Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell

This hilarious novel follows eighth-grader Nikki Maxwell as she chronicles through text and sketches her thoughts on friendships, crushes, popularity, and family.

This book was HILARIOUS! Nikki Maxwell has the greatest imagination from turning a old hearing aid into a faux cell phone to making up stories about the tooth fairy to scare her little sister, Nikki is always right on the ball. I just love the author's sense of humor!

When I found out that Dork Diaries was a diary that also included illustrations and comic strips I was sold. There is no way you can go wrong with a diary format and comics. And it worked out so well. Some of my favorite drawings were an overview of the cafeteria and reading themed tattoos! The drawings definitely enhanced the story and made Nikki come to life that much more! It's definitely one of my favorite styles of storytelling!

So many of the situations that Nikki finds herself in are pretty easy to relate to. I really liked how well rounded the story was, there was friendship, art (I'm all about the art), crushes, family, humiliation, bullies, fitting in, it's all there. So while the book was laugh out loud funny at parts, I liked how it dealt with issues that young girls find themselves dealing with everyday, a great balance I think!

All in all, Dork Diaries is a fun, hilarious, and sweet book!

Dork Diaries is released on June 2nd!

4/5 Stars
ARC provided by author

Saturday, May 30, 2009

10 Items Or Less Seasons 1 & 2 (The TV show not the movie)

When he inherits his father's family-owned grocery store, Greens & Grains, young Leslie Pool's (Lehr) hands-on, open communication approach to store management soon alienates him from his misfit employees. Despite Pool's determination to prove he can do things his own way, chaos ensues, spawning a comedy of errors with a host of quick-witted characters and their outrageous relationships.

Ok, this show is HILARIOUS! I never used to like sitcoms but now they are some of my favorite shows and this one is no exception. About 95% of the show takes place in a grocery store between the employees and manager. I don't know what to say besides it's really funny!

This program is really original for a few reasons. According to the special features all the dialogue is improvised. The plot isn't but the dialogue is! And it's hilarious! Also, when the actors came in to audition for the show they didn't really know what it was, some of them assumed it was a reality show. So they walk in and are handed a job application for a grocery store to fill out, and turns out that's how their characters were created, off of that job application!

I loved all the characters and actors they all bring something hilarious to the show. From the overly friendly but sort of unrealistic manager, to the awkward stock boy, to the manager of the rival big box grocery store. These people riff off each other so well!

The seasons are very short, each fitting on one dvd packaged together for purchase. It's just funny stuff!

4.5/5 Stars
Watched via Netflix

Friday, May 29, 2009

Lookalikes 51

The Third Angel by Alice Hoffman

A Twist In My Story by Secondhand Serenade cd

I like how vibrant the colors are on The Third Angel and how great the text fits in but I also love the type treatment of the cd and how the two S's fit together.

Which do you prefer?

Thanks to Heather for pointing this lookalike out!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

BLOG TOUR: Exclusively Chloe by J.A. Yang

Welcome to the next Traveling to Teens book blog tour! Created by the lovely Yan and lovely Carol!

I'm excited to welcome J.A. Yang the author of Exclusively Chloe! Check out the rest of the tour stops here!

J.A.Yang has slummed it in the valley with the Wakefield twins; slumber partied with Huey, Dewey and Louie; joined Krakow in stalking Angela; and climbed every mountain with the Von Trapps.

Originally from San Diego, he's lived and traveled the world (okay, not all of it) in pursuit of that most elusive of targets -- inspiration.

He's authored and published a book, written for online and offline publications, and maintained a variety of popular blogs on subjects ranging from movies and technology to personal stories and amateur musings. He's just wrapped up his second book, a fiction novel for teens, and is hard at work on his third one.

Chloe-Grace can’t help it—she’s spectacular. How could she not be with celebrity parents who have been the queen and king of Hollywood for years? And Chloe is a celebrity all unto herself as well— she’s the first celebrity-adopted kid in Hollywood. But now Chloe’s sixteen, and she is tired of every undesired moment of the world’s attention. She wonders what it would be like to be a “normal” kid in a regular school. To really understand it, though, she would need to go undercover. So after getting a “make-under” at the hands of her mother’s fabulous stylist, she enters the “real” world. But she soon finds out that there is just as much drama there as there is in Hollywood….

I really really liked Exclusively Chloe. At first glance it might appear to be all glitz and glamor, the Hollywood Lifestyle and while that's part of it there is so much more going on than the blurb leads you to believe. For as much as Hollywood and fame don't equal a realistic life for 99% of the population, I found this story to be really believable and understandable. When is comes down to it, it's about a girl trying to find her place in the world with people that get her and like her for her and not who her adoptive parents are.

My favorite parts of the story were when Chloe-Grace (aka Lilly while at public school) is trying out this other lifestyle in public school. Her clothes aren't designer, she drives a old car, and is just a regular girl at school. Those were the most interesting parts of the story to me, all the layers of excess are stripped off and Chloe's personality shines through. One of my favorite things in the book is the real reason she decides to start at a public school, and I'm totally not spoiling it for you, you'll have to read the book to find out! I'll only say by the end of the book I had a few tears in my eyes. What a great story!

I will admit that the story wraps up with a nice big bow on top and some people don't like those kinds of endings, but me, I loved it! It made me feel so good! I am excited to see what author J.A. Yang comes up with next!

Exclusively Chloe was released May 14th!

4/5 Stars
ARC provided by publisher for blog tour

And here's an interview with J.A. Yang!

1. What sort of research did you do to prepare for Exclusively Chloe?

I read a lot of magazines. A lot. Us Weekly, InStyle, Star, InTouch, basically anything that had to do with celebrities I at least checked out once. On top of that, I kept my TV trained on E! all the time too. Plus blogs of course, lots and lots of celebrity blogs.

A lot of the research was for clothes, styles, and accessories but also just to get an idea of what was happening in Hollywood at the moment. To be honest, these are all things I did anyway (I love gossip), but keeping notes and using stickies made it "research!"

2. You have explored a lot of career paths (including graphic design- yay!). How did you settle on writing or have you?

Haha, yeah, I've done a lot of things, nothing really as a career though. I tend to go where my interests take me, whether it be film, graphic design, video games, whatnot. I'm interested in a ton of things and whenever an opportunity pops up I tend to jump at it.

