Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Five

This is my "Hey, what's up?" post. So here goes.

1. I will successfully complete my second week of the 2013-14 school year today and, lord have mercy, am I ever tired. But I have great kids in my classes and they're already doing some awesome art like these quote doodles.


2. I downloaded two new apps on my Iphone that are really fun. Vintique is a photo app that has great filters, frames and text. It was about $1.99 or so. The second one is Over which an app that allows you to put text over photographs and it's got great fonts, many of which I recognize from photos on Pinterest and even new book cover fonts. It was .99. Well worth the investment!

3. Speaking of Pinterest, they finally unblocked it at work for me and talk about opening up my world. So many amazing art project ideas. I can't wait to try some of these out on the students.

4. I paid my conference fee for SCBWI Carolinas and my friend, Jen McConnel, booked us a room, so YAY! Writer Time! In the Near Future! I'm really looking forward to a workshop by Susan Hawk on Great MG Mystery and one on Writing Great Historical Fiction by Monika Schroeder. The WIP I've been playing with is both Historical and a bit of a Middle Grade MG mystery, so hurrah. Plus my mentor and friend, Joy Neaves, will be there talking up Namelos and presenting and I love spending time with her.

5. My edits are back in NY and things are ramping up. I've received an author questionnaire from Harper Collins. I've learned my book will be "pitched" to sales and marketing in October. And I've also heard whispers of cover design on the wind. I should receive another round of line edits from my editor and then off to the copy editor, if all goes well. It's getting so exciting!

That's my five for the week. How's things with you?

Monday, August 26, 2013

KEEPER OF WONDER: An Interview with Vicki Lemp Weavil



Today on the blog, I'm pleased to introduce Vicki Lemp Weavil. Not only is Vicki a librarian at the North Carolina School for the Arts, but she is also a writer (her 2014 debut novel, CROWN OF ICE, a YA Fantasy retelling of H.C. Andersen's "The Snow Queen" is coming out from Month9Books). She tweets @VickiLWeavil

The best part for me is a fictional version of NCSA plays a significant role in my forthcoming novel. Vicki sent me loads of information about their admission process which was a huge help! 

I'm getting help from my librarian interviewees! Love it.

Here's Vicki:

So you’re a librarian, how’d that happen?

I actually became a librarian after working for ten years in other jobs. I originally graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Theatre. I specialized in costume design and construction, and some of my jobs after college did involve costuming, but I also worked as a picture framer, waitress (of course!), and part-time teacher. I even made a little money singing. When my then husband went to graduate school at Indiana University, I decided that I needed to get some type of graduate degree as well (since my theatre degree wasn't exactly bringing in lucrative jobs). After investigating several careers, I decided to follow my first love -- books and reading -- and go to Library School. I.U. gave me a wonderful assistantship and scholarship and thus my library career was born! 

The funny thing is, my theatre, music, and design background has actually benefited me in my career. My first library job was with the NYPL at Lincoln Center. I then worked for the Museum of TV and Radio in NYC before moving to my present position as Director of Library Services at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). (sounds like UNCSA is lucky to have you!)

Tell us about your library?

The Semans Library at UNCSA serves a high school as well as a university, so we have quite an age range in our patron base. Our focus is on the performing and visual arts, but we collect in all subject areas in order to serve the needs of our students and faculty. We do have very extensive collections in music, theatre, film, dance, art, and theatrical/film design. Since we have high school students as well as undergraduate and graduate students, we do collect YA fiction as well as adult fiction.

What was the most recent book request?

A faculty member requested that we acquire an older book, Political Theatre: A History 1914-29 by Edwin Piscator. 

What was your most recent book suggestion to a patron?

I actually don't do this, as my reference librarians handle these interactions. (This is the problem with becoming an administrator -- you don't often get to work directly with the patrons).

What was your most recent book suggestion to a friend?

Little, Big by John Crowley (They wanted a "unique" speculative fiction book).
I also like to recommend Dorothy Dunnett's 6 book series, The Lymond Chronicles to -- well, basically, anyone.

If you could sit down to your favorite beverage with any current kidlit author, who would it be? And why? 

