Category Archives: Book Covers

Currently…

(I plan to do a “Currently…” post every other Tuesday. You should join me! Find the origins of the idea HERE.)

Currently

Loving

Everything about the photo below: dark chocolate espresso beans and iced chai lattes and pink roses and blush peonies, all of which I splurged on after my very first school visit. My daughter’s teacher invited me to speak with the 3rd graders about writing and publishing and while I totally wanted to do it, I was SO nervous. I mean, I know a lot of the kids and I’ve learned a thing or two about writing over the years, but an actual school visit? Luckily, it went really well. The kids were great listeners and participators, and they asked some really thoughtful questions. I’m super thankful, and already eager to do it again! 13413424_1578444175781472_822276646_nReading

I’ve been doing lots of reading lately. I recently finished Wonder by R.J Palacio (holy crap — amazing) and The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (predictably mesmerizing). Also, how fun is the #FlipThatBook tag on Instagram?!

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I’m currently reading The Last Boy & Girl in the World by one of my favorite authors, Siobhan Vivian, and it’s fantastic. It’s a romance with a compelling hook (its setting is a town that’s about to be sunk by a dammed river), and it’s full of interesting girl friendships and swoon and surprises. I’m loving it!13398444_503108083216522_1676210314_n Watching

Parenthood. I’m only, like, nine episodes in, but yeah. It’s fantastic. I love Peter Krause (Six Feet Under — best show ever) and of course I adore Lauren Graham. The writing is perfection and dialogue is amazingly authentic and the relationships all feel so genuine and complicated and lovely. Thanks, Riley Edgewood, for insisting I watch this one; you were right — I love it!

Listening To

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. It’s very clear why this debut won the William C. Morris Award last year — it’s smart and funny and awesomely voice-y. Protagonist Simon is immediately likable, and the audiobook narrator is extraordinary. Recommend!

Thinking About

Our recent vacation to Smith Mountain Lake, which is gorgeous. We shared a condo with friends (our next door neighbors from our time in Monterey) and had so much fun swimming, kayaking, inner tubing, sunning, and eating. I’m already ready to go back!

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Anticipating

Copyedits! Kissing Max Holden has finally reached this important step (YAY!), and I’m weirdly excited to see all the ways I’ve misused commas and semicolons and em dashes. 🙂

Wishing

You’ll check out the recently revealed Swanky 17 covers! They’re all so gorgeous — my fellow Swanks are winning the cover lottery all over the place! Find the YA covers HERE and the MG covers HERE.

Making Me Happy

My girlie played Somewhere Over the Rainbow on her guitar during her school’s Talent Showcase and it was pretty much the most adorable thing ever. I’m so proud of her courage and her dedication. She did so well!

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Did you post a “Currently…” this week?
Let me know in the comments, and I’ll be sure to visit! 

Currently…

(I plan to do a “Currently…” post every other Tuesday. You should join me! Find the origins of the idea HERE.)

Currently

Loving

I met Morgan Matson! She’s been one of my favorite authors for a long time now (Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is among my top five favorite contemporary YAs) and in person, she’s an absolute delight. Listening to her talk about writing and characters and travel-as-research and the inception of her novels’ ideas… I’m feeling so inspired. Plus, she could not have been more personable and genuine. I picked up her latest release, The Unexpected Everything, and had a copy of Amy & Roger signed for a future giveaway. Keep an eye out!

Reading

I finished reading Summer Skin by Kristy Eagar and it was freaking amazing. Look for it on The Book Depository if you want to order — well worth your money, I think! I also read my very first Swanky 17 ARC: You Don’t Know My Name by Kristen Orlando, a spy story with dashes romance and family angst — really fantastic. Now, I’m reading Renne Ahdieh’s The Rose & the Dagger, sequel to The Wrath & the Dawn, one of my very favorite novels of last year. Guys, how gorgeous is this book? Watching

Still obsessing over Game of Thrones and Outlander, but that’s pretty much it. I have very little patience when it comes to TV. That said, once I turn in this round of Kissing Max Holden edits, I’m going to give Parenthood a shot. Thoughts?

