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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Gayle Forman, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Book Spotlight: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

The Lil’ Diva wanted to read this one so badly, the librarian sped up getting their copy into the system so that she could borrow it. Have any of you read it?

stayJust listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition (April 6, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 014241543X
ISBN-13: 978-0142415436

 

For interesting facts about the author, visit her website at http://gayleforman.com/


2 Comments on Book Spotlight: If I Stay by Gayle Forman, last added: 9/8/2014
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2. Anthony Lane on Young Adult Fiction: a generalized and generally disturbing definition of the form

Generalized definitions of anything—or anyone—are provocative, sure. They get the readers' ire up. Which is to say they attract more readers. I am sure that Anthony Lane of The New Yorker (a terrific if mostly acerbic reviewer) knows that YA fiction comes in many hues and forms and flavors, and that it is fed by many ideals and many wild imaginations, many time periods, many themes, and a full array of characters and landscapes.

But here, in Lane's review of the movie "If I Stay," based on the Gayle Forman novel, he issues a standardizing decree.
Young-adult fiction: what a peculiar product it is, sold and consumed as avidly as the misery memoir and the self-help book, and borrowing sneakily from both. One can see the gap in the market. What are literate kids meant to do with themselves, or with their itchy brains, as they wander the no man's land between Narnia and Philip Roth? The ideal protagonist of the genre is at once victimized and possessed of decisive power—someone like Mia, the heroine of Gayle Forman's "If I Stay," which has clung grimly to the Times best-seller list, on and off, for twenty weeks. And the ideal subject is death, or, as we should probably call it, the big sleepover.
Oh, the blogs/articles/talks that will erupt from this. Oh. Or? Perhaps we who write young adult fiction that is not part misery memoir and not self-help book, not, indeed, any single one thing, grow weary of the castigating, the easy sarcasm, the sneak and overt attacks?

Let others stomp their feet and say what they will. We've got work to do.



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3. ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Leads the iBooks Bestsellers List

Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James is leading Apple’s Top Paid iBooks in the U.S. this week at No. 1.

Apple has released its top selling books list for paid books from iBooks in the U.S. for week ending 7/28/14. If I Stay by Gayle Forman also made the list this week.

We’ve included Apple’s entire list after the jump. (more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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4. Review: Where She Went

Where She Went by Gayle Forman. Dutton Books, 2011. Review copy from publisher.

The Plot: Sequel to If I Stay.

So, um, spoilers for If I Stay.

Three years ago, Adam's girlfriend, Mia, was in a terrible accident.

And now? It's been years since they've seen each other. Mia left for college, and moved on with her life. Adam eventually did the same. Now, they are both successes, he a rock star with an actress girlfriend while Mia is a rising cellist. They haven't spoken to each other in years.

And then they meet. Almost strangers.

The Good: If I Stay was told from Mia's point of view, in a place between life and death, as she struggled with the question of whether or not to stay with the living, despite the tremendous loss of her family in a car accident.

I loved If I Stay: I cried, cried about how perfect and flawed Mia's family was, cried at the decision she had to make, cried at her choice to go on, alone. I picked up Where She Went expecting it to pick up Mia's story and to find out about what happened when she woke up.

Where She Went was not what I thought it would be, but instead was what I needed it to be.

It is Adam's story, after three years have passed. To my shock, Adam and Mia have broken up. And as I read and found out more, it clicked, what Where She Went was about:

Grief. And living with loss. And rebuilding. And those things, those are terrible, horrible, the world has ended moments. Just because Mia chose to go on, didn't mean that she woke up and was the same person. It didn't mean that it was somehow easy to know how to navigate having no mother, no father, no brother. And just because Adam and Mia were everything to each other, it didn't mean that they were, at that moment, the best thing for each other.

So Mia walked away from Adam, because her grief and loss were hers. And if I had to place a bet onto why this is three years later, and why it's not by Mia, my bet would be that what Mia went through was too raw and awful and confusing. Where She Went is a punch in the stomach, and had it not been told when and how it was, it would have been even more overwhelming. Instead of being hard to read, it would have been impossible to read.

With Where She Went being Adam's story, the reader can also see and experience and appreciate Adam's own loss. No, it's not the same as Mia's, but it is a loss. He loved her family, he loved Mia, and then he was left without that and without knowing who he was without her.

