Monday, May 16, 2011

2010 Books That I Loved An Ungodly Amount - Part 1

(Since we've establishes the fact that I'm sort of an asshat -thank you, John Green for bringing this term to my vocabulary-when it comes to posting reviews I thought these were some titles that deserved to be written about as I loved them more than mere words can convey. I thought now would be as good a time as any to write a series of posts about them! Note: I have a 15 page paper due Tuesday has not seen the light of day yet- that's how much I loved these books).

Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

My only qualm: I'm not so hot on the cover
Tall American girl. Short hot Parisian (English +American - imagine that accent!) guy. Boarding school. Paris. Hello, perfection. Loved, loved, LOVED Stephanie Perkins' debut with an ungodly amount of passion. Read an ARC that I had gotten at ALA and reached the last 50 pages to realize that it was misprinted and the 30 pages were reprinted from the previous chapter. Made Zoe from Zoe's Book Reviews read them over the phone/Skype screenshot them for me. That is how much I love this book. Made my local library order it. Made at least 5 people but it at Strand/Borders/B&N. My mission in life: to make everyone read this book. For me personally, St. Clair is perfect. Except he could use a few inches in the height department. Perkins' prose is smart, witty, and charming and resonates teenage-ness. Throw in adventures in Paris, classic American films, and the tension between St. Clair and Anna, and you've got yourself a hit YA contemporary on your hands! Cannot wait for the companion, LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR.  This fantastic debut makes Stephanie Perkins one debut author to look out for!

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour - Morgan Matson

I am a little in love with this cover.
Amy. Roger. One car. California to Philadelphia. Can you spell R-O-A-D T-R-I-P? Amy's mom has set out an itinerary for her to follow on her drive from Cali to PA, so she get there on time, along the way checking in and out of hotels her mom has booked for her and such. But everyone knows that well laid plans always go awry. Amy decides to throw caution to the wind and heads to Yellowstone National Park with Roger to relive some memories from of visiting with her dad as a child, stops by university where Roger goes to school (read to find out why!) and visits many other amazing landmarks in the US. Somewhere along her way, Amy and Roger become more than just travel companions, realize that there are sparks flying, and that they complement each other perfectly. There is not much I can say that will explicitly articulate how much I love this book. Except for the fact that it made it into this post and this list. Loved how Morgan Matson saved every single In N Out, motel and diner receipts, documenting her own experience driving from the West coast to the East coast and it all culminated into this masterpiece. Cannot wait for her next title!

The Sky Is Everywhere - Jandy Nelson

The UK version of this book is
 supposedly fantabulous!
I am getting a copy.
To say this book was amazing is an understatement. I don't think they have the right words in the dictionary to describe this book to a T. This book made me cry, laugh, curse, want to throw it against the wall, and just about every other emotion you can think of. It was an emotionally wringing, heartbreaking gut-wrencher. Lennie, our protagonist, has always lived in the shadow of her sister, Bailey, who dies and all of a sudden leaves Lennie without an achor to hold on to/look up to. Always shy, in the background Lennie is now in the spotlight when Joe, the new guy who just transferred from Paris appears on  the scene and Toby, Bailey's boyfriend is paying more attention to her than she is comfortable with. You know there are some books you read and love them and you just... love them. They are there but not really. But then there are those that you LOVE, and you carry them with you wherever you go? The Sky Is Everywhere falls into the latter category. Nelson's writing is just gorgeous, melodic, and to-die for. I don't think I've ever loved an author's prose, or writing style as much as I love Jandy Nelson's. Lennie's story is not just another coming of age contemporary books. It's an honest, unforgettable, true rendition of a teenager's struggle to come to terms with the death of a beloved sibling and celebration of love at the same time. Only Nelson knows how she managed to intertwine the two and still make it a debut that will not be forgotten for a long, long time. Her next is currently titled The History of Luck, and I for one am counting down the days!

 Fixing Delilah - Sarah Ockler

I love this cover way more than the original cover.
I guess this reflects the book more aptly.
To the lady who made me cry in public with her very first book- Twenty Boy Summer- I only I have one thing to say: Little Ricky and Patrick are both mine. I will fight anyone who tried to lay a claim on him. Read this book on a family road trip to Toronto last summer, and I was crying the whole way and everybody kept passing me tissues and concerned looks but let me be and I am so thankful for that because this book hit an emotional button for me personally. Not that my story resembled that of Delilah Hannaford and her family in any way but I personally identified with some of her issues and let's just say that Sarah Ockler can make me cry very loudly and obnoxiously in public and that is a not so good thing but a very good accomplishment for her as writer. Fixing Delilah is story of a family of three generation of women, and their complex relationship, over a summer full of surprising romance, new friendships and old secrets. Ockler delivers a powerful tale of mother-daughter bonds, family ties, and love in this fantastic follow up! I cannot wait for her what she's got up her sleeve next!

