Thursday, December 2, 2010

Author Interview: Sarah Ockler!

Hey guys! I have another awesome author interview for you today! Today's author is Sarah Ockler. Her newest book, Fixing Delilah, recently just came out. I tried posting this earlier but my computer wouldn't let me for some reason. I have not had a chance to read the book yet, but If you guys want a review, go ahead and check out my friend Miranda's lovely book blog.
The link to her review is here:

Now on to the interview!

1. Where did you get the idea for Twenty Boy Summer?

I was inspired to write Twenty Boy Summer by my work with the National Donor Family Council, an organization that supports families whose loved ones have died and donated organs or tissues. Through the Council’s programs and events, I metlots of teens who’d experienced the death of a sibling or friend, and their stories stayed with me always. When I started working on my first book, I knew that I wanted to share a little bit of the love, loss, and hope I saw through their eyes. I chose to do that by telling the story of two best friends struggling after the tragic and sudden death of someone they both loved very much. But I also wanted to show that life goes on, even when we don’t want it to — even when we don’t think it can. So in the book, while Anna and Frankie were trying to put their lives back together after the tragedy of losing Matt, they were also on summer vacation, which meant beaches, boys, makeup, best friend fights,
sunsets, toes in the sand, and all of those every day things that keep going on around us, even when our hearts are broken. I just kept thinking about how those two things would come together — tragedy and life, heartbreak and hope, love and loss — and the story grew from there.

2. Have you always been good at writing/wanted to be a writer?

I've wanted to write stories since I was old enough to read them, and I'm so glad I'm finally at a point in my life where I can do that. It took me a long time to accept that this was my destiny in life, no way to outrun it, but once I did, I haven't looked back.

3. If you could work with any other author, who would it be?

I would love to work with someone who writes really funny but serious stuff, like Josh Berk or Frank Portman. I think it would be such a fun experience to team up on a project like that. Plus Josh is one of the best pranksters I know, which means we'd never be bored!

4. Are there any parts of your books that are based on events in your own life?

Not directly, but I do let a lot of my experiences shape and inspire my work. It's hard not to! Usually the stuff in the books ends up symbolizing something from real life rather than directly recounting it. I do borrow directly from my life with the little details, though. For example, there's this whole weird thing with a dog hair sweater
and dog ashes in Fixing Delilah, and that was all true stuff that happened during my grandmother's death. In Twenty Boy Summer, the characters' favorite band was my brother's band (which broke up right before the book released).

5. How long did it take to find an agent/publish your book after finishing the manuscript?

Once I finished the manuscript and started querying, it took about 3 weeks to find the right agent. After we went on submission to publishers, we had our first offer just a few days later, and we accepted a final pre-empt offer a few days after that. It was all kind of a whirlwind, actually. Some days I wake up and wonder if it really

6. What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity" when writing?

Copy someone else. I'm serious. If you get totally stuck, and not even a few writing prompts can help you, start copying words from one of your favorite books. Let those words take you in a new direction. At some point, your own brain and heart will kick in, and you'll be
writing something original again. Just remember to delete those copied
words before you submit your work anywhere!

7. What's your favorite part of a book?

I love the part near the end when things look hopeless. There's so much emotional tension and potential there -- things can go either way for the main character, and I'm right there with her, hoping for the best.

(Now for a couple fun questions)

8. Favorite song?

This changes, but it's usually something by Radiohead. Right now, Thinking About You, off the Pablo Honey CD. Love it. Black Star is another one. Then there's Fake Plastic Trees... I'll stop now.

9. If you were going to be stuck on a deserted island, which book, movie, food, and person(s) would you take? Book: The Lord of the Rings trilogy, since that's actually one long book, and we could entertain ourselves by acting out scenes. Movie: I usually say Lord of the Rings, but if we have the book, I think I'll bring something with Johnny Depp. It really doesn't matter which movie, as long as it starts Johnny. Food? Navratan Korma. Person(s)? My husband, Alex. He's my favorite person in the world, after all. If for any reason he wasn't available, I would take um let's see yes Johnny Depp.

10. Five of your favorite things?

Walking in the woods, falling asleep on the couch and waking up with a
blanket covering me, cheese, coffee, and my Mac laptop.
Thanks, Trish, and big group hug to readers and bloggers everywhere. I
hope you'll check out Fixing Delilah, which hits the shelves any day
now! :-)

Sure, you can include a link to my site at and
twitter at

Saturday, November 27, 2010

She's So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott

Hello friends! I am back again today with ANOTHER review. Crazy, right? Today's book comes with an interesting (or, maybe not) story.
Do you guys remember me going to the NYC Teen Author Fest? (If you don't, a post about it is here). Well, Kieran Scott was there. At the time, I didn't think I read anything she had written, so I didn't go up to her. After the author fest, though, Susane Colasanti stated on her blog that Kieran Scott was also the author of The Private Series under then Pen name, Kate Brian. I was so mad when I heard this! I've been reading the private series since it first came out and had NO IDEA Kate Brian was a Pen name. I own about 9 of her books! I totally could have met with her and had her sign some stuff. I guess I'll have to go back next year, right? Hopefully she'll be there!
Okay, so back to the review. Here's the description:

When having money is all that matters, what happens when you lose it all?
Perfect, picturesque Orchard Hill. It was the last thing Ally Ryan saw in the rear-view mirror as her mother drove them out of town and away from the shame of the scandal her father caused when his hedge fund went south and practically bankrupted all their friends -- friends that liked having trust funds and new cars, and that didn't like constant reminders that they had been swindled. So it was adios, Orchard Hill. Thanks for nothing.
Now, two years later, Ally's mother has landed a job back at the site of their downfall. So instead of Ally's new low-key, happy life, it'll be back into the snake pit with the likes of Shannen Moore and Hammond Ross.
But then there's Jake Graydon. Handsome, wealthy, bored Jake Graydon. He moved to town after Ally left and knows nothing of her scandal, but does know that he likes her. And she likes him. So off into the sunset they can go, right? Too bad Jake's friends have a problem with his new crush since it would make Ally happy. And if anyone deserves to be unhappy, it's Ally Ryan.
Ally was hoping to have left all the drama in the past, but some things just can't be forgotten. Isn't there more to life than money?

When I first picked up this book, I didn't really think it was something I'd like. I picked it up and put it back down on the shelf a few times, actually. But then, I figured, why not? So I got it from the library.
The book started off pretty interestingly. It starts as Ally Ryan first comes to town after moving away almost 2 years ago. It's told in alternating points of view, which I really liked. It is told in Ally's POV and Jake Graydon's POV.
At first, I did not like Jake at all. I thought he was an arrogant jerk. But as the story moved on, I got to see more of him and why he said/did the things he did. After that, I started to like him more.
I really love Ally's character, though. She's spunky, tough, and won't take anyone's crap. Not even her ex-bestfriends'. This story is pretty fast paced and is not completely predictable, but not unpredictable either. It was definitely different than stories I've read in the past, but overall I thought it was a great book. What I didn't realize, though, until the last few pages, was that it was a series! I got to the end and was like, whaaatttt?! That said, the ending will definitely leave you wanting more.
You'll love to hate the cresties, thrive on Jake and Ally's growing relationship and then find yourself waiting for book 2! If you love YA, romance, and drama, this book is for you. Once again, I found this book at my library, so make sure you check yours! Hope you enjoy and Happy Reading :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Elixir by Hilary Duff

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! I know I am thankful for all authors out there, and of course, you guys for reading this blog even though I've been a poor host lately!
Today I have a review for you guys! You're shocked, I know. But anyway, today's book is Elixir by Hilary Duff. I know what you're thinking. You're probably all like, Hilary Duff wrote a book?! That has to be awful. I doubt I'd read that. But guys, you'd be surprised at how good this book is. I mean, read this description:

As the daughter of a renowned surgeon and a prominent Washington D.C. politician, Clea Raymond has felt the glare of the spotlight her entire life. And though she dreads the paparazzi who track her every move, she herself is a talented photojournalist who takes refuge in a career that allows her to travel to the most exotic parts of the world.
But after Clea’s father disappears while on a humanitarian mission, eerie, shadowy images of a strange and beautiful young man begin to appear in Clea’s photos—a man she has never seen in her life.
When Clea suddenly encounters this man in person she is stunned—and feels an immediate and powerful connection. As they grow closer, they are drawn deep into the mystery behind her father’s disappearance and discover the centuries-old truth behind their intense bond.
Torn by a dangerous love triangle and haunted by a powerful secret that holds their fate, together they race against time to unravel their past in order to save their future—and their lives.

