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Teenreads Monthly Update

Late June 2016

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June 23, 2016
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Happy Summer from Teenreads!

Hi Teenreaders,

I can finally wish you all a happy summer now that it's official! More hours of sunlight = more time to read outside, so you can definitely count me in for the season. If you ask me, there's nothing better than kicking back with an iced coffee and a great read while you work on that summer glow.

Last week I attended an event to celebrate YOU KNOW ME WELL, a fun (and funny) new novel from David Levithan and Nina LaCour. This was my first time seeing David Levithan in person, so I have no shame in admitting that I was fangirling all over the place, but what made the night even more special was the fact that four other authors --- Stephanie Perkins, Lisa Williamson, Jane Mason and Billy Merrell --- were also on hand. You can read more about my night in this blog post, but I think the picture of me and Stephanie Perkins on the above left (and her gorgeous dress) speaks for itself!

We know that authors and festivals don't always tour near your home, but what if there was another way to get behind-the-scenes looks at forthcoming books? Reader, meet First In Line, a program that lets teen booklovers set the trends by reading new books before they hit the shelves. You can read more about this below, but you should know that I've been a member since long before I joined Teenreads and I definitely recommend checking it out.

In an ironic twist of fate, I actually received my very first winner's package from First in Line this morning, so you can get a sneak peek of what these include above. I know I'll be rocking my First in Line sunnies while I kick back with my aforementioned outdoor reading --- which may just begin with my prize HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE, Jennifer Niven's second young adult novel, which will be in stores in October.

With all this talk of summer reading and new books, some of you may be wondering what you should read next. I have three great suggestions for creating your reading list. First, there's our Beach Bag of Books Feature and Contest, where we're giving away copies of six amazing reads to five lucky readers. You can enter through Monday, August 1st for your chance to win --- but don't wait! We don't want you forgetting about this great opportunity before it's too late.

Second, we've been noticing a trend lately where many books seem to be, well, girly. Chances are, many of you guys don't want to read about female friendships and complicated love triangles, and it can be hard to find young adult books that celebrate boys. With that in mind, we've created a new bookshelf feature titled "Books to Add to Your Guy-Brary, Part 1" (see what I did there?) using books that came out the last two months. All of the books in this collection feature either a male protagonist, a male narrator, or a great storyline that readers of any gender will enjoy. If you enjoy this bookshelf, you can look forward to Part 2, featuring books that release in July and August, in our next newsletter!

Third, our Teen Board Question this month asked our members about their summer reading plans. While there were tons of great answers and suggestions, one in particular really stood out to me: Vaishnavi S. explained that she likes to play a game she calls "Blind Date with a Book." I absolutely loved her idea, so I asked her to write a blog about it so we can all get in on the fun. Click here to read more --- and don't forget that we are still accepting applications for our September 2016 - August 2017 Teen Board until Tuesday, July 12th!

As promised in our last newsletter, I have more Harry Potter news to share with you! Barnes & Noble has a great countdown running that I am absolutely obsessed with (read: I've had it open for days), but that's not all! Many stores across the country are hosting a fun event called "Relive the Magic" this Friday, June 24th, at 7 PM, where fans can color, answer trivia, build a Wrebbit 3D Hogwarts Astronomy Tower puzzle and enter for a chance to win a set of seven limited edition cover prints. Click here to see if this magical event will be coming to a store near you!

Last of all, I want to give a huge thanks to Teenreads intern Dana, who has been instrumental in kicking off our new Litsy account, now available in IOS devices; Android will be coming late this summer. Litsy is a new social network that combines all the best aspects of Goodreads and Instagram and we'd love to have you join us there. Find us at @teenreadsdotcom!

Happy reading,

--- Rebecca Munro (Rebecca@bookreporter.com)
 

Feature and Contest: Beach Bag of Books 2016

It's time to think about summer reading --- and we're not talking about the list of books you'll be receiving for Required Summer Reading from school. We're talking about the kinds of books that you're glad you now have time to kick back with and enjoy. The way we see it, it wouldn't be summer without sun, surf and great reading. You supply the beach chair, and we'll provide the fantastic fiction in our Tenth Annual Teenreads.com Beach Bag of Books Feature and Contest. From now through Monday, August 1st at noon ET, five lucky readers will win a copy of each of the featured books.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to enter our Beach Bag of Books contest!

