The Writing’s On The Wall: Suffer Love

The Writing’s On The Wall is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I create desktop wallpapers inspired by some of my favourite novels, authors, and literary quotes.

Title Suffer Love
Author Ashley Herring Blake
Pages 352 Pages
Target Audience Young Adult
Genre Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Published May 3rd, 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

“Just let it go.”

That’s what everyone keeps telling Hadley St. Clair after she learns that her father cheated on her mother. But Hadley doesn’t want to let it go. She wants to be angry and she wants everyone in her life—her dad most of all — to leave her alone.

Sam Bennett and his family have had their share of drama too. Still reeling from a move to a new town and his parents’ recent divorce, Sam is hoping that he can coast through senior year and then move on to hassle-free, parent-free life in college. He isn’t looking for a relationship…that is, until he sees Hadley for the first time.

Hadley and Sam’s connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret that could ruin everything. Should he follow his heart or tell the truth?

1280×800 » 1440×900 » 1680×1050 » 1920×1200 » 2560×1400 » iPhone 5 » iPhone 6 » iPad

I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to La Goupil Paris and ArtistMef whose clipart and/or fonts I purchased, edited and used in the creation of this wallpaper!

Now it’s your turn! What would you like to see made into a desktop wallpaper next? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!

Top Ten Books That Remain On My Shelf (Unread) From Before I Began Blogging

Top Ten Tuesday is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I count down my top ten choices on a particular theme. This weekly event is hosted by Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is: Top Ten Books That Remain On My Shelf (Unread) From Before I Began Blogging.

Much like the post on the Top Ten Series and/or Duologies I Started And Never Finished I shared a couple of weeks ago, I’m more than a little ashamed to reveal my answers to today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt, the Top Ten Books That Remain On My Shelf (Unread) From Before I Began Blogging. The most embarrassing part? I have no adequate explanation as to why I purchased and then never read any of the books below. They’re all stories I’ve heard wonderful things about, have had recommended to me numerous times, and many are even written by authors whose work I’ve enjoyed before! The unfortunate truth is that since I began blogging and started regularly receiving books – both solicited and otherwise – in the mail for review, I’ve felt I’ve had less time to highlight older titles or books from my own personal collection. That said, I’ve been making a concerted effort to correct this in the last couple of weeks, and desperately want to make the time to read the ten books below very soon. Wish me luck!

As always, these choices are listed in no particular order.

1) Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

2) Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

3) Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

4) Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

5) The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

6) The Book Of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

7) Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown

8) The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding

9) The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

10) OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

Now it’s YOUR turn! Have you read any of the books on today’s list? Which one is your favourite? What book should I read first? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!

Foxheart Map Reveal, Interview and Giveaway with Claire Legrand

Hi everyone! Today, I have the immense pleasure of welcoming my friend and phenomenally talented author, Claire Legrand, to Pop! Goes The Reader as we prepare to reveal the stunning map for Claire’s forthcoming middle grade release, Foxheart! Coming to a bookstore and library near you October 4, 2016, Foxheart tells the story of Quicksilver, a girl who suddenly discovers she has the ability to perform magic, and must confront the implications and responsibilities of this newfound power in a fantastical adventure being likened to Howl’s Moving Castle. Illustrated throughout by artist Jaime Zollars, today Claire and I are revealing what was perhaps the most daunting and important of Jaime’s creations, the Star Lands Of Long Ago map, which beautifully captures the world that Claire has crafted in her latest release. In addition to this exciting reveal, Claire and Jaime explore the artistic process and inspiration behind this illustration in an exclusive interview, and Claire and Greenwillow Books offer five lucky readers the opportunity to win a large-sized print of Foxheart‘s map!

About Claire Legrand

Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn’t stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now she is a writer and former librarian living in central New Jersey (although her heart will always live in her home state of Texas). She is the author of The Cavendish Home For Boys And Girls, The Year Of Shadows, Winterspell, Some Kind Of Happiness, and the upcoming Foxheart, which is a 2016 Junior Library Guild selection. She is also one of the four authors behind The Cabinet of Curiosities, an anthology of dark short fiction for middle grade readers.

