Road Trip Wednesday: Retelling Fables and Stories

Road Trip Wednesdays with YA HighwayRoad Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.

This Week’s Topic

In honor of this month’s Bookmobile book, Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, name a fable or story you’d like to see a retelling of.  If you’re feeling creative, come up with a premise of your own!

My Answer

This is a timely question for me, as the story I’m considering writing for NaNoWriMo this year is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty.  I’m a bit nervous about it though, because re-writing  fairy tales seems to be very popular right now.  “They” tell you to never write to trends because by the time your book is ready for submission, the trend is over-saturated.  But, “they” also say that any well-written book with the right hook can be picked up regardless of the trends.

So all I can do is write the best story I can and cross my fingers.

What story would you retell? Check out everyone else’s answers at YA Highway.

Teaser Tuesday: Inbetween by Tara Fuller (September 18, 2012)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“He’s somewhere so much better than this.” And she could have been with him if it wasn’t for me.

~ 33% on Kindle, Inbetween by Tara Fuller

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky — and unending — lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn’t let her die before, and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.

Book summaries from Goodreads. Amazon links are affiliate links.

Friday Finds: 5 Romances — 2 Contemporary, 2 Supernatural, 1 Psychological (September 14, 2012)

FRIDAY FINDS is hosted by Should Be Reading and showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).  

PLEASE NOTE: Some weeks I add several books to my list. I’ll be limiting my Friday Finds posts to 5 books each week. Those that don’t make this week’s list will be on next week’s. So many books, so little time!


Loving Summer by Kailin Gow
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Why I Added It: Sounds like a fun summer read with lots of boys and romance.
GoodReads Summary:

After not having seen childhood family friends, Rachel and her brothers Nathaniel and Drew in three years, sixteen year old Summer Jones, who has always spent her summers with the Donovans at her Aunt Sookie’s Malibu beach house, discovers there is more to her long-time crush on one of the Donovan brothers this summer than meets the eye, especially when Astor Fairway, the handsome television star taking her aunt’s acting coaching sessions, notices her. This summer, the summer she is noticed, would be the summer no one could forget.

Perigee Moon by Tara A. Fuller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Why I Added It: Secrets, romance, and something supernatural…what’s not to love?
GoodReads Summary:

 After a horrific fire claims the life of her mother, seventeen year old Rowan Bliss finds herself in the miniscule town of Ipswich, Massachusetts. It’s here that she meets Alex, a deliciously mysterious boy who holds the key to unlocking her family’s dark secret.

As Rowan falls helplessly over the edge for Alex, the secrets that he insists on keeping refuse to be contained, and the truth that she uncovers challenges everything she has ever believed. Alex is a witch. And now he’s awakened something within her she never even knew existed. But out of all of this, the one thing Rowan won’t accept is the fact that Alex is destined to die. Now Rowan must unearth the buried power she harbors within to escape a deadly prophecy, defy the very laws of time, and prevent the hands of fate from taking yet another person she loves.

Every Day by David Levithan
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Why I Added It: I love the premise. A different person every day, and then … trouble in the form of love.

GoodReads Summary:

Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day. With his new novel, David Levithan has pushed himself to new creative heights. He has written a captivating story that will fascinate readers as they begin to comprehend the complexities of life and love in A’s world, as A and Rhiannon seek to discover if you can truly love someone who is destined to change every day.

Winter Longing by Tricia Mills
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Why I Added It: A boy-next-door and moving on after loss story.
GoodReads Summary:

 When Winter’s boyfriend is killed in a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness, she’s robbed of the future she’d only just allowed herself to believe might be hers. Winter and Spencer had been destined for one another. And after his death, Spencer’s presence continues to haunt her.

But when her next-door neighbor becomes an unlikely friend, Winter begins to accept all that she can’t change. Can she open herself to a new future . . . and a possible new love?

Unravel Me by Kendall Ryan
Links: Goodreads
Why I Added It: I’m not usually one for psychological novels, but this one intrigues me.

