Monthly Archives: January 2012

New Young Adult Book Releases: January 31, 2012

Here’s a look at some of today’s new YA releases:

The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark

 A few “sexy” bullet points about Jay:

• He is in love with a cheerleader named Cameo “Appearance” Parnell
• He is forever losing “Love-15” to tennis-playing goddess Caroline Richardson
• He rocks a touché array of pop-culture references, jokes, and puns
• His family-life cookie is about to crumble.

Live vicariously through Jay as he faces off against his mortal enemy, gets awkward around his dream girl(s), loses his marbles in a Bermudian love triangle, watches his parents’ relationship implode, and, finally, learns to get real and be himself(ish).

Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton

Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined.
Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.

She’s been warned.
Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian’s new plan to destroy Ellie’s soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian’s schemes , the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything—including herself.

She’ll be betrayed.
Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be hell to pay.

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

The Girls of No Return by Erin Saldin

CUT meets HATCHET in this lacerating debut about girls, knives, and redemption.The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area stretches across two million acres in northern Idaho. In its heart sits the Alice Marshall School, where fifty teenage girls come to escape their histories and themselves.Lida Wallace has tried to negate herself in every way possible. At Alice Marshall, she meets Elsa Boone, a fierce native Idahoan; Jules, who seems too healthy to belong at the school; and Gia Longchamps, whose glamour entrances the entire camp. As the girls prepare for a wilderness trek, Lida is both thrilled and terrified to be chosen as Gia’s friend. But everyone has their secrets–their “Things” they try to protect; and when those come out, the knives do as well.THE GIRLS OF NO RETURN is a bold and powerful debut.

Lenobia’s Vow (A House of Night novella) by PC & Kristin Cast

The second in the enthralling new mini-series of novellas from the #1 bestselling authors of the House of Night, Lenobia’s Vow tells the gripping story behind the House of Night’s enigmatic riding instructor – and one of Zoey’s closest allies against evil

The House of Night is an international publishing sensation; with almost 12 million books in print, and an incredible 120 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, the series has taken the world by storm. Now, the excitement continues as the Cast mother-daughter duo shares the back stories of a few of the House of Night’s most important – and mysterious – characters. The second of the House of Night Novellas brings us Lenobia, the strong, beautiful horseback riding instructor, who guides Zoey through some of her darkest hours, and has a dark secret buried in her own past…

In a small southern town at the turn of the century, young Lenobia is developing into a beautiful young woman with ideas of her own. But when she is Marked as a fledgling vampyre, her world turns upside down, and she is drawn to the musical streets of New Orleans. There, she learns of the city’s dark underbelly, ruled by powerful black magic. As Lenobia experiences her first love – and loss – and discovers a passion for horses to sustain her, she must come face-to-face with Darkness itself. And she may not escape without scars.

In stores Thursday:

Harbinger by Sarah Wilson Etienne

When sixteen-year-old Faye arrives at Holbrook Academy, she doesn’t expect to find herself exactly where she needs to be. After years of strange waking visions and nightmares, her only comfort the bones of dead animals, Faye is afraid she’s going crazy. Fast.

But her first night at Holbrook, she feels strangely connected to the school and the island it sits on, like she’s come home. She’s even made her first real friends, but odd things keep happening to them. Every morning they wake on the floors of their dorm rooms with their hands stained red.

Faye knows she’s the reason, but what does it all mean? The handsome Kel tries to help her unravel the mystery, but Faye is certain she can’t trust him; in fact, he may be trying to kill her – and the rest of the world too.

Rich, compelling writing will keep the pages turning in this riveting and tautly told psychological thriller.

For the comments: Which of today’s new releases are you most excited about?

Tour de Nerdfighting in Portland, Oregon & Poster Giveaway

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the official Tour de Nerdfighting with John Green & Hank Green … that is to say, the rock show that was pretending to be John’s book tour for The Fault in Our Stars.

