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The Tween ARC Party: The Tween an friends look at some upcoming 2015 book releases

The other day I was getting ARCs organized for 2015 when The Tween and her Bestie were over. We had an impromptu ARC party where the tweens went through each physical arc I had on the premises and sorted them into Oh My Goodness I Want to Read piles and the Meh ones. They’re looking at covers, reading back covers, and of course we have to take into account their personal reading preferences (which leans toward speculative). And yes, I totally use every tween and teen that comes into my house as an information resource. I’m not even ashamed.

This is the pile we began with . . .

The stack on the left is January 2015 titles, which you can see I have the most of (probably from a combination of TLA and ALA).

Their favorite cover was this . . .

They liked the combination of music and space. Unmade is the second book and conclusion to Entangled by author Amy Rose Capetta.

Unmade Publisher’s Description: The galaxy-spanning conclusion to Amy Rose Capetta’s acclaimed sci-fi debut, Entangled.

Cadence is in a race against time and space to save her family and friends from the Unmakers, who are tracking the last vestiges of humanity across the cosmos. As the epic battle begins, Cade learns that letting people in also means letting them go. The universe spins out of control and Cade alone must face the music in the page-turning conclusion to Entangled. Coming January 13th from HMH Books for Young Readers. (YA)

The Tween actually has already read this book, interestingly enough. The week before winter break was the school Scholastic Book Fair and The Tween had chosen 3 books to purchase at the preview: The Spider Ring, The Land of Stories book 3, and The Neptune Project by Polly Holyoke. She purchased and read both The Spider Ring and The Neptune Project within 2 days. She highly recommends both. The Neptune Project is out now and The Spider Ring comes out in January and is about a girl who inherits a ring to control spiders.

The Spider Ring Publisher’s Description: A powerful ring. A dangerous web.

When Maria inherits a strange, spider-shaped ring from her grandmother, she doesn’t realize she’s also inheriting a strange power — the power to control spiders and have them do whatever she wants. This is a pretty cool thing when it comes to fetching objects from another room . . . or if Maria wants to use the spiders to get back at some mean kids in her class.

But the power comes with a price. Maria has attracted the attention of the Black Widow — who is trying to collect all the spider magic for herself. The Black Widow is not going to let anything stand in her way — especially not Maria.

The story of the ring is being woven like a web — and Maria is going to have to do everything she can to not get trapped within it. Coming January 27th from Scholastic Press (though if your school has a Scholastic Book Fair you can buy it now). Author Andrew Harwell. (MG)

In 2013 my family listened to and loved Pie by Sarah Weeks, so The Tween was very excited to see Honey. Also, she is a huge dog person so it gets bonus points for the dog on the cover. This is another ARC she read in a day and raved about.

Publisher’s Description: For a girl like Melody and a dog like Mo, life can be both sticky and sweet.

Melody has lived in Royal, Indiana, for as long as she can remember. It’s been just her and her father, and she’s been okay with that. But then she overhears him calling someone Honey — and suddenly it feels like everyone in Royal has a secret. It’s up to Melody and her best friend, Nick, to piece together the clues and discover why Honey is being hidden.

Meanwhile, a dog named Mo is new to Royal. He doesn’t remember much from when he was a puppy . . . but he keeps having dreams of a girl he is bound to meet someday. This girl, he’s sure, will change everything.

In HONEY, Sarah Weeks introduces two characters — one a girl, one a dog– who are reaching back further than their memories in order to figure out where they came from and where they’re going. It’s a total treat from beginning to end.

Coming January 2015 from Scholastic Press (MG)

As you can see from the picture above, The Tween is a huge Paris fanatic. She even dressed up one year as the Eiffel Tower and you can see the remnants from that homemade costume on the wall. Plus, she got awesome Paris pajamas for Christmas that she can sit back and read this upcoming Lisa Schroeder title, My Secret Guide to Paris.

Publisher’s Description: From the author of the Charmed Life and It’s Raining Cupcakes series comes a novel of family, friends, and a Paris adventure that readers will never forget!

