Sunday, April 29, 2012

Follower Appreciation Giveaway

iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books
One year and almost five months ago, I started this little book blog. Since then, my blog has grown a lot and it's all because of you guys. The followers. :D I reached 1000 GFC followers a while ago and I promised a giveaway. I also teased you guys on Facebook and Twitter, with promises of giveaways at 500 likes and 888 followers (because I am Asian). Since then, I have reached 1078 GFC followers, 537 Facebook likes, and 1109 Twitter followers. Sorry for the procrastination, but I do keep my promises!

Because I love lists and statistics, here's an idea of what's happened on the blog since January 1, 2011:
  • 81402 pageviews
  • 518 blog posts
  • 78 giveaways
  • 89 reviews
  • 78 author interview and guest posts
  • 2 hosted events (Birthday Palooza and All Things Asian)
  • Wish I knew how many comments... dang you, Disqus!
Thank you guys for commenting on my blog, liking my Facebook statuses, and retweeting my tweets... Each interaction means so much to me. I love it when we chat books on Twitter or Gmail. Please, talk to me! I do not bite. :)

So yeah. I'm done blabbing, because you probably want to get to the good part.

Here are the prizes:
  • 1 International follower (anybody that lives anywhere TBD ships) will win a $10 order from The Book Depository
  • 1 US follower will win a signed ARC of The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • 3 US followers will each receive a swag pack with an assortment of children's, MG, and YA books
Just fill out the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway will end at midnight on June 3rd.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Author Interview: Lauren Oliver

Lauren OliverPlease give a warm welcome to the fantastic Lauren Oliver, author of the bestselling Delirium trilogy! 
Hi hi! My name is Lauren Oliver, and I like many things, including: ketchup, Sundays, fast-moving airport lines, getting upgraded, clean sheets, and long dinners filled with great conversation and good wine.
3LB: Create a haiku about Pandemonium.
Then: Lena turns warrior
Now: she loves again
3LB: If you could hang out with one of your characters for a day, who would it be?
Hana, of Delirium. She seems fun!
3LB: Do you have anything that you need to have around you when you write, such as a specific playlist/radio station in the background, coffee, a desk in a quiet room?
I need coffee just to survive, so it's definitely a prerequisite of writing time. But otherwise, I can pretty much write anywhere--on the plane, in bathrooms, in the back of a cab--using any device. I wrote much of Before I Fall on my Blackberry, while commuting on the subway.
3LB: Can you give us any hints on what will happen in Requiem?
Not a peep! I can say, however, that the book is told from two distinct POV's.
3LB: Time travel: Future or past? And where and when would you go to?
Probably the past. I'd love to go back in time to Edwardian or Victorian England, but only if I could bring a LOT of soap and perfume, because I hear it stunk back then.
3LB: If your characters had a Twitter, what would they be Tweeting?
Lindsay from Before I Fall would tweet: I should've been the main character, right? #soundsfair

And various people from the Delirium trilogy might tweet: @OliverBooks pls don't kill me off!
3LB: Tell us five interesting things about yourself.
  1. I'm an excellent cook
  2. I hate all fruit except for summer berries.
  3. I'm extremely superstitious, but I am not religious.
  4. I travel about 50 percent of the year.
  5. I am always reading three books simultaneously.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Thank you for having me!
Thank you, Lauren! For more information about Ms. Oliver and her books, visit:

Purchase her books:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Author and Publisher Interview and Giveaway: Cat Girl's Day Off

Welcome! I am here today to share with you an interview between a fellow Asian, Ellen Oh (recently featured on our All Things Asian event), and two lovely ladies from Tu Books: Kimberly Pauley, author of Cat Girl's Day Off and Stacy Whitman, the editorial director at Tu Books! How awesome is that, the author and editor (plus another author) in one post!

Stacy: Tu Book is an imprint of Lee & Low Books. We publish diverse fantasy, science fiction, and mystery for children and young adults. We started because genre fiction for young readers needs more diversity, needs more characters of color starring in their own adventures.

