A. G. Howard is the author of the Splintered series, including Splintered, the e-only Splintered novella, The Moth in the Mirror, and Unhinged, released January 7. Here are some of her choices for new (to you!) titles in the New Year.
Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton I snatched this one up lightning-fast after seeing its intriguing premise. A girl who cannot feel, accompanied by a cast of personified emotions and elements? Sign me up! Ms. Sutton’s writing is haunting and evocative—the perfect foil to her main character’s inability to emote. Even though Elizabeth can’t feel, she uses her other senses to portray her world uniquely: the scent of strawberries on Fear’s breath, the taste of salt left in the wake of Sorrow’s presence. A chillingly beautiful tale of a broken girl who’s lost the ability to feel, and the one emotion who refuses to let her go without a fight.
Playing Tyler by T. L. Costa One of the most unique contemporaries I’ve read recently. It can’t be easy to write an ADHD character and make their inner narrative authentic and sympathetic, but T.L. did it seamlessly with Tyler. Also, there aren’t many stories out there for gamers and this twisty techno-rich plot—one part Real Genius and one part War Games—fits that bill. It’s also perfect for any reader who enjoys conspiracy theories with a side of romance, or voice- and character-driven contemporary YA with a strong male POV.
Bruised by Sarah Skilton This book pulls no punches, although there are a few Tae Kwon Do moves woven throughout. Imogen, a sixteen-year-old black belt, believed her ability to fight could make her powerful in any situation. But when she’s put to the test during a holdup at a local diner, self-preservation kicks in and she hides under a table. The resulting death of a man becomes a constant source of guilt and insecurity, affecting her family and her everyday choices. Imogen is such a relatable character. Her journey to make peace with the unchangeable and accept her own strengths and weaknesses is both painfully raw and acutely inspiring. An ideal read for anyone who’s ever made a mistake in the past that they wish they could change.