Apr 30, 2011

Review - Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later...

Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal
March 29th, 2011 from St. Martin's Press

From the Publisher:
Now with this striking new adult novel from author and creator Francine Pascal, millions of devoted fans can finally return to the idyllic Sweet Valley, home of the phenomenally successful book series and franchise. Iconic and beloved identical twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are back and all grown up, dealing with the complicated adult world of love, careers, betrayal, and sisterhood. WANT MORE SWEET VALLEY RIGHT NOW?? Become a fan of Sweet Valley Confidential on Facebook or Twitter.

Well that was....weird. I'm kind in some kind of shock right now as I attempt to write this review. There are several things about this book that irritated me.

1. The grammatical errors are off the charts. I am not a linguistic genius by any stretch of the imagination, so when I find more than one or two errors...there is a problem. The last quarter of this book was filled with about 5.

2. I guess my brain wasn't ready for the "grown-up" version of Jessica and Elizabeth. I was a little surprised to see the word orgasm on page 7. "She cried after every orgasm..." All righty, then. Fine, they grew up and had relationships, but I wasn't ready for the multiple sex scenes and the word nipple just looked crazy on that page! Great, now I sound 80.

3. The story line was good at best. I don't think a lot of readers will accept the betrayal in this book. Also, the love interests. I think it was a little far fetched.

4. I had a hard time with the narration changes; Elizabeth, Jessica, Todd AND Bruce...a little much. The flipping of the storytelling didn't go very smoothly. I had to reread several passages to make sure I knew what was happening.

5. The entire senior class goes back for the wedding? I talk to maybe 50 people from high school... Everyone still knows each other - ?? Just another example of how some things were too forced and unrealistic.

This book is for the Sweet Valley die-hard that just wants to know something about the Wakefield twins. Even if that something is implausible.

2.5 Stars

Apr 29, 2011

Review - Boyfriends With Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez

Boyfriends With Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez
April 19th, 2011 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

From the Publisher:
Lance has always known he was gay, but he's never had a real boyfriend. Sergio is bisexual, but his only real relationship was with a girl. When the two of them meet, they have an instant connection--but will it be enough to overcome their differences?

Allie's been in a relationship with a guy for the last two years--but when she meets Kimiko, she can't get her out of her mind. Does this mean she's lesbian? Does it mean she's bi? Kimiko, falling hard for Allie, and finding it impossible to believe that a gorgeous girl like Allie would be into her, is willing to stick around and help Allie figure it out.

Boyfriends with Girlfriends is Alex Sanchez at his best, writing with a sensitive hand to portray four very real teens striving to find their places in the world--and with each other.

Two sets of friends, Lance and Ally, Serio and Kimiko, meet and sparks fly from every direction. Lance is a an openly gay 17-year-old who thinks that bisexuals are on the fence about thier sexuality. When he meets and falls for Sergio, a bisexual, Lance must come to terms with his own preconceived notions about what it means to be gay/bi. Lance likes to use the term, "bi now, gay later." Sergio doesn't find Lance's closed mind endearing. He wishes Lance accepted people for who they really are...themselves. Kimiko is Sergio's friend. She is comfortable with her gay status, but the problem lies with her parents. They have zero clue about Kimoko's attraction to other girls. When she meets Ally, Lance's straight friend, Kimiko starts to tire of living a double life.

The theme of this book is all about teen sexuality. That alone, and the title, may turn some readers away. For me, when I first glanced at the cover, I got an uneasy feeling. The title and cover *kinda, to me* suggest that there might be a little swapin' going on. Hey, people are free to do what they like, but I wasn't sure what message that would send teens. I am happy to report, if anyone cares, that there is no such switcheroo.

This book is a character driven read. We weave in and out between the heavy dialogue of these four teens. They try to make sense of what they are feeling and some try to make sense of where they fit in the world. Isn't that an age old question that? Who am I and where do I belong? Lance tries to put people into nice little boxes, while Sergio simply is who he is. The dialogue between the two are the best qualities of this book.

Stereotypes, even the good ones, are present. Kimiko wears mens clothing, and Lance loves show tunes. I would have liked to see a little diversity in the characters. Not racial diversity, character wise. Give us something new, something we haven't heard or read of time and time again. Personality traits and physical appearances were all a little cliche. Just my personal opinion.