Writing is something that I didn't think I could ever do even though it was always a life goal -- and a dream fulfilled. Now that I'm doing it, I hope it can be a career. After writing this book and working on my next one, it's something I'm so excited to continue exploring. I feel like I'm just getting started so that's really awesome.

3. Do you prefer writing fiction over non-fiction or vice versa? What's the main difference between them writing wise?

Oh I think I definitely like writing fiction. Writing non-fiction was a lot about what I knew and just organizing the information and getting it on paper, and there's sort of a nice and easy logic to it (especially when doing a reference type book like my blogging one). But writing fiction, it's scary to be able to go any way you want. Especially when you set about creating a world, it's like just your imagination and that's it. There are so many possibilities and the first few steps you're constantly going "Whoa, should I have gone that way? Should I backtrack and try that way?" That's what makes fiction really challenging and exciting for me right now.

4. What is grabbing your attention right now in the world of pop culture?

As I'm answering your fantastic questions, I just finished watching the pilot episode of "Glee" on Hulu. I've been reading about how great the pilot is and it was definitely pretty smart and funny. It's about a high school glee club and is being described as "a satirical dramedy about the cutthroat social environment of high school." I hope it's the next great show (even if new episodes won't be on for awhile)!

5. What is one of your recent favorite movies that no one has heard of?

I've been obsessing over this Japanese romantic comedy called, "Nana." It's about two girls who are total opposites but share the same name. They become roommates and learn to rely on each other as they struggle with boys, jobs, and life in the big city. The actresses who play the Nana's have so much on-screen charisma and their chemistry really pushes the fast moving story along.

The movie was a huge hit in Japan but is only available on DVD now. It's definitely worth checking out because it's sweet, touching, and also hilarious (intentionally and unintentionally).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Waiting On" Wednesday! 32

Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren't As Scary by Ted Thompson and Eli Horowitz (McSweeney's)


A collection of stories for wise young people and immature old people, written by today’s best authors spinning new tales. Each story features fullcolor illustrations by artists including Barry Blitt, Lane Smith, David Heatley, and Marcel Dzama. The collection includes previously unpublished children’s stories from Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated), Nick Hornby (High Fidelity), Neil Gaiman (Sandman), George Saunders (CivilWarLand in Bad Decline), Kell Link (Stranger Things Happen), and Jon Scieskza (The Stinky Cheese Man).

Released September 8th 2009

Ok there is so much that sounds right about this. You tell me it's by McSweeney's and I go OMG! You tell me it's also an anthology for young adult and I go NO WAY! And then you tell me it has a bunch of illustrations including a contribution by Marcel Dzama and I go I NEED THIS BOOK NOW. Ok, it just sounds awesome! Doesn't it sound awesome? Well I for one can't wait! And what's up with the cover, that image certainly doesn't leave your head quickly ha!

What can't you wait for to be released?

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hardcover vs. Paperback 30

Chasing Windmills by Catherine Ryan Hyde



Catherine Ryan Hyde, bestselling author of Pay It Forward, returns with a provocative tour de force on first love—a modern-day rendering of West Side Story born on a New York City subway car and nurtured under the windmills of the Mojave Desert. The subway doors open and close, and in one moment Sebastian’s and Maria’s lives are changed forever. Rendered in Catherine Ryan Hyde’s stirring and evocative prose,CHASING WINDMILLS is a poignant love story that will leave you yearning for a subway ride that is a fraction as enchanting.Letting go becomes the purest expression of love in this extraordinary novel by the bestselling author of Pay It Forward, Catherine Ryan Hyde. Both Sebastian and Maria live in a world ruled by fear. Sebastian, a lonely seventeen-year-old, is suffocating under his dominant father’s control. In the ten years since his mother passed away, his father has kept him “safe” by barely allowing him out of their apartment. Sebastian’s secret late-night subway rides are rare acts of rebellion. another is a concealed friendship with his neighbor Delilah, who encourages him to question his father’s version of reality. Soon it becomes unclear whether even his mother’s death was a lie. Maria, a young mother of two, is trying to keep peace at home despite her boyfriend’s abuse. When she loses her job, she avoids telling him by riding the subways during her usual late-night shift. She knows her sister, Stella, is right: She needs to “live in the truth” and let the chips fall where they may. But she still hasn’t been able to bring herself to do it. And soon he will expect her paycheck to arrive. When Sebastian and Maria wind up on the same train, their eyes meet across the subway car, and these two strangers find a connection that neither can explain or ignore. Together they dream of a new future, agreeing to run away and find Sebastian’s grandmother in the Mojave Desert. But Maria doesn’t know Sebastian is only seventeen. And Sebastian doesn’t know Maria has children until the moment they leave. Ultimately, Maria brings one child, her daughter. Can she really leave her little boy behind? And, if not, what will it cost her to face her furious jilted abuser? In this tremendously moving novel, Catherine Ryan Hyde shows us how two people trapped by life’s circumstances can break free and find a place in the world where love is genuine and selfless.

I haven't read this book but I always thought that the Hardcover (which is a lookalike) made the main character look like she was in a fairytale, she just doesn't really look like a real person with the high contrast photography, she also looks kind of like a zombie with that pale skin. Whereas, the paperback version of her, which is completely different, looks like a much more normal 17 year old.

Hardcover or Paperback?

Monday, May 25, 2009

BLOG TOUR: Dull Boy by Sarah Cross

Welcome to another Traveling to Teens book blog tour! Created by the lovely Yan and lovely Carol! Traveling to Teens is shaping up to be a really exciting venture and I'm very excited to be a part of it!

Check out the rest of the Dull Boy tour stops here!

Sarah Cross is a Taurus born in the year of the Monkey. She is four inches taller than Wolverine, but does not have adamantium claws ... yet. Fierce but cute Pallas' cats are her favorite animals--and if you don't think that is relevant, then you really don't know her. She grew up in Ohio and now lives in New York. DULL BOY is her first novel.


