Monthly Archives: June 2012

Dive into the Audio Book for Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

All this month, we’ve been featuring Of Poseidon by Anna Banks — but there’s more to this book than just the printed page. The audio book is also available from AudioGo, and we have a very special chance for you to win a free digital download of the audio book!

Emma and her friend Chloe are spending vacation in Florida. When Emma (literally) runs into a hot guy named Galen on the beach, little does she know he’s a prince of the Syrena. Galen and Emma both feel something strange–is it attraction?–and Galen suspects that Emma might well be the girl he’s heard of–a human who can communicate with fish. What follows is a deadly scene with a shark in which Galen witnesses Emma’s gifts. He must know more about her, and follows her back to New Jersey, and high school, to find out for sure if she’s the key to saving his kingdom. Soon, Emma can’t deny her feelings for him, but can’t explain them, either–and both she and Galen must learn more about where she comes from and what her powers are before they can trust one another and their feelings. Told from both Emma and Galen’s points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance.

Click here to hear a sample & order your copy!

Enter to Win the Of Poseidon Audio Book

Using the Of Poseidon Audio Book Contest Entry Form and tell us your favorite place to listen to audio books.

The Prize

Thanks to AudioGo, one (1) winner will receive a free digital download of the Of Poseidon audio book

The Rules

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

The Deadline

All entries are due by midnight (PT) on Saturday, June 30th.

Questions? Leave ‘em in the comments below!

Book Review: Changeling by Philippa Gregory

From the author of The Other Boleyn Girl, comes the first young adult novel in a new series: Changeling by Philippa Gregory.

Accused of heresy and expelled from his monastery, handsome seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is recruited by a mysterious stranger to record the end of times across Europe. Commanded by sealed orders, Luca is sent to map the fears of Christendom and travel to the very frontier of good and evil.

Seventeen-year-old Isolde, a Lady Abbess, is trapped in a nunnery to prevent her from claiming her rich inheritance. As the nuns in her care are driven mad by having strange visions , walking in their sleep, and showing bleeding wounds, Luca is sent to investigate, and all the evidence points to Isolde’s criminal guilt.

Forced to face the greatest fears of the medieval world–dark magic, werewolves, madness–Luca and Isolde embark on a search for truth, their own destinies, and even love as they take the unknown ways to the real historical figure who defends the boundaries of Christendom and holds the secrets of the Order of Darkness.

Changelingis a good tale that takes the reader through medieval Europe with it’s superstitions and mysticism.The book shows how people’s beliefs were often based more in myth than reality, finding magical explanations for science they didn’t understand.

All the while, Gregory tells an engaging story that will leave the reader looking forward to the next installment in this first book of a new series.

Gregory’s mastery of historical fiction shines throughout Changeling. Readers familiar with this period in history will find a story that’s fun to travel through — while those just learning about medieval Europe, the book is an engaging tale to pique interest in this time period. Gregory also includes annotations at the end of the book about the real-life history behind her story, that is also an interesting read.

Changeling is in stores now.

Reading Of Poseidon & the other Fierce Reads titles

All this month, we’ve been featuring Of Poseidon by Anna Banks — one of a few titles Macmillan is promoting this Summer among its Fierce Reads collection. Today, we want to spotlight all of the titles in the Fierce Reads Summer promotion:

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen’s not fully convinced that Emma’s the one he’s been  looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves  that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help–no matter what the risk.

For the comments: Which of these Fierce Reads titles have you read? Which ones are on you wish list?

New Young Adult Book Releases: June 26, 2012

Some fantastic new books in stores today! Here’s a look at the highlights:

A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young

Elise is a normal seventeen-year-old girl until the day she wakes up in a desert park, with no idea who she is.

After that episode, her life takes a bizarre turn. She’s experiencing unexpected flashes of insight into people’s lives—people she’s never met before. Strangers frighten her with warnings about the approaching Shadows. And although Elise has never had a boyfriend, she suddenly finds herself torn between two handsome but very different young men: Abe, the charming bad boy whose effect on her both seduces and frightens her, and the mysterious Harlin, who’s new to town but with whom Elise feels an urgent, elemental connection—almost as if they are soul mates.

