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Late October 2010

Teenreads.com Newsletter October 29, 2010

Quick Links to Features on Teenreads.com
Great Reads to Rival Your Trick-or-Treats

Teen Read Week was a blast! We hope you had fun celebrating with events at your local library or school. As you might remember, Teenreads.com staffer Elizabeth Bruce went to the Brooklyn Public Library to hear a panel with some really talented authors. Check out her blog post here. And even though the official Teen Read Week is behind us, Teenreads.com has great new reads for you every week.

November is almost here, and with it starts the countdown to the latest Harry Potter movie. On November 19th, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 hits the theaters, so be sure to read our Books into Movies feature on this much-anticipated event. Also, don't forget to take part in our current poll and question. We want to know if you'll be re-reading HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS before seeing the movie, and which Hogwarts professor you'd like to see be your teacher.

On October 12th, Teenreads.com staffer Jordana Frankel interviewed Lauren Kate, author of the Fallen series, in our offices, which was a blast. They covered a lot of ground in a super-sized five-part interview, where Kate dished on writing the series, the prequel (PASSION), and much more. A special shout-out to Lauren from Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, and Lola from Hartford, Connecticut --- thanks for your insightful questions! Check out the interviews here, and read our reviews of FALLEN and TORMENT, the latest book in the series.

We're spotlighting two highly anticipated sequels that are now out in stores: BEHEMOTH by Scott Westerfeld, the follow-up to LEVIATHAN, and THE SCORCH TRIALS by James Dashner, the second book in The Maze Runner trilogy. Don't miss them!

This month’s Grab Bag of Books also features some much buzzed-about books, such as ANOTHER PAN by Daniel and Dina Nayeri, DARK WATER by Laura McNeal, HALO by Alexandra Adornetto, and an updated edition of I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, the perennial favorite by Lois Duncan.

We have three more contests to tell you about. We're continuing to give away 15 copies of REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly, in which a troubled teenager named Andi meets Alexandrine, a young woman from the 18th century, by way of the diary she has left behind. Andi discovers how the tumultuous time of the Revolution affected Alexandrine, and from Alexandrine’s powerful words, learns to take control of her own life. Read the review, an excerpt and our interview with the author. I love love loved this book, and it will be a terrific one to discuss with your friends.

You can also win a copy of THE SECRET SOCIETY OF THE PINK CRYSTAL BALL by Risa Green; we’re giving away 30 copies! When Erin inherits a plastic crystal ball and a set of cryptic instructions, she and her two best friends discover that this particular ball has a knack for being accurate. But as with all magic, nothing is as simple as it seems. Unless Erin and her friends can fix the damage, the magic will turn on them. The crystal ball gave them answers about love and life…but at what price? Read all the contest details here, and check out the excerpt we have.

And the giveaway for THE THINGS A BROTHER KNOWS by Dana Reinhardt is still on, where we will be awarding up to 20 copies to one lucky book club. The book tells the story of Levi Katznelson's struggle having a relationship with his older brother, who has just returned from war in the Middle East. It's a great book that just blew me away when I read it, and it's sure to generate tons of discussion in your group. You can read an interview with the author here. To learn more about the book, check out our review and an excerpt, and then be sure to enter!

A great book for the days approaching Halloween is RUINED by Paula Morris, which is now available in paperback. It’s perfect for the month of October, filled with its fair share of the spooky stuff. When Rebecca is forced to move to New Orleans, she gets the cold shoulder from nearly everyone in town --- excluding two very different inhabitants: cute-boy Anton and a ghost. Read our interview with the author, plus our review and an excerpt.


MOON SPUN by Marilee Brothers is definitely a fun, wild read.
Allie Emerson's first boyfriend, an ex-gangbanger, helped her survive after she was thrown into the world of magick. Her second boyfriend was half demon. Her newest BF can turn into a hawk. Now she learns she's a fae princess and warrior. It's up to her to save her faery grandmother's kingdom. Oh yeah, she has to survive high school, too. Be sure to read our review, an excerpt and our interview with the author.


