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Late August 2016
August 29, 2016
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Goodbye Summer Reading, Hello New Releases

Hi Teenreaders,

Can you believe we're practically falling into fall? Or that I just made that lame joke? Forgive me, I'm just super excited for a whole new season of books --- and pumpkin-spiced everything.

While I'm sad to see summer end, the last few weeks of August have really packed a punch as far as bookish events go. Two weeks ago, I had the total pleasure of dining with author Peadar O'Guilin and several book-loving librarians at Ilili, a gorgeous Mediterranean restaurant here in NYC. O'Guilin's book, THE CALL, is a dystopian novel set in Ireland, where the Sidhe (vicious, vengeful fairies) have taken control of the country, seizing teenagers at random for fights to the death. Action-packed, vividly described and absolutely horrifying, THE CALL is one of my new favorite books this summer --- which is especially exciting because I tend to shy away from nightmare-inducing books (total scaredy-cat over here).

In the days leading up to the dinner, I raced through THE CALL as fast as I could so that I would have plenty of questions to ask Peadar. As luck would have it, I ended up sitting right next to him at dinner and talked his ear off about favorite books, Irish mythology and, of course, fairies. It's so rare as a reader to have total access to an author like this, and Peadar did not disappoint. He even recommended two other books to me: ONE, which released last year (Carol was crazy about this one), and RUNNING GIRL, which you can find reviewed below. If you'll be checking out THE CALL, be sure to follow Peadar on Twitter --- I can happily report that he is very good at responding to readers, not to mention totally hilarious. You can see some photos from the dinner above.

But that's not all! Tomorrow night, my intern Dana and I will be living the ultimate YA booklover's dream and splitting our evening between two locations and three amazing authors: Ransom Riggs (of Peculiar Children fame), Tahereh Mafi and Katharine McGee. You're probably already familiar with the first two (and their picture-perfect marriage), but Katharine has also been receiving tons of buzz lately for her debut novel, THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR. Set in a futuristic Manhattan, this novel follows five teens who live in an epically large tower that encompasses almost all of NYC. As they travel between floors and social classes, several secrets, betrayals and love triangles threaten to tear them all apart. Dana and I will be seeing Katharine at the Forever 21 in Times Square, then racing to the New York Public Library for the launch party for Tahereh's newest release, FURTHERMORE (reviewed below). Whew, talk about a busy night! Be sure to check out the Teenreads Twitter and Instagram accounts to keep up with us and hear more about each event.

Now for the moment you've all been waiting for: we are super excited to introduce our new Teen Board members for the September 2016 - August 2017 cycle. This year we decided to expand the Board to include 50 members, so you can expect way more reading, reviewing and blogging from us and our spectacular teens. Each one was handpicked because of their dedication to reading and spreading their love of books --- some are even BookTubers and bloggers on their own! Join me in welcoming them!

In other bookish news, J. K. Rowling recently announced that there will be three more Harry Potter-related books for all of you ravenous (yes, I did type "Ravenclaw" first) fans this fall. Pottermore Presents is a set of three eBook shorts, which will be released on September 6th. The titles are HOGWARTS: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide, SHORT STORIES FROM HOGWARTS OF POWER, POLITICS AND PESKY POLTERGEISTS and SHORT STORIES FROM HOGWARTS OF HEROISM, HARDSHIPS AND DANGEROUS HOBBIES. Between this and the upcoming release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, it seems like fall will be just as Potter-fied as summer --- and we're not complaining.

And now I'm off to figure out which books I should toss in my bag for my Labor Day weekend reading --- if you have suggestions, shoot me an email!

Happy reading,

--- Rebecca Munro (


Meet Our September 2016 - August 2017 Teen Board!
Drumroll, please! We are proud to introduce the September 2016 - August 2017 Teen Board!

We are super excited about this group of 50 teens who in their applications all showed themselves to be gifted readers, writers and thinkers! They attend somewhere from 8th grade to 12th grade and hail from all over the country, including New Jersey, California, Kansas and Michigan. While they're all booklovers, some take it to a whole new level by running BookTubes, blogs and clubs.

Ready to learn more about them? Click here to read the "Meet the Teen Board" page. Once there, you can click on each name to read members' individual bios, along with lists of their favorite books. Be sure to look out for great reviews, blog posts, participatory features and more from this amazing group of teens!

We also want to extend a sincere thank you to everyone who applied to the Board. We received more applications than ever before, and it was very, very difficult to select this team. If you didn't get in and will be in 8th grade or high school next year, you are highly encouraged to apply again --- in the meantime, be sure to keep reading and writing!

