Monthly Archives: August 2010

Wordstock Spotlight: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Today, we’re featuring another great YA author coming to Wordstock Festival in Portland, Oregon October 9-10th. Check out Hush, Hush and Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick:

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her…until Patch comes along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

The sequel to Hush, HushCrescendo — comes out October 19th:

Nora should have know her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can’t figure out if it’s for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.

The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father’s death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn’t answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?

Learn more at the official Wordstock Festival website. We’ll also be featuring Becca’s books for our November Book of the Month!

Clockwork Angel by Cassie Clare – In Stores Now!

We are super excited to wrap-up our August Book of the Month feature on Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare on the book’s actual release date!

That’s right, we’ve spent all month talking about the book, and now it’s in stores!!! So be sure to go pick up Clockwork Angel and check it out.

Meanwhile, we want to take a look back at some of the highlights from this past month:

Contests – Times Two!

We have TWO contests that are still open through midnight tonight!

Steampunk Writing Contest
5 winners will receive a Clockwork Angel prize pack

The Mortal Instruments Character Tweet Contest
3 winners will receive a set of TMI books

Cassandra Clare Interviews Galore

Cassie was kind enough to answer our Q&A regarding Clockwork Angel specifically.

But she also talked to Novel Novice ahead of her big event in NYC earlier this month, and even gave us a wonderful shout-out!

Cassandra Clare Guest Blogs

Cassie wrote not one, but two guest posts for us.

First, she talked about Tessa’s Reading List from Clockwork Angel.

Then, she discussed the relationship between Clockwork Angel and A Tale of Two Cities

Desktop Wallpapers

Be sure to download the wallpapers created by the Novel Novice staff, as well as the wallpapers provided by S&S.

Lesson Time!

We drew lots of lessons and informative plans from Clockwork Angel:

Bonus Content

We also scored some bonus interviews with Hebel Design, the creator of official TMI-inspired jewelry, and Vania of VLC productions, who created the Clockwork Angel book trailer!

And if you’re still wondering what the heck this STEAMPUNK genre is we keep talking about, check out this music video that explains it all:

Once again, another huge THANK YOU to Cassie for her immense involvement in this month’s features — Cassie, you truly are amazing! And a huge THANKS as well to Chrissy & the team at S&S for all of their help, as well!

For the comments: What was your favorite part of our August Book of the Month?

Coming Soon: No Mercy by Sherrilyn Kenyon

The folks from St. Martin’s Press have just told us about a new book from best-selling author Sherrilyn Kenyon that’s hitting stores one week from tomorrow, on September 7th. It’s called No Mercy, and is the latest in her Dark Hunter series. This is definitely something for our hard-core paranormal fiction fans!

Check out the official book trailer & synopsis below, then tell us what you think!

Live fast, fight hard and if you have to die then take as many of your enemies with you as you can. That is the Amazon credo and it was one Samia lived and died by. Now in contemporary New Orleans, the immortal Amazon warrior is about to learn that there’s a worse evil coming to slaughter mankind than she’s ever faced before.

Shapeshifter Dev Peltier has stood guard at the front of Sanctuary for almost two hundred years and in that time, he’s seen it all. Or so he thought. Now their enemies have discovered a new source of power- one that makes a mockery of anything faced to date.

The war is on and Dev and Sam are guarding ground zero. But in order to win, they will have to break the most cardinal of all rules and pray it doesn’t unravel the universe as we know it.

Vote for the Teens Top Ten of 2010 at ALA!

As we mentioned previously, voting is now open for the ALA’s “Teens Top Ten” of 2010. There are lots of really great books on the list, including a few we’ve featured throughout the year here at Novel Novice, such as:

  • Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  • City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
  • … and lots, lots more!

So head on over to ALA & VOTE for your favorites (you can pick up to three titles!). Voting is open now through September 17th.

The winners will be announced in a webcast on the ALA website during Teen Read Week, October 17-23 (which we’ll be featuring here on Novel Novice, as well).

For the comments: Which books on the list are your favorites? Any you think should have made the list but didn’t?

