Google+ YA Romantics: October 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dress as a YA Character for Halloween Part II

Wishing my American readers a safe and fun Halloween!

If you are celebrating and need a last minute costume, I'm here to help! Most of the stuff you need is probably sitting around your house right now!

Costume One: Tris from Divergent (Katherine Tegen)

This one is easy: dress in black, and maybe put some faux tattoos on your collarbone:

Photo from

Finally -- don't highlight the spoiler unless you've read Allegiant -- (start spoiler) you can carry around a vial labeled "death serum"and stage your own death scene… (end spoiler)

Costume Two: Katniss from Catching Fire (Scholastic)

The movie is coming out soon -- help out all those people who haven't read the book with a great costume…

Option one: fire jumpsuit. Dress in black fitted clothing and use fabric paint to make it look glowing orange and red.

Option two: wedding dress. Head to the thrift shop or borrow an old wedding gown or white prom dress from a friend. Pile on the pearls. If you're really ambitious, you can make the white gown breakaway like in the book and have a slinky black one underneath….

Did you see the dress from the movie?

In case you missed my 2012 costume feature….here are even more ideas!

Costume One: Sydney Sage from the Bloodlines series (Razorbill)

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

1. Throw on khaki pants or skirt with a plain white blouse. Sydney's known for being an understated dresser.
2. Use gold face paint and a brush... paint this design on your cheek:

Golden lily tattoo
Tattoo pattern from VA Wikia

Then carry a can of Diet Coke or a Starbucks cup around. Done!  Optional: blond wig and a hot, dark-haired guy with green eyes to follow you around and make snarky comments.

Costume Two: Anna from Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (Tor)

Find a long white (or light colored) dress that you don't mind splattering with red paint or fake blood 

Use purple eyeliner to make "purply veins" all over your face, neck and arms. Then put on some black lipstick. 

Buy fake blood to splatter the dress with or make your own here with corn syrup, food coloring, and chocolate syrup. Yum!

Don't forget those crazy eyes!

Costume Three: Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Little, Brown BYR)

Buy a blue wig or use temporary blue hair paint. Once your hair's all blue, you can twist it up and stick a paintbrush into it. Or make a braid. 

Tie a wishbone on a cord around your neck. Eat the chicken first, or make your own wishbone out of Model Magic.

Make yourself some hamsa tattoos. You can find a temporary tattoo tutorial here.

Carry around a sketchpad and pencil. You can also tote around a little bag of teeth. Raid your kids' tooth fairy pillow, or get out that Model Magic!

Costume Four: Sexy Steampunk

Dress in Victorian-inspired clothing -- think high heeled lace-up boots paired with a black skirt, plus a corset or a lacy blouse or cami. Don't sweat the outfit, because we'll dazzle them with gadgetry!

Raid your junk drawer, craft drawer, jewelry box, toolbox, and garage. (Or just hit the hardware store.) Here's what you're looking for: gears, washers, brooches and pins -- any old costume jewelry you can take apart, fake gems, metallic buttons -- any interesting little bits of shiny stuff. Think like a magpie!

Superglue all your finds into a fabulous necklace and spray the whole thing with gold or silver spray paint.  You'll get something like this:

Or this:

There are some great tutorials at, which is where I got the photo above.

Warning: it is entirely possible that people won't "get" who you're dressed as.  Just see it as a chance to talk up your favorite book.

Have fun, don't take candy from strangers and don't forget to email me a picture!

Just Finished Reading: Sex & Violence

Sex & Violence
by Carrie Mesrobian
Published on October 1, 2013
By Carolrhoda LAB

Source: library

Connect with the author: website | Twitter | tumblr.