What do you do if you can deadlift a car, and you spend your nights flying to get away from it all? If you’re fifteen-year-old Avery Pirzwick, you keep that information to yourself. When you’re a former jock turned freak, you can’t afford to let the secret slip. But then Avery makes some friends who are as extraordinary as he is. He realizes they’re more than just freaks—together, maybe they have a chance to be heroes. First, though, they have to decide whether to trust the mysterious Cherchette, a powerful would be mentor whose remarkable generosity may come at a terrible price.

Dull Boy was awesome, hilarious and pretty geektastic! I really liked the main character Avery, I usually prefer books in a female voice just because it's easier for me to relate to, but Avery was just a cool guy with a good heart. I really liked him, and he was pretty funny! I really liked the abbreviated swear words he used or thought, stuff like "What the F". That kind of stuff is just perfect to me!

And of course Avery isn't the only character. I loved all his new friends from Darla the super brain that has all sorts of crazy gadgets and a giant robot(!) to Nicholas the tortured boy with a power he can't control to Sophie who always seemed to be in a good mood and Catherine who is also hiding a secret... they all had something to offer to the story!

I never decided in my mind if Cherchette (crazy awesome name) the mysterious lady with powers of her own would end up to be good or bad and just let the story unfold in front of me. I really liked what I learned about her and from her, she informs us of about some background of where the kids got their powers that some authors might leave out but I'm so glad that Cross included, I'm all about the details!

Another thing I really liked was that throughout the book there are case files about each of the kids and their powers. I liked having that to refer to instead of just knowing what the story told us. All in all a fun and action packed book that seems to definitely set itself up for a sequel, can't wait to see what happens next!

Dull Boy was released on May 14th.

4/5 Stars
ARC provided by publisher for blog tour

And here's an interview with Sarah Cross!

1. If you were a superhero what would your power be? What would your costume look like?

If I were a superhero, I'd want to be a triple threat: adamantium claws, a healing factor, and a psychic link with falcons. (Hey, why settle, right?) My costume would be Samus's bright blue zero suit from Metroid, which I would keep wearing until I got a cease & desist letter from Nintendo. It's just the right blend of simple and omg-are-you-srsly-wearing-a-sky-blue-catsuit obnoxious. Click for a pic.

If I were a villain, though, I'd be a shapeshifter. And then I could change my costume every day.

2. Would you rather have a super power and have to hide it or truly be dull and without a power?

I would definitely prefer to have a superpower! Being forced to hide it wouldn't be a problem for me. I like keeping secrets.

3. It sounds like you have a background in 'zines (go 'zines!) care to elaborate on what they were about?

Only if you promise not to make fun of me! LOL, okay, actually, I am fair game. Bring it on. ;)

I had a habit of making magazines when I was bored, but my 'zine magnum opus was called Small Fat Walrus Taxi. Its raison d'être was randomness, and the mascot was a small walrus who had a complex about his lack of girth. There were articles like "How to be a dude," wherein Dude Sarah (me wearing a hat and my boyfriend's jacket) gave ridiculous advice; an interview with my Mozart-loving grandfather called "Why Yanni Sucks," which my grandfather totally derailed when he changed his opinion midway through & decided Yanni was okay; and an interview with a real live author, back when very few authors had websites and you had to accost them in person. I was so nervous I think I asked 2 hours' worth of questions. Oops.

There were also little marker drawings of a walrus shooting a bow & arrow, wearing a negligee, etc.

4. What's the best comic/graphic novel that you recently read?

Wolverine First Class (written by Fred Van Lente) is awesome. It features the grouchy little scrapper version of Wolverine that I love--he is not angsty AT ALL!--and it's hilarious to watch him try to mentor Kitty Pryde. I highly recommend it.

I'm also really looking forward to Brian Azzarello's upcoming noir graphic novel, Filthy Rich.

5. According to your FAQ, you listen to music while you write. What song is currently playing on repeat right now?

Right now I'm addicted to "Good Girls Go Bad" (feat. Leighton Meester) by Cobra Starship. Current play count: 128. You can listen @ my Vox.

Thanks, Alea!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Off to NYC/BEA I go!

I'll be heading out in under two hours so I just wanted to say hope everyone has a nice week! Content will posting like normal but I won't be back until the beginning of June. I'm going to try and pop online from time to time to check on things if I can!

I'm excited to see everyone that is going to BEA and plan on doing some related posts when I return to share with you guys! Have a great week and let me know if I miss anything super exciting :)

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Oscar winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men), Oscar nominee Penelope Cruz (Volver) and Golden Globe nominee Scarlett Johansson (The Nanny Diaries) light up the stunning city of Barcelona in this sexy romantic comedy. Vicky and Cristina are two young Americans spending a summer in Spain, who meet a charming Casanova and his beautiful but volatile ex-wife. When they all become romantically entangled, the smoldering sparks begin to fly in hilarious fashion. Critics rave, Vicky Cristina Barcelona is one of Woody Allen s finest films, with bravura performances from its incredible cast (Jeffrey Lyons, Reel Talk/NBC)

Hmm I was really interested to see this movie because I figured it could turn out to be anything, I really had no idea what it would be like. It surprised me how light the movie sort of was, I mean it was no chick flick romance comedy but it wasn't nearly as heavy as I thought it might be. Woody Allen is all over the place so I had no idea what to expect. I would definitely compare it to Scoop and also a bit to Matchpoint.

One thing that was kind of weird and distracting to me was that the movie had some narration in it. Not like The Royal Tenebaums Alec Baldwin narration but like the Shopgirl Steve Martin narration, it was just distracting. I think it would have been better with a different voice but I had a hard time following along when there was narration.

I liked all the characters and surprisingly to me I kind of liked Penelop Cruz in this movie, she usually just doesn't do it for me, but this time she did. I loved the scenes between her, Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem. Those were the best to me.

Anyhow, the movie was interesting. I feel like ranking it. I thought it was better than Scoop but not as good as Matchpoint. So there is that.

3/5 Stars
Watched via Netflix

Saturday, May 23, 2009

This Week In Books Or Surprises In The Mail!


Guinevere's Gamble by Nancy McKenzie
Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis

These were both surprises and look at the artwork on the cover of Mare's War, it's beautiful! I think I've seen one of the artist's pieces before, her name is Jody Hewgill, see more here.


