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Early December 2016

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December 1, 2016
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Make Your Voice Heard and Vote!

Hi Teenreaders,

Phew, we made it through November! Between the cooler weather, the National Book Awards, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hitting theaters, Thanksgiving and all those post-turkey naps, it's been one crazy month here at Teenreads. Now, with our Halloween candy totally devoured and turkey day behind us, we've officially begun the holiday season and we couldn't be more excited.

When I last wrote, I was in the middle of panicking about what to wear to the National Book Awards, a black-tie event where all sorts of publishing professionals come together to celebrate the best books of the year and mingle with the nominees until the winners are announced. For the Young People’s Literature category, there were two YA nominees: Nicola Yoon for THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR, and John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell for MARCH: Book Three, a graphic novel about the Civil Rights Movement. As it turns out, my outfit was actually not the most important thing that would happen that night, as MARCH scored big, marking the first time a graphic novel has ever won a National Book Award. This is huge news for readers everywhere, as it means that graphic novels are finally being given the attention they deserve --- not to mention MARCH’s incredibly timely subject matter. During his acceptance speech, a very tearful Lewis recalled being turned away from a library as a black child when he was growing up in rural Alabama. His encouraging teacher told him to “Read, my child, read.” From there he “tried to read everything.” Needless to say, there were lots of teary audience members listening as Lewis, Aydin and Powell accepted their award.

Although Nicola Yoon didn’t take home the award, we really loved her book, THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR, and think it’s worth your attention, both for its adorable romance and frank discussions of immigration and ambition. If you’d like to learn more about Nicola, click here to see what books she’s been loving lately, and be sure to check out our review.

Speaking of awards, how would you like to make your voice heard and vote on the some of the best releases of the year? Now's your chance, because we just opened up round one of the Teen Choice Book Awards. In association with the Children’s Book Council (CBC) and Every Child a Reader, Teenreads.com is giving you the incredible opportunity to tell us up to 15 of your favorite books of 2016. The five titles that receive the most votes will serve as the finalists for the CBC’s 2016 Teen Choice Book of the Year. If you're ready to make history, click here and vote, vote, vote --- and get your friends involved, too!

In our last newsletter, I raved about one of my favorite books of the year, THE DIABOLIC, which was reviewed by Teen Board Member Makayla H. Makayla loved this book so much that she followed the author S.J. Kincaid on Twitter, which is how she learned that this outstanding science fiction novel will be making the switch from book to screen someday soon. Thanks to Makayla for the tip!

Speaking of our Teen Board Members, they've been putting in double time as far as bookish events go! Taylor F. checked out YALLFest in Charleston, North Carolina, where she met author Susan Dennard and crossed paths with Teenreads favorites like Danielle Paige, Nicola Yoon and Alexandra Bracken. You can read her blog here and check out some pictures of Taylor and Danielle with Susan Dennard above.

Rachel D. has also been having a read-iculously great month as she was in Miami covering the Miami Book Fair for us. Rachel had the incredible experience of meeting the aforementioned Nicola Yoon, who even gave her advice about her own writing. You can check out Rachel's pictures on our Instagram and Facebook pages and read her blog here.

In books on screen news, we finally have a trailer for Before I Fall, the adaptation of the book of the same name by Lauren Oliver. Click here to check it out.

We also have a release date for one of my most highly anticipated book to film adaptations, A Wrinkle in Time. Clear your schedules for April 6, 2018 and get ready to watch as rising actress Storm Reid brings angsty, brilliant Meg Murray to life. I know it sounds like the longest wait ever, but now you have plenty of time to read (or reread) the book in preparation!

Of course, this would hardly qualify as a newsletter at all if I didn’t mention Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I saw it, I loved it, I want ALL of Queenie’s outfits. I thought Eddie Redmayne was a perfect Newt, and I can’t wait to see how his character develops over the next four films. That said, Queenie definitely stole the show for me, which has led to more than a few online shopping hauls based on her style. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective way to emulate this witchy beauty, try this recipe for her famous strudel --- remember, calories don’t count during the holidays…or when they’re Harry Potter-themed.

