Ontario Teen Book Fest 2014!

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I know. I know. I know.

I’m awful! This was almost two weeks ago and I’ve just been SO incredibly busy and I kept meaning to vlog about it, sildenafil but that never happened so I’m just going to write about it quickly because all I have to say about this awesome event is that it was awesome.

Last year’s Ontario Teen Book Fest introduced to me to a multitude of amazing authors, a lot of whom I’ve since then become friends with. Which is incredible to me, both as a book blogger and as a writer. It means the world to me.

So I was most definitely looking forward to this year’s fest. I organized the blog tour, held a giveaway and did all kinds of promotion for it, because I love this event SO much.

I was asked back again as an official blogger, with my best fangirl friend, Sylvia from Fangirl Feeels, and we attended the official Author Breakfast, and started meeting the authors, getting to know them, and interviewing them for our vlog, which you can check out now!

[YouTube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MpjOfZXNfw]

It was a blast, like always, and I really enjoyed meeting all the authors and talking about fictional crushes and great teen books they wish they’d had as teens. I feel like I made a lot of connections and a lot of friends that day.

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There was the opening keynote speeches from Jessica Brody (LOVE her), Lauren Kate (seriously, she was so pregnant and IN HEELS, much props!) and John Corey Whaley (who seriously should be my best friend). They all had wonderful things to say about life and writing. They made me laugh, and they made me think, and they all made me feel a lot better about being a struggling writer. Lauren talk a lot about the struggles of getting through a book, and it felt good to hear that even a published, seasoned author can feel that sort of despair where you want to throw your computer across the room. Jessica and Corey both talked about finding the right path to writing, and emphasizing that it can take time, and it can take making the wrong choices and making mistakes to get to where you need to be.

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We then split up to go to our first panel, and I made sure to attend the debut author panel with Katherine Ewell, Livia Blackburne, Ava Dellaira and Catherine Linka. They had so much to say about writing and reading and getting into the world of publishing and writing. What struck me as super awesome is that they all had very different backgrounds (high school student turned Stanford student, neuroscientist, screenwriter, bookseller), and were obviously different ages, but they had all accomplished the same goal and that was great. They all had wonderful things to say.

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We broke for lunch after that, which was cool, because we were back in the room with the authors again! Yay! We sat near Katherine Ewell, Ava Dellaira and Livia Blackburne and talked about writing and books and Disneyland and all sorts of fun stuff, and that was just an awesome experience to have.

After lunch, we headed to the newest addition to the Teen Book Fest schedule: author speed dating. Basically there were tables for all the readers to sit at, and every 8 minutes or so, the authors would switch to another table. You basically got some personal time with about…six or seven authors and it was SO great. Sylvia and I, along with my sister Jessica, sat a table together and had some great conversations with Lauren Miller, Catherine Linka, Jessi Kirby, Jessica Brody, Ava Dellaira and Katherine Ewell and it was awesome. A GREAT addition to the Fest, for sure!

Photo Credit to: Sylvia from Fangirl Feeels

Photo Credit to: Sylvia from Fangirl Feeels

After that, we had the final panel for the day, and we headed to a panel with Jessi Kirby, Elana K Arnold, Ava Dellaira and John Corey Whaley, all about relationships and I’ve read most of their books so that was cool. Talking about the dynamic of relationships, whether family or friends or love interests, is important and the title of the panel was “It’s Complicated” so the authors tried to insert “complicated” into as many answers as possible!

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After the last panel of the day, all the authors gathered at their tables to sign their books, and we finished gathering interviews for the vlog above, and got all our books signed. It was awesome meeting ALL of the authors, and getting to know them. I am glad I’ve read some of their books and can’t wait to get my hands on the others!


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I have to throw out MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR props to Courtney Saldana, the Youth Services librarian, for putting on another fantastic event and for letting me be a part of it. Much thanks to her partner in crime, Aly, and all her volunteers as well, and the Mrs. Nelson’s Book Fair Company. You guys ROCK.

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I canNOT wait until next year, to meet all kinds of awesome authors and to be a part of it once again. Plus I heard from an inside source that my darling Andrew Smith will be there, so I’m ready for it!

Remember, you can check out all the pictures from the Ontario Teen Book Fest (at least the ones I took), on the official What A Nerd Girl Says facebook page here.

