Keep Me Posted!

Sign me up for the latest news from Penguin Teen, including new books, special offers, and promotions.

Excerpt Alert: THE STORM OF LIFE


If The Brilliant Death left you dying for book 2, get ready! Because The Storm of Life is getting ready to hit shelves THIS MONTH and we have an excerpt today! Scroll down to read!




When I was a little girl, my father’s tours of Vinalia carried him far from home. While he conducted di Sangro business in the darkest corners of the finest palazzos, I sat on his black walnut chair, a crown of violets in the bramble of my curls, and made decrees.

I told my brother Luca that he was the bravest young man in my kingdom, which was true—my kingdom was no wider than Father’s study, though it ran as deep as my stepmother’s old stories.

I told my little sister Carina, barely born, that she must be a great strega. With her pickled face, solemn eyes, and perfectly timed wails, she seemed both young and old, wise and wicked.

I told my older sister, Mirella, that she’d been declared the queen of a neighboring kingdom, and I would trade with her if she had my favorite almond paste sweets.

I did not tell my brother Beniamo anything.

One day at the turn of winter, as the cold made its first advances into the castle, I sat alone at Father’s desk, working on a scrap of Mirella’s drawing paper with a stick of charcoal from the kitchen fire. I wrote out rules for my subjects, my hands smudged black, my mind burning with the bright frenzy of creating a kingdom. The magic inside me liked this business as much as I did.

It had been with me for nearly a year, since the night I went downstairs for a glass of milk and saw a man murdered on the stairs. The magic I’d inherited from this stranger ached to be used, but I couldn’t transform objects openly. My family might be frightened or jealous; they might scoff at me or stubbornly choose not to believe. So instead of show­ing them the whole of who I was, I snuck to the fields on the mountainside, changing ice to white linen sheets. As sum­mer breathed hot down our necks, I turned white poppies to snow that melted in my hands and trickled it down the back of my stuffy red di Sangro dresses.

The scrape of a foot against stone pulled my attention up from the papers on Father’s desk. I’d been so deep in­side of my schemes that I hadn’t heard the door as it opened. Beniamo stood on the threshold, watching me. Honeyed light from the hallway clung to his dark curls, and if I did not know him a bit, I would have thought he looked like a saint.

“What are you playing, Teodora?” he asked.

I wasn’t playing a game. I was perfectly serious.


He’ll hurt us, the magic whispered. Stop him.

I’d never changed a person before, and my magic was suddenly hungry to try it. But if I changed Beniamo, Father would disown me: strip me of my di Sangro name, send me away from the home and family that I loved.

Not now,” I whispered hotly to the magic.

“Are you talking in church words?” Beniamo asked. I hadn’t known I was doing that until he pointed it out.

“You wish to be a priest and a king? Isn’t one stupid dream enough to fill your day?”

I shoved the magic down. Shame and anger rose to fill its place, a natural spring pushing up to my cheeks. I vowed that I would never speak aloud to my magic.

“You know you can’t rule anything, don’t you?” Beniamo asked, his voice burning low and steady. He waited for me to give an answer that he could transform into the proper pun­ishment. I wondered what a queen would do.

“This is my kingdom,” I said in an ironclad whisper.

“Yours? What if it’s invaded?” Beniamo crossed the room swiftly. Things were moving now, and I could not slow them, could not stop them. I locked my legs around the posts of the chair, edges biting through my stockings and into my skin.

Beniamo pushed me, toppling the black walnut throne.

I rolled free, and Beniamo kicked me in the chest. Once, twice. I curled around the broken feeling, gathering the pieces. It wasn’t safe to cry out. Beniamo would enjoy it too much. He would kick me harder, to hear me shout again.

I watched from my place on the floor as his boots strode toward the crown of violets that had fallen from my hair. Beniamo smashed the deeply blue flowers beneath his heel. I had spent hours on the mountainside picking the ones with perfect cups of black in the center.

“You have been unseated, sister,” Beniamo said, laugh­ing as he dropped the ruined crown back on my head. He stepped back and studied me with a flat expression. “I’m only preparing you for the rest of your life. You should kneel and thank me.”

I must not have acted quickly enough, because he kicked me once more, a sharp toe to the shins.

I whimpered, stuffing a louder cry back down my throat.

