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May 2012

Teenreads.com
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May 2012


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School’s Out, Or Almost Out --- And Summer’s Almost In!
This is one of those times of year where you either are kicking back to enjoy summer, or are caught up in the grind of the last month of school, depending upon where you live!

We are moving into a summer frame of mind at Teenreads.com. We envision you pushing your math, science and history textbooks aside to bring on the pleasure reading! We hope you have a nice sunny reading spot all picked out --- and if not, we recommend hammocks, beach chairs, back porches, poolsides, or under a shady tree or in front of the air conditioner if it gets too hot! Wherever your reading spot is, we have some great books to begin your summer break in style.

While many of you do have required summer reading --- I just grabbed a look at my son’s summer reading list, which has FIVE books on it --- we are recommending a lovely transition to summer with at least two weeks of pure pleasure reading. And have we got choices for you!

We kick things off with reviews of two highly anticipated books.

First up is INSURGENT, the second installment of Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy. Tris' initiation day should have been marked by celebration. But instead war now looms, and in these times, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable. Click here to read a review.

Kristin Cashore’s BITTERBLUE, the sequel to GRACELING and a companion to FIRE, takes place eight years after the events of GRACELING. Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea, but the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Soon, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the 35-year spell of a madman. Click here to read a review.

Our Sneak Peek feature is back! Once again, we’re offering you a chance to read a book months before it will be released --- and share feedback on it. This time, we’re giving you a sneak peek of THE RAVEN BOYS, the start of a new series by Maggie Stiefvater, who's best known for her Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy (SHIVER, LINGER and FOREVER). The book releases in September, but we have 100 specially formatted early reader editions to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and read it by Monday, July 16th and then share comments about it both with us and on social networking sites. Those who send us their feedback will be eligible to win a personalized copy of the book from the author herself!

All you have to do is fill out this form by Thursday, June 14th at noon ET to be considered. We really want to hear what you have to say about THE RAVEN BOYS, so if you will have time to read it and answer some questions by Monday, July 16th, please enter this contest. If not, don't worry! More opportunities like this will be available in the months ahead.

Keeping with our theme of PLEASURE Summer Reading, you supply the beach chair or hammock, and we'll provide the fantastic fiction in our Sixth Annual Teenreads.com Beach Bag of Books Contest. Here are just some of the books we’ll be giving away, and more will be added in the days to come: THE FEAR by Charlie Higson, FROM WHAT I REMEMBER… by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas, THE SLEEPWALKERS by J. Gabriel Gates, TAKEN BY STORM: A Raised by Wolves Novel by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and WHERE WE BELONG by Emily Giffin. Enter by Monday, July 16th at noon ET for your chance to win. Along with the books, winners will find their striped beach bag stocked with a polka-dot beach towel, Coppertone Sport Sunblock, and a plastic sports bottle.

We have a new series feature for you this month: the Ruby Red Trilogy by Kerstin Gier. In RUBY RED, the first book in the series (now available in paperback), Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon --- the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Click here to read a review. The second book in the trilogy, SAPPHIRE BLUE, releases in October.

We also have a special feature spotlighting HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER by Lish McBride, also available in paperback now. Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right --- until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak. Click here to read our review and here for our interview with the author.


Would you like to win a Nook eReader or a $50 gift certificate from Barnes & Noble? 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 --- or a $50 Barnes & Noble gift certificate! 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!

Looking for more reading suggestions? Then our Cool & New Books page is where you want to be! May’s roundup of hardcovers, paperback originals and paperback reprints features CITY OF LOST SOULS, the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare; NEVER FALL DOWN, Patricia McCormick’s novel (based on a true story) about a child of war who becomes a man of peace; PASSION, the next-to-last volume in Lauren Kate’s Fallen series; and THIS DARK ENDEAVOR by Kenneth Oppel, a story about the twin brothers Frankenstein, whose imaginary adventures are turning all too real.

We have some great additions to the Teenreads.com Blog this month.

Be sure to check out our Historical Fiction Roundup. If you’ve ever felt like you were born too late and you just want to get swept away in a book about a different time, these historical titles just might be the ticket for you.

Cat Patrick talks about the music that inspired her while she was writing her new novel, REVIVED, and shares her playlist for the book.

And Galaxy Craze talks about how important it is to be encouraged as a young writer, and shares the unique path she took to becoming a published author.

In our latest poll, we want to know how many books you own in your personal library. Click here to weigh in! After you’ve voted, be sure to send us your current reading recommendations with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. In our Word of Mouth contest, one reader will be randomly chosen to win a copy of RAPTURE, the concluding volume in Lauren Kate’s popular paranormal series, Fallen. Click here to enter.

