Then the Twilight mania hit. My daughter and I watched the movie and I "had" to start reading the first book that very night! I'd forgotten how much I really enjoyed young adult novels. I felt again the thrill of discovering a new genre (only this time, it's REdiscovering one). You know, that awesome feeling that you've hit the genre jackpot and there's soooo many new books/authors out there to discover?
It's been fun. Maybe more so because I'm not alone in this. My daughter and I are doing the discovering together and it's just helping to make our bond stronger. Once we were done with the Twlight Saga, we discovered the world Rachel Caine built in the Morganville Vampires series. Last week an author friend recommended Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series so that's next on our list.
At the moment though, we're working our way through Shelley Adina's "US" series. So far, most of my young adult reading has been steeped in the paranormal so I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy these books... but I'm happy to say that book 1 has caught and kept my attention quite well so far!
it’s all about us
Some things you just know without being told. . . .
Like you passed the math final (or you didn't). Like your boyfriend isn't into you anymore and wants to break up. Or . . . you're the New Girl and your junior year is going to be utterly miserable.
Lissa Mansfield is used to being in the "in" crowd--but being accepted by the popular girls at posh Spencer Academy boarding school in San Francisco is a lot harder than she thought. And then there's her New-York-loudmouth roommate, Gillian Chang, who's not just happy to be a Christian herself--she's determined to out Lissa, too. If Lissa can just keep her faith under wraps long enough to hook Callum McCloud, the hottest guy in school, she'll be golden.
But when Callum pressures her to go all the way with him, Lissa has to decide how far is too far. How can she see that line when he's so gorgeous and popular and God seems so far away? Between that and shopping for a knockout dress and booking the hottest celeb for the Benefactor's Day Ball . . . who knew finding a place at Spencer Academy would be so complicated?
“In the first novel of her new YA series, Adina does a good job realistically portraying characters who are not only growing up, but doing so with religion as a huge constant in their lives. Rarely, if ever, are the characters preachy, and Lissa and Gillian are fine role models for any religion.” --Romantic Times BookReviews
the fruit of my lipstick
Top Five Clues that He’s the One
1. 1.He’s smart, which is why he’s dating you and not the queen of the snob mob.
2. 2.He knows he’s hot, but he thinks you’re hotter.
3. 3.He’d rather listen to you than himself.
4. 4.You’re in on his jokes—not the butt of them.
5. 5.He always gives you the last cookie in the box.
New Yorker Gillian Chang starts her second term at posh Spencer Academy boarding school in San Francisco prepared to focus on her studies, her faith, and her friends. She plays a dozen musical instruments and can recite the periodic table of the elements backward. She's totally prepared for everything--except love!
She's falling hard for Lucas Hayes, who isn't even a senior yet and is already aiming at a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford. The problem is, she never seems to be able to measure up and be the girlfriend he wants. He's under a lot of pressure from his parents to achieve--maybe that's why he's short-tempered sometimes. But even a thick-skinned girl like Gillian can only take so much.
With her heart on the line, Gillian conceals more and more from her friends. So when she's accused of selling exam answer sheets, even her girlfriends, Lissa Mansfield and Carly Aragon, wonder if it can be true. Can Gillian hang onto her integrity--and her faith--when she loses her heart to Lucas?
“Shelley Adina hit a perfect balance. Her characters are strong Christians, and their faith is a big part of the story ... but she never really hits you over the head with it. It's just a part of their lives, just like shopping and cute boys are a part of their lives. ...I laughed out loud during many of Gillian's descriptions of her family, actually hearing my Asian husband's aunties' voices in my head. Shelley provides a fantastic glimpse into Chinese-American culture and the struggle of trying to fit into two different worlds.” --Fictionistas.com
be strong and curvaceous
Be careful what you wish for. I used to think that was the dumbest saying ever. I mean, when you wish for something, by definition it’s wonderful, right? Like a new dress for a party. Or a roommate as cool as Gillian Chang or Lissa Mansfield. Or having a guy notice you after six months of being invisible. Before last term, of course I wanted those wishes to come true. I don’t anymore.
After spending spring break in Mexico with her grandparents, Carly Aragon can't wait to get back to school at Spencer Academy in San Francisco. With Lissa Mansfield and Gillian Chang by her side, she's ready for anything ... except a new roommate. Lady Lindsay MacPhail, flamboyant daughter of the Earl of Strathcairn, quickly becomes Carly's worst nightmare. "Mac" not only swoops in and steals Carly's privacy, she's also stealing Brett Loyola--Carly's biggest crush!
But when Mac starts receiving strange, threatening e-mails, she and Carly must come together to figure out who's behind them and why. In the end, the fate of one girl will lie in the other's hands. Will the two learn to trust one another and trust God?
“Reading Be Strong & Curvaceous flooded me with memories of my high school days. While the surroundings and scenes were different, there were certain staples that read just like my life: the close friendships, the longing to be accepted, the desire for my first real boyfriend, and most of all, being introduced to Jesus. I only wish Shelley Adina’s All About Us series had been around in my day. I recommend it for any young adult who wants to escape to another world and find that they are not alone in their feelings and experiences.”
—American Idol finalist Mandisa
So tell me about you - have you discovered a new genre / sub-genre lately? How about a new-to-you author? Discoveries like that are such fun! Especially if the author has a looong backlist to glom! Share your thoughts and I'll pick a winner in a couple of days who will recieve a Starbucks giftcard and a couple of books from My Tote Bag too!
***The Winner is Leslie! Thanks to everyone who left a comment. :) Leslie, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and mailing address so I can get your prize to you!***