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July 2011

Teenreads.com
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July 2011

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The Dog Days Are Here

Can you believe it’s nearly August already? It’s time to pull out those reads that you’ve been meaning to get to! The extreme heat sweeping the country gives you a great excuse to stay indoors. I am contemplating putting my head in the freezer. Don’t forget to bring a book with you while chillin’ by the fridge (it’s the coolest place in town --- literally), and then if you get too cold (well, it IS the refrigerator for crying out loud), you can heat up with one of the summer's steamiest picks.

FOREVER by Maggie Stiefvater should do the trick. In this conclusion to the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, Grace and Sam’s love is harder to hold onto as lives are threatened.

If you’re in the mood to escape into fantasy, THE HIDDEN CORONET by Catherine Fisher is a great option. This is the third book in the Relic Master quartet, in which Raffi and Galen search for the only object that could save Anara from destruction --- the only problem is, it may not exist.

THE SUMMER I LEARNED TO FLY by Dana Reinhardt is also in stores, and is perfect for those of you looking for something more realistic. It’s about Drew, a loner, whose life seems ordinary until she meets a strange boy in the alley. Read the review here and the excerpt here.

If you're in the mood for a graphic novel, have ever had braces, or ever felt awkward (so that about covers everybody, right?), we definitely recommend that you grab a copy of Raina Telgemeier's SMILE, which just won the Eisner Award for Best Publication for Teens.

This month is huge for Books into Movies, what with the final HP showdown. Be sure to head on over to our poll and tell us what you thought of it! Also, you’ll want to answer the current question and let us know what you would like to see on J.K. Rowling’s new site, Pottermore.

But just because you’ve seen the final Harry Potter, don’t think there’s nothing left in theaters for you! Life, Above All takes place in a dust-ridden village near Johannesburg, South Africa, and Sarah's Key, an adaptation of Tatiana de Rosnay's novel of the same name, begins in Paris, France in 1942. But if you're on the hunt for another action-packed adventure, Captain America: The First Avenger is for you. Check out the full feature here to learn more about these movies and the books on which they are based.

And, with August around the corner, another one of the most talked-about books in years will grace the big screen --- The Help, an amazing story that takes place at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, when three Mississippi women are about to take one extraordinary step: they’re going to tell the maid’s stories.

Now on to the contests! In our latest Grab Bag of Books giveaway, you have the chance to win these four awesome books: CLEOPATRA'S MOON by Vicky Alvear Shecter, THE LACEY CHRONICLES #1: THE OTHER COUNTESS by Eve Edwards, PERFECTLY INVISIBLE: A Universally Misunderstood Novel by Kristin Billerbeck, and TEXAS GOTHIC by Rosemary Clement-Moore. The deadline for entries is Thursday, August 18th at noon ET.

We’re still spotlighting THE EMPIRE OF GUT AND BONE, and 75 lucky readers will win this third book in M.T. Anderson's The Norumbegan Quartet. Brian and Gregory have set out for the land of New Norumbega to see if the Norumbegans will help them fight the aliens back on Earth. But New Norumbega is a place unlike any other --- an empire of gut and bone (literally). Read our review and an excerpt, and be sure to enter the contest. The deadline for entries is Thursday, August 18th at noon ET.

We’re also continuing to give 20 readers the chance to win a copy of Jo Treggiari’s YA debut, ASHES, ASHES, which is about a 16-year-old named Lucy who wasn’t born to be a hunter or live off the land. But the pox takes the lives of most everyone, and Lucy doesn’t have a choice. She has to become a survivor. Read our review, an excerpt and our interview with the author, and then enter the contest. The deadline for entries is Thursday, August 18th at noon ET.

Congratulations to the winners of our Fifth Annual Beach Bag of Books contest! You are going to love all the awesome swag, and of course, those 16 books will keep you busy at least until the end of the summer, and maybe even last you into the beginning of the school year. To those of you who didn’t win, you can still pick up any of those titles at your local bookstore, so draw up a list and drag your parents with you. Chances are they’ll be thrilled to take you!

July's roundup of Cool New Books includes TWISTED, the ninth book in Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series; WOLFSBANE, the thrilling sequel to the much-talked-about NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer; and LUNCH-BOX DREAM by Tony Abbott, which presents Jim Crow, racism and segregation from multiple perspectives.

Our New in Paperback roundup includes MISGUIDED ANGEL, the fifth book in Melissa de la Cruz’s Blue Bloods series; HERO by Mike Lupica, an action-packed tale of a 14-year-old who discovers that his dad was a superhero; and TOKEN OF DARKNESS, a stand-alone addition to Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’s The Den of Shadows.

