Tag Archives: The Selective Collective

The Selective Collective features LOUD AWAKE AND LOST: Page to Screen

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The Selective Collective reads LOUD AWAKE AND LOST

The Selective Collective features LOUD AWAKE AND LOST by ADELE GRIFFIN provided to us by Random House for review and book club discussion!

For my part in this Selective Collective post, I’ve got what used to be our Casting Call feature, but is now called PAGE TO SCREEN. Page to Screen will still keep our initial idea of fan casting, but also bringing more elements into the feature such as setting, thoughts of how best to adapt the book, and even soundtracks to really bring this book to life as if we were adapting it as a TV show or movie.

Before we jump in, here’s a little info on the book:

Loud Awake and LostPublishing Info: November 12th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Physical ARC provided to us by Random House for review and use for the Selective Collective promotions

Book Synopsis: LOUD. There was an accident. Ember knows at least that much. She was driving. The car was totaled. She suffered back injuries and brain trauma. But she is alive. That’s the only thing left she can cling to.

AWAKE. Eight months later, Ember feels broken. The pieces of her former self no longer fit together. She can’t even remember the six weeks of her life leading up to the accident. Where was she going? Who was she with? And what happened during those six weeks that her friends and family won’t talk about?

LOST. One by one, Ember discovers the answers to these questions, like a twisted game of dominos. And little by little, the person she used to be slips further and further away. — From Goodreads.com

Bringing LOUD AWAKE AND LOST from PAGE TO SCREEN…

What would be the best adaptation? I think this would definitely be a great movie! I felt like a lot of the book was very visual and I can totally see it playing out on the big screen. From a gory visual of Ember’s post-accident scars to her interaction with her old dancer friends to the graffiti tags she keeps finding around town, I think the images from the book would really be powerful on screen. Not spoilers but there IS a bit of a surprise in the end of the book that I really think could be played up with cinematic creativity as well!

ON THE SET

Ember lives in New York City and I really had some specific images in mind for a few places she visited!

THE BRIDGE

 The accident that Ember was in occurred on a bridge so where does my brain go? One Tree Hill of course. I’m not saying the movie producers would have to go to this location but this is sort of what I pictured. Actually, I had two very different images in my head of what the bridge looked like, but this one had an actual photo 🙂

NEW YORK CITY APARTMENTS

      

Ember takes various trips into the city and okay, yes, I’ve taken ONE trip into New York City but never past the touristy spots but I have a notion of what big city apartments look like (also picking from my memory of Chicago). I got a nice city feel in the story and definitely had some solid pictures in my mind!

AREACODE ROOFTOP

A significant location in the book is a fire escape leading up to the rooftop of a club called Areacode. We find this location come into play several times in the book and this is roughly what I pictured it to look like!

 CASTING CALL: LOUD AWAKE AND LOST

Ember: Hannah Marks
You may have seen her in… Accepted, Weeds, Necessary Roughness
I actually know her mostly from being Justin Long’s little sister in Accepted and from the TV show Weeds, but I think Hannah Marks could be a really good Ember! She’s about what I was picturing when I was envisioning Ember. That also may be in part because of our cover model… I think the two girls don’t look identical, but I see some similarities.

Kai: Tyler Posey
You may have seen him in… Teen Wolf, Brothers and Sisters, Lincoln Heights, Maid in Manhattan (awww)
I think Tyler Posey could be a good Kai! Kais’s got some Hispanic roots and Tyler Posey is half-Mexican but he’s really pretty close to how I pictured Ember’s new guy Kai. He looks incredibly charming, handsome, and someone that Ember would totally be into!

Hope you enjoyed my choices for PAGE TO SCREEN! We’d love to hear how you would adapt LOUD AWAKE AND LOST! Do you see it as a movie? A TV show? Who would be the stars?

And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of INK so please go visit their take on the book as well!

Tee @ YA Crush  Loud Awake and Lost Read Alikes
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  Round Table: Group Discussion
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  Author Profile & Giveaway!
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  Review: Loud Awake and Lost

 

 

The Selective Collective: One Year Anniversary!

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The Selective Collective celebrates one year!

Oh, happy day! We at The Selective Collective are celebrating our one year anniversary! Yep. One year ago in October 2012, we transformed our original idea of “Casting Call” (which was essentially us dreamcasting our favorite books) into a full promotional feature called The Selective Collective!

It’s been a wonderful year reading and discussing books with these ladies and I am SO grateful they took me under their wing! Last year when they asked me to join the group, I was just a baby blogger still, only 6 months under my belt and they liked me and trusted me enough to invite me into their group and I cannot tell you how honored that made me feel!!! I’ve loved working with them and I think my favorite thing about any of our reads is our Round Table discussions because we get to know so much more about each other and how we felt about the book.

Of course, we also have CRAZY email conversations that frequently have nothing to do with reading too… Like how are days are going, crazy work situations, and celebrity crushes. They are such a wonderful group of ladies with such kind hearts! We even did a Selective Collective gift exchange for Christmas and we had an absolute blast picking out gifts for each other because it all meant so much!

For our anniversary celebration, we’re each writing a special post in honor of one year including what were our favorite books, special moments over this past year, and each blog is also hosting a small giveaway!

Let’s kick off this post by first telling you my favorite books read with The Selective Collective this year!

favorites

          

Encounters

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Lauren Morrill & Lenore Appelhans
Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL

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Rainbow Rowell
BEA, New York

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Sandie and I got to meet at BEA! The first member of The Selective Collective I got to meet in person!

I also got to meet Lauren Myracle (at BEA & Anderson’s) and Amanda Sun (at BEA) but didn’t get photos with/of them! 

It’s been a phenomenal year and we look forward to what 2014 holds for us! Here’s a sneak peek at what we have coming up starting in November:

  • November: Loud Awake and Lost by Adele Griffin (Random House/Knopf Books for Young Readers)
  • December: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine (Harper Teen/Balzer + Bray)
  • January: Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill (Random House/Delacourte)

I’m so excited to work with them on many, many more books! Another big round of thanks to all of the authors that we’ve worked with! They are so amazing and so kind and I can’t tell you how much fun we’ve had reading their books and being able to do Q&A on their writing!
We also want to give a HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you to all of the publishers, publicists, and marketing agents who have helped us make The Selective Collective such a huge success for us! We would not be able to do it without their support and generosity for all of the ARCs, finished copies, giveaways, and author partnerships!

