Monday, July 30, 2012

Why Aren't There More Hours In The Day???

Not too long ago I posted my Top Ten favorite recent reads. Well, now I'm gonna share those books that are either sitting on my nightstand just beggin' to be read, or that I'm (im)patiently counting down the days for. Also known as: The Top Ten Reasons I Wish I Was A Speed Reader!

INSURGENT by Veronica Roth. DIVERGENT made my recent Top Ten faves, but I still haven't gotten around to INSURGENT, which is sad because I'm D-Y-I-N-G to know what happens next!!!  Plus, I totally need more Four!

BEAUTIFUL REDEMPTION by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia. Okay, so BEAUTIFUL CREATURES makes my faves of all-time list (which I haven't posted yet, but I totally will). This is one of those series you get lost in: the writing, the imagery, the characters (oh, the characters!). Plus, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES is coming to the big screen February 2013, so if you haven't already started then you'd better get on it!

TIGER'S CURSE by Colleen Houck. Yes, everyone's read these books already, but I'm always behind (did you not see the title of the post?!).  I adore Colleen. And shapeshifters. And kissing. So I have a feeling this one's right up my alley!

UNSPOKEN and TEAM HUMAN (I'm counting these two titles as one since they're both by Sarah Rees Brennan...although TEAM HUMAN is co-authored by Justine Larbalestier).  Oh, how I love me some SRB! She's smart, charming, Irish, and awesomely hilarious!

SPLINTERED by A.G. Howard. Do I really have to say anything? Just look at that cover...

A MILLION SUNS by Beth Revis. I was so enamored by ACROSS THE UNIVERSE that I think I'm sort of afraid to start A MILLION SUNS. Not because it won't live up to the first one, but more because I don't want this series to ever, ever, EVER end. Ever.

UNCONTROLLABLE by S.R. Johannes. I might not be a nature girl, but I loved reading Grace's plight in UNTRACEABLE, and can't wait to see what she'll be up to next!

CINDER by Marissa Meyer. Meyer blends sci-fi with fairy tale, and honestly, what more could a girl want???

DIE FOR ME by Amy Plum. Seriously, another one that's been out forever that I still haven't gotten around to reading, but I totally should. What it has to offer: a Paris backdrop, creatures called Revenants, and, you guessed it, kissing! Ooh-la-la!!!

And, because I've mentioned before that I can't count, here's a list of upcoming debuts that I'm dying to get my hands on:  MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza, THE MADMAN'S DAUGHTER by Megan Shepherd, LEVEL 2 by Lenore Appelhans, LET THE SKY FALL by Shannon Messenger, and TAKEN by Erin Bowman.

I could seriously keep going and going, but I have to stop somewhere, so now it's your turn...

What's on your reading wish-list???

Monday, July 23, 2012


I’ve noticed one question popping up more and more frequently during panel and signing Q&A sessions:  Are Young Adult books getting darker? 

There seems to be a lot of speculation that YA is beginning to trend toward the dark side, and it begs the question, are teens really seeking out darker subject matter?  Are authors trying to see how far is too far? And what, exactly, is the draw for these tender young readers on the cusp of adulthood?

With the recent surge in dystopians and paranormals in YA, we’ve seen tributes fight to the death, zombie apocalypses, vampires who will either love you or rip your throat out, an up-rise in serial killers, and plagues that have destroyed nearly the entire world’s population.  It’s starting to feel as if we’ve reached a desolate time in young adult literature.

I find this topic endlessly fascinating, the idea that teens have only just discovered these “dark” topics, or that teens of today are reading materials that are much more sinister, somehow, than those of the generations before them. Umm, hold on a moment while I fondly recall curling beneath the covers and reading Stephen King’s SALEM’S LOT at the ripe old age of 14 (and those were definitely not the vampires that sparkled).  So forgive me if I scoff at the notion of teens-of-today being more obsessed or fascinated by horror or violence or just plain ole gore than those of yesteryear (and, ehem, I apologize to those of my generation for calling it “yesteryear”).  Or that they’ve been somehow corrupted by the books that are flooding the market...books that are indulging this bloodlust. 

Honestly, I think what’s really happening here is that publishers are finally realizing that teens have always been reading this stuff. That before we had a substantial Young Adult section in bookstores, as teens we were reading Stephen King or Christopher Pike or Clive Barker...and even, dare I say it, a little Edgar Allen Poe? This fascination isn’t new. Hell, the subject matter isn’t even new. It’s just the realization that teens don’t need to be treated with kid gloves; that they can actually handle it...and that even if it’s not shelved in the YA section, doesn’t mean that teen readers won’t find the material. Honestly, as a parent, I’m much more concerned with what they can find on the internet as opposed to in the pages of a novel. 