Anyone who’s been to one of these tour stops knows how amazing it is. It’s not just a book reading or a signing; it’s an experience. And while I was grateful for John and Hank for making Portland part of the tour, what I took away most from this event wasn’t anything they did specifically.

Rather, the most significant part of the Tour de Nerdfighting for me, was spending the afternoon in a room filled with a few hundred people — mostly teenagers — who were unapologetically exuberant about an author and books and writing and generally being awesome people. The fact that John & Hank have inspired that sort of enthusiasm among teens for books and literature and embracing their nerd side just makes me all kinds of happy. And that happiness was embodied during the Tour de Nerdfighting.

And now, onto the photos and videos and contests.

The event started out with John reading from his #1 NYT best-seller, The Fault in Our Stars:

And Hank sang some songs:

And then a “surprise performance by Sleater Kinney” … good job, Greens. You had us fooled for about two seconds:

Followed by Q&A and more music:

During the Q&A sessions, John & Hank have a rule: whoever goes over their time limit and is speaking when they run out of time, gets shocked. John (as noted by the triumphant fists in the air in the photo above) was victorious. I captured Hank’s shocking punishment in video:

And then, the epic finale:

Win a Tour de Nerdfighting Poster

I managed to snag a few extra Tour de Nerdfighting posters while I was there, and if you couldn’t make it to one of the tour stops, you are in luck. Because we’re giving away three Tour de Nerdfighting posters right now!

Just fill out the Novel Novice Nerdfighter Poster Contest Entry Form & tell us your favorite John Green book for your chance to win!

The rules are:

  • U.S. only
  • One entry per person
  • Use the entry form

All entries are due by midnight (PT) on Friday, February 3rd!

For the comments: Did you make it to another one of the Tour de Nerdfighting events? Tell us about it below!

John Green, Cynthia Hand’s latest bracket the top 10

For the second week in a row, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars is at no. 1 and getting rave reviews. At no. 10 is Cynthia Hand’s latest, Hallowed, the sequel to Unearthly.

This Week Children’s Chapter Books Weeks on List
1 THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, by John Green. (Dutton, $17.99.) A 16-year-old heroine faces the medical realities of cancer. (Ages 14 and up) 2
2 THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, by Brian Selznick. (Scholastic, $22.99.) An orphan thief must decipher his father’s last message. (Ages 9 to 12) 97
3 THE SON OF NEPTUNE, by Rick Riordan. (Disney-Hyperion, $19.99.) The cast of characters expands; Book 2 of the Heroes of Olympus. (Ages 9 to 12) 16
4 MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN, by Ransom Riggs. (Quirk Books, $17.99.) An island, an abandoned orphanage and a collection of curious photographs. (Ages 12 and up) 33
5 THE LEGO IDEAS BOOK, by Daniel Lipkowitz. (DK, $24.99.) Projects with plastic bricks. (Ages 7 and up) 12
6 THROUGH MY EYES, by Tim Tebow with Nathan Whitaker. (Zondervan, $16.99.) The quarterback’s journey, rooted in his Christian faith. (Ages 7 to 12) 3
7 EVERY THING ON IT, by Shel Silverstein. (Harper/HarperCollins, $19.99.) Poems and drawings by the author of “Where the Sidewalk Ends.” (Ages 9 to 12) 17
8 WONDERSTRUCK, by Brian Selznick. (Scholastic, $29.99.) In alternating stories told in words and pictures, children look for loved ones. (Ages 9 to 12) 19
9 THE LOST HERO, by Rick Riordan. (Disney-Hyperion, $18.99.) A return to Camp Half-Blood and semi-divine characters. (Ages 10 and up) 63
10 HALLOWED, by Cynthia Hand. (HarperTeen, $17.99.) In this sequel to “Unearthly,” Clara is torn between love and the role she seems destined to play as an “angel-blood.” (Ages 13 and up) 1

The Saturday Post: Awards Galore, Book Trailers & More!

* The Printz, the Morris and the ALA’s other Youth Media Awards earlier this week — with John Corey Whaley’s Where Things Come Back winning both the Printz and the Morris, two huge honors for YA lit. Check out an interview with him in the LA Times.

