Tuesday Top Ten-Authors I Can’t Wait to See at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books!

Tomorrow will mark exactly one month until one of the biggest events for a book lover like me, sickness living in California: the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

I’ve been going since I was kid, order but really didn’t realize I could meet authors at the festival until I met Meg Cabot back in…2009? 2008? Something like that. Then I got even more addicted to the festival, story and have added more authors to my “Must Meet” list when I attend.

Last year, I had an absolute blast, meeting Cassandra Clare again, and meeting authors I had never met and was so excited to meet like Morgan Matson, Sarah Dessen and Veronica Roth.

But I also met some of the amazing friends that I have now. My best fangirl best friend Sylvia? Met her there. I met Jasmine and Paulina and so many others of my friends there.

So I’m really excited about this year. They just announced the list last week, and I’m so excited. Its hard to narrow it down to just ten authors because this year is going to be so totally epic, but here it is:

Honorable Mention: Andrew Smith

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I’ve met Andrew Smith SO many times already and I do want people to know that he is going to be there. I hope I will be stopping by to say hi to him during the Fest but I’ll be seeing him at Pasadena Teen Book Festival so I won’t be having him sign books and such. There’s a lot of authors I want to see so I have to make time for the ones who I will only see at FoB. But Andrew Smith is an awesome author and fun to meet, and fun to talk to so I hope I can at least say hi to him during the Fest.

10. Melissa de la Cruz 

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I’ve already met Melissa de la Cruz a couple times. But never as an author. I’ve met her at other author events and have taken pictures with her and talked to her, but I don’t have any books signed by her! That’s crazy face. I just received an ARC of her new book, The Ring and the Crown in the mail and it sounds absolutely amazing so I hope to finish it before the fest (I should) and get it signed by her. I have a feeling I’m really going to love this book.

9. Tamara Ireland Stone

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So I have her two books already signed because I won a giveaway over at The Adventures of a Book Junkie and I got a copy of Time Between Us and Time after Time (UK Editions..wooo) signed. But I do want to meet her. She has a fun little duo going on. I thought it was contemporary, which is why I read it, because I was trying to avoid science fiction and stuff like that, but it has a little twist to it and the books are so good. I love that they take place in 1995 and 2012. Its super fun, and suddenly reminds me of True Detective, even though the book came out first. But I want to get my copy of Time Between Us signed and I’d like to get the UK editions personalized. She’s really cool and she read my review of Time Between Us and I’d like to meet her.

8. Huntley Fitzpatrick

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I LOVE Huntley. I picked up her book My Life Next Door on a whim, because it was next to Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour on the shelves at Barnes and Noble and it just caught my eye, and again, was a contemporary novel, which is what I was looking for. I loved the story, but I loved Jase and his ginormous family the best because it felt so familiar to my large family. I really want to meet her and tell her she wrote a big family so perfectly, both the bad and the good. I felt like I was Jase, definitely. So I hope I can meet her. I wish that her next book came out before the Fest but it comes out the day AFTER. Of course.

7. Ann Brashares

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I actually got way excited when I learned Ann Brashares was going to be there. I know that she has a new book coming out in early April before the Festival that I’m probably going to pick up BUT she was HUGE to me in high school. I can’t have been the only girl who was absolutely obsessed with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. I seriously LOVED those books so much and I remember having a serious book crush on Kostos. Hot, sensitive, passionate Greek boy? I’m down. So I’m really excited to meet her to tell her how much her books meant and influenced me when I was in high school.

6. Stephen Chbosky 

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I’ve already met this man, and he is absolutely amazing and I am so incredibly grateful that I was able to. Seriously. He gave me wonderful writing advice and I was able to talk to him about a part in his book that most people look over, but was incredibly important and emotional for me. He is fantastic. At the time I met him (Ontario TBF, god that event was amazing), I didn’t have the money to buy his book so while I have his writing advice on my poster, I don’t have a copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower signed by him. So I hope to track him down and get that signed because that would be absolutely awesome. He is a seriously fantastic writer and a funny and inspiring person.

