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1. THREE Giveaways plus New YALIT Releases Week of 7/27 with Author Interviews

There aren't too many new books releasing this week, but we have plenty of excitement coming up this week to tide you over. Have you voted in the Red Light Green Light contest? Vote now! Voting closes tonight, and the next round begins on Wednesday, so be sure to check back!

Happy reading,

Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Elizabeth, Kristin, Jen, Sandra and Anisaa

Read more »

0 Comments on THREE Giveaways plus New YALIT Releases Week of 7/27 with Author Interviews as of 7/27/2015 7:20:00 AM
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2. Monday Mishmash 7/27/15


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. I'm the New Acquisitions Editor For Leap Books Seek  In case you missed my announcement last week, I'm the new acquisitions editor for Leap Books' middle grade line, Seek. I'm so happy about this. I've also decided to open to unagented submissions for a brief time in August, so stay tuned for that announcement.
  2. Our Little Secret Has a Cover  I got to see the cover for Our Little Secret (releasing September 15 through Limitless Publishing). I'm SO happy with it. Can't wait to share it soon.
  3. Pepe Maurice Pierre, Poodle Extraordinaire is Now Available!  You can grab your copy of my newest picture book here
  4. Falling For You is Available and FREE!  My secret Ashelyn Drake title isn't a secret anymore, and it's doing really well on Amazon. Check this out. 
  5. Signing at Books-A-Million  I want to thank everyone who came out to see me this past Saturday for my book signing. I had an amazing time and got to see returning fans, which is always great.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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3. THREE Giveaways plus New YALIT Releases Week of 7/20 with Author Interviews

Eight new books are releasing this week, and we're giving away books to three winners: the full series of Torn by Avery Hastings, and two winners will get their hands on books by Laurie Faria Stolarz - one copy of Return to the Dark House, and the winner's choice of one of Laurie's other books.

Happy reading,

Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Elizabeth, Kristin, Jen, Sandra and Anisaa

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK

Torn
by Avery Hastings
Full Series Giveaway
U.S. Only

St. Martin's Griffin
Released 7/21/2015

In an America split into the genetically superior and inferior, a fiercely ambitious ballerina and a boy from the wrong side of the tracks must stop a deadly virus that is spreading quickly.

Determined to escape from TOR-N, a corrupt Narxis research center, Davis meets another recovered patient, Mercer, whose sweet smile and quirky sense of humor give her hope in humanity again—and a way out. As they make a perilous journey seeking clues that could lead to a cure, Davis and Mercer's friendship begins to evolve into something more... but she's still struggling to let go of her feelings for Cole, whom she believes is dead.

Meanwhile, Cole has plans to change his identity in order to compete in the Olympiads—where Imps have now been invited to compete against Priors. He begins training with Mari, the intense and rebellious daughter of a retired fighter, but through trials and tests that are both exhausting and exhilarating, he finds himself in over his head—literally.

Will both Davis and Cole have the strength to resist temptation? Will they have the courage to face the answers they're seeking? Will their love survive across the divide?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Torn?

I love that after all the buildup in Feuds, we finally get to see the Olympiads! I also really love that this book is not all about romance. There are some steamy scenes, but we really get to see Davis come into her own as a smart, strong woman.

Purchase Torn at Amazon
Purchase Torn at IndieBound
View Torn on Goodreads

* * * *

Return to the Dark House
by Laurie Faria Stolarz
2 Giveaways: Return to the Dark House and winner's choice. 
U.S. Only
Disney-Hyperion
Released 7/21/2015

Ivy Jensen survived the Dark House once, but can she make it out a second time?

Two months have passed since Ivy narrowly escaped the Nightmare Elf’s grip, but the memories of Parker, Natalie, Shayla, Frankie, and Garth continue to haunt her. Their killer is still out there—somewhere. The police trail has gone cold, though, and it’s up to Ivy to piece together the clues to find him.

When a cryptic video arrives in her inbox, Ivy soon finds herself back in the spotlight, this time on a twisted scavenger hunt through the dark, ancient halls of a long-forgotten Gothic school building. Ivy’s not alone, either. Taylor Monroe has returned to the scene. But can Taylor be trusted? Or is she another pawn in the Nightmare Elf’s deadly game?

Laurie Faria Stolarz crafts a mesmerizing thriller that will leave readers looking over their shoulders.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Return to the Dark House?

My favorite aspect of RETURN TO THE DARK HOUSE is definitely Ivy’s bravery and resilience. Here’s a character whose parents were tragically murdered several years ago. Ivy was home at the time and saw the killer’s face. Ever since, she’s feared that the killer will one day come back for her. It’s become a real source of paranoia: She thinks she sees his face while walking in town; any weird phone calls or hang-ups she receives, she thinks are from him; she’s become a regular at the police station, reporting any and all irregularities in her life. She knows she can’t go on living this way, and so instead of trying to lay her fears to rest by squelching them, she faces them head on, the result of which isn’t at all what she expected. I don’t want to give too much away, but things don’t pan out the way she expects. Despite more tragedy, Ivy picks herself up – yet again – to face her fears and do the right thing. That courage and resilience is so admirable.

Purchase Return to the Dark House at Amazon
Purchase Return to the Dark House at IndieBound
View Return to the Dark House on Goodreads

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS

Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams: Emily C.
What We Knew by Barbara Stewart: Jackie M.
The Blind Wish & The Fire Wish by Amber Lough: Olivia J.
About a Girl by Sarah McCarry: Sarah T.


MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS

Damage Done
by Amanda Panitch
Hardcover
Random House Books for Young Readers
Released 7/21/2015

22 minutes separate Julia Vann’s before and after.

Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best friend.

After: She has a new identity, a new hometown, and memories of those twenty-two minutes that refuse to come into focus. At least, that’s what she tells the police.

Now that she’s Lucy Black, she's able to begin again. She's even getting used to the empty bedroom where her brother should be. And her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the hottest guys in school, a boy who will do anything to protect her. But when someone much more dangerous also takes notice, Lucy's forced to confront the dark secrets she thought were safely left behind.

One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It’s only just beginning. . . .

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Damage Done?

My favorite thing so far about DAMAGE DONE is seeing all the reader responses and reactions. The book spent so long living inside my head and then in the heads of a few select others - agent, editor, etc. I find the breadth of reviews fascinating - some people might love a specific element, some people might hate it; some people were totally shocked by the twist ending, some people saw it coming from the beginning. It's a reminder that, even if this story started in my head, ultimately it's not for me. It's for the reader.

Purchase Damage Done at Amazon
Purchase Damage Done at IndieBound
View Damage Done on Goodreads

MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK

Model Misfit
by Holly Smale
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 7/21/2015

You can make a geek a model, but you can't make her chic. More hilarity and high fashion await in the second book in the internationally bestselling Geek Girl series!

Harriet Manners is a model—but she feels even less popular and more awkward than she did when she was just a geek. So a summer modeling job in Japan sounds like the perfect vacation, even if she has to bring along her crazy grandma Bunty, and even if she might run into Nick, her gorgeous model ex-boyfriend. No one is going to ruin Harriet's fabulous Tokyo adventure—unless she accidentally ruins it herself. . . .

This sequel to Holly Smale's #1 bestselling debut novel, Geek Girl, is perfect for fans of Louise Rennison and the Princess Diaries.

Purchase Model Misfit at Amazon
Purchase Model Misfit at IndieBound
View Model Misfit on Goodreads

* * * *

Noble Warrior
by Alan Lawrence Sitomer
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 7/21/2015

After placing teenage mixed martial arts phenom McCutcheon Daniels and his mother and sister in the Witness Relocation Program, the FBI comes to realize they have a unique asset on their hands. Recruited to help the FBI, McCutcheon finds himself hunting bad guys. But when he discovers that the notorious Priests have targeted Kaitlyn-the girl he loves and was forced to leave behind-as a way to seek revenge on the Daniels family, MD convinces the FBI to send him right into the belly of the beast: Jenkells State Penitentiary where the mob boss of Detroit is serving time. Yet in his universe where up is down, McCutcheon ends up disavowed by the government and left to rot in one of America's most notorious prisons. It's there he connects with his father and discovers the truth about his circumstances. McCutcheon, a trained urban warrior, escapes and sets out for revenge on those who betrayed him and his family.

Purchase Noble Warrior at Amazon
Purchase Noble Warrior at IndieBound
View Noble Warrior on Goodreads

* * * *

Pretending to Be Erica
by Michelle Painchaud
Hardcover
Viking Books for Young Readers
Released 7/21/2015

We Were Liars meets Heist Society in a riveting debut!

Seventeen-year-old Violet’s entire life has revolved around one thing: becoming Erica Silverman, an heiress kidnapped at age five and never seen again. Violet’s father, the best con man in Las Vegas, has a plan, chilling in its very specific precision. Violet shares a blood type with Erica; soon, thanks to surgery and blackmail, she has the same face, body, and DNA. She knows every detail of the Silvermans’ lives, as well as the PTSD she will have to fake around them. And then, when the time is right, she “reappears”—Erica Silverman, brought home by some kind of miracle. But she is also Violet, and she has a job: Stay long enough to steal the Silverman Painting, an Old Master legendary in the Vegas crime world. Walking a razor’s edge, calculating every decision, not sure sometimes who she is or what she is doing it for, Violet is an unforgettable heroine, and Pretending to be Erica is a killer debut.

Purchase Pretending to Be Erica at Amazon
Purchase Pretending to Be Erica at IndieBound
View Pretending to Be Erica on Goodreads

* * * *

Resonance
by Erica O'Rourke
Hardcover
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Released 7/21/2015

As a Walker between worlds, Del is responsible for the love of her life—and the fate of millions—in this thrilling sequel to Dissonance.

Del risked everything to save Simon, and now he’s gone, off in another world with no way for Del to find him.

She’s back at the Consort—training to be a Walker like everyone in her family. But the Free Walkers have other plans for her. This rebel group is trying to convince Del that the Consort is evil, and that her parents are unwittingly helping the Consort kill millions of people. The Free Walkers make Del the ultimate promise: if Del joins their fight, she will be reunited with Simon.

In agreeing, Del might be endangering her family. But if she doesn’t, innocent people will die, and Simon will be lost to her forever. The fate of the multiverse depends on her choice...

Purchase Resonance at Amazon
Purchase Resonance at IndieBound
View Resonance on Goodreads

* * * *

The New Order
by Chris Weitz
Hardcover
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released 7/21/2015

They thought they were the only ones left. They were wrong.

After the unexpected revelation at the end of the first book, Donna and Jefferson are separated. Jefferson returns to NYC and tries to bring a cure to the Sickness back to the Washington Square tribe, while Donna finds herself in England, facing an unimaginable new world. Can the two reunite and prevent an even greater disaster than the Sickness?

This second book in The Young World trilogy will keep you at the edge of your seat.

Purchase The New Order at Amazon
Purchase The New Order at IndieBound
View The New Order on Goodreads

Win This Week's New Releases

0 Comments on THREE Giveaways plus New YALIT Releases Week of 7/20 with Author Interviews as of 7/20/2015 6:30:00 AM
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4. Monday Mishmash 7/20/15


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Signing at Books-A-Million  I'll be at Books-A-Million in the Stroud Mall in Stroudsburg, PA on Saturday from noon to 3:00 p.m. If you're in the area, come see me. I'll be signing copies of The Monster Within and The Darkness Within.
  2. News!  I'm most likely going to have news to share with you this week. Stay tuned!
  3. Pepe Maurice Pierre, Poodle Extraordinaire  I got to see the cover and illustrations for my upcoming picture book, Pepe Maurice Pierre, Poodle Extraordinaire this past weekend. Wow! I was blown away. I can't wait to share this book with you soon. (My street team, Kelly's Coven, has already seen it.)
  4. Our Little Secret  I've been busy with edits for my upcoming Ashelyn Drake title, Our Little Secret. I love this story and can't wait for the release, which is happening in September! Tomorrow, I'll be sharing the blurb and tag line all over social media, so stay tuned for that.
  5. Hot Pink in the City Cover Reveal  Check out the cover of Medeia Sharif's upcoming YA title, Hot Pink in the City:
    HOT PINK IN THE CITY, Prizm Books, 2015
Release date: August 19, 2015

Asma Bashir wants two things: a summer fling and her favorite '80s songs. During a trip to New York City to stay with relatives, she messes up in her pursuit of both. She loses track of the hunk she met on her airplane ride, and she does the most terrible thing she could possibly do to her strict uncle…ruin his most prized possession, a rare cassette tape. A wild goose chase around Manhattan and Brooklyn to find a replacement tape yields many adventures—blackmail, theft, a chance to be a TV star, and so much more. Amid all this turmoil, Asma just might be able to find her crush in the busiest, most exciting city in the world.

Find Medeia – YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

Add a Comment
5. New Spring and Fall Releases from LEE & LOW BOOKS and Tu Books!

Summer is here in full force. It’s the perfect time to curl up pool- or beachside with a good book! Look no further than our new spring and fall releases!

Finding the Music/En pos de la música

When Reyna accidentally breaks her abuelito’s old vihuela, she travels around her neighborhood trying to figure out how to repair it. In the process, she discovers her grandfather’s legacy. Written by Jennifer Torres and illustrated by Renato Alarcão.

Sunday Shopping

Evie and her grandma go shopping every Sunday. They put on their nightgowns, open up the newspapers,  and turn on their imaginations. Written by Sally Derby and illustrated by Shadra Strickland.

Poems In The Attic Text here

A young girl finds her mother’s poems written when her mother traveled around in a military family. The young girl writes her own related poems. Written by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon.

Ira’s Shakespeare Dream

Ira Aldridge dreamed of acting in Shakespeare’s plays. Because of a lack of opportunity in the United States, Ira journeys to England to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. Written by Glenda Armand and illustrated by Floyd Cooper.

Maya’s Blanket

Maya has a blanket stitched by her Grandma. The blanket later becomes a dress, a skirt, a shawl, a skirt and a headband. This story is inspired by the Yiddish folk song “Hob Ikh Mir a Mantl” (“I Had a Little Coat”). Written by Monica Brown and illustrated by David Diaz.

New from the Tu Books imprint:

Ink and Ashes

Claire Takata discovers her deceased father’s connection to the yakuza, the Japanese mafia, and puts her and her family’s lives in danger. Written by Valynne E. Maetani.

Trail of the Dead

In this sequel to the award-winning Killer of Enemies, Lozen and her family, on the run from the tyrants who once held them hostage, embark on a journey along a perilous trail once followed by her ancestors, where they meet friends and foes alike. Written by Joseph Bruchac.

0 Comments on New Spring and Fall Releases from LEE & LOW BOOKS and Tu Books! as of 7/16/2015 12:18:00 PM
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6. FOUR Giveaways plus New YALIT Releases Week of 13/6 with Author Interviews

Twelve wonderful new YA novels are being released this week, perfect for your summer reading list. To make the week even sweeter, we're giving away copies of About a Girl, Ruthless, and What We Knew for U.S. readers, and Amber Lough's The Blind Wish to followers in the U.S. and Europe. Follow our Twitter and Facebook pages for the best chance to win!

Happy reading,

Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Elizabeth, Kristin, Jen, Sandra and Anisaa

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK

About a Girl
by Sarah McCarry
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

St. Martin's Griffin
Released 7/14/2015

Eighteen-year-old Tally is absolutely sure of everything: her genius, the love of her adoptive family, the loyalty of her best friend, Shane, and her future career as a Nobel prize-winning astronomer. There's no room in her tidy world for heartbreak or uncertainty--or the charismatic, troubled mother who abandoned her soon after she was born. But when a sudden discovery upends her fiercely ordered world, Tally sets out on an unexpected quest to seek out the reclusive musician who may hold the key to her past--and instead finds Maddy, an enigmatic and beautiful girl who will unlock the door to her future. The deeper she falls in love with Maddy, the more Tally begins to realize that the universe is bigger--and more complicated--than she ever imagined. Can Tally face the truth about her family--and find her way home in time to save herself from its consequences?

About a Girl is the powerful and entrancing conclusion to Sarah McCarry's Metamorphoses trilogy.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about About a Girl?

I did a lot of reading on astronomy and cosmology for the book--the narrator, Tally, is an aspiring astronomer--and I had such a great time researching the book. I learned a lot that didn't make it into the novel--I'm going to have to write another book! And I ended up falling in love with Tally herself--she's pretentious and snobby and difficult, but underneath her armor she's deeply vulnerable. She's one of my favorite characters I've written in any of my books, and I think she gets a nice arc from slightly insufferable to a more generous and open-minded way of looking at the world.

Purchase About a Girl at Amazon
Purchase About a Girl at IndieBound
View About a Girl on Goodreads

* * * *


Ruthless
by Carolyn Lee Adams
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Simon Pulse
Released 7/14/2015

A spine-tingling debut about the ultimate game of cat-and-mouse in reverse as a teen struggles to retain hope—and her sanity—while on the run from a cunning and determined killer.

Ruth Carver has always competed like her life depends on it. Ambitious. Tough. Maybe even mean. It’s no wonder people call her Ruthless.

When she wakes up with a concussion in the bed of a moving pickup trick, she realizes she has been entered into a contest she can’t afford to lose.

At a remote, rotting cabin deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ruth’s blindfold comes off and she comes face-to-face with her captor. A man who believes his mission is to punish bad girls like Ruth. A man who has done this six times before.

The other girls were never heard from again, but Ruth won’t go down easy. She escapes into the wilderness, but her hunter is close at her heels. That’s when the real battle begins. That’s when Ruth must decide just how far she’ll go in order to survive.

Back home, they called her Ruthless. They had no idea just how right they were.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Ruthless?

That’s a tough question! Definitely I am most proud of Wolfman’s backstory. It is revealed in a series of short flashback chapters throughout the book. The entire backstory only amounts to 5,000 words, but it was the most brutal writing experience of my life. I am a method writer—if my character is crying, I am crying, if my character is saying something funny, I laugh out loud. And yes, I do occasionally write in public and I’m sure I look like a madwoman. Wolfman’s backstory, however, I wrote at home in long, slow stretches that involved more pacing than writing. Wolfman is a villain, but his path to villainy leaves me with a deep sympathy for him.

Purchase Ruthless at Amazon
Purchase Ruthless at IndieBound
View Ruthless on Goodreads

* * * *


The Blind Wish
by Amber Lough
The Blind Wish and The Fire Wish Hardcover Giveaway
U.S and Europe Only
Random House Books for Young Readers
Released 7/14/2015

Two sisters. A war. And the wish to end regret. . . . The magical, evocative follow-up to The Fire Wish.

The war: The lies that started the conflict are in the open now, but the war between the humans and the jinn is as bitter as ever—and becoming far more treacherous.
The sisters: Najwa and Zayele have just learned they’re half-jinni, half-human twins. Najwa is now the jinni representative at the human palace, working to bring peace. But her new role comes at a price—she’s no longer allowed alone with her cherished Prince Kamal. And as Zayele adjusts to life among the jinn, she discovers that she’s a magus, one of the most powerful jinn in the Cavern. Suddenly, she’s thrown into special training, and the strongest young men in the army are competing to be paired up with her.
The wish: Once again, Zayele makes a wish. A wish that she doesn’t think can possibly go wrong. A wish that neither sister could imagine would change the outcome of the war.

Praise for Jinni Wars I: The Fire Wish:

“War, magic, and romance kept me reading nonstop!” —Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author of the Beka Cooper trilogy

“A fantastically compelling and romantic read from a shining new voice in YA.” —Laini Taylor, New York Times bestselling author of Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Blind Wish?

My favorite thing about the story (vice the writing of the story) is that it goes deeper. It’s less about finding friends and more about keeping them. You can read it two ways: as an adventure with lots of action, or as a story about the difficult (and sometimes terrible) choices we make, and how we can make amends.

Purchase The Blind Wish at Amazon
Purchase The Blind Wish at IndieBound
View The Blind Wish on Goodreads

* * * *


What We Knew
by Barbara Stewart
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

St. Martin's Griffin
Released 7/14/2015

When a local myth starts to seem like a dangerous reality, two girls are set on a path that could change their lives forever

"When I was little, I imagined a monster: Scaly hands. Pits for eyes..."

When Tracy and her best friend, Lisa, were kids, stories about a man—a creep who exposes himself to little girls—kept them out of the woods and in their own backyards. But Tracy and Lisa aren't so little anymore, and the man in the woods is nothing but a stupid legend. Right?

But someone is in the woods. Someone is watching. And he knows all their secrets, secrets they can't tell anyone—not even each other.

"Monsters don't exist."

Lisa's just being paranoid. At least that’s what Tracy thinks. But when a disturbing "gift" confirms her worst fears, it sets the girls on a dangerous journey that takes them beyond the edge of the woods. But reality is more terrifying than the most chilling myth, and what they find will test the bonds of friendship, loyalty, and love.

"Once upon a time, two girls were lost in the woods."

In Barbara's Stewart's What We Knew, Tracy and Lisa can't destroy the evil they'll face, but can they stop it from destroying each other?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about What We Knew?

Two favorite things. The first is that WHAT WE KNEW is set in summer. As a teen, it was always my favorite time of year, probably because that’s when I had the most freedom. I wanted to capture the feeling of those long, lazy afternoons at the park or the mall or whatever, and hanging out with friends at night. Nights were always the best—I wanted them to last forever. This would be a very different book if it took place in winter.

