Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 2011

This must-have hardcover edition --- the only official guide --- is the definitive encyclopedic reference to the Twilight Saga and provides readers with everything they need to further explore the unforgettable world Stephenie Meyer created in all of her books. This comprehensive handbook --- essential for every fan --- is full-color throughout with nearly 100 gorgeous illustrations and photographs and with exclusive new material, character profiles, genealogical charts, maps, extensive cross-references, and much more.
SUMMER AND THE CITY: A Carrie Diaries Novel, by Candace Bushnell (Fiction)
Seventeen-year-old Carrie Bradshaw is finally in New York. But can she manage to prove herself as a writer so she can remain in the city of her dreams? As the countdown of her summer ticks away, she grapples with writer's block, men and friendships in another delightful installment of her adventures. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon and excerpted.
THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES by Carrie Ryan (Urban Fantasy)
There are many things Annah would like to forget: the look on her twin sister's face when she left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the horde as she found her way to the Dark City, the day Elias left her, and her barbed wire scars. Then she meets Catcher and everything feels alive again. But can she continue to live in a world drenched in the blood of the living? Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman and excerpted.
STAY by Deb Caletti (Fiction)
Clara's relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she's ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it's almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is --- and what he's willing to do to make her stay. No matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough. Reviewed by Norah Piehl and excerpted.
VIOLA IN THE SPOTLIGHT by Adriana Trigiani (Fiction)
Viola is back home in Brooklyn where she's free to be her spunky self. But the excitement of getting to hang with her two best friends comes to a screeching halt when Andrew starts acting strange and Caitlin ditches her for a new boy. Amid Viola's confusion --- should she stay or leave Brooklyn? --- a tragic event proves that friendships are her true foundation. Reviewed by Amy Alessio.
WE ALL FALL DOWN: Living with Addiction, by Nic Sheff (Memoir)
In his memoir TWEAK, Nic Sheff took readers on an emotionally gripping roller-coaster ride through his days as a drug addict. In this powerful follow-up about his continued efforts to stay clean, Nic writes candidly about eye-opening stays at rehab centers, devastating relapses, and hard-won realizations about what it means to be a young person living with addiction. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.
THE LAST LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPE by Maureen Johnson (Fiction)
Ginny Blackstone spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny's backpack --- and the last little blue envelope inside --- she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end. Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he's found her bag. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez.
TEN MILES PAST NORMAL by Frances O'Roark Dowell (Fiction)
Janie Gorman wants to be normal, but she's far from it. Her parents have involved her in their “let's-live-on-a-goat-farm” experiment, and now she has to milk goats every day. It would be nice to return to her safe suburban life, but in this new life, Janie just might find that being “normal” is overrated. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.
BLINK & CAUTION by Tim Wynne-Jones(Thriller)
All Blink wanted was to steal some breakfast for his empty belly, but instead he stumbled upon a fake kidnapping and a cell phone dropped by an "abducted" CEO. Now Blink is on the run. Enter a girl named Caution, who is also on the run. The two forge a fated, tender partnership while creating a blackmail scheme that is foolhardy at best and disastrous at worst. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.
WITHER: The Chemical Garden Trilogy, Book 1 by Lauren DeStefano (Fantasy)
In Rhine Ellery's world, a botched effort to create a perfect race has left humans with very short life spans. At age 16 --- and like many other young girls --- Rhine is sold as a polygamous bride to bear more children. Though she vows to do all she can to escape, her new husband opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed. Will she escape before her time runs out? Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.
THE PIPER'S SON by Melina Marchetta(Fiction)
Five years since SAVING FRANCESCA, it's now Thomas Mackee who needs saving. After his favorite uncle was blown to bits on his way to work in a foreign city, Tom watched his family implode. He quit school and turned his back on his music and everyone who mattered, including the girl he can't forget. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.
BEST OF THE BEST: A Baseball Great Novel, by Tim Green (Fiction)
Josh is still flying high from his baseball team's win when his parents start talking divorce. Now his dad is challenging him to play the best of the best at the Little League World Series. Does he just want Josh out of the way? With the help of two friends, Josh races to get the facts that can help keep his family together. Reviewed by Joy Held.
THE BETRAYAL OF MAGGIE BLAIR by Elizabeth Laird (Historical Fiction)
In the religious world of 17th-century Scotland, saying the wrong thing can lead to banishment --- or worse. Accused of being a witch, 16-year-old Maggie Blair is sentenced to be hanged like her grandmother. Maggie escapes, but now she must try to save her uncle and his family from the king's men, even if she has to risk her own life in doing so. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.
THE QUEEN OF WATER by Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango (Fiction)
Born in an Andean village in Ecuador, seven-year-old Virginia lives in a small, earthen-walled dwelling. In her village, it is not uncommon to work in the fields all day for members of the ruling class of mestizos, or Spanish descendants. When Virginia is taken to become a servant to a mestizo couple, she has no idea what the future holds. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez.
The Marvel Universe has crumbled and is reborn again from the ashes. Thor, once a part-time resident of Earth, has seen his entire kingdom crumble and witnessed the death of many of his people. Now, every Norse god is in danger of being eaten alive during the aftershocks of Siege. That is, of course, if Thor can't venture to Hell and back to save them.Reviewed by Collin David.
THOR: THE MIGHTY AVENGER written by Roger Langridge, illustrated by Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson
Forget everything you ever thought you needed to know about The Mighty Thor. No more complicated Norse mythology, no more complex familial relations, and no more flowery pseudo-Victorian speeches. THOR: THE MIGHTY AVENGER is a complete reboot of Thor, existing independently from the rest of the Marvel Universe. Reviewed by Collin David.

