Posted on Sep 27th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Interviews, Society's Bookshelf

YALLFest is a one day event of panels, presentations and signings in Charleston, SC featuring 50 of the country’s top YA authors on November 9, 2013. We’re able to bring you another interview with author of the Divergent series, Veronica Roth!

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
Yeah, those. And all the ones in between!

Best writing tip you ever received?
$5. Just kidding. Um… tip… I think it’s probably to allow yourself to suck when writing early drafts. It takes away a lot of the fear of generating good material. It’s not easy to be creative when you’re judging your work.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
1. In the past year, I discovered a deep love of Brussel sprouts
2. I talk to myself. Heck. Sometimes I argue with myself.
3. I’m arguing with myself about including that last point at this very moment.
4. My favorite animals are elephants.
5. Dresses with pockets make me happy.

Where’s your favorite place to write?
I usually work in my home office, but I love working in hotel rooms. No distractions!

What are you working on now?
Something I’m very excited about! Can’t divulge any details yet, but it’s an idea I’ve been mulling over for years.

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Veronica Roth is from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011) and INSURGENT (May 2012). The third and final book in The Divergent Trilogy, ALLEGIANT, will come out on October 22, 2013. In the meantime she will spend endless hours browsing Wikipedia in her pajamas as she eats corn flakes. (Or some other kind of bland breakfast cereal.)

You can find more about Veronica Roth on her websitefacebook and twitter.

Check out more information on the YALLFest website and twitter.

Posted on Sep 27th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Uncategorized

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Book Title: Doll Bones
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long, they’ve been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll cursing those who displease her. But they are in middle school now. Zach’s father pushes him to give up make-believe, and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy declares she’s been having dreams about the Queen—and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty grave.

Zach and Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to lay the Queen’s ghost to rest. But nothing goes according to plan, and as their adventure turns into an epic journey, creepy things begin to happen. Is the doll just a doll or something more sinister? And if there really is a ghost, will it let them go now that it has them in its clutches?

What an absolutely fun read! Perfect for middle grade readers and adults alike, this was a quick but enjoyable read that brought me back to the games I used to play with my friends at that age. Our three main characters are trying to find their way into their adolescents, trying to figure out when it’s okay to leave their childhood games behind and even getting forced into adolescent being without being entirely ready.

Their game turns almost real life when Poppy tells Zach and Alice the true story behind their Great Queen, corralling them into joining her to a nearby town to help settle the ghostly spirit of the Great Queen. Going along with their journey, even as an adult, I kept trying to reconcile what I thought would happen, and what was happening on the page. There were some intense moments, stranger dangers, and even a cute look at childhood crushes. Doll Bones is a great story that genuinely held my interest from beginning to end. Holly is such a great author and this book is a excellent addition to her collection of books.

Posted on Sep 26th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Review, Society's Bookshelf

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Book Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

From the author the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .
But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

How do I even begin to talk about Fangirl without flailing about like an actual fangirl?

First off, the cover is pretty adorable. I really like that it complements the covers of Rowell’s other published books. Honestly, my expectations for Fangirl were set pretty high because of how deeply I fell in love with Eleanor and Park. Well, I don’t know why I would have worried because Rainbow Rowell is a an amazing author and her writing really shines in Fangirl.

Cather and Wren are identical twin sisters who are separated for the first time when Wren decides she doesn’t want to be roommates their freshman year in college. This puts Cath’s anxiety on high alert as Wren has always been there to help her get through her rougher moments in life. Without Wren as a roommate, she’s stuck with Reagan and Levi.
Rainbow couldn’t have done a more perfect job nailing the character’s voices. I was completely lost in this story, almost nothing felt out of place or forced. The pacing was dead on. At first I didn’t realize fan fiction would play so predominately and that worried me a bit. You see, I’m not the biggest fan of fan fiction. Not only that, I’m not really a fan of non-canon. So when I started reading this and realized there was non-canon fan fiction about a Harry Potter-esque book I got a bit worried. After about the first chapter all my fan fiction worries were over. I was still a little weirded out about the Simon Snow books because in my brain it just felt like a cheap Harry Potter knock off but at least the fan fiction wasn’t a problem.

Like Eleanor and Park, Fangirl tackles deep issues extremely well. The characters and their messed up situations are both heartfelt and depressing. Rainbow toes the line between the two which kept me from being too overwhelmed with the sad stuff mixed in. Reading Cath’s experience with college felt like I was given a window to look at my freshman year. I grew up a homebody that never liked sleepovers, always preferred staying home and reading over going to parties and that didn’t change when I went to college. Luckily I did make friends but it was hard at first. I remember the same anxiety Cath had about going to the dining hall. I even had a roommate that would try to drag me out places, and I’m sure she was over me.

Just like Eleanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell comes at us with another five star worthy book.

Order: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound

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Posted on Sep 25th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Interviews, Society's Bookshelf

YALLFest is a one day event of panels, presentations and signings in Charleston, SC featuring 50 of the country’s top YA authors on November 9, 2013. We’re able to bring you another interview with author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs!

