New Releases: Dark Magic, Wild Frontiers, and the Pursuit of Musical Greatness

Tell the Wind and Fire

The Glittering Court, by Richelle Mead 
In Mead’s new series starter, a steel-spined orphaned countess flees an arranged marriage with a dullard to take her maidservant’s place in the Glittering Court. The Court is equal parts school and training ground, devoted to transforming lowborn Osfridian girls into delicate ladies, destined for marriages in the wild frontier country of Adoria. Adelaide quickly takes to her new life, but it’s complicated by a doomed attraction to the son of the Court’s founder—and further perils await her among the eager suitors and unmapped lands across the sea.

Tell the Wind and Fire, by Sarah Rees Brennan 
In a world filled with cities Dark and Light, Sophie and Ethan live in Light New York, protected by Light magic and by guards keeping watch for the work of both Dark magicians and the rebel group Sans-Merci. Sophie is a Dark city refugee with power and a bitter secret, and Ethan is the lucky rich boy who seems to steer clear of their world’s danger…until the day he’s arrested for the capital crime of treason. The appearance of a boy who shares his face both saves his life and reveals his darkest secret: he has a doppelganger, a dark magic creation to which he’s inextricably bound.

The Haters, by Jesse Andrews
Three friends meet at jazz camp, make musical magic, then promptly hit the road, leaving the lameness of camp behind in favor of an impromptu summer tour for their hastily formed trio. Best friends Wes and Corey (on bass and drums) are joined by female guitar player Ash, finding adventures ranging from run-ins with eccentrics to a very bad drug trip, in pursuit of a chance to get great. This sophomore novel from the author (and screenwriter) of Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl promises to be funny, offbeat, and profane.

The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions), by Amy Spalding
In the latest from Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) author Spalding, type-A overachiever Jules finds her plans for academic and extracurricular domination waylaid by the arrival of new kid (and one-time celebrity pop star) Alex Powell. Romance starts to brew…until Alex joins the school’s video news team, making him an insta-rival to print reporter Jules. Obsessed with maintaining journalistic dominance, Jules goes deep to make her enemies pay, but may just find her way back to love at the end.

Asking for It, by Louise O’Neill
O’Neill’s brutal examination of rape culture centers on 18-year-old Emma, a golden girl in her small Ireland town until her gang rape at a summer party. While Emma struggles to remember what happened after she drank too much, her attackers fill in the gaps with explicit photos of the assault posted online. A criminal investigation begins and Emma’s story spreads, till she’s facing alienation and public shame at home, and the curiosity and censure of the wider world.

When We Collided, by Emery Lord
Jonah is one of six kids struggling to keep their seaside family restaurant afloat after their father’s death, and to survive their mother’s crippling depression. Then Vivi moves to town, a vibrant girl whose manic peak—she’s off her medicine for bipolar disorder—looks a lot like the kind of lust for life Jonah is longing for. But their new love might not be enough to keep both of them afloat, as Vivi’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic.

Tell Me Three Things, by Julie Buxbaum 
Two years after her mother’s death, Jessie finds herself yanked out of the familiar and dragged across the county to Los Angeles, to live with the woman her dad just eloped with. She feels completely out of place at her new prep school, until an anonymous guide who calls themselves Somebody Nobody starts emailing her a piecemeal survival guide to her new life. As the connection between them grows to encompass anything and everything, she tries to reconcile her IRL crushes with the person behind the email address.

Fifteen Lanes, by S.J. Laidlaw 
Noor is being raised in a Mumbai brothel, destined for a life in the sex trade like her mother before her. Across town, Grace is a white expatriate, the privileged daughter of a CEO, whose tenuous sense of self is destroyed by a bullying campaign. As Grace begins to self-destruct, Noor accesses her inner tiger, attending school and rising to the top of her class despite the abuse and instability that dictate her life. Their stories combine during Grace’s mandatory community service, kicking off a bond that transcends pain and circumstance.