We'e also continuing to feature THE EXILED QUEEN, which is the follow-up to THE DEMON KING (read an excerpt here) by Cinda Williams Chima. In THE EXILED QUEEN, Han Alister and Princess Raisa each begin their own epic journey towards Oden's Ford, where they hope to start new lives after fleeing the land of the Fells. Be sure to read our review, an excerpt and our interview with the author.

PLAIN KATE by Erin Bow offers another healthy dose of the fantastic, if slightly darker fairy tales strike your fancy. When Plain Kate's father dies, leaving her without family or friends, Kate becomes the target of superstition and magic. Then she sells the only thing she has --- her shadow --- and winds up more alone than before. Read our review and an excerpt that will leave you wanting more, and our interview with the author.

And don't forget to read our
review and an excerpt of TOUCH BLUE by Cynthia Lord, who we spotlight in an original interview here. When Tess's family takes in Aaron, a foster child, it becomes clear that he is special: he has strong musical talent. But after his birth mother reconnects with him, Aaron is conflicted. Will he stay with Tess's family, or will he search out his mother?

As for this month’s reviews, we have a slew of great new ones, including FORGE by Laurie Halse Anderson, DASH & LILY'S BOOK OF DARES by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, THE CURSE OF THE WENDIGO by Rick Yancey and BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS by Anna Godbersen.


And lastly, don't forget about Word of Mouth; one teen reader will win a copy of THE RING OF SOLOMON: A Bartimaeus Novel by Jonathan Stroud and VIRALS by Kathy Reichs. (You know that the television show "Bones" is based on Reichs's book series and character Temperance Brennan. Virals, a new series, features Tory Brennan, Temperance's niece.) Tell us what you are reading to be entered to win here.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)


 

In Theaters November 19th: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1

The moment you’ve been waiting for is almost here. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 hits the big screen on November 19th, so grab your wizarding gear and take a trip to your local movie theater, where you’ll enter a magical world of harrowing journeys, never-before-seen spells and hair-raising excitement.

Based on the seventh installment of J.K. Rowling’s beloved series, this is the first of two riveting, full-length features (Part 2 releases on July 15, 2011) that will follow Harry and his friends as they try to outsmart the Death Eaters and put a stop to the Dark Lord’s evil doings once and for all. Now that Dumbledore is gone, Voldemort’s henchmen have taken over Hogwarts and seized control of the Ministry of Magic, making Harry’s hunt for Horcruxes more dangerous than ever before. And to make matters worse, he’s slowly starting to realize that his future might already have been decided.

Does Harry have the strength to survive long enough so that he can prepare to face Voldemort in what is sure to be their final battle? Unless you’ve mastered the art of Divination since the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, you’ll have to see the movie to find out.

 

Click here for more details about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.


 

Teenreads.com's Five-Part Video Interview with Lauren Kate, Author of the Fallen Series

Recently, Teenreads.com staffer Jordana Frankel had the opportunity to chat with Lauren Kate, the author of the Fallen series. In this five-part video interview, Kate answers questions about her writing process, her seventh-grade teacher, angels, TORMENT (the second book in the series), and what might come next. We also got her to dish about PASSION, the prequel to FALLEN, and for all you romantics out there, this one sounds like it's going to make Luce and Daniel's historically ill-fated love all the more swoon-worthy.

FALLEN by Lauren Kate (Supernatural Romance)
Mysterious and aloof, Daniel Grigori captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. Even though he wants nothing to do with her --- and goes out of his way to make that very clear --- Luce can't let it go. She has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret…even if it kills her. Reviewed by Jordana Frankel.

-Click here to read a review of FALLEN.


TORMENT by Lauren Kate (Supernatural Romance)
It took Luce and her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel, an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away for a little while to hunt down the Outcasts --- immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, where she learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. Reviewed by Jordana Frankel.

-Click here to read a review of TORMENT.

 

Click here to watch our five-part interview with Lauren Kate on the Teenreads.com blog.

 

Now in Stores: THE SCORCH TRIALS by James Dashner

THE SCORCH TRIALS by James Dashner (Science Fiction)
Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. Thomas was sure that escape meant he and the Gladers would get their lives back. But no one really knew what sort of life they were going back to. After an excruciating wait for the sequel to THE MAZE RUNNER, fans will be instantly absorbed into the unrelenting harum-scarum adventures that Thomas and the Gladers are thrown into. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.


