Tag Archives: Ni-Ni Simone

New Releases – July 2015

Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler (Spencer Hill Press)

Book Description: Young actor Josh Chester has never been sure that acting is for him–he’s mostly interested in the parties and the hot Hollywood girls that come with the job. But he ends up taking a job on the hit TV series Daylight Falls, opposite Vanessa Park, a girl who is immune to his charms and also his polar opposite. Vanessa loves her job, despite her parents’ disapproval. She’s pretty certain about everything in her life, until she meets her new career handler, a gorgeous girl named Bri. Then things start to get a little confusing.

Under the Lights features an adorable romance between two young women, all set against the backdrop of Hollywood. As Vanessa confronts her emerging feelings for her handler, Bri, her co-star Josh confronts his realization that the Hollywood scene might not really be his cup of tea. Under the Lights is a story of self-discovery: learning that the person you always thought you were might not actually be the case anymore.

You and Me and Him by Kris Dinnison (HMH Books for Young Readers)

“By junior year Maggie is resigned to being the overweight girl who will never be an A-lister. But she doesn’t dwell on it … and she has a great job at a record store. She also has a faithful best friend in Nash, who shares her taste in “teachers, music, art, literature, and boys.” Conflicts emerge when “new guy” Tom enters the scene, making Maggie’s and Nash’s hearts flutter. … In this compassionate first novel, Dinnison adeptly portrays the rising and falling hopes within an unconventional love triangle.” — Publishers Weekly

Adrift by Paul Griffin (Scholastic)

“In a terrifying survival story in which past traumas are as visceral and intense as present circumstances, five teenagers try to stay alive after becoming lost off the Atlantic coast. Raised in a blue-collar neighborhood in Queens, friends Matt and John are working in Montauk, N.Y., for the summer when they meet 17-year-old Driana Gonzaga, her Brazilian cousin Estefania, and Estefania’s boyfriend, João. … Profound moments … will haunt readers as much as the lethal injuries, worsening weather, class friction, and psychological instability the teenagers face.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

Paperweight by Meg Haston (HarperTeen)

“This realistic tale opens as Stephanie (Stevie) arrives at a 60-day residential treatment facility for eating disorder, located in rural New Mexico. … Despite her flaws, it is hard not to feel for Stevie. A carefully constructed buildup still lends to a quick read, which is hard to put down. Haston deals respectfully with the difficult subject matters of eating disorders and focuses on the recovery rather than the disease.” — School Library Journal

Deceptive by Emily Lloyd-Jones (Little, Brown BFYR)

Book Description: You don’t belong with us.

These are the words that echo through the minds of all immune Americans-those suffering the so-called adverse effects of an experimental vaccine, including perfect recall, telepathy, precognition, levitation, mind control, and the ability to change one’s appearance at will.

When great numbers of immune individuals begin to disappear, fear and tension mount, and unrest begins to brew across the country. Through separate channels, superpowered teenagers Ciere, Daniel, and Devon find themselves on the case: super criminals and government agents working side by side. It’s an effort that will ultimately define them all, for better or for worse.

The Blind Wish by Amber Lough (Random House BFYR)

“As in the series opener, Zayele—raised as a human and untrained in using her magic—makes the titular wish and sets certain events in motion. The heart of this story is really twofold: how the sisters and secondary (human) characters Yashar and Rahela begin to find their places in a rapidly changing world; and the action-packed war that ends only in the face of an even bigger threat, ultimately pitting two human-jinn alliances against one another. … Enjoyable, thoughtful, packed with action, consequences, and a few kisses—readers will wish for a third book right away.” — Kirkus

About a Girl by Sarah McCarry (St. Martin’s Griffin)

“The conclusion to the ”Metamorphoses“ trilogy (St. Martin’s) follows Tally to a small town outside of Seattle where she seeks out her maybe-father to learn more about her past and her family. The place feels full of magic and people who intrigue her. Tally has a hard time thinking straight here, and her dreams are filled with vivid and terrifying images of blood. She falls for the mysterious Maddy, a girl who seems to hold the answers to her many questions. … This edgy, smart, and challenging title combines mythology, punk rock, science, a quest, feminism, art, dreams, and the power of stories and storytelling with unforgettable results. The well-developed cast of characters is racially and sexually diverse. The emphasis on the importance of female relationships—as family, as lovers, and as friends—is a welcome exploration of the many levels of intimacy. ” — School Library Journal, starred review

