When We Collided Blog Tour With Emery Lord — A Guest Post You Shouldn’t Miss!



I am so, so delighted to have Emery Lord on the blog today, you guys! Y’all know much I love Open Road Summer, The Start Of Me and You and most recently When We Collided (a review coming soon — my review has been a work in progress since I read the book a few months ago…one of those times where all my words feel just paltry compared to what the book made me feel). Emery had quickly become an auto-buy author for me!

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5 Questions With Leila Sales Plus She Interviews Me (GIVEAWAY TOO!)

If you followed my blog last year you know that Leila Sales’ This Song Will Save Your Life was one of my FAVORITE reads of last year. So obviously her new release, Tonight The Streets Are Ours, is one of my MOST anticipated books of 2015. If you want to check out what it’s about, hop down to the bottom of the post! So obviously I’m super excited to have Leila on my blog today because I adore her AND we have a fun interview post today — I ask Leila 5 questions and SHE turns the tables on ME and asks me 5 questions. And man, she asked some doozies! I have so much more respect for authors having to answer interview questions after getting the tables turned on me!!!

So, I’ll go ahead and hit Leila with some of my most burning questions!


1. If you wrote a blog outside of writer-y things what would it be about and what would you name it? If Teen Leila was living in 2015 and wrote a blog, what would it be about and what would you have named it?

For many years I wrote a blog called The Leila Texts: http://theleilatexts.blogspot.com. I would still be doing it if I were still getting text messages from random strangers every day! When I was in college I wrote a blog that was about my thoughts and relationships—really just a journal, except anyone with the URL could read it. I wanted so badly to be understood (a desire that I think a lot of teens and adults share), and I felt like if people read my blog, then they would understand me.

If I were a teenager today, though, I bet I would start a book blog. You guys have such a cool community. I would have definitely wanted to be part of it. Plus I’ve always wanted excuses to tell people what I think about books I’m reading.

2. Tell me about one of your best spontaneous, crazy nights that you’ve ever had!

New Years Eve this year was pretty great. My friend Emily and I went to a friend’s loft party until 4am, got breakfast at the 24-hour diner, drove to Spa Castle (it’s this giant warehouse of saunas and pools in Queens), got there right as it opened at 6am, and hung out in the spa until mid-afternoon.
Oh, and then there’s Halloween a couple years ago. Emily and I dressed up as two-thirds of the British band the Pipettes (we didn’t have a third friend who wanted in on this group costume), and we went to an house party with a killer sound system, and then a warehouse party overlooking the East River and we hung out on the roof and took a bunch of photos with a dude who was dressed as a lobster (I don’t know), and then went to my favorite indiepop dance party.

I could keep going, but suffice it to say that most of my best spontaneous and crazy nights include Emily.

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World-building + An Ember In Ashes (Guest Post From Sabaa Tahir)

I’m so excited that I have the opportunity to host Sabaa Tahir, author of An Ember In Ashes, here on the blog. When I was toying with potential topics for her to talk about here I was thinking about how much setting and world-building are important to me especially with fantasy novels. It really can make or break it for me when it comes to a good vs amazing book — no matter how much I love the plot and the characters. 

I was really fascinated by the setting of An Ember in Ashes (an Ancient Rome sort of fantasy world) and decided I’d love to know how she went about integrating Ancient Rome as inspiration for the world she built in An Ember in Ashes.


Sabaa Tahir worldbuilding


When I came up with the idea for Ember in 2007, I was very excited. And very nervous. I knew I had something that could be beautiful and wild and dark, if only I could get it right. I fell into my characters and plot with an obsession that hasn’t abated. I still think of them and their stories day and night.

Writing Ember took 6 years. The story revealed itself slowly to me, because I wasn’t just writing a book, I was building a world and it was very important to me that this world be authentic and true.

That meant research. One of the first things I researched were names. I wanted to imbue EMBER’s names with deeper meaning because I believe names have power. Across cultures, name meanings have such fascinating histories, so for EMBER, each race had its own naming conventions that were based on actual cultural naming conventions. I used Roman-inspired names for the Martial group, Hindi-inspired names for the Scholars, Arabic-inspired names for the Tribes and West-African inspired names for the Mariners. Every character’s name has deeper meaning. None of them is random.

Names were just a small part of the research I did for Ember. Though the book takes place in a fantasy world, that world still required consistent rules. I looked to history for inspiration. I’ve always been fascinated by Ancient Rome of the Juleo-Claudian era. I researched architecture, clothing, weaponry and military conquests from that time. I based the Martial Empire’s system of social stratification on Ancient Rome’s.

When it came to Blackcliff, Ember’s brutal military school—I dug into Sparta.

