Tuesday, October 14, 2008

September 2008

Feature:
BRISINGR: Inheritance, Book III by Christopher Paolini (Fantasy)
Following the colossal battle against the Empire's warriors on the Burning Plains, Eragon and his dragon, Saphira, have narrowly escaped with their lives. Still there is more at hand for the Rider and his dragon, as Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep.

First is Eragon's oath to his cousin Roran: to help rescue Roran's beloved, Katrina, from King Galbatorix's clutches. But Eragon owes his loyalty to others, too. The Varden are in desperate need of his talents and strength --- as are the elves and dwarves. When unrest claims the rebels and danger strikes from every corner, Eragon must make choices --- choices that take him across the Empire and beyond, choices that may lead to unimagined sacrifice.

Eragon is the greatest hope to rid the land of tyranny. Can this once-simple farm boy unite the rebel forces and defeat the king?


Author Talk:
Suzanne Collins
Suzanne Collins, author of the children's series The Underland Chronicles, recently published a novel for young adults called THE HUNGER GAMES. In this interview, Collins discusses the various sources --- ranging from Greek mythology to reality television --- that inspired the plot of this futuristic sci-fi tale and explains how her father's stories from her childhood helped her with elements of the story's plot, themes and characters. She also reveals how she tastefully handled the book's violent scenes, shares her thoughts on writing for different age groups and lists some of her favorite books she read as a teenager.

Holly Black
After publishing several popular children's and young adult titles such as The Spiderwick Chronicles, TITHE, VALIANT and IRONSIDE, Holly Black tries her hand at graphic novels with KIN, the opening book in her trilogy The Good Neighbors. In this interview, Black discusses what prompted this change in genre and highlights the major similarities and differences between writing prose and comics. She also recalls the historical event that inspired the plot of this first installment, describes the step-by-step process of collaborating with artist Ted Naifeh, and explains how seeing his visual representations ultimately influenced the direction of the story.


Special Feature:
THE GOOD NEIGHBORS, Book One: Kin by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh (Graphic Novel)
The human realm and the faerie realm have always been good neighbors. But all that is about to change...

Rue Silver's life isn't at all what it appears to be; her mother has disappeared --- and her father is being blamed for her murder. Is he guilty, or is there another truth behind it all? Rue digs deeper into her family's past and makes a startling discovery: her mother is a faerie, and she's vanished back into the faerie realm because of a broken promise. In order to save her, Rue must defeat a dark faerie --- who threatens our very mortal world.


Contests:
Grab Bag of Books Giveaway
Every month in our Grab Bag of Books contest, five readers are awarded a Teenreads.com signature tote bag filled with some of the hottest books --- and may even include a sneak peak at titles that haven't been released yet! This contest period's winners will each receive a copy of AIRHEAD by Meg Cabot, THE GOOD NEIGHBORS: Book One - Kin by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh, THE MIRACLE GIRLS by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt, SUITE SCARLETT by Maureen Johnson and the VAMPIRE KISSES Box Set, which includes the first three books of Ellen Schreiber's Vampire Kisses series.


Books Into Movies:
NICK & NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST actually began when author Rachel Cohn mentioned to her friend, fellow writer David Levithan, her idea for a novel. Two New Jersey teenagers would meet at a music club in Manhattan and have an all-night series of adventures as they keep searching for where the next great band is playing. Levithan loved the idea so much that he asked if he could write Nick's part, and Cohn agreed. A few months later, he sent her Nick's opening chapter, and they began emailing each other back and forth for the rest of the summer. Without any planning, the book --- which Levithan has called "a truly kick-ass love story" --- thus emerged and has now been adapted into a major motion picture. Starring Michael Cera of Superbad and Juno fame, and releasing on October 3rd, this is one movie you won't want to miss.


Cool New Books:
Two major sci-fi/fantasy releases from bestselling authors highlight September's roundup of Cool New Books. In BRISINGR, the third book in Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle, Eragon finds himself bound by a tangle of promises he may not be able to keep. Acclaimed writer Suzanne Collins delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in THE HUNGER GAMES, the first installment of a trilogy set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.

Other featured titles this month include Terry Pratchett's NATION, the story of a boy whose journey to manhood requires the strength to defy expectations and the courage to forge new beliefs; IMPOSSIBLE by Nancy Werlin, in which a 17-year-old has nine months to break an ancient curse in order to save both herself and her unborn daughter; and LIVING DEAD GIRL, Elizabeth Scott's deeply disturbing and heart-wrenching novel about a girl who suffers indescribable physical and mental abuse at the hands of her abductor.