The End of FUN, by Sean McGinty
Aaron lives in a world where choosing to live wholly in the real world comes at a steep cost. The book takes the form of his Application for Termination of augmented reality system FUN. As one of the program’s earliest adopters, Aaron has had all kinds of empty, expensive, FUN-approved fun, but now he wants out. Even though his real life isn’t that great either—he’s in debt, his fun is turning to fail, his grandpa has just died—he wants to take a chance on building a worthy non-virtual existence.

Away We Go, by Emil Ostrovski
Westing is an elite boarding school with a fatal catch: every one of its students is dying of Peter Pan Virus, an epidemic sweeping the nation’s youth population. Inside their walled garden, cut off almost entirely from the outside world, Noah lives his last days as hungrily as he can, drinking, hooking up with both his girlfriend and the boy he’s fallen for, and looking for meaning in a life with a looming end date.

Daughters of Ruin, by K.D. Castner 
In a brutal fantasy world, four girls, each heir to a different kingdom, are being raised by a greedy king. One is his daughter, the rest are hostages, and all are being raised—and trained in the arts of both diplomacy and war—with the aim of one day uniting their kingdoms. Then a violent attack breaks a 10-year peace, setting off an uprising and bringing the girls’ jealousies, weaknesses, and hidden strengths to the surface in a story told in alternating narration by all four would-be queens.

My Kind of Crazy, by Robin Reul
Reul’s comic debut kicks off with a bang—or a spark, as her impulsive romantic hero, Hank, attempts a fiery promposal that nearly burns his crush Amanda’s house down. Unfortunately for Hank, pyromaniac classmate Peyton saw what happened and takes Hank for a fellow traveler. Their bond starts with a misunderstanding, but deepens as Hank comes to see the pain behind Peyton’s obsession with fire. The relationship is complicated both by Amanda’s search for her arsonist admirer and by the leads’ painful family pasts.

Girl in the Blue Coat, by Monica Hesse
In Amsterdam in 1943, Hanneke buries her grief for her boyfriend, killed in combat, in delivering black-market goods. Her work is illegal but flies under the radar in a dangerous time—until a customer asks for her help in locating not an item but a person, a Jewish teen who disappeared from her hiding place within the woman’s house. Soon Hanneke has seen too much to remain uninvolved, and her life is transformed by her commitment to the Resistance.

Dreamers Often Lie, by Jacqueline West
After sustaining a concussion in a skiing accident, Jaye wants nothing more than to get back to her real life, and her role as Titania in her school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. But Shakespeare’s works are spilling over into her offstage life, in the form of the bard and several of his most famous creations—Hamlet, Ophelia, Romeo—visiting Jaye in hallucinated form. Her family’s still in mourning after her dad’s death in a car wreck, and, like the melancholic Dane who’s haunting her, Jaye starts to believe there’s more to his passing than meets the eye. A fantastical fever dream for Shakespeare fans.

Fiona, by Meredith Moore
Daughter of a wannabe American rocker and a Scottish heiress who committed suicide, Fiona is rootless and ready to move on from life with her chilly aunt. Freedom comes earlier than expected, when she receives an email from her mother’s former friend, inviting her to move into her Scotland manor home as her daughter’s au pair. But her new employers are killed before her arrival, her young charge is thrown into mourning, and the manor seems haunted by a strange presence—unless that’s Fiona showing the first signs of the mental illness that led to her mother’s death.

Flamecaster (Shattered Realms Series #1), by Cinda Williams Chima
Set in the world of Chima’s Seven Realms series, but set a generation after its close, Flamecaster kicks off a new epic fantasy story. Ash is a powerful magical healer contemplating turning his abilities toward revenge, when he starts closing in on the murderous king of Arden. Jenna is an orphan with a strange birthmark that has just made her the target of a fierce search by the king’s forces, though she doesn’t know why. When their stories meet, an unexpected connection grows, rooted in their shared enemies but growing into something greater.

The Mirror King, by Jodi Meadows
In The Orphan Queen, scrappy criminal Wilhelmina fights her way from the streets back to her rightful place ruling the kingdom of Aecor, but her troubles don’t end there. In duology ender The Mirror King, she faces a grave magical threat, the everyday perils of queendom, and a doomed romance with the crown prince of a neighboring kingdom.

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