When people think Sparta, I think they often think of the Battle of Thermopylae, or that movie where ripped guys yell a lot. But Sparta was more than that. Ancient Spartan boys entered the agoge—this brutal system of training—at the age of 7, and they were bound in it until adulthood. They were cast in to the wild to fend for themselves, starved, beaten, set against each other—they were killing before they were 10 years old. I used all this to inform the creation of Blackcliff, and the merciless training that two of my characters, Elias and Helene, must survive there.

Elias and Helene, are not, of course, the only ones that must undergo brutality. In EMBER, Laia is forced to become a slave and so I knew that I had to make her experience realistic. Not doing so would be a disservice to young readers, one that I knew they would sense because it would make the book inauthentic. I read about slavery in ancient Rome as well as here in the U.S.

The goal of all of this research was to bring the world of EMBER to life. When I closed my eyes and slipped into this world, I had to see it and smell it, taste it and feel it and hear it. That, to me, was the best way of making sure that my readers could experience the same.




Fantasy readers, check this one out for sure!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.


Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.

Her website: http://www.sabaatahir.com

Twitter: sabaatahir


Let me know what you guys thought! I’d also LOVE to know what authors that you love that do worldbuilding so well! How important IS world-building to you??



HI GUYS. I’m waaaaay more excited than I normally am on a Wednesday. Why you ask (even if you didn’t…I’M TELLING YOUUU)? Because Leila Sales is on the blog today answering some of my questions and I couldn’t be more delighted. I ADORE Leila — both as a person and a writer and I sang HIGH HIGH praises for her book This Song Will Save Your Life back when I read it. A peek at what I said about it from my review: Its spirit pulses from the pages, right through to your veins and reverberates in your soul — a feeling reminiscent of any great concert or night out dancing where your ears are still buzzing and the music still pounds within you.” Read my full review!

I’d invite Leila on the blog any day ending with a Y just because but she’s here today to celebrate This Song Will Save Your Life coming out in paperback YESTERDAY! I’ve been DYING for it to come out ever since I had the honor of revealing the paperback redesign for it.

This Song Will Save Your Life Leila Sales paperback

So, let’s have a chat with Leila and then you can check out the AWESOME giveaway (no seriously, I’m dying for her new book and one of you lucky little book nerds is going to win it).


1. If books used pick-up lines when readers stood by the shelves trying to choose which book to pick up, what would This Song Will Save Your Life’s pick-up line be?

“Hey, what are you doing tonight? There’s a club if you’d like to go. You could meet somebody who really loves you.”

2. Since music is such a HUGE part of This Song Will Save Your Life obviously (and a huge passion of mine), I’m wondering what are 5 songs that have topped your playlists lately!
LOVE this question. When I wrote THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE I wanted to include only those songs that had already stood the test of time, so I don’t get a lot of opportunities to talk about newer songs that I’m digging right at this very moment.

Here are some of them:
“I Wanna Get Better,” by Bleachers
“Shut Up and Dance,” by Walk the Moon
“Sex,” by 1975
“My Friend Has a Swimming Pool,” by Mausi
“Palisades Park,” by the Counting Crows


Jamie note: AH Leila…I love Bleachers as well and same with Walk the Moon whom the husband and I just got to see in concert and they were so fun!


3. One of the things that Elise struggles with is making friends until she meets Vicky, Char and Pippa. Two part question, what other YA character do you think Elise would be good friends with? And what do you think is the difference between making friends as a teenager vs. making friends as an adult? (if there is a difference to you)
I could see Elise hanging out with Audrey from Robin Benway’s AUDREY, WAIT! They could go to shows together and have a blast. (Jamie note: LOVE THIS CHOICE. )

Difference between making friends as a teen versus as an adult: So, first of all, adults aren’t out to make you look and feel stupid all the time. Adults who make snide remarks about what you’re wearing, or about how excited you get about the “wrong” things, are universally understood to be huge jerks and wildly immature. Unfortunately, those behaviors are commonplace in high school. Because in high school there is ONE hierarchy of “cool” versus “not cool,” whereas in adulthood there’s no one set of rules that we are all “supposed” to be trying to follow.

Also: being a kid or teen is bizarre because you are divided up by age. You are for some reason expected to have things in common with some randomer just because you are fourteen and she is also fourteen. In adulthood, you can choose a career doing something that you care about, and through that career you get to meet other people who care about that specific thing. You get to choose what city to live in, and meet other people who chose to live in that same city. And even if those people are a decade younger or older than you, you still can be friends with them, and they will have actual things in common with you.

