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Late April 2016
April 28, 2016
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April Takes Reading Off the Page

Hi Teenreaders,

Lots to share with this update! First, I want to thank those of you who took the time to vote for the Teen Choice Book Awards. We will be sharing the winners with you as part of the festivities that surround Children's Book Week, which kicks off THIS Sunday. Click here to see a listing of events scheduled for around the country, including kickoff events in both in New York City at the Jefferson Market Library and Los Angeles at YALLWEST.

Last weekend, Teen Board Members Rachel D., Pranshu A., Brynn S. and I all participated in Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon. The rules were simple: take the entire 24 hours to read anything and everything your heart desires --- including tweets and blog posts from fellow readathon participants. Far from being a daunting chore, Dewey's Readathon provides readers with a great excuse to pick up a book they've been dying to try, while hearing from other readers about their current and past favorites. I started the day with THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING, Morgan Matson's latest book, which will hit stores on Tuesday, May 3rd. I wanted to use my day to try new things, too, so I also dipped into 100 DAYS OF CAKE, Shari Goldhagen's YA debut, which will release later in May.

Alright, Teenreaders, now for a little confession: I did not read for the full 24 hours, and that's okay! I did spend my evening talking about books --- but in a totally different way. Our intern Erin and I spent the evening at Tumblr's NYC headquarters with Book Riot and the Harry Potter Alliance for their BYOB Book Drive in honor of World Book Night. The cost of admission was one new or gently-used book, and the payoff was a fun night with treats, gifts from publishers and mingling with authors Megan Abbott, Dhonielle Clayton, Jeffrey Cranor and Danielle Henderson. Erin and I are both huge Rainbow Rowell fans, so we were super excited to receive bound copies of "Kindred Spirits," a short story from Rainbow. You can see a photo of Erin and me above.

Do you want to get involved in the bookish fun? Now's the perfect time because this Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day, a celebration of community bookstores that provide readers with homey places to read, unwind and talk about their favorite books. Shopping indie --- not only a cool potential band name --- is a great way to help your local booksellers continue to serve you while boosting your town's morale and providing people, especially teens, with a great place to learn about books. Need more convincing? Click here to see some of the great events taking place nationwide in celebration of Independent Bookstore Day and see how you can get involved.

Bookstore owner Sue Roegge also composed a blog for our site, explaining how she and her husband started their indie bookstore and why they continue to push on even when sales dip. She makes the terrific point that you do have a choice in where you shop, and indies provide tons of benefits that should make you think twice about buying online.

If you do decide to participate in independent bookstore day, shoot me a note about your experience! I'd love to hear about your day and interactions.

Now on to this week's update. Remember that we are running our Spring Fling Contest until THIS Monday, May 2nd, at noon ET, so there is still time to enter for your chance to win a Teenreads tote bag and eight amazing titles. Also continuing are our ME BEFORE YOU and AFTER YOU and YOU GOT THIS! giveaways, which end Wednesday, May 4th, and Tuesday, May 10th, respectively.

Happy reading,

--- Rebecca Munro (


Special Contest: YOU GOT THIS! by Maya S. Penn - Enter by May 10th!

We have 10 copies of YOU GOT THIS!: Unleash Your Awesomeness, Find Your Path, and Change Your World by Maya S. Penn to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which is out now. One copy will come with this Spring Garden Heart Pendant from Maya's shop. To enter, please fill out this form by Tuesday, May 10th at noon ET.

YOU GOT THIS!: Unleash Your Inner Awesomeness, Find Your Path, and Change Your World by Maya S. Penn (Nonfiction/Self-Help)
Maya Penn isn't like other 16-year-olds. This teen has given a TED Talk (two, in fact), has been on "The View" with Whoopi Goldberg, has launched her own business, designed her own eco-friendly clothing, and been name-checked by bestselling authors like Gabrielle Bernstein, Steve Harvey, and Eve Ensler. All while still in middle school!