5. Deb Caletti 

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I am so excited to meet her, I can barely contain it. I feel like I’m constantly checking her website to see if she’s coming near me and she never is. I definitely definitely want to meet her. I love her books, she’s a brilliant contemporary YA writer and I definitely think she’s had an influence in the way I write my contemporary YA. My friend Jade was like “WHAT? You haven’t met her, she was at the fest a couple years ago”….and I’m like, I know! The one year that I didn’t go! So figures. So yes, very excited to meet her. Its silly, but her book, The Nature of Jade, is the reason that I got obsessed with the penguin webcam at the Long Beach Aquarium. Jade watches the elephant webcam from the local zoo, and I thought, “Hmm, I wonder if there’s a penguin cam…” and totally found it. And I am so in love with it.

4. Marissa Meyer

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I really, really, really want to meet her. I just recently read her series but I became addicted right away. Thanks Erin. Her stories are so great, a mix of dystopian, science fiction and fairy tale. I love her books. She was in California for the release of Cress, but she was down in San Diego, the day after the Vampire Academy premiere and I was just too pooped to do anything about it. I just didn’t want to go. So now that she’s going to be here for Festival of Books, I’m just so excited. I need to get actual physical copies of Scarlet and Cress, and I need to be like “You’re brilliant! AGH!” Or something like that.

3. John Green 

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I am so excited that he is going to be there. I remember seeing his name, and almost shaking with excitement. John Green is one of those authors that I thought…there’s no way. I’ll probably never meet him. My friend/contributor Christina Marie met him recently and got me a signed copy of Looking for Alaska, signed to me, and I was pretty excited about that. And John Green sent me a personalized message on Facebook when I asked for writing advice and that was beautiful. So seeing his name on the list made my heart stop. I know his line is going to be insanity but I’m determined to meet him and have him sign my copy of An Abundance of Katherines…oh, and The Fault in Our Stars, of course.

2. Veronica Roth

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Okay, I’ve totally already met Veronica Roth but I absolutely love her and her books. I wouldn’t get a Divergent tattoo if I didn’t feel that way. I met her last year at the Festival of Books and got Divergent and Insurgent signed. Now that Allegiant was released in November, I need to have that signed so I have a complete collection. Plus, I want to tell Veronica how much I loved the ending of Allegiant because she’s gotten so much hate and I want to tell her that I loved it and thought it was incredibly fitting. Oh and I want to show her my Divergent tattoo too. I’ve gotten to show Cassandra Clare my TMI tattoo and I showed Billie Piper my DW tattoo so this would be excellent. Can’t wait.

1. Rainbow Rowell

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I nearly peed my pants and cried when I found out that Rainbow was going to be here in April…and then I found out she was going to be at the Festival and got even happier. She has easily become one of my absolute favorite authors. I loved Eleanor and Park and Attachments but Fangirl literally blew my mind because of how close it was to my life. I know a lot of people think this, and its true, but Cath was so me. I felt tears in my eyes for so much of the book and its NOT a sad book. It just felt so good to relate SO much to a character, to know exactly what she means when she is talking. It was incredible. That book is now one of my favorite books and my friend Cassandra got it signed for me at YALL Fest. But now I get to meet her, and tell her, and possibly give her a letter to tell her what that book meant to me. And that’s incredibly exciting to me!

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Are you attending the Festival of Books? What are some authors that you are excited to see?

And if you aren’t going (because you live somewhere else), are there any authors coming near you soon that you’re excited to meet?

Share in the comments!

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Authors Announced!

I can hardly contain my excitement and the list went up HOURS ago.

HOURS.

I love this event, clinic I have a blast every single year that I go and as I dive deeper into this world, the more I fall in love with this event, because of all the authors I get to meet!

And they’ve finally put up the list of authors that are going to be there. If your’e in the Los Angeles area, you HAVE to be there. Pssh, even if you’re not in the area, you should find a way to GET to the area because its going to be amazing.

