Perfect Reads for Your Spring Break

So if you’re still of the age group (or possibly of the profession) that gives you a week off in the middle of March, here are some new releases you might want to check out to fill up all that down time!!!

1. Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali

maxAge: Young Adult
Releases: March 7

Nazi Germany. 1936.
In the Lebensborn program, carefully selected German women are recruited by the Nazis to give birth to new members of the Aryan race. Inside one of these women is Max, literally counting the minutes until he is born and he can fulfill his destiny as the perfect Aryan specimen.
Max is taken away from his birth mother soon after he enters the world. Raised under the ideology and direction of the Nazi Party, he grows up without any family, without any affection or tenderness, and he soon becomes the mascot of the program. That is until he meets Lukas, a young Jewish boy whom he knows he is meant to despise. Instead, the friendship that blossoms changes Max’s world forever.

2 things.  1, this book was already written in French, so this release is the English translation.
2, I literally just learned about the Lebensborn program like 2 weeks ago by watching a documentary on Netflix (episode 3 of The Last Nazis. Definitely worth a look.)
YA doesn’t usually touch too hard into historical fiction, but these next few books look fascinating…

2. Silent by David Mellon

silent Age: Young Adult
Releases: March 7

Adi is annoyed when she’s entrusted with taking her pampered younger twin brothers to safety from India to Europe. As a girl of mixed heritage, she’s used to being pushed to one side. But then, Coal moves in, kidnaps the twins, and forces Adi into a terrible bargain of silence and a deadly game.
Cutting her hair and dressing in the uniform of a dead solider, she makes her way across a continent darkened by war, encountering allies and enemies, from a handsome drunkard to a murderous priest. 

In this one we move back from WWII to WWI, which I’m not afraid to admit I know much less about.  And part of what I do know comes from Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series, which isn’t exactly accurate (what with the genetic engineering and steam punk revisionist history and all).  It’d be nice to get a better perspective on this time period.

3. Wonderful Feels Like This by Sara Lovestam

wonderful-feels-like-this Age: Young Adult
Releases: March 7

For Steffi, going to school every day is an exercise in survival.  The only way she can escape is through her music—especially jazz music.
When Steffi hears her favorite jazz song playing through an open window of a retirement home, she decides to go in and introduce herself.
The old man playing her favorite song is Alvar. When Alvar was a teenager in World War II-era Sweden, he dreamt of being in a real jazz band. Then and now, Alvar’s escape is music—especially jazz music.

Another thing we don’t get enough of in YA?  The elderly.  For real.  They’re not ever a part of the story, just grandparent background noise.  To me this sounds like the YA version of the Bleeding Gums Murphy ep of The Simpsons, only with some WWII drama thrown in.  Can’t wait!

4. Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

goodbye-daysAge: Young Adult
Releases: March 7

Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, there could be a criminal investigation into the deaths.
Then Blake’s grandmother asks Carver to remember her grandson with a ‘goodbye day’ together. Carver has his misgivings, but he starts to help the families of his lost friends grieve with their own memorial days, but not everyone is willing to forgive.

Just heard Jeff Zentner (author of The Serpent King) give an amazing keynote speech at YAK Fest 2017, and I’m definitely adding him to my TBR authors.  His first book is getting nothing but praise, so this one has potential to be amazing…

5. Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It Done by Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser

girl code.jpgAge: Young Adult
Releases: March 7

Perfect for aspiring coders everywhere, Girl Code is the story of two teenage tech phenoms who met at Girls Who Code summer camp, teamed up to create a viral video game, and ended up becoming world famous. The book also includes bonus content to help you get started coding!
Through the success of their video game, Andy and Sophie got unprecedented access to some of the biggest start-ups and tech companies. Their video game and their commitment to inspiring young women have been covered by the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, CNN, Teen Vogue, Jezebel, the Today show, and many more.

So this is one of the rare times when we find ourselves looking forward to a specific non-fic before we’ve heard too much about it.  But how can you not be intrigued by a story about gamer girls who made outstanding achievements in the real world??

6. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

the-bone-witchAge: Young Adult
Releases: March 7

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

Okay, so if that doesn’t draw you in I don’t know what will.  Tea is a bone witch, which means she can raise people from the dead and now there’s some scary adventure to be had.  Sounds creepy and fascinating!

