Awesome Spring Reads

April 25th, 2006

So many books, so little time….

First of all, for anyone who has mistakenly come here looking for a re-cap of last night's episode of 24, go to Dave Barry's blog instead. He can explain it WAY better than I can (and I agree with him about Audrey).

Speaking of authors who live in Florida—ROCK ON, CARL HIAASEN! I saw the trailer for Hoot, and it looks like a…hoot. And it's got Luke Wilson in it, girls.

Anyway…what gives? There are so many incredible new books on the shelves right now, it's INSANE.

Which I guess is good for me, since I have JURY DUTY all this week AND next week (it's okay, though, it's the kind where you call in and then they tell you over the phone whether or not to show up. So far, so good…no cases. YET).

Anyway, here, in random order, are some of the books that have just come out that I've already read and loved…and I think you'll love, too:


From one of my favorite writers (and people), Rachel Vail, comes a VERY different (for her) novel about love…and heartbreak:

Careful what you love: Josie is independent, fierce, and does not care what anyone thinks about her, especially where guys are concerned. She may flirt with them, and even kiss them, but it doesn't mean anything, not even with Michael. He's more like a friend-with-benefits.

So who can explain what happens when Carson Gold decides he's interested in her? Carson Gold, the hottest senior, the one everyone secretly watches. Can you blame her for what happens? Could you resist? Neither can Josie — not for lack of trying, and despite her better sense. It's too much, that first time love finds you and sucks you under. It's too much, even for Josie.
(WARNING: This is NOT a typical Rachel Vail book. That's all I'm saying.)


I blurbed this third book in the Jessica Darling series by
Megan McCafferty. Here's what I said about it: “Megan McCafferty rocks! Her sharp wit and keen satirical eye make her books automatic must-reads.” Megan not only rocks, she rules. Read Charmed Thirds…you won't regret it!


From Mariah Fredericks, the author of some of my fave teen reads of the past couple years (The True Meaning of Cleavage and the wildly awesome Headgames) comes CRUNCH TIME:

“The thought of the SATs makes Daisy, Leo, Jane, and Max just crazy. Daisy thinks the whole system is bogus. Leo thinks testing's a game you play to win; not good for Max, who's convinced he's a loser. And Jane couldn't care less about the whole thing.

So when the four of them decide to bag the SAT prep class before junior year at Dewey, they form their own study group, a haven from the dog-eat-dog college-acceptance competition.

Then — oops! — it's discovered that someone has cheated on the SATs. Everyone — adults included — in this vivid, funny, four-voiced novel has a reaction, a theory, and a new worry.”


I haven't had a chance to read this new book by Sarah Dessen, but I know she's an extremely talented (and personally very nice) author. I know she's nice (even though I haven't met her) because she's on a book tour right now, and many of the media escorts driving her have also driven me, and some of them have e'd me to say how nice she is. So I encourage you to read Sarah's new book, which I understand is brilliant. It's good to support nice authors.


Yes, it's that time of year again: You know it's spring when a new Louise Rennison hits shelves! This time around, Georgia is in quite a predicament:

“Dave the Laugh has declared his love for her (at least she thinks he was talking about her), leaving her in a state of confusiosity. And then when she finally decides to give Masimo an ultimatum — to be her one and only — he tells her he needs to think about it.

To distract herself from her romantic woes, Georgia throws herself into Mac-Useless play rehearsals and planning a Viking wedding, and tries to avoid all thoughts of boy decoys, Italian-American dreamboats…and let's not forget guitar-plucking Sex Gods!”


Here's a sweet read from debut author Jenny Han: “Twelve-year-old Annemarie Wilcox (a.k.a. Shug) is facing the start of junior high saddled with a lot of baggage: an impossibly gorgeous older sister, bickering parents, an excruciating crush on her best friend, Mark, and absolutely no self-confidence. Boasting one of the most likable young protagonists in recent memory and narrated in the pitch-perfect voice of conflicted 'tweenness, Jenny Han's appealing debut novel scored an unqualified success with grown-up booksellers—and this grown up author.”

I blurbed SHUG because I loved it, and I just know you will, too.


I haven't gotten a chance to read this yet, but I loved Valerie Frankel's HEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL, so I'm betting I'll love her new YA, as well:

“Adora's place in the pecking order of her posh high school is decidedly on the fringe: Pretty but not beautiful, comfortable but not rich, popular but not the ruling class. But for her latest social studies project (and to exact a little old-fashioned revenge), she decides to put what she's learned about political revolutions to good use. With the help of her friends, Adora stages her very own uprising. And guess what? Victory is hers! Before she knows it, the snotty cool kids have been overthrown-and suddenly Adora is the leader, reveling in her newfound power and popularity.

But a few unexpected events are about to trip up the new order-and Adora's noticing that sometimes it can be lonely at the top.”


Justina Chen Headley's hilarious–but also very touching—debut novel is about a fifteen-year old “hapa” girl–half Asian, half white–who is good at math, but not so good at figuring out her complex relationship with her mother–not to mention how to deal with school bullies (you try having “Ho” as a last name).

About the book, Kirkus Reviews writes, “A tumble of words flows out of Patty Ho as she tries to figure out how to be 15, and half white, half Taiwanese, hapa, says her buddy Jasmine, the “Asian-ator.” The gorgeous Jasmine is one of the friends she makes at Stanford's math summer camp, SUMaC, where she's sent, kicking and screaming, by the mother she's trying to escape. Patty doesn't quite know who she is, or who her white father was, or why her mother is so controlling, so humorless or so bent on embarr
assing her. Brian, her brilliant math surfer dude TA, and Stu, source of first kiss and first heartache, allow her some enlightenment, but so do her mother's long-estranged artist sister and a box of family photographs that Patty's never seen. Through it all, Patty never loses her nervy bounce or her need to tell it all as it's happening. Great voice from a very promising debut.”

I loved this book so much I chose it as the Meg Cabot Book Club's May Pick of the Month…because I just know you're going to love it, too!

There are tons more great reads out there besides these, but these are all I've had a chance to get to lately, what with all my deadlines. But I'm turning in TOMMY SULLIVAN IS A FREAK as well as the revision for the SIZE 12 sequel (now titled IT'S NOT OVER TIL THE PHAT CHICK SINGS) this week, and you can bet, I'll be hitting the newly reopened Key West Borders Express (which went underwater in Hurricane Wilma) soon.

Happy reading!

More later.

Much love,

Meg