Amanda loves Peaches!

Amanda loves peaches. Peaches to eat, peaches to read about. Summer is the perfect time to do both! Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson is an excellent middle-of-summer book to read in-between summer reading selections for school.

The story of three girls placed at a failing peach orchard in Georgia to work for the summer just screams hot, humid weather and juicy peach deliciousness. Birdie is the slightly overweight daughter of the orchard owner, very insecure and very lonely in her Georgia peach world. Since her mother ran off, a lot of the orchard responsibility has been placed on Birdie and she takes her job very seriously.

Leeda is Birdie’s rich and spoiled cousin and she opts to spend the summer at the orchard instead of planning her sister’s wedding. Leeda is incredibly jealous of her sister and wants nothing to do with making plans and knows she isn’t exactly wanted around the peach house either.

Murphy is the resident bad girl. She is sentenced by the town judge to work at the orchard as community service for petty crimes she continuously commits. She has great attitude and adds some excellent dramatic flair to the story.

Though putting distance between themselves at first, the girls grow closer as the summer moves on and find they actually have quite a bit in common. They work together through boyfriend problems, family dramas, and the doubt that the peach orchard will survive. This was a lovely and refreshing book, with believable friendships. I wanted to be friends with these girls!

This is the first in a series, so if you love it, follow it up with The Secrets of Peaches and Love and Peaches. Make sure you have a bowl of fresh PEACHES to eat while you read. Yum!

Great for fans of The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares or those that love books by Sarah Dessen.

Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson; $8.99; HarperTeen; Ages 14+

Awesome Teen Author Panel!

We’ve been so lucky to have a steady stream of YA Authors dropping by the store to share their books with all of you and next week we have 4 more! Come join us at 3:30 on June 30th and welcome Elizabeth Scott, Alethea Kontis, Diana Peterfreund, and Brigid Kemmerer to Hooray for Books!

Elizabeth Scott introduces her latest book, Miracle, the story of a young girl who is the only survivor of a plane crash. Megan is a miracle. At least, that’s what everyone says. Having survived a crash that killed everyone else on board, Megan knows she should be grateful just to be alive. But the truth is, she doesn’t feel like a miracle. In fact, she doesn’t feel anything at all. Then memories from the crash start coming back.  Miracle, Simon Pulse, $16.99

Diana Peterfreund’s book, For Darkness Shows the Stars, features 18-year-old Elliot North, a girl who chose family over love four years ago, refusing to run away from the caste system she grew up in, as the servant, Kai, wanted her to. Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.  For Darkness Shows the Stars, Balzer & Bray/Harperteen, $16.99

Alethea Kontis’ foray into the young adult world is Enchanted. It isn’t easy beign the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true. When Sunday meets an enchanted frog, the two become friends and the friendship deepens into something magical. Sunday’s love transforms the frog into a prince!

A lovely retelling of “The Frog Prince.”  Enchanted, Harcourt Children’s Books, $16.99

Brigid Kemmerer has written Storm, a fast-paced story with lots of thrills and will definitely have you turning the pages faster and faster!

Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her, Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys — the ones she doesn’t want. Then she saves Chris from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water– just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death. Storm, Kensington Publishing, $9.95

Come join us as the authors talk about their latest books, answer questions, and sign your copies.

If you like Jenny Han, you’ll love Morgan Matson!

We get a lot of customers in the store looking for read alikes. The “I’ve read this book, what should I read next” kind of thing. That’s probably my favorite question from those of you that walk in our doors, because it’s like solving a mystery.

I know we have a lot of fans of Jenny Han’s “Summer” series, myself included, and as I was reading Morgan Matson’s fantastic new book, Second Chance Summer, I couldn’t stop comparing them…in a good way! They’re both perfect get-ready-for-summer reads, with an excellent balance of relationships, family, and emotional impact, as well as the required cute boys and beach time.

Each and every character in Second Chance Summer has a place and you’ll end up caring about all of them.  You’ll sympathize with Taylor as she works through some serious friendship hurtles after returning to her lake house after 5 years of being away and you’ll laugh as her serious brother Warren attempts to wrangle himself a date with the girl from the pet store. You’ll cry as Taylor’s father battles a tragic illness and you’ll cheer when she and Henry finally start to talk to each other again. A rollercoaster of emotions in the best sort of way.

So much is going on in this book, but Matson, like Han, has managed to play out a realistic teen’s life on the pages. It’s like real life: bad things happen, but life also goes on. Funny moments get taken out with tears and vice versa. I loved Second Chance Summer and I think all of those fans of Jenny Han’s books (and Sarah Dessen and Jessi Kirby) will love it too.

Be sure to check out Morgan Matson’s previous book, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, which is also one of my favorite get-ready-for-summer books. Can you say road trip?!

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson; $16.99; Simon & Schuster; Ages 14+

Along for the Ride…a great intro to summer reads!

I really think Sarah Dessen and I could be best friends. She’s fun and quirky and writes amazing books. Plus, I hear she really likes dessert. We’re meant to be! She’s also a brilliant author that can truly channel the teen mind and the need for “real” fiction. Though I love them all, Along for the Ride is definitely my favorite and the perfect book to get teens geared up for summer vacation!

Auden is an incredibly smart girl, a girl with a great head on her shoulders, but also a girl forced to grow up quickly to impress her academic parents, even after they divorced. Always studying, always doing the right thing. This summer, Auden is just sick to death of putting up with her overbearing, uncaring mother and all the graduate students that flit in and out of the woman’s life, so she decides to go spend the summer at her father’s beach house, with his new wife, and new baby sister.