Cat Girl's Day OffNatalie Ng’s little sister is a super-genius with a chameleon-like ability to disappear. Her older sister has three Class A Talents, including being a human lie detector. Her mom has laser vision and has one of the highest IQs ever. Her dad’s Talent is so complex even the Bureau of Extra-Sensory Regulation and Management (BERM) hardly knows what to classify him as.

And Nat? She can talk to cats.

The whole talking-to-cats thing is something she tries very hard to hide, except with her best friends Oscar (a celebrity-addicted gossip hound) and Melly (a wannabe actress). When Oscar shows her a viral Internet video featuring a famous blogger being attacked by her own cat, Nat realizes what’s really going on…and it’s not funny.

(okay, yeah, a frou-frou blogger being taken down by a really angry cat named Tiddlywinks, who also happens to be dyed pink? Pretty hilarious.)

Nat and her friends are catapulted right into the middle of a celebrity kidnapping mystery that takes them through Ferris Bueller’s Chicago and on and off movie sets. Can she keep her reputation intact? Can she keep Oscar and Melly focused long enough to save the day? And, most importantly, can she keep from embarrassing herself in front of Ian?

Find out what happens when the kitty litter hits the fan.
About strong girl main characters:
Kimberly: I know books helped define who I was as a person. They were my escape, my solace, my…well, everything. I read a LOT when I was growing up. And I really searched out books even back then that had strong girl main characters. I needed that in my life. I think all girls do.
About diversity in YA lit:
Stacy: To me, it means intercultural connections. I’m white, though of course that could mean a variety of cultures of origin (in my case, Swedish, Irish, Scottish, English, German, Prussian, and a little bit Cherokee and Choctaw), and growing up in the rural Midwest I knew so few people from anything other than a Swedish/German/English background. But throughout my adult life, I’ve met so many people whose experiences/cultural background/faces are different than mine, and I want to them (and the fantastic/science fiction versions of them) reflected in the books I read just as much as I want to see myself. As it’s been said so many times, books should be both windows and mirrors—we all need both.
I'm loving it already. Diversity is what it's all about, guys. Be sure to read the full interview at The Enchanted Inkpot!

Not only that, but along with my own blog, you have a chance to win one out of FIVE copies of Cat Girl's Day Off! Visit The Enchanted Inkpot, That Hapa Chick, and My Words Ate Me for all five chances!

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Pretty Crooked BookBlast Feature and Giveaway

Welcome to BookBlast, brought to you by your favorite authors and bloggers! Today's feature is Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig. Read on about this quirky teen contemporary novel, and be sure to enter the giveaway below!
Pretty CrookedWilla’s secret plan seems all too simple: take from the rich kids at Valley Prep and give to the poor ones.

Yet Willa’s turn as Robin Hood at her ultra-exclusive high school is anything but. Bilking her “friends”-known to everyone as the Glitterati-without them suspecting a thing, is far from easy. Learning how to pick pockets and break into lockers is as difficult as she’d thought it’d be. Delivering care packages to the scholarship girls, who are ostracized just for being from the “wrong” side of town, is way more fun than she’d expected.

The complication Willa didn’t expect, though, is Aidan Murphy, Valley Prep’s most notorious (and gorgeous) ace-degenerate. His mere existence is distracting Willa from what matters most to her-evening the social playing field between the have and have-nots. There’s no time for crushes and flirting with boys, especially conceited and obnoxious trust-funders like Aidan.

