Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cover Reveal: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

I was scrolling through my feed a few days ago the cover of the third and final installment in the Delirium Trilogy, Requiem, was revealed. I was ecstatic to see what the final cover would look like, because this trilogy is one of my favorites of all time. I had high hopes, and this is what the final product looks like.
Am I in love with this cover? Not at all. I really wish that they had done a different color than Pandemonium's, which is the oranges and other warm colors, just to give the trilogy a diverse look on my shelves. But I do think the cover is gorgeous, and the model's face is fierce and eye-catching. I would never judge a Lauren Oliver book by it's cover, though. 

Requiem hits shelves March 5th, 2013 from HarperTeen.

What do you guys think of this cover? Tell me in the comments!

Book Review: Variant by Robinson Wells

Title: Variant (Variant, #1)
Author: Robinson Wells
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: September 26th, 2011
Page Count: 373 Pages
Source: Bought
Format: Hardcover
Age Group: 12-16
Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he's trapped in a school that's surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school's real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape--his only real hope for survival--may be impossible.
"Variant is a solid debut that dishes out the action and leaves you reeling." 

I have been dying to read Well's debut for a while now, and after my eGalley of it expired, I had to wait till I got the chance to buy a copy. Finally, I got the chance to pick up the hardcover, and after sitting on my shelf for many months, I picked it up and began to read. 

 Robinson's writing is blunt and straightforward, and for a book line Variant this kind of writing style works well. Nothing is sugar coated or heavily described, but the atmosphere of Maxfield Academy is richly creepy and totally insane. I was sucked in to the idea of this isolated school that Benson was locked in to, and a million questions were racing through my mind as I raced through the first, like, TWENTY pages. The author does an amazing job of getting the mystery going quickly to keep the reader interested.

 The whole twist behind Variant and Maxwell Academy is insane. I so did NOT see any of it coming. But this is where it showed that Well's was a debut author. I think that at times the bombshells were of many, but they seemed to be placed randomly. It's felt like Robinson knew his plot on it's own, without any twists, was not going to hold the reader's attention, so every 70 or 100 pages or so he would decide that something needed to be revealed to keep my attention. It wasn't exactly spot on, and it showed that Robinson needs to learn how to write a story and trust that twists should not be overused.

 The action is unstoppable and totally engrossing. Again, the writing style enhances the action, and there is no fluff or metaphors or any of that (which I do love!) There definitely wasn't a slow moment in this book, though at times Well's needed to take a few pages for some thought process.

 Overall, Variant is a solid debut full of non-stop action, but Well's needs to take a step back and learn to write a book that doesn't make up for lack of solid plot with a bombshell every 10 pages. Luckily I have the sequel, and I am so excited to see where Well's takes this story!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Discussion Time ~ Bloggers vs. Librarians?

Bloggers vs. Librarians?
or Why We Shouldn't Choose Sides & More...

With ALA Annual having ended just last week, in comes the drama. Yes, even in the world of books, there is loads of drama. Who starts this drama? Oh, I really don't know. I really have no idea. I was enjoying the talk of books on Twitter just a few nights ago, look away for a few minutes, come back, and my feed is full of drama. I groaned to myself as I scrolled through the mass of tweets, and was struck by a ton of terrible things that I couldn't believe were being said.
 Things such as "Bloggers are taking books from librarians at ALA" or "Bloggers are grabbing everything in sight and librarians don't get a chance to get as many books." People acting like bloggers and librarians are enemies, that blogger and librarians are sides of some battle, like you need to choose a side, like librarians and bloggers aren't friends who want to discuss books with each other. What kind of community is this, if people are pitting bloggers and librarians against one another? What kind of book community are we if all we worry about are ARCs? It's definitely not the community I want to be a part of!

 I started tweeting about the drama the night I saw it, and got over 50 tweets back at me. Bloggers, librarians, teachers, all bombarding me. A few librarians were being particularly dramatic. One of them told me that I said that I was entitled to books at ALA, that ARCs were my right to have and grab at ALA. I looked through my tweets, and not one time did I ever say I was entitled. It's so infuriating, that a few librarians are trying to make all bloggers look bad about one overgrabbing book blogger!

