Books, young adult

Cover reveal sign-up for ONE DREAM ONLY :-)

Blog or without blog, I’d love for you to help me reveal the cover of One, Two, Three. You can help me on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest 🙂

Goodreads button

 Sixteen-year-old Natalya Pushkaya has only one dream: becoming the best ballerina ever. Dancing’s always been who she is and she’s working her hardest to land the main role of the School of Performing Arts’ end of the year recital.

But…will she make it?

Within a week, Natalya’s life will be changed forever.

Prequel novelette of One, Two, Three. 

 

If you do it on your blog, there will also be a giveaway…

The cover reveal is planned for Tuesday, September 2nd (12.01 EST). You will receive all information for the post by Sunday, August 31st.

Books, young adult

Five Reasons To Fall in Love with My Life Next Door

 Summary from GoodreadsA gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another. “One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.” The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase’s family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

In an interview with YA Bound, the author – Huntley Fitzpatrick – summarised her book in ten words. I think they also fit perfectly:

A girl who watches and a boy who knows it.

There are many reasons to read this book: the story is compelling, the writing flows and the voice is mostly natural. Some may say that it feels slow at times and maybe rushed at others. But isn´t it how life sometimes is? Slow, rushed and everything in the middle? Everybody always stayed in character. I could have come up with even more reasons to fall in love with My Life Next Door but I tried to contain myself.

1- George: One of Jase´s little brother. This child is ADORABLE. He is neurotic, granted but his worries and his wit make him so real and so cute and just a little child you want to protect to make sure that he doesn´t find additional reasons to worry about every single thing.

 “His bed´s really comfortable and he never pees in it”

George gives me a smile, the same dazzling sweet smile as his big brother, although at this point, with green teeth. “I might marry you,” he allows. “Do you want a big family?” 

I like that. You look like Sailor Supergirl.

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2. Jase: There are not enough words to describe Jase. He is…confident, honest, mature, sexy, funny, smart, driven, athletic, real. He is the type of guy you can lean on, talk to, make a fool out of yourself with, have fun, laugh, do daring things. Yep. Quite a character.

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3. Jase and Sam: For those two, I´m just going to put four quotes from the book. I think it pretty much says a lot about them.

“So now you’ve met my mother,’ I say to Jase that night, leaning back on the roof. 
‘I sure have. That was awesome. And completely uncomfortable.

“You have to kiss me,” I find myself saying.
“Yeah.” He leans closer. “I do.” 

But I like being Sam. I like being Jase´s Sam. It sounds relaxed, easygoing, competent. I want to be that person (Page 184)

And the way he does look at me makes me feel absolutely beautiful.

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4. Jase´s parents, all of the Garrett family: What really amazed me in this book was how I could picture each and single one of the members of the Garrett family. The little one who says “boob” and “poop”  a lot, Alice the angry one who´s actually quite tender, the other hot brother and I could continue but I will leave you with another of my favorites i.e. Andy:

Andy spends all her time on Facebook and reading, rereading Twilight again and again.

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5. Tim: The way he speaks about Hot Alice, the way he messes a lot of things but he´s actually not that messed up, the way he was there for Sam when she was young and is still around and because he says things like this:

“Why do all the hot girls want the jocks and the good boys? We losers are the ones that need you.”

When to pick up this book?

  • Great Summer Read (but really you could cuddle with it in all seasons)
  • If you like Sarah Dessen or Jennifer Echols. Plus some of the first time moments did remind me of Judy Blume (!)
  • When you’re in the look for a great set of characters
  • If you want something which makes your heart feel warm
  • As a writer: The Life Next Door shows how to handle many many characters while giving them all a different personality and something which stands out. They don’t fall flat.
  • The kisses and the steamy sexy scenes

I am already anticipating Ms Fiztpatrick’s next book especially after getting a glimpse on what she’s working on (see below excerpt from an interview with YABound)

My next book, now tentatively titled, WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE, takes place in the same region as MY LIFE NEXT DOOR, but features a very different couple—one who have had a rocky history. Gwen Castle has come from a long line of fisherman and cleaning women on her small, exclusive Island. Cass Somers is heir to a boat-building business, and Gwen’s Biggest Mistake Ever. Now that he’s spending the summer slumming it on “her” Island, can they get beyond their rocky past and find common ground.
I even dared to contact the author on Twitter (overcoming my shyness and all :-)) and she was so kind to answer my question!
  
