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April 2012

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April 2012


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Attention All Writers: We Want Your Short Stories!

As the weather gets warmer (or changes every day, if you live in the New York metro area!), and the school year starts to wind down (I know, I know --- papers, exams and lots of quizzes --- we feel your pain), we at Teenreads.com hope you still have time for some pleasure reading even if it’s just a few chapters before you fall asleep! As always, we have great new features, reviews, special contests and giveaways!

This month, we’re featuring FEAR: A Gone Novel by Michael Grant. It's been a year since all the adults disappeared. Despite the hunger, the lies, and even the plague, the kids of Perdido Beach are determined to survive. Creeping into the tenuous new world they've built, though, is perhaps the worst incarnation yet of the enemy known as the Darkness: fear.

Meanwhile, Holly Black continues The Curse Workers series with BLACK HEART, the third installment. As a transformation worker, Cassel Sharpe is one of the most powerful curse workers alive. All this power, though, doesn’t help Cassel figure out whom to trust. The Feds want him for a special job while the Mob won’t leave him alone. This time, a wrong move might just cost Cassel his life.

Barry Lyga’s I HUNT KILLERS follows the unusual life of teenager Jasper Dent. For Jazz, the son of the world’s most infamous serial killer, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Now, in an effort to clear his name, he joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz may be more like his father than anyone first thought. I read this one, and it’s a really killer read!

And speaking of unusual teens, Carver Young in Stefan Petrucha’s RIPPER has always had big dreams of being a detective. Despite his humble upbringing in an orphanage, he gets his chance when he is adopted by Detective Hawking. But when he is thrown into the case of a vicious serial killer who has terrorized New York City, things quickly get real, and soon Carver finds his newfound stability thrown into disarray once again.

We shine our Special Feature spotlight on Aaron Karo’s first young adult novel, LEXAPROS AND CONS. Chuck Taylor struggles as a social outcast due to his OCD habits. But as graduation approaches, he has one last chance to win back his best friend and, just maybe, the beautiful new girl at school. We have an interview with Aaron, in which he shares the various things he has in common with Chuck. He also reaches into the depths of his memory to recall his favorite childhood book and reveals his noble reasons for writing in the YA genre. We have a review of the book as well, which you can see here.

In other news, we’re still calling all writers to enter a special short story writing contest! Dina and Daniel Nayeri, the sister and brother co-authors of the Another Series, have been inspired to turn some of our best known literary classics on their heads to create modern-day, paranormal page-turners --- including the previously released ANOTHER FAUST and ANOTHER PAN. Now it's your turn! Inspired by ANOTHER JEKYLL, ANOTHER HYDE, their latest effort, we are inviting readers (and aspiring writers!) to write a story in which you reinvent a classic story or character, making it modern and, most importantly, your own! Write your story in no more than 1,200 words, and you are entered to win a Grand Prize of a Nook eReader, one pretty amazing prize! For all the guidelines and details on how to enter, click here. The deadline for your submissions is Friday, June 15th at 11:59PM ET, so start writing and get ready to wow us with your creativity.

We also have a brand new Grab Bag of Books contest. Each month in this contest, five readers are awarded a Teenreads.com signature tote bag filled with some of the hottest books --- and may even include a sneak peek at titles that haven’t been released yet! This contest period's winners will each receive a copy of BREAKING BEAUTIFUL by Jennifer Shaw Wolf, THE BUTTERFLY CLUES by Kate Ellison, CRAZY DANGEROUS by Andrew Klavan, THE LAST ECHO: A Body Finder Novel by Kimberly Derting, the movie tie-in edition of THE LUCKY ONE by Nicholas Sparks, PURITY by Jackson Pearce, and UNRAVELING by Elizabeth Norris. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, May 23rd at noon ET. Click here to read all the contest details.

