Waiting on Wednesday: September 30

Title: Magic Under Glass

Author: Jackie/Jaclyn Dolamore

US Release date: February 1, 2010

Summary (from GoodReads): Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act - singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumours abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.

Why I'm interested: Sort of like last week, I love that there's a fairy realm, along with sorcerers and ghosts -- all these supernatural elements coming together is fascinating. And of course, I'm such a sucker for a romance that's fighting against the odds. I'm already sighing.

What are you looking forward to right now?


Waiting on Wednesday: September 23

Title: Dragonfly
Author: Julia Golding
US Release date: October 20, 2009

Summary (from Amazon): Princess Taoshira of the Blue Crescent Islands is appalled when she is ordered to marry Prince Ramil of Gerfal in order to unite their lands. And he's not too pleased, either. They hate each other on sight. So, when Tashi and Ramil are kidnapped, they fear there's no escape - from their kidnappers or from each other. Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive ambush, unarmed combat, brainwashing, and imprisonment? And will the people they meet on their adventure help them or betray them to the enemy?

Why I'm interested: I'll admit that the cover is what really caught my attention, because it looks so simple, except it's really not. After reading the summary, I'm really curious, as titles are always deliberate: what does "dragonfly" have to do with anything? Plus, this looks like it will be full of adventure and romance. :)
What are you looking forward to this week?


Feed Your Ears XVIII: Shiver

Sorry I haven't been posting as much :( Adjusting to school has been a little stressful, but I should be able to keep up with a few posts a week again now that my schedule is settled and I'm back into a routine.

SO... while I wasn't able to get an interview in with this wonderful author, she said I could steal a playlist she's made and share it with everyone. I don't want to keep you wondering any longer, so let's just say this author is Maggie Stiefvater and the playlist is the one she came up with for Shiver.

1. "The Ocean" - The Bravery (the general thematic song)
2. "Sundrenched World" - Joshua Radin
3. "Run" - Snow Patrol
4. "Cemeteries of London" - Coldplay (hunt scene)
5. "Make This Go On Forever" - Snow Patrol
6. "Matroshka" - Dredg
7. "Underwater" - Vertical Horizon
8. "Star Mile" - Joshua Radin (making quiche)
9. "Set the Fire to the Third Bar" - Snow Patrol
10. "Jeremiah" - Starsailor
11. "Bug Eyes" - Dredg
12. "Everything'll Be Alright" - Joshua Radin (bookstore scene)
13. "Hide and Seek" - Imogen Heap (car scene near end)
14. "A Clock is Ticking" - Snow Patrol (Jack scene near end)
15. "Peter Returns" - James Newton Howard (last scene)
16. "Wake Up, Open the Door, & Escape to the Sea" - Blaqk Audio (ultimate nookie scene)

Such an awesome playlist! And mega thanks to Maggie for letting me use this for Feed Your Ears this week. Her original post of this playlist is over at her blog, where you can also find an audio version of most of these great songs. So go check it out!


Waiting on Wednesday: September 16

Title: The Indigo Notebook
Author: Laura Resau
Series: 1st in The Notebook series
US Release date: October 13, 2009

Summary (from GoodReads): Zeeta's life with her free-spirited mother, Layla, is anything but normal. Every year Layla picks another country she wants to live in. This summer they’re in Ecuador, and Zeeta is determined to convince her mother to settle down. Zeeta makes friends with vendors at the town market and begs them to think of upstanding, “normal” men to set up with Layla. There, Zeeta meets Wendell. She learns that he was born nearby, but adopted by an American family. His one wish is to find his birth parents, and Zeeta agrees to help him. But when Wendell’s biological father turns out to be involved in something very dangerous, Zeeta wonders whether she’ll ever get the chance to tell her mom how she really feels—or to enjoy her deepening feelings for Wendell.

Why I'm interested: First, I absolutely loved Laura Resau's writing in Red Glass. While the plot is entirely different, this book looks like it will have many of the same themes, which would be great. I also love to travel, so I really like Zeeta's background.


In My Mailbox: Week 14

:( No books this week... hopefully better luck next week!

What about you all?


