Posts Tagged: dutton juvenile

Back When You Were Easier To Love

25 Mar, 2011 by in penguin 5 comments

by Emily Wing Smith
Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: April 28th 2011
by Dutton Childrens Books
ISBN 0525421998
4 stars

What’s worse than getting dumped? Not even knowing if you’ve been dumped. Joy got no goodbye, and certainly no explanation when Zan—the love of her life and the only good thing about stifling, backward Haven, Utah—unceremoniously and unexpectedly left for college a year early. Joy needs closure almost as much as she needs Zan, so she heads for California, and Zan, riding shotgun beside Zan’s former-best-friend Noah.

Original and insightful, quirky and crushing, Joy’s story is told in surprising and artfully shifting flashbacks between her life then and now. Exquisite craft and wry, relatable humor signal the arrival of Emily Wing Smith as a breakout talent.

I should mention if there is one thing I love first and foremost about this book it is the author. Emily Wing Smith is one of the most down to earth, kind and honest people you’ll ever encounter. She has overcome some major life obstacles plus has a master’s degree and two published YA novels. If you ever get the chance you’ll want to meet her. When she called to ask if she could swing by my home to deliver an ARC of Back When You Were Easier to love I was both delighted and touched. How many authors do you know that find you as a fan and bring you their book? Really!? Emily Wing Smith simply rocks.

Joy is your typical teen who is enamored and a bit obsessed with her first love…bordering on stalker status. Having only lived in Haven, Utah for six months she is attracted to Zan’s bookish nerdy allure. He knows the Dewey decimal system, can speak several funky foreign languages and wears his grandfather’s loafers. The two of them decide that Haven is just too conservative and happy for their style so they set their sites on Joy’s hometown colleges in Claremont, California. Things are plunking along quite nicely until Zan decides to get his GED and head to Cali without her. Leaving no number, no address and no plans for their future, Zan is gone and Joy wants closure. Here’s the plan…surprise road trip back to her roots and to find Zan. The only problem is all of Joy’s friends aren’t too hip on Zan or on the trip and there’s only one taker on the idea, Zan’s ex-best friend Noah.

Noah is the epitome of what Joy is trying to avoid. He’s a “soccer lovin’ kid” …as nice and popular as they come. He’s decided that Joy is going to be his friend whether she wants to be or not. How the two end up alone together in his Saab 900 heading from Utah to Cali we’re still not quite sure. But there’s plenty of Sprite and Barry Manilow tunes to keep the silence from getting too thick. Both Joy and Noah are in for the big surprise that awaits them on their UEA adventure.

Back When You Were Easier to Love explores the harsh reality of the loss of first time love, the dangers in setting up stereotypes and the struggles of those with the desire to live outside of cultural expectations. So much of it I could relate to in my experience moving between high schools and then colleges in Utah and California. Whether you are of Joy’s faith as a Mormon or not there is a huge amount of culture shock between these two states. Emily does a wonderful job of teaching that we are all just people, not above or below each other. My only hesitation in content is that a lot of the book is told from Joy and Zan’s viewpoint…looking down. In the process of the storytelling, the very stereotypes Mormons try to avoid may be reinforced in the minds of others reading about us for the first time. Emily differentiated between belief and culture beautifully in the chapter titled “This I Believe” on page 106-107. LOVE loved it.

Main character Joy learns she has lost so much of herself trying to be what Zan wants her to be. As teen I think we all made that mistake in one relationship or another. So though sad, Joy’s realization of self and the way she comes to it is realistic.

The last 1/3 of the book is definitely my favorite. Noah and Joy are on their way home and take a little detour through Las Vegas. It’s fun and such a hopeful way to end. Joy’s favorite sights in Las Vegas include the Pirate/ siren show at Treasure Island, the mini- Eiffel Tower at Paris and the Statue of Liberty at New York, New York. Noah’s are between TI and the Mirage and M&M world (pages 266-267)

So, our Photography Friday post below is a series of Vegas photos from Heather Gardner Photography. They will give you a little taste of the fun to be had in the last chapters of Back When You Were Easier To Love. We are giving away 5 photo postcards of prints from our galleries in honor of the Vegas chapters. Simply comment on the post naming your favorite photo to be entered. Giveaway ends April 25, 2011 and is open internationally.

A million thanks to author Emily Wing Smith for the sneak peek. Here’s her fab trailer just released yesterday on You Tube.

Anna & The French Kiss BIR2010 Giveaway

08 Dec, 2010 by in book giveaway, stephanie perkins 12 comments

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Hardcover, 372 pages
Published December 2nd, 2010
by Dutton
ISBN 0525423273

Book Summary:(from Stephanie’s website) Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she’s less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend. But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guaranteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt.

Learn more about the book at Stephanie’s Website:

Dutton Juvenile has donated on copy of Anna and The French Kiss to our US readers. Fill out this form to enter to win one of the most talked about new books of 2010.

Review: Matched by Ally Condie

07 Oct, 2010 by in matched 16 comments

Hardcover, 384 pages
To Be Published November 30th 2010
by Dutton Juvenile
ISBN 0525423648
4.5 stars

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.

