Skip to main content

Teenreads Monthly Update

Late July 2015
July 23, 2015
Quick Links to Features on
Buying a book online? Use these links and support!
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound

Adaptation Station

Hi Teenreaders,

As you may have noticed, we get pretty excited about “Books on Screen” on Teenreads --- we highlight the latest film versions of your favorite novels every month, interview people whose very job is to make these adaptations come to life and swoon about all things “John Green on screen” and The Hunger Games.

There’s a simple reason for this: it’s always interesting to see how words on a page will translate to the theater, even if that interest is tinged with fear. Will the screenwriter keep exact lines of dialogue and enact as many scenes as possible, hoping to stay true to the novel and prevent an uprising from its diehard fans? Or will they simply “base” their movie project on the tale, keeping the story as the skeleton but padding it with some very different flesh (sorry, that was a gross image, wasn’t it?).

I think that both methods can be successful. One of my all-time favorite book to film adaptations is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the 1971 version --- sorry Johnny Depp, you just can’t compare). Yes, the movie title is not the same as the book (which is CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY), the characters break out into song and the nut-sorting squirrels have been replaced by golden egg-laying geese, but the overall magic of a glorious candyland, bopping Oompa-Loompas and eerily disappearing children remains. Plus, the visuals of the chocolate waterfall and marshmallow-filled mushroom make your taste buds tingle even more than Roald Dahl’s epic descriptions (I agree that’s a slightly blasphemous statement, but it’s true).

Another favorite is O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?, the Coen Brothers’ 2000 film. This movie retells the story of THE ODYSSEY, but it falls into the latter “same bones, different flesh” category; instead of an Ancient Greek struggling to return home after the Trojan War, we get a very dirty George Clooney attempting to return to his wife and daughters after escaping a 1937 chain gang --- and lying to his friends about treasure so they’ll aid him in his escape. You get sirens (prostitutes singing in a river), the cyclops (an attack from a man with an eyepatch) and even Odysseus’s famed vanity (protagonist Everett is obsessed with Dapper Dan pomade for his hair), all with an amazing folk music soundtrack and two hilariously endearing supporting actors. Is it a scene-by-scene adaptation? Certainly not (also, who could possibly sit through a 100,000-hour movie?). But is the Homeric essence still there? Absolutely.

Since we’re in a movie frame of mind (get it?), we decided to make a bookshelf out of all of the YA and middle grade movie adaptations coming out until the end of 2015. You’ll get some of those incredible to-the-book, box office-smashing adaptations like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (put November 20th on your calendar, stat) as well as looser ones like Pan (October 9th), which tells the origin story of Peter Pan and Captain Hook.

So read on, watch on, and have a happy, hot-but-not-too-hot, couple of weeks!

--- Shara Zaval (

PS: Are any of you 13 years old, or have siblings, family members or friends who are between the ages of 10 and 13? If so, you (or they!) should check out our Sneak Peek contest on Kidsreads for WARREN THE 13TH AND THE ALL-SEEING EYE, written by Tania del Rio and illustrated/created by Will Staehle. Winners get to read the book way before it's published and tell us what they think about it! The contest ends Tuesday, July 28 (so enter while there's still time!), and the link to enter is here.


Beach Bag of Books 2015 - Just a Couple of More Days to Enter!
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 Ninth Annual Beach Bag of Books Feature and Contest. From now through Monday, July 27th at noon ET, five lucky readers will win a selection of the featured books.

This year's titles include:

THE FINISHER by David Baldacci
KILLER WITHIN: Killer Instinct #2 by S.E. Green
ONLY EVER YOURS by Louise O'Neill
P.S. I STILL LOVE YOU by Jenny Han
A SCHOOL FOR UNUSUAL GIRLS: A Stranje House Novel by Kathleen Baldwin
SINNER by Maggie Stiefvater
WILDFLOWER by Alecia Whitaker

Click here to enter our Beach Bag of Books contest!

New Release Spotlight: THE HEARTBREAKERS by Ali Novak
Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara --- even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD...for three hours. At least she met a cute boy at the Starbucks beforehand. A blue-eyed boy who looks an awful lot like...Oliver Perry. Of course Starbucks guy is the lead singer for her least favorite band. Thanks, universe. But there may be more to Oliver than his world-famous charm, because even after she insults his music --- to his face --- he still gives her his number. Seriously, what is her life? But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver --- dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band --- when her sister could be dying of cancer?

Click here to learn more about the book and read a review.
Click here for an excerpt of the first two chapters!

Read the full New Release Spotlight here!