 Don't nake steretypes about bloggers because you didn't get as many ARCs as a greedy one. Since when do ARCs mean the world? Last time I checked, people were whining that bloggers were being greedy about ARCs. Well, how come when librarians don't end up with their ARCs, they feel that they have a right to whine on Twitter about it, and twist people's words around about it? I find this hypocritical and so just...INFURIATING. I mean, don't preach about not caring about ARCs then want to start a ton of drama about how you're little tote bag wasn't filled with enough.

 Note, I am talking about a few librarians, I am not in any way stereotyping all librarians!

 But this post isn't about librarians (only a few) being annoying about ARCs.

 This post is to ask: Why the heck are we choosing sides?

 This post is to ask ANYONE why were are suddenly choosing sides. Bloggers or librarians? That's becoming a question on Twitter. That's becoming a battle in tweets. I love librarians with all my heart. They keep kids reading, they put books in reluctant reader's hands. They are the reason that I love reading. And, from whom I have met, librarians love bloggers! At ALA, I met over thirty librarians, and all of them loved bloggers, all of them asked for my card, all of them were so sweet, all of them wanted to discuss the latest books, the latest news in the YA world. That is what I love about the book community, we are all willing to share our thoughts, our opinions, about all things YA, and in the end still be friends.

 So why are some librarians and bloggers trying to make it so we can't do this anymore?

 I think the beginning of the drama started when a certain ALA attendee (who HAPPENED to be a book blogger) posted a video of her ALA book haul. Her sister also went with her, and they each grabbed their own copies of all the books. And I agree with everyone out there, that is seriously ridiculous. Why would you not just SHARE one copy with the person that you are living with?

 But then, librarians and teachers and different kinds of people on Twitter started doing that thing that makes EVERY blogger mad: stereotyping. Tweets were popping up saying "Bloggers are taking books from librarians," and "Bloggers are being greedy" because one or two  book bloggers overgrabbed. And now, suddenly, the ENTIRE BOOK BLOGGING COMMUNITY overgrabbed and were greedy.

 I was not greedy. I got a total of 60 books from ALA Annual. I plan to read every single book that I sent home. And I know that some bloggers grabbed over 150 books, and they do not plan on reading even half of them. I have seen a ton of book hauls that are even a modest thirty books! And yet bloggers like me are being put into the category of that one blogger who grabbed 200 books! And it is infuriating.

 And now, I am going to deliver my biggest point.

 Since when is all that bloggers and librarians care about are ARCs?

 I know that ARCs are an extremely big part of the publishing industry nowadays. I know this very well. But since when is blogging done to get ARCs? I know that I started blogging, and I didn't hear about the idea of ARCs for at least two months. Did I work harder on my blog when I found out I could get ARCs? Sure! I don't mean to sound like all egotistic, but I think I produce pretty thorough content on my blog. My reviews are pretty long, I do blog tours, giveaways, and I do discussions, and I spend a ton of time on these posts! Does any of this make me feel entitled to ARCs? HECK NO! ARCs are a mini reward for me! But not in any way a right.

 What am I trying to say?

 Just because one blogger over grabbed at ALA does not mean anyone has the right to stereotype the blogging community for a few bloggers actions.

 Just because one librarian is saying that bloggers took books from them, this does not mean that we are on different sides. Because I love librarians, and I have met so many librarians that are interested in reading YA blogs to find out what books to put in their libraries.

 There are no sides. We are all lovers of books, we are all friends who want to share our thoughts on books. And that is what I love about blogging and reading. But for some people to try and make it that way is beyond me.

Tell me in the comments!
Do you disagree with me?
What do you think of the people pitting librarians and bloggers against one another?
What do you think of over-grabbers?
What do you think of bloggers in general? Do you think they deserve to be stereotyped?
What are your experiences with librarian-blogger interaction?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Off to ALA Annual!

I'm off to ALA Annual!

Hey everyone! Today is Friday, and this morning I left bright and early to catch my flight to Anaheim. Why am I going to Anaheim? For ALA Annual 2012 of course! I am super excited to meet all the publishers, authors, agents, librarians, and blogger friends this weekend, and I will be updating you guys who couldn't make it on Twitter.