Find Claire on: WebsiteTwitterInstagramTumblrPinterestPinterestGoodreads

(Please click to enlarge)

Title Foxheart
Author Claire Legrand (Author) and Jaime Zollars (Illustrator)
Pages 480 Pages
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Genre & Keywords Fantasy
To Be Published October 4th, 2016 by Greenwillow Books
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Foxheart is a classic fantasy-adventure about the danger of lies and the power of truth, the strength found in friendship, and the value of loving and being loved…even if it means risking your heart. Full of magic, adventure, and an original and compelling cast of characters, Foxheart is a fast-paced fantasy reminiscent of Howl’s Moving Castle.

Orphan. Thief. Witch. Twelve-year-old Quicksilver lives as a thief in the sleepy town of Willow-on-the-River. Her only companions are her faithful dog and partner in crime, Fox — and Sly Boots, the shy boy who lets her live in his attic when it’s too cold to sleep on the rooftops. It’s a lonesome life, but Quicksilver is used to being alone. When you are alone, no one can hurt you. No one can abandon you.

Then one day Quicksilver discovers that she can perform magic. Real magic. The kind that isn’t supposed to exist anymore. Magic is forbidden, but Quicksilver nevertheless wants to learn more. With real magic, she could become the greatest thief who ever lived. She could maybe even find her parents. What she does find, however, is much more complicated and surprising…

Acclaimed author Claire Legrand’s stunning and original novel will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman and Diana Wynne Jones.

1. Without spoiling readers, what was your first reaction upon finishing Foxheart? Do you have a favorite character?
I felt such a real connection and relationship between the characters. I did not have a pet of my very own as a child and so I never quite felt (or perhaps even understood) the bond that is possible between a person and their animal. But the story and writing in Foxheart really made me feel that bond in a way that I have not in life! The characters all grew and changed in believable ways throughout the tale, and the ending was perfect in that it wasn’t – the story felt authentic and possible in an extraordinary way for a fantasy title. This made the book so satisfying down to the last page.

Even though Quicksilver is an amazing and strong character, I quite enjoyed watching Sly Boots’ journey throughout the book. He is a wonderful compliment to her strength and the way that he adapts and changes around her through their adventures is fun to experience.

2. What inspires you as an artist? Did you listen to music while you worked on the Foxheart map? Who are some of your favorite artists and illustrators?
Like many creatives, I’m inspired by mystery. I am intrigued by secret societies and all of the questions for which we still don’t have answers. I enjoy finding peculiar objects at flea markets and speculating about the life they’ve had. I seem to stock up on books of historical print and pattern, symbols, old maps, codes and ciphers, women warriors and fairy tales from around the world.

In the sketch phase of the Foxheart map, I worked in silence. A map requires a certain amount of focus to see and understand. Alas, once all of that thinking part was through and edited and revised, I most likely played bad television in the background while rendering it out. This tactic usually keeps me in my seat while fussing over detailed drawings. I have to choose bad television because I don’t want to get too caught up in it, nor do I want to miss any good television that deserves my full attention. Hence, I rarely watch any good television because I’m saving it for some imaginary day when there’s no drawing to be done.

3. Describe your process for us. What are the steps you take when diving into illustrating a book?
I am big on list-making. I write lists of lists to write. Therefore it is only natural that I start each book with lists. I list characters and story elements I like. I list words that come to mind. Places and moods, colors and appealing adjectives are all game. I refer to this list later when I’m stuck or bored with an image. Sometimes just adding one of the wildcard words from my initial list can makes a sketch work much better. Starting with many possibilities ensures that I have lots of inspiration behind me for those times when I will inevitably get stuck!