But while Maya is extraordinary in so many ways, what she has accomplished isn't miraculous or unique. Instead, her success is a testament to her own creativity, passion, and fearlessness ... traits that, Maya says, can be cultivated in all of us, too. YOU GOT THIS! offers a creative blueprint for young adults (and others seeking their way in the world), showing them the tools Maya herself used to build an authentic, exciting, and connected life for herself ... and offering her readers ideas to help them do the same. Like THE ARTIST'S WAY for a teen audience, YOU GOT THIS! offers readers Maya's extraordinary life story, as well as creative prompts to get them thinking about ways to cultivate that same success in their own lives.

- Click here to read a review.
- Click here to read more about the book.
- Click here to read an excerpt.
- Click here to read Maya Penn's bio.
- Visit Maya's website and blog.
- Connect with Maya on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Watch Maya on TEDTalks and TEDxYouth.


Click here to read more in our Special Feature and to enter the contest.


Special Contest: ME BEFORE YOU and AFTER YOU; Enter by Wednesday for Your Chance to WIN!
In celebration of the theatrical release of ME BEFORE YOU on June 3rd, we have a very special opportunity. We have movie tie-in editions of Jojo Moyes' ME BEFORE YOU, which comes out on April 26th, and hardcover copies of the sequel, AFTER YOU, to give away to 10 lucky readers. To enter, please fill out this form by Wednesday, May 4th at noon ET.

More about ME BEFORE YOU:
They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose.

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life --- steady boyfriend, close family --- who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life --- big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel --- and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy --- but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation, ME BEFORE YOU brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common --- a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

More about AFTER YOU:
How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding --- the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future…

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

AFTER YOU is quintessential Jojo Moyes --- a novel that will make you laugh, cry, and rejoice at being back in the world she creates. Here she does what few novelists can do --- revisits beloved characters and takes them to places neither they nor we ever expected.

Click here to read more in our Special Feature and to enter the contest.'s Annual Spring Fling Contest; Enter by Monday for Your Chance to WIN!

After a long winter, spring has finally sprung, and we're celebrating by putting away our winter coats, soaking up some sun --- and giving away some fantastic new YA books! From now through Monday, May 2nd at noon ET, readers will have the chance to win one of our five Spring Fling prize packages, which includes one copy of each of our featured books and a signature tote bag.

Our featured Spring Fling titles are:

Click here to enter our Spring Fling Contest!


Featured Review: GIRL IN THE BLUE COAT by Monica Hesse

GIRL IN THE BLUE COAT by Monica Hesse (Historical Fiction)
An unforgettable story of bravery, grief, and love in impossible times.

The missing girl is Jewish. I need you to find her before the Nazis do.

Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. She likes to think of her illegal work as a small act of rebellion.

On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman's frantic plea to find a person --- a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such dangerous work, but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations that lead her into the heart of the resistance, open her eyes to the horrors of the Nazi war machine, and compel her to take desperate action.

Meticulously researched, intricately plotted and beautifully written, GIRL IN THE BLUE COAT is an extraordinary, gripping novel from a bright new voice in historical fiction. Reviewed by Bryn D., Teen Board Member.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.


Featured Review: THE DARKEST CORNERS by Kara Thomas

THE DARKEST CORNERS by Kara Thomas (Mystery)
Tessa left Fayette, Pennsylvania when she was nine and has been trying not to think about what happened there that last summer ever since. Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls. Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and they lost touch. But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. And now she has to go back to Fayette --- to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth. Reviewed by Laura T., Teen Board Member.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.


Featured Review: THE RAVEN KING by Maggie Stiefvater

THE RAVEN KING (The Raven Cycle) by Maggie Stiefvater (Fantasy)
All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore. Reviewed by Katherine Szabo.

- Click here to read more about the book.
- Click here to watch a Publishers Weekly KidsCast with Maggie Stiefvater.


Click here to read the review.


Featured Review: MY KIND OF CRAZY by Robin Reul

MY KIND OF CRAZY by Robin Reul (Fiction)
Hank Kirby can't catch a break. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in flames when he spelled "prom" in sparklers on Amanda Carlisle's lawn...and nearly burns down her house, without ever asking her the big question. Hank just wants to pretend the incident never happened. And he might've gotten away with it --- except there is a witness. Peyton Breedlove, brooding loner and budding pyromaniac, saw the whole thing, and she blackmails Hank into an unusual friendship. Sure, Hank may be headed for his biggest disaster yet, but it's only when life falls apart that you can start piecing it back together. Reviewed by Rachel D., Teen Board Member.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.


