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The Compulsive Reader: April 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

Cover Talk: Throne of Glass Cover Reveal!

Back about eight or so years ago, before I blogged or reviewed, I used to read fan fiction and original writing on Fictionpress.com. Doing so involved a lot of sifting through bad stuff, but there were a handful of really, really good pieces that I always wished would be published. One of the was a story called Queen of Glass. I was ecstatic to learn last year that it had been purchased by Bloomsbury. It now has a new title, Throne of Glass, and a gorgeous cover!


You guys, this was so amazing back then, and I can't even imagine how it has improved since then! I am pumped for the release this August!

What do you think of the cover?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pre-Order Fated by Alyson Noel and Get a Free Pair of Earrings!

Are you excited for Fated by Alyson Noel, the first book in her newest YA series? It hits shelves on May 22nd, but there's no time like the present to pre-order thiws book through the retailer of your choice! Especially since if you do so now, you could get a free pair of earrings inspired by the ones on the cover model!


Just click here to find out how you can get your earrings from the publisher, St. Martin's!

Be sure to check out the Facebook page as well for excerpts and bonus scenes! And stay tuned on the blog for more exclusive Fated content!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Bard-day!

Many fine things are happening today (including World Book Night!) but most important of all...it's William Shakespeare's birthday! Happy 448th, Will!


I just got done with helping plan and put on a major Shakespeare Fest at my university last week (it was awesome, pictures to come soon hopefully), plus I'm taking a class on Will's works, so I'm a little bit more attuned to all the awesome-ness that is his works this year. Right now I'm reading Richard III (so not his best play, in my humble opinion) but my favorite so far has to be Measure for Measure. What about you? What's your favorite play or sonnet?

I hope you all have a happy Monday and I totally recommend using Will's birthday as an excuse to eat some cake today!

P.S. This is my last week of classes, so after the mighty paper of doom is done and turned in, I can come back and write about fun stuff, like books and covers and contests and Underworld by Meg Cabot, which I just finished. So, thanks for hanging with me.

P.P.S. Why yes, I am wearing my Shakespeare shirt today. It says, "Dost thou think that because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale?"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Right and Real Book Trailer

Hey everyone,

If you're looking forward to Joelle Anthony's latest book, The Right and the Real, check out the trailer, just released today!



Here is the official summary:
"Jamie should have known something was off about the church of the Right & the Real from the start, especially when the Teacher claimed he wasn't just an ordinary spiritual leader but Jesus Christ himself. But she was too taken by Josh, the eldest son of one of the church's disciples, and his all-American good looks. Josh was the most popular boy at school, too, and the first boy outside the drama geeks to give Jamie a second look. But getting her dad involved in a cult was not part of the plan when she started dating Josh. Neither was her dad's marriage to the fanatic Mira or getting kicked out or seeing Josh in secret because the church has deemed her persona non grata. 
Jamie's life has completely fallen apart. Finding her way back won't be easy, but when her dad gets himself in serious trouble, will Jamie be ready to rescue him, and maybe even forgive him?"
The Right and the Real will be out next week, April 26th, 2012!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

YA Movie News!

It's been an exciting year for movies and YA books. First came "The Hunger Games" release, then the news that the Beautiful Creatures movie is a go. Now, two more movie projects that will make you happy:

 "The Fault in Our Stars"

Nothing is set in stone or anything (I've learned not to get excited about movies until a director is on board and casting begins) but the news is that the screenwriters of (500) Days of Summer will be writing the screenplay for The Fault in Our Stars, a most excellent novel. If this pans out, it would be AWESOME. I absolutely adored (500) Days of Summer and I feel like there are a lot of similarities between its writing and John Green's. If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it! You won't regret  it. So this is one development I am definitely crossing my fingers for!

"Rosaline"

This movie is one that will be based off of Rebecca Searle's debut novel, When You Were Mine. It's not out yet, but it will be releasing May 1st from Simon and Schuster. It's a twist on the Romeo and Juliet story from Rosaline's point of view, with Romeo as a nice guy and Juliet as a crazy person. I have yet to read it, though I have a copy floating around on the shelves, and I am curious to see how it plays out. (I can totally picture a nice Rosaline and a crazy Juliet scenario here! In my opinion, both R and J are a little crazy in the original play!) Lilly Collins (Snow White in the new movie "Mirror Mirror" with Julia Roberts) is in talks with Fox 2000 for the role of Juliet!