If you loved last month’s AHSOKA and have already purchased your Star Wars: Rogue One ticket, you’re probably anxiously awaiting more YA space operas based on your favorite characters. Author Beth Revis has the scoop about how she’s doing her part by writing about protagonist Jyn Erso for the upcoming Rogue One novelization.

Need more powerful female superheroes? YA Queen Leigh Bardugo will soon be releasing a Wonder Woman book based on everyone’s favorite accessory-weaponizing hero. Click here for the cover reveal --- and don’t worry, it’s every bit as fierce as you’re hoping it is.

And what have I been reading? After seeing Teen Board Member Harleen K.’s review of STALKING JACK THE RIPPER, I binge-read this spooky, gory book over the course of two days. While I can’t say that Kerri Maniscalco’s debut is for the faint of heart, it’s definitely perfect for any reader interested in forensic science, Victorian fashion and, oh, right, crazy serial killers. Just make sure you don’t have to walk anywhere in the dark after reading, unless you want to give yourself a heart attack (trust me, I learned the hard way).

This past weekend, I had my head buried in AT THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE, a forthcoming novel from Shaun David Hutchinson, author of WE ARE THE ANTS, one of this year’s most highly acclaimed releases. In this book, we follow Ozzie, a 17-year-old boy whose boyfriend has gone missing. The real problem, though, is that no one else in the universe remembers him --- and even worse, the universe is slowly shrinking, and no one notices but Ozzie. At first this premise may sound a bit similar to the plot of WE ARE THE ANTS, but trust me when I say that this book totally stands on its own. Expect to hear way more from us about AT THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE come January.

I also read about halfway through THE YOU I’VE NEVER KNOWN, the newest book by Ellen Hopkins, whose works are famous for their seamless combinations of poetry and prose. It's coming out in January. Ellen Hopkins was probably my first foray into YA, and I’m not ashamed to admit that holding an advance copy of one of her books is hitting me right in the feels. Ellen is still the same hard-hitting author we know and love, but I think this book may be her best yet. If THE YOU I’VE NEVER KNOWN and AT THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE are any indication, we’re in for an amazing 2017.

Happy reading,

--- Rebecca Munro (Rebecca@bookreporter.com)
 

Holiday Bundle of Cheer --- Enter for Your Chance to Win!

Here at Teenreads, we're kicking off the holiday season with our Holiday Bundle of Cheer Contest and Feature. As our gift to you, we are spotlighting some amazing books. From now until Wednesday, December 21st at noon ET, five lucky readers will win a copy of each featured title to curl up with this holiday season, along with some incredibly festive goodies.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to enter our Holiday Bundle of Cheer contest!

 
It's Time to Let Your Voice Be Heard...Vote for the Best Teen Book of 2016!

In association with the Children’s Book Council (CBC) and Every Child a Reader, Teenreads.com is giving you a very special opportunity to let your voices be heard by telling us up to 15 of your favorite books of 2016. The five titles that receive the most votes will serve as the finalists for the CBC’s 2017 Teen Choice Book of the Year.

Once the five finalists have been determined, we will tell you where you can go vote for them. The winner will be announced in May 2017.
 

Click here to vote for the 2016 Teen Choice Book Awards!

 
Now in Stores: FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling (Fantasy)
J.K. Rowling's screenwriting debut is captured in this exciting hardcover edition of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay. When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt's fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved and internationally bestselling Harry Potter books. Featuring a cast of remarkable characters, this is epic, adventure-packed storytelling at its very best. Whether an existing fan or new to the wizarding world, this is a perfect addition to any reader's bookshelf.

 

Click here to read more about the book.

 
Featured Review: HEARTLESS by Marissa Meyer
HEARTLESS by Marissa Meyer (Fiction)
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen. Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Reviewed by Sabina Z., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.
 

