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In the Awaken trilogy we see a near-future world that’s taken a good thing (technology) too far. Students spend all their time online, and even attend an all Digital School (DS). Teens have little face-to-face interaction anymore, and when friends get together they still have their heads down in their various devices. (Welcome to my life) Maddie is the daughter of the DS mastermind, and is a new recruit of the anti-technology brigade. These rebels fight for in-person schools and more human experiences (like going to an actual coffee house vs. having an online coffee date). Still Point is the series finale where we find out if Maddie’s cause is successful, and where her heart lies as well.

I like this kind of realistic dystopia – it makes me think about my own heavy reliance on technology and the pros and cons.  If you have social anxiety like I do then things like email and texting are life changing, but I wouldn’t want to have a 100% digital world. I have a teenager who spends a lot of time online- and I’m glad that traditional classroom school is still available to provide that human interaction. In an ironic twist, Still Point is only available as an e-book- a constant reminder of our digital reliance while you read the text on the screen.

Still Point picks up where Middle Ground left off. Maddie’s back at home and trying to find some balance with her family, love life, and social causes. It’s hard to be in love with Justin, the poster boy of the rebellion. He is pretty creative with the romantic grand gestures but is not the most reliable of boyfriends, since he’s usually off saving the world and all that. Left to her own devices, Maddie uses her own connections to bring down DS, including Jax, an ally who first pops up in the short story Maddie’s Tattoo. With the vote for mandatory DS coming up, the stakes are higher than ever, and the action and reveals keep coming.

Since this is the last book in the series, Still Point is one big spoiler and I’m struggling not to spill all the surprises. Suffice it to say, the ending of Still Point is bittersweet. It’s not like Allegiant where I wanted to throw the book across the room, though I can’t say I got the exact ending I hoped for. At the same time, the ending is not out of left field and makes sense with the characters’ overall journey. In dystopian books you expect sacrifices, and I appreciate the bold choices Katie Kacvinsky made with this conclusion. Maddie matures a lot over the course of the series and I’m at peace with the way it all shook out. There were also some really cool twists in this book that I loved.

With Still Point the Awaken series is complete! You can buy Still Point today to read on your favorite digital device. I think this series will appeal to anyone who is thinking about the role technology plays in our lives, and to romantic dystopia fans. If you haven’t started reading this series yet, you can grab the first book, Awaken, for the bargain price of $1.99 for a limited time. And I recommend you read the short story Awaken prequel Maddie’s Tattoo ($0.99) first because it includes scenes referenced in Still Point. Keep reading for a quick Q&A with the author below.

Three Questions with Author Katie Kacvinsky:

Did you always have this ending in mind for the series or did it evolve as you were writing?

Ever since I started the Awaken series, I knew how it would end. But my characters have a way of throwing all of my ideas into the wind and setting off on their own journey. That is my favorite part of the writing process–getting into my characters shoes and letting them tell the story. So…STILL POINT ended in a way I never imagined. I grew up a lot while I was writing this series and a lot of my own life lessons seeped into the story.

What message would you like readers of the Awaken trilogy to walk away with?

I hope people think about technology and how it impacts their live and friendships. If it encourages people to get a little unplugged, then I’m ecstatic.

Are you writing anything now that we can look forward to?

I am currently working on a couple of projects. My next novel is geared towards the NA audience.

STILL POINT (Awaken #3) is on sale today! Check out my review and a Q&A with author Katie Kacvinsky. @HMHkids In the Awaken trilogy we see a near-future world that’s taken a good thing (technology) too far.
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Giveaway: #MadamePicasso Prize Pack

Enter to win Anne Girard’s new historical romance book #MadamePicasso & a trio of great movies on DVD!

MADAME PICASSO by Anne Girard just hit bookstores, and to celebrate Harlequin is offering The Golden Experience book & movie prize pack to one lucky reader. Read on to find out more about Madame Picasso, and how you can enter to win this great prize!

