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February 2013

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February 2013


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Revel in Your Love of Books with Teenreads.com!

For many, February is the month of looooooooove. It’s no exception for us here at Teenreads! We are always ready to fall in love with books…and the characters in them. Thanks to everyone who entered our Valentine’s Day Contest! Those who entered selected the character from a book they’d like to spend a special moment with. The five contest winners chose Zorro, Peeta Mellark from THE HUNGER GAMES, Charlie from PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, the Tin Man from THE WIZARD OF OZ and Noah from THE NOTEBOOK. What a diverse selection of characters!

We have so much going on this month! Over the past couple of months we have increased our review coverage. For February we have doubled the number of reviews that are running and we are planning to keep up this trend (YAY!). Beginning in March we will be sending out two newsletters a month. And if you follow us on Facebook and Twitter you will get updates on what we have on Teenreads, as well as other YA book news and interesting stories that we find to share.

Keep in mind that you can share what you LOVE on Teenreads through your Facebook and Twitter by using the “share” links on each review and feature. See what you like; then click to share it with your friends.

Our Teen Board has only been “on the job” for just a month now, but they are really getting into their roles. Six of the Board members have agreed to participate in the YALSA 2013 Hub Challenge, which started on February 3rd and will end June 22nd. In order to complete the challenge, each member must read 25 books each (those who want to “conquer” the challenge must read all 83!) and participate in the weekly Saturday update on YALSA. In addition, our Teen Board members will check in every Wednesday in a blog post to let you all know how they are doing. Sign up for the challenge and let us know how you’re doing in our blog comments, too! And keep a look for other Teen Board blogs and reviews coming up!

One of the first projects that we have assigned our very talented Teen Board is to follow book blogs and find great posts about YA and books, such as author Yelena Black's guest blog on Behind the Blog; the Fairy Tale Read-a-Thon on Debz Bookshelf; and the fun list of reading challenges on The Reader's Antidote. Do you have a favorite book blog? Send it my way so we can start checking up on it, too!

Around the office we are talking about CRASH AND BURN, a debut novel from Michael Hassan that is not to be missed. Michael Hassan shows how normal it is to be messed up, and how messed up it is to be normal. In a story told from the perspective of recent high school senior Stephen Crashinsky, CRASH AND BURN is about how he prevented classmate David Burnett from blowing up their high school. The story is so brilliantly done in flashbacks and a slow build that it is one we could not put down. In our two-part interview, Michael explains how he wrote the book to appeal to teens with ADD, gets us behind the inspiration for Crash and Burn’s relationship and much more! If you’ve already seen the first part of the interview, click here to view the second. We will have our review up soon!

Are you a fan of Marissa Meyer’s cyborg version of Cinderella in CINDER? Good news! The second book in The Lunar Chronicles, SCARLET, is out! In this fairy tale retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, Cinder is in prison and trying to escape while Scarlet is halfway around the world, looking for her grandmother with Wolf. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder... To celebrate its release, we are featuring The Lunar Chronicles series and giving away a copy of each book to five lucky readers. Enter before noon on Thursday, March 28th for your chance to win!

Now for what you’ve been waiting for…new books to discover! First up is Ruta Sepetys’ latest book, OUT OF THE EASY; you may remember her debut novel BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY, which was a HUGE success. It’s 1950 in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and 17-year-old Josie Moraine is known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute. Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer, but when a tourist is found dead, Josie is wrapped up in the investigation without a chance for escape. As our reviewer Norah Piehl said, "its strong sense of place, its suspense and its unforgettable heroine make for a novel as memorable and original as the Big Easy itself."

Ready for a steampunk adventure? Gail Carriger's ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE is about 14-year-old Sophronia as her mother forces her to enroll in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But fortunately for Sophronia, this finishing school isn't what it appears to be. Here, ladies learn the fine arts of dance, dress and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion and espionage --- in the politest possible ways, of course. Our reviewer, Amy Alessio says, "This title and series will no doubt make new steampunk fans, while also delighting readers who already enjoy the sky-history-technology mix."

Although February is the month of loooove, why not celebrate love between friends, too? In N. Griffin's THE WHOLE STUPID WAY WE ARE, Dinah is wildly worried about her best friend, Skint, but she doesn't notice that sometimes, she's doing more harm than good. Can their relationship survive this misunderstanding? Our reviewer Rebecca Kilberg says "Griffith skillfully builds and then unravels a long-term friendship between two social outcasts."

