My Favorite Writing Tip

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Hi friends and happy Friday! I’m going on an 11 mile walk from one end of the Bronx to the other tomorrow in my quest to walk across all five Boroughs. I hope you have something good planned – maybe a good book to read or pages to write.

This is my favorite, favorite writing tip for when writers (ranging from my students to my MFA classmates to myself) get stuck. Are you ready for it? Continue reading

Marry, Date or Dump: Recent YA Love Interests

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Hey there, friends! It’s been FOREVER since we’ve played marry, date or dump and there have been so many new, swoon-worthy YA characters written. I picked three of my favorites … which I’m already starting to regret. I mean, who am I going to dump? This one’s going to keep me up tonight. We’ve got the romantic, family-loving, and sensible Rishi from When Dimple Met Rishi, Chris from The Hate U Give with his fancy sneakers and knowledge of all things Fresh Prince, and the adorkable, Tolkien and Cadbury egg loving Reid from The Upside of Unrequited. Ahhhhhh … no actually I’m freaking out about who to dump. Why did I do this to myself? Continue reading

What Sister from Little Women Are You?

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I grew up taking hundreds of quizzes online. And I still do. But this is the first one that I’ve made for the Internet and it’s about one of my all time favorite books. I seriously wrote a paper for my YA and Identity class in grad school about my existential crisis in high school trying to figure out if I was a Meg or a Jo. Even though I made the quiz … I didn’t get the exact answer I was looking for.

Take my quiz and let me know in the comments what sister you get (and if you think it’s the right answer!)

 

Three Mini Reviews: American Panda, Children of Blood and Bone, & Restore Me

American PandaI first heard of Gloria Chao through the podcast 88 Cups of Tea’s private facebook group. And when I heard of her book American Panda, I was super excited to read a YA novel set in college. We need more of these! Seventeen-year-old Mei skipped a grade and is starting freshman year at MIT a year early. This is all part of her immigrant parents’ plan for her. A plan that involves becoming a doctor and marrying another Taiwanese-American over-achiever. A plan that also ignores Mei’s passion for dance and phobia of germs. Mei knows how much she owes to her parents and tries to follow their wishes. But the freedom of college, a crush on a dreamy Japanese-American biology major, and long buried secrets make Mei rethink following her parents wishes. But making her own decisions might mean losing the family that she loves. This own voices story is full of cultural details, romantic moments, and laugh-out-loud awkwardness. One of my favorite things is that many different Taiwanese-American families are portrayed in the story, keeping any one character or family from seeming to represent an entire culture. Continue reading

Ten Books I LOVED but Probably Won’t Reread

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Happy Tuesday, friends! Here are some books I LOVED but don’t anticipate reading again. Some of them are just really long or seem less politically correct (looking at you Gone With the Wind) or appealed to me in ways other than plot or character development (which are usually the two things that will make me pick up a book to reread). What books did you love but won’t reread? Or more interestingly, what books do you love to reread? Continue reading

Goodbye March!

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March was a wackadoodle month for me. Usually, I think February is the cruelest month (sorry T.S. Eliot) … but this year I think it might have been March. It was a very up and down month for me. Confusing! I’ve had my best and worst writing days. I’ve been busier teaching than every – which is wonderful but also so exhausting.  And the weather has been … let’s just say this California girl is ready for some spring weather on the east coast. Continue reading