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As Patty Blount explains in this candid guest post, she wasn’t always the “strongest” person growing up. Difficult times left her crying, crumbling and afraid to stand up for herself. It’s for this very reason that she decided to write about Grace in SOME BOYS --- a girl who refuses to play victim, even when faced with the toughest circumstances.
July 23, 2014

Favorite Book Titles

Posted by rebecca
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Shakespeare's famous ROMEO & JULIET quote "What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet" may be true, but that doesn't mean that names don't matter at all, even when it comes to books. With that it mind, we asked our Teen Board members and reviewers to tell us their favorite book titles --- see what they came up with, below!
July 23, 2014

Bookish Tattoos

By Kate F.
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In today’s generation, many, many people have tattoos. These tattoos can be of virtually anything: a loved one’s name, religious symbols and even references to popular novels. Below I’ve compiled a list of some of the best bookish tattoos --- who knows, you may even be tempted to get one!
Author Anna Staniszewski is obviously a great writer --- but her talents don't quite extend to the kitchen. In this post, she explains how she used her own cooking mishaps to infuse some culinary chaos into the list of Rachel Lee --- the protagonist of THE DIRT DIARY and now THE PRANK LIST, who is usually a pastry-making whiz.   
Everyone knows that summer is a prime time for reading --- school and extracurricular activities no longer take up all of your time, and you have ample hours to peruse (or devour, as the case may be) your TBR (to-be-read) list. However, instead of just pounding through all of the books you were itching to read during the year, Teen Board member Rachel B. has a different suggestion --- pick up a genre you ordinarily wouldn’t. Read below to see why!  
One of the coolest things about writing nonfiction is all of the research you get to do. By the time the book is finished, you live and breathe your subject --- you know their favorite foods,  their darkest secrets and their greatest strengths. But sometimes, you find out something you didn't necessarily want to know --- something gross, bizarre or plain old creepy. In this blog post, Candace Fleming tells us the creepiest story she encountered when writing THE FAMILY ROMANOV: Murder, Rebellion and The Fall of Imperial Russia, her new book that follows the incredible story of the last Tsar's family and the eventual uprising of Russian peasants. 
Kurt Vonnegut's debut novel PLAYER PIANO takes place in a dystopian society, and according to Teen Board member Alison S., our standardized test-obsessed culture isn't too far off. In her below blog post, she tells teens how they can avoid being like Anita Proteus --- one of the main characters in the book --- and live according to their own desires, and not those of college admissions officers.
Here’s a math problem for you: What do you get when you’re writing one novel and have one title…but have two separate computer documents and two different protagonists? A bit of a problem, according to Diana Renn, author of LATITUDE ZERO. You have to choose…and it’s not easy. Below, Diana introduces us to her YA mystery’s current protagonist, Tessa, and shares why it was so hard to let the runner-up, Mari, go.
This month, Kidsreads.com is all about Harry Potter, but Teenreads didn't want to miss out on the fun! Here, YA librarian Katie Boyer tells us what she loves about the series, and how it taught her to read for pleasure, again. Read below, and if you want even more about the Boy Who Lived, make sure to check out our 31 Days of Harry Potter feature on Kidsreads, which will be updated every day this July!
Sure plot, setting and characters are crucial elements of any book, but here at Teenreads, we think that narrators are the unsung heroes of novels. A first-person narrator can really take you inside the head of a character, and allow you to truly feel their joy, fear, love of cocoa puffs…what-have-you. A third person omniscient narrator lets you understand the whole world, and feel the suspense as the protagonist is making a decision that youknow --- as a reader with more information ---is the wrong one. But as Jodi Lynn Anderson, author of THE VANISHING SEASON, writes in this blog post, some of the most interesting narrators are the peripheral ones --- characters on the fringes of a story, looking in.  Below, she tells us why.