Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover Issue 94: Contemporary (Part 18)

Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I pay tribute to some of the best and brightest the publishing world has to offer in the way of book cover design. This feature is inspired by Katie’s feature Cover Love on her blog One Page At A Time. The idea is being used with her gracious permission.

Some of my favourite covers this week include Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson, Sociable by Rebecca Harrington, Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds, The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Peterson Haddix, Since We Last Spoke by Brenda Rufener, The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh, A Heart In A Body In The World by Deb Caletti, Fear of Missing Out by Kate McGovern, Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson, Sparrow by Sarah Moon, I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall and Pride by Ibi Zoboi.

Please Note: I’ve done my best to credit the designers and artists responsible for the beautiful covers below, but was unable to find this information for a number of those listed. If you know of an uncredited designer responsible for any of these book covers, please let me know and I would be happy to include proper attribution in this post. Their work is lovely and deserves to be credited.

01. Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
02. My Favourite Manson Girl by Alison Umminger

03. Famous In A Small Town by Emma Mills (Cover art by Becca Clason)
04. Sociable by Rebecca Harrington (Cover design by Emily Mahon, Cover illustration by Frederico Gastaldi)

05. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
06. You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

07. Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds (Cover illustration by Stephanie Singleton)
08. The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Cover design by Lucy Ruth Cummins, Cover photo by Greg Vore)

09. The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg (Cover design by Nina Goffi, Cover art by Patrick Leger)
10. Since We Last Spoke by Brenda Rufener (Cover design by Joel Tippie, Cover art by Helen Crawford-White)

11. The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh
12. What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

13. City of Friends by Joanna Trollope
14. A Heart In A Body In The World by Deb Caletti (Cover illustration by Daniel Stolle)

15. Awake In The World by Jason Gurley
16. Fear of Missing Out by Kate McGovern (Cover art by Aimee Fleck)

17. Earth to Charlie by Justin Olson
18. Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

19. No Place Like Here by Christina June
20. Meet Me In Outer Space by Melinda Grace

21. I Am Out With Lanterns by Emily Gale
22. Sparrow by Sarah Moon

23. The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis-Graves
24. What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera (Cover art by Jeff Östberg)

25. I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall (Cover design by Dana Li)
26. Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett (Cover design by Sarah Creech)

27. Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll
28. Pride by Ibi Zoboi (Cover art by Billelis and T.S. Abe)

29. The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis
30. Tell Me Everything by Sarah Enni (Cover design by Nina Goffi)

Now it’s your turn! What are some of your favourite Contemporary covers? Did I list one of your favourites here or is there one I forgot that just has to be included? Let me know in the comments!

Between The Lines with Maggie Lehrman

Between The Lines is a sporadic feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which authors and other industry professionals provide further insight into the writing and publishing process in the form of interviews, guest posts, etc. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy as we read between the lines.


About Maggie Lehrman

Maggie Lehrman is a writer whose first novel for young adults, The Cost of All Things, is available from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins. Her new book, The Last Best Story, is now available and was published August 7, 2018. She’s also an executive editor at Abrams Books, where she works primarily on young adult, middle grade, and graphic novels. (Check them out!) She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and she graduated from Harvard College with a BA in English. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Kyle.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterTumblrFacebookGoodreads

5 Things I Learned From Screwball Comedy

My new book, The Last Best Story, was inspired in part by the classic screwball comedy His Girl Friday. It’s about a pair of high school journalists caught up in the best story of their lives, while they’re also finally (maybe) figuring out their feelings for each other.

Screwball comedy is not a genre known for imparting serious life lessons. In the classic 1930-50s era of screwball, the movies were all about silly situations, fast dialogue, mistaken identity, and unlikely resolutions.

And yet, after many years’ study, there are several things I have learned from them, which I will now impart to you.

