Friday, September 30, 2011

Guest Post: Mary Lindsey's Worst Writing Mishap (Shattered Souls)




Mary's writing is a natural expression of her love of reading and a fascination with the flexibility of the human imagination. Books make the impossible possible.

Prior to attending University of Houston Law School, Mary received a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Drama from the University of Houston. She has taught drama and playwriting in a large public high school and English in a private school. Currently, Mary teaches acting to children and teens at a private studio in Houston, Texas.

She is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Mary lives in Houston with her husband, three kids, two dogs, her daughter's pet rats, an Australian Bearded Dragon and dozens of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. (The roaches are long story—don't ask.)




Worst Writing Mishap

I grew up performing in theatre, so I’m pretty immune to embarrassment. If I do something silly, I blush, apologize, and brush it off. That’s why this post is sort of hard for me.

There are lots of things I’ve done that qualify as writing mishaps: not changing the name of the agent in my query, thanking the wrong agent for the full request, sending the wrong verson of my manuscript. All of these are mishaps, but they don’t stick with me. I make mistakes. We all do. They don’t faze me too much.

The writing mishap that I’ve had a hard time shaking is one that happened entirely by coincidence.

I wrote Shattered Souls four years ago and entered an early version of the manuscript in a contest. At the time, the opening scene was on the beach with Zak, Lenzi, and Zak’s stoner friends, Greg and Cynthia. I modeled this pair of friends after some folks I knew in real life.

The characters of Greg and Cynthia were absolute losers. You know the kind. They work only to support the next session of partying and mooch off other folks. Overall, they’re worthless.

Well, one of the contest judges wrote a note in the manuscript admonishing me for these characters. “If this is a shout out to Cynthia Leitich Smith and her husband, Greg, it is not tasteful or appropriate.”

I was mortified. I knew who Cynthia Leitich Smith was, but had no idea her husband was named Greg. Heck, at the time, I didn’t even know she was a fellow Texan. Why on earth would I give them a “shout out” by making them despicable? Way to make friends, right? Ugh.

Of course, I changed the names right away. It’s all irrelevant now, because the entire scene was cut along with Cynthia and Greg, but it was so embarrassing to me that the judge thought I was that rude. I was grateful though. What if it had gone out there like that and somebody else thought the same thing?

Since then, I’ve met Cynthia and told her about her stoner counterparts in my early draft. If you know her, you won’t be surprised she thought it was awesome.

The picture below is of me with Cynthia (holding her newly released graphic novel version of Tantalize) at Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, Texas.



Thank you so much, Casey, for having me on your blog. Here’s wishing everyone a mishap free day!


Thanks for stopping by, Mary!


For more about this author, please visit:




Coming December 8, 2011!

 Preorder / Add it on Goodreads

A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger

Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Release Date: September 29, 2011
Series: Shades of London #1
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rory Deveaux is just a typical American teen, anticipating a year of boys with accents and bizarre British customs as she settles in at her new London boarding school. But Rory's in for a lot more than she bargained for, as London finds itself in the grip of a brutal serial killer -- a man imitating the grisly murders of Jack the Ripper more than a century ago. A man no one can see. No one, that is, except Rory.

In The Name of the Star, Maureen Johnson's signature snappy style creates an unexpected blend of humor and horror, and readers will be surprised to find themselves laughing aloud in the midst of this gruesome nightmare. Jack the Ripper holds a morbid fascination for modern imaginations, a twisted awe at getting away with murder -- literally. Johnson strategically plays off this strange seductiveness to draw unsuspecting readers into a heart-pounding thriller laced with a deadly taste of déjà vu.

Rory is an utterly disarming heroine. With her easy southern charm, quirks and quips, her narration is delightful to read. Her fresh, light voice provides a striking counterpoint to the otherwise grim tale, and the outrageous stories she tells of her eccentric family back home will leave readers in fits of laughter. Rory is so full of life, readers will feel as though they've known her their whole lives. She's a believable blend of determination and occasional fear, optimism and wry wit. She's not perfect; sometimes she does dumb things, as humans are wont to do -- and her guileless, unassuming attitude makes her all the more winning. It's impossible not to cheer for Rory as she struggles with this unfathomable new world and determinedly faces off against an unstoppable, remorseless killer.

