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SOHO Teen Presents…Deviant by Helen FitzGerald

When 16-year-old Abigail’s mother dies in Scotland–leaving a faded photo, a weirdly cryptic letter, and a one-way ticket to America–she feels nothing. Why should she? Her mother gave her away when she was a baby, leaving her to grow up on an anti-nuclear commune and then in ugly foster homes. But the letter is a surprise in more ways than one: Her father is living in California. What’s more, Abigail discovers she has an eighteen-year-old sister, Becky. And the two are expecting Abigail to move in with them.

After struggling to overcome her natural suspicions of a note from beyond the grave (not to mention anything positive) Abigail grows close to her newfound sister. But then Becky is found dead, the accidental victim of an apparent drug overdose. As Abigail wrestles with her feelings and compiles a “Book of Remembrance” of her sister’s short life, she uncovers a horrifying global plot aimed at controlling teen behavior: one that took her sister’s and mother’s lives, with vast implications.

I’ve only read an excerpt of this one so far and my mind is already buzzing around the possibilities!  First off, Abigail is a Scottish foster teen.  And from the way she describes it, it pretty much resembles the crumbling foster system that I am used to working with with my foster home youth.  She was abandoned as a baby and given to a woman to live with who was the only family that Abigail had ever known.  At the age of nine, the woman tells Abigail she has cancer and within a week, she is dead, thrusting Abigail into the System.

Now, seven years later, Abigail finds out her birth mother has died and left her a large sum of money, a letter telling her her father is alive, and a ticket to Los Angeles.  So many questions for a young girl who trusts no one…

I cannot wait to read the rest of this one!!!!  I’m already on pins and needles wanting to know what will happen next!

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Today is the last day to enter the SOHO Teen giveaway!!!!  We will announce the winners on Monday!  Good luck and have a great weekend!

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SOHO Teen Presents…The Sweet Dead Life by Joy Preble

“I found out two things today. One, I think I’m dying. And two, my brother is a perv.”

So begins the diary of 14-year-old Jenna Samuels, who is having a very bad eighth-grade year. Her single mother spends all day in bed. Dad vanished when she was eight. Her 16-year-old brother, Casey, tries to hold together what’s left of the family by working two after-school jobs— difficult, as he’s stoned all the time. To make matters worse, Jenna is sick. When she collapses one day, Casey tries to race her to the hospital in their beat-up Prius and crashes instead.

Jenna wakes up in the ER to find Casey beside her. Beatified. Literally. The flab and zits? Gone. Before long, Jenna figures out that Casey didn’t survive the accident at all. He’s an “A-word.” (She can’t bring herself to utter the truth.) Soon they discover that Jenna isn’t just dying: she’s being poisoned. And Casey has been sent back to help solve the mystery that not only holds the key to her survival, but also to their mother’s mysterious depression and father’s disappearance.

Let’s give some mad props to Joy Preble for setting this book in Houston, Texas!  I love Southern settings for books that aren’t total overkill.  So, woot for Texas.

Now, let’s also give some mad props to one of the most talked about books amongst myself and other librarians because everyone is wanting to read this book, they all love the cover, and for those who have read it, RAVE about it.   

I love it because it is finally a MG mystery that isn’t Gilda Joyce.  Don’t get me wrong, my teens read Gilda Joyce books but this is one that looks YA and is just as easily enjoyed by MG readers as older adult readers.  Jenna is funny without being overly sarcastically annoying and the whole concept is fresh.  Order it now and read an excerpt…you’ll love it!

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SOHO Teen Presents…Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon

17-year-old Sophie lies on her deathbed in California, awaiting the inevitable loss of her battle with cancer…
17-year-old Declan stares down two armed thugs in a back alley in Galway, Ireland…
17-year-old Anat attempts to traverse a booby-trapped tunnel between Israel and Egypt…

All three strangers should have died at the exact same moment, thousands of miles apart. Instead, they awaken together in an abandoned hospital—only to discover that they’re not alone. Three other teens from different places on the globe are trapped with them. Somebody or something seems to be pulling the strings. With their individual clocks ticking, they must band together if they’re to have any hope of surviving. 

Soon they discover that they’ve been trapped in a future that isn’t of their making: a deadly, desolate world at once entirely familiar and utterly strange. Each teen harbors a secret, but only one holds the key that could get them home. As the truth comes to light through the eyes of Sophie, Declan, and Anat, the reader is taken on a dark and unforgettable journey into the hearts of teens who must decide what to do with a second chance at life.