Sounds intense right? Well, it is. I didn't even notice Hilary Duff wrote it before I read the description. Then, after I realized she wrote it, I got skeptical (Sorry Hilary!). As I started reading, though, I was delightfully surprised. This book was very, very good! It's just like any other amazing YA Paranormal Romance. It's very intense like I said before, and also mysterious, breathtaking, romantic, and fast-paced. I finished this all in one night because I just HAD to know what happened. And trust me, if you guys read this, you are going to be dying for the next book in the series once it ends! I'm so mad we have to wait another year for the next one! This book is full of surprises and is so different than any other book I've read. It makes you think one thing, and then something else happens, and then something else happens that makes you question what happened before! It's a wild read and is very refreshing in the fact that it's very unpredictable. Props to Hilary for her first novel debut.
If you guys like a drama, romance, mystery, and suspense in a book then this one is for you! This book is still available to read on the Simon and Schuster Pulse It website, but you only have 4 more days including today. They had it at my library though so I would check there too. Hope you guys enjoy and happy reading!

PS: Even though I haven't been posting, I have been reading a lot. I read 10 books just in the past two weeks so you guys will definitely have some more awesome reviews! Some books that are coming up: Wild Roses by Deb Caletti, Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales, The Midnighters series by Scott Westerfeld, The Awakening series by Kelly Armstrong, One Night That Changes everything and Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt, and many more!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Author Interview: Stephanie Perkins!

Hey everyone! I finally got a handle on my computer issues, and I have been really sick lately so that's why there hasn't been many posts lately! But it's all better now, so we can finally get back on schedule! Today I've got an awesome author interview with you guys because I know I haven't posted one in a long time. Her name is Stephanie Perkins and she's the author of the phenomenal book, Anna and the French Kiss. Hope you enjoy the interview!

1. Where did you get the idea for Anna and the French Kiss?

"The idea arrived in a dream. I saw a beautiful boy sitting on the steps of the Panthéon in Paris, and I knew that I was deeply in love with him. It was impossible to resist! Or, more accurately, the boy was impossible to resist."

2. If you could work with any other author, who would it be?

"I'd love to do a project with either of my critique partners, Laini Taylor or Kiersten White. Amazing ladies, amazing writers."

3. Are there any parts of your books that are based on events in your own life?

"Sure! None of the big events are mine (for instance, unlike Anna, I've never been to boarding school in Paris), but a sizable chunk of the everyday situations are inspired by things that have happened to me or acquaintances of mine. It's difficult for me to imagine an author making EVERYTHING up!"

4. How long did it take to find an agent/publish your first book after finishing the manuscript?

"I was lucky. Once my manuscript was out in the world, things moved quickly. But I spent a LOT a LOT a LOT of time revising before submitting it to my future agent! I queried in the best fighting shape possible, and it paid off. After signing with my agent, I did one more revision that took about a month, and then she sent it out to two editors. I received offers from both of them that same month. I truly believe that things moved fast because I put in the hard work and time BEFORE sending it out into the world. (But I was also really darn lucky!)"

5. What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity" when writing?

"It happens to everyone. It sucks, but you have to work through it. Try writing a different section of the book, interviewing a character, revising an old scene, ANYTHING. If you stop working, guess what? The book doesn't get written. And the longer you stay away from a project, the harder it is to go back. The sucky truth is that most writers have more difficult days than easy days. As much as I love my job, it's still work. Work isn't always fun. And it's unfair to yourself to pretend that every day of writing will be fun, just because it's creative. Work is work, no matter what field you're in. It won't always feel magical, but it WILL get better. So keep going!"

Make sure to head on over to Steph's official website,
And don't forget to buy her book when it comes out in December!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Stay by Deb Caletti

Hey guys, sorry for the lack of updates-- my computer is still messed up! My charger is broke like I said, but my roommate is getting annoyed with me borrowing it soooo that's why I'm not on, haha. But! I am here with a new review of a book that doesn't come out until next year. It's Stay by Deb Caletti. The description of the book is here:

Clara’s relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she’s ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it’s almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is--and what he’s willing to do to make her stay.
Now Clara has left the city—and Christian—behind. No one back home has any idea where she is, but she still struggles to shake off her fear. She knows Christian won’t let her go that easily, and that no matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough....

Deb Caletti has done it again. I fell in love with her books once I read Fortunes of Indigo Skye and this book is no different. This one is set up a little different, but I loved the new format! It switched back between past and present with each chapter and also added some footnotes. The footnotes made me think of E. Lockhart's Ruby Oliver series and I LOVE those books too.
I've always loved Deb's style of writing, but this book has to be new favorite. It really made me feel for Clara's character and everything she was going through. I also loved the way you learned the story of Christian through a flashback-type chapter that ended up being connected to the present.
Deb seems to have done A LOT of thinking about this book. It has been compiled beautifully and gracefully. Not only does she tell the story of Clara, Christian and Finn, but she also adds a complex family background to the story as well. This is the perfect example of an amazing Young Adult novel. This is the type of book that brings me back to why I love YA so much. The power of Deb's words in this novel make you feel like you are right there with Clara, experiencing everything along with her. Deb definitely knows how teens operate.
This book was a great read and I can't wait until it's published so I can buy my own copy and read it again and again!
Stay comes out in April 2011 so mark your calanders! Do not miss out on this novel-- you won't be disappointed! Reading this book will make your life better in some way, I promise.
Hope you guys get this when it's released! Happy Reading!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti

Hey guys! I figured out what was up with my computer. For some reason my charger decided t stop working out of no where. I'm borrowing my roommate's charger now so I have a review for you guys! Today's book is The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti. The description is here:

Since being diagnosed with Panic Disorder, Jade DeLuna is trying her best to stay calm, and visiting the elephants at the nearby zoo seems to help. That’s why Jade keeps the live zoo webcam on in her room, and where she first sees Sebastian.
When she finally meets him, their connection is immediate, and soon Jade is drawn into Sebastian’s life with his son and his grandmother on their Seattle houseboat. Even though the situation is complicated, Jade hasn’t felt this safe in a long time.
Until she learns that Sebastian is hiding a terrible secret. A secret that will force Jade to decide between what is right, and what feels right...

This book was AMAZING! I think this book is in a tie with my favorite book of Deb Caletti's. The Nature of Jade and The Six Rules of Maybe are up for the number one spot but I can't choose! This book was very different from anything I've ever read. I loved the concept of the zoo. It made me even look up my local zoo and see if they had any job openings (they don't, unfortunately). From the description, I was a little iffy on what was going to happen with Sebastian but it turned out to be a very realistic and great plot twist. It reminded me a little of One Tree Hill, which I absolutely love.
Deb's writing never ceases to amaze me. She has such a way with words that makes her perfect for being an author, especially for YA. I think my favorite line in this book was, "Your sibling, after all, is the only other person in the world who understands how fucked up your parents made you." LOVE IT! It's something I can definitely relate to.
This book is all about first love, self discovery, and the all around hardships of being a teenage girl. Deb Caletti has definitely done it again with this one. I hope you all go out and rent or buy this one so you have a chance to read it. I can say that this book impacted my life. I hope you like it! Happy reading :)

Okay, I just have to add this. Does anybody watch Scrubs? If you don't, you should. If you do, you are living a full life. I have to share this awesome show finale. I mean, it doesn't get much better than this. Every time I watch all of the seasons back to back, this scene always makes me cry! If you watch the show, you know what I'm talking about. And I'm totally stealing this Book of Love song for my wedding someday. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wesley Scroggins/Book Banning

Hey everyone. I just hopped on one of the computers they have in my dorm's lobby so I could post about a serious issue going on in the YA book world.
Like I said on my previous post, there are some censorship issues going on with a couple YA books. Wesley Scroggins, an associate professor of management at Missouri State University, has called Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson filthy, immoral and PORNOGRAPHIC. That's right everyone, apparently, according to Scroggins, being raped is pornographic. He wants Speak, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut all banned from local schools and libraries.

First, I would like to talk about Speak and what it's about. Speak is about a realistic teenage girl going through things that EVERY REAL TEENAGE GIRL GOES THROUGH. Then, at a party, she gets raped. Yes, there are rape scenes but it's not overly detailed. And what if it was? What about those real girls who really did get raped? Since, according to Scroggins, these scenes are porographic, does that mean the girls who have been raped in real life are porn stars? Are you going to ban each girl, or guy for that matter, who has gotten raped from public schools and libraries also? Where does the line get drawn?
As many of you readers know, a lot of us turn to books to be comforted, to not feel so alone. There are so many girls out there who have been helped by books like Speak. Maybe they don't have the confidence to come out with what happened to them or don't know how to deal with it. What if they never got to read a book like Speak because it was banned? What if that book could have helped that girl like it helped so many others.
Speak is not about pornographic material and sex scenes. It's about realistic and serious problems that a lot of girls go through. Does Scroggins even know how many girls get raped in a year? Statistically, 1 in 3 girls have been sexually abused. 1 IN 3 PEOPLE. I just don't understand how he can say that this book is immoral and garbage when it has helped SO many girls out there. It's horrible.