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Each of the blogs at the Selective Collective is giving away some of the books we’ve read this year! Here are the books I have to give away! 🙂

    

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tee @ YA Crush  Monday, October 28, 2013
Kristina @ Gone Pecan  Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  Thursday, October 31, 2013

 

 

The Selective Collective features The F-It List: Review

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The Selective Collective reads THE F-IT LIST by JULIE HALPERN

The Selective Collective features THE F-IT LIST by JULIE HALPERN, provided to us by Feiwel & Friends for review and use in The Selective Collective feature!

Before I dive into the review, here’s a little bit more about the book:

The Selective Collective features The F-It List: ReviewTitle: The F-It List by Julie Halpern
Publishing Info: November 12, 2013 by Random House Publishing Group
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: October 19, 2013

    With her signature heart and humor, Julie Halpern explores a strained friendship strengthened by one girl’s battle with cancer.
    Alex’s father recently died in a car accident. And on the night of his funeral, her best friend Becca slept with Alex’s boyfriend. So things aren’t great. Alex steps away from her friendship with Becca and focuses on her family.
    But when Alex finally decides to forgive Becca, she finds out something that will change her world again—Becca has cancer.
    So what do you do when your best friend has cancer? You help her shave her head. And then you take her bucket list and try to fulfill it on her behalf. Because if that’s all you can do to help your ailing friend—you do it.

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I loved the balance of THE F-IT IT LIST. Obviously going into it, I knew the book was about our main character Alex who finds out that her best friend Becca has cancer which kind of scared me. I was afraid I was in for an emotional ride that would leave me in shambles, but Julie Halpern has a unique way of writing that adds a lot of quirk and fun into her characters to keep a good balance between the positive and the heavy hitting topic of cancer. Both the highs and the lows in the book were equally addressed and I really got to see a wide range of realistic situations.

I loved the loyalty and best friendship between Alex and Becca. Even though they were on the outs for a long time due to what Becca did, they truly are best friends and when it may be a matter of life or death (although Alex doesn’t like hearing that), they’re able to mend their friendship. Alex is truly there for Becca when she needs it most and I loved seeing how deep their friendship really is, especially when it comes to completing tasks on Becca’s “F-It List” — her own personal version of a bucket list. Alex takes on the F-It List with determination and helps Becca complete all the items she can for her — or helps her do the ones she can herself — and I think the list itself really helps bring them even closer.

I loved how unconventional Alex’s character was, as well as Leo’s, and how well they worked together. Their relationship is born from an extreme love of horror movies and curiosity and it totally works. I wouldn’t say Leo Dietz is swoony, but he’s more the kind of character who draws you in because he’s a little bit mysterious, a little bit intimidating, and a little bit more conventional than Alex even is. I was definitely intrigued to see what he was all about and if his relationship with Alex would stick or if it would end in total disaster. I felt like the two of them together worked in a very strange way and just the slightest thing could set them off on a dangerous course so I was definitely intrigued by the two of them!

I also really enjoyed Alex’s family dynamic. We meet her shortly after her father has died in a tragic accident so your heart just goes out to the family and it’s a very precarious moment to meet them in. Alex isn’t as emotional as her mother so however she’s handling her father’s death isn’t really seen from an outsider’s POV… But she also has a steady job that helps support her family and she still loves and cares for her mom and her two brothers. I really liked the scenes with her family all together and how they interacted and affected Alex’s decisions in life.

I will issue a heads up that the book has a lot of sexual activity and we’re introduced to it right off the bat. It may be enough to turn some readers off if they’re not prepared for it so just make sure you’re aware of that before you start! The back of the ARC said for ages thirteen and up, but I think the content is much too mature for thirteen. I actually really liked that the language didn’t shy away from lots and lots of swearing (the book IS called THE F-IT LIST afterall, so you know what that’s short for) because well, that’s how we talked in high school (still do). If you’re looking to recommend this to other teens though, just be aware of those two things before you do! Oh, and there’s also a complete copy of Becca’s F-It list in the back of the book (or at least, there was in my ARC) if you want to check it out before you start, just to get a feel for the book.

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Alex // Character Obsessions: Horror, horror, and more horror; helping Becca complete her F-It List.
I really liked Alex right off the bat. She seemed totally fearless and didn’t give a damn what anyone else thought of her. I thought it was really nice to see a “different” kind of main character and someone less conventional. It was really interesting to see the world from her eyes and the different relationships she formed.
Becca // Character Obsessions: The F-It List, beating cancer, boys.
Becca definitely has a lot of spunk! Even as she’s fighting cancer, going through chemo, and getting radiation treatments, she’s still making jokes and even trying to keep Alex’s spirits up. She’s got a big of a flare for the drama, but she has so much heart. I really liked her!

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BOOKS LIKE THE F-IT LIST

(Click the cover to see my review!)

         Confessions     life after theft

Please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of THE F-IT LIST so please go visit their take on the book as well!

Tee @ YA Crush  Casting Call: The F-It List
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  Freebie
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  Round Table: The F-It List
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  Interview with Julie Halpern + Giveaway!

 

 

The Selective Collective features Fangirl: Cath’s TBR List

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The Selective Collective reads FANGIRL by RAINBOW ROWELL

The Selective Collective features FANGIRL by RAINBOW ROWELL, provided to us by St. Martin’s Press for review and use in The Selective Collective feature!

For my part in this Selective Collective post, I had the “freebie” selection meaning I get to do WHATEVER I WANT! *maniacal laugh* There were oh so many things I could do relating to FANGIRL, but ultimately — with the help of my fellow SC members — I decided on creating a TBR list for Cath. We KNOW she’s a fan of reading as well as writing and we feel like we could suggest some pretty awesome books for her to read!

