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Late August 2013
August 22, 2013

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Back to School with!
What does “back to school” mean to you? To me, "back to school" always meant a stop at Office Depot for school supplies and then to the mall for “wardrobe supplies.” Nothing replaces the feeling of putting on your never-before-worn first day of school clothes and then pressing your shiny pen onto that crisp first page of a new notebook. Le sigh.

But beyond this blatant and embarrassing consumerism, "back to school" means owning a fresh start. Serving as basically a second New Year’s Day, a new school year means the chance to have new goals of what to accomplish during the school year. This school year will be the BEST. This school year I’ll “lead the volleyball team to post-season play.” This school year I’ll “get those straight-As.” This school year I’ll be a social animal without fear: “Hey heyyy, senior crush. How you doin? ;)”

So what are your goals for this school year? To try out or audition for a new school activity? To say “hi” to a new person every day? To reserve more time for pleasure reading during the school year? Whatever it is, this new school year is yours to rock in a way any YA protagonist would be proud of. And to cheer you on your way, August’s lineup of new YA books is not to be messed with --- we have some seriously great books for you!

What would make facing nights of homework so totally worth it? Winning 21 books in a tote bag, of course! In our very first Back to School Book Bag Giveaway five winners will win just that, with the ability to swap them with your friends between classes or get on the librarian’s good side by donating them to your school’s library! Fill out this form before Monday, September 9th to enter to win! And to check out which books are in the contest, keep reading beyond my opening note.

Now for August books! You may know that homosexuality is punishable by death in Iran, but did you know that gender reassignment surgery is condoned? In IF YOU COULD BE MINE by Sara Farizan, Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were little. But when Nasrin becomes engaged to a doctor, Sahar becomes desperate to save her relationship and find a way to make their love possible. What lengths is she willing to go in order to save her love? I've read this book, and it is so incredible --- definitely a must-read for anyone and everyone. And a review from Erin Allen will go up later this month on Teenreads.

What would returning to school be without the promise of attending football games? In SECOND IMPACT by David Klass and Perri Klass, Jerry Downing, the high school's star quarterback, and Carla Jenson, lead reporter for the school newspaper's sports section, share a blog chronicling the football season. But then, at one of the games, Jerry’s friend takes a hard hit and receives a concussion. Teen Board member Kate F. reviews, “SECOND IMPACT, told in the blog posts and emails between Carla Jenson and Jerry Downing, wonderfully portrays the dangers of one of America’s top sports.”

Maybe a romance will help distract you from leaving summer behind. In Lauren Myracle’s THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US, Wren Gray’s goal has always been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, she finds herself questioning what she truly wants. However, Charlie Parker has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie… Caroline Osborn writes, “Myracle manages to convey all of the breathless excitement and anxious insecurity of first love...As Wren and Charlie fumble through their first serious romantic relationship, their glories and their downfalls feel real.”

And for a more sobering read, pick up FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK by Matthew Quick, the author of THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK and BOY-21. Today is Leonard Peacock's birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather's P-38 pistol. But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him. Benjamin Boche explains, “Some of it’s funny, some of it’s sweet, some of it’s horribly depressing, but all of it provides a realistic picture of why someone may be driven to kill another person and then himself.” This is currently on the top of my to-read pile. It just sounds so compelling!

Did you vote whether A.S. King’s REALITY BOY looks like a boy book, girl book or both based on its cover? Find the results of the survey in our FOURTH He Said/She Said feature. You’ll also be able to read Alonzo and Charlotte’s responses to how they liked the book and whether they’d recommend the book to their guy or girl friends.

And don’t forget about the other three He Said/She Said features we’ve already run! We’re very excited that Madeleine Roux’s ASYLUM is the first book we've featured that’s been published --- and you can read our review of it here. Our other He Said/She Said features include TANDEM by Anna Jarzab (coming out in October) and THE PARADOX OF VERTICAL FLIGHT by Emil Ostrovski (out in September). Which one are you going to pick up?

I am so pumped for what our Teen Board is up to. Two weeks ago, we got together over Google Hangout, and it was SO GREAT to get to meet the Teen Board face-to-face. We were able to talk about our plans for July-December including our new blog series about Macmillan’s ReaLITy Reads program, which highlights some of their fantastic realistic fiction YA. Aliza wrote the first post about Kristin Elizabeth Clark’s FREAKBOY. We also are thinking about having a book club over Google Hangout that everyone can participate in. More to come! And if you haven’t visited the profiles for the new Teen Board yet, take a look. By reading about their interests you may be able to find a Teen Board member whose blogs and review you can really relate to.