My second favorite thing is Tracy and Lisa’s friendship. These two are close, really close, in a way I think ends for most people when they grow up. But with that closeness comes a sort of blindness—both girls are struggling with issues the other knows nothing about. And maybe this is part of growing up—why people pull apart—but in the end these two have each other’s back, even as their relationship changes.


Purchase What We Knew at Amazon
Purchase What We Knew at IndieBound
View What We Knew on Goodreads

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS

Hallowed by Tonya Hurley: Ayanami F.
Naked by Stacey Trombley:  Colleen B.
Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten: Moira G.
You and Me and Him by Kris Dinnison: Ashley H.

MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS

Rebel Mechanics
by Shanna Swendson
Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released 7/14/2015

A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing.

It’s 1888, and sixteen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children's young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Rebel Mechanics?

I love the sense of adventure and possibility, the heroine getting to do things that are new and different for that time and place. She's at a point where she seems to have lost all options for her life at the beginning, and along the way she sees new worlds opening up for her. The worst thing that could have happened for her turns out to maybe be the best thing for her, and what I love about this character is that this is the way she approaches it from the start, seeing the possibilities rather than wallowing in self pity.

Purchase Rebel Mechanics at Amazon
Purchase Rebel Mechanics at IndieBound
View Rebel Mechanics on Goodreads

MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK

Battlesaurus: Rampage at Waterloo
by Brian Falkner
Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released 7/14/2015

Did you know that beasts called "saurs" were a part of everyday life in 1815 Europe? Did you know that Napoleon won the battle of Waterloo? Did you know that he did so by using a terrible secret weapon against the British and Prussians? Did you know that only one boy--the son of a magician--knows how to foil the would-be Emperor's plans at world-domination? It's all true. At least according to this head-spinning historical fantasy by adventure author Brian Falkner, just in time for the bicentennial of the battle that re-shaped Europe.

Purchase Battlesaurus: Rampage at Waterloo at Amazon
Purchase Battlesaurus: Rampage at Waterloo at IndieBound
View Battlesaurus: Rampage at Waterloo on Goodreads

* * * *


Deceptive
by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Hardcover
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released 7/14/2015

Don't miss this thrilling, high-stakes sequel to Illusive.

You don’t belong with us. These are the words that echo through the minds of all immune Americans—those suffering the so-called adverse effects of an experimental vaccine, including perfect recall, body manipulation, telepathy, precognition, levitation, mind-control, and the ability to change one’s appearance at will.

When immune individuals begin to disappear—in great numbers, but seemingly at random—fear and tension mount, and unrest begins to brew across the country. Through separate channels, super-powered teenagers Ciere, Daniel, and Devon find themselves on the case; super criminals and government agents working side-by-side. It’s an effort that will ultimately define them all—for better or for worse.

Purchase Deceptive at Amazon
Purchase Deceptive at IndieBound
View Deceptive on Goodreads

* * * *


No Such Person
by Caroline B. Cooney
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 7/14/2015

From the author of the multimillion-copy bestseller The Face on the Milk Carton, this riveting new thriller, set against the backdrop of a bucolic summer town on the Connecticut River, will have readers guessing until the very last page, as a seemingly innocent sibling rivalry and newfound young love turn into something much more devastating than anyone could ever have imagined.

Miranda and Lander Allerdon are sisters. Miranda is younger, a dreamer, and floating her way through life. Lander is older, focused, and determined to succeed. As the girls and their parents begin another summer at their cottage on the Connecticut River, Miranda and Lander’s sibling rivalry is in high gear. Lander plans to start medical school in the fall, and Miranda feels cast in her shadow.

When the Allerdons become entangled in an unimaginable tragedy, the playing field is suddenly leveled. As facts are revealed, the significance of what has happened weighs heavily on all. How can the family prepare for what the future may hold?

Purchase No Such Person at Amazon
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Outrage
by John Sandford, Michelle Cook
Hardcover
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 7/14/2015

John Sandford and Michele Cook follow up their New York Times bestseller, UNCAGED, with the next nail-biting installment in The Singular Menace series. Perfect for fans of The Maze Runner!

Shay Remby and her gang of renegades have struck a blow to the Singular Corporation. When they rescued Shay’s brother, Odin, from a secret Singular lab, they also liberated a girl. Singular has been experimenting on her, trying to implant a U.S. senator’s memories into her brain—with partial success. Fenfang is now a girl who literally knows too much.

Can the knowledge brought by ex-captives Odin and Fenfang help Shay and her friends expose the crimes of this corrupt corporation? Singular has already killed one of Shay’s band to protect their secrets. How many more will die before the truth is exposed?

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Show and Prove
by Sofia Quintero
Hardcover
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 7/14/2015

A poignant coming-of-age story about two boys finding their way in the South Bronx in the mid-1980s.

The summer of 1983 was the summer hip-hop proved its staying power. The South Bronx is steeped in Reaganomics, war in the Middle East, and the twin epidemics of crack and AIDS, but Raymond “Smiles” King and Guillermo “Nike” Vega have more immediate concerns.

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

Raw and poignant, this is a story of music, urban plight, and racial tension that’s as relevant today as it was in 1983.

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Stone Rider
by David Hofmeyr
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 7/14/2015

In the vein of The Outsiders and the early Western novels of Elmore Leonard, this inventive debut novel, a cross between the cult classic Mad Max movie series and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, blends adrenaline-fueled action with an improbable yet tender romance to offer a rich and vivid portrayal of misfits and loners forced together in their struggle for a better life.

Adam Stone wants freedom and peace. He wants a chance to escape Blackwater, the dust-bowl desert town he grew up in. Most of all, he wants the beautiful Sadie Blood. Alongside Sadie and the dangerous outsider Kane, Adam will ride the Blackwater Trail in a brutal race that will test them all, body and soul. Only the strongest will survive.

The prize? A one-way ticket to Sky-Base and unimaginable luxury.

And for a chance at this new life, Adam will risk everything.

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The Road to You
by Alecia Whitaker
Hardcover
Poppy
Released 7/14/2015

The second book in the Wildflower series--full of drama, heart, and that country music spirit.

Bright lights... Screaming fans... Cute roadies... Country music sensation Bird Barrett is officially on tour. The months flash by in an exciting whirlwind, due--in no small part--to a certain dreamy lighting tech named Kai.

After the tour wraps up, Bird makes the move to LA, finding herself at the center of a trumped-up rivalry with another country music starlet she barely knows. Meanwhile, Kai's out on tour again with an indie rock band and growing distant, and Bird has the label breathing down her neck for a new hit song. Finding true love is supposed to be inspiring, so why does penning the next great country pop ballad suddenly feel so hard?

ABC's hit show Nashville meets The Summer I Turned Pretty.

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7. Monday Mishmash 7/13/15


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Editing  My editing schedule is getting crazy—in a good way. I'm almost booked through the rest of the year.
  2. Release dates and cover reveals  I can't wait until I can share more, but let's just say that August and September are going to bring great things. I can't wait.
  3. Secret Project  So, my street team (Kelly's Coven) and my newsletter subscribers know what my secret project is. No one else will know about it until it's revealed on release day. ;) It's all in the works though, so keep an eye out.
  4. Mini-vacation  I'll be spending a few days in Mystic, CT. It's been years since I've been there, and I'm looking forward to checking out the aquarium and seaport.
  5. Day planners  Last week I had the dreaded experience of finding out my day planner was running out. The horror! I can't live without one. Luckily, that was remedied right away, and I'm already writing in my new turquoise day planner. Anyone else need a planner to survive?
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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8. What Are We Waiting For? AYAP Book Picks

Every Monday we post the upcoming books for the week. (So much awesome. So. Much. Awesome.) But there are always a few books you're particularly excited for. You know, the ones you pre-order months in advance. The ones leaving you staring at your calendar, crossing off the days until release date arrives. Today, the AYAP crew share some of the titles we are most eagerly anticipating. 

Image via Sarah Browning
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9. FOUR Giveaways plus New YALIT Releases Week of 7/6 with Author Interviews

There's an incredible eighteen new YA books releasing this week, and we have giveaways for four of them! Take a look at the wealth of books emerging into the world, and make sure to scroll all the way down to enter the giveaway.

Happy reading,

Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Elizabeth, Kristin, Jen, Sandra and Anisaa

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10. THREE Giveaways plus New YALIT Releases Week of 6/29 with Author Interviews

Does anyone else think it's crazy that by the time this week is over, we'll be officially in the second half of the year? There are three new releases in the world of YA this week, and, because we love you so much, we're also giving away three books that have already released - just because we can!

Happy reading,

Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Elizabeth, Kristin, Jen, Sandra and Anisaa


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11. FOUR Giveaways Plus New YALIT Releases Week of 6/22 with Author Interviews

While there are only seven new books releasing this week, we're pretty excited to see them here. Plus, there are four books to be won, including copies of THE LEVELLER, A GIRL UNDONE, and two copies of THE RULES! We've also announced the winners of last week's giveaways, so check below to see if you've won. Which new release are you most looking forward to reading this week?

Happy reading,

Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Kristin, Jen, Sandra, and Anisaa



YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK

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The Leveller
by Julia Durango
Signed Hardcover Giveaway 
International
HarperTeen
Released 6/23/2015

Nixy Bauer is a self-made Leveller. Her job? Dragging kids out of virtual reality and back to their parents in the real world. It’s normally easy cash, but Nixy’s latest mission is fraught with real danger, intrigue, and romance.

Nixy Bauer is used to her classmates being very, very unhappy to see her. After all, she’s a bounty hunter in a virtual reality gaming world. Kids in the MEEP, as they call it, play entirely with their minds, while their bodies languish in a sleeplike state on the couch. Irritated parents, looking to wrench their kids back to reality, hire Nixy to jump into the game and retrieve them.

But when the game’s billionaire developer loses track of his own son in the MEEP, Nixy is in for the biggest challenge of her bounty-hunting career. Wyn Salvador isn’t some lazy kid looking to escape his homework: Wyn does not want to be found. And he’s left behind a suicide note. Nixy takes the job but quickly discovers that Wyn’s not hiding—he’s being held inside the game against his will. But who is holding him captive, and why?

Nixy and Wyn attempt to fight their way out of a mind game unlike any they’ve encountered, and the battle brings them closer than either could have imagined. But when the whole world is virtual, how can Nixy possibly know if her feelings are real?

Gamers and action fans of all types will dive straight into the MEEP, thanks to Julia Durango’s cinematic storytelling. A touch of romance adds some heart to Nixy’s vivid, multidimensional journey through Wyn’s tricked-out virtual city, and constant twists keep readers flying through to the breathtaking end.

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

The Leveller is my first Young Adult novel after years of writing picture books and middle-grade novels. I truly enjoyed writing from the perspective of Nixy, a gutsy teen girl with a bit of an attitude! But my favorite thing about the book is that I got to imagine a virtual video game that I would love to play myself...and with the lightning speed of technology, who knows? Maybe I will someday!

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A Girl Undone
by Catherine Linka
Hardcover Giveaway 
U.S. Only
St. Martin's Griffin
Released 6/23/2015

On the run with deadly government secrets, Avie must decide if she can live up to her name and truly become fearless for the cause or if it’s better to just give in.

The sequel and explosive conclusion to A Girl Called Fearless.

Having survived a violent confrontation with the US government, Avie is not out of danger. Both she and the young man she loves, Yates, have been declared terrorists, and Yates is hospitalized in critical condition, leaving Avie with the perilous task of carrying information that can bring down the Paternalist party, if she can get it into the right hands.

Forced on the run with handsome, enigmatic woodsman Luke, Avie struggles when every turn becomes a choice between keeping the two of them alive or completing their mission. With her face on every news channel and a quarter million dollar reward from the man who still owns her marriage Contract, Avie’s worst fears are about to come true.

Equal parts thrilling and romantic, A Girl Undone is sure to keep your heart racing right until the very end.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about A Girl Undone?

I had so much fun creating the twisted reality of a present day America in which girls are a valuable and protected commodity sold through marriage contracts or auctioned like fine art. In A GIRL UNDONE, there are hunks, high stakes, smugglers, paparazzi, slimy politicos and designer fashion. Just to give you a taste, readers witness a cocktail party at the Los Angeles County Museum where the famous auction house, Christie’s unveils its “Exotic Collection” and young women walk the cat walk while rich men’s multi-million dollar bids are flashed on the wall above them.

While I love the world I created in A GIRL UNDONE, I love my main character, Avie, even more. She’s smart, creative, caring, and starting to realize her own power. She messes up, but then picks herself up and tries again. Avie goes from being pampered and ignorant to becoming a mature young woman who can’t be silent to the suffering of others even if it means she might die. Just recently, I realized Avie’s a lot like my close friend, Deanna-- the person I’d want with me if I was trying to survive the end of the world.


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The Rules
by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
Hardcover Giveaway (2 Copies)
U.S. and Canada Only
Delacorte PressReleased 
6/23/2015

Narrated by alternating unreliable narrators, this dark thriller will have readers on the edge of their seats. No one is safe and everyone is a suspect. It's Saw meets I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Junior Robin Brisset has no idea what she's in for when she accepts an invitation to one of Callabrese High's most exclusive parties. And when the trademark scavenger hunt begins, Robin must go against every rule she's lived by to survive.

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

NANCY: Writing it with Debbie! We love working together. One of the most fun things we had to do was tell each other the story that took place "offstage." We had to make sure that all the events on the page made sense and that we played fair. We really starting freaking each other out! I knew we were on the right track when my Corgi trotted into the room and I screamed. I mean a CORGI.

DEBBIE: Nancy totally nailed it! We were trying to freak each other out while writing it and we kept talking about our favorite horror movies and why they're scary. I love that we gave all the characters depth and that we got to see these twisted events from so many different perspectives as we were writing from different points of view.


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YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS

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After Hours
by Claire Kennedy
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 6/16/2015

Winner - Sarah T

Scandals and hook-ups abound in a summertime restaurant drama where four teens are all willing to do whatever it takes to make it through the workday…and hopefully to win the money in the after-hours dare-based game of Tips.

Isa, Xavi, Peter, and Finn know that a job at the high-end Waterside Café isn’t just about waiting tables. It’s about the gossip, the hook-ups, the after-hours parties, and, most of all, it’s about Tips.

Tips—the high-stakes game based on dares. Whoever completes the most dares wins the collected money. A sum that could change a wasted summer into a Summer to Remember.

Isa is the new girl with an embarrassing secret, and as long as she stays on top of her game, she sees no reason why anyone could ever find out.

Xavi will do anything for the money…absolutely anything.

Peter, Xavi’s stepbrother, has been in love with her for years, and he thinks the game is the perfect time to confess his feelings.

Finn is in the game just for the thrill. He has enough tips coming in to keep him happy…even if those tips come with some conditions.

From seduction to stealing to threats, the dares are a complete free-for-all, and only the best can win.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about After Hours?

I think my favorite thing about After Hours is that I gave my characters permission to be human and make mistakes. And when I when mean mistakes, I mean big ones! If you’ve the read the book, you know exactly what I’m talking about!

I think it’s easy to look for role models in books, and that’s wonderful—but it’s also good to have real people who sometimes make big, selfish decisions that don’t turn out well.

I love exploring all aspects of characters—bad aspects of good people and good aspects of bad people—and I think this book was a fun opportunity to do that.


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Between the Notes
by Sharon Huss Roat
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 6/16/2015

Winner - Jeri B

When Ivy Emerson’s family loses their house—complete with her beloved piano—the fear of what’s to come seizes her like a bad case of stage fright. Only this isn’t one of her single, terrifying performances. It’s her life.

And it isn’t pretty.

Ivy is forced to move with her family out of their affluent neighborhood to Lakeside, also known as “the wrong side of the tracks.” Hiding the truth from her friends—and the cute new guy in school, who may have secrets of his own—seems like a good idea at first. But when a bad boy next door threatens to ruin everything, Ivy’s carefully crafted lies begin to unravel . . . and there is no way to stop them.

As things get to the breaking point, Ivy turns to her music, some unlikely new friends, and the trusting heart of her disabled little brother. She may be surprised that not everyone is who she thought they were . . . including herself.

Debut author Sharon Huss Roat crafts a charming and timely story of what happens when life as you know it flips completely upside down.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Between the Notes?

My favorite thing about this novel is a who: Brady, Ivy’s little brother, who is a special needs child. While I was revising this manuscript, I met a family with twins—one of whom has an intellectual disability. He was a lot like the Brady I had written. So I spoke to his mother and further explored what his life was like, and how his disability affected his parents and sibling. Ivy’s story became so much more meaningful with him in it! An advance reader contacted me recently to let me know how much it reminded her of life with her own special needs brother. That meant the world to me. If no one else reads or enjoys this novel, I’ll be happy knowing I reached this one reader who related to Ivy and her brother.

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Blood Will Tell
by April Henry
Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
Released 6/16/2015

Winner - Kira B

When a woman's body is found in a Portland park, suspicion falls on an awkward kid who lives only a few blocks away, a teen who collects knives, loves first-person shooter video games, and obsessively doodles violent scenes in his school notebooks. Nick Walker goes from being a member of Portland's Search and Rescue team to the prime suspect in a murder, his very interest in SAR seen as proof of his fascination with violence. How is this even possible? And can Alexis and Ruby find a way to help clear Nick's name before it's too late?

April Henry weaves another page-turning, high stakes mystery in Blood Will Tell, Book 2 of the Point Last Seen series.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Blood Will Tell?

My favorite thing about Blood Will Tell is its real-life roots. It was inspired by two real cases. In one, a 15 year old boy became the prime suspect in a woman’s murder. He was a loner who lived near the vacant lot where her body was found, and he liked to draw violent scenes in his notebooks. I’ve seen some video of the 10-hour interrogation (without a lawyer or present) and it’s chilling. He’s a scrawny, soft-spoken kid with hair hanging in his eyes, while adult after adult tells him they know he did it. He was ultimately convicted and spent years in prison until he was finally freed based on DNA evidence. In another case, the DNA of a criminal with a long criminal history was found on a murder victim - and the story of how it got there was fascinating.

Purchase Blood Will Tell at Amazon
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* * * *
Glittering Shadows
by Jaclyn Dolamore
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 6/16/2015

Winner - Yolande B

The revolution is here.

Bodies line the streets of Urobrun; a great pyre burns in Republic Square. The rebels grow anxious behind closed doors while Marlis watches as the politicians search for answers—and excuses—inside the Chancellery.

Thea, Freddy, Nan, and Sigi are caught in the crossfire, taking refuge with a vibrant, young revolutionary and a mysterious healer from Irminau. As the battle lines are drawn, a greater threat casts a dark shadow over the land. Magic might be lost—forever.

This action-packed sequel to Dark Metropolis weaves political intrigue, haunting magic, and heartbreaking romance into an unforgettable narrative. Dolamore's lyrical writing and masterfully crafted plot deliver a powerful conclusion.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Glittering Shadows?

My favorite things about this book were also the most difficult things. First, the scope of this book is much, much bigger than anything I have attempted before. It has a lot of political intrigue and three battles, with like, strategy and stuff. When I came up with the plot of the book I felt like, no way can I actually write this! Prior to this I have always written rather domestic fantasy, with perhaps a one-on-one sorcerer battle or two. I had to ask my partner, who is way into military and political history, for a lot of help. But still, he couldn't write the actual words. It was so intimidating to me that some days I literally crawled under my desk in despair before I started writing for the day! But now that it's over, I've learned so, so much.

The other thing that was hard is that a girl in this book loses a hand. I didn't originally intend for this to happen, but Plot Happened, and I realized I had read quite a few books where a guy loses a hand, but never a girl. There have since been a couple that I'm aware of, but I still don't know of any where the girl has to use a hook prosthetic (which was and is a very standard prosthetic for a lost hand, despite all the super-cool wowie-zowie prosthetic hands in many stories). At first I had a gut aversion to doing this to my character, and then I wondered why. Quite a few fan favorite male characters have a hook prosthetic, like Eugenides and Once Upon a Time's version of Captain Hook. But girls...don't have hook hands in stories. (Like, seriously, if you look at "Hook Hand" on tvtropes.org there is hardly a lady among them.) At that point, I decided, okay, I'm rolling with this plot twist, for all the real girls with a hook prosthetic. But yes, I did still have to fight an ingrained sense that it wasn't "pretty". (I also had to do a lot of research, and as with most writing-of-diversity things, I am still nervous I might have made a mistake.) In the end it made me love that character a whole lot more.


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MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK

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A Book of Spirits and Thieves
by Morgan Rhodes
Hardcover
Razorbill
Released 6/23/2015

New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes takes readers into exhilarating new high-fantasy territory with A BOOK OF SPIRITS AND THIEVES. Written in alternating perspectives that shift between modern-day Toronto and the ancient kingdoms of Mytica, Rhodes masterfully weaves the dark, magical world of her Falling Kingdoms series into an epic contemporary saga that will leave you breathless.

