Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Introducing the Penguin 10

Calling all YA readers! We’re excited to introduce you to the only books you need to read this fall – the PENGUIN 10! From contemporary to fantasy, thriller to historical, we have something for everyone and we can’t wait to share these fantastic reads with you starting in September.

Follow along on social media using #Penguin10 to see what other people think!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/penguinteenca
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PenguinTeenCa/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/penguinteenca/

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Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Sarah Everett Q&A

Did you know that Sarah Everett was the president of her high school’s Japanese club? After obsessing over her latest novel, No One Here is Lonely, we just had to find out more about her.

Which of your characters is most like you?

Eden is definitely the most like me. She doesn’t like change, she is fiercely loyal and she is oftentimes on the outside of things. Being a writer, I’m usually the one eavesdropping on conversations and experiences and writing them down so I can put them in a book!

Recommend a book for Eden.

I’d recommend Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson or If You’re Out There by Katy Loutzenhiser (out in March 2019). Both are fantastic YA books about being ghosted by your best friend, and how you move on when one of the most important relationships in your life ends (or changes). Since Eden goes through a similar journey with her best friend, Lacey, I think she would appreciate both books.

No one Here is Lonely has a fantastic, all-too-possible concept. Where did the idea for this concept come from?

I feel like loneliness is one of the universal emotions every teenager (every person, really!) experiences. I was thinking about this and imagining a world in which no one was lonely (hence, the title J), and the idea of a near-future world in which people could contact an artificially intelligent being, someone who would be there 24/7 – just a phone call away – popped into my mind. Then I found myself wondering what might happen if this Companion was someone who had died, a loved one who never really went away, and the idea for Will and In Good Company was born.

What are you reading now?

I’m currently reading Sadie by Courtney Summers. It’s a gritty contemporary thriller about a missing girl on a journey for revenge. It’s an absolute page turner.

What books do you recommend after reading No one Here is Lonely?

For the futuristic elements, I would recommend Noggin by John Corey Whaley and More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. Actually, I’d recommend anything by Adam Silvera – They Both Die At The End is another favorite. Other books I’d recommend: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, We Are Okay by Nina LaCour and Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert.

Add No One Here is Lonely on Goodreads here!

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: 5 Things You Need to Know About Lesley Livingston

Have you binge-read Lesley Livingston‘s The Valiant series yet? The trilogy ended with The Triumphant earlier this year, and this fierce group of female gladiators is definitely something you need to experience for yourself. To convince you that you need more Lesley Livingston in your life, we asked her for five random facts about her and the results were pretty great:

  1. I can wiggle my ears.
  2. I was a competitive luger. For a weekend. Came in 7/10s of a second away from a bronze medal and broke my glasses.
  3. My best vocal impressions are Chewbacca from Star Wars, and a tribble from Star Trek.
  4. I can pronounce the name of the Welsh town Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.
  5. The TV character I relate to most in life is probably Colonel Potter from M*A*S*H*.

Add The Triumphant on Goodreads here!

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: 5 Things You Need to Know About E.K. Johnston

E.K. Johnston is such a prolific writer, it’s impossible for us to choose a favourite book by her…but The Afterward has been out since February and we’re still gushing about it! Please enjoy this Q&A from E.K. Johnston as well as some random facts about her.

Describe your book in 5 words

Sword, Sorcery, and Student Loans

Which of the characters in The Afterward do you relate to the most?

Kalanthe.

Recommend a book for Kalanthe and Olsa.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?

Don’t rebel by choosing the school musical over track and field. The musical will never make it to stage, and only, like, five of you will take it seriously.

What is the best piece of writing advice you have ever received?

Shannon Hale says that writing a first draft is like piling all the sand into the sandbox so that you can make a castle later, and I love that.

What are you reading now?

Catching up on comics! Ms. Marvel and the last Poe Dameron volume.

What books do you recommend to fans of The Afterward?

How to Love by Katie Cotugno
The Scorpion Rules by  Erin Bow

5 Things You Need to Know About E.K. Johnston:

  1. Her archaeological specialties are iron age fortifications in southern Moab and the recovery of human remains
  2. One time she made a cake in the shape of BB-8 that made her famous on Tumblr
  3. She grew up in a small town and only recently has been addressed by her own name on the first try (instead of her sister’s)
  4. She misses L&P (New Zealand), Monte Carlos (Australia), chocolate cake in a can (England), and one particular street food vendor in Busan, South Korea who made these deep fried shrimp with eggs TO DIE FOR
  5. She recently played Mass Effect all the way through and is still in recovery

Add The Afterward on Goodreads here!

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: The Beauty of the Moment Blog Tour Recap + a Q&A with Tanaz Bhathena

We just finished a successful week-long blog tour in support of Tanaz Bhathena’s The Beauty of the Moment – thank you to all the bloggers who participated!

