Tag Archives: Carolyn Mackler

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Book Reviews
September 16, 2012 posted by Nikki

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Josh and Emma are about to discover themselves–fifteen years in the future

It’s 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They’ve been best friends almost as long–at least, up until last November, when everything changed. Things have been awkward ever since, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD-ROM in the mail, his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they’re automatically logged onto Facebook . . . but Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. Josh and Emma are looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

Their spouses, careers, homes, and status updates–it’s all there. And every time they refresh their pages, their futures change. As they grapple with the ups and downs of what their lives hold, they’re forced to confront what they’re doing right–and wrong–in the present.

In Josh and Emma’s world, the Internet is just taking off. Email and instant messenger is all the rage, and no one has even heard of Facebook. When Emma’s dad gets her a computer, Josh brings over a CD-ROM to install the Internet, and their lives are changed forever. When Emma boots up the CD, this thing called Facebook pops up. It seems to be some kind of Internet page dedicated to their lives in the future.

Josh is married to the hottest girl in school, and Emma, well, Emma’s life changes every few minutes. She goes through several husbands, finds herself living in places she’d never dream of living, and finds things out about friends that she doesn’t really want to know. And then it becomes clear … the things they do in their daily lives now are affecting the lives that exist in the future on this Facebook page. Even the tiniest little thing completely alters their future.

This novel is narrated through a dual perspective. Both Josh and Emma have a voice, which is cool. I really liked Josh, and I feel that teenagers will really relate to him. He’s that average kid that gets overlooked all the time; he’s the nice guy that finishes last; he’s pretty, well, normal. Emma, on the other hand, is less enjoyable to read. She’s selfish, incredibly shallow, and everything always has to be about her. As I read, there were several points in the story where I really wanted to slap some sense into her. Josh is so patient with her and he’s far too good to her. She doesn’t deserve his kindness, especially after the way she continually abuses their relationship.

This story is written so well that it’s impossible to tell it was penned by two different people.  I’ve always been a big fan of both Jay and Carolyn, so I was excited to see how well they worked together, and it gives me great pleasure to say that they’re an amazing team!

This one is an easy read, folks.

Pages: 356

Publication Date: 2011

Publisher: Razorbill

Rating:: ★★★★½

Teaser quote: I have a computer in my car? Josh is going to freak out when he hears this.

Pubsicle #18
November 2, 2011 posted by Kiona

Pubsicle #18

Flavor of the week: Frozen Peach Penguin Swirl

Pubsicle is a weekly meme that combines our two favorite things – ice cream and books. We hand the reigns over to some of our awesome publishers as they highlight what upcoming releases they’re excited about.

Crossed by Ally Condie

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky – taken by the Society to his certain death – only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander – who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart – change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

Release Date: November 1, 2011

Ally Condie is a former high school English teacher who lives with her husband and three sons outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, running, eating, and listening to her husband play guitar.

Website: www.allysoncondie.com

Brotherband Chronicles: The Outcast by John Flanagan

They are outcasts. Hal, Stig, and the others – they are the boys the others want no part of. Skandians, as any reader of Ranger’s Apprentice could tell you, are known for their size and strength. Not these boys. Yet that doesn’t mean they don’t have skills. And courage – which they will need every ounce of to do battle at sea against the other bands, the Wolves and the Sharks, in the ultimate race. The icy waters make for a treacherous playing field . . . especially when not everyone thinks of it as playing.

John Flanagan, author of the international phenomenon Ranger’s Apprentice, creates a new cast of characters to populate his world of Skandians and Araluens, a world millions of young readers around the world have come to know and admire. Full of seafaring adventures and epic battles, Book 1 of The Brotherband Chronicles is sure to thrill readers of Ranger’s Apprentice while enticing a whole new generation just now discovering the books.

Release Date: November 1, 2011

John Flanagan grew up in Sydney, Australia, hoping to be a writer. It wasn’t until he wrote a highly uncomplimentary poem about a senior executive at the agency where he worked, however, that his talent was revealed. It turned out one of the company directors agreed with John’s assessment of the executive, and happily agreed to train John in copywriting.

John began writing Ranger’s Apprentice for his son, Michael, ten years ago, and is still hard at work on the series. He currently lives in a suburb of Manly, Australia, with his wife. In addition to their son, they have two grown daughters and four grandsons

Website: www.rangersapprentice.com

Playground by 50 Cent

Thirteen-year-old Butterball doesn’t have much going for him. He’s teased mercilessly about his weight. He hates the Long Island suburb his mom moved them to and wishes he still lived with his dad in the city. And now he’s stuck talking to a totally out-of-touch therapist named Liz.