Lastly, congrats to Peyton, Jasmine and Stephanie for winning the prizes in the official Ontario Teen Book Fest blog tour giveaway!

OH! And it felt SO awesome being in the program. I felt important, and helpful!

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Happy Reading!

Vlog: Ontario Teen Book Fest Authors!

So as some of you may have known, view this past weekend was the Ontario Teen Book Fest. You probably know because I promoted it like crazy and it was an event that I was SO highly looking forward to!

Sylvia from Fangirl Feeels and I were the official bloggers for the event which meant that we did a lot of promotion and really got to spend some awesome time with the authors.

We asked all fifteen awesome YA authors two questions and got it all on video for you guys. The answers were all super awesome, generic and we are so glad to share this vlog with you!

A recap video of the actual event is coming VERY soon, but for now, enjoy learning about all the authors from the Fest!

Ontario Teen Book Fest Tomorrow + Giveaway!

Well, recipe we’ve reached the end of the Ontario Teen Book Fest blog tour and I am SO happy and excited that it went SO well. Thanks to each and every single blogger that participated and to all the authors that ROCKED their spotlights.

If you’d like to check out all the spotlights and interviews, they are all linked in this schedule so definitely check them out!

May 2nd: Spotlight on Jessica Brody — What A Nerd Girl Says
May 3rd: Spotlight on Elana K. Arnold — Nite Lite Book Reviews
May 4th: Spotlight on Catherine Linka — Fangirl Feeels
May 5th: Spotlight on Livia Blackburne – The Thousand Lives
May 6th: Spotlight on Lauren Kate — She Reads She Blogs
May 7th: Spotlight on Katie Alender — Movies, Shows and Books
May 8th: Spotlight on Lauren Miller — A Bookish Escape
May 9th: Spotlight on Sarah Skilton — Read Now Sleep Later
May 10th: Spotlight on Lissa Price — Recently Acquired Obsessions 
May 11th: Spotlight on Jessi Kirby — What A Nerd Girl Says
May 12th: Spotlight on Katherine Ewell — iFandoms Collide
May 13th: Spotlight on Mary Pearson — The Windy Pages
May 14th: Spotlight on John Corey Whaley — Read Now Sleep Later
May 15th: Spotlight on Robin Benway — Adventures of a Book Junkie
May 16th: Spotlight on Ava Dellaira — Fangirl Feeels

Don’t forget as well, to enter the Ontario Teen Book Fest Blog tour giveaway! There will be three winners of three really great prizes. The giveaway is going on until May 20th, so make sure to get your entry in!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But most importantly, is the AMAZING event that is taking place tomorrow! This is what we’ve spent two weeks promoting and I hope to see all of you Southern California readers there to meet these fantastic authors.

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Where: 

Colony High School
3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario CA

What: 

15 incredible young adult authors gathering together to talk about their books and sign them as well! There are some keynote speakers, several panels to choose from AND a speed dating game with the authors as well!

For the full schedule of events, please visit the official Ontario Teen Book Fest website here.

Books and Stuff: 

Mrs. Nelson’s Bookfair Company will be onsite, selling books for all authors! You most definitely will be able to bring books from home, in fact, we hope that you do!

We also encourage you to purchase a book or two from Mrs. Nelson’s, to show support for them. They are the main sponsor of the event and its because of sponsors like them that events like this can happen! Mrs. Nelson’s will be accepting both cash and cards!

There will also be official posters ($5) and official t-shirts ($10) on sale, through the Ontario Library. The profits from these sales will go towards TBF 2015! Please note that these will only be available for purchase using CASH!

Social Media: 

Don’t forget to RSVP “yes” if you’re attending on the official Facebook event here.

Also! If you are there, make sure to tweet and instagram your experience and use the hashtag #OntarioTBF!

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I hope to see all of you there!

If you have ANY questions, any at all about the event, feel free to comment below or to tweet me at @anerdgirlsays and I will get back to as soon as possible!

And don’t be afraid to say hello! I’ll be running around all day in an official Ontario Teen Book Fest t-shirt and am looking forward to hanging out with the authors and meeting all of you!

Happy Friday everyone!

Ontario Teen Book Fest-Author Spotlight on Jessica Brody

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I am so so so incredibly excited to be kicking off the official Ontario Teen Book Fest blog tour! The Ontario Teen Book Fest is SUCH an important event to me, buy and I’m happy to be putting this tour to bring as much attention to the event possible.

