Shelly, Sam, Jocelyn, Martina, Erin, Susan, Kelly, Laura, Emily, Anisaa, and Lori Ann
YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK
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Behind the Song
by K.M. Walton
Signed Paperback Giveaway
A song to match everyone's heartbeat.
A soaring melody, a pulse-pounding beat, a touching lyric: Music takes a moment and makes it a memory. It’s a universal language that can capture love, heartbreak, loss, soul searching, and wing spreading—all in the span of a few notes. In Behind the Song, fourteen acclaimed young adult authors and musicians share short stories and personal essays inspired by the songs, the albums, the musicians who move them.
So cue up the playlist and crank the volume. This is an anthology you’ll want to experience on repeat.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Behind the Song?
That so many amazing authors and musicians agreed to participate in the book. Each contributor brought their own unique perspective to the song they chose to write about. Some interpreted the lyrics and wrote short stories. Each story packs quite a punch for the reader - there's science fiction, contemporary, dystopian. Some chose to write a personal essay and share how the song changed their life. Each essay is raw and honest. But the coolest part is that readers can also listen to the accompanying songs, via the Spotify playlist (https://open.spotify.com/user/kmwaltonauthor/playlist/15BBMyS8Lr6a2P5857PiqY), and discover the music that inspired us. I am ridiculously proud of this anthology and I can't thank my contributors enough for their hard work and dedication.
Contributors include young adult authors Ellen Hopkins, James Howe, Jonathan Maberry, Suzanne Young, Ellen Oh, Beth Kephart, Anthony Breznican, Elisa Ludwig, Tiffany Schmidt, E.C. Myers, David Arnold, and K.M. Walton, along with contemporary musicians G. Love and Donn T, and a foreword by Grammy nominated musical artist, Ameriie.
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by Emily Ziff Griffin
As a mysterious virus infects the world’s population, a girl embarks on a quest to find a cure in this thrilling debut from Emily Ziff Griffin.
Luisa is ready for her life to start. Five minutes ago. And she could be on her way, as her extraordinary coding skills have landed her a finalist spot for a fellowship sponsored by Thomas Bell, the world’s most brilliant and mercurial tech entrepreneur. Being chosen means funding, mentorship, and most importantly, freedom from her overbearing mother. Maybe Lu will even figure out how to control the rare condition that plagues her: whenever her emotions run high, her physical senses kick into overload, with waves of color, sound, taste, and touch flooding her body.
But Luisa’s life is thrust into chaos as a deadly virus sweeps across the globe, killing thousands and sending her father into quarantine. When Lu receives a cryptic message from someone who might hold the key to stopping the epidemic, she knows she must do something to save her family—and the world.
Suspenseful, lyrical, and thought-provoking, Light Years features a remarkable heroine on an intensely physical and emotional quest for hope and existential meaning.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Light Years?
This is the hardest question ever! So I have to go with the very first answer that popped into my head: the final chapter. One of the things I wanted to do with this book is weave together the ordinary realness of everyday life with elements of epic narrative and otherworldly experience. That interweaving is, to me, how life is—it’s big and ordinary, both. It’s also a function of the way both grief and art work (grief and art being two other central themes in the book). Through both grief and art-making I think we engage with the concrete, the tangible, the very basic meat of life, but then also come face-to-face with the transcendent, the unknowable. Without giving anything away, the last chapter of the book puts Luisa squarely into the vortex of those two worlds and we are left in the final paragraphs with questions and answers, but hopefully also the same kind of conviction and determination that she finds inside herself. I hope readers will come to the end and feel empowered. I hope they will feel excited to explore the nature of their own existence, their own world. And I hope they will feel a thrill ripple through them as they realize Luisa’s journey, like their own, has only just begun.
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by Steve Schafer
One moment changed their lives forever.
A band plays, glasses clink, and four teens sneak into the Mexican desert, the hum of celebration receding behind them.
Crack. Crack. Crack.
Not fireworks--gunshots. The music stops. And Pato, Arbo, Marcos, and Gladys are powerless as the lives they once knew are taken from them.
Then they are seen by the gunmen. They run. Except they have nowhere to go. The narcos responsible for their families' murders have put out a reward for the teens' capture. Staying in Mexico is certain death, but attempting to cross the border through an unforgiving desert may be as deadly as the secrets they are trying to escape...
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Border?
My favorite thing about The Border is that it tackles a pressing, relevant topic through the lens of what I hope is a compelling, page-turning story. Immigration has become an increasingly hot button issue and inflammatory language often dominates the debate. This conversation tends to lose sight of the individuals at the heart of the issue. The Border attempts to redirect the focus on those people—what drives them to comes and what that journey is like. It also attempts to disassemble any cookie-cutter image of who they are by portraying four very distinct characters who react differently to their situation based on their own unique personalities.
