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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: young adult fiction, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 425
1. Catherine Linka, Author of Girl Undone | Selfie and a Shelfie

"I wanted my selfie to show that A GIRL UNDONE continues the story of A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS."

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2. Review: Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

You know those books that make you sit back and go, “Um, woah” and then are super hard to talk about because they’ve messed with your brain so much? WELL. Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill definitely fits in that category. It’s the kind of book that makes you think. It took me ages to formulate thoughts. WHAT DO […]

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3. Best Young Adult Beach Reads with Lori Goldstein, Author of BECOMING JINN

Lori Goldstein | The Children’s Book Review | July 16, 2015 I grew up on the Jersey Shore and now live outside of Boston, where on the right day, I can smell the sea from my back deck (though it still takes an hour to get to the beach). Maybe that’s why the beach is my happy place. For […]

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4. The Last Good Day of the Year, by Jessica Warman | Book Review

Emotionally wrought and sharply written, The Last Good Day of the Year explores and examines the capacity of evil and the result is a fine, smart read that isn’t afraid to uncover the frailty and weight of guilt and family relationships.

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5. Five Tips for Making Any Scene in Your Novel More Tense and Interesting

I'm about to spill one of my worst kept writing secrets, by which I mean that I'm going to talk about why I include a lot of the kinds of scenes that  legendary agent and author Donald Maass, whose many books about writing I usually agree with in their entirety, says to leave out of a novel. What kind of scenes are those? The ones that take place in kitchens, living rooms, and cars driving back and forth. Let's call them the everyday scenes.

Now it's true that these scenes are the ones that usually are left out of successful novels--especially young adult novels. Why? Because they tend to be low-tension scenes. Scenes where people are sitting around talking and not much is happening.

But low action doesn't have to mean low tension. Novels aren't necessarily about action; they're about conflict. And conflict can occur anywhere. That's what a lot of writers overlook, and it can result in low-tension (aka boring) action scenes as well as scenes that end up being just two characters talking.

There are many valid reasons to have those everyday scenes, though. Which means it's a good thing there are easy ways to beef them up so they engage instead of disengage your reader.

Read more »

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6. Six Steps to Nail Your Plot, Motivation, Character, and Story Opening plus AN EMBER IN THE ASHES Giveaway

I was reading an interview with NYT Bestselling author Tess Gerritsen over on Novel Rocket, yesterday, and she mentioned that her favorite piece of writing advice is to focus on the character's predicament. I love, love, love that, because it actually addresses four different aspects of your WIP.

In one fell swoop, you can nail the core of your character, the movement of your story, the place you start it, and how you tell it.

Here's how.

  1. Start by putting yourself in your character's head. What's her problem? What no-win predicament does she find herself in? Journal this, just as a rough paragraph or two or three, writing as if she is screaming at someone for putting her in that situation. Let it all loose. Imagine the confrontation, all the emotion, the frustration, the desire to move forward and fix something.
  2. Examine that thing that she has to fix and establish the consequences if she fails. Brainstorm why she wants to fix it and jot it down your on one page in a notebook, note software program, or on a Scrivener entry. Why does she need to fix the problem? Why does she have no choice to act to change that situation? 
  3. What is your character willing or forced to give up to fix her predicament? Add a second page to your notes. Write down what is most important to your character. Explore what defines her view of herself, and how this predicament effects that. What wound from her past or weakness of character is going to make it harder for her to repair the problem? What unexpected strengths can she find along the way that will help her?
  4. Now build your plot like dominos. Once you have a pretty good grasp on the predicament itself, it's relatively easy to make a timeline of how the problem, the person who created that problem (or personifies it) and your character intersect. You can build your plot as if it's inevitable: this happened, your character reacted, because your character reacted, this other thing happened, and so on. One thing leads directly to another.
  5. Next, taking into consideration who your character is, find the place in the timeline, or right before what you've jotted down, where the problem first rears its head. This could be something that your character did that set the problem in motion, or something coming in from outside to shake things up, but there has to be a change. This is where you're going to begin your story, on the day that is different, with the first domino. Write down what that incident is.
  6. Finally, put everything together to set up the story. Your opening has to show the inciting incident, suggest the story problem, and jump start the action, but you also want to foreshadow your character's strength and the weakness that is going to hold her back. You want to give us a hint of the personal lesson she will have to learn in order to get out of the predicament she's facing.
That's it. When you look at it from the standpoint of the character's predicament, every aspect of the story comes together. Whether you're a plotter or a pantser, and regardless of whether you're writing a fantasy or sci fi novel, a romance, a contemporary, or virtually anything else, these six simple steps will help you get enough information to structure it in a way that will let it feel like it's writing itself. 

Happy writing!

This Week's Giveaway



An Ember in the Ashes
by Sabaa Tahir
Hardcover
Razorbill
Released 4/28/2015

I WILL TELL YOU THE SAME THING I TELL EVERY SLAVE.

THE RESISTANCE HAS TRIED TO PENETRATE THIS SCHOOL COUNTLESS TIMES. I HAVE DISCOVERED IT EVERY TIME.

IF YOU ARE WORKING WITH THE RESISTANCE, IF YOU CONTACT THEM, IF YOU THINK OF CONTACTING THEM, I WILL KNOW

AND I WILL DESTROY YOU.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier— and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

Purchase An Ember in the Ashes at Amazon
Purchase An Ember in the Ashes at IndieBound
View An Ember in the Ashes on Goodreads

More Giveaways

I have exciting news! Want to know the title for the final book in the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy? Head on over to Elizziebooks.com. Liz has my first ever video about Compulsion and the title, plus a great new giveaway. There are two additional places to win a necklace and T-Shirt, and you might even find a Persuasion teaser along the way. : )





There's also a grand prize, and you'll be automatically entered to win it when you enter any of the three T-shirt giveaways. But if you'd like even more chances to win, keep an eye out here, and on my Facebook page. I'll be posting a separate Rafflecopter in a little while!



And finally, don't forget. There's a new Compulsion for Reading bag of books this month!


What About You?

Have you wrestled with this kind of an approach to writing your story? Are you a plotter or a pantser, and is this too much or too little planning for you?

As a reader, do you like stories where the plot feels inevitable? Can you think of an example of a book that read like the characters never had any choice but to do what they did?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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7. Best Selling Young Adult Books | July 2015

This month, the award-winning classic Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen, is The Children’s Book Review’s best selling young adult book.

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8. Review: Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

I am absolutely in love with Girl Of Fire And Thorns by Rae Carson. I’ve been gnawing at fantasies like a fiend lately and finally found this one which is a) unique, and b) feministic, and c) incredibly adorable and charming and heart warming. WELL. Apart from the moments when my heart was breaking. This author does NOT spare […]

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9. Off the Page, by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer | Book Review

Fantasy meets reality in Off the Page, a romantic comedy written for the young adult audience by New York Times bestselling authors Jodi Picoult and her daughter and coauthor, Samantha van Leer.

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10. How Do Award Judges Feel About the Books They Were Unable to Honor?

Best YA and Middle-Grade novels selected by Pete Hautman. His latest book is Eden West, the story of a boy growing up in an isolated doomsday cult in Montana.

