Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Noggin is another novel that I requested from the library before it was released. And once I received my copy, it took me about a month to read it because I had several books in my reading queue that I needed to read first. Now that I have read it, I want to read author John Corey Whaley’s first novel, Where Things Come Back.

Cryogenics has been a fascinating subject for me. I think I recall it being a topic in Matt Groening comics, and I also remember growing up in suburban Los Angeles and hearing rumors that Walt Disney was cryogenically frozen- under the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, no less.

So, I approached Noggin with great interest. The story involves a young man named Travis who reawakens five years after his death. He was saved because he and his parents chose to have his healthy head removed from his cancer-ravaged body and frozen. Medical advancements have come much quicker than expected, and the technology needed to ensure that the surgery can take place is a success arrives five years later. Read more

The Haven by Carol Lynch Williams

I requested The Haven from the library before it was released. While I was waiting to receive my copy, I read another of Carol Lynch Williams’ novels- The Chosen One. In that novel, Williams looks into the life of a girl living in a polygamist sect.

The Haven reminded me of The Chosen One. The Haven introduces the reader to Shiloh, a young girl who lives in Haven Hospital and Halls. The story takes place at some point in the future: the hospital was founded in 2020, but it’s not clear how many years have elapsed since then.

Shiloh is a Terminal. She lives with many other children, all of whom are also Terminal. They cannot leave the hospital because they are all sick, but they do not need to leave the hospital. All their needs are provided for; they go to school, receive medical care, and are taken care of. Read more

Quiet Dell by Jayne Anne Phillips

I found Quiet Dell at the library. It was on display at the end of a bookshelf. The synopsis seemed interesting, so I added it to my reading list. Quiet Dell is a novel written by Jayne Anne Phillips. It is based on real life events in 1931, but has been fictionalized.

The story is presented in a rather interesting manner. The reader is first introduced to the victims. The Eicher family has been living in genteel poverty since the death of Mr. Eicher several years before the book begins. Their situation becomes even more precarious after the death of Mr. Eicher’s mother, the matriarch of the family. Asta Eicher has been corresponding with a man she met through a lonely hearts service, and she believes that this man is the solution to all of her problems. But he is not, and within a month, Asta and her three children are dead. Read more

Frozen (Cold Awakening) by Robin Wasserman

Many of the books that I have read recently have been Young Adult titles. A couple of months ago, Buzzfeed posted a list of hot new releases, and I have been making my way through that list. I also can’t seem to stop finding interesting books whenever I go to the library. It’s kind of a problem- my reading list never seems to get any shorter!

Without a doubt, the biggest trend in Young Adult literature is dystopian fiction. The most popular dystopian series is The Hunger Games, but there are many others. I had not heard of the Frozen series, but the cover and synopsis intrigued me. This is a young adult series written by Robin Wasserman. Apparently, the series was previously published under a different name- Skinned.

Frozen is the story of Lia Kahn, a girl who survives a terrible car accident. Survived is a relative term; Lia’s body cannot be repaired, but her parents elect to have her brain scanned and downloaded into a new mechanical body. Advancements in science and technology make these mechs humanlike, but the practice is extremely controversial, and mechs have a hard time finding a place in society. Read more

The Gathering Storm (Katerina Trilogy) by Robin Bridges

I love going to the library in the next town over from where we live. The library is in a smaller space, and shares a building with the fire station and police station… and also possibly the municipal center. But inside that tiny library is a virtual treasure trove of books. This is where I discovered the Somerton series, and this is where I found The Gathering Storm.

The Gathering Storm is the first book in the Katerina trilogy. This is a young adult series written by Robin Bridges. The series take place in 1880s Russia, and features gorgeous young people from wealthy families enjoying lavish parties as they hope to catch the eye of young European royals (albeit minor royals).

Did I mention that the pretty young narrator has a big secret? Read more

Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor) by Jennifer McGowan

I discovered Maid of Secrets on Amazon, and I immediately made a request though my library network. This is the first book in the Maids of Honor series, written by Jennifer McGowan. This young adult series takes place in Elizabethan England. From what I understand, the subsequent books will have different narrators, and will focus on a different girl in the Maids of Honor group.

Maid of Secrets is the story of Meg Fellowes, a young woman who is a member of an acting troupe. Because all the theatrical roles are filled by men, there is no place on the stage for Meg. However, Meg plays a very valuable role: while the audience is distracted by the production, Meg picks their pockets. Read more

The Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica Novgorodoff

My oldest daughter just turned 7, and she is a voracious reader. She has always been an advanced reader, but when she was in kindergarten, she was reluctant to make the transition from picture books to chapter books. Her wonderful teacher introduced her to the Babymouse series. Since then, she has fallen in love with graphic novels, and so have I. Fortunately for us, our town library has a large selection of children’s graphic novels, and an even larger selection in the young adult section. Many of the books in the young adult section are not appropriate for my seven year old, but they are just right for me!

I found The Undertaking of Lily Chen at my library. It was a new release, and it caught my eye because it was displayed on the shelf. This graphic novel was written by Danica Novgorodoff. Read more