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Late August
August 22, 2014

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Hi Teenreaders!

I hope you’re making the most of the last few weeks of summer --- maybe some of you have big Labor Day weekend plans? Unfortunately, mine involves moving into a new apartment (I promise, this is the last newsletter that will be moving-obsessed) so I won’t get to go to any fun barbeques --- but maybe a nice new neighbor will pass me a cheeseburger as I carry things up and down the stairs? You never know!

While daydreaming about corn on the cob is delightful enough, I think it's much more fun to think about food in books, whether its treats that don't actually exist or joyful meals that I wish I could take part in. Plenty take place in CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY of course (not that I would want to get sucked up by a giant pipe, but who wouldn’t want to drink out of a chocolate river?). And then there are all of the delectable scenes in the Harry Potter series, from back-to-school feasts to the sugar quills and chocolate frogs lining the shelves of Honeydukes Candy Shop. I’m also partial to Julie’s many successful --- and hilariously disastrous --- attempts to recreate Julia Child’s masterpieces in JULIE & JULIA, and who wouldn’t want to join Elizabeth Gilbert for that epic Thanksgiving in Rome with the Spaghetti family in EAT, PRAY, LOVE, where they don’t have time to roast the turkey but still devour a scrumptious blend of American and Italian dishes, say what they’re thankful for, and have a party that lasts until dawn?

Since I didn’t want to feel gluttonous on my own, I asked Teenreads reviewers and Teen Board members to share their favorite food scenes, meals, or treats from books. Here are some of their answers, below!

I love the scene in T.A. Barron's THE SEVEN SONGS OF MERLIN where the hero devours ambrosia bread. It's his quest to find the recipe/how to make it...and it makes me hungry every time I read it! --- Carly Silver

One food that has made a lasting impression on me are the Littmus Lozenges from the book BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE by Kate DiCamillo. They are an interesting candy that are said to taste very sweet while also invoking sad memories and feelings. I'm not sure why they appeal to me so much, but I do know that after reading the book, my eyes always light up when I see lozenges in candy stores. --- Lynn W., Teen Board Member

My favorite fictional restaurant would definitely have to be Taki's Diner, from The Mortal Instruments. The gang is always going there, whether to discuss a battle strategy or just to hang out. It's definitely one of the most memorable places in the series. --- Katherina T., Teen Board Member

My favorite food item featured in a book is the chocolate in THIS BOOK IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU by Pseudonymous Bosch. The evil Midnight Sun makes chocolate so strong it puts you in a trance. --- Maya B., Teen Board Mamber

Well, the one book series that comes immediately to mind is The Hunger Games. There were lots of scenes that included food, so I don't have a favorite. But, what I liked about the book the most was the way Katniss was able to survive by eating things that most people never thought of, like wild berries and roots. --- Christine M. Irvin

The first thing that came to mind for me was THE CANDYMAKERS by Wendy Mass. In it, kids are invited into a candy factory (like in CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY) for a candy-making contest. Of course they get to sample all kinds of delicious treats, but they also have to invent and create their own candy and it becomes really personal for them. --- Sarah Rachel Egelman

One of my favorite scenes in CITY OF BONES would be when they are at Nacho Mama. This is probably my all-time favorite food scene as there is such a sarcastic and witty conversation going on between Clary and Simon. --- Aspen R, Teen Board Member

My favorite food item in any book is probably one that I share with many others: butterbeer. Rich, sweet, creamy...who wouldn't be drooling at that description? It sounds like the perfect drink to have on a hot sunny day but also a cold winter evening. If I could have an unlimited supply of any drink in the whole world, butterbeer would be it. --- Pranshu A, Teen Board Member

My favorite food item is the November Cakes featured in THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater. They're supposedly sugary and sticky with icing and like the book itself, I can imagine devouring these on a chilly fall day. --- Brianna Robinson

In WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE by Huntley Fitzpatrick, the main character, Gwen Castle, holds a position at her father's restaurant, conveniently called Castle's. There she buses tables, hosts patrons, and tries to keep the restaurant in order, which can be quite a struggle because she also has to look after her younger brother. I instantly liked Castle's because of its laid-back atmosphere, beautiful beachside view, humorous mishaps and quirky new menu items (in an attempt to stand out from the competition). --- Sara J., Teen Board Member

I've always wanted to try Butterbeer from Hogsmeade. Just the name itself evokes such flavors! Another favorite of mine is the Mad Hatter's Tea Party! I've always wondered what the pieces of cake and mushroom tasted like. --- Cassandra H., Teen Board Member

What are your favorite food scenes in books? Let me know at, on Twitter or on Facebook.

And now that you’re probably all drooling at your computer, why don’t you treat yourself to a snack as you read the rest of the newsletter? In it, you’ll find a couple of great contests (our Back to School Book Bag Giveaway and a chance to win a copy of CONTAMINATED), some great blog posts --- including a preview of our next REAL TALK Publishing feature (which involves a sneak peek of an audiobook recording) and some insight from teens across the country about what it was like to read romance novels digitally --- as well as some interesting If I Stay articles that have come out before the movie’s release, which is happening TODAY!

Until September,

--- Shara (


Back to School Book Bag Contest
Even though summer is winding down and a deep-seated dread may be beginning to settle in your stomach, has something for you to celebrate the back-to-school season. In our second Back to School Book Bag Giveaway, we're giving five winners a copy of each of the featured titles below and a bag! Enter between now and Monday, September 22nd at noon ET for your chance to win.

This year's featured Back to School Book Bag Giveaway titles include:

A DIFFERENT ME by Deborah Blumenthal
THE FASHION BOOK by various editors
GHOST HOUSE by Alexandra Adornetto
LET'S GET LOST by Adi Alsaid
THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE by Sarah Lynn Scheerger
THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater
YOLO (The Internet Girls) by Lauren Myracle

Click here to enter!
Giveaway and Special Feature: CONTAMINATED by Em Garner

In anticipation of the release of CONTAMINATED 2: Mercy Mode --- the second in Em Garner's series that follows 17-year-old Velvet after a contaminated diet drink makes consumers act like zombies --- we have a special contest. One hundred readers will win paperback copies of CONTAMINATED --- signed by the author! The deadline for entries is Tuesday, September 30th at noon EST.

Velvet Ellis has struggles to care for her 10-year-old sister and maintain a sense of normalcy, despite brutal government rations and curfews. She goes to the "Kennels" every day searching for her parents, and when she finds her mother, she's eager to bring her home. Sacrificing everything--her boyfriend, her home, and her job--Velvet will do anything to protect her mother.

More about CONTAMINATED 2: Mercy Mode:
Velvet, her little sister, their mom, and Velvet's sweet boyfriend, Dillon, are attempting to build a new life amid the rationing and regulations of the post-outbreak nation. But the outbreak isn't over: more people turning into "Connies," more madness erupting, more killings occurring. And what they are being told is not the truth; the truth is far darker and more threatening.

Click here to read the excerpt of CONTAMINATED
Click here to read the review of CONTAMINATED
Click here to read the review of CONTAMINATED 2: Mercy Mode
Click here to read the interview with Em Garner

Click here to enter the CONTAMINATED contest!

Now in Stores: RANDOM by Tom Leveen

RANDOM by Tom Leveen (Fiction)

Who’s the real victim here? This tense and gripping exploration of cyberbullying and teen suicide is perfect for fans of BEFORE I FALL and THIRTEEN REASONS WHY.

Late at night Tori receives a random phone call. It’s a wrong number. But the caller seems to want to talk, so she stays on the line.

He asks for a single thing—one reason not to kill himself.

The request plunges her into confusion. Because if this random caller actually does what he plans, he’ll be the second person connected to Tori to take his own life. And the first just might land her in jail. After her Facebook page became Exhibit A in a tragic national news story about cyberbullying, Tori can’t help but suspect the caller is a fraud. But what if he’s not? Her words alone may hold the power of life or death.