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11. Emma Pass, Author of The Fearless |Selfie and a Shelfie

This is Emma Pass in front of her favorite bookshelf, with her latest novel, The Fearless (Delacorte Press, April 2015).

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12. Saaba Tahir, Author of An Ember in the Ashes | Speed Interview

Which five words best describe An Ember in the Ashes (Razorbill, April 2015), by Saaba Tahir? Adventurous, Brutal, Honest, Fast-Paced, Romance

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13. Book Review: An Ember in the Ashes

An Ember in the Ashes

by Sabaa Tahir

Told in alternating stories of two main characters on opposite sides, An Amber in the Ashes is a suspenseful exploration of the effects of violence on both the conquered and the conquerors. Set in a Rome-like fantasy world, the Scholars are a subjugated people under the rule of the Martials. Laia is a Scholar living with her brother and grandparents. When her brother is arrested on suspicion of being a member of the resistance, and her grandparents are killed violently by Martial soldiers, Laia runs away in fear. To atone for her cowardice, Laia sets out to save her brother, and goes undercover as a slave to the cruel and sadistic commander of the elite military academy Blackcliff.

Elias is a student at Blackcliff, training to become a Mask, the most elite of Martial soldiers. Although he has lived most of his life as a student under the harsh discipline at Blackcliff, Elias still sees things differently than his peers because he spent the first six years of his life outside the Martial society. Elias is determined to escape the violent society and his role as an enforcer as soon as he graduates. Then a visit from the Augurs — the Martial's version of oracles — puts a difficult choice before Elias. But can he trust the prophecy, or is he being manipulated by the Augurs?

Sabaa Tahir was inspired to write An Ember in the Ashes during her time at the Washington Post's foreign desk, when she was exposed to horrifying stories of the effects of violence on people around the world. An Ember in the Ashes is an exciting dystopian story that shows how a violent society affects everyone, from the slaves to the highest levels. Even the resistance is divided by the question of whether they have an obligation to help those of their people in need, or whether such aid detracts from their mission of fighting back against the Martials.

I had some minor credibility problems, and the plot development was occasionally awkward. I thought that the addition of supernatural characters like djinn was an unnecessary device that muddies the waters. The augurs were fine and really drive the plot in many ways, but the djinn and other spirits made it start to feel like everything was thrown in, including the kitchen sink.

This isn't a subtle book: the message about the effects of violence is hammered pretty hard. However, as I write this in a Baltimore (and a nation) trying to figure out how to police our communities without unnecessary violence by police against the people they are supposed to protect, the message really resonates.

In spite of the minor issues, I found An Ember in the Ashes to be a thrilling and highly engaging plot-driven story with loads of teen appeal, especially for fans of dystopian fiction like the Hunger Games. I can understand why it's been optioned for film already.

Diversity

Elias is described as having golden-brown skin. The identity of Elias' father is unknown, but it's likely that his skin color came from his father, since his mother is described as having pale skin. Other than that, skin color doesn't seem to play a role, although one of the more despicable characters is also described as having dark skin. The Martial empire appears to be generally diverse, with various ethnicities of people coming from the different conquered nations, although it's not significant to the plot.

Although the empire appears to be fairly patriarchal, female characters play a significant role. Besides Laia, there's Helene, who is also a student at Blackcliff and Elias' best friend. Helen is one tough cookie, in some ways one of the toughest students there. In spite of that, though, she's mostly relegated to the traditional female support role, and a subplot about an attraction leaves her acting "like a girl." There's also the female commander of Blackcliff, and several minor female characters including a cook who used to be an explosives expert.

The author is a woman of color.


Who would like this book?

Anyone who enjoys a thrilling, suspenseful plot-driven story, particularly fans of The Hunger Games and other dystopian fiction. In keeping with the theme, An Ember in the Ashes is fairly dark and violent, so sensitive readers may want to take a pass.


Buy from Powells.com:


FTC required disclosure: Review copy sent by the publisher to enable me to write this review. The bookstore links above are affiliate links, and I earn a very small percentage of any sales made through the links. Neither of these things influenced my review.

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14. Best Selling Young Adult Books | May 2015

With so many strong novels on this list, a lot remains the same on our hand-picked list from the Best Selling Young Adult list.

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15. The FAT CAT Get Healthy for Summer Giveaway!

I get soooo many e-mails from people who have just read or listened to FAT CAT and want some more tips about how to do what Cat does in the book and totally transform their bodies and their health.

So guess what? I’m going to give you the chance to win a great book to get you started.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has written numerous books and cookbooks and has an amazing podcast and is generally out there inspiring people and teaching them how to make lifelong changes that will make them feel happy, healthy, and strong. Those of you who have listened to the FAT CAT audio book know that Colleen and I have a great conversation at the end of the book about both of our food backgrounds and what led us to make changes. I love Colleen’s work. I’m also happy to introduce other people to it.

So for this month’s giveaway, you’ll have the chance to win a signed copy of her new book, The 30-Day Vegan Challenge: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Healthfully and Living Compassionately. The winner will also receive a signed copy of FAT CAT, along with a Karmic Cafe T-shirt just like the one Amanda designs in FAT CAT.

You can enter the giveaway here. And remember the cool extra-credit detail: When you enter you’ll get a confirmation email that contains your own personal special code. When you post that code on your own blog or Twitter or Facebook, you’ll get 3 extra entries in your own name every time someone else enters from that link. So the more you share, the better your chances are of winning! Go get ‘em!

Good luck to all of you!

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16. My Writing and Reading Life: Paige McKenzie, Author of The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

PAIGE MCKENZIE, the face of The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, is thrilled to have the chance to bring her unique voice to life in a book series.

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17. New YA Releases 4/13 to 4/19, FOUR Great New YA Giveaway, and Author Interviews

Ready for some great new books? We've got nineteen new YA books to share with you this week, seven author interviews, and four giveaways for hot new releases. See below and enter to win. 

Happy reading,

Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin


YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


Eden West
by Pete Hautman
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
Candlewick
Released 4/14/2015

Tackling faith, doubt, and transformation, National Book Award winner Pete Hautman explores a boy’s unraveling allegiance to an insular cult.

Twelve square miles of paradise, surrounded by an eight-foot-high chain-link fence: this is Nodd, the land of the Grace. It is all seventeen-year-old Jacob knows. Beyond the fence lies the World, a wicked, terrible place, doomed to destruction. When the Archangel Zerachiel descends from Heaven, only the Grace will be spared the horrors of the Apocalypse. But something is rotten in paradise. A wolf invades Nodd, slaughtering the Grace’s sheep. A new boy arrives from outside, and his scorn and disdain threaten to tarnish Jacob’s contentment. Then, while patrolling the borders of Nodd, Jacob meets Lynna, a girl from the adjoining ranch, who tempts him to sample the forbidden Worldly pleasures that lie beyond the fence. Jacob’s faith, his devotion, and his grip on reality are tested as his feelings for Lynna blossom into something greater and the End Days grow ever closer. Eden West is the story of two worlds, two hearts, the power of faith, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Eden West?

I really like the cover—the red, three-quarter jacket with the case art peeking up over the top is awesome! I love a book that still looks good after your dog eats the jacket. Candlewick publishes beautiful books.

