad, and the sources of his vast wealth. Miss Kovachev’s diary adds a third viewpoint to Bennie and Nettie’s stories, and the jerky shifts in narrative, as well as several key contrivances, distract readers from the story’s strengths. In addition, the audience most likely to connect with tweenage Nettie, a horse-loving aspiring ballerina, might not be ready to absorb the realities of Vlad’s criminal empire (particularly its human trafficking operations).

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Killer Pizza
5/26/09
Greg Taylor

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Pizza you’lldie for!

Toby McGill dreams of becoming a world-famous chef, but up until now, his only experience has been watching the Food Network. When Toby lands a summer job at Killer Pizza, where pies like The Monstrosity and The Frankensausage are on the menu, things seem perfect. His coworkers, Annabel and Strobe, are cool, and Toby loves being part of a team. But none of them are prepared for what’s really going on at Killer Pizza: It’s a front for a monster-hunting organization!

Learning to cook pizzas is one thing, but killing hideously terrifying monsters? That’s a whole other story. Still, if Toby quits Killer Pizza, will monsters take over his town?

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