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FLASHBACK FRIDAY (4) – STOLEN: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher @LucyCAuthor
Jan 31st, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

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To learn more about Flashback Friday, check out FICTION FARE!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY (4)

6408862STOLEN: A Letter to My Captor

By Lucy Christopher

Pub Date: May 4, 2009

Publisher: Chicken House Ltd

To purchase, including audiobook check Amazon & Barnes and Noble

Literary Awards:

 

From Goodreads: 

It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.

This is my story.

A letter from nowhere.

Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back?

The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don’t exist – almost.

My review posted on Goodreads – February 2011

I started this YA novel late last night with one of the worst blizzards to hit Milwaukee in a decade. A perfect setting I may add and a complete contrast to the blistering heat described in this masterful novel about a sixteen-year-old girl named Gemma who was kidnapped from a Bangkok airport and taken to the Outback in Australia. This is a bloody brilliant read that will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. It’s probably the most vivid novel I have ever read describing the horror and beauty of the characters and landscape. From reading other reviews I realized there were contrasting perspectives. In my opinion, STOLEN is a extraordinary piece of art. True works of art – masterpieces – I believe evoke strong emotions, not indifference. A masterpi

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ece stirs the soul, gets you thinking, attacks the senses. I loved this book in the way I would appreciate a work of a master artist who painted haunting images or a movie like Schindler’s List directed by Steven Spielberg – no comparison here to the Holocaust, only the mastery of an art form.
I hope people will read STOLEN. Read it with the eyes of an artist and appreciate the brilliance in each and every word.

Lucy’s Website

Lucy’s Twitter

Lucy’s Facebook

 

Cover Reveal ——–> THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING by Rachel Harris
Jan 26th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

COVER REVEAL:Rachel Harris 022 - compressed for web

THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING

By (the awesome!) Rachel Harris

Release Date: September 30, 2014

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

Add it to your “to read” list on Goodreads

FineArtofPretending_RachelHarris_FINALCOVER_front (2)

ABOUT THE BOOK:

According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you’re friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.

But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.

What do I think of the cover?

I LOVE IT! Honestly, I can’t wait to read this book. The description makes me want to get my hands on this novel NOW. I’m a sucker for romantic YA contemporary, and if you’ve read anything by Rachel Harris, you know this is going to be sooooooooo goooooooood! Congrats, Rachel!

Find Rachel Harris Online: 

FLASHBACK FRIDAY (3) – I’LL BE THERE by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Jan 24th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

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To learn more about Flashback Friday, check out Fiction Fare’s Post

I’LL BE THERE

9415957by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Published May 17th 2011

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

 

Description from Goodreads:

Emily Bell believes in destiny. To her, being forced to sing a solo in the church choir–despite her average voice–is fate: because it’s while she’s singing that she first sees Sam. At first sight, they are connected.

Sam Border wishes he could escape, but there’s nowhere for him to run. He and his little brother, Riddle, have spent their entire lives constantly uprooted by their unstable father. That is, until Sam sees Emily. That’s when everything changes.

As Sam and Riddle are welcomed into the Bells’ lives, they witness the warmth and protection of a family for the first time. But when tragedy strikes, they’re left fighting for survival in the desolate wilderness, and wondering if they’ll ever find a place where they can belong. Beautifully written and emotionally profound, I’ll Be There is a gripping story that explores the complexities of teenage passions, friendships, and loyalties.

My Review from Goodreads:

Phenomenal! I picked up I’LL BE THERE because of Gayle Forman’s praise on the back cover. And given my deep respect and admiration for Gayle as an author of two of my favorite novels–IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT–how could I resist? So glad that I didn’t. I’LL BE THERE is a heartbreaking and heartwarming story about Sam and Riddle, two boys raised in insane circumstances – abducted by their father, traveling all over the country in a stolen truck, living in squaller. But one day Sam hears Emily singing I’ll Be There and from that moment on, his life is transformed first in small ways, then forever. Suspend belief, find magic in your heart and let this YA novel take you in. (If you saw the movie AUGUST RUSH you might see a tiny glimmer of the type of magic I’m talking about in this novel. There’s a music connection. I’LL BE THERE reminded me of the movie in a positive, feel good way.)
I loved this book.
I highly recommend that you add this to the top of your to-read list.