 How can you find out what's the latest at ALA Annual 2012? I'll be tweeting pictures, book news, book covers, book grabs (major caps will happen), and other awesomeness, and I will using the hashtag #ALA2012HD. Just follow along with that hashtag and you'll get the latest and greatest.

 When I get back, I'll be posting an ALA wrap-up, which will be longer and more detailed than my ALA Midwinter one, and a book haul. Pictures will be of many!

 Be sure to keep up, and if you are going to ALA I cannot wait to meet you!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Anastasia Forever Trailer Reveal

Boy, do I have a treat for you guys today! Thanks to the amazing Sourcebooks Fire, I get to unveil the exclusive new trailer for Joy Preble's  new book, Anastasia Forever, the third installment in the Dreaming Anastasia series. Only a lucky few got the chance to reveal the trailer, and I feel so honored to be one of the few!

First off, let's get some information on the Dreaming Anastasia Series!

 Joy has made this series only to remember with her masterful blend of Russian history, romance, magic, and mythology into one unique story.

 In DREAMING ANASTASIA, Anne Michaelson begins to have unusual dreams and discovers that she is the only one who can save the daughter of the last tsar of Russia, Anastasia Romanov. Believed to be dead by the world, Anastasia has been kept captive all these years by the Russian witch Baba Yaga, and only Ethan, a handsome and mysterious 18-year-old, can help Anne free Anastasia.

 Anne once again leaves behind her ordinary life in HAUNTED to join forces with the mysterious and gorgeous Ethan as the journey with the Romanov continues. This time she is haunted by classic figures from Russian mythology, a rusalka, , a Russian folklore mermaid with a malevolent streak – and a particular interest in Anne, who tells her that Anastasia is still alive. As she and Ethan team up, Anne’s search for the rusalka’s identity reveals deep and startling secrets - including the true source of Anne’s powers.

 Now in ANASTASIA FOREVER, having survived Baba Yaga and the Rusalka, Anne finds herself bound by the witch to undertake a journey into past, present, and future that will determine her destiny - and that of everyone she loves. 

 Get a taste of the high stakes, passionate romance, and jaw-dropping revelations that fill Anastatia Forever by reading the first three chapters here.

 Anastasia Forever comes out in August, but be sure to keep up with the latest and greatest on the series at Joy's blog -!

 Now, for the moment you've all been waiting for! Go watch the Anastasia Forever trailer. It seriously sets the tone for the reading experience you will soon be a part of.

 To watch the trailer, click HERE! Or watch it here...

Thanks so much to Sourcebooks Fire for letting me unveil this epic trailer!

Tell in the comments:
Are you excited for Anastasia Forever?
What do you think of the cover?
What do you think of the amazing trailer?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Book Review: Every You, Every Me by David Levithan

Title: Every You, Every Me
Author: David Leviathan
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date:  September 13th, 2011
Page Count: 245 Pages
Source: Lisa @ Bound by Books
Format: ARC
Age Group: 14-18
In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he's been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan's starting to believe it's Ariel that's behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself. Creatively told with black-and-white photos interspersed between the text so the reader can see the photos that are so unnerving to Evan, Every You, Every Me is a one-of-a-kind departure from a one-of-a-kind author.
"Every You, Every Me is a highly experimental, chilling read."

I have been wanting to read Every You, Every Me for quite some time. It has such an interesting premise and the presentation of it all was so unique and different. I mean, come on, it's told in words AND pictures, the story flowing around the photos. Everything about this book is hipster. Don't deny it, you'll see quotes and the photographs from Every You, Every Me plastered on Tumblr and Instagram for many years to come, I think this book has started a new trend, almost.

 What I really loved about this book is the writing style. David makes Evan such a tortured soul, and you are literally inside of him, it is almost unreal. Leviathan has fabulous characterization skills. All the supporting characters were unique and thoroughly fleshed out. The words crossed out makes this book a little hard to read, but it sure does add another layer to the story. Only certain kinds of stories can do that, and Leviathan knew that Every You, Every Me called for it. Evan's character is so messed up from his best friend's departure, it adds depth to him for the reader.