4. One thing that I loved about TSWSYL is how Elise learns that you don’t necessarily have to CHANGE to find yourself but you just have to see those perceived weaknesses/quirks as your strength and learn to be comfortable in your skin and be who you REALLY are — not who other people think you are or even who they’ve made you think you are.  If you could go back and give teenage Leila advice about this topic, what would it be?
Pretty much just that: know who you are, don’t listen to the people who tell you that what you are is “wrong.” And don’t be ashamed of being yourself, because the things that make you special (or, in high school, “weird”) are the things that make you MATTER—a lot more than whether some popular girl tells you that you matter. This is easier said than done, but it’s all true.

5. I remember being a liiiiiittle nervous about the teenage DJ aspect of this novel before I read it because it totally COULD have turned out corny but instead you made it so believable and fitting. What kind of research did you do to make it feel authentic and fit with the story?
I went out dancing a lot! I’ve always done that, but while I was writing this book I would dance and try to describe what I was seeing and experiencing (in my head, of course). Over the years I’ve also been friends with a number of DJs (and I’ve dated at least three of them), so I’ve learned a fair bit about what’s involved.

Now let’s go for some rapid fire questions:

Song that you always want to dance to: “Beat Control,” by Tilly and the Wall.

Book that saved your life: LIBBY ON WEDNESDAY, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Song that you STILL know every word to from your teen years: “One Week,” by the Barenaked Ladies. (This is my party trick. I’ll pull it out if you give even the slightest indication that you want to hear it. Or even, frankly, if you give no indication.)

Song that you’d be most likely to pick for karaoke: Well, “One Week.” Or “I Liked You So Much Better When You’re Naked,” by Ida Maria. Or “None of Your Business,” by Salt ‘n’ Pepa. Basically, if we go to do karaoke, we are going to be there for a while.

Song that you associate with high school: Ohh there are a lot. Let’s say… anything off the Lifehouse album “No Name Face,” and “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World.

Book that you’ve loved recently: FAMOUS IN LOVE, by Rebecca Serle! Also everything that I’ve edited, naturally. (If you’re interested, I keep a Pinterest board of all of them: https://www.pinterest.com/prettytothink/books-i-edited/ Okay, end self-promotion.)

Current favorite album: A new album just came out from the Go! Team, so I’m really enjoying that, but it’s too early to call it my FAVORITE. I’d need to listen to it about a million times more. So let’s stick with “Strangers,” by RAC. They just write such good pop songs, it’s unbelievable.


Thanks for answering all my questions, Leila!! I feel like we are music soulmates (Tilly and the Wall <33 I feel like nobody I talk to knows them) and also I think we would have a damn good time doing karaoke together!



That’s right. TWO giveaways. Two winners. (US/Canada mailing addresses only).

GIVEAWAY #1: Up for grabs is an ARC of Leila’s upcoming release — Tonight The Streets Are Ours — which is one of my most anticipated books for this year! It sounds SO EXCELLENT. You can read more about it here.

Tonight The STreets are OUrs book

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Giveaway #2: A This Song Will Save Your Life mix cd curated by the participants on the blog tour — fun surprise and a chance to discover new music perhaps?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want More?

Full Blog Tour Schedule:

http://www.paperiot.com/                                                        April 2, 2015

http://theirishbanana.blogspot.com/                                     April 3, 2015

http://www.rainydayramblings.com                                       April 4, 2015

http://lilisreflections.blogspot.com/                                       April 5, 2015

http://www.thecompulsivereader.com/                              April 6, 2015

http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/                                April 7, 2015

http://www.thebookcellarx.com/                                           April 8, 2015

http://www.greatimaginations.com/                                     April 9, 2015

http://thebevybibliotheque.net/                                             April 10, 2015

http://jenuinecupcakes.blogspot.com/                                 April 11, 2015

http://www.tickettoanywhere.net/                                       April 12, 2015

http://www.bookaddictsguide.com                                        April 13, 2015

http://macteenbooks.com                                                          April 14, 2015

http://www.perpetualpageturner.com                                 April 15, 2015

Get To Know Victoria Aveyard + GIVEAWAY


I’m excited to have Victoria Aveyard, author of one of the HOTTEST young adult releases of this season, on the blog with me today! Her book Red Queen came out this week surrounded with MUCH pre-publication buzz! Before you get to know Victoria a little bit through some fun top ten lists (which obviously I’m a big fan of) check out what Red Queen is about!

Red Queen
The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads |Kobo

Get to know Victoria with a couple of fun top ten lists!


10 Bookish (or otherwise) Quotes That I Love, in no particular order:

1. “He’s got a two day head start on you, which is more than he needs. Brody’s got friends in every town and village from here to the Sudan, he speaks a dozen languages, knows every local custom, he’ll blend in, disappear, you’ll never see him again. With any luck, he’s got the Grail already.” Cut to Brody in a marketplace: “Does anyone here speak English? Or even Ancient Greek?” – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, my all-time favorite movie quote.

