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WE CAN WORK IT OUT by Elizabeth Eulberg, Review & Giveaway
Feb 2nd, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

WE CAN WORK IT OUT18801694

by Elizabeth Eulberg,

Review & Signed ARC Giveaway

Find Elizabeth here: Goodreads | Twitter | Website | Facebook

Buy the book here: IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Goodreads:

When Penny Lane started The Lonely Hearts Club, the goal was simple: to show that girls didn’t need to define themselves by how guys look at them, and didn’t have to value boyfriends over everything else. Penny thought she’d be an outcast for life…but then the club became far more popular than she ever imagined it would be.

But what happens when the girl who never thought she’d date a good guy suddenly finds herself dating a great one? She doesn’t need a boyfriend… but she wants it to work out with this particular boyfriend. And he wants it to work out with her.

Only, things keep getting in the way. Feelings keep getting hurt. Words keep getting misunderstood.

Penny Lane worked hard to declare her independence. Now she needs to figure out what to do with it — and how to balance what she wants with what everyone else wants. In We Can Work It Out, Elizabeth Eulberg returns to the world of her first novel, The Lonely Hearts Club, and gets to the heart of how hard relationships can be… and why they are sometimes worth all the drama and comedy they create.

My review:

We Can Work It Out (The Lonely Hearts Club, #2)We Can Work It Out by Elizabeth Eulberg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Elizabeth Eulberg DOES IT AGAIN! You’ll laugh, you’ll swoon, you’ll adore these characters, and she integrates the BEATLES to perfection!!!

Though I do recommend that you read The Lonely Hearts Club first, Elizabeth does a brilliant job of filling in the pieces of what happened in book one.

Wow, where do I start? How about a list of everything I loved about this book:

1. Penny Lane brought me right back to my high school years with the friends, the romance, the drama, the demands of schoolwork, and family. She’s strong, she’s a hard worker, she’s loyal to her friends, she cares deeply to for her boyfriend Ryan and struggles to find her place. As the leader of The Lonely Hearts Club, she empowers girls to stick up for themselves and find boys who will give them the respect they deserve.

2. Ryan: He’s a boyfriend that every teenage girl wishes she had. He’s thoughtful, kind, supportive. He’s smart. But he isn’t perfect. He has to deal with family issues that are extremely painful, and there are times he just doesn’t know how to cope. I love how Elizabeth shows his struggles.

3. As awesome as Penny Lane is, she makes mistakes and choices that aren’t necessarily the best, even though she thinks they are. She pushes herself too hard, she has trouble balancing school, a boyfriend, and The Lonely Hearts Club. Watching her navigate through it all can be funny, sad, painful, and most importantly AUTHENTIC!

4. So many fantastic supporting characters. Love our Aussie! (And for those who have read other novels by Elizabeth, you will be in for a surprise.)

5. This is girl power at its finest! Don’t settle for lying, cheating jerks! What an important message.

6. I mentioned the Beatles earlier. Well, I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing the references are, especially during Penny Lane’s birthday celebrations!

7. Overall, this is such a fantastic feel-good novel. It’s a quick read that I know will appeal to those 12 and up!

Highly recommend.

Thank you so much to the publisher for the ARC!

View all my reviews

EulbergCarterCzukas

The FUN!

On January 27th, I attended Elizabeth Eulberg’s book launch with Ally Carter at Books & Company with Heidi from YA Bibliophile.

The next day, I went to the Boswell Books Event:

 

Both events were a ton of fun, and I have to say that most of the time I was laughing so hard that my cheeks hurt. These ladies could do stand-up comedy about authors and writing. Seriously.

Elizabeth is one of those rare individuals who connects to her audience wherever she’s at. I’ve seen her on TV interviews, in person at book signings, and in social events. Without a doubt, what you see is who she is as a person and it reflects beautifully in her novels: funny, interesting, thoughtful, authentic.

Below you’ll see a photo collection of the many faces of Elizabeth. I tried to capture one. Really. But with Elizabeth it was so hard because she has ten thousand expressions (I am only showing you a few). I kept clicking, clicking, clinking. Needless to say, I absolutely adore her!!!

A Signed ARC of WE CAN WORK IT OUT

Giveaway (US & Canada Only) Thank you to Point, an imprint of Scholastic for the ARC.)

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Flashback Friday: TAKE A BOW by Elizabeth Eulberg
Jan 2nd, 2015 by Liza Wiemer

flashback-friday-featured

For more information on Flashback Friday, check out Fiction Fare.

TAKE A BOWjkt_9780545334747.indd

by Elizabeth Eulberg

Hardcover, 278 pages

Published April 1, 2012

Publisher: (Scholastic) Point

Purchase this book here: IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

For more information on Elizabeth: Goodreads | Twitter | Website | Facebook

Note from Liza:

Lonely Hearts Club Band has a sequel coming out January 27th. We Can Work It OutI highly recommend both of them!!!

From Goodreads:

From the fantastic author of The Lonely Hearts Club and Prom & Prejudice comes a story of all the drama and comedy of four friends who grow into themselves at a performing arts high school.

