October 31, 2014

Casual Friday: All About YA Horror... Mua ha ha ha

Greetings Misfiteers!

Happy Halloween!



So, since it's Halloween I thought it would be cool to share some awesome YA horror. I'll start with some books and leave you with some movies!

Here's some great YA horror novels to make your Halloween spooooooooooooky!

Can't go wrong with Kendare Blake's ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD. 

From Goodreads

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas's life.
 




In the mood for a creepy abandoned orphanage? Try Ransom Riggs MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN.

From Goodreads

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.



But what about the zombies?? Perhaps Courtney Summers' THIS IS NOT A TEST would be the right book for you!

From Goodreads

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?


Um, this cover alone for Courtney Alameda's SHUTTER would freak out even the most die-hard YA horror reader. In case you missed it, Courtney visited the Misfits and shared about her process and how she came up with the idea of SHUTTER.

From Goodreads

Horror has a new name: introducing Courtney Alameda.

Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She's aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera's technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn't exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she's faced before . . . or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.


So, what about the movies? There have been some pretty awesome YA horrors that have been made in the last few decades. Here's some of my personal faves!

Scream 

One of the best made. It was believable and fun, the best kind of a horror!



Final Destination
That beginning is one of the most memorable. I won't ruin it for those who haven't seen it but every time I think of that movie, that's the scene that appears in my head.


Nightmare on Elm Street
Classic scary. Take away our sleep? That's just cruel. Also, who doesn't love the razor-blade -fingered Freddy Krueger?


I Know What You Did Last Summer
Who doesn't remember when Jennifer Love Hewitt screamed, "What are you waiting for?" 


Honorable Mentions
Friday the 13th
Halloween
The Lost Boys
Sleepaway Camp
Cabin Fever
Carrie


What about you? Any books or movies you'd add?

Have an awesome and safe Halloween, Misfiteers!!



October 30, 2014

Band Geek Thursday: Trisha Leaver's Playlist for Creed

With Halloween just around the corner, we have a special treat for all of you (since we're not really tricksters around here...or are we?). Today we have a very special playlist for Trisha Leaver's YA Psychological Horror, CREED, releasing November 8th, 2014! Without further ado, I'll Trisha to tell you more!

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CREED is the story of tree teens—Dee, Luke, and Mike—who accidentally find themselves stranded in town run by charismatic leader, Elijah Hawkins. It chronicles their three day long struggle to free themselves, not only physically but mentally, from Elijah’s control. The playlist below speaks to the desperation, fear, and hope that kept them alive, fighting for a way out as opposed to blindly accepting their fate.


The “official” Creed Blurb:
Three of us went in
Three of us came out
None of us a shadow of who we once were.

When their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Dee, her boyfriend Luke, and Luke’s brother, Mike, seek help in the nearby town of Purity Springs. But as they walk the vacant streets, the teens make some disturbing discoveries. The seemingly deserted homes each contain a sinister book with violent instructions on disciplining children. The graveyard is full of unmarked crosses. Worst of all, there’s no way to contact the outside world.

When Purity Springs’ inhabitants suddenly appear, Dee, Luke, and Mike find themselves at the mercy of Elijah Hawkins, the town’s charismatic leader who has his own plans for the three of them. Their only hope for survival is Elijah’s enigmatic son, Joseph. And his game may be just as deadly as his father’s . . .




Black Roses – Clare Bowen  This is Joseph’s and Dee’s song. It speaks to broken promises and hollow words. It is dark and desperate and reflects to the anger Dee will carry around with her for the rest of her life.

Don’t Give UpPeter Gabriel  In way, this song represents Dee’s entire life. The internal demons that she can never seem to escape and her daily struggle to overcome her past and gain control of her future.

Make This Place Your Home – Phillip Phillips.   “Settle down and it will all become clear.” This one line encapsulates Elijah Hawkins relationship with Dee.  The idea that he knows what’s best and that he, singlehandedly, is capable of erasing her past.

Skyfall – Adele  Luke and Dee’s relationship was one of the main focal points of this book.  It’s what keeps Dee sane while simultaneously destroying any sense of peace and security she's managed to achieve.  This song…this line: “Where you go I go? I know I’d never be me without the security of your loving arms” defines them in every possible way.

Fix you – Coldplay  Ahh … this song. So perfect on so many levels. When I would get stuck in a scene or couldn't quite nail down the right emotions, I would play this song on repeat.  The idea of lights guiding you home, of loving someone then having it got waste… it’s all just so perfect.

