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Late March 2010

Teenreads.com Newsletter Late March 2010

Quick Links to Features on Teenreads.com
March Madness

This month has had me traveling to Portland and Seattle, which has been one busy but great trip. It's been fun visiting bookstores in these cities and meeting readers and some of our reviewers. As soon as I fly back, I am headed to the Outer Banks for Spring Break and looking forward to catching up on my reading. I think I have read the same page three times in the book that I have with me before I fall asleep --- a reflection on me, not the book! It's a very good page, but I look forward to some reading time next week. May it be warm enough there to sit outside!

Your voice matters, and we have three opportunities for you to weigh in with your opinion.

Last week, we launched a 5-Minute Survey (yes, it's that quick and easy to take!), and we would love for you to participate and give us your feedback! The survey is targeted to readers ages 8-18. If you fit the bill, click here for more details. Twelve participants who complete the survey will be randomly selected to win a prize. Voting closes on Thursday, April 1st at 11:59PM ET, so spread the word to your friends and family. And if you are a teacher or a librarian reading this, please share with your students or patrons!

Have you voted for the Children’s Book Council’s 2010 Teen Choice Book of the Year yet? The five finalists are BLOOD PROMISE: Vampire Academy, Book 4 by Richelle Mead; BLUE MOON: The Immortals, Book 2 by Alyson Noel; CATCHING FIRE: The Second Book of the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins; CITY OF GLASS: The Mortal Instruments, Book 3 by Cassandra Clare; and SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater. Click here to cast your vote now; the voting closes on May 3rd!

And speaking of voting, we have picked our 12 favorite names from all the great suggestions we received from you for our "Rename the 'Reader Q&A'" Contest. Now, we need your help one more time to pick the new name. Click here to vote for what you think is the best one!

Have you seen New Moon yet? The DVD came out last week, and many stores were even having midnight release parties. If you haven't already, be sure to check it out before Eclipse hits theaters this summer!


And offering an early taste of summer is the latest Nicholas Sparks book to hit the big screen, The Last Song, which follows a rebellious teen as she is forced to reconnect with her estranged father at his beach home on Tybee Island, GA. This part coming-of-age tale, part weepy family drama is sweetened by a romance between the main character and a local resident --- played by Miley Cyrus and her real-life beau, Liam Hemsworth.

This month, Teenreads.com had a chance to interview first-time author Swati Avasthi. Her newly released novel, SPLIT, centers on a teenage victim of domestic violence. Be sure to check out our review, and read an excerpt from this moving story.

We're also spotlighting the fifth book in the Secrets of My Hollywood Life series by Jen Calonita. BROADWAY LIGHTS follows teen starlet
Kaitlin Burke as she heads to New York City to make her Broadway debut. You can read our review and an excerpt, and find out more about the author behind the series in our interview. The covers of the Secrets books are super cute; each is designed to look like a purse. Calonita talked about these covers and the allure of the new "it" bag in her Teenreads.com blog post, which you can read here.

Ally Carter talks about the first book in her new series, HEIST SOCIETY, which follows a 15-year-old art thief. Find out more in this Author Talk, and get a sneak peek inside the novel with our review and an excerpt.

And don't miss BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver, which gives new meaning to the phrase "second chance."
In this page-turner, 17-year-old Samantha Kingston dies but must relive her last day seven times. Anxious to learn more? Read our review and an excerpt.

Congratulations to the winners of our giveaways for ALL UNQUIET THINGS and THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE! And there's still time to win a copy of THE CLONE CODES, so be sure to enter our giveaway by April 20th.

We are pleased to announce two new contests this month. You can enter to win a copy of THE LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS by award-winning author Francisco X. Stork and GREEN WITCH by Alice Hoffman. To find out more about each of these titles, read an excerpt from THE LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS, a
touching story of friendship, as well as the first chapter of the supernatural tale GREEN WITCH.

You can also enter this month's Grab Bag of Books contest for your chance to win KATY’S NEW WORLD: Katy Lambright Series, Book 1 by Kim Vogel Sawyer, THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB by Elizabeth Eulberg, MY SOUL TO SAVE: Soul Screamers, Book 2 by Rachel Vincent and SMILE by Raina Telgemeier.

Love to write? Don't miss your chance to enter the Claudia Ann Seaman Awards for Young Writers Contest. The CAS Award acknowledges excellence in teen writing in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Entries must be received by April 15th, and contestants can submit up to three of their original works. Click here for all the contest details.

