Archive for the ‘ YA lit trends & news ’ Category

YA Books I’m Super Excited About

 

There are a bunch of great YA books that are being released now or soon that I can’t wait to read. Most are sequels to outstanding YA novels I’d read previously and loved. A couple, Shallow Pond and The Tragedy Paper, are new, stand-alone releases that look amazing. Yay! 🙂

(All synopses courtesy of goodreads.)

darktriumphDark Triumph by Robin LaFevers – Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella as one of their most dangerous weapons.

But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

This heart-pounding sequel to Grave Mercy serves betrayal, treachery, and danger in equal measure, bringing readers back to fifteenth century Brittany and will keep them on the edge of their seats.

shallowpondShallow Pond by Alissa Grosso – Sisters uncover an unbelievable family secret

Barbara “Babie” Bunting is constantly mistaken for her sisters, but she’s determined not to end up like her family. She doesn’t plan to stick around Shallow Pond after graduation, and she certainly won’t be ruined by a broken heart. That is, until fellow orphan Zach Faraday walks into the picture, and Babie can’t deny their chemistry.

When her oldest sister, Annie, comes down with a mysterious illness—initially dismissed as “love sickness”—Babie and Zach start investigating what exactly killed the girls’ mother and why their late father became so consumed by grief. What they find changes everything

scarletScarlet by Marissa Meyer – Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner

prodigyProdigy by Marie Lu – June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.

fuseFuse by Julianna Baggott – When the world ended, those who dwelled within the Dome were safe. Inside their glass world the Pures live on unscarred, while those outside—the Wretches—struggle to survive amidst the smoke and ash.

Believing his mother was living among the Wretches, Partridge escaped from the Dome to find her. Determined to regain control over his son, Willux, the leader of the Pures, unleashes a violent new attack on the Wretches. It’s up to Pressia Belze, a young woman with her own mysterious past, to decode a set of cryptic clues from the past to set the Wretches free.

An epic quest that sweeps readers into a world of beautiful brutality, Fuse continues the story of two people fighting to save their futures—and change the fate of the world.

tragedypaperThe Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan – Tim Macbeth, a seventeen-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is “Enter here to be and find a friend.” A friend is the last thing Tim expects or wants—he just hopes to get through his senior year unnoticed. Yet, despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential “It” girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim’s surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, but she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone ever finds out. Tim and Vanessa begin a clandestine romance, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.

Jumping between viewpoints of the love-struck Tim and Duncan, a current senior about to uncover the truth of Tim and Vanessa, The Tragedy Paper is a compelling tale of forbidden love and the lengths people will go to keep their .

Hope you have some good reads to look forward to! Happy reading! 🙂

KIdLit Cares

My director at work brought this initiative to my attention a couple days ago. Created to help those affected by the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, the goal of this program is to auction of things that writers and readers might be interested in with the proceeds going directly to the Red Cross disaster relief fund. I’ve perused the auction and it’s really amazing what people from all over have donated to help this cause. Anything from Skype visits to editorial critiques to autographed books to school visits. Agents, editors, authors and the like have banded together to give of their time and services in order to help those in need.

I checked out some of the auction items and was blown away both by the generosity of what was being auctioned off as well as how many people are bidding! It’s definitely worth checking out at Joanne Levy’s blog/website. As of today, there are 64 Auction items up for grabs. Stop by and see what cool stuff you can win while you help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

 

It’s Fun to Meet New People

 

On Tuesday night, I had the privilege of meeting a lot of new people through a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators night of networking. Leeza Hernandez, illustrator and new Regional Adviser, did a wonderful job of talking about SCBWI and the benefits of joining, several other members met their agents/editors through various SCBWI events, and ways to effectively network.

Networking is an integral part not only in meeting agents and editors, but building a platform to increase your visibility as a writer. I was able to talk to picture book author Ame Dyckman and debut middle grade author Kit Grindstaff about the benefits of Twitter as a social media site. They both gave me great tips on how to follow librarians, bloggers and other kid lit lovers to both gain followers and find out about trends in children’s literature. Sweet!

Events such as this always make me excited to write. They’re invigorating and inspirational. I’m already looking forward to continuing to connect with all the new great people I met. Can’t wait to meet more friends! 🙂

Two Must-Read Books

I always love to read books that are amazing first off, but are also destined to be huge. That way when everyone’s clamoring for the next hot book I’ve already read it and can talk about it. If you’re going to read any YA books this October, here are two that I think are excellent. They are well-written, fresh, and made me want to read them in one sitting – which doesn’t happen very often!

