NOVL Brunch: Books, Boxes and Authors, Oh My!

NOVL Brunch Dead House

Bloggers at the NOVL brunch.
Photo by Meredith.

It’s been almost a month since BookExpo America (BEA) was held in NYC’s Jacob Javits Center. The mental and physical exhaustion from those two and a half days has finally passed, and all the books that we received or learned about are swirling around in our heads, taunting us and begging to be read.

While at BEA, I had the amazing honor of attending the NOVL Brunch, held at their jaw-dropping offices. (Seriously, this place was huge and gorgeous and epic.) At the brunch, bloggers were able to chat with Little, Brown publicists and editors, as well as with authors Virginia Boecker and Jennifer E. Smith.

The fabulous NOVL team – which is, of course, the teen division of Little, Brown Books – also presented several of their upcoming titles to the bloggers present – titles that the editors and publicists were very, very excited about; it was obvious from the smiles on their faces, the sparkle in the eyes and the enthusiasm in their voices.

I’m sure you’re curious about those titles, right? Well, I’m going to share them with you, then!

  • The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich. This one is my personal favorite, the one I’m most excited for and can’t wait to get my hands on! Basically, this was pitched as a creepy, terrifying psychological thriller, which I think YA needs more of, honestly, so yay! I don’t want to spoil the plot because the way it was pitched to us at the brunch… need it!
  • Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin. This one was pitched as “Code Name Verity meets ‘Inglourious Basterds’.” It’s an alternate history in which Germany won the war. There’s an annual race and the winner gets an audience with Hitler. Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler.
  • Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstorm. The cover has a secret message written in Braille. Epic, yes? And no matter how much we begged, the NOVL team wouldn’t tell us what it was! This book features a fierce, strong MC who refuses to see her blindness as a disability and lives her life to the fullest. She has very strict rules for those around her and if you break them, you’re done. No second chances. Until she can’t avoid her past anymore and she wonders if some rules are meant to be broken.
  • Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith. The presentation of this book was especially awesome because the design team explained the process behind the cover. The cover went through several incarnations and, in the end, a real couple – truly in love and married soon after this picture was taken – was used. This book takes place over the course of one night – the night before Clare and Aidan leave for college. Will they stay together or will they break up? Can they survive the long-distance, college relationship? Read the book to find out!
  • The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker. This one wasn’t in the official presentation, but since Boecker surprised us with a visit, it was discussed. I actually just finished this one a few days ago and it was AMAZING. I’m sad I didn’t read it sooner because I would have loved to tell Boecker, in person, how amazing it was. If you’ve read it, you know what I’m talking about!

Another fun thing? The NOVL team curated their very own NOVL Box, BEA style. What’s a NOVL Box, you ask? This is straight from the According to the website, “it’s a package full of handpicked items from some of our favorite authors! What’s inside? It’s a surprise, but one thing is for sure, it’s going to be full of awesome bookish things.”

Inside that BEA Edition NOVL Box? The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich, Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin, Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstorm, I Crawl Through It by A.S. King, Drift & Dagger by Kendall Kulper and 
Truly Madly Famously by Rebecca Serle – plus a mug holder and Little Brown shot glass!

The bloggers in attendance also got to chat with Jennifer E. Smith and get copies of Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between signed. And before we left, we also received BEA survival kits with water bottles, lanyards and granola bars!

Overall, it was an amazing, informative and fun event. I learned about some books I can’t wait to get my hands on and had a chance to chat with some fabulous bloggers, publicists, editors and auhors. And yes, we talked about those adorable NOVL puppies!

I want to send a huge, huge thank you to the NOVL team for putting together such a wonderful brunch and for putting The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich on my TBR Radar! It sounds creeptastic and epic!

Which NOVL book are you most excited for? Sound off in the comments below!

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About Author


Meredith is an avid reader, writer and dog lover. She is a publicist at Spencer Hill Press and the founder of Pandora's Books, a YA book blog, where she shares her love of books with anyone who will listen.

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