Although I enjoyed this book and thinks it is a good addition to the GLBT lit community, it came off a little heavy handed for me. Meaning, the story seemed to want to cover every aspect of the gay community; gay, lesbian, bisexuality, etc...., in one story.I think the most intriguing part of this book is the relationship between Lance and Sergio. I wish, just a little wish, that the story stuck with them.  

3.5 Stars

Apr 28, 2011

1,000 Follower Giveaway Winners

Congratulations goes to....

Dia S. 

You have won the YA Pack!

Lynossa @ Deranged Book Lovers

You won the MG Pack!

Lexie @ BookBug

You won the signed bookplates!

KristinaD77 @ New, Borrow, Used

You won the Swag Pack!

Mallary @ Effortlessly Random

You won the e-Book of Dream Smashers

All winners have been emailed. A BIG thank you goes out to all of my followers - old and new. I was overwhelmed by the amount of entires and am thankful for everyone spreading the word. Stick around! 

Review - Divergent by Veronica Roth (& Giveaway)

Divergent by Veronica Roth
May 3rd, 2011 by HarperTeen

From the Publisher:
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

I am going to say what everyone else in the book world is saying about Divergent, it is AMAZING! Dystopian YA is my favorite genre and this baby is at the top of my fave list. You may be tired of hearing that Divergent ranks right up there with The Hunger Games, but it does! The crumbling world, the belief that the authorities have everyone's best interest at heart, and the small group of people that don't fall for the hype, are all presented to perfection. If I wrote my review minutes after finishing...I would only say this book is awesome over and over again. Now, I can say things like, "It melted my face off!" "I would marry this book if I could" and "If you didn't like this book, you are dead to me!" Check out this great interview from HarperTeen.

Because you have read endless positive reviews of Divergent, I will keep my review simple. If you only buy one book this month, buy Divergent! It is original - uh, factions anyone?, suspenseful - the ferris wheel scene made me want to puke, and the sexual tension is as thick as ______. (you fill in the blank, my Texas version has a naughty word in it plus the word pig). You get my point...you won't be disappointed.

5 HUGE Stars!

I believe in this book and know it will bring hours of joy to those who read. So, I am giving away my review copy. I know, I know...I'm amazing, you can stop screaming. There are extra entries, so be sure to read each entry carefully and add up everything correctly. Enter only once - yes, I check!

Add to Goodreads

*giveaway closed*

Cover Reveal - The Death Cure (The Maze Runner #3) by James Dasner

James blogged about the third installment of The Maze Runner Trilogy out October 11th. Here is what he said today:

"I present to you the amazingly awesome combined talents of artist Philip Straub and the Random House CB design team (click on the picture below to see it nice and big). I want EVERYONE to tell me what they think in the comments.

Here is my opinion: I love it!!! It's easily my favorite of the three books, and I loved all of them (hence the three exclamation marks)."

I love it too, I think it is my favorite out of the three. All three covers have some major color and I love that they are different, but so related. Can't wait to read. 

You can find James on his blog and on Twitter
Add to Goodreads

Apr 27, 2011

TLA Swag Giveaway Winner

Congratulations goes to....

AwesomeNiks @ Wickedly Sweet Books

You have won some major signed swag from TLA. An email has been sent to you, and you have 72 hours to respond. A big thank you goes out to everyone who entered. Heidi @ YA Bibliophile won a mini swag pack for guessing the first book I scored at TLA - Sweetly by Jackson Pearce.

Apr 26, 2011

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop Winners

Congratulations to....

ARC of the new graphic novel, Tantalize: Kieren's Story by Cynthia Leitich-Smith goes to


Hardcover of Blessed by Cynthia Leitich-Smith gos to


E-book of Happy Birthday To Me by Brian Rowe goes to

JHS @ Colloquium

E-book of My Sparkling Misfortune by Laura Lond goes to 


All winners have been contacted. Thank you to every one of you that entered and follow. Hope you stick around. 

Waiting on Wednesday

Fateful by Claudia Gray
September 13th, 2011 from HarperTeen

Readers who loved Claudia Gray’s New York Times bestselling Evernight series will be captivated by this latest tale, filled with her trademark blend of paranormal adventure, dark suspense, and alluring romance.