Liz tries to uncover what happened that day on the playground—a day that landed one kid in the hospital and Butterball in detention. Butterball refuses to let her in on the truth, and while he evades her questions, he takes readers on a journey through the moments that made him into the playground bully he is today.

Release Date: November 1, 2011

50 Cent is a hip-hop artist who founded the G-Unit Books imprint.



The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

It’s 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet. Emma just got her first computer and an America Online CD-ROM. Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on–and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future. Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.

Release Date: November 21, 2011

Jay Asher was born in Arcadia, California on September 30, 1975. He grew up in a family that encouraged all of his interests, from playing the guitar to his writing. He attended Cuesta College right after graduating from high school. It was here where he wrote his first two children’s books for a class called Children’s Literature Appreciation.

Carolyn graduated from Vassar College. When her book The Earth My Butt and Other Big Round Things was named as one of ALAs Top Ten Banned Books of 2006, Carolyn became an advocate against banning books. She lives with her husband and son in New York City.

Website: jayasher.blogspot.com

Website: www.carolynmackler.com

Legend by Marie Lu

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Release Date: November 29, 2011

Marie Lu writes young adult novels, and has a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, she was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, she was an Art Director at a video game company where she enjoyed discussing Facebook game apps with her co-workers, hearing amusing insider stories about World of Warcraft bugs, and delighting in cute 3D renditions of buildings–all via Skype.

Website: www.marielu.org

Penguin USA can be found online at penguingroup.com.

March 25, 2010 posted by Nikki

Tangled Giveaway Winners

Hi yaReaders!

Although we’re a bit late with this, we have the Tangled giveaway competition winners here ready for announcement. The lucky recipents are:


Red (Alex Mulvaney)




Congratulations winners, and stay tuned for more exciting contests and book reviews.

Winners, please email us at yareaders(@)gmail(dot)com with your postal address ASAP.

Author Interview with Carolyn Mackler
Author Interviews
February 18, 2010 posted by Nikki

Author Interview with Carolyn Mackler

Carolyn Mackler is the author of highly sought after titles such as Vegan, Virgin, Valentine, Guy-a-holic, The Earth, My Butt, And Other Big Round Things, just to name a few. In the month of February celebrates the release of Carolyn’s new book, Tangled. It’s our Book of the Month for February and as part of our monthly promotion, Carolyn answered a few of our questions for your reading pleasure. Enjoy! I should probably warn you folks, there are some spoilery type moments throughout the interview.

Firstly, I just want to say congratulations on Tangled. It’s an excellent book and I really enjoyed reading it.

CM Thank you!!  I really enjoyed writing it.

With that in mind, I thought we’d get straight into some questions about the story itself…

Skye is one of those fortunate people that seem to have everything: the beginnings of fame, money, respect from those around her, yet it is obvious from the onset of her story that she suffers quite badly from depression. Was it a conscious decision of yours to write Skye in as the depressed character, or did she just come out that way?

CM:  As I got to know Skye, though the course of writing Jena’s story and then her own story, I realized she was suffering from depression.  But it’s not obvious – I had a dig a little deeper into her to figure that out.

Depression is a serious mental health issue that often goes unnoticed or is confused as teen angst. If there is one thing that you wanted readers to take from Skye’s story, what would that be?

CM: Get help.  Tell someone.  Get help.  You are not alone in depression, and never should be.

Archetypes like Jena show up in your stories often. Although both Dakota and Owen label her as hot, Jena doesn’t think of herself that way. Why do you think so many teenagers, like Jena, have serious self-esteem issues?

CM: Because the world often tells us we’re not right the way we are – billboards, movies, shows, videos – and we internalize those messages, those images of what beauty is.  And it’s so not true!  Beauty comes in all different shapes, sizes, and hair colors.

How did you find writing Owen and Dakota’s respective points-of-view? I’m always interested in authors who tap into the minds of the opposite gender…

CM: Loved it!  It was a refreshing break after writing about girls, to see how a guy thinks and sees the world.

Jena is much more confident in her pursuit of Owen than she was with Dakota. What exactly changed in her for this to happen?

CM:  Hmmmm….she got her heart broken by Dakota and became stronger because of it, learned that taking risks is a good thing.  Also, once her beloved grandmother had a stroke, Jena decided to believe her grandma’s wise words that she is, in fact, luscious!

The tone of Tangled is much darker than most of your previous novels. Did you set out with the intention to write something edgier, or did it just happen that way?