I also like the fact that I finally finished writing it! It took twelve years. One question many authors ask themselves is, “Am I good enough to write this story?” With every new book I set out to write that question hangs over me. With Eden West it was a dark, low-hanging cloud that took years to lift. I think the main reason it took so long to write was that fog of doubt. But eventually hubris won out over apprehension, the book came together, and here we are. I am now free to fight my way through the next crisis of confidence!


Purchase Eden West at Amazon
Purchase Eden West at IndieBound
View Eden West on Goodreads



* * * *


Hit
by Delilah S. Dawson
Hardcover Giveaway
Simon Pulse
Released 4/14/2015
U.S. Only

NO ONE READS THE FINE PRINT.

The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that we were bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they’re unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country.

Patsy didn’t have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die?

Patsy is forced to take on a five-day mission to complete a hit list of ten names. Each name on Patsy's list has only three choices: pay the debt on the spot, agree to work as a bounty hunter, or die. And Patsy has to kill them personally, or else her mom takes a bullet of her own.

Since yarn bombing is the only rebellion in Patsy's past, she’s horrified and overwhelmed, especially as she realizes that most of the ten people on her list aren't strangers. Things get even more complicated when a moment of mercy lands her with a sidekick: a hot rich kid named Wyatt whose brother is the last name on Patsy's list. The two share an intense chemistry even as every tick of the clock draws them closer to an impossible choice.

Delilah S. Dawson offers an absorbing, frightening glimpse at a reality just steps away from ours—a taut, suspenseful thriller that absolutely mesmerizes from start to finish.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Hit?

Besides the cover, which I love? ;) My favorite thing about HIT is the hero, Patsy. She's not someone who was destined to be great. She's not royal, she doesn't command magic, she doesn't take a test and score off the charts. She's just a normal girl from the Atlanta suburbs who has to face an impossible task or die, along with her mom. She's brave enough to do what has to be done but real enough to hate it, every step of the way. I feel like a lot of the heroines we see in dystopian books are written to be special saviors, but Patsy is no one and nothing. And she stays that way. But she has to learn how to live with herself and what she's become, not to mention how to move through the world with no road map.

Purchase Hit at Amazon
Purchase Hit at IndieBound
View Hit on Goodreads

* * * *


The Pretty App
by Katie Sise
Handmade earrings Giveaway
U.S. Only

Balzer + Bray
Released 4/14/2015

Poor Blake Dawkins! She's rich, she's gorgeous, and she's the queen bee of Harrison High. The girls want to be her; the boys want to—okay, enough said. But it turns out Blake’s life is not so perfect—just talk to her dad, who constantly reminds her that she's not up to par, or to her ex-bff, Audrey, who doesn't even look her in the eye.

Then Harrison—and every other high school in America—becomes obsessed with posting selfies on the ubiquitous Pretty App. Next: Leo, an adorable transfer student, arrives at Harrison and begins to show Blake that maybe being a queen bee doesn't mean being a queen bitch. And though Audrey suspects somebody’s playing foul, Blake finds herself catapulted to internet fame after being voted one of the prettiest girls in the country. She's whisked away to star in a reality show—in Hollywood, on live TV. But she doesn’t know who to trust. Because everybody on the show wants to win.

And nobody is there to make friends.

The Boyfriend App author Katie Sise spins another irresistible tale of technology, secrets, and big-time romance in this story of what it takes to be #trulybeautiful.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Pretty App?

My favorite thing about THE PRETTY APP is that the book balances a discussion on beauty and inner beauty without seeming too preachy. At least, I hope so! And I like that it's a feel-good read. Those are my favorite kinds of books and movies, so I'm hoping readers will feel the same way. If the book is page-turning and makes you laugh, then I'll have done my job. It was also so much fun to bring back the characters from THE BOYFRIEND APP. I loved writing from Blake's point of view, and seeing her take on the characters who'd I'd loved so much the first time around.

Purchase The Pretty App at Amazon
Purchase The Pretty App at IndieBound
View The Pretty App on Goodreads



* * * *


The Truth Commission
by Susan Juby
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Viking Books for Young Readers
Released 4/14/2015

Open secrets are the heart of gossip -- the obvious things that no one is brave or tactless enough to ask. Except for Normandy Pale and her friends. They are juniors at a high school for artists, and have no fear. They are the Truth Commission. Then, one of their truth targets says to Normandy: “If you want to know about the truth, you might want to look a little closer to home.” This dryly funny, knife-sharp novel, written as "narrative nonfiction" by Normandy herself, features footnotes, illustrations and a combination mystery/love story that will capture readers from the first page.

Purchase The Truth Commission at Amazon
Purchase The Truth Commission at IndieBound
View The Truth Commission on Goodreads


YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS




Don't Stay Up Late
by R.L. Stine
Hardcover
St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition
Released 4/7/2015

Winner - Alisha Sienkiel

R.L. Stine's hugely successful young adult horror series Fear Street is back after almost 2 decades. Fear Street is a worldwide phenomenon and helped to kick off the young adult craze which is still going strong today. In the second new book in this series, Don't Stay Up Late, Stine explores the unbridled terror of a damaged young lady sent on a doomed babysitting job.

Ever since a car accident killed her father and put Lisa and her mother into the hospital, Lisa can't think straight. She's plagued by nightmares and hallucinations that force her to relive the accident over and over again in vivid detail. When Lisa finds out that a neighbor is looking for a babysitter for her young son, she takes the job immediately, eager to keep busy and shake these disturbing images from her head.
But what promised to be an easy gig turns terrifying when Lisa begins to question exactly who — or what — she is babysitting.

Purchase Don't Stay Up Late at Amazon
Purchase Don't Stay Up Late at IndieBound
View Don't Stay Up Late on Goodreads

* * * *


Empire of Night
by Kelley Armstrong
Hardcover
HarperCollins
Released 4/7/2015

Winner - Lauren Jones

Sisters Moria and Ashyn are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood. Or at least they were. Their village is gone. Their friends have betrayed them. And now, the emperor has sent them on a mission to rescue the captured children of Edgewood—accompanied by Prince Tyrus and a small band of imperial warriors. But the journey proves more perilous than any of them could have imagined. And with treachery and unrest mounting in the empire, the girls are running out of places to turn.

With all the pulse-pounding action and romance that have made her a #1 New York Times bestselling author, this second book in the Age of Legends trilogy will appeal to Kelley Armstrong's legions of fans around the world and win her many new ones.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Empire of Night?

When I speak to other writers who do trilogies, they often lament the middle book. To them, it’s like act 2 of a regular book, which is often the hardest part to write—you know the setup and the conclusion, but then you need to keep a story interesting for 200 or so pages between them! To me, though, book 2 of a trilogy is my favourite. I’ve established the characters, setting and situation in book 1. I don’t need to actually resolve anything major until book 3. So the second book is total play-time for me. It’s where I can get creative and add anything I want, from action to mystery to romance, and just have fun with the characters. Of course, for me “having fun” with the characters is usually “making things steadily worse for them” but that’s what makes a story interesting! EMPIRE OF NIGHT was pure rising action and rising tension, taking the characters from bad to worse, and seeing them grow and develop because of it. It’s probably my favourite book in the Age of Legends trilogy, as is THE AWAKENING in Darkest Powers and THE CALLING in Darkness Rising.

