Standalone books these days are a novelty. It seems that every time you finish a book, there’s a cliffhanger with a sneak peek at the next in the trilogy – which doesn’t come out for a year! This list is a little appreciation for the books that actually finish once you turn the last page!
A refreshing high fantasy about a girl named Sydelle who is whisked away from her village by Wayland North, a wizard who needs an assistant and finds her the right person for the job. But as they cross the country Sydelle begins to realize there’s a lot of things she doesn’t know about herself, her journey, and North himself.
Amy Goodnight lives in a family that loves to dabble in the bizarre; her sisters and aunts are fascinated with magic and all she wants to do is keep away from it. So when she’s forced to house-sit her grandmother’s ranch, she expected some nice quiet company and ordinary work. Instead she is sucked into a murder investigation, some nasty ghosts, and magic so powerful even the Goodnight family doesn’t stand a chance.
Andi Anpers, heart-broken over the loss of her brother and frusterated by the distance of her family, ends up being whisked away to Paris by her fahter for Winter Break. There, she discovers a diary that once belonged to Alexandrine Paradis, who lived over two centuries before and found herself in the middle of the conflict of the French Revolution. Their two stories are woven together with a beautiful narrative and the closer Andi digs into Alexandrine’s past, the more she finds in the present.
Verity is a female spy who has been captured by the Gestapo during WWII and agrees to give them whatever information they want in exchange for something simple – time. So she gets an endless supply of paper (but not an endless supply of time) and a pen to write down her story. Masterfully crafted and possibly one of the best books out in recent years, Verity crafts a tale of friendship, courage, and tragedy.
Famous pirate Emer Morrisey is very close to escaping 17th century pirate life with her lover and her riches until she is cursed with the “dust of 100 dogs”, forcing her to live out the lives of 100 dogs before returning into a human body with her memories intact. Now she’s a teenager in the 21st century and it’s time to get even.
Some (most) people would call Hanna crazy, a girl with a head full of hallucinations and a medicine cabinet full of pills. But Hanna? Hanna just wants to be loved. And so she goes to Portero, Texas to make that happen. Except Portero is dark, dangerous and far stranger than Hanna herself. Good thing she’s far from normal.
Set during Stalin’s takeover of the Baltic nations in the 40s, Lina and her family are stolen from their house one night and forced into a dirty transport car. They begin their journey from their cozy life to the harsh realities of work camps and Siberia, documented only by Lina’s dirt drawings as a way to communicate with her father. Spanning over 6,500 miles and grueling conditions, Lina’s story is heart-wrenching and ultimately, brave.
Pearl has always been a vampire, and a damn good one. However, everything changes when she accidentally gets stabbed by a unicorn and starts to feel…well, human. Forced to go to high school to gather sacrifices for the Vampire King’s feast, she is confronted by friends, boys, and worse: a conscience.
Delilah Hannaford’s life is falling apart. She can’t seem to pick up her grades, her boy can’t even be called a boyfriend, and her mother refuses to talk about the reason the Hannaford family divided years ago. However, when circumstances force her and her mother to rejoin the family for the summer, Delilah discovers not only the secrets of her family, but the truth about herself.
Every year, at the end of November, the Scorpio Races begin. If you can manage to stay on your water horse long enough without dying, you take home the prize. Sean Kendrick is a returning champion; Puck Connelly’s entire future is at stake. And so she joins the race — the first girl ever to do so — but the consequences of her actions just might be dire.