Modern-day Toronto: A heavy leather-bound book written in an unrecognizable language is delivered to the Speckled Muse, the antique bookshop owned by Crystal and Becca Hatcher’s mother. When Becca opens it, she’s sent into a coma, leaving Crys behind to uncover a series of terrifying secrets.

Ancient Mytica: A merciless goddess hunts for the elusive treasure that will make her ruler not only of Mytica, but of all the unseen worlds that lay beyond it.

Modern-day Toronto: Rich and aimless Farrell Grayson finally has the chance to prove himself when the mysterious leader of a powerful secret society invites him into his fold.

Ancient Mytica: Maddox Corso has always been different, but never remarkable. Everything changes the day he meets a pretty, unfamiliar girl from a faraway land, only to realize that he’s the only one who can see her.

Fate has brought these young people together, but ancient magic threatens to rip them apart.

Purchase A Book of Spirits and Thieves at Amazon
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Emmy & Oliver
by Robin Benway
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 6/23/2015

Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.

She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

Readers who love Sarah Dessen will tear through these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story.

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Tangled Webs
by Lee Bross
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 6/23/2015

London, 1725. Everybody has a secret. Lady A will keep yours—for a price. This sumptuous, scandalous YA novel is wickedly addictive.

Lady A is the most notorious blackmailer in the city. With just a mask and a gown to disguise her, she sweeps into lavish balls and exclusive events collecting the most valuable currency in 1725 London—secrets.

But leading a double life isn't easy. By day Lady A is just a sixteen-year-old girl named Arista who lives in fear of her abusive master, Bones, and passes herself off as a boy to move safely through the squalor of London's slums. When Bones attempts to dispose of his pawn forever, Arista is rescued by the last person she expects: Jonathan Wild, the infamous Thief Taker General who moves seamlessly between the city's criminal underworld and its most elite upper circles. Arista partners with Wild on her own terms in the hopes of saving enough money to buy passage out of London.

Everything changes when she meets Graeden Sinclair, the son of a wealthy merchant. Grae has traveled the world, has seen the exotic lands Arista has longed to escape to her whole life, and he loves Arista for who she is—not for what she can do for him. Being with Grae gives Arista something precious that she swore off long ago: hope. He has promised to help Arista escape the life of crime that has claimed her since she was a child. But can you ever truly escape the past?

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The Rise and Fall of a Theater Geek
by Seth Rudetsky
Paperback
Random House Books for Young Readers
Released 6/23/2015

Broadway, New York. The shows, the neon lights . . . the cute chorus boys! It's where Justin has always wanted to be--and now, with a winter internship for a famous actor, he finally has his chance to shine. If only he could ditch his kind, virtuous, upright, and--dare he say it?—uptight boyfriend, Spencer. But once the internship begins, Justin has more to worry about than a cramped single-guy-in-the-city style. Instead of having his moment in the spotlight, he's a not-so-glorified errand boy. Plus, Spencer is hanging out with a celebra-hottie, Justin's best friend Becky isn't speaking to him, and his famous actor boss seems headed for flopdom. Justin's tap-dancing as fast as he can, but all his wit and sass might not be enough to switch his time in New York from nightmare-terrible to dream-come-true terrific.

Seth Rudetsky's second YA novel is endearingly human, laugh-out-loud funny, and for any kid who's ever aspired to Broadway but can only sneak in through the stage door.

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12. INK AND ASHES Blog Tour Round Up

To celebrate the release of her debut novel, Ink and Ashesearlier this month, author Valynne E. Maetani has been stopping by blogs to talk about her writing process, winning the first ever New Visions Award, and much more.

More about Ink and Ashes:

Claire Takata has never known much about her father, who passed away ten years ago. But on the anniversary of his death, she finds a letter from her deceased father to her stepfather. Before now, Claire never had a reason to believe they even knew each other.

Struggling to understand why her parents kept this surprising history hidden, Claire combs through anything that might give her information about her father . . . until she discovers that he was a member of the yakuza, a Japanese organized crime syndicate. The discovery opens a door that should have been left closed.

The race to outrun her father’s legacy reveals secrets of his past that cast ominous shadows, threatening Claire, her friends and family, her newfound love, and ultimately her life. Winner of Tu Books’ New Visions Award, Ink and Ashes is a fascinating debut novel packed with romance, intrigue, and heart-stopping action.

Here is a round up of the tour.

YA Books Central – Valynne E. Maetani shares 5 facts you should know about the Japanese mafia, known as the Yakuza, here.

Dear Teen Me – Read Valynne E. Maetani’s letter to her teen self here.

We Are Word Nerds –  Valynne E. Maetani on the inspiration behind Ink and Ashes and her journey to publication here.

The Book Smugglers – Valynne E. Maetani on winning the New Visions Award here.

Teen Lit Rocks! shares why they enjoyed reading Ink and Ashes here.

To find out more about Valynne E. Maetani and Ink and Ashes, follow her on Twitter and Tumblr.

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13. FOUR Giveaways plus New YALit Releases 5/11 - 5/17 with Author Interviews

We hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend! Books make great presents - maybe you gave a book to your beloved mother or maybe your wonderful children gave one to you. If so, let us know in the comments. And if you received a book store gift certificate, never fear, we have a fantastic list of books releasing this week to give you ideas about how to spend it.

Happy reading,

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

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK



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A Matter of Heart
by Amy Fellner Dominy
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Delacorte Press
Released 5/12/2015

Readers will happily sink into this emotionally grounded, contemporary young adult novel about the sudden end of one girl's Olympic swimming dreams and the struggles she endures before realizing there are many things that define who we are.

Sixteen-year-old Abby Lipman is on track to win the state swim championships and qualify for the Olympic trials when a fainting incident at a swim meet leads to the diagnosis of a deadly heart condition. Now Abby is forced to discover who she is without the one thing that's defined her entire life.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about A Matter of Heart?

Here’s a crazy story. When I started this book, it was going to a “funny tween” book for my editor at Walker. She wanted a middle grade book and of course I wanted to deliver. I had the idea of writing about a girl who fakes a heart condition to get on a reality show. Then I thought, “Hey, what if she actually has a heart condition—that would up the stakes.” At which point I realized there was nothing funny at all about heart conditions. Soon after that, I learned about Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and though this was absolutely NOT the story my editor wanted (not funny, not tween) it’s a story I wanted to tell. So I did. And that’s my favorite thing now, looking back. How such a good idea could spring from one that initially was so bad!

Purchase A Matter of Heart at Amazon
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View A Matter of Heart on Goodreads



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Out of Control
by Sarah Alderson
Hardcover Giveaway
Simon Pulse
Released 5/12/2015

A girl looking to escape her past in New York City ends up on the run from a dangerous conspiracy in this sizzling, high-stakes novel.

When seventeen-year-old Liva came to New York City, all she wanted was to escape the painful memories of her past and finally find a fresh start. Her hopes for a new future were dashed the moment she became the sole witness to a brutal murder. When she's taken into police custody, supposedly for her own protection, she realizes something isn't right, but it's too late. Soon, bullets start flying, and Liva realizes that she is not just a witness, but the target and she needs to escape before it's too late.

With the help of a sexy car thief that she met at the station, Liva manages to get away from the massacre unharmed, but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit the two killers who will stop at nothing to find them. Liva and Jay are living on the edge, but when you're on the edge, there's a long way to fall.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Out of Control?

I’ve recently been pitching Out of Control around Hollywood (I’m a screenwriter too) and the first thing people say to me is ‘wow, the pace on this is amazing.’

The story takes place in 36 hours and it is non-stop action. I love the two main characters - Liva who has grown up in the Middle East surrounded by money and bodyguards and Jay who’s from the wrong side of the tracks and just trying to do the right thing. And they’re thrown together into this nightmare where they have to learn to trust each other and rely on each other.

But my favourite thing about Out of Control is that it’s a fun book to read but it’s also got a very serious subject at its heart (which I won’t reveal). I want to write fun stories that engage readers, but also books that have something to say about issues I think need to be addressed.


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The Cost of All Things
by Maggie Lehrman
Signed ARC Giveaway
U.S. Only

Balzer + Bray
Released 5/12/2015

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets We Were Liars in this thought-provoking and brilliantly written debut that is part love story, part mystery, part high-stakes drama.

What would you pay to cure your heartbreak? Banish your sadness? Transform your looks? The right spell can fix anything…. When Ari's boyfriend Win dies, she gets a spell to erase all memory of him. But spells come at a cost, and this one sets off a chain of events that reveal the hidden—and sometimes dangerous—connections between Ari, her friends, and the boyfriend she can no longer remember.

Told from four different points of view, this original and affecting novel weaves past and present in a suspenseful narrative that unveils the truth behind a terrible tragedy.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Cost of All Things?

My favorite thing about the book is the part that was hardest to get a handle on while writing -- how the four storylines intersect and influence each other, and how they come together at the end. I started with four individual stories, each influenced by a character's death and the spells that were cast on them (knowingly or unknowingly), and then once I understood who these people were, I had to weave their stories together. It's the type of challenge I love, and the type of storytelling I love reading. One of the things that I kept repeating to myself as I was writing was that the characters think they're solving one mystery, but they end up unraveling a completely different one. I hope I stayed true to that throughout the book.

Purchase The Cost of All Things at Amazon
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View The Cost of All Things on Goodreads

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The Messengers
by Edward Hogan
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Candlewick
Released 5/12/2015

If you could see the future, would you have the guts to change it? A new psychological thriller from the author of Daylight Saving.

Fifteen-year-old Frances is sent to her aunt’s house for the summer to escape difficulties at home. Soon she meets Peter, a man unlike anyone she has ever known. Peter is a messenger—but his messages never bring good news. Peter believes that Frances is a messenger, too. In a compelling page-turner as complex as it is chilling, the author of Daylight Saving poses the provocative question: If you could change the future, where would you start?

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

I'd have to say the two central characters. I really loved spending time with my troubled protagonist, Frances, and the (even more troubled) Peter Kennedy, who works on his weird pictures in a beach hut on Brighton seafront. Peter is much older than Frances, but I soon discovered that Frances was the more stable character. She's stronger, in lots of ways. I often start writing with just the characters in mind. I'm interested in people, mainly. And - as some reviewers have noticed - plot is not my strong point!

I also enjoyed doing research for The Messengers. One of my characters, Johnny, is a boxer. I spent some time training with professional boxer John Paul Temple. It was very scary (!) but also extremely interesting. He explained the idea of "the conditioned face" - that's what it's called when you've been punched so many times, your skin no longer cuts easily. John Paul was so generous with his time, and all writers need that kind of help.


Purchase The Messengers at Amazon
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YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS


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Dust to Dust
by Melissa Walker
Hardcover
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 5/5/2015

Winner - Sandi T.

Perfect for fans of If I Stay or Imaginary Girls, Dust to Dust is the mysterious, thoughtful, and poignant sequel to Melissa Walker's haunting and heartbreaking novel Ashes to Ashes.

When Callie McPhee miraculously recovers from a tragic accident that should have taken her life, she thought her connection to the ghost world would be severed forever. And that she would never see Thatcher—the ghost she fell in love with in the hereafter—again. But when she receives unexpected signs from Thatcher, she's led down a dark road toward the angry souls who once tried to steal her soul's energy for another chance at life.

Now Callie must prevent the real world and the spirit world from colliding, and that could mean saying good-bye to people she'd never imagined she'd lose.

Purchase Dust to Dust at Amazon
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View Dust to Dust on Goodreads

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Galgorithm
by Aaron Karo
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 5/5/2015

Winner - Stephanie G.

A romantic comedy about high school, heartbreak, and having all the answers.

What if the secrets of dating and love were revealed in one simple formula? That is the tantalizing proposition high school senior Shane Chambliss offers the hopeless and hapless guys who come to him for relationship advice.

After the girl of his dreams breaks his heart, Shane devises a mysterious formula called the Galgorithm and establishes himself as the resident dating guru at Kingsview High School. But his attempts to master the art of romance go outrageously awry.

As Shane tries to navigate the ensuing drama, he must follow his heart, abandon all the rules, and ignore his own advice in a quest for true love. What he discovers, no formula could ever predict...

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Galgorithm?

My favorite part about GALGORITHM is the main character – Shane – and his relationship with his best friend, Jak. (Jak is a girl and J.A.K. are her initials!) I think we’ve all had a friendship in our lives that bordered on romantic without ever quite getting there, which was simultaneously fulfilling and frustrating. Shane is locked in a constant battle between his brain and his…let’s say crotch. Jak is awesome and an amazing friend, but Shane can’t help but think that there is something more. It makes him do crazy things. I’ve been there. I had a lot of fun exploring the thought process of a teenage boy who is crushing hard but doesn’t know how to act on it. Boys (and men) are in general pretty dumb I think. We’re all testosterone and instinct and very little cogent thought. But we mean well. Observing Jak interact, deflect, and engage with Shane was probably the highlight of constructing their story.

Purchase Galgorithm at Amazon
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View Galgorithm on Goodreads

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Ice Kissed
by Amanda Hocking
Hardcover
St. Martin's Griffin
Released 5/5/2015

Winner - Karen S.

Bryn Aven has always longed to be a part of her Kanin world. Though she has no social status because she’s a half-breed, she refuses to give up on her dream of serving the kingdom she loves. It’s a dream that brings her to a whole new realm…the glittering palace of the Skojare.

The Skojare people need protection from the same brutal rival who’s been threatening the Kanin. And being half Skojare herself, it’sa chance for Bryn to learn more about her heritage. Her boss Ridley Dresden is overseeing her mission and wants to help. He’s always been her most trusted friend—but as their undeniable attraction heats up, it’s a distraction she can’t afford. She’s about to discover that the Skojare world is full of secrets, and as she’s drawn in deeper, she doesn’t know who to trust. And matters worse, as she gets closer to Ridley, she can’t even trust her own heart.

Purchase Ice Kissed at Amazon
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View Ice Kissed on Goodreads

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Material Girls
by Elaine Dimopoulos
Hardcover
HMH Books for Young Readers
Released 5/5/2015

Winner - Cassie G.

In Marla Klein and Ivy Wilde’s world, teens are the gatekeepers of culture. A top fashion label employs sixteen-year-old Marla to dictate hot new clothing trends, while Ivy, a teen pop star, popularizes the garments that Marla approves. Both girls are pawns in a calculated but seductive system of corporate control, and both begin to question their world’s aggressive levels of consumption. Will their new “eco-chic” trend subversively resist and overturn the industry that controls every part of their lives?

Smart, provocative, and entertaining, this thrilling page-turner for teens questions the cult like mentality of fame and fashion. Are you in or are you out?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Material Girls?

My favorite thing about MATERIAL GIRLS is perhaps the character of Ivy Wilde, a sixteen-year-old pop princess. From the beginning, Ivy is a mess of contradictions. She adores shopping sprees yet feels uncomfortable about the piles of clothes in her two-story closet. She craves the adulation of her fans yet dreams of a vacation alone. She pities her ordinary parents yet can’t help but notice how happy they seem despite not being famous. She knows she has the talent and drive to get what she wants out of life… if only she can figures out what that is.

I love my other protagonist, Marla Klein, as well, but Marla is the more typical dystopian heroine of the two. Ivy is both a critic and a victim of her consumer-driven, youth-obsessed world. It is an ambivalence I live with and one I think many readers will find familiar.


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Swept Away
by Michelle Dalton
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 5/5/2015

Winner - Sam B.

Beachfront love blossoms in this refreshing summer romance, in the tradition of Sixteenth Summer and Seventeenth Summer.

Mandy Sullivan isn’t exactly looking forward to the summer months as tourists invade her seaside hometown on the coast of Maine. Her best friend, Cynthia, has abandoned her for camp and her older brother just announced he’ll be staying at college taking classes for the summer, leaving Mandy with nothing to do and no one to hang out with. Hoping to keep herself busy, Mandy takes a volunteer job at the Rocky Pointe Lighthouse. On her very first day, Oliver Farmingham asks for a private tour. A new—and incredibly cute—face in Rocky Pointe, Oliver seems more interested in Mandy than the lighthouse and its history.

Without her best friend at her side, Mandy is scrambling to act the right way and say the right things when Oliver is around. Cynthia—not Mandy—has always been the confident, flirtatious girl that everyone wanted to be around. As Mandy and Oliver spend more time together exploring the coast, biking through the woods, and attending the local summer festivals, their budding friendship becomes much more. But with Mandy’s insecurities creeping to the surface, can she open her heart to someone who will only be in town for three months?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Swept Away?

The research! The book is very much based on a place in Maine where I spent a summer, but it had been awhile since I’d been there, so in addition to reading and looking at pictures, I took myself to a wonderful place in Connecticut that was similar, with a wonderful lighthouse and museum. I was inspired by a lot of what I saw-- and smelled, and tasted. Though I didn’t have any “bloob pockets” – I invented them for the story. I’ll have to try making some…

Oh – and total coincidence – one of the books I found for my research (a collection of Maine photographs) was actually all about the place I had stayed that summer! The memories came back very vividly when I saw that.


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* * * *



A Court of Thorns and Roses
by Sarah J Maas
ARC
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 5/5/2015

Winner - Christina C.

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

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MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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5 to 1
by Holly Bodger
Hardcover
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 5/12/2015

In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of marrying off their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women who form the country of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife.

Sudasa, though, doesn't want to be a wife, and Kiran, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. As the tests advance, Sudasa and Kiran thwart each other at every turn until they slowly realize that they just might want the same thing.

This beautiful, unique novel is told from alternating points of view-Sudasa's in verse and Kiran's in prose-allowing readers to experience both characters' pain and their brave struggle for hope.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about 5 to 1?

My favorite thing about 5 TO 1 is definitely the setting. While I’ve always been fascinated by India, the moment I started my in-depth research, I totally fell in love. To me, India is the land of color. The clothes are often vibrant shades of red and orange and yellow and green. Fabrics are beaded, sequined and embroidered. The landscape of India is also very diverse. From sandy beaches to lush green pastures to snow-tipped mountains, India really has it all. It was definitely a challenge to try to convey the richness of this setting in 5 TO 1, but it was also one of my most enjoyable tasks.

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* * * *


Burn
by Sarah Fine, Walter Jury
Hardcover
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Released 5/12/2015

At the cliffhanger ending of Scan, Tate loses the very thing he was fighting to protect, what his father had called the key to human survival. Tate doesn't have much time to worry about it because he needs to get away, to ensure he and Christina are safe. His father left him one last thing that can do just that—a safehouse, which turns out to be a clue to what's really threatening the planet. As Tate follows the clues his father left behind, he starts to uncover the truth, realizing he's up against an enemy he's only beginning to understand.

A riveting, fast-paced "we are not alone" adventure, Burn thrills to the very end.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Burn?

Sarah: My favorite thing about BURN is Tate’s journey in terms of how he deals with the consequences of his actions in SCAN. In that first book, he’s just trying to survive, he’s on the run, and he’s getting his first taste of this huge, mysterious world his father had kept secret from him. In BURN, Tate’s deep into that world and still fighting not only for his life, but the lives of everyone he cares about—but he’s also dealing with the idea that maybe everything that’s happened is all his fault. It’s all the fallout of his first reckless decision in SCAN: to steal the scanner from his father’s lab. That’s what sets off this firestorm of violence and terror, including the death of his father, and in BURN, we see Tate really grappling with the toll and trying to figure out how to atone, how to deal with his guilt over his father’s death, and whether he’s strong enough to live up to his father’s name. It’s the emotional core of the book and was a pleasure to write.

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Making Pretty
by Corey Ann Haydu
Hardcover
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 5/12/2015

Montana and her sister, Arizona, are named after the mountainous states their mother left them for. But Montana is a New York City girl through and through, and as the city heats up, she’s stepping into the most intense summer of her life. Her father is distracted by yet another divorce, and she’s growing apart from her sister. Then she meets wild, bold Karissa, who encourages Montana to live in technicolor and chase new experiences. But the more of her own secrets Karissa reveals, the more Montana has to wonder if Karissa’s someone she can really trust.

In the midst of her uncertainty, Montana finds a beautiful distraction in Bernardo. He’s serious and spontaneous, and he looks at Montana in the way she wants to be seen. For the first time, Montana understands how you can become both lost and found in somebody else. But when that love becomes everything, where does it leave the rest of her imperfect life?

Corey Ann Haydu's third novel is a raw, romantic coming-of-age story, perfect for fans of Gayle Forman and Jenny Han.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Making Pretty?

My favorite thing about MAKING PRETTY is absolutely that it takes place in New York City! I've been living in New York since August 2001, and it's always felt like where I'm meant to be-- my true home. I haven't written a book set in New York City until this one. I can't say exactly why-- I guess because I grew up in New England, it felt more natural to set my YA novels there. But when I started writing MAKING PRETTY I knew that it was the perfect time to start exploring my favorite setting.

I chose to set the novel around Washington Square Park in the village because that's where I lived when I was eighteen and new to the city. It's the first bit of the city I fell in love with. When I was there the arch in the park was always covered in scaffolding and I only ever rode the A train. I ate a lot of crepes and bought cheap purses at an outdoor market next to a Tower Record that no longer exists. Reconnecting with that time in my life was an absolute joy.

I don't live in the village anymore-- I'm out in Brooklyn these days-- but I get a special thrill whenever I approach Washington Square Park or walk on the MacDougal Street. And I got a special thrill spending time there through the pages of MAKING PRETTY. I hope my readers do too.