Despite her heartwarming and hilarious heroine, Johnson slices a sharp blade of terror through the novel. There is a terrible irony in the fact that the citizens of London know exactly when and where each murder will happen, but are powerless to stop it. By drawing on the sensationalism of Jack the Ripper, Johnson takes the latent fear and turns it into a bone-chilling nightmare. The horror and hopelessness increase with each grisly crime scene, and a sense of despair settles over the novel as London sits helplessly by. Readers will be on the edge of their seats with their hearts in their throats as this hair-raising thriller marches inexorably toward its terrifying conclusion.

Johnson brings each and every one of her secondary characters to life, from Rory's hilarious house mother and boisterous field hockey coach (an activity of which Rory is not a fan), to her smart and sweet crush/make-out partner, to the man behind the mayhem. This world is richly populated and skillfully sketched. London itself is crucial to the atmosphere, its foggy, ancient streets the perfect setting for crimes of the past.

The blending of history and fantasy will appeal to fans of all genres -- whether they enjoy murder mysteries or ghost stories, historical fiction or contemporary, The Name of the Star has it all. As the novel opens, it's easy to forget our heroine lives in a paranormal world. Rory is so realistic, like your best friend or the girl-next-door, that readers will find themselves caught up in her boarding school exploits, forgetting the cold reality that lies just around the bend -- until it's already too late.

Rating: 

Disclosure: I received an advance galley of this novel at BEA for an honest review.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming releases we're anxiously awaiting!



The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

Release Date: February 21, 2012
Publisher: Dial
Preorder: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.

But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after.

With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?

"Inventive, gorgeous, funny and yes . . . heartbreaking. You will absolutely love this book." — Lauren Oliver, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and Delirium.


This book sounds quirky, tongue-in-cheek and irreverent -- the trifecta ;) It's hard to do an afterlife story in a unique way with so many out there, but it sounds like this debut author succeeds. I love that she literally dies of a broken heart; it's so satiric. I also love the idea that the dead are the ones who must go through the 5 stages of grief -- it's definitely a different twist. Plus, her best friend is hiding things about the boy who "killed" her? And there are Lost Soul trail guides for the afterlife? This just sounds like such a fun, sweet read. And, according to Lauren Oliver, "heartbreaking"? You can definitely count me in.

Are you excited for this one? What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor & Giveaway

Release Date: September 27, 2011
Series: Trilogy TBA
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a rich, imaginative tale of magic and monsters, war and heartbreak. The world-building in this novel is breathtaking, the backstory a tapestry woven with strands of legend and otherworldly secrets. Laini Taylor's style is beautiful and intelligent, bewitching in its elegant flair. The pacing is perfect with never a dull moment, whether the intensity comes from the heat of battle, the awe of discovery or the mystery of Taylor's monsters.

Laini Taylor's imagination knows no bounds. This is the most creative, original story I have ever read. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a book that cannot be easily defined. It is a long history of war and senseless hate, otherworldly races and ancient magic. It is a fantasy and a tragedy and a romance. It is all these things and more. The descriptions are lush and vivid, the characters terrifying and oddly compelling, the lines between good and evil hopelessly blurred. It is a tale of self-discovery and irrepressible love, a coming-of-age story like no other.

Karou is such a compelling heroine, the kind of girl that shouldn't be crossed. She is quirky and mysterious -- from her naturally blue hair to her bullet-scarred belly -- a complex character who is alive and engaging from page one. Her mental life runs deep as she struggles with a lifelong sense of emptiness, and the constant frustration of vague answers from the only family she's ever known. Karou is smart and skilled, and she knows there's more to the story than she's been told. She is fearless when she needs to be, but vulnerable at heart. It's impossible not to fall in love with this one-of-a-kind heroine made of fire and glass, smoke and bone.

Her relationship with the chimaera who comprise her family is a complicated one -- full of loyalty and love, but also the betrayal and pain that plagues every family. Yet their deep-rooted bond is one of the most heart-warming aspects of the book, and is crucial to the impossible decisions Karou must make. Though they are repeatedly called "monsters" or "devils", Taylor takes care to show that nothing is so black and white. Karou's unconventional family fiercely loves her, and even when it's not always clear, they're acting with her best interest at heart.

A major part of what makes this tale so engrossing is the setting. Prague is a beautiful, enchanted place with cobblestone streets and macabre pubs -- anyone who reads this book will want to hop on a plane immediately. Taylor brings the scene alive for readers, making them feel the majesty of the city's beauty and the sting of the wind's sharp bite. Prague is timeless, full of hidden nooks and dusty secrets, the perfect setting for a tale of star-crossed love and forbidden magic.

