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Late October 2016
October 28, 2016
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Trick-or-Treat, It's Teenreads with Spooktacular New Books

Hi Teenreaders,

BOO! Don’t worry, it’s not a monster, it’s just me, Rebecca, with your second October update. The Halloween countdown is officially on, and Teenreads has tons of cool ways to get you in a spooktacular, ghoulish mood. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m riding a bit of a sugar high from all the candy I’ve been testing, so get ready for lots of puns.

First up, our interns Catherine and Dana have been hard at work creating our Thrills ‘n’ Chills Bookshelf --- a collection of classic mysteries, bloody nonfiction and fresh twists on popular horror tropes. If you’re in need of a coffin break between school and all of your other responsibilities, you’re sure to find something bewitching on our latest bookshelf.

Still not sure about your costume? Don’t worry, this is a judgment-free zone and we have plenty of last-minute DIY options for all of you young witches and warlocks. To get you started, we expanded upon our Teen Board Monthly Question, where we asked our Members about their dream costumes, with a special Halloween edition of Fashionable Fiction. This time, we looked only at the titles that kept coming up --- SIX OF CROWS, The Selection series and The Lunar Chronicles --- to create some fun, YA-inspired looks with our Teen Board members serving as our style gurus.

Of course, if you want to keep your costume fresh, we've also created some looks based on popular YA novels releasing this month. Whether you need matching guy and gal looks inspired by GEMINA by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, or a head-turning ensemble perfect for any manic pixie dream girl (or not, like Bea of I'M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL fame), we've got you covered. The best part is that you probably have most of the pieces in your closet already.

If this month's releases of AHSOKA and GEMINA have you pumped for more science fiction, be sure to check out our review of THE RAINS by Gregg Hurwitz below --- and note that this is also one of the titles we're giving away in our Fall Reading Contest, which ends on Friday, November 4th at noon ET, making this your LAST newsletter reminder!

Of course, if that's not enough to curb your sci-fi cravings, don't worry. More Star Wars books are in the works, including a YA book about Jyn Erso, the enigmatic and rebellious female soldier and former criminal who fought for the Alliance in the Galactic Civil War.

In other spooky news, the book world is about to get a lot more peculiar as Ransom Riggs recently announced that he is planning another trilogy in the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series. This time, Ransom will be bringing his talents to America, where he says readers will learn there is far more to being peculiar than we originally thought.

Speaking of Ransom Riggs, I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that Ransom and his wife, bestselling YA author Tahereh Mafi, are my #OTP. There are tons of interviews with the two of them out there, but if you love them as much as I do, this one is pretty great.

In movie news, we just learned that The Hunger Games breakout star Amandla Stenberg has been cast as Ruby, the lead role in the film adaptation of Alexandra Bracken’s Darkest Minds trilogy. The series, which follows a 16-year-old girl with dangerous abilities, combines dystopian drama with a risky romance for a binge-worthy read that will keep you on your toes --- and, more importantly, will keep Amandla on the big screen for a good long while. This announcement comes just on the heels of Amandla being cast in Everything, Everything, the movie version of Nicola Yoon’s book of the same name, so it’s safe to say that Amandla is having the best 2016 ever.

So what have I been reading? In our last update, we shared our review of WRECKED by Maria Padian, as well as a blog post by Maria about her inspiration for the book. I knew I had to put our office copy in my bag right away, and it was probably the best decision I made that week. Be warned, this book can be a bit disturbing, but we think it's a very important book for teens, grown-ups and everyone in between to read. Click here to read a very powerful interview with Maria.

For some lighter reads, I've been LOVING S. J. Kincaid's latest book, THE DIABOLIC, an epic stand-alone about the galaxy’s deadliest killer, Nemesis, and her trip to the galactic court, where she must masquerade as a senator's daughter to protect her best friend. I know that description sounds crazy, but believe me when I say this book has kept me up the past three nights and brings up a lot of thoughtful questions about identity, loyalty and free will.

