Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I want to wake up in a city that never sleeps

I'm backkkkkkkkkk! And I had an amazing time at BEA and BBC. Seriously the best part of the week was meeting all the bloggers I talked with on twitter and some new ones! It would take forever to start naming names, but you all know who you are =)

Just wanted to do a quick recap of what I did and share some pictures. I left my house Thursday at 4:30 AM and got to NY by 10:40, ran to a cab because I didn't want to miss the Kody Keplinger signing at 11:30. I get to BEA and I am pretty much running around like a mad fool, but I did make it and Kody was so sweet and remembered who I am! yay! Also, met some new bloggers while waiting in line and got the low down on which booths where blogger friendly. Then I  met up with Brit and Farrah from I Eat Words (love them!) and we chatted before I headed off in search of books. I talked to a lot of publishers at the booths and got some book I had really wanted, before heading out of BEA and downstairs to the book blogger reception.

The reception was Meh, but I found out about the VIP This is Teen event and was lucky enough to get a last minute invite. The This is Teen pre-event was amazing, we got to actually talk to the authors in groups and mingle. See pictures below! Though my picture with Meg Cabot says it can't be uploaded, will need to fix that! And the actual This is Teen event was fantastic too, these ladies are hilarious and so down to earth.

The next day was BBC and I got to meet Elizabeth Scott!!! YAY. Plus the panels were really informative and I learned so much about what publishers are looking for and what I can do with my blog. Overall, it was an awesome two days in the book world, but I was beat! I can't imagine all those that did the whole week of book events (which will be me next year I guess). Unlike almost everyone else, I didn't leave NY on Saturday. I actually stayed till yesterday (Monday). What did I do with all the time you ask? Why more bookish events of course! HAHA

On Satuday I went to a Books of Wonder signing and went to Strand. Ah-mazing! Wish we had a bookstore like this in FL. Then Sunday was Broadway day and because of those incredibly priced discount tickets I saw TWO shows. Daniel Radcliffe's How to Succeed at 3 and The Normal Heart at 7. They were fantastic. Also, see pictures below =)

I really enjoyed my NY Trip and meeting everyone and while I wish I could just sink myself into all these new books, real life has gotten in the way and I must start studying for CPA exam I am taking in July. So I won't be posting or twittering as much, but please don't forget me. I will still be here.

Also, (per IMM) got some books that just don't fit into my shelves, so look for a giveaway of a mix of BEA books and some older ones!

Author Spotlight : Interview with Tina Ferraro

How did you start writing?
I have been daydreaming and making up stories for as long as I can remember. When I was about seven, my teacher told my mother that my short stories were the best she’d seen for that grade! My mother was thrilled, but I was confused. Writing stories was just fun...like skipping rope and going down a slide. How could anyone be “good” or “bad” at having fun? :)
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I am a big fan of my partners, The Buzz Girls: Stephanie Hale, Tera Lynn Childs, Dona Sarkar, Marley Gibson, Wendy Toliver, Heather Davis, and my YA Fresh partner, Kelly Parra!
What I love about your books is the characters always feel so genuine, Are they inspired by real people or are you that in tune with the teenage mind?
Why, thank you! All my characters are a part of me, with outside influences from my lifetime factored in. For instance, I think that Nicolette in Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress was a lot like Teen Tina--only with many of her characteristics ratcheted up. She said what she thought, she acted on her dreams, she held her head high when I would have likely backed down.
In How to Hook a Hottie and the ABC's of Kissing Boys there is a lot of business talk and different kissing techniques (respectively), did you have to do research in writing these novels?
Yes, and that was so much fun! For How to Hook a Hottie, I read Donald Trump’s book about the principles he used to become successful, plus queried everyone I knew about tips to hook guys. (The Starburst wrapper idea came from my teenaged niece!) For The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, I read several books on the art of kissing. For Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, I got help from a fashion friend and my editor. The Dress changed a lot from beginning to end!
Do you have a favorite of the books you have written? Mine is Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, though the ABC's of Kissing Boys placed a permanent smile on my face while reading.
Why, thank you! My favorite changes, depending on my mood. I am often partial to Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress because it was my first published book, but the other day, in a social situation, I was introduced as an author. The woman I met asked me what I’d written, and surprised me by knowing my books. In fact, she said several times that she was so pleased to meet the author of How to Hook a Hottie! Which suddenly became my favorite--haha!
Have you ever / will you ever write something other than contemporary or YA? And what is if that you love about that genre?
Yes, before writing YA, I tried my hand at adult romantic suspense books simply because I liked to read them. But they were difficult for me to write, probably because third person adult doesn’t flow as easily for me as first person teen. I don’t see me going back to adult any time soon.
Name a really good book you have read lately.
Carolyn Mackler’s Tangled. I do not know her personally, but I sent her a Facebook message, which she kindly answered. Tangled takes three seemingly unrelated story threads and “tangles” them together for a grand finish. I was captivated as a reader by the story, and as a writer about her process. I definitely recommend it!