REAL TALK: Charisse Meloto and Sheila Marie Everett Invite You Into the Ever Unpredictable World of Book Publicists

At Teenreads, we like to talk books, but we also like to talk book jobs in our REAL TALK: Publishing feature. For our latest interview, we had the chance to sit down with Charisse Meloto, Executive Director of Publicity for Print and Digital Publishing at Scholastic, and Sheila Marie Everett, the Associate Director of Publicity at Scholastic, and talk all things children's publicity. They shared tons of fascinating stories about their careers, including the most memorable books they've worked on, the way that unexpected events can change everything in a heartbeat, and social media's growing role in their day-to-day lives.

In this REAL TALK article, I share some of the biggest takeaways from our conversation --- read and see if maybe, just maybe, you have a future career as a book publicist!

Click here to read our Real Talk Publishing article with Charisse Meloto and Sheila Marie Everett.

Special Feature and Giveaway: AWAKE by Natasha Preston
What would you do if everything you thought about your past turned out to be a lie? That the reason you couldn't remember anything before the age of four wasn't because of a traumatic fire --- it was because you were part of a cult, and now your biological parents want you back?

That's exactly what happens to Scarlett in Natasha Preston's latest book, AWAKE. Dually narrated by Scarlett and Noah --- a boy from Eternal Light sent to bring Scarlett back to the fold, but who starts falling for her instead --- this page-turning, romantic thriller is one that you won't be able to put down.

For a chance to win one of 100 copies of this heart-pounding adventure, enter our contest by Thursday, August 6th at noon! You can also read an excerpt from AWAKE, a review of the book and an interview with Natasha.
Click here to see the special feature and contest for AWAKE!

Side by Side: Celebrity Hunks
Everyone likes the gorgeous star of their favorite TV show or that super muscular athlete, but there's just something about a celebrity hunk who can play an instrument. A beautiful guy (or girl) who can knock your socks off with a single note or transport you to another world with their guitar riffs? Yes, please!

Both Miranda Kenneally and Katie M. Stout incorporate musically-inclined hunks into their new novels. In Kenneally's JESSE'S GIRL, Maya shadows teen idol Jesse Scott in order to achieve her dreams of becoming a rock star. When Grace --- the daughter of a famous music producer --- runs away from home to South Korea in Stout's HELLO, I LOVE YOU, she encounters Jason, a famous pop idol, who introduces her back into the world of music where she begins to understand what she is truly running from.

We decided to ask Miranda and Katie some questions about their books, their personal relationships with music and their celebrity hunks of choice --- check out their answers!

Click here to see the Side by Side!

Double the Fun, or Double the Trouble?: Twins in Middle Grade and YA Lit

Uh-oh: double trouble! We seem to love stories about twins. Maybe it's because we get a kick out of reading about two people who switch places without anyone noticing. Or because the sibling bond we enjoy seeing in books is that much stronger if the two were born at the same time and grew up together. Whatever the reason, YA and Children's lit is chock-full of books featuring twins, or one in a set of twins, as the protagonist.

In this bookshelf, we rounded up 20 recent books about twins in Children's and Young Adult literature. These books span a wide array of genres, from ONE by Sarah Crossan --- a novel about conjoined twins --- to CJ Omololu's THE THIRD TWIN, a thriller exploring the long-lost-twin trope. There's something for everyone: whether you're looking for a lighthearted comedy or a fast-paced mystery, this list of books will have you doing a double-take!


View the entire twins bookshelf here!

Summer Buzz Books
Summer means a lot of things --- going to the beach, relaxing by the pool, going to camp, taking a break from school and...drumroll please…summer reading!

There are so many amazing YA books that came out this spring (and are coming out later this summer), and we asked some of our bookseller friends from around the country to weigh in on their very favorites. Get ready to slather on the sunscreen, head to the nearest sunny locale and crack open your literary prize.

Click here for some of their suggestions, and get yourself to a bookstore, stat!

On the Blog

Guest Post by Kris Dinnison --- YOU AND ME AND HIM --- Author Kris Dinnison talks about a past fight with friends and how feelings of confusion, hurt and betrayal helped inspire her new novel, YOU AND ME AND HIM.

Let's Get Classic Post 5 - What THE CALL OF THE WILD Taught Me About First Love --- Teen Board member Alison S. continues her blog series about classic literature in this review of THE CALL OF THE WILD.

The Great Mystery of Sherlock Holmes’s Death --- And Resurrection: Post 3 --- Teen Board member Alison S. writes her third and final Sherlock Holmes blog series, this time focusing on THE SHERLOCKIAN.

