YOU CHOOSE is a weekly meme. Every week (starting on Thursdays) I will be posting 3 books that are on my TBR list that I want to read and YOU CHOOSE which one is the winner. These can be books in any format, on your own shelf, or borrow from a friend or library.
The Adventures of Archibald and Jockabeb – In the Forest by Art Collins
The first book in the series begins when Archibald and Jockabeb sneak out of their house at midnight to hunt for a secret cave that was marked on an old map they’d found earlier in the day. The two brothers, who are twelve and eleven, end up finding and entering the secluded cave hidden deep within an eerie forest. After the boys descend a stone staircase, they discover a subterranean lake where an underwater dragon lives. The underwater dragon is actually a young Indian brave, Haktu, who many years before was transformed into the dragon by four evil warriors of the Black Raven Tribe. After Archibald repeats the magic words, “Nito, Vito, Samu,” Haktu is returned to his natural body. The three young boys then run for their lives when they are chased by flying wolf-crows that are part snarling wolf and part giant black crow.
This initial encounter begins Archibald’s and Jockabeb’s first amazing adventure—an incredible adventure that spans the next year. During that time, the two brothers become reacquainted with Haktu after they along with their younger sister, Tess, find his lost pony, Uno. Still pursued by the deadly wolf-crows, the boys learn more about Haktu’s family, including the details of how he was captured by the Black Raven warriors. When Haktu finally says good-bye, he gives Archibald a magic blue feather. The blue feather plays an important role in subsequent books as Archibald and Jockabeb find themselves in one life-threatening predicament after another.
While the settings change from book to book, the two brothers always meet fascinating characters—some good, and some evil; some human, and some anything but; some from this world, and some otherworldly beyond belief. As the boys grow older and travel across the United States, and to faraway places like the Amazon, the Caribbean, the Arctic, and the Orient, they learn the true meaning of friendship. The reader also learns interesting facts about the various places Archibald and Jockabeb visit, while witnessing the classic battle between the forces of good and evil play out in different ways.
The Girls by Emma Cline
Girls—their vulnerability, strength, and passion to belong—are at the heart of this stunning first novel for readers of Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad.
Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.
Emma Cline’s remarkable debut novel is gorgeously written and spellbinding, with razor-sharp precision and startling psychological insight. The Girls is a brilliant work of fiction—and an indelible portrait of girls, and of the women they become.
The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse
Magic can do a lot—give you flight, show you mermaids, help you taste the stars, and… solve the budget crisis? That’s what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home.
However, Gwen doesn’t know this. She’s just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn’t know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out though—and when she does, she’ll discover she’s in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality.
She’ll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won’t be the only one. Peter Pan’s constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. Soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she’s going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight for eternal youth… or if she’s going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance.