blo Teens Read and Write: October 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

BEEP, BEEP - Construction time!

Hey guys!

With Rachel's/Parajunkee's help, our site is undergoing some construction changes. So while we're tweaking things, we thank you for your patience.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

BIRTH OF A KILLER (The Saga of Larten Crepsley) by Darren Shan

Birth of a Killer (The Saga of Larten Crepsley)
by Darren Shan
Pub: Oct. 2010
Pages: 272

Before Cirque Du Freak...

Before the war with the vampaneze...

Before he was a vampire.

Larten Crepsley was a boy.

As a child laborer many centuries ago, Larten Crepsley did his job well and without complaint, until the day the foreman killed his brother as an example to the other children.

In that moment, young Larten flies into a rage that the foreman wouldn't survive. Forced on the run, he sleeps in crypts and eats cobwebs to get by. And when a vampire named Seba offers him protection and training as a vampire's assistant, Larten takes it.

This is his story.

I loved the Cirque Du Freak series. It was awesome. So to say I was excited for the story of Larten Crepsley is an understatement.

The story begins with a very young Larten living in a crowded house working a terrible job with an abusive supervisor, circa sometime in the late 1800's or early 1900's. One day his best friend/brother/cousin, Vur, is killed by said abusive supervisor. Larten calmly responds by stabbing the supervisor in the neck.
It was all the rage back then.
Running from the law, with nowhere to go and a storm setting in, he hides out in a crypt where he meets Seba, an ancient but kind vampire who's willing to teach Larten the ways of the night!

Perhaps BIRTH OF A KILLER isn't on the scale of storytelling epicness of Shan's other series - sometimes it felt more like a biography than adventure - but I loved exploring Larten's past and experiences that made him who he was later. 

The story never stays in one place too long - a lot of skipping - he's a teenager, wait now it's been a few years, oh wait now he's a vampire, did we skip the half-vampire stage? I would have preferred to follow more chronologically and stayed longer in the different stages of his life.   

Shan's gift for creating imaginative, fascinating characters continues in BIRTH OF A KILLER. I loved them!  And the cameos from the Cirque Du Freak series was a blast. The only downside being that since the last CDF book (Sons of Destiny) came out in 2006, even I, Jake Kirk: Black Belt in Suave, Debonair Demeanor and Licensed Love Docter(Ph.D), had trouble remembering a lot of the characters. My good friend Wikipedia and I took several strolls down memory lane to jump-start my memory. 

I didn't mind checking stuff out but be aware there's a heavy focus on nostalgia from the Cirque Du Freak series so I recommend reading that first.

BOTTOMLINE: I went in expecting more of an epic adventure on par with Shan's other tales but got more of a memoir. Disappointing? No, I just had to change my expectations. Lovers of the Cirque Du Freak series will relish this background tale of Larten Crepsley, of the greatest series characters of all time. Fun, entertaining and a perfect read for Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


If you're an aspiring YA author (or know one)
Here is info on a great upcoming contest!
YA Novel Discovery Contest

No query? No pitch? No problem!

Have a young adult novel—or a YA novel idea—tucked away for a rainy day? Are you putting off pitching your idea simply because you’re not sure how to pitch an agent? No problem! All you have to do is submit the first 250 words of your novel and you can win both exposure to editors, and a reading of your manuscript from one of New York’s TOP literary agents Regina Brooks.

Regina Brooks is the founder of Serendipity Literary Agency and the author of Writing Great Books for Young Adults. Brooks has been instrumental at establishing and building the careers of many YA writers, including three-time National Book Award Honoree and Michael Printz Honoree Marilyn Nelson, as well as Sundee Frazier—a Coretta Scott King Award winner, an Oprah Book Pick and an Al Roker book club selection. As an agent, she is known for her ability to turn raw talent into successful authors.

