Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Kissing Kate || Lauren Myracle

When I saw this book at the book store, I'd thought for sure that Lauren Myracle had come out with yet another new novel fast on the heels of l8r, g8r. I must admit, I am not a fan of that particular series of books. I tried to read ttyl when it first came out and it drove me BANANAS. I guess I'm just too old to appreciate an entire story written in IMs, or maybe I think they just belong on the computer. What I hadn't realized, though, is that in the before those books blew up the NYT Bestseller list, I'd already bought and read Rhymes with Witches. I mean, what an awesome title, right? But the point is that I hadn't realized I liked her writing in spite of the IM craziness of her best-selling Internet Girls series.

So anyway, I picked up Kissing Kate at the library after spotting it at a bookstore, and was immediately intrigued by the blurb on the back. Best friends, sharing a kiss, and dealing with the fallout. I was thrilled to find out it was a first novel, because it is done so well. The style reminded me a lot of Sarah Dessen, who is my 2nd favorite author of all time (Adam Selzer is #1), and that automatically drew me in. She nicely weaves in multiple story lines, expertly sprinkles in the backstory in a way that made me crazy to know what happened, but not frustrated because she delievered just when the suspense got to be too much.

This book does a great job of taking a sensitive topic and exploring it in a realistic and clear way. Lauren's first novel is definitely something an aspiring author like me strives for.

And my favorite part? In the back of her book, she says this about her first novel: "It came neither quickly nor easily. When I pick up books at the bookstore, they always seem so glossy and enticing, so polished, and sometimes, I have the despairing thought that words leapt cleanly from the author's mind to the page—snap, just like that. This was certainly not the case for me. I mention this because some of you are writers, too. Keep plugging away, and keep the faith!"

I know just how she feels. Believe me.

Thank you, Lauren. I'm plugging and keeping. :) ♥

Buy it here: Kissing Kate

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A-List #8 | Heart of Glass || Zoey Dean

I've been following the A-List novels since they came out a few years ago. There were tons of these books floating around—the rich, bitchy cliquey girls who seemed to be mean and exclusionary—there were the Gossip Girls, the Clique... you get my drift.

Of all the books of that sort, A-List was the one that caught my eye. I followed it religiously for a while, but I got to one particular book in the series and almost gave up on it. The name-dropping and overall snobbery frustrated me to the point that I almost didn't give a crap about Anna and Ben or Dee's increasing psychosis.

Dean has redeemed herself with this last one, though. The characters are proving to be much more dimensional than first thought, and although they still tend to get themselves into outrageous situations, they are handling them with class and the kind of assertiveness I wish I'd had as a teenager. I really enjoyed this last book and I am looking forward to the "next juicy A-List novel."

Buy it here: A-List #8, The: Heart of Glass: An A-List Novel (A-List)