New and Notable YA Releases – September
Long Live the Pumpkin Queen by Shea Ernshaw
Jack and Sally are “truly meant to be” … or are they?
Sally Skellington is the official, newly-minted Pumpkin Queen after a whirlwind courtship with her true love, Jack, who Sally adores with every inch of her fabric seams– if only she could say the same for her new role as Queen of Halloween Town. Cast into the spotlight and tasked with all sorts of queenly duties, Sally can’t help but wonder if all she’s done is trade her captivity under Dr. Finkelstein for a different cage. But when Sally and Zero accidentally uncover a long-hidden doorway to an ancient realm called Dream Town, she’ll unknowingly set into motion a chain of sinister events that put her future as Pumpkin Queen, and the future of Halloween Town itself, into jeopardy. Can Sally discover what it means to be true to herself and save the town she’s learned to call home, or will her future turn into her worst… well, nightmare?
The Undead Truth of Us by Britney S. Lewis
Sixteen-year-old Zharie Young is absolutely certain her mother morphed into a zombie before her untimely death, but she can’t seem to figure out why. Why her mother died, why her aunt doesn’t want her around, why all her dreams seem suddenly, hopelessly out of reach. And why, ever since that day, she’s been seeing zombies everywhere.
Then Bo moves into her apartment building―tall, skateboard in hand, freckles like stars, and an undeniable charm. Z wants nothing to do with him, but when he transforms into a half zombie right before her eyes, something feels different. He contradicts everything she thought she knew about monsters, and she can’t help but wonder if getting to know him might unlock the answers to her mother’s death.
As Zharie sifts through what’s real and what’s magic, she discovers a new truth about the world: Love can literally change you―for good or for dead.
Frendo Lives by Adam Cesare
After barely making it out of the Kettle Springs cornfields alive, Quinn’s first year away at college should be safe and easy. All she wants is to be normal again.
But instead, Quinn finds that her past won’t leave her alone when she becomes the focus of online conspiracy theories that claim the Kettle Springs Massacre never happened. It’s a deranged but relentless fantasy, and there’s nothing Quinn can do to get people to hear the truth—not even on her own campus or in her own dorm room.
So when a murderous clown attacks Quinn at a frat party while another goes after her father in Kettle Springs at the same time, Quinn realizes that the facts alone are never going to save her. Her only option is to go back into the cornfields, back where the nightmare began, to set the record straight the only way she knows how. Because when the truth gets lost in the lies, that’s when people start to die.
My Imaginary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Mary may have inherited the brilliant mind of her late mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, but she lives a drab life above her father’s bookstore, waiting for an extraordinary idea that’ll inspire a work worthy of her parentage—and impress her rakishly handsome (and super-secret) beau, Percy Shelley.
Ada Lovelace knows a thing or two about superstar parents, what with her dad being Lord Byron, the most famous poet on Earth. But her passions lie far beyond the arts—in mechanical engineering, to be exact. Alas, no matter how precise Ada’s calculations, there’s always a man willing to claim her ingenious ideas as his own.
Pan, a.k.a. Practical Automaton Number One, is Ada’s greatest idea yet: a machine that will change the world, if only she can figure out how to make him truly autonomous . . . or how to make him work at all.
When fate connects our two masterminds, Mary and Ada learn that they are fae—magical people with the ability to make whatever they imagine become real. But when their dream team results in a living, breathing, thinking PAN, Mary and Ada find themselves hunted by a mad scientist who won’t stop until he finds out how they made a real boy out of spare parts.
The Dragon’s Promise by Elizabeth Lim
Princess Shiori made a deathbed promise to return the dragon’s pearl to its rightful owner, but keeping that promise is more dangerous than she ever imagined.
She must journey to the kingdom of dragons, navigate political intrigue among humans and dragons alike, fend off thieves who covet the pearl for themselves and will go to any lengths to get it, all while cultivating the appearance of a perfect princess to dissuade those who would see her burned at the stake for the magic that runs in her blood.
The pearl itself is no ordinary cargo; it thrums with malevolent power, jumping to Shiori’s aid one minute, and betraying her the next—threatening to shatter her family and sever the thread of fate that binds her to her true love. It will take every ounce of strength Shiori can muster to defend the life and the love she’s fought so hard to win.