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Crying Laughing Review

Crying Laughing by Lance Rubin
Overview: Winnie's life exists for laughs. Her dad is a former wannabe comedian, so he's never quit making jokes around the house. They're super close as he quit his career to stay home with her. She's taken on his love for comedy and has tried stand up, but she's never going back to that again. Now she's in the school's improv troupe, trying her hand at another form of comedy. She forms a closer group of friends and meets new people form it. It's also a good distraction from her dad's increasing health issues as he drops new things and starts falling. As her dad comes to terms with his ALS diagnosis, Winnie doesn't know how to respond to a world that's both full of joy and sadness. Overall: 4.5

Characters: 4 Winnie is super sweet and very interesting. She wants to be funny so badly. Sometimes, she succeeds and is very funny, but sometimes she falls flat on her face. She knows that every joke doesn't work, bu…
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The Writing Process

Today's post is a little bit different than my usual posts. I wanted to take a minute and talk about the other side of reading, and the other part of my blog, which is writing. I was working on a project of mine last night, and it got me thinking about the writing process. At author events and in interviews, writers get asked all the time whether they're a plotter or a panster or what their writing process is. As I was scrolling through this project, the fourth manuscript I've worked on in the three years since I started writing the book, and I was marveling at how different this writing experience was from every single other book I've written. And then I realized, I don't seem to ever do it the same way twice. Of course, I've picked up some habits and tricks over the year that I incorporate each time, and my goals are always the same, but I find it fascinating how I get to the end. It's also lead me to stop asking really general questions about process. I…

Let's Call It A Doomsday Review

Let's Call It a Doomsday by Katie Henry
Overview: Ellis is ready for the world to end a moments notice. She's not sure when that will be, but she's a prepper. She has all the supplies for any disaster that might happen. She's also paranoid by small disasters. She's anxious all the time. Her inner voice is mean, and her family doesn't understand her anxieties. Ellis feels alone. And then she meets Hannah, first awkwardly in her therapist's office and then in the school library. Hannah claims she's been getting dreams about when the world is going to end. A blizzard is coming to destroy San Fransisco. It's exactly the information Ellis always needed. She can save everyone now, or at least try to. The issue is, no one believes Ellis, and she has no proof Hannah has the abilities that she claims. Will Ellis figure out what's really going on before it truly becomes a life or death situation. Overall: 5

Characters: 5 I loved Ellis. On the surface, we…

Tweet Cute Review

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
Overview: We all know that Twitter is the home of sarcasm and great debates. Recently, though, fast food companies, sports teams, and more businesses have found social media managers that have taken their jobs to the next level creating infamously shady tweets. Two people contributing to that world are seniors at a fancy New York City private school. Pepper and Jack are engaged in an all out war when Pepper's Mom's company, Big League Burger, apparently rips off Jack's family's prized grilled cheese recipe from their deli, Girl Cheesing. While Twitter originally is the host that allows the tiny deli to call out plagiarism and win back major support, it becomes the canvas for some serious feuding while also making the undeniable chemistry between the two incredibly apparent. Tweet Cute is about our internet world, and, instead of spelling out our doom from it, Emma Lord manages to reveal all its beautiful nooks and crannies. Overall: 5 

Characters:…

When Your Reading Tastes Start Changing

I've been thinking about writing this post for a long time, and I've been struggling with what exactly I want to say with it. For the last close to three years now, I've been reading YA nonstop, writing reviews, and engaging with the community. It's been an amazing experience, and I've read books that have captured my whole heart. I still love reading YA, talking with the authors who write it, and writing it myself and I plan to for a super long time. I think I'll always be a part of the YA community. This is starting to sound like a weird farewell post... which it's not. Instead, this post is about change and growing and getting older because, in the end, isn't that what YA and being a YA is all about?
So here's the honest truth. I've talked to some amazing authors over the last month and had a lot of fun content for you guys, but I've sort of been scrambling to give you new things every single week because I haven't read a single YA b…

Into YA with Ronni Davis

1. The thing that immediately struck me about the book is the writing. In particular, your use of pacing takes the reader on a whirlwind adventure. In the beginning, as we experience their summer fling, the pages just fly by, but in moments where Devon feels stuck, we really sit into things and fully experience it like she does. Is this something that you’re aware of? Do you see pacing as a tool? What is your advice for writers who struggle with pacing? So funny you should ask this question. I’ve gotten it a few times. What’s interesting is that I struggled a LOT with pacing for this story! So many of my earliest comments had to do with the pacing, and as I revised, I kept breaking it and fixing it and breaking it again. It was honestly one of the more challenging parts about writing and editing this book! And pacing means different things to different people. You can’t ever know exactly what makes it right, but you always know when it feels off. So to hear your comments on the pacing …

When the Stars Lead to You Review

When the Stars Lead to You by Ronni Davis
TW: Depression, Mentions of Suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts
Overview: Ashton and Devon fall in love one summer on the beach. And then he disappears. Another summer passes and there's still no word from Ashton, but Devon still hasn't stopped thinking of him. Then, on the first day of senior year, Devon turns around to find Ashton in a uniform matching hers. It turns out, the school has been in his family since it was founded. Finally pulled back into each other's world, Devon has to decide whether she can trust Ashton when they decide to try again. Overall: 4.5

Characters: 4 Devon is at Preston on scholarship. She's earned her place, leading her class as their planned valedictorian. She wants to study the stars at an elite university. Her life is perfectly planned out except the hole in her heart for the most intense summer fling she's ever had. Devon is quite even and pragmatic, but Ashton pulls her like a magnet. It's…

Looking For Alaska On Hulu

I finished Looking For Alaska on Hulu today. After binge watching the first 7 episodes at once, I finally finished the last episode. I was highly suspicious going into it, but I've fallen in love with this series as much as I loved the book. The casting could not have been done better and the writers clearly took time to capture the book's complete essence. Another piece that I loved was that it was rated MA on Hulu so they didn't have to try to tone down the cussing, smoking, or drinking in the book that plays such a major role in the commentary of the story and the character's lives. I'm honestly glad that this story waited long enough to find a home on a streaming service because that felt like the proper home for it. I loved that they had eight hours or so to explore all the best parts of the book to the fullest and add scenes that developed unexpected characters into my new favorites. Looking For Alaska is a rare adaptation that can stand both together and in…

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…