Before we start suggesting other books, here’s a little bit more about FANGIRL:

FangirlTitle: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Publishing Info: September 10th 2013 by St. Martin’s Press
Source: Physical ARC provided to us by St. Martin’s Press for review and use for the Selective Collective promotions!

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
  Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .
  But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
  Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
  Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
  For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
  Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
  And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?  From Goodreads.com

CATH’S TBR LIST: Created by The Selective Collective

Dear Cath: We loved reading your story in FANGIRL and we couldn’t help but think of all of the books we loved and would love to recommend to you! Here are some of our top picks of books we think you’d enjoy and books you could relate to!

COLLEGE-LIKE FEELS

    

Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Where She Went by Gayle Forman
Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

Cath, here are some books we think you’ll get college-like feels from! JUST ONE DAY takes place the summer after high school and Allyson’s first years in college. We think you could relate a lot to some of her college woes and really sympathize with her! WHERE SHE WENT is more college-y as well, although it’s a step outside of traditional college with the characters in Julliard and… well… a band. SIZE 12 IS NOT FAT is actually an adult book, but it takes place at “New York College” with the main character Heather as the residence hall director. It’s a bit more light-hearted, full of comedy as well as mystery!

 

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

VAMPIRE ACADEMY and DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE might also give you some “university feels” but these have some awesome elements of paranormal involved as well! We know you enjoy the magic and the paranormal elements wrapped up in Simon Snow, so we thought you might enjoy these magical worlds as well!

SISTER STORIES

   

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt

We know you’re pretty tight with Wren! We actually don’t know that many books about twins… But we do have some pretty great suggestions for sister relationships! We all loved THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS which features some great sister relationships. THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE shows how main character Lennie deals with separating from her sister Bailey after her sudden death. GOING VINTAGE featured one of my favorite sister relationships in YA between Mallory and Ginnie and reminded me of my own relationship with my sister!

CHARACTER SOUL-SISTERS

  

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

We know you love to read and write, so we feel like these could be your character soul-sisters! Julia from MEANT TO BE and Anna from ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS are pretty studious girls and a bit timid in social situations at times. Anna’s got a major boy dilemma going on that we think you could relate to….. (*cough*Levi*nudge*wink*)

SIMON SNOW-ALIKES/WORLD BUILDING/WRITE US SOME FAN FICTION!

        

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Cinder by Marissa Meyer

You love Simon Snow so we want you to give these epic series a shot! SHADOW AND BONE, THRONE OF GLASS, CINDER… These are some of our ALL-TIME FAVORITES. The world building, the characters, the epic plots… We think these are right up your alley! Also… We may not mind you writing some fan-fiction for these as well.

Okay, Cath! Those are our carefully selected suggestions for you. We hope you enjoy some of these books! If you’ve already read any of them, we’d love to hear what you thought of them!!

Another thanks to Rainbow Rowell for all of her gracious participation in our Selective Collective posts and to St. Martin’s press for sending us copies of FANGIRL for review!

And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of FANGIRL so please go visit their take on the book as well!

Tee @ YA Crush  Rainbow Rowell Interview & Fangirl Giveaway! 
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  Review: Fangirl
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  From Page to Screen: Fangirl
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  Round Table: Fangirl

 

 

The Selective Collective features The Infinite Moment of Us: Round Table

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The Selective Collective reads THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US by LAUREN MYRACLE

The Selective Collective features THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US by LAUREN MYRACLE provided to us by Amulet Books for review and use in The Selective Collective feature!

For my part in this Selective Collective post, I got to ask some questions to the ladies of the Selective Collective and we talked about some main themes of THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US!

Before we jump in, here’s a little info on the book:

The Infinite Moment of UsPublishing Info: August 27th 2013 by Amulet Books
Source: Physical ARC provided to us by Amulet Books for review and use for the Selective Collective promotions

Book Synopsis: For as long as she can remember, Wren Gray’s goal has been to please her parents. But as high school graduation nears, so does an uncomfortable realization: Pleasing her parents once overlapped with pleasing herself, but now… not so much. Wren needs to honor her own desires, but how can she if she doesn’t even know what they are?

Charlie Parker, on the other hand, is painfully aware of his heart’s desire. A gentle boy with a troubled past, Charlie has loved Wren since the day he first saw her. But a girl like Wren would never fall for a guy like Charlie—at least not the sort of guy Charlie believes himself to be.

And yet certain things are written in the stars. And in the summer after high school, Wren and Charlie’s souls will collide. But souls are complicated, as are the bodies that house them… — From Goodreads.com

ROUND TABLE: Chatting with The Selective Collective about THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US!

Wren loves both of her parents but they have extremely high expectations for her and she struggles to stand up for herself or to put herself first. Was there ever a time that you had to step out of your comfort zone to stand up for something you truly believed was best for yourself?
[Kristina – Gone Pecan] “Honestly I’m 31 and still trying to force myself to step out of my comfort zone and put myself first.  I think growing up in the VERY family oriented setting like I did was both a blessing and a curse.  I always think of them and stand up for my family (unless I’m fighting with them) and will bend over backwards to help before I do anything for myself.  So with that being said, I really don’t have a strong memory of breaking that hold they have on me but I’m still working on it!”

Wren and Charlie happen to connect and the stars align. Do you believe in soul mates or that two people can be meant for each other?
[Sandie – Teen Lit Rocks] “Wren and Charlie happen to connect and the stars align. Do you believe  in soul mates or that two people can be meant for each other? The short answer is “No.” I believe two people can have an instant connection — an overwhelming chemistry that they can both feel intensely, or a set of circumstances that threw them together in ways they wouldn’t have had they been a minute earlier or later on a given day, but I don’t think that is the only pathway to love. The idea that there is only one person “out there” for you is not something I believe. I think love is more than a feeling; it’s a choice. You can “feel” in love with lots of people before you commit to someone for the rest of your life. Most of my married friends have stories about the “one who got away” or a “big love” that occurred before they were ready for it, so they didn’t end up with the person. That doesn’t belittle the love those people share with their eventual spouses or partners, but it just shows that you can feel “meant for” another person, and things still don’t work out. When it comes to YA novels, I appreciate both the Forever Love stories, and the This Person, This Love Changed My Life, But it Will Probably End in College stories — because the latter is even likelier than the former.”
[Brittany – The Book Addict’s Guide] Hmmm. I think there was a time when I liked the idea of soul mates and two people who were just meant for each other, but after thinking about it, I can’t possibly imagine that there is only just one person for you and you have to find that person. Not to be cheesy, but this quote from Friends honestly and truly sums up my feelings on it: “I don’t believe in soulmates, and I don’t think that you & I were destined to end up together. What I do believe is that we fell in love & that we work hard for our relationship.” (Monica Gellar on Friends)

