All tagged Sarah Tregay

Kicking Off Podcast Season 3: Episode #27, "Hug It Out"

Hi folks! Welcome to season three of the Official, One and Only Clear Eyes, Full Shelves Podcast!

Apologies for the long hiatus, but we had reasons. We've both done a lot of reading and watching television/movies during our time off, and we kept circling back to the idea of the way family relationships are portrayed. More often than not, it's hard for both of us to see familiar patterns and resolutions that feel "real." Obviously, as we mention in this episode, we only have our own experiences to draw on, but we also know we can't be alone. 

Remember, if you want to get your new episodes early, subscribe in iTunes, the show drops there about a day earlier than it does here. 


Accidental Inspiration (Or What Happened When a Wrench Landed in My Verse Novel), by Sarah Tregay

My next book, Fan Art, will hit shelves on June 17th. Like Love and Leftovers, it is a contemporary young adult romance, and unlike Love and Leftovers, it is written in prose.

Fan Art didn’t start off that way. It began as a short story in verse, and later turned into a proposal for a novel. But the day after my editor said, “Yes, we’d be interested,” I received a second phone call. In order to reach more readers, Fan Art was not to be a novel in verse. I understood. A LGBT love story and a verse novel was narrowing the market too much.

How has half a year gone by already? Seriously, 2012… slow down!

I thought I’d use this Sunday’s List-O-Rama to round up some of my most memorable reads thus far in 2012—and I am going to bug Laura, Renegade and Sandra to do the same. (We’ll see if they cooperate, the CEFS contributors are not known for their blind acquiescence.)

Published in 2012

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

YA Novels

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler - This is definitely my favorite Sarah Ockler; I definitely connected with dynamics of growing up in a small down. {Review | Amazon | Goodreads}

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - This book has been rather divisive, but I loved it—and I really affected by the TFiOS tour stop I attended.  {Review | Amazon | Goodreads}

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller - SLN is a book I’ve been recommending left and right to people—especially those who are afraid of reading YA. It strikes a perfect note of authenticity. {Review | Amazon | Goodreads}


We’ve spent the last week evangelizing* about the awesomeness of novels in verse, in case you haven’t noticed. Since we’re sure we’ve convinced you that you have to pick up your first novel in verse righ now, we thought we’d give you a few suggestions about where to start. 

Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay

Love & Leftovers was Laura’s introduction to novels in verse and you really cannot go wrong with this one. It’s a fantastic story and the writing is spectacular! I dare you not to love it. 

{Sarah’s Review}

{Buy it at Amazon | Book Depository}

{Add it on Goodreads}


I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder

To be honest, any Lisa Schroeder would be a great novel in verse first read, but this one has a different take a ghost story and is very, very readable if you’re nervous about trying verse. It’s also very short, which can be nice when you’re trying something new.

{Buy it at Amazon | Book Depository}

{Add it on Goodreads}


I accidentally read my first novel-in-verse on February 29th, 2012. 

Sarah and I are book doppelgangers, so when she strongly recommended the book Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay, I blindly hit the one-click purchase button on Amazon and downloaded it to my Kindle without bothering to read the description.

By the time I realized that the book lacked any sort of prose, I was already mesmerized by the verse form. I was late to work that day because I sat in my car figuring out how to use the highlighting function on my Kindle for the first time.

Later, I almost forgot to pay for my lunch because I had finally figured out how to use the highlighting function on my Kindle and was frantically trying to highlight the entire book before the end of my lunch hour.

And THEN, I was fiendishly delighted that my SHO had to work late that evening because it allowed me to devour the rest of the book after I got home from work without interruption.

Now, of course you must be thinking (because you all know me so well and all),

But Laura! Of course you love novels-in-verse! You’re a piano player! And a singer! That means you love poetry! And novels-in-Verse are TOTALLY poetry!

Um. No.

Actually, I don’t “get” poetry. The word “poetry” has traditionally evoked a strong negative reaction from me.

verse: I love you so

not really poetry but

yet still poetic*

Novel in Verse

Laura and I both have a relatively newfound, near-obsessive love for novels in verse. And, seeing as how April is/was National Poetry Month, we thought we’d usher in May with some love for novels in verse.

This week, we’ll be celebrate all that we love about novels in verse, highlighting some of our favorites and talking about what it is that makes verse novels so very special.

We hope you enjoy Clear Eyes, Full Shelves’ celebration of novels in verse—we’re thinking that we’ll make this an annual tradition of sorts, expanding it next year to include other folks as well. 

To kickoff Novel in Verse Week we have…

Five Truths About Novels in Verse

1. It is a known fact that novels in verse > poems.

Okay, okay… so some folks will probably disagree with me, but hear me out. Poetry is pretty nifty: you have rhyming (sometimes), meter, interesting structures and language plays. With novels in verse—you get all of that, plus a whole story! Plus, novels in verse often play with many different poetic forms in a single novel. (One of my favorites, Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay, does this brilliantly.)

We met Rebeca at the March meeting of Portland’s Forever Young Adult Book Club. (Come hang with us at The Kennedy School on April 21!) Rebeca is a voracious reader, so her request for some new reads is super-tough, because she’s read a lot of books—a lot. She’s in particular need of some books that make her feel good—nothing sad or depressing or violent or where everyone dies in the end. 

Here are her responses to our extremely scientific Book Matchmaker Questionnaire

YA or Adult: Surprise me!

Genres: Contemporary, Historical, Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Magical Realism

POV & Narrative Style: First Person, Third Person, Multiple POV, Epistolary, Graphic Novel or Graphic Elements, Present Tense, Past Tense, Male POV, Female POV, Unreliable Narrator

Swoon Factor: 5

Gross Out Factor: 4

Smut Factor: 5

Fluff Factor: 5

Favorite Books and/or Themes: “Fairy tales, unexpected moments, books that make me think, clever & smart writing, angst. Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite writers and I also love books like Sherry Thomas’ Not Quite a Husband.”

Hated Tropes/Themes: “Please, nothing sad or disturbing and no non-fiction.”

We had to call in some expert advice on this one, since Rebeca has read everything. So our Twitter friend and soon-to-be published author Alanna Blackett (her first novella, Unsecure Connection—which sounds extremely badass is out later this month from Decadent) lent us a hand. 

I ordered Love & Leftovers soon after I finished Audition because I’d really enjoyed that novel in verse and I’d remembered that April had really enjoyed this one as well. The verse in Love and Leftovers is actually far more enjoyable than in Audition, as it plays with form to build tension throughout the novel. If you’re nerdily interested in that sort of thing, L&L is worth reading for that aspect alone.

What I was really surprised by was how compelling and “edgy” (ugh, I hate that word) this one is. The marketing for L&L made me assume it was a “cute/sweet” read (I’ve got no problem with that at all), but it actually dealt with a lot of issues in a realistic manner, particularly teens and intimacy in many of its forms. Marcie is dragged on a permanent vacation from her hometown of Boise to New Hampshire by her mother.