 There was also a huge creep-factor to the story, and I loved that. I read this one straight through the night, and I kept looking out my window. The photographs held so many meanings and were so perfectly composed, and that wasn't even in color.

 The only problem I had was that I found out that the story was written with the photographer sending David a picture and David making the photo part of the story suddenly. I think this showed, because parts of Every You, Every Me were kind of disjointed at times. This wasn't a huge problem, and I think for such an experiment and a risk that Leviathan took he did an amazing job!

 Every You, Every Me was a big risk to take, but Leviathan accomplished his goal: to create a creepy, atmospheric story told in both words and pictures!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Discussion Time ~ ALA Annual

ALA Annual
or Being a Respectful Attendee & Details

Next Friday morning I leave for ALA Annual, and guys my excitement level is through the roof. Going to ALA Midwinter in January as a newbie, totally surprised by the relaxed nature of it and the total awesomeness of everyone and everything there. ALA is just a time for publishers, agents, authors, librarians, and bloggers to all come together and have an epic time. There are tons of books, tons of author signings, tons of swag, tons of everything bookish that will make the nerd in you freak out.

 In January, when I went to ALA Midwinter, I had a brush with all the goods...and all the bads. This post is to discuss mostly the bads, and how to avoid being the "the bads" of ALA Annual for the other bloggers, publishers, and industry professionals attending.

 The keyword here is professionals. And at ALA Midwinter there were many bloggers who were anything  but professional. Certain huge titles were put out in huge stacks for anyone who wanted one to grab, and that morning ended in people getting kicked, scratched, bitten, and punched for certain books. The mob was wild and chaotic, full of rude, belligerent, greedy people. And I am sorry to say but 95 percent of them WERE bloggers. It was just about 10 of them, and the rest were victims, but those 10 rude bloggers are the reason that bloggers are getting bad reputations from librarians and other members of the publishing industry.

 When you go to ALA, be respectful and responsible, be kind and courteous, and don't be greedy. They have tons of copies of all the books you want, you don't need to push, grab, bite, or injure anyone for them. Wait in line, be patient, say "Please" and "Thank you" when you want a book or are given a book. The nice men and women working at the publisher booths are there way earlier than you are setting up, getting ready, and they have thousands of people to attend to. You are one of many that are asking for books. Be patient. If they say no, they mean no. Begging doesn't help your case.

 Also, I had an experience where there were only ten select copies of a certain book at ALA Midwinter. I was one of the lucky ones to snag one. The poor lady was all alone for her publisher, and the lady behind me asked for the same book and the publisher denied her. I wasn't there, but someone told me that the woman cussed at the publisher and was so rude. Being rude doesn't get you anywhere. If anything, it hurts your chances of getting others books and also gives the blogging community a bad reputation.

 As far as over-grabbing goes, I don't have much to say. Grabbing duplicates of books is unnecessary and leads to less copies for others that really want that book. Grabbing every book in sight, just to say that you got like 300 books at ALA, isn't necessary. I admit that at Midwinter I got a little to book-happy and I regret that. I should have been more selective and professional and practical about how many books I got. This year, I created an ideal list of books I was looking for, and am allowing myself 50-60 books overall I can take home. This is to eliminate books that will never be read and more shelf space. I'm not saying not to get a lot of books, the ARCs are there for the bloggers, librarians, and anyone who gets the word out about them, I'm saying that if you are grabbing books just to say you got a lot of books, that is a bad idea and you will regret it.

 Again, things like over-grabbing and grabbing three or four copies of the same book are things that are giving book bloggers a bad reputation.

 There are two blogger parties that I know of that are happening this year. The first one is what is called "The Great Blogger Meet-Up" which is hosted by Stacked Books (the blog is epic.) It is mostly for adults, but I think underage kids are allowed in. Here's the details! -

 The other meet-up is for YA bloggers, ACTUAL young adults. It was planned by Ishita @ The Reading Fish. It will be at California Pizza Kitchen! Adult bloggers are allowed to come too, but here are the details -

Discussion Time (tell me in the comments!)
Are you coming to ALA?
What experiences have you had with rude bloggers or other industry professionals?
What tips do you have for new ALA goers?
What books are you looking out for at ALA Annual?
Are you attending any blogger parties or meet-ups? 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Book Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Title: Unwind (Unwind, #1)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 8th, 2007
Page Count: 335 Pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Age Group: 13-18
Connor, 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, 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. Connor 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.
"Unwind is a creepy, chilling dystopian that made the genre cool."