You can go here and here to read the articles about the movie news!

What do you think about YA books into movies?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Terra Elan McVoy!

Terra Elan McVoy is the author of some of this blog's favorite contemporary reads: Pure, After the Kiss, and The Summer of Firsts and Lasts! The Summer of Firsts and Lasts just came out in paperback, so to celebrate Terra agreed to answer a few questions! Plus, one lucky reader will win a signed and personalized copy!

But first, here's Terra!

TCR: To get ready for summer, what are some of your favorite summer-y readers?

TEM: Believe it or not, summertime for me is an opportunity to either a) focus hard on a denser, more intense literary novel or b) re-read some of my favorites. I have this one book, The Wrestler’s Cruel Study, by Stephen Dobyns that is almost impossible to describe, but is just fabulous and makes for a great re-read. (Or just a regular summer read, if you’ve never read it.) Other favorite re-reads might be The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy; A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, or Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I also read Freedom by Jonathan Franzen a couple of summers ago, and it was one of the most perfect books, ever; I’m due for a re-read, I think! Short stories are also nice: Alice Munro, Lorrie Moore, Raymond Carver, Jean Thompson.
 
TCR: What are your perfect summer day essentials (besides a good book, of course)?

TEM: Well, of course obviously a good book. And plenty of watermelon with Maldon sea salt sprinkled on it. I really like to sip light, bubbly things in the early summer evenings too, so the fridge has to be stocked with tonic (which I like with lime), San Pellegrino lemon and orange, plus seltzer and flavored syrups to make “sodas” out of. Vintage circle skirts are also a great way to stay cool but look cute too, and plenty of pedicures are always necessary!

TCR: What was the best part about writing The Summer of Firsts and Lasts?

TEM: I think the best part was making up the whole camp world. I never actually went to sleepaway camp as a kid, so Camp Callanwolde was a mixture of a lot of research, interviews, and my own wild fantasies about what camp life is really like.

TCR: Because the title of your latest book has us curious...do you think it's possible to be just friends with boys?

TEM: Ha! Yes, I’m getting asked that question a lot lately, since Being Friends with Boys is coming out May 1st. I definitely think that it’s possible for straight girls and straight guys to be friends –I have lots of guy friends now, and have had them all my life, even when I was little—but I do think you have to be prepared to deal with what happens if one of you develops a crush on the other. What we seek in romances is often so close to what we seek in friendships, so I think –even if it’s not permanent—it’s very easy for one or both of you to get confused for awhile. (Sometimes at the same time, sometimes not.) But a good friendship can withstand anything, and I think the case is the same here.

TCR: What's the best way to stay up to date on your and your fabulous books?

TEM: Thanks for asking! My website, www.terraelan.com, is always a good place to find out about my books, as well as about other authors whose books I’m reading, because I often post interviews there. I’m also on Twitter at @TerraMcVoy, and I have a Facebook author page which I keep up-to-date (about me and other things too, like writing contests) at https://www.facebook.com/terraelanbooks

Thanks, Terra!

If you want to win a paperback copy of The Summer of Firsts and Lasts, then fill out the form below! And be sure to keep an eye out for Being Friends With Boys, Terra's newest book!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Noelle absolutely hates high school. Not a day goes by without someone bullying or humiliating her. Her home life isn't any better: her mother checked out years ago, and it's a struggle to just scrape enough food together for a lunch let alone get the basic things she needs. So Noelle is shocked when Julian Porter shows an interest in her—he's definitely not the sort of guy to fall for a girl like her. But Noelle has been bullied enough—maybe it's finally time for her to realize not only the value of holding on, but standing up for herself.

Susane Colasanti's latest contemporary novel deals with the issue of bullying with unwavering focus. Noelle is a sympathetic character—she's had more than her fair share of embarrassing experiences that have led to ostracism at school and her mother is self-centered and controlling, making everyday life extremely difficult. These issues alone are tough for any teen, but Noelle reacts to them with a strange mixture of mature, sensible thinking and a total lack of self-respect. She is confident in how the world should work, and how bullying ought to be addressed, and even how students should act, but she doesn't have the wherewithal to act upon these many noble thoughts, making her character seem a bit unrealistic. Noelle's best friend, sort-of boyfriend, and Julian so make up for this in the drama they bring to the story and the quirks that make the cast of characters enjoyable. Their issues meld together nicely with Noelle's and make the story flow quickly and evenly. A dose of perspective is brought into the novel when another student, also bullied and often overlooked by Noelle, commits suicide, but Colasanti glosses over details that might have made the story more heart-rending or affecting. Overall, Colasanti's personal voice comes through strongly in the narrative, and Keep Holding On is a loud rally against bullying. However, this message comes across at the expense of the story. Colasanti fans will enjoy this one, but this novel, despite its most excellent and important message, comes off as almost too preachy for teen readers.