Here’s the list of YA authors that will be at the fest. Plus some commentary by me, of course ;)

Katie Alender

She’s going to be at Ontario Teen Book Fest. Not sure of her yet, but I gotta try her books, of course!

Laurie Halse Anderson

I’ve only ever read Speak (I know, I know) but that book is amazing so I hope that I meet her soon. 

Carrie Arcos

She’ll be at Pasadena Teen Book Fest and I’m excited to see her because she’s awesome.

Kelley Armstrong

Leigh Bardugo

Always beautiful to meet. I’ll worry about her once Ruin and Rising comes out haha. 

Robin Benway

I’ll see her at Ontario TBF. And I just saw her at Disneyland in January. That was awesome. 

Francesca Lia Block

She is so sweet! I met her at Los Angeles TBF

Ann Brashares

I hope that I can meet her. The Traveling Pants books were huge to me in high school. 

Deb Caletti

Words cannot explain how excited I am about her coming. I can’t handle it. 

Cecil Castellucci

I’ve met her so many times, I’ve lost count haha. 

Stephen Chbosky 

Lovely lovely man. I’ve met him already but I don’t have a signed copy of Perks so that would be awesome. 

Heather Cocks

Eoin Colfer

Lovely man, and I’m so glad I was able to meet him and interview him. I know my sister will be happy to see him again. 

Andrea Cremer

Melissa de la Cruz

I hope to actually see her this year haha. I missed her last year because I hadn’t read any of her books. 

Ava Dellaira 

I will be seeing her at Ontario TBF

Huntley Fitzpatrick 

I LOVE her book, My Life Next Door, so I’m SO excited to meet her. This is a MUST. 

Maurene Goo

I met her at LA TBF and she was a doll, and she had an awesome dry sense of humor. 

John Green

I literally cannot handle this. I was shaking when I saw this. I need to tell him how amazing Abundance of Katherines is and I need to just love on him forever. Is that awkward? I don’t even care. Its like a fangirl’s dream come true to meet him. 

Daniel Handler

Bill Konigsberg

I met him at LA TBF but I have no books signed by him so hopefully I can do that here. 

E. Lockhart 

Sarah J. Maas

Always a blast to see her :) I’d love to see her again! 

DJ MacHale

I keep seeing his books all over the place so I gotta give him a try. If I can squeeze him, that’d be cool. 

Tahereh Mafi

Oh I’ve seen her so much haha. And I’m sure I can see her again, easily. 

Marissa Meyer

No words can describe. I MUST see her. I cannot go the weekend without meeting her. 

Jessica Morgan

Lauren Myracle

Lauren Oliver

If I can squeeze her in, that’d be great. I’ve met her before but getting Panic signed would be a full and complete collection. 

Ridley Pearson

Joanna Philbin 

Mimi Pond

Ransom Riggs

Have already met him, of course

Veronica Roth

YES! I was so hoping she would be back so I can get Allegiant signed! Which means I’ll have the WHOLE collection and I’ll be excited. 

Rainbow Rowell

Ohmygod I have to meet her. Even though Cassandra got me Fangirl signed, I need Eleanor and Park and Attachments and Landline if its out by then. And I need to write her a letter and tell her how amazing Fangirl was and how it changed my life, seriously. 

Rachel Shukert 

Neal Shusterman

I’ve met him! Yay!

Sarah Skilton

She’ll be at Ontario TBF

Holly Goldberg Sloan

Andrew Smith

He’ll be at Pasadena TBF so I’m going to try and get his books signed then. But I want to say hi to him at FoB because I adore him and I want to say hi, of course. 

Sonya Sones

Amy Spalding 

Ann Stampler

I think…Pasadena TBF? I think so. I’ve met her before though. Such a sweetheart. 

Margaret Stohl

I will meet her at Pasadena TBF. I am excited because I haven’t met her yet. 

Tamara Ireland Stone

I won both of her books signed, but it’d be cool to get them personalized, or even just to say hi because I like her books. 

Jonathan Stroud

Laini Taylor

I really need to read The Daughter of Smoke and Bone. And then I can meet her, without feeling like a fool. 