Feed Your Ears XVII: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

To read about the origins of Feed Your Ears, check out my first post.

So this week I'm going with something a little different again. Obviously, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is FULL of music. On the book's webiste, Rachel Cohn has put together three great playlists.

The first playlist is a compilation of many of the songs and artists that appear in Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. This playlist includes Stevie Wonder's "Living For The City," Rancid's "Ruby Soho," Belle & Sebastian's "Wrapped Up In Books" and more.

There's another playlist Rachel Cohn calls the (T)rainy/Dreamy Playlist. This one was inspired by Norah's desire to make a mix for Nick with "rain" and "train" in the title, with songs like The Weather Girls' "It's Raining Men," and Anita O'Day's "Take the 'A' Train."

The last playlist on the book's site is one Rachel Cohn put together of songs she could imagine Norah listening to. This playlist has got some great hits such as Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me" and Elvis Costello's "You Belong to Me."


Catching Fire contest winner

Sorry it took me a few days to get all the entries together and thanks for waiting while I did so, as now it is time to announce the winner of my Catching Fire contest. Without further ado, the winner of an ARC of Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins is...

Congrats Shal! I'll be getting in touch soon to get your mailing address so I can send the book out. Thanks to everyone who entered! I was thrilled to have a ton of entries, and will try to get another contest going before the month ends.


Waiting on Wednesday: September 9

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Authors: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
US Release date: December 1, 2009

Summary (from Amazon.com): Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Why I'm interested: Well, I've spent a fair amount of time reading Kami Garcia's and Maragert Stohl's blogs, and I can say that if Beautiful Creatures is even half as interesting as they appear to be, it'll be pretty darn interesting. And as I've mentioned with a few other of my Waiting on Wednesday picks, I adore old houses and history and a bit of mystery, so this looks great. Plus I cannot wait to know what the powerful secret is.
What's your selection this week?


Teaser Tuesday: Week 12

Teaser Tuesdays is sponsored by MizB of Should Be Reading. Teaser Tuesdays go like this:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teaser this week:
"She leafed through a few more pages of my file. I had no idea what observation Dr. Hendrickson had immortalized there, and I didn't want to wait around long enough to find out."

--page 147-8, Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

What's your teaser this Tuesday?

Interview with Carolyn MacCullough

Today I have the pleasure of introducing Carolyn MacCullough, author of Falling Through Darkness, Stealing Henry, Drawing the Ocean, and most recently, Once a Witch (read my review). Born in Connecticut, she has now moved on to a more exciting life reading, writing, and teaching in New York (not I’m jealous, of course).


KB: When did you know you wanted to be an author?
CM: Probably in 3rd grade. I won a short story contest for my story about a princess and a dragon and thought hey, this writing thing is fun. It took me awhile though (like 18 years) to stop writing about princesses and dragons!

KB: Why did you decide to write for young adults?
CM: I never consciously set out to write for young adults. I just wrote my first book, Falling Through Darkness, from the perspective of a 17 year old because that was the character in my head. That said, however, I've discovered that teens/young adults happen to be one of the most rewarding and inspirational audiences to write for.
KB: What inspired you to write Once a Witch?
CM: Oh, who doesn't dream of having a special talent or power that sets you apart from the rest of the world? Then I started thinking about a character who was an outcast in her own family since they were all extremely Talented while she was not. Or so she thinks at the beginning of the book...
KB: What sort of research went into your writing?
CM: Lots of time spent on Google! Actually, the most fun sort of research was just to walk around Washington Square Park in New York (where some of the book is set) studying the beautiful architectural details of all those 19th century townhouses. I spent a lot of time imagining what the insides of those places looked like and all the parties that must have gone on.
KB: Do you identify with any of your characters?
CM: Definitely with Tamsin. I think a lot of people feel like a bit of an outsider at certain points in their lives. Tamsin also has a habit of comparing herself (unfavorably) to her beautiful and perfect older sister, Rowena,--I have two older sisters so I definitely did some of that while growing up.

KB: What Talent do you wish you possessed?
CM: Oh, good question! I would like to be able to rewind time--just for a few seconds or a few hours or even a day in case I need to redo something. Then again, interfering with time has disastrous results in the book for Tamsin, so maybe that's too dangerous of a Talent to pick.