Purchase Empire of Night at Amazon
Purchase Empire of Night at IndieBound
View Empire of Night on Goodreads

* * * *


None of the Above
by I. W. Gregorio
Hardcover
Balzer + Bray
Released 4/7/2015

Winner - Rosi Hollinbeck

A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex . . . and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She's a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she's madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she's decided that she's ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin's first time isn't the perfect moment she's planned--something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy "parts."

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin's entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about None of the Above?

This book will always hold a special place in my heart because of how intimately it's intertwined with my day job as a doctor. Because it was inspired by a patient I treated and I felt a deep sense of responsibility re: the subject matter, it was a tricky book to write. I felt like I was constantly walking a tightrope between explaining too much, and not enough. I didn’t want to sound didactic, so I made sure to pace the plot well, but at the same time I did want people to learn from the book. I'm sure there will be some people who think I threaded the needle, and others who don't! And it doesn’t sound very sexy, but the proudest moments of my debut year so far have been when readers say that it's opened their mind - and that they read it in one sitting.

Purchase None of the Above at Amazon
Purchase None of the Above at IndieBound
View None of the Above on Goodreads

* * * *


One Thing Stolen
by Beth Kephart
Hardcover
Chronicle Books
Released 4/7/2015

Winner - Traci Kenworth

Something is not right with Nadia Cara. While spending a year in Florence, Italy, she's become a thief. She has secrets. And when she tries to speak, the words seem far away. Nadia finds herself trapped by her own obsessions and following the trail of an elusive Italian boy whom only she has seen. Can Nadia be rescued or will she simply lose herself altogether? Set against the backdrop of a glimmering city, One Thing Stolen is an exploration of obsession, art, and a rare neurological disorder. It is a celebration of language, beauty, imagination, and the salvation of love.

Purchase One Thing Stolen at Amazon
Purchase One Thing Stolen at IndieBound
View One Thing Stolen on Goodreads

* * * *


Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli
Hardcover
Balzer + Bray
Released 4/7/2015

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda?

This is actually a hard question to answer, since I feel so close to the entire book. Every day, I change my mind about what I think is the heart of the story. That being said, I think my favorite moments are the emails exchanged between Simon and Blue. I loved writing them – sometimes, it almost felt like they wrote themselves. One of my favorite things about writing in that epistolary format is that it gives another character (Blue) a direct voice. He has a slightly different perspective than Simon, and I loved having the opportunity to show that. It also gave me a chance to play around with the differences between Simon’s unfiltered thoughts (in the narrative) and the way he presents himself to others (in the emails). Simon admits that he edits his emails to impress Blue, and he’s definitely, deliberately flirtatious. I loved showing those two sides of Simon, and it was interesting to explore what we do and don’t share with others, even when we think we’re being very open.

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MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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Forged
by Erin Bowman
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 4/14/2015

Gray Weathersby and his group of rebels must make their final stand in the epic conclusion to the Taken trilogy, which New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu called "an action-packed thrill ride from beginning to end."

The Order is building an unstoppable army, with every generation of Forgeries harder to detect and deadlier than the one before. It’s time for Gray and his fellow rebels to end the Order's world of lies. But when the most familiar faces—and even the girl he loves—can’t be trusted, Gray will have to tread carefully if he wants to succeed. Or survive.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Forged?

FORGED is the conclusion to the Taken trilogy, and while it is bittersweet to say goodbye to these characters and world, wrapping everything up was was my favorite part. I think I've done Gray's story justice, and I can only hope that readers agree!

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Shredder
by Niall Leonard
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 4/14/2015

In the gut-wrenching third and final novel in Niall Leonard’s Crusher series, Finn Maguire is lured back into the warring factions of the underworld by way of blackmail.

Finn “Crusher” Maguire has one simple task: to set up a meeting. But when that meeting is between the Guvnor and the Turk, two psychotic criminals vying for control of London’s underworld, Finn’s task proves to be anything but simple. As the city cracks under a blistering heatwave and the UK is rocked by a series of terrorist outrages, Crusher finds himself caught up in a gang war full of carnage, corruption and treachery. To save himself and the girl he loves from being shredded to a bloody pulp between opposing factions, Finn faces horrifying risks and impossible choices.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Shredder?

My favorite thing about Shredder must be the way it ends. It's not what even I was expecting.

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The Bridge
by Jane Higgins
Paperback
Tundra Books
Released 4/14/2015

The City is divided. The bridges gated. In Southside, the hostiles live in squalor and desperation, waiting for a chance to overrun the residents of Cityside.

Nik is still in high school but is destined for a great career with the Internal Security and Intelligence Services, the brains behind the war. But when ISIS comes recruiting, everyone is shocked when he isn't chosen. There must be an explanation, but no one will talk about it. Then the school is bombed and the hostiles take the bridges. Buildings are burning, kids are dead, and the hostiles have kidnapped Sol. Now ISIS is hunting for Nik.

But Nik is on the run, with Sol's sister Fyffe and ISIS hot on their trail. They cross the bridge in search of Sol, and Nik finds answers to questions he had never dared to ask.

The Bridge is a gritty adventure set in a future world where fear of outsiders pervades everything. A heart-stopping novel about friendship, identity, and courage from an exciting new voice in young-adult fiction.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Bridge?

When THE BRIDGE was first published people asked me about my inspiration for it. I didn’t have an immediate answer, but then I remembered this.

In 1981/82, I was 20 years old and working at the monastic community of Taizé in France. The Berlin Wall still stood, a powerful symbol of the Cold War division between Eastern and Western Europe. This was my first experience of nations seriously engaged in readiness for war.

Just before Christmas, 1981, martial law was declared in Poland in Eastern Europe, which meant that the army was taking over that country and closing its borders: no-one in, no-one out. I remember there was a young Polish guy visiting Taizé then. He had to decide what to do and he had to decide fast – overnight, in fact. His choice was stark: go home, get there before the borders close, and perhaps be trapped there for years. Or, stay out, in relative freedom, but maybe not see his family for years. He spent the night thinking about it. Then he went home.

The choice that night was a ‘future-defining’ moment for that young guy. For me, who had never known martial law or war of any kind, it was a glimpse into the lives of people who have no choice but to deal with the realities of war. That moment stayed with me and I think it emerged in the story of THE BRIDGE in the character of Nik, who has to work out where he belongs in the midst of war.

I love that a memory like that can lie dormant and all but forgotten, and then emerge indirectly in a story years later.


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MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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All the Rage
by Courtney Summers
Hardcover
St. Martin's Griffin
Released 4/14/2015

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear. 

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?

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Andreo's Race
by Pam Withers
Paperback
Tundra Books
Released 4/14/2015

Just as sixteen-year-old Andreo, skilled in death-defying ironman events in wilderness regions, is about to compete in rugged Bolivia, he and his friend Raul (another Bolivian adoptee) begin to suspect that their adoptive parents have unwittingly acquired them illegally. Plotting to use the upcoming race to pursue the truth, they veer on an epic journey to locate Andreo's birth parents, only to find themselves hazardously entangled with a gang of baby traffickers. Never suspecting that attempting to bring down the ring would endanger their very lives, the boys plunge ahead. Compelling, poignant, and heart-stopping, Andreo's Race takes readers on a perilous quest to discover the true meaning of family.