Do you keep a list of the books you want to read? Let us know by answering our poll and question about your "to be read" list. And tell us what you're currently reading in our Word of Mouth feature for your chance to win a copy of THIRTEEN DAYS TO MIDNIGHT by Patrick Carman.

As always, be sure to check out our latest Cool New Books and New in Paperback updates, along with our reviews, which include manga and manhwa titles.

Happy reading!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

 

New Special Feature and Contest: THE LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS by Francisco X. Stork

Teenreads.com is giving away 10 copies of THE LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS by award-winning author Francisco X. Stork, a touching story of friendship, hurt and healing.

THE LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS by Francisco X. Stork (Fiction)
Death surrounds Pancho. His father, in an accident. His sister, murdered. His own plans to find her killer. And D.Q. --- a guy Pancho’s age who’s dying of cancer. That is, if he’ll ever shut up. D.Q. is writing “The Death Warrior’s Manifesto,” a guide to living out his last days fully. He needs just one more thing: the love of the beautiful Marisol. But as Pancho tracks down his sister’s murderer, he finds himself falling for Marisol as well….

-Click here to read more about THE LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS.
-Click here to read a review of THE LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS.
-Click here to read Francisco X. Stork’s bio.

 

Click here to read all the contest details.

 
Win a Copy of GREEN WITCH by Alice Hoffman

In this spellbinding sequel to GREEN ANGEL, Alice Hoffman shows us how loss and grief can be transformed into action, love and hope. Ten readers will win a copy of GREEN WITCH, the story of persevering Green, who must learn about the "witches" of the past so that she can shape her own present and future.

GREEN WITCH by Alice Hoffman (Fiction)
In this powerful, lovely sequel to GREEN ANGEL, Green must learn the stories of a number of "witches" and free her true soul mate from a prison as she grapples with life, love and loss in a post-disaster world.

-Click here to read more about GREEN WITCH.
-Click here to read a review of GREEN WITCH.
-Click here to read an excerpt from GREEN WITCH.
-Click here to read Alice Hoffman’s bio.

 

Click here to read all the contest details.

 

New Special Feature: SECRETS OF MY HOLLYWOOD LIFE #5: BROADWAY LIGHTS by Jen Calonita

Drawing upon her previous career as an entertainment journalist, Jen Calonita’s Secrets of My Hollywood Life follows teen starlet Kaitlin Burke on her adventures in and out of the spotlight. In this interview with Teenreads.com’s Donna Volkenannt, Calonita describes where her fifth installment, BROADWAY LIGHTS, takes her protagonist and discusses how her characters have grown and changed over the course of the series. She also shares some back story on the books’ stylish covers, compares and contrasts writing fiction with magazine articles, and reveals what she has planned now that the Secrets stories will be coming to an end soon.

SECRETS OF MY HOLLYWOOD LIFE #5: BROADWAY LIGHTS by Jen Calonita (Fiction)
Her star power in demand on a hit Broadway play, Hollywood teen starlet Kaitlin Burke packs up her entourage (ok, her showbiz family, friends, assistant, and publicist, but not the dreamy boyfriend) and moves to the Big Apple for the summer.

-Click here to read more about BROADWAY LIGHTS.
-Click here to read a review of BROADWAY LIGHTS.

-Click here to read an excerpt from BROADWAY LIGHTS.
-Click here to read Jen Calonita’s bio.

-Visit the official website of the series,
www.secretsofmyhollywoodlife.com.
-Visit Jen Calonita’s official website, www.jencalonitaonline.com.

 

Click here to read our interview with Jen Calonita.

 

New Special Feature: SPLIT by Swati Avasthi

In this interview with Teenreads.com’s Usha Reynolds, debut author Swati Avasthi discusses the inspiration behind her newly released novel, SPLIT --- which centers on a teenage victim of domestic violence --- and explains why she chose to focus her narrative on how her main character copes in its aftermath rather than on the abuse itself. She also describes how writing the book became a semi-cathartic experience for her, provides some information on where domestic violence victims can get help, and shares details about her current work-in-progress, BIDDEN.

SPLIT by Swati Avasthi (Fiction)
Sixteen-year-old Jace Witherspoon arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother Christian with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father’s fist), $3.84, and a secret. He tries to move on, going for new friends, a new school and a new job, but all his changes can’t make him forget what he left behind --- his mother, who is still trapped with his dad, and his ex-girlfriend, who is keeping his secret. At least so far.