-Click here to read an excerpt from THE SCORCH TRIALS.
 
Click here to read a review of THE SCORCH TRIALS.

 

Now in Stores: BEHEMOTH by Scott Westerfeld

BEHEMOTH written by Scott Westerfeld and illustrated by Keith Thompson (Alternate Historical Fiction)
The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy, capable of swallowing enemy battleships and coveted by Darwinists and Clankers alike. Deryn is a Darwinist girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is an Austrian Clanker --- and a royal heir disguised as a commoner. Now that they're finally together on the airship Leviathan, can they bring the war between these two powers to a halt? Reviewed by Joy Held.

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

 

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 ANOTHER PAN by Daniel and Dina Nayeri, DARK WATER by Laura McNeal, HALO by Alexandra Adornetto, and an updated edition of I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER by Lois Duncan. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, November 17th at noon ET.

-Click here for the winners of our past giveaways.

 
Click here to read all the contest details.

 

Special Feature and Contest: REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly

In REVOLUTION, Jennifer Donnelly --- author of the award-winning novel A NORTHERN LIGHT --- artfully weaves two girls' stories into an unforgettable account of life, loss and enduring love. The book spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.

To celebrate the release of this highly anticipated novel, Teenreads.com is giving 15 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, December 15th at noon ET.

REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly (Fiction)
BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She's angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she's about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights' most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.


PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn't want --- and couldn't escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine's diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession.

-Click here to read more about REVOLUTION.
-Click here to read a review of REVOLUTION.
-Click here to read an excerpt from REVOLUTION
-Click here to read our interview with Jennifer Donnelly.
-Click here to read Jennifer Donnelly's bio.

 
Click here to read all the contest details.

 

Special Feature: RUINED by Paula Morris

 

Writing for a YA audience for the first time, native New Zealander Paula Morris brings the mystery and excitement of one of America’s oldest cities to life in her novel, RUINED, which follows a lonely teen named Rebecca through the streets of New Orleans as she gets shunned by almost everyone --- except for a ghost and a gorgeous guy named Anton. In this interview with Teenreads.com’s Norah Piehl, Morris talks about the places and people that inspired her to write a book like RUINED, elaborating on how living in a new place has helped her “go undercover” as a writer and the culture shock she experienced upon moving to “The Big Easy.” She also reveals why she modeled the cliques at Rebecca’s school after ancient Roman society and offers tips on how teens can help her adopted home recover from Hurricane Katrina.

RUINED by Paula Morris (Supernatural Thriller)

Rebecca Brown couldn’t feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to spend the year. She’s staying in a creepy old house with her Aunt Claudia, who reads tarot cards for a living. And at the snooty prep school, the filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like she’s invisible. Only gorgeous unavailable Anton Grey seems to give Rebecca the time of day, but she wonders if he’s got a hidden agenda.

-Click here to read more about RUINED.

-Click here to read a review of RUINED.

-Click here to read an excerpt from RUINED.

-Click here to read Paula Morris’s bio.
 

Click here to read our interview with Paula Morris.

 

Special Contest: THE SECRET SOCIETY OF THE PINK CRYSTAL BALL by Risa Green

When her beloved, albeit kooky, aunt is killed in a freak lightning storm, Erin Channing’s world is thrown upside down when she inherits a magical pink crystal ball that has the ability to change the future --- often in very unpredictable ways. As Erin and her friends struggle to control their futures, events quickly spiral out of control in THE SECRET SOCIETY OF THE PINK CRYSTAL BALL --- a hilarious new YA novel with the perfect supernatural twist. Risa Green, author of NOTES FROM THE UNDERBELLY (the book that spawned two seasons of a series by the same name airing on ABC), is back with this fabulously original, warm and funny novel that follows a trio of best friends as they navigate adolescence with the help of a pink crystal ball.

To celebrate the release of THE SECRET SOCIETY OF THE PINK CRYSTAL BALL, Teenreads.com is giving 30 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, December 15th at noon ET.