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Bloodkin
by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 4/14/2015

Fans of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone will love this second book in the Ma'evra trilogy by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes about loyalty, power, and the rules of survival.

Some lines should never be crossed.

Sixteen-year-old Kadee is proud to be a part of the Obsidian guild, whose members refuse to bow to anyone in Midnight-including the vampires who claim to rule this world and the shapeshifter royals who obey them. She knows firsthand what it's like to live with the Shantel and serpiente, and she'll never forgive these shapeshifters for taking her from her real father as a sick and frightened human child. Fortunately, Kadee is the master of her own life and decisions now, but some of the choices she's made to protect her Obsidian family-and one of her peers in the guild-have begun to haunt her.

How much is one life worth, and when is the price too much to pay?

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Denton Little's Deathdate
by Lance Rubin
Hardcover
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 4/14/2015

Fans of John Green and Matthew Quick: Get ready to die laughing.

Denton Little's Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day they will die. For 17-year-old Denton Little, that's tomorrow, the day of his senior prom.

Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle (as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend's hostile sister. Though he's not totally sure. See: first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton's long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters…. Suddenly Denton's life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager's life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on.

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Dream a Little Dream
by Kerstin Gier
Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
Released 4/14/2015

Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yes, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially the one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys conduct dark magic rituals.

The strangest part is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But what's really scaring Liv is that the dream boys seem to know things about her in real life, things they couldn't possibly know—unless they actually are in her dreams? Luckily, Liv never could resist a good mystery, and all four of those boys are pretty cute....

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First There Was Forever
by Juliana Romano
Hardcover
Dial Books
Released 4/14/2015

Perfect for fans of Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s My Life Next Door, Juliana Romano's expressive debut is an absorbing and bittersweet story about first love, first loss, and the friends that carry us through it all.

Lima and Hailey have always been best friends: Lima shy and sensitive, Hailey funny and free-spirited. But Hailey abandons Lima to party with the popular kids and pursue Nate, her disinterested crush. As their friendship falters, Lima and Nate begin spending more time together. And before Lima knows what she’s feeling, she and Nate do something irreversible. Something that would hurt Hailey....if she knew it happened.

Lima thinks she’s saving her friendship by lying, but she’s only buying time. As the secrets stack up, Lima is forced to make a choice: between her best friend forever, and the boy who wasn’t meant to be hers.

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Mapmaker
by Mark Bomback and Galaxy Craze
Hardcover
Soho Teen
Released 4/14/2015

When Tanya Barrett takes an internship at MapOut, she expects emotional landmines. Her father cofounded the digital mapping company, and he died for it—on a cartographic expedition he didn’t even need to take. Her father’s business partner and his son, Connor, welcome her to the job with open arms. And being with Connor, an old childhood friend, turns out to be the only thing that makes Tanya feel normal again.

Soon she’s spending every moment she can with Connor. But when they sneak into her father’s old office late one night, they stumble across a deadly secret. The next day Connor disappears.

Tanya isn’t just bereft; she’s terrified. It’s clear that people at MapOut are willing to kill for what she and Connor discovered. Alone again—and on the run—Tanya must rely on her wits to find out what happened to him and stay a step ahead of MapOut. But in the world they envision, no one stays lost for long.

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The Fearless
by Emma Pass
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 4/14/2015

For fans of The Hunger Games, Matched, Divergent, and The Fifth Wave, this fast-paced futuristic thriller tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cass and her fight to protect her younger brother from an unimaginably terrifying enemy.

The Deadliest Enemy feels no fear.

When the Fearless invaded, they injected everyone in their path with the same serum that stripped them of humanity.

Life became a waking nightmare.

Cass has the invasion seared in her memory. Seven years later, she and her brother, Jori, are living on Hope Island in a community of survivors. No one can enter, and no one can leave.

It's the only way to stay safe.

But when Hope Island's security is breeched and Jori is taken by the Fearless, Cass will risk everything to get him back.

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The Prom Goer's Interstellar Excursion
by Chris McCoy
Hardcover
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 4/14/2015

It's Superbad meets Spaceballs in this hilarious extraterrestrial road trip!

Just a few days before prom, Bennett pulls off something he never imagined possible: his dream girl, Sophie, agrees to be his date. Moments afterward, however, he watches Sophie get abducted by aliens in the middle of the New Mexico desert.

Faced with a dateless prom (and likely kidnapping charges), Bennett does the only thing he can think of: he catches a ride into outer space with a band of extraterrestrial musicians to bring her back.

Can he navigate alien concert venues, an extraterrestrial reality show, and the band's outlandish egos to rescue his date in time for the big dance? Fans of King Dork and Winger won't want to miss this!

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The Revelation of Louisa May
by Michaela MacColl
Hardcover
Chronicle Books
Released 4/14/2015

Louisa May Alcott can't believe it—her mother is leaving for the summer to earn money for the family and Louisa is to be in charge of the household. How will she find the time to write her stories, much less have any adventures of her own? But before long, Louisa finds herself juggling her temperamental father, a mysterious murder, a fugitive seeking refuge along the Underground Railroad, and blossoming love. Intertwining fact, fiction, and quotes from Little Women, Michaela MacColl has crafted another spunky heroine whose story will keep readers turning pages until the very end.

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The Wondrous and the Wicked
by Page Morgan
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 4/14/2015

For fans of Lauren Kate's Fallen series comes the exciting conclusion to the trilogy that includes The Beautiful and the Cursed and The Lovely and the Lost. The Waverly sisters must save themselves before all is lost.

Since the Waverlys arrived in Paris, the streets have grown more fearsome by the day. As Ingrid learns to master her lectrux gift, she must watch Axia's power grow strong enough to extend beyond her Underneath hive. By all indications, the fallen angel's Harvest is near-and the timing couldn't be worse.

Targeted by vengeful gargoyles, Gabby has been exiled to London for her own protection. Meanwhile, the gargoyle castes are in disarray, divided between those who want Luc to lead them and those who resent him and his fondness for humans. The Alliance is crumbling from the inside as well, its members turning against one another, and possibly against the Waverlys, too.

Axia has promised that the world will burn. And now, unable to trust the Alliance, separated from Luc, Gabby, and her twin, Grayson, Ingrid is left to face the demon uprising alone.

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The World Forgot
by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal
Hardcover
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Released 4/14/2015

In this hilarious, action-packed conclusion to The Ever-Expanding Universe trilogy, teen mom Elvie Nara is on a quest across the universe to save her daughter (and maybe stop an alien race war in the process).

After dealing with killer whales, evil scientists, the return of her long-lost mother and, certainly not least of all, the challenges of breastfeeding, Elvie Nara has just about had it. And then the Jin'Kai (along with the aforementioned estranged mom) kidnap her baby.

And before she knows it, another Jin'Kai attack puts her on the run again, but not before discovering that Olivia was implanted with a genetic tracking device. So along with Cole, Ducky, and her dad, Elvie goes back out into space to follow the signal. There she finds evil Dr. Marsden up to some evil tricks and realizes that Mars may hold the secret to defeating her enemies once and for all. So, off to Mars she goes. Because alien race war aside, Elvie really wants to be back with her daughter. For a kid she wasn’t even sure she wanted, Olivia has come to mean the world to Elvie—and she’ll search the universe to be with her again.