KB: Can we expect another book about Tamsin? (I’m crossing my fingers here!)
CM: Yes! I'm working on the sequel right now. It's tentatively titled, Always a Witch and features more time travel, spywork, Talents, and of course, some romance!
KB: *does happy dance*

KB: If you had to pick one song (or maybe two) to associate with Once a Witch, what song would it be?
CM: I love Marco Polo by Loreena McKennitt and also Teardrop by Massive Attack. I listened to those on repeat a lot!

KB: And to finish this up, what was your favorite book as a teen?
CM: Such a hard question! If I had to pick one--The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. I still reread it every few years.


Thanks so much for joining us!

Carolyn MacCullough’s latest novel, Once a Witch, goes on sale September 14th. Catch my review here, and make sure to visit the book’s awesome website (with lots of bonus material such as quizzes and the truth about witches) over here.


Once a Witch

Once a Witch tells the story of Tamsin Green, a member of very Talented witch family. At the time of her birth, Tamsin is predicted to be the most Talented of them all. Now that Tamsin is a teenager, it seems unusual that her abilities never developed, leaving her as the black sheep of the family. When a mysterious stranger shows up at her grandmother’s store asking for help retrieving a valuable heirloom, Tamsin agrees, hoping to prove her self-worth despite a lack of Talent. The same day, Aunt Lydia (a family friend, not really her aunt) and her son, Gabriel, return from California. Gabriel winds up joining Tasmin on her search, and along the way Tasmin gets reacquainted with the childhood friend she didn’t write to for years, realizing that he’s done a lot of growing up during their time apart. Together, Tasmin and Gabriel travel through time uncovering secrets of the Green family’s history and growing closer.

Carolyn MacCullough creates an exciting urban fantasy in Once a Witch. A complex story full of intrigue, romance, power, and conflict, this novel will utterly absorb the reader. I was impressed by the way Carolyn MacCullough cleverly plays with time, weaving an intricate web of clues and adventures for Tamsin and Gabriel. Not a single character in this story is there for padding – even the minor ones are important. Rather than being a classic novel of good-versus-evil, the Green’s shady history leads Tamsin, and with her the reader, to question otherwise accepted truths and individuals’ motivations. Above all, this is a story about discovering one’s identity and protected those you care for. Once a Witch is a thrilling race through time with an enchanting love story that leaves the reader desperate for a sequel. 8 out of 10.

P.S. Once a Witch has a really awesome website including quizzes, a family tree, and information about witches.


In My Mailbox: Week 13

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi from The Story Siren. Here's what I found in my mailbox, at the bookstore, and at the library these last two weeks. Summaries are taken from Amazon, B&N, and GoodReads.

Moonlight by Rachel Hawthorne (for review) - Kayla is the nature lover, the all-American beauty who can't understand why she's so drawn to distant, brooding Lucas. Adopted as a young child, she has no way of knowing that she's inherited a terrifying—and thrilling—gene that will change her life forever. Lucas is dangerous, gorgeous . . . and a werewolf. As leader of the Dark Guardians, shape-shifters who gather deep within the state park, he has sworn to protect his pack. But when Lucas finds his true soul mate, his love could put them all in harm's way. As Lucas and Kayla struggle with their feelings for each other, a greater danger lurks: Humans have discovered the Dark Guardians and are planning their destruction. Kayla must choose between the life she knows and the love she feels certain is her destiny.

The Hollow by Jessica Verday - When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead?and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special. Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her—one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - An aviator whose plane is forced down in the Sahara Desert encounters a little prince from a small planet who relates his adventures in seeking the secret of what is important in life.

And such is my mailbox for the week... what about your's?


Interview with Malinda Lo

So, this is an exciting week, because I get to share with you not one, but TWO interviews. Now I have the honor of introducing one of the ’09 debs, Malinda Lo. Malinda Lo’s novel, Ash, in the most simple of terms is a lesbian retelling of Cinderella. I read and reviewed this one awhile ago, so to hear more about Ash see my review.


