Posts By: Wendy Darling

Classic MG Discussion: The Girl with the Silver Eyes

Classic MG Discussion: The Girl with the Silver Eyes

Layla: So glad we read The Girl with the Silver Eyes together! This was one of my favorites as a kid – my memory of finding it in a used bookstore and looking at the cover is very, very strong, because it was an instant hit with me. (Old cover was awesome, you all! Katie looked like such a badass!) I wanted silver eyes and telekinesis as a kid and I think tried to move some books with my mind like Matilda a few times but to no avail. Wendy: One of my enduring favorites, too! I was so sure that if I just concentrated hard enough, maybe I’d find my untapped powers. Alas. Kim: I was totally new to this book! This is very much something I would have loved as a kid. I adored the TV show The Secret World of Alex Mack and this is sort of related in that a… Read more »

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DUMPLIN’: Willowdean’s First Peachbutt Texts + Super Cute ARC Box Giveaway

DUMPLIN’: Willowdean’s First Peachbutt Texts + Super Cute ARC Box Giveaway

When I finished Dumplin‘, I jotted this down at 3 in the morning: If this book were a movie, we’d all be at Julie Murphy’s slumber party piled in front of the TV in our jammies, both screaming with laughter and clutching each other the minute someone leaned in for a kiss. Everyone in the free world is about to find out how fun that imaginary party would be, because the book comes out next month and it’s been optioned for a movie! Party at Julie’s house, guys! This book is so funny and poignant and fiercely positive, most especially about body image and self-love. If you love your contemporary YAs filled with an adorable romance, family relationships, and great friends, don’t miss this one! Willdowdean Dickson will totally win you over with her sassy Texas attitude, and you’ll love her for being so whole-heartedly determined to be the person… Read more »

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Classic MG Discussion: Trixie Belden #1

Classic MG Discussion: Trixie Belden #1

Jeepers! It’s time to discuss The Secret of the Mansion, the first book in the classic Trixie Belden mystery series from the 1940s. As always, we do these discussions with the hope that you’ll check out these classics for yourself even if you didn’t have the chance to read them with us, but do be aware that there are spoilers in the chat below. Wendy: I loved Trixie as a kid, so I was very eager to revisit these. I distinctly remember my grade-school self daydreaming about having an almost-twin and wanting desperately to be in a club with secret signals. Kim, I’d forgotten you aren’t a big mystery fan, so I appreciate your forbearance with the occasional one I slip into these readalongs! Kim: I had literally never heard of Trixie Belden before it was suggested for our readalong! Wendy, no worries! I am not usually a huge mystery person but this… Read more »

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Pretending to Be Erica: Guest Post + Giveaway

Pretending to Be Erica: Guest Post + Giveaway

I’ve said this is the year of the cute contemporary in YA…but it’s also the year of another important genre, the YA thriller! I’ve read a lot of thrillers, and for some reason it’s not often that I find YA ones that keep me engaged. But this year there have been some really terrific suspense novels for teens, including this sure-footed debut. Pretending to Be Erica is about a girl who’s seen it all, done it all, and is planning on conning everyone around her. You see how she’s been raised since childhood to deceive and swindle, you see how she’s calculating the best way to take advantage of someone else’s misfortune and suffering. And yet because the narrative voice is so terrific, and because the plot is so surprisingly plausible for the most part and well-executed, you’re invested in her story. I enjoyed this one from start to finish,… Read more »

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ALA 2015: event recap + giveaway!

ALA 2015: event recap + giveaway!

I’m back from the American Library Association Conference in San Francisco! Well, I’ve been back for almost a week, but was so wiped out (and still nursing minor injuries), so this post is just now going live. But here I am with tidbits and goodies to share. I was bad at taking photos this year, but it was for good reason–I was having such a good time that I often forgot! Last year’s trip was great, but ALA 2015 surpassed my expectations, in ways I didn’t even imagine. Stick around, since we’re also giving away TWO prizes–a box of 10 coveted ARCS to a U.S. reader, and an awesome tote “Reading is my Everything, Everything” bag filled with swag to an international reader. The Authors There were so many great authors at ALA this year, and I trotted around like an obedient pony trying to find them all. Marie Lu… Read more »

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Classic Readalong: To Kill a Mockingbird

Classic Readalong: To Kill a Mockingbird

When the news of a long-hidden sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird was announced, we decided to reread it together as a refresher before Go Set a Watchman is released. Please join the discussion below!Our backgrounds with the book Wendy: I loved this book when I read it in high school, though I have to admit that in the years since, I associate it strongly with the film. It’s one of those cases where the movie captured the ideals and feel of the source material so well that I think of them almost interchangeably. And with this re-read, I listened to the audiobook performed by  Sissy Spacek, which was wonderful! So now I’ll forever remember all three things as perfectly complementary. Layla: I … don’t think I’d read this book before! Which is weird, because I felt like I had at some point, but then, as I was reading this, recognized… Read more »

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Emmy & Oliver: guest post + HarperCollins giveaway

Emmy & Oliver: guest post + HarperCollins giveaway

We’re very lucky this year, my friends, because it’s the year of the cute contemporary novel. That’s a weird thing to say about a book in which a boy was kidnapped by his father as a child, I know–and it’s true that there are serious moments in it, as well as important friendships and family relationships explored. But it’s also a sweet, funny book about a friendship between two kids that might have a chance at something more. Emmy & Oliver is the perfect book to read this summer when you’re at the beach, which is great since author Robin Benway is with us today to tell us what she’s going to be up to during her break! As a fellow LA resident, I can vouch for her list being a stellar representation of why it’s so great to live here. It even includes one of my all-time favorite southern… Read more »

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