2. “Winter is coming.”  – George RR Martin, A Game of Thrones (I could do all ASOIAF quotes for this but I won’t)

3. “And my sister, my Lindsey, left me in her memories, where I was meant to be.” – Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

4. “It was the drink that killed him.” “Oh, he was an alcoholic?” “No, he was hit by a Guinness truck.” – Mrs. Doubtfire

5. “Go then, there are other worlds than these.” – Stephen King, The Gunslinger

6. “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” – JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit

7. “I shall find wandering more bearable: I shall know that somewhere there is a firm foothold, even if my feet cannot stand there again.” – JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (and all of LotR essentially)

8. “When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.” – George RR Martin, A Storm of Swords (had to sneak this one in)

9. “Never tell me the odds.” – The Empire Strikes Back

10. “P.S. Germany invaded Belgium an hour ago.” – Ken Follett, Fall of Giants

Honorable mention (because quotes are my life):
Chapter 8 of The Stand, Stephen King
the entirety of Home Alone written by John Hughes
The Indianapolis Speech, Jaws, Robert Shaw
“Well, can’t he just beam up?” “This is reality, Greg.” – ET, Melissa Mathison

10 Favorite Lines I Wrote In Red Queen

1. The truth is what I make it. I could set this world on fire and call it rain.

2. In school, we learned about the world before ours, about the angels and gods that lived in the sky, ruling the earth with kind and loving hands. Some say those are just stories, but I don’t believe that. The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.

3. We destroy. It’s the constant of our kind. No matter the color of blood, man will always fall.

4. “Dear family, I am alive. Obviously.”

5. “From now until the end of your days, you must lie. Your life depends on it, little lightning girl.”

6. “They were a threat to my kingdom, and they were stupid,” he fires back. He stoops, bending over me with his twisted smile. “Were.”

7. Gold and silver and iron, dripping from his hands like tears.

8. When the sword flashes, arcing through air and flesh and bone, she doesn’t blink.

9. In the stories, the old fairy tales, a hero comes. But all my heroes are gone or dead. No one is coming for me.

10. “I have the advantage,” I tell his corpse.


10 Movies I Could Watch Forever

The Lord of the Rings
Star Wars
Indiana Jones
Jurassic Park
Independence Day
Pirates of the Caribbean


10 Things I Never Leave Home Without

Something to read
Cell phone
Keys (unless I forget, which is often)
Scarf or sweater
A mental plan and schedule for whatever I’m doing
Hair ties
Lipstick if I can remember
My rings (two family heirlooms, one gift to myself)


About The Author


Victoria Aveyard is a screenwriter/YA author who likes books and lists. 
Her book RED QUEEN will be published Winter 2015 from HarperTeen at HarperCollins. She’s repped by the incomparable Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.
The genres she’s into include YA, Fantasy, Historical, Adventure, Apocalyptic – if people are dying, she’s buying.



One Winner will get Finished Copies of: RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard, THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE by Cynthia Hand and MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES by Jasmine Warga.

Ships in US only | Must be 13+ To enter

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An Ember In The Ashes – excerpt reveal + GIVEAWAY!


If you took a look at my MOST anticipated debut novels of 2015 post (you did right??) you will know An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir received a spot on that list. It’s a book I’m SO excited about reading soon especially given my new found love for fantasy….and this one sure does look to be pretty epic!

I’m excited to partner with Penguin to celebrate this series right up until the release date — starting with an exciting excerpt and a giveaway! I’ve read the excerpt and now I’m just not sure I can wait to read it much longer!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told. LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor. When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.


Check out the excerpt that was revealed exclusively on MTV News HERE!

And now for the giveaway!

Ember giveaway

Penguin is giving FIVE lucky winners the chance to win a signed galley of An Ember in the Ashes plus a t-shirt!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck!!

The Raven Cycle Tarot Card Blog Tour + Giveaway

When I got asked to take part in this AMAZING blog tour I KNEW I had to see if my girl Carla (biggest Maggie fan ever + my occasional guest reviewer..you met her in this post right??) wanted to tackle this with me. And tackle it did she ever! It’s perfect.

I’ve been LOVING keeping up with this tour (runs from November 1-22) because bloggers have been so creative, you can win awesome things and also Maggie Stiefvater is BRILLIANT — seriously SHE DESIGNED THEM ALL. So here’s the schedule for the tour if you need to catch up! The tour has been featuring the Major Arcana with each stop on the tour revealing one of the 22 cards as designed by Maggie Stiefvater, and will use that card to reveal the past, present and future of The Raven Cycle series. The This is Teen Pinterest page has been updated to include every card/post.






The tarot is a divination system that uses a deck of cards to gain insight. Most decks are comprised of 78 cards divided into the Major Arcana and Minor Arcana, with each card being symbolic of an energy or spiritual truth. The Major Arcana are known as the “trump cards” because they impart messages of greater weight and significance than the Minor Arcana.

About The Judgment Card + Carla’s Reading Of It:

We’ll give you a little background on The Judgment card and then Carla is going to give you a reading for the series:



The JUDGMENT card is one that represents plans coming to fruition, that symbolizes resurrection, that indicates life changing decisions are required. A major change is coming.

Upright the card symbolizes judgment, absolution and rebirth; of how to awaken the truth inside of you and bring it into the light. Reversed symbolizes doubt and self judgement; of how easy it is to be overly critical of yourself and never allowing yourself to think of mistakes as learning experiences.


“Ronan looked angry, but he was in the mood where he was going to look angry no matter what. “I don’t know what I want. I don’t know what the hell I am.” — The Raven Boys


Ronan has a secret that he both knows and doesn’t know. It’s a secret that he folds up and tries to hide away. It’s the harder kind of secret; the one he keeps from himself. He is close to reaching a significant stage in his own journey, however, he is riddled with denial. He is full of anger and hate. You can see this in the way he behaves at the start of The Dream Thieves; he is, to put it blunt, a bit of a bastard. This secret gets brought to life in his dreams where the truth is awakened and brought into the light. In his dreams, he opens himself up to his secrets and realizes that he needs to take action. He has taken the first steps into admitting the secret to himself.


Ronan has reached a significant stage in his own journey. Whilst still a bit of a prick, he seems to be letting his life finally come together. He is moving towards reconciling this part of himself and moving past the denial stage. He is ready to confront who he is. He seems more willing to accept that change is inevitable and that self doubt and judgement can be avoided. That he can find absolution inside of himself. That the only judgment he was experiencing wasn’t from anyone else, but from himself.


Ronan understands that the major change is here, demanding to be known, however, this change will be under his control. Now is the time for him to make all the changes he desires. He understands that you can’t run or hide from yourself and that this change is necessary. Judgment tells him that whilst he is to be aware of the past he can use the lessons he has learned about himself as a person to take a definite step right into Adam’s arms towards the future he desires and deserves. A future where he will never lose sight of his worth. A future full of hope and all the wonderful things that come from having faith that you are on the right path.

The Giveaway


Get excited, friends!!! One lucky winner is going to get The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue PLUS a limited edition Maggie Stiefvater Major Arcana tarot deck courtesy of Scholastic. It’s too good of a prize to not enter!!


*US mailing addresses only.
* Must be 13 years old or older to enter.
*Ends 11/29 at 12am EST.
*No purchase necessary. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter, contacted by email and has 72 hours to respond before

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Book 1: The Raven Boys

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her. His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.


Book 2: The Dream Thieves

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after….

Book 3: Blue Lily, Lily Blue

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.




MaggieStiefvaterEntertainment Weekly has called Maggie Stiefvater, “one of the finest YA novelists writing today.” Maggie Stiefvater is a writer, artist, and musician and the New York Times bestselling author of Shiver, hailed by Publishers Weekly in a starred review as, “a lyrical tale,” and by BookPage as, “beautifully written, even poetic at times, and a perfect indulgence for readers of all ages.” There are more than 1.8 million copies of the Shiver trilogy in print. Since publication, rights to thirty-six foreign editions of Shiver have been licensed. Linger, the second book in the Shiver trilogy, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. The Scorpio Races (2011) was named to the following best of the year lists for 2011: Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, The Horn Book and Kirkus Reviews. In addition, The Scorpio Races was named a 2012 Michael L. Printz Honor Book by the American Library Association and a New York Times Notable Children’s Book. Time Magazine called, The Raven Boys, Book #1 in Stiefvater’s latest New York Times bestselling series The Raven Cycle, “A flirtier kind of horror-fantasy, aimed at teens clutching tattered Twilight and Sandman paperbacks….Stiefvater’s quirky prose has ample nerdy pleasures.” Stiefvater lives in Virginia with her family.

*photo credit Robert Severi


Good luck, friends! And make sure you follow Carla (@loltergeist) on Twitter!! She’s fab and I love having her grace the presence of my blog every now and again!!