In My Mailbox # 1 9 - BEA Edition

This will be a short IMMB since it's already super late, but technically I got these books last week sooo....

 These are the books I got signed this week, minus eclipse, either at BEA or signing in NY.
 These are some BEA books I got I am excited about! I got some others ones, but some I am not as excited about and others I think in the end I just won't read so I will probably give them away.

These are some books I got at Strand, total paid $18 for 4 book!!! How awesome is that!

I also got Mad Love as a RAK from Briana at TheBookPixie. Thanks!
And won Moonglass at Jamie's Blog.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Book Review : Sixteenth Summer

Book: Sixteenth Summer
Author: Michelle Dalton
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Date Published: May 3, 2011
Pages: 320
Source: Galley
Date Read: May 1, 2011

Anna is dreading another tourist-filled summer on Dune Island that follows the same routine: beach, ice cream, friends, repeat. That is, until she locks eyes with Will, the gorgeous and sweet guy visiting from New York. Soon, her summer is filled with flirtatious fun as Anna falls head over heels in love. 

But with every perfect afternoon, sweet kiss, and walk on the beach, Anna can’t ignore that the days are quickly growing shorter, and Will has to leave at the end of August. Anna’s never felt anything like this before, but when forever isn’t even a possibility, one summer doesn’t feel worth the promise of her heart breaking….

Summary Taken from Goodreads
Yani's Review:
This book is sooooo cute and happy! Not that it's a happy story per se, but reading it I was just smiling from ear to ear. It's a perfectly amazing summer story: a realistic tone, while still being cute and a little corny... everything that summer romances are. I got this book through galleygrab, but I didn't have the motivation to read it until I read an awesome review of the book that described it similar to Simon Romantic Comedies (which are some of my guilty pleasures). This book is just as cute but goes a little deeper than most SRM.

What I especially enjoyed about this book was while it was attraction at first sight, things were awkward. Neither said the right thing and they held back comments as to not upset the other. But then once they can actually be themselves around each other, they create a real connection, despite being from two totally different places. Its the kind of love that you don't know how long it will last, but are grateful for it because that person has made you better.

I absolutely love Anna and her snarkiness. She has an awesome voice. And the banter between her and Will is just adorable. I honestly could keep gushing about how cute/adorable/and other synonyms this book is, but let me just end this by saying I enjoyed it so much that I look forward to immediately buying anything else Michelle comes out with in the future.
Plot: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Uniqueness: 3/5
Characters: 5/5

Similar Titles:
Maine SqueezePlaying Hurt

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Book Review : Paradise

Book: Paradise
Author: Jill S. Alexander
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Date Published: July 5, 2011
Pages: 256
Source: ARC Tour
Date Read: May 16, 2011

Paisley Tillery is the drummer for a country rock band. If they can make it to the stage at the Texapalooza music fest, then Paisley will be closer to her dream of a career in music and a ticket out of her small Texas town.

Drumming and music are what Paisley has always wanted. Until the band gets a new lead singer, the boy from Paradise, Texas. With Paradise in her life, what Paisley wants, and what she needs, complicate her dreams coming true.

Summary Taken from Goodreads
Yani's Review:
Music. Country. Kick-ass drummer girls. Murse (Male Purse) wearing accordion players... well that one doesn't sound as great but let me tell you, it is! If you have read a reiew for this book already you will have seen many people were upset by the ending, and while I did find it shocking and ________ (I am not going to write the other feeling as you will then have clues as to what happens), I understood where it came into play for the story.