KB: First, can you tell us a little about your road to publishing?
ML: It's been about seven and a half years between first inspiration and my book hitting the shelves, so it's definitely been a long road! To briefly summarize, I wrote three or four drafts of Ash before I even submitted it to agents in 2007. My agent offered to represent me in December 2007; I did another revision for her by January 2008; and we got our first offers in February 2008. Since then, things have been moving at lightning speed, but I still did three revisions along the way. A lot of revising goes into publishing!

KB: Why did you decide to write fiction for young adults?
ML: I actually didn't make a conscious decision to write YA fiction. I simply wrote Ash the way I wanted to write it, and when I was finally ready to submit it to agents, I saw that it fit best within the YA genre. It's actually not so surprising because I was so inspired by other YA fairy tale retellings I read when I was a teen.

KB: The cover of Ash is gorgeous! What role did you play in its cover design?
ML: Pretty much none! I just wrote the book, and the talented Alison Impey took what she read and translated it perfectly into an image. I am so happy with the cover!

KB: Why did you choose the tale of Cinderella?
ML: Cinderella was always my favorite fairy tale when I was a kid. I've also long been a fan of Robin McKinley's fairy tale retellings, and I always wished she would write a retelling of Cinderella. Since she didn't (or hasn't so far), I decided to write the story I've always wanted to read.

KB: How did you decide to make Cinderella a lesbian? Did this make the Cinderella story more difficult to rework?
ML: Well, in the first draft, Ash (the Cinderella character) fell in love with the prince. But then I sent that draft to a friend to read, and she told me she felt that the prince was kinda boring, but this other woman (the huntress) was much more intriguing. I looked closely at the draft and realized that Ash was falling in love with this woman, not the prince. That's when I decided to rewrite it as a "lesbian Cinderella." It didn't make retelling the story any more difficult; in fact, I think it made it easier, because this was the story that was trying to get out of my subconscious.

KB: What was the most challenging part about writing Ash? What about the most rewarding?
ML: Honestly, the most challenging part about the actual writing of Ash was writing the romantic scenes. Writing romance doesn't come easily to me, and I have to spend a lot of time thinking about words and how to spin them into a romantic feeling without becoming overly sweet. Partly as a result of this, I think some of the most rewarding parts are when I finish those scenes and reread them. When they evoke the effect in me that I was aiming for -- that's when it's wonderful.

KB: Can you tell us a bit about what you are working on now?
ML: I am working on a companion novel to Ash. It's set in the same world, but several hundred years earlier, so there are no crossover characters. Or are there? (evil laugh)

KB: What do you do when writer’s block hits?
ML: Well, I usually encounter writer's block when I haven't given enough time to thinking about what I want to happen. Not what I want to write, specifically, but which direction the story should go in. Unfortunately, if I'm on a deadline, I just have to power through it -- I kind of force myself through the trouble spots, writing basically anything, and then go back and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. This is what I learned from being a reporter. Once there's something on the page, I can go back and work things out and improve it.
If I have a little more time, or if my deadline is a little farther ahead and I encounter writer's block, I'll take a break from it. I'll actually leave my desk and go for a walk in the woods or something. Being away from the computer is very helpful, actually -- sometimes I'll solve the block just by going to sit on the couch and writing longhand for a while. It's mostly about changing the physical situation I'm in, which seems to break through the mental block.

KB: If you had to pick one (or maybe two) song(s) to associate with Ash, what would you pick?
ML: KT Tunstall's "Universe & U" -- I listened to this song repeatedly when writing one scene in Ash. And "Bonfire" by Lamb -- this song makes me think of the character of Sidhean. Kind of creepy and weird. :) And I've created an Ash playlist; you can see it here.
KB: Thank you so much for joining us! I love that playlist for Ash and highlighted it yesterday in my Feed Your Ears post :)


Malinda Lo’s debut release, Ash, was released this past Tuesday, September 1st, so get it NOW in stores. Also, she keeps a really awesome author blog, which you can find here.


Feed Your Ears XVI: Ash

To read about the origins of Feed Your Ears, check out my first post.

This week's selection is Malinda Lo's debut, Ash. About a month ago, Malinda Lo posted a playlist of some of the songs she listened to while writing Ash. Today's Feed Your Ears post is going to be a sample from this really great playlist.

