Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December 2010

WITCH & WIZARD: THE GIFT by James Patterson and Ned Rust(Fantasy/Supernatural Thriller)
When the New Order imprisoned Whit and Wisty, they barely escaped with their lives --- and now they’re sacrificing everything to save the teens who are being kidnapped. But the One needs Wisty, “The One Who Has the Gift.” Their quest to find out what this means will lead them on a suspenseful adventure, and ultimately to a jaw-dropping climax and conclusion. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman and excerpted.

» Click here to see James Patterson talk about WITCH & WIZARD: THE GIFT.
MATCHED by Ally Condie (Fiction)
Cassia has always trusted the Society. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he’s the one…until she sees Ky Markham's face before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it’s a glitch, but when Cassia begins to doubt them, she’s faced with an impossible choice: between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow. Reviewed by Norah Piehl and excerpted.

» Click here to see Ally Condie talk about MATCHED.
THE RING OF SOLOMON: A Bartimaeus Novel, by Jonathan Stroud (Fantasy)
Bartimaeus, the snarky djinni, is up to his usual antics in this latest addition to the bestsellingBartimaeus series. With the aid of a powerful ring, King Solomon rules Jerusalem. Commanded by Asmira, one of Solomon’s enemies, Bartimaeus has one little job before he’ll be set free: steal the ring. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche and excerpted.
ENTICE by Carrie Jones (Paranormal Romance)
Zara and Nick are soul mates, but things haven’t worked out. For starters, Nick is dead and has been taken to Valhalla. It’s a mythic place for warriors, so there’s a chance Zara can get him back. But evil pixies are devastating Bedford, and war seems imminent. And even if Zara finds Valhalla, there’s one small problem: she has been pixie-kissed. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman and excerpted.
PATHFINDER by Orson Scott Card (Science Fiction)
Rigg has been well trained in his special skill of seeing paths from people’s pasts. What he couldn’t see, though, was the trouble he would find himself in after people learned he could be a future king. Following paths won’t help Rigg this time as he struggles to learn his destiny. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche and excerpted.
HERO by Mike Lupica (Fiction)
Billy Harriman is trying to keep it together. His father recently died in a mysterious plane crash, he’s having trouble with a bully at school, and a strange man tells him he possesses magic. The magic turns out to be incredible powers, and Billy finds himself in an impossible role --- hero. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche and excerpted.
VIRALS by Kathy Reichs (Mystery/Thriller)
The niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan, Tory is the leader of a band of teenage “sci-philes.” But when they’re exposed to a canine parvovirus, their lives are changed forever. Now they must use their new gifts to solve a suddenly hot cold-case --- if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer’s scent. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.
THE LYING GAME by Sara Shepard (Fiction)
When you’re dead, there’s nothing left to live for. However, Sutton Mercer is about to get a second chance --- thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin she never met. The only way for Emma to find out what happened is for her to become Sutton. But can she keep up the charade when she realizes that Sutton’s murderer is watching her every move? Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.
Before Cirque Du Freak, before the war with the vampaneze, and before he was a vampire, Larten Crepsley was a boy. As a child laborer many centuries ago, Larten did his job without complaint --- until the day the foreman killed his brother. Forced to run, Larten is offered protection as a vampire’s assistant. This is his story. Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts.
VIXEN by Jillian Larkin (Historical Romance)
In this first installment of a new series set in the dangerous and exciting world of Chicago’s Prohibition-era speakeasies, an aspiring singer named Gloria embarks on a series of clandestine adventures, ultimately leading her into the arms of a black pianist. Meanwhile, Lorraine is hurt by her best friend’s secrecy and plans on ruining the reputation of Gloria’s country cousin, Clara. But nothing is as it appears: Clara hides a secret life of her own, and Lorraine is getting the attention she craves from all the wrong places. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