With the clock ticking, Tori has little time to save a stranger—and maybe redeem herself—leading to a startling conclusion that changes everything…


Click here to read the review!

Now in Stores: A BLIND SPOT FOR BOYS by Justina Chen Headley

A BLIND SPOT FOR BOYS by Justina Chen Headley (Fiction)

Shana has always had a blind spot for boys. Can she trust the one who's right in front of her?

Sixteen-year-old Shana Wilde is officially on a Boy Moratorium. After a devastating breakup, she decides it's time to end the plague of Mr. Wrong, Wrong, and More Wrong.

Enter Quattro, the undeniably cute lacrosse player who slams into Shana one morning in Seattle. Sparks don't just fly; they ignite. And so does Shana's interest. Right as she's about to rethink her ban on boys, she receives crushing news: Her dad is going blind. Quattro is quickly forgotten, and Shana and her parents vow to make the most of the time her father has left to see. So they travel to Machu Picchu, and as they begin their trek, they run into none other than Quattro himself. But even as the trip unites them, Quattro pulls away mysteriously... Love and loss, humor and heartbreak collide in this new novel from acclaimed author Justina Chen.


Click here to read the review!

Now in Stores: BETWEEN THE SPARK AND THE BURN by April Genevieve Tucholke

BETWEEN THE SPARK AND THE BURN by April Genevieve Tucholke (Fiction)

The conclusion to BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, this gothic thriller romance with shades of Stephen King and Daphne du Maurier is a must-read for fans of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES and ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD.

Freddie once told me that the Devil created all the fear in the world.

But then, the Devil once told me that it's easier to forgive someone for scaring you than for making you cry.

The problem with River West Redding was that he'd done both to me.

The crooked-smiling liar River West Redding, who drove into Violet's life one summer day and shook her world to pieces, is gone. Violet and Neely, River's other brother, are left to worry—until they catch a two a.m. radio program about strange events in a distant mountain town. They take off in search of River but are always a step behind, finding instead frenzied towns, witch hunts, and a wind-whipped island with the thrum of something strange and dangerous just under the surface. It isn't long before Violet begins to wonder if Neely, the one Redding brother she thought trustworthy, has been hiding a secret of his own . . .


Click here to read the review!

Side by Side: Running

Sometimes, the only way to get over a tough time is to turn your focus onto something else --- set a new goal and go after it. That can be writing a book, learning to play guitar, or, in the cases of the protagonists of BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE by Miranda Kenneally and ON THE ROAD TO FIND OUT by Rachel Toor, run a marathon.

In BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE, Annie decides to work through her grief and honor her recently-deceased boyfriend by running the marathon he intended to race. In ON THE ROAD TO FIND OUT, Alice decides to start running after she gets rejected from Yale and needs something new to aspire to.

For this side-by-side, we asked Miranda and Rachel to tell us about their own running experiences, the ways they're most similar and different to their protagonists and what sport they wish they were good at.


Click here to read the Side by Side feature!

Teen Board

--- Our August Teen Board Question: We asked our Teen Board members to tell us what book they definitely plan on reading before they're barraged by assigned books in September. Alison S. plans to dig into THIS SIDE OF PARADISE by F. Scott Fitzgerald because it's "basically Fitzgerald's foray into YA, which, frankly, sounds like 305 pages of awesome." Katherina T. will discover THE MAZE RUNNER because she loves comparing books to movies, and Aliza M. will peruse INFINITE JEST because it was one of the inspirations for THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.

--- Reviews: We had lots of teen reviews this month! Sean E. said that OPPOSITION: LUX by Jennifer L. Armentrout "was an amazing conclusion to a fun series," and Cheyenne C. said that BOMBAY BLUES by Tanuja Desai Hidier was "one of the most thought-provoking young adult novels" she'd ever read!

