Skip to main content

Late July
July 24, 2014

Quick Links to Features on

What's In a Name?

Happy summer Teenreaders!

We’re excited to announce a really cool opportunity for you this month: we've been asked by a company to help name a YA website! While we’ll give you more details later in the newsletter, this project got me thinking about the importance of names, especially when it comes to books.

Everyone talks about “not judging a book by its cover,” but what about judging a book by its title? Is that something you do? How much does the title of a book (particularly for fiction) influence your decision to pick it up and read it?

I’m not sure whether I would pick up (or put down) a book based on title alone, but I certainly notice them, especially when they seem to fall into patterns. For instance, there’s the adjective + life + of + first name + last name that’s gone on for a couple of years. I first heard it with one of my all-time favorites --- THE BRIEF AND WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO by Junot Diaz --- but have noticed it time and time again recently with THE HALF LIFE OF MOLLY PIERCE by Katrina Leno, THE UNFINISHED LIFE OF ADDISON STONE by Adele Griffin and the adult book THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT by Beatriz Williams. There also was a slew of books whose titles featured a man’s profession followed by their female relative --- THE PILOT’S WIFE by Anita Shreve, THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE by Audrey Niffenegger, THE CALLIGRAPHER’S DAUGHTER by Eugenia Kim, THE TYRANT’S DAUGHTER by J. C. Carleson…the list goes on. Nothing is wrong with patterns per se, but at a certain point, they definitely start to blend together in my mind.

Personally, I’m a fan of somewhat long, lyrical titles that sound like nothing I’ve read before, and maybe have a noun in it or two --- a distinct image that can come to life in my head. While one-word titles are certainly punchy, it makes it really hard to recall what they’re about or get a sense of the story inside. Some of my personal favorites are BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA by April Genevieve Tucholke, LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, LITTLE HANDS CLAPPING by Dan Rhodes, and more recently, BROKEN HEARTS, FENCES AND OTHER THINGS TO MEND by Katie Finn and GLORY O’BRIEN’S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE by A.S. King.

And of course I asked my trusty reviewers and Teen Board members to tell me some of their favorite titles…here’s a list (to hear their reasons, see the blog post, here!)

EATS, SHOOTS & LEAVES: The Zero Tolerance Policy to Punctuation by Lynne Truss
PRIDE & PREJUDICE by Jane Austen
SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo
THESE BROKEN STARS by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

So what is your favorite book title? Let me know at, on Teenreads’ page on Facebook or on Twitter!

Have a great week, and happy reading!
--- Shara (

P.S. If you’re curious about the photos, the one on the left was taken at a recent event I went to for FAMOUS IN LOVE by Rebecca Serle. That’s Rebecca, myself, and her friend from The New York Post, all decked out in leis to reflect the book’s Hawaiian setting! On the right is Piper Kerman, the author of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK (the inspiration for that television show you just may have heard of). She spoke in Bryant Park, NYC on Wednesday, and Teenreads intern Rebecca and I thought that called for "a lunchtime field trip."'s Eighth Annual Beach Bag Giveaway --- Have YOU Entered Yet?

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. We're talking about 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 reads in our Eighth Annual Beach Bag of Books Feature and Contest.

And we have good news --- we've extended the contest, so you have until Friday, August 1st at noon ET to enter!

Five lucky readers will win a selection of the following books:

AMITY by Micol Ostow
BRUTAL YOUTH by Anthony Breznican
CATCH A FALLING STAR by Kim Culbertson
THE FASHION BOOK by various editors
THE LOST by Sarah Beth Durst
ON THE FENCE by Kasie West
QUARANTINE #1: The Loners by Lex Thomas
SINNER (Companion book to the Shiver Trilogy series) by Maggie Stiefvater
TABULA RASA by Kristen Lippert-Martin




Click here to enter our Beach Bag of Books Contest!

Help Name a YA Website and Win a Prize!
Want to be an influencer, and have the chance to help name a YA book website?

Want to be one of 25 people to win a copy of a bestselling YA novel?

If either or both of those sound appealing to you, and you are over the age of 13, take our latest five-minute survey! You'll get to ponder five possible names, give valuable feedback and be eligible to win a fabulous book.

The deadline to take the survey is Monday, August 18th. We look forward to hearing what you have to say!


Click here to take the "Name a YA" Survey!

26 eBooks to Fall in Love With
For many, February is known as the month for love, but we love to spread it throughout the year! During these hot summer days we're feeling romance in the air with a special promotion. Throughout July, Open Road Media is running a $1.99 eBook special, giving you the opportunity to read 26 excellent books from timeless YA authors like Caroline B. Cooney, M.E. Kerr and Chris Lynch with each title priced at this low price.

