By Samantha Ehlinger Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Here are a few books that might appeal to teen readers. From mystery, to magic, to knee-slapping comedy, these books would make a great gift for a son, a daughter or a friend, or even a nice treat for yourself.
“Hemlock” by Kathleen Peacock
Overloaded with vampires, but craving the supernatural? In “Hemlock,” lupine syndrome, aka the werewolf virus, is spreading and the government is on high alert.
The main character, 17-year-old Mac, does not have the normal high school experience. Her life is forever changed when a werewolf murders her best friend, Amy.
Haunted by dreams of her lost friend, Mac needs to find Amy’s killer, protect her friends, and figure out what exactly is going on between her and her friend Kyle.
Mac doesn’t know whether to trust what the government or her heart is telling her. Maybe werewolves aren’t all as dangerous as they seem. Her empathy and compassion drive the novel, and make this a nail-biting read as she encounters the unfortunate events someone living in a werewolf-filled world would have to deal with.
The realistic characters and almost apocalyptic style of “Hemlock” will keep you captivated until the last page. If you like this book, you’re in luck: It is the first of a planned trilogy.
“Fathomless” by Jackson Pearce
“Fathomless” is a chilling retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid.”
Lo was human, until something or someone changed her into a sea creature who is slowly losing her soul. She is both frightening and endearing, a creature with memories of her life as a human fighting to stay compassionate in her new world of soulless beings.
Celia Reynolds can see into the past, a power she thought was useless until she encountered Lo. The two meet in the most unlikely of circumstances and form the most unlikely of friendships to try and empower each other to take charge of their futures.
Forget Disney. This twist on Andersen’s tale has no “kiss the girl” scene. It is a frightening, elusive mystery, subtly dropping plot hints until the last 100 pages, where it bombards the readers with twist after twist.
Much like the TV show “Once Upon a Time,” this book is like a magical detective novel. The goal: Figure out why the “mermaids” are the way they are. The answer makes this book more than a happy-go-lucky fairy tale.
“Fathomless” is a companion to “Sisters Red and Sweetly.”
“The Boy Recession” by Flynn Meaney
“The Boy Recession” is a laugh-out-loud read sure to appeal to readers missing summer lovin’ and looking for a well-written comedy.
A high school in Whitefish Bay, Wis., suffers a series of unfortunate events leading to a significant lack of boys, and a sea of desperate girls who just want somebody to love and, more importantly, to take to the prom.
Similar to the novel “Scrambled Eggs at Midnight” (another great read) by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler, the story is narrated from two perspectives: that of Kelly Robbins, a flute player with unique friends, and Hunter Fahrenbach, the most “chill” person who ever lived.
The Hunter sections definitely make the book. His couldn’t-care-less attitude on everything is hysterical, which makes him even more entertaining when he finally does care about something (or someone) for the first time.
The clever chapter titles are really fictional titles of Kelly’s friend’s blog about the “boy recession.” Funny titles like “It’s Raining Women: Female Performers Make Up 80 Percent of Open-Mic Night Performance” start the chapters with a chuckle.
If “The Boy Recession” appeals, also check out Meaney’s “Bloodthirsty.”