A Quickie Q&A With Jandy Nelson + Giveaway

If you know me, you know that Jandy Nelson is one of my favorite authors (she wrote The Sky Is Everywhere and the soon to be released I’ll Give You The Sun). I’m pretty sure that you should know that. Her books are just something out of this world and I damn near lost my shit meeting her at BEA this year. I might have scared her but I’m hoping my heart eyes and ecstatic praise translated more HUGE FAN than creeper. But seriously these words, people:

I'll give you the sun quote

So when I was approached to possibly do an interview with Jandy Nelson I was like OH MY GOD YES OF COURSE ALWAYS. But then I realized I actually had to form coherent questions and that interviewing didn’t mean exclaiming my love (though TOTALLY did….disguised as Super Smart Interview Questions).


Jandy Nelson tweet

BUT I DID IT. I PREVAILED. And her interview answers are even freaking works of art. NOT HUMAN I TELL YOU. So for your pleasure, here are 3 of my most burning questions I asked Jandy Nelson. Just as an FYI for you — there are NO spoilers so you are safe to read my questions and her answers!

1. In both The Sky Is Everywhere & I’ll Give You the Sun you feature really layered relationships between siblings (which I love because my relationship with my sister has been a HUGE part of my life). What is it that draws you to this relationship? Do you have any personal inspiration that you draw from when it comes to writing those relationships?

Thank you! And it’s funny. I didn’t even realize I was writing predominately about sibling relationships in my two novels until people started reading I’ll Give You the Sun and noting it! And my next one The Fall Boys & Dizzy in Paradise is also about three siblings. Writers are so oblivious! But I do find the sibling connection endlessly fascinating as I do all family dynamics. I grew up with older brothers, and like you, they’ve played a huge role in my life. Luckily, unlike Jude and Noah in Sun, we’ve had way more harmony than rivalry over the years. I just adore my brothers, can’t imagine going through life without them, and I definitely think I draw on that love when I’m writing siblings—it’s a powerful one, a jump-in-front-of-a-train-to-protect-them kind of love. But more generally, I like how siblings seem to create their own parentless mini-civilization within a family, one that has its own language and humor, its own laws and myths and loyalties and treacheries. Families are such rich fodder for stories—they’re so inherently dramatic and comedic both, like pressure cookers and with the right (or wrong) ingredients, the lid always blows.

2. I LOVED the way I’ll Give You the Sun was told and found it very effective to alternate chapters between young Noah and then Jude years later. Did you know from the beginning that you weren’t going to follow a linear path to tell this story? Were there any difficulties in alternating in this manner?

That makes me so happy you enjoyed the structure. Honestly, it was a bear to figure out and really challenged me. I knew from the beginning I wanted the novel to be told from both twins’ perspectives and in different timeframes but it took longer for me to figure out what those timeframes would be and how I’d manage the alternating. But early on, I realized that the best way for me to write the book would be to write Noah’s story start to finish, then Jude’s start to finish, always keeping in mind the other’s trajectory. Also, I’d lock the file on one twin during the periods I was writing the other’s story and vice versa to help insure each twin’s voice and world would be distinct. Then once drafts of both twins’ stories were written, I began to braid them together, which was really like writing a whole new novel. At that point, I was about two and a half years into the writing process of the book so that last step involved A LOT of praying that it actually would work!

3. Both The Sky Is Everywhere & I’ll Give You the Sun have made me feel very INTENSE emotions. Do you ever have to step back when you are writing because it is just too intense with what the characters are dealing with?

I’m glad about the INTENSE! And sorry! But more glad. Ironically, usually when my heart starts racing or breaking with what’s going on with the characters I do the opposite of stepping back. That’s actually when I know I have to go for it, go deeper, go full-throttle, because I might be getting at something real and alive and true. As a writer, I think that’s one of the greatest pleasures, no matter how painful it can be. It’s much harder for me to write when I’m not feeling much at all. That said, there have definitely been days when I stagger out of my office, feeling like I’ve been run over by a freight train of emotion!

About Jandy Nelson:

Jandy NelsonJandy Nelson, like her characters in I’ll Give you the Sun, comes from a superstitious lot. She was tutored from a young age in the art of the four-leaf clover hunt; she knocks wood, throws salt, and carries charms in her pockets. Her debut novel, The Sky Is Everywhere, was on multiple Best Books of the Year lists, was a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, earned numerous starred reviews, has been translated widely, and continues to enjoy great international success. Currently a full-time writer, Jandy lives and writes in San Francisco, California—not far from the settings of The Sky Is Everywhere and I’ll Give You the Sun. Visit her online at www.jandynelson.com or find her on twitter at @jandynelson.




Got burning questions of your own?
Penguin Teen is hosting a Twitter chat with Jandy Nelson, Stephanie Perkins, and Gayle Forman on September 5th at 7:00 PM EST. IT IS LIKE THE TRIFECTA OF MY FAVORITE AUTHORS NIGHT!! Follow along using #PenguinTeenChat!

