Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Honestly YA Welcomes Maureen McGowan and celebrates the realease of DEVIANTS

 

In a post-apocalyptic world, where the earth is buried by asteroid dust that’s mutated the DNA of some humans, orphaned, sixteen-year-old Glory must hide and protect her younger brother. If their Deviant abilities are discovered, they’ll be expunged—kicked out of the dome to be tortured and killed by the Shredders. Glory would give anything to get rid of her unique ability to kill with her emotions, especially when Cal, the boy she’s always liked, becomes a spy for the authorities. But when her brother is discovered, and she learns their father, who was expunged for killing their mother, is still alive, she must escape the domed city that’s been her entire world.

Outside in the ruins, they’re pursued by the authorities and by sadistic, scab-covered Shredders who are addicted to the lethal-to-humans dust now covering the planet. Glory’s quests to transport herself and her brother to safety make up the thrilling and fascinating first volume of The Dust Chronicles.

"A deliciously dark, harrowing world, brightened by dazzling characters and sparkling prose." -- Kelley Armstrong

 "A tense thriller with a strong, beating heart at its center. Glory and her impossible choices will keep you glued to the page. I'm still trying to catch my breath!" – Diana Peterfreund

“Exciting… McGowan keeps the suspense throbbing…” – Kirkus Reviews
 
Admit it, you're intrigued, right? So was I! And after I had the luck of reading an advance copy of DEVIANTS and devouring it at record speed, I knew I wanted to have Maureen swing by Honestly YA once the book was available for purchase -- and luckier still, she agreed to answer some questions for us! Read on to learn more about Maureen and DEVIANTS...
 
1. What book spoke to you most during your teen years?

During my teen years, I mostly read adult books to be honest (see my answer to #4). The only book that springs to mind from my teen years (as opposed to pre-teen), is ENDLESS LOVE, by Scott Spencer. I think it was marketed as an adult book, but I’m pretty sure if it were released today, it would marketed as YA. (I only hope they wouldn’t tame down the sex scenes, because, um, that’s probably why I loved it so much.)

I just checked... and the book has been re-packaged to look more YA. According to Amazon, it was originally published in 1979 and hailed as one of the best books of the year by the New York Times. Read it if you haven’t. J There’s also a movie from the early 80’s with a young Brooke Shields, but the book is better...

2. Do you have a book (or books) that you reread regularly? If yes, what book and why?

I’m not a big re-reader. It’s funny, because I can see movies and favorite TV episodes over and over, but for me, the enjoyment and experience of a book is usually in the first read. Once I know what’s going to happen, some of the magic goes out. Since I started writing, I’ve reread the beginnings of books I admire, but often with a writerly eye, looking for technique, rather than as a reader.

That said, as a kid I did re-read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe several times. And The Hobbit. And I’ve read Pride and Prejudice more than once. I love Lizzie’s wit and that book has the best bungled proposals ever. And, well, I did reread parts of Endless Love several times as teen. If you’ve read it, you can guess which parts.

3. What YA novel or novels have you read recently that you most want all your friends to read?

I’ve loved so many YA novels over the past few years, so this one is hard. But two very different ones that really stood out to me are Blood Red Road, by Moira Young and For Darkness Shows the Stars, by Diana Peterfreund. I’m currently midway through Susan Ee’s Angelfall and really enjoying it too. It’s very exciting!

4. How have those earlier book-loving years impacted your decisions as an author? In other words, did love of those early books make you want to write teen fiction?

My early love of books definitely made me want to be a writer, but it’s funny... my experience with teen fiction—when I was a teen—probably kept me from writing YA longer than it should have.

I wish there’d been more YA books back then, similar to the ones available now!

But there weren’t. So, from about age thirteen, I mostly read adult books (don’t tell my mom), because most books being published for the YA market (in the dark ages) were decidedly juvenile. Some were heavy-handed “message books” and the ones that weren’t, were basically tamed down genre fiction. Genre fiction minus the elements that make people love genre fiction: Thrillers with no violence or thrills, mysteries with no murders and/or with obvious clues, romances with no sexual tension, horror with nothing gory or scary. Is it any wonder that most teens either stopped reading or switched to adult books?