I loved this book. So different than other stories and plots, yet at the same time sharing that common message of growing up and learning to find yourself. And that is what the amazing Paisley is trying to do. She is down to earth, chill lover of music type... I just want to be best friends with her and go to listen to her band play. They were awesome. I could literally feel the music coming off the pages!!

The setting was amazing too. Although I am a city girl, I could totally imagine and picture her town -the barn parties and the rodeos- and it just made me want to drive up to Texas and visit all these cool places.

Best part of story = Paradise. He was not your typical band god that would make you swoon, yet he found a way to do that anyways. I mean seriously with a name like Gabriela (which is not really that common with Hispanics, I would know) and the fact that her carries a murse and plays an accordion, I would think total geek! But his self confidence exudes, even through the papers, and I can see why Paisley can't help but be attracted to him.

Again, despite the shocking ending, I really loved this book and even though I wish it didn't end the way it did, I can see why its important to the story. Still WHY? WHY?

Plot: 4/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Uniqueness: 5/5
Characters: 5/5

Similar Titles:
Lovestruck SummerJust ListenGuitar Girl

Memorable Quotes:
"I reached into my back pocket. Pulled out my drumsticks. I tossed one into my left hand and twirled the other by my side. Just to let him know I was more than eye candy and the role of band badass was taken." Paisley

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Book Rivals: Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood and The Lipstick Laws

Book Rivals:
Two Books. Similar Stories. One Winner.
This if the first post in a new feature I am creating. Lately, I have been feeling the similar styles of many books, and without meaning to I always chose a winner. I know its not a competition and each book stands on its own merit, but I still have one I like more than the other. This month I read two great books about mean girls. They both have similar themes of vengeance and being the bigger person. Here are my reviews...

Book One:

Book: Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood
Author: Eileen Cook
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Date Published: December 26, 2009
Pages: 272
Source: Library
Date Read: April 25, 2011

Popularity is the best revenge.

In the final weeks of eighth grade, Lauren Wood made a choice. She betrayed her best friend, Helen, in a manner so publicly humiliating that Helen had to move to a new town just to save face.

Ditching Helen was worth it, though, because Lauren started high school as one of the It Girls--and now, at the start of her senior year, she's the cheerleading captain, the quarterback's girlfriend, and the undisputed queen bee. Lauren has everything she's ever wanted, and she has forgotten all about her ex-best friend.

But Helen could never forget Lauren. After three years of obsessing, she's moving back to her old town. She has a new name and a new look, but she hasn’t dropped her old grudges. She has a detailed plan to bring down her former BFF by taking away everything that's ever been important to Lauren—starting with her boyfriend.

Watch out, Lauren Wood. Things are about to get bitchy.
Summary Taken from Goodreads
Yani's Review:
I am a big fan of Eileen Cook's work. She has a great writing style and her books are laugh out loud funny. However, I am really glad I got this book from the library and didn't buy it. Not to say this book wasn't funny or it was bad writing, I just didn't connect to the characters like I did with her other books.

The plot was interesting, but it didn't have anything new to add. Take Mean Girls and make it into a book and you got Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood.... the lesson being that become like someone to take them down makes you no better than they are.

The one thing I really liked was the geeky new BFF Brenda. She was smart and funny and knew who she was. And Christopher sounds hot, but I would have liked to see more dimensions to him.

I didn't like the ending either. It came together too quick and neatly, and Lauren was the same bitch she was in the beginning. Not that every story about a mean girl must have a transformation or enlightenment, but I just wasn't satisfied. Overall it was a funny read, but that is about it.

Please check out Eileen's other books: What would Emma do? and The Education of Hailey Kendricks. Those where funny complete stories with amazing main characters.

Book Two:

Book: The Lipstick Laws
Author: Amy Holder
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Date Published: April 4, 2011
Pages: 243
Source: Netgalley
Date Read: May 16, 2011

At Penford High School, Britney Taylor is the queen bee. She dates whomever she likes, rules over her inner circle of friends like Genghis Khan, and can ruin anyone's life with a snap of perfectly manicured fingers. Just ask the unfortunate few who have crossed her.   For April Bowers, Britney is also the answer to her prayers. April is so unpopular, kids don't even know she exists. But one lunch spent at Britney's table, and April is basking in the glow of popularity.   But Britney's friendship comes with a high price tag. How much is April willing to pay?
Summary Taken from Goodreads
Yani's Review:
This book had me on a roller coaster. One minute I was really feeling it and the next I was so over it. I was even tempted to stop reading it altogether a couple of times, but I kept going because of the Amy's writing. She has a great sense of writing style, and while this book felt 'younger' the words weren't. I mean the first couple of paragraphs had me cracking up.