Maya Van Wagenen

John Corey Whaley

He’ll be at Ontario TBF. WOO! 

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For the complete list of authors, and for other information, visit their website here.

December Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2013: 200 Books

Did I Reach My Goal: Yes!

How Many Total Books Read: 203

Total Books For December: 20

Remember to click on the book title for the review. If there is no link, buy information pills there is no review. I got really lazy in reviewing toward the end of the month haha.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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Teen Idol by Meg Cabot (Re-Read)

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Nicola and the Viscount by Meg Cabot (Re-Read)

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Something Blue by Emily Giffin (Re-Read)

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Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

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Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

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Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

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The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

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Bloodlines by Richelle Mead 

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The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

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The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

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The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

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Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

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My Life Next Door by Huntley FItzpatrick

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The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith 

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This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith 

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Penguin in Love by Salina Yoon

This totally counts. My boyfriend got this for me for Christmas, pills because I’m obsessed with penguins and we’re in love, pharm duh! And he also got me this behind-the-scenes experience with penguins, so it all makes sense. And it counts

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What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan

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The Last Stand of the New York Institute by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson 

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Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Kami Garcia/Unbreakable

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So that was 2013 folks! Stick with me in the new year, as I delve into even more books!

How did you do on your own GoodReads challenge? Share in the comments!

My Life Next Door Book Review

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick   

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You Can Find the Books At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, order messy, buy more about affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.
As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

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

My Review:

Continuing my desire to read contemporary novels to keep from dystopian, sci-fi, fantasy, etc, themes from seeping into my own sci-fi novel, I decided to read this book. I saw it sandwiched next to Morgan Matson (which makes no sense. F? M? Huh?) at Barnes and Noble, and it caught my eye so I  bought it. Because I’m an impulse book buyer. I read this yesterday, with the goal of reading half, and instead, I read the entire novel. The entire one. I finished at about 2 am and then was so ready for bed haha.

First off, the characters. I loved the characters that Huntley creates for her novel. Both are incredibly real to me. I loved Samantha, and the sort of opening up she gets in getting to know Jase. Its weird to me, because that is not the life I had but you can see her transformation as time goes on, and her struggle with doing the “right” thing all the time, and meeting the impossible expectations of her mother. No matter what family you grew up in, every teen knows what its like to have expectations on them that they just can’t seem to meet. Samantha is under a lot of expectations and it makes you feel for her, and you want to wrap her up in a hug and give her the affection that she so obviously craves. I definitely loved Jase, mostly because I understood Jase a lot. I’m one of six kids, while Jase is one of eight and his outlooks on life and the way he loves his siblings, but also gets overwhelmed too, felt familiar to me. I also really liked Tim, and his struggle with his own demons and addictions and I can’t wait to see more of him in the sequel. The rest of the characters were all so genuine as well, from the parents (the Garretts, Sam’s mom, Nan’s parents), and the siblings, like Jase’s whole brood, and Sam’s sister, Tracy. No one felt cliche or unfamiliar and that is a huge issue with contemporary YA. All of the characters felt REAL and thats so important.

I also liked the story a lot too, of course. What I really liked the most about this story is that it started off seemingly predictable and then completely switched gears, and went in a direction that I didn’t see coming. I love a good summer romance novel (I mean, come on, Sarah Dessen, anyone?) and I was happy to enjoy a novel with that plot line going on, and the coming-of-age-ness (I’m going to keep using that ‘word’) of Samantha. When the novel’s plot takes a turn, and we end up going through this completely devastating and surprising scene…and the choice Sam has to make because of it…I was definitely surprised. I knew something was going to happen with her and her mom, of course, but what ultimately happens, never did I dream that would be it. I know that’s vague but I don’t want to spoil you guys. This book gives more than you would think. That twist adds for more drama, and gives a new depth to a summer romance novel.