When the YA market started to take off this past decade, I assumed that to write YA I’d have to tone down my voice, tone down my ideas, tone down my plots—tone down everything. Boy was I wrong! In fact, I think it’s almost the opposite these days. I think some of the best, most exciting fiction currently being published is for the teen market.

Once I realized that, (The Hunger Games was the first book that changed my perspective), I decided to try writing YA. Once I saw the light, I focused on writing books I would have liked to read as a teen—frankly, books I’d like to read now.

5. That’s enough of that. Let’s talk about DEVIANTS now! What inspired you to write this story? Was there one (or more) particular thing(s) that captured your creativity?

The original spark came from melding two different ideas. My apocalypse idea came to me when that volcano erupted in Iceland a few years ago, disrupting global travel. What would happen, I wondered, if something similar happened but on a more catastrophic scale? What if not only travel, but global communications were cut off for an extended period of time?

The other half of the idea was more about Glory’s character. More on that below!

6. How did the character of Glory develop? Did she “come to you” all at once or did she develop as you wrote her story?

At the same time I was thinking about my “apocalypse” idea, I was developing what I thought would be a sexy, urban fantasy series for adults. In that story idea, the main character, Glory, was a double-agent who never showed her emotions—and was hiding a very big secret. A secret she couldn’t share, even with people who loved her, without risking death.

I wanted her to have two love interests, neither of whom were viable choices for her. One because he worked for the enemy and would kill her if he learned her secret, and the other because he was dangerous and she could never trust him. I figured she’d get unconditional love and support from the first man (but feel guilty about it), and get mind-blowingly-hot-sex from the other. ;)

When I was brainstorming that idea one night with my fabulous critique partners, I told them why I thought Glory was so closed off emotionally—what had happened to her as a teen. And they simultaneously shouted, “Write that book, instead!” And I realized they were right. The backstory of what happened to Glory as a teen was more compelling than her adult story. Or at least just as compelling.

At some point, I realized I could put a teen version of Glory into my post-apocalyptic setting and the story developed from there.

7. You’ve set the DEVIANTS world in a future society but I suspect you have a North American landscape in mind. Did any portions of the Great White Canadian north inspire you?

Great question.J I never say where Haven is located in DEVIANTS, but in my mind it’s set in parts of the former Toronto. “The Hub” is Yonge-Dundas Square, if anyone knows the city.
 
 
 

I wanted Haven to be in a large urban setting that would have been the headquarters for a lot of big corporations and banks—BTD (before the dust). But I also wanted a city that would be within a reasonable distance from landscape filled with bare rocks and lakes. The area immediately around Toronto is fertile farmland, but it’s surprising how quickly the landscape changes when you drive north. 
 
 

I’ve written a short story called “Out of the Ashes” that’s set when Haven is being constructed. In that story, the setting is firmly Toronto. “Out of the Ashes” was published in Canada, in May 2012, by McGraw-Hill Ryerson, in an anthology for high school English classes, and I hope it will become more widely available sometime next year. Stay tuned!

8. I loved a lot of things about DEVIANTS, but one of the things that impressed me most was that this book is the first of a trilogy but absolutely works as a stand-alone. I’m curious and eager to read book two, but am not frustrated by unanswered questions; I just want to see how Glory handles her next challenge. Was that a conscious decision on your part?

Thank you! Yes. Glory’s story is firmly a trilogy in my mind, but I wanted each book to stand alone as a complete story. I’m just finishing edits for book #2, COMPLIANCE, which will be out in May, 2013, and I think/hope it stands alone too. In my wildest dreams, readers will be able to start the trilogy with either DEVIANTS or COMPLIANCE, but I hope if they start with COMPLIANCE they’ll be curious enough to go back and read the first book—and then move on to the third! After that, my world domination plot will be complete! *rubs hands together*

 
9. What books or films would you say “if you liked XYZ, you’ll love DEVIANTS”?

I think readers of books like: THE HUNGER GAMES, DIVERGENT, FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH, THE MAZE RUNNER, and BLOOD RED ROAD would all love DEVIANTS. Basically any readers who love action, high stakes and hot hunky heroes. I wanted to combine the action and pacing from books by authors like Suzanne Collins and James Dashner, with the high emotion romance from authors like Carrie Ryan or even (cough) Stephenie Myer.