Holly Goldberg Sloan’s Website

Holly’s Twitter

 

Blog Tour: THE JUNCTION of SUNSHINE and LUCKY by Holly Schindler, Post, Review, Giveaway
Jan 22nd, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

BlogTour'14

THE JUNCTION of SUNSHINE and LUCKY

by Holly Schindler

Publisher: Dial

Pub. Date: February 6, 2014

 

Book Description:

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” meets Because of Winn Dixie in this inspiring story of hope.
August “Auggie” Jones lives with her Grandpa Gus, a trash hauler, in a poor part of town. So when her wealthy classmate’s father starts the House Beautification Committee, it’s homes like Auggie’s that are deemed “in violation.” Auggie is determined to prove that she is not as run-down as the outside of her house might suggest. Using the kind of items Gus usually hauls to the scrap heap, a broken toaster becomes a flower; church windows turn into a rainbow walkway; and an old car gets new life as spinning whirligigs. What starts out as a home renovation project becomes much more as Auggie and her grandpa discover a talent they never knew they had—and redefine a whole town’s perception of beauty, one recycled sculpture at a time. Auggie’s talent for creating found art will remind readers that one girl’s trash really is another girl’s treasure.

Reviews:

“…a heartwarming and uplifting story…[that] shines…with vibrant themes of community, self-empowerment and artistic vision delivered with a satisfying verve.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Axioms like ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ and ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ come gracefully to life in Schindler’s tale about the value of hard work and the power of community…

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Auggie’s enthusiasm and unbridled creativity are infections, and likeminded readers will envy her creative partnership with [her grandfather] Gus.” – Publishers Weekly

My review:

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky will leave you smiling and will have you seeing art through completely different lenses.

This novel will make students observe their environment and think about what they see around them. What is beauty? What is art? These are just some of the important themes. Family, friendship, forgiveness are three other concepts that fuel this novel, along with how we view others and judge them. People may live in poverty, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have pride.

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky would be a perfect novel for MG teachers to read out loud with or to their students, and then give them the opportunity to create their own art garden with repurposed items. Can’t you see it? A place set aside outside a school for beautiful works that children made from discarded junk? I definitely can. I also could see teachers bringing in artists who would be willing to help spearhead the project.

Here are a few things that loved about this MG debut novel by the talented Holly Schindler:
1. Auggie’s relationship with her grandfather Gus. There is a lot of love and respect to their relationship and it was so much fun to see them collaborate on their art.
2. The relationship between neighbors, helping one another, supporting each other, and standing up for their community.
3. Chuck, the pastor. He played an important role in Auggie’s life, filling in a little of the gap that’s been missing because she has no parents.
4. An appreciation for used items and junkyards.
5. One man’s junk is another one’s art. Do we have a right to tell others they’re wrong to see it that way?
6. Who is a true friend? This novel explores this issue.
7. Even if a person is no longer present, her influence can still guide you.
8. Non-traditional families.

Definitely a winner for second graders and above. I hope teachers will utilize this novel as well.

 

Links:

Twitter: @holly_schindler

Facebook: facebook.com/HollySchindlerAuthor

Author site: hollyschindler.com

 

THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY & Repurposed Items (written by Holly Schindler)

In THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, Auggie and Gus repurpose old items from Gus’s trash hauls; they turn toasters or junked cars into metal flowers and wind chimes and even figures they refer to as their “company.”

I’ve been going to auctions since I was a little girl—first, I went with my folks.  These days, I go with my brother (an antiques dealer).  Some of my favorite finds (especially at rural, farm auctions) are the self-made primitives, one-of-a-kind items.  I’ve discovered all sorts of fun things—needlework on old burlap sacks, stools made from worn wooden Coke crates, quilts made from scraps of clothing.

IMG_1298I also do my fair share of repurposing old items myself.  Some of my favorite repurposed items include pieces of jewelry made from broken findings.  (The pendant of this one’s a pin with a busted clasp.  And the beads all came from broken necklaces…You can always come across jars of busted jewelry at flea markets or auctions.  They’re tough to pass up!)

You know, though, the entire manuscript of THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY is kind of a repurposed item.  When I first drafted THE JUNCTION, it was a picture book.  But the first editors who saw it thought the concept of folk art was far too advanced for picture book readers.

So I did the same thing Auggie and Gus did in the book—I took the best, prettiest parts of the draft and I reinvented it as an MG novel.  It wasn’t easy taking a 1,000-word story and reimagining it as a 45,000-word book.  But neither is reinventing a copper pipe as a dancer!  It takes serious sweat to make your artistic vision a reality—using old supplies doesn’t make the process any easier, either.  In fact, you could say it’s tougher, because you don’t exactly have a blank page.  You’ve got to use metal that’s already been bent, wood that’s already been cut and painted.  You’ve got to alter your design to fit the materials.

