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Early February 2015
February 13, 2015

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Literary Loves Abound on

Happy February, Teenreaders!

Seeing as February 14th is just around the corner, I’m guessing that half of you have spent the past few days making Valentines for all of your friends and stocking up on chocolate --- and the other half never wants to see a heart, the color pink or a rose ever again.

Whichever category you fall into, though, I bet that you can make a little bit of room for some literary loves, whether it be authors whose prodigious talent and quirky persona make you swoon or characters who have just the right amount of charm, wit and sparkle in their eyes.

If I were to vote, I'd have to go classic with Mr. Darcy from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. There's nothing quite like breaking down that brooding, quiet exterior to reveal a fiercely loyal, intelligent soul underneath. And all that back-and-forth and anticipation between him and Lizzy certainly doesn't hurt. For authors, I might have to go with Jack Gantos purely for his personality and sense of humor. I once heard him speak and couldn't stop laughing, and he had just the right brand of nonconformity to keep me interested.

Our favorite authors, reviewers and Teen Board members weigh in on the topic below.

Who's Your Biggest Literary Crush?

My teenage self adored Rand al'Thor from Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series (and I still do!). Sunny boy next door that transforms into a dark, brooding hero who stands up to world-ending danger? What more could a girl ask for? --- Joelle Charbonneau (The Testing Trilogy).

Prince Jonathan from the the Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce. Smoldering good looks, a sense of justice and heir to a throne! --- Carly Silver, reviewer.

My biggest literary crush is John Green! I absolutely adore all of his books and the positive energy his books give off. --- Rachel D., Teen Board member

I would have to say my literary crush is S.E. Hinton, the author of THE OUTSIDERS, my favorite book of all time. She once responded to me on Twitter and I ran through the house screaming with excitement. If I met her in person, I would probably cry. And yes, I am aware of how fangirly and spastic I sound! --- Jennifer Mathieu (THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE and the forthcoming DEVOTED)

Holden Calfield [from THE CATCHER IN THE RYE]! I'm a sucker for a loner with a cutting vocabulary . --- Abbe Wright, reviewer.

Mine would be Hazel Grace [from THE FAULT IN OUR STARS]. She's an amazing person! I love her spirit! --- Trevor P., Teen Board member.

My biggest literary crush is Neil Gaiman. I adore his writing and how diverse it is --- he writes for kids and adults, in a variety of styles and his stories are always strange, lovely and compelling. He seems like a cool guy, too. --- Sarah Rachel Egelman, reviewer.

Being the fickle author that I am, my literary crushes change quite often. Right now it’s Eio from ORIGIN by Jessica Khoury because who doesn’t love a Tarzan-esque jungle boy? --- Jessica Brody (The Unremembered Trilogy).

One of my biggest literary crushes is Elliot from the Colours of Madeleine series by Jaclyn Moriarty. Though he is described as a heart-throb in the world he lives in, Elliot is much more than that --- he's compassionate, brave, and smart. --- Cassandra H., Teen Board member.

My literary crush is hands-down the queen herself, J.K. Rowling. She's pretty much the Dumbledore to my Harry and my love for her is so ridiculous I have a Riddikulus! tattoo on my wrist. – Adam Silvera (The forthcoming MORE HAPPY THAN NOT).

My literary crush would be Scott Hudson from SLEEPING FRESHMEN NEVER LIE. Throughout the book Scott stays true to himself, even though there's a lot of change in his life. He's also a big reader, which is very cool! --- Cheyenne C., Teen Board member.

Want a more complete list of crush-worthy people in the book world? Click here to see authors' answers and here to see other reviewers' and Teen Board members' answers! And be sure to enter our Books to Fall in Love with contest, where you can tell us your own and have the chance to win a stack of romantic reads.

Have a happy (or should I say, lovely) weekend reading, and enjoy the rest of the newsletter!

--- Shara Zaval (

P.S: Thank you to everyone who voted to choose the nominees for the Teen Choice Book Awards! We had a record-breaking number of votes this year, and we know that your favorite authors are thanking you for being such loyal fans. I will let you all know when the voting for the top five's going to be a tough race!