Listening To

I finished listening to Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event and I enjoyed it so much. The cast is huge, but the character who’s given the most focus is a fifteen-year-old named Miri, and she’s adorable. Now, I’m waiting for Me Before You by JoJo Moyes to become available because the movie trailer! 😍

Thinking About

Knocking out what’s left of my second round of Kissing Max Holden edits. This round has been easier than the first, but isn’t it funny how when it comes to revising, a tiny change at the beginning of the story ends up snowballing into adjustments made throughout the entire manuscript? Still, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love revising, and I’m thrilled to work on KMH during the early morning and late into the night if that means I’m making the story stronger.

Anticipating

Our summer travels… We’re meeting friends at a lake house in a few weeks, and at the end of August we’ll be spending five days with my husband’s parents in Washington, then five days with my parents in Arizona. My daughter is super excited about quality time with her grandparents!

Wishing

You’ll check out the recently revealed Swanky 17 covers! They’re all so gorgeous — my fellow Swanks are winning the cover lottery all over the place! Find the YA covers HERE and the MG covers HERE.

Making Me Happy

Today’s our thirteenth wedding anniversary! My husband’s out of town (of course — he’s only been present for half of our anniversaries) but we celebrated on Saturday night with dinner at The Melting Pot, which was delicious. And… he got me (us) a new mattress! We’ve had the same crappy mattress for the duration of our marriage and I’ve been (not-so-subtly) hinting that we need a new one for a few years now. And he surprised me with a really nice one. It’s like sleeping on a cloud… 🙂

Did you post a “Currently…” this week?
Let me know in the comments, and I’ll be sure to visit! 

Class of 2014: YA Superlatives Blogfest BEST IN SHOW

The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest (hosted by Jessica LoveTracey NeithercottAlison Miller, and me) runs Monday, December 15th through Thursday, December 18th and will highlight favorite books published in 2014 using a variety of fun superlative categories. The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest is all about promoting the extraordinary young adult books published this year, so if you haven’t already, draft a post and sign up to participate at the end of this post. We can’t wait to see your favorite reads of 2014!

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2014 Reading List (starred = debut): The Winner’s Curse, *Let’s Get Lost, *Loop, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, *17 First Kisses, Ashes to Ashes, *The Secret Sky, *Behind the Scenes, Isla and the Happily Ever After, *The Only Thing To Fear, Bleed Like Me, The Bridge From Me to You, *Creed, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, I’ll Give You the Sun, *One Two Three, *Of Scars and Stardust, We Were Liars, *Wish You Were Italian, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Frozen, What I Thought Was True, *The Eighth Guardian, *Pointe, *Push Girl, *Open Road Summer, *Far From You, *The Symptoms of My Insanity, Panic, *The Truth About Alice, *NIL, Complicit, The Summer I Found You, The Evolution of Emily, Into the Still Blue, Heartbeat, The Killing Woods, Brown Girl Dreaming

Best In Show

Favorite Cover

    
Lots of beautiful covers in 2014… These four stuck out: The Secret Sky by Atia Abawi, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, Pointe by Brandy Colbert, and Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn. All four are excellent reads, as well!

Cutest Couple

  
Gwen and Cassidy from Huntley Fitzpatrick’s What I Thought Was True, and Isla and Josh (despite their drama) from Stephanie Perkins’s Isla and the Happily Ever After — too cute to choose, too cute for words. ❤

Most Likely to Succeed (Pick a Printz)


Not only did Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun hit me harder in the feels than any other book I read this year, it’s also one of the most beautifully written stories I’ve encountered.

Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime


Could. Not. Put. Down The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. The romance, the pacing, the twists, the crazy-compelling characters. So, so good!

Best Repeat Performance (Sequel or Follow-Up)


These The Raven Cycle books just keep getting better, don’t they? I adored Maggie Stiefvater’s Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and I can’t wait to see how this series ends when the final novel comes out next year.

Favorite Finale or End of Series Novel

  
I’ve followed Laini Taylor’s and Veronica Rossi’s trilogies since their opening books, and Dreams of Gods and Monsters and Into the Still Blue held up through the end. Love and recommend both of these fantastical series!

Romance Most Worthy of an Ice Bath


Isla and the Happily Ever After‘s Isla and Josh in Spain… Need I say more? Thank you, Stephanie Perkins, for bringing the swoon. (Honorable Mention to Dahlia Adler’s Behind the Scenes — hot, hot, hot!)

