"He’s so good. It’s hard to find someone who can sing, play guitar, act really well, AND be cute." - Chloë Grace Moretz on co-star Jamie Blackley
Watch our exclusive featurette on the music in If I Stay!
Go behind the music of the IF I STAY movie!
This article by Chuck Wendig really echoes the boring (yet completely true!!!) writing advice that I always give. He manages to do so in a much more fun way. Give it a read!
Welcome back to the Penguin Teen Author Spotlight! We’re here with Rachel DeWoskin, the coffee- and autumn-loving author of one of our new favorite books, BLIND. The novel is the sad, funny, smart, and fiercely inspirational story of Emma Sasha Silver, who loses her eyesight in a firework display gone wrong. To find out more, read on…
Name: Rachel DeWoskin
Who’s your favorite author, living or dead?
The poet, Anne Carson, is my favorite living author. I read every word she publishes, and her book AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF RED, changed my imagination.
What’s your favorite thing about your book?
Emma Sasha Silver, the brave girl at its center, who loses her eyesight and manages to be a resilient warrior about it. She re-learns the world.
If you could spend one year on a deserted island with one character from literature, who would you choose?
Maybe Alexi from THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, because he’s sweet and articulate. Or Hank Stamper, from SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION? He’d be a very helpful lumberjack. Or wait, Pippi Longstocking! She’s perfect. She can do absolutely everything well and with courage, and anyway would be a fine friend.
Where do you write?
At a little room-of-her-own style office, with my books and computer and an espresso maker. It’s kind of a sensory deprivation chamber, no distractions!
Who is your favorite hero or heroine of history?
Harriet Tubman. Imagine being brave enough to save yourself from slavery and then risk your own freedom again and again to save others. Astonishing.
Do you tweet? What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever tweeted?
The funniest thing I ever tweeted was a note to my daughter’s kindergarten teacher, which I thought was private. But that was years ago, so even though I’m not funny, I’ve come a long way!
[Check out Rachel’s Twitter!]
What is your favorite season?
Autumn. I like leaves and new pencils and binders and cool weather.
If you could teleport anywhere in the known universe right now, where would you go? Beijing, my favorite, electric, wild city in the world.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I write five days a week, three hours a day. I only drink coffee when I write, and it gives me a giant jolt of joy and makes me feel like I love writing even though it might just be that I love coffee.
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Reading with my lovely little girls. And dancing with them and my husband and want the embarrassing truth? My parents, too. I love being with my entire family. Even though we are a chaotic crew.
What is the best concert you’ve ever been to?
I don’t know about best – that’s probably a classical quartet (Civitas Ensemble) played by my fabulous friend from Shanghai (one I wrote about in my new novel BLIND.) But the one that leaps to mind, while I’m tearing it up with embarrassing truths: Def Leppard in 1989. Pour some sugar on me.
What are you currently working on?
A novel called SECOND CIRCUS, about a Jewish girl and her dad, who escape Poland in 1939 and live out the war in Japanese-occupied Shanghai.
And we are eagerly awaiting it!
Order BLIND here!
Title: SHATTER ME
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Pub. Date: November 15, 2011
Format: purchased copy
Summary from Goodreads:
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
Tahereh Mafi’s SHATTER ME has been on my reading list for the longest time and after months and month of pining after it I have finally decided to get the book and read it. The first thing that really struck me about SHATTER ME, was Mafi’s writing—beautiful, captivating, and very visual. I found myself immediately drawn to Juliette and her story. I wanted to know why Juliette was locked up, why she was so afraid to touch people, what the white bird symbolized. But most of all I wanted to learn more about Juliette’s world. And the more I read, the more I wanted to know. I think that SHATTER ME is absolutely stunning. I loved seeing Juliette grow and become more confident while refusing to let her past twist her into a bitter, vengeful person. With that said, I do have a part that I didn’t particularly love in this story; I was a little disappointed by the end. Without giving away too much, part of me wished that the compound wasn’t intended for a certain group of people. Yes, I know that sentence is extremely vague, but I am trying very hard not to spoil it for everyone else who has not yet read SHATTER ME. I would also like to add that even that small part that I disliked cannot turn me away from being excited to find out what happens next
When people start talking about a book I’m in the middle of!