I assume you mean a living author? <smile> I do love the classics. For a more current author, I think it would have to be Suzanne Collins. Not only to talk about The Hunger Games trilogy, but also because she's had a long career writing excellent books (MG as well as YA) and has also written for television. I would love to discuss how she built and sustained her career long before becoming an "overnight success." (I agree, that would be a great chat)

What book do you wish you had in your library (personal or where you work or both) but don’t? (this can be something written or something you’ve never seen)

In YA -- more books about young women who are strong and independent and focused more on exploring their opportunities and/or building their own lives rather than just romance. (Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against romance. I just think it often overwhelms all other topics, issues, and ideas in much of YA literature these days).

What’s the biggest librarian stereotype? How do you fit snugly within it? What makes you bust wholly out of it?

That we are quiet, retiring types who shun human interaction. Nothing could be further from the truth! These days, librarians must constantly interact with patrons and other library constituents -- both in person and online. There's not much room for the very shy or introverted in this profession any more! 
I don't actually fit that stereotype. I don't need constant social stimulation and I'm self-directed (I'm also an author, after all) but I am quite comfortable with public speaking, social interaction, and leading meetings and work groups.

Five favorite books of the past five years.

Oh my -- you ask a reading addict this?? Let's see -- 
Not saying these are all my favorites, and in no particular order:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Tigerlily's Orchids by Ruth Rendell
The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler
In the Woods by Tana French (read this over the summer, loved it)
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (this one's on my night stand! just started it!)


Thanks so much for stopping by to talk to us, Vicki!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Hard Times Make For Soft Spirits

It's been a time of doom & gloom for NC teachers and students. Lots of education cuts, lots of pay cuts, the loss of tenure, jobs, and textbook funding. It's tough. Morale is low.

But just this week. I received this in an e-mail from a student that said "Jro, I saw this and thought of you. I can't wait for Art 3 next semester."


And another teacher and I, when called upon to sponsor more clubs, decided to co-sponsor a "Pay It Forward" club. We're a custodian short this year, so we're going to do things like empty the trash for the custodians, go into the parking lot and clean faculty windshields, write thank you notes to our friends and pastors and favorite elementary teachers, with our club members.

And today, two students rolled around a cart loaded with bowls of ice cream and sauces they distributed to the teachers with the message, "Happy Friday from MHS!" 
Ice cream crazed expression! The back of my shirt says "Infomaniac"
No big point here, other than to say, my heart is warmed. Maybe people do care.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Age & Writing & Not Getting Wigged Out.

Lately, I've heard a bunch of chatter among other YA authors about the age you are when you get your book deal. As one of the elder statesmen of my debut class, being nearer the 50 side of my 40's, I understand the tendency to moan (and bemoan) the wriggly wunderkind of young authordom.

The YA world seems to be flooded with bright, young twenty-somethings, and even teen-somethings, landing lucrative contracts. It would seem that those of of us pushing greater decades, are in the minority.

It's EASY to get freaked out by this. To have wistful moments of lost youth, and OMG, they're going to write books from this point forward and be more in demand for speaking engagements (because they have NO grey roots!) and, and, and....


But I've decided to bless it and release it. These young, smart, talented authors were born in the information age. I did not own a personal computer until I was out of college. I didn't own a laptop until I was in my late 30's. Smart phones, yeah right. Think of the movie, THE HELP, and Emma Stone's character typing up that manuscript and mailing it off, old school style. Now think of today. The late nights I spent jamming out to Led Zeppelin while watching the guppies in my fish tank swim could have been spent, laptop in lap, researching publishing houses.

For young authors, all the information has been available to them, a button push away, for several years now. Agents, query advice, writing advice.  But really, THIS IS GREAT. People can find their passion, THAT MUCH SOONER. Or they can pursue one dream early, then other dreams later. Whatever, I am honored and thrilled to be in their company.

As for me and my generation, I'm going to stand tall and sport my wrinkles with pride. (Grey hair, forget about it.) Life took detours for me. I zigged. I zagged. And I gathered life experience. For me, this is my perfect moment. I didn't do it when I was twenty. I didn't do it when I was twenty five. Or thirty. It took being thirty five to even have the ability to stop moving long enough to let a few words simmer.

