Monday, November 22, 2010

November 2010

Reviews and Excerpts
NIGHT STAR: The Immortals, Book 5 by Alyson Noël (Paranormal Romance)
Wars are raging between family and friends in this much-anticipated fifth installment of theImmortals series. Ever’s aunt is going over the edge with worry for her ward. As a result, every time the two meet up at home, a battle erupts. As Ever begins her senior year, she is preparing for a huge confrontation with her former friend, Haven, that promises to be a fight to the death --- which for an immortal means an eternity in Shadowland. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman and excerpted.
LUKA AND THE FIRE OF LIFE by Salman Rushdie (Fiction)
This stand-alone sequel to HAROUN AND THE SEA OF STORIES tells the tall tale of 12-year-old Luka in the Magic World, a fantastical realm once visited by his brother, Haroun. Luka is on a quest to rescue his dying father from perpetual sleep and faces nine impossible challenges, all of which must be overcome if he is to steal the Fire of Life. Reviewed by Melanie Smith and excerpted.
MISGUIDED ANGEL: A Blue Bloods Novel, by Melissa de la Cruz (Fantasy/Horror)
At the close of THE VAN ALEN LEGACY, Jack and Schuyler finally had been given the chance to be together without guilt. This fifth installment of the Blue Bloods series affirms the "rightness" of freely chosen love while a larger saga of heaven and earth unfolds, with Schuyler and Mimi assuming new responsibilities for the coven of angels. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.
THREE QUARTERS DEAD by Richard Peck(Supernatural Suspense)
Kerry is chosen by the coolest clique in school and thinks that life has finally begun. But everything feels like it’s over when three of her friends are killed in a shocking car accident. Or are they? Only weeks after the wreck, Kerry receives a text from one of the girls: We’re all 3 here at my aunt’s in the city. Take the 3:50 train. B there. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.
THE GENIUS WARS by Catherine Jinks(Thriller)
Boy-genius Cadel Piggot has a new name, a new family, and a new life. This means he’s done with illegal hacking, false identities, and (most importantly) Prosper English. But when his best friend Sonja is attacked, Cadel is dragged back into the depths of criminal activity --- and forced to come face to face with Prosper English once again. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.
TWELFTH GRADE KILLS: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, Book 5 by Heather Brewer(Fiction)
As a teenage vampire, Vlad has spent the last four years trying to handle the pressures of school while sidestepping a slayer who’s out for his blood. But now that he’s a senior, Vlad must confront the secrets of the past, find out who he really is, make decisions about his future, and face his greatest enemy. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.
PEGASUS by Robin McKinley (Fantasy)
Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, Princess Sylviianel is bound to a Pegasus named Ebon on her 12th birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, although they have to rely on specially-trained Speaker magicians to communicate. But Sylvi and Ebon can understand each other, and when they grow close, their bond threatens the status quo --- and possibly even the safety of their two nations. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.
ZOMBIES VS. UNICORNS edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier(Fantasy/Horror Anthology)
It's a question as old as time itself: which are better, zombies or unicorns? In this collection of stories edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier, several bestselling authors make strong arguments for both sides. Some portray the strengths of unicorns, while others show the really cool side of zombies. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.
HALF BROTHER by Kenneth Oppel (Fiction)
Thirteen-year-old Ben Tomlin isn’t sure what to think of the newest addition to the family --- a baby chimpanzee named Zan. Ben’s family is conducting an experiment to see whether or not Zan can learn sign language, but they never expected to love Zan as one of their own. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.
EMPTY by Suzanne Weyn (Science Fiction)
Ten years from now, the world is dangerously close to running out of oil. Supplies, especially those made from petroleum, are getting scarce, and fresh produce is too expensive to ship from foreign farms. When a category 6 hurricane hits, leaving the East Coast in a disaster zone, three very different teens work together to survive in this new world. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.
GRACE by Elizabeth Scott (Fiction)
Grace’s entire life has been in preparation for her death. She is trained to be a suicide bomber --- to strap a bomb to her leg, infiltrate the enemy, and set off the bomb, all in the name of freedom for her people. But Grace decides she doesn’t want to die. So she runs for the border. And she has nothing to lose. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.
ENCHANTED IVY by Sarah Beth Durst(Fantasy)
Lily Carter and her mom are accompanying her grandfather for his big alumni weekend at Princeton University. Unbeknownst to Lily, he has arranged for his granddaughter to take a secret Legacy Test that if passed will ensure automatic acceptance to Princeton. But the test is something out of Lily’s biggest dreams and nightmares, and includes living gargoyles, dragons, fairies, a handsome were-tiger, and a second, secret Princeton --- a magical one. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.
GIRL, STOLEN by April Henry (Thriller)
Sixteen-year-old Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the car while her mom is at the pharmacy. Before she knows it, their car is stolen --- with her inside. Griffin didn’t mean to kidnap her. But once his dad discovers that her father is the president of a powerful corporation, everything changes. Now there’s a reason to keep her, but what Griffin doesn’t realize is that Cheyenne is blind. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.
Graphic Novel Reviews
X-MEN: MESSIAH COMPLEX written by Ed Brubaker, Peter David, Craig Kyle, Chris Yost and Mike Carey; illustrated by Marc Silvestri, Billy Tan, Scot Eaton, Humberto Ramos and and Chris Bachalo
In HOUSE OF M, Wanda Maximoff said, "No more mutants." With that, she wiped out nearly the whole mutant race. A year later, the first mutant birth is detected, and a bloody war for the future of both mutants and mankind hangs in the balance. X-MEN: MESSIAH COMPLEX is an epic and thrilling chase story that recalls the glory days of Marvel's X-franchise and lays the groundwork for a larger saga that promises to change the X-Men forever. Reviewed by Michael Hicks.
SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE written by J. Michael Straczynski and illustrated by Shane Davis
J. Michael Straczynski, the creator of “Babylon 5,” joins forces with rising star artist Shane Davis (SUPERMAN/BATMAN: THE SEARCH FOR KRYPTONITE) to create this original graphic novel that gives new insight into Clark Kent’s transformation into Superman and his first year as The Man of Steel. Reviewed by John Hogan.
Adult Books You Won't Want to Miss
THE DINOSAUR HUNTER by Homer Hickam (Mystery)
Montana ranches come with more than their share of trouble. The people who live there expect it, and some --- like ex-homicide detective Mike Wire --- even enjoy it. So when a paleontologist comes to dig for dinosaur bones that might be worth a fortune, Mike senses trouble. Because once those bones are discovered, they won’t stay buried. And with a murderer on the loose, he’ll have to fight to save the land he loves. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