Summary from author's website: At first you don’t see the connection.  Sex has always come without consequences for seventeen-year-old Evan Carter. He has a strategy—knows the profile of The Girl Who Would Say Yes. In each new town, each new school, he can count on plenty of action before he and his father move again. Getting down is never a problem. Until he hooks up with the wrong girl and finds himself in the wrong place at very much the wrong time.
And then you can’t see anything else.  After an assault that leaves Evan bleeding and broken, his father takes him to the family cabin in rural Pearl Lake, Minnesota, so Evan’s body can heal. But what about his mind?
How do you go on, when you can’t think of one without the other? Nothing seems natural to Evan anymore. Nothing seems safe. The fear—and the guilt—are inescapable. He can’t sort out how he feels about anyone, least of all himself. Evan’s never really known another person well, and Pearl Lake is the kind of place where people know everything about each other—where there might be other reasons to talk to a girl. It’s all annoying as hell. It might also be Evan’s best shot to untangle sex and violence.
My take: I had decided to pass on Sex & Violence, because I'm overloaded with stuff to read, and because, to be honest, the title put me off a little. It's an intimidating, in-your-face kind of title. Then I read the summary (I'm not completely superficial!) and thought that sounded pretty intense too. But Heather @ The Flyleaf Review was really enthusiastic about Sex & Violence, so I gave it a try.

I'm really glad I did. Yes, there is intense stuff in this book (a brutal assault and plenty of language) but Sex & Violence is anything but an in-your-face story. It's a very understated, beautifully crafted account of both recovery and self-discovery. And yes, I see a lot of stuff like that as a reader, but not as much focused on recovery and not usually from a guy's POV. It was an interesting story that gave me a lot to think about.

Evan's father has a job that drags the two of them all over the place, from town to town and school to school. As a result, Evan is used to being the new kid, which actually works in his favor when it comes to girls. Girls, as Evan has discovered, love anything new and shiny. Evan starts secretly hooking up with Colette. She seems like just the right girl to get involved with, but ends up being the wrong one, and Evan ends up in the hospital, seriously injured.

This part of the book is a mere nineteen pages. The rest of the story deals with the aftermath of the assault, with Evan moving to a family cabin in Minnesota with his father, staying put for the first time in his life. Amidst the stillness of Pearl Lake, Evan will come to terms with what happened to him, but also with his life -- how he relates to others, how he approaches relationships, how he fits into his family. His journey is not a straightforward one, and I liked that.

Yes, sex and violence are two major themes of the book, but there are many others: nature, intimacy, motion vs. stillness, authenticity vs. superficiality. It's a very interesting story that touches on a whole bunch of issues. It's a very different take on recovery from other books I've read. If you're a reader who likes contemporary fiction that's gritty but also thoughtful and complex, definitely give this a try.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Since You've Been Gone and We Were Liars

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Here are my two picks for today:

Since You've Been Gone
by Morgan Matson
To be published May 13, 2014
by Simon & Schuster

Summary (adapted from Goodreads) Pre-Sloane, Emily didn’t go to parties. She barely talked to guys, she didn’t do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just… disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try… unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough.Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait… what?  Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Why it's on my TBR: I'm seeing a mini-trend of YA bucket list books (Goodbye Rebel Blue, The Wrap-Up List, The F-It List) and, as a result, I'm already feeling a little yawn-y about them. However, I read and loved both Amy and Roger's Epic Detour and Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson, and I'm a fan! 

We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart
To be published by Delacorte
on May 13, 2014

Summary from Goodreads: A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love.The truth. 
Why it's on my TBR: First,  E. Lockhart!!!! Need I say more? I mean, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks is one of my favorite YA books ever. The summary of We Were Liars is so cryptically compelling, sort of like The Secret History meets The Usual Suspects. I am SO excited….

Then, I saw this:

Of course, I was NOT one of the hundred people. *cries*
But I'll be checking out the cover reveal on Friday….

Tell me what book you are impatiently waiting for -- and leave me a link so I can check it out. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hot Off the Presses: New YA Releasing October 29-November 4

Hot Off the Presses -- brand new YA releases!

Welcome to Hot Off the Presses!  

Every Tuesday, I tell you about all the great new YA books you can grab in the week to come. If you're a reviewer, you can also link your blog or Goodreads reviews of any YA book publishing in October so we can all check them out!

Hot Off the Presses aims to include every traditionally published YA -- if I missed something, please let me know in comments. You are also welcome to link your reviews of YA books that were self-pubbed in October.
The winner of my October giveaway can pick any book up to $15 on either Amazon (for US winner) or The Book Depository (for international winner.) Enter by linking reviews, commenting on linked reviews, or tweeting :)  
Another breather this week, though there are some GREAT titles on there! Click on a cover to read a book's description.  Note: some titles may have different release dates outside the US.