Song for Someone – U2  Dee’s song…Dee’s mantra.  Her desire, her need to scream her story from the hills while knowing no one will hear her, no one will believe her.

Jar of Hearts – Christina Perri  To me, this song represents Dee going forward, what happens the next day and the day after that. The way Dee now approaches life, the way she feels about Elijah Hawkins and his son, Joseph. She may be a shadow of who she once was, but in the end she won…beat them at their own game.


Trisha Leaver is the co-author of the YA, Psychological Horror, CREED, releasing November 8th, 2014 with Flux/ Llewellyn. Her solo YA Contemporary, THE SECRETS WE KEEP, release April 28, 2015 with FSG/ Macmillan. Find out more at:
Twitter @tleaver
Purchase CREED at: Indiebound   Barnes and Noble   Amazon


October 16, 2014

Band Geek Thursday: Amy Reed's DAMAGED Playlist

Good morning, Misfits! Today on the blog, we have Amy Reed, telling us about her playlist for her new book, DAMAGED. Take it away, Amy!

DAMAGED is the story of Kinsey and Hunter’s road trip from Michigan to California the summer after senior year, and I think of
this playlist as the soundtrack of their journey. The music reflects the landscapes they travel through, but more importantly, I think it also describes their internal struggles and relationships with each other. For me, the best songs tell a story. All the songs I included on Kinsey and Hunter’s playlist say something about who they are, where they’re coming from, or where they’re headed. Plus, they’re just really awesome songs.

Here’s a little about DAMAGED:
After Kinsey’s best friend Camille dies in a car accident during which Kinsey was driving, Kinsey shuts down, deciding that numbness is far better than mourning. All she wants during the last few weeks of high school is to be left alone, but Camille’s mysterious boyfriend, Hunter–who was also in the car that night–has different ideas.
Despite all of Kinsey’s efforts, she can’t outrun Camille, who begins haunting her dreams. Sleep deprived and on the verge of losing it, Kinsey runs away with Hunter to San Francisco. As they drive across the country, trying to escape both the ghost of Camille and their own deep fears, Kinsey questions all she once believed about her friendship with Camille. Hunter, meanwhile, falls into a spiral of alcoholism, anger, and self-loathing. Ultimately, Kinsey and Hunter must come to terms with what they’ve lost and accept that they can’t outrun pain.
(Disclaimer: I am a recovering music nerd in my mid-30’s, and I very much believe that little good music has come out since the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. This playlist reflects that.) 

xoxo
Amy






Michigan Girls—Califone (Unfortunately, this song is not on Spotify, but you can listen to it on YouTube here)
This is best friends Kinsey and Camille’s song. It makes me think of them floating on their backs in Lake Michigan, looking at clouds and dreaming about their futures. It has so much of their sentimentality and yearning.

Michigan—The Milk Carton Kids
Another song about Michigan. I heard this song for the first time on Pandora when I was running, and I had to stop in the middle of a park for about half an hour to text myself the story ideas that popped into my head. “Michigan’s in the rearview now” is the chorus. “What am I supposed to do now, without you?” This is Evie’s song about leaving Michigan, about saying goodbye to Camille.

The Upper Peninsula—Sufjan Stevens
Really, I could use the entire “Michigan” album by Sufjan Stevens, but that would be cheating. This song perfectly captures the desolation and stark beauty of the UP.

The Last Spike—Cowboy Junkies
Kinsey and Hunter come across several ghost towns and empty, abandoned places during their travels. This song is about the death of a town just like those, and it’s one of the saddest and most haunting songs I’ve ever heard.

Between the Bars—Elliott Smith 
Anyone who knows me knows that I couldn’t put together a meaningful playlist without including a song by Elliot Smith, who I was minorly obsessed with in my early-20’s. He was a brilliant songwriter who was haunted by similar demons as Hunter and died way too young, by suicide. This song is about loneliness and the desperation to connect, and it’s one of my favorites by him.

Tundra/Desert—Modest Mouse
Just the title makes me think of Hunter and Kinsey’s road trip and the miles of desolate America they cover. This is Hunter’s song. It mirrors his intensity and extreme poles of emotion.

