All tagged Robin Benway

Recommendation Roundup: Summer 2015

Hi folks! I'm happy to share our summer recommended reads with you. It's funny, I keep saying that I haven't gotten super excited about many books this year, but here we have 20+ books that we feel good about recommending--I guess are some good ones out there after all!

Reading has been tough this summer--I took on some huge projects that have competing deadlines and that means my eyeballs aren't too happy with me by the end of the day, so I haven't been reading as much. Plus I've been (intentionally) checked out from a lot of the book chatter online, so I haven't been as on it with regard to what's new and buzzed. (Not necessarily a bad thing.)

Onward to the recommendations!

Listorama: 11 Books for the Younger YA Crowd

This week, Middle Grade and YA author Lisa Schroeder* made couple of great observations on Twitter about the importance of books that bridge the gap between younger readers and the upper young adult books that have a high crossover appeal to adults. 

Adult crossover appeal is huge in the YA market at the moment (though I question this on some level, since the numbers aren't as huge as we're lead to believe), so it makes sense that these are the books that get attention, especially in the online reviewing world. But Lisa's comment got me thinking about that space in 7th, 8th, 9th grade where there's definitely a gap in terms of attention to the appeal of that audience in online reviews. So, I thought it would be useful to put together a list. (Please add your recommendations in the comments, if you're so inclined.)

And thanks to Lisa for helping with some suggestions!

Recommendation Roundup: Dec. 2013 & Jan. 2014

I combined December and January's recommendation posts due to our year-end List of Awesome compilation. We have a ton of very mixed books to recommend this time--I think the only one we all read was Jennifer Lynn Barnes' super-fun thriller The Naturals, which our book club read in January. 

I had a particularly good run of books over the last couple months, including that I got to read a super-early copy of Lisa Schroeder's lovely new novel, The Bridge from Me to You, which was special to me for a number of reasons (disclosure: including this), but particularly because it reminded me so much of growing up in small town Oregon. 

I was also excited to discover Maureen McGowan's action-packed post-apocalyptic thriller series (Deviants and Compliance), which is a whole lot of fun--especially on audio. And, if you're looking for a charming adult novel about the suckitude of adulting, I have to point you to You Had Me at Hello--it was a bestseller in the U.K. for a reason, let me tell you. 

AND! One one final note, I was thrilled to read another super-early copy of a much-anticipated book, Gabrielle Zevin's The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, which I adored. If you like Zevin's novels, you'll love this one, trust me.

Obviously, Sandra discovered the awesomeness of Sarah Addison Allen this month--hooray for another convert! And I peer-pressured Laura into reading more Liza Palmer, as one does...

Onward to the recommendations!

Podcast 14: What's Love Got to Do with It? YA & Romance with Author Robin Benway

In this episode of our podcast, we dig into the topic of romance and fiction for teens with author Robin Benway. This is an interesting topic, as there are, well, complicated.

Robin is the author of Audrey, Wait!, The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June, and Also Known As, which was released in February 2013. The sequel to Also Known As, Going Rogue, will be out in early 2014. She lives in Los Angeles with her shih tzu, Hudson.

You can learn more about Robin by visiting her website or by following her onFacebook or Twitter

As always, you can listen to the podcast by streaming on this page, downloading the MP3 below or by subscribing in iTunes. If you're an iTuner, we very much appreciate your rating the podcast, as it helps us to show up in iTunes searches. We're also now on Stitcher Radio, so if you prefer that app, you can subscribe here.  

12 Tiny Reviews

I have a ton of posts and reviews in various stages of completion, but my real-life (paying) work just keeps getting in the way of my actually finishing anything. So, I thought I'd post a bunch of rapid-fire tiny reviews. Items with an asterisk (*) are currently planned for a longer post.

Unraveling & Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris (Audiobooks) 

This series was a wonderful surprise, full of action and an authentic teenage voice. I loved that despite that it's a very plot-heavy story, lots of different types of relationships are explored as well.

Read the rest-->

Review: Also Known As by Robin Benway

...I had a shiny new plan.

And like most of my plans, it involved deviousness, blatant lying, and coffee.

I started with the coffee first.

About a month ago, I re-watched all five seasons of Alias (and, yes, I'm still mad about the suckitude of the final season) and found myself wishing that I could find books that fit the Alias-style mold: spying, action, romance and humor all wrapped into a quickly-paced, mysterious storyline.

Around the same time, I went to ALA's mid-winter exhibits and ended up in a conversation with one of the representatives from Bloomsbury about how I wished there were more young adult novels that were full of smart humor (I'd just finished reading and loving The Reece Malcolm LIst, which nails that). The rep then dug into her stash of review copies and handed me Robin Benway's Also Known As.

Strangely, not only had a never read Benway, I'd never even heard of her, despite that seemingly everyone on the internet adored Audrey, Wait!‚Äč

Clearly, the reading stars aligned, converging as Also Known As, a fun, fresh and absolutely charming novel.