Thank you so much for all the good wishes! I am so excited! It's weird working on a book for so long *in secret* -- and then it finally feels REAL. Well, real as a book. A future book. How cool. I want to be a book when I grow up! Last night I googled Daughter of Smoke and Bone for the first time and it was weird. The title is still shiny and new to me, it's different from the title I've been using *in secret* all this time, so it will take some getting used to. I really love it though, and I was really happy to get so much positive feedback on it. Thank you!
But enough about my book. How about . . . the books of others? Some news and some bragging.
First brag: I am one of the few lucky humans on the planet to have read Stephanie Perkins' brand new manuscript, Lola and the Boy Next Door.
You may remember me bragging once upon a time when I'd read her first manuscript, Anna and the French Kiss, before it was either agented or published. Now it is BOTH! Well, Steph just got her advance reading copies in the mail, so it exists in that form, and it is eminently pre-order-able (out in December!). Ahem. It is one to own AND to give to your favorite girls/young women. It is SO good, and so is Lola (which I was just the first person to rate on Goodreads!). This is the highest praise I can think of: there are (3) conditions in the universe under which I would agree to be a teenager again. They are:
1) That it be of short duration, and I am guaranteed to hop right back to my regularly scheduled life.
2) Millions of dollars in compensation. Millions.
3) That it be like living a Stephanie Perkins novel. Because . . . yum. I would be a teenager again for that. Seriously, they are dreamy and romantic but also smart and quirky and real. You will love them. Love love love. I'm so excited for the world getting to discover Stephanie's books SOON! (December, but if you are lucky or crafty, you might snag an ARC before then!) I will do a proper review once I get an ARC or copy and read the final version -- I can 't WAIT!!!!!!!!!
Second book news: Happy book birthday to the lovely and wonderful Holly Cupala, whose debut, Tell Me A Secret, came out this week. Congratulations, Holly!!! I met Holly for the first time over three years ago in New York at the winter SCBWI conference, and she is one of the people I've met through SCBWI (the other is Lee Wind), where Jim and I have had discussions as to whether they could really be that nice. Or is it just an act? Ha ha. In the case of both Lee and Holly: it's for real. That nice. Truly. And while I've only read the first few pages of Holly's book so far (more once I've read it), it is beautiful right from the start. Here's a quickie synopsis:
It's tough living in the shadow of a dead girl. . . .
In the five years since her bad-girl sister Xanda's death, Miranda Mathison has wondered about the secret her sister took to the grave, and what really happened the night she died. Now, just as Miranda is on the cusp of her dreams—a best friend to unlock her sister's world, a ticket to art school, and a boyfriend to fly her away from it all—Miranda has a secret all her own.
When two lines on a pregnancy test confirm her worst fears, Miranda is stripped of her former life. She must make a choice with tremendous consequences and finally face her sister's demons and her own.
In this powerful debut novel, stunning new talent Holly Cupala illuminates the dark struggle of a girl who must let go of her past to find a way into her own future.
Third and last book news o' the day: I just read Kiersten White's debut YA novel Paranormalcy (coming out in August, and also pre-order-able, hint), and it is a thorough delight! I don't know Kiersten personally, and I hear mixed accounts of her. On the one hand, she seems really funny and sweet and all good things. However, this eyewitness account presents a compelling counterpoint. Hm. I honestly don't know. Ha ha. It is clear from her hilarious blog that she is lovely and funny, and her book speaks for itself: fast-paced, handling a tense story line with a light, deft (and I have to say it, adorable) tone. I hope Kiersten doesn't mind the word "adorable." I don't mean it in ANY diminutive way. But Evie, her narrator-protagonist, is simply adorable. And she kicks ass. Often with a pink taser. See? Adorable.
Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.
But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.
So much for normal.