THE SECRET SOCIETY OF THE PINK CRYSTAL BALL by Risa Green(Fiction)

When Erin inherits a plastic crystal ball and a set of cryptic instructions from her free-spirited aunt, she and her two best friends laughingly give it a try and discover that this particular ball has a knack for being accurate. But as with all magic, nothing is as simple as it seems. Unless Erin and her friends can fix the damage, the magic will turn on them. The crystal ball gave them answers about love and life…but at what price?

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE SECRET SOCIETY OF THE PINK CRYSTAL BALL.

-Click here to read Risa Green’s bio.

-Enter to win a $250 Shopping Spree in the Pink Crystal Ball “What Would You Wish For?” Video Trailer Contest.

-Check out the trailer on YouTube!

-Find out more about Risa Green at RisaGreen.com.
 

Click here to read all the contest details.

 

Special Feature: MOON SPUN by Marilee Brothers

The fantastical Marilee Brothers is back with MOON SPUN, the third installment of her Unbidden Magic series, which follows Star Seeker (and newly-pronounced faery princess) Allie Emerson as she tries to navigate the relentless horrors of high school and save Boundless, the magical realm of faeries, from a threat that’s even more menacing than the vindictive Trimarks. In this interview with Teenreads.com’s Usha Reynolds, Brothers discusses the people and places that inspired these books, elaborating on what it was like to grow up in rural Washington and the stories she witnessed as a high school counselor. She also reveals why she decided to set the current novel in the faery world, reflects on Allie’s journey as a character, and talks about the Irish myths behind her YA fantasy series.

MOON SPUN: Book Three of Unbidden Magic by Marilee Brothers (Fantasy)
Allie Emerson's first boyfriend was an ex-gangbanger who helped her survive after she was thrown into the world of magick. Her second boyfriend was half demon. Her newest BF can turn into a hawk.

Things are definitely getting weirder in Allie's life. Which was tough enough already as a wise-cracking nobody in Peacock Flats, Washington, where she lives in a camping trailer with her not-quite-normal mother.

Now she learns she's a fae princess and warrior. It's up to her to save her faery grandmother's kingdom. And survive high school, too.

-Click here to read more about MOON SPUN.
-Click here to read a review of MOON SPUN.

-Click here to read an excerpt from MOON SPUN.
-Click here to read Marilee Brothers’s bio.

 
Click here to read our interview with Marilee Brothers.

 

Special Feature and Contest: THE THINGS A BROTHER KNOWS by Dana Reinhardt

Looking for a great book that is sure to generate lots of discussion in your reading group? Then check out THE THINGS A BROTHER KNOWS by Dana Reinhardt, which tells the story of Levi, who must deal with his older brother Boaz's return from war in the Middle East. Instead of being a happy occasion, Boaz’s post-traumatic stress disorder makes it impossible for Levi to have anything remotely resembling a brotherly relationship with him. But that doesn’t stop Levi from trying…and maybe pushing Boaz farther away, if that’s even possible.

Teenreads.com is giving away up to 20 copies of THE THINGS A BROTHER KNOWS to one lucky book club. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, November 17th at noon ET.

THE THINGS A BROTHER KNOWS by Dana Reinhardt (Fiction)

Finally, Levi Katznelson’s older brother, Boaz, has returned. Boaz was a high school star who had it all and gave it up to serve in a war Levi can’t understand. Things have been on hold since Boaz left. With the help of his two best friends, Levi has fumbled his way through high school, weary of his role as little brother to the hero.

But when Boaz walks through the front door after his tour of duty is over, Levi knows there’s something wrong. Boaz is home, safe. But Levi knows that his brother is not the same.

Maybe things will never return to normal. Then Boaz leaves again, and this time Levi follows him, determined to understand who his brother was, who he has become, and how to bring him home again.

-Click here to read a review of THE THINGS A BROTHER KNOWS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE THINGS A BROTHER KNOWS.
-Click here to read our interview with Dana Reinhardt.
-Click here to read Dana Reinhardt’s bio.

-Visit Dana Reinhardt’s official website, www.danareinhardt.net.
 

Click here to read all the contest details.