Secondly, I want to talk about Twenty Boy Summer. WHAT THE HECK IS SCROGGINS TALKING ABOUT?! He says this about the book:
"This book glorifies drunken teen parties, where teen girls lose their clothes in games of strip beer pong. In this book, drunken teens also end up on the beach, where they use their condoms to have sex."
First of all, this book does not glorify anything. It's about 2 girls who lose a guy they love very deeply. This is just part of the story. And second, Sarah Ockler tells it how it is. That's how a lot of teens act now a days, with or without books being written about it. Is Scroggins blind? My cousin just went into ninth grade this year and barely reads anything at all. She has told me about people in her grade doing hard drugs, drinking, smoking, and having sex. They are not influenced by books like this. They are not going to read about parties and alcohol in a book and automatically just go crazy. Kids are doing things like drinking and having sex at younger and younger ages. Twenty Boy Summer only includes real life actions by teenagers. There is no glorifying in her book at all. Not once does she say it's a good idea or promotes the actions of her characters. And hey, at least her characters are using condoms.
This book is so much more than alcohol and sex. That is one minor detail in the whole entire book. I have reviewed this book in the past and I told you guys how much I loved it. It was about a girl and her best friend who go on vacation to try and heal their broken hearts after a dear friend has died. How many teenagers do you think go through things like this all the time? More than you'd think. So, to me, this book could be another way of feeling less alone and a way to figure out how to deal with your greif. This is another book that Scroggins wants to ban just because it's real. If he bans this book along with Speak, what's next? Banning books because of characters kissing or characters with divorced parents that act badly?

All in all, these books are about real life. That's why they are considered Contemp YA. Scroggins wants to ban these books because of one or two scenes with bad things in them. But like I said, what about those teens who actually have to DEAL with those problems EVERY DAY? Are we going to ban them too? For them, this isn't a story they can just pick up and finish whenever they want. To them, this is life. Very real life that they live through everyday. What about them, Scroggins?

If you guys want to share your thoughts, or learn more about the issue, go to Laurie Halse Anderson's blog, here:

She needs our help, and so do the other YA authors getting attacked out there. We can all make a difference by showing our YA love. So do what you can and let your voices be heard!

Computer broken!

Ahhhh! My computer battery is completely dead, even on the charger. My computer won't turn on at all. I am doing this post from my iPod touch but I can't do reviews from this thing. And I was just about to post my review of The Nature of Jade for you guys! Ughh, well, I'm not sure when it'll be fixed but I'm trying to get a new battery. I'm sorry for the inconvenience guys :(

In the meantime, have you guys heard about the banning of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler?! People are crazy now! If you have a Twitter account and want to speak your mind, tweet your message with #speakloudly at the end of it. Also, Sarah Ockler and one or two other authors are having a contest to win these banned books. If you're interested, go to their blogs or Twitter for more info. Have a great day and happy reading!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Hello everyone! Yes, I know it is 2:30am but I am leaving for vacation in about an hour so I figured I'd post a last minute review for you guys. This one is Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. The description is here:

Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris — until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Holy Frick! First of all, look at that GORGEOUS cover! B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L is all I have to say. Second of all, this book was amazing! I was so excited to read this book that I started reading it as soon as I got home and finished it that night. I'm a big sucker for love stories, and this one was definitely one of my favorites. Stephanie Perkins' writing is like a mixture between Sarah Dessen, Susane Colasanti, and Kristen Walker, which are all amazing authors. This book is full of comedy, love, and a bunch of Parisian goodness! I would definitely let Stephanie write my life if she was going to make it like this. This book was very refreshing and made me remember why I love reading so much.
Unfortunately, this book doesn't come out until December, but you guys have to get your hands on it when it comes out. You will not be disappointed, I promise!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend by Carrie Jones

Hello everyone! Today I have a review for you :) I stayed up until 2am to finish it! It's called Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend by Carrie Jones. I never heard of the author or the book until I found it in my library, so I was happy to have found it. The description is:

It isn’t every day that my high school boyfriend, Eastbrook High School’s Harvest King, tells me he’s gay. It’s not every day that the Harvest Queen is dumped in the middle of a road with the stars watching the humiliation and the dogs barking because they want to come help tear my heart out and leave it on the cold gray ground. It isn’t every day that my entire world falls apart.
Belle believes that Dylan is her true love—maybe even her soulmate. Until one cold night when Dylan drops the ultimate bomb: he’s gay. Where, Belle wonders, does that leave her? Should she have somehow been able to tell? Is every guy that she loves going to turn out to be gay?

My friend ended up reading this book first, so when she told me it was good I knew I had to read it. I thought it turned out pretty good! I was hoping the book would be funny but it really only made me laugh once. Other than that, it was a good story. I absolutely fell in love with Tom as soon as I saw his sweet side. I need to get me one of him! The book as a whole was pretty moving, in a way. It really makes you think about who you are and what choices you make. I felt bad for Belle in a lot of the book but then again, she found Tom, like, 5 seconds after the whole Dylan-is-gay thing. Wouldn't it be awesome if handsome, romantic, sweet, and tall guys popped out of no where, just when we need them to in real life?
Anyway, I loved this story and I am definitely going to get the sequel when I go back home. I hope you guys give this book a chance, even if it doesn't sound like your cup of tea. Happy reading and expect ANOTHER review tomorrow because I just finished The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Update + YA Contemps blog

Sorry everyone! I haven't posted anything in almost a month! I have been working on getting back into the groove of school work. First I had to move back into my dorm and then I had to get a hang of my classes. But all is well now and I can finally get back to reviewing!
Exciting news for today though! I just got a new ARC in the mail. It's called Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. It sounds really cool so I'm excited to start reading it. Especially because my sister has a boyfriend who lives in Paris!
I also got a Sarah Dessen Lock and Key necklace! I won it in a book cover contest on one of her official websites I told you guys about-- Sarah-land. I will post a picture of it as soon as I get my hands on it, but unfortunately the book and necklace are at home and I'm at school!
Thanks for everyone who has been hanging in there and checking the blog for more reviews! Now that I'm back at school I'll have more time to get you guys some reviews. I'm currently working on reading Tips on Having a Gay Ex-boyfriend, Imaginary Enemy, The Nature of Jade, and Anna and the French Kiss!

Now on to the next part of today's post. There is a new and very awesome website up called YA Contemps. I'll post the linked image at the bottom of this post and also on the sidebar of this blog so you guys can check it out anytime! This website is hosted by a bunch of YA contemperary authors, such as Sarah Ockler and Elizabeth Scott. It is definitely worth checking out so make sure you head over there! They have stuff going on almost every day of the week, including contests and personal high school stories and pictures.

PS: If you guys want to follow me on twitter, here's the link:
I mostly just write to authors and will update on when I have a new post on the blog. I'll also be adding links to cool author contests where you can win free stuff. Also, let me know if you want me to post and links for information on the publishing industry.
Here is the YA Contemps link banner:
Celebrate realistic YA with The Contemps!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Hey everyone! I figured it was about time for another SD review, especially since I still haven't finished Imaginary Enemy. I swear I'm trying, but One Tree Hill won't stop nagging me! Anyway, here's the description of This Lullaby:

When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn't mess around. After all, she's learned all there is to know from her mother, who's currently working on husband number five. But there's something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy's rules. He
certainly doesn't seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can't seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy's starting to understand what those love songs are all about?

This book seems to be a favorite of SD readers. I can definitely see why. This book starts off with a very relatable subject: Fear of falling in love. In this book, Remy makes sure that if she dates a boy, she won't get too attached. But then she meets Dexter. Dexter is absolutely adorable. I mean, the first thing he says to her is just pure adorable-ness. I could definitely relate to Remy in a lot of ways, especially with the bad parental examples. This book is definitely one of Sarah's best and I'm sure you guys will love it! This is a definate must read for the end of summer. It makes me excited to go back to school to see who I, myself, might bump into.
Like most SD books, this one is full of wonderful, real, and captivating characters that pull you in and don't let you go until they're finished telling their story. Plus, I love the lyrics of the This Lullaby song that Remy's dad wrote for her. I wish there was an actual song made up for it so I could listen to it endlessly. If you're looking for a humorus, real, and sometimes sad book, then this one is for you. They should have it at your library, but I definitely recommend buying this one because I know you're going to want to read it again and again. Hope you guys enjoy!

