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December 2007 Newsletter December 2007
This Month on

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

New Special Feature: THE LUXE by Anna Godbersen

The Best Books of the Year for Teens

Author Interviews of 2007

Special Feature: SLAM by Nick Hornby

What to Give/What to Get Holiday Gift Guide for Teens Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest --- Announcing the Five Lucky Winners!

Kimani TRU: Novels For, By and About Teens --- Now Featuring: TROUBLE FOLLOWS by Monica McKayhan

Coming Soon: A List of Upcoming Books

Random House Celebrates the Release of WYVERNHAIL by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes with a Special Contest

Cool New Books for November and December

November and December's New in Paperback Roundup

This Month's Reviews

Poll and Question of the Month: The Year in Review

Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading and You Could Win A Book!

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Looking Back, Looking Ahead

And just like that, 2008 is pushing 2007 out the door! This month on, we’re taking a look back at some of the noteworthy books that have been published this year, along with the author interviews we posted in 2007. If you have procrastinated about holiday gifts and need some last-minute ideas (or if you know somebody who needs an idea for what to get YOU), then check out our What to Give/What to Get Guide.

Speaking of the holidays, we would like to congratulate the five winners of our Second Annual Basket of Holiday Reading and Fun Contest. Thanks to all who entered! We had such a terrific response from you that we’ll definitely do contests like this in the future, so keep your eyes peeled...the next prize could be headed your way! See our winners below.

This month, we’re featuring the first book in what is bound to be the next huge series for teens. THE LUXE by Anna Godbersen combines all the drama of Gossip Girl with the glitz of the Victorian era. Brilliant, right? Follow five teens as they navigate dating, friendship and infuriating families...doesn’t sound so different from teens today. At least you don’t have to wear a corset or cravat!

Another book you should put on your list is SLAM by Nick Hornby. Sam, the main character, finds out that his girlfriend is pregnant. If that’s not enough of a problem, his poster of Tony Hawk talks to him. Could life get any more complicated? It’s hilarious and heartbreaking --- and you’ll love it.

Those are just two of our favorite books of the year. Weigh in with YOUR thoughts about best books of 2007 in this month’s poll and question. You can even win a copy of THE SWEET FAR THING by Libba Bray in our Word of Mouth giveaway! For more suggestions, see our latest reviews, along with our Cool New Books and New in Paperback roundups.

It’s been an amazing year, but I’m just as excited about what’s around the bend. Just look at our list of Coming Attractions in 2008!

Here’s wishing you a fantastic end to 2007...and happy reading in 2008!

Carol Fitzgerald (


New Special Feature: THE LUXE by Anna Godbersen

Putting a 19th-century twist on popular series like Gossip Girl and The Clique, Anna Godbersen's novel THE LUXE follows the secrets and scandals, the drama and the debauchery of a group of upper-crust socialite teenagers in 1899 Manhattan. In this interview with's Sarah Wood, Godbersen explains why she chose to set her book in New York during the turn of the century and describes the kind of research required for her to portray the intricate details of the time period so accurately. She also reveals which characters she identifies with the most, discusses what's in store for them in future installments of the series and shares her favorite "modern convenience" of the 20th and 21st centuries.

THE LUXE by Anna Godbersen (Historical Romance)
In 1899
beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan’s social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City’s elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone --- from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud --- threatens Elizabeth’s and Diana’s golden future.

In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE LUXE.
-Click here to read our interview with Anna Godbersen.
-Click here to read Anna Godbersen’s bio.
-Visit and enter for a chance to win a $1,000 gift certificate to shop for a Luxe-worthy wardrobe!


Click here to read a review of THE LUXE.


The Best Books of the Year for Teens

As 2007 comes to a close, we at have compiled some of our favorite books of the year for teens. Along with HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, we spotlight THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN, Sherman Alexie’s first novel for young adults and a finalist for the National Book Award; GUYAHOLIC, a funny and poignant follow-up to VEGAN VIRGIN VALENTINE by Carolyn Mackler; and FOREVER IN BLUE, the final installment in Ann Brashares's Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series

Additional standouts include Gabrielle Zevin’s MEMOIRS OF A TEENAGE AMNESIAC, a deeply moving novel about a young girl who loses her memory in an accident and must find a way to regain her bearings; LILY DALE: AWAKENING, the start of a paranormal suspense series written by Wendy Corsi Staub, the award-winning author of more than 60 books for adults and teens; and Alyson Noel’s SAVING ZOE, in which one sister's secrets save the other's life --- in more ways than one.

Click here to see our Best Books of the Year roundup for teens.


Author Interviews of 2007

As 2007 comes to a close, we invite you to take a look at the author interviews that were featured throughout the year on This is a great way to catch up on the discussions you may have missed --- and to re-read what some of your favorite authors had to say about their books.

Click here to see our roundup of 2007 interviews.


