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Late July 2010 Newsletter Late July 2010

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The Dog Days of Summer

Can we really be nearing the end of July already? While it may seem like each individual day is passing slower (and stickier) than molasses, the summer months are just zipping by, and before we know it, well… you can fill in the blanks. Your holiday break may have reached its halfway mark, but that still leaves plenty of time to kick back and relax with a cool drink in one hand and a great book in the other.

This month, we’re featuring some refreshing reads ideal for summer downtime, like Tonya Hurley’s darkly humorous romance, GHOSTGIRL: LOVESICK --- about a recently deceased high school loner trying to sort out her complicated love life while navigating the halls of “Dead Ed” --- and Kristin Billerbeck’s PERFECTLY DATELESS, which chronicles the less-than-hip Daisy Crispin and her unrelenting search for the perfect prom date. There’s still plenty of time to enter our LOVESICK contest, so click here for your chance to win a copy of this third installment in the ghostgirl series by Monday, August 16th at noon ET.

The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series by Stephanie Morrill --- including ME, JUST DIFFERENT, OUT WITH THE IN CROWD and SO OVER IT --- centers on a confident and popular girl who realizes that life isn’t quite turning out the way she had hoped and is set on starting fresh her senior year of high school. You can read more about the series in our feature here.

We’re also continuing to spotlight M.T. Anderson’s wonderfully quirky adventure, THE SUBURB BEYOND THE STARS, and Michael Grant’s action-packed, futuristic Gone series; not to mention the plethora of paranormal goodness found in HarperCollins’s Supernatural Summer tour, featuring Aprilynne Pike (SPELLS), Ellen Schreiber (VAMPIRE KISSES #7: LOVE BITES), Kim Harrison (EARLY TO DEATH, EARLY TO RISE), Kimberly Derting (THE BODY FINDER) and Kelley Armstrong (THE RECKONING).

Any vacation plans lined up for August? According to last month’s poll, over 40% of you are ready to hop the next plane to Orlando to check out Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter. To whet your appetites and tide you over until you can visit the park yourself, check out our interviews with two lucky readers about their recent trips, along with their awesome photos of the park. And speaking of polls, our new one is all about Twilight! If you’ve seen the latest movie, let us know what you think about it here, and answer our question of the month, all about your favorite fictional couples.

On the subject of fictional couples --- did Edward and Bella (and Jacob) fully satisfy your cravings for summer romance? If this steamy love triangle still left something to be desired, check out our newly updated Books into Movies feature, where we highlight Flipped, based on Wendelin Van Draanen’s endearing novel about the sweetness and confusion of first love, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which follows a slacker comic-book antihero who takes on a feat of epic proportions to win the heart of a girl way out of his league.

Though the contest has now ended, be sure to take a look at our Beach Bag of Books titles for more fantastic summer reads, and don’t forget our monthly Grab Bag drawing, which includes BAD GIRLS DON'T DIE by Katie Alender, CALEB + KATE by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma, LINGER by Maggie Stiefvater, SEA CHANGE by Aimee Friedman, and SO OVER MY HEAD: A Charmed Life Novel by Jenny B. Jones.

We also have some stellar reviews for some of the biggest books of the summer to share with you, including LINGER, Maggie Stiefvater’s follow-up to last year’s hit, SHIVER; Michael Scott’s THE NECROMANCER, the fourth installment in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series; Melissa de la Cruz’s KEYS TO THE REPOSITORY, a companion to her hit Blue Bloods books; and Eric Luper’s charming novel for the recently dumped, SETH BAUMGARTNER’S LOVE MANIFESTO.

We have some good news to share and a favor to ask. The good news: is getting a makeover! The favor: we’re still in the early stages of planning, so we’d love to hear your feedback. If you have about 10 minutes to spare, give us a hand by taking our Redesign Survey and answering some questions about various aspects of the site --- everything from our color scheme and layout to the genres we review and the features you’d like to see added. As a thank you for participating, you can drop your name in the hat to win one of 100 free books, four $25 gift cards, or the grand prize of a $100 gift card to a bookstore of your choice.

