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Featured Reads: Week of 4/3

April 3, 2017
The Riveted Team
Believe In Your Shelf

Happy Monday!

This week on Riveted, whatever you’re in the mood—romance, contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi—we’ve got you covered! First up, we’re featuring an extended excerpt of Alex, Approximately, the new YA novel from Jenn Bennett on sale tomorrow (4/4)! In this teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, Bailey Rydell comes to realize that the one guy she can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams. You may recall Alex, Approximately from last June when we held a poll for fans to vote on one of two cover options as part of Barnes & Noble’s B-Fest (you can still see the two cover options here — in hindsight, we’re glad the vote turned out the way it did).

We’ve also got extended excerpts of two great contemporary YA novels coming out in paperback this week! From Morgan Matson, we have The Unexpected Everything, a story of friendship, finding yourself, and all the joys of life that happen while you’re busy making other plans; and from Deb Caletti, we have Essential Maps for the Lost, about the grief that can tear us apart and the people who can make us whole again. Actually, we have a double-dose of Deb Caletti, because in addition to the extended excerpt of Essential Maps for the Lost, we’re ALSO featuring a full read of Deb’s The Last Forever, her bittersweet novel about first love and loss.

For a bit of a change of pace, this week we’re also featuring a full read of the first book in Richard Paul Evans’s Michael Vey series, Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25! This action-packed book series following Michael Vey—a fourteen-year-old who has Tourette’s syndrome…and electric powers—will be coming to a conclusion this September with the as-yet-unnamed seventh and final book. Over the course of the series, Richard Paul Evans has been building up a legion of fans so if you’re not familiar with the name Michael Vey, now might be a good to time to get acquainted!

Finally, we’ve brought out another Riveted favorite as a featured full read: Zombies Vs. Unicorns! This anthology of short stories explores the question, “which is better, the zombie or the unicorn?” and features a slew of amazing and well-known YA authors (Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, and Scott Westerfeld, to name a few) making arguments for both sides in a series of spectacular short stories.

Of course, those are only the reads that are NEW for this week, we STILL have last week’s reads available for a few more days! From Emma Harrison, we have a full read of Escaping Perfect and an extended excerpt of Finding What’s Real; from Cassandra Clare, we have a full read of City of Bones, in honor of it’s recent ten-year anniversary; and from Lisa M. Stasse, we have a full read of The Forsaken, the first book in her dystopian Forsaken trilogy.

Find out more about this week’s reads:

Alex, Approximatelyby Jenn Bennett

In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent half of her junior year falling for a sensitive film geek she only knows online as “Alex.” Two coasts separate them until she moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist trap, the oddball Cavern Palace Museum. Or that she’s being tormented daily by Porter Roth, a smart-alecky yet irritatingly hot museum security guard. But when Porter and Bailey are locked in the museum overnight, Bailey is forced to choose whether she should cling to a dreamy fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex. Approximately.

The Unexpected Everythingby Morgan Matson

Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.

Future? A top-tier medical school.

Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around).

Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else?


Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks.

So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too.


Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all—working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Palmer, Bri, and Toby tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?

Essential Maps for the Lostby Deb Caletti

From beloved author and National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti comes a fresh and luminous novel about the grief that can tear us apart and the people who can make us whole again.

There are many ways to be lost.

Sometimes people want to be lost. Madison—Mads to everyone who knows her—is trying her best to escape herself during one last summer away from a mother who needs more from her than she can give, and from a future that has been decided by everyone but her.

Sometimes the lost do the unimaginable, like the woman, the body, Mads collides with in the middle of the water on a traumatic morning that changes everything.

And sometimes the lost are the ones left behind, like the son of the woman in the water, Billy Youngwolf Floyd. Billy is struggling to find his way through each day in the shadow of grief. His one comfort is the map he carries in his pocket, out of his favorite book The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

When three lives (and one special, shared book) collide, strange things happen. Things like questions and coincidences and secrets, lots of secrets. Things like falling in love. But can two lost people telling so many lies find their way through tragedy to each other…and to solid ground?

