Come Find Me at Buttonwood Books Tomorrow Night!

Tomorrow I’ll be at Buttonwood Books in Cohasset, MA (just outside of Boston) for a panel and signing with my fellow 2014 debut YA author the lovely Skylar Dorset!

Come for the discussion about YA writing, stay for the signing and smiles.

The details:

YA Author Panel and Signing
August 13, 7pm at Buttonwood Books
747 CJC HWY RTE 3A
Cohasset, MA 02025

The weather is supposed to be kind of gross, but hopefully by 7pm things will have calmed down. And what better way to spend a rainy day than by hitting up a local bookstore?

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, everyone! Time for a few book reviews in fifteen words or under. Onto the reviews!

1. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
I want Lola’s wig collection. The family dynamic stuff was unexpected and touching.

2. Stories of Anton Chekhov Paperback by Anton Chekhov
People died, there was a dog. Read this in a really bad English class.

3. The Witch’s Eye by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Lynn finds Mrs. Tuggle’s glass eye, gets possessed by it. Scared me most in series.

4. Mary Anne’s Bad-Luck Mystery (The Baby-Sitters Club, #17) by Ann M. Martin
Mary Anne would totally be the person to forward all the forwards.

5. Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
How did this woman not get fired all the time?

Ten Reasons Why You Should Read…Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis is book that crosses genre, juggles POVs, and deals with everything from romance to curses to questions of identity. And it all comes together beautifully, with all the feels and thoughtfulness a reader could hope for. Here are a few of my reasons why you should read Otherbound:

1. Nolan
To put it mildly, Nolan’s going through a tough time. He’s been flashing to a fantasy world whenever his eyes are shut, and to everyone around him, it looks like he’s having seizures and hallucinations. Despite the pressure he’s under in both worlds, Nolan is a sensitive person who deeply cares about other people. He’s a character you can’t help but rooting for.

2. Amara
Similarly, Amara’s under a lot of pressure (trying to keep a princess’s magical curse at bay, having Nolan live inside of her, etc.). It’s hard enough to craft one layered main character, but Corinne’s managed to create two. Amara is brave and conflicted and passionate, and easily feels like a classic fantasy heroine.

3. Identity
With two main characters merged together in one body, Corinne brings up interesting questions about what it means to truly exist and own your body, and what kind of control we have over our own lives.

4. Family
Big feels for Nolan’s family. I love that they so obviously care about Nolan and are worried about him, and want to try to help him however they can (even if they have no idea what’s really going on). Pat, Nolan’s sister, is a phenomenal minor character. (Seriously, all the feels.)

5. Big Bads
There are a couple of super creepy, intense moments. Don’t want to spoil anything here, but oh my gosh, stakes get raised on both sides of reality. And even then, I liked seeing how the ‘villains’ and challengers were developed; they were all trying to find some kind of peace, even if it came at another’s expense.

6. Signs
I took ASL in college, so I have major respect for signing as a language. It was really cool to see sign incorporated here as Amara’s method of communication, without it necessarily being a story about a signing experience.

7. Medical Alert
Nolan is dealing with seizures that take him into Amara’s world, and Corinne includes the reality of that kind of situation–the danger of having a seizure, the difficulty of trying to find medication to help, how expensive working with doctors and medications can be.

8. Chases and Escapes
Along with excellent character development and concepts of self, Otherbound includes some good old fashioned excitement. Amara and Cilla are on the run from people trying to kill them and, on yeah, there’s a deadly curse to worry about. Nolan has a hard enough time as it is in the real world without having to deal with stuff like the lines of worlds blurring.

9. Diversity
Otherbound features a wonderfully diverse cast of characters. Obviously Nolan’s dealing with seizures, but he also has a prosthetic leg and is Latino. Amara signs, and is also a WOC and loves a man and a woman (and both relationships feel genuine). None of these features become an “issue” (as in old-school after-school-special “issues”) and are instead just the way these characters exist in the world–which is how it should be.