Mortal Instruments fans, get ready to head to the theater because The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is out this week! Or Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters is also showing in theaters, along with the adaptations of Tim Tharp's THE SPECTACULAR NOW and KICK-ASS 2 by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.. Check out our August Books on Screen feature for more about these movies!

It's not too late to answer this month's poll! So far, the hobbies and crafts with which you all say you occupy yourselves when you aren't nose-deep into a YA read are baking (40%), cooking (38%) and drawing/painting (31%). Hmmm...I'm surprised not more of you like making bracelets! That's how I spent so much of my time in high school. Oh how the times have changed. These activities don't sound like you? Click here to answer the poll.

Also, we got word that the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association has announced the winners of their annual NAIBA Book Awards, which honor an author who was born or lived in their region in the northeast or books that take place in the same region. The YA winner this year is EVERY DAY by David Levithan. I LOVE this book and am super excited that it won. Have you read it yet?

While you’ll have much less time to wander the web on the hunt for books, you can still check out our Facebook and Twitter after school! We love posting news about YA lit, as well as our reviews, features and contests. It’s a great place for us to connect with you! We have weekly Facebook contests on Tuesdays, and we’d would love for you to send us YOUR favorite book recommendations on Twitter by tagging #WordofMouth to @Teenreads! If there are enough recs, we can start making blog posts of what you are reading and loving!

Good luck to everyone with your first weeks at school!

--- Liz Kossnar (
Now in Stores: IF YOU COULD BE MINE by Sara Farizan
IF YOU COULD BE MINE by Sara Farizan (Realistic Fiction)
Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love. So they carry on in secret --- until Nasrin’s parents announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they had before, but Sahar dreams of loving Nasrin exclusively --- and openly. Reviewed by Erin Allen.

- Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.

Now in Stores: SECOND IMPACT by David Klass and Perri Klass

SECOND IMPACT by David Klass and Perri Klass (Realistic Fiction/Sports)
Kendall is a football town, and Jerry Downing is the high school's star quarterback, working to redeem himself after he nearly killed a girl in a drunk driving accident last year. Carla Jenson, lead reporter for the school newspaper's sports section, has recruited Jerry to co-author a blog, chronicling the season from each of their perspectives. Reviewed by Kate F., Teen Board member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

Now in Stores: THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US by Lauren Myracle
THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US by Lauren Myracle (Romance)
For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, she finds herself questioning what she truly wants. Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire. Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie --- and yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. Reviewed by Caroline Osborn.

- Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.

Now in Stores: FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK by Matthew Quick

FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK by Matthew Quick (Realistic Fiction)
Today is Leonard Peacock's birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather's P-38 pistol. But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.

Back to School Book Bag Giveaway
Even though summer is winding down and a deep-seated dread of the school routine may be settling in your stomach, has something for you to celebrate the back-to-school season. In our brand new Back to School Book Bag Giveaway, you'll have the chance to enter to win a bunch of books in a snazzy tote bag! Between now and Monday, September 9th, teens can enter to win a prize package with books to perk you up this fall.

To enter, fill out this form by Monday, September 9th at noon ET.

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

THE CHAOS OF STARS by Kiersten White
ONCE WE WERE: The Hybrid Chronicles, Book Two by Kat Zhang
ASYLUM by Madeleine Roux
DON'T LOOK NOW: Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
THE 100 by Kass Morgan
UNBREAKABLE by Kami Garcia
CONFESSIONS: The Private School Murders by James Patterson
MIDNIGHT FROST: The Mythos Academy by Jennifer Estep
STEELHEART by Brandon Sanderson
THE EYE OF MINDS: The Mortality Doctrine by James Dashner
TEARDROP: Teardrop Trilogy by Lauren Kate
THE LIVING by Matt de la Pena
THE WAKING DARK by Robin Wasserman
TANDEM: The Many-Worlds Trilogy, Book One by Anna Jarzab
RELIC: The Books of Eva by Heather Terrell
THE IRON TRAITOR by Julie Kagawa
THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater

Click here to enter the contest.

"He Said/She Said" Feature: REALITY BOY by A. S. King
Stereotypically, girl books are pink, have a girl on the cover and are FILLED with sickeningly sweet romance. Boy books, on the other hand, are darker, have blood dripping or something more creepy on the cover and there are NO girls to be found. But we all know this isn't true, right? There are books that boys AND girls love!!!'s “He Said/She Said” feature aims to highlight a book each month to discuss its guy and girl appeal. Each month, there will first be a cover survey to ask YOU what you think of the cover. After that, we'll reveal the results of the poll along with the reader responses from a Teen Board boy and a Teen Board girl --- but they never saw the cover, title or author's name!

In our August "He Said/She Said" feature, we asked YOU if you think REALITY BOY by A. S. King looks like a boy book, a girl book or both based on its cover. Check out what everything thought of the cover and how Alonzo and Jennifer enjoyed reading the book.

