So there I was, all innocent like, suddenly and violently in need of a book. Sarah Rees Brennan’s book, to be precise, the Demon Lexicon, and I couldn’t wait 4-14 business days for Amazon to ship it to me. And of course the only bookshop in Miami is about 30 minutes drive away, 20 if you go unreasonably fast, but man, when you’ve got to do a little research, what can you do?

So about 18 minutes later I parked illegally in the free parking lot behind the B&N, hoping my little black car would look sufficiently inconspicuous under the orange street lights, and sauntered inside. Headed over to the YA section, and checked under ‘B’. Nothing. So, still optimistic, I spun around and checked the section under ‘R’. Nothing. Stalked over to the help desk, where I was told that they didn’t have it in stock.

Which, gentle reader, is not how this narrative was supposed to develop. You don’t fly across the city in a sudden and tempestuous display of literary addiction only to not find your target. Morose, I drifted back to the YA section, and stared at the glamorous covers in a desultory fashion. Perhaps one of them could substitute?

So, not knowing what else to do, I began to pick up the latest releases one by one, and read the first few pages. The first involved a necromancer girl waking up as the undead tapped on her window. The second involved a fairy girl scrubbing pots as the Queen died upstairs, her heart breaking as she tried to divine what would happen to the Oak without her. The third involved a girl being bothered by a werewolf, whom, it turned out, was her packmate and kind of a grouch. And on it went, each displaying clear, powerful prose, beginning in a dramatic moment, and involving as far as I could tell some member of the supernatural coterie. Elves, fairies, vampires, werewolves, it seemed that all the teenagers in the world were mixed up with their ilk.

But it was excellent stuff. Just what I needed, or perhaps, too much of what I needed, because I went from not knowing what to buy to being up to buying most of them. In the end, I walked away with The Forest of Hands and Teeth, The Hunger Games, and Tithe. All three look fantastic. I’m going to read them in short order, see if I can derive what needs deriving from them, and then – ! Well.

That’s a secret, see. TOP SECRET.

Still, wish these kind of books had been around when I was young. There’s almost too many excellent novels for teens to read, looks like, and all of them about ghoulies and ghosties and the kind of stuff I love to devour in bed.