the great and terrible beauty by libba bray. it is the first book in a series. i really liked it.
summary froma website:
Gemma, 16, has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions "for a bit of fun" and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left wi! th the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the "others" and rebuild the Order.
or the amulet of samarkand by jonathon stroud. it is also the first in a series.
Nathaniel is a boy magician-in-training, sold to the government by his birth parents at the age of five and sent to live as an apprentice to a master. Powerful magicians rule Britain, and its empire, and Nathaniel is told his is the "ultimate sacrifice" for a "noble destiny." If leaving his parents and erasing his past life isn't tough enough, Nathaniel's master, Arthur Underwood, is a cold, condescending, and cruel middle-ranking magician in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The boy's only saving grace is the master's wife, Martha Underwood, who shows him genuine affection that he rewards with fierce devotion. Nathaniel gets along tolerably well over the years in the Underwood household until the summer before his eleventh birthday. Everything changes when he is publicly humiliated by the ruthless magician Simon Lovelace and betrayed by his cowardly master who does not defend him.
Nathaniel vows revenge. In a Faustian fever, he devours magical texts and hones his magic skills, all the while trying to appear subservient to his master. When he musters the strength to summon the 5,000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus to avenge Lovelace by stealing the powerful Amulet of Samarkand, the boy magician plunges into a situation more dangerous and deadly than anything he could ever imagine.
or wounded by stephen cole. another first in a series.
While on a family vacation, 16-year-old Tom Anderson has a terrifying run-in with a bear that sends him hurtling down rapids in a river, barely escaping with his life. When he wakes up, he discovers that he is being cared for by Marcie, a nurse who lives in the remote woods. Soon the teen starts to sense that something strange is going on. Not only is he feeling weird (heightened senses and a strange craving for raw meat), but also Marcie's daughter, Kate, seems to be trying to tell him something. And then one night he learns the shocking truth: the Folans are werewolves, and they have been trying to turn him into a mate for Kate. After a violent scene that leaves Kate's little brother dead, Tom and Kate flee for their lives. They must reach a witch doctor in New Orleans who can turn him back to human, but they must hurry, because the countrywide network of werewolves is hot on their trail and won't rest until Tom is dead.
me and amazon.com