CM:  It just happened that way as the story evolved in my head.

Whose story came to you first, Jena, Dakota, Owen, or Skye’s?

CM:  I knew it was four from the beginning – though at first the second guy character, Owen, was going to be a friend of Dakota’s.  Then I decided a brother would be much more interesting.

Do you have any quirky writing rituals or habits?

CM  I wish!  With a five-year-old and an infant (both in the background right now), I just want TIME to write these days.  And coffee.

What is in your To-Be-Read pile right now?

Going Bovine, Punkzilla, American Born Chinese, and a book I’ve been asked to blurb.  Oh, and Goodnight Moon for the baby.  And Harry Potter for my kindergartener.  Time!  I want time to read/write/sleep right now.

Do you have an all time fave novel?

About a million.  Seriously.   Check out my website www.carolynmackler.com for a list of my favourite authors.

Tangled Giveaway
February 7, 2010 posted by Nikki

Tangled Giveaway

As part of our Book of the Month promotion for February, and thanks to HarperTeen, we’ve got five copies of Carolyn Mackler’s fantastic new novel, Tangled, on offer for giveaway.

Blurb from Amazon:

Paradise wasn’t supposed to suck.

Not the state of being, but a resort in the Caribbean.

Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are all there for different reasons, but at Paradise their lives become tangled together in ways none of them can predict. Paradise will change them all.

It will change Jena, whose first brush with romance takes her that much closer to having a life, and not just reading about those infinitely cooler and more exciting.

It will change Dakota, who needs the devastating truth about his past to make him realize that he doesn’t have to be a jerk just because people think he’s one.

It will change Skye, a heartbreakingly beautiful actress, who must come to terms with the fact that for once she has to stop playing a role or face the consequences.

And it will change Owen, who has never risked anything before and who will take the leap from his online life to a real one all because of a girl he met at Paradise. . . .

From confused to confident and back again, one thing’s certain: Four months after it all begins, none of them will ever be the same.

All you need to do is leave your details in the comments field below. Competition open to US residents only and closes on February 28, 2010.

Book Reviews
February 1, 2010 posted by Nikki

Tangled – Carolyn Mackler

Paradise wasn’t supposed to suck.

Not the state of being, but a resort in the Caribbean.

Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are all there for different reasons, but at Paradise their lives become tangled together in ways none of them can predict. Paradise will change them all.

It will change Jena, whose first brush with romance takes her that much closer to having a life, and not just reading about those infinitely cooler and more exciting.

It will change Dakota, who needs the devastating truth about his past to make him realize that he doesn’t have to be a jerk just because people think he’s one.

It will change Skye, a heartbreakingly beautiful actress, who must come to terms with the fact that for once she has to stop playing a role or face the consequences.

And it will change Owen, who has never risked anything before and who will take the leap from his online life to a real one all because of a girl he met at Paradise. . . .

From confused to confident and back again, one thing’s certain: Four months after it all begins, none of them will ever be the same.

Jena is one of those girls that talks way too much when she’s nervous. Babble, babble, babble. At least that’s how she sees herself, anyway. When her mom announces that she and Jena are accompanying her friend Luce and her daughter Skye on vacation to the Caribbean, Jena’s nerves hit boiling point. Spend an entire week with Skye, prancing around in a bathing suit? Please god, no! Skye is beautiful, popular, and a successful teen actor. Her life is oh-so-glamorous compared to Jena’s, and Jena can’t help but feel like a spazz in her presence. Who wants to spend an entire vacation stressing about being in someone else’s shadow like that?

Enter Dakota. He’s also on vacation in the Caribbean with his family and he notices Jena. She’s hot (his words, not mine) and she looks just like the distraction he needs right now. Much to Jena’s surprise, they end up hooking up, but that’s because he hasn’t met Skye yet. Dakota can be a real jerk sometimes, and his vacation in the Caribbean proves no exception.

Cue Skye here. She knows it is wrong, but when she sees Dakota with Jena, Skye knows all it will take is for her to bat her eyelids in his direction and he’ll come a wandering. And he does. It’s cruel, yes, but it makes Skye feel good, even if it is only for a moment or two. As if Jena didn’t already feel lousy enough about who she was … did Skye really have to stoop that low?

This is where Owen comes in. Owen is Dakota’s brother. Deemed a wimp by his brother and his father, Owen’s social life is non-existent. He lives for his blog and the anonymity that having an online profile provides. Where Dakota is athletic and built, Owen is asthmatic and a weedy computer geek. Dakota has picked on Owen all his life and let’s just say that Owen – like Jena – has some self – esteem issues of his own.