-Click here to read more about SPLIT.
-Click here to read a review of SPLIT.

-Click here to read an excerpt from SPLIT.
-Click here to read Swati Avasthi’s bio.
-Visit Swati Avasthi’s official website, www.swatiavasthi.com.

 

Click here to read our interview with Swati Avasthi.

 
Special Feature and Contest: THE CLONE CODES by Patricia C. McKissack, Fredrick L. McKissack and John McKissack

THE CLONE CODES takes readers on a thrill ride 160 years in the future, where cyborgs and clones are treated like slaves and secret organizations fight for freedom from an oppressive government. When Leanna's mother is targeted and captured for being part of this radical movement, Leanna finds herself on the run from a dangerous bounty hunter, triggering a chain of events that forces her to face her past, present and future in this dystopic society.

Teenreads.com is giving away 10 copies of THE CLONE CODES, which Newbery Honor winner Patricia C. McKissack wrote with her husband Fredrick and son John.

THE CLONE CODES by Patricia C. McKissack, Fredrick L. McKissack and John McKissack (Science Fiction)

The Cyborg Wars are over and Earth has peacefully prospered for more than 100 years. Yet sometimes history must repeat itself until humanity learns from its mistakes. In the year 2170, despite technological and political advances, cyborgs and clones are treated no better than slaves, and an underground abolitionist movement is fighting for freedom. Thirteen-year-old Leanna's entire life is thrown into chaos when The World Federation of Nations discovers her mom is part of the radical Liberty Bell Movement.

-Click here to read more about THE CLONE CODES.
-Click here to read a review of THE CLONE CODES.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE CLONE CODES.
-Click here to read the McKissacks' bio.

 
Click here to read all the contest details.

 
Special Feature: BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, I'LL BE DEAD by Julie Anne Peters

Julie Anne Peters is the author of over a dozen books that often deal with “controversial” issues faced by children and teens regarding sexual identity, abuse, destructive relationships and problematic family dynamics. Her latest teen novel, BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, I’LL BE DEAD, follows a suicidal high school student who has been the victim of peer bullying for years. In this interview with Teenreads.com’s Norah Piehl, Peters explains what prompted her to tackle this difficult and timely topic, and reflects on the negative effects of the Internet Age on “bullycide.” She also shares advice for young people in similar situations to her main character, Daelyn, and addresses her reputation for writing about challenging subject matter.

BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, I’LL BE DEAD by Julie Anne Peters (Fiction)
Daelyn Rice is broken beyond repair, and after a string of botched suicide attempts, she’s determined to get her death right. She starts visiting a website for “completers” --- www.through-the-light.com.
While she’s on the site, Daelyn blogs about her life, uncovering a history of bullying that goes back to kindergarten. When she’s not on the Web, Daelyn’s at her private school, where she’s known as the freak who doesn’t talk.

-Click here to read more about BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, I’LL BE DEAD.
-Click here to read a review of BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, I’LL BE DEAD.
-Click here to read an excerpt from BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, I’LL BE DEAD.
-Click here to read Julie Anne Peters’s bio.
-Visit Julie Anne Peters’s official website,
www.julieannepeters.com.

 

Click here to read our interview with Julie Anne Peters.

 
Teenreads.com's Grab Bag of Books Contest

Every month in our Grab Bag of Books contest, five readers are awarded a Teenreads.com signature tote bag filled with some of the hottest books --- and may even include a sneak peek at titles that haven’t been released yet!

This contest period’s winners will each receive a copy of KATY’S NEW WORLD: Katy Lambright Series, Book 1 by Kim Vogel Sawyer; THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB by Elizabeth Eulberg; MY SOUL TO SAVE: Soul Screamers, Book 2 by Rachel Vincent; and SMILE by Raina Telgemeier.

-Click here for the winners of our past giveaways.
 

Click here for all the contest details.

 
Calling All Middle Graders and Teens! Answer Our 5-Minute Survey --- And You Can Win a Prize!
Our websites are continually committed to bridging the gap between our readers and the publishers and authors behind the books we love.

In this spirit, we are looking for a group of middle graders and teens ages 8-18 to answer some quick and easy questions about what you read, your perceptions of different genres, and your thoughts on publishers and imprints. This is an exciting opportunity for you to share your opinion and influence.

You can take the survey here.


Those participants who are within our age criteria will be able to complete this online survey, which is expected to take no more than 5 minutes. The survey will be open through Thursday, April 1st at 11:59PM ET. Participants who complete the survey will have the opportunity to enter a random drawing to be eligible for a prize.

