Amanda Brice’s Recommended Summer Reads for Teens and Tweens

As the mother of a twelve-year-old voracious reader, I can’t keep up with my daughter’s need for books.  Thankfully, I have friends who are wonderful Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction authors whom I rely on to recommend books.  Thanks to my friends, my daughter and teenaged nieces think I’m a genius for selecting books.

My daughter adores Amanda Brice’s Dani Spevak middle grade mysteries.  After reading the first book, Code Name: Dancer she couldn’t wait for the sequel.  The short story in Eternal Spring helped to tide her over as she waited for Pointe of No Return to be released in Kindle format.  Now she’s devoured Pointe, and is ready for more.

Summer starts in my house tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. and I need help keeping my kid in books for the next ten weeks.  Thankfully, Amanda Brice has come to my rescue.

To thank Amanda for her help, I’m giving a copy of Pointe of No Return and one of the books she recommends below (winner’s choice) to one lucky commenter.


First I want to say thank you to Rachel and the rest of the Kiss & Thrill ladies for hosting me today. It’s an awesome blog and it’s so much fun to be here to discuss reading suggestions for your tweens and teens.

Now that school is out (or will be shortly), moms and dads across the country are faced with the task of what to do with their kids for the next 2 months or so. I can’t help you with summer camps or childcare or occupying their every waking hour, but in keeping with the suspense theme of this website, I can help provide you with a list of awesome YA and middle grade mysteries.

These books are in no particular order, so don’t try to interpret it as a ranking of preference. But they’re some of my faves – both classic and modern, and I hope they’ll become your kids’ faves, too.

For the tweens:

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

When an eccentric millionaire dies mysteriously, sixteen very unlikely people are gathered together for the reading of the will…and what a will it is!

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere she wants to run to somewhere–to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and preferably elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing that her younger brother, Jamie, has money and thus can help her with the serious cash flow problem she invites him along.

Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie, find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at an auction for a bargain price of $250. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn’t it? Claudia is determined to find out. This quest leads Claudia to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.

Alex Rider: Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

When his guardian dies in suspicious circumstances, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider finds his world turned upside down. Forcibly recruited into MI6, Alex has to take part in grueling SAS training exercises. Then, armed with his own special set of secret gadgets, he’s off on his first mission to Cornwall, where Middle-Eastern multi-billionaire Herod Sayle is producing his state-of-the-art Stormbreaker computers. Sayle has offered to give one free to every school in the country – but there’s more to the gift than meets the eye.

Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics by John Feinstein

Bestselling sportswriter and Edgar Award winner John Feinstein is back with another sports mystery featuring Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson—this one set at the summer Olympics in London.  In this book, Susan Carol isn’t a reporter—she’s an Olympian, competing as a swimmer at her first Olympic games. Stevie is both proud and envious of her athletic prowess. And he’s worried by the agents and sponsors and media all wanting to get up close and personal with Susan Carol.  But the more disturbing question becomes—how far might they go to ensure that America’s newest Olympic darling wins gold?

Hot Ticket by Tracy Marchini

Hot tickets could be awarded for doing something cool, saying something funny, or sometimes even just wearing something the ticket dispenser liked.  All authentic hot tickets were two inch by six inch rectangles made from this orange cardboard material, with “HOT TICKET” written in big bold letters at the top.  Hot tickets first started becoming popular about a month after school started.  Then there was this rash of copycat tickets on regular paper, but people just tossed those in the trash.  Everybody could figure out it was one of their friends that made it anyway.  But an authentic ticket – that was something you kept.

Some people had their lockers decorated in hot and shame tickets.  Some people kept their hot tickets at home to prevent theft.

If I got a hot ticket, I would definitely keep it taped on the inside door of my locker.  Right now my locker only had a locker mirror, a picture of Lucy and I from my birthday party at Six Flags and these annoying cat stickers from the person who had my locker before me.

Fifth grade did not prepare me for this at all.