New In Paperback:
September's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE FINAL WARNING, the fourth installment in James Patterson's high-flying Maximum Ride series; THE LUXE, Anna Godbersen's novel about five teens in 1899 Manhattan, where appearance matters more than anything else and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever; HOLIDAY PRINCESS, in which Mia and her subjects from Meg Cabot's bestselling Princess Diaries series tells readers how to have a jolly and memorable holiday; the Carnegie Medal-winning TAMAR by Mal Peet, a masterful story of adventure, love, secrets and betrayal in a time of war; and HARMLESS, Dana Reinhardt's second work of fiction (following A BRIEF CHAPTER IN MY IMPOSSIBLE LIFE) that answers the question, "How much harm can one lie do?"


Reviews and Excerpts:
LIVING DEAD GIRL by Elizabeth Scott (Fiction)
When Alice was 10, Ray took her away from her family and friends. She learned to give up all power and endure the pain, and waited for the nightmare to be over. Now Alice is 15 and Ray still has her, but speaks more and more of her death. However, she doesn't know that he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts and excerpted.

THE BIG GAME OF EVERYTHING by Chris Lynch (Fiction)
Sure, Jock loves his family, but that's because a guy is supposed to, right? They may be weird and annoying, but they're still his family. And Jock spends an intense, discovery-filled summer with them working at his grandfather's golf course while figuring out the important things in life. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman and excerpted.

SOVAY by Celia Rees (Historical Fiction)
Celia Rees follows up such popular books as PIRATES! and WITCH CHILD with SOVAY, an action-packed, swashbuckling 18th-century tale with plenty of intrigue, suspense, romance and fabulous fashion. Reviewed by Norah Piehl and excerpted.

GHOSTGIRL by Tonya Hurley (Fiction)
After a death-causing freak accident with a gummy bear, Charlotte Usher goes from being a supremely unpopular girl to an invisible ghostgirl. But even in death, she desperately wants to win the attention of Damen, the most popular guy in school. Can Charlotte finally find popularity in the afterlife? Reviewed by Kristi Olson.

ALL WE KNOW OF LOVE by Nora Raleigh Baskin (Fiction)
Natalie Gordon's mother walked out on Natalie and her father four years ago, leaving without an explanation, a goodbye, or a forwarding address. Then one day, out of nowhere, a package with a return address arrives for Natalie. She buys a bus ticket and sets out on a painful journey to get some desperately needed answers. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

BLISS by Lauren Myracle (Horror)
New York Times bestselling author Lauren Myracle delivers plenty of creepy chills in BLISS, a blood-soaked psychological suspense novel set in an elite school in the deep South amid the racial tensions of the post-segregation era. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

BOG CHILD by Siobhan Dowd (Fiction)
Digging for peat in the mountain with his Uncle Tally, Fergus finds the body of a child, and it looks like she's been murdered. As Fergus tries to make sense of the mad world around him, a little voice comes to him in his dreams, and the mystery of the bog child unfurls. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

ODDEST OF ALL by Bruce Coville (Fantasy/Horror/Short Stories)
Master storyteller Bruce Coville continues to wow readers with his quirky tales in this anthology of nine stories that are magical, frightening, hilarious and touching. From the strangest frog mutation ever and ghosts that haunt in more ways than one, to the pure weirdness of being 13 and in love, consider us "awed"! Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

HERO-TYPE by Barry Lyga (Fiction)
Kevin Ross doesn't think he's a hero. He just happened to be in an alley near the library when Leah was almost raped and murdered by a notorious serial killer. True, Kevin did attack the assailant from behind and hold him until the police came. Sure, his life is forever changed, with the media camped out everywhere and reporters looking to interview him. But he doesn't want anyone to know what he was doing in that alley in the first place. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

VAMPIRE KISSES 5: THE COFFIN CLUB by Ellen Schreiber (Horror)
It's tough for love-struck Raven to imagine what's keeping her nocturnal boyfriend from returning to Dullsville. So there's only one thing to do --- find Alexander. Along the way, Raven can't resist the spot where she feels most at home: the Coffin Club. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.

THE DRAGON HEIR by Cinda Williams Chima (Fantasy)
Relationships are tested, strange alliances are made (and broken) and startling secrets are revealed, as THE DRAGON HEIR brings Cinda Williams Chima's series to a gripping yet bittersweet conclusion that will leave readers wanting to revisit the previous two installments, THE WARRIOR HEIR and THE WIZARD HEIR. Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle.

