Most of you know by now that Talia and I are very different readers—Talia loves her blood-soaked mysteries and I love my swashbuckling space adventures—so when we both fall in love with the same book we make a big deal out of it.
Here's the big deal this time: not one, but three exceptional contemporary teen novels are coming out early next year that both Talia and I are incredibly excited about: USES FOR BOYS by Erica Lorraine Scheidt, ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell, and IF YOU FIND ME by Emily Murdoch.
Read more on each of these titles below. We truly hope you get the chance to read all three!
USES FOR BOYS
By Erica Lorraine Scheidt
This beautifully written debut novel is about Anna, a father-less girl who drops out of high school and moves into the heart of Portland to become the independent woman she knows she can be.
"Readers will be moved as smart, honest Anna learns she can draw on her innate strength to write her own story—one with room for the wounded people she loves. Scheidt’s novel packs a punch; this fast-moving book can be devoured in one sitting, but reveals even more upon rereading." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"By novel’s end, readers will find themselves emotionally exhausted but hopeful. [...] Lots of teens will see themselves in the pages of this beautiful, honest novel." —Booklist (Starred Review)
"Anna is so compellingly flawed and quietly winning that readers won’t quibble. Haunting, frank and unputdownable." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
ELEANOR & PARK
By Rainbow Rowell
This is the story of two high school misfits in an economically-depressed small town falling in love for the first time.
"The pure, fear-laced, yet steadily maturing relationship Eleanor and Park develop is urgent and breathtaking and, of course, heartbreaking, too." —Booklist (starred review)
"Funny, hopeful, foulmouthed, sexy and tear-jerking, this winning romance will captivate teen and adult readers alike" —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Rowell keeps things surprising, and the solution—imperfect but believable—maintains the novel’s delicate balance of light and dark." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The friendship between the teens is movingly believable. [...] Purchase for readers who are drawn to quirky love stories or 1980s pop culture." —School Library Journal (starred review)
We will have galleys of ELEANOR & PARK at ALA Midwinter (booth 2435) and you can download an e-galley on Edelweiss (instructions on how to get whitelisted here). UPDATE: This title has been released and is no longer available via Edelweiss.
IF YOU FIND ME
By Emily Murdoch
Fourteen-year-old Carey and six-year-old Jenessa are living in the backwoods with their drug-addicted mother until they are discovered by their estranged father. He draws them into the real world and helps them navigate family, school, clothes and everything else that comes with teenager territory.
“First-time author Emily Murdoch has written a painful, hopeful, surprisingly quiet book that charts the best and worst of humanity. [...] exposing child abuse, sexual abuse, and drug abuse for the terror they are, she validates the courage and ingenuity of young people the world over for whom survival is instinctive; protection of siblings is nonnegotiable; and love both a right and a gift bestowed upon those fortunate enough to find it.” —Booklist (starred review)
"Murdoch’s debut is beautifully written. The deep bond between the sisters is almost physically palpable, as is their intense longing for love and acceptance; they will quickly endear themselves to readers." —School Library Journal (starred review)
"A compelling narrative that is both unflinching about life's pain and hopeful about its possibilities." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
We will have galleys of IF YOU FIND ME at ALA Midwinter (booth 2435).
UPDATE: School Library Journal featured the IF YOU FIND ME and ELEANOR & PARK jackets at the front of the "Grades 5 & Up" section of their February issue:
We already mentioned that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Julia Keller's debut novel, A KILLING IN THE HILLS, is getting killer reviews. Now we get to say that it has officially received (read: rightfully earned) FOUR pre-pub starred reviews!
Take a look:
"Keller does a superb job of showing both the natural beauty of Appalachia and the hopeless anger of the people trapped there in poverty. [...] The ensemble cast is unforgettable. So is this novel." -Publishers Weekly (starred review, Pick of the Week)
"A page-turner with substance and depth, this is as suspenseful and entertaining as it is accomplished." -Booklist (starred review)
"[A] superbly detailed and suspense-drenched mystery. Share with Linda Fairstein, Meg Gardiner, and Lisa Gardner fans." -Library Journal (starred review, Debut of the Month)
"[A] mystery that has plenty of twists and turns and a shocking conclusion." -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A KILLING IN THE HILLS will be available in August from Minotaur Books.Read more
Hello again, librarian friends!
- TxLA was fantastic this year! Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth and joined us for our author signings, panels, and other events. Please stay in touch! We'll post more about our adventures later this week.
- Tomorrow join us for Booklist's "The Murderous Month of May: Hot Mysteries for Spring" webinar at 2PM Eastern. Sign up now!
- Will you be in Chicago at the end of April? Join Ali for a book buzz on Monday, April 30 in the Harold Washington Library Center (400 S. State St.) in the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium! A complimentary lunch will be served at 12:30PM and the adult buzz starts at 2PM. Sign up now!
- We already mentioned that DON'T EVER GET OLD, the debut mystery from author Daniel Friedman, is getting great reviews. Well, now it has four(!) starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, AND Kirkus Reviews!
- Also we heard a rumor that Cat Fancy featured NO COOPERATION FROM THE CAT by Marian Babson in a "Books for Cat Lovers" article. We wholeheartedly approve.
We love debuts. You love debuts. Authors definitely love their debuts. And when reviewers love a debut we get downright giddy.
When DON'T EVER GET OLD, Daniel Friedman's debut Mystery, earned itself two starred reviews right out of the gate we had to pull out the emergency party horns (our buddies in the Academic Marketing Department were not impressed).
Here's the story in a nutshell:
When Buck Schatz, senior citizen and retired Memphis cop, learns that an old adversary may have escaped Germany with a fortune in stolen gold, Buck decides to hunt down the fugitive and claim the loot. But a lot of people want a piece of the stolen treasure, and Buck’s investigation quickly attracts unfriendly attention from a very motley (and murderous) crew.
And here are the reviews:
"In prose as straightforward and tough as old Buck, the plot reveals its secrets with perfect timing. It’s a shock when the killer’s identity is revealed. But, then, we think eventually, who else could it be?" -Booklist (starred review)
"Friedman’s excellent debut introduces a highly unusual hero, 87-year-old, politically incorrect Buck Schatz, a former member of the Memphis PD, who’s become a living legend. Schatz’s memory is less and less reliable, and his physical decline is making his world 'a gradually shrinking circle.' [...] Friedman makes his limited lead plausible, and bolsters the story line with wickedly funny dialogue." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)
UPDATE: DON'T EVER GET OLD now has four(!) starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, AND Kirkus Reviews!Read more
We are blown away by the reviews for Caroline Bock's LIE, a sensitive and complex YA novel about a small town hate crime. Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist have all given LIE a starred review!
Kirkus Reviews calls LIE, "unusual and important," and says, "This effective, character-driven, episodic story examines the consequences of a hate crime on the teens involved in it. [...] Realistic and devastatingly insightful, this novel can serve as a springboard to classroom and family discussions."
Publishers Weekly says, "Avoiding preachiness, Bock handles the novel's multiple viewpoints exceptionally well, rotating among the painfully believable voices of high school students and adults. Her characters may keep the truth inside, but their story reads like a confessional."
Library Journal says, "Bock’s debut will grip readers searching for complete realism in their fiction."
Booklist has yet to publish their full review, but we'll update when they do!
This is an excellent read for all Americans, teen and up.Read more
Library Journal just gave the novel a rave review:
"Your standard love triangle? Absolutely not. This extraordinary, liquidly written evocation of love’s mad rush and inevitable failures will feed your mind as you rapidly turn the pages. Highly recommended."Read more