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham

In the small city of Strattenburg, there are many lawyers, and though he’s only thirteen years old, Theo Boone thinks he’s one of them. Theo knows every judge, policeman, court clerk — and a lot about the law. He dreams of a life in the courtroom. But he finds himself in court much sooner than expected. Because he knows so much — maybe too much — he is suddenly dragged into the middle of a sensational murder trial. A cold-blooded killer is about to go free, and only Theo knows the truth. The stakes are high, but Theo won’t stop until justice is served.

For the teens:

Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

First I find out that my boyfriend is cheating on me. Then he’s pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And now he’s depending on me to clear his name. Seriously?

As much as I wouldn’t mind watching him squirm, I know that he’s innocent. So I’m brushing off my previously untapped detective skills and getting down to business. But I keep tripping over dead bodies and I’m still no closer to figuring out who did it. And what’s worse: all signs seem to point to me as the killer’s next victim.

I really need to pick a better boyfriend next time.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and crush – who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and learns the truth about himself-a truth he never wanted to face.

Thirteen Reasons Why is the gripping, addictive international bestseller that has changed lives the world over. It’s an unrelenting modern classic.

The Twin’s Daughter by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Lucy Sexton is stunned when her mother’s identical twin sister shows up at the family’s front door one day. Separated at birth, the two women have had dramatically different upbringings, and Lucy’s mother, Aliese, will do anything to make it up to Helen-including taking Helen into their home and turning her into a lady that all of society will admire. Aunt Helen’s transformation is remarkable. But is it just Lucy’s imagination, or does Helen seem to enjoy being mistaken for Lucy’s mother? Then, on New Year’s Day, Lucy is horrified to find her aunt and mother tied to chairs in the parlor. One of them has been brutally murdered-but which twin has died? Surely her daughter will know…

Filled with shocking twists and turns, The Twin’s Daughter is an engrossing gothic novel of betrayals and secrets that will keep readers guessing until the end.

Heist Society by Ally Carter

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own–scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help. For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in history–or at least her family’s (very crooked) history.

Revenge of the Homecoming Queen by Stephanie Hale

I, the flawless Aspen Brooks, was born to be Homecoming Queen. I’ve prepped for it like some kids do the SAT. So can someone please tell me why the crown was given to my evil nemesis?

As if that wasn’t bad enough, somebody seems out to get me. Locker vandalism, a slashed tire, and horrendous lipstick graffiti are just a few of the ways someone is trying to get under my blemish-free skin. (And I’m not even going to mention how the biggest geek in school kissed me, and I didn’t hate it.)

But things start getting serious when girls begin disappearing. I can’t be worrying about tiaras or crushing on a geek when the detective on the case is completely clueless. I have to save the day, all while looking fabulous.

 The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world…and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer…and becoming his prey herself.

Kings & Queens by Courtney Vail

Seventeen-year-old Majesty Alistair wants police to look further into her father’s fatal car wreck, hopes the baseball team she manages can reclaim the state crown, aches for Derek…or, no…maybe Alec…maybe. And she mostly wishes to retract the hateful words she said to her dad right before slamming the door in his face, only to never see him again.

All her desires get sidelined, though, when she overhears two fellow students planning a church massacre. She doubts cops will follow up on her tip since they’re sick of her coming around with notions of possible crimes-in-the-works. And it’s not like she cries wolf. Not really. They’d be freaked too, but they’re not the ones suffering from bloody dreams that hint at disaster like some crazy, street guy forecasting the Apocalypse.

So, she does what any habitual winner with zero cred would do…try to I.D. the nutjobs before they act. But, when their agenda turns out to be far bigger than she ever assumed, and even friends start looking suspect, the truth and her actions threaten to haunt her forever, especially since she’s left with blood on her hands, the blood of someone she loves.


Thank you, Amanda for these wonderful recommendations!  This is bound to keep my daughter busy for a few weeks at least. 🙂

And now it’s our readers’ turn to make their own recommendations.  What Middle Grade or Young Adult book do you recommend?  We’re opening up the genres for the question, so you don’t have to recommend mysteries, although I’d love to see more mystery recommendations if you have them!