Click here to read the review.

 
Featured Review: OF FIRE AND STARS by Audrey Coulthurst

OF FIRE AND STARS by Audrey Coulthurst (Fiction)
Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile kingdoms. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire --- a dangerous gift for the future queen of a land where magic is forbidden. When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, they discover there is more to one another than they thought --- and soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more. But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Reviewed by Wren L., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

 

Click here to read the review.

 
Featured Review: MY SISTER ROSA by Justine Larbalestier

MY SISTER ROSA by Justine Larbalestier (Fiction)
Seventeen-year-old Aussie Che Taylor loves his younger sister, Rosa. But he’s also certain that she’s a psychopath --- clinically, threateningly, dangerously. Recently Rosa has been making trouble, hurting things. Che is the only one who knows; he’s the only one his sister trusts. Rosa is smart, talented, pretty, and very good at hiding what she is and the manipulation she’s capable of. Reviewed by Maggie L., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.
 

Click here to read the review.

 
Books to Add to Your Guy-Brary, Part 4
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.

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. Then in September, we released our third update, which featured books releasing in September-October.

Now we're back with Part 4, which focuses only on boy-friendly books releasing in November and December. 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 4 Bookshelf.

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

Check out Part 2 featuring books releasing in July and August here!

Check out Part 3 featuring books releasing in September and October here!
 
Click here to check out our "Books to Add to Your Guy-Brary Bookshelf - Part 4."

 
ICYMI: Thrills 'n' Chills Bookshelf

Although Halloween is already over (we're boo-hoo-ing over here), there's no reason you can't keep reading spooky thrillers and chilling mysteries all season long. Besides, with the days getting shorter and the nights getting colder, there's no better time to get your heart pounding with some great reads involving murder, mystery 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: As we approach the end of the year, we at Teenreads are feeling particularly thankful for our favorite books. Throughout the year, tons of authors have given us incredible gifts in the form of realistic fiction, laugh-out-loud rom-coms, dramatic fantasies and way more! Now we're inviting our Teen Board members to join us at the figurative dinner table and tell us which book(s), series, author or genre they’re most thankful for this holiday season. 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 by 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.”
 

November's Books on Screen
The weather is getting colder and colder with every week, which means it is also officially comfy sweater and warm drinks season. If you and your friends are in need of some shows or movies to cozy up with, our Books on Screen list is here to save the day! With winter break right around the corner, we have an excellent selection of entertainment to choose from on your days off from school.

In theaters this fall, fans of the Harry Potter series will be treated to the much-anticipated release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them based on J.K. Rowling's novel and set in the wizarding world of 1926. The story follows Newt Scamander as he sets out on a global excursion to document magical creatures and faces unimaginable trouble on his stop in New York when his beasts escape from their case.

Marvel's Dr. Strange comics have also been brought to the big screen this month. The adaptation begins as Dr. Stephen Strange's injury from a horrific car accident leads him to seek healing in the Kamar-Taj enclave. When Dr. Strange uncovers a whole new world of unforeseen dark forces, he must decide between returning to his life of fortune or leaving it all behind to defend the world with his newly developed powers of sorcery.

If staying home is what you're looking forward to on these cold weekends, turn on two of our great TV show recommendations. Returning for their latest seasons are "The Flash" and "Arrow," both based on the DC Comic Universe. If you're not caught up on these yet, fall is the perfect time for your next binge.

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

 
November’s Cool and New Roundup
November's Cool & New roundup includes many new and exciting books. First there's FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM: The Original Screenplay by J. K. Rowling, which brings us back into the world of magic just in time for the movie release. The magic continues with Cassandra Clare's new release, TALES FROM THE SHADOWHUNTER ACADEMY, which resumes Simon Lewis' story after the events of CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE. Finally, an old favorite comes back in its 50th anniversary edition: THE OUTSIDERS by S.E. Hinton, which contains new material that's perfect for all fans. The leaves may be changing color, but we want you to "Stay gold."
 
