June Reads, Book Tweets and Thoughts on Smoking in YA Lit.

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June was another big reading month. I tweeted most things and reviewed a few things too. Here’s the run down with a few other thoughts, particularly about smoking in YA lit.

THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER by Stephen Chbosky,

Tweet:  PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER Stephen Chbosky – compelling read. Charlie felt ynger than 16 but I guess that makes sense. Demerits for smoking

Look, I get that teens smoke, take drugs, have sex and generally carry on in various obnoxious ways. The thing about smoking is that it cannot be paid off in a YA book. While you are a teenager, there are no consequences to smoking, apart from it costing money and making you stink. With drugs or alcohol it is easy, and dramatically, narratively possible to show a realistic portrayal of some of the negative consequences in a YA book. These don’t need to be dire (although they can be) but every teen has that time they puked, or passed out, or let a guy fondle them or shagged the wrong girl, or were stupid and stoned in front of people they respect. That’s real. That’s balanced. It doesn’t have to be a message, but it should be real. I rarely come across a well written YA book that doesn’t take a balanced approach to drugs or alcohol. I have never seen it depicted as only glamorous or mystical.

The problem with tobacco smoking is that it is, in this book (and in LOOKING FOR ALASKA), depicted positively as something an awkward teen can share with his cool new friends, and also something that relaxes his crippling anxiety. Look, that IS what tobacco does. That’s real. The problem is that the negative consequences of tobacco smoking can be (and are in 1/3 to ½ of smokers) death. That’s right, death. But unfortunately for us YA authors, those consequences don’t materialize until the 30’s or 40’s. So we can hardly show poor Charlie coughing his lungs out with cancer at the age of 16 can we? We can’t show him leaving behind a wife and kids. So all we’re left with is glamor and relaxation.

I’m not in favor of censoring, but I think as YA authors we should take a look at this tricky issue. I would hate to think that some horribly anxious and awkward kid took up smoking because it seemed to help Charlie and nothing bad came of it. The fictional Charlie, who was 16 in 1991 would now be 37. One of my best friends died of mouth cancer at 39. Two cousins died in their early 40s. Did Charlie keep smoking? How long does he have?

But bonus points for the abortion. I’ll concede that.

PINNED by Sharon G. Flake

Tweet: PINNED by @sharonflake is both sweet and complex with two unpredictable characters, tons of voice and a lot of adorable awkward teen love.

Sharon Flake agreed to be interviewed about PINNED so I’ll be blogging more about this book later I the year.

UNWHOLLY (Unwind, #2) by Neal Shusterman

Tweet: So UNWHOLLY by @NealShusterman is totally AWESOME!! Reread UNWIND yesterday and read UNWHOLLY today. Cross-eyed now but delighted.#amreading

I’ve ranted about UNWIND many times on this blog and made getting an ARC of UNWHOLLY  one of my main goals for ALA12. I only had to stalk Neal Shusterman and Simon and Shuster for two days to get it too! And it was so worth it. I love this series more than ever.

GOING UNDERGROUND, by Susan Vaught

Tweet: GOING UNDEGROUND by @susan_vaught is a funny, moving, disturbing read.

I’ve been doing some research about juvenile justice and how the law treats juvenile sex offenders lately. This book popped up in a search and I tracked it down at the library the same day. Apart from being a well written and moving story, the injustice is reveals about how children who make completely normal adolescent mistakes is horrifying. Everyone with a teenager or preteen should read this. Teachers should read this. Prosecutors, lawmakers and defenders should read this.

THE FREEDOM MAZE: A Novel by Delia Sherman,

I reviewed this excellent book earlier this month.

JUMPING OFF SWINGS by Jo Knowles

Didn’t bother finishing this one. If you want to know why look up my Goodreads review.

I KNOW IT’S OVER by C.K. Kelly Martin

I actually enjoyed this book,  but I had some problems with the subject matter. Check Goodreads for my review on this one too.

HARLEM SUMMER by Walter Dean Myers

This novel was a little didactic, especially about the history of Harlem during the prohibition years. But I still rather enjoyed it. I think it’s a great introduction to Jazz and black history as well as being a good, suspenseful story about a kid who feels very contemporary, despite the historical setting.