I really liked April, and while I did have some issues with her (similar to above... aka good girl becoming mean girl to defeat original mean girl), I felt like April always knew what she was doing was wrong. Also, she never believed Britney was that great of a person when she became friends with her, she was just lonely and I could totally understand that. I was lucky enough that I never had to go through the first day (or year) of high school without friends, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

And Britney really is the typical mean girl. She is nasty and cruel and as self absorbed as ever. And she advocates shallow things, like not gaining weight by not eating , though this next line made me laugh:
Remember, a growling stomach is just a round of applause for a job well done!
The story moves really quickly and things fall apart for April in the first third of the book. Its your typical revenge/nemesis story, with a love interest of course, but I did find it lacking a little in the love side and the way it was set-up. Overall, I still enjoyed the story and think April is a realistic character, smart and funny, and no matter what I don't ever really think she questions that. She is more self-assured than she ever realized.

A great story about finding out who your true friends are and being a better person than those that try to bring you down.
Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood
Plot: 2/5
Writing Style: 4/5
Uniqueness: 2/5
Characters: 3/5

The Lipstick Laws
Plot: 2/5
Writing Style: 4/5
Uniqueness: 2/5
Characters: 3/5

Similar Titles:
Cracked Up to BeThe Lipstick Laws

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Book Review : The ABCs of Kissing Boys

Book: The ABC's of Kissing Boys
Author: Tina Ferraro
Publisher: Delacorte
Date Published: January 13, 2009
Pages: 224
Source: Kindle
Date Read: July, 2009

Parker Stanhope has played soccer practically since she could walk. And now that she’s a high school junior, everything she’s worked for is finally coming together. She’s paid her dues on the field, and as an upperclassman, she’s a shoo-in for the varsity team. But that’s not what happens.

This year, Coach Hartley moved up every JV player but two—and one of those two was Parker. Now, she’s stuck with the freshmen, her friends are cutting her loose, and her love of the game is seriously beginning to fail. But Parker is determined to get her life back. She has to get on the varsity team, and she has the perfect plan. All she needs now is the right kind of coach.

Summary Taken from Goodreads
Yani's Review:
This will be a mini review, because I didn't have time to reread this book. I just want to say this is perfect recipe for making me smile. It had cute awkward moments and sweet kissing ones. I honestly have never been one for younger guys, but after this book I definitely never looked them over either.I thought Parker was awesome going after what she wanted, and I loved how she begins to realize what is really important. I love the family feud thing going on, almost make them like Romeo and Juliet. Everything is stacked against her, yet Parker continues to fight and ends up winning it all! duh =)

Plot: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Uniqueness: 4/5
Characters: 5/5

Similar Titles:

Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom DressHow to Hook a Hottie

Interview: Tammara Webber

About Writing:

Q. I know you have decided to self-publish Between the Lines, what made you decide this was the best option for you?
Selling contemporary YA is tough, especially for an unproven author. Publishers (and by extension, agents) want “high concept” ideas (think Graceling, Hunger Games, Delirium). I write contemporary stories that build rather than start with a bang, and I’m big on character development. The plot doesn’t always race ahead, isn’t always visible. Also, I tend to do stuff you aren’t supposed to do, which drives my critique partners a little crazy. I won’t say what, because I don’t want to spoil the story! But when someone says, “You can’t do that,” it makes me think Oh yeah? Why not?
Q. Do you think you will continue to self-publish or keep trying to send queries and sell to a publishing company?
Agents are the publishing industry gatekeepers. They get several hundred queries a week. They might request 100 manuscripts in a month, and take on 1-3 clients a year out of those. If they don’t love something immediately, they pass. Those are scary, depressing odds. My plan is to be an indie author until/unless it doesn’t make sense to do so. I’ve written the sequel to Between the Lines (still working on a title – titles kill me), I have my current WIP, and I have a fourth story swirling around in my head. (I’m making notes and doing research for that last one until I finish editing/revising the second one and writing the third.) I may try querying again at some point, but I’m feeling very wait-and-see at the moment. Writing is the career I intend to pursue, and however I do it is fine, as long as I do it.
Q. What advice do you give other writers out there trying to make it? What was the best advice you have been given?
Put your best work out there. It can’t be “good enough.” The thing is, only you can say This is as good as I can make it. You need to connect with other writers – I suggest 2-3 at a similar level – and trade chapters. You should be tough on your partners, and you want them to be tough on you. That said, don’t stick with someone who’s a dream-killer, and don’t shoot down someone else’s dream. Writing is a craft. If you work at it, you should get better. That can’t happen if you’re in love with everything you write, though. You have to be willing to say, or hear your partners say, “This is kind of crap,” and be willing to throw stuff out. You also have to trust your gut on when to ignore advice. Ultimately, it’s your story, and their names aren’t on it. Yours is.

