The Fever by Megan Abbott

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You could see everything now, if you wanted.

As I’ve said before, Megan Abbott has a special new way of horrifying readers – by reminding them what it’s like to be teenagers again.  With her last two novels, Abbott explored the labyrinth of the teenage mind and rediscovered both the darkness and exuberance that lies beneath.  When you boil it down, this polarity of light and dark is essentially what made your teen years unbearable – caught between responsibility and desire, shame and pride, and bound within a great big hormonal net.  Teenagers constantly feel both vulnerable and invincible, and this wellspring of emotion is the perfect setting for a mystery.  Teens are mysterious and baffling enough anyway, but add a little jealousy, sex, and parental involvement to the mix, and you will have yourself a potent recipe for disaster.

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The Bees by Laline Paull

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Accept, Obey and Serve

Laline Paull’s debut novel gives new meaning to the concept of “hive mentality,” with the story of Flora 717 – a lowly worker bee who is desperate to spread her wings and become a forager.  As a sanitation worker, Flora and her kin are doomed to a life of subservience and filth.  Responsible for cleaning and maintaining the hive, sanitation workers are necessary and important, but treated as though they are expendable.

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The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage

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That ghost is real as we are.  Maybe realer.

The sassy and charismatic folks of Tupelo Landing have returned in Sheila Turnage’s sequel to her 2012 debut children’s novel, Three Times Lucky.  In Three Times Lucky, 11 year-old Mo LoBeau and her best friend Dale established themselves as successful private detectives when they solved a local murder, and now the sleuthing continues when Mo’s guardian, Miss Lana, buys an abandoned inn that is rumored to be inhabited by ghosts.

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The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

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people see what they want to see

In Jennifer McMahon’s most recent thriller, something sinister is brewing in the rural hills of West Hall, Vermont.  In the winter of 1908, the body of Sara Harrison Shea is found in a field behind her family’s farmhouse, stripped of its skin the way a hunter would field dress an animal pelt.  But when the authorities arrive, they find Sara’s husband, Martin, grieving over the body of his dead wife.  Just before he took his own life moments later, Martin claimed that the crime was committed by their young daughter, Gertie.  But the young girl has been dead and buried for months, and the authorities cannot make sense of the mysterious circumstance surrounding the deaths of the Sheas.

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Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

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Back then, I’d believed in destiny

With the release of Hollow City, Ransom Riggs does not disappoint readers who have been waiting nearly 3 years for the sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – a tale of orphaned children with fantastical abilities living on an abandoned British Island in a 1940s time loop.  It is a very bizarre premise with an incredibly complex and miltilayered plot, but as both Aaron and I expressed in our reviews, the novel’s unique formatting, coupled with Ransom Riggs’s storytelling abilities, makes the book a wonderful addition to the world of teen fantasy fiction.

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