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An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Expected Publication Date: April 28th, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
Page count: 464 pages

"I WILL TELL YOU THE SAME THING I TELL EVERY SLAVE.
THE RESISTANCE HAS TRIED TO PENETRATE THIS SCHOOL COUNTLESS TIMES. I HAVE DISCOVERED IT EVERY TIME.
IF YOU ARE WORKING WITH THE RESISTANCE, IF YOU CONTACT THEM, IF YOU THINK OF CONTACTING THEM, I WILL KNOW
AND I WILL DESTROY YOU."
Laia is a slave.
Elias is a soldier.
Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire's impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They've seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia's brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire's greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school's finest soldier--and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he's being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined--and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Yes, we're currently completely obsessed with An Ember in the Ashes and you should be too! It's fascinating, beautifully written, and heartbreaking with a well-developed world. Reading this on the train is dangerous. On more than one occasion I almost missed my stop. Also, crying in public gets you a lot of strange looks...

Renee Ahdieh is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her spare time, she likes to dance salsa and collect shoes. She is passionate about all kinds of curry, rescue dogs, and college basketball. The first few years of her life were spent in a high-rise in South Korea; consequently, Renee enjoys having her head in the clouds. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog. She is the author ofThe Wrath and the Dawn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. You’ve taken the classic tale of Arabian Nights, thrown in some Beauty and the Beast and put your own twist on it. How difficult is it to take something that’s so well known and make it your own?
I definitely found it daunting at first. But something my agent said to me early on really stuck with me and helped me push through—she said I was too close to the source material and that I needed to take a step back and make it my own. In general, I think there is a lot of pressure on people to perform to a certain standard, regardless of their chosen profession. It helps a great deal to realize that the only standard you should be measuring yourself by is your own—how well can you write this particular story? Does your work do you justice?

2. Khalid, the boy-king is such a deep character. How much time did you spend developing his character? Was there ever a time you tried to mold him into something different that just didn’t work for you or your story?
Thank you so much for saying so! I really enjoyed developing Khalid as a character. One of the first things I do even before I begin plotting a story is spend time creating character arcs. I make a web for each main character, and I put specific traits I’d like that character to embody around that character’s name. Since Khalid was such an important part of the narrative, I did spend a large amount of time developing him as a character. There were a few times in the story where I wanted him to do or say things that didn’t quite fit with how I’d developed him, but I was always able to go back to the initial web I’d created and remind myself of his specific traits. So that was extremely helpful.

3. What inspired your decision to write this story?
Many things inspired me to write this book, but two things in particular always stick out to me. The first is my husband’s family. They’re Persian, and the story of Scheherazade is actually Persian in origin. My in-laws have beautiful pieces of art and tapestry all throughout their home, and I always wanted to write a story to reflect the beauty of their culture and the richness of its history. The second source of inspiration was my own upbringing. As a child of mixed race, I was constantly searching for narratives highlighting different backgrounds. So I knew when it was time for me to write a story, I wanted to write one that brought a different world to life for younger readers.

4. While Khorasan doesn’t exist anymore (it was located near Iran and Afghanistan) it was a real place. How much of your Khorasan is based off of the ancient area? What kind of research did you have to do?
Since I knew I wanted to base my fantasy world on ancient Persia, I did a good bit of research into Persian history to develop the world in THE WRATH AND THE DAWN. Both Khorasan and Parthia were names for parts of what is now present-day Iran. Much of the geography in the book is rooted in history, but I’ve definitely taken some liberty with it!

5. If The Wrath and the Dawn were made into a film, who would you like to see cast?
This is such a fun question! Of course I have some favorite actors and actresses in mind, but since the book is actually being shopped for film, I think I’ll keep silent on that for now. The most important thing for me—if the book were made into a film—would be that the actors/actresses cast adequately reflected the diversity written into the book.

6. What’s your go-to method for getting yourself out of writer’s block?
I don’t believe in writer’s block. But I do believe in writing oneself into a corner. For me, that usually means I’m forcing myself to write something that isn’t organic. The best thing to do is to take a step back to either find a new source of inspiration or re-evaluate what it is I’m doing. I can always put something on the page. Sometimes it’s terrible and needs to be discarded in its entirety, but I can always write something. I don’t, however, believe you should force yourself to write something that isn’t working for you. If you can’t write the story you’re working on, write something else. And if you need a break, take a break.

7. Who was your favorite character to write? Your least favorite?
My favorite character to write was probably Khalid. I also really enjoyed writing Shazi. I didn’t have a least favorite character, but writing Jahandar was difficult at times because he was such a sad character, both inside and out.

