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Early July 2016
July 11, 2016
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All Aboard the Hogwarts Express with Some Book Stops Along the Way!

Hi Teenreaders,

I can't believe it's already July --- or, as I like to call it, Harry Potter month! We've been totally buzzing about reuniting with our favorite wizard, but that also made me think about the joys of binge-reading a series and getting totally swept up in a new world full of exciting characters. I know some of you may not be the biggest Harry Potter fans (muggles, the lot of you), so I decided to create a little list of other binge-worthy series for your summer reading.

  • Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch --- You've seen me talk about this series for months, but now I'm taking on a new urgency since we recently received a copy of FROST LIKE NIGHT, the third and final book in the series, set to release in September.
  • The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater --- Since this series wrapped up in April, now is the perfect time to grab all four books and binge, binge, binge.
  • The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo --- This is another favorite of mine and one that our intern, Dana, has been binge-reading herself for the past few weeks. Although it's technically a trilogy, Bardugo has also written several novellas to help fill out the backstory of this magical collection.
  • The Winner's Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski --- Star-crossed lovers? Check. A warmongering empire? Check. Rumors, secrets and dirty tricks? Check, check and check. This trilogy concluded in March, but with its perfect combination of love, lies and danger, it's perfect for your summer reading.

Of course, if you still have Potter-brain, check out our Teen Board Question for the month of July, where we asked our Members how they're preparing for the midnight release of HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD. Everyone is doing something a little different, but let's just say that looking at the replies from the Teen Board, Teenreads has been contributing to Pottermore traffic lately. Speaking of which, don't forget to check out this fantastic new short story from J. K. Rowling set in Ilvermorny, the North American version of Hogwarts, which is there now. You can even get sorted into your Ilvermorny house --- let me know if any of you will be rooming with me and Teen Board Member Rachel D. in Wampus.

We know you like to be first to read books. With that in mind, you want to check out First In Line. This program give YA booklovers the opportunity to set trend by reading new books before they hit the shelves. I shared a picture of one of my First in Line prize packages in our last newsletter and trust me, it's more than worth it. You can read more about First in Line and sign up below!

Last month, we created a new bookshelf called "Books to Add to Your Guy-Brary, Part 1." This bookshelf collected titles releasing in May-June that featured male protagonists, male narrators, or plain great storylines that transcend gender. Now we're back with Part 2, which focuses only on books releasing in July-August. One of my favorites on the shelf, LEARNING TO SWEAR IN AMERICA, is also a featured review in this newsletter. I read this over the Fourth of July weekend (see the photo on the top left) and could barely stop myself from laughing out loud. Be sure to check out some of our other books for guys here.

I also read THIS SAVAGE SONG over the weekend and cannot stop talking about it. I've loved all of Victoria Schwab's adult novels, but this was my first time reading one of her YA books --- and let me say, WOW. Last week, Teenreads intern Dana and I heard Victoria speak at Books of Wonder in NYC, and she absolutely blew me away. You can read Dana's blog about the night here, and see a picture of her with Victoria on the above right.

I don't know if I've mentioned this, but besides interning here, Dana has her own book blog. She's writing a series of blog posts for us about how she got started, her favorite parts of book blogging and advice for aspiring bloggers. You can read the first installment here.

Don't forget that our Teen Board Applications for the September 2016-August 2017 will be closing TOMORROW, Tuesday, July 12th at 11:59 PM ET. We've already seen tons of great applications coming in, so don't wait to throw your name into the (sorting) hat!

Last of all, I want to make sure that you are all aware that we lost a terrific mind and writer recently with the passing of Elie Wiesel. Many of you have probably read NIGHT for school and know what a strong, courageous man he was, but you may not know that Wiesel continued to fight for his people long after the publication of NIGHT. He was a truly remarkable man, and we are very grateful for his literary contributions. You can read a tribute piece to him on our Bookreporter website here.

