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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Cover Reveals - Middle Grade (57)

A Clatter of Jars by Lisa Graff
In this magical companion to the National Book Award nominee A Tangle of Knots, it's summertime and everyone is heading off to camp. For Talented kids, the place to be is Camp Atropos, where they can sing songs by the campfire, practice for the Talent show, and take some nice long dips in the lake. But what the kids don't know is that they've been gathered for a reason--one that the camp's director wants to keep hidden at all costs.

Meanwhile, a Talent jar that has been dropped to the bottom of the lake has sprung a leak, and strange things have begun to happen. Dozens of seemingly empty jars have been washing up on the shoreline, Talents have been swapped, and memories have been ripped from one camper's head and placed into another. And no one knows why.

With a camp full of kids, a lake full of magic, and a grown-up full of a secrets, A Clatter of Jars is story of summer, family, and the lengths we go to win back the people we love. Perfect for readers who loved Katherine Paterson's The Great Gilly Hopkins or Louis Sachar's Holes.
The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner
Kate Messner dazzles readers with a new magical middle grade novel perfect for fans of Lisa Graff or Wendy Mass.

Charlie feels like she's always coming in last. From her Mom's new job to her sister's life at college, everything seems more important than Charlie. Then one day while ice fishing, Charlie makes a discovery that will change everything . . . in the form of a floppy fish offering to grant a wish in exchange for freedom. Charlie can't believe her luck but soon realizes that this fish has a very odd way of granting wishes as even her best intentions go awry. But when her family faces a challenge bigger than any they've ever experienced, Charlie wonders if some things might be too important to risk on a wish fish.

With the same warmth and fun that readers loved in All the Answers, Kate Messner weaves fantasy into the ordinary, giving every reader the opportunity to experience a little magic.
Trouble the Water by Frances O'Roark Dowell
From the award-winning author of Dovey Coe comes a sweeping tale of the friendship between a black girl and a white boy and the prejudices they must overcome in segregated Celeste, Kentucky, as the pair try to solve the mysteries surrounding a lonely old dog.

Eleven-year-old Callie is fearless, stubborn, and a little nosy. So when she sees an old yellow dog wandering around town by itself, you can bet she’s going to figure out who he belongs to. But when her sleuthing leads her to cross paths with a white boy named Wendell who wants to help, the segregated town doesn’t take too kindly to their budding friendship.

Meanwhile, a nearly invisible boy named Jim is stuck in a cabin in the woods. He’s lost his dog, but can’t remember exactly when his pup’s disappeared. When his companion, a little boy named Thomas, who’s been invisible much longer than he, explains that they are ghosts, the two must figure out why they can’t seem to cross the river to the other side just yet…

And as Callie and Wendell’s search for the old dog brings them closer and closer to the cabin in the woods, the simmering prejudices of the townspeople boil over.

Trouble the Water is a story that spans lifetimes, showing that history never truly disappears, and that the past will haunt us until we step up to change the present and stand together for what is right.
The Wrong Side of Magic by Janette Rallison
The Phantom Tollbooth gets a modern-day spin in this magical middle grade fantasy filled with adventure and humor that will whisk readers away!

Eleven-year-old Hudson stopped believing in magic long ago. Until the day he is whisked away to the magical land of Logos--a land ruled by words, thoughts, and memories. A fairy might ferry you across the river for the price of one memory, or it's possible freshly baked homonyms will be on sale two for the price of one, and look out for snarky unicorns, as they are sure to judge the pure of heart. Upon arrival, Hudson is quickly saddled with a troll curse, and only his friend Charlotte can help rid him of the curse. But lo and behold she has an agenda of her own--find and rescue the missing Princess of Logos.
The Ministry of SUITS by Paul Gamble

Memo: For Ministry of Strange, Unusual, and Impossible Things Operatives Only

A series of strange incidents have been reported in Belfast:

* Oddball kids are going missing
* There are several unconfirmed signs of pirates.
* A wild bear known to be a very sore loser at musical statues has escaped from the museum and is on the rampage.