BOOK OF RHYMES: THE POETICS OF HIP HOP by Adam Bradley

A great rundown on how hip hop lyrics evolve, the techniques that are used, how it relates to “poetry”. I’m hopelessly ignorant about hip hop so it was hard to relate since I hadn’t ehrd of most of the artists and tracks, but nevertheless this is a scholarly and interesting review.

GOTH GIRL RISING (The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, #2) by Barry Lyga

Tweet: Loved GOTH GIRL RISING by @barrylyga . Poor Kyra, she’s hard to like but I saw a lot if high school me (punk not goth) in her.

This is a great example of how to do the smoking thing. Kyra smokes. She’s messed up, yeah so she smokes. Her friend questions the irony of her smoking when her mother died of cancer. Kyra gets it. She doesn’t quit or anything, but we know she gets it. That’s enough. That’s real.

EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL, by Simmone Howell

Tweet: Stayed up to 4am reading EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL by @postteen. So excited by real-size heroine, I guess. #realgirlsrule

I loved this Australian set book A LOT. Loved the messed up heroine and loved that she’s a big girl. HOWEVER why is the girl on the cover so slim? I was disappointed with this. Very disappointed. Badly done Bloomsbury USA. Badly done.

TILT by Alan Cumyn

Tweet: Very much enjoyed TILT by @acumyn. Great book for boys and people who like boys! #amreading

This was a very fun and sweet book with one of the most hilarious “consequences of teen sex” scenes I’ve ever read. But it had depth too, and plenty of angst. My only complaint is that it was trying a bit too hard to be a sports book – the basketball felt tacked on.

THE RELUCTANT JOURNAL OF HENRY K. LARSEN Susin Nielsen

Tweet: really enjoyed the reluctant journey of henry k larsen by @susinnielsen. visceral yet innocent somehow. an odd mix but it works

I reviewed this book earlier this month.

MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD, Francisco X. Stork

Tweet: MARCELLO IN THE REAL WORLD by Francisco Stork.. Complex, deep and poignant. 4/5 stars

I loved this “neuro-atypical” protagonist, though I was a little uncomfortable with his robotic speech. I’ve never really heard and kids on the autism spectrum speak like this. Apart from that, this was a really great book which I strongly recommend.

THE BEST AND HARDEST THING by Pat Brisson

See my review on Goodreads to get my thoughts.

People of Color Reading Challenge and Book Tweets.

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OMG, May. What a month for authors who aren’t me. For some reason May was all about reading and not so much about writing. I hardly even blogged. I think because I started the month out by going to Vegas and maybe what happened in Vegas actually did stay in Vegas or something, along with all my ambition, self-discipline and ideas.

Actually it’s not as bad as all that. The truth is a character popped into my head late April and has been torturing me slowly to death ever since. The only escape has been reading about OTHER tortured characters so that’s what I’ve done to the tune of more than twenty books!

I’ll begin with my ongoing commitment to reading books by and about People of Color for the People of Color Reading Challenge. The breakdown goes like this:

KARMA by Cathy Ostlere. I really adored this verse novel about a young indo-Canadian girl getting caught up in the unrest in India after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. This is both everything that a verse novel should be – poetic, visual, emotional and lyrical – as well as everything that a novel about a non-white/mainstream culture CAN be; it feels very universal. The protagonist and narrator, 16 year old Maya, starts out naïve and innocent but when thrust into unimaginable danger doesn’t suddenly become Katniss Everdeen. Her reactions and struggles are realistic and not idealized. I loved how romantic this book is too.

MUCHACHO, by LouAnne Johnson. I rather enjoyed this short but uplifting book by the author of the book that inspired the film DANGEROUS MINDS. Notwithstanding the ubiquitous white savior school teacher trope that forms a backdrop to this story, MUCHACHO is a well plotted and fun to read story about a kid who likes to pretend he’s a lot dumber than he actually is, until a pretty smart girl changes his mind. Maybe this book is a bit idealized. It seems a bit easy for Eddie to avoid getting drawn into a gang for example, but maybe that’s just me expecting a stereotyped story. This is surprisingly gentle story that I would recommend for middle graders who are ready to graduate to YA fare. There is some language but sex is treated very responsibly  so it would be appropriate for readers from about 11+.