Show and Prove by Sofia Quintero (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

“Academic ambition and hip-hop intersect in the South Bronx, where two friends spend a summer growing up and, unwillingly, apart. Quintero details the summer of 1983, when the teens work what appears to be their final summer together as camp counselors. Raymond ”Smiles“ King is a smart, ambitious black teenager who has recently lost his mom to sickle cell anemia, and Guillermo ”Nike“ Vega is a Nuyorican Casanova and break-dancer who attempts to woo beautiful Sara, a new, mysterious girl in their neighborhood. … The story is powerful and thought-provoking, an homage to a climactic hip-hop era, when friends are caught between aspirations and predetermined social disadvantages. A must-read for fans of Walter Dean Myers’ All the Right Stuff and other lovers of proud urban realism.” — Kirkus

Down by Law by Ni-Ni Simone (Dafina)

Book Description: Lesson #1: You come for me, I come back even harder for you. Fair exchange. No robberies.

Isis Carter got schooled early on in surviving the streets. When some girls put a beatdown on her, she took back what was hers. When her brother was killed and her mom, Queenie, bailed, Isis fought to stay strong. And when her dad abandoned her for his new family, sixteen-year-old Isis buried the hurt by looking out for herself—and hookin’ up with bad boy Fresh…until a run-in with the law shatters Isis’s world and threatens to destroy her future.

Now the only person Isis can rely on is herself…until her secret crush K-Rock steps in. But when Isis lets her guard down, will she be given a second chance to get her life straight or will it cost her everything?

Hollywood Witch Hunter by Valerie Tejeda (Bloomsbury Spark)

Book Description: From the moment she first learned the truth about witches…she knew she was born to fight them. Now, at sixteen, Iris is the lone girl on the Witch Hunters Special Ops Team. But when Iris meets a boy named Arlo, he might just be the key to preventing an evil uprising in Southern California. Together they’re ready to protect the human race at all costs. Because that’s what witch hunters do. Welcome to Hollywood.

Naked by Stacey Trombley (Entangled Teen)

Book Description: When tough teenager Anna ran away to New York, she never knew how bad things would get. After surviving as a prostitute, a terrifying incident leaves her damaged inside and out, and she returns home to the parents she was sure wouldn’t want her anymore.

Now she has a chance to be normal again. Back in school, she meets a boy who seems too good to be true. Cute, kind, trusting. But what will he do when he finds out the truth about her past? And when a dark figure from New York comes looking for Anna, she realizes she must face her secrets…before they destroy her.

(Main character is half Puerto Rican.)

The New Order by Chris Weitz (Little, Brown BFYR)

Book Description: They thought they were the only ones left. They were wrong. After the unexpected revelation at the end of the first book, Donna and Jefferson are separated. Jefferson returns to NYC and tries to bring a cure to the Sickness back to the Washington Square tribe, while Donna finds herself in England, facing an unimaginable new world. Can the two reunite and prevent an even greater disaster than the Sickness? This second book in The Young World trilogy will keep you at the edge of your seat.

New Releases – December 2014

After our holiday hiatus we forgot to post December’s diverse new releases, so here they are, a little late but still new!

Rebels by Accident by Patricia Dunn (Sourcebooks Fire)

“Editor and journalist Dunn debuts with a powerful coming-of-age story (originally self-published), set on the brink of Egypt’s January 25 Revolution in 2011. Egyptian-American Mariam struggles with the contradictions of being Muslim in post–9/11 New York City. When the 15-year-old and her best friend Deanna get arrested at their first high school party, Mariam’s strict parents send both girls to stay with Mariam’s sittu (grandmother) in Cairo. … Dunn allows Mariam’s voice its space—making it tentative, passionate, doubting, and utterly believable—while creating a cast of Cairo youth, rebels, and expatriates that upend Mariam’s preconceptions and will do the same for many readers.” — Publishers Weekly