I am already a huge fan of Michelle Gagnon after reading Don’t Turn Around and while I have only read an excerpt of this novel, she definitely does not disappoint.   The book opens with each character describing their time of death, some sudden and some expected but all three pack a powerful punch into this time-traveling mystery.  

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SOHO Teen Presents…Escape Theory by Margaux Froley

Sixteen-year-old Devon Mackintosh has always felt like an outsider at Keaton, the prestigious California boarding school perched above the Pacific. As long as she’s not fitting in, Devon figures she might as well pad her application to Stanford’s psych program. So junior year, she decides to become a peer counselor, a de facto therapist for students in crisis. At first, it seems like it will be an easy fly-on-the-wall gig, but her expectations are turned upside down when Jason Hutchins (a.k.a. “Hutch”), one of the Keaton’s most popular students, commits suicide.

 Devon dives into her new role providing support for Hutch’s friends, but she’s haunted by her own attachment to him. The two shared an extraordinary night during their first week freshman year; it was the only time at Keaton when she felt like someone else really understood her.  As the secrets and confessions pile up in her sessions, Devon comes to a startling conclusion: Hutch couldn’t have taken his own life. Bound by her oath of confidentialityand tortured by her unrequited love—Devon embarks on a solitary mission to get to the bottom of Hutch’s death, and the stakes are higher than she ever could have imagined.

While the concept of boarding school mystery isn’t exactly new, the way that Escape Theory takes it on totally is.  The chapters are split into sessions that Devon has as a peer counselor and really moves the story along as the mystery of what happened to Hutch starts to unravel.  

I love Devon’s voice and again, another excellent addition to the SOHO Teen imprint.  That’s three months of excellent mysteries back to back…I couldn’t be any more pleased! 

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SOHO Teen Presents…Who Done It?

Can you imagine the most cantankerous book editor alive? Part Voldemort, part Cruella de Vil (if she were a dude), and worse in appearance and odor than a gluttonous farm pig? A man who makes no secret of his love of cheese or his disdain of unworthy authors? That man is Herman Mildew.

The anthology opens with an invitation to a party, care of this insufferable monster, where more than 80 of the most talented, bestselling and recognizable names in YA and children’s fiction learn that they are suspects in his murder. All must provide alibis in brief first-person entries. The problem is that all of them are liars, all of them are fabulists, and all have something to hide…

Okay, so a few things before I talk about this book.  This anthology featuring stories from some of the gods and goddesses of YA literature was written to benefit 826NYC which you may or may not have heard of.  I had not.  So, I went to their website and was amazed.  From their mission statement: 826NYC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Our services are structured around our belief that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. With this in mind we provide drop-in tutoring, field trips, after-school workshops, in-schools tutoring, help for English language learners, and assistance with student publications. All of our free programs are challenging and enjoyable, and ultimately strengthen each student’s power to express ideas effectively, creatively, confidently, and in his or her individual voice.

Super awesome.  This makes me want to buy tons of this book and pass it out to everyone that I know because not only does it benefit a nonprofit which sounds AH-MAZING, but it features stories by some of my favorite authors!

When I first picked up this book, I almost put it down.  I am not a short story kind of person and anthologies remind me of being an English undergrad and give me the heebie jeebies.  But upon opening the book, I quickly realized that this book was not like any other anthology I’d ever seen.

What the synopsis does not mention is that this party is held in an old abandoned pickle factory (mentioned on the invitation) and immediately you realize that this is a book that is just a little different.  You see, all of the 80+ YA authors have written a short story to prove their innocence.  And if you are fans of these authors, the stories are perfect representations of their personalities, their writing styles, their tweets (if you’re a big Maureen Johnson fan), and each one had me rolling on the floor laughing.

Not only is this book perfect for your collections but perfect for your reluctant readers.  I found myself flipping around and reading the book in little five minute segments.  Short attention span readers? Done.

Definitely a perfect addition to the SOHO Teen lineup and shows the big time variety of the books that this imprint plans to publish.  