ALL THE BROKEN PIECES by Ann E Burg. This verse novel made me cry, which rarely happens. The story of Matt Pin,  a Vietnamese boy who is airlifted after the fall of Saigon the story deals with his coming to terms with all that he lost in the family and life he left behind in Vietnam.  This is an emotionally impactful book that uses baseball as a kind panacea, a typically American idea, but one that works superbly well in this instance. A quick but far from easy read, but also another great one for mature younger readers.

BOY21 Matthew Quick. Can I tell you how much I loved this book? Here’s another sports oriented story for boys, but one that is so full of fun and mystique  and sadness and hope that I wanted to take a great big bite out of it after I read it. I simply loved all the characters, especially BOY21 whose eccentricity and dignity made me want to believe everything he said. Love love loved this book. I would recommend it especially to reluctant boy readers, and apart from some minor language and “off-screen”  gang violence themes, has no content that would objectionable to younger readers 11+. The romance between the narrator and his girlfriend is oddly chaste in fact, almost old fashioned. I think BOY21 should marry STARGIRL and fill the YA universe with odd and sweet brown skinned babies.

LAST NIGHT I SANG TO THE MONSTER by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. I was not expecting this book to be so harrowing. Brilliant and brutal and unrelenting,  the book is about a very disturbed young man’s experience in detox and rehab for alcoholism. The book is emotional visceral and not for the faint of heart, but the characters and relationships are unforgettable.  I liked that Zach is really the only teenager in this book (at least in the linear story), which made it less YA-ish and more universal. Little time got wasted and stupid high school politics etc. It was more about the deep issues.

KICK by Walter Dean Myers and  Ross Workman. Sorry but this one didn’t do it for me. Ross Workman, a high school student, somehow managed to convince Walter Dean Myers to collaborate on a book with him and this is the result. Meh. Read like a book written by one writer with no experience and another who was phoning it in. Certainly not to the stellar heights that Walter Dean Myers usually flies. Nicely written, but poorly plotted with weak characterization and way too much soccer. Way longer than it needed to be too. I love Walter Dean Myers but this one, not so much.

So that’s it for books about and/or by people of color. But there was a lot of other reading this month, much of it I tweeted about:

Just read THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LARRY by @JanetTashjian . A clever, pertinent and quick read. Lots of fun and thought provoking.

Damn you @barrylyga I started reading FANBOY at 11:30pm last night. Finished at 4am. Now a wee bit tired. I ❤ FANBOY.

Want to tweet and tweet on ALL THE BROKEN PIECES by Ann E. Burg which made me cry. But neither she nor her peeps seem to tweet. @scholastic

LOVE AND LEFTOVERS BY Sarah Tregay Sweet easy read, romantic and sexy. #amreading

Holy crap, BOY21 by @MatthewQuick21 is a good book. Irish pride, aliens, basketball, mobsters, astronomy; this book has everything.

THE BIG CRUNCH by @petehautman is the cutest. book. ever. Could not put it down. Love Wes and June so much. They’re adorable. GabriellePrendergast ‏@GabrielleSaraP

Devoured EXPOSURE by @ThereseFowler today.Unlike most contemp YA (omniscient 3rd person POV, past tense) but So.Effing.Good. #unputdownable

Marathon session with LAST NIGHT I SANG TO THE MONSTER by@BenjaminAlireSa . Beautiful, suspenseful and real. #amreading

@CaroleeJDean COMFORT left me feeling drained but not defeated. Perfect blend of southern melodrama, teen angst, country music and poetry.

My #fridayreads NO MATTER HOW LOUD I SHOUT BY @edwardhumes So far, infuriating, sad, and illuminating.

WINTERGIRLS by Laurie @halseanderson. Bleak and unremitting, but something I wish I’d read at 16. #notquiteTHATbad

KARMA by @CathyOstlere 5 out of 5 stars. So beautiful, romantic and poetic. #iloveversenovels

finished @CaroleeJDean ‘s TAKE ME THERE. Pretty unputdownable, esp towards the end.Will now kill for ARC of FORGET ME NOT

Just finished THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by @kaaauthor. Now freaking out about how prolific this author is. Whatever she’s on, I want some.

That’s not all. I read a few other things including some very trashy steamy romance I got from NetGalley. I won’t review those since I’m aiming (and missing by a mile, fuck it all) for PG here.

Anyway, now it’s June, it’s my sister’s birthday. My NaNo book is still not finished. I have another character basically Gaslighting me into writing him out. I’m waiting for notes or news from my agent.