Pre-order your copy of I’ll Give You the Sun today! Want a signed / personalized copy? They’re available for pre-order from Books Inc. in San Francisco!

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour for additional interviews, guest posts from the author, giveaways, and more!

Sept. 1 – Cuddlebuggery
Sept. 2 – Novel Sounds
Sept. 3 – Perpetual Page Turner
Sept. 4 – Forever Young Adult
Sept. 8 – The Young Folks
Sept. 9 – The Book Hookup
Sept. 10 – Grown Up Fangirl
Sept. 11 – Bewitched Bookworms
Sept. 15 – Candace’s Book Blog
Sept. 16 – Novel Novice
Sept. 17 – Alice Marvels
Sept. 18 – Icey Books
Sept. 22 – The Midnight Garden
Sept. 23 – The Starry-Eyed Revue
Sept. 24 – Tales of a Ravenous Reader
Sept. 25 – Katie’s Book Blog
Sept. 29 –GReads!
Sept. 30 –Anna Reads


And now for the giveaway!

A paperback copy of The Sky Is Everywhere…which is GORGEOUS and this book is one of my favorite contemporaries!

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-Open to US residents only. Please read terms & conditions on the widget. Shipping will be fulfilled by Penguin!

Recommended Reading List For YA Books Dealing With Slut-Shaming & Sexuality

The Truth About Alice


I’m really excited to have Jennifer Mathieu (author of The Truth About Alice — just released this week and I cannot WAIT to pick up!) on the blog to talk a bit about her novel and give you some book recommendations! I’ve been interested in this one every since I heard about it!


Jennifer Mathieu 300dpi, credit George Hixson

When I first started writing my debut novel, The Truth About Alice, four years ago, I’d never heard of the term slut-shaming.  I just knew I wanted to write a book about a girl growing up in a small town who’s ostracized by her community.  And, sadly, I knew judging sexual behavior is one of the most common ways our society isolates and humiliates girls and women.  That’s why I knew the rumors that overwhelm the character of Alice would be related to what she may – or may not have done – with two boys at a party.

I’m thrilled that my book could become part of any conversation that our culture has about how we treat girls and women differently from boys and men when it comes to sexual behavior, but The Truth About Alice is certainly not the first book that’s tackled this complex issue.  I’ve collected a list of some of my favorite young adult novels that have taken on the topic of teen girl sexuality with authenticity and care.





Forever by Judy Blume – The one that started it all.  Even though this book was written back in the 70s, there still something revolutionary about it.  A nice teenage girl named Katherine chooses to have responsible, mutually-fulfilling sex with her nice teenage boyfriend, and nothing catastrophic happens to either of them.  One of the first books to address teenage sexuality, and in classic Blume style, it’s as real and honest as it gets – although it might be the reason the name Ralph fell out of favor.  Read the book and get the joke!


Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn Gingerbread’s main character Cyd Charisse is a snarky girl who’s been kicked out of boarding school and speaks frankly about being sexually active (her boyfriend is a “safety boy” who takes care of buying their condoms).  While Cyd is “a girl with a past” (semi-spoiler here – she had an abortion while with a previous boyfriend), Cohn never paints her as fallen angel.  She’s just a real girl trying to figure out who she is and what she wants.


E. Lockhart’s Ruby Oliver books (The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of Boys, Real Live Boyfriends) – When we first meet Ruby, she’s bluntly informs us that she’s “became a famous slut” and is now a social outcast who’s been dumped by all her friends and her boyfriend because of vicious rumors about what she may or may not have done with certain boys.  But Ruby – who lives with her eccentric parents on a houseboat and attends a prep school on scholarship – won’t be defeated, and it’s so rewarding to follow her through her high school years as she triumphs in life and love.


Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr – When 13-year-old Deanna Lambert is caught having sex with her older brother’s friend in the backseat of a car, she is branded the school slut.  When the story picks up a few years later, Deanna is still fighting her reputation and dealing with a complicated family situation.  This finalist for the National Book Award is a heartbreaking read that will stay with you long after you finish the last page.

Fault Line
Fault Line by Christa Desir – This book also tackles the important topic of sexual assault and is told from the point of view of a male protagonist named Ben.  When Ben’s girlfriend Ani attends a party without him, something terrible happens, and she is quickly labeled The Slut Who Asked For it.  What’s happened to Ani?  What can Ben do next?  A powerful book that will generate a lot of conversations.

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian – Natalie Sterling wants to be student council president and she wants to be sexually active on her terms.  Why must every choice a girl makes put in her in one of two extreme camps – like slut versus good girl?  A frank and feminist novel that’s also a confident exploration of what it means to be a “good girl.”