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The Wrath and the Dawn
by Renée Ahdieh
Hardcover
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Released 5/12/2015

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Wrath and the Dawn?

I'd have to say the many kinds of love represented in the book--the love between a father and his children, the love between sisters, the love between friends, the love between first loves, and the love between great loves. I'm a sucker for a good love story, so it was important to me to write a novel that paid homage to one. But it was also important to show that love is an ever-evolving thing. And with one's choices--both in life and in love--come consequences.

In addition, I loved writing a story inspired by middle eastern lore! It's a region of the world with such rich history, filled with fascinating cultures. I only hope readers enjoy it half as much as I enjoyed writing it.


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MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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A Tale of Two Besties
by Sophia Rossi
Hardcover
Razorbill
Released 5/12/2015

Best friends. BFFs. Soul twinsies. Whatever you want to call them, Harper and Lily were born to be besties. With high school just around the corner, casual-cool Cali girl Harper and awkward, always-costumed Lily make sure to text each other every day about their bond:

Harper: I love you so much that I am going to sneak out of detention to pay that guy from Craigslist $100 to cut off all your hair for my secret collection.
Lily: I love you so much I’m going destroy everyone in your life that matters and force you to depend and love only me.
Harper: That sounds beautiful. I love you.

Not even the threat of different high schools could throw this BFFship off-course, even if Lily begs her parents not to send her to the “dreaded Pathways," a special school for creative types, while effortlessly-popular Harper attends Beverly High with the rest of their class.

But in a city where fitting in means standing out and there’s nothing more uncool than being cool, it’s the naturally charismatic Harper--with her blond hair and perfect bone structure--who finds herself fighting the tide of American Apparel’d teens who rule the school. Meanwhile, it’s the perpetually “gawkward” Lily--who accessories every ensemble with a pair of tattered fairy wings--who finds herself flying alongside the queen bees of Pathways. Can BFF-ship survive the tidal wave of HS drama, or does growing up mean leaving some friends behind?

Inspired by the HelloGiggles community of likeminded best friends, founded by IRL besties Zooey Deschanel and Sophia Rossi, and set in a hilarious insider’s version of Los Angeles, A Tale of Two Besties will make you giggle and cry…and then tell you how cute you look with runny mascara.

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Apple and Rain
by Sarah Crossan
Hardcover
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 5/12/2015

When Apple's mother returns after eleven years of absence, Apple feels almost whole again. In order to heal completely, her mother will have to answer one burning question: Why did she abandon her? But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother's homecoming is bittersweet. It's only when Apple meets her younger sister, Rain-someone more lost than she is- that she begins to see things for how they really are, allowing Apple to discover something that might help her to feel truly whole again.

From the author of the acclaimed The Weight of Water comes a beautifully-crafted, moving novel about family, betrayal, and the ultimate path to healing.

Purchase Apple and Rain at Amazon
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Fell of Dark
by Patrick Downes
Hardcover
Philomel Books
Released 5/12/2015

A book that challenges the word "powerful" and obliterates it

Written in searing prose, this is the story of two boys: Erik, who performs miracles, and Thorn, who hears voices. The book chronicles their lives as their minds devolve into hallucinations, and shows the way their worlds intersect, culminating in a final stand-off.

This debut novel offer a raw, insightful look at the forces that compel us to act against our will. Even more so, it captivates and dares us to look away, knowing full well we can't.

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Heat of the Moment
by Lauren Barnholdt
Paperback
HarperTeen
Released 5/12/2015

In the first book of Lauren Barnholdt's captivating The Moment of Truth series, Lyla discovers that trusting her head might be easy but trusting her heart is a whole other matter.

Lyla McAfee had all but forgotten the email that she wrote to herself freshman year and scheduled to be delivered right before graduation—the one promising that she'd learn to trust by the end of senior year. But when she receives it the first morning of her senior trip to Florida, her life is sent into a tailspin. Soon she's questioning her seemingly perfect relationship with her boyfriend, Derrick, her attraction to the school player, Beckett, and whether ending her friendship with Aven and Quinn, her former BFFs, was one of the biggest mistakes of her life.

Each book in this trilogy is told from the perspective of a different girl—Lyla, Aven, and Quinn—former best friends who, back in freshman year, wrote emails to their future selves about the one thing they hope to accomplish before they graduate. Over the course of the series, each girl will learn about life, love, and the truth about the fight that ended their perfect friendship.

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Nil Unlocked
by Lynne Matson
Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
Released 5/12/2015

On the island of Nil, the rules are set. You have exactly 365 days to escape—or you die. Rives is now the undisputed Leader of Nil City, but keeping the City united is tougher than ever.

Raiders have grown bolder, supplies are dwindling, and non-human inhabitants have taken a turn toward the deadly. New arrivals cause rifts within the City, putting the Search system at risk, and calling everything Rives knows into question. Desperate for answers, he teams up with the only other person searching for them: Skye, a new arrival with a mysterious past of her own. Soon the duo find themselves locked in a desperate race to save all the residents of Nil—and possibly destroy the island forever. But at what cost? And who will pay the price?

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The Hunted
by Matt de la Pena
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 5/12/2015

The sequel to The Living, Matt de la Peña’s The Hunted is a high-energy, action-packed survival story.

When the Big One hit, Shy was at sea in style. The Paradise Cruise luxury liner he worked on was a hulking specimen of the best money could buy. And now it's at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, along with almost all of its passengers.

Shy wasn't the only one to survive, though. Addie, the rich blond daughter of a mysterious businessman, was on the dinghy he pulled himself into. But as soon as they found the rest of the survivors, she disappeared.

The only thing that filled the strange void of losing her was finding Carmen, his hot coworker, and discovering a way to get back home. But Shy's luck hasn't turned. Not yet.

Back on the dinghy, Addie told him a secret. It's a secret that people would kill for-have killed for-and she has the piece that could turn everything on its ear. The problem? Shy has no idea where Addie is. Back home in California seems logical, but there are more ways to die back home then Shy could ever have guessed.

And thanks to what Shy now knows, he's a moving target.

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Vanished
by E. E. Cooper
Hardcover
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 5/12/2015

Gone Girl meets Pretty Little Liars in this fast-paced psychological thriller full of delicious twists and turns.

Friendship. Obsession. Deception. Love.

Kalah knows better than to fall for Beth Taylor . . . but that doesn't stop her from falling hard and falling fast, heart first into a sea of complications.

Then Beth vanishes. She skips town on her eighteenth birthday, leaving behind a flurry of rumors and a string of broken hearts. Not even Beth's best friend, Britney, knows where she went. Beth didn't even tell Kalah good-bye.

One of the rumors links Beth to Britney's boyfriend, and Kalah doesn't want to believe the betrayal. But Brit clearly believes it--and before Kalah can sort out the truth, Britney is dead.

When Beth finally reaches out to Kalah in the wake of Brit's suicide, Kalah wants to trust what Beth tells her. But she's swiftly realizing that nothing here is as it seems. Kalah's caught in the middle of a deadly psychological game, and only she can untangle the deceptions and lies to reveal the unthinkable truth.

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14. FIVE Books to Giveaway plus New YALit Releases 5/25 - 5/31 with Author Interviews

Since today is Memorial Day, we want to say how much we appreciate the brave women and men who are past or present members of the armed forces and honor the ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you for your service.

We also want to share eighteen new books releasing this week, with eight author interviews, and five giveaways of four of the titles. Let us know in the comments which ones you're itching to read.

Happy reading,

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

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


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Kissing in America
by Margo Rabb
Signed ARC Giveaway (2 Copies)
U.S. Only

HarperCollins
Released 5/26/2015

I loved romances because when you opened the first page, you knew the story would end well. Your heart wouldn't be broken. I loved that security, that guaranteed love.

In real life, you never knew the ending. I hated that.

Sixteen-year-old Eva has never been in love. But when she meets Will, everything changes. With him, her grief over her father's death fades, and she can escape from her difficult relationship with her mother. Then, without any warning, Will picks up and moves to California. So Eva—with the help of her best friend, Annie—concocts a plan to travel across the country to see him again. As they leave New York City for the first time and road-trip across America, they encounter cowboys, kudzu, and tiny towns without stoplights. Along the way, Eva and Annie learn the truth about love and all its complexities.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Kissing in America?

I loved writing about Eva as a poet, her connection to writing and her struggle to write again, and including poems in the novel. KISSING IN AMERICA includes many classic and contemporary poems, by W. H. Auden, Emily Dickinson, Adrienne Rich, Nikki Giovanni, Marie Howe, and others, and I loved including those in the book (although getting permission was quite a lot of work!)

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Emancipated
by M. G. Reyes
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Katherine Tegen Books
Released 5/26/2015

The good girl, the bad boy, the diva, the hustler, the rock star, and the nerd. Six teens legally liberated from parental control for six different reasons, all with one thing in common: something to hide.

Now they’re sharing a house in Venice Beach, acting like a family, and living their lies. No parents. No limits. No alibis. One witnessed a crime, another might be a murderer—and one’s been spying on them all.

As they cling to a fantasy of freedom and slowly let down their guards, the past creeps up on them. And when one of them gets arrested, everyone’s carefully constructed facade comes crumbling down.

In this steamy, drama-filled series, relationships are tested and secrets revealed as lies threaten to destroy their perfect setup.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Emancipated?

My favourite thing is probably the chance to try something really different from my previous books - a contemporary 'realistic' setting for character drama. Before EMANCIPATED I'd mainly written action-adventure for a younger readership - both THE JOSHUA FILES and GEMINI FORCE ONE (written under MG Harris) are for 10-14. The older reading age of EMANCIPATED allows me to explore issues of morality and life choices in a much more realistic backdrop.

OK - the set-up of six rather gorgeous and talented teenagers living independently in a groovy beach shack has elements of fantasy, but there are no secret societies, or futuristic technology, or time-travelling villains to drive the plot. Instead, everything that happens - and as the trilogy progresses these things will be pretty, pretty bad - is the result of choices that the characters make, often under difficult circumstances.

I was a huge fan of Breaking Bad, and EMANCIPATED allows me to play in a similar arena of tricky moral choices, the slippery slope to crimes and misdemeanors. And that was fun for me, very different, a wonderful challenge.


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Extraordinary Means
by Robyn Schneider
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Katherine Tegen Books
Released 5/26/2015

From the author of The Beginning of Everything: two teens with a deadly disease fall in love on the brink of a cure.

At seventeen, overachieving Lane finds himself at Latham House, a sanatorium for teens suffering from an incurable strain of tuberculosis. Part hospital and part boarding school, Latham is a place of endless rules and confusing rituals, where it's easier to fail breakfast than it is to flunk French.

There, Lane encounters a girl he knew years ago. Instead of the shy loner he remembers, Sadie has transformed. At Latham, she is sarcastic, fearless, and utterly compelling. Her friends, a group of eccentric troublemakers, fascinate Lane, who has never stepped out of bounds his whole life. And as he gradually becomes one of them, Sadie shows him their secrets: how to steal internet, how to sneak into town, and how to disable the med sensors they must wear at all times.

But there are consequences to having secrets, particularly at Latham House. And as Lane and Sadie begin to fall in love and their group begins to fall sicker, their insular world threatens to come crashing down. Told in alternating points of view, Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about doomed friendships, first love, and the rare miracle of second chances.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Extraordinary Means?

Extraordinary Means is a dual narrative, and my favorite thing about the book is something that readers might not even notice: the two narrators don’t tell exactly the same story. Lane tells a coming of age story, which begins the moment he arrives at Latham House and ends when he leaves. His narrative is removed and introspective. And Sadie tells a love story. Her narrative begins the day she first sees Lane, more than a year after she’s arrived at Latham House, and it ends after the question of whether or not they want to be together has been answered. So her narrative is more in the moment, and closer to the story. I think writing it that way helped me to understand which parts of the story belonged to which characters.

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The Porcupine of Truth
by Bill Konigsberg
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Arthur A. Levine Books
Released 5/26/2015

The author of OPENLY STRAIGHT returns with an epic road trip involving family history, gay history, the girlfriend our hero can't have, the grandfather he never knew, and the Porcupine of Truth.

Carson Smith is resigned to spending his summer in Billings, Montana, helping his mom take care of his father, a dying alcoholic he doesn't really know. Then he meets Aisha Stinson, a beautiful girl who has run away from her difficult family, and Pastor John Logan, who's long held a secret regarding Carson's grandfather, who disappeared without warning or explanation thirty years before. Together, Carson and Aisha embark on an epic road trip to find the answers that might save Carson's dad, restore his fragmented family, and discover the "Porcupine of Truth" in all of their lives.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Porcupine of Truth?

My favorite thing is probably the relationship between Carson and Aisha (Cars-Isha for short). There's a lot of humor, there's some fighting, and in the end there is a tenderness to their friendship that I really love. It's a strong bond they forge, and both characters have had trouble forming close friendships so it's a beautiful thing.

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YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS


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A Sense of the Infinite
by Hilary T. Smith
Hardcover
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 5/19/2015

Winner - Heather C.

By the author of the critically acclaimed Wild Awake, a beautiful coming-of-age story about deep friendship, the weight of secrets, and the healing power of nature.

It's senior year of high school, and Annabeth is ready—ready for everything she and her best friend, Noe, have been planning and dreaming. But there are some things Annabeth isn't prepared for, like the constant presence of Noe's new boyfriend. Like how her relationship with her mom is wearing and fraying. And like the way the secret she's been keeping hidden deep inside her for years has started clawing at her insides, making it hard to eat or even breathe.

But most especially, she isn't prepared to lose Noe.

For years, Noe has anchored Annabeth and set their joint path. Now Noe is drifting in another direction, making new plans and dreams that don't involve Annabeth. Without Noe's constant companionship, Annabeth's world begins to crumble. But as a chain of events pulls Annabeth further and further away from Noe, she finds herself closer and closer to discovering who she's really meant to be—with her best friend or without.

Hilary T. Smith's second novel is a gorgeously written meditation on identity, loss, and the bonds of friendship.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about A Sense of the Infinite?

If you read the book’s plot description, it sounds pretty dark. There’s depression, teen pregnancy, friendships dissolving. But it’s actually a very bright, funny, and hopeful book. There’s a real sense in which Annabeth’s life gets better in spite (and possibly because) of the fact that hard things are happening. And I have the feeling that if she looked back on that year in her life as an adult, she would feel a lot of love and pride.

The darkest times in my life have always had the brightest moments nestled within them—those moments of beauty or poetry or humor that are made more radiant in the context of pain. And that’s my favorite thing about A SENSE OF THE INFINITE: it could have been a relentlessly grim and depressing book, but it has that brightness instead.


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Chantress Fury
by Amy Butler Greenfield
Hardcover
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Released 5/19/2015

Winner - Kira B.

The sea is coming. We are coming. And we will drown you all.

With a song, Lucy can control the wind and the water; she can bring castles and kingdoms to their feet. Since Lucy mastered her powers, King Henry has kept her close as he’s rebuilt England. She’s his best ally—and his workhorse. And now he’s called her to investigate attempted murder: His men claim they were almost killed on the Thames…by a mermaid. All Lucy can glean from the creature they’ve captured is a warning: The sea is coming. We are coming. And we will drown you all.

And then the floods begin. Swaths of London are submerged as the people scramble to defend themselves against the water—and the monsters—that are flooding their streets. As mistrust of Lucy's magic grows, the king relies on Nat, Lucy's great love, to guide them through the storm. But Nat is cold and distant to Lucy. He swore his love only a year before, and now he calls her “stranger.”

Lucy is determined to defeat this powerful new magic alone if she must. But then she hears an eerie song within the water…can it mean that she’s not the last Chantress after all?

Sweepingly romantic and crackling with magic, Chantress Fury triumphantly concludes the powerful Chantress trilogy.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Chantress Fury?

After I sold the CHANTRESS trilogy, so many writers warned me about the horrors of drafting Book 3. They were right in some ways: The deadlines for CHANTRESS FURY were tough, and so was the pressure to pull everything together once and for all. Yet I truly loved writing about a Chantress at the height of her powers, facing head-on all the challenges that come with being a powerful woman in her world. It was glorious to let out all the stops on the magic – to write about uncanny floods and devious mermaids and ferocious sea serpents attacking London (and that’s just for starters)! It was a wild ride that brings Lucy full circle, giving her a deeper sense of who she is, and where she ultimately belongs.

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Killer Within
by S.E. Green
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 5/19/2015

Winner - Molly M.

In the heart-pounding sequel to the “zippy, gripping psychological drama” (Kirkus Reviews) Killer Instinct, teen vigilante Lane must face the secrets and unexpected consequences that arise in the wake of her first kill.

It’s been three months since Lane made her first kill—the sadistic Decapitator—and now she feels both closer and more alienated than ever from her united, grieving family. Haunted by conflicting memories of her mother, Lane resumes her role as the vigilante Masked Savior out of a feeling of obligation—but her heart just isn’t in it anymore. Now that Lane has felt the rush of deeper, darker thrills, a growing part of her wants to revisit its seductive power, and she’s not sure how long she can resist.

Meanwhile, the Masked Savior has inspired its own fan site, where groupies gather online to praise, document, and debate each delivered act of justice. But one of Lane’s secret admirers is becoming a cunning copycat, exacting “justice” on defenseless innocents, increasing the violence with each attack.

Someone is watching Lane, edging closer to making contact. Someone who knows her darkest secrets. Will Lane be able to stop the copycat and keep her identity protected? Or will she give in to the thrills that tempt her?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Killer Within?

My favorite thing about KILLER WITHIN is my main character, Lane. She's just so badass!

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Lion Heart
by A.C. Gaughen
Hardcover
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 5/19/2015

Winners - Carissa K. and Allison M.

The eagerly-awaited conclusion to the Scarlet trilogy delivers another action-packed and romance-filled adventure.

Scarlet has captured the hearts of readers as well as the heart of Robin Hood, and after ceaseless obstacles and countless threats, readers will finally find out the fate of the Lady Thief.

Only the greatest loves can survive great danger. . .

Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape, she learns that King Richard's life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine needs Scarlet's help to free him. For a lifelong thief, this newfound allegiance to the crown-her family-is a strange feeling.


Scarlet knows that helping Eleanor will put her and those she loves back in Prince John's sights. Desperate not to risk anyone's life but her own, Scarlet formulates a plan to help save the king on her own. But fate-and her heart-won't allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long. Even if Scarlet and Rob can together stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England, will their love be enough to save them once and for all?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Lion Heart?

Well, I think my very favorite thing is *CHOCK FULL O SPOILERS*, but my second favorite thing was developing the relationship between Scarlet and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Eleanor has been one of my favorite characters of all time--she's complicated and strong; she wielded incredible power and yet also had to invest her power in both her sons and her two husbands. She was a woman of powerful paradoxes!

There's this moment in LION HEART when Eleanor is attacked, and Scarlet has to fight like hell to save Eleanor and the ladies in her service. When it's over, the ladies take refuge at an abbey to clean up and regroup. They're all dirty and need to bathe, and Scarlet is bleeding--not drastically, but enough to get the water really gross, and in those days, you shared bathwater. She waits until the others bathe, and when she gets in the bath, Eleanor washes her hair, and the other women help clean her. Scarlet starts crying--this moment of intense vulnerability--and she just lets the other women help her.

This was a huge moment for Scarlet, to let someone else help her, but it was also this really emotional moment for me to write--it felt like me honoring all the women in my life who are there to pick me up when I'm broken, to wash my hair and heal me. Considering this book, this series, this whole dream of being a writer is something I wouldn't have accomplished without a tremendous amount of love in my corner, that tiny little thank you means a lot to me.


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Maximum Ride Forever
by James Patterson
Hardcover
Little, Brown and Company
Released 5/18/2015

Winner - Alicia E.

THE NINTH AND ULTIMATE MAXIMUM RIDE STORY IS HERE! Legions of Max fans won't be disappointed by this encore episode in the beloved series about the incredible adventures of a teenage girl who can fly. As Maximum Ride boldly navigates a post-apocalyptic world, she and her broken flock are roaming the earth, searching for answers to what happened. All will be revealed in this last spectacular "ride"- a brand-new grand finale featuring all of the nonstop action, twists and turns that readers can rely on in a blockbuster Patterson page turner!

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Sparks in Scotland
by A. Destiny and Rhonda Helms
Paperback
Simon Pulse
Released 5/19/2015

Winner - Alisha S.

First crush, first love, first kiss—Ava learns about more than her heritage while vacationing in Scotland in this addition to the sweet and clean Flirt series!

Ava is going on vacation to Scotland, where she’s supposed to learn more about her Scottish heritage. She’s excited to see the castles, abbeys, and coastal hills—and maybe even catch a glimpse of Nessie herself—but Ava doesn’t expect to meet Graham.

He’s cute, sweet, and has the perfect Scottish accent…but does he like her as much as she likes him?

And if there is something of a mutual attraction there, Ava wonders, is it worth pursuing a crush when she’ll be on the other side of the Atlantic in just two weeks?