1. Embrace life’s detours, but also don’t get steamrolled
I doubt this is the message that Bringing Up Baby wants me to take away, but I see poor Cary Grant’s life-ruining day with Katherine Hepburn as a cautionary tale. Whimsy and excitement are all well and good, but maybe also make sure your prize dinosaur clavicle bone doesn’t get buried by the dog, because there won’t always be a quirky heroine’s riches to save your museum. But also, life is never going to go as planned, so try to take the surprise leopards and nights in jail in stride.

2. Banter isn’t the only reason to fall in love with someone, but it helps the time pass on road trips
Companionable silence is all well and good, but you have to be able to talk to someone you really care about. It doesn’t matter what you talk about as long as there’s that spark underneath. I aspire to the level of flirting on display in It Happened One Night, for example. Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert trade zingers for miles. It’s hashtag goals.

3. If you can’t seem to let something go, you probably still have business to work out with it
Is there something or someone that you seem to keep thinking about, or running into, or emailing or looking at on Instagram or driving by their house late at night? That thing is not going to go away on its own. In The Awful Truth, Cary Grant and Irene Dunn keep getting up in each other’s business, even after they’re supposed to be broken up. There’s something they haven’t dealt with yet. I’m not saying you’re going to get back together with every ex you obsess over – but there’s something you need to figure out before you can move on.

4. Don’t let anyone underestimate you, unless underestimating you is all a part of your grand scheme
If people don’t value you for who you are, there’s no point in trying to prove to them how great you are. In Born Yesterday, Judy Holliday’s gangster boyfriend thinks she needs fancying up, but he’s the one who’s the real boor. But also maybe take a cue from Barbara Stanwyck in The Lady Eve: Sometimes letting someone think they’ve got you figured out (and fooling your beloved into marrying you when you’re pretending to be someone else) can allow you to surprise them in the end.

5. Pursue what you love, not what you think you should love
Sure, everyone has to make compromises, but there’s no reason to give up something you love just because you think you want what everyone else has. Date this person/don’t date at all. Go to college/don’t go to college. Start your weird business, keep doing your art, make time for your weekly competitive basket weaving. You don’t want to be Rosalind Russell at the beginning of His Girl Friday, forcing herself to want to marry mama’s boy Ralph Bellamy and give up the job she loves. But in all other possible ways, though, yes, you do want to be Rosalind Russell.

Title The Last Best Story
Author Maggie Lehrman
Pages 352 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre & Keywords Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date August 7th 2018 by Balzer + Bray
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

A witty, fresh romantic comedy, set on one fateful prom night, about two high-schools seniors who can’t quite admit they are in love. Think E. Lockhart meets Katie Cotugno.

It’s the end of senior year, and Rose Regnero is over it.

She’s over chasing stories for a school newspaper no one reads. Over missing out on “normal” high school life. And most of all, over Grant Leitch: editor-in-chief, former close friend, never-quite-boyfriend. Now all she wants is a typical prom, complete with handsome date, fancy corsage, and dancing to cheesy pop songs.

It’s the end of senior year, and Grant Leitch is in denial.

He’s in denial about handing over the reins of the paper to an unworthy underclassman. In denial that Rose suddenly, inexplicably quit the paper and now won’t talk to him. But mostly he’s in denial that she is at prom with another guy, and it’s no one’s fault but his own. Grant’s only hope of luring Rose back to him (and the paper) is a juicy story she won’t be able to resist.

In the end it takes a toga-wearing prom crasher, an emergency lockdown, a secret stalker, and a wild after-party to bring Grant and Rose together for one last story…and one final chance to admit that they’re made for each other.