Click here to see the rest of November's Cool and New roundup.

 
November's New in Paperback
November's New in Paperback roundup includes SOUNDLESS by Richelle Mead, in which sound becomes Fei's greatest weapon to save her village; STRANDED by Melinda Braun, where Emma must use her own survival instincts to safely venture through the forest to Lake Superior with her lost camping group; and Charlotte Huang's FOR THE RECORD, which follows Chelsea as she navigates the treacherous waters of fame and rock stardom on one unforgettable summer tour.
 
Click here to see the rest of November's New in Paperback roundup.

 
More New Reviews

ALL IN PIECES by Suzanne Young (Fiction)
Savvy’s struggling to take care of her brother since her mom left years ago, and her alcoholic dad can’t be bothered. Life with Evan, her disabled brother, is a constant challenge, but he’s also the most important person in the world to Savvy. Then there’s Camero. Cameron seems determined to break through every one of the walls Savvy’s built around herself, except if she lets herself trust him, it could make everything she’s worked so hard for fall apart in an instant. And with her aunt seeking custody of her brother and her ex-boyfriend seeking revenge, Savvy’s fighting to hold all the pieces together. Reviewed by McKenzie S., Teen Board Member.

THE HOMECOMING by Stacie Ramey (Fiction)
Starting senior year at a new high school and fitting into the family that shut him out is a challenge. And it's all that John can do to keep from turning back to bad habits. Lacrosse training helps him focus. As does Emily, the girl next door. She's sweet and smart, and makes him think his heart may finally be healing. Maybe he's ready to trust again. But tragedy has a way of finding John, and he must decide between saving his family or saving himself. Reviewed by Alyssa Cami.

ESFIR IS ALIVE by Andrea Simon (Historical Fiction)
Esfir Manevich is a young Jewish girl who lives in the Polish town of Kobrin in 1936. Facing anti-Semitism in public school, Esfir moves in with her charming aunt who runs a boardinghouse in the bustling city of Brest. Esfir struggles to find a place in her new life, all the while worrying about her diminishing role in the family she left behind. As the years pass, Esfir experiences the bombing of her hometown during the German invasion of 1939. When the Russians overtake the area, Esfir sees many of her socialist relatives and friends become disillusioned by the harsh restrictions. During the German occupation, Esfir and her family are enclosed in a ghetto where they develop heartbreaking methods of survival. Reviewed by Rachel D., Teen Board Member.

UPROOTED by Albert Marrin (Nonfiction)

Just 75 years ago, the American government did something that most would consider unthinkable today: it rounded up over 100,000 of its own citizens based on nothing more than their ancestry and, suspicious of their loyalty, kept them in concentration camps for the better part of four years. How could this have happened? UPROOTED takes a close look at the history of racism in America and carefully follows the treacherous path that led one of our nation’s most beloved presidents to make this decision. Meanwhile, it also illuminates the history of Japan and its own struggles with racism and xenophobia, which led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, ultimately tying the two countries together. Reviewed by Donna Rasmussen.

BOY ROBOT by Simon Curtis (Science Fiction)

In a single night, Isaak’s life changed forever. His adoptive parents were killed, a mysterious girl saved him from a team of soldiers, and he learned of his own dark and destructive origin. Isaak is a Robot: a government-made synthetic human, produced as a weapon and now marked for termination. He and the Robots can only find asylum with the Underground --- a secret network of Robots and humans working together to ensure a coexistent future. But with a deadly military force tasked to find him at any cost, his odds are less than favorable. Now Isaak must decide whether to hold on to his humanity and face possible death…or to embrace his true nature in order to survive. Reviewed by Rachel D., Teen Board Member.

