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Late December 2016
December 14, 2016
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Happy Holidays from Teenreads --- See You Next Year!

Hi Teenreaders,

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the books are so delightful, and since winter break is soon, read all night, sleep 'till noon, eat great food! ...Okay, so maybe I should cross "songwriter" off my resume this year, but I can live with that because there is so much else going on here at Teenreads! Between our Holiday Bundle of Cheer Contest, voting for the Teen Choice Book Awards and, of course, all of our December features and reviews, we have a full newsletter for you this week, starting with some huge news.

Patron Mail, the company we use to send out our newsletters, will be closing at the end of the year, so this is the last newsletter you'll be receiving from this address. If you are subscribed to our newsletters, you will still receive them when we move to our new company, but you may want to add to your address book to make sure nothing goes to the dreaded SPAM folder. We have some big things in the works for 2017, so believe me, you don't want to miss a newsletter.

Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about the Teenreads Holiday Gift Guide! My interns Amanda, Catherine, Dana and I have been scouring the Internet all month for the perfect bookish gifts for your friends, families, crushes and, of course, the ever-important "to me/from me" category of gifting (we won't tell).

Up first, as 2016 is wrapping up, you're probably seeing lots of "Best of" lists popping up everywhere, and we're jumping on board. In addition to asking our Teenreads reviewers and Teen Board members about their favorite books of 2016, we've compiled a handy-dandy list of all the other great "Best Of" lists for YA books, which you can find later in this newsletter. Although you'll see many of the same titles and authors appearing multiple times, each list provides a different way of looking at each book and some even group titles by genre. But first, click here to hear about the books our reviewers recommend.

Our intern Dana also curated a Holiday Coloring Books Gift Guide bookshelf based on the best YA-inspired coloring books of 2016. Whether you need to relax over the break or find that perfect last-minute gift, we've got you covered.

Now that your book-buying is out of the way, let's move on to some bookish accessories:

  • For the classical reader, check out these Jane Austen mugs. They'll make you wish you were sipping tea at Pemberly with Darcy and the gang.
  • Know a bookworm with piles of books everywhere? This really neat bookshelf will make anyone's TBR much more manageable.
  • If you're looking to set the mood, these literary-inspired candles will create the perfect reading ambiance.
  • While you're basking in the candlelight, why not sip on some bookish tea?
  • Did you get caught reading in the candlelight and sipping your tea out of your Jane Austen mug without a bookmark? Never fear, these awesome magnetic bookmarks are here!
  • If your letter from Hogwarts is still missing in the mail, check out these adorable Harry Potter-inspired soaps. Bonus: They look like potions.
  • If you prefer reading on your Kindle or Nook, but still want that old-fashioned bookish look, try these adorable cases.
  • If you need to bundle up this season, these literary scarves are perfect for any reader. Although the shop has stopped taking orders for the season, we thought it was definitely worth a mention.
  • For other fashionable ways to wear your fiction, try these amazing tights or these brilliant purses.
  • Of course, this list wouldn't be complete without mentioning companies like Out of Print, Litographs and Obvious State, all of which make high-quality shirts, mugs, totes and bookish accessories based on beloved classics and new favorites alike.
  • Last, but certainly not least: book subscription boxes! While I personally love OwlCrate, other popular boxes include Uppercase, Quarterly and My Book Box. Each of these subscriptions gets you (or a friend) a new box of books and goodies each month to keep your reading and literary accessorizing on track.

Phew! Now that our holiday shopping is done (making the list means it's done, right?), we can move on to all the bookish news we've compiled this month. Up first, we have some really exciting books on screen news, starting with the release date for the movie adaptation of Nicola Yoon's EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING. So mark your calendar for May 19th and get ready to swoon over Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson as they bring Yoon's unlikely couple to life --- can we get #SwoonforYoon trending?

Up next, Hugh Jackman (aka Wolverine) has officially signed up to help produce and act in the upcoming film adaptation of THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN, the highly acclaimed novel by Sherman Alexie. Needless to say, we cannot wait to hear more!

If staying at home with Netflix is more your thing, a YA film adaption is in the works for you there, too. Written by author Beth Reekles, THE KISSING BOOTH follows a never-been-kissed girl as she attends her first party --- and falls for her brother's friend. The best part? Reekles was only 15 when she wrote her book on Wattpad! We think this will make for an awesome Friday night movie as soon as it hits Netflix.

