Well, you can read them, but you can't check them out here. One, because I need to order a copy, and one, because I just removed it from the system.
But, you should! You should read both of them! So, I'm putting them in a post together, even though they couldn't be more different.
Jinx, by Sage Blackwood
(ARC from HarperCollins)
In the Urwald, you don't step off the path. Trolls, werewolves, and butter churn–riding witches lurk amid the clawing branches, eager to swoop up the unwary. Jinx has always feared leaving the path—then he meets the wizard Simon Magus.
Jinx knows that wizards are evil. But Simon's kitchen is cozy, and he seems cranky rather than wicked. Staying with him appears to be Jinx's safest, and perhaps only, option. As Jinx's curiosity about magic grows, he learns to listen to the trees as closely as he does to Simon's unusual visitors. The more Jinx discovers, the more determined he becomes to explore beyond the security of well-trodden paths.
But in the Urwald, a little healthy fear is never out of place, for magic—and magicians—can be as dangerous as the forest. And soon Jinx must decide which is the greater threat.
What a fun book! Some favorite lines from the ARC:
"The Bonemaster sucks out people's souls with a straw,"said Jinx. "Do you?"
"I have some bad habits," said Simon. "But that is not one of them."
Her face had a lot of nose to it.
It's a good sign when I'm 15 pages in, and have already marked two passages! Jinx is instantly real and likeable, as are Simon and other characters - even while you share Jinx's distrust of them. That is actually one of the lessons of the book - should you, just because you like someone, trust them in every way? Can people be both very right and very wrong? Both good and evil? The cover illustration very nicely plays into the confusion that often surrounds Jinx: is that tree branch grabbing at him, or protecting him?
Not to make this sound like a heavy-handed work, not at all. The whole story is a delightful trip into what is sure to become a popular series with middle schoolers. This first book is available now, and I'm hoping a sequel will follow soon.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart
Bought off the discard shelf.
Yes, the discard shelf. I had to weed the young adult fiction section, an activity that is almost physically painful, because it had already been done recently. That meant that I had to cut deeper, in this instance taking out books that I had kept because they were award winners, but which have not checked out in a while. I ended up purchasing some for my own collection, muttering disparaging remarks about patrons who don't know what's good. I hadn't actually read this one, but I had certainly heard of it, so it ended up on the top of my pile.
Hello! Teenage and adult patrons! You were totally missing out!!! I read this in almost one sitting (or, as close to one sitting as I ever get), and thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. Okay, it's not without its issues (um...making the female protagonist the only intelligent one and all the boys more or less clueless is sort of reverse discrimination), but for the most part, it is packed with 'good stuff'.
We start with a letter of confession from the protagonist, taking full blame/credit for a series of pranks that have taken place on her exclusive boarding-school campus. While the titles of the pranks ("The Doggies in the Window", "The Canned Beet Rebellion") are lighthearted, and were in actuality pretty funny, there is a lot in here for the thinking reader. In fact, I have gone off to several adults, my husband included, about the comparison of the panopticon to a boarding school and how that relates so well to our present governmental trends.
Okay, maybe I can see where that might put off readers looking for fluff, but I promise you, it's an entertaining semi-intellectual read - especially for anyone remotely interested in sociology and strategy and multi-colored bras. I think every teenage girl, in particular, should read this. In fact, I am making the decision right now, to put this book back into the collection, so I can shove it into the hands of the next teen I see who I know remotely well enough to do so. (M., that would most likely be you!)
So, I suppose the title of this post is partially a lie - these are two books that you can't read yet. But the second paragraph - telling you that you should read them - is still absolutely true!