The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman
 When five of the king's men are brutally slaughtered, in a way that no one can explain, the townsfolk do what they normally do: they blame it on the wolves. Just before this, Fiona Eira comes to town with her stepfather and stepmother. Rowan  immediately makes a connection to this girl, even before knowing of their blood bond (she learns later they are cousins). For her best friend Tom, it is love at first sight. When he sees Fiona, he wants nothing more than to meet her. Rowan's father, however, has forbidden her from spending time with Fiona. Defiantly, she arranges for them to meet.

It is Tom who witnesses...what? He isn't sure he can even explain it. Something engulfed Fiona, and hollowed her out. A monster? A demon? What could have done that kind of damage? He isn't himself after the incident.

The villagers again turn a blind eye saying she brought it on herself venturing into the woods. Then the killings begin again. Rowan has always been raised to believe in knowledge and science...but these sinister dealings are reminiscent of the beasts of tales meant to keep children from wandering too far from home at night. Have they unleashed some great and terrible magic?

A great dark fairy tale for those who like being a little bit scared before they go to bed. Well-written and not too cookie cutter, it doesn't follow the Rose Red/Snow White myth too closely. I enjoyed the strong female protagonist, the unpredictable dynamic characters, the realistic emotions exhibited by the characters. I enjoyed the author's use of mob mentality and the way faith/tradition play into our actions. Very though provoking, and I always love a good scary book! Recommended for high school.

*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Grisha Trilogy, Book 1)
Splintered by A.G. Howard

Templeman, McCormick. (2014). The Glass Casket. New York, NY: Delacorte Press.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Mackenzie is a Keeper. She is a Keeper of one of the keys to the Archive. The Archive is where our histories (our vessels) are stored after we die. Sometimes our histories wake up, and someone needs to keep watch. Watch to keep the living - and the dead - safe from each other. Histories aren't like people, they're more like angry ghosts. The longer they are awake, the more confused they get. If they escape, it's usually into the Narrows, a place in between the real world and the Archive...and that is where Mackenzie is hunting.

She got her key from Da, and no one else knows about her life on the side. Not mom and dad, not her best friend. After her brother died, they all moved to this new place. Mom thinks they can start over, but it feels like running away to Mackenzie.

Something happens in the Narrows one day...there is someone else there, and it isn't a history. Who is this goth-punk kid on her turf? She's never met another Keeper. It feels so good not to have to lie. Maybe she can trust him...but there's something he's hiding too.

There's something else going on that's more important. Someone is killing histories. It has to be one of them: a Keeper or even Crew. No one else has access to them. Who could it be? Who hates the Archive so much as to destroy it? Can Mackenzie figure it out before they destroys her too?
“Lying is easy. But it's lonely."
"What do you mean?"
"When you lie to everyone about everything, what's left? What's true?"
"Nothing," I say.
"Exactly,”(Schwab, 2013).
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab (Archived, Book 2)
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Raven Cycle, Book 1)
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (5th Wave, Book 1)

Schwab, V. (2013). The Archived. New York: Hyperion.

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence
Alex Woods has always been different. When he was 11, he was hit in the head with a meteorite. It went right through the roof of his house, and bashed him in the head. Obviously he survived, but he did begin to suffer seizures as a result. As you can imagine, having seizures does not make you popular.

His mother (he doesn't even know who his father is) runs a local shop that carries charms, talismans, ingredients for spells, books on wicca, candles for covens, sage for get the idea. This, also, does not make you popular.

When he meets Mr. Peterson, through a series of unfortunate events, and is introduced to the wonderful author Kurt Vonnegut, and prefers reading on the bus to other types of social activities...well you get the picture. Mr. Peterson is a widower in his 60s, and soon becomes Alex's best friend.

All this is well and good until Mr. Peterson contracts a fatal illness. It's clear that the end will not be pleasant, and he will die trapped in his own body. The two hatch a scheme that takes them through Germany, into Switzerland, and may involve hydroponics. What do you do when the universe is against you? You make your own rules. That is exactly what Alex intends to do.

Excellently written, thoughtful, insightful, and of course - who doesn't love the Vonnegut references!! I recommend this for older teens, or 11 year-olds who are older than their years.
“When I read these books, I no longer felt like I was confined to a very tiny world. I no longer felt housebound or bedbound. Really, I told myself, I was just brainbound, and this was not such a sorry state of affairs. My brain, with a little help from other peoples brains, could take me to some pretty interesting places, and create all kinds of wonderful things. Despite its faults, my brain, I decided, was not the worst place in the world to be,” (Extence, 2013).
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
Winger by Andrew Smith
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Extence, Gavin. (2013). The Universe Versus Alex Woods. New York, NY: Redhook.