Even though we're still waiting on Halloween, I've started getting ready for Christmas with Jay Asher's new book, WHAT LIGHT. If you loved THIRTEEN REASONS WHY and have been waiting for more from Asher, this book will definitely be a bit of a surprise. Set on a Christmas tree farm --- yes, you read that right --- this book follows 15-year-old Sierra as she prepares for the season and falls for a local boy named Caleb, who has a very dark past. This might sound like your typical YA romance, but Asher's writing is spot-on and the combination of young love and Christmas will totally tug at your heartstrings. Interestingly enough, Asher actually wrote WHAT LIGHT before THIRTEEN REASONS WHY. You can read more about that here.

Looking forward to November, National Novel Writing Month --- or NaNoWriMo for you cool kids --- is upon us once again! If you're not familiar with NaNoWriMo, it's an annual novel writing project that brings together professional and amateur writers from all over the world. Starting on Tuesday, November 1st, the goal is to write a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. If you'll be particpating, let us know!

If you need a break from your novel writing on day two (hey, it happens), be sure to head to Twitter for the LABYRINTH LOST Death Day Party, where author Zoraida Cordova and her publisher will be celebrating by having a coloring contest, giving away signed books and hosting a chat with Zoraida. Check the hashtags #DeathdayParty and #LabyrinthLost for updates and download your coloring page here.

That's all for now! Don't forget to shoot me a note or use the hashtag #HalloTeenReads on Instagram to share your best YA-inspired costumes with us.

Witching you a very happy Halloween,

--- 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!

Kids, Tweens and Teen Events at the Miami Book Fair
Generation Genius Days are here again from Friday, November 18th to Sunday, November 20th! Reading, writing, storytelling, art and music --- you'll find it ALL at the Miami Book Fair. More than 9,000 kids and teens will head to the Fair on Friday so they can meet their favorite authors and receive FREE books! Catch live presentations by some of the hottest authors for kids and YA, with readings by Lois Lowry, Jon Scieszka, Victoria Aveyard, Gene Yang, Ridley Pearson, Melissa de la Cruz, Leigh Bardugo and many more throughout the weekend! Trust us, it's one amazing weekend of books and authors. If you are going, let us know!
Click here to learn more about the Miami Book Fair.

Featured Review: REPLICA by Lauren Oliver

REPLICA by Lauren Oliver (Dystopian)
Audiobook available, narrated by Sarah Drew and Erin Spencer.

Lyra’s story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects --- Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72 --- manage to escape. A lonely teen, Gemma's life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Reviewed by Erin Siu.

- Click here to read more about the book.
- If you're ready to get reading, click here for an awesome infographic that will help you decide which story to start first.


Click here to read the review.

Now in Stores: GEMINA by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

GEMINA: The Illuminae Files, Book 2 by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Science Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Carla Corvo, Steve West and P.J. Ochlan with a full cast.
Hanna is the station captain’s daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a crime family. But while the pair are struggling with life aboard the galaxy's most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion. When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia --- and possibly the known universe --- is in their hands.

We will have our review soon!

Click here to read more about the book.

Featured Review: THE TWELVE DAYS OF DASH & LILY by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

THE TWELVE DAYS OF DASH & LILY by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (Romance)
Audiobook available, narrated by Tara Sands and Ryan Gesell.

Dash and Lily have had a tough year since readers first watched the couple fall in love. Lily’s beloved grandfather suffered a heart attack, and his difficult road to recovery has taken a major toll on her typically sunny disposition. With only 12 days left until Christmas --- Lily’s favorite time of the year --- Dash, Lily’s brother Langston, and their closest friends take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the holiday magic of New York City in December. Told in alternating chapters, THE TWELVE DAYS OF DASH & LILY reunites two beloved characters and is bound to be a Christmas favorite, season after season. Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read the review.

Featured Review: THE RAINS by Gregg Hurwitz

THE RAINS by Gregg Hurwitz (Science Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Todd Haberkorn.