All I'm saying is, if you're old like me, don't let the numbers get you down. Young authors are fantastic. So are older ones. We all bring a unique perspective to our storytelling. Write the best story and don't let statistics stop you.

My only advice is to have respect. Don't disparage those who hit the mark earlier than you or roll your eyes at those older than you. If you're a late bloomer, don't make apologies, be proud. Same goes for you teen and twenty something authors, you freaking did it! And for the love of all things sacred, don't ever start a sentence with, "Well, when I was your age....." Or if you're young and somebody my age does start a sentence like that, have some empathy, we're only trying to join in the conversation.

WRITERS OF EVERY AGE are great. They bring us stories. It's the only part that matters.

Monday, August 19, 2013

KEEPER OF WONDER: Interview with Annie Pendergrass


For the next in our Keeper of Wonder series, may I introduce Annie! (@annievalene on Twitter) Another Huntsville, Alabama book girl, she's here to talk about picture books and more! 

So you're a librarian! Tell us about it.

My name is Annie Pendergrass and I never planned on being a librarian. I went to college to study Art History but ended up getting swept up in Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and an insatiable love for the English language and grammar. At the time, I decided the only path I could possibly take was to be an English teacher, but one day I overhead a classmate talking about her plans to get a degree in Library Science. I honestly had no idea that one could get a degree in Library Science and make a career in libraries but it planted the seed of curiosity. I went on to begin graduate work in education at Boston College and, not but a few weeks into my first semester, decided that what I really wanted to explore was librarianship! I then applied for graduate school at several universities known for their Library Science programs, began working circulation in my city’s library system, and the rest is history!

Tell us about your library.

My library, the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, is one of the busiest in my entire state of Alabama! We are a twelve branch system serving an extremely diverse population, from inner-city to rural areas. Each of our locations has its own unique atmosphere, but they all excel at providing what patrons want and making them feel that it truly is the public’s library. We are also proud of our extensive outreach efforts to children, the elderly, and other underserved populations. We consider children’s and family services to be our “bread and butter,” so to speak, and focus on high-quality programming for children and their families year-long. From puppet shows to arts and crafts, we do it all! (sounds like an amazing system!)

What was the most recent book request?

Being that I work with children, I always hear requests to read Go Away, Big Green Monster! Seriously, this is the book they always seem to remember and want to hear over and over again. Another book that every child gets excited about is Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes! Pull this title out of your book bag and you will undoubtedly be commanded to “Read it again!!! ”

What was your most recent book suggestion to a patron?

Because I work in Outreach Services I don’t have the daily interaction that some of our library staff have with patrons, but I find myself recommending books to my friends with small children a lot. Some of my favorites to tell them about: Pigeon books by Mo Willems, Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd, Bark George! by Jules Feiffer, and, of course, Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley.

What was your most recent book suggestion to a friend?

White Noise by Don DiLillo for adult reads, and the Pacy Lin series by Grace Lin for kid reads. (My TBR list is growing exponentially!)

If you could sit down to your favorite beverage with any current kidlit author, who would it be? And why?

Mo Willems!!! I feel like he totally changed what we expect from picture books: reading a Mo Willems book is like performance art, and when it works well it’s absolute, hilarious magic. Plus, I really admire an illustrator who can be so bold and simplistic while not sacrificing sophistication. (Oh fun one! I wonder what he'd drink?)

What book do you wish you had in your library but don’t?

Thankfully our collection is very well-rounded system-wide, but if the sky’s the limit I’d have to say that having a signed copy of any Harry Potter volume on display would be so awesome!

What’s the biggest librarian stereotype? How do you fit snugly within it? What makes you bust wholly out of it?

I think librarians can be viewed as boring, bland, unsociable and not prone to be the adventurous type. I am pretty unsociable once I leave work, but mainly because I find nothing more relaxing than going home, reading a good book or watching a good film, and escaping into my own world. As for busting wholly out of it where being boring and bland is concerned, there’s no room for a stick-in-the-mud at story time! We children’s librarians are singing and dancing fools who love to ham it up for the kids. Plus, is there anything more adventurous than working with the general public on a daily basis? (Ha! Truer words...)

