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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Interview & Contest: Lindsay Eland (Author of Scones and Sensibility)

Today I'm happy to welcome debut author Lindsay Eland to The Hiding Spot to discuss love, her next novel, and her personal hiding spot from the world... which is may sound awfully familiar to some of you readers out there!

A Brief Bio
I was born in Cincinnati, grew up in various towns in Pennsylvania, went to college in Oklahoma, and found home in Breckenridge, Colorado. I love to write, read, hike, drink espresso, and attempt to keep my plants alive. I am a laugher and a dreamer. Mix all these together and you get me–a lucky writer of middle grade fiction.
To find out more about Lindsay and her writing, visit her website here!

The Interview
Give a short description or statement describing SCONES AND SENSIBILITY.
Scones and Sensibility is about an overly-romantic and overly-dramatic 12-year-old girl who takes it upon herself to match-make for the people in her small beach town…whether they want to be or not.

Polly is a bit of a hopeless romantic; do you identify with this trait?
Most definitely! I’ve tried to bury my romanticism over the years and have attempted to convince myself that there is no true love…but thankfully I have had zero success, and remain right now, hopelessly romantic and completely convinced about true love.

Which of the classic loves stories, such as Pride & Prejudice, would you name as your absolute favorite?
Oh, dear…my ABSOLUTE favorite? Umm…I actually might have to say Jane Eyre since I can’t seem to pick between Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice.

Can you tell us anything about your next novel?
Why sure! It is a contemporary middle grade novel currently titled, A Teaspoon of Rosemary. It is the story of a shy, introverted girl who, in the midst of becoming a wonderful young chef, learns to find and embrace her inner strength and confidence. It was so fun to write and as research I got to make lots and lots of yummy recipes!

My blog is dedicated to books, my personal hiding spot. Who, what, or where is your personal hiding spot?
 I think we must be kindred spirits, because books are my hiding spot as well! Tucking myself away in a book for a few hours or days or weeks is the most wonderful feeling in the world. It’s like Christmas morning and hot chocolate and warm blankets and rainy days and hugs all bound together in a book I can hold in my hands.

Thanks for stopping by, Lindsay!

The next stop on the Scones and Sensibility Blog Tour is Pirate Penguin Reads!
Interested in winning your own copy of SCONES AND SENSIBILITY? I'm giving away my copy to one lucky winner. To enter, simply fill out the form below.
Ends: May 13th 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Tension of Opposites Book Trailer & Contest

Some of you may remember my mini-review of Kristina McBride's debut novel, THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES. The 2010 debut authors have taken myself, and many other bloggers and readers, by storm, but McBride's novel... I hardly have words to describe how deeply I feel for this book. My mini-review barely does it justice. Today, the book trailer was released, leaving me, once again, speechless. I don't know if it was the fact that I've already read the novel that caused the trailer to have such an emotional impact on me, but I literally cried. If you didn't already want to read this novel, I think the trailer will give you sufficient reason rush out to your local bookstore on May 25th and pick up a copy!

Watch it on YouTube.


Later this month, I'll be hosting a contest with Kristina in which you'll have chance to win a copy of the novel and some other awesome prizes! Today, however, you have a chance to win gorgeous TENSION bookmarks!

There will be 10 winners, but all who comment on this post will receive 2 extra entries into the contest to win a copy of the novel at the end of the month! To be entered to win a bookmark, all that is required is comment on this post. I'll randomly select the winners. AND If you post this book trailer on your blog or on Facebook, I'll add 5 more extra entries to the contest at the end of the month, in which you can win a copy of the book and those other great prizes! Be sure to leave a link for your 5 extra entries! You can find the embedding code by visiting the YouTube page, here.

Trust me, guys, this a book that you need to read! So get out there and spread the word!

Waiting on Wednesday (26)

WoW is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine!

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Dutton Juvenile, December 9, 2010
It's about a girl. It's about a boy. It's about Parisian boarding school, almond-scented macarons, famous cemeteries, and cinemaphiles. It's about heartache. And it's about true love.

