Though I didn’t attend the recent NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) conference in Boston, I had a ton of fun at the Great NCTE Kids/YA Lit Tweetup on Friday night at the Trident.
It was great seeing old friends, including most of my Boston Writers’ (aka Crêpe-eaters’) group, as well as chatting with people I knew online but had never met, and those I’d never even knew of before. Besides talking about writing projects with others, one of the most exciting things to discuss were the new ARCs (Advance Reading Copy) out at the conference. I wound up with two wonderful ARCs and am happy to report that they were both amazing!
OTHERBOUND is a fantastic YA debut by Corinne Duyvis. I’d already wanted to read it when I first heard the blurb–about a boy transported into the mind of a girl living in a different world–but I never thought I’d be so lucky as to get my hands on an ARC. Everything about this book was done amazingly well. I was immediately drawn in to Nolan’s Earth-based life and his urgent struggles to appear “normal” in spite of his apparent seizures, a consuming side-effect of his travels. Likewise, Amara’s world was richly-drawn and full of surprises, including some great plot twists, believable magic, and a perfectly-done developing lesbian love-hate-friendship-romance. I so loved that it wasn’t a coming-out tale at all, but simply an additional shining star to an already complex story. So sorry that the rest of you have to wait until next year for this one! (Except the Mr. Crêpe Club, where it will no doubt be passed around.)
SEVEN WILD SISTERS by Charles de Lint is a companion novel to THE CATS OF TANGLEWOOD FOREST, which I haven’t yet read, but I definitely want to get it after reading this one. SEVEN WILD SISTERS captured my attention as a “modern fairy tale,” and it did not disappoint. My six-year-old twin daughters have been reading the books in the “Rainbow Fairies” series, which are fine, but I wanted to present them with some fairy stories that have more of a literary bent, and we plowed through this one (with me reading out loud). Sarah Jane’s adventurous spirit drew us all in and her plucky resolve carried us through the story. Most of all, as a mom trying to protect and nurture my girls’ belief in magic, I was amazed how captivated my little sprites were by the little details that came to life on the page. What a lovely book!
Anyone else snag an NCTE ARC that was particularly delicious? Please tell!