22 January 2015

Imprint Thursday: A Teen Quartet

If you're a long-time reader of Beth Fish Reads, don't be thrown off. No, this isn't Friday, but it is imprint day. I love several of HarperCollins's teen imprints, and today I'm featuring Katherine Tegen Books and HarperTeen. Here are my reactions to two recent releases from each imprint.

Twisted Fate by Norah OlsonFirst up from Katherine Tegen Books is Norah Olson's Twisted Fate. This psychological thriller/mystery is a little bit creepy and maybe even disturbing, so you might want to keep the lights on when you're reading it. Two sisters, Ally and Syd, couldn't be more different, but when a new boy, Graham, moves into the neighborhood, they both eventually fall under his spell. Ally loses her heart completely to Graham, but Syd is less trusting. The story--which involves a missing child, teen romance, and family relationships--is told from several viewpoints. The clues are dropped slowly, and you'll be wondering which sister has the better instincts. The author is a former crime-beat journalist, so you can bet she gets the details just right. (age 13+; 9780062272041)

Willowgrove by Kathleen PeacockKathleen Peacock's Willowgrove is the third book in her Hemlock trilogy (published by Katherine Tegen Books). I have to confess that I haven't read any of the books (Hemlock and Thornhill are the first two) yet because I needed to take a paranormal break. But now I'm back in the mood for some handsome weres, and this action-packed trilogy looks good. The series promises teen love, conflicts between good and evil, questionable medical experiments, and teenage friendships. Apparently Peacock is not afraid to kill off her characters, so there are no guarantees; anything could happen. The overall story starts with a murder, the rise of lupine syndrome (or werewolf virus), and deep secrets. This paranormal/romance is not for the faint of heart. (age 14+; 9780062048714)

The Prey by Tom IsbellWhat's a young adult roundup without a little dystopian fiction? Tom Isbell's The Prey (from Harper Teen) imagines a world that has been devastated by a mega radiation event, which destroyed all electronics. A couple of decades later, in the Republic of the True America, children are captured and raised for use in medical experiments and for much more evil purposes. The divide between the haves and have-nots has never been wider. Twin sisters Hope and Faith, with the help of some boys, escape their captors, setting off a nonstop-action story as the group fights for survival and freedom. Told from alternating viewpoints, this novel offers a lot of excitement but is a little light on world building. It is the first in a planned trilogy, so perhaps more details will be revealed in the next book. (age 13+; 9780062216014)

Playlist for the Dead by Michelle FalkoffMichelle Falkoff's Playlist for the Dead (from Harper Teen) touches on several difficult issues, including bullying and suicide. When Sam discovers Hayden's death by suicide, he uses the playlist suicide note to try to understand what happened. As he works his way through the songs, Sam begins to connect with new people and learns some surprising things about his best friend. Despite some beautifully written passages and a sensitive handling of gut-wrenching topics, Falkoff's contemporary fiction debut doesn't quite hold up. Among the problems, I found the playlist to be a bit gimmicky, often not adding much to the plot, and the pacing had a stop-and-start feel rather than a flow. Although not a five-star novel, readers interested in teen problems, might want to give it a try. (ages 13+; 9780062310507)


rhapsodyinbooks 1/22/15, 7:39 AM  

I might have to check out that Willowgrove series. I'm in the mood for werewolves....

Daryl 1/22/15, 8:27 AM  

if i ever finish Dublin Murder Squad's first book 'In the Woods' i will need something to cleanse my palette and a few of these sound good… thanks

bermudaonion 1/22/15, 10:12 AM  

Twisted Fate sounds good to me and I love the cover.

Belle Wong 1/23/15, 10:33 PM  

Twisted Fate and the Willowgrove series sound good to me.

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