10 best books of July: the Monitor's picks

Here are the 10 July books to which the Monitor's book critics give the highest grades.

8. "Earthbound," by Aprilynne Pike

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Bestselling young adult author Aprilynne Pike begins a new series and offers a gripping read for the ages-12-and-up crowd with Earthbound. The book's protagonist, 18-year-old Tavia Michaels, has survived a plane crash that killed her parents. She moves to N.H. to live – quietly, she hopes – with her aunt and uncle. But soon she is seeing odd visions. Are they the result of the accident – or does she have special powers? Pike sometimes indulges in overwriting as she tells her story but that's too bad because it's unnecessary. The mix of romance, history, and action that she serves up is strong enough to stand on its own. 

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