Book news

The BIGGEST News About Contemporary YA

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a panel hosted by Reading Matters which featured many a loved face such as AS King, Jennifer Niven and Lili Wilkinson.

I managed to gather some rather exciting and exclusive news about the authors’ new project, their fav authors and of course their crushes!

What new projects are they working on?

Jennifer Niven is writing her third YA novel and we already love it without knowing anything about it

AS King released Still Life Without Tornado in October last year AND she’s working on a new book already woo!

What were their fav books as teenagers?

Jennifer: Any Judy Bloom

Lili: Any Judy Bloom

King: Confessions of a teenager as a baboon

Who do they fangirl about?

Jennifer: David Levithan

King: David Levithan

Lili: David Levithan

What’s their secret to world building in YA?

Jennifer: Playlists and casting characters for the book

King: A song for each character

Lili: Pintrest boards

Who would they collaborate with?

Jennifer: Currently working on a secret collab ooo

King: currently also working on a secret collab ooo

Lili: Jennifer and King!

Here are some book recommendations from the lovely authors!

  1. The Hate You Give
  2. When Michael Met Me
  3. Allegedly
  4. The Underground Railroad

It was so lovely seeing them all and I hope you guys enjoyed all the insights I managed to give you!

Book news, Discussion

2017 Reading Matters Public Day Recap

So that super exciting thing I did on Sunday?  I’m finally here to tell you about it

Sunday June 4 was the public day for young readers and budding writers to meet some famous names such as Jennifer Niven, A.S.King, Jay Kristoff. It was an absolutely enthralling experience to get to pick these writer’s brains and just breath the same air as them.

Today I’m here to do a recap post followed by detailed discussions on what gossip, fun and banter took place at each panel/workshop

The Speculative Fiction Panel

I had the pleasure of arriving hella late to this but I did manage to catch the end where Jay was talking about how to get boys to read more and how to encourage young people in general to leave their phones and grab a book. There was also some really great talk about what speculative fiction can do for the reading industry so keep an eye out for that post

Writing Strange Workshop with A.S.King

When I first read Everybody sees the Ants back in 10th grade, I had a dream that I would get to talk to the author about it one day. Now King lives in the US and I in Australia so I did not know how that was going to happen but boy did I dream. So yes I had the most exciting time learning how to write with one of my favourite writers and I cannot wait to share all the amazing tips!

The Contemporary YA Panel

Most definitely the highlight of my day! Some of my most favourite faces on one panel talking about the fastest growing genre in YA world! Again lots of great discussions on writing and of course some great insider goss and news about secret projects! Get keen for this one folks!

So yea, that was my hectic but totally worth it day spent at the State Library of Victoria. I hope you guys are as excited as I am!

Book reviews

Book Review | Holding Up The Universe

Jennifer Niven, once again, turns a simple love story into a beautiful life lesson that readers will be sure to remember. To be perfectly honest, I am still recovering from reading All the Bright Places which I read many months ago. Holding up the Universe similarly tells the story from the dual perspectives of a boy and a girl who experience different hardships in the same circumstances.

We have Jack Masselin who is the “cool guy” at school and from the outside it seems like Jack has it all together but his family is falling apart and he has this rare disorder which inhibits him from recognising faces. On the other hand there is Libby who is labeled America’s Fattest Teen and along with her weight she also has to constantly deal with the loss of her mother. When Jack and Libby meet, the reader is taken on a journey where two teenagers try to tackle the weight the universe bestows upon them.

The thing I love most about Jennifer’s novels is that she integrates her own life experiences into her stories. This enables the reader to form a connection with the author and hence, you’re more susceptible to agree with the message the novel is sending. While this novel was not as emotionally scarring as All the Bright Places, it was just as powerful.

Libby’s weight issues and following her development in the novel from being a homebound girl to this confident young woman encourages all insecure chickens out there to just be comfortable in the skin you’re given. Through work of fiction, Jennifer has managed to spread a positive message which I’m sure resonates with a lot of teenagers. Not only that, by integrating diversity in race, gender, weight etc. the reader is challenged to break stereotypes.

The novel also raises awareness about face-blindness which I had no idea about before I read this book. I absolutely love the fact that apart from life lessons you’re also learning science in this novel. You’re learning how to speak out if you have a problem and about the effects of cancer and loss on a person.

Instead of writing a typical boy-girl romance and leaving it at that, Jennifer delves deeper into the issues that continue to haunt young people in today’s society.

