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<<February 2017>>
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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Books - YA, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26 - 50 of 2,240
26. The 2014 North Carolina Young Adult Book Award winner...

Madman's daughter...has been announced.

The prize went to The Madman's Daughter, by Megan Shepherd.


I really, really enjoyed this one: it works as historical fiction, as science fiction, as a horror story, a romance, a coming of age, and as a retelling of H.G. Wells' original. The changes that Shepherd makes, the twists she introduces, they all feel organic and they play off the original and change it, but in ways that complement the Wells, if that makes sense. It changes it without trying to replace it or diminish it, maybe? Whatever it is I'm trying to say (YEESH), it's TOTALLY engrossing, and I TOTALLY DUG IT.

Click on through for the middle grade winner, both full lists of nominees, AND a list of the 2014-15 contenders (<--you'll have to scroll down at that last link).

See also: Madness, Tortured Romance, and a Heck of a Lot of Castles: Megan Shepherd's Love Affair with Gothic Literature; Or, Megan Shepherd's Eight Favorite Gothics.

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27. New YA: May 25-31.

Bad luck girlNew hardcovers:

While We Run, by Karen Healey

We Are the Goldens, by Dana Reinhardt

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits), by Katie McGarry

Surrounded By Sharks, by Michael Northrop

One Man Guy, by Michael Barakiva

Oblivion, by Sasha Dawn

Meridian (Arclight), by Josin L. McQuein

Guy in Real Life, by Steve Brezenoff

Girls Like Us, by Gail Giles

The Girl with the Windup Heart (The Steampunk Chronicles), by Kady Cross

Divided (Dualed Sequel), by Elsie Chapman

Allies & Assassins, by Justin Somper

Bad Luck Girl: The American Fairy Trilogy Book 3, by Sarah Zettel

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments), by Cassandra Clare

Curses and Smoke: A Novel of Pompeii, by Vicky Alvear Shecter

The Dark World (A Dark World Novel), by Cara Lynn Shultz

Guardian (Proxy), by Alex London

New paperbacks (that I've read): Good braider

Dualed, by Elsie Chapman:

I give Chapman huge points for writing a dystopian set in a brutal kill-or-be-killed world...and just letting it be. Unlike every other YA dystopian I’ve read, Dualed never turns into a story about Standing Up To The Man or Fighting For Freedom. It’s purely a survival story, and it was a nice change to read about a protagonist who wasn’t a special snowflake* or a focal point for a rebellion.

The Good Braider, by Terry Farish:

It's got a fantastic sense of place and Farish conveys long periods of time spent waiting without ever slowing the pace of the story, both of which are quite impressive considering how few words she uses. The contrast between cultures is striking, and it's especially nice that the book portrays Viola attempting to understand and fit into American (and even more specifically, Maine**) culture, but never uses the somewhat-tired "I renounce my former culture/this new culture is so horrible and wrong; oh wait, now I'm proud to be a part of both cultures" storyline. She's drawn towards both worlds, but she just... keeps on keeping on, and eventually finds her place in both.

The Lucy Variations, by Sara Zarr:

It's about music; about art; about beauty; about snobbery and elitism; about grief; about trust and manipulation and spite; about how a clash between two stubborn people can ultimately result in both sides losing; about economic class and using people to further your own ends and living THROUGH other people and about CHOOSING YOURSELF. All of the relationships are so complex—Lucy and her mother, her father, her grandfather, her brother, her best friend, her teacher, and, of course, Will—that I really don't think it would be possible for me to praise it highly enough. 

Rapture Practice: A True Story About Growing Up Gay in an Evangelical Family, by Aaron Hartzler:

There’s plenty of humor—the official Kirkus review called it “hilarious,” though I found it more subdued than that—but I had a lump in my throat for almost the entire 400 pages. It’s written with such emotional honesty that it’s impossible not to empathize with Hartzler’s young self: regardless of whether he’s writing about his Big Questions about God and religion or getting caught in a lie about buying the Pretty Woman soundtrack.

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28. Rolling Stone's 40 "Best" YA Picks.

While there are DEFINITELY some titles I'd swap out for other picks, it's a much more eclectic list than I expected to see—and there were even some (three) that were completely new to me.

So click on through to see what you think.

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29. Today @KirkusReviews...