Wren has never been a bad or disobedient daughter. Do you think there’s a reason (maybe not revealed to the readers) why her parents are so hard on her?
[Diana – Teen Lit Rocks] “I think that Wren’s parents are the types of parents who project their own dreams onto their children.  Since Wren is an only child she gets a double dose of it.   It’s not to say that all parents of only children are overly strict, but since there are no other children in the family, there is no one else to deflect some of their attention and expectations.  Wren has been an obedient child and an excellent student, so her parents had no reason to ever expect anything other than compliance from her.  I think that’s why they are totally shocked by what they feel is a total betrayal of everything they have taught her.
Her parent are also controlling, however I don’t think we really know why.  It could be because there is no other child or maybe that’s just their personality.  After all, parents with multiple children could also be equally controlling of what their kids do.
As a parent of two teens I can honestly say that I would be in total shock if I found out over the summer that my child had turned down a full scholarship to a prestigious university.  I would be so disappointed; after all that’s what I hope, that my kids will go far in this world.  We all want our kids to excel in something. Whether it’s academics, the arts, or sports, it’s a natural desire for parents.  So, while I did feel that Wren’s parents should’ve been more supportive, I could kind of understand where they were coming from.”

Charlie has a complicated… “relationship” with Starrla which often causes a rift between him and Wren. Do you think he was justified in the way he handled their complicated history? If you were Charlie, was there anything you would have done differently?
[Candice – The Grown-Up YA]
“First off…. I didn’t like the way Charlie handled his relationship with Starrla period. It’s like he was just dragging her own at some points. At others, it seemed like he wouldn’t break it off completely because in an odd way she was comfortable. They had a history, yes, but it wasn’t a good one. I think he saw that but didn’t really want to cut ties because of that history. All that being said, I wish he had ended it or handled it differently. I felt like he was kind of an ass to her about it and left his ‘breaking it off’ open ended instead of a definite ‘this is over’. I know Starrla wasn’t the best character and I didn’t feel any sympathy for her (yeah I’m cold hearted), I didn’t like how Charlie treated her.”
[Brittany – The Book Addict’s Guide] “Previous relationships that are still around as friendships can be VERY tricky to handle… But I do think Charlie could have handled it a lot differently! It’s true — he and Starrla had a connection simply because they both had complicated and traumatic childhoods. It’s something that not a lot of his friends may be able to understand… But he was also clearly putting himself out there to be with Wren and I think he needed to show a little more respect for Wren’s feelings by pushing back to Starrla and having her back off. I don’t think Wren should have the right to say ‘You can’t see her anymore at all’ but Charlie has to set those boundaries so their friendship STAYS in the friend zone and Starrla doesn’t keep making moves on him.”

Wren and Charlie both grew a lot over the course of the book. What were you most impressed with regarding their changes?
[Candice – The Grown-Up YA] “I think I was most impressed with the fact that Wren stood up for herself to her parents. I think everyone goes through this moment of ‘I have to do what’s right for me’ and was happy that she was able to do this. Yes, it hurt both her and her parents, but I think in the long run it would have hurt both parties more had she just gone along with what they wanted her to do. For Charlie, though, I think his changes were more subtle. I think he saw what toxic relationships were doing to him and, because of his relationship with Wren, he wanted to begin moving away from them. I don’t think he fully changed/grew throughout the book, but rather set up a good foundation so that he could begin to change more for the better.”

Sex can often be a touchy topic in YA novels and Lauren Myracle definitely doesn’t shy away from the sensitive subjects, but she also includes a foreword to make her readers aware of this. What do you think the general expectation is for content in young adult books? Do you think there’s a certain “protocol” that authors should abide by or procedures they should follow if content may lean more towards “taboo”?
[Kristina – Gone Pecan] “I know teens have sex.  I mean, I know some of them do. . .everyone makes a personal choice so some might not be doing anything but the amount that is in books today does seem a bit much.  I know “times have changed” but even the amount isn’t as bad as how descriptive it can and does get.  Maybe its more because I’m an adult reading these books and it bothers me for young people to be doing these things but I also read YA to recommend them to my teenage niece and cousin so I can tell you I would feel extremely uncomfortable telling them to read books that have highly detailed scenes.  Every author is different and I don’t think there really should be a protocol so to speak just give fair warning for parents that maybe want to censor what their kids are reading till they get a bit older.”
[Tee – YA Crush] “I think generally most people assume that either sex will be mentioned in YA books and that, quite possibly, there may even be main characters engaging in sexual activity. I’m not sure people expect to see explicit detail though,  and so I appreciate that Myracle wrote the forward she did about the content of Infinte. At the same time, without sounding incredibly prudish, I think we need to ask ourselves why teens as young as fourteen (this book is listed as 14 and up) need such explicit sexual detail. I don’t think we should ever shy away from the subject, but I’m not sure we (at any age, really) need to know how hard someone’s nipples are or what sexual position they just tried–but maybe it’s just me. In my experience, an MC can be sexually active, it can still be a major event in her life or a regular pattern of activity for her, and that can still be portrayed in a positive light without such graphic detail. As a parent, and as an avid reader of YA, I appreciate any attempt an author or publisher makes to keep me informed about the more controversial content of a book, without confining them from sharing their story in full.”

And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US so please go visit their take on the book as well!

Tee @ YA Crush  Review: The Infinite Moment of Us
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  Taking TIMoU From Page to Screen
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  Freebie! 
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  Q&A with Lauren Myracle & Giveaway!

