The Compulsive Reader: Author Spotlight: Suzanne Harper

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Author Spotlight: Suzanne Harper

One thing that I’ve always admired in an author is their ability to stretch their writing talents and hop from genre to genre without losing their voice in the process. Suzanne Harper is such an author. Her first YA novel, The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney, is a modern day supernatural about a girl who can see ghosts, and in her second book, The Juliet Club, she does a 180 and writes a tangled love story that rivals the immortal tale of Romeo and Juliet. Either way, Suzanne Harper is a lively and entertaining author!

Suzanne Harper was born in Ohio, raised in Texas, and now lives in Manhattan. She is also the author of several non-fiction novels and plays, and two soon to be released Hannah Montana books.

The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney

Being the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter is no picnic for Sparrow Delaney, especially when her family resides in Lily Dale, a spiritualist community, and everyone in her family, from her grandmother to every one of her six older sisters, is a psychic. They all expect Sparrow to possess great powers too, but so far have remained disappointed. Unbeknownst to them though, Sparrow has actually been conversing with ghosts for ten years, and would give anything to make this certain gift go away.

So when given a chance to attend a large new high school in the next district, she eagerly grabs it, hoping to start fresh, where no one thinks she's odd. Things are going fine until she runs into Luke, a teenage ghost who insists that Sparrow help him. She refuses at first, unwilling to expose her secret. But as a ghost who has nothing to do but hang around forever, Luke will prove to be especially persistent...

Quirky, humorous, and full of tons of supernatural intrigue, The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney is a lively and entertaining read that carries across the message that being true to yourself is the only way to go. The spiritualistic aspect of the novel adds an engaging flair to the story and characters, and the plot moves at a good clip. Harper handles all the details and aspects of the story expertly, making them flow together seamlessly, giving the slightly overused plot a polished look. Fans of Meg Cabot’s The Mediator series will appreciate Sparrow and her adventures.

The Juliet Club

Kate Sanderson prides herself in being sensible. After an unfortunate romantic encounter that ended badly, she's resolved that no one needs romance until after they're out of school and have a career. Her friends despair of her ever falling in love, but for Kate, schoolwork is satisfying enough. So that's why when she wins a Shakespeare essay contest with an all expense paid trip to Verona, Italy to attend a seminar on the great Bard, the only thing she's got on her mind is enjoying her time there and working hard.
Kate is stunned to learn that rather that analyzing Shakespeare's text; she's expected to feel the meanings by acting it out with her classmates, and by answering letters seeking advice on love. This is hard enough without pompous Giacomo having to argue with her on everything. And when her other classmates conspire to play a prank on them, she'll have to work with him to outsmart them. But will the joke be on her?

The Juliet Club is a wonderfully fun and breezy read perfect for summertime. The trip of a lifetime comes alive in this cleverly constructed and formatted book that will ensure that readers devour it quickly. Though the first chapter is slightly awkward, but the numerous characters and their backgrounds make this novel appealing to everyone, and keep the story moving quickly. Throw in a few fun twists, Shakespearean sonnets, and a masquerade ball, and you have a light, funny, and uplifting romantic novel that won't soon be forgotten.

Check back in the next couple of days for an exclusive interview with Suzanne Harper, and a BIG contest with a chance to win copies of the books and other goodies!

1 comment:

Dominique said...

Wow! those books sound really interesting!! I'll have to add them to my TBR list! :) Thanks for posting!