But when the cops start investigating the string of burglaries at Valley Prep and the Glitterati begin to seek revenge, could he wind up being the person that Willa trusts most?
Praise for Pretty Crooked:
If you're looking for a fun, fast paced read I'd recommend checking out Pretty Crooked. -Mundie Moms
In the end, Pretty Crooked was creative and entertaining, sucking me in until I finished the last page, easily becoming one of my new favorites. -Cheyenne from Goodreads
I think Elisa did an amazing job with this story and although what Willa did is considered doing something wrong, I can picture myself getting as upset as Willa and doing exactly what she did!! This is a perfect read for all high school students and just anyone who likes reading. I highly recommend this book to Everyone!!! -Once Upon a Twilight
To be honest, I didn't believe I would like this book. I'm not too familiar with Robing Hood and the book jacket convinced me I was going to be reading about some girl named Willa who adores some boy named Aidan, and she's a thief who magically gives to the poor. I wasn't sure how Willa would be giving people things without telling how she got them. But that teaches me to also not judge a book by its jacket. I wound up really enjoying Pretty Crooked. -Diana from Goodreads
To learn more about Pretty Crooked and Elisa Ludwig, stalk the author on:
Her Website
Thanks to the author, we have an awesome $50 Amazon gift card giveaway! Just fill out the Rafflecopter below. For bonus entries, be sure to Tweet about the giveaway and follow me on Twitter!

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Review: Purity


Standalone or Series: Standalone
Author: Jackson Pearce
Other Notable Works: Sisters Red, Sweetly
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA Realistic Fiction, Ages 14 and up
Features: Family, spirtuality
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Source: Review copy from publisher
A novel about love, loss, and sex -- but not necessarily in that order.
     Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.
     Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.
A novel about love, loss, and sex. Intriguing, huh? It definitely sounded like a book that I would enjoy. I'd seen rave reviews of Pearce's Sisters Red and Sweetly books, so I just had to check out a book by her. One thing that stood out to me about this book is that it was incredibly short. The whole just flew by in a few hours. I've seen a few reviews lying around that say this book was predictable. I, well, didn't realize what was going on until Shelby herself was given some shocking news. I guess I'm just a little slow. But if it's any comfort, I don't think it's that predictable, although it isn't anything extraordinary or new.

This book is definitely... angsty. And while I understood (or at least tried to) Shelby's feelings, I just felt like she was making everything such a huge deal, and whining about it. A lot. It was a sweet book, and it had a generally good message. (I definitely do not approve of the way Shelby... went around.)

The book has awkward moments, mostly during parts with Shelby and her father. I liked those, because I could really understand and feel the awkwardness in their entire relationship. I really liked Shelby's father. The whole cake thing was pretty epic. And there were some funny quirks throughout the novel. Jackson is funny. I've seen it in person and online, and it shows through her writing.

This book just didn't really sink in with me, which is why I give it an average rating. There wasn't much of an impact on me personally, but it had some good points that could make you think about things or look at things a different way. The writing was good, and the story definitely had potential. It was a quick, enjoyable read, and it doesn't deter me from any of Pearce's other works.

First Line:
When I said it, I didn't mean it.

Random Quotes/Excerpts:
...My favorite, the one I'm pointing to, which proclaims, I'm waiting for my prince.   
      "Oh, my," Ruby says. "I see what you did there, Princess Ball. Clothes for the proudly celibate. Which style?"   
     "I'm thinking I'll go with the 'fitted baby rib' cutout tee." I snicker.   
     [...] There's a whole page of silk flowers - I circle the red rose, because there's something wrongly sexy about red roses. If I have my way, these will be the most ironic goodie bags ever created.
Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

In My Mailbox (36) and the Week in Review

In My Mailbox is a meme designed by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie to promote blogger interaction and put new books on the radar.
The Summer My Life Began by Shannon Greenland (ARC, unsolicited review copy)
Beauty by Lisa Daily (ARC, unsolicited review copy)
Don't Breath a Word by Holly Cupala swag
 Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (borrowed from friend)
Maximum Ride: School's Out Forever by James Patterson (old copy, gifted)
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (old copy, gifted)
In His Eyes Anthology (Stories from a Cute Guy)
In His Eyes Anthology by Various Authors (free on Kindle)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (no cover available, Netgalley)

Thanks to Penguin Young Reader's Group, Novel Novice, Bloomsbury Publishers, and Netgalley!


