Halloween Favourites

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Happy Halloween you guys! It’s so crazy to think that it’s Halloween already since it always marks the beginning of the end. Let’s face it…starting tomorrow all the Halloween candy at the shops will be on sale and all the Christmas decorations will be out and soon it’ll be December and than Christmas and than 2015. Crazy, right? *takes deep breathe*

Anyways, since it is Halloween and Halloween is my favourite Holiday of the year I thought it would be cool to share some of my paranormal/ghost type books that make great Halloween reads!

11408650Ah, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is one of my favourite paranormal’s ever. I actually just finished rereading this one a few days ago and it’s sequel (The Evolution of Mara Dyer) in preparation for the third books release next week. I love this series so much because it makes me question my sanity and wonder if our unreliable narrator, Mara Dyer, is really crazy or just has crazy things happen to her. Either way, there’s hallucinations and oujia boards and lots of creepy.

 

17675462Is there anyone on earth who doesn’t like The Raven Boys? If you’re feeling like a ghost read than this is it. The amazing group dynamic in this one is definitely one of my favourites in YA ever. And while it deals with tons of paranormal stuff it’s only midway through that you realize there’s a ghost amongst the group. PREPARE TO HAVE YOUR HEART BROKEN.

 

 

 

 

9859436Looking for Zombies? While I admit I never got around to reading the following sequels to the Something Strange & Deadly series this one was an awesome read for me. I’m not a zombie girl but there was a cute romance in it (for all you romance lovers) that intrigued me quite a bit. Plus–it’s pretty original and I loved the world building in it!

 

 

 

18805916I actually have a review for this one coming up in a few weeks and thought it would be cool to add to the list. This one is described as a paranormal romance and It definitely is. While I would say this is more of a romance between a human and a ghost than anything else if you’re into ghost stories and star crossed lovers than this one might be the one for you!

 

What about you guys? Do you guys like my Halloween choices? Have you read any of them? Are there books I should definitely have added to the list and check out for myself? Let me know!

Falling Into Place: Review

Release Date: September 9th 2014
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Series: Standalone
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Summary:On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect?

Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

Falling Into Place is easily one of the most beautiful books to be released this year. I’ve heard some people compare it to If I Stay by Gayle Forman and Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver before and in this case these are two comparisons I don’t mind making. This is without a doubt an excellent debut from author, Amy Zhang.

As a protagonist, Liz Emerson completely fascinated me. I was not her biggest fan and frankly hated some of the things she did but I completely understood her and her reasons behind all her actions. Of course, that didn’t justify her actions to me but rather made it completely impossible for me to hate her either. She was the stereotypical popular girl playing the stereotypical popular girl role because she thought that was her only option. It was sad and heartbreaking and made me want to go give Liz a hug. She was just so lost in this book and i completely understood why.

“Liz looked back and counted the bodies, all those lives she had ruined simply by existing. So she chose to stop existing.”
― Amy Zhang, Falling into Place

The secondary characters in Falling Into Place were also all very well rounded . They were all well developed and felt necessary to the story. My heart completely broke for Liz’s best friends Julia and Keenie. Reading about their downfalls as well as liz’s was incredibly powerful and moving. The character who managed to see the real Liz, despite her actions was also a favourite of mine. My heart completely broke for Liam and my hearts still squeezing just thinking about him.

Falling Into Place is told from an unknown point of view. This was probably my favourite aspect of the book. We spend the entire book guessing whose telling the story and how they know so much about Liz and all the people around her. While at one point, my sloothing skills did aid me in guessing who the narrator was, I enjoyed the original way of telling the story. The nonlinear format of the book also complements the story. It was never annoying or difficult to keep track of. The chapters that jumped around in time and the flashbacks each helped strip another layer of a character and made them easier to sympathize for.