Clockwork Angel by Cassie Clare: Essays & projects

There’s good news and bad news. First, the good news: CLOCKWORK ANGEL IS OUT TOMORROW!! Now, the bad news: Our month-long celebration of all things Shadowhunter is almost over. :(

Since many of you have just returned to school (or are going to soon) here are some essay/creative writing ideas and Clockwork Angel-related projects.

Essay/writing ideas:

  • Since we can see some similarities between Cassie Clare’s two series, compare/contrast Will and Jace and/or Tessa and Clary. What makes them similar, different? Which series’ characters do you most relate to or prefer and why?
  • Based on the small amount of information in Clockwork Angel, give us your version of Will’s back story. What exactly happened before he ended up at the Institute? Write this as a monologue delivered by Will in his voice.
  • Discuss the elements that make Clockwork Angelsteampunk.” How does it fit into this category, and how does it not? Cassie has called it “gaslight.” What does that mean? (Hint: Just a little research will get you the answer.)
  • Cassie Clare created an entire reading list for Tessa, the heroine of Clockwork Angel. Pick one of the books on the list to read, and then discuss how it may have influenced Cassie when writing Clockwork. Are there similar themes? How does Tessa compare to the women in the book you picked?
  • Each chapter begins with a passage of poetry. Pick one chapter and discuss how the poetry that precedes that chapter relates to the text. (We have a complete list with links here.)
  • Talk about the roles of women in the late 19th century. Explore how Tessa, Charlotte and Jessamyn each fit into or break away from what’s expected of them by society.


  • Halloween is coming, so why not dress up steampunk style? (You know you want to!) Craft a costume using steampunk elements. See our post on steampunk basics for info, pictures and links to great resources.
  • Family tree: Map out the relationships between the characters we already know in The Mortal Instruments series and connect them to the new (older) characters in Clockwork Angel. Cassie has said that one of Clary’s ancestors is introduced in Clockwork, but not in a way you’d expect. Try to figure out the mystery and include it in the family tree. (And then come tell us because we’re curious, too!)
  • Create a release poster for a movie version of Clockwork Angel (no, there are no talks about this … yet.) Include cover art, the title, author’s name, release date, etc.
  • If you’ve got artistic skills, draw/paint/model/etc. your interpretation of an automaton as described in Clockwork Angel. Bonus points for conveying their serious creepiness.

Like the images in this post? We found them at a GREAT site called … wait for it …

Still Suffering From Post-Panem Depression? Video Salute!

If you are like the rest of us staffers here at Novel Novice you still may be suffering from Post-Panem Depression. Even though it’s been almost a week since most of us devoured Mockingjay in once frenzied day of reading, PPD is still as strong as ever. I personally have some major issues with the last book of the amazing trilogy, but I’ll save that for a later date when more people have had a chance to read the novel. (My review would have to be pretty spoilerish).

Even with my issues, I still recognize the series as being one of the best sets of books to hit the YA market in years. Hence why I am using the first novel in my classroom this year.

Below you will find a few videos surrounding the amazing characters and relationships that have engrossed us YA fans for the last few years. I hope it will help ease your PPD. But if you are like me, it will make you want to read the series again. The videos are slightly spoilerish, so do not watch if you have not read the series. Which, by the way, you should.

Right now.

Suzanne Collins tops lists, even without Mockingjay

I guess Mockingjay wasn’t included in this week’s tabulations, since Catching Fire and The Hunger Games are still at the top of both lists. Anyone want to make predictions on how long Mockingjay will be in the top 10?