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MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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Charmed
by Michelle Krys
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 5/26/2015

Indie has spent the last few weeks frantically searching for Paige. She's tried every spell imaginable, but witchcraft has gotten her nowhere, and she's going crazy with guilt. Despite what her warlock boyfriend, Bishop, tells her, Indie knows it's her fault her best friend was kidnapped by the Priory. And with the Priory destroyed, finding Paige feels more hopeless than ever-especially when Indie discovers that Paige isn't even on Earth. She's trapped in Los Demonios, an alternate dimension of Los Angeles filled with evil paranormals. No one who has gone there has ever come out.

Fueled by terror and loyalty, Indie is desperate to find a way into the underworld prison. She'll worry about getting out later. But facing the dark world's most dangerous witches and warlocks on her own means keeping her plan hush-hush-and forging alliances with some sketchy people, including a seriously sexy sorcerer.

Sometimes a witch must keep secrets from the people she cares about most. And sometimes she isn't the only one with secrets…

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Charmed?

*Hexed Spoilers ahead*

I love so many things about CHARMED—the alternate dimension prison city, the magic, the shocking twists and turns—but what I love most is Indie’s character development. In HEXED, Indie discovers she’s a witch at the same moment as she’s thrust into this centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, which leaves her a little bit dependent on Bishop, a seasoned warlock, for answers and protection. But in CHARMED, Indie fully embraces her powers and stands on her own as a witch. I love her transformation!


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I Am Princess X
by Cherie Priest
Hardcover
Arthur A. Levine Books
Released 5/26/2015

Best friends, big fans, a mysterious webcomic, and a long-lost girl collide in this riveting novel, perfect for fans of both Cory Doctorow and Sarah Dessen, and illustrated throughout with comics.

Once upon a time, two best friends created a princess together. Libby drew the pictures, May wrote the tales, and their heroine, Princess X, slayed all the dragons and scaled all the mountains their imaginations could conjure.

Once upon a few years later, Libby was in the car with her mom, driving across the Ballard Bridge on a rainy night. When the car went over the side, Libby passed away, and Princess X died with her.

Once upon a now: May is sixteen and lonely, wandering the streets of Seattle, when she sees a sticker slapped in a corner window.

Princess X?

When May looks around, she sees the Princess everywhere: Stickers. Patches. Graffiti. There's an entire underground culture, focused around a webcomic at IAmPrincessX.com. The more May explores the webcomic, the more she sees disturbing similarities between Libby's story and Princess X online. And that means that only one person could have started this phenomenon - her best friend, Libby, who lives.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about I Am Princess X?

I really love the way the fantasy-themed web comic threads through the contemporary mystery - I think they're a perfect complement to one another, and the artist did an amazing job of capturing the vibe I was hoping for.

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Immaculate
by Katelyn Detweiler
Hardcover
Viking Books for Young Readers
Released 5/26/2015

Mina is seventeen. A virgin. And pregnant.

Mina is top of her class, girlfriend to the most ambitious guy in school, able to reason and study her way through anything. But when she suddenly finds herself pregnant—despite having never had sex—her orderly world collapses. Almost nobody believes Mina’s claims of virginity. Her father assumes that her boyfriend is responsible; her boyfriend believes she must have cheated on him. As news of Mina’s story spreads, there are those who brand her a liar. There are those who brand her a heretic. And there are those who believe that miracles are possible—and that Mina’s unborn child could be the greatest miracle of all.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Immaculate?

The strong females. Especially the main character, 17-year-old Mina, as she has to face down this massive transformation of her goals, dreams, values, beliefs in the aftermath of finding out about her totally unexpected pregnancy. The entire map of her future is, virtually overnight, shifting into something completely unrecognizable. And there are the female friendships that define her as well, the powerful bonds that shape her story: her mom, her little sister Gracie, her two closest friends, Hannah and Izzy. Mina has this fierce net of women around her at all times, to catch her when she needs it most, but at the end of the day, she has to be her own strongest supporter.

My dad always raised me with the idea that it’s not what happens to us in life that matters, but how we deal with what happens. This book is all about “dealing” with a quite unexpected happening, and how someone—how Mina—becomes better and braver because of that ultimate test of character. And it’s also about how the rest of her relationships evolve, too, the struggles that test these bonds to their limits and ultimately make them stronger than they’ve ever been.


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The Cage
by Megan Shepherd
Hardcover
Balzer + Bray
Released 5/26/2015

The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this gripping new series about teens held captive in a human zoo by an otherworldly race. From Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of The Madman's Daughter trilogy.

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn't know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn't alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora's past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?

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

I love how THE CAGE has an unabashedly old-school sci-fi feel. The book is about six teenagers put in a "human zoo" by an all-powerful, psychic race, and though it's often terrifying for them, it's also sort of fun. Their alien captors don't quite understand humanity, so they make quirky little mistakes while trying to recreate our world. Some of the captives also find that they sort of enjoy the easy life and luxury of captivity. It has a TWILIGHT ZONE or PLANET OF THE APES feel, which were some of my favorite types of sci-fi stories growing up.

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MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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A Conspiracy of Princes
by Justin Somper
Hardcover
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released 5/26/2015

The newly crowned Prince Jared, ruler of All Archenfield, has inherited a kingdom in crisis. The murder of his older brother has revealed a traitorous plot in his court, calling into question who, if anyone, Jared can trust as he ascends the throne. Now the realm is on the brink of invasion from the brutal princes of Paddenburg and Jared must travel to neighboring kingdoms in search of allies to defend his throne. Little does he know that an even more dangerous plot is hatching in the Archenfield court--one that threatens to remove Jared from power. One put in motion by the very people he left in charge.

The second book in Justin Somper's Allies & Assassins series delivers another twisted tale of high-stakes betrayal and political machinations set amid a lush medieval background.

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Daughter of Deep Silence
by Carrie Ryan
Hardcover
Dutton Books for Young Readers
Released 5/26/2015

I’m the daughter of murdered parents.
I’m the friend of a dead girl.
I’m the lover of my enemy.
And I will have my revenge.

In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she’ll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process.

Sharp and incisive, Daughter of Deep Silence by bestselling author Carrie Ryan is a deliciously smart revenge thriller that examines perceptions of identity, love, and the lengths to which one girl is willing to go when she thinks she has nothing to lose.

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Dime
by E. R. Frank
Hardcover
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Released 5/26/2015

The realities of teen prostitution are revealed in this eye-opening, heartbreaking story from the author of America, which Booklist called "a piercing, unforgettable novel" and Kirkus Reviews deemed "a work of sublime humanity."

As a teen girl in Newark, New Jersey, lost in the foster care system, Dime just wants someone to care about her, to love her. A family. And that is exactly what she gets-a daddy and two "wifeys." So what if she has to go out and earn some coins to keep her place? It seems a fair enough exchange for love.

Dime never meant to become a prostitute. It happened so gradually, she pretty much didn't realize it was happening until it was too late.

But when a new "wifey" joins the family and Dime finds out that Daddy doesn't love her the way she thought he did, will Dime have the strength to leave? And will Daddy let her?

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P.S. I Still Love You
by Jenny Han
Hardcover
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Released 5/26/2015

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of makes it so amazing.

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Shadow of the Wolf
by Tim Hall
Hardcover
David Fickling Books
Released 5/26/2015

A stunning re-imagining of Robin Hood, the first in an exciting new trilogy.

Forget everything you've ever heard about Robin Hood.

Robin Loxley is seven years old when his parents disappear without a trace. Years later the great love of his life, Marian, is also taken from him. Driven by these mysteries, and this anguish, Robin follows a darkening path into the ancient heart of Sherwood Forest. What he encounters there will leave him transformed . . .

The first book of a trilogy, Shadow of the Wolf is a breathtakingly original--and utterly compelling--retelling that will forever alter the legend of Robin Hood.

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The Death Code
by Lindsay Cummings
Hardcover
Greenwillow Books
Released 5/26/2015

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is the dark and compelling sequel to the bestselling The Murder Complex, which Booklist praised as "carefully crafted . . . chilling" and Justine magazine called "a must for fans of action-packed dystopians like The Hunger Games and Divergent."

With short, fast-paced, alternating point-of-view chapters, The Death Code starts several weeks after The Murder Complex ends. Zephyr keeps the secret about Meadow close—that if she dies, The Murder Complex will be destroyed, too. Meadow, desperate to find her brother, father, and little sister, is determined to fight fearlessly to the end, even if it means sacrificing herself and her friends, new and old. The Death Code introduces a memorable cast of secondary characters and delivers a vivid and scary thrill ride read. For fans of La Femme Nikita, Legend, and Hanna.

Purchase The Death Code at Amazon
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The Edge of the Shadows
by Elizabeth George
Hardcover
Viking Books for Young Readers
Released 5/26/2015

The much anticipated third installment of the Whidbey Island saga.

Whidbey Island, a place of secrets and mystery, is home now for Becca King, still in hiding from her criminal stepfather. But Becca and her friends have new worries, as a series of fires are being set, the latest causing a fatality. Is one of the newcomers to blame? Perhaps it’s Isis Martin’s brother, just back from a school for troubled kids, or Parker, a musician fired by his bandmates. Meanwhile, Becca herself continues to slowly explore her own paranormal abilities under the tutelage of Diana Kinsale.

Elizabeth George, nominated for an Edgar and an Agatha award for The Edge of Nowhere, her first book set on Whidbey Island, proves once again that she is a suspense novelist without peer.

Purchase The Edge of the Shadows at Amazon
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View The Edge of the Shadows on Goodreads

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The Eternal City
by Paula Morris
Hardcover
Point
Released 5/26/2015

From master of suspense Paula Morris comes a tale of gods and goddesses, thrilling romance, and mystery set in present-day Rome.

Laura Martin is visiting Rome on a class trip, and she's entranced by the majestic Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon. . . . Everything in this city seems magical.

That is, until the magic seems to turn very dark.

Suddenly, statues of Cupid and ancient works of art come to life before her eyes. Earthquakes rumble and a cloud of ash forms in the sky. A dark-eyed boy with wings on his heels appears and gives her a message. Laura soon realizes she is at the center of a brewing battle -- a battle between the gods and goddesses, one that will shake modern-day Rome to its core.

Only she and her group of friends can truly unravel the mystery behind what is happening. As tensions mount and secret identities are revealed, Laura must rely on her own inner strength to face up to what may be a fight for her life.

Acclaimed author Paula Morris brings the ancient world to vivid life in this unstoppable tale of friendship, love, and the power of the past.

Purchase The Eternal City at Amazon
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View The Eternal City on Goodreads

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The Tenderness of Thieves
by Donna Freitas
Hardcover
Philomel Books
Released 5/26/2015

A summer romance filled with danger and lies

Jane is ready for a fantastic summer. In fact, she’s pretty sure the universe owes her one.

This past winter, Jane was held at knifepoint during an armed robbery and the specter of that night still haunts her. A summer romance with one of the town bad boys -- sexy Handel Davies, who takes her breath away and makes her feel like a bolder version of herself -- seems like the universe’s way of paying her back.

But bad boys always have secrets, and Handel’s secret just might shatter Jane completely.

This suspense novel marries psychological thriller with summer romance and is perfect for teen fans of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl.

Purchase The Tenderness of Thieves at Amazon
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View The Tenderness of Thieves on Goodreads

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Tiny Pretty Things
by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 5/26/2015

Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school.

Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette's desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.

Purchase Tiny Pretty Things at Amazon
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0 Comments on FIVE Books to Giveaway plus New YALit Releases 5/25 - 5/31 with Author Interviews as of 5/25/2015 6:17:00 AM
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15. Monday Mishmash 5/25/15


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Memorial Day  Happy Memorial Day, everyone! I hope you have a fun and safe holiday.
  2. Editing  I've been editing a lot lately, which is nice because I just finished a big writing binge before these edits rolled in.
  3. Secret News  I'm going to have news to share hopefully soon. I'm really excited. :)
  4. The Darkness Within  June 2nd is just around the corner, which means it's almost time for the release of The Darkness Within. I love that Ethan has a bigger part in this book. I've got a release day blast, a blog tour, and a social media takeover planned for release week. Wow!
  5. Feeling Thankful  I've said it before but I have to say it again. I have the best street team. I'm always completely amazed at how my street team members take it upon themselves to find new ways to promote my books. They do a lot on their own, and I couldn't be more grateful. I love Kelly's Coven!
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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16. Case Cracked: The Process of Editing Mystery Novels

trixie belden book cover
Trixie Belden

I’ve long been a fan of mysteries. Trixie Belden was my BFF as a third and fourth grader. Nancy Drew was another favorite. Veronica Mars updated the teen sleuth idea, bringing the storytelling form to a new generation.

When I got the chance to work on Valynne Maetani’s Ink and Ashes, our new YA mystery which comes out in June, all of those mysteries and more were going through my mind. Claire, the main character, has the spunk and curiosity of Veronica Mars and all of her predecessors, but she’s also a little different. And to honor those differences in the editing process, I needed to refresh myself on what’s out there right now in the teen mystery/suspense genre, and the mystery genre in general.

As I was editing Ink and Ashes over the course of about a year and a half (which spans two developmental edits and a line edit), between edits I was reading mystery after mystery. I stocked up on Agatha Christie, I rewatched Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and read the first book of the series it’s based on (Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood), I read multiple YA suspense, spy, and murder mysteries.

Miss Fisher ABC
Miss Fisher from the TV show “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries”

That reading reminded me that a great mystery read requires the same elements as any good read: well-paced plotting, characters the reader cares about enough to want to know what happens next; even world-building, though that’s a term we generally associate with speculative fiction, is tremendously important in setting the stage in a mystery. But my rereading of classic and contemporary mysteries also showed me that more than in any other genre, a sense of suspense and danger must permeate the mystery book, must drive the reader to breathlessly wonder what will happen next.

Ask probing questions

One of the biggest challenges in this edit—with any edit, really, especially with an author you’ve never worked with before—was discovering how to bring the author’s vision of the characters fully to life. An editor’s job is often to just ask questions: Why is this happening right now? Why would that character decide to do this? What is the goal here?

In that way, figuring out the goal allows the editor to ask further probing questions on what the solution might be—figuring out how current plot points and character decisions hamper the desired effect.

“The plot thickens” turns out to be trueink and ashes cover

The biggest thing I learned while editing Ink and Ashes and reading all these mysteries is the importance of plot escalation. In the original draft, clues did of course build up into a frenzied final few pages of conflict that were very enjoyable—that’s one of the reasons the book won our New Visions Award. But comparing the early manuscript to mysteries I enjoyed the most, I realized that there were so many ways that the narrative could be complicated. (Valynne was on the same page. As she waited for the results of the contest, she was also already thinking of ways to improve the manuscript. That kind of editor-writer synergy makes a huge difference in any book project like this.)

We looked at the end goal, and discussed the plot points that got Claire and her friends to that point. In particular, we discussed how the inciting incident—the moment that gets Claire to veer her course to investigating whether her father and her stepdad ever knew each other—might be complicated and how those complications would have a ripple effect that would improve multiple other plot points, and increase the pacing.

In other words, escalation. If the reader didn’t feel the suspense at every page turn, we had work to do.

Valynne worked very hard on making that happen, and I’m very happy with the results! In answer to all my probing questions, Valynne improved on an already-well written manuscript to bring what was an interesting read to the level of an exciting page-turner that’s getting readers hooked. That’s the end goal for any editor and author: Creating a final book that readers can’t put down. I’m happy to say, we succeeded with Ink and Ashes.

stacy whitmanStacy Whitman is Editorial Director and Publisher of Tu Books, an imprint of LEE & LOW BOOKS that publishes diverse science fiction and fantasy for middle grade and young adult readers.

0 Comments on Case Cracked: The Process of Editing Mystery Novels as of 5/29/2015 10:35:00 AM
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17. The Book Brief: The Very Best New Release Books in June

Each month we bring you the best new release books in our Book Brief. Get FREE shipping when you use the promo code bookbrief at checkout Fiction Books Girl at War by Sara Nović Set in Zagreb, 1991. A city once part of Yugoslavia which is about to become the capital of Croatia as civil […]

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18. Monday Mishmash 6/1/15


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. The Darkness Within  Tomorrow is release day! Yay! I have a release day launch, a blog tour, and a social media takeover going on this week. Wow, I'm going to be busy. I'm excited!
  2. Editing  I have four client edits booked so I'll be busy for a while with those. I'm most likely going to get edits back on one of my own books too. Eek!
  3. PTO Luncheon  Since I help out with the PTO at my daughter's school I'm invited to the luncheon on Wednesday. Should be fun.
  4. Campus Crush  My NA romance, Campus Crush (written as Ashelyn Drake) had another great day last Friday. This happened:
  5. Free Monthly Newsletter  My free monthly newsletter goes out tomorrow. Why tomorrow instead of today when I always send it out on the first Monday of the month? Because tomorrow is release day and I can cover that and my monthly newsletter in one instead of doing two. :) If you aren't signed up but would like to receive a newsletter, click here.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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19. FOUR Giveaways plus New YALit Releases 6/1 - 6/7 with Author Interviews

This year is positively flying by! How did it get to be June already? Once June arrives, it finally feels like summer. Do you have any exciting plans for this summer? Perhaps you're planning to fit in a lot of reading. If so, we have a bunch of books releasing this week for you to check out. Let us know in the comments which ones are being added to your TBR pile.

Happy reading,

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

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


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The Devil You Know
by Trish Doller
Personalized Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 6/2/2015

From critically-acclaimed author Trish Doller comes a powerful new psychological page-turner perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver and Sara Zarr.

Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and a friend to join them on a road trip, and it's just the risk she's been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions.

A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Devil You Know?

The thing I like best about THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is the feminism. Cadie Wells is a character who came to me fully formed, with very strong feelings about the world and her place in it, so it was really exciting to sit back and let her speak her mind.

And I know that sounds a little weird to say because I created her, but when I first started thinking about the book that came to be THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, I envisioned three boys, three best friends, going off on a road trip together that goes horribly awry. But then Cadie showed up and I realized I had this amazing opportunity to write a strong girl who goes after what she wants--even when what she wants is not good for her.

I think the thriller aspect is what gets you in the door, but the feminism is what you take home with you.


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The Last Leaves Falling
by Sarah Benwell
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Released 6/2/2015

A teen grapples with ALS and his decision to die in this devastatingly beautiful debut novel infused with the haunting grace of samurai death poetry and the noble importance of friendship.

Abe Sora is going to die, and he’s only seventeen years old. Diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), he’s already lost the use of his legs, which means he can no longer attend school. Seeking a sense of normality, Sora visits teen chat rooms online and finally finds what he’s been longing for: friendship without pity.

As much as he loves his new friends, he can’t ignore what’s ahead. He’s beginning to lose the function of his hands, and soon he’ll become even more of a burden to his mother. Inspired by the death poems of the legendary Japanese warriors known as samurai, Sora makes the decision to leave life on his own terms. And he needs his friends to help him.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Last Leaves Falling?

There's a lot that I'm proud of - scenes and characters and unassuming details. There's a lot about the production of the book which I'm as in awe of as I am grateful for. But I think my favourite thing, overall, is the space it offers readers to explore tough issues. It isn't meant to be a book which preaches, despite Sora's choice. No one way is ever going to be right for everyone. But I hope that it makes people think.

Purchase The Last Leaves Falling at Amazon
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View The Last Leaves Falling on Goodreads



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Dancing with Molly
by Lena Horowitz
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Simon Pulse
Released 6/2/2015

An edgy and intimate glimpse at what one girl will do just to be the life of the party.

Before, I was never the life of the party. I was the reliable one. The one no one had to worry about. The one no one had to think about. I was the one that everyone could ignore.

Until that night, when everything changed and I finally became someone.

Someone special.

Someone noticeable.

Someone Carson might actually care about, as much as I cared about him.

But the cost of being someone is more than anyone can imagine. For every moment, there’s a price to pay. For every party. For every choice made. For every kiss.

Ultimately, living a life of PURE ECSTASY might be no different from not living at all.

Purchase Dancing with Molly at Amazon
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The Summer of Chasing Mermaids
by Sarah Ockler
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Simon Pulse
Released 6/2/2015

From the bestselling author of Twenty Boy Summer, a talented singer loses her ability to speak after a tragic accident, leading her to a postcard-perfect seaside town to find romance.

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: an ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother, Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them…

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about THE SUMMER OF CHASING MERMAIDS?

It's so hard to pick! I mean, there's steamy romance, always a favorite for me. And a pinch of magic realism, including Tarot, witchcraft, and mermaid lore -- more of my faves. Sea glass, a wild ocean, summer love, a mermaid parade, a pirate regatta, Elyse's memories of Trinidad and Tobago... Okay, this is harder than it looks! But I think my *most* favorite thing about THE SUMMER OF CHASING MERMAIDS is actually the friendship that forms among Elyse, her cousin Kirby, and Kirby's best friend Vanessa. Each of the three girls is so different -- Kirby, sweet and sincere, who never gives up on Elyse even when Elyse tries to push her away; Vanessa, gregarious and magnetic, free-spirited and full of life; and Elyse, once a singer and performer on her way to the top, rendered speechless by an accident that destroyed her voice and dreams, angry and confused about what to do with her life now. They're not perfect, but they are loyal, and the girls grow impossibly close over a summer of challenges. Even through their arguing, they stay tight, always supportive, always honest, always there for one another, the kind of girlfriends that every girl and woman deserves in her life. I loved writing about them.