In the Age of Love and Chocolate The Shadowhunters Codex by Cassandra Clare Horde by Ann Aguierre

In the Age of Love and Chocolate (Birthright #3) by Gabrielle Aevin (FSG)
The Shadowhunters Codex by Cassandra Clare (Simon & Schuster)
The Horde (Razorland #3) by Ann Aguirre (Feiwel and Friends)

The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa Jet Black and the Ninja Wind by Leza Lowitz Notable by Marni Bates

Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa (Harlequin Teen)
Jet Black and the Ninja Wind by Leza Lowitz and Shogo Oketani (Tuttle)
Notable (Smith High #3) by Marni Bates (KTeen)

Altered by Gennifer Albin Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow Relic by Heather Terrell
Altered  (Crewel World #2) by Gennifer Albin (FSG)
Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow (Arthur Levine/Scholastic)
Relic by Heather Terrell (Soho Teen)

If you love New Adult, check out Books With Bite's feature: This Week In New Adult!

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Just Finished Reading … The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Naturals
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
To be published on November 5, 2013
by Disney-Hyperion

Source: requested e-ARC from publisher via NetGalley

Connect with the author: website | Twitter.
Summary from author's website: Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But, it's not a skill that she's ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they've begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie. What Cassie doesn't realize is that there's more at risk than a few unsolved homicides - especially when she's sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own. Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms close. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

My take:  I was nervous as I started reading The Naturals. Nervous because I've read lots and lots and lots of thrillers and this one seemed to be working every trick in the book. Heroine with a tragic past is invited to join a secret team of teenagers who consult with the FBI. Secret team is a Scooby Gang of quirky, talented misfits who serve as human computers and lie detectors. Serial killer targets our tragic heroine and speaks to the reader in a crazy-talk, italicized POV …. mwah-ha-ha … let the games begin!

I've seen all this before, and yet The Naturals still made it seem fun and enjoyable. I do love a good Scooby Gang, and this one was interesting. Michael channels Hale from the Heist Society, albeit with an anger management problem. Lia is a compulsive liar and kleptomaniac who can also spot others' lies. Sloane is the requisite nerd. And then there's Dean, the broody one. I won't tell you his secret (which is also one I've seen before) but it's a good one and he plays it well. Cassie is an appealing protagonist, not a TSLT heroine in distress. There is a bit of a love-triangle-y vibe, but on my scale of love triangle awfulness, this one ranks pretty low.

The five teens are living in a house together (think The Real World meets the Mentalist) and only given cold cases to solve by their FBI supervisors. But these supervisors are also handling active cases, so while they're off solving crimes, the kids begin to work on a real case, exposing themselves to danger.

If you've read a lot of crime fiction, much of the book will be familiar to you, terminology like unsubs and signatures and M.O.'s and the whole hunter-becomes-the-hunted trope. I think the key to using tropes is to pick the good ones and mix them well, and The Naturals does that. The book also does a great job of bringing creepy serial killer suspense to the YA crowd without either dumbing it down or using gratuitous gore. As the ending unfolded, I was impressed. I did not see it coming, and it actually made sense. (Often the two are mutually exclusive.)

It seems as though this book has "series potential" and I hope that is the case, because I'd be happy to read more!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Extra! Extra! Giveaways and More Giveaways!

Extra! Extra!

Extra! Extra! is my weekend post featuring brand new additions to my TBR pile as well as a summary of what's new on the blog.

This weekend I'm linking to Stacking the Shelves @ Tynga's Reviews or to Sunday Post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. 

Stacking the Shelves pic name

I have a bunch going on and some are ending soon!  Be sure you've entered :)

I'm participating in the Something Wicked Blog Hop and giving away a spooky read. Open internationally! Enter now through the end of October!

Now through the end of the month, enter the Hot Off the Presses giveaway!  
Open internationally :)   You can win your choice of book up to $15!

As part of the Reality Boy Blog tour, I'm giving away a copy! You can enter -- and read my interview with author A. S. King -- right here.

