Love and grief are companions through life, entwined as clearly as the sky is blue. Summary from the inside jacket: Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life–and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon…but just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole world exploding. Oh, this book. Where do I even begin? I had a feeling, about three chapters in, that this book was going to become a favorite. And at that point, I wasn’t even hooked... Read More
I am so very behind on my “What I’m Reading” posts. I really despise doing bulk reviews, but these three just seem to fit together so well, it was hard to resist. Pictured above: Wither, Lauren DeStefano; Delirium, Lauren Oliver; Matched, Ally Condie I’ve been on a bit of a dystopian kick lately, and based on the above three reads, I guess I’m intrigued by worlds that regulate (or attempt to regulate) love. Love plays a vital role in each story, shaping, defining and challenging the characters. In MATCHED, love is decided for you, with the Society picking your marriage partner. In DELIRIUM, love is a disease where citizens anxiously line up to be cured. And in WITHER, love is almost nonexistent, as girls are sold into a polygamous marriage in an attempt to keep a genetically malfunctioning population from dying out. WITHER I enjoyed the dynamic between Rhine and her sister wives far more than I thought I would. The polygamous marriage felt instantly... Read More
The purpose of young adult literature is often twofold: to tell a story, and to send a message, usually in the form of a much-needed lesson. This is the first line of a recent New York Times Sunday Book Review by Lisa Belkin. The article reviewed two YA novels about abusive relationships – Jennifer Brown’s BITTER END and Deb Caletti’s STAY – and while it is exciting to see more and more YA novels getting press, I have a serious issue with this opening statement. Sarah Ockler wrote a fabulous response to Belkin’s article, claiming that the NYT review missed the point. I happen to agree and urge you all to read Ockler’s post. My thoughts are very much in line with hers and she breaks down the review (and her issues with it) so very well. In my opinion – and Lisa Belkin is certainly entitled to her own – the purpose of young adult literature is not twofold. There is just one purpose: tell a story. Tell an amazing, jaw-dropping, can’t put it down, read it... Read More
This comic by Ida Eva Neverdahl got passed around the internet today, and for obvious reasons. Take a look: Ida, how did you do this? How did you so perfectly capture the struggles of pursuing a creative life? How did you capture the process and the love and the doubts and the uncertainty? And how did you make it so beautiful? Can I tell you that my stomach literally dropped when they first broke out of the frames? It was like that moment in a song when everything crescendos and gravity shifts and suddenly it’s just you and the music – you’re floating and in awe, the hair on your forearms reaching for the ceiling. And then, when they flew into the sky, when the borders faded away, can I tell you how many goosebumps I had? Truthfully, I can’t, because I was too busy holding back tears. I was biting my lip and blinking rapidly and attempting to maintain my composure. Why can’t I find your email address, Ida? I want to tell you how amazing this is. And I want... Read More
You’ve seen the poster I’m talking about, right? This one; designed to keep morale up in Britain during the WWII, but never really put into use. It wasn’t until years later, after the propaganda slipped into public domain, that the Internet saw a resurgence of this “keep calm and carry on” slogan. Chances are you’ve seen it plastered on t-shirts and coffee mugs and other random products. Sometimes the crown sits on top, sometimes a cupcake – You know, so you can “keep calm and have a cupcake.” So why did the Internet become obsessed with this 5-word mantra? Because it is genius. Simple, but honest, genius. Sometimes things get crazy. Sometimes things are out of your control. Sometimes you are just one tiny being in an extraordinarily large universe and there’s not much you can do but take a deep breath and plow ahead. Truer words could not be spoken when it comes to writing. You are in control of some things (the words you... Read More
If you own a digital copy of any of Erin's books, you can request a signature via Authorgraph. If you're interested in purchasing a signed physical book, you can order through her local indie, Gibson's.