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Top Ten Tuesday: Creepiest Covers

Hello and Happy Halloween week!

To celebrate Halloween this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and Bookish) theme is focused on the creepiest YA book covers.

We do need to acknowledge that creepy is in the eye of the beholder. My personal creepy tolerance is pretty darn low and I get freaked out easily. Thus, I tend to stay away from horror and scary stuff in general. I think it’s because I have a great imagination and once I picture a creepy image in my mind its like the snowball effect and the image gets scarier and scarier and scarier. So yeah, I shy away from scary.

So, what YA book covers haunt my dreams? I’ll show you but you may need to hold my hand!

Unwind by Neal Shusterman1. Unwind by Neal Shusterman

This reminds me of one of the images shown during the X Files theme song.

Unsouled by Neal Shusterman2. Unsouled by Neal Shusterman

Seriously. What the heck.

Starters by Lissa Price3. Starters by Lissa Price

I’m sure this wouldn’t freak me out as much if it wasn’t colored this way. But it is and it does.

Bad Girls Don't Die by Kate Alender4.  Bad Girls Don’t Die by Kate Alender

Anyone else think of that awful horrible horrifying scene in The Sixth Sense?

Dust and Decay by Jonathan Mayberry5. Dust & Decay by Jonathan Mayberry

This screaming demon lady makes me want to curl up into a ball and weep.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.6. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

What if that’s MY house?!

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz7. All of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books by Alvin Schwartz

All of my childhood nightmares were in these covers and the interior illustrations.

Silent Night 3 by R.L. Stine8. Silent Night 3 by R.L. Stine

They have DEAD eyes! (Okay so this one is a mix of creepy and hilarious!)

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick9. Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

No more please. PLEASE! This one was in my book fair one year and I actually turned it over because it kept staring at me.

I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan10. I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan

This cover has major creep factor, which is why I’d rather watch the cheesy movie than read the book!

Okay, so if these covers scared you I apologize but welcome to my world! Are there any covers that just creep you out beyond belief?  Feel free to share in the comments section below! :)

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YALL Fest Author Interview: Jocelyn Davies

Hi!

I hope everyone had a fab weekend!

GUYS! This year’s YALL Fest is only two weeks away! Two weeks!

I’m getting really pumped to join up with all my fellow book nerds to celebrate reading and the awesomeness that is YA fiction!

Today’s author interview is with one of the 50 great authors who will be at YALL Fest, Jocelyn Davies author Jocelyn Daviesof the A Beautiful Dark trilogy. I haven’t read any of these books yet, but I have to admit the covers of her books intrigue me!

What one thing do you need to have when you write?

COFFEE! And a cocoon of silence.

Describe your book in 5 words

Girl has angel blood, torn.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

It differs from book to book–really, it’s anyone’s guess! Sometimes, the first line is hardest, because I’m just getting started and I’m not warmed up yet, and by the time I get to the end, I’ve got the momentum of an entire book to propel me into that last line. Then again, sometimes a first line just pops into my head, and the whole idea unfolds from there. Theres usually no way to know what is going to happen until it’s happening, which is often the approach I take to writing.

Best writing tip you ever received?

“Create interesting characters, give them an excuse to meet, and the story will write itself.”

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

I’m a dog person–cats kind of freak me out.

I was a theater kid in high school. I used to dream of being an Oscar-winning actress.

I love everything about autumn.

I live a few blocks away from my best friend from high school.

In my day job, I’m also a children’s book editor.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

I love magical realism—a novel that’s set in the real world, but ever-so-slightly different.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

I usually have a pretty strong sense right from the moment the idea comes to me. I start writing knowing I’m embarking on a novel.

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies A Fractured Ligth by Jocelyn Davies

Like I said I’m intrigued by the covers to Jocelyn Davies books, you know because they feature girls in pretty dresses which is of course a thing of mine! Haha

Well, if you’re a fan of Jocelyn Davies’ books and you’re in the southeast, you should join us at YALL Fest in Charleston on Saturday, November 9th!

