Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Quick happy note: The winner of our August commenter giveaway is Mary @ The Book Swarm. Congratulations! We'll email you to figure out which book you'd like and where to send it.

Now if only someone wanted to send these books to us...

Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My PrettyPOISONED APPLES (Poems for You, My Pretty) = fairytales + feminism + social commentary + poetry. UM, SIGN US UP! What a clever way to talk about the problems that girls face in today's society. Christine Heppermann explains her personal motivations for writing this collection in her eloquent, powerful Author's Note.

I'll Give You the SunAlso: ERMAGAWD NEW JANDY NELSON! Enough said.

100 Sideways MilesWe have an Andrew Smith fangirl over here (cough Sarah cough) so 100 SIDEWAYS MILES has been on our radar forever. Isn't it a magical feeling when a book that you've been anticipating for so long is finally on the bookshelf at your favorite store?

Lies We Tell OurselvesLIES WE TELL OURSELVES by Robin Talley is October's YA Diversity Book Club mix, but we're including it now because it releases at the end of September. The story mixes history, race, and sexuality in a way that promises to be beautiful, compelling, and possibly heartbreaking.

Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American VoicesLast but not least, this unusual book caught our eye on NetGalley. DREAMING IN INDIAN is a nonfiction anthology featuring contemporary Native American voices. Using both prose and visual art, the book hopes to challenge stereotypes and unveil a more genuine Native experience.

Of course there are so many other books we're looking forward to, but we can't spotlight them all.

What about you guys? What books are you looking forward to this month? (If you need a list, here's one on GoodReads.)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Over on my personal blog, there is a recurring feature called Reading Reflections, in which I share quotes from a recent read, and also share what those quotes inspired me to think about. Today, I am borrowing that feature for We Heart YA, and using it to spotlight the latest YA Diversity Book Club selection, I LOVE I HATE I MISS MY SISTER by Amélie Sarn.

I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister Eighteen-year-old Sohane loves no one more than her beautiful, carefree younger sister, Djelila. And she hates no one as much. The two have always shared everything. But now, Djelila is embracing her life as a secular teen, and Sohane is becoming more religious.

Every choice has a price.

When Sohane starts wearing a head scarf, her school insists that she remove it or she’ll be expelled. Meanwhile, Djelila is repeatedly harassed by neighborhood bullies for not following Muslim customs. Sohane can’t help thinking that Djelila deserves what she gets. She never could have imagined just how far things would go.

I love I hate I miss my sister.

In the year following Djelila’s tragic death, Sohane struggles with her feelings of loss and guilt, revealing a complex relationship between two sisters, each girl’s path to self-discovery, and the consequences they face for being true to themselves.


* * *

"Feminism is not a fight; it's a way of life."

I love that line. Because it is so true, and yet so often forgotten.

I also love the way that the author showed both sisters, Djelila and Sohane, as being feminist in their own (opposite) ways.

Right now, at least from what I see on the internet, there's a lot of confusion and inconsistency about what feminism is and how feminists should express themselves. (In fact, I just read a great op-ed about that, and about people's reactions to Beyoncé vs. Sofia Vergara.)

When I'm unsure of myself I wrap my arguments in beautiful sentences.

I have to admit, I do this too. It is amazing how much of a difference eloquence can make. Maybe that's part of what draws so many of us to books and reading and writing. Words can weave a certain kind of magic, and beauty in any form is persuasive, seductive.

I can't say that this isn't a reality. But it's only one reality among many.

Reality. Truth. Perspective. They're not quite the same things, but they're definitely related.

For me, one of the most important aspects of growing up has been the realization that there can be more than one truth, more than one "right" answer, more than one reality. Two people can look at the same set of facts and draw completely different conclusions. And neither of them are necessarily wrong. Two people can experience the exact same thing and be affected in totally unique ways.

Come to think of it, that's what diversity is all about, isn't it?

* * *

Don't forget to check out the other YA Diversity Book Club posts about I LOVE I HATE I MISS MY SISTER:

••• Our group chat about the book can be found at the Reading Date. We cover the story's real life inspiration, its literary style, the characters, their relationships, and more!

••• Teen Lit Rocks talks about "The French Connection," and how ILIHIMMS made her think about how minorities in other countries are treated and depicted.

Also, our September selection is KNOCKOUT GAMES by G. Neri. Please feel free to read along with us!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Another great question from YA Highway this week -- and funny timing, because just yesterday the four of us were discussing what Hogwarts houses we would have been sorted into. (Lots of Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws over here, for what it's worth...)

WHAT ANIMAL WOULD YOUR PATRONUS BE?


Sarah: Panda. :)
Kristan: Of the kung-fu variety, perhaps?
Sarah: Of course.
Kristan: I think mine would either be a dog or a horse. They're both strong, loyal, and beautiful creatures.


Sarah: I definitely think dog for you.
Sarah: Mountain lion for Ingrid, and pegasus for Steph.
Stephanie: Ooh, yes! Pegasus for me!


Ingrid: Hee! This is fun. I agree with panda and dog. For Steph, Pegasus yes or something graceful like a swan. I am not fierce enough for a mountain lion, I don't think! I really loooove sea otters though. They represent primal female energy, joy, and playfulness. :)


And what about you, dear readers? Join the fun by leaving your answer in the comments here, at YA Highway, on your own blog, or on Twitter (and be sure to use the hashtag #roadtripwednesday!).

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


It's back-to-school time! And while kiddos across the land lament, I find myself excited for that fresh start... that new-year feeling when schedules change and ideas bubble and anything seems possible.

Even though it has been quite a while since I had academic responsibilities, this time of year always makes me want to read and learn and hang out in libraries and bookstores. So to replenish and get ready for the season, today I thought I'd share some photos of really cool book nooks with y'all.... 

