Four New Books for Summer

There are four books coming out this week! Which ones are you looking forward to?

proxyProxy by Alex London

Knox was born into one of the City’s wealthiest families. A Patron, he has everything a boy could possibly want—the latest tech, the coolest clothes, and a Proxy to take all his punishments. When Knox breaks a vase, Syd is beaten. When Knox plays a practical joke, Syd is forced to haul rocks. And when Knox crashes a car, killing one of his friends, Syd is branded and sentenced to death.

Syd is a Proxy. His life is not his own.

Then again, neither is Knox’s. Knox and Syd have more in common than either would guess. So when Knox and Syd realize that the only way to beat the system is to save each other, they flee. Yet Knox’s father is no ordinary Patron, and Syd is no ordinary Proxy. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test both boys’ resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay. Some debts, it turns out, cannot be repaid.

A fast-paced, thrill-ride of novel full of non-stop action, heart-hammering suspense and true friendship—just as moving as it is exhilarating. Fans of Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series, James Dashner’s Maze Runner, Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking series, and Marie Lu’s Legend will be swept away by this story. (Picture and summary via Amazon)

PirateThe Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke

After setting out to break the curse that binds them together, the pirate Ananna and the assassin Naji find themselves stranded on an enchanted island in the north with nothing but a sword, their wits, and the secret to breaking the curse: complete three impossible tasks. With the help of their friend Marjani and a rather unusual ally, Ananna and Naji make their way south again, seeking what seems to be beyond their reach.

Unfortunately, Naji has enemies from the shadowy world known as the Mists, and Ananna must still face the repercussions of going up against the Pirate Confederation. Together, Naji and Ananna must break the curse, escape their enemies — and come to terms with their growing romantic attraction. (Image and summary via NetGalley)

PiecePiece of My Heart by Lynn Maddalena Menna

Still in high school, Marisol Reyes gets the chance of a lifetime to be a real singer, and she leaps at it. After all, this is the dream she held on to, all the days and nights she spent growing up on means streets of East Harlem. Marisol never gave in–no matter what her boyfriend or her best friend had to say. Who cares if only one in a hundred pretty, talented girls make it? She will be the one. In her rush to fame, Marisol tramples on the heart of her loyal best friend, and Julian, the boy she loves. But will it be worth it?

One night at a private gig in the Hamptons, the little Latino girl with the big voice from East Harlem gets a severe reality check. A famous rapper who claims to be interested in her talents turns out to be interested in something else, threatening not only Marisol’s dreams but her body and soul. Will the realities of the gritty New York music scene put out the stars in Marisol’s eyes forever? (Image and summary via NetGalley)

IntuitionIntuition by C.J. Omololu

As Cole begins to accept her new life as Akhet, someone who can remember flashes of her past lives, every new vision from her past lives helps explain who she is in this life. As her passion for Griffon grows, she learns to identify other Akhet around her, including Drew, the young self-made millionaire who reveals his startling connection to Cole-he was her husband in Elizabethan England and gave her the ankh necklace that has been returned to her after centuries in hiding. Drew’s attentions are overwhelming as he insists that their connection in the past signals their future destiny together, but before she can decide who she truly loves, Cole must learn to harness her unique Akhet abilities if she is to ever understand her role in this strange new world. (Image and summary via Goodreads)

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Review: Summer of the Mariposas

Summer of the Mariposas Title: Summer of the Mariposas
Author: Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary
Pages: 355
Publisher: Tu Books
Review Copy: Purchased
Availability: On shelves now

Summary: When Odilia and her four sisters find a dead body in the swimming hole, they embark on a hero’s journey to return the dead man to his family in Mexico. But returning home to Texas turns into an odyssey that would rival Homer’s original tale.

With the supernatural aid of ghostly La Llorona via a magical earring, Odilia and her little sisters travel a road of tribulation to their long-lost grandmother’s house. Along the way, they must outsmart a witch and her Evil Trinity: a wily warlock, a coven of vicious half-human barn owls, and a bloodthirsty livestock-hunting chupacabras. Can these fantastic trials prepare Odilia and her sisters for what happens when they face their final test, returning home to the real world, where goddesses and ghosts can no longer help them?

Summer of the Mariposas is not just a magical Mexican American retelling of The Odyssey, it is a celebration of sisterhood and maternal love. (Summary and image via Goodreads)

Review: There are a lot of things I liked about Summer of the Mariposas, and chief among them was the magical realism. The world that Odilia and her sisters find themselves in is a fascinating blend of modern life, Odyssey checkpoints, and Mexican folklore. I wish there were more YA fantasy books focusing on Central and South American cultures. (If there are any good ones, please let me know. I want to read them!) The lechuzas were delightfully terrifying, and McCall did an excellent job of redeeming the character of La Llorona. Her story was one of the two points in the book where I teared up.