This month we’re showcasing some fantastic books. Among them are WITHERING TIGHTS by Louise Rennison, which introduces readers to Tallulah Casey, who enrolls in a summer arts program and hopes to meet a few boys along the way; LOST VOICES by Sarah Porter, a wildly original tale about a tribe of mermaids; and WELCOME TO BORDERTOWN edited by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner, a collection of stories about Elves that play in rock bands and humans looking to reinvent themselves in Soho.

Lastly, we always want to hear what books you’re buzzing about, so we can tell you about them! The titles you can win, just by taking part in our monthly Word of Mouth giveaway and sharing your favorite reads, are the aforementioned FOREVER by Maggie Stiefvater and THE POWER OF SIX by Pittacus Lore.

That’s a wrap for this month’s update. Stay cool!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)


 

Now in Stores: FOREVER by Maggie Stiefvater
FOREVER by Maggie Stiefvater (Supernatural Romance)
In SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER --- the conclusion to the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy --- the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to see Maggie Stiefvater read an excerpt from FOREVER.

 
Click here to read a review of FOREVER.

 
Now in Stores: THE HIDDEN CORONET by Catherine Fisher
THE HIDDEN CORONET: Relic Master, Book Three by Catherine Fisher (Fantasy)
Anara is in trouble; its climate has become unstable, and its seven moons are slowly falling out of orbit. A golden coronet is rumored to be the only thing that can stop the destruction that’s occurring in Anara. But the coronet is the stuff of legends, lost for centuries. Raffi and Galen must find it before the Watch does, if it exists at all. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

 
Click here to read a review of THE HIDDEN CORONET.

 
Now in Stores: THE SUMMER I LEARNED TO FLY by Dana Reinhardt
THE SUMMER I LEARNED TO FLY by Dana Reinhardt (Fiction)
Drew is a bit of a loner. She has a pet rat, her dead dad's Book of Lists, an encyclopedic knowledge of cheese, and a crush on Nick, the surf bum who works behind the counter. It's the summer before eighth grade, and Drew's days seem ordinary. Until one night after closing time, when she meets a strange boy in the alley. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE SUMMER I LEARNED TO FLY.

 
Click here to read a review of THE SUMMER I LEARNED TO FLY.

 
Books into Movies for July: Beyond Harry Potter
While Harry Potter fever is still at an all-time high, several other movies based on books are landing in theaters in July. Beyond the magical wizarding world, multicultural films can transport you to unknown places and time periods. Life, Above All takes place in a dust-ridden village near Johannesburg, South Africa, where a rumor destroys 12-year-old Chandra’s family. And Sarah's Key, an adaptation of Tatiana de Rosnay's novel of the same name, begins in Paris, France in 1942, when 10-year-old Sarah is taken by the French police simply for being Jewish.

But if you're on the hunt for another action-packed, fantastical adventure where good must prevail, Captain America: The First Avenger is for you. Here, Steve Rogers volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known only as Captain America. Just like Harry, he'll certainly fight with all he's got!

 
Click here for more details about July's films.

 
In Theaters August 10th: The Help
On August 10th, one of the most talked-about books in years will grace the big screen. THE HELP is a deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor and hope, and the film version will surely bring this widely-read tale to even more people.

The story takes place at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, when three Mississippi women are about to take one extraordinary step. There's 22-year-old Skeeter, who has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss; Aibileen, an African-American maid and caretaker, who just lost a child; and Minny, Aibileen's sassy best friend, who struggles to hold a job. Seemingly as different from one another as can be, they nonetheless will come together for a project that will put them all at risk. Their determination to start a movement forever changes a town, and will forever change those of you who follow them on this daring journey.

 
Click here for more details about The Help.

 
Special Feature and Contest: THE EMPIRE OF GUT AND BONE by M.T. Anderson
On Earth, aliens approach --- and they’re not the friendly type. Brian and Gregory have set out for the land of New Norumbega to see if the Norumbegans will help them fight the aliens. But New Norumbega is a place unlike any other: an empire of gut and bone, quite literally, made of everything that’s inside a body. And the two boys find themselves smack in the middle of a murder mystery and a robot rebellion.

To celebrate the release of THE EMPIRE OF GUT AND BONE, Teenreads.com is giving 75 readers the chance to win a copy of the third book in The Norumbegan Quartet by M.T. Anderson. The deadline for entries is Thursday, August 18th at noon ET.