Special Feature: SLAM by Nick Hornby

In SLAM, Nick Hornby’s first novel for young adults, a 16-year-old named Sam gets his girlfriend Alicia pregnant. Sam is a skater and spends a great deal of time talking to a poster of Tony Hawk. The skating legend talks back, in lines from his own autobiography, and at various points in the book, Hawk transports Sam into his own future. Hornby spoke to Sam recently to compare notes about their teenage years, and we at are thrilled to share with our readers their enlightening conversation.

by Nick Hornby
Just when everything is coming together for Sam, his girlfriend Alicia drops a bombshell. Make that ex-girlfriend --- because by the time she tells him she’s pregnant, they’ve already called it quits. Sam does not want to be a teenage dad.

There’s only one person Sam can turn to --- his hero, skating legend Tony Hawk. Sam believes the answers to life’s hurdles can be found in Hawk’s autobiography. But even Tony Hawk isn’t offering answers this time --- or is he? In this wonderfully witty, poignant story about a teenage boy unexpectedly thrust into fatherhood, it’s up to Sam to make the right decisions so the bad things that could happen, well, don’t.

-Click here to read an excerpt from SLAM.
-Read an exclusive interview between Nick and Sam as they compare notes on their teenage years.
-Click here to read Nick Hornby’s bio.
-For more Nick, visit
-Watch the SLAM trailer.
-Download the SLAM podcast.


Click here to read a review of SLAM.


What to Give/What to Get Holiday Gift Guide for Teens

Sometimes deciding what to get is as hard as deciding what to give. So we've created a special What to Give/What to Get Guide --- a list of books just for teens that will give you tons of gift-giving ideas (and maybe a few to put on YOUR list).

Click here to see our What to Give/What to Get Gift Guide for teens. Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest --- Announcing the Five Lucky Winners!

Our Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest has ended. Thanks to all who entered, and congratulations to our five winners!

Amy from Chesapeake Beach, MD; Emily from St. Louis, MO; Jessica from Allen, TX; Katie from Indio, CA; and Kelly from Reedsville, PA.

From November 20th through December 17th, readers had the opportunity to win one of five holiday baskets stocked with the hottest holiday goodies, in addition to 12 books --- THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN by Sherman Alexie; GUYAHOLIC by Carolyn Mackler; HERO by Perry Moore; I’D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU, BUT THEN I’D HAVE TO KILL YOU by Ally Carter; INCANTATION by Alice Hoffman; THE LUXE by Anna Godbersen; MEMOIRS OF A TEENAGE AMNESIAC by Gabrielle Zevin; PERFECT: Pretty Little Liars #3 by Sara Shepard; THE RED QUEEN’S DAUGHTER by Jacqueline Kolosov; RETURN TO ATLANTIS by R.A. Montgomery; SAVING ZOE by Alyson Noel; and WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr.


Click here to read more about the titles spotlighted in our Holiday Basket of Cheer feature.


Kimani TRU: Novels For, By and About Teens --- Now Featuring: TROUBLE FOLLOWS by Monica McKayhan

Indigo Summer has everything she wants: a coveted spot on the high school dance squad, a hot boyfriend (the one and only Marcus Carter) --- and her best friend, Jade, is moving back to Atlanta! But why does trouble always have to follow? Jade is suddenly getting too cozy with their good-looking history teacher. And instead of shooting hoops, Marcus is sitting in a courthouse, forced to prove his innocence for something he didn't do. Indigo is feeling the pressure --- from the squad, from her friends, from her family. It's time to show everyone --- and herself --- that she's made of strong stuff.

TROUBLE FOLLOWS is available in 3 formats: Book, Digital Audio and eBook.

-Click here for more information about the eBook version of TROUBLE FOLLOWS.
Click here to read more about Kimani TRU.


Coming Soon: A List of Upcoming Books

Curious about what books will be released in the months ahead? Then be sure to check out our Coming Soon section, where we currently have titles for January through April listed. Please note that we have not included every book coming out, but rather some that caught our eye --- and that we thought should catch yours as well.
Click here to find out what's Coming Soon.


Random House Celebrates the Release of WYVERNHAIL by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes with a Special Contest

Enter the Strange Lands Correspondent contest, and you could be entered to win a trip to New York City to meet and interview author Amelia Atwater-Rhodes!

WYVERNHAIL: The Kiesha’ra, Volume Five by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (Fantasy)
In the fifth and final installment of Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’s The Kiesha’ra series, find out what happens after Princess Oliza abdicates the throne of Wyvern’s Court. The story is told from the point of view of Hai, the relative rescued from the Ecl prison who has scary visions of the future. Her visions urged Oliza to abdicate in the first place. But the visions are continuing… Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

-Click here to read a review of WYVERNHAIL.
-Click here to read an excerpt from WYVERNHAIL.

Click here for more details about the Strange Lands Correspondent contest and how to enter.


Cool New Books for November and December

November and December’s roundup of Cool New Books includes THE SWEET FAR THING, the extraordinary conclusion to Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy; PRINCESS MIA, the ninth --- and next-to-last --- installment of the Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot; BREATHE MY NAME, an intense psychological thriller from R.A. Nelson, who wrote the much-talked-about novel TEACH ME; BLOOD BEAST, book five in The Demonata horror series by Cirque du Freak author Darren Shan; and THE LUXE, Anna Godbersen’s novel about five teens in 1899 Manhattan, where appearance matters more than anything else and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever.

