Skip to content

Tag: Heather Demetrios

#QP2018 Nominees Round Up

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios
Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
ISBN: 9781627797726

Grace’s life is already pretty difficult, honestly. Between her extremely controlling stepfather, her cleanliness-obsessed mother, caring for her young brother, school, work, and theater she barely has time to breathe. Grace has had a crush on a senior from her drama club named Gavin for a while, and when brooding, tortured Gavin seems interested in her, at first she thinks it may be a turning point. Finally – she’ll have someone other than her two best friends who support and encourages her, and she’ll be the girlfriend of THE Gavin Davis. From the very beginning, though, Grace lets the reader know that this fairy tale love does not have a happily-ever-after ending.

2015 Young Adult Services Symposium: New Adults

Sorry this wrap-up is so late, dear Hubbers – conferences always knock me out for at least a week after. Anyways, I was happy to attend the “New Adulthood: Literature & Services for NA Patrons” presented by Meg Hunt Wilson, Teen Librarian & Reference Librarian in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (my home state!) and our own Hub member manager, Molly Wetta, Collection Development Librarian at the Lawrence (Kansas) Public Library. They focused on  four aspects of the NA market – what is new adult, appeal and marketing, booktalks, and library services. I was thoroughly fascinated by their presentation, and without further ado – here’s the highlights of their talk at the 2015 YALSA YA Services Symposium.

ya_symposium_2015

 

So – what is New Adult?

New adult titles are geared towards teens who are just past high school life – 18-25 years of age is the common age range. NA books began as a self-publishing phenomenon, but eventually move on to the “regular” publishing world. The books are mostly set on college campuses, are relationship centric, fast-paced, and emotionally intense. And, oooh! Are they ever steamy! As one of my teens told me when I told her about this panel: “aren’t those the books with a lot of sex in them?”

Pairing Music with YA lit: “Under Pressure” edition

September:  The summer heat gives way to sweater mornings, t-shirt afternoons, and hoodie evenings.  The leaves begin to turn into the firey oranges, reds, and yellows that might only last for a few weeks, or if we’re lucky, a whole month before the snow sets in (at least in my part of the country).  It’s the beginning of a new season and a new school year, which for many high school seniors is the start of the college application process; of finding a school that will soon become home.  Essays.  Scholarship applications.  Dreaded “We regret to inform you…” letters.  Acceptance packets.  Safety schools.  Major declarations.  And, often, LOTS of pressure from friends, parents, or even themselves.  Luckily, there are some great books to help us all through this stressful time.  So here are some of my favorite off-to-college novels, paired with music that connects to each one.  Of course, not all of us hear music the same way, just as not all of us see the books we read the same way, so this is my interpretation–”Under Pressure” style.

 

  ill meet you thereI’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios (2015)

Summary: Skylar is finally fulfilling her dream of getting out of Creek View.  She has a full scholarship to art school and is ready to take off to San Francisco, ready to leave behind the small town she grew up in.  She just has to get through the summer.  But after graduation, Skylar’s mother is a downhill slide (again) after losing her job, and Skylar feels the need to stay and take care of her.  And then there is Josh.  He used to be a giant jerk, a player, kind of a douchebag, but coming home from Afghanistan has changed him.  Both physically as he lost his leg, and mentally, as he is dealing with the aftermath of war.  Throughout the summer, Skylar and Josh grow together, becoming friends instead of work acquaintances, and falling in love one day at a time. Skylar is left wondering if it’s not only her mother she feels compelled to stay for, but Josh as well.   

Musical pairings:  There are a lot of artists referenced in “I’ll Meet You There”, providing it’s own soundtrack.  But as I read this book, there are two songs that immediately stuck out to me:  Dan Black’s “Symphonies” featuring Kid Cudi and “Sometimes” by Sound of Guns.  I connected “Symphonies” to Skylar to describe her desire to leave Creek View (Gimme, gimme, symphonies/Gimme more than the life I see), but also connected it to how she feels different than the other girls in her town, how she knows she is meant to do more with her life than work at the Paradise motel (I live, I live, I live, I live for symphonies/I know that there’s some place just right for me). “Sometimes” is the song that reminds me of Josh as he is trying to find his place back in Creek View, at first trying to be the same Josh he was before he joined the Marines, before he lost his leg (When your mind aches, pupils dilate/Give me some alcohol to stop me growing older).  The same Josh that knows his place is in the small town (Oh oh oh, I was born here and I’ll die here), and knows everything about his neighbors (Oh oh oh, see for miles and miles around here, Oh oh oh, every violence, every silence).  

