My site has moved!

Posted by The YA Book Traveler , Wednesday, October 7, 2015 5:02 PM

I'VE MADE THE MOVE!


Hi everyone! I am very excited to announce that I moved my blog to:  http://www.theyabooktraveler.com

Please follow me there and I will no longer be posting here!

Thank you to everyone who has come by and visited my little space on the web.

Sarah K

Never Never by Brianna Shrum: Book Review and Book Trailer

Posted by The YA Book Traveler , Tuesday, September 29, 2015 12:00 AM


Never Never

Brianna Shrum

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Synopsis: James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.
When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child—at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.

But grow up he does.

And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.
This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.


Except one.

My Thoughts 5 Stars


Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR!

Posted by The YA Book Traveler , Tuesday, September 22, 2015 12:00 AM


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Click the link for more info and join in!

Never Never Release Week Blast! Top Ten Villains PLUS GIVEAWAY

Posted by The YA Book Traveler , Monday, September 21, 2015 12:00 AM

Never Never
Brianna Shrum

Release Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Synopsis: James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.
When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child—at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.

But grow up he does.

And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.
This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.

Except one.

Top Ten Villains According to Brianna!

I am OBSESSED with villains, so I HAD to pick Top Ten Villains, clearly. We’ll say top 10 besides Captain Hook, because…well…obviously…In no particular order…*drumroll*

TOP TEN VILLAINS

1) The Darkling—Grisha Series (Forever and ever and ever)

2) The Jackal—Red Rising

3) Loki—Marvel

4) Bellatrix LeStrange—Harry Potter (Because for REAL)

5) Irial—Wicked Lovely Series

6) Lucille Bluth—Arrested Development (You could also make a strong case for Mallory Archer)

7) Magneto—X Men

8) Hannibal Lechter—Silence of the Lambs

9) Scar—The Lion King

10) Darth Vader—STAR WARS

Where to Find & Buy! (Trust me, you want it!)


Goodreads link

Amazon
B&N
Book Depository
Kobo
IndieBound

Author Bio:

Brianna Shrum lives in Colorado with her high-school-sweetheart-turned-
husband, two boys, and two big, floppy hound dogs. She thinks chai tea is proof of magic in the world, and loves all things kissy, magical, and strange. She'd totally love to connect with you. You can find her saying ridiculous things on Twitter @briannashrum


Website: http://briannashrum.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/briannashrum
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brianna.r.shrum?_rdr


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Sunday Street Team INTERVIEW: Never Never by Brianna Shrum

Posted by The YA Book Traveler , Sunday, September 13, 2015 12:00 AM



Never Never

by 
Synopsis (GR):
James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.

When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child—at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.

But grow up he does.

And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.

This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.

Except one.

Interview Questions:

1. What made you want to write a retelling about Captain James Hook?

I’ve always had a real soft spot for the villains in stories. *coughs in the general direction of Loki, The Darkling, Scar* And really, who doesn’t love pirates? ;) So I got to thinking about him and wondering what on earth a sophisticated, powerful man like that was doing in a world full of children he hates? What possibly could have happened to make his life turn out this way? And BOOM. Never Never was born.

2. What kind of research went into developing this book and the world behind Never Never?

I read Barrie’s Peter Pan...a LOT. I also re-watched some of my favorite Peter Pan retellings (oh no! and excuse to watch HOOK over and over again!). Beyond that, it was a whole lot of sitting there, staring off into space, trying to come up with as many bizarre dream-like things as I could that would fit into the dream world of Neverland.

3. What message do you want your readers to know about Never Never?

I’d like people to know that it’s about magic and pirates and adventure, yes. But above all, Never Never is about childhood. About what happens to a person when it’s stolen, what happens when you stay there forever, what happens to magic and dreams when you’re small, and when that childhood is gone.

4. If you could live in Neverland, what would you want to be?

A pirate, for SURE. I could plunder and pillage chill on the ocean AWAY from Peter Pan, and occasionally try to steal James from Tiger Lily. ;) (Though if that wasn’t an option, I’d totally settle for his first mate, Starkey.)

5. What was most challenging or most fun about writing Never Never?

The most challenging thing was staying *very* close to the original story when the book moves from origins story to a direct retelling. Painting James as the protagonist when he’s doing all these pretty objectively dastardly things was...tough, particularly because I didn’t want to skip past any of the nastiness J.M. Barries has him do in the original. I wanted it to be the ACTUAL Pan story, with all the events Barrie gave us, just from a different angle. Tricksy.

