Meritropolis by Joel Ohman
Published: September 8th 2014 by CreateSpace
The year is AE3, 3 years after the Event. Within the walls of Meritropolis, 50,000 inhabitants live in fear, ruled by the brutal System that assigns each citizen a merit score that dictates whether they live or die. Those with the highest scores thrive, while those with the lowest are subject to the most unforgiving punishment--to be thrust outside the city gates, thrown to the terrifying hybrid creatures that exist beyond.
But for one High Score, conforming to the System just isn't an option. Seventeen-year-old Charley has a brother to avenge. And nothing--not even a totalitarian military or dangerous science--is going to stop him.
Where humankind has pushed nature and morals to the extreme, Charley is amongst the chosen few tasked with exploring the boundaries, forcing him to look deep into his very being to discern right from wrong. But as he and his friends learn more about the frightening forces that threaten destruction both without and within the gates, Meritropolis reveals complexities they couldn't possibly have bargained for...
Jessica says: This is an indie book I was sent for review and it's so chilling and awesome, I loved it!
Shadowlands by Kate Brian
Published: January 8th, 2013 by Hyperion
Rory Miller had one chance to fight back and she took it. Rory survived and the serial killer who attacked her escaped. Now that the infamous Steven Nell is on the loose, Rory must enter the witness protection program. Entering the program alongside her, is her father and sister Darcy. The trio starts a new life and a new beginning leaving their friends and family behind without a goodbye.
Starting over in a new town with only each other is unimaginable for Rory and Darcy. They were inseparable as children but now they can barely stand each other. As the sisters settle in to Juniper Landing, a picturesque vacation island, it seems like their new home may be just the fresh start they need. They fall in with a group of beautiful, carefree teens and spend their days surfing, partying on the beach, and hiking into endless sunsets. Just as they’re starting to feel safe again, one of their new friends goes missing. Is it a coincidence? Or is the nightmare beginning all over again?
Jessica says: Every single person I recommended this book has never heard of it, tried it anyway, and fell in love. It's SO chilling and creepy and disturbing, but so great at the same time. I normally hate scary books but this wasn't as scary as it was mystifying - and I loved every second of it!
Lailah by Nikki Kelly
Published: October 7th, 2014 by Feiwel and Friends
The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.
On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.
In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?
Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.
Jessica says: We know Nikki personally and she's the sweetest - and her book is totally swoon-worthy, too! A great read!
Little Peach by Peggy Kern
Published:March 10th, 2015 by Balzer + Bray
What do you do if you're in trouble?
When Michelle runs away from her drug-addicted mother, she has just enough money to make it to New York City, where she hopes to move in with a friend. But once she arrives at the bustling Port Authority, she is confronted with the terrifying truth: she is alone and out of options.
Then she meets Devon, a good-looking, well-dressed guy who emerges from the crowd armed with a kind smile, a place for her to stay, and eyes that seem to understand exactly how she feels.
But Devon is not what he seems to be, and soon Michelle finds herself engulfed in the world of child prostitution where he becomes her “Daddy” and she his “Little Peach.” It is a world of impossible choices, where the line between love and abuse, captor and savior, is blurred beyond recognition.
This hauntingly vivid story illustrates the human spirit’s indomitable search for home, and one girl’s struggle to survive.
Jessica says: This is such an important book about the horrors of child sex trafficking and gang violence and it really opened my eyes and made me think. EVERYONE needs to read this.
Velvet by Temple WestPublished: May 12th, 2015 by Swoon Reads
First rule of dealing with hot vampire bodyguards? Don't fall in love.
After losing both her parents before age seventeen, aspiring designer Caitlin Holte feels like her whole world has been turned upside down, and that was before the terrifying encounter with a supernatural force. Then, she learns that her hot bad-boy neighbor, Adrian—who might have just saved her life—is actually a half-demon vampire.
Suddenly Caitlin is stuck with a vampire bodyguard who feels that the best way to protect her is to become her pretend boyfriend. Trouble is, Caitlin is starting to fall in love for real, while Adrian can never love a human. Caitlin trusts Adrian to keep her safe from his demon father, but will he be able to protect her heart?
Jessica says: Temple is such a sweet person and her book is absolutely amazing and totally swoon-worthy! Hot vampire bodyguards = a Godsend.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Published: March 1st 2012 by Harry N. Abrams
Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.
Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.
Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.
And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.
Jessica says: It's gaining popularity again but it should've had it a LONG time ago - so hysterical that you'll be laughing the whole time!
Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin
Published: October 7th 2014 by Clean Teen Publishing
ONE GIRL WILL BRING AN EMPIRE TO ITS KNEES...
Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.
Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.
Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.
In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?
Amber says: I adore this book. So much happens that will keep you on the edge of your seats!
Property of the Most Beautiful by Diantha Jones
Published: March 1st 2012 by Diantha Jones
She has a destiny so great that even the gods fear her.