10. What’s next on your author horizon?

COMPLIANCE (The Dust Chronicles #2) comes out May 21, 2013, and I’m working on finishing the third book (tentatively titled GLORY). After that... I’m planning another series, but I can’t talk about that one yet. J
 
Maureen, thank you so much for coming and visiting with Honestly YA!
 
Thanks so much for having me today!

 
Maureen McGowan always loved writing fiction, but side-tracked by a persistent practical side, it took her a few years to channel her energy into novels. After leaving a career in finance and accounting, she hasn't looked back.

Aside from her love of books, she's passionate about films, fine handcrafted objects and shoes.

She lives and writes in Toronto, Canada where she attends the Toronto International Film Festival each year.
 
 
Readers can find Maureen online here:
Website: www.maureenmcgowan.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MaureenMcGowanBooks
Twitter: @MaureenMcGowan
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Maureen-McGowan/e/B004APTQBK/

 Readers, it's your turn! Honestly YA is giving away a copy of Maureen McGowan's DEVIANTS. For a chance to enter, follow the blog and leave a comment below answering the following question:
In DEVIANTS, Glory subsidizes her meager food supplies by hunting and cooking rats. Do you think you could do the same? Could you hunt and eat small animals to survive?
Let's hear from you!

~Jen

Monday, October 29, 2012

Don’t Fear the Zombie Duck



The Purple Pixie of '05

Happy Halloween Eve Eve! We’re talking holiday/family traditions and right now my house is in a frenzy over Halloween Costumes. I’ll get to that in a minute, but before I do, allow me to reminisce:

*Takes out dentures, smacks gums, commences in old lady voice*

When I was a youngster, fancy, store-bought costumes were for rich kids. Those with money could replicate, in bright, shiny and painstaking detail, any character that the gods of commercialism deemed worthy to emulate. Poor kids, like my little sisters and me, faced more generic options, with our costumes assembled from items around the house, borrowed clothing, and mom’s makeup.

Back in my day, poor kids only needed two things, a bandana and a sheet. Here’s how it worked: bandana around the neck + jeans and flannel shirt + dad’s cowboy hat – cowboy/cowgirl; bandana over the mouth + same jeans and flannel and hat – bandit; Bandana on a stick + floods + mascara stubble – hobo; bandana over the head + mom’s 70’s skirt, peasant blouse, and hoop clip-ons – gypsy; bandana over the head, canted at a rakish angle, + mom’s peasant blouse, mascara stubble, and one hoop clip-on – pirate; bandana over the hair + broom – Cinderella. (Sorry, only rich little girls got to be Ball Gown Cinderella.) Sheet around the body + sandals – Roman god/goddess/citizen; sheet over the head – ghost; sheet over the head + coonskin cap or mask or dirt or additional holes – a nearly infinite number of Peanut Characters. (And if you really wanted to shake things up, you could combine the bandana and sheet to be a bandit ghost!)

Sometimes, my sisters and I thought outside the box with our found items. Borrowed dance clothes, makeup and tutu - ballerina. Or my favorite childhood costume, Dad’s suspenders + giant decorated box = Jack-in-the-Box (or in my case Carey in the box—hey, don’t laugh, I won a costume contest with that one!) And once, my dad combined the cowboy hat, bandana, flannel, and my sister’s tutu to become a cowboy Ballerina—yup, we were that poor.

***argh - I can't find one of my childhood Halloween pictures. I'll keep looking.*** 

Nowadays, store bought costumes are not as impressive. Unless they’re crazy expensive, they look and feel somewhat cheap. But beyond cost and quality, there’s a stigma of apathy with store bought. Today, it’s all about using found items/thrift store finds and imagination to express creativity and individuality. My son has been Indiana Jones, Legend of Zelda’s Link (whom everyone thought was Peter Pan), and something last year that involved a trench coat and a fake molestache. He was “Incognito” but my hubby and I called it “The Creeper Flasher.” LOL!