ADDITIONALLY: The top 20 submissions will all be read by a panel of five judges comprised of top YA editors at Random HouseScholastic, Candlewick,  Harlequin, Sourcebooks and Penguin. The first 100 will receive free autographed copies of Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks. Of the 20, they will pick the top five submissions and provide each author with commentary. These five winners will also receive a free ONE YEAR subscription to The Writer magazine. ONE Grand Prize Winner will win a full manuscript reading and editorial consultation from Regina Brooks and free 10-week writing course courtesy of the Gotham Writer’s Workshop.

Please submit all entries via the contest website at One entry per person; anyone age 13+ can apply. Open to the U.S. & Canada (void where prohibited). Entries for the YA Novel Discovery Contest will be accepted from 12:01am (ET) November 1 until 11:59pm (ET), November 30th

In honor of National Novel Writing Month (—an international event where aspiring novelists are encouraged to write an entire novel in 30 days—this contest is meant to encourage the aspiring YA author to get started on that novel by offering an incentive for completing the first 250 words.

So enter now!

The Grand Prize Winner
 will have the opportunity to submit an entire manuscript to YA literary agent Regina Brooks AND receive a free, 10-week writing course, courtesy of Gotham Writers' Workshop.

The Top Five Entrants (including the Grand Prize winner) will receive a 15-minute, one-on-one pitch session with Regina Brooks, one of New York’s premier literary agents for young adult books. They will also receive commentary on their submissions by editors at HarperCollins, Penguin, Harlequin, Random House, and Sourcebooks. In addition, they will receive a year’s subscription to The Writer magazine!

The Top 20 Entrants will receive autographed copies of Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks.

YA literary agent Regina Brooks and her team , will read all of the entries and determine the top 20 submissions. These submissions will then be read by Nancy Mercado, Executive Editor at Roaring Brook Press(Macmillan); Nicole Raymond, Editor at Candlewick; Cheryl Klein, Senior Editor at Arthur Levine Books (Scholastic); Leila Sales, Editor Viking (Penguin) Evette Porter, Editor at Harlequin and Leah Hultenschmidt, Executive Editor at Sourcebooks. These judges will whittle the top 20 down to five, and each of the five winners will be provided commentary on their submissions
If you enter - GOOD LUCK!

Giveaway for THE MAGNIFICENT 12 - THE CALL by Michael Grant

by Michael Grant
Teen Fiction

Twelve-year-old Mack MacAvoy suffers from a serious case of mediumness. Medium looks. Medium grades. Medium parents who barely notice him. With a list of phobias that could make anyone crazy, Mack never would have guessed that he is destined for a more-than-medium life.

And then, one day, something incredibly strange happens to Mack. A three-thousand-year-old man named Grimluk appears in the boys’ bathroom to deliver some startling news: Mack is one of the Magnificent Twelve, called the Magnifica in ancient times, whatever that means. An evil force is on its way, and it’s up to Mack to track down eleven other twelve-year-olds in order to stop it. He must travel across the world to battle the wicked Pale Queen’s dangerous daughter, Ereskigal—also known as Risky. But Risky sounds a little scary, and Mack doesn’t want to be a hero. Will he answer the call?

A laugh-out-loud story filled with excitement and magic, The Magnificent Twelve: The Call is the first book in bestselling author Michael Grant’s hilarious new fantasy adventure series.

We loved Michael Grant's GONE series. THE MAGNIFICENT 12 sounds like fun AND we have a signed copy to giveaway! 
Fill Out the FORM
Open to US (no PO Boxes)
Enter by Nov 15 Midnight PST


Monday, October 25, 2010

THE DARK DIVINE - for only $2.99!

Just got this email from Egmont - 
More good news about another great series!

E-Book of The Dark Divine Priced at $2.99 for a Limited Time

Promotion Leads Up to the Highly-Anticipated Sequel,

New York, October 25, 2010—Egmont USA announced today that the e-book of THE DARK DIVINE by Bree Despain will be available for $2.99, from October 25 through November 22—wherever e-books are sold. 

THE DARK DIVINE made headlines last month when it was announced that Ralph Winter ("X-Men") and Terry Botwick acquired the movie rights to THE DARK DIVINE, through their 1019 Entertainment banner.  

A modern retelling of the Prodigal Son with a paranormal twist, THE DARK DIVINE sold out of its first three print runs and has garnered terrific reviews. Booklist said: “Atmospheric and compelling, Despain’s first novel will be popular, and a sequel eagerly anticipated.”
The sequel, THE LOST SAINT, will be published December 28, 2010.

Bree Despain rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner-city teens from Philadelphia and New York. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and two young sons. This is her first novel. You can visit her online at

Egmont USA ( was established in 2007 with one mission in mind: to bring stories to life. From picture books to young adult novels, Egmont USA publishes works that engage, entertain, and enlighten children of all ages. Egmont USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Egmont UK and part of the Egmont Group, one of Europe’s largest children’s publishers. The company is headquartered in New York City. 

Final HUSH HUSH Novel Release Date

Good news for us fans of the HUSH HUSH series - besides the release of CRESCENDO last week! Simon and Schuster recently announced the latest on the trilogy.

NEW YORK, October 19, 2010 – Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers announced today that it will be publishing Tempest, the third and final book in Becca Fitzpatrick’s New York Times bestselling Hush, Hush trilogy. Tempest will have an on-sale date of Tuesday, October 18, 2011, with a first printing of 250,000 copies, and it will be supported by a major marketing campaign and national author tour. 

The Hush, Hush series has captivated readers with the story of Nora Grey, her friend Vee, and a mysterious fallen archangel named Patch. In the gripping conclusion of the trilogy, Nora finds that as things start to unravel around her, she is more drawn to the enigmatic Patch. She soon discovers that the answers lie closer to home than she realized, and it is time for her to take control of her destiny once and for all.

Becca Fitzpatrick says, “Hush, Hush was my very first book, and it’s so thrilling to see it embraced by so many readers. It’s been a truly life changing experience. Patch and Nora’s story isn’t half told until Tempest, and I hope readers will find it the most enticing book yet.”

Executive editor Emily Meehan adds, “Becca Fitzpatrick is an amazing storyteller, so my excitement to bring readers the third and final Hush, Hush book goes almost beyond words. Almost! Becca’s characters are swoony, her plots are twisted, and she likes to weave in a good mystery while she’s at it. Tempest will be no exception.”

Becca Fitzpatrick grew up reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden with a flashlight under the covers. She graduated college with a degree in health, which she promptly abandoned for storytelling. When not writing, she's most likely prowling sale racks for reject shoes, running, or watching crime dramas on TV. Hush, Hushwas her first novel. She lives in Colorado. Find her online at
Who's read CRESCENDO? What did you think?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Follow Friday - 10/22/10

It's time for Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee's View. This meme give bloggers and readers a chance to network, support each other and find new blogs to read and enjoy!

This weeks question is: 

What Book Are You Reading?

Alyssa - Just finished: PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White (So fun!)
Reading: RECKLESS by Cornelia Funke (Great imagination!)

Jake - BIRTH OF A KILLER by Darren Shan (another Shan-tastic!)

Gregory - BLACK HOLE SUN by David Macinnis Gill (Action packed adventure!)

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Here's what you do...

  • Grab your current read
  • flip to a random page
  • select 2 sentences from anywhere on the page
  • try not to include any SPOILERS!
  • make sure you tell the name of book and the author so we can add the book to our TBR pile!

Black Hole Sun
by David Macinnis Gill
Page 20-21

She surveys the situation. Downed shock troopers. Check. Children trussed up to a winch. Check. He chief wrestling for a kill switch with a morbidly obese man. Check. Likes it's all in a days work.


            (UK Cover)
by Darren Shan
Page 128

The man, woman, and child were dead, and Larten could see that they'd been murdered - their throats had been slashed open. He also saw, by the small amount of blood around their necks and the pale shade of their faces, that their killer had drunk from them. No, even worse than that - they had been drained.

