While there are only seven new books releasing this week, we're pretty excited to see them here. Plus, there are four books to be won, including copies of THE LEVELLER, A GIRL UNDONE, and two copies of THE RULES! We've also announced the winners of last week's giveaways, so check below to see if you've won. Which new release are you most looking forward to reading this week?
Lindsey, Martina, Sam, Jocelyn, Erin, Lisa, Shelly, Susan, Kristin, Jen, Sandra, and Anisaa
YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS THIS WEEK
* * * *The Leveller
by Julia Durango
Signed Hardcover Giveaway
Nixy Bauer is a self-made Leveller. Her job? Dragging kids out of virtual reality and back to their parents in the real world. It’s normally easy cash, but Nixy’s latest mission is fraught with real danger, intrigue, and romance.
Nixy Bauer is used to her classmates being very, very unhappy to see her. After all, she’s a bounty hunter in a virtual reality gaming world. Kids in the MEEP, as they call it, play entirely with their minds, while their bodies languish in a sleeplike state on the couch. Irritated parents, looking to wrench their kids back to reality, hire Nixy to jump into the game and retrieve them.
But when the game’s billionaire developer loses track of his own son in the MEEP, Nixy is in for the biggest challenge of her bounty-hunting career. Wyn Salvador isn’t some lazy kid looking to escape his homework: Wyn does not want to be found. And he’s left behind a suicide note. Nixy takes the job but quickly discovers that Wyn’s not hiding—he’s being held inside the game against his will. But who is holding him captive, and why?
Nixy and Wyn attempt to fight their way out of a mind game unlike any they’ve encountered, and the battle brings them closer than either could have imagined. But when the whole world is virtual, how can Nixy possibly know if her feelings are real?
Gamers and action fans of all types will dive straight into the MEEP, thanks to Julia Durango’s cinematic storytelling. A touch of romance adds some heart to Nixy’s vivid, multidimensional journey through Wyn’s tricked-out virtual city, and constant twists keep readers flying through to the breathtaking end.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Leveller?
The Leveller is my first Young Adult novel after years of writing picture books and middle-grade novels. I truly enjoyed writing from the perspective of Nixy, a gutsy teen girl with a bit of an attitude! But my favorite thing about the book is that I got to imagine a virtual video game that I would love to play myself...and with the lightning speed of technology, who knows? Maybe I will someday!
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* * * *
A Girl Undone
by Catherine Linka
St. Martin's Griffin
On the run with deadly government secrets, Avie must decide if she can live up to her name and truly become fearless for the cause or if it’s better to just give in.
The sequel and explosive conclusion to A Girl Called Fearless.
Having survived a violent confrontation with the US government, Avie is not out of danger. Both she and the young man she loves, Yates, have been declared terrorists, and Yates is hospitalized in critical condition, leaving Avie with the perilous task of carrying information that can bring down the Paternalist party, if she can get it into the right hands.
Forced on the run with handsome, enigmatic woodsman Luke, Avie struggles when every turn becomes a choice between keeping the two of them alive or completing their mission. With her face on every news channel and a quarter million dollar reward from the man who still owns her marriage Contract, Avie’s worst fears are about to come true.
Equal parts thrilling and romantic, A Girl Undone is sure to keep your heart racing right until the very end.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about A Girl Undone?
I had so much fun creating the twisted reality of a present day America in which girls are a valuable and protected commodity sold through marriage contracts or auctioned like fine art. In A GIRL UNDONE, there are hunks, high stakes, smugglers, paparazzi, slimy politicos and designer fashion. Just to give you a taste, readers witness a cocktail party at the Los Angeles County Museum where the famous auction house, Christie’s unveils its “Exotic Collection” and young women walk the cat walk while rich men’s multi-million dollar bids are flashed on the wall above them.