This Week   Weeks on List
1 CATCHING FIRE, by Suzanne Collins. (Scholastic, $17.99.) The protagonist of “The Hunger Games” returns. (Ages 12 and up) 51
2 THE RED PYRAMID, by Rick Riordan. (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99.) Ancient gods (this time from Egypt) and a mortal family meet. (Ages 10 and up) 16
3 THE HUNGER GAMES, by Suzanne Collins. (Scholastic, $17.99.) In a dystopian future, a girl fights for survival on live TV. (Ages 12 and up) 102
4 TALES FROM A NOT-SO-POPULAR PARTY GIRL, by Rachel Renée Russell. (Aladdin, $12.99.) The further reflections of Nikki Maxwell on the agonies of middle school; a “Dork Diaries” book. (Ages 9 to 13) 11
5 LINGER, by Maggie Stiefvater. (Scholastic Press/Scholastic, $17.99.) The teenage werewolves of “Shiver” face a new test of love and loyalty. (Ages 12 and up) 6
6 DORK DIARIES, written and illustrated by Rachel Renée Russell. (Aladdin, $12.99.) Reflections of a junior Samuel Pepys of the female variety. (Ages 9 to 13) 20
7 HOT X, by Danica McKellar. (Hudson Street, $26.95.) A guide to conquering algebra. (Ages 14 and up) 3
8 I AM NUMBER FOUR, by Pittacus Lore. (HarperCollins, $17.99.) Unbeknownst to Earth dwellers, members of another civilization live among them. (Ages 14 and up) 3
9 SCUMBLE, by Ingrid Law. (Dial/Walden Media, $16.99.) Ledger Kale finally inherits the awesome magical power he’s long awaited, but something goes awry. (Ages 8 to 12) 1
10 FALLEN, by Lauren Kate. (Delacorte, $17.99.) Thwarted love at boarding school. (Ages 12 and up) 36

This Week   Weeks on List
1 THE HUNGER GAMES, by Suzanne Collins. (Scholastic, $8.99.) In a dystopian future, a girl fights for survival on live TV. (Ages 12 and up) 8
2 BEEZUS AND RAMONA, by Beverly Cleary. Illustrated by Tracy Dockray. (HarperCollins, $5.99.) The movie tie-in edition of the midcentury classic. (Ages 9 to 12) 11
3 THE BOOK THIEF, by Markus Zusak. (Knopf, $11.99.) A girl saves books from Nazi burning. Excerpt (Ages 14 and up) 154
4 THREE CUPS OF TEA: YOUNG READERS EDITION, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. (Puffin/Penguin, $8.99.) A former climber builds schools in Pakistani and Afghan villages. (Ages 9 to 12) 82
5 THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN, by Sherman Alexie. Illustrated by Ellen Forney. (Little, Brown, $8.99.) A young boy leaves his reservation for an all-white school. (Ages 12 and up) 70
6 THE FALLEN AND LEVIATHAN, by Thomas E. Sniegoski. (Simon Pulse, $9.99.) A half-angel, half-human hero girds for battle. (Ages 16 and up) 5
7 AERIE AND RECKONING (THE FALLEN, BOOK 2), by Thomas E. Sniegoski. (Simon Pulse, $9.99.) A boy comes to terms with his heritage. (Ages 16 and up) 5
8 THE FORBIDDEN GAME (THE HUNTER, THE CHASE, THE KILL), by L. J. Smith. (Simon Pulse, $10.99.) In this dark game, the humans prove to be the playthings. (Ages 12 and up) 8
9 SHIVER, by Maggie Stiefvater. (Scholastic, $8.99.) Love among the lupine. (Ages 13 and up) 12
10 SCAT, by Carl Hiaasen. (Knopf, $8.99.) An eco-mystery, with a dismal swamp and wild characters. Excerpt (Ages 9 to 12) 13

Behind the Scenes of the Clockwork Angel Book Trailer

Chances are, by now you’ve seen the amazing book trailer for Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. (If not, scroll down to check it out). The trailer was created by Vania of VLC productions — the same lady behind some of our other favorite book trailers, such as White Cat, The Body Finder, Infinite Days and many, many more!

Today, we have a Q&A with Vania about what went into making the Clockwork Angel trailer. Special thanks to Vania for always being such a big supporter of our projects here at Novel Novice, and for taking the time to answer our questions!

All of your book trailers are of a very high-caliber. What work goes into creating these trailers? What’s involved?

A lot of work! Creating the trailers starts with reading the book, plotting the story board, finding models, costumes, props, locations, then shooting, editing stills, editing video, animation, proofing, re-editing… *passes out* But it has all been really fun despite all the work!

Who did you work with for the Clockwork Angel trailer? How did the concept and execution come together?

I collaborated with my wonderful animator and his brother who are both geniuses in their own right. We had spent a good time tackling the specific look of the trailer especially shooting in my original style in Victorian London would be impossible. We worked hard to come up with something really unique and special for Cassie and her book.

What was your favorite part about creating this trailer?

