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January 2014 young adult book releases: Contemporary and Realistic Fiction

And We Stay
And We StayDelacorte Press

These books are being released in January 2014. For other January releases, please see the links at the bottom of the article. Stay tuned for more January releases.

In this list:

  • "And We Stay" by Jenny Hubbard
  • "Being Sloane Jacobs" by Lauren Morrill
  • "Double Digit" (Digit #2) by Annabel Monaghan
  • "Fake ID" by Lamar Giles
  • "The Gospel of Winter" by Brendan Kiely
  • "The Impossible Knife of Memory" by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • "No Place" by Todd Strasser
  • "The Scar Boys" by Len Vlahos
  • "When I Was the Greatest" by Jason Reynolds

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

And We Stay
And We Stay Delacorte Press

And We Stay

Title: And We Stay
Author: Jenny Hubbard
Release date: January 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 240
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Purchase from Amazon

Synopsis on goodreads.com:

When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.

Being Sloane Jacobs
Being Sloane Jacobs Delacorte

Being Sloane Jacobs

Title: Being Sloane Jacobs
Author: Lauren Morrill
Release date: January 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Publisher: Delacorte
Purchase from Amazon

Synopsis on goodreads.com:

Meet Sloane Emily Jacobs: a seriously stressed-out figure-skater from Washington, D.C., who choked during junior nationals and isn’t sure she’s ready for a comeback. What she does know is that she’d give anything to escape the mass of misery that is her life.

Now meet Sloane Devon Jacobs, a spunky ice hockey player from Philly who’s been suspended from her team for too many aggressive hip checks. Her punishment? Hockey camp, now, when she’s playing the worst she’s ever played. If she messes up? Her life will be over.

When the two Sloanes meet by chance in Montreal and decide to trade places for the summer, each girl thinks she’s the lucky one: no strangers to judge or laugh at Sloane Emily, no scouts expecting Sloane Devon to be a hero. But it didn’t occur to Sloane E. that while avoiding sequins and axels she might meet a hockey hottie—and Sloane D. never expected to run into a familiar (and very good-looking) face from home. It’s not long before the Sloanes discover that convincing people you’re someone else might be more difficult than being yourself.

Double Digit
Double Digit Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Double Digit

Title: Double Digit (Digit #2)
Author: Annabel Monaghan
Release date: January 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 192
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Purchase from Amazon

Synopsis on goodreads.com:

To say eighteen-year-old Farrah Higgins—or Digit—is good at math is a laughable understatement. She’s been cracking codes since childhood, and is finally at home with “her people” at MIT in Cambridge. Her talents are so off the charts that her laptop is under surveillance by both the CIA and an ecoterrorist named Jonas Furnis. So when she thoughtlessly hacks into the Department of Defense’s database, she lands in serious hot water inside and outside the law. Readers will be sad to turn the last page of this suspenseful, sassy, super smart thriller, the sequel to A Girl Named Digit.

Fake ID
Fake ID Harpercollins

Fake ID

Title: Fake ID
Author:  Lamar Giles
Release date: January 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 320
Publisher: Harpercollins
Purchase from Amazon

Synopsis on goodreads.com:

Nick Pearson is hiding in plain sight…

My name isn’t really Nick Pearson.

I shouldn’t tell you where I’m from or why my family moved to Stepton, Virginia.

I shouldn’t tell you who I really am, or my hair, eye, and skin color.

And I definitely shouldn’t tell you about my friend Eli Cruz and the major conspiracy he was about to uncover when he died—right after I moved to town. About how I had to choose between solving his murder with his hot sister, Reya, and “staying low-key” like the Program has taught me. About how moving to Stepon changed my life forever.

But I’m going to.

The Gospel of Winter
The Gospel of Winter Margaret K. McElderry Books

The Gospel of Winter

Title: The Gospel of Winter
Author: Brendan Kiely
Release date: January 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 304
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Purchase from Amazon

Synopsis on goodreads.com:

As sixteen-year-old Aidan Donovan’s fractured family disintegrates around him, he searches for solace in a few bumps of Adderall, his father’s wet bar, and the attentions of his local priest, Father Greg—the only adult who actually listens to him.

