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Early March 2013
March 15, 2013

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As promised, this is the first of TWO newsletters this month. Luckily, this first March newsletter is coming out right before St. Patrick’s Day! As my father always reminds me…EVERYONE is Irish on March 17th. He used to insist on “changing” our name to O’Kossnar every year even though we ARE half Irish! No matter how you decide to celebrate --- with corned beef and soda bread, wearing green or singing Irish tunes --- hopefully you’ll find some time for pleasure reading this weekend, too!

Next week is a great week for YA! The Children’s Book Council (CBC) announces the finalists for their 2013 Children’s Choice Book Awards on Tuesday, March 19th when voting begins. Get ready to check out which 2012 YA books you nominated on made it to be one of the five finalists! Mark your calendars to stop by the Children’s Book Week website to cast your vote. We’ll get the announcement up on Facebook and Twitter as soon as voting opens. If you have not friended us yet, click here. And follow us on Twitter here.

Do you live in New York City? Next week is the NYC Teen Author Festival with events like panels and signings every day from Monday through Saturday. There are TOO MANY authors to list all of them, BUT some highlights are David Levithan (who co-founded the festival five years ago), Gayle Forman, Ellen Hopkins, Holly Black, Lev Grossman, Carolyn Mackler, Jaquelyn Mitchard, Jessica Brody and Jeff Hirsch. I know I’ll be catching some events…maybe I’ll see you there!

You may have noticed that we’ve increased our review coverage over the past few months AND thanks to our Teen Board, our blog is updated much more regularly! Jennifer B. wrote about what it’s like to be a rural bookworm, Cara S. wrote about how she usually prefers minor characters to main characters, Kate F. wrote about her favorite classic retellings, and Omar F. wrote to defend cliffhangers. And don’t forget that every Wednesday, the Teen Board members who are participating in the YALSA 2013 Hub Challenge check in with their progress. Keep an eye out for Teen Board members reviewing books later this month!

Megan Crewe, author of THE LIVES WE LOST, also stopped by our blog this month to write about the end of the world. Mainly, she ruminated about what items we take for granted she would miss the most. Make sure to read “The Hardest Things to Lose” to see what she wouldn’t be able to give up so easily if the world fell apart.

Earlier this week I found an article in The New York Times about how fashion has taken a cue from YA books --- witch fashion! Want a new haunted look? We’ve come up with a list of witch books for you to read for fashion inspiration! Send me a picture of a witch-inspired ensemble you create for me to put in our blog!

It’s not too late to enter to win Marissa Meyer’s cyborg version of Cinderella, CINDER, AND the second book in The Lunar Chronicles, SCARLET! 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... Enter before noon on Thursday, March 28th for to be one of five lucky winners!

As one contest nears its end, another begins! Our FIRST EVER Spring Fling giveaway begins on March 19th. Enter to win a copy of CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS by Miriam Forster, PIVOT POINT by Kasie West, THE SHADOW GIRL by Jennifer Archer, THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater, THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE by Jennifer E. Smith, RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA: A Novel by Kimberly McCreight, MOONGLOW by Michael Griffo, UNREMEMBRED by Jessica Brody and THE PROGRAM by Suzanne Young. You get all of these books along with some spring goodies!

And now on to our reviews! The second in Maureen Johnson’s Shades of London series, THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH came out since our last newsletter. After surviving her run-in with Jack the Ripper, Rory has been living in Bristol under the care of her parents and therapist. But when her therapist suggests going back to Wexford, she finds a new string of inexplicable deaths in London, and she knows they are no coincidence. As reviewer Caroline Osborn says, "In Rory, a reader finds a reflection of her own wacky, rambling, procrastinating, awkward, Cheez Whiz-loving, long leg hair-petting not-so-secret self.” Make sure to read this in daylight…with the lights on!

Care for another mystery? ESCAPE THEORY by Margaux Froley follows Devon Mackintosh, a junior at the prestigious Keaton school, who has volunteered to be a peer counselor to pad her application for Stanford. This is all fun and games until one of the most popular guys at school kills himself. Now Devon pulls the pieces of the puzzle together while consoling his closest friends --- was it really suicide? Noral Piehl reviews, “Froley shows readers a boarding school environment where the use and abuse of prescription drugs is commonplace, where precious little schoolwork seems to get done and where sex and secrets go hand-in-hand.” Well, I’m intrigued.

