Two exciting new YA reads

Lots of fantastic dystopian novels were published this year and this Fall season shows that authors aren’t slowing down at all when it comes to writing fast-paced, high energy stories. Where all the ideas come from, I have no idea, but I loved these two books that recently hit our shelves:

In The Scorpio Races, her new standalone novel, Maggie Stiefvater strays from her much-loved werewolf series to write about mythical water horses. Told from the point of view of the two main characters, Puck, a hardworking girl determined to keep her family together after the death of her parents, and Sean, a local horse trainer who loves the water horses much more than he should.

Every year, the horses leave the ocean and the townspeople race them. The horses aren’t calm and serene as one may believe, but instead, out to harm anything that comes in their way, including humans. The race is often a fight to the death, offering up a large cash prize to the winner, and for the first time ever, a female, Puck, is entering.

This author has an amazing way of drawing the reader into the story with beautiful writing, yet shocking us at the same time. The Scorpio Races is a fabulous page turner you won’t want to put down!

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater; $16.99; Scholastic Press; 9780545224901; Ages 14+

The next book, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, is the first in a thrilling new trilogy. We’re introduced to Juliette, a young girl, locked up in some sort of prison. We quickly learn that she’s imprisoned because of a strange “gift.” If she touches someone, they die. The new government has given her a choice: she either joins them as their weapon or she’ll be killed.

The story will hit readers on several different levels. There’s the emotional aspect of what Juliette is going through with herself, the slight paranormal parts, the bits of romance, and then just the crazy fast pace of the story. The ending definitely has me wanting the next book, pronto! It was original and new, in the midst of dozens of dystopian books released this year. A hard task to tackle at this point, I would imagine.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi; $16.99; HarperCollins; 9780062085481; Ages 14+

Either of these books would be great for fans of The Hunger Games, looking for something just as exciting and adventurous to pass the cold winter months.

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