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Late July 2016
July 21, 2016
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Teenreads Boards the Hogwarts Express in T-Minus 10 Days

Hi Teenreaders,

We are officially less than 10 days from the release of HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD --- or roughly 9 days, 14 hours and 30 minutes at the time of writing this newsletter, but who’s counting? Scholastic got the party started early today with a good old-fashioned #MuggleMob outside of their offices in SoHo, New York. About 300 employees gathered in a flash mob to read from Harry Potter books and give away free copies of the previous books in the series while music from the movies played in the background. I’m sad to say that I wasn’t on the scene, but my Twitter feed gave me major FOMO --- you can see some pictures above.

In a funny twist, this morning my Timehop app on my phone reminded me that today is also the 9th anniversary of the release of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS! That means that nine years ago today I was firmly situated in my grandmother’s chair with my newly purchased book and the teenaged willpower to read it all in about two nights. Now I’m planning for my first midnight release party --- talk about coming full circle!

I’ve already shared links to Harry Potter events at Barnes & Noble bookstores in previous newsletters, but if you’re on the hunt for something fun, also be sure to check out your local indie bookstore. Since indies know so many of their customers personally, they can throw really awesome events tailored to the interests of you and other readers in your community. Here in NYC, I’ll be attending the midnight Harry Potter launch at one of my favorite bookstores, Books of Wonder, and I have friends who will be checking out Strand and Bookcourt events, as well. If you plan on attending any HP festivities, be sure to write me about your experience!

Feeling Pottered out? Don’t worry, reading isn’t just for Ravenclaws and we have lots of bookish news to share with you. First of all, click here to read an excerpt from James Dashner’s THE FEVER CODE, a prequel to THE MAZE RUNNER releasing September 27th. I won’t spoil too much, but let’s just say that Chuck fans will be very pleased (I’m not crying, you’re crying). Note that THE FEVER CODE is a "First in Line" selection; more on that in a bit!

Up next, we have some Books on Screen news, as rising actors Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson have been selected to star in Everything Everything, based on last year’s ultra-bestselling YA debut of the same name by Nicola Yoon. This fantastic book follows Maddy, a teen with severe combined immunodeficiency, a rare disease that causes her to be allergic to, well, everything. After 17 years spent with only her mother and her nurse, Maddy is ready for something different --- and Olly, her cute new neighbor, seems like the perfect distraction.

Do you love being the first to know about amazing new reads? You've seen us talking about First in Line --- a program that lets YA booklovers read books before they hit the shelves --- for a while, but now we have news about their latest pick for August, GIRL IN PIECES. We've been hearing lots of great buzz about this debut author, and our own Carol Fitzgerald, co-founder and President of The Book Report Network, loved the book. She said it reminded her of Girl, Interrupted, and that as sad as some of the themes were, she loved rooting for the protagonist as the story went on. If you want the chance to read this book before it hits shelves on August 30th, be sure to sign up for First in Line below.

Although it feels like summer just began, our Beach Bag of Books contest will be wrapping up on Monday, August 1st at noon ET. That means that this will be your last newsletter reminder, so if you haven't entered yet, be sure to take the time to do it now! I don't want anyone missing out on the chance to receive copies of our six featured titles --- especially when they're all so good.

Last, but certainly not least, Teenreads intern Dana is back with the second installment of her series of posts about book blogging, which you can read here. She also wrote an excellent piece for us about Blog Bound, a convention she attended a few weeks ago. Read her post here to learn all about the panels she attended and what she learned.

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!

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!

The First In Line monthly pick for August is GIRL IN PIECES by Kathleen Glasgow. If THIRTEEN REASONS WHY topped your must-read list, then this is your next book.

GIRL IN PIECES tells the story of Charlotte Davis who is in pieces at 17. She’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime, but she’s learned how to forget through self-harm. Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge. A deeply moving portrait of a girl in a world that owes her nothing, and has taken so much and the journey she undergoes to put herself back together. Kathleen Glasgow's debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest.


Click here to join First in Line now.

