Abyss by Tricia Rayburn (aka Dark Water, #3 in Siren trilogy)
Butter by Eric Lange
You think I eat a lot now? That’s nothing. Tune in December 31st, when I will stream a live webcast of my last meal. Death row inmates get one. Why shouldn’t I? I can’t take another year in this fat suit, but I can end this year with a bang. If you can stomach it, you’re invited to watch . . . as I eat myself to death.
So starts Butter, the story of a lonely 423-pound boy everyone calls ‘Butter’. Worse than being ridiculed for his size at high school, he is simply ignored. Desperate, he pledges to eat himself to death live on the Internet – and everyone will watch. When he makes this announcement online, he expects pity, insults, or possibly sheer indifference. Instead, his classmates become morbid cheerleaders for his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline?
Readers will be surprised to find themselves identifying with both the bullied . . . and the bullies in this darkly humorous, powerful story about fitting in, self-confidence, and surviving school.
The Cusp by Ross Montgomery
What is the Cusp? No one really knows, because no one can cross it. Twelve years ago, the last Official Expedition across the Cusp and into the Forbidden Land ended in disaster when the great explorer Alex Jennings returned completely mad, thinking he was a dog.
Now Alex Jennings has escaped from hospital, repeating the word ‘squiggles’ over and over again. And Davidus Kyte, the new and extremely evil Head of Expeditions, is after his son – also called Alex Jennings. Kyte is convinced the boy knows the meaning of ‘squiggles’, what it was that his father found beyond the Cusp, and the real reason why dogs can cross it but people can’t.
But Alex is only a small and slightly useless boy in a very ugly knitted jumper. So with the help of Martha, a girl with unfeasibly sharp teeth, and Arnauld, a talking dog, he dodges out of Kyte’s clutches and embarks on an extraordinary adventure across the Forbidden Land. Along the way, together they learn the meaning of love, life, and the dreadful secret behind the word ‘squiggles’ . . .
Funny, heartwarming, surreal and tender, The Cusp is an exceptional debut from Ross Montgomery.
The Storm by Alexander Gordon Smith (sequel to The Fury)
The Bone Dragon by Alexia Casale
Evie’s shattered ribs have been a secret for the last four years. Now she has found the strength to tell her adoptive parents, and the physical traces of her past are fixed. The only remaining signs are a scar on her side and a fragment of bone taken home from the hospital, which her uncle Ben helps her to carve into a dragon as a sign of her strength.
Soon this ivory talisman begins to come to life at night, offering wisdom and encouragement in roaming dreams of smoke and moonlight that come to feel ever more real. As Evie grows stronger there remains one problem her new parents can’t fix for her: a revenge that must be taken. And it seems that the Dragon is the one to take it.
This subtly unsettling novel is told from the viewpoint of a fourteen-yearold girl damaged by a past she can’t talk about, in a hypnotic narrative that, while giving increasing insight, also becomes increasingly unreliable. A blend of psychological thriller and fairytale, The Bone Dragon explores the fragile boundaries between real life and fantasy, and the darkest corners of the human mind.
The Fall by Claire Merle (sequel to The Glimpse)