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On My Radar: HIT by Delilah S. Dawson/I AM PRINCESS X by Cherie Priest/PIP BARTLETT’S GUIDE TO MAGICAL CREATURES by Jackson Pearce & Maggie Stiefvater

Summer is around the bend, and that means summer reading! I’m stocking up on books for me and the kids. Today I have two young adult books and one for younger middle grade readers. Looking forward to action and adventure and less “I have nothing to do, I’m bo-ored.”


HIT by Delilah S. Dawson
(SIMON PULSE | April 14, 2015 | Cover illustration artist: Regina Flath)


In order to save her mother, a teen is forced to become an indentured assassin in this sizzling dystopian thriller.

No one reads the fine print.

The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that we were bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they’re unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country.

Patsy didn’t have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die?

Patsy is forced to take on a five-day mission to complete a hit list of ten names. Each name on Patsy’s list has only three choices: pay the debt on the spot, agree to work as a bounty hunter, or die. And Patsy has to kill them personally, or else her mom takes a bullet of her own. Since yarn bombing is the only anarchy in Patsy’s past, she’s horrified and overwhelmed, especially as she realizes that most of the ten people on her list aren’t strangers. Things get even more complicated when a moment of mercy lands her with a sidekick: a hot rich kid named Wyatt whose brother is the last name on Patsy’s list. The two share an intense chemistry even as every tick of the clock draws them closer to an impossible choice.

Delilah S. Dawson offers an absorbing, frightening glimpse at a reality just steps away from ours—a taut, suspenseful thriller that absolutely mesmerizes from start to finish.


Dawson creates fascinating worlds and is adept at action scenes. A teenage assassin? Oh yes, there will be action. The premise is creepy. It feels like more of an older young adult book, so for now this will be my read.


I AM PRINCESS X by Cherie Priest, Illustrations by Kali Ciesemier
(ARTHUR A. LEVINE BOOKS | May 26, 2015 | Cover design by Phil Falco using artwork by Kali Ciesemier)


Best friends, big fans, a mysterious webcomic, and a long-lost girl collide in this riveting novel, perfect for fans of both Cory Doctorow and Sarah Dessen, & illustrated throughout with comics.

Once upon a time, two best friends created a princess together. Libby drew the pictures, May wrote the tales, and their heroine, Princess X, slayed all the dragons and scaled all the mountains their imaginations could conjure.

Once upon a few years later, Libby was in the car with her mom, driving across the Ballard Bridge on a rainy night. When the car went over the side, Libby passed away, and Princess X died with her.

Once upon a now: May is sixteen and lonely, wandering the streets of Seattle, when she sees a sticker slapped in a corner window.

Princess X?

When May looks around, she sees the Princess everywhere: Stickers. Patches. Graffiti. There’s an entire underground culture, focused around a webcomic at The more May explores the webcomic, the more she sees disturbing similarities between Libby’s story and Princess X online. And that means that only one person could have started this phenomenon—her best friend, Libby, who lives.


I’ve been finding more and more kids books that have comics interspersed throughout. My young readers love it. Priest is another I can count on for action-packed scenes, a big draw for me. I have a feeling that my eldest kid will be drawn to this one as well. I don’t think it is possible for her to pass by a book with a princess wielding a sword and not give it a try.


PIP BARTLETT’S GUIDE TO MAGICAL CREATURES by Jackson Pearce & Maggie Stiefvater, Illustrations by Maggie Stiefvater
(SCHOLASTIC | April 28, 2015 | Cover illustration artist: Maggie Stiefvater)


From bestselling authors Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce comes an exciting new series full of magical creatures, whimsical adventures, and quirky illustrations.

Here’s a list of things Pip Bartlett can talk to:

Miniature Silky Griffins
Basically, all magical creatures

Here’s a list of things she can’t talk to (at least, not very well):

Basically, all people

Because of a Unicorn Incident at her school (it was an accident!), Pip is spending the summer with her Aunt Emma at the Cloverton Clinic for Magical Creatures. At first, it’s all fun, games, and chatting with Hobgrackles, but when Fuzzles appear and start bursting into flame at the worst possible places, Pip and her new friend Tomas must take action. Because if the mystery of the Fuzzles isn’t solved soon, both magical and unmagical creatures are going to be in a lot of trouble.


Two words: magical veterinarian. That alone is enough to get the kids excited about this middle grade-level story (big kid aka me included). I also like that one of the characters is allergic to magical creatures. My daughter has allergies, making it difficult to be around her friends’ pets, even though she really likes animals. I think she’ll appreciate a character who struggles with something similar.

About Kathy F. (8 Articles)
Reader, reviewer, lazy crafter, amateur mixologist, destroyer of book budgets.
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