Featured Review: POOR UNFORTUNATE SOUL by Serena Valentino

POOR UNFORTUNATE SOULS: A Tale of the Sea Witch by Serena Valentino (Fantasy)
The third novel in Serena Valentino's (FAIREST OF ALL, BEAST WITHIN) Villains trilogy, featuring the story of the Little Mermaid from the perspective of the sea witch Ursula. Reviewed by Cat S., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

Featured Review: THE SEASON by Jonah Lisa Dyer and Stephen Dyer

THE SEASON by Jonah Lisa Dyer and Stephen Dyer (Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Erin Spencer.
Megan McKnight is an expert at the three Rs of Texas (readin’, ridin’ and ropin’), but she’s not a girly girl. So when her Southern belle mother secretly enters her as a debutante, she’s furious. When Megan’s attitude puts her on probation, she has a month to prove she can ballroom dance, display impeccable manners and curtsy or she’ll disgrace her family. The perk of being a debutante is going to parties, and it’s at one of these lavish affairs where Megan meets Hank Waterhouse. If she didn’t have to contend with a backstabbing blonde and her surly boyfriend, being a deb might not be so bad after all. But then Megan becomes embroiled in a media-frenzy scandal and gets punched in the face by another girl. The season has officially begun…but the drama is just getting started. Reviewed by Kate F., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

Featured Review: P.S. I LIKE YOU by Kasie West

P.S. I LIKE YOU by Kasie West (Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Shannon McManus.
While spacing out in Chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk, and added a message to her. Intrigue! Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters --- sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she's kind of falling for this letter writer. Only who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery, and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can't always be spelled out...Reviewed by Harleen K., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

Featured Review: LUCKY STRIKES by Louis Bayard

LUCKY STRIKES by Louis Bayard (Fiction)
With her mama recently dead and her pa sight unseen since birth, Amelia is suddenly in charge of her younger brother and sister --- and of the family gas station. Harley Blevins, local king and emperor of Standard Oil, is in hot pursuit to clinch his fuel monopoly. To keep him at bay and keep her family out of foster care, Melia must come up with a father --- and fast. And so when a hobo rolls out of a passing truck, Melia grabs opportunity by its beard. Reviewed by Bryn D., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

Featured Review: GEMINI by Sonya Mukherjee

GEMINI by Sonya Mukherjee (Fiction)
Seventeen-year-old conjoined twins Clara and Hailey have lived in the same small town their entire lives --- no one stares at them anymore. But there are cracks in their quiet existence and they're slowly becoming more apparent. Clara and Hailey are at a crossroads. Clara wants to stay close to home, avoid all attention, and study the night sky. Hailey wants to travel the world, learn from great artists, and dance with mysterious boys. As high school graduation approaches, each twin must untangle her dreams from her sister's and figure out what it means to be her own person.Reviewed by Laura T., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

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

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!

We will be sharing our September/October Guy-Brary selections in late August.

Click here to see our "Books to Add to Your Guy-Brary Bookshelf - Part 2.

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 crunch time. 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 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 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 HANG A WITCH by Adriana Mather (Paranormal)
Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were? Reviewed by Chris C., Teen Board Member.

KILLER IN ME by Margot Harrison (Mystery)
Hasn't he lived long enough? Why not? I could take him like a thief in the night. This is how the Thief thinks. He serves death, the vacuum, the unknown. He's always waiting. Always there. Seventeen-year-old Nina Barrows knows all about the Thief. She's intimately familiar with his hunting methods: how he stalks and kills at random, how he disposes of his victims' bodies in an abandoned mine in the deepest, most desolate part of a desert. Now, for the first time, Nina has the chance to do something about the serial killer that no one else knows exists. With the help of her former best friend, Warren, she tracks the Thief two thousand miles, to his home turf-the deserts of New Mexico. But the man she meets there seems nothing like the brutal sociopath with whom she's had a disturbing connection her whole life. Reviewed by Alison S., Teen Board Member.

SECRETS, LIES, AND SCANDALS by Amanda K. Morgan (Fiction)
Ivy used to be on top of the social ladder, until her ex made that all go away. Tyler has always been a bad boy, but lately he’s been running low on second chances. Kinley wouldn’t describe herself as perfect, though everyone else would. Mattie is only in town for the summer. He wasn’t looking to make friends, and he definitely wasn’t looking to be involved in a murder. Cade couldn’t care less about the body, or about the pact to keep the secret. With the police hot on the case, they don’t have much time to figure out how to trust each other. Reviewed by Maggie L., Teen Board Member.

NO SUCH PERSON by Caroline B. Cooney (Mystery)
Shortly after the Allerdons arrive at their cozy family cottage on the river, Lander meets and is smitten with a handsome young man, and they begin to date. But Miranda has a bad feeling about her perfect sister’s new boyfriend. And when the cops come knocking on her family’s front door, Miranda can’t help feeling that Lander’s boyfriend has something to do with it. The police tell Miranda and her family that Lander has been arrested. But Miranda doubts the supposedly solid evidence they say they have against her sister and decides to dig deeper. Reviewed by Janine C., Teen Board Member.

