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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Storytime: New & Notable Picture Books (9)

Storytime is a new(ish) feature at The Hiding Spot in which I share some of my favorite new, old, & overlooked picture books.
Not a parent, teacher, or librarian? Picture books make fantastic gifts, from baby showers to birthdays and holidays. As bookworms, we all know how important books are – be the one who hands that special kid in your life the book that will make them fall in love with the magic of reading!

New & Notable

A Perfectly Messed Up Story
Written & Illustrated by Patrick McDonnell

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
'In this interactive and engaging read-aloud, bestselling author and award-winning artist Patrick McDonnell creates a funny, engaging, and almost perfect story about embracing life's messes.
Little Louie's story keeps getting messed up, and he's not happy about it! What's the point of telling his tale if he can't tell it perfectly? But when he stops and takes a deep breath, he realizes that everything is actually just fine, and his story is a good one--imperfections and all.'

If You Were a Dog
Written by Jamie Swenson; Illustrated by Chris Raschka

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
'If you could be any kind of animal, what would you be? Would you be a dog that goes ARRRROOOOOOO? Or maybe you would be a sharp-toothed dinosaur that can CHOMP, STOMP, ROAR! Perhaps you might want to be a hopping frog that goes BOING, BOING, RIBBET! But maybe you would want to be the best kind of animal of all: a child!
With joyful, impressionistic illustrations from Caldecott Medal–winning illustrator Chris Raschka and spare, rhythmic text from author Jamie A. Swenson that invites playful interaction, If You Were a Dog is the perfect read-aloud for your favorite little animal.'

I Know a Bear
Written & Illustrated by Mariana Ruiz Johnson

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
In I Know a Bear, a child befriends a bear at the zoo who regales her with stories of the Land of the Bears, a vast, wondrous place the bear once called home and sorely misses. Inspired by the bear's stories, the child returns home to release her pet bird into the wild. This is a tender, touching story that gives a voice to animals taken from their natural habitats for human entertainment. Even if this message goes over young readers' heads, they'll enjoy the gentle cadence of the story and the beautiful illustrations.

While You Were Napping
Written & Illustrated by Jenny Offill

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
In While You Were Napping a boy's worst fears are confirmed when he wakes to discover that, while he was napping, the rest of the neighborhood kids were off on grand adventures. Dinosaur bones have been discovered, fireworks set off, pirates have invaded and nearly made everyone walk the plank (but settled for handing out peg-leg party favors), astronauts took everyone on a trip into space to try out zero-gravity, and more! While it may be best to avoid this one before the naptime (for fear of inciting rebellion!), Jenny Offill's newest offering is sure to entertain readers young and old.

Here Is the Baby
Written by Polly Kanevsky; Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
Here Is the Baby takes young readers through Baby's day, from the waking up to the bright morning sun to snuggling with Mama, Daddy, and Sister before saying goodnight. Colorful illustrations accompany short blocks of text, making this the perfect read aloud for little one's bedtime.

Love any of the books featured this week? Want to see a certain theme explore, author, or illustrator explored in an upcoming Story Time post? Let me know in the comments!

Review: The Secret Sky by Atia Abawi

Goodreads / Buy It
Title: The Secret Sky
Author: Atia Abawi
Publisher: Penguin
Pub. Date: September 2, 2014
Genre: Young Adult
Rec. Age Level: 14+
Pages: 304
More by this author: N/A


Set in present-day Afghanistan, this is the story of two teenagers, one Pashtun and one Hazara, who must fight against their culture, their tradition, their families, and the Taliban to stay together. Told in three rotating perspectives—the two teens and another boy in the village who turns them in to the local Taliban—this novel depicts both the violent realities of living in Afghanistan, as well as the beauty of the land and the cultures there. And it shows that love can bloom in even the darkest of places.

This is an absolute must read not just for teens but for anyone who has lived during the time of America's War in Afghanistan.

From the start, I want to make clear that this book is not a swoony, romantic YA novel. I mean, I think that should be pretty obvious given the setting and description, but you know what they say about assuming.  