Sadly, All Things Asian ended this week, but never fear: the giveaways are still running!
I attended Teen Book Con last weekend and it was pure awesome. Each panel that I attended has been posted. Check out the Q&As we had with some of your favorite authors!
*What's Death Got To Do with It? Holly Black, Gina Damico, DJ MacHale, Marlene Perez
*Reality Bites Jesse Andrews, Elizabeth Eulberg, Lisa McMann, Siobhan Vivian
*Adults Are Overrated Orson Scott Card, Inara Scott, Jessica Spotswood, Maggie Stiefvater
*Dystopia Rising Megan Crewe, Michael Grant, Marissa Meyer
Meet authors Jenelle Pierre and Katie Klein, two fantastic ladies who I interviewed. Both were kind enough to offer giveaways, also!
Before I BreatheKatie Klein
And finally, I reviewed the highly anticipated novel The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa (also known for her Iron Fey series). Dudes, it was awesome. Plus, there's a chance for you to get your hands on a finished copy!
The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)
Current Giveaways:
*All Things Asian Event Giveaways:
     Two Books of Choice from The Book Depository International
     $15 Barnes and Noble Gift Card International
     Signed Copy of Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr US only
     ARC of Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare US only
     Signed Copy of The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa US only
     Crossroads by Mary Ting-inspired charm bracelet International

Upcoming Song of the Week:
Happy Reading!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Review and Giveaway: The Immortal Rules

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)The Immortal Rules

Series: Blood of Eden, #1
Author: Julie Kagawa
Other Notable Works: The Iron Fey
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA Dystopian, Paranormal Romance
Features: Vampires
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Source: Publisher for review
*Note: The text featured in this post is from an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC). Changes may have been made in the final proof.
In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.
     Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.
Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.
     Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.
     Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.
     But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.
So obviously, because this book is from Julie Kagawa, you can automatically assume it's going to be totally awesome and kick-butt, right? Yeah, pretty much. But don't be expecting pretty, sparkly fairies and a "hot boy with sword," because we're talking evil vampires and zombies this time. This book is definitely of edgier and darker fare. I've always liked Kagawa's writing and her portrayal of strong female characters. Allison is snarky, loyal, and strong. She's a relatable and human character, guys. Okay, so I just totally contradicted the whole book because she's actually a vampire. But that's where we get to the core of the story. Allie hated vampires with her whole being, and then... she gets turned into one. Fate probably rolled around in laughter when dealing out that one. She constantly battles her vampiric urges, and wants to help humans, not, well, eat them. Even with her good intentions, nobody in their right mind is going to trust a bloodsucker, and she has to accept that. In the end, she's lonely, and it's heartbreaking.

There isn't as much romance in the beginning-middle section, which is fabulous. Guys, I'm seriously getting sick of insta-love crap. The concept of soul mates is a little ridiculous, especially when it's basically See a guy. Feel attraction. MEANT TO BE. Zeke was a sweet guy and genuinely likable. Unfortunately, he didn't quite capture my heart like swoon-worthy Prince Ash did. He was weak in the way that he was too selfless and just didn't know when to stop. Percy Jackson fans, you know what I'm talking about? (Them fatal flaws.) Sometimes, you just gotta know when somebody else is dying... and dying for them probably won't make anything better.

I found it really amusing when I realized how much the vampires were like zombies. The whole sleeping-in-the-dirt and clawing-out-of-the-dirt thing was.... quite laughable. But not in a bad way. It's like they're vampire-zombie hybrids. And I never realized until later that many people compared the rabids to zombies. I don't really have much expertise in the zombie realm. In fact, if these things are legit zombies, then this book is my first zombie book.