The Last Foreverby Deb Caletti

Nothing lasts forever, and no one gets that more than Tessa. After her mother died, it’s all Tessa can do to keep her friends, her boyfriend, and her happiness from slipping away. And then there’s her dad. He’s stuck in his own daze, and it’s so hard to feel like a family when their house no longer seems like a home.

Her father’s solution? An impromptu road trip that lands them in Tessa’s grandmother’s small coastal town. Despite all the warmth and beauty there, Tessa can’t help but feel even more lost.

Enter Henry Lark. He understands the relationships that matter. And more importantly, he understands her. A secret stands between them, but Tessa’s willing to do anything to bring them together—because Henry may just be her one chance at forever.

Michael Veyby Richard Paul Evans

The start of an action-packed teen series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Richard Paul Evans.

To everyone at Meridian High School, fourteen-year-old Michael Vey is nothing special, just the kid who has Tourette’s syndrome. But in truth, Michael is extremely special—he has electric powers. Michael thinks he is unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor has the same mysterious powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up with their abilities, and their investigation soon brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric teens—and through them, the world.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Richard Paul Evans introduces a character whose risk-filled exploration marks the beginning of a riveting new series. With only his powers, his wits, and his friends to protect him, Michael will need all his strength to survive….

Zombies vs. Unicornsby Holly Black & Justine Larbalestier

It’s the epic battle of brains against manes. Which side are you on?

It’s a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? This all-original anthology edited by Holly Black (Team Unicorn) and Justine Larbalestier (Team Zombie) makes strong arguments for both sides in the form of spectacular short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths—for good and evil—of unicorns, and half show the good (and really, really badass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan.

This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?

Finding What’s Realby Emma Harrison

Cecelia Montgomery returns after running away to deal with the downside of her newfound fame—and her mother’s Presidential campaign—in the sequel to Escaping Perfect.

Now that Cecilia Montgomery has been found after two weeks on the run, she’s stuck in the middle of a media firestorm. When Cecilia threatens to leave again, her mom drops the bomb. She plans to run for President. She’s going to announce in a few days. And if she bails again, well, they do still have Jasper in custody on bogus “kidnapping” charges...

Suddenly Cecilia is trapped yet again, forced into a public persona she had no part in creating. But her friends from Sweetbriar still have her back and help smuggle Cecelia back into town. Just when Cecelia thinks she’s finally escaped, her mother arrives and officially announces she is running for President—and she plans to stay in Sweetbriar for the duration of her candidacy.

Meanwhile, Fiona becomes a bit obsessed with the fame she achieves from being Cecilia Montgomery’s best friend, and even Jasper gets caught up in the benefits of dating her. Soon Cecilia starts to wonder if they want to hang out with her, or if they want to benefit from hanging out with her. All she wanted was a small, anonymous life, but now things seem to be spiraling out of control.

Can Cecelia ever find her perfect ending, or will her escape prove to be more of a trap than she ever thought possible?

Escaping Perfectby Emma Harrison

Cecilia Montgomery has been America’s sweetheart since the day she was born. A member of the prestigious Montgomery family—the US equivalent of royalty—her childhood was cut short after she was nearly kidnapped. Since then, Cecilia has been hidden away, her adolescence spent at an exclusive boarding school.


Her dreams of becoming a professional violinist—dashed.

Her desire to be a normal teenager—not possible.


Her relationship with her once-loving parents—bitter and strained.

Nothing about Cecilia’s life is what she would have planned for herself. So when an opportune moment presents itself, Cecilia seizes the chance to become someone else. To escape. To disappear. To have the life she always dreamed about, far away from her mother’s biting remarks and her sheltered upbringing.

Cecilia says goodbye to the Montgomery name and legacy to become Lia Washington: relaxed, wild, in love, free, and living on her own terms for the very first time. But being on your own isn’t always as easy as it seems…

City of Bonesby Cassandra Clare

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

The Forsakenby Lisa M. Stasse

Choose a tribe. Watch your back. And don’t stop running.

Filled with thrilling adventure and romance, The Forsaken is praised by EntertainmentWeekly.com as “a fast-paced novel [that] you’ll get sucked into. You just can’t seem to put [it] down.”

As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the US, and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help standing out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to the wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.

The life expectancy of prisoners on the wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and a charismatic warrior named Liam concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.

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