Fortunately, our newest recruits, Jack Pearse, a curious boy skilled at logical thinking and seeing what's actually there, and Trudy Emerson, the most dangerous girl in his school, are on the case. As per Ministry policy, they are currently being trained in the use of The Speed (patent pending) and will have full access to Ministry supplies (assuming they manage to navigate the paperwork without going insane), so we are confident that they will succeed in their mission to discover and foil this villainous plot.

Please provide all assistance possible, as a) they don't know who they are actually up against, b) the world is much stranger than they realized, and c) they are only 12 and have to be in bed by 10 p.m.

P.S.-Could all Ministry operatives who have borrowed dinosaurs in the past two weeks please return them? We're running low on inventory.
The Left-Handed Fate by Kate Milford
Lucy Bluecrowne and Maxwell Ault are on a mission: find the three pieces of a strange and arcane engine. They're not exactly sure what this machine does, but they have it on good authority that it will stop the war that's raging between their home country of England and Napoleon Bonaparte's France. Despite being followed by mysterious men dressed all in black, they're well on their way to finding everything they need when their ship, the famous Left-Handed Fate, is taken by the Americans.

And not just any Americans. The Fate (and with it, Lucy and Max) are put under the command of Oliver Dexter, who's only just turned twelve.

But Lucy and Max aren't the only ones trying to put the engine together, and if the pieces fall into the wrong hands, it could prove disastrous. Oliver is faced with a choice: help Lucy and Max and become a traitor to his country? Or follow orders and risk endangering that same country and many others at the same time--not to mention his friends?

Into the Wild by Doreen Cronin
The Chicken Squad is back for their third (mis)adventure, and this time they’re facing off with whatever’s hiding in a mystery box in the backyard. A hilarious chapter book from the bestselling author of Click, Clack, Moo and Diary of a Worm.

Our fluffy, fearless young detectives are back out sleuthing because there’s a new cage in the yard, and the Chicken Squad is determined to figure out just who this new addition is. Because whatever it is, it’s definitely up to no good. So equipped with the latest surveillance gear—which apparently includes copious amounts of marshmallows—the chicks venture into the wild to get answers. Let’s just hope they can beat that giant raincloud that’s closing in…because everyone knows that chickens can’t swim!
 You Can Fly by Carole Boston Weatherford
Award-winning author Carole Boston Weatherford’s innovative history in verse celebrates the story of the Tuskegee Airmen: pioneering African-American pilots who triumphed in the skies and past the color barrier.

I WANT YOU! says the poster of Uncle Sam. But if you’re a young black man in 1940, he doesn’t want you in the cockpit of a war plane. Yet you are determined not to let that stop your dream of flying.

So when you hear of a civilian pilot training program at Tuskegee Institute, you leap at the chance. Soon you are learning engineering and mechanics, how to communicate in code, how to read a map. At last the day you’ve longed for is here: you are flying!

From training days in Alabama to combat on the front lines in Europe, this is the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the groundbreaking African-American pilots of World War II. In vibrant second-person poems, Carole Boston Weatherford teams up for the first time with her son, artist Jeffery Weatherford, in a powerful and inspiring book that allows readers to fly, too.
The Ballad of a Broken Nose by Arne Svingen
Bart is an eternal optimist. At thirteen years old, he’s had a hard life. But Bart knows that things won’t get any better if you have a negative attitude. His mother has pushed him into boxing lessons so that Bart can protect himself, but Bart already has defense mechanisms: he is relentlessly positive…and he loves opera.

Listening to—and singing—opera is Bart’s greatest escape, but he’s too shy to share this with anyone. Then popular Ada befriends him and encourages him to perform at the school talent show. Ada can’t keep a secret to save her life, but Bart bonds with her anyway, and her openness helps him realize that his troubles are not burdens that he must bear alone.