For as much as I loved the magical realism, the true heart of this story is the familial bonds between Odilia with her sisters and the sisters with their mother (and even grandmother). And despite saying that, I wish that either the book had been longer so that I could get to know the sisters better or that there had been fewer sisters to devote time to. As it stands, I don’t feel as if I got to know anyone besides Odilia very well. There was a lovely moment between Juanita and Odilia where Odilia got to subtly remind her younger sister that she doesn’t always know what’s right and that sometimes older sisters have useful things to contribute (buying sodas at the gas station, for those who have read the book), and that was a conflict I wish McCall had spent more time on. While I’m generally fond of the fire-forged-friends trope, I wish there had been slightly less physical peril with the girls and more emotional peril to draw them together.

That said, Part III: The Return, was everything I wanted it to be. If you’re familiar with the Odyssey, then you know about the ousting of the suitors. The ousting in this book involved a great deal less blood, but it was still a crowning moment of awesome. I loved how Odilia was able to reconnect with her mother and that the journey she and her sisters went on really did make their happily ever after possible—and believable.

Recommendation: Get it soon, especially if you’re interested in Mexican folklore, have a fondness for road trip stories or the Odyssey, or want to read books that focus on sisters or mother-daughter relationships. I’m going to have to check out McCall’s Under the Mesquite sometime soon to see if it is just as good.

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Mini Review: Unspoken

UnspokenTitle: Unspoken
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 373
Publisher: Random House
Review Copy: Borrowed from roommate
Availability: September 11, 2012

Summary: Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him? —(Summary and image via Goodreads)

Review: Rees Brennan lets her love for gothic romances and lady sleuths shine through in Unspoken, and I heartily approve of the combination. Kami and her friends are a delight (particularly Angela), and I enjoyed their antics as they tried to uncover the mysteries around the Lynburn family. Most of the teenage characters in the book were a lot of fun, but I’ll be the first to admit that I cared very little for the adults.

The humor in Unspoken left me with mixed feelings. Rees Brennan’s characters have a lot of witty banter, but the humor didn’t often strike a chord with me. (I felt much the same about her Demon’s Lexicon series, which is a shame, as I really enjoy the author’s tumblr.) The ending was not very satisfying for me for several spoiler-y reasons, but I truly enjoyed the last-minute emotional sucker-punching that has had most of Rees Brennan’s fans in a tizzy since the book came out.

Recommendation: Get it soon, if gothics and mind-reading romances are your thing. If not, borrow it someday, because the Lynburn Legacy trilogy has a lot of promise. I have high hopes for the second book, which comes out later this year.

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Five Wrong-Headed Reasons for Not Writing Diverse Characters in Science Fiction

Awakening Final cover-sSay hello to Karen Sandler, author of the Tankborn trilogy from Tu Books! The second installment, AWAKENING, hit shelves this spring. Karen has graciously agreed to write a guest post for us today–we hope you enjoy it as much as we did!


I want to preface this post by acknowledging that writers have a right to write anything they want to write. It’s not as if there are any quota systems in place in fiction, where 6.2% of the characters have to be of this ethnicity, or 8.9% of that gender identity. You’re free to create any kind of character, culture, and world that you like.

That said, I’d like to consider some conscious and not-so-conscious reasons why science fiction might be less diverse than it could be. Why if there are diverse characters, they are nearly always the secondary characters and not the main characters.

So what do I mean by diverse main characters in science fiction? I mean characters that are:

  • From non-white European ethnicities
  • From a non-European culture
  • Strong women in non-traditional roles
  • GLBTQ
  • Disabled

You wouldn’t need all these qualities in a single character (although it could be done), but by my definition, your character would need at least one to be considered diverse. And this is my definition, yours might vary. Feel free to quibble with me in the comments about these categories, or to add other areas of diversity, but these give us a starting point.

In my points below, I’m using the word “white” as a shorthand for Caucasian of European extraction, a WASP, if you will. I chose white as a shorthand because in the vast majority of science fiction, that’s the ethnicity of the main characters (and more often than not, male). But I hope you’ll extrapolate this shorthand into other areas of diversity, that is, if you’re straight, writing a GLBTQ character might be a stretch for you.

On to the Wrong-Headed Reasons:

1) I’m white, and it might be offensive it I write about other cultures/ethnicities.

Confession up front here. This is exactly the reason I avoided writing diverse main characters for so long. I had plenty of diverse secondary and minor characters featured in nearly every book I wrote. I thought it would be Someone Else’s Story to write a book with a diverse main character.

If you follow this logic down the rabbit hole, you might come to the conclusion that only white people can write white people, only woman can write women characters, only children can write about children, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Which of course is nuts. We have to imagine characters that are outside ourselves all the time. Do you think Jeff Lindsay (DEXTER), is a serial killer? Or that Carrie Ryan (FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH) is secretly a zombie? Or that either one of them worries about offending serial killers or zombies by writing about them in their books? Not likely.

However, it is possible to write a diverse character in such a way that is offensive. That can happen when we rely only on the stereotypes about others that float around in our brains, rather than gaining an understanding of that different ethnicity/culture and making the character a real person.

The key is respect—having respect for the culture, the ethnicity, the gender, gender identification, physical abilities. If you start with respect, you should do fine representing diverse characters.

2