Monday, October 18, 2010

DARK GODDESS by Sarwat Chadda

by Sarwat Chadda
pub: Jan 2010
Teen Fiction

After the death of a dear loved one, Billi SanGreal has thrown herself into the brutal regime of Templar duties with utter abandon. There is no room for feelings any more – her life is now about hunting down the Unholy. But when Billi and another Knight Templar are caught at the heart of a savage werewolf attack, only Billi survives – except for a young girl at the scene who Billi unthinkingly drags away with her as they escape. But Vasalisa is no ordinary girl. She is an avatar with an uncontrollable power – and it’s not only the werewolves who want her. Billi has to flee to the frosty climes of Russia, with a human timebomb who, it seems, could destroy the world . . . 

I really liked Devil's Kiss but DARK GODDESS is even better. Not quite as gritty, nor does it have the violent, heartbreaking ending, but still delights with daring intrigue and high adventure

One of my favorite things about Chadda's writing is the breakneck pace he delivers from page one...nay, sentence one. The story yanks you in and gives you no choice but to hang on for the ride. And it's not just action-packed. You get great character development, interesting folklore, a complex storyline and rich setting. 

Billi is a fantastic kick-butt heroine. Tough, sassy, smart and her character develops well. The romance is spicy with Ivan as the hunky Russian prince, a descendant of the Romanov family. I thought the romance a bit weak in the first book but this one nails it - equal parts hot and sweet, with nothing too racy or inappropriate for younger teens.  

The other Knights Templar are lovable and lethal. I liked her dad more in this one - he's still tough as tacks but seems more loving and paternal with Billi. 

Werewolves are the enemy of choice - at least the obvious ones - but Chadda gives them plenty of depth. They aren't just mindless bad guys and the story ricochets with plenty of twists and turns providing delicious surprises that keep you guessing. The ending played out different than expected but satisfying. The writing is evocative, gritty at times and leans toward the dark side while always providing a lush setting. 

BOTTOMLINE: Fantastic action-adventure drama, seamless plot, dynamic characters, excellent folklore, exotic setting, flirtatious romance. More dark than humorous but an overall fun time!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Giveaway for BEING JAMIE BAKER by Kelly Oram

Hey Guys, Kelly Oram is have a great contest! Here's the scoop!

"Kelly Oram here, author of Being Jamie Baker, sending you a quick note to let you know I'll be giving away one book a week (signed) through the month of November. Contest details are posted on my website at I hope you take a minute to stop by and enter the contest. You can also watch the book trailer and preview the entire first chapter of the book if you haven't already done so."

Hope you get a chance to enter and good luck!

Friday, October 15, 2010

HUNGER by Jackie Morse Kessler + Giveaway!

by Jackie Morse Kessler
pub: 10/18/10
Teen Fiction

Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world.” 
Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? 

Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home: her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power — and the courage to battle her own inner demons? 
I was iffy when I received HUNGER, worried it was going to be a contemporary message book that would try to teach me something rather than tell a compelling story. But I'm trying to broaden my horizons and gave it a go... So glad I did

WRITING: Haunting, evocative, eerie, honest and laced with humor - a weird mix, I know, but it works!  

CHARACTERS: Real. Especially with the teenagers. Kessler authentically tapped into basic insecurities and laid it out so well that I understood and sympathized with Lisa and others. I hated The Thin Voice - an evil insidious thing that slithered into Lisa psyche and buried its poisonous fangs deep. My favorite character? Death! His "gallows humor" had me laughing - a charming philosophical fellow

PLOT/PACING: Fast paced with an innovative twist on the Horsemen in general, and Famine in particular. I was blown away with how Kessler weaved Lisa's anorexia into the idea of Famine, and then contorted it like an Olympic gymnast into an angle so clever - Brilliant! 

CAVEATS/CONCERNS: Be aware HUNGER gives frank, honest portrayals/descriptions of eating disorders which can be disturbing. Kessler had bulimia as a teenager which helps give her the authentic voice to tell it like it is, but HUNGER never goes overboard and is completely appropriate for the context. 