So tell me, did you have good relationships with your neighbors as teenager?
Honeymoon, writing, young adult

The magic of Teen Author Carnival…

Right before heading to NYC, I realized that the Teen Author Carnival would be taking place while we were in the city.

See, all these amazing names? I was torn because I was on my honeymoon telling my hubby how much I wanted to go there but of course knew that he would not really enjoy it…Plus we had tickets for the Daily Show right before so I knew I wouldn´t be able to listen to both sessions…And see I love The Daily Show, I´ve got the biggest crush on Jon Stewart…but the conflict, oh the conflict…I wanted to have it all and my hubby (the greatest hubby) enabled me to indeed have my cake and eat it too!

One happy hubby

Right after attending the taping of The Daily Show, we hailed a cab and went on our way to the Jefferson Market Library. There, I stood outside for the end of the “You don´t know you´re beautiful (keeping it realistic)”. And listened, laughed while taking in the crowd, the enthusiasm and the fact that I was just a few feet away from authors I admire.

Crowded room

Then, I turned to my hubby and told him that if he wanted to go have a drink while I was going to the next panel, he could. I mean I did feel bad about dragging him along…so on his way he went.

And I attended the next panel entitled “Where have you been all my life? (let´s talk boys)?”….

Hannah Moskowitz, Scott Tracey, Michelle Hodkin and Jennifer E. Smith
Jen Calonita and Kody Keplinger
Sarah Tregay (sitting next to Victoria Schwab) talking here about how she got herself red converse thanks to the cover of her book 😀

I even asked a question. Yes, I raised my hand, forgot how self-conscious I sometimes get about my French accent, tried to ignore the erratic beating of my heart…and did it 😀

I did mention before asking my question that I was French and on my honeymoon (also highlighting how cool my hubby was since he dropped me off there). I am glad I did because that´s how Rebecca recognized me (yay again!). I asked the authors about developing crushes on their own characters (not necessarily the love interest but those who suddenly become more important in their eyes and that they have issues letting go).

The answers made me laugh and made me nod and made me smile and made me wonder how lucky I was to have those wonderful writers look at me in the eyes as they were answering. Totally fan-girling the event 😀 Some pointed out how crazier you become the more books you write since you have all these voices in your head. When I mentioned this to dear Chemical Engineer, he shook his head and gave me the eyes (the ones meaning: wait, you can be even weirder? :D)

Here are some notes I jolted down while listening to the different sessions (I am not sure who said what…reminder: next time, be more careful about taking notes):

About cursing in YA novels: 

  • “Always stay true to character…that is the most important. Teenagers can smell if someone is being fake and then it doesn´t work.”
  • “There is a different between ´I have a problem´ and `I have a fucking problem´”

About sex in YA novels:

  • “I always try to have sex scenes in my novels. But one time, it just didn´t work with the characters. I was all about having them do it and suddenly, one of them says she´s tired! So basically in my head, my story ends like this ´The End. and then they went to have sex´.”
  • “My editor did scrap some of the making out scenes I had…because, well, they didn´t make the plot advance, it wasn´t important for the story. I just had them making out for pages and pages. I loved writing those scenes but…”
Several authors also mention how they go about their research: Jen Calonita (Author ofBELLES) for example mentioned calling Debutantes to find out more about their experience and falling so deeply into her subject that she wanted to know ALL the details, others mentioned how they feel their research could put them on a WANTED poster. Kody Koplinger (Author of THE DUFF, SHUT OUT and MIDSUMMER´s NIGHTMARE) explained that she wrote about a character drinking a lot without having any experience herself on the matter. She thought she had it down until her editor made notes on how it really felt to be hangover…
Jennifer E. Smith (author of THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT) explained how she was happy the prologue was kept into her story though she had thought her editor would cut it. Plus, asked about writing secret love letters, she admitted she wrote at least one love letter but that it wasn´t so secret (because secret love letters are just not as efficient :D)
Jennifer E. Smith talking about her wonderful book!
So, this was one LONG post but as you can tell, it was such a great, wonderful, amazing moment to sit in the same room as those authors!
And who knows, maybe I will make it to SCBWI next Winter 😀 (really trying to make this happen…)
PS: For those of you wondering, hubby made it back to pick me up…he had quite a great time which included being hit on by two men (since he ended up in a gay bar for some reason) which totally boosted his self-esteem 😀 Oh, and he discovered a new reason to like those type of events (the ratio to girls against boys). Yes, I love my husband! 😀
Blogme MAYbe, writing, young adult

A heart of words…

This month (well until my honeymoon :D), I will be participating in Blogme MAYbe. This wonderful idea is the brainchild of SaraMcClung and is a weekly blog format with an easy schedule to follow. For more information and join the fun (you can at any time!), simply click on the banner created by the super-duper-talented Tracey. On Mondays, I am happy to tell you a bit about my writing….