Sometimes people are meant to be together, but that does not mean they are meant to be together always. Or forever. And I'm glad that not only does Where She Went explore that, but it also gives two people a second chance. They needed to be apart. But can they come together, again?

In many ways, I liked this book better than If I Stay. So, yes, a Favorite Book Read in 2014.


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© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

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5. Best Selling Young Adult Books | August 2014

The latest book from non-fiction queen Candace Fleming is The Children's Book Review's number one best selling young adult book.

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6. Best Selling Young Adult Books | September 2014

If you're looking for a novel that will linger with you for days, The Children's Book Review's number one best selling young adult book is Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira. Our hand selected titles from the nationwide best selling young adult books, as listed by The New York Times, features titles by super-talents John Green, Ransom Riggs, and Markus Zusak.

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7. Book Review: Just One Day, Gayle Forman


Reading Level:Young Adult

Format:

ARC from Publisher
Publisher:Dutton 1/8/13

Ratings:

4


I received this book from Penguin a few months back, and honestly forgot about it. But then I saw last week that there was going to be a readathon, so I finished up what I was reading and picked this up. I'm a big fan of Gayle's and was really excited to read it. Her If I Stay & Where She Went are probably two of the best contemporary young adult romance books out there. If you haven't read them, well get to it.

One thing that intrigued me about this book was the idea of falling in love with someone in a day. Love at first sight. Does it happen? Is it ridiculous to say you love someone when you really don't know them? Well Allyson finds out when she meets a Dutch actor in London who is performing with an underground Shakespeare group. He's a mystery and Allyson is smitten. What surprises Allyson and her friend, is that she's willing to travel to Paris with Willem on a whim. 

As they make their way around Paris, Allyson (who Willem calls Lulu), she finds out that Willem is more complex than originally thought. He knows people, mostly women, that he's been intimate with, but is off on his own. He's an enigma. As each person break through the tough skin of walls, they both become entranced with each other. Until it culminates in making love in an abandoned warehouse. When Lulu wakes up the next morning, Willem is gone and her world crashes around her.

Once back stateside, and a freshman in college, Allyson struggles. She struggles to understand why Willem would leave her with no note. Struggles to appease her parents who try to rule her life with an iron fist. And most importantly she struggles in college. But depression hits, she loses her best friend to NYC and that life. Her friend at college may or may not be a fantastic actor who can be anyone he wants to be. A real-life chameleon. 

However, Allyson can't let Willem out of her head. She gets a job to earn enough money to find out where Willem is and what happened that one day. As she gets closer to the truth, she realizes that everything may not be as it seems and perhaps, his leaving wasn't something that he wanted. 

A beautiful story of want and longing and first love and hopes and dreams. Doing what is right for you and following your own path.

I literally inhaled this book because I really had no clue where it was going. But once I got there, it was marvelous.

There will be a companion piece to this one, Just One Year, which will tell us Willem's side of the story. And the way that Just One Day ended, I cannot wait! I've read that it's June sometime. Highly recommend for fans of Forman, Dessen, Eckeles and Echols.

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8. Upcoming Event: Gayle Forman at Burbank Library


Just a quick post to let everyone know that Gayle Forman (Just One Day, If I Stay) will be reading and signing at Burbank Library Buena Vista this coming Monday April 22. Sorry for the short notice but I had no idea this was even happening until late last week when I popped into the library to return a few things. Luckily I saw the flier at the checkout desk. Details below.


Gayle Forman
Monday April 22, 2013
7:00PM
Buena Vista Branch Library 
300 N Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA 
818.238.5620

I actually haven't read any of Gayle's books yet (for shame, I know) but I may stop by. I literally drive by this library to and from work. There will be books available for purchase as well. If you live nearby, definitely come check it out. I love this library and I hear great things about Gayle. Carry on with your weekend!






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9. Uncovered (5): If I Stay


Hello! Welcome to Uncovered, a weekly cover love post that I usually do on our adult book blog, Nite Lite Book Reviews. I cross post it here if I feature a YA book so that you guys can chime in as well. Let's see what we have this week.

Today on Uncovered, I have an older cover. I had the pleasure of seeing Gayle Forman speak at my local library this week and it reminded me of this awesome cover to If I Stay. Now this is the original hardcover. The paperback edition is very different matches the cover to the sequel, Where She Went. While I like the new paperback cover, I like this one more. There's just something about it. It's so simply and pretty. It doesn't look like your typical YA novel and it stands out on the shelves. There's something lonely looking about it with the single flower, but it's also very beautiful and serene.

