This Song Will Save Your Life Blog Tour: Interview + Giveaways

This Song Will Save Your Life Blog Tour: Interview + Giveaways

Hi! I’m super excited to kick off the blog tour for the paperback release of This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am obsessed with the new cover. It looks so very cool, and I think it fits the story really well (especially the underground dance club part because HELLO). Today I am so honored to have an interview with Leila Sales herself for you, as well as two (!) giveaways! I hope you enjoy it!

This Song Will Save Your Life Blog Tour: Interview + GiveawaysTitle: This Song Will Save Your Life
Author: Leila Sales
Publisher: Farrar Straus and Giroux
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Genre/Age Group: Contemporary, Young Adult
Add it: Goodreads

Elise Dembowski is not afraid of a little hard work. In fact, she embraces it. All her life, she's taken on big, all-encompassing projects. When she's fifteen, she embarks on the biggest, and most important, project of them all: becoming cool. Except she fails. Miserably. And everything falls to pieces.

Now, if possible, Elise's social life is even worse than it was before. Until she stumbles into an underground dance club and opens the door to a world she never knew existed. An inside-out world where, seemingly overnight, a previously uncool high school sophomore can become the hottest new DJ sensation. Elise finally has what she's always wanted: acceptance, friendship, maybe even love. Until the real world threatens to steal it all away.

q&a with leila sales

Hi Leila! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. How are you? Are you excited about the paperback release?

Thanks! I’m very excited about the paperback release. I have a lot of guest blog posts coming out as part of this blog tour, and I’m doing some promotional events for the book in California, so there’s a lot going on.

That’s a lot! Okay, what I love most about This Song Will Save Your Life is how original it is. You combine so many different aspects (from bullying to DJ-ing) that all somehow work together really well. How did you come up with the concept?

I’ve spent a lot of time in nightlife and have long wanted to write a story set in that world. It’s a powerful atmosphere with so many fascinating characters. A lot of my stories have come from communities that I have some connection to—for example, all-girls schools for Mostly Good Girls, living history museums for Past Perfect, nightlife for This Song Will Save Your Life.

I love that. Elise loves projects. Have you ever taken on projects like hers? (Big, crazy, probably not the best idea.)

You mean like writing a novel? Yes. When I was a kid I would turn my room into a museum, or open a lending library of my own book collection. Last summer I tried to put a twelve-foot inflatable pool in my backyard. I could keep going. Let’s just say that the novels have turned out better than pretty much any of my other projects.

Fair enough. I love the Start setting. Were you the type of person to sneak out to underground clubs when you were a teenager?

I would have never tried to sneak into a club when I was underage. I would have been way too scared of getting in trouble. When I was a senior in high school, I started going to 18+ concerts and clubs. I always told my parents that I was doing it, though.

This Song Will Save Your Life is all about music. Does music play an important role in your life?

Absolutely! If I love a song I’ll listen to it a million times. And finding a new song to love is, I think, one of the best everyday experiences available.

I definitely agree. When I write reviews, I always add a couple of quotes from the book that I loved and I saw on your website that you also (used to) collect quotes. Is there one quote in particular that means a lot to you?

I love so many quotes it would be hard to choose just one. As you saw on my website, when I was in high school I used to print out a different quote every week and hang it on my locker. When the week was over, I would bring it home and hang it on my wall, so by senior year my entire room was covered in wit and wisdom. This is one I especially like from one of my favorite writers, Oscar Wilde: “If I am occasionally a little overdressed, I make up for it by being always immensely overeducated.”

I love that quote! Finally, I didn’t want to ask the cliché “What is one song that saved your life?” but I do love talking about music a lot, so if you could describe This Song Will Save Your Lifein one song, which song would that be?

“Dancing in the Dark,” by Bruce Springsteen. “You can’t start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart.” Oh, or maybe “At the Indie Disco,” by the Divine Comedy, which I used as This Song Will Save Your Life’s epigraph.

Thank you so much, Leila!

giveaways

Thanks to the lovely people at Macmillan, I have two giveaways for you guys. The first is of a Songs That Will Save Your Life mix CD, which I’m pretty sure is amazing, and the second is of an ARC copy of Tonight the Streets Are Ours, Leila’s new book that comes out on September 15th. US/CA only!

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this song will save your life blog tour

April 2 – Paper Riot
April 3 – The Irish Banana
April 4 – Rainy Day Ramblings
April 5 – Lili’s Reflections
April 6 – The Compulsive Reader
April 7 – Teen Librarian Toolbox
April 8 – The Book Cellar
April 9 – Great Imaginations
April 10 – The Bevy Bibliotheque
April 11 – Jenuine Cupcakes
April 12 – Ticket to Anywhere
April 13 – The Book Addict’s Guide
April 14 – MacTeen Books
April 15 – The Perpetual Page-Turner