There was a bit of a lull in the beginning of the beginning. The plot was kind of slow, and I just didn't know where it was going. The characters didn't even know where they were going. They were literally just walking around. Not exactly the most exciting stuff. Later on, though, the story gets better, there's a ton of action, and it's so ridiculously fast-paced that there are times when you have to go back and re-read scenes that just come in a flash and go. I read this book in one night, and I kind of regret that, because I think it made me absorb the book less, and just not enjoy it as much as I could've. Sort of like when I cram in a World History AP chapter in the night before a quiz. I obviously do not enjoy that.

Last but not least, there are two things I have a serious problem with. One: Stick is a major jerk. He is high on my list of book character jerks, because.... well, he's just not a good person. (Trying to keep this PG here.) I didn't like or trust him early on, and then later, he's just... a donkey. Granted, I understand his motives and his feelings, but I just didn't like his character at all. (I also disliked Rat, but he dies anyways, so I don't really care.) Another thing. The cover. Are you freaking kidding me? Dearest publishers, I am so grateful to you for publishing such fantastic, wonderful books. I really am. But why are you going to publish a book that is completely from the viewpoint of an Asian chick, and then not even bother to find an Asian model for the cover? For one, that is extremely misleading because Allie Sekemoto is obviously Asian, and that cover girl is not. I'm pretty sure we're not that difficult to find. (Other points of interest: Here's a tumblr post in which Cassandra Clare answers some questions about her book covers. Yes, they used an Asian model for Jem in Clockwork Prince.) I suppose it is a major improvement that Allison is Asian at all, so props to Ms. Kagawa for that.

So now that I've made my contribution to political activism, I would like to step back from my meaner side and just say that this book is a definite read if you are a Kagawa fan. Heck, if you're a vampire fan. But Kagawa doesn't do sparkly vampires, either. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I'm very excited to see where Ms. Kagawa will take us with her new adventure. I am disappointed because I didn't get the ARC edition with a sneak peak of The Lost Prince, but hey, I am at least comforted with the knowledge that there will be a continuation of my favorite Iron Fey series!

First Line:
They hung the Unregistereds in the old warehouse district; it was a public execution, so everyone went to see.

Quotes That Stood Out to Me:
(Another thing I really liked: Julie used a Narnia reference!! If you know me at all, you know C.S. Lewis' series is my all-time favorite.)
Rat held up his arm, and my stomach went cold. In one grubby hand, he held an old, faded book, the cover falling off, the pages crumpled. I recognized it instantly. It was a made-up story, a fantasy, a tale of four kids who went through a magic wardrobe and found themselves in a strange new world. I'd read it more times than I could remember, and although I sneered at the thought of a magical land with friendly, talking animals, there were times when I wished, in my most secret moments, that I could find a hidden door that would take us all out of this place.
Thanks to the awesome people at Harlequin Teen and Media Masters Publicity, I have a finished copy of The Immortal Rules to give away! Just fill out the Rafflecopter below. Please note that your shipping information will be forwarded to the publisher.

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Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Teen Book Con 2012 Part 5

Dystopia Rising
Megan Crewe, Michael Grant, Marissa Meyer
What was the inspiration behind your book?
MM: I entered a writing contest. There was a list of items I had to include in the story, and I chose to write about sci-fi and a fairy tale character. Later I found that only two stories were entered. I didn't win. Basically, I realized that I could write something like that: a mix of sci-fi and fairy tale.
MG: I like to have an effect on people. Make them cry, scare them, creep them out. So yeah, Gone is kind of creepy.
MC: It started with a dream. I just read Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth and I had a nightmare. The only other dream about a book that I'd had before was Stephen King's The Stand. I guess viruses scare me. So I wrote about it.
The Way We Fall (Fallen World, #1)

Which of your own books would you like to see made into a movie?
MC: The Way We Fall would make a better movie.
MG: I have about 150 books. I want them all to be made into movies.
MM: Yeah, I'd love to see Cinder turn into a movie.