1. Moved Through the Fair” by Loreena McKennitt

2. “Far Away” by Martha Wainwright

3. “Lust” by Tori Amos

4. “The Unforgettable Fire” by U2

5. “Universe & U” by KT Tunstall

And to think... there are 14 songs on Malinda Lo's playlist. That means you should head to her blog to check out the Ash playlist in its entirety.

P.S. Check back tomorrow for my interview with Malinda Lo!


Interview with Lauren Baratz-Logsted

To start off this month full of author interviews, I had the pleasure of introducing Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author (from Connecticut!) of many books for children, teens, and young adults. Her most recent young adult novel is Crazy Beautiful, a modern adaptation of Beauty & the Beast (I posted my review yesterday). For more about Lauren Baratz-Logsted and her writing, check out her website.


Me: As an accomplished author, can you tell us a little bit about your road to publishing?
LBL: A little bit? I'd need to write a whole book to tell that story! Short version? I left my day job in 1994 to take a chance on myself as a writer. It took me nearly eight years and seven books written before I sold the sixth, an adult novel called THE THIN PINK LINE. I've since sold a total of 20 books to various publishers in various genres and for various age groups.

Me: How did you decide to retell the story of Beauty and the Beast?
LBL: I'd just seen the stage version on Broadway and I got to thinking about how out of all the Disney-fied fairy tales, it makes for the most successful stage and screen adaptations. I started wondering why that would be and decided it's the only one where the male is more than just window dressing for the female. And then I got to thinking how much fun it would be to do a contemporary version where, like the Beast, the male's otherness is a result of his own tragic mistakes and then find a way for him to redeem himself.

Me: Have you considered writing a modern adaptation of any other fairy tales?
LBL: Finally! A question I can give a short answer to! Yes.

Me: Yay! I can’t wait. So, names are important to any story. How did you decide on Lucius for the Beast and Aurora for Beauty?
LBL: Lucius Wolfe - both elements of his name are variations on wolf. Aurora Belle - Aurora is the goddess of the dawn in Roman mythology and Belle of course is beautiful.

Me: The cover of Crazy Beautiful certainly catches the eye. What role did you play in its design?
LBL: Zero! I had absolutely no say in the cover although I did mention I'd like to see something resembling a hook on it. I absolutely love the cover that the artistic design team at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt came up with.

Me: What is the most exciting part of the writing process for you?
LBL: I love it all, but I guess if I had to pick the most exciting it'd be the moment an idea comes and I realize the idea is so big and fresh, at least to me, it can fill a whole book. Wait. Can I pick two most exciting parts? If so, the other would be when I complete the book and realize I've gone the distance in telling the story I wanted to tell in the way I wanted to tell it.

Me: As you write books for all ages, how is writing for teenagers/young adults different than writing for children or adults?
LBL: Teens these days have more demands on their time and distractions than any teens in recent memory. As a result, an author needs to really be on her best game in terms of holding the reader's interest. You need to write tighter. The other big difference I find is the sense of responsibility. I give my readers credit for being intelligent but I still am very careful not to send the wrong messages through my work. I'd hate it if anyone ever jumped off a bridge just because they thought I told them to.

Me: Are you working on anything right now that you can tell us about?
LBL: I'm always working on something! I have two more YA novels scheduled for 2010. THE EDUCATION OF BET, due out in spring 2010, is about a 16-year-old girl in Victorian England who impersonates a boy in order to get a proper education. THE TWIN'S DAUGHTER, also set in Victorian England and due out in fall 2010, is about a teen whose life is changed forever when she discovers her wealthy mother has an identical twin who grew up in the poorhouse. Oh, and 2010 will also see the publication of Books 5 and 6 in THE SISTERS 8, the series for young readers that I've created with my YA novelist husband Greg Logsted - http://www.greglogsted.com/ - and our nine-year-old daughter Jackie. Phew!

Me: Now for a couple of random questions. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, can you tell us a few songs that show up on your playlist most frequently?
LBL: I almost never listen to music when I'm writing although I do listen to "General Hospital" on television every afternoon from three to four. The one exception to the no-music-while-writing rule would be the adult novel VERTIGO which I wrote while repeatedly listening to the sountrack from The Piano.

