As always, In My Mailbox is brought to you by Kristi, AKA The Story Siren.
This was the best book week I've ever had and many of them were completely unexpected. So, get comfortable, because this may be a long one.
Mia the Magnificent by Eileen Boggess
Release Date: ? (couldn't access Eileen's website, so as you might have noticed the cover is not for the book I have, but another in the series).
After one summer at the Little Tykes Theatre, Mia Fullerton is meek no more, but that doesn't make her life any easier--not in her sophomore year at St. Hilary's, when her best friend Lisa forces her into a dangerously big part in The Music Man. Not when her ex-boyfriend, Tim, is teaching her little brother Chris to treat women like objects. And not when she learns to drive--with serious repercussions.
Who is Mia? Is she an independent girl like Zoe, her acerbic goth friend from Little Tykes? She'd like to be--that's why she's volunteering to be onstage for the first time, in a show populated by her first ex and childhood crush Jake, her arch-nemesis Cassie, and new girl in town Alyssa. That's why it's so important she overcome the bizarre driving instructions of St. Hilary's janitor Mr. Corrigan to earn her driver's license, and therefore her freedom.
Or is she the girl who misses Tim, even after the way he betrayed her? Tim is smart, funny, and likeable in a distinctly obnoxious way, and he's determined to win Mia back--even if he has a funny way of doing so, dating both Cassie and Alyssa at the same time, behind bother their backs. Can Mia forgive Time? Should she instead choose Eric, Zoe's cousin, a nicer and more respectful choice in every way? Or would either choice defeat her goals of independence?
The Temptation of the Night Jasmine by Lauren Willig
Release Date: January 5, 2010 (paperback) from New American Library
A New York Times extended list bestseller and the exciting fifth book in the national bestselling Pink Carnation series.
After years abroad, Robert, Duke of Dovedale, has returned to England to avenge the murder of his mentor. To uncover the murderer's identity, he must infiltrate the infamous, secret Hellfire Club. But the Duke has no idea that an even more difficult challenge awaits him-in a mistaken, romantic-minded young lady.
Charlotte Lansdowne wistfully remembers the Robert of her childhood as a valiant hero among men. Too aware of his own flaws, Robert tries to dissuade Charlotte from her delusions, even as he finds himself drawn to her. When Charlotte takes up a bit of espionage-investigating a plot to kidnap the King-Robert soon realizes that she is more than the perfect partner in crime.
Caught in a dangerous game full of deadly spies and secret rites, Robert and Charlotte must work together to reveal the villain...and confront their true love.
Calamity Jack by Shannon and Dean Hale
Release Date: January 5, 2010 from Bloombury USA Children's Books
Jack likes to think of himself as a criminal mastermind…with an unfortunate amount of bad luck. A schemer, plotter, planner, trickster, swindler...maybe even thief? One fine day Jack picks a target a little more giant than the usual, and one little bean turns into a great big building-destroying beanstalk.
With help from Rapunzel (and her trusty braids), a pixie from Jack’s past, and a man with inventions from the future, they just might out-swindle the evil giants and put his beloved city back in the hands of good people ....while catapulting themselves and readers into another fantastical adventure.
A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup
Release Date: December 22, 2009 from Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
The three Cheeseman children, their father, and their psychic dog are all on the run. From whom? Well the CIA, naturally. But also corporate agents #5, #29, and # 207, plus two international superspies -- one of whom happens to be a chimpanzee. They all want Dr. Cheeseman and his late wife's greatest invention–a machine with unspeakable powers–OK, I'll say it. It's a time machine. But it's not working right yet, so put all ideas of time travel out of your head.
Instead, please enjoy this high stakes, high action, hijinx-filled chase, and the bizarre characters our Cheeseman friends will meet as they protect not just their parents' invention, but their mother's sacred memory. It's an adventure novel like no other.