PS: I just thought of a cool prize for a contest. Would anyone like a Sarah Dessen themed t-shirt? Maybe I could make a generic one, or you, as the winner, could pick which book or quote you would want on it? Something like the Wish Catering Wish bone logo, or Hate Spinnerbait, or even something like Clementine's or The Bike Shop. Sound cool to you guys? Let me know!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A new and wonderful YA book blog!

Hey everyone. While I'm still reading Imaginary Enemy, I thought I'd stop by and tell you guys about a new YA book blog that just came about.
It's called Just Read (after Sarah Dessen's Just listen) and the creater's name is Miranda. She's a very nice and sweet girl with an awesome taste in books! Make sure to check her site out because she's going to have some awesome reviews and contests. The link is
Hope you guys enjoy!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman

Hello! Today's book, as you can see, is Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman. I finally finished it! The description is here:

Looking for a new beginning after a terrible mean girl past, Charlie Healey realizes there's no escaping high school drama.
Charlie Healey thinks Harmony Falls is the beginning of a whole new life. Middle school was brutal. But high school is Charlie's big chance to start over and stay out of drama, except that on her first day she runs into Will, her ex—best friend, who had moved away. Now a varsity athlete and hotter than Charlie remembered, Will hangs with the crowd running the school. But Charlie doesn't understand their power until an innocent delivery guy falls victim to a near-deadly hazing prank.
Torn between doing what's right and her secret feelings for Will, Charlie must decide whether to turn in her very best friend or live with the guilt of knowing what he did.

I heard a lot of good things about this book (and the author herself) so I was happy to read it once I got it from the library. I thought this book was really good! It was very, very relatable and realistic. Charlie could easily be a girl that I would be friends with. We have a lot of the same humor and I can definitely relate to her in the fact that I moved schools when I was a freshman to get away from ignorant people too. My new school wasn't perfect, but like Charlie, I made my real friends there.
I loved Will's and Sydney's characters the most in this book. (Other than Charlie's of course). They were both so real and great all around. I wish I had some friends like them!
I also loved the plot of this book a lot. It's pretty different than usual books' story lines. I would recommend this to any teenager! Check your local library because that's where I got my copy. Hope you guys check it out and enjoy!

Oh, and PS: Here's some more crafty goods for you guys! After I made my cousin's birthday present, I made my friend from Camp a nice frame. Here's a pic!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Crafts and halfway through next book!

Hey everyone. Just figured I'd stop in and post some random stuff. I'm half way through Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman. This book is pretty good so far. Definitely liking it a lot! It's taken me a while to read this one because I've been so busy with work and making my cousin a birthday present! She's going to be twelve this year so I thought I'd make her something cool.
Do you guys know what Hobby Lobby is? Do you go to Hobby Lobby? If you don't, you need to get yourself in that store ASAP. It's so awesome! Is it just me, or do their paper and scrapbooking materials rock! I swear, I could spend like 3 hours in that store just looking at all the paper and crazy stickers! Okay, how big of a geek do I sound like right now? Pretty big, I know. But hey! They have so many awesome sales! I mean, I went there yesterday with my other cousin and I got everything for 50% off. Totally worth it!
So anyway, this week I've been working on my cousins present, which is this:

It's a big jewelry box with cool secret compartments inside it. It even came with a built in mirror! That wooden box only cost me 5 bucks! Here's some more shots:

I added some cool sparkly black circles and some pretty pearls to tie in the black letters with the metal that holds the box together. I also loved those flower sequins so I added one on each side and the back! I know you guys probably don't care, but I figured I'd just post it since I'm not done with the book yet. Hope you guys enjoy and I should have a review up tomorrow! :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Year My Sister Got Lucky by Amiee Friedman

Hey everyone! I finally have a new review for you guys! I've been immensed in One Tree Hill lately so that's why it took me so long. It's sick, really, the way I'm obsessed with that show. But, I guess that goes along with my obsession with books, as well. Anyway, today's book is The Year My Sister Got Lucky by Amiee Friedman. The description is here:

Katie and Michaela Wilder are New York City girls...and best friends. But everything changes when they move upstate to rural Fir Lake. Katie is horrified by their new surroundings: the too-friendly neighbors, the lack of a subway, the fact they live near actual cows. She's shocked when Michaela adapts to the country life effortlessly, dating a cute football player and attending homecoming with something resembling enjoyment.
And most shocking of all? She's started keeping secrets from Katie.

This book was definitely different than I thought it was going to be. I pictured some snobby teenager from New York and her snobby sister moving to hicksville, with no town what-so-ever, and some how magically finding everything they need. Well, that wasn't what this story was about. This story was about a fourteen-year-old girl who is in love with ballet and who always has to follow in her sister's footsteps. It's about these two sisters who have to pack up and leave everything they've ever known. But one of them seems to be happy about it.
This story wasn't the most amazing one I've read, but I still thought it was really good. I definitely connected with Katie on all different levels throughout the book. Sometimes I loved her and sometimes I was annoyed by her, but I think most books have that. I mean, characters can't always be perfect, otherwise they wouldn't seem real.
I also loved how close Katie and Michaela were with eachother. You don't see sisters who get along that easily very much. I know my sister and I never got along that well when we were their age. My sister and I just started becoming friends last year and she's almost 22 and I'm 19. But enough about us. This book, I thought, was pretty good. If it sounds good to you, go see if they have it at your local library-- that's where I got it. I hope you guys enjoy! :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New layout + new library books!

Hey guys! Gueeessssss what! I went to the libary again, finally, and got myself 4 new books. And one of them was a book some of you have been waiting for me to get for a long time! That one is Imaginary Enemy by Julie Gonzalez. I also got The Year My Sister Got Lucky by Amiee Freedman, Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman, and Tangled by Carolyn Mackler. I let my friend get some books under my card also, so I might be reading Tips on Having a Gay (Ex) Boyfriend by Carrie Jones if she says it's worth reading. I'm really excited to start reading them!

What do you think of the new layout? Like it? Hate it? Wish I had the old one back? Think it's perrrty? Feel free to let me know :)

I should have a review up soon! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't posted a review yet this week-- I've been painting my room and working all week! There was also some family drama mixed in there, but that's beside the point. Today, I just wanted to have a post thanking all of the awesome authors out there.

I want to thank every author out there, published or unpublished. Most of all, I want to thank YA authors. Thank you for everything you write. Thank you for everything you've done for me, personally. You've all been so nice every time I send you an e-mail or a comment on your blog. You have no idea how much this means to me. This blog was inspired because of you. Without you, there would be no books to review, no words to say.

Books have become my life and I'm not ashamed to admit it. A lot of people don't understand the power of reading. I didn't even understand it until I was in 7th grade. I used to hate reading. Yeah, I said it. I HATED to read when I was younger. But that all changed once I found A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin. I realized reading could be fun and meaningful. I have to blame Sarah Dessen for my obession, though. Her book, Just Listen, was the first book that made me need more. I needed to read more of her books and I loved every single one of them.

So, the bottom line is, thank you. If any of you authors are out there reading this, just know that I will always appreciate you. I also want to give a special shout out to some authors that have gone above and beyond the kindness that I ever expected. These are some of the authors that have inspired me to become an author myself. Susane Colasanti, Elizabeth Scott, Elizabeth Eulberg, Eileen Cook, and Deb Caletti have all shown me how caring they are about their readers. Thank you guys for being such amazing people! I wish all the best for you in your careers!

Hey all you readers! Here's a chance for you to say whatever you like about your favorite authors! Go ahead and post a comment shouting out to YOUR favorite author(s). You never know when they'll see it! :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Unbelievable by Sara Shepherd

Holy crap! It's been 5 days since my last post already? Time sure does fly when you're at work I guess. Well, not while you're actually there. When you're actually there it seems like you'll never be able to leave. But you get my point. So anyway, today's book is Unbelievable by Sara Shepherd. It's the fourth book in the Pretty Little Liars series. The description is here:

Four pretty little liars' charmed lives have turned into living nightmares.
Emily's been shipped off to Iowa to live with her überconservative cousins. Aria's boyfriend is behind bars—because of her. Spencer's afraid she was involved in Ali's murder. But Hanna's fate is far worse: She's clinging to life in the hospital because she knew too much.
If these girls don't start listening to me, Hanna's going to look like the lucky one.