WHY'D THEY WEAR THAT? Special Feature and Contest

In WHY’D THEY WEAR THAT?, teens can learn about different fashion trends through the centuries. Why did people ever wear hoop skirts, rams-horned headdresses and shirts made of hair? Learn more about WHY'D THEY WEAR THAT? with an author interview, except and review, and enter to win one of 10 copies of the book!

Click here to enter the contest.
Click here to read the review.
Click here to read the excerpt.
Click here to read the interview.


Click here to read the special feature!

Special Feature: SEEKER by Arwen Elys Dayton

For readers of A Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games comes an epic new series.

The night Quin Kincaid takes her Oath, she will become what she has trained to be her entire life. She will become a Seeker. This is her legacy, and it is an honor. As a Seeker, Quin will fight beside her two closest companions, Shinobu and John, to protect the weak and the wronged. Together they will stand for light in a shadowy world. And she'll be with the boy she loves --- who's also her best friend. But the night Quin takes her Oath, everything changes. Being a Seeker is not what she thought. Her family is not what she thought. Even the boy she loves is not who she thought. And now it's too late to walk away.

Click here to learn more about SEEKER.
Click here to read an excerpt from SEEKER.

We also had readers give us advance comments about the book, including Ali G. from Winslow, AR, who said she was "completely engrossed in the story of Quin, Shinobu, and John as they learned that life does not always turn out the way you expect ." Daiane C. from Brooklyn said that she'd recommend the book to her friends who like The Hunger Games and A Song of Ice and Fire.

Click here to see all of our Readers' Comments for SEEKER.

And look out for a review and interview, coming soon!


Behind the Scenes: Studio Tour with Some of the Most Eminent Artists in the Picture Book World

Are you one of those teens who can't attend a class without doodling all over your notebook? Or maybe your best efforts look more like scribbles, but a beautiful painting takes your breath away.

Either way, we think you'll love our "sneak peek" into the shared studio of five of the most beloved picture book artists in the publishing business: Sophie Blackall, Brian Floca, Edward Hemingway, John Bemelmans Maricano and Sergio Ruzzier.

You'll see their wildly different art spaces, get a behind-the-scenes look at some of their recent and upcoming projects, and just revel in the whimsical energy of it all.

Click here to see our behind-the-scenes studio tour! Books to Fall In Love With 2015
The countdown to "V Day" is on! And we're spreading the love with our Valentine's Day contest and feature. From now through Monday, February 16th at noon ET, readers will have the chance to win one of our five Valentine's Day prize packages, which includes one copy of each of our featured books and some divine chocolate. If you're feeling frisky, share with us your all-time book character crush. Don't be shy, we all got 'em! We'll post your top 10 literary loves and lusts...and the five winners on February 17th, so be on the lookout!

Our featured Valentine’s Day titles are:

Click here to enter our Books to Fall in Love With Contest!

A Storm on the Horizon. A Brotherhood is Scattered. A Future Denied. Who Will Stand Against the Darkness?
In Book Two of The Song of Seare series by author Carla Laureano, Conor and Aine have barely escaped Seare with their lives. Conor knows he must return to find the harp that could end the Red Druid’s reign of terror, but in the midst of their escape, he and Aine are torn apart once more. Surrounded by despair and thrown into as much danger as they left behind, Conor and Aine must cling to the whispers of Comdiu’s plans for them and the homeland that depends on their survival. But at what cost? Will they learn to depend on Comdiu completely? Or will they give up hope?
Click here to learn more about BENEATH THE FORSAKEN CITY!

Teen Board News

Teen Board Question: This month we asked our Teen Board, "What book characters do you think would make a great couple?," whether from the same book or across novels. We got a whole range of answers --- both Sydney L. and Mary M. wanted to see Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter take their friendship to the next level, while Christa O. thought that Nehemia from THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas and Prince Nai from CINDER by Marissa Meyer would make a good couple because they're both level-headed royals who want the best for their people. To see everyone's answers, click here!

National Readathon Day: Several of our Teen Board members participated in National Readathon Day on January 24th, reading from noon to 4pm to help celebrate literacy everywhere. Read about their experiences --- and what they read! --- here.

