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Early September 2016
September 20, 2016
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Pumpkin-Spiced Teenreads

Hi Teenreaders,

Happy September! While I'm sad to see summer end with the weather getting cooler and pumpkin-spiced latte back on the menu, I am ready to cozy up with my drink and a great read.

Last year, I saw lots of Bookstagrammers buzzing about a book called A MADNESS SO DISCREET by Mindy McGinnis. I was totally swept away by McGinnis' dark, detailed writing and talent for perfect pacing. Now Mindy is back with THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES, a creepy but thoughtful book that will make you think long and hard about justice, friendship, and that gray area that exists between right and wrong. You can see Teen Board Member Bryn D.'s review below. Bryn will be speaking with Mindy McGinnis at this year's Books by the Banks festival in Cincinnati, Ohio on October 15th and will have a full report to share with us!

Ever since February, I've been hearing amazing things about Zoraida Córdova and her new book, LABYRINTH LOST. It's no secret that fantasy and magic are highly popular themes in the YA book world, but what sets Córdova's book apart is its Latina heroine, Alex, a bruja (read: witch) who doesn't want to be a bruja. The kicker is that she may just be one of the most powerful brujas of her age. You can see an awesome (and very creepy!) trailer for the book here.

Córdova may be one of my favorite writers --- and not just because I seem to bump into her all over NYC, especially at book launches. She is a terrific author, but she's also extremely responsive to her fans and a real supporter of her fellow YA authors. I had the pleasure of seeing Zoraida at her own book launch last week and we had a blast. See a photo on the above left and check out my blog here.

Are you getting serious fall reading envy? Don't worry, we have just the remedy. We are delighted to announce our first Fall Reading feature and contest. From now through Friday, November 4th at noon ET, five lucky readers will win a copy of each of our featured books --- including METALTOWN by Kristen Simmons and THE RAINS by Gregg Hurwitz.

While you're feeling lucky, you can also head over to our sister site, 20Somethingreads, for your chance to win one of 25 copies of THE NIGHTINGALE, a book you've probably seen all over the place since it released last year and became an instant bestseller. Click here to enter by Thursday, October 6th at noon ET.

Fall is a huge season for book releases, and you're probably wondering how you're going to balance your personal reading with your school work. It's not always easy, but our new Teen Board Members (all 50 of them!) were kind enough to share some of their advice for balancing busy reading schedules in our latest Teen Board Question. If you'd like to chime in, be sure to answer our latest poll, where we ask whether or not you read for pleasure during the school year, and if so, how frequently.

Speaking of school reading, raise your hand if you've read THE OUTSIDERS in school. The book is still making huge waves in classrooms today, so you may be surprised to learn that it's turning 50 next year. In celebration, the book is getting a shiny new cover, which you can see here, along with an interview with the author, S.E. Hinton --- who, by the way, was just a teen herself when she began writing her famous book.

Curious about how you can get your own ideas out into the world? Author Aurelia Wills (SOMEONE I WANTED TO BE) penned this great post for our blog, describing how she turned a haunting image from her youth into a published book. For all of you high school seniors, there's also a post from author Jane Ozkowski (WATCHING TRAFFIC) about the summer after high school graduation and what you can do to make it special. Lastly, for my fellow Bookstagrammers, author Leora Krygier (KEEP HER) has written this post about how to discover your next great read on Instagram.

In Books on Screen news, we had some real excitement this month when we learned that Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass series is being developed for a TV show on Hulu. It's still a little early to start cooking the popcorn, but with the fifth book, EMPIRE OF STORMS, out this month, there couldn't be a better time to give this epic series a try if you haven't already. You can also check out Teen Board Member Rachel D.'s review of the latest installment below.

But that's not all! Last week, we learned that rising star (and owner of one of the coolest names ever) Storm Reid has been cast as Meg Murray in the film adaptation of A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L'Engle. Click here to read more about the film and its star-studded cast.

We're busily gearing up for the release of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, based on the book of the same name by Ransom Riggs, at the end of the month. Our intern Dana and I were lucky enough to see Ransom a few weeks ago as he spoke with his wife, Tahereh Mafi, about her new book, FURTHERMORE. I had to dip out halfway through to jet over to the Times Square Forever 21 to see debut author Katharine McGee celebrate her book, THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR, so it was an amazing night to be a YA booklover in NYC. You can see photos of each event above and read our coverage of both events here, but let me just say that Ransom and Tahereh are officially my #OTP and Katharine McGee has an open invitation to take me shopping any day --- that girl has style!