Lastly, we are contemplating starting a website for kids in college and in their twenties. Before we do that, we would like to ask some questions of people who are in that age group. If you know anyone who you think would like to participate, can you ask them to drop Maureen Linehan ( a note with the subject line “Send Me CO-20 Website Info”? By the way, CO-20 is our code word for the site until we come up with a name for it. Thanks so much.

Happy reading!


Carol Fitzgerald (
Click here to read our interviews with two readers about their recent trips to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. is Getting a Makeover --- and We Want YOUR Input!

We're getting ready to redesign After getting some feedback from you about the design of the site in our 2009 Reader Survey last summer, we now have some more in-depth questions for you about what you would like to see.

We estimate that it will take about 10 minutes to complete the survey.

All of the respondents who complete the survey can enter to win a random drawing to receive one of 100 free books, four $25 gift cards, or the grand prize of a $100 gift card to a bookstore of your choice.

The survey will close on Monday, August 16th at 11:59PM ET.

-Click here for more information about the survey.

Click here to take the Redesign Survey.

Now in Stores: LINGER by Maggie Stiefvater

LINGER by Maggie Stiefvater (Supernatural Romance)
In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in LINGER, they must fight to be together. At turns harrowing and euphoric, this second installment in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love --- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold --- in a way you will never forget. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read an excerpt from LINGER.
-Click here to view a stop-motion trailer for LINGER.

Click here to read a review of LINGER.


Special Feature and Contest: GHOSTGIRL: LOVESICK by Tonya Hurley

Charlotte Usher died choking on a gummy bear in physics class. As if she didn't already hate high school enough. Before she's allowed to cross over, though, Charlotte must go back to the dreaded institution where she will be given an assignment and a deadline. Her task? Help one designated, lucky teen solve a personal problem. The deadline? Prom. But there's no handbook that explains what happens if you fall in love with your class project. Charlotte would die (again) for love, but facing the all-too-familiar feeling of invisibility may be too much for her to swallow.

To celebrate the release of LOVESICK, the final installment in Tonya Hurley's ghostgirl trilogy, is giving 25 readers the chance to win a signed copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Monday, August 16th at noon ET.

GHOSTGIRL: LOVESICK by Tonya Hurley (Fiction)
Before she can rest in peace, Charlotte must return to the tragic site of her death: high school. Once there, her assignment is to help a designated teen solve a personal problem in time for the all-important prom. But no one explained what happens if you fall in love with your class project. Charlotte would die (again) for love, but facing the all-too-familiar feeling of invisibility may be too much for her to swallow.

-Click here to read an excerpt from GHOSTGIRL: LOVESICK.
-Click here to view the book trailer for GHOSTGIRL: LOVESICK.
-Click here to read Tonya Hurley's blog post, "Tonya Hurley on Lovesickness."
-Click here to read Tonya Hurley's bio.

-Visit the official website of the series,

Click here to read all the contest details.


Series Feature: Universally Misunderstood by Kristin Billerbeck

In an interview with's Melanie Smith, Kristin Billerbeck discusses what inspired her latest work of fiction for young adults, PERFECTLY DATELESS, and shares her thoughts on some of the struggles today's teenagers face regarding peer pressure, conformity, and our current highly sexualized world. She also elaborates on the messages she hopes both readers and their parents will take away from her work, and hints at what's in store for main character Daisy Crispin in the next installment of the series.

PERFECTLY DATELESS: A Universally Misunderstood Novel by Kristin Billerbeck (Fiction)
Daisy Crispin has 196 days to find the right date for the prom. There's only one problem --- her parents won't let her date or even talk to a guy on the phone. Oh, and she's totally invisible at school, wears lame homemade clothes, and possesses no social skills. Okay, so maybe there's more than one problem.

Can she talk her parents into letting her go to the prom? Or will they succeed at their obvious attempts to completely ruin her life?

-Click here to read a review of PERFECTLY DATELESS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from PERFECTLY DATELESS.
-Click here to read the discussion guide for PERFECTLY DATELESS.