 

Special Feature: THE EXILED QUEEN by Cinda Williams Chima

After captivating audiences with THE DEMON KING, fantasy author Cinda Williams Chima returns with THE EXILED QUEEN, the second installment of her wildly successful Seven Realms series that follows Han Alister and Princess Raisa as they each begin their own epic journey towards Oden’s Ford, where they hope to start new lives after fleeing the land of the Fells. In this interview with Teenreads.com’s Melanie Smith, Chima reveals how she came up with the ideas for two separate fantasy series, elaborating on the tools and tricks that have kept her on task and how her transcontinental travels inspired the volcanic mountains of the Fells. She also explains how magic has helped her explore her interest in history, speculates on the kinds of qualities --- and sacrifices --- that make people strong leaders, and gives readers the scoop on what they can expect from the rest of both series.

THE EXILED QUEEN: A Seven Realms Novel, Book Two by Cinda Williams Chima (Fantasy)

Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean danger isn’t far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery --- but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.

-Click here to read more about THE EXILED QUEEN.
-Click here to read a review of THE EXILED QUEEN.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE EXILED QUEEN.
-Click here to read Cinda Williams Chima’s bio.

-Visit Cinda Williams Chima’s official website, www.cindachima.com.
 

Click here to read our interview with Cinda Williams Chima.

 

Special Feature: PLAIN KATE by Erin Bow

Erin Bow is an award-winning poet who is captivating teens across the country with her first novel, PLAIN KATE, which follows an orphaned woodcarver’s daughter through a magical world of charms and curses, as she tries to find a new home after a mysterious, fear-spreading fog envelops her local village. In this interview with Teenreads.com’s Sarah Rachel Egelman, Bow reveals what inspired her to write about a world like Kate’s, going into detail about the appeal of Russian fairy tales --- which she compares to dark chocolate --- and how she named her characters. She also discusses the similarities and differences between fiction and poetry, talks about the talking cat that steals her book, and explains why you don’t have to write a sequel to know what happens to your characters.

PLAIN KATE by Erin Bow (Fantasy)
Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver’s daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden charms are so fine that some even call her “witch blade” --- a dangerous nickname in a town where witches are hunted and burned in the square.

For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate’s father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading feat of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.

-Click here to read more about PLAIN KATE.

-Click here to read a review of PLAIN KATE.

-Click here to read an excerpt from PLAIN KATE.

-Click here to read Erin Bow’s bio.
 

Click here to read our interview with Erin Bow.

 
Special Feature: TOUCH BLUE by Cynthia Lord

Cynthia Lord follows up her Newbery Honor-winning debut, RULES, with TOUCH BLUE, in which 11-year-old Tess Brooks and a foster kid named Aaron try to save her island’s schoolhouse --- and the only home Tess has ever known. In this interview with Teenreads.com’s Donna Volkenannt, Lord talks about the stories and close-knit communities that inspired her second novel, elaborating on how a small island off the coast of Maine can make an ideal setting for a book and why isolated areas appeal to her as a writer. She also reveals why she decided to write a first-person novel in the present tense, speculates on the value of superstitions, and shares some of the books she enjoyed as a teenager --- along with some tips for aspiring authors.

TOUCH BLUE by Cynthia Lord (Fiction)

“Why take chances?” asks 11-year-old Tess Brooks. “Especially when it’s so easy to let the universe know what you want by touching blue or turning around three times or crossing your fingers.”

But Tess is coming to know that it’s not always that simple. The state of Maine plans to shut down her island’s schoolhouse, which would force Tess’s family to move to the mainland --- and Tess to leave the only home she has ever known. Fortunately, the islanders have a plan, too: increase the number of students by having several families take in foster children. So now Tess and her family are taking a chance on Aaron, a 13-year-old trumpet player who has been bounced from home to home. And Tess needs a plan of her own --- and all the luck she can muster. Will Tess’s wish come true, or will her luck run out?


-Click here to read a review of TOUCH BLUE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from TOUCH BLUE.
-Click here to read Cynthia Lord’s bio.

-Visit Cynthia Lord’s official website, www.cynthialord.com.
 

Click here to read our interview with Cynthia Lord.