In Fateful, eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, overbearing family she works for. Once the ship they’re sailing on reaches the United States, she’ll strike out on her own. Then she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets....

Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves are real and they’re stalking him—and now Tess, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over.

Featuring the opulent backdrop of the Titanic, Fateful’s publication is poised to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the ship’s doomed maiden voyage. It is sure to be a hit among Titanic buffs and fans of paranormal romance alike.

Claudia posted a synopsis on her blog last year. I couldn't find a large high res picture, but this is the ARC version that I have. I think this story sounds so wacky that I want to read it! Werewolves + Titanic = Bananas 

Add to Goodreads

2 Cover Reveals - Soul Thief by Jana Oliver & Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

Soul Thief by Jana Oliver
August 30th, 2011 from St. Martin's Griffin

Riley Blackthorne’s adventures continue in the second spellbinding Demon Trappers novel, as she battles demons… and a love that could destroy her

At the start of the second thrilling installment of the Demon Trappers series, 17-year-old Riley Blackthorne has about had it up to here. After the devastating battle at the Tabernacle, trappers are dead and injured, her sweet boyfriend Simon is gravely injured, and now her beloved late father’s been illegally poached from his grave by a very powerful necromancer. Add to the mix: Ori, one sizzling hot freelance demon hunter who’s made himself Riley’s unofficial body guard, and Beck, a super over-protective “friend” who acts more like a grouchy granddad, and Riley’s almost ready to leave Atlanta altogether.

But as the demon count in Atlanta increases, the already crippled Trappers Guild has its hands full, and, when the Vatican finally sends its own Demon Hunters to take care of the city’s “little” problem, pandemonium breaks loose. Only Riley knows that she might be the center of Hell’s attention: an extremely powerful Grade 5 demon is stalking her, and her luck can't last forever. As Riley’s life becomes a dangerous balancing act, will she be strong enough not to tip? And who will be there to catch her if she falls?

I haven't read The Demon Trappers Daughter. I was on a paranormal cleanse during the release and never revisited the idea. The cover looks like a sister-cousin of the first. Easy to recognize... Who doesn't love a pretty girl in Chucks?

Add to Goodreads

Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala
October 8th, 2011 by HarperCollins

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

Well this sounds deep. I have to be in the mood to read about abuse when it pertains to children. Having kids of my own, I can't read a book and then easily forget about it - the story stays with me for days. Heavy books like that are important and necessary, but I can't read them on a whim. I have to mentally prepare for them. I think that is why I stayed away from contemporary for so long, I thought every book was about love and loss. The cover is gorgeous and I'm sure Don't Breathe will receive a lot of great attention. 

Add to Goodreads

Apr 25, 2011

(ARC) Tour - Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
June 21st, 2011 from Walker Books For Young Readers
352 pages

Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.

Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?

Please be sure to start here if you want to participate.
Comment below with your name and state to be 
considered for this tour.

1. Al (GA)
2. Betty (TN)
3. Christy (TN)
4. Nerissa (FL)
5. Heidi (WI)
6. Logan (IL)
7. Amber (MN)
8. Sandra (CO)
9. Colleen (OK)
10. Brittany (TX)
11. Jessi (MO)

*tour complete 9/15/2011*

(ARC) Tour - Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

Wolfsbane: A Nightshade Novel by Andrea Cremer
July 26th, 2011 from Penguin
400 pages

This thrilling sequel to the much-talked-about Nightshade begins just where it ended.Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemy, and she's certain her days are numbered.

But then the Searchers make her an offer,one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack and the man she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.

*Must have read Nightshade 

Please be sure to start here if you want to participate.
Comment below with your name and state to be 
considered for this tour.

1. Annette (IL)
2. Heidi (WI)
3. Missy (MI)
4. Jacinda (IN)
5. Becky (NE)
6. Jess (TX)
7. Amy (TX)
8. Savannah (TX)
9. Nerissa (FL)
10. Al (GA)
11. Karis (GA)
12. Christy (TN)
13. Julie (OK)
14. Brittany (TX)
15. Susan (TX)

(ARC) Tour - Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
May 24th, 2011 from Scholastic Press
400 pages

From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.
Teen beauty queens. A "Lost"-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to email. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.