Five favorite books of the past five years. 

1.) Just One Day by Gayle Forman 
2.) Wonder by R.J. Palacio 
3.) Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
4.) Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly  
5.) Dumpling Days by Grace Lin

Thanks so much for stopping by Annie!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What Makes You Buy a Book?

This is something I've been thinking about quite a bit, lately. Not really about my own book coming out in a year (though I imagine I'll start thinking about it more in due time) but because of Twitter.

I have folks follow me, then when I go to check out their tweets it's nothing but an endless line of blurbs about their book. Retweets about their book. More blurbs about their book. Everything is endless self-promotion.

This DOES NOT make me want to buy a book.

However, if a Tweeter is friendly, chatty, and prone to share useful industry information, I'm less likely to jump ship when they start book promotion. In fact, that friendly relationship makes it likely,

I WILL buy the book.

Other buying factors for me:

  • The OMG factor. Word of mouth is powerful. If every book person I know is talking about a certain book. Yeah, I'll jump on that train.
  • Word of mouth by a trusted friend. If someone has similar taste and they say, "Hey I read this book. I think you're going to love it." I trust that. It will make me buy the book.
  • Sales Price. Kindle daily deals or Bookcloseouts.com have helped push me over the edge on books I've been sort of "meh" about. I've remained "meh" about some, but fallen in love with others.
  • Personal Taste. I'm not going to rush out and buy the latest elemental fantasy - not my thing so much. It doesn't mean I wouldn't like it if I did read it, it just means my dollars are limited. I want to spend it on Contemporaries or Mysteries, lush Historicals or Memoirs.
  • Friend's Books. Now that I have loads of author friends, I want to read their books.
  • Happenstance. For this I include bookstore purchases where cover, blurb, and page scanning influence me. Also library, and thrift store (I buy most of my adult literary at thrift stores, sad to say)
What doesn't influence me is swag, product placement in stores (I'm a deep shelf diver), or blips from the big booksellers in my e-mail (unless the book they're blipping me about falls in the list above.)

So what, about you? Same or did I leave something off? Tell me! I love your comments.

Monday, August 12, 2013

KEEPER OF WONDER: Interview with Lindsey Loucks


Today's Keeper of Wonder is Lindsey Loucks, who is not only a librarian but also a writer. (You can find out more about Lindsey, the author, at www.lindseyrloucks.com.) On twitter, she's hanging out @LindseyRLoucks. And, she's our first school librarian, which is, of course, super exciting to me.

So you’re a librarian, how’d that happen?

The whole school librarian thing started to happen when I taught a fourth and fifth grade combination class. At recess time, I would always pester the other teachers about all the great books we were reading in the classroom. One day, a teacher friend shook her head at me and said, “Why don’t you become a librarian?” I blinked and said, “Oh. Yeah.”
So I went to get my Master’s degree in Library Science, jumped through a few more hoops, and found the perfect job in rural Kansas. It’s a Kindergarten through twelfth grade school, which means I get to play with picture books, middle grade books, and YA books all day. Sometimes I make forts out of them on top of my desk and jump out from behind them to scare the students who wander in. Then we all laugh and talk about books. I love my job. (It does sound pretty great :0))

Tell us about your library?

Like I mentioned before, it’s a K-12th grade library. On one side of my desk are the K-6th grade books, and on the other are the 7th-12th grade books. It’s a really big library for the size of school we have, which is approximately three hundred students. The shelves are packed tight with over 10,000 books. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing, though, because where am I going to put all the new books I want to buy?!

What was the most recent book request?

Oh, I’m going to have to think back to pre-summer. It was probably The Hidden Kingdom by Tui Sutherland. The boy who requested it is so into dragons! Another one was The Hidden Kingdom, the third book in the Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson. I actually just emailed a student about that book the other day to tell her I’d pre-ordered it and that we’d have to arm wrestle to see who gets to read it first.

What was your most recent book suggestion to a patron?