Meanwhile, there is a very special opportunity for you all to vote for your favorite books, authors and illustrators of 2011 in the Children's Choice Book Awards! The Children’s Book Council has announced the finalists for the fifth annual Children's Choice Book Awards. Thousands of children and teens are able to cast their votes for their favorite books, authors and illustrators at bookstores, schools, libraries and at BookWeekOnline.com from now until May 3rd. The winners will be announced live at the annual Children’s Choice Book Awards Gala on May 7th in New York City as part of Children’s Book Week (May 7-13), the oldest national literacy event in the United States.

We’ve updated our Cool & New Books feature, which includes brand-new books such as Lauren Conrad's THE FAME GAME; GRAVE MERCY, the beginning of Robin LaFevers’ His Fair Assassin trilogy; and Siobhan Vivian's latest, THE LIST. Among the titles newly available in paperback are THE WARLOCK, the fifth installment in Michael Scott's The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series; Ruta Sepetys' debut novel, BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY; and VIOLA IN THE SPOTLIGHT, a continuation of Adriana Trigiani's first YA series.

And be sure to check out our latest blog posts. We have new contributions from the following authors:

- Joanne Rocklin, who reflects on her own beloved pets and talks about how they inspired her new book, THE FIVE LIVES OF OUR CAT ZOOK

- The aforementioned Barry Lyga, who talks about how he gets into the minds of his twisted, serial killer characters, and about his new book, I HUNT KILLERS

- Jen Calonita, who talks about how she’s been using Pinterest to promote her upcoming book, WINTER WHITE (the latest in the Belles series)

- Allan Wolf, who talks about what inspired him to write THE WATCH THAT ENDS THE NIGHT: Voices from the Titanic, in which he speaks in the various voices of those involved in the Titanic tragedy

- Johan Harstad, who shares his innermost thoughts about the universe and talks about writing his new book, 172 HOURS ON THE MOON

Don’t forget to vote in our latest poll --- this time, we want to know what your summer plans are! We hope they will not keep you from reading here on Teenreads.com! And be sure to enter our Word of Mouth contest for a chance to win BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore and CITY OF LOST SOULS: The Mortal Instruments, Book Five by Cassandra Clare. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, May 23rd at noon ET.

Here’s to a month of great reading!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

Now in Stores: FEAR by Michael Grant
FEAR: A Gone Novel by Michael Grant (Dystopian Thriller)
It's been one year since all the adults disappeared. Despite the hunger, the lies, and even the plague, the kids of Perdido Beach are determined to survive. Creeping into the tenuous new world they've built, though, is perhaps the worst incarnation yet of the enemy known as the Darkness: fear. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

 
Click here to read a review.
 
Now in Stores: BLACK HEART by Holly Black
BLACK HEART: The Curse Workers, Book 3 by Holly Black (Urban Fantasy)
As a transformation worker, Cassel Sharpe is one of the most powerful curse workers alive. All this power, though, doesn’t help Cassel figure out whom to trust. The Feds want him for a special job while the Mob won’t leave him alone. This time a wrong move might just cost Cassel his life. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.
 
Click here to read a review.
 
Now in Stores: I HUNT KILLERS by Barry Lyga
I HUNT KILLERS by Barry Lyga (Mystery)
For Jazz, the son of the world’s most infamous serial killer, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Now, in an effort to clear his name, he joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz may be more like his father than anyone first thought. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read Barry Lyga's Teenreads.com blog post, "Living and Writing the Serial Killer."

 
Click here to read a review.
 
Now in Stores: RIPPER by Stefan Petrucha
RIPPER by Stefan Petrucha (Historical Mystery)
Carver Young has always had big dreams of being a detective. Despite his humble upbringing in an orphanage, he gets his chance when he is adopted by Detective Hawking. But when he is thrown into the case of a vicious serial killer who has terrorized New York City, things quickly get real, and soon Carver finds his newfound stability thrown into disarray once again. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.
 
Click here to read a review.
 
