Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Young Adult Author Schedule

The official schedule for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books has been posted, visit this site and you can check that out here!

I’ve taken the liberty and fun job of compiling a list of the YA authors in attendance and what time they will be on panels. Keep in mind that most autograph sessions take place directly after the panel, try and will usually be about an hour after the panel.

Quite a few of these authors are also moderating other panels as well, and usually they’ll sign books at that time too. You’ll have to double check on those because I didn’t include which panels they were moderating below.

Also! Occasionally there will be booths, like indie bookstores and such, that will have other signings as well. The best for that is to keep up with certain authors you’d wish to see and check out their booths, because they’ll post schedules!

Lastly, check the authors’ websites! Sometimes they’ll do signings at local bookstores after the Festival is over for the day, or on the days before or after, because they are already in town. So if you can’t hit them at the Festival, you’ll still be able to see them!

Good luck! Hopefully I’ll see you all there!

Katie Alender

YA Stage: Young Adult Fiction: Putting the Story in History at 12:00 pm on Saturday

Laurie Halse Anderson

Norris Theater: In Conversation with Susan Carpenter at 3:00 pm on Sunday 

Carrie Arcos

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Outside Looking In at 1:30 pm on Sunday

Kelley Armstrong

YA Stage: Fantasy Worlds Beyond Imagination at 1:30 pm on Saturday

Leigh Bardugo

YA Stage: YA Sci-Fi: Fantastical Tales at 1:30 pm on Sunday

Robin Benway

YA Stage: YA Fic: A Little Help from My Friends at 12:00 pm on Sunday

Francesca Lia Block

Ya Stage: Young Adult Fiction: Haunted at 10:30 AM on Saturday 

Ann Brashares

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Somewhere in Time at 10:30 am on Sunday

Deb Caletti

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Outside Looking In at 1:30 pm on Sunday

Cecil Castellucci

 YA Stage: YA Sci-Fi: Fantastical Tales at 1:30 pm on Sunday

Stephen Chbosky 

Norris Theater: In Conversation with Stephen Chbosky at 12:00 pm on Sunday

Heather Cocks

YA Stage: YA Fic: A Little Help from My Friends at 12:00 pm on Sunday

Eoin Colfer

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Somewhere in Time at 10:30 am on Sunday 

Andrea Cremer

YA Stage: Young Adult Fiction: Putting the Story in HISTORY at 12:00 pm on Saturday 

Melissa de la Cruz

I’ve looked a million times. It says she’s there but I can’t find her panel. I’ll post with more details if I can find them. 

Ava Dellaira 

Norris Theater: In Conversation with Stephen Chbosky at 12:00 pm on Sunday

Maurene Goo

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Writing Culture and Identity at 3:00 pm on Saturday  

John Green

Bovard Auditorium: In Conversation with David L. Ulin at 12:30 pm on Saturday

Aaron Hartzler

YA Stage: Where the Truth Lies at 3:00 pm on Saturday 

Bill Konigsberg

YA Stage: Young Adult Fiction: Square Peg, Round Role at 10:30 am on Sunday

E. Lockhart 

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Testing the Boundaries at 12:30 pm on Saturday 

Sarah J. Maas

YA Stage: YA Sci-Fi: Fantastical Tales at 1:30 pm on Sunday

DJ MacHale

Salvatori Computer Science Center: Middle Grade Fiction: Stories in Series at 12:00 pm on Saturday

Tahereh Mafi

Salvatori Computer Science Center: YA Fic: It’s the End of the World as We Know It at 4:30 pm on Saturday 

Abby McDonald

YA Stage: Adrenaline Rush at 4:30 pm on Saturday

Marissa Meyer

YA Stage: YA Sci-Fi: Fantastical Tales at 1:30 pm on Sunday

Jessica Morgan

YA Stage: YA Fic: A Little Help from My Friends at 12:00 pm on Sunday

Lauren Myracle

YA Stage: YA Fic: A Little Help from My Friends at 12:00 pm on Sunday

Lauren Oliver

YA Stage: Adrenaline Rush at 4:30 pm on Saturday 

Ridley Pearson

Salvatori Computer Science Center: Middle Grade Fic: Stories in Series at 12:00 pm on Saturday

Stephanie Perkins

YA Stage: YA Fic: Told from the Heart at 3:00 pm on Sunday

Joanna Philbin 

YA Stage: YA Fic: Told from the Heart at 3:00 pm on Sunday

Ransom Riggs

YA Stage: Young Adult Fiction: Haunted at 10:30 am on Saturday 

Veronica Roth

Bovard Auditorium: In Conversation with Leigh Bardugo at 11:00 am on Sunday

Rainbow Rowell

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Testing the Boundaries at 12:30 pm on Saturday 