Are you in the mood for some sci-fi riddled with intrigue? Gordon Dahlquist's THE DIFFERENT GIRL follows one of four nearly identical girls (they have different hair colors), who spend their days in sync, tasked to learn. But when May, a different kind of girl, appears on the island after a shipwreck, new questions begin to arise. Caroline Osborn has this to say in her review, "Written from Veronika’s point of view, Gordon Dahlquist’s THE DIFFERENT GIRL benefits from a fascinatingly unreliable narrator...This book makes readers responsible for extracting not only plot details but thematic resonance, and this is the reason that, when the final page is turned, the reader’s mind continues to reel."

In case you missed it last month, Alexandra Bracken’s THE DARKEST MINDS began her sci-fi trilogy about a young girl who escapes a mysterious illness that kills most of the kids in America. Recently, she took time to answer our “20 Questions” survey about a typical day in her life. Check out her answers in our blog post!

Have a friend who’s not as voracious a reader as you are? Or maybe you just want a book that you will fall oh-so-completely in love with? Every year, YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) creates a Quick Picks List for Reluctant Readers…and we have posted their top selections and a link to additional titles. We will be adding more lists in the months to come as well as updating our Teen Ultimate Reading List!

This month’s Cool & New Books roundup includes Elsie Chapman's DUALED, in which each citizen of Kersh has a genetic Alternate, whom they will have to track down and kill before their 20th birthday in order to prove their worth to the city; THE DIFFERENT GIRL by Gordon Dahlquist, in which four identical girls live their lives in sync on a island until a different kind of girl shows up after shipwreck; and in paperback, Laurie Boyle Compton's BLAZE (or Love in the Time of Supervillans), where Mark the Shark, the boy who broke Blaze's heart, has no idea that geek girls get the last laugh.

Plus, don’t miss Adult Books You Want to Read, reviews that we’ve recently featured on our site for adults, Bookreporter.com, that we think you'll love, too. This month’s additions are SPEAKING FROM AMONG THE BONES: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley and FRANCONA: The Red Sox Years by Terry Francona and Dan Shaughnessy.

Heading to the movie theater? This month, movie adaptations of SAFE HAVEN by Nicholas Sparks, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl and WARM BODIES by Isaac Marionare are in theaters. See more about these films in our February Books on Screen feature and drop me a note to let me know what you think of them. I love to hear what our readers are enjoying --- and what they are not so fond of.

I know that everyone is eagerly awaiting the announcement of the five books that are finalists in the Children’s Book Council (CBC)’s 2013 Teen Choice Book Award. As much as we’d love to share the finalists, CBC will announce them, along with all other nominees for the Children’s Choice Book Awards, on March 19th when the voting opens. We’ll be sure to let you know as soon as that is announced. Thanks again for your participation in nominating your favorite books of 2012!

Read on for much more!

--- Liz Kossnar (liz@bookreporter.com)

Now in Stores: OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys

OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys (Mystery)
It’s 1950 in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and 17-year-old Josie Moraine is known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute. Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE by Gail Carriger

ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE by Gail Carriger (Steampunk)
Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her 14-year-old daughter, Sophronia, to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But at this school, ladies learn the fine arts of dance, dress and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion and espionage --- in the politest possible ways, of course. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: THE WHOLE STUPID WAY WE ARE by N. Griffin

THE WHOLE STUPID WAY WE ARE by N. Griffin (Fiction)
Dinah is wildly worried about her best friend, Skint, but she doesn't notice that sometimes she's doing more harm than good. Skint’s father is in trouble, and his mother refuses to ask for help even though she’s at her breaking point. And because Dinah might just decide to…help. She thinks she’s cracking through a sheet of ice, but what’s actually there is an entire iceberg. Reviewed by Rebecca Kilberg.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

 
Now in Stores: THE DIFFERENT GIRL by Gordon Dahlquist

THE DIFFERENT GIRL by Gordon Dahlquist (Science Fiction)
Veronika. Caroline. Isobel. Eleanor. One blond, one brunette, one redhead, one with hair black as tar. Four otherwise identical girls who spend their days in sync, tasked to learn. But when May, a very different kind of girl --- the lone survivor of a recent shipwreck --- suddenly and mysteriously arrives on the island, an unsettling mirror is about to be held up to the life the girls have never before questioned. Reviewed by Caroline Osborn.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

 
Interview: Michael Hassan, author of CRASH AND BURN

Debut author Michael Hassan creates a stunning story from the perspective of recent high school senior Stephen Crashinsky about how he prevented classmate David Burnett from blowing up their high school. Alternating between the present and Crash's recollections of his relationship with Burn starting in elementary school, CRASH AND BURN is a timely story of heroism, fate and fulfilling expectations. Teenreads.com had the chance to talk to Michael Hassan about his debut novel. Check out what we learned in this two-part interview!