 

Apply NOW to Be on Our Teen Board!

Do you love reading and talking about books? We are looking for 50 teens between the ages of 13 and 18 years old who are passionate about books --- and committed to contributing to Teenreads.com --- to be a part of our September 2016 - August 2017 Teen Board!

Teen Board members write reviews, compose blog posts, answer the monthly Teen Board question, participate in special features and provide us with much-needed feedback. Because we are looking for teens who can actively participate on the Teen Board, it is critical that you ensure that you have enough time to focus and give us a year-long commitment. In addition to offering you a Contributor profile on the site, you can reference your board position with us on your college applications and personal resumes.

Applications are due by 11:59pm on Tuesday, July 12th to apply to be on the Teen Board from September 2016 until August 2017. We will review the applications by Friday, July 22nd and begin the second part of the application process where you may be called for an interview. We will also request a recommendation from a teacher, a parent or someone else who knows you well. If you are selected, you will be required to turn in a consent form completed by a parent or guardian if you are under 18.
 

Click here to apply to be on our Teen Board.

 

Be the First to Read the Last Line

Made by serious YA readers for serious YA readers, First In Line offers you the novelty of having the next big book all to yourself and the reward of being a literary trendsetter.

Being the first at anything is no easy feat, but you already knew that:

  • You were reading The Hunger Games before volunteering as tribute was cool.
  • You were feeling the feels from THE FAULT IN OUR STARS before it was TFIOS. Okay? Okay.
  • You knew your faction while other people were being sorted into their houses.

Now, make sure to sign up for First In Line, so that you can always be the first to read the last line of the next big YA books. Join First In Line now for exclusive access to all things YA including never-before-seen behind-the-book content, deleted scenes, cover reveals, exclusive giveaways, VIP event invitations and more!
 

Click here to join First In Line now.

 

Teenreads.com Talks to Catherine Egan, Author of JULIA VANISHES

In JULIA VANISHES, the first book in debut author Catherine Egan's Witch's Child trilogy, Julia has the ability to disappear --- more or less. It's the perfect ability for a thief and a spy. Julia's latest job requires her to infiltrate Ms. Och's mansion and spy on the goings-on of its mysterious residents. Before long, she starts to feel conflicted --- should she should deliver her report and betray the people she has come to care for or not? Combining mythology, philosophy and spellbinding writing, Egan's debut is an intricate fantasy perfect for readers of Sabaa Tahir. In this interview with Teenreads.com's Erin Siu, Catherine Egan shares her inspiration for the world and religions she created, the character she most identifies with and what readers can expect from the next book in the trilogy.

JULIA VANISHES by Catherine Egan (Fantasy)
Audiobook available, narrated by Erin Spencer.
Julia has the unusual ability to be...unseen. Not invisible, exactly. Just beyond most people's senses. It's a dangerous trait in a city that has banned all forms of magic and drowns witches in public Cleansings. But it's a useful trait for a thief and a spy. And Julia has learned --- crime pays. She's being paid very well indeed to infiltrate the grand house of Mrs. Och and report back on the odd characters who live there and the suspicious dealings that take place behind locked doors. But what Julia discovers shakes her to the core. She certainly never imagined that the traitor in the house would turn out to be...her. Reviewed by Erin Siu.

- Click here to read a review.
- Click here to read more about the book.
 

Click here to read the interview.

 

Featured Review: THE CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE by Christian McKay Heidicker

CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE by Christian McKay Heidicker (Fiction)
Prepare to be cured by this quirky and hilarious debut novel about a sixteen-year-old loner who is sent to rehab for video game addiction --- perfect for fans of Ned Vizzini and Jesse Andrews.
Sixteen-year-old Jaxon is being committed to video game rehab...ten minutes after meeting a girl. A living, breathing girl named Serena, who not only laughed at his jokes but actually kinda sorta seemed excited when she agreed to go out with him. Jaxon’s first date. Ever. In rehab, Jaxon can’t blast his way through galaxies to reach her. He can’t slash through armies to kiss her sweet lips. Instead, he has four days to earn one million points by learning real-life skills. Reviewed by Rachel D., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.
 