And now I want to eat pickles.  Maybe that’s just the pregnancy talking…

Steph

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SOHO Teen Presents…What We Saw at Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Allie Kim suffers from Xeroderma Pigmentosum: a fatal allergy to sunlight that confines her and her two best friends, Rob and Juliet, to the night. When freewheeling Juliet takes up Parkour—the stunt-sport of scaling and leaping off tall buildings—Allie and Rob have no choice but to join her, if only to protect her. Though potentially deadly, Parkour after dark makes Allie feel truly alive, and for the first time equal to the “daytimers.”

On a random summer night, the trio catches a glimpse of what appears to be murder. Allie alone takes it upon herself to investigate, and the truth comes at an unthinkable price. Navigating the shadowy world of specialized XP care, extreme sports, and forbidden love, Allie ultimately uncovers a secret that upends everything she believes about the people she trusts the most.

I was lucky enough to read this book before the week kicked off and let me just tell you, when it comes to Parkour…in fact, no let me show you.  Because I had to Google and find videos to really understand this concept:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NX7QNWEGcNI]

Okay, so now that you understand the concept of this awesome sport it will help you understand how different and awesome this book is!  Allie, Rob, and Juliet with their fatal allergy to sunlight must find some fun thing to do at night when hanging out and this is their newly discovered passion.  However, while scaling buildings one night, Allie is pretty sure she witnesses a murder.  Her friends semi-believe her but it is a bit hard to believe and so Allie decides that she will just figure this out all on her own. This book is rife with new concepts in YA literature and involves such a great cast of characters that it is a perfect read for guys and girls.  

The mystery, the suspense…all there and in perfect amounts for the teen reader who wants more than a hokey mystery novel but a mystery novel that even adults would love too.  All in all, very impressive debut book from SOHO Press and I can’t wait to tell you more about the rest of the books this week!

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And now, Jacquelyn Mitchard will share her awesome answers to some of the questions that I sent over for her!

Favorite book when you were a child: Charlotte’s Web, by EB White

Book you’ve faked reading: Remembrance of Things Past (OMG BORING)

Something others think is completely weird about me but I find completely normal is: I have a morbid fear of eggs because they’re one cell

If stranded on a desert island, what are the five items you would bring with you? My iPad (if I had one), my dog (Dante), Nonfat Vente Salted Caramel Mocha Extra Hot with Whip, Philosophy Amazing Grace Body Butter, the Complete Works of Shakespeare, my Maui Jim’s (that’s six, but I don’t really HAVE the iPad)

Most embarrassing teen moment: At awards night, I got up and actually started walking up the aisle to accept the English prize only to realize that they’d called Linda Bubon’s name

What was the happiest day of your life? The day I found out I was pregnant, and the day I found out I wasn’t pregnant

Do you have a favorite mystery writer and what book would you recommend by this writer for all to read? Denise Mina, and it’s called ‘Field of Blood,’ an AWFUL name and an AMAZING book

Zombies or Vampires?  Vampires. Please. A little elegance? Dumb flesh-eating morons versus people who’ve seen epochs of culture and been master of all of them, and then grown bored?

Describe your book in 140 characters: 3 BFF’S, doomed by genetics to live by night, do battle with a human monster

One thing that you wished people would ask you but they never do: What’s your REAL talent? (I can repeat any song lyric I’ve heard once, word for word)

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Don’t forget to enter our drawing for some awesome prizes via SOHO Teen!  There will be more than one winner!!!  =)
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Welcome to SOHO Teen!

While in Anaheim at ALA ’12, I had the pleasure of being introduced to Daniel Ehrenhaft and Meredith Barnes who were more than eager to tell me about the new endeavor of SOHO Press, an imprint dedicated to YA mysteries!  I was more than intrigued and after a lovely champagne toast and kickoff, I knew that I wanted to spread the word about this amazing imprint and the books that were coming out in 2013.

After reading the Spring ’13 sampler with some of the titles I’ll be discussing this week and reading the Fall ’13 sampler, I couldn’t resist.  SOHO Teen is a new imprint that will knock your socks off and leave you wanting more and more.  With award-winning authors like Jacquelyn Mitchard and Jon Scieszka and debut authors like Margaux Froley, you are bound to find titles your teens will like and that you will find live up to the mystery genre and the SOHO mystery reputation.

Later today I will bring you a review and a few extra goodies for the first book coming out in this imprint, What We Saw At Night by Jacquelyn Mitchard but for now, I’ll leave you with a book trailer with a little taste of what SOHO Teen has up their sleeves.  And don’t forget to enter our drawing below for some excellent prizes, courtesy of SOHO Teen! 

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