 
As you can see from above, my daughter has been a variety of store-bought and imagined costumes. But by far, our favorite costume she envisioned was The Zombie Duck of ’09. However, this year’s Vampire Duck may just top it. I’ll update the blog Wednesday with her latest creation.

 
So, for anyone who’s ever donned their sister's skirt, their mom’s makeup, their dad's suspenders, and a sheet or bandana in the name of Tricks or Treats…Congratulations! You weren’t poor, you were a trailblazer. Halloween is a time to celebrate your individuality, explore your creativity, and embrace your inner Zombie Duck.

Your Turn: What is your favorite all time costume (either one you’ve been, created, or seen)? I’m willing to bet, it wasn’t the store bought Cinderella with plastic mask. LOL!



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

CONJURE is Here!!!!

Hello lovely readers! I'm over-the-stars excited to tell you that CONJURE, my debut YA novel is officially here!!!! Yipee!!! Watch out for all the exploding confetti! 
Here's a little bit about CONJURE:


Be careful what you search for...


Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry—hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday.



But when a strange girl appears bent on revenge, demon dogs become a threat, and Jack turns into a walking skeleton, Emma has no choice but to learn hoodoo magic to undo the hex, all before summer—and her friends—are lost forever.

CONJURE is available at Amazon | Barnes and Noble

To celebrate, I'm giving away an extra special gift pack to one of our excellent readers. Not only am I giving away a free e-book, but there's also an super awesome, exclusive swag pack to go with it, including a bookmark, magnet, silicone bracelet, a signed poster AND a genuine hoodoo spell featured in the book! What are you waiting for? Fill out the form below to enter! :)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An Interview with author Cinda Williams Chima!



Hey, everyone. Melissa here, and I'm CRAZY psyched to welcome New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima to the blog to celebrate the release of THE CRIMSON CROWN, the final installment in her Seven Realms series. I've been biting my nails for a year in anticipation of this book!

So without further ado, let's jump right in!


Melissa: Thanks so much for joining us today, Cinda! We’re huge fans, but for our readers who aren’t familiar with the Seven Realms series, can you tell us a little bit about the main story arc?

Cinda: I’m terrible with taglines, but my best shot for The Seven Realms is, “A thief turned wizard and a rebellious princess join forces to defeat wizards behaving badly.” Alternatively, the Seven Realms series is a redo of a disastrous love affair between a queen and a wizard a thousand years ago—one that nearly destroyed the world.

Melissa: I'd say that sums it up nicely. This is the last book in a series you’ve spent many years crafting. How do you feel about typing THE END? Is this a happy goodbye, or do you already miss the characters?

Cinda: It’s always difficult to say goodbye to characters, but I’m pleased with where they ended up. And because the Seven Realms is kind of a prequel to an adult fantasy series I wrote (unpublished) I know what lies ahead for them.

Melissa: Your world-building is impeccable. Where did you draw inspiration for the Seven Realms?

Cinda: As mentioned above, I created the Seven Realms for The Star-Marked Warder, an adult high fantasy series that I began writing several years ago and never finished. Consequently, I had already spent a lot of time in that world before I began writing the current series. I knew it really well, and I think that shows on the page. I think the key to developing vivid fantasy worlds is to incorporate details from the real world. Because the Fells is a mountainous queendom, I’ve incorporated details from travels in the Canadian Rockies, New Zealand, and other places.

I was originally inspired by George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series. I was impressed with the fact that the stories were all about people—the magical element was just an additional source of conflict.

Melissa: Complete this sentence: It love it when readers…

Cinda: tell me that my books are what drew them into pleasure reading. The notion of going through life without books is horrifying to me.

Melissa: That makes two of us! Now that you’ve concluded the Seven Realms series, what’s next for you?

Cinda: I’m writing two more books in the Heir Chronicles series, a contemporary fantasy series that began with The Warrior Heir. The next book is tentatively titled, The Enchanter Heir.

Melissa: Thanks again for visiting. It's always a pleasure! For those of you who haven't already ordered your copy of THE CRIMSON CROWN, here are some handy-dandy links for you. And Cincinnati-area residents, don't forget that Cinda will be signing and selling at the Books by the Banks festival on Saturday, October 20th.