* In years past, the children’s authors who won the Newbery and the Caldecot at the YMAs would appear on morning television following their wins. But this year — NONE of the major networks accepted offers to have these authors appear on their morning shows. As someone who works in morning TV news I am baffled by this decision. As someone who supports reading and literacy, I’m just appalled.

* Check out this year’s list for YALSA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers and YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults. Congrats to everyone!

* The Oscar nominations were announced this week, and while Harry Potter was once again snubbed, two Scholastic book adaptations received some top honors: Hugo and War Horse. Congrats!

* Speaking of book to movie adaptations, The Mortal Instruments Examiner explores the growth of YA adaptations in Hollywood.

* Check out Novel Novice contributor Tiffany Truitt’s first author interview, for her upcoming debut novel Chosen Ones.

* In case you missed the hilarity this week on “The Colbert Report,” Stephen Colbert interviewed beloved children’s author Maurice Sendak. It’s hilarious. Check out part 1 and part 2 online!

* Here’s the book trailer for Pink Smog by Francescia Lia Block, the Weetzie Bat prequel released this week:

* Also released this week, the book trailer for Incarnate by Jodi Meadows:

Review: The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark

Remember those awkward, teenage years? The fumbling, bumbling, and then the sweet taste of victory when something finally goes your way? No?

Well, you can relive it all and more in hilarious form with The Edumacation of Jay Baker by debut author Jay Clark. And we promise, reading about those experiences will be far less traumatic than they are to this book’s teenage protagonist:

A few “sexy” bullet points about Jay:

  • He is in love with a cheerleader named Cameo “Appearance” Parnell
  • He is forever losing “Love-15” to tennis-playing goddess Caroline Richardson
  • He rocks a touché array of pop-culture references, jokes, and puns
  • His family-life cookie is about to crumble.

Live vicariously through Jay as he faces off against his mortal enemy, gets awkward around his dream girl(s), loses his marbles in a Bermudian love triangle, watches his parents’ relationship implode, and, finally, learns to get real and be himself(ish).

Clark has one of the funniest, freshest voices in YA fiction today and reading his story is simply delightful. The fact that his story is so honest, engaging and heartfelt just makes the experience that much more fulfilling.

With The Edumacation of Jay Baker, Clark has perfectly captured the experience of high school and growing up. He likewise tackles the touchy subject of a broken home and the difficulties of accepting a new family structure with poise and honesty. Whether you’ve experienced divorce first-hand or not, he paints a clear picture of the messy emotions and conflicting feelings that come along with it.

While there are plenty of character relationships at work in The Edumacation of Jay Baker, my favorite is the pitch-perfect dynamic between Jay and his older sister. I’m sure I latched onto this because it really reminded me of my relationship with my own younger brother — but all of the relationships in Edumacation are executed perfectly.

I haven’t laughed this hard while reading a book in a long time, and it’s always refreshing to see such a universally appealing story hit the YA shelves. This book is for everyone: teens, adults, guys, girls, llamas, etc. Clark captures the honesty of growing up with all the humor and tenacity you need to relive those teenage years.

The Edumacation of Jay Baker is in stores on Tuesday.

Blog Tour: The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark

Today, we are SO thrilled to be a stop on the official blog tour for The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark. I absolutely adored this book (my gushing review will come later today) — and I’m remiss to confess that I pulled a really slacker move on this blog tour. I failed to coordinate a post with Jay!

Lucky for me, he’s a pretty easy-going guy, and sent over some photos and links.

First up. His Book. This is it:

A few “sexy” bullet points about Jay:

  • He is in love with a cheerleader named Cameo “Appearance” Parnell
  • He is forever losing “Love-15” to tennis-playing goddess Caroline Richardson
  • He rocks a touché array of pop-culture references, jokes, and puns
  • His family-life cookie is about to crumble.