Although fall has only just begun, tonight Dana and I will be getting a little wintery at the book launch for Danielle Paige's STEALING SNOW at Books of Wonder. Be sure to check out our Twitter and Instagram accounts for full coverage!

Happy reading,

--- Rebecca Munro (


Fall Reading 2016 --- Enter for Your Chance to Win!
It's that time of year when all we can think about is the cooler weather, pumpkin-spiced everything and cuddling up to read in a cozy sweater with some hot cocoa (finally!). We know you must be all sorts of busy with the new school year, but that should not stop you from pleasure reading. Cue: Fall Reading. We've got some great titles for when you just need to catch a break (instead of a Pokémon) and a cool, fall breeze in our first Fall Reading feature and contest. From now through Friday, November 4th 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 Fall Reading contest!

Featured Review: EMPIRE OF STORMS by Sarah J. Maas

Audiobook available, narrated by Elizabeth Evans.
The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don't. As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear. Reviewed by Rachel D., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review. Talks to Matt Phelan, Author and Illustrator of SNOW WHITE

SNOW WHITE: A Graphic Novel, written and illustrated by award-winning artist Matt Phelan, is a retelling of the classic fairytale like you've never seen before. Set in New York in the 1930s, Phelan's gorgeous graphic novel will sweep you away into a familiar story that has been revamped with a lot of interesting changes on the characters and plot you know and love. In this interview with's Dana Cuadrado, Matt Phelan shares his inspiration for his "Snow White" reimagining as well as his artistic process in illustrating the story.

SNOW WHITE: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan (Graphic Novel)
The scene: New York City. The dazzling lights cast shadows that grow ever darker as the glitzy prosperity of the Roaring Twenties screeches to a halt. Enter a cast of familiar characters: a young girl, Samantha White, returning after being sent away by her cruel stepmother, the Queen of the Follies, years earlier; her father, the King of Wall Street, who survives the stock market crash only to suffer a strange and sudden death; seven street urchins, brave protectors for a girl as pure as snow; and a mysterious stock ticker that holds the stepmother in its thrall, churning out ticker tape imprinted with the wicked words "Another...More Beautiful...KILL." Reviewed by Dana Cuadrado.

- Click here to read a review.
- Click here to read Matt Phelan's bio.


Click here to read our interview.

Featured Review: LABYRINTH LOST by Zoraida Cordova

LABYRINTH LOST by Zoraida Cordova (Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Almarie Guerra.
Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation...and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can't trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin. The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland... Reviewed by Tejaswi S., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

Featured Review: INTO WHITE by Randi Pink

INTO WHITE by Randi Pink (Fiction)
LaToya Williams lives in Montgomery, Alabama, and attends a mostly white high school. It seems as if her only friend is her older brother, Alex. After a run-in with another student, she wonders if life would be different if she were...anything but black. And then a higher power answers her prayer, and suddenly Toya is white, blonde and popular. Now what? Reviewed by Rebecca D., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

Featured Review: DARK HORSES by Cecily von Ziegesar

DARK HORSES by Cecily von Ziegesar (Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Luis Moreno and Sandy Rustin.
Merritt Wenner has been self-destructing ever since the deaths of her grandmother and her horse. Her parents, looking for a quick fix, ship her off to an equine-assisted therapy program. Merritt meets Red: a failed racehorse and a terror in the barn. Soon they’re sneaking rides after curfew. Red’s owner, recognizing their potential, funds their launch into the hunter/jumper circuit. Merritt finds herself attracted to both Red’s groom, Beatrice, and Carvin, a rival rider. But in Red’s mind, Merritt belongs to him alone. And Merritt can’t imagine the lengths Red will go to keep her to himself. Reviewed by Jessica K., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

Featured Review: AND THE TREES CREPT IN by Dawn Kurtagich

AND THE TREES CREPT IN by Dawn Kurtagich (Horror)
When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt's home, it's immediately clear that the "blood manor" is cursed. The creaking of the house and the stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too --- the questions that Silla can't ignore: Who is the beautiful boy that's appeared from the woods? Who is the man that her little sister sees, but no one else? And why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer? Reviewed by Alanna B., 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 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

Meet the Teen Board: In case you missed it, September marks the start of a new cycle of our Teen Board. In their applications for a position on the Teen Board, these 50 teens from all across the nation have demonstrated their passion for reading and their readiness to share their opinions about books and authors. During their term, they will write blog posts, contribute book reviews, answer poll questions and share feedback on Click here to meet them!