While the issue that underpins the novel can be considered political, I intentionally tried to make the story as non-political as possible. There are no solutions or even ideas presented. I merely tried to offer a compassionate perspective on the experience of coming to the US. From there, my hope is that it can impact the tone of the conversation about immigrants and refugees.
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The Long Ride Home
by Tawni Waters
Paperback Giveaway (3 Copies)
A road trip to scatter her mother’s ashes turns into a journey of self-discovery as Harley navigates a romance with unexpected consequences.
After the loss of her mother, Harley can barely handle her grief. But the start of summer marks new beginnings, and Harley leaves for a cross-country road trip to scatter her mother's ashes with Dean, her friend (with benefits). The two ride by motorcycle, reconnecting with people who knew her mother along the way.
But it's not long before Harley realizes she's pregnant…with Dean's child. And as Harley learns that her mother faced similar choices during her own pregnancy, Harley must come to terms with her mother's past to make a difficult decision about her own future.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Long Ride Home?
I think my favorite thing about this novel is the main character, Harley. She is loosely based on my beloved daughter, Desiree, who has a really tough exterior but is actually a softie on the inside. The relationship between Harley and her mom is definitely based on my relationship with my kids. I had them young (I was pregnant with my first baby when I was 18, just like Harley), so we were more friends than anything. People say that’s bad, but it worked out for us. They are in their 20s, and we still hang out together constantly. They are my favorite people in the world, and I daresay I am one of theirs. I tried to give that relationship to Harley and her mother, who, when the book begins, has just died in a house fire. I think their unique relationship added a really special dynamic to the book and made it more than just a generic “death of a parent” novel.
In other news, I get tired of the way women and girls are presented in literature and movies, so I tried to turn some gender stereotypes on their head in this one. Harley is no wilting flower. She rides her motorcycle across the country alone while she’s pregnant. She’s also not passive. In all of the sex scenes in the book, she makes the first move, except when someone tries to force her to have sex with him. She breaks that freak’s nose. In addition to being bad ass, Harley is also honest and vulnerable. I love those qualities in human beings. And she’s funny. I can’t tell you how many times her snark made me laugh while I was writing her. I may or may not have lifted some of her best lines from the mouth of my daughter, who is stand-up-comic hilarious.
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by Wendelin Van Draanen
Knopf Books for Young Readers
In her most incisive and insightful book yet, Wendelin Van Draanen, award-winning author of The Running Dream and Flipped, offers a remarkable portrait of a girl who has hit rock bottom, but begins a climb back to herself at a wilderness survival camp in the desert.
3:47 a.m. That's when they come for Wren Clemmens. She's hustled out of her house and into a waiting car, then a plane, and then taken on a forced march into the desert. This is what happens to kids who've gone so far off the rails, their parents don't know what to do with them anymore. This is wilderness therapy camp. Eight weeks of survivalist camping in the desert. Eight weeks to turn your life around.
The Wren who arrives in the Utah desert is angry and bitter, and blaming everyone but herself. But angry can't put up a tent. And bitter won't start a fire. Wren's going to have to admit she needs help if she's going to survive.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Wild Bird?
I love the glow that it leaves me with at the end – the feeling that I, too, can conquer my demons and find a way to build a fire inside me. And I think that glow at the end comes from the revelation the main character, Wren, has about defining who she wants to be. Not what she wants to be—like a doctor or lawyer or whatever, or where she wants to go, or who she wants to hang out with, but What kind of person do I want to be? When Wren faces that question and creates her list, that’s when her life turns around. I wish I had analyzed that question myself at a young age. I wish I had realized how important it was to define that core concept and live by the list. What I love most about Wild Bird is it makes you believe you have the power to become the person you want to be.
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by Shaun David Hutchinson
At Zeppelin Bend, an outdoor education program designed to teach troubled youth the value of hard work, cooperation, and compassion, ten teens are left alone in the wild. The teens are a diverse group who come from all walks of life, and they were all sent to Zeppelin Bend as a last chance to get them to turn their lives around. They’ve just spent nearly two weeks learning to survive in the wilderness, and now their instructors have dropped them off eighteen miles from camp with no food, no water, and only their packs, and they’ll have to struggle to overcome their vast differences if they hope to survive.
Inspired by The Canterbury Tales, Feral Youth features characters, each complex and damaged in their own ways, who are enticed to tell a story (or two) with the promise of a cash prize. The stories range from noir-inspired revenge tales to mythological stories of fierce heroines and angry gods. And while few of the stories are claimed to be based in truth, they ultimately reveal more about the teller than the truth ever could.