7. You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

youre-welcome-universeAge: Young Adult
Releases: March 7

When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.
Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

First off, #weneeddiversebooks .  Second off, I would love to read more books about people with what most would consider disabilities.  It’s such a different day-to-day experience and I can’t imagine reading this wouldn’t expand your understanding of the world around you and people that see the world differently than you.

8. Hunted by Meagan Spooner

huntedAge: Young Adult
Releases: March 14

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.
Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

You know I love me some Beauty and the Beast and I love me some fairy tale retellings.  But one that takes Beauty and turns her into a hunter?  I’m so in for that!

9. A Psalm for Lost Girls by Katie Bayerl

a-psalm-for-lost-girlsAge: Young Adult
Releases: March 14

Tess da Costa is a saint — a hand-to-god, miracle-producing saint. At least that’s what the people in her hometown seem to believe. And when Tess suddenly and tragically passes away, her small city begins feverishly petitioning the Pope to make Tess’s sainthood official. Tess’s mother is ecstatic, while her sister Callie, the one who knew Tess best, is disgusted – and she’s determined to prove the truth.

Something interesting happens when people die.  Those that knew them and those that didn’t choose which memories to hang onto and which ones to forget.  A real person gets turned into a story.  But what I want to know is: does the story that Callie thinks she knows to be the truth line up with the real life person her sister was?

10. Blood Family by Anne Fine

blood-familyAge: Young Adult
Releases: March 21

Edward is four years old when he is locked away with his mother by her abusive, alcoholic partner, Harris. By the time an elderly neighbor spots his pale face peering through a crack in the boarded-up window and raises the alarm, he is seven.
Rescue comes, but lasting damage has been done. Edward struggles to adapt to normal life.
Then in a science museum, Edward sees an image that shocks him to the core and robs him of his hard won sense of safety. Can anyone’s past truly be left behind?

This is a book that appears to have been self-published and then picked up by a publisher.  Which is a good sign in my book.
Get it?  Book?  I…you got it…
But the question this story poses is an important one: can we leave the scars of our past behind us?  Or will they always define us?

11. Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

nemesisAge: Young Adult
Releases: March 21

It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.
On her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, Min vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake.

Here’s another author we got to see at YAK Fest 2017 and I have to say, this book sounds pretty interesting.  I wasn’t a huge fan of Virals, but it kept me reading until the end which is enough to give this book a try.

12. Hellworld by Tom Leveen

hellworldAge: Young Adult
Releases: March 21

Five years ago, Abby Booth’s mom, co-host of a ghost hunting reality show, went missing while filming in a ‘haunted’ cave in Arizona.
But now, at seventeen, Abby has decided that things will change. With the help of the co-host’s son Charlie and two of his friends, Abby sets off on a quest for answers…but what the group ends up finding, what they stumble across in that dark, primordial cave in Arizona, is nothing they could have ever imaged.

I’m always down for a good ghost story, but IS this a ghost story?  Or will it turn out to be something else?…

13.  Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy

just-fly-awayAge: Young Adult
Releases: March 28

When fifteen-year-old Lucy Willows discovers that her father has a child from a brief affair, she begins to question everything she thinks she knows about her family and her life. Lucy can’t believe her father betrayed the whole family, or that her mother forgave him, or that her sister isn’t rocked by the news the way Lucy is. When Lucy escapes to Maine, the home of her mysteriously estranged grandfather, she finally begins to get to the bottom of her family’s secrets and lies.

It’s always a tough day when we find out our parents aren’t the people we thought they were, but I can’t imagine uncovering a secret like this.  Plus it sounds like there are more secrets to uncover…

14. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

strange-the-dreamerAge: Young Adult
Releases: March 28

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around and Lazlo Strange, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to search for it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god?

I have a sampler of this book sitting on my shelf and I have not been able to bring myself to start it.  Mostly because this definitely sounds like a story that I want to read and I’m afraid if I start it up too far ahead of reading the full thing it’ll ruin things.  And seriously, look at that fantastic cover?  Who would want to ruin this Laini Taylor experience?…

 

So which of these books are you adding to your TBR list?  What can you not wait to get your paws on?  Let us know in the comments down below!!

–Bronto Incognito

bronto 10a

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