In one terrifying night, the peaceful community of Creek's Cause turns into a war zone. Chance Rain and his older brother, Patrick, have already fended off multiple attacks from infected adults by the time they arrive at the school where other young survivors are hiding. The parasite that transformed them takes hold after people turn 18 --- and Patrick's birthday is only a few days away. Determined to save Patrick's life and the lives of the remaining kids, the brothers embark on a mission to uncover the truth about the parasites --- and what they find is horrifying. Reviewed by Caitlyn K., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

Featured Review: I'M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL by Gretchen McNeil

I'M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL by Gretchen McNeil (Fiction)
All through high school Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying. So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend Jesse dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it's time to use The Formula for herself in order to win Jesse back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game. Reviewed by Danielle F., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.
- Click here to read a character profile of Bea.


Click here to read the review.

Thrills 'n' Chills Bookshelf
BOO! With the days getting shorter and darker and Halloween rapidly approaching, it's easily the spookiest time of year. Here at Teenreads, we're getting ready by binge-watching scary movies, eating way too much candy (this is a judgment-free zone, people) and, of course, reading chilling stories about murders, mysteries and magic.

To help you with your search for your next heart-pounding scare or suspenseful thrill, we've created a Thrills 'n' Chills bookshelf. From classic thriller choices like THE DEAD BOYFRIEND by the legendary R.L. Stein to a nonfiction title about the history of forensic science called BLOOD, BULLETS, AND BONES by Bridget Heos and even a new twist on the time-honored game of dare in DEAD GIRLS SOCIETY by Michelle Krys, there's something to scare everyone on our new bookshelf. Check it out...if you dare!
Click here to see our Thrills 'n' Chills Bookshelf.

Teen Board Update

Teen Board Question: BOO! Don't worry, it's not a ghost, it's our Teen Board Members in their wildest and wackiest Halloween garb. This month, we asked our Teen Board Members to describe their dream YA-inspired Halloween costume. Since we have a whopping 50 members for this cycle, we have split up their answers into two parts. Click here to see part one and click here for part two!

Reviews: Our Teen Board members reviewed a bunch of terrific YA books this month from various genres. Taylor F. was blown away by the writing and absolutely shocked at some of the plot twists in SPARE AND FOUND PARTS by Sarah Maria Griffin. She said, “It was such an insane roller coaster ride of emotions that I kept wanting to experience time and time again.” AERIE by Maria Dahvana Headley provoked Carolyn C.'s thoughts. However, she said, "One of the downfalls to this read is that when a character pops up that you haven't read about since the last book you forget to go back to read about who that character is. Over time this left me with a sense of only seeing half of the story.” Emily G. warns that WRECKED by Maria Padian can be a bit graphic at times, but overall she believes that "the plot of the book was well-woven with many interesting threads strewn throughout the narrative. By establishing these connections early on Padian expands on themes such as the destruction of the mind and human nature."

October's Books on Screen

October has finally arrived, and things are starting to cool down. With this new weather comes some cool new TV shows and movies to keep on your list that are as sweet and addicting as the candy you get at Halloween.

In theaters this month we have The Great Gilly Hopkins, based on the beloved book of the same name by Katherine Paterson, starring Sophie Nélisse and Kathy Bates. This story features a girl who has been in and out of foster homes who purposefully outwits every family she has ever lived with. Then she comes across Mamie Trotter, who is filled with love and care. But will Gilly's newest plan ruin her chances at being part of a family? Also in theaters this month is Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (based on the popular book series by James Patterson), which tells the story of Rafe Katchadorian, who is tired of his school trying to take away his creativity. Ready to take action, he forms a plan with his friends to break every rule in the school.

If you want to sit at home eating a bowl of candy (that we know was supposed to be for the trick-or-treaters --- but don't worry, we won't tell), we suggest watching two great TV shows based on the DC Comic Universe. Returning for their latest seasons are "The Flash" and "Arrow." If you're not caught up on these yet, fall is the perfect time for your next binge.

