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The Compulsive Reader

Friday, September 19, 2014

Interview with Marie Lu About Her Newest Book, The Young Elites

Some hate us, think us outlaws to hang at the gallows.
Some fear us, think us demons to burn at the stake.
Some worship us, think us children of the gods.
But all know us.

Marie Lu is the author of the Legend trilogy (Legend, Prodigy, and Champion, and they're all out in paperback now!) and The Young Elites, out October 7th! The Young Elites has the same action and danger and world building as the Legend trilogy, but in a very different fantasy world inspired by Renaissance Italy. In The Young Elites, a plague has ravaged the land, leaving some of the surviving children with unexplainable powers. Now teenagers, the affected are known as the Young Elites and are hunted down by the crown. But they want to fight back, and Adelina Amouteru might be the key to helping them defeat their oppressors, but only if she can learn to control her dangerous power. (Review forthcoming!)

I was very fortunate to be a part of a phone interview with Marie about the release of The Young Elites, and she answered some very pressing questions...

When talking about the "origin story" of The Young Elites, Marie says, "I definitely thought of The Young Elites first." After seeing the name online, it stuck with her.  "And after I thought about it for a while, I was like, 'Gosh, it would really fit this world and the people that are living in this world,' because they're--they are extraordinary, but they're very, very young. And that bleeds very much into who they are in terms of their powers and how they're treated by their families."

About the setting, Marie admitted, "It was a completely different experience from writing Legend." A lot of research went into building the world. "For The Young Elites, I did a lot of reading about Renaissance Italy and Renaissance Venice and what life was like back then, and what people ate and how they dressed. And a lot of those things went into the story."

Despite the differences in researching and timelines, the two books are similar in feel. Marie says, "It was definitely a different experience because Legend was sort of looking forward and this is kind of looking back in time. And it was interesting playing with that, because oddly enough they kind of end up at the same place where it's still a dystopia in some ways."

But as for the basics of writing the setting, Marie did have to switch up her writing style:  "I kept trying to avoid using a lot of modernisms that kept creeeping their way into the story. And the first time that I turned in my manuscript, my editor was like, 'I feel we could tone down on the modern tone of your stuff. It's kind of futuristic for an old-timey sort of story.' So, that was an adjustment as well."

One of the most fascinating aspects of this novel is that The Young Elites is essentially a villain's origin story, with the protagonist as the antagonist. On setting Adelina up to the be the villainess of the series, I asked Marie about how she approached writing the scenes from Adelina's perspective. She said, "It was really, really hard to get into that mind space, and it's still very hard for me. I'm working on book two right now."

She went on to say, "I thought of writing from the antagonist's point of view after I was talking to my agent about this book. So, when I first started writing The Young Elites, it was right after Prodigy came out. And I wanted to write a fantasy book, but at the time it actually starred Raffaele instead of Adelina, and Raffaele was a totally different character too. He was very, very bland, just sort of like your every-boy, and he was going to university and he thought he was a Young Elite.

It just--it was a very, very sort of bland story. And I couldn't quite put my finger on what was wrong with it, but I knew I wanted to write something about these types of people. So, I gave the first hundred pages to my agent, and she was like, 'Well, who is this side character over here? She's kind of interesting.'

And Adelina was a side character who is total evil. And after my agent said that, that was when I was like, 'Hmm, I never thought about writing it from her point of view, but that might be an interesting exercise.'

And it was totally different from Legend, because Day and June, they live in a really dark world, but they're inherently good people at heart. They have good families who treated them right, and I feel like that really made them who they are as people when they grew up.

And Adelina is totally different. Her family is twisted and terrible, and that rubbed off on her a lot. And it was kind of disturbing to have to get into that headspace, because I didn't experience any of that. And to be able to try to figure out a way to make this person do horrible things but also not make her totally unlikeable so that you're like, 'God, I just want this character to die already' was a bit of a challenge too."

