Kelly—I'll be sending an e-mail your way in the next few minutes.
And keep your eyes on The Book Case for more great contests! (Like the one going on right now.)
Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to interview Alexandra Adornetto about Halo, her New York Times best-selling book that's the start of a new trilogy. It's always exciting to meet authors, but it was a special treat to chat with Ally—she's only 18, after all.
Halo is Ally's fourth novel, although it's her first to be published in the United States. The story is about three angels who come down from heaven to battle the Dark Forces present on earth. Two of the angels are experienced, but one—Bethany—is just a teenager. Besides coping with her divine responsibility, she's also got to deal with prom, high school drama and Xavier Woods—a sweet and sexy mortal boy. You'll have to read the book yourself to find out if Bethany and Xavier can be together, but in the meantime, watch Part I of our interview with Ally. (You can watch Part II on BookPage's YouTube channel.)
Judging from the raves on Ally's Facebook page, it's clear that the Halo trilogy will be a huge success—teens love the book and enjoy talking to Ally. I even heard a rumor that at her recent signing at Nashville's Davis-Kidd Booksellers, fans were lobbying for the young author to come to Vanderbilt for college!
Enter to win a SIGNED copy of Halo by leaving the answer to this question: What kind of music does Ally like? (Hint: the answer is in Part II and on Ally's Facebook.) The contest will run through October 15.
*Note: This contest is open to everybody (all ages, non-U.S. residents, etc.).
Forever, the final book in Maggie Stiefvater's best-selling Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, doesn't come out until July 12, 2011—but yesterday the jacket was unveiled on Scholastic's blog and Steifvater's LiveJournal:
Christopher Stengel, Associate Art Director of Scholastic, has designed all three jackets in the trilogy. (I'm a big fan of his work; he also designed for Francisco X. Stork's Marcelo in the Real World.) Back in July, when Linger was released, Stiefvater interviewed Stengel about the process of designing the jackets. If you're a fan of the trilogy (or graphic design), the Q&A is worth a read. Here's an excerpt—a quote on why Stengel's concept did not include photos:
Sometimes photography is the correct approach for a certain book depending on the age range and content, and other times, an iconic and graphic direction is needed. It's a matter of picking the right tool(s) for the job, I guess. While Shiver may be a YA title, it felt like it truly deserved to be set apart from the many photo-based covers on the shelves.
In case you missed it yesterday–a second trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I has been released. The movies just keep getting better; does this new glimpse have you looking forward to November 19?
If you're into teen books—especially paranormal teen books starring tough girls (written by smart chicks)—then you will not want to miss this event.
Author tours are usually organized by the publisher. All we have to do is show up, which is great, but we started thinking maybe we'd like to try something different. Organize our own tour, just the way we want it. Pick the cities. Pick the authors. Organize the events. So, in Sept 2010, we'll do just that.
Tonight they're in Jackson, MS, at Lemuria Books. Later in the month, they'll also be in Arizona, California, Illinois, Ohio and Ontario.
Is anyone going to check out the tour?
Also: What's the most memorable book tour event you've ever attended?
Sometimes it seems like every time I turn around I hear about interactive books, like The Amanda Project, which got a lot of press in the fall.
Now Penguin has launched a new interactive project that fantasy lovers will enjoy:
In the six weeks leading up to the publication of Nightshade (Oct. 19, Philomel), a teen novel by debut author Andrea Cremer, readers can watch one of the main characters come to life in 12 webisodes. The character's name is Shay Doran, and he has jumped off the page to communicate with fans via Facebook posts, blog entries, personalized phone texts and webisodes. The first webisode is now live:
By interacting with Shay, fans have a chance at being written into an official prequel to Nightshade, which will be available for free download the week before the novel is published. Pretty cool, huh?
This may sound like a lot of effort on behalf of a debut author, but online buzz shows that readers are excited about Nightshade; just read its page on Goodreads.
Nightshade is the first in a planned series about a young teenage werewolf girl. Will you check it out? Or interact with Shay?
Rushed through Mockingjay and don't have anyone to talk to? Or: Want to listen to other reactions on the fate of Panem, President Snow and that pesky little Gale vs. Peeta plotline?