Click here to read our Cool New Books feature for November and December.


November and December's New in Paperback Roundup

November and December’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes PRINCESS ON THE BRINK, the eighth installment in Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries series; HATTIE BIG SKY by Kirby Larson, a work of historical fiction that was selected as a Newbery Honor book in 2007; SLAWTER, a continuation of Darren Shan’s Demonata horror saga; CRISS CROSS by Lynne Rae Perkins, a coming-of-age novel that was awarded the Newbery Medal in 2006; FLY ON THE WALL, E. Lockhart’s story of how a girl’s wish to become a fly on the wall in the boys’ locker room comes true; and BLIND FAITH, in which Ellen Wittlinger explores questions of belief, the mother-daughter bond and how death affects those who are left behind.


Click here to see what's New in Paperback for November and December.


This Month's Reviews

POWERS by Ursula K. Le Guin (Fantasy)
Young Gav can remember the page of a book after seeing it once and can even foresee things that will happen in the future. As a loyal slave, he must keep these powers secret. But when a terrible tragedy occurs, he flees the only world he has ever known. Reviewed by Patsy Side.

-Click here to read an excerpt from POWERS.

BLOOD BEAST: The Demonata, Book 5 by Darren Shan (Horror/Supernatural)
When Grubbs Grady begins to experience alarming symptoms at the onset of the full moon, he is scared that the jaws of fate are opening and about to swallow him whole. He has cheated death, defeated demons and moved on with his life. But Grubbs is torn between the world of magic and his wolfen genes. Can he fight the beast inside, or will he fall victim to his tainted blood? Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.

WHAT THEY FOUND: Love on 145th Street by Walter Dean Myers (Fiction/Short Stories)
Walter Dean Myers
returns to the world of 145th Street to show how love can be found, and thrive, in the most unlikely places. Among the stories here: Curtis finds love in Iraq as he struggles to stay alive in a war he doesn't want to fight, and Letha discovers her own beauty in the love of her child. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

HUSH: An Irish Princess’ Tale by Donna Jo Napoli (Historical Fiction)
Award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli has crafted a touching and memorable novel. Based on an Icelandic folktale and written in the haunting voice of a kidnapped Irish princess, HUSH is a spellbinding story about self-discovery, self-reliance and finding courage in a world that offers little hope. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

BREATHE MY NAME by R. A. Nelson (Fiction)
Frances Robinson is in high school now. She lives a quiet, suburban life, far from her horrifying past. When she was a child, her birthmother smothered her three sisters. Through pure luck,
Frances survived. Now her mother has just been released from prison and would like to see her. Reviewed by Carlie Webber.

REMEMBERING RAQUEL by Vivian Vande Velde (Fiction)
What would happen if the least visible person in your high school class slipped out of sight forever? Following the death of unpopular, frequently unlikable Raquel, the teen’s friends, family, acquaintances and even total strangers reflect on their connections to the dead girl --- and to each other. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE by Helen Benedict (Fiction)
Madge, a biracial teen, lives in a small, all-white town in
Pennsylvania. Her family life is haphazard at best. While visiting her cousin in New York City, Madge comes across a neglected young Hispanic boy with whom she identifies. She decides to rescue him, and from that point on, her life becomes very complicated. Reviewed by Carole Turner.

THIRTEEN REASONS WHY by Jay Asher (Fiction)
Clay Jenkins returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it. Inside he discovers 13 cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush, who committed suicide two weeks earlier. She explains that there are 13 reasons why she decided to end her life --- and Clay is one of them. Reviewed by Kristi Olson.

ANOTHER KIND OF COWBOY by Susan Juby (Fiction)
Ever since he can remember, Alex Ford has loved horses. When his father provides him with a horse won from a card game and offers to pay for western lessons, he lives every minute for his horse passion. However, Alex hordes a few deeply buried secrets that would devastate his father if discovered. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

THE OUTCASTS by L.S. Matthews (Fiction/Action & Adventure)
Four of the Outcasts don't really participate in class, and all five could care less about a group activity. So the fact that all of them actually go on the field trip is something of a miracle. When reality splits, and they end up in another dimension, you can imagine how badly they'll all wish they'd stayed home. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

THE CHICKEN DANCE by Jacques Couvillon (Fiction)
Don Schmidt is ecstatic when he finally gets the chance to take over caring for the family chickens --- for those clucking creatures are the only friends he has. However, when he enters and wins the local chicken judging contest, a whole new world opens up for Don. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.


Click here to read this month's reviews.


Poll and Question of the Month: The Year in Review


How many books did you read this year?

More than 100

-Click here to answer our poll.


Name up to five of your favorite books that were released for the first time in 2007.

-Click here to answer our question.


Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading and You Could Win A Book!

This contest period, one teen reader will be randomly chosen to win a copy of THE SWEET FAR THING by Libba Bray. See the official rules here. To put your name in the hat, submit your current reading list and ratings by completing the form here.
Click here to see the most recent Word of Mouth comments.


Have a great month...and make some time each day to read something you enjoy!

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--- Carol Fitzgerald for