31 March, 2014

April 2014 Events

Hello! I am not sure how in the world it's April already but it is and this month is just full of awesome YA book events. We literally have a big event for each weekend in April, not to mention some awesome signings in between. I think there's probably an event here for everyone so come out and support your local authors and bookstores if you can. Happy reading!

Tuesday April 1, 2014 7pm
Gabrielle Zevin 
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Vromans Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, California 91101
event page

Tuesday April 1, 2014 7pm
Ava Dellaria
Love Leters to the Dead
Barnes & Noble The Grove
189 The Grove Drive Suite K 30
Los Angeles, CA 90036
event page

Saturday April 5, 2014 11am
Salina Yoon 
Penguin in Love
Unwind Yarn
818 North Hollywood Way
Burbank CA 91505
event page

Sunday April 6, 2014 2pm
Jenn Reese
Horizon Book Launch Party
Once Upon A Time Bookstore

2207 Honolulu Ave
Montrose, CA
event page

Monday April 7, 2014 7:30pm
John Corey Whaley
Noggin Book Launch Party
Skylight Books
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles 90027
event page

Wednesday April 9, 2014 7pm
John Corey Whaley
Buena Vista Library
300 N. Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA 91505
event page

Friday April 11, 2014 11:30am - 1:30pm
Gabrielle Zevin Lunch 
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach
2810 Artesia Blvd.
Redondo Beach, CA 90278

Please join us on Friday, April 11 for lunch with Gabrielle Zevin. This fabulous author has created a book near and dear to our hearts... about a bookseller who lives on an island off the east coast. We know you will be enchanted. We promise that you will love The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and adore Gabrielle Zevin. 
We invite all genders of book lovers to join us for lunch at Lido di Manhattan in Manhattan Beach to talk books with Gabrielle and meet our new non-profit beneficiary, Literally Healing. 
Registration and informal discussions with our author begins at 11:30am. Lunch and our formal program begins promptly at noon. Reservations are required and limited. 
To make your reservation for this not-for-women-only event, please purchase your ticket from Brown Paper Ticket. Alternatively, you may also purchase your ticket to the event by visiting or calling the Redondo Beach store (310-542-6000).
event page

Sat/Sun April 12 -13, 2014 all day
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
So. Many. Authors. Amazing line up this year - full schedule
University of Southern California Campus
3551 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Friday April 11, 2014 7pm
5 Fantastic YA Authors at MG San Diego
J.R. Johnansson (Insomnia), Rachel Hawkins (Rebel Belle), Debra Driza (MILA 2.0), Shannon Messenger (Let the Storm Break), Nancy Holder (Hot Blooded)
Mysterious Galaxy San Diego
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd #203
San Diego, CA 92111

Saturday April 12, 2014
Laini Taylor
Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (Time TK)
University of Southern California Campus
3551 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Sunday, April 13, 2014 2pm
Laini Taylor
Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Barnes & Noble (Huntington Beach)
7881 Edinger Ave. #110
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Monday April 14, 2014 7pm
Little Poems for Tiny Ears
*Ticketed event. Please see event page for details on how to sign up.
Once Upon A Time Bookstore

2207 Honolulu Ave
Montrose, CA
event page

Monday April 14, 2014 7pm
Melissa de la Cruz
The Ring and the Crown 
Vromans Bookstore
Vromans Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, California 91101
event page

Tuesday April 15, 2014 7pm
Melissa de la Cruz
The Ring and the Crown
Mysterious Galaxy San Diego
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd #203
San Diego, CA 92111
event page

Thursday, April 17, 2014 4pm
Teen Author Reading Series 

Featuring authors Rachel Searles, Laurisa White Reyes, Sarah Skilton, and Amy Helmes 
Sunland-Tujunga Library
7771 Foothill Boulevard
Tujunga, CA 91042

April 18-20, 2014 all day
WonderCon Anaheim
Anaheim Convention Center
schedule TBD
Saturday, April 19th, 2014 1pm
Sarah Skilton
High & Dry Book Launch Party

Reading, Q&A, Signing, Raffles & Prizes
Barnes & Noble Valencia, CA
Creekside Place, 23630 Valencia Blvd.
Santa Clarita, CA 91355
event page

Thursday April 24, 2014 7:30 pm
Carrie Arcos
There Will Come a Time Book Launch Party

Skylight Books
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles CA 90027

event page

Saturday April 26, 2014 5pm
Brandy Colbert
Skylight Books
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles CA 90027
event page

Saturday April 26, 2014 12 - 4pm
Pasadena Teen Book Festival
Pasadena Public Library
285 East Walnut Street 
Pasadena, CA 91101