Rachel Shukert 

YA Stage: Putting the Story in History at 12:00 pm on Saturday

Neal Shusterman

YA Stage: Young Adult Fantasy Worlds Beyond Imagination at 1:30 pm on Saturday

Sarah Skilton

YA Stage: Adrenaline Rush at 4:30 pm on Saturday 

Andrew Smith

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Testing the Boundaries at 12:30 pm on Saturday 

Amy Spalding 

YA Stage: Young Adult Fiction: Square Peg, Round Hole at 10:30 am on Sunday

Ann Stampler

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Outside Looking In at 1:30 pm on Sunday 

Margaret Stohl

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Fantasy: The Real and the Unreal at 4:30 pm on Saturday 

Tamara Ireland Stone

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Somewhere in Time at 10:30 am on Sunday

Jonathan Stroud

Salvatori Computer Science Center: Middle Grade Fiction: Stories in Series at 12:00 pm on Saturday

Laini Taylor

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Fantasy: The Real and the Unreal at 4:30 pm on Saturday 

John Corey Whaley

Norris Theater: YA Fic: Testing the Boundaries at 12:30 pm on Saturday 

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Who are you most excited to see? 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! 

******

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

WWW Wednesday

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

The three W’s are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll be reading next?

What are you currently reading? 

11235712

I keep hearing great things about it, patient and I’m ready to finally jump into it.

16172638

This is another author that I’ve heard SUCH good things about. She’s an author recommending by Jennifer L. Armentrout and Tammara Webber, two of my favorites, so I definitely want to read her books.

What did you recently finish reading? 

12983100

This book comes out November 19th, this coming Tuesday and is a fitting sequel to the first novel, Angelfall. Check out my spoiler free review here.

18160774

This is the debut novel of a great Twitter friend of mine, being released THIS Friday. It will be featured as the Book of the Week tomorrow, AND I’ll have an exclusive interview with the author on Friday! SO much excitement.

What do you think you’ll be reading next? 

17334101

I’ve had this book, and I’ve started it, I just need to finish it! I keep getting distracted by new releases and ARCs that I need to review, but I really want to finish it!

10838787

I’m really looking forward to reading this. It releases November 26th, and I was gifted with an e-ARC through NetGalley, so I must read it soon!

*      *      *       *

What about you? Share in the comments! 

 

Tuesday Top Ten-Must Read Book Releases of the Fall

There are SO many books coming out this fall that I honestly don’t know if I’m going to be able to keep up! I already have a stack of books on my table my bed, view and about 20-something books on my Kindle that need to be read, malady and I’m just NEVER going to catch up haha.

But despite that, rx there are a TON of books coming out this fall that I am insanely excited for, and these ten are ones that I will definitely be picking up.

10. Unbreakable by Kami Garcia 

Kami Garcia/Unbreakable

I’ve heard a LOT of good things about this book so far. I’m not a big Beautiful Creatures fan. I read the first book, and thought it was just okay. However, now that Kami and Margaret are writing solo books, I’m curious. They’ve obviously garnered a lot of attention from those books, and I’ve heard from others that Icons by Margaret Stohl is really good. So I thought, meh, why not? Then I read the description. The story follows Kennedy, who, after the death of her mother, discovers there was so much more going on than she ever knew. Her mom was part of a supernatural secret society and now she has been thrown into the mix, and must take her mother’s place. I love anything supernatural and I’ve heard from some people who got their hands on advanced copies that its very Supernatural like, mixed with lots of suspense, romance and action and that just sounds like a seriously good time. This book comes out next week, which I’m very excited about and I hope to make it to the book release signing in Los Angeles that day in order to pick up a copy!

9. The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

16279856

I think James Dashner is an absolutely brilliant writer, and I loved The Maze Runner. I had issues getting into The Scorch Trials but its on my “to-finish” list and I’m determined to go back and finish the series. However, again, he’s a great writer and a great storyteller so any book by him is going to immediately catch my attention. This book is reminicent of The Maze Runner but in such a different way. You have the main character, Michael, who is a gamer, and spends most of his time on the VirtNet. Suddenly it all goes bad when a gamer takes things too far, uses technology the wrong way and starts holding gamers hostage. Michael has been watched for awhile now and he’s brought in to help catch the guy. This sounds absolutely amazing, and I honestly can’t wait to read it. It sounds like something that will appeal to both girls and guys, which I notice has been becoming a problem in YA lit lately. But James Dashner has a way of writing a universal story and I think he’ll accomplish that again with this book.