THE WAVE: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean, by Susan Casey (Travel/Adventure)
The pioneer of extreme surfing is the legendary Laird Hamilton, who, with a group of friends in Hawaii, figured out how to board suicidally large waves of 70 and 80 feet. Casey follows this unique tribe of people as they seek to conquer the holy grail of their sport: a 100-foot wave. These exploits are juxtaposed against scientists’ urgent efforts to understand the destructive powers of waves. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

BEFORE YOU SUFFOCATE YOUR OWN FOOL SELF by Danielle Evans (Fiction/Short Stories)
Striking in their emotional immediacy, the stories in BEFORE YOU SUFFOCATE YOUR OWN FOOL SELF are based on a world of inequalities --- where adolescent insecurities and community tensions complicate people’s identities and the choices they make. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez.

Seasonal Features

Celebrate the season with's Fifth Annual Holiday Basket of Cheer feature and contest! From November 12th through December 13th, you can enter to win a "Basket of Holiday Reading and Fun."

Five winners each will receive a festive basket that includes 10 of the holiday's hottest books --- BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, DEAD BEAUTIFUL by Yvonne Woon, THE IRON KING by Julie Kagawa, LINGER by Maggie Stiefvater, THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB by Elizabeth Eulberg, THE LYING GAME by Sara Shepard, PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White, RECKLESS by Cornelia Funke, STORK by Wendy Delsol, and SUGAR AND SPICE: An L.A. Candy Novel by Lauren Conrad.

Along with the books, winners will find their basket stocked with tons of seasonal goodies: a kit to make a mini gingerbread village, Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate mix, peppermint bark candy, an oversized red and white chenille throw, two pairs of mittens, a snowman ceramic coffee mug, snowman peeps, M&Ms in holiday colors, and cinnamon sticks.

» Click here to read the contest details.
» Click here to enter the Fifth Annual Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest.

Sometimes deciding what to get is as hard as deciding what to give. So we've created a special What to Give, What to Get Guide --- a list of books just for teens that will give you tons of gift-giving ideas (and maybe a few to put on YOUR list). Happy Holidays!»Click Here.


In REVOLUTION, Jennifer Donnelly --- author of the award-winning novel A NORTHERN LIGHT --- artfully weaves two girls’ stories into an unforgettable account of life, loss and enduring love. The book spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.

To celebrate the release of this highly anticipated novel, is giving 15 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, December 15th at noon ET.

REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly (Fiction)

Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A NORTHERN LIGHT, artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss and enduring love. REVOLUTION spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.

Click here to read all the contest details.
» Click here to read more about REVOLUTION.
» Click here to read a review of REVOLUTION.
» Click here to read an excerpt from REVOLUTION.
» Click here to read our interview with Jennifer Donnelly.
» Click here to read Jennifer Donnelly’s bio.

When her beloved, albeit kooky, aunt is killed in a freak lightning storm, Erin Channing’s world is thrown upside down when she inherits a magical pink crystal ball that has the ability to change the future --- often in very unpredictable ways. As Erin and her friends struggle to control their futures, events quickly spiral out of control in THE SECRET SOCIETY OF THE PINK CRYSTAL BALL --- a hilarious new YA novel with the perfect supernatural twist.

To celebrate the release of THE SECRET SOCIETY OF THE PINK CRYSTAL BALL, is giving 30 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, December 15th at noon ET.

When Erin inherits a plastic crystal ball and a set of cryptic instructions from her free-spirited aunt, she and her two best friends laughingly give it a try and discover that this particular ball has a knack for being accurate. But as with all magic, nothing is as simple as it seems. Unless Erin and her friends can fix the damage, the magic will turn on them. The crystal ball gave them answers about love and life…but at what price?

