Fangirl YallWest Weekend! + GIVEAWAY!

GUYS!!!! This past weekend was YAllWest!!
BUT BUT BUT ALSO!!!……. My friend Katie came down from Georgia & we went to Disney & had a sleepover
& shit like that.. Heres what happened.

Katie landed on Tuesday….
Wednesday we had lunch!

@mrsfangirlrn in CALI! & we had brunch! @whatanerdgirlsays Can't wait for #YallWest Fangirl weekend!

A photo posted by 又Fandom Feelings (@fangirlfeeels) on

Thursday I had to work but they came to say hi…

The homies.

A photo posted by 又Fandom Feelings (@fangirlfeeels) on

& also…. CASSIE GOT ME A HAT FROM PARIS!

After work I joined them in the park!

Katie was like a child going to Disney for the first time… except way more enthusiastic & reaches all the height requirements.
We ventured into Olafs Snow Fest. enjoyed the most amazing hot chocolate EVER! & Olaf Touched my Boobs.

That time it got real weird with #Olaf #OlafTouchedMyBoob #disney #frozen

A photo posted by 又Fandom Feelings (@fangirlfeeels) on

Saturday was the first day of YallWest.. & It was INSANE! I only had time to see 2 panels. But I had all my books signed & met some pretty cool authors!

VERONICA ROTH!

Hanging out with @vrothbooks #YallWest #divergent

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Tahereh Mafi

@taherehmafi #YallWest

A photo posted by 又Fandom Feelings (@fangirlfeeels) on

Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

@kamigarcia & @margaret_stohl #beautifulcreatures #YALLWEST @yallwest

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Richelle Mead!

That one time I met #richelleMead & all my friends helped me get 10 of her books signed for me ;) ❤️ true love. #yallwest

A photo posted by 又Fandom Feelings (@fangirlfeeels) on

So we were only allowed 3 books a person & I brought 10 of Richelles books to get signed… So with the help of my amazing friends & the random mom standing in line who offered… I was able to get my whole collection signed! THANKS GUYS! GO FOLLOW THEM ON INSTAGRAM! @La_Fandom  @_cassandra_g

Ellen Hopkins!

#EllenHopkins #YALLWEST @yallwest

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First day closed with SmackDown!
Hollywood Sqares YA Version

HOLLYWOOD SQUARES AUTHOR EDITION! #YALLWEST #books

A photo posted by 又Fandom Feelings (@fangirlfeeels) on

Also… Tiger beat

#tigerbeat #YALLWEST

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We grabbed some dinner & headed home to cuddle in our onesies & drink some Butterbeer!

Sunday was a lot more calm and relaxing. I was able to see a few panels, meet more authors, mingle and just go with the flow.

I met Ransom Riggs.

@ransomriggs @yallwest 😍📚#ransomriggs #YALLWEST

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Neal Shusterman

#NealShusterman #YALLWEST

A photo posted by 又Fandom Feelings (@fangirlfeeels) on

Robin Benway

@robinbenway #YALLWEST @yallwest

A photo posted by 又Fandom Feelings (@fangirlfeeels) on

I actually won an Arc of her new book Emmy & Oliver.. & I CANNOT wait to read it!
Photobooth shoot with my Parabatai & Emmy & Oliver.

#emmyAndOliver PHOTOBOOTH shoot with my #Parabatai #yallwest @robinbenway

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Jessica Brody

@jessicabrody #YALLWEST

A photo posted by 又Fandom Feelings (@fangirlfeeels) on

Aaron Hartzler

I DIED! If you cant already tell in the photo… I have so much respect for this man!

😍@aaronh007 @yallwest #YALLWEST

A photo posted by 又Fandom Feelings (@fangirlfeeels) on

Morgan Matson

@morgamat @yallwest #YALLWEST #morganmatson

A photo posted by 又Fandom Feelings (@fangirlfeeels) on

Morgan jumped into our Photobooth!

PHOTOBOOTH with @morgamat #YALLWEST

A photo posted by 又Fandom Feelings (@fangirlfeeels) on

Marie Lu

#marielu @yallwest #YALLWEST

A photo posted by 又Fandom Feelings (@fangirlfeeels) on

& Heres a group selfie of some seriously AWESOME people who also happen to make videos about books on YouTube.