Click here to meet the New Teen Board!

On the Teenreads Blog!

To Digital or Not to Digital, That is the Question! - Guest post by Caroline Healy --- The author of BLOOD ENTWINES shares her thoughts on writing a digital only novel

A Sneak Peek at Writers Camp --- Teen Board Member Josh M. describes his week at the Summer Writers Intensive

Reading Romance Digitally - Teens Tell Us What They Think! --- Teens weigh in on the romance-themed eBooks they've been reading

Reading Romance Digitally - Teens Tell Us What They Think! Part Two --- Round two! More teens weigh in on eBooks vs. hard copies

Sneak Peak - Inside the Audiobook Recording Studio --- Go behind the scenes of an audiobook recording session, directed and produced by the subject of our next REAL TALK interview!


Click here to read our blog!

Get Ready for IF I STAY on the Big Screen
Here at we're pretty excited for August 22, when we'll finally get to see Gayle Forman's IF I STAY hit the big screens! Help us celebrate the movie with some fun articles and insightful stories all about If I Stay.

Why If I Stay Is A Summer Must-See --- Refinery29 hosted a screening party of the film. Prepare to be jealous!

17 of the Most Romantic If I Stay Quotes --- Bustle came up with 17 quotes from the book they hope to see in the movie.

In a Balm of Space and Time, Healing --- Gayle Forman wrote a beautiful piece for the New York Times about the inspiration behind her book.

If I Stay is Nothing Like The Fault in Our Stars --- According to Bustle, If I Stay shouldn't be compared to The Fault in Our Stars.

5 Reasons If I Stay Is Your New The Fault In Our Stars --- But Seventeen seems to have the opposite opinion!



Click here to read our review of IF I STAY!

August's Cool and New Roundup

Our August roundup includes I AM MALALA by Malala Yousafzai and co-written by Patricia McCormick, the memoir of a Pakistani girl who stood up for education and became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize nominee; THE UNFINISHED LIFE OF ADDISON STONE by Adele Griffin, a faux multi-media biography of a brilliant young artist who died a mysterious death; and I LOVE I HATE I MISS MY SISTER by Amelie Sarn and translated by Y. Maudet, the gut-wrenching story of two Muslim sisters raised in Paris, and the very different paths they take.

Among the paperback titles released this month, we have the realistic teen romance THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US by bestselling author Lauren Myracle; ANTIGODDESS by Kendare Blake, the first installment of The Goddess War series featuring the slowly perishing Greek Gods; and THE TEEN MONEY MANUAL by Kara McGuire, which teaches high school students the ins and outs of managing their finances.


Click here to see August's Cool and New roundup!

Check Out Our Latest Reviews!


From the moment she stepped foot in NYC, Addison Stone’s subversive street art made her someone to watch, and her violent drowning left her fans and critics craving to know more. Reviewed by Aspen R., Teen Board Member.

NEW! BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE by Miranda Kenneally (Contemporary Fiction)

Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can't escape the guilt that if she hadn't broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race. But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she's at war with her body, her mind and her heart. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line. Reviewed by Brianna Robinson.

NEW! OPPOSITION (Lux) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Fiction)

Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came. She can’t believe Daemon stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred. Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind. Reviewed by Sean E., Teen Board Member.

NEW! THIRTY SUNSETS by Christine Hurley Deriso (Fiction)

Forrest Shepherd is convinced she's right --- right about what's best for her brother and his horrible girlfriend, Olivia, about her mother's need for control, and especially about Scott, the first cute guy to hit on her. But on the Shepherds' annual summer vacation, Forrest discovers that her safe world of family and friends is riddled with deception. Her brother, her mother, Olivia, Scott . . . she really doesn't know them at all, and Forrest is left wondering what it means for the most important relationships in her life to be built on lies. Reviewed by Thien-Kim H., Teen Board Member.