Business as usual.

ROAD TRIP WEDNESDAY – APRIL BOOKS

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For this week’s Road Trip Wednesday,  YA Highway asks “what was the best book you read in April?”. I’ve been having a huge reading month (and a crap writing month but that’s often how it goes). With nearly a week left I have already read fifteen books. There were definitely some standouts and some that didn’t work as well for me.

Interestingly with several of the books I found myself asking the same questions – legal questions.  All the below books deal with a crime in one way or another. I don’t want to give any spoilers but some of them left me doubtful about the way the legal response to this crime played out. In several cases  I found myself doing Google research to check whether the legal reaction was plausible give the circumstances. In a couple of cases, I don’t think it was.

The book to which I gave the highest Goodreads rating,  SPEAK by, Laurie Halse Anderson (five stars!), though it concerned a serious crime, did not include legal ramifications. I suppose that’s because the story was not really about that. Whatever the  reason, this was a fantastic book that I devoured in about four hours. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to read it. And I was particularly glad that a great read wasn’t marred by implausible legal outcomes.

This just goes to show how careful you need to be with your research. I know teen readers are probably not quite as skeptical as I am, but a writer should never assume that readers will buy their bullshit, just because it makes the story go where it needs to. When it comes to legal cases, the best thing to do is to consult a lawyer or police officer who works in the district in which your story is set. I know this sounds expensive, but I emailed a New York criminal lawyer, when I was writing a screenplay, and he was tickled to be consulted about criminal law in New York and did it for free.

The other books dealing with crimes were: NOTHING by Janne Teller, GLIMPSE by Carol Lynch Williams, LEAVING PARADISE (Leaving Paradise, #1) by Simone Elkeles, WE WERE HERE, by Matt de la Peña,  CRAZY BEAUTIFUL  by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, and  FORBIDDEN,  by Tabitha Suzuma.

BOOK Tweets – March 2012

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It’s been a slow reading month for me. I’ve been writing hard though, so that’s my excuse. That said, lots of the reading I’ve done this month has a funny story attached to it, so this Book Tweets post will have a little something extra.

So early in the month everyone was talking about 50 SHADES OF GREY and I heard about it over and over.  I also read a review on Forever Young Adult about WARM BODIES by Isaac Marion. Then one of my tweeps reminded me of WARM BODIES when he joked about zombie love. That night I dreamt a mash-up of WARM BODIES and 50 SHADES. In other words I dreamt a zombie BSDM movie. Needless to say, I woke up in a bit of a disturbed state. Naturally the first thing I did was tweet about it, of course letting Isaac Marion in on it. We went on to have a highly amusing and inappropriate twitter exchange about zombies and BDSM, after which I felt obligated to read his book.

This was my tweet:

Finished WARM BODIES by @isaacinspace . Really loved it. Funny, whimsical, yet oddly real. #ilovezombies

To which he replied:

@GabrielleSaraP #iloveprendergast

Awww. What a sweetie.

Earlier in the month I read GODLESS by Pete Hautman.

Finshed GODLESS by @petehautman I really loved it. Funny, dramatic, irreverent and real. Will blog a proper review tomorrow or Sunday

Since I collect books for atheist teens, I did a full review of this one.

Next, I had a “moment” with John Green.

LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green. Deep, beautiful but infuriating. Maybe that’s the point. Demerits for “thematic” smoking though #yuck

People have been talking about John Green non stop since THE FAULT IN OUR STARS  was released. I  don’t think I’ll read TFIOS (I can’t really do cancer books), but I liked WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON a lot so I thought I would try some other John Green. Now I did like this book, though I was a bit infuriated by…well, read it and I’m sure you’ll know. One thing that won’t be a spoiler to write about is the smoking. Smoking, smoking, all these kids do is smoke!  And it’s not even the smoking that concerns me so much as that it is treated as some kind of special, mind expanding experience, some wonderful shared nirvana, a secret heavenly world that these kids escape to when the pressure of being a teenager becomes to much. That’s right – cigarette smoking. I fully expected to read “This Book was made possible by a generous grant from the Marlboro Tobacco Corporation”. There’s even cigarette smoke on the COVER! All this while Mr. green is rolling in cash and accolades earned by writing about CANCER?! Urgh. To much irony, even for me. This book should come with a disclaimer.