FLAWLESS! 💁🏽 #YALLWEST @katytastic @tashapolis @jessethereader @xtinemay

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Fangirl Panel!

fangirl Panel #yallwest

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If only! hahahah Maybe in 2016? We will see. It was a successful weekend in Santa Monica! I love all my fangirl friends and the book community. Its so refreshing being around people who just get you. I always leave inspired after a book event.

View more YallWest photos HERE

So I grabbed 2 extra books for you guys who were unable to attend!
GIVEAWAY!!!! It is international so ANYONE can enter.

Here are the prizes:

yallwest 808

There will be TWO winners

ENTER TO WIN HERE

GOOD LUCK!

~Sylvia

Ontario Teen Book Fest: Aaron Hartzler + Giveaway

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This is the 3rd year I’ve been involved in Ontario Teen Book Fest. Its one of my favorite events to be apart of because Its very intimate, I love the panels, I always leave inspired to do great things & did I mention its FREE?? Yes it is Free & Unticketed!
We have a great line up this year! So if you are in the So Cal Area you do NOT want to miss this awesome event!

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When: March 21st, 9 am to 5 pm

Where: Colony High School
3850 E. Riverside Drive
Ontario, CA 91761

Also… ITS FREE!

Teens get Priority seating!
Did I also mention Dating Authors? I Didn’t?
Well, There is a Speed Dating Round & its seriously THE BEST!


There will be Raffles & Free Lunch!


FREE FOOD? WHAT?

You can find  more information about the Event on the Official Website HERE

Once Upon A Time Bookstore will have books available for purchase at the event.

BLOG TOUR

February 28th: Spotlight on Kasie West — Adventures of a Book Junkie

March 1st: Spotlight on Melissa Landers — What A Nerd Girl Says

March 2nd: Spotlight on Brad Gottfred — Recently Acquired Obsessions

March 3rd: Spotlight on Catherine Linka — Read Now Sleep Later

March 4th: Spotlight on Debra Driza — Read Now Sleep Later

March 5th: Spotlight on Katie Finn — Fearless Kurt Reads YA

March 6th: Spotlight on Claudia Gray — A Bookish Escape

March 7th: Spotlight on Shannon Messenger — People Like Books

March 8th: Spotlight on Lauren Miller — The Thousand Lives

March 9th: Spotlight on Mary Elizabeth Summer — What A Nerd Girl Says

March 10th: Spotlight on Anna Carey — The Reader’s Antidote

March 11th: Spotlight on Sherri Smith — Movies, Shows and Books

March 12th: Spotlight on Elizabeth Ross — Kid Lit Frenzy

March 13th: Spotlight on Jessica Khoury — The Consummate Reader

March 14th: Spotlight on Maurene Goo — The Windy Pages

March 15th: Spotlight on Cecil Castellucci — Nite Lite Book Reviews

March 16th: Spotlight on Jessica Brody — The Romance Bookie

March 17th: Spotlight on Gretchen McNeil — Movies, Shows and Books

March 18th: Spotlight on Aaron Hartzler — FangirlFeeels

March 19th: Spotlight on Michelle Levy — The Consummate Reader

Aaron Hartzler


Taken from his Website

A writer and actor, Aaron’s autobiographical performances have been seen in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York where he received a GLAAD Media Award nomination for Outstanding Off-Off Broadway Performance. He’s performed in plays and musicals on regional stages across the country, and was featured in several TV pilots no one saw. You might have seen him in the very first episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia in the role of “Handsome Guy”–although you may have missed him, too, because at the time, his hair was strangely blond and decidedly not very handsome. Aaron lives in southern California with his boyfriend Nate (who is decidedly very handsome) and their two dogs Charlie and Brahms.