The Secret Sky is a powerful novel that you'll likely find difficult to read at times. Narrated by three characters, Fatima, Sami, and Rashid, Atia Abawi's debut chronicles the complicated romance between Fatima and Sami and the violent fallout. Rashid, Sami's cousin, narrates from outside of Fatima and Sami's relationship and, for me, was perhaps the most interesting character.

Rashid is a misguided youth who's moral compass is compromised by jealousy, anger, and hatred. It is Rashid who discovers the budding romance between Fatima and Sami and Rashid who manipulates the situation in an effort guarantee an outcome borne of hatred and violence. For me his character was interesting because I couldn't identify with his thought process and actions. I was fascinated this deeply flawed, deeply wrong individual. I wanted redemption for him; I wanted him to see the error in his ways. 

I really felt for Sami and Fatima. I have a hard time understanding why two people who love and respect one another shouldn't be together, so the entire concept of their relationship being forbidden because they are from different cultural groups was really hard for me to stomach. Still, I feel better informed after reading The Secret Sky. I admit that I know very little about Afghanistan or the cultural groups that make up Afghani society. I  have so much more left to learn, but, now, my interest is piqued. I hope that other readers - teens and adults alike - will read this novel and feel the need to go out and learn more about Sami and Fatima's world.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Kids' Indie Next List Winter Challenge & Giveaway

For those of you who don't know, each season (Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter) the American Booksellers Association and IndieBound releases a list of the top independent bookseller picks for kids, which includes picture books through YA. The top picks are then put on a flyer available at independent bookstores and online.The list generally includes something for everyone and highlights both debut and established authors. In sum, it's a pretty well rounded list.

Here's what I propose: 

Read and review at least one book from the Winter 2014-2015 Kids' Indie Next List and win a book of your choice from the list. 

It can be any book from any age level represented on the list, so a picture book, middle grade novel, or young adult novel. The more titles you read and review, the more entries you'll earn and, therefore, the better your odds of winning a free book of your choice!

Don't have a blog? No worries! You can post your review on Goodreads, LibraryThing, Facebook, Tumblr, anywhere as long as you can provide me with a link. Of course, I'll visit each review, comment, and spread the love!

Ready to take the challenge?! Start by browsing the Kids' Winter Next List titles included below - the bold titles are ones I've read so far (and can wholeheartedly vouch for)!

Top 10: 

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach
The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett & Jory John; Kevin Cornell
Goodnight Already! by Jory John; Benji Davies
Mortal Heart: His Fair Assassin, Book 3 by Robin LaFever
A Bed for Bear by Clive McFarland
Absolutely Truly: A Pumpkin Falls Mystery by Heather Vogel Frederick
The War That Saved My Life by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley
Mr. Squirrel and the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser

Picture Books:

Albie's First Word by Jacqueline Tourville, Wayne Evans
And Away We Go! by Migy
Cat & Bunny by Mary Lundquist
Emmanuel's Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson
Finding Spring by Carin Berger
George in the Dark by Madeline Valentine
Harlem Renaissance Party by Faith Ringgold
Herman's Letter by Tom Percival
Jim's Lion by Russell Hoban; Alexis Deacon
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena; Christian Robinson
Maple & Willow Together by Lori Nichols
The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie by Chris Van Allsburg
The Mouse Mansion by Karina Schaapman
Outside by Deirdre Gill

Middle Grade:

Fish in a Tree by Linda Mullaly Hunt
Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polansky
Kid Presidents: True Tales of Childhood From America's Presidents by David Stabler
Legacy of the Claw: Animas: Book One by C.R. Grey
Masterminds by Gordon Korman
The Book of Storms by Ruth Hatfield
The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
The Last Dragon Charmer 1: Villain Keeper by Laurie McKay
The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan & John Parke Davis

Young Adult:

All Fall Down: An Embassy Row Novel by Ally Carter
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare
Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen by Garth Nix
The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi
Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. King
How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon
In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang
Stone Cove Island by Suzanne Myers
Talon by Julie Kagawa
Unbroken: The Young Adult Adaptation by Laura Hillenbrand
The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Zodiac by Romina Russell

Ready to take the challenge?

