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Into YA with Chris Tebbetts

Today, Chris Tebbetts stops by the blog to talk about Me, Myself, and Him, his writing process, and transitioning through genres. I loved hearing about how the book came together and his thoughts on balancing a dual timeline story. If you haven't heard about the book yet, click here for more background information.
1. The story has a very intriguing premise. What was the spark? First of all, I have to give a nod to the movie SLIDING DOORS, which was the first time I ever saw a story tackled in this way—following the main character through two different outcomes from the same incident. In the case of ME, MYSELF, AND HIM, that incident is something I drew from my own experience, a drug-fueled accident I had when I was nineteen. After that, the story explores what might have happened if my character lied about the accident, AND, it explores what might have happened if he got busted by his parents for it. As a storyteller, I love that kind of “what if?” thought experiment. It’s like br…
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Me Myself and Him

Me Myself and Him by Chris Tebbetts
Overview & Review: If you love the idea that there are multiple timelines for every decision you make, you're going to love this book. After Chris takes a hit of whippets and falls, bashing his face in, his life is split in two. In one reality, he stays in town, getting away with it, allowed to spend his last summer before college with his best friends. In the other, he's forced to move to his father's place to live with his step mother and a dad he barely knows.
As these stories parallel, Tebbetts does a great job of keeping the stories both fresh and on the same beat, balancing detailing events with flashing forward. It's a cinematic style of telling the story that's a lot of fun to visualize. I also love that it asks the "what if" question we all ask every time we take a turn.
Come back on Friday to read my interview with Chris where we really dive into the origin of the story, the way his background influences th…

Please Send Help Review

Please Send Help by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin
Overview: Ava and Gen have been friends forever, and now they're long distance friendshiping (finally in the same time zone at least). In this story told through emails and texts, Ava and Gen offer each other moral support as they traverse the ups and downs of life at 22. Overall: 4

Characters: 4 Ava and Gen both have a lot going on in their lives, and they handle these situations with varying degrees of success. Ava is living in New York working at a late night show. Office politics take her anxiety to new heights, and she makes her fair share of mistakes. What I really liked about Ava, though, was that no matter how catastrophic the scenario was or how overdramatic she got, she was always able to put a new spin on the bad things in a way that was not peppy and sort of annoying but refreshingly realistic.
Gen, on the other hand, is a lot more out there. While Ava navigated a lot of more practical situations, Gen moves to Florida to…

Queen of Geek Review

Queen of Geek by Jen Wilde
Overview: Charlie is a famous You Tuber whose indie film has exploded in popularity. It's landed her at SupaCon in San Diego with two of her best friends. While there, Taylor and Jamie try to find a way for Taylor to meet her favorite author, and Charlie has to do tons of press with her exboyfriend. Luckily, though, the magic of the con brings them all some good luck and memorable moments. Overall: 4 

Characters: 4 Charlie is so much fun. She's confident, has pink hair, and is full of life. She has some interesting commentary on being famous and also on how fandom works when people ship actors together in real life.
Taylor has anxiety and is on the autism spectrum. She's the biggest fan of the Firestone series, but winning the contests to meet the author requires her to step way outside of her comfort zone. With Jamie by her side, she reclaims a lot of confidence and makes the con her own.

Plot: 4 If you love books about celebrity and cons, you'…

Into YA with Sarah Lyu

I absolutely love getting to share this interview with you as this book is absolutely fascinating! We dive into how she pieced together the perfect twists and turns in her thriller, handled an unreliable narrator, and responsibly handling a toxic friendship story. If you haven't read the book, check out my review first for more (spoiler free) context on the story, and make sure you head to the store to grab a copy of your own.