21st Century Vampires of Manhattan --- Guest Post by Melissa de la Cruz --- Melissa de la Cruz, author of the acclaimed Blue Bloods series, returns to her past home in this blog post: New York, New York.

Click here to read our blog!

Teen Board Monthly Update

Teen Board Question: It's the peak of summer --- time to get a summer job! This July, we wanted to know how our Teen Board members would keep themselves occupied if they lived in a fictional world. We asked, "if you can get a job based on a role in a book, what would you choose to be and why?" Teens came up with a lot of creative answers, many of them surprisingly about people working behind the scenes in their favorite books: Rachel D. wants to be a doctor at Hazel and Augustus's hospital in John Green's THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, Maggie L. dreams of being a stylist for tributes in The Hunger Games series and Pranshu A. sees herself as the aptitude test proctor in the Divergent series. Click here to read all of their imaginative answers!

Reviews: This month, Teen Board members tackled books with powerful emotional and social issues. Maggie L. found Ingelin Rossland's MINUS ME to be "a compelling, heart-wrenching novel full of adventures and harsh reality," while Cassandra H. thought the way the protagonists transformed in Sophia Quintero's SHOW AND PROVE was "incredibly rewarding to experience; the characters feel so real that I feel pride for how much they’ve grown."

Teen Board September 2015 - August 2016 Update: Thank you so much to everyone who applied to be part of our September 2015 - August 2016 Teen Board! We got so many great applicants, and it was incredibly tough to narrow it down. Applicants have already heard whether or not they made it on to Round Two. We will have made our final decisions by the time the Late August newsletter comes out. Look out for introductions then!

Click here to learn more about the Teen Board!

Books on Screen: Paper Towns Spotlight

Get excited --- tomorrow (July 24th!), bestselling author John Green's fiction returns to the cinematic scene with PAPER TOWNS. The book is an equally humorous and heartwrenching contemporary tale of adventure, friendship and young love that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Can't wait that long for a dose of PAPER TOWNS? Check out these fun links we've gathered to get you ready for the movie premiere. Be sure to plan your theater date now, and don't forget to look at the rest of this month's Books on Screen!

Click here to see a hilarious video featuring Cara Delevingne and John Green.
Click here to browse through talented fan art inspired by PAPER TOWNS.
Click here to find out which PAPER TOWNS character is most similar to you.
Click here to read about Cara Delevingne in this interview with People magazine.
Click here for a list of songs and artists on the official PAPER TOWNS soundtrack.
Click here for a comparison of PAPER TOWNS and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, featuring commentary from Wolff, Green and director Jake Schreier.


Click here to read our July Books on Screen!

July's Cool and New Roundup
July’s roundup includes STEVE JOBS: Insanely Great by Jessie Hartland, a graphic novel following the life of the renowned tech wiz; YOU AND ME AND HIM by Kris Dinnison, which explores a love triangle with an LGBTQ twist; and THE FIXER by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, a book of political and social intrigue where two sisters find themselves at the center of a conspiracy.

In paperback titles this month, we have THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE BARBIE: A Doll's History and Her Impact on Us by Tanya Lee Stone, which chronicles the development of the iconic plastic doll throughout the ages; a reprint of the 1965 award-winning adventure THE MARK OF THE HORSE LORD by Rosemary Sutcliff, where an ex-gladiator poses as a famed lord; and SINNER by Maggie Stiefvater, a sequel in the bestselling Shiver Trilogy about a romance that wields actual power over life and death.
Click here to see July's Cool and New roundup!

Check Out Our Latest Reviews!
New! NAKED by Stacey Trombley (Youth Fiction)

By the time I was 13, it was too much. I ran away to New York City...and found a nightmare that lasted three years. A nightmare that began and ended with a pimp named Luis. Except that for the first time, I have a chance to start over. Not just with my parents but at school. Still, the rumors follow me everywhere. And it's just a matter of time before the real Anna is exposed. --- Reviewed by Cheyenne C., Teen Board member.

New! THE WITCH HUNTER by Virginia Boecker (Fantasy, Youth Fiction)

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake. Luckily, Nicholas Perevil offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him. --- Reviewed by Brianna Robinson.

New! WHAT WE KNEW by Barbara Stewart (Horror, Mystery)

Someone is watching. And he knows all their secrets, secrets they can't tell anyone --- not even each other. In Barbara's Stewart's WHAT WE KNEW, Tracy and Lisa can't destroy the evil they'll face, but can they stop it from destroying each other? --- Reviewed by Lynn W., Teen Board Member.