» Click here to see the trailer for VIXEN.
EXTRAORDINARY by Nancy Werlin (Romantic Suspense/Fantasy)
In seventh grade, Phoebe Rothschild befriends a strange new girl named Mallory Tolliver. Unknown to Phoebe, Mallory leads a double life and has a secret motive for getting close to her. Over the years, their friendship strengthens as they grow into young ladies --- until Mallory’s brother, Ryland, appears. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.
THE DAUGHTERS BREAK THE RULES by Joanna Philbin (Fiction)
After leaking a story about the family business, Carina Jurgensen’s billionaire father cuts her off. So she snags a job as a party planner for New York's Silver Snowflake Ball. But the committee expects favors from her dad's connections, and Carina must make a choice: Does she face the truth, or pretend she's still the ultimate heiress? Reviewed by Joy Held.
A GOOD HORSE by Jane Smiley (Fiction)
Eighth-grader Abby Lovitt knows there’s no place she’d rather be than her family’s ranch. It’s hard work tending to nine horses, but grooming Jack isn’t a chore at all. When the Lovitts receive a letter stating that Jack’s mare may have been sold as stolen goods, a mystery unfolds --- and it’s more surprising than Abby ever imagined. Will she lose her beloved Jack? Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.
BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Fantasy)
Light and dark factions fight to alter the balance of power in The Caster Chronicles, a fantastic dark fantasy that began with a New York Times bestseller in 2009. By the close of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, the most infamous witch ever had disappeared from Gatlin, leaving a man dead and a young couple with another year to ponder their fates. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.
FIXING DELILAH by Sarah Ockler (Fiction)
Delilah Hannaford’s life is falling apart. A compromising picture of her is posted on her school’s website, and none of her friends will talk to her anymore. Her grades are falling, she’s just been caught shoplifting, and her grandmother has died. As she, her mother, and her aunt work to clear and repair the family home, Delilah begins to uncover her family’s secrets. Will Delilah find the answers she needs to fix her life? Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.
HUSH by Eishes Chayil (Fiction)
Inside the closed community of Borough Park, the Chassidim way of life is determined by an ancient script --- and abuse has never been a part of it. But when Gittel learns that her best friend has been abused by one of her own family members, she is forced to remain silent --- and begins to question everything she was raised to believe. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez.
LOW RED MOON by Ivy Devlin (Paranormal Romance)
The only thing Avery Hood remembers about the night her parents died is that she saw deadly silver moving inhumanly fast. When she tries to piece her life back together, she develops a deep connection with Ben, a mysterious new boy from school. But when Ben reveals that he’s a werewolf, Avery realizes she’s not the only one who doesn’t remember her parents’ death. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

Graphic Novel and Manga

WITCH & WIZARD: BATTLE FOR SHADOWLAND written by James Patterson and Dara Naraghi
In a blink of an eye, their world has changed, with the oppressive New Order declaring all magic as evil incarnate! In this action-packed tale spinning out of James Patterson's bestselling novel, sibling teenagers Whit and Wisty Allgood use their newly discovered magical powers to infiltrate into enemy territory of the New Order to gain control of the inter-dimensional Shadowland. Reviewed by Brigid Alverson.
X-FORCE/CABLE: MESSIAH WAR written by Craig Kyle, Duane Swierczynski and Chris Yost; illustrated by Ariel Olivetti, Clayton Crain and Mike Choi
Cyclops has complete faith that his son, Cable, will do everything he can to protect the so-called mutant messiah. But he also knows what havoc former X-Man Lucas Bishop has wreaked in the nightmarish future. So now he has sent his black ops team, the X-Force, on a risky, time-traveling mission to save Cable and the child, completely unaware that there's something else waiting for them in the future. Reviewed by Michael Hicks.
X-MEN: SECOND COMING written by Zeb Wells, Mike Carey, Matt Fraction, Craig Kyle and Chris Yost; illustrated by Terry Dodson, Greg Land, Mike Choi and Sonia Oback
What started in HOUSE OF M with the Decimation of mutantkind and erupted with the first new mutant birth in MESSIAH COMPLEX finishes here. In the epic crossover SECOND COMING, Cyclops's faith pays off when Cable returns to the present with Hope, the girl he believes to be the mutant messiah. But will she be the savior or destroyer of mutantkind? Reviewed by Michael Hicks
DEMON SACRED, Volumes 1-2 written and illustrated by Natsumi Itsuki
A sickness called the Return Syndrome causes people to physically regress toward infancy until they simply disappear. Join Mona, K2, Rina, Mika and Shinobu as they fight against the Return Syndrome, dark company secrets, and enemies (both human and inhuman). Reviewed by Casey Brienza.
BAKUMAN, Volume 1 written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata
Moritaka Mashiro has given up on his dream of drawing professionally. Ever since his manga artist uncle passed away, he knew that his parents would never allow it. He braces himself for a boring future, but when a proposal from a classmate offers to make his dreams come true, Moritaka decides that it's time to throw caution to the wind and go for it. Reviewed by Courtney Kraft.
K-ON!, Volume 1 written and illustrated by kakifly
In an effort to save their high school's memberless pop music club, four high school girls sign up for the after-school jam session. They may have rescued the club, but it's going to take some work for them to crank out any music. Yui Hirasawa loves pop, but she's never played an instrument or read music before. What will her fellow students say when the pop music club performs at the school festival?! Reviewed by Casey Brienza.
SATURN APARTMENTS, Volume 1 written and illustrated by Hisae Iwaoka
Far in the future, humankind has evacuated the earth in order to preserve it. Humans now reside in a gigantic structure that forms a ring around the earth. When Mitsu’s father disappears and is assumed dead, Mitsu must take on his father's occupation. As he struggles with the transition to working life, Mitsu's job treats him to an outsider's view into the living-room dioramas of the Saturn Apartments. Reviewed by Snow Wildsmith.
Adult Books You Don'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