The Ballad of a Broken Nose is a sweet story about bravery, fear, bullying, sports, and music. But most of all it is about the important days of your life, days when everything seems to happen at once and nothing ever will be the same again.
The Drake Equation by Bart King
Noah Grow is a bird-watcher. If you're picturing some kid in a big floppy hat, peering up into trees through giant binoculars . . . well, good job. That's exactly what he does. Right now, Noah is on a quest to find a wood duck. According to his calculations, aka the Drake Equation, the odds are good-really good-for spotting one.

That's why he gets off the bus at the wrong stop. And that's how he ends up running down a hill, crashing into a fence, and landing right next to a strange, glittery disk.

Noah and his best friends, Jason and Jenny, soon discover that the mysterious disk is, well, mysterious. It gives Noah peculiar powers. As things go from odd to outrageous, Noah is swept up in a storm of intergalactic intrigue and middle-school mayhem. There's much more at stake than Noah realizes.

Bart King delivers a hilarious sci-fi adventure with just the right mix of heart and humor that will have readers looking out for birds-and strange alien objects.

Curiosity House: The Screaming Statue by Lauren Oliver
In this second book in the exceptional Curiosity House series by bestselling author Lauren Oliver and shadowy recluse H. C. Chester, four extraordinary children must avenge their friend’s death, try to save their home, and unravel the secrets of their past . . . before their past unravels them.

Pippa, Sam, Thomas, and Max are happy to be out of harm’s way now that the notorious villain Nicholas Rattigan is halfway across the country in Chicago. But unfortunately their home, Dumfreys’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders, is in danger of closing its doors forever.

But their troubles only get worse. The four friends are shocked when their beloved friend, famous sculptor Siegfried Eckleberger, is murdered. As they investigate, they find clues that his death may be tied to the murder of a rich and powerful New York heiress, as well as to their own pasts.

This is the second book in the series and so boasts many wondrous and mysterious things inside, such as:

·       Howie, the “Human Owl,” whose head turns just about all the way around

·       A mean but important house cat

·       Some perfectly ghastly wax sculptures

·       A very thin boy named Chubby

·       An awful mechanical leg

It continues not to have:

·       A cautionary tale about running with scissors

·       A list of time-consuming chores

·       Nutritious and decidedly not delicious vegetables

·       A perfectly sweet bedtime story about a wayward bunny

·       Two wet kisses on the cheek from your aunt Mildred
Argos by Ralph Hardy
From a compelling new voice in middle grade comes a reimagination of The Odyssey told from the point of view of Odysseus’s loyal dog—a thrilling tale of loyalty, determination, and adventure.

For twenty years, the great hero Odysseus struggles to return to Ithaka. After ten years beneath the walls of Troy, he begins the long journey back home. He defeats monsters. He outsmarts the Cyclops. He battles the gods. He struggles to survive and do whatever it takes to reunite with his family.

And what of that family—his devoted wife, Penelope; his young son, Telemachos; his dog, Argos? For those twenty years, they wait, unsure if they will ever see Odysseus again. But Argos has found a way to track his master. Any animal who sets foot or wing on Ithaka brings him news of Odysseus’s voyage—and hope that one day his master will return. Meanwhile, Argos watches over his master’s family and protects them from the dangers that surround a throne without its king.
School of the Dead by Avi
From Newbery Medalist Avi comes the spine-tingling story of Tony Gilbert, who must solve a mystery surrounding the ghost of his uncle Charlie.

For most of Tony Gilbert’s life, he always thought of his uncle as “Weird Uncle Charlie.” That is, until Uncle Charlie moves in with Tony and his family. He’s still odd, of course—talking about spirits and other supernatural stuff—but Uncle Charlie and Tony become fast friends. Between eating ice cream and going to the movies, Tony is having more fun with Uncle Charlie than he ever could have imagined.

So when Uncle Charlie dies suddenly, Tony is devastated. So sad, in fact, he starts seeing Uncle Charlie everywhere! Tony recently transferred to the Penda School, where Uncle Charlie went as a kid. The school is eerie enough on its own without his uncle’s ghost making it worse. On top of which, rumors have been circulating about a student who went missing shortly before Tony arrived. Could that and Uncle Charlie’s ghost be related?