Once I have pages of words to support the sketches to come, I start drawing characters. I think I probably drew Quicksilver 7 or 8 times before feeling like I had her figured out. She is small but strong. She is hard but hurt. Visualizing her as tough but still a child was the goal. With Fox, there was a playful feeling I wanted to capture, and I used tons of reference to teach myself to draw movement more successfully for this project. I drew 100 dog sketches to get the ones that appear in the book! This was a challenge for me. Every story I am privileged to work on requires different tactics and skill sets. This process takes time, but is the reason my job never gets old! I also understand how important these books are to their writers, and try my best to capture the right feeling in my interpretation.

4. What’s your favorite element of the Foxheart map? (Mine might be the winding roads and ice caves in the Far North! But it’s so hard to choose! It’s all so gorgeous.)
I have always been a sucker for a mountain scene. Many of my images include tall pointy mountains, and so of course I took this opportunity to draw more of them for the Foxheart map. I most enjoyed drawing the castle, caves and mountain villages for the Star Lands of Long Ago.

5. What’s up next for you? Any exciting new projects on the horizon?
I’ve been working on several cover illustrations with interiors this year, and middle grade fantasy has become my favorite type of project. Besides being so excited for Foxheart to be released to lucky readers this fall, I’m also excited to see Enter A Glossy Web by McKenna Ruebush hit the shelves in September. It is the first in a quirky series featuring a tween red-haired girl, (but with a very different nature than Quicksilver), and includes about 25 of my illustrations inside. This fall I’ll also be working on the cover and interiors for Kate Milford’s amazing sequel to Greenglass House. Besides covers and interiors, I’m finally developing my own picture book concepts and dummies and hope to have some stories ready to pitch soon. It has been a busy year full of wonderful stories!

You can find Jaime on her Website, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest and Etsy Store!

As an extra special bonus, Claire and Greenwillow Books have been generous enough to offer five lucky readers the chance to win a large-sized print of Foxheart‘s map! This contest is open to U.S. residents only. Please fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Short & Sweet Reviews: Bones & All ● You’ll Grow Out Of It

Short and Sweet Reviews is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I share short, one or two paragraph reviews of books I’ve recently read.

Title Bones & All
Author Camille DeAngelis
Published March 10th, 2015 by St. Martin’s Press
Pages 304 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult/Adult
Genre & Keywords Horror, Fantasy
Part of a Series? No
Source & Format Purchased, Hardcover
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Maren Yearly doesn’t just break hearts, she devours them.

Since she was a baby, Maren has had what you might call “an issue” with affection. Anytime someone cares for her too much, she can’t seem to stop herself from eating them. Abandoned by her mother at the age of 16, Maren goes looking for the father she has never known, but finds more than she bargained for along the way.

Faced with love, fellow eaters, and enemies for the first time in her life, Maren realizes she isn’t just looking for her father, she is looking for herself. The real question is, will she like the girl she finds?

Sixteen-year-old Maren Yearly likes people. Just maybe a little too much. Born with the irrepressible desire to eat the flesh and bones of those she comes to care for, Bones & All is an unconventional coming-of-age story of one girl’s quest to understand who she is, where she comes from, and where she belongs after her mother’s sudden abandonment. DeAngelis’ gory, gruesome tale, alternatively pitched as ‘cannibals in love’, is certainly an acquired taste and may not be the right choice for the faint of heart (or weak of stomach). The author’s descriptions of Maren’s yearnings for and ingestion of human flesh are stomach-churning in their intensity and specificity and will, understandably, act as a deterrent for some readers. Despite the surreal and fantastical nature of Maren’s affliction, however, DeAngelis is careful to ground her tale in some semblance of reality as she uses her protagonist’s unique dietary choices as a platform to explore other, more relatable and realistic issues including loneliness, female sexuality and the morality of flesh-eating (i.e. carnivorousness). Due in part to its heartbreaking conclusions about the inherent loneliness of the human condition as well as its haunting subject matter, Bones & All is not what one might consider a comfortable, pleasant or even a particularly pleasurable read. Despite this, however, the novel should be commended for its ambition and audacity, which create a deeply unsettling reading experience that is certain to leave a lasting impression. Bones & All is arguably worth reading for the novelty of its concept alone, and certainly recommends further exploration of the author’s previous work given her obvious creativity and very capable prose. While DeAngelis’ latest might prove a little too difficult to swallow for some readers, Bones & All would make an excellent selection for those searching for authors unafraid to write outside of the box and explore avenues other writers may not dare. After all, ghouls just want to have fun.