I first spotted an ARC of this book at the Writing for Charity event and I fell in love with the cover. It is magical. Shimmering. Perfect. Matched is a story that will stick with you long after you are done reading. And it’s one I could happily read over and over. Ally Condie is a master. She takes a dystopian concept and gives it a hopeful poetic tone. Her writing leaves an impact and a deep impression in your mind. This is a book that I see being taught in classrooms because of the ideas it presents and explores.

It starts out as Cassia is getting ready to attend her Matching ceremony, traveling along with her childhood friend Xander and their families. The whole event sounds like a girl’s dream. A new green silk dress, and the once in a lifetime chance to meet the man you may marry. The society hand picks them for you and statistics show all will be well.

Cassia’s path may be different than her peers, after her match goes wrong and she sees the faces of two boys instead of one. Both of them live in her borough, but one has a secret. Soon the perfect face of society will start to crumble as Cassia uncovers their methods. They control every facet of life: the food, the jobs, the history, and even the chances you will have in the future to succeed. Society officials watch your every move and limit your choices. As they once seemed protective and helpful they become Cassia’s source of confusion and entrapment. Will she be able to break free and choose love over loyalty?

Matched is slow moving but immersive. I found myself falling for both of Cassia’s men. They are incredible. The families are tight knit, each of the character’s pasts are intertwined and interconnected. The plot has layers which continue to unravel and the romance element is clean and perfect. I’m looking forward to the sequel, since in the end there are a lot of unanswered questions. Overall Matched is a beautiful, thought provoking book bound to become a classic.

Visit Ally’s website here and an author interview and excerpt from Matched on Amazon. Be sure to enter to win a vintage compact necklace inspired by Cassia’s matching ceremony artifact in the post below. Also our 600 follower contest contains a signed copy of Ally’s book Freshman for President!

Teaser Tuesday-Book Birthdays Today!

09 Feb, 2010 by in robin palmer, speak 3 comments

published February 9th 2010 by Hyperion Book CH

details Hardcover, 304 pages

isbn 1423116399

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own–scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in history-or at least her family’s (very crooked) history.

published February 9th 2010 by Speak

details Paperback, 288 pages

isbn 014241123X

Sophie Greene gets good grades, does the right thing, and has a boyfriend that her parents— and her younger brother—just love. (Too bad she doesn’t love him.) Sophie dreams of being more like Devon Deveraux, star of her favorite romance novels, but, in reality, Sophie isn’t even daring enough to change her nail polish. All of that changes when Sophie goes to Florida to visit her grandma Roz, and she finds herself seated next to a wolfishly goodlooking guy on the plane. The two hit it off, and before she knows it, Sophie’s living on the edge. But is the drama all it’s cracked up to be?

published March 1st 2010 by Harperteen

details Hardcover, 352 pages

isbn 0061686514

Before he died, Melissa’s father told her about stars. He told her that the brightest stars weren’t always the most beautiful—that if people took the time to look at the smaller stars, if they looked with a telescope at the true essence of the star, they would find real beauty. But even though Melissa knows that beauty isn’t only skin deep, the people around her don’t seem to feel that way. There’s her gorgeous sister Ashley who will barely acknowledge Melissa at school, there’s her best friend Ryan, who may be falling in love with the sophisticated Courtney, and there’s Melissa’s mother who’s dating someone new, someone who Melissa knows will never be able to replace her father.

To make sure she doesn’t lose her father completely, Melissa spends her time trying to piece together the last of his secrets and completing a journal her father began—one about love and relationships and the remarkable ways people find one another. But when tragedy strikes, Melissa has to start living and loving in the present, as she realizes that being beautiful on the outside doesn’t mean you can’t be beautiful on the inside.

This is a lyrical tale of love, loss and self-discovery from the author of THE SEPTEMBER SISTERS

Eleventh Grade Burns

published February 9th 2010 by Dutton Juvenile

details Hardcover, 208 pages

isbn 0525422439 (isbn13: 9780525422433)

The penultimate chapter in the thrilling vampire series!

Things have taken a darker turn for the half-human teenager with an appetite for blood. Joss, a vampire slayer and Vlad’s former friend, has moved back to Bathory. A mysterious and powerful new vampire, Dorian, appears with a shocking secret and an overwhelming desire to drink Vlad’s blood. And Vlad’s arch enemy, D’Ablo, has a sinister plan to eliminate Vlad once and for all. With death threatening from every angle, Vlad will have to use every ounce of his skill and training to survive, but nothing can prepare him for what awaits him in the end

published February 9th 2010 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

details Hardcover, 248 pages

isbn 0375956999

Being a hefty, deaf newcomer almost makes Will Halpin the least popular guy at Coaler High. But when he befriends the only guy less popular than him, the dork-namic duo has the smarts and guts to figure out who knocked off the star quarterback. Will can’t hear what’s going on, but he’s a great observer. So, who did it? And why does that guy talk to his fingers? And will the beautiful girl ever notice him? (Okay, so Will’s interested in more than just murder . . .)

Those who prefer their heroes to be not-so-usual and with a side of wiseguy will gobble up this witty, geeks-rule debut.