Friday, June 29, 2012

Every Day by David Levithan

Every Day by David Levithan
Knopf Books for Young Readers, August 28, 2012
Read for 2012 Standalone Challenge

Summary from Goodreads:
Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl. 
Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.
With his new novel, David Levithan has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.
OMG This is one of my 2 favorite books this year (See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles still reigns supreme). Can David Levithan do no wrong? Seriously, this is one of those books that everyone MUST read. Amazing, simply incredible. Beautifully written, innovative concept, I was in love from the first page. David Levithan takes a completely unrealistic concept--a being wakes up in a different body every single day--and makes it work. Not only does he make the concept feasible, but he makes us care about this entity, this being who has not physical home but is still capable of emotions. 

I just don't even have the synonyms to describe the awesomeness that is this novel. I think my slight infatuation with David Levithan as an author and editor is already fairly well-known (see evidence of my fangirly stalker behavior here, here, and here, plus this year's BEA recap which has yet to be written--I know, I suck), but to know that this novel came from him? Fangirly all over again.

Seriously, this book comes out on August 28, and you need to mark your calendars, set an alert on your phone, whatever you need to do to remind yourself to get your hands on this book as soon as possible. I would offer to share the ARC that my cosmic twin lovingly picked up for me at BEA, but it is signed and personalized by the aforementioned genius known as David Levithan, so I apologize but I can't share. You understand, right??

Enjoy your reading!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the signed copy of The Outsiders by SE Hinton and an ARC of Pinned by Sharon Flake is...


Congratulations! The winner has been notified. Thank you all for entering.

Enjoy your reading!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway--last day to enter!

Just a reminder that today is the last day to enter my Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop! Contest closes at midnight--if you want to be entered to win a signed copy of The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton and an ARC of Pinned by Sharon Flake, click here to go to the contest post!

Enjoy your reading!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

In My Mailbox (92)

Don't forget to enter my Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop!

In My Mailbox is an Internet meme hosted by The Story Siren to share new books received, purchased, or borrowed. 

Here's what I got this week!

Purchased for my nook: Eve by Anna Carey (only $2.99!)

Yup, that's all. I was on vacation this week, so no new library books. I was able to make some headway on my to-read pile, though, thank goodness!

What did you get?
Enjoy your reading!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Guest post from author Elana Johnson

Join me as I welcome Elana Johnson, author of Possession and its sequel, Surrender! Elana has a guest post on relationships (and just maybe a giveaway, too!)--enjoy!

Relationships in YA—they don’t all have to be romantic! How I crafted the best friends Cannon and Raine in SURRENDER
A guest post by Elana Johnson

Okay, so it’s no secret that I like a little kissing in books. All books. If there’s no kissing, I want there to at least be the kindling of a flame. The hint of future kissing. Ha!
But, I will say that not every relationship needs to be romantic. Because how unrealistic would that be? 
I’ll admit that non-romantic relationships are hard for me to write. They take much more control, and careful planning, and a whole heckuva lot of backstory that probably won’t even make it into the novel. Enough history has to be established, but not too much.
So when I was working on SURRENDER, I needed to insert bits of history, years worth of best friend relationship between Raine Hightower and her match, Cannon Lichen, without bogging the reader down too much. 
This can be a tricksy thing to do. I think one of the keys is to make their relationship feel like home. For Raine, the narrating character in SURRENDER, Cannon is the only person in the world to soothe her fears. He’s the only one who knows her secrets. He’s the one who’s always been there.
A platonic, best friend relationship that isn’t going to develop into something else has to feel authentic. Moments have to be inserted in the right places. Sometimes words have to go unsaid, because after all, these people have been friends for a long time. They know each other well enough to know when to speak and when not to. 
So crafting a best friend relationship has to mostly happen off the page, inside the author’s own head. They have to know a lot more about the relationship than the reader sees on the page. Otherwise, it can come off feeling shallow and cheap, and we don’t want to read books like that.
What books have you read with perfectly developed best friends? One of my favorite examples is Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. I also loved the relationship between a girl and boy best friends in Tera Elan McVoy’s BEING FRIENDS WITH BOYS, a fabulous YA contemporary novel. 
Share some of your favorites!
This week’s giveaway has everything to do with characters. Participate in any of the blog discussions this week and you could win one of three books with complex characters I loved. VARIANT by Rob Wells. THE LIMIT by Kristen Landon. THE DROWNED CITIES by Paolo Bacigalupi. All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter widget below for a chance to win.