Me: Now one that seems to be on everyone’s mind: how DO you pronounce your last name?
LBL: HA! Baratz is like Barrett would sound if you made it plural and Logsted is exactly as it looks although for some reason people are always trying to insert the letter 'a' into it. Thanks for having me!

Me: Thanks for joining us!


Lauren Baratz-Logsted's Crazy Beautiful will be released September 7th. Don't miss out!

Waiting on Wednesday: September 2

Title: Almost Perfect
Author: Brian Katcher
US Release Date: October 13, 2009

Summary (from Amazon): Logan Witherspoon recently discovered that his girlfriend of three years cheated on him. But things start to look up when a new student breezes through the halls of his small-town high school. Sage Hendricks befriends Logan at a time when he no longer trusts or believes in people. Sage has been homeschooled for a number of years and her parents have forbidden her to date anyone, but she won’t tell Logan why. One day, Logan acts on his growing feelings for Sage. Moments later, he wishes he never had. Sage finally discloses her big secret: she’s actually a boy. Enraged, frightened, and feeling betrayed, Logan lashes out at Sage and disowns her. But once Logan comes to terms with what happened, he reaches out to Sage in an attempt to understand her situation. But Logan has no idea how rocky the road back to friendship will be.

Why I'm interested: Books about relationships from a male perspective seem to be rare, which is really a shame, so I'm looking forward to this one. I also think it should be interesting to see how Brian Katcher deals with gender identities and phobias.


Teaser Tuesday: Week 11

Teaser Tuesdays is sponsored by MizB of Should Be Reading. Teaser Tuesdays go like this:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teaser this week:
"I couldn't keep my thoughts together.... The vision of him shaking in the woods right before I realized what was happening to him replayed over and over in my head."

--page 143, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

What's your teaser this Tuesday?

Crazy Beautiful

In Crazy Beautiful, Lauren Baratz-Logsted revisits Beauty and the Beast, adapting this tale of love and transformation to a present-day setting. First meet the Beast, Lucius, who lost his hands in an explosion of his own doing. As an act of self-punishment and to keep others at a distance, Lucius chooses to live with hooks rather than prosthetic hands. Now meet Aurora, absolutely radiant, not to mention talented, but unhappy after losing her mother. Both new kids at school, they go in different directions: Lucius becomes a brooding loner while Aurora’s beauty and clothing instantly attract the popular crowd. Nevertheless, small waves and smiles exchanged between the two quickly add up as Lucius realizes that not even his hooks will scare Aurora away. Together, they learn how to forgive, accept, and love.

To start, the cover of Crazy Beautiful is to die for. The stark contrast of the black and white, the unique font, and the smoke give the cover an edgy look that will instantly attract young adults. This fairy tale retelling is fast-paced, with short, to-the-point chapters. Unlike the original tale, the weight of the story is told from Lucius’s point of view. Still, the chapters alternate perspectives, providing the reader with insight from both sides of various situations. Crazy Beautiful is full of raw emotion, as both narrators reveal their fears and insecurities, just like those any teenager tries to hide. Lauren Baratz-Logsted adds a nice touch by complicating the story with the high school’s production Grease and Jessup’s role as a parallel to Gaston. Though I couldn’t pull myself away from this book, I found that the climax resolved itself too quickly. As a result, the end conflict was rather anticlimactic and difficult to believe. Overall, Crazy Beautiful is a well-done modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast that will captivate its readers. 8 of 10.


SURPRISE! It's officially September. Well, I suppose that's not much of a surprise, eh? BUT I've decided to try to make September special. And that's kind of a surprise, right? So, I've generally found that September is always a sort of weird time of year, since September means time to return to school. This is good because you get to see friends on a regular basis again, but not so great because homework sucks away lots of time. In order to make the entirety of September a time to look forward to, over the summer I interviewed a bunch of authors with September and October releases (and reviewed those releases for you) so EVERY WEEK you can look forward to an author interview or guest post! To kick off the month, you can expect my interview with Lauren Baratz-Logsted on Wednesday and Malinda Lo on Saturday. Enjoy!