I do wish that part would have slowed down a bit though. It felt like a ton of build up and then the book ended super quickly. Like I said, I thought it was going to be a traditional summer romance story and then that twist happened, but it seemed like an incredibly big twist, too close to the actual end of the novel and things seemed to wrap up really quickly. I think I wanted it to slow down a bit and it didn’t. I wanted maybe to see Sam and her mother struggle more, and maybe more action with Clay (her mother’s sleazy boyfriend), and the struggle of Sam and her choice between her mom and Jase. But I loved the story enough that this didn’t have me hung up.

I think my favorite part of the novel was Jase and his family. His family felt so familiar to me. I am one of six kids. I know the chaos that can occur, and the messes that are made, and the disasters that can happen, but I also understand that there’s a lot of love there. I also understand the kind of questions Mrs. Garrett gets from people about if she’s Catholic, or knows what birth control is and things like that. It fired me up a lot in the novel, because those kinds of things make me angry, especially when they are said to good parents. Mrs. Garrett is obviously an amazing mom, and loves each one of her children and she wants to keep spreading the love. But I also understand Jase…so much. He’s not the eldest child but he has a lot of responsibilities like one and I felt so connected to him. I understood how much responsibility was on his shoulders, and the pressure, as well. He feels the financial burden of his parents more than his siblings do, and even though he’s too young to worry about it, he does anyway (story of my life). He loves his siblings, and couldn’t imagine life without any of them, but he understands how much easier things might have been if his parents had decided to have less kids. It just felt SO familiar to me. Stepping into the Garretts’ house and into Jase’s life felt like walking into my own life.

Bottom line, this is a great novel. Its a perfect summer romance novel, and both Samantha and Jase are characters that you’ll love and that will stick with you. The ending happened a little too fast for me, but the twist at the end, so unexpected in a typical summer romance, that it will also stay with you. The emotions of each characters, their feelings and the ways they grow up, and the way they fall in love are the golden parts of My Life Next Door. Definitely read it.

My Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

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WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme, visit this hosted by Should Be Reading.

The three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading? (Reviews to Come. I am SO behind!)

What do you think you’ll be reading next?

What are you currently reading? 

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Technically this is what I’m reading right now. I’m 90% of the way through it, so I’m going to be reading something different in…an hour or so haha.

What did you recently finish reading? 

I finally feel like I’m back on a roll with reading. I have finished SO many books since last week.

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Once I finished Blood Promise, after it being months since I read Shadow Kiss, I started BUSTING through the rest of the VA books. I think this one is my favorite of all six.

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SUCH a great ending to the VA series. So many unexpected twists and turns, so much action and romance and politics and magic and fighting. I loved the end of this.

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I took a break from the VA world to read the e-ARC of Lindsay Cumming’s debut novel, The Murder Complex. I’ve been following her on instagram and twitter for ages now, and was SO excited to dive into this book. I’m excited to help her promote it in the future.

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I am LOVING this series. I’m reading it so fast. I call this: the series where I find myself ANOTHER fictional boyfriend. Sigh. Adrian Ivashkov. I love Dimitri from the VA series but Adrian is a whole ‘nother level.

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I honestly think this series keeps getting better and better. I love Rose of the VA series more than I like Sydney BUT I like Adrian more than Dimitri so it balances out. And I will say, I love that Sydney is incredibly intelligent, and she is so different than Rose in their approach to conflicts. I am seriously loving this series.

What do you think you’ll be reading next?

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I can’t imagine that I am going to finish Indigo Spell and not want to immediately read this book, so I’m 100% sure this is the next book I’ll be reading. I’m a little sad about reading it because then there will be no more to read. And I’m not good with patience.

Kami Garcia/Unbreakable

I keep hearing really good things about this book. I was not a fan of Beautiful Creatures but I keep hearing good things about this, and I bought this a few days ago with my nifty bookstore employee discount so I’m going to read it and give it a shot.

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This book caught my eye and after a bunch of VA and Bloodlines, I’m looking forward to reading more contemporary YA. I haven’t been writing much, because when I read paranormal, sci-fi, and dystopian, etc., it starts to bleed into my own story. So I’m looking forward to some good ‘ol contemporary YA.

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What are you reading this week? Share in the comments!