Reviews: As always, our Teen Board has been reviewing like mad, and many loved the books that they encountered. Cassandra H. said that INHERIT MIDNIGHT by Kate Kae Myers "truly has something for everyone," from puzzle-solvers to thrill-seekers to romantics, and Yaira M. said that the protagonist of WE CAN WORK IT OUT by Elizabeth Eulberg "is representative of what the modern day girl can achieve and reminds us all of the power of collective love and wisdom."

Click here to meet the Teen Board!

On the Teenreads Blog!

5 Things People Don't Know About THE FORGETTING --- Author Nicole Maggie shares some juicy details about her new thriller.

Literary Lovers - The Best of the Best for Valentine's Day --- Teen Board Member Katherina T. breaks down the best of the best in YA romance.

Creative Writing - Characterization --- Teen Board Member Alison S. talks about the importance of good characterization when it comes to creative writing.

Click here to read the Teenreads blog!

Now in Stores: FAIREST by Marissa Meyer

FAIREST by Marissa Meyer (Young Adult Fiction)

Mirror, mirror on the wall,

Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story --- a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Click here to learn more about the book!

Now in Stores: RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard

RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard (Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy)

GRACELING meets THE SELECTION in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard's sweeping tale of 17-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king's palace. Will her power save her or condemn her? Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood --- those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own. To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard --- a growing Red rebellion --- even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

Click here to learn more about the book!

Books On Screen
Valentine's Day may be just around the corner, but if you're not into romance and hearts this February, you may want to check out the action-filled antidote, Kingsman: The Secret Service instead. Based on the comic book series, this is the story of Eggsy, an edgy teenager, who gets recruited by a secret spy organization. He joins their viciously competitive training course just in time to try to save the world from an evil genius. There's also The Duff, in which high school student Bianca seeks to turn the school's social structure upside down.

Or if you don't want to brave the winter weather, check out all the great choices on TV and on DVD!

Click here to read books on screen.

February's Cool and New Roundup

In February’s Cool and New roundup, we have A STUDY IN SCARLET by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and illustrated by Gris Grimly, the first fully illustrated version of the origin story of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson since its debut; DEAREST by Alethea Kontis, the third book in The Woodcutter sisters series where Friday discovers seven sleeping brothers who are cursed to be swans by day; and THE GLASS ARROW by Kristen Simmons, a dystopian novel that takes place in a world where women are property to be sold, owned and bred.

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

Check Out Our Latest Reviews!

NEW! BETTER THAN PERFECT by Melissa Kantor (Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Family Relationships)

Juliet Newman has it all --- a perfect family; a loving boyfriend; and a plan to ace her SATs, get accepted into Harvard and live happily ever after. But when her dad moves out and her mom loses it, Juliet begins questioning everything. And to make matters even more complicated, there's Declan, the boy who makes her feel alive --- and who's totally off-limits. Torn between the life she always thought she wanted and one she never knew was possible, Juliet begins to wonder: What if perfect isn't all it's cracked up to be? Reviewed by Aspen R., Teen Board member.

NEW! THE GLASS ARROW by Kristen Simmons (Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia)

Once there was a time when men and women lived as equals, when girl babies were valued and women could belong only to themselves. But that was 10 generations ago. Now women are property, to be sold and owned and bred, while a strict census keeps their numbers manageable and under control. The best any girl can hope for is to end up as some man’s forever wife, but most are simply sold and resold until they’re all used up. Reviewed by Alison S., Teen Board member.

NEW! I'LL MEET YOU THERE by Heather Demetrios (Young Adult Fiction, Family Relationships)

When 17-year-old Skylar Evans' mother lost her job, her dream of getting out of Creekview to go to art school starts falling apart. Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise --- quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper. Reviewed by Sabrina Abballe.