I know it's the fourth book of the series, so sorry! But it's the only thing I've read lately. I haven't had a lot of time to read in the past couple weeks and I've become a little bit addicted to watching episodes of Medium online.... I'm on season 4 though, so I should be done soon enough! (I know-- I'm a major geek. Oh well!)
But anyway, I thought this book was really good! I started reading the series as soon as it came out a few years ago, but I stopped reading after the 3rd one. I never wanted to buy the 4th one because it was hardcover, and then I kind of just forgot about it. I borrowed the book from the library so I could finally figure out who A was-- Totally surprising!! If you guys read these books and haven't read this one yet-- you're in for a crazy ride. I thought this book was overall good and I think Sara Shepherd is definitely made for writing mystery/suspence/YA novels. I wasn't bored with this book once and I read it in one sitting because I couldn't wait to find out who A is!
So do any of you read this series? Have you been watching Pretty Little Liars on ABC family? If so, what do you guys think so far? I love all of Aria's clothes!
Hope you guys enjoy :)
Happy Reading! And in this case, watching!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Little Miss Red by Robin Palmer

Bonjour mes copains! Which, if you didn't know, means Hello my friends in french. Apparently I'm feeling a little cultural today, so why not! Anyway, today's book is Little Miss Red by Robin Palmer.
Here's the description:

Sophie Greene gets good grades, does the right thing, and has a boyfriend that her parents— and her younger brother—just love. (Too bad she doesn't love him.) Sophie dreams of being more like Devon Deveraux, star of her favorite romance novels, but, in reality, Sophie isn't even daring enough to change her nail polish. All of that changes when Sophie goes to Florida to visit her grandma Roz, and she finds herself seated next to a wolfishly goodlooking guy on the plane. The two hit it off, and before she knows it, Sophie's living on the edge. But is the drama all it's cracked up to be?

I'd heard a lot of good things about this book from different people, so I was hoping that it would be pretty good! I think this book, like The Naughty List, was just okay. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it. I liked the plot of the book a lot because I can relate to Sophie. We both do the right thing all the time and we both love fictional characters way too much. (No, really, you'd think they were alive the way I talk about them). Also, I always love books where characters get to go somewhere else for a while, away from their home or comfort zone. I like to see what each one will do in a situation and surrounding they've never been in before. You know what I mean?
At first, I liked the guy she met on the plane. He seemed nice, cute, and just what Sophie needed. But after a while, you got to see his true personality and I HATED him. I do not like him one bit and I don't think any of you guys will either. Just because I know you're all nice people and don't like coniving guys :)
I did like the choices Sophie made at the end of the book, though.
Anyway, if you guys are looking for a light read with a twist of a fairytale, this one's for you! Like I said, I didn't think it was awesome, but I didn't think it was bad either. So maybe check it out from the library and see for yourself! Hope you guys enjoy! Happy Reading :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Okay, you win-- and a review!

I will keep the blog! You all had nice, kind words to say about it and I realized that even if I'm making a difference to only 1 of you, at least it's something :)
Thanks for all the kind words! And for now, I'm going to cancel the contest until further notice, but only because I'm going to change the prizes and such.
Here's a review for all you lovely people!

Today's book is The Naughty List by Suzanne Young.
Here's the description:

As if being a purrfect cheerleader isn’t enough responsibility! Tessa Crimson’s the sweet and spunky leader of the SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens), a cheer squad–turned–spy society dedicated to bringing dastardly boyfriends to justice, one cheater at a time. Boyfriend-busting wouldn’t be so bad . . . except that so far, every suspect on the Naughty List has been proven 100% guilty!
When Tessa’s own boyfriend shows up on the List, she turns her sleuthing skills on him. Is Aiden just as naughty as all the rest, or will Tessa’s sneaky ways end in catastrophe?
The Naughty List. Is your boyfriend on it?

I thought this book sounded pretty interesting! I mean, I would love to be on the Society of Smitten Kittens (although, I really would want to change the name) and bust all those cheaters! Part of me liked this book, but part of me didn't. I liked the story line and the characters for the most part, but there were just little things that bothered me. One thing was how Tessa always said things like "Oh, that's strawberry smoothie!" or something equally preppy/valley girl. I mean, I liked Tessa and everything, but sometimes she just got a little too peppy for me. Another thing that kind of bothered me was the ending. I was like, HELLO??? What are you guys doing! But, of course, then I realized there's a sequel coming out. So, that could probably make it better.
Overall, I'd say this book was okay. It wasn't amazing to me, but it wasn't bad either. If you like unique plots with upbeat characters, this one's for you. It's out on paperback so it shouldn't be too expensive. Hope you guys enjoy! Happy Reading :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Keep? Opinions?

Hey guys. One of the reasons I haven't been posting is because I'm wondering if anyone really reads this blog. I know there a few of you out there who read it, but is there any one else? I'm not sure what to do to get more people to read it. No one even entered the last contest I had! So, I want to ask for your opinions. Those of you who are looking at my page, right now. Reading these words. Do you want me to keep reviewing? Do you want me to keep this blog? Is there something you think would add to the blog to attract more readers? Is there something YOU want to see? I know I haven't been updating and I'm sorry. But that last contest kind of made me think that maybe I'm not really making a difference for anybody, and that's all I'm trying to do. So please, give me your thoughts on what you think I should do. And also, thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has been reading and entering. I'm glad you like my blog enough to come back everyday to see what else I've posted. I'm sorry to you guys for not updating more! Give me your feedback and I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Contest time!!! :)

Hey everyone! I'm back from work and I have scavenged through my books! For this contest, I think we should do another Spread the Word! Some cool ideas for this were brought to me by Liz and Miranda, so I'm going to try and incorporate them.

Contest rules:

1. Only open to US residents. Sorry! But if you have family or someone in the US that can receive the books for you, go ahead and enter!
2. Have your entry posted as a comment on this post by 2 weeks from now, on the 22nd.
3. To win, do the following:
-Post a link to this blog on your facebook, twitter, tumblr, myspace, etc.
-Print out a link to this blog on a flyer and put it either in a book at your local bookstore, or tape it up on a local building like your school, library, grocery store, etc. Then take a picture of it and post it in your entry comment.
-Anything else you can think of to spread the word!
-I will pick a winner at random, but if there are some people who enter with all of these and some people who enter with only one, I'm obviously going to pick at random out of the people who did more to spread the word. So make sure you do your best! :)

The Prize:

This contest's prize is a Hardcover copy of Invisible I by Melissa Kantor (which unfortunately isn't signed), a paperback version of Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley, AND possibly a free t-shirt with The Truth About Books on it if I get a significant amount of more followers. So get spreading! The word, that is. And good luck!
Remember: Get your entries in by midnight on June 22nd!

I'm Back!

Okay, so you didn't even know I was gone. But you were probably wondering, right? (I hope so). Anyway, I kind of just needed a break from the internet for a while, and then my computer broke again! So that's where I was. If you were wondering, I mean. So to make up for it, I'm posting a contest and a bunch of reviews! I'm going to post the contest today, and I might not have an author interview for Friday, so there probably won't be a Funday Friday this week. But hey, I'm trying! I'm at work right now so I can't look through all my books to figure out which ones I'm giving away. Once I get home I'll search through my books and come up with some cool ideas and then I will report back to you guys with the contest :)

In the mean time, check out this awesome news about Sarah Dessen's new book, coming out May/June 2011!
According to Publisher's Weekly, Sarah Dessen has officially sold her new book to Viking publishers. The book was orginally titled "Cut and Run" but has now been changed to "What Happened to Goodbye". The new book is, "...about a high school senior who, after her parents’ divorce, has taken up the practice of assuming a new identity in each of the four towns she’s lived in."
Sounds amazing to me!

Chech back today for more details about the contest, and thanks for hangin in there this week while I had my unannounced abcense! :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Funday Friday! Featuring... Jen Nadol!

Hey guys! Sorry for the serious lack of reviews! I will have one for you Sunday, I promise! I've been working like crazy. Ahhh! Anyway, Today's author is Jen Nadol. She wrote The Mark, which I reviewed earlier. Hope you enjoy! :)

1. Where did you get the idea for The Mark?

"It just kind of came to me when I tossing around ideas for a story. I knew I needed something with enough interest, conflict and action-potential to carry 200+ pages. "What if you knew it was someone's day to die?" seemed like it might work, so I ran with it!"

2. Have you always been good at writing/wanted to be a writer?
"I've always really enjoyed writing, but it's definitely something that improves
with practice! And, yes, I've always wanted to be a writer, but I don't think I started believing I could be until I got an agent."