Cover Reveal: Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

Hi everyone! Today I’m thrilled to welcome author Joanna Ruth Meyer to Pop! Goes The Reader as we share the exclusive cover reveal for Joanna’s sophomore novel, Echo North! Coming to a bookstore and library near you January 15th 2019 from Page Street Kids, Echo North tells the story of Echo Alkaev, whose strange and inexplicable bond with an enchanted wolf who scarred her as a child is explored when she agrees to live with said wolf for a year in order to save her father’s life. This intriguing fairytale re-telling has absolutely captured my attention, and I’m sure you’ll be just as excited to read Echo North as I am after you read the excerpt Joanna has generously agreed to share with us below. The cover of Echo North was illustrated by Sara Pollard. Please read on to learn more about Echo North, including a note from the author, an exclusive cover reveal and excerpt from the novel, and an opportunity for one lucky reader to win a signed advance reader copy of Echo North!


About Joanna Ruth Meyer

Joanna Ruth Meyer is a writer of Young Adult fantasy. She lives with her dear husband and son in Arizona, where it never rains (or at least not often enough for her!). When she’s not writing, she can be found teaching piano lessons, drinking copious amounts of tea, reading thick books, and dreaming of winter.

Her debut novel, Beneath The Haunting Sea, released January 2018 from Page Street YA. Kirkus called it “Epic, musical, and tender.”

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreads

Hello, dear readers!

I am so thrilled to be partnering with Jen to share the cover of Echo North with you today!

Echo North is a retelling of the fairytale East of the Sun, West of the Moon, which, for those unfamiliar, is essentially Beauty and the Beast with a quest at the end. I’ve loved re-tellings ever since I stumbled upon Robin McKinley’s Beauty at the library when I was eleven or twelve, but I never really thought I would attempt one. The seed of Echo’s story came from a dream I had of a girl getting chased across a snowy landscape by a pack of wolves. When I sat down to brainstorm the idea, I realized it wanted to be an East of the Sun re-telling, and everything, if you’ll excuse the pun, snowballed from there. 😀 This might be the most Joanna-y novel I’ve ever written. Not only does it contain all the standards of books and music and tea, it has actual on-screen piano lessons and more snow than you would think is really necessary. Plus, a mysterious (swoony!) stranger, and a journey, all set in a world inspired by 19th-century Russia.

I had always imagined Echo’s cover would be some sort of variation of “girl in dress with snow”, so when my editor sent over the actual design, I was absolutely floored. The art is STUNNING, and all the little details are so thoughtful and intricate. I can’t get over how beautiful it is, and I hope you all love it as much as I do!

Chapter One

I was called Echo for my mother, who died when I was born, because when my father took me into his arms he said he felt the echo of her heartbeat within me.

My father didn’t blame me for my mother’s death, but he was often sad. He had me and my older brother Rodya to raise on his own. Two mouths to feed and no dark-haired laughing wife to come home to.

But he bore it all cheerfully. He gave me my freedom, and I loved both him and my brother fiercely. I was allowed to run barefoot in the summer, to tumble with the blacksmith’s hounds, to skip my classes if I wished and go fishing with Rodya in the lake.

Not that my father wanted me to be ignorant. He taught me patiently from his books when we were at home together every evening. He read to me and asked me questions and answered all my questions. I couldn’t have been happier. I’d never known my mother — my father and Rodya were my whole world.

And then my whole world shifted.

It happened the summer I was seven. Our village stood on the edge of a forest, and that year had been a particularly bad one for wolves attacking cattle and sheep in their fields. Old man Tinker had set traps all around the village, and my father told me to watch for them carefully. “Those traps could snap you in two, my darling, and what would I do without you?”

I promised him solemnly to take care.

But as I was coming back from picking wildflowers in the meadows, my embroidered skirts dirty about my knees, my kerchief forgotten somewhere amidst the waving grass, I heard a sharp, yelping scream — the sound of an animal in torment. I dropped my flowers, standing for an instant very still. The sound came again, and I ran toward it as quickly as I could.

Round the corner, caught fast in a steel trap that butted up against a fence post, was a huge white wolf.

I stared, frozen. For an instant, his pain forgotten, he stared back at me.