GoodReads Summary:

 Psychology student Ashlyn Drake’s neat, orderly life takes a turn for the crazy when she finds the perfect subject for her amnesia thesis – a young man without any memory of his previous life, including the murder he’s accused of committing.

Against all common sense, Ashlyn’s drawn to him like a moth to a flame. Perhaps it’s that he’s so incredibly male, and even handcuffed to his hospital bed he could pass for a cologne ad – Scent de Insanity. Or perhaps it’s because she’s spent too many lonely nights studying. Either way, she’s determined to help him solve the mystery of his past. She begins to unravel who he was before, using his cryptic tattoos, and his paintings that scream of a dark past as her only clues. When she finally learns his secret there’s no telling which one is the real him, the gentle lover she’s fallen for or the troubled man with a dark past.

 Book summaries from Goodreads. Amazon links are affiliate links.

Diversity and Segregation on Bookshelves

acceptance, diversity, segregation

Acceptance ……………………. Diversity ………………….. Segregation.
Photos by photogrammy1, on flickr

My husband and I had a conversation about diversity and racism the other day. Our son (8 years old) is one of just a few white kids in his circle of friends, but he doesn’t even notice.

He doesn’t care whether his friends are black, white, indian, or anything else. They’re just … *gasp*… people. I love that our school and community has helped to teach him this, but it’s also lulled me into believing this is true everywhere. I mean, it’s 2012, aren’t we past racism and segregation by now?

Apparently not. Author Coe Booth writes about her experience in her article Separate, Not Equal at CBC Diversity:

I really thought the photo of a teenage boy looking out onto his neighborhood would attract the attention of the audience I had in mind when I was writing the book — teenagers, especially boys, who don’t usually find a book that speaks to them. And I’ve since heard from lots of teens who tell me that it was the cover that initially drew them to the book.

The thing I never imagined was that the cover (and the covers of my subsequent books) might create an automatic ghettoization of my work.

Read more of the article here.

I had no idea that there were separate genres called “Street Lit” and “Urban Fiction”. Why do we even need them? Why wouldn’t these books just be shelved with general Young Adult or Adult fiction?  Here’s the Goodreads description of Tyrell:

Tyrell is a young, African American teen who can’t get a break. He’s living (for now) with his spaced-out mother and little brother in a homeless shelter. His father’s in jail. His girlfriend supports him, but he doesn’t feel good enough for her – and seems to be always on the verge of doing the wrong thing around her. There’s another girl at the homeless shelter who is also after him, although the desires there are complicated. Tyrell feels he needs to score some money to make things better. Will he end up following in his father’s footsteps?

Do the words “African American” really need to automatically put this book in a genre other than Young Adult?  It sounds like this book is about a teenager who is dealing with some family, personal, and romantic struggles while coming to age. Isn’t that what the Young Adult genre is all about?

Race and Sexuality — Not So Different

Usually when I’m thinking about issues like diversity, acceptance, and equality it’s in the context of sexuality because that’s a common component of most of the stories I want to tell.  I hadn’t considered before now that my books, when published, could be shelved under LGBT or Gay/Lesbian fiction.

I really, really hope that doesn’t become the case. The stories I want to tell aren’t because my characters are gay or deal with issues that only someone who is gay would be interested in.  They’re stories about teenagers on their paths to becoming adults who just happen to be gay.  Just like a character just happens to have brown hair. Or is tall. Or short.  My character being gay is part of the story, but it’s not the story.

But most importantly, by separating books into these specialized genres, we’re sending the message that they wouldn’t appeal to the “average” young adult reader. That only “certain readers” would be interested. Well, of course only “certain readers” would be interested — no one person likes all books — but whether the reader is gay or black is not that deciding factor.

Shelving books with characters who are not white or not straight under general young adult fiction would be one small but important step towards normalizing what society considers “different.”

I’m proud of my son for knowing that people are people, regardless of race. As he grows older and sexuality becomes something he’s more aware of, I have confidence it will matter just as much to him, which is to say: not at all because people are people.


Amazon links are affiliate links.