“No one sees how her hands shake as she closes the magazine, lays it down gingerly as though afraid that her trembling will start an earth quake, and make the entire world crumble.” ― Amy Zhang, Falling into Place

I am definitely very picky about my endings but while Falling Into Place left us with so many unknowns as a reader, I was completely content. I think the one question that really counted, the big one, the most important one was answered and it shattered me.

Amy Zhang has definitely set the bar high with her debut, Falling Into Place. A beautiful, poignant book about the choices we make and the choices we let define us and our lives. I recommend this one to anyone who just want to understand life.

Hothouse Flower (Calloway Sisters #2):Review

Release Date: March 28th  2014
Genres: NA, Contemporary
Publisher:
Series: Calloway Sisters #2
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Summary: Ryke Meadows, meet Daisy Calloway … she’s all grown up.Twenty-five-year-old Ryke Meadows knows he’s hard to love. With a billion-dollar inheritance, a track-star resume, and an alpha-male personality—he redefines the term likable asshole. But he’s not living to make friends. Or enemies. He just wants to free climb three of the toughest mountains in Yosemite without drama or interruption.And then he receives a distressed call from a girl in Paris—a girl that he has never been allowed to have.Daisy Calloway is eighteen. Finally. With her newfound independence, she can say goodbye to her overbearing mother and continue her modeling career. Next stop, Paris. Fashion Week begins with a bang, and Daisy uncovers the ugly reality of the industry. She wants to prove to her family that she can live on her own, but when everything spirals out of control, she turns to Ryke to keep her secrets.As Daisy struggles to make sense of this new world and her freedom, she pushes the limits and fearlessly rides the edge. Ryke knows there’s deep hurt beneath every impulsive action. He must keep up with Daisy, and if he lets her go, her favorite motto—“live as if you’ll die today”—may just come true.

Why does each book have to get better and better? Seriously— I literally sequestered myself from the world for an entire weekend reading this book. I was just that consumed. Whenever I start a book by Krista and Becca Ritchie, said book becomes my world. It’s horrible and wonderful at the same time and I have no idea how that can be. Hothouse Flower is the second book in the Calloway Sisters series and Addicted 2.2 (if you want to look at it that way). It takes place about a while after the events in Kiss The Sky (about six or so months) and is Daisy and Ryke’s book.

THANK F*CKING GOD

(Okay, so maybe Ryke has rubbed off on me a little bit) 

I’ve been a fan of Raisy since Daisy and Ryke were first introduced in Addicted to You (nevermind that they didn’t actually meet until the second book in the series, Ricochet, because we all knew  they had to happen). Hothouse begins with tons of sexual tension. TONS. That glorouis second chapter made me immeditly aware that Hothouse was going to be pretty amazing. And while Hothouse Flower was well hot, I loved the emotional depth in it too.

Hothouse Flower spends a lot of time on Ryke and Lo’s relationship and Ryke’s feelings about it. I really got a sense of how he viewed his brother and how he viewed his place in his brother’s life. That was probably my favourite aspect of the book (outside of the really cute/hot Raisy moments).

As always, we got a lot from our favourite couples and secondary characters in this one. Rose, Connor, lily and Lol were at their brightest and I loved the parts where they were all together. The only thing that kept me from giving this 5 stars (instead of my 4.5) was the fact that while the secondary crew were in the book a lot I missed their prescence during the beginning half of the book a whole lot after reading Kiss The Sky. All the characters were in each others faces in that one and living together and this one felt so different from that. That being said, I still loved this book.

{Blog Tour} Addicted After All: The Addicted Characters Celebrity Crushes

Addicted After All Tour Banner

 

About The Book

Addicted After All Official CoverTwo addicts. One epic love story.