The Sorceress by Michael Scott

Another surprise for review!


Ash by Malinda Lo
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri

First two are for review, and seriously Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl have the most beautiful author photos, I just love them! And Another Faust came for an upcoming Traveling to Teens tour in August.


Love, Lies and Texas Dips by Susan McBride
Red Carpet Riot by David Van Etten
Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles

First two are also surprises for review (seriously I love these surprises). Who's read the A Likely Story series, I've seen them around but haven't read them. Do you like them? And Jumping Off Swings is also for another upcoming Traveling to Teens tour also in August.

Friday: nothing

Novel Idea by Aimee Friedman
She's So Money by Cherry Cheva

These both came from bookmooch!

You won't be seeing a This Week In Books from me next weekend because I'll be away for BEA. But it will resume the following weekend! :) I do have posts scheduled throughout next week until my return. And if I can swing it I might pop on to do a post from BEA, if not I'll do probably a few when I return! So if you email me after tomorrow morning you might not hear a reply until the beginning or middle of the following week. Hope everyone has a nice week!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Me? Interviewed!? Part 2

Sarah Ockler the author of Twenty Boy Summer has just posted an interview with me for her fLiP iT fRiDaY feature where she interviews book bloggers! And Sarah is awesome because she now loves tapirs too!!!!!

P.S. There is also a picture of me which proves I am not actually a cartoon! It will also be helpful for anyone that wants to stalk me at BEA!

Thanks Sarah!

Lookalikes 50

My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

Network Solutions GIF Banner Ad via

Network Solutions GIF Banner Ad via

The Secret Keeper by Elizabeth Carroll

This brings back memories of this lookalike. Such different uses for the same picture! It's seriously hilarious that they added in a man to the last banner ad! I have to say, I really like the banner ad version and second book cover because the girl's hair is missing the pink streak, but it really works for the first bookcover how it matches the title. All in all I like them all, probably because the photo is so great!

Which is your favorite?

Thanks to Sarah for spotting the banner ads and Book Chic for the second book cover!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: A Second First Time?

What book would you love to be able to read again for the first time?

Probably all of my favorites but three that come to my mind right now are Willow and Twilight and Harry Potter. They all take you into really interesting worlds, very very different worlds from each other... and it would be fun to start with fresh eyes for them!

How about you?

BEA Prep or Business Cards + Plans

Here is my glorious blogger business card for BEA. It's really nothing you haven't seen but it's still cute! I got 250 made, hopefully that will be enough! And as long as we are on the subject of business cards here are the ones I used when I was looking for a job a like 2 years ago, the back is practically the same as my blogger business card.

Last weekend I started looking over all the BEA schedules and here are a few of the CAN'T MISS things I want to see:


Sarah MacLean signing The Season from 10-10:30. Sounds like I will be seeing Sarah the night before so we'll see if she's sick of me or not!

Adriana Trigiani signing Viola in Reel Life from 11-12.

Tara McPherson signing her new collection Lost Constellations from 2-3.

Suzanne Collins signing Catching Fire from 3-4. I'll be joining all the fellow bloggers early that morning to stand in line for tickets! Talk about bonding!

And if I can swing it Trenton Lee Stewart signing the third book in the Mysterious Benedict Society also from 3-4.


I'll be at the Firebrand/NetGalley booth chilling with Candace and Dawn of Beth Fish Reads and She is Too Fond of Books respectively from 10-11.

There is a Consumer Panel: Teens Sound Off Panel I must go to from 12:30-when??

Today's Buzz Builders is the big book blogger panel from 2-3!


Michelle Zink will be signing Prophecy of the Sisters from 1-2.

So that's really only a small sampling of the things I want to do at BEA. Will I see you at any of these events?


In 1977, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to be voted into public office in America. His victory was not just a victory for gay rights; he forged coalitions across the political spectrum. From senior citizens to union workers, Harvey Milk changed the very nature of what it means to be a fighter for human rights and became, before his untimely death in 1978, a hero for all Americans. Sean Penn stars as Harvey Milk under the direction of Gus Van Sant in Milk, filmed on location in San Francisco from an original screenplay by Dustin Lance Black, and produced by Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen. Milk charts the last eight years of Harvey Milk's life. While living in New York City, he turns 40. Looking for more purpose, Milk and his lover Scott Smith (James Franco) relocate to San Francisco, where they found a small business, Castro Camera, in the heart of a working-class neighborhood. With his beloved Castro neighborhood and beautiful city empowering him, Milk surprises Scott and himself by becoming an outspoken agent for change. With vitalizing support from Scott and from new friends like young activist Cleve Jones (Emile Hirsch), Milk plunges headfirst into the choppy waters of politics. Bolstering his public profile with humor, Milk's actions speak even louder than his gift-of-gab words. When Milk is elected supervisor for the newly zoned District 5, he tries to coordinate his efforts with those of another newly elected supervisor, Dan White (Josh Brolin). But as White and Milk's political agendas increasingly diverge, their personal destinies tragically converge. Milk's platform was and is one of hope a hero's legacy that resonates in the here and now. --© Focus Features

This is an important movie. I feel like everyone should see this now. Unfortunately I didn't know much about Harvey Milk before seeing this movie but wow, what an important and beautiful person he was! And what a tragic way for his life to end. I will admit it, the ending made me cry.

For some reason it took me a bit to get into the movie but once I was into it I was INTO it. Movies are always wonderful to watch but when they are based on real people they become something else. I guess in some ways they almost become more important? I don't know.

I guess I don't really have much to say besides this movie touched me. And it was really interesting to learn some of the history of the gay rights movement.

I'd be interested to hear what you guys thought of this movie, please share!

4.5/5 Stars
Watched via Netflix

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Winner of the signed copy of Waiting for You!

Congratulations to purplg8r who won the signed copy of Waiting for You! I've emailed you so please respond with your address :)

Hope everyone is having a great night!