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Not Just a Pretty Cover: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Hi!

During the last few weeks of summer before school started I was totally in the mood for a good contemporary beach read. I shopped my shelves and picked up My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick, which I’d been eyeing for months.

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrickperch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

Can we just acknowledge how lovely this cover is? It just has the exact look you want from a summer read…at least in my mind!

But My Life Next Door isn’t just a pretty cover, it is a well-developed contemporary romance with some serious sides. However, the story doesn’t feel heavy or overly weighty, but instead still maintains it’s summery feel despite the harder issues.

One thing I noticed about this book right away was the grace that it shows to different types or sizes of families. Throughout the novel we see Samantha’s small and reserved family sharply contrasted with Jase’s large and rambunctious one. We see snapshots into the inner workings of both, and what I appreciate the most is that there is no “better” or “worse” between the two. Through Samantha and Jase’s romance (squeeeee!) we see that there are positive and negative aspects to both small and large families and that each has its own unique form of dynamics, some parts healthy and some not.

Now, I mentioned the romance between Samantha and Jase. YES YES YES YES YES! This relationship is just so sweet you can’t help but read My Life Next Door and swoon a little. There is that perfect mix of excitement and uncertainty that usually accompanies first love. And Jase…he is the stuff that teen (or not-so-teen) crushes are made of!

Even the not-so-likeable characters and the not-so-romantic parts of the story are so well-rounded that you are able to understand the reasoning behind the actions being taken, even if you still don’t like them and they make you really angry!

So, even though I know it’s not summer anymore, but if you’re longing for the feel of the warm summer weather you may want to check out My Life Next Door because it will not disappoint!

Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick

Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers (June 14, 2012)

Format: Hardcover

Length: 394 pages

Series: Standalone

YA/MG: YA (I’d say 8th grade and up)

Buy the Book: My Life Next Door

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YALL Fest Interview: Lisa McMann

Hello!

Welcome back BookTasty friends!

Have you heard of YALL Fest yet? Well, it’s going to be an exciting YA Book Festival in Charleston, SC on November 9! Also, (and this is the kicker) 50 crazy awesome YA authors will be there! People like Maire Lu, Allie Condie, Libba Bray, Heather Brewer, Rae Carson, Veronica Roth and today’s interviewee Lisa McMann!

Lisa McMannLisa McMann is the author of the Wake trilogy, the Vision series, Dead to You and the Unwanteds series.

What one thing do you need to have when you write?

Silence.

Best writing tip you ever received?

“Think of the one thing your main character would never, ever do. Now make her do it.”

What are you working on now?

We’ll be ramping up the releases of books 5, 6, and 7 in the Unwanteds series, so I’m working on Unwanteds book 5 right now.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

I really enjoy writing in a variety of genres, from realistic to paranormal to dystopian fantasy. At the moment, fantasy is winning, but that could change at any moment. My favorite genre to read is memoir.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

As soon as I have a one line concept that gives me a little shiver.

Wake by Lisa McMann Crash by Lisa McMann

Well, I’m excited to have the opportunity to meet Lisa McMann, along with my favorite YA authors at this year’s YALL Fest! Who are you most excited to see?

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YALL Fest Author Interview: Michelle Hodkin

Hi there book loving friends!

Does anyone else feel like October has flown by? I swear I blinked and all of a sudden its a week away from Halloween. Weird.

Part of my amazement also relates to the fact that YALL Fest is getting so freaking close! I’ll be there on November 9th and you should be too! But with that said let’s hear from one of the 50 (yes 50!) awesome authors who will be at this year’s YALL Fest: Michelle Hodkin, author of the Mara Dyer books.

Describe your book in 5 wordsMichelle Hodkin
Romeo and Juliet meets Hitchcock

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?
I spend a lot of time thinking about my first lines. A lot of time. Too much time. Luckily the last lines usually come to me as I write. 