One lucky commenter will win a copy of one of the books Amanda recommended (winner’s choice) plus a copy of my daughter’s recommendation, Pointe of No Return.  The winner will be announced on Thursday and must provide a U.S. or Canadian address within ten days to claim their prize.

Pointe of No Return by Amanda Brice

Aspiring ballerina Dani Spevak’s visions of sugar plums are dashed when she’s assigned to understudy her nemesis, Hadley Taylor, in the Nutcracker. Pretty, popular, and rich, that girl has all the luck. Or so she thought.

When Hadley mysteriously disappears with opening night just around the corner, Dani can’t sit idly by, even if it means losing the part. Now she’s running all over Phoenix in a race against the clock. From reality TV trophy wives to sleazy real estate developers to a possible drug ring, the cast of suspects begins to add up. Will she find Hadley before the curtain rises?

About Rachel Grant

Archaeologist Rachel Grant writes romantic suspense where archaeology, politics, and war collide.

Posted on June 19, 2012, in book recommendations, Rachel Grant and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 60 Comments.

  1. Amanda,

    Thanks for the tips on the reads for tweens and teens. This gives me a plethora of books to share with my children and nieces.

    Pointe of No Return sounds wonderful! Think I might have to pick that one up for myself! 🙂

    Wishing you many, many sales.

  2. Great interview, Rachel! And so nice to meet you, Amanda. I’m looking forward to having my daughter read this blog so she can pick out some new books to read this summer. And for myself – I have GOT to pick up a copy of THIRTEEN REASONS WHY. It sounds fascinating. And of course, a copy of POINTE OF NO RETURN! Congrats on your release and thanks for being our guest today.

  3. Welcome to Kiss and Thrill, Amanda!
    I have an 11-year-old niece who’s an avid reader and loves mysteries, so thank you- I’ll send her this link.

    As for a very original YA series I recommend: Firelight, by Sophie Jordan. (“Firelight”, “Hidden” and “Vanish”.)

    Jacinda is a Draki (dragon who can shift into human form and live amongst other teens.) But she’s the last of a hunted and dying breed and the only Draki left that is a fire-breather. Her tribe has nefarious ideas for Jacinda’s future that cause her frightened mother to flee the rain forest with her twin girls and hide as humans in a small AZ town.

    The plot is very exciting as Jacinda tries to adapt as a human teen in the dry desert, stay a step ahead of the Draki who are seeking to recapture her and falls for the human son of a ruthless Draki hunter–a man who very likely killed her father.

    The options for Firelight were picked up by Hollywood a few years ago and the script is being written. It’s a very unique premise and incredibly written!

    Best of luck on your Pointe of No Return sales, Amanda!

    • I’ll have to check out Firelight – it sounds like something DD will love. Thanks for the recommendation, Sarah!

  4. Hi Amanda! :::waves:::: So great to see you here today! Wonderful list, especially your books — Codename Dancer and Pointe of No Return are great reads and I recommend them to any one with or without daughters!

    What book are you working on now? Is it a sequel or something entirely new?

    Have a great summer!

  5. Great list, Amanda! My boys are a tough crowd when it comes to reading. They’re on that edge between teen and adult books, so I’m always looking for suggestions. This year most of their reading has been for school, but they both enjoyed Shelter by Harlan Coben.

    Thanks for joining us today, Amanda. Great idea, Rachel!

  6. Brandie Nickerson

    This is the post I needed! My daughter is an avid reader and just ask me if I knew of another series to read. Recently, she’s read Firelight (Sophie Jordan) and currently, Shattered Souls (Mary Lindsey). I will definitely show her this list. Thanks!

    Brandie N

    • Thanks for stopping by, Brandie! I’m glad this post was timely for you. 🙂 And thanks for the recommendation, I’m adding it to my list.

  7. My daughter and I LOVE your stuff, Amanda! And thanks for the list – I found a lot of new reading material for the tbr pile!