Follow Aaron on the Internet:
Website|Facebook|Goodreads|Twitter|Instagram

Rapture Practice

When Aaron Hartzler was little, he couldn’t wait for the The Rapture: that moment when Jesus would come down from the clouds to whisk him and his family up to heaven. But as he turns sixteen, Aaron grows more curious about all the things his family forsakes for the Lord. He begins to realize he doesn’t want Jesus to come back just yet—not before he has his first kiss, sees his first movie, or stars in the school play.
Whether he’s sneaking out, making out, or playing hymns with a hangover, Aaron learns a few lessons that can’t be found in the Bible. He discovers that the girl of your dreams can just as easily be the boy of your dreams, and the tricky part about believing is that no one can do it for you.
In this funny and heartfelt coming-of-age memoir, debut author Aaron Hartzler recalls his teenage journey from devoted to doubtful, and the search to find his own truth without losing the fundamentalist family who loves him.

Purchase your copy of Rapture Practice:
Once Upon a Time Bookstore|Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Book Depository

Interview

Fangirl: The one major thing I noticed while reading Rapture Practice was that you did not come across angry or bitter toward your parents, you weren’t trying to preach or tell the reader what to think about Christianity. How were you able to find this balance in your writing?

Aaron: I found that balance by doing a great deal of writing on the subject. I always said that I wanted this book to be a parade, not a baseball bat, and I didn’t sit down with the express goal of writing a book that “wasn’t bitter,” or portraying fundamentalist Christian culture in a certain way—or at all really. I was only concerned with writing my teen story as honestly as possible. I hate memoir where the author is constantly jabbing you in the ribs telegraphing how you should feel about what’s going on in the scene. I worked very hard to keep my adult perspective out of this book, which is why I wrote it in present tense.

That was a big process, and these stories didn’t start out as a book. I began doing one-man shows, standup, and essay nights back in 1999. I wrote a lot of these stories, over and over again trying to find the heart, and the funny, and the focus. In the beginning, I was in my mid-20s and I was really angry. I did a show in New York in 2002 and, trust me, there is a theater somewhere in the East Village where the paint is still blistered from the heat of my rage.

But, with maturity comes perspective. I had a couple of great therapists and I worked hard unpacking the garden variety unfinished family business we all drag around with us. Being able to find empathy for my parents and individuate from them to see that they did the best they could with what they were given helped change my perspective on my anger.  Dealing with those issues allowed me to find a way in to the stories that wasn’t angry. I found that this was key to letting other people into my stories as well.

I love This American Life, the radio show Ira Glass hosts where he just puts different snapshots next to one another and allows the listener to draw his or her own conclusions. For my money, the best memoirs do the same thing, and i attempted to do that as well.

Fangirl: In your book you struggle back and forth with your parents beliefs and discovering your own path. What advice would you give to teenagers who are questioning their faith & or sexuality but also want the approval of their parents, Especially for those who feel like they are alone or have no one to turn to?

Aaron: Breathe. You don’t have decide anything right now. Being a teenager is all about the messiness of starting ask those questions. My teen experience was all about questions, not answers. Those came later. I’d remind LGBTQ teenagers in strict religious homes to keep in mind their own safety. As hard as it may be to stay closeted, for those teens whose parents are not supportive, it may be better to wait to come out until after you’ve graduated and are on your own. That’s the decision that I made. Your sexuality is your own. It’s a special, super-fun perk of being human. I like to think of it as a sort of glorious trade-off for all of the pain involved in our journey on this planet. So love it. Explore it as you are ready to. Don’t let anyone pressure you to label it before you’re ready.

Also, we like to say “it gets better” a lot these days, and it’s true: things do get better. But not everything gets better. Because of their religious beliefs, I will unfortunately never have the relationship that I’d like to have with my parents. So, I’ve had to make boundaries with them. I’ve have gotten to go out and choose a family of my own. I’ve learned that it truly does get better not because other people change, but because I do.

Fangirl: What is the one thing you want your readers to take away after reading Rapture Practice?

Aaron: First and foremost, a sense that he or she is not alone. It’s so important to understand that others have experienced hard things, too, and not only survived, but succeeded because of them. I like to remind teens especially that we are made up of our experiences. I wouldn’t go back and change even the hard parts of my young life because they made me the man that I am today, and I’m very pleased with the guy I grew up to be.

