Upcoming Releases: April 2012

Upcoming Releases highlights six books from my to-buy list that I did not have a chance to feature in a “Waiting On” Wednesday before their publication month arrived. Feel free to join in!

Storybound
by Marissa Burt
Publication date: April 3, 2012 from HarperCollins Children’s
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

In the land of Story, children go to school to learn to be characters: a perfect Hero, a trusty Sidekick, even the most dastardly Villain. They take classes on Outdoor Experiential Questing and Backstory, while adults search for full-time character work in stories written just for them.

In our world, twelve-year-old Una Fairchild has always felt invisible. But all that changes when she stumbles upon a mysterious book buried deep in the basement of her school library, opens the cover, and suddenly finds herself transported to the magical land of Story.

But Story is not a perfect fairy tale. Una’s new friend Peter warns her about the grave danger she could face if anyone discovers her true identity. The devious Tale Keeper watches her every move. And there are whispers of a deadly secret that seems to revolve around Una herself…

The Selection
by Kiera Cass
Publication date: April 24, 2012 from HarperTeen
Genre: YA, Sci-fi, Dystopian

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself- and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

172 Hours on the Moon
by Johan Harstad
Publication date: April 5, 2012 from ATOM
Genre: YA, Science Fiction

Three teenagers are going on the trip of a lifetime. Only one is coming back. It’s been more than forty years since NASA sent the first men to the moon, and to grab some much-needed funding and attention, they decide to launch an historic international lottery in which three lucky teenagers can win a week-long trip to moon base DARLAH 2-a place that no one but top government officials even knew existed until now. The three winners, Antoine, Midori, and Mia, come from all over the world. But just before the scheduled launch, the teenagers each experience strange, inexplicable events. Little do they know that there was a reason NASA never sent anyone back there until now-a sinister reason. But the countdown has already begun. . .

The Obsidian Blade
by Pete Hautman
Publication date: April 10, 2012 from Candlewick Press
Genre: YA, Science Fiction

The first time his father disappeared, Tucker Feye had just turned thirteen. The Reverend Feye simply climbed on the roof to fix a shingle, let out a scream, and vanished — only to walk up the driveway an hour later, looking older and worn, with a strange girl named Lahlia in tow. In the months that followed, Tucker watched his father grow distant and his once loving mother slide into madness. But then both of his parents disappear.

Now in the care of his wild Uncle Kosh, Tucker begins to suspect that the disks of shimmering air he keeps seeing — one right on top of the roof — hold the answer to restoring his family. And when he dares to step into one, he’s launched on a time-twisting journey — from a small Midwestern town to a futuristic hospital run by digitally augmented healers, from the death of an ancient prophet to a forest at the end of time. Inevitably, Tucker’s actions alter the past and future, changing his world forever.

Radiate
by Marley Gibson
Publication date: April 3, 2012 from Graphia
Genre: YA, Contemporary

Hayley Matthews has one dream: to make it onto the varsity cheerleading team her senior year of high school. Odds are against her, but she doesn’t let that stop her from trying. So she works hard for months, perfecting her gymnastics and dancing moves. And despite the odds, she makes the squad.

In an instant, Hayley’s life changes. Now she’s part of the popular crowd at school, dating a football player, and going to parties. And she’s working hard to be as perfect on the squad as her captain expects them all to be.

But then one day Hayley notices a lump on her left leg and the steady throb she’s been feeling has gotten much worse. She can barely walk. When Hayley goes with her mom to get it checked out, the diagnosis is cancer. The doctor can’t say how bad it is or what the prognosis will be. At the minimum, she’ll have to have surgery. At the most it could mean loss of her leg or even her life.

Once again Hayley’s life changes in an instant. Now she must face the odds again and show everyone, including herself, just how strong she is. And through it all–three surgeries, chemo, radiation, rehab, and just getting back to a normal life–it’s cheerleading that keeps Hayley focused and positive.

All she wants to do is cheer, and nothing, including cancer, is going to stop her.

The False Prince
by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Publication date: April 1, 2012 from Scholastic
Genre: YA, Fantasy

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point — he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

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