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February 2014 young adult book releases: Contemporary part one

See also

These books were released in February 2014. For other February releases, please see the links at the bottom of the article. Stay tuned for more March releases.

In this list:

  • "Before My Eyes" by Caroline Bock
  • "Better off Friends" by Elizabeth Eulberg
  • "Boy on the Edge" by Fridrik Erlings
  • "Counting to D" by Kate Scott
  • "Faking Normal" by Courtney C. Stevens
  • "Grandmaster" by David Klass
  • "The Lure" by Lynne Ewing
  • "Maybe One Day" by Melissa Kantor

The list only contains summaries of the stories. For more information and reviews, please check out the individual titles on goodreads.com.

Before My Eyes
Before My Eyes St. Martin’s Griffin

Before My Eyes

Title: Before My Eyes
Author: Caroline Bock
Release date: February 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 304
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
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Synopsis on goodreads.com:

From the author of LIE, a powerful new young adult novel about a fateful Long Island summer and the lives of three young people who will never be the same.

Dreamy, poetic Claire, seventeen, has spent the last few months taking care of her six-year-old sister, Izzy, as their mother lies in a hospital bed recovering from a stroke. Claire believes she has everything under control until she meets “Brent” online. Brent appears to be a kindred spirit, and Claire is initially flattered by his attention. But when she meets Max, the awkward state senator’s son, her feelings become complicated.

Max, also seventeen, has been working the worst summer job ever at the beachside Snack Shack. He’s also been popping painkillers. His parents—more involved in his father’s re-election than in their son’s life—fail to see what’s going on with him.

Working alongside Max is Barkley, twenty-one. Lonely and obsessive, Barkley has been hearing a voice in his head. No one—not his parents, not his co-workers—realizes that Barkley is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Until the voice in his head orders him to take out his gun.

Narrated in turns by Claire, Max, and Barkley, Before My Eyes captures a moment when possibilities should be opening up, but instead everything teeters on the brink of destruction.

Better off Friends
Better off Friends Point

Better off Friends

Title: Better off Friends
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Release date: February 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Publisher: Point
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Synopsis on goodreads.com:

For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.

Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?

Boy on the Edge
Boy on the Edge Candlewick Press

Boy on the Edge

Title: Boy on the Edge
Author: Fridrik Erlings
Release date: February 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 240
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Purchase from Amazon
Purchase for Kindle

Synopsis on goodreads.com:

Henry has a clubfoot and he is the target of relentless bullying. One day, in a violent fit of anger, Henry lashes out at the only family he has — his mother. Sent to live with other troubled boys at the Home of Lesser Brethren, an isolated farm perched in the craggy lava fields along the unforgiving Icelandic coast, Henry finds a precarious contentment among the cows. But it is the people, including the manic preacher who runs the home, who fuel Henry’s frustration and sometimes rage as he yearns for a life and a home. Author Fridrik Erlings offers a young adult novel that explores cruelty and desperation, tenderness and remorse, but most importantly, kindness and friendship.

Counting to D
Counting to D Elliott Books

Counting to D

Title: Counting to D
Author: Kate Scott
Release date: February 11, 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 227
Publisher: Elliott Books
Purchase from Amazon
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Synopsis on goodreads.com:

The kids at Sam’s school never knew if they should make fun of her for being too smart or too dumb. That’s what it means to be dyslexic, smart, and illiterate. Sam is sick of it. So when her mom gets a job in a faraway city, Sam decides not to tell anyone about her little illiteracy problem. Without her paradox of a reputation, she falls in with a new group of highly competitive friends who call themselves the Brain Trust. When she meets Nate, her charming valedictorian lab partner, she declares her new reality perfect. But in order to keep it that way, she has to keep her learning disability a secret. The books are stacked against her and so are the lies. Sam’s got to get the grades, get the guy, and get it straight—without being able to read.

Faking Normal
Faking Normal HarperCollins Children's Books

Faking Normal

Title: Faking Normal
Author: Courtney C. Stevens
Release date: February 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Purchase from Amazon
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Synopsis on goodreads.com:

Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.

Grandmaster
Grandmaster Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Grandmaster

Title: Grandmaster
Author: David Klass
Release date: February 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 240
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Synopsis on goodreads.com:

Freshman Daniel Pratzer gets a chance to prove himself when the chess team invites him and his father to a weekend-long parent-child tournament. Daniel, thinking that his father is a novice, can’t understand why his teammates want so badly for them to participate. Then he finds out the truth: as a teen, his father was one of the most promising young players in America, but the pressures of the game pushed him too far, and he had to give up chess to save his own life and sanity. Now, thirty years later, Mr. Pratzer returns to the game to face down an old competitor and the same dark demons that lurk in the corners of a mind stretched by the demands of the game. Daniel was looking for acceptance—but the secrets he uncovers about his father will force him to make some surprising moves himself, in Grandmaster by David Klass.

The Lure
The Lure Balzer + Bray

The Lure

Title: The Lure
Author: Lynne Ewing
Release date: February 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Purchase from Amazon
Purchase for Kindle 

Synopsis on goodreads.com:

Fifteen-year-old Blaise Montgomery lives in the gritty outskirts of Washington, DC, where a stray bullet can steal a life on the way to school. Drugs and violence are the only ways to survive, so Blaise and her friends turn to gangs for safety, money, and love. When Blaise is invited to join Core 9, one of the most infamous crews, she jumps at the chance. Though her best guy friends, Rico and Satch, warn her about the danger, she agrees to be beaten for a minute straight as part of the gang's initiation ritual.

Now Blaise is finally part of a crew. A family.

But things get only more dangerous when she becomes a member of Core 9 and tensions with a rival gang heat up. Trek, the head of Core 9, asks Blaise to be his "lure," the sexy bait he'll use to track down enemy gang members and exact revenge. Rico and Satch tell her it's a death sentence, but Blaise can't resist the money and unparalleled power. As Trek puts Blaise in increasingly dangerous situations, she begins to see that there's more to lose than she ever realized-including Satch, the one person who has the power to get under her skin. With death lurking around every corner, should Blaise continue to follow the only path she's ever known, or cut and run?

Maybe One Day
Maybe One Day HarperTeen

Maybe One Day

Title: Maybe One Day
Author: Melissa Kantor
Release date: February 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 400
Publisher: HarperTeen
Purchase from Amazon
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Synopsis on goodreads.com:

Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plans for the future, none of which included Olivia getting sick. Still, Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her friend.

Even when she isn't sure what to say.

Even when Olivia misses months of school.

Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin, Olivia's crush.

The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for her to even imagine.

In this incandescent page-turner, which follows in the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars, Melissa Kantor artfully explores the idea that the worst thing to happen to you might not be something that is actually happening to you. Raw, irreverent, and honest, Zoe's unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

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