Please be sure to start here if you want to participate.
Comment below with your name and state to be 
considered for this tour.

1. Becky (NE)
2. Sandra (CO)
3. Ashely (ID)
4. Jacinda (IN)
5. Jess (TX)
6. Yani (FL)
7. Al (GA)
8. Karis (GA)
9. Amy (TX) 
10. Colleen (OK)
11. Logan (IL)

Apr 24, 2011

In My Mailbox

IMM is a meme brought to us from The Story Siren. Basically, it's a good way to add books on to your TBR pile, get a head's up on what is coming soon, and to totally brag. Let's get real... ;) I am coming down off of my TLA haul from last week so I really wasn't expecting anything this week.

For Review:
Vanish by Sophie Jordan
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs (thank you, Harper!)

Currently Reading:
Divergent by Veronica Roth (finally!)

Hoppy Easter Blog Hop ends tomorrow

Apr 21, 2011

Review - Clarity by Kim Harrington

Clarity by Kim Harrington
March 1st, 2011 by Scholastic

From the Publisher:
When you can see things others can't, where do you look for the truth?

This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.

Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.

And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case--but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother--who has supernatural gifts of his own--becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

At 250 pages, this little book delivers quite a great mystery. Clare comes from a family of "gifted" individuals and with the help of her mother and brother, they run a family business giving readings to tourists who vacation in their little Cape Cod town. The family business brings the stares, whispers, and quite a few run ins with the local thugs. After the murder of an 18-year-old tourist, the town starts to panic and vacationers begin to leave. Clare's mother panics and begins to wonder how they will pay the bills come winter. When an NYC detective and his wanna be detective son move to town, the hunt for the killer is on. Eventually, Clare is asked to help locate the murderer using her ability to see past events by touching objects. The family needs the money and she is basically guilted in to helping. She soon learns that her brother was somehow involved with the victim, and she will go to any length to protect him. 

The opening chapters of this story are exceptional. I was hooked at page one when we meet Clare with a gun pointed to her head. The story begins at the end, and over the course of 26 chapters, we go through the events that lead up to the frightening scene. Clare is not usually at the mercy of another. She is strong willed, opinionated (and often gets in trouble for it), and resilient. She isn't exactly praised for her gift and she often gets teased and taunted for being different - this kicks in the resilient bit. The one person that believes in her and accepts her for who she really is broke her heart. Justin, the ex, cheated on Clare with the Queen of Mean, Tiffany. I love the way Clare finds out about his tryst and the run ins she has with Tiffany! Whew, I'll save those for you to read. 

When Gabriel, the detective's son, joins Clare in the investigation, she begins to forget all about Justin. Well, after they have a few yelling matches. Gabriel is one of those haters that doesn't believe in Gabriel's ability. He eventually changes his mind....kissing kinda does that to boys. The murder mystery isn't so easy to solve, and soon the bodies start racking up. We are introduced to several characters and in the end, it almost seems like the killer could be anyone. Action packed, unpredictable, and full of snarky scenes.....a must read. 

4.5 Stars  

Add to Goodreads

Cover Reveal - Black Heart by Holly Black

Late last night, I stumbled upon this:

Photo courtesy of Little Shelf

Looks like there is a cover of Black Heart! It was posted on Holly's blog late last night and this is all we know, "And, although I don't have a better image of it, I also have the cover of BLACK HEART to share." I must say, this is WAY better than the Red Glove cover! In my opinion, this series did not get blessed with great artwork. The White Cat cover was okay, and the Red Glove cover was just awful. I am back to okay for this one. Won't stop me from reading......