Secondly, I especially want teen readers to come away with the idea that their story is valuable—that what they are experiencing is worth writing down and remembering. When I was in high school, no one told me that what I was experiencing was extraordinary. It was just normal life. There are true stories happening to teenagers all around us that are epic and amazing and real life. While escaping into fiction is one of my favorite things, I’ve also become a huge proponent of YA memoir and we’re in a bit of a golden age of it at the moment. So many have come out in the past two years including two of my favorites, We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist and Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen. There’s a great list of other YA memoirs here.

Fangirl: Can we hope for a sequel to Rapture Practice? College years?

Aaron: Yes! I am in the middle of a two-book deal at HarperTeen right now—both for YA novels. The first, What We Saw comes out on September 22, and the second is called Twitch which I’m working on now. I’ve already started making notes for a new memoir about college and beyond.

Fangirl: Which book have you read that you wish you would have read in High School?

Aaron: There are too many of these to name, so I’ll just give the shout out to my favorite YA books of last year: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson and Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith. Both featured characters with whom I identified so readily and deeply that I felt like someone was transcribing emotional moments from my own past—even though the worlds looked very different from the one in which I grew up. In addition, Holly Goldberg Sloan’s I’ll Be There  and its sequel Just Call My Name feature writing that snaps, crackles, and pops with humor and warmth. They are a delight that should not be missed.

Fangirl: Your love for music was mentioned throughout your book…  do you listen to music while you write? If so, which artist do you listen to?

Aaron: Sometimes. I am the world’s least disciplined writer. Sometimes I have to have complete silence. Other times, I need a tune to inspire. When I wrote the last scene of Rapture Practice I downloaded a swelling epic contemporary Christian ballad by Stephen Curits Chapman from my youth to take me back to the sort of beautiful heartbreak that it inspired and found the end of the story with that song on repeat. Generally, if I write to music, it’s sort of chill electronica without many lyrics to distract (bands like Empire of the Sun, Daft Punk), or alternative singers who do a sing great melodies like Bright Lights Bright Lights or The 1975. However, I’ve also been known to write to Taylor Swift and Betty Who. It all depends on my mood and the scene I’m working on.

Fangirl: Can you tell us a little about your next book What We Saw?

Aaron: What We Saw is based on the events that took place in Steubenville, Ohio, in 2012. A young woman at a party got very intoxicated and was molested by two football stars. The story was all over the news, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. At the time, my youngest sister was still in high school, and the conversation about rape culture that sprang up online and in the news somehow seemed to leave out the humanity of both the victim, and other young people who were at the party, but not directly involved. I saw a lot about how “evil” the town of Steubenville was, so I wanted to write a bit about what it might be like to be at the edge of a situation like that. The book deals with sexism, the issue of consent, and looks at how silence in the face of sexual violence can make one complicit.

Fangirl: Can you tell us about your favorite reader experience?

Aaron: I have received several emails from young men who are growing up in homes very similar to the in which I was raised. I’ve been able to correspond with them when they have questions and even given dating advice. There are still some parts of our country where the norm is to stay closeted in high school like I did. But it also seems that there are more and more young LGBTQ people finding support and even boyfriends and girlfriends. I am very pleased that there’s a generation of gay teens who is actually having their adolescence during their teen years, instead of having to wait until their 20s like a lot of men and women in my generation.

Fangirl: What are you most excited about for Ontario Teen Book Fest?

Aaron: I’m always delighted when I meet people—especially teens—who have taken the time to read my book. I feel so honored when someone feels my story is deserving of their time, and more humbled still when I’m told that the book has been helpful in some way. I knew that my little memoir wouldn’t be some giant sales juggernaut, but even better, I can report that the teenagers who need this book most are finding it, one reader at a time, thanks mainly to librarians and English teachers. That my writing is helpful to others is the best reward I can think of, and makes the idea of having a book deal pale in comparison. It’s not about being a bestseller or famous for me. It’s about having found true purpose in being of service to my readers.

GIVEAWAY!

The Giveaway will run until March 20th
USA Only
There will be 2 Winners
Each winner will receive an official Ontario Teen Book Fest poster signed by ALL attending authors!
Enter HERE

Good Luck!