Taylor perfectly balances drama and action with wit and passion, the kind of read that tickles the imagination and seeps into the soul. Readers will delight in the mystery of the devil's teeth, the brutal war between worlds and the truth of Karou's identity, never knowing where this colorful saga will take them next. Taylor's storytelling is stark and exquisite and lyrical, but also haunting, dark and sometimes tragic. When the many strands come together to reveal a stunning and heartbreaking truth, readers will never know what hit them. This is a fast-paced and high-soaring adventure that spans continents and worlds, generations and families -- but ultimately it all comes down to one girl, one special, strange girl with a secret sadness and a forgotten past.

Rating: 

Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this novel at BEA for an honest review.


ARC GIVEAWAY [CLOSED]


I have an ARC of Daughter of Smoke and Bone to give away to one lucky reader!

To Enter:
  • You MUST leave a comment on this review (with your email address!) answering the following question:
If you were a chimaera, what would you look like?*
  • +10 for drawing/photoshopping/making a collage/creating a costume/etc of your chimaera design! (Upload it to a blog post and link to it in the comments, or email it to me if you don't have a blog -- but be sure to leave a comment here letting me know you sent it)
  • +1 for sharing this giveaway (via Twitter, Facebook, etc -- must leave a direct link in your comment)
  • Following is not required, but greatly appreciated
  • US/Canada Only (I will be hosting an international giveaway for this book soon!)
  • Ends 10/7/11 at 11:59 pm EST
  • One winner will be chosen via Random.org
  • Please review my giveaway policy
*For those who don't know what a chimaera is, you can check out this page on Laini Taylor's website or this trailer which shows some pictures or the first 5 chapters of the book which give more detailed descriptions. If you have any questions, just email me.

Good luck!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Review: My Beating Teenage Heart by C. K. Kelly Martin

Release Date: September 27, 2011
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Ashlyn doesn't remember dying. She doesn't remember living. And she certainly doesn't remember this broken boy she can't seem to escape in the afterlife. Though Breckon hides his despair from his family and friends, it's unmistakable to Ashlyn, who is a silent witness to his most private moments of grief. She doesn't know why she's there, or what strange power intertwined their fates, but as Breckon spirals out of control Ashlyn is determined to save him from an irrevocable fate.

My Beating Teenage Heart is unlike any tale of death and the afterlife I've ever read. It is a surreal experience, an existential look at life and death and meaning. C. K. Kelly Martin's prose envelops readers, giving them a sometimes poetic and sometimes stark look at her characters' reality. This story transcends age. Though the title references teenagers, the pain the two protagonists experience is sympathetic to anyone who's ever lost a loved one, been abused, been bullied, struggled to hang on. Martin plunges headfirst into a range of painful and hard-hitting issues, treating them all with piercing, but ultimately necessary, honesty.

Breckon's struggle with his family's tragedy is dark and raw. Martin doesn't shy away from the sometimes drastic measures people turn to in their grief, or try to rationalize the reckless abandon that comes with intense pain. He is lost and guilt-ridden and alone, pushing everyone away as he wallows in his despair. Though his feelings are understandable, at times his behavior is distancing. He doesn't try to be a martyr, which is a relief, but he's also willing to let himself hit rock bottom, to be dragged into the abyss. He doesn't try to save himself. Breckon tries so hard to suppress his emotions that they become abstract, not as viscerally wrenching for readers unfamiliar with this kind of utter devastation. The emotion behind his actions doesn't always shine through, making it difficult to connect with his motivations.

The novel features a surprising element of mystery, as readers struggle to uncover the connection between Ashlyn and Breckon, and the events that led to their separate tragedies. Ashlyn herself is in the dark (both literally and figuratively) as the novel opens. She intuitively senses that there are some things about her life she doesn't want to face, and as her memories slowly return, readers will feel the pain and frustration of injustice and cruelty alongside her. Ashlyn is a fascinating counterpoint to Breckon. They are both broken in different ways, but in life Ashlyn was determined to carry on through the pain. Her life was far from perfect, and in death she comes to realize that sometimes heartbreak and suffering are senseless, but if we're lucky, we manage to rise from the ashes -- a reality Breckon desperately needs to face.

The ending of the novel feels a little abrupt. The exposition seems to suggest a profound connection between their fates, but though there is one, it's fairly insubstantial. The resolution becomes increasingly philosophical, much too tidy for such a somber tale. Though it is perhaps the "expected" message, it diminishes the truth of loss and living that the novel has been working toward, and left me feeling a little unfulfilled.