Black Heart is not due out until April 2012, but you can still add it to Goodreads

Apr 19, 2011

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop

I am happy to participate in a blog hop again this month. This time our hosts are Kathy from I Am a Reader, Not a Writer & Yara from Once Upon a Twilight (Viva Texas!). I will make the entries easy so you can get to hopping. The full list of participants can be found below. Here is what I have up for grabs:

ARC of the new graphic novel, Tantalize: Kieren's Story by Cynthia Leitich-Smith

Hardcover of Blessed by Cynthia Leitich-Smith

E-book of Happy Birthday To Me by Brian Rowe
*available in MOBI & EPUB formats

E-book of My Sparkling Misfortune by Laura Lond

*giveaway closed*

Waiting on Wednesday

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
September 1st, 2011 by HarperCollins

We meet Liesl the night after the day her young father has died. That same day she is visited by a ghost, Po, an eight year old boy who lives on the other side, the territory between life and death that runs parallel to the living world. Po has come to tell her that her father is stuck on the other side, and that she is the only one who can help him cross over. A couple of wooden boxes. Some ashes. Some magic dust. A ghost, its pet, and a boy who forgot to wear a hat in the cold. From these seemingly odd, random characters Oliver weaves the enchanting story of how, with the aid of Liesl, these elements come together over the course of one week to restore love and luster to a world gone grey and heartless.

I just adore Lauren and when I saw this little beauty at TLA last week, I practically jumped up and down. Okay, I did. I remember Lauren talking about this at a recent book signing in Austin, and knew I had to have it. I just love the premise and think it is original. Have you guys heard of this one?

Add to Goodreads

Apr 18, 2011

TLA Wrap-up (& Giveaway)

After months and months of planning and a few short bouts of anxiety, TLA was finally here! Last year, I was asked to be on the Local Author's Committee and one of three people assigned to man the Author's Area. I was excited to help and be a part of one of the best organized and attended book conventions. We had our 70+ volunteers and were more than ready for the exhibit hall to be open on Wednesday. I picked up Stephanie and headed on down to the convention center early to take pictures of move in day.

Our lovely tool kit for conference week


Main aisle on move in day

Wednesday was the first day the exhibit hall was open! Many TX bloggers met up and waiting in long lines together! We had so many books to bring back to the hotel that we asked the bell hop to walk down the street and get them. We tipped! Later Wednesday, we were invited to attend a reception hosted by Candlewick Press in honor of Lonestar Cynthia Leitich-Smith. The reception was attended by lovely authors, librarians, and folks from Candlewick. They had the best crab dip! 

Cari, me, and Stephanie @ Candlewick party

Later that night we headed over to meet Sophie Jordan and Tera Lynn Childs for dinner. We talked books and shared many laughs! No pictures of that...darn! 

Wednesday was the first day the exhibit hall was open! Many TX bloggers met up and waiting in lone lines together! 

SO FUN! I bet you are wondering about all of the lovely books I brought home. So...here they are! 



 All together now...

Signed books from Gerald McDermott

Collection of signed books

As you can see, I am up to my ears in new books! To celebrate...I will be giving away some awesome swag that I collected at TLA. Some of it is signed, some not. Also, there are signed bookplates from Simone Elkeles, Jonathan Maberry, and Lauren Myracle.

All you need to do is comment below with your email. You are able to get ONE extra entry if you can guess the first book I received at TLA. Same ole rules apply....**YA Bibliophile won the extra entry - Sweetly was the first book I picked up at TLA! Amazing how many people said the same book over and over again....huh.

*giveaway closed*

Apr 17, 2011

In My Mailbox

IMM is a meme brought to us from The Story Siren. Basically, it's a good way to add books on to your TBR pile, get a head's up on what is coming soon, and to totally brag. Let's get real... ;)

For Review:
Stick by Andrew Smith
Miles From Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins - Signed  
Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins - Signed (thx Stephanie for picking them up for me @ TeenBookCon!)
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong - Signed @ B&N event
Signed bookmarks from The Gathering signing

Currently Reading:
Bad Taste In Boys by Carrie Harris 

My 1K Giveaway ends in one week - 4/24 
BIG TLA wrap-up post coming tomorrow + giveaway! 
Interview with Boyfriends With Girlfriends author, Alex Sanchez.
Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop starts 4/20 

Apr 16, 2011

Boyfriends With Girlfriends - Interview with Alex Sanchez

I am happy to host Alex today for an interview on the Boyfriends with Girlfriends tour. Thank you Teen Book Scene!