NEW! FALSE FUTURE (A False Memory Book) by Dan Krokos (Fiction)

True Earth has returned during a massive snowstorm in Manhattan --- and this time they have an army. Rhys, Noble, Sophia and Peter know they don't stand a chance against the enemy without Miranda. And once they revive her, she's horrified to find her world in flames. Reviewed by Christa O., Teen Board Member.


Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out. Reviewed by Sara J., Teen Board Member.

NEW! CAN'T LOOK AWAY by Donna Cooner (Fiction)

Torrey Grey is famous. At least, on the internet. Thousands of people watch her popular videos on fashion and beauty. But when Torrey's sister is killed in an accident --- maybe because of Torrey and her videos --- Torrey's perfect world implodes. Reviewed by Aspen R., Teen Board Member.

NEW! AMITY by Micol Ostow (Horror)

Connor's family moves to Amity to escape shady business deals. Ten years later, Gwen's family moves to Amity for a fresh start after she's recovered from a psychotic break. But something is not right about this secluded house. Alternating between parallel narratives, AMITY is a tense and terrifying tale suggested by true-crime events that will satisfy even the most demanding horror fan. Reviewed by Corinne Fox.

NEW! THE SWAP by Megan Shull (Fiction)

Ellie spent the summer before seventh grade getting dropped by her best friend since forever. JACK spent it training in “The Cage” with his tough-as-nails brothers and dad. They’re both ready for a change and they swap lives --- and bodies! Now Jack’s fending off mean girls at sleepover parties while Ellie’s reigning as the Prince of Thatcher Middle School. As their crazy weekend races on --- and their feelings for each other grow --- Ellie and Jack begin to realize that maybe the best way to learn how to be yourself is to spend a little time being someone else. Reviewed by Maggie L., Teen Board Member.

NEW! FRIDA & DIEGO: Art, Love, Life by Catherine Reef (Nonfiction)

Nontraditional, controversial, rebellious and politically volatile, the Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are remembered for their provocative paintings as well as for their deep love for each other. Their marriage was one of the most tumultuous and infamous in history --- filled with passion, pain, betrayal, revolution and above all, art that helped define the 20th century. Reviewed by Yaira M., Teen Board Member.

NEW! BOMBAY BLUES by Tanuja Desai Hidier (Fiction)

Dimple Lala thought that growing up would give her all the answers, but instead she has more questions than ever. Her boyfriend is distant, her classmates are predictable, and a blue mood has settled around the edges of everything she does. It’s time for a change, and a change is just what Dimple is going to get --- of scenery, of cultures, of mind. She thinks she’s heading to Bombay for a family wedding --- but really she is plunging into the unexpected, the unmapped and the uncontrollable. Reviewed by Cheyenne C., Teen Board Member.

Vote in Our Poll!

We're in the last stretches of summer, which means school is around the corner! What are you looking forward to?

  • Seeing my friends on a daily basis --- hope we’re in the same classes!
  • Cheering on my school at a football or basketball game
  • Perusing new books at my school library
  • Seeing my favorite teachers again
  • Exploring one or more of the electives I signed up for
  • Participating in my favorite clubs --- or possibly joining some new ones!

Last month, we asked you where you would go in the Harry Potter universe, if you had a choice. An overwhelming majority of you (70%!) said that you'd want to visit Hogwarts, and who could blame you? Discovering secret staircases, visiting house-elves in the kitchens and sitting in on a transfiguration class sounds like the best day, ever. Honeydukes came in second place with 12% of the votes (chocolate frogs or cockroach clusters?) and The Burrow came in third with 7%, because really, who can resist the Weasley family? Click here to view the full results.


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 is our latest featured title:

THE MAGICIAN'S LAND by Lev Grossman (Fiction, Fantasy)

Quentin Coldwater has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him. He uncovers a spell that could create magical utopia, a new Fillory --- but casting it will set in motion a chain of events that will bring Earth and Fillory crashing together. To save them, he will have to risk sacrificing everything.

Click here to read Adult Books You Want to Read!

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