Participating Authors
Jesse Andrews – Me, Earl, & The Dying Girl
Carrie Arcos – There Will Come a Time
Katherine Ewell – Dear Killer
Holly Goldberg Sloan – Counting by 7s
Aaron Hartzler – Rapture Practice
Tracy Holczer - The Secret Hum of a Daisy
Kristen Kittscher - The Wig in the Window
Catherine Linka – A Girl Called Fearless
Gretchen McNeil - 3:59
Lissa Price – Enders
Elizabeth Ross – Belle Epoque
Frances Sackett – The Misadventures of the Magician’s Dog
Rachel Searles – The Lost Planet
Sarah Skilton – High & Dry
Andrew Smith – Grasshopper Jungle
Amy Spalding – Ink Is Thicker than Water
Ann Stampler – Afterparty
Margaret Stohl - Icons
Carol Tanzman – Circle of Silence
Amy Tintera - Reboot
Lisa Yee – Warp Speed
Allen Zadoff – Boy Nobody
with Maurene Goo, Laurisa White Reyes, and Scott Bly (signing only)

Ahhhh! So many events this month. We hope you can make it out to some of them and if you see us, please say hi. :)

30 March, 2014

Stacked (19)

Stacked is our sister-site's weekly mailbox-sharing feature.

Crikey, it's been a while! I've only acquired a handful of books since last time, which is good for the hoard, but I do also have a ton of news. I'll try to bullet-point it and use lots of photos so you don't get antsy :) Sorry, not going to happen. I have a lot to say, I guess!

First off, I finally started hitting the bookstores near my parents' place in Manila. Did you know that in a recent study by the World Culture Score Index, the Philippines is the top 4 country in the world in terms of time spent reading per person? The US is #22 on that list, though only a couple hours less per week on average.

In the mall near my mom's house alone there are at least 4 bookstores, that I know of anyway. One is inside the supermarket. In some of the malls the bookstores take up 3 or more floors! There's even one mall where I was getting so confused because the same company would have a store on the ground level and one on the third floor. Not just one company, but two different ones with multiple locations in the same mall. It's pretty crazy.

Anyway, here's one shelf from a store called Book Sale. It's basically a used bookstore (they sell some new books from local presses as well as magazines and assorted stationery like gift wrap and notebooks) and they are freaking everywhere. I was too embarrassed to take a photo of the store to show you what one looks like (I was already kind of lurking and surreptitiously taking pics). They basically cram everything into a tiny space, pile books on the floor, triple-stack them on shelves and tables with no real order. You just have to pick through and find something you might want to read. I think it's pretty fun! I ended up with Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking and Ann Patchett's Bel Canto for about $2 each.

I also went to Fully Booked at the GreenHills Promenade. I like them because the interior is kind of cool, they face out a lot of their books (especially in arts and design, where it matters so much!) though this isn't one of their coolest locations. Their kids/YA section was in disappointing disarray, but at least they have some nice huge display tables for new and bestselling YA. I even found some sale books for half off!

The thing they really have going for them is their selection. I just have to stop myself from going in and re-organizing their shelves. I will be doing a Shop Hop post soon (yep, bringing that back) where I will go into more detail.

Next up, I finally freaking finished the Pasadena Teen Book Festival website! PHEW. I hope you'll take a look when you're done here.

Also, next weekend is the 3rd Annual Yarn Crawl LA--our friends at Unwind in Burbank will be hosting Salina Yoon on Sat, Apr 5 from 11am-1 pm. There will be storytime, crafting, and snacks. My cousin and epic-level cake popper Adri P. is bringing Penguin and Bootsy pops! Our very own Thuy is running the show. Salina will show kids how to do finger-knitting, even though she admits she doesn't know how to knit for reals, haha! Once Upon a Time Bookstore will be selling Salina's books, including the Penguin titles and her latest book, Found! Awesome yarnista and knitwear designer Heather Walpole of Ewe Ewe Yarns created a scarf and hat pattern inspired by Penguin in Love. You can peek at the samples here and pick up the kit at Unwind during the Yarn Crawl! Last but not least, our favorite photographer Katie Ferguson will be on hand to document the event. I can't be there, sadly, but maybe I can eat some cake pops while I look at the photos afterwards!

This weekend, I headed out to Glorietta Mall to meet up with some of the Filipino book bloggers (find them #PHYAbookbloggers on Twitter). Thanks Louisse (@louisse_ang), Kate (@BookishBlurber), and Jesselle (@_jessellev) for hanging out with me! They actually had to run off to Becca Fitzpatrick's blogger forum and OMG you have to go look at their photos because Black. Ice. ARCs. Who do I have to beg, bribe, or bake for at Simon & Schuster to get a hold of one of those?

