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Showing posts from 2019

Into YA with James Brandon

Today I'm talking to James Brandon on the blog about his new book Ziggy Stardust and Me and how he came to write the story! Hope you enjoy!

1. You’ve written a historical novel set in the 70s. How much research went into creating an accurate setting? Was it difficult to naturally write about a world and events that took place around forty years ago?
Once I knew the story would be set in the summer of 1973, I spent a year immersing myself in the time period before I began outlining and drafting the story: I only listened to early seventies music (which I now find to be some of the raddest music to date), I watched TV shows and movies, and devoured books and magazines from that time. I also spent weeks at the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco sifting through their archives. I remember finding a set of letters from a pair of lovers who I’m fairly certain never met in real life. (They couldn’t out of fear.) These letters were written with such raw emotion, you could feel the love…

Into YA with Laura Silverman

Today I'm posting an interview that has been a long time in the making. I reached out to do this interview with Laura before You Asked For Perfect came out, and then things got busy so it's been a minute since doing this interview, but YAFP is one of my favorite books all year. If you haven't read the book, it is an absolute must read for anyone involved in high school, heading to senior year, in education, or is a parent. I've never read a book where I yelled "That's me!" so many times. Here's my review to catch up so that you can have a little context for that. 

1. Where did you get the inspiration to write a book about the reality students today face? I love how you delve into the intense pressure to take as many APs as possible, and, as the title implies, to be perfect.
I went to an academically competitive high school where we were encouraged to take as many AP classes as possible and to sign up for extra electives, which led to things like zero pe…

More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn Cover Reveal

Today is a very special post because I get to show you all a first glimpse at More Than Maybe, Erin Hahn's sophomore novel. I've been excited about this book since I finished You'd Be Mine, and I'm so happy to finally be able to see the cover and learn a little more about Luke and Vada. Before I get to telling you about MTM and showing off the cover, I just wanted to talk a little bit about how I first found and fell for Erin's work. I randomly stumbled upon You'd BeMine on Netgalley and decided to give it a try, and from the second I read the first page and heard Clay's voice so clearly in my head, I was hooked. After I finished reading, I wanted to know more about the book, the characters, and how the story came to be, so I reached out to Erin, and she was sweet enough to agree to do an interview. I know I'm not supposed to pick favorites, but her thoughtful answers and complete sincerity makes my interview with her one of my favorites of them all. I…

Pointe Review

Pointe by Brandy Colbert
TW: Abuse, Eating Disorder, Kidnapping
Overview: Theo is a ballet dancer. She's going to go pro because she's that good. She is also a girl whose best friend disappeared 4 years ago. Until he reappears after being found in Vegas. Donovan's return is a relief, but, when his kidnapper is revealed, Theo recognizes his face. It's her much older boyfriend from when she was 13. She realizes that he wasn't who he claimed to be at all. While everyone worries about what kind of abuse Donovan might have endured as he remains silent, Theo starts to realize the relationship she had with "Trent", who is now known as Charlie, really have been abuse, even though she spent all that time thinking she loved him. Overall: 5 

Characters: 5 Theo is an amazing character. She's so strong, both inside and out, and she's dealing with a lot of pressure. Even 4 years later, she's still coping with PTSD like symptoms from her time with Charlie, reco…

Frankly In Love Review

Frankly In Love by David Yoon 
Overview: You might think Frankly in Love is a fake dating story. It is not. Yes, there is some fake dating, but it's not the point. Frankly in Love is a family story. It's about cultures and cultures clashing. It's about generational gaps and language barriers. It's about customs and expectations and figuring out which ones are really important. Frank is trying to figure out what it means to be Korean-American. He's trying to figure out what it means that his parents barely say, "I love you." He's trying to figure out how his sister was cut out of the family for marrying a black man. He's working out what it means to face losing someone you love. Overall: 4 

Characters: 4 I liked all of the characters. There's time taken to flesh all of them out. From Q who is black and lives in a super accepting family to Frank's parents who are racist towards everyone who's not Korean to Brit and her white family who try…

Into YA with Carrie Allen

I'm so excited to get to talk to Carrie about her debut book, Michigan vs. the Boys! I met Carrie last year during Pitch Wars when October 1 seemed so far away. I was so excited to get to read her book because I knew how wonderful she was as a person and as a writer from the advice she's given out. I wasn't disappointed! It's so cool to read a book about something like a hobby or a sport written by a person who has expertise in both writing and the topic they're writing about. Anyway, if you haven't heard about Michigan, I'll link my recap post from earlier in the week in a few places so you can get an idea of the plot. Otherwise, enjoy the interview and remember to buy a copy of Carrie's book on Tuesday October 1. 

1. I don’t know how I’ve never asked any of the author’s I’ve talked to this yet, but as I was reading, I kept wondering how you got the idea to tell Michigan’s story. I know you’ve been involved in sports in a ton of different ways for a lon…

Michigan Vs. The Boys

Michigan Vs. The Boys by Carrie Allen
TW: Drugging, Harassment 
Overview: Michigan is named after her home state. She's also an amazing hockey player. The only problem is that her team gets cut due to budgets. Instead of driving hours away or jumping ship to boarding school, Michigan decides to go out for her school's remaining team, the boy's team. Though she can skate circles around that, it won't stop the team of insecure losers from trying to literally beat her down at every turn. Luckily, her skin is thick, and she's ready to make her spot. Overall: 4

Characters: 4 Michigan is great. She's so strong, mentally and physically, almost to a fault. She has a difficult time admitting when she needs to ask for help, though I can't fault her because those around her aren't the most supportive. Her resilience is something to aspire to.
Then there's Jack who is a super cute, super talented swimmer who connects with Michigan when his swim team gets cut too. …

Into YA with Candace Ganger

Today I'm chatting with Candance Ganger as a part of the blog tour for Six Goodbyes We Never Said. I reviewed it on Wednesday,  so if you missed that I'll link it so that you can learn more about the book. I hope you enjoy our conversation.

1.You've built a story based around two points of view, Dew and Naima's. Their voices are both extremely unique. How did you get in touch with their different voices, and what made you want to tell the story from both their points of view?  Thank you! They're based on different pieces of me from various stages of my life. Sort of the dark and the light in different contexts. Six Goodbyes was originally only Naima, but as the story evolved, it became apparent Dew needed his own arc. My editor is the one who suggested the addition. Without her, I'd still be waffling on what lip color Naima should wear. 


2. You beautifully communicate Naiinia and Dew's struggles will mental illness, including PTSD and OCD along with heaps of g…

Six Goodbyes We Never Said

Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger
Overview: Naima struggles with OCD, PTSD, and GAD as well as her father's death overseas while serving in the army. It's extra painful because it happened on a tour he was never supposed to be on, on a date he was already supposed to be home celebrating Naima's 17th birthday. She goes to spend the summer in her dad's hometown with her grandparent's, processing her grief and struggles.
Dew is adopted and has recently moved to his new town with his new family. He's still stuck in his parent's loss, and the loss has triggered a deep social anxiety that he has to learn to overcome. The two neighbors have to overcome deep hurtles to meet each other and start healing together. Overall: 3.5

Characters: 4 Overall, I did like Naima and Dew. Naima struggles with a lot of mental illness issues on top of her complicated grief and resentment towards her dad. They were super close, but, over the last year, Naima had cut him off …