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

October’s Cool and New Roundup
This month’s Cool & New roundup really gets us in the Halloween mood with ROSE & THORN, where Rose needs to delay three curses she was born with --- which could lead to her freedom or cause her to face the curses that she had so desperately been trying to keep at bay; THE SINGING BONES, a new and dark look at the Brothers Grimm fairy tales that have taken the world by storm; and ILLUSION, where Barrie Watson must break the curse that puts her family in danger, all the while trying to survive the deadly maze of magic that comes with this quest.
Click here to see the rest of October's Cool and New roundup.

October's New in Paperback
This month's New in Paperback roundup includes WOLF BY WOLF, Ryan Graudin's historical fiction novel that shows a world that could have been if the Nazis won WWII; THE ROSE SOCIETY, from New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu, the greatly-anticipated sequel in her The Young Elites trilogy; and SPINDLE, Shonna Slayton's unique retelling of the Briar Rose fairytale.
Click here to see the rest of October's New in Paperback roundup.

More New Reviews

MOON CHOSEN by P.C. Cast (Science Fiction)
Mari is an Earth Walker, heir to the unique healing powers of her Clan; but she has cast her duties aside, until she is chosen by a special animal ally, altering her destiny forever. When a deadly attack tears her world apart, Mari reveals the strength of her powers and the forbidden secret of her dual nature as she embarks on a mission to save her people. It is not until Nik, the son of the leader from a rival, dominating clan strays across her path, that Mari experiences something she has never felt before… Reviewed by Kate F., Teen Board Member.

J.K. ROWLING’S WIZARDING WORLD: Movie Magic Volume One: Extraordinary People and Fascinating Places by Jody Revenson (Fantasy)
Featuring all eight Harry Potter movies and the upcoming movie FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, this magical book is the ultimate insider’s guide to the films from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World for young fans. Reviewed by Jeremy H., Teen Board Member.

THE STRANGER GAME by Cylin Busby (Thriller)
When Nico Morris’s older sister mysteriously disappears, her parents, family, and friends are devastated. But not Nico. Then the best and worst thing happens: four years later, after dozens of false leads, Sarah is found. Sarah’s retrograde amnesia has caused her to forget almost everything about her life, from small things like the plots of her favorite books and her tennis game to the more critical --- where she’s been the last four years and what happened at the park on the fateful day she vanished. Dark details of that day continue to haunt Nico, and it becomes clear that more than one person knows the true story of what happened to Sarah... Reviewed by Shannon C., Teen Board Member.

EVERY HIDDEN THING by Kenneth Oppel (Fiction)
Somewhere in the Badlands lies the skeleton of a dinosaur larger than anything the late nineteenth century world has ever seen. To 17-year-old Samuel it’s the “rex," the king dinosaur that could put him and his struggling archaeologist father in the history books (and make his father forget he’s been kicked out of school), if they can just quarry it out. For Rachel this find could be her ticket to a life where her loves of science and adventure aren’t just relegated to books. As their paths cross, Samuel and Rachel are pushed closer together. But as danger looms on the other side of the hills, they are forced to make a decision. Can they join forces to find their quarry or will old enmities and prejudices keep them from both the rex and each other? Reviewed by Rachel R., Teen Board Member.

GLITTER by Aprilynne Pike (Fiction)
Outside the palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century --- with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged and frivolous. When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother blackmails him into making Dani his queen. She has six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates. Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed. But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. Reviewed by Makayla H., Teen Board Member.

FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP by Sarah Glenn Marsh (Fantasy)
When 16-year-old Bridey was young, she witnessed something lure her granddad off a cliff and into a watery grave with a smile on his face. Now, in 1913, those haunting memories are dredged to the surface when a young woman is found drowned on the beach. Soon, people in Bridey’s idyllic village begin vanishing, and she finds an injured boy on the shore --- an outsider who can’t remember who he is or where he’s from. In exchange for saving his life, he teaches Bridey how to master her fear of the water --- stealing her heart in the process. But something sinister is lurking in the deep, and Bridey must gather her courage to figure out who --- or what --- is plaguing her village, and find a way to stop it before she loses everyone she loves. Reviewed by Reanna H., Teen Board Member.