In the first part of this interview, Michael Hassan discusses how he researched his story, how he wrote his book to attract teens with ADD and how he wants his story to serve as a wake-up call for teens and parents alike.

In the second part of this interview, Michael Hassan discusses his inspiration for the relationship between Crash and Burn, what he would like readers to take away from this story and what he's working on next!

Click here to read more about the book.

 
Series Feature and Contest: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

In anticipation of the release of SCARLET --- the second in Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles series, which retells the story of Little Red Riding Hood --- we have a series feature and a special contest. Five readers have the opportunity to win a copy of CINDER and SCARLET. To enter please fill out this form by Thursday, March 28th at noon ET.

More about CINDER:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

More about SCARLET:
Cinder is in prison and trying to escape, even though escaping means she becomes the most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing when she encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder...
 

Click here to check out our series feature.

 
Blog Post: 20 Questions: A Day in the Life of Alexandra Bracken
Alexandra Bracken, author of THE DARKEST MINDS, a sci-fi trilogy about a young girl who escapes a mysterious illness that kills most of the kids in America, recently took some time to answer our "20 Questions" survey sharing what a typical day is like for her. From her great aunt sharing the book at her nursing home, to watercooler chats with her co-workers, Alexandra sheds some light on what it's like to be an author and work in children's publishing.
Click here to read this blog post.

 
Announcing the Teenreads.com Teen Board

Our Teen Board has only been "on the job" for a month, but they are starting to get things moving. Six of the 23 have agreed to participate in the YALSA 2013 Hub Challenge, which started on February 3rd and will end June 22nd. In order to complete the challenge, each member must read 25 books each (those who want to “conquer” the challenge must read all 83!) and participate in the weekly Saturday update on YALSA. In addition, our Teen Board members will check in every Wednesday on our blog to let you all know how they are doing. Sign up for the challenge and follow along!

- Click here to meet our Teen Board

Click here to read the first challenge check-in!

 
February's Books On Screen
Since February is the month of love, grab dinner and see a movie with that special someone or a group of friends! Beautiful Creatures, out on February 14th, follows Ethan Wate as he meets the mysterious Lena Duchannes and together, they uncover dark secrets. If you're looking for something a little more love-driven, there's always the next Nicholas Sparks adaptation with Safe Haven. Or for something completely different...Warm Bodies is about the possibility of returning human traits to zombies after a mass zombie epidemic has nearly eliminated humans.
Click here to check out our Books On Screen feature.

 
YALSA Quick Picks 2013 Reading List

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest-growing division of the American Library Association (ALA), announced its 2013 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection list. The list suggests books that teens, ages 12-18, will pick up on their own and read for pleasure; it is geared to the teenager who, for whatever reason, does not like to read.

The 2013 list includes 65 titles and three series, both nonfiction and fiction, from a variety of genres, including biography, pop culture, fantasy, street lit and more. The Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers committee also selected a Top Ten list, which is featured below.

- Click here to see the complete list.

Click here to check out the reading list.


 
February's Cool & New Books

February's roundup of Cool & New Books includes Elsie Chapman's DUALED, in which each citizen has a genetic Alternate, which they will have to track down and kill before their 20th birthday in order to prove their worth to the city of Kersh; THE DIFFERENT GIRL by Gordon Dahlquist, in which four identical girls live their lives in sync on a island until a different kind of girl shows up after shipwreck; and Karen Finneyfrock's THE SWEET REVENGE OF CELIA DOOR, where Celia, armed with combat boots and her poetry notebook, is out for revenge against the girl who did the unthinkable to her the year before.

Among the paperbacks releasing this month are Laurie Boyle Compton's BLAZE (or Love in the Time of Supervillans), where Mark the Shark, the boy who broke Blaze's heart, may be a super hottie, but he has no idea that geek girls get the last laugh; SOMEBODY, PLEASE TELL ME WHO I AM by Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis is about Ben, who enlists in the army, but after his convoy gets caught in an explosion, Ben is in a coma for two months --- when he wakes up, he loses all memory of his old life; and Lauren Oliver's follow-up to DELIRIUM, PANDEMONIUM, in which Lena Haloway makes it to the Wilds and becomes part of an Invalid community, where she transforms herself into a warrior for the resistance.

Click here to see February's Cool & New Books.