NEW! HEARTBEAT by Elizabeth Scott (Fiction)

Since her mother's sudden death, Emma has existed in a fog of grief, unable to let go --- because her mother is being kept alive on machines for the sake of the baby growing inside her. Letting go of things that no longer seem important --- grades, crushes, college --- Emma has only her best friend. Until she meets a boy with a bad reputation who sparks something in her. Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death --- and maybe, for love? Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

NEW! THE BOY NEXT DOOR by Katie Van Ark (Young Adult Romance)

Maddy Spier's been in love with the boy next door forever. As his figure skating partner, she spends time in his arms every day. But she’s also seen his arms around other girls --- lots of other girls. How can she make him realize that they can be partners off the ice as well? Gabe’s relationship with Maddy is vital. He can’t imagine skating with anyone else, and together they have a real chance at gold --- maybe even making it to the Olympics! So he’s decided to think of her as a sister. Then their coach assigns a new romantic skating program, and everything changes. Will this be the big break that Maddy’s been hoping for or the big break-up that Gabe has always feared? Reviewed by Pranshu A., Teen Board Member.

NEW! TEMPLE BOYS by Jamie Buxton (Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction)

Jerusalem, year zero. Flea belongs to a gang of teenage vagrants living in the shadow of the Temple. The city is crowded with visitors for Passover and governed by an uneasy alliance between the Temple priests and the occupying Roman army, bringing talk of miracles and revolution. Flea and his comrades latch onto the newcomer in the hope that he'll offer them a secure home. As events accumulate and powerful forces gather around the Magician, Flea notices rumblings of discontent among his followers, and finds himself torn between one of them --- the protective Jude, who employs Flea to run errands --- and a brutal Roman spy determined to uncover the Magician's plans.

NEW! WE CAN WORK IT OUT (The Lonely Hearts Club) by Elizabeth Eulberg (Young Adult Romance)

When Penny Lane started The Lonely Hearts Club, the goal was simple: to show that girls didn’t need to define themselves by how guys looked at them. Penny thought she’d be an outcast for life...but then the club became far more popular than she ever imagined. But what happens when the girl who never thought she’d date a good guy suddenly finds herself dating a great one? She doesn’t need a boyfriend...but she wants it to work out with this one. Penny Lane worked hard to declare her independence. Now she needs to figure out what to do with it --- and how to balance what she wants with what everyone else wants. Reviewed by Yaira M., Teen Board Member.

NEW! I REMEMBER YOU by Cathleen Davitt Bell (Young Adult Romance)

Lucas and Juliet couldn’t be more different from each other. But from the moment Lucas sees Juliet, he swears he remembers their first kiss. Their first dance. Their first fight. He even knows what’s going to happen between them --- not because he can predict the future, but because he claims to have already lived it. Juliet doesn’t know whether to be afraid for herself or for Lucas. As Lucas’s memories occur more frequently, they also grow more ominous. All Juliet wants is to keep Lucas safe with her. But how do you hold on to someone you love in the present when they’ve begun slipping away from you in the future? Reviewed by Katherina T., Teen Board Member.

NEW! INHERIT MIDNIGHT by Kate Kae Myers (Suspense)

Outlandishly wealthy Grandmother VanDemere has decided to leave her vast fortune to the family member who proves him or herself worthiest --- by solving puzzles and riddles on a whirlwind race around the globe. There will be eight competitors, three continents...and a prize worth millions. Seventeen-year-old Avery is the black sheep of the VanDemere clan who now has the chance to prove herself. Who can Avery truly trust? And is winning worth her life? Cassandra H., Teen Board Member.


February Poll

What would be your ideal winter reading spot?

  • An igloo --- It would be like your own little reading cave --- just bring your fur coat!
  • By a fireplace --- Preferably with hot chocolate, in hand
  • At a coffee shop --- Where you can people-watch on your reading breaks
  • On the beach on a tropical vacation --- Who says winter reading needs snow?
  • Read more books in a different format (eBooks, on your phone, etc)
  • In bed --- Where you have plenty of blankets to keep you warm
  • At a ski resort --- Nothing like a book after a long day on the slopes

Last month, we asked about your book-themed New Year's resolutions. The number one answer (63%) was to "read more books" followed by "write a book" and "visit the library more," which were tied at 33%. To see the full results of the January poll, click here.

Click here to take our poll!

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