A little Stephanie Perkins cured my Green related malaise.

Finished ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS at 3am! Now a wee bit tired. Curse you @naturallysteph , Could. Not. Stop. Reading.

Stephanie Perkins has tweeted me several times. A lovely tweep who writes lovely books. I hope she’s at ALA in June. I’d love to meet her IRL. And I can’t wait to read the third book in this cycle: ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

I could probably read a book a month by Neal Shusterman. I just love him.

THE SHADOW CLUB is classic @NealShusterman. Suspenseful with a whiff of something dark and unknown and universal. Great read!

Shusterman has never failed to thrill me. This is an earlier book of his, but no less dark and creepy while staying real.

The last two were read as part of my commitment to the 2012 People of Color Reading  Challenge. What I quickly learned this month is that one rarely just happens to read a book with a protagonist or even an author of color. One really has to put a little effort into it. Finally I decided to tackle two reading challenges in one and chose an early chapter book (I’m trying to read a bit more material for younger readers as opposed to all the YA I’ve been reading) and some poetry (because I have to write another verse novel next year). Here are my tweets:

Read ALVIN HO #1 by @lenorelook Loved Alvin. A very cute start to a chapter book series @readingincolor

The full title of this is ALVIN HO: ALLERGIC TO GIRLS, SCHOOL AND OTHER SCARY THINGS. I like this little book. The voice was very cute and there was a smattering of Chinese culture in it which was nice. Alvin is the real strength of this series though. he is almost, but not quite what is increasingly called a “neuro-atypical” protagonist in the sense that he is a selective mute at school. Perhaps why will be explained in later books, but there certainly is enough character there to build a strong series on. Book ! felt a little thin on plot though. Hopefully the subsequent books are more plot driven.

Read a collection of Langston Hughes poetry. Now feel very inspired #langstonhughes

I’ve been meaning to catch up on some more Langston Hughes ever since I assigned a couple of his poems to some 20th C history students a few years back. He definitely didn’t disappoint.  I love his mix of rhyme and free verse and jazz or spiritual inspired verse, as well as the contrast between regional dialect and formal phrasing. In particular I found this little gem, which inspires me in my current WIP:

(From Love Song for Lucinda)

Love
Is a high mountain
Stark in a windy sky
If you
Would never lose your breath
Do not climb too high
 

Read on, friends.

Road Trip Wednesday – February BOOK TWEETS

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For this week’s Road Trip Wednesday,  YA Highway asks what was the best book you read in February?

Compared to last month when I read 20 books, this month has been a bit pathetic. I only read six books. That’s a terrible total for me and my only excuse is that I’ve been writing quite a lot (about 50,000 words this month). So anyway, I’ve tweeted every book and I’ve liked them all. Oh, and I signed a book deal this month, so that’s something. Anyway, here are the books:

LOVE YOU HATE YOU MISS YOU BY @escottwrites Sad and deep. Kind of depressing, but hard to look away.

Just finished LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR by @naturallysteph – So sweet and sexy

Just finished PERFECT by @EllenHopkinsYA . Perhaps I finally really understand her genius.

WHAT I WAS by @megrosoff Gorgeous writing, suspenseful, romantic. UK writers seem to have a whole other approach to YA that I really dig.

FOREVER by @mstiefvater Nice conclusion to a great trilogy. Loved how the series evolved. Go Wolves!

HUNGER by @JackieMorseKess – “why didn’t I think of that” premise. Doesn’t pull punches about anorexia. Nice mix of contemp& paranormal-WIN!

I think my favorite might have been LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR. Perhaps because I just got back from a visit to San Francisco, where it is set, but I had a lot of fun reading this book. And I think with all the dark and deep writing I’m doing, I needed  break, something a little lighter, but still with enough substance to keep me interested. Go LOLA!

Road Trip Wednesday – January Books

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For this week’s Road Trip Wednesday,  YA Highway asks what was our favorite book to read in January. Well, I’ve had quite the month. Including finishing A DANCE WITH DRAGONS I have read 20 books.

The book-tweets are below, but I have the say the winner is BOY TOY by Barry Lyga. This book completely slayed me. I actually had a three day reading break after finishing it I was so messed up. Please for the love of everything, read this book.

My least favorite would have to be, disappointingly THERE IS NO DOG by Meg Rosoff. Read why here.

