Wednesday, January 7, 2015

HUGE Author News

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Happy Wednesday TBF readers,

I have some VERY exciting news for you all today: Sarah Dessen is coming to TBF 2015! Yes, the Sarah Dessen! She is the author of best-selling author of That Summer, Someone Like You, Keeping the Moon, Dreamland, This Lullaby, The Truth About Forever, Along For the Ride, Just Listen, Lock and Key, What Happened to Goodbye, The Moon and More and Saint Anything. Her newest book, Saint Anything, will be released May 5th!

Let's hear you're excitement with all of our TBF 2015 authors by using the official TBF hashtag: #ROCTBF2015

That's it for today! Make sure you come back to the blog for more author interviews, book reviews and more!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Matched by: Ally Condie

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    Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
    The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

If you enjoy romance, crazy dystopian worlds, dynamic characters, intrigue, and mystery then you will love Matched by Ally Condie. Personally, I loved this book! The world-building in the society Cassia lives in is phenomenal. Condie has managed to create a dystopian novel with distinct elements that make this novel a unique and wonderful read.
The government structure of Matched is one of a kind. In fact, it scarily reflects our worst fears on censorship and absolute authority.  The “Officials” control every aspect of a person’s life. There are rules on what to eat, when to be outside, where you can work, what you can read, and most importantly, who you can fall in love with to marry.
However, it are these strict rules that Cassia unwittingly begins to question, after being incited to question authority with a ground-breaking, quite illegal poem. Overall, another great aspect of this book were the characters. I adored Cassia’s evolution from a devoted follower of all of her society’s rules into a perceptive young woman on the path to becoming a great leader. However, none of her actions would be possible without the power of love, which is truly what makes this novel a joy to read. Condie expertly demonstrates the transformative influence of young love through the complicated love triangle between Cassia, Ky (the forbidden boy she may be falling in love with), and Xander (the boy she destined to marry, otherwise known as her perfect match). Although, readers do not fear! There is no cliché forbidden romance triangle, but rather a relatable examination of love through the eyes of growing teenage girl. You’ll enjoy Xander’s incredibly sweet personality, while also admiring Ky’s intellect and deep sensitivity.
          If I could advice you all to do one action, it would be to read this coming-of-age dystopian novel! The characters are positively swoon-worthy, the plot is well-developed, and the issues discussed in this novel will stick with you even after you finish the last page. So, buy, check-out, or borrow Matched by Ally Condie today, and once you finish reading this book don’t forget to read the rest of this exciting series.

Book Review: The Night She Disappeared by April Henry

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Hi guys!

I just finished reading The Night She Disappeared by April Henry. The cover and content are both great! Check it out:

Gabie drives a Mini Cooper. 

She also works part time as a delivery girl at Pete’s Pizza. One night, Kayla—another delivery girl—goes missing. To her horror, Gabie learns that the supposed kidnapper had asked if the girl in the Mini Cooper was working that night. Gabie can’t move beyond the fact that Kayla’s fate was really meant for her, and she becomes obsessed with finding Kayla. She teams up with Drew, who also works at Pete’s. Together, they set out to prove that Kayla isn’t dead—and to find her before she is.

Shivering yet? And I don’t mean from the cold winter weather outdoors.

I can’t really say what I was expecting when I opened this book, but it was definitely not this thrilling, mysterious adventure, which is absolutely okay because I love this book. This spine-chilling mystery continually changes point of view between Gabby-the rich good girl with two always gone surgeons for parents, Drew-the boy trying to make enough money to survive with his drug addict mother, Kayla-the kidnapped pizza girl, and the kidnapper himself. Of course, there is always the variety of pieces of paper (fortune cookie fortunes, articles, evidence tags, and the occasional notes from your kidnapped pizza girl) that appear throughout. 

This book is fast paced and the chapters are short. It will keep you on the edge of your seat. I loved the story; the characters really strike a chord within me. Gabby, Drew, and Kayla are great characters; I loved watching them develop over the course of this mystery. Tragedy really does bring everyone together. As you read, you get to see how three different people, all with separate lives from each other, grow closer and develop friendships with people they would normally never associate themselves with because of one event that changed everything.

 I would recommend this book for anyone who wants a fast-paced mystery filled with ideas about friendship, family, and how to keep believing when everyone tells you that you’re wrong (and maybe an excuse to get pizza too).

I hope you give this great book a chance.

Author News

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Happy New Year readers!

I have some exciting news: Chris Pallace and Kevin Serwacki are coming to TBF 2015! They are the co-authors of JOEY AND JOHNNY, THE NINJAS: GET MOONED. This exciting graphic novel will be released March 31st!

That's it for today! Be sure to check out the blog again for more book reviews, author interviews and more!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Interview with TBF Author: Jennifer Niven

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Happy Holidays!

In the spirit of the holidays I decided to give you all a gift: an interview. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Niven, author of ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES.

Miranda Reads: In ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES, Finch uses Post-it notes to write down his ideas. Do you use Post-it notes to write down your writing ideas?

Jennifer Niven: Sometimes. It depends where I am when the idea happens. I’ve been known to scribble things down on napkins, receipts, wrappers, placemats—whatever happens to be handy. But recently I’ve started carrying sticky notes around with me, just in case I get inspired like Finch.

MR: In the "Author's Note", you mentioned the deaths you experienced when you were growing up. Did writing this book help you cope with the deaths of your loved ones?

JN: I wrote All the Bright Places about a hard, sad time in my life during a hard, sad time. A young writer asked me recently, “How did you write All the Bright Places without crying over it?” The answer is that I did cry while writing it, but I also knew that it was okay to cry because that meant I was tapping into all of the emotion that was going to help me write what I needed to write. Years ago, I knew and loved a boy, and that boy was bipolar. I witnessed up-close the highs and lows, the Awake and the Asleep, and I saw his daily struggle with the world and with himself. The experience of knowing him—and losing him—was life-changing. There are pieces of him and me and other people I’ve loved and lost in this book, and although I didn’t write All the Bright Places to help me cope with those deaths, I did feel some closure afterward. Writing has always been a cathartic outlet for me. Not long ago, my mother died unexpectedly, and now in the wake of her death, the writing is even more important. If you let it, the writing can save you.

MR: What do you hope readers will take away from ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES?

JN: One early reader wrote to tell me that as soon as she read the book, she ran downstairs and hugged her mother. I hope that the book inspires more of that. I also hope it inspires us to look deeper at the people and places around us. And I hope it inspires discussions about teen mental health. We need to make people feel safe enough to come forward and say, “I have a problem. I need help.” If we don’t talk about suicide or depression or mental illness, how can we expect anyone to reach out for help when they need it most? I want readers to know that help is out there, that it gets better, that high school isn’t forever, and that life is long and vast and full of possibility.

MR: Let's pretend you're performing in your high school talent show. What's your talent?

JN: I know the words to every ABBA song. I can apply lipstick without looking in a mirror. I can run very fast for short periods of time. I can count to ten in Japanese. And I belly dance. So maybe something that combines all of those things?

MR: Which author are you most looking forward to meeting at the 10th Annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?

JN: All of them!

Thank you so much Jennifer! We are super excited to get our hands on ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES and meet you in May!

To learn more about Jennifer and her books check out her website. Also be sure to follow her on Twitter and like her Facebook page.

That's it for today. Come back to the blog for more book reviews, author interviews and more!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Book Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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Hello readers,

I finished reading ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven and it was incredible. Take a look:

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.

Oh my goodness! I don't know how to describe this book! I can write a book about this book using just adjectives. It was amazing, heartwarming, tearful and life-changing. And those adjectives don't give ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES justice.

Jennifer Niven's debut young adult novel is an eye-opener to mental illnesses, something that society should become aware of and be treated with care. It's real and honest. Often the subject is avoided because it scares people. Mental illnesses can also be the butt-end of a joke and is stigmatized but it shouldn't be. Becoming aware of mental illnesses will help save lives and can save yours. If you know someone who is going through a rough time, try to support them. Reaching out to someone can mean the world to them.You can even do some of your own research and educate yourself on different mental disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder and more. ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES isn't all about mental illnesses and grief, it's about living life to the fullest. It's about young love, friendships and family. It's about finding those bright places that make you happy and happiness is everything.

I highly recommend this book for fans of Jay Asher, Gayle Forman (who is coming to TBF 2015!), John Green and Rainbow Rowell.

ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES will be at a bookstore near you on January 6th, 2015. So save those gift cards and money to buy this incredible book!

That's it for today. From everyone here on the TBF blog, we wish you a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tamora Pierce

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Hello readers,

Unfortunately, due to conflicting scheduling, Tamora Pierce will not be attending TBF 2015. However, she is hoping to attending TBF 2016. But chin up, readers, we still have 28 INCREDIBLE authors who are attending TBF 2015. I mean, look at these authors that are coming to Rochester this May:
  • M.T. Anderson
  • Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Charles Benoit
  • Heather Brewer
  • Jessica Brody
  • Michael Buckley
  • Cinda Williams Chima
  • Ally Condie
  • Matt de la Pena
  • Kevin Emerson
  • Gayle Forman
  • April Henry
  • Ellen Hopkins
  • James Howe
  • Tonya Hurley
  • Julie Kagawa
  • A.S. King
  • Jo Knowles
  • Emmy Laybourne
  • Sarah J. Maas
  • Jonathan Maberry
  • Katie McGarry
  • G. Neri
  • Jennifer Niven
  • Jason Reynolds
  • Neal Shusterman
  • Heather Terrell
  • Terry Trueman
151 DAYS UNTIL TBF! Who's excited?!

That's it for today. Be sure to check out the blog again for more book reviews, author interviews and more!