 

This Month's Reviews

FORGE by Laurie Halse Anderson (Historical Fiction)

The Patriot Army was shaped by the desperate circumstances at Valley Forge, where Curzon the boy becomes Curzon the young man. But as an escaped slave passing for a freedman, Curzon must face the fear of discovery along with the hardships of being a soldier. And then there’s Isabel --- who’s there against her will. Can she and Curzon sort out the tangled threads of friendship and find the path to true freedom? Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to watch an interview with Laurie Halse Anderson.

DASH & LILY’S BOOK OF DARES by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (Fiction)

When Lily gets tired of looking for the right guy, she leaves a notebook full of challenges on her favorite bookstore shelf and waits for someone to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash really the right guy, or are he and Lily only destined to swap their dreams and desires? Can they possibly connect with each other in person, or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions? Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read an excerpt from DASH & LILY’S BOOK OF DARES.

THE CURSE OF THE WENDIGO by Rick Yancey (Gothic Horror)

It has a dozen names in a dozen lands and is older than the hills. It feeds, and the more it feeds, the hungrier it becomes. It starves even as it gorges. It is the hunger that cannot be satisfied. In the Algonquin tongue, its name literally means “the one who devours all mankind.” Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE CURSE OF THE WENDIGO.


BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS by Anna Godbersen (Historical Romance)

From Manhattan speakeasies to downtown boarding houses, from the bridges of Brooklyn to estates on Long Island, BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS marks the beginning of a new series by The Luxe author Anna Godbersen, set in the last wild summer before the Great Stock Market Crash of 1929. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

-Click here to watch a photo shoot for the cover of BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS.

CONFESSIONS OF THE SULLIVAN SISTERS by Natalie Standiford (Fiction)

In hopes of reinstating their family in their grandmother's will, sisters Norrie, Jane and Sassy write out confessions of their transgressions. Their letters are sometimes hilarious and at other times heartbreaking --- but always riveting --- in Natalie Standiford’s absorbing new novel. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read an excerpt from CONFESSIONS OF THE SULLIVAN SISTERS.

KISSES FROM HELL by Kristin Cast, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Richelle Mead and Francesca Lia Block (Paranormal Romance Anthology)

From a fugitive vampire who’s forced to trust a boy who might be bent on destroying her, to the legend of two immortals whose love compels them to risk everything, this heart-pounding collection brings new meaning to the words "love you forever." Whether you're into dark and moody romances, or light and fun love stories, KISSES FROM HELL will quench your thirst for enchanting tales of the beautiful undead. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

GUARDIAN OF THE GATE: Prophecy of the Sisters, Book 2 by Michelle Zink (Fantasy)

As 16-year-old Lia tries to end the Prophecy, her twin sister Alice hones the skills she’ll need to defeat her. Lia and Alice always knew the Prophecy would turn their loved ones against them, but they didn’t know what betrayal could lead them to. And in the end, only one sister will be left standing. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez.

BEAT THE BAND by Don Calame (Fiction)

It’s the beginning of the school year, and the 10th-graders have to partner up for semester-long health projects. Matt and Sean get paired together, but Coop gets stuck with the infamous “Hot Dog” Helen for a presentation on safe sex. The only way to escape this social death sentence is for Coop to win “The Battle of the Bands” with his group. There’s just one problem: none of the guys actually plays an instrument. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

-
Click here to read Don Calame’s Teenreads.com blog post, “What If I Couldn't Be a Writer?”


Graphic Novel Reviews:

ANIMAL CRACKERS: A Gene Luen Yang Collection written and illustrated by Gene Luen Yang

The early work of Gene Luen Yang, author of AMERICAN BORN CHINESE, is collected in this special edition containing Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, and Loyola Chin and the San Peligran Order, plus an all-new story by Yang. ANIMAL CRACKERS tells two stories of two very different young people who encounter the extraordinary while living their ordinary lives. Reviewed by Collin David.

