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:
If you get a chance to read these books, let us know what you think below.