Finally, if you were bummed about A Monster Calls being pushed back, don't worry. We have news about another Patrick Ness adaptation based on his Chaos Walking series. Set in a dystopian world where all living things can hear one another's thoughts through images and sounds called Noise, this series follows a young boy who learns that there is more to Noise than meets the...well, ears. To learn more about this adaptation, click here.

Moving on to the actual books mentioned in this newsletter, you'll notice that December is a pretty light month as far as releases go, but all of our regular features are still there, including Cool & New, Books on Screen, our Guy-Brary Bookshelf and two new updates for Fashionable Fiction (one inspired by Fantastic Beasts and one holiday-themed!).

Don't forget that there is still time to enter our Holiday Bundle of Cheer Contest for your chance to win seven amazing YA books --- one of which, FLOWER, won't officially hit shelves until next year! If you haven't already entered, click here to enter by Wednesday, December 21st at noon ET for your chance to win. And remember, this will be your last newsletter reminder.

Finally, I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for reading along this year and welcoming me into Teenreads so warmly. It's been such a pleasure working with our reviewers, Teen Board members and interns, but none of it would matter without all of you reading at home. Just this week I received an amazing note from Penelope W., a high school library technician who wrote, "I just wanted to drop you a line to say how much I appreciate you making these reviews available. I am a High School Library Technician and I have limited resources to help me choose books that our students will actually read. Your website helps greatly, and I believe my circulation stats will increase once my new books come in. I love that the reviews come from articulate, intelligent teens and not 50-something librarians that may have liked the book 30 years ago. Keep up the good work!"

These are the kinds of notes that make my day. Here's to another wonderful year!

Happy reading,

--- Rebecca Munro (

Holiday Bundle of Cheer --- Enter by Wednesday, December 21st!

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, 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!


"Best of" Lists for 2016

There's no better way to start an argument with self-proclaimed book nerds than to ask "what is the best YA book of 2016?" After we decided to get our lovely reviewers and Teen Board members involved in the debate by asking them to tell us a few of their favorites, we scoured the web for other great "Best Of" lists to share with you.

  • Teenreads Reviewers and Teen Board Members Picks --- Why not turn to our trusty reviewers (many of them teens themselves) for advice? They ranked their top five favorites of the year in our special feature.
  • New York Times --- It’s a brand name that you know you can trust. The children’s books editor at the Times selected her favorite picture books, middle grade novels and YA, and it’s a diverse, high-quality list.
  • Publishers Weekly --- One of the premier book review publications, this is another highly trustworthy source.
  • School Library Journal --- Another highly respectable and reputable source for book reviews and news.
  • Kirkus --- Known for its highly respected reviews and starred ratings, this publication has divided YA into different genres so you can easily find the best books for you.
  • National Public Radio --- This site has interactive filters you can use to check out the more than 300 titles the NPR staff and other critics loved this year.
  • Bustle --- You may not think of Bustle as the number one source for YA book news, but this list is expertly curated.
  • AudioFile Magazine --- We've made it our focus to include audiobook information on all of our book pages this year, so it's only fitting that we share the best of 2016's audiobooks with you straight from AudioFile Magazine.
  • Goodreads --- Voted on by readers like you, these books all went through different rounds of voting to be labeled the best of the best. The coolest part is that you can see exactly how many votes each book received.
  • Amazon --- Selected by Amazon editors, these books are listed in best-selling order, with user reviews only a click away.
Featured Review: EVERYDAY MAGIC by Emily Albright

EVERYDAY MAGIC by Emily Albright (Romance)
Maggie's dad is a Hollywood director, and he has her whole life planned: Not only will she grow up to be an entertainment lawyer and work for him, he literally blackmails her to date the boy who's starring in his new movie. But Maggie loves Preston, the British boy who stole her heart, and despite the risk that her dad will make her mother miserable if she doesn't give in, Maggie decides to go for it, designing a red-carpet gown for a young duchess that puts her and the duchess in the limelight. Once there, she turns to Preston and issues a challenge: Can a girl who has given up the glamorous life any other girl would the girl for him? Reviewed by Dana Cuadrado.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.


Featured Review: BLOOD FOR BLOOD by Ryan Graudin

BLOOD FOR BLOOD by Ryan Graudin (Historical Fiction)
For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun. Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost. But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love? Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.


