Monday, March 7, 2016

16 New Release Giveaway and Author Interviews 3/7 -3/13

It's hard to believe we're already into the second week of March -- 2016 is flying by! There are some amazing books releasing this week, including the moving SAVE ME, KURT COBAIN, for which we have an ARC to give away to a lucky U.S. reader. As always, be sure to have a look over the wealth of new fiction coming to YA shelves, and enjoy the author interviews!


Save Me, Kurt Cobain
by Jenny Manzer
Advance Reader Copy Giveaway
U.S. Only

Delacorte Press
Released 3/8/2016

What if you discovered that Kurt Cobain is not only alive, but might be your real father?

Nicola Cavan has been an outsider since age four when her mother vanished from their home in Victoria, British Columbia. Now 15, Nico is determined to find her beautiful, music-obsessed mother. After glimpsing “Cobain” on a ferry from Seattle, Nico follows the man with the blazing blue eyes to a remote Vancouver Island cabin—and her life will never be the same.

This nuanced and bittersweet YA debut will keep you guessing until the end.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Save Me, Kurt Cobain?

One reader described the story as “delightfully strange,” which I hope fits. I think my favorite thing is the part where the main character, Nicola Cavan, is holed up in a cabin on Vancouver Island during a winter storm with a man who may or may not be Kurt Cobain. The character is trapped and the setting is contained, so it’s all a little frightening and, yes, strange. But it allows intriguing questions: If Kurt Cobain was alive, what would he keep in his fridge? How would he act? I did a fair amount of reading about the real Kurt Cobain to fuel the fiction, which centers on “Nico,” 15, trying to answer the key mystery of her life, which is what happened to her mother, who disappeared when Nico was four.

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Atlantis Quest by Gloria Craw - Sarah C.
Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie - Cindy K.
Guile by Constance Cooper - Shelly H.
Holding Court by K.C. Held - Alisha S.
In Real Life by Jessica Love - S. C. C.


Map of Fates
by Maggie Hall
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Released 3/8/2016

Two weeks. 

That’s how long it took for Avery West’s ordinary life to change forever: In two weeks, she discovered she was heiress to a powerful secret society known as the Circle, learned her mother was taken hostage by the Circle’s enemies, and fell for a boy she’s not allowed to love, just as she found out another was her unwelcome destiny. 

Now, Avery crosses oceans in private jets to hunt for clues that will uncover the truth about the Circle, setting her mom and herself free before it’s too late. By her side are both the boys: Jack—steady, loyal, and determined to help her even at the expense of his own duty—and Stellan, whose connection to Avery grows stronger by the day despite her best intentions, making her question what she believes at every turn.

But at the end of a desperate hunt from the islands of Greece to the red carpet at Cannes comes a discovery that not only changes everything, but could bring the whole world to its knees. And now Avery is forced to face the truth: in the world of the Circle, no one is what they seem.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Map of Fates?

My favorite thing about MAP OF FATES is how the characters came together as a crew. In THE CONSPIRACY OF US, you met a lot of characters who I loved (and I hope readers loved!) but who weren’t integral to the main storyline. Lots of them become integral in MoF! It’s so fun to see how they all play off each other and how their relationships change over time. So if you liked a lot of the side characters in CONSPIRACY (like Luc and Elodie and Colette, for instance…) you’ll see far more of them this time around.

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On the Edge of Gone
by Corinne Duyvis
Amulet Books
Released 3/8/2016

January 29, 2035. That’s the day the comet is scheduled to hit—the big one.

Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter outside their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the blast, but Iris is nowhere to be found, and at the rate Denise’s drug-addicted mother is going, they’ll never reach the shelter in time.

A last-minute meeting leads them to something better than a temporary shelter: a generation ship, scheduled to leave Earth behind to colonize new worlds after the comet hits. But everyone on the ship has been chosen because of their usefulness. Denise is autistic and fears that she’ll never be allowed to stay. Can she obtain a spot before the ship takes flight? What about her mother and sister?