Click here to read our series feature for Universally Misunderstood.

font color="#daa520">Series Feature: The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt by Stephanie Morrill

Stephanie Morrill's latest book, SO OVER IT, is the final installment in the Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt trilogy, which centers on a confident, popular high school senior looking to turn over a new leaf. In this interview with's Alexis Burling, Morrill explains why she decided to create a protagonist so different from herself when she was in high school, and addresses some of the "controversial" topics covered in her books. She also reveals the real-life counterparts of her main characters, describes which scenes were the most difficult to write, and reveals why she's taking a well-deserved hiatus between projects.

THE REINVENTION OF SKYLAR HOYT Series by Stephanie Morrill (Fiction)
Welcome to the world of Skylar Hoyt, a high school senior whose exotic Hawaiian looks have propelled her to the height of the "in" crowd, but who's no longer sure that's where she really fits. New friends, old friends, a reluctant romance, and a family crisis swirl around Skylar as she tries to keep it together and figure out who she really wants to be.


Click here to read our series feature for The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt.

Special Feature: THE SUBURB BEYOND THE STARS by M.T. Anderson

M.T. Anderson has written numerous books for children and young adults, including FEED, THE ASTONISHING LIFE OF OCTAVIAN NOTHING, and the newly released THE SUBURB BEYOND THE STARS. In this interview with's Norah Piehl, Anderson explains why he waited six years to write the follow-up to his 2004 novel, THE GAME OF SUNKEN PLACES, and what inspired the story's "unconventional" setting. He also reveals the similarities between himself and his main characters, and discusses why his current home in Vermont is so conducive to his writing routine.

THE SUBURB BEYOND THE STARS by M.T. Anderson (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
Something very strange is happening in Vermont. It's not The Game of Sunken Places --- Brian and Gregory have been through that before, and there's not supposed to be another Game until they say there's a Game. But still...when they go to visit a relative in the Vermont woods, they find many things Like, people aren't where they're supposed to be. And houses are everywhere. In fact, the houses seem to be taking over.

-Click here to read a review of THE SUBURB BEYOND THE STARS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE SUBURB BEYOND THE STARS.
-Click here to read M.T. Anderson's bio.


Click here to read our interview with M.T. Anderson.

Series Feature: Supernatural Summer: Expect the Unexpected...
Expect the unexpected this summer, and don't miss the Supernatural Summer Tour 2010 featuring five amazing HarperTeen authors: Aprilynne Pike (SPELLS), Ellen Schreiber (VAMPIRE KISSES #7: LOVE BITES), Kim Harrison (EARLY TO DEATH, EARLY TO RISE), Kimberly Derting (THE BODY FINDER) and Kelley Armstrong (THE RECKONING)! Visit and check out the latest Supernatural Summer polls, quizzes, forums and on-the-road updates from the enchanting Supernatural Summer authors.
Click here to read our Supernatural Summer series feature.

Series Feature: Gone by Michael Grant

GONE Series by Michael Grant
Would you survive in the FAYZ? Click here to take the Gone series quiz to find out, watch the new LIES video trailer, and get a sneak peek at the third installment in Michael Grant's breathtaking saga about teens battling each other and their darkest selves. You won't look at the world in the same way again.


Click here to read our Gone series feature.'s Beach Bag of Books Feature

Looking for some cool reads this summer? Here are 14 titles you'll want to consider. They are books that teens will love --- BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver; THE CARRIE DIARIES by Candace Bushnell; CARTER'S BIG BREAK by Brent Crawford; THE GARDENER by S. A. Bodeen; GIRLS IN LOVE: A Summer Girls Novel by Hailey Abbott; THE KARMA CLUB by Jessica Brody; LIES: A Gone Novel by Michael Grant; THE LIFE OF GLASS by Jillian Cantor; NUM8ERS by Rachel Ward; PASSING STRANGE: A Generation Dead Novel by Daniel Waters; RADIANT SHADOWS: A Wicked Lovely Book by Melissa Marr; RUNAWAY: An Airhead Novel by Meg Cabot; STOLEN by Lucy Christopher; and SWIM THE FLY by Don Calame.

