* Amplified by Tara Kelly. “When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she's the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn't think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it...”
Tara had a fabulous debut with Harmonic Feedback (I loved Drea) and I'm an absolute sucker for books that revolve around music. How cool does that jacket copy sound!
* Bronxwood by Coe Booth. “Tyrell's father is just out of jail, and Tyrell doesn't know how to deal with that. It's bad enough that his brother Troy is in foster care and that his mother is no help whatsoever. Now there's another thing up in his face, just when he's trying to settle down. Tyrell's father has plans of his own, and doesn't seem to care whether or not Tyrell wants to go along with them. Tyrell can see the crash that's coming — with his dad, with the rest of his family, with the girls he's seeing — but he's not sure he can stop it. Or if he even wants to.”
Tyrell remains one of the best YA books I've ever read. I can't wait to find out what happens to him in this sequel.
* How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr. “Jill MacSweeney just wants everything to go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she's been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends--everyone who wants to support her. You can't lose one family member and simply replace him with a new one, and when her mom decides to adopt a baby, that's exactly what it feels like she's trying to do. And that's decidedly not normal. With her world crumbling around her, can Jill come to embrace a new member of the family? Mandy Kalinowski knows what it's like to grow up unwanted--to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, she knows she wants a better life for her baby. But can giving up a child be as easy as it seems? And will she ever be able to find someone to care for her, too? Critically acclaimed author and National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr delivers a heart-wrenching story, told from dual perspectives, about what it means to be a family and the many roads we can take to become one.”
I've enjoyed each of Sara's books and Sweethearts, in particular, made me ache and ache. I'm in love with the cover for How to Save a Life.
* Water Balloon by Audrey Vernick. “A warm debut novel about friendship and first love, from a popular picture-book author. Marley’s life is as precarious as an overfull water balloon—one false move and everything will burst. Her best friends are pulling away from her, and her parents, newly separated, have decided she should spend the summer with her dad in his new house, with a job she didn’t ask for and certainly doesn’t want. On the upside is a cute boy who loves dogs as much as Marley does . . . but young love has lots of opportunity for humiliation and misinterpreted signals. Luckily Marley is a girl who trusts her instincts and knows the truth when she sees it, making her an immensely appealing character and her story funny, heartfelt, and emotionally true.”
I read an early version of Marley's story and adored it. Such a nice vibe. I'm looking forward to catching up with Marley again.
I hope you'll check out some of these great new fall releases along with me!