We here at The Paperback Princesses often receive emails from Indie authors requesting reviews and are blessed with free book copies. Often we are unable to get to so many titles before our mass market published books take over our TBR shelves. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of great reads though! We want to give back to those Indie authors and are declaringEVERY SECOND SUNDAYourSHOUT OUT TO INDIESMEME. For those of fellow bloggers, please feel free to add our meme to your regular schedule.We only ask that you quote and link back to us as a courtesy. For all of you Indie authors, we invite you to contact us at the contact link to your top left. We will select 1 - 3 titles (each time we post) that sound interesting. Lastly, for you readers, this is a bit of a test so please do comment and let us know what you think. We will also be offering up giveaway copies whenever we can! So without further ado, here are this week's pick:
Fourteen-year old Esperanza Ignacio could only think of a few words to sum up her life: crap, crap, crap! She was born into a poor Latino family living in a small crummy apartment in the barrio side of town,
where the graffiti chiseled more the souls and character of the residents than it impacted the exterior
looks of the buildings. Her father was a drunken, gambler, and wife-beater who, one cold night, got
arrested after a violent intrusion. Her entire circle of relatives consisted of nothing but formers-former
drug-addicts, former gangsters and gang-bangers, former alcoholics, former everything. Yep, her life was
nothing but a huge load of crap. And she hadn't even started high school yet. After surviving a scorching
summer heat, Esperanza enters the unfamiliar world of high-school with a tight knot in her stomach. On
the very first day, she is sucked into a blunder of catastrophic events beginning with accidentally running
into the world's BIGGEST bully. Now, she has made herself the prime target for a main course. And, to
top it all off, she has to see this girl everyday in P.E! P.E.-the one class Esperanza truly despises the most.
Could life be any worse for her? Well, her family could take in a relative hopped up on drugs, a probable
shooting can take place right in front of her, and Esperanza could also sit and listen to the crazed ranting
of her loud psychotic mother. Oh, wait, all that does happen. To make things even easier, her best friend,
Carla, won't stop trying to marry her off to her twin brother, Carlos. And she has these two puny siblings
constantly vying for her attention. God, it's a wonder she doesn't strap herself in a straight jacket and
pretend to be Elvis. Nonetheless, Esperanza attempts to get through it all. She is a smart and ambitious
young kid struggling to survive her life while fighting to make her mark on the world. Her story is filled
with pain, strength, and too much loud bickering. It carries a voice enriched with barrio slang and
sarcastic humor. Esperanza illustrates what persistent Latino youth can achieve when they get back up
after a fall and keep on walking straight into college.
Why I chose to write YA
I started writing Esperanza right after graduating high school when I still possessed that “raw, teenage voice” that my publisher loved so much. I remember thinking how I never read anything with a Latino theme. Heck, at that time, I never heard of Latino writers such as Sandra Cisneros or Luis Rodriguez. And so that is why I decided to create a character named Esperanza—one who was not an illegal immigrant or a gang member, but just somebody who wanted to go to school, learn everything humanly possible, and learn to survive in this heart-breaking world. I merely wanted to create a character that was just like me: shy, quiet, smart, and a fervent reader.
Growing up in a poor barrio with a single mother and two young siblings, it was tough avoiding the influential behaviors of the other kids. I didn’t want to end up pregnant or succumb to alcohol and drugs; I wanted to make something of my life. And that’s what Esperanza wants to do. Since the publication, many readers have been inspired by Esperanza’s tenacity and resilience. She has become a magnificent role model for YA audiences. But why do I write YA? Well, I simply wrote the novel that I, myself, would’ve LOVED to have read when I was young—a story with a strong Latina that
fought against the odds.
Born and raised in Hawaiian Gardens, CA, Sandra C. López is one of today's influential Latina authors in Young Adult literature. Her first novel, Esperanza: A Latina Story, was published in March 2008 WHILEshe was still in college. Shortly after that, she wrote the follow up title, Beyond the Gardens, starring her inspirational heroine. Now, this young writer is a full graduate of Cal State University Fullerton with a BFA in the arts. She was named as one of "2011 Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch" by Latino Stories. For more information, log on to www.sandra-lopez.comLike her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sandra-Lopez/173657042664609
And our second book this week is:
Riley Witt is running out of time.
