Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Eyecatcher: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

by Jeri Smith-Ready

Simon Pulse
ISBN: 9781416994060
Release Date: May 4, 2010

from the author's site:

Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.

Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.

Well, sort of.

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan’s violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.

It doesn't help that Aura’s new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart…and clues to the secret of the Shift.

why it caught my eye:

This is a title I've been waiting for. Jeri Smith-Ready is one of my many Twitter friends and I was excited when I learned she had a YA novel coming out. And again we have here another gorgeous purple cover. I think you all know how I feel about purple at this point. :) Shade is another book I'm adding to my wishlist and I recommend you take a look too.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Author Interview: Jennifer R. Hubbard

Happy Monday lovely readers! I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. :) It's Monday again so I have another wonderful author interview for you. Today we are visited by Jennifer R. Hubbard author of The Secret Year.

1.Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m the author of The Secret Year, a YA novel that came out in January. I live near Philadelphia, hike a lot, and eat a lot of chocolate.

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

A love of reading came first, but a love of writing quickly followed. I’ve always like YA. The teen years are an important time in life, that transition from childhood to adulthood.

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

The Secret Year: After his secret girlfriend's death, seventeen-year-old Colt finds the notebook she left behind, but he is unprepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship.

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

I do just a little bit of plotting, but mostly I let it fly. I do most of my outlining during the revision stage.

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 hear their voices, telling their stories. They don’t address me directly; they speak in the narrative voice of a book, as if they’re speaking “to whom it may concern.” In fact, I don’t start writing a book until I have a voice for it. A good plot or situation isn’t enough for me to write from; I need the character’s voice.

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

I like Colt, the main character of The Secret Year, which is good because I spent the most time with him. But I’m also fond of his older brother, Tom. I think Tom would be an especially good friend.

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

Hiking, reading, attending the occasional concert.

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

I actually do have another job; it’s in the sciences. It’s very difficult to make a living as a writer.

9.Where can readers find you online?

My website: http://www.JenniferHubbard.com/

My blog: http://writerjenn.livejournal.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/JennRHubbard

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

If you ran the publishing world, what would you want to change about books? Fewer headless models on the cover? More paranormal? Less paranormal? What??

Thanks so much, Jennifer, for stopping by Want My YA today. :) It was great to have you here and read your responses. I'm starting to think I may need to grab my copy of The Secret Year off my shelf and move it up the TBR. Readers be sure to leave a comment and answer Jennifer's question. :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

You Recommend Wednesday

Ok, you know the drill by now. It's Wednesday, which means it's time for your recommendations. :) I've started seeing a ton of new YA novels come in at work so I want to know which ones you're excited about. What should I be reading and telling my customers to read?

Oh and while we're at it, help me out with this tie-in. I had a customer earlier this week looking for books that were along the same lines as Ellen Hopkins' books. I suggested Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert and apparently the customer thought this was suitable because she bought the book. What other authors or books would you have suggested also? Ellen Hopkins is really popular and I'd like to have some good tie-ins.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A new YA Book Club

While I frequently make mention of being a bookseller I don't typically talk about which store I work for. Well, today I will because I'm very excited to announce that our Borders store is starting a new Young Adult book club, with yours truly heading it up. :)

I've been wanting to get this going for a while now, so I'm so glad that my manager and I have finally settled on a date to start hosting the meetings. The first meeting will be held Wednesday June 2nd at 7:oo pm. Our first book discussion will be held Wednesday June 16th at 7:00 and we will be discussing Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev.

We do have a "fan" page on Facebook (yeah I know they aren't calling it that anymore, but I don't know what else to call it). You can find us by searching Rockford Borders Young Adult Book Club. A mouthful I know, but it's the best I could come up with. :) And while you're at it, Want My YA also has a Facebook page so be sure to "like" us too.

I hope if you're in the Rockford or Northern IL area you'll be able to make it to the meetings, but if not you can always participate though the Facebook page. :)

pssst...YA authors and publishers....I'm looking for goodies for my YA book club members like I have for my Romance book club members. If you want to send bookmarks, postcards, or even promotional copies of books to the store email me at hriley at bordersstores dot com for my mailing info.

Eyecatcher: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
by Morgan Matson

Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781416990659
Release Date: May 2010
from the publisher's site:

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

why it caught my eye:
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour is one of the few books that caught me by the title rather than by the cover. Not surprising, it was the word "epic" that grabbed me. Once I picked it up to read the inner flap I knew I had to add this one to my wishlist. Check it out, tell me what you think.
Has anyone read this one already? Got any thoughts on it?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Author Interview: Leah Cypess

Hello my lovely readers! Join me in welcoming Leah Cypess, author of the newly released Mistwood. I'm so excited to have her here today, I've been meaning to feature Mistwood as an Eyecatcher, but this is even better. :) So here we go....

1.Tell us a little about yourself.

I used to be a practicing lawyer in New York City, and am now a
full-time writer in Boston. I much prefer my current situation. I
write fantasy, mostly YA; I sold my first short story when I was in
high school, to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, and have
been trying to sell a book ever since. I still haven't gotten over the
rush of adrenaline from finally hearing "yes."

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

I wrote my first story at the end of first grade, about half a year
after I learned the ABCs, so I think it must have been inborn. And I
write the kinds of books I love to read, which is about 70% YA

3.Tell us about your most recent/ upcoming release?
MISTWOOD, which was released on April 27, is a fantasy novel about an immortal shapeshifter bound to protect the members of the royal family. At the beginning of the book, she is in her woods with no memory of her past or her powers. When the current prince summons her to his castle, she will have to protect him while keeping her powerlessness a secret and trying to find out what went wrong... until she begins to suspect that the prince knows more about her past than he's telling her.