Marie calls it a "very, very odd" experience that requires some distance at the end of a writing day, but about writing Adelina, Marie says it was "also kind of fun and liberating, I guess, to write about somebody who just--she just doesn't care sometimes. She just doesn't care that she's really angry at the world and she feels very entitled to that."

She went on to say that, "I feel there's something kind of empowering about letting yourself be bad. I guess it's why we want villains so much. I mean, I love, you know, Loki and Magneto. You can kind of feel for them in a way. Like Loki, he kills lots of people, but he loves his mama and, you know, he's had some feuds with his brother. And I think it's fun to kind of imagine that space, because I think we all have issues in our lives.

And we all have that moment sometimes where you're stuck in traffic and someone cuts you off, and you're just like, 'I just want to kill you right now. I just want, like, some force to come eat your car.'And then, I thought, you know, what if I create a character who actually acted out some of that stuff? And then, afterwards she's like, 'Oh, shit, I actually did this horrible thing that I wanted to do at the time, but now I kind of regret it.'

And it's fascinating and kind of an unsettling way to write some of that stuff, because she feels powerful when she thinks that and does those things, but then afterwards she never feels great about it. So, it's kind of like don't always act out your demons--your inner demons kind of thing."

But it wasn't all darkness and villains for this interview. When asked what Young Elite power she would like to possess, Marie said, "I would really, really love the ability to stop time. So, the entire world will stop, but you can still keep going and do some, like, work on stuff.  I'm such a dork. I just want to work more. I mean, this would be amazing for meeting all my deadlines. I could just pause time for 500 years and get it all done, and then you'd just click on again and time keeps going."

I'm sure her readers wouldn't mind terribly if she had that kind of power--think of how many books Marie could write in the space of 500 years. "That would be kind of cool," Marie admitted, "but I think that would mess up the space-time continuum."

The Young Elites will be out on October 7th, so mark your calendar! Check out her website for more information, and definitely give her Pinterest page a look! And read an excerpt here.


About The Young Elites:

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

About Marie:

Marie Lu is the author of the New York Times bestselling Legend series. She spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing Assassin’s Creed, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with one boyfriend, one Chihuahua mix, and two Pembroke Welsh corgis.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cover Reveal: Breaking Sky by Cori McCarthy

Cori McCarthy is an amazing writer whose debut novel, The Color of Rain, took my breath away. She's also a great friend and she has been hard at work at her amazing new novel, Breaking Sky, since I've known her. (True story: When we first met, this book was called Sex and Jets. Things have changed slightly, but it's still sexy and still full of fast jets.) I am so, so excited to reveal the cover!

About Breaking Sky:

In this high-flying, adrenaline-fueled thriller, America's best hope is the elite teen fighter pilots of the United Star Academy

Chase Harcourt, call sign "Nyx," is one of only two pilots chosen to fly the experimental "Streaker" jets at the junior Air Force Academy in the year 2048. She's tough and impulsive with lightning-fast reactions, but few know the pain and loneliness of her past or the dark secret about her father. All anyone cares about is that Chase aces the upcoming Streaker trials, proving the prototype jet can knock the enemy out of the sky.

But as the world tilts toward war, Chase cracks open a military secret. There's a third Streaker jet, whose young hotshot pilot, Tristan, can match her on the ground and in the clouds. Chase doesn't play well with others, but to save her country she may just have to put her life in the hands of the competition.

Are you ready??


So. Bad. Ass.

This cover exudes toughness and energy. I love the flames and bullet holes, and I think that the title treatment is awesome. I am not usually a fan of tag lines, but I love the one on this cover: "Aim High. Fly Fast. Fight Hard." Cori pointed out that it was adapted from the Air Force's motto, which is "Aim High...Fly-Fight-Win."

The circle on the cover is more than just an awesome image--Cori shared with me an exclusive excerpt from Breaking Sky in which main character Chase argues with the academy's psychiatrist (click on the pictures to enlarge!):



Breaking Sky will be out on March 3rd, 2015! Check out CoriMcCarthy.com for more info!