Oh yeah, and did we mention the entertaining, plot-exposition filled, unsolicited advice you'll receive along the way? So you didn't ask for it? Yeah, that's why it's unsolicited.
Unsolicited Advice #1: Read this book.
Captivate by Carrie Jones
Release Date: January 5, 2010 from Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town.
A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his.
Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey
Release Date: December 22, 2009 from Walker Books for Young Readers
On Solange’s sixteenth birthday, she is going to wake up dead. As if that’s not bad enough, she also has to outwit her seven overprotective older brothers, avoid the politics involved with being the only daughter born to an ancient vampire dynasty, and elude Kieran Black—agent of an anti-vampire league who is searching for his father’s killer and is intent on staking Solange and her entire family.
Luckily she has her own secret weapon—her human best friend Lucy—who is willing to defend Solange’s right to a normal life, whether she’s being smothered by her well-intentioned brothers or abducted by a power-hungry queen. Two unlikely alliances are formed in a race to save Solange’s eternal life—Lucy and Solange’s brother Nicholas, and Solange and Kieran Black—in a dual romance that is guaranteed to jump start any romance-lover’s heart.
Even fans of the genre who’ve seen it all will find a fresh read with kick-butt characters and family dynamics that ring true for all brothers and sisters—vampire or otherwise.
The Returners by Gemma Malley
Release Date: March 2, 2010 from Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
London teenager Will Hodge is miserable. His mother is dead, his father’s political leanings have grown radical, and his friends barely talk to him. To top it off, he’s having nightmares about things like concentration camps. Then Will notices he's being followed by a group of people who claim to know him from another time in history. It turns out they are Returners, reincarnated people who carry with them the memory of atrocities they have witnessed in the past. Will realizes that he, too, is a Returner. But something about his memories is different, and with dawning horror, Will suspects that he wasn’t just a witness to the events, he was instrumental in making them happen. Set in the near future, with the world on the verge of a new wave of ethnic cleansing, Will must choose to confront the cruelty he's known in his past lives, or be doomed to repeat it . . . again.
Firespell by Chloe Neill
Release Date: January 5, 2010 from Signet
From the author of the Chicagoland Vampires novels.
A new series about a boarding school filled with something worse than homework.
Lily's parents have sent her to a fancy boarding school in Chicago filled with the ultra-rich. If that wasn't bad enough, she's hearing and seeing bizarre things on St. Sophie's creepy campus. Her roommate, Scout, keeps her sane, but keeps disappearing at night. When one day Lily finds Scout running from real-life monsters, she learns the hard way that Scout is involved in a splinter group of rebel teens.
They protect Chicago from demons, vamps, and dark magic users. It's too bad Lily doesn't have powers of her own to help. At least, none that she's discovered yet...
Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
Release Date: December 22, 2009 from Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Nimira is a foreign music-hall girl forced to dance for mere pennies. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to sing with a piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new and better life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets are beginning to stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumors swirl about ghosts, a madwoman roaming the halls, and Parry's involvement with a league of sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. Then Nimira discovers the spirit of a fairy gentleman named Erris is trapped inside the clockwork automaton, waiting for someone to break his curse. The two fall into a love that seems hopeless, and breaking the curse becomes a race against time, as not just their love, but the fate of the entire magical world may be in peril.
The Trouble With Mark Hopper by Elissa Brent Weissman
Release Date: Available Now from Dutton Juvenile
Mark Hopper is the smartest student in the sixth grade, and he knows it. When another Mark Hopper moves to town (the same age, with similar looks), Mark Hopper makes trouble for Mark Hopper. The Mark everyone knows isn’t very nice, so the other Mark finds no one will talk to him. The new Mark isn’t very brainy, so the other Mark worries that people will think he’s a dummy. When a teacher forces them to be study partners, they realize that they can benefit from one another’s strengths—and maybe win the Mastermind Challenge together. Trouble is, one of the Marks wants to win so badly that he’s willing to steal from Mark.
Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale
Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz
The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner