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The Young Adult (& Kid's) Books Central blog - where to go to find out what's new & what's happening on the site, including the latest reviews posted, new interviews, and new ways to win or earn free books.
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1. YABC Book Haul - March 2015

We are super excited! The March 2015 YABC Book Haul is here! Over 100 books of pure awesomeness. 

This month, Clint from the Nerd Riders is hosting along with his special guest, Loki.

What are your favorite titles in this month's YABC Book Haul? Let us know in the comments below.


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2. INSURGENT - Drive Through Movie Review

*****NO SPOILERS*****

Yay! It's another #YAMovieDay and this one is HUGE! YA lovers all over the world have been eagerly awaiting the big screen arrival of INSURGENT. Does it live up to the hype? Here's what the Nerd Riders think. 

QUESTION: You are Divergent, but only in two Factions. What two Factions would you choose?


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3. It's live!! Cover Reveal: Strike by Delilah S. Dawson + Giveaway (US Only)

 

Hello, YABCers!

Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for STRIKE by Delilah S. Dawson, releasing March 2016 from Simon Pulse. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Delilah:

 

If you've seen the HIT cover, you know that it's utterly unique and hard to follow. That's why I dig the cover for STRIKE. It's as in-your-face and take-no-prisoners as the book. If you've ever wondered how your favorite tunic-and-test-filled dystopias came to be, this series is for you. The premise is one step away from our reality: What would happen if a bank took over America and sent teens out as bounty hunters against people with credit card debt? STRIKE takes the fight to an even more explosive level.
 
~ Delilah S. Dawson (STRIKE, Simon Pulse)
 

 

 

Ready to see?

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Here it is!

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_STRIKE_cover.jpg

*** If you choose to share this image elsewhere, please include a courtesy link back to this page so others can enter Delilah's giveaway. Thank you! ***

 

STRIKE

by Delilah S. Dawson
Release date: March 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
 
 
About the Book

The pulse-pounding sequel to HIT!

 

Patsy Klein is on the run. With her boyfriend, her dog, and two laptops snatched from a secret agent's burning trailer, she has nowhere left to go. Except to a meeting of the Citizens for Freedom, the group that claims to be striking back at the new Valor government that turned Patsy into an assassin. But Patsy soon learns that the CFF aren't necessarily the good guys they claim to be, and now she's fighting the war she was trying to escape--from the other side. As she loses everything she held dear before Valor Savings Bank took over, Patsy trades yarn bombing for anti-government graffiti. Things only get more complicated when a mysterious figure from her past shows up. As pressures mount and the people Patsy cares about start to suffer, the violence escalates to terrifying new levels.

 

To learn more about the series and read an excerpt of HIT, visit www.hitbookseries.com.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_dsdawsonauthorpic2015.jpgAbout the Author

Delilah S. Dawson is the author of Hit, Servants of the Storm, and the Blud series. Her next book is Wake of Vultures, written as Lila Bowen. She's a geek who loves cupcakes and lives in the north Georgia mountains with her family, a floppy mutt named Merle, and a spotted pony named Polly.
 

Twitter | Web | Tumblr | Goodreads | Facebook | Pre-order

 
 
 

Giveaway Details

One winner will receive a copy of HIT (when available) and a signed bookplate. 

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

What do you think about the cover and synopsis?

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4. An Ember in the Ashes - Character Trailer and Giveaway!

On April 28th, AN EMBER IN THE ASHES will hit the shelves of your local bookstore. The staff at YABC are super excited about this story! Here's a peek at the synopsis:

 

I WILL TELL YOU THE SAME THING I TELL EVERY SLAVE.
 
THE RESISTANCE HAS TRIED TO PENETRATE THIS SCHOOL COUNTLESS TIMES. I HAVE DISCOVERED IT EVERY TIME. 
 
IF YOU ARE WORKING WITH THE RESISTANCE, IF YOU CONTACT THEM, IF YOU THINK OF CONTACTING THEM, I WILL KNOW 

AND I WILL DESTROY YOU. 

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.
 
ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier— and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.
 
When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

Sounds amazing, right? Today, we're thrilled to reveal the character trailer for Laia AND offer a giveaway from the publisher of 5 signed Advanced Review Copies of the book plus 5 t-shirts. 

Watch the trailer and then enter the giveaway, and on April 28th, make sure you get your own copy of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES!

 

 

 

 

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5. CINDERELLA - Drive Through Movie Review

*****NO SPOILERS*******

Yay! It's another #YAMovieDay and The Nerd Riders, Kristin and Clint, share their thoughts on the highly anticipated Disney live action film CINDERELLA. 

 

 

QUESTION: If you could ask for one thing from your Fairy Godmother, what would it be?


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6. Author Jodi Meadows' Top 5

Today we welcome Jodi Meadows, author of THE ORPHAN QUEEN and the INCARNATE trilogy, to the blog. She's giving us her top five reasons why she loves fantasy. We love fantasy too (especially Jodi's new book THE ORPHAN QUEEN, which is basically Batman meets Game of Thrones with some swoon thrown in for good measure). You can see more about THE ORPHAN QUEEN here.

 

Meet Jodi. She knits socks of every color imaginable, has an unsafe number of ferrets who keep her on her toes, and would live in the world of Fringe if given half the chance.

b2ap3_thumbnail_jodi-meadows.jpg

 

Meet Jodi's new book. It has dangerous magic, a vigilante with a huge secret to protect, and an orphaned, disposed queen determined to get her kingdom back no matter the cost.

b2ap3_thumbnail_OrphanQueen.jpg

 

 

And now for Jodi's Top 5 reasons why she loves fantasy novels.

 

1. Anything is possible.

 

There aren't really rules for fantasy, beyond whatever you do, it must work. I love that you can come up with any crazy world and, as long as it works (and that is subjective, of course), the story is totally legitimate. Want to get rid of gravity in your fantasyland? Fine! (But make sure you explain why a massive body like a planet doesn't have gravity and explore the consequences of a world without gravity.)

 

 

2. Magic.

 

Of course. Magic is part of that "anything is possible" thing, I suppose, but it's cool enough that it should get its own point. But specifically, I love that magic can be another tool in fantasy, like technology. I love that writers can come up with systems of magic and, for several hundred pages, really make readers believe in it. That's magic, too.

 

 

3. Real issues.

 

Fantasy, like science fiction, has the ability to deal with real issues people deal with and explore them in a different environment. It can provide an extra layer of safety for readers, while still exposing them to something important. Look at STAR TREK for great examples of social issues in space. And tons of books for pretty much anything you can imagine, even personal ones.

b2ap3_thumbnail_star-trek.jpg

 

 

4. Creatures.

 

Look, I love unicorns. I love dragons. I think they are amazing. And I love that in fantasy, they get to be real. (Maybe they are real in real life too. I don't know. I'm not an expert or anything.) We get to play with other fantastic creatures, as well. And make up our own!

 

 

5. No limits.

 

Oh, it looks like we're back to the first point, just worded a little differently. But really, fantasy is amazing, and I love that we're getting more and more exploration in the genre. It's darn exciting. 

 

Thank you, Jodi! 

So what do YOU think? What are some things you love about fantasy stories?


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7. Giveaway: City Love by Susane Colasanti (US Only)

Book’s Title: City Love

Author’s Name: Susane Colasanti

Release Date: April 21, 2015

 

About the Book

Sadie, Darcy, and Rosanna are living together in New York City the summer before their freshman year of college begins. With no parents, no rules, and an entire city to explore, these three girls are on the verge of the best summer of their lives.Sadie is a native New Yorker. She is hopeful, romantic, and an eternal optimist who is ready to find her soul mate. Then she meets her dream boy: cute, funny, and quirky in all the right ways. The chemistry between them is unreal. Could he be the one?

Darcy is a free spirit from SoCal with rebellious tendencies and unlimited financial resources. Moving to New York City is just another adventure for her. Darcy wants this summer to be all about boy adventures—nothing serious. But how much fun is too much?

Rosanna leaves Chicago for NYC so she can put her past behind her and reinvent herself. The only thing standing in her way is the grand total of seventy-three cents she has saved. Then she meets a guy who wants to show her the glamorous side of New York—a side that she would never get to experience on her own. If Rosanna doesn't resist, she may find herself in city love.

Told from alternating points of view, the City Love trilogy captures the moments in each girl's life when everything is thrilling, amazing, and terrifying all at once . . . in a way it will never be again.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_susanelove.jpgAbout the Author

Susane Colasanti is the bestselling author of When It Happens, Take Me There, Waiting
for You, Something Like Fate, So Much Closer, Keep Holding On, All I Need, and Now
and Forever. Susane has a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a
master’s degree from New York University. Before becoming a full-time author in 2007,
Susane was a high school science teacher for ten years. She lives in New York City.

You can connect with Susane at her website, susanecolasanti.com.

Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube

Add the book on Goodreads

 

Giveaway Details

One winner will get an ARC of City Love. US only.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30-60 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question you'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: Which character from City Love must have a pouch that says “New York
Is My Boyfriend”? Find the answer on citylovetrilogy’s Instagram.

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8. Giveaway: As White As Snow by Salla Simukka (US Only)

Book’s Title:  As White As Snow

Author’s Name: Salla Simukka

Release Date: March 3, 2015


 

About the Book

The heat of the summer sun bakes the streets of Prague, but Lumikki’s heart is frozen solid.

Looking to escape the notoriety caused by the part she played in taking down Polar Bear’s crime ring, seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson escapes to Prague, where she hopes to find a few weeks of peace among the hordes of tourists. But not long after arriving, she’s cornered by a skittish and strange young woman who claims to be her long-lost sister. The woman, Lenka, is obviously terrified, and even though Lumikki doesn’t believe her story—although parts of it ring true—she can’t just walk away.

Lumikki quickly gets caught up in Lenka’s sad and mysterious world, uncovering pieces of a mystery that take her from the belly of a poisonous cult to the highest echelons of corporate power. On the run for her life again, Lumikki must use all her wits to survive, but in the end, she just may discover she can’t do it all alone.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Simukka_Salla_photo_credit_is_Karoliina_Ek.jpgAbout the Author

Salla Simukka is a YA author, translator, film & TV screenwriter, and winner of the prestigious 2013 Topelius Prize (Finland’s oldest prize in recognition of the best Finnish book for children and young people.) She is also the youngest recipient of the Finland Prize, which was awarded to her by Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture in 2013 in recognition of her exceptional artistic achievement. Simukka lives in Tampere, Finland.
 

Find her on Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway Details

2 winners will each receive one copy of As White As Snow. US only.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30-60 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question tyou'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: Where is the protagonist, Lumikki Andersson from? Find the answer here by reading more about Lumikki!

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9. Giveaway: Things I’ll Never Say: Stories About Our Secret Selves by Ann Angel & Various Authors (US & CAN Only)

 

Things I’ll Never Say: Stories About Our Secret Selves

Written by:

Ann Angel
Kerry Cohen
Louise Hawes
Varian Johnson
erica l. kaufman
Ron Koertge
E. M. Kokie
Chris Lynch
Kekla Magoon
Zoë Marriott
Katy Moran
J. L. Powers
Mary Ann Rodman
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Ellen Wittlinger

Release Date: 3/24/15

 

 

About the Book

Fifteen top young-adult authors let us in on provocative secrets in a fascinating collection that will have readers talking.

A baby no one knows about. A dangerous hidden identity. Off-limits hookups. A parent whose problems your friends won’t understand. Everyone keeps secrets—from themselves, from their families, from their friends—and secrets have a habit of shaping the lives around them. Acclaimed author Ann Angel brings together some of today’s most gifted YA authors to explore, in a variety of genres, the nature of secrets: Do they make you stronger or weaker? Do they alter your world when revealed? Do they divide your life into what you’ll tell and what you won’t? The one thing these diverse stories share is a glimpse into the secret self we all keep hidden.