Yikes, I have to think back to May again. I’m always suggesting Mary Downing Hahn to those who want a scary book or a mystery. At the very end of the year, I recommended My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent to a girl I knew would devour it. I also recommend a lot of zombie books and books similar to The Hunger Games since those genres are so popular.

What was your most recent book suggestion to a friend?
Honestly, I talk about the Fire and Thorns series a lot to anyone who will listen. The Girl of Fire and Thorns was so unique, but Rae Carson hit it out of the ballpark with The Crown of Embers. It’s a pulse-pounding thrill ride threaded through with one of the sweetest love stories I’ve ever read.

If you could sit down to your favorite beverage with any current kidlit author, who would it be? And why? 

Can I pick more than one? Can I pick fifty? (I think you'd have to have that catered, but oh why not!) Rae Carson would be near the top of that list so I could pick her brain about what happens in The Hidden Kingdom, J.K. Rowling so I could get a glimpse inside her imagination, and Suzanne Collins so she’ll tell me what she has in store for us next. Okay, I’ll stop at three.

What book do you wish you had in your library (personal or where you work or both) but don’t? (this can be something written or something you’ve never seen)

I wish I had something in my library that left both males and females just as breathless as The Hunger Games. Imagine, if you will, a group of high school boys who only go to school because they have to, but who sat in the library totally absorbed in THG. Yeah. That’s a powerful book. (and a cool thing for the librarian who's watching them!)

What’s the biggest librarian stereotype? How do you fit snugly within it? What makes you bust wholly out of it?

The biggest librarian stereotype is that we’re near death, we snap at everyone who dares enter our territory, and we keep the books chained to the shelves. I fit into this stereotype by the shushing I often have to do to keep kids from going too nuts. (It’s a library not a circus, people). The things that make me bust out of this stereotype is that I’m fairly young, I dance to the beat of a different drum, and I adore seeing young people excited about books.

Five favorite books of the past five years.

  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  2. The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
  3. Elephants Cannot Dance! by Mo Willems
  4. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
  5. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
Thanks so much for stopping by to talk to us, Lindsey!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Five

Stopping in to catch y'all up on the wild, wild life of Jro. (Cue hysterical laughter)
Little Man
Chelsea
1. Thanks to Joyce Lewis of Safe Horse Training in Georgia, I am now riding both of my youngsters. Little Man was born in my barn aisle (I tried to get his Mama in a stall but she preferred the aisle) and Chelsea I bought as a yearling. Those of you who regularly follow my blog know I overcame a great deal of fear from a riding accident to get to this place. I've ridden since I was five but having a severe accident in your forties is harder to overcome, than bouncing like you do in your teens. Anyway, it's fun to sort out their two personalities. Druid is a bit more tentative on the trail but he has a smooth trot and a brilliant slow lope and is super light to commands. Chelsea takes everything in stride. She's a bit more persnickety when asked to do things like yielding her hind quarters. She has a huge trot and loves to jump (over obstacles on the lunge - I'm not back to popping over logs just yet). Sadly, the responsible thing for me to do is to find the perfect new home for one of the two, as my teaching/writing schedule will make it nearly impossible to keep two fit. But! The silver lining is - see all that pudge in my thighs and hips and belly? That is going to get more like how I see myself in my  mind's eye with all the renewed equestrian activity!

2. I'm reading Swamplandia by Karen Russell and though I'm digesting it in small bites, I love how she describes the flora and fauna of swamp ecology and blends in historical swamp tackling facts. She's sort of a literary Carl Hiaasen with a magical realism bent. Reading adult books seems to be the way I'm working this revision.

3. Today is sassy hair day and, no, I doubt I'll do anything crazy different. I'm comfortable with my "do" but my stylist, Frankie Bolt, is also a writer and currently enrolled at VCFA and it's great to chat writing while taking my cure for the grey.

4. School starts next Wednesday, which is later than it ever has, hallelujah. Students don't return until the 19th but I'm feeling behind the eight ball this school year. Why? 