Buy the book because it's awesome, yo.

Also Known As by Robin Benway

Maggie Silver is the genius safe-cracking daughter of spies, but being part of a spy family in an international spy ring isn’t really all that exciting. At sixteen, Maggie is usually bored to death by the new identities and new surroundings, until she finally gets her own mission in New York City—get close to a cute boy in order to find out what his father is hiding about Maggie’s family’s spy ring in his safe. How hard can it be?

Maggie is a straight-talking, good-humored, plucky heroine with a distinct, savvy voice. She has been in the spy business long enough to not get overly excited about the intrigue of secret missions, and she happily tells the truth about the scrapes and mishaps she gets into during her search for information and safe-cracking. A friendship with another loner and a strong connection to the boy she’s supposed to get close to complicate things quite a bit, but to humorous effect. Benway connects Maggie’s mission and her desires to be a useful, contributing member of her family and spy ring in a meaningful way, making Also Known As a funny, engaging, ultimately satisfying read.

Cover Comments: This is a cute cover. I'm not overly fond of it, but it does make this book appealing to upper MG/lower YA readers, which I think is the ideal audience. I like how the many words for spy are blending into the background color.

Book purchased from my indie.

Monday, September 15, 2014

In the Afterlight Giveaway: Red Prize Pack

The final book in Alexandra Bracken's Darkest Minds trilogy is coming soon! In the Afterlight will be available on October 28th, and the first two books, The Darkest Minds and Never Fade, are out now in paperback.



If you're waiting impatiently for In the Afterlight, then check out Sparks Rise, a novella that connect Never Fade and In the Afterlight!

About Sparks Rise:

Sam didn't think things could get worse at Thurmand rehabilitation camp. Then the Reds arrive. Everyone assumed the kids with firepower had been killed years ago. Instead they were taken away, brainwashed, and returned as terrifyingly effective guards. To her horror, Sam recognizes one of them: Lucas, the one spark of light in Sam's dark childhood.

Lucas has a deadly secret--he beat the brutal training that turned his fellow Reds into mindless drones. When Sam defends herself against an attack by a vile PSF guard and faces a harrowing punishment, Lucas must risk his everything to save her.


About In the Afterlight:

Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. Only Ruby can keep their highly dangerous prisoner in check. But with Clancy Gray, there's no guarantee you're fully in control, and everything comes with a price.

When the Children's League disbands, Ruby rises up as a leader and forms an unlikely allegiance with Liam's brother, Cole, who has a volatile secret of his own. There are still thousands of other Psi kids suffering in government "rehabilitation camps" all over the country. Freeing them--revealing the governments unspeakable abuses in the process--is the mission Ruby has claimed since her own escape from Thurmond, the worst camp in the country.

But not everyone is supportive of the plan Ruby and Cole craft to free the camps. As tensions rise, competing ideals threaten the mission to uncover the cause of IANN, the disease that killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others with powers the government will kill to keep contained. With the fate of a generation in their hands, there is no room for error. One wrong move could be the spark that sets the world on fire.

About Alexandra: 

Alexandra Bracken was born and raised in Arizona, but moved east to study at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. She recently relocated to New York City, where she worked in publishing and lives in a charming apartment overflowing with books. She is also the author of Brightly Woven, a fantasy novel.

Find out more about Alexandra and the Darkest Minds trilogy:

Visit Alexandra online at www.alexandrabracken.com
Follow Alexandra on Twitter & Instagram
Like Alexandra on Facebook
Follow Alexandra on Tumblr
Visit Hyperion Teens at the Official Site & on Twitter

I'm giving away the red prize pack pictured at the top of this post, but keep your eyes open between now and October 28th for more giveaway opportunities! Up to 50 prize packs, all different colors, will be given away across the YA blogosphere until the release of In the Afterlight!