If you ask me, Skye isn’t really such an awful person. She’s just got issues. She’s got a charmed life – all the money, beauty, and material possessions anyone could ever hope for – but she’s still not happy. And it’s not because she’s a spoiled brat (although she certainly exhibits traits that would attest to that now and then), it’s because she’s depressed. Money and stuff can’t cure depression and I love how Mackler touches on this within Skye’s journey.

Unfortunately, Dakota does not have the same excuse. He’s not mentally ill, he’s just a jerk. In his defense, though, he’s had a bit of a hard life – but that’s no excuse, if you ask me. What we learn from Dakota, though, is that people can change, and that, my friends, is one of the most important lessons in life.

I loved Owen and Jena. To me, they represent forgiveness and second chances. Even though they are both treated badly by Skye and Dakota, when push comes to shove, they are able to forgive, forget, and make amends. The world needs more people like Owen and Jena.

The thing I loved about this book the most of all is that it demonstrates that the world is full of all kinds of people. Different colors, races, sporting abilities and intellectuality, and those differences are just that, differences. We’re all just people inside and we all deserve to be loved and treated with respect, regardless of where we come from, what we do for a living, or what we look like. Although it may be subtle, Mackler drives this message home, with each character coming to realize this in their own special way.

A mix up of male and female narration, Tangled provides examples of a variety of adolescent troubles. With just a splash of romance and a whole lot of angst, Tangled is bound to be a hit with both male and female readers alike. This one is a rare gem in a pool of glass beads.

I’ve been a fan of Carolyn Mackler’s work for a long while now, and Tangled does not disappoint!

Pages: 310

Publication Date: 2010 (available now)

Rating:: ★★★★★

Teaser quote: Lube the conversation? This guy was definitely not from Earth.

Guyaholic – Carolyn Mackler
Book Reviews
February 13, 2009 posted by Nikki

Guyaholic – Carolyn Mackler

V has had a pretty messed up life. Aimee – her mother – spent the first seventeen years of V’s life dragging her from one town to the next in search of love. But Aimee isn’t into the long-term commitment thing, and her and V were always running from Aimee’s romantic mistakes. Consequently, V hasn’t had any stability and she hasn’t made any real friends. But that was all before Brockport, before Aimee decided V would be better off living with her grandparents. Brockport brings with it a family kind of life, plus the chance for V to really settle in and make some decent friends. And lets not forget, a new town means a whole new set of boy prospects…

V loves guys, but she isn’t really a relationship kind of girl – just like her mother. So when things with Sam get hot and heavy and he starts throwing the couple word around, V defiantly finds someone else to make out with at their graduation party. They get busted, of course, and Sam leaves for college early without so much as a goodbye. Its out of character for V to feel remorse over something like this – after all, she tried telling him time after time that she wasn’t into the whole relationship thing – but something is different this time, and remorse eats at V from the inside out.

Instead of apologizing to Sam, like any normal person would, she runs. V hits the road and drives thousands of miles across the country to visit her mother. But Sam already left town, so what is V running from? She’s not sure, but driving on the open road is a great opportunity to look at oneself and work it out.

Why is V so afraid of a relationship? And why on earth did she go and do something like cheat on Sam? Sam didn’t deserve that, and V knows there were other, more appropriate ways for her to get her message across to him. It was the lowest thing she could have done…

As she drives across the country she realises that she’s a lot more like her mother than she first thought. She loves Aimee, but really, does she want to be like her? Aimee is selfish, irresponsible and incapable of caring about anything other than herself. Is it too late for V, or can she change?

V isn’t the kind of character that I’m normally drawn to. Guyaholic is a companion novel to Vegan Virgin Valentine, and that’s the reason I picked it up. I didn’t like V in Vegan, Virgin, Valentine and honestly, I didn’t really like her in this novel either. However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t think it was a good read. Over the years, I’ve encountered hundreds of characters that I haven’t liked, and I’ve never really been interested in their outcome. V, however, is a different story altogether. Although I don’t agree with most of her choices, and I couldn’t see myself ever wanting to be her friend, I became whole-heartedly invested in her story. As I read, I found my stomach twisting as I turned the pages. Though I didn’t like her, I wanted things to work out for her and being inside her head wasn’t an unpleasant experience at all.

I’ve always been a fan of Carolyn Mackler’s work. Guyaholic only reaffirmed her brilliance for me.

Rating: : ★★★½☆