When the future of the human race is at stake, whose lives matter most?

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about On the Edge of Gone?

One thing that I tried to do—and which reviewers thankfully seem to think I’ve succeeded at!—was to make the end of the world believably awful while still keeping it an optimistic, hopeful book.

Don’t get me wrong: horrible things still happen, sometimes to my characters and sometimes to others off-screen. I just didn’t want to focus on the violence that will inevitably occur. That area has been covered very well by other disaster/(post-)apocalypse books. Instead, I wanted to focus on the other side. For all the looting, cruelty, and violence that occurs during disasters, there’s also so much good: people organize, people give, people help, people pressure for change, people band together, people survive. Optimism isn’t a sign of naiveté or childishness, and grim cynicism isn’t a sign of maturity. The world is more complicated than that.

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Seven Ways We Lie
by Riley Redgate
Amulet Books
Released 3/8/2016

Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—whether it’s Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage; or Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal.

When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame. For the unlikely allies at the heart of it all, the collision of their seven ordinary-seeming lives results in extraordinary change.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about Seven Ways We Lie?

Probably a total cop-out to say the cover, I'm guessing?

Okay, no, all right. My favorite thing has to be the scope of the project. SEVEN WAYS has seven points of view, one for each of the seven deadly sins. There's a word, "sonder," invented in 2012 for a project called The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. SONDER (n): "the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground ..." That emotion drove me to explore these multiple points of view, seven windows meant to peek in on both the vast variation between people's lives as well as our underlying similarities. The narrators' arcs and plotlines were a lot to juggle, but the quantity of it all became my favorite thing about the project, and hopefully it's what will stick with a reader: the idea that every single person, without exception, has fears, desires, flaws, and potential. It's just a matter of seeing that, even if they can't see it themselves.

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The Steep and Thorny Way
by Cat Winters
Amulet Books
Released 3/8/2016

A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten.

1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee’s oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank Denney, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now her father’s killer is out of jail and back in town, and he claims that Hanalee’s father wasn’t killed by the accident at all but, instead, was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him—who happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather.

The only way for Hanalee to get the answers she needs is to ask Hank himself, a “haint” wandering the roads at night.

Author Question: What is your favorite thing about The Steep and Thorny Way?

My favorite thing about the novel is the fact that it evolved into the story of a friendship. My teen daughter always tells me that she wishes more YA novels involved less romances, more friendships. Even though her sentiments weren't the main driving factor behind my creation of THE STEEP AND THORNY WAY's central relationship, I definitely appreciated what she was saying. A slight spoiler: the friendship in the novel is between a biracial girl and a gay boy in the 1920s. Both characters endure discrimination. They shouldn't even be friends because of a crime that occurred in their small Oregon community. However, the more I wrote, the more their companionship deepened, and they became one of my favorite character pairings out of all of my novels. THE STEEP AND THORNY WAY doesn't involve a romance, but I would say that the book is most certainly a love story.

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Burn Baby Burn
by Meg Medina
Released 3/8/2016

While violence runs rampant throughout New York, a teenage girl faces danger within her own home in Meg Medina's riveting coming-of-age novel.

Nora Lopez is seventeen during the infamous New York summer of 1977, when the city is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam who shoots young women on the streets. Nora’s family life isn’t going so well either: her bullying brother, Hector, is growing more threatening by the day, her mother is helpless and falling behind on the rent, and her father calls only on holidays. All Nora wants is to turn eighteen and be on her own. And while there is a cute new guy who started working with her at the deli, is dating even worth the risk when the killer likes picking off couples who stay out too late? Award-winning author Meg Medina transports us to a time when New York seemed balanced on a knife-edge, with tempers and temperatures running high, to share the story of a young woman who discovers that the greatest dangers are often closer than we like to admit — and the hardest to accept.

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Lady Midnight
by Cassandra Clare
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Released 3/8/2016

Los Angeles. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to to discovering exactly what it was that killed her parents and getting her revenge.