8. Shadowhunter Codex by Cassandra Clare

13568619

I seriously can’t wait for this book. For those of you already familiar with the Shadowhunter Chronicles, you know what this is and no explanation is needed. For those of you who don’t, this is almost like the Shadowhunter bible. It shares the history and the culture and the breakdown of being a Shadowhunter and the world that surrounds them. It is the 411 on everything we’ve ever wanted to know about being a part of that world. Think if we got Hogwarts, A History or History of Magic from Harry Potter. Yeah, exactly. This is a hugely important book in that series, and for us to get this is going to be insanely exciting. To really see inside what it takes to be a Shadowhunter, and the rules and customs and all of that, is going to be VERY exciting and I honestly am dying to read this. I think I may be able to convince myself that I’m a Shadowhunter if I have this book.

7. Unsouled by Neal Shusterman 

17334446

Unwind, the first novel of this series, was one of those  books that people kept telling me about and it was a book that I would see at bookstores but I wouldn’t really pay attention to it. Finally, a good follower of mine just kept telling me about these books and I just couldn’t ignore it any longer, and I picked it up. And this book did something to me, it really did. It knocked me off my feet. It really brought forth all these feelings and emotions and thoughts that most other books don’t really do. Unwind is about our country in the future, where we’ve had a second Civil War, but slightly different than what you would imagine. It was a prochoice vs pro-life war, and the outcome is sickening. In order to satisfy both parties, they came to an agreement: that abortion in the womb is completely illegal, and that the protection of a newborn is vitally important. However, when your child is 12-17, you may choose to have them unwound, each body part harvested for a transplant to someone else. There are three main characters set to be unwound: one, because he is a troublemaker and his parents just don’t know what to do anymore, two, a girl who is a Ward of the state and could not prove her worth, and three, a boy who has been raised as a tithe, someone who sees it as God’s divine plan to be unwound. This book brings forth all these debates and ideas and moralities that we have about such a controversial issue and makes it incredibly real. It is so emotional to read, and this is coming from a person who is both pro-life and pro-choice. The books are devastating and incredibly addicting and I honestly can’t wait to get my hands on this book to find out what happens next in the story.

6. Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout

13605723

Okay this one is totally cheating because I just read the first book of this series yesterday and I haven’t read books two through four so how can I possibly be excited for book 5? I’ll tell you this: book one has seriously captured my interest, my attention and my book affection so fast that I know I will easily finish the next few books before the November 2nd release date for Sentinel. So maybe right now I’m not dying to read this book like most Covenant series fans are, because I haven’t even gotten far enough in to feel that way but I know that in a week or so, I will totally feel that way, and that is the reason that its on the list. I can’t wait to speed through the rest of the books to finish this series because this first book is already absolutely amazing and I’m sure that the rest will be too.

5. Just One Year by Gayle Forman

12842134

I discovered Gayle Forman this year, when I went to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and she did a panel and signing with two of my favorite authors, Morgan Matson and Sarah Dessen. I had seen her books around and never really given much thought to them but authors always are catching my interest at events so I decided to read her books. I sped through If I Stay, Where She Want and Just One Day in a matter of weeks, and only that long because I borrowed them from the library. And Just One Day was such a great book. In this book, you meet Allyson, on a trip in Europe, who goes on a crazy one day adventure with a Dutch boy named Willem, where sparks fly, even though they’ve only just met. But Allyson wakes up the next day after their adventure and he’s gone. The book follows the aftermath and how it effects Allyson and how she spends the next year of her life, recovering from that crazy day. Just One Year picks off where Just One Day left off and its kind of hard to talk about it without ruining what happens in Just One Day and not ruin it. Just One Year, we’re going to find out everything that happened in that same year, but on Willem’s end. And I can’t wait to read it because seriously the first book had such a huge cliffhanger that I almost threw a library book across the room.

4. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

10616322

Okay, you wanna talk a crazy cliffhanger? Mrs. Veronica Roth over here totally messed me up with the cliffhanger that takes place in Insurgent, the novel that takes place before the finale of the Divergent trilogy. Divergent follows the story of Tris, a girl born in a society that was ravaged apart and came together to fix it by creating five factions that each valued something they felt was necessary for a peaceful and functioning society. She is born into the faction of Abnegation, the selfless, but on her sixteenth birthday, she makes the choice to change to Dauntless, the courageous, the fearless. Tris is what is called Divergent, a forbidden word given to those who display the characteristics for more than one faction. She doesn’t everything she can to hide this fact but it catches up to her, and when it does, so much is revealed about the society she thought she’d always lived in. Insurgent continues the story as her, and her boyfriend, Four (or Tobias, if you prefer), work together to expose the underground nature of the society and what it means to be divergent and how it can change everything. Insurgent left off with kind of a crazy, revealing cliffhanger and so now I’m just seriously anxiously waiting (1.5 years!) for the finale to be released so I can FINALLY find out what happens next!