I Wish I Was the Moon—Neko Case
One of my very favorite Neko Case songs. These lyrics really encapsulate what both Kinsey and Hunter are going through: 

Last night I dreamt I had forgotten my name
'Cause I had sold my soul but awoke just the same
I'm so lonely
I wish I was the moon tonight

God blessed me, I'm a free man
With no place free to go
I'm paralyzed and collared-tight
No pills for what I fear

Tellings—Ida
I love the sweetness of this song, despite the lyrics hinting at loss and disappointment. It makes me think of Kinsey starting to fully understand and accept the love she feels for Camille and Hunter despite the pain they both cause her.

California—Joni Mitchell
I remember listening to this song driving over the Golden Gate Bridge in my early 20’s and thinking there’s no song that more perfectly describes the feeling of being giddy with possibility, and how California as a destination symbolizes hope and change for so many people coming from somewhere else. 

Home—Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

I love the playful back and forth between the male and female singer, and how the song is kind of march-like and triumphant. I think of it as Hunter and Kinsey’s homecoming song, when they finally reach San Francisco, but more importantly, when they have begun to find “home” within themselves.



Amy Reed is the author of the edgy, contemporary YA novels BEAUTIFUL, CLEAN, CRAZY, and OVER YOU. Her new book DAMAGED releases October 14, 2014. Find out more at www.amyreedfiction.com.
Twitter: @amyreedfiction
Facebook



October 9, 2014

Band Geek Thursday: OF SCARS AND STARDUST by Andrea Hannah

Happy Band Geek Thursday, Misfiteers! Today on the blog we've got a very special friend of the Misfits, Of Scars and Stardust author Andrea Hannah! She's here with a playlist for her brand-spankin'-new psychological thriller, about sisters and love and oh just read it because it's beautiful and chilling and it's the perfect read as the weather shifts to cold and creepiness is in the air.... And here's Andrea Hannah!


I’ll be completely honest: I don’t listen to music when I write. There’s something about sitting in the dark, in silence, that really helps me to let my thoughts unravel and I haven’t quite figured out how to do that with music humming along in the background. 

That being said, I do a lot of prep work before I sit down for a writing session. I’ll take down notes and snippets of description and dialogue that come to me throughout the day in Evernote. Then, before I sit down, I play a few songs on repeat while I’m busy making dinner or chasing my kids around to kind of train my brain that it’s almost time to write. But once I start, it’s dead silence.

Below is the playlist I put together when writing my debut novel, Of Scars and Stardust. This is not typically the kind of music I listen to (except for City and Colour), but the tone of this novel calls for low-key, thoughtful, kind of morose tunes. And Fever Ray? That artist is brilliant but her music also makes my stomach twist and my heart pound, which is exactly what I needed when I was envisioning the snapping, biting wolves hidden in brittle cornfields. Below is a short excerpt, when Claire and her sister Ella ride through the cornfields and are just starting to notice something strange about them:
       
     Our bike tires whirred as we cut through the dirt road and the cold air. The cornfields on either side of us blurred into a smear of brown and dripped over into the cement sky. The wind made my face sting and my eyes water, and a few tentative snowflakes shuddered free from the clouds. I dug my boots into the pedals.
    I glanced back. Our house was a little red speck in the middle of broken stalks. The cornfield snapped and rustled in front of me. Ella jerked her bike in between the stalks and pedaled furiously through the snow.
            “Ell—wait.” I shoved my bike forward. But the tires just sank.
            “Crap!” she yelled. Her tires kicked up patches of snow as she inched through the stalks. “Forget this.” She hopped off her bike and let it fall to the ground. I swung off my own bike and followed her.
            “This way,” she huffed. “Right over there.”
            We trudged through the field. I shivered under my coat as I stepped over the broken stalks that Rae and I had sat between just two days before. The spot smelled muddy and earthy like spring. No, the whole field smelled like spring. Like the promise of something about to bloom.
            “Ell, does it smell like spring to you?”
            She stopped and wrinkled her nose. “Nope. It smells like rotting dead things.”
            I touched the dried leaves and they snapped off in my glove. Maybe I just really wanted it to smell hopeful like spring, instead of dead like winter. 

Songs: 

"Werewolf" by Cat Power. This is the book in a nutshell (minus the werewolves part. No humans-turned-wolves in this story). It’s dark and soulful and makes me think of winter and scary things.

"We Found Each Other in the Dark" by City and Colour. Lots of dark happenings in this book, and Claire and childhood crush Grant still end up back in each other’s orbit.