TRUE LOVE. If a book's description says anything about love, you can pretty much guarantee that I'll be picking it up. Plus the cover is absolutely adorable!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Review: Thief Eyes by Janni Lee Simner

Title: Thief Eyes
Author: Janni Lee Simner
Publisher: Random House BFYR
Pub. Date: 4/27/10
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Icelandic Sagas, Shapeshifter, Love, Family, Ancestry, Magic
Pages: 272
Plot (from GoodReads):
After her mother mysteriously disappears, sixteen-year-old Haley convinces her father to take her to Iceland, where her mother was last seen. There, amidst the ancient fissures and crevices of that volcanic island, Haley meets gorgeous Ari, a boy with a dangerous side who appoints himself her protector.

When Haley picks up a silver coin that entangles her in a spell cast by her ancestor Hallgerd, she discovers that Hallgerd's spell and her mother's disappearance are connected to a chain of events that could unleash terrifying powers and consume the world. Haley must find a way to contain the growing fires of the spell—and her growing attraction to Ari.

Though I've never read Janni Lee Simner's debut novel BONES OF FAERIE, I had heard wonderful things about it and jumped at the chance to read her second novel, THIEF EYES. Much to my dismay, I failed to fall in love with Haley's story and found it difficult to finish.

First off, I did enjoy parts of the novel, most notably Haley's attraction to Ari. Even a hint of romance can catch my attention, so this is no surprise. However, the novel is not particularly long, which caused their story to feel rushed and left much to be desired.

I've never read any Icelandic sagas, but I found certain aspects of the mythology to be interesting in the context of the novel's plot. Haley and Ari encounter Muninn*, a black crow and the keeper of memory. In an effort to coerce them into submission, Munin removes all traces of the pair from the collective memory of Iceland's inhabitants. This added an interesting twist to the story and was a clever way to incorporate Munin. Simner successfully incorporates Icelandic myth throughout the entire novel.

I think that my biggest issue with the novel was its glacial pace. I have no problem with novels in which intricate plots slowly unfold, but there was nothing intricate about the plot of THIEF EYES. It was, for the most part, clear how the story would develop, so I just wanted to move on to another novel.

Simply put, I was disappointed by this novel. I think the description and my expectations were far from accurate, leaving me disenchanted.

Grade: C-

Cover Comments:
Eh. I think its boring. Which, sadly, fits my attitude towards the novel.

*Munin may have been spelled differently in the novel, this is just the spelling I had on hand. 


Monday, April 26, 2010

Cover of the Week (5)

Cover of the Week is a weekly feature at The Hiding Spot, in which I share a cover that gives me that swoony feeling.

Title: The Mermaid's Mirror
Author: L.K. Madigan
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Pub. Date: 10/4/10
Lena has lived her whole life near the beach—walking for miles up and down the shore and breathing the salty air, swimming in the cold water, and watching the surfers rule the waves—the problem is, she’s spent her whole life just watching.

As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Lena vows she will no longer watch from the sand: she will learn to surf.
But her father – a former surfer himself – refuses to allow her to take lessons. After a near drowning in his past, he can’t bear to let Lena take up the risky sport.
Yet something lures Lena to the water … an ancient, powerful magic. One morning Lena catches sight of this magic: a beautiful woman—with a silvery tail.
Nothing will keep Lena from seeking the mermaid, not even the dangerous waves at Magic Crescent Cove.
And soon … what she sees in the mermaid’s mirror will change her life …

I've heard great things about L.K. Madigan's first novel, FLASH BURNOUT, which leads me to believe that this story is going to be well written, but its really the cover art that has me interested.  Plus mermaids. Who needs more than that?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

In My Mailbox (19)

IMM, a weekly meme exploring the book-ish contents of one's mailbox, is hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren.

I honestly didn't realize just how much I got in my mailbox this week until I went through and typed everything up! It kind of surprised me... and left me really excited! I have so many awesome things to read!

Folly by Marthe Jocelyn

The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells

Forget You by Jennifer Echols

A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler

Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy

Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hikding Boots by Abby McDonald

Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams

Somebody Everybody Listens To by Suzanne Supplee

Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt

Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine

The Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine

Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine

Deadly Little Lies by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Best Foot Forward by Joan Bauer

Take Me There by Susane Colasanti

Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita

Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Confessions of a First Daughter by Cassidy Calloway

Friday, April 23, 2010

vvb32 reads' Werewolf Weekend!

April 23rd to the 25th is vvb32's Werewolf Weekend! To see the full post detailing festivities and how to participate, go here.