 

 

The Selective Collective features 45 POUNDS: Interview with K.A. Barson & Giveaway!

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The Selective Collective reads 45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS) by K.A. BARSON!

The Selective Collective features 45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS) by K.A. BARSON provided to us by Viking Juvenile for review and use in The Selective Collective feature!

For my part in this Selective Collective post, I was fortunate enough to interview author K.A. Barson about her new book, 45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS)!

Before we jump in, here’s a little info on the book:

45 PoundsPublishing Info: July 11th 2013 by Viking Juvenile
Source: Physical ARC provided to us by Viking Juvenile/Penguin Teen for review and use for the Selective Collective promotions

Book Synopsis: Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:
She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.
Welcome to the world of infomercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons,  embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.
And there’s one more thing. It’s all about  feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up! — From Goodreads.com

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR K.A. BARSON

For my portion of the Selective Collective this month, I got to interview the author of 45 POUNDS, K.A. Barson! This interview was actually tougher than I thought. While I felt 45 POUNDS to still carry a lighter tone and it had several funny moments, there were so many serious topics and issues as well. I did my best to ask some important questions as well as getting a little more insight about the book!

SC: Ann often describes diets as roller coasters which end up sending her on emotional roller coasters as well. Was it hard to write such strong high and low points along Ann’s diet journey as well as her personal life?

KAB: Unfortunately, it wasn’t. I, too, have been on diet/emotional roller coasters my whole life. It’s something I still battle today. I hope I’ve matured some since I was Ann’s age, but the feelings are still very real to me. The hard part was trying to not make it feel real to the reader and not too melodramatic. I hope I succeeded.

SC: I feel like weight is a common issue in many women’s fiction/chick lit books, but isn’t as prevalent in young adult fiction. Was there any specific reason you chose to write this from a teenager’s point of view versus an adult struggling with the same issues?

KAB: I like writing from younger points of view because it’s during those years that we discover who we are and our place in the world. Sure, we continue to grow and develop beyond that (or at least we should), but I seem to relate more to the feelings and experiences of young people for some reason. I think that how they feel and what they have to say is valuable and universal. Every story I imagine has young protagonists.

SC: One thing I thought was really interesting was seeing how the concept of body image not only affected Ann but several people in her family as well. Do you think it’s important for parents to teach their kids about a healthy body image?

KAB: Yes, but I don’t think that’s easy to do, especially when the adults are people with their own body image issues. No matter how hard we try to model healthy habits and positive body image, kids have the ability to see truth. The only way it’ll truly be effective is if we can accept ourselves and each other. That’s tough to do when many of us have lived so many years of self-degradation that it becomes part of us.

SC: Ann goes through some physical changes thanks to her diet, but I think more importantly were her changes in attitude. What do you think is the biggest obstacle she has to overcome?

KAB: The biggest obstacle is how she imagines people see her. A lot of that comes from her misinterpretation of her mother’s words and behavior. Her mother has good intentions, but her own issues. Ann sees herself through that same skewed lens. Once she can let go of perceived expectations and unrealistic diets and do the best she can to be healthy, she gets better results, both physically and emotionally. 

SC: Ann’s diet is taken on as a personal struggle, but something she can control, whereas the changes in her friendships were (mostly) beyond her grasp. Do you think these two big changes were connected in any way?

KAB: I think so. Because Ann is an emotional eater, when things out of her control happen, she tends to hide in front of the TV with snacks or in her car in the Mondo Burger drive-thru. Once Ann takes responsibility for the things she can control, she’s able to deal with and process the things she can’t control much better. 

SC: I really loved Raynee’s character! I was so glad to see Ann making a new friend to help support her without her even having to ask. Was there a reason you chose to introduce a new friend to Ann as she’s drifting apart from her old best friend versus keeping Cassie as the best friend figure?

KAB: Ann isn’t a social outcast, but she’s lived in her friend Cassie’s shadow. Once Cassie drifts away, Ann kind of has to figure out friendships on her own. Her relationship with Raynee develops as they work together, which is often how friendships grow. It’s organic, and fun, too.


SC: 45 POUNDS is about a serious topic, but there also a sense of lightness that is maintained throughout the entire book. Was it difficult to maintain that balance?

KAB: Sometimes it is hard to keep the balance. I think light humor was needed so the book wasn’t a total downer, but humor can dilute the emotion, too. I wanted the reader to feel the depth of Ann’s feelings, but also be able to come up for air and laugh a little too. Only readers can decide if it worked. I hope so.

A BIG BIG thank you for that wonderful interview! I feel like we got to know the book AND the author better and I think that really helps build a stronger emotional connection to the story as well.

GIVEAWAY

We also have a giveaway! One lucky winner will win a signed copy of 45 POUNDS from author K.A. Barson!! 
Sorry, this is for US/Canada entries only. Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter! The giveaway will be open for one week.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of 45 POUNDS so please go visit their take on the book as well!

Tee @ YA Crush  Roundtable: Talking about 45 Pounds (More or Less)
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  Dieting Through the Ages
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  Review: 45 Pounds (More or Less)
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  45 Pounds: Page to Screen

 

 

The Selective Collective features INK: Page to Screen

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The Selective Collective reads INK by AMANDA SUN

The Selective Collective features INK by AMANDA SUN provided to us by Harlequin Teen for review and book club discussion!

For my part in this Selective Collective post, I’ve got what used to be our Casting Call feature, but we’re changing things up a bit around here! Firstly, you might notice our new banner which I am SUPER excited for! Originally, we came up with a tagline that was geared more toward fierce female main characters which we always enjoy, but as we’ve been reading more and more books for The Selective Collective, we’ve found that the books we tend to fall in love with have been mostly contemporaries. Don’t get me wrong, these girls can still be pretty fierce even if they’re not fighting dystopian governments or discovering supernatural powers, but we thought the tagline wasn’t quite as relevant for the books we started leaning towards. Instead, we came up with this new banner that just plain looks nice! 🙂

Second, we’ve updated our Casting Call feature, evolving it into PAGE TO SCREEN. Page to Screen will still keep our initial idea of fan casting, but also bringing more elements into the feature such as setting, thoughts of how best to adapt the book, and even soundtracks to really bring this book to life as if we were adapting it as a TV show or movie.