Since I didn’t get to see the animation till the clips were done I loved seeing them pop up in my inbox. It was like a surprise. Loved seeing the shots I’d taken on the green screen transform.

What was the biggest challenge about this particular trailer?

The biggest challenge was trying to figure out how we’d shoot this book that was not only set in Victorian times but has a steampunk element and is set in London. So we decided to make our own world–digitally. I hope everyone likes it!

What do you hope readers take away from the trailer?

Myself and my team and Simon & Schuster worked so hard on it that we just hope they enjoy it and share it with their friends.

Thanks again, Vania! Now check out the Clockwork Angel trailer below:

Could you be suffering from Post-Panem Depression?

In the days since Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins was published, we here at Novel Novice have noticed a disturbing trend among readers upon finishing The Hunger Games trilogy beloved by millions.

Symptoms include:

  • Lethargy (most likely from the inability to put down the book and sleep)
  • Irritability (see above)
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Flashbacks, especially when trying to get to sleep
  • Inability to read other books
  • Constantly comparing other books to Mockingjay and finding them lacking
  • Tendency to return to Mockingjay to re-read certain passages (over, and over, and over … )
  • Wondering out loud, “WTH DO I READ NOW?!”

If you have several of the symptoms above, you, too, may be suffering from PPD:

Post-Panem Depression

But there’s hope. If you or a friend are suffering from PPD, read on.

Treatments include:

  • Immersion Therapy: Read other dystopian literature. A list of notable titles is available here and here.
  • Visualization Therapy: Look ahead at soon-to-be-released, highly anticipated books. Here is a primer to get you started.
    • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, Aug. 31
    • Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, Aug. 31
    • Firelight by Sophie Jordan, Sept. 7
    • Twelfth Grade Kills (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod) by Heather Brewer, Sept. 21
    • Torment by Lauren Kate, Sept. 28
    • Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld (the sequel to Leviathan), Oct. 5
    • Beautiful Darkness by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia, Oct. 12
    • Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus) by Rick Riordan, Oct. 12
    • Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick, Oct. 19
    • Misguided Angel by Melissa De La Cruz (Blue Bloods book 5), Oct. 26
    • Sapphique by Catherine Fisher, Dec. 2010 (sequel to Incarceron, both already out in U.K.)
  • Ad Nauseum Therapy:  If the above approaches don’t work, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Pick up your well-worn copy of The Hunger Games and read the trilogy all over again. Repeat until you’re so sick of Katniss you want to kill her yourself.

Wordstock Offers Post-Hunger Games Dystopian Reads

If you’re like the rest of the Novel Novice staff, chances are you’re experiencing some troubles finding something to read after finishing Mockingjay. We’re calling it Post-Panem Depression. (Get it? Credit for that one goes to Steph, aka clumzbella!)

With that in mind, here’s a look at three dystopian novels (the first two are YA, the third is not) that are being featured at Wordstock Festival this October 9-10th in Portland, Oregon:

Patrick Ness – Chaos Walking Trilogy

This series is already hugely popular in the U.K., and it is gaining a following here in the U.S. The Chaos Walking trilogy has already drawn many comparisons to The Hunger Games, though some critics say it’s even better.

The first two books — The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer are already available in the U.S. The third and final book — Monsters of Men — is out in the U.K. and will be available in the U.S. on September 28th, just in time for Wordstock.

Joelle Anthony – Restoring Harmony

Readers from Portland will especially enjoy Anthony’s cautionary tale set in and around the Rose City. The story takes place in the not-so-distant future and follows a young girl on her journey from a remote island off the coast of British Columbia to a suburb of Portland, where she must search for her grandfather.

The story focuses more on the characters and their interactions, but Anthony has created a classic dystopian world that is so close to our own that this unfortunate future can be viewed as an actual possibility.

Jonathan Lethem – Chronic City

Lately, dystopian literature has largely been dominated by the Young Adult crowd (just look above at The Hunger Games, Chaos Walking and Restoring Harmony). But for adults looking for a non-YA dystopian read, Lethem’s Chronic City offers another alternative. Chronic City provides a dystopian view on life in Manhattan, with a decidedly realistic twist on the genre.

Read more at Portland Books Examiner, and check out the other YA authors appearing at Wordstock.