ALADDIN: LEGACY OF THE LOST, Volume 1 written by Ian Edginton and illustrated by Patrick Reilly and Stjepan Sejic

A strapping young hero, an attractive princess, an evil guy with a beard, and a powerful djinn --- it’s all fairly standard stuff from the Aladdin tales, but ALADDIN: LEGACY OF THE LOST is a transcendentally solid, classic adventure. Reviewed by Collin David.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THEATER OF WAR written by Paul Jenkins, illustrated by Gary Erskine, John McCrea, Fernando Blanco and Elia Bonetti

Paul Jenkins brings you four stories chronicling the adventures that made Captain America the hero we know today. From Skinny Steve Rogers at boot camp to the Super-Soldier leading a battlion of men against the Nazis, this is the Captain America you thought you knew but you've never seen. Reviewed by John Hogan.

PINOCCHIO, VAMPIRE SLAYER, Volumes 1 and 2 written by Van Jensen and illustrated by Dusty Higgins

When it comes to slaying vampires, Pinocchio has a built-in advantage --- every time he tells a lie, he grows his own wooden stake. On the other hand, there are disadvantages to having a lie detector right in the middle of your face, especially when you are faced with a roomful of vampires --- or just one pretty girl. Reviewed by Brigid Alverson.


Manga Reviews:

THE CLIQUE: THE MANGA written by Lisi Harrison and illustrated by Yishan Li

Claire Lyons is the new girl at Octavian Country Day School, an exclusive private school in Westchester County, New York. But Claire is totally unprepared for the social (and fashion) demands of her new classmates. To make matters worse, Claire's family is living in the guesthouse of one Massie Block, the queen supreme of her new school. Reviewed by Danica Davidson.

THE DREAMING: THE COLLECTION written and illustrated by Queenie Chan

When twin sisters Amber and Jeanie are accepted into an exclusive Australian boarding school, their future looks bright. But the school's halls harbor a terrible secret: students have been known to wander into the surrounding bushlands and vanish...without a trace! As Amber and Jeanie are about to learn, the key to the school's dark past may lie in the world of their dreams... Reviewed by Danica Davidson.

GRAND GUIGNOL ORCHESTRA, Volume 1 written and illustrated by Kaori Yuki

Lucille and his orchestra encounter a town overrun with the worst kind of audience: the Living Dead! Well, not really. They’re people who have been turned into doll-like zombies. And they are definitely not a crowd to take lightly. Can a group of roving musicians use their skills to calm the beasts? Reviewed by Danica Davidson.

HIMEYUKA & ROZIONE’S STORY written and illustrated by Sumomo Yumeka

In a corner of the city, Himeyuka, a female high school student, begins living by herself in an average, unremarkable apartment. One day, she returns from school to see her building completely covered in colorful, crazy childish scribbles! The offender turns out to be a little boy named Rozione who is, for some reason, incredibly attached to Himeyuka, even though she can't remember ever laying eyes on him before. Reviewed by Danica Davidson.


Adult Books You Won’t Want to Miss:

MINI SHOPAHOLIC by Sophie Kinsella (Fiction)

Becky Brandon thought that having a daughter would give her a shopping friend for life. But motherhood is harder than she thought: two-year-old Minnie’s favorite word is “mine,” and she’s constantly creating havoc. And on top of everything else, there’s a huge financial crisis. Now Becky can’t afford a surprise party for her husband, and she must decide whether or not to accept help from an unexpected source at the risk of hurting the man she loves. Reviewed by Marge Fletcher.

ROOM by Emma Donoghue (Fiction)

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

SAFE HAVEN by Nicholas Sparks (Fiction)

The suspense is palpable in this gripping love story, with an amazing twist in the tale. When an intriguing young woman meets a widower with two children, will her dark secret past prevent a love connection? Nicholas Sparks's fans will devour SAFE HAVEN, which is sure to attract a whole new crowd of admirers. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

JULIET by Anne Fortier (Fiction)

When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a winding and perilous journey into the history of her ancestor Giulietta, whose legendary love for a young man named Romeo rocked the foundations of medieval Siena. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

DEWEY'S NINE LIVES: The Legacy of the Small-Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter (Pets/Essays)

DEWEY was a bestselling blockbuster and a publishing phenomenon. No doubt about it, Dewey has touched readers everywhere, helping them realize that no matter how ordinary their talents are or how difficult their lives might seem, they can make a positive difference for those around them. And now, Dewey is back again, sharing more heartwarming moments and inspiring life lessons than ever before. Reviewed by Carole Turner.

 


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

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