It wasn't until recently that I became a fan of werewolf novels, but now that I've joined the pack, it seems that I can't go back. I've always found werewolves a bit creepy... and altogether too hairy. Plus I'm a romance junkie and I just didn't buy into werewolf love stories, the hair proved to be a distraction. And then, after reading a few select werewolfy titles, all that changed!

Werewolf Books for the Anti-Werewolf Reader
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
Sister's Red by Jackson Pearce
Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

Which werewolf books do you recommend?

Be sure to check out all the fun over on the Werewolf Weekend post at vvb32 reads!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cover Alert: Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters!

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford

Natalie Standiford's new novel, which will be released in April by Scholastic, was my WoW pick for this week. Natalie released the final cover today - which is much better than the one that I had on my WoW post! I'm so excited about this novel and I think that this new cover fits the description much better. Plus, it's just nicer to look at. :)

For more information, check out my WoW post and GoodReads!
Natalie's website can be found here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (26)

WoW is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!
Title: Confession of the Sullivan Sisters
Author: Natalie Standiford
Publisher: Scholastic
Pub. Date: September 1, 2010
The Sullivan sisters have a big problem. On Christmas Day their rich and imperious grandmother gathers the family and announces that she will soon die . . .and has cut the entire family out of her will. Since she is the source of almost all their income, this means they will soon be penniless.

Someone in the family has offended her deeply. If that person comes forward with a confession of her (or his) crime, submitted in writing to her lawyer by New Year's Day, she will reinstate the family in her will. Or at least consider it.
And so the confessions begin....

Natalie Standiford's HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT was one of my favorite novels of 2009 - and I'm hopeful that CONFESSIONS will make my 2010 list!

Read my review of ROBOT here and my interview with Natalie here!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Review: For Keeps by Natasha Friend

Title: For Keeps
Author: Natasha Friend
Publisher: Penguin
Pub. Date: 4/6/10
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Love, Friendship, Family, Single Parents, Sex, Teen Pregnancy
Pages: 272
Plot (from GoodReads):
Having been deserted by her father before she was born, Josie fears abandonment and heartbreak. Her mother fuels this fear with her own reluctance to pursue relationships.

Luckily Josie's best friend, Liv, encourages her to make connections with her family and with the very cute and enigmatic Matt. When the parents of Josie's estranged father move back to the area, Josie forges a friendship with her grandfather that gives her some insight into her roots. A tragedy brings the truth about Josie's family to light and provides an unexpected opportunity to forge new relationships. Believable characters and smart dialogue make this story both memorable and entertaining.
Fast-paced and full of little twists, Josie's story is a sweet and savvy coming-of-age tale. The story is only slightly marred by its unfortunately saccharine ending, in which everything conveniently works out for the best. Readers will root for Josie and Matt's budding romance, sympathize with the difficulties surrounding unconventional families and be inspired by Liv's honesty and quirkiness. Hopeful and endearing.

Natasha Friend has written four YA novels, but, for some unknown reason, this was the first one that I've read. I must admit, it looks as though I've been missing out!

FOR KEEPS is one of those novels that, for the most part, is predictable. Josie has been raised by a single mother, who became pregnant in high school, and has never met her father, the seemingly uncaring Paul Tucci. Josie doesn't mind though, she's got her mom and her best friend Liv - she doesn't need any boys in her life. Then, unexpectedly, Paul Tucci returns to town and the life Josie knows is turned inside out. Perhaps Paul Tucci isn't who she thought he was. And, perhaps, Matt, the boy she desperately doesn't want to like, has a place in her life after all. 

It isn't often that I truly like the character that is cast as the best friend, but I really enjoyed Liv. She was the perfect foil to Josie's anti-boy stance and she opened Josie's eyes to so many possibilities and ideas that she never would have considered on her own. Josie is such a stubborn character; she needed someone like Liv to pester her into opening her eyes.

I very much enjoyed Josie and Matt's relationship. Josie's reluctance to enter into a relationship with any boy - let alone Matt, with whom she has a complicated history - added the perfect amount of tension to the plot. It often seems that after the two main characters finally admit their feelings for one another, the book is all but over, but that wasnt' so with FOR KEEPS. Friend touched on some other true to life issues that often occur in relationships, keeping Matt and Josie's relationship interesting. I found this satisfying and much more realistic, which I think is important in YA literature.