3. Champion by Marie Lu

champion.indd

Marie Lu has written one of the best dystopian YA series that I’ve come across in the past few years as I’ve dove further and further into young adult literature. I love the  Hunger Games and Divergent and the rest but this one continues to stand tall to me, and I think its really in that Marie has such a way of creating unique stories and characters, and staying true to a dystopian world without being the same thing over and over again. We meet two different characters in her books: June, a girl bred by society, a perfect, intelligent soldier who believes in the Republic more than anybody and Day, an intelligent boy who failed at his tests and was forced into a life as a criminal to keep his family fed and safe. They both lead two very different, very separate lives until June’s brother is murdered and Day is framed for it, and they come colliding together, and both learn new things. Marie really doesn’t have a clean cut version of society is bad, we need to fix it. By giving us two very different points of view, we’re constantly questioning the motives of everyone involved and always guessing at where the story is going. The second novel in the trilogy, Prodigy, opened our eyes to so much more than we could ever dream to exist in this world, and left us with so many choices and so many questions and a cliffhanger that was utterly heartbreaking. I can’t wait to get my paws on this book so I can devour it.

2. The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

12127810

All right, all right, the cliffhangers! The Mark of Athena had such an amazing cliffhanger, I can’t even begin to stand it. The House of Hades is the fourth novel in the second series of Percy Jackson, the Heroes of Olympus. The Percy Jackson series follows Percy and his friends, who are the children of gods and mortals: demigods. The Heroes of Olympus continues this story but we get introduced to even more characters, characters that are also demigods, but with a slight twist. They were born of a god while the god was in his/her Roman state. So instead of Hera, its Juno, Zeus is Jupiter, Poseidon is Neptune, etc. This gives the demigods a slight twist, and we learn of whole new camp somewhere else, and the demigods of Greek and Roman join together in order to defeat a very formidable enemy. They are in the process, the seven of them, on completing this mission and restoring peace between the Greeks and Romans, when something goes terribly wrong and they lose two of their party: Percy and his girlfriend, Annabeth. This literally KILLED me when reading it, and I read the book at least a few times over again, almost wishing I could make the story continue. Alas, I am incapable of this power but in a little over a week, I will have this book in my hands and all will be well :)

1. The Enchanter Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

9409614

This almost doesn’t count because I got an advanced readers copy of it and I’ve already read it so I already know how amazingly awesome it is. But there’s two reasons its number one. One, because it would have been anyway, despite having already read it. Two, I want to call attention to it so I can seriously start getting all of you on board with Cinda Williams Chima because seriously, she’s one of the most amazing writers that I’ve discovered in the past year and a half as a blogger and I want to shove her books in all of your faces. So this is me, doing that again. The first three books of this series is a finished trilogy. It is our world, but not really. There is a secret world that we are unaware of, full of wizards, sorcerers, enchanters, warriors and more. The first trilogy follows the story of Jack and his friends, who want to take down the tyrannical rule of wizards and create an equal society. This book is part of the series but can be read without reading the first three. The story follows Jonah and Emma, both who are part of this world, though only one was aware of it. They are connected by the Thorn Hill Massacre and to this day, it remains a mystery to all. When they come together, more is revealed and there’s much more to each of them than the previously realized. I want you all to read her novels because she is one of the best fantasy authors that I’ve read and I can’t believe how little she is read, and this is a novel that comes out in about a week and its one that you should DEFINITELY pick up.

*      *      *      *      *     *

Thanks for stopping by and checking out this week’s Tuesday Top Ten. Don’t forget you can always check out previous lists here.

What are some books that YOU are looking forward to this fall? Did I get some of them or did I miss some? As always, share in the comments!

Tuesday Top Ten-Top Authors that Deserve More Recognition

One thing that I’ve really appreciated about being a book blogger is coming to expand my bookshelf immensely. In the last year, ask I have discovered so many new authors, I can’t even begin to think of all the authors I’ve discovered. I’ve immersed myself so deeply into the world of books that those authors that you may not notice right off the bat are coming out of the woodwork for me, and I’m discovering authors that are truly truly wonderful.

And I feel like, as a book blogger, it is one of my jobs to tell you all about these! One of the questions that I probably get more than anything is, “what do you recommend?”

Now you guys know some of my favorite books are Harry Potter and The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices and Percy Jackson and Divergent and Hunger Games…but these authors, they don’t need more help really in finding readers. Most of those have movies and they’re bestsellers and they just don’t really need me talking about them all the time.

So I spend most of my time recommending the authors that I believe are absolutely brilliant and just don’t get enough attention or readers, and so that was the inspiration for this week’s Top Ten.