So what about you, if you’re a teen, what kind books do you like to read? And if you’re not, who (or what) did you curl up with in your yesteryears???

I, for one, was a pretty eclectic reader...even back then. Some of my favorite teen reads were The Shining (or pretty much anything by Stephen King), The Color Purple, Suffer the Children (or anything by John Saul), To Kill a Mockingbird (still my all-time fave!), and Pride and Prejudice. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I haven't been reading nearly as much as I'd like lately, but it's really one of my favorite things to do. Shocking, I know!  But every now and then I like to put together a list of my favorite recent reads, and summer seems like as good a time as any to post another of these TOP TENS, so here goes (in no particular order!):

CARNIVAL OF SOULS by Melissa Marr (Okay, so this one is first because Melissa is beginning to top my list of all-time favorite authors. I love her WICKED LOVELY series, and ditto with GRAVEMINDER, so when I had the chance to read CARNIVAL, I jumped at it. Suffice it to say, I was so not disappointed! This one's out September 4th!)

BLACK HEART by Holly Black (Another fave of mine. Her Curse Workers series has turned her into one of my author crushes and has put her at risk of being kissed on the lips if/when I see her in person again!)

VAMPIRE ACADEMY by Richelle Mead (I am so late to the party in starting this series, but I totally get why it's so hugely popular. I immediately fell in love with Rose's bad-ass, no-nonsense sensibility...and then fell just as hard for Dimitri Belikov with his hot Russian accent. Did I mention he's hot? And Russian???)

VELVETEEN by Danny Marks (Like CARNIVAL OF SOULS, this debut YA is another book that isn't out quite yet--it comes out October 9th. It had everything I love in a book: a creepy serial killer, a ghost hell-bent on revenge, an underworld in the throes of revolution, and a fair amount of kissing!!!You should totally pre-order it now!)

SLIDE by Jill Hathaway (Okay, so I read this one a while back, but it made the list anyway because I really, really loved it. Vee is a narcoleptic who "slides" into other people's bodies and finds herself in the middle of a mystery when she wakes up in a murderer's body. How cool is that? Plus, this is one of those rare books I sorta want to re-read because I loved the character's voice so much. She's so spot-on today's teen. At least the kind of teens in my household: one part snotty brat and one part vulnerable child.)

FRACTURE by Megan Miranda (Another one that I'd read months ago, but still want to rave about for the same reason as SLIDE--loveloveloved the voice. Funny enough, turns out that these two authors are crit partners! You should totally read FRACTURE if you haven't already...I'm still thinking about this one.)

BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver (Since pretty much everyone's already read this, there's not much to say really, except...WOW! This book makes me want to be a better writer.) 

SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater (Seriously, I'm not sure how she did it, but somehow Stiefvater made killer horses lyrical. Lyrical. I listened to the audio version of this book, and I'm so glad I did. I fell under the spell of both the narrators' voices and the author's writing, and there were several times I missed a turn or spent way too long sitting in my driveway just to keep listening. Beautiful and intense!!!) 

THE PROGRAM by Suzanne Young (It's no secret I'm a Suzanne Young fan--I loved A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL! So when an early copy of THE PROGRAM landed in my inbox, I dropped everything to read it. This one's not out till 2013, but I'm telling you it's frightening and sweet and so compelling, you won't be able to put it down!) 

DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth (And this is why I said "in no particular order." Divergent was one of the best books I read this year, maybe even this decade! Another one that pretty much everyone's read, but I couldn't very well leave off the list. Seriously, if you haven't already picked this one up, why the frick not???)

And what TOP TEN list would be complete without an eleventh book? I couldn't help myself because I recently read this awesome adult novel (and, no, it wasn't FIFTY SHADES OF GREY!). INTO THE DARKEST CORNER by Elizabeth Haynes is a dark glimpse into a woman's escape from an abusive relationship, the toll it's taken on her, and what happens when that ex comes after her. If I wasn't already checking and double-checking my locks at night, I definitely would be after reading this book!!! (Warning: Not for the faint of heart. Also not for children!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

In Which I Discuss The Characters In THE LAST ECHO...

Now you can see how I picture some of my latest characters...

(Psst, if you can't see the video, click this link!)

Oh, and if you're in Seattle, check out my Events' Page...I'll be signing at the Pacific NW Writer's conference on Friday night. The 8:30 signing is free, open to the public, AND they'll have books for sale if you don't already have them!!!