Featured Review: FLAWED by Cecilia Ahern

FLAWED by Cecilia Ahern (Dystopian Fiction)
Celestine North lives a perfect life. She's a model daughter and sister, she's well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she's dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan. But then Celestine encounters a situation in which she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be found FLAWED. Reviewed by Alyssa L., Teen Board Member.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.


Teen Board Update

Teen Board Question: Spring is finally here, and we at Teenreads are feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to tackle our overwhelming TBRs. Looking at our lists and piles, however, had us thinking about every bibliophile's worst nightmare: the dreaded reading slump. We know even the most dedicated readers can fall into a rut, so we asked our Teen Board Members about their most recent reading slumps and how they pulled themselves out of them. A common bit of advice was to re-read a book you love, as it comfortably pulls you back in while opening the door for new reads. As you can probably guess, Harry Potter, aka The Boy Who Lived, is this month's reading slump hero, as he has effectively pulled Aliza M., Janine C. and Laura T. out of their worst slumps.

Reviews: Our Teen Board members reviewed a bunch of terrific YA books this month from various genres. Levi V. read DIG TOO DEEP and said, "This book draws you in with the all too real picture of life that it illustrates...managing to educate the reader without boring them." Kate F. loved TELL THE WIND AND FIRE, a revamped version of a classic favorite and said, "Sarah Rees Brennan weaves the old with the new together flawlessly, leaving little hints and lines from Charles Dickens’s novel in her own." Megan B., meanwhile, took a magical trip with A FIERCE AND SUBTLE POISON, and had this to say: "Debut author Samantha Mabry describes Puerto Rico with tender love and care, taking special pains to magnify each detail...[The] narrative is also aided by spot-on writing that, while beautiful, is incredibly fluent and reads like a dream."


Books on Screen
While you wait for those April showers to give way to May flowers, why not grab some snacks (ice cream spooned straight out of the container if you're like me), and veg out with the latest book-to-screen adaptations?

In theaters this month is The Jungle Book, an all-new live-action epic adventure, based on Rudyard Kipling's classic stories. Step into the wild and follow Mowgli --- a man who's been raised by wolves --- on an enchanting journey of self-discovery.

For all the numerophiles out there, an exciting new book-to-screen adaptation you can count on is The Man Who Knew Infinity, the true story of a friendship that forever changed mathematics. Srinivasa Ramanujan Iyengar earns admittance to Cambridge University during WWI, where he becomes a pioneer in mathematical theories with the guidance of his professor, G.H. Hardy.

Comic book characters are dominating the small screen this month with “The Flash”, “Shadowhunters”, “Arrow” and "Legends of Tomorrow" all airing new episodes. It's an especially exciting month for DC fanatics, in particular. So it's time to brush up on your comics and gear up to watch them brought to life!

Click here to see our April Books on Screen feature.


April's Cool and New Roundup

This month’s Cool and New roundup includes THE HATERS, a book about being in a band from ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL author Jesse Andrews; A FIERCE AND SUBTLE POISON, Samantha Mabry's haunting debut, which whisks readers to tropical Puerto Rico for a magical mystery; and GOLDEN, the stunning conclusion to Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston's Heart of Dread series.

Click here to see April's Cool and New roundup.


Check Out Our Latest Reviews!

THE LAST BOY AND GIRL IN THE WORLD by Siobhan Vivian (Fiction)
What if your town was sliding underwater and everyone was ordered to pack up and leave? How would you and your friends spend your last days together? While the adults plan for the future, box up their possessions, and find new places to live, Keeley Hewitt and her friends decide to go out with a bang. There are parties in abandoned houses. Canoe races down Main Street. The goal is to make the most of every minute they still have together. And for Keeley, that means taking one last shot at the boy she’s loved forever. Reviewed by Sally Witchalls.