Each and every single one of these authors are absolutely brilliant, and I find most people that I meet do NOT know who they are, and I find that to be very disappointing. I’m hoping this week’s Top Ten encourages you try some of these authors out and to explore new authors when you go to the book store.

So here we go.

11. Neal Shusterman

NealShustermanresized

Yes I realize this is a top eleven and not a top 12. You can just deal with it haha.

I first discovered Neal Shusterman a couple months ago, and I recognize that he isn’t an unknown author. However, now that I’ve discovered his Unwind series, I want to share it with everyone and it doesn’t seem to be a ton of people out there who know him and this series. So that is why he makes it on to this list. I absolutely love this series and I think it is due to the fact that it makes me think. The Unwind trilogy takes an issue that is very highly debated right now (pro-life vs pro-choice) and he makes it so real, and he makes us really take the time to look at it. In the book, a second civil war has occurred between the pro-life and the pro-choice, and a compromise is reached: abortion in the womb is illegal, but a parent can have the option to have their child between the ages of 12 and 18 “unwound”, and all of their parts harvested to be donated to other bodies. In this compromise, it is said that there is no death, because the child continues to live, in a “divided state”. It is heartbreaking and raw and beautiful and its an addicting book series that makes me laugh and cry and it makes me think more than a lot of other books have. I think there would be a ton of people that would avoid this book because its not like other YA books, but that is EXACTLY the reason that you should read it. Do it.

You can read my review of Unwind here.

10. Jennifer Bosworth

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I had no idea who Jennifer Bosworth was until I attended the Ontario Teen Book Fest back in May (which you can read about here). She was part of the panel with authors like Jessica Brody, Morgan Matson, Marie Lu and Leigh Bardugo, which ended up being one of the best panels I’ve ever been to. This is where I really discovered Jennifer. One, she is SO pretty, and two, she really caught my interest with her book, and sort of the back story behind it. Struck is about a girl named Mia who lives in Los Angeles after it was hit with a huge earthquake disaster, and she has this addiction to lightning. The only problem is, in the wake of this disaster, there have been several religious cults, one in particular, that have sprung up and would do anything to have  Mia on their side. Again, like with Neal, it really causes you to think and to question some of the things you know. I think that Jennifer tends not to get a lot of notice because her books are not your “typical” YA novels. She really makes you think, and her book has an anti-religion message in there and I think most people would avoid that, instead of reading it, and taking it as a book that challenges the way you think. She’s not trying to CHANGE the way you think, but she does want you to question, question, question and I think that’s beautiful. She writes a beautiful book, with a great story but she really makes me think, and I can’t wait for her novel, The Killing Jar, to come out.

You can read my review of her book, Struck, here.

9. Jessica Brody

JessicaBrody

Jessica Brody is one of the FUNNEST authors that I’ve had a chance to meet this year, and discover, and I seriously get all fangirlish every time she recognizes me. (She saw me in the Cassandra Clare CBS interview and tweeted me. I nearly died). I saw her book, Unremembered at Barnes and Noble, read the inside cover, and decided to buy it. Then at WonderCon, I wanted to go to the panel “Writing for Teens and Tweens” because, well, that’s what I want to do, and she was there. She made me laugh, and she really impressed me with the things she said. I stopped by her signing booth and talked to her for a bit, and when I told her I was trying to be a writer, she said, “Don’t try to be a writer, just be one.” That really stuck with me, and I raced home to finish this book. I’ve since then met her several more times, and have read more books by her, and I seriously love her. She has a great sense of humor, and her book Unremembered (which is the first in a planned trilogy) is a real action packed book that was so different than anything else I had read in YA so far. Seriously, think The Bourne Identity but with a teenage girl instead of Matt Damon. I really love this book, not only because of the characters and story, but because of the uniqueness of it. I LOVE Jessica, and its hardly ever that I find someone who has read her books, which is why I’m telling you, please please read Unremembered. SO good.

You can read my review of Unremembered here.

8. Marie Lu

Marie-lus-legend-mysterious-galaxy-bookstore.7476602.87

Marie Lu is NOT an unknown author. Her book series has already exploded onto the scene, and the first book of her Legend trilogy, Legend, was optioned as a movie before it was even published. It is a brilliant series. The reason that I have her on here as an author that deserves more recognition is because I think she gets shuffled under the rug because of series like The Hunger Games and Divergent. I am a HUGE fan of both of those series, definitely, but I can say, with confidence, that Legend is, in my personal opinion, better than both of those. The thing about Marie Lu’s dystopian trilogy is that its so believable and its almost scary in that its so believable. I also think its better because its dual point of view, and the two different points of view are SO different. You have someone completely enveloped in this society, and believes it to the very core, and then you have someone who has been fighting against it, to keep himself and his family alive, for so long, and the clash of those two people together really is awesome. In Hunger Games and Divergent, you always know who the “bad guy” is, but in Legend, you’re always questioning because you get these two points of views. I also admire Marie a lot because she’s one of the only series I’ve read, dysptopian wise, who talks of other countries outside of the United States. She recognizes the rest of the world, which causes an even more solid story, in my opinion. Its an amazing series, and I can’t wait for the third and last book in November.