Click here for all the contest details.
» Click here to read an excerpt from THE SECRET SOCIETY OF THE PINK CRYSTAL BALL.

» Click here to read Risa Green’s bio.
» Check out the trailer on YouTube!
» Find out more about Risa Green at

Special Features

THE MOCKINGBIRDS by Daisy Whitney(Fiction)
Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way --- the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds --- a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.

» Click here to read more about THE MOCKINGBIRDS.
» Click here to read a review of THE MOCKINGBIRDS.
» Click here to read an excerpt from THE MOCKINGBIRDS.
» Click here to read Daisy Whitney’s bio.
» Click here to see Daisy Whitney’s blog post, “THE MOCKINGBIRDS, Justice, and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.”
» Click here to read more THE MOCKINGBIRDS on Facebook.

RUINED by Paula Morris (Supernatural Thriller)
Rebecca Brown couldn’t feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to spend the year. She’s staying in a creepy old house with her Aunt Claudia, who reads tarot cards for a living. And at the snooty prep school, the filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like she’s invisible. Only gorgeous unavailable Anton Grey seems to give Rebecca the time of day, but she wonders if he’s got a hidden agenda.

» Click here to read more about RUINED.
» Click here to read a review of RUINED.
» Click here to read an excerpt from RUINED.
» Click here to read our interview with Paula Morris.
» Click here to read Paula Morris’s bio.

MOON SPUN by Marilee Brothers (Fantasy)
Allie Emerson's first boyfriend was an ex-gangbanger who helped her survive after she was thrown into the world of magick. Her second boyfriend was half demon. Her newest BF can turn into a hawk.

Things are definitely getting weirder in Allie's life. Which was tough enough already as a wise-cracking nobody in Peacock Flats, Washington, where she lives in a camping trailer with her not-quite-normal mother.

Now she learns she's a fae princess and warrior. It's up to her to save her faery grandmother's kingdom. And survive high school, too.

» Click here to read more about MOON SPUN.
» Click here to read a review of MOON SPUN.
» Click here to read an excerpt from MOON SPUN.
» Click here to read our interview with Marilee Brothers.
» Click here to read Marilee Brothers’s bio.
Books into Movies

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Our Books into Movies feature is spotlighting the big screen’s latest take on C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, so kick back and celebrate the season by setting sail with Edmund and Lucy Pevensie. The long-awaited and highly anticipated follow-up to Prince Caspian will be in theaters on December 10th. Why not join the dynamic brother-sister duo as they team up with their cousin Eustace and embark on what might be their most dangerous adventure yet?

» Click here for more details about The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1
The moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 has hit the big screen, so grab your wizarding gear and take a trip to your local movie theater, where you’ll enter a magical world of harrowing journeys, never-before-seen spells and hair-raising excitement. Based on the seventh installment of J.K. Rowling’s beloved series, this is the first of two riveting, full-length features (Part 2 releases on July 15, 2011) that will follow Harry and his friends as they try to outsmart the Death Eaters and put a stop to the Dark Lord’s evil doings once and for all.

» Click here for more details about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.

Cool New Books

November’s roundup of Cool New Books includes THE RING OF SOLOMON, the fourth installment in Jonathan Stroud’sBartimaeus series, which finds the wise-cracking djinni traveling back in time for a new string of misadventures in the court of King Solomon; NIGHT STAR by Alyson Noël, an Immortals novel that follows Ever and Damon as they face down bitter rivals, jealous friends, and their own worst nightmares --- all in the hope of being together forever; VIRALS, Kathy Reichs’s highly-anticipated YA debut starring Temperance Brennan’s niece and her band of teenage “sci-philes”, who accidentally expose themselves to a life-changing, canine parvovirus that gives them extraordinary physical powers; PATHFINDER, the first book in Orson Scott Card’s trilogy about a boy with a strange talent for seeing the paths of other people’s pasts; and LUKA AND THE FIRE OF LIFE, Salman Rushdie’s long-awaited, spellbinding sequel to his 1990 classic, HAROUN AND THE SEA OF STORIES. » Click here

New In Paperback

November’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes Cecily von Ziegesar’s I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU, a Gossip Girl novel that follows Blair, Serena, Nate, Dan and Vanessa as they head home for the holidays, unleashing a whole new series of post-college scandals and even more drama than ever before; DAWN by Kevin Brooks, a groundbreaking book about a teenage girl who has convinced herself that she lives in a cave, just so she can escape the horrors of high school and the ravages of her family’s broken home; CLAIM TO FAME, Margaret Peterson Haddix’s spellbinding story of an ex-child star who has developed a dangerous sense of ESP; THE DAUGHTERS by Joanna Philbin, which follows the adolescent daughters of a celebrity supermodel, a media mogul and a chart-topping music icon as they try to navigate their way through their first year of high school; and Margot McDonnell’s TORN TO PIECES, the gripping tale of a 17-year-old who must solve the mystery behind her mother’s sudden disappearance. » Click here