Dangerous...I wrote about Shannon Hale's Dangerous:

Shannon Hale has written nuanced, complex re-imaginings of fairy tales, she has written hilarious adult romance, she has written original fantasy, and with Dangerous, she has proved that she’s perfectly capable of writing a cracking SF yarn as well. It’s funny, it’s smart, it’s emotionally complex, it’s super-ultra-action-packed, and it features a cast of characters that is diverse ethnically, culturally, physically, experientially, and economically.

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30. Peanuts, Crackerjacks, and BRAINS: Two Stories about Baseball Players Battling Zombies.

Zombie baseball beatdownFrankly, I'm surprised I couldn't come up with more.

Zombie Baseball Beatdown, by Paolo Bacigalupi

If you've got readers clamoring for the gruesome, then look no further: This book is so gross! SO GROSS! Lots of gore, lots of poop, lots of hideous goings-on at the local slaughterhouse and meat-packing plant. I wouldn't be surprised to see a few young omnivores go vegetarian after reading it.

What would you do if the zombie apocalypse started in your own town? Middle school baseball players Rabi, Miguel, and Joe don't just fight for their lives, they try to follow in the footsteps of their hero Spider Jerusalem—the fact that they were Transmetropolitan fans made me shriek with joy—to reveal the corruption and greed that caused it, as well as the people who are still trying to cover it up.

Holy cow, for a small book, it deals with a LOT of stuff, and it deals with it in depth. The banter between the boys is excellent and funny, as are the dynamics of their friendship: they always have each others' backs, there's complete trust and affection there, and they all know how to play to each others' strengths.

They all have large issues to contend with—Rabi is the main target of a racist bully on their team, Miguel's parents have been deported due to their immigration status and lives in fear of the rest of his family being picked up next, and Joe's father is a mean drunk—but while the issues certainly have a bearing on the storyline and on their worldviews, they're dealt with in a pretty matter-of-fact, non-preachy
way. The immigration storyline, especially, was well-handled: Bacigalupi doesn't get into the politics, he just tells a story in which a kid has to deal with a situation that is (and has always been) completely out of My boyfriend is a monsterhis hands, but that has a direct impact on his future. Basically, Bacigalupi focuses on people, rather than on policy. Interwoven into all of it is a dark thread about money equaling power, but it does end on a hopeful note that suggests that information, knowledge, and—this is so awesome—STORY will eventually punch through it all.

It won't be for everyone—like I said, SO GROSS—but I really enjoyed it.

My Boyfriend is a Monster #1: I Love Him to Pieces, by Evonne Tsang and Janina Görrissen

These books are new to me: according to the website, it's a series of stand-alone horror/romance graphic novels. In this first one, high school softball star Dicey Bell and science geek/gamer Jack get paired up for a class project, sparks fly, and then they have to team up to fight a zombie uprising. So it looks like it's the old Opposites Attract And Have To Find A Way To Contend With Their Differences Amid Unrelated Chaos storyline. Of which I am a fan, so I'm going to pick it up soon. 

Can you think of any others?

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31. YA Tickles the Ivories: Seven Stories about Piano Prodigies.

Lucy variationsI had so much fun putting together yesterday's list about Norse mythology—and, to those who have asked, I'm planning on reading Icefall and West of the Moon ASAP—that I'm doing another one today. This time, as you've likely gathered from the title, I'm focusing on young pianists.

I chose the topic largely because I recently—FINALLY—read the first book on the list. 

The Lucy Variations, by Sara Zarr

I've come to the conclusion that Sara Zarr is incapable of writing a flawed book. If you're a fan of contemporaries and she's NOT on your radar, WELL. I think said radar might need some recalibrating.

Lucy Beck-Moreau is a child of privilege, a piano prodigy who was on the fast track to fame and fortune, when, in a moment of grief and rage, she quit. It's been eight months since that day, and she hasn't played since. Now, all of the family's expectations—along with the resulting pressure—is on her younger brother's shoulders. Due to the unexpected death of his instructor, the family hires young Will R. Devi, and his influence sparks Lucy's reevaluation of her life choices, her relationship with music and with her family, and her future.

It's about music; about art; about beauty; about snobbery and elitism; about grief; about trust and manipulation and spite; about how a clash between two stubborn people can ultimately result in both sides losing; about economic class and using people to further your own ends and living THROUGH other people and about CHOOSING YOURSELF. All of the relationships are so complex—Lucy and her mother, her father, her grandfather, her brother, her best friend, her teacher, and, of course, Will—that I really don't think it would be possible for me to praise it highly enough. Lucy's various relationships with adult males are particularly interesting (and in two cases, HUGELY UNCOMFORTABLE, so much so that I moaned, NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO DON'T GO THERE DON'T GO THERE more than once while reading, but I should have had trust, because GO THERE ZARR DID, and it was SO WELL DONE) and, yeah. SUCH A GOOD BOOK.