Phew. What a month!

@NealShusterman BRUISER. Sigh…loved the multiple POV, the verse chapters, the premise, the characters. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

@VeronicaRoth DIVERGENT Cool world building, sweet romance, wild action, crazy climax. Something for everyone. I dug it.

#fridayreads THERE IS NO DOG by @megrosoff. It’s giving me a little Douglas Adams feel, which is fun.

FIRST DAY ON EARTH by @misscecil Cecil Castellucci made me sad and happy for at least ten different reasons. I want to believe.

WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON by @realjohngreen and David Levithan is all kinds of awesome and LOL funny. Read it!

BOY TOY by @barrylyga really messed me up. Utterly unputdownable. Can’t type. Can’t think. Can barely focus my eyes.

YOU AGAINST ME by Jenny Downham. Devastating. Beautiful. I need a drink. @RandomHouseCA @randomhousekids 21 Jan

Finished TWISTED by @halseanderson Laurie Halse Anderson. So good. Couldn’t put it down. Had to remember to eat and pee. 20 Jan

Why did I wait so long to read NICK&NORAH? @rachelcohn So much fun to #readinasinglesitting 19 Jan

Just finished WITHER by @LaurenDeStefano . Beautiful and evocative. Evokes THE HANDMAIDS TALE a bit, but in a good way. Like Atwood=good 19 Jan

FLYING FEET by @McCannJames an @orcabook sports book. Surprisingly visceral for “hi/lo” and actually quite scary. I wanted more. 18 Jan

Just finished HAVEN by @Kristi_Cook . Fun read! Can’t say more due to spoilers but I liked it more than.. ;-) Less whiny – more kick ass 17 Jan

GRACE by Elizabeth Scott @escottwrites Tight and tense. A challenge to follow and maybe a little obscure for my taste but beautiful writing 16 Jan 

@AGSmith_Author LOCKDOWN:ESCAPE FROM FURNACE was so f-ing good. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. Dark, wild and unputdownable!!!

EVERMORE by @alysonnoel Pretty hard to put down, towards the end especially. High School+mystery+magic+hot guy+angst=fun read!

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by @bethrevis. Took a few chapters but crept up on me. Turned into a real page turner. Nice duel POV. YA+scifi=YES!

GIRL PARTS by @johnmcusick. Yes, oh yes. Funny, sweet and sexy. A rare instance where omniscient POV is not annoying. YA+male authors=win.

DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver…not so much. This felt like a premise in search of a plot. Lots of description, a tepid romance…meh

@LucyCAuthor Just stayed up all night reading STOLEN. Wow, just , wow.

Holy crap STOLEN by Lucy Christopher. What a great book. I’ve been up all night.

u think?

Book Tweets

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I’ve done a lot of reading this week. A LOT (not “alot”, which is in fact this kind of creature).  

And after this week of contention on the blogs about bad reviews and snarky authors I’d certainly like to throw a real flaming cannonball at someone, but in reality, everything has been pretty good. Here’s how I tweeted it:

YOU AGAINST ME by Jenny Downham. Devastating. Beautiful. I need a drink. @RandomHouseCA @randomhousekids 21 Jan

Finished TWISTED by @halseanderson Laurie Halse Anderson. So good. Couldn’t put it down. Had to remember to eat and pee. 20 Jan

Why did I wait so long to read NICK&NORAH? @rachelcohn So much fun to #readinasinglesitting 19 Jan

Just finished WITHER by @LaurenDeStefano . Beautiful and evocative. Evokes THE HANDMAIDS TALE a bit, but in a good way. Like Atwood=good 19 Jan

FLYING FEET by @McCannJames an @orcabook sports book. Surprisingly visceral for “hi/lo” and actually quite scary. I wanted more. 18 Jan

Just finished HAVEN by @Kristi_Cook . Fun read! Can’t say more due to spoilers but I liked it more than.. 😉 Less whiny – more kick ass 17 Jan

GRACE by Elizabeth Scott @escottwrites Tight and tense. A challenge to follow and maybe a little obscure for my taste but beautiful writing 16 Jan 

Personally I think 140 characters is more than enough to express your feelings about a book. Thanks to all the authors who retweeted and/or replied/followed in response. And just so everyone knows, I’m not sucking up. If I don’t like a book, I still tweet, I just don’t send it to the author.