Sunday, September 27, 2009

Review: The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

The Demon's Lexicon

by Sarah Rees Brennan

Margaret K. McElderry Books (Simon & Schuster)

ISBN: 9781416963790

Release Date: June 2009

from the publisher's website:

Nick and his brother, Alan, have spent their lives on the run from magic. Their father was murdered, and their mother was driven mad by magicians and the demons who give them power. The magicians are hunting the Ryves family for a charm that Nick's mother stole -- a charm that keeps her alive -- and they want it badly enough to kill again.

Danger draws even closer when a brother and sister come to the Ryves family for help. The boy wears a demon's mark, a sign of death that almost nothing can erase...and when Alan also gets marked by a demon, Nick is desperate to save him. The only way to do that is to kill one of the magicians they have been hiding from for so long.

Ensnared in a deadly game of cat and mouse, Nick starts to suspect that his brother is telling him lie after lie about their past. As the magicians' Circle closes in on their family, Nick uncovers the secret that could destroy them all.

my thoughts:

Have you ever read a book with a story so intense that the minute you're finished reading it you have to tell someone, anyone, about it to just get it out there? That's what The Demon's Lexicon from Sarah Rees Brennan was like for me. And my boyfriend was in close enough proximity that he got to hear all about it.

There were so many events that I just never saw coming. I was well and truly hooked into this story and I had to know what was going to happen next. Nick and Alan have a true brotherhood bond and it's put to every test imaginable.

I can't wait to see what happens in book two. I really want to see where Ms. Brennan is going to take the story next. Run out and grab your copy today. This is a book not to be missed.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The James Patterson promo is now closed and thanks to the winners have been chosen.

Congratulations to Alexa and Kathy! Please email me at wantmyya at gmail dot com so I can pass your mailing info on to the people with the books.

Thank you everyone who entered and voted in my polls. Keep your eyes open for more promotions and more polls. :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Author Interview: Stephanie Kuehnert

Hey there lovely readers! It's interviews galore! :) Can you believe it? For the third week in a row I actually have an interview to post with yet another fabulous YA author. Check out what Stephanie Kuehnert has to say.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in St. Louis in the fine year of 1979. Moved to Oak Park, IL, a suburb of Chicago when I was 8. Went off to live in Madison, Wisconsin and Ohio briefly, but returned to the Chicago area to get my bachelors and master's in fiction writing at Columbia College Chicago. I currently live in Forest Park, IL with my fiance (wedding is in October!) and our three cats. I love punk rock and reading. I'm vegan. I'm the author of I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE and BALLADS OF SUBURBIA, both from MTV Books, but I still earn my living as a bartender.

What got you started writing? What brought you to YA?

I've been writing for as long as I could remember. As a little girl I idolized Laura Ingalls Wilder and wanted to write my life story like she did. But my life wasn't that interesting so I started writing fiction. As for why I write YA, I just gravitate toward coming of age stories. The teenage years are what shape you into the person you are. My teen years were a crazy, tumultuous time and I was always looking for books that reflected the way I felt. I didn't find many, so I started writing stories to fill that void.

Tell us about your most recent/ upcoming release?

My most recent book is BALLADS OF SUBURBIA. I think the back jacket copy sums it up best:There are so many ballads. Achy breaky country songs. Mournful pop songs. Then there’s the rare punk ballad, the ballad of suburbia: louder, faster, angrier . . . till it drowns out the silence.

Kara hasn’t been back to Oak Park since the end of junior year, when a heroin overdose nearly killed her and sirens heralded her exit. Four years later, she returns to face the music. Her life changed forever back in high school: her family disintegrated, she ran around with a whole new crowd of friends, she partied a little too hard, and she fell in love with gorgeous bad boy Adrian, who left her to die that day in Scoville Park. . . .

Amidst the music, the booze, the drugs, and the drama, her friends filled a notebook with heartbreakingly honest confessions of the moments that defined and shattered their young lives. Now, finally, Kara is ready to write her own.

Do you plot out in advance, or just start writing and see where things go from there?