You can read my review of Legend here.

7. Rae Carson

Rae-Carson-Smash

In a little more than a week, I’ll be heading to Las Vegas to meet this author…which is roughly about a four hour drive away from my suburb town in Orange County, California. That is how much I love this author. This will be the farthest I’ve driven to meet an author and I honestly don’t think that I’ll regret it in the slightest. When I first read The Girl of Fire and Thorns, I couldn’t get into it; I was really confused at first. But I think it was about 50 or so pages in when it just hit me and it grabbed me and I raced through it, and then immediately bought A Crown of Embers on my Kindle, because I couldn’t wait until the book store opened the next day. I felt VERY lucky to be able to receive an ARC of the last book of the series, The Bitter Kingdom. Its an amazing series. I think that maybe people avoid this series because of the epic fantasy that it is. I think fantasy tends to be really popular…when its recognizable, which is why all the urban, contemporary fantasies seem to do better than epic fantasies. But I’m an epic fantasy lover more than anything and I think Rae Carson is a fantastic story teller and a great world builder. And my absolute favorite part of her novels? Her main character, Elisa? She’s fat. Over the course of the books, she becomes less fat but she’s not a perfect, beautiful, skinny character and I absolutely love that.

You can read my review of The Girl of Fire and Thorns here.

6. Jen Calonita

Screen Shot 2013-09-15 at 6.13.38 PM

I absolutely adore Jen Calonita, because she writes very realistically without having to be ridiculously tragic. Not that I don’t like books with tragedies but sometimes I think people forget the trivial problems we had as teenagers that felt like the absolute end of the world. I like Jen Calonita because she’s fun, and because her books are extremely sweet and because they remind me that we don’t always have to be setting the weight of the world on our shoulders and its okay to worry about how we look that day, or whether we’re going to pass our math test. I love that there are books out there that make me think, and that make me more aware of the economy or history, or world affairs but sometimes I just need a break from the world, and Jen’s books are great for that. Her Secrets of My Hollywood Life series is about Kaitlin Burke, a young Hollywood star on a hit TV show, who wishes nothing more than to find a balance between the job she loves doing and her desire to be a normal girl. Her Belles series follows Izzy, a girl who grows up in a small community until her grandmother gets too sick to take care of her anymore, and she goes to live with family she never knew existed in the ridiculously rich town of Emerald Cove. She also has two standalone novels, Reality Check and Sleepaway Girls. I love these books because they are the kind of YA that you don’t have to question, because there’s sort of younger YA and older YA. I think you can enjoy this at any age. They’re funny and cute and I think they’re really enjoyable books to read. I wish more people would notice her, and I think because she tends to have happy endings, without any tragedies, she doesn’t get a lot of notice, and that makes me incredibly sad. Her books are great, and you should definitely check them out. Also, her Secrets of My Hollywood Life series was incredible help for my book, A Little Less than Famous!

I unfortunately have not reviewed any of her books for this site yet!

5. Andrew Smith

andrewsmith_02

I had no idea who Andrew Smith was until the Ontario Teen Book Fest, and even then, I still had no idea who he was or any of that. Carrie Arcos (author of Out of Reach) actually pointed him out to me, and said that his book, Winger, was coming out that Tuesday and that it was already going to be featured in the New York Times. That caught my interest quickly. After talking to him throughout the day, and learning what a really cool guy he was, I added it to my “To-Read” list, and hoped to read it soon. I’ve only read Winger, I haven’t had a chance to read his other books YET, but I already think that he is an absolutely amazing author. I read Winger in the span of a few hours and was immediately sold on the book and on Andrew Smith. There was so many layers to this novel. Part school story, part coming of age, part humor, part tragedy, even part comic book, it tells the story of Ryan Dean and his adventures at boarding school. There is just so much about the book that is great. Like I said, its funny and sad, and its full of adventure and romance and its just a great book, and it keeps popping up everywhere, earning recognition and recommendations, but I don’t know of many people who have actually READ it, in my circle of readers and bloggers. Lately, when people ask for a recommendation, this is one of the ones I say right off the bat. I will push this on anyone and everyone and I think its an essential read. I am happy every time I do see someone reading it. Let’s just say this: CNN made a list of must-read books for the summer, and Winger was the only YA book to make it on the list. That shows you how good it is.

You can read my review of Winger here.