Check out their thoughts below:

Monday, April 8

Tuesday, April 9

Wednesday, April 10

Thursday, April 11

Friday, April 12

  • Zuhra @ Venus Reads said it was a story that will linger in your mind even after you finish
  • Lisa @ Remarkablylisa recommended it to anyone who likes a little angst in their lives (in a good way)
  • Jamie @ Books and Ladders really connected to their internal and external conflicts
  • Herminia @ Aspiring Writer appreciated the way it ended
  • Delina @ Delina the Reader presented us with a playlist based on the book

Thanks for following along!

As a bonus, here’s a short Q&A with Tanaz herself:

Recommend a book for Susan and Malcolm. 

Susan: The entire Amar Chitra Katha series of graphic novels

Malcolm: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson (It might have to be an audiobook though; he’s not keen on reading)

What advice would you give your 16 year old self?

Have more faith in your dreams.

What is the best piece of writing advice you have ever received?

Butt in seat. The story won’t tell itself.

What are you reading now?

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

What books do you recommend for fans of The Beauty of the Moment?

The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon, 2 States by Chetan Bhagat, and You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

5 Random Facts About Tanaz Bhathena:

  1. I decided to become a writer because I failed as a cartoonist.
  2. While visiting a foreign country, I always try to learn some of the language.
  3. I cry every time I watch The Lion King. During one particular scene.
  4. Once I figured out the fine art of using a bobby pin, I began doing my own nail art. (I’m not very good; see fact 1.)
  5. I’ve bungee jumped, zip lined and walked the edge of the CN Tower.

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Chicken Girl Blog Tour Recap

This week, we’ve been running a blog tour for Heather Smith’s poignant coming-of-age novel, Chicken Girl, and now all the reviews are in!

Monday, February 25

Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads gave us a guest post from Heather, as well as five reasons to read Chicken Girl
Lisa @ Remarkably Lisa loves Poppy’s gay twin brother, Cam
Jaaron @ Worn Pages and Ink called it one of the best YA novels she’s read in a long time

Tuesday, February 26

Malanie @ malanie loves fiction thinks a lot of people will enjoy it despite the heavy topics
Chelsea @ Twirling Pages wrote a love letter to the book, saying that she saw herself in almost every character
Alexa @ Like Literally Literary is especially fond of Poppy’s new friend, Miracle

Wednesday, February 27

Kaitlyn @ Midsummer Night’s Read really connected with Poppy’s character
Wendy @ A Cupcake and A Latte loves Heather’s “touching and emotionally uplifting writing”

Thursday, February 28

Summer @ Butter My Books is hoping for a sequel about Lewis (or Cam!)
Christine @ Padfoot’s Library posted a short piece about writing from Heather
Olivia @ The Candid Cover thinks the book has a great message about respect – both online and IRL

Friday, March 1

Kate @ Snarky Yet Satisfying fell in love with Poppy and her friends on the first page
Zuhra @ Venus Reads couldn’t put it down

Thanks so much to all the bloggers who participated – we hope they convince the rest of you that you need this book in your life. Look for it on shelves next week!

Don’t forget to add Chicken Girl to Goodreads!

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Karen McManus on writing and TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET!

Nobody writes YA thrillers like Karen McManus.  One of Us is Lying was a runaway smash hit—think The Breakfast Club with a deadly twist—and her latest novel Two Can Keep a Secret is just as fun, with shocking reveals and twists that will keep you reading late into the night. Find out about Karen’s writing process and which character she relates to the most below!

Describe TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET in 5 words.

Homecoming turns deadly once again.

Which of your characters from your latest novel is most like you?

Ellery’s twin brother, Ezra. He’s the observer of the story, along for the ride as Ellery starts poking around in their mother’s past and the mysteries of Echo Ridge. Ezra’s running commentary is pretty much exactly what I’d say in the same situation. Also, we like the same music 🙂

Recommend a book for Ellery.  

Ellery is a true crime buff, so she’d love something like The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas. The main character in that book was a key witness in the years-old prosecution of a serial killer, but now that she’s older she’s starting to question whether her memories are real.

There are so many twists in this story. How do you keep track of them while writing?

I would love to tell you that I have an extremely clever system, but I use a basic Excel spreadsheet as a chapter guide. I sketch out key beats for plot and characters, and then write in 3-4 chapter bursts. I do a lot of revising of those chapters before I move on, making sure I’m satisfied with how the story is progressing. Then I go back through the larger outline to see if what I’ve written requires any changes to the structure as a whole.

What is the best piece of writing advice you have ever received?

I wish I could remember who said this, because I’d credit them if I did: that characters should be doing something in the last chapter that would have seemed impossible in the first. I love that, because it’s the perfect litmus test as to whether your characters have undertaken enough of a journey to grow and change.

In the Toronto area? Meet Karen McManus at Indigo Yorkdale on Thursday, February 28th at 7pm. Details here!