After Us by Amber Hart (K-Teen) — Coming Dec. 30, 2014

Book Description: Melissa smiles, flirts, and jokes, never showing her scars. Eight months after tragedy ripped her from her closest friend, Melissa is broken. Javier has scars of his own: a bullet wound, and the memory of a cousin shot in the heart. Life in the States was supposed to be a new beginning, but a boy obsessed by vengeance has no time for the American dream. To honor his familia, Javier joins the gang who set up his cousin’s murder. The entrance price is blood. Death is the only escape. When fate decides to twist their paths, Melissa and Javier could make each other whole again, or be shattered forever…

Driving Lessons (A You Know Who Girls Novel) by Annameekee Hesik (Bold Strokes Books)

Abbey Brooks has recovered from her end-of-freshman-year heartbreak and has vowed that this year, her sophomore year at Gila High, will be different in every way. Her to-do list: get her driver’s license, come out to her mom, get (and keep) a girlfriend, and survive another year of basketball. As always, though, nothing goes according to plan. Who will be there for her as her plans start to unravel? Who will bring her back to life after another round of heartache and betrayal? These remain a mystery—even to Abbey. But one thing is for sure, she’s not confused about who she is. And that is going to make all the difference.

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Disney-Hyperion) — Coming Dec. 23, 2014

“Kaufman and Spooner focus on new characters and a new world in this splendid return to the universe that they created in These Broken Stars (Hyperion, 2013). … Kaufman and Spooner prove that their first brilliant installment was no fluke with this strong second outing. They provide complex characters and a situation with no simple solution. There is action, a spark of romance, and a mystery, all set on a fully-realized planet.” — School Library Journal

Lights, Love & Lip Gloss by Ni-Ni Simone and Amir Abrams (K-Teen) — Coming Dec. 30, 2014

Book Description: Finally, London Phillips is defying her domineering mother and taking control of her life. But she’s striking back with a weapon that could destroy her future—and her last chance at real love… Two too many cuties have left Rich Montgomery desperate for the perfect cover-up—but when her house of lies comes tumbling down, things get pretty twisted and her fate is left in the hands of her most vengeful frenemy… Heather Cummings is more successful than ever thanks to an amazing comeback—and the ultimate Hollywood betrayal. But old habits die hard and threaten to turn her glittering success to sparkling ash…There’s no one better than Spencer Ellington when it comes to revenge. But stopping her inheritance-stealing mother and saving her crown turns into an all-access media battle. Now Hollywood High’s in-crowd is poised for oh-so-sweet payback…

We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, A True Story by Josh Sundquist (Little, Brown) — Coming Dec. 23, 2014

“[A] laugh-out-loud memoir…This is a unique, earnest, and funny coming-of-age story about Sundquist’s experiences as a cancer survivor, amputee, Paralympic ski racer, and motivational speaker. Readers will appreciate the humorous and often embarrassingly accurate tales depicted in the pages of this book.” — School Library Journal

Asher’s Shot by Elizabeth Wheeler (Bold Strokes Books)

Book Description: After uncovering the truth about his parents’ divorce and his brother’s death, fifteen-year-old Asher Price is ready for a shot at happiness. Armed with a Canon camera borrowed from his nutty neighbor, a date to homecoming, and revitalized relationships with family and friends, Asher’s on the right track. Even though Asher’s black-and-white view of the world has shifted to color, he still believes the only way to protect the people he loves is by keeping their secrets. His candid pictures capture the truth, but what if his success as a photographer requires exposing an enemy? In the end, Asher discovers protecting the people he loves can have devastating consequences, and his only shot at happiness involves revealing secrets of his own.

Diamond Boy by Michael Williams (Little, Brown)

“A riveting tale about 15-year-old Patson Moyo, who becomes a diamond farmer, working in the Marange diamond fields of 2006 Zimbabwe, to help provide for his family. … the story crosses over with Williams’s 2011 novel, Now Is the Time for Running, though readers need not be familiar with that book to be gripped and horrified by the troubles facing Patson and his nation.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

10 African American Authors to Know

Lamar Giles

Alaya Dawn Johnson

Stephanie Kuehn

Kekla Magoon

Walter Dean Myers

  • The 2012–2013 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, and winner of the Margaret Edwards Award for lifetime achievement.
  • www.walterdeanmyers.net

Jason Reynolds

Ni-Ni Simone

Sherri L. Smith

Jacqueline Woodson

Bil Wright

  • A playwright, director, and author of the YA novels Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy and Sunday You Learn How to Box.
  • www.bilwright.com