~Sylvia

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books 2015 YA Schedule

Hello lovely people of the internet!
Today the official Schedule for Los Angeles Times Festival of Books released as well as the Author list!
& since the FOB schedule is a little bit confusing, I thought I’d share the YA schedule for those of you attending.

                         

Saturday April 18th

10:30 am

Seeley G. Mudd (SGM 123)
Young Adult Graphic Novels: World in A Frame
(Conversation 1081)
Moderator: Martha Brockenbrough
Hope Larson, Noelle Stevenson, Jillian Tamaki, Mariko Tamaki

11 am

Town & Gown
Young Adult Fiction: Connections & Consequences
(Conversation 1031)
Moderator: Amy Spalding
Sarah Dessen, Emery Lord, Robyn Schneider, Meg Wolitzer

YA Stage
Young Adult Fiction: Outside the Margins
Moderator: Aaron Hartzler
Anthony Breznican, Jo Knowles, Andrea Portes, Sarah Tomp

12pm

Norris Theater
From Page to Screen
(Conversation 1132)
Moderator: Richard Rayner
Janet Fitch, Ransom Riggs, Don Winslow

12:30pm

YA Stage
Young Adult Fiction: New Takes on Classic Tales
Moderator: Aaron Hartzler
Sara Benincasa, Gwenda Bond, Danielle Paige

1:30pm

Seeley G. Mudd (SGM 123)
Young Adult Fiction: The Girls Are All Right
(Conversation 1083)
Moderator: Sonya Sones
Ann Aguirre, Elizabeth Eulberg, Jenny Han, Amy Spalding

2pm

Seeley G. Mudd (SGM 124)
Young Adult: Writing the Truth for Teens
(Conversation 1093)
Moderator: Jonathan Hunt
Georgia Bragg, Paul Fleischman, Candace Fleming

School for Cinematic Arts
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Presented by Fox Searchlight
(Screening 1152)
Conversation to follow with author/screenwriter Jesse Andrews, interviewed by Los Angeles Times writer Mark Olsen

YA Stage
Middle Grade Fiction: Stupendous Adventures
Moderator: Regan McMahon
Gordon Korman, Michael Northrop, Jon Scieszka

3:00

Norris Theater
Young Adult Fiction: Lurking in the Shadows
(Conversation 1134)
Moderator: Denise Hamilton
Josephine Angelini, Catherine Linka, Margaret Stohl

Hoffman Hall
Young Adult Fiction: Smells Like Teen Spirit
(Conversation 1024)
Moderator: Aaron Hartzler
David Levithan, Leila Sales, Tommy Wallach

Seeley G. Mudd (SGM 123)
Young Adult Fiction: Writing the Fantastic
(Conversation 1084)
Moderator: Susan Carpenter
Leigh Bardugo, Pete Hautman, Emily Kate Johnston, Tahereh Mafi

3:30

YA Stage
Young Adult Fiction: Thrills & Chills
Moderator: TBD
Ken Baker, Abigail Haas, Gretchen McNeil

Sunday April 19th

10:30am

Norris Theater
Young Adult Fiction: The Ties That Bind
(Conversation 2131)
Moderator: Robin Benway
Carrie Arcos, David Arnold, Jandy Nelson

Seeley G. Mudd (SGM 123)
Young Adult Fiction: Through A Different Lens
(Conversation 2081)
Moderator: Aaron Hartzler
Isabel Quintero, Aisha Saeed, Brendan Shusterman, Neal Shusterman

YA Stage
Young Adult Fiction: Writing the Unknown
Moderator: TBD
Cecil Castellucci, T Cooper, Allison Glock-Cooper, Rachel Hawkins

12pm

Norris Theater
Jacqueline Woodson, Author of “Brown Girl Dreaming,” in Conversation with David Levithan
(Conversation 2132)
Interviewer: David Levithan
Jacqueline Woodson

Seeley G. Mudd (SGM 123)
Young Adult Fiction: Love, Death & the Lives In Between
(Conversation 2082)
Moderator: Aaron Hartzler
Martha Brockenbrough, Gayle Forman, Lance Rubin, Andrew Smith