Ahem. Fingers Fingers

Out of the Dust, by Karen Hesse

The Ultimate Dust Bowl Sobfest. I very clearly remember reading this one on my lunchbreak at the bookstore, and crying so much that the manager sent me away to go and take a SECOND LUNCH BREAK. Beautifully written.

And now for a few that I haven't read!

Fingers, by William Sleator

The plot of this one—child piano prodigy grows up and is no longer interesting to the public, so his mother decides that they will market him as a MUSICAL MEDIUM WHO IS CHANNELING A LONG-DEAD GYPSY COMPOSER, WHAAAAAAAT but then his older brother starts to suspect that his little brother is ACTUALLY BEING POSSESSED, DOUBLE WHAAAAAAAT—immediately makes me think of Lois Duncan's Down a Dark Hall, what with Franz Schubert possessing Kit and all. And now I just want to read Lois Duncan all day long.

Chopsticks, by Jessica Anthony Chopsticks

Actually, I know that I read this one, but I can't remember a thing about it beyond the format—it's a collage-style story told mostly in photos, IMs, drawings, and ephemera—and that it's about a pianist. I should probably revisit it, because the more I think about it, the more I remember, and I'm suddenly suspecting that it's one that's worth a re-read or two.

The Gathering Dark, by Christine Johnson

A Maine girl wants nothing more than to play her piano, escape her hometown, and go to Julliard. Then, a MYSTERIOUS NEW TATTOOED BOY arrives in town, and paranormal complications ensue. Despite the Maine connection, I'm inclined to skip this one—I'm a little bit MYSTERIOUS NEW BOYed out.

Broken Chords, by Barbara Gilbert
Four Seasons, by Jane Breskin Zalben

Two books about young prodigies reevaluating their respective futures: one has a wrist injury that allows her to take a few weeks off and explore ballet (really?), and the other weighs her life of never-ending practice, pressure, performance against first love, friendship, and free time.

There are plenty of others where the prodigies are secondary characters—Geoff Herbach's Stupid Fast, for one—but these are the major ones ABOUT pianists that I came up with. Did I miss anything super?

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32. YA Gets Nordic: Seven Stories with Roots in Norse Mythology.

Loki's wolvesI have a soft spot for Norse mythology, and believe it or not, said affection DOES predate Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston's respective portrayals of Thor and Loki. Maybe it's because our childhood dog was named Loki? Or because of all of the shenanigans in Douglas Adams' Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul?

Wherever and whenever the affection stems from, it's made me happy to see more and more of it trickle into the YA section.

So, here are a few that are on my radar, some that I've read, some that I'd like to read:

Loki's Wolves and Odin's Ravens, by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr

These—or at least Loki's Wolves, I haven't read Odin's Ravens yet—are geared more middle-grade, but they're totally crossovers, so I'm including them. Despite being natural enemies, a descendant of Thor teams up with two descendants of Loki to roadtrip around South Dakota, looking for other young descendants of the gods in order to prevent Ragnarok. Understandably, Loki's Wolves gets cited as a Percy Jackson readalike pretty often, though it's worth mentioning that it doesn't have nearly as much humor as the Riordan books. While I found Matt's Must Protect Laurie Because She's A Girl mentality grating, it was in keeping with his personality and upbringing and worldview. (Less explicable was this line—He supposed if a girl that pretty was checking Baldwin out, the guy must be good-looking.—because, come on. Just because someone is straight doesn't mean that he is incapable of gauging whether or not another dude is conventionally attractive.)

There's lots of action, though, the full-page black-and-white illustrations complement the text well, and I loved how Armstrong and Marr incorporated historic spots (Deadwood) and other landmarks (Mount Rushmore). I'll be reading the second one at some point.