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?
What I love about YA is that I don’t have to choose a genre. I can blend elements and mess with conventions from all of them—horror, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, whatever. I’m not sure I could choose a favorite, if I were ever told that I had to. And my reading is all over the place, but right now I’m reading a lot of old school sci-fi and fantasy, with some literary fiction thrown in. 

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?
The Magicians by Lev Grossman. It’s not YA, but it is about a teenager who reminds me of my teen self. And maybe also my adult self. Anyway. I basically push the book into the hands of everyone I meet. It’s just that good.

What are you working on now?
A secret project that is secret. But I’m wildly excited about it, and I think my readers will be too.The Mara Dyer Trilogy

Okay, so I have to admit that I haven’t read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, or any of the books in the series, but I’m super intrigued by Michelle’s description “Romeo and Juliet meets Hitchcock”! What?! I had no idea that I needed to read this, but apparently I totally do!

So, if you’re a fan of Michelle Hodkin’s books or just a YA book lover like me, you should come to YALL Fest in Charleston on November 9!

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Waiting on Wednesday: The One

Hi there fellow book lovers!

Have you noticed that there are a ton of fabulous books being released in 2014? I guess that’s a silly question because really, there are always a ton of fabulous books being released!

Well, this week for Waiting on Wednesday (hosted by Breaking the Spine) I am excited because we’re one month closer to the release of The One by Kiera Cass!

The One by Kiera CassThe Selection changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. And now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen. America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

From the very first page of The Selection, this #1 New York Times bestselling series has captured readers’ hearts and swept them away on a captivating journey… Now, in The One, Kiera Cass delivers a satisfying and unforgettable conclusion that will keep readers sighing over this electrifying fairy-tale long after the final page is turned.

GUYS! This cover! I can’t even handle how absolutely gorgeous that ivory gown is! It’s just so…frothy!

This series is just so fun to follow along with that I can’t wait to see what happens in this third book! But alas, May 6 just feels SO FAR AWAY!

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Top Ten Tuesday: YA Character Names That I Love

Hi there!

I took a break from Top Ten Tuesday last week because I had been at my brother’s wedding. I’m back and the wedding was lovely!

This week’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and Bookish) is favorite character names. I read so many books and some of the names are just laughable (*cough cough* Patch…)  but sometimes I just read, or hear if I’m listening to an audiobook, a name that I love. I’m focusing on female names because when I try to think of boys names from YA they’re usually names I like only because the character is swoonworthy…which I don’t think qualifies (haha!). I have to clarify that these are not necessarily names I’d actually name a child or anything, but these are names that just stick in my mind because I think they sound pretty!

Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba BrayGemma

as in Gemma Doyle from The Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray. Okay, so I would actually consider naming my daughter Gemma. It’s just so pretty!

Chime by Franny BillingsleyBriony

as in Briony from Chime by Franny Billingsley.  Another name I absolutely adore, if spoken with a British accent.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger Sophronia

as in Sophronia Temminnick from Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger. Again, this one must be spoken with a British accent.

The Name of the Star by Maureen JohnsonJazza

Actually this one is a nickname, as in Julianne “Jazza” Benton from The Shades of London series by Maureen Johnson. I guess I really like British sounding names, because Jazza isn’t a common American nickname.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareTessa

as in Tessa Gray from The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. I think this is just such a simply pretty name.

Princess Academy by Shannon HaleBritta

as in Britta from Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. So pretty and perfect!

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet MarillierTati

as in Tati from Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier. I love how it just jumps off the tongue.

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina MarchettaEvanjalin

as in Evanjalin from Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. What a beautiful and regal sounding name!

The Luxe by Anna GodbersenLina

as in Lina Broud from the Luxe series by Anna Godberson. It’s just such a tiny and lovely name.

Sorcery and Cecilia by Patricia C. WredeCecilia

as in Cecilia Rushton from Sorcery and Cecilia: or The Enchanted Coffee Pot by Patricia C. Wrede. This has always been one of my favorite girls’ names and my husband and I do plan on using this name if we ever have kids one day.