Teen Board Question: It’s back-to-school season here at Teenreads, so we decided to ask our new Teen Board Members about the best book they were assigned to read during a recent school year. As a bonus, we also asked what fall release each member was most excited to read outside of school and their methods for juggling assigned reading with personal reading. Click here to see their answers!

Reviews: Our Teen Board members reviewed a bunch of terrific YA books this month from various genres. Kaela N. was sucked deep into the storyline of GAMESCAPE: Overworld by Emma Trevayne, and said “Trevayne creates incredible landscapes and game levels with puzzles leading to rewarding boss fights.” THE BOMBS THAT BROUGHT US TOGETHER by Brian Conaghan brought fiction to reality for Alize J. who stated, “We could imagine a number of places in the word right now where this story could be taking place. I would guess that with the massive numbers of refugees leaving both Africa and the Middle East, we will see more and more stories like this.” Lauren H. took a spooky trip to Sleepy Holly with WAKE THE HOLLOW by Gaby Triana and raved, "Triana's WAKE THE HOLLOW has made it to my list of all time favorites and will stay there until I find someone who can match her skill of weaving suspense with anxiety, excitement, passion, and romance."

September's Books on Screen
September is upon us, and all of you are officially back in school, which means you're all contemplating what movies to go see with your friends on your precious Friday nights and weekends. If you ask us, the movie theater is the place to be. But if you would rather spend your weekend binge-watching a show on Netflix or popping in a DVD --- in between homework and reading, of course --- we totally understand and have some recommendations for you there, as well.

In theaters this September, we have Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, based off the New York Times bestselling novel by Ransom Riggs. Enter a world of mystery and danger with Jake, who finds Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and discovers his own "peculiarity" might just be the only thing that can save his new friends.

Debuting this month on Netflix is "Luke Cage" --- the next installment in the Marvel television universe. If you watched Jessica Jones, you will have already met Luke Cage, a man who is basically invincible and manages to escape those who experimented on him. He decides to use his powers to become a superhero for hire. If you're a Marvel fan, you will not want to miss this.

Speaking of Marvel, Captain America: Civil War is out on DVD this month. All of your favorite Marvel characters make an appearance in this action-packed movie that follows Captain America as he tries to save his oldest friend, Bucky Barnes, while dealing with the conflict brewing over putting limitations of The Avengers.

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

September’s Cool and New Roundup
This month’s Cool & New roundup includes OPERATION TENLEY, the first book in a new series from Jennifer Gooch Hummer, in which a teen has the power to produce weather; PASADENA, award-winning author Sherri L. Smith's newest mystery, where Jude has to find out the truth behind her best friend's death; and TALES OF THE PECULIAR by Ransom Riggs, a companion to the bestselling Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children series.
Click here to see the rest of September's Cool and New roundup.

September's New in Paperback
This month’s New in Paperback roundup includes THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO, Huntley Fitzpatrick's highly acclaimed romantic companion to MY LIFE NEXT DOOR; THE SILENCE OF SIX, E.C. Myers' thrilling tale of hacktivists, government conspiracy and tons of suspense; and A MADNESS SO DISCREET, a haunting story from Mindy McGinnis in which a ruthless and brutal killer shakes the foundation of teen Grace's sanity.
Click here to see the rest of September's New in Paperback roundup.

More New Reviews

BEEN HERE ALL ALONG by Sandy Hall (Fiction)
Gideon always has a plan. It includes running for class president, becoming head of the yearbook committee and having his choice of colleges. It does NOT include falling head over heels for his best friend, Kyle. Kyle is already dating the head cheerleader, Ruby --- and Gideon doesn’t know what to do. Kyle finally feels like he has a handle on life. He has a wonderful girlfriend, a best friend willing to debate the finer points of Lord of the Rings and social acceptance as captain of the basketball team. When both Ruby and Gideon start acting weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, Kyle can’t quite figure out what he did wrong. Reviewed by Brynn S., Teen Board Member.

GUTLESS by Carl Deuker (Fiction)
With good speed and good hands, wide receiver Brock Ripley should be a natural for the varsity team, but he shies away from physical contact. He also avoids provoking the star quarterback, Hunter Gates, well known for his bullying tactics. Hunter struggles on the field, causing him to act even more like the bully he is, lashing out at not only Brock but also Brock’s friend, the quiet Richie Fang. Brock wants to stand up for Fang, but he is younger and smaller. But when the bullying goes too far, will Brock be able to face his fears and prove to himself that he is brave enough? Reviewed by Flor H., Teen Board Member.