Madame Picasso

I went to see all three of these films in theaters- what a treat to be able to add them to your library. You’ll really and get into the artistic…

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Mailbox Monday buttonMailbox Monday is a weekly event where we share our latest book arrivals. Link up and find new mailboxes to stalk at the Mailbox Monday blog! This past week was hot and busy. I did have a fun outing with my teen though – we went to a concert to see Panic! At the Disco and had a great time. Hope that those of you that have a three-day weekend are having a fun one.

Here’s what’s new in my (all digital again) mailbox this week:

e-ARC’s:

Us by David Nicholls – This book is getting a lot of buzz and is about a family’s trip to Europe, where the husband hopes to save his failing marriage.

Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor – A girl’s perfect life starts to unravel leaving her questioning what she wants.

Solitaire by Alice Oseman – The author wrote this when she was 17 – impressive! It’s about a high school student and blogger who gets involved with a mysterious new online group called Solitaire.

No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss – This is about a girl whose parents uproot their lives and take off in their van to follow a doomsday cult. Sounds interesting!

What If by Rebecca Donovan – A new NA book from the author of the Breathing series. It’s about friendship, second chances, and secrets. “What if you had a second chance to meet someone for the first time?”

The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer – I haven’t read anything by this author but I like the author from following her on social media so I decided to try this one. Stephen moves to a new town and gets caught up with a group of friends that get involved in hijinks at the cemetery.

Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff – This book is about the aftermath of a suicide, where a friend listens to the playlist left behind to try to make sense of it all.  Sounds like Thirteen Reasons Why doesn’t it?

Althea & Oliver by Cristina Moracho – This is a friendship/love story set in the 90s about identity, illness and finding yourself. This looks really good!

One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis – This is a psychological thriller about Emily, a woman who walks out on her family to reinvent herself as someone new.

e-Audiobooks from Overdrive:

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, narrated by Katherine Kellgren – High fantasy is not my usual thing, but this book has gotten some positive buzz so I grabbed the audio from the library.

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica, narrated by Lindy Nettleton, Johnny Heller, Tom Taylorson, Andi Arndt – I just started listening to this one. It’s a thriller about the abduction of a young woman and the effect on her family.

Thank you to Harper, Harper Teen, Greenwillow Books, Grand Central Publishing, and Viking Juvenile.

What’s new in your mailbox? 

Mailbox Monday (112) Mailbox Monday is a weekly event where we share our latest book arrivals. Link up and find new mailboxes to stalk at the 
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September is almost here, hopefully bringing some fall-like weather to some of you. (Here we are having the hottest days of the year)  Hooray, the fall reading season is upon us! There’s so many tempting books hitting shelves this month, and went through the new releases list with a fine-toothed comb to find September’s Most Sought-After Books. I won’t be able to read all of these this month obviously, but this guide will help me when I’m drawing a blank on what to read next.

Adult Fiction:

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – This post-apocalyptic book is getting a lot of buzz and sounds very unique. (Sept. 9. Knoph)

The Paying Guests by Sarah Walters – This novel is about “a widow and her daughter who take a young couple into their home in 1920s London,” This would be my first Sarah Walters read. (Sept. 16, Riverhead)

Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle – This book sounds really different – it’s about a character that creates a text-based RPG that is played through the mail. (Sept. 16, Farrar, Straus, Giroux)

Rooms by Lauren Oliver – The first adult novel written by Oliver, and it’s a ghost story. (Sept. 23, Ecco)

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran – This is a semi-autobiographical, humorous coming-of-age novel with feminist themes. I didn’t know if this should be Fiction, YA or Non-Fiction but I’m leaving it in Fiction for now.  (Harper, Sept. 23)

Non-Fiction:

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” by Lena Dunham – I love a good humorous memoir, and this collection of essays promises to be a good one. (Sept. 30, Random House)

Some Assembly Required: The Not-So Secret Life of a Transgender Teen by Arin Andrews – Andrews underwent gender assignment in high school and documents the experience in this memoir. (Sept. 30, Simon & Schuster)

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty – This sounds morbid but fascinating- it’s about a young mortician’s experiences caring for dead bodies. I’m attracted to this one because  “Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead).” (Sept. 15, W.W. Norton & Company) 

New Adult:

Make It Right by Megan Erickson (Bowler University #2) – This installment is about Max and Lea. (Sept. 9, William Morrow Impulse)