Purchase The Summer of Chasing Mermaids at Amazon
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YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS


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Emancipated
by M. G. Reyes
Hardcover
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 5/26/2015

Winner - Danielle D.

The good girl, the bad boy, the diva, the hustler, the rock star, and the nerd. Six teens legally liberated from parental control for six different reasons, all with one thing in common: something to hide.

Now they’re sharing a house in Venice Beach, acting like a family, and living their lies. No parents. No limits. No alibis. One witnessed a crime, another might be a murderer—and one’s been spying on them all.

As they cling to a fantasy of freedom and slowly let down their guards, the past creeps up on them. And when one of them gets arrested, everyone’s carefully constructed facade comes crumbling down.

In this steamy, drama-filled series, relationships are tested and secrets revealed as lies threaten to destroy their perfect setup.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Emancipated?

My favourite thing is probably the chance to try something really different from my previous books - a contemporary 'realistic' setting for character drama. Before EMANCIPATED I'd mainly written action-adventure for a younger readership - both THE JOSHUA FILES and GEMINI FORCE ONE (written under MG Harris) are for 10-14. The older reading age of EMANCIPATED allows me to explore issues of morality and life choices in a much more realistic backdrop.

OK - the set-up of six rather gorgeous and talented teenagers living independently in a groovy beach shack has elements of fantasy, but there are no secret societies, or futuristic technology, or time-travelling villains to drive the plot. Instead, everything that happens - and as the trilogy progresses these things will be pretty, pretty bad - is the result of choices that the characters make, often under difficult circumstances.

I was a huge fan of Breaking Bad, and EMANCIPATED allows me to play in a similar arena of tricky moral choices, the slippery slope to crimes and misdemeanors. And that was fun for me, very different, a wonderful challenge.


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Extraordinary Means
by Robyn Schneider
Hardcover
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 5/26/2015

Winner - Natalie D.

From the author of The Beginning of Everything: two teens with a deadly disease fall in love on the brink of a cure.

At seventeen, overachieving Lane finds himself at Latham House, a sanatorium for teens suffering from an incurable strain of tuberculosis. Part hospital and part boarding school, Latham is a place of endless rules and confusing rituals, where it's easier to fail breakfast than it is to flunk French.

There, Lane encounters a girl he knew years ago. Instead of the shy loner he remembers, Sadie has transformed. At Latham, she is sarcastic, fearless, and utterly compelling. Her friends, a group of eccentric troublemakers, fascinate Lane, who has never stepped out of bounds his whole life. And as he gradually becomes one of them, Sadie shows him their secrets: how to steal internet, how to sneak into town, and how to disable the med sensors they must wear at all times.

But there are consequences to having secrets, particularly at Latham House. And as Lane and Sadie begin to fall in love and their group begins to fall sicker, their insular world threatens to come crashing down. Told in alternating points of view, Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about doomed friendships, first love, and the rare miracle of second chances.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Extraordinary Means?

Extraordinary Means is a dual narrative, and my favorite thing about the book is something that readers might not even notice: the two narrators don’t tell exactly the same story. Lane tells a coming of age story, which begins the moment he arrives at Latham House and ends when he leaves. His narrative is removed and introspective. And Sadie tells a love story. Her narrative begins the day she first sees Lane, more than a year after she’s arrived at Latham House, and it ends after the question of whether or not they want to be together has been answered. So her narrative is more in the moment, and closer to the story. I think writing it that way helped me to understand which parts of the story belonged to which characters.

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Kissing in America
by Margo Rabb
Two Signed ARCs
HarperCollins
Released 5/26/2015

Winners - Alicia E. and Bill N.

I loved romances because when you opened the first page, you knew the story would end well. Your heart wouldn't be broken. I loved that security, that guaranteed love.

In real life, you never knew the ending. I hated that.

Sixteen-year-old Eva has never been in love. But when she meets Will, everything changes. With him, her grief over her father's death fades, and she can escape from her difficult relationship with her mother. Then, without any warning, Will picks up and moves to California. So Eva—with the help of her best friend, Annie—concocts a plan to travel across the country to see him again. As they leave New York City for the first time and road-trip across America, they encounter cowboys, kudzu, and tiny towns without stoplights. Along the way, Eva and Annie learn the truth about love and all its complexities.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Kissing in America?

I loved writing about Eva as a poet, her connection to writing and her struggle to write again, and including poems in the novel. KISSING IN AMERICA includes many classic and contemporary poems, by W. H. Auden, Emily Dickinson, Adrienne Rich, Nikki Giovanni, Marie Howe, and others, and I loved including those in the book (although getting permission was quite a lot of work!)

Purchase Kissing in America at Amazon
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The Porcupine of Truth
by Bill Konigsberg
Hardcover
Arthur A. Levine Books
Released 5/26/2015

Winner - Danielle H.

The author of OPENLY STRAIGHT returns with an epic road trip involving family history, gay history, the girlfriend our hero can't have, the grandfather he never knew, and the Porcupine of Truth.

Carson Smith is resigned to spending his summer in Billings, Montana, helping his mom take care of his father, a dying alcoholic he doesn't really know. Then he meets Aisha Stinson, a beautiful girl who has run away from her difficult family, and Pastor John Logan, who's long held a secret regarding Carson's grandfather, who disappeared without warning or explanation thirty years before. Together, Carson and Aisha embark on an epic road trip to find the answers that might save Carson's dad, restore his fragmented family, and discover the "Porcupine of Truth" in all of their lives.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Porcupine of Truth?

My favorite thing is probably the relationship between Carson and Aisha (Cars-Isha for short). There's a lot of humor, there's some fighting, and in the end there is a tenderness to their friendship that I really love. It's a strong bond they forge, and both characters have had trouble forming close friendships so it's a beautiful thing.

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MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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Invisible Monsters
by Joshua McCune
Hardcover
Greenwillow Books
Released 6/2/2015

Set in a not-too-distant future where dragon wars have reshaped society, the battle between the dragon resistance and government forces escalates in Joshua McCune's thrilling and heart-pounding sequel to Talker 25, which The Horn Book praised as "absolutely gripping and absolutely horrifying."

Finally free after spending three months locked in a secret government facility, where she was forced to torture and assassinate dragons for the popular television series Kissing Dragons, all Melissa Callahan wants is a quiet recovery. Hiding in an Alaskan cave with fellow escapee Allie (known as Talker 21), Melissa does her best to stay out of the dragon politics. However, when a group of rebels called the Diocletians discovers their hideout and captures Allie, Melissa realizes she must finally choose who she's fighting for—the humans or the dragons. Joshua McCune once again keeps readers on the edge of their seats in this gritty and masterful reimagining of popular dragon fantasy set in a militant future,

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Invisible Monsters?

The dragons, of course! In TALKER 25, the dragons play a prominent role, but they're seen more in the big picture scale. In INVISIBLE MONSTERS, that big picture is widened - we get a better understanding of their motivations, where they possibly came from - but we also get to know them on an individual basis.

There is one dragon in particular who stands out to me. Grackel, an old Red who becomes Melissa's mentor and friend, was my favorite character to write. Though long jaded and hardened by war, she's got this soft spot beneath her weathered scales that gives her strength to keep fighting for the few she cares about.


Purchase Invisible Monsters at Amazon
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* * * *


Modern Monsters
by Kelley York
Paperback
Entangled: Teen
Released 6/2/2015

Vic Howard never wanted to go to the party. He’s the Invisible Guy at school, a special kind of hell for quiet, nice guys. But because his best friend is as popular as Vic is ignored, he went…

And wished he hadn’t.

Because something happened to a girl that night. Something terrible, unimaginable, and Callie Wheeler’s life will never be the same. Plus, now Callie has told the police that Vic is responsible. Suddenly, Invisible Vic is painfully visible, on trial both literally, with the police, and figuratively, with the angry kids at school. As the whispers and violence escalate, he becomes determined to clear his name, even if it means an uneasy alliance with Callie's best friend, the beautiful but aloof Autumn Dixon.

But as Autumn and Vic slowly peel back the layers of what happened at the party, they realize that while the truth can set Vic free, it can also shatter everything he thought he knew about his life…

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Modern Monsters?

My favorite thing about MODERN MONSTERS is that we get multiple sides to a dark situation. Something that I tried really hard to get across—and hopefully I succeeded—was portraying the way everyone was affected by this terrible thing that happened to Callie. It was the worst for her, yes, but it had a ripple effect: Callie, her family, the kids at school, her best friend, the accused—who is innocent, and even spreading into his relationship with the world.

I think with all my books, I struggle with a main objective and that’s to get readers to think and question. The first few beta-readers who got back to me felt very conflicted with the ending, and that left me feeling incredibly satisfied.


Purchase Modern Monsters at Amazon
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Spelled
by Betsy Schow
Paperback
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 6/2/2015

Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.

Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks―like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the not-so-charming prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

Talk about unhappily ever after.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called "Kansas." Now it's up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse...before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Spelled?

My favorite thing was playing with mutli-level writing, trying to make the experience different for various audiences. Your upper middle grade or lower YA will spot a mish-mash of many fairy tales. Older YA should better understand the snark and pop culture jokes. Adults of all ages can enjoy all the previous while hopefully grasping the much deeper theme of struggling to understand God and the power to control and take responsibility for our own Happy Endings.

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MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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Because You'll Never Meet Me
by Leah Thomas
Hardcover
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 6/2/2015

In a stunning literary debut, two boys on opposite ends of the world begin an unlikely friendship that will change their lives forever.

Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. Moritz’s weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times—as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.

A story of impossible friendship and hope under strange circumstances, this debut is powerful, dark and humorous in equal measure. These extraordinary voices bring readers into the hearts and minds of two special boys who, like many teens, are just waiting for their moment to shine.

Purchase Because You'll Never Meet Me at Amazon
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View Because You'll Never Meet Me on Goodreads

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Charlie, Presumed Dead
by Anne Heltzel
Hardcover
HMH Books for Young Readers
Released 6/2/2015

In Paris, family and friends gather to mourn the tragic passing of Charlie Price—young, handsome, charming, a world-traveler—who is presumed dead after an explosion. Authorities find only a bloodied jacket, ID’d as Charlie’s. At the funeral, two teens who are perfect strangers, Lena Whitney and Aubrey Boroughs, make another shocking discovery: they have both been dating Charlie, both think Charlie loved them and them alone, and there is a lot they didn’t know about their boyfriend. Over the next week, a mind-bending trip unfolds: first in London—then in Mumbai, Kerala, and Bangkok, the girls go in search of Charlie. Is he still alive? What did their love for him even mean? The truth is out there, but soon it becomes clear that the girls are harboring secrets of their own.

No one knows whom to trust in this thrilling tale of suspense and deception.

Purchase Charlie, Presumed Dead at Amazon
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View Charlie, Presumed Dead on Goodreads

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Children of the Earth
by Anna Schumacher
Hardcover
Razorbill
Released 6/2/2015

Seven signs warned them. Now it’s time for Carbon County to fight back.

In End Times, Daphne lost herself in love with Owen, only to discover the dark secret that puts Carbon County at ground zero for the end of days. . . .

All thirteen of the Children of Earth have arrived and taken root in town. Together at last, they can perform the series of rituals necessary to awaken their father, a wrathful entity known as the God of the Earth.

Daphne protects their identities from Pastor Ted and the God-fearing locals out of love and allegiance to Owen. But when people start disappearing from town and Daphne begins receiving visions from God, her allegiance—and even her love—is brought into question in this astonishing companion novel to End Times.

Purchase Children of the Earth at Amazon
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View Children of the Earth on Goodreads

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Deadly Design
by Debra Dockter
Hardcover
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Released 6/2/2015

The emotional power of If I Stay meets the survival story of Maze Runner

Genetically engineered identical twins Kyle and Connor McAdams were born two years apart. Their parents figured it was safer that way, to increase their odds of survival. Connor was born first, paving an impossibly perfect path for Kyle to follow. He was the best at everything—valedictorian, star quarterback etc. Kyle never thought he’d be able to live up, so he didn’t even try.

But when Connor, 18, suddenly drops dead of a heart attack, and Kyle learns of other genetically modified kids who’ve also died on their eighteenth birthdays, he’s suddenly motivated—to save his own life. Like Connor and all the rest, Kyle was conceived at the Genesis Innovations Laboratory, where the mysterious Dr. Mueller conducted experiments on them. The clock’s ticking as Kyle searches for answers: who was Dr. Mueller really, and what did he do to cause their hearts to stop at eighteen? He must unravel the clues quickly, before, he too, becomes another perfect, blue-eyed corpse.

Purchase Deadly Design at Amazon
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Joyride
by Anna Banks
Hardcover
Feiwel & Friends
Released 6/2/2015

A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.

All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh. Just like real life.

Purchase Joyride at Amazon
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Like It Never Happened
by Emily Adrian
Hardcover
Dial Books
Released 6/2/2015

Stereotypes, sexuality, and destructive rumors collide in this smart YA novel for fans of Sara Zarr’s Story of a Girl, Siobhan Vivian’s The List, and E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.

When Rebecca Rivers lands the lead in her school’s production of The Crucible, she gets to change roles in real life, too. She casts off her old reputation, grows close with her four rowdy cast-mates, and kisses the extremely handsome Charlie Lamb onstage. Even Mr. McFadden, the play’s critical director, can find no fault with Rebecca.

Though “The Essential Five” vow never to date each other, Rebecca can’t help her feelings for Charlie, leaving her both conflicted and lovestruck. But the on and off-stage drama of the cast is eclipsed by a life-altering accusation that threatens to destroy everything…even if some of it is just make believe.

Purchase Like It Never Happened at Amazon
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More Happy Than Not
by Adam Silvera
Hardcover
Soho Teen
Released 6/2/2015

Part Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, part Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Adam Silvera's extraordinary debut confronts race, class, and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx.

The Leteo Institute's revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto -- miracle cure-alls don't tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. But Aaron can't forget how he's grown up poor or how his friends aren't always there for him. Like after his father committed suicide in their one bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it's not enough.

Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn't mind Aaron's obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn't mind talking about Aaron's past. But Aaron's newfound happiness isn't welcome on his block. Since he's can't stay away from Thomas or suddenly stop being gay, Aaron must turn to Leteo to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he is.

Purchase More Happy Than Not at Amazon
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Nearly Found
by Elle Cosimano
Hardcover
Kathy Dawson Books
Released 6/2/2015

The sequel to the highly praised and intricately plotted Nearly Gone--a YA urban mystery that's perfect for fans of Bones, Numbers, and The Body Finder

After Nearly Boswell starts working as an intern at a crime lab, a girl from her trailer park turns up dead. Then the corpse of a missing person is discovered, buried on a golf course, with a message for Nearly etched into the bones. When Nearly finds out the corpse is the father of Eric, a classmate of hers, she starts to worry that the body is connected to her father's disappearance five years ago. Nearly, Reece, and Nearly's classmates--Vince, Jeremy, and Eric--start a dangerous investigation into their fathers' pasts that threatens Nearly's fragile romance with Reece, and puts all them in the killer's path.

Purchase Nearly Found at Amazon
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Powerless
by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs
Hardcover
Sourcebooks Fire
Released 6/2/2015

Kenna is tired of being "normal."

The only thing special about her is that she isn't special at all. Which is frustrating when you're constantly surrounded by superheroes. Her best friend, her ex-boyfriend, practically everyone she knows has some talent or power. Sure, Kenna's smart and independent, but as an ordinary girl in an extraordinary world, it's hard not to feel inferior.

So when three villains break into the lab where she interns, Kenna refuses to be a victim. She's not about to let criminals steal the research that will make her extraordinary too.

But in the heat of battle, secrets are spilled and one of the villains saves her life. Twice. Suddenly, everything Kenna thought she knew about good and evil, heroes and villains is upended. And to protect her life and those she loves, she must team up with her sworn enemies on a mission that will redefine what it means to be powerful and powerless...

Purchase Powerless at Amazon
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Proof of Forever
by Lexa Hillyer
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 6/2/2015

From debut author and poet Lexa Hillyer comes the lyrical story of four seventeen-year-old friends who receive an unlikely chance to relive the perfect summer . . . and the devastating secret that could unravel it all. Elegant and evocative, Proof of Forever is one of those first novels that hooks you from the beginning and builds toward a stunning—and unexpected—end, calling to mind Gayle Forman and Ann Brashares.

Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe were once best friends. Now they barely speak. That is, until the fateful flash of a photo-booth camera transports them back in time, to the summer they were fifteen—the summer everything changed. Photos fade. Friendships dissolve. Summers end. But this one will change the girls forever . . . again.

Wendy Wunder calls Proof of Forever "The Sisterhood of the (Time) Traveling Pants for a new generation!"

Purchase Proof of Forever at Amazon
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Skyscraping
by Cordelia Jensen
Hardcover
Philomel Books
Released 6/2/2015

A heartrending, bold novel in verse about family, identity, and forgiveness

Mira is just beginning her senior year of high school when she discovers her father with his male lover. Her world–and everything she thought she knew about her family–is shattered instantly. Unable to comprehend the lies, betrayal, and secrets that–unbeknownst to Mira–have come to define and keep intact her family’s existence, Mira distances herself from her sister and closest friends as a means of coping. But her father’s sexual orientation isn’t all he's kept hidden. A shocking health scare brings to light his battle with HIV. As Mira struggles to make sense of the many fractures in her family's fabric and redefine her wavering sense of self, she must find a way to reconnect with her dad–while there is still time.

Told in raw, exposed free verse, Skyscraping reminds us that there is no one way to be a family.

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Sweet
by Emmy Laybourne
Hardcover
Feiwel & Friends
Released 6/2/2015

The luxurious celebrity cruise launching the trendy new diet sweetener Solu should be the vacation of a lifetime. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv's invitation. She's already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host Tom Forelli--the hottest guy ever!--and she's too sick to even try the sweetener. And that's before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.

Tom knows that he should be grateful for this job and the chance to shed his former-child-star image. His publicists have even set up a 'romance' with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when the hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it's Laurel that he's determined to save.

Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation in Sweet that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly, wrong!

Purchase Sweet at Amazon
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The Good Girls
by Sara Shepard
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 6/2/2015

From Sara Shepard, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, comes the shocking sequel to The Perfectionists—with an ending you'll have to read to believe!

Mackenzie, Ava, Caitlin, Julie, and Parker have done some not-so-perfect things. Even though they all talked about killing rich bully Nolan Hotchkiss, they didn't actually go through with it. It's just a coincidence that Nolan died in exactly the way they planned . . . right? Except Nolan wasn't the only one they fantasized about killing. When someone else they named dies, the girls wonder if they're being framed. Or are they about to become the killer's next targets?

Purchase The Good Girls at Amazon
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The Hunted
by Charlie Higson
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 6/2/2015

The sickness struck everyone sixteen and older. First it twisted their minds; next it ravaged their bodies. Now the sickos roam the streets, crazed and hungry for young flesh.

Ella's friends had told her that the country would be safer than the city. They were wrong. Now they're dead and Ella's all alone--alone, that is, except for her silent rescuer, Scarface. But she doesn't even know if he's a kid or a grown-up.

Back in London, Ed is determined to find Ella and keep his promise to Small Sam that he will reunite sister and brother. But getting out of town has never been more dangerous. It seems that every sicko in the country is coming from all directions, almost as if they're being summoned to the capital. Will anything be able to stop the invading horde?

Purchase The Hunted at Amazon
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The Witch Hunter
by Virginia Boecker
Hardcover
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released 6/2/2015

The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Your greatest enemy isn't what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth's witch hunting past--if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she's thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.

Purchase The Witch Hunter at Amazon
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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20. Out today: Ink and Ashes

It’s finally June! We’re excited to announce the release of Ink and Ashes, the heart-stopping debut mystery by Valynne E. Maetani! Ink and Ashes is Tu Books’ first New Visions Award winner.

How far would you go to discover the truth?

Every family has its secrets, but Claire Takata’s family secrets can kill her…

In Ink and Ashes, personal vendettas and organized crime collide, sending Claire Tanaka on a race to outrun her father’s legacy. When a letter from her dead father reveals a family secret, Claire searches for information about her father’s past and discovers a dangerous family connection to the yakuza, the Japanese mafia.

INK AND ASHES cover smallHere’s what early readers have said about Ink and Ashes:

“This fantastic debut packs a highly suspenseful blend of action, intrigue, and teen romance.” —starred review, Kirkus Reviews 

“Full of character, culture, and suspense, Ink and Ashes is a fascinating read with surprising new elements and a true heroine in Claire Takata.”

Ally Condie, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Matched Trilogy

Happy book birthday to Ink and Ashes!

Be sure to buy your copy from our website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local indie.

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21. The Darkness Within is HERE!

It's here!!!! Honestly, I can't believe it's June 2nd already. Where is 2015 going? But I am really excited for this release. I love Sam and Ethan. Actually, I love all the characters in this duology so much. It was tough saying good-bye to them, but I'm happy with how things wrapped up.