THE HATERS by Jesse Andrews (Fiction)
For Wes and his best friend, Corey, jazz camp turns out to be lame. It’s pretty much all dudes talking in Jazz Voice. But then they jam with Ash, a charismatic girl with an unusual sound, and the three just click. It’s three and a half hours of pure musical magic, and Ash makes a decision: They need to hit the road. Because the road, not summer camp, is where bands get good. Before Wes and Corey know it, they’re in Ash’s SUV heading south, and The Haters Summer of Hate Tour has begun. Reviewed by Ariel G., Teen Board Member.

MAPMAKER by Mark Bomback (Thriller)
When Tanya Barrett takes an internship at MapOut, a digital mapping company her dead father cofounded, she expects emotional landmines. Her father’s business partner and his son, Connor, welcome her to the job with open arms. And being with Connor turns out to be the only thing that makes Tanya feel normal again. But when they sneak into her father’s old office late one night, they stumble across a deadly secret. Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member.

LOVE, LIES, AND SPIES by Cindy Anstey (Historical Fiction)
Juliana Telford is not your average nineteenth-century young lady. She's more interested in researching ladybugs than marriage, dresses, or dances. So when her father sends her to London for a season, she's determined to secretly publish her research. Spencer Northam is not the average young gentleman he appears. He is actually a spy for the War Office, and is more focused on acing his first mission than meeting ladies. Fortunately, Juliana feels the same, and they agree to pretend to fall for each other. Spencer can finally focus, until he is tasked with observing Juliana herself. Reviewed by Pranshu A., Teen Board Member.

SAVING MONTGOMERY SOLE by Mariko Tamaki (Social Issues)
Montgomery Sole is a square peg in a small town, forced to go to a school full of jocks and girls who don't even know what irony is. It would all be impossible if it weren't for her best friends, Thomas and Naoki. The three are also the only members of Jefferson High's Mystery Club, dedicated to exploring the weird and unexplained, from ESP and astrology to super powers and mysterious objects. Then there's the Eye of Know, the possibly powerful crystal amulet Monty bought online. Will it help her predict the future or fight back against the ignorant jerks who make fun of Thomas for being gay or Monty for having lesbian moms? Maybe the Eye is here just in time, because the newest resident of their small town is scarier than mothmen, poltergeists, or, you know, gym. Reviewed by Maggie D., Teen Board Member.

DRAG TEEN by Jeffery Self (Friendship)
A fantastic, fabulous, funny YA debut from Jeffery Self, one of the gay icons of the YouTube generation, that follows one high school student on a drag race to his future. Reviewed by Janine C., Teen Board Member.

THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi (Fantasy)
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected. Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member.

HEIR TO THE SKY by Amanda Sun (Science Fiction)
As heir to a kingdom of floating continents, Kali has spent her life bound by limits: by her duties as a member of the royal family, by a forced betrothal to the son of a nobleman, and by the edge of the only world she's ever known --- a small island hovering above a monster-ridden earth, long since uninhabited by humans. When Kali falls off the edge of her kingdom and miraculously survives, she is shocked to discover there are still humans on the earth. Determined to get home, Kali entrusts a rugged monster-hunter named Griffin to guide her. Reviewed by Jeanna Michel.


Ultimate Teen Reading List

The Ultimate Reading List is one of our favorite features on --- it's a list of more than 450 titles that we think make perfect pleasure reading for teens. We spend all year thinking about which releases will make the final cut. Our criteria: We look for books that are compelling, beautifully written, pure fun, thought-provoking or edge-of-your-seat gripping; books that we would hand to someone and say, “read this!” with no hesitation. We hope that you will use the Ultimate Reading List when selecting books for independent reading, and that schools will consult it when making suggestions for their students for summer reading.

The latest update introduces 40 new books that were released between March 2015 and February 2016.

Click here to see the newly updated Ultimate Reading List!


April Poll

We at Teenreads love talking about books on all sorts of social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter (@teenreads), Instagram (@teenreadsdotcom) and tumblr (@teenreadsdotcom). Where do YOU talk about books? Check all that apply.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram/Bookstagram
  • YouTube/BookTube
  • Tumblr
  • Goodreads
  • Other (Please specify)

Last month, we asked what formats you read books in. A whopping 91% of you read hardcovers, with paperbacks coming in at a close second with 89%. Polling third, 41% of you read on dedicated e-readers, like Kindles or Nooks. To see the full results, click here.

Click here to take our poll.


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