Rating

5

Cover to Cover

Cover To Cover | All The Bright Places

I’m back with another one of these!

If you’re wondering what Cover To Cover is, it’s basically an excuse for me to analyse beautiful covers of the same book and in the end I decide which one I like best. Here’s the first ever Cover To Cover post.

Today’s book is…All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. This has been one of my favourite books of 2015 so i couldn’t go without doing a Cover To Cover on it.

The English Edition

All the Bright Places

I like the simplicity of this cover. The post-it notes are symbollic yet they give the cover a sort of uniqueness as well. The cover is also a bit cutesy because of the Violet and Finch on it.

The Spanish Edition

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This cover reminds me of Eleanor & Park big time. It’s cute but can sometimes appear bare in my opinion.

The Portugese Edition

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I like the simplicity of this cover as well and I’m not sure what the train thing is but the boy jumping and the girl reaching out is obviously symbolic.

The Italian Edition

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The fact that it is sideways is annoying me. The cover doesn’t seem to represent the book very well to be honest.

The Polish Edition

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I believe this is a pretty artistic cover. Although I can’t help thinking it might also appear careless to some.

The Serbian Edition

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I think this is also a cute little cover with its post-it notes and patterns at the bottom I also like the font

The Swedish Edition

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Again this cover has simplicity through its origami vibes and colour theme.

The German Edition

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This cover seems romantic and again there’s the blue colour scheme which most covers have in common. The font seems to be bothering me

The Verdict

If I were to walk into a bookstore and had to pick one of these covers…

It would be a hard choice and I’m not in a state of mind to make that choice so let me know in the comments below which cover you like best!

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Book reviews

Book Review | All The Bright Places (If the hype was worth the pain)

Title: All The Bright Places

Author: Jennifer Niven

Genre: Young Adult, contemporary

Synopsis

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the ‘natural wonders’ of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself – a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Brutally honest, raw and realistic Jennifer Niven has tackled a very serious issue in such a beautifully crafted way. I like to think she has paved the way for other authors to brave writing about mental health and beat the stigma once and for all.

Plot

Set in the small town of Barlett, Indiana All The Bright Places travels in some of the most treasured and wonderful places until it comes to rest in the reader’s heart. Dealing with family issues, death and love the story progressed from lighthearted romance to its fatal crescendo almost like a song. The climax was gut wrenching, sucker punching yet it left you feeling so full.

And yet the story is set against such a mundane environment: school. Our protagonists are just a bunch of school kids except they’re not. That is the beauty of this book, to be able to address suicide and death in a setting such as school which lets young readers know that it is okay, that they are not alone. Help is out there

Characters

You know it’s a good book when the character’s voices are SO strong in your head it leaves you disorientated coming back to reality. That it what I felt being in Finch and Violet’s heads. They had such distinct voices and trains of thought, I’ve never experienced characters with such realistic trains of thought (if that makes sense)

Finch and Violet’s relationship was rustic, funny, lighthearted. They had their emotional struggles, their ups and their downs but the most beautiful bit was how when they were together, Wandering, they lived, they were so present and it gave me a serene sense of peace.

Finch

Finch is quirky, Finch is brave, who is Finch? I was so intrigued by him changing himself throughout the book, his thoughts about the bigger things in life. It’s obvious he has faced abuse, neglect and bullying yet it was still heart breaking when (spoiler) happened. Just thinking about him feeling so trapped in this world like the cardinal makes me want to cry so lets move on.

Violet

I don’t have a comprehensive thought about Violet except that Finch made her into this girl who wants to live, who wants to acknowledge the death of her sister and honor her instead of burying herself in grief. He made her become something, start something new.  He made her into more than just another popular girl.

Writing

All The Bright Places is scattered with statistics about suicides and literal quotes which I found was such a unique writing style as it is educational as well as being fiction. That’s the thing you know, people need to be educated, teens need to know that they are not alone and this book says “To hell with stigma and stereotypes” , it is no-bullshit, we need to tackle this issue now instead of whispering around this. Respect for that to the author

The story of All The Bright Places is in many ways the story of Jennifer Niven’s experiences and I love it when authors are able to bring something personal to their books.

This book made me feel all the feels and drown in them. I became so possessive over it that I wouldn’t read it in public lest someone snatch it from me to read the blurb or something (stupid i know).  Oh and don’t mind the title of this post I just wanted to play on Taylor Swift’s lyrics 🙂

Maybe you could get this as the book of your choice in my giveaway?

Rating

5

 

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