Shatter by Erin McCarthy (True Believers #4) – The final book in the series! This installment is about Kylie and Jonathon. (Sept. 1, InterMix)

What If by Rebecca Donovan – This is a new book by the author of the Breathing series. This sounds like a mystery/romance about second chances, friendship, and love. (Sept. 16, Grand Central Publishing)

As Long As You Love Me by Ann Aguirre (2B #2) – I just read the first book in this series (I Want it That Way) and now there’s already a new book!  This installment is about Lauren and Rob. (Sept. 30, Harlequin)

YA Series: 

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #3) – I’ve been listening to The Assassin’s Blade while I wait for this one. (Sept. 2, Bloomsbury)

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave #2) – I hope I remember what happened in the first book! (Sept. 16, Putnam)

Still Point by Katie Kacvinsky (Awaken trilogy #3) – I’m reading this now and should have a review up next week. (Sept. 2, HMH)

YA Standalone:

The Secret Sky: A Novel of Forbidden Love in Afghanistan by Atia Abawi – A story of star-crossed love in Afghanistan. This book hasn’t gotten much attention but it sounds wonderful.  (Sept. 2, Philomel)

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson – I’ve mentioned this book a lot and I’m glad it’s finally coming out! I know fans of contemporary YA and of Nelson’s The Sky is Everywhere are excited for this one. (Sept. 16, Dial)

Rabbit Ears by Maggie de Vries – This book hasn’t gotten a lot of attention yet, and it sounds intense. It’s about a multi-racial adopted girl named Kaya and her older sister Beth, and the story is told in alternating pov.  It sounds really dark, gritty and powerful. (Sept. 2, Harper Collins)

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley – I’m reading this one for diversity book club, and the early buzz is very positive! It’s a historical fiction book about race, civil rights, and sexual orientation. (Sept. 30, Harlequin)

100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith – You always get something interesting and unique from Smith! This one is a coming-of-age roadtrip book about friendship and unexpected detours. (Sept. 2, Simon & Schuster)

Words and Their Meanings by Kate Bassett – A death in the family leaves Anna lost for words, and she struggles to put the pieces of her life back together. This book sounds so good! (Sept. 8, Flux)

Wildlife by Fiona Wood – I have the Australian edition of this book, and now it has a new US release. This book is about friendship and romance, and centers around a girl who spends a semester in the wilderness. (Sept. 16, Poppy)

Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson – This is about a girl with an anxiety disorder, who is afraid to touch another person’s skin. This disorder gets in the way of her dreams of becoming an actress. (Sept. 2, Harper Teen)

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang – Flashbacks help piece together this story about a popular girl’s attempted suicide. (Sept. 9, Greenwillow)

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer – Wolitzer’s YA debut is a nod to The Bell Jar, and about the power of writing to heal after a tragic event. (Sept. 30, Dutton)

Middle Grade:

 Half a World Away by Cynthia Kadohata –  Jaden was adopted at 8 and is conflicted when his parents seek to adopt another child 4 years later. (Sept. 2, Atheneum Books)

Nest by Esther Erlich – Set on Cape Cod in 1972, this book is about friendship, love, and dealing with an ill family member. (Sept. 9, Wendy Lamb)

Fantasy League by Mike Lupica –  I liked QB1 by this author so I’ll be back for another round of MG football, and this one is described as Moneyball for kids. (Sept. 16, Philomel)

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry – This title is a mouthful! This book sounds like a riot and is about “a murderer on the loose—but that doesn’t stop the girls of St. Etheldreda’s from attempting to hide the death of their headmistress in this rollicking farce.” (Sept. 23, Roaring Brook Press)

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pickney –  This novel-in-verse is about a 12-year-old Sudanese girl who loses almost everything and starts over at a refugee camp. (Sept. 16, Little, Brown)

Whew! That’s a lot of books! What are you looking forward to reading in September?