PLAYING WITH FIRE is a long time in the making. I have changed the story many times along the way, stretching myself as I improved it. I am learning a lot throughout this process. I am currently going through a last round of revisions before editing and then it´s off to my beta readers. My goal is to finish this before flying off to my honeymoon.

I had a little fun with my text and here are the words I use the most often 😀 (I am really going to have to check how to reduce the number of times I used “look”)

If you want to do the same, I used the website Tagxedo

What words do you know you use a lot while writing?

Or which words do you believe authors just love to add to their texts?

Book Review, young adult

Goddess Interrupted – A review and my take on mythology….

I´ve mentioned this before: I love mythology. I focused part of my Master´s thesis on the re-telling of MEDEA by Christa Wolf using feminism and new historicism theories. I immersed myself in the evolution of women´s image through the different adaptations of the myth. I also looked at MEDEA through Christa Wolf´s lens in regards to the divided Germany and her own personal history.

I breathed MEDEA for months. Christa Wolf did a big u-turn: in her story, Medea is not a child-murderer. I could spend hours discussing her version but this post is about GODDESS INTERRUPTED (sequel of The Goddess Test). Thanks to Netgalley, I read an ARC of this book on my kindle 🙂

Summary from GoodreadsKate Winters has won immortality. But if she wants a life with Henry in the Underworld, she’ll have to fight for it.Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.Henry’s first wife, Persephone.

Some reviews focus on how Aimee Carter changed the myth or how this book doesn´t live up to the expectations one has from Greek mythology or the story of Persephone in general…For me, it did not matter. I wanted a story to entertain me and it did. I wanted a story which takes a new take on a myth and it did. I wanted a story in which I can feel for the characters and it somewhat did. There are certain part of the stories during which I wished I could speak to Kate to get some sense into her but in a way, I enjoyed this because this meant I let myself dive into the story enough to have an opinion on the actions of the main characters. I´ll pick up the last installment of the trilogy when it comes out 😀

Tell me, are there any adaptation of famous stories that you really enjoyed reading?

Kisses, reading, Road Trip Wednesday, writing, young adult

The magic of a kiss

Today is Road Trip Wednesday 🙂 RTW is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This week’s topic: A long-awaited kiss, a surprise ending, a character’s sudden decision…  these are the moments that make us smile, gasp, and LOVE a book for the rest of our lives.
What is your favorite literary moment?

So many moments come back to my mind from my decades of reading. Some excerpts from Albert Camus and Victor Hugo which made me think so hard. Some theater plays which got a strong reaction out of me. Some thrillers who got me jumping out of my seat when I heard a noise. Some historical fiction which made me dream I was in another time. Some novels which got me turning the pages so fast because I just wanted to know what would happen next…

However, if I had to pick one and only one  favorite literary moment (arrrghhhhh I don’t like playing favorites :D), it would be the anticipation to the long-awaited kisses and the magical moment when the kisses actually happen.

The butterflies before lips meet either tentatively or with force. Those moments where I turn the page and my own body reacts: my stomach flips, my muscles tense because I wonder what may happen.  Yep, done well, those get me every single time…

So tell me, what is your favorite literary moment?

Books, reading, Top Ten Tuesday, young adult

Top Ten Books On My Spring To-Be-Read list

I´ve seen this Top Ten Tuesday feature on Jaime´s blog and thought it looked like fun so I decided to check it out and…here I am 😀 Today is my first Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)

The Top Ten Books on My Spring To-Be-Read list…

For this list, I´ll focus on YA titles….Ready? There we go!

I’ll start with the sequels coming out in the Spring which get me all jittery every time I think of them…

  • INSURGENT by Veronica Roth: I cannot wait to know what happens, how will they deal with the guilt, how will they survive? Can love make it in such a place?
  • UNTIL I DIE by Amy Plum: Of course, Kate and Vincent are characters I look forward to hang out with again. Plus it´s in Paris 😀 But I´m also all happy to see some of the secondary characters (waves at Jules)

….now onto books which have been published somewhat long(er) ago but that I still did not come around to read:

My TBR list on Goodreads holds more than 100 books and there are A LOT of new releases I’m also looking forward to read but those are 10 books I know I will definitely manage to get my fingertips on during the Spring season 😀

What books are on YOUR list for Spring?