"A Drop in the Ocean" by Ron Pope. Even though this is supposed to be a romantic song, the line “...praying that you and me might end up together” reminds me of Claire and her longing to finally be with her sister.

"Satellite Heart" by Anya Marina. “I’m a satellite heart, lost in the dark. I’m spun out so far...” Claire’s constant questioning of her own sanity. 

"Cosmic Love" by Florence + The Machine. Once again, relating to the kind of love that seems fateful between Claire and Grant.

"I Didn’t Mean It" by The Belle Brigade and "Keep the Streets Empty For Me" by Fever Ray.  Both of these songs have that eery, ominous vibe that the book carries when Claire becomes the town pariah and her frame of mind switches.

"Never Say Never" by Tristan Prettyman. When Claire first leaves Ohio, she thinks that she’ll never have the chance to go back and make amends, but she even though she said “never,” she finds herself back in her hometown.

"Winter" by Joshua Radin. The whole book is winter incarnated, and this song totally reflects that vibe.



Andrea Hannah lives in the Midwest, where there are plenty of dark nights and creepy cornfields as fodder for her next thriller. She graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in special education. When she’s not teaching or writing, she spends her time chasing her sweet children and ornery pug, running, and dreaming up her next adventure. You can find her at www.andreahannah.com and on Twitter @andeehannah.

October 8, 2014

Wednesday Book Club: #WeNeedDiverse(Comic)Books recommendations by I.W. Gregorio

On the eve of New York Comic Con, YA Misfits is excited to have a guest post from author I.W. Gregorio, who will on the Geeks of Color Go Pro and #WeNeedDiverse(Comic)Books panels tomorrow at #NYCC. Make sure to check out The Book Smugglers Thursday to see the cover reveal for her debut YA novel, None of the Above

I grew up loving the X-Men for a ton of reasons - the angst! The humor! The human pathos! But looking back, I think I was especially drawn to the X-universe because it did such a good job of reflecting the diversity of our world: They had a disabled headmaster, a black female leader, a host of LGBT characters, and one of the first female Asian-American characters who wasn’t a cliche.


It wasn’t until recently, as I started reading to my daughter, that I dove back into the world of graphic novels. I was amazed and impressed to find some real gems that push comics beyond the superhero sterotype. Below, some incredible graphic novels from stunning and diverse voices that deserve amplifying:

El Deafo by Cece Bell

I’ve got to thank the New York Times whose stellar review prompted me to read this fantastic autobiographical novel about growing up hearing impaired. I actually purchased it from my local indie a couple days before it came out… and my daughter and I finished it the day before it’s actual release date. The little one loved the book so much we read it between meals, in the car, and of course at bedtime. A winner in every possible way, showing that we all have a superhero inside us. Happy to have been an early adopter, as the book is a Junior Library Guild selection, a NYT bestseller, and finalist for the Kirkus Prize.

The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang

Gene Luen Yang is no stranger to acclaim, having won the Printz and been a National Book Award finalist for American Born Chinese and Boxers & Saints. But in some respects The Shadow Hero is my favorite Gene Yang book yet. It’s funny, it’s moving, it’s so incredibly fast paced that I read it in one sitting. And I love, love, love how it plays on comic tropes while simultaneously making fun of Asian mom stereotypes that ring oh-so-true to me. Check out Gene’s speech on diversity in comics from the National Book Festival (and a picture of him sporting his We Need Diverse Books button!). 

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

The first 100 pages of Persepolis taught me more about the thorny politics of the Middle East than years of reading the New York Times and Washington Post. In stark, sometimes chilling images, Satrapi tells of the Islamic Revolution through the eyes of a child. Persepolis was made into a movie, and has received numerous challenges, adding to the tally of diverse books that have been disproportionately banned.
 
Fun House by Alison Bechdel

In this book, newly certified genius Bechdel takes every preconception that I’ve ever had about graphic novels and blows it out of the water. It’s impressive, haunting, and deserves every accolade it’s gotten. I’m somewhat ashamed that I hadn’t read it until recently. In this slim but meticulously illustrated volume, Bechdel touches upon suicide, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and of course sexual identity. I would warn teachers and parents that it has a NC-17 rating due to content, but think that it should be required reading for any college-level graphic novel course.   

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I. W. Gregorio is a practicing surgeon by day, masked avenging YA writer by night. After getting her MD at Yale, she did her residency at Stanford, where she met the intersex patient who inspired None of the Above, her debut novel (pitched as Middlesex meets Mean Girls). A founding member of We Need Diverse Books™, she serves as its VP of Development. She is a recovering ice hockey player and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. Follow her on Twitter at @iwgregorio.

