Thursday, December 10, 2009

Curl up with some great YA reads this winter

This time of year, I just want to curl up under the covers and read lots of good books. I'm sure many of you do too. And goodness knows that if I'm ever snowed in, I have plenty of books lining my shelves to read (we're talking 4 digits, people). There are so many wonderful YA books coming out each month that it's impossible to keep up with them, though I do buy quite a few and check out others from the library so I don't go totally broke. :) So here are a couple of titles to add to your TBR pile if you haven't already.

Earlier this year, YA author Jennifer Echols and I, as the only two YA authors in attendance at a reader event, sat next to each other during the signing. She bought my book, and I bought hers. I just recently got around to reading Going Too Far, and am I glad I did. I read so much paranormal YA that it had been awhile since I'd read a straight contemporary YA. In Going Too Far, Meg is a smart but rebellious teen who wants nothing more than to graduate and get out of her small Alabama town. She dyes her hair crazy colors, dates questionable guys but doesn't get attached, and gets into enough trouble that her parents are about to wash their hands of her. One night on a secluded railroad bridge changes her life. She's arrested and ends up having to spend her spring break riding the midnight shift with Officer John After, an entirely too straight-laced (but attractive) cop barely older than she is. As the week progresses, Meg and John learn a lot about each other -- including why she wants to leave their hometown and why he chose to stay. Lately, I've had one book that I read by my treadmill and another on the nightstand to read when I go to bed. I became so engrossed with Going Too Far that I started toting it back and forth. I might have even walked longer than normal to read more chapters. Maybe I have Jennifer to thank for not only a great story but the loss of a pound or two. :)

Author Web site:

The cover on Heather Davis' Never Cry Werewolf is another of those that is very eye-catching, which is a good thing in the ever-more-crowded YA marketplace. I remember when Heather sold this book, and it's taken a while to hit store shelves. But I'm thinking it's good timing. After all, those thousands of Jacob Black-crazy girls are probably looking for more werewolf books about right now. In Never Cry Werewolf, Shelby's post-curfew kiss with a hot boy is the last straw that has her father and stepmother sending her off to a summer brat camp for spoiled rich kids. She doesn't really feel like she fits in. After all, she grew up in a normal family in the Midwest until her mother died, her scientist father remarried and he made a zillion dollars developing a cosmetic drug. She's not the kid of a famous rock star like the really cute Austin Bridges III, who shows up at the same camp. Shelby tells herself all she has to do to survive the camp and not get sent to a worse boot camp in the desert is just stay away from boys for the duration of her stay at Camp Crescent. But when she finds out that Austin isn't only a hottie but also a werewolf who is going to go hairy and howley if he doesn't get the medicine the camp counselors confiscated, keeping a low profile goes right out the window.

Though Heather says on her site that a young Heath Ledger was her vision of Austin, I kept picturing Nick Simmons, Gene Simmons' son. Maybe because Nick and Austin are both sons of crazy rockers.

Author Web site:

YA News

Anyone who has had access to a news outlet the past couple of weeks knows that New Moon has been raking in the dough big time. I didn't get to go on opening day but did make it two days later and really enjoyed the film. The release date for the next movie, Eclipse, is set to release June 30, 2010.

Speaking of all things Twilight, Taylor Lautner is hosting Saturday Night Live this week. Click here to see a short promo.

While at New Moon, I saw the trailer for Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, set to hit theaters on Presidents' Day. I've not read the Rick Riordan book series on which this is based, but I'm adding them to my list. Take a look at the trailer.

Anxious to read the last installment of Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games trilogy? Me too! The still untitled book will be released Aug. 24, 2010, so mark your calendars.


  1. Hey Trish!
    Yes, this is the exact time of the year I want everyone to go away so I can sit by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate and read to my hearts content. I have a huge TBR pile and I can't wait to dive into it.

    Thanks for the heads up on the next Hunger Games installment - what a great series and I'm so anxious to get the next one.

    Haven't seen Twilight yet so I'm thinking I'll wait until New Moon comes out on DVD and then have a day where I watch both movies in a row.

  2. Morning Trish!

    I've been hearing wonderful things about Going too Far all over the internet. The last thing I need to be doing is adding to my tbr mountain but I may have to make an exception for this book.

    I haven't seen Twilight or New Moon but the teen girl in my life has been raving about both. Your monthly columns are helping me keep up to speed on the latest and greatest in YA so I don't look totally clueless in her eyes.

    Thank you!

  3. Hello, Trish.
    I've never (GASP!) read TWILIGHT, but my sister called me the other night to ask me if I had because she just finished it and really liked it. She said the author just wrote in a way that compelled her to read. I was a little stunned that she had read it because my sister pretty much strictly reads only Christian authors and books.
    GOING TOO FAR sounds good.

  4. Hey Trish!

    Question for you. I've been hearing a ton about Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Have you read it? And if so, what's the age range that it's appropriate for?