I also feel that I must briefly mention the letters. Now, I can't really say what letters. Or who they were from. Or what they were about. All of this information is better uncovered as you read the novel, but for those of you who have already had the pleasure of reading FOR KEEPS: I loved the letters! They were absolutely perfect and allowed me to forge a connection to the character that had written them, a connection that I fear would not have been nearly as strong without said letters.

It has been mentioned that the ending of FOR KEEPS was too perfect, but I don't believe this was the case. I like that all the loose ends were wrapped up and the reader is left with a happy image in mind. It might not necessarily be real life, but it isn't supposed to be. Friend wrote a compelling novel that tackled many issues - let Josie have her happy ending.

Grade: A

Cover Comments:
I'll admit that I preferred the first cover that was chosen for FOR KEEPS, but this one is alright. I like the postage detail along the top of the cover though! I think it ties in that part of the novel perfectly!

Interview: Mara Purnhagen (Author of Tagged!)

Mara Purnhagen is a debut YA author. Her novel, TAGGED, is a quick and satisfying read filled with mysterious gorilla graffiti and a complicated love story.

Mara Purnhagen cannot live without a tall caramel latte, her iPod, or a stack of books on her night stand. She has lived in Aurora, Illinois; Kalamazoo, Michigan; Dayton, Ohio and Duncan, South Carolina. She presently lives outside Cleveland, Ohio with her family and two cats.

Visit Mara's website for more information!
Give a short description or statement about TAGGED that will lure in readers.

Gorillas change Kate’s life in more ways than one.

What inspired the premise of TAGGED?
A British graffiti artist, a strange reality TV show, and my husband’s work bench.

TAGGED features a bit of a love story, in addition to the mystery at the forefront of the plot. Kate doesn’t end up with her love interest right away and there is some drama as well. Even after all has been explained, Kate doesn’t immediately swoon and fall into his arms; she can’t automatically forget about how she was hurt. I think this is refreshing in a YA novel, as it is more true to life than some other novels portray. Comments?
Relationships are messy, and I think if they don’t begin well there’s little chance that they will end well. Kate doesn’t have much experience, but she’s been burned once before and doesn’t want to go through that again. I wanted her to have the confidence to wait for something better than was being offered to her, to decide that she was worth a better beginning. The guy was right but the timing wasn’t, and she recognizes that.

I found the TAGGED’s characters to very realistic; the dialogue and motivations were very close to how my friends and I would interact. I am appreciative that you accomplished this without using pop culture references blatantly throughout the novel. How do you feel about the use of pop culture references in YA literature?
Often times, pop culture references draw me out of an otherwise great story. Sometimes it’s because I can’t relate to the reference. Other times it’s because the reference is so dated! For example, I was reading a book in which the main character was looking forward to the release of her favorite band’s newest CD. Instead of making up a band, the author chose to use a real one. The CD mentioned had been released three years before the book was published and the band itself was kind of a fleeting group. The end result was that the book felt out of touch. However, I do think there are ways to include pop culture without hurting the story. If you can make a particular obsession central to your character’s personality (say, a devoted Radiohead fan who quotes song lyrics every chance she gets), it can work.

Can you tell us anything about your next YA novels/projects?
I’m working on the third book in my Past Midnight series. The first book will be released on September 1, and I’m finishing final edits on it now. I submitted Book 2 last week. The series revolves around Charlotte Silver, whose parents are paranormal investigators. They debunk ghost stories for a living. No one in the family believes in ghosts—until something happens to Charlotte that they can’t explain.

The Hiding Spot is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. What place, person, or activity is your personal hiding spot?
When my house feels crowded, I try to escape to my local library, which is sunny and comfortable and the ideal place for me to read—except when someone’s cell phone goes off.

Thank you, Mara!

For more information about TAGGED, visit GoodReads and Amazon!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cover of the Week (4)

Cover of the Week is a weekly feature in which I share my current favorite cover art design.

Matched by Allyson Braithwaite Condie
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Pub. Date: November 30, 2010
In the novel, a 17-year-old girl, who has waited her entire life to be told by a group known as “the Society” who her soul mate is, has her world upended when she discovers she’s in love with someone other than the group’s pick.