I could feel him, not just looking, but seeing me, as if he were searching out something deep inside my soul. I should have been terrified but I wasn’t. I felt drawn to him. Connected to him.

Then I glanced down and saw the blood staining his white fur where the trap had caught his back left leg.

I was brave. I was foolish.

I went to help him without another thought.

I knelt beside him in the dirt and touched him, gently, my small hand sinking into his white fur; it was the softest thing I had ever felt, softer even than the velvet cushion on my father’s favorite chair. I knew I was right to want to help the wolf. I was certain it was the most important thing in all the world.

I took a deep breath, grasped the jaws of the steel trap as firmly as I could, and pulled.

I couldn’t shift it. Not even an inch. All I managed to do was jostle the trap against the wolf’s wounded leg. He howled in pain and jerked away, a sudden whirl of claws and fur and snarling teeth. The trap was slippery with his blood and I dropped it back onto the ground. He lunged against the trap, desperate and screeching, but it held him, the metal jaws biting deeper and deeper, down to the bone.

The wolf grew more frantic with each passing second, and I started digging, tearing into the dirt around the stake and chain connected to those ugly metal jaws.

The stake loosened. The wolf gave one last desperate yank and pulled it free. For an instant, joy and triumph filled me up.

He leapt toward me in a blur of white, the trap and chain rattling behind him, and slammed into me with the force of an avalanche. Everything was all at once falling and fear, an impossible weight. Darkness.

And blinding, earth-shattering pain.

The weight lifted, but something wet and awful was smeared across my eyes and the world was distorted and bleared. It frightened me even more than the darkness had. Pain pulsed through me, lines of raging fire in my chest, my shoulders, my face.

Someone was screaming and I realized it was me.

I must have fainted, because when I opened my eyes again my father was kneeling over me, his form warped and strange. The light was fading orange and I could hear birds singing from the wood. I felt dizzy, and my face and chest were strangely numb. One of my eyes was swollen shut. Bits of rock and dirt had ground into my palms and behind my fingernails when I’d dug the stake from the ground — in that moment, it was the only pain I could feel.

“Let’s carry her inside,” I heard someone say. “She’ll be all right, Peter. She’s strong.”

Peter was my father. The other voice belonged to old man Tinker. He must have come to check his traps and found me there instead. I felt my father scoop me into his arms, and I passed out again.

The next time I tried to open my eyes there was only darkness, and something thick and suffocating pressed against my face. “Papa!” I screamed, “Papa!” I jerked upright and fell in a tangle to the floor and then my father was there, coaxing me back into bed, calming me down.

“Just bandages, little bird. We’ll take them off soon. Hush, now. All is well.”

I clung to him and he kissed me quietly on the forehead and sang me to sleep.

Later, I don’t know how much, they removed the bandage from my right eye. It gave me an oddly skewed view of the world, but it was better than no sight at all. We lived in a house back then, and I sat for many weeks in my room on the third floor, watching through my little square window as the world below turned from the green and gold of summer to the red-brown blush of autumn.

A host of doctors visited me, and I didn’t understand why. I crept downstairs and listened shamelessly outside the door to my father’s study while they talked about me. I heard things like “never fully heal” and “the cuts were too deep” and “infection” and “lucky if she isn’t blind.”

And then one day, as the first of the winter snows blew soft across our village, the doctor came to take the bandage off the left side of my face. My father watched intently as the doctor peeled the cloth away, and I held my breath and waited for it to be over. Horror and shock flashed across my father’s features, and for the first time, I realized what had happened to me might not be able to be undone.

“Cover your right eye,” the doctor instructed. “Can you see out of the left one?”

I lifted my hand and obeyed. The light was very bright, but I could see. I nodded.

The doctor let out a breath of relief.

My father shifted where he stood. The horror had left his expression, melding into a distance that unnerved me. “Is there anything you recommend for…” he trailed off, looking helplessly at the physician.

“Not unless God gives her new skin,” said the doctor. I think he meant it as a joke, but my father didn’t even smile.