- Click here to visit our "He Said/She Said" feature for TANDEM by Anna Jarzab.

- Click here to visit our "He Said/She Said" feature for THE PARADOX OF VERTICAL FLIGHT by Emil Ostrovski.

- Click here to visit our "He Said/She Said" feature for ASYLUM by Madeleine Roux.
Click here to visit our "He Said/She Said" feature for REALITY BOY by A.S. King.

Ultimate Reading List --- Our Full List and Completed Genre Lists

One of our goals each month is to inspire you to read...and to keep reading. We have found that required reading lists for school --- especially summer reading lists --- are not exactly inspiring. Thus, we have created what we think is the Ultimate Teen Reading List: over 400 titles that we believe are perfect choices for reading and discussing. We've updated the feature with books that have released in the past year. They include a mixture of fiction and nonfiction, plus graphic novels and manga titles.

And now, we're introducing two more new genre lists to add to the group! You asked for them, and we listened! Since our Ultimate Reading List is so long, we wanted to help you all find reads by genre to help you find the right book on our list for you!

- Click here to visit our historical fiction list, Books that Will Take You Back

- Click here to visit our graphic novel list, Books that Get Graphic

- Click here to visit our mystery and thriller list, Books to Read During the Day, With the Light On

- Click here to visit our romance and family list, Books About Mothers, Sisters and Lovers…of YA

- Click here to visit our series list, Books to Furiously Chain Read

- Click here to visit our science fiction and dystopian list, Books to Keep Your Eyes on While Big Brother Keeps an Eye on You.

- Click here to visit our fantasy and paranormal list, Books That Give You Flight...Or Another Power.

- Click here to visit our YA fiction list, Books that Keep it Real

- Click here to visit our adult fiction and classics list, Books to Bring to a Coffee Shop.

Click here to see our updated Ultimate Reading List for teens.'s Teen Board is pleased to announce our second Teen Board! In their applications for a position on the Teen Board, these 27 teens have demonstrated their passion for reading and their readiness to share their opinions about books and authors. During their six-month term, they will be writing blogs, contributing book reviews, sharing feedback on and participating in our monthly He Said/She Said feature. Click on each Teen Board member's name to visit their Contributor Page, where you can read a longer profile and get to know a bit more about them.

I hope you all are enjoying the Teen Board's reading responses to the "He Said/She Said" feature books. We are working hard to expand what the Teen Board is doing --- keep an eye out for a BOOK CLUB and email me any ideas you have for the first book or any other features you'd like to see on!

To celebrate Macmillan's AWESOME roundup of their realistic fiction titles, ReaLITy Reads, our Teen Board members each picked a book they were interested in and wrote personal responses. We are posting one each week on our blog --- the first is from Aliza M, about her response to FREAKBOY by Kristin Elizabeth Clark.

Have you visited our blog to see what the Teen Board is writing? Kate F. wrote "Trying a Different Genre" to urge you to branch out with your reading choices, Jennifer B. posed the question, "Does the Time of Year Affect What You Read? " in her blog post, Harman K. gave us her list, "Top 10 Things To Do While Waiting For That Sequel ," Keara D. shared how reading helped define her relationship with her mother in "My Mother's Bookshelf" and Mary M. expressed her frustrations about fear of reading the classics in "You're Reading WHAT?"

Click here to read the Teen Board's profile.

August's Books on Screen
Just as the summer begins to cool down (and wind down, unfortunately), the theater heats up with a bunch of great movies you've been waiting for! The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters, anyone? Yup! They're finally in theaters this month, along with the adaptations of Tim Tharp's THE SPECTACULAR NOW and KICK-ASS 2 by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.

In Theaters:

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters
Cast: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Nathan Fillion
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Distributor: Fox 2000 Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG
Release Date: August 7th (wide)
Based On: THE SEA OF MONSTERS: Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book Two by Rick Riordan

In this retelling of Rick Riordan's book, THE SEA OF MONSTERS, Percy Jackson, accompanied by his friends Annabeth Chase, Clarisse La Rue and Tyson, his half brother, goes on a journey to the Sea of Monsters to retrieve the Golden Fleece and save Camp Half-Blood.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Cast: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Sheehan, Kevin Zegers, Lena Headey, Kevin Durand, Aidan Turner, Jemima West
Director: Harald Zwart
Distributor: Unique Features
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Release Date: August 21st (wide)
Based On: CITY OF BONES: The Mortal Instruments, Book One by Cassandra Clare

When her mom is attacked and taken from their home in New York City by a demon, a seemingly ordinary teenage girl, Clary Fray, finds out truths about her past and bloodline on her quest to get her back, that changes her entire life.
Click here to read August's Books on Screen feature.