Best Breakout Novel (Debut Author) 


This one’s hard because I’ve read some *fantastic* debuts this year, but my love for Adi Alsaid’s Let’s Get Lost knows no bounds. It’s just so charming and and heartwarming and poignant. Plus, hello, adorable cover!

Best Old-Timer (Favorite Novel Pubbed BEFORE 2014)

  
Late to the party on both of these (seriously — what took me so long?!) but Morgan Matson’s Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour and Cristin Terrill’s All Our Yesterdays both lived up to and then completely surpassed their hype. If you’ve put off reading either or both, remedy that soon!

Most Likely to Make a Grown Man Cry

  
We all know I’m not a book crier, but Christa Desir’s Bleed Like Me and Elodie Nowodazkij’s debut One, Two, Three pulled at my heartstrings in major (though very different) ways.

Most Pleasant Surprise


I’m not sure I would have picked up Caroline Tung Richmond’s The Only Thing to Fear if I didn’t know and adore her — the cover doesn’t exactly scream Katy Book. But I’m so glad I gave this debut a go because it’s one of the most unique and creative stories I’ve read. Loved it!

Most Creative Use of a Love Triangle


Sophie from Tess Sharpe’s Far From You is tangled up between a brother and sister and oh my goodness, it’s messy. Plus, there’s a murder mystery and drug addiction and guilt and sadness to contend with. Such an enthralling read.

Sleeper Hit (Novel So Awesome I Wish It’d Been Hyped More)

    
I wouldn’t call Elizabeth Scott’s Heartbeat, Jessica Love & Chelsie Hill’s Push Girl, Lisa Schroeder’s The Bridge From Me to You, or Stephanie Kuehn’s Complicit “under the radar,” but they’re all so good, I wish I was seeing them featured on everyone’s end-of-the-year “Best” lists. If you haven’t read any of the four of these and are a fan of contemporary YA, you MUST check them out!

Favorite Outlier (Best 2014 Picture, MG, NA, or Adult Book)

  
  
Roxane Gay’s An Untamed State, Rebecca Behren’s When Audrey Met Alice, Riley Edgewood’s Rock & Release serial, and Mary Kubica’s The Good Girl are all such different books, but all four are so affecting. They each blew me away with their amazingness.

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Click below to add your name and your Best in Show post link to our sign up so we can hop around and check out your selections. 

This weekend, Jessica, Tracey, Alison, and I will randomly select FOUR Superlative Blogfest participants to win a 2014 YA book of their choice. Make sure to include your post links to all of the linky lists that apply so you’ll be eligible to win… 

And thanks so much to those who participated, commented, and helped spread the word about this blogfest… I’ve had a blast reading all of the posts, and my TBR list has grown by leaps and bounds!

Cover Reveal: ONE, TWO, THREE by Elodie Nowodazkij

Today I’m thrilled to help reveal the cover of my friend Elodie Nowodazkij‘s contemporary YA debut novel One, Two, Three (June 26, 2014).

Here’s some information on Elodie:

Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she’d never lose her French accent. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Modern Language & Linguistics, and later earned master’s degrees in German Cultural Studies and European Studies. Unbeknownst to her professors, she sometimes drafted stories in class. Now she lives in Germany with her husband and their cat (who doesn’t seem to realize he’s not human), and uses her commuting time to write the stories swirling in her head. She’s also a serial smiley user. One, Two, Three is her first novel.

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*Learn more about Elodie’s upcoming releases by subscribing to her newsletter.*

And here’s the synopsis of One, Two, Three:

When seventeen-year-old Natalya’s dreams of being a ballerina are killed in a car accident along with her father, she must choose: shut down—like her mother—or open up to love.

Last year, Natalya was attending the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Last year, she was well on her way to becoming a professional ballerina. Last year, her father was still alive. But a car crash changed all that—and Natalya can’t stop blaming herself. Now, she goes to a regular high school in New Jersey; lives with her one-time prima ballerina, now alcoholic mother; and has no hope of a dance career. At her new school, however, sexy soccer player Antonio sees a brighter future for Natalya, or at least a more pleasant present, and his patient charms eventually draw her out of her shell. But when upsetting secrets come to light and Tonio’s own problems draw her in, Natalya shuts down again, this time turning to alcohol herself.