  8. Hi Rachel! Hi Amanda! What a great idea for a blog, and what great recommendations. I would love to recommend a YA mystery/romance/paranormal I just read, 2012 RITA Finalist Jennifer Estep’s Touch of Frost! It was riveting!

    • Hi Pintip! I think I gave one of my nieces TOUCH OF FROST last year – sounds like I need to get a copy for me. 😀

  9. I’d add Kenneth Oppel’s AIRBORN series to Amanda’s excellent list of tween recommendations. Oppel has created a Jules Verne/Robert Louis Stevenson mash-up with a twist: airships instead of sailing ships. Fifteen year old cabin boy Matt and teenage heiress Kate are attacked by pirates, stranded on desert islands, and discover a strange species of flying creatures.

    My teenage son enjoyed reading Dashiell Hammett’s THE MALTESE FALCON.

    And for those of you who like stories told by animals, my daughter had fun reading THREE BAGS FULL: A Sheep Detective Story by Leonie Swann. In this cozy mystery, Miss Maple (the smartest sheep in Glennkill) leads an A-team of sheep investigators to discover who killed their shepherd George.

    Happy Summer Reading!

    • Great recommendations, Krista!

    • My daughter 11 was addicted to the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. She has now moved onto the Seeker also by Erin Hunter. The Warriors is about 4 wild cat clans who share the forest and follow a warriors code. There are 7 books in each series and 4 different series which follows these clans through various struggles. The Seeker is a similar concept except with Bears.

      Also for those teens who like the fantasy genre The Name of the Wind (book 1) and The Wise Man`s fear (book 2) by Patrick Rothfuss are extremely entertaining.

      • Excellent recommendations, AA! I discovered Patrick Rothfuss’s THE NAME OF THE WIND a few years ago when I was looking for something to fill the Harry Potter void. My son liked it a lot. He’s kicking off his summer reading with GAME OF THRONES which I’d give an R rating.

        Another Harry Potter like story for older teens and young adults is Lev Grossman’s THE MAGICIANS.

  10. Thanks, Amanda, I’ve snatched up Pointe of No Return for my dd.

  11. I love seeing so many fabulous recommendations already! Thank you everyone, and big, huge thanks to Amanda for putting together this list!

    I’ll be chiming in today with several of my daughter’s recommendations. First off is a book she read last week, The FIFTH REALM, by Constance Gillam.

    My daughter’s description: “It’s about an average kid who gets caught up in a bad situation that includes voodoo and demons.”

  12. Diana, to answer your question…I’m working on a couple of things at the moment. First, PAS DE DEATH, which is the third book in the series. This one is especially fun to write, because it’s Dani’s first murder mystery (after investigating sabotage/arson/poisoning/bombing and then kidnapping). Also, I auctioned off the naming rights to the murder victim in the Brenda Novak auction, and the woman who bought it actually wants me to use her name! And she’s a popular YA book blogger, so it’s been a lot of fun chatting with her to learn more about her so I could sneak a few details in.

    I’m also working on a spinoff novella featuring Dani’s pal Analisa, that will be included in the BEHIND BARRES anthology.

  13. Amanda, my favorite color is Duke Blue too 🙂

    Amanda’s website is awesome! Check it out, everyone–especially her Booklover’s Buffet

  14. Thank you so much to all the Kiss & Thrill ladies for letting me guest today, especially my pals Rachel, Diana, Gwen, and Sharon!

    I love seeing all these fabulous suggestions. I don’t have any tweens or teens (my kids are both under 3), but it’s not stopping me! My Kindle is getting well-stocked today! So keep these suggestions coming — any genres!

    Diana, Leslie, Leslie’s daughter, and Rachel’s daughter…I’m go glad you liked Pointe! I hope everyone who tries it will enjoy it!

  15. Ha, Krista, awesome!

    And thanks for the shout out about the website, as well as the Booklovers Buffet, which is a special e-book sales running through June 22. Over 100 authors are offering 150 e-books (in all genres from inspirational to erotica) for just 99 cents each! The first book in my YA mysteries series — Codename: Dancer — is one of these 99 centers, so check it out for cheap!