8. Are you a pantser or a plotter?
An insane plotter. Seriously. My plots are biblically long.

9. Coffee or tea?
Tea. Always tea.

10. Favorite movie? TV show? Band?
Movie: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Singin’ in the Rain; TV show: Sherlock, Game of Thrones, Empire, Avatar: The Last Airbender; Band: Metallica, Explosions in the Sky, M83, Radiohead, Bassnectar

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by "A Thousand and One Nights"
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she's falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

The Cage by Megan Shepherd
Expected Publication Date: May 26th, 2015
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Page Count: 400 pages

The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this gripping new series about teens held captive in a human zoo by an otherworldly race. From Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of The Madman's Daughter trilogy.

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn't know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments--tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures--all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn't alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora's past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer--a handsome young guard called Cassian--appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo--where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer--though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?

Why we can't wait: We absolutely LOVED The Madman's Daughter and her new book sounds FANTASTIC!!! We love the concept of being trapped in a zoo and having to escape!

 

Rook by Sharon Cameron
Expected Publication Date: April 28th, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic
Page Count: 464 pages

A remarkable and utterly inventive novel bursting with intrigue and romance, from Sharon Cameron, acclaimed author of THE DARK UNWINDING, which USA TODAY called "spellbindingly imaginative."
Centuries after a shifting of the Earth's poles, the Sunken City that was once Paris is in the grips of a revolution. All who oppose the new regime are put to the blade, except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?
Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy's arranged marriage to the wealthy Rene Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiance is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.
As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and Rene find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.
Daring intrigue, delicious romance, and spine-tingling suspense fill the pages of this extraordinary tale from award-winning author Sharon Cameron.

Why we can't wait: The concept of this just sounds AMAZING! Also, a little birdie told us David Levithan is a HUGE fan!!! So obvi we have to read it.

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
Publication Date: March 24th, 2015
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Genre: Mystery, paranormal

Ori’s dead because of what happened out behind the theater, in the tunnel made out of trees.
She’s dead because she got sent to that place upstate, locked up with those monsters.
And she got sent there because of me.

The Walls Around Us is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices—one still living and one long dead. On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement. On the inside, within the walls of a girls’ juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom. Tying these two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries.

We hear Amber’s story and Violet’s, and through them Orianna’s, first from one angle, then from another, until gradually we begin to get the whole picture—which is not necessarily the one that either Amber or Violet wants us to see.

Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and innocence, and what happens when one is mistaken for the other.

This gorgeous and suspenseful novel weaves together the lives of three very different girls; Amber is a prisoner at a juvenile detention center, locked away for her involvement in her step-father’s murder; Violet is an accomplished ballerina bound for Julliard. The girl who ties them together is Ori: Violet’s one time best friend, who is convicted of murdering two rival dancers. Told in alternating first-person voices, this evocative story has so many facets; it is part magical realism, part ghost story, part suspenseful thriller, and entirely unforgettable. Despite that this is a compelling story with amazingly developed characters, the prose is what really shines. The mood that Suma evokes through her artful language is so haunting and uneasy that it will stay with you long after you finish reading.
Reviewed by Caitlin, Books Inc. School Planning

A captivating novel about mental illness that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman.

Caden Bosch is on a ship that's headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.Caden Bosch is designated the ship's artist in residence to document the journey with images.Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.Caden Bosch is torn.

Challenger Deep is a deeply powerful and personal novel from one of today's most admired writers for teens. Laurie Halse Anderson, award-winning author of Speak, calls Challenger Deep "a brilliant journey across the dark sea of the mind; frightening, sensitive, and powerful. Simply extraordinary.
Available April 21st


 

Maria Dahvana Headley's soaring YA debut is a fiercely intelligent, multilayered fantasy where Neil Gaiman's Stardust meets John Green's The Fault in Our Stars in a story about a girl caught between two worlds . . . two races . . . and two destinies.

 

Aza Ray Boyle is drowning in thin air. Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak--to live. So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who's always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world--and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power--but as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. In Aza's hands lies fate of the whole of humanity--including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?
Available April 28th


 

 

Fans of John Green and Matthew Quick: Get ready to die laughing.
"Denton Little's Deathdate" takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that's in just two days--the day of his senior prom.
Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle--as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend's hostile sister. (Though he's not totally sure--see, first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is "this" what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton's long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters. . . . Suddenly Denton's life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.
Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager's life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on.
Available April 28th

 


 

 

Everybody is talking about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
"A remarkable gift of a novel."--Andrew Smith, author of Grasshopper Jungle"I am so in love with this book."--Nina LaCour, author of Hold Still"Feels timelessly, effortlessly now."--Tim Federle, author of Better Nate Than Ever"The best kind of love story."--Alex Sanchez, Lambda Award-winning author of Rainbow Boys and Boyfriends with Girlfriends

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he's pushed out--without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he's never met.

