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Book Reviews: New Titles

 
 Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Fans of Star Wars and Divergent will revel in internationally bestselling author Veronica Roth’s stunning new science-fiction fantasy series.

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a current gift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their current gifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s current gift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows. Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual current gift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.

 Gutless by Carl Deuker

From the author of Gym Candy and Heart of a Champion comes a novel of football and bullying, finding friends and finding courage.

With both good speed and good hands, wide receiver Brock Ripley should be a natural for the varsity team, but he shies away from physical contact. When he gets cut from varsity, he also loses his friendship with star quarterback Hunter Gates who begins lashing out at not only Brock, but also Brock’s friend, the quiet and smart Richie Fang. Brock wants to stand up for Fang, but he is younger, smaller, and doesn’t want to cause problems. But when the bullying goes too far, will Brock be able to face his fears, stop being a bystander, and prove to himself that he is brave enough?  

 

 
Defy The Stars by Claudia Gray
From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Lost Stars and Bloodline comes a thrilling sci-fi adventure that Kass Morgan, bestselling author of The 100 series, calls "startlingly original and achingly romantic...nothing short of masterful."
 
She's a soldier.
Noemi Vidal is seventeen years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She's willing to risk anything--including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she's a rebel.
He's a machine.
Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that's begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he's an abomination.
Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they're not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they're forced to question everything they'd been taught was true.

18584855 Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.


At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.


Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.


28110849 Dust Bowl Girls by Lydia Reeder
At the height of the Great Depression, Sam Babb, the charismatic basketball coach of tiny Oklahoma Presbyterian College, began dreaming. Like so many others, he wanted a reason to have hope. Traveling from farm to farm, he recruited talented, hardworking young women and offered them a chance at a better life: a free college education if they would come play for his basketball team, the Cardinals.

Despite their fears of leaving home and the sacrifices faced by their families, the women followed Babb and his dream. He shaped the Cardinals into a formidable team, and something extraordinary began to happen: with passion for the game and heartfelt loyalty to one another and their coach, they won every game.

Combining exhilarating sports writing and exceptional storytelling, Dust Bowl Girls conveys the intensity of an improbable journey to an epic showdown with the prevailing national champions, helmed by the legendary Babe Didrikson. And it captures a moment in American sports history when a visionary coach helped his young athletes achieve more than a winning season.
 
28588026 Comics Confidential: Thirteen Graphic Novelists Talks Story, Craft, and Life Outside the Box Compiled and Edited by Leonard S. Marcus
A must-have collection for comics fans and creators everywhere, packed with interviews and original comics by today’s foremost graphic novelists.

Respected anthologist Leonard S. Marcus turns his literary microscope to the world of comics, which has lately morphed and matured at a furious pace. Powerful influences from manga to the movies to underground comix have influenced the thirteen artists and writers interviewed in these pages to create their own word-and-picture narratives. Here are their moving, funny, inspirational stories: true tales from the crucible of creative struggles that led each to become a master of one of today’s most vibrant art forms. The book also contains an original graphic short on the common theme of "the city" from each of the artists, a mini-comic set in a cityscape of their choosing—present-day, historical, or imaginary.