Cover Comments: I always enjoy the couple-y-ness of Susane Colasanti's covers--they're just cute. I also really like the models' style here. Very nice!

This one will be available June 14th, 2012!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Class of 2k12: Eve Marie Mont and A Breath of Eyre

The Class of 2k12 is a group of YA and MG authors making their debuts in 2012! I was lucky enough to ask most of them two questions about their debut novels.


About A Breath of Eyre:

Emma Townsend is a scholarship student at an exclusive all-girls prep school, but she’s never really fit in. She finds solace in the novels she reads in which the heroes are always brooding and handsome, and the heroines are always charming and beautiful. On a fateful Halloween day, Emma has a run-in with the resident alpha girl and an embarrassing encounter with her childhood crush. Humiliated, she wishes she could just disappear. Fate steps in to help. Transported during a lightning storm, Emma finds herself living in the world of Jane Eyre, working as a governess for the mysterious Mr. Rochester, and falling in love for the first time until she discovers a terrible secret that makes it impossible for her to stay. As she travels back and forth between worlds, torn between two different identities and lives, Emma struggles to find her place, her voice, and ultimately her own destiny.
  
What was the hardest part about writing your book? What was the easiest?

"Much of the conflict of the novel derives from the question of whether Emma has free will while she’s living in the world of Jane Eyre. Will she “lose herself” entirely by surrendering to her fictional world, or can she change not only the novel but her own destiny? The hardest part of writing the book was striking this balance. I wanted Emma to become Jane but still maintain her own identity so she could call upon it when the time came.
 And I don’t know if it was the easiest part to write, but the kissing scenes were definitely the most fun. ;)"

Thanks so much to Eve for stopping by! Be sure to look for A Breath of Eyre, out now! And find Eve on the web:

Website: http://evemariemont.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/evemariemont
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/evemariemont
Blog: http://evemariemont.blogspot.com/
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3517421.Eve_Marie_Mont


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

As Agatha Swanburne Once Said...

Today I have a guest blog from Maryrose Wood, and she'll be imparting some wisdom from the highly esteemed Agatha Swanburne!

“Busy hands and idle minds have knitted many a sweater; busy minds and idle hands have knitted many a brow.” — The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 3: The Unseen Guest.

My darling Italian grandmother Rosa was an excellent seamstress who helped support her family by doing fine embroidery work and making ladies’ hats in the garment factories of lower Manhattan. As a kid, I remember her cutting dress patterns out of newspaper on her kitchen table. When I showed an interest, she’d patiently teach me how to do a French knot, or how to crochet an afghan square. She was the one who taught me basic knitting. I don’t recall ever making anything to brag about, but I learned how to cast on and knit and purl.

Eventually I moved on to other creative pursuits (in my case, this involved memorizing the lyrics to Sondheim musicals—but I digress). I didn’t return to knitting until I had kids of my own, when I happened to fall in with a few other young moms who were practiced knitters. I finished a few little sweaters and stuffed toys, but my more ambitious projects always took me so long to execute that the baby had inevitably outgrown the clothes by the time I finished making them. To this day I have a plastic bin in the closet that contains a two-thirds completed swing coat in a gorgeous blue yarn, sized for a three year old. (The three year old for whom it was intended recently turned seventeen, just to put this in perspective.)

Knitting requires some presence of mind, but not a huge amount, unless you’re negotiating a particularly complicated bit of a pattern. Unfortunately, it requires the use of both hands, which means one cannot write novels at a computer keyboard and knit at the same time. This is my excuse for letting my knitting skills go dormant once more. Someday I hope to get back to it. When I do, I resolve to make items only for people who are not changing sizes faster than I can keep up.