Incredibly funny and poignant, this twenty-first-century coming-of-age, coming out story--wrapped in a geek romance--is a knockout of a debut novel by Becky Albertalli.
Available April 7th


 

"New York Times" bestselling author Rachel Hawkins is sassier than ever in this page-turning follow up to Rebel Belle, "perfect for fans of Buffy and Veronica Mars.
Life is "almost" back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the important things in life: school, canoodling with David, her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie, and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.
Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they'd rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can't stay David's Paladin unless she undergoes an an ancient trial that will either kill her . . . or make her more powerful than ever.
Available April 7th

 

 


 

"Sparks fly...This first novel will please fans of Cassandra Clare and "Game of Thrones" watchers with its remarkable world building; richly developed characters... and] a breathtaking climax that...cannot come soon enough ""--"Booklist" starred review
For readers of Cassandra Clare's "City of Bones" and Leigh Bardugo's "Shadow and Bone," "The Girl at Midnight" is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war.
Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known.
Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she's fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act.
Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.
But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.
Available April 28th


 

 

"I WILL TELL YOU THE SAME THING I TELL EVERY SLAVE.
THE RESISTANCE HAS TRIED TO PENETRATE THIS SCHOOL COUNTLESS TIMES. I HAVE DISCOVERED IT EVERY TIME.
IF YOU ARE WORKING WITH THE RESISTANCE, IF YOU CONTACT THEM, IF YOU THINK OF CONTACTING THEM, I WILL KNOW
AND I WILL DESTROY YOU."
Laia is a slave.
Elias is a soldier.
Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire's impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They've seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia's brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire's greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school's finest soldier--and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he's being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined--and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
Available April 28th


 

Billy Zeets has a story to tell. About being a vandal and petty thief. About missing boys and an elusive killer.
    And about what happens if a boy who breaks all the rules is the only person who can piece together the truth.
    A gripping tale of redemption, Henry Turner’s powerful debut novel comes vividly to life through the unique voice of Billy Zeets, a hero as unlikely as he is unforgettable..
Available April 7th

 





Not since THE BOOK THIEF has the character of Death played such an original and affecting part in a book for young people.
Flora and Henry were born a few blocks from each other, innocent of the forces that might keep a white boy and an African American girl apart; years later they meet again and their mutual love of music sparks an even more powerful connection. But what Flora and Henry don't know is that they are pawns in a game played by the eternal adversaries Love and Death, here brilliantly reimagined as two extremely sympathetic and fascinating characters. Can their hearts and their wills overcome not only their earthly circumstances, but forces that have battled throughout history? In the rainy Seattle of the 1920's, romance blooms among the jazz clubs, the mansions of the wealthy, and the shanty towns of the poor. But what is more powerful: love? Or death?
Available April 28th

 

 



A remarkable and utterly inventive novel bursting with intrigue and romance, from Sharon Cameron, acclaimed author of THE DARK UNWINDING, which USA TODAY called "spellbindingly imaginative."
Centuries after a shifting of the Earth's poles, the Sunken City that was once Paris is in the grips of a revolution. All who oppose the new regime are put to the blade, except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?
Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy's arranged marriage to the wealthy Rene Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiance is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.
As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and Rene find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.
Daring intrigue, delicious romance, and spine-tingling suspense fill the pages of this extraordinary tale from award-winning author Sharon Cameron.
Available April 28th

 

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Expected Publication Date: May 5th, 2015
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 432 pages

Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and--lately--concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?
Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.
The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.

Why we can't wait: Um, new Sarah Dessen please and thank you.

 

Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin
Expected Publication Date: April 14th, 2015
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 352 pages

Fans of John Green and Matthew Quick: Get ready to die laughing.
"Denton Little's Deathdate" takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that's in just two days--the day of his senior prom.
Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle--as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend's hostile sister. (Though he's not totally sure--see, first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is "this" what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton's long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters. . . . Suddenly Denton's life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.
Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager's life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on.

Why we can't wait: Get ready to die laughing?! SOLD! Also, I'll read anything with a hearse on the cover!

Yayyyyyy Nova Ren Suma's THE WALLS AROUND US comes out today and it is AMAZING!
READ IT EVERYONE!


   


 

 

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