When Christmas hits, Aidan’s world collapses in a crisis of trust when he recognizes the darkness of Father Greg’s affections. He turns to a crew of new friends to help make sense of his life: Josie, the girl he just might love; Sophie, who’s a little wild; and Mark, the charismatic swim team captain whose own secret agonies converge with Aidan’s.

The Gospel of Winter maps the ways love can be used as a weapon against the innocent—but can also, in the right hands, restore hope and even faith. Brendan Kiely’s unflinching and courageous debut novel exposes the damage from the secrets we keep and proves that in truth, there is power. And real love.

The Impossible Knife of Memory
The Impossible Knife of Memory Viking Juvenile

The Impossible Knife of Memory

Title: The Impossible Knife of Memory
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Release date: January 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 372
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Purchase from Amazon

Synopsis on goodreads.com:

For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.

No Place
No Place Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

No Place

Title: No Place
Author: Todd Strasser
Release date: January 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 272
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Purchase from Amazon

Synopsis on goodreads.com:

When Dan and his family go from middle class to homeless, issues of injustice rise to the forefront in this relatable, timely novel from Todd Strasser.It seems like Dan has it all. He’s a baseball star who hangs with the popular crowd and dates the hottest girl in school. Then his family loses their home.

Forced to move into the town’s Tent City, Dan feels his world shifting. His friends try to pretend that everything’s cool, but they’re not the ones living among the homeless. As Dan struggles to adjust to his new life, he gets involved with the people who are fighting for better conditions and services for the residents of Tent City. But someone wants Tent City gone, and will stop at nothing until it’s destroyed.

The Scar Boys
The Scar Boys Egmont USA

The Scar Boys

Title: The Scar Boys
Author: Len Vlahos
Release date: January 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Publisher: Egmont USA
Purchase from Amazon

Synopsis on goodreads.com:

A severely burned teenager. A guitar. Punk rock. The chords of a rock 'n' roll road trip in a coming-of-age novel that is a must-read story about finding your place in the world...even if you carry scars inside and out.

In attempting to describe himself in his college application essay--help us to become acquainted with you beyond your courses, grades, and test scores--Harbinger (Harry) Jones goes way beyond the 250-word limit and gives a full account of his life.

The first defining moment: the day the neighborhood goons tied him to a tree during a lightning storm when he was 8 years old, and the tree was struck and caught fire. Harry was badly burned and has had to live with the physical and emotional scars, reactions from strangers, bullying, and loneliness that instantly became his everyday reality.

The second defining moment: the day in 8th grade when the handsome, charismatic Johnny rescued him from the bullies and then made the startling suggestion that they start a band together. Harry discovered that playing music transported him out of his nightmare of a world, and he finally had something that compelled people to look beyond his physical appearance. Harry's description of his life in his essay is both humorous and heart-wrenching. He had a steeper road to climb than the average kid, but he ends up learning something about personal power, friendship, first love, and how to fit in the world. While he's looking back at the moments that have shaped his life, most of this story takes place while Harry is in high school and the summer after he graduates.

When I Was the Greatest
When I Was the Greatest Atheneum Books for Young Readers

When I Was the Greatest

Title: When I Was the Greatest
Author: Jason Reynolds
Release date: January 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 240
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Purchase from Amazon

Synopsis on goodreads.com:

In Bed Stuy, New York, a small misunderstanding can escalate into having a price on your head—even if you’re totally clean. This gritty, triumphant debut captures the heart and the hardship of life for an urban teen.

A lot of the stuff that gives my neighborhood a bad name, I don’t really mess with. The guns and drugs and all that, not really my thing.

Nah, not his thing. Ali’s got enough going on, between school and boxing and helping out at home. His best friend Noodles, though. Now there’s a dude looking for trouble—and, somehow, it’s always Ali around to pick up the pieces. But, hey, a guy’s gotta look out for his boys, right? Besides, it’s all small potatoes; it’s not like anyone’s getting hurt.

And then there’s Needles. Needles is Noodles’s brother. He’s got a syndrome, and gets these ticks and blurts out the wildest, craziest things. It’s cool, though: everyone on their street knows he doesn’t mean anything by it.

Yeah, it’s cool…until Ali and Noodles and Needles find themselves somewhere they never expected to be…somewhere they never should've been—where the people aren't so friendly, and even less forgiving.