I haven't always been a huge Neal fan. I had read Everlost about two years ago, and I liked it, but there was nothing that really connected with me. After I started blogging, I decided to pick up the sequel, Everwild, and I absolutely loved it. Neal has an odd kind of writing that doesn't necessarily seem fit for the YA market. It's sophisticated and extremely well-done, and I think you need a mature-ish look on YA to fully grasp or enjoy his works.

 Picking up Unwind for the fifth time, I dove in. Everything seemed to connect this time. Unwind is the perfect dystopian, and it's totally different from the dystopian nowadays. It was dystopian before the dystopian trend was cool.

 Neal's world building is superb. The rich history and the thorough exploration of the society of Unwind is amazing. I was immersed in the world of Connor, Risa, and Lev, and Neal made sure every part of this dystopian society was real and explored, and that there were no rough spots or blank spaces where information should be. The aspects of unwinding and the way their society was run didn't go into the state of being unbelievable. All the motives of the government could happen, and that made everything so frightening.

 Connor, Lev, and Risa, our main characters, are fabulously portrayed, and each of them have a distinct voice. Seeing the story through  so many eyes, Neal had to make sure that each character's take on the story was unique and different. And he did just that and more. I could tell who was who without even looking at the chapter titles he did such an amazing job!

 The creepiness of Unwind is also perfect. There is a certain scene that was almost disturbing just by the nature of it. Oh my gosh, Shusterman is a master of the creepy!

 Unwind is a creepy, chilling dystopian full of distinct character voices and non-stop thrill!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Book Review: So Close to You by Rachel Carter

Title: So Close To You
Author: Rachel Carter
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: July 10th, 2012
Page Count: 320 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Age Group: 12-16
Lydia Bentley has heard stories about the Montauk Project all her life: stories about the strange things that took place at the abandoned military base near her home and the people who've disappeared over the years. Stories about people like her own great-grandfather.

When Lydia stumbles into a portal that transports her to a dangerous and strange new reality, she discovers that all the stories she's ever heard about the Montauk Project are true, and that she's in the middle of one of the most dangerous experiments in history.

Alongside a darkly mysterious boy she is wary to trust, Lydia begins to unravel the secrets surrounding the Project. But the truths behind these secrets force her to question all her choices—and if Lydia chooses wrong, she might not save her family but destroy them... and herself.
"So Close To You is an entertaining, fun debut that definitely keeps your attention!"

So Close to You has no doubt been on the top of my wish-list for a really long time. I mean, come on, it has everything I need in a book. Conspiracy theories, romance, time-travel, mystery, suspense, and a fast-pace, all wrapped up in one YA debut? I was hooked. The minute that So Close to You came to  me in the mail, I devoured it.

 Was I completely impressed by Carter's debut? Not exactly. I found that Lydia lacked emotional depth and a true voice throughout the story, and her actions tended to be sporadic and inconsistent. I liked Lydia, there just wasn't anything special about her that made her stand out. And at times  I felt an emotional disconnect from her, especially when it seemed like the moment called for the most emotion of the whole story. Nevertheless, I didn't notice the disconnect often.

 The action and pacing of So Close to You is perfection. Carter has a way of moving the story along without making it feel rushed, and also leaving room to add depth to the story with flashbacks, character development, etc.

 When authors try to conquer the subject of time travel, I usually give up when they info-dump a ton of physics and time-travel aspects onto the reader in a single chapter. Usually the author is writing a time-travel novel because they have prior knowledge of time-travel and all it's fundamentals, but Rachel presented time-travel very slowly to the reader, and dumbed it down quite a bit for the reader. It made the reading experiance much more enjoyable.

 Rachel Carter's debut is entertaining and kept my attention, but she definitely has some room to grow character-wise. And the ending is a total cliffhanger that left me begging for the sequel!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Book Review: This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

Title: This Is Not A Test
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: June 19th, 2012
Page Count: 322 Pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Age Group: 14-18
It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.