The Lost Sun, by Tessa Gratton Lost sun Lost sun

If this book hadn't been by Tessa Gratton, I'd have never picked it up due to the atrocious cover art. So here's hoping it gets redesigned at some point. (Oh, look, I got my wish. Still not great, and the model is either at a really weird angle or the image was created by just Photoshopping Matt Bomer's disembodied head onto someone else's shoulders, but it's an improvement over straight-up Skeet Ulrich. I think?-->)

Fan of Gratton's work—if you haven't discovered her yet, you're in for a treat—have probably already read this one. It's another roadtrip story, this one about a berserker and a prophetess searching for Baldur, who's gone missing. While the relationship dynamics and the family secrets are totally compelling, and while Gratton does a great job of integrating familiar myths but keeping the plotting unpredictable, for me, this one was all about the worldbuilding, which was FANTASTIC. I'm really looking forward to the sequel.

And that does it for the ones I've actually read! But there are so many more...

Starling and Descendant, by Lesley Livingston

A young fencing champion teams up with her new love interest, the Fennrys Wolf, and discovers that her family has ties to the Norse gods.

Black Helicopters, by Blythe Woolston Black helicopters

Despite having bought it ages ago, I'd been putting this one off because I'm a little bit afraid of it—I've heard that it's gut-wrenching—but no one told me that the faith system of the characters is based on Norse myths! So that, combined with my love of Catch & Release, means I'm bumping it waaaay up the TBR pile.

StorkFrost, and Flock, by Wendy Delsol

This trilogy sounds pretty light-hearted, which is understandably unusual in books dealing with Norse mythology. A girl moves from LA to Minnesota and discovers that she's a 'stork': a woman who pairs unborn souls up with their mothers-to-be. Bonus: In addition to the Norse stuff, there's some Snow Queen action!

Runemarks and Runelight, by Joanne Harris
Sea of TrollsLand of the Silver Apples, and Islands of the Blessed, by Nancy Farmer

I know, I know. I can't believe I haven't read these, either. I FEEL LIKE SUCH A FAILURE.

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33. Yesterday @KirkusReviews...

...I rounded up some Deserted(ish) Island stories, some that I've read, some that I'm planning to read.

Feel free to suggest more, either in the comments here or there!

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34. Not sure how I missed this, but...

Earth girl...here's YALSA's list of 2014 Teens’ Top Ten Nominations:

The Nightmare Affair, by Mindee Arnett

Of Triton, by Anna Banks

Siege and Storm, by Leigh Bardugo

Love In The Time Of Global Warming, by Francesca Lia Block

The Testing, by Joelle Charbonneau

The Eye of Minds, by James Dashner: 

Like the Maze Runner series—especially the sequels and prequel—the focus is far heavier on the action and the plotting than on characterization, and the third-person narrator tends to tell readers what our hero is feeling, rather than showing us (Michael knew his friends could see the anxiety on his face). For the most part*, though, it’s a solid techno-action adventure and I have no doubt that the Dashner Army will not only be super happy with it, but will immediately start clamoring for the inevitable sequel.

Earth Girl, by Janet Edwards

The Clockwork Scarab, by Colleen Gleason:

It’s fun, it’s smart, and despite the familiar components, it’s a solidly entertaining steampunk adventure. Most notably, it has a much stronger focus on the relationship between the girls than on any of the various romantic entanglements, and there’s a thought-provoking thread about feminism, and about cultural assumptions about gender roles: how “appropriate” conduct is defined by worldview.

Maybe I Will, by Laurie Gray

The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die, by April Henry

Splintered, by A.G. Howard: This song will save your life

Like Carroll's Alice, much of the time that Alyssa is in Wonderland, things are out of her control. Unlike Carroll's Alice, though—and this is where my major difficulty with the book lies—Alyssa's loss of control can almost always be chalked up to one of the two guys in her life: Morpheus, a Wonderland denizen who has a penchant for fancy hats and a hookah, and Jeb, the aforementioned crush. She is bossed around, held against her will, lied to, and argued about as if she A) wasn't standing right there and B) someone with, you know, AN OPINION ABOUT HER OWN WELFARE.

Teardrop, by Lauren Kate

Openly Straight, by Bill Konigsberg

Monument 14: Sky on Fire, by Emmy Laybourne

Six Months Later, by Natalie D. Richards

Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell

This Song Will Save Your Life, by Leila Sales

Steelheart, by Brandon Sanderson

The Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson

This is What Happy Looks Like, by Jennifer E. Smith

Winger, by Andrew Smith

A Midsummer Night’s Scream, by R.L. Stine

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, by April Tucholke: I read this one, though I haven't written about it at length. I had issues.

In The Shadow of Blackbirds, by Cat Winters: Ditto.