COVER: Just the right touch of intriguing and creepy - and one of those that makes more sense once you read the book.

BOTTOMLINE: I wasn't sure how Kessler would mash a contemporary story of a girl's struggle with anorexia with the paranormal angle of the Four Horsemen but HUNGER delivers an extraordinary story - tragic, sad, yet full of hope. With an intriguing insight into a dark psychological state of mind, HUNGER is one of those rare finds that has a compelling story, educates you on a timely topic and delivers solid entertainment! 
Enter below for a chance to win an ARC of HUNGER!

Author On the Web

Fill Out the FORM below
Open to US residents
Enter by 11/7/10

Thursday, October 14, 2010

SUPER HUMAN by Michael Carroll

Super Human
by Michael Carroll
Pub: May, 2010
Teen Fiction 336 pages

Nearly 4500 years ago, the Fifth King a godlike, violent man who brought the entire known world under his rule vanished from his palace balcony in full view of hundreds of his subjects. Now, in the present-day United States, a group calling themselves the Helotry is determined to bring him back. These fanatics create a plague that affects adults all over the world, including the contemporary superheroes who had the best chance of stopping them. But the Helotry has not counted on opposition from a newly formed group of teen superheroes (and one normal but extremely clever and resourceful 14-year-old) unaffected by the plague and determined to use their powers to save the day.

Superpowers. We've all wanted them at some point, and even if you're not willing to admit it, we still do. Super Human places us in a world full of heroes and villains where an evil cult called the Helotry are attempting to bring back the most powerful super being history has ever know.

We follow three protagonists. First is Lance McKendrick, a streetwise con-artist whose greed and curiosity get him sucked into their evil plot faster than a trailer into an tornado. 

Second is Roz Dalton, telekinetic sister to the world famous superhero(and all around jerk) Max Dalton. She's the only professional Super after all of the adults are incapacitated 

And last but not least is Abby de Luyando, super strong (but only when using metal), super fast, and super agile. An eager, but inexperienced, new superhero.

Due to a horrible plague that leaves all the adults, super or otherwise, dead or dying these few surviving heroes are the only hope for humanity.

We're doomed...
SUPER HUMAN delivers action, unique characters with entertaining interaction - work well yet clash frequently. Love the conflict. It surprised me with an awesome twist at the end that I never saw coming. 

This was one of those surprising treats. Hadn't heard about it but saw it in the bookstore and gave it a shot. It's a prequel to another series, Quantum Prophecy, which I haven't read it but based on the fun of SUPER HUMAN it's worth looking into. 

BOTTOMLINE:  Fast pace, unique plot with fun characters, wicked bad guys, awesome super powers, and even better battles! Good stuff!

Avatar Jake Dresden

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


The cover for SHADOWSPELL (sequel to GLIMMERGLASS ) by Jenna Black - release 1/4/2011- is looking good!  I enjoyed GLIMMERGLASS - you can check out my review HERE.

I think I like SHADOWSPELL's cover best - love the vibrant color and seems more magical overall. 

Which do you prefer?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Smart Chicks Kick It Tour and Giveaway!

 After some minor technical difficulties we finally have our coverage of the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour in Pasadena, Ca!

Some of the hottest ladies of YA Lit -
Kelley Armstrong
Mary Pearson
Rachel Caine
Rachel Vincent
Melissa Marr
Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Melissa De La Cruz
Alyson Noel

- answered questions and graciously signed books...and other - can you believe it - Jake's abs! Almost all the ladies said it was their first time - except Kelley Armstrong who quipped, "Oh, I've done this before." And they all immediately sent out photos on Twitter. 
      They were all lovely, charming and funny! We even interviewed some of the fans. Check out the photos and video(make sure to crank up the video quality for the full effect)! Be sure to enter our contest below!

Win a copy of your choice of any of these authors books. 

Must be a follower
Contest Ends October 31st
Fill out this Form
Open to Wherever Book Depository Ships

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