Nora has always wanted to see Paris, thanks to her Grandma Sylvia’s stories. But when Sylvia suddenly passes away just months before their planned trip, Nora thinks she’s lost everything.

Nora still dreams of Paris–and when she finds her own name on a set of clues to a Parisian scavenger hunt packed away in her grandmother’s room, along with plane tickets, Nora knows that Sylvia still wants her to go, too.

At last, Nora sets off on the adventure–and mystery–of a lifetime. What did Grandma Sylvia want her to find in Paris? Why do all the clues insist that Nora’s mother be with her? And could the key to healing and forgiveness be found at the top of the Eiffel Tower? Coming February 24th from Scholastic Press (MG)

As you can see, they put a lot of books in their TBR pile. The Bestie (on the left) felt like she was most interested in Vivian Apple at the End of the World. The Tween seemed particularly interested in Hell Hole by Gina Damico as her next read.

Vivan Apple at the End of the World Publisher’s Description: Seventeen-year-old Vivian Apple never believed in the evangelical Church of America, unlike her recently devout parents. But when Vivian returns home the night after the supposed “Rapture,” all that’s left of her parents are two holes in the roof. Suddenly, she doesn’t know who or what to believe. With her best friend Harp and a mysterious ally, Peter, Vivian embarks on a desperate cross-country roadtrip through a paranoid and panic-stricken America to find answers. Because at the end of the world, Vivan Apple isn’t looking for a savior. She’s looking for the truth. Coming January 8th from HMH Books for Young Readers. Written by Katie Coyle. (YA)

Hellhole Publisher’s Description: A devil is a bad influence . . .

There was a time when geeky, squeaky-clean Max Kilgore would never lie or steal or even think about murder. Then he accidentally unearths a devil, and Max’s choices are no longer his own. The big red guy has a penchant for couch surfing and junk food—and you should never underestimate evil on a sugar high.

With the help of Lore, a former goth girl who knows a thing or two about the dark side, Max is racing against the clock to get rid of the houseguest from hell before time, and all the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos this side of the fiery abyss, run out. Coming January 6th from HMH Books for Young Readers. Author Gina Dimaco. (YA)

As they read, I’ll have them check in with us all and share their thoughts. Let me know what’s on your 2015 TBR in the comments, I want to make sure I’m not missing something I need to be reading.

Take 5: Titles to Look for in 2015 from Macmillan

The Macmillan Children’s Winter catalog for 2015 is now up on Edelweiss. I spent some time last night going through it to get a look at what is coming out and what I think my teens will be dying to read. Plus, I found several that I myself am dying to read. 
 
Printz winner Marcus Sedgwick has a new titles called The Ghosts of Heaven coming with four linked stories that it says travels back to the cave painting of old, the witch hunts, and ends up in futuristic space. It’s an interesting concept that I am definitely going to check out, though these types of books have always been harder sells I have found.

The sequel to Sekret by Lindsay Smith is coming in April 2015. It’s title is Skandal and I am looking forward to reading it.

The third book in the Unremembered saga by Jessica Brody will hit the shelves in February with the title Unchanged.

Coming in March is Marie Rutkoski’s sequel to The Winner’s Curse, The Winner’s Crime.

And here are five more titles that made it onto my TBR list. All descriptions provided are the publisher’s description and none of the covers are final.

This Side of Home by Renee Watson

“Identical twins Nikki and Maya have been on the same page for everything—friends, school, boys and starting off their adult lives at a historically African-American college. But as their neighborhood goes from rough-and-tumble to up-and-coming, suddenly filled with pretty coffee shops and boutiques, Nikki is thrilled while Maya feels like their home is slipping away. Suddenly, the sisters who had always shared everything must confront their dissenting feelings on the importance of their ethnic and cultural identities and, in the process, learn to separate themselves from the long shadow of their identity as twins.

In her inspired YA debut, Renée Watson explores the experience of young African-American women navigating the traditions and expectations of their culture.”