The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey: I read this one as well, and for the most part, enjoyed it hugely.

Click on through for information about getting involved.

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35. Free audiobooks, all summer long.

SYNC's 2014 Summer Schedule has been announced, so get to downloading!

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36. The 2013 Nebula Awards...

Sister mine...have been announced.

The Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy went to:

Sister Mine, by Nalo Hopkinson

I haven't read this one, but it sounds so awesome that I just ordered myself a copy. It's about twin sisters, born conjoined, now separated. One of them who has magical abilities, one of them who doesn't.

From an excerpt at Tor:

“Abby, I’d swear it really did talk. A crab apple tree in that park at Queen and Sherbourne. I think it asked me where Dad was. Said it hadn’t seen him in a long time.”

Abby whipped her head around from the window to glare at me. “Stop it. Just stop it. Why are you always saying things like this? You’re embarrassing yourself. And me.”

“But—” Why did I say things like that? Because I couldn’t help myself. Because I craved more than anything else to have a little mojo of my own.

Click on through for the other category winners and nominees.

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37. New YA: May 18-24.

End timesNew hardbacks:

Dangerous Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

End Times, by Anna Schumacher

Infinite Sky, by C. J. Flood

Now and Forever, by Susane Colasanti

Reborn (Shadow Falls: After Dark), by C. C. Hunter

The Rules for Breaking, by Ashley Elston

The Summer Invitation, by Charlotte Silver

V is for Villain, by Peter Moore

Biggest Flirts (The Superlatives), by Jennifer Echols

New paperbacks (that I've read):

School Spirits (A Hex Hall Novel), by Rachel Hawkins:

Fans of Buffy will love that Izzy’s relationship with her mother is complex and believable, that she almost immediately aligns herself with the school outcasts (who are all awesome), and that Hawkins turns the usual P.E. dodge-ball scene on its head when Izzy gets ticked off and accidentally dislocates a bully’s shoulder.

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38. "Of all the ludicrous and sexist things that have been said about YA of late, this one is the most ludicrous and sexist."

This outstanding essay by Anne Ursu is an absolute must-read:

So the peculiar canonization of John Green and this string of bizarre articles that anoint him as the vanguard of a post-sparkly-vampire seriousness in YA isn’t simply about taking a white male more seriously than everyone else. It’s also about privileging a certain narrative structure—the dominant narrative’s dominant narrative. It’s not only that Green is a straight white man, it’s that he writes in the way that generations of straight white men have deemed important and Literary. And in art, the remaking of form has historically made the establishment very uncomfortable. There’s so much innovation in YA (and, hi, middle grade!) and its audience is wonderfully open to new stories told in new ways. By holding up Green as an exemplar, by shoving his peers into his shadow, these critics are telling writers who might be innovating: if you want to be important, write like him.

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39. Free excerpts: BEA Buzz Books.

Publishers Lunch has released two new editions of Buzz Books: one for the adult market, and one for the YA market.

From the YA description:

Excerpts you can read right now include new work from established giants of the field (Ellen Hopkins; Garth Nix; Scott Westerfeld), authors best-known for their adult books (Carl Hiaasen; Michael Perry; Ben Tripp; Meg Wolitzer), and genuine newsmakers—including the first of James Frey’s attention-getting Endgame trilogy, which will include interactive elements developed in association with Google’s Niantic Labs.

From the adult description:

Highly-anticipated debuts include multi-generational family epic We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas, featured on BEA’s own “buzz books” editors panel alongside another highly-touted debut set for publication in over 30 countries, Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist. We have Nayomi Munaweera’s novel longlisted for the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize, Island of a Thousand Mirrors, and Audrey Magee’s The Undertaking, already shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize in Fiction.

Well-established authors such as Tana French, Marlon James, John Scalzi and W. Bruce Cameron are represented with new work, as are excerpts from the last books in two popular series from Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness.

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40. Free excerpt: Belzhar, by Meg Wolitzer.

Belzhar (422x640)At USA Today:

I was sent here because of a boy. His name was Reeve Maxfield, and I loved him and then he died, and almost a year passed and no one knew what to do with me. Finally it was decided that the best thing would be to send me here. But if you ask anyone on staff or faculty, they'll insist I was sent here because of "the lingering effects of trauma." Those are the words that my parents wrote on the application to get me into The Wooden Barn, which is described in the brochure as a boarding school for "emotionally fragile, highly intelligent" teenagers.