So, what do you think of my name choices today?  Are any of the ones I’ve chosen favorites of yours as well? What names would make your list of favorite YA names?

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Waiting on Wednesday: Cress

Hi there!

Every week I participate in Waiting on Wednesday (hosted by Breaking the Spine). Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme where we get the chance to shine the spotlight on upcoming releases that I’m anticipating.

Today I’m incredibly excited about a book that won’t be released until February 2014!

Yes I know! It is like cruel and unusual punishment that we have to wait that long for Cress by Marissa Meyer!

Cress by Marissa MeyerRapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

The first two books in this series, Cinder and Scarlet, are just fantastic. If you haven’t read these books yet, you definitely should. We all know that I’m a massive fairy tale retelling fan and what better way to retell fairy tales than in a sci-fi setting?! Plus there is so much Firefly connections all over this series it makes me want to dance with delight! Seriously. Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite?! How freaking cool does that sound?!

Cress isn’t scheduled to release until February 4, so I have a while to wait! Oh the agony!

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YALL Fest Author Interview: Shannon Hale

SQUUUUUEEEEEE!

I’m so fangirling right now!

Why?! Because today’s YALL Fest interview is with Shannon Hale! YES! Shannon Hale!

ShannonHaleThe very Shannon Hale whose book Princess Academy was one of the books I credit with turning me on to Young Adult and Middle Grades fiction! The Shannon Hale who does my favorite genre (fairy tales retold) so perfectly! The Shannon Hale who wrote a novel about a Jane Austen vacation resort (Austenland)!

Seriously, Shannon Hale is seriously my favorite YA author. I even got to meet her once in Orlando at the FAME (Florida Association of Media in Education) conference!

Now do you see why I’m as excited as I am?!

Well, now that you know she’s pretty much my favorite YA author let’s take a look at her interview.

————-

Describe your book in 5 words
Boarding school for children of famous fairytales.

Best writing tip you ever received?
People remember a story for its characters.

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?
“The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks” by E. Lockhart. It’s smart, engaging, and
discusses so many things I was struggling with.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
I have 4 kids (including identical girl toddler twins). My husband likes to wear masks and hide
around the house to scare me. I like to read while lying on my belly. I love the sky. I’m not a very good
speller.

What are you working on now?
The third Princess Academy book.

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale Austenland by Shannon Hale

A third Princess Academy book?! YAY!! I adore Miri and all her friends so I can’t wait for this! Also, I think it’s pretty cool that she mentions The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart because I’m currently listening to the audiobook! How cool is that?

I think that Shannon Hale would really fun to hang out with and discuss Mr. Darcy while relaxing in Austenland, but since no real Austenland actually exists (that I’m aware of) I’ll settle for seeing her at this year’s YALL Fest in Charleston, SC on November 9.

If you’re not already planning on going to YALL Fest, you totally should. And if you haven’t already read any of Shannon Hale’s books you absolutely totally should!

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Waiting on Wednesday: Hard Luck (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #8)

Happy Wednesday everyone!

For this week’s Waiting on Wednesday (hosted by Breaking the Spine) I’m showcasing Jeff Kinney’s newest addition to the Wimpy Kid series, Hard Luck.

Hard Luck by Jeff KinneyGreg Heffley’s on a losing streak. His best friend, Rowley Jefferson, has ditched him, and finding new friends in middle school is proving to be a tough task. To change his fortunes, Greg decides to take a leap of faith and turn his decisions over to chance. Will a roll of the dice turn things around, or is Greg’s life destined to be just another hard-luck story?

Now I admit, I haven’t read all the other books in the Wimpy Kid series (only Book 1), but as a middle school librarian I completely love and adore Jeff Kinney. As long as he keeps writing books in this series my students will be checking them out and reading them which makes me an incredibly happy librarian! Seriously, I have to keep 4-5 copies of each title in this series circulating because the want is so high! It is seriously like tween crack.

Well, we have until November 5 to wait although my students have been asking me about Hard Luck since August!