Downloadable and accessible on your phone, eReader, tablet, laptop or PC, these are the books you can take anywhere. They're perfect for a day at the beach, at the park or on those tediously long family roadtrips. Needless to say, the ways and places to enjoy these quick reads are endless. Now, if only we could have an endless summer, then we might have discovered perfection.

Click here to get your $1.99 eBook!

Giveaway: MY LAST KISS by Bethany Neal
There are tons of books about first kisses, but MY LAST KISS by Bethany Neal explores the opposite --- the last kiss of Cassidy's life, which happened at her 17th birthday party --- and with someone other than her amazing boyfriend. To be one of 15 lucky readers to win a copy of MY LAST KISS, enter the contest by Tuesday, August 5th at noon ET.

More about MY LAST KISS:

Cassidy Haines remembers her first kiss vividly. It was on the old covered bridge the summer before her freshman year with her boyfriend of three years, Ethan Keys. But her last kiss --- the one she shared with someone at her 17th birthday party the night she died --- is a blur. Cassidy is trapped in the living world, not only mourning the loss of her human body, but left with the grim suspicion that her untimely death wasn’t a suicide as everyone assumes. She can’t remember anything from the weeks leading up to her birthday and she’s worried that she may have betrayed her boyfriend. If Cassidy is to uncover the truth about that fateful night and make amends with the only boy she’ll ever love, she must face her past and all the decisions she made --- good and bad --- that led to her last kiss.

Click here to read the excerpt.

Click here to enter the contest!

REAL TALK Publishing with Annie Philbrick, Part 3

When Annie Philbrick was telling the story of Bank Square Books at a panel on store succession, a fellow panelist exclaimed, "To buy a bookstore never having owned one before --- and never having worked in one before! That’s crazy!” Her response? "Yeah!"

Crazy or not, Annie has owned the legendary Mystic, Connecticut bookstore since 2006, and since then has made it even more of a community institution: she's expanded the space, hosted some unforgettable events and made sure her Cocker Spaniel makes customers feel at home.

We'v'e just posted the final part of Annie's REAL TALK Publishing interview, where she talks about some of her recent favorite books, advises aspiring bookstore owners and talks about the store's amazing recovery from Hurricane Sandy. If you missed the earlier sections, click here to read Part 1, and here to read Part 2!

More about REAL TALK Publishing:

We know you love to read, but have you ever considered working with books as a career? If so, there are tons of options to explore. With this feature, we'll introduce you to book editors, librarians, booksellers, children's literature professors, book cover designers, publicists, professional reviewers and more. Through interviews, guest posts and sometimes sneak peeks inside their offices, we'll take you into their worlds so you can learn about the book industry.


Click here to read Part 3 of the interview!

Side by Side: Genies/Jinn

A lot of people have a very specific image when they think of “genie” --- the loveably goofy, blue one from Aladdin who is forever bursting into song and imitating various accents. However, authors Amber Lough and Lindsay Ribar have a very different take on these mysterious creatures in their new books.

In Amber’s THE FIRE WISH, Zayele, a girl who is engaged to the Prince of Baghdad against her will, trades places with Najwa, a jinni training to be a spy in the war against the humans. In Lindsay’s THE FOURTH WISH, the second book in The Art of Wishing series, high school student Margo finds out she’s a genie and has to reconcile doing whatever her master wants with coming into powers she never imagined having.

For this side-by-side, we asked Amber and Lindsay to tell us a writing-related wish, what they would have wished for in high school, what magical creature they would like to be, and more.


Click here to read the Side by Side feature!

Teen Board

--- Our July Teen Board Question: We asked our Teen Board members to tell us which book reminded them most of summer or to share their favorite summer reading memory. Emily P. said that the Uglies series reminds her most of summer, while ThanhTu N. answered that "whenever I hear 'summer' and 'reading' in the same sentence, I always think of the The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy by Jenny Han." As for summer memories, Cadyn D. reports that her favorite memory is sitting by the pool while reading. Read all the Teen Board's answers here!

--- Teen Board Blog posts: Kate F. talked bookish tattoos, Rachel B. gave us another take on summer reading and Alison S. educated us on Acute Anita Proteus Syndrome.

--- Reviews: We had lots of teen reviews this month! Charlotte L. was impressed with the number of times HOMEROOM DIARIES by James Patterson and Lisa Papademetriou made her laugh while still "convey[ing] profound ideas about life as a teenager and humanity in general," and Brandon L. "was entertained and surprised by each new plot development" while reading WANTED: DEAD OR IN LOVE by Kym Brunner.