 Taking a job in her stepmother’s fancy beach boutique is about the last thing Auden planned to do, as were falling in love with both a guy and her baby sister, or forgetting to study all summer long. But work, fall in love, and become a “real girl” she does, and the experience is both satisfying and terrifying. Her simple, lonely life has become one filled to the brim with people and emotions and Auden isn’t quite sure how to live anymore.

 In true Sarah Dessen fashion, the reader gets a perfect YA book experience. The characters feel like they could be kids you go to school with (and they all have fabulous names), the situations are ones that teens today really find themselves in, and the connections Dessen makes between plot, character, and reader is truly remarkable.

Plus, cute guys and the beach?? You all need this book.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen; $9.99; Penguin Group USA; Ages 14+

Another Teen Author Panel!

This coming Saturday, 5/12, we’ll be having 3 awesome teen authors at the store to talk about their books, do a signing, and answer any of your awesome questions.

Jay Baker is the brainchild of debut author Jay Clark.  In The Edumacation of Jay Baker, this high school freshman’s parents are separated because his mom had an affair, he’s in love with his cheerleader best friend, and his football playing nemesis calls him “Gay Baker.”  But Jay can give as good as he gets in the insult department, which makes for some funny and tense moments along the way. A funny and fast-paced coming-of-age story for ages 14 and up.

 In Magic Under Stone, Jaclyn Dolamore  continues the story of Nimira and Erris, started in Magic Under Glass. For these star-crossed lovers, there can be no happily ever after until Erris is freed from the clockwork form in which his soul is trapped. The two lovers go in search of the sorcerer Ordorio Valdana, hoping he will know how to grant Erris real life again. When they learn that Valdana has mysteriously vanished, Nimira decides to take matters into her own hands, and begins to secretly study the sorcerer’s spell books. Yet even as she begins to understand the power and limitations of sorcery, it becomes clear that freeing Erris will bring danger-if not out-and-out war-as factions within the faerie world are prepared to stop at nothing to prevent him from regaining the throne. Ages 12 and up.

Jon Skovron is the author of Misfit and Struts and Frets. In Misfit, we meet Jael Thompson, who has never really fit in. She’s changed schools too many times to count. The only family she’s ever known is her father, a bitter ex-priest who never lets her date and insists she attend the strictest Catholic school in Seattle. And her mother–well, she was a five thousand year old demon. That doesn’t exactly help. On her sixteenth birthday, her father gives her a present that brings about some unexpected changes. Some of the changes, like strange and wonderful powers and the cute skater boy with a knack for science, are awesome. But others, like the homicidal demon seeking revenge on her family? Not so much.  Steeped in mythology, this is an epic tale of a heroine who balances old world with new, science with magic, and the terrifying depths of the underworld with the ordinary halls of high school. Ages 14 and up.

Call us to reserve your books or to let us know you’re coming! 703-548-4092.

It’s a New Release Extravaganza!

Rick Riordan, Kristin Cashore, and Veronica Roth ALL have new books out this week, adding to the series we (and our customers) already love. We know some of you have been chomping at the bit to get your hands on these and they’re finally here! We have lots of each, ready for our readers to come in and take them home. Give us a call and we’ll hold one for you.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth; $17.99; HarperCollins; Ages 14+

Insurgent is book 2 in the trilogy that started with Divergent. That book flew off our shelves this year and we know the  sequel is just as amazing! Talk about heart-pounding dystopian action!

The Serpent’s Shadow by Rick Riordan; $19.99; Hyperion Books for Children; Ages 10+

The Serpent’s Shadow is the 3rd and final installment of The Kane Chronicles. Rick Riordan is one of our favorite authors and we know our customers love him too! Check out what Carter and Sade are up to now.

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore; $19.99; Harcourt; Ages 14+

Bitterblue is the companion novel to the bestselling Graceling and Fire. An amazing fantasy to immerse yourself in that definitely will take you to a whole other world. Kristin Cashore is fabulous!

Keep the Lights on When You Read: Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman

What an absolutely brilliant concept. These are unique books that teens and adults alike can enjoy reading and experiencing. In this internet age, when kids are often more into technology than holding a book in their hands, author Patrick Carman has produced an interactive book series that combines both reading and technology, giving teens exactly what they’ve been craving!

Skeleton Creek, the first in the series,  is told from best friends Ryan and Sarah’s dual perspectives, through Ryan’s journal and Sarah’s uploaded videos. Strange and scary things are happening in their town of Skeleton Creek, and when the pair vow to get to the bottom of it. They determined not to let a terrible accident or the fact that their parents have forbidden them to communicate stop them. While Ryan lies in bed, recovering from a broken leg, he tries to find out everything he can about the Skeleton Creek mystery from his dad, recording everything in his journal.  In the meantime, Sarah takes her video camera everywhere and uploads the clips for Ryan to see, emailing him passwords to ensure he is the only one able to connect to the video.

Working together, though very much apart, Ryan and Sarah slowly begin to uncover some pretty creepy information and end up way more involved than either ever planned. Their lives are put into danger several times and they learn that Ryan’s dad may be in the midst of the sinister info they are collecting.

And that’s just the first book! Let me tell you, the endings of each books leave you with one heck of a cliffhanger. Darn you, Patrick Carman!

I  had to read them each in one sitting–they’re that suspenseful! The videos are ultra-creepy (I’d suggest lights on for viewing). Perfect for a techno-savvy teen!

Skeleton Creek series by Patrick Carman; $14.99; Scholastic; Ages 12+