From the Blog

Here is a selection of blog posts we've recently run on!

One of our lovely summer interns, Kate, felt inspired to give you all some tips on how to navigate your first internship... especially about how to be a commuting intern in New York City! Read her blog post, "Intern in the City" and her follow-up blog, "Intern in the City #2: The Perils of Lunch Hour." And now read about her vacation down the shore with her family in "Intern in the City #3: On Summer Vacation."

Emily Hoenig from The Book Report Network team continues to hilariously break down the classics she read in high school in "Real Talk," in her blog series, "Telling It How It Is: Classics Edition." In addition to her first post about THE GREAT GATSBY, LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding, GREAT EXPECTATIONS by Charles Dickens, FAHRENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury, J.D. Salinger's THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, and FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley. Keep an eye out for our next "Telling It How It Is: Classics Edition" next week!

Our Teen Board is really active on our blog. Check out the Teen Board section of this newsletter to see what they've been writing. Or you can click here to read all Teen Board blog posts.

Click here to read our blog.

Other Reviews
ASYLUM by Madeleine Roux (Horror)
ASYLUM is a thrilling and creepy photo-novel perfect for fans of the New York Times bestseller MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN. Featuring found photos of unsettling history and real abandoned asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Madeleine Roux's teen debut is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity. Reviewed by Sheena Kowalski.

BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA April Genevieve Tucholke (Paranormal Romantic Suspense)
Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White's sleepy, seaside town...until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet's crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Reviewed by Sabrina Abbelle.

FAMOUS LAST WORDS by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski (Realistic Fiction)
Sixteen-year-old Samantha D’Angelo's summer internship at the local newspaper has her writing obituaries instead of soaking up the sun at the beach. Between Shelby, Sam’s boy-crazy best friend; her boss Harry, a true-blue newspaper man; and AJ, her cute fellow “intern scum," Sam has her hands full. But once she figures out what is the best part of her summer, will she mess it all up? Reviewed by Ashley L., Teen Board member.

LOVE DISGUISED by Lisa Klein (Historical Fiction/Romance)
Will Shakespeare is about to meet the girl who will change his life forever. After a mixed-up courtship with the Hathaway sisters ends badly, Will jumps at the chance to go to London, where he can pursue his dream of becoming an actor. There, Will meets the unusually tall (and strong) Meg who has earned the nickname "Long Meg" for her height. She's also fleeing her own past as an orphan turned thief. But is there more? And who is Meg really fooling with her disguise? Reviewed by Emma S., Teen Board member.

THE NAZI HUNTERS by Neal Bascomb (Nonfiction)
In 1945, at the end of World War II, Adolf Eichmann, the head of operations for the Nazis' Final Solution, walked into the mountains of Germany and vanished from view. Sixteen years later, an elite team of spies captured him at a bus stop in Argentina. THE NAZI HUNTERS is the thrilling and fascinating story of what happened between these two events. Reviewed by Emily P., Teen Board member.

FIRE WITH FIRE by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian (Romance)
Lillia, Kat and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance --- Reeve is still a total jerk. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn. Reviewed by Thanh Tu N., Teen Board member.

GATED by Amy Christine Parker (Social Issues)
Lyla Hamilton and her parents moved to The Community following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking to escape the evil in the world. Now 17, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned: Pioneer is her leader. Will is her Intended. The end of the world is near. Reviewed by Ashley Tran.
Around the Web

Do you follow us on Facebook or Twitter? If you do, you'll know that we LOVE to share fun, YA-related articles with you from other sources around the web. Curious things in library books? The movie trailer to the next YA movie adaptation? Cover reveal? Check them out here!

'How I Live Now': Preview the Printz winner's film adaption (LA Times)

15 Curious Things Found in Library Books (Buzzfeed)

Neil Gaiman Would Like to Introduce you to Wayward Manor (Wayward Manor)

Ashton Kutcher urges teens to work hard, 'always be sexy' VIDEO (Entertainment Weekly)

Meryl Streep in Talks to Join Jeff Bridges in Sci-Fi Drama 'The Giver' (The Hollywood Reporter)

Cover reveal, excerpt and Q&A: Marissa Meyer's 'Cress' (USA Today)

Keep Cool this National Ice Cream Month with Book-Inspired Flavors! (Quirk Books)

This Month's Poll


When you aren't in the middle of your latest page-turning YA book, which of the following hobbies or crafts do you enjoy? (Select ALL that apply.)

Build model cars/airplanes
Braid friendship bracelets
Making jewelry
Nail art
Sewing/fashion design
I don't like to do crafts.

-Click here to answer the poll.

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