  16. Rachel, I have THE FIFTH REALM on my Kindle ready to go this weekend. I can’t wait to read it. It sounds great and I’m so excited for Connie.

    Let’s see…some other awesome suggestions. If you like straight-up contemporary YA then WELCOME, CALLER, IT’S CHLOE by Shelley Coriell is wonderful. It’s about a girl whose life is falling apart after a fight with her best friends. She joins the school radio station as part of her junior independent study project. The writing just sparkles. I want to be Shelley Coriell when I grow up. Or at least write like her. 🙂

    Another wonderful YA contemp is MY LIFE AS THE UGLY STEPSISTER by Juli Alexander. She also has two light paranormal titles — STIRRING UP TROUBLE (teen witches) and THE KARMA BEAT (genies).

    • Ha! You beat me to mentioning WELCOME CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE!

      DD wrote a book report on Chloe. She loved the book and even loved writing the report (you know a book is good when it makes homework fun) and (sorry, I have to brag a bit–I can’t help it) she got nearly a perfect grade.

      I want to be Shelley Coriell when I grow up too. 😀

  17. Shannon Hale is an author I read aloud to DD before she could read herself. We started with Princess Academy ( and then read The Goose Girl. DD has since read all the Books of Bayern and we are both excited the sequel to Princess Academy will be out later this summer.

  18. OK, not to pimp my own books (grin), but I have a short story called “Barre Hopping at Midnight” in the FREE young adult anthology, Eternal Spring. Yes, I said FREE. 😀

    Due to prodution costs, we have to charge for the print version, but the e-book is completely and totally free…at least on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, and Diesel. We expect it to be free at Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Sony any day now.

    There are 13 short stories in a variety of genres from contemporary to historical to urban fantasy. I was one of the organizers of this project, along with author Tawny Stokes (who you may as the adult urban fantasy author Vivi Anna — Tawny is her YA name). We have stories from a number of awesome authors such as Diana Peterfreund, Rhonda Stapleton, Carey Corp, Jennifer McAndrews, and RITA finalist Stephanie Dray. So check it out…the price is right!

    • Absolutely get the anthology! ( I got it for DD because of Amanda’s contribution, but a few days after we downloaded it, DD approached me with $ in her hand and asked if she could buy some books for her Kindle. She’d discovered a new author thanks to the anthology, and wanted more. I have to find her Kindle to see who she bought. 🙂

  19. Rachel, that’s awesome! I’m so glad she found a new author after reading the antho. Yay!

  20. Thanks for the recommendations! I love Sophie Jordan’s FIRELIGHT series!!

    I also recommend two series by Tera Lynn Childs: OH MY GODS series and FORGIVE MY FINS series. Tera’s books are about contemporary teens with a fantasy element (descendants of Greek gods and mermaids), and are always clever and delightful. A plus for parents of younger teens–although there’s a romantic element, it’s sweet romance and doesn’t cross the line into hot and heavy or sex between the h/H.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Lark! A few years ago my family joined me at the RWA National Conference, and I brought my daughter to the book signing. She was thrilled to get a signed copy of OH MY GODS and has read everything by Tera Lynn Childs since then.

      She also got a signed copy of CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO SPY by Ally Carter ( and she’s read it so many times, the book will probably fall apart soon.

    • I adore Tera’s books!

  21. Hi Amanda! Welcome to K&T today! My twins are difficult to buy books for also. They are 12, one boy and one girl, both with above-grade reading skills but below-age maturity. And it’s so hard to find things for them to read.
    My son LOVES the Sherrilyn Kenyon Chronicles of Nick books and he’s always re-reading the JRR Tolkien books as well as the Eragon books by Christopher Paolini. He just finished the Jack London books as well as a collection of Ray Bradbury short stories. Now he’s reading the journals of Lewis and Clark (non-fiction) and is really enjoying them.

    Then there are the scary “Furnace” books by Alexander Gordon Smith. He loves them, I’m afraid of the covers.