BATMAN & ROBIN: BATMAN REBORN written by Grant Morrison, illustrated by Frank Quitely and Philip Tan
The new Dynamic Duo hit the streets with a bang in their new flying Batmobile as they face off against an assemblage of villains called the Circus of Strange. They also tackle their first mission investigating a child who's been abducted by the mysterious Domino Killer. But will everything go smoothly? And who exactly are the new Batman and Robin? Reviewed by Collin David.

MORNING GLORIES, Volume 1 written by Nick Spencer and illustrated by Joe Eisma
The Morning Glories academy is the nation's premiere prep school, but as a group of new students will quickly learn, there is a much darker, sinister force at work deep behind the scenes. Answering to a mysterious headmaster, the teachers run a strict, murderous regimen designed to break their students and reveal the truly gifted among them. Reviewed by Michael Hicks.

RED ANGEL, Volume 1 written and illustrated by Makoto Tateno
Mika, a transfer student, is a girl as beautiful as an angel. She invites her new friend Nana to her house, where Mika's brother Koryu fascinates her. But between these beautiful siblings lies a hidden secret: they are actually vampires! Reviewed by Danica Davidson.

NURA: RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN, Volume 1 written and illustrated by Hiroshi Shiibashi
While the day belongs to humans, the night belongs to yokai, supernatural creatures that thrive on human fear. Caught between these worlds is Rikuo Nura, who's three-quarters human. But his grandfather is none other than Nurarihyon, the supreme commander of the Nura clan, a powerful yokai consortium. Reviewed by Casey Brienza.

Broadway isn't easy on teenage chorus girl Kit Corrigan. After leaving her Rhode Island home, she needs a helping hand. Preferably one with cash in it. When help comes, it's from Nate, the father of her hothead ex-boyfriend, who offers her the keys to a perfect, rent-free apartment. But in exchange for what?

To celebrate the release of STRINGS ATTACHED, is giving 100 readers the chance to win a copy of Judy Blundell's latest historical novel. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, June 8th at noon ET.

STRINGS ATTACHED by Judy Blundell (Historical Fiction)
When Kit Corrigan arrives in New York City, she doesn't have much. She's fled from her family in Providence, Rhode Island, and she's broken off her tempestuous relationship with a boy named Billy, who's enlisted in the army. The city doesn't exactly welcome her with open arms. She gets a bit part as a chorus girl in a Broadway show, but she knows that's not going to last very long. She needs help --- and then it comes, from an unexpected source.
» Click here to read more about STRINGS ATTACHED.
» Click here to read a review of STRINGS ATTACHED.
» Click here to read an excerpt from STRINGS ATTACHED.
» Click here to read our interview with Judy Blundell.
» Click here to read Judy Blundell's bio.

Win a Copy of DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA #2: MAY by Kathryn Lasky
May is different from what her mother and father would have her be. She wants to go swimming in the summer, to whoop and holler running off the wharf and into the seawater. She wants to read books (other than the Bible) late into the night. She wants a freedom that they just don't understand her need for; even she can't quite grasp it. That is, until she realizes her true nature as a mermaid.

To celebrate the release of MAY, is giving 100 readers the chance to win a copy of this second book in Kathryn Lasky's Daughters of the Sea series. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, May 4th at noon ET.

DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA #2: MAY by Kathryn Lasky (Fantasy)
May feels her life drying up. The sea calls to her, but her parents forbid her from swimming. She longs for books, but her mother finds her passion for learning strange. She yearns for independence, but a persistent suitor, Rudd, wants to tame her spirited ways. Yet after her 15th birthday, the urge to break free becomes overpowering and May makes a life-changing discovery. She does not belong on land where girls are meant to be obedient. She is a mermaid --- a creature of the sea.

Click here to read all the contest details.
» Click here to read more about DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA #2: MAY.
» Click here to read a review of DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA #2: MAY.
» Click here to read an excerpt from DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA #2: MAY.
» Click here to read our interview with Kathryn Lasky.
» Click here to read Kathryn Lasky's bio.

Win a Copy of NUMBERS #2: THE CHAOS by Rachel Ward
Adam is cursed. Who would want to look into the eyes of a friend and not only see the date of their death, but feel the pain of it as well? At first, it was Jem's death day. Now, Adam has moved to London with his great-grandmother, Val, and there's a new number that's showing up: 01012027 --- New Year's Day. And it's not just one person. How many people can he save from the catastrophe that awaits?