Prepare for the worst.That’s what Lily and Lo try to do when Jonathan Hale schedules an “important” meeting. The problem: after being swept into the public eye and battling their addictions, they’re not sure what the worst is anymore.In a sea of many changes—including Ryke & Daisy living with them—Lily realizes that the best part of her fluctuating hormones might just be the worst.Her sex drive is out of control.Loren knows that she’s insatiable, but he’s not giving up on her. She’s too much a part of him. And as he carries more and more responsibility, some of the people that he loves doubt his resolve.In the conclusion to their love story, Lily & Lo stand side-by-side to fight, one last time, for their happily ever after.

AUTHORS’ NOTE
Due to the 2-year gap between Addicted for Now (Addicted #2) and Addicted After All (Addicted #3), you must read Thrive (Addicted #2.5) or the Calloway Sisters spin-off series before reading Addicted After All.

 


After being pressured by Siiri to finally begin this series in August I’ve been a die hard fan of this series and both Krista and Becca Ritchie. My love for them first began with Lily & Lo in Addicted to You and has expanded to the other couples Connor & Rose, Ryke & Daisy with the spin off books. That being said, everything really began with Lily and Lo and they still remain my favourite couple of the bunch. Because this is the last book in their epic love story i’m getting teary eyed as I write this little message (I don’t even want to imagine what i’m going to be like reading the actual book or even the review)–dear god.

As part of the Blog Tour for Addicted After All I have the amazing opportunity to share with you all the characters celebrity crushes. I promise, the answers will definitely make you laugh and they are definitely all very much them.

 

ADDICTED CHARACTERS AND THEIR CELEBRITY CRUSHES

Inspired by a Tumblr question we received, we’re about to break down each Addicted character’s celebrity crush—the celebrity that their significant other would allow a “freebie pass” in some alternate universe where the celebrity and Addicted character collide.

LILY CALLOWAY

She would try and say that her celebrity crush is Loren Hale (technically, he is a celebrity) but if that didn’t fly, she’d flip-flop between most of the male actors who have played X-Men. She’s undeniably attracted to superheroes. But if she really had to choose, she’d pick James Marsden. Especially, when he was playing Cyclops.

 

Daisy Calloway

She’s attracted to the rugged, manly men. The ones that look like they live in the wild *ahem Ryke Meadows* But there is also one celebrity who personifies man and that’s Jason Momoa. Yep, her celebrity crush is Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones.

Rose Calloway

This would be quite hard for her to choose. But she’d try to pick someone also very masculine like Henry Cavill or Michael Fassbender. And it would be difficult for her to admit her celebrity crush out loud (in front of Connor) because she knows that he’d start thinking he was in the same league as Superman and Michael Fassbender (he is ;))

Loren Hale

Lo likes small girls. More on the skinny side. He likes girls who are sweet and goofy on the outside and maybe a little wild on the inside. His celebrity crush would no doubt be Emma Stone.

 

Ryke Meadows

He would claim he doesn’t have a celebrity crush (he likes all kinds of women and many attract him). But if he absolutely had to choose, he’d pick Scarlett Johansson. [Side Note: Even though Lily is firmly Team Raisy, she would approve of Ryke’s choice. Scarlett is Black Widow after all]

 

Connor Cobalt

Connor is primarily attracted to intelligence. So his celebrity crush would be Natalie Portman. She has a very high IQ and graduated from Harvard. She’s also very classy but not afraid to speak her mind—which is Connor Cobalt’s type.

 Don’t forget to click here for the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a *Kindle Paperwhite or  *signed  paperback of AAA. Click here to follow the rest of the tour.