6. How long did you take you to write this book?

It took me about 8 weeks to draft. (Good old NaNoWriMo giving me a kick in the pants.)

7. What does your writing process look like?

A lot of it looks like this: *sits at computer, stares* I dream up characters and a situation for a while, let them kind of run about in my head, and then I’ll draft a chapter to get a voice. Then I do a rough chapter-by-chapter outline and go back and draft! (Drafting is my FAVORITE. Death to revising.)

8. Are there any songs that inspired this book, or you, while writing it?

I actually have a terrible time listening to music while writing (though when I was revising, I lived off the 2003 Peter Pan soundtrack). The two songs I think sum up the book, though, and that I’ve listened to a lot, are “Brightly Wound” by Eisley, and “Bad Blood” by Bastille.

9. When did you want to become an author?

I fantasized about it when I was tiny, writing poetry with my grandpa in 2nd grade. But I never saw it as attainable. I thought it was a total you-must-know-someone impossible career, until I decided to go for it (and learned that I was quite mistaken) after I saw The Hunger Games in theaters for the first time, and left inspired to write a book. (Thanks, Suzanne Collins!)

10. What is your next project?

I’m co-writing a dark, villainous fantasy with my brother right now, actually! It was originally VERY loosely inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, but it’s moved pretty far away from that now. Now it’s just villain-y. And magicky. :)


~Thank you Brianna for stopping by my blog! Sarah~


About the Author:

Brianna Shrum lives in Colorado with her high-school-sweetheart turned husband and her two little boys. She's been writing since she could scrawl letters, and has worked with teens since she graduated out of teenager-hood, either in the writing classes she taught, or working with the youth group. Brianna digs all things YA, all things geeky, superhero-y, gamery, magical, and strange.

Her debut YA, Never Never, releases in September of this year. Her second YA, How to Make Out, releases in Fall 2016. She'd totally love to connect with you, so come say hi on her website or Twitter!

Visit her Website at briannashrum.com
Follow her on Twitter @briannashrum

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: ARC Review + Book Trailer

Posted by The YA Book Traveler , Tuesday, September 8, 2015 12:00 AM

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)

by Leigh Bardugo

Release date: September 29, 2015

Goodreads Summary:
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.
 


My Thoughts - 5 Stars



I was given a copy of Six of Crows by my wonderful friend Sara @thehidingspot. Thanks Sara!

I never originally planned on reading this book. However, I was given this arc by a friend and I actually got excited about it! 

I only "liked" Leigh's Grisha Trilogy. Hands down her writing is amazing but the story-line fell a bit flat for me. So I wasn't necessarily going to seek out this new series set in the same world.

BUT...it was amazing!

Why?
  • Great characters and character development.
  • An exciting story that was unpredictable to the very end.
  • Humor
  • Intense Moments
  • Unique Romances
The Story:
The story is set in the same world as The Grisha Trilogy but takes place in the city of Ketterdam on the island of Kerch. Ketterdam is a very gritty city that definitely has the "bad part of town." This part is where our main characters are living. 

Kaz is part of the Dregs gang and is given a proposition that would bring in a ton of cash! And Kaz is always motivated by money...and also a personal vendetta that is revealed throughout the book. He recruits five other member to help him in the biggest heist of his life. 

The story CONTINUALLY kept me guessing. I would think one thing was going to happen...and then NOPE, something completely different! I love books that aren't predictable!

The Characters:
To be honest, the characters probably are the best part of this book. The story-line is fairly straightforward, but each of the main characters, Kaz, Nina, Inej, Jesper, Matthias, and Wylan all are unique in their special abilities but also in personality.

Nina and Jesper are hilarious and wish they were my best friends.

Kaz and Matthias are the hotties who are also slightly (or more than slightly) terrifying at times.

Leigh does a great job weaving in backstories of all these characters that draws you in as the book progresses. 

Romance:
This book has romance but in a wonderfully unique way. It's hard to put in words without spoiling but I would say that love is a battle in this book. It's not all gushy, it's a fight. I loved that.

Overall:
Six of Crows originally was a 4.5 star rating for me, but as I've reflected over the week after reading, I've grown to love each character more and ended up changing it to 5 stars. I think Leigh's writing is masterful in execution and character development. The book leaves you longing for book 2 which is always a great way to end any book.

Book Trailer!


I had made a book trailer for this book, so take a look!