Emme, Sophie, Ethan, and Carter are seniors at a performing arts school, getting ready for their Senior Showcase recital, where the pressure is on to appeal to colleges, dance academies, and professionals in show business. For Sophie, a singer, it’s been great to be friends with Emme, who composes songs for her, and to date Carter, soap opera heartthrob who gets plenty of press coverage. Emme and Ethan have been in a band together through all four years of school, but wonder if they could be more than just friends and bandmates. Carter has been acting since he was a baby, and isn’t sure how to admit that he’d rather paint than perform. The Senior Showcase is going to make or break each of the four, in a funny, touching, spectacular finale that only Elizabeth Eulberg could perform.

Take a BowTake a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

STANDING OVATION to Elizabeth Eulberg for writing another outstanding YA novel, TAKE A BOW. I started this late last night and couldn’t put it down until I finished it some time in the wee hours of the morning. Worth every second I gave up for a good night’s sleep.
TAKE A BOW is narrated by four different characters: the lovable, talented, and unsure-of-her talents Emme, the self-destructive and brilliantly gifted Ethan, the former child actor Carter who is searching for his identity, and the selfish and arrogant Sophie who will stop at nothing for fame. Then add a cast of supporting characters: Jack and Ben are funny, wonderful, dedicated, loyal friends to Ethan and Emme. They’re as much a part of this novel as the rest, and even though they’re not center stage, Elizabeth Eulberg does a fantastic job giving them strong voices and bringing them to life as members of TEENAGE KICKS, the band they play in with Ethan and Emme. Then there is Amanda, a prickly, jealous girl who fits right in with Sophie. All of these YA attend the prestigious, highly competitive New York City High School of the Creative and Performing Arts.

What transpires over one year at the CPA will leave readers completely engrossed in these characters’ stories. You’ll fall in love, cheer, sneer, and have your heart crushed. This is writing at its finest! I loved this novel. The biggest disappointment was finishing the last page. It’s a story I wanted to last and last and last. But like any superb novel, you can imagine the characters’ futures because the author did a tremendous job giving you plenty of glimmers within its pages.
TAKE A BOW has heart, it has music, it has a clear view of the fierce and competitive nature of performing arts’ schools, and it has an authenticity that will make you hope that we’ll see these characters gracing the big screen some day.
Bravo, Elizabeth Eulberg. Thank you for writing such a fine novel!

View all my reviews

Flashback Friday: TAKE A BOW by Elizabeth Eulberg
Oct 24th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

flashback-friday-featured

To learn more about Flashback Friday,

Please visit Fiction Fare

Flashback Friday:jkt_9780545334747.indd

TAKE A BOW by Elizabeth Eulberg

Hardcover, 278 pages

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

Publisher: Point (Scholastic)

Buy it here: IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

From Goodreads:

From the fantastic author of The Lonely Hearts Club and Prom & Prejudice comes a story of all the drama and comedy of four friends who grow into themselves at a performing arts high school.

Emme, Sophie, Ethan, and Carter are seniors at a performing arts school, getting ready for their Senior Showcase recital, where the pressure is on to appeal to colleges, dance academies, and professionals in show business. For Sophie, a singer, it’s been great to be friends with Emme, who composes songs for her, and to date Carter, soap opera heartthrob who gets plenty of press coverage. Emme and Ethan have been in a band together through all four years of school, but wonder if they could be more than just friends and bandmates. Carter has been acting since he was a baby, and isn’t sure how to admit that he’d rather paint than perform. The Senior Showcase is going to make or break each of the four, in a funny, touching, spectacular finale that only Elizabeth Eulberg could perform.

 

Take a BowTake a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

STANDING OVATION to Elizabeth Eulberg for writing another outstanding YA novel, TAKE A BOW. I started this late last night and couldn’t put it down until I finished it some time in the wee hours of the morning. Worth every second I gave up for a good night’s sleep.
TAKE A BOW is narrated by four different characters: the lovable, talented, and unsure-of-her talents Emme, the self-destructive and brilliantly gifted Ethan, the former child actor Carter who is searching for his identity, and the selfish and arrogant Sophie who will stop at nothing for fame. Then add a cast of supporting characters: Jack and Ben are funny, wonderful, dedicated, loyal friends to Ethan and Emme. They’re as much a part of this novel as the rest, and even though they’re not center stage, Elizabeth Eulberg does a fantastic job giving them strong voices and bringing them to life as members of TEENAGE KICKS, the band they play in with Ethan and Emme. Then there is Amanda, a prickly, jealous girl who fits right in with Sophie. All of these YA attend the prestigious, highly competitive New York City High School of the Creative and Performing Arts.

What transpires over one year at the CPA will leave readers completely engrossed in these characters’ stories. You’ll fall in

Author Elizabeth Eulberg

Author Elizabeth Eulberg

love, cheer, sneer, and have your heart crushed. This is writing at its finest! I loved this novel. The biggest disappointment was finishing the last page. It’s a story I wanted to last and last and last. But like any superb novel, you can imagine the characters’ futures because the author did a tremendous job giving you plenty of glimmers within its pages.
TAKE A BOW has heart, it has music, it has a clear view of the fierce and competitive nature of performing arts’ schools, and it has an authenticity that will make you hope that we’ll see these characters gracing the big screen some day.
Bravo, Elizabeth Eulberg. Thank you for writing such a fine novel!