Trisha (Web Editor), Kate (Nonfiction Editor) and I (Eliza—Assistant Web Editor) discuss all things Mockingjay in a brand new podcast. We talk about the major points of tension in the book, how Katniss's character has progressed in the series, and where Mockingjay rates in terms of violence and romance. Toward the end of our conversation we chat about the Hunger Games movie and speculate on the "next big thing" in teen fiction.
There are major plot spoilers in this podcast, but they don't start until the 9-minute mark. (There's also some major word fumbling in the first minute or so of the recording, but what can I say? It's hard to keep your thoughts straight when you're talking about something as exciting as a Suzanne Collins book.) The 35-minute mark 'til the end is free of spoilers.
Listen away, and share your reactions in the comments section.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Scholastic • $17.99 • August 24, 2010
I know that many fans are afraid of spoilers, so all I'll say is that Mockingjay is a page-turner (duh); I am not disappointed with what I've read (aren't you always worried you'll be disappointed after looking forward to a series conclusion for so long?); and I love Katniss Everdeen—our heroine—more than ever.
You can listen to our staff's reactions to the story's twists, turns and surprises in a podcast we'll be posting later in the month. In the meantime, read a short excerpt from the novel:
"Katniss, I'm not arguing. If I could hit a button and kill every living soul working for the Capitol, I would do it. Without hesitation." He slides the last pencil into the box and flips the lid closed. "The question is, what are you going to do?"
It turns out the question that's been eating away at me has only ever had one possible answer. But it took Peeta's ploy for me to recognize it.
What am I going to do?
I take a deep breath. My arms rise slightly—as if recalling the black-and-white wings Cinna gave me—then come to rest at my sides.
"I'm going to. . . "
By the way, so far I've managed to avoid reviews of the novel—although I am happy to say that BookPage's review is a satisfying read, yet contains no spoilers.
Have you already managed to finish Mockingjay? What'd you think? Please avoid posting major plot twists (and if you're unsure of whether your comment is a spoiler, write "spoiler alert" before your note). Happy reading!
Read about these books (and more); win a collection of children's chapter books handpicked by BookPage editors; and get behind-the-book scoops from a couple of your favorite tween and teen authors in tomorrow's edition of Reading Corner.
Don't know what Reading Corner is? Find out and sign up. It's the perfect back-to-school newsletter!
What book blog posts have you enjoyed this week? A few of my favorites are highlighted below:
Freebie Friday: Penguin's 75th Anniversary
Posted by The Quivering Pen
Today is the official 75th anniversary of Penguin Books, and bloggers are celebrating in style—with posts and giveaways galore. To locate the blog coverage online, start by searching #Penguin75 on Twitter. Also, check out this documentary on Penguin's website, The Bird You Have Throughout Your Life, in which the company's execs and staffers talk about Penguin's history and future.
David of The Quivering Pen is doing a nice giveaway from this list of 75 Penguin books (Penguin itself did a similar giveaway which is now expired—but the giveaway is still active on the blog). David writes:
At some point in our reading lives, all of us have held a Penguin. (And if you haven't, then you're really missing out on the world's finest literature.) What began as the brainchild of Allen Lane in 1935 as a way to distribute quality paperbacks at a price cheaper than buying a pack of cigarettes, soon exploded into a publishing phenomenon.
It's a big day over at Penguin, but I bet the folks at Harlequin are celebrating, too, as right now the 30th annual Romance Writers of America conference is in full swing in Orlando. (I write that with some amount of sadness, as the conference was originally scheduled to take place in Nashville—until the flood made that impossible.) So, from July 28-31, I have been vicariously attending RWA via blog coverage. Harlequin is posting about events, authors and more; it's definitely worth a read if you enjoy romance novels.
Top 100 YA novels
Posted by Persnickety Snark
YA blog Persnickety Snark is counting down the top 100 YA novels ever. The list appears to be leaning toward more contemporary novels, and some of you will probably be outraged by the choices. (Let's just say that nobody consulted me before choosing A Ring of Endless Light as #89 and Eclipse as #58.) But still, it's fun to browse through the choices. What would be your #1?