New Special Feature: LEXAPROS AND CONS by Aaron Karo
Aaron Karo's first young adult novel, LEXAPROS AND CONS, follows Chuck Taylor, who struggles as a social outcast due to his OCD habits. But as graduation approaches, he has one last chance to win back his best friend and, just maybe, the beautiful new girl at school. In this interview, conducted by Teenreads.com’s Norah Piehl, Karo shares the various things he has in common with Chuck. He also reaches into the depths of his memory to recall his favorite childhood book and reveals his noble reasons for writing in the YA genre.

LEXAPROS AND CONS by Aaron Karo (Fiction)
Chuck Taylor’s OCD has rendered him a high school outcast. His endless routines and habitual hand washing threaten to scare away both his closest friend and the amazing new girl in town. But with graduation looming, he might still have a chance to change all that. That is, if he is willing to get his hands dirty. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read our interview.
-Click here to read Aaron Karo’s bio.
-Visit AaronKaro.com.
-Connect with Aaron Karo on Facebook and Twitter.

 
Click here to see our special feature.
 
Enter Our Short Story Writing Contest --- and You Could Win Some Fabulous Prizes!
Sister and brother co-authors of the Another Series, Dina and Daniel Nayeri, have been inspired to turn some of our best known literary classics on their heads to create modern-day, paranormal page-turners --- including the previously released ANOTHER FAUST and ANOTHER PAN. Now it's your turn!

Inspired by ANOTHER JEKYLL, ANOTHER HYDE, we are inviting readers (and aspiring writers!) to write a story in which you reinvent a classic story or character, making it modern and, most importantly, your own! Write your story in no more than 1,200 words.

Please note that all entries must be received by Friday, June 15th at 11:59PM ET, and you must include your short story in the body of your email. No attachments please.

And, for good measure, here are the AWESOME prizes, offered by the publisher of the Another Series, Candlewick Press. The winner (as determined by us) receives a NOOK eReader! And for the Runner-up, a $50 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble!

 
Click here to read all the contest details.
 
Teenreads.com's Latest Grab Bag of Books Contest
Each month in our Grab Bag of Books contest, five readers are awarded a Teenreads.com signature tote bag filled with some of the hottest books --- and may even include a sneak peek at titles that haven’t been released yet!

This contest period's winners will each receive a copy of BREAKING BEAUTIFUL by Jennifer Shaw Wolf, THE BUTTERFLY CLUES by Kate Ellison, CRAZY DANGEROUS by Andrew Klavan, THE LAST ECHO: A Body Finder Novel by Kimberly Derting, the movie tie-in edition of THE LUCKY ONE by Nicholas Sparks, PURITY by Jackson Pearce, and UNRAVELING by Elizabeth Norris. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, May 23rd at noon ET.
 
Click here to read all the contest details.
 
Books on Screen: Now Featuring The Lucky One and the DVD Release of War Horse
The Lucky One, an adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ 2008 novel, is now in theaters. This highly anticipated release, starring Zac Efron, follows U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault as he goes in search of a girl he doesn’t know, whose photograph he found during his tour of duty in Iraq. But when he finally finds Beth, he can't bring himself to reveal his secret. For those who can't get enough of the film, be sure to check out the movie tie-in edition of the book.

And available on DVD this month is War Horse, the Oscar-nominated film that tells the story of a bond between a young man named Albert and his horse, Joey, during World War I. The movie is based on Michael Morpurgo's young adult novel, and there is also a visual volume you won't want to miss called WAR HORSE: The Making of the Motion Picture, which includes over 140 images as well as insight and commentary from the makers of the film.
 
Click here to see April's Books on Screen feature.
 
Calling All Kids and Teens! Vote for Your Favorite Books, Authors and Illustrators of 2011 in the Children's Choice Book Awards
The Children’s Book Council has announced the finalists for the fifth annual Children's Choice Book Awards. Thousands of children and teens are able to cast their votes for their favorite books, authors and illustrators at bookstores, schools, libraries and at BookWeekOnline.com from now until May 3rd.

The winners will be announced live at the annual Children’s Choice Book Awards Gala on May 7th in New York City as part of Children’s Book Week (May 7-13), the oldest national literacy event in the United States.
 