Congratulations to the five readers who were selected to receive a beach bag that includes the 14 books listed above and assorted summer goodies. Enjoy your prizes!

Click here to read more about our featured books.'s Grab Bag of Books Contest

Every month in our Grab Bag of Books contest, five readers are awarded a 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 BAD GIRLS DON'T DIE by Katie Alender, CALEB + KATE by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma, LINGER by Maggie Stiefvater, SEA CHANGE by Aimee Friedman, and SO OVER MY HEAD: A Charmed Life Novel by Jenny B. Jones. All you have to do to enter is fill out this form by Monday, August 16th at noon ET.


-Click here for the winners of our past giveaways.

Click here to read all the contest details.


Books into Movies: Now Featuring Flipped and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

February is a long ways away, but love is in the air this month, as’s Books into Movies feature is spotlighting two films sure to satisfy your cravings for sweet --- albeit quirky --- summer romance. Flipped, based on Wendelin Van Draanen’s acclaimed YA novel, centers on the unrequited love affair between Juli and fellow second grader and typically girl-phobic Bryce, who needs a bit more time --- try six years --- to discover how he really feels about his wannabe girlfriend. In the comic-book adaptation Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a 22-year-old slacker antihero takes on a feat of epic proportions in the hopes of winning the heart of a girl way out of his league.

Click here to read more about August's films.


This Month's Reviews Reviews:

THE NECROMANCER: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, Book 4 by Michael Scott (Fantasy)

The Twins of Legend --- Josh and Sophie Newman --- have begun their training in the elemental magics, but they’ve started to doubt their mentors. The immortal Gilgamesh warned that they aren’t the first twins the Flamels have “experimented” on. In fact, there have been hundreds of pairs, all of them now dead. With so many powerful people trying to manipulate them, the words of a friend keep coming back to them: “Trust no one.” Even if they’re all you have. Reviewed by Jonathan Stephens.


-Click here to read an excerpt from THE NECROMANCER.

-Click here to read Michael Scott’s blog post, “The Writer’s Tools.”


HELL’S HEROES: The Demonata, Book 10 by Darren Shan (Horror/Supernatural Fiction)

Beranabus and Dervish are gone. Bec has formed an unholy alliance with Lord Loss. Kernel is blind, held on Earth against his will. Grubbs is mad with grief and spinning out of control. The demons are crossing. The Disciples are falling. The Shadow is waiting. Welcome to the end. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.


KEYS TO THE REPOSITORY by Melissa de la Cruz (Urban Fantasy)

This companion book to the bestselling Blue Bloods series comes at a great time --- with the impending release of the fifth installment, MISGUIDED ANGEL, just around the corner. Melissa de la Cruz has created a condensed volume of little-known facts and side stories to give enthusiasts the opportunity to delve more deeply into their favorite characters. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.


THE DAUGHTERS by Joanna Philbin (Fiction)

By the time freshman year begins, unconventional-looking Lizzie Summers has come to expect fawning photographers and adoring fans to surround her gorgeous supermodel mother. But when Lizzie is approached by a fashion photographer who believes she's "the new face of beauty," Lizzie surprises herself and her family by becoming the newest Summers woman to capture the media's spotlight. Reviewed by Joy Held.


-Click here to read Joanna Philbin’s blog post, “Joanna Philbin on Wanting to Be Pretty.”


HEART TO HEART by Lurlene McDaniel (Fiction)

Elowyn and Kassey first say hello in the hospital. A few years later, it’s also where they say goodbye --- when Elowyn is taken off life support machines. But Elowyn doesn’t die in vain, as her organs go to save the lives of many others. Arabeth receives Elowyn’s heart, giving her a new chance at life, while Kassey struggles to find a way to live with her best friend’s death. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.


-Click here to read Lurlene McDaniel’s blog post, “Lurlene McDaniel on HEART TO HEART.”