"Waiting On" Wednesday! 31

Rosie and Skate by Beth Ann Bauman


It's off-season at the Jersey shore, when the boardwalk belongs to the locals. Rosie is 15 and her sister Skate is 16. Their dad, an amiable drunk, is spending a few weeks in jail while their cousin Angie looks after them in their falling-down Victorian on the beach. Skate and her boyfriend Perry are madly in love, inseparable—until now, when Perry goes off to Rutgers. Rosie is shyer than Skate, but she’s drawn to Nick, a boy in their Alateen group. What happens to Rosie and Skate in a few tumultuous weeks is deftly shaded, complex, and true. Readers will be caught up in each girl’s shifting feelings as the story plays out within the embrace of their warmhearted community.

Released August 11th 2009

This just sounds really interesting doesn't it. After recently reading Peace, Love and Baby Ducks I'm definitely eager to read another sister story. And I think this one could be it! It sounds like it's going to be a great snapshot in a possible turning point in both of their lives!

What can't you wait for to be released?

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hardcover vs. Paperback 29

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott



"Once upon a time, I was a little girl who disappeared.

Once upon a time, my name was not Alice.

Once upon a time, I didn't know how lucky I was."

When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends -- her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over.

Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her.

This is Alice's story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.

I always thought the hardcover was fine and good but I'm really drawn to the paperback. The simpleness of the bow and the dark background make for a very creepy-cute cover.

Hardcover or Paperback?

Monday, May 18, 2009

One Lonely Degree by C.K. Kelly Martin

Anything is possible. . . .

Finn has always felt out of place, but suddenly her world is unraveling. It started with The Party. And Adam Porter. And the night in September that changed everything. The only person who knows about that night is Audrey—Finn’s best friend, her witness to everything, and the one person Finn trusts implicitly. So when Finn’s childhood friend Jersy moves back to town—reckless, beautiful Jersy, all lips and eyes and hair so soft you’d want to dip your fingers into it if you weren’t careful—Finn gives her blessing for Audrey to date him. How could she possibly say no to Audrey? With Audrey gone for the summer, though, Finn finds herself spending more and more time with Jersy, and for the first time in her life, something feels right. But Finn can’t be the girl who does this to her best friend . . . can she?

This is the first book I've read by C.K. Kelly Martin, I know for shame, I need to read I Know It's Over. I really liked the idea of this book but it played out a bit differently than I would have hoped. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it and I loved Finn. I mean she wanted to be a graphic designer and move to London or New York, we basically had the same dream!

One thing I was really interested in finding out was what happened at The Party, and I was surprised to find out how soon that information was given out. I figured I would have to wait a lot longer than I did. But at the same time it was kind of nice to know what the incident was because it allowed me to understand why Finn was the way she was without having to do that after I had finished the book, I got to do it during the book.

The parts I enjoyed most of the book were after school had let out and Finn's friend and Jersy's girlfriend Audrey was out of the picture. I really wanted to see how this relationship would develop between Finn and Jersy. How could it happen in such a way that Finn would be horrified with herself when she finally realized what was going on between herself and Jersy. I thought it was pretty believable. Sidenote: these characters have the coolest names! Anyhow, I really liked these parts but the ending left me wanting more. I'm not really certain how it ended, this was a case were I wanted a more concrete ending, I was having trouble imagining for myself where this would go.

All in all an interesting book and I can't wait to read the author's other title, I Know It's Over!

One Lonely Degree will be released on May 26th.

3.5/5 Stars
Review copy provided by publisher

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Peace, Love and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle

Growing up in a world of wealth and pastel-tinted entitlement, fifteen-year-old Carly has always relied on the constancy—and authenticity—of her sister, Anna. But when fourteen-year-old Anna turns plastic-perfect-pretty over the course of a single summer, everything starts to change. And there are boys involved, complicating things as boys always do. With warmth, insight, and an unparalleled gift for finding humor even in stormy situations, beloved author Lauren Myracle dives into the tumultuous waters of sisterhood and shows that even very different sisters can learn to help each other stay afloat.

Let me just start off by saying this is my first book length story by Lauren Myracle so it's hard for me to say if this is similar or different to her other books. Ok so the book... I really liked the idea of a sister story and this book told a pretty good one. Me and my sister are like 6 years apart so we really don't fight about the same things that sisters closer in age fight about, like the sisters in this book. Like a lot of sisters these two are opposites. 14 year old Anna is more into makeup, and clothes, and popularity while 15 year old Carly is sort of going through a hippie phase, basically total opposites.

Carly is just coming back from a summer at camp when she realizes that her sister's body has matured over the summer, A LOT. I've never seen or heard anyone obsess so much over a 14 year old girl's body in all my life. It was a bit too much, and really I hope it was an exaggeration because I would feel just horrible for a young girl that got called out like Anna did, by EVERYONE about her body. It was just too much.

Anyway, I really liked the love triangle in the book. Carly is interested in Cole because well he's cute and they also share a few things in common but he ends up dating another girl. And while Carly is obsessing over Cole her best guy friend Roger doesn't really hide the fact that he would go out with Carly in the blink of an eye if she would have him. I also liked the role that religion played in the book, I liked Carly's take on it. You'll have to read the book to find out what I mean.

I found the big fiasco that leads up to the ending pretty stressful. Boy did I feel bad for Carly and also Anna, it was just too much all at the same time. A pretty emotional situation between these two sisters and I was really glad when it ended and I think they both came out of it ok.

All in all an interesting book and I'm curious to read other books by Myracle.

Peace, Love and Baby Ducks was released on May 14th.

3.5/5 Stars

Saturday, May 16, 2009

This Week In Books Or I Managed to Not Buy Anything At the Library Or Anywhere Else But That Didn't Seem To Matter


Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
The Comeback by Marlene Perez
And Then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman
Slept Away by Julie Kraut
How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson

A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker
Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund

A whole slew of review copies showed up Monday and also two books from Sharon. Thanks Sharon, I will be seeing you soon prepare yourself.... :P


The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading by Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance

This came for an upcoming tour I am participating in through Goddess Fish.


MagicKeepers: The Eternal Hourglass Book One by Erica Kirov

Came for review.


Breathing by Cheryl Renee Herbsman

Came for review.


The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

This came for an upcoming Traveling to Teens tour. Go check out the action over there, it's really heating up!

Suggestions Wanted Or OMG I'm Finally Going On A Vacation After Like A Year and a Half and it's to NYC and BEA!