I pushed past both of them and went out into the hall, padding to the room my mother had once shared with my father. She had a handsome mahogany vanity, with a mirror above. I stepped up to it and looked in.

Four angry, jagged lines ran down the left side of my face, from my forehead all the way to my chin — the marks from the wolf’s claws. My left eyelid was taut and scarred, my lips pulled up on one side.

I stared at my reflection, feeling dull and strange. I covered the right half of my face with one hand, studying the scars for a long while before switching to cover the left half and studying in turn the smooth, untouched skin.

Then I let my hand fall.

I heard my father’s step and turned to see him watching me from the doorway. “It isn’t so bad, little lamb. They will fade over time.” But sadness lingered in his eyes. He swept me into his arms and I clung to his neck, sobbing, while he stroked my hair and wept with me a while.

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

My father owned and ran the bookshop in our tiny village. He was excessively proud of it: it had a green door and a brass knocker and a large shop window with carved wooden shutters. “It’s not a large living,” he always said, “but it’s enough.”

Peter Alkaev, Bookseller, was painted in bold red letters across the window. That was how I first learned to spell my last name.

The summer after the incident with the wolf my father sold our house, and he, my brother Rodya and I moved into the apartment over the shop. I had my own little room with a tiny circle window that looked out over the street, and all the books I could ever want.

My scars whitened as I got older — they didn’t fade. I learned very early that in the old tales of magic the wicked were always ugly and scarred, the good beautiful; I was not beautiful, but I wanted to be good, and after a while I couldn’t bear to read those stories anymore. The villagers avoided me. My fellow students crossed themselves when I walked by, or openly laughed at me. They said the Devil had claimed my face and would someday come back for the rest of me. They said he wouldn’t have marked me if I didn’t already belong to him. Once, I tried to eat lunch with a girl called Sara. She liked to read, same as me — she was always carrying around thick tomes of history or poetry or science, her nose permanently stuck between the pages. I thought that gave me the right to try and befriend her, but she spat in my face and pelted me with stones.

I was the monster in her story. She was the heroine.

I didn’t try again.

Once, I wandered into the apothecary and bought a jar of cream for two silver pennies, because the proprietor swore it would make the scars vanish completely by the end of the month.

It didn’t work, of course. Rodya found me crying in my bedroom and I told him what I’d done. He made jokes at the apothecary’s expense until I finally stopped crying and forced a smile for him, but I still felt like a fool. I buried the empty jar of cream in a little patch of earth behind the bookshop — it had been intended for a garden, but no one had ever planted anything there and it remained barren. I couldn’t bear to confess what I’d done to my father.

By the time I turned fifteen, I had read nearly every book in the shop, and my father hired me as his assistant. “Her face might frighten the Devil who formed her,” I overheard one of my father’s patrons say, “but damned if she doesn’t know every word of the classics and can be counted on to point a fellow to the right book, every time.” This was one of the kindest things they said about me. There were many more less kind.

I withdrew more and more, trying to lose myself in running the shop. I organized the shelves and reorganized them. I wrapped books in paper and string for customers, I wrote letters to the booksellers in the city, sending for rare volumes we didn’t have. I kept my father’s account books in order, and when business was slow, I went to our upstairs apartment and scoured the rooms clean, one by one.

I kept busy, attempted to convince myself I was content. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shove away my loneliness, couldn’t bury it in my mind like I’d buried the jar of cream in the dirt where there ought to have been a garden.



Title Echo North
Author Joanna Ruth Meyer
Pages 400 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre and Keywords Fantasy, Fairytale, Retelling
Publication Date January 15th 2019 by Page Street Kids
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Echo Alkaev’s safe and carefully structured world falls apart when her father leaves for the city and mysteriously disappears. Believing he is lost forever, Echo is shocked to find him half-frozen in the winter forest six months later, guarded by a strange talking wolf — the same creature who attacked and scarred her as a child. To save her father, Echo agrees to live with the wolf for one year. But there’s more to the wolf than she realizes.