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

I start writing and see where things go. When I wrote the first
chapter of Mistwood, I didn't even know if it was going to be a novel
or a short story.

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 would say they talk to me, but they do definitely sometimes take
control of the story. Including challenging my preconceived ideas
about which of them are going to be minor characters.

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

My main character, Isabel.

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

I like reading, hiking, and biking. Upon occasion, I also like cooking.

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

I might be a lawyer, since I do have a law degree. On the other hand,
if I hadn't been so focused on needing a practical "day job," I might
have chosen something equally impractical as my vocation. Possibly
academic history.

9.Where can readers find you online?

At my website, http://www.leahcypess.com/. I'm also a member of a group blog
for writers of YA Fantasy, The Enchanted Inkpot

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

I'm curious about what kinds of features make you most interested in
checking out a book - reviews, interviews, author guest blogs,
excerpts, or contests?

Thank you so much for being with me here at Want My YA today, Leah! Love your responses. :) In answer to your question....for me it's usually a review that first calls my attention to a book. I try not to be too swayed by opinion (though I do get caught up in the excitement if someone is gushing), but reviews do tend to tell me about books I might not have heard about otherwise.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Susane Colasanti Booksigning

Hey all! So I'm a little late posting about the fabulous booksigning I attended at Wonderland with Susane Colasanti. (do I ever get anything posted on time?)

For those who don't remember me talking about it, last Tuesday local independent Wonderland books and toys hosted Susane Colasanti for a dinner, discussion, signing event. It was an evening of food and fun. 

Susane was so sweet and she was fabulous about answering everyone's questions. I love informal get-togethers like this. I've been to other signings where there are so many people vying for the author's attention that you can barely say "hi" and "bye". At Wonderland we spent a full two hours just chatting with Susane. Everyone got their books signed and got pictures taken if they so wanted.

All in all it was a fabulous evening and I'm so glad I went. 

Me and Susane Colasanti!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Review: Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti

Waiting for You
by Susane Colasanti
ISBN: 9780142415757
Release Date: April 6, 2010
(above information is for the paperback edition)

from the author's site:
Derek is clearly the boy Marisa has been waiting for, but there's just one problem. He has a girlfriend. Nash, Marisa's neighbor and childhood friend, is totally geeked out, with zero boyfriend potential. So of course Nash wants to take his friendship with Marisa to the next level. 

Beyond her boy drama, Marisa is also dealing with overcoming a major problem from her past, a family that's falling apart, and a best friend who won't stop talking to sketchy guys online. Only the anonymous DJ, who has the school hooked on his underground podcasts, seems to get what Marisa's going through. But she has no idea who he is...or does she?

my thoughts:

Where was Susane Colasanti when I was in high school? Waiting for You touched me in a way few books have. I can remember feeling the way Marisa feels throughout the story. I remember the constant searching and waiting for "the one". 

This book brought me back several years to my own family drama, and seeing similar (though thankfully not identical) events from an outside perspective really helped bring me to a new understanding of things. 

I'm normally all about paranormal stories, but there's something to be said about a straight-forward, emotional, coming-of-age story. I can't wait to read more from Susane Colasanti. (and I really can't wait to meet her tomorrow!)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Susane Colasanti is coming to town!!!

Or at least, she's coming to my town. I don't know about yours. Here's the official blurb that I received in my email from Wonderland Books & Toys (and yes I have permission to post this): 

Please join us in welcoming 
author of When It Happens and Take Me There,
 as we celebrate the release of her newest book Something Like Fate.
 Tuesday, May 11th
5:30 p.m.
for dinner, dessert and discussion at Wonderland Books
There is no charge for this event and dinner will be provided.
Please RSVP to Wonderland at 815-394-1633 or by email at wonderlandbooks@sbcglobal.net
Susane has been praised for making her books "read, charmingly, like a conversation."  Her books will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen.  You can learn more about Susane at her website www.susanecolasanti.com.  She is visiting Wonderland on her "Boyfriends and Best Friends" book tour.  Susane lives in New York City.

I've already sent in my RSVP. Make sure you get yours in today. Even if you can't make it in to meet Susane Colasanti I recommend stopping by Wonderland sometime. The ladies there are awesome and so super friendly. I hope to see you Tuesday night! 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

You Recommend Wednesday

Hello my lovely readers. Once again I find myself trying to get back into the swing of things. I'd forgotten how difficult it was to blog, work, and go to school. Thankfully the semester is nearly over and I can get back into my normal routine (such as it is). 

Naturally I have many, many books awaiting review. However, I'm always up for more recommendations, especially since I'm in the process of setting up at YA book club at the bookstore I work for (more on that later). 

So tell me everyone, what are you reading? What should I be reading? What should my future book club members be reading?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Eyecatcher: Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis

by Phoebe Kitanidis
Balzer and Bray (HarperCollins)
ISBN: 9780061799259
Release Date: April 27, 2010

from the publisher's site: 
Joy is used to Hearing Whispers. She's used to walking down the street and instantly knowing people's deepest, darkest desires. She uses this talent for good—to make people happy and give them what they want. But for her older sister, Jessica, the family gift is a curse, and she uses it to make people's lives—especially Joy's—miserable. Still, when Joy Hears Jessica Whisper I want to kill my Hearing dead, and kill me too if that's what it takes, she knows she has to save her sister, even if it means deserting her friends, stealing a car, and running away with a boy she barely knows—a boy who may have a dark secret of his own. 

why it caught my eye: 

This is another one I spotted while reshelving books at work. Then I picked it up and read the blurb and my attention was fully snagged. I'm really curious about this one and it's definitely going on my wishlist. 

How about you readers out there, have any of you read it? What did you think?