Click here to read the review.

 

Featured Review: WE WERE NEVER HERE by Jennifer Gilmore

WE WERE NEVER HERE by Jennifer Gilmore (Fiction)
In this exquisitely written and emotionally charged young adult debut, Jennifer Gilmore explores how sometimes the wounds you can’t see are the most painful. Did you know your entire life can change in an instant? For sixteen-year-old Lizzie Stoller that moment is when she collapses out of the blue. The next thing she knows, she’s in a hospital with an illness she’s never heard of. But that isn’t the only life-changing moment for Lizzie. The other is when Connor and his dog, Verlaine, walk into her hospital room. Lizzie has never connected with anyone the way she does with the handsome teenage volunteer. However, the more time she spends with him and the deeper in love she falls, the more she realizes that Connor has secrets and a deep pain of his own.... Reviewed by Alyssa Luis.

- Click here to read more about the book.
 

Click here to read the review.

 

Featured Review: THE GEEK'S GUIDE TO UNREQUITED LOVE by Sarvenaz Tash

THE GEEK'S GUIDE TO UNREQUITED LOVE by Sarvenaz Tash (Fiction)
Graham met his best friend, Roxana, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago, and she asked him which Hogwarts house he'd be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since. But now they're 16, still neighbors, still best friends. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever --- moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books. When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year's New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. Reviewed by Cat S., Teen Board Member.

- Click here to read more about the book.
 

Click here to read the review.

 

Books to Add to Your Guy-Brary, Part 1 Bookshelf

Here at Teenreads, we want to encourage everyone to enjoy reading just as much as we do. Lately, however, it seems as though many of our readers are having trouble finding books that speak to them as guys. With that in mind, we decided to curate this collection of books coming out this May-June that feature male protagonists, male narrators, or just plain great storylines that all genders can relate to. Whether you're looking for a fun beach read, a hard-hitting story full of drama, or yes, even a romance, you're sure to find something great on our Books to Add to Your Guy-brary, Part 1 Bookshelf.

Be sure to look out for Part 2 featuring books releasing in July and August at the beginning of July!
 

Click here to see our "Books to Add to Your Guy-Brary, Part 1" Bookshelf.

 

Teen Board Update

Teen Board Question: With the days rapidly getting longer and warmer, we at Teenreads have one very important thing on our minds: summer reading! We don't just mean the books you're assigned to read for school, but the ones you wait all year to enjoy just for the fun of it. With our sunglasses on and our sunblock applied, we asked our Teen Board Members about their summer reading plans, from treasured re-reads to books they've waited all year to check out. Click here to see some of their answers!

Reviews: Our Teen Board members reviewed a bunch of terrific YA books this month from various genres. Bryn D. visited the city of love with ONE PARIS SUMMER by Denise Grover Swank, and said "Atmosphere, mood, setting, addictive writing...this story had it all." Alison S. read Ilana Manaster's DOREEN, a masterful retelling of THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY and said "Breezy enough for the beach, yet meaty...Manaster's debut blends big moral questions and sumptuous Armani dresses into 333 pages of delight." Just in time for the Summer Olympics, member Juliette G. checked out THE FLIP SIDE by star athlete Shawn Johnson, who she says "combines romance, friendship and tough competition in a story that inspires young readers to set the bar higher for themselves."

June's Books on Screen

Whether you're relaxing by the pool or sweating it out on the beach this summer, a trip to the movies is always a great way to cool down during this season's scorching months. If you're looking for a nice way to break up your days, make sure to check out these popular book-to-screen adaptions!

In theaters we have this summer's most talked-about love story, Me Before You, starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin. Will the film outshine the heart-warming, bestselling novel? Go get your tickets today to find out! Next up we have The Fundamentals of Caring, the funny and insightful story of an 18-year-old guy with muscular dystrophy and the hapless caregiver who takes him on a cross-country roadtrip. Along the way, the pair discovers the true meaning of friendship and what it means to be alive.
 

Click here to read more in June's Books on Screen feature.