About The Authors

Author PhotoKrista & Becca Ritchie are identical twins. They write New Adult books that make you cringe, gasp, and go ooh-la-la. (If you do that sort of thing.) They are currently working on the spin-offs and final books in the Addicted series. Connect with them on twitter and their website: kbritchie.com

AUTHOR LINKS

 Website: http://kbritchie.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kbritchie

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KBRitchie

Tumblr: http://kbmritchie.tumblr.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kbmritchie/

Kiss Kill Vanish: Review

17563833Release Date: October 7th 2014
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: Katharine Tegan Books*ARC was provided by publisher*
Series: Standalone
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Summary: Valentina Cruz no longer exists.
One moment, she was wrapped in Emilio’s arms, melting into his kiss. The next, she was witnessing the unthinkable: a murder in cold blood, ordered by her father and carried out by her boyfriend. When Emilio pulled the trigger, Valentina disappeared. She made a split-second decision to shed her identity and flee her life of privilege, leaving the glittering parties and sultry nightlife of Miami far behind.
She doesn’t know how to explain to herself what she saw. All she knows now is that nothing she believed about her family, her heart, or Emilio’s love, was real.She can change her name and deny her past, but Valentina can’t run from the truth. The lines between right and wrong, and trust and betrayal, will be blurred beyond recognition as she untangles the deceptions of the two men she once loved and races to find her own truth.

What happened to you Kiss Kill Vanish? I was rooting for you! We were all rooting for you! You had the awesome title, beautiful cover and kickass synopsis so why did you not work? What went wrong?? *slams head against desk*

I went into this one completely expecting to love it , I mean the synopsis was amazing “The next, she was witnessing the unthinkable: a murder in cold blood, ordered by her father and carried out by her boyfriend.” It was literally THAT sentence that had me convinced this one was my type of read. The synopsis made this one sound so interesting and badass but Kiss Kill Vanish was anything but.

Kiss Kill Vanish was slow. Painfully slow. The first few chapters were all about Jane (formally known as Valentina Cruz) modelling for a wannabe painter. BORING. There was no struggle for survival, sleeping on the streets or anything like that because the book begins with 17 year old Jane making her money modelling for this wannabe painter while living in a rundown apartment (with neighbours) and having a fully functioning cell phone (who gets her cell phone bill? I don’t know either)

As if that wasn’t boring and unrealistic enough our heroine, Jane (or Valentina) was not by any means, smart. She continuously made terrible decisions and seemed to never learn from her mistakes. Also, she was impulsive. The type of impulsive that made me want to bang my head against a desk. I mean, she escaped to Montreal hoping no one would find her but her boyfriend (who she’s running away from) loves Montreal and her father frequents the city often. See the problem? Apparently Valentina didn’t.

Also, this book completely fell into the love triangle trap. *DOUBLE SIGH* I was not a fan of the love triangle at all or any of the boys for that matter. They both may as well have had a banners on their foreheads saying “ISSUES. WE HAVE MAJOR ISSUES”. I mean, Valentina’s boyfriend, Emilio killed someone and SHE RAN AWAY BECAUSE OF IT. But the minute he steps foot into her life again Valentina practically jumps his bones and completely forgets about the fact that HE MURDERED SOMEONE. Lots of issues you see.

As much as I loved Jessica Martinez previous books this one just wasn’t meant for me.

*Thank you Harper Collins Canada for the advanced readers copy*

Lailah (The Styclar Saga #1):Review

18324459Release Date: October 7th 2014
Genres: YA, Paranormal
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Series: Book one of series
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
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Summary:The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.
In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is
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I tried. I really did. I even pushed through and read the entire thing but at around the 20% mark I had a pretty good idea of how this story was going to go and had to force myself to not put it down. The concept behind Lailah was pretty interesting. A girl who never ages and comes back to life after she’s been killed but doesn’t know why? Yeah, that’s pretty cool. But, unfortunately that happened to be the only cool thing in the book.

Lailah starts off with a bang. Literally, from the beginning we’re thrown into a bunch of chaos but it wasn’t the type of chaos that’s exciting enough to warrant interest, it was the type of chaos that confused me. I had to reread passages to make sense of what was happening. Everything felt disjointed and messy. Not only that, but I had no emotional connection to our main character Lailah (who at this time is going by the name Francesca) or any of the people she meets. I mean, since I had no prior knowledge to her other than her name (which is later revealed to actually be Lailah) I didn’t care about anything that was happening around her. We end up learning that one of the guys she meets, Gabriel (I will get into more detail about him later) is actually this guy she’s been dreaming about for years (which is something we learn as she meets him) and while this is a huge moment for Lailah, I wasn’t interested enough to particularly care.