Last year’s event brought so many amazing authors into my life. I went to the event, side effects only having been familiar with Morgan Matson, Jessica Brody, Marie Lu, and Stephen Chbosky. I left the Fest with a gigantic bag stuffed full with books and friendships with authors like Ann Stampler and Leigh Bardugo and the duo of Lex Thomas and ANDREW SMITH and Gretchen McNeil and Carrie Arcos and Jennifer Bosworth. It was an incredible experience and I can’t wait to experience that again!

But first, the blog tour!

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When: May 17th, 9 am to 5 pm

Where: Colony High School
3850 E. Riverside Drive
Ontario, CA 91761

This event is a completely free and un-ticketed event! Priority seating WILL be given to teens, but come one, come all! There will also be giveaways and raffles at the Fest, also free!

You can visit the website, to see the full schedule of the day by visiting the official Ontario Teen Book Fest website.

Books WILL be available for purchase at the event, available from Mrs. Nelson’s Book Fair Company :) They are an amazing company so definitely bring your books from home, but try and support Mrs. Nelson’s by purchasing a book!

Its going to be an incredible event and I’m honestly counting down the days! I hope you can come along for the ride, in the days leading up to the event. I’ve got some great bloggers helping me out to profile these amazing authors. Check out the full blog tour here!

May 2nd: Spotlight on Jessica BrodyWhat A Nerd Girl Says
May 3rd: Spotlight on Elana K. ArnoldNite Lite Book Reviews
May 4th: Spotlight on Lauren MillerA Bookish Escape
May 5th: Spotlight on Livia Blackburne The Thousand Lives
May 6th: Spotlight on Lauren KateShe Reads She Blogs
May 7th: Spotlight on Katie AlenderMovies, Shows and Books
May 8th: Spotlight on Catherine LinkaFangirl Feeels
May 9th: Spotlight on Sarah SkiltonRead Now Sleep Later
May 10th: Spotlight on Lissa PriceRecently Acquired Obsessions 
May 11th: Spotlight on Jessi KirbyWhat A Nerd Girl Says
May 12th: Spotlight on Katherine EwelliFandoms Collide
May 13th: Spotlight on Mary PearsonThe Windy Pages
May 14th: Spotlight on John Corey WhaleyRead Now Sleep Later
May 15th: Spotlight on Robin BenwayAdventures of a Book Junkie
May 16th: Spotlight on Ava DellairaFangirl Feeels

So today’s kick off spotlight of the tour is on the one and only:

Jessica Brody! 

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Jessica Brody is the author of several adult and young adult novels including The Fidelity Files, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, My Life Undecided and her young adult science fiction trilogy, Unremembered, Unforgotten and the yet to be released, Unchanged. Unremembered has just recently been optioned for film by Reliance Entertainment and Kintop Pictures. Her books can be found not only here in the U.S. but also in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Norway, Denmark, China, Russia, Brazil and more! She currently splits her time between Los Angeles and Colorado. You can find her at:

Her Website / Her Facebook / Her GoodReads / Her Twitter / Her Instagram / Her Tumblr / Her YouTube

Her Books

In all honestly, she has kind of a lot of books and you should definitely check her out at the many links above so that you can read them ALL. For this, I’m just going to profile two.

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Being America’s favorite heiress is a dirty job…but someone’s gotta do it.

Lexington Larrabee has never had to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to workBut then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand-new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Boulevard either.

Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteenth birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.

In Jessica Brody’s hilarious “comedy of heiress” about family, forgiveness, good intentions, and best of all, second chances, Lexi learns that love can be unconditional, money can be immaterial, and regardless of age, everyone needs a little saving. And although she might have fifty-two reasons to hate her father, she only needs one reason to love him.

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When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.

Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.

Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.

Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?

From popular young adult author Jessica Brody comes a compelling and suspenseful new sci-fi series, set in a world where science knows no boundaries, memories are manipulated, and true love can never be forgotten.

Interview!

Nerd Girl: Okay, first off: tell us, how absolutely excited are you for the Unremembered movie, and what do you hope they capture from the book to the screen: 

Jessica: GAH! I’m SO super excited for this movie! My books always feel like movies when I’m writing them and when they’re developing in my head so this is a huge dream come true for me! I have full faith in these producers to adapt the book to the big screen. But one thing I really hope they’re able to capture is the waging war between nature and science that runs through all three books of the trilogy. What really makes us human? And when science starts messing with human nature (as it often does even today!), what are the consequences? Does it make us any less human? These are the questions I sought to answer in the book and I hope they translate to the screen as well.