Constant hallucinations and the frequent conversations with the voices in her head, have earned eighteen-year-old Chloe Clever the not-so-coveted title of "Whack Job" in her home town of Adel, Georgia. Fed up with prescription meds and therapists, she wishes for a life where she is destined to be more than the butt of everyone's jokes and mockery.
Be careful what you wish for has never rung more true.
After a vicious attack and learning that her favorite rockstar is an Olympian god, she is thrust into her new life as the Oracle of Delphi, the prophesier of the future. Setting out to fulfill the prophecy she has been given, Chloe learns of how great she is to become, all the while fighting mythical monsters and trying to outwit the ever-cunning Greek gods who harbor secrets of their own. While on a mission to discover the Most Beautiful, she strives to uncover the mysteries of the demigod Prince who has sworn to protect her with his life…and threatens to win her heart in the process.
Amber says: I read this one for a Blog tour and it is amazing! I loved the whole Gods and Goddess aspect going on!
Slated by Teri Terry
Published: May 3rd, 2012 by Orchard Books
Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.
She’s been Slated.
The government claims she was a terrorist and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?
Amber says: This book was before my blogging days so I am not sure how popular it was. But this book will always have a special place in my heart.
Aimee and the Heartthrob by Ophelia London
Published: April 14th, 2015 by Entangled: Crush
He never noticed her before, but now she's all he can see...
Miles Carlisle is every teen girl's fantasy. His rugged good looks and exotic British accent have helped catapult his boy band, Seconds to Juliet, to super-stardom. But after two disastrous and very public breakups, Miles isn't interested in dating just any girl; he wants The One. And the only girl he's interested in is not only his best friend's little sister - and off-limits - but won't even give him the time of day...
As a kid, Aimee Bingham had a huge thing for Miles...until he made fun of her for always tagging along. Now that she's outgrown both him and her pigtails, the prospect of spending two weeks on tour with the childhood crush who broke her heart isn't exactly enticing. Except now Miles seems interested. Very interested. And no matter how hard Aimee tries to resist him, her crush is definitely making a comeback. But everyone knows that falling for a heartthrob is a backstage pass to heartbreak...
Amber says: This was a really cute romance!
Addicted to You by Krista Ritchie, Becca Ritchie
Published: June 13th, 2013
She’s addicted to sex. He’s addicted to booze…the only way out is rock bottom.
No one would suspect shy Lily Calloway’s biggest secret. While everyone is dancing at college bars, Lily stays in the bathroom. To get laid. Her compulsion leads her to one-night stands, steamy hookups and events she shamefully regrets. The only person who knows her secret happens to have one of his own.
Loren Hale’s best friend is his bottle of bourbon. Lily comes at a close second. For three years, they’ve pretended to be in a real relationship, hiding their addictions from their families. They’ve mastered the art of concealing flasks and random guys that filter in and out of their apartment.
But as they sink beneath the weight of their addictions, they cling harder to their destructive relationship and wonder if a life together, for real, is better than a lie. Strangers and family begin to infiltrate their guarded lives, and with new challenges, they realize they may not just be addicted to alcohol and sex.
Their real vice may be each other.
Amber says: This book seems widely popular in the blogging community, but is it outside of this community? I love this series. It isn't your typical fluffy romance.
Captivate Me by S.J. Pierce
Published: January 9th, 2012
"My mom had always told me - when you meet "the one," you'll know; they'll captivate your heart the moment you lay eyes on them. I had always wondered, though, if my mom's words of wisdom were finite - if they applied to everyone. Maybe those who had found their one great love were the lucky few, and maybe the rest of us would have to settle for less than earth-shattering."
Seventeen-year-old Kat Walsh is a Gifted - a human with paranormal abilities. With her mom a former Angel and her dad a dream prophet, it's always been in her genetic make-up to be extraordinary. Unfortunately for her, the world can't handle the strange or unusual. So when she slips up and uses her powers at her high school in Ireland, the entire student body treats her like a freak - even the ones she thought were her closest friends.
Broken, but hopeful for a fresh start, she allows her parents to enroll her in a boarding school buried deep within the forests of a small Colorado town. At Midland Pines, School for the Gifted, she feels as though she can finally be herself; she makes new friends and even has the attention of the most popular guy in school - Levi. Everything feels normal again... or does it?
Not long after her arrival, weird dreams of an alluring boy whom she's never met surface during the night, and the eerie, shadowy trees encircling their school seem to call to her. As these disturbing, yet enticing developments intensify, other bizarre occurrences happen - students and staff turn up missing, and mystery visitors leave gifts while she sleeps. With all of these other things vying for her attention, a desperate Levi has to fight even harder to keep her interest. But with the dreams of the attractive boy slowly captivating her heart, Kat has to make a choice - will she settle for 'great' Levi, or will she search for her elusive dream visitor, possibly stumbling across 'amazing?'
Amber says: I also read this one for a blog tour and devoured it in a few hours!
Thanks so much to Jessica and Amber for their post, and for hosting the SBPT! It's been super fun so far. I've only heard of a few of these titles - what about you?