    My daughter loves romance and relationships. Her favorite authors include Wendy Maas, Gail Carson Levine, Heather Vogel Frederick, Mary Jo Putney’s new YA historical series, and yes–the first three Twilight books. She’s now venturing into some of the Sarah Dessen books and the Ally Condie books.
    And of course they both loved the Hunger Games Trilogy.

    • LOL – yes! THE HUNGER GAMES! I loved the series, but made my daughter wait until 5th grade to read it. This last year it was practically part of the curriculum in her school and led to some wonderful discussions in and out of school.

      My son (9 years old) wants to read it, but I don’t think he’s ready. He’s reading Harry Potter (book 6) right now. He’ll probably have to wait until 5th grade as well.

    • Sharon, if your son likes non-fiction he might like DESTINY OF THE REPUBLIC: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard. It chronicles the Garfield assassination. My son read it this spring and couldn’t stop talking about how great a read it is. It’s written in the style of Erik Larsen’s books: non-fiction that reads like a novel.

      Great idea for a blog, Rachel. I love reading all the recommendations 🙂

  22. Thank you for the recs, Amanda! I needed them. My nephew is getting his first Kindle on his 10th birthday this weekend and he’s a voracious reader. He’s already devoured Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and all of Eddings.

  23. I just received an email from Amanda that she can’t post comments. WordPress is acting up. 😦

    Here is what Amanda wanted to post:

    If your tweens like sports, John Feinstein wrote a Final Four mystery called LAST SHOT. I loved it (probably because Duke was one of the teams playing in this fictional Final Four…but it was actually a good book, too!). He also wrote one called COVER UP: A SUPER BOWL MYSTERY, but I haven’t read that one. He’s a famous sports writer, so he definitely knows his stuff!

  24. Oh, I LOVED “Shattered Souls” too, Brandie!

  25. I asked for book recommendations on Twitter, and will post the responses here, starting with this one:

    Madeline Dyer ‏@MadelineDyer_
    I recommend the VAMPIRE ACADEMY series and BLOODLINES series by @RichelleMead The ANGEL series by @LA_Weatherly

  26. If you want to tweet your recommendations, use the hashtag #MGYAreads

  27. Madeline Dyer ‏@MadelineDyer_
    @rachelsgrant aaaaand i recommend the MORGANVILLE series by @rachelcaine, DARK HEART FOREVER by Lee Monroe and NIGHT SCHOOL by @CJ_Daugherty

  28. Sorry, I’m not on twitter, but I did read a great book earlier this winter. I help I’m not repeating some else’s suggestion: The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.
    Also I’ve written a young adult novel entitled The 5th Realm that’s available on Amazon, Nook and Smashwords and soon to be released in print.
    Hope it’s okay to plug it here.

    • LOL Constance, Amanda and I have both already plugged your book! My daughter loved it and was very excited to read a story with voodoo and demons. 😀

      So glad you stopped by!

    • Sure Constance! Thanks for stopping by and good luck with sales!

  29. It’s time for more recommendations from my daughter (I had her give me a list before she went to school today – nothing quite like having your kid do your work for you. ;))

    THE CANDIDATES by Inara Scott (

    THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner (

    THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ISLAND by Allegra Goodman

    DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth

  30. So many awesome suggestions! I’ve got to let my 12 year old check out these recommendations! She’s an avid reader and I have a great deal of trouble keeping her in books. The local libraries/school library don’t have a lot to offer her, especially when she isn’t sure what she’s looking for. 🙂 When she finds something, they often don’t have it on the shelves.

    She’s fascinated by the Warrior Series by Erin Hunter, anything by Rick Riordan, and she just discovered the Lost Voices trilogy (I think by Sarah Porter?). I just bought her the Eternal Spring anthology so she could try out some new authors.

  31. My 11-year-old twin niece and nephew are visiting this week from California, but they’re sightseeing in DC, so I have to wait until they’re home and then I’ll ask them for some more suggestions.