On the line where it says "Reason student is applying to The Wooden Barn," your parents can't write "Because of a boy."

But it's the truth.

Well, based on that, it's certainly a familiar story, but we'll see.

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41. High school sophomores, a story vending machine, and a legacy of literature.

From Publishing Perspectives:

By the fall, Nic says, the 4th Floor Chapbook Series Vending machine will be elevatored to the top floor of the Science Leadership Academy and open for business. It will offer young adult fiction and poetry from writers all across the country (submissions are still being accepted; more on that here) as well as work from the Science Leadership Academy’s own students. It may be the start of a new trend, or just something organically cool.

Very cool.

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42. The finalists for the 2014 SIBA Book Awards...

Madman's daughter Madman's daughter...have been announced.

The YA list is:

The Madman’s Daughter, by Megan Shepherd

The Moon and More, by Sarah Dessen

Theodore Boone: The Activist, by John Grisham (Ooooo, I wonder if it's as awesome as the first two...)

Click on through for the other categories!

From the Southern Independent Booksellers' Alliance website: "Each year, hundreds of booksellers across the South vote on their favorite "handsell" books of the year. These are the "southern" books they have most enjoyed selling to customers; the ones that they couldn't stop talking about. The SIBA Book Award was created to recognize great books of southern origin."

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43. Challenged in BC: Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Perks of being a wallflowerFrom the CBC:

The Kamloops School District has decided not to ban a novel some parents have called vulgar and pornographic, but one concerned father says the fight isn't over.

Two months ago when the novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower was assigned to his son's grade 10 class, Dean Audet objected that the book was pornographic.

A committee made up of teachers, a parent and librarians recently reviewed the novel and gave it a passing grade.

But Audet says he isn't backing down and is now considering legal action.    

I read Perks pretty recently, and wow. If Audet describes it as pornographic, he must find network television completely appalling.

Anyway, the weirdest thing about this entire story? Is the book the school gave as an alternate: Rick Riordan's Son of Neptune

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44. The 2014 Locus Awards Finalists...

Zombie baseball beatdown Zombie baseball beatdown...have been announced.

The Young Adult list is:

Zombie Baseball Beatdown, by Paolo Bacigalupi (I'm currently reading this one!)

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, by Holly Black

Homeland, by Cory Doctorow

The Summer Prince, by Alaya Dawn Johnson

The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two, by Catherynne M. Valente

Click on through for the other categories!

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45. The winner of the 2014 Little Rebels children's book award...

After tomorrow...has been announced.

The prize went to Gillian Cross, for After Tomorrow:

Little Rebels judge Wendy Cooling called After Tomorrow: "a frighteningly believable story, a real page-turner with a strong sense of danger always present, and many big issues of a possible future just below the surface".

See the other shortlisted titles here, and more information about the award here.

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46. New YA: May 11-17.

Girl in reverseNew hardbacks:

Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend, by Katie Finn

Girl in Reverse, by Barbara Stuber

The A-Word: A Sweet Dead Life Novel, by Joy Preble

We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart

Subway Love, by Nora Raleigh Baskin

The Sound, by Sarah Alderson

Signed, Skye Harper, by Carol Lynch Williams

Second Star, by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Searching for Sky, by Jillian Cantor

Rebel (Reboot), by Amy Tintera

Raging Star (Dust Lands), by Moira Young

Of Neptune (Syrena Legacy), by Anna Banks

Nantucket Red (Nantucket Blue), by Leila Howland

MILA 2.0: Renegade, by Debra Driza

The Lovely and the Lost (The Dispossessed), by Page Morgan

Life by Committee, by Corey Ann Haydu Broken hearts fences and other things to mend

Free to Fall, by Lauren Miller

Caged Warrior, by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

Bloodwitch (The Maeve'ra), by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Everything Leads to You, by Nina LaCour

New paperbacks (that I've read):

Pretenders, by Lisi Harrison: For some reason, when I picked this one up I thought it was a new Sara Shepard book. (Despite Lisi Harrison's name on the cover, yes. I'm going to go ahead and blame all of this past year's brainmelt on my new job. Though, as you may have noticed, I've gotten back into the swing of posting regularly, so it looks like the brainmelt is receding, which, YAY. Anyway.)

So, The Pretenders. If I'm remembering correctly, there are five narrators, and they're all up for some sort of award, and there is cheating and dramz and romance and so on. Stronger than Harrison's Clique books, and a bit more mature, and while it clearly wasn't all that memorable, I do remember it being a fun, popcorn-y read.

