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Somaiya Daud's debut novel, MIRAGE, is a beautifully written fantasy about royal and colonial politics where a girl is forced to be a body double for a despised princess. In a world dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, Amani is a dreamer. But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped and taken to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double. As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty and her time with the princess’ fiancé. But Amani must play the princess to perfection...because one wrong move could lead to her death. Teen board member Rachel D. got a chance to talk to Somaiya about writing and identity in her debut novel. Keep reading to see their conversation!
November 17, 2018

Interview with Katrin van Dam, Author of COME NOVEMBER

Posted by Dana C
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We have a Q&A with Katrin van Dam, author of COME NOVEMBER.  
Synesthesia is a condition where the sense become crossed in a way that allows some people to hear color or taste sounds. In CJ Lyons' latest thriller THE COLOR OF LIES, synesthesia plays a key role. Ella Cleary has always been good at reading people. Her family has a rare medical condition called synesthesia that scrambles the senses --- her Gram Helen sees every sound, and her uncle Joe can literally taste words. Ella’s own synesthesia manifests itself as the ability to see colors that reveal people’s true emotions…until she meets a guy she just can’t read. Alec is a mystery to Ella, a handsome, enigmatic young journalist who makes her feel normal for the first time in her life. That is, until he reveals the real reason why he sought her out --- he wants to learn the truth behind her parents’ deaths. CJ stopped by our blog today to talk more about synesthesia and its role in her novel.
Here in America, Election Day is Tuesday, November 6th. For a lot of young people this will only be their first or second time voting. The right to vote is incredibly important to Teenreads, and it's a right that all Americans should treasure. That said, a lot of young people don't vote, so Teen Board member Isabel C. put together a list of fun book recommendations that cover politics and elections. Isabel says,"If you're a young person who can vote: read these books! Recommend them to your friends! Show just how much one vote can accomplish. If you're a parent or older person reading this, read these books too! Then give them to the young people in your life who might need a push to get out to the polls. Offer to drive your teen (and their friends!) to your local polling station. We can debate until we run out of air, but nothing will happen if we don't show up and VOTE."
Solid world-building is a must for any high-stakes fantasy and part of the task is avoiding harmful stereotypes. Erica Cameron, author of The Ryogan Chronicles, stopped by our blog this week to talk about breaking out of these stereotypes int he fantastical world of her series. In the third book in the series, WAR OF STORMS, the immortal mages have risen, and they're out for blood. Khya arrived at the Ryogan coast too late to stop the invasion. Now, cities are falling before the unrelenting march of an enemy army, and Khya's squad is desperately trying to stay ahead of them. Warning the Ryogans, though, means leaving her brother imprisoned even longer. Calling in help from every ally she's made in Ryogo, Khya tries to build a plan that won't require sacrificing her friends or her brother. The end is coming, and there's no way to know who'll be left standing when it hits.
Grief is a powerful emotion and books that confront this complicated feeling are often poignant and thought-provoking. In her new release THAT NIGHT, Amy Giles tackles grief from two perspectives in an evocative story about tragedy, love and learning to heal. The year since a mass shooting shook their Queens neighborhood has played out differently for Jess and Lucas, both of whom were affected by that night in eerily similar and deeply personal ways. As Jess struggles to take care of her depressed mother and Lucas takes up boxing under the ever-watchful eye of his overprotective parents, their paths converge. They slowly become friends and then something more, learning to heal and move forward together. Amy stopped by our blog this week to share her thoughts on kindness, both in the world of THAT NIGHT and real life.
Teenreads kicked off October in one of the best ways imaginable: heading to New York Comic Con, a celebration of all things bookish, nerdy and just plain awesome. Between editorial manager Rebecca Munro, interns Dana and Ana, reviewers Katherine and Matthew, and Teenreader Joe, we had a full team covering the panels, showroom floor and the whole atmosphere of the weekend. Read below in-depth coverage of the panels we all attended or click here for a quick overview of our NYCC experience.
On October 13th, thousands of book nerds and casual readers alike flock to Morristown, New Jersey, for the Morristown Festival of Books. In the five years since its inception, the Morristown Festival has only grown, featuring authors of adult, teen and children’s fiction and nonfiction. The events all happen across a block or so of Morristown, filling up the local library and rooms in the nearby churches. This year, the festival hosted three separate YA panels, and though each had its own unique style, all were equally enjoyable!
Teenreads kicked off October in one of the best ways imaginable: heading to New York Comic Con, a celebration of all things bookish, nerdy and just plain awesome. Between editorial manager Rebecca Munro, interns Dana and Ana, reviewers Katherine and Matthew, and Teenreader Joe, we had a full team covering the panels, showroom floor and the whole atmosphere of the weekend. Read below for a quick overview of everyone's NYCC experience or click here for more in-depth coverage of the panels we all attended.
At the end of August 2018, Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece titled "The Unbearable Darkness of Young Adult Literature." While the author acknowledged that inspiration has always been the "hallmark of young adult literature," he also claimed that YA literature has become too absorbed in darkness and depravity. New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins --- known for her gritty, realistic novels in verse --- stopped by our blog to share her response to critiques of the darkness in young adult literature from her point of view as an author and founder of a nonprofit youth housing and resource initiative. Read this post to see what Ellen has to say about realistic, hard-hitting YA, and why she thinks it is an invaluable resource for teens.