View all my reviews

About Elizabeth Eulberg:

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Her published books – Read them all: (With more to come!)

                

 

BETTER OFF FRIENDS by Elizabeth Eulberg – LAUNCH PARTY Blog Tour & Giveaway
Feb 16th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

whorublog_BetterOffTour

We’re celebrating the launch of

BETTER OFF FRIENDS by Elizabeth Eulberg

Publisher: Point (Scholastic)

Pub. Date: February 25, 2014

SIGNED copies can be pre-ordered or purchased after the Better Off Friends Launch Party on February 25, 2014 through Boswell Books by calling (414) 332-1181

Summary From Goodreads:EEshot copy

For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.

Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?

REVIEWS:

“…a pitch-perfect rom com. With a nod to When Harry Met Sally, rising YA romance writer Eulberg situates relatable characters in realistic situations. There’s depth, too… A humorous and cozy story about friendships and relationships, and the oh-so-fine line between them.”
– Booklist

“Reminiscent of When Harry Met Sally, Eulberg’s account of an evolving relationship offers witty banter interspersed with pangs of unrequited love. …their roller-coaster relationship provides plenty of entertainment and romantic thrills along the way.”
– Publishers Weekly

“Can a guy and a girl ever really be friends, as in ‘friends, but just friends?’ This is the question that animates this delicious, delightful romantic comedy. Readers will devour each chapter, narrated in Macallan’s and Levi’s alternating voices, correct in their confidence that Eulberg is going to deliver on her promise of an enormously satisfying story.”
– Children’s Literature

MY REVIEW:

I absolutely loved, loved, loved, loved this novel, and since it’s set in Wisconsin, it made it even better. Levi, as my friends at Swoony Boys Podcast would say, is totally swoon worthy!

Macallan and Levi relationship goes through many roller coaster rides. Sometimes their perspectives and values don’t match up, but ultimately there’s no doubt that they were made for each other. But are they “better off friends?” Readers will cheer them on & you have to read the book to find out what happens.cheeseball

Told in alternating points of view, BETTER OFF FRIENDS IS contemporary YA novel perfection. <3 <3

FOOD:

Cheese Ball

Cheese Ball

There’s something else that is absolutely delicious about this novel, and that’s the food!!!!!

Wisconsin is known for all sorts of cheese, and Macallan and Levi enjoy plenty of dishes that have cheese it it. Fried string cheese?  Cheese curds? – Welcome to Wisconsin. Elizabeth Eulberg included her mom’s cheeseball! I made it  and shared the recipe for our WI/IL Author/Blogger/Librarian luncheon back in December, but I’ll share the recipe again here:

 

BACKSTORY:

Better Off Friends came from a conversation my editor, David Levithan, had with one of his colleagues, Erin Black, who said she was looking for a YA story like When Harry Met Sally… that grapples with that age old question: can a guy and a girl really be just friends? When David mentioned it to me, I called dibs.Over the course of a year (while I was writing Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality), I thought about how I could tell the story in a fresh way. I went back toWhen Harry Met Sally… and loved that it’s a story that takes place over a long period of time so you can really see the relationship develop between those two characters. So I knew that I wanted Better Off Friends to be over the course of a few years as well as have little moments of the characters bantering throughout the book so the reader can see right from the beginning the kind of friendship they have.I began to slowly develop the characters of Macallan and Levi, and map out their friendship through five years. When I began writing the book, I decided on a whim to have it set in Wisconsin, which ended up becoming a character of its own. As someone who grew up in Wisconsin, it was fun to set a book in a place that I have such affection for. This also provided me with countless ways to insert my love for the Green Bay Packers (from Levi’s last name, Rodgers, to the various teachers names throughout the book). GO PACK!

Writing this book was a lot of fun, but it also made me cry in a few places. I’m really proud of Better Off Friends and hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

GREAT LINKS:

Blog Tour: (Check out each link for a separate post and giveaway of a signed copy of BETTER OFF FRIENDS!)

Feb 16 Liza – WhoRuBlog – Review & some more recipes & giveaway of a signed book http://www.WhoRuBlog.com
Feb 17 Sarah – Novel Thoughts  – Review and and giveaway of signed book  http://www.novelthoughtsblog.com
Feb 18 Jaime and Erin – Fiction Fare – Quotes from the book with Wisconsin references & giveaway of a signed book http://fictionfare.blogspot.com
Feb 19 Andrea – Mrs. Payan Reads – History of Culvers and giveaway of a signed book http://mrspayanreads.blogspot.com
Feb 20 Erica – The Book Cellar – (still to be determined) & giveaway of a signed book http://thebookcellarx.com
Feb 21 Heidi – YA Bibliophile – Irish references and giveaway of a signed book http://www.yabibliophile.com
Feb 22 Rachel – As told by Rachel – Pictures of places mentioned in the book from Wisconsin and giveaway of a signed book http://tigerlilyrachel.com
Feb 23 Kelly – Belle of the Literati – WHEN HARRY MET SALLY: Can girls and boys be friends? Kelly is asking her friends for for their thoughts! http://belleoftheliterati.blogspot.com
Feb 24 Jillian – Heise Reads and Recommends – Reviews from Students & giveaway of a signed book http://www.heisereads.com

We’ll be tweeting: #BetterOffInWI @ElizEulberg

GIVEAWAY: One signed copy of BETTER OFF FRIENDS (US/Canada Only)

 

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THE NOVEL CUISINE LUNCHEON ’13 & Giveaway!
Dec 18th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

The table is set with all the books that inspired the menu for the luncheon.