That's my pick for this week. Has everyone but me read this book already? I plan to get to it soon, I swear!



4 Comments on Uncovered (5): If I Stay, last added: 4/26/2013
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10. "War whoop" in Gayle Forman's IF I STAY

One of the big names right now is Gayle Forman. Her book, If I Stay, is big and gonna be a movie, too. So--I figured I ought to take a look at the book. I opened the preview at Amazon and read the first page. I stopped reading...

The book opens on the morning of a snowfall. Not a lot of snow, but enough that school is cancelled (p. 3):

"My little brother, Teddy, lets out a war whoop when Mom's AM radio announces the closures."
Really? Did Teddy run around the house going woo-woo-woo by patting his hand over his mouth as he said "woooo"?!

"War whoop" is one of those phrases that yank me out of the story an author is telling.

If you look up "war whoop" you'll see that it is defined as being specific to Native people, but you probably already knew that, right? That is, if you even noticed that phrase as you read it (assuming you read Forman's book).

It isn't an innocuous expression. Subtly it affirms stereotypes people carry around. You know what I'm talking about.. The idea that Native people were warlike, barbaric, and savage. Another phrase like that? "On the warpath."

The truth? Native people were fighting to defend our homelands and to protect our women and children. You know damn well that you'd fight, too, and you'd definitely be yelling.

Gayle Forman did not have to use "war whoop" to describe the exuberance her character felt. Nothing is lost if she'd just said "My little brother, Teddy, shouts with glee when Mom's AM radio announces the closures."

Given that her book is going to be on the big screen---what will we see when that scene is turned into a script? Goodness! I hope Teddy doesn't emerge from his bedroom in a headdress. If you're reading this, Gayle, maybe you can make sure THAT doesn't happen.

For now, I'm not getting her book, and this post will be added to AICL's "All you do is complain" page.



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11. Best Selling Young Adult Books | June 2014

If I stay by Gayle Forman has been added to our best selling young adult books for this month. The rest of the titles have remained the same, proving just how these titles truly are popular books for teens (and many adults, too).

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12. Best Selling Young Adult Books | July 2014

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart has been added to our best selling young adult books for this month. The rest of the titles have remained the same, proving just how these titles truly are popular books for teens (and many adults, too).

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13. Veronica Roth, Edan Lepucki, & Gayle Forman Debut on the Indie Bestseller List

We’ve collected the books debuting on Indiebound’s Indie Bestseller List for the week ending July 13, 2014–a sneak peek at the books everybody will be talking about next month.

(Debuted at #1 in Children’s Fiction Series) Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth: “Readers first encountered Tobias as “Four” in Divergent. His voice is an integral part of Allegiant. Readers will find more of this charismatic character’s backstory told from his own perspective in Four: A Divergent Collection. When read together, these long narrative pieces illuminate the defining moments in Tobias’s life. The first three pieces in this volume—”The Transfer,” “The Initiate,” and “The Son”—follow Tobias’s transfer from Abnegation to Dauntless, his Dauntless initiation, and the first clues that a foul plan is brewing in the leadership of two factions. The fourth story, “The Traitor,” runs parallel with the events of Divergent, giving readers a glimpse into the decisions of loyalty—and love—that Tobias makes in the weeks after he meets Tris Prior.” (July 2014)

(more…)

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14. Review: If I Stay

If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Dutton, a member of Penguin 2009; SPEAK, imprint of Penguin 2010. Review copy from publisher.

The Plot: Mia is in a coma.

There was a car accident.

She can see what is happening around her, but she cannot interact. She is not dead but she is not alive.

Her family is dead.

It's all her choice, whether to stay with the living. But what will her life be like, if her family is gone?

The Good: Confession: I did not read this when it first came out, in 2009. I skipped to the end of the book to find out her choice, then read other things.

Then I saw the trailer. And Chloe Grace Moretz's performance as Mia. And just from the trailer, I cried more than I cried in The Fault in Our Stars. Even though I have a pretty firm rule to not read books before movies, I broke the rule. In part because the trailer already seduced me into wanting to see the film version, and in part because even though that "read the end" moment had told me the ending, I wanted to know more about Mia and how how she got to that moment.