I am totally, completely in love with the cover of MATCHED. I'm really hoping that it isn't changed between now and the end of November when it is finally released! I'm a big fan of dystopian novels and good love stories and the short description of the novel seems to fit both criteria.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Review: Swoon at Your Own Risk by Sydney Salter

Title: Swoon at Your Own Risk
Author: Sydney Salter
Publisher: Graphia
Pages: 368
Genre: YA
Keywords: Friendship, Dating, Love, Identity
Description (from GoodReads):
It’s the summer before senior year and Polly Martin has sworn off boys. Who needs the hurt and confusion? Five recent breakups have left her with an unnatural knowledge of NASCAR, the ultimate hiker’s outfit, a student council position, the sixth highest score on the Donkey Kong machine at the mall, and a summer job at Wild Waves with ex #2 Sawyer Holmes.

Success seems a sure thing when Polly’s grandmother, the syndicated advice columnist, Miss Swoon, moves in for the summer. Polly almost doesn’t mind sharing a room with her little sister, Grace. Think of all the great advice she’ll get!
Everything is going according to plan except... Miss Swoon turns out to be a man-crazy septuagenarian! And then there’s Xander Cooper. If only he wouldn’t keep showing up at Wild Waves with his adorable cousins every afternoon — and what is he writing in that little notebook?
No advice column in the world can prepare Polly for the lessons she learns when she goes on a group camping trip (with three too many ex-boyfriends). Polly is forced to see people for who they are — a blend of good and bad qualities that can’t be reduced to a list or a snappy answer in a Miss Swoon column.
SWOON AT YOUR OWN RISK is a perfect warm weather read, filled with cute boys and a feisty heroine.

I wasn't sure if I would really connect with or like Polly, but I was a bit attached to her by the end of the novel. She was spunky, sarcastic, and witty! She begins the novel confused and prickly, but she really grows throughout the novel. She reminds me, in ways, of Veronica Mars: tough as nails, but really just a marshmallow on the inside.

I'm all for fluffy beach reads, so characterizing Swoon as such wouldn't really be insulting in my mind, but I must say that this novel is on a higher level than most beach reads. It has the cute boys and predictable love story, but Polly has more depth than many female leads in fluffy novels. The fact that Polly's main issue was  the fear of being without at boyfriend and that she was constantly adopting the hobby of her current beau was extremely realistic - which made it even funnier and Polly all the more easy to relate to.

And oh my gosh: Xander. He was so unbelievably adorable. It was definitely obvious from the beginning of the novel that Xander is the perfect guy for Polly but in her confused and boy phobic state there would be a bit of a journey to her realization of this fact. I loved the tension and buildup to this point. Xander definitely joins the ranks of my favorite book boys! (Yay!)

I will definitely be reading MY BIG NOSE AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS, Salter's debut novel, sometime soon! I think I've found a new author to add to my favorites.

Grade: A+

Cover Comments:
I think that the cover is really cute; I like that the girl is cautiously testing the water. I don't really like the guy in the background though.... It just looks awkward to me. I don't know what would be better there, but it doesn't mesh for me.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Interview: Tucker Shaw (Author of Anxious Hearts!)

Please welcome Tucker Shaw, author of ANXIOUS HEARTS! This newly released novel is a lyrical retelling of Longfellow's epic poem "Evangeline." Shaw's other novels include THE GIRLS and FLAVOR OF THE WEEK



Give a short description or statement describing ANXIOUS HEARTS.

This part is true: In 1755, the British Army invaded Nova Scotia and expelled the French-speaking Acadian community. Families were ruthlessly torn apart and dispersed across the globe; many never reconnected.
This part might be true: On the verge of being married, Acadians Evangeline and Gabriel were violently separated. Determined to find Gabriel, Evangeline spends the rest of her life crossing back and forth across North America, searching.
This part isn’t true: Eva and Gabe, two teenagers in modern-day Maine (across the bay from Nova Scotia) are separated by circumstance, stubbornness and fear. Determined, Eva resolves to find and reconnect with Gabe, against great odds.
In Anxious Hearts, I tried to tell each of these stories, one atop the other, to show that love is never static; it is a journey – sometimes a literal journey, sometimes an internal journey. Sometimes a desperate journey. You can be sitting at the same table as your soulmate and still have to search. But finding love, real love, is worth any effort.