Karen’s Thoughts: It seems like the rally cry for more diverse books is being heard. I’m really looking forward to reading this title for several reasons, including the look at the transition from high school to college, which I think a lot of high school readers have a lot of curiosity about, and the look at identity both in terms of a person’s childhood neighborhood changing and the look at twins trying to navigate growing into more distinct individuals. The Mr. is a twin, fraternal not identical, so I always find twin stories interesting to read.

Coming in February 2015 from Bloomsbury

Soulprint by Megan Miranda

“Alina Chase has been contained on an island for the last 17 years—whether that’s for the crimes of her past life, or for her own protection, well, that depends on whom you ask. With soul-fingerprinting a reality, science can now screen for the soul, and everyone knows that Alina’s soul had once belonged to notorious criminal, June Calahan, though that information is supposed to be private. June had accomplished the impossible: hacking into the soul-database, ruining countless lives in the process.

Now, there are whispers that June has left something behind for her next life—something that would allow Alina to access the information in the soul-database again. A way to finish the crimes she started.

Aided by three people with their own secret motivations, Alina escapes, only to discover that she may have just traded one prison for another. And there are clues. Clues only Alina can see and decipher, clues that make it apparent that June is leading her to something. While everyone believes Alina is trying to continue in June’s footsteps, Alina believes June is trying to show her something more. Something bigger. Something that gets at the heart of who they all are—about the past and the present. Something about the nature of their souls.

Alina doesn’t know who to trust, or what June intends for her to know, and the closer she gets to the answers, the more she wonders who June was, who she is, whether she’s destined to repeat the past, whether there are truths best kept hidden—and what one life is really worth.”

Karen’s Thoughts: This is right up my alley! Also, Fracture by Megan Miranda was really good so I am excited to read more from her. This sounds like it would be a great addition to any Teen Tech Week lists and a good companion read with Sophie Jordan’s Uninvited, which also looks at the ethics of being able to predict what people might do in the future and whether or not we can – or should – protect ourselves from that.

Coming in February from Bloomsbury

When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez

“13 Reasons Why meets the poetry of Emily Dickinson in this gripping debut novel perfect for fans of Sara Zarr or Jennifer Brown.

A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily Delgado appears to be a smart, sweet girl, with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz’s English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson. Both are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. One of them will attempt suicide. And with Dickinson’s poetry as their guide, both girls must conquer their personal demons to ever be happy.

In an emotionally taut novel with a richly diverse cast of characters, readers will relish in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and be completely swept up in the turmoil of two girls grappling with demons beyond their control.”

Karen’s Thoughts: I have always been a fan of Emily Dickinson and novels that explore the inner lives of their protagonists. This has the potential to be a very powerful read. Also, it sound like a good companion read to Death, Dickinson and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia by Jenny Torres Sanchez.

Coming in February 2015 from Bloomsbury

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

“It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for a year, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.” 

Karen’s Thoughts:  I know it’s shallow, but this is a beautiful cover and I hope it is the actual cover. Starting over after loss can be a difficult thing and this has the potential to be a moving, powerful story.

Coming in March 2015 from Bloomsbury

Cut Me Free by J. R. Johansson

“Seventeen-year-old Charlotte barely escaped from her abusive parents. Her little brother, Sam, wasn’t as lucky. Now she’s trying to begin the new life she always dreamed of for them, but never thought she’d have to experience alone. She’s hired a techie-genius with a knack for forgery to remove the last ties to her old life. But while she can erase her former identity, she can’t rid herself of the memories. And her troubled history won’t let her ignore the little girl she sees one day in the park. The girl with the bruises and burn marks.

That’s when Charlotte begins to receive the messages. Threatening notes left in her apartment–without a trace of entry. And they’re addressed to Piper, her old name. As the messages grow in frequency, she doesn’t just need to uncover who is leaving them; she needs to stop whoever it is before anyone else she loves ends up dead.

Karen’s Thoughts: Sometimes you just need a good thriller. Hopefully this title will deliver because the description sounds really good.

