May 21, 2018

Interview & ARC Giveaway: The Leading Edge of Now by Marci Lyn Curtis!

Hi everyone, and happy Monday! We have something exciting coming to you on the blog today. We have an author interview and an exclusive ARC giveaway of The Leading Edge of Now by Marci Lyn Curtis! So without further ado, let's get into it!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marci Lyn Curtis

Marci Lyn Curtis is a critically acclaimed author of young adult dramedies THE ONE THING and THE LEADING EDGE OF NOW. She lives near Tampa, Florida with her husband. You can find out more about Marci on her website (marcilyncurtis.com), on Twitter (@Marci_Curtis), on Instagram (@marcilyncurtis), or on Facebook (marcilyncurtis).
AUTHOR INTERVIEW

1. What gave you the inspiration to write The Leading Edge of Now?

Hi guys! Thanks so much for this fabulous interview!

The Leading Edge of Now came to me like all of my stories do—it just landed in my head, invaded my sleep, bothered me while I was blow-drying my hair, whispered in my ear as I was cooking dinner, until I finally broke down and wrote it.

(What? That’s not normal?)

2. What was your favorite element of the novel?

The characters! While this particular story has an extremely twisty plot, it’s still very character-based. Everything I write is character-based, actually. Because for me, stories aren’t about plots as much as they’re about people -- who we are, how we cope, what we feel.

3. Which part of the book was the easiest to write?

Ooooo….the pickpocket scene! Once I figured out exactly how it would go down, it was a really fun, easy scene to write.

4. Who was your favorite character to write? Why?

This is a tough question, because these characters are all very dear to me. I love Grace for her strength of spirit and heart. And Owen, because GOD, HOW PERFECT IS HE? Eleanor is absolutely hysterical. And Rusty—he’s so palpable that I can almost see him ambling on up to me, cheesy cowboy hat and all.

5. What made you decide to end the book the way you did?

Ah. The ending. (How did I know this question was coming?!) During revisions, my editor gave me free reign to play with the final quarter of the story, only asking that I keep it true to life and believable. I wrote it a dozen different ways before I finally settled on one particular route, which is not only true to life, but also true to the story and the title.

6. What advice can you give to anyone interested in writing YA? 

Just write. Write about the things that are important to you. Write to share a version of yourself with yourself. Write without thinking about trends, or about how readers might perceive you. Just write.

ABOUT THE BOOK

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Title: The Leading Edge of Now
Author: Marci Lyn Curtis
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Publication Date: September 4th, 2018


Summary: Just when Grace is beginning to get used to being an orphan, her estranged uncle suddenly comes forward to claim her. That might have been okay if he'd spoken to her even once since her father died. Or if moving in with Uncle Rusty didn't mean returning to New Harbor. Grace once spent the best summers of her life in New Harbor. Now the place just reminds her of all she's lost: her best friend, her boyfriend and any memory of the night that changed her forever. People say the truth will set you free, but Grace isn't sure about that. Once she starts looking for it, the truth about that night is hard to find --- and what happens when her healing hurts the people she cares about the most?  Marci Lyn Curtis, the critically acclaimed author of The One Thing, has crafted an honest and emotional story that will resonate with the wide range of readers impacted by sexual assault. Sexual assault does not define this story, however, just as it does not define Grace. Wry humor and true love emerge as Grace, like many in the #MeToo era, seeks to find her truth, face her truth, and speak her truth.
EXCLUSIVE ARC GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive an ARC of The Leading Edge of Now! All you have to do is complete some of the mandatory (but super easy!) steps on the Rafflecopter -- and we threw in some bonus ones in case you're looking for extra entries! Plus, the giveaway is international!


We'd like to thank author Marci Lyn Curtis for being kind and enough to sit down for this interview, as well as for co-hosting this giveaway with us! We hope that you all check out The Leading Edge of Now and love it -- Emily did and will be posting her review about it soon!