THE EMPIRE OF GUT AND BONE by M.T. Anderson (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)
The land of New Norumbega is an unusual one --- an empire of gut and bone, a kingdom of blood and mucus. At its dark, dry heart is a ruling class that doesn't care about much besides itself…and a ruler who is (literally) a one-eyed stump of flesh.

Brian and Gregory have come to New Norumbega for a reason --- to get the Norumbegans to help them thwart an alien attack back home on earth. But instead, the two boys find themselves caught up in both a robot rebellion and a murder mystery after one of the Norumbegan leaders is sent to sleep…permanently.

-Click here to read a review of THE EMPIRE OF GUT AND BONE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE EMPIRE OF GUT AND BONE.
-Click here to read M.T. Anderson’s bio.

 
Click here to read all the contest details.

 
Special Feature and Contest: ASHES, ASHES by Jo Treggiari
Lucy isn’t a survivor. She’s not brilliant with a bow and arrow, and she wasn’t born to be a hunter, living off the land. But then the pox takes the lives of most everyone, and Lucy doesn’t have a choice. She has to become a survivor.

To celebrate the release of ASHES, ASHES, Teenreads.com is giving 20 readers the chance to win a copy of Jo Treggiari’s young adult debut novel. The deadline for entries is Thursday, August 18th at noon ET.

ASHES, ASHES by Jo Treggiari (Post-Apocalyptic Fiction)
Epidemics, floods, droughts --- for 16-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she's rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can't continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There's something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her.

-Click here to read a review of ASHES, ASHES.
-Click here to read an excerpt from ASHES, ASHES.
-Click here to read our interview with Jo Treggiari.
-Click here to read Jo Treggiari’s bio.

 
Click here to read all the contest details.

 
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 CLEOPATRA’S MOON by Vicky Alvear Shecter, THE LACEY CHRONICLES #1: THE OTHER COUNTESS by Eve Edwards, PERFECTLY INVISIBLE: A Universally Misunderstood Novel by Kristin Billerbeck and TEXAS GOTHIC by Rosemary Clement-Moore The deadline for entries is Thursday, August 18th at noon ET.

-Click here for the winners of our past giveaways.

 
Click here to read all the contest details.

 
Teenreads.com's Fifth Annual Beach Bag of Books Feature
Looking for some cool reads this summer? Here are 16 titles you'll want to consider. They are books that teens will love --- BEASTLY MOVIE TIE-IN EDITION by Alex Flinn, BEAUTY QUEENS by Libba Bray, CLARITY by Kim Harrington, DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth, HEREAFTER by Tara Hudson, I'M NOT HER by Janet Gurtler, THE IRON QUEEN by Julie Kagawa, LOST VOICES by Sarah Porter, A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL by Suzanne Young, NIGHTSPELL by Leah Cypess, PROM AND PREJUDICE by Elizabeth Eulberg, RUBY RED by Kerstin Gier, SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater, STARCROSSED by Josephine Angelini, SUPERNATURALLY by Kiersten White and TEN THINGS WE DID (AND PROBABLY SHOULDN'T HAVE) by Sarah Mlynowski.

Congratulations to the five readers who were selected to receive a beach bag that includes the 16 books listed above and assorted summer goodies. Enjoy your prizes!

 
Click here to read more about our featured books.

 
Cool New Books for July
July's roundup of Cool New Books includes FOREVER, the conclusion to Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, where love is even harder to hold onto as death comes closing in; THE HIDDEN CORONET, the next-to-last installment in Catherine Fisher’s Relic Master series (which wraps up with the August 9th release of THE MARGRAVE); THE SUMMER I LEARNED TO FLY, Dana Reinhardt’s novel about a loner who meets a strange boy in an alley and enters into her first true friendship and adventure; TWISTED, the ninth book in Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series, which finds the four girls desperate to forget one fateful night when they did something utterly unforgivable; and LOST VOICES by Sarah Porter, a wildly original tale about a tribe of mermaids that marks the beginning of a captivating trilogy.
 
Click here to read our Cool New Books feature for July.