Sunday Street Team: INTERVIEW with Jessica Verdi on What You Left Behind

Posted by The YA Book Traveler , Sunday, August 30, 2015 4:07 PM



What You Left Behind
by Jessica Verdi


Synopsis (GR):
Jessica Verdi, the author of My Life After Now and The Summer I Wasn’t Me, returns with a heartbreaking and poignant novel of grief and guilt that reads like Nicholas Sparks for teens.


It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.


The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions. Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?


“Ryden’s story is a moving illustration of how sometimes you have to let go of the life you planned to embrace the life you’ve been given. A strong, character-driven story that teen readers will love.”—Carrie Arcos, National Book Award Finalist for Out of Reach


About the Author:
Jessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY, and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. She loves seltzer, Tabasco sauce, TV, vegetarian soup, flip-flops, and her dog. Visit her at www.jessicaverdi.com and follow her on Twitter @jessverdi.

INTERVIEW


Thanks for having me on your blog, Sarah!


Questions about the book:



1. What was the inspiration behind What You Left Behind? Did you know someone who died of cancer?
The idea for What You Left Behind was sparked by an article my husband sent me about a teenage girl who had cancer and was pregnant, and wasn't allowed to make her own decision of whether she wanted to abort her pregnancy and continue her cancer treatments, or stop the cancer treatments and have the baby. Her parents chose for her (they chose stop cancer treatments and have the baby) and she died a couple days after giving birth, leaving the baby to be raised by her boyfriend. This isn't exactly what happens in the book, but the issue of choice is one that is very important to me, so I wanted to write about that. And of course I was completely interested in the single teen dad grieving the loss of his girlfriend story. I do know people who have died of cancer, and my husband is also a cancer survivor, so it’s a subject that’s never too far away in my daily life.


2. Why did you decide to write a book from a male point of view? Was it difficult?
I actually started drafting the book as a dual narrator (Ryden and Meg) story, while Meg was still alive. About 75 pages in, I realized that wasn’t the way to go at all (it would have been about a billion pages long, haha), and that this story should really be told by Ryden, and begin in the middle of his journey. I actually found writing from a boy’s POV easier than writing from a girl’s. I think, because he's a boy and I'm not, I may have subconsciously felt more freedom to just take his character wherever it needed to go, because, since we were already so different, there was no element of "me" clinging to him. No "Well, I would or wouldn't do that," etc.


3. What was the most challenging aspect when it came to writing this book?
There were a lot of challenging issues in writing this book, from figuring out where it should start (as I mentioned above) to dealing with all the heavy emotional elements of grief and guilt and helplessness. But I’m glad I stuck with it.


4. What was the most fun part of writing this book?
I love the mother/son relationship in this book, and so writing the scenes where Ryden’s mother is present was lots of fun.


5. What message do you want readers to walk away with?
I’m not sure I have any “message” at all, in that sense, other than to keep going, keep trying your best, take the hard stuff one day at a time, and remember to take joy in the good stuff.



Questions about writing:

1. What does your daily writing schedule look like?
Because I have a full time job as a Senior Editor at a romance novel publisher, I don’t have much time to write during the week. So I try to set aside Saturdays and Sundays as writing time. It’s hard to have to work seven days a week and essentially not have a weekend, but I’d go crazy if I didn’t have time set aside to write, so I make it work. I have to write at home—I find myself too easily distracted when I try to write in public. My brain tends to be freshest in the morning, so I start early and write write write until I’m fried. If I start in the afternoon, I’m usually less productive.


2. How do you plan out your books?
I usually use index cards to outline—I write each plot point, both big and small, whatever comes to mind, on a card, and then arrange them into an order that, when written out, would sort of resemble a book.


3. What is it like working alongside of the publisher?
I love it. It’s so encouraging to be working with people who love your book as much as you do, and who are working tirelessly to get it out into the world. Every step, from the developmental editing to the copy editing to the design and the marketing and so many other things, would be completely overwhelming (and maybe even impossible) without the help and support of the publisher.


4. Why did you become an author?
I became an author because I love telling stories. I was an actor for a long time before I started writing, and it was frustrating because I always had to wait to get cast in something in order to be able to do my art. But with writing, you can do it on your own terms—no permission necessary. It’s an incredibly inspiring and freeing feeling.


5. Do you have any news for your next project you can share?
Nothing official that I can share just yet, but I will say I’m working on books in two new genres—one is a fantasy YA co-written with an author friend, and one is an adult book that I’ll be writing under a pen name.


Thanks Jessica!!!

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