October 1, 2014

Wednesday Book Club: Five Awesome October Reads

Happy October, Misfiteers! It's a fantastic month for YA, so I wanted to share five of my favorite reads so far so you know what to look forward to! It's also been a really busy month, so while I share the book info here, I didn't leave my own reviews, but they're all here because I thought they were fantastic reads and highly recommend them! Enjoy! 

Perfectly Good White Boy by Carrie Mesrobian (10/1)


Sean Norwhalt can read between the lines.

"You never know where we'll end up. There's so much possibility in life, you know?" Hallie said.

He knows she just dumped him. He was a perfectly good summer boyfriend, but now she's off to college, and he's still got another year to go. Her pep talk about futures and "possibilities" isn't exactly comforting. Sean's pretty sure he's seen his future and its "possibilities" and they all look disposable.

Like the crappy rental his family moved into when his dad left.

Like all the unwanted filthy old clothes he stuffs into the rag baler at his thrift store job.

Like everything good he's ever known.

The only hopeful possibilities in Sean's life are the Marine Corps, where no one expected he'd go, and Neecie Albertson, whom he never expected to care about.

"We're something else. Some other thing. I don't know what you'd call it. Maybe there's a word, though. Maybe I'll think of it tomorrow, when it won't matter," Neecie said.


Bleed Like Me by Christa Desir (10/7)

From the author of Fault Line comes an edgy and heartbreaking novel about two self-destructive teens in a Sid and Nancy-like romance full of passion, chaos, and dyed hair.

Seventeen-year-old Amelia Gannon (just "Gannon" to her friends) is invisible to almost everyone in her life. To her parents, to her teachers-even her best friend, who is more interested in bumming cigarettes than bonding. Some days the only way Gannon knows she is real is by carving bloody lines into the flesh of her stomach.

Then she meets Michael Brooks, and for the first time, she feels like she is being seen to the core of her being. Obnoxious, controlling, damaged, and addictive, he inserts himself into her life until all her scars are exposed. Each moment together is a passionate, painful relief.

But as the relationship deepens, Gannon starts to feel as if she's standing at the foot of a dam about to burst. She's given up everything and everyone in her life for him, but somehow nothing is enough for Brooks-until he poses the ultimate test.

Bleed Like Me is a piercing, intimate portrayal of the danger of a love so obsessive it becomes its own biggest threat.

Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez (10/7)

Valentina Cruz no longer exists.

One moment, she was wrapped in Emilio’s arms, melting into his kiss. The next, she was witnessing the unthinkable: a murder in cold blood, ordered by her father and carried out by her boyfriend. When Emilio pulled the trigger, Valentina disappeared. She made a split-second decision to shed her identity and flee her life of privilege, leaving the glittering parties and sultry nightlife of Miami far behind.

She doesn’t know how to explain to herself what she saw. All she knows now is that nothing she believed about her family, her heart, or Emilio’s love, was real.

She can change her name and deny her past, but Valentina can’t run from the truth. The lines between right and wrong, and trust and betrayal, will be blurred beyond recognition as she untangles the deceptions of the two men she once loved and races to find her own truth.

Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah

After her little sister mysteriously vanishes, seventeen-year-old Claire Graham has a choice to make: stay snug in her little corner of Manhattan with her dropout boyfriend, or go back to Ohio to face the hometown tragedy she's been dying to leave behind.

But the memories of that night still haunt her in the city, and as hard as she tries to forget what her psychiatrist calls her "delusions," Claire can't seem to escape the wolf's eyes or the blood-speckled snow. Delusion or reality, Claire knows she has to hold true to the most important promise she's ever made: to keep Ella safe. She must return to her sleepy hometown in order to find Ella and keep her hallucinations at bay before they strike again. But time is quickly running out, and as Ella's trail grows fainter, the wolves are becoming startlingly real.

Now Claire must deal with her attraction to Grant, the soft-spoken boy from her past that may hold the secret to solving her sister's disappearance, while following the clues that Ella left for only her to find. Through a series of cryptic diary entries, Claire must unlock the keys to Ella's past—and her own—in order to stop another tragedy in the making, while realizing that not all things that are lost are meant to be found.

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

It's an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp -- the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn't return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp's done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance -- and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her.

This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance

 
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