To win the prize pack, fill out the form below!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle and Dante are unlikely friends: Ari up his anger at his father, his imprisoned older brother, and his confusion over his identity. Dante is self-assured and kind. The friendship that Ari and Dante share withstands a summer of near-fatal accidents and a long school year of separation that ultimately forces the boys to face their questions about identity and their relationship.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a thoughtful, beautifully written novel punctuated with moments of quiet humor and heartbreak. Ari’s endless questions about what it means to be an adult and a man, his fractured family, and the secrets of the universe preoccupy most of the book, but eventually lead him to his biggest question: how he really feels about Dante. Communication is a big theme in this book as Ari learns how to connect and talk with his father, how to talk with his mom about hard subjects, and how to get past the easy subjects of conversations with Dante to talk about love and his feelings of inadequacy. Every quiet moment is important in this story of exploration, identity, friendship, and love.

Cover Comments: I love the colors in this cover and the title treatment. It is really beautiful without being overly feminine or too swoopy, and I love the drawings against the night sky. I'm glad that the red truck makes an appearance in the corner--so perfect.

Book borrowed from a friend.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Cover Talk: Lesbian Hands Are a Thing

As cover obsessed and I tend to be, one day earlier this year a friend of mine pointed out a rather baffling cover trend that I had never noticed before. At first, I didn't quite want to believe it, but as a (different) friend once told me, "You can't poke out your mind's eye." Because once it was pointed out to me, I saw this trend EVERYWHERE. And then I began collecting the evidence, and there was no denying it.

Lesbian hands.

It appears that (most) every book with a lesbian protagonist or featuring a lesbian relationship must have a cover depicting hand-holding, near hand-holding, or just hands reaching for the sky (okay, actually, I really love the cover of Ask the Passengers). The point? LESBIAN HANDS. It's totally a thing.

LOOK:

Empress of the World by Sara Ryan features some intense hand-holding. Epic arguments have been waged over which hand belongs to Nic and which hand belongs to Battle. No, I am not kidding.


Astrid is always reaching for the sky in Ask the Passengers by A.S. King.


Are Sahar and Nasrin reaching for each other or being torn apart in If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan? THE ANGST! 



 Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden is all about Annie and Liza clutching each other's hands and/or admiring their rings, no matter which decade their cover is in.



Okay, so these Julie Anne Peters books have arms on the covers, but you know what arms are connected to, right? HANDS.


The Rules for Hearts by Sara Ryan apparently includes some suggestive hand-holding...


37 Things I Love (in no particular order) by Kekla Magoon wins the prize for most perfect scene-to-book-cover recreation. Also, are they coming together or floating away from each other?!?! Will they get to hold hands?!?!


My Best Friend, Maybe...but we definitely know how to dress alike and hold hands like nobody's business (which it ain't).


No One Needs to Know...that holding your hand is much nicer than holding your brother's. (No, seriously, you guys. THAT IS THE PREMISE.)

Now, I'm not saying there is anything inherently wrong with these covers, or hand-holding. Or near hand-holding. Or hands in general.

BUT...if David Levithan can write a book called Two Boys Kissing and then get that book published with a cover of TWO BOYS KISSING, then can the lesbian YA books at least graduate from hand-holding to soulful staring, smoldering looks, or awkward almost-kissing?


David Levithan delivers.


Covers with straight couples that always look like lesbians until I look closer.

Is it too much to ask for?

Really?

Please?

(Hands...touching hands...reaching out...touching meeeee, touching youuuuuuuuu.....)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

So, Landline isn't a young adult novel, but I love Rainbow Rowell's work so much (so much), how could I not blog about this book?

Landline is the story of Georgie McCool (yes, really), a television writer who has worked really hard for the opportunity to pitch her own show. When that opportunity comes, it means abandoning plans to go to Omaha with her husband Neal and their daughters for Christmas. Neal takes off without Georgie, leaving her overworked, confused, and desperate for things with Neal to be like they used to be--not awkward, not tense, not uncertain. When she calls Neal on a phone in her childhood room, Georgie discovers a direct link to the past--and perhaps a chance to fix things before they go wrong.