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally – After her mother comes out and leaves her father, star softball player and future valedictorian Parker Shelton’s picture perfect life is turned upside down.  Her church and her friends turn on her, and she’s not sure who she can count on.  Then Parker begins to earn a not-so-good reputation, and she’s intrigued by the flirty new baseball coach in town. How can she figure out what – and who – is right for her?


Thanks for sharing, Jennifer!! I’ve read Fault Line, Forever and Not That Kind of Girl and I agree with you that they explore this very well.

Be sure to check out Jennifer’s novel The Truth About Alice:


Everyone has a lot to say about Alice Franklin, and it’s stopped mattering whether it’s true. The rumors started at a party when Alice supposedly had sex with two guys in one night. When school starts everyone almost forgets about Alice until one of those guys, super-popular Brandon, dies in a car wreck that was allegedly all Alice’s fault. Now the only friend she has is a boy who may be the only other person who knows the truth, but is too afraid to admit it. Told from the perspectives of popular girl Elaine, football star Josh, former outcast Kelsie, and shy genius Kurt, we see how everyone has a motive to bring – and keep – Alice down.

Author’s Website | Twitter | Goodreads



Check out the rest of the blog tour schedule!

o    6/3 – Me, My Shelf and I @myshelfandi

o    6/4 – ExLibris Kate @ExLibris_Kate

o    6/5 – Forever Young Adult @4EverYA

o    6/6 – here!

o    6/7 – A Good Addiction @flamingo1325

o    6/8 – Girls in the Stacks @girlsinthestack

o    6/9 – Rebekah Faubion, Writer @rffaubion


Readers, I’d love to know if you have any recommendations to add to her list or let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you think!!

Blog Tour: The Edge of Falling By Rebecca Serle

18048731I finished The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle a couple weeks ago (a full post about it to come!) and it was such a heartbreaking, hard hitting read. The main character lost her younger sister and she really blames herself for it and then an incident happens AFTER that which leads people believe that she is a hero…which is far from the truth! She’s been keeping in all these FEELINGS and SECRETS  and she’s trying to keep it all together. You can just feel the weight of it all. And she starts making some interesting choices. It’s worth a read but you can see my full thoughts later on!

One of the characters in the book is Claire, Caggie’s bff, who really tries to be there for her but kind of doesn’t put up with some of her shit. She’s a really good friend and I LOVE seeing a solid bffship in YA lit so I was really excited when I found out that Rebecca was going to be sharing a playlist for Claire! Claire seems like a super fun bff who you would get into all sorts of fun shenanigans but really has your back. I think this playlist fits her perfectly!



So, now, I’ll hand it over to Rebecca…


Many thanks to Jamie for hosting me today! I’m so excited to share some exclusive content from my process of writing The Edge of Falling: Claire’s character playlist. Claire is Caggie’s BFF: she’s a model with a heart of gold…one that loves fast, and loves fully. She knows that Caggie is going through a difficult time and doesn’t exactly support her newfound attraction to Astor, but Claire is a quality friend in the otherwise shallow world of the Upper East Side. Mostly pop tunes with a hint of indie flare, here’s a peek into her mind (and her iPod.)

1. Lorde- Royals
2. Say Something- A Great Big World
3. Do What U Want- Lady Gaga
4. Robyn- Call Your Girlfriend
5. Bloom- The Paper Kites
6. Primadonna- Marina and the Diamonds
7. Winter Song- Sara Bareilles
8. Killer Queen- Queen
9. Turning Tables- Adele
10. Stars- Your Ex Lover Is Dead
11. The Hook Up- Britney Spears
12. Raining Men- Rihanna


Thanks for sharing that, Rebecca! Can’t wait to give it a listen. Some indie/alternative songs I love and some pop songs I probably wouldn’t put in a playlist but now that I’m jamming to them I don’t know WHY NOT. Such a fun mix!


Summary for The Edge of Falling:

Growing up in privileged, Manhattan social circles, Caggie’s life should be perfect, and it almost was until the day that her younger sister drowned when Caggie was supposed to be watching her. Stricken by grief, Caggie pulls away from her friends and family, only to have everyone misinterpret a crucial moment when she supposedly saves a fellow classmate from suicide. Now she’s famous for something she didn’t do and everyone lauds her as a hero. But inside she still blames herself for the death of her sister and continues to pull away from everything in her life, best friend and perfect boyfriend included. Then Caggie meets Astor, the new boy at school, about whom rumours are swirling and known facts are few. In Astor she finds someone who just might understand her pain, because he has an inner pain of his own. But the more Caggie pulls away from her former life to be with Astor, the more she realises that his pain might be darker, and deeper, than anything she’s ever felt. His pain might be enough to end his life…and Caggie’s as well.


If you’ve read this book…how you do you think this one fits Claire??
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