Skip to main content

Early September 2010 Newsletter September 15, 2010

Quick Links to Features on

Books to Make Your Backpack Happy

School is officially here for most of you, and with it comes those heavy-duty backpacks filled to the brim with all different types of books: textbooks, workbooks, notebooks. When your bookbag starts getting that packed, it's easy to forget that there are other books out there! And it's definitely easy to forget that reading can be a great way to unwind from the daily stress of school.

Luckily, is here to remind you.

By now, you've probably finished reading MOCKINGJAY, the final book in The Hunger Games series, and if you haven't...well, what are you waiting for? Suzanne Collins does not disappoint with this dystopian throwdown, and you'll definitely want to check out our review of the book. We also have an updated Q&A with her, where she talks about movie adaptations, heavy themes, reality TV, and more.

THE CRUISERS, the gritty new novel by bestselling YA heavyweight Walter Dean Myers, follows the trials and tribulations of a group of gifted students with a knack for getting themselves into trouble. To learn more about the book, you can read our review and an excerpt, or check out our interview, where Myers talks about what inspired him to write about a place like Da Vinci Academy.

John M. Cusick's GIRL PARTS provides an interesting twist on coming of age in the Technology Age, as Rose --- a "Companion" robot built to be the perfect mate for a teenage boy with emotional issues --- learns the ultimate lessons in life, love, and what it takes to be human. In our interview, Cusick explains what classic tales, '80s sitcoms and personal awkward teenage experiences helped inspire this unusual plot, and describes his ideal Internet-to-real-life ratio. You can read more here, along with our review and an excerpt.

Let's not forget about this month's Cool New Books. Just to name a few that have recently hit the shelves, we have RECKLESS by Cornelia Funke, EXTRAORDINARY by Nancy Werlin and THE DUFF by Kody Keplinger (you can read Kody's blog post here). Our New in Paperback roundup includes THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman, GOING BOVINE by Libba Bray and DEADLY LITTLE LIES by Laurie Faria Stolarz.

With Halloween around the corner, is kicking off the season of ghouls and ghosts with our Book O' Lantern Contest. Between October 1st and October 22nd, you can enter to win a Halloween-themed tote filled with at least 13 spine-chilling titles, featuring everything from a supernatural butt-kicking heroine to a support group for reformed vampires. Make sure you stop by the homepage on October 1st and enter the contest.

In this month's Grab Bag of Books contest, you can enter to win copies of CONFESSIONS OF THE SULLIVAN SISTERS by Natalie Standiford, DEAR AMERICA: THE FENCES BETWEEN US: The Diary of Piper Davis by Kirby Larson, THE INTERROGATION OF GABRIEL JAMES by Charlie Price, and PLAIN KATE by Erin Bow. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, October 12th at noon ET.

Also, be sure to weigh in on our current poll and question about movies that are based on books. We want to hear what YOU have to say!

Lastly, as you know, we are thinking of starting a new site for readers 17-30...we have code-named it CO-20. You can find the survey here, and we would love to get as many opinions as possible. We want to know what readers in this age group would like to see from a website if we pursue this. If you are 17 or older, how would you like to chime in? Or, may we ask you to please share this link with friends and family members who are in this age group? We appreciate it.

Happy reading!

Carol Fitzgerald ( Reviews MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins

MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins (Science Fiction)
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry and wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read an updated interview with Suzanne Collins.

-Click here to watch a trailer for MOCKINGJAY.
here to visit the official website of The Hunger Games series.


Click here to read a review of MOCKINGJAY.


Cool New Books for September

September’s roundup of Cool New Books includes RECKLESS, the highly anticipated new novel from Cornelia Funke, who was inspired by the Brothers Grimm to create a world filled with danger, mystery and magic, with fairy tales and legends reimagined as never before; I SHALL WEAR MIDNIGHT by Terry Pratchett, the final adventure of Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men, which finds the young witch facing a new foe who whispers threats of violence and quietly unleashes havoc; THE GENIUS WARS, the thrilling conclusion to Catherine Jinks’s high-tech trilogy featuring boy-genius Cadel Piggott; EXTRAORDINARY, Nancy Werlin’s riveting tale of two visitors from the fairy realm who have come to collect on an age-old debt; and THE DUFF, Kody Keplinger’s debut novel about dysfunctional love gone right.

Click here to read our Cool New Books feature for September.


September's New in Paperback Roundup

September's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, Neil Gaiman's Newbery Medal-winning tale of an unusual boy who is the only living resident of a graveyard; GOING BOVINE by Libba Bray, in which a 16-year-old who just wants to get through high school finds out he's dying of mad cow disease; SHADOWLAND, the continuation of Alyson Noël's The Immortals series, which finds Damen and Ever discovering the truth about their existence and the fate lying in wait of an immortal's soul; DEADLY LITTLE LIES, the second installment in Laurie Faria Stolarz's thrilling and chilling paranormal series, Touch; and THE REFORMED VAMPIRE SUPPORT GROUP, Catherine Jinks's novel about vampires who must give up fanging people, admit their addiction, join a support group and reform themselves.
Click here to see what's New in Paperback for September.'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 CONFESSIONS OF THE SULLIVAN SISTERS by Natalie Standiford, DEAR AMERICA: THE FENCES BETWEEN US: The Diary of Piper Davis by Kirby Larson, THE INTERROGATION OF GABRIEL JAMES by Charlie Price, and PLAIN KATE by Erin Bow. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, October 12th at noon ET.

-Click here for the winners of our past giveaways.
Click here to read all the contest details.