My selfie skills were strained to the max, haha! You can see the rest of our photos on my Instagram feed @frootjoos. I totally missed Kai (aka @amaterasureads) but I still hope to meet up with her and get a #PHYAbookbloggers t-shirt because how cool is that?!

Anyway, about the signing. I didn't get to go because I was going to have to work at 11 pm (I know, time zone madness) and the signing was at 4 pm. So what, you say? That's plenty of time!

People, this was the line at National Bookstore at 8 am for this 4 pm signing:

This was the bottom floor of the bookstore (which has 4 floors I think, I didn't get to them all) at 1 pm:

Schei├če! American YA fans, you don't even know. I think we sometimes take these events for granted, since so many YA authors actually live there. On the other hand, publishers, this is where you should send YA authors. Pinoys read! They read widely. We love fantasy as much as we love contemporary. We love Andrew Smith as much as we love Cassandra Clare--yes, they've read and loved The Marbury Lens. We are equal-opportunity readers. We buy books (libraries aren't really a big thing here) and we wait patiently in massively mind-numbingly long lines. We fangirl like it's going out of style (you would know how over the top we go if you had been here the year Michael Jackson died--I swear I didn't enter a single mall, jeepney, or restaurant that didn't have MJ songs playing or being performed by avid karaoke singers).

In case you're wondering, here's who I heard they want to see the most: Rainbow Rowell, Jennifer E. Smith, and Leigh Bardugo.

I actually really wanted to see Kate Evangelista (Til Death, Entangled Teen 2014) but I had to work that day, too. Bummer! Her launch party looked like it was a lot of fun. I did buy her book at National yesterday.

National actually books auditoriums for some visits, where they expect way more people than will fit in their store. Example:

Anyway, I'm sad I didn't get to see Becca, but I have already met her 3 times, and hopefully she'll tour in SoCal when Black Ice when it hits the shelves on October 7, 2014.

Crap, I just thought of three more book-related things to tell you. But this post is way over tl;dr already so I'll just leave you with this:

Folks, I legit fell off a futon when I read the email telling me to expect one in the mail. Like I wasn't excited enough to get Ruin & Rising when it releases on June 17! Anyway, my husband took a photo of the package contents with my lil' Darkling-wannabe John Carter, but he refused to read me the chapter sampler over FaceTime. *frowny-face*

27 March, 2014

4th Annual Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop Sign-ups!

Hoppy Easter 2
4th Annual Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop
April 17th to 24th
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A WriterRead Now Sleep Later
  • You must host a giveaway on your site, you are responsible for obtaining a prize for giveaway and taking care of the shipping charges.  Your prize must be valued at $8 or more.
  • You must giveaway something a reader, author or blogger would enjoy.
  • Your giveaway post must include the hop image & linky (or links to the host’s sites if you can’t get the linky to work).
  • Please only 1 mandatory entry – all others must be optional – Keep It Simple! No long lists of things for people to do. If you have dozens of things for people to do I will delete your blog from the linky.
  • Your post must be live by 9:01 AM EST on April 17th. (That is 6 AM April 17th if you live in California).  Posting Wednesday April 16th prior to going to bed is fine too.
  • The giveaway must be specifically for this hop.
  • Your site must be family friendly – no erotica or 18+ sites. Your site & giveaway must be free of steamy images and book covers. If it would embarrass me to have my teenagers see it, it can’t be on your site.
  • It is your responsibility to check the linky on April 17th to be sure you are still on the linky and that your link is accurate.
  • Please send Kathy a direct link to your post when it goes live. The email is below.
  • If you are using Rafflecopter set it to begin on April 16th and end on APRIL 25th.
  • The rest of my standard hop rules apply. If you have not hopped with me recently please review the hop rules here: http://www.iamareader.com/giveaway-hop-rules
  • Blogs may choose to run their giveaway via comments, a google form or rafflecopter.
To sign up to host a giveaway add your blog to the linky below with your shipping info in parenthesis following your blog name. If you forget I will assume you are shipping to US only and add (US) after your blog name.
DO NOT SIGN UP UNLESS YOU ARE COMMITTED TO POST AND HAVE WRITTEN IT ON YOUR CALENDAR! 1 in 5 bloggers who sign up never post. Please do not be one of them. Thanks!
If you have any questions email me toobusyreading-at-gmaildotcom

26 March, 2014

Author Interview with Amy Talkington

Hello, dear readers. A couple of weeks ago we participated in the Liv, Forever and had a fun guest post by author Amy Talkington. And today, we get to learn even more about Amy with an exclusive interview. Enjoy!