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Right Where You Left Me
by Calla Devlin
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
In search of the perfect story to put a human face on a tragedy for his newspaper, my dad will fly into the eye of the storm. And now he’s heading to Ukraine, straight into the aftermath of a deadly earthquake. I don’t want him to leave. I don’t want to spend the week alone in a silent house with my mother, whose classically Russian reserve has built a wall between us that neither of us knows how to tear down. But I don’t tell him this. I don’t say stay.
I think I’m holding it together okay—until the FBI comes knocking on our door. Now it’s all I can do to fight off the horrifying images in my head. The quake has left so many orphans and widows, but Mom and I refuse to be counted among them. Whatever it takes to get Dad back, I’ll do it. Even if it means breaking a promise…or the law.
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YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS
Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller: Erika C.
The Keep of Ages by Caragh M. O'Brien: K. K
MORE YOUNG ADULT FICTION IN STORES NEXT WEEK WITH AUTHOR INTERVIEWS
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The Agony of Bun O'Keefe
by Heather T. Smith
Set in 1980s Newfoundland, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe is the story of a 14-year-old girl who runs away to the city and is taken in by a street musician who lives with an eclectic cast of characters: a pot smoking dishwasher with culinary dreams; a drag queen with a tragic past; a Catholic school girl desperately trying to reinvent herself; and a man who Bun is told to avoid at all cost.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Agony of Bun O'Keefe?
My favourite thing would be Bun and Busker Boy’s relationship. It was tricky to write because I knew the reader would question Busker Boy’s intentions – who is this guy and why is he taking this young girl back to his house? To ensure their relationship wasn’t misinterpreted I created a physical distance between them. The challenge was having them be emotionally close, without much outward, physical contact. Touch is how human beings show affection, yet the first time Bun and Busker Boy hug is near the end of the book. Affection for them was shown in simple ways – the offer of a jacket, the reading of a book, the braiding of the hair. Creating the relationship between these two people was definitely my favourite part of the book. It truly was a joy to write.
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MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK
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A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares
by Krystal Sutherland
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
From the author of Our Chemical Hearts comes the hilarious, reality-bending tale of two outsiders facing their greatest fears about life and love one debilitating phobia at a time.
Ever since Esther Solar's grandfather was cursed by Death, everyone in her family has been doomed to suffer one great fear in their lifetime. Esther's father is agoraphobic and hasn't left the basement in six years, her twin brother can t be in the dark without a light on, and her mother is terrified of bad luck.
The Solars are consumed by their fears and, according to the legend of the curse, destined to die from them.
Esther doesn't know what her great fear is yet (nor does she want to), a feat achieved by avoiding pretty much everything. Elevators, small spaces, and crowds are all off-limits. So are haircuts, spiders, dolls, mirrors and three dozen other phobias she keeps a record of in her semi-definitive list of worst nightmares.
Then Esther is pickpocketed by Jonah Smallwood, an old elementary school classmate. Along with her phone, money and a fruit roll-up she d been saving, Jonah also steals her list of fears. Despite the theft, Esther and Jonah become friends, and he sets a challenge for them: in an effort to break the curse that has crippled her family, they will meet every Sunday of senior year to work their way through the list, facing one terrifying fear at a time, including one that Esther hadn't counted on: love.
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Even the Darkest Stars
by Heather Fawcett
Balzer + Bray
Set in a fictional Himalayan kingdom, this is the story of a girl enlisted by a legendary explorer to help him climb the kingdom’s deadliest mountain – only to discover that his true mission may threaten her whole world.
Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.
But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer ever known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister, Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means cimbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then, Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.
The challenges of climbing Raksha are unlike anything Kamzin expected—or prepared for—with avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and other dangers at every turn. And as dark secrets are revealed, Kamzin must unravel the truth about their mission and her companions—while surviving the deadliest climb she has ever faced.
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by E. Lockhart
The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.
Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.
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Girls Made of Snow and Glass
by Melissa Bashardoust
Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale.
At sixteen, Mina's mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.
Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.
Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.
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by Julie Cross
Fans of Veronica Mars or Ally Carter will love the snarky, whip-smart former con artist Eleanor, in this sequel to Chasing Truth.
Last fall, Eleanor Ames and her new boyfriend, Miles, divided their time among chasing down a murderer, uncovering way too many secrets about their fellow Holden Prep classmates, and falling uncontrollably for each other. With Miles back in the safety of his military school and the mystery of Simon’s death solved—mostly—it’s looking to Ellie like the new semester at Holden Prep will be much less exciting than the last one. Especially now that she doesn’t have to work at concealing her past from Miles.