Here’s a love story for anyone who’s ever felt like a misfit. Rainbow Rowell’s ELEANOR & PARK is about Park, who’s quiet and nerdy, meeting Eleanor, who’s overweight and awkward, and them experiencing their first love. As Norah Piehl says, “[I]n a young adult field crowded with romances among the rich and gorgeous, ELEANOR & PARK refuses to tell its story less than totally honestly --- it both fills a niche and provides a new model of romance that, while heartbreaking, is ultimately hopeful for characters and readers alike.” Sweet and relateable, don’t forget to put this on your to-read list!

How super stoked are you to read the last in Lauren Oliver’s Delirium series? In REQUIEM, Lena and her friends escape to the Wilds, but they’re no longer a safe haven. Meanwhile, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland with her fiancé. Told between both Lena and Hana’s perspectives, REQUIEM is a satisfying end to the series. Teen board member, Lexibex, fills us in, “The entire Delirium series is, without a doubt, obsession worthy. The characters practically reach out and drag the reader into their story.”

Be on the lookout for FOX FOREVER by Mary E. Pearson, the third book in the Jenna Fox series, which will be released next week! After spending 260 years as a disembodied mind in a little black box, Locke Jenkins has the perfect new body. But now he must infiltrate the home of a government official by gaining the trust of his 17-year-old daughter, Raine. We'll have more on this sci-fi thriller later this month!

This month’s Cool & New roundup includes MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza, in which Mila, who remembers her past, has no choice but to run away from the operatives who want to learn the secrets of her advanced technology; THINGS I CAN'T FORGET by Miranda Kenneally, in which good-girl Kate becomes a summer camp counselor at the same camp the only boy she's ever kissed, Matt, is also a counselor. The world may not be black and white after all...; and Kiera Cass's THE SELECTION, in which 35 girls earn the chance to escape the life laid out for them and live in a palace, but for America Singer, it means turning her back on her secret love.

Plus, don’t miss Adult Books You Want to Read, reviews that we’ve recently featured on our site for adults,, that we think you'll love, too. This month’s additions are FUSE by Julianna Baggott and LONG SHOT by Mike Piazza.

This month, there are THREE book adaptations that are hitting theaters. Oz: The Great and Powerful came out on March 8th. You can see likely hilarious Admission, starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, starting March 22nd, and the much anticipated Stephenie Meyer adaptation, The Host, will be in theaters on March 29th. For more information on what’s happening on screen in March, check out our Books On Screen feature! And don't forget to check out our Books On Screen 2013 bookshelf for a head start on reading books that will be movies later this year!

Keep a look out for the SECOND March newsletter toward the end of the month. I look forward to introducing you to more great YA then! And don't forget to follow us on Twitter and "like" us on Facebook to get updates in between the newsletters!

Happy reading!

--- Liz Kossnar (

Now in Stores: THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH by Maureen Johnson

THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH: The Shades of London, Book Two by Maureen Johnson (Mystery/Horror)
When her therapist suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance to get back to her friends and away from her parents. But Rory’s brush with the Ripper touched her more than she thought possible: she now has the power to eliminate ghosts on contact. Rory has evidence that the recent inexplicable deaths in London are no coincidence. Something much more sinister is going on. Reviewed by Caroline Osborn.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

Now in Stores: ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell

ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell (Romance)
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits --- smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love --- and just how hard it pulled you under. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

Now in Stores: ESCAPE THEORY by Margaux Froley

ESCAPE THEORY by Margaux Froley (Mystery/Thriller)
Sixteen-year-old loner Devon Mackintosh decides to become a peer counselor at the California boarding school. At first, it seems like it will be an easy fly-on-the-wall gig, until Jason "Hutch" Hutchens commits suicide. As the secrets and confessions pile up in her sessions with Hutch's popular friends, Devon comes to a startling conclusion: Hutch couldn't have taken his own life. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

Now in Stores: REQUIEM by Lauren Oliver

REQUIEM: Delirium, Book Three by Lauren Oliver (Dystopian)
Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has transformed. The nascent rebellion has ignited into an all-out revolution. After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds, which are no longer a safe haven. Pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Reviewed by Lexibex V., Teen Board member.

- Click here for more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

Special Feature: FOX FOREVER by Mary E. Pearson

FOX FOREVER by Mary E. Pearson (Science Fiction)
After spending 260 years as a disembodied mind in a little black box, Locke Jenkins has a perfect new body. But before he can move on with his unexpected new life, he’ll have to return the Favor he accepted from the Network by infiltrating the home of a government official by gaining the trust of his daughter, 17-year-old Raine. He soon finds himself pulled into the world of the resistance --- and into Raine’s life.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to check out our feature.

