April 5, 2016 Debuts

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

"It’s the authentic depiction of grief—how Jessie and other characters respond to loss, get stuck, struggle to break through—devoid of cliché, that will keep readers engaged."
-- Kirkus reviews
"The dialogue—both spoken and typed—is consistently funny, and adult author Buxbaum (After You) makes everyone, even subsidiary characters, believable. She maintains suspense until the very end, and even if readers think they know who “Somebody Nobody” is, the desire to find out whether Jessie’s real-life and virtual crushes are one and the same will keep them turning the pages as quickly as possible."
-- Publisher's Weekly starred review

Xander Miyamoto would rather do almost anything than listen to his sixth grade teacher, Mr. Stedman, drone on about weather disasters happening around the globe. If Xander could do stuff he’s good at instead, like draw comics and create computer programs, and if Lovey would stop harassing him for being half Asian, he might not be counting the minutes until the dismissal bell.

When spring break begins at last, Xander plans to spend it playing computer games with his best friend, Peyton. Xander’s father briefly distracts him with a comic book about some samurai warrior that pops out of a peach pit. Xander tosses it aside, but Peyton finds it more interesting. Little does either boy know that the comic is a warning.

They are about to be thrust into the biggest adventure of their lives—a journey wilder than any Xander has ever imagined, full of weird monsters even worse than Lovey. To win at this deadly serious game they will have to rely on their wits, courage, faith, and especially, each other. Maybe Xander should have listened to Mr Stedman about the weather after all....

"Xander’s narration effectively balances the inner turmoil facing the main characters against the beasts they battle. Even when Xander sleeps, his subconscious mind becomes the most powerful tool he has. "
-- Kirkus reviews

The future is bright for 16-year-old Ava Holland and the residents of Evereach. They don't have to worry about old age or even getting sick. In their world, humans regenerate, heal, and live for hundreds of years. Mortality isn't something to fear. Disease has been all but eradicated. Everything changes when Ava watches her brother die and he doesn't regenerate. Ava's genetics are called into question by the government, scientists, extremists, and Ava herself. Could her genes hold the answer to mortality? Is she an anomaly or something to be feared?

Determined not to become anyone's guinea pig, Ava doesn't stick around to find out. She wants answers too, but the only person who can help her is 17-year-old Michael Bradley, the boy who killed her brother. If either of them have even the slightest chance of survival, they must find the genetic keys hidden in Ava's DNA before it's too late.


Everybody needs someone who gets their crazy

Hank Kirby can't catch a break. He doesn't mean to screw up. It just happens. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in flames when he spelled "prom" in sparklers on Amanda Carlisle's lawn...and nearly burns down her house, without ever asking her the big question.

Hank just wants to pretend the incident never happened. And he might've gotten away with it—except there is a witness.

Peyton Breedlove, brooding loner and budding pyromaniac, saw the whole thing, and she blackmails Hank into an unusual friendship. Sure, Hank may be headed for his biggest disaster yet, but it's only when life falls apart that you can start piecing it back together.

"A sensitive look at two teens with complicated histories learning to build a future together."
-- Kirkus reviews
"Hank's self-deprecating narration is consistently funny ("She pulls away from the window—probably to call the fire department. We should probably talk about prom another time"), bringing a lightness to a story that also delves into loss, grief, parental negligence, and mental health."
-- Publisher's Weekly