Pretend you're in The Way We Fall. What kind of survivor are you?
MC: I have a strong survival instinct. I'd take care of my husband and a close friend... but that's it. Everybody else would have to fend for themselves.
MG: I'm the snarky observer. Everybody wants to be the hero, but you don't know until the guns are shooting at you.
MM: I would not survive.

Who's your favorite author?
BZRKMG: Stephan King. He gave me a blurb for my book.
MM: Scott Westerfeld.
MC: The YA authors who have a lot of books in different genres.

Why did you choose to write dystopia?
MM: I wrote Cinder around when The Hunger Games first came out, so dystopia wasn't a big thing.
MG: I hadn't heard the word "dystopia" until the word came up in a panel in New York a few years ago. It just kind of happened.
MC: I don't worry about what genre I write in. I just write what I want to.

Do you have to do or have something to write?
MG: There's a lot of caffeine involved.
MM: I have to be wearing socks.
MC: I try not to distract myself. No music, I don't eat or drink.

Is there any author you would like to work with?
MG: Raymond Chandler. Patrick O'Brian. My wife, because she might hear about this later on.
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)MC: I'm a control freak, so I think we'd have problems. The story's mine. I don't think I'd want to.
MM: Same. We've tried before, but it hasn't worked. But JK Rowling. She's a genius. I couldn't contribute much, but maybe I'd just sit there and watch her.

What is your favorite classic dystopian novel?
MC: George Orwell's 1984. Animal Farm was kind of dystopian, also.
MG: Brave New World.
MM: The Giver. Eh, there's kind of a "Is it dystopian/utopian...?"

What's your favorite book that you've written?
MC: The newest one. It's more fresh and exciting. But I don't compare them otherwise.
MG: The one I just finished. I hate the one I'm working on.

Check out other Teen Book Con posts from this week!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Author Interview and Giveaway: Katie Klein