To celebrate my release week, Spencer Hill Press has lowered the price of The Monster Within to only $0.99! That's right! From June 1 to June 7, you can grab book one for less than a dollar. The price will go back up after June 7, so don't wait to grab your copy if you haven't already. You can get it here.

For anyone unfamiliar with The Monster Within, here's the blurb:

The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side--a completely unfair shot at life.

But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong.

She's now a monster that drains others' lives to survive. And after she kills, she’s tortured by visions—glimpses into her victims would-have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches.

But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.


My blog tour for The Darkness Within is underway, and here are some things you might be interested in:


After dying of cancer at seventeen and being brought back to life by an evil witch who turned her into a monster, Samantha Thompson thinks she's finally gotten past all the tragedy in her life. Now she's part of a coven of good witches who are helping her and her boyfriend, Ethan Anderson, learn to use the powers they received from other witches. Aside from the fact that Sam and Ethan are still in hiding from their old lives--the ones they had before Sam was brought back to life--things couldn't be better. Sam and Ethan are inseparable. What could go wrong? 

Magic. 

Ethan's magic came from a witch who'd turned as evil as possible, and though his coven thought he'd be fine, the more he uses his magic, the stranger he starts acting. The magic inside him is changing who he is. One minute he's Sam's sweet, perfect Ethan and the next, he's a complete stranger. Even with all her witchy power, Sam is helpless against the magic corrupting Ethan. Can Sam find out what's wrong with him before she loses him to dark magic forever?

Book Links:


Praise:

In this exciting continuation of THE MONSTER WITHIN, a teenage coven deals with the highs and lows of their magic. Within the pages of this suspenseful page-turner is a sweet romance, friendship, and witchy intrigue. Hashway is a master of paranormal tales. ~ Medeia Sharif, author of 52 Likes

Giveaway:
The Darkness Within SWAG pack, including bookmarks, a triquetra charm, and a mask.

Signed copy of any ONE of my books (winner’s choice).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Finally, thank you so much to everyone participating in the blog tour, release day blitz, and social media takeover going on this week. And thank you all for letting me share my release with you. 

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22. Interview: Nikki Grimes on Writing Poetry

nikki grimesComing this month, Poems in the Attic is a collection of poetry that creates a tender intergenerational story that speaks to every child’s need to hold onto special memories of home, no matter where that place might be. We interviewed master poet Nikki Grimes on her process for writing poetry and if she has any tips to share.

In Poems in the Attic, the reader is introduced to free verse and tanka styles of poetry. Why were you drawn to the tanka form?

Poetry, for me, has always been about telling a story or painting a picture using as few words  as possible.  Haiku and tabla are forms that epitomize that.  I’d previously played with an introduction to haiku in A Pocketful of Poems, and I have long since been intrigued with the idea of incorporating tanka in a story.  Poems in the Attic provided such an opportunity, so I jumped on it.

Many readers are intimidated by poetry or think it is not for them. For people who find poetry difficult, where would you recommend they start?

Start with word play.  I sometimes like to take a word and study it through the lens of my senses.  Take the word “lemon”, for instance.  What is its shape, its scent,  its color?  Does it make a sound?  Does it have a taste?  How would you describe that sound, that taste?  Where is a lemon to be found?  What does it do or what can you do with it?  In answering such questions, in a line or two in response to each question, one ends up either with a poem or the makings of a poem.

poems in the atticIs there something people can do to be “good” at writing poetry? Where do you find inspiration when you get stuck?

There are a few answers to that question.

  1. Read poetry voraciously.  If you aspire to write good poetry, you must first know what that looks like.
  2. Practice, practice, practice.  Writing is a muscle that must be exercises, no matter the genre.
  3. Play.  Build your vocabulary.  Experiment with a variety of forms.  For too many trying poetry, rhyme is their default.  But rhyme is bot synonymous with poetry.  It is merely one element of it.  Explore metaphor, simile, alliteration, assonance, and all the other elements of poetry.  Think interns of telling a story and painting a picture with words.  These practices will lead you somewhere wonderful.

What’s one of your favorite lines from a poem?

I love lines from my poem “Chinese Painting” in Tai Chi Morning: Snapshots of China.  In seeking to describe the magic of a master painter, I wrote

“a few strokes

And a bird is born

A few more,

And it sings.”

Do you prefer poetry on the page or poetry read aloud? Who is your favorite poet to hear or read?

I especially love poetry on the page, in part because not all poets read their work well.  I do love to hear Naomi Shihabe Nye, though, and I especially loved to hear the exquisite Lucille Clifton.

Learn more about Poems in the Attic on our website or Nikki Grime’s website.

 

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23. TEN Giveaways plus New YALit Releases 6/8 - 6/14 with Author Interviews

It's an embarrassment of riches today! There are sixteen new novels releasing this week to share with you, and seven of those include author interviews. Even more exciting, we have a total of ten books to give away of five of the new titles. With so many chances to win something to read this summer, make sure to enter below. Plus tell us in the comments which of the new releases have caught your fancy.

Happy reading,

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

YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


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Alive
by Chandler Baker
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
U.S./Canada

Disney-Hyperion
Released 6/9/2015

Stella Cross's heart is poisoned.

After years on the transplant waiting list, she's running out of hope that she'll ever see her eighteenth birthday. Then, miraculously, Stella receives the transplant she needs to survive.

Determined to embrace everything she came so close to losing, Stella throws herself into her new life. But her recovery is marred by strange side effects: Nightmares. Hallucinations. A recurring pain that flares every day at the exact same moment. Then Stella meets Levi Zin, the new boy on everyone's radar at her Seattle prep school. Stella has never felt more drawn to anyone in her life, and soon she and Levi are inseparable.

Stella is convinced that Levi is her soul mate. Why else would she literally ache for him when they are apart?

After all, the heart never lies...does it?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Alive?

Confession: My gut response was totally something along the lines of: "...that it's finished!" Of course, I'm half-kidding, but as I struggle through drafting my third to-be-published book, it's easy to think that of all my book children, my favorite thing about ALIVE is that it's ready for the world. However, the truth is that my favorite thing about ALIVE is actually what took the most blood, sweat and coffee-riddled tears to finesse from each subsequent draft. ALIVE started out as what some might call sick kid lit turned scary. But under the watchful eye of my editor, I think Stella's story developed into so much more than that. I was able to use the horror lens to take fresh looks at chronic illness and destructive relationships both with the self and with others. Hearing early readers pick up on those elements has been the biggest joy of my publication experience so far.

Purchase Alive at Amazon
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Even When You Lie to Me
by Jessica Alcott
Hardcover Giveaway (2 Copies)
U.S./Canada
Crown Books for Young Readers
Released 6/9/2015

Fans of John Green's Looking for Alaska as well as Lauren Oliver and Sarah Dessen will embrace this provocative debut novel, an exploration of taboo love set against the backdrop of a suburban high school.

Charlie, a senior, isn’t looking forward to her last year of high school. Another year of living in the shadow of her best friend, Lila. Another year of hiding behind the covers of her favorite novels. Another year of navigating her tense relationship with her perfectionist mom.

But everything changes when she meets her new English teacher. Mr. Drummond is smart. Irreverent. Funny. Hot. Everyone loves him. And Charlie thinks he’s the only one who gets her.

She also thinks she might not be the only one with a crush.

In this stunning debut, Jessica Alcott explores relationships—and their boundaries—in a way that is both searingly honest and sympathetic.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Even When You Lie to Me?

I promise this isn't a dodge, but getting it published so that people outside of my immediate family and friends I could force it on can read it is my favorite thing. Not to say that the prospect isn't also scary – it's downright terrifying – but I wrote the book I would've wanted to read when I was a teenager, so all I can hope is that other people connect with it too. And I got to put in jokes about Weird Al.

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Last Year's Mistake
by Gina Ciocca
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only
Simon Pulse
Released 6/9/2015

Is there anything that electric chemistry can’t overcome? The past may be gone, but love has a way of holding on in this romantic debut novel told in alternating Before and After chapters.

The summer before freshman year, Kelsey and David became inseparable best friends—until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke and everything around her crumbled, including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey’s parents decide to move away, she can’t wait to start over and leave the past behind. But David’s not quite ready to be left.

Now it’s senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David’s family moves to town. Old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey’s second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never let him go. And maybe she never wants to…

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Last Year's Mistake?

My favorite part of LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE is the different facets of David and Kelsey’s relationship. They’re a classic case of opposites attracting and balancing each other out: he’s outgoing and everyone’s friend, she’s introverted and shies away from people. Still, they click. And even when they’re only friends, there’s something just beneath the surface that they’re both hesitant to acknowledge. They find themselves in so many situations that could turn the tables either way, and that will they/won’t they aspect is something I live for in novels.

Purchase Last Year's Mistake at Amazon
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View Last Year's Mistake on Goodreads

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Those Girls
by Lauren Saft
Hardcover Giveaway (5 Copies)
U.S. Only

Poppy
Released 6/9/2015

Junior year, the suburbs of Philadelphia. Alex, Mollie and Veronica are those girls: they're the best of friends and the party girls of the school. But how well does everybody know them--and really, how well do they know one another? Alex is secretly in love with the boy next door and has joined a band--without telling anyone. Mollie suffers from a popular (and possibly sociopathic) boyfriend, as well as a serious mean streak. And Veronica just wants to be loved--literally, figuratively, physically....she's not particular. Will this be the year that bonds them forever....or tears them apart for good?

Lauren Saft masterfully conveys what goes on in the mind of a teenage girl, and her debut novel is raw, honest, hilarious, and thought-provoking, with a healthy dose of heart.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Those Girls?

Oh man. That’s like asking your favorite thing about your child—its entirety, its completeness, the fact that I actually finished it and that it is a complete bound book available for sale is my favorite thing. Other than that? The jokes. I still laugh at some of my own jokes in there.

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I Am the Traitor
by Allen Zadoff
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released 6/9/2015

The Program has sent Boy Nobody on countless missions, instructed to kill whichever target he was given. But now, after going rogue, he is on his own mission to rescue his friend Howard, who was captured by The Program.

Boy Nobody manages to free Howard as well as Tanya, a mysterious girl who was being held with him. Putting their skills to the test, Howard and Tanya help Boy Nobody collect information about his father, eventually revealing a dangerous secret that teaches Boy Nobody a valuable lesson -- he can't trust anyone.

On the run from The Program, Boy Nobody must face his past, as he's forced to decide where his loyalties lie.

Allen Zadoff packs the final installment in the Unknown Assassin trilogy with even more action, higher stakes, and mind-blowing reveals that will leave readers riveted.

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YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS


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Dancing with Molly
by Lena Horowitz
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 6/2/2015

Winner - Danielle D.

An edgy and intimate glimpse at what one girl will do just to be the life of the party.

Before, I was never the life of the party. I was the reliable one. The one no one had to worry about. The one no one had to think about. I was the one that everyone could ignore.

Until that night, when everything changed and I finally became someone.

Someone special.

Someone noticeable.

Someone Carson might actually care about, as much as I cared about him.

But the cost of being someone is more than anyone can imagine. For every moment, there’s a price to pay. For every party. For every choice made. For every kiss.

Ultimately, living a life of PURE ECSTASY might be no different from not living at all.

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The Devil You Know
by Trish Doller
Hardcover
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 6/2/2015

Winner - Jennifer S.

From critically-acclaimed author Trish Doller comes a powerful new psychological page-turner perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver and Sara Zarr.

Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and a friend to join them on a road trip, and it's just the risk she's been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions.

A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Devil You Know?

The thing I like best about THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is the feminism. Cadie Wells is a character who came to me fully formed, with very strong feelings about the world and her place in it, so it was really exciting to sit back and let her speak her mind.

And I know that sounds a little weird to say because I created her, but when I first started thinking about the book that came to be THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, I envisioned three boys, three best friends, going off on a road trip together that goes horribly awry. But then Cadie showed up and I realized I had this amazing opportunity to write a strong girl who goes after what she wants--even when what she wants is not good for her.

I think the thriller aspect is what gets you in the door, but the feminism is what you take home with you.


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The Last Leaves Falling
by Sarah Benwell
Hardcover
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Released 6/2/2015

Winner - Carolina M.

A teen grapples with ALS and his decision to die in this devastatingly beautiful debut novel infused with the haunting grace of samurai death poetry and the noble importance of friendship.

Abe Sora is going to die, and he’s only seventeen years old. Diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), he’s already lost the use of his legs, which means he can no longer attend school. Seeking a sense of normality, Sora visits teen chat rooms online and finally finds what he’s been longing for: friendship without pity.

As much as he loves his new friends, he can’t ignore what’s ahead. He’s beginning to lose the function of his hands, and soon he’ll become even more of a burden to his mother. Inspired by the death poems of the legendary Japanese warriors known as samurai, Sora makes the decision to leave life on his own terms. And he needs his friends to help him.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Last Leaves Falling?

There's a lot that I'm proud of - scenes and characters and unassuming details. There's a lot about the production of the book which I'm as in awe of as I am grateful for. But I think my favourite thing, overall, is the space it offers readers to explore tough issues. It isn't meant to be a book which preaches, despite Sora's choice. No one way is ever going to be right for everyone. But I hope that it makes people think.

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The Summer of Chasing Mermaids
by Sarah Ockler
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 6/2/2015

Winner - Danielle G.

From the bestselling author of Twenty Boy Summer, a talented singer loses her ability to speak after a tragic accident, leading her to a postcard-perfect seaside town to find romance.

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: an ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother, Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them…

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Summer of Chasing Mermaids?

It's so hard to pick! I mean, there's steamy romance, always a favorite for me. And a pinch of magic realism, including Tarot, witchcraft, and mermaid lore -- more of my faves. Sea glass, a wild ocean, summer love, a mermaid parade, a pirate regatta, Elyse's memories of Trinidad and Tobago... Okay, this is harder than it looks! But I think my *most* favorite thing about THE SUMMER OF CHASING MERMAIDS is actually the friendship that forms among Elyse, her cousin Kirby, and Kirby's best friend Vanessa. Each of the three girls is so different -- Kirby, sweet and sincere, who never gives up on Elyse even when Elyse tries to push her away; Vanessa, gregarious and magnetic, free-spirited and full of life; and Elyse, once a singer and performer on her way to the top, rendered speechless by an accident that destroyed her voice and dreams, angry and confused about what to do with her life now. They're not perfect, but they are loyal, and the girls grow impossibly close over a summer of challenges. Even through their arguing, they stay tight, always supportive, always honest, always there for one another, the kind of girlfriends that every girl and woman deserves in her life. I loved writing about them.

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MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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Crash
by Eve Silver
Hardcover
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 6/9/2015

A thrilling action/suspense novel for fans of The Fifth Wave about contemporary teens pulled in and out of an alternate reality where battling aliens is more than a game—it's life and death.

Miki’s life is falling apart around her. Her dad and best friend are lying in the hospital. The Game is glitching, making missions more frequent and more deadly. And someone close to her is waiting for the right moment to betray her.

Miki feels like she’s hanging on by a thread and the only thing keeping her tethered is Jackson’s hand in hers. Yet telling him how much she needs him, how much she loves him, feels like the biggest challenge of all. And if Miki really wants the missions to end for everyone, she’ll have to let go and be ready to fight when the walls between the Game and reality come crashing down. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned, it’s that she’s got a whole lot left to lose.

Crash is the pulse-pounding conclusion to the Game trilogy fans won’t want to miss.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Crash?

In RUSH and PUSH, the first two books in The Game series, there were elements of the story and the characters that were couched in mystery. In CRASH, I was finally able to reveal the answers to questions that had evolved throughout the previous books and lay bare secrets and hidden truths. That was one of my favorite things about CRASH, the ability to finally offer answers to my readers who were incredibly patient as they put the puzzle pieces together right along with Miki in RUSH and PUSH. I also loved the growth in Miki's character, the development and deepening of her relationships with other characters, her strength. I loved the action scenes. And, of course, the romance.

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Hello, I Love You
by Katie M. Stout
Hardcover
St. Martin's Griffin
Released 6/9/2015

A teen escapes to a boarding school abroad and falls for a Korean pop star in this fun and fresh romantic novel in the vein of Anna and the French Kiss.

Grace Wilde is running—from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start.

She wants nothing to do with music, but when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame. She can't stand Jason, whose celebrity status is only outmatched by his oversized ego, but they form a tenuous alliance for the sake of her friendship with Sophie. As the months go by and Grace adjusts to her new life in Korea, even she can't deny the sparks flying between her and the KPOP idol.

Soon, Grace realizes that her feelings for Jason threaten her promise to herself that she'll leave behind the music industry that destroyed her family. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write? Sweet, fun, and romantic, this young adult novel explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Hello, I Love You?

My favorite part has always been the family dynamics in the book. HELLO, I LOVE YOU is totally a romance, but it's also a story about the bonds of family - and learning to live with those family members that may not be who you want them to be. The relationship between my main character and her mother, specifically, is probably my favorite part of the story, and I loved writing the scenes with both of them.

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The Stars Never Rise
by Rachel Vincent
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 6/9/2015

From RACHEL VINCENT, New York Times bestselling author, comes the first book in a new series about a girl who must join forces with rogue exorcists to save her sister and, ultimately, humanity.

Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she’s too busy trying to actually survive. Her town’s population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she’ll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie’s sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can’t survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Stars Never Rise?

Well, it doesn't really work like that for me. There's rarely a single inspiration for the books I write. What usually happens is that several ideas or concepts I've been thinking about finally find one another, like elements bonding to form a compound. If any one element were missing or different, the compound (or story) would not exist in its current form, and until I find all the necessary elements, the story is incomplete. My job is to try to fit the various elements together, which is sometimes like trying to work a puzzle without all the pieces. Or with too many pieces.

In the case of THE STARS NEVER RISE, the things I knew I wanted to write about were my version of possession (the struggle for control of one person's body, and the physical and psychological trauma caused by losing that control) and the bond between two sisters. But until I figured out what kind of world they lived in, and what that world would demand of them, I really had no story.


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MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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Delicate Monsters
by Stephanie Kuehn
Hardcover
St. Martin's Griffin
Released 6/9/2015

From the Morris-Award winning author of Charm & Strange, comes a twisted and haunting tale about three teens uncovering dark secrets and even darker truths about themselves.

When nearly killing a classmate gets seventeen-year-old Sadie Su kicked out of her third boarding school in four years, she returns to her family’s California vineyard estate. Here, she’s meant to stay out of trouble. Here, she’s meant to do a lot of things. But it’s hard. She’s bored. And when Sadie’s bored, the only thing she likes is trouble.

Emerson Tate’s a poor boy living in a rich town, with his widowed mother and strange, haunted little brother. All he wants his senior year is to play basketball and make something happen with the girl of his dreams. That’s why Emerson’s not happy Sadie’s back. An old childhood friend, she knows his worst secrets. The things he longs to forget. The things she won’t ever let him.

Haunted is a good word for fifteen-year-old Miles Tate. Miles can see the future, after all. And he knows his vision of tragic violence at his school will come true, because his visions always do. That’s what he tells the new girl in town. The one who listens to him. The one who recognizes the darkness in his past.

But can Miles stop the violence? Or has the future already been written? Maybe tragedy is his destiny. Maybe it’s all of theirs.

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Finding Audrey
by Sophie Kinsella
Hardcover
Delacorte Press
Released 6/9/2015

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shopaholic series comes a terrific blend of comedy, romance, and psychological recovery in a contemporary YA novel sure to inspire and entertain.

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

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Goddess
by Laura Powell
Paperback
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 6/9/2015

Strikes. Starvation. Riots. Britain is at breaking-point and Aura is blind to it all. The Cult of Artemis is the only home she’s ever known. Enclosed in its luxury lifestyle, the unrest gripping the country seems to belong to a distant world. Her dream is to serve the Goddess and taking a vow of chastity and obedience seems a small price to pay. But days before Aura is due to be initiated as a Priestess, she meets Aiden, the rebellious son of a cult insider, whose radical ideas and unsettling charm force Aura to question everything – and everyone – she knows.

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Mindwalker
by A.J. Steiger
Hardcover
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 6/9/2015

At seventeen, Lain Fisher has already aced the Institute’s elite training program for Mindwalkers, therapists who use a direct neural link to erase a patient’s traumatic memories. A prodigy and the daughter of a renowned scientist—whose unexplained death left her alone in the world—Lain is driven by the need to save others.

When Steven, a troubled classmate, asks her to wipe a horrific childhood experience from his mind, Lain’s superiors warn her to stay away. Steven’s scars are too deep, they say; the risk too great. Yet the more time Lain spends with him, the more she begins to question everything about her society. As she defies the warnings and explores Steven’s memories, it becomes clear that he’s connected to something much bigger . . . something the Institute doesn’t want the world to discover.

Lain never expected to be a rule breaker. She certainly didn’t plan on falling in love with a boy she’s been forbidden to help. But then, she never expected to stumble into a conspiracy that could ignite a revolution.

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Our Brothers at the Bottom of the Bottom of the Sea
by Jonathan David Kranz
Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
Released 6/9/2015

Don't fall, Ethan scrawls in red permanent marker across the rides and signs of Sea Town. Since his brother Jason's death, Ethan can't let go of his big brother.