In about a week I'm going to depart on a vacation I'm so so so very excited about. I'll be going to New York and also Book Expo America. Since I just decided for sure last Monday I'm a little bit behind planning wise. I have barely started to plan what I would like to see and do while in New York sightseeing wise and also BEA wise. I know for sure I want to go to art museums and book stores and maybe some comic or zine shops basically something quirky that I can only find in NY. I would LOVE to hear any suggestions from anyone that would like to share about what I could do while I'm there in New York in general or while at BEA. Seriously this would be a great help and also help get me moving on my plans, I know there is so much to see and do there and I want to take advantage of it! Thank you in advance for any ideas you share!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Lookalikes 49

Fate by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Luna by Julie Anne Peters (paperback)

Luna by Julie Anne Peters (hardcover)

The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman

This is kind of a combo lookalikes/hardcover vs. paperback, why not right!

So for the first two, the exact lookalikes I'm going to have to go with Luna because of the more natural color palette. And for the two versions of Luna, the hardcover vs. paperback, I'll go with the paperback (which is also the lookalike, confusing enough for you!) When I see the hardcover for some reason I don't see it as a butterfly right away, not sure why. And for the Ice Queen, it looks very very similar, what do you think? Same photo?

Which do you prefer? And hardcover or paperback?? And is The Ice Queen the exact same photo?

Thanks to Krista of Tower of Books and Steph Su for suggesting this lookalike!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Gluttony

Book Gluttony! Are your eyes bigger than your book belly? Do you have a habit of buying up books far quicker than you could possibly read them? Have you had to curb your book buying habits until you can catch up with yourself? Or are you a controlled buyer, only purchasing books when you have run out of things to read?

OMG YES! I buy way way way way way way way way faster than I can read. According to LibraryThing my TBR pile is 746 and I know not all my newer books have tags yet so yeah... I try and curb my book buying (a little) but it usually only lasts a few weeks or er days. I can't not go to the Library Book Store on Thursdays! Sometimes I can not go to Borders for a few weeks or put off an Amazon order, but I gotta go to the Library Book Store! My problem is I can't pass up a deal. I rather buy something i'm not going to read for a long time than have to pay full price at a later date. I love the deals! I just can't not buy something when it's like 25 cents. It's impossible! But be proud, I didn't buy anything at the library today and last week, only one book! There is hope for me yet!

Booking Through Thursday

BLOG TOUR: Precious by Sandra Novack

From The Publisher's Website:

The summer of 1978, ten-year-old Vicki Anderson rides her bike to the local park and goes missing. Her tight-knit blue-collar Pennsylvania neighborhood, where children roam the streets at night playing lightning tag, aboveground pools sparkle in backyards, and flowers scent the air, will never be the same.

Down the street from Vicki’s house, another family is in crisis. Troubled by her past, headstrong Natalia Kisch has abandoned her husband and two daughters for another man. Frank Kisch, grappling with his anger, is left to raise their girls alone, oblivious to his daughters’ struggles with both disappearances: Eva, seventeen, plunges into an affair with her married high school teacher, and nine-year-old Sissy escapes to a world of imagination and storytelling that becomes so magical it pierces the reality of the everyday.

When Natalia unexpectedly returns, the struggles and tensions that have built over the summer erupt into a series of events that change the Kisches irrevocably—forcing them to piece together their complicated pasts and commitments to each other.

In this haunting, atmospheric debut, Sandra Novack examines loss, loyalty, and a family in crisis. Lyrical and elegiac, Precious illuminates our attempts to make sense of the volatility that surrounds and consumes us, and explores our ability, even during the most trying times, to remember and hold on to those we love most.

Precious is a portrait of a family, a family going through one of the toughest years of their existence. When the mother Natalia leaves her husband and daughters behind for something new, something with a new man they are left to pick up the pieces of their broken family. When summer arrives the girls are left home to fend for themselves and the older sister Eva takes off most days leaving Sissy to do anything she wants anywhere. Not the best idea when recently another neighborhood girl has gone missing.

I found Precious to be very haunting and heavy. While I did expect that I had hoped for it to let up at least a few more points than it did. I would have liked just a bit of humor or lightness somewhere just to lighten the mood if only slightly. There was one lighter passage that comes to mind though that I really liked, when Natalia and her husband Frank are going for a ride in his car. She remembers back to when they first met and started dating. I really found that passage very sweet. I also really liked some of the imagery described when the circus comes to town. I felt like I was there!

For me it was much easier to identify with the children, Eva and Sissy. I liked reading about Eva and how she was dealing with her broken family. It was interesting to see why she was in the relationship with her teacher and why he was in it with her. I liked that this book was told from the different characters perspectives. Seeing the different sides to the stories. Like others have said, a lot of times I felt worried for Sissy. Left to take care of herself for the better part of a day, who knows what could happen to her. Her imagination was so real to her I felt like it could have been the end of her a few times.

All in all an interesting look at a broken family trying to pick up the pieces that I know will appeal to a lot of readers out there.

Precious was released on February 17th.

3/5 Stars
Review copy provided by author for blog tour

Visit author Sandra Novack's website here. You can read an excerpt of the book here and also view the rest of the TLC tour stops here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Waiting For You by Susane Colasanti

At the beginning of her sophomore year, Marisa is ready for a fresh start and, more importantly, a boyfriend. So when the handsome and popular Derek asks her out, Marisa thinks her long wait for happiness is over. But several bumps in the road—including her parents’ unexpected separation, a fight with her best friend, and a shocking disappointment in her relationship with Derek—test Marisa’s ability to maintain her new outlook. Only the anonymous DJ, whose underground podcasts have the school’s ear, seems to understand what Marisa is going through. But she has no idea who he is—or does she? In this third romantic novel from Susane Colasanti, Marisa learns how to “be in the Now” and realizes that the love she’s been waiting for has been right in front of her all along.

Waiting for You was so easy for me to read. A lot of times I sit down to read and have to stop every few minutes, I think of something I have to do or the writing catches me up and I have to slow down or take a break. But Waiting for You I could just sit down with and read, no if ands or buts.

