My first book this month is from my own publisher, Aladdin M!x. Golden Girl is Mari Mancusi's first book with Aladdin M!x, but it is not her first book overall. In fact, she's an award-winning young adult novelist and an Emmy award-winning TV producer. After reading this book, I can also say she's a phenomenal middle-grade author!
My next book is from a very talented author named Alison Cherry whose middle grade, The Classy Crooks Club, comes out from my publisher in late March. More about that one next year! But this month, I learned about Alison's phenomenal talent by reading one of her young adult novels, For Real.
I've never been able to get into The Amazing Race as a TV show...but if it were as interesting as it is in Alison's book, I'd be hooked! In For Real, two sisters go on a race around the world for live TV, only to find out at the last minute that it's a dating show version of the reality show. There's a little romance but the most important storyline is the relationship between the sisters. Alison really dug deep on this one and the result is a fun, adventurous story with a winning character arc.
I also read two anthologies--the first was a compilation that included our blogging friend Leandra J. Wallace.
Brave New Girls: Tales of Girls and Gadgets celebrates women and technology. Many of the stories are futuristic but they all revolve around smart, tough, kick-butt heroines who are brilliant with tech. Leandra's story, The Mad Scientist's Daughter, is about a young inventor who works hard to hide the fact that her father is a much-hated inventor. My other favorites included Blink, a story about a young girl and a time machine; Lyra, a futuristic take on Cinderella about an artificial-intelligence system that goes awry, and Panic, an all-too-realistic story about being trapped in a crowded room where shooting is taking place.
The holidays are here, so I had to read this one, which features our very own Medeia Sharif. It was co-edited by another blogging friend of mine, Kelly Hashway, so double reason to read it!
Fright Before Christmas: 13 Tales of Holiday Horrors has 13 great horror stories with a Christmas theme. While I was reading these stories, I couldn't help but think that many of them represented a child's worst nightmares. My favorites were Medeia's story about a video game that evokes a very evil Santa, Ally Matthews' story about two brothers who venture into the cold forest to test out a legend, and Patrick Hueller's story about a little boy who gets coal in his stocking...and learns he's lucky--really bad boys don't get to see Christmas morning. Every one of these stories was a true page turner. I found that I couldn't wait to read the next story.
What's the best book you read in 2015?