To celebrate the release of THE CHAOS, is giving 100 readers the chance to win a copy of this second book in Rachel Ward's Numbers series. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, May 4th at noon ET.

NUMBERS #2: THE CHAOS by Rachel Ward (Urban Fantasy)
When he was a little boy, Adam learned about the numbers. The first ones he saw were Jem's. That was how he knew she was going to die. Adam has more than inherited his mother's curse: When he looks in someone's eyes, he not only sees the date of their death, he feels the searing, shocking pain of it. Since Jem died, Adam has lived by the sea with his great-grandmother, Val. But when rising tides flood the coast, they return to London. The city is an alien, exciting, frightening place. Most disturbing of all, Adam can't help but clock how many people's numbers are in January 2027; how many are on New Year's Day. What chaos awaits the world? Can he and Sarah stop a catastrophe? Or are they, too, counted among the "twenty-sevens"?

Click here to read all the contest details.
» Click here to read a review of NUMBERS #2: THE CHAOS.
» Click here to read an excerpt from NUMBERS #2: THE CHAOS.
» Click here to read our interview with Rachel Ward.
» Click here to read Rachel Ward's bio.

Grab Bag of Books Giveaway
Every month in our Grab Bag of Books contest, five readers are awarded a signature tote bag filled with some of the hottest books --- and may even include a sneak peek at titles that haven’t been released yet!

This contest period's winners will each receive a copy of AFTERLIFE: An Evernight Novel, by Claudia Gray; ENCLAVE by Ann Aguirre; THE GATHERING: Darkness Rising, Book 1 by Kelley Armstrong; INSIGHT by Diana Greenwood; PLAGUE: A Gone Novel, by Michael Grant; ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE by Amy Clipston; and SUMMER AND THE CITY: A Carrie Diaries Novel, by Candace Bushnell. The deadline for entries is Monday, May 23rd at noon ET.

» Click here for all the contest details.
» Click here for the winners of our past giveaways.


GEEK FANTASY NOVEL by E. Archer (Fantasy)
Be careful what you wish for. Really. Because wishes are bad. Very bad. They can get you trapped in fantasy worlds full of killer bunny rabbits, evil aunts, and bothersome bacteria, for example. Or at least that's Ralph's experience. He's been asked to spend the summer with his strange British relatives at their old manor house in order to set up their Wi-Fi network. But there's much more to it than that, of course. It's just that nobody told Ralph. He's a gamer, sure. But this game is much stranger --- and funnier --- than anything to be found on his xbox.

» Click here to read a review of GEEK FANTASY NOVEL.
» Click here to read an excerpt from GEEK FANTASY NOVEL.
» Click here to read our interview with E. Archer.
» Click here to read E. Archer's bio.


The semester is more than halfway over, and this month is spotlighting two must-see movies that are guaranteed to help you gear up for the final stretch.

First up is Soul Surfer, an awe-inspiring flick about the story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton. Based on her stunning memoir of the same name, the film follows Bethany's incredible journey from the moment a 14-foot tiger shark threatened to shatter her future, to her astonishing and entirely unexpected comeback.

And if that isn't enough to push you towards the finish line, there's Water for Elephants. This adaptation of Sara Gruen's bestselling novel is a touching circus tale about extraordinary friendships (and equally amazing animals), the trials of growing up, and making the most of life in spite of everything. With a star-studded cast that includes everyone from Reese Witherspoon to Twilight's Robert Pattinson, it's going to be one of the most highly anticipated movies of the season.

» Click here for more details about these films.


April's roundup of Cool New Books includes Meg Cabot's ABANDON, a dark and fantastical story about a girl who might find herself back in the place she fears most --- the Underworld; STAY by Deb Caletti, a love story in which romantic devotion quickly turns into unhealthy obsession; WHERE SHE WENT, a sequel to Gayle Forman's much talked-about debut, IF I STAY, in which chance brings Mia and Adam together for one last night, three years after Mia walked out of Adam's life; VIOLA IN THE SPOTLIGHT, a continuation of Adriana Trigiani's first YA series, which finds Viola in the midst of a conundrum about where she truly belongs; and the eye-opening memoir WE ALL FALL DOWN, a follow-up to TWEAK that sees Nic Sheff through rehab, relapse and ultimate stability.

» Click here


April's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON, John Green and David Levithan's collaborative novel about two teens who share the same name, setting the stage for an otherwise unlikely friendship; ALONG FOR THE RIDE by Sarah Dessen, a girl-meets-boy love story involving a couple of insomniac bicyclists who bond over their emotional traumas; RUNAWAY, the final installment of Meg Cabot's Airhead trilogy, in which Em Watts is being held captive by the son of an evil billionaire entrepreneur, whose top-secret venture she must reveal to the public; THIRTEEN DAYS TO MIDNIGHT by Patrick Carman, a nail-biting novel of mystery and dark intrigue about an indestructible boy who is gifted with the power to keep death at bay; and THE PRINCE OF MIST, a ghost story from Carlos Ruiz Zafón that takes place in a mysterious house whose previous owner's son died by drowning.

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