3. If you could work with any other author who would it be?

"Probably David Sedaris because I think comedic writing is so incredibly hard and he's the only writer who's ever made me laugh out loud repeatedly."

4. Are there any parts of your book that are based on events in your
own life?

"Only the small high school history teacher used to
quiz us from the Dictionary of Cultural Literacy like Cassie's (the MC's)
does, her school colors are orange & black which were mine too. Things like
that. It's kind of neat to see what people who knew me in high school find
that's borrowed from real life without my even realizing it."

5. How long did it take to find an agent/publish your book after
finishing the manuscript?

"The short answer is 15 months to find an agent, 3
weeks to sell it once we started submitting and it was in stores 14 months
later. For anyone who wants ALL the gruesome details, I did a post with the
full timeline for The Mark here:"

6. What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity"
while writing?

"Step back and think about your story. Where will it end? What's a scene you know needs to happen? What has to take place in the story to get you there? Does your character need a hobby? Or an extra hurdle to overcome? Before starting, I generally know the beginning, end, a few key scenes or conflicts and any "second-layer" theme (like philosophy in The Mark). I do a lot of thinking before I start and in-between writing times and having these guideposts really helps get me from Point A to Point B without getting stuck."

7. What's your favorite part of a book?

"I love the beginning, when I'm just getting sucked in and can look forward to all the pages ahead, and the end when everything comes together or gets resolved, hopefully not too neatly."

8. Favorite song?

"Today? Probably anything by Lady Gaga. That'll change tomorrow."

9. If you were going to be stuck on a deserted island, which book, movie, food, person(s) would you take?

"Book: The Stand by Stephen King because it's really long and really good. Or
some kind of survival guide - yeah, that might be good.
Movie: The Hangover because I'd probably need a laugh and my husband says
it's hilarious.
Food: Maybe zucchini? They're nutritious, taste pretty good, you don't have
to cook them and they're easy to grow - we always get tons in the garden.
It might be too hot to grow zucchini in the tropics though. We are in the
tropics aren't we? It's not an arctic island, right?
Person: Barack Obama because they might not put much effort into finding me,
but people are gonna wonder where the heck HE is."

10. Five of your favorite things?

"My family, books, coffee, fresh air, clean white t-shirts."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Funday Friday! Featuring.... Deb Caletti!

Hey everyone! Today we have author Deb Caletti! She gets asked to do interviews a lot, so I didn't get to ask her my usual questions. But! Her publicist from Simon and Schuster sent me over a small interview that is not widely passed around. So as I am excited to present this lovely interview to you guys, I have to tell you I got this from Simon and Schuster. Here's the interview!

Q: Your main character, Scarlet, is deeply involved with everyone around her--her mother, her sister, her brother-in-law, and her neighbors. She says, “I thought it had worked for me, looking after everyone else. But it didn’t. Not anymore.” In your opinion, what is it about being a young adult that causes them to put others before their own wants and needs?

A: I think it isn’t so much a “young adult” thing as a human being one. Some of us just come with the “giver” gene, or else we develop it for a million complicated reasons. Scarlet, like most of us, starts this behavior waaay early. She’s the one who always gets paired up with the bad kid, and she’s the one who walks the sick girl to the office when no one else wants to. Sometimes it’s all about being kindhearted, but it can also spill over into being unassertive about what’s right for us. It’s an important balance--how much of our life is “other” and how much of our life is “self.” Often, too, the folks who are mostly takers are magnetically drawn to givers (huh, no wonder, right?). Givers don’t think too much about this until they are resentful and exhausted, as Scarlet finally becomes in SIX RULES.

Q: Scarlet discovers what she believes are The Five Rules of Maybe. It isn’t until later that she realizes there are actually Six Rules of Maybe. The sixth rule catches her off guard: “Most importantly, know when you’ve reached an end. Quit, give up, do it with courage. Giving up is not failing – it’s the chance to begin again.” Why is this an important rule or lesson?

A: I think giving up is a hugely important lesson, and an overlooked one. We’re so into the rah rah ideas that YOU CAN DO ANYTHING! YOU CAN BE ANYONE! That we forget that it’s often not true. Sometimes we can’t. I don’t think that’s bad news. Not at all. I think it’s important news. I worry that lately we’ve forgotten how critical it is to see ourselves realistically. Quitting, moving forward, being resilient about failure--those are all things that haven’t gotten much air time lately. And yet, this is perhaps the most important rule of all. It’s the way we can ride out the bumps without crashing.

Q: A common theme of self-discovery develops for all of the characters as they consider what they really want for their future. Did you draw upon any of your own experiences to create these realistic journeys?

A: Self-discovery, finding “home”, dealing with being a mostly good-hearted but flawed person in a complicated world--yep, those are all repeating themes in my work. And, yes, absolutely--I draw on my experiences for all of my books. I have never stolen an old lady from a rest home (like in Honey), or been given an enormous sum of money from a stranger (like in Indigo). But I HAVE lost faith in love and have felt my world turn upside down and have had to rethink and rethink my future. Writing is always my therapy, the attempt to work out particular events and questions I’m trying to understand. (Too bad no one actually gave me that fat sum of money, though. :) )

Q: Why do you write for young adults?

A: Becoming a YA author was actually a lucky accident. The first book that I published, The Queen of Everything, was written as an adult book. I thought it was an adult book, anyway. When it was picked up by Simon & Schuster for the young adult market, I found myself here. This is the route for many YA writers, but I think most of us will agree that it is a happy and fortunate detour. I found myself in a great place, with these readers I love for their honesty and true passion for books. Fate plucked me up, I’m sure, and set me down where I belonged. What’s cool, too, is that because I didn’t (and still don’t) know how to write a “young adult book” (whatever that is), I have an audience that varies in age from 11 to 91. I hope my readers can also feel that I don’t treat them as “teens” (a word that too often is used in some weird kind of quotation marks), but just as the fine people and kindred book lovers that they are to me.

Q: What were some of your favorite books growing up?

A: I was as much a book addict then as I am now. I think I’ve spent a great deal of my life so far lugging huge, unwieldy stacks of books home from the library. How to even choose favorites, you know? I loved Ramona the Pest. I loved Little Bear. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. The Incredible Journey. The Chronicles of Narnia. Okay, I’ll stop there.

Q: Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

A: Always. Since I was about seven years old. Except for that brief period of time when I wanted to be Nancy Drew.

There you have it everyone! Thanks so much to Deb and her publicist Taryn for letting me use this interview. These are such great questions/answers :)
And if you haven't yet, go get your hands on Deb's newest book, The Six Rules of Maybe! You won't be disappointed! Thanks for stopping by and Happy Reading! :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Grace by Elizabeth Scott

Hey everyone! So, today I have an awesome review for you guys! I managed to snag myself an ARC of Elizabeth Scott's new book, Grace, which comes out September 10th! Here's the description:

A fable of a terrifying near future.
Grace was raised to be an Angel, a herald of death by suicide bomb. But she refuses to die for the cause, and now Grace is on the run, daring to dream of freedom.
In search of a border she may never reach, she travels among malevolent soldiers on a decrepit train crawling through the desert. Accompanied by the mysterious Kerr, Grace struggles to be invisible, but the fear of discovery looms large as she recalls the history and events that delivered her uncertain fate.

WOW. Just, wow. Elizabeth never ceases to amaze me. Part of me thought I might not like this one because it's about suicide bombing. The other half of me thought, It's a book by Elizabeth Scott, how could it not be good? If you guys couldn't tell by now, it was the latter. This book is so different from any other YA novel. It pulls you in, it makes you wonder, it makes you feel. This fictional "Country" is maddening. How could anybody let a man like Keran Berj rule? How could The People do the same, but still think Keran is worse? And Grace, poor Grace-- I am so proud of her. She is so brave. She gives us some insight I think everyone could use, really. This story was not what I was expecting. I didn't know what to expect, actually, but this was not it. Elizabeth has definitely done it again and I don't know how. She always pulls off writing a masterpiece, and for that, I thank her.
Make sure you guys pick this one up when it's released! Or pre-order! Just make sure you get it in your hands.
Happy Reading!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready & Stuff

Sorry guys, no author interview or Contest today. Those of you who won something from the past contest, I sincerely apologize for my slowness. I will email you with confirmation numbers ASAP, it's just been so hectic these weeks. I hope you all don't hate me :(
Also, one of you lovely readers commented on here before asking if I was ever going to do another spread the word contest and that you'd had an idea. I would LOVE to hear those! I'm always looking for ways to spread the word about this blog. So go ahead and send them in! :)
But I do have a review! I just read this book on Simon and Schuster's site, Pulse it, which I've mentioned here before. It's a site for YA readers where you can read books for free! You can also blog, comment, and even talk with authors. It's way awesome so make sure to check it out!
I have other reviews I need to post, but this book was just so great I had to post it today. The description of this book is:

Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart.
Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.
Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.
Well, sort of.
Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.
It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.
As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart?and clues to the secret of the Shift.