Happy reading,

--- Rebecca Munro (

Feature and Contest: Beach Bag of Books 2016

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 fiction in our Tenth Annual Beach Bag of Books Feature and Contest. From now through Monday, August 1st at noon ET, five lucky readers will win a copy of each of the featured books.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to enter our Beach Bag of Books contest!

Apply by TOMORROW, Tuesday, July 12th to Be on Our Teen Board!

Do you love reading and talking about books? We are looking for 50 teens between the ages of 13 and 18 years old who are passionate about books --- and committed to contributing to --- to be a part of our September 2016 - August 2017 Teen Board!

Teen Board members write reviews, compose blog posts, answer the monthly Teen Board question, participate in special features and provide us with much-needed feedback. Because we are looking for teens who can actively participate on the Teen Board, it is critical that you ensure that you have enough time to focus and give us a year-long commitment. In addition to offering you a Contributor profile on the site, you can reference your board position with us on your college applications and personal résumés.

Applications are due by 11:59pm on Tuesday, July 12th to apply to be on the Teen Board from September 2016 until August 2017. We will review the applications by Friday, July 22nd and begin the second part of the application process where you may be called for an interview. We will also request a recommendation from a teacher, a parent or someone else who knows you well. If you are selected, you will be required to turn in a consent form completed by a parent or guardian if you are under 18.

Click here to apply to be on our Teen Board.

Be the First to Read the Last Line

Made by serious YA readers for serious YA readers, First In Line offers you the novelty of having the next big book all to yourself and the reward of being a literary trendsetter.

Being the first at anything is no easy feat, but you already knew that:

  • You were reading The Hunger Games before volunteering as tribute was cool.
  • You were feeling the feels from THE FAULT IN OUR STARS before it was TFIOS. Okay? Okay.
  • You knew your faction while other people were being sorted into their houses.

Now, make sure to sign up for First In Line, so that you can always be the first to read the last line of the next big YA books. Join First In Line now for exclusive access to all things YA, including never-before-seen behind-the-book content, deleted scenes, cover reveals, exclusive giveaways, VIP event invitations and more!

Click here to join First In Line now.

Featured Review: THIS SAVAGE SONG by Victoria Schwab

THIS SAVAGE SONG by Victoria Schwab (Fantasy)
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city --- a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent --- but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives. Reviewed by Maggie D., Teen Board Member

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

Featured Review: LEARNING TO SWEAR IN AMERICA by Katie Kennedy

LEARNING TO SWEAR IN AMERICA by Katie Kennedy (Fiction)
An asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. A big, bad one. Maybe not kill-all-the-dinosaurs bad, but at least kill-everyone-in-California-and-wipe-out-Japan-with-a-tsunami bad. Yuri, a physicist prodigy from Russia, has been recruited to aid NASA as they calculate a plan to avoid disaster. The good news is Yuri knows how to stop the asteroid --- his research in antimatter will probably win him a Nobel prize if there's ever another Nobel Prize awarded. But the trouble is, even though NASA asked for his help, no one there will listen to him. He's seventeen, and they've been studying physics longer than he's been alive. Reviewed by Pranshu A., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

Featured Review: THE MEMORY BOOK by Lara Avery

THE MEMORY BOOK by Lara Avery (Fiction)
Sammie McCoy is a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as possible. Nothing will stand in her way --- not even the rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly steal her memories and then her health. So the memory book is born: a journal written to Sammie’s future self, so she can remember everything from where she stashed her study guides to just how great it feels to have a best friend again. It’s where she’ll record every perfect detail of her first date with longtime-crush Stuart, and where she’ll admit how much she’s missed her childhood friend Cooper and the ridiculous lengths he will go to make her laugh. Reviewed by Alyssa L., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

Featured Review: AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White

AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White (Fantasy)
Ever since she and her younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and taken to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada Dragwlya has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend --- and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion. Reviewed by Harleen K., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

Books to Add to Your Guy-Brary, Part 2 Bookshelf

Here at Teenreads, we want to encourage everyone to enjoy reading just as much as we do. Lately, however, it seems as though many of our readers are having trouble finding books that speak to them as guys. Back in June, we decided to curate a collection of books coming out in May-June that featured male protagonists, male narrators, or just plain great storylines that all genders can relate to.

