By Holly Black and Ted Naifeh (Illustrator)

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Graphix, c2008, 2009

Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, dark fantasy, urban fantasy, faerie tale

Format: Graphic novel

Series: The Good Neighbors; 1

ISBN: 9780439855655

Intended audience: Young adult

Number of pages: 117

Setting: West City (USA)

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: When Rue Silver’s mom disappears after an argument with Rue’s father, Rue tries not to worry.  She’ll come back.  Where else does she have to go?  But after three weeks of no sight of her mom, Rue’s resolve is starting to slip.  Plus, Rue’s father hasn’t been to work since then and Rue has begun to see strange things and strange people.  When Rue’s father is taken by the police for questioning in a murder, Rue starts to question what she knows about her mother and where she came from. Continue reading


My Sister’s Keeper

By Jodi Picoult

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Pocket Books, c2004, 2009

Genre: General fiction

ISBN: 9781439157268

Intended audience: Adult (but has won many awards for adult fiction for young adults, including a 2005 Alex Award and 2006 Heartland Award)

Number of pages: 500

Setting: Providence, Rhode Island

Time period: 1990- 2010

Plot summary: Thirteen-year-old Anna was born healthy, but has been hospitalized nearly as often as her older sister, Kate, who has leukemia.  From the moment she was born, Anna has donated organs to Kate; she is a perfect genetic match for her (unlike anyone else in her family).  Anna loves her sister and wants her to recover fully someday, but when Anna’s parents want her to give Kate one of her kidneys, Anna decides she has had enough and seeks legal counsel. Continue reading

This is Your Country on Drugs: the Secret History of Getting High in America

By Ryan Grim

Place: Publisher & Year: Hoboken: Wiley, 2009

Genres: Non-fiction, social sciences, history, popular culture

ISBN: 9780470167397

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 264 (including notes and index)

Setting: USA

Time period: 1800s – present

Plot summary: Grim tells the story of America’s relationship with various drugs throughout the country’s history up to present day.  He begins the book by asking the question – what happened to acid? – since neither he nor any of his friends can find it anymore.  He then goes on to explain why LSD could no longer be found.  From here, he moves backward in time, examining the rise and fall of various drugs throughout the nation’s history, beginning with alcohol and including opiates, cocaine, marijuana, speed, pharmaceuticals and many others.  Grim looks at the cyclical nature of drug use over time for various drugs and how this relates to social, political, and economic factors of the time period.  By the end of the book, Grim comes full circle in examining acid’s comeback. Continue reading

No Dominion

By Charlie Huston

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Del Rey, 2006

Genres: Mystery, suspense, paranormal, vampire

Series: Joe Pitt Casebook; 2

ISBN: 9780345478252

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 251

Setting: Manhattan, NYC

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: When vampyre detective Joe Pitt discovers that there is a new drug in his neighborhood designed solely for vampyres, he has to find out more about it.    Unfortunately for him, no one is officially asking him to look into this matter and he is almost out of both blood and money with no hopes of refilling his supply of either.  Even worse is when he discovers that the source of the drug is coming from uptown.  He has to cross Coalition territory to get above 110th street, which is a very risky venture for him.  Even if he can do this without getting killed, he still needs an uptown contact. Continue reading

Storm Front

By Jim Butcher

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Roc, 2000

Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, mystery, paranormal

Series: The Dresden Files; 1

ISBN: 9780451457813

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 322

Setting: Chicago, IL and outskirts (Chicagoland)

Time period: 2000

Plot summary: Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is “the only openly practicing wizard in the country” (p. 2).  One can find his ad in the Chicago yellow pages.  Business has been slow for him; that changes quickly when he gets a call about a missing person and a call from the Chicago Police Department Special Investigations Unit on the same afternoon.  Soon, Harry will be much busier than he wants to be trying to find a killer.  But there’s no turning back, especially when others start to think that Harry is the one responsible for the magical murders. Continue reading

Club Dead

By Charlaine Harris

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Ace Books, 2003

Genres: Mystery, fantasy, dark fantasy, contemporary fantasy, paranormal, romance, paranormal romance, vampire

Series: Southern Vampire Mysteries (Sookie Stackhouse); 3

ISBN: 9780441010516

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 292

Setting: Bon Temps, Louisiana and Jackson, Mississippi

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: When Bill tells Sookie that he will be away for some time on a secret assignment in Seattle, Sookie tries not to get too upset.  She does fairly well until someone tries to attack her for reasons unbeknownst to her.  Next, Bill’s boss, the vampire Eric, tells Sookie that Bill has been taken captive – possibly by his former vampire lover, Lorena.  Sookie isn’t sure whether she wants to rescue Bill or stake him.  To do either, she has to find him first and that requires a trip to Jackson, Mississippi. Continue reading

Living Dead in Dallas

By Charlaine Harris, narrated by Johanna Parker

Place: Publisher & Year: Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books ; [Boulder, Colo. : Made available electronically by] NetLibrary, 2008

Genres: Mystery, fantasy, dark fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, romance, paranormal romance, vampire, thriller

Format: Audiobook

Series: Southern Vampire Mysteries (Sookie Stackhouse); 2

ISBN: 9781435643444 (electronic audio book)

Intended audience: Adult

Recorded time: 8.5 hrs.

Settings: Bon Temps, Louisiana and Dallas, Texas

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: When Sookie’s co-worker and friend, Lafayette, is found dead in a car parked outside of Merlotte’s Bar, it is the start of a very bad day, which gets increasingly worse as night falls.  After barely surviving an encounter with a maenad, Sookie learns that she and Bill must travel to Dallas to try and find a missing vampire. Continue reading