THE CABIN by Natasha Preston (Mystery)
A weekend partying at a remote cabin is just what Mackenzie needs. She can't wait to let loose with her friends. But a crazy night of fun leaves two of them dead --- murdered. With no signs of a forced entry or struggle, suspicion turns to the five survivors. Someone isn't telling the truth. And Mackenzie's first mistake? Assuming the killing is over… Reviewed by Maggie L., Teen Board Member.

BETWEEN WORLDS by Skip Brittenham (Fantasy)
Audiobook available, narrated by Katie Schorr.
Mayberry and Marshall have heard the stories about the Wishing Tree, but they know nothing like that could really exist near their dreary town. Misunderstood and restless, the teenagers wish for a lot of things, including being on another planet altogether. And then the unlikeliest thing happens, they find the Wishing Tree. The pair make their wish, fall asleep...and wake up on Nith, a world that is exactly what they asked for. Soon, however, Mayberry and Marshall learn two very important facts: First, that magic comes at a very steep cost; second, that they can only be heroes if they can survive. Reviewed by Rachel D., Teen Board Member.

GIRL ON A PLANE by Miriam Moss (Fiction)
Bahrain, 1970. After a summer spent with her family, 15-year-old Anna is flying back to boarding school in England when her plane is hijacked by Palestinian terrorists and taken to the Jordanian desert. Demands are issued. If they are not met, the terrorists will blow up the plane, killing all hostages. The heat becomes unbearable; food and water supplies dwindle. All alone, Anna begins to face the possibility that she may never see her family again. Reviewed by Ryan H., Teen Board Member.

GAMESCAPE: Overworld by Emma Trevayne (Science Fiction)
In a futuristic version of Earth where society is mostly controlled by a company that produces an addictive virtual reality game called Chimera, Miguel Anderson is sick and dying --- unless he can win a biometric heart by reaching Level 25 and picking any prize he wants. When the game runners announce a global competition, Miguel enters and becomes a team leader, which is new for him. The game becomes a delicate power play between unexpected players. Reviewed by Kaela N., Teen Board Member.

LUCY AND LINH by Alice Pung (Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Aileen Huyhn.
Lucy is a bit of a pushover, but she’s ambitious and smart and she has just received the opportunity of a lifetime: a scholarship to a prestigious school. Though she’s worried she will stick out like badly cut bangs among the razor-straight students --- she is soon welcomed into the Cabinet --- the supremely popular trio who wield influence over classmates and teachers alike. Linh is blunt, strong-willed and fearless. She is also Lucy’s last solid link to her life before private school, but she is growing tired of being eclipsed by the glamour of the Cabinet. Reviewed by Alyssa L. Teen Board Member.

ALUTA by Adwoa Badoe (Fiction)
For 18 year-old Charlotte, university life is better than she’d ever dreamed. Most of all, Charlotte is exposed to new ideas and in 1981 Ghana, this may be the most exciting --- and most dangerous --- adventure of all. At first Charlotte basks in her wonderful new freedom, especially being out of the watchful eye of her controlling and opinionated father. She suddenly finds herself with no shortage of male attention.But Ghana is fraught with a history of conflict. And in the middle of her freshman year, the government is overthrown and three judges are abducted and murdered. Reviewed by Pranshu A., Teen Board Member.

RADICAL by E.M. Kokie (Fiction)
Preppers. Survivalists. Bex prefers to think of herself as a realist who plans to survive, but regardless of labels, they’re all sure of the same thing: a crisis is coming. When her older brother discovers Clearview, a group that takes survival just as seriously as she does, Bex is intrigued. But she isn’t prepared for Lucy, who is soft and beautiful and hates guns. As her brother’s involvement with some of the members of Clearview grows increasingly alarming and all the pieces of Bex’s life become more difficult to juggle, Bex has to figure out where her loyalties really lie. Reviewed by Mikenzie Reed.

BLOODY MARY, BOOK 2: Mary: Unleashed by Hillary Monahan (Horror)
Shauna, Kitty and Jess must band together to unearth the truth about Mary's death, to put her soul to rest for good. Their search leads them back to where it all began --- Solomon's Folly, a place as dangerous as the ghost who died there a century and a half ago. Quicksand, hidden traps and a phantom fog are the least of their worries. To stop Mary, they need to follow a dark string of clues and piece together a gruesome mystery that spans generations. Reviewed by Emma B., Teen Board Member.