The votes are in, and the winners have been announced for the 2012 Children's Choice Book Awards! The Teen Book of the Year award went to CLOCKWORK PRINCE: The Infernal Devices, Book Two by Cassandra Clare. Jeff Kinney, whose Wimpy Kid series is beloved by millions, won the Author of the Year Award, and Brian Selznick, whose WONDERSTRUCK got some major love here, won Illustrator of the Year.

Our Editorial Director, Tom Donadio, and I were at the gala celebration that took place in Midtown Manhattan as part of Children's Book Week (May 7-13). The night was hosted by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author of the Lunch Lady series (for those of you who babysit, these are great books for kids ages 7-10.) Walter Dean Myers, the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, presented the Impact Award to New York Giants football star Justin Tuck, who co-founded Tuck's R.U.S.H. for Literacy with his wife, Lauren. Children and young adults across the country voted in record numbers for their favorite books, author and illustrator at bookstores, school libraries and at BookWeekOnline.com, casting over one million votes. See a complete list of ALL the winners here.

Last night, as I was driving home, I heard about a 15-year-old boy in New Jersey who had committed suicide, supposedly the result of bullying. It's beyond sad. We recently told you about WONDER, R.J. Palacio's book about a fifth-grade boy who has a facial deformity and confronts the challenge of going to a mainstream school for the first time. The book's publisher, Random House Children's Books, has just announced that they are launching "Choose Kind," an anti-bullying campaign inspired by the book. The program focuses on everyday acts of kindness, and it's for kids, teachers, families and readers of all ages. Click here to read more about how you can "Choose Kind."

Here's to having another school year ending, which for some of you means a transition to high school or college --- congratulations from us if that means YOU --- and a great summer of reading ahead!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

Now in Stores: INSURGENT by Veronica Roth
INSURGENT by Veronica Roth (Dystopian Thriller)
Tris' initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction. Instead, war now looms, and in these times, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable --- and even more powerful. Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

 
Click here to read a review.
 
Now in Stores: BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore

BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore (Fantasy)
Eight years after GRACELING, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea, but the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. When Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle --- disguised and alone --- to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the 35-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

Click here to read a review.
 
Teenreads.com's Sneak Peek Feature: An Early Look at an Upcoming Book --- Our Latest Featured Title: THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater
Our latest Sneak Peek Feature spotlights THE RAVEN BOYS, which kicks off an all-new series by Maggie Stiefvater, best known for her Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. The book releases on September 18th, but we have 100 specially formatted early reader editions to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and share comments about it both with us and on social networking sites. Those who send us their feedback will be eligible to win a personalized copy of the book from the author herself!

All you have to do is fill out this form by Thursday, June 14th at noon ET to be considered. We really want to hear what you have to say about THE RAVEN BOYS, so if you will have time to read it and answer some questions by Monday, July 16th, please enter this contest. If not, don't worry! More opportunities like this will be available in the months ahead.

THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater (Paranormal Romance)
Legend holds that Glendower, a vanished Welsh king, sleeps beneath the hills until he’s needed. The first person to find him will be granted a wish --- either by seeing him open his eyes, or by cutting out his heart.

Gansey has it all --- family money, a car, time for extracurriculars and friends --- but he’s always loved the tales of sleeping kings. He thinks he’s found one, too, or at least the area where one might be: in the town of Henrietta, Virginia. And the best way to be there is to attend the prestigious Aglionby Academy for Boys.

Blue is the daughter of the town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, but is too practical to believe in things like spirits or true love. Her policy is to stay away from Aglionby boys…but it may be that one in particular can change her mind about magic, and maybe even love.

 
Click here to read all the contest details and enter to win.
 
Announcing Teenreads.com's Sixth Annual Beach Bag of Books Contest!

It's time to think about Summer Reading --- and we're not talking about the list of books you'll be receiving for Required Summer Reading from school. What we're talking about are the kinds of books that you're glad you now have time to kick back with and enjoy. The way we see it, it wouldn't be summer without sun, surf, and great reading. You supply the beach chair, and we'll provide the fantastic fiction in our Sixth Annual Teenreads.com Beach Bag of Books Contest.

Five winners each will receive a beach bag filled with a number of outstanding books. Among them are THE FEAR by Charlie Higson, FROM WHAT I REMEMBER… by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas, THE SLEEPWALKERS by J. Gabriel Gates, TAKEN BY STORM: A Raised by Wolves Novel by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and WHERE WE BELONG by Emily Giffin. We'll be adding more titles in the days to come, so please be on the lookout for that!