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.” Talk about starting a book with a compelling hook! But hooks must be backed with great characters, twists and turns, and a satisfying ending and Stiefvater delivers on all accounts. While there is one primary protagonist, Blue, daughter of a psychic with skills of her own, there are a whole plethora of interesting characters that Stiefvater manages to use to pull the plot along giving each one a unique personality without overshadowing the plot. And when Blue gets pulled into a world of mystery with the boy she’s prophesied to either kill or love, havoc breaks loose. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time!

 

 

  Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – Orphans Mal and Alina have grown up practically their entire lives together. Together they are traveling with the King’s army when they are forced to cross the Shadow Fold, a black slash across their beloved country filled with monsters that feed in the darkness. When Mal is attacked Alina calls upon a power she never knew she had to save him. Her power brings her to the attention of the Darkling, handsome leader of the Grisha, a skilled and magic-filled group trained to serve alongside the King’s army. But will her power be used to good or evil? This is a brilliant book that has already been optioned for a movie with the producer of the Harry Potter movies at its helm. I can’t wait!

 

If you have any books you’ve absolutely loved recently I’d love to hear about them too. Happy reading! 😀

Freshly Pressed Fall YA Novels

It’s always fun to find new YA authors or to grab a new release from an old favorite. This fall there are plenty of both, some out for a few months, some more recently released. While most of the ones listed below I still have yet to read, I’m excited for all the fresh voices and stories I can lose myself in during these (increasingly) chilly fall days.

  Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – This YA novel is on the fast track to success with its debut on the New York Times Bestsellers list and the recent movie rights acquisition by DreamWorks. The story centers around an orphaned solider girl through a fantastical Russia as she does battle with dark forces in order to save a kingdom.

 

 

 

  Butter by Erin Jade Lange – Tired of being bullied for his obesity, a boy called Butter decides to end it all – live on the Internet. But when he begins to grow in popularity, he wonders if he will be able to go through with his pronounced death deadline.

 

 

 

 

  Origin by Jessica Khoury – Created deep in the Amazon jungle as the first of a new immortal race, Pia knows no other world. But when she happens upon a hole in the electric fence between her and the world beyond, she is faced with the stark reality of who she really is and where she came from.

 

 

 

 

  The Diviners by Libba Bray – I’m a huge fan of all Libba Bray books and was thrilled to grab an ARC of this exciting new novel at BEA this past spring. Set in New York city in the 1920s, her novel follows a group of teens endowed with special abilities that none of them quite understand. And when strange occult murders begin happening around the city, it’s up to them to put an end them and keep an even greater darkness from completely enveloping their city.

 

 

 

  Every Day by David Levithan – “A” wakes up in a new body every morning. A has always been this way, but doesn’t know how or why. And every day brings a different perspective because of the new body A inhabits. Levithan produces such an interesting concept with his latest book and takes the idea of empathy for other humans to a whole new level.

 

 

 

  The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – I’ve only read the first couple of chapters in this series debut and I’m already hooked. Blue is from a family of psychics who speak in vague certainties that always seem to come true. Blue has been told since she was little that she will cause her true love to die, but hasn’t put much merit in it since she’s never been in love. But when her crazy aunt comes to visit and tells her this is the year she will fall in love, Blue begins to worry.

 

 

 

I hope you’re finding some great novels to read this fall too! Happy reading! 🙂

Guest Post: Author Alissa Grosso’s New Book Release Ferocity Summer

  I’m delighted to have Alissa Grosso here today as my guest. She’s an amazing writer debuting her first novel last year, Popular, and her second, Ferocity Summer releasing May 8 of this year. To check out her sweet Ferocity Summer trailer click HERE.

Here’s a little taste of her incredible new YA novel:

Scilla Davis is haunted by a horrible accident that she was involved in last summer—a drunken, reckless joyride that ended in tragedy. With a big trial looming, life seems empty, unreal, and utterly hopeless. It’s especially painful watching her best friend, Willow, slowly destroy herself with pills and booze. Yet Scilla can’t seem to wrest Willow—or herself—from a path of self-destruction.