Coming in January 2015 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux 

Take 5: 5 ARCs I Picked Up at ALA That I Can’t Wait to Read

This year at ALA Annual I learned lots of things, met lots of people, and came back with a ton of ideas I wanted to pitch. But in the end, it always comes back to the books for me and I saw lots of great ones. From rain that will kill you to a book that asks you to determine the truth from the lies, here are 5 of the ARCs I picked up at ALA 2014 that I am dying to read asap. All the descriptions are publisher’s descriptions, but they are intriguing. You’ll also want to check out these 5 fall YA lit titles that I have read and Highly Recommend.

H2O by Virginia Bergin

It’s in the rain…and just one drop will kill you.

They don’t believe it at first. Crowded in Zach’s kitchen, Ruby and the rest of the partygoers laugh at Zach’s parents’ frenzied push to get them all inside as it starts to drizzle. But then the radio comes on with the warning, “It’s in the rain! It’s fatal, it’s contagious, and there’s no cure.”

Two weeks later, Ruby is alone. Anyone who’s been touched by rain or washed their hands with tap water is dead. The only drinkable water is quickly running out. Ruby’s only chance for survival is a treacherous hike across the country to find her father-if he’s even still alive.

Coming October 2014 from Sourcebooks Fire. ISBN: 9781492606543

Karen’s Note: End of the world scenarios? Sign me up. With real world concerns about today’s water supply and environmental issues, this is a timely read. It also sounds like it would make a good pairing with Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis.

Press Play by Eric Devine

Greg Dunsmore, a.k.a. Dun the Ton, is focused on one thing: making a documentary that will guarantee his admission into the film school of his choice. Every day, Greg films his intense weight-loss focused workouts as well as the nonstop bullying that comes from his classmates. But when he captures footage of violent, extreme hazing by his high school’s championship-winning lacrosse team in the presence of his principal, Greg’s field of view is in for a readjustment.

Greg knows there is a story to be told, but it is not clear exactly what. And his attempts to find out the truth only create more obstacles, not to mention physical harm upon himself. Yet if Greg wants to make his exposé his ticket out of town rather than a veritable death sentence, he will have to learn to play the game and find a team to help him.


Combine the underbelly of Friday Night Lights with the unflinching honesty of Walter Dean Myers, and you will find yourself with Eric Devine’s novel of debatable truths, consequences, and realities.

Coming October 2014 from Running Press Teens. ISBN: 9780762455126 

Karen’s Note: Eric Devine is an excellent author who writes powerful, gritty stories from the male point of view. He also has written several posts for us here at TLT and wrote a chapter in the upcoming booking The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services. He has a heart for getting guys to read and you should definitely check him out. 

Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst

Lies, secrets, and magic — three things that define Kayla’s life.

Sixteen-year-old Kayla plans to spend her summer hanging out on the beach in Santa Barbara and stealing whatever she wants, whenever she wants it. Born with the ability to move things with her mind — things like credit cards, diamond rings, and buttons on cash registers — she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up a safety net, enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again. Well, that, and the thrill of using her secret talents.

But her summer plans change when she’s caught stealing by a boy named Daniel — a boy who needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Daniel has a talent of his own. He can teleport, appearing anywhere in the world in an instant, but he lies as easily as he travels. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel’s kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family — and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive… or survive.

Coming October 2014 from Walker Books, an imprint of Bloomsbury. ISBN: 9780802737564

Karen’s note: If you haven’t yet read CONJURED by Sarah Beth Durst, you really should rectify that quickly. CONJURED is a bizarre and twisted in every epically awesome way possible retelling of the Pinocchio story with circuses, serial killers, and a teenage girl who can’t remember who she is and when she does it may be deadly.

There Will be Lies by Nick Lake

New from Printz winner Nick Lake—the ultimate thrill ride about the lies others tell us . . . and the lies we tell ourselves.

Shelby Jane Cooper’s world is the town of Scottsdale, Arizona, where she’s home-schooled, hits balls at the batting cage, visits the library, and sees The Boy. Life in her city in the desert is one big routine, like ice-cream-for-dinner Fridays: normal.