Now we're back with Part 2, which focuses only on boy-friendly books releasing in July-August. Whether you're looking for a fun beach read, a hard-hitting story full of drama, or yes, even a romance, you're sure to find something great on our Books to Add to Your Guy-brary, Part 2 Bookshelf.

Check out Part 1 featuring books releasing in May and June here!
Click here to see our "Books to Add to Your Guy-Brary, Part 2" Bookshelf.

Teen Board Update

Teen Board Question: This July we're celebrating the release of HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, the newest addition to J. K. Rowling's beloved Harry Potter canon. We've been preparing for this day since we turned the last page of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, but now it's crunchtime. With the publication date rapidly approaching, we asked our Teen Board Members how they're gearing up for the release --- or, if they're not huge fans, how they celebrated new releases of other favorite series. Click here to see some of their answers!

Reviews: Our Teen Board members reviewed a bunch of terrific YA books this month from various genres. Grace P. immersed herself in soccer with DEFENDING TAYLOR by Miranda Kenneally, and said "DEFENDING TAYLOR...successfully captures...all of the pressure that a lot of teens put on themselves to succeed. I found it to be incredibly relatable." Alyssa L. read Jenn P. Nguyen's THE WAY TO GAME THE WALK OF SHAME, a cute romantic contemporary and said "I would recommend [THE WAY TO GAME THE WALK OF SHAME] to anyone looking for a good romantic story to read." Member Pranshu A. checked out MIRROR IN THE SKY by Aditi Khorana, a debut novelist, and what she had to say about it was "The combination of many different elements was not jarring in any way; it felt seamless."

July's Books on Screen

July is finally upon us, which means school is definitely out for all teens, and now you have more free time to do what you want. We know you're probably outside reading, eating BBQ and basking in the summer sun, but if you need an escape from the heat, the movie theater is always the way to go. Bring on the air-conditioning and salty snacks!

In theaters this month we have Nerve, starring Emma Roberts, about a girl named Vee who is pressured by her friends to join an anonymous game of dares. Vee expects harmless fun, but that is far from what happens. She is launched into a high-stakes competition that may very well put her in real danger. Also in theaters is a live action remake of The Legend of Tarzan with Margot Robbie as Jane and Alexander Skarsgård as Tarzan. It is the story you know and love with some really great eye-candy --- we mean visual effects, of course.

If you aren't up for leaving the comforts of your own home, we suggest watching or rewatching Allegiant --- the third installment in the Divergent series--- which is out on DVD this month. Follow Four and Tris as they find out what is outside the walls of Chicago. Tris and her friends must fight for their home as they figure out who they can trust in this new world. Hopefully this satisfies your DIVERGENT obsession as you (im)patiently wait for the last movie!

Click here to read more in July's Books on Screen feature.

July’s Cool and New Roundup
This month’s Cool and New roundup includes THE MERCILESS II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores by Danielle Vega, the intense sequel to the THE MERCILESS, in which Sofia strives to resist temptation at a Catholic boarding school; THE SHADOW HOUR by Melissa Grey, the sequel to THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT, where Echo struggles to harness her true power without burning the world to ashes; and THE SIEGE by Mark Alpert, the second book in the The Six series, in which Adam finds himself searching for a traitor among his team while defending humanity from the ruthless Sigma.
Click here to see the rest of July's Cool and New roundup.

July's New in Paperback
This month's New in Paperback roundup includes SUICIDE NOTES FROM BEAUTIFUL GIRLS by Lynn Weingarten, in which June investigates the suspicious suicide of her ex-best friend and finds herself in grave danger; COURT OF FIVES by Kate Elliott, where Jessamy teams up with Kalliarkos to save her family from the schemes of Kal's powerful uncle; and NEVER ALWAYS SOMETIMES by Adi Alsaid, in which two best friends decide to cross things off their "Never" list and discover that they've been missing out on high school.
Click here to see the rest of July's New in Paperback roundup.