The table is set with all the books that inspired the menu for the luncheon.

THE 3rd ANNUAL NOVEL CUISINE LUNCHEON ’13

This year, authors, bloggers, librarians from Wisconsin and Illinois came together for The Third Annual Novel Cuisine Luncheon. Kelly of Belle of the Literati, Monica of Fuma Files , Erin and Jaime of Fiction Fare and the Fiction Fare and Swoony Boys Readalong, Author Gayle Rosengren – WHAT THE MOON SAID, Erica of The Book Cellar, Amanda, librarian in Stoughton, Anuradha teacher/writer, Rachel of Tiger Lily Rachel, Sarah from Novel Thoughts, Andrea of Mrs. Payan Reads, Heidi of YA Bibliophile, & Me!

All the recipes were inspired by a book. Just One Day, by Gayle Forman, Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller (2 recipes), What the Moon Said by Gayle Rosengren, The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler, Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg, The Distance Between Us by Kasie West, Reclaimed by Sarah Guillory, Wait for You, Trust in Me by Jennifer Armentrout, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heidi prepping for the party.

Heidi prepping for the party.

 

The awesome Heidi from YA Bibliophile came over on Saturday. After we spent several hours in the living room reading, we headed out to see THE HOBBIT II, and then we spent the rest of the night and into the early morning laughing and cooking and talking. We discovered that we’re cooking soul mates and dubbed “Modified Marthas.” Many of the things we made, were a first for us. Empanadas, Bubble Tea, Pastitsio, Galaktoboureko. All the recipes except for two were found on the Internet. The exceptions were Elizabeth Eulberg’s mom’s Cheese Ball from BETTER OFF FRIENDS – YUMMMMMMMM!!!!! and chocolate walnut cookies from WAIT FOR YOU and TRUST IN ME by Jennifer Armentrout. That’s a recipe I ended up creating based on several different recipes that I found on the net. Since Cam said that these cookies were better than sex, Heidi and I brainstormed names and came up with Cam’s Better Than Sex Chocolate Walnut Cookies.

menu

17228280HUGE THANKS TO:

Wisconsin born and raised author Elizabeth Eulberg: Twitter, Blog, Goodreads for supporting this event. Her publisher, Scholastic, provided ARCs of latest YA novel BETTER OFF FRIENDS. Her Wisconsin event for BETTER OFF FRIENDS will be held at Boswell Books on February 25th!

What the moon said

 

Wisconsin author Gayle Rosengren: Twitter, Blog, Goodreads for attending the event. Her publisher G. P. Putnam’s Sons provided ARCs of her MG novel, WHAT THE MOON SAID!

One lucky winner will receive an ARC of each of these novels.

(See Rafflecopter below.)

 

 

RECIPES:

Elizabeth Eulberg’s mom’s Cheese Ball recipe as found in BETTER OFF FRIENDS

Cheese Ball

Cheese Ball

cheeseball

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cookies

Cam’s Better Than Sex Chocolate Walnut Cookies, inspired from WAIT FOR YOU by Jennifer Armentrout

 Cam’s Better Than Sex Chocolate Walnut Cookies inspired from Wait for You by Jennifer Armentrout:

I adapted one recipe to create this one:

5 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate – I used Scharffen Berger Brand

1/2 stick butter

1 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup 100% cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup chocolate chips

30 whole walnuts, lightly toasted in the oven at 300 degrees – approximately 5 minutes.

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe container at 1/2 power. Stir until smooth. Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Beat together eggs and sugar, then add melted chocolate/butter mix and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips, stir in with a spoon. Put the dough in the refrigerator for an hour. It will firm up! Take a tablespoon of dough and flatten in a circle in the palm of your hand. Add toasted whole walnut and fold over chocolate dough. Roll into a ball, completely covering the whole walnut. Cover the entire ball in powdered sugar. Place dough on greased cookie pan. Bake cookies at 350 for 8 minutes.  After 8 minutes gently use a fork to flatten the dough to a 1/2 inch thick. Bake for another 2 minutes, then cool cookies on a cooling rack.

Bubble Tea

Bubble Tea

Bubble Tea inspired by THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN by12813630 Holly Black: Here’s the recipe we used: Drinks Mixer

Potato Pancakes with Raspberry Jam (use any quality brand) inspired by WHAT THE MOON SAID by Gayle Rosengren

4 cups shredded potatoes

Fondue, cornbread, crepes, and potato pancakes

Fondue, cornbread, crepes, and potato pancakes

2 eggs

1/8 cup flour

1 diced small onion (I didn’t use it for this meal, but I do recommend including it for flavor)

Mix all ingredients together. Spray a cookie pan with vegetable oil. Spoon out a 1/4 cup of potato mixture. Flatten to about 1/4 inch thick. Bake at 425 degrees until the top is brown – about 10 minutes. Flip over with a spatula and brown the other side.

