Action Thrillers

by Gina Damico
Graphia/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Spring 2012
Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.

He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.

Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner, Driggs, and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer. Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, yearning to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?

by Cole Gibson
 Flux, Winter 2012
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17-year-old Rileigh Martin would love to believe it was adrenaline that enabled her to fend off three muggers, but adrenaline doesn’t explain the fighting skills she suddenly possesses, the strange dreams she’s having of ancient Japan, or the voice she’s hearing in her head.

As if worrying she’s going crazy weren’t enough to put a serious dent in her summer plans, Rileigh has to deal with Kim, a young martial arts instructor who’s convinced Rileigh is harboring the spirit of a samurai inside of her. Once Rileigh starts receiving threats and fighting off attackers around every corner, she has no choice but to accept that what Kim claims might be true. Unsure about her future, her alleged past, or how to throw a punch without chipping a nail, the only thing Rileigh knows for certain is she’d much rather be breaking hearts than breaking bones.

As the threats mount, the spirit grows stronger, and her feelings for Kim intensify, Rileigh is torn between continuing as the girl she has always been and embracing the warrior inside of her. But will giving in to the samurai way change her forever?

by Jill Hathaway
Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 2012
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Sylvia "Vee" Bell's narcolepsy causes her to slide into other people's heads, witnessing events she'd rather not see; but when she finds herself in the head of a killer, standing over the butchered body of her sister's best friend, she becomes enmeshed in a web of secrets, lies and danger where the past has returned to haunt the present and where she can no longer trust even the friends and family she thought she knew.