Full of twists and turns that get spookier by the chapter, School of the Dead is a fast-paced mystery that Avi’s fans will devour!
Gris Grimly's Tales from the Brothers Grimm by Gris Grimly; The Brother's Grimm

The Brothers Grimm’s enduring fairy tales are brought to life for a new generation of readers in their original, uncut, uncensored form, in a lavish new edition by the master of the gothic macabre—bestselling illustrator Gris Grimly.


The name alone is enough to call to mind any number of the timeless fairy tales collected by brothers Jacob and Wilhelm in the early nineteenth century. These folktales have been told and retold in many forms for over two centuries, and while the particular mix of fantasy, adventure, and wonder that defined their seven-volume collection has endured, the terror, violence, and darkness of the original stories have often been lost in translation.

Enter Gris Grimly, the modern master of gothic horror, who has faithfully reproduced the original text of a selection of tales—including “Rapunzel,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “Little Red-Cap”—and adorned them with his own inimitable artwork. The result is a Grimm collection unlike any other, set in a world that is whimsically sinister, darkly vivid, and completely unforgettable. Gris Grimly’s Tales from the Brothers Grimm is the definitive illustrated compendium of these classic stories for a new generation of readers.
Which new covers are your favorite?  Let me know in the comments!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Interview & Giveaway with Michelle Levy, author of Not After Everything

 Today debut novelist Michelle Levy visits The Hiding Spot. Michelle's novel, Not After Everything, is a powerful work of YA fiction that should be on the to be read list of readers who enjoy stories that pack an emotional punch. Check out my interview with Michelle and enter to a win a finished copy of her novel below!
As a bookseller and blogger, my utmost goal is to provide readers with books that are the right fit; books they will come back to again and again. With that in mind, describe the ideal reader of Not After Everything. 
I’ve been told that readers who liked The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharpe, The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider, and/or Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell will enjoy Not After Everything. And those are some amazing comparisons so I’ll take it! 
Tell me a little bit about your writing process: Do you outline? Start at the beginning? The middle? The end? 
I’m a big believer in outlining. I don’t necessarily stick to the outline completely, but I need to have a sense of where the big beats in the story are going to go. And then I always write linearly. I think I’d be too confused if I jumped around. I’m kind of in awe of writers who are able to do that.
What jobs did you have on your way to becoming a published author? Is there a certain work experience that has shaped your writing or provided inspiration?  
I’ve cleaned houses. I’ve been the person who stocks the greeting cards at grocery stores. I worked for a coat manufacturer that produced some of the most hideous coats I’ve ever seen in my life and had to try to sell those coats to stores like Nordstrom. And then finally got into casting for film and television. I’ve been a casting director for almost sixteen years now. I love it and can’t imagine ever giving it up completely. Casting has certainly influenced my writing. I usually cast my characters as I write them, which helps me hear how a certain actor would say a line as the character, which, in turn, helps me find the perfect voice for each character. 
If you had to pick a favorite word, what would it be and why
I imagine you’d like to keep this PG. ;) Kidding. I’d say my favorite word would probably be surreptitious. Because even the word itself sounds sneaky. 
My blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Name a notable book that provided you with a hiding spot. 
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. After I read that book I immediately had to read it again so I could just bathe in all those beautifully arranged words. 
What can readers look forward to next? 
I’m working on another contemporary YA book that deals with the psychological effects of bullying.


1 Winner. US Only. Ends 12/4/2015.

About the Book
Tyler has a football scholarship to Stanford, a hot girlfriend, and a reliable army of friends to party with. Then his mom kills herself. And Tyler lets it all go. Now he needs to dodge what his dad is offering (verbal tirades and abuse) and earn what his dad isn’t (money). Tyler finds a job that crashes him into Jordyn, his former childhood friend turned angry-loner goth-girl. She brings Tyler an unexpected reprieve from the never-ending pity party his life has become. How could he not fall for her? But with his dad more brutally unpredictable than ever, Tyler knows he can’t risk bringing Jordyn too deeply into the chaos. So when violence rocks his world again, will it be Jordyn who shows him the way to a hopeful future? Or after everything, will Tyler have to find it in himself?
About the Author 
Michelle Levy was born and raised in Littleton, Colorado, where she memorized books before she was able to read, tricking her parents into thinking she was a genius. At eighteen she moved to Los Angeles, to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Michelle always secretly harbored a desire to write. She spent many insomnia-filled nights dreaming up stories that she never thought to write down. When she finally set out to get something on the page, the words flew out of her until she had her first completed manuscript, and she never looked back.