Battling Alzheimer’s disease, Riley’s grandmother Mary suffers from memory loss, mood swings, and a tendency to wander off. When she moves in the summer before senior year, Riley has to face the reality that the one person she depends on most is slowly fading. Making matters worse, when Mary does remember the past, she tells tales of time travel and visions. As Mary’s version of the past gets more confused, Riley knows they are running out of time together.
But when Riley discovers a guitar belonging to a famous rock star in the back of her grandmother’s closet, the truth behind Mary’s tales finally comes out. First, Riley learns that her dad is not her real dad. Her real father is the late music legend, Jonah Wolff. This revelation is almost more than Riley can handle. But then an even bigger secret is revealed.
Riley is also a sixth generation time traveler. She has the power to open six portals to the past, lines to her own life, which will answer questions she never thought to ask, and influence her future in the most unexpected ways.
SIX STRINGS tells the story of Riley’s first leap—the leap back to 1973—where she enters a world of music, long-lost family, and first love. Her adventure is all about discovering her past, understanding her present, and figuring out how to step into her future.
Why I Write for Young Adults
By Jen Sanya Williamson
When I tell people what I do for my day job—teach English to junior high students—I am usually greeted with a look of sympathy or a joke about what I must have done in a former life to receive such a punishment. I take it in stride; in fact, I often feel I’m in on an inside joke. See, what a lot of people don’t know is junior high kids are awesome.
Sure, they are emotional basket cases at times. Hormones are raging. They often see things in black and white, so trying to reason with them can be a task. They’re immature, they have short attention spans, and getting them to read for pleasure is often my biggest challenge each year.
But, the positives of hanging out with teenagers all day outweigh any negatives. What I’ve learned from being a teacher is that junior high students are funny, thoughtful, and when they believe in something they often do so earnestly. I’ve had amazing conversations with my students, conversations that have changed my perceptions and helped me understand why this is such an important time in their lives.
Before becoming a teacher seven years ago, I never thought I would write young adult literature. In fact, I imagined myself as a 21st Century Raymond Carver, perfecting the art of the short story, uncovering the quiet moments in life through my writing. But spending time with my students—reading what they read, trying to understand what they need from literature—has changed me. It has changed my writing. I now write for them.
I believe that every student can find a book to love while in my class. Not just a book that’s “all right,” but a book that affects them, a book they’ll remember years from now. There’s a lot working against us: Facebook, Instagram, texting, reality TV, boy drama, girl drama, chores, babysitting, sports. These kids are busy. I know that reading is something they should fit into their schedules. I know that reading literature will help them do better in all of their classes. I know that a book will teach them about things they can barely imagine, take them places they only dream of, and help them see that they are not alone in this world, that what they feel are the same things teens have been feeling for the last hundred years. But, convincing them of this isn’t always so easy. Matching kids with books has become my mission.
I write for young adults because I want as many books as possible available to my students and all teenagers. I want them to read about characters who are like them; kids who try to fit the world into their black and white views, kids who worry about their families and friends, kids who try hard to be good even when they don’t know how to be. I strive to write about the world my students live in as realistically as possible, even when my heroine Riley is traveling back in time. I want her relationships to be real, the conversations she has to be authentic, and her reactions to the events in her life to make the reader think, “Yeah, that’s what I would do.” I know my kids deserve good literature.
This is such an exciting time for young adult fiction. Amazing writers like Walter Dean Myers, John Green, Sharon Draper, Sarah Dessen, and Ellen Hopkins have challenged young readers to think and care about books. There’s so much good writing out there, and there’s good librarians and teachers helping students get their hands on it. I want to contribute any way I can. I write for young minds, young voices. I write for my students.
Jen Sanya Williamson is a graduate of the University of Arizona where she received a BA in creative writing. She spends most of her time with her junior high students, teaching and talking books. When not in a classroom, Jen is writing, watching TV shows from the ‘90s, or cheering on the Wildcats with her husband and children in her adopted hometown of Tucson, Arizona.
Friday Follow is a blog hop that was started by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Each week a different question is posted by our hosts and we will answer! This is a great opportunity for bloggers to network and interact.
