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the kitchen sink

Oh, my poor, neglected blog.  What's to become of you? Unwritten, unread, abandoned and alone -- I hear you crying in the closet when you think no one is home; I found that secret journal where you write emo poetry and complain that no one loves you anymore.

And what can I say? Mea culpa. But can you blame me? It's like you're a pet rock and twitter is an adorable, fluffy, much more beloved new puppy. You're talking to the girl who once traded a gerbil for a guinea pig (which, trust me, is an act of fickleness I was severely punished for, not least by the fact that an incontinent guinea pig turns out to be no better a pet than a neurasthenic gerbil, especially when all you really want is a puppy). 

But lucky for you, all is not lost. I have a million things I should be doing today, and we all know that when the to-do list gets that overwhelming, there's only one answer: Blogging. 

And, figuring that despite my best intentions, I probably won't be back around these parts for a while, it's going to be a long one...

Despite the fact that there are a million available and fascinating topics one could discuss, I'm not going to. Instead, this seems like as good a time and place as any to update the world on all things me. (She says without shame.) (Okay, with a little shame.)

(No, I'm not talking about my new haircut, although it is admittedly awesome.)

On July 13, I'll be in Orlando at the annual Harry Potter conference, Leaky Con, talking about YA lit and counting the minutes until I get to go see fake Hogwarts for myself. 
On November 4, if you live around Michigan, you can come see me and the much more brilliant Holly Black here


If you've ever read this blog, or spoken to me, or know basically anything about me, you know how much I love television. And you may even know that it's long been my not-so-secret dream to be a television critic. (I was a Television Without Pity fan before it was TWoP, and I've long thought that if I'd had more moxie as a college student, I would have gotten myself a job there and the rest would be TV snark history.) Anyway, that's why I am so ridiculously, psychotically pleased to be part of the new Smart Pop Friday Night Lights anthology:

It comes out in August, and by the way, if you're not watching Friday Night Lights, you really, really should be. 
I'm also pretty excited, because I love old-school sci-fi, I love the story I wrote, and I love Taylor Kitsch (relevant and also, as it happens, an excellent reason for watching Friday Night Lights), to be in the newly announced anthology based on JOHN CARTER OF MARS.

(There's no cover yet, but when there is, I suspect it will look something like this. And yes, that is a naked lady battling a four-armed ape. What's not to love?!) 
Edited by anthology-editor-extraordinaire John Joseph Adams, it's going to contain new Barsoom stories by the very fancy likes of Garth Nix, Chris Claremont, and Catherynne Valente. (I don't know how I snuck in there, but I'm keeping very quite about it in hopes no one notices and tosses me out...) 
If you haven't already heard about this, or have heard, and are utterly confused, the SKINNED books are getting NEW COVERS and also (this is the confusing part) NEW TITLES.

As of October, they're going to look like this:
This is now going to be called the COLD AWAKENING TRILOGY (#1 - Frozen, #2 - Shattered, #3 - Torn). This is NOT a continuation of the series. These are the EXACT SAME  BOOKS you've already read (#1 - Skinned, #2 - Crashed, #3 - Wired). (Well, hopefully you've already read them, but perhaps you haven't, in which case...welcome to my thrilling new paperback dystopian trilogy, COLD AWAKENING.)
Yes, I know it's confusing and kind of weird, but...look at the PRETTY. I am mesmerized by the pretty. 

Okay, I don't have a cover yet for THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW (but it's coming very, very soon, and it's going to be amazing). But I do finally have an official pub date!

It's looking like this book is due to hit shelves near you on January 10 -- which, gulp, seems extremely soon to me. You'll be hearing a lot (a LOT)  more about this one soon, and hopefully there will be a shiny new website and some other fun stuff to go with it, but in the meantime, I will just taunt you with this:

One night.

One body, broken in a pool of blood.

One killer, lost in the shadows.

One girl, left behind--left alone, to face the consequences, to find the truth.

To avenge the dead.

THE  BOOK  OF  BLOOD  AND  SHADOW - A labyrinthine tale of ancient puzzles, cryptic signs, murderous zealots, and the quest for ultimate knowledge--and ultimate power. 