In his enchanted house beneath a mountain, something new, dark, and strange lies behind every door. Within these halls, Echo discovers centuries-old secrets, a magical library full of books-turned-mirrors, and a young man named Hal who is trapped inside of them. As the year ticks by, the rooms begin to disappear and Echo must solve the mystery of the wolf’s enchantment before her time is up — otherwise Echo, the wolf, and Hal will be lost forever.

As an extra, exciting bonus, Joanna has been kind enough to offer one lucky reader the opportunity to win a signed advance reader copy of Echo North! One winner will be chosen at random at the conclusion of the giveaway and the prize will be distributed by Joanna when ARCs become available. Please fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Kids On The Block 2018 with Kit Frick

New Kids On The Block is a year-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader meant to welcome and celebrate new voices and debut authors in the literary community.

Are you a debut author whose book is being published in 2018? It’s not too late to sign-up! If you want to participate in New Kids On The Block this year, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! You can send a tweet or DM on Twitter to @Pop_Reader or email me at Jen@PopGoesTheReader.com. I would love to collaborate with you!


About Kit Frick

Kit Frick is a novelist, poet, and MacDowell Colony fellow. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, she studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and received her MFA from Syracuse University. When she isn’t putting complicated characters in impossible situations, Kit edits poetry and literary fiction for a small press, edits for private clients, and mentors emerging writers through Pitch Wars. Her debut young adult novel is See All The Stars (Simon & Schuster / Margaret K. McElderry Books, August 14, 2018), and her debut full-length poetry collection is A Small Rising Up In The Lungs (New American Press, fall 2018).

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreads

Ten YA Novels To Get You Through A Toxic Friendship or Best Friend Breakup

See All The Stars centers around an epic breakup between best friends. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that friendships between teen girls are rarely simple — they’re intense and vivid and consuming, and sometimes those close connections become toxic.

At its heart, See All The Stars is about best friends, Ellory and Ret — and an epic friend group split. The story takes places in two timelines that alternate between the past — leading up to the event that tore Ellory’s group of friends apart — and the aftermath. The “Now” timeline picks up on the night before senior year begins, after Ellory has been suspended from school (for her role in said event) and has spent the summer away, off social media, and otherwise disconnected from her friends and classmates. And now she has to return to high school, totally alone and consumed by guilt and regret.

If I could reach through the pages and hand Ellory a few books that offer rich, nuanced, and often dark and gritty representations of friendships between teen girls, I’d do it in a snap. Going through a friendship breakup can leave you feeling very alone. It’s a horrible feeling. But the truth is, just like romantic relationships come to an end all the time, so do friendships — we just find it harder to talk about. I’m not exactly sure why that is, but I think it has something to do with shame. We feel ashamed we couldn’t make a friendship work. It’s not quite like breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend — when a friendship ends, you don’t change your status on social media and declare your freedom. Your girlfriends don’t take you out dancing. There aren’t a million relatable pop songs to queue up on Spotify. (Not that romantic breakups are easy, by any stretch of the imagination. But there are some societal norms that are part of that package that just don’t exist for the end of a friendship.)

At the end of the day, though, friendship breakups are common. Very much so. And there is no shortage of reading material to prove how not alone you are. Here are seven young adult novels about toxic friendships I’d give Ellory to help her get through senior year — and three YA books about awesome friendships to remind her of what’s possible. Along with See All The Stars (of course!) I’d highly recommend every one of them to any reader dealing with an unhealthy friendship or its difficult end.

Toxic Friendships and Best Friend Breakups


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When the curtain rises on Underneath Everything, Mattie and her friend Kris have split off from their friend group, which was formerly a quartet helmed by demanding, irresistible Jolene. But as senior year unfolds, Mattie finds it almost impossible to quit Jolene — and everything they used to be — in this atmospheric, gripping story.