YA Stage
Middle Grade Fiction: Tall Tales & Silly Stories
Moderator: Leila Howland
Mac Barnett, Jory John, Mo O’Hara, Geoff Rodkey

1:30pm

Seeley G. Mudd (SGM 123)
Young Adult Fiction: Beyond This Realm
(Conversation 2083)
Moderator: Cecil Castellucci
Marie Lu, Paige McKenzie, Suzanne Young

YA Stage
Middle Grade Fiction: Extraordinary Adventures
Moderator: TBD
Melissa de la Cruz, Adam Rex, Pseudonymous Bosch

3pm

YA Stage
Young Adult Fiction: I’ll Be There For You
Moderator: Aaron Hartzler
Robin Benway, Brandy Colbert, Jessi Kirby, Morgan Matson

You can check out the full Schedule HERE
Keep in mind that authors signings are usually right after their panels.
Also there are a bunch of booths that will hold author signings so look out for those.

I will definitely be in attendance so if you see me around come say hi!!!! ;)

~Sylvia

Afterparty Blog Tour + Giveaway!

About the Author

Ann Redisch Stampler is the author of young adult novels Where It Began and Afterparty, as well as several picture books, including The Rooster Prince of Breslov. Her books have been an Aesop Accolade winner, Sydney Taylor notable books and an honor book, a National Jewish Book Awards finalist and winner, and Bank Street Best Books of the Year. Ann has two adult children and lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband.

Website
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads

About The Book

 If you haven’t noticed, I appreciate gorgeous covers & This cover is beautiful.

Emma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother—whose name her dad won’t even say out loud. That’s why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her… and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she’s everything Emma is not.

And it may be more than Emma can handle.

Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It’s more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop…

This explosive, sexy, and harrowing follow-up to Ann Redisch Stampler’s spectacular teen debut, Where It Began, reveals how those who know us best can hurt us most.

Purchase Afterparty in the links below.

Amazon|B&N

Review

This book took me back to high school…all the insecurities came back and I couldn’t put the book down!
Emma is like most teenage girls struggling with identity is she a good or bad girl?… she was the person I was always afraid to become. BUT I LOVE HER! She is so flawed and I love her! She doesn’t make great choices, she craves adventure and it gets her in trouble.
Ann completely captures what its like to be an over sheltered teenager to arrive in a new school and want to invent a new self.
Emma struggles with being a “good” girl and keeping a good standing relationship with her father and becoming the “bad” girl, partying with her best friend Siobhan being rebellious and admittedly having a great time. Two extremes Emma needs to find a healthy balance to.

My favorite relationship is the most toxic between Emma and Siobhan.
Siobhan was so real to me… crazy confident, adventurous, rebellious, gorgeous…Being around her made you feel alive. But she is trouble….Reading this book felt exactly like that… I knew bad things were going to happen but I couldn’t put the book down.

After reading Afterparty I felt so much better about life… that sounds so weird I know.. but what I mean is that… we’re human and were going to screw up constantly.. no matter how old we get… no matter how off our judgement is…we are constantly evolving and we make mistakes but we learn from them and we move on and that’s okay. This book is seriously disturbing…really dark things happen…a lot of psychological issues arise.. and it is wonderful… so if you love drama.. this book is for you.

Pee.s Did I mention there is cute boys? Well.. there is….and if that isn’t reason enough to pick up this book I don’t know what is.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

*****

Deleted Scene

In this deleted scene, Siobhan reacts badly to being cyber-bullied.  Things you need to know for the scene to make sense: a) Burton is Siobhan’s elderly stepfather and b) Kimmy is a nice, horse-obsessed girl whose horse Emma and Siobhan rode without permission late one night for reasons you’ll have to read the book to find out.

– – – – –

            There she is, tagged as Skank in a photo with Ian Heath, and with four other guys in five different photos from five different parties I didn’t attend.

            Her face is frozen in steely expressionlessness.

            I say, “Who would do that?  Who would be that stupid?”

            She says, “Really?  How about Chelsea and Lia and Mel and everybody else who goes to Latimer except for you because you weren’t at these stupid parties looking out for me so you couldn’t have taken the pictures.  Plus, you know I’d burn you and you’re not that stupid.  Jesus.  Not that I care, but does she really think she can mess with me?  So. Not. Happening.”