More New Reviews

HOW TO DISAPPEAR by Ann Redisch Stampler (Thriller)
This electric cross-country thriller follows the game of cat and mouse between a girl on the run from a murder she witnessed --- or committed? --- and the boy who’s sent to kill her. Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she’s pretty sure she can get away with anything...until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette’s house. Which is why she has to disappear. Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. As Nicolette and Jack race to outsmart each other, tensions --- and attractions --- run high. Reviewed by Brynn S., Teen Board Member.

NEVER MISSING, NEVER FOUND by Amanda Panitch (Fiction)
Stolen from her family as a young girl, Scarlett was lucky enough to eventually escape her captor. Now a teen, she's starting a summer job at an amusement park. There are cute boys, new friends and the chance to finally have a normal life. Her first day, though, Scarlett discovers that a girl has gone missing from the park. Old memories come rushing back. When Scarlett chose to run all those years ago, what did she set into motion? And when push comes to shove, how far will she go to uncover the truth? Reviewed by Leanna R., Teen Board Member.

AMERICAN GIRLS by Alison Umminger (Fiction)
Anna is a 15-year-old girl who has had it with her life at home. So she "borrows" her stepmom's credit card and runs away to Los Angeles, where her half-sister takes her in. But LA isn't quite the glamorous escape Anna had imagined. As Anna spends her days on TV and movie sets, she engrosses herself in a project researching the murderous Manson girls and she begins to notice the parallels between herself and the lost girls of LA, and of America, past and present. Reviewed by Megan B., Teen Board Member.

BEFORE WE GO EXTINCT by Karen Rivers (Fiction)
J.C., who goes by the nickname Sharky, has been having a hard time ever since his best friend died in front of him. He spends countless hours holed up in his room, obsessively watching documentaries about sharks and climate change --- and texting his dead friend. Hoping a change of location will help, Sharky’s mom sends him to visit his dad on a remote island in Canada. There, Sharky meets a girl who just may show him how to live --- and love --- again. Reviewed by Chris C. Teen Board Member.

DEFENDING TAYLOR by Miranda Kenneally
Taylor's always pushed herself to be perfect. But one impulsive decision --- one lie to cover for her boyfriend --- and Taylor's kicked out of private school. Everything she's worked so hard for is gone, and now she's starting over at Hundred Oaks High. Soccer has always been Taylor's escape, but it's hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she's going through is her older brother's best friend, Ezra. Taylor's had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it's hard to trust after having been betrayed. Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member.

RUN by Kody Keplinger (Fiction)
Bo Dickinson is a girl with a wild reputation, a deadbeat dad, and a mama who's not exactly sober most of the time. Agnes Atwood, on the other hand, has never gone on a date, never even stayed out past ten, and never broken any of her parents' overbearing rules. Despite everything, Bo and Agnes become best friends. So when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, with police sirens wailing in the distance, desperate to get out of town, Agnes doesn't hesitate to take off with her. Reviewed by Jeanna Michel.

What if a zombie apocalypse or a robot uprising threatened the nation and you had the power to recruit some of the nation’s finest presidents to help save the day? By studying the most successful squads in history, Daniel O’Brien has identified the perfect ingredients for a victorious team. Which president would you choose for: the Brain, the Brawn, the Moral Compass, the Loose Cannon, and the Roosevelt? Choose wisely --- the fate of the world is in your hands! Reviewed by Rob Bentlyewski.

MIRAGE by Tracy Clark (Fiction)
Seventeen-year-old Ryan Poitier Sharpe is a gutsy, outgoing girl who spends her summer days hurling herself out of planes at her parents’ skydiving center in the Mojave Desert. Fiercely independent and willing to take risks, she challenges those around her to live life fully. But after a brush with death, Ryan is severely altered --- she’s not the same thrill-seeking girl she once was and seems to be teetering on the edge of psychosis. Reviewed by Asia H., Teen Board Member.