    I'm hearing it's along the lines of Twilight and Melissa Marr's Fae Court series. Do you agree?


    Oh! And PJ you really MUST read Gone Too Far. It's just swoon-worthy! Officer Able FTW! No really, I loved this book indescribably! :evilgrin:

  5. Thanks for the recs, Trish!

    You'll enjoy Percy Jackson, I think. It's for a younger crowd, and my oldest boy loves them!

  6. LOL @ Kati! Okay, you and Trish have sold me. :)

  7. Good morning, everyone. After a late night of working on new books, I've finally crawled out of bed to greet a new day.

    Marisa, your two-movie viewing play sounds like fun. Get all the popcorn, Junior Mints, Twizzlers, etc., and invite over all your girlfriends. Wait, now I want to do that. :)

  8. PJ, I really think you'll enjoy Going Too Far. I could kick myself for not reading it sooner, but I seem to collect books faster than I can read them.

    Deb, that's interesting about your sister and Twilight. I know the series has its detractors, but I enjoyed it. For awhile there was all this debate about her vs. J.K. Rowling (perpetrated by readers and media types, not the authors, who both seem to be lovely ladies), which I thought was silly. They're very different kinds of writers, and I think there's room for both of them and many, many other authors. Teens who read tend to be voracious readers. Jo, in my opinion, is the better craftsman when it comes to writing, but I don't think that negates that I think Stephenie is a good storyteller.

  9. Kati, I'm sorry I can't help, but I've not read Beautiful Creatures yet. Sorry. But it does look good.

    Hey, Deb Marlowe! Always good to see you here.

  10. Trish, I agree about J.K. Rowling. I gobbled up the first Harry Potter book. My BIL has read all of them.

    All of you authors are so talented in crafting stories: in different ways, styles, and genres!

    Two authors can write the same type of story (say, Regency England, notorious rake, sweet girl), but each author uses their own special writing touch to craft the story.

  11. Hey Trish!
    Being in college has put a hold on me getting to read what I want to read, but Christmas break for me begins this afternoon and I'll definitely have to check these two books out. Going Too Far looks very good!

  12. Trish, thank you SO MUCH for the shout out! And I am thrilled to be mentioned in the same post with Heather. Big hugs to both of you!

  13. Hey, Trisha. Great name. :)

    Ah, I remember that wonderful feeling of Christmas break, where you didn't have to do homework and could actually read what you wanted. Have a great break and happy reading! Any other books already on your to-read list for this break?

  14. Hey, Jennifer. So happy you stopped by! I really did love your book. I can't wait until Forget You comes out next summer.

  15. Thanks for the reviews on these two great-sounding YA titles, Trish. I especially like the premise of Going Too Far. I'll be sure to check it out.

    I'm a little tired of werewolves and vampires LOL, so this contemp sounds like a nice break.

  16. Jo, I hope you enjoy Jennifer's book. Yes, there are lots of vamps and werewolves out there, but the reading public seems to love them, me included. It is nice to reading something totally different for a change of pace though. I'm going to shoot for at least one non-paranormal YA per month. I have several great-looking ones on my shelves just waiting for me to read them.

  17. I made a note to check out Going Too Far too. Thanks, Trish.

    I bought two copies of a YA novel, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, to give as Christmas gifts. It has the kind of heroine I want the middle-schoolers I love best to be reading, and it's a terrific story.

  18. Janga, I hadn't heard of Calpurnia Tate, but I just read the overview online and it sounds like a wonderful story. Adding to my list.

  19. Hey, Trish! Okay, I'm convinced, too -- I'm going to pick up Jennifer Echols's book on my next trip to the bookstore!

  20. I have quite a few books on my list to read, including ones from Lisa Kleypas, Kathryn Smith, and a few others. I'm ready!!

  21. Great post Trish!

    GOING TO FAR sounds like a great book! Since I live in the South, I'm always interested to read about books based in the South.

  22. Buffie, I like books set in the South too, and since Jennifer lives in the South she gets it right. The small town stuff rings true as well.

  23. Hi Trish! Thanks for update on the last book in The Hunger Games Trilogy. I simply cannot wait!

    I read the Percy Jackson 5 book series in-- pretty much--one sitting. Excellent books! Great concept, exceptional voice. Looking forward to the movie in Feb. 2010.

  24. Trish, I loved Going Too Far! I reviewed it for RNTV awhile back.

    I saw the trailer for Percy Jackson when we went to see New Moon. Looks fabulous! My 10 year old daughter spent most of the movie telling me how hot Jacob was. LOL Since I'm old enough to be his mother, I felt like a bit of a pervert thinking how buff I thought he was. ;)

  25. Hi Trish, YA has never really been my thing but you always whet my appetite for them when you review. Great job! I'll be looking out for these books.

    Christine, one of the only people in the universe yet to read Twilight:)