Thanks for stopping by, Elana! For more information about Elana or her books, please check out these links:

Enjoy your reading!

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop!

And I was just thinking that it's been far too long since I've held a giveaway! The Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop is hosted by Uniquely Moi Books and I Am a Reader, Not a Writer.

So what do I have? about a SIGNED copy of The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, and an ARC of Pinned by Sharon Flake (due October 2012)? Links will take you to each book's Goodreads page.

Contest is open to US residents ages 13 and up, and will end on June 26th. One winner will receive both books. To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to hop over to the other blogs participating!
Enjoy your reading, and good luck!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

In My Mailbox (91)

In My Mailbox is an Internet meme hosted by The Story Siren to share new books received, purchased, or borrowed. 

Here's what I got this week!

Borrowed from the library:
  • Unbreak my Heart by Melissa Walker
  • Infinity (Numbers #3) by Rachel Ward
  • A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Won from a contest over at Fire and Ice: all of these awesome books (thanks, Heather!)! Most of them are going towards my end-of-summer book auction at the library, but I did keep Crush Control to read before donating!

From my most awesome cosmic twin, Kristie:

She was lucky enough to get to attend all three days of BEA, and gracious enough to ask if there was anything I really wanted. I know my teens are desperate to get their hands on Fathomless, so that's what I asked her to try and get. The new David Levithan was a complete (but greatly appreciated!) surprise! Don't you wish you had an awesome cosmic twin, too??
This is an ARC of David Levithan's newest release, Every Day. Autographed. To ME.What an incredible post-birthday surprise from my cosmic twin! 
Which reminds me, I totally owe you guys a BEA recap, don't I???
What did you get?
Enjoy your reading!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Smoothie Fun (4): Strawberry-Banana-Mango

Today's smoothie: Strawberry-Banana-Mango

Soy milk
Vanilla greek yogurt
frozen mango
fresh spinach (of course!)

Another favorite!

Enjoy your reading!

Monday, June 11, 2012

May 2012 in review

May is over, thank goodness. I can't stand the month. A lot of not-so-great family things have happened in May, so I always tense up on the 1st and don't really relax again until June 1.

But, enough about that. Reading-wise, I did OK for May, completing 13 books.
Challenges: added 7 to the 2012 Standalone, 3 to the 2012 Sophomore, and just one to the 2012 Debut Author Challenge. A big fat ZERO from my To Be Read Challenge, again.

Um, I haven't mentioned this before now, but I started Insurgent...and didn't finish it. Ack, I know! I got about halfway through, and there was just way too much going on, and too much from Divergent that I couldn't remember. I just...gave up. I am hoping to meet Veronica Roth at BEA, though, and I do plan on revisiting it someday. I must be the only person in the universe who didn't like Insurgent.

How was your May?
Enjoy your reading!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

In My Mailbox (90)

In My Mailbox is an Internet meme hosted by The Story Siren to share new books received, purchased, or borrowed. 

Here's what I got this week!

eGalley received from NetGalley: The Believing Game by Eirann Corrigan

Pre-order: Miracle by Elizabeth Scott (yay!)

Won from a contest over at Lady Reader's Bookstuff: In the Path of Falling Objects by Andrew Smith (thanks, Amy!)

All the goodness from BEA that I can't even begin to explain to you all now. It's at least two posts worth of books and I promise I will try to have them up soon!