WHAT THE DEAD WANT by Norah Olson (Mystery)
A love of photography, an old camera, and countless questions --- these are all that 16-year-old Gretchen has left of her mother, who mysteriously disappeared years ago. Now she must return to the place where her mom vanished --- a decaying mansion that Gretchen has suddenly inherited from her great-aunt Esther. However, Gretchen won’t find the answers she’s seeking without unraveling the secrets that lurk inside the house. Reviewed by Adrian Meyers.

BLACK RIVER FALLS by Jeff Hirsch (Dystopian Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Chris Patton.
Seventeen-year-old Cardinal has escaped the virus that ravaged his town, leaving its victims alive but without their memories. He chooses to remain in the quarantined zone, caring for a group of orphaned kids in a mountain camp with the help of the former brutal school bully, now transformed by the virus into his best friend. But then a strong-willed and mysterious young woman appears, and the closed-off world Cardinal has created begins to crumble. Reviewed by Chris C., Teen Board Member.

THE MERCILESS II by Danielle Vega (Fiction)
Sofia is still processing the horrific truth of what happened when she and three friends performed an exorcism that spiraled horribly out of control. Ever since that night, Sofia has been haunted by bloody and demonic visions. Her therapist says they’re all in her head, but to Sofia they feel chillingly real. She just wants to get out of town, start fresh someplace else...until her mother dies suddenly, and Sofia gets her wish. Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member.

TWISTED by Hannah Jayne (Mystery)
Audiobook available, narrated by Amy McFadden.
Bex has always been her daddy's little girl. After her mother left, it was just the two of them. Sure he spoiled her with clothes and jewelry, but what father doesn't dote on his daughter? Except Bex's dad is alleged to be a notorious serial killer. Dubbed "The Wife Collector" by the press, her father disappeared before he could stand trial. And Bex was left to deal with the taunts and rumors. Foster care is her one chance at starting over, starting fresh. When bodies start turning up in her new hometown, the police want to use her as bait to bring her father in for questioning. Reviewed by Maggie L., Teen Board Member.

THOMAS PAIN: Crusader for Liberty: How One Man's Ideas Helped Form a New Nation by Albert Marrin (Biography)
Dubbed 'The Father of the American Revolution', Paine began his written reign by fervently proposing the idea of American independence from Great Britain, where he lived before emigrating to the United States in his thirties. Paine continued to divulge his ideas to the public, risking his reputation and even his life. Award-winning author Albert Marrin illustrates the hardships and significance of a man's beliefs and its affects on our nation in a way that all ages can comprehend. Reviewed by Rob Bentlyewski.

THE BOY AT THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN by John Boyne (Hictorical Fiction)
When Pierrot becomes an orphan, he must leave his home in Paris for a new life with his aunt Beatrix, a servant in a wealthy Austrian household. But this is no ordinary time, for it is 1935 and the Second World War is fast approaching; and this is no ordinary house, for this is the Berghof, the home of Adolf Hitler. Pierrot is quickly taken under Hitler's wing and thrown into an increasingly dangerous new world: a world of terror, secrets, and betrayal from which he may never be able to escape. Reviewed by Aimee Rogers.

CHASING STARS by Helen Douglas (Science Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Polly Lee.
Hunted down by a ruthless “cleaner” from the future, star-crossed lovers Eden and Ryan have been forced to travel a hundred years forward to 2123. Ryan has broken fundamental laws of time for them to be together, and now they face his trial and permanent imprisonment...and a life without each other. Eden knows that she must save Ryan, but he's under tight security. All Eden wants is Ryan, but is it possible to be together when it seems the whole universe is against them? Fans of Claudia Gray, Amie Kaufman, and Meagan Spooner will be swept away by this epic cross-century romance in which love bends the laws of time and reason. Reviewed by Vaishnavi S., Teen Board Member.

RETURN TO THE DARK HOUSE by Laurie Faria Stolarz (Horror)
Ivy Jensen survived the Dark House once, but can she make it out a second time? Two months have passed since Ivy narrowly escaped the Nightmare Elf's grip, but the memories of Parker, Natalie, Shayla, Frankie and Garth continue to haunt her. Their killer is still out there-somewhere. The police trail has gone cold, though, and it's up to Ivy to piece together the clues to find him. Reviewed by Jeanna Michel.


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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