Raised in the Los Angeles Institute with the Blackthorn family, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian Blackthorn. A series of murders in the city catch her attention — they seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of her parents. Could the murderer be the same person? And her attention isn’t the only one caught: someone has been murdering Downworlders as well. The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute: if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, they’ll return Mark Blackthorn to his home. The catch: they have only two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise it’s open war between faeries and Nephilim.

The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race against time to catch the killers, even as they begin to suspect the involvement of those closest to them. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.

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Rebel of the Sands
by Alwyn Hamilton
Viking Books for Young Readers
Released 3/8/2016

Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mythical beasts still roam the wild and remote areas, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinn still perform their magic. For humans, it’s an unforgiving place, especially if you’re poor, orphaned, or female.

Amani Al’Hiza is all three. She’s a gifted gunslinger with perfect aim, but she can’t shoot her way out of Dustwalk, the back-country town where she’s destined to wind up wed or dead.

Then she meets Jin, a rakish foreigner, in a shooting contest, and sees him as the perfect escape route. But though she’s spent years dreaming of leaving Dustwalk, she never imagined she’d gallop away on mythical horse—or that it would take a foreign fugitive to show her the heart of the desert she thought she knew.

Rebel of the Sands reveals what happens when a dream deferred explodes—in the fires of rebellion, of romantic passion, and the all-consuming inferno of a girl finally, at long last, embracing her power.

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Shades of Darkness
by A.R. Kahler
Simon Pulse
Released 3/8/2016

Islington Arts Academy is not an average high school. Nestled in the forests of Michigan, surrounded by trees and nature and virtually no evidence of civilization, it is an oasis for those looking to get away. Perfect for a student like Kaira Winters, who wants nothing more than to put her past behind her and focus on the present…and her looming graduation, just a few months away.

But the past has a way of returning when least expected.

Kaira knows that what happened before, at her old school, wasn’t normal. She knows that what happened to her ex-boyfriend wasn’t natural. But she refuses to believe that the recent death on campus, the one that left everyone on edge, has anything to do with her. She refuses to believe that she could be at fault again.

But just as the past always returns, the truth can never stay hidden for long.

Even if Kaira didn’t cause the first death at Islington, or the second, or the third, she has the ability to find out who did. She has the obligation to stop whatever is coming to campus. To end the darkness that is falling with the same snow that once blanketed the woods in beauty.

But to embrace this power—to relinquish herself to the ancient entity that has been lurking in the corners of her mind–is to let go of her humanity…and Kaira doesn’t know how far she can go before she loses herself completely.

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The Forbidden Orchid
by Sharon Biggs Waller
Viking Books for Young Readers
Released 3/8/2016

Staid, responsible Elodie Buchanan is the eldest of ten sisters living in a small English market town in 1861. The girls' father is a plant hunter, usually off adventuring through the jungles of China.

Then disaster strikes: Mr. Buchanan fails to collect an extremely rare and valuable orchid, meaning that he will be thrown into debtors' prison and the girls will be sent to the orphanage or the poorhouse. Elodie's father has one last chance to return to China, find the orchid, and save the family—and this time, thanks to an unforeseen twist of fate, Elodie is going with him. Elodie has never before left her village, but what starts as fear turns to wonder as she adapts to seafaring life aboard the tea clipper The Osprey, and later to the new sights, dangers, and romance of China.

But even if she can find the orchid, how can she find herself now that staid, responsible Elodie has seen how much the world has to offer?

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The Head of the Saint
by Socorro Acioli
Delacorte Press
Released 3/8/2016

A quirky story of love, mischief, and forgiveness from Brazil’s foremost award-winning author for young readers, in her U.S. debut.

Fourteen-year-old Samuel is newly orphaned and homeless in a small town in Brazil. He lives in a giant, hollow, concrete head of St. Anthony, the lingering evidence of the village’s inept and failed attempt to build a monolith over a decade ago. He didn’t know what it was when he crawled into it, seeking shelter during a storm, but since coming there, he hears beautiful singing, echoing like magic in the head twice a day. So he stays.