September’s Most Sought-After Books September is almost here, hopefully bringing some fall-like weather to some of you. (Here we are having the hottest days of the year)  Hooray, the fall reading season is upon us!
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YA Diversity Book Club: I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister by Amélie Sarn

#YADiversityBookClub Discussion: I LOVE I HATE I MISS MY SISTER by Amélie Sarn #WeNeedDiverseBooks

YA Diversity Book Club

In the YA Diversity Book Club we chat about the latest YA books that celebrate diversity. Our book club includes Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks, Kristina @ Gone Pecan (currently taking a break from the book club – we miss you Kristina!) and Kristan @ We Heart YA. Each month we’ll focus on one book with a book review (our discussion chat) and an author Q&A plus some fun bonus features.

Our August book…

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I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre Review & Giveaway

I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre Review & Giveaway

I Want It That Way

Ann Aguirre is the author of many science fiction, dystopian, and urban fantasy books and now she’s diving into the world of new adult.  Her first book in the 2B trilogy is called I Want it That Way– and each of the three books are yes based on Backstreet Boys songs. But this series is not about a boy band, but in fact about a group of college friends navigating their way through life’s…

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This is Where I Leave You Audiobook Review

This is Where I Leave You Audiobook Review

I love a good dysfunctional family story, and This is Where I Leave Youfeatures the ultimate family train wreck. In this book, the Foxman family gathers to remember their recently deceased father Mort. He wants them to sit shiva for a week, and that brings the family under one roof for socializing, reflecting, and fighting. Personalities clash, old wounds reopen, and secrets slip out in this…

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature from The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is the Top Ten Books I Really Want To Read But Don’t Own Yet. So many books, so many choices! My book wish list is sky high, but if somehow I magically received a very generous bookstore gift card (and some of these pre-release books were magically available now) these are some of the books I’d want to acquire.

Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want:

1. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson – I have gotten close to receiving a review copy of this, but no cigar. My preorder will arrive in a few weeks though. Can’t wait!

2. Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer – I liked The Interestings by this author and want to read her YA debut. Everything I’ve read about it makes me more intrigued.

3. Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King – I just really like King’s books an wish I owned all of them.

4. The Body Electric by Beth Revis – Revis is self-publishing this one and since I’m a fan of her Across the Universe series I’m very eager to check it out. Plus, there is a very limited print run planned that makes me crazy with want.

5. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas – I’ve experienced all the books in the Throne of Glass series via audiobook, so I’m waiting patiently to listen to this one! Just one week to go.

6. One Plus One by Jojo Moyes – I liked Me Before You and want to read more from this author.

7. The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion – I feel like this sequel to The Rosie Project just snuck up on me. Excited to see what Rosie and Don are up to!

8. Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan – I’ve had my eye on this one, and I had borrowed the ebook from the library but it expired before I could read it. (Don’t you hate when that happens?) This is supposed to be a humorous coming-of-age and I just know I’m going to click with this one.

9. Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay – I don’t read a lot of non-fiction but this book of essays about feminism, race, and culture sounds like a must-read.

10. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty – I read and loved The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies, so I want to catch up on Moriarty’s other books, and this one seems to be the place to start.

Do we have any wish list books in common? What books do you really want to own?

Top Ten Books I Want To Read But Don’t Own Yet Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature from The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is the 
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Giveaway: The Maze Runner Movie Prize Pack!

The #MazeRunner movie hits theaters Sept. 19! Get prepared by entering to win this awesome movie prize pack!

The Maze Runner movie is almost here! But not to worry, there’s still time to catch up on the book first, and our friends at 20th Century Fox want you to be prepared for opening day by offering one lucky reader a movie prize pack.

The Maze Runner Giveaway

The Maze Runner is the first book in a dystopian trilogy by James Dashner:

The Maze Runner poster

THE MAZE RUNNER
20th Century Fox

In Theaters September 19

When Thomas (Dylan O’Brien)…

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The Movie Date: If I Stay

The Movie Date: If I Stay #IfIStay

The Movie Date button

The Movie Date is a weekly feature where we discuss movies that may appeal to the YA audience. Andrew is The Reading Date’s resident movie critic and this week he discusses If I Stay, directed by R.J. Cutler.

Lucy has read the book while Andrew has not so you get the skinny from both types of viewers today!

If I Stay movie

Comatose after surviving a horrific car accident, the walking spirit of a teen cellist…

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