I just start writing. Right now, working on a third book, I'm trying to plot though. It's not going very well.

Many authors have told me their characters talk to them, and sometimes even have different ideas of where the story should go than the author. Do you hear your characters?

Yes. I hear them. I dream them. And I do listen when they want the story to go another way.

Who is your favorite character (of your own)?

Oh man, I really can't choose because I do love them all for many different reasons. Emily from I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is the kind of girl I wish I could be. Kara from Ballads of Suburbia is more like the girl I was. I love Emily's best friend Regan and Kara's best friends Maya, Stacey, and Cass. Kara's bad boy love Adrian is like my bad boy love. I just want to fix him. And then there is Kara's brother Liam. I really, really feel for Liam. This is like trying to pick my favorite child. I can't! I'd rather ask readers who their favorite character of mine is and why :)

What hobbies do you have when you're not writing?

Hobbies, I have no time for hobbies! Seriously, I really don't. Other than reading and listening to music. I also watch TV- soapy drama stuff. I really want to learn to play guitar, but I just don't have enough time to practice. I've learned that lesson repeatedly.

If you had not become a writer what would you have done instead?

Before I went to school for writing I went to school briefly for sociology. I wanted to be a social worker. Sometimes I still think about that. But I also toy with the idea of going back to school to be a librarian. I just need to be near books in some fashion.

Where can readers find you online? is my main website. I blog regularly at and I tweet even more often at

Your turn. What question do you have for readers of Want My YA?

Umm, well the favorite character question that I asked above. But if you haven't read my books, then who are some of your favorite YA characters in general and why?

Thank you so much Stephanie! I love your responses. :) Totally need to move Ballads to the top of my TBR pile. And I'm also thinking I'm going to need to see if we have I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone at work, cuz I'm gonna need to check that one out too.

Favorite YA characters...hmm...I love Bertie from Lisa Mantchev's Eyes Like Stars. I love Caleb and Maggie from Simone Elkeles' Leaving Paradise. There are probably so many more, but those are the first ones that come to mind. :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Review: Dead Girl in Love by Linda Joy Singleton

Dead Girl in Love
by Linda Joy Singleton

Flux Books

ISBN: 9780738714073

Release Date: August 2009

from the publisher's website:

Oh, wow—I'm my own best friend. Or at least, I'm in her body!

Okay, this assignment will be quick and easy. Thanks, Grammy! See, my dead grandmother keeps finding people who have big problems and then I have the freaky experience of stepping into their life—and their body!—to provide help. This time, I'm in the body of my BFF, Alyce.

Since Alyce and I know everything about each other, I won't have to do a lot of detective work, which is a definite plus. But, as Alyce, I've got some really pressing questions to answer—starting with, What am I doing in this coffin?

my thoughts:

Dead Girl in Love is the third book in the Dead Girl series, but it's the first one that I've read. It definitely has me intrigued to read the other two books. :) Amber is a great character. She's highly motivated and really wants to help people. My favorite secondary character is probably her grandmother. While Amber is running around her in best friend's body, dear old gram is running around in Amber's. You know that's going to lead to some interesting situations. :)

I thought it was interesting the way Linda Joy Singleton explores how little we can know those closest to us in this story. Amber and Alyce have been best friends for years, but until Amber lives in Alyce's skin she has no idea what her best friend's home life is really like.

There was plenty of drama and action to keep me turning the pages and now I'm going to turn around and start the series with the beginning. Even though this book is the third Dead Girl book, I was able to pick it up and understand the story with little problem. However I do recommend reading all of the books because, well, that's the way I am. :) I want the whole story. Book one is Dead Girl Walking, and book two is Dead Girl Dancing. Check them out today!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Author Interview: Samira Armin Hodges

Hey there YA fans! I've got another great author interview for you today. Check out my guest Samira Armin Hodges.

1.Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! My name is Samira Armin Hodges and I’m a 29 year old Pediatrician by day and Young Adult author by night. I recently moved from the crisp, cold north to the sun (sorry, I mean Central Texas) with my husband and two crazy rescue dogs. Oh and I recently found out that the stork might be on its way too!