Katie KleinPlease give a warm welcome to the lovely Katie Klein, author of Cross My Heart!
Hi, Everyone!! My name is Katie, and, on my good days, I write YA novels. On normal days: I teach, I grade papers, I eat way too much fast food, and I play referee to one six-year-old and two dogs. I love to read, watch movies (and quote them), and sit around with my family laughing at all the stupid things we've done over the years (and believe me, we have plenty of memories to choose from).
3LB: Who or what inspired you to write? Do you have any role models, whether in writing or life in general?
I think Sarah Dessen (in terms of role model) is most important, because it was after I read one of her books in college that I fell in love with YA literature, and knew that's the genre I wanted to tackle, too. Otherwise, I have an amazing online support network within my writing groups (YA, Traditional and Indie); they're the ones who keep me sane. They all inspire me.
3LB: Are any of your characters or scenes based on people/events in your own life?
My characters are very much products of my own imagination, but I do find a little of myself in both Jaden and Genesis. The one scene that stands out is when (in Cross My Heart) Jaden is remembering when she learned how to drive. She talked about her dad pressing the imaginary brakes from the passenger's side seat: that was my experience, one hundred percent.
3LB: Do you have anything that you need to have around you when you write, such as a specific playlist/radio station in the background, coffee, a desk in a quiet room?
It depends on what kind of mood I'm in. I do most of my writing from my desk. Every now and then I change things up and write from bed. There's a good deal of chaos going on in my house at any given time, so sometimes "quiet" isn't an option. I have a writing playlist, too. This helps when I'm drafting. It's hard to focus when I'm editing, though (even if the songs have no words), so I prefer quiet at that point (if I can get it).
3LB: What’s next for you? What other books have you written?
I'm wrapping up the final book in my urban fantasy series (The Guardian), and my next project is going to be a YA contemporary romance. Otherwise, I've written The Guardian, Vendetta, and Cross My Heart.
3LB: Describe yourself in 3 words.
A. Hopeless. Romantic. :)
3LB: What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you'd be embarrassed to admit?
I love Melissa Joan Hart. I grew up on Clarissa Explains it All, and then Sabrina the Teenage Witch. . . . I'm kind of ashamed to admit that I try to catch episodes of her newest show (Melissa and Joey) online whenever I can. I'm also a sucker for her TV movies: My Fake Fiancé and Holiday in Handcuffs, so . . . yeah. Melissa Joan Hart is my guilty pleasure. I kind of feel like we grew up together. I love everything she does.
3LB: If you could have any supernatural ability, what would it be, and why?
I want magical conjuring powers (a la Sabrina the Teenage Witch). I want to point my finger, and *poof* the dishes are done. *Poof* the floor is vacuumed. *Poof* dinner is on the table. Right now? *Poof* the edits are finished. :)
3LB: What three people/characters would you love to meet? (They can be fictional, dead, or real and very much alive!)
This is so hard! I'm going to stick with swoon-worthy fictional boys, just to keep it simple: Mr. Darcy (obviously), Owen Armstrong from Just Listen (Sarah Dessen), and Conrad Fisher from The Summer I Turned Pretty (Jenny Han). I'm swooning just thinking about them. :)
3LB: Tell us five interesting things about yourself.
  1. I wrote my first "book" on my mom's electronic typewriter when I was in the eighth grade.
  2. My first major in college was Psychology. I came to my senses during my sophomore year and switched to English.
  3. My favorite TV shows: The New Girl and Mad Men
  4. I only like red and purple Skittles. And red and pink Starbursts.
  5. One of my fav. memories is eating grapes off the vine at my grandfather's old house.
Thank you, Katie! For more information about Ms. Klein and her books, visit:
Purchase her books:
The GuardianSeventeen-year-old Genesis Green is living anything but a charmed life. As far back as she can remember, she and her mother have been bouncing from town to town, struggling to survive on Ramen noodles and minimum wage.
     Late one evening, Genesis and her boyfriend are in a car accident. Carter’s SUV rolls, and Genesis finds herself injured, lying on the pavement. Just before she slips into the darkness an unfamiliar voice calls out to her, promising everything will be fine.
     His name is Seth, and he’s the Guardian assigned to protect her.
When Genesis begins having bizarre visions, the Guardians believe she could be useful to them. To Seth, this means stepping into the middle of an epic battle between angels and demons. Even with supernatural protection, there’s no guarantee he can keep Genesis safe, something that's becoming more important to him by the day.
     The line between reality and the celestial becomes so blurred that Genesis can't decide who’s real and who’s otherworldly, and worse: who's good and who's evil.

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Teen Book Con 2012 Part 4

Adults Are Overrated
Orson Scott Card, Inara Scott, Jessica Spotswood, Maggie Stiefvater
What's the inspiration behind your books?
JS: Born Wicked was inspired by a dream.
IS: I was reading C.S. Lewis. He was talking dualism and I wanted to do something like that, but different. What if good is bad and bad is good?
Pathfinder (Pathfinder, #1)MS: Water horses. [All I remember from her story. It was lengthy. There was something about fairies and a boat.]
OSC: Kissing scenes. [For those of you wondering how we jumped to kissing... I'm not quite sure, either.] Watching is kissing is horrible. Directing people how to kiss... uh. Now, writing kissing scenes has to get so clinical. It's no longer about the foreplay. Why are these people kissing? Why are they kissing when they are? Why are they kissing where they are? These days, it's all about the action. You have to write body parts. [And then I stopped writing because it got awkward.]

Is there some special place that you most like to write in?
JS: I like to write at night in my office. My husband is a playwright, so we have coffee shop dates.
The Marked (Delcroix Academy, #2)MS: I have to have music on, because I get so frequently distracted. In my office, I have a yoga ball. Studies show that people like Maggie concentrate better when bouncing.
JS: I was a yoga ball now, too!
OSC: I have the most boring office in the world. There's nothing to do but write or play video games.

What are you scared of?
MS: Orson.

JS: Vines. I know, it's weird. I feel like they'll get tangled in my hair and try to eat me. I don't like plants that don't flower. I don't trust them.
IS: Horror movies. Something happening to my children. That's a boring mom answer.

Orson, you talked earlier about Nathaniel Hawthorne and Moby Dick. What do you think of Charles Dickens?
OSC: The Pickwick Papers is crap. It's not even entertaining. David Copperfield was fantastic. If you're not enjoying Dickens, wait. 19th century English literature has a pace to it, and you have to slow down to enjoy it. It gets better with time. George Eliot? Never. I'm not old enough yet.

Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)Does it bother you when people say "It's just a story. It's not real."?
JS: Well... I feel like that's a lack of empathy. Sometimes, books are realer to us than real things when we're reading them.
MS: I love to make people cry. I want you to cry buckets. Your tears make me younger. I'm actually 84.
OSC: We practice real life when we're reading.

Do you hang with authors a lot?
IS: I have a community of YA authors in Portland, where I'm from, but we're all so busy and have things to do.
JS: We'd end up talking all the time...
MS: My two best friends are my critique partners. Find someone to read your book to critique.
The Scorpio RacesOSC: I have friends who write, but in different cities. I don't want to write about other writers, so I have interesting, normal friends to replenish my stock of real characters. Majoring in English is such a waste of time if you want to be a writer. Just write.
MS: See, but I have a problem with that. I have plenty of writer friends who are interesting.
OSC: Well, then you've found a better class of writers than I have.

Have you read anything recently that you really loved?
IS: Lola and the Boy Next Door.
JS: Megan Crewe's The Way We Fall. Bitterblue is my favorite this year so far.
MS: I'm in that stage of writing where I'm reading a lot of nonfiction. Not necessarily for research. I read this book from a lady who documented crazy birds that crashed into windows. I wouldn't say it was good. More... interesting. There were drawings. And I also read about tarot cards.

Check out other Teen Book Con posts from this week!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Teen Book Con 2012 Part 3

Reality Bites
Jesse Andrews, Elizabeth Eulberg, Lisa McMann, Ruta Sepetys, Siobhan Vivian
With Elizabeth Eulberg
Ruta, how did you research for this book?
Dead to YouBetween Shades of Gray Take a BowMe and Earl and the Dying GirlRS: This is what I didn't want to talk about. When we were coming up here, I told Jesse "I do not want to talk about the research." My book is set in World War II, but I wrote from the other side. Not with Hitler and everything, but those under Stalin. My father was on Stalin's execution list. I had to speak to survivors. It had been fifty years, but the pain was still so raw. I sat in a train car that was used to send people into Siberia for 12 hours. I went to Latvia, where they had this prison simulation experience. They wouldn't let me in at first, because I was American, but I offered to pay them. The prisoners, they were weak and starving. It was a way of terrorizing them. They needed a way to simulate this experience, this terror, so they beat us. I didn't think it would happen, but there I was, a stupid American with fistfuls of money, paying to sit in a prison for 24 hours. I was wearing a necklace. Yeah, who wears jewelry to a prison? A large man came up to me, yelled something in Russian (which I didn't understand, of course), and ripped off the necklace. Then he hit me across the face. They all started kicked and spitting at me. I was never more scared in my life.
The List[I wasn't able to get down everything Ruta said, but I typed up basically everything she told us. I just couldn't believe what she went through. It sounded so horrible.]

What was your favorite author growing up? Did they impact you later on in your writing?
LM: Road Dahl. I love Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
SV: I like spunky girls. Anne of Green Gables.
RS: I like books with death and kissing. *everybody laughs* Yeah, those two go hand in hand. Like Ethan Frome. "Let's crash into a tree and die together!" But I like kissing.
EE: I liked reading about things I could experience, which is why I write realistic fiction. Betsy Tacy, Cynthia Voigt.
JA: Road Dahl is like... the best writer ever. The Phantom Tollbooth.

Check out other Teen Book Con posts from this week!


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