            The operative question being, who is she? We spend the rest of the afternoon looking through party pictures.  Lia missed one, leaving Chelsea and Mel as prime suspects.  And part of Chelsea is in one of the offending pictures, leaving Mel snapping the shutter.

            I want to say, what about what we did to Kimmy?  What about the girl who wanted to be lacrosse co-captain whose arm you almost severed during practice?  What about boys you dis at lunch although, admittedly, they seem to like it?

            I say “What do you have in mind?

            Siobhan says there are bars in Van Nuys where you can hire a hit man, but it turns out she got this particular tidbit of L.A. lore from a late-night cop show she had on as background noise when she was trying to fall asleep.  Also, she’s joking.

            “A note,” she says. “Mel: any day could be your last. Take today.  How’s that?”

            “That sounds like you’re threatening her.”

            “I am threatening her.”

            I say, “Like a terrorist threat kind of threatening her.  The illegal kind.”

            “Perfect, anonymous terror.  I stick it in her car and voila!” 

            We’re back in Siobhan’s Jacuzzi, our go-to spot for major distress, leaning back against the fake stone grotto studded with smooth chunks of blue and green glass, breathing in chlorinated steam.

            “How about a note that she can’t use to take you down with her and get you locked in jail for?”

            We settle on stapling a copy of the Latimer School zero tolerance cyber-bullying code (which says, basically, if they catch you, you go to school somewhere else the next day) to the printed-out tagged photos, and slipping it into her car.  We debate whether the note should say, “Do you like going to school here?” which contains a teensy element of threat versus a simple “Gotcha,” which doesn’t.

            “Pact!” Siobhan says. “Pact, pact, pact.”  She is energized and quite happy.

            I stand guard while she slides into the parking lot with the metal thing Burton uses to jimmy open cars he locks the keys into. (Burton collects cars he couldn’t afford in his youth, when he was somewhat rich, but not this rich.)

            I lurk at the edge of the student parking lot, pretending to look through my backpack, performing for an imaginary audience.  There is no alarm, no scuffle, no accidental witness.  We head off to the student lounge to eat Junior Mints and gloat.

            “Surprise, surprise,” Siobhan says.  “Look.”

            I look back at Mel’s old Range Rover, and all along the passenger side door, there is a deep, jagged scar.

            I grab Siobhan and pull her toward the closest ladies’ room that has hiding out potential.  I say, “This was not the plan!”

             “This is better.  What can she do about it?  Nothing.  She takes me down, I take her down.”

             “You can’t key cars!  Are you kidding me?  You get this, right?”

            “You weren’t all, Oooooh Siobhan, you can’t do this, when you were the one getting messed with and we played cowgirl with Kimmy’s horse.  Don’t you go all Good Emma on me.”

            “This is keying a car.  Do you not get the subtle difference?”

            “Don’t talk to me like that!  I’m not stupid!”

            I think of cop shows where you learn the kid on guard outside the Seven-Eleven is as guilty as the scary, tattooed guy who blows away the cashier inside.

 I try to think about something else.

It doesn’t work.

– – – – –

About The Tour

 10/8 –  The Windy Pages
10/14 – Fiktshun
10/21 – Books Unbound
10/23 – Kid Lit Frenzy
F – 10/24 – The O.W.L. for YA
10/29 – Fangirlfeeels
10/30Romance Bookie

GIVEAWAY!

Giveaway Prize Includes: A hardcover copy of Afterparty, Emma’s contraband Sephora make-up, Emma’s Kate Spade make-up bag, Emma’s Bob Marley t-shirt, Emma’s vintage mother-of-pearl barrette, Emma’s cat’s eyes sun glasses, Emma’s ice blue nail polish, The sparkly hair pins Dylan pulls out of Emma’s hair, Dylan’s Kurt Cobain t-shirt, Siobhan’s gold nail polish, Mara’s Bakelite-style orange bracelet (+ two more), Mara’s (tiny) Felix-the-Cat ring, & An Afterparty tote bag.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE!

~Sylvia

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