March in Review

march

we did

Judith: March was a crazy busy month for me and I know I say that every month, but it was definitely true this time. I had exams at the end of the month but also so many things planned that I really wonder how I managed to do all of it. One of my favorite things in March was going to Strasbourg to visit one of my high school friends, who is doing an internship there. Three other friends and I hopped in a car and drove to France (it was about a seven hour drive, so that was doable, though not something any of us would normally do. This is not America), where we stayed for two nights. We visited the city, climbed a mountain, went to a party and lounged around in the sun. It was great! Also, it was my birthday on the 25th! To celebrate, I had an exam, which was obviously amazing. Afterwards, I went for pizza with my friend Renée and it was the best pizza I’ve ever had. We also baked a cake (though not for my birthday) and I studied like crazy for exams, which went surprisingly well. Here are some pictures from my Instagram feed:

marchpictures

Ellice: I always tell myself that I’m going to do a better job at keeping up with each month so I’ll have something fun to write in our monthly recaps. Once again, I FAIL. haha. This is just another thing to add to my list of reasons why I should embrace the Planner Phenomenon that seems to be sweeping the blogging world right now. Thanks to sweet Cassie, who sent me my first May book, I’ve already ordered TWO more. I’m in love with them because 1) they come in so many cute designs and 2) they are the perfect size to throw in my purse. I really, REALLY want to buy a Foxy Dori to keep my May books and other cute planning accessories in though– and, if you haven’t heard of the Foxy Dori yet, Hannah’s fabulous post is a great introduction to it and other planner awesomeness. Y’all, I just might get organized yet! Hopefully in the April recap, I’ll be able to show you which color I picked for my very first Foxy :)

Things that I CAN remember off the top of my head that happened in March: Spring Break, in which I got to do some work at my house. I painted a room, tore out a wall. Channeled my inner Property Brothers. Haha. I also did two of my favorite things during spring break: going to antique auctions & flea market shopping! I used to go to antique auctions ALL THE TIME, but I had to stop because I was a poor college student and was spending waaaay too much money. Since I have a place to put new furniture now, I’m easing back into it, and I feel the addiction coming back stronger than ever. I may need an intervention!

marchellice

Ellis: First of all, I’m still a little in shock that March has now ended as well. WHAT. It took me a while to remember what I even did this month because most of it has been taken up by school and work. Everyone at work seemed to be either sick or on vacation, so I’ve had to jump in a lot. However, they also hired another student/part-time colleague and I got to train her a few weeks back, which was fun. On the school front, I mainly spent all my time working on my thesis. I had to present it last week, which was a much more informal affair than they pretended it to be so all that stress for nothing hdu school administration, and it went fairly well. The plan is to just lock myself into my room and go full speed on the actual writing over Easter break.

I also have another presentation for my translation studies class coming up and my proposal to discuss how different languages/cultures and bicultural identities are represented in Stephanie Perkins’s Anna and the French Kiss books got approved! I’m super excited about this, partly because there are some gigantic literary snobs in that class who will already be annoyed that I broke the cardinal rule of thee shall only discuss highbrow literature between these four walls of education. But AHHH in a few months I’ll be graduating. Good thing I went to the job fair they organised then because I got to talk with a few alumni and at the moment I’m think either a job in communications or one in translation. We’ll see. Oh, and tried the crafting thing again and quite like the result, to be honest.

Dia1

Thesis, crafting experiment, questionnaire we had to fill out before talking to the alumni (in Dutch). My thesis is about this British imprint that wants to make classics more accessible to children and how it uses the different traditions of both retelling/intralingual translation and children’s literature to accomplish that.

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Guest Post: Erin Lindsay McCabe Talks Diversity in Historical Fiction

diversityguestpost

I (Ellice) am so thrilled to have Erin Lindsay McCabe on the blog again. She is the author of one of my favorite historical fiction novels, I Shall Be Near to You, and she’s one of the sweetest people I know! You can read my interview with her here, and my review of the book here. Last year, Erin had the brilliant idea to host a historical fiction Twitter chat (#IShall), and it was such a huge success that we decided to do it again! If you are a lover of historical fiction, or even if you’ve only read ONE historical fiction book, y’all join us tonight (Tuesday, March 31) at 5:30 PST at #HistoricalFix. Today’s post will give you a sneak peak of one of the main topics we plan to discuss tonight, Diversity in Historical Fiction. Intrigued? Join us! I hope to see you tonight. :) Now, without further adieu, here is Erin!

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The Start of Me and You Blog Tour: Playlist, Flower Crown Tutorial + Giveaway

The Start of Me and You Blog Tour: Playlist, Flower Crown Tutorial + Giveaway

We are so excited to kick off the blog tour for The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord today. All three of us absolutely loved this book, and as you may or may not know, we quite like Emery. Much like Open Road Summer last year, The Start of Me and You is filled with great character growth, many memorable quotes, and most of all, amazing friendships. I (Judith) can’t wait for you guys to read it (and for myself to reread it when I get my hands on a pretty hardcover), because it’s amazing. For the blog tour, there were so many things we wanted to do, but most of all, we wanted to celebrate the friendship in this book, because Emery Lord truly writes friendships like no other. So we’re doing two things: Judith is making a friendship playlist, and Ellis is doing a flower crown tutorial (which turned out amazing), because that is a thing Paige does for her friends in the book. Get ready for a huge post. We hope you like it!