FIRE WILL FALL by Carol Plum-Ucci (Thriller)

In this sequel to the 2008 thriller STREAMS OF BABEL, a network of underground bioterrorists targets the Trinity Four for the second time in a year. The four New Jersey teenagers who have become famous for surviving the Q3 virus attack now recuperate as ShadowStrike plans their second assault. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.



Seth Baumgartner’s summer starts off by losing his job, being dumped by his girlfriend, and catching his father out with a woman who is not Seth’s mother. With the help of his friends Dimitri and Audrey, Seth finds a new job and explores his feelings through a podcast called “The Love Manifesto.” Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.


THE POISON DIARIES by Maryrose Wood, with The Duchess of Northumberland (Historical Fantasy)

The lovely daughter of an apothecary falls in love with a 16-year-old orphan who lives with them, but her father's interest in the boy is only for his unusual botanical knowledge. Once the girl discovers that her sweetheart is concealing a bizarre secret, she will be forced to decide if her loyalties lie with her father or her love. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.


DECEPTION: A Haunting Emma Novel by Lee Nichols (Paranormal Mystery)

When Emma Vaile's parents leave on a mysterious business trip, it gives her the perfect excuse to be a rebellious teen. But then her best friend stops talking to her, the cops crash her party, and Emma finds herself in the hands of a new guardian and on a plane to his museum-like mansion in New England. After enrolling at Thatcher Academy, Emma settles in by making friends with the popular legacy crowd. But she can't shake the strange visions that are haunting her. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.


-Click here to read Lee Nichols’s blog post, “Ten Random Things About Me.”


THE EDUCATION OF BET by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (Historical Romance)

Bet has grown up in a time when society frowns upon women getting an education. But Bet dreams of attending school and learning everything that young men do. On the other hand, her good friend Will despises school and instead longs for the adventures of a soldier’s life. Then an opportunity arises, and Bet gets an idea. She will attend school in Will’s place --- disguised as a young man. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.



Manga Reviews:


KOBATO., Volume 1 written and illustrated by CLAMP

The latest from the powerhouse studio CLAMP, Kobato. tells the magical tale of a girl on an unlikely quest to fill a bottle with wounded hearts. Reviewed by Casey Brienza.


ITAZURA NA KISS, Volume 2 written and illustrated by Kaoru Tada

Kotoko has made it into college, but instead of the carefree collegiate life she wanted, she's stuck in practices for a crazed tennis club --- and it's all Naoki's fault! Reviewed by Snow Wildsmith.


IN THE WALNUT, Volume 1 written and illustrated by Toko Kawai

Tanizaki runs an art gallery where he gets some help from his partner, Nakai. Working at an art gallery might sound like ho-hum work, but interesting things are always happening here. Reviewed by Danica Davidson.



Manhwa Reviews:


CLICK, Volumes 5-8 written and illustrated by Youngran Lee

Having switched from being a boy to being a girl, Joonha meets new people and tries to figure out what to do with relationships.Reviewed by Danica Davidson.


KINGDOM OF THE WINDS, Volume 1 written and illustrated by Kimjin

A mixture of fact and fantasy, Kingdom of the Winds adds mystery to the historical characters King Yuri and Prince Muhuyl. Reviewed by Danica Davidson.


DO WHATEVER YOU WANT, Volumes 1-3 written and illustrated by Yeri Na

High-schoolers Jinwon and Hosoo are supposed to be world-famous singers. But life keeps getting in their way! Reviewed by Danica Davidson.


Poll and Question: What Did YOU Think of Eclipse?


What did you think of the latest Twilight movie, Eclipse?


I LOVED it. (Go Team Edward!)

I LOVED it. (Go Team Jacob!)

I thought it was good, but it could have been better.

I thought the book was better.

I didn't see it.

I'm not sure.

-Click here to answer the poll.




Name your favorite couple from a stand-alone novel or series.

-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 THE THIN EXECUTIONER by Darren Shan. To put your name in the hat, submit your current reading list and ratings by completing the form here.

Click here for more details about Word of Mouth.


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

Our mailing address is:
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