Along with the books, winners will find their striped beach bag stocked with a polka-dot beach towel, Coppertone Sport Sunblock, and a plastic sports bottle.

The deadline for entries is Monday, July 16th at noon ET.

Click here to read all the contest details and enter to win.
 
New Series Feature: Ruby Red Trilogy by Kerstin Gier
RUBY RED written by Kerstin Gier, translated by Anthea Bell (Urban Fantasy/Adventure)
Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon --- the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

Look for the second book in the Ruby Red trilogy, SAPPHIRE BLUE, coming in October!

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to see the book trailer.
-Click here to read more about the trilogy on Facebook.
-Click here to read Kerstin Gier’s bio.
-Click here to visit Kerstin Gier’s official website.

 
Click here to read our series feature.
 
Special Feature: HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER by Lish McBride

In HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER, now available in paperback, debut novelist Lish McBride tells the story of Sam, a normal teenage boy who discovers that he’s a necromancer. In this interview, conducted by Teenreads.com’s Sarah Rachel Egelman, McBride explains why she decided to write about necromancers as opposed to other mythical creatures. She also shares how she constructed Sam’s family and friends, gives a glimpse into the next book in the series, and reveals what type of magical creature she herself would want to be.

HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER by Lish McBride (Paranormal/Urban Fantasy)
Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right --- until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.

Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces...or else. With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get.

Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to see the book trailer.
-Click here to read our interview.
-Click here to read Lish McBride’s bio.
-Click here to visit Lish McBride’s website.
-Connect with Lish McBride on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to read our special feature.
 
Enter Our Short Story Writing Contest --- and You Could Win a NOOK eReader or a $50 Barnes & Noble Gift Certificate!
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 noon 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 & Noble!

 
Click here to read all the contest details and enter to win.
 
The 2012 Children's Choice Book Award Winners

The votes are in, and the winners have been announced for the 2012 Children's Choice Book Awards! The gala took place on May 7th at Espace in Midtown Manhattan, as part of Children's Book Week (May 7-13), and was hosted by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author of the Lunch Lady series. Walter Dean Myers, the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, presented the Impact Award to New York Giant Justin Tuck, who co-founded Tuck's R.U.S.H. for Literacy with his wife, Lauren.

Children across the country voted in record numbers for their favorite books, author and illustrator at bookstores, school libraries and at BookWeekOnline.com, casting over one million votes. Now in its fifth year, the Children's Choice Book Awards Program was founded as a way to provide young readers the opportunity to voice their opinions about the books being written for them, as well as to help create a reading list that will help motivate children to read more, and to cultivate a love of reading.

 

Click here to see the winners of this year's Children's Choice Book Awards.
 
Now in Stores: A CONFUSION OF PRINCES by Garth Nix
A CONFUSION OF PRINCES by Garth Nix (Science Fiction/Adventure)
Prince Khemri was bred to be an important leader in the intergalactic Empire. With superhuman capabilities, Khemri is able to do and achieve almost anything. But will it be enough to challenge the Empire and escape the future for which he seems destined? Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

 
Click here to read a review.
 
Now in Stores: CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein
CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein (Historical Thriller)
In 1943, a British spy plane crashes in Nazi France, leaving the passenger “Verity” to be captured by the Gestapo and her best friend, Maddie, behind. When Verity’s captors tell her to confess or be executed, she writes her confession page by page --- uncovering her past, how she became friends with Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wreck, desperately hoping to make it home. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez.

 
Click here to read a review.
 
Cool & New Books for May

Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in CITY OF LOST SOULS, the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. May’s roundup of Cool & New Books also includes INSURGENT, Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second installment of the dystopian Divergent trilogy; BITTERBLUE, the long-awaited companion to Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING and FIRE; and NEVER FALL DOWN, Patricia McCormick’s novel (based on a true story) about a child of war who becomes a man of peace.

Among the paperbacks releasing this month are PASSION, the next-to-last volume in Lauren Kate’s Fallen series, a paranormal romance that sweeps across centuries; FOREVER, the conclusion to Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, where love is even harder to hold onto as death comes closing in; and THIS DARK ENDEAVOR by Kenneth Oppel, a story about the twin brothers Frankenstein, whose lives are filled with imaginary adventures --- until the day those adventures turn all too real.

 

Click here to read May’s Cool & New Books roundup.
 