Nonetheless, My Beating Teenage Heart is a highly intelligent novel, thought-provoking and to-the-point look at the randomness of tragedy, the sometimes irrational effects of grief, and the seemingly insignificant ways we touch each other's lives that may turn out to be the only moments that truly matter.

Rating: 

Disclosure: I received an advance review copy of this novel from the publisher for an honest review.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

New Release Roundup: September 25 - October 1, 2011

A weekly feature I started to showcase the exciting new releases hitting shelves this week.



September 27


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

My Review

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.

She's wrong.


My Beating Teenage Heart by C. K. Kelly Martin

Random House Books for Young Readers

Ashlyn Baptiste is falling. One moment she was nothing—no memories, no self—and then suddenly, she's plummeting through a sea of stars. Is she in a coma? She doesn't remember dying, and she has no memories of the life she left behind. All she knows is that she's trapped in a consciousness without a body and she's spending every moment watching a stranger.

Breckon Cody's on the edge. He's being ripped apart by grief so intense it literally hurts to breath. On the surface, Breckon is trying to hold it together for his family and his girlfriend, but underneath he's barely hanging on.

Even though she didn't know him in life, Ashlyn sees Breckon's pain, and she's determined to find a way help him. As her own distressing memories emerge from the darkness, she struggles to communicate with the boy who can't see her, but whose life is suddenly intertwined with hers. In alternating voices of the main characters, My Beating Teenage Heartpaints a devastatingly vivid picture of both the heartbreak and the promise of teenage life—a life Ashlyn would do anything to recover and Breckon seems desperate to destroy—and will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen, John Green, and David Levithan.


A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

HarperTeen

On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.

A Beautiful Dark is the first book in a captivating trilogy by debut author Jocelyn Davies.


Shifting by Bethany Wiggins

Walker Childrens

After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last foster home in the tiny town of Silver City, New Mexico. Now that she's eighteen and has only a year left in high school, she's determined to stay out of trouble and just be normal. Agreeing to go to the prom with Bridger O'Connell is a good first step. Fitting in has never been her strong suit, but it's not for the reasons most people would expect-it all has to do with the deep secret that she is a shape shifter. But even in her new home danger lurks, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are the Skinwalkers of Navajo legend, who have traded their souls to become the animal whose skin they wear-and Maggie is their next target.

Full of romance, mysticism, and intrigue, this dark take on Navajo legend will haunt readers to the final page.


Ten Rules for Living with My Sister by Ann M. Martin

Feiwel & Friends

Pearl’s older sister Lexie is in eighth grade and has a boyfriend. Pearl’s only boyfriend is the family’s crabby cat, Bitey. Lexie is popular. Pearl is not, mostly because of the embarrassing Three Bad Things that happened in school and which no one has forgotten. Everything Pearl does seems to drive Lexie crazy. On top of that, their grandfather is moving into their family’s apartment and taking over Pearl’s room. How will these sisters share without driving one another crazy?

Pearl is good at making lists of rules, but sometimes, life doesn’t play by the rules!


Blood by K. J. Wignall

EgmontUSA

Will is a vampire in danger. Heir to the Earl of Mercia, he was brutally attacked and buried in the thirteenth century before he was able to assume his title. Perpetually sixteen, Will’s life has been lonely. He leaves his tomb every so often, adapts to the present day, feeds his bloodlust, and never gets close to anyone.

Until now.

Waking from a twenty-year slumber, hungry for the blood that sustains his undeath, he meets Eloise—but can’t bear to make her his next victim. Drawn to a girl he can never have, but whose fate seems bound with his own, he feels the need to protect her. But Will has an enemy who will stop at nothing to find him . . . and he’s closing in. . . .


The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen

EgmontUSA

Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger—she is an Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx’s biggest threat.

A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God’s promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he’s finally found the girl he’s been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx always looming, Jax knows he has to keep Sasha safe and win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?


The Vision (The Mark #2) by Jen Nadol

Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Cassie Renfield knows the mark tells her when someone is going to die and that she can intervene and attempt to change fate. But she still doesn't understand the consequences, especially whether saving one life dooms another. With no family left to offer guidance, Cassie goes in search of others like her. But when she meets Demetria, a troubled girl who seems to have the power of the Fates, Cassie finds the truth isn't at all what she expected. And then there's her heady new romance with bad boy Zander. Dating him has much graver repercussions than Cassie could ever have imagined, forcing her to make choices that cut to the essence of who she is and what she believes.