Can Natalya learn to trust Antonio before she loses him—and destroys herself?

Sounds sad and intense and romantic, right? Right up my alley!
Ready to see the cover?!

ONE TWO THREE COVER

Isn’t it gorgeous? I can feel Natalya’s brokenness just looking at it.

And, because Elodie is amazing, she’s hosting a giveaway in celebration of One, Two, Three‘s cover reveal. Up for grabs: gift cards, an autographed ARC of One, Two, Three, ebook copies of One, Two, Three, and a charitable donation to the classroom book project of the winner’s choice. Enter by clicking the link below!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Elodie Nowodazkij’s Blog
Elodie Nowodazkij’s Twitter
Elodie Nowodazkij Goodreads

Tell me… What do you think of One, Two, Three‘s cover? 

CREED Cover Reveal!

I’m so very excited to help my friends Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie reveal the cover of their young adult novel, Creed (November, 2014 from Flux)!

Three days.
Three of us went in.
Three of us came out.
None of us even a shadow of who we once were.

Dee Langley is seventeen and mere months away from total freedom and a life where state social workers, counselors, and foster parents don’t dictate her every move. She has spent years trying to eke out a normal existence, hiding from her past and walking the tenuous line between denial and self-preservation. A weekend away with her boyfriend, Luke, and his brother, Mike, seems like the perfect opportunity to forget and start over. Little does Dee know that she’s just trading one hell for another.

 When an unexpected storm and a lack of gas force their car off the road, Dee, Luke, and Mike find themselves with no other choice but to wander into the nearby town of Purity Springs for help. But it’s not good Samaritans they find, but rather complete and utter silence, every store and every house abandoned. Forced to seek shelter in one of the deserted homes, they uncover a disturbing book with explicit instructions on how to correctly rear a child, complete with a hand written record of its use. It’s not until the next morning, however, that they discover the alarming truth – the town isn’t abandoned; it is populated by a deadly cult, and the leader, Elijah Hawkins, has plans for the three of them. The group’s only hope for survival lies in the hands of Elijah’s son, Joseph. But is Joseph really their ticket to freedom or is his game just as deadly as his father’s?

Sounds incredible, right? I’ve been desperate to read this story since I heard about its sale, and now that I’ve seen its cover, well, I’ll be pre-ordering as soon as the option is available! But before I show YOU the cover, here’s some information on Creed‘s co-authors, Trisha and Lindsay…

Trisha Leaver resides on Cape Cod with her husband, three children and one rather excitable black lab. She spent most of her childhood living inside her own mind, creating characters and stories that only a child’s imagination could dream up. She now spends her days breathing life into those characters, writing realistic fiction for young adults. Today, Trisha is a free-lance editor and a proud member of the SCBWI, YA Scream Queens, The Horror Writers Association, TheBookYards, and OneFourKidLit, a community of authors with debuts upcoming in 2014. More information about her solo and co-authored projects can be found at the links below.

TrishaWebsite * Facebook * Twitter * Blog

 Lindsay Currie lives in Chicago, Illinois with one incredibly patient hubby, three amazing kids and one adorable, but irreverent Bullmastiff named Sam. She graduated from Knox College in the heart of the Midwest and has been writing for as long as she can remember. She is a freelance editor for young adult, new adult and middle grade fiction, and is a proud member of SCBWI, The Horror Writers Association, The YA Scream Queens, The BookYard and OneFourKidLit, a community of authors with debuts upcoming in 2014. More information can be found at the links below.

LindsayWebsite * Facebook * Twitter

And now, FINALLY, the cover of Creed

Creed final cover

Fantastic, right? Perfectly fitting to the story’s creepy-sounding summary. So desolate and mysterious, and I absolutely love the aged treatment. It’s like a vintage horror novel! So… What do you think?