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Max and Sadie are inseparable. Max would do anything for her best friend, but in this duo, it’s always Sadie steering the wheel, Sadie’s needs taking center stage. When Max finds herself suddenly on her own during a summer trip to a Nebraska commune, she needs to decide who she is without Sadie — and if she wants to allow Sadie back into her life.



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Jule and Imogen are best friends forever — aren’t they? They have history—don’t they? In this Talented Mr. Ripley-inspired thriller with a timeline that unspools in reverse, we get ambitious, ruthless girls and a seriously dark friendship fallout.



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After getting frozen out from the Fearsome Fivesome, Regina is on her own to navigate senior year. Solitude soon turns to vicious bullying when rumors about Regina and her former best friend’s boyfriend start to circulate in this gritty, intense look at how cruel some girls are.



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Being the new girl isn’t so bad when you’re instantly welcomed into a group of friends. Kacey’s adjusting rather seamlessly to her new life in Broken Falls until her new besties Bailey and Jade start distancing themselves. When Bailey disappears after an epic party, Kacey finds herself at the center of the town’s scrutiny in this sinister psychological thriller.



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With echoes of the Amanda Knox case and a fictional, Aruba-set twist, Elise is found dead in her beachfront rental on a spring break trip gone horribly wrong — and her best friend Anna is accused of her murder. As she awaits trial far from home, Anna comes to swiftly realize that everyone thinks she’s lying — and dangerous.



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Keeley’s hometown is sinking. Literally. With some residents packing up before Aberdeen is enveloped in flood water and others fighting to stay, Keeley finds herself trying to keep her friendships with Morgan and Elise afloat — but things aren’t how they used to be, and the end of Aberdeen may spell much more personal endings for Keeley.

Fierce Duos


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When seventeen-year-old Audrey learns she’s pregnant, she initially keeps it a secret from her best friend Rose for reasons even Audrey can’t quite articulate. When she does choose to open up, Rose is fantastically supportive and has so much to offer Audrey as a truly stand-up friend. Here’s a solid and supportive best friendship between teen girls that is also entirely believable.



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A story centered around a toxic romantic relationship, Always Forever Maybe soars in its portrayal of an ardent, unflinching best friendship. Jo initially gives Betts space to explore her new relationship with Aiden, even though she clearly misses their closeness. But when Jo picks up on Aiden’s controlling tendencies and unhealthy possessiveness, she doubles down on her friendship with Betts, despite her friend’s distancing behavior, pushing the envelope even when she knows Betts won’t like what she has to say. Jo is in it to win it.



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Come for the page-turning mystery, stay for the charming, poignant, and absolutely fierce friendship between Claudia and Monday. When Washington D. C. middle schooler Monday Charles goes missing, Claudia won’t rest until she finds out what happened to her best friend — even when no one else takes her concerns seriously. And they should really listen.

Title See All the Stars
Author Kit Frick
Pages 320 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Contemporary
To Be Published August 14th 2018 by McElderry Books
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

It’s hard to find the truth beneath the lies you tell yourself.

THEN
They were four — Bex, Jenni, Ellory, Ret. (Venus. Earth. Moon. Sun.) Electric, headstrong young women; Ellory’s whole solar system.

NOW
Ellory is alone, her once inseparable group of friends torn apart by secrets, deception, and a shocking incident that changed their lives forever.

THEN
Lazy summer days. A party. A beautiful boy. Ellory met Matthias and fell into the beginning of a spectacular, bright love.

NOW 
Ellory returns to Pine Brook to navigate senior year after a two-month suspension and summer away — no boyfriend, no friends. No going back. Tormented by some and sought out by others, troubled by a mysterious note-writer who won’t let Ellory forget, and consumed by guilt over her not entirely innocent role in everything and everyone she’s lost, Ellory finds that even in the present, the past is everywhere.