Read (at least) one of the eligible titles, post your review, then stop back and add your review link to the Mr. Linky below before February 30, 2015! One lucky reader will win their choice of a finished Indie Next List title! This challenge is open internationally because the enjoyment of a great book shouldn't be limited by pesky things like borders and oceans.

You can also earn an extra entry by tweeting about this challenge - something like this will do:
Join the Winter Reading Challenge at @thehidingspot and win a book of your choice! http://thehidingspot.blogspot.com/2014/11/kids-indie-next-list-winter-challenge.html
Questions? Feel free to ask in the comments or send me a tweet!

Check out the past challenges too:

Summer 2014 Challenge
Autumn 2014 Challenge

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cover Reveals (That Made Me Swoon) Part VIII

Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
Tonight the Streets Are Ours is a YA novel about a teen girl living in the suburbs who becomes obsessed with a blogger in New York City, and sets out to track him down in real life.
A Girl Undone by Catherine Linka

On the run with deadly government secrets, Avie must decide if she can live up to her name and truly become fearless for the cause or if it’s better to just give in.

The sequel and explosive conclusion to A Girl Called Fearless.

Having survived a violent confrontation with the US government, Avie is not out of danger. Both she and the young man she loves, Yates, have been declared terrorists, and Yates is hospitalized in critical condition, leaving Avie with the perilous task of carrying information that can bring down the Paternalist party, if she can get it into the right hands.

Forced on the run with handsome, enigmatic woodsman Luke, Avie struggles when every turn becomes a choice between keeping the two of them alive or completing their mission. With her face on every news channel and a quarter million dollar reward from the man who still owns her marriage Contract, Avie’s worst fears are about to come true.

Equal parts thrilling and romantic, A Girl Undone is sure to keep your heart racing right until the very end.
 Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott
Fans of John Green's Looking for Alaska as well as Lauren Oliver and Sarah Dessen will embrace this provocative debut novel, an exploration of taboo love set against the backdrop of a suburban high school.

Charlie, a senior, isn't looking forward to her last year of high school. Another year of living in the shadow of her best friend, Lila. Another year of hiding behind the covers of her favorite novels. Another year of navigating her tense relationship with her perfectionist mom.

But everything changes when she meets her new English teacher. Mr. Drummond is smart. Irreverent. Funny. Hot. Everyone loves him. And Charlie thinks he's the only one who gets her.

She also thinks she might not be the only one with a crush.

In this stunning debut, Jessica Alcott explores relationships-and their boundaries-in a way that is both searingly honest and sympathetic.

A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery
Perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks, this breathtaking story of love and loss is guaranteed to break your heart and sweep you off your feet.

When high school senior Kelsey's identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn't know about the tragedy is Michelle's boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can't bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister.

As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can't deny that she's falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn't want.
Damage Done by Amanda Panitch
22 minutes separate Julia Vann’s before and after.

Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best friend.

After: She has a new identity, a new hometown, and a memory of those twenty-two minutes that refuses to come into focus. At least, that’s what she tells the police.

Now that she’s Lucy Black, her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the hottest guys in school. And someone much more dangerous. She thought her brother’s crimes were behind her. But now she’s being forced to confront the dark secrets she thought were safely left behind. How far will Julia go to keep her slate clean?

One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It’s only just beginning. . . .
The Leveller by Julia Durango
Nixy Bauer is a self-made Leveller. Her job? Dragging kids out of virtual reality and back to their parents in the real world. It’s normally easy cash, but Nixy's latest mission is fraught with real danger, intrigue, and romance.

Nixy Bauer is used to her classmates being very, very unhappy to see her. After all, she’s a bounty hunter in a virtual reality gaming world. Kids in the MEEP, as they call it, play entirely with their minds, while their bodies languish in a sleeplike state on the couch. Irritated parents, looking to wrench their kids back to reality, hire Nixy to jump into the game and retrieve them.

But when the game’s billionaire developer loses track of his own son in the MEEP, Nixy is in for the biggest challenge of her bounty-hunting career. Wyn Salvador isn't some lazy kid looking to escape his homework: Wyn does not want to be found. And he’s left behind a suicide note. Nixy takes the job but quickly discovers that Wyn’s not hiding—he’s being held inside the game against his will. But who is holding him captive, and why?