 

Learn More

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Add our book on Goodreads

Follow us on Pinterest

Follow us on Tumblr

 

Giveaway

10 winners will each win one hardcover copy of the book. US & Canada only.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30-60 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question you'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: Go to E-Volt and find one other short story collection from Candlewick’s backlist. What is the title?

 

 

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10. THE DUFF - Drive Through Movie Review

*****NO SPOILERS*****

The Nerd Riders just saw an early screening of THE DUFF and are here to give you theirYA review. 

Question: Would you rather be a DUFF or the DUFF's friend? 

 

 


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11. It's live!! Cover Reveal: Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin + Giveaway (US Only)

 

Hi, YABCers, and welcome to today's cover reveal!

Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for WOLF BY WOLF by Ryan Graudin, releasing October 6, 2015 from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Ryan:

 

Hello YABC-ers! Welcome to the exclusive cover reveal for WOLF BY WOLF!
 
Wolf By Wolf is an alternative history novel which takes place in 1956, after the Axis powers have won World War II. The story features a cross-continental motorcycle race and a face-changing assassin on a mission to kill the Führer. There’s also a heavy use of wolves as symbolism in this novel (my protagonist has them tattooed all along her left arm). I was so very curious to see how the art team over at Little, Brown would capture all of this in a cover. Needless to say, they did a SPECTACULAR job. When I saw the first comp of this cover, I may or may not have said some very color words of admiration. I am in full support of people judging this book by its cover.
 
~ Ryan Graudin (WOLF BY WOLF, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
 

 

 

Ready to see?

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Here it is!

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_graudin_wolfbywolf.jpg

*** If you choose to share this image elsewhere, please include a courtesy link back to this page so others can enter Ryan's giveaway. Thank you! ***

 

WOLF BY WOLF

by Ryan Graudin
Release date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN-13: 978-0316405126
 
 
About the Book
Code Name Verity meets Inglourious Basterds in this fast-paced novel from the author of The Walled City.
 
The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor’s Ball.
 
Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year’s only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele’s twin brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael’s every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?
 

b2ap3_thumbnail_graudin-author.jpgAbout the Author

Ryan Graudin grew up in Charleston and graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Creative Writing in 2009. She is also the author of The Walled City and the All That Glows series. She resides near Charleston with her husband and wolf-dog. You can find her online at www.ryangraudin.com.
 

Twitter | Web | Tumblr | Goodreads | Pinterest | Pre-order Amazon

 
 
 

Giveaway Details

Two winners will each receive a signed ARC of WOLF BY WOLF (when available). 

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

What do you think about the cover and synopsis?

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12. New! #YABCMailbox Book Haul - February 2015

Happy February, YABCers! 

Here are the latest releases we got in our mailbox this month. Which books are you stoked to read?

 

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...and picture books :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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13. Giveaway: Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles (US/Canada)

 

READ BETWEEN THE LINES

by Jo Knowles

Release Date: March 10, 2015

Candlewick Press

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Does anyone ever see us for who we really are? Jo Knowles’s revelatory novel of interlocking stories peers behind the scrim as it follows nine teens and one teacher through a seemingly ordinary day.
 
Nate suffers a broken finger—the middle one, splinted to flip off the world. It won’t be the last time a middle finger is raised on this day. Dreamer Claire envisions herself sitting in an artsy café, filling a journal, but fate has other plans. One cheerleader dates a closeted basketball star; another questions just how, as a "big girl," she fits in. A group of boys scam drivers for beer money without remorse—or so it seems. Over the course of a single day, these voices and others speak loud and clear about the complex dance that is life in a small town. They resonate in a gritty and unflinching portrayal of a day like any other, with ordinary traumas, heartbreak, and revenge. But on any given day, the line where presentation and perception meet is a tenuous one, so hard to discern. Unless, of course, one looks a little closer—and reads between the lines. 
 
 
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_Jo_Knowles.JPGABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jo Knowles is the author of Jumping Off Swings and its sequel, Living with Jackie Chan, as well as See You at Harry’s. She lives in Vermont with her family. You can find her on Twitter at @JoKnowles.
 
 
 

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY
TEN winners will each win a hardcover of Jo Knowle's READ BETWEEN THE LINES. US/Canada only.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30-60 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: 
How does Nate break his middle finger? Read chapter sampler to find out https://www.scribd.com/doc/250251128/Read-Between-the-Lines-by-Jo-Knowles-Chapter-Sampler

 

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14. It's live!! Cover Reveal: Daughter of Dusk by Livia Blackburne + Giveaway (International)

Hey, everyone! We have another gorgeous cover reveal for you!

Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for DAUGHTER OF DUSK by Livia Blackburne, releasing August 4, 2015 from Disney-Hyperion. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Livia:

 

Hi YABC! I'm so excited to share the cover for DAUGHTER OF DUSK, the sequel to MIDNIGHT THIEF. I must admit I awaited this cover with trepidation. I loved the MIDNIGHT THIEF cover so much, and it was hard for me to imagine how the folks at Disney-Hyperion could match it. Well, I needn't have worried. DAUGHTER OF DUSK is just as magical as its predecessor. There are so many things I love about this image -- the "dusky" color scheme, the lovely font, the fog effect over the ice...With both books, the designers have been great about picking out iconic images that really capture the essence of the story. There is so much meaning in this paw print, just as there was meaning in the lion head knocker of MIDNIGHT THIEF. Thank you all so much for sharing this moment with me, and I hope you enjoy DAUGHTER OF DUSK!
 
~ Livia Blackburne (DAUGHTER OF DUSK, Disney-Hyperion)
 

 

 

Ready to see?

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Here it is!

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_daughterofdusk_updated_1-20-15.png

*** If you choose to share this image elsewhere, please include a courtesy link back to this page so others can enter Livia's giveaway. Thank you! ***

 

DAUGHTER OF DUSK

by Livia Blackburne
Release date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
ISBN-13: 978-1484722084
 
 
About the Book
After learning the truth about her bloodlines, Kyra can’t help but feel like a monster.