While I love the world I created in A GIRL UNDONE, I love my main character, Avie, even more. She’s smart, creative, caring, and starting to realize her own power. She messes up, but then picks herself up and tries again. Avie goes from being pampered and ignorant to becoming a mature young woman who can’t be silent to the suffering of others even if it means she might die. Just recently, I realized Avie’s a lot like my close friend, Deanna-- the person I’d want with me if I was trying to survive the end of the world.
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* * * *
by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
Hardcover Giveaway (2 Copies)
U.S. and Canada Only
Delacorte Press Released
Narrated by alternating unreliable narrators, this dark thriller will have readers on the edge of their seats. No one is safe and everyone is a suspect. It's Saw meets I Know What You Did Last Summer.
Junior Robin Brisset has no idea what she's in for when she accepts an invitation to one of Callabrese High's most exclusive parties. And when the trademark scavenger hunt begins, Robin must go against every rule she's lived by to survive.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Rules?
NANCY: Writing it with Debbie! We love working together. One of the most fun things we had to do was tell each other the story that took place "offstage." We had to make sure that all the events on the page made sense and that we played fair. We really starting freaking each other out! I knew we were on the right track when my Corgi trotted into the room and I screamed. I mean a CORGI.
DEBBIE: Nancy totally nailed it! We were trying to freak each other out while writing it and we kept talking about our favorite horror movies and why they're scary. I love that we gave all the characters depth and that we got to see these twisted events from so many different perspectives as we were writing from different points of view.
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YA BOOK GIVEAWAYS LAST WEEK: WINNERS
* * * *
by Claire Kennedy
Winner - Sarah T
Scandals and hook-ups abound in a summertime restaurant drama where four teens are all willing to do whatever it takes to make it through the workday…and hopefully to win the money in the after-hours dare-based game of Tips.
Isa, Xavi, Peter, and Finn know that a job at the high-end Waterside Café isn’t just about waiting tables. It’s about the gossip, the hook-ups, the after-hours parties, and, most of all, it’s about Tips.
Tips—the high-stakes game based on dares. Whoever completes the most dares wins the collected money. A sum that could change a wasted summer into a Summer to Remember.
Isa is the new girl with an embarrassing secret, and as long as she stays on top of her game, she sees no reason why anyone could ever find out.
Xavi will do anything for the money…absolutely anything.
Peter, Xavi’s stepbrother, has been in love with her for years, and he thinks the game is the perfect time to confess his feelings.
Finn is in the game just for the thrill. He has enough tips coming in to keep him happy…even if those tips come with some conditions.
From seduction to stealing to threats, the dares are a complete free-for-all, and only the best can win.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about After Hours?
I think my favorite thing about After Hours is that I gave my characters permission to be human and make mistakes. And when I when mean mistakes, I mean big ones! If you’ve the read the book, you know exactly what I’m talking about!
I think it’s easy to look for role models in books, and that’s wonderful—but it’s also good to have real people who sometimes make big, selfish decisions that don’t turn out well.
I love exploring all aspects of characters—bad aspects of good people and good aspects of bad people—and I think this book was a fun opportunity to do that.
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* * * *
Between the Notes
by Sharon Huss Roat
Winner - Jeri B
When Ivy Emerson’s family loses their house—complete with her beloved piano—the fear of what’s to come seizes her like a bad case of stage fright. Only this isn’t one of her single, terrifying performances. It’s her life.
And it isn’t pretty.
Ivy is forced to move with her family out of their affluent neighborhood to Lakeside, also known as “the wrong side of the tracks.” Hiding the truth from her friends—and the cute new guy in school, who may have secrets of his own—seems like a good idea at first. But when a bad boy next door threatens to ruin everything, Ivy’s carefully crafted lies begin to unravel . . . and there is no way to stop them.
As things get to the breaking point, Ivy turns to her music, some unlikely new friends, and the trusting heart of her disabled little brother. She may be surprised that not everyone is who she thought they were . . . including herself.
Debut author Sharon Huss Roat crafts a charming and timely story of what happens when life as you know it flips completely upside down.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Between the Notes?