BARNES & NOBLE   AMAZON   INDIE BOUND    BOOKS A MILLION



New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima began writing romance novels in middle school, which were often confiscated by her teachers. Her Heir Chronicles young adult contemporary fantasy series includes The Warrior Heir (2006), The Wizard Heir (2007), and The Dragon Heir (2008), all from Hyperion, with two more books forthcoming.



Chima's YA high fantasy Seven Realms series launched with The Demon King (2009), followed by The Exiled Queen (September, 2010) The Gray Wolf Throne (2011) and The Crimson Crown (2012.)

Chima's books have received starred reviews in Kirkus and VOYA, among others. They have been named Booksense and Indie Next picks, an International Reading Association Young Adult Choice, to the Kirkus Best YA list, and the VOYA Editors' Choice, Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, and Perfect Tens lists.
Chima was a recipient of the 2008 Lit Award for Fiction from the Cleveland Lit and was named a Cleveland Magazine Interesting Person 2009. She lives in Ohio with her family, and is always working on her next novel.








Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Welcome Wednesday: Darynda Jones Dishes About Friendship



Kim here.  I'm super excited to have with us today the fantabulous Darynda Jones!  Her first adult book--FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT--won both the Golden Heart and then the RITA.  Her first YA--DEATH AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR--debuted last week, and I predict it will do just as well as her Charley Davidson series.   She has generously agreed to give away a signed copy of her new book to one lucky commenter today.  We ship to U.S. and Canada only.     




Here's Darynda... 


First, thank you to everyone at Honestly YA for having me today! I’m thrilled to be here.

I’ve been writing YA since I was a YA, and my love for it has never waned. I sold an adult series, the Charley Davidson series, before my young adult even though I wrote the YA years before. Only after that first sale did the YA series sell. The first one, Death and the Girl Next Door, is an October release and I’m thrilled that it’s finally hitting the shelves. Still, that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I’m here to talk about friendship and how it deepens any story on a molecular level. Promise!

One of the things I noticed very early in my writing career was that while I loved the stories of the main characters, I loved the interaction with the secondary characters just as much. I felt they were important in showing the reader who the characters really were inside and for story development in general, and I’m always a little surprised when writers don’t utilize this great tool.

Around the time all this was taking shape in my scary mind, another thing happened that got the old brain percolating. One of my BFFs was taking a class in college when the instructor asked a very interesting question. He asked the students who had a friend so close, so dependable that she could call that friend at 3:00 a.m. for a ride because her car broke down. My BFF was the only one who raised her hand and that broke my heart. The instructor said a friend like that is very rare, and I thought, “Not in my world. And not in my characters’.”

Now I’m going to make a statement that many might argue with, but I stand by it wholeheartedly. The friendships my characters have are just as important as the love interest in the story. They shape who my characters are, how they see the world, and how they react to the challenges they have to face. I’m not saying the friendships are perfect. We don’t live in a perfect world and my readers would never buy that kind of bubble-gum perfection blindly. But my characters are fiercely loyal to each other and will risk almost anything for them. That is not perfection; that is true friendship.

But let’s think about those stories in which the main characters seem to have no friends. Maybe the heroine is pretty enough, a little shy perhaps, withdrawn, and doesn’t really have any real friends. Unfortunately, that’s all we get. That one dimension with a few adjective thrown in for good measure. Without friendships to foster character development and move the story forward through dialogue and such—not to mention supply the much-appreciated comic relief—we are left with a rather empty, hollow feeling and a character made of cardboard. We may not fully understand our heroine because her personality reflects off of nothing. Friendships act as a sounding stage for our heroine’s beliefs and morals, her doubts and misgivings, her hopes and heartbreaks.

Michael Hauge says that one way to elicit empathy for our characters is to make them likable, and one way to make them likeable is to show them being liked by others. Not by everyone! There has to be conflict, of course, but that loyal friend or group of friends is priceless and should never be underestimated.

Here are a few sets of friends that might prove my point. What comes to mind when you see these friendships?