This book was freaking awesome. Apparently, it's the paranormal books that make me cry. Beacuse this was the second book EVER to make me cry. It was the part where Logan sings his song he wrote for Aura to her, while she pretends to sleep. It was just so SAD. If you guys read it, you'll know what I'm talking about. And don't worry, it doesn't give anything away. Jeri's writing is awesome. She has some funny things in the book that I like, mostly more internal thinking. This book was very interesting and had a cool twist on ghost stories. I loved all of the different rules the ghosts have and how they're violet instead of in color. The only thing I don't like is how long I have to wait to read the sequel! I don't even know when it comes out! That kind of thing will probably drive me insane. Jeri's character development in this book was really good too. I've been thinking about Logan, like, all day today while I'm at work. That's probably sad on my part, but still. He's such a sweet guy I can't get his tragic self out of my head! You know me, I'm a sucker for romance. They always get me! Anyway, if you're looking for a paranormal, good, and somewhat sad book, this one's for you! You'll love it :)
Happy Reading!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Mark by Jen Nadol

Hey everyone! So I definitely thought I posted a review on Tuesday but I guess I didn't! Sorry! I've been swamped with work (8-5 all week!), which is where I am now. Sneaky, sneaky. Okay, not really because this is my lunch break. But still! I didn't think I would be able to get on this site. Anyway, today's post is The Mark by Jen Nadol. the description of this book is:

Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.
Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?

I think I'm getting more into the paranormal books now. At least, the ones that sound really cool or interesting. Like, I think I'm on vampire and wizard overload, so I'm least likely to want to read those. But different and not too crazy books like The Mark, I will definitely read. This book was awesome! The author leaves you on such a cliffhanger though! I want to know MORE. There is a sequel coming out I believe but I'm sure it will be a while since this book was just released in January. Jen's writing is very compelling and she's very good with making her characters seem real. The book isn't very predictable either. You think one things going to happen, and then something else does. But it makes the story even better. I like this one almost as much as I liked The Body Finder, which was A LOT. I freaking love that book. So if you're looking for something paranormal, interesting, unique and a book that's not 5000 pages, this one's for you. Hope you guys enjoy! Happy Reading :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

How Not to be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler

Hey everyone! Happy Mother's day to all the moms out there! :)
Today I have another review for you :) This book is called How Not to be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler. I absolutely love that cover! It's so adorable, right? The description of this book is:

Maggie Dempsey is tired of moving all over the country. Her parents are second-generation hippies who uproot her every year or so to move to a new city. When Maggie was younger, she thought it was fun and adventurous. Now that she’s a teenager, she hates it. When she moved after her freshman year, she left behind good friends, a great school, and a real feeling of belonging. When she moved her sophomore year, she left behind a boyfriend, too. Now that they’ve moved to Austin, she knows better. She’s not going to make friends. She’s not going to fit in. Anything to prevent her from liking this new place and them from liking her. Only . . . things don’t go exactly as planned.

I thought this book sounded so cute! I thought it sounded like a really cool twist to a story-- trying to NOT be popular. It turned out to be pretty good. I felt really bad for Maggie throughout this book because of how much she had to move. I would absolutely hate that. But I did really love Jack. At first, I thought he was kind of dorky and I didn't want him to be her love interest, but then he turned out to be a good guy. I loved all the cool ways Maggie tried to be unpopular. The weird outfits were probably my favorite element. This story is funny, unique, and unpredictable. I recommend this to anyone who's looking for a fun and interesting read. I'd say it's appropriate for most ages, like 11+. Hope you guys enjoy! Happy Reading :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Funday Friday! Featuring.... Kimberly Derting!

Today's Funday Friday is featuring Debut author Kimberly Derting! She was so nice when I e-mailed her so I was really excited to post this interview! Her book, The Body Finder, was the only book that ever made me cry! EVER. So, go read her book if you haven't! It's amazing! Here's the interview:

1. Where did you get the idea for The Body Finder?

"It was actually my husband who first said: “What if there was a boy who could find dead bodies?” (In his head it would be this great middle-grade adventure!) Of course, I had a different vision, and decided it should be a teen girl finding the dead bodies. And then she needed to have a love interest because, well, I'm a girl!"

2. Have you always been good at writing/ wanted to be a writer?

"I wanted to be so many things before becoming a writer. Just like most little girls, I wanted to be a veterinarian, a doctor, Princess Leia, and a Lady Trucker. Doesn't every little girl go through their Princess Leia and Lady Trucker phases??? It wasn't until 7th grade when I took a Journalism class that I fell in love with writing."

3. If you could work with any other author, who would it be?

"JK Rowling! I love the way she took a character like Harry Potter and built not just a world but an entire universe around him that everyone so easily accepts. Just say the word “muggle” and probably 90% of the people you say it to will know what you mean. So if you're friends with her, just let her know that I'm available any time!"

4. Are there any parts of your books that are based on events in your own life?

"Not really, although I sometimes steal little conversations and mannerisms from people I know (mostly from my kids and their friends), which is helpful since they’re teens and I write YA. Actually, in the sequel to The Body Finder, I put in a funny story my oldest daughter told me about her and her boyfriend. The best part is that he has no idea it's in there!"

5. How long did it take to find an agent/publish your book after finishing the manuscript?

"Okay, so excluding my brief agent representation when I was in my early twenties, things actually happened pretty quickly with The Body Finder. I went to a writer’s conference right after I finished TBF and met the agent who would sign me a few weeks later. After that, my agent started submitting within a month, and within another month we had offers from two publishers."

6. What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity" when writing?

"Put your nose to the grindstone and just write through it. I don’t know who penned the phrase “you can’t edit a blank page” but it’s so appropriate. It’s better to write crap and fix it later, than to write nothing and wait for inspiration to strike. Inspiration is far too fickle!"

7. What's your favorite part of a book?

"Of any book? I need a good beginning to draw me in, but I LOVE a great ending, something that makes me go: WHOA! Oh, and the middle is pretty important too. And the cover. :)"

(Now for a couple fun questions)
8. Favorite song?

"Anything by Stevie Wonder (Oops, is my age showing???)"

9. If you were going to be stuck on a deserted island, which book, movie, food, and person(s) would you take?

"That would be a real toss-up between any book explaining how to build a boat out of bamboo and palm leaves and any member of my family who actually knows how to build a boat!! Can you tell that I really REALLY want to get off this island?"

10. Five of your favorite things?

"Well, aside from the obvious (my children…not that there are five of them!), here goes:

My laptop (with wireless, of course)
Books (duh!)
Tea (preferably served hot)
Dental Floss (I’m a bit of freak when it comes to my teeth)
A good bathrobe (the fluffier the better)"

Yay! There you have it everyone. I like Kim's idea with the book explaining how to get off the island.. It's surprising that I never thought of that.. Anyway! Hope you guys enjoyed the interview. I will have a review up tomorrow for you guys so make sure you look out for that! Thanks for reading :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

Hey everyone! Today's book is Jenny Han's Sequel to The Summer I Turned Pretty, called It's Not Summer Without You. Here's the description:

Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?

It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.

But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started-- at Cousins Beach.

So, I ordered this book with my Barnes and Noble giftcard I got for christmas recently and I got it in the mail yesterday. When I got home, instead of studying, I plowed through it. I finished it all in one sitting. This book was just as amazing as the first! As soon as I opened the book and started reading, I immediately fell into the story, unaware of pretty much everything around me. I really felt like I was in Belly's world. This book was a lot more serious than the first, but there were still a lot of light moments. I love this series because they're perfect for summer. I am completely done with school tomorrow, so reading it yesterday made me ready for summer! I wish I had an amazing beach house to go to every summer like Belly, Jeremiah and Conrad. This book will definitely make you feel like it's summer. If you haven't read the first book of the series, The Summer I Turned Pretty, then I advise reading that first. Otherwise, you won't know everything you should. But they're both amazing so I wouldn't see that as a bad thing! Plus, look at that beautiful cover! I am obsessed with it. Thanks for stopping by, Happy Reading! :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Hey Guys! I took a break from studying to review this book. It's The Body Finer by Kimberly Derting. Here's the description:

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.