But when she receives startling news about her mother, a new mission begins to pan out. A mission Miles would never approve of. In order to reduce her mother's prison sentence, Ellie uses a Holden Prep field trip to help the FBI investigate a new con her dad and crew are pulling in NYC.
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I Hate Everyone But You
by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin
Dear Best Friend,
I can already tell that I will hate everyone but you.
(that brunette who won’t leave you alone)
We're still in the same room, you weirdo.
So begins a series of texts and emails sent between two best friends, Ava and Gen, as they head off to their first semesters of college on opposite sides of the country. From first loves to weird roommates, heartbreak, self-discovery, coming out and mental health, the two best friends will document every moment to each other. But as each changes and grows into her new life, will their friendship be able to survive the distance?
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by Annie Barrows
Nothing ever happens to Charlotte and Frankie. Their lives are nothing like the lives of the girls they read about in their YA novels. They don’t have flowing red hair and hot romantic encounters never happen—let alone meeting a true soul mate. They just go to high school and live at home with their parents, who are pretty normal, all things considered. But when Charlotte decides to write down everything that happens during their sophomore year to prove that nothing happens and there is no plot or character development in real life, she’s surprised to find that being fifteen isn’t as boring as she thought. It’s weird, heartbreaking, silly, and complicated. And maybe, just perfect.
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The Amber Arrow
by Tony Daniel
WULF'S SAGA CONTINUES. Sequel to The Dragon Hammer.
Lord Wulf von Dunstig is in deep trouble. He is surrounded by invading enemies and kingdoms fallen into chaos. Along with dealing with the problems of a realm he never expected to rule, Wulf is in love with the elf maiden Saeunn Amberstone. Saeunn once saved his land. Now she has lost her star-soul and is dying.
Ursel Keiler wishes she could control her errant heart as easily as she can guide the flight of an arrow to a target. She tries to escapes into the woodlands she adores, only to be pulled back by a band of desperate and brave warriors who need her help. But aiding them will lead Ursel straight to Wulf von Dunstig, and to the heartache she is fleeing.
Yet evil cares nothing for human feelings. Now Wulf, Ursel, and their friends must find a way to unite the land of Shenandoah against a powerful Roman inquisitor. He not only controls an Imperial Legion, he is also toying with magic that threatens the foundations of existence itself. Yet there is hope even in the deepest and darkest places of the world, and all may depend upon Wulf and Ursel forging a powerful weapon drawn from the heart of a dragon.
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The Lost Causes
by Jessica Etting and Alyssa Schwartz
Kids Can Press
They're the kids that no one knows --- or no one wants to know. The rich depressive, the OCD chick, the hypochondriac, the drug abuser, the athlete with anger management issues. All chosen for intensive group therapy because they're out of other options. They're lost causes, the therapist tells them. She promises this support group will help them heal.
There's only one problem. She's not a therapist. And that water she offers? It contains a dangerous serum that gives each of the kids a psychic power. Suddenly, they can think clearly, speak to ghosts, see the past, even move objects with their mind. Their earlier problems have vanished, but their new freedom comes with a price. Sabrina, Gabby, Z, Justin and Andrew are to help the FBI solve the grisly murder that has rocked their small town.
Their new powers will help them uncover clues and follow leads that have eluded the authorities. Their outsider status gives them the perfect cover. But the same traits that make them top investigators also make them vulnerable. As they close in on the murderer, they expose a much larger conspiracy that puts them directly in harm's way and makes them wonder who --- if anyone --- they can trust.
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They Both Die at the End
by Adam Silvera
On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They're going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they're both looking to make a new friend on their End Day.
The good news: There's an app for that. It's called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.
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Tower of Dawn
by Sarah J Maas
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
In the next installment of the New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series, follow Chaol on his sweeping journey to a distant empire.
Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.
His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.
But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.
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by David Macinnis Gill
You cannot wake the Shadowless when she sleeps within my bed. Kiss the lips of the Shadowless and the morning finds you dead.
When a bolt of lightning causes a Boston-wide blackout on her sixteenth birthday, Willow Jane doesn’t think anything of it—until she begins stopping time, until she comes face-to-face with her menacing familiar, until her sister disappears. But these aren’t the only strange and horrifying things to come out of the storm. An ancient witch named the Shadowless has awoken and escaped from her crypt, and she’s looking for revenge on Willow Jane’s family.
From the critically acclaimed author of Black Hole Sun and Soul Enchilada, this eerie horror story lingers long after its bloody end, and is perfect for fans of Madeleine Roux, The Ghost Files, and anyone who likes things that go bump in the night.
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