May 20, 2018

Guest ARC Review: My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows


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Title: My Plain Jane
Authors: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Publisher: HarperTeen
Hardcover, 464 Pages
Publication Date: June 26th, 2018


Summary: You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!) Or does she? Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.
Today on the blog we have a guest review from Stephanie over at Ohana ReadsShe was kind enough to stop by and review an advanced copy of My Plain Jane and share her thoughts on it, and we couldn't be more excited to have her -- especially as our first guest ARC review! So without further ado, let's get into it!

I feel like we're getting a bit off topic.

It's been almost two years since I first read the hilarious and exceptionally cute book My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows. It was one of my favourite reads of 2016, and I couldn't have been happier to hear that the publisher had purchased two more books in the series. Flash forward to a month or two ago, when I was finally able to get my hands on a copy of its sequel, My Plain Jane.

With both books, I knew the history of the original story of both Janes going into the books. Unlike My Lady Jane, I never enjoyed the original Jane Eyre story. So it was exciting to go into My Plain Jane and expect a comical twist to the originally bland story.

Of course with a trio of such fabulous authors working together, I couldn't have expected anything less than perfection. My Plain Jane turned out exactly as I'd imagined, and more. The humour from their first novel was back and even stronger than before.

With My Plain Jane you had the perspectives of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brönte and the supernatural ghost hunter, Alexander Blackwood. What made this book all that more intriguing was that while having the perspective of Charlotte Brönte, the original writer of Jane Eyre story, the authors made Jane Eyre a real life friend of Charlotte, and that she was the object of Charlotte's novel that she continues to write throughout the book.

Like the first book, you did not need to know Jane Eyre's story to understand My Plain Jane. I found in this case that if you had read it before picking up this book, then you would have noticed a few head nods in its direction. But otherwise you will find that you will be rather pleased with the book no matter what your situation was before reading the book.

One of my favourite parts of the book was when we got a bit of a peek at a few of the characters from My Lady Jane, confirming that the stories take place in the same world but rather at a different place in time. 
   
My Plain Jane was a absolute hit with me, written with the perfect amount of wit and romance. I can not wait for it to release for everyone else to read it, and I look forward to the next in the series, My Calamity Jane


We'd like to once again thank Stephanie for stopping by The Book Bratz today to post this guest review. You can read the original review over on her blog by clicking HERE!


** Psst! Interested in guest reviewing on The Book Bratz? Shoot us an email at thebookbratz@gmail.com or DM us on Twitter (@thebookbratz) and we'd love to have you!

May 19, 2018

BookCon 2018 Packing Guide!

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It's officially less than a month before BookCon, which means it's time to get ready and start packing! Every year, we put together a helpful packing guide for newbies and returning members alike, so everyone can make sure that they're prepared for an awesome weekend of fun, friends, and lots of books!

So without further ado, here's what we recommend packing for BookCon 2018!

1. A backpack. 

Definitely, hands down, without a doubt. Make sure that you'll be able to fit a decent amount of books and freebies you'll be picking up, along with your lunch and other small things. There are some totes bags that are given away during BookCon. However, don't absolutely count on it! The totes went pretty fast and then you were charged for them at certain booths, so bring a bag (and an extra tote - like the $0.99 ones you buy at the supermarket - just in case.) If you anticipate bringing a lot of books, you can also bring a suitcase to check in that you can stop off at from time to time to drop some of your books into so you can empty your backpack for another round on the floor!

2. A small cross-body bag. 

It doesn't need to be anything big -- all it's for is storing your phone, your money, and your schedule. It would be way too much of a hassle to have to fish those things out of your bag of books and freebies and lunch and nonsense. Also store your business cards in there if you plan on giving them out!

3. Your plan!

Write down all of the panels, signings and such that you know you MUST attend, along with their times and locations. And store that in your clutch for easy access. Four years ago, we made a not-so-solid plan, more of a loose guideline. Big mistake. This year, we're armed and ready with a full two-page worthy plan of what to make sure we do, what times, and how to get there. (Don't forget to factor in the time it will take to wait on lines!)

