Top Ten YA Novels I Hope to Read on the Beach this Summer

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As I write this I’m lying in front of a fan wearing as few clothes as possible, so it must be summer. And even though I’m not happy about putting up with the humidity and the mosquitos and all the New York summer smells I forgot about from last year, I am very, very happy to be in the season of beach reads. Here are ten books I hope to read in the sun and on the sand this summer. What books are you looking forward to read this summer? I’d love to know in the comments. Continue reading

Three Good Things

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  1. I love living in New York City. But I also LOVE leaving New York City. Last week, I spent three days at the beach in Delaware with my Mom. I’ve been going to Bethany Beach most summers since I was eleven. It is comforting and also brings back so many sense memories of being different ages – which can be really helpful for my writing. Also reading on the beach = heaven (as do boardwalk fries and swirling scoops of vanilla frozen custard).
  2. Speaking of beach reads… I adored reading Summer Days and Summer Nights a collection of short stories all about summer romance edited by Stephanie Perkins featuring many of my favorite YA writers (it’s a lot like My True Love Gave to Me). I also read The Haters, by Jesse Andrews and devoured A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Mass (seriously I read this 600+ page book twice because I just couldn’t handle the story being over).
  3. After finishing my thesis, I took a much longer break from writing than I intended. Maybe this is good. Maybe it is bad. Either way it happened. But I really am trying to dive back into revisions on my manuscript with a purpose. This week featured lots of exercises about a character that needs to be substantially re-imagined in my future drafts and the beginning of creating a new outline. Fun. A lot of work and some stress. But still fun.

Love and Other Theories, by Alexis Bass

18480081I’ve been reading a lot of books in the last month and I’ve really liked a lot of them. But Love and Other Theories, by Alexis Bass, stands out in particular. The back of the books makes the story sound like it’s going to be perfectly straight-forward YA contemporary romance. Seventeen-year-old Aubrey and her friends have figured out the secret to dating in high school. Not dating. Hooking up. Seeming un-interested and unavailable. Sticking to a mutually agreed upon set of rules. Sharpening their cynicism like it’s a sword their about to go into battle with. And that works until earnest, new boy Nathan throws Aubrey off her game.

It sounds like a book I’ve read at least ten times before. It also sounds like a book I’d like, which is why I bought it. But honestly, it’s more than a girl meets boy, girl likes boy, girl loses bitterness kind of story. Way more.  Continue reading

Book Riot News

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Pretty much since I started blogging here, I’ve been reading Book Riot. They were woke to the need for diverse books way before me (even before the hashtag). And they always, always lived up to their tagline: always books, never boring. For a few years, I’ve considered applying to write for them, but I’ve never felt brave enough.

This year, I summoned my courage and applied.

I wrote two try-out posts for them. One piece started as a post I almost put on this blog about boys often go through school without reading much or anything about the female experience. In particular, I wrote about how in middle school we read the play version of Anne Frank instead of the original source because the boys were uncomfortable with how personal the diary is.

In the second piece, I wrote about fat girls in romance novels. Both posts are personal, but this one was much harder to write. I stressed about whether to use the word fat. I stressed about admitting so publicly that I read romance novels. I stressed about how much to reveal about my experiences with body image and weight. But I was also really, really proud of what I wrote.

And I guess personal and scary and stressful works well on the Internet, because they offered me a contributor spot. I’m really excited to have another platform to talk about books on and to get paid for my writing for the first time ever (even though it’s probably not that much).

So that’s my news. Hope everyone else is having a fun and productive Wednesday!

Ten Books I Liked More After Time Passed

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Some of my favorite books I’ve loved right away. Others I’ve liked, or even felt luke warm about, in the beginning but have grown to love over time. For the life of me, I don’t understand how I wasn’t obsessed with Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins. I’ve read that book at least fifteen times since and now call it one of my favorites. Here are ten books that I liked more and more over time, whether because I’ve learned more about the genre, appreciated rereads more, or just reevaluated the story. Continue reading

One Good Thing

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A lot of good things happened this week. But one thing definitely outshines the rest. I graduated from my MFA program! I am now a master in writing for children. As you can tell from the photos above I have some mixed feelings. I love being in school. I love being able to call myself a student. I’m sad that this chapter is over.  But I am proud of myself. Proud of the writing I’ve done. Proud of the friends I’ve made and my personal grown. I’m proud and I’m excited (as well as pretty nervous) about what’s coming ahead.