When Michelle isn't writing she is most likely working at her other job as a casting director, where in her many years of casting she has been privileged to work on projects such as Six Feet Under, Deadwood, Bruce Almighty, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters, and many more.

She still lives in Los Angeles but desperately misses thunderstorms and clouds and, well, weather really (even the occasional snowstorm), so she visits Colorado quite often. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cover Reveals - Young Adult (56)

Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell
For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.

With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds friendship and warmth.

But Akaran has its own secrets - thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran's magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar's plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk - it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.

Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.

THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN is a lush, beautifully written and vividly imagined fantasy inspired by Indian mythology.
The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world...

When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years -- a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Arabian Nights from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.
Before We Go Extinct by Karen Rivers
J.C., who goes by the nickname Sharky, has been having a hard time ever since his best friend died in front of him in a what-might-or-might-not-have-been accidental fall off a skyscraper. Shell-shocked, Sharky stops speaking and withdraws from both friends and family. He spends countless hours holed up in his room, obsessively watching documentaries about sharks and climate change—and texting his dead friend.
At her wits end, Sharky’s confused mom sends him to stay with his father on an abandoned island in Canada over the summer, where his dad is the caretaker. Over the course of an unforgettable summer, Sharky gets to know his dad and he meets a girl who teaches him how to shows him how to live—and love—again.
The Executioner's Daughter by Jane Hardstaff
A child that is born to the river shall return to the river.

All her life, Moss has lived in the Tower of London with her father, who serves as the executioner for King Henry VIII. Prisoners condemned to death must face Pa and his axe—and Moss, who holds the basket that will catch their severed heads.

Twelve years you shall have. To love her. To hold her.

With the king sending more enemies to the block each day, Moss knows she can't bear to be the executioner's daughter any longer. She's desperate to see the outside world, especially the River Thames, which flows just beyond the Tower's walls. Even the chilling stories about the Riverwitch, who snatches children from the shore, won't stop her.

After that, the child belongs to me.

When Moss finally finds a way out of the Tower, she discovers the river holds more dangers than she imagined—including the Riverwitch's curse. The Riverwitch once helped Moss's family in exchange for a terrible bargain; now she expects Moss to pay the debt.
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
Teen and adult fans of Matthew Quick, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell will adore this quirky story of coming-of-age, coming out, friendship, love...and agoraphobia.
Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychiatry program for college (she’s being realistic). But how can she prove she deserves a spot there?

Solomon is the answer.

Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa thrusts herself into his life, introducing him to her charming boyfriend Clark and confiding her fears in him. Soon, all three teens are far closer than they thought they’d be, and when their facades fall down, their friendships threaten to collapse, as well. 

A hilarious and heartwarming coming-of-age perfect for readers of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and All The Bright Places, Highly Illogical Behavior showcases the different ways in which we hide ourselves from the world—and the ways in which love, tragedy, and the need for connection may be the only things to bring us back into the light.

Of Better Blood by Susan Moger
Teenage polio survivor Rowan Collier is caught in the crossfire of a secret war against "the unfit." It's 1922, and eugenics--the movement dedicated to racial purity and good breeding--has taken hold in America. State laws allow institutions to sterilize minorities, the "feeble-minded," and the poor, while local eugenics councils set up exhibits at county fairs with "fitter family" contests and propaganda. After years of being confined to hospitals, Rowan is recruited at sixteen to play a born cripple in a county fair eugenics exhibit. But gutsy, outspoken Dorchy befriends Rowan and helps her realize her own inner strength and bravery. The two escape the fair and end up at a summer camp on a desolate island run by the New England Eugenics Council. There they discover something is happening to the children. Rowan must find a way to stop the horrors on the island if she can escape them herself."
 A World Without You by Beth Revis
After the unexpected loss of his girlfriend, a teenage boy suffering from delusions is convinced that he can travel through time to save her, in this gripping new novel from New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis. 