Series Feature and Contest: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

To celebrate 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.

First Annual Spring Fling Giveaway! is celebrating the weather warming up and flowers beginning to bloom with the first ever Spring Fling Contest! Between March 19th and Tuesday, April 30th, teens can enter to win a prize package with all the books below and some necessary spring essentials.

Five winners each will receive a selection of books from our list of featured titles, which includes the following:

PIVOT POINT by Kasie West
THE SHADOW GIRL by Jennifer Archer
THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater
RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA: A Novel by Kimberly McCreight
MOONGLOW by Michael Griffo
UNREMEMBERED by Jessica Brody
THE PROGRAM by Suzanne Young
Click here beginning March 19th to enter to win.

Meet the Teen Board

Our Teen Board is really getting into their groove! Six of the 23 are participating in the YALSA 2013 Hub Challenge and are checking in each Wednesday in a weekly blog post. Other board members have begun to write blogs themselves, including "In Defense of Cliffhangers," "Classic Retellings," "The Ever-Enjoyable Minor Characters," and "Rural Bookworm." Keep an eye out for more Teen Board Blog posts on our blog and for March reviews written by Teen Board members.

- Click here to read Teen Board blog posts.

Click here to meet the Teen Board!

Witch is the New Black
Inspired by an article in the New York Times, which explains how YA books are inspiring a witchy fashion trend, we've decided to provide a list of books to inspire your wardrobe. Maybe you'll want to cultivate your look to be more like Lena Duchannes from BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, or look delightfully mad like Bellatrix Lestrange in HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX or wear some emerald accessories inspired by THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ. It's up to you which witch to emanate. Let's get witchy!
Click here to check out our Books On Screen feature.

March's Books On Screen
Coming off the heels of the Oscars, we present to you the book-to-screen adaptations that will be making their way to a theater (or a living room) near you in March. Check out James Franco, who plays the Wizard of Oz as he first arrives at the Land of Oz in Oz: The Great and Powerful. In Admission, Tina Fey acts out your greatest college admission fears. And it's a big month for Stephenie Meyer fans, as the long-awaited adaptation of THE HOST comes to the big screen at the end of the month, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 is now out on DVD.
Click here to check out our Books On Screen feature.

March's Cool & New Books

March's roundup of Cool & New Books includes Cassandra Clare's CLOCKWORK PRINCESS, where danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in this final installment of the Infernal Devices trilogy; MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza, in which Mila was never supposed to learn about or remember her past, but when she does, she has no choice but to run away from the operatives who want to learn the secrets of her advanced technology; and the conclusion to Lauren Oliver's Delirium series, REQUIEM, where Lena is now an active member of the resistance, and the government can no long deny the existence of the Invalids.

Among the paperbacks releasing this month are Robin LaFever's GRAVE MERCY: His Fair Assassin, where 17-year-old Ismae escapes an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, but she soon realizes that a second life for her may spell the end for others; THINGS I CAN'T FORGET by Miranda Kenneally, which follows good-girl Kate as she becomes a summer camp counselor at the same camp the only boy she's ever kissed, Matt, is also a counselor. The world may not be black and white after all...; and Kiera Cass's THE SELECTION, in which 35 girls earn the chance to escape the life laid out for them and live in a palace, but for America Singer, it means turning her back on her secret love.

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

Other Reviews

TRINKETS by Kirsten Smith (Fiction)
Tabitha, Elodie and Moe: a beauty queen, a wallflower and a burnout --- a more unlikely trio high school has rarely seen. And yet, when Tabitha challenges them to a steal-off, so begins a strange alliance linked by the thrill of stealing and the reasons that spawn it. Reviewed by Caroline Osborn.

WHEN WE WAKE by Karen Healey (Science Fiction)
On what should have been the best day of 16-year-old Tegan's life, she dies and wakes up 100 years in the future, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened. Tegan is the first government guinea pig to be cryonically frozen and successfully revived. But the future isn't all she hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

STRANDS OF BRONZE AND GOLD by Jane Nickerson (Fairy Tale/Horror)
When 17-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no other options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey. Little by little, Sophie pieces together the mysteries of her godfather and soon realizes she's trapped in his intoxicating world. Reviewed by Liz Kossnar.