Click here to meet the New Teen Board!

On the Teenreads Blog!

The Creepiest Part of My Research --- Candace Fleming, author of THE FAMILY ROMANOV, tells us the creepiest story she encountered when writing her book.

A Different Take on Summer Reading --- Teen Board Member Rachel B. makes a case for reading outside your favorite genre.

Creating Culinary Chaos --- Anna Staniszewski, author of THE PRANK LIST, explains how she used her own cooking mishaps to infuse some culinary chaos into her books.

Bookish Tattoos --- Teen Board Member Kate F. has compiled a list of some of the best bookish tattoos.

Favorite Book Titles --- Teen Board Members and Teenreads Reviewers sound off on their favorite book titles.

Click here to read our blog!

Who Here Likes Harry Potter?

If you're yelling "yes!" or raising your hand while standing on your chair (in true Hermione Granger style), then check out our "31 Days of Harry Potter" calendar on!

Every day, we have a new blog post dedicated to some element of the Harry Potter universe, be it a glossary of terms, some information on a beloved character, a recipe for a classic Harry Potter treat or a guest post from a famous children's author about why he or she loves the series.

Plus, we'll be giving away FIVE complete sets of the books --- along with posters and bookmarks --- in our Harry Potter contest, and we know they'll look great on your bookshelf.

Click here to see our Harry Potter feature, updated every day this July!
Click here to enter the Harry Potter contest.



Now in Stores: THE SHADOW HERO by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew

THE SHADOW HERO by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew (Graphic Novel)

In the comics boom of the 1940s, a legend was born: the Green Turtle. He solved crimes and fought injustice just like the other comics characters. But this mysterious masked crusader was hiding something more than your run-of-the-mill secret identity... The Green Turtle was the first Asian-American superhero.

The comic had a short run before lapsing into obscurity, but the acclaimed author of AMERICAN BORN CHINESE, Gene Luen Yang, has finally revived this character in THE SHADOW HERO, a new graphic novel that creates an origin story for the Green Turtle.

Click here to read the review!

July's Cool and New Roundup

Our July roundup includes CONVERSION by Katherine Howe, about a modern day witch-hunt at a New England boarding school; LET'S GET LOST by Adi Alsaid, which follows Leila and four other teens on an epic soul-searching road trip; and SINNER by Maggie Stiefvater, the highly anticipated third book in the Shiver trilogy.

Among the paperback titles released this month, we have THE SHADOW HERO by Gene Luen Yang, illus. by Sonny Liew, about the origin story of a comic legend The Green Turtle; the boxed set of the bestselling The Maze Runner series by James Dashner, just before its movie release this September; and FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK by Matthew Quick, a riveting and emotional story about a boy planning to kill his former best friend and himself.


Click here to see July's Cool and New roundup!

Check Out Our Latest Reviews!
NEW! MIDNIGHT THIEF by Livia Blackburne (Fiction)

Growing up on Forge's streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that's not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs. But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own and she's not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he is persistent --- and darkly attractive --- and Kyra can't quite resist his pull. Reviewed by Carly Silver.

NEW! ILLUSIVE by Emily Lloyd-Jones (Young Adult Science Fiction)

When the MK virus swept across the planet, a vaccine was created to stop the epidemic, but it came with some unexpected side effects. A small percentage of the population developed superhero-like powers. Seventeen-year-old Ciere Giba has the handy ability to change her appearance at will; she's an illusionist. But she's also a thief, and she when she gets embroiled in a race for the vaccine against a corrupt government, the lines between good and bad, us and them, and freedom and entrapment are blurred. Reviewed by Rachel B., Teen Board Member.

NEW! THE KISS OF DECEPTION by Mary E. Pearson (Fiction)

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight --- but she doesn’t --- and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom --- to a prince she has never met. Reviewed by Brianna Robinson.

NEW! THROUGH THE WOODS by Emily Carroll (Fiction)

Journey through the woods in this sinister, compellingly spooky collection that features four brand-new stories and one phenomenally popular tale in print for the first time. These are fairy tales gone seriously wrong, where you can travel to “Our Neighbor’s House” --- though coming back might be a problem --- or find yourself a young bride in a house that holds a terrible secret in “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold.” Reviewed by Charles Payseur.