What one thing do you need to have when you write?
Silence. My noise-cancelling headphones have become almost essential.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
The first. I rewrite and rewrite it a million times. The last comes easy.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
I’m six foot four.
I lived on a working farm until I was five.
I used to know how to cook Indian food but now I’ve forgotten.
I love documentaries.
One day I will conquer the moon.

What are you working on now?
A novel for Little, Brown the plot of which is SECRET! (Sort of, for now. But I’m really excited about it.)

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?
Oh, definitely YA to write in. I read everything, lots of YA, lots of adult, nonfiction of all sorts. I even read poetry when I’m feeling ambitious. I think it’s crucial to have lots of different influences. If you only read in the genre you write in, your writing will sound like everything else that’s already out there.

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You can find more about Ransom Riggs on his websitefacebook and twitter.

Check out more information on the YALLFest website and twitter.

Posted on Sep 25th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Society's Bookshelf, Waiting on Wednesday

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Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and gives us a chance to feature a book we’re waiting to read.

This week I’m eagerly awaiting The Eye of Minds by James Dashner, releasing October 8, 2013.

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An all-new, edge-of-your seat adventure from James Dashner, the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series, The Eye of Minds is the first book in The Mortality Doctrine, a series set in a world of hyperadvanced technology, cyberterrorists, and gaming beyond your wildest dreams . . . and your worst nightmares.

Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?

But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.

The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker.
And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team.
But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.

I really loved the Maze Runner series, so I’m excited to see what James Dashner has up his sleeve next. I’ve been getting more into sci-fi genre books and this one sounds really intriguing.

What book are you waiting on this week?

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Thanks to Katja Bach for our new WoW graphic!

 

Posted on Sep 24th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Ally Condie

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Awesome news! REACHED was first released November 12, 2012, and now it is releasing in paperback on November 19, 2013.

It’s currently available for pre-order: Amazon|Barnes & Noble

Conclusion to the New York Times Bestselling Matched Trilogy!

Cassia’s journey began with an error, a momentary glitch in the otherwise perfect façade of the Society. After crossing canyons to break free, she waits, silk and paper smuggled against her skin, ready for the final chapter.

The wait is over.

One young woman has raged against those who threaten to keep away what matters most—family, love, choice. Her quiet revolution is about to explode into full-scale rebellion. With exquisite prose, the emotionally gripping conclusion to the international–bestselling Matched trilogy returns Cassia, Ky, and Xander to the Society to save the one thing they have been denied for so long, the power to choose.

Posted on Sep 23rd, 2013 by audra
In these categories Review, Society's Bookshelf

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Book Title: Phoenix Overture
Author: Jodi Meadows
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

This breathtaking and lyrical novella captures a thrilling and momentous decision for a young man and the people he loves. Told from the perspective of Sam, the sensitive musician from Jodi Meadows’s Incarnate series, lifetimes before he meets Ana, Phoenix Overture is a story of love and loss, strength and courage, and facing the consequences of the hardest of decisions.

Phoenix Overture offers existing fans a deeper insight into a favorite character and the intriguing history of Heart, while new readers will find a stunning introduction to this rich world and the romantic, captivating fantasy of the Incarnate series.

In the wilds around the Community where Sam and his family have taken shelter, life is dangerous. Dragons, trolls, centaurs, and other monsters fill the world. The word comes from the council that everyone must leave and journey to rescue their leader, Janan, who has been abducted by a mysterious new enemy in the north. Faced with overwhelming threats that bring death and destruction, Sam and the others reach the northern Range and, reunited with Janan, are given an unimaginable opportunity. Although it would give them the privilege to live and learn and love without fear, the choice is not without its own dire consequences. And lives—though not theirs—are sure to be lost. Just how much are they willing to give up to save themselves?

I was a big fan of Sam in the Newsoul books, so I was pretty excited that there was a novella chock full of Sam goodness. Phoenix Overture is only the second novella I’ve read. I’m not really that big of a fan of them. It seems just as the going gets good, it’s over! It makes me frustrated and ragey, but at the same time it’s like getting bonus glimpses into a world of love filled with characters I adore. Which makes me hard to stay frustrated and ragey for very long.

I loved that this was a Sam prequel but also shed a lot of light on the other characters we’ve come across in Incarnate and Asunder. I loved getting to see how Sam and Stef met, and seeing the early seeds of their friendship. It was interesting to see the council members and Janan got everyone involved in the scheme we discover in Asunder.

It was hard to experience Sam’s upbringing, and seeing the similarities between his and Ana’s parents and how that’s affected their beings. What was almost heartbreaking for me was not only Sam’s relationship with his father, but also his relationship with music. Of course he had a natural disposition for music, but we discover what really drove his love of all things music.

I don’t feel Phoenix Overture is a necessary read for the series, but it was a nice little addition to this series and I’m glad I was able to read it.

Order: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Kobo

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Posted on Sep 23rd, 2013 by audra
In these categories Interviews, Society's Bookshelf

YALLFest is a one day event of panels, presentations and signings in Charleston, SC featuring 50 of the country’s top YA authors on November 9, 2013. We’re able to bring you another interview with author of Eleanor and Park and Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell!