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Review: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things

Review: The Queen of Bright and Shiny ThingsTitle: The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things
Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Genre/Age Group: Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Sage Czinski is trying really hard to be perfect. If she manages it, people won’t peer beyond the surface, or ask hard questions about her past. She’s learned to substitute causes for relationships, and it’s working just fine… until Shane Cavendish strolls into her math class. He’s a little antisocial, a lot beautiful, and everything she never knew she always wanted.

Shane Cavendish just wants to be left alone to play guitar and work on his music. He’s got heartbreak and loneliness in his rearview mirror, and this new school represents his last chance. He doesn’t expect to be happy; he only wants to graduate and move on. He never counted on a girl like Sage.

But love doesn’t mend all broken things, and sometimes life has to fall apart before it can be put back together again…

my thoughts

If I’m being 100% honest with y’all, I have to admit that I originally picked up The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre because THAT COVER! I love the pastel post-it notes on the front! I’ve noticed that this seems to be a trend in YA covers lately, and it always catches my eye. And how did the story rate in comparison to its pretty packaging, you ask? Pretty good! I came for the cover but stayed for the story.

I can’t say that I didn’t have some issues with the book (I read A LOT of contemporary so I’m probably more critical of it than any other genre), but overall, it’s a very FUN read. If you’re in the market for a story that you can sit back, relax and read in one sitting, then you should definitely pick up The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things. Was it a story that will stick with me for a long time? Hmm, probably not. But I enjoyed every last minute of it. I loved the main characters, Sage and Shane, though truthfully their story feels like one that has been told more than once. Sage, who now lives with her aunt after a VERY difficult childhood, falls in love with Shane, the new boy at school who’s basically on his own after losing his mother to cancer. Though they are very different, their similar pasts allow them to understand each other in a way that no one else can. I guess this is why it doesn’t seem completely unrealistic when two high school students fall in love so fast—they were forced to grow up quickly during their painful childhoods. Their romance is a sweet one though, and I ate their story up! Kissing? Check. Troubled hot guy? Check. Swoon? Double check! Obviously it has several of the elements that I consider a NECESSITY in a contemporary YA love story (kissing stories FTW! Haha).

There is very little action in the first 2/3 of the book. Dylan Smith, a jock whose favorite pastime is bullying the new kids, stirs things up from time to time. Other than that, the only action that happens is Sage hanging out with her friends, interacting with her Aunt Gabby, and getting to know Shane. In the last 1/3 of the book, though, Sage and Shane’s troubled pasts (that they allude to early in the book) rear their ugly heads and cause some major conflict, but it’s resolved pretty quickly. I was honestly surprised by this last little bit of conflict because it felt like Aguirre was wrapping the story up and then BAM! Something happens that causes the future to look pretty bleak for one of them. I loved the way it ended though. Sage has the opportunity to realize that her success and survival isn’t dependent on Shane, and though her life is made better by his presence, she CAN live a life together but separate from his. Y’all, if there is one point that I wish I could drill into the heads of the teenage girls I work with, it’s this! Don’t give up your own values, hopes, and aspirations just because you’re in love. Sage has this revelation in The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things, and I wish I saw more of this in YA lit. I loved it!

There are two other elements that I really liked about this book: the friendships and familial relationships. Though the book is largely centered on the romance between Sage and Shane, Sage also finds herself with more friends than she’s ever had as she slowly comes out of her shell and stops living in Ryan’s (her best friend) shadow. The bond that she and Lila form (the first true female friendship for both of them) is so special and fun to watch grow. So often in YA we see the negative side of female friendships, so it’s nice to see it celebrated for once! Finally, the bond between Sage and her Aunt Gabby absolutely warms my heart. It’s nice to see an unconventional family unit in a YA story, and I love it when Aunt Gabby makes the point that Sage is her daughter in every way except biology. I love Aunt Gabby! I have to admit, it brought tears to my eyes. Okay, fine, I sobbed. Shut up. Haha.

I definitely recommend that y’all give The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things a try when you’re looking for something fast and fun. It’ll make you smile pretty much from beginning to end. It’ll also leave you with a strong desire to go buy a pad of pink post-its and a purple glitter pen. I dare you not to when you finish this book! :)

memorable quotes

“I’ve heard if you pretend long enough- or maybe wish hard enough- faking normal becomes real. I’m counting on that. Until then, I’ll carry on.”

“I know all about the transportive power of fiction. Back in my old life, there were plenty of days when I wouldn’t have made it if I didn’t have an exit into the pages of somebody else’s life.”

“‘I don’t know how to be a boyfriend,’ he warns me. I cock a brow at him, smiling. ‘That’s too bad… since I have a PhD in girlfriendology from the University of So Many Feelings.’”

“They say that a broken thing is never as strong again where it fractured, but I don’t know if I believe that. In this moment, I feel powerful. I feel free.”