Though she’s formed a tentative alliance with the Palace, Kyra must keep her identity a secret or risk being hunted like the rest of her Demon Rider kin. Tristam and the imprisoned assassin James are among the few who know about her heritage, but when Tristam reveals a heartbreaking secret of his own, Kyra’s not sure she can trust him. And with James’s fate in the hands of the palace, Kyra fears that he will give her away to save himself.

As tensions rise within Forge's Council, and vicious Demon Rider attacks continue in surrounding villages, Kyra knows she must do something to save her city. But she walks a dangerous line between opposing armies: will she be able to use her link to the Demon Riders for good, or will her Makvani blood prove to be deadly?

In this spellbinding sequel to Midnight Thief, Kyra and Tristam face their biggest battle yet as they grapple with changing allegiances, shocking deceit, and vengeful opponents.
 

b2ap3_thumbnail_LiviaBlackburne.jpgAbout the Author

Livia Blackburne wrote her first novel while researching the neuroscience of reading at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since then, she’s switched to full time writing, which also involves getting into people’s heads but without the help of a three tesla MRI scanner. Her novel MIDNIGHT THIEF debuted with Disney-Hyperion in July 2014, and its sequel DAUGHTER OF DUSK is due out in August 2015.
 

Twitter | Facebook | Web | Tumblr | Goodreads | Pinterest | Pre-order Amazon

 
 
 

Giveaway Details

One winner will receive a signed ARC of DAUGHTER OF DUSK (when available). 

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

What do you think about the cover and synopsis?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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15. SEVENTH SON - Drive Through Movie Review

*****No Spoilers*****

The Nerd Riders, Kristin and Clint, have been busy seeing all of the new YA-friendly movies that have come out in the last few days. 

Today they give their review of the new fantasy movie, SEVENTH SON, based on THE LAST APPRENTICE book series

QUESTION: If you could turn yourself into any animal, what animal would you choose to be? Why? 


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16. JUPITER ASCENDING - Drive Through Movie Review

****** NO SPOILERS******

The Nerd Riders, Kristin and Clint just saw a sneak peek of JUPITER ASCENDING and share their thoughts on the sci-fi flick. 

Question: If you could live on another planet would you?


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17. It's live!! Cover Reveal: A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis + Giveaway (US/Canada)

 

Hello, everyone! We have a special cover reveal coming to you early in the week! 

Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for A MADNESS SO DISCREET by Mindy McGinnis, releasing October 6, 2015 from Katherine Tegan Books. 

 

 

Ready to see?

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Here it is!

 

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*** If you choose to share this image elsewhere, please include a courtesy link back to this page so others can enter Mindy's giveaway. Thank you! ***

 

A MADNESS SO DISCREET

by Mindy McGinnis
Release date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
ISBN-13: 978-0062320865
 
 
About the Book
 
Grace Mae knows madness. She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.
 
When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.
 
In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of NOT A DROP TO DRINK and IN A HANDFUL OF DUST, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.
 
 

b2ap3_thumbnail_Amazon-Head-Shot.jpgAbout the Author

Mindy McGinnis is a YA author who has worked in a high school library for thirteen years. Her debut, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, a post-apocalyptic survival story set in a world with very little freshwater, has been optioned for film by Stephanie Meyer's Fickle Fish Films. The companion novel, IN A HANDFUL OF DUST was released in 2014. Look for her Gothic historical thriller, A MADNESS SO DISCREET in October of 2015 from Katherine Tegen Books. Mindy is represented by Adriann Ranta of Wolf Literary.
 

Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Goodreads | Pinterest | Newsletter | Pre-order Amazon

 
 
 

Giveaway Details

One winner will receive a signed ARC of A MADNESS SO DISCREET (when available). 

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

What actual location is the setting for this fictional novel? HINT: Check out Mindy's Pinterest board to figure out the answer!

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18. Giveaway: Firefight by Brandon Sanderson (US Only)

FIREFIGHT

Book 2 in The Reckoners Series

by Brandon Sanderson

Released on January 6th

 

ABOUT FIREFIGHT

Brandon Sanderson is back with a vengeance in FIREFIGHT, the follow up to the #1 New York Times bestselling Steelheart. In the book that Kirkus Reviews is calling a “rare middle volume that keeps the throttle open,” Sanderson takes readers on another a thrill ride and “presents a Marvel Comics-style mix of violently destructive battles, fabulous feats and ongoing inner wrestling over morality and identity.”

David Charleston still can’t believe it. Steelheart is dead, and he died by David’s own hand. Even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic, but the invincible has fallen and now Newcago is free. Despite attaining revenge for the murder of his father and living his dream as a team member of the most elite Reckoners cell, David finds he has more questions than ever before, and he won’t find the answers in his home city.

Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as Manhattan, could hold the key. Ruled by the mysterious and ambivalent High Epic Regalia, Babylon Restored is a place flooded with water and painted in neon, where the inhabitants spend most of their days lounging and nights partying. David can’t seem to understand the complacency of the city and its residents, but what he does understand is that being positioned here, risky as it may be, could lead him to the answers he so desperately seeks. Because there is an emptiness in him, one left behind after killing Steelheart, that was filled unexpectedly by Firefight, who is just plain Megan to him. And David will stop at nothing to find a way to understand Epics and bring her back to him. Hopefully for good this time.

The second book in the Reckoners series and follow up to the highly acclaimed Steelheart, which Publishers Weekly called “an absolute page-turner,” FIREFIGHT is filled with spine-tingling adventure and heart-racing action that promises to satisfy fans both new and old.

 

READ AN EXCERPT!