Nerd Girl: Sera is an extraordinary main character and, because of that, sometimes it might be hard to remember that she is a teenager. However, she goes through very “teenage” things like first love and discovery. Was it important to you to make sure she experienced that to make her familiar to the reader?

Jessica: Well, thank you so much for saying so!

At first, I thought it would be difficult to make Seraphina relatable. Being that she’s a genetically modified super human with no memories (not your every day teen to say the least!) But as I started to write the book, it became apparent that Seraphina went through the same struggles as all my other teen contemporary characters. Like most young people, she’s trying to figure out who she is, how she fits into her world, who to trust, what she wants her legacy to be. These similarities surprised me as I wrote but now that I look back, it makes me so much sense. Being a teen is being a teen. Regardless of how beautiful you are, how fast you can run, how much you remember. It’s a transitional period in your life. A time of discovery. And it was a discovery process for me to realize this but in the end, I’m happy with the message that’s portrayed in the book.

Nerd Girl: Both Unremembered and Unforgotten have cliffhangers that make any reader want to throw their book across the room. What is the trick to creating a really good cliffhanger? 

Jessica: I think the trick to ending any book with a cliffhanger is making sure you wrap up all the BIG loose ends of the current story. There’s a difference between making the reader want to know what happens next and completely frustrating the reader because you, the author, didn’t do your job and finish the story. In both Unremembered and Unforgotten, I was very careful to make sure the major conflicts and storylines were resolved. THEN and only then, did I introduce the next major conflict to come in the form of a cliffhanger.

Nerd Girl: You can switch places with one person for a day: who would you pick and why?

Jessica: Taylor Swift. I’m such a nerd fan of hers! I just think she’s so dang adorable and talented. I would love to be in her shoes for a day. I’m sure it’s not all it’s cracked up to be (a theme I plan to explore in a future book one day), but it’s still something I’d love to experience.

Nerd Girl: In Unforgotten, the characters bounce back and forth between various time periods. What is the hardest part about writing a book in different time periods? 

Jessica: Probably the research. In Unforgotten, the book takes place in three time periods: 1609, 2032, and 2115. These are all very different settings. And two of them haven’t even happened yet. So after I finished researching life in the 17th century, I would then have to crack open a book about what we can expect in the future. It was like changing college majors in the middle of the semester, from a history major to some kind of speculative technology major!

Nerd Girl: Have you ever had a ‘fangirl moment’ and who was it with? 

Jessica: I had a  major fangirl moment the first time I read Rainbow Rowell. I had just read Eleanor and Park and I went to one of her signings in LA. I waited until her long line of fans had died down before getting my book signed and introducing myself. We spoke for a little while and she asked what I had written. Then she asked if they carried it in the store. They did. And she actually BOUGHT Unremembered while I stood there and watched. And she asked me to sign it. I was so speechless and beside myself. To this day, I can’t believe Rainbow bought my book! GAH!

Nerd Girl: Because this is for the Ontario Teen Book Fest, all about the teens, what is your favorite memories from when you were a teen? 

Jessica: Okay, this is super JUVENILE, but one of my favorite moments was when I was thirteen and the guy I’d been crushing on for weeks asked my best friend if she thought I would go out with him, if he asked me. I still remember the giddiness I felt when she passed on the message. The whole delivery was SO middle school but I don’t care. I was ecstatic!

Nerd Girl: Last question: who is your fictional crush?

Jessica: Gosh, it changes by the day. Today, I’ll go with Sky from LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD. I just read it and it was amazing! I’m excited to meet the author, Ava Dellaira, at the festival this month!

Giveaway!

Oh yes! There is a giveaway! With three prizes. It starts today, and ends May 20th, three days after the actual fest.

The prizes include: 

Grand Prize: Ontario Teen Book Fest Poster Signed by All Attending Authors and a Swag Pack!

Of course, its not signed yet but it will be!

Of course, its not signed yet but it will be!

First Prize: Ontario Teen Book Fest Signed by All Attending Authors!

Second Prize: Ontario Teen Book Fest Shirt Signed by All Attending Authors!

The shirt will also be signed at the Fest as well!

The shirt will also be signed at the Fest as well!