 

June’s Cool and New Roundup

This month’s Cool and New roundup includes RELENTLESS by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs, the second book in The Hero Agenda series, in which a girl gets fed up with being betrayed and starts fighting back; ESCAPE FROM ASYLUM by Madeleine Roux, the frightening prequel to her bestselling Asylum series, that follows a teen attempting to escape from the psych ward he was wrongfully committed to before it's too late; and THE LONG GAME, the second book in Jennifer Lynn Barnes's Fixer series, in which a high school election and a terrorist attack reveals shocking secrets.
 

Click here to see the rest of June's Cool and New roundup.

 

June's New in Paperback

Our New in Paperback roundup for June includes SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA, a debut novel by Becky Albertalli, in which a closeted gay teen struggles to come out before he is forced to; RED QUEEN, Victoria Aveyard's debut novel where a Red-blooded girl discovers she has magical abilities that only Silver-blooded elites should have, leaving her split between two worlds; and ALL THE RAGE, a timely and poignant novel by Courtney Summers about the cost of silence in an unjust world.
 

Click here to see the rest of June's New in Paperback roundup.

 

More New Reviews

WHAT HAPPENS NOW by Jennifer Castle (Fiction)
Ari Logan is battling to win her war against depression and the dark night she hurt herself on purpose. It's not easy: her best friend is drifting away, her mom's emotionally checked out, and she spends her days playing caregiver to her handful of a half-sister, Danielle. At first, Ari quietly longs for Camden from afar, seeing in him everything she wants to be. When the two discover a true connection the following summer, Ari lets herself fall not just for the quirky and self-assured Camden but also his friends, tumbling into their world of independence, adventure and shared sci-fi fandom. Reviewed by Aliza M., Teen Board Member.

WITH MALICE by Eileen Cook (Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Whitney Dykhouse.
For fans of WE WERE LIARS and THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN comes a chilling, addictive psychological thriller about a teenage girl who cannot remember the last six weeks of her life. Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron's senior trip to Italy was supposed to be the adventure of a lifetime. And then the accident happened. Waking up in a hospital room, her leg in a cast, stitches in her face, and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be, Jill comes to discover she was involved in a fatal accident in her travels abroad. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care --- care that includes a lawyer. Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member.

HOW IT ENDS by Catherine Lo (Fiction)
It’s friends-at-first-sight for Jessie and Annie, proving the old adage that opposites attract. Shy, anxious Jessie would give anything to have Annie’s beauty and confidence. And Annie thinks Jessie has the perfect life, with her close-knit family and killer grades. They're BFFs...until suddenly they're not. Told through alternating points of view, HOW IT ENDS is the story of a friendship from first meeting to breakup, set against a tumultuous sophomore year of bullying, boys and backstabbing. Reviewed by Lauren H., Teen Board Member.

YOU KNOW ME WELL by David Levithan and Nina LaCour (Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Katie Schorr and Michael Crouch.
Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed. That is, until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way. When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other --- and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more. Reviewed by Yasemin B., Teen Board Member.

ALL THE FEELS by Danika Stone (Fiction)
College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: the "Starveil" movies are her life...and her last tangible connection to her deceased father. Thus, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can't. Deal. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a call that ignites the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life and her disapproving mother's new boyfriend. Reviewed by Alyssa Cami.

BEING JAZZ: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings (Memoir)
Audiobook available, narrated by Jazz Jennings.
At the age of five, Jazz Jennings transitioned to life as a girl, with the support of her parents. A year later, her parents allowed her to share her incredible journey in her first Barbara Walters interview. In this memoir, Jazz reflects on these very public experiences and how they have helped shape the mainstream attitude toward the transgender community. But it hasn’t all been easy. Jazz has faced many challenges, yet she perseveres as she educates others about her life as a transgender teen. Making the journey from girl to woman is never easy --- especially when you began your life in a boy’s body. Reviewed by Chrissy Bentlyewski.

DOREEN by Ilana Manaster (Fiction)
If Doreen Gray were to take a selfie upon her arrival at the elite Chandler Academy, it would capture a face marked with acne, a head full of frizz and eyes looking anywhere but at the lens. What Chandler queen bee Heidi Whelan sees is a desperate hunger for acceptance and the makings of a willing and useful protégé. Heidi’s roommate works her Photoshop magic to create a stunning profile pic of Doreen --- that Doreen initially rejects...only to wake up the next morning transformed as the girl in the picture. But Doreen quickly becomes accustomed to her newfound power and lives without considering consequences of her actions. Only the picture knows the truth, and she will do anything to protect her secret. Reviewed by Alison S., Teen Board Member.