4. Comfortable clothes/shoes. 

Sure, you want to look cute while walking around and meeting other authors and bloggers, but you want to be comfortable too! Go for some comfy-yet-causal styles such as leggings, comfy flats, or sneakers. (We seriously recommend sneakers. Blisters are not a fun way to spend your day.)

5. A sweatshirt.

Because yes, contrary to popular belief, it does get chilly in the Javits Center. It was pretty sweltering on the show floor, so we recommend something short-sleeved, but definitely bring a sweatshirt because the main stage area is a bit chilly! Layering is always a great idea. 

6. Deodorant. 

Even though it may get chilly inside the stage room, the crushing crowds cause people to stress and sweat. Plus, since you're going to practically be squashed in with everyone, you want to make sure that you smell nice.

7. Cash. 

There's no set amount that you need to bring with you, but lunch is expensive at the Javits Center, so if you don't plan on bringing your own lunch, bring a decent amount of dough with you! There are also a lot of hot dog carts and food vendors outside of the center if you want to avoid super high prices in the food court. Even if you do bring your lunch, bringing $40-$50 along with you is helpful for buying books, paying for luggage storage, grabbing an extra drink/snack, or (of course, duh, because this is BookCon, people!) buying some books. Especially now that you have to buy books for certain autographing sessions!


*Le sigh. We wish that was how it worked*

8. Any books you want to get signed.

BookCon is going to be absolutely stuffed with amazing authors (especially our favorites!), so if you know that any of your favorites are going, toss a book of theirs in your bag to get signed. Seriously. Even if you know they aren't doing an autograph session, because you never know! Some autographing lines let you bring books from home to get signed, which is awesome. And you run into plenty of people on the show floor! (We ran into Adam Silvera several times, just milling around the show floor, and we wish that we had brought our books from home to get signed!)

9. A lunch and some light snacks. 

The Javits Center has some nice food selections if you'd like, but they're pretty pricey and lines can possibly be miles long. Chances are, time that you will spend waiting on line at the food court is time that you could be using to check out some more amazing things that BookCon has to offer. So bring your own lunch/snacks/drinks along with you so you can eat quickly and then go back to having an awesome time. Packing a lunch or some snacks and eating them while on an autographing/panel line or while you have time to kill is the best option.

10. TWO water bottles. 

Because dehydration is a nightmare, and you don't want to get sick on an awesome day like this. One water bottle was what we recommended in the past, and it wasn't enough.

11. A portable phone charger. 

Portable chargers are literally the 8th wonder of the world, so charge one up the night before and bring it along with you just in case your battery percentage dips into the single digits while you're out having fun. There are really no available outlets for you to charge your phone anywhere, so bring a portable charger with you and plan to use that. Charge your phone for as long as possible on the train or in the car or in your hotel room, keep your brightness down, and only use it when you have to. The service in the Javits Center is spotty at best and your phone battery experiences some serious drainage. 

12. Business cards. 

If you're a book blogger, this event is one of the most perfect places to get the word out about your blog. Print up some business cards and bring them with you so you'll be ready to pass the word along! 

13. Pen/pencil and a Sharpie. 

You never know when you'll need a pen, and that applies to all areas of your life!

14. Makeup/Hairbrush

As previously mentioned, you'll get pretty sweaty/disheveled during this entire ordeal, so these items are a must if you plan on slipping into the bathroom and freshening up before meeting your favorite author. 

15. Some friends!

Because a bookish event is always better with your buddies.

16. Hand sanitizer. 

You're going to want it if you'll be sitting around on floors all day!

17. Yourself, ready for an awesome time! 

Because this is going to be an awesome day!

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Hopefully this packing list for BEA/BookCon helped you all out! Comment below and let us know what we left out that needs to be added to the list, your opinions on the list in general, or how excited you are for BookCon! Also make sure to share this post, because we want everyone to get to see this handy-dandy packing guide not to endorse ourselves, but to help everyone make sure they're prepared for the best days of the booknerd year! Can't wait to see all of you this year! :-) We'll also be at BEA, so hopefully we'll catch some of you there, too!