1. You’ve written a very twisty thriller. It’s timeline is broken up, and we’re given the events in fragmented flashes. Did the book come to you out of order, or did you think of the story linearly and rearrange it later to add suspense?
The story came to me linearly, and it wasn't until maybe draft 4 or 5 that I added the frame story of Remy speaking to Detective Ward. The first way I'd envisioned the story didn't work structurally because Remy needed to be examining all of the things that she'd experienced, which wasn't possible without …

The Best Lies Review

The Best Lies by Sarah Lyu (July 2)
TW: physical abuse; emotional manipulation
Overview: There's an old revolver that ruins everyone's life. Elise finds it in her deceased grandmother's attic while digging around for fireworks for prank number 1. After that, the gun rarely leaves her thoughts, and, eventually, it never leaves her side. It's the gun that kills Jack. Remi doesn't know what to do. Her boyfriend is dead, and her best friend- more than her best friend- is the one who pulled the trigger of the stupid gun that she tried over and over again to get rid of. How did it happen? How did Jack wind up dead on the floor? How did she lose everyone she cared about at once? Overall: 5

Characters: 5 This is an intense book, and the characters are no exception. Remi does her best, but she's not perfect like her brother Christian. She uses boys to forget about her parent's constant fighting, but she feels stuck. And then she meets Elise after Homecoming. With Elis…

Screen Queens Review

Screen Queens by Lori Goldstein
TW: Sexual Harassment 
Overview: Valley Start takes fewer applicants than any of the Ivy Leagues. Lucy, Delia, and Maddie are three of the 2% who made it. They are also the only female team at the tech incubator. While their personalities originally clash, with mentorship from a female CEO, friendship at a tech camp on the campus, and a new sense of understanding, the girls band together to strive to be the first all female team to win. Along, the way, though, they uncover more sinister layers to the shiny Silicon Valley world they stepped into. Overall: 4

Characters: 4 Lucy is headstrong and independent. While she's great at coding, she's even better at presenting, selling, and stylizing. She's on a mission to redeem herself in the eyes of Stanford to get off the waitlist and in the eyes of her icy tech CEO icon of a mother. Lucy is a touch insecure masked by her overconfidence and the experience actually helps her develop closer connections.

Past Perfect Life

Past Perfect Life  by Elizabeth Eulberg (July 9)
Overview: Ally Smith has lived for almost her entire life in Wisconsin. She briefly remembers living in Chicago, but it's always been just her and her dad. She's made a life in the town and become almost family with the Gleasons who basically own the town. Her perfect life is shattered, though, when an error with her social security number on her college applications alerts the FBI that she's actually a missing person. Overall: 4.5 

Characters: 5 Ally is an awesome main character. Her voice and handling of emotions is so relatable, and I love how articulate she is. The emotional hurdles she jumps through are so shocking, but she makes them make sense. It's almost like a reverse savior situation she finds herself in as she's taken from her "perfect" life and dropped into one that looks much more "perfect" from the outside.
The Gleasons are great additions too. They're her best friends and protect…

What's Coming Up In July

July is one of the most exciting months of the year. It's right in the middle of summer, there's 4th of July which promises fun barbecues or a beach trip, and it's my birthday month. Also, there are tons of amazing books coming out this month. I'm going to tell you about a few of them that I'll get to feature over the course of the month.

Past Perfect Life Not giving too much away, but I read this book in a single day. Elizabeth Eulberg has written a masterpiece in this intense story that delves into the world of a girl who's found out that her entire life isn't the full story of her past. 
The Best Lies and Interview with Sarah Lyu Another breathtaking single day read, this twisty thriller is perfect for people who love unreliable narrators and alternating timelines. This book will blow your mind. I'm so excited that I get to discuss it with Sarah and learn some more about how it came to be. 
Please Send Help College YA is my jam, so I'm so happy to …

Brief Chronicle of Another Stupid Heartbreak Review

A Brief Chronicle of Another Stupid Heartbreak by Adits Alsaid 
Overview: Lu needs to write a column or she's going to lose her NYU scholarship. If she can't produce content, she'll lose her job with a trendy online magazine, and her life will unravel. The only problem is that she's felt blocked since her break up with her boyfriend, Leo. When she stumbles upon a teen couple having a dramatic break up fight, she becomes obsessed with them and decides to use them as inspiration for the column. Overall: 3.5

Characters: 4 Lu is sweet, well meaning, and endearing, but she's also a little annoying. She makes everything a bigger problem then it really is and throws her life into flames over some strange feelings. Her best friend Pete is a pretty standard quirky best friend, but he adds a bit of sanity to the storyline that I appreciated.
Outside of that, there's Cal and Iris who are the ideal couple in Lu's eyes as they navigate their post senior year transition in…