Let’s talk about the cliché’s now in Lailah. Oh the cliché’s. This book was full of them. FULL OF THEM! I couldn’t get over it. I found myself wanting to hit my head against my desk a dozen different times. First there’s the infuriating love triangle (that shouldn’t even exist because both guys are terrible options) and of course one boy is good and the other is completely evil. Oh boy…I wonder who the girl chooses? And of course with this love triangle comes all the cliché’s in the history of cliché’s. The “good” guy withholds information every chance he gets which forces the girl into the “bad” boys arms. The “good” guy has another girl lusting after him and of course he doesn’t tell her to back off because he doesn’t want to hurt her feelings AND of course this leads to Lailah (with her perfect timing) seeing all sort of “misunderstandings” between the “good” guy and the creepy can’t-take-a-hint girl.

Of course, Lailah wasn’t all bad. Lailah was interesting enough (aside from her occasional random mood swings here and there) and I could appreciate the mythology behind the angels and vampires and her role in it. While some of the twists were a bit too predictable for me in regards to this I actually found myself kind of surprised by one near the end that I hadn’t expected. That being said, I feel like the whole “there can’t be both good and evil in the world or in a person. A balance doesn’t exist” was extremely underdeveloped. I mean, how many books and movies and tv shows have to exist to convince us that YES, good and evil are in everyone? They’re different sides to the same coin.

While Lailah was not my type of read considering some of the stuff I’ve read on Wattpad I can see why it got so much attention online. The story wasn’t necessarily bad per say, If anything, I feel like it had a very strong concept behind it but ultimately this one was just weighed down by too many factors.

Kiss the Sky (Calloway Sisters #1 OR Addicted #2.1):Review

Release Date: February 20th 2014
Genres: NA, Contemporary
Publisher:
Series: Calloway Sisters, (Spin off)
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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Summary: Virgin. Sex addict. Daredevil. Alcoholic. Smartass … Jackass. Her five friends are about to be filmed. Reality TV, be prepared.Rose Calloway thought she had everything under control. At twenty-three, she’s a Princeton graduate, an Academic Bowl champion, a fashion designer and the daughter of a Fortune 500 mogul. But with a sex addict as a sister and roommate, nothing comes easy.After accepting help from a producer, Rose agrees to have her life filmed for a reality television show. The Hollywood exec is her last chance to revive her struggling fashion line, and boundaries begin to blur as she’s forced to make nice with a man who always has his way.Twenty-four-year-old Connor Cobalt is a guy who bulldozes weak men. He’s confident, smart-as-hell and lives with his equally ambitious girlfriend, Rose Calloway. Connor has to find a way to protect Rose without ruining the show. Or else the producer will get what Connor has always wanted—Rose’s virginity.

HOW IS IT POSSIBLE FOR EACH BOOK TO GET BETTER AND BETTER IN THIS SERIES? HOW?

Kiss The Sky is the first book in the Calloway Sisters spin off series but must be read before Thrive (book 2.5) in the Addicted Series to fully understand everything. And I promise you, you won’t want to miss this one if your already a huge fan of the series like I am. I wasn’t hesitante to start this one at all, despite it being told from both Rose’s and Connor’s POV.

If I thought I loved Connor before I’m completely deeply madly in love with him now. He’s a pretentious smartass but he’s my smartmass. I’ve loved Connor and Rose’s dynamic since Addicted To You and i’ve enjoyed watching they’re relationship develop during the books. Going into Kiss the Sky Connor and Rose were already in a relationship and had their relationship dynamic figured out already but it’s obvouis from the start of the book that the two had a long way to go. And I loved every second of it.