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18. Best Selling Young Adult Books | April 2015

With so many strong novels on this list, everything remains the same on our hand-picked list from the Best Selling Young Adult list—including The Children's Book Review's number one best selling young adult book is The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy, a classic must-read for all Greek mythology fans.

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19. New YA Lit Releases This Week Plus Win POLARIS and THE FIVE STAGES OF ANDREW BRAWLEY

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK




Polaris
by Mindee Arnett
Paperback copy of AVALON Giveaway
Balzer + Bray
Released 1/20/2015

Following the events of Avalon, Jeth Seagrave and his crew are on the run. Jeth is desperate to find the resources and funding he needs to rescue his mother from an ITA’s research lab and leave this whole galaxy behind for a new life somewhere else. But the ITA is just as desperate, and soon Jeth finds himself pursued by a mysterious figure hell-bent on capturing Jeth and his crew—dead or alive. In a last-ditch effort to save everyone he holds dear, Jeth enters into a bargain with the last person he ever thought he'd see again: Dax Shepherd, the galaxy’s newest and most fearsome crime lord. And he’s not the only one: upon arriving back at Peltraz spaceport for the first time since he witnessed the death of his old employer, Jeth discovers Dax has a new partner: Jeth’s mother, Marian.

This shocking turn of events is only the first in another breathless, action-packed sci-fi adventure rife with danger, love, and betrayal, as Jeth has to once again ask himself how much he’s willing to invest in a morally bankrupt galaxy in the hopes of saving those he cares for.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Polaris?

With POLARIS I learned two critical things, both of them more affirmations than revelations. The first is that even when the writing is hard you have to push through it. That might seem self-evident, but it’s one of those things where you don’t really know what “hard” is until you’ve run smack into. The affirmation aspect of this is that I learned that I can push through it. I was in a very hard place emotionally when I started work on POLARIS, and it didn’t go away throughout the whole process. Some of it was struggles in my personal life and some of it is what I call the post publication blues. All writers get them and they are awful—the mean reds times a thousand. But the great thing is that even when it’s hard, the writing is always worth it. I’m proud of POLARIS, despite all the struggle or maybe because of it.

Secondly, I learned that it’s okay to channel your own emotions into a story. Like I said, I was in a very dark place when I wrote this book, and a lot of that darkness translates to the page. The main character Jeth struggles a lot in this book. I’m downright awful to him at times. But ultimately, I think that emotional struggle has a big payoff in the end, both for me personally and for the reader, I hope.


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The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley
by Shaun David Hutchinson
Hardcover Giveaway
Simon Pulse
Released 1/20/2015

Andrew Brawley was supposed to die that night. His parents did, and so did his sister, but he survived.

Now he lives in the hospital. He serves food in the cafeteria, he hangs out with the nurses, and he sleeps in a forgotten supply closet. Drew blends in to near invisibility, hiding from his past, his guilt, and those who are trying to find him.

Then one night Rusty is wheeled into the ER, burned on half his body by hateful classmates. His agony calls out to Drew like a beacon, pulling them both together through all their pain and grief. In Rusty, Drew sees hope, happiness, and a future for both of them. A future outside the hospital, and away from their pasts.

But Drew knows that life is never that simple. Death roams the hospital, searching for Drew, and now Rusty. Drew lost his family, but he refuses to lose Rusty, too, so he’s determined to make things right. He’s determined to bargain, and to settle his debts once and for all.

But Death is not easily placated, and Drew’s life will have to get worse before there is any chance for things to get better.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley?

Growing up as a gay teen, one of the most difficult things to deal with was always hiding who I was. I spent most of my teenage years feeling like no one really saw me, like I was invisible. We read books in order to connect to characters, to feel like someone sees us. But there aren’t a lot of YA books that feature LGBTQIA characters whose biggest problem isn’t their sexuality. That’s one of the reasons I wrote The Fives Stages of Andrew Brawley. I wanted LGBTQIA teens to know that they are more than their sexuality, I wanted them to know that they are not invisible. That’s my favorite thing about The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley. Also, there’s a freaking graphic novel inside the book!

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YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS




Perfect Couple
by Jennifer Echols
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 1/13/2015

WINNER: CLARISA RAMIREZ

In this second book in The Superlatives trilogy from Endless Summer author Jennifer Echols, Harper and Brody think they’re an unlikely match—but the senior class says they belong together.

As yearbook photographer, Harper is responsible for those candid moments that make high school memorable. But her own life is anything but picture perfect. Her parents’ bitter divorce left her wondering what a loving relationship looks like. And ever since the senior class voted her and star quarterback Brody “Perfect Couple That Never Was,” her friends have been pushing her to ask Brody out.

Brody doesn’t lack female admirers, but Harper can't see herself with him. He’s confused about the match too. Yet they find themselves drawn together—first by curiosity about why the class paired them, then by an undeniable bond.

The trouble is, though they’re attracted to each other, they have a hard time getting along or even communicating well. If they’re the perfect couple, this shouldn’t be so difficult! Soon it becomes clear their class was wrong, and they throw in the towel. But they feel so changed from making the effort, they can’t forget each other. What if this match made in hell is the perfect couple after all?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Perfect Couple?

The Superlatives series is based around the idea that older teens are looking for their identity. And if they think they've pinned it down, they'll probably stick with it. But what if you thought you had yourself all figured out, but now you're not so sure? That's what happens to the teens in these books: the senior class selects people for "who's who" titles like Biggest Flirts and Most Likely to Succeed, but the people selected are surprised at what their classmates choose for them, which in turn causes them to question how they see themselves.

In PERFECT COUPLE, Harper and her childhood friend Brody are named Perfect Couple That Never Was. Harper is quirky and artistic. Brody is athletic and popular. It's easy to see why they've never dated. It's hard to see why a large portion of their class would say they would make a perfect couple. Of course they're curious. They can't resist going on a date to find out. And Harper realizes she's not really as controlled and cautious as she always thought.


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MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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Fight for Power
by Eric Walters
Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released 1/20/2015

The world keeps getting darker in this second reality-based survival adventure in the Rule of Three trilogy

After sixty-six days of a catastrophic global blackout, life in the suburbs is not what it used to be for Adam and his fortified neighborhood of Eden Mills. Although an explosive clash has minimized one threat from outside the walls, Adam’s battle-hardened mentor, Herb, continues to make decisions in the name of security that are increasingly wrenching and questionable. Like his police chief mom and others, Adam will follow Herb’s lead. But when the next threat comes from an unexpected direction, nobody is ready for it. And someone is going to pay the price—because of Adam’s mistakes and mistaken trust.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Fight for Power?

It was such a pleasure to continue the story, to continue to move forward with my characters as they tried to survive. This story, which is actually set in my neighborhood, is rather personal.

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MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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Alex As Well
by Alyssa Brugman
Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
Released 1/20/2015

Alex is ready for things to change, in a big way. Everyone seems to think she’s a boy, but for Alex the whole boy/girl thing isn’t as simple as either/or, and when she decides girl is closer to the truth, no one knows how to react, least of all her parents.