Whew! Now that I've got that covered, let's talk about some...

New Books!

I got these two in the mail from Macmillan:

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira (Farrar Straus Giroux, April 2014)
Sekret by Lindsay Smith (Roaring Brook Press, April 2014)

And then got this from Netgalley:

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill (Delacorte, January 2014)

What's new with you? Let me know in comments and leave me a link so I can check it out!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Freebie Friday and Review… In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrielle Zevin

In the Age of Love and Chocolate
by Gabrielle Zevin
To be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
On October 29, 2013

Source: e-ARC from the publisher. Please see my full FTC disclosure on right sidebar.

Connect with the author: website | Twitter

Summary -- adapted from Goodreads:  Now eighteen, Anya Balanchine has found life more bitter than sweet. She has lost her parents and her grandmother, and has spent the better part of her high school years in trouble with the law. Perhaps hardest of all, her decision to open a nightclub with her old nemesis Charles Delacroix has cost Anya her relationship with Win. Still, it is Anya’s nature to soldier on. She puts the loss of Win behind her and focuses on her work. Against the odds, the nightclub becomes an enormous success, and Anya feels like she is on her way and that nothing will ever go wrong for her again. But after a terrible misjudgment leaves Anya fighting for her life, she is forced to reckon with her choices and to let people help her for the first time in her life. 
In short: I'm a huge fan of this series, and I thought In the Age of Love and Chocolate was the perfect ending to Anya's story. The word "epic" is pretty overused these days, but there is something epic -- in the classic dictionary definition, as in "heroic or grand in scale or character" -- about the last installment of this story.

It's always challenging to write reviews of books I love. It's also challenging to write reviews of last books in trilogies, because I want to give people who have read prior books enough information without spoiling the series for those who haven't read it.  So here goes with my spoiler-free, trilogy spanning thoughts:

1. This is not the typical YA trilogy

In The Age of Love and Chocolate spans several years of Anya's life, beginning as she turns 18 and ending with Anya in her early twenties. This isn't a typical choice for a YA novel, but I really liked it as a choice for this series. It added to the epic quality mentioned above, and gave the story plenty of breathing room -- time for people to grow and change and for Anya to gain more perspective on her life. I also love the narrative devices used by this book -- the ones that bring to mind nineteenth-century fiction. There are Anya's asides to the reader and the crazy-long, descriptive chapter titles, like "I Return to Chiapas; Christmas at Granja MaƱana, A Proposal a.k.a. the Second-Worst Thing Ever to Happen to Me in a Cacao Field."

2. Anya is not the typical YA heroine.

In my review of Because It Is My Blood, I called Anya "tough and wry and world-weary." As a member of a notorious crime family, she has had to grow up fast and take on responsibilities that no teenager should have. She's made tremendous sacrifices for her family at great cost to her own happiness. After the events of Because It Is My Blood, Anya carries around a machete. She doesn't trust anyone. Her brainy little sister Natty compares Anya to the element Argon:
Argon is totally intert. Nothing affects it, and it has a hard time forming chemical compound, i.e. having relationships. It's a longer. It doesn't ask for anything from anybody. It reminds me of you.
But Anya isn't just a loner, she's a smart businesswoman and a fierce protector of those she loves.

3. Anya has become quite the cynic about love…

Poor Anya. Sacrifices she made for her family in the end of the first book and the beginning of the second resulted in her break-up from her high school boyfriend, Win. Yeah, by book three, she's become a little bit cynical:
Romance was a lie. It was so much of a lie that it made me angry. Romance was hormones and fiction.
After reading dozens of YA books featuring swoony guys and swooning girls, it was kind of refreshing to read about a character who saw love from a different perspective.

4. …but never about friendship.

Anya was raised in a mafia family, in which loyalty was constantly proven and questioned. In The Age of Love and Chocolate, Anya's loyalties shift a bit, and include the development of some very unlikely friendships, which I absolutely loved. It's always fascinating to me when enemies become allies, or people who thought they had nothing in common slowly discover that they actually do. (NB: One -- no, two -- of these friendships began to make me very nervous, though!)