Crepes au Citron inspired by JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman

Recipe used: Martha Stewart

 

 

EmpanadasVegetarian Empanadas inspired by THE BOOK OF BROKEN HEARTS by Sarah Ockler

Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Empanadas

Vegetarian Pastitsio inspired by WHERE THE STARS STILL 15826648SHINE by Trish Doller

Pastitsio

Pastitsio

Recipe used: Food.com 

Creamy Custard Pie (Galaktompoureko) inspired by WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE by Trish Doller

Recipe used: Greek Recipes.TV

Hot chocolate inspired by THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Kasie West – I used Omanhene Brand

 

 

 

16045763

Cornbread inspired by RECLAIMED by Sarah Guillory

Recipe used from All Recipes

 

Cheese Fondue as found in Ann Mah’s MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH EATING: Check out Ann Mah’s Blog. Here’s the recipe straight from Ann’s book:

Fondue

17675004

Giving Back:

One of the suggestions that Heidi had was for us to collect books and donate them to a school in need. I found about Hmong American Peace Academy, a school in Milwaukee desperate for books and in the middle of a library campaign. The school services over 1200 students in K-4 through 12th grade. Over seventy-five books are already in the hands of students.

More photos:

Book Talk:

We utilized best-books-2013Jamie from Perpetual Page Turner’s end-of-the-year survey:

Click here: Jamie’s 2013 End of Year Book Survey 

Q: Best book you read in 2013:

Daughter of Smoke & Bone, In Darkness, The One and Only Ivan, The Testing, The Burning Sky, Sea of Tranquility, Reclaimed, Second Chance Summer, Crown of Midnight, This Song Will Save Your Life, Defy, Things I Can’t Forget, If I Find Me, Tell The Wolves I’m Home, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Where the Stars Still Shine, The Winner’s Curse, Covet, Hopeless, Goodbye Rebel Blue, This Journal Belongs to Ratchet, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Q: Most surprising (in a good way) book of 2013:

Etiquette & Espionnage, Easy, Dear Cassie, Strands of Bronze and Gold, Six Months Later, Reclaimed, The Absolute True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Tangled, Alice in Zombieland, Uninvited, Unearthly, Stir Me Up, Ruby Red, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Q: Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2013:

Code Name Verity, The Book Thief, Allegiant, Champion, If He Had Been With Me, Second Chance Summer, This Song Will Save Your Life, Things I Can’t Forget, Sea of Tranquility, The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You, If I Stay

Q: Books you are most anticipating in 2014, non-debut:

The Worlds We Make,  No Surrender Soldier, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, Landline, Ruin & Rising, Panic, Isla and the Happily Ever After, On the Fence, Ignite Me, Split Second, Into the Still Blue, Dissonance

GIVEAWAY: (US & Canada ONLY)

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Page Turner Thursday – Seven YA Novels That “Rock”
Jun 27th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

Page Turner Thursday – YA Novels that “Rock”

 

This Page Turner Thursday lists YA novels (and one adult novel perfect for older YA) that focus on books where music is a major theme. Here are several that I think music fans will love:

jkt_9780545334747.indd

TAKE A BOW by Elizabeth Eulberg: Goodreads

STANDING OVATION to Elizabeth Eulberg for writing another outstanding YA novel, TAKE A BOW. I started this late last night and couldn’t put it down until I finished it some time in the wee hours of the morning. Worth every second I gave up for a good night’s sleep.
TAKE A BOW is narrated by four different characters: the lovable, talented, and unsure-of-her talents Emme, the self-destructive and brilliantly gifted Ethan, the former child actor Carter who is searching for his identity, and the selfish and arrogant Sophie who will stop at nothing for fame. Then add a cast of supporting characters: Jack and Ben are funny, wonderful, dedicated, loyal friends to Ethan and Emme. They’re as much a part of this novel as the rest, and even though they’re not center stage, Elizabeth Eulberg does a fantastic job giving them strong voices and bringing them to life as members of TEENAGE KICKS, the band they play in with Ethan and Emme. Then there is Amanda, a prickly, jealous girl who fits right in with Sophie. All of these YA attend the prestigious, highly competitive New York City High School of the Creative and Performing Arts.

What transpires over one year at the CPA will leave readers completely engrossed in these characters’ stories. You’ll fall in love, cheer, sneer, and have your heart crushed. This is writing at its finest! I loved this novel. The biggest disappointment was finishing the last page. It’s a story I wanted to last and last and last. But like any superb novel, you can imagine the characters’ futures because the author did a tremendous job giving you plenty of glimmers within its pages.
TAKE A BOW has heart, it has music, it has a clear view of the fierce and competitive nature of performing arts’ schools, and it has an authenticity that will make you hope that we’ll see these characters gracing the big screen some day.
Bravo, Elizabeth Eulberg. Thank you for writing such a fine novel!

HOW TO KILL A ROCK STAR by Tiffanie Debartolo: Goodreads

A perfect novel for college students and above. Would How to Kill a Rock Star quality as NA & the 20 something crowd? Yeah, I 113791-1think so!! But any age adult will love it.