  32. Wow, we’ve collectively come up with a ton of books for teens! Great blog subject Rachel and Amanda.

  33. Amanda, thanks so much for joining us today! Please excuse my tardiness but I was busy at my pediatric office where I’m often asked “What can I read for summer?” Now I have an answer!

  34. Good recommendations. I liked the Boxcar children books.

  35. Loved this post. Lots of great books for me to consider.

    My nominations are …

    Stargirl (Jerry Spinelli) — unusual YA love/friendship story with a nonconformist heroine

    Holes (Louis Sachar) — coming-of-age tale set in a boys’ work camp, with this great sort of fairy tale-realism woven in

    Hatchet (Gary Paulsen) — Alaskan survival tale. Really gripping.

    Cate Tiernan’s “Sweep” series, about a teenager discovering her heritage as a witch. If I were an editor I would have picked this series to break out over Twilight–I really think it’s terrific. And there are about 20 books in it, so plenty to keep a girl busy for a month or two.

    The Ruby in the Smoke (Philip Pullman) — a mystery series set in Victorian London.

  36. I’m off for several hours today (last day of school 3rd grade picnic) but when I get back I’ll compile a library/bookstore shopping list PDF file. If you have more recommendations post them and I’ll put them on the list.

  37. LOVE Amanda’s book! (No need to enter me in the contest as I already own them.) My boys (middle school age) love the Michael Grant “Gone” series (four books now, I believe) and Richard Newsome’s The Billionaire’s Curse trilogy. And of course you know I’m going to have tons of awesome YA to recommend. Here’s a list of some must reads:

    The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
    The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
    Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn
    Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
    The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova (Mermen FTW!)
    The Girl of Fire & Thorns by Rae Carson
    Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins
    Hourglass series by Myra McEntire
    I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga (mature YA readers)
    For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund (re-telling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion in a post-apoc setting!)
    Chime by Franny Billingsley
    Everneath by Brodi Ashton
    Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

    Um … I’ll stop there. 🙂

  38. Thanks for stopping by C.J., and thanks for including such a great list!

    I also need to add that on my daughter’s (and my own) list of books I can’t wait to read is C.J. Redwine’s DEFIANCE ( Read the description below and then mark your calendars with the August 28th release date!

    Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan–the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

    At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

    As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.

  39. Here are some more recommendations from Amanda Brice:

    I love Stephanie Dray’s books focusing on Cleopatra’s daughter. She’s up for the RITA this year. It’s published by an adult Berkley imprint, but perfectly appropriate for older teens.

    Anna Godbersen’s THE LUXE series, about spoiled teens in Gilded Age NYC. Think Gossip Girl meets Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence.

    Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy (the first book is A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY) about girls in a Victorian England boarding school who spend their days leanring how to become proper young ladies and spend their nights venturing into a fantasy realm where a battle between good and evil is taking place. Totally addicting.

    Urban fantasy:
    Diana Peterfreund’s killer unicorn books.

    Tawny Stokes’ DEMON WHISPERER, about a teenage exorcist in training and his dating adventures (his girlfriend is a necromancer)

    Angsty paranormal:
    Gwen Hayes’ FALLING UNDER. Gorgeous prose, lush, with a captivating love story.

    Light/funny fantasy/paranormal:
    Rhonda Stapleton’s STRUCK, which is a 3 books in one volume. It’s about a 16-year-old girl who needs an after-school job so she applies to be a matchmaker but ends up becoming an actual cupid.

    Melissa Francis’ BITE ME! and LOVE SUCKS! about a teenage vampire who falls in love with her soon-to-be stepbrother and ends up having to save the world.


    Miriam Landis-Wenger’s GIRL IN MOTION for life in a ballet boarding school. (The author is a former professional ballerina from the Miami City Ballet who attended the School of American Ballet in NY when she was a teenager.)

    Time travel:

    Jennifer McAndrews’ BRAVING THE TITANIC

    Mandy Hubbard’s PRADA & PREJUDICE

  40. I want to add that my daughter LOVED Kay Cassidy’s THE CINDERELLA SOCIETY, which Amanda also recommends above.

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