 

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PRAISE & ACCOLADES FOR STEELHEART


·         #1 New York Times Best seller

·         IRA Young Adults

·         ALA-YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults

·         ALA-YALSA Teens Top Ten

·         Amazon Best Book of the Year

« “Sanderson has written a riveting dystopian adventure novel . . . Snappy dialogue, bizarre plot twists, high intensity action, and a touch of mystery and romance; it’s a formula that sucks readers into the prologue, slings them through on tension-filled encounter after the other, and then . . . leaves them panting for the sequel.” —Booklist, starred

"Sanderson's whiz-bang imaginings, and a fully realized sense of danger (the brutal opening scene alone will hook many) make this an absolute page-turner." —Publishers Weekly

"Perfect for genre fans who love exciting adventure stories with surprising plot twists. Readers will be rooting for David." —School Library Journal

“Unfortunately for my ego, Steelheart is another win for Sanderson, proving that he’s not a brilliant writer of epic fantasy, he’s simply a brilliant writer. Period.”  —Patrick Rothfuss, author of the New York Times bestseller The Name of the Wind

“Fantastic! The suspense is relentless and the climax explosive, with a resolution that I’ll be thinking about for a long time.” —James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of the Maze Runner series

"A tense, fast-paced adventure. Br andon Sanderson is one of the best fantasy sci-fi writers working today.” —Christopher Paolini, author of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller Eragon

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_bs.jpgABOUT THE AUTHOR

BRANDON SANDERSON is the author of the internationally bestselling Mistborn trilogy. In 2007, he was chosen to complete Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series following the author’s death.&nb sp; The concluding book in that series, A Memory of Light, was released on January 8, 2013, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times Hardcover Fiction List., just as his two previous Wheel of Time books had done.  His work has been published in over 25 languages and his books have sold millions of copies worldwide. He lives and writes in Utah. Visit him at BrandonSanderson.com or connect with him on Twitter @BrandSanderson.

 

 

 

 

LEARN MORE

Visit the author online at his Website and Twitter.

When sharing on social, please use hashtags:

#Steelheart #Firefight

#ForgetNothing

 

GIVEAWAY
 

THREE winners will each win copies of Brandon Sanderson’s Steelheart and Firefight for an epic reading experience. US only.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30-60 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: What was Manhattan renamed as in the series?

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19. Giveaway: Utopia, Iowa by Brian Yansky (US/Canada)

 

Utopia, Iowa

by Brian Yansky

Releases: 2/10/15 from Candlewick

 

About the Book
 
Jack Bell has an unusual gift—or curse, depending on your point of view. And he’s not the only one. In Utopia, Iowa, anything can happen.
 
For the most part, aspiring screenwriter Jack Bell is just your typical Midwestern kid. He’s got a crush on his hot best friend, Ash. He’s coping with a sudden frostiness between his once crazy-in-love parents. He’s debating where to go to college next year—or whether to go at all. But then there’s his gift (or curse): Jack can see dead people, just like the kid in The Sixth Sense. Lately, the ghosts are more distracting than usual, demanding that Jack get to the bottom of their mysterious deaths—all while avoiding the straitlaced Detective Bloodsmith, who doesn’t believe in gifts or curses and can’t help wondering why Jack keeps turning up at crime scenes. Is there a happily-ever-after in Jack’s future, or is that only the stuff of movies?
 
 
b2ap3_thumbnail_Brian_Yanksy_portrait.jpgAbout the Author
 
Brian Yansky is the author of Alien Invasion and Other Inconveniences and its sequel, Homicidal Aliens and Other Disappointments, as well as Wonders of the World and My Road Trip to the Pretty Girl Capital of the World. He lives in Austin, Texas. You can find him on Twitter at @BrianYansky.
 
 
 
Giveaway Details
 

10 US/Canada winners will receive a hardcover copy of the book.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30-60 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

Name 5 movies mentioned in the chapter sampler https://www.scribd.com/doc/250251129/Utopia-Iowa-by-Brian-Yansky-Chapter-Sampler

 
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20. New! #YABCMailbox Book Haul ~ January 2015

 

Happy New Year, YABCers! 

Check out our latest haul, combined goodies from December and January. Sooooo many amazing releases in here! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and picture books!

 

 

 

 

 

What a haul, right? That's what happens when the holidays and traveling for three weeks collide. I come home to two book shelves full to show you. 

Here are a few of the book covers that really caught my eye this time around. The ones that made me take a second glance and flip through a few pages. 

Which ones caught your eye and why (out of the entire haul)?

Share in the comments some of your favorite book covers from this haul! And don't forget to let us know your favorites that you can't wait to read!

 

 

 

 

 


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21. It's live!! Cover Reveal: Trust Me, I'm Trouble by Mary Elizabeth Summer + Giveaway (International)

 

Hey, YABCers! Ready for the first cover reveal of 2015?

Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for TRUST ME, I'M TROUBLE by Mary Elizabeth Summer, releasing October 13, 2015 from Delacorte Press. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Mary Elizabeth:

 

Greetings again, YABC readers!!
 
It is my profound pleasure to be offering you a second cover reveal (and giveaway!), this time for the sequel in the Trust Me series, TRUST ME, I’M TROUBLE. This cover is pretty different from the cover I revealed last January, because the first book in the series (TRUST ME, I’M LYING) underwent a complete cover redesign just prior to release. 
 
But I love the new cover scheme for the series as much as I did the original. For one thing, the darker tones more accurately depict the noir nature of the story. Plus, the font is perfect for Julep—utterly lacking in frills and a little distressed around the edges. For those who have read the first book, I’m sure you’ll agree that the cover fits the story like a fingerprint-preventing glove.
 
In any case, I’m proud and excited to show off the cover for book two! It’s even more chilling than the last one. And if you look really close, the cover hints at the big con at the heart of the book…
 
You, me, and 63,
~ Mary Elizabeth Summer (TRUST ME, I’M TROUBLE, Delacorte Press)
 

 

 

Ready to see?

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Here it is!

 

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*** If you choose to share this image elsewhere, please include a courtesy link back to this page so others can enter Mary Elizabeth's giveaway. Thank you! ***

 

TRUST ME, I'M TROUBLE

by Mary Elizabeth Summer
Release date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
ISBN-13: 978-0-385-74414-0
 
 
About the Book
 
Staying out of trouble isn’t possible for Julep Dupree. She has managed not to get kicked out of her private school, even though everyone knows she’s responsible for taking a down a human trafficking mob boss—and getting one of their own killed in the process. Running cons holds her guilty conscience at bay, but unfortunately, someone wants Julep to pay for her mistakes…with her life.
 