2.What got you started writing? What brought you to YA?

I’ve been writing my entire life. I guess I’m somewhat addicted to it. But the thought of writing for others was never something I seriously considered. To me, that was as realistic as flying to the moon on a vacuum cleaner. However, a couple of years ago, I came up with this story…the story for Milestones. It just came to me; this tale about a girl named Faye Martin and her quest for self-discovery. At first, I was reluctant to actually commit to it and to attempt to publish it. But then, as time went on, the story wouldn’t leave me alone. The more I tried to ignore it, the more it kept nagging at me. So one summer, I wrote the first installment of the trilogy. And the rest is history….

3.Tell us about your most recent/ upcoming release?

Part one of the Milestones Trilogy was released August 1st, 2009. It can be found at all major booksellers and the “tour” (both virtual and physical) is currently ongoing! I just had my first book-signing and it was truly a wonderful experience. Can’t wait to do it again.

4.Do you plot out in advance, or just start writing and see where things go from there?

I definitely plot out in advance. For instance, I even know the plot of the book that I will write after the Milestones trilogy is complete. With me, I’ll just be sitting there (or here) and the characters form in my head. The next thing I know, the story materializes and then I have no choice but to put it down on paper and see what happens.

5.Many authors have told me their characters talk to them, and sometimes even have different ideas of where the story should go than the author. Do you hear your characters?

I can’t say I’ve experienced this phenomenon firsthand but sheesh, it kinda sounds fascinating! No, with me, I’m the puppeteer and the characters are definitely my puppets. Their fate is pre-determined by me. From the get-go.

6.Who is your favorite character (of your own)?

I love this question! I read one time that JK Rowling’s favourite character was Hermione and it made me love her that much more. My favourite character is Melaine. She is very humble, kind and gracious and she goes through a lot in the trilogy. First, she deals with her mother’s death and next, she finds herself alone and confused and well, up the creek without a paddle (as the saying goes). She then goes through a lot of physical changes and experiments with darker looks, all the while keep the essence of her unique qualities.

7. What hobbies do you have when you're not writing?

I love to play tennis and swim. I used to play competitive tennis (once upon a time) so it’s my favourite active thing to do. Oh and let’s not forget the great thing that brings us all together: read! I’m currently reading Along for the Ride, by Sarah Dessen.

8. If you had not become a writer what would you have done instead?

Well, this question is a little strange for me to answer because I’m sort of already doing it. I am a doctor and I love my job. But then I look at authors like John Grisham (lawyer first, author later) or Michael Crichton (doctor first, author later) and I think…well, I wouldn’t be the first!
9.Where can readers find you online?

My blog site is and I welcome all readers. I write about all types of topics and be forewarned, I tend to rant about high school a lot! I feel as though high school is a really tumultuous time in one’s life and nobody really ever tells you that it stinks. I like to remind people that it does in fact, stink, and that everything in life flip-flops once you graduate. That’s a promise. Also, my book’s site is at:

10.Your turn. What question do you have for readers of Want My YA?

Are you a fan of happy endings, suspenseful endings, surprise endings or bittersweet ones? And what is your favourite ending and why? (By the way, I’d have to say Milestones falls under the “surprise ending” category).

Thanks so much Samira! It was great having you here today. :) And readers - don't forget to answer her question.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Author Interview: Jennifer Brown author of the upcoming Hate List

I've got another fabulous interview for all of you today. We're chatting with Hate List author Jennifer Brown. Check it out!

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I began writing about 9 years ago, when my second kiddo was born. I wanted to be a novelist, but learned very quickly that I didn't know anything about novel-writing. So I concentrated on "smaller" projects for several years, while at the same time studying and learning everything I could about writing the novel. In the meantime, I won the Erma Bombeck Global Humor Award twice (2005 & 2006), and began writing a column for The Kansas City Star. I also blog for The Star's mom blogsite, Mom2MomKC. In my non-writer life, I'm a stay-at-home mom of three kids, two cats, and two dogs (basset hound and boxer), and spend my days listening to the "Wicked" soundtrack and cleaning the same ten square feet of house over and over again.