5. These are books that bear re-reading.

Some books are light and fun and you just breeze through them. This trilogy is filled with smart literary references -- many of which I'm sure I missed the first time around. In the Age of Love and Chocolate includes an oblique reference to the play Prelude to a Kiss -- which didn't have much significance to me until I reached the last third of the book. Then Anya is reading both Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility, and I'll be darned if Anya isn't kind of a combo of Elinor Dashwood and Anne Elliot.

6. I never thought that reading about one person handing a strawberry to another could make me tear up.

Ah….. I'll leave that one for you to discover -- and enjoy -- for yourselves. If you have been waiting for this book, I think you'll love it. If you haven't yet tried this series, definitely keep it in mind. And if you missed my interview with Gabrielle, be sure to check that out. She tells this hilarious story about how Anya came to her in a dream and made her rewrite this book.

As my Freebie Friday giveaway, I have a copy of the book to give away to a US resident. If you're international, you can enter Hot Off the Presses OR my stop on the Something Wicked Blog Hop and pick this book is you're a winner!
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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Blog Tour: Interview with Reality Boy author A.S. King

Today I'm thrilled to be part of the Reality Boy blog tour. Regular blog readers know that I'm a huge fan of author A. S. King.

Photo by Krista Schumow 

Though A. S. King needs no introduction to most readers of realistic YA fiction, here's a little information from her website:
Amy's YA novel Ask the Passengers (Little, Brown October 2012) was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner, a Junior Library Guild selection, a Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly & School Library Journal Best Book of 2012, an Indie Next List pick and has been called "Another thoughtful, and often breathtaking achievement" by Booklist in one of six starred trade reviews for the book. Everybody Sees the Ants (Little, Brown October 2011) was an Andre Norton Award finalist, a Cybils finalist, and a 2012 YALSA Top Ten book for young adults. Her 2010 YA novel, Please Ignore Vera Dietz was a 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book, an Edgar Award Nominee, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book for Teens 2010, a Junior Library Guild selection and a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick. Her first YA novel, The Dust of 100 Dogs, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, an Indie Next pick and a Cybil award finalist. Amy now lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and children and is a huge fan of Kurt Vonnegut, corn on the cob, libraries, and roller skating.

Reality Boy, her fifth YA novel, was published on October 22, 2013 by Little, Brown. You can read a summary of Reality Boy and my review here, plus find information on where to find A.S. King around the internet.

Jen:  First, it is such an honor to be able to interview you!  

A. S. King: The honor is all mine. Thanks for having me!

Jen: I sat down to think of questions and remembered an incredibly poignant speech that you gave at the 2011 Printz awards ceremony. I'll link to it below, because I think it offers a lot of insight into why you write the kinds of stories that you do.  In the speech, you discuss the fact that most adults avoid raising uncomfortable subjects with kids. In your books, adult characters like Aunt Jodi or Claire Jones or Jill Faust do everything but talk. They pop pills, they dress up and go out, they blend healthy smoothies that might heal a broken family. Why do you think it's so hard for adults to broach tough topics with kids and why do you think it's so important to try?

A. S. King: I think adults often discount teenagers. I think they forget--most likely purposely--what it's like to be a teenager. They forget how smart they were because with wisdom comes a sort of block in our brains to when we may have been more naive no matter how much calculus we were retaining at the time. I think some adults just erase their teen years because they are embarrassed or pained by them. A lot of of adults have a need to feel better than, I suppose, too. It's very difficult to have a respectful and open dialogue with anyone you feel you are better than. And then there's just the ignoring. There's a lot of that. How can any adult talk to their kids about things they refuse to see happening? I see far more of this in life than I am comfortable with. I meet too many adults who are living in bubbles. 

Why do we need that open and respectful dialogue? Because children--teens--are the future. Because children--teens--can see right through all of this stuff. They are natural truth detectors. See also: "From the mouth of babes." By watching adults ignore, then they will also ignore. I look at some of the more serious subjects in our society: child abuse, sexual assault and abuse of all genders, domestic violence, neglect, bullying, suicide, pornography (especially now since it's so widely available and the average age of finding it online is ten), gender roles, consent; and I think these are things that parents need to talk to their children about. If teens only have Google and their friends, they may not get the right idea and end up part of the problem. Let's say one in three teens are dealing with these subjects firsthand or secondhand. If one in three teens had the flu, we'd call it an epidemic and parents would no doubt remind their teens to wash their hands a lot, right?