-Click here for all the survey details.

 
Click here to answer our 5-Minute Survey.

 

Rename Our "Reader Q&A" Feature on the Teenreads.com Blog --- Announcing Our 12 Favorites!

Thank you to all who participated in our "Rename the 'Reader Q&A'" Contest! Over the last week, we've been compiling the fantastic suggestions we received, and after much debate and deliberation, we've narrowed the list down to our 12 favorites.

So once again, we'd like to ask you to give us a hand! The "Reader Q&A" is long overdue for a name change, so please help us decide if we should call it "Between the Lines," "Teen Talk," or maybe even "Ask the... Author Reader". You can find the complete list of finalists here. The polls are open until April 5th, so please weigh in today. We'll announce the new name --- along with the reader(s) who suggested it and the runners-up --- in our Early April newsletter.

 
Click here to help rename our "Reader Q&A" feature.

 

Author Talk: Ally Carter, Author of HEIST SOCIETY

Though Kat Bishop --- the protagonist of the newly released HEIST SOCIETY --- leads a pretty atypical life compared to your average teenager, she still struggles with the same issues that people her age face, including finding a sense of self, learning how and who to trust, and discovering the true meaning of family. In this interview, bestselling author Ally Carter discusses how these themes arose naturally in her story about a 15-year-old art thief, and describes some of the similarities she shares with her characters, based on her own childhood in the family business. She also reveals some surprising information she learned in her research on real-life heists, explains what she likes best about writing for teens, and provides fairly basic but profound pieces of advice to aspiring authors about the craft of writing.

HEIST SOCIETY by Ally Carter (Fiction)
Katarina Bishop belongs to an internationally famous family --- of con artists and master thieves. At age 15, she decides to trade the family business for a normal life. But when her father is threatened by a ruthless mobster, Kat has two weeks to rescue her father and pull off a daring heist. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

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

Click here to read an interview with Ally Carter.

 

Now in Stores: BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver

BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver (Fiction)
In this affecting and original page-turner, 17-year-old Samantha Kingston dies. But that's not the end of her story. Instead, she relives her last day over and over again, seven times. Can Sam figure out why she's getting these extra chances…and what she needs to do to find redemption? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read an excerpt from BEFORE I FALL.
-Click here to view a trailer for BEFORE I FALL.

 

Click here to read a review of BEFORE I FALL.

 
This Month's Reviews

MAXIMUM RIDE #6: FANG by James Patterson (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
Max and her flock of human/bird hybrids are back for their sixth book of nonstop action and adventure. This time, they head to Africa to help out at a refugee camp. But they are in for a surprise when they meet a brand new kid/bird hybrid --- genetically engineered to be Max’s perfect other half. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

-Click here to read an excerpt from MAXIMUM RIDE #6: FANG.

THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES by Carrie Ryan (Fantasy/Thriller)
Readers of Mary’s terrifying trek through the deadly forest in THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH will remember that she survived the all-too-real nightmare to finally realize her dream of seeing the ocean. Now it’s her daughter Gabry’s turn to face the forest. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES.
-Click here to view the trailer for THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES.

TOKEN OF DARKNESS by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (Supernatural Thriller)
Cooper Blake has everything going for him --- until he wakes up from a car accident with his football career in ruins and a mysterious, attractive girl by his side. Cooper doesn’t know how Samantha got there or why he can see her; all he knows is that she’s a ghost, and the shadows that surround her seem intent on destroying her. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

-Click here to read an excerpt from TOKEN OF DARKNESS.
-Click here to read Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’s Teenreads.com blog post, “Amelia Atwater-Rhodes on the Mythology of TOKEN OF DARKNESS.”

OUT OF MY MIND by Sharon M. Draper (Fiction)
Multiple Coretta Scott King Award winner
author Sharon M. Draper tackles disability and prejudice in OUT OF MY MIND, a deeply personal, moving story full of heartache and hope inspired by Draper’s own family experiences. Eleven-year-old Melody is a girl whose voice readers will never forget. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

WOODS RUNNER by Gary Paulsen (Historical Fiction)
Thirteen-year-old Samuel's story begins with a deadly attack on his family's settlement by British soldiers accompanied by Native Americans. Can he rescue his kidnapped parents? As Samuel tracks his loved ones through the frontier, readers learn intriguing facts about the little-known side of the Revolutionary War. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

GONE by Lisa McMann (Paranormal Romance)
Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she had made her peace with it. But she can’t handle dragging Cabel down with her. She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves: she has to disappear. Then a stranger enters her life --- and everything unravels.