IT’S NOT ME, IT’S YOU by Stephanie Kate Strohm (Fiction)

Avery Dennis is a high school senior and one of the most popular girls in her class. But a majorly public breakup with the guy she's been dating causes some disastrous waves. It is right before prom and Avery no longer has the perfect date. Post-breakup, Avery gets to thinking about all of the guys that she has ever dated. How come none of those relationships ever worked out? To investigate, Avery tracks down all of the guys she's ever dated, and uses that information along with her friends, family, and even teachers' thoughts, to compile a total account of her dating history. Avery discovers some surprises about herself and the guys she's spent time with just in time for prom night! Reviewed by Juliette G., Teen Board Member.

LOST STARS by Lisa Selin Davis (Fiction)

Before her older sister, Ginny, died, Carrie was a science nerd, obsessively tracking her beloved Vira comet. But now that Ginny is gone, sixteen-year-old Carrie finds herself within the orbit of Ginny’s friends, a close-knit group of seniors who skip school, obsess over bands and party hard. Fed up with Carrie’s behavior, her father enrolls her in a summer work camp at a local state park. And when she meets Dean, a guy who likes the real Carrie, she starts to get to the heart of who she is and who she wants to be. Reviewed by Niraja S., Teen Board Member.

BLOOD RED SNOW WHITE by Marcus Sedgwick (Historical Fiction)

When writer Arthur Ransome leaves his unhappy marriage in England and moves to Russia to work as a journalist, he has little idea of the violent revolution about to erupt. Unwittingly, he finds himself at its center, tapped by the British to report back on the Bolsheviks even as he becomes dangerously, romantically entangled with Trotsky's personal secretary. Both sides seek to use Arthur to gather and relay information for their own purposes...and both grow to suspect him of being a double agent. Reviewed by Amanda Melfi.

WE KNOW IT WAS YOU by Maggie Thrash (Fiction)

"Twin Peaks" meets "Pretty Little Liars" in acclaimed author Maggie Thrash’s new Strange Truth series. Halfway through Friday night’s football game, beautiful cheerleader Brittany Montague --- dressed as the giant Winship Wildcat mascot --- hurls herself off a bridge into Atlanta’s surging Chattahoochee River. Just like that, she’s gone. Eight days later, Benny Flax and Virginia Leeds will be the only ones who know why. Reviewed by Brynn S., Teen Board Member.

MERROW by Ananda Braxton-Smith (Fiction)

The people of Carrick Island have been whispering behind Neen’s back ever since her father drowned and her mother disappeared. The townspeople say her mother was a merrow and has returned to the ocean. Neen, caught in her hazy new in-between self --- not a child, but not quite grown up --- can’t help but wonder if the villagers are right. But if her mother was a merrow, then what does that make Neen? Reviewed by Alanna B., Teen Board Member.

THE BOOMERANG EFFECT by Gordon Jack (Fiction)

It all started with a harmless prank. But now high school junior Lawrence Barry is one step away from reform school unless he participates in a mentorship program. His mentee? Spencer Knudsen, a Norwegian exchange student with Spock-like intelligence but the social skills of the periodic table. Then disaster strikes. Homecoming Week. When someone dressed as the school Viking mascot starts destroying the fairytale-inspired floats, all suspicion falls on Lawrence. Add to the mix a demon Goth girl, a Renaissance LARPing group, an overzealous yearbook editor, and three vindictive chickens, and Lawrence soon realizes that his situation may be a little out of control. Reviewed by Zoe I., Teen Board Member.
 
December Poll

The holidays are finally here, and we're feeling cheery, bright and ready to celebrate! Will you be giving books as gifts this holiday season?

  • Yes, I will be giving books as gifts to friends and family.
  • I will be giving away gift cards to bookstores so my friends/family can choose their books.
  • I've never thought about giving books as gifts, but I will now.
  • I will not be giving books as gifts this year, but I have in the past.
  • I have never given books as gifts and it is not something I am likely to do.

Last month, we asked if you prefer reading books in a series or stand-alones. A whopping 44% percent of you said that while you don't really have a preference, you do tend to read more books in series. Only a combined 14% of you said that you either prefer stand-alones or end up reading them more regardless of your preference. To see the full results, click here.
 

Click here to take our poll.

 
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