Jen: Very true! In your speech you mention that your mother used the newspaper as a conversation starter. Today's teens have seemingly unfettered access to information. But in Reality Boy, reality TV and social media seem to have made Gerald feel more misunderstood and more isolated. Is he an extreme case, or do you think that technology has warped the way average teenagers construct their identities and interpret their life experiences?

A. S. King: Technology, access to constant tabloid-style gossip, TV and radio media has completely warped the way all of us construct our identities and interpret life experience. I haven't watched TV in 15 years. When I tell people that, they are shocked and reply with, "What about the news?" as if I couldn't find out what's happening in the world without watching an advertising-driven opinionized show about some select current events that a network chose for me to learn about today. I call it newsertainment. 

I hope to continue to grow and change. I don't think we stop, or, if we do, I am sad that we do. But teens are forming their initial opinions of the hard topics I mentioned in the last answer--from rape to gender roles--in this environment where there are a lot of opinionists ready to tell them how to think. I was in a children's detention center last week and a boy asked me, out of the blue, if I'd always wanted to be a boy since I was a kid. I didn't understand his question at first, but then he explained that since I was wearing jeans, boots, and a t-shirt, that this indicated to him that I would like to be a boy more than a girl because girls would naturally be wearing provocative clothing. I have heard far too many teenagers talk about how if a girl has been drinking, then her getting raped is her own fault. When asked, these teens will simply quote their favorite TV or radio talking head. 

This is not good. This is why parents need to be the most important talking head in a teen's life. I'm learning that teen fiction is often most needed by adults because it helps strip them back to the person they used to be--the person not in the bubble. 

Jen: Your books usually incorporate elements of magical realism -- imaginary places or characters that help your teen protagonists cope with tough times. Can you talk a little about how and why you include these elements in your stories?

A. S King: I have been through shock a few times. It's never the same each time. It's always very ethereal and intense. My characters are dealing with pain. They get through it by escaping the way most people do in times of shock. Some float. Some have daydreams. Some have ants. Some have airplane passengers. These elements show up in my work (completely organically as I write by the seat of my pants) because they are a representation of shock. 

Thank you so much for having me to the blog!

Jen: Thanks so much for being here! Here is the link to the Printz Awards speech I mentioned above. It's such a powerful speech. I cried the first time I read it and even I teared up this time around.

Thanks to the generosity of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, I am giving away a copy of Reality Boy. 

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Scandal and On the Fence

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Due to the crazy amount of September and October releases, I haven't had space to do a WoW for two months!  I'm excited to be back on it.

Here are my two picks for today:

by Sarah Ockler
to by published by Simon Pulse
on June 17, 2014


When Lucy's best friend gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time. When Cole surprises her at the after party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of… and the biggest BFF deal-breaker ever. Despite Cole’s lingering sweetness, Lucy knows they’ll have to ’fess up to Ellie. But before they get the chance, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising pics of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral. By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc, mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal just weeks before graduation. Game plan? Uncover and expose the Facebook hacker, win back her best friend’s trust, and graduate with a clean slate. There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love…

My take: First, my gripes. I don't love the title. It sounds like one of those one word nighttime dramas I can't keep straight: Revenge, Scandal, Deception. Plus, the teenagers I know use the whole hashtag concept sarcastically, not seriously. I also don't love cheating stories, and I've been seeing other "cheated with my BFF's guy" books coming out, like Anything to Have You by Paige Harbison.  In the plus column,  I'm a big fan of Sarah Ockler, and I completely trust her. So I definitely want to read this one.

On the Fence
by Kasie West
To be published by Harper Teen
on July 1, 2014

On the Fence

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can out-run, out-score, and outwit every boy she knows--including her long-time neighbor, and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chi-chi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and bedazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pick-up game. To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

My take: I LOVE "friendship to love" plots. And if you read The Distance Between Us, you know how funny Kasie West is, so I can't wait to see tomboy Charlie working in a boutique.

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