Illustrated by Shaun Tan. Kelly Link has lit up adult literary publishing—and Viking is honored to publish her first YA story collection. Through the lens of Link’s vivid imagination, nothing is what it seems, and everything deserves a second look. From the multiple award-winning "The Faery Handbag," in which a teenager’s grandmother carries an entire village (or is it a man-eating dog?) in her handbag, to the near-future of "The Surfer," whose narrator (a soccer-playing skeptic) waits with a planeload of refugees for the aliens to arrive, Link’s stories are funny and full of unexpected insights and skewed perspectives on the world. Her fans range from Michael Chabon to Peter Buck of R.E.M. to Holly Black of Spiderwick Chronicles fame. Now teens can have their world rocked, too! — Goodreads
A junior ROTC cadet at North Covington High, J.T. is at war—with himself, his enemies, and his past. But no matter how hard he throws himself into the intense demands of the military program, J. T. is unable to escape the traumas of his life. His father died in Desert Storm. His mother was killed in a car accident that J.T. may have caused. After her death, J.T. was placed in a string of bad foster homes.
Haunted by self-doubt, J.T. focuses on his latest assignment at school: whip a new group of recruits into shape so his commanding officer, Sergeant Maddox, will be proud. J.T. has to be the best cadet in Covington County so he can win a scholarship to the Citadel. The rigors of training, combined with his unresolved issues from the past, wreak havoc on J.T.’s mind. J.T.’s last hope may be his new foster dad, who is contending with his own violent past. — Amazon
After a close encounter with the front end of a school bus, Alona Dare goes from Homecoming Queen to Queen of the Dead. Now she’s stuck here in spirit form with no sign of the big, bright light coming to take her away. To make matters worse, the only person who might be able to help her is Will Killian, a total loser/outcast type who hates the social elite. He alone can see and hear her, but he wants nothing to do with the former mean girl of Groundsboro High. Can they get over their mutual distrust—and this weird attraction between them—to work together before Alona vanishes for good and Will is locked up for seeing things that don’t exist? — Goodreads
I won a giveaway over at Joy Preble’s blog. It was a choker and character card from Judith Graves to promote her recent release of Under My Skin.