Miraculously, he can also hear the private prayers and longings of the villagers. Feeling mischievous, Samuel begins to help answer these prayers, hoping that if he does, their noise will quiet down and he can listen to the beautiful singing in peace. Ironically, his miracles gain him so many fans that he starts to worry he will never fulfill his own true longing and find the source of the singing.

Filled with beautiful turns of phrase and wonderfully quirky characters, The Head of the Saint is a riotous story of faith and magic that won’t soon leave your thoughts.

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The Keeper of the Mist
by Rachel Neumeier
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 3/8/2016

A lush new fantasy about finding the will to lead against all odds, perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone.

Keri has been struggling to run her family bakery since her mother passed away. Now the father she barely knew—the Lord of Nimmira—has died, and ancient magic has decreed that she will take his place as the new Lady. The position has never been so dangerous: the mists that hide Nimmira from its vicious, land-hungry neighbors have failed, and Keri's people are visible to strangers for the first time since the mists were put in place generations ago.

At the same time, three half-brothers will their own eyes on the crown make life within the House just as dangerous as the world outside. But Keri has three people to guide her: her mysterious Timekeeper, clever Bookkeeper, and steadfast Doorkeeper. Together they must find a way to repair the boundary before her neighbors realize just how vulnerable Nimmira is.

With a spunky main character, lyrical storytelling, and hidden romance, The Keeper of the Mist is an engrossing story that is full of adventure.

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The Serpent King
by Jeff Zentner
Crown Books for Young Readers
Released 3/8/2016

Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.

Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.

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The Way He Lived
by Emily Wing Smith
Dutton Books for Young Readers
Released 3/8/2016

A new edition of the raw and heartbreaking YA debut about one gay teen’s sacrifice and the community that can’t come to terms with the way he lived.

Sixteen-year-old Joel Espen died of thirst and heat exhaustion while on a hike in the Grand Canyon. He collapsed in a desperate attempt to get water for his friend. In the aftermath, everyone said was the strongest, bravest, and kindest young man anyone knew. But nobody really knew him.

The novel tells the story of Joel’s life and death through the memories of those who grew up around Joel. As each character presents a piece of the boy they knew, it becomes clear that however much people loved and admired Joel, there was something about him they could never quite admit—could never bring themselves to see. The heartbreaking tragedy was not only Joel’s death, but that in his life the people who loved him most, couldn’t accept him for what he was.

The Way He Lived is an unsparing story of a teen’s life and death and legacy in a small community told with nuance and subtlety.

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Where You'll Find Me
by Natasha Friend
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Released 3/8/2016

In this powerful and buoyant YA novel, a thirteen-year-old girl learns to navigate the shifting loyalities of friendships in middle school and deals with challenges at home.

The beginning of the eighth grade is not what Anna thought it would be. Her lifelong best friend has ditched her for the cool kids, and her mom is in the hospital after a suicide attempt. Anna finds herself where she least expects to: living with her dad, his young new wife, and their baby, and starting a new year at school without a best friend. With help from some unlikely sources, including a crazy girl-band talent show act, Anna learns that sometimes you find what you need to pull you through in the most unlikely places.

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  1. Lots of good books this week. Really looking forward to Rebels of the Sands.

  2. I keep forgetting Lady Midnight is coming out! I need to get on that.

  3. So many unique books coming out! Can't wait for these!

  4. Amazing book! Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. I look forward to reading as many of these as possible. Not for myself, of course ;p but in order to have more material to use with my students.

  6. Looking forward to Save Me by Kurt Cobain.

  7. This title is a must-read for me! Thanks for another great chance to read for free. Cheers, Kara S

  8. Seven ways we lie and Shades of Darkness are two books I added to my list. I haven't heard of them until now 😁

  9. This book looks so interesting!

  10. I am very interested in reading this book.

  11. Save me, kurt cobain looks like a good read definitely will read

  12. Looks like a great book

  13. This sounds like a unique book.


Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)