As for the Swanburnism above: yes, an idle mind can knit a sweater, but idle hands don’t knit anything, no matter how much mental energy you expend. I think that’s the point of the saying: there’s no use in applying vast amounts of concentration, planning or worry to a task unless one is also willing to pick up the needles, so to speak, and get to work. Or, to put it a different way, in a fight between thinking and doing, doing wins every time.

It reminds me a bit of the aspiring writers I occasionally meet who worry feverishly about how to get published, and should they get an MFA or is it a waste of money, and what’s the best way to find an agent, and is YA still “hot” or is everyone writing middle grade now?—but they don’t roll up their sleeves to figure out how to write a shapely sentence, or construct a plot, or bother to read excellent fiction on a regular (dare I suggest, daily?) basis. Agatha Swanburne would no doubt say: Enough! Take out your needles and yarn and get to work. One stitch at a time is all it takes. If the knitter takes care of the rows, the sweater will take care of itself.

So which one are you? A brow-knitter, or a sweater-knitter?

(The Incorrigible blog tour continues on April 4th at www.thebookmonsters.com.)

Maryrose Wood is the author of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series for middle-grade readers. You can find her online at www.maryrosewood.com, and on Twitter at @Maryrose_Wood.

About The Unseen Guest:

"Of especially naughty children it is sometimes said, "They must have been raised by wolves." 
The Incorrigible children actually were. 
Since returning from London, the three Incorrigible children and their plucky governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, have been exceedingly busy. When Lord Fredrick's long-absent mother arrives with the noted explorer Admiral Faucet, gruesome secrets tumble out of the Ashton family tree. And when the admiral's prized racing ostrich gets loose in the forest, it will take all the Incorrigibles' skills to find her. But once back in the wild, will the children forget about books and poetry and go back to their howling, wolfish ways?"

Monday, April 2, 2012

Cover Talk: New So Much Closer Cover!

If you're a Susan Colasanti fan, you'll probably counting down until June 14th, the release date for her brand new book, Keep Holding On! (I read an ARC, it won't disappoint.) But...if you're having a hard time waiting, check out the paperback of So Much Closer, out May 1st!

Along with being available in a new format, this is also the first of Susane's books to get an entirely new cover, and I can't say that I am disappointed. I liked the idea behind the original So Much Closer cover, but the main thing that made it so meh for me was the purple and pink color scheme of the girl's outfit--WAY too 1983!


See what I mean? Check out Susane's perspective here.

And here is the paperback cover...


Fabulous! I don't know what it is about these sorts of cute, colorful, romantic covers that just appeal to me so much. I love the pattern of the umbrella especially. It's just so fun, and I like that you still get a feel for the city in the background.

What do you think? Which do you prefer?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Monthly Commenter Contest: The Story of Us by Deb Caletti

I love Deb Caletti's writing. It's so realistic and so thoughtful and her books really stick with you. Her latest, The Story of Us, is no exception. I loved it and I can't wait for it to come out so I can share it with you all! So, the next best thing is to offer it as April's pick for the Monthly Commenter Contest!

How to win: Every time you post a significant comment that contributes to the conversation, I give you an entry into the contest! The more you comment, the more you entries you get! Only comments on posts from April 2012 are eligible, so keep coming back for more posts and more chances to comment. For all of the details, click here.

Click here to check out my review! Remember that this one hits shelves April 24th!

Classic Book to Movie Adaptations

With all of the Hunger Games movie madness going on right now, I thought it'd be fun to talk about your favorite movie adapted from books.

To Kill a Mockingbird is arguably the best American novel of the 20th century. Everything I read immediately after it just pales in comparison to the simple, beautiful, and moving words that comprise that book.

I first saw the movie when I was in 8th grade, before I became a little jaded about movies made from books. I had finished the book recently (though not for school) and the teacher decided to show the film one Friday morning. While most of the kids in the class complained because it wasn't a color movie with a lot of action, I was taken by the actor who played Scout. She was just exactly how I imagined her in the book and I was pretty impressed.

I recently watched the film again for the first time since 8th grade, when the 50th Anniversary Edition came out. It was just as good as I remembered it--there are a few of my favorite scenes and characters who had to be cut out for the same of time, but the movie is its own work of art that is separate from the book, but complements it. This new edition is an EXCELLENT edition to purchase--it has a ton of special features. Interviews, speeches given by Gregory Peck and others, and a ton of really neat background info. Plus, this package comes with a Blu-ray disc, a DVD, and then a digital copy. Handy!

What are some of your favorite book to movie adaptions?