NEW! MARINA by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Fiction)

When 15-year-old Oscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in Barcelona, no one knows his whereabouts for seven days and seven nights. His story begins when he meets the strange Marina while he's exploring an old quarter of the city. She leads Oscar to a cemetery, where they watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the last Sunday of each month. At exactly ten o'clock in the morning, a woman shrouded in a black velvet cloak descends from her carriage to place a single rose on an unmarked grave. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

NEW! ONE PAST MIDNIGHT by Jessica Shirvington (Fiction)

Sabine isn’t like anyone else. For as long as she can remember, she’s had two lives. Every 24 hours she ‘Shifts,’ living each day twice. In one life, Sabine has everything: popular friends, expensive clothes, perfect grades and the guy everyone wants. In the other, Sabine’s family struggles with finances, and she and her friends are considered rebels. But then she meets Ethan. He’s gorgeous, challenging, and he makes her feel like no one ever has before. Reviewed by Brianna Robinson.

NEW! PERFECTED by Kate Jarvik Birch (Fiction)

Ever since the government passed legislation allowing people to be genetically engineered and raised as pets, the rich and powerful can own beautiful girls like 16-year-old Ella as companions. But when Ella moves in with her new masters and discovers the glamorous life she's been promised isn't at all what it seems, she's forced to choose between a pampered existence full of gorgeous gowns and veiled threats, or seizing her chance at freedom with the boy she's come to love, risking both of their lives in a daring escape no one will ever forget. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

NEW! WANTED: Dead or In Love by Kym Brunner (Fiction)

Impulsive high school senior Monroe Baker is on probation for a recent crime, but strives to stay out of trouble by working as a flapper at her father's Roaring 20s dinner show theater. When she cuts herself on one of the spent bullets from her father's gangster memorabilia collection, she unwittingly awakens Bonnie Parker's spirit, who begins speaking to Monroe from inside her head. Reviewed by Brandon L, teen board member.

NEW! HOMEROOM DIARIES by James Patterson and Lisa Papademetriou (Fiction)

Margaret "Cuckoo" Clarke recently had a brief stay in a mental institution following an emotional breakdown, but she's turning over a new leaf with her "Operation Happiness." She's determined to beat down the bad vibes of the Haters, the Terror Teachers and all of the trials and tribulations of high school by writing and drawing in her diary. And when life gets really tough, she works through her own moments of uncertainty through imaginary conversations with her favorite literary characters. Reviewed by Charlotte L., Teen Board Member.

NEW! THE FIRE WISH by Amber Lough (Fantasy)

Najwa is a jinni, training to be a spy in the war against the humans. Zayele is a human on her way to marry a prince of Baghdad --- which she’ll do anything to avoid. So she captures Najwa and makes a wish. With a rush of smoke and fire, they fall apart and re-form --- as each other. Both girls must play their parts among enemies who would kill them if the deception were ever discovered --- enemies including the young men Najwa and Zayele are just discovering they might love. Reviewed by Kate F., Teen Board Member.

NEW! LIKE NO OTHER by Una LaMarche (Fiction)

Devorah is a consummate good girl who has never challenged the ways of her strict Hasidic upbringing. Jaxon is a fun-loving, book-smart nerd who has never been comfortable around girls (unless you count his four younger sisters). They've spent their entire lives in Brooklyn, on opposite sides of the same street. Their paths never crossed . . . until one day, they did. Reviewed by Pranshu A., Teen Board Member.


Vote in Our Poll!

This is the 10th anniversary of the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban film! If you could go anywhere in the Harry Potter universe, where would you go?

  • Hogwarts --- Honestly, who wouldn’t want to learn magic in a castle? The Quidditch Field --- If you think the FIFA World Cup is exciting, imagine if broomsticks were involved
  • The Burrow --- I’d love to pop in on the Weasley family
  • Zonko’s Joke Shop— What better place to buy some Dungbombs and Sugar Quills?
  • Honeydukes --- Just give me all the Chocolate Frogs you have.
  • Hagrid’s Hut --- Fancy a cup of a tea, a rock cake and some illegal magical creatures?

Last month, we asked where you planned to read in June, July and August. It looks like you're a bit of an indoorsy group --- 68% said they'd read in their favorite part of the house. However, 22% of you plan on getting some sun, and devouring your favorite novels by the beach or pool!


Click here to take our poll!

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:

THE FEVER by Megan Abott (Psychological Thriller)

The Nash family is close-knit. However, their seeming stability is thrown into chaos when Deenie's best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community. As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town's fragile idea of security.

THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING by Erika Johansen (Fantasy, Historical Fiction)

On her 19th birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon to prevent her from wearing the crown.


Click here to see adult books you want to read!

connect with us twitterfacebook