Click here to meet the September 2016 - August 2017 Teen Board!

Featured Review: A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT by Sabaa Tahir

A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT by Sabaa Tahir (Fantasy)
A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts. Reviewed by Erin Siu.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

Featured Review: FURTHERMORE by Tahereh Mafi

FURTHERMORE by Tahereh Mafi (Fantasy)
It's been almost three years since Father disappeared, and Alice is determined to find him. In order to find him, she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is a boy named Oliver, and in a land where nothing is as it seems, it will take all of Alice's wits (and every limb she's got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself --- and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss. Reviewed by Dana Cuadrado.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

Featured Review: SPONTANEOUS by Aaron Starmer

SPONTANEOUS by Aaron Starmer (Fiction)
Mara Carlyle’s senior year is going as normally as could be expected, until --- wa-bam! --- fellow senior Katelyn Ogden explodes during third period pre-calc. Katelyn is the first, but she won’t be the last teenager to blow up without warning or explanation. As the seniors continue to pop like balloons and the national eye turns to Mara’s suburban New Jersey hometown, the FBI rolls in and the search for a reason is on. Whip-smart and blunt, Mara narrates the end of their world as she knows it while trying to make it to graduation in one piece. Reviewed by Cat S., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.


Joanna meets the perfect girl for her and must decide whether to break a promise that could change everything for her and her family or lose out on love in this charming young adult romance that’s perfect for fans of Julie Murphy’s DUMPLIN’ and Becky Albertalli’s SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA. Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees. Reviewed by Janine C., Teen Board Member

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

Now in Stores: GIRL IN PIECES by Kathleen Glasgow

GIRL IN PIECES by Kathleen Glasgow (Fiction)
Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At 17, she’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you. 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.

We will have our review soon!
Click here to read more about the book.

Now in Stores: THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR by Katherine McGee

THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR by Katherine McGee (Science Fiction)
New York City as you’ve never seen it before. A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible --- if you want it enough. Welcome to Manhattan, 2118. A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something...and everyone has something to lose. Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction --- to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched. Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart. Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world --- and a romance --- she never imagined...but will her new life cost Rylin her old one?

We will have our review next week!

Click here to read more about the book.

Books to Add to Your Guy-brary Bookshelf - Part 3

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.

Then in July, we followed up with a second bookshelf featuring all your favorite guy-friendly themes and characters, but with books releasing in July-August.

Now we're back with Part 3, which focuses only on boy-friendly books releasing in September-October. 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 3 Bookshelf.

Check out Part 1 featuring books releasing in May and June here!

Check our Part 2 featuring books releasing in July and August here!
Click here to see our "Books to Add to Your Guy-brary Bookshelf - Part 3.

Teen Board Update

Teen Board Question: Although it seems like summer only just began, our balmy, carefree days are numbered and many kids and teens are heading back to school. With that in mind, we decided to ask our Teen Board Members about the best book they read this summer. Since we're always trying to learn more about how our readers find books, we also asked how they discovered their new favorite summer read. Click here to see their answers!

Reviews: Our Teen Board members reviewed a bunch of terrific YA books this month from various genres. Juliette G. was swept up in a heist with SMASH & GRAB by Amy Christine Parker, and said "SMASH & GRAB cleverly combines humor, romance, and a cunning caper.... Author Amy Parker thoughtfully exposes the violence and despair that exist in many urban areas." A WORLD WITHOUT YOU by Beth Revis made Brynn S. question what was real and what wasn't, and said “A WORLD WITHOUT YOU is an powerful and heartbreaking story that is unlike anything I have ever read previously.” Kate F. was trying to solve a murder in THE ASSASSIN GAME by Kristy McKay, and said "Perfect for readers looking for a good “scary” novel...THE ASSASSIN GAME has the perfect amount of romance, suspense, and action to make for a wonderful read."

Blogs: Gender Equality in YA Novels - Guest Post by Kate F., Teen Board Member --- Kate F. has written a post about the tropes of female characters in YA, which was inspired by one of the panels she went to while at Book Con.

The Tweeted 20: Short Story Reviews - Guest Post by Alison S., Teen Board Member --- Alison S. read 20 short stories and reviewed them on Teenreads --- but what is unique about them is the size of each review, all of which were written in 140 characters, the length of a tweet.

HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD Midnight Release - Guest Post by Cat S., Teen Board Member --- Cat S. attended a midnight release party for HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD and shared her fun experience with Teenreads.