Jen Nadol offers readers a romance with big stakes and an ethical dilemma with no easy answers in this riveting sequel to The Mark. Paranormal fans who love the psychological thrill of Lisa McMann's bestselling Wake trilogy will flock to this series.


With A Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo

Farrar, Straus and Giroux BYR

When Ollie’s daddy, the Reverend Everlasting Love, pulls their travel trailer into Binder to lead a three-day revival, Ollie knows that this town will be like all the others they visit— it is exactly the kind of nothing Ollie has come to expect. But on their first day in town, Ollie meets Jimmy Koppel, whose mother is in jail for murdering his father. Jimmy insists that his mother is innocent, and Ollie believes him. Still, even if Ollie convinces her daddy to stay in town, how can two kids free a grown woman who has signed a confession? Ollie’s longing for a friend and her daddy’s penchant for searching out lost souls prove to be a formidable force in this tiny town where everyone seems bent on judging and jailing without a trial.


The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

Tor Teen

Debut novelist Kiki Hamilton takes readers from the gritty slums and glittering ballrooms of Victorian London to the beguiling but menacing Otherworld of the Fey in this spellbinding tale of romance, suspense, and danger.

The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood.

Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist.

Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty…


Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages – not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.


Indelible (The Yara Silva #2) by Lani Woodland

Pendrell Publishing

Yara is beginning to understand just how much her life will change now that her Waker abilities have emerged. She has come to terms with the fact that seeing ghosts is part of her life, but she isn t ready to let being a Waker dictate her choices. All she wants is a ghost-free senior year with her boyfriend, Brent, and her best friend, Cherie. But Yara soon discovers that there are more dark secrets in her school s history than just the curse she broke. While an angry ghost makes Yara question everything she thought she knew about spirits, she and Brent learn that there are long reaching consequences to last year s adventures. As new enemies emerge and old ghosts resurface, Yara finds herself in the center of another deadly mystery, and this time she has to contend with the living as well as the dead.


Lost in Time (Blue Bloods #6) by Melissa de la Cruz

Hyperion

After their beautiful yet brief bonding ceremony in Italy, Schuyler Van Alen and Jack Force are forced to separate. To fulfill the Van Alen Legacy, Schuyler travels to Alexandria to search for Catherine of Siena and the Gate of Promise. But Schuyler quickly discovers that everything she believed about the Gate to be wrong. Meanwhile, Jack makes the difficult decision to return to New York to face his twin and former bondmate, Mimi. But instead of a bitter reunion, he is faced with a choice for which there is no good option.

Mimi, with a most unexpected travel companion in Oliver Hazard-Perry, jets off to Egypt, too, to search for Kingsley Martin, her long lost love. With all roads leading to Hell, Mimi learns that not all love stories have happy endings. But she'll have to put her own feelings aside if she's going to save her crumbling Coven.

Packed with heartache, twists, and vampiric folklore, Lost in Time is sure to satisfy hungry fans' cravings for more Blue Bloods adventure.


Absolute Midnight (Abarat #3) by Clive Barker

HarperCollins

Abarat: Absolute Midnight continues the thrilling adventures of Candy Quackenbush in the Abarat, a vast archipelago where every island is a different hour of the day—from The Great Head that sits in the mysterious twilight waters of Eight in the Evening to the sunlit wonders of Three in the Afternoon, where dragons roam, to the dark terrors of Gorgossium, the island of Midnight, ruled over by the evil Mater Motley. With villains resurrected and morphed and the Old Mother of darkness herself, Mater Motley, at the heart of a ruthless scheme, Abarat is in danger of being destroyed forever.

Mater Motley plans to create a darkness so complete that it blots out every glimpse of the light and vanquishes the sun, moon, and stars from the Abarat, ending all hope and happiness. Her hour has come—she is prepared to unleash the end of the world. When evil begins rising from the sea, tumbles The Great Head, and sets islands aflame, the Abarat is filled with fear.

Only one person can stop her—Candy Quackenbush from Chickentown, U.S.A., a heroine who has traveled between the Hereafter and the Abarat. She valiantly fights for the sake of her friends and her mother and to speak and act for those who have no voice. Candy and her crew battle on to ultimately defuse Mater Motley and rescue the 7,000 who have survived, with the message that even in the face of this terror and loss, they may find hope. An enthralling ride, with nonstop action, adventure, and suspense, Barker has delivered an epic dystopian battle.