10. Corinne Duyvis Is Probably a Superhero
If I were going to invent a superhero, it would probably be pretty much exactly like Corinne. She lives in Holland; she writes awesome books and makes awesome art; she’s extremely active in speaking out for diversity in children’s/YA literature (see Disability in Kidlit); and she currently has pink hair. I’m so glad to have gotten to know Corinne through the Fourteenery, and I’m psyched that now readers are getting to know her, too.

Otherbound is now available in all kinds of stores, so go pick it up!

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, everyone! I can’t believe it’s already the first of August. My brain is still back in June. Let’s catch up with some fifteen-word (or fewer) book reviews.

1. Molly Saves the Day (American Girls: Molly #5) by Valerie Tripp
After I read this, I asked my parents, “Have you ever heard of D-Day?”

2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home (Season 8, #1) by Joss Whedon
Only season 8 graphic novel I’ve tried. Weird to see the characters after the finale.

3. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol I: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson
Brilliant. One of the YAs I recommend to people who don’t think YA is literary.

4. Micro Fiction: An Anthology of Fifty Really Short Stories ed. by Jerome Stern
Read in a class I took on flash fiction. Some were a couple of paragraphs.

5. Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
One of those books that you remember and think “Oh, that was kind of racist.”

Friday Fifteen

The past week has been super hectic, but I’m psyched to be writing today’s Friday Fifteen. Onto the micro-book-reviews! Happy weekend, everyone.

photo (5)1. The Rain Catchers by Jean Thesman
A household of women who caught rain to wash their hair. Don’t remember much else.

2. Powerful Paleo Superfoods: The Best Primal-Friendly Foods for Burning Fat, Building Muscle and Optimal Health by Heather Connell and Julia Maranan
I don’t follow Paleo, but great recipes based on real food. Hello, blackberry-glazed salmon!

3. The Ghost at Dawn’s House (The Baby-Sitters Club, #9) by Ann M. Martin
Dawn’s house has a secret passageway, making me jealous forever.

4. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor 
I would have devoured this even if I didn’t read for the 48-hour book challenge.

5. Dubliners by James Joyce
Ashamed to admit that I don’t remember much of these famous stories. Should try again.

Links Galore

Lots of link-y goodness:

 

Upcoming Events: Buttonwood Books and the Boston Teen Author Festival!

A couple of new and excellent events to add to the calendar!

On Wednesday, August 13 at 7pm, I’ll be at Buttonwood Books in Cohasset, MA with fellow 2014 debut YA author (and all around delightful person) Skylar Dorset. We’ll be BrOEEmsCAAAGCN2talking about writing, being debut authors, how awesome YA is, and more.

And then on September 27, I’ll be part of the 2014 Boston Teen Author Festival at the Cambridge Public Library. Other authors on this year’s schedule include local favorites like A.C. Gaughen, Sashi Kaufman, Diana Renn, and Erin Dionne; and I might just fangirl myself into a frenzy over fellow Candlewick author M.T. Anderson.

Check out the Appearances and Interviews page for more info, and mark your calendars now!

 

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s a beautiful Friday here, and I am so happy to be headed into the weekend. Onto the micro-book-reviews!

1. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
The ending made me think “This was about Cameron and her parents,” which I loved.

2. The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events #4) by Lemony Snicket
I honestly don’t remember much about this one. Before the VFD plot really got going.

3. Henry V by William Shakespeare
The Henrys bleed together for me. I think I need to see them performed.

4. Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry
We read this one all the time when I was little. Classic Scarry goodness!

5. Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
Glad to be back with Grace and Sam; looking forward to the third book.

The Secret Life of a YA Writer in a Traditional MFA Program

This month at Ploughshares, I’m sharing a little of my experience at a traditional MFA program and ending up a YA writer.

I know other YA writers who went through traditional MFA programs and weren’t as happy with their experiences, but I appreciated having the time to focus on craft and technique. And I think it helped that my program was a little more flexible than most–I got to take classes outside of my genre, and also crossed over a lot with the publishing program.

Obviously you don’t need to get an MFA to be a writer or learn/practice craft. There are a million different ways to be a writer and you have to find what works for you.

Click through to read the full post, and enjoy the Lost gif.