Title You’ll Grow Out Of It
Author Jessi Klein
Published July 12th, 2016 by Grand Central Publishing
Pages 291 Pages
Intended Target Audience Adult
Genre & Keywords Non-Fiction, Memoir, Essays, Humour
Part of a Series? No
Source & Format Received from publisher for review (Thanks, Hachette Canada!), Hardcover
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

As both a tomboy and a late bloomer, comedian Jessi Klein grew up feeling more like an outsider than a participant in the rites of modern femininity.

In You’ll Grow Out Of It, Klein offers – through an incisive collection of real-life stories – a relentlessly funny yet poignant take on a variety of topics she has experienced along her strange journey to womanhood and beyond. These include her “transformation from Pippi Longstocking-esque tomboy to are-you-a-lesbian-or-what tom man,” attempting to find watchable porn, and identifying the difference between being called “ma’am” and “miss” (“Miss” sounds like you weigh ninety-nine pounds).

Raw, relatable, and consistently hilarious, You’ll Grow Out Of It is a one-of-a-kind book by a singular and irresistible comic voice.

“This was when I learned one of the biggest secrets of being a woman, which is that much of the time, we don’t feel like we’re women at all.” In her new, irreverent collection of comic essays, comedian and writer Jessi Klein explores (and often skewers) the performance and perception of feminism, femininity and womanhood, particularly for those who feel they don’t necessarily prescribe to some – or even all – of the ideals traditionally synonymous with such. Whether she’s examining her physical and psychological issues with bubble baths (“This is why Virginia Woolf stressed the importance of having a room of one’s own. If you don’t fight for it, don’t insist on it, and don’t sacrifice for it, you might end up in that increasingly tepid water, pruning and sweating while dreaming of other things.”) or natural childbirth (“No-one ever asks a man if he’s having a “natural root canal”. No-one ever asks a man if he is having a “natural vasectomy”. GET THE EPIDURAL.”), from porn to periods, proposals to pregnancy, Klein leaves no stone in a woman’s personal and professional life unturned. You’ll Grow Out Of It is a collection that is as enlightening as it is entertaining as Klein segues from the lighthearted (“Victoria’s real secret, or at least it was a secret to me, is that their stores are shitshows.”) to a sincere reflection on the importance of embracing and following one’s dreams. The author’s dry wit, candid commentary and self-deprecating humour create an immediate rapport between herself and her audience as Klein shares hard-earned wisdom and amusing anecdotes that are sure to have readers laughing aloud and turning the pages as quickly as they can. You’ll Grow Out Of It is fun, funny, and would make a fantastic addition to any reader’s bookshelves. Read it now. Thank me later.

The Writing’s On The Wall: Read more. Sleep less.

The Writing’s On The Wall is a regular feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I create desktop wallpapers inspired by some of my favourite novels, authors, and literary quotes.

1280×800 » 1440×900 » 1680×1050 » 1920×1200 » 2560×1400 » iPhone 5 » iPhone 6 » iPad

I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Creativeqube Design whose clipart and/or fonts I purchased, edited and used in the creation of this wallpaper!

1280×800 » 1440×900 » 1680×1050 » 1920×1200 » 2560×1400 » iPhone 5 » iPhone 6 » iPad

I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Charlotte Renée Design whose clipart and/or fonts I purchased, edited and used in the creation of this wallpaper!

Now it’s your turn! What would you like to see made into a desktop wallpaper next? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!