Against her better judgment, Julep takes a shady case that requires her to infiltrate a secretive organization, one that may be connected to her long-gone mother and the enigmatic blue fairy. Her best friend, Sam, isn’t around to stop her, and Dani, her one true confidante, happens to be a nineteen-year-old mob enforcer whose moral compass is as questionable as Julep’s. But there’s not much time to worry about right and wrong—or to save your falling heart—when there’s a contract on your head.
 
Murders, heists, secrets and lies, hit men and hidden identities…if Julep doesn’t watch her back, it’s her funeral. No lie.
 
 

b2ap3_thumbnail_MESummer.jpgAbout the Author

Mary Elizabeth Summer contributes to the delinquency of minors by writing books about unruly teenagers with criminal tendencies. She has a BA in creative writing from Wells College, and her philosophy on life is “you can never go wrong with sriracha sauce.” She lives in Portland Oregon with her wife, their daughter, and their evil overlor—er, cat. TRUST ME, I’M LYING, her debut novel, is available now. The sequel, TRUST ME, I’M TROUBLE is coming out October 2015.
 

Twitter | Facebook | Web | Tumblr | Goodreads | Pinterest

 
 
 

Giveaway Details

Two winners will each receive a signed ARC of TRUST ME, I'M TROUBLE and a signed copy of TRUST ME, I'M LYING. 

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

What do you think about the cover and synopsis?

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22. GIVEAWAY: AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir

 
An Ember in The Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Release Date:  April 28, 2015  from Razorbill
 
 
About the Book
 
Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.
 
ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier— and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.
 
When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

 

Read an Excerpt

An Ember in the Ashes is the debut novel of former Washington Post foreign news desk editor Sabaa Tahir, and we’re not the only ones stoked about its gut-wrenching story of two young fighters, struggling to survive on opposite sides of a brutal war. Paramount has already snapped up movie rights, with two big-deal producers (Haroon Saleem and “Chronicles of Narnia”'s Mark Johnson) planning to adapt the novel for film.

 
MTV News has a sneak peak up right now! 
 
 
Plus, there's a fun giveaway!
 
 
 
 
Giveaway Details
Five winners will be chosen and they will receive a signed galley and a T-Shirt. 
 
Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


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23. Winner's Announced! 2014 YABC Choice Awards

 

First of all, thank you SO MUCH for casting your votes in the 2014 YABC Choice Awards! Be sure to click on the books or author photos below to find out more about the winning book or the other books by that author. 

Here are your 2014 YABC Choice Awards winners!

 

 

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Runner Up:

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Runner Up:

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Runner Up:

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Runners Up:

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Shannon Messenger and Claire Legrand

 

 

 

 

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Runners Up:

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Runners Up:

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Runners Up:

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Runners Up:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_teendyst.jpg  b2ap3_thumbnail_13188676.jpg

 

Runners Up:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_teenhumor.jpg b2ap3_thumbnail_18621882.jpg

 

Runners Up:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_teenhist.jpg  b2ap3_thumbnail_12396528.jpg

 

Runners Up:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_teenhorror.jpg   b2ap3_thumbnail_18296030.jpg

 

Runners Up:

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Runners Up:

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Sarah J. Maas and Marissa Meyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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24. Gayle Forman I WAS HERE Event Recap, Interview + Giveaway! #IWasHere

 

When I was introduced to Gayle Forman, I stuck out my hand for a handshake but she gave me a high five instead. In retrospect, that feels like a good way to sum up the entire Nashville leg of her I Was Here Tour, with special guests Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray, Out of the EasyCourtney C. Stevens (Faking Normal), and David Arnold (Mosquitoland).

Gayle Forman is the international bestselling author of If I Stay, Where She Went, Just One Day, and Just One YearFor her latest novel, I Was Here (read my review here), a story about friendship and loss and healing, Gayle decided to turn her book tour into a Friendship Tour, inviting other authors to join her at each tour stop and use the events to discuss community and the importance of relationships (along with books, of course.) 

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The Nashville leg of the tour already promised to be excellent. Courtney, David, and Ruta are all close friends with excellent books (Mosquitoland has not yet hit shelves, but when it does, trust me, it's a keeper), and the Nashville writing community excels at showing up and celebrating book events. So when this tour stop was announced, everyone circling the date on their calendars already knew it would be something special.

But I'm not sure anyone fully anticipated the giant crowd that showed up, packing Parnassus Books from wall to wall. I'm not sure anyone expected the unintentional hilarity of a dramatic live reading of a passage from I Was Here, starring Gayle as the narrator, David as Cody, Ruta as Ben, and Courtney as Stoner Richard. I'm not sure anyone was prepared for the amount of admiration and support and wisdom that came from hearing the four authors speak about community and and inspiration striving for greatness.

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The whole night was a handshake that turned into a high five. 

After watching and laughing as Gayle, Ruta, David, and Courtney reenacted a scene from I Was Here, the panel settled in to talk about why they were here, writing books for teens. Gayle believes friendship is a major theme in I Was Here, and also a big benefit of being part of the YA community. Everyone agreed, with David adding that he comes from the music industry, which he described as a "zero sum game," and that the YA community was refreshing as it is more about building each other up.

The panel talked a bit about jealousy of other writers and their work. Gayle doesn't believe it's necessarily a bad thing, saying "Jealousy is the emotion that tells me that someone did something truly wonderful." Courtney wasn't sure that jealousy was the right term, but did agree that her natural competitive nature thrives when she is surrounded by people she considers her betters, because it forces her to raise her game. 

 

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They also discussed their writing processes, which vary from Ruta claiming she is a "bender writer" to Gayle sneaking in work on I Was Here while writing two other books, to Courtney isolating herself to finish a book and David writing in stolen moments at home while being a full time stay-at-home dad to his infant son.

An audience member asked for their best advice for aspiring writers, and the panel gave solid, pracitcal advice. Gayle urged writers to practice, practice, practice. "If you wanted to be a professional ice dancer, you wouldn't just walk onto the ice and assume you could do it. Writing is no different." She also encouraged writers to read widely, which the panel vehemently agreed with.