5. Revision, that's why! I'm still tackling my second edit letter but the finish line is in sight. Amber's story is completely the same (girl has dreams of leaving small town, finds out about high school to study vocals, falls for her best friend's brother, gets mixed up in her brother-in-law's illegal business, risks her dreams) and completely different. I've added entire new chapters, deleted scenes I never thought would leave, lost characters, and honed, honed, honed. Hopefully, once I'm out of the thicket I can write a post about the intensity of Big 5 revision. This business is not for people who think their words are precious. New motto: Words are cheap. If they don't work, lose them and move on. (I liken it to shooting with film - I think the standard was one decent shot out of a roll of 36 images)

That's my five. How are you?



Monday, August 5, 2013

Keeper of Wonder: Interview with Julia Hendon


Today's Keeper of Wonder is Julia Hendon, or @fangirlibrarian over on Twitter. Julia is a fellow bookish Alabamian! Yes! We do exist. In droves actually. I'm so happy to introduce her on the blog!

So you’re a librarian, how’d that happen?

I became a librarian by accident.  My first semester of college I was required to complete 30 hours of community services for a Sociology class and I chose my local public library.  When I completed my time there I filled out a job application and was called for an interview two months later.  I worked part-time through college, mostly nights and weekends. I decided my senior year of college that I didn't want to be a teacher, but a librarian instead.  After college I moved into a full-time job at the same branch and began an online program through Florida State University for my MLIS.  I was hired as a Youth Services Librarian at another branch in my library system the following March with the understanding I would complete my masters (I did last December!). (Congratulations!) I have been in my current position a little over two years.


Tell us about your library?

I work in the Bailey Cove Branch Library and the Main Library.  They are part for the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library System which is made up of twelve locations.  The Bailey Cove Library is a community library that offers approximately 50,000 items for check out, public access computers, and a variety of programs for all ages.  I work primarily with tweens and teens.  We have an active Teen Advisory Group, book club, and teen volunteer program.  The Main Library is the central library of our system and located in downtown Huntsville.  My job there is in the Extension and Outreach Services.  I am part of a group of individuals that travels into the local school system for monthly story times and to deliver book deposits. 


What was the most recent book request?

The most recent book request I received was for Midnight Pearls by Debbie Viguie.  It is a retelling of The Little Mermaid and part of the Once Upon a Time book series, which my teens are big fans of.  The teen who requested it writes for a blog that reviews mermaid books and she relies on the library a lot so she does not have to buy so many of them. 


What was your most recent book suggestion to a patron?

The most recent book I suggested to a patron was The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.  It was our book club selection for last month and one of my favorite books of the past year! (Two in a row now have listed this book. I've read the Scorpio Races but not this one. Must fix that!)


What was your most recent book suggestion to a friend?

The most recent book I suggested to a friend was Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.  I went to a Leakycon this year and she was part of the author panel so I read everything I could by her.  I adored this book when I read it and recommended it to my friend who liked early Meg Cabot adult books and the Bridget Jones series.


If you could sit down to your favorite beverage with any current kidlit author, who would it be? And why?

Meg Cabot.  I have admired Meg Cabot's work for years.  She was one of the few non-fantasy authors I read in high school and she really showed me that books can be funny, sassy, and just make you feel wonderful.  She is really someone I admire and often recommend to library patrons.


What book do you wish you had in your library but don’t? (this can be something written or something you’ve never seen)

I don't have a specific book in mind, but I wish I could purchase more books by international authors.  I attended a library conference last year and heard a presentation on Australian YA Lit that was amazing.  My co-worker and I left and began quickly looking up if we could order any of the titles in the States, with little to no luck.  Although I love many U.S. authors, I really enjoy seeing other points of view from around the world.  In my personal library I would want a first printing of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  I already own four copies of it, but my earliest version is from 1903. 


What’s the biggest librarian stereotype? How do you fit snugly within it? What makes you bust wholly out of it?

I think the biggest librarian stereotype is how quiet and reserved librarians are.  That is definitely not the type of librarian I am.  During story times I often challenge the children to see if they can sing the ABCs louder than I can and have been shh'ed many times during teen programs by other patrons.  I don't think of librarians as the enforcers of order and quite but more of the instigators of fun and discussion.

Five favorite books of the past five years.

I am assuming you mean published in the last five years and not read because those list to vary a lot.  Abandon by Meg Cabot,Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Thanks again Julia for stopping by!