Waiting for You was a fun yet emotional story. I liked how complex the story was, there was a lot to grasp onto and relate to. I thought I might have a hard time reading about Marisa's parents separation but it actually presented it in a way that was easily digestible. I think my favorite part was Marisa trying to figure out who she wanted to be with romantically and learning more about herself in the process. I also loved the plotline of the mysterious nighttime DJ. I mean, I knew exactly who it was from the beginning but I loved finding the little clues sprinkled through the book as to their identity! It definitely had me grinning.

It came as no surprise to me that Nash, Marisa's friend from childhood would be my favorite character. I'm all about the eccentric dorky boys. Another of my favorite parts involved Marisa's friend Sterling waiting at a park to meet a guy she chatted with online. He turned out to be not what she expected and it was pretty hilarious!

Overall a multi-dimensional book full of family, friends, and love! I can't wait to read more by Colasanti!

Waiting for You is released on May 14th!

4/5 Stars

ARC provided by publisher

Be sure to check out Susane's 8th myth about high school and interview here and also the giveaway for a signed hardcover edition of Waiting For You!

"Waiting On" Wednesday! 30

The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein by Libby Schmais


Lotus Lowenstein's life is merde. She dreams of moving to Paris and becoming an existentialist. Yet here she is trapped in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with a New-Agey mom, an out-of-work dad, and a chess champion brother who dreams of being a rock star. Merci à Dieu for Lotus’s best friend, Joni, who loves French culture enough to cofound their high school’s first French Club with Lotus. At the first meeting, the cutest boy in the world walks in. His name is Sean, and he too loves French culture and worships Jean-Paul Sartre.

At first, Lotus thinks Sean is the best thing to happen to her in years. He’s smart, cultured, and adorable. Unfortunately, though, Joni feels the same way. And having an existentialist view of love, Sean sees nothing wrong with enjoying both girls’ affections. Things come to a head when all three depart for Montreal with their teacher, Ms. G, on the French Club’s first official field trip. Will Sean choose Joni over Lotus? And will Lotus and Joni’s friendship ever recover?

Released December 8th 2009

This sounds like a great book. I too love French culture (but probably not as much as Lotus) and like how her family sounds a bit quirky. And high school love triangle? Count me in! Sounds like a fun book for sure!

What can't you wait for to be released?

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Thingers: Reviews

Do you add your reviews to the books you add to your library? If so, do you put your full review on there, or a quick review (one - two paragraphs)? Do you find other people's reviews helpful? Do you know of any other ways to enter your reviews (Other than Edit Book, or Quick Edit)?

I add reviews to my books as I read them. So almost always I'll add a book before I add a review and not at the same time. When I first started reviewing a few years ago I put a few sentences here and there for books I had read in the past. They were such short reviews because I hadn't read the books recently. I stopped doing that after like 5 reviews though. I do like to read other's reviews and sometimes it's nice also to see the average rating. I don't know of another way to enter reviews!

GIVEAWAY: Waiting For You Signed Hardcover!

Now that you've read Susane's 8th myth about High School you can win your own signed hardcover copy of Waiting For You!

If you need a reminder, here's a bit of information about Waiting For You (from

At the beginning of her sophomore year, Marisa is ready for a fresh start and, more importantly, a boyfriend. So when the handsome and popular Derek asks her out, Marisa thinks her long wait for happiness is over. But several bumps in the road—including her parents’ unexpected separation, a fight with her best friend, and a shocking disappointment in her relationship with Derek—test Marisa’s ability to maintain her new outlook. Only the anonymous DJ, whose underground podcasts have the school’s ear, seems to understand what Marisa is going through. But she has no idea who he is—or does she? In this third romantic novel from Susane Colasanti, Marisa learns how to “be in the Now” and realizes that the love she’s been waiting for has been right in front of her all along.

Rules: To win a signed copy of Waiting For You leave a comment sharing a favorite high school (or school in general) memory.

This giveaway is open to addresses within the U.S.

Please leave a way for me to contact you if you are the winner!

The giveaway will end Tuesday May 19th at 11:59pm Central Time.

BLOG TOUR: Waiting For You by Susane Colasanti (Top 10 Myths About High School)

Welcome to day 8 of Susane Colasanti's Waiting For You Top 10 Myths about High School Blog Tour!

Myth #8. Teachers gossip about students.

Oh, wait. That one is true.

Interview with Susane:

1. What is a typical day like for you?

One of the best things about being an author is that I don’t have to get up when it’s still dark out anymore. Yay for sunlight! I’ve never been a morning person, so I actually do my writing in the afternoon when I feel most productive. Mornings are mostly online time. I blog if I have some news to share (or if I just want to talk about some cute boy or cupcakes or whatever), check in at Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, and respond to emails. I go to the gym about three days a week. I’ll definitely go if someone good is on The View, because that’s what I watch when I’m on the elliptical. My afternoon/evening work time is anywhere between four to eight hours, depending on where I am in the writing process.

2. How do you deal with writer's block? Or maybe you are lucky and never have it?

So far, I have not had writer’s block. I’m grateful to have lots of ideas for many more books. Sometimes I’ll try to incorporate too many ideas into one book, then have to decide whether to delete the scenes altogether or try to use them in another book. It’s cool when the latter happens. I just made a note to add a deleted scene from Take Me There to the current book I’m working on. I’m psyched that I can use it because it’s such a funny scene!

3. How do you name your characters? Do you ever name them after people you know?

I totally name my characters after people I know! That’s probably against the Rules for Writing Books, but I never got a copy of those so it doesn’t matter. Since When It Happens was my first book, most of its characters are named after my friends as a sort of tribute. Of course I only used their first names, though. At this point, I select my characters’ names from interesting names I’ve heard or I sometimes discover them during my research for a book. The main character in my fourth book is part Hawaiian, so I named her Lani. It’s a Hawaiian name meaning “heaven.” I thought that was pretty sweet.

Thanks for stopping by Susane!

But wait... there is more! Check out the giveaway of a signed Hardcover copy of Waiting For You here!

Don't forget to check out the Susane Colasanti sampler here. You can read the first three chapters of all three of Susane Colasanti's books!