WOULD YOU by Marthe Jocelyn (Fiction)
For Natalie's amazing older sister, Claire, this summer is fantastic, because she's heading to college in the fall. But when she's hit by a car, the world changes in a heartbeat. Over the next four days, moment by moment, Natalie, her parents and their friends wait to learn if Claire will ever recover. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

FOOTBALL HERO by Tim Green (Fiction)
Ty's big brother, Thane "Tiger" Lewis, has graduated from college and has been drafted into the pro leagues by the New York Jets. That couldn't be better news for young Ty because he lives in New Jersey with a disagreeable uncle, but now he gets to see Thane every week. They have gotten even closer since their parents died six months earlier in a car accident and need each other in more ways than one. Reviewed by Joy Held.


Manga and Graphic Novels:
powered by noflyingnotights.com
THE CHRONICLES OF THE GRIM PEDDLER, Volume 1 by Lee Jeoun-A
The Grim Peddler, though a dashing young man with stylish suits and the preternatural beauty of a fairy tale princess, plays neither the prince nor the hero of any fairy tale. He is instead the wicked witch, the tempter, the trickster, and unlike the fairy tales we know, the Grim Peddler's touch reveals twists on old tales. Reviewed by Robin Brenner.

LAND OF THE BLINDFOLDED, Volumes 2-9 by Sakura Tsukuba
Readers looking for something to pair with Fruits Basket, From Far Away, Apothecarius Argentum or Yurara should definitely check out this series. It has the romance, the fantasy, and the strong writing and good art to make it a keeper. The first three volumes also have terrific bonus stories that leave the reader longing for more from this fine creator. Reviewed by Snow Wildsmith.

MONSTER ZOO by Doug TenNapel
Ty visits the zoo as a way to take a break, especially from the recent loss of his father, a sharpshooter who was stationed in Afghanistan. Taking breaks doesn't come easy, though, when his best friend, Carpo, lets loose all his annoying habits, and the girl of his dreams, Rainy, arrives on a date with the school Neanderthal, Rick. Then something goes wrong. Horribly wrong. Reviewed by Robin Brenner.


Christian Reviews and Excerpts:
GOODBYE HOLLYWOOD NOBODY by Lisa Samson (Fiction)
Charley is off to Scotland with her new beau, and Scotty and her dad travel to Maine in search of Scotty's mom. When they land on her mother's last known trail, will their questions finally be answered? Reviewed by Michele Howe.

The Lost Books
CHAOS: The Lost Books #4 by Ted Dekker (Fiction)
Deep in the mountains of Romania stands a fortress, and deep within that fortress lies a chamber. In that chamber, ruling the dead for over 2,000 years, lives one Shataiki bat straight from the bowels of the Black Forest. He seeks the final Books of History with which he will destroy the world. But there are four who stand in the way. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

Lauren Holbrook
REMATCH: Lauren Holbrook Series, Book 2 by Erynn Mangum (Fiction)
Lauren Holbrook has two great loves: matchmaking and a good cup of coffee. Needless to say, she is thrilled when her favorite pastimes finally are able to come together. In REMATCH, Lauren, fresh off a successfully matched wedding, is on the prowl for a new unsuspecting couple to work her magic on. Reviewed by Jennifer Crosby.


Recent Bookreporter.com Titles for Teens:
HURRY DOWN SUNSHINE: A Memoir, by Michael Greenberg (Memoir)
Aristotle said that "no excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness." And it seems that many of the great and creative minds of history have been, to put it poetically, excellent souls. Still, to see a loved one wrestle with mental illness is usually more frustrating and heartbreaking than inspiring. Inspiration is there, however, waiting to be uncovered by the patient and the gifted. Michael Greenberg's honest new memoir demonstrates such patience and skill as he retells his teenage daughter's first psychotic break and its immediate aftermath. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

WHAT I TALK ABOUT WHEN I TALK ABOUT RUNNING: A Memoir, written by Haruki Murakami and translated by Philip Gabriel (Memoir)
In this slim, entertaining memoir, noted Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami discourses on his passion for distance running and the way in which that passion has influenced his writing and his view of life itself. It is one man's wry and refreshing look at how vocation and hobby sometimes unite to form a seamless whole. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg and excerpted.

BLUE SKY JULY: A Mother's Story of Hope and Healing, by Nia Wyn (Memoir)
A child is born with brain damage and severe cerebral palsy. His mother, a former newspaper reporter who is adept at research and knows how to get difficult questions answered, is determined that her son Joe, her only child, will have as normal a life as possible, in spite of what all the medical experts tell her. The author battles heartbreak, depression and conventional wisdom in this chronicle of the first seven years of Joe's remarkable life. Reviewed by Carole Turner.

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