Hi, Amy! Thank you so much for coming onto the blog today. We are super excited to have you here.
Thanks! I’m excited too!
When did you know that you wanted to become a writer?
It’s hard to say. In high school, I wanted to be a painter but I was busy writing poetry on the side. Then, in college, I decided I wanted to be a filmmaker but at the same time I started writing about music for magazines like Spin, Ray Gun and Seventeen. After college, I was focused on directing but still kept writing—screenplays and teleplays. And then I set out to write this novel. It’s funny because I never really identified myself as a writer and yet it’s the one constant. I’ve always been doing it in one form or another. 

You have a diverse resume of writing credits but Liv, Forever is your first published novel. Have you written other books or was this your first attempt at a novel?

This is my first attempt at a novel. I wrote a number of short stories in college but never attempted a novel before Liv, Forever.
How is the story writing process different when writing a novel versus writing for film or television? Do you prefer one over the other?
Writing a novel is very different from writing a screenplay. Screenplays have super strict structure and format so I felt liberated writing Liv, Forever. I was allowed to go into Liv’s head! I was allowed to describe locations in detail! I was allowed to shift narrators (in the “Ghost Death Statements” interspersed throughout the book). It was so invigorating! That said, I do think my screenwriting past influenced the novel’s style. The writing is still pretty lean and it’s quite visual (I hope!).

In Liv, Forever, one of the characters is able to see ghosts. Do you have any real life experiences with ghosts?  
I’ve had a few ghosty moments in my life, for sure! But they weren’t scary moments, they were more comforting moments, moments when it seemed the spirit of someone I loved might be there.
Did you have to do any kind of research in order to write Liv, Forever?
I did TONS of research. First, Liv is an artist and so she talks about art a lot so I had to refresh myself on all of the art that she’d be immersed in (I studied Art History in college but I was a little rusty). But then there were tons of random topics I researched: weird boarding school traditions, Waspy names, ghost stories, ritualistic killings, spirit photography, Romanticism, Spiritualism, and the architecture of Wickham Hall. Also, each of those “Ghost Death Statements” takes place in a different decade so I did a lot of research for each of those.
What are you working on next?
As a screenwriter, I always have several projects going (you have to because they’re completely unpredictable!). At present, I’m writing a feature script for Liv, Forever. I’m also developing a TV show I’m really excited about based on Eve and Leonora Epstein’s book X vs. Y: A Culture War a Love Story. Bookwise, I have a pretty clear  idea of a book two for Liv. I hope to start it soon.

Lightning round!
Describe Liv, Forever in 140 character or less.
New to boarding school, Liv dies just as she's falling in love. A ghost, she must solve her own murder & find a way to reconnect to her love

Last book read.
X vs Y: A Culture War a Love Story by Eve and Leonora Epstein
Most recent dream.
I had a dream that I could see that a filmmaker whose work I admire had “favorited” something I posted. Clearly I’ve been spending too much time on Twitter!
Favorite writing snack and/or beverage.
Irish Breakfast Tea with milk
Cake or pie and what kind?
Cherry pie a la mode.
Thank you so much for coming onto the blog today, Amy. We are very excited about Liv, Forever and wish you the best.

25 March, 2014

Upcoming Event: Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand & Jodi Meadows at MGRB 3/29

Hi, everyone! Just a quick heads up that there is an awesome YA author event happening this weekend at Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach. I'm not sure if this event was recently added or if we just missed it, but it's definitely happening. Come meet Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows at 2:30pm on Saturday March 29, 2014. From the Mysterious Galaxy website:

"Celebrate the joy and angst of young adulthood, complicated by the paranormal and the romantic, with a trio of authors whose works embrace these themes. Brodi Ashton’s final novel in the myth-inspired Everneath trilogy, Evertrue, will determine the fate of teen Nikki and the Underworld. Publishers Weekly called the series “complex and intriguing. Drawing inspiration from such myths as Osiris, Orpheus, and Persephone, it explores the nature of loss and longing and what it means to be alive.” Cynthia Hand concluded her tale of part-angel Clare Gardner and her Unearthly trilogy with last spring’s Boundless. She just completed non-Unearthly standalone The Last Time We Say Goodbye, and may be enticed to share some tidbits about that book with attendees. And Jodi Meadows asks in her Incarnate trilogy, “What if everyone you knew could live forever . . . except you?” Infinite provides the conclusion to the compelling questions of this world, where one new girl is the key to the lives of millions."

For more info, please visit the store event page here.

Hope you can make it out to this awesome event!

Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach
2810 Artesia Blvd.
Redondo Beach, CA 90278

Pasadena Teen Book Festival Blog Tour - Spotlight on Catherine Linka

I'm so excited to kick off the Pasadena Teen Book Festival blog tour! Make sure you read through for an interview with debut YA author Catherine Linka as well as a couple of giveaways and a renaming contest!