Thank you again for having me. Can you come up with examples of true friendships in fiction, be it literature or film? Let us hear them! 


Darynda


New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work including a prestigious Golden Heart®, a RITA®, and a Daphne du Maurier. As a born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.


Death, Doom and Detention (March 5, 2013)
From St. Martin's Press






Monday, October 8, 2012

Even Grim Reapers and Cheerleaders Need Friends


by Kimberly MacCarron

Everybody needs a best friend, and I stress that.  Everybody.  No matter what kind of world you or your favorite characters live in—dystopian, an alternate reality or the real world—and regardless of the circumstances, you have to have a best friend who really, really knows you and accepts you.  Whether you’re a supernatural entity or just your average high school teen, you need a friend.  Someone to stand by you.  Walk with you.  Learn with you.

That’s what I love most about teen fiction.  But here’s the thing… 

I feel like friendships—especially among girls—are stronger and truer in paranormal stories than the contemporaries.  Usually in the contemporary books, I see way more of the cattiness and back stabbing and the common frenemies than I do in paranormals.  That made me wonder.  Does the conflict in contemporary stories always have to end up with a figurative knife in a friend's back? Is not everyday life filled to the brim with conflict?  Why do we put up with the friendships being the one thing sacrificed in many of these stories?  That got me wondering.  Again.  
 
Last year, some may recall, I had a little hissy fit about this very subject.  That teen girls don’t have enough great stories with positive friendships.  I have been on a quest this past year to find the YA stories that seem to have good friendships that strengthen the story and are not sacrificed in the end.  

And I’m happy to report that I’ve found a few. 

Contemporary:  Lara Chapman’s FLAWLESS.  Although the best friends are very different, they are loyal and truly love each other.  This story has depth and heart and amazing characters.  And I really loved the relationship that the main character has with her mom as well.  It’s not the usual angsty God-I-hate-my-mom type of thing.  Yay for Chapman!

Spy book:  Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girl series.  I cheated here.  Sorry.  I already knew about this series, but I did read the fifth book (OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF TIME) in the series this year, so I’m counting it anyway. I love the friendships in this spy school, and they literally have each other’s backs. 

Paranormal:  No question.  It’s Darynda Jones’s new YA that just came out last week, DEATH AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR.  The friendships in this book were fantastic!  I don’t want to give anything away, but…WOW!  Although there are two hot guys in the picture, that’s not the threesome I loved the most.  It was the friendship that the main character Lorelie McAlister has with her two best friends, Brooklyn and Glitch.  Talk about loyal, wonderful friends!  This book has everything but the kitchen sink.  And that will undoubtedly show up in the next book of the series.  I’ll have to wait until March though for DEATH, DOOM AND DETENTION.

Darker paranormal:  Maggie Steifvater’s THE RAVEN BOYS.  Granted, the friendships are mostly with the boys—hence the title—but they are an interesting set of friends, crossing all kinds of lines and boundaries.  I just wish that Blue Sargent, the main girl character, had a group of girlfriends who would have her back in the same way as the Raven boys have each other. 

These are just a few examples of friendships in teen fiction.  I’m not looking for an after-school special.  I’m not looking for a lesson on friendship.  I’m just looking for books to live up to the idea of friendship.  I want a book where the female character has friends she never has to doubt.  Friends who are fiercely loyal and love without shame.  Those are the stories I’m trying to find. 

Although most people think of the Pretender’s song, “I’ll Stand by You” as a romantic ballad, to me, it's about true friendship.  So, I’ll leave you with these words from the song: 

“When you’re standing at the crossroads and
Don’t know which path to choose, let me come along
‘cause even if you’re wrong
I’ll stand by you…I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you.  I’ll stand by you.
Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I’ll never desert you,
I’ll stand by you.”

If I weren’t such a computer idiot, I’d do some fancy thing like embed the song into this here blog, but you can just go ahead and find it yourself.  There’s your challenge.  You won’t regret it.  Go forth and listen.  Then go forth on your quest and find me some good YA books with strong friendships. 

Report back, Grasshopper.  I'm looking for another good book.

Kimberly MacCarron