I really think that whether it’s a necklace, a sculpture, or a book, repurposing materials gives the newer item more depth.  It already has its own history—its own backstory, in a sense!  (And we all know that a character with a rich backstory is a more three-dimensional character…)

 NEXT BLOG STOPOne Writer’s Journey

 

Young Readers:

Get your review posted here:

Holly Schindler’s Middles – hollyschindlermiddles.weebly.com Reviews can be sent to Holly using the Contact Me.

TRAILER FOR THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE and LUCKY

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FLASHBACK FRIDAY (2): REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly
Jan 17th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

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LINK UP YOUR Flashback Friday here: Swoony Boys Podcast & Fiction Fare’s Flashback Friday

rev_coverREVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly

Published January 1, 2010

Publisher: Random House Delacorte Books for Young Readers

From Goodreads:

 

From the privileged streets of modern Brooklyn to the heart of the French Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light, artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love. Revolution spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

My review: 

One of the most extraordinary YA novel I’ve ever read – and that is saying a lot. For some, it may not be an easy read. Revolution is a mix of historical fiction and fiction. It tells Andi’s story, a young woman living today with such unbearable pain, suicide is a real possibility. Andi’s story interlinks with story of Alex, a young woman, which Andi reads in a diary. Alex’s story is set during the French Revolution. The pain is palatable, eased only by one note of music at a time. Walk the streets of Brooklyn, get lost in the madness of the streets of Paris during the Revolution, find hope in modern Paris, and struggle with the question: What have we learned from history? The time and dedication and research and painstaking care that Donnelly took to make the words fly off the page, to form lasting images, and to create characters who come to life, literally took my breath away.

PS. I recommended Revolution to my son’s former French teacher, now retired. She called me today to say she LOVED Revolution. Thought that it was one of the most incredible Historical Fiction novels she’s read, perfect for YA and adults. And the historical descriptions and the modern day descriptions of Paris and the characters were dead on! If you haven’t read Revolution – pick it up. It will stay with you.

Watch this video to hear Jennifer Donnelly talk about the novel:

Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando, Giveaway & My Roommate/Rental Story #roomiesbook @lbkids
Jan 10th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

Roomies

ROOMIES by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando

Giveaway

& My Roommate/Rental Story

Novel Description:

The countdown to college has begun.

When Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment at the beginning of summer, she shoots off an email to coordinate the basics: TV, microwave, mini-fridge. She can’t wait to escape her New Jersey beach town, and her mom, and start life over in California.
The first note to Lauren in San Francisco comes as a surprise; she had requested a single. But if Lauren’s learned anything from being the oldest of six, it’s that you can’t always get what you want, especially when what you want is privacy.
Soon the girls are emailing back and forth, sharing secrets even though they’ve never met. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives…and each other.
With humor and heart, Sara Zarr, National Book Award finalist for Story of a Girl, and Tara Altebrando, acclaimed author of The Pursuit of Happiness, join forces for a novel about that time after high school, when everything feels like it’s ending just as it’s beginning.

– See more at: Hachette Book Group

Go see Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando in these cities:

  • January 12, 2014 – New York, NY: McNally Jackson [venue link]
  • January 15, 2014 – Salt Lake City, UT: The King’s English [venue link]
  • January 16, 2014 – Provo, UT: Provo Library [venue link]
  • February 4, 2014 – San Francisco, CA: Books Inc, Opera Plaza [venue link]
  • February 5, 2015 – Petaluma, CA: Copperfield’s Books [venue link]

My Roommate/Rental Story: Take Pictures

After three years at UW-Madison and only one semester left before I would graduate, I needed a place to live. This was a problem. I had worked very hard, both academically and physically, getting great grades and holding two jobs during the summer plus working during the school year. I received very little financial support from family. Unfortunately, I did not qualify for financial aid because I was still considered a dependent and their income was too high. Yet, I was pretty much on my own.

My budget for housing was minuscule. Getting out of school and into the “real” world to work to support myself was a necessity of survival. One semester left! I knew I could do it. But I had to solve a major problem first, and that was finding a place to rent for September through December. In a college town like Madison, finding month-to-month leases aren’t easy. They cost a lot more. Most landlords want to keep tenants for an entire year. There was no way I could commit to that.