THE FLIP SIDE by Shawn Johnson (Fiction)
From gold medalist and reality TV star Shawn Johnson comes a debut YA novel inspired by her own experiences as an elite teenage gymnast --- just in time for the Summer 2016 Olympic games. Charlie Ryland has a secret. She may seem like your average high school sophomore --- but she’s just really good at pretending. Because outside of school Charlie spends all her waking hours training to become one of the best gymnasts in the world. And it’s not easy flying under the radar when you’re aiming for Olympic gold...especially when an irresistible guy comes along and threatens to throw your whole world off balance. Reviewed by Juliette G., Teen Board Member.

THE MUSEUM OF HEARTBREAK by Meg Leder (Fiction)
Penelope Marx learns that heartbreak comes in all forms: there’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately. But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken. Reviewed by Brynn S., Teen Board Member.

LUCKY FEW by Kathryn Ormsbee (Humor)
In the tradition of ME AND EARLY AND THE DYING GIRL comes a hilarious, madcap and quirky debut novel about a group of oddball teens struggling to find themselves when facing their own mortality. The life of homeschooler Stevie Hart gets all shook up when she meets a strange boy, Max, who survived a freak near-fatal accident and is now obsessed with death. He enlists her and her best friend, Sanger, to help him complete his absurd “23 Ways to Fake My Death Without Dying” checklist. What starts off as fun begins spiraling downward when Stevie’s diabetes sabotages her fumbling romance with Max, Sanger announces she’s moving out of state, and then death --- real death --- cuts close to home. Reviewed by Eden Temple.

READ ME LIKE A BOOK by Liz Kessler (Fiction)
Ashleigh Walker is a mediocre student with an assortment of friends, a sort-of boyfriend and no plans for the future. Then a straight-from-college English teacher, Miss Murray, takes over Ash’s class and changes everything. Miss Murray smiles a lot. She shares poetry with curse words in it. She’s, well, cool. Before she knows it, Ashleigh is in love. Intense, heart-racing, all-consuming first love. But what will happen if Miss Murray finds out Ashleigh is in love with her? Reviewed by Terrell W. Orr.

THIS IS NOT THE END
by Jesse Jordan (Fiction)
James Salley is turning 16, and it’s not going well. His family’s too busy, the local bully creates new tortures daily, and he’s just learned that he’s the Antichrist. All James ever wanted out of life was for Dorian Delaney to fall as in love with him as he is with her. But once he’s told of his bloody destiny, he finds himself fighting between who he thought he was and who he’s supposed to be. With the school librarian pushing him to begin the Apocalypse, an irritable homunculus watching his back and a murderous cabal of Catholics following him everywhere, James must discover how to navigate a world in which everything he’s ever believed is wrong --- and if it’s possible to be the hero of a story when you’ve already been cast as the villain. Reviewed by Killian Walsh.
 

June Poll

Summer is finally here, and we’re ready for some great summer reading. How do you decide what you will read over the summer? (Please check as many as apply.)

  • I keep a running list (or shelf or pile) during the school year.
  • I grab from my “to be read” (TBR) pile at random.
  • I look through Teenreads and its past newsletters to make a list.
  • I ask my friends for recommendations.
  • I head to the bookstore and wander the aisles.
  • I head to the library and browse the shelves.
  • I read what’s popular at my local bookstore or library.
  • I choose a new series to binge-read and focus on that.
  • I have a required summer reading list.
  • I reread old favorites.
  • I don’t plan my summer reading.
  • Other (Please specify)

Last month, we asked whether or not you attend book and author events or celebrate any book-related holidays. A whopping 44% of you attend local book festivals and fairs, while 39% go to author signings when you can. Although 34% of you cannot attend these kinds of events as they do not happen near your homes, 21% of you would like to learn more about these events in the future. To see the full results, click here.
 

Click here to take our poll.

 

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