(Since you'll need something to do to kill time before my book comes out, right?)
Best grown-up dystopias: SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY, by Gary Shteyngart, which is everything its title claims it is, and also hilarious. Also James Boice's THE GOOD AND THE GHASTLY, which is dark and terrifying and realistic and also a little hilarious. You might not have heard of James Boice, but you will soon, because he writes the kind of books that grab you, punch you in the face, make out with you, bake you a plate of cookies, then for good measure, kick you in the gut. But in a good way.

Speaking of books you should be afraid to be alone with: The Passage. Vampires. Incredibly scary, don't-turn-out-the-lights, kind of like the ones in PRIEST only less ridiculous vampires. Read it.

Books that will fool your friends into thinking you're smart: How the Hippies Saved Physics, by David Kaiser, who was, a long time ago, my college advisor, and who remains one of the smartest guys I know. If the title doesn't sell you, and the cover doesn't sell you - 

- then perhaps you will enjoy this clip, in which the distinguished MIT professor of history and physics debates, with great eloquence and intensity, which is superior: latkes or hamentaschen.

It is physically impossible not to love this guy. (Though I'll grant you'll love him more if you happen to have a working knowledge of both the Manhattan Project and Yiddish.)
Website that will make you wise: I'll admit it, I'm addicted to an advice column. Several of them, in fact.  They're on The Hairpin, they're called Ask a Dude, Ask a Lady, Ask a Clean Person, etc, etc, and they're self-explanatory. Now, in addition to fooling my friends into thinking I'm smart, I actually am.

YA Books you'd be nuts not to read: Hopefully you've already listened to me about reading Holly Black's WHITE CAT, and are now ready for the even-better sequel, RED GLOVE. And I'm pretty sure you don't need me to tell you to read Beauty Queens or the sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes, The Last Little Blue Envelope, but I'm going to do so anyway.

I'm also going to command you to read SHINE, by Lauren Myracle and PEARL, by Jo Knowles, because both are incredibly beautiful, touching, gut-ripping stories about the darkest and lightest parts of life, and you don't want to miss them.

TV show whose hype I ignored, to my detriment: Game of Thrones. It turns out it's as good as everyone says. I might actually have to read the books.

Non-fiction, if that's how you roll: Methland and Chasing the Sea are both exceedingly depressing and exceedingly riveting. (Although if you want something a little lighter, Tom Bissell has shifted gears from Central Asian environmental disasters to video games--less depressing, still freakishly well written.)

The elephant in the room: I don't think I have anything left to say about that Wall Street Journal article that hasn't already been said, but if you're hungry for more on this issue and haven't already read Maureen Johnson in the Guardian, Cecil Castellucci in the LA Times, or some of the 15,000 #yasaves responses on twitter, I'd start there.

If you now need something to cheer you up: I'm framing it.

Congratulations, if you've read this far. I could keep going forever, since this is of course immensely more pleasurable than actually doing work, but instead I'm going to tear myself away from the screen and commence work on TOP SECRET NEW YA PROJECT THAT YOU WILL HEAR ABOUT SOON-ISH ASSUMING IT DOESN'T KILL ME FIRST. (It's just a working title.)


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 8th, 2011 03:30 pm (UTC)
Love the new covers and all your good news! Thanks for the heads up about the FNL Anthology! how cool is that? I'm a new fan to FNL (almost caught up - partway into season 5 now). LOVE LOVE LOVE it!
Jun. 8th, 2011 03:36 pm (UTC)
I love those covers SOOOOOOO much. OMG! Will they come out all at once in a stunning set?

Also, thanks for the shout out, sweet person.

Jun. 8th, 2011 04:09 pm (UTC)
Wow - I've seen books with new covers, but new titles? That is a really interesting move. Does it say anywhere that it was originally published as X?

I like how the three books are all part of the same image.
Jun. 28th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC)
woo! Covers
I especially love that the new covers have new titles too...so its like a whole new series and there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a second set! (Also excited for the new boook!!)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
I'm the author of several novels for teens, including HACKING HARVARD, the CHASING YESTERDAY trilogy, and the SEVEN DEADLY SINS series.

My newest book, SKINNED, comes out in September 2008.

Also, I like cupcakes.