Before we jump in, here’s a little info on the book:

InkPublishing Info: June 25th 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Source: Physical ARC provided to us by Harlequin Teen for review and use for the Selective Collective promotions

Book Synopsis: On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.
Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets.
Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive. — From Goodreads.com

Bringing INK from PAGE TO SCREEN…

What would be the best adaptation? I know usually when we’ve done our “Casting Call” feature in the past, we’ve always talked about the book being adapted as a movie. With so many books being adapted as TV shows recently (or were in talks of being adapted as TV shows at one point in time) such as Delirium, The Selection, Vampire Diaries and of course big adult series like True Blood and Game of Thrones, I really think INK could do well as a TV series!
But then the question is… what network would it work best with? I thought about SyFy because of the paranormal aspect of it, but it’s really more mythology-related then science-fiction so SyFy was kind of iffy for me. Ultimately, I think if TV show writers were to focus on familial and romantic relationships, delve more into the sense of being out of place in Japan, and get some awesome special effects from the drawings, you know what… I’m kind of leaning towards the CW. Traditionally I think of the CW as more of a “contemporary” channel, so to speak. Not a lot of paranormal or fantasy going on there BUT with the Vampire Diaries being such a major show for their network, I think building on that could really help INK fit in nicely!

ON THE SET

I don’t know much about Japan, but clearly we’ve GOT to be someplace with cherry blossoms. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to see them in full bloom because that’s got to be gorgeous.

Washington D.C.: Don’t want to film all the way in Japan? Washington D.C. might be a nice alternative! D.C. is well-known for its cherry blossom trees and they have Japan-America Society of Washington D.C. that sponsors Sakura Matasuri which is an annual Japanese street festival. Each year, the festival takes place during prime cherry blossom season which sounds really amazing!
Macon, GA: Georgia? You bet! Macon, Georgia has over 300,000 cherry trees within the city and they have a 10-day international cherry blossom festival each year in March. The architecture may not be correct, but the trees!!
Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA/Japantown, San Francisco, CA/Japantown, San Jose, CA: Filming in Japan too far out of reach? These may be the next best thing in the US. There are three Japantowns (according to the good old stand-by Wikipedia) in California which could be very convenient to try to get a Japanese-feel within the United States!

 CASTING CALL: INK

Katie: Nicola Peltz
You may have seen her in… The Last Airbender (2010), Bates Motel (2013 TV)
I think she looks a little like the artwork on the cover, no? (And not just because of the position of these pictures… Although it helps!) I know her hair is naturally brown, but it’s dyed blonde for Bates Motel so when I was looking for a girl to play Katie and saw her face, I just knew she was the right choice! I think she could bring a lot of personality to show both Katie’s discomfort with being out of place in Japan as well as a sense of boldness when she first confronts Tomo and begins to find out his secrets.

Tomo: Kengo Kora
You may have seen him in… Well, to be honest, unless you’re watching Japanese cinema or TV, you probably haven’t seen him! He’s actually in his 20s but he LOOKS like a teenager. Even reaching out to the rest of my SC gals, we hard a hard time coming up with an actor for Tomo! Most of the Asian-American actors I could think of were way too old and the younger ones just didn’t fit the part in my mind. With help, we decided to go with Japanese actor Kengo Kora… His haircut just reminded me of Tomo and that’s all it took for me to be sold! If you have any ideas of who to cast, we would love to hear!

Hope you enjoyed my choices for our newly modified feature, PAGE TO SCREEN! We’d love to hear how you would adapt INK! Do you see it as a movie? A TV show? Who would be the stars?

And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of INK so please go visit their take on the book as well!

Tee @ YA Crush  Freebie: Two Tickets to Paradise!
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  Review: INK
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  Roundtable: The SC talks about INK!
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  Q&A With Amanda Sun & INK Giveaway!

 

 

The Selective Collective features The Book of Broken Hearts: Favorite Father-Daughter Relationships in YA

The Selective Collective reads THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS by SARAH OCKLER

The Selective Collective features THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS by SARAH OCKLER, provided to us by Simon Pulse for review and book club discussion. For my part in this Selective Collective post, I had the “freebie” which means I get to talk about whatever I want! The only problem was, I was SO involved and invested in this book that I literally couldn’t think clearly so I turned to my fellow SC members for help. Sandie suggested talking about father-daughter relationships in YA and it was just such the perfect topic for this book.

Before I jump into that, here’s a little background on THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS to bring you into our discussion today:

The Book of Broken Hearts - Sarah OcklerCompleted: May 18, 2013
Publishing Info: May 21st 2013 by Simon Pulse
Source: Hardcover copies provided to us by Simon Teen for review and use for the Selective Collective feature

“Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. She’s seen the tears and disasters that dating a Vargas boy can cause, and she swore an oath—with candles and a contract and everything—to never have anything to do with one.
Now Jude is the only sister still living at home, and she’s spending the summer helping her ailing father restore his vintage motorcycle—which means hiring a mechanic to help out. Is it Jude’s fault he happens to be cute? And surprisingly sweet? And a Vargas?
Jude tells herself it’s strictly bike business with Emilio. Her sisters will never find out, and Jude can spot those flirty little Vargas tricks a mile away—no way would she fall for them. But Jude’s defenses are crumbling, and if history is destined to repeat itself, she’s speeding toward some serious heartbreak…unless her sisters were wrong?
Jude may have taken an oath, but she’s beginning to think that when it comes to love, some promises might be worth breaking.” — From Goodreads

What you don’t get from this synopsis is that Jude’s father is suffering from Early Onset Alzheimer’s. This is a HUGE part of the book and one that totally wrecked my heart. All of the characters in this book felt so real to me that it was absolutely heartbreaking to watch Jude and her family deal with the trials and tribulations of Alzheimer’s and how it really can bring your family closer and tear it apart all at the same time.

Since Jude knows she has very little time left with a lucid father, she willingly spends her summer before college taking care of him, keeping an eye on him, and helping him restore his old motorcycle. I absolutely loved the relationship that they had in this book and I really love when such touching father-daughter relationships are present in YA books.