Nixy and Wyn attempt to fight their way out of a mind game unlike any they've encountered, and the battle brings them closer than either could have imagined. But when the whole world is virtual, how can Nixy possibly know if her feelings are real?

Gamers and action fans of all types will dive straight into the MEEP, thanks to Julia Durango’s cinematic storytelling. A touch of romance adds some heart to Nix'’s vivid, multidimensional journey through Wyn’s tricked-out virtual city, and constant twists keep readers flying through to the breathtaking end.
Which new covers are your favorite? Any that you dislike? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Trailer: Now That You're Here by Amy K. Nichols

The book trailer for Amy K. Nichols' upcoming scifi romance was released today. It's short and sweet but I think it offers a compelling sneak peek at the novel... I've read this one and I can tell you that it is so good! It has romance, really cool scifi elements (like parallel universes), and even some mystery.  I'll be featuring Now That You're Here in December with a review, interview, and giveaway, so keep an eye out!

More about the book:

In a parallel universe, the classic bad boy falls for the class science geek.

One minute Danny was running from the cops, and the next, he jolted awake in an unfamiliar body--his own, but different. Somehow, he's crossed into a parallel universe. Now his friends are his enemies, his parents are long dead, and studious Eevee is not the mysterious femme fatale he once kissed back home. Then again, this Eevee--a girl who'd rather land an internship at NASA than a date to the prom--may be his only hope of getting home.

Eevee tells herself she's only helping him in the name of quantum physics, but there's something undeniably fascinating about this boy from another dimension . . . a boy who makes her question who she is, and who she might be in another place and time.

And, coming soon, Duplexity, Part II: While You Were Gone flips this story on its head and tells the tale of the alternate Danny and the alternate Eevee, living in Danny's parallel world.

Praise for Now That You're Here:

"The perfect blend of sci-fi and swoons, Now That You're Here is like no other book I've read. Riveting, romantic and utterly original, it kept me up late!" --Amie Kaufman, author of These Broken Stars

"Dynamic, dizzying, and downright daring, Now That You're Here kept me guessing until the end, and ready for the next." --Shannon Messenger, author of Let the Sky Fall

"Nichols infuses the story with a smattering of science fiction and science fact, while making a welcome departure from the stereotype of the book-smart outcast trying to fit in. These geeks own their intelligence like a badge of honor, using science to help a friend and explore strange new worlds. Riveting in its own right, the story sets the stage for a mirror-image sequel, which will follow the other Danny and Eevee." -- Publishers Weekly, STARRED

"While the world-jumping is fantastical, the personalities and characters (fully individual, without reaching trying-too-hard levels of quirkiness) ring true.... A debut with great characters and huge nerd appeal." -- Kirkus Reviews

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Books into Movies: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Today the movie trailer for the upcoming film The DUFF was released. I've been waiting for this trailer for awhile now because I so loved Kody Keplinger's debut novel, which the movie is adapted from. Now I can't say for certain, but I'm pretty positive that, no matter how good this movie is, the book is still going to have it beat. Guys, I know this book is a bit older, but it is so worth checking out! 

I read it back in 2010 and I still think about it. I'm planning on doing a reread very soon, but, in the meantime, you can check out my original review - and my old formatting! - here. You can find more reviews on Goodreads or buy yourself a copy from your favorite bookstore or from Brilliant Books, free shipping included!

More about the book:
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "the Duff," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone. And eventually, through this realization, Bianca begins to see how harmful her unhealthy way of dealing with her problems has been, and finds a way to confront them head on.
Check out the movie trailer below! Are planning on seeing this one in theaters? Have you read the book yet? Let me know in the comments!

Find out more about the movie:

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Storytime: New & Notable Picture Books (8)

Storytime is a new(ish) feature at The Hiding Spot in which I share some of my favorite new, old, & overlooked picture books.
Not a parent, teacher, or librarian? Picture books make fantastic gifts, from baby showers to birthdays and holidays. As bookworms, we all know how important books are – be the one who hands that special kid in your life the book that will make them fall in love with the magic of reading!