Looking for a book to make you cry buckets? Then this is the book for you. Yes, from the start you know there's been a car accident and her family is dead. You'd think that would mean, no tears because you already know the worst. So, why cry? Because If I Stay proceeds to flashback to Mia's family and OHMYGOD I love her parents. I want them to be MY parents. Mia is a teen who had a great, supportive family. Page after page just shows you the depth of what she has lost.

Page after page of If I Stay is also showing the depth of what Mia has to keep going: her best friend, her boyfriend, her music, her other family members. Her boyfriend! Adam, like Mia, is a musician, but entirely different music so that music isn't necessarily something they share. What they do share is respect and love and fun, and wow, Adam. I just loved him.

Seriously, Mia before the accident had a great life.

Reinvention and starting over is often the subject of novels, and there is something curiously appealing about suddenly having a clean slate. Typically, though, this is a fairly positive process in that it's a character's choice and what they are leaving is a place and people that they can return to. Vacations, holidays, changes in mind, all that means that what is left isn't really gone.

Mia is faced with a choice: does go back to a world where her life and the people in it will always be "behind" her? She was worried about the impact and changes leaving for college was going to be, and suddenly she has to face a life where those she thought she was leaving have left her.

Mia's going to be facing a life where no one shares her childhood memories. Or family jokes. Without the love and support of her parents.

Is that a life she wants? Is what she has left enough reason to stay?

I LOVED this book. Love, love, love. Who cares if its a 2009 title? It's a Favorite Book Read in 2014. Also -- I can't wait for the movie.



Amazon Affiliate. If you click from here to Amazon and buy something, I receive a percentage of the purchase price.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

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15. Odds and Bookends: November 13

Inculcating a Love for Reading
The Wall Street Journal suggests children’s books that might help repel the armies of electronic distraction.

“Leave a Mark” online auction – If I Stay by Gayle Forman
The latest offering in the “Leave a Mark” auctions benefiting First Book is a marked-up copy of Gayle Forman’s If I Stay. Bids are accepted online through 11:59 PM ET on Sunday, November 15 – cast your bid today!

Unlikely Word Origins Defined In Anonyponymous
How many words do you know that are named after real people? These words, called eponyms, fill a new book called Anonyponymous: The Forgotten People Behind Everyday Words. Read and listen to the review at NPR.org.

Q&A: ‘Literarian’ Dave Eggers talks about the writing life
Read the interview with Dave Eggers, best-known for his memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, who will be honored November 18 at the National Book Awards.

Gift Books 2009, Part 1
Looking for great gift books for the  holidays? Shelf Awareness shares book suggestions on topics including: secrets of mysterious lives, travel books for the adventurous and Obamamania.

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16. What’s Hot in May, 2010? Author Events, Best Selling Kids’ Books, and More …

Here’s the scoop on May's most popular destinations on The Children’s Book Review site, the most coveted new releases, the bestsellers, and kids’ book events.

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17. In the blogosphere: Gayle Forman, What is YA, Exactly?

http://www.bibliochic.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/ifistay.jpg

Hey rgz,

Don't miss the awesome post "What is YA, Exactly?" over at Gayle Forman's blog. It's spot on, and I have to say I was raising my fist in agreement. She blows away Suite 101's definition. Clearly.

So here's a quote from her essay:

"Lev Grossman said it best in a Wall Street Journal article on why adults are reading YA novels. They have plot. To some literary snobs, this is like saying they have poo on their shoes, but Grossman meant it as a compliment. YA novelists don’t usually spend paragraphs upon paragraphs gratuitously describing scenery or the contents of a refrigerator or backstory that doesn’t matter. Plots are streamlined. If something doesn’t push the story forward or illuminate a character detail, it’s gone."

Go check it out, and let her and us know what YA is to YOU!

My website

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18. What’s Hot in July, 2010? Author Events, Best Selling Kids’ Books, and More …

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: July 1, 2010

Here’s the scoop on the most popular destinations on The Children’s Book Review site, the most coveted new releases, the bestsellers, and kids’ book events.

