Summer Love in Winter…on Sale!

Hi folks!

I just discovered that my contemporary young adult novel Over My Head is now listed as a #19 top seller in the multiculti category on Amazon!!!  I’m especially honored because it’s just a few slots below Born Confused, another title that features Indian-American characters, and a book that I really love.

To celebrate, I’m putting my Over My Head ebooks on sale for just 99 cents.  But, like summer, this won’t go on forever, so snag your copy while you can.  For purchase links, just go here.  (Note that this price change was just listed…Smashwords already shows it, the other sites will have the 99 cent price up in the next few hours or so…)

In Over My Head, high school senior Sang Jumnal puts her heart on the line for college-aged lifeguard Cameron. Is he the love of her life? Or a player out to stomp on her heart?

If you like The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han, and novels by Sarah Dessen, then you’ll love Over My Head, with its summertime vibe and realistic, heartfelt conflicts. My novel features the Jumnal’s, a funny mixed Italian/Indian American family that appeals to fans of Bend it Like Beckham and Born Confused. 

Here’s what Clean Romance Reviews said about Over My Head in their recent review: “Rarely have I encountered an author skilled enough to really get inside a sixteen-year-old mind and pull the reader along with them. All the crazy emotions, lack of focus, lack of maturity while trying to be an adult, and insecurities of wanting to fall in love… a good read, full of fun characters and twists.”

So check it out, and let a little summer shine into your dreary winter day!

Happy reads,

Marie


Top Realistic Teen Fiction

What would you put on your own top realistic fiction list?

While my novel What I Meant… has popped up in a number of Listmania lists on Amazon.com, I never really thought about how those lists were formed.  You’ve probably seen them on the bottom of a book’s listing on that site.  Well, I finally realized that anyone with an account there can create their own Listmania list and share it with others.  And so, of course, I had to create my own.

My Top Realistic Teen Fiction includes books by Sarah Dessen (one of my all-time favorite authors), John Green (who I just discovered this summer), Justina Chen Headley and Jenny Han.  But I know I’m forgetting some other greats. Hm.

If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.  Nothing like having a new stack of amazing books to read and review.  So let me know what your favs are.  We’ll save the paranormal and fantasy reads for another day, another list…

If you’d like to see all the recommendations on my Listmania list, you can check it out by clicking here.

Book Review: It’s not Summer without You by Jenny Han

***UPDATE: If you like The Summer I Turned Pretty and other titles by Jenny Han, and novels by Sarah Dessen, then you’ll love my new novel Over My Head, with its summertime vibe and realistic, heartfelt conflicts. You can find out more about Over My Head by clicking here!***

REVIEW: First of all, I’m a definite Jenny Han fan.  I adored her novel Shug, and you can read my review of that here. And I also really loved her book The Summer I Turned Pretty, which I highly recommend.  Best of all, Jenny is a nice person.  I got to meet and hang out with her a bit last year when Aaron’s Books in Lititz, PA held its first children’s lit festival and Jenny and I were both featured authors.

It’s not Summer without You (Simon & Schuster, 2010) is the sequel to The Summer I Turned Pretty.  It definitely stands on its own.  Han does a brilliant job of portraying the confusing sorrow of loss and what it does to relationships.  Her clear prose captures the sweetness of childhood gone by and of regrets in the making.  Warning: bring your tissue box.  You will be crying a bit.

In the hands of another author, the events in this book – a loss of a mother to cancer, plus the lost dream of really loving the boy you have wanted most of your life – would be maudlin, depressing, bleak.  But Han creates a book filled with sunshine summer moments, and hope and the promise of the future.

So pick it up, pick up your tissue, and experience this novel.  The characters end up with no regrets, and neither will you!

Book Review: “Shug” by Jenny Han

Sometimes you’ll read a book that will choke you up. Rarely will I read a book that makes me flat out bawl…in a good way. Shug by Jenny Han (Alladin Mix, 2007), is one such book, and it has instantly become one of my favorite tween YA novels.  Han grabs you immediately with Shug’s authentic voice and sharp point of view.

The novel  is all about the way things change once you enter middle school, whether you are ready or not.  It starts in summer just before school starts, and already things are different. For one thing, Shug is suddenly seeing her best friend in a different and romantic light, but he doesn’t notice at all.  And then there is the whole friend thing. What do you do when your other best friend (who is a girl) suddenly befriends some popular girls, and gets a boyfriend? Where do you fit in then?  And how do you be a good person when you are sitting at the lunch table with this popular crowd, barely hanging onto the right to sit there, and another girl, who used to be your friend but also makes the popular’s eyes roll, walks by, and obviously has no one to sit with?  Do you commit social suicide and invite her, or do you avert your eyes and shut up?

Shug, by Jenny Han

Shug, by Jenny Han

Oh how well I remember those painful moments.  Shug experiences the guilt and the sadness of being on both sides of the story.  She finds herself being part of the crowd that is nasty, as well as being shunned by the nasty crowd. We’ve all experienced both sides, and at some point we all have to decide just who are we? What do we stand for? What is really important? And can we ever forgive ourselves or others for being such horrible jerks?

If you are going into middle school, read this book. If you’ve ever been through middle school, read this book.  And love this book.  It is unforgettable.