Been a while since I last did a book review. Wow. AGES.
Ok, so can I just be honest? I'm afraid to tell you, because maybe you'll think this means I'm defunct or something, not a real writer. Try not to judge me, okay?
Alright, so, a while back I was kind of in a slump when it comes to books. It's just...I think maybe...I fell out of love with reading. Maybe that's normal, inevitable even when you're struggling to keep working in a heartbreaking industry, struggling just to believe that YOU ARE A WRITER DAMMIT. It's like books themselves sort of become heartbreaking. So I stopped picking them up.
When I was trying to work out what was wrong with me, I wrote this to a friend of mine: "Why, [Friend], I think I've left publishing's Never Neverland."
It's like I couldn't read a book without seeing all its flaws and questioning why, why, why can't I fall into you and forget you're just a book? Reading was making me so anxious. Like stupid restless. So I delved into movies instead--so. many. films--because stories themselves are an addiction I can't ever quit, but books just...hurt.
Then I read Mary E. Pearson's The Adoration of Jenna Fox. And I remembered. Oh my god, I remembered. And I forgot I was reading a book. I don't know why. I mean, why this book? It's not that there haven't been other amazing concepts or beautiful samples and swirls of writing to make me think there would be others I'd want to read. But there was something about this book's premise that caught my eye. The way Jenna wakes up and has to rediscover the world and existence and what it all means, the exploration of human nature and love and hate, the ethical implications of this new thing in the world. It was like something I'd want to write. Something I would want to tackle. Just the summary gave me hope, this book that focused on so many things that matter to me--things I write about. Like, maybe there's a place for me yet. I don't know, I don't write like her, but I made a connection for some reason. It made sense in my head anyway, rumbling thoughts coalescing through longings too deep and loud to be ignored.
So I read it, and my heart swelled and I thought to myself YES. And something cracked open inside me. Now I'm making friends with books again. I'm reading. So. many. books. And, oddly enough, I feel certain that I AM A WRITER DAMMIT, more than ever. Because, see, I didn't just fall in love with reading books again. I fell back in love with writing them.
EPIPHANY. It wasn't other people's books that made me turn away. It was my own. I let my treasured books become a source of pain instead of comfort. So by default, I could not bear to love any others.
So now, as I've learned to love all things written again, I want to highlight some recent book deals that have me really excited. Yes, they are book deals of friends, but it makes them no less amazing or worthwhile. Please join me in congratulating:
Christa Desir, author of FAULT LINE (Simon Pulse), on her sale of her young adult BLEED LIKE ME, in which two troubled teens are swept into an intense relationship that ultimately becomes dangerous to them both, to Liesa Abrams at Simon Pulse, by Sarah LaPolla at Curtis Brown. (Publisher's Marketplace) You can read more about the story behind the sale HERE.
Sara B. Larson on the sale of her young adult DEFY, a debut adventure romance pitched as in the vein of Kristin Cashore and Leigh Bardugo, in which the fiercest member of a prince's elite guard is actually a girl disguised as a boy and, as this daughter of war is embroiled in a deadly game of thrones while keeping her secret, realizes she has far deeper feelings for the prince, to Lisa Sandell at Scholastic Press, for publication in Spring 2014, by Josh Adams at Adams Literary. (Publisher's Marketplace) You can read more about the story behind the sale HERE.
Jaqueline Koyanagi on the debut sale of her science fiction SURGERY IN THE SKY, about an engineer who falls in love with a starship captain when she stows away on her ship, to Paula Guran at Prime Books, for publication in Fall 2013, by Rachel Kory at Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Publisher's Marketplace) For her thoughts on this sale/book, go HERE.
Kristin Rae on the debut sale of her young adult IF ONLY YOU WERE ITALIAN to Caroline Abbey at Bloomsbury, for publication in Spring 2014, by Marietta Zacker at Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. For more on this sale go HERE.
So excited to read these and so thrilled for these writers!! *APPLAUSE* If you haven't done so yet, stop by to wish these guys well, okay?
I've tried so hard to focus on my writing and the most important things in my life.
But it feels kind of good to think about books and this world again. It's invigorating to celebrate with these guys. So cheers, one and all. Today, I salute you.
Be sure to check out the other Bookanista reviews posting today! Not many for now, but we're planning something kind of big. So...
Katy Upperman recommends Veronica Rossi's THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT
Jessica Love marvels over Rainbow Rowell's ELEANOR & PARK