Live vicariously through Jay as he faces off against his mortal enemy, gets awkward around his dream girl(s), loses his marbles in a Bermudian love triangle, watches his parents’ relationship implode, and, finally, learns to get real and be himself(ish).

The Edumacation of Jay Baker will be in stores on Tuesday, but you can pre-order it now. (And we highly recommend that you do — you can thank us later.)

And now, Jay. This is him:

After an epic series of post-collegiate employment disasters, Jay Clark decided to refrigerate the casserole of failure he’d been noshing on since 2005 and write himself a cream-of-the-crap young adult novel. Thus, The Edumacation of Jay Baker was birthed, in 2008, and sold shortly thereafter to Christy Ottaviano Books, an imprint of Henry Holt and Co. These days, Jay can be found roaming around Virginia with a befuddled look on his face, wondering how he pulled off such an unlikely comeback.

And you can find him on Facebook and on Twitter.

And because I don’t want to leave you completely hanging, be sure to check out Mundie Moms’ stop on the blog tour for a truly hilarious interview with Jay, and a chance to win his brilliant debut novel!

Don’t Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala Contest

We just adore Holly Cupala’s Don’t Breathe a Word, which hit stores earlier this month. We’ve reviewed the book and created desktop wallpapers for it, but now we are excited to host a very fun giveaway in honor of Don’t Breathe a Word. Holly sent us a pretty sweet package (braving the snow & ice to get to the post office), and so we’ve put together FIVE awesome prize packs for you to win.

Here’s how to enter:

The Contest:

Fill out the Novel Novice DBAW Contest Entry Form, telling us what sort of charity/volunteer work you’ve done for your chance to win.

The Prizes:

One grand-prize winner will receive a signed copy of Don’t Breathe a Word, a mini-poster, a graphic novel excerpt, and a pair of DBAW bookmark stickers.

One second-place winner will receive a copy of Don’t Breathe a Word, , a mini-poster, a graphic novel excerpt, and a pair of DBAW bookmark stickers.

One third-place winner will receive a mini-poster, a graphic novel excerpt, and a pair of DBAW bookmark stickers.

Two runners-up will receive a graphic novel excerpt and a pair of DBAW bookmark stickers.

The Rules:

  • One entry per person
  • U.S. only
  • Use the entry form

The Deadline:

All entries are due by midnight (PT) on Thursday, February 2nd.

Questions? Leave ’em in the comments & we’ll reply!

Meanwhile, here’s more about Don’t Breathe a Word:

Joy Delamere is suffocating…

From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.

Joy can take his words – tender words, cruel words – until the night they go too far.

Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe… if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.

Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.

Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Legend by Marie Lu is one of those blockbuster YA books that gets so over-hyped ahead of its release, you become wary about whether it’s really deserved all that attention. In this case, I’d say the answer is an overwelming yes.

As a sort of Dickensian dystopian, Legend tells the dual stories of June and Day — two teens, whose stories couldn’t be any more different (and yet, so similar). Day has grown up in the slums, and his Robin Hood-esque crimes have earned him the title of “most wanted criminal” in this futuristic version of the United States. Meanwhile, born into the lap of luxury and considered a prodigy, June is being groomed for the military’s highest ranking offices. The two teens’ paths cross when June’s brother is found dead, and Day is named the prime suspect.

It’s no surprise that Legend was optioned for a movie adaptation before even hitting store shelves. Each moment is packed with action of a cinematic scope — and as the story progresses, the stakes keep getting higher and higher. The plot unfolds like peeling back the petals of a flower — each layer reveals some new twist that keeps you turning the pages, looking for new answers.

June and Day are likable characters, and though perhaps not the most original, they each give you a reason to root for them. It’s the side characters and supporting roles that really give this pair depth. Honestly, it’s easy to become invested in their stories — as each fights for what they believe is right.

And remember that Dickensian quality I mentioned earlier? Amidst all the science fiction and futuristic dynamic at work, the heart of Legend’s conflict is, indeed, something you might find in the work of Charles Dickens. Class distinction. The upper class, versus the lower class. Elements of Dickens’s work seep into the very foundation of Lu’s action-packed novel.