Click here to cast your votes for the 2012 Children's Choice Book Awards.
 
Cool & New Books for April
April’s roundup of Cool & New Books includes Lauren Conrad's THE FAME GAME, which puts L.A. CANDY’s Madison Parker in the spotlight, but with a new rival; GRAVE MERCY, the beginning of Robin LaFevers’ His Fair Assassin trilogy, a historical fantasy series in which convents are training schools for female assassins serving as the handmaidens for Death; and THE LIST by Siobhan Vivian, which tracks the repercussions of a list announcing the “prettiest” and the “ugliest” girls in school.

Among the paperbacks releasing this month are THE WARLOCK, the fifth installment in Michael Scott's series, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, in which the twins of prophesy have been divided and the end is finally beginning; BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY, Ruta Sepetys' debut novel about a Lithuanian girl and her family who struggle to survive a Siberian work camp; and VIOLA IN THE SPOTLIGHT, a continuation of Adriana Trigiani's first YA series, which finds Viola in the midst of a conundrum about where she truly belongs.
 
Click here to read April’s Cool & New Books roundup.
 
This Month's Reviews

DARK EDEN: EVE OF DESTRUCTION by Patrick Carman (Fantasy/Horror)
Ensnared in a dangerous, ever-deepening mystery, Will Besting must lead his friends through a perilous underground trap masterminded by two devious souls at war with each other. It's a game of cat and mouse, and not everyone will be alive when it's over. Can Will outwit both Rainsford and Goring, ending their reign of fear forever? Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA #3: LUCY by Kathryn Lasky (Paranormal Romance)
When her family moves to Bar Harbor, Maine, for the summer, Lucy is more interested in watching the waves and a certain shipbuilder than ingratiating herself with the social elite. But Lucy’s mother will stop at nothing to keep Lucy and the shipbuilder apart, even if it means throwing Lucy into the arms of a wealthy man with a dangerous secret. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

THE GIRL WHO COULD SILENCE THE WIND by Meg Medina (Fiction)
With deeply realized characters, a keen sense of place, a hint of magical realism, and a flush of young romance, Meg Medina tells the tale of a strong-willed, warmhearted girl who dares to face life's harsh truths as she finds her real power. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

-Click here to read Meg Medina's Teenreads.com blog post, "Meg Medina on Characters."

BORN WICKED: The Cahill Witch Chronicles, Book One by Jessica Spotswood (Historical Fantasy)
Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship --- or an early grave. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez.

SOMEBODY, PLEASE TELL ME WHO I AM by Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis (Fiction)
Ben Bright finished high school and the possibilities for the future seemed endless. Shocking everyone, Ben enlisted and headed off to war to serve his country. A tragic accident in Iraq changes Ben’s life forever, and the road to recovery is not as easy as it seems. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

DARK EYES by William Richter (Thriller)
Wally fled her adopted family at 15 to live on the streets of New York City. Now 16 and street-tough, she’s trying to discover who she really is while simultaneously warding off her birth-father, who will do anything to reclaim the fortune Wally's mother stole from him long ago, even if that means murdering his own blood. But Wally has had her own killer training and is hungry for justice. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE LAST ECHO: A Body Finder Novel by Kimberly Derting (Supernatural Thriller)
Violet’s ability to sense dead bodies is an asset to forensic psychologist Sara Priest, who enlists her to uncover a string of murders by a man known as “the girlfriend collector.” Now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new "relationship," and Violet may have caught his eye. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

PINCH HIT by Tim Green (Fiction)
Trevor is a Hollywood star who wishes he could play baseball like a real kid. Sam is a real kid who wouldn’t mind taking a swing at acting. It seems everything might work out if the boys switch places. That is, if they can get away with it. Reviewed by Joy Held.

X-MEN: SEASON ONE written by Dennis Hopeless, illustrated by Jamie McKelvie (Graphic Novel)
Professor Charles Xavier has recruited five of the most powerful mutants he's ever seen, in order to save a world that hates and fears them. But there's only one problem --- they're teenagers who have to survive hormones and uncontrollable super-powers, all while fighting for their very lives.

