Young Adult New Releases: Weeks of August 28 & September 4

Happy release week to these YA titles! Thank you to the publishers for providing free review copies for Kid Lit Exchange reviewers.

THAT’S NOT WHAT HAPPENED – by Kody Keplinger

(Scholastic Press ~ August 28, 2018)

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Review and photo by Hallie ~ @bookloaner on Instagram

Kody Keplinger tackles the aftermath of a fictional school shooting in Indiana and how it affects survivors in this haunting and compelling read. This is the story of 6 survivors of the shooting who want to tell the truth
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The main character, LeeAnn, was with her best friend, Sarah, when she was shot and killed. Everyone believes that Sarah died defending her Christian faith and that a cross necklace found on the floor was hers. But LeeAnn knows that isn’t true. Keplinger writes such a moving portrait of remembering people as they really were. Lee is sick of her best friend being memorialized over a false story. Much of the book is spent with Lee’s quest to not only tell Sarah’s story, but to give every victim and survivor a voice.
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Lee encourages the other survivors to write letters about what really happened that day. Each of them write about the fear, anger, and grief they feel. Through these letters, we see how difficult it is to process a tragedy.
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Keplinger includes a dynamic and diverse cast of characters . LeeAnn identifies as asexual and experiences mental health issues such as anxiety and intrusive thoughts. Eden is a Latina lesbian character and Denny is a blind African American character (with an adorable service dog named Glitter). Lee creates strong friendships in the wake of her heartbreak.
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Keplinger treats the subject matter sensitively and carefully but doesn’t shy away from telling the truth about a school shooting. The shooter is never named in the story and Lee makes it clear that this is on purpose to ensure that he doesn’t get any recognition for what he did. Keplinger also dives into the way that the media sensationalizes an event like this and misrepresents students and the truth to make a better story.
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That’s Not What Happened is a book about grief, anger, guilt, and finding yourself again. It’s a heartbreaking, enthralling read about using your voice and finally being heard. It’s an exceptional book for teens.

NIGHT FLIGHTS: A Mortal Engines Collection – by Philip Reeve

(Scholastic Press; Media Tie In Edition ~ August 28, 2018)

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This one is still making its way to our reviewers!

FROM THE PUBLISHER: 

Return to the world of Mortal Engines in this new book of short stories about the rebellious young aviatrix, Anna Fang, illustrated by Ian McQue. A key character in the Mortal Engines book and upcoming film produced by Peter Jackson (December 2018), this is your chance to learn more of Anna’s thrilling past. Night Flights includes Traction City, Philip Reeve’s 2011 World Book Day Book.

In a dangerous future world where gigantic, motorized cities attack and devour each other, London hunts where no other predator dares. But Anna Fang — pilot, adventurer, spy — isn’t afraid.

The three stories show gripping, moving, exciting moments in Anna Fang’s life: her childhood as a slave aboard the moving city Arkangel, a showdown against a robotic Stalker that is terrifyingly out of control, and her free life as an intelligence agent for the Anti-Traction league.

DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OKAY by Adib Khorram 

(Dial Books ~ August 28, 2018)

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Review and photo by Kate ~ @kate.olson.reads on Instagram

This YA novel releases on 8.28.18 from @penguinteen and it 100% deserves a place on your Fall TBR.
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DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OKAY is one of my favorite YA reads in recent history due to the following:
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Heartbreakingly hilarious – Darius is the nerd of my high school dreams. His terminology and descriptions of being a Fractional Persian, his Star Trek and Lord of the Rings references and a million other things that make Darius so uniquely DARIUS just make him own my heart.
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TEA – how many other high school boys are as obsessed with tea as Darius is?
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Father-son relationship depiction – the way Darius and his dad deal with their depression and how they interact and cry together and oh my goodness. Every boy and dad need this book.
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FINALLY a book that addresses body image and fat shaming of a male protagonist – this is something that unfairly is almost entirely dealt with in books with female leads.
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Male friendship – Darius and Sohrab have probably the most touching male friendship (any gender friendship) that I have encountered in YA literature.
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My first read ever set in Iran, first read ever with Farsi used so heavily throughout the story, and my first read ever about Persian culture – these are definitely underrepresented in YA lit and @adibkhorram brings these to life for readers in such an amazing way.
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The phrase “Sportsball Industrial Complex” is used and I can’t really think of a phrase I have ever loved more. I am honestly going to be using this so often in my life going forth.
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Loved loved LOVED this book. ALL THE STARS.

DARE YOU TO LIE by Amber Lynn Natusch 

(Tor Teen ~ September 4, 2018)

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This one is still making its way to our reviewers!

FROM THE PUBLISHER: 

From Amber Lynn Natusch, author of the Force of Nature series, comes her first young adult thrilling novel of suspense with Dare You to Lie.

When her FBI agent father is framed for murder, Kylene is forced to move in with her grandfather, back to the small town that turned its back on her, and the boy who betrayed her.

All Ky cares about is clearing her father’s name, but someone won’t let her forget the photo scandal that drove her away two years ago. As the threats gain momentum, Ky finds an unlikely ally in the rookie FBI agent sent to keep an eye on her.

Determined to expose the town’s hidden skeletons, Ky unwittingly thrusts herself into a much bigger plot. They thought she’d forgive and forget. They’re about to learn they messed with the wrong girl.

A ROOM AWAY FROM THE WOLVES – by Nova Ren Suma

(Algonquin Young Readers ~ September 4, 2018)

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This one is still making its way to our reviewers!

FROM THE PUBLISHER: 

Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother—a bond Bina thought was unbreakable.

Eight years later, after too many lies and with trouble on her heels, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again, the city of her dreams calling for her. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, a vow of confidentiality, and dark, magical secrets. There, Bina is drawn to her enigmatic downstairs neighbor Monet, a girl who is equal parts intriguing and dangerous. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will cost for her to leave . . .

In A Room Away from the Wolves, critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling author Nova Ren Suma weaves a spellbinding ghost story about who deserves a second chance, how we lie to those around us and ourselves, and what lengths girls will go to in order to save each other.

THE SECLUSION – by Jacqui Castle

Inkshares (September 4, 2018)

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This one is still making its way to our reviewers!

FROM THE PUBLISHER: 

In the year 2090, America has walled itself off from the rest of the world. 

While on a routine assignment scouting the country’s dwindling natural resources, Patricia “Patch” and her best friend, Rexx, discover a cache of dangerous contraband– printed books from before the Seclusion. These texts spark an unquenchable thirst for the truth that leads to the arrest of Patch’s father by the totalitarian Board, which runs the entire country. 

Evading their own arrest, Patch and Rexx set out across a ruined future United States. Along the way they learn how their country came to be this way, but their newfound knowledge may lead to their own demise.


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