How to Kill a Rock Star is a lyrical read about the love of music with an unforgettable storyline and fantastic characters who have you rooting for them and at times completely pissed off for their stupidity – but in a good way. 😀 I had started this novel months ago – read a few pages then stopped. But when I picked it up this time, I read it straight through, unable to put it down. The setting in the Big Apple is perfect – touching upon Sept 11, which fits right into Eliza’s phobias of flying. Readers will love Eliza’s quirks and want to strangle her too. They’ll love Paul Hudson and his unyielding ways. Their are so many memorable things about this book: the band Bananafish, Doug Blackman, Loring, the Michaels, Rings of Saturn and the bartender John the Baptist! One of my favorite lines(view spoiler)

Thank you to Jaime Arkin of fictionfare.blogspot.com for recommending this book to me! I absolutely loved it.

 

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AMPLIFIED by Tara Kelly: Goodreads

BE DARING, PURSUE YOUR DREAM!

Amplified was recommended to me by Jaime Arkin ofhttp://fictionfare.blogspot.com and if I’m honest, I’m not sure I would have picked this book up without that recommendation. The book did not disappoint! The characters were layered and interesting.
From moment one, I hated Jasmine’s father, a rich cardiologist who kicks his daughter out of the house because she wants to take time off and defer going to Stanford U. This guy is a doofus for not recognizing how amazing his daughter really is. It’s like he will never get it! She wants to explore her passion for playing guitar, and that just won’t do for him. No wonder Jasmine takes off. She arrives in Santa Cruz. There she meets some great people who are in a band called C-Side. Each one has their own issues, including Vera, the lead singer with psychic abilities and her brother
Sean. Sean is awesome. At first he’s cold to Jasmine, but as time passes and he becomes more and more dazzled by Jasmine’s guitar playing these two become quite the interesting pair. As Jasmine faces obstacles, she tries to reach out to her father. He barely makes time for her. She made her bed and now he was damn well sure she was going to sleep in it with the hope she’d crawl back home with her tail between her legs. I HATE parents like this! I could really go on about this, but I’ll spare you. Read the book. But if you have a parent like this, take heart from this novel!
This is a great book for any YA contemporary novel fan, especially those who have a passion for music. Thanks, Jaime! Great recommendation.

AUDREY, WAIT by Robin Benway: Goodreads

AUDREY, WAIT! was published in 2008 and what made me want to read it were a few recent reviews from some of the people I follow1627267 on Goodreads. What a creative, fun, wild ride into the music scene. When Audrey breaks up with her boyfriend, Evan, he writes a song that instantly becomes a hit. Not only does Evan become famous but so does Audrey who is sometimes admired, sometimes hated but just about always watched by a public willing to hack into her email account, call her phone, set up fan pages, and even track her down in school. The reader gets to be along for the ride as Audrey deals with her unwanted fame. There’s a great BFF named Victoria with a devoted bf named Jonah. Victoria is bent on getting Audrey to go out with semi-geeky but definitely cute James, her co-worker at Scooper Dooper – an ice cream shop. As it turns out they connect and maybe what they have is true love?
Audrey, Wait! is a fun read certain to please those who love YA novels big into the music scenes.

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NICK & NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan: Goodreads

NICK & NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST is written from two different perspectives by two extremely talented writers. Both Nick and Norah have struggled with painful breakups that have left them with emotional scars and plenty of doubts about themselves. When Nick’s ex-girlfriend starts walking over to him after he and his band have finished playing, Nick turns to Norah, a girl he’s never met before, and asks her to be his five-minute girlfriend. She answers him by wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him. And that is the start of a roller coaster evening of intense emotion, intense physical attraction, and some heavy sexual activity. As they discover each other, they discover themselves. This novel is definitely appropriate for older YA. The “F” word is used a lot and one particular sexual encounter is graphic (love the humorous twist!).
A secondary “character” in this novel is music and the music scene of NY. For those who have a passion for music, you will LOVE this.
Besides the concept of self-discovery and recovery from bad relationships, I liked how Nick and Norah moved into the space of just being themselves instead of what they perceived they SHOULD be for other people. Nick does a “SInging in the Rain” act in Times Square and Norah lets her vulnerable side show instead of being all tough. It proves that when you find the “right” person, he or she will appreciate you for your true self. And why would you want to surround yourself with anyone else?

FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB by Antony John: Goodreads

Dumb is a name of a HS rock band in Seattle, WA. The group won the Battle of the Bands – teen division. After an impromptu 7818683concert on the steps of their HS Piper, the MC who is a deaf girl, tells them what they need to do to get Dumb’s name out into the world. She becomes their manager and the experience not only transforms Dumb, but it changes Piper. Her job is a tough one but she does it well. For those who love music and Seattle’s rich musical history this is a wonderful read. Piper’s family dynamics are fascinating too, especially how they relate to Piper and her being deaf. There’s also a sweet romance that blooms as the band goes through its transformations.

