121. Friends and Traitors (Slayers #2), CJ Hill.
I'm a long-time fan of C.J. Hill (aka Janette Rallison). While her Slayers books are very different from her (very funny) YA novels, there's still a lot of humor and relationship drama in these books. And while this book is the second in a series, it doesn't seem to suffer from the second book syndrome--partly, I think, because the characters still have some compelling arcs.
In this book, Tori is just beginning to come into her own as a Slayer when she has to put all her training aside to return home from "summer camp" for the school year and a high-profile life as a senator's daughter. Because of the danger of associating outside of camp, Jesse breaks things off with her. And while Tori is heartbroken, she finds some solace in her friendship with Dirk, who isn't afraid to break a few rules to see Tori outside of camp. Of course, that might be because Dirk is struggling with a few dangerous secrets of his own.
When Tori realizes that she can hear noises from the dragon hatchlings, she worries that the eggs might already be hatched. Along with the other slayers, she launches a search to find Ryker Davis, a missing Slayer whose participation might make all the difference in the upcoming showdown with Overdrake.
I have to say that I really loved the interplay between Tori and Dirk. While I don't agree with all of Dirk's choices, I found his position to be a complicated and compelling one. I didn't love Tori's relationship with Jesse as much--he winds up coming across as a bit of a prig. Still, it's hard not to love a book that has the heroine zooming across the sky in a Wonder Woman costume (and fully aware of the ironic humor in her appearance). And the dragons are beautiful and dangerous and heartbreaking all at once.