Don't fall, Rachel reads as she prepares to dump back into the ocean the shells her brother Curtis collected. Curtis had Down syndrome, but that isn't why he plummeted to his death from the Rock-It Roll-It Coaster.

Together, Ethan and Rachel are about to discover just how far a man will go to protect his kingdom.

With lyrical storytelling, Jonathan David Kranz spins an irresistible tale of mystery and grief, guilt and culpability.

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The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly
by Stephanie Oakes
Hardcover
Dial Books
Released 6/9/2015

This poetic page-turner is perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, Julie Berry's All The Truth That's in Me, and the works of Ellen Hopkins.

The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust. And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too.

Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it's clear that Minnow knows something—but she's not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of—if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.

This debut novel is a hard-hitting and hopeful story about the dangers of blind faith—and the power of having faith in oneself.

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The Truth About My Success
by Dyan Sheldon
Hardcover
Candlewick
Released 6/9/2015

What happens when a bratty teenage star and a hardworking waitress get a taste of each other’s worlds? Best-selling Dyan Sheldon at her snarky, entertaining best.

Paloma Rose is sixteen and already a major TV star. She has money, franchises, adoring fans—and an agent and parents who are dependent on her success to sustain their very comfortable lives. But all that could come to an end when Paloma becomes more famous for her bad behavior than for her acting and her show’s sponsors threaten to cancel the upcoming season if things don’t improve. Meanwhile, Paloma’s worried agent happens upon Oona Ginness working in a coffee shop. Maybe she’s not as tall or as blond as Paloma, but details aside, they really might be twins. So a plan is born: What if they send Paloma to a brat camp to become a better person and put the malleable and much nicer Oona in her place? Oona thinks it’s a stupid idea, but the money is hard to resist, given her family’s dire circumstances. What does she have to lose? Of course, plans don’t always work out the way they’re supposed to. . . .

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To Hold the Bridge
by Garth Nix
Hardcover
HarperCollins
Released 6/9/2015

An entertaining short-story collection from bestselling fantasy author Garth Nix, including an Old Kingdom novella, a short story set in the same world as Shade's Children, and another story set in the world of A Confusion of Princes.

Garth Nix is renowned for his legendary fantasy works, but To Hold the Bridge showcases his versatility as the collection offers nineteen short stories from every genre of literature including science fiction, paranormal, realistic fiction, mystery, and adventure. Whether writing about vampires, detectives, ancient spirits, or odd jobs, Garth Nix's ability to pull his readers into new worlds is extraordinary.

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24. FOUR Giveaways plus New YALit Releases 6/15 - 6/21 with Author Interviews

It is a small but mighty group of novels releasing this week. There are eight new books for your perusing pleasure, and we have giveaways for four of them and interviews from five of the authors. We also have ten winners from last week's huge giveaway, so check below to see if you're one of the lucky winners. Then leave a comment and let us know which of the new releases have caught your fancy.

Happy reading,

Jocelyn, Martina, Susan, Lisa, Erin, Shelly, Jen, Sandra, Lindsey, and Samantha


YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK


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Between the Notes
by Sharon Huss Roat
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

HarperTeen
Released 6/16/2015

When Ivy Emerson’s family loses their house—complete with her beloved piano—the fear of what’s to come seizes her like a bad case of stage fright. Only this isn’t one of her single, terrifying performances. It’s her life.

And it isn’t pretty.

Ivy is forced to move with her family out of their affluent neighborhood to Lakeside, also known as “the wrong side of the tracks.” Hiding the truth from her friends—and the cute new guy in school, who may have secrets of his own—seems like a good idea at first. But when a bad boy next door threatens to ruin everything, Ivy’s carefully crafted lies begin to unravel . . . and there is no way to stop them.

As things get to the breaking point, Ivy turns to her music, some unlikely new friends, and the trusting heart of her disabled little brother. She may be surprised that not everyone is who she thought they were . . . including herself.

Debut author Sharon Huss Roat crafts a charming and timely story of what happens when life as you know it flips completely upside down.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Between the Notes?

My favorite thing about this novel is a who: Brady, Ivy’s little brother, who is a special needs child. While I was revising this manuscript, I met a family with twins—one of whom has an intellectual disability. He was a lot like the Brady I had written. So I spoke to his mother and further explored what his life was like, and how his disability affected his parents and sibling. Ivy’s story became so much more meaningful with him in it! An advance reader contacted me recently to let me know how much it reminded her of life with her own special needs brother. That meant the world to me. If no one else reads or enjoys this novel, I’ll be happy knowing I reached this one reader who related to Ivy and her brother.

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Blood Will Tell
by April Henry
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Henry Holt and Co.
Released 6/16/2015

When a woman's body is found in a Portland park, suspicion falls on an awkward kid who lives only a few blocks away, a teen who collects knives, loves first-person shooter video games, and obsessively doodles violent scenes in his school notebooks. Nick Walker goes from being a member of Portland's Search and Rescue team to the prime suspect in a murder, his very interest in SAR seen as proof of his fascination with violence. How is this even possible? And can Alexis and Ruby find a way to help clear Nick's name before it's too late?

April Henry weaves another page-turning, high stakes mystery in Blood Will Tell, Book 2 of the Point Last Seen series.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Blood Will Tell?

My favorite thing about Blood Will Tell is its real-life roots. It was inspired by two real cases. In one, a 15 year old boy became the prime suspect in a woman’s murder. He was a loner who lived near the vacant lot where her body was found, and he liked to draw violent scenes in his notebooks. I’ve seen some video of the 10-hour interrogation (without a lawyer or present) and it’s chilling. He’s a scrawny, soft-spoken kid with hair hanging in his eyes, while adult after adult tells him they know he did it. He was ultimately convicted and spent years in prison until he was finally freed based on DNA evidence. In another case, the DNA of a criminal with a long criminal history was found on a murder victim - and the story of how it got there was fascinating.

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Glittering Shadows
by Jaclyn Dolamore
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Disney-Hyperion
Released 6/16/2015

The revolution is here.

Bodies line the streets of Urobrun; a great pyre burns in Republic Square. The rebels grow anxious behind closed doors while Marlis watches as the politicians search for answers—and excuses—inside the Chancellery.

Thea, Freddy, Nan, and Sigi are caught in the crossfire, taking refuge with a vibrant, young revolutionary and a mysterious healer from Irminau. As the battle lines are drawn, a greater threat casts a dark shadow over the land. Magic might be lost—forever.

This action-packed sequel to Dark Metropolis weaves political intrigue, haunting magic, and heartbreaking romance into an unforgettable narrative. Dolamore's lyrical writing and masterfully crafted plot deliver a powerful conclusion.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Glittering Shadows?

My favorite things about this book were also the most difficult things. First, the scope of this book is much, much bigger than anything I have attempted before. It has a lot of political intrigue and three battles, with like, strategy and stuff. When I came up with the plot of the book I felt like, no way can I actually write this! Prior to this I have always written rather domestic fantasy, with perhaps a one-on-one sorcerer battle or two. I had to ask my partner, who is way into military and political history, for a lot of help. But still, he couldn't write the actual words. It was so intimidating to me that some days I literally crawled under my desk in despair before I started writing for the day! But now that it's over, I've learned so, so much.

The other thing that was hard is that a girl in this book loses a hand. I didn't originally intend for this to happen, but Plot Happened, and I realized I had read quite a few books where a guy loses a hand, but never a girl. There have since been a couple that I'm aware of, but I still don't know of any where the girl has to use a hook prosthetic (which was and is a very standard prosthetic for a lost hand, despite all the super-cool wowie-zowie prosthetic hands in many stories). At first I had a gut aversion to doing this to my character, and then I wondered why. Quite a few fan favorite male characters have a hook prosthetic, like Eugenides and Once Upon a Time's version of Captain Hook. But girls...don't have hook hands in stories. (Like, seriously, if you look at "Hook Hand" on tvtropes.org there is hardly a lady among them.) At that point, I decided, okay, I'm rolling with this plot twist, for all the real girls with a hook prosthetic. But yes, I did still have to fight an ingrained sense that it wasn't "pretty". (I also had to do a lot of research, and as with most writing-of-diversity things, I am still nervous I might have made a mistake.) In the end it made me love that character a whole lot more.


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After Hours
by Claire Kennedy
Hardcover Giveaway
U.S. Only

Simon Pulse
Released 6/16/2015

Scandals and hook-ups abound in a summertime restaurant drama where four teens are all willing to do whatever it takes to make it through the workday…and hopefully to win the money in the after-hours dare-based game of Tips.

Isa, Xavi, Peter, and Finn know that a job at the high-end Waterside Café isn’t just about waiting tables. It’s about the gossip, the hook-ups, the after-hours parties, and, most of all, it’s about Tips.

Tips—the high-stakes game based on dares. Whoever completes the most dares wins the collected money. A sum that could change a wasted summer into a Summer to Remember.

Isa is the new girl with an embarrassing secret, and as long as she stays on top of her game, she sees no reason why anyone could ever find out.

Xavi will do anything for the money…absolutely anything.

Peter, Xavi’s stepbrother, has been in love with her for years, and he thinks the game is the perfect time to confess his feelings.

Finn is in the game just for the thrill. He has enough tips coming in to keep him happy…even if those tips come with some conditions.

From seduction to stealing to threats, the dares are a complete free-for-all, and only the best can win.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about After Hours?

I think my favorite thing about After Hours is that I gave my characters permission to be human and make mistakes. And when I when mean mistakes, I mean big ones! If you’ve the read the book, you know exactly what I’m talking about!

I think it’s easy to look for role models in books, and that’s wonderful—but it’s also good to have real people who sometimes make big, selfish decisions that don’t turn out well.

I love exploring all aspects of characters—bad aspects of good people and good aspects of bad people—and I think this book was a fun opportunity to do that.

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YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS


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Alive
by Chandler Baker
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 6/9/2015

Winner - Misti S.

Stella Cross's heart is poisoned.

After years on the transplant waiting list, she's running out of hope that she'll ever see her eighteenth birthday. Then, miraculously, Stella receives the transplant she needs to survive.

Determined to embrace everything she came so close to losing, Stella throws herself into her new life. But her recovery is marred by strange side effects: Nightmares. Hallucinations. A recurring pain that flares every day at the exact same moment. Then Stella meets Levi Zin, the new boy on everyone's radar at her Seattle prep school. Stella has never felt more drawn to anyone in her life, and soon she and Levi are inseparable.

Stella is convinced that Levi is her soul mate. Why else would she literally ache for him when they are apart?

After all, the heart never lies...does it?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Alive?

Confession: My gut response was totally something along the lines of: "...that it's finished!" Of course, I'm half-kidding, but as I struggle through drafting my third to-be-published book, it's easy to think that of all my book children, my favorite thing about ALIVE is that it's ready for the world. However, the truth is that my favorite thing about ALIVE is actually what took the most blood, sweat and coffee-riddled tears to finesse from each subsequent draft. ALIVE started out as what some might call sick kid lit turned scary. But under the watchful eye of my editor, I think Stella's story developed into so much more than that. I was able to use the horror lens to take fresh looks at chronic illness and destructive relationships both with the self and with others. Hearing early readers pick up on those elements has been the biggest joy of my publication experience so far.

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Even When You Lie to Me
by Jessica Alcott
Hardcover
Crown Books for Young Readers
Released 6/9/2015

Winners - Adriyanna Z. and Jill L.

Fans of John Green's Looking for Alaska as well as Lauren Oliver and Sarah Dessen will embrace this provocative debut novel, an exploration of taboo love set against the backdrop of a suburban high school.

Charlie, a senior, isn’t looking forward to her last year of high school. Another year of living in the shadow of her best friend, Lila. Another year of hiding behind the covers of her favorite novels. Another year of navigating her tense relationship with her perfectionist mom.

But everything changes when she meets her new English teacher. Mr. Drummond is smart. Irreverent. Funny. Hot. Everyone loves him. And Charlie thinks he’s the only one who gets her.

She also thinks she might not be the only one with a crush.

In this stunning debut, Jessica Alcott explores relationships—and their boundaries—in a way that is both searingly honest and sympathetic.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Even When You Lie to Me?

I promise this isn't a dodge, but getting it published so that people outside of my immediate family and friends I could force it on can read it is my favorite thing. Not to say that the prospect isn't also scary – it's downright terrifying – but I wrote the book I would've wanted to read when I was a teenager, so all I can hope is that other people connect with it too. And I got to put in jokes about Weird Al.

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* * * *


I Am the Traitor
by Allen Zadoff
Hardcover
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released 6/9/2015

Winner - Leah H.

The Program has sent Boy Nobody on countless missions, instructed to kill whichever target he was given. But now, after going rogue, he is on his own mission to rescue his friend Howard, who was captured by The Program.

Boy Nobody manages to free Howard as well as Tanya, a mysterious girl who was being held with him. Putting their skills to the test, Howard and Tanya help Boy Nobody collect information about his father, eventually revealing a dangerous secret that teaches Boy Nobody a valuable lesson -- he can't trust anyone.

On the run from The Program, Boy Nobody must face his past, as he's forced to decide where his loyalties lie.

Allen Zadoff packs the final installment in the Unknown Assassin trilogy with even more action, higher stakes, and mind-blowing reveals that will leave readers riveted.

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* * * *


Last Year's Mistake
by Gina Ciocca
Hardcover
Simon Pulse
Released 6/9/2015

Winner - Nicole S.

Is there anything that electric chemistry can’t overcome? The past may be gone, but love has a way of holding on in this romantic debut novel told in alternating Before and After chapters.

The summer before freshman year, Kelsey and David became inseparable best friends—until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke and everything around her crumbled, including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey’s parents decide to move away, she can’t wait to start over and leave the past behind. But David’s not quite ready to be left.

Now it’s senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David’s family moves to town. Old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey’s second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never let him go. And maybe she never wants to…

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Last Year's Mistake?

My favorite part of LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE is the different facets of David and Kelsey’s relationship. They’re a classic case of opposites attracting and balancing each other out: he’s outgoing and everyone’s friend, she’s introverted and shies away from people. Still, they click. And even when they’re only friends, there’s something just beneath the surface that they’re both hesitant to acknowledge. They find themselves in so many situations that could turn the tables either way, and that will they/won’t they aspect is something I live for in novels.

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Those Girls
by Lauren Saft
Hardcover
Poppy
Released 6/9/2015

Winners - Shannon M, Holly B, Madelyn B, Patricia L, Sarah K

Junior year, the suburbs of Philadelphia. Alex, Mollie and Veronica are those girls: they're the best of friends and the party girls of the school. But how well does everybody know them--and really, how well do they know one another? Alex is secretly in love with the boy next door and has joined a band--without telling anyone. Mollie suffers from a popular (and possibly sociopathic) boyfriend, as well as a serious mean streak. And Veronica just wants to be loved--literally, figuratively, physically....she's not particular. Will this be the year that bonds them forever....or tears them apart for good?

Lauren Saft masterfully conveys what goes on in the mind of a teenage girl, and her debut novel is raw, honest, hilarious, and thought-provoking, with a healthy dose of heart.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Those Girls?

Oh man. That’s like asking your favorite thing about your child—its entirety, its completeness, the fact that I actually finished it and that it is a complete bound book available for sale is my favorite thing. Other than that? The jokes. I still laugh at some of my own jokes in there.

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MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS


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The Night We Said Yes
by Lauren Gibaldi
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 6/16/2015

A fun, romantic read, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti!

Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over a no-good ex-boyfriend. Graduate from high school without any more distractions. Move away from Orlando, Florida, where she’s lived her entire life.

But Matt—the cute, shy, bespectacled bass player who just moved to town—was never part of that plan.

And neither was attending a party that was crashed by the cops just minutes after they arrived. Or spending an entire night saying “yes” to every crazy, fun thing they could think of.

Then Matt abruptly left town, and he broke not only Ella’s heart but those of their best friends, too. So when he shows up a year later with a plan of his own—to relive the night that brought them together—Ella isn’t sure whether Matt’s worth a second chance. Or if re-creating the past can help them create a different future.

In alternating then and now chapters, debut author Lauren Gibaldi crafts a charming, romantic story of first loves, lifelong friendships, uncovered secrets, and, ultimately, finding out how to be brave.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Night We Said Yes?

I wrote THE NIGHT WE SAID YES as a love letter to my younger self, I suppose, as a way to say that I can do it. I can do anything I set my mind to. (Or, as the book says--I can say yes.) I love that other people saw something in the manuscript and turned it into a book. I love that the book is now here--a real, physical thing that I can hold. I love that people are going to read it (though that scares me, too). I love that Ella and Meg and Matt and Jake have a chance for people to meet them and hear their story. I love that people might mention my book in conversation, just as I talk about countless books. But what is my favorite thing? I suppose knowing I did it. Knowing that I actually made this dream come true. And I will again, when my second book comes out. And again after that. Because, from my book, I learned that I can say yes, I can do anything that I set my mind to. And that's a really cool feeling.

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MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK


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Deadfall
by Anna Carey
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 6/16/2015

In the compelling sequel to Blackbird, Anna Carey delivers a gritty and adrenaline-filled story of a girl desperate to escape her mysterious and terrifying assailants. Told in second person, this heart-pounding thriller puts the reader in front of the target.

A week ago, you woke up in Los Angeles with no memory of who you are. The only thing you knew: people are trying to kill you. You put your trust in Ben, but he betrayed you and broke your heart. Now you've escaped to New York City with a boy named Rafe, who says he remembers you from before. But the two of you are not safe. The same people who are after you are tailing Rafe as well. As the chase heats up, your memory starts to return, but your past cannot save you from the terrifying circumstances of your present, or the fact that one wrong move could end this game forever.

With enemies on every side, and not a reprieve in sight, Deadfall will grab readers and refuse to let go. Perfect for fans of the Maze Runner series and the Legend series.

Purchase Deadfall at Amazon
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View Deadfall on Goodreads

* * * *


Every Last Word
by Tamara Ireland Stone
Hardcover
Disney-Hyperion
Released 6/16/2015

If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

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* * * *


The Last of the Spirits
by Chris Priestley
Hardcover
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Released 6/16/2015

Sam and Lizzie are freezing and hungry on the streets of Victorian London. When Sam asks a wealthy man for some coins, he is rudely turned away. Months of struggle suddenly find their focus, and Sam resolves to kill the man. Huddling in a graveyard for warmth, Sam and Lizzie are horrified to see the earth around one of the tombs begin to shift, shortly followed by the wraithlike figure of a ghostly man. He warns Sam about the future which awaits such a bitter heart, and so begins Sam's journey led by terrifying spirits through the past, present and future, after which Sam must decide whether to take the man, Scrooge's, life or not.

A perfectly layered, tense and supremely satisfying twist on one of Dickens' most popular books, cleverly reinvented to entice a younger readership.

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0 Comments on FOUR Giveaways plus New YALit Releases 6/15 - 6/21 with Author Interviews as of 1/1/1900
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25. Review: Seeing Ghosts and Robots in “Empty Zone” #1



Empty Zone #1By Nick Eskey

 

Writer: Jason Shawn Alexander

Artist: Jason Shawn Alexander

Color: Luis Nct

Letters: Sherard Jackson

Publisher: Image Comics

 

 

Have you heard about the story set in a neo-noir dystopian society somewhere in the not so distant future? Most of you are probably nodding your heads in an emphatic yes.

Adding to that list is Jason Shawn Alexander’s first issue of Empty Zone.

Though the setting isn’t original, the story and the artwork make this comic a fantastic read. Think if the movie Blade Runner, the movie Tank Girl, Vertigo’s Sandman comic, and the anime Ghost in the Shell had a torrid love affair. Empty Zone would be the reason all of them have to submit to a paternity test.

The protagonist’s name is Corrine, a young and sexy woman who moonlights as super soldier for hire. Her easy-on-the-eye looks hints nothing at her enhanced abilities (save for her giant robotic arm of course). Her constantly reoccurring nightmares make her a haunted woman. But in this future where technology is advanced and society is crumbling, bad dreams are not the only things haunting her.Corrine with...?

As the story goes, this first issue does well in introducing us to the characters, but still holding enough back that we are left wanting to learn more about their personalities and motives. The strange scenery and events leaves many questions to be answered, setting up what may be a good run for the series. As I mentioned, the atmosphere may not be original, but the writing makes up for that. The twist introduced at the endCorrine and Robot bounty hunter also sweetens the deal.

Writing aside, the artwork could carry this comic alone. Each panel looks like it should be framed on the wall. A lot of care went into the drawing, inking, and coloring (to which Jason Shawn Alexander wears the three hats of creator, writer, and artist). The facial drawings remind me a little of the rotoscoping used in A Scanner Darkly. Rotoscoping is essentially tracing over a film frame by frame. Everything from body articulation to facial expressions is highly detailed and close to real life. Objects and scenery are equally as well done. Overall, this thing deserves to be appreciated.

Empty Zone is a great addition to comics and collections. The artwork and writing is well done, with the pace taking readers for a fun joyride that doesn’t move too fast or slow. Fans of dark comics, as well as science fiction books and movies will surely enjoy this series. Image Comic’s Empty Zone hits local shelves June 17th.

1 Comments on Review: Seeing Ghosts and Robots in “Empty Zone” #1, last added: 6/17/2015
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