 
July's New in Paperback Roundup
July's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes MISGUIDED ANGEL, the fifth book in Melissa de la Cruz’s Blue Bloods series, which finds Schuyler Van Alen nearing a terrible choice that will ultimately map the destiny of her heart; HERO by Mike Lupica, an action-packed tale of a 14-year-old who discovers that his dad was a superhero --- and that he has some pretty incredible powers of his own; TOKEN OF DARKNESS, a stand-alone addition to Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’s The Den of Shadows, wherein a young man wakes from a car accident with his football career in ruins and a mysterious, attractive girl by his side; and THE GRIMM LEGACY by Polly Shulman, a contemporary fantasy about a room of magical items straight from the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales, which leads an ordinary girl on an exciting but dangerous magical adventure.
 
Click here to see what's New in Paperback for July.

 
This Month's Reviews
WITHERING TIGHTS by Louise Rennison (Fiction)
Tallulah Casey is ready to find her inner artist. And some new mates. And maybe a boy or two or three. The ticket to achieving these lofty goals? Enrolling in a summer performing arts program, of course! Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

LOST VOICES by Sarah Porter (Urban Fantasy)
Fourteen-year-old Luce has had a tough life. She expects to die when she tumbles into the icy waves, but instead undergoes an astonishing transformation and becomes a mermaid. A tribe of mermaids finds her and welcomes her in. All of them lost girls like her, they surrendered their humanity in the darkest moments of their lives. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez and excerpted.

WELCOME TO BORDERTOWN edited by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner (Urban Fantasy)
Bordertown: a city on the border between our human world and the elfin realm. Runaway teens come from both sides of the border to find adventure. Elves play in rock bands and race down the street on spell-powered motorbikes. Human kids recreate themselves in the squats and clubs and artists' studios of Soho. In this volume of all-new work, the original writers of the Bordertown series are joined by a new generation. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez.

THE DAUGHTERS TAKE THE STAGE by Joanna Philbin (Fiction)
The daughter of chart-topping pop star Holla Jones, stylish and sensitive Hudson Jones is on the brink of her own musical debut. She has inherited her mother's talent, but hasn't yet embraced Holla's love of the megawatt spotlight. Can Hudson find a way to perform that reflects her own low-key style? Or will Holla see to it that her only daughter becomes a pop music sensation? Reviewed by Joy Held.

THE DEAD by Charlie Higson (Horror)
THE DEAD is the second book in Charlie Higson’s terrifying and action-packed horror series, in which everyone over the age of 16 has been infected with a disease that turns them into flesh-eating monsters. Set one year before the events that occur in THE ENEMY, it fulfills the promise Higson made in his interview with Teenreads.com last year: “More zombies! More blood! More flesh-eating!” Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

IMAGINARY GIRLS by Nova Ren Suma (Mystery)
Chloe's adored older sister, Ruby, retrieves Chloe from Chloe's father's house, where she went to live after discovering a dead girl at the town reservoir. Back in her hometown two years later, Chloe is stunned to see that very same girl --- the one whose dead body once floated in the reservoir --- attending parties, dating boys, and hanging out with Ruby. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

MERCY by Rebecca Lim (Supernatural Mystery/Romance)
Mercy is a fallen angel haunted by her past. With skin “pale like milk,” she never gets sunburned or feels cold, no matter whose body she occupies. When she wakes up in the body of 16-year-old Carmen, a talented singer unsure of her gift, Mercy must discover why she’s been dispatched to her new host. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre (Dystopian Fantasy)
Deuce has achieved her dream of becoming a huntress for her enclave, which exists deep underground. This includes finding food and fighting horrible creatures called Freaks. When Deuce is partnered with the mysterious hunter Fade, she soon learns that the safety of the enclave may be in jeopardy. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche and excerpted.

PAPER COVERS ROCK by Jenny Hubbard (Fiction)
At the beginning of his junior year at a boys' boarding school, 16-year-old Alex is devastated when he fails to save a drowning friend. When questioned, he and his friend Glenn, who was also at the river, begin weaving a web of lies. Plagued by guilt, Alex takes refuge in the library, telling his tale in a journal he hides. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

WITH OR WITHOUT YOU by Brian Farrey (Fiction)
Eighteen-year-old amateur artist Evan Weiss will tell you that living two lives is tough. It was difficult enough to say the words to his family and best friend, Davis. It is painfully more nerve-wrenching to introduce them to his boyfriend. Hoping to find a place to belong, Evan and Davis join an underground movement called the Chasers, where they quickly learn that protection might carry too dangerous a price. Reviewed by Jonathan Stephens.