What one thing do you need to have when you write?
Lip balm.

Describe your book in 5 words.
FANGIRL
Earnest, snowy, swoony, minty, bookish.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
THE FIRST! The whole first page is a nightmare. I want people to just skip it. And I always end up rewriting it.

Best writing tip you ever received?
What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?

Where’s your favorite place to write?
At coffeeshops. In giant overstuffed chairs.

Best writing tip you ever received?
“Just finish your book.”

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?
Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt. I think it would have made me feel less alone.

What are you working on now?
I’m revising my adult novel, Landline, which comes out in spring 2014, and playing with a romantic/political/tragicomic fantasy.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?
I write mostly contemporary. I read mostly fantasy.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?
All of my ideas are full-length novels. I have a hard time narrowing my scope.

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Rainbow Rowell writes books.

Sometimes she writes about adults (Attachments and Landline).

Sometimes she writes about teenagers (Eleanor & Park and Fangirl).

But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things.

She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.

You can find more about Rainbow Rowell on her website, tumblr, facebook and twitter.

Check out more information on the YALLFest website and twitter.

Posted on Sep 20th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Society's Bookshelf

YALLFest is a one day event of panels, presentations and signings in Charleston, SC featuring 50 of the country’s top YA authors on November 9, 2013. We’re able to bring you another interview with one of these amazing authors, Sean Williams!

What one thing do you need to have when you write?
The right music. And chocolate as a reward when I finish.

Describe your book in 5 words
Jump meets Uglies. But different.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
The first line is often the hardest to write, but I like a good challenge. The line I like writing the least is the last because it means I have a whole load of rewriting ahead of me.

Best writing tip you ever received?
Give up. If you can do that, you’ll be happier and probably better off as a result. If you can’t, then you know writing is exactly the right thing for you!

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
1) I live in Adelaide, South Australia, a place that’s home to about a million other people but somehow feels like a small town, which is why I love it.
2) I still think music from the 1980s is cool.
3) My stepson has situs invertus, which means his heart is on the wrong side of his body. That’s not really about me, but it is pretty random.
4) I’m a huge fan of Doctor Who.
5) I’m minding a pair of green tree frogs, Skipper and Jumpy, for a young friend while she’s overseas with her family. You can see pictures of them on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/seanwilliamsauthor/.

Where’s your favorite place to write?
In my study, a lovely upstairs nook containing all my favorite book-related things, but I’ve trained myself to write anywhere as long as I have my headphones and some music. I quite like writing in hotels, probably because someone else does all the household chores.

What are you working on now?
Crashland, the sequel to Twinmaker.

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Sean Williams was born in the dry, flat lands of South Australia, where he still lives with his wife and family. He has been called many things in his time, including “the premier Australian speculative fiction writer of the age”, the “Emperor of Sci-Fi”, and the “King of Chameleons” for the diversity of his output. That award-winning output includes over thirty-five novels for readers all ages, seventy-plus short stories across numerous genres, the odd published poem, and even a sci-fi musical.

You can find Sean on his website, twitter, and facebook.
Check out more information on the YALLFest website and twitter.

Posted on Sep 19th, 2013 by audra
In these categories Book Tour, Society's Bookshelf

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Welcome to my stop on the Deceived blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.  Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!

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Deceived
by Julie Anne Lindsey
Release Date: 09/18/13
320 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
When Elle’s father, a single parent and a big shot in corporate insurance, moves her to yet another boarding school for senior year, Elle is disgusted when nothing changes. Her night terrors don’t go away, and, soon, despite her father’s caring calls and visits, Elle starts to believe she’s losing her mind. She knows she’s being followed; a ribbon is tied around her doorknob, and there are those cigarette butts that keep turning up on the doormat, in violation of a strict smoking ban on campus. Then there’s Bryan, an intriguing boy Elle meets at a flea market and later finds out is a student at her school. Yet on campus, he pretends he doesn’t recognize her – until the day he divulges just how much danger she’s in. In her search for an answer to all the madness, Elle unravels the truth about her dad’s real identity, why someone has lied to her all her life, and the terrifying truth that she may be the only one who can save her from the one who’s following her now.

Order: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Book Depository|Kobo

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Check out the Deceived trailer HERE!

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About the Author
Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. In 2013, Julie welcomes five new releases in three genres including her newest title, DECEIVED, a YA suspense from Merit Press, and her first cozy mystery, MURDER BY THE SEASIDE, book one in the Patience Price, Counselor at Large series from Carina Press (a digital imprint of Harlequin).

Julie is a self-proclaimed word nerd who would rather read than almost anything else. She started writing to make people smile. Someday she plans to change the world. Most days you’ll find her online, amped up on caffeine and wielding a book.

Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW), Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI), Sisters in Crime (SinC) and the Canton Writer’s Guild.

Find her online:
Tweeting her crazy @JulieALindsey
Soothing her book obsession on GoodReads
Pinning the pretty on Pinterest
Tumbling lamely on Tumblr
Blogging about books and writing at Musings from the Slush Pile
Facebook

 

***GIVEAWAY***

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