Rainbow Rowell's writing is delightfully funny and oftentimes painful in its close examination of love and change and connections lost over time. Rowell balances the flashbacks to Georgie and Neal's college years with present day action well, and like she did with Attachments, she weaves details about each character's past into the narrative deftly. Perhaps the best part about Landline is that Rowell has fun with the big plot hook--magic phone--and doesn't take that aspect of the plot too seriously. Georgie's emotional crisis, her relationship with Neal, and how she feels about her children, however, are at the forefront of this novel and never made light of, making for an emotionally resonant novel. Family and unexpected connections of all types dominate this humorous, slightly wacky novel, and fans of Rowell's YA will most definitely find lots to love about Landline!'

Cover Comments: I love, love Rowell's covers. The spiral cord and old phone set and the colors work so well for this cover, and I love the retro feel of the type.

Book purchased from indie Bear Pond Books!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Francesca Spinelli hates her new school, a formerly all-boys academy with 750 male students and only 29 other females. She’s not interested in friendship with any of her peculiar female classmates, and the boys are even worse than the girls—unwelcoming, angry, and rude. When Francesca’s spirited mother won’t get out of bed one morning, Francesca is shaken out of her resentful, apathetic rut and must figure out her place at her new school and how to keep her family from falling apart.

Saving Francesca is a compelling perspective on high school, family, and the difficult territory between childhood and adulthood. Francesca has a powerful voice and Marchetta uses smart humor and quick-witted banter to explore how society encourages the repression of female emotion in high school and beyond. The story is slow to build, with many characters and subplots, but they all steer back to Francesca and her journey to break down the boxes of expectation that she has put herself in, and her process of accepting her mother’s depression for the complex illness that it is. Marchetta uses first person present tense to draw the reader into the narrative, and give voice to Francesca’s stream-of-consciousness thoughts and reactions as she comes to the realization that no one is going to save her from her own unhappiness except herself. Saving Francesca is a beautifully written, complex novel with a highly satisfying emotional arc.

Cover Comments: I'm not a huge fan of the American cover. I think it needs some updating.

Book borrowed from my library.


Monday, September 1, 2014

The Maze Runner from Book to Film

The Maze Runner by James Dashner--an intense, action-driven book about a group of teenagers trying to escape a dangerous maze in a post-apocalyptic world. I was utterly fascinated when the book came out five years ago, and I've lost track of the number of readers--teens and adults--who have come into the bookstore for The Maze Runner and the sequels and companion novel. So it's no surprise that The Maze Runner is the latest YA movie adaptation to find its way to the big screen, and it's hitting theaters later this month, on September 19th!

To celebrate the release, I'm giving away a movie tie-in version of the book, a $25 Visa gift card to go see the movie in theaters, and a money maze!

Take a look at that trailer and tell me that you're not excited to see this movie, I dare you:




About the film:

When Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape. Based upon the best-selling novel by James Dashner.

Rated: PG-13
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee
Directed By: Wes Ball
Produced By: Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Wyck Godfrey, Marty Bowen

Find out more at themazerunnermovie.com!

To win this great prize pack....



...simply fill out the form below!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Most Romantic Places in NYC