The path forward isn’t a straight line. And moving on will mean sorting the truth from the lies — the lies Ellory has been telling herself.

Cover Reveal: Death Prefers Blondes by Caleb Roehrig

Hi everyone! Here on Pop! Goes The Reader we are proud, card-carrying members of the We Heart Caleb Roehrig fan club. Caleb is no stranger to the blog, having generously lent his voice to the Raise Your Voice 2016 and ‘Tis The Season: Authors Talk Holidays 2017 events, and I’m no stranger to his novels, having read (and loved) both his debut, Last Seen Leaving, and his sophomore release, White Rabbit. I’m constantly recommending his work to family, friends, and strangers alike, and if you haven’t had an opportunity to read his novels yet, I strongly urge you to change that as soon as you possibly can. You can therefore imagine my excitement and delight when Caleb recently approached me to ask if I could host the exclusive cover reveal for his third, upcoming novel, Death Prefers Blondes!

Coming to a bookstore and library near you January 29th 2019 from Feiwel & Friends, Death Prefers Blondes tells the story of Margo Manning, a teenage socialite who lives a double life, dodging the paparazzi by day, and the long arm of the law by night as she stages a series of elaborate cat burglaries along with her crew of kickboxing drag queens. But when both Margo’s personal life and the crew’s latest heist take a dark turn, there’s suddenly more at stake than the success of their latest job. The cover of Death Prefers Blondes was illustrated by Rich Deas, creative director of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.


About Caleb Roehrig

Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Caleb Roehrig has also lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, Helsinki, Los Angeles (again,) and Chicago (again.) He has worn a lot of hats, and in the name of earning a paycheck, he has: hung around a frozen cornfield in his underwear, partied with an actual rock-star, chatted with a scandal-plagued politician, and been menaced by a disgruntled ostrich. Death Prefers Blondes will be his third novel.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramGoodreads

As a teenager, I was hooked on classic TV reruns, and I first had the idea that would one day become Death Prefers Blondes while watching an episode of The Lucy Show (1962-1968) on Nick at Nite. Its plot was questionable, mostly just an excuse for Lucille Ball to perform zany antics in a series of outlandish costumes, but one scene really captured my imagination: Dressed in a vinyl miniskirt, oversized sunglasses, and an extravagant wig, Lucy barges into her employer’s office, pretending to be a mod interior decorator named Margo.

Immediately, I had the beginnings of a character in my mind: an heiress — daring, headstrong, and emphatically stylish.

The story of Death Prefers Blondes went through numerous iterations after that initial spark, but two things always stayed the same: Margo’s name, and the bright, bold aesthetics of mod design that informed my visual motifs. That’s why the pop art sensibility of this cover by Rich Deas is so incredibly perfect. The vibrant colors and graphic styling, the font and the cheeky wink…it could be a poster for one of the great heist comedies of the 1960s, like William Wyler’s How To Steal A Million or Blake Edwards’s The Pink Panther — both of which also influenced the novel’s current plot. I couldn’t imagine a better fit for this book, and I am so excited to share it with the world!



Title Death Prefers Blondes
Author Caleb Roehrig
Pages 336 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Thriller
Publication Date January 29th 2019 by Feiwel & Friends
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Teenage socialite Margo Manning leads a dangerous double life. By day, she dodges the paparazzi while soaking up California sunshine. By night, however, she dodges security cameras and armed guards, pulling off high-stakes cat burglaries with a team of flamboyant young men. In and out of disguise, she’s in all the headlines.

But then Margo’s personal life takes a sudden, dark turn, and a job to end all jobs lands her crew in deadly peril. Overnight, everything she’s ever counted on is put at risk. Backs against the wall, the resourceful thieves must draw on their special skills to survive. But can one rebel heiress and four kickboxing drag queens withstand the slings and arrows of truly outrageous fortune? Or will a mounting sea of troubles end them — for good?