Author: Kat Spears
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Pub. Date: September 16, 2014
Format: ARC provided by publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Jesse Alderman, or “Sway,” as he’s known, could sell hell to a bishop. He also specializes in getting things people want—-term papers, a date with the prom queen, fake IDs. He has few close friends and he never EVER lets emotions get in the way. For Jesse, life is simply a series of business transactions.
But when Ken Foster, captain of the football team, leading candidate for homecoming king, and all-around jerk, hires Jesse to help him win the heart of the angelic Bridget Smalley, Jesse finds himself feeling all sorts of things. While following Bridget and learning the intimate details of her life, he falls helplessly in love for the very first time. He also finds himself in an accidental friendship with Bridget’s belligerent and self-pitying younger brother who has cerebral palsy. Suddenly, Jesse is visiting old folks at a nursing home in order to run into Bridget, and offering his time to help the less fortunate, all the while developing a bond with this young man who idolizes him. Could the tin man really have a heart after all?
When I first started reading SWAY I assumed that it would be a light read about a boy who meets a girl and falls in love with her. I wasn’t expecting it to be anything more than a cute love story. Well, I am thrilled to admit that I was completely wrong about SWAY. Yes, there is a romantic element in the story, and yes it is about a boy who meets a girl and falls in love with her. That said, however, the story goes so much deeper. Kat Spears does a fantastic job of creating a story with depth and emotion without making the story seem dark and depressing. I really loved the fact that even though there was a romantic element, Spears really focused on Jesse and his character development; she used his relationship with Bridget to shine a light on his issues and to show how his growing feelings for Bridget made him change. Kat Spears really captures Jesse’s voice in SWAY. This is a wonderful read filled with humor, sarcasm, and beautiful relationships.
“Deeply satisfying finale to the best-selling fantasy trilogy… Grossman captures the magic of fantasy books cherished in youth and repurposes it to decidedly adult ends… The essence of being a magician, as Quentin learns to define it, could easily serve as a thumbnail description of Grossman’s art: ‘the power to enchant the world.’”
— Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
Title: THE MAGICIAN’S LAND
Author: Lev Grossman
Publisher: Viking Adult
Pub. Date: August 5, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Quentin Coldwater has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him.
Along with Plum, a brilliant young undergraduate with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of gray magic and desperate characters. But all roads lead back to Fillory, and his new life takes him to old haunts, like Antarctica, and to buried secrets and old friends he thought were lost forever. He uncovers the key to a sorcery masterwork, a spell that could create magical utopia, a new Fillory—but casting it will set in motion a chain of events that will bring Earth and Fillory crashing together. To save them he will have to risk sacrificing everything.
When Viking reached out to me to review THE MAGICIAN’S LAND I did not know what to expect. That said, I am happy that I was given the opportunity to read and review this fantastic novel. THE MAGICIAN’S LAND is a skillfully crafted and beautifully written fantasy with layers upon layers of magic, adventure, and betrayal. Just when readers think they have it all figured out, the plot twists and meanders, until the only thing left to do is to read on and see what happens.
One of the things that I absolutely loved about THE MAGICIAN’S LAND was Lev Grossman’s use of humor; there are so many brilliant and witty lines in this book that even the most humorless reader is bound to crack a smile. The next thing that I enjoyed were all of the magical elements that Grossman wove throughout the story. The magic ranges from simple mending tricks all the way to very complicated, binding multi-dimensional spells. One of my favorite magic moments in novel was when Quentin and Plum turned into Blue Whales and travel to Antarctica.
THE MAGICIAN’S LAND is a wonderful conclusion to THE MAGICIAN’S Trilogy that is bound to appeal to lovers of good fantasy. It’s a must read!
So I was thinking about doing a weekly question segment on here. Would any of you be interested? You can ask book related questions, blogging questions, or if you have any questions about queries/searching for agents (I might be able to help you out a bit with that too). So send in your questions!
TIPS:GRAMMAR (WORDS):NAMES:NOVEL:CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT:PLOT, CONFLICT, STRUCTURE and OUTLINE:SETTING, WORLDBUILDING AND FANTASY:POINT OF VIEW:OTHERS:
the scorpio races as a tv s e r i e s │by WimzeeVids
Cover Reveal: Unchanged by Jessica Brody
So many secrets are buried within these compound walls.