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Some Recent YA Contemporary Romances

Since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, here are some recent romances that I loved. I hope you enjoy them too. What I love about these books is that they’re not just about romance, they’re so much more. They talk about guilt, death, dreams, business plans, friendship, loyalty, family, photography, running, fitting in, being in the spotlight, and learning about yourself.

book crush

Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
When Lainey’s boyfriend of two years breaks up with her, she’s devastated. She’s determined to win him back. Lainey and her BFF pour over the  Art of War looking for a battle plan. Lainey and her co-worker agree to fake-date each other to woo back their exes with jealousy.  As the summer progresses, she learns a little more about herself and who she wants to be.

Blind Spot for Boys by Justina Chen
Shana’s officially on a boy moratorium since the last one broke her heart. She’s hoping to create one last picture for her photography portfolio when she meets Quattro.  She keeps seeing him wherever she goes – including her family’s trip to Machu Picchu. Could the universe be trying to tell her something?

Breathe Annie Breathe by Miranda
Annie’s ex-boyfriend died while in the middle of training for a marathon. Annie’s consumed with guilt since they hung out the night he died. She decides to train for the marathon – running in his honor.  Annie hires a trainer; Matt has all sorts of helpful hints besides just a running plan. But even he can’t get rid of the guilt or her stomach problems. Matt’s brother runs with them occasionally and he makes Annie feel, something she hasn’t been able to do since Kyle’s death. 

Want to Read S’more? Have Some Ooey Gooey Delicious Books in Threes

IMG_20140807_125805331

Summer is the perfect time for reading for fun and making s’mores. In fact, yesterday was National S’mores Day.

So I decided to combine these two concepts and give you three books on the same topic – think of them as the graham cracker, the marshmallow, and the chocolate of a s’more- all deliciously good.

Fantasy:

Hub 1

Thrillers:hub 2

Diverse YA Titles to Look for at ALA Annual

Photo Jun 22, 6 52 28 PMAs a follow-up to Hannah Gómez’s post #DiversityatALA about the current movement to be vocal about the need for more diversity in YA literature (#weneeddiversebooks), and Kelly Dickinson’s post featuring LGBTQ titles, I’m here to list some upcoming YA books that contain non-white, non-heterosexual, non-cisgendered or differently-abled characters that you should be on the lookout for. If you are attending the ALA Annual Conference this weekend in Vegas, ask the publishers about ARCs for many of these. Not all of them will be available as ARCs because some aren’t being published until 2015, but publishers’ reps should still be able give you the scoop on them.

To start, I’m including a few recent notable books that you probably know about and a few that aren’t as obvious because the reviews might not have mentioned their diverse content, or you can’t tell from their jacket flaps.

Photo Jun 23, 2 15 16 AMFreakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark (2014 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults) is a novel about a transgendered boy while a strong pick for a nonfiction book about transgendered teens is Susan Kuklin’s Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out.

I wasn’t aware that  the main character Chevron “Chevie” is descended from the Shawnee Native American tribe in Eoin Colfer’s Warp: Book 1 the Reluctant Assassin until I started reading it. The second book in the series, Hangman’s Revolution is coming out today. Park in Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (2014 Printz Honor book) is half-Korean.

In Stick by Andrew Smith the main character “Stick” is differently-abled because he was born without an ear & his older brother is gay. Chasing Shadows by Swati Avashi has a main character of Indian descent and there’s a lot about Hindu mythology in the book.

Photo Jun 19, 11 31 11 AMPadma Venkatraman’s A Time to Dance is about a classical Indian dance prodigy whose life seems to be over after she becomes a below-the knee amputee.

Erin Bow’s Sorrow’s Knot is a fantasy flavored by Native American cultures and Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore features a lesbian character.

Now that you’re up to speed on recently-published diverse titles, here are some upcoming books with diverse content to keep an eye out for at ALA Annual and other conferences:

  • Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco (Sourcebooks, August  2014) is Photo Jun 22, 11 44 43 AMa ghost story about Okiko, whose spirit has wandered the world for centuries delivering punishment to monsters who hurt children,  but when she meets teenaged Tark, she tries to free him from the demon that invaded him.
  •  Blind by Rachel DeWoskin (Penguin, August 2014) A 15-year-old teen girl loses her eyesight the summer before high school after a firecracker misfires into a crowd.
  •  Positive: a Memoir by Paige Rawl (HarperCollins, August 2014) (NF). Memoir of Paige Rawl, HIV positive since birth, who was bullied in school once she disclosed her HIV-positive status and from that moment forward, every day was like walking through a minefield.