“Go on,” he said.

I pushed the heels of my hands against the floor. My knees scraped the stone as I shifted, and because I could not look at his face without giving away the force of my hatred, I stared at my brother’s stomach, thinking about how soft and unprotected it looked. “Thank you,” I spat, the words as bit­ter as blood in my mouth.

And I started counting the days until I would never have to kneel again.


The Storm of Life is hitting shelves January 28th!


Missed the last excerpt alert? Read an excerpt of Melissa de la Cruz’s THE QUEEN’S ASSASSIN here!


Cover Reveal: THE AFTERWARD by E.K. Johnston got a glow-up!

If you fell head over heels for the romantic high fantasy The Afterward last year from E.K. Johnston, bestselling author of Star Wars: Ahsoka and Exit, Pursued by a Bear, then GET READY! Because it’s making a comeback with an all new cover and it. is. STUNNING! Are your eyeballs ready? Yes? Here you go. I KNOW RIGHT?! In … Continued
See More

Excerpt Alert: The Queen’s Assassin

Happy #FridayReads! This week’s, we’re reading The Queen’s Assassin by Melissa de la Cruz (and drooling over the cover!) Get ready for the the first novel in a sweeping YA fantasy-romance duet about a deadly assassin, his mysterious apprentice, and the country they are sworn to protect. Scroll down to read an excerpt! Chapter One Shadow Something … Continued
See More

Your recap guide before reading THE CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS

2020 is right around the corner, and with it comes the fifth book in the Miss Peregrine series, The Conference of the Birds! And after that INSANE ending of A Map of Days? We’re dying to know what comes next. But in case it’s been a whole year since you read A Map of Days, let’s review the major … Continued
See More

Excerpt Alert: FLY LIKE A GIRL

Happy #FridayReads! This week, we’re reading Fly Girl Like a Girl by Mary Jennings Hegar, the inspiring true story of a brave and determined woman who gave her all for her country, her sense of justice, and for women everywhere. Soon to be a major motion picture! Scroll down to read the excerpt. PROLOGUE I glanced out the … Continued
See More

Best Book Club Reads of the Year!

Some reads just require a buddy to talk about them with. And some reads require more than just one person to discuss, so here are our favorite book club picks of the year!   Frankly in Love by David Yoon You’ll have a lot of feelings both while and after reading this book. Get ready to bring a lot of … Continued
See More

Excerpt Alert: LAYOVERLAND

Happy #FridayReads! This week we’re reading Layoverland by Gabby Noone, a story about purgatory. Except it’s an airport and it’s romantic and hilarious. Scroll down to read the excerpt! PROLOGUE You know the kind of crying where you’re crying over one thing and then you think about a slightly less upsetting but still definitely upsetting thing and it makes … Continued
See More

Best of Bookstagram: All the Days Past, All the Days to Come

It is only JANUARY and one thing is very clear: 2020 is raising the bar on covers across the board. Exhibit A: All the Days Past, All the Days to Come. Aside from being an incredible read and long-awaited finale to the Logan Family series, this book is just plain beautiful. Here are some of … Continued
See More

Excerpt Alert: Alice by Heart

Happy #FridayReads! This week, we’re reading Alice by Heart by Steven Sater. A young girl takes refuge in a London Tube station during WWII and confronts grief, loss, and first love with the help of her favorite book, Alice in Wonderland, in the debut novel from Tony Award-winning playwright Steven Sater. Scroll down to read the excerpt! … Continued
See More

Read an excerpt of They Wish They Were Us!

They Wish They Were Us is one of 2020’s hottest upcoming books and we need to Imagine this: Gossip Girl + One of Us Is Lying with just a dash of The Secret History. That gives us this thrilling murder mystery set against the backdrop of an exclusive prep school on Long Island. Scroll down to read the excerpt!     … Continued
See More

Every Book Hitting Shelves in January!

New year, new you, and NEW BOOKS TOO!   1/7: All the Days Past, All the Days to Come by Mildred D. Taylor – The saga of the Logan family–made famous in the Newbery Medal-winning Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry–concludes in a long-awaited and deeply fulfilling story.   1/7: Flowers in the Gutter by K.R. Gaddy – The true story of the Edelweiss Pirates, … Continued
See More