“Well, Connor doesn’t believe in magic. If Hogwarts actually existed I’m sure they’d send an owl to shit on his head.”
― Krista Ritchie, Kiss the Sky

Kiss The Sky also provided a completely different backdrop for the characters. In order to save her fashion line Rose signs on for a six month reality show with Connor, Lily, Daisy, Lo and Ryke. Because of this all six of them are surrounded by cameras 24/7 and have to live in the same house. Even though Kiss the Sky is very much Connor and Rose’s story we still get a crazy amount of Lily & Lo time and Daisy and Rkye time (oh come on…we all want them together. Admit it now) and of course we still have some of the trouble and tribulations that come with Lily and Lo’s recoveries.

“People hope to touch the sky. I dream of kissing it.”
― Krista Ritchie, Kiss the Sky

All in all I strongly thought Addicted For Now was my favourite book in this series but now I just don’t know. I’ve come to the conclusion that each both Kristina and Becca Ritchie write is going to be better than their last one and I don’t mind that at all!

“Kiss the sky with me,” Connor whispers, a beautiful smile pulling his lips, “and don’t ever come down.”
― Krista Ritchie, Kiss the Sky

{Blog Tour} Even In Paradise: Author Interview

EIP

20601687Release Date: October 14th 2014
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Standalone
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Summary: When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do… or think they do.
Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.
But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden … until now.

To celebrate the release of Chelsey Pilpot’s debut novel, Even in Paradise, I was lucky enough to interview Chelsey here on the blog today. I’ve been eagerly anticipating this book since the cover was first released (It’s full of summer vibes…how awesome is that?) and I even had Even in Paradise  on my “Our Next Reads” feature a few weeks back!

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If you could have the chance to be any of the characters from Even in Paradise, which one would you choose and why?

 It’s probably no surprise that I’d choose to be Charlie. I would love to see through her eyes how the world changes once she falls in love with the Buchanan family.

Even in Paradise sounds like an incredibly exciting read! I was wondering how you first got the idea for this story and the writing process that came with it.

The idea for EIP percolated over many years. When I was studying abroad in Scotland my junior year of college, a British friend lent me his copy of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, a lovely and poignant novel about a grand family that is undone by secrets, guilt, and war. Many years later, I started jotting down notes for EIP based on one simple idea: It’s possible to fall in love with an entire family.

I don’t think I can tell you how many drafts I wrote. And I will not bore you with the tedious details of the many ways my story evolved and my characters changed.

As for how long EIP took to write, perhaps it’s most accurate to say that it began as a series of epiphanies and was completed in a year of early mornings and late nights.

I’ve heard a few other bloggers say Even in Paradise reminded them of the atmosphere of The Great Gatsby during some scenes. Do you agree? Did you intend for that connection to be made?

EIP is very much a love letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Evelyn Waugh. My references to Great Gatsby are both deliberate and not. For example, the name “Buchanan” comes from Gatsby’s Daisy Buchanan, but when a friend said that the ending of EIP echoed the last sentences of Gatsby—“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”—I was pleasantly surprised.

I did not intend to end with one more tribute to one of my favorite novels, but perhaps I have.

At the beginning of the book Charlotte and Julia form a strong bond, one that seems almost irreparable. Did you model the beginning of their friendship to a similar friendship between you and a friend?

Charlie and Julia’s friendship is the first love story of the novel. They’re soul mates, sisters. I am so very lucky to have a close circle of female friends who’d swim to Pluto and back for me and I for them. They definitely inspired (and continue to inspire) my writing.

The cover for Even in Paradise has a very “summer” and “light” feel to it but the book is much more dark and intense than the cover suggests. What was your first reaction to seeing the cover?

I love the cover! The woman who designed it, Erin Fitzsimmons, is so intuitive and talented. She loved my story and it shows in her work.