About The Book:

Q. What inspired Between the Lines?
This story began nudging me when I became aware of how involved some fans can get in the lives of their favorite stars – or the ones they dislike. People say some horrible things online about them. They build them up and tear them down, and believe they should be privy to everything actors do because they’re “public figures.” But the truth is, they’re people. They have fears, get infatuated, fall in love, get frustrated with coworkers, doubt whether they’re any good at what they do – just like the rest of us. I wanted to create a guy who had fame and reveled in it (to his detriment, at times), and a girl on the verge of becoming famous who grows increasingly certain that she doesn’t want that life.
Q. Do you have any experience with acting or did you do research to get inside the mind of the actors and actresses?
I researched the heck out of this, and my oldest son is an aspiring actor. He did theatre in high school and went on to study at NYU, and now he’s in LA, doing grunt jobs and waiting for that big break. His contacts in the business are all over the place, and he passes on all the gossip to me. He was a huge help in fact-checking Between the Lines, because I wanted to capture it as it is. He’s also one of the reasons I could see these characters as people, because every time I read or hear someone say how untalented or how unattractive some young actor or actress is, I can’t help but wonder how my son would take that.
Q. I read on your blog that Between the Lines was originally only in Emma’s viewpoint, and then you added Reid’s? How difficult was that?
That was such a difficult decision to make. I fought doing it for several months, during which I was writing the sequel, which had emerged as a dual POV from the start. Adding Reid meant stripping a lot of Emma’s POV out. The first thing I did was add Reid to the first few chapters, when they haven’t yet met. I knew then that it was the right thing to do, and that made the decision easier, though the massive cutting was still rough. Once I decided to do it, I just went at it like I was hacking through a jungle with a machete. It was ugly.
Q. Did you ever think of having Graham’s view instead of Reid’s? Or Brooke’s at some point?
I did consider that. I decided, though, that Graham and Brooke could be accurately portrayed, for the most part, through Emma’s and Reid’s eyes. Reid is complicated. He seems one way and is another. I wanted the reader in his head because otherwise they’d never be able to tell what’s real where he’s concerned. That’s one thing about him – he’s honest to the extreme with himself, and with a couple of choice friends. Everyone else gets the persona. I didn’t want more than two POVs for this book because I knew it would slow the plot down too much.
Q. I loved the all the characters’ backstory, was that always in place when you began writing or did it come to you when you were in the process of creating the story?
Emma’s backstory, I knew. I actually misjudged Reid until I was near the end. He surprised me. That’s one of the things I love about writing. I seem to be telling a story, but really, I just create the characters and put them together and let them go. Like improv. If it works, it resonates and expands and grows into something I’m proud of writing. If it doesn’t, I rework it or ditch the whole project and move on to something that clicks.
Find out more about Tammara and Between the Lines Here!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Book Review : Between the Lines

Book: Between the Lines
Author: Tammara Webber
Publisher: Self-Published
Date Published: April 29, 2011
Pages: ~300
Source: Kindle
Date Read: May 10, 2011

When Hollywood It Boy, Reid Alexander, arrives on location to shoot his next movie, his goals are the same as always-film another blockbuster hit and enjoy his celebrity status to the fullest while doing so. His costar is a virtual unknown with whom he had blazing hot chemistry during her auditions. The universe is lining up nicely to grant whatever he wants, as usual, until he's confronted with unexpected obstacles on location like a bitter ex-girlfriend and a rival for the first girl to spark his genuine interest in years.