 
Other Reviews

THE KISS: Witch & Wizard, Book Four by James Patterson and Jill Dembowski (Fantasy)
Whit and Wisty Allgood have defeated the ruthless dictator who long overshadowed their world. But for the first time in their lives, the powerful siblings find themselves at odds as Wisty is drawn to a mysterious stranger named Heath. When a merciless Wizard King from the mountains suddenly threatens war, Wisty must make an excruciating choice. Reviewed by Carly Silver.


CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS by Miriam Forster (Action Adventure)
Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a little girl. Now 16, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Just as she let herself imagine a life outside the walls, girls around her start to die. Reviewed by Erin Allen.

THE RUINING by Anna Collomore (Suspense/Thriller)
Annie Phillips is thrilled to leave her past behind and begin a shiny new life on Belvedere Island as a nanny for the picture-perfect Cohen family. All too soon, cracks appear in Annie's seemingly perfect world. As she struggles to keep up with the demands of her new life, Annie's fear gives way to frightening hallucinations. Is she tumbling into madness or is something sinister at play? Reviewed by Erin Allen.

MAGGOT MOON Written Sally Gardner and illustrated by Julian Crouch (Science Fiction)
Standish Treadwell --- who has different-colored eyes, who can’t read, can’t write, Standish Treadwell isn’t bright --- sees things differently than the rest of the "train-track thinkers." So when Standish and his only friend and neighbor, Hector, make their way to the other side of the wall, they see what the Motherland has been hiding. And it’s big... Reviewed by Ruth Vandevanter.

OUT OF NOWHERE by Maria Padian (Social Issues)
After the events of 9/11, Enniston, Maine has become a "secondary migration" location for Somali refugees, who are seeking a better life after their country was destroyed by war. Four refugees join his soccer team and Saeed stands out as a star. But when Saeed's eligibility is questioned and Tom screws up in a big way, Tom's left to grapple with a culture he doesn't understand and take responsibility for his actions. Reviewed by Evan Pivazyan.

WHO DONE IT? by Jon Scieszka (Mystery)
The anthology opens with an invitation to a party, care of insufferable monster Herman Mildew, where more than 80 of the most talented, bestselling and recognizable names in YA and children’s fiction learn that they are suspects in his murder. All must provide alibis in brief first-person entries. The problem is that all of them are liars, all of them are fabulists and all have something to hide... Reviewed by Carly Silver.

PIVOT POINT by Kasie West (Science Fiction)
As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. When Addie's parents announce their divorce, she has to pick who to live with. Her father is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the "Norms," and her mother is staying in the life Addie has always known and loves. One Search six weeks into the future proves her answer is not easy. Reviewed by Erin Allen.

HOW TO LEAD A LIFE OF CRIME by Kirsten Miller (Thriller)
The most exclusive school in New York City has been training young criminals for over a century. Only the most ruthless students are allowed to graduate. The rest disappear. Flick, a teenage pickpocket, has risen to the top of his class. But then Mandel recruits a fierce new competitor who also happens to be Flick’s old flame. Will they find a way to save each other --- or will the school destroy them both? Reviewed by Ruth Vandevanter.

BLAZE (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton (Love & Romance)
All she wants is for Mark the Soccer Stud to notice her. Not as Josh's weird sister who drives a turd-brown minivan. And not as that nerdy girl who draws comics. What she gets is her very own arch-nemesis. Mark may have humiliated Blaze supervillain-style, but what he doesn't know is how geek girls always get revenge. Reviewed by Evan Pivazyan.

 

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:

FRANCONA: The Red Sox Years by Terry Francona by Terry Francona (Memoir)
From 2004 to 2011, Terry Francona managed the Boston Red Sox, one of the most talked-about and scrutinized teams in all of sports. In FRANCONA, the legendary manager opens up for the first time about his eight years there, as they went from cursed franchise to one of the most successful and profitable in baseball history. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

SPEAKING FROM AMONG THE BONES: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley (Historical Mystery)
When the tomb of St. Tancred is opened at a village church in Bishop's Lacey, its shocking contents lead to another case for Flavia de Luce. Greed, pride and murder result in old secrets coming to light --- along with a forgotten flower that hasn't been seen for half a thousand years. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

Poll and Word of Mouth

Poll

How do you access Teenreads.com and read our content? (Please check ALL answers that apply.)

Desktop computer
Laptop
iPad
Other tablet
iPhone or iPod Touch
Android phone
Blackberry
e-Reader
Other...

-Click here to answer the poll.

 

Word of Mouth:

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 CRASH AND BURN by Michael Hassan and OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys. The deadline for entries is Thursday, February 28th 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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