To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.

But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?
I laugh at the people at St. Martin's Press and Courtney Summers for thinking they are going to get a coherent and professional review of This Is Not A Test. I try my best to keep my reviews from being a total gushing essay about my love for the book without really pointing out why I loved it so much. But there is no other way to write this review. This is Not A Test is my favorite book that I have read this year, and a book that will make my top 10 favorites of all time, I am sure.

 But there is one thing that you need to know: This Is Not a Test isn't really a zombie-novel, even though it is. Because even though this book is marketed as a zombie novel, and looks to be a totally action-packed thrill ride of flesh-eating zombies and blood, there is so, so, so much more to this book. This Is Not A Test is really a contemporary with an apocalyptic back-drop. And the zombies-pounding-on-the-doors adds so many emotional layers to the overall book it is almost unreal.

 I have never been so attached to characters before. I was emotionally involved in every character in this book, and there are only, what, eight? Courtney was genius to zero out a cast of seven or eight diverse kids and stick them together, and let us meet and explore each and every one of them, and you become so attached to them it's not even funny. By the end of the book, I am part of every one of them, they are each so real and thorough made and crafted that you actually know people like this exactly. Okay, moving on...

 Sloane is the perfect person to tell this story. Courtney Summers you are an evil genius of evil epic amazing proportions. Sloane is the story, Sloane makes the story. Sloane makes you feel everything and experience everything and become attached to everything. She is so real and believable and so perfectly unperfect and amazingly ruined and masterfully broken. She makes this story sad and happy at the same time. She tears your heart apart and manages to slowly sew it back together somehow. Again, I have to move on...

 The ending. *sob* That's it. I was done.

 If you haven't gotten the message, I would really appreciate if you went out to your bookstore and bought this book, and then bought a copy for your friend and your other friend and tell them to give it to their friend and just spread this epic, amazing book through the world. This book needs to be recognized. It is written by an evil genius.

 This Is Not a Test is an exploration of life when death is banging on the door, a novel that makes your sob and laugh at the same time, and ends up slowly sewing your broken heart back together.

 Read it. Now. And I mean now.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Author Interview: T.M. Goeglein (Cold Fury)

Today I have interview with debut author T.M. Goeglein, author of YA Mafia thriller Cold Fury, which releases July 24th from Putnam. Check out my review HERE. 

Jason Bourne meets The Sopranos in this breathtaking adventure

Sara Jane Rispoli is a normal sixteen-year-old coping with school and a budding romance--until her parents and brother are kidnapped and she discovers her family is deeply embedded in the Chicago Outfit (aka the mob).

Now on the run from a masked assassin, rogue cops and her turncoat uncle, Sara Jane is chased and attacked at every turn, fighting back with cold fury as she searches for her family. It's a quest that takes her through concealed doors and forgotten speakeasies--a city hiding in plain sight. Though armed with a .45 and 96K in cash, an old tattered notebook might be her best defense--hidden in its pages the secret to "ultimate power." It's why she's being pursued, why her family was taken, and could be the key to saving all of their lives.

Action packed, with fresh, cinematic writing, Cold Fury is a riveting and imaginative adventure readers will devour.
What was your favorite part about writing Cold Fury?

Creating a protagonist – Sara Jane Rispoli – whom I not only really like but who scares me in a good way. She’s a very tough chick.

What has been the biggest challenge while writing Cold Fury?

Maybe turning down the action a little bit – OK, forget it – I didn’t turn it down at all. This girl is built for speed!

What research did you have to do about the Mafia and other things for Cold Fury?
Living in Chicago means coexisting with a long history of organized crime; its legacy is everywhere, if you know where to look.

The voice of the main character is Cold Fury, Sara Jane Rispoli, is very distinct and different. How did you harness and make this voice, was it hard to keep it maintained throughout the book?

Sara Jane is a combination of many strong personalities of people I know, but I think the best way to say it is this – her fear, which becomes a slow-burning and dangerous anger, is the engine that drivers her character.

How long did it take for you to write the first draft of Cold Fury?