Isabel Gillies is the author of Starry Night, which is out next week! To celebrate the release of Starry Night, a romantic novel set in New York City, Isabel is here on the blog with some of the most swoon-worthy places in NYC!
"New York just by itself is romantic -- It has a heart beat. I’m not kidding. All you have to do (and I urge you to do it one day, if not today) is walk by yourself for three blocks and pay attention. It doesn’t matter where you are in the city. Midtown, The East Village, Chelsea, Harlem, SOHO – doesn’t matter, you just need to be able to absorb it. Take a deep breath, open your eyes and ears and start walking. At first it may be overwhelming (kind of like love), you may feel too much. So many people, so many noises, smells, voices, it can take your breath away, but stay with it. In about a block, you get your pace. You begin to be in step with the people around you, you start to grove a little. And very soon after, you can feel the heart beat. It definitely comes from below and I’m pretty sure the subways racing below you add to it. It’s extremely cool and pretty sexy. Anyway, I fell in love with my first boyfriend in NYC and my last, that last one is now my husband. It’s an awesome place to fall in love.
 Here are some places:
 Central Park is an obvious place to start. Actually, lets bust it open to all parks in NYC. There are quite a few romantic movies that have Central Park in them. Enchanted, When Harry Met Sally, Hair, to name a few. But the reason I think it’s romantic is because you can walk there. Walk and walk and walk. People fall in love when they walk and talk. Maybe it has something to do with the blood flow? You can hold hands, you can comment on all the great things happening around you, like a beautiful tree or bridge. Or you might walk next to kids playing and that might trigger some kind of maybe-we-will-be-married-one-day feeling? There are ice cream carts here and there, so there might be an opportunity to share an ice cream sandwich? And you can feel far away from life in Central Park – it’s an escape. I have DEFINITELY been in love in that park. That park pulses with romance.
 Okay, I think that Washington Square Park is exceedingly romantic. And I mean right under the Arch. I was given a pretty great kiss under that Arch when I was at New York University, so maybe that is why I think it’s romantic, but it is in general. There are all these fantastic NYU students swarming around, and I find learning and college life a turn on. There is also almost always someone playing music, or drums, and that is exhilarating. You are in the heart of Greenwich Village, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t think that is really fun. All of those elements make that spot extremely romantic.

Coffee Shops. Yup. Just you plain old coffee shop. I think it’s because of the French fries. Any opportunity to share creates romance, and French Fries are a great way to start. Two milk shakes and a plate of fries in a booth = romance.
 MOVIE THEATERS! Okay, I know there are movie theaters everywhere, and I one hundred percent believe that going to the movies ANYWERE is romantic, but I will go out on a limb and say that going to the movies in NYC is one of the greatest romantic things to do on this earth. Better than a sunset. Here’s why: It’s a mini adventure. There is the arrangement to meet in front of the theater, and that is so fun and lovely. Maybe it’s the most romantic part? How I am picturing it is, one person is walking towards the theater having just come from the subway (another romantic spot believe it or not), and the other person is waiting – maybe reading a magazine or a book, and then there is the moment when you both look up and see each other. It’s SUCH A GREAT MOMENT! Big smiles, big expectations for the adventure. Romance.
 The Met! Of course a lot of Starry Night takes place in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and that is because it is (in my opinion) one of the romantic bulls’ eyes in all of the world. I think it’s those steps that do it. Even when the museum is closed those steps are magical. I think millions of people have fallen in love on those steps -- and that is part of the magic. Not only do you feel the weight and power of centuries of art, but you feel love. I know someone once fell in love with me just BECAUSE I took him to sit on the steps.
 If you can get on a rooftop, that is always good for romance. I think the Staten Island Ferry is extremely romantic. Looking at the Hudson River is romantic. The seedy bars of East Village are romantic. The cherry blossoms in the West Village are wonderfully romantic, if you can be in NYC in April…
 Let’s face it, almost anywhere in NYC is down right romantic."
About Starry Night:

Sometimes one night can change everything. On this particular night, Wren and her three best friends are attending a black-tie party at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate the opening of a major exhibit curated by her father. An enormous wind blasts through the city, making everyone feel that something unexpected and perhaps wonderful will happen. And for Wren, that something wonderful is Nolan. With his root-beer-brown Michelangelo eyes, Nolan changes the way Wren’s heart beats. In Isabel Gillies’s Starry Night, suddenly everything is different. Nothing makes sense except for this boy. What happens to your life when everything changes, even your heart? How much do you give up? How much do you keep?

For a chance to win a lovely, lovely copy of Starry Night, fill out the form below!