You know, I would like to be super smart like Sydney Sage with a hot boyfriend like Adrian from the Bloodlines series. I'm not sure how I would feel about being chased by Strigoi though....I would definitely be investing in a few more martial arts lessons...and perhaps some heavy duty weapons and ninja training... - Christinabean
Welcome to the Paperback Princesses! Make yourself at home, take a look around our blog and let us know what you think in the comments section. We would love to hear what you have to say about our posts. We often try to comment on your comments as well so feel free to start a conversation! Since there are two of us running the show, we always have a variety of titles and event postings. Be sure to check out our own personal meme page. Check out Fantastic Fairytales, Let's Hear it for the Boys, In Case you Missed it and a few others. We try to not only focus on new YA books but also great titles from the past.
Kimberlee’s dead. Has been for a while, actually. Stuck haunting the halls of her high school, she’s doomed to an afterlife of boredom. That is until the new kid shows up.
The first thing Jeff spots is Kimberlee lying on the floor as other students walk right through her. Pretty soon she’s harangued him into helping her escape to the afterlife.
Kimberlee guesses that once Jeff rights her mean girl wrongs she’ll be able to move on. But nothing is simple in life after death...
To be honest, I knew nothing about this title until I read the novella One More Day. I added it to my TBR list because I am a fan of Aprilynne Pike's Wings series. It was a good twist on a modern day thief trying to redeem herself in the afterlife by convincing someone to help her return the good she has stolen. It reminded me of a made for TV movie and lacked the depth I am used to from this author but it was still a fun read! Jeff goes through the usual peer pressure of trying to fit in at a new school while being coached by the ever popular Kimberlee only to realize that he is better off being himself to attract the girl he likes. We also discover a few things about Kimberlee that are not so likeable. Towards the end of the book, I felt like I wanted to punch this girl out. There are definitely themes you could draw out for an ISU assignment - shop-lifting, peer pressure, dating, bullying. Tons to analyze for a stand-alone title. Overall I would recommend it to a pre-teen audience just heading into high school. On a side-note, the beginning of Chapter 30 is like an updated version of Say Anything...without the boombox (for those of you old enough to know what a boombox is and can quote "Say Anything")....
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating or books that are in our TBR pile. This week’s “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is
Everything hangs in the balance, and nothing is certain: Rachel has been kidnapped by enemy forces and is being taken to Rowansmark while Logan, imprisoned and awaiting trial, is unable to leave Lankenshire. Separated from each other and their Baalboden comrades, each must find a way to achieve what they desperately want: to rid their world once and for all of the Commander and the tech that controls the deadly Cursed One.
Fighting through her pain and embracing the warrior she’s become, Rachel will do whatever it takes to escape her enemies’ clutches and join Logan in his fight. But when she learns a secret that changes everything, she realizes that escaping Ian and his tracker friends is no longer an option if she wants to save the people she loves. Instead, she’ll have to destroy Rowansmark from the inside out—if she can survive the journey through the Wasteland.
Logan needs allies if he wants to thwart Rowansmark’s power grab and rescue Rachel. But securing allies will mean betraying his beliefs and enlisting the help of the man he hates more than anyone: Commander Jason Chase. Driven by his fierce love for Rachel and his determination to make their world safe, Logan may be just the weapon the city-states need to defeat the Cursed One.
But as Rowansmark bears down and uneasy alliances are tested, will Rachel and Logan’s love for each other be enough to surmount the unbelievable odds against them?(less)
I could spend hours and hours in a library. I have probably logged more hours than I have working.
I have even visited libraries when I've been on vacation...have you?
I came across an interesting article this week about library cards. (Click on the link and take a look at different library cards from different states. Have you ever given thought to how different each card is? Some of them are even key fobs now. The last time I renewed my library card, I was able to choose betwee 4 - 5 different designs. The librarian mentioned that patrons find them easier to locate in a bag or purse and because kids get a choice as well, it helps them remember to use it. GREAT IDEA!! Librarians, school representatives and technicians take note - Wouldn't it be great to see libraries hold a drawing contest for children and let patrons vote on a design to place on their library card??
Here is a picture of my current library card. When I first signed up for our local library, I asked the librarian about the cards because she gave me a choice of 4 or 5 different designs. She explained that researched showed that giving a patron a choice helped them remember to use the card and helped them FIND it in a purse or wallet. Here's what my card looks like
It gets used a lot...and I also contribute in other ways...like my fines... :)
(this was me as a child...now most of my books go on the micro SD card on my phone and I just don't have the same muscle tone in my arms...)