ANXIOUS HEARTS is very different from your previous novels. What motivated you to write this particular story?
There was an afternoon, maybe three years ago now, one of those magical Colorado afternoons when it’s both sunny and snowy, when the light sneaks around the clouds and pokes through the falling flakes, and I had three hours to kill while I waited for an experiment – a green chile pork roast – to finish up in the oven. I was between books so, scanning my shelves, I came upon “Evangeline,” a Longfellow epic I’d all but forgotten about. I’d last read it in college, when I was forced to, and had forgotten whether or not I’d liked it. It was an ancient edition, perhaps a hundred years old, with woodcut illustrations on delicate pages.
Three hours later, I found myself slumped in my club chair, exhausted and energized all at once. I’d changed: I’d found the most evocative, luxurious love story in the world.
Over the course of the next year, I read and re-read the poem probably twenty times, finding new words, new thoughts, new cadences and rhythms that I would have dismissed as impossible if they weren’t there before me on the page. I tried to talk myself out of trying to revive the story; after all, Longfellow is perhaps the greatest there ever was. How dare someone like me, a middling storyteller with questionable craftsmanship, take it on? And yet, Evangeline and Gabriel would not fade from my thoughts. And so I sat down to write. I don’t think I looked up from my laptop, except to go to work, for a year. In other words, I was compelled.

Why did you choose to write ANXIOUS HEARTS from Gabriel and Eva’s point of view, not Gabe and Evangeline’s?
Longfellow’s poem was told almost exclusively from the point of view of Evangeline – throughout much of the poem, Gabriel is absent. I wondered where he’d been, what he’d seen, whether he’d tried as hard as she had to re-connect. I wanted to re-think his story, I wanted to imagine his words, his thoughts, his experiences. Not enough stories are told about young men who fall as deeply in love as Gabriel did. Boys love incredibly deeply, but these feelings are rarely articulated. As with Gabriel, sometimes this love borders on obsession, and I wanted to explore his mind and imagine his feelings of love as he struggled to make sense of them, struggled to prove his worthiness to have them, struggled to make them productive, not destructive.
 As for Eva, I knew her before I started to write her. I imagined a girl, a smart, capable, thoughtful, determined girl who was wise enough to know that boys are not disposable, that love is not replaceable, that connecting is what matters most. Her friends and family do not understand her feelings for Gabe, but her self-awareness and clarity of purpose fuel her resolve to find him, and in doing so, find herself.

Before reading the novel, I assumed that Eva and Evangeline would be very similar, as would Gabe and Gabriel, but quickly discovered that this is not the case. Does this serve a specific purpose in regard to the novel’s message?
Wow, good question. I don’t know. I think each is a product of her time, in a way. In Evangeline’s era, the greatest achievement a young woman could hope for would be to get married. She’d sacrifice anything for it. In Eva’s time, our time, the world is so much broader, the options so much more numerous. Eva is on track to become a doctor. To choose to search for love, to sacrifice for love, is a radical choice. Both Evangeline and Eva are brave, but Evangeline had fewer viable options. This makes Eva’s choice – to stick to her Gabe-loving guns – bolder, I think.

I’ve read that in addition to writing YA novels, you are also a food editor for the Denver Post. Did you always intend to become a novelist or is it more of a hobby for you?
Food is a lifelong obsession with me – all aspects of it. Cooking. Restaurants. Shopping. Food writing. All of it. Storytelling, or more specifically, spending time in my imagination, in the worlds that bounce around in my brain, is another obsession. If I had to choose between writing about food and writing fiction, I don’t know what I’d do. I shudder.

Can you tell us anything about your next YA novel?
I have a few ideas in mind. But to be completely honest, I’m having a very difficult time letting go of Gabriel and Evangeline the world of PrĂ©-du-sel. I blame Longfellow for this:

“Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
Peace seemed to reign upon earth, and the restless heart of the ocean
Was for a moment consoled. All sounds were in harmony blended.”

Who would want to leave?

This blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Who, what, or where is your hiding spot?
The kitchen. Nothing makes me happier than returning home from the farmers market with an armful of colorful stuff, then setting to cooking for my friends. If you can’t find me, I’m probably standing over the stove.