4. Tammara Webber

tammara-webber

I discovered Tammara Webber when I first purchased a Kindle a few years ago. I was looking for something new to read, and Amazon suggested the book, Between the Lines, which was fairly inexpensive, maybe only 5 dollars. I decided to give it a try, and I was hooked so fast. I was blazing through the next two books in the series, eating it up. Then I decided I needed them in actual hard copy. That’s when I really discovered the awesomeness that is Tammara Webber. Because most people tend to consider her books “new adult”, which is kind of a wacky age group/classification that is still not quite found its place, she was having a really hard time selling her novel. So she has worked her butt off, self-publishing her novels in ebook format, and her Between the Lines series has garnered her a bunch of attention. Then Tammara wrote her standalone novel, Easy, which highlights the dangers of rape, especially acquaintance rape, and that too has garnered a lot of attention and a lot of high praise for it. Her series and her standalone novel are both fantastic, and I admire her immensely because of her drive, her determination and her ability to make herself successful because of those.

You can read an interview between me and Tammara here.

3. Morgan Matson

Morgan-Matson-and-Magan-at-TLA-Author-Signing

Morgan Matson is one of the more brilliant authors in contemporary young adult fiction and the fact that I have gotten to meet her three times this year has made me incredibly happy. She has written two novels: Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour and Second Chance Summer. And while I’ve noticed a TON of Morgan Matson love on the interwebs and on most blogs about books (because we knows whats up!), I don’t see a lot of book readers outside of blogs that really know who she is. That makes me incredibly sad. Her two novels that have been published so far easily would make my top list of books, especially Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour. As a debut novel, it just shines. Its a beautiful work of contemporary YA lit; it recalls Sarah Dessen, for sure, but Morgan Matson has a voice on her own and it seeps into her characters, Amy and Taylor. Plus her novels are SO summer, and I just love summer. Okay, maybe not the ridiculous temperatures that we can get here in Southern California but I adore everything else about summer, especially that I get to curl up and read, read, read, and I always make sure to read Amy and Roger’s, because its so worth a summer read and more. I’ve been able to meet her a bunch this year, and I *think* she recognizes me now and I seriously get SUCH a kick out of that. She is such a sweetheart and she helps me to believe that I can be a writer too. Seriously, read her books.

You can read a review of Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour here.

2. Tamora Pierce

tammy signing books a_small

Tamora Pierce has been writing books since the 1980s, the EARLY 1980s, and she hardly needs help getting recognition. So why do I have her on here? Because its all fine and dandy that she has a strong fan base and that she’s been recognized in several different countries, and a TON of different associations and had honors bestowed upon and she CONTINUES to write magnificent books, BUT, I think its time to introduce her to the new generation: you guys. I have found that most of my followers tend to be younger than me, and have absolutely no idea who she is and that saddens me! In this world where young adult literature is at the highest I’ve ever seen it, and where fantasy is HUGE, and young, strong, smart, amazing female characters are incredibly popular, why isn’t she? Because her books are older, shorter, what? I can’t understand it so I continue to talk about her all the time, to rebuild her and her absolutely wonderful books. Her first series? About a girl who hides her gender in order to become a knight, as good as the boys. Her second series? A girl who discovers she has the rare power of wild (animal) magic and she can use it for so much, and to help the kingdom. Her third series? About a girl who tries for her knighthood after its legalized that a girl CAN do so, but is it any easier? Her fourth series? About a girl kidnapped to a foreign country who finds her niche, and helps a group of oppressed people take back their country. I mean, I could go on and on. She’s a brilliant writer, a brilliant storyteller and her world building is flawless. Please, read her; you won’t be disappointed in the SLIGHTEST.

You can read my review for her very first book, Alanna: The First Adventure here. You can also check out my Fandom Friday about Tamora Pierce, as well, here.

1. Cinda Williams Chima

IMG_1935

This is one of my more recent discoveries and it is a discovery that I made so gladly. I somehow randomly came across Cinda’s book, The Demon King, last fall and immediately went sprinting through the rest of the series. Its absolutely brilliant, an epic fantasy that has great characters, from the main characters of Han and Raisa, to the smaller characters as well, and a great world that you find yourself immersed in. Raisa is a princess struggling to become a better ruler, for the day that she takes over as queen, and Han is a former criminal, who discovers a secret about himself, and its a secret that is going to change his life forever. The two of them are so far apart, and yet their lives start to intersect and they both become so instrumental to the well-being of the queendom. Her Heir Chronicles series is a contemporary urban fantasy, following different people but the first book follows Jack, who discovers he has special powers after he stops taking his medicine one day, and he finds out he is a warrior in a society full of enchanters and sorcerers, wizards and more. Wizards are in control and they need a warrior for their tournament, a tournament that includes a fight to the death. She creates beautiful fantasy worlds, with great characters, a ton of action with a nice balance of the romantic and steamy and her books are written SO well. I’m meeting her in a couple weeks and I have to make sure that I don’t faint in excitement!