Not That Kind Of Girl - Siobhan Vivian

I've never given it much thought.
 But Connor, mmm!
Siobhan. Vivian. 'Nuff said. I don't even know where to begin. So, a good place to start would be to pose a very important question. Do you guys know who her editor is? (Yhe correct answer would be yes, but for those of you who may not read the acknowledgements) David. Freaking. Levithan.  You can't go wrong with him on your side. No, seriously. I've read (multiple times) and loved her previous two works- A Little Friendly Advice and Same Difference. She writes with this clear intensity that positively reflects the teenage experience with such clarity that leaves one with mouth gaping, jaw dropping expression. Not That Kind of Girl follows in the same vein. Natalie - brought up by two academics - wants only one thing of high school. She wants her life to be in her control. She wants to be student body president, find the one decent guy, be liked by everyone, and generally a good reputation because she believes that it will lead to good things. But, as we all learn at one time or another, we very rarely have control over what happens in life. Unpredictable is life's middle name. And we should have learnt that lesson in 8th grade. However, Natalie soon realizes how things can change without a moment's notice. Old friends can change, people you thought were one way are in actuality, another, and you yourself can undergo a transformation. NTKoG is a story of a girl who always perceived herself to be one way and finds a different side of herself - one that she is not so comfortable with at first, but ends up realizing that we are never truly one person all the time. We are constantly changing based on what we experience, and learn. Loved this book with an intensity even I cannot put into words. Vivian's next book is titled The List and I honestly am ready to raid her house/steal her computer for it! Watch your back, Siobhan!

Website: Stephanie Perkins | Morgan Matson | Jandy Nelson | Sarah Ockler | Siobhan Vivian

Until next time,

Monday, May 2, 2011

So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti Guest Post + Giveaway (Blog Tour)

Hi all,

I'm so stoked that Susane's stopping by today to talk about So Much Closer and some of the places that are mentioned in the book! We kick off today with yours truly and one of the best locations (in my opinion!). Many thanks to Susane for thinking of me for this tour! I truly enjoyed So Much Closer. Look out for a review next week. As you all know, Susane's always played a huge role in motivating me to start this blog and from there just a fantastic person who I look up to. I'm glad I had this opportunity to host her! So Much Closer is out this week, so stop by your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy or get it for your e-reader! (Links below)

Without further ado, here's Susane.


Greetings, friendly neighbors! I’m stoked to share some of the inspiration for my fifth book, So Much Closer.

Realistic fiction is my thing. I like incorporating details inspired by my own experiences to make my books feel as realistic as possible. So Much Closer takes place in my neighborhood, the West Village. I had lots of fun including my fave New York City places and things in this book. For my blog tour, we thought it would be fun to share some of them with you. So here we go!

1. The High Line
When I moved to New York 15 years ago, I heard about these old elevated train tracks. No one used them anymore. They were just sitting there getting rusty. But word on the street was that they were going to be renovated into a green space.
I was psyched. That sounded like the coolest idea ever.
And then…nothing happened for a long time. Years passed. I kept hearing rumors about the renovations. No one really knew what was going on. Finally, the High Line opened in June 2009. I was beyond ecstatic. It was everything I imagined and more. You can still see the old train tracks (which I adore – I have a thing for train tracks) with flowers and tall grasses and trees growing all around. It’s such a unique place. The whole park feels like this Zen retreat where you can chill with friends and have an excellent view of the sunset.
When I visited the High Line for the first time, I just stood there gawking at this upscale apartment building that’s like right there. I looked up at the high windows overlooking everything and imagined how awesome the view must be. That’s when I knew I had to include the High Line in my next book. The photo shoot for the cover even took place there. You can check out some behind-the-scenes cover design stuff here:

Thanks so much for that Susane! Y'all should check out the post. There's images from the actual photo shoot and the cover artist talks about how the cover eveolved from multiple images and ideas that they had come up with! It's super interesting - so go check that out! 

GIVEAWAY:SIGNED copy of So Much Closer is up for grabs! You simply have to leave a comment and tell me that ONE place in NYC that you'd like to visit and why. The giveaway ends on May 15th at 11:59pm P.S.T.
Also check out:
Susane's website and Twitter
Q& A and excerpt from So Much Closer

Until next time,