X-FACTOR: SUPER UNNATURAL written by Peter David, illustrated by Leonard Kirk and Valentine De Landro (Graphic Novel)
X-Factor investigations has been taking on stranger and stranger cases recently...but when an eerie sighting leads the group to the hometown of their leader, Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man, they may have stumbled on a bigger mystery than they intended.

WHERE IT BEGAN by Ann Redisch Stampler (Romance)
Gabby Gardiner wakes up in a hospital bed looking like a cautionary ad for drunk driving --- and without a single memory of the accident that landed her there. But what she can recall, in frank and sardonic detail, is the year leading up to the crash. Reviewed by Molly Horan.

BOY21 by Matthew Quick (Fiction)
For Finley and Russ, life in Bellmont isn’t easy. Muddied by drugs, violence and racial tension, the community is as troubled as their home lives. But when playing basketball, both boys find a reprieve from the surrounding ugliness, however temporary. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

GOTHAM CITY SIRENS, Volume 2: SONGS OF THE SIRENS by Paul Dini and Tony Bedard (Graphic Novel)
Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are tired of playing by other people's rules regardless of which side of the law they're on. As their dangerous alliance with The Riddler continues from Volume 1 continues, the Sirens are willing to do anything to uncover the truth behind which mysterious villain is targeting them all for death.

Adult Books You Want to Read

Throughout the year, we feature books from Bookreporter.com, our site for adult readers, that we think will have appeal to teen audiences.

Here are our latest featured titles:

THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE: A Dark Tower Novel by Stephen King (Fantasy/Thriller)
Roland Deschain and his ka-tet --- Jake, Susannah, Eddie, and Oy, the billy-bumbler --- encounter a ferocious storm just after crossing the River Whye on their way to the Outer Baronies. As they shelter from the howling gale, Roland tells his friends not just one strange story but two...and in so doing, casts new light on his own troubled past.


CALICO JOE by John Grisham (Fiction)
In the summer of 1973, Joe Castle quickly became the idol of every baseball fan in America, including Paul Tracey, the young son of a hard-partying and hard-throwing Mets pitcher. On the day that Warren Tracey finally faced Calico Joe, Paul was in the stands, rooting for his idol but also for his dad. Then Warren threw a fastball that would change their lives forever. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan and Stuart Shiffman.

AFTERWARDS by Rosamund Lupton (Psychological Suspense)
In the aftermath of the devastating fire that tears her family apart, Grace embarks on a mission to find the person responsible and protect her children from further harm. This fire was not an accident, and her daughter Jenny may still be in grave danger. Grace is the only one who can discover the culprit, and she will do whatever it takes to save her family. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

Click here to see all the adult books we recommend you read.
 
This Month's Poll

Poll:

What are you doing this summer? Please check as many as apply.

I'm going on vacation with my family.
I'm attending a sports camp.
I'm working in my hometown.
I'm volunteering in my hometown.
I'm taking summer classes.
I'm playing a sport.
I'm preparing for the SAT/ACT/college applications.
I'm attending a day camp for the whole summer.
I'm attending a day camp for part of the summer.
I'm attending a sleepaway camp for the whole summer.
I'm attending a sleepaway camp for part of the summer.
I'm volunteering at a camp at home or away from home.
I'm traveling/participating in a program abroad.
I’m not sure what I’m doing yet.
Other (Please specify)

Click here to answer the poll.
 
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Could Win TWO Books!
Send us your current reading recommendations with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. This contest period, one teen reader will be randomly chosen to win a copy of BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore and CITY OF LOST SOULS: The Mortal Instruments, Book Five by Cassandra Clare. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, May 23rd at noon ET.

To make sure other readers will be able to find the book, please include the full title and correct author names (your entry must include these to be eligible to win). For complete rules and guidelines, click here.

 
Click here to enter our Word of Mouth contest.
 
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