I’ll Give You the Sun: guest post + giveaway

I’ll Give You the Sun: guest post + giveaway

When you read a Jandy Nelson novel, it’s an experience unlike any other. There’s unbridled joy and passion and despair in her characters, and their lives are messy and imperfect and full of yearning.  Her writing feels almost impressionistic to me in its vibrancy, ability to invoke emotion, and painterly observations of human nature, with the kind of unfettered freedom of expression you might find in great contemporary Aussie YA novels, or the seriousness of purpose of a Gayle Forman one. With I’ll Give You the Sun releasing in stores this month, and with the book recently optioned for a film by Warner Bros., the author’s with us today as part of the official blog tour to tell us about how how a teacher inspired her to look at her writing in a whole new way. The very best stories are the ones that feel emotionally true, and this anecdote… Read more »

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Echoes of Us: guest post + giveaway

Echoes of Us: guest post + giveaway

Last year, Kat Zhang shared her journey to publication story with us, speaking to her experiences as a young author juggling school, writing, and the publishing industry. It seems fitting that with Echoes of Us, the last book in her dystopian Hybrid Chronicles releasing this month, Kat is back with us to talk about the series coming to an end, and how her life has changed because of it. After all, we as fans get emotional when favorite series come to an end, so it’s only natural that authors get sentimental, too! If you haven’t tried this series yet and you enjoy science fiction with a more introspective bent, you must pick this one up sometime. I’d recommend it to fans of thoughtful, character-driven books like The Lost Girl. Saying Goodbye to a Series by Kat Zhang It’s a cool thing to have books that release almost exactly one year… Read more »

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Belzhar: Review

Belzhar: Review

If you’re already skeptical about  someone being in deep, dark mourning lasting a year over someone they knew for only a few weeks then this is definitely not going to be a book for you. Although normally that would put me off I really, really wanted this book to work. Considering Wolitzer is well established in adult literary fiction, I suppose I figured she was likely to have a shot at creating a truly wrenching story of lost love even if that love was so brief. There were a couple of clear ways this scenario could work and I was curious to see if Wolitzer would pull it off. She didn’t. Everything about this story is surface level only. There is no depth of emotion, no character development, limited growth, stunted pacing, and one hell of an obnoxious ending that had me going, “Seriously?!” So here’s the plot: After a… Read more »

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Lies My Girlfriend Told Me: Review

Lies My Girlfriend Told Me: Review

Julie Anne Peters’s latest – and last, it seems – novel, Lies My Girlfriend Told Me really made me think about what I want from LGBTQ YA. (It also made me want to check out Julie Anne Peters’s book Luna, which Wendy has read and reviewed.) To begin: there are lots of things to like about this novel: it avoids the coming-out narrative and surrounding conflict that is common in LGBTQ YA; the queer protagonist isn’t destined to a life of solitude and unending misery; the prose is good (and there are moments of unexpected humor that really worked for me). I am really pleased about all these things – coming-out stories are important, but LGBTQ teens have other kinds of stories, too, and it’s nice to see those other stories getting some attention. Lies My Girlfriend Told Me is great in that respect; our protagonist Alix’s sexuality – or that of… Read more »

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A Tour of Haze’s Setting: guest post by Paula Weston

A Tour of Haze’s Setting: guest post by Paula Weston

Last year, we invited author Paula Weston to give us a tour of the Australian setting for her paranormal romance book Shadows, the first book in her Rephaim series. With the North American publication of its sequel Haze, we thought it’d be fun to have her back to show us some of the places that inspired the new book! A Tour of the Settings in Haze by Paula Weston Like many writers, I have a collection of images that help inspire me or put me in the right frame of mind to write a particular scene. For the Rephaim series, I’ve created an eclectic (private) Pinterest board crammed with all sorts of weird and wonderful bits and pieces. More than a few of those images relate to locations. Some are mine, some are images I found online. I love Google images when it comes to research. In fact, the images… Read more »

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Vampires of Manhattan: book party + giveaway

Vampires of Manhattan: book party + giveaway

It was sweltering in Los Angeles today, but that didn’t stop Melissa de la Cruz’s book party for Vampires of Manhattan from being fun! I think the swanky vampires themselves would have approved of the gathering, which was attended by local LA authors, librarians, entertainment veterans, and a whole bunch kids who were very excited to be there. The garden party was hosted by Beautiful Creatures author Margaret Stohl, whose lovely home provided the perfect setting for this relaxed event. At The Ring and the Crown Tea I attended a few months ago, I was struck by how supportive all these LA authors are of each other, and it was really nice to see Allen Zadoff, Pseudonymous Bosch, Alyson Noel, Robyn Schneider, Leigh Bardugo, Jennifer Bosworth, Gretchen McNeil, Morgan Matson, and many others turn out in celebration of Melissa’s book. Sharp-eyed fans will notice that Vampires of Manhattan is actually… Read more »

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The Iron Trial: Review

The Iron Trial: Review

This book. This book! I don’t even know what to say. That I loved it? That I can’t believe I have to wait a year to read the next one? All of the above. The Iron Trial is a perfect blend of fantasy, humor, and a great cast of characters. You’ll think you know the twist at the end, but you will be wrong. Oh, so wrong. This is a collaboration between Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, longtime friends and authors that I love. Holly Black has a penchant for the darker side of fantasy and writes the most interesting flawed characters. Cassandra Clare’s series The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices is set in an immersive, original fantasy world and is filled with snarky humor. The Iron Trial is the product of the best parts of both their writing styles, that when put together creates something wholly original and… Read more »

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