My favorite thing about this novel is a who: Brady, Ivy’s little brother, who is a special needs child. While I was revising this manuscript, I met a family with twins—one of whom has an intellectual disability. He was a lot like the Brady I had written. So I spoke to his mother and further explored what his life was like, and how his disability affected his parents and sibling. Ivy’s story became so much more meaningful with him in it! An advance reader contacted me recently to let me know how much it reminded her of life with her own special needs brother. That meant the world to me. If no one else reads or enjoys this novel, I’ll be happy knowing I reached this one reader who related to Ivy and her brother.
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* * * *
Blood Will Tell
by April Henry
Henry Holt and Co.
Winner - Kira B
When a woman's body is found in a Portland park, suspicion falls on an awkward kid who lives only a few blocks away, a teen who collects knives, loves first-person shooter video games, and obsessively doodles violent scenes in his school notebooks. Nick Walker goes from being a member of Portland's Search and Rescue team to the prime suspect in a murder, his very interest in SAR seen as proof of his fascination with violence. How is this even possible? And can Alexis and Ruby find a way to help clear Nick's name before it's too late?
April Henry weaves another page-turning, high stakes mystery in Blood Will Tell, Book 2 of the Point Last Seen series.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Blood Will Tell?
My favorite thing about Blood Will Tell is its real-life roots. It was inspired by two real cases. In one, a 15 year old boy became the prime suspect in a woman’s murder. He was a loner who lived near the vacant lot where her body was found, and he liked to draw violent scenes in his notebooks. I’ve seen some video of the 10-hour interrogation (without a lawyer or present) and it’s chilling. He’s a scrawny, soft-spoken kid with hair hanging in his eyes, while adult after adult tells him they know he did it. He was ultimately convicted and spent years in prison until he was finally freed based on DNA evidence. In another case, the DNA of a criminal with a long criminal history was found on a murder victim - and the story of how it got there was fascinating.
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* * * *Glittering Shadows
by Jaclyn Dolamore
Winner - Yolande B
The revolution is here.
Bodies line the streets of Urobrun; a great pyre burns in Republic Square. The rebels grow anxious behind closed doors while Marlis watches as the politicians search for answers—and excuses—inside the Chancellery.
Thea, Freddy, Nan, and Sigi are caught in the crossfire, taking refuge with a vibrant, young revolutionary and a mysterious healer from Irminau. As the battle lines are drawn, a greater threat casts a dark shadow over the land. Magic might be lost—forever.
This action-packed sequel to Dark Metropolis weaves political intrigue, haunting magic, and heartbreaking romance into an unforgettable narrative. Dolamore's lyrical writing and masterfully crafted plot deliver a powerful conclusion.
Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Glittering Shadows?
My favorite things about this book were also the most difficult things. First, the scope of this book is much, much bigger than anything I have attempted before. It has a lot of political intrigue and three battles, with like, strategy and stuff. When I came up with the plot of the book I felt like, no way can I actually write this! Prior to this I have always written rather domestic fantasy, with perhaps a one-on-one sorcerer battle or two. I had to ask my partner, who is way into military and political history, for a lot of help. But still, he couldn't write the actual words. It was so intimidating to me that some days I literally crawled under my desk in despair before I started writing for the day! But now that it's over, I've learned so, so much.
The other thing that was hard is that a girl in this book loses a hand. I didn't originally intend for this to happen, but Plot Happened, and I realized I had read quite a few books where a guy loses a hand, but never a girl. There have since been a couple that I'm aware of, but I still don't know of any where the girl has to use a hook prosthetic (which was and is a very standard prosthetic for a lost hand, despite all the super-cool wowie-zowie prosthetic hands in many stories). At first I had a gut aversion to doing this to my character, and then I wondered why. Quite a few fan favorite male characters have a hook prosthetic, like Eugenides and Once Upon a Time's version of Captain Hook. But girls...don't have hook hands in stories. (Like, seriously, if you look at "Hook Hand" on tvtropes.org there is hardly a lady among them.) At that point, I decided, okay, I'm rolling with this plot twist, for all the real girls with a hook prosthetic. But yes, I did still have to fight an ingrained sense that it wasn't "pretty". (I also had to do a lot of research, and as with most writing-of-diversity things, I am still nervous I might have made a mistake.) In the end it made me love that character a whole lot more.
