New Releases: Warrior Girls, Camus, and a Life up for Auction

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett, by Chelsea Sedoti
Hawthorn is a misfit girl whose imagination leads her down some wild paths—but now, it just might help her solve a mystery. When former high school popular girl Lizzie Lovett goes missing, Hawthorn finds herself increasingly drawn to find out what happened to her and why, drifting into the orbit of the life Lizzie left behind. Taking over the missing girl’s abandoned restaurant job and getting involved with her ex-boyfriend leads Hawthorn not only toward increasingly frightening hypotheses about what happened to her—could her ex be a murderer?—but also to confounding revelations about Lizzie’s post–high school fate.

Life in a Fishbowl, by Len Vlahos
Vlahos’s gift for writing blackly comic heartrenders was made clear in his debut The Scar Boys, and his latest promises to do it again. Jackie’s still reeling from her father’s terminal brain cancer diagnosis when her family is hit with another blow: in a last-ditch effort to support them before he’s gone, her father auctions off his life on eBay. A ghoulish cast of characters are drawn in by the promise of a “human life…to control,” including the eventual winner: a reality TV exec who sees it as the premise of his next hit show.  As her family life becomes a fishbowl, Jackie works behind the scenes to derail the network at every step.

Maresi, by Maria Turtschaninoff
Turtschaninoff’s dark fairy tale, translated from Finnish, opens in the heart of the Red Abbey, where girls and women who’ve survived abuse and misfortune learn to move on from their dark pasts—or hone their desire for revenge. Maresi tries to escape her fears by focusing on her happy, bookish new life in the abbey, but newcomer Jai hungers for retribution against the father who killed her sister. When the demons of her former life encroach on the abbey’s safety, its inhabitants and their triple-aspect goddess must fight back or lose their way of life.

Freeks, by Amanda Hocking
As the daughter of a performer in a mystical traveling carnival, Mara is accustomed to a life lived against the backdrop of magic. When she meets a cute boy named Gabe in the Louisiana town where they’ve set up camp, getting to know him gives her a peek at the normal life she craves. But there’s something lurking in the atmosphere, a darkness that sets off the radar of the carnival’s performers and eventually explodes into violence. In order to save the ones she loves, Mara must come into the powers she has long suppressed.

Love and First Sight, by Josh Sundquist
In YouTuber Sundquist’s debut novel, blind teen Will Porter has a rocky start at his new high school—but it all seems worth it when he meets Cecily. The two seem destined for romance, but an experimental surgery changes everything: for the first time, Will can see, and readers, too, will see the world fresh through the eyes of someone who was born blind. When he learns both Cecily and his friends were dishonest about her appearance, his response is a complicated blend of disappointment, guilt, and anger at his blindness being taken advantage of.

Under Rose-Tainted Skies, by Louise Gornall
Norah’s OCD and agoraphobia have cut her off from the world outside her house, but when the boy next door catches her trying to tug groceries in off the porch, he wants to know more about her—and she starts letting him into her life. Slowly, painfully, she shares herself with him, warts and all. But romance isn’t a cure-all, and their love story is just one part of her journey toward self-acceptance and, maybe, a better relationship with the world outside.

Wayfarer, by Alexandra Bracken
In Bracken’s Passenger, modern-day teen violinist Etta is shunted back through time, becoming a hostage on an era-hopping ship. She quickly learns she’s a member of one the remaining few families with the ability to time travel, and forms a dangerous alliance with the ship’s captain and her abductor, former slave Nicholas. The two travel across a patchwork globe of different time periods to retrieve an artifact hidden by Etta’s mother—but at the start of sequel Wayfarer, Etta is separated not just from her mother and Nicholas, with whom she has fallen in love, but from the era she was born to. Nicholas and Etta fight their way back to each other, across a crinkled timeline that takes them to places around the globe and across history.

Because of the Sun, by Jenny Torres Sanchez
For Dani, grieving her mother following the woman’s death in a terrible animal attack is complicated: her mother was emotionally abusive, and Dani never felt loved. Soon after the loss, she chooses Albert Camus’s The Stranger for summer reading—a book that begins with its narrator’s seeming indifference in the face of his mother’s death—then is sent to live with an aunt she barely knows. During the long treks she takes to escape her stifling new home, she meets Paulo, who helps her come to terms with the new terrain of her life.

The Book Jumper, by Mechthild Glaser
Both of them reeling from a personal trauma—bullying and a breakup, respectively—Amy and her mother leave their adopted home of Germany to return to her mother’s birthplace: a lonely Scottish island, where Amy’s grandmother still lives in her great house. It’s there Amy learns of her family’s strange legacy: they’re book jumpers, able to enter the world of any book by means of specific ceremonial gestures. Each member is given the care of a particular book, and she starts out inside The Jungle Book. But her extraordinary book-jumping abilities soon carry her beyond the terrain of Kipling’s story, and she discovers book world is in danger. A ruthless thief is moving from story to story, stealing crucial ingredients. Alongside fellow book jumper Will, Amy races to stop the thief before literature pays an irrevocable price.

The Cursed Queen, by Sarah Fine
In The Impostor Queen, a smart subversion of the Chosen One narrative, a girl meant to be queen is discovered not to possess the powers she was supposed to have. Among the Kupari people, the Valtia is both queen and powerful mage, passing her abilities on after death to an heir identified by her birthmark. But when Elli, marked and trained all her life to lead, doesn’t inherit her predecessor’s magic, she’s first tortured, then exiled. It’s in exile that her true story begins, one of building a new life and destiny from scratch. Companion novel The Cursed Queen follows Ansa, a one-time prisoner of the fierce Krigere people, and now one of its warriors. In battle she’s cursed by a Kupari witch queen with powers that result in accidental fatalities; Ansa fights to control her unwanted abilities, while struggling to perceive the true loyalties of the woman she loves, the new Krigere chieftain.

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