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VIRTUOSITY by Jessica Martinez: Goodreads

I picked up VIRTUOSITY because of three reviews on Goodreads: Hayden’s, HD’s, and Melina’s. After their awesome write-ups, I couldn’t resist. Among many things, Melina’s review talked about addiction to music, to prescription drugs etc, and she was definitely correct. Hayden related VIRTUOSITY to his own experience, and HD loved the novel for its writing etc. All three of them connected to this novel differently and they were dead-on as far as a five star review. VIRTUOSITY definitely pulls at you with the power of music, the power of family, the power of love, the power of medication, the power of standing up for yourself, and the power of turning a wrong into a right, even knowing it could cost you something that you love – like becoming one of the best violin players in the world. Overall, this novel will leave you aching for Carmen and the pain she had to suffer to discover her inner strength, her love for playing violin, and her discovery into what is truly important. She has a huge weight to deal with, one so great that in the end what is most admirable about her is her guts, her determination, her inner strength. Toss into the equation a young man named Jeremy who not only is Carmen’s biggest competition, but is the heart of the conflict in her life. Love his raw honesty, his complicated personality!
VIRTUOSITY has it all: wonderful writing, a pull-me-in story arc, relatable characters, life-changing decisions. It’s a winner. Put it on your must-read list!

Celebrating PRIDE & PREJUDICE 200th Anniversary
Jan 28th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer

CELEBRATING PRIDE & PREJUDICE 200th ANNIVERSARY

RETELLING JANE AUSTEN AND FAN FICTION

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I’m a sucker for Jane Austen. I’ve read the books and have seen every BBC and American production made. I also enjoy modern stories based on ANYTHING by Jane Austen. So, I decided to share some of the ones I’ve read in honor of Alyssa Goodnight and Courtney @ Stiletto Storytime‘s Pride and Prejudice Anniversary Party Blog Hop. I am looking forward to reading Alyssa’s Jane Austen inspired books Austentatious and Austensibly Ordinary.

My short and sweet fan letter to Jane Austen,

Thank you for creating some of the most memorable characters EVER! I’ve loved getting lost in their lives, the settings, the romance, the stories. Swoon. Love and appreciate how you wrote some strong female main characters we could admire and male characters who love and respect them. May all your books be read and loved and cherished for hundreds and hundreds of years to come.

xo,

Liza

 

 

BEA & NYC YA Author/Blogger Rooftop Party Highlights & Giveaway
Jun 10th, 2012 by Liza Wiemer

It all started with this:

 

 

 

 

 

I hadn’t planned on going to BEA (Book Expo America), but Jeremy’s tweet got me thinking. So, I talked to my husband Jim about it. Without any hesitation, he said that of course I had to go. I contacted Nili, one of my many cousins who live in NYC, and asked if I could stay with her. That led to one simple thought: Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a party with YA authors and bloggers?

That thought led to action. I contacted Nili about renting a space in her apartment building, which turned out to be the glass enclosed rooftop solarium on the forty-second floor of her building. I had never seen the space, but I could imagine how spectacular the view would be – The Statue of Liberty, Manhattan, the Hudson River, Hoboken, NJ. Nili didn’t hesitate, and because of her, this party became reality. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! xo (See pictures here: http://www.whorublog.com/?page_id=1122 )

Almost immediately, I knew I’d need some help. The talented blogger/designer Jeremy West of Novel Thoughts http://www.novelthoughtsblog.com/ jumped on board to make the gorgeous evites, logo, etc, and then the fabulous Andye and Amy from Reading Teen http://www.readingteen.net/, whom I’ve admired and respected for years because of their thorough and fair book reviews, their sense of humor, their willingness to blog about their opinions on tough topics in YA novels.

The NYC YA Author/Blogger Rooftop Party was on its way.

At the very beginning, there were a few moments of doubt. Will people come? But I asked myself what the worst case scenario would be. The answer was simple – the money spent would be gone and no one would show up but us. (After all, BEA week is extremely busy and authors and bloggers have other parties to attend.) I decided I could live with these risks. Huge expenditure of time, energy, money. But in one conversation I had with Jeremy, I said, “I’d rather take the risk and fall flat on my face, than not try at all.” Generally speaking, that’s one of my philosophy’s toward life. It has served me well.

The experience was way more than we could ever imagined. Each of us brought our strengths to the table and shared ideas through email, Skype, Google Video Chat, texting, and HeyTell. Andye kept an online spreadsheet that included authors and their publishers, bloggers, RSVPs, author facts for our True and False icebreaker. It took tremendous organization and communication. I’ve planned parties in Milwaukee, but never one out of state. I never thought about how convenient it is to get in a car, drive to the grocery store, and get everything I need. In NYC, you have to think about what you can carry. Delivery service is the absolute norm. We had lists of items to bring from out-of-town-I checked two bags at the airport and Amy and Andye’s car was loaded with the centerpieces, books, etc. Jeremy took a bus with name tags, our True and False icebreaker activity, and a canvas he designed for all the authors to sign for one of the ten raffles we had.

These are the book covers of the authors who joined us!

The raffles included Amy’s magnificent book-themed centerpieces (to see her incredible work click here: http://www.readingteen.net/2012/06/my-bookish-crafty-project-for-rooftop.html, Starbucks gift certificates, books, and journals with a cover designed by my husband using all the authors’ covers and Jeremy’s logo. Party favors included blinking “lightbulb” pens, glow-in-the-dark items, Figment tot bags, which we filled with books from Candlewick, Sourcebooks, Harlequin, Flux, Little Brown, Simon & Schuster, Scholastic, Disney, Pendrell, Bloombury, Harper Collins, Random House, Macmillan, Hachette. Thank you to all these publishers for making the party extra special by donating YA novels for us to share. In addition, Simon and Schuster gave us suntan lotion in honor of Burn for Burn, Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian’s new YA novel.

