by Ken Catran (Scholastic $19.50)
Sam's best mate Harry has died suddenly. Tough enough to deal with, without him then appearing in ghost form, even worse when Harry discovers tricks like detaching his eyeballs. But there are serious problems and Sam must discover the link between Harry's death and the school assignment he had been working on about refugees from the Balkans. An amusing, if far-fetched, read.
What In God's Name
by Simon Rich (Allen & Unwin $35)
In a modern take on the business of religion, Simon Rich presents a bored and vain chief executive (God) who prefers checking Earth's TV channels and Google for mentions of himself to answering prayers or solving problems such as genocide or natural disasters. Humanity bores him, so he decides to give it all up and open an Asian-fusion restaurant, meaning curtains for Earth. Two angels in the Miracles Department must save the world. Irreverent and entertaining.
by Paul Griffin (Text $26)
When teen beauty queen Nicole is burned with acid thrown by an attacker in the high school corridor, lone star hacker Jay feels drawn to help. His list of suspects includes her boyfriend the wrestling jock and an envious teacher, but the further he delves into the mystery the more intricate it becomes, and the clues start leading him closer and closer to home. A whip-smart whodunnit with engaging characters.
What's left of me
by Kat Zhang (HarperCollins $24.99)
In an alternative America, where twin souls must fight for eventual dominance in a single body, and unacceptable "hybrids" are locked up, Eva has refused to fade away and remains a voice inside her sister Addie's head. Her dreams of a life of her own are reignited by a new hybrid ally, and life seems to hold hope until the friends are outed by the authorities. Placed in a psychiatric institution they now face the worst situation imaginable. Zhang has pulled off a taut, intelligent and emotional sci-fi thriller.
The Edge of Nowhere
by Elizabeth George (Hodder & Stoughton $24.99)
George's first book for young adults is a slow-burning but intriguing read and the first in a series. Hannah can hear snatches of others' thoughts - a gift that lands her in mortal danger when she "overhears" the deadly plottings of her stepfather. Forced to change her identity and flee, "Becca" ends up on Whidbey Island where she attempts to stay undercover. But a tragic accident, and the scandal surrounding it mean she must let some of the locals in on her secret.