Event date: Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 12pm-4pm

Venue: Pasadena Public Library, 285 E Walnut St, Pasadena, CA 91101

Tue March 25 - Read Now Sleep Later - Spotlight on Catherine Linka
Mon March 31 - The Windy Pages - Spotlight on Gretchen McNeil
Mon March 31 - The Windy Pages - Spotlight on Holly Goldberg Sloan
Wed April 2 - FangirlFeeels - Spotlight on Jesse Andrews
Fri April 4 - What a Nerd Girl Says - Spotlight on Andrew Smith
Mon April 7 - What a Nerd Girl Says - Spotlight on Margaret Stohl
Tue April 8 - Adventures of a Book Junkie - Spotlight on Amy Tintera
Thu April 10 - The Consummate Reader - Bridge to Books Guest Post
Fri April 11 - iFandoms Collide - Spotlight on Rachel Searles
Mon April 14 - Nite Lite Book Reviews - Spotlight on Sarah Skilton
Tue April 15 - Nite Lite Book Reviews - Spotlight on Allen Zadoff
Wed April 16 - The Reader's Antidote - Spotlight on Elizabeth Ross
Mon April 21 - iFandoms Collide - Spotlight on Carol Tanzman
Tue April 22 - The Book Twins - Spotlight on Carrie Arcos
Wed April 23 - Read Now Sleep Later - Spotlight on Tracy Holczer
Thu April 24 - Birth of a New Witch - Spotlight on Katherine Ewell
Fri April 25 - The Consummate Reader - Spotlight on Lissa Price
Date TBD - A Bookish Escape - Spotlight on Ann Redisch Stampler

About A Girl Called Fearless

Avie Reveare has the normal life of a privileged teen growing up in L.A., at least as normal as any girl’s life is these days. After a synthetic hormone in beef killed fifty million American women ten years ago, only young girls, old women, men, and boys are left to pick up the pieces. The death threat is past, but fathers still fear for their daughters’ safety, and the Paternalist Movement, begun to "protect" young women, is taking over the choices they make.

Like all her friends, Avie still mourns the loss of her mother, but she’s also dreaming about college and love and what she’ll make of her life. When her dad "contracts" her to marry a rich, older man to raise money to save his struggling company, her life suddenly narrows to two choices: Be trapped in a marriage with a controlling politician, or run. Her lifelong friend, student revolutionary Yates, urges her to run to freedom across the border to Canada. As their friendship turns to passion, the decision to leave becomes harder and harder. Running away is incredibly dangerous, and it’s possible Avie will never see Yates again. But staying could mean death.

Romantic, thought-provoking, and frighteningly real, A Girl Called Fearless is a story about fighting for the most important things in life—freedom and love.

Spotlight on Catherine Linka

RNSL: What inspired you to write A Girl Called Fearless?

CL: I am pretty passionate about the plight of girls in developing nations, and how many of them are taken out of school so they can support their families, or are sold into marriage, some as young as twelve. I wondered what it would be like for an American girl to have her world changed so completely by a cataclysmic event that she and her friends lose all control over their lives. Imagine knowing how life used to be-- driving a car, hanging out with guys, going away to college, falling in love--and you see the world returning to normal after this horrible period, and you think that in a year or so, you'll be off at college when, bam! Your father sells you into marriage to a man twice your age and you have to decide if you've got the guts to make a run for freedom.

RNSL: Your book's premise is pretty scary! What research did you have to do in terms of currently proven science facts? Did you then bend the rules towards fiction or do you think these events could really happen in our future?

CL: Thanks for asking about the science behind the Scarpanol disaster. I'm a big current events/politics dork, so I knew that Europe had banned American beef, because their researchers believe that synthetic hormones in beef act as endocrine disrupters, causing breast cancer. I switched that up by linking a new synthetic hormone for cattle to ovarian cancer, because it is very hard to diagnose, and the survival rate is much lower.

Could these events really happen? While I think that the US is pretty careful about testing drugs and additives in food, there's a lot we still don't know. And I was blown away last year when a Chinese company was allowed to buy Smithfield, the largest pork producer in America. Smithfield dictates to pork farmers around the US exactly what feed and drugs to give the pigs. Imagine what could happen if a foreign government decided to attack the US through our food supply.

RNSL: When did you first start working in the book industry?

CL: Actually, my first job in the book industry was when I'd just graduated from college and went to work as a field sales rep for a college textbook company. I traveled to colleges all over Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, calling on college professors and encouraging them to use our books in their classes. I had summers off. It was a great job.

RNSL: What got you hooked on reading and/or writing?