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MORE YOUNG ADULT NOVELS NEW IN STORES NEXT WEEK
* * * *
A Book of Spirits and Thieves
by Morgan Rhodes
New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes takes readers into exhilarating new high-fantasy territory with A BOOK OF SPIRITS AND THIEVES. Written in alternating perspectives that shift between modern-day Toronto and the ancient kingdoms of Mytica, Rhodes masterfully weaves the dark, magical world of her Falling Kingdoms series into an epic contemporary saga that will leave you breathless.
Modern-day Toronto: A heavy leather-bound book written in an unrecognizable language is delivered to the Speckled Muse, the antique bookshop owned by Crystal and Becca Hatcher’s mother. When Becca opens it, she’s sent into a coma, leaving Crys behind to uncover a series of terrifying secrets.
Ancient Mytica: A merciless goddess hunts for the elusive treasure that will make her ruler not only of Mytica, but of all the unseen worlds that lay beyond it.
Modern-day Toronto: Rich and aimless Farrell Grayson finally has the chance to prove himself when the mysterious leader of a powerful secret society invites him into his fold.
Ancient Mytica: Maddox Corso has always been different, but never remarkable. Everything changes the day he meets a pretty, unfamiliar girl from a faraway land, only to realize that he’s the only one who can see her.
Fate has brought these young people together, but ancient magic threatens to rip them apart.
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* * * *
Emmy & Oliver
by Robin Benway
Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?
Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.
She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.
Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.
He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.
Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?
Readers who love Sarah Dessen will tear through these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story.
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* * * *
by Lee Bross
London, 1725. Everybody has a secret. Lady A will keep yours—for a price. This sumptuous, scandalous YA novel is wickedly addictive.
Lady A is the most notorious blackmailer in the city. With just a mask and a gown to disguise her, she sweeps into lavish balls and exclusive events collecting the most valuable currency in 1725 London—secrets.
But leading a double life isn't easy. By day Lady A is just a sixteen-year-old girl named Arista who lives in fear of her abusive master, Bones, and passes herself off as a boy to move safely through the squalor of London's slums. When Bones attempts to dispose of his pawn forever, Arista is rescued by the last person she expects: Jonathan Wild, the infamous Thief Taker General who moves seamlessly between the city's criminal underworld and its most elite upper circles. Arista partners with Wild on her own terms in the hopes of saving enough money to buy passage out of London.
Everything changes when she meets Graeden Sinclair, the son of a wealthy merchant. Grae has traveled the world, has seen the exotic lands Arista has longed to escape to her whole life, and he loves Arista for who she is—not for what she can do for him. Being with Grae gives Arista something precious that she swore off long ago: hope. He has promised to help Arista escape the life of crime that has claimed her since she was a child. But can you ever truly escape the past?
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* * * *
The Rise and Fall of a Theater Geek
by Seth Rudetsky
Random House Books for Young Readers
Broadway, New York. The shows, the neon lights . . . the cute chorus boys! It's where Justin has always wanted to be--and now, with a winter internship for a famous actor, he finally has his chance to shine. If only he could ditch his kind, virtuous, upright, and--dare he say it?—uptight boyfriend, Spencer. But once the internship begins, Justin has more to worry about than a cramped single-guy-in-the-city style. Instead of having his moment in the spotlight, he's a not-so-glorified errand boy. Plus, Spencer is hanging out with a celebra-hottie, Justin's best friend Becky isn't speaking to him, and his famous actor boss seems headed for flopdom. Justin's tap-dancing as fast as he can, but all his wit and sass might not be enough to switch his time in New York from nightmare-terrible to dream-come-true terrific.
Seth Rudetsky's second YA novel is endearingly human, laugh-out-loud funny, and for any kid who's ever aspired to Broadway but can only sneak in through the stage door.
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