I used to be one of those secrets.
After returning to the Diotech compound and undergoing an experimental new memory alteration, Seraphina is now a loyal, obedient servant to Dr. Alixter and the powerful company that created her. Happy and in love with Kaelen, another scientifically-enhanced human designed to be her perfect match, Sera’s history with a boy named Zen is just a distant memory from a rebellious past she longs to forget.
But as Sera and Kaelen embark on a nationwide tour to promote Diotech’s new product line—a collection of controversial genetic modifications available to the public—Sera’s mind starts to rebel. She can’t stop the memories of Zen from creeping back in.
As more secrets are revealed, more enemies are uncovered, and the reality of a Diotech-controlled world grows closer every day, Sera will have to choose where her true loyalties lie, but it’s a choice that may cost her everything she’s ever loved.
Release Date: February 24, 2015 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux Books for Young Readers
Let’s Get Lost
by Adi Alsaid
Release Date: 07/29/14
Summary from Goodreads:
Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost.
Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.
There’s HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love.
Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila’s own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you’re looking for is to get lost along the way.
Indie Bound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780373211241
“Reminiscent of John Green’s Paper Towns and road trip novels that feature a teen paving the way to adulthood, Alsaid’s debut is a gem among contemporary YA novels.” – School Library Journal
“Five love stories, beautifully woven together by a special girl in search of adventure, hope, and full appreciation of life’s simple pleasures. A do-not-miss. ” – Justine Magazine
“Moving and poignant.” - Glitter Magazine
“An entertaining and romantic road-trip debut.” – Kirkus
"Leila’s quest to find the Northern Lights takes readers on a captivating cross-country journey, where four strangers’ adventures collide into one riveting tale of finding yourself." ―YABooksCentral.com
“This will likely be a popular summer hit, especially for older teen about to embark on their own journeys of self-discovery.” –Booklist
GUEST POST: Songs I couldn’t travel without
This is a tough one, as I’m constantly listening to music during my travels. Lowering the windows of a car and blasting music is a crucial element to any road trip, and big headphones make staring out of a bus window feel cinematic.
5. California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade- The Decemberists
4. I Won’t Be Found- Tallest Man on Earth
3. Estate Sale Sign- The Mountain Goats
2. The Trapeze Swinger- Iron and Wine
1. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea- Neutral Milk Hotel
About the Author:
Adi Alsaid was born and raised in Mexico City, then studied at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in class, he mostly read fiction and continuously failed to fill out crossword puzzles, so it’s no surprise that after graduating, he did not go into business world but rather packed up his apartment into his car and escaped to the California coastline to become a writer. He’s now back in his hometown, where he writes, coaches high school and elementary basketball, and has perfected the art of making every dish he eats or cooks as spicy as possible. In addition to Mexico, he’s lived in Tel Aviv, Las Vegas, and Monterey, California. A tingly feeling in his feet tells him more places will eventually be added to the list. Let’s Get Lost is his YA debut.
1 signed hard cover copy of Let’s Get Lost
1 Let’s Get Lost luggage tag
1 Harlequin TEEN notebook
1 Let’s Get Lost sachel
1 Harlequin TEEN tote bag
Book Blitz Organized by:
Hello my lovely followers. Tonight I think is a good time to discuss Comic Con. As most of you are aware San Diego Comic Con is in full swing! Unfortunately for me I live on the opposite side of the country so getting to SDCC is not easy (or cheap for that matter). Luckily for us East Coaster we have the New York Comic Con coming up in October, I don’t know how many of you have checked Comic Con’s website but this year they are having some great guests.
As far as Entertainment Guests go I was thrilled to see that two actors from Game of Thrones will appear at NYCC: Kristian Nairn and Natalia Tena.
ARROW’S Stephen Amnell will also be one of the guests at NYCC.
New York Comic Con will also Kim Harrison and Cory Doctorow as their Literary Guests.
And if those guests are not enough to entice you to attend NYCC…then perhaps the fact that Stan Lee is attending will make you want to go?
I don’t know about you guys, but October can’t come soon enough!