Around six months, which doesn’t include the time my amazingly talented (and patient) editor, Stacey Barney, spent helping me make it even better.

What has been the biggest surprise in your road of publication?

Not a surprise, but instead a constant affirmation of what I already knew – how smart my audience is, and how informed they are about good stories.

Describe Cold Fury in three words!

Can I use four? ‘Run, Sara Jane…run!’

What advice do you have for young aspiring authors?

Now I’ll use three words. ‘Write, kid…write!”

Where do you primarily spend your time writing? Do you have a special reading nook?
I have a writing space not far from where I live in Chicago. With two small kids at home (ages 6 and 2.5,) it’s important to find a quiet place. The moon was unavailable.

Cold Fury is the first in a trilogy, right? Can you give us any news about the second book's direction (or title!) :)

Yep, it’s book one, with two more to follow. All I can say is that the next installments grow increasingly faster and darker, with almost nothing being what it seems…

T.M. Goeglein began his career as a writer of print and television ads for a host of advertising and media companies. As a screenwriter, he created both original scripts and worked as a script doctor for several production companies in Los Angeles. He was an original contributor to the Huffington Post 'Living' section, and continues to write for both the national edition and Huffington Post Chicago. Read T.M. Goeglein's stories on the Huffington Post.

His debut young adult novel, COLD FURY, will be published by Penguin/Putnam in 2012 and is the first in a trilogy; he’s currently working on the second book. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Laura, and two young children.
Thanks so much Mr. Goeglein for answering my questions! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Book Review: Cold Fury by T.M. Goeglein

Title: Cold Fury (Cold Fury, #1)
Author: T.M. Goeglein
Publisher: Putnam (Penguin Books for Young Readers)
Release Date: July 24th, 2012
Page Count: 313 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Age Group: 14-18

Jason Bourne meets The Sopranos in this breathtaking adventure

Sara Jane Rispoli is a normal sixteen-year-old coping with school and a budding romance--until her parents and brother are kidnapped and she discovers her family is deeply embedded in the Chicago Outfit (aka the mob).

Now on the run from a masked assassin, rogue cops and her turncoat uncle, Sara Jane is chased and attacked at every turn, fighting back with cold fury as she searches for her family. It's a quest that takes her through concealed doors and forgotten speakeasies--a city hiding in plain sight. Though armed with a .45 and 96K in cash, an old tattered notebook might be her best defense--hidden in its pages the secret to "ultimate power." It's why she's being pursued, why her family was taken, and could be the key to saving all of their lives.

Action packed, with fresh, cinematic writing, Cold Fury is a riveting and imaginative adventure readers will devour.
 "Cold Fury is a fast-paced story told in a cinematic writing style."

I love when this happens: I hear about a book, and I want to read it so much because it sounds so amazing and everything I want in a book, and then you get this book, read it (more like DEVOUR it) and you realize that the author made the book 10 times better than you were even expecting! This is what happened with Cold Fury. Doesn't the synopsis sound amazing and intriguing? I know I could barely stand the wait for this one. My expectations were pretty high, and when I dove into Cold Fury finally, Goeglein made sure that my expectations were thrown out of the water. And boy were they!

 The one thing in Cold Fury that I was not expecting was the voice of Sara Jane, our main character. Seriously, the voice that Goeglein infused into our protagonist is unique, eccentric, and added so many different aspects and layers to the story. The way that Sara Jane told the story made this book so much more than any other mafia or action book out there.

 My favorite thing about Cold Fury was the writing style. The back cover promises cinematic writing, and I was instantly struck by that exactly. I could seriously picture Cold Fury as a movie, the way that Goeglein uses words and different aspects of setting, mood, and dialogue to create this atmospheric, totally real feeling that can easily be turned into a movie!

 Cold Fury definitely keeps you on your toes. I really loved how there are equal amounts of action and thought-process, and it all leveled out and made for a diverse story. There was a definite build-up to the initial action, the first 100 pages are a lot of world and character building that added to the overall plot. I felt connected to all of the characters in a way, it was so masterfully done!

 Cold Fury introduces the cinematic writing style of debut author T.M. Goeglein, and is a fast-paced, breathtaking new novel that will leave you begging for the sequel!