THE HOT SPOTS: THE TRENDS

2010 Children’s Choice Book Awards Nominees

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham

2010 Children’s Choice Book Awards Winners

Book Giveaways

Summer Reading Suggestions: Random House Children’s Books

THE NEW RELEASES

The most coveted books that release this month:

by Maggie Stiefvater

(Young Adult)

How to Train Your Dragon Book 7: How to Ride a Dragon's Storm  (Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III)How to Train Your Dragon Book 7:…

by Cressida Cowell

(Ages 8-12)

Pinkalicious: Tickled Pink Pinkalicious: Tickled Pink
by Victoria Kann

(Ages 4-8)

THE BEST SELLERS

The best selling children’s books this month:

PICTURE BOOKS

Ladybug GirlLadybug Girl at the Beach

by Jacky Davis, David Soman

(Ages 3-7)

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19. If I Stay

If I StayIf I Stay Gayle Forman

I'm not sure why this gets recommended to/compared to Twilight so much. This is so much better-- the writing is better, the characters are more developed, the girls are strong and the guys aren't jackasses, also, no vampires. But, whatever.

One day, Mia and her family are driving to visit family friends when there's a horrific car crash. Mia's parents are instantly killed and Mia is med-evaced to the hospital, where doctors try to save her. Mia's spirit is outside her body, trying to decide if she should stay, or join her family in death. As she lies in a coma, she flashes back to parts of her life-- her parents, her brother, her extended family and large group of family friends, her best friend and her boyfriend.

Mia's a classical cellist on her way to Julliard, her parents are former punk rockers, and her boyfriend's band is starting to take off. In many, many ways, this is a novel about music-- about people who live music, and the role music plays in our lives. I also loved the conflict in Mia's relationship with Adam-- if she got in (and she was probably going to get in) she would be moving from the Pacific Northwest to New York for Julliard. Adam's band was starting to take off-- he had to stay in the Seattle area and it wasn't easy. Neither wanted to break up, but neither wanted to give up their dreams, and were wary of a long-distance relationship, which put strain on things. I love the fact that while Mia was very troubled by it and obviously loved Adam in a more mature way than a lot of high school loves, she never seriously considered choosing him over Julliard. I also liked the conflict between Mia's classical style and Adam's rocker sensibilities-- she has a hard time connecting with Adam's rock friends at concerts and such and it is a source of tension.

On the other hand, this has the greatest (and hottest, and most emotionally intense) scene of love-making ever. And they don't even have sex and it's not really graphic. But... damn.*

I also love the role her family and the family friends play in this novel. I have an excellent relationship with my parents, and it was good when I was in high school, too. My sister and I are close. My parents also have a strong group of friends that I grew up surrounded by and while they aren't all former punk-rockers, most of them are folk musicians. So much of it mirrored my own upbringing in a way we so rarely see in teen literature.

I never skip to the end of the book. NEVER EVER EVER EVER. Seriously, NEVER. But it became apparent very quickly that I was getting way too emotionally invested in Mia's story. Before I went any further, I had to know what was going to happen, if she was going to stay, or die. I peeked. For the first time ever, I skipped to the last page.

That didn't stop me from crying throughout the entire thing. The best parts of the book are near the end, but aren't really spoilery, plot-wise, but kinda spoiler

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20. The Ticking Clock: Techniques for the Breakout Novel

Jill Corcoran blogged about ways to activate your story recently, using Gayle Forman's novel, If I Stay, as an example of a great beginning. She wrote:

Gayle does not start the book at the moment of the car crash. We first see the family together, we actually fall in love with the main character and her family so when the car crash happens, we are devastated along with the main character. Gayle starts the first line of the book with an intriguing sentence….a sentence that activates us to pay attention to this first meeting with the main character’s family. That foreshadows the doom and gloom to come:
Everyone thinks it is because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that’s true.
But the reason that sentence works, really works, is a tiny little piece left out of the quote. Here's how the novel really starts:
7:09 A.M.
Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that’s true.

Do you see it? It's there in big bold letters. The ticking clock.

Because that clock is there, we know to combine "it" with a timeline. We know something is going to happen soon. We know "it" is bad, because why bother with a clock that precise if it isn't a countdown of sorts. And we know it has to do with the snow. Sort of. So now, we're hooked. We have to know what "it" is, and why it wasn't completely to do with the snow. And we have an implied promise that it isn't going to take the author long to get there.

As readers, we haven't thought through any of this. It's simply there, in the back kitchen of our consciousness, if I may borrow the phrase from Kipling. And once it's there, it has a hold on us.