This Month’s Reviews

THE CALLING: Darkness Rising, Book 2 by Kelley Armstrong (Supernatural Thriller/Fantasy)
Maya Delaney's paw-print birthmark is the mark of what she truly is --- a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly everyone else. It’s a good thing too, for when a forest fire lands them lost in the Vancouver Island wilderness, Maya and her friends have nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW by Robin Wasserman (Historical Thriller/Mystery)
With her best friend murdered and her boyfriend Max, the main suspect, gone, Nora can barely manage to keep afloat. All she knows is that the entire nightmare is related to the ancient book translation they had been working on for a school project. Then she receives a coded message from Max begging her to join him in Prague. They have a chance to clear his name and finally solve a 400-year-old mystery --- which includes instructions on building a machine to talk to God. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

THE STORY OF US by Deb Caletti (Romance)
Cricket's mother is supposed to get married, but mother and daughter share a certain leeriness over the word "forever." Now, as families on both sides gather for the wedding, Cricket reflects on her own long-lasting but now seemingly lost relationship --- and wonders how much change one person can tolerate. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

THE LIST by Siobhan Vivian (Romance)
It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn't matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up. This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, "pretty" and "ugly." Reviewed by Molly Horan.

FANTASTIC FOUR: SEASON ONE written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, illustrated by David Marquez (Graphic Novel)
In Manhattan's most famous skyscraper, the Baxter Building, scientific genius Reed Richards hatches a plan that will change the lives of those he loves most --- and the very course of human history --- in a way no one could've ever imagined. Reviewed by John Hogan.

THE GIRL IN THE PARK by Mariah Fredericks (Mystery)
Rain knew Wendy Geller in a way most other kids didn't. She knows that under Wendy's party-girl façade lay a bighearted friend who encouraged Rain to be more than she ever dreamed she could be. So when Wendy is murdered, Rain is determined to discover the who and why of the tragedy. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

THE NIGHT SHE DISAPPEARED by April Henry (Mystery)
When a pizza delivery girl named Kayla goes missing, Gabie learns that she was the kidnapper’s intended victim. She can’t move beyond the fact that Kayla’s fate was really meant for her. So she and a fellow co-worker set out to prove that Kayla isn’t dead --- and to find her before she is. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

SUMOMOMO, MOMOMO, Volume 11: THE STRONGEST BRIDE ON EARTH written and illustrated by Shinobu Ohtaka (Manga)
Treachery is afoot in this latest volume of Sumomomo, Momomo. The plot to kill the Dragon and the Dog is in its final stages of preparation, and the young heroes are scrambling to undermine the nefarious plot of the nine rebellious clans. Reviewed by David Gromer.

THE OBSIDIAN BLADE: The Klaatu Diskos, Book One by Pete Hautman (Science Fiction/Adventure)
Thirteen-year-old Tucker is at a complete loss when both his parents disappear into mysterious disks that serve as transports into different periods of time. He decides to follow, but nothing can prepare him for both the incredible past and terrible future that waits on the other side. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

ICHIRO written and illustrated by Ryan Inzana (Graphic Novel)
When Ichiro’s mother must make a business trip to Japan, she decides to bring Ichiro along so that he can get to know his maternal grandfather. But Ichiro is soon pulled into a strange, mythical world of Japanese gods, where he is placed in the center of an epic battle. Reviewed by John Hogan.

THE MOON MOTH written by Jack Vance, illustrated by Humayoun Ibrahim (Graphic Novel)
The Sirenese cover their faces with exquisitely crafted masks that indicate their social status. Edwer Thissell, the new consul from Earth, wears a mask of very low status: the Moon Moth. Shortly after his arrival on the planet Sirene, he finds himself embroiled in an unsolved murder case. Since everyone must always wear a mask, you can never be sure with whom you’re dealing. Reviewed by John Hogan.

ABOVE by Leah Bobet (Urban Fantasy)
Matthew has loved Ariel from the moment he found her in the tunnels, her bee's wings falling away. They live in Safe, an underground refuge for those fleeing the harsh city Above --- like Whisper, who speaks to ghosts, and Jack Flash, who can shoot lightning from his fingers. But one terrifying night, an old enemy invades Safe with an army of shadows. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

This Month's Poll

How many books do you own in your personal library?

1-25
26-50
51-75
76-100
101-150
151-200
More than 200
I don’t own any books.
I'm not sure how many I have.

Click here to answer the poll.
 
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Could Win a Book!
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 RAPTURE, the final installment in Lauren Kate's Fallen series. The deadline for entries is Friday, June 22nd at noon ET.

To make sure other readers will be able to find the books you're writing about, please include full titles and correct author names (your entry must include these to be eligible to win). For complete rules and guidelines, click here.

 
Click here to read all the contest details and enter to win.
 
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