New & Notable

Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters
Written & Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
If you still haven't discovered the wonder and fun of Oliver Jeffers' books, you're seriously missing out. Right now I'd say Jeffers is best known for having illustrated the bestseller The Days the Crayons Quit, so you've likely seen his illustrative style, but his writing is just as good. In this newest book, Jeffers takes readers through the alphabet with a story for each letter. The stories are silly and weave together; characters pop up in multiple stories and pictures and the would-be astronaut from letter A returns for letter Z. I'm a longtime fan of Jeffers' work, so it goes without saying that I loved this one.

The Mitten String
Written by Jennifer Rosner; Illustrated by Katrina Swarner

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
When Ruthie's family takes in a deaf woman named Bayla and her infant for the night, she's amazed by the woman's ability to communicate with her son using her hands, moving them as if she were working an invisible spinning wheel. At night, Bayla's uses string to connect her wrist to her son's, waking when he needs to be comforted or warmed. Inspired by Bayla creativity and love, Ruthie begins knitting mittens connected by a string, her very first pair a gift for Bayla and her son. This beautiful story of kindness, love, and overcoming difficult circumstances, be it the frequent loss of mittens or a disability.

Sebastian and the Balloon
Written & Illustrated by Philip C. Stead

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
'On a boring day, on a dull street, Sebastian sat high atop his roof—something he was never supposed to do. When he launched himself into the air in his balloon made of Grandma's afghans and patchwork quilts, his journey took on a life of its own and his boring day turned into the adventure of a lifetime.' I spend a lot of time looking at and working with picture books, so when I can't get a book out of my head, it really means something. This newest from Stead is so beautiful and enchanting that I find myself wanting to look through it every time I see it on the shelf at the store. I'm not sure if it's possible to not to fall in love with this book.

This Book Just Ate My Dog
Written & Illustrated by Richard Byrne

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
'When her dog disappears into the gutter of the book, Bella calls for help. But when the helpers disappear too, Bella realizes it will take more than a tug on the leash to put things right.' I love books that are interactive and physically engage the reader, like Count the Monkeys, so new one from Byrne quickly won me over. After various characters, including the narrator disappear into the gutter of the book, the reader must aid in the rescue. This will be one your little reader will ask for again and again!

Remy and Lulu
Written & Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Add on Goodreads / Buy It
Lulu, a small, smart dog, lives in the studio of a great artist until the day the studio is sold and she is left to fend for herself. Leaving the city for the countryside, she meets Remy, an abstract artist with poor eyesight but a clear vision. Unfortunately, Remy's unique style isn't in high demand. After three days with no food, Lulu secretly helps Remy with his most recent commission. Her portrait is a success and, soon, Remy's work gains acclaim. All is well until Remy is gifted with a new pair of spectacles and sees, for the first time, the quality of Lulu's work. In comparing his own style to Lulu's, he loses confidence in his work and his paints grow hard and dry as he shuts himself away. It's Lulu's friendship that gives Remy strength, reminding him that, when you paint from the heart, you can't ever go wrong. A celebration of art, friendship, and staying true to your own vision, Remy and Lulu is a wonderful new story from Kevin Hawkes!

Love any of the books featured this week? Want to see a certain theme explore, author, or illustrator explored in an upcoming Story Time post? Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Cover Reveals (That Made Me Swoon) Part VII

One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart
Set in Florence, Italy, One Thing Stolen follows Nadia Cara as she mysteriously begins to change. She's become a thief, she has secrets she can't tell, and when she tries to speak, the words seem far away.
Island of Shipwrecks (Unwanteds #5) by Lisa McMann

A risky decision endangers both Artimé and Quill in book five of the New York Times bestselling Unwanteds series, which Kirkus Reviews called “The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter.”