My mom. My mom read to me all the time. I remember when the new library opened in our town and we were the first in line for a library card. Hers actually had number "1" on it and mine had number "2."

RNSL: What's the most delicious food on earth? Not just your favorite--the one that if it were all things bad for you, poisonous even, you would still really really want to eat it?

CL: Well, I don't know what the most delicious food on earth is, but I just discovered chocolate covered cashews with caramel and sea salt. I ate an entire box last week!

You can find more about Catherine on her website, www.catherinelinka.com, and follow her on Twitter @cblinka


#1: ARC of A Girl Called Fearless
Winner may request personalization/autograph
Open to US residents only - ends 4/25/2014
Enter with Rafflecopter #1

#2: Choose from 1 of the books featured at the Pasadena Teen Book Festival
Winner may request personalization/autograph
Open to US residents only - ends 4/25/2014
Enter with Rafflecopter #2

#3: $50 Gift Card to Vroman's Bookstore
Open to attendees of the Pasadena Book Festival only! - ends 4/21/2014

To enter, suggest a new, unique/clever/fun name for the Pasadena Teen Book Festival. Examples of other cool names for teen book fests include (already taken, unfortunately) Teen Author Carnival, YALLFest, and YABFest. What should we call our event from now on? Email your top 3 best name suggestions to info@pasadenateenbookfest.com OR fill out this form! A panel of judges will choose the best name from all of the submissions. The winner will be announced at the Festival!

Trailer Tuesday

Well Trailer Tuesday has returned sooner that I thought it would, but I found a few new trailers this week. I also saw Divergent last weekend and really liked it. It was much better than I thought it was going to be and I kind of want to see it again....

Anyway, here are a few trailers for your enjoyment.

I really want to read The Ring & The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz not only for the gorgeous cover but because it looks epic and romantic. This trailer definitely conveys all that but was really surprised me was that they were able to get a Band of Horses song for it. That's pretty impressive.

Thanks to reader Joshua for pointing us in the direction of the trailer for Half Bad by Sally Green. While I am really looking forward to this book, this trailer doesn't do much for me. I think if I didn't know what this book was about already, the trailer would not be much help. But it is a pretty spooky and atmospheric trailer, which I like. 

Now I am super excited about the Days of Future Past trailer. The X-Men were always my favorite superhero group and I always liked this story line, too. I may have to re-read this before the film comes out.

Hope you enjoyed these trailers. What are you looking forward to?

24 March, 2014

A Splash of Red - Picture Book Review

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin
by Jen Bryant, illustrated Melissa Sweet
Publication date: 08 Jan 2013 by Knopf Book for Young Readers
ISBN 10/13: 0375867120 |  9780375867125
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

Category: Children's Non-Fiction Picture Book
Keywords: Children's, picture book, non-fiction, art, biography
Format: Hardcover; ebook
Source: Library


As a child in the late 1800s, Horace Pippin loved to draw: He loved the feel of the charcoal as it slid across the floor. He loved looking at something in the room and making it come alive again in front of him.He drew pictures for his sisters, his classmates, his co-workers. Even during W.W.I, Horace filled his notebooks with drawings from the trenches . . . until he was shot. Upon his return home, Horace couldn't lift his right arm, and couldn't make any art. Slowly, with lots of practice, he regained use of his arm, until once again, he was able to paint--and paint, and paint! Soon, people—including the famous painter N. C. Wyeth—started noticing Horace's art, and before long, his paintings were displayed in galleries and museums across the country.

Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet team up once again to share this inspiring story of a self-taught painter from humble beginnings who despite many obstacles, was ultimately able to do what he loved, and be recognized for who he was: an artist.

Thuy's Review:

A really wonderful and beautifully written picture book about the life of American artist Horace pippin. I had I idea the story was based on a real person when I started reading it and found myself totally engrossed by the story of Pippin's life. I was completely charmed by the story and finding out that it's about a real person just gives it more resonance.

The artwork is fantastic and is a mix of painting, drawing and collage. I especially loved the early drawings by Horace. The art also includes quotes by Pippin, which he used in his artwork. The words are simple but strong and bring another facet of Pippin to life.

I was unfamiliar with Pippin's work before and A Splash or Red presented his story in a really accessible way. I think both children and adults will be able to enjoy this book and I definitely think it will inspire interest in Pippin's work. I also liked that there was an index in the back with places where one could go see Pippin's work along with sources for more information on Pippin. I am not usually a big fan of non-fiction picture books but A Splash of Red was a delight to read and one that I highly recommend.

Visit the Jen Bryant online at www.jenbryant.com and visit the official site for the book at http://asplashofredbook.com.