But there might be a possible escape from this nightmare. As a dangerous new drug called Ferocity sweeps the nation, an FBI agent asks Scilla to turn narc and help locate the Ferocity kingpin. In exchange, she could avoid conviction for her role in the accident. All she has to do is deceive and betray people she’s known all her life.

 Summer Jobs
I’m currently on a Blog Tour Road Trip to promote my new book Ferocity Summer, which is now available. Don’t forget to read to the end of this post to find out how you can enter  a drawing for your very own summer survival pack, which includes a signed copy of Ferocity Summer.

Summer jobs are pretty much a rite of passage for teenagers. From experience, I can say that some are awesome and some are awful. Scilla Davis, the main character in Ferocity Summer, has one of the awful variety. She is stuck working behind the counter of the local convenience store. I’m relieved to report that I never had a summer job quite this bad, but I’ve had a few interesting ones.

Like many teenage girls, my first “job” was babysitting. Lucky for me, I was the only teenage girl in a neighborhood that had a lot of families with younger kids. So, I had pretty steady work. I’ll admit some kids were more fun to sit for than others, but thankfully, I don’t have any babysitting horror stories to report.

When I was in high school, my father started his own law practice. This meant that one of my summer jobs became working with Dad. I did typing and some miscellaneous secretarial things. My father used to put in long days. This meant we left the house when it was dark out and returned about when the sun was setting. Keep in mind, this was during the summer when the days can be pretty long. I have to say, the work tended to be pretty boring, and if it taught me anything, it was that I didn’t want to work in an office when I got older.

My next job was not so much a summer job as it was a weekend and after school job. I worked at an outlet store near my house. This was not one of those nice, clean outlet stores that are pretty much just like a retail store. This was a warehouse style bargain basement outlet store. The deals were very good which meant people would wait hours in line to check out or have fist fights over merchandise. Then there were the customers who didn’t think our prices were low enough and would try to rip us off by switching the tags on items. Suffice it to say, it was an interesting job.

My last summer job was working at Waterloo Village, a historical village near my house. It was the sort of place where employees dressed up in costume. When I first started, I was a tavern wench. Later, I moved up to being a costumed tour guide. This historic village had a bit of an identity crisis and was also a well known concert venue. So at nights, I ditched the costume and put on my official event staff polo shirt to be ticket taker, usher and later on the “Queen of Merch” aka the girl who sold the concert t-shirts. By the way, Waterloo gets a mention in Ferocity Summer with a concert that takes place at the Waterloo Concert Field.


That photo of me in an inflatable boat headed down some stairs? That wasn’t from a summer job, but it was one of my favorite full time jobs, working in the children’s department of a library. This staged photo was all part of a summer reading bulletin board display. If you’re trying to find the perfect job, you owe it to yourself to at least look into library work.

Don’t forget to leave a comment and enter to win Alissa’s Blog Tour giveaway. Open until May 20, 2012. No residency restrictions.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

 Americus by MK Reed and Jonothan Hill – This was a great graphic novel. When a conservative mother makes it her personal crusade to rid her town of sin and evil, which comes in the form of a well-loved novel featuring dragons and magic, chaos ensues. Parts made me mad because I know there are actually people like this woman out there who want to censor books that libraries carry because of their personal beliefs. A very good read though with great subplots threaded throughout.

 Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch by Nancy Atherton – I really enjoy this series featuring a woman who inherited an English cottage in a small town from Aunt Dimity, a friend of her mother’s whom she never met but speaks to in the form of a journal. What’s great about these books is that they aren’t dark and murderous, they’re set in the English countryside, and, despite trials along the way, always have nice resolutions. Purely an escape novel, which can be so nice.

  The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells – I’m listening to this sci-fi tale on CD. It’s another novel that I should have read a long time ago. When the protagonist, through a series of unfortunate events, comes to the island he is disgusted by the grotesque creatures that inhabit it. Only as he sees and learns more does he realize the true madness that has captured the island and fears for his life. The only bad thing about this CD is that I’m certain I’ll miss a turn one day because I’m so entranced with this nail-biting tale.

  The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz – An adult novel based on a case of Sherlock Holmes. I hope he plans on writing more as I am thoroughly enjoying this novel. Filled with the spirit of Doyle plus twists and turns that will keep your heart thupping until the last page.

 

 

I hope you’re reading week is just as enjoyable as mine is! Happy reading! 🙂