You can check out a review of The Demon King here, my exclusive interview with Cinda here, and also a full post on my urging you to read her books here.

*       *       *       *       *

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Tuesday Top Ten!

Don’t forget that you can always check out previous lists here.

And definitely don’t forget to check out these ELEVEN amazing authors! You won’t regret reading any of them.

Who are some authors that you love to read that you wish more people would read? Is there a particular book that you’re always recommending to people? As always, share in the comments!

Unwind Book Review

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

 764347

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Author Website

GoodReads Summary:

Connor, viagra 100mg Risa and Lev are running for their lives. 

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, approved however, parents can have their child “unwound”, whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connors is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive. 

My Review:

This book seriously messed me up. In a good way, but still. I was left reeling after this book. I almost didn’t believe that it could actually be considered a young adult novel. There was no way. But then I really thought about it, and I thought, Neal is writing to teenagers who are the future voters, who get to decide how things play out so if there’s anyone to write to about a touchy subject, its teenagers. They are the ones with the open minds, and the readiness to learn and the ability to see things outside their own boxes. So it makes sense.

Neal takes the ridiculously controversial and highly debated subject of abortion and turns it into something…well, something almost sick, in my head. I am both pro-choice and pro-life, but more pro-choice than anything else. Without getting to much into my own politics, I think that the law should be pro-choice because each woman should have their own beliefs and decisions over their own bodies. I also think a man has no right to tell a woman to do with her body. That being said, the way that Neal presents it in the world of Unwind is just…it really puts a lot of things in perspective and it really can give someone something to think about, no matter what side you’re on. I think he presents a solution that is so ridiculous that it makes you realize that this fight we are having constantly over this is ridiculous. No one is ever fully going to be satisfied and if we try to satisfy everyone, we could end up with a situation like in Unwind.

You see, in Unwind, instead of having abortion legal for a pregnant woman, it is completely illegal. If you find yourself pregnant and having a baby that you do not want, or cannot care for, you can leave it on a doorstep. The person, or people, living at that house are now legally responsible for that child, a so called “storked” baby. However, if parents choose to, they can have their child unwound between the ages of 12 and 18. The outside story is that each body part is harvested to be used as organ donations and you will not be dead, but living in a divided state. The reality of it is, yes, every single bit of your body will be used in some way, but you are dead, no matter how scattered your body parts are. Its no wonder that Connor and Risa runaway to avoid this.

You get too different points of view in the story. You have Connor and Risa, both who are being forced to be unwound and have no desire to be. Connor is a troublesome child, and so as a last resort bit of parenting (which is common), his parents elect to have him unwound. Risa is a ward of the state, and when she basically can’t prove her worth in living, she is elected to be unwound to make more room for wards. These are two teenagers are being unwound basically as failures. They weren’t good enough in the eyes of some people and therefore are decided to be better off in a “divided state”. Imagine that. Imagine knowing that you were unwanted as a teenager. You already feel enough emotions and insecurities without being told that you ‘re just better off NOT living.

You also get the point of Lev, who is a tithe. Tithes are through religion, taught that they were born of God’s will to be unwound (or tithed, because it sounds better) and be in a divided state, helping out others in need. Lev is raised his entire life to believe this and welcomes his day with pleasure and happiness. He is absolutely pissed when his plans change, because of Connor, and will do pretty much anything to get back to where he needs to be, to be tithed. His plans change but to see inside the mind of that, its just emotional. Its emotional to see both sides, both those who are trained to believe that it is the right thing to do and those who dread it with everything because it  means that they failed.

There is a part of the book, where you are in the point of view of someone who is being unwound, and that entire scene just got to me. I was an emotional wreck. It was so emotional and heartbreaking and it was the best scene of the book because of the way it makes you feel. You’d have to have a heart of steel not to feel anything when that scene is taking place. It made me want to shake people, on both sides, like “Please, lets keep this the way it is, please, let’s not make this fight more ridiculous than it already is”. That scene killed me, and is the one that stood out the most to me.

So now that this “short” review has gotten out of hand, I basically want to say that it is a beautifully written novel with a world that we don’t see in any other book. Neal is unique in that respect and he really brings forth a novel that is both thought provoking and full of action and romance and emotion and its a book that you find yourself speeding through because its just too much to handle. I seriously recommend this to anyone, not just teenagers because it really gets you to think. I admire an author that can leave you reeling and thinking for days (for me, weeks) after reading the book.

Rating:

5 out of 5 Stars

*     *      *      *     *