Holiday Basket of Cheer
Our Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest has ended. Thanks to all who entered, and congratulations to our winners!

Even if you weren't a winner, may we suggest you take a look at our featured titles? These are books you'll want to read any time of the year --- 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.

» Click here to see the winners of the Fifth Annual Teenreads.com Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest.
» Click here to read more about the titles spotlighted in our Holiday Basket of Cheer feature.

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.

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 our interview with Daisy Whitney.
» Click here to read Daisy Whitney’s bio.
» Click here to see Daisy Whitney’s Teenreads.com blog post, “THE MOCKINGBIRDS, Justice, and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.”
» Click here to read more THE MOCKINGBIRDS on Facebook.

Books into Movies

Gulliver’s Travels
If you’re looking for some 3D fun this holiday season, then our Books into Movies feature is here to help. We’re currently spotlighting Gulliver’s Travels, giving bookworms and theatergoers alike the gift of an exciting adventure infused with a long-time favorite. A contemporary take on Jonathan Swift’s enduring classic, the film will be making a splash on the big screen beginning Christmas Day.

» Click here for more details about Gulliver’s Travels.

Cool New Books

December’s roundup of Cool New Books includes WITCH & WIZARD: THE GIFT by James Patterson and Ned Rust, in which Whit and Wisty continue to struggle against the New Order and try to figure out what Wisty’s supposed “Gift” might mean for the Resistance; Carrie Jones’s ENTICE, the highly anticipated follow-up to CAPTIVATE that tells the story of newly appointed pixie queen Zara’s search for her true soul mate, Nick; REAL LIVE BOYFRIENDS by E. Lockhart, which follows the perpetually love-struck Ruby Oliver’s quest to find out why her boyfriend has been acting like a lobotomy patient; and DEADLY LITTLE GAMES, the latest book in Laurie Faria Stolarz’s series about two psychometric teens who can sense things through touch --- and who must use their powers to mend an unresolved tragedy before it’s too late. » Click here

New In Paperback

December’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead, the story of a sixth-grader who has to unlock the secret behind a series of mysterious notes while navigating the dangers of New York City life; CAPTIVATE, Carrie Jones’s spellbinding sequel to NEED that follows Zara’s continuing struggle against the evil pixies and her attempts to avoid becoming their next queen; MORPHEUS ROAD: THE LIGHT, the first installment in D.J. MacHale’s trilogy about two kids who find themselves caught between the worlds of the living and the dead; WISH by Alexandra Bullen, in which a heartbroken girl is given a mysterious magic dress --- and uses it to bring her twin sister back to life; and CLAUDETTE COLVIN, Phillip Hoose’s real-life account of an impassioned teen who risked everything to challenge the laws of segregation.» Click here