THINGS I CAN'T FORGET by Miranda Kenneally (Love & Romance)
This summer, Kate's a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. Matt is back as a counselor, too. He's the first guy she ever kissed, and he's gone from geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt...with her. Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn't that easy... Reviewed by Ashley L., Teen Board member.

MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza (Science Fiction)
Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was never supposed to remember the past. Now she has no choice but to run --- from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. Reviewed by Erin Allen.

ORLEANS by Sherri L. Smith (Science Fiction)
After a string of devastating hurricanes and a severe outbreak of Delta Fever, the Gulf Coast has been quarantined. Years later, a new primitive society has been born. Fen de la Guerre is living with the O-Positive blood tribe in the Delta when they are ambushed. Left with her tribe leader’s newborn, Fen is determined to get the baby to a better life over the wall before her blood becomes tainted. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

PIVOT POINT by Kasie West (Fantasy)
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.

HEART OF GLASS by Sasha Gould (Historical Fiction)
It is 1585 in Venice. The night Laura is sent on her first important mission for the Segreta, her fiancé Roberto is found with the body of a dead woman in his room. Halim identifies the woman as his sister and insists that Roberto be executed for her murder, or the Ottoman Empire will attack Venice. What Laura discovers is a conspiracy that involves nearly everyone she knows. Reviewed by Carly Silver.

THE MURMURINGS by Carly Anne West (Horror)
Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in --- because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not… Reviewed by Taz J., Teen Board member.

WHEN WE WUZ FAMOUS by Greg Takoudes (Social Issues)
When Francisco Ortiz wins a full scholarship to an elite boarding school, his future seems promising. But soon after Francisco moves into the dorm, his new classmates pepper him with questions about drugs and gangs. And then Francisco realizes he no longer fits in back home. In a desperate attempt to help one of his homies, Francisco becomes everything he fought so hard to rise against. Reviewed by Shelby H., Teen Board member.

MISTLE CHILD: Undertaken Trilogy, Book Two by Ari Berk (Horror)
After Silas Umber returns to Arvale, the ancestral manor of the Umbers, and assumes the mantle of Janus, the Watcher at the Threshold, grim spirits grow restless at his arrival --- hungry for freedom and eager for vengeance against a family with a long history of harsh judgments. Now, Silas must right an ancient wrong and accept that even a house of ghosts can be haunted by its past. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

THE LIVES WE LOST by Megan Crewe (Dystopian)
A deadly virus has destroyed Kaelyn's small island community and spread beyond the quarantine. But when Kaelyn finds samples of a vaccine in her father's abandoned lab, she knows there must be someone, somewhere, who can replicate it. As Kaelyn and her friends head to the mainland, they realize there are people who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the vaccine. Reviewed by Rebecca Kilberg.

TIMEKEEPER by Alexandra Monir (Time Travel)
When Philip Walker appears as a new student in Michele Windsor's high school class, she is floored. He is the love she thought she lost forever when they said goodbye during her time travels last century. Overjoyed that they can resume the relationship they had a lifetime ago, Michele eagerly approaches him and discovers the unthinkable: he doesn't remember her. Reviewed by Liz Kossnar.

Adult Books You Want to Read

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

Here are our latest featured titles:

FUSE by Julianna Baggott (Dystopian)
To be a Pure is to be perfect, untouched by Detonations that scarred the earth and sheltered inside the paradise that is the Dome. But Partridge escaped to the outside world, where Wretches struggle to survive. Now, at the command of Partridge's father, the Dome is unleashing nightmare after nightmare upon the Wretches in an effort to get him back. To save millions of innocent lives, Partridge must risk his own by returning to the Dome and facing his most terrifying challenge. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

LONG SHOT by Mike Piazza and Lonnie Wheeler (Autobiography)
Mike Piazza’s autobiography is the candid story of the greatest hitting catcher in the history of baseball, from his inauspicious draft selection to his Hall of Fame-worthy achievements and the unusual controversies that marked his career. Among other He addresses the steroid controversy that hovered around him and Major League Baseball during his time and describes the thrill of his game-winning home run on September 21, 2001. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

This Month's Poll


How long does it take you to get from your home to your nearest (independent or chain) bookstore?

5-10 minutes
11-20 minutes
21-30 minutes
31-40 minutes
41-50 minutes
51-60 minutes
over an hour

-Click here to answer the poll.

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