December's Fashionable Fiction

Fashionable Fiction: Holiday Edition
Happy December! The weather outside is frightful, but the fiction --- and fashion --- are definitely delightful this month. We've got some fun and different outfits for this fashionable fiction update inspired by two different holiday reads. We have looks for both Dash and Lily from THE TWELVE DAYS OF DASH & LILY by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, as well as Sierra and Caleb from WHAT LIGHT by Jay Asher. These are two great books to read with a cup of cocoa during your winter break and perhaps these outfits might give you some inspiration for your holiday festivities.

Fashionable Fiction: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
To close off the year, we have an extra special and magical edition of Fashionable Fiction inspired by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. We loved the movie --- not just because of Newt and all of his adorable beasts --- but because it dropped us back into the wizarding world and showed us so many new facets to the story we know and love. One thing we loved the most was the 1920s wardrobe, which brings us to this update of Fashionable Fiction based on Newt Scamander and Queenie Goldstein.


Click here to see the rest of our Fashionable Fiction looks for 2016.


Books to Add to Your Guy-Brary, Part 4

We're bringing you Part 4 of our Guy-Brary feature, which focuses on boy-friendly books releasing in November and December. Whether you're looking for a fun winter break 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."


Holiday Coloring Book Gift Guide Bookshelf

Between school, chores and keeping up with friends, it's safe to say that teens could definitely use a breather every now and then. Intricate coloring books have become more and more popular recently as a fun way to de-stress and unlock your inner creativity. Not only that, by pulling characters and images from popular series like Harry Potter and The Selection, coloring books let you put your own twist on your favorite books.

But that's not all! Coloring books also make for perfect holiday gifts --- especially with all the different themes out there, from the nostalgic Dr. Seuss to the edgy and cool Red Queen series. With so many YA and children's books being adapted as coloring books, we thought it would be fitting to share some of our favorites. Make sure to get these on your lists for your bookworm friends this holiday season...but don't forget the crayons.

Click here to see our Holiday Coloring Books Gift Guide Bookshelf.


Teen Board Update

Teen Board Question: Happy December, Teenreaders! The holidays are upon us, the end of the year is nigh, and if you’re anything like us, you’re still shopping for those last-minute gifts for your friends and loved ones. Since we’re wrapping (see what we did there?) up the end of the year, we asked our Teen Board members two questions. First, we asked how many books they read this year. Then we asked whether or not they would be giving books as gifts this year and which ones they'd be giving. As a bonus, members were also invited to tell us about the best book (or bookish) gift they have ever received. 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 check back on our site for part two!

Reviews: Our Teen Board members reviewed a bunch of terrific YA books this month from various genres. Ashley D. read GAP LIFE by John Coy and said, "I thought it was a great coming of age story. It had the rebellious teenager, the romance, the sorrow, the happiness. You will experience every emotion while reading this book. I laughed. I cried. I slammed the book down in anger. It is an emotional rollercoaster you won’t easily forget." Rebecca D. took a sci-fi trip with THE INFINITY OF YOU AND ME by J. Q. Coyle and said, "While THE INFINITY OF YOU AND ME is science fiction and totally appeals to sci-fi fans, it is also a great read for anyone who reads fantasy, romance and poetry --- especially Sylvia Plath."

December's Books on Screen
Oh baby, it's cold outside! Here at Teenreads, we know that you need some great movies to keep the chill at bay, especially over the upcoming winter break. Whether you feel like hitting the theaters or staying in bed with the remote, December has quite a few good options for any book nerd or movie fanatic. If you're a last-minute holiday shopper (like us), there are also some great DVDs releasing this month that will make wonderful stocking stuffers or gifts for friends and family. Or treat yourself and get one as a present for YOU! We checked Santa's list --- twice, in fact --- and you are on the nice list, so don't worry, you deserve it!

In theaters this December, A Monster Calls (based off the book of the same name by Patrick Ness) is ready to pull at your heartstrings when 12-year-old Conor has to deal with his mother's illness, his unsympathetic grandmother, and the school bullies. However, Conor finds the most unusual ally in a Monster at his bedroom window. The Monster guides Conor through one of the hardest, and most trying, times of his life.

On DVD, The BFG has been released and promises adventure and friendship with the tale of a young girl, the Queen of England and a benevolent giant known as the BFG, who set out on an adventure to capture the evil, man-eating giants who have been invading the human world.

Don't worry, comics lovers, we didn't forget you. Also being released on DVD is Suicide Squad in which stars such as Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis and supermodel Cara Delevingne play supervillains who have been imprisoned by a secret government agency to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency.