I gathered up some of my favorite father-daughter relationships in YA and a couple other members of the Selective Collective weighed in as well and here’s what we came up with!

The TWILIGHT Saga by Stephenie Meyer: YES, I am starting off with Twilight and DON’T RUN AWAY, you Twilight haters! Hear me out: Bella’s father Charlie was honestly one of my favorite characters in this entire series. He had no idea how to raise a teenage girl and I loved the awkward relationship that he and Bella had throughout the first book. I loved watching that relationship turn from awkward to a loving, caring father who became really invested in his daughter’s life. He was funny, sincere, and I kind of loved his essentially “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about all of the paranormal that was going on.

SWEET EVIL and SWEET PERIL by Wendy Higgins: Anna grew up without her parents, so when she finally gets in contact with her father, it’s a bit terrifying that he’s a Duke, meaning a full-fledged demon. What I love about this relationship is that he’s actually a good demon (oxymoron?) and really cares about Anna when all of the rules and natural instincts towards Neph say to use her merely as a worker for his cause. I’ve loved seeing the relationship between Anna and her father grown throughout these past two books and their relationship has become a much bigger part of this overall story than I first anticipated!

THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT by Jennifer E. Smith: Hadley has a really tough time with her dad in this book. He moved to London and is marrying another woman and isn’t really involved in Hadley’s life. When she’s asked to be a bridesmaid for his new fiance, she can’t really say no and ends up spending an awkward time with the two of them. Of course there’s the adorable romance in this book, but that relationship that started to evolve between Hadley and her father was a really touching part of the book for me! Not everything is mended and totally resolved, but this could have easily been a book about a horrible father and an evil stepmother and things start to take a turn for the better at the end of the book, leaving off on a promising note for Hadley and her father.

Here’s what my fellow SC members chose and I can say that I 100% agree! 

Sandie’s picks: “I know he’s dead, but I found Katniss’ relationship with her father to be pretty powerful, as well as Mia’s and her dad’s in IF I STAY.” 
I couldn’t agree more! Even though Katniss’ father is never physically present in the series, his memory and his impression at Katniss really shapes the books. She makes a lot of decisions based on what her father taught her and who he raised her to be.
I also love Mia’s dad in IF I STAY. He was such a lovable character for me and I loved that he was kind of a hip dad! I really can’t wait to re-read this book too.

Kristina’s pick: “I really liked Violet with her father (well I guess both her parents) in the Body Finder Series.  He is so understanding of her and her abilities.”
Agreed again! I’ve only read the first book of this series so far, but I really love how her dad (and her mom and her uncle) are so supportive. I feel like it’s always nice to see supportive parents and a solid family when so many YA books have parents who are divorced/are splitting up, or the kids are orphans. I really love the solid family dynamic!

Hope you enjoyed this feature for THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS! And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS so please go visit their take on the book as well!

Tee @ YA Crush  Interview with Sarah Ockler & Giveaway!
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  Round Table: The Book of Broken Hearts
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  Review: The Book of Broken Hearts
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  Casting Call

 

 

The Selective Collective features The Summer I Became a Nerd: Review

The Selective Collective reads
THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD by LEAH RAE MILLER

The Selective Collective features THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD by LEAH RAE MILLER, provided to us by Entangled Teen for review and book club discussion. For my part in this Selective Collective post, I get to review the awesomeness that was this book!

The Selective Collective features The Summer I Became a Nerd: ReviewTitle: The Summer I Became A Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Publishing Info: May 7, 2013 by Entangled
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 21, 2013

    On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl's body isn’t just unknown, it's anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.
Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.
  

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In the words of our main character Maddie, this book was positively “adorkable”. THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD is the perfect book for anyone who as even the slightest bit of inner-nerd dwelling inside of them. It was such a fun book and an absolute pleasure to read, simply because as a book nerd, I can totally identify with Maddie.

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Right off the bat, you know trouble is brewing when you find out that Maddie is hiding a huge secret from the entire world: she’s a HUGE nerd… and nobody knows it. She’s living a double life as the popular cheerleader and secret comic book-loving, sci-fi-watching nerd. I feel like as a YA book reviewer, I totally related to Maddie’s desire to hide her inner-dorkiness. It took me a long time to feel ready to tell people about my blog, even though I’m proud of it and honored to be a part of this amazing book blogging community. I felt like it was something so nerdy and that people would frown upon, and truthfully, I still have the urge to hide it sometimes, but I loved reading about Maddie and her relatable issue.

Our main squeeze in this book is Logan, a totally “adorkable” guy, as Maddie calls him — And I couldn’t agree more! I absolutely loved Logan for our crushable guy in this book. He was so sweet and delightfully nerdy and naturally, he became the person that Maddie really started to open up to about her hidden side. Right away you can totally tell these two are meant for each other due to their common interests and shared sense of humor. I loved seeing Maddie really start to reveal her true self. She got to let go and have fun without feeling like she was going to be ridiculed for being honest about her hobbies.

I thought the conflicts were done so well in this book, tackling popularity, the strength of true friends, and of course the classic relationship development. I loved that THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD makes it hip to be a total nerd! Guys, there is LARPing in this book (Live Action Role-Playing, for those of you who don’t know) and aside from geeking out with The Big Bang Theory and of course, the only LARPing I’ve seen in action in Role Models, I hadn’t really known much about it. To be honest…? A small piece of me kind of  wants to be a part of that! It would almost be like being in your own play or movie or some kind of improv and this book really helped shed a new light on that whole scene for me. It actually sounds like a lot of fun and realistically, I’m sure it’ll never happen. The idea of it sounds like a blast though!

If you’re looking for a fun and totally nerdy adventure, look no further! THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD is such a fun book and has some really great messages as well. I loved every element about it — the friendships, the romance, the families of the main characters, even the location because I really haven’t read a YA book set in Louisiana before. I definitely had a blast reading this and I absolutely recommend it!