Nili’s apartment was filled with boxes from publishers, party places, and on the day of, tons and tons of food and beverages.

Several additional people were integral to making this party a success. Jeremy West’s awesome brother Jeffrey of Novel Thoughts was our official photographer and also had been a part of some of the planning. So glad you could make it to NYC. Thanks so much. xo

From nearly the very beginning, Kelsey Dickson of Reading and Breathing gave us a hand. She put together the playlist for the evening, including songs she found on authors’ playlists of the music they listened to while writing their YA novels. She also brought disposable cameras and glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets, which were a HUGE hit! She helped set up, too. Thanks Kels! xo

The YA from Reading Teen, Austin, Abigaile, and Kit, also were an integral part of the party. Their help was critical for putting our gift bags together, setting up, welcoming our guests, cleaning up. Y’all are awesome! Thank you so much. xo

And my cousin Aryeh, who stayed behind the scene and kept everyone in refreshments and made Amy laugh. Love you. xo

Mitali of Alley of Books and the Teen Author Carnival also came early to help set up. Thanks!

Throughout the planning, we prayed for good weather. (It did end up raining a little, but for the majority of the time, we could use not only the solarium, but the rooftop.) By eight o’clock, the guests arrived. Some of the authors made near Herculean efforts to get to us, including Adele Griffin who was in a taxi for an hour! Tweets were sent, some with the hashtag #RooftopParty. Many of the authors said it was the BEST party they had been to all week. Overall, the evening was a HUGE success. There was laughter, photos taken, budding friendships formed, breathtaking views.

To hear about the experience from Stacy and Shannon from Girls in the Stacks, listen to their comments about the Rooftop Party, which start at approximately 13:00 minutes. (I recommend the entire podcast – their comments about the BEA will make you smile and laugh.) http://girlsinthestacks.com/podcasts/ya-podcast/2012/06/bea-2012/

I have a few more highlights to share with you, but these come from the BEA and the Teen Author Carnival.

Lucas Klauss and Jennifer E. Smith

Jackson Pearce and Eliot Schrefer

Teen Author Carnival was held Tuesday night at Jefferson Market Library. The panel discussions were fantastic. I went to “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful – Keeping it Realistic” and “What Doesn’t Kill You, Makes You Stronger (Kick Ass Characters)” with over twenty YA authors. http://teenauthorcarnival.tumblr.com/

I saw numerous twitter/blogger friends including Briana from The Book Pixie. Neither of us knew the other was attending, and we just happened to get into the same loooog book signing line right next to each other. I’ll cherish our hug and conversation for a long time. Seeing Stacy (and later Shannon) from Girls In The Stacks also made my day. I saw the AWESOME Lauren Oliver and had her sign her latest middle grade book.

Lauren Oliver and me

Patricia MacLachlan and me

On Wednesday, I arrived extra early for the Children’s Breakfast. To my utter amazement, I was standing next to the legendary Newbery Metal award winning author Patricia MacLachlan. Goose bumps bloomed all over my skin. Talking with her was a tremendous honor. She was so kind, even when I went completely fangirl and asked to have my photo taken with her.

Chris Colfer from “Glee” MC’d the breakfast. He was hysterical, joking with the crowd that he wrote the fan-fiction Fifty Shades of Green, in honor of John Green. You can listen to the clip here: http://lover4klaineandcrisscolfer.tumblr.com/post/24540342391/chris-colfer-confesses-to-writing-the-fifty-shades

Lois Lowry had people in tears. She spoke about her journey writing The Giver and the three novels that followed. She talked about how her son who was killed serving our country influenced her writing. It was his questions that led to writing The Giver.  She said that every generation must have hope to vanquish evil.

I met some extraordinary people standing in line for author book signs. Those connections will stay with me for a long time, and I feel truly grateful and blessed to have made them.

TO SEE PHOTOS OF THE NYC YA AUTHOR/BLOGGER ROOFTOP PARTY GO HERE: http://www.whorublog.com/?page_id=1122

GIVEAWAY:  In honor of the Rooftop Party and BEA, I’m offering several giveaways, including this prize package of Burn for Burn and a signed copy by Rebecca Serle of her newYA novel When You Were Mine, which has been optioned for a movie!

WINNERS CHOSEN – SEE SCOOT READ & UNABRIDGED SHELF, THANKS TO ALL FOR ENTERING 

BURN FOR BURN, by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian, BURN FOR BURN Sunscreen, Figment Bag, and a signed copy of WHEN YOU WHERE MINE by Rebecca Serle

Entering the giveaway is easy – just leave a comment. Posting on Facebook or tweeting about it adds an extra entry, please let me know. AND, extra entry if you follow me on TWITTER: https://twitter.com/#!/LizaWiemer – Let me know if you’re a Twitter friend. 😀 Giveaway ends Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 8 PM CST. (US and Canada only)

To enter additional giveaways from our Rooftop Party go here:

Reading Teen

http://www.readingteen.net/2012/06/rooftop-after-party-giveaway.html

Novel Thoughts –

novelthoughtsblog.com/2012/06/bea-rooftop-after-party-giveaway.html

 

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