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


December’s Cool and New Roundup

This month’s Cool & New roundup includes SPINDLE by E.K. Johnston, where a demon threatens to disrupt the peace with a magical curse binding princess and exiles; Ally Carter's TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP, where a web of lies forces Grace to fight for survival and find out the truth; and RED QUEEN: The Official Coloring Book, in which Victoria Aveyard's world comes to life and relives every adventure of the original book.

Click here to see the rest December's Cool and New roundup.


December's New in Paperback

This month's New in Paperback roundup includes THE SILENCE OF SIX by E.C. Myers, in which Max must use his hacking skills to find the truth behind the "Silence of Six" and his best friend's suicide; Alexandra Bracken's PASSENGER, in which Etta travels back in time to the 18th century landing on Nicholas' ship where their fight for survival begins; and THE SHADOW QUEEN by C.J. Redwine, a Snow White retelling with Lorelei, a princess and fugitive, seeking revenge against Queen Irina.

Click here to see the rest of December's New in Paperback roundup.


More New Reviews

GAP LIFE by John Coy (Fiction)
Cray got into the same college his father attended and is expected to go. And to go pre-med. And to get started right away. His parents are paying the tuition. It should be an easy decision. But it's not. All Cray knows is that what's expected of him doesn't feel right. The pressure to make a decision --- from his family, his friends --- is huge. Until he meets Rayne, a girl who is taking a gap year, and who helps him find his first real job, at a home of four adults with developmental disabilities. What he learns about himself and others will turn out to be more than any university could teach him --- and twice as difficult. Reviewed by Ashley D., Teen Board Member.

HOW TO KEEP A BOY FROM KISSING YOU by Tara Eglington (Fiction)
Sweet 16 and never been kissed...That’s Aurora Skye’s big secret. And the way she wants it to stay. But everything changes when Aurora is coerced into a lead role in the school production of Much Ado about Nothing. Which means she’ll have to lock lips with her co-star Hayden Paris --- the smart and funny boy next door who also happens to be the bane of her existence. Now Aurora is more determined than ever to have her first kiss with the one who’s truly worthy of it. But first she’ll have to figure out just who that person is. Reviewed by Rachel A., Teen Board Member.

FOUR-FOUR-TWO by Dean Hughes (Historical Fiction)
Yuki Nakahara is an American. But it’s the start of World War II, and America doesn’t see it that way. Like many other Japanese Americans, Yuki and his family have been forced into an internment camp in the Utah desert. But Yuki isn’t willing to sit back and accept this injustice --- it’s his country too, and he’s going to prove it by enlisting in the army to fight for the Allies. Reviewed by Caitlyn K., Teen Board Member.

THE INFINITY OF YOU AND ME by J.Q. Coyle (Thriller)
Almost fifteen, Alicia is smart and funny with a deep connection to the poet Sylvia Plath, but she’s ultimately failing at life. With a laundry list of diagnoses, she hallucinates different worlds --- strange, decaying, otherworldly yet undeniably real worlds that are completely unlike her own with her single mom and one true friend. In one particularly vivid hallucination, Alicia is drawn to a boy her own age named Jax who’s trapped in a dying universe. Days later, her long-lost father shows up at her birthday party, telling her that the hallucinations aren’t hallucinations, but real worlds; she and Jax are bound by a strange past and intertwining present. This leads her on a journey to find out who she is while trying to save the people and worlds she loves. Reviewed by Rebecca D., Teen Board Member.

INFINITY by Jus Accardo (Fantasy)
Cade, as beautiful as he is deadly, watches Kori with more than just interest. He looks at her like he knows her very soul. And when he saves her from a seemingly random attack, well, that’s when things get weird. Turns out, Kori's dad isn’t just an army general --- he’s the head of a secret government project that has invented a way to travel between parallel dimensions. Dimensions where there are infinite Koris, infinite Cades...and apparently, on every other Earth, they’re madly in love. Reviewed by Kate F., Teen Board Member.

BURN GIRL by Mandy Mikulencak (Fiction)
Arlie's face was disfigured by burns when a meth lab exploded. After that, Arlie discovered the street smarts and survival skills she needed to shelter her addict mother, since the law and Lloyd, her deranged, meth-addict stepfather, are both looking for them. But Arlie's carefully constructed world is ripped apart just after Arlie's sixteenth birthday when her mother commits suicide. Arlie can no longer hide when Social Services steps in and forces her to live with an uncle she didn't know she had and go to school, something she's never done. Reviewed by Catherine Rubino.

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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