Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap For Joy!

I like to think of Leap Day as an "extra 24 hours" each four years in which to do something special. Which is not to say I always accomplish that, but this year I made plans months in advance to meet an old friend for lunch...someone so special that she stood beside me at the altar as my matron of honor!

Happy Leap Day to all our readers, and hope you find some "extra time" to celebrate, be it with a friend, by reading a good book, or maybe to keep writing one!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Happiest Place on Earth

Disneyland long ago coined themselves to be "the happiest place on Earth." I like Disneyland as much as the next fact, we did a blog post on the cats behind the Disneyland scenes just last year.

But when I think of the place that makes me happiest, there's no Mickey or Donald or fast-moving rides. Instead, there are books. Rows and piles and stacks of books. All of which are free to borrow.

For me, a library is the happiest place on Earth.

I have been a library geek for as long as I can remember, electrified by the power and the magic and the possibilities inside the four walls. We had a terrific branch and staff within walking distance of my house when I was kid. I spent many, many hours there, and know for sure they contributed to my love of reading, and my excitement for creating my own stories. So upon the release of my first book, Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, I mailed a signed copy to the current head librarian, in hopes he'd display it as written by a former teen patron.

These days, I live on the other side of the country, and enjoy the services of another terrific library system. It recently added an electronic component, where a patron can request books from any of the branches, receive an e-mail when it arrives at the local branch, and another as a due date reminder. It just doesn't get any easier than that, huh? I was happy to show my gratitude and support by donating a couple boxes of signed books last year to their teen summer reading program.

So since this blog post is a love letter to libraries, please feel free to leave a comment telling us something cool about yours.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Our Weekend Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to all who shared the names of YA books they are itching to read! Our winner, chosen by my random number generator is...


who wants to read John Green's latest, The Fault in our Stars!

So Krista, please e-mail me at, and I'll get the Amazon gift card to you!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Weekend Giveaway!

A $10 Amazon gift card is up for grabs! All you have to do to enter this giveaway is leave us a comment with the name of a young adult novel you have been wanting to read. It can be:

--a classic;

--a book that's been on your "list" for a while;

--a new release;

--a book you've heard buzz about that's not even out yet.

We love hearing about all young adult novels!

Enter between NOW and midnight on Sunday, February 19th, and check back next Monday to learn the winner's name! Best of luck!

Friday, February 10, 2012

There You'll Find Me

A couple of years ago, we hosted young adult author, Jenny B. Jones, here at YA Fresh, to talk about her current release, So Not Happening.

She now has another book out, There You'll Find Me, which I just finished reading.

Finley Sinclair is not your typical eighteen-year-old. She's witty, tough, and driven. With an upcoming interview at the Manhattan music conservatory, Finley needs to compose her audition piece. But her creativity disappeared with the death of her older brother, Will.

She decides to study abroad in Ireland so she can follow Will's travel journal. It's the place he felt closest to God, and she's hopeful being there will help her make peace over losing him. So she agrees to an exchange program and boards the plane.

Beckett Rush, teen heartthrob and Hollywood bad boy, is flying to Ireland to finish filming his latest vampire movie. On the flight, he meets Finley. She's the one girl who seems immune to his charm. Undeterred, Beckett convinces her to be his assistant in exchange for his help as a tour guide.

Once in Ireland, Finley starts to break down. The loss of her brother and the pressure of school, her audition, and whatever it is that is happening between her and Beckett, leads her to a new and dangerous vice. When is God going to show up for her in this emerald paradise?

Then she experiences something that radically changes her perspective on life. Could it be God convincing her that everything she's been looking for has been with her all along?

I loved the book and recommend it to readers looking for stories with a lot of heart. The dialogue is crisp and often humorous, the descriptions of the Irish countryside so apt they make you feel like you are there, and at all times, I could relate to what Finley was going through and feeling.

It's a tender story of overcoming grief and looking forward again. But warning: have a box of tissues ready!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Friday Night Lights!

This is not the first time I've been "late to the party" as far as great TV, movies and books. As a popular teen drama, I've had the tv program, Friday Night Lights, on my Netflix list for a long time...meaning to get to it. It's just that there were so many episodes--more than 70--and I kept thinking I needed a huge block of time. Besides, I'm not a big football fan. Would I even like it?

Well, I started watching last month, and quickly found I'd been wrong on both counts. Wrong that the football aspect would be a negative fact, when they get to the game scenes, I'm jazzed and excited. And wrong about struggling to find enough time to watch. I am so hooked on the storylines, the characters and the drama that I find myself thinking about the program even when I'm not watching it, and "making time" to watch more episodes.

I am just finishing up Season One right now, and so happy that there's five more seasons! 70+ episodes may not seem like enough!

So how about you? Any Friday Night Lights fans among us? Any favorite characters?