New! STONE RIDER by David Hofmeyr (Dystopian, Science Fiction)

This cross between the cult classic Mad Max movie series and Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD blends adrenaline-fueled action with an improbable yet tender romance to offer a rich and vivid portrayal of misfits and loners forced together in their struggle for a better life. --- Reviewed by Maya B., Teen Board Member.

New! SURVIVE THE NIGHT by Danielle Vega (Horror,Youth Fiction)

Surrounded by frightening drugs and menacing strangers, Casey doesn’t think Survive the Night could get any worse...until she comes across Julie’s mutilated body in a dank, black subway tunnel, red-eyed rats nibbling at her fingers. Desperate for help, Casey and her friends find themselves running through the putrid subway tunnels, searching for a way out. --- Reviewed by Hasnah Farraj.

New! SHOW AND PROVE by Sofia Quintero (Youth Fiction)

Smiles was supposed to be the assistant crew chief at his summer camp, but the director chose Cookie Camacho instead, kicking off a summer-long rivalry. Meanwhile, the aspiring b-boy Nike has set his wandering eye on Sara, the sweet yet sassy new camp counselor, as well as the top prize at a breakdancing competition downtown. The two friends have been drifting apart ever since Smiles got a scholarship to a fancy private school, and this summer the air is heavy with postponed decisions that will finally be made. --- Reviewed by Cassandra H., Teen Board Member.

New! MINUS ME by Ingelin Rossland, translated by Deborah Dawkin (Youth Fiction)

During a diving competition, Linda discovers that she has a rare heart condition and is told that her only hope of surviving is a heart transplant. Sensitive, introspective and intelligent, Linda refuses to be wrapped up in cotton wool. Determined to experience everything a 13-year-old girl should, Linda starts to work her way through a list she created with her best friend long ago. --- Reviewed by Maggie L.

New! STEVE JOBS: Insanely Great by Jessie Hartland (Technology, Graphic Novel)

Capturing his unparalleled brilliance, as well as his many demons, Jessie Hartland’s engaging biography illuminates the meteoric successes, devastating setbacks and myriad contradictions that make up the extraordinary life and legacy of the insanely great Steve Jobs. --- Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

July Poll

Many people flock to the coast come summertime. Which one of these famous beaches, all featured in books, has you working to book a plane ticket?

  • Treasure Island from TREASURE ISLAND --- You prefer action in your vacation. A quest for buried pirate treasure will keep you entertained for days.
  • Santorini, Greece from THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS --- Santorini is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the world thanks to its plunging white cliffs, blue domed buildings and dramatic sunsets.
  • Neverland from PETER AND WENDY --- Spend all the time you like on the white sand coast of Neverland. If you grow bored, there is an entire jungle that’s just waiting to be explored. Watch out for the mermaids, pirates and Indians, though; they bite.
  • Freshwater West beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales from HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS --- The location of Shell Cottage would be a nice getaway and a quiet place to relax. It also has waves perfect for surfing.
  • Cair Paravel from THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE --- A towering castle dominates the eastern coast of Narnia, where friendly mermaids and other magical sea creatures live.

Last month, we asked which summer job you would most desire --- if you were working in a bookish universe, that is. Getting 37% of the votes, Camp Half Blood Counselor won as the #1 dream summer job --- who wouldn't want to play capture the flag with Percy Jackson? However, 24% of you said being Sherlock Holmes's apprentice, while the game is afoot, would be awesome. To see the full results of the June poll, click here.

Click here to take our poll!

Adult Books You Want to Read

Throughout the year, we feature books from, our site for adult readers, that we think will have appeal to teen audiences.

Here are our latest featured titles:

GO SET A WATCHMAN by Harper Lee (Fiction)

Originally written in the mid-1950s, GO SET A WATCHMAN was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014. GO SET A WATCHMAN features many of the characters from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD some 20 years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch --- Scout --- struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: A Chet and Bernie Mystery by Spencer Quinn (Mystery)

Private investigator Bernie Little and his canine companion, Chet, return home to encounter some alarming developments. First off, Bernie’s wall safe is gone, and with it Bernie’s grandfather’s watch, their most valuable possession. And next door, old Mr. Parsons is under investigation for being in possession of a saguaro cactus illegally transplanted from the desert. Bernie and Chet go deep into the desert to investigate. Is it possible that such a lovely old couple have a terrible secret in their past?

THE CHILD EATER by Rachel Pollack (Fantasy)

Two boys, separated by hundreds of years will never know each other --- yet together they will battle a great evil at the very heart of the world --- The Child Eater.

Click for more adult books you want to read!

connect with us twitterfacebook