KOOK by Chris Vick (Fiction)
A heart-pounding love story that grips like a riptide, and doesn’t let go...Fifteen-year old Sam has moved from the big city to the coast --- stuck there with his mum and sister on the edge of nowhere. Then he meets beautiful but damaged surfer-girl Jade. Soon he’s in love with her, and with surfing itself. But Jade is driven by an obsession: finding and riding a legendary huge wave no one has ever ridden. As the weeks wear on, their relationship barrels forward with the force of a deep-water wave --- into a storm, to danger...and to heartbreak. Reviewed by Terrell Orr.

Luke Grayson’s life might as well be over when he’s sent to live with his Baptist pastor father in rural Tennessee after getting kicked out of his DC private school. His bad-boy status has made him an easy target for Grant Parker, the local golden boy with a violent streak. But things change when, after a freak accident, Luke replaces Grant at the top of the pyramid and becomes a hero. But Luke’s newfound fame comes with a price. Nobody knows the truth about what happened to Grant Parker except for Luke, and the longer he keeps living the lie, the more like Grant he becomes. Reviewed by Chris Colon.

Fourteen-year-old Charlie Law has lived in Little Town, on the border with Old Country, all his life. He knows the rules: no going out after dark; no drinking; no litter; no fighting. You don't want to get on the wrong side of the people who run Little Town. When he meets Pavel Duda, a refugee from Old Country, the rules start to get broken. Then the bombs come, and the soldiers from Old Country, and Little Town changes forever. Reviewed by Alize J., Teen Board Member.

WAKE THE HOLLOW by Gaby Triana (Fantasy)
Tragedy has brought Micaela Burgos back to her hometown of Sleepy Hollow. It's been six years since she chose to live with her affluent father in Miami instead of her history-obsessed eccentric mother. And now her mother is dead. But while Sleepy Hollow was made immortal by literature, the town is real. So are its prejudices and hatred, targeting Mica's Cuban family and the secrets of their heritage that her mother obsessed over. But ghostly voices whisper in the wind, questioning whether her mother’s death might not have been an accident after all, and Mica knows there's a reason she's here. Reviewed by Lauren H., Teen Board Member.

SOMEONE I WANTED TO BE by Aurelia Wills (Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Caitlin Kelly.
Leah Lobermier dreams of becoming a doctor, but it’s hard to stay focused on getting good grades when boys make oinking sounds at her in school. Leah’s skinny and popular "friends," Kristy and Corinne, aren’t much better. When the girls convince a handsome older man to buy them beer, Leah takes his phone number and calls him, pretending to be Kristy --- coy and confident --- and they develop a relationship, talking and texting day after day. But as the lie she created grows beyond her control, can Leah put a stop to things before she --- or Kristy --- is seriously hurt? Reviewed by Alyssa L., Teen Board Member.

FALTER KINGDOM by Michael J. Seidlinger (Fantasy)
Hunter Warden just wants to watch unboxing videos and be lulled to sleep by the monotone voices and smooth talking YouTube hosts. He wants his parents to either totally leave him alone or be around for once. After a few beers, Hunter decides to go for a run in Falter Kingdom. When you run the gauntlet at Falter Kingdom, a tunnel next to a park on the outskirts of suburbia, one of two things can happen --- nothing or you catch a demon. The cold spots, locked doors, scratches on the wall and disappearing laptop immediately alert Hunter to the fact that a demon is haunting him. Hunter knows that he should get rid of it, but he can't help but enjoy the company of "H," despite this demon's sinister intentions. Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member.


September Poll

Do you read for pleasure during the school year?

  • Yes, I read for pleasure throughout the year. No amount of homework can stop me!
  • I do read for pleasure during the school year, but mostly during the weekend or on breaks.
  • I tend to focus more on schoolwork and assigned reading, but I may squeeze in a book or two.
  • I don't read for pleasure during the school year, but I buy them in anticipation of summer.
  • I don't read for pleasure during the school year, but I keep a list of new books to check out when I can.
  • I don't read for pleasure or pay attention to new books during the school year.

Last month, we asked how many of you had successfully met (or were about to successfully meet) your summer reading goal. Congratulations to the combined 55% of you who either reached your goal or took it a step further and surpassed it! And to the 21% of you who did not meet your original goal, don't worry, there's always next year! To see the full results, click here.

Click here to take our poll.

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