Seventeen-year-old Bo has always had delusions that he can travel through time. When he was ten, Bo claimed to have witnessed the Titanic hit an iceberg, and at fifteen, he found himself on a Civil War battlefield, horrified by the bodies surrounding him. So when his concerned parents send him to a school for troubled youth, Bo assumes he knows the truth: that he’s actually attending The Academy, a school for kids who, like Bo, have "superpowers."

At The Academy, Bo falls in love with Sofia, a quiet girl with a tragic past and the superpower of invisibility. Sofia helps Bo open up in a way he never has before. In turn, Bo provides comfort to Sofia, who lost her mother and two sisters at a very young age. 

But even the strength of their love isn’t enough to help Sofia escape her deep depression. After she commits suicide, Bo is convinced that she's not actually dead. He believes that she's stuck somewhere in time — that he somehow left her in the past, and now it's his job to save her.  

Not since Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story has there been such a heartrending depiction of mental illness. In her first contemporary novel, Beth Revis guides readers through the mind of a young man struggling to process his grief as he fights his way through his delusions. As Bo becomes more and more determined to save Sofia, he has to decide whether to face his demons head-on, or succumb to a psychosis that will let him be with the girl he loves.
We Were Never Here by Jennifer Gilmore
In this exquisitely written, emotionally charged young adult debut, Jennifer Gilmore explores the bond that is formed between a hospitalized girl and the secretly troubled boy she falls in love with.

Did you know your entire life can change in an instant?

For sixteen-year-old Lizzie Stoller that moment is when she collapses, out of the blue. The next thing she knows she’s in a hospital with an illness she’s never heard of.

But that isn’t the only life-changing moment for Lizzie. The other is when Connor and his dog, Verlaine, walk into her hospital room. Lizzie has never connected with anyone the way she does with the handsome, teenage volunteer. However, the more time she spends with him, and the deeper in love she falls, the more she realizes that Connor has secrets and a deep pain of his own . . . and that while being with him has the power to make Lizzie forget about her illness, being with her might tear Connor apart.
Red Velvet Crush by Christina Meredith
Rock music, a broken family, challenging sisters, and the crush of first love—Red Velvet Crush has everything you need in a summer read. For fans of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Eleanor & Park, and This Song Will Save Your Life.

Teddy Lee’s mother ran off when she was in second grade. And ever since, Teddy Lee, the often-overshadowed middle kid, has tried to keep her family together. But her older brother Winston usually keeps himself busy with smoking, drinking, and girls, and who knows what else. Her younger sister Billie is occupied with her shoplifting habit and boys . . . and who knows what else. So when Teddy Lee finally takes the songs she’s always written and forms a band, maybe it’ll bring everyone closer together, maybe it’ll be her time to shine. Unless Billie steals the spotlight—and the boy—just like she always does. Christina Meredith explores the complicated relationship of sisters—both the unconditional love and the unavoidable resentments—in a novel full of music, urgency, the first blushes of love, and the undeniable excitement of hitting the road.

Tell Us Something True by Dana Reinhardt
Described as a "whimsical modern-day comedy of manners” set in LA, in which a teenage boy attempts to deal with life after splitting up with his girlfriend.
Meet Me Here by Bryan Bliss
In a single night—graduation night—Thomas has to decide: Do what everyone has always expected of him? Or forge an entirely new path? Bryan Bliss’s absorbing examination of one boy struggling with expectations and realities will appeal to readers of Sara Zarr and Chris Crutcher.