After an exhaustive search, I finally found a young woman who owned a house off campus. For $200/month, I could rent her spare bedroom. It seemed like a win/win. I had a place to live temporarily and she had help paying her mortgage. I’d have use of the bathroom and space in her refrigerator. Other than the guest bedroom, I was to stay out of the rest of her home. I wasn’t wild about her two German Shepherds—okay, the scared the crap out of me—, but she promised to keep them locked up and away from my things. At this point, I had no other housing option. I took it!

I never felt comfortable in her home. The dogs often got loose and I was terrified from their barking and snapping teeth. I tried to avoid them at all cost. I rarely put anything in the refrigerator and spent as much time away from “home” as possible. When I was there, I holed up in the room, door shut.

After graduation, I was so relieved to move out. During the inspection of my room, the owner accused me of causing the varnish on the floor to peel up. It came off in flecks, and now she was going to have redo the entire floor—strip, sand, and re-stain it. And how was she going to pay for this? With my security deposit.

I made several mistakes – and actually she did too. The biggest was that she didn’t have me fill in an inspection form before I moved in, and I didn’t know enough to ask for one. If I had, the flaking floor would have been a part of it.

Many arguments later, and with help from my boyfriend Jim, she grudgingly admitted that I didn’t do anything to “cause” the problem. I received my $200 security deposit back.

The best advice I can pass on to people about renting any space, whether alone or with roommates, is that you should photograph the space BEFORE you move in, write everything down, and pass on copies to your landlord. That way, when you moved out, you and the landlord can compare the pictures and notes to how the space is at the time you move out.

GIVEAWAY – One copy of ROOMIES (US only!)

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FLASHBACK FRIDAY (1) – DON’T BREATHE A WORD by Holly Cupala
Jan 9th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

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FROM THE AWESOME WOMEN AT FICTION FARE and SWOONY BOYS PODCAST – This comes directly from their post. See it HERE.
Flashback Friday is a meme run by Fiction Fare and Swoony Boys Podcast.What is Flashback Friday you ask?  
 
I know… I know… As if you don’t have a million and one memes to follow! BUT we’re hoping that you might want to participate in just one more!If you’re like us, you read a lot… you add a ton to your ‘to be read’ lists and you sometimes forget about some amazing things because they get pushed down either your favorites list or that pile of books you need to read.  That doesn’t mean those books are no less amazing!This is a way for us to highlight books that are older that maybe don’t get as much recognition now because they have been out for a while.  Books that we read and loved or books that have been on our To Be Read lists for ages, but we just haven’t gotten around to them yet.
We can’t take full credit for this idea though, after a coffee date with my lovely friend Liza at WhoRUBlog and talking about all the older books that we want to recommend to everyone a seed was planted,  and I thought … we can definitely do this! But I wanted to join forces with our blogging friends over at Swoonyboys Podcast because life sucks without them… and the rest is history!
 
On to the details – Pick a book… any book that meets the following criteria:  
 
1.  Must have been published at least 2 years ago  
2.  Preferably is still in print or available to read
 
Grab our button or make your own then simply feature it on your blog… and then come back here and link us up!!  We’ll have the linky ready to go on Friday! AND remember to spread the word!!We’ll be here Friday with our first features for this meme and we hope you’ll join us!! 

FLASHBACK FRIDAY:

6625698DON’T BREATHE A WORD

by Holly Cupala

Published by HarperCollins

Pub. Date: January 3, 2012

FROM GOODREADS:

Joy Delamere is suffocating…

From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.

Joy can take his words—tender words, cruel words—until the night they go too far.

Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe… if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.

Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.

MY REVIEW:

A standing ovation to Holly Cupala on her second novel, DONT BREATHE A WORD. (If you haven’t read TELL ME A SECRET, add it to your list too!)
DON’T BREATHE A WORD tells the story of Joy, a YA who has asthma. It’s nearly taken her life. Joy’s mother smothers her with her almost constant vigilance and an immaculate environment. Enter into the picture Asher, a manipulative, controlling rich boy who hurts Joy so badly, she sees no other option but to run away from him and her home. She ends up on the streets of Seattle where she meets a new type of family, including a boy named Creed. Although I thought all the characters were well developed and powerful, I have to say Creed was my favorite. There is just something pretty extraordinary about a person who puts loyalty and kindness first.
Yes, this novel will take your breath away. Holly shares the brutal experience of what it is like for teens who live on the streets and the reasons why they ended up there.
Truly an amazing, eye-opening novel and a cautionary tale to anyone who thought running away might be a good choice to resolving problems.
Highly recommend!