Emma Pierce just got her big break after more than a decade of filming commercials for grape juice, department stores and tampons, and more recently, bit parts in made-for-TV movies. Nailing the lead role in a wide-release film sent her agent, father and stepmother into raptures, and should have done the same for her. The Problem? Emma is experiencing a building desire to be normal, and starring in a silly, modernized adaptation of one of her favorite novels-opposite the very hot Reid Alexander-isn't going to advance that aspiration.

Graham Douglas doesn't fear playing the part of a nerdy dimwit; when it comes to choosing film roles, if it pays, he'll do it. Besides, his friend Brooke Cameron snatched up the role of the bitchy hot girl and could use his help as a buffer, because her ex is the star. Graham has no problem keeping a handle on the situation, until he finds himself attracted to Reid's costar, Emma, the girl Reid is pursuing full-throttle with his standard arsenal of charm, good looks and arrogance.

Summary Taken from Goodreads
Yani's Review:
Mostly when an author approaches me to review their book, it’s for a self-published work. I was very wary of reading them at first, but after reading In The Storm by Karen Metcalf I realized that there are some really great self-published works out there. Yes, they might not be the best edited or the most complete well rounded story, but these authors have amazing potential. Some have even more than just potential; they know how to capture a reader. Between the Lines is one of those stories that makes me wonder how it could have not been picked up by some major publishing companies and for that reason it is this months Spread the Word pick. (This is a feature for self-published or small publisher’s books to Spread the Word about some great but not well known authors and books)

If you have read Jenna and Jonah’s Fauxmance this book will immediately appeal to you. It has that same interesting premise of what it’s really like in an actor’s and actress’s life, and lets just say they don’t have it easy. They have family issues, they have lost people, they have been hurt and that’s what makes this book so great. I really connected with both Reid and Emma. Though this book was not as I thought it would be -four viewpoints- you still get a bit of everyone’s story. You see two parallel lives and you wish the best for both Emma and Reid.

And let me tell you they are funny. Bad boy Reid and sweet Emma, I feel like they are really out there somewhere, their voice was so genuine and real. I loved the distinction when it was Emma’s voice, she described everything and her emotion, while Reid the guy voice was sparse and to the point. Even when Reid was a jerk, I knew where he was coming from. And while I love Reid, I complete fell head over heels for Graham. *Swoon*

I am really excited that there will be a sequel to this book because I can’t wait to read more about Reid, Emma, Graham, and Brooke. This book is seriously a steal and you can find it on Amazon for only $.99 right now! So buy it!

Plot: 5/5
Writing Style: 4/5
Uniqueness: 4/5
Characters: 5/5

Similar Titles:
Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance

Memorable Quotes:

“I move from guarded dislike to I hate this guy.” - Reid

Buy Between the Lines! It's so worth it!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

EScott Book Week : Loss and Death in YA Fiction

It is Between Here and Forever Release Day! 
Find my review here.
While reading, I was reminded about so many great YA books that touch upon loss and death for teenagers. Below is my post about these books and why I feel they are timeless.

Be sure to post your reviews and discussions in the linky below to receive extra entries in The Secret Life of An Avid Reader's EScott Week Giveaway!!
I am not sure if you guys know this about me, but I am a sucker for emotional contemporary pieces. I do love a good cry, but on top of that I also love how in touch some authors are with how young adults deal with grief. I have never felt so connected to main characters as when they are so vulnerable. Grief/Loss/Death are all jump starters in contemporary novels and help the MC find themselves and their paths in life. Below are some of my favorites contemporary novels that deal with the above themes =D

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
by Morgan Matson

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road -- diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

The Sky Is Everywhere 
by Jandy Nelson

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.

This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie's struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.

Fall for Anything 
by Courtney Summers

When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he seemed to find inspiration in everything he saw? And, most important, why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. Culler seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on...but are some questions better left unanswered?

So what are some or you favorite emotional contemporary books? Comment below =D
Also, to see some of Jude's and my reviews for these books, click on the tags below.

- US Only
- 13 + only
- Runs until May 25, 2011
- May only enter once (on this blog), we will count the extra entries manually
- Each blog is hosting their own giveaway for one set of the books, but here in TSLoaAR, you have a chance to win 1 of 3!
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