LIFE BEFORE by Michele Bacon (Fiction)
Seventeen years is a long time to keep secrets, and Xander Fife has gotten very good at it. Everyone believes he has a normal life and a normal family. If he can just get through this summer, he'll start his real life in college with a clean slate --- no risk, no drama, no fear. Even better, his plans for summer are awesome: soccer, friends and an epic road trip. Xander is banking on some long nights with his girlfriend, Gretchen. Instead, however, graduation day brings terror. His family's secrets are thrust out into the open, and Xander must confront his greatest fear. Armed with a fake ID, cash, and a knife, Xander skips town and assumes a new identity. Hundreds of miles from home and in danger, one thing is clear: Xander's real life is already in progress and just getting through it isn't enough. Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member.

THE WAY TO GAME THE WALK OF SHAME by Jenn P. Nguyen (Fiction)
Taylor Simmons is screwed. Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation of being an Ice Queen, but after getting drunk at a party and waking up next to bad boy surfer Evan McKinley, the entire school seems intent on tearing Taylor down with mockery and gossip. Desperate to salvage her reputation, Taylor persuades Evan to pretend they're in a serious romantic relationship. After all, it's better to be the girl who tames the wild surfer than just another notch on his surfboard. Reviewed by Alyssa L., Teen Board Member.

MIRROR IN THE SKY by Aditi Khorana (Fiction)
For Tara Krishnan, navigating Brierly, the academically rigorous prep school she attends on scholarship, feels overwhelming and impossible. Her junior year begins in the wake of a startling discovery: A message from an alternate Earth, light years away, is intercepted by NASA. This means that on another planet, there is another version of Tara, a Tara who could be living better, burning brighter, because of tiny differences in her choices. The world lights up with the knowledge of Terra Nova, the mirror planet, and Tara’s life on Earth begins to change. Reviewed by Pranshu A., Teen Board Member.

LIFE AFTER JULIET by Shannon Lee Alexander (Fiction)
Becca Hanson is a voracious reader. And with all those fictional friends, she never had time for real ones. Since her best --- and only --- real friend Charlotte's death six months before, Becca has returned to a life of books in order to distance herself from heartache and loneliness as her junior year begins. When a class project forces her into the Drama Club, she attracts the attention of not one, but TWO guys. Meanwhile, she's still dealing with the grief of Charlotte's death and that she finally has to build a life for herself on her own terms. Ultimately she learns more about who she is, what she wants, how she feels --- and how to find what she's looking for. Reviewed by Erin Siu.

MISUNDERSTOOD by Rachel Toor (Nonfiction)
As much a moving memoir as it is an amusing pet manual, MISUNDERSTOOD is a unique nonfiction book for teens and tweens about domesticated rats in general and a wonderful rat named Iris in particular. Rachel Toor's text blends history and science with profiles of interesting people and autobiographical anecdotes as it joyfully sets the record straight about why this reviled creature is actually a most amazing species. Reviewed by Liz Corley.

July Poll
There’s a new Harry Potter book releasing on July 31st and we’re busily prepping our broomsticks and cauldrons. How are you getting ready to catch up with “The Boy Who Lived?” (Check as many as apply)
  • Reading the Harry Potter books for the first time.
  • Rereading the Harry Potter series to refresh myself.
  • Finishing reading the series; hope I am done in time!
  • Watching the Harry Potter movies for the first time.
  • Rewatching the Harry Potter movies.
  • Attending a midnight launch party at a chain store like Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million.
  • Attending a midnight launch party at an indie bookstore.
  • I am not doing anything to celebrate the release.
  • I am not planning to read HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD.

Last month, we asked how you decide what you read over the summer. About 58% of you like to head to your local libraries and browse the shelves, while 49% of you prefer to look at your local bookstores. At a close second to libraries, 52% of you keep a running list, shelf or pile during the school year. Polling third was the beloved TBR, which 45% of you like to grab from at random. To see the full results, click here.

Click here to take our poll.

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