Now Elise begins to question everything about her life. Why do these guys both want her so desperately? What are the Shadows? Why does the name Charlotte inspire a terrifying familiarity? And who is Elise, really?

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer

Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.

Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.

A Midsummer Tights Dream by Louise Rennison

It’s the hotly anticipated sequel to the winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, WITHERING TIGHTS – laugh your tights off as Tallulah Casey and her bonkers mates return for a new term at Dother Hall performing arts college. Boys, snogging and bad acting guaranteed!

Yaroooo! Tallulah’s triumphant Heathcliff in ‘Wuthering Heights’ the comedy musical was enough to secure her place at Dother Hall performing arts college for another term. She can’t wait to see her pals again, Charlie and the boys from Woolf Academy and maybe even bad boy Cain…

When an international visitor comes to stay could the bright lights of Broadway be calling? And for who? Find out in the next Misadventures of Tallulah Casey.

Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are best friends and total overachievers. Even if they aren’t the most popular girls in school, they aren’t too worried. They know their “real” lives will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. There will be ivy, and there will be cute guys in the libraries (hopefully with English accents) But when an unexpected event shows them they’re missing out on the full high school experience, it’s time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. They make a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge–and they will totally “rock” it.

Gigi decides to run for student rep, but she’ll have to get over her fear of public speaking–and go head-to-head with gorgeous California Will. Bea used to be one of the best skiers around, until she was derailed. It could be time for her to take the plunge again. And Neerja loves the drama club but has always stayed behind the scenes–until now.

These friends are determined to show the world that smart girls really can get what they want–but that could mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for. . .

One Moment by Kristina McBride

“This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it’s the one she’d do anything to forget.”

Maggie remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party. She remembers climbing the trail with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can’t she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below-dead?

As Maggie’s memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding? The latest novel from the author of “The Tension of Opposites,” “One Moment” is a mysterious, searing look at how an instant can change everything you believe about the world around you.

For the comments: Any other new releases you’re excited about today? Which of these books will you be picking up?

Book Review: Advent by James Treadwell

Advent by James Treadwell is a stunning new adult series that will appear to mature readers of Young Adult lit:

1537. A man hurries through city streets in a gathering snowstorm, clutching a box in one hand. He is Johann Faust, the greatest magician of his age. The box he carries contains a mirror safeguarding a portion of his soul and a small ring containing all the magic in the world. Together, they comprise something unimaginably terrible.

London, the present day. Fifteen-year-old Gavin Stokes is boarding a train to the countryside to live with his aunt. His school and his parents can’t cope with him and the things he sees, things they tell him don’t really exist. At Pendurra, Gavin finds people who are like him, who see things too. They all make the same strange claim: magic exists, it’s leaking back into our world, and it’s bringing something terrible with it.

Advent is the first installment in a fantasy trilogy. And this is no Harry Potter story. This is old, dark magic. The kind we learned about before Harry and have read for centuries. But this story is told in a new, inventive way that takes you along for a fast-pace thrill that will keep you reading late into the night.

Advent is the stuff of old legends brought to life again and readers will find it leaving them with a longing for the next installment. A must read for anyone who loves fantasy, old legends, and magic!

Advent is in stores July 3rd.

Exclusive Q&A with Chosen Ones author Tiffany Truitt

Today, we are thrilled to be hosting an exclusive interview with Tiffany Truitt, author of Chosen Ones, now available from Entangled Publishing. Tiffany isn’t just another author here at Novel Novice, though. She’s also a contributor to our blog — and the creator of our retired sister site, Novel Novice Twilight.

Thanks for stopping by, Tiffany!

How has this process been for you being published for the first time?

Overwhelming. Surreal. It still hasn’t hit me. I’m waiting for that brave moment when I go into a store and point to my book on the shelf, admitting to the person next to me that I wrote it. I haven’t gotten there yet, but I will. Writing is such a personal thing, and to know your work is now open to interpretation by so many is a little daunting. I’ve been very lucky to have so much support from the blogging community.  And I had the super rad experience of having my first ever book signing at BEA!! Overall, it’s been a thrill ride.