Special Feature: THE CRUISERS by Walter Dean Myers

Celebrated author Walter Dean Myers is back with his latest novel, THE CRUISERS, which follows a group of talented, teenage misfits as they try to redeem themselves after publishing a controversial article in their school's alternative newspaper. In this interview with's Donna Volkenannt, Myers sheds light on the issues and experiences that inspired him to write about a place like Da Vinci Academy, elaborating on his own difficulties as a student and the importance of striking a balance between censorship and free speech in the classroom. He also describes his idea of an ideal teacher, reflects on the techniques --- and the books --- that have helped him become a successful writer, and unveils his future plans for his new heroes.

THE CRUISERS by Walter Dean Myers (Fiction)
Zander and his friends --- Kambui, LaShonda and Bobbi --- start their own newspaper, The Cruiser, as a means for speaking out, keeping the peace, and expressing what they believe. When the school launches a mock Civil War, Zander and his friends are forced to consider the true meaning of democracy and what it costs to stand up for a cause. The result is nothing they could have expected, and everything they could have hoped for.

-Click here to read a review of THE CRUISERS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE CRUISERS.
-Click here to read Walter Dean Myers's bio.

Click here to read our interview with Walter Dean Myers.

Special Feature: GIRL PARTS by John M. Cusick

Inspired partly by the classic Pinnochio tale and partly by the ’80s family sitcom “Small Wonder,” John M. Cusick’s debut novel, GIRL PARTS, centers on a robot who develops a will of her own with the help of two teenage boys. In this interview with’s Sarah Rachel Egelman, Cusick explains how memories of his awkward adolescence combined with his “geeky” love of science fiction prompted the idea for the book’s plot, and elaborates on its ongoing metaphor for fiction and its ability to teach empathy in others. He also discusses the novel’s slow evolution from first draft to finished product, reflects on technology’s effect on “real life,” and touches upon future projects currently in the works.

GIRL PARTS by John M. Cusick (Fiction)
David and Charlie are opposites. David has a million friends, online and off. Charlie is a soulful outsider, off the grid completely. But neither feels close to anybody. When David’s parents present him with a hot Companion bot designed to encourage healthy bonds and treat his "dissociative disorder," he can’t get enough of luscious redheaded Rose --- and he can’t get it soon. Companions come with strict intimacy protocols, and whenever he tries anything, David gets an electric shock. Parted from the boy she was built to love, Rose turns to Charlie, who finds he can open up, knowing Rose isn’t real. With Charlie’s help, the ideal "companion" is about to become her own best friend.

In a stunning and hilarious debut, John Cusick takes rollicking aim at Internet culture and our craving for meaningful connection in an uberconnected world.

-Click here to read a review of GIRL PARTS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from GIRL PARTS.
-Click here to read John M. Cusick’s bio.

-Click here to watch a trailer for GIRL PARTS.
-Click here to visit the book's official website.


Click here to read our interview with John M. Cusick.


Coming October 1st:'s First Annual Book O'Lantern Contest

The air is getting cooler, it's becoming dark earlier, and soon the leaves will be turning colors. Halloween is definitely around the corner. This year, is kicking off the fall season with our first annual Book O'Lantern Contest!

Between October 1st and October 22nd, you can enter to win a Halloween-themed tote filled with the scariest, most hair-raising titles out there.

Here are some of the books we'll be giving away:

-ANOTHER FAUST by Daniel and Dina Nayeri
-THE COUNSELING: Ghost Huntress, Book 4 by Marley Gibson
-DEAD IS JUST A RUMOR by Marlene Perez
-FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan
-HOUSE OF DEAD MAIDS by Clare B. Dunkle
-PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White
-SUPERNATURAL by DK Publishing
-THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER: The Homelanders, Book Three by Andrew Klavan
-THE WITCHES' KITCHEN by Allen Williams
-Z by Michael Thomas Ford

So head over to the homepage on October 1st, and enter to win these blood-curdling books.


The Book Report Network's C0-20 Survey: Seeking Readers Between 17 and 30 Years Old

The Book Report Network is considering creating a website targeted to college and twenty-something readers. Before we do that, though, we wanted to get some feedback from readers aged 17-30, since we are planning this site for a very targeted audience. This is so new that for the moment we are using the code name “CO-20” for this project.

We estimate that it will take about 10 minutes to complete the survey. Respondents who complete the survey are eligible to enter a drawing to win a $25 gift card to the bookstore of their choice. 100 winners will be selected at random.

The survey will close on Friday, October 15th at 11:59PM ET.

-Click here for more information about the survey.


Click here to take the CO-20 Survey.


What's New on the Blog

Ever want a reading recommendation from your favorite author? Or maybe you want to know what inspired him or her to write that book you love? Check out the Blog for posts from both debut authors and long-time favorites. So far during the month of September, we've featured posts from Ivy Devlin, Kody Keplinger and Cate Tiernan.

But wait! Authors aren't the only ones we interview. YOU can be featured on the Blog, too. Just click here and answer a few questions about some of your favorite books. We will email you when your post will go up, and ta-da, you have your 15 minutes of fame and glory! Wasn't that easy?


Click here to visit the Blog.

Poll and Question: Books into Movies

Do you typically like to read the book before you see the movie on which it is based, or vice versa?

I like reading the book before seeing the movie.
I like seeing the movie before reading the book.
I don't have a preference.
I'm not sure.

Does having a film adaptation give you more incentive to read the book on which it is based?

I'm not sure.

-Click here to answer the poll.


What was your favorite movie that was based on a book, and what was your biggest disappointment?

-Click here to answer the question.

Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Could Win TWO Books!

This contest period, one teen reader will be randomly chosen to win a copy of EXTRAORDINARY by Nancy Werlin and THE POISONS OF CAUX: THE TASTERS GUILD by Susannah Appelbaum. 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:
The Book Report Network
250 W. 57th Street - Suite 1228
New York, New York 10107

--- Carol Fitzgerald for