August's Books on Screen
August is here, and the end of summer is drawing nigh! But although summer might be ending, that doesn’t mean it’s any less hot --- in fact, these past few weeks have been sweatier than ever. With that in mind, closing off your summer with a fun trip to the cool movie theater might be the best way to go! And with school starting up again, either now or in a few weeks, there’s less and less time to go and see these fun, book-based flicks.

In theaters this August we have The Little Prince, based off of the iconic children’s book that many of us read in school. This touching animated film is sure to be a great way to wrap up your summer fun. Another recently released movie, perfect for comic book fans, is Suicide Squad. This one is sure to be a fun ride all the way through and provide you superhero --- or supervillain --- fans with a way to relieve the stress that always comes with the beginning of school. On TV, meanwhile, if you don’t feel like getting off the couch, Netflix will be debuting the series "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events."
Click here to read more in August's Books on Screen feature.

August’s Cool and New Roundup
This month’s Cool & New roundup includes THE BEAUTY OF DARKNESS by Mary E. Pearson, the finale to her Remnant Chronicles series that provides readers with a dark and intriguing conclusion, and GHOSTLY ECHOES, the third installment in William Ritter's Jackaby series, which combines fantasy, folklore and mystery alongside good, hard detective work. Also included is SCAVENGER OF SOULS: Survival Colony 9, Book 2 by Joshua David Bellin, wherein the fight to save humanity continues as the colonists find another human compound that is less than welcoming.
Click here to see the rest of August's Cool and New roundup.

August's New in Paperback
This month’s New in Paperback roundup includes THE ACCIDENT SEASON by Moïra Fowley-Doyle, in which a girl and her family become unavoidably accident-prone every October. Also featured are WE ALL LOOKED UP by Tommy Wallach, which follows four high schoolers reflecting on their lives and futures as an asteroid hurtles towards Earth, and SHADOWSHAPER by Daniel José Older, wherein a girl named Sierra Santiago discovers "shadowshaping," a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into different forms of art.
Click here to see the rest of August's New in Paperback roundup.

More New Reviews

CHERRY by Lindsey Rosin (Fiction)
To be honest, the sex pact wasn’t always part of the plan. Layla started it. She announced it super casually to the rest of the girls between bites of frozen yogurt, as if it was just simply another addition to her massive to-do list. She is determined to have sex for the first time before the end of high school. Initially, the rest of the crew is scandalized, but, once they all admit to wanting to lose their v-cards too. Layla’s got it in the bag. Her serious boyfriend, Logan, has been asking for months. Alex has already done it. Or so she says. Emma doesn’t know what the fuss is all about, but sure, she’ll give it a shot. And Zoe, well, Zoe can’t even say the o word without bursting into giggles. Reviewed by Vaishnavi S., Teen Board Member.

RUNNING GIRL by Simon Mason (Mystery)
Meet Garvie Smith. Highest IQ ever recorded at Marsh Academy. Lowest ever grades. What's the point? Life sucks. Nothing surprising ever happens. Until Chloe Dow's body is pulled from a pond. Garvie's ex-girlfriend. Inspector Singh is already on the case. Ambitious, uptight, methodical, he's determined to solve the mystery--and get promoted. He doesn't need any "assistance" from a notorious slacker. Reviewed by Matthew Burbridge.

UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD by Lygia Day Peñaflor (Fiction)
Joss Byrd is America's most celebrated young actress, but on the set of her latest project, a gritty indie film called The Locals, Joss's life is far from glamorous. While struggling with her mother's expectations, a crush on her movie brother and a secret that could end her career, Joss must pull off a performance worthy of a star. When her renowned, charismatic director demands more than she is ready to deliver, Joss must go off-script to stay true to herself. Reviewed by Harleen K., Teen Board Member.

FOR THIS LIFE ONLY by Stacey Kade (Fiction)
Jacob Palmer died for three life-changing minutes. And when he woke up, nothing was the same. Elijah, his twin brother, is dead, and his family is broken. Jace’s planned future is crushed, along with his pitching arm. Overwhelmed by guilt and doubt, Jace struggles to adjust to this new version of the world, one without his brother, one without the certainties he once relied on. And then Thera comes into his life. She’s the last girl he should be turning to for help. But she’s also the first person to truly see him. Reviewed by Rebecca Munro.