Undeterred, Alex begins to create a new identity for herself: ditching one school, enrolling in another, and throwing out most of her clothes. But the other Alex—the boy Alex—has a lot to say about that.

Heartbreaking and droll in equal measures, Alex As Well is a brilliantly told story of exploring gender and sexuality, navigating friendships, and finding a place to belong.

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All Fall Down
by Ally Carter
Hardcover
Scholastic Press
Released 1/20/2015

Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:

1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her–so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door who is keeping an eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.

Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace–no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do.

Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world all stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

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Bad Influence
by William Sutcliffe
Paperback
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 1/20/2015

When Carl moves into Ben and Olly's street, things instantly get more exciting. His games are strange, unpredictable, and thrillingly violent. But why is he so fearless? Why are they never allowed into his house? And why does it begin to feel as if he is taking control of their lives?

It isn't long before Ben wants his old friendship back, but getting free of Carl turns out to be the toughest challenge he has ever faced.

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Mutant City
by Steve Feasey
Paperback
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 1/20/2015

Fifty years ago, the world was almost destroyed by a chemical war. Now the world is divided: the mutants and the pure, the broken and the privileged, the damaged and the perfect.

Thirteen years ago, a covert government experimental facility was shut down and its residents killed. The secrets it held died with them. But five extraordinary kids survived.

Today four teenagers are about to discover that their mutant blood brings with it special powers. Rush and three brothers and sisters he can't remember. Two rival factions are chasing them. One by one, they face the enemy. Together, they might just stay alive . . .

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The Prey
by Tom Isbell
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 1/20/2015

The Maze Runner meets The Hunger Games in this heart-pounding trilogy. Orphaned teens, soon to be hunted for sport, must flee their resettlement camps in their fight for survival and a better life. For in the Republic of the True America, it's always hunting season. Riveting action, intense romance, and gripping emotion make this fast-paced adventure a standout debut.

After a radiation blast burned most of the Earth to a crisp, the new government established settlement camps for the survivors. At one such camp, the sixteen-year-old "LTs" are eager to graduate as part of the Rite. Until they learn the dark truth: "LTs" doesn't stand for lieutenant but for Less Thans, feared by society and raised to be hunted for sport. They escape and join forces with the Sisters, twin girls who've suffered their own haunting fate. Together they seek the fabled New Territory, with sadistic hunters hot on their trail. Secrets are revealed, allegiances are made, and lives are at stake. As unlikely Book and fearless Hope lead their quest for freedom, these teens must find the best in themselves to fight the worst in their enemies.

Purchase The Prey at Amazon
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The Way We Bared Our Souls
by Willa Strayhorn
Hardcover
Razorbill
Released 1/22/2015

If you could trade your biggest burden for someone else’s, would you do it?

Five teenagers sit around a bonfire in the middle of the New Mexico desert. They don’t know it yet, but they are about to make the biggest sacrifice of their lives.

Lo has a family history of MS, and is starting to come down with all the symptoms.
Thomas, a former child soldier from Liberia, is plagued by traumatic memories of his war-torn past.
Kaya would do anything to feel physical pain, but a rare condition called CIP keeps her numb.
Ellen can’t remember who she was before she started doing drugs.
Kit lost his girlfriend in a car accident and now he just can’t shake his newfound fear of death.

When they trade totems as a symbol of shedding and adopting one another’s sorrows, they think it’s only an exercise.

But in the morning, they wake to find their burdens gone…and replaced with someone else’s.

As the reality of the ritual unfolds, this unlikely group of five embarks on a week of beautiful, terrifying experiences that all culminate in one perfect truth: In the end, your soul is stronger than your burdens.

Purchase The Way We Bared Our Souls at Amazon
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Tunnel Vision
by Susan Adrian
Hardcover
St. Martin's Griffin
Released 1/20/2015

Romance and action come crashing together when a teenage boy with incredible powers is brought to the attention of the government.

Jake Lukin just turned 18. He's decent at tennis and Halo, and waiting to hear on his app to Stanford. But he's also being followed by a creep with a gun, and there's a DARPA agent waiting in his bedroom. His secret is blown.

When Jake holds a personal object, like a pet rock or a ring, he has the ability to "tunnel" into the owner. He can sense where they are, like a human GPS, and can see, hear, and feel what they do. It's an ability the government would do anything to possess: a perfect surveillance unit who could locate fugitives, spies, or terrorists with a single touch.

Jake promised his dad he’d never tell anyone about his ability. But his dad died two years ago, and Jake slipped. If he doesn't agree to help the government, his mother and sister may be in danger. Suddenly he's juggling high school, tennis tryouts, flirting with Rachel Watkins, and work as a government asset, complete with 24-hour bodyguards.

Forced to lie to his friends and family, and then to choose whether to give up everything for their safety, Jake hopes the good he's doing—finding kidnap victims and hostages, and tracking down terrorists—is worth it. But he starts to suspect the good guys may not be so good after all. With Rachel's help, Jake has to try to escape both good guys and bad guys and find a way to live his own life instead of tunneling through others.

Purchase Tunnel Vision at Amazon
Purchase Tunnel Vision at IndieBound
View Tunnel Vision on Goodreads

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Twisted Fate
by Norah Olson
Hardcover
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 1/20/2015

Two sisters. One mysterious boy.

Ally and Sydney couldn't be more different—one shy, the other popular and outgoing—and when a new boy moves in next door, tensions between the sisters escalate. Graham is attractive, peculiar, and perhaps a little dangerous, and both girls are drawn to him in ways they can't quite explain. As each girl's relationship with Graham unfolds, the more complicated the truth becomes—until a shocking encounter turns their sleepy coastal town upside down and questions everything the sisters thought they knew about themselves and each other.

Told in alternating points of view by a wide cast of characters, Twisted Fate is a tensely wrought psychological thriller, perfect for fans of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.

Purchase Twisted Fate at Amazon
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View Twisted Fate on Goodreads

0 Comments on New YA Lit Releases This Week Plus Win POLARIS and THE FIVE STAGES OF ANDREW BRAWLEY as of 1/19/2015 7:01:00 PM
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20. Sway, by Kat Spears | Book Review

Kat Spears debut novel is, quite simply, a delight. It has all the ingredients for an engaging and witty read, laced with honesty and insight that’s refreshingly real.

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21. It's the most wonderful MONTH of the year - Eve Ainsworth



Usually I hate February. It’s a dark, bleak little month. Rain dances through the days and frost greets every morning. You have no money and little motivation. Additional weight gained at Christmas still hangs from your waist like a guilty secret and the resolution to take regular jogs feels like a long forgotten joke.

Yep, it’s usually a month I enter with fear and loathing. It’s usually the month I put a big black cross through, before rushing back to bed and reading myself through it.
 Except this year! This year was different.
February 2015 would be significant for me in many ways.
1    
      1.  I would leave my job
      2.   I would run my first Author visit
      3.  7 Days would finally be published.

Leaving my job was the first positive more. It was a tiring and stressful job that was no good for me in the long term. A job where I would go home and feel mentally and physically exhausted, barely able to think, let alone type. Resigning was like a strange release and I already know it’s the best thing I could’ve done. Yeah ok, we’re poorer. But I’m calmer and that has to be a good thing, right?
Next was a thing that filled me with fear. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger right? That’s exactly how I felt about stepping out of my comfort zone and entering a brand new school as an author.