I know you’ve been working on Chosen Ones for a while now, but it just happens to be getting released during a time when dystopian fiction is all the rage. How do you feel your book will set itself apart from the crowd?

That’s a great question, and an important one to boot.  Chosen Ones deals with questions of humanity: what makes us human? What role do we let technology play in creating or saving lives? I am a huge fan of 19th century British lit. The books during this time period were written during the Industrial Revolution. Much like our own times, these questions about the role of technology in our lives were explored in print. These novels play a huge role in the plot of the Chosen Ones.  I think the mash-up of genres makes Chosen Ones stand apart— a homage to the classics but with a modern twist.

Tiffany signs copies of ‘Chosen Ones’ at BEA in New York City on June 6, 2012.

What are you working on next?

Right now, I am getting super close to turning in my first draft of The Naturals to my editor. It is the sequel to the Chosen Ones, and I have had a lot of fun creating a world that is totally different than the one portrayed in the first novel.

I am also working on a dark and gritty YA Contempt that I really hope sees the light of the day at some point.

FLASH QUESTIONS!

Private concert: who’s playing?

Ugh. This is tough. I am a music nut (going to two big music festivals this summer). I’ve been in a bit of a Florence and the Machine mood as of late. She’s pretty epic.

Pizza toppings?

Chicken and garlic with a cup of Peppercorn Parmesan to dip it in.

Book you can’t stop re-reading?

Pride and Prejudice. Clichéd? Sure. But it is a beloved for a reason.

Living or dead, who would you like to have dinner with?

William Shakespeare.

Perfect vacation?

Anywhere. I love to travel, and I am pretty much up for anything. Last summer, I went to China for ten days.

Look at your desk right now.Name five things within reach.

Cell phone, worry beads from China, old cell phone I still use as an alarm clock, a copy of Pretty Amy by Lisa Burnstein

About Chosen Ones:

I pushed down a key. The hair on the back of my neck shot up, and my skin tingled.

I imagined this was what it felt like to fall in love.

In that moment, I was ready to fall.

Life is bleak but uncomplicated for Tess, living in a not-too-distant future where the government, faced with humanity’s extinction, created the Chosen Ones, artificial beings who are extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly.

When Tess begins work at Templeton, a Chosen Ones training facility, she meets James, and the attraction is immediate in its intensity, overwhelming in its danger. But there is more to Templeton than Tess ever knew. Can she stand against her oppressors, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?

Order your copy of Chosen Ones at Amazon | B&N

About Tiffany Truitt:

Tiffany Truitt is an 8th grade English teacher in Suffolk, Virginia. When she’s not traveling the world, she enjoys reading, writing, and obsessing over coffee. Lost Souls: Chosen Ones is her first novel.

Find out more about Tiffany Truitt at her Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks: Essay & Project Ideas

We love our June Book of the Month, Of Poseidon by Anna Banks. Here are some essay topics & project ideas you can use to bring this fantastic YA novel into the classroom:

Essay Topics:

* Study classic mythology about mermaids, Poseidon, and Triton. Look at how the influence of these myths can be found throughout Of Poseidon.

* Compare the “Syrena” in Of Poseidon to various myths about mermaids from around the globe. How are they similar? How are they different? Discuss how Anna Banks created her own mythology out of existing ideas.

* Love, honor, duty, family, betrayal. Explore these themes in Of Poseidon and how they are used in various ways.

*The Syrena in Of Poseidon have some very old-fashioned traditions, especially when it comes to marriage/mating. Explore historical marriage traditions and how they compare to those in Of Poseidon. Discuss why you think some critical readers have complained about how women’s rights are portrayed in the book.

Project Ideas:

* Create a painting or a collage that shows your idea of what the Syrena kingdom looks like.

* Of Poseidon takes place mostly along the Jersey Shore. Put together a collage box of items you’d find in the locations throughout the book.

* The cover for Of Poseidon is very striking, but it is similar to a trend of “girls in dresses” on book covers lately. Redesign another look for the book’s cover that you feels best represents the story.