You were teased and called names as a gay teen, what advice do you have for teens that are being bullied because of their sexual orientation?
My heart goes out to teens going through difficult times. What I tell them is this: Keep reaching out. Never close up. Never give up. Hang in there. You will get through this.  You are a wonderful human being. Love, respect, and accept yourself for the beautiful soul you are. If they want to talk with someone, I encourage them to contact one of the organizations on my Youth Resources page. And of course I encourage them to read my books!!!

Tell us a little about how you started writing for GLBT books for teens?
I didn’t set out to write books for teens. When I wrote my first novel, Rainbow Boys, I was simply writing the book I wished I’d had available to read when I was a teen—a book that would’ve told me, “It’s okay to be who you are.” Part of who I was then was a very normal teenage boy trying to sort out love, friendship, sex, and sexuality.

I read in a previous interview that you say to "write what you're most afraid to write." That begs the question, what are you afraid of?
Just about everything. I’m pretty wussy. Writing allows me to face my fears. When I began the Rainbow books, I was scared to write about being gay. Now, no longer. When I wrote The God Box, I was scared to
write about being Christian and gay. I got through that. Bait helped me through my fears of writing about sexual abuse during boyhood. I was likewise scared to explore the topic of bisexuality, the subject of my newest book, Boyfriends with Girlfriends. Writing is a way for me to work through my fears and help others to do so, too. 

How is Boyfriends With Girlfriends different from your other GLBT titles?
The characters challenge the gay-or-straight / either-or boxes that we often try to fit into. Although I’ve touched on bisexuality in my other novels, this is the first book where I faced it more in depth.

In Boyfriends With Girlfriends, Lance has a major hangup about the concept of bi-sexuality calling it a "cop-out."  How do you respond to others who feel the same way?
My response is similar to the character Sergio: Just because you’re exclusively gay or straight, that doesn’t mean everybody is. Isn’t it a little bit arrogant for a person to pass judgment on another person’s sexual orientation?

Kimoko is a lesbian teen worried about disappointing her family and their ideals of what it means to be "happy." Was this something you and your family struggled with?
Yeah. I think my parents always wanted me to be happy, but their ideas of what would make me happy were often at odds with mine. At times, it led to arguments.

What books with gay themes do you recommend for teens? You know, besides yours. ;)
Gosh, there are sooo many great gay teen books now. I have a huge list
on my website at: http://www.alexsanchez.com/gay_teen_books.htm  

Thank you, Alex! 

Be sure to check out Alex's other books HERE

Waterfall - Winner

Congratulations goes to....

Melissa @ Books and Things

You have won a signed copy of Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren. An email has been sent to you. Please respond within 72 hours, or I will pick a new winner. Enjoy!

Apr 11, 2011

TLA - Texas Library Association

The Texas Library Association conference starts TODAY! If you can't tell, I am way excited about this. I have tweeted, Facebooked, and spread the word months, and here we are... I was fortunate enough to attend last year and had a great time. I scored some major books, signatures, and photos that will last a lifetime. Uh, hello Ms. Suzanne Collins! If you would like to read about my experience last year, go HERE.

So..this year the talent is off the chain! (do the kids still say that..?) I have been working hard with my two partners as part of the Local Area Committee. This year, we worked on the recruiting, assigning, and organizing the 65-75 volunteers it takes to run the authors area for three days. Whew....a lot of work, but a lot of rewards. Check out who will be here this year.

That is just a taste! Check out the list of authors below:

Jeff Abbott
Helen Adams
Susan Wittig Albert
Jill S. Alexander
Salima Alikhan
David S Alkek, M.D.
Crystal Allen
Mary Amato
Jessica Lee Anderson
Kathi Appelt
Jennifer Archer

Paolo Bacigalupi
Chris Barton
Josh Bazell
Cris Beam

Barbara Beery
Kelly Bennett

Jim Benton
Phil Bildner
Sarah Bird

Elizabeth Bluemle
Tonya Bolden
Michele Andrea Bowen
Tammy Bronson
Calef Brown/Lea Yancey
Ryan Brown

Michael Buckley
Leslie Bulion
Dori Hillestad Butler
Pam Calvert
Rachel Caine
Mary Casanova
Dixie Cash
Linda Castillo