Thomas is supposed to leave for the army in the morning. His father was Army. His brother, Jake, is Army—is a hero, even, with the medals to prove it. Everyone expects Thomas to follow in that fine tradition. But Jake came back from overseas a completely different person, and that has shaken Thomas’s certainty about his own future. And so when his long-estranged friend Mallory suggests one last night of adventure, Thomas takes her up on the distraction. Over the course of this single night, Thomas will lose, find, resolve, doubt, drive, explore, and leap off a bridge. He’ll also face the truth of his brother’s post-traumatic stress disorder and of his own courage. In Bryan Bliss’s deft hands, graduation night becomes a night to find yourself, find each other, find a path, and know that you always have a place—and people—to come back to.
You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour & David Levithan
You Know Me Well, told in alternating points of view, is the story of two unlikely confidants. Classmates Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for a year, but have never spoken. One night, far from home, their paths cross, and soon, they realize they know each other better than anyone else. They’ll guide each other through their first loves and heartbreaks, which, by the way, don’t involve each other: Mark is in love with his best friend Ryan, while Kate has been in love with a girl from afar, and may have ruined her chance to meet her.
whatever. by S.J. Goslee
Hilarity ensues when a slacker teen boy discovers he's gay, in this unforgettably funny YA debut.

Mike Tate is a normal dude. He and his friends have a crappy band (an excuse to drink cheap beer and rock out to the Lemonheads) and hang out in parking lots doing stupid board tricks. But when Mike's girlfriend Lisa, who knows him better than he does, breaks up with him, he realizes he's about to have a major epiphany that will blow his mind. And worse--he gets elected to homecoming court.

It's like the apocalypse came, only instead of nuclear bombs and zombies, Mike gets school participation, gay thoughts, and mother-effin' cheerleaders.

With the free spirit of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the raw voice of Winger, and characters reminiscent of Freaks & Geeks, this debut YA offers a standout voice and a fresh, modern take on the coming-out story.
Which new covers are your favorite?  Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Character Profiles & Giveaway with Sarah Fine, author of The Impostor Queen

 Let me just start by saying that, if Sarah Fine's The Impostor Queen, isn't already on your 2016 must-read list, it needs to be. I'm extremely picky when it comes to Young Adult fantasy, so the fact that I was head over heels for this novel after only a handful of pages says a lot! I love that Sarah Fine's characters are complex and that their secrets and insecurities felt warranted.

Below, author Sarah Fine has shared character profiles of the novel's main character, Elli, and her faithful servant, Mim. Plus your chance to win an arc of The Impostor Queen. Enjoy! 

And don't forget to pick up your copy of this must-read January 5th, 2016.


Name: Elli 
Title: Saadella 
Resides: In the Temple on the Rock 
Characteristics: Ice blue eyes, copper hair, red flame mark on her left calf. Curious to a fault. 
Magic: Still waiting for it. 
Goal: To find her purpose and defend her people. 
Quote: "I am snow white, blood red, and copper glory. When I stand by the Valtia, everyone will know I belong there." 


Name: Mim 
Title: Handmaiden 
Resides: In the Temple on the Rock 
Appearance: Blue eyes, curly brown hair. Determined. Loyal. 
Magic: None 
Goal: To serve her Saadella. 
Quote: "Let the elders use their magic to give us winter warmth and save us from our enemies. It’s about time they did some of the work."

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more Character Profiles and a Term Glossary check out these blogs:

Monday, November 16: The Midnight Garden
Tuesday, November 17: The Hiding Spot
Wednesday, November 18: A Reader of Fictions
Thursday, November 19: The Irish Banana Review

About the Book
The elders chose Elli to be queen, but they chose wrong in this beautifully crafted novel in the tradition of Kristin Cashore and Victoria Aveyard.

Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed. 

About the Author 

Sarah Fine is the author of Of Metal and Wishes, Of Dreams and Rust, The Imposter Queen, and The Guards of the Shadowlands series. She was born on the West Coast, raised in the Midwest, and is now firmly entrenched on the East Coast, where she lives with her husband and two children. When she’s not writing, she’s working as a child psychologist. Visit her at