New Releases – November 2013

He Said She Said by Kwame Alexander (Amistad)

“Claudia and Omar, with their entertaining and distinctive narrative voices, are a couple worth rooting for in this lighthearted, socially conscious romance.” — Horn Book

The Missing Juliet by Sam Cameron (Bold Strokes Books)

Book description: Summer’s sizzling in the Florida Keys and Robin McGee should be planning for college. Instead, she’s passionately in love with beautiful movie starlet Juliet Francine. Too bad it’s a one-way crush shared by millions of others. Robin’s better off sticking to her summer job and fighting for the equal treatment of GLTBQ teens everywhere. But when Juliet is kidnapped from a film set in Key West, Robin turns amateur sleuth and recruits her friends to help in the search. Soon the FBI, police, and paparazzi are hot on the case as well. As time ticks down and the ransom notes grow dire, Robin will get just one chance to pull off a Hollywood happy ending—and maybe a shot at true love after all.

The Living by Matt de la Peña (Delacorte)

“A  straight-up tour de force, a breathless, horrifying dash into the void…the fun of de la Peña’s latest is how unexpectedly he blends genres, making this, in a sense, four books in one: a finely observed social-class drama, an on-the-sea survival adventure, a global-disaster book, and a contagion thriller.” — Booklist

Foul Trouble by John Feinstein (Knopf)

“Two prominent high school basketballers navigate college decisions amid a throng of unscrupulous coaches, agents, shoe-company representatives and other hangers-on vying for their attention. … Thorough and suspenseful; a must-read for those interested in basketball and the dealings surrounding the sport.” — Kirkus, starred review

Tune: Still Life by Derek Kirk Kim and Les McClaine (First Second)

Book description: In the second installment of the TUNE series of graphic novels, our hapless hero Andy Go is settling into life in an alien zoo…as one of the exhibits. It’s not so bad: the food is good, and his environment is a perfect copy of his house back on Earth. But everything falls to pieces when Andy realizes he’s been tricked: there will be no weekend visits back to Earth, as he was promised, and his contract doesn’t last one year…it lasts a lifetime.

Afterglow by Karsten Knight (Simon & Schuster)

Book description: Teenage volcano goddess Ashline Wilde discovers that her former love, Colt Halliday, has an evil plan to kill the Cloak, the benevolent beings that oversee the gods. And that’s not all—he also wants to merge Ash and her two sisters back into a single, too-powerful goddess, Pele. Ash must stop her trickster-god ex-boyfriend once and for all…and to do it, she’s going to have to feed a few flames.

Champion by Marie Lu (Putnam)

“This exhilarating finale to the dystopian Legend trilogy delivers on the promises of the genre without ever being predictable about details. … Ever respectful of the capacity of its readers, this series offers a satisfying conclusion of potential rather than a neatly wrapped denouement.” — Kirkus, starred review

The Seventh Pleiade by Andrew J. Peters (Bold Strokes Books)

“A gay Atlantean prince combats gossip, a creepy priest and throngs of serpents in an attempt to deliver his ill-fated city from annihilation. … Varied, vivid landscapes will entice discerning fantasy readers, and beefy vocabulary keeps the narrative hearty. A marriage of equality among fantasy, mythology, action and same-sex romance.” — Kirkus

True Story by Ni-Ni Simone (K-Teen Dafina)

Book description: What’s a girl to do when love has her caught up?

That’s the plight of eighteen-year-old Seven McKnight. Her freshman year at Stiles University turned out to be a tug of war for her heart and her sophomore year promised more of the same. Just when she’d sworn off her ex-boyfriend, Josiah Whitaker, and thought she’d never love him again, he boldly stepped back into her life, with no regard that she’d moved on with Zaire St. James, her new boyfriend.

Caught off guard and thrust into a whirlwind of emotion, Seven no longer knows if she should stay or go… All she knows is that old feelings won’t die, her new love is being ruined by lies, and the fairy tale she once dreamed of may never become her true story.

The Surprise of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa (Little, Brown)

Book description: The two storylines from The Disassociation of Haruhi Suzumiyacontinue, introducing a new inductee into the S.O.S. brigade who may be more than just the eager freshman she appears to be. As the two realities converge, the SOS Brigade learns that the new member may have the ability to bring the two story “timelines” together… and save the world in the process.