And its easy to enter, in the rafflecopter below! Sorry, no international this time around!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Ontario Teen Book Fest Authors Announced!

If you live in Southern California, approved this an event NOT to be missed.

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The Ontario Teen Book Fest is in its…fourth or fifth year, though this will be MY second year attending it.

Last year’s event was easily one of the best events of the year, and it really changed my life as a blogger and a writer. I met a ton of authors that have become so important to me, and who have become friends like Jessica Brody and Andrew Smith, Leigh Bardugo and Ann Stampler and Morgan Matson and Marie Lu. Incredible authors. It was an experience that definitely changed my life and so I’m DYING to be part of it again, especially as a blogger. Courtney Saldana, the teen librarian, is an angel and she’s sure to have another great event this year.

And NOW the authors have been announced. I’m excited because I see some familiar names in there but also a TON of names of authors I’ve yet to read. This is very familiar to last year and I’m excited to start discovering these new authors. Check out the list below!

Click on each author’s name to check out their website, and the full list of their books :)

Katie Alender

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Elana Arnold

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Robin Benway

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Livia Blackburne

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Jessica Brody

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Ava Dellaria

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Katherine Ewell

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Lauren Kate

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Jessi Kirby

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Catherine Linka

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Lauren Miller

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Mary Pearson

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Lissa Price

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Sarah Skilton

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John Corey Whaley

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SO many exciting authors. I’m literally adding so many books to my TBR list on GoodReads right now.

This event is taking place in Ontario on May 17th, and you’d be a fool to miss it. Its absolutely FREE, and the first 150 attendees get a free Ontario TBF book bag! Yay!

For full details, check out on the Facebook event page here.

Oh, did you miss that? Its…

HERE

AND don’t forget to RSVP “yes” for the event. Its going to be a blast, and you’ll be able to discover amazing authors. I can’t wait for it, and I’ll be happy to meet the authors and YOU!

Can’t wait!

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October Book Wrap Up!

Books Pledged to Read in 2013: 200 Books

Read so Far: 173

On Track?: Yes! I’m actually 7 books ahead!

Total Books For October: 20

As always, more about if you click the title or cover, you’ll get the review!

The Extra by Kathryn Lasky

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Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

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The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

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Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

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Just One Year By Gayle Forman

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Goddess by Josephine Angelini

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City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (Re-Read)

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Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

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Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

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Panic by Lauren Oliver (Review Will Come Closer to Book Release in March)

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Teardrop by Lauren Kate

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Allegiant by Veronica Roth

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Reality Boy by A.S. King

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Olivia Twisted by Vivi Barnes (Review Next Week!)

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Legend by Marie Lu (Re-Read)

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Crewel by Gennifer Albin

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The Fall of the Hotel Dumort by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson

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52 Reasons to Hate my Father by Jessica Brody

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Prodigy by Marie Lu (Re-Read)

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Ten by Gretchen McNeil

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What were some of your favorite books that you read in the month of November? Share them in the comments!

 

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Exclusive Interview with Teardrop author, Lauren Kate!

Just a few days ago, dosage I posted a review for Lauren Kate‘s brand new book, Teardrop. Teardrop is the first of a new series for Lauren, who is most known for her Fallen series, which tells the story of Luce and her epic love story with the fallen angel, Daniel.

I’ve read the Fallen series and adored it, and I was eager to jump into Lauren’s new series. I luckily acquired an ARC of the novel, and quickly devoured it this weekend. You can check out the spoiler free review here.

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The story is of Eureka, who was told at a very young age, that she should never ever cry. She takes this to heart, and as she grows up, becomes a very distant and sort of hardened person, but she is still loving and funny and kind to her best friends and her younger siblings. After her mother dies in a freak natural accident, Eureka inherits some strange gifts from her mother, which leads her to this secret story of Atlantis, and a mysterious boy named Ander, who will do anything to protect her, and the strange powers that her tears have.

Now I am SO happy and excited to share this short, but amazing interview I was able to do with Lauren a few weeks ago, just in time for the release of Teardrop. She has some amazing answers and insight to share with you guys, so I hope you enjoy!

Sara: Can you tell us a little more about Teardrop, and how it is different from books you’ve written in the past? 

Lauren: The main difference is in the voice, which is what always distinguishes novels for me. Eureka is a thrilling heroine to write–she’s strong, funny, sensitive, and she has a beautiful, strange imagination that she only shares with the reader. Her love story is very different from Lucinda’s–far darker–but it still has the epic grandness that I love to write about.