THE FORM OF THINGS UNKNOWN by Robin Bridges (Fiction)
Natalie Roman isn’t much for the spotlight. But performing "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" in an old theatre beats sitting alone replaying mistakes made in Athens. And no one in the cast knows her backstory. Except for Lucas --- he was in the psych ward, too. He won’t even meet her eye. But Nat doesn’t need him. She’s making friends with girls, girls who can hide their liquor in Coke bottles and laugh at the theater’s ghosts. Natalie can keep up. She can adapt. And if she skips her meds once or twice so they don’t interfere with her partying, it won’t be a problem. She just needs to keep her wits about her. Reviewed by Laura T., Teen Board Member.

VICARIOUS by Paula Stokes (Science Fiction)
Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, have started over in a new place where no one knows who they used to be. Now they work as digital stunt girls for Rose's ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences. Whether it's bungee jumping or grinding up against celebrities at the hottest clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you, for a price. When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter is devastated. When the clues she uncovers conflict with the digital recordings her sister made, Winter isn't sure what to believe. Reviewed by Alyssa L., Teen Board Member.

BENEATH WANDERING STARS by Ashlee Cowles (Fiction)
After her soldier brother is horribly wounded in Afghanistan, Gabriela must honor the vow she made: If anything ever happened to him, she would walk the Camino de Santiago through Spain, making a pilgrimage in his name. The worst part is that the promise stipulates that she must travel with her brother's best friend --- a boy she has despised all her life. Her brother is in a coma, and Gabi feels that she has no time to waste, but she is unsure. Will she hesitate too long or risk her own happiness to keep a promise?

POPPY by Mary Hooper (Historical Fiction)
England, 1914. Poppy is 15, beautiful and clever, but society has already carved out her destiny. Poppy will become a servant to the aristocratic de Vere family...and bury her feelings for their youngest son, Freddie. But the set path for Poppy's life is irrevocably altered when it becomes clear that the war isn't going to be over soon. England needs every able bodied person to serve. Which, for Poppy, means volunteering on the front lines as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse. As she experiences what the best and worst of humanity, Poppy will find an unexpected freedom and discover how to be truly her own person. Reviewed by Janine C., Teen Board Member.

THE SMALLER EVIL by Stephanie Kuehn (Mystery/Thriller)
Seventeen-year-old Arman Dukoff can't remember life without anxiety and chronic illness when he arrives at an expensive self-help retreat in the remote hills of Big Sur. Beau, the retreat leader, is complicated. But more than anyone he's ever met, Beau makes Arman feel more than worthless. But the program is a blur of jargon, bizarre rituals and incomprehensible encounters with a beautiful girl. But Beau thinks Arman has a bright future ---though he never says at what. And then, in an instant Arman can't believe or totally recall, Beau is gone. Suicide? Or murder? Arman was the only witness and now the compound is getting tense. Reviewed by Maggie L., Teen Board Member.

HOW TO KEEP ROLLING AFTER A FALL by Karole Cozzo (Fiction)
The party was at her house. The photos were posted to her Facebook account. That's all the evidence anyone needed to condemn Nikki Baylor for a cyberbullying incident that humiliated a classmate and nearly resulted in the girl's suicide. Now Nikki's been expelled from her old school, her friends have abandoned her, and even her own parents can't look her in the eye. With her plans for the future all but destroyed, Nikki resigns herself to being the girl everyone hates --- almost as much as she hates herself. But then Nikki meets Pax, a spirited wheelchair rugby player who knows what it's like when one mistake completely shatters your life. Reviewed by Kate F., Teen Board Member.

THE SCOURGE by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Fantasy)
As a lethal plague sweeps through the land, Ani Mells is shocked when she is unexpectedly captured and forced to submit to a test for the deadly Scourge. She is even more surprised when the test results come back positive, and she is sent to Attic Island, a former prison turned refuge for the ill. The Scourge's victims can only expect to live out short, painful lives there. However, Ani quickly discovers that she doesn't know the whole truth about the Scourge or the Colony. She's been caught in a devious plot, and, with the help of her best friend, Weevil, Ani means to uncover the truth. Reviewed by Adrian Meyers.

August Poll

Did you (or will you) successfully meet your summer reading goal this summer?

  • Yes, I am proud to say that I met my goal.
  • Not only did I meet my goal, I surpassed it.
  • I have not met my goal yet, but I will before summer ends.
  • I did not meet my original goal, but I am happy with how far I got.
  • No, I did not meet my goal --- but there's always next year!
  • I did not have a summer reading goal.

Last month, we asked how you were celebrating and preparing for the release of HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD. I was delighted to see that 71% of you had pre-ordered the books. In order to prepare yourselves, 61% of you rewatched the films while 59% were re-reading the books. To see the full results, click here.

Click here to take our poll.

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