Thank you, Tucker!
Be sure to check out my review of ANXIOUS HEARTS, which can be found here.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Absolute Value of -1, The by Steve Brezenoff
Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Airhead by Meg Cabot
Alive and Well in Prague, New York by Daphne Grab
Amaranth Enchantment, The by Julie Berry
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Anxious Hearts by Tucker Shaw
As You Wish by Jackson Pearce
Awakening, The by Kelley Armstrong

Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Before Midnight by Cameron
Beka Cooper: Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Black Rabbit Summer by Kevin Brooks
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
Blood Roses by Francesca Lia Block
Blue Moon by Alyson Noel
Blue So Dark, A by Holly Schindler
Body Finder, The by Kimberly Derting
Boys, Girls & Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman
Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine

Captivate by Carrie Jones
Candor by Pam Bachorz
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford
Crash Into Me by Albert Borris

Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart
Dark Song by Gail Giles
Dark Divine, The by Bree Despain
Darklight by Lesley Livingston
Daughter of the Flames by Zoe Marriott
Debs, The by Susan McBride
Deception by Lee Nichols
Demon Princess: Reign or Shine by Michelle Rowen
Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda
Devouring, The by Simon Holt
Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu
Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, The by E. Lockhart
Don't Judge A Girl By Her Cover by Ally Carter
DUFF, The by Kody Keplinger

Education of Bet, The by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
Espressologist, The by Kristina Springer
Eternal Ones, The by Kirsten Miller
Everlasting by Angie Frazier
Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June, The by Robin Benway
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

Faithful by Janet Fox
Fallen by Lauren Kate
Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
Fat Cat by Robin Brande
Fire by Kristin Cashore
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
Forest of Hands and Teeth, The by Carrie Ryan
Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
For Keeps by Natasha Friend
Freefall by Mindi Scott

Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe
Guyaholic by Carolyn Mackler

Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly
Heist Society by Ally Carter
Her and Me and You by Lauren Strasnick
How to Build a House by Dana Reinhardt
How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder
Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern
Invisible Things by Jenny Davidson
Ivy, The by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur

Jovah's Angel by Sharon Shinn
Jump by Elisa Carbone
Just One Wish by Janette Rallison

Karma Club, The by Jessica Brody
Kiss in Time, A by Alex Flinn
Kiss It by Erin Downing
Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson
Kitty Kitty by Michele Jaffe

Lady Macbeth's Daughter by Lisa Klein

Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen
Little Wanting Song, A by Cath Crowley
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy
Looking Glass Wars, The by Frank Beddor
Lonely Hearts Club, The by Elizabeth Eulberg
Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin

Magic Under Glass by Jackie Dolamore
Mark, The by Jen Nadol
Matched by Ally Condie
Match Made in High School, A by Kristin Walker
Meridian by Amber Kizer
Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue by Hugh Howey

Naughty List, The by Suzanne Young
Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Nomansland by Lesley Hauge
Nothing But Ghosts by Beth Kephart

Old Magic by Marianne Curley
Ondine by Ebony McKenna
Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

Paper Towns by John Green
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
Possessions by Nancy Holder
Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard
Princess at the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

Queen of Cool, The by Cecil Castelucci

Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony
Rise of Renegade X, The by Chelsea Campbell

Secret Year, The by Jennifer Hubbard
Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor
September Sisters, The by Jillian Cantor
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
She's So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph
Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Siren by Tricia Rayburn
Sky is Everywhere, The by Jandy Nelson**
Snap by Carol Snow
Snowball Effect, The by Holly Nicole Hoxter
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Spy in the House, A by Y.S. Lee
Stalker Girl by Rosemary Graham
Summer of Skinny Dipping, The by Amanda Howells
Sweetheart of Prosper County, The by Jill S. Alexander
Swoon At Your Own Risk by Sydney Salter

Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison
Tear Collector, The by Patrick Jones
Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala
Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston
Tension of Opposites, The by Kristina McBride
Tension of Opposites, The by Kristina McBride**
Thief Eyes by Janni Lee Simner
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler
Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

Undead Much? by Stacey Jay
Unwind by Neal Shusterman

View from the Top, The by Hillary Frank
Vintage Veronica by Erica S. Perl

Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan
Wings by Aprilynne Pike
Winter Longing by Tricia Mills



Zombies for Zombies by David P. Murphy

Please keep in mind that my review style (and, frankly, the quality of my reviews) has changed over time.

**Mini Review