The Fallen novels were my first experience with series writing. Before that my projects were always stand-alone stories, so their narratives had clean(er) lines. Fallen was an unwieldy beast whose tail I couldn’t see the end of until I wrote it. I had to school myself in story mechanics with each new book. I stopped fighting “plot” and began to embrace outlining. Sometimes I’d still prefer to flit wherever inspiration wafts me–but Fallen taught me the importance of giving your story a skeleton around which to graft the tissue.

It also taught me to stay in a kissing scene for longer than it took me to get embarrassed–just beyond my blush seems to be the sweet spot.

Sara: Which book is easier to write: the first book or the second?

Lauren: The writing doesn’t get any easier. I still worry that every idea I have will be my last. Every time I start to plot a book, i fear the book will rebel and hatch a plot against me.

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Sara: Where do you get your ideas or inspiration from? 

Lauren: I began–as I think most writers begin-by sitting down to write only when I was on fire with inspiration. I never had writer’s block and was immensely proud of every scene I wrote. Writing was joyous! The only drawbacks were my stories had no plots, it took me five years to finish anything, and I had a shoebox full of rejection letters. When I finally decided to take an interest in story mechanics (i.e. outlining before I began to write), it was an adjustment to my method because there was less of that magical discovery every day. I already knew where my characters were going in every scene; I didn’t get to stumble upon that like one stumbles upon an arrowhead in a park. But the flip side was because I knew where my characters were going, I had no more excuses not to write every day. And in doing that I learned the most valuable lesson: that I could actively generate inspiration instead of passively waiting for it to strike.

Teardrop specifically was inspired from my time in rural northern California, where the nearby lake was a flooded valley that one had been the site of a small village. Imagined ghosts of this underwater town haunted me, leading to an obsession with flood narratives, from Noah’s Ark to Plato’s Atlantis to Mesopotamia’s Gilgamesh.

I was especially drawn to the legend of Atlantis: a glorious and advanced ancient civilization that disappeared so completely under the ocean, it slipped into the realm of myth. For several years I knew I wanted to write about Atlantis, but I didn’t know whose voice would tell this story–and isn’t that always the most important question?

Inspiration struck one day when I was crying. My husband was listening to my sob story, never mind what it was about. He couldn’t reach me; I was trapped under the flood of my emotions, as tear-shedders often are. But then, he extended his hand, touched the corner of my eye with his finger, and captured the tear welling up. I watched as he brought my tear to his face, as he blinked it into his own eye. Suddenly we were bound by this tear. Suddenly I wasn’t alone. And suddenly I had the first scene between my hero and the boy she loved.

The tear unlocked the story. Instead of an angry god, generating the deluge, a single tear incites Teardrop’s apocalypse. And in the tale I wanted to tell, I knew that a tear capable of flooding the world could only be shed over a mighty heart broken.

Sara: What advice do you give to aspiring novelists? 

Lauren: Read–but you already know that.

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Never push ideas away. Give them space and time to grow up into stories. Live curiously, ask questions, understand that writers can find even boredom fascinating. Hold onto your mystery. Make writing friends. Keep the good ones. Finish your stories. Finish your stories. Finish your stories.

Sara: What are some of your favorite activities outside of writing?

Lauren: I have dreams of working in a restaurant kitchen someday, so when I’m not writing, I’m often cooking, browsing through recipes, or planning my next dinner party. I love food blogs.

I also love to run and hike the canyons around my house in L.A. There’s a secret trail behind my neighborhood that is almost always empty. Every morning before I write, I take my dog–and now, my daughter–up for a hike in the hills. It requires some trespassing but that’s half the fun, and on a clear day, you can see snow in the mountains to the east and a shimmering ocean to the west. It’s LA at its finest.

Sara; Who is your fictional crush? 

Lauren: Rhett Butler!

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I hope you all enjoyed learning a little more about Lauren, her writing and her stories. She had such beautiful answers to the questions I posed to her and I was so eager and happy to share them with you all!

Lauren’s book, Teardrop, is in bookstores now, so make sure to head out and buy a copy and learn more about Eureka and her adventures.

She is also on the road quite a bit in the next couple months, in celebration and in promotion for this new book, so click this link to see if she’s coming near you!

Happy Reading!