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How amazing is this outdoor library? I hope they cover these when it starts to rain!

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Love these cozy spaces for curling up with a good book...


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retreatbyrandomhouse.ca











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 Messy bookshelves are the best! They're so Harry-Potter-ish.

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Aren't these great spaces for reading and writing and imagining? Which do you like best? Send us a pic of your favorite book nook. We'd love to see it.

Until next time, happy reading :)
ip

Thursday, August 14, 2014

This week, our friends at YA Highway ask:

WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW?

Ingrid:

I just cracked open Sara Zarr's HOW TO SAVE A LIFE and am super excited for it. The last book I read was THE STONE GIRL by Alyssa B. Sheinmel, a compelling story about a smart but naive girl who becomes anorexic while dealing with school, boy and friend issues.

How to Save a Life The Stone Girl

Kristan:

I just finished an e-ARC of THE WALLED CITY by Ryan Graudin, which I plan to blog about soon. It's an exciting story set in a dystopian-ish place but inspired by a real-life city. Very cool.

Now I'm onto I LOVE I HATE I MISS MY SISTER by Amélie Sarn (translated to English by Y. Maudet), which I will also blog about this month as part of the YA Diversity Book Club. It's a complete 180º from TWC... Well, except that it also features a strong sister relationship!

The Walled City I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister

Sarah:

I just finished an ARC of THE VANISHING SEASON, which I loved and which broke my heart. Oh, and speaking of breaking me, I also just read the e-ARC OF SCARS AND STARDUST. Dude. (Obviously, read ARCs at your own risk). But now I'm reading an ARC of GUY IN REAL LIFE, which is making me smile wryly to myself so it's looking like a good one.

The Vanishing Season Of Scars and Stardust Guy in Real Life

You:

Join in the fun by leaving your answer in the comments here, at YA Highway, on your own blog, or on Twitter (and be sure to use the hashtag #roadtripwednesday!).

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

This post may not seem strictly YA-related, but bear with me.

One of the first movies I have a distinct memory of watching is Toys. To be honest, I remember very little of the plot. Just fuzzy impressions of LL Cool J (handsome) and Robin Williams (funny) and a big crazy battle in a toy factory (awesome). These are small sparks -- but so often, that's all it takes for an imagination to start lighting fires.

Then there was Aladdin. Oh how that Genie made me laugh! With his vocal impressions, his bad advice, his lame jokes, his exaggerated faces. But the Genie's sense of humor and sharp wit weren't just lights in the dark for a certain struggling street urchin -- they actually helped defeat the villain and save the kingdom. What a beautiful lesson for a kid to learn.

Between movie days at school and random reruns on TV, I must have watched Jumani and Hook a hundred times each. How amazing, for a character to fall into another world. To be a normal person, swept away on a fantastical journey. Even now, that remains one of my favorite story mechanisms.


Then there are the "serious" works. Mrs. Doubtfire. Patch Adams. Good Will Hunting. What Dreams May Come. I put "serious" in quotes, because what Robin Williams always brought to his roles was that perfect balance of levity and gravity. You can't properly understand light without dark, nor flying without falling. Joy and sorrow are two sides of the same coin; they both pull at our emotional cores. They both can lead to tears.


I've cried quite a bit, reading about and remembering Robin Williams. I didn't know him as a person, but as an artist? I feel so fortunate to have been shaped by his work. To have grown up with his smile, his energy, and his heart. Robin Williams nurtured and inspired a generation of young adults. I don't know anything more beautiful or noble than that.

Believe it or not, one of the most famous Robin Williams movies is one that I have never seen. Forgive me. I will remedy this as soon as possible. As soon as I think I can handle it without an entire truckload of tissues.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


July's giveaway winner is Sarah Kellar. Congratulations, and thank you for commenting! Please select a book from our stash and email us -- weheartya at gmail dot com -- with your choice.

Now, this week's prompt comes from YA Highway:

SHARE A LINE FROM YOUR WIP.
Sarah:
The book slipped from his hand, a small interruption. Like a bird landing on a branch.

Kristan:
They call me the F-word, the N-word, the B-word… There is no shortage of letters for what they think I am.

Ingrid:
I realize how I must look—messy hair, hard eyes, my whole life stuffed into the two bags on my back like a turtle.

You:

Join in the fun by leaving your answer in the comments here, at YA Highway, on your own blog, or on Twitter (and be sure to use the hashtag #roadtripwednesday!).

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Six Words: ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER!!!!!!!! We loved ANNA and adored LOLA, and now we get to catch the Stephanie Perkins bug all over again with ISLA. We've held back from reading the free sample pages so we can buy this one to complete the trilogy.

Other new releases we're intrigued by include:

GATES OF THREAD AND STONE by Lori M. Lee. With GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS and SHADOW AND BONE trilogies finished, we need some adventure in a vibrant setting and with cool magic. Looking forward to this one.

OF METAL AND WISHES by Sarah Fine certainly seems unique, and we were pretty much had at the description: "there are whispers of a ghost...that grants wishes to those who need them most." Um, we're in.

This month's Diversity Book Club pick I LOVE I HATE I MISS MY SISTER by Amelie Sarn, translated by Y. Maudet looks seriously good. Check back here in a couple of weeks to learn more about it and what the club has been discussing.

GHOSTING by Edith Pattou has been getting some good publicity and is probably more on the literary side considering this description: "Told through multiple points of view in naturalistic free verse and stream of consciousness." Basically it's about a prank gone bad and how the group of teens deal with the aftermath. Sounds smart and an excellent study in character. Will definitely check this one out!

So what have we missed? Which new releases are you anticipating this month?


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about us

Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.


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on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Transparent
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
Bitterblue
The Fault in Our Stars
Pretties


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