* Of Poseidon is part of a growing trend in YA books featuring some kind of mermaid. Research other YA books about mermaids and create a poster, showing how they are similar and/or different from each other.

For the comments: Share more ideas for essay topics or project ideas in the comments below!

Sneak Peak: The Classroom by Robin Mellom

Middle Grade News Flash:

The Classroom, by Robin Mellom hits bookshelves tomorrow (June 19th) from Disney-Hyperion!

Look for our upcoming review next week on Middle Grade Monday. In the meantime, we thought we’d give you a lil’ sneak peak of the book trailer and official synopsis (just to wet your appetite):

In 2012, a documentary crew descended upon Westside Middle School to detail the life of an average seventh grader and his classmates. 

What they uncovered, though, was far from average. Mostly, it was upper average along with moments of extreme average, highlighted by several minutes of total epicness.

This is the story…

Trevor Jones — perfect attendance award recipient, former neurotic (he hopes) — has been preparing for the start of seventh grade his entire summer. But he is NOT ready for the news his best friend, Libby (proud neurotic, in a color-coding sort of way), drops on him: he must ask a girl to the fall dance. By the end of the day.

Trevor decides he would rather squirt hot sauce in his eyes than attend the dance. Everything changes when he meets mysterious new student Molly (excessive doodler, champion of unnatural hair colors).

Trevor starts to think that going to the dance maybe wouldn’t be the worst thing ever. But what if she says no to his invitation? More important, what if she says yes?!

And don’t forget to check out the super epic book trailer:

Be sure to pick-up your copy of The Classroom tomorrow!

The Book of Elsewhere: Celebrating The Second Spy release July 5th

I love MG series! And one of my new favorites happens to be The Book of  Elsewhere series by Jacqueline West. Book one, The Shadows is like stepping into a cloudy painting whose mood continually changes through sky, thick oil, and moonlit nights (see my review here: http://novelnovice.com/2012/03/30/review-the-book-of-elsewhere-by-jacqueline-west/) .

In book two, Spellbound, the colors darken, the air chills, and mystery deepens as Olive and her new friend, Rutherford, intrude upon the McMartin’s book of spells (a last ditch effort to help Morton escape from his imprisonment inside a painting). Despite the cats’ (magical guardians of the house) warnings, Olive’s stubborn determination might just give her more magic than she’s bargained for…

If you have yet to enter into the old Victorian McMartin mansion, we recommend you walk up the creaky steps and introduce yourself to the Dunwoodys (and you can do just that, literally, or rather, digitally, on Jacqueline West’s website: http://www.thebooksofelsewhere.com/).

Our team of MG readers has been on the journey with Olive for a few weeks, and we’re all waiting in eager anticipation for the release of the third book in the spellbinding adventure, The Second Spy. We’d like to invite you to join us!

Because we are in love with the series, we’ve decided to host an online release party to celebrate! Look for details (and some fun surprises) in next week’s MG post, and get ready to party with the Dunwoodys!

Happy Middle Grade Monday, everyone!

Official synopsis:

In Olive’s third adventure, what lurks below the house could be as    dangerous as what’s hidden inside . . .

Some terrifying things have happened to Olive in the old stone house, but none as scary as starting junior high. Or so she thinks. When she plummets through a hole in her backyard, though, she realizes two things that may change her mind: First, the wicked Annabelle McMartin is back. Second, there’s a secret underground that unlocks not one but two of Elsewhere’s biggest, most powerful, most dangerous forces yet. But with the house’s guardian cats acting suspicious, her best friend threatening to move away, and her ally Morton starting to rebel, Olive isn’t sure where to turn. Will she figure it out in time? Or will she be lured into Elsewhere, and trapped there for good?

*If you haven’t started The Book of Elsewhere series yet, there’s still time to get caught-up and join us. Be sure to check out the website for more details on each book: http://www.thebooksofelsewhere.com/ Get reading today!

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks: Original Desktop Wallpapers

Today, we have a couple of new desktop wallpapers for you — featuring our June Book of the Month, Of Poseidon by Anna Banks. Just click to view full-size, then right-click to save!