THE RIVER by Mary Jane Beaufrand (Mystery)
A miserable Veronica Severance has been yanked out of her fast-paced life in Portland and shipped off to the sleepy town of Hoodoo. There Ronnie meets Karen, a precocious 10-year-old who introduces her to a whole new way of looking at the world. But then a horrible tragedy occurs, as Karen accidentally falls into the river and drowns. Or was it murder? Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

-Click here to read Mary Jane Beaufrand’s Teenreads.com blog post, “Mary Jane Beaufrand on How to Avoid the Smugfests.”

HAPPYFACE by Stephen Emond (Fiction)
Presented in sketchbook format, HAPPYFACE chronicles the life of a teenager trying to navigate the troubled waters of adolescence. Will he get with the hot girl? Will he survive his parents’ divorce? Will he score at the school dance? Will everyone figure out that he’s hiding something behind his smile? Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.


-Click here to read Stephen Emond’s Teenreads.com blog post, “Journals and Self-Expression.”

FREEFALL
by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams
(Mystery/Adventure)
FREEFALL, the third book in the Tunnels series, finds Will, Chester and Elliott thousands of miles deep in the earth after falling into the mysterious and deadly Pore. Rumors have it that only one person has ever managed to escape the depths of the Pore. Will our heroes be so lucky? They will escape…or die trying! Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

THE IRON KING: The Iron Fey, Book One by Julie Kagawa (Urban Fantasy)
When her little brother is kidnapped, Meghan Chase must enter a world where anything she touches may kill her --- including the icy prince who stirs her wakening senses. As she steps into the Nevernever, finding her brother is only the start of her problems. For the trail leads Meghan toward the most dangerous threat of all: the mysterious Iron Fey
. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

-Click here to read our Teenreads.com reviews.


Manga Reviews:

ULTIMO, Volume 1 written and illustrated by Hiroyuki Takei
Together, Stan Lee and Hiroyuki Takei show a world where the ultimate evil and the ultimate good are made into mechanical boys. In a fight to the death, will good or evil be the winner? Reviewed by Danica Davidson.

NIGHTSCHOOL, Volumes 1 and 2 written and illustrated by Svetlana Chmakova
Alex must register in the Nightschool for teenage demons, vampires, weirn and more to search for clues to her sister Sarah's disappearance. Reviewed by Snow Wildsmith.

BLACK BUTLER, Volume 1 written and illustrated by Yana Toboso
Sebastian, butler for the 12-year-old Earl Ciel Phantomhive, is the best at what he does. But is the butler too good to be true, or just too good to be human? Reviewed by Snow Wildsmith.

HERO TALES, Volume 1 written by Huang Jin Zhou and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa
When he is presented with a mysterious sword --- and it is immediately stolen --- Taitou learns of his destiny as one of the seven hero stars of the Big Dipper. Reviewed by Snow Wildsmith.

HERO TALES, Volume 2 written by Huang Jin Zhou and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa
Taitou begins to try to learn to control his ki, but a dangerous enemy may not give him time to do so. Reviewed by Snow Wildsmith.


ITAZURA NA KISS, Volume 1 written and illustrated by Kaoru Tada
Kotoko finally gets up the courage to give a love letter to her crush, Naoki, but he brutally rejects her. So how are they supposed to get along when their families move in together? Reviewed by Snow Wildsmith.

Manhwa Reviews:

TWO WILL COME, Volumes 1 and 2 written and illustrated by Kyungok Kang
Teenager Jina will probably die from her family’s curse. Two people she trusts are supposed to kill her…unless she can find a way to stop it. Reviewed by Danica Davidson.

OPERATION LIBERATE MEN, Volume 1 written and illustrated by Mira Lee
Sooha, a 16-year-old tomboy, ends up in another world where the women have full power and the men are enslaved. Operation Liberate Men is a series about the restrictions societies might place on people. Reviewed by Danica Davidson.

-Click here to read our manga and manhwa reviews.

 

Poll and Question: TBR Lists

Poll:

Do you keep lists of the books you want to read?

Yes, all the time
Yes, sometimes
No
No, but this is a good idea
Not sure


-Click here to answer the poll.

 


Question:

Name the top three books on your “to be read” list.

-Click here to answer the 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 THIRTEEN DAYS TO MIDNIGHT by Patrick Carman. 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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