Even a reader who wouldn't normally read a book about bow-tie-wearing dads, or little brothers who let out war whoops, or mothers who work in travel agent's offices--who cares about all that stuff at the beginning of a book, right?--is going to be curious enough to read a little further. Sure enough, Forman delivers on the promise. At 8:17 a.m., a dad who isn't great at driving gets behind the wheel of a rusting buick and.... Well, we know we only have a few more pages.

Even after the accident, the clock doesn't stop. It continues until 7:16 the next morning, because Mia is trying to make her decision, and all along, all through the twists and turns and intricately woven scraps of memory and medical magic, that clock keeps us focused on the fact that something life-changing is going to happen. Soon. Soon. So you can't stop reading.

Building Suspense with a Ticking Clock

Having an actual Jack Bauer 24-style ticking clock only works if something momentous is going to happen:
  • An event, accident, or necessary meeting
  • A deadline given to prevent consequences
  • An opportunity that can, but shouldn't, be missed
  • Elapsed time from a precipitating event
The Clock

The clock is mainly a metaphor. You can use any structural device that forces the protagonist to compress events. It can be the time before a bomb explodes or the air runs out for a kidnapped girl, but it can also be driven by an opponent after the same goal: only one child can survive the Hunger Games, supplies are running out in the City of Ember....
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21. Book recommendation

I don’t write book reviews — I’m not a fast reader — but when I find a book that I really love, I like to write it. Today’s book recommendation is for Gayle Forman‘s young adult novel If I Stay.

If I Stay book coverI discovered this book when Gayle was a speaker at the Teen Book Con in Houston last year. When I go to writers’ events, I try to support the industry by buying a few of the speakers’ books, and If I Stay was one of the novels I picked up that day.

The book’s premise intrigued me immediately: After being in a car accident with her parents and young brother, a teenager falls into a coma. But her spirit stands outside her body, and as she watches her family, friends, doctors and nurses try to keep her alive, she considers if it’s worth it.

You could say I’m drawn to the dark, and this book was no exception.

But what also touched me was the way Gayle talked about it. She said that when we’re writing, we shouldn’t worry about the market or whether a book will sell when we’re done. We should follow our heart and write the story we want to tell. That’s what she did with this novel, putting her whole heart into the writing, and that’s what made me want to read it.

If I Stay pulled me in from the first few pages, and I couldn’t put it down. I finished the book in less than a week, which is fast for me — the only time I get to read is while I’m brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed.

It’s a touching and beautifully written novel that has a lot of heart.

I highly recommend it.

What book did you read recently that you’d like to recommend?

Write On!


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22. Where She Went, Gayle Forman


Reading Level:          Young Adult 

Hardcover:                 258 Pages 

Publisher:                  Dutton, April 5, 2010
1 Comments on Where She Went, Gayle Forman, last added: 3/14/2011
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23. Where She Went

Where She WentWhere She Went Gayle Forman

There's been a reoccurring theme when it comes to this book. I had several discussions about it when it was announced and it's come up in several reviews-- why? Why did the most wonderful If I Stay need a sequel? It didn't!

So, because of that, I wasn't going to read this. BUT, a friend really, really wanted it so I picked up the ARC at midwinter to give to her and well... it was already in my hand, I might as well read it first, right?

Oh my.

I eat my hat.

Maybe If I Stay didn't need a sequel, but this one is so good. There's so much to explore about what happens after your survive-- how you recover and how you move on with your life in the face of such tragedy.

It's been 3 years since the accident that killed Mia's entire family. 3 years since she boarded a plane to Julliard and New York and never looked back.

Adam's band is now famous and embarking on a world tour. He's living with his movie star girlfriend. He knows Mia needed to move on, but she's left a giant hole in his heart and life and he's not coping. He's chain smoking and popping anti-anxiety drugs like nothing else. And, the reporters all want to know what happened that made him write such lyrics on their break out album, but Adam (or anyone in the band) refuses to betray Mia like that. They haven't heard from her in years, but they are still protective and won't let the media make hay out of her tragedy.

Then, with the rest of the band already in London, Adam takes one last day in New York and there's Mia. And they have one night to try to reconnect and deal with everything that's happened.

So you know how If I Stay alternated between the scenes in the hospital and everything that happened before? This one alternates between Adam and Mia's night in New York and what happened in the missing years.

