Friday, September 21, 2012

YA Friday - POPULAR by Alissa Grosso and PRETTY CROOKED by Elisa Ludwig

I was lucky enough to meet these two authors at this year's PAYA festival.  What's PAYA?  Bringing YA to PA is all about raising money for Pennsylvania libraries.  It was started by an ambitious high school student in 2008. There were over 30 authors at this year's festival, some of whom had already signed books for me at the bookstore (like A.S. King, Ellen Jensen Abbott, K.M. Walton, and Beth Kephart!).


Alissa Grosso is the author of POPULAR (and the more recent FEROCITY SUMMER, which I need to read next!).

Elisa Ludwig is the author of PRETTY CROOKED and the sequel PRETTY SLY (Coming March 2013 from Katherine Tegen Books/Harpercollins).


 
Alissa Grosso (from her website)



Elisa Ludwig (from her website)










Elisa Ludwig website (Check out her cool book trailer on the main page!)




I'd met Alissa and Elisa once or twice before, but never got a book signed by either, so this was my opportunity. And I'm thrilled that I did. Both books are about high school cliques, but take vastly different approaches.



Popular by Alissa Grosso (Flux, 2011)  

Alissa Grosso manages to pull off an amazing feat: juggling five different points of view from the five high school girls who form a tight clique at Fidelity High.  Hamilton Best is the queen of the clique, and her followers, Olivia, Nordica, Shelly, and Zelda, are squabbling among themselves and fighting to bring her down. Her boyfriend, Alex, seems moody and distant. Or maybe just confused.

But -- hold everything! -- this isn't just another Gossip Girls or Clique novel. The truth is not always what it seems in this fascinating psychological story. I read this in one day. And I was stunned.





Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig (Katherine Tegen Books/Harper, 2012)

Willa Fox's artist mom has finally sold some paintings and they can settle into a real house for once, with the opportunity for Willa to attend a prestigious private school in Arizona. She quickly makes friends with some of the Glitterati of Valley Prep and finds herself swept up in shopping sprees and parties (and attracted to a hot guy).  But when the popular girls prove to be the power behind a mean-spirited website that bullies scholarship students, Willa decides to even the playing field by turning into a modern day version of Robin Hood.  Steal from the rich and go shopping for the poor girls:  what could be so wrong with that?  This is a fun, fast-paced read that isn't afraid to delve into some social issues of class and race differences. 


What recent YA books have stolen your heart?

12 comments:

  1. I still have to read these. So far, I loved Shine by Jeri SMith-Ready. What a trilogy.
    I'm falling for Every Day by David Levithan. Those darn writers that are amazing.

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    1. Hi Christine! I haven't yet read anything by Smith-Ready. But I loved David Levithan's book.

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  2. So awesome you got to meet them. I'm just finishing The Raven Boys. It's really good. Better than Scorpio Races.

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    1. Yes, they're both fun to talk to.

      Lucky you, Natalie. I haven't gotten my hands on a copy or Raven Boys yet. Better than Scorpio Races??? How is that possible?! I loved that book.

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  3. I don't read enough YA! I'm stuck in MG. :-) But I know how important it is to read outside the genre you write.

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    1. So true, Barbara. I aim for a mix of YA and MG (and the occasional adult novel). What I don't read enough of is nonfiction.

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  4. Like Barbara, I don't read much YA. But I recently enjoyed Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough. And I love everything Beth Kephart writes. Her Small Damages is on top of my TBR pile.

    Interestingly, I read somewhere recently that most YA readers are older adults. It makes me wonder why they would still find something interesting about reading about high school cliques. Protecting their own children?

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    1. I read that too, Michael. Might have been PW Children's Bookshelf?? And I got the impression adults are reading YA for their own pleasure. Of course, many of those adults could be in their twenties or thirties, and not necessarily parents.

      You'll love SMALL DAMAGES. And YAY for DEVINE INTERVENTION! I thought it was hilarious. Hope they really do make that movie out of it.

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  5. Thanks for including me here, Joanne, and especially for pairing me up with the other Alissa (her parents spelled it right!).

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    1. Hi Elisa! I'm sure there's no "right" way to spell a name. Yours is distinctive, anyway.

      Thanks for stopping by my blog. I enjoyed meeting you. Looking forward to Pretty Sly.

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  6. I usually read YA books, mostly because I read whatever my kids are reading. I think it gives me an opportunity to have something in common with them and that we can talk about. My daughter is reading a great book right now that I can't wait to get my hands on when she's done. It's called "Through Angel's Eyes" by Steve Theunissen, you can check it out and get it right off the website http://sbpra.com/stevetheunissen/. Thanks for the post and the suggestions, she may like one of the books above!

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    1. You're welcome, Marie. And thanks for stopping by.

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