Tera Lynn Childs
Cinda Williams Chima
Melanie Chrismer
Jane Claes/Janet Hillburn
Rosemary Clement-Moore
Sharon Coatney
Ally Condie
Rose Cook
Evada Cooper
Ilene Cooper
Jeff Crosby/Shelley Jackson
James Crowley

Jamie Lee Curtis
Jordan Dane
James Dashner
Diane Mott Davidson
David Davis
Dianne de Las Casas

Matt Dembicki
Ivy Devlin
Johnette Downing
Shirley Duke

Julia Durango
Simone Elkeles
Elizabeth Ellis
Dottie Enderle
Margarita Engle
Joy Fielding
Kristin Fontichiaro
Gayle Forman
Bruce Foster
Janet Fox
Marci Fuller
Marla Frazee
Helen Frost
Jack Gantos
Geronimo Garcia
Sherry Garland
Xavier Garza
Marita Gentry
Kristine O'Connell George
Denise Getson
Gail Giles
C. Kay Gooch/
Charlotte Massey

Jason Goodwin
CW Gordon
John Gosselink
Keith Graves
Melanie Hope Greenberg
Daniel Handler
Chook-Ok Jade Harmon/
Ana Maria Rodriguez
Suzanne Harper

Stephen Harrigan
Joe Hayes
Mitch Haynes
Jason Henderson
Kevin Henkes
Jim Hightower
William Hill
David E. Hilton

Will Hobbs
PJ Hoover
Anastasia Hopcus
Joyce Hostetter

James Howe
CC Hunter
Jim Ingram
Shelley Jackson
Christopher S. Jennings
Layne Johnson
Marian Jordan
Sophie Jordan

Jacqueline Jules
Deborah Kadair
Maira Kalman
Melissa Kantor
Doug Kennedy

Helen Ketteman
Viki Kind
M.G. King

Joe R. Lansdale
Hope Larson
Jeanette Larson
Kathryn Lay
Cynthia Leitich-Smith
David Levithan
Lenore Look
Amy Lucas
Jonathan Maberry

Mari Mancusi
Christina Mandelski
Ari Marmell

David Mays
Tom McDermott
Gerald McDermott
Michelynn McKnight
Kinsy McVay
Lucas Miller
Pat Miller
Anna Mitchell
Elizabeth Moon
Stephanie Perry Moore

Pat Mora
Lauren Myracle

Dawn Bluemel Oldfield
Lauren Oliver
Kevin O'Malley
Katherine Hall Page
David Patneaude
Richard Peck
Jan Peck
Sara Pennypacker
Matt Phelan

Rickey Pittman
J.L. Powers
Joy Preble

James E. Ransome
Laura Resau
Bettina Restrepo
Cindy Rhodes
Rhonda Riskey

Spelile Rivas
Kimberla Lawson Roby
Eric Rohmann
Dave Roman
Alexey Root
Patrick Rothfuss
James Rubart
Carrie Ryan
Pam Munoz Ryan
Benjamin Alire Saenz
John Scalzi
Liz Garton Scanlon
Steven P. Schneider
Elizabeth Scott
Lalitha Shetty
Marilyn Singer
Alan Sitomer
Icy Smith
J. Jaye Smith
Michael Smith
Maria V. Snyder

Jordan Sonnenblick
Diane Stanley
Jodi Stauffer
Donna St. Cyr

 Rebecca Stead
Michelle Stimpson
Todd Strasser
Scott Sutton
Carmen Tafolla
Don Tate

Greg Taylor
Raina Telgemeier
Mike Thaler
Amanda M. Thrasher
Tim Tingle
Brad Turner
Pamela Turner
Karen Valby

Mimi Vance
Antoinett vanHeugten
Audrey Vernick
Sue Ward

David Warlick
Robert Paul Weston
Lisa Wheeler
Andrea White
Jo Whittemore
Jenny Wingfield
Jacqueline Winspear

Tim Wynne-Jones
Dan Yaccarino

Terry Ybanez
Gwendolyn Zepeda


I also get to attend a cocktail party thrown by Candlewick Press and have dinner with two awesome authors on Tuesday! I can't wait to spill the beans.... 

I will be out of commission until probably Saturday night. To keep busy, enter my 1,000 Follower Giveaway! Link can be found on the sidebar! 

Happy Reading!