 

CHASING SHADOWS by Swati Avasthi, illustrated by Craig Phillips – Review
Jan 3rd, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

CHASING SHADOWS

by , illustrated by  

Published: September 24, 2013

Knopf Books for Young Readers

 

From Goodreads:15756269

Before: Corey, Holly, and Savitri are one unit—fast, strong, inseparable. Together they turn Chicago concrete and asphalt into a freerunner’s jungle gym, ricocheting off walls, scaling buildings, leaping from rooftops to rooftop.

But acting like a superhero doesn’t make you bulletproof…

After: Holly and Savitri are coming unglued. Holly says she’s chasing Corey’s killer, chasing revenge. Savitri fears Holly’s just running wild—and leaving her behind. Friends should stand by each other in times of crisis. But can you hold on too tight? Too long?

In this intense novel, Swati Avasthi creates a gripping portrait of two girls teetering on the edge of grief and insanity. Two girls who will find out just how many ways there are to lose a friend…and how many ways to be lost.

My review:

Swati Avasthi pushes the limits, and then goes even further to tell a raw, emotional, story of murder, friendship, love, sanity, and mental health. Using a combination of a graphic novel and first person narrative from two perspectives, readers will be hooked into the world Avasthi masterfully created. Bravo!!!!

Chasing Shadows tells the story of twins Corey and Holly, HS seniors and the children of a Chicago police officer. When a gunman targets their car and shoots Corey pointblank and barely leaves Holly alive, everything changes. The murder was witnessed by Corey’s girlfriend Savitri who was stopped in her car, waiting for them to go through the intersection after Corey and Holly became stuck at a red light. The three friends have had a long history together. They also have been involved in a unique sport – Freerunning, which involves incredible athleticism. The scenes describing their activities are breathtaking.

After Corey dies, Holly’s mental health slips. Readers will be brought into her world, which is often depicted in graphic novel format. It’s no less than astonishing.

I commend Avasthi for this BRAVE novel. The time and energy, the emotion, the heart, pain, and ultimately her soul had to have been poured into this novel. I think readers will learn a lot about taking risks, what friendship means and when you should put yourself first over a friend, and how one’s sanity can slip quickly and how critical it is for those around to recognize the symptoms. Everyone copes with loss differently. This novel showed an honest portrayal of how people can react in times of deep grief. The novel doesn’t have all the answers, but it shows that one needs to grasp on to what you can in order to find a way to continue, to have hope, to live.

Highly, highly recommend this novel.

MORE INFORMATION:swati_bw

About Swati – from her website:

Swati Avasthi has been writing fiction since she read Little House in the Big Woods at age five. Emily Bronte, Harper Lee, and others furthered her addiction. She institutionalized her habit at the University of Chicago, where she received her B.A., and at the University of Minnesota, where received her M.F.A. Her writing has received numerous honors including a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, the Thomas H. Shevlin Fellowship, Loft’s Mentor Series Award, and a nomination for the Pushcart Prize. She is a creative writing professor at Hamline University and lives in the Twin Cities with her two large-ish dogs, two small-ish kids, and one husband (though he is worth two).

About her award-winning debut novel, Split: 

Split received the 2011 International Reading Association Awardthe 2010 Cybils award,a 2010 Silver Parent’s Choice Award, and the New Mexico State Book AwardYALSA,CCBC, and Bank Street were among those who included it their “best of” lists, and the Association of Booksellers for Children made it a New Voices Pick. It has been translated into four languages (German, Dutch, Korean, and Hungarian) and was nominated for fourteen other state awards.

“Avasthi has a great ear for naturalistic dialogue… Jace’s own history of violence makes him a complex and tortured protagonist, and his process of letting go is heart wrenching. A nuanced and mournful work; Avasthi is a writer to watch.”
Booklist
“This powerful, never maudlin debut paints a visceral portrait of a 16-year-old on the run from an abusive father.”
Publisher’s Weekly (spoiler)
“This taut, complex family drama depicts abuse unflinchingly but focuses on healing, growth and learning to take responsibility for one’s own anger.”
Kirkus Reviews (spoiler)
“Jace’s narration is raw and intimate, dramatic and poetic; readers will feel his internal struggle keenly.”
School Library Journal (spoiler)

Swati Avasthi’s website

Goodreads

 

 

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