SPOILED by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (Fiction)
Sixteen-year-old Molly Dix has just discovered that her biological father is a world-famous movie star and red-carpet regular. Intrigued (and a little terrified) by her Hollywood lineage, Molly moves to Los Angeles and plunges headfirst into Beverly Hills celebrity life. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

BELLADONNA by Mary Finn (Historical Fiction)
Ling enchants a boy named Thomas with her wild spirit and tales of a circus, where she danced atop her beloved horse, Belladonna. But the horse has been sold, and Ling must fetch her back. Now, Thomas’s life as a clever but unschooled wheelwright’s son is about to change. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.


Graphic Novel Review:

BALTIMORE, Volume 1: THE PLAGUE SHIPS written by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden, illustrated by Ben Stenbeck
After a devastating plague ends World War I, Europe is suddenly flooded with vampires. Lord Henry Baltimore, a soldier determined to wipe out the monsters, fights his way through bloody battlefields, ruined plague ships, exploding zeppelins, and submarine graveyards on the hunt for the creature who's become his obsession. Reviewed by Michael Hicks.


Manga Reviews:

GENKAKU PICASSO, Volumes 1-3 written and illustrated by Usamaru Furuya
Hikari Hamura, nicknamed Picasso because of his natural artistic abilities, survived a horrible accident, but his friend Chiaki wasn't so lucky. Suddenly, Chiaki appears in front of him and tells him in order to keep living he must help the people around him. Can Hikari save people with his sketchbook and a 2B pencil? Reviewed by Casey Brienza.

TALE OF A WHITE NIGHT written and illustrated by Tooko Miyagi
In this collection of horror vignettes, living spirits called “oni” use corpses to make dolls, a girl wanders into the realm of the gods without realizing how she got there, and a curse causes people to kill. Reviewed by Danica Davidson.


Adult Books You Won’t Want to Miss:

SISTER by Rosamund Lupton (Psychological Thriller)
When Bee learns that her sister, Tess, is missing, she expects to have to give her the usual bossy big sister lecture. But then Tess is found dead, apparently by her own hand. Bee is certain that Tess didn’t commit suicide. As she gives her statement to the lead investigator, her story reveals a predator who got away with murder --- and an obsession that may cost Bee her life. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

ONE SUMMER by David Baldacci (Fiction)
The tables are turned when a man with a terminal illness loses his healthy wife just days before entering hospice himself. On death’s doorstep, Jack says his goodbyes, but then something happens to bring him back. He sees a spark of life and spirit in his defiant teenage daughter, a girl who has just lost everything but lets her guard down long enough to let her dad really see her and to show that she still needs him --- and always will. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

DON’T BREATHE A WORD by Jennifer McMahon (Paranormal/Psychological Thriller)
Jennifer McMahon, the New York Times bestselling author of ISLAND OF LOST GIRLS and PROMISE NOT TO TELL, returns with a dark and twisty tale in which a couple finds themselves in a seemingly supernatural web that ties them to a young girl’s disappearance 15 years ago. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

NOBODY’S PERFECT: Two Men, One Call, and a Game for Baseball History by Armando Galarraga and Jim Joyce, with Daniel Paisner (Sports)
The perfect game is one of the rarest accomplishments in sports. No hits, no walks, no men reaching base. In more than 130 years of Major League Baseball, it has only happened 20 times. On June 2, 2010, Armando Galarraga threw baseball’s 21st perfect game. Except that’s not how it entered the record books. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

UNTIL TUESDAY: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him by Luis Carlos Montalvan with Bret Witter (Memoir)
A veteran returning from Iraq feels such despair that he begins to welcome death --- until he finds a miracle in a Golden Retriever who needs the man as much as the man needs him. In this stunning memoir, retired Army Capt. Luis Montalvan describes an incredible journey of healing and friendship. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.



 
Poll and Question of the Month: The HP Finale and Pottermore
Poll:

What did you think of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2?

I LOVED it. It was a great way to wrap up the series.
It was good, but it could’ve been better.
I didn’t like it at all. I was very disappointed.
I haven’t seen it yet, but I plan to.
I’m waiting to see it on DVD.
I have no plans to see it.
I'm not sure.

-Click here to answer the poll.


Question:

What would you like to see on J.K. Rowling's new website, Pottermore?

-Click here to answer the question.



 
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Could Win TWO Books!
Tell us what books you are reading and loving --- and even those you don't.

This contest period, one teen reader will be randomly chosen to win a copy of FOREVER by Maggie Stiefvater and THE POWER OF SIX by Pittacus Lore. Tell us what you are reading here and rate the titles 1-5 by noon ET on Friday, August 19th to ensure that you are in the running to win these books.

 
Click here for more details about Word of Mouth.