Alex and his friends from Artimé are stranded on a newly discovered island after barely surviving a storm that destroys their ship. And it turns out they’re not alone…

Back in Quill, Aaron’s power base grows as he aligns himself with an unlikely ally. Together, the two enact a drastic, risky plan to finally conquer Artimé—a plan that could ultimately leave everyone in both Artimé and Quill in far more danger than Aaron realizes.
 Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten
Gone Girl meets 13 Reasons Why in this stylish, sexy, and atmospheric story about friendship packed with twists and turns that will leave you breathless.

They say Delia burned herself to death in her stepfather's shed. They say it was suicide.

But June doesn't believe it.

June and Delia used to be closer than anything. Best friends in that way that comes before everyone else; before guys, before family. It was like being in love, but more. They had a billion secrets, tying them together like thin silk cords.

But one night a year ago, everything changed. June, Delia, and June's boyfriend Ryan were just having a little fun. Their good time got out of hand. And in the cold blue light of morning, June knew only this: things would never be the same again.

And now, a year later, Delia is dead. June is certain she was murdered. And she owes it to her to find out the truth, which is far more complicated than she ever could have imagined.

Sexy, dark, and atmospheric, Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls will keep you guessing until the very last page.

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
Antony and Cleopatra. Helen of Troy and Paris. Romeo and Juliet. And now . . . Henry and Flora.

For centuries Love and Death have chosen their players. They have set the rules, rolled the dice, and kept close, ready to influence, angling for supremacy. And Death has always won. Always.

Could there ever be one time, one place, one pair whose love would truly tip the balance?

Meet Flora Saudade, an African-American girl who dreams of becoming the next Amelia Earhart by day and sings in the smoky jazz clubs of Seattle by night. Meet Henry Bishop, born a few blocks and a million worlds away, a white boy with his future assured — a wealthy adoptive family in the midst of the Great Depression, a college scholarship, and all the opportunities in the world seemingly available to him.

The players have been chosen. The dice have been rolled. But when human beings make moves of their own, what happens next is anyone’s guess.

Achingly romantic and brilliantly imagined, The Game of Love and Death is a love story you will never forget.
I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
Best friends, big fans, a mysterious webcomic, and a long-lost girl collide in this riveting novel, perfect for fans of both Cory Doctorow and Sarah Dessen, & illustrated throughout with comics.

Once upon a time, two best friends created a princess together. Libby drew the pictures, May wrote the tales, and their heroine, Princess X, slayed all the dragons and scaled all the mountains their imaginations could conjure.
Once upon a few years later, Libby was in the car with her mom, driving across the Ballard Bridge on a rainy night. When the car went over the side, Libby passed away, and Princess X died with her.
Once upon a now: May is sixteen and lonely, wandering the streets of Seattle, when she sees a sticker slapped in a corner window.
Princess X?
When May looks around, she sees the Princess everywhere: Stickers. Patches. Graffiti. There's an entire underground culture, focused around a webcomic at IAmPrincessX.com. The more May explores the webcomic, the more she sees disturbing similarities between Libby's story and Princess X online. And that means that only one person could have started this phenomenon---her best friend, Libby, who lives.
The Notorious Pagan Jones by Nina Berry
Pagan Jones went from America's sweetheart to fallen angel in one fateful night in 1960: the night a car accident killed her whole family. Pagan was behind the wheel and driving drunk. Nine months later, she's stuck in the Lighthouse Reformatory for Wayward Girls and tortured by her guilt, not to mention the sadistic Miss Edwards, who takes special delight in humiliating the once-great Pagan Jones.

But all of that is about to change. Pagan's old agent shows up with a mysterious studio executive, Devin Black, and an offer. Pagan will be released from juvenile detention if she accepts a juicy role in a comedy directed by award-winning director Bennie Wexler. The shoot starts in West Berlin in just three days. If Pagan's going to do it, she has to decide fast and she has to agree to a court-appointed guardian, the handsome yet infuriating Devin, who's too young, too smooth, too sophisticated to be some studio flack.

The offer's too good to be true, Berlin's in turmoil and Devin Black knows way too much about her; there's definitely something fishy going on. But if anyone can take on a divided city, a scheming guardian and the criticism of a world that once adored her, it's the notorious Pagan Jones. What could go wrong?
Which new covers are your favorite? Any that you dislike? Let me know in the comments!