CLOUDWISH by Fiona Wood (Romance)
For Vân Uoc, fantasies fall into two categories: nourishing or pointless. So Vân Uoc tries to stick to her reality --- keeping a low profile as a scholarship student at her prestigious Melbourne private school, managing her mother's PTSD from a traumatic emigration from Vietnam, and admiring Billy from afar. Until she makes a wish that inexplicably (possibly magically) comes true. Reviewed by Catherine Rubino.

TATTOO ATLAS by Tim Floreen (Thriller)
A year ago, Rem watched his classmate Franklin commit a horrific crime. Now, apart from the nightmares, life has gone back to normal. Until Rem’s mother selects Franklin as a test subject for an brain procedure intended to “cure” him of his violent impulses. Suddenly Rem’s memories of that day start coming back. Then, as part of Franklin’s follow-up, he and Rem are brought face to face, and despite everything, Rem finds himself becoming friends with Franklin. But when another of their classmates turns up dead, Rem’s world turns upside-down yet again. Franklin insists that he’s innocent, but Rem doesn’t know what to believe. Is someone else responsible for this new murder, or is Franklin fated to stay a monster forever? Reviewed by Maggie L., Teen Board Member.

BALCONY ON THE MOON by Ibtisam Barakat (Nonfiction)
Picking up where TASTING THE SKY left off, BALCONY ON THE MOON follows Ibtisam Barakat through her childhood and adolescence in Palestine from 1972-1981 and chronicles her desire to be a writer. This memoir is a touching, at times funny, and enlightening look at the not often depicted daily life in a politically tumultuous area. Reviewed by Catherine Rubino.

THE SECRET DIARY OF LYDIA BENNET by Natasha Farrant (Fiction)
Lydia is the youngest of the five Bennet girls. She's stubborn, never listens, and can't seem to keep her mouth shut --- not that she would want to anyway. Luckily, the handsome Wickham arrives at Longbourn to sweep her off her feet. Lydia's not going to let him know THAT, of course, especially since he only seems to be interested in friendship. But when they both decide to summer in the fashionable seaside town of Brighton, their paths become entangled again. At the seaside, Lydia also finds exciting new ways of life and a pair of friends who offer her a future she never dreamed of. Lydia finally understands what she really wants. But can she get it? Reviewed by Tia Vasiliou.

MESSENGER by Carol Lynch Williams (Fiction)
Evie Messenger knows that her family is different from other families. But it isn’t until her fifteenth birthday that the Messenger gift is revealed to her. Evie has the family’s gift --- a special power. Soon she realizes she is able to see and talk to the dead --- ghosts --- often with no idea who the person was. Or as Evie says: “I see Dead People. It’s a Messenger gift.” That doesn’t mean she wants the Messenger gift. So Evie tries to ignore it but soon she finds she cannot. Can Evie find a way to live her life without letting her power take over? And what if the dead person is someone close to Evie’s family? Reviewed by Rebecca D., Teen Board Member.

SPEED OF LIFE by J.M. Kelly (Fiction)
Twins Crystal and Amber have the same goal: to be the first in their family to graduate high school and make something of their lives. When one gets pregnant during their junior year, they promise to raise the baby together. Crystal’s grades catch the attention of the new guidance counselor, who tells her about a college that offers a degree in automotive restoration, perfect for the car buff she is. When she secretly applies --- and gets in --- new opportunities threaten their once-certain plans. Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member.


October Poll

Teenreads is heading to New York Comic Con this month to check out the latest books and graphic novels on the scene. Do you read comic books and/or graphic novels?

  • I read both comic books and graphic novels regularly.
  • I have read a few comic books and graphic novels, but they're not my first choice.
  • I'm interested in comic books and graphic novels, but I haven't given them a try yet.
  • I tried reading comic books and graphic novels, but didn't enjoy them.
  • I have never had any interest in reading comic books or graphic novels.

Last month, we asked whether or not you read for pleasure during the school year. 46% of you admitted that while you tend to focus on schoolwork, you do manage to read a few books. Polling second were the 30% of you who say that no amount of reading can stop you! To see the full results, click here.

Click here to take our poll.

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