The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed), by Page Morgan:

Page Morgan’s The Beautiful and the Cursed marks the first time I've seen a gargoyle as a romantic lead, and the fact that the heroine is almost more drawn to Luc Rousseau’s gargoyle side than to his human side gives it a nicely gothic flavor. There are some steamy scenes that are quite effective, the sense of time is interesting—a scene that focuses on one character is often followed up with one about another character during the same period of time—and...wow. I’ve run out of nice things to say.

Deviant, by Helen FitzGerald:

Despite the book’s disappointing spiral into inanity in the third act, the introduction of a totally extraneous love triangle (and when I say "extraneous," I’m referring to BOTH romances), AND the fact that it ends on a deflating TUNE IN NEXT TIME TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS note, I enjoyed my time with the heroine so much that I’ll very probably pick up Book Two.

Personal Effects, by E.M. Kokie:

It's a story that could have gone in any number of unimpressive directions—trite, preachy, insipid, black/white—but doesn't. Kokie doesn't shy away from Matt's less-than-politically-correct and sometimes less-than-empathetic feelings—and even when he's exhibiting them, he's still a sympathetic character because of all of the pain and confusion and anger he's feeling—and she always, always stays true to her character.

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47. May 12: International Nurses' Day.

The road homeDue to a weekend that was exhausting in every way, I'm not in reading mode today.

So, as it's International Nurses' Day, here are a three books about nurses that I'd LIKE to read at some point:

The Road Home, by Ellen Emerson White

This is part of White's Echo Company series, and while it looks like 'Tis the Season also features Lieutenant Rebecca Phillips, The Road Home seems like it's more up my alley, as it's about her return back to the United States from Vietnam, and about the post-war healing process. I have to say, though, while I'm not usually drawn to war stories, I've been meaning to read the Echo Company books for ages: Ellen Emerson White is a treasure.

The Foreshadowing, by Marcus Sedgwick

A seventeen-year-old girl with precognitive powers—she sees the impending deaths of loved ones, but no one believes her, making her a WWI-era Cassandra—joins a volunteer nursing corps and heads off to France in an attempt to save the life of her one remaining brother. Love Sedgwick, so I'm a little bit horrified that I haven't gotten around to this one yet.

In the Shadow of the Lamp, by Susanne Dunlap

The Crimean War! Florence Nightingale! Romance! That's all I really need to know.

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48. Today @KirkusReviews...

Broken hearts fences and other things to mend...I wrote about the first in a new series (specifically a trilogy, I think):

Katie Finn’s Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend has humor, strong dialogue, a decent romance and a complicated emotional core. It also has a serious, whiplash-inducing—when the switch happened, my jaw literally dropped—identity crisis.


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49. Kindle Daily Deal: Just Like Fate.

Just like fateCat Patrick and Suzanne Young's Just Like Fate is a mere $1.99 today.

I loved it:

This premise could easily have resulted in a book that reads like a literary exercise*, but Just Like Fate succeeds across the board. It feels like a real story about real people, and the aforementioned parallels are overt enough to be noticeable—in one storyline, Caroline connects with a boy via banter; in the other, she attempts the same sort of banter with a different boy and it falls flat—while still being subtle enough to avoid being gimmicky. Patrick and Young write seamlessly in the same voice; Caroline is believable, imperfect and sympathetic; and her friends and family are just as believable and well-drawn.

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50. Two deals from Publishers Weekly.

Mercy-watson Mercy-watsonFrom Publishers Marketplace, a middle grade read:

National Ambassador for Children's Literature and 2014 Newbery Medal winner Kate DiCamillo's fourth title in the Tales from Deckawoo Drive series, an older spin off of the Mercy Watson series, featuring the much reviled neighbor as she comes to terms with a surprise gift, that at once maddens and challenges her, and to her chagrin, the gift is nonreturnable, to Karen Lotz and Andrea Tompa at Candlewick.

And a YA:

Rebecca Podos's debut THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES, pitched as PICTURE ME GONE meets PAPER TOWNS, about the daughter of a bestselling mystery writer, who sets out to find her missing father using the skills she has learned from his books, and -- along the way -- uncovers truths hidden in the loneliness that has marked the family since her mother abandoned them years before, to Jordan Brown at Balzer & Bray, in a two-book deal, for publication in Spring 2016.

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