To see the rest of the tour schedule click here!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hardcover vs. Paperback 28

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld



UK Paperback

A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice Lindgren has no idea that she will one day end up in the White House, married to the president. In her small Wisconsin hometown, she learns the virtues of politeness, but a tragic accident when she is seventeen shatters her identity and changes the trajectory of her life. More than a decade later, when the charismatic son of a powerful Republican family sweeps her off her feet, she is surprised to find herself admitted into a world of privilege. And when her husband unexpectedly becomes governor and then president, she discovers that she is married to a man she both loves and fundamentally disagrees with–and that her private beliefs increasingly run against her public persona. As her husband’s presidency enters its second term, Alice must confront contradictions years in the making and face questions nearly impossible to answer.

The US Hardcover and Paperback are very very similar minus the title color change. When you throw the UK paperback into the mix things get interesting! I really like how different they are, the US cover to me, shows a more grown up main character when she's First Lady whereas the UK paperback shows her before she becomes First Lady, at least that's what I think. She kind of looks like Cate Blanchett there on the UK paperback! I also really like the style of photography on the UK paperback. So I guess over all, I cannot choose I like them both!

Hardcover or Paperback?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Retrospective 1

Retrospective (click here to visit Steph's blog and join in) is a recap of what has happened this week on Pop Culture Junkie! I think it's a great way to present everything from a week in a small package, find something you missed or remember something you wanted to look at again. This was organized by the lovely Steph!

*If you are wondering what in the heck that image is. Well, I wanted to use an image for this post and I'm thinking of going to BEA. A few months ago me and my sister were being silly with this stick your head into random picture websites and so there you have it... if it creeps me out too much I might take it down, I just thought it was silly!


Sunday I posted here about the really exciting project, Word Ninjas and also a Undercover Paperback Release contest that Beth Kephart is having. I also posted my review of Airhead the first book in the series by the same name by Meg Cabot.


Monday I posted my review of Being Nikki the second book in the Airhead series by Meg Cabot. I wouldn't suggest reading my review unless you have read Airhead because it explains some of the plot of the first book.


Tuesday I posted Hardcover vs. Paperback 27 which featured Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy. This one was suggested by Hope! Tuesday I also responded to the Tuesday Thingers question about tag and author clouds here.


Wednesday I posted Waiting On Wednesday #29! It featured School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari.


Thursday I posted my review of an adult title, Prelude by William Coles. It was actually featured in an article the following day as well here. I also participated in the Booking Through Thursday question about graphic novels and comics!


Friday I posted Lookalikes 48 which features three covers with the same model. Also Lookalikes got some kind words from author April Henry here, thank you! And I announced the winner of Genesis, who was Riva!


Saturday I posted my This Week In Books post which featured another trip to Half Price Books, twice in less than a week!

BLOG TOUR: The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

Welcome to the first ever Traveling to Teens book blog tour! Created by the lovely Yan and lovely Carol! Traveling to Teens is shaping up to be a really exciting venture and I'm very excited to be a part of it!

The first touring book and author is The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams! Check out the rest of the tour stops here!

CAROL LYNCH WILLIAMS, a four-time winner of the Utah Original Writing Competition and winner of Nebraska’s Golden Sower Award, grew up in Florida but now lives in Utah with her husband and seven children. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and helped develop the conference on Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers at Brigham Young University.

Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters, with two more on the way. That is, without questioning them much---if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her.

But when the Prophet decrees that she must marry her sixty-year-old uncle---who already has six wives---Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.

From page one it was evident that The Chosen One was going to be a raw and brutally honest book. It takes us to a world that many of us don't even think about let alone live in and pulls us in so far that there is no way we could not be invested in Kyra's well being. It takes out all the stops and by the end you need to take a seat and regroup.

The Chosen One isn't something that can be "enjoyed" exactly but it was so powerful and intense that I couldn't get enough. I admired Kyra's strength and her insistence on doing what was right for herself no matter the cost.

As others have said, I loved how much reading and the bookmobile played a part in the story. It illustrates just how much of an effect that reading can have on a person if only they will let it. I also really liked Kyra's pure and innocent relationship with Joshua, a young man from the compound.

All in all a very powerful book. Honestly I dare you not to be captivated by it.

The Chosen One is released on May 12th!

4.5/5 Stars

ARC received from publisher for blog tour

And here's an interview with Carol Lynch Williams!

1. How did you go about creating the character of Kyra?

I just knew that I had to have a girl who would be able to be tough. So I looked at a couple of my girls who are tough and took a few of their character traits. Like my daughter Kyra plays the piano beautifully. And she started plunking out songs when she was little. I borrowed that from my Kyra. But the characters in my novels do become their own selves, so I looked at places Kyra Carlson could become who she is: from the family she loves, the music she loves, and even her ‘sins’—all three things make her strong.

2. What would you like readers to take away from The Chosen One?

A good read. I want readers to feel worried and to wonder what will happen next to Kyra. I guess I want people to think that compassion and kindness are some of the most important parts of life—you know to feel for another that you may not understand.

3. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer, since I was a little girl. I’ve written since I could hold a pencil, told stories since I could boss my sister and cousins around and make them act in my plays. (I am the oldest of the cousins and I was pretty bossy. But hey, the alcoholic guy who imagined a girl dancing around in my grandmother’s nightgown? That was a good play! My Nana enjoyed it.)

4. What is your writing process like?

When I sit down to write, I try to get through a first draft as quickly as possible. I always get stuck in what I call the Icky Middles. So I whine about the middles for a while and then I attack the book again. Once I have gotten the book completed, I rewrite a couple of times, send the novel to my critique group (I have a terrific group that I work with) and let them read it. Then I make appropriate changes per their suggestions. Finally, I have my last readers go through the book. My last readers are my children. When they give me their comments I do another rewrite. Then the novel goes off to my editor or agent. Yup—that’s a lot of rewriting! And it starts again with the editors!

5. What is one of your recent favorite books?

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers. Or Ann Dee Ellis’ Everything is Fine. Or a novel-in-progress that I heard just a bit of when I was in school—by the wonderful Martine Leavitt. That one isn’t published yet but it’s amazing. Or . . . wait, I could be doing this forever! I better stop!

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