Ruta's advice was to find people you trust, let them read your work, and learn to take critique. Courtney told us to not be afraid to write it wrong (she admitted she had thrown away 2,000 pages of her upcoming novel, The Lies About Truth) and not to submit to agents or editors until it's the best book you can possibly make it. And David agreed, adding that while you have to take the time to make it right, you must find a sense of urgency in your writing.

Afterward, they discussed favorite childhood books, which ran the gamut from Beverly Cleary to the Chronicles of Narnia to Jackie Collins to Jurassic Park and Catcher in the Rye. Ruta Sepetys wound up passionately summarizing the plot of Ethan Frome, which I'm pretty sure no one saw coming. Then it was time for the signing, where all four authors interacted with excited fans, giving photos and hugs and encouragement for well over an hour. 

It was an amazing night, an uplifting night, and I was so grateful to be there, and to be part of the Nashville writing community. 

Before the event, I was given the opportunity to interview Gayle, and I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I did. There are some very minor spoilers in some of her answers, but nothing that will diminish the experience of reading I Was Here. (You can find my review for the book, which I loved, here.)

LT:  You’ve written that your inspiration for Meg was a real girl named Suzy Gonzales. Did you feel an obligation to Suzy while you were writing I WAS HERE? How did Suzy’s true story influence Meg’s fictional one?

GF:  You know, her true story was the thing that got me thinking about Meg, and Meg was what led me to Cody. It’s Cody’s story, so it really is about the fictional character. In terms of the responsibility I felt, it was a weird thing, because you’re using a character who’s based on a real live person and who’s not around anymore so there’s a huge amount of sympathy for this character. I don’t want people to be like, what a coward, or what a hero.  I want to see her as human. And when it was done and when I went to Suzy’s parents and I said, “I wrote this book, it’s up to you. I can completely disguise it so only a handful of people would ever recognize her and never mention her in connection, but what I would prefer to do is to dedicate the book to her and to talk about the link in the Author’s Note and talk about the work that you’ve done.” It was a little terrifying when they read the book, but they were really happy with it.

LT:  In I WAS HERE, Meg has a lot of people who love her, but they all miss the signs that she needed help. What would you say to the kids out there who feel like Meg?

GF:  The sad thing about Meg is that not everybody did miss the signs. Her parents knew what was going on and they thought that they were helping her and Tree certainly knew what was going on. And Cody just didn’t want to see what was going on right in front of her face, for a variety of reasons. She was too invested in Meg being the Meg that she knew. But what I want the takeaway to be is, if you are feeling these things that Meg is feeling, there is no difference between a mental disorder and a physical disorder. They both have a biochemical cause. There is tons of research about mental illness and the various brain chemistry, the causes of it. They also both create a physical manifestation. A lot of depression symptoms are physical. So this idea that if you came down with one, that of course you go to the doctor and you get treated, but the other one, you don’t and you hide it from people and you’re ashamed of it, that’s the thing. It’s like, you have this thing going on with you because there’s something going wrong with your body through no fault of yours. It’s not a weakness, it’s not a craziness. So anybody in that situation, that is a thing that I want them to see, is like, it’s no different than if you got pneumonia. You would seek help for it and you would take the proper medication that professionals told you to take. And if the first drug didn’t work, you would take another one until something helped. So that’s what I hope people who are suffering take from this.

LT:  One of the things I loved about I WAS HERE was the attention to detail, from the Seattle music scene to Meg’s quirky assortment of housemates to the Final Solution boards. What sort of research did you do to write the book, and what touches do you think are most important in a story to make the world feel authentic?

GF:  I know the Pacific Northwest pretty well. I’ve never set a book in the eastern part of it, but I knew it well enough, and I haven’t spent as much time in Eastern Oregon and Washington, but the time I had spent really kind of imprinted on me because it’s so physically beautiful, but there’s something about a lot of those towns that feel like a dead end. So that just kind of are the small details that I remember and that come out. In terms of the research, I guess it was more creating the [Final Solutions suicide] boards, and creating the world of Cody, too. A lot happened in revision with her interactions with people, like whether it was the guy, Troy, who asks her out and what that means for her, or just her interactions in this kind of confined small town with the girl who’s the daughter of one of the women she cleans for. All of that, it’s very easy once you start thinking about it to really imagine the people. So I think it’s really that kind of thing rather than a physical detail that helps to give you a sense of where she is and why she wants to get out.

LT:  Lots of YA novels tend to shy away from giving parents much time on the page, but family tends to play a significant role in your novels. I WAS HERE is no exception, with the Garcias and then Cody’s mother Tricia. Is it important to you to always include parents and family in your stories, and what role do you feel parents should play in YA storytelling?

GF:  I think that’s up to every writer. Perhaps because I was a parent when I first started writing YA, I’m too narcissistic to take myself out of the story. And also, I think that parents are hugely important in teenagers’ lives. You might hate them or you might have a very conflicted relationship with them, but they’re major forces in your life. So to leave them out, I don’t ever do that. I think that they’re a huge part of the story. And yes, you have to find ways to allow your characters to do things on their own. In JUST ONE DAY, she had a very hovering parent, so it was about putting her in a context where she was away from her parents so she could further pull away, but I just can’t imagine writing books without parents.

LT:  Even though we never meet Meg in I WAS HERE, her friendship with Cody was one of the central relationships of the book. How did you approach writing a relationship that exists entirely in Cody’s memory, and how important do you think the themes of friendship and forgiveness are to I WAS HERE?

GF:  I think those are the themes. When I first wrote a draft of I WAS HERE, I almost thought it was a flaw how everything Cody thought about was Meg. I was like, get a life! But then I kind of realized, that was one of her issues was that, like a lot of really close relationships, they were very codependent. And that kind of gets a bad rap, I think, like, marriages are codependent. It just means you’re very intertwined. And she had seen Meg through such rose-colored glasses, because Meg was spectacular and special, that [Cody had] kind of assumed that anything that was special from her was just by reflected glory, especially when Meg went away and Cody kind of was left with just the flatness of her life. So I realized then that there was a reason I kept referring to this, because the friendship was the most important relationship in her life, and I’m starting to tell people that there is a love story in this book, and it is not Cody and Ben. I mean, they are definitely a love story. But the central love story is kind of under it all – and it makes sense, because for me, the great heartbreaks of my life all involve my female friends who broke my heart.