What did you get?
Enjoy your reading!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wild Ink Review

Wild Ink: Success Secrets to Writing and Publishing in the Young Adult Market 
by Victoria Hanley
Prufrock Press, May 1, 2012

Summary from Goodreads:
What do you need to know to break in to the flourishing young adult (YA) market? With humor and a solid grounding in reality, author Victoria Hanley helps readers understand the ins and outs of the YA genre, how to stay inspired, and how to avoid common mistakes writers make in trying to reach teens. This book includes unique writing exercises to help readers find their own authentic teen voice and dozens of interviews with YA authors, blogging experts, editors, and agents to give inspiration and guidance for getting published. Chapters include writing exercises and self-editing techniques tailored to YA, along with encouraging words on dealing with self-doubt, rejection, and lack of time.
This book is a great resource for anyone looking to jump into the world of writers. I was very honest when asked to review this book: I am not a writer and I don't think I will ever become one. I used to write in high school (poetry and short stories) but haven't since then. I would love to, but I just don't think I have anything to say.

Anyway, while I'm not a writer, I am, of course, interested in the writing and publishing processes, so I agreed to give this book a read.  Overall, I was pleased with it (and a lot of my high school Creative Writing class lectures starting coming back to me). This book could be considered a handbook for writers looking to hone their craft or become published, or even for people who think they might like to try writing, but aren't sure how to start.

Most of the content in this book would apply to the writer of any kind of book, not just YA. Still, I felt that some of the most important information was gleaned from the series of interviews at the end of the book. Hanley interviewed agents on what they look for in potential clients, editors on what an ideal query and submission might look like, and several YA authors (MT Anderson, David Lubar, and Lauren Myracle, to name but a few) discuss their writing process and how they handle rejection. This is real, practical information that any writer seeking publication will find useful. In addition, there are many resources provided for anyone who would like to further their research.

The one fault I will find with this book is that, while it is a great technical resource for writers, very little attention is given to actually writing for the YA market. Yes, there is a chapter on the different genres of the YA world (although I really can't wait for the day when "multicultural" and "LGBTQ" are no longer genres--I mean, we don't have a "heterosexual genre," do we? But I digress.), and yes, many of the interviews are with people working in the YA field (or all, in the case of the author interviews), but I just wish there had been...more...YA. Hanley uses two novels in her chapters on writing--Pride and Prejudice and The Hunger Games--which is awesome, and I totally appreciated only using two, to demonstrate continuity. It just seemed like there was something missing. Perhaps some side-bar quotes from teens about their favorite books, or about books they hated? Something to make this writer's guide stand out as a YA writer's guide. Overall, though, anyone looking for information on the world of writing and publishing will find this an interesting read.

Received book from publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Enjoy your reading!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

It's my birthday, and I'm headed to BEA!

Happy birthday to me! I'm headed to BEA for two days of fun times, books, and authors! I have some accomplices coworkers heading into NYC with me--and one is celebrating her birthday on Wednesday, so I'm hoping to get some celebrating in with all the book awesomeness.

If you see me, say hi!!

That's me in the middle, from last year's BEA. Slightly starstruck after being recognized (SHE recognized ME!) by Bettina Restrepo (on the left), who then introduced me (SHE introduced ME!) to Christina Mandelski (on the right).

Enjoy your reading!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Smoothie Fun (3): Strawberry-Banana

Today's smoothie: Strawberry-Banana

Coconut milk
Strawberry greek yogurt
strawberries (we used a mix of fresh and frozen in lieu of ice cubes)

Tasty and one of our go-to smoothies!!

Enjoy your reading!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

In My Mailbox (89)

In My Mailbox is an Internet meme hosted by The Story Siren to share new books received, purchased, or borrowed. 

Here's what I got this week!

Won in a contest over at Amusing Reviews: Kaleidoscope by Salina Yoon (thanks, Nancy!):

eGalley received from NetGalley: What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor (I decided to download this as a Kindle pdf and sent it to my iPhone so I'd have something to read on the bus to/from NYC this week--BEA here I come!)

Borrowed from the library:
  • Fun House by Chris Grabenstein (adult fic)
  • Brothers to the Death (Saga of Larten Crepsley #4) by Darren Shan
  • Mary had a Little Lamp by Jack Lechner (picture book I read to my special needs group at the library. Instead of a lamb, "Mary had a little lamp. The bendy, gooseneck kind. And every where that Mary went, she dragged the lamp behind." SUCH an adorable book, I had to bring it home for Best Girl to read.
Received from The Compulsive Reader: some bookmarks to give to my teens (thank you!):

What did you get?
Enjoy your reading!