Here's a look ahead at what's got me excited in the world of YA fiction for December 2011. Let me know if you'll be reading any of these!
Extent: 313 pages
Publisher: Dystopia Press
Pub Date: 22nd December 2011
LONDON, 2012: It arrives and with that the world is changed into an unending graveyard littered with the bones, wreckage, and memories of a dead past, gone forever. LONDON, 2032: Twenty years later, out of the ashes, a new world begins to rise, a place ruled by both loyalty and fear, and where the quest to be the first to regain lost knowledge is an ongoing battle for power. A place where laws are made and enforced by roving gangs-the Bloomsbury Boys, the Gardners, the Red Lady's Gang-who rule the streets and will do anything to protect their own. THE FOUR: Zane, Titus, Erin, Eve. Living in this new world, they discover that they have abilities never before seen. And little do they know that as they search post-apocalyptic London for Titus' kidnapped sister that they'll uncover the secret of It, and bring about a reckoning with the forces that almost destroyed all of humanity.
Extent: 192 pages
Pub Date: 15th December 2011
Two brothers, Simon and Jem, are itching to start their summer holiday with their granddad - a whole month at the lake. They have been coming there for years, and know every part of the bays, the bush, the water and the neighbouring farms. It 'belongs' to them, and they can't wait to reclaim their kingdom. But Simon also has scores to settle with Jem, even though their mother has warned them that she's running out of patience with their fighting. The friendly lake has changed, though. There are barbed-wire fences, the farm has become a holding yard for old houses guarded by a fierce dog, and there's a caretaker whose wife and kids look terrified. What's going on behind the new fences? Why can't Simon stop himself from being mean to his brother? And just how far will he go to face up to his fear and find out what's really happening?
Extent: 320 pages
Publisher: Square Fish
Pub Date: 6th December 2011
Thirteen-year-old Simon Renier has no idea when he boards the M.S. Orion with his cousin Forsyth Phair that their journey to Venezuela will be a dangerous one. His original plan—to return a family heirloom, a portrait of Simon Bolivar, to its rightful place—is sidetracked when cousin Forsyth is found murdered. When the portrait is stolen, all passengers and crew are suspects. Simon’s newfound friends, Poly and Charles O’Keefe, and their scientist father help Simon try to find his painting, and his cousin’s murderer. But will they succeed before they land? Or will the murderer and thief escape into the jungles of Venezuela?
Extent: 464 pages
Pub Date: 1st December 2011
Format: Paperback (gorgeous new editions!)
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Extent: 192 pages
Pub Date: 6th December 2011
Amy and Dan are in a race for their lives...and the enemy may be even closer than they think.
When seven members of their family were kidnapped by a sinister organization known as the Vespers, thirteen-year-old Dan Cahill and his older sister, Amy, vowed they'd stop at nothing to bring the hostages home. But then the ransom comes in and the Vespers demand the impossible. Amy and Dan have just days to track down and steal an ancient map. The only catch? No one has seen the map for half a century.
Now Amy and Dan are on a desperate search that will lead them to the Nazis, spies, a mad king and some of history's dirtiest secrets. It's the race of their lives...and one misstep will mean certain death for the hostages.
Extent: 528 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Pub Date: 13th December 2011
Based in Egyptian mythology and set in modern-day Washington, D.C., Sisters of Isis follows the lives of Meri, Sudi, and Dalila, three fifteen-year-old girls who have just discovered they are descendants of very powerful ancestors - Egyptian pharaohs. From these ancestors they’ve inherited magical powers of transformation, the ability to cast spells from the Book of Thoth, and, as they will soon learn, the responsibility of protecting the world from the evil forces of Chaos.