If I Die (Soul Screamers #5) by Rachel Vincent

HarlequinTeen

The entire school's talking about the gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck. Everyone except Kaylee Cavanaugh. After all, Kaylee's no ordinary high-school junior. She's a banshee—she screams when someone dies.

But the next scream might be for Kaylee.

Yeah—it's a shock to her, too. So to distract herself, Kaylee's going to save every girl in school. Because that hot new teacher is really an incubus who feeds on the desire of unsuspecting students. The only girls immune to his lure are Kaylee and Sabine, her boyfriend's needy ex-girlfriend. Now the unlikely allies have to get rid of Mr. Beck…before he discovers they aren't quite human, either.

But Kaylee's borrowed lifeline is nearing its end. And those who care about her will do anything to save her life.


September 29


The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Putnam Juvenile

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.


Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Dutton Juvenile

In this companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss, two teens discover that true love may be closer than they think

For budding costume designer Lola Nolan, the more outrageous, the outfit - more sparkly, more fun, more wild - the better. But even though Lola's style is outrageous, she's a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins move back into the house next door.

When the family returns and Cricket - a gifted inventor and engineer - steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.


October 1


She’s With the Band (Girlfriend Fiction #3) by Georgia Clark

Allen & Unwin

For Mia Mannix, life has never been this tough, or this interesting

"Life never starts when you think it will. When I turned 15, I figured I'd be tossed the keys to the city, make out with a hottie, and have a modest parade thrown in my honour. But all that happened was that I got out of doing the washing up. The day we moved to Sydney was supposed to be the start of the new Mia Mannix—confident, charming, taller. But so far, it sucked."

Mia Mannix has made a deal: in return for moving from the social backwater of the Snowy Mountains to life in the fast lane in Sydney, she's promised her dad she'd give up music and concentrate on real art. But that was before she discovered new friends, a cool record store, and a ridiculously hot rock star. This story is for every girl who has ever wanted to start a band, had a crush on the wrong boy, or made a promise she couldn't keep.


Reasons to be Happy by Katrina Kittle

Sourcebooks

Hannah's parents are glamorous Hollywood royalty, and sometimes she feels like the ugly duckling in a family of swans. After her mother's tragic death, Hannah's grief is compounded by her desperate need to live up to her mother's image. She tries to control her weight through Bulimia, and her devastated father is too distracted to notice. The secret of her eating disorder weighs heavily on Hannah, but the new eighth grade Beverly Hills clique she's befriended only reinforces her desire to be beautiful. The only one who seems to notice, or care, that something is wrong is Jasper, the quirky mistfit.


If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

Sourcebooks Fire

Jasmine Evans knows one thing for sure... people make mistakes. After all, she is one. Jaz is the result of a onenight stand between a black football player and a blonde princess. Having a young mother who didn't raise her, a father who wants nothing to do with her and living in a small-minded town where she's never fit in hasn't been easy. But she's been surviving. Until she sees her mom's new boyfriend making out with her own best friend. When do you forgive people for being human or give up on them forever?


Dangerously Placed by Nansi Kunze

Random House Australia

A fantastic romantic sci-fi thriller for teens featuring virtual reality, simulated environments, and just the right mix of mystery and first love

He lay on the ground, his eyes open but unseeing, his pinstriped body blinking in and out of existence like the picture on a fault television.

Alex Thaler can't wait to start her dream work experience placement at Virk, where staff from all over the world mingle in an astonishing virtual office. But when an employee is found murdered, the dream becomes a nightmare—because Alex is the prime suspect. Fortunately, Alex's friends are willing to brave shark tanks, disgusting pathology specimens, and even a nude beach in order to clear her name. Can a hippie chick, a goth girl in a lab coat, and two guys with a taste for blowing things up really help solve the mystery before Alex becomes the next victim?


Zelah Green by Vanessa Curtis

Egmont UK

A prizewinning story of a girl whose serious OCD starts to take over her life, how she conquers it with help and humor, and the friends with their own troubles whom she meets along the way

"My Name is Zelah Green and I'm a cleanaholic. I spend most of my life running away from germs. And dirt. And people. And I'm just about doing okay and then my stepmother packs me off to some kind of hospital to live with a bunch of strangers. It's stuck in the middle of nowhere. Great. There's Alice who's anorexic. Caro who cuts herself. Silent Sol who has the cutest smile. And then there's me." Zelah's candid voice allows serious issues to be explored with empathy. With wonderful humor supplementing the emotional heart, this story presents real problems for teenagers while never being being heavy-handed.


Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby

Scholastic Press

Matthew J. Kirby, author of THE CLOCKWORK THREE, deftly weaves a brand-new tale with chilling cleverness and subtle suspense that will leave readers racing breathlessly to the end.

Trapped in a hidden fortress tucked between towering mountains and a frozen sea, Solveig, along with her brother the crown prince, their older sister, and an army of restless warriors, anxiously awaits news of her father's victory at battle. But as winter stretches on, and the unending ice refuses to break, terrible acts of treachery soon make it clear that a traitor lurks in their midst. A malevolent air begins to seep through the fortress walls, and a smothering claustrophobia slowly turns these prisoners of winter against one another.

Those charged with protecting the king's children are all suspect, and the siblings must choose their allies wisely. But who can be trusted so far from their father's watchful eye? Can Solveig and her siblings survive the long winter months and expose the traitor before he succeeds in destroying a kingdom?


Flyaway by Lucy Christopher

Scholastic

If they saved the swan together, could she then save her friend?

At the hospital, upset and scared after her dad has suffered a heart attack, 13-year-old Isla meets Harry. He's the first boy to understand her and her love of the outdoors. But Harry is ill, and as his health fails, Isla is determined to help him the only way she knows how. Together they watch a lone swan struggling to fly on the lake outside Harry's window. Isla believes that if only she can save the injured swan, somehow that will help both Harry and her dad, too. What she doesn't realize is that her actions will change not just their lives, but hers.

For tweenage readers, a touching novel about hope and healing by the award-winning author of Stolen.


Escape Velocity by Robin Stevenson

Orca Book Publishers

Lou's dad has been addicted to painkillers since an accident left him unable to work. He's a good, loving dad, but kind of useless. Lou's mother, Zoe, a successful novelist, abandoned Lou at birth and showed no interest in her until three years ago, when Lou was twelve. Their relationship since then has been strained, but when Lou's dad has a stroke, there is nowhere else for her to go while he recovers. Lou struggles to find her bearings and figure out why her mom left her all those years ago. She is convinced the answers are in Zoe's fiction, but when Lou's grandmother, Heather, appears at a reading, Lou realizes she may have misjudged her mother.


Angel Fire (Angel #2) by L. A. Weatherly

Candlewick Press

In Book Two of L. A. Weatherly’s wildly romantic, action-packed trilogy, the angels are back with a vengeance . . . and they don’t have heaven in mind.

In the wake of the Second Wave, the angel menace has exploded, and Alex and Willow are on the lam. Willow’s prophetic dream points them to Mexico City, where they connect with a fledgling group of angel killers led by the exotically beautiful Kara, an Angel Killer from Alex’s past. But the team remains suspicious of Willow, even after the more-experienced Alex takes over as leader, training them hard for a rush attack on the Seraphic Council, or “The Twelve.” This elite group of all-powerful angels is also under the scrutiny of Willow’s angel-father, Raziel, who has his own sinister plan to defeat them.

What Willow hasn’t told Alex is that there was also a mysterious boy in her dream, one she felt overpoweringly attracted to. When brooding, gorgeous Seb shows up in the flesh, he turns out to be another—possibly the world’s only other—half angel. He’s been searching for Willow all his life, and when Alex enlists this rival to help keep Willow safe, he can’t predict what chemistry will pass between them . . . or how far Willow might go to keep Alex safe. Will their love endure or spell doomsday for the human race?


This has got to be the biggest book week of the year. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and The Name of the Star are 3 of my all-time favorite reads -- top 5 this year, for sure. I'll be reviewing both Smoke and Bone and Name of the Star on their release days this week, and giving away an ARC of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, so keep an eye out! I'll also be reviewing My Beating Teenage Heart tomorrow! I have been DYING to read The Faerie Ring and Lola and the Boy Next Door for months, and they're both coming out this week! FINALLY! There's just so much awesome, I can hardly contain myself. I also need to read A Beautiful Dark, Shifting and The Mephisto Covenant soon -- I've heard good things! I hope you've been saving up for this week! ;)

Which of these FABULOUS new releases are you most excited for this week? Can you choose just one?

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