This is such an excellent portrayal of surviving, and the guilt of surviving. I also really appreciated Adam's awkward position-- he knows his loss is nothing like Mia's. Mia just lost her entire family, but... Adam was close to them, too. Adam also lost them, but won't let himself admit that he's also grieving, because his loss isn't as great as her's.

Overall, it was just as good, if not better than If I Stay. Surviving is only the first step and there's so much more that needs to happen before you can start living again.

ARC Provided by... publisher at ALA Midwinter

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24. Cover Stories: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

whereshewent.jpgWhere She Went, the sequel to Gayle Forman's lovely If I Stay (remember that Cover Story?), is finally out! Yay!

Though it's told from Adam's point of view, that's Mia on the cover, obvs. Here's Gayle to share the story of how this book's cover came to be:

"The image that kept coming to mind as I wrote was the Brooklyn Bridge. It plays a pivotal role in the story and for some reason it just stuck because it's so strong both from both a visual and literary standpoint.

I believe that Penguin did experiment with using the bridge initially but decided that it didn't work.

ifistaypb.jpg"The challenge for the US publication was marrying the US If I Stay paperback cover--the eerily half-
dead-looking girl, right--with a new hardcover look. But I had to make it extra tricky because, unlike If I Stay, which is from Mia's perspective, Where She Went is in Adam's voice. So how to create a cover that seemed like a package with the paperback but was from a guy's perspective?

"We were obviously departing from the quieter US hardcover look, with the flower, tree and branches, which I loved but would not work at all in terms of a new book about a rock and roll guy, so I'm so glad we had the paperback cover to use as a jumping-off point.

"In the end, in sort of a duh, why didn't we think of it sooner epiphany, we all realized that the US cover had to have another Mia. Because even though the book is from Adam's POV, it's still about Mia. It's about where she went. So the covers are meant to be bookends. One horizontal, one vertical, one passive, one more active. There's no Brooklyn Bridge, and yet the covers are, in my opinion, such a perfect bridge..."


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25. Beth Kephart Temporarily Wins the Most Pathetic Award


You thought that title was a tease?  Because when do I ever tease?  And why would I?  And do I even have the shape and general vocabulary of teasing in me?

I do not.

Proof:  In a friendly battle currently being conducted on behalf of Tara Altebrando's distinctly unpathetic new novel, The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life (nothing Tara writes is pathetic; she's too clever and language invested and talented for that; read my review here of Dreamland Social Club), I have gone up against true literary greats—Gayle Forman, E. Lockhart, Sarah Miynowski, Arlaina Tibensky, and Lauren Myracle—and been found to be the reigning queen (at least in this hour) of pathetic-ism.

Wait.  Is this a good thing?  A boast-worthy thing?  Should I be trumpeting this all over e-creation?

Oh, never mind.  I am the temporary champ of something.  I can count the times that's happened to me on one hand of five fingers with variously filed fingernails.  I am running with this.

The contest (grueling, requiring months of training and a Michael Phelps diet) all came down to a tricky little Tara questionnaire.  I answered as honestly as I knew how, between gulps of Phelps-style pasta.  I answered, tone and fit.  But of course, I answered imperfectly and do feel the need here to say, about that high school friend, that we found each other years later, and became quite close again, and really, that guy wouldn't have been right for me anyway; my friend was doing me a favor.  I also feel the need to confess, as those of you who follow me on Facebook now know, that I may not have ever purchased Twilight tickets, but I am now ballroom dancing to Twilight music.

(You have no idea what I'm talking about.  That's the point of links like these.  You have to go and find out for yourself.)

Tara's questionnaire, which can be found here, includes the following tidbits. I choose this brief passage to underscore my obsession with winning—anything.  Please check out the entire contest, and Tara herself, who is lovely beyond words (and who has some very exciting co-authoring news, concerning another great, Sara Zarr).
TA:  See now I may give you some Special Points for this, just because it’s so awful and sad! What an evil cow! Do you know what an isocahedron is without Googling? If not, give us your best guess.

BK: I do, I do! I actually have this funky mathematical term in my YA novel YOU ARE MY ONLY, and not just once. This would be thanks to the fact that my brother is a math genius and I wanted to honor him. Can I have triple points for this one, please? I need something here to put me on a fair playing field. I hate losing.

TA: Again with the points!

1 Comments on Beth Kephart Temporarily Wins the Most Pathetic Award, last added: 8/16/2012
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