LT:  There’s an expression, “Your perception creates your reality.” How did Cody’s perception of Meg create her reality?

GF:  That’s sort of like my fake it ‘til you make it. Well you know, [Cody] idealized [Meg] in part because Meg was a really good friend to her and somebody who made her feel good about herself and also she saw Meg as doing all this great stuff. I don’t think Meg ever tried to pull Cody down, but she created this larger than life Meg, and then, as we do, it’s too painful sometimes to look at a full, nuanced person, because it challenges too many things. And so she couldn’t see Meg for who she was. She also couldn’t see herself for who she was. She sees Meg as perfect and she has sort of written herself off as this lousy piece of stupid white trash, and she’s anything but.

LT:  How did being inside a story about loss, trauma, and healing manifest (if at all) in your life while writing the story?

GF:  It’s funny because I wrote – I call this book my ‘affair book,’ because I worked on it while I was writing JUST ONE DAY and JUST ONE YEAR. And so it was actually an incredibly satisfying character to write in the midst of writing Allyson and Willem, who are so waffling that I wanted to drown them in a bathtub by the time I was done writing those books. So there was something about her and the immediacy of her anger that even though it’s dark, I found that great. The thing that was hard to write were the Bradford scenes. So for the first couple drafts, I just kind of skipped over that with the barest of interactions, and then slowly I deepened those and deepened those, because he had to have something about him that actually felt real and reasonable. If he was just a kook, you could write him off, but there’s something twisted about him that makes sense. That’s the trick. He’s my first villain!

LT:  What do you believe makes a great story? How did you employ this when you were writing I WAS HERE?

GF:  I don’t know what makes a great story. I just know when I’m writing it, if my fingers are [typing rapidly] or if I’m super – even if it’s not coming out that fast, but if I’m thinking about it and I’m kind of feeling as immersed in a story as I am when I’m reading it, then I’m onto something.

LT:  Will you share a little about your writing process? How much time you invest in revisions, and what the biggest distractions are for you?

GF:  My writing process is sort of different now, because since the [If I Stay] movie, there’s been so many different things going on, but generally when I’m drafting, I do try to – I get my kids off to school, and if I have nothing else going on that day, not going swimming that morning because I’m trying to get in shape or volunteering at my kids’ school – I’ll go straight to work. And then I’ll try to work straight through until 3 or 5. And I tinker as I go, so I always kind of back up and go over things. So by the time I have a complete draft, it’s definitely not raw. And then I revise and revise and revise before I ever show it to somebody. And then I think a lot of the best work always happens in revision, because even if something comes out relatively intact, that just means you can do deeper work and go more nuanced in revision. I mean, it varies. Certain books, IF I STAY and I WAS HERE both, the first drafts came very quickly, though I wrote I WAS HERE in two sections, so I would say like two months while I was working on JUST ONE DAY, two months while I was working on JUST ONE YEAR, and then I’d spend a lot, maybe on and off for a year revising it.

LT:  What are you currently working on?

GF:  I am currently working on three different things, because the affair thing from I WAS HERE, I think it taught me something, that working on different things at the same time can revitalize your energy from one toward the other. So you can get really sucked into one and just charge through it until you’re at the bottom of the barrel, and then you pivot around and you start on something else and you realize that while you were working on the other thing, that barrel has refilled. The spring has fed itself. So I’m working on a middle grade now, and I’m working on an adult, and I’m working on a historical.

LT:  Is there anything that you know now from writing I WAS HERE, or JUST ONE DAY or JUST ONE YEAR, that you would have liked to have known back when you were writing IF I STAY?

GF:  I think one thing that’s interesting is less about the writing and more about the publishing side of it, which is that different books are going to resonate with different fans. So it’s always really nice when a fan comes up to me and says, “JUST ONE DAY is my favorite.” IF I STAY is so overwhelmingly the most popular book in terms of what was sold, but I love when people say, “I didn’t think I wanted to read WHERE SHE WENT, and it’s my favorite.” So you understand that if you’re going to have a long career, there’s going to be different books, and I don’t want to write the same book. So different books are going to touch people differently, and that’s great. They’re not all going to do the same thing. There’s going to be peaks and valleys. But one book is always going to be someone’s favorite book.

LT:  Is there anything I didn’t ask that I should have?

GF:  You can say, “Why are you so fixated on writing about death?” And I can give you my answer, which is, “I’m actually not.” I think it’s pretty common for authors to use – Picasso has a quote that I’m going to mangle, but I love it, and it’s from every act of destruction comes an act of creation. [“Every act of creation is first an act of destruction."] And it’s the same when you’re writing a story. For there to be a big transformation, something huge has to happen. And so a lot of time – not always, but it’s an act of destruction. And for me, writing about characters who don’t think that they can handle something and then finding the strength that they can handle it and rising to the occasion is so incredibly hopeful, as a writer and as a reader. So I’m always – people say things like that, and I know you didn’t, but preempting it – I think, I’m not writing about death; I’m writing about life.

Cody and Meg were inseparable...

Until they weren’t.
 
When her best friend, Meg, drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, and some secrets of his own. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.
 
"I Was Here is a pitch-perfect blend of mystery, tragedy, and romance. Gayle Forman has given us an unflinchingly honest portrait of the bravery that it takes to live after devastating loss."
Stephen Chbosky, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Perks of Being a Wallflower

 

 

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Create your own I Was Here moment! Head over to http://iwasherebook.com/ to check it out and share with the world. 

 

 

Giveaway Details

Gayle's publisher, Viking Penguin, is hosting a giveaway! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win a hardcover edition of I Was Here

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends. 

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25. PROJECT ALMANAC - Drive Through Movie Review

The Nerd Riders, Kristin and Clint, are at it again with their review of the new time travel movie PROJECT ALMANAC. 

If you could time travel, where would you go? 

Did you see PROJECT ALMANAC? Do you agree or disagree with the Nerd Riders?

 

 


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