The cover captures the joys of Even in Paradise with the way the sun lights the beach, but I also think it hints at the darkness. The shadows falling across the sand cause a tightening in the chest, a realization that this beautiful moment cannot last.Unhindered daylight joy is ephemeral and with night comes heartaches and secrets.

Did anyone really encourage your passion for writing when you were younger? Did he/she ever read any of your books? 

I am so lucky to have had (and have) so many wonderful mentors. At Vassar College, I was particularly fortunate to study under the Caldecott-winning children’s book author and poet Nancy Willard, poet Paul Kane, and Professor Karen Robertson, all of whom were very encouraging of my writing. They haven’t read Even in Paradise yet, but I’m looking forward to the day they do.

I am also indebted to my workshop group at the postgraduate writers conference at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. I came to the workshop to talk about a nonfiction book proposal and left determined to make something of the first two chapters of what became EIP. The support of my fellow writers and our teacher Louise Hawes helped me believe I could write fiction.

Do you have any other exciting book news you can share with us here today?

Well, I am wicked (I can’t help it; I’m from New England) excited to share that there will be foreign editions of EIP and I’m working on my second novel while books three and four percolate. (Book five might be there, too. But it’s more like weak tea at this point than strong coffee.)

chelseyphilpotauthorphotoChelsey Philpot grew up on a farm in New Hampshire and now works as an editor and journalist. She’s written for the New York Times, Boston Globe, Slate, and numerous other publications. Like her main character, Charlotte, Chelsey attended boarding school in New England. You can visit her online at www.chelseyphilpot.com or on Twitter @ChelseyPhilpot.

STALKING–Hot or Not in YA?

Have any of you guys seen Maroon 5’s latest music video for Animals? I promise, it can’t be unseen. For those of you lucky enough to not have seen it, it features Adam (hot as always) Levigne working as a meat butcher who falls in love with some girl who comes into his store one day (played by his lovely wife, Behati Prinsloo) after lots of stalking and photograph taking we cut to a scene of them on a bed together fully naked making out before a bunch of blood gets dumped on their naked bodies. Creepy, right?

While I saw this video and couldn’t help but cringe at the blood scene (which I guess was trying to be sexy but mainly just creeped me out) I couldn’t get over the fact that Adam Levinge’s character does nothing more than stalk the poor girl (he never had a conversation with her) before they end up in bed together *cringe* THE GUY STALKED HER. Is that supposed to be hot? I don’t think so. It creeps me out, really.

Unfortunately this “stalking” trend is getting increasingly popular. While it doesn’t do anything other than TOTALLY CREEP ME OUT i’ve noticed that it’s getting more and more popular in YA. If anything, it’s trying to appear “hot” in YA.

Remember that time we all read Twilight and Bella woke up one night and found Edward in her room watching her sleep? Remember how creepy that was? Remember how then they end up making out her said bed? DOUBLE CREEPY. Dude, he was watching you sleep. If that doesn’t freak you the hell out I don’t know what does.

While Twilight is the first example I can really think of where stalking in YA was considering hot (or any sort of creepy behaviour in general, really) I feel like I keep seeing it more and more in books.

What about you guys? Are you guys noticing an increase in this type of behaviour being portrayed as hot in YA? Have you read any books lately where this behaviour is present? Let me know!

 

{Guest Post} Author of Snow Like Ashes: Sara Raasch

17399160Release Date:October 14th 2014
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Balzer + Bay
Series: Book one of Snow Like Ashes
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Summary: A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

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I’ve had a number of people ask how to pronounce the names in SNOW LIKE ASHES, and today, all these problems will be solved! Lily was gracious enough to reveal my pronunciation guides for the characters and places in SLA!
Now, I know what you’re thinking — there’s a LOT of characters/places on these lists. But these comprise all of the characters/places that will appear in the whole SLA trilogy — so you get a little sneak peek into who will be appearing in later books!

Pronunciation CharactersPronunciation Places

 

Sara RaaschSara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, the first in a trilogy, comes out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures.