Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox (Week of March 25th)

For review:
Love and Haight by Susan Carlton
Black City by Elizabeth Richard
The Selection by Kiera Cass
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Shadow and Bones by Leigh Bardugo
Cold Fury by TM Goeglein
No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz
The Implosion of Aggie Winchester or The Waiting Sky by Lara Zielin
The Right & The Real by Joelle Anthony

Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Guest Post from Marni Bates on Music

I love music. So I am very excited to share a post about how music affects writing. Marni Bates has written the books Marni(about her struggle with trichotillomania) and Awkward(about Mackenize who becomes internet famous). Both were amazing. So I am excited to share this post. I hope you enjoy. 
I love finding music that fits my novels! And when I stumble across a song that connects to my life, I listen to is obsessively. So here's my playlist for Awkward: Starz in Their Eyes ~ Just Jack. This song definitely inspired me to write Awkward because it's about the way people can manipulate you when you reach a certain level of notoriety. I definitely see Mackenzie as someone with stars in her eyes when her YouTube video garners four million hits.

Solo Impala (Take the Money and Run) ~ The Fashion. I couldn't resist referencing The Fashion in the book. I love the sense of energy and urgency in this song. I think a part of Mackenzie wants to take the money her newly acquired fame could bring and run. But beyond that . . . this song really has nothing to do with the book. I just love it.  

Sideways ~ Let's Go Sailing Okay, I always think about Mackenzie and Logan when I hear this song and not in a happy, bubbly way but in an I'm-about-to-bawl-my-eyes-out way. I listened to it on repeat when Kenzie finally figures out that she likes Logan . . . and thinks that he's back together with Chelsea.

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart ~ Wilco Another heartbreak song. I always pictured Mackenzie listening to this during quiet moments on the bus with ReadySet and Corey. (Spoiler alert! It comes up in Jane's book, Invisible.)

The Show ~ Lenka I think this song encapsulates Awkward so well! Here's a sampling of the lyrics: I'm just a little bit caught in the middle Life is a maze and love is a riddle. I don't know where to go, can't do it alone. I've tried. And I don't know why . . . It fit the story so well that I used it in my homemade book trailer.

Overboard ~ Ingrid Michaelson I almost used this song for the book trailer. In fact, I was tempted to use almost every single Ingrid Michaelson song. If you haven't listened to her, you should remedy that immediately. Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles provide the soundtrack to my life. Both of them have wonderful songs with clever lyrics. In fact . . .

Gonna Get Over You ~ Sara Bareilles (or "Uncharted." It's so hard to pick just one song!) I think of this as Mackenzie's victory song when she finally realizes that she doesn't have to spend her life fearing the Notables. It's also her anti-Patrick song. Love it! (Spoiler alert! If things hadn't worked out with Logan, I think Mackenzie would have listened to this song and pulled herself back together. It wouldn't have been easy, but she's a strong girl. Although I'm still glad she didn't have to do it!)

A Million Ways (to be Cruel) ~OK Go I totally geeked out when Awkward readers asked me if ReadySet was modeled on OK Go. The answer: yes! If you guessed this, you win major bragging rights! I've been an OK Go fan for years so I guess it was only natural for them to spring to mind when I started to create my fictional rock band. Naming them ReadySet was an intentional homage . . . and I'm thrilled that people picked up on it! For those of you unfamiliar with their work: YouTube the following: Here it Goes Again, White Knuckles, and This Too Shall Pass. You won't be disappointed!

I think A Million Ways to be Cruel might be the most fitting for Chelsea Halloway (the reigning Notable queen, Mackenzie's nemesis, and the main protagonist of book four). She knows exactly how to use people's weaknesses to her advantage but she still hasn't figured out how to battle her own insecurities. There might be a million ways to be cruel but what Chelsea will have to face is a lot harder than high school! Hmm . . . I think Get Over It and You're So Damn Hot might be fitting for Chelsea too! I've got it! Chelsea's song is The World Should Revolve Around Me by Little Jackie! Sorry, I tend to focus solely on music for my work in progress. Which is actually calling my name . . . Bye!

Monday, March 12, 2012


The Winner of Black City was Jessy.  Now Alicia.
The Winner of Love? Maybe was Kat T. Now Grace R.
Please email or respond me if you won in the next 48 hours. Thanks to everyone that entered.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Awkward by Marni Bates

Source: Publisher 
Mackenzie Wellesley has spent her life avoiding the spotlight. At Smith High, she's the awkward junior people only notice when they need help with homework. Until she sends a burly football player flying with her massive backpack and makes a disastrous - not to mention unwelcome - attempt at CPR. Before the day is out, the whole fiasco explodes on YouTube. And then the strangest thing happens. Suddenly, Mackenzie is an Internet sensation, with four million hits and counting. Sucked into a whirlwind of rock stars, paparazzi, and free designer clothes, she even catches the eye of the most popular guy at school. And that's when life gets really interesting...
I am a very awkwardly social person and I could relate to a lot that Mackenzie did or said. She was a really fun and sweet character that remained down to earth in every situation. I also like Corey and Jane. They seemed like amazing friends and supported her as she tried to figure out what to do. Logan is a popular guy that Mackenzie tutored. He was really nice and a generally good person that I instantly liked. The plot is very quick and funny. I enjoyed reading it, in the midst of  preparing finals and writing papers, which is definitely saying something. It is a little predictable in a few ways, but not predictable in other ways. I still enjoyed it. Bates' writing is clever and funny and she can definitely create a good story. I recommend this to anyone that wants a cute and fun read with characters that are easy to relate to, while with fantastic writing. I am really excited to read her next book.


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