Over this past weekend, we had the honor of attending the Annual American Library Association Conference in Chicago, Illinois. ALAAC17 was a get together of librarians from all over the country (and in some cases the world) to come together and celebrate libraries, literacy, books, and information sciences. This week we are going to share with you the things that we saw, the things we did, and the books that we got that we are the most excited for.
Kate’s Top 5 Books from ALAAC 2017
“There’s Someone Inside Your House” by Stephanie Perkins
This book is being described as “YA meets “Scream””, so you know that I am one hundred percent here for it. Students at a high school called Osbourne High are being picked off one by one and murdered in increasingly horrific ways. New girl Makani finds herself in the middle of it all, wondering if she will be next. But Makani has secrets of her own that she is trying to forget. Now she may have to confront her past as well as a killer. I went looking for horror and thrillers at this convention when it came to to the books that I wanted to come home with, and I feel like I found it and then some with this book. It’s been on my personal radar for awhile, and I was absolutely stoked when I was able to get a copy of it to take home. It’s not easy to find slasher horror that translates well to the page, so I am really hoping that Perkins can make it work.
“Dear Martin” by Nic Stone
I really, REALLY enjoyed “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas, and when I heard that she had really good things to say about “Dear Martin”, I knew that I needed to keep an eye out for it. It’s a story that feels all to real and relevant, with more and more stories in the news of African Americans being victimized by the police, which means it’s all the more important. Justyce is an A student filled to the brim with extracurriculars and a bright future. But all the police officer to puts him in handcuffs sees is the color of his skin. While Justyce is released without charges, he’s completely shaken up by his experience. He starts to feel the derision and contempt from his classmates and those around him at school, and so to cope he starts a diary in which he writes letters to Martin Luther King Jr. Given that here in Minnesota we are still feeling the fallout from the Philando Castille/Jeronimo Yanez verdict, this feels like a book that I need to read ASAP.
“When I Am Through With You” by Stephanie Kuehn
When I asked the publisher rep about “There’s Someone Inside Your House”, one of them said that if I wanted that one she had another one in mind for me. When she handed me Stephanie Kuehn’s new book “When I Am Through With You” I started jumping up and down. As you all know, I LOVE Stephanie Kuehn’s novels, as they take gritty and dark thriller lit and expertly make it seamlessly YA. And this one is a CAMPING TRIP NIGHTMARE!! ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS! When a group of teenagers go camping, something goes terribly wrong. Now Ben is in jail, and while he isn’t claiming it to be a confession, he is saying he will say what happened to Rose, even though he isn’t sorry about what he did. He tells the tale of what happened on the camping trip, who lived, who died, and potentially why. Kuehn is so good at exploring the psyches of messed up and tragic people, and I am very excited to have this one on my shelf.
“Ravenous” by Amy Lukavics
If you recall, I absolutely LOVED Lukavics’ book “Daughters Unto Devils”, but was a bit underwhelmed by her other book “Women in the Walls”. That said, I know that she has a serious talent for writing straight up horror for teenagers, and so I’m more than willing to give “Ravenous” a try. The Canes are a seemingly put together and loving military family, but the reality is the sisters hate each other, their father is always gone, and their mother is lost in her own world of sadness and addiction. But when Rose Cane, the youngest sister of the bunch, dies tragically, the sisters are completely ruined… Until Rose comes back to life, and has a need to eat human flesh. Now the Cane sisters need to figure out how badly they want to keep their family together. ZOMBIES, GUYS.
“Strange Weather” by Joe Hill
As I am sure you guys can imagine, when I saw that “Strange Weather” by Joe Hill was available at ALA I practically screamed. Hill is one of my favorite authors writing today, and I have been aching for this book since I finished “The Fireman” last year. In this book Hill is kind of taking a page from his father’s work structure wise, as it’s four novellas combined into one book. They sound like they run the gamut from the bittersweet to the scary, the surreal and whimsical to the disturbing and finite. A camera erases memories. A cloud is solid and traps a skydiver. The sky rains nails. A man stops a mass shooting but loses his sanity. I just know that Hill is going to write all of these stories with a deft hand and deep insight, and that I will no doubt end up curled up on the floor rocking back and forth either because I’m so freaked out, or because it’s so damn good.
Tomorrow Serena will be giving her book highlights. Keep an eye out, because there is one on there that I got as well and that I’m VERY excited for along with these. Suffice to say, ALAAC17 was a success all around, and I am so glad that we were able to go and experience all parts of it.