That action culminates in a thrilling and heart-breaking climax that sets the stage for the rest of this planned trilogy. Legend is a fast ride, so hold on — because those 300+ pages will go by lightning-quick.

Legend is in stores now.

Book Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

An intriguing twist on the myth of Persephone and the Underworld, Everneath by Brodi Ashton will delight fans of paranormal romance and entice fans of books like Abandon by Meg Cabot, and Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini.

Everneath tells the story of Nikki Beckett, who was sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s back and has six months to say goodbye to her friends, her family, her life — before returning to the Everneath forever. But returning isn’t as easy as she’d hoped, and Nikki soon finds herself torn between her boyfriend Jack, whom she loves more than anything, and Cole — the charming bad boy immortal who first seduced her into the underworld to begin with. And he wants her back — this time as his queen.

Much of the conflict in Everneath centers around Nikki’s struggle over whether to fight fate — and keep her life on the surface, despite the potential consequences — or give into Cole’s wishes, and join him in the Everneath as ruler. And then there’s the troubling third option, in which Nikki is banished to the Everneath and becomes — essentially — a power source for that world.

These are no easy decisions for Nikki to face, though in certain parts of the novel the dramatic tension lags. The climax brings some much-needed intensity and some gripping emotions — but getting there can be slow. If you’re willing to stick with the book in its slower moments, the ending has some worthy drama.

The real charm of Everneath is the way Ashton has taken the Persephone myth and used it to inspire her own mythology, dropping clues throughout the novel that her characters must piece together to understand fully what’s going on. It’s these clues that really help string the reader along during the plot’s slower moments.

Everneath is in stores today.

New Young Adult Book Releases: January 24, 2012

Here’s a look at some of today’s new YA releases:

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she’s returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld… this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she’s forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s…

Pink Smog by Francesca Lia Block

The girl in the mirror wasn’t who I wanted to be, and her life wasn’t the one I wanted to have.

Despite how much Louise insists, no one will call her Weetzie. It’s her dad’s nickname for her, but it won’t stay put. Neither will her dad. Charlie left Louise and her mom and he took everything with him: her family, her home—and her understanding of who she’s meant to be.

But Los Angeles is a city full of strange angels, and Louise embarks on a journey to sift through the smog of her heartbreak, to grow her own wings, to become Weetzie.

This is the long-awaited prequel to Francesca Lia Block’s groundbreaking Weetzie Bat.

Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate

What makes your heart race a little faster? Just in time for Valentine’s Day, it’s FALLEN IN LOVE, four wholly original new stories collected in a new novel set in the Middle Ages by Lauren Kate. FALLEN IN LOVE gives fans the much-talked about but never-revealed stories of FALLEN characters as they intertwine with the epic love story of Luce and Daniel. The stories include: Love Where You Least Expect It: The Valentine of Shelby and Miles , Love Lessons: The Valentine of Roland; Burning Love: The Valentine of Arriane; and Endless Love: The Valentine of Daniel and Lucinda.

Havoc by Jeff Sampson

Emily Webb thought life would return to normal after the death of the man who attacked her and her fellow “Deviants.” Or as normal as it could be, after discovering that she has nighttime superpowers . . . and she’s a werewolf. But when Emily awakes one night to find an otherworldy Shadowman watching her, she knows the danger has only just begun.

So Emily and her pack-mates set out to find the people who made them what they are, and why. But as they get closer to the truth, they realize they aren’t the only ones in town with special powers: The most popular girls in school might just have a secret of their own–and they might just have it out for Emily.

With shadowy beings stalking them, a mysterious company doing all it can to keep the truth hidden, and the secrecy of her new identity in jeopardy, life threatens to spiral out of control for Emily. Soon these dangers will come together in one terrifying confrontation that may force her to make the toughest choice of her life . . . so far.

For the comments: Which book are you most excited to pick up?