Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rediscovering a genre - Lee Hyat

Last November I fell in love with the young adult genre all over again. I thought I'd left that love behind a long time ago but I was wrong. I'd never felt tempted to pick up the Harry Potter books like so many of my online friends did. I watched the movies, enjoyed them thoroughly and left it at that. I'd never felt compelled to want to know more.

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
may 2008
isbn 0-446-17798-9

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
august 2008
isbn 0-446-17797-0

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.”

be strong and curvaceous
january 2009
isbn 0-446-17799-7

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 with your full name and mailing address so I can get your prize to you!***


Julie P. said...

I "discovered" a new author this week -- Josh Bazell. (Not really, he is getting rave reviews everywhere.) I loved his first novel BEAT THE REAPER. It was exciting, hilarious, shocking, etc. I heard he is working on another book, and I can't wait to read it!

Maureen said...

I discovered a new author, well I had seen her book out but wasn't sure if I wanted to read it but when I was in Borders I picked it up. It's Romeo, Romeo by Robin Kaye and I read it in one day. I hadn't found any new contemporary authors I liked in a little while so first I found Julie James and now Robin Kaye.

Virginia said...

I have found two new authors lately and that is Elaine Levine and Carrie Lofty. Their debut books where awesome and I will be watching these authors in the future.

Also have found out I do enjoy reading paranormals some now when before I would never pick one up to read.

Margay said...

Lee, I also rediscovered YA last year, but for me, Twilight was the book that did it. And not only was Twilight responsible for making me rediscover YA, it also turned me on to a new author that I will continue to read, Stephenie Meyer. I have since read several other authors in YA, but Stephenie and Twilight still remain my favorites. Still reading in the genre, though. Another area this opened me up to is manga. My younger daughter is crazy for manga, so I think I'm going to try that next.


Jane said...

I just read my first urban fantasy, "Red" by Jordan Summers. Some consider the book urban fantasy and others consider it a paranormal. Either way it was a great book. Can't wait for the next book in the series.

Estella said...

I just finished reading Twilight. Stephenie Meyer is a new author to me.
I enjoyed the book so much I am ordering the rest of the series today.

anne said...

I discovered a new author whose books I enjoy greatly. Vicki Delaney writes mysteries with a local flavor that are riveting and memorable.

ruth said...

Two new authors who have given me hours of pleasureable reading are fiction writers whose books I adore. Jennifer Donnelly has written two wonderful books that are family sagas. Mary Doria Russell has written historical fiction that is captivating.

Michele L. said...

I discovered some new authors that I will absolutely rant and rave about. I love GREYWALKER by Kat Richardson. I am fairly new to the paranormal genre and this one is fantastic!

I also discovered another new author, Victoria Dahl,and loved her new book TALK ME DOWN. It is a romantic suspense book. I couldn't stop reading it until I reached the end it was so good!

Oh and Gemma Halliday's book, MAYHEM IN HIGH HEELS is fabulous! She has a whole series of these books and of course I didn't discover her until this last book in the series. I will have fun reading her previous books!

Also, Shana Abe's drakon series, THE DREAM THIEF, THE SMOKE THIEF and QUEEN OF DRAGONS are sensational! Her books are considered paranormal romance but you will love them!

These are my picks for great new authors that I discovered recently. Most have been around for a while.

Amanda Ashby said...

Young adult books rock! There are seriously so many great ones out there! My favorite yas from 2008 were the House of Night series by PC Cast and Kristin Cast. Amazing, amazing, amazing!!!!

sarabelle said...

hello, This is not a genre that I have read. Im not sure why being I have nothing against it it just seems that I dont think about picking them up when I am at the book store or at the library. after reading this post I will have to consider snatching one the next time I can.

ruth said...

This past year I have been fortunate to have found several wonderful authors. Penny Rudolph who wrote, Listen to the Mockingbird and is fabulous. Anthony Capella who wrote The Wedding Officer which I thought was unforgettable. Another wonderful novel, is Train to Trieste by Domnica Radulescu.

Leslie said...

In the past year I discovered a new to me author - Deanna Raybourn. She only has two books out, which I loved, and I look forward to reading more from her.

Donna Alward said...

I discovered Julianne MacLean last year, and now have several of her books. I absolutely fell in love with one of her regencies. Her voice is wonderful.

Kinda cool that since our move, now Julianne and I are in the same RWA chapter.

And I have ordered all the twilight books but they haven't arrived yet!

Laurie said...

New to me:

Jeff Rivera -Forever My Lady

Sherry Thomas-Private Arrangements & Delicious

I also did purchase several new author paranormals. BUT, when I go to my TBR pile I haven't picked one up to read YET!!

robynl said...

YA is a new genre to me; I haven't read any yet but might find myself doing so.

Cindy Davis is a new author to me and I look forward to reading her book Final Masquerade when I receive it.

danie88 said...

I discover new authors all the time... it's a never ending cycle with me lol

One of the new authors I discovered just yesterday is Susanne Dunlap. Her book, The Musician's Daughter, sounds like a great read and is on my wishlist! I love the cover as well.

Stefanie said...

I discover new authors all the time.

The last one I discovered was Liz Carlyle.
Oh and I've discovered some other authors I hadn't heard of by reading these posts. :p

traveler said...

A new author who I just discovered this past year is Kate Austin. Her contemporary novels are realistic and beautifully written with emotion and realistic characters.

LJ White said...

At Christmas I had to laugh when I saw my daughter's book wish list, it had a few books that were on my wish list, the Twilight series and The Debs by Susan McBride. Usually it's her father she shares her books with, like the Harry Potter series.

Thanks for the other books suggestions, I will have to check them out next time I am at the bookstore.

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