Sounds intense, right? Well, it is. I could not put this down before I finished it. Yeah, I know I say that a lot and it is me we're talking about, but I swear this book stands out from the rest. This book makes you feel so many emotions! I instantly fell in love with Jay (of course, I know) and could totally see why Violet was falling for him. I mean, I wish I had a best friend like that! You guys also know how I'm not too huge of a fan for crazy sci-fi books. This one is paranormal, but it's filled with so much real detail that the paranormal side doesn't even seem weird to me. Kimberly writes in such a way that I feel like it should be almost normal to do what Violet can do. This book is also coming out with a sequel next year and I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on it. I'm sure you guys will think the same once you read The Body Finder. This is now one of my all time favorite books! Thanks for stopping by again :)
Happy Reading!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Funday Friday! Featuring.... Simone Elkeles!

Ahhhhh! I went this week without posting. I'm sorry! I probably wont be posting a lot until Tuesday because that is my last final. But then I have the whole summer to post so don't worry! Today we have one of my favorite authors, Simone Elkeles! Here's the interview. Enjoy!

1. Where did you get the idea for Perfect Chemistry? The How To Ruin Series?

"I base Perfect Chemistry off of Highland Park High School, which is near my house. It’s a high school that mirrors Fairfield. I wanted to explore what might happen when a boy and girl from different sides of town and a different socioeconomic status fall hard for each other.

The How to Ruin series is based off of my own experiences as an American teen going to Israel for the summer and interacting with Israelis. The exact things that happen to Amy are fiction, I’ll admit, but some things did actually happen to me. It’s so great writing fun, humorous novels like the How to Ruin series. Everywhere Amy goes in Israel I’ve been, even on the military base/boot camp!"

2. Have you always been good at writing/ wanted to be a writer?

"No. I hated reading as a teen and didn't like English class. I never even took a creative writing class, because that was an elective and I wouldn't have chosen it. I try and write books that I think I would have liked to read as a teen. It's awesome when I get email from teens who say they hate to read but love my books."

3. If you could work with any other author, who would it be?

"Oh, that is SUCH a hard question! I’m sure I’m missing a bunch. I guess I'd love to work with John Green, Alex Sanchez, Stephenie Meyer (although I think I'm too edgy for her so it probably wouldn't work), or Meg Cabot."

4. Are there any parts of your books that are based on events in your own life?

"Since Amy Nelson is the character most like me (although all my characters have aspects of me in them) the How to Ruin a Summer Vacation series has the most parts in it that are like my life. Everywhere Amy goes in the books, I’ve been (yes, I even went kayaking down the Jordan river and shot an M16 in a “fun” summer military boot camp I signed up for to know what it was like to be an Israeli soldier! Not an experience I want to repeat because I’m such a princess.)"

5. How long did it take to find an agent/publish your book after finishing the manuscript?

"It took me five years to get published. I started writing in 2000 and sold my first book in 2005 (it wasn’t released until 2006, but I signed the contract in 2005). It took me five years to get an agent, but she sold my book within two months."

6. What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity" when writing?

"Keep writing and never give up. Shock the reader and shock yourself. Make yourself uncomfortable by putting your characters in impossible situations. It’ll make your book a better book, and you’ll tap into that creativity!"

7. What's your favorite part of a book?

"Writing THE END because finishing the book is such an accomplishment. It’s so surreal and wonderful to create a book from scratch!"

(Now for a couple fun questions)
8. Favorite song?

"True Companion by Marc Cohen"

9. If you were going to be stuck on a deserted island, which book, movie, food, and person(s) would you take?

"Book: Perfect Chemistry

Movie: She’s the Man

Food: pizza or sushi

Person: I’d need two: (apologies to my husband first) Alexander F. Rodriguez and Giancarlo Vidrio (the boys who played my heroes in my book trailer for Rules of Attraction)
OR: JT from Survivor because he’s been through it a couple of times"

10. Five of your favorite things?

"My kids
My iPhone (I know this is obnoxious, but it’s true)
My computer (I wouldn’t be an author without it because I have horrendous handwriting)"

There it is everyone! The wonderful Simone Elkeles. I personally agree with her choice on which people to take, because have you seen that video? Those boys are smokin'! Anyway, if you love Simone's books or want to learn more about her, head on over to her website!! Hope you liked the interview everyone, and I promise i'll have a review in the next couple days! Thanks for still reading :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Contest Winner!

Hey guys! Just stopping in to let you know who won the contest!
Thanks to everyone who entered-- I really enjoyed reading the entries!
It was really hard for me to decide the winner. There were 3 answers that I kept reading over and over trying to make myself pick just one. But, after reading them several more times, I finally picked a winner. The winner is Liz! She told me all about how and why she loved Walk Two Moons. So, Liz, e-mail me your shipping address and I'll send your books over!
But wait! Like I said, I had a really hard time picking just one winner. There were two other entries that I really, really loved. So, Erin R. (who picked Harry Potter 1) and Miranda (who picked Just Listen), if you want a small little prize, I can mail you an autographed bookmark from Kristina Springer! E-mail me if you guys are interested!
Once again, thanks to everyone who entered and keep an eye out for more contests!
Happy Reading :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Funday Friday! Featuring.... Kristin Walker!

Hey everyone! Today I've got an author interview for you! Recently, I posted a review of the book A Match Made In High School. I told you guys how awesome and hilarious it was and now I've got the author here for you guys! Hope you guys enjoy!

1. Where did you get the idea for A Match Made In High School?

"It just sort of came to me one morning. I thought it would be potentially hysterical, so I started working on it. I set it aside after a couple of chapters, but I came back to it a few months later and finished the draft."

2. Have you always been good at writing/ wanted to be a writer?

"I actually always wanted to be an actor. I was a theatre major in college. But when my first baby came along, I wanted to do something from home, so I turned to writing. It took a long time to get published, though. About a decade. Those are the years I learned to write. I was an okay essay writer, but I had a lot to learn about writing fiction. I still have a lot to learn!"

3. If you could work with any other author, who would it be?

"I'd love to write with Kristina Springer because she is so so funny and such a great, effortless writer. She also lives about 25 minutes from me and we hang out all the time. I'm laughing right now thinking about some of the goofing we've done. She cracks me up so much!"

4. Are there any parts of your books that are based on events in your own life?

"Well, there are a couple of characters who were inspired by real-life people, but as far as passages or situations, not much. I was a geek cheerleader, however. There's a picture in the bio on my website ( Just one of many dorky pictures of my life, haha."

5. How long did it take to find an agent/publish your book after finishing the manuscript?

"It took me about 6 months of querying to find my agent, and the book sold a few months later. But I had queried a whole list of agents on a (terrible) middle grade novel years ago. MATCH was actually my second shot at getting an agent. But I'm thrilled with how it worked out because my agent is crazy-awesome."

6. What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity" when writing?

"Turn to your own stories. Find a picture or a post in your blog and see if you can spin a story out of it. It doesn't have to be a whole book, but sometimes when you just start doing some fun-writing, a great idea will bubble up."

7. What's your favorite part of a book?

"My favorite part of a book I'm reading is the climactic scene where the main character finally overcomes the conflict. I especially like it if there's a whole lot of romantic smooching.

My favorite part of a book I'm writing is finishing the very first draft. I know there will be a ton of work to revise it, but it's such a great feeling to have something finished, even if it's rough."

(Now for a couple fun questions)

8. Favorite song?

"I can't pick just one! Okay, I put this one in the book: "What a Good Boy" by the Barenaked Ladies. It reminds me of when my husband and I were dating (he's also a Canadian)."

9. If you were going to be stuck on a deserted island, which book, movie, food, and person(s) would you take?

"Book: Anne of Green Gables
Movie: Normally, I'd pick "Jaws," but seeing as I'd be on an island, maybe that wouldn't be the best choice. It would have to be something funny, anyway. Either "Waiting for Guffman" or "Best in Show."
Food: Hot buttered popcorn
Person: The hubs and kids, of course. And our dog, Piper."

10. Five of your favorite things?

"Hershey Bars
Fresh lilacs
My kids' laughter
Ballroom dancing
Clean, line-dried sheets"

So there you have it everyone! They lovely and hilarious Kristin Walker. If you liked her book or her interview, or just want to find out more about her, check out her website at! I thought her answers were awesome! Thanks for checking in, Happy Reading everyone!

PS: Don't forget to enter the contest! Today is your last chance. Get your entries in by midnight! You could win some cool signed stuff! Check out the Contest entry for the rest of the details. Good Luck!