I’d done events at my own schools, but this was new and alien. I walked into the building, clutching my bag and trying to ignore the gnawing feeling in the pit of my tummy. BUT it ended up being the best. The students I met were so lovely and engaged and so interested in both 7 Days and my work as an author. I left feeling both inspired and accepted. I realised the buzz I’d gained was a totally new and refreshing experience. This was good for me.

And finally, February was when 7 Days was let out into the big bad world.

And it was a lovely day. I had cake mid-morning (why not). I treated myself to a dress. I received lots of wonderful tweets from supportive followers everywhere. I chatted on-line to other fabulous authors who were being published on the same day. We were all doing different things, but we all felt the same mixture of excitement and anticipation.


Then in the afternoon, I received a wonderful bouquet of flowers from my publisher that so far I have managed not to kill (a new record I feel). 



Later, I went for a meal with my husband. I had a lovely cocktail and a delicious Caribbean curry and toasted the start of an amazing year.

Because it will be an amazing year. This will be the first year I can actually admit to myself that I have ‘done it’, I have accomplished a dream. And whatever life throws at me, whatever the new ups and downs – I need to remind myself of this one moment.

The moment when I became a published author.


The moment when I finally felt like me.


0 Comments on It's the most wonderful MONTH of the year - Eve Ainsworth as of 2/10/2015 2:06:00 AM
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22. Excerpt and Cover Reveal: 'Super Bad' by Kai Strand

Watch out. Things are about to get really bad

Excerpt from Super Bad:

The classroom door opened and Sandra glanced toward it, along with the thirty other kids in the room. She snickered and raised her eyebrows at Lexa when a young man wearing a Hermes costume, complete with wings fluttering on his heels, floated in.
“I’m not gonna lie,” Lexa leaned over to whisper. “I hope a draft lifts his skirt so we can see what’s underneath.”
Sandra giggled. “My guess is bun huggers. Gold lame to match his shiny winged cap.”
Lexa waggled her eyebrows. “Shiny gold buns. I like.”
The teacher frowned at the young man. “Can I help you?”
“I have a delivery for Sandra Tohler.”
Sandra gulped. This couldn’t be anything besides embarrassing. A tidal wave of heads turned toward her causing her cheeks to flush with heat.
Seeing where everyone’s attention settled, the Hermes guy floated between the rows of desks and came to rest near hers. “Sandra Tohler?”
Reluctantly, she nodded.
He cleared his throat before delivering a soliloquy in a clear, resonating voice that Sandra was sure the students in classrooms across campus would hear.
“Sandra, oh Sandra, my lovely, stormy vixen, hear my humble plea. Your essence has absorbed into my every thought and now I wonder how I will sit for my exams. Will I answer essay questions by describing the intense sable color of your hair, or the enticing moss of your eyes that makes me imagine us lying in each others arms in a fairy forest?”
Sandra’s forehead hit her desk with a loud thunk, her voice a mumble against the surface. “Please stop. Go away.”
But the Hermes guy continued in his orator’s voice. “I’ve relived our kiss uncountable times. Your lips were velvet soft, but demanding.”
A chorus of “Ooo,” erupted through the room.

SUPER BAD The unexpected conclusion to the Super Villain Academy series.

The world is in chaos. Violence and thievery reign. And with the supers still balanced, it’s only getting worse. Without good versus evil, the supers care less and less. In order to restore purpose, the world needs its super heroes and its super villains, but the one who balanced them in the first place is missing.

Sandra’s concern over finding her brother, Jeff, isn’t her only problem. Her pathetic excuse for super powers has left her needing a new ankle. And though she’s still very much committed to her boyfriend, Source, she’s growing unreasonably attracted to Set, the boy who double crossed Jeff by stealing his girlfriend.

When Sandra is taken and held as bait by kids who want to unbalance the super world, it becomes the inciting event that changes things for supers everywhere and forces them to answer the question, “Hero or villain?”
***
Super Bad is scheduled for release in June, but there have been whispers of it releasing sooner. Don’t miss out. Subscribe to Kai’s mailing list and be among the first to know.
***
King of Bad - Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. Is Jeff bad enough for SVA?

Polar Opposites - Heroes and villains are balanced. After Oceanus is kidnapped, Jeff learns the supers are so balanced, they no longer care to get involved. Ironically Jeff’s superpowers are spiraling out of control. Will they find Oci before he looses it completely, and will they find her alive?
***
Win a $10 Amazon gift card or an ecopy of either King of Bad or Polar Opposites. Plenty of chances to win. Open internationally. Enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the author:

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for the younger ones, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website, www.kaistrand.com.

0 Comments on Excerpt and Cover Reveal: 'Super Bad' by Kai Strand as of 2/16/2015 3:59:00 AM
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23. PARALLELOGRAM Omnibus Edition Now Available!

Parallelogram Omnibus

For those of you who like to read your series in one big chunk, there’s now an omnibus ebook edition of the entire PARALLELOGRAM series–and it’s incredibly cheap for the moment. All four books for only $7.99! And more important, no waiting in between cliff hangers.

Enjoy!

0 Comments on PARALLELOGRAM Omnibus Edition Now Available! as of 3/4/2015 9:41:00 AM
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24. Zodiac, by Romina Russell | Book Review

Readers looking for tension, angst, fantastical myths, well-rounded characters, and a very human tale of survival will delight in this quick and engrossing page-turner of a story, sure to inspire the inner-Zodiac in everyone.

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25. Preview: The Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt and a COMPULSION for Reading Giveaway

Hey, guys!

Are you ready for some fun? I'm participating in the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt from noon PACIFIC time on April 2nd to noon PACIFIC time on April 5th. 

The hunt is HUGE this year, so there will be eight different teams. I'm going to be on #TeamBlue, but you can play every team for more chances to win! 

If you've never played before, it's like a giant blog hop, introducing you to new YA authors and books at every stop. There are tons of prizes including a grand prize for each team. If you win one of the grand prizes you will get a book from each author on that team! For more information and to make sure you get hunt updates, sign up for news on the #YASH website. 

Not only will I be hiding an exclusive never-before-revealed sneak peek of COMPULSION, but I will also be giving away a signed hardcover and an ARC of PERSUASION, book two in the series for part of the Blue Team prize. 

Starting today, here on Adventures, I'll also be giving away a Tiffany-style "key" necklace like Barrie wears, an "I have a compulsion for reading" tote bag, and ten "I have a compulsion for reading" bumper stickers. You don't want to miss out on this fabulous and fun event, but play fast because the hunt is only live for three short days!

Ready? Here are the teams! (Hint: If you click on the image you can get a close up)

Blue Team 1 Pink TeamTeam Gold (2)Team Purple 1Team GreenTeam Red 1Team Teal (2)
Team Orange


I hope you are all as excited as I am!
THE HUNT BEGINS 4/2/15!

Today's Bonus Giveaway




a Rafflecopter giveaway

SOUND OFF! 

What book first started your compulsion for reading?

0 Comments on Preview: The Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt and a COMPULSION for Reading Giveaway as of 1/1/1900
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