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22 March, 2014

Holly Goldberg Sloan at Buena Vista Library Recap

Hi, everyone. I meant to write this post a couple of weeks ago but somehow time got away from me and I suddenly realized that more than 2 weeks had gone by since this event. So apologies for the delay.  

On March 6, 2014 Holly Goldberg Sloan (I'll Be There, Counting by 7s) did a talk and signing at Buena Vista Library in Burbank, CA. This is actually one of my local libraries and the one closest to my house. They get a great lineup of authors and I know to keep an eye out for their fliers in the YA section for upcoming signings. 

I showed up about 45 minutes before the signing and made my rounds in the library before settling in to see Holly. My friend Kimberly also came to the signing and we snagged a pair of great front row seats. The room was pretty crowded and was an eclectic mix of readers of all ages.

Holly started off by telling us about how she had recently found a bunch of old papers and projects from her childhood. Within this collection she found and old report card from her 2nd grade teacher which said that he hoped that, for the rest of her life, Holly would tell stories. Seems like her teacher saw Holly's potential early on. Holly spoke about her childhood and how her experiences as a child and teen really shaped her outlook on life. Her father was a test specialist (think SATs and such) who was always trying out his tests on his children. Because of his job, Holly's family moved around a lot and she often had to start over in new places with new people. Holly has lived all over the world and says that she loves to meet people and to learn about new cultures. 

Holly decided to write her newest book, Counting by 7s, and set it in Bakersfield, CA because she felt that it was an overlooked city in California. The book took her 2 years to write. It was too painful and she kept quitting. Though the book is about grief, she hopes that the book is still a hopeful one.

This is where things get fuzzy because Holly is so engaging and funny that I stopped taking very good notes. So I will just list a few more things that I learned during her talk.

  • She doesn't outline at all. She starts with characters and knows how her books will end but doesn't know how they will get there.
  • One of her favorite secondary characters is Riddle from I'll Be There which is based on 2 people.
  • A character in Counting by 7s is modeled after Zach Galifinakis's character in The Hangover.
  • She started writing I'll Be There after an ill-fated trip to Mexico where her husband was so ill she had to vacate the room they were staying in. To occupy herself she started writing.
  • Holly began her career in Hollywood and has written several screenplays including Made In America and Angels in the Outfield.
  • There will be a sequel to I'll Be There, call Just Call My Name. These are lyrics to a Jackson Five song (I'll Be There), which Holly obtained the rights to for this purpose.
  • One of Holly's rejected stories is going to become a Hallmark Christmas movie (I know someone who is going to be so excited about this). 
After all the talk, it was time to sign books!

Holly was super gracious and funny. There was a long line behind us so we didn't chat for long. If you ever get a chance to see Holly somewhere, you should definitely go. She's very funny and outgoing and it's just a good time. Holly is going to be at the Pasadena Teen Book Festival on April 26 and I hope to have read Counting by 7s by then. If you're local, we hope you can come out for it.

Thanks to Holly Goldberg Sloan and Buena Vista Library for putting on a great event!

21 March, 2014

The Giver Film Trailer

I'm back with another trailer! It's been a big week for YA book to film adaptations. The trailer for The Maze Runner was released and Divergent hits the big screen today. And the official trailer for Lois Lowry's The Giver was also released. I have not read The Giver yet so I can't really comment on how accurate it is based on the books. From what I've seen on the internet, there are some mixed feelings about this one. I just borrowed the book from the library though and hope to read it soon. 

Have you read the book? Does this look like a faithful adaptation? I am interested to hear what people think of this one. Happy Friday, all!

18 March, 2014

Trailer Tuesday: The Maze Runner Movie + More!

Hello! It's Trailer Tuesday here at RNSL (I totally just made that up). But I do have some trailers for you. 20th Century Fox just released the official film trailer for The Maze Runner movie last night. I have not read the book yet but the trailer looks pretty good. I like that the actors seem like relative unknowns and it looks like a harrowing story. I really need to read this one before the movie comes out.

While I was strolling through Trailer Land, I found a few new book trailers that looked interesting as well.

In the trailer for Monument 14: Savage Drift, things are looking pretty bleak. This is another book series that has been on my shelf for a while but hasn't been read. I like the tone and cinematic styling of this one.


Free to Fall by Lauren Miller feels like an ad for online dating or a prescription drug. That actually might be the intention of it and it comes off as pretty creepy.

Tremor by Patrick Carman looks a bit cheesy to me. I think it's because the floating cars look fake. Good effort but not my favorite book trailer.

Untamed City: Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr is a very epic trailer. The music and content of the trailer make it seem like a gladiator movie. I wish the fighting was a little more badass but overall, not too shabby.

And last but not least we have a little featurette from the Divergent movie (coming out this week!) that showcases Four.