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Maddie: I totally get where Maddie’s coming from. She had a traumatic teasing experience that made her want to cover up her inner-nerd and you know what. I can’t blame her! I loved watching her discover that people can accept her for who she is. She really grows up a lot in this book and learns some fantastic life-lessons that some people never learn in their own lives. I loved her as the main character!
Logan: Logan was so adorable. He sounds like the nerdy-hot guy I would have crushed on in high school. I was never into the jock guys so that totally would have been my choice! He had a super sweet personality too, but wasn’t totally love-struck that when things got rough, he didn’t let people walk all over him. Both Logan and Maddie felt like really real people to me and I think that’s why I enjoyed the book so much!
The parents: Oh my gosh, I loved the nerdy parents!!! It was so much fun to see them get their inner-geek on as well. I loved how much they were a part of the story.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD

     Blaze      Going Vintage

Hope my review gets you interested in THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD! And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD so please go visit their take on the book as well!

Tee @ YA Crush  Round Table: The Summer I Became A Nerd
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  Casting Call: The Summer I Became A Nerd
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  Author Q&A: Leah Rae Miller
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  From Zero to Hero

 

The Selective Collective talking about… THE MURMURINGS

The Selective Collective reads THE MURMURINGS by CARLY ANNE WEST

The Selective Collective features THE MURMURINGS by CARLY ANNE WEST, provided to us by Simon Pulse for review and book club discussion. For my part in this Selective Collective post, I’m hosting all of the ladies from The Selective Collective for a few book club-type questions for what we like to call “Round Table”!

Before we jump in, here’s a little info on the book:

The MurmuringsPublishing Info: March 5th 2013 by Simon Pulse
Source: ARC provided by Simon Pulse for review and use for the Selective Collective promotions

Book Synopsis: Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.
As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not…. — From Goodreads.com

ROUND TABLE: THE MURMURINGS

One really interesting aspect about The Murmurings is that the characters themselves can’t always distinguish if the murmurings and the visions are real or if they cross the line into a psychological manifestation. Was there ever a time in the book where you doubted the characters’ sanity? (Sophie? Nell? Adam?) How did it affect the story for you?
[Kristina – Gone Pecan] I think because of how the book starts I never doubted what Sophie was seeing or what Nell saw wasn’t real so when reading I assumed they were correct and  believed them.  As far as Adam I felt I couldn’t trust him completely since he was so withdrawn.  I found after reading the parts with him in them I had more questions then answers.
[Brittany – The Book Addict’s Guide] I have no idea why, but for some reason I was really convinced that everyone in this book was a little nuts haha. Maybe I was starting to lose it a little bit (just like I had suspected with the characters), creating plot lines that weren’t there! It actually made the story a little more interesting though because although completely manifested in my mind, I had that extra bit of suspense not knowing what was real and what wasn’t.

Even though Nell had already died before the book begins, we get to see a lot of her through the diary that was left behind for Sophie. How do you think her presence through the diary affected your take on the story?
[Brittany – The Book Addict’s Guide] It was definitely interesting getting to know Nell only through her diary entries! Even though we didn’t actually “meet” her in the book, I still feel like we got to know a lot about her personality and in a way, I felt like I knew her just as well as I knew Sophie! I liked that even though she was already gone, the memories and info that she leaves behind is still helping her little sister. I actually liked Nell’s character a lot and I wished I would have been able to see more of her.

How did you feel about Evan as the love interest in The Murmurings? Did you like the developing relationship between him & Sophie? Were you ever doubtful of his motives for getting to know her?
[Kristina – Gone Pecan] I liked Evan as a whole but I would have liked to have seen his thought process (maybe by part of the book being in his POV?)  as to why he was interested in Sophie.  What about her drew him in?  Reading the book as is there seems to be  an instant relationship without the build up and I would have liked a bit more on that end for the it to be completely believable.

Along with dipping  into the paranormal, some of The Murmurings is straight up horror. I  mean…. SEEING THINGS IN MIRRORS. One of my nightmares come true. Did any of the book affect you even after you put it down? (Mirrors freaked  me out for a little while after that. Thanks a lot.)
[Tee – YA Crush] Funny story: I was actually reading this book in the bathtub late at night (in my children’s bathroom surrounded by octopus towels and water-logged Barbies so as not to wake up my sleeping husband), when a particularly creepy thing happened in the story. I put it down, climbed out and was drying off, running through the scene in my head when it occurred to me that with the exception of the shower, the entire wall in front of me was a gigantic mirror. There was that rational, sane side of me that laughed about it, but honestly, there was also that mildly freaked out, over-tired part of me that started to get a little weirded out. I couldn’t get the images from the book out of my head. Needless to say, I rushed out of that bathroom as fast as possible (to a pitch-dark hallway! Eeeks!) and since that moment I have these minor funny/creepy twinges about what’s lurking behind me in the mirror (even the rearview mirror in the car). I think the author touched something that I didn’t realize was a fear of mine (or helped to create a new one!).
[Sandie – Teen Lit Rocks] I wasn’t freaked out about mirrors after reading the book, but I definitely think books, like movies, have the power to affect what I consider scary or creepy. What DID freak me out more than the creatures was the idea of my sister being killed and found in such an unnatural pose. That definitely unnerved me, since I’m so close to my sister, and so many other people in our lives have died — but none in a violent manner.
[Candice – The Grown-Up YA] Mirrors, and seeing things in them, used to freak me out as a kid!
Even now, mirrors in dark rooms still give me the shivers. I don’t know if it really scared me, but Nell’s journal really stayed with me. Finding out things after someone dies is hard enough, but finding out what they were struggling with or fearful of really seemed to hit home for me. I sometimes wonder what people will discover after I die, what thoughts or fears I might leave behind, and how it will affect those that find it. Not to be morbid or anything. Just saying.

Have you read the book? What do you guys think? We want to hear from you on these questions too!

Hope you had fun talking about THE MURMURINGS with us!!! And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of THE MURMURINGS so please go visit their take on the book as well!

Tee @ YA Crush  Casting Call: The Murmurings
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  Q&A with Carly Ann West & giveaway!
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  Ghosts All Around Us
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  Review: The Murmurings