But in four hours, she’ll be struck by a car, and that’s when normal ends.

Barely recovered from the accident, Shelby is inexplicably whisked away by her mother—away from the hospital, her home, and everything she loves—on a manic road trip to the Grand Canyon.

Shelby’s mother says that everything’s fine. But with mile after mile falling fast behind them, Shelby starts to question everything she knows about her life and tries to piece together what’s real, what isn’t, and who she can ultimately trust.

Master storyteller Nick Lake hooks readers from page one in this emotional rollercoaster which rockets from one dramatic twist to the next until the book’s shocking conclusion.

Coming in January 2015 from Bloomsbury. ISBN: 9781619634404

Karen’s Note: Everything about this sounds good. Sign me up. The cover has not yet been revealed for this title.

Sublime by Christina Lauren

True love may mean certain death in a ghostly affair of risk and passion from New York Times bestselling duo Christina Lauren, authors of Beautiful Bastard. Tahereh Mafi, New York Times bestselling author of Shatter Me calls Sublime “a beautiful, haunting read”.

When Lucy walks out of a frozen forest, wearing only a silk dress and sandals, she isn’t sure how she got there. But when she sees Colin, she knows for sure that she’s here for him.

Colin has never been captivated by a girl the way he is by Lucy. With each passing day their lives intertwine, and even as Lucy begins to remember more of her life—and her death—neither of them is willing to give up what they have, no matter how impossible it is. And when Colin finds a way to physically be with Lucy, taking himself to the brink of death where his reality and Lucy’s overlap, the joy of being together for those brief stolen moments drowns out everything in the outside world. But some lines weren’t meant to be crossed…

Coming October 2014 from Simon &Schuster. ISBN: 9781481413701

Karen’s Note: Sometimes I am shallow, but I think this is a pretty cover. And I know that tons of my readers will be lining up for this one. Beautiful and haunting are some of my favorite book descriptors so I am in.

And Now for a Giveaway

I accidentally picked up two copies of THERE WILL BE LIES by Nick Lake while at ALA. Or perhaps the Tween picked one up. However it happened, I accidentally got two which means someone else didn’t get one so I am going to give one of mine away. You can enter to win two ways: 1) Leave a comment here with follow back information like an email or Twitter handle and/or 2) Tweet about the giveaway – helping to spread the word – and copy and paste a link to your tweet in the comments. We’ll accept entries until this Sunday, the 13th, at Midnight. Open to U.S. residents.

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to? Share in the comments. I would hate to miss a great book!   

Coming Soon: a Taste and Tease

I was the only one of the TLT’ers to be able to go to ALA Midwinter, and I shared a lot of other bloggers’ frustrations with the ARC drops as I was wearing multiple hats- not only was I going as a rep for Teen Librarian Toolbox (so much so that I made That Guy tell SoHo and Zest Books that he was Karen, much to their hysteria) but I was also running the Rainbow Project meetings. So I missed out on some ARCs that I *really* wanted (*cough* The S-Word *cough*) but hopefully the reps will send them when they do get back to their offices.  And three books that I’ve been on the edge of my seat to read (Doctorow’s Homeland, Meyer’s Scarlet, and Lu’s Prodigy are either out or coming out next week.  BUT, I do have a top 6 of the ARCs that I am SUPER excited about that I thought I’d share with y’all…



ARC available on Netgalley, on sale August

On Sale June 2013, haven’t seen it *yet* on Netgalley or Edleweiss

On sale June 2013, egalley on Edleweiss

On sale February 19, short stories by Kami Garcia, Nancy Holder, Margaret Sthol, Melissa Marr, and more

on sale May 2103, back cover says there will be a  *keynote and signing at Texas Library Association Conference*

On sale June 2013, says there’s an ebook prequel promotion as well

Were you at Midwinter in Seattle?  What did you pick up and what are you excited to see coming out this spring/summer?  Share in the comments!