I am a still on the fence about this movie. I wasn't the biggest fan of the books (though I liked the first one enough) but I will be seeing this. 

Well that's it for the just coined Trailer Tuesday. Do any of these books or trailers seem interesting to you? Are you in line for Divergent already? :) Have a happy Tuesday!

Ignite Me - Review

Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) 
by Taherah Mafi
Publication date: 04 Feb 2014 by HarperCollins
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

Category: Young Adult Fiction/Dystopia
Keywords: Dystopia, Revolution, Paranormal
Format: Hardcover, ebook, Audiobook
Source: Borrowed


The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, which Ransom Riggs, bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, called “a thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love.”

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

The Shatter Me series is perfect for fans who crave action-packed young adult novels with tantalizing romance like Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Legend by Marie Lu. Tahereh Mafi has created a captivating and original story that combines the best of dystopian and paranormal, and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping read from an author who’s not afraid to take risks.” Now this final book brings the series to a shocking and satisfying end.

Kimberly's Review:

I have such a hard time reviewing this series. I am not a fan of the series in general, but I have to admit that there is something so totally addicting, I cannot help but need to know how it all ends.

There's a lot of action in this final book which keeps the reader engaged and the pages turning. 
Honestly though, there's so much about this story I just don't get.

Like - Where is everyone?

There is only one regime in place that is ruling everything (bad guys) and one in place that oppose them (good guys). Once the rebels take that over, they can control everyone. Where are the rest of the people? (And don't tell me they all got blown up because that is a lie) Other rebellions outside of this area? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? 

How is this girl going to lead the country? Juliette suddenly decides she is the most capable of being the leader and she is going to rule. Okay, now even very young monarchs who come to power have years of training, education, learning language and politics. Juliette can barely complete full sentences and she's convinces an entire army that she should rule on pure strength alone. She doesn't make a case at all about her leadership abilities, her plans for the future, her thoughts on uniting the nation. No, she breaks things with her enormous physical strength and everyone else is staring at her going- Wow. We'll follow you.

WTF? She has declared herself supreme ruler when she can barely control her feelings and gives no indication that she understands anything about the politics, world views, different cultures and societies. 

Why is anyone letting Juliette make the decisions? Is it just because has a boyfriend who is rich and has food and shelter? Is it because she has super human strength? Juliette still does not scream leadership material even by the end of the book. 

<shakes head> huh?

Okay, let's give in for a second and forget all I said above and that Juliette is the most capable of people willing to put everyone and her followers first. Let's say she's going to unite everyone, lead them to green grass and bunnies and rainbows. Let's say it's in her and I just can't see it.

But then, what about this horrific love triangle???

Honestly, I think my main problem with the book are the characters. The three main characters, Juliette, Warner and Adam, are all thought to be  a certain way. They are introduced to the reader as a certain person and the reader believes it. That is, until the rug is pulled out and I have to re-learn everything I thought about the characters. Sometimes this technique works. But when it's done to all three of the main characters, and none of them feel justified, I have to call foul. Juliette's switch is probably the slowest, most normal of them. It starts in book one (shriveled in a corner, oh but quickly she wants to fight) and then does it again in book three. But Adam and Warner's 180 degree change was so unnatural, I feel like it was just the author's way of appeasing the mass.

If you're not familiar with the series, Warner aka Big Bad, was a really awful character. He was cruel to our Juliette and yet, by book two, everyone was in love with him. Adam, the sweet boy she knew before she was imprisoned, was left by the wayside. Now to have to justify Juliette being with Warner, she has to:

1. Make Warner honorable and awesome and loving and kind and 
2. Make Adam awful and cruel and mean and ugly. 

I'm sorry but this just makes me want to scream. Sure, maybe this was all planned. But it's such an abrupt changes of these characters make me think of one word: 

That's right.
Cyborgs have replaced the real Adam and the real Warner and they're not getting them right.

But alas, no. These changes were the real thing. (Why?!?!)

Also, there was a whole lotta drama. D.R.A.M.A Like over the top drama. I mean, I'm all about teen angst and all but sigh. It was a lot and slowed down the momentum of the book.

Kenji is my favorite character by far and he steals every scene he is in. Funny, warm and human, I love how he reminds everyone that they are alive. I also loved James, Adam's little brother. He brings some much needed innocent and comic relief, especially his fun scenes with stoic Warner. 

I have to admit that though I can't say I liked the series because I had such major problems with it, Ms. Mafi does something right. She creates a story with great dialogue. She keeps the pace going and even I had to read the whole series to find out what happens. I guess that counts for something.

Visit the author online at www.taherehbooks.com, Facebook and follow her on Twitter @taherehmafi

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