Mark Creed as To-Read on Goodreads
Vote for Creed on the 2014 Debut Authors Challenge

A Cover Reveal…

I’ve spoken about my talented and generous friend Christa Desir before. Her debut novel, Fault Line, came out a few weeks ago and I reviewed it HERE. It’s a difficult book, but an incredibly important book, and that’s what I’ve come to expect from Christa: unflinching and compelling stories that speak not just to teenagers, but to readers of all ages.

Christa’s sophomore novel is called Bleed Like Me. It’s due to release Fall, 2014 from Simon Pulse. I read an early version awhile back and it is fantastic. Fearless and tragic and intense, a little bit romantic and a lot horrifying, Bleed Like Me is a story about two damaged teenagers who find an obsessive sort of love in each other. It’s everything a dark YA novel should be. I’m thrilled that its cover so perfectly reflects its tone and quality. But first, Bleed Like Me‘s summary…

Seventeen-year-old Amelia Gannon is overwhelmed. Her parents are pre-occupied with her high-needs adopted brothers, her best friend is more interested in bumming cigarettes than bonding, and her job at the hardware store feels more and more like a life sentence. She finds an escape in troubled new guy, Michael Brooks. He’s obnoxious, possessive, and addictive. Gannon lets him insert himself into her life, and Brooks is just as addicted to her as she is to him. Swept into an intense relationship, their passion ultimately becomes dangerous to them both.

And beautiful the cover…

BLEED

What I love… The stark white background. The clean font (which matches Fault Line‘s). The tagline: Their worst addiction is each other. The bold red heart, and the way it’s broken in half. And the blood-like drip-drop. Mesmerizing.

Gorgeous, right? This cover is going to stand out on bookstore shelves everywhere. If you want to give Christa some cover love, her blog is HERE (she’s a brilliant blogger — I recommend following if you’re not already!). Find Christa on Twitter HERE. And add Bleed Like Me on Goodreads HERE.

What do you think of Bleed Like Me‘s cover?
What’s your favorite recently-released cover?

Bookanista Rec :: AUDREY, WAIT!

Today’s Bookanista recommendation is
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

From GoodreadsCalifornia high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes, “Audrey, Wait!” a break-up song that’s so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous! Now rabid fans are invading her school. People is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. (And the Internet is documenting her every move!) Audrey can’t hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi. Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is.

The above summary describes Audrey, Wait! as a wild ride, and that’s exactly what it is. I had a blast following along with Audrey’s fast-paced misadventures, and cheering her on through her blunders and bloopers. This book is a perfect mix of fun and heart and substance, and it’s a definite new favorite.

There are a million things to love about this novel: the music, the humor (the humor!), the outlandish supporting characters, the romance, and the descriptions of fashion and friendships and feelings. But the number one stand-out element of Audrey, Wait! is its voice. It’s contemporary YA perfection. There’s swearing and slang and spirit, but there’s also a level of nuance and sophistication that’s hard to describe. Audrey is wry and cheeky and observant, and she pretty much always says exactly what she wants to say, when she wants to say it. She is utterly unique, and her personality soars off the page. Behold…

“You have to turn it up so that your chest shakes and the drums get in between your ribs like a heartbeat and the bass goes up your spine and fizzles your brain and all you can do is dance or spin in a circle or just scream along because you know that however this music makes you feel, it’s exactly right.”

And…

“I liked James and James liked me and we both knew it and if you think about it, that’s like a miracle. A real miracle. Everyone says that babies are miracles, and don’t get me wrong, I love cute little pudgy babies, but if you think about it, me having a baby right now would not be a miracle. At all. But finding someone that gets me? That’s the real work. That’s where the miracles are.”

See? That’s just a tiny sampling of the awesomeness of this book. Audrey, Wait! is like nothing I’ve read before, and it’s a fantastic example of how absolutely real and relevant young adult literature can be. I highly recommend it!

Don’t forget to check out what my fellow Bookanistas are up to:

Lenore Appelhans showers praise for HALF LIVES by Sara Grant

Shari Arnold gushes about HYSTERIA by Megan Miranda

Shelli Johannes-Wells raves about RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA by Kimberly McCreight

Shannon Messenger adores THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Kasie West

Tracey Neithercott is mad for EARTHBOUND by Aprilynne Pike

Kimberly Sabatini dishes about ROSE UNDER FIRE by Elizabeth Wein

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