2. What got you started writing? What brought you to YA?

As cliche as it sounds... I've always written. It's a relaxing thing for me, sort of like watching TV or taking a hot bath, and it allows me to do an "emotion dump" without making people around me crazy. I never really considered doing it "for a living" until my middle child was born. At that time, I thought, Well, I'm going to be staying home for a few years anyway. Might as well give it a try. I gave myself a goal -- if I didn't sell a major project before 2010, I'd go back to work and resume writing for hobby.I didn't really mean to write YA. I was just writing the story that wanted to be written and it turned out to be a YA story. Right away I realized that I'd accidentally written in a genre I wasn't totally knowledgeable about. I've spent a lot of time since HATE LIST sold just learning about the genre, meeting other YA authors, reading scores of YA books, and so forth. I'm finding a happy home in YA.

3. Tell us about your most recent/ upcoming release?

HATE LIST is the story of the aftermath of a school shooting, told from the point of view of the shooter's girlfriend, Valerie Leftman. Val's got a tough road ahead of her as she returns to school. She's technically the "hero" who stopped the shooting and saved the lives of some fellow students, but also the "villain" who, without realizing it, began the list that her boyfriend used to choose his victims. She has to navigate all the emotions and fear of having lived through the shooting, having lost her boyfriend to suicide, not to mention having gotten shot herself in the process of stopping the shooting.

4. Do you plot out in advance, or just start writing and see where things go from there?

I'm not a big "plotter," because I find that for me, personally, to write down what's going to happen sort of takes the story out of me. I get to a point where I feel like I've already told the story, so I don't have the same amount of oomph! for writing the story itself. That said, I don't start writing until I have the major plot points figured out in my head. I always know where the story is going to go, and how it will generally get there, but the details are up for the characters to decide.

5. Many authors have told me their characters talk to them, and sometimes even have different ideas of where the story should go than the author. Do you hear your characters?

Yes, absolutely. In fact, one thing that I do make sure I do before sitting down to write a story, is write out an exhaustive "character profile" of my main character. That way, she's more "real" to me when I actually start putting her in sticky situations. For Valerie, my main character in HATE LIST, I actually had her "go to therapy" before I started writing. She told her therapist lots of interesting things that really helped when trying to get into her head in the story.

6. Who is your favorite character (of your own)?

Valerie Leftman, my main character in HATE LIST. I love Val because she's strong and I have a lot of hope for her. She's going to struggle, but she's a good learner and she's got a good heart, so I know she's ultimately going to have a great life.

7. What hobbies do you have when you're not writing?

Well, I'm a stay-at-home mom of three, so there isn't a ton of time for hobbies when I'm not writing, just because there's all the mom stuff to get done. Of course, I'm a constant reader. I read every day (actually, every night, and I can't sleep until I've read enough to satisfy me, even if it's 2AM before I've found a moment to read). I love to get outside and play with the kids -- take them to the park, play soccer or baseball or basketball, whatever. I love musicals and try to take in at least a couple of them every year (and I listen to musical soundtracks on my iPod constantly), and I'm a Disney fanatic, so I collect Disney snowglobes and trading pins, and am almost always planning a trip to Walt Disney World, even if, technically, we're not actually going there anytime soon.

8. If you had not become a writer what would you have done instead?

I always wanted to be a high school English teacher, but for some odd reason I majored in Psychology and worked in Human Resources. So I guess it's fair to say if this writing thing hadn't worked out, I'd still be filling out insurance forms and payroll for some company. Or I'd be back in school, getting that Education degree.

9. Where can readers find you online?
I'm just about everywhere. But all of my online paths converge on my website, which is:

10. Your turn. What question do you have for readers of Want My YA?

If you wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

Thanks for visiting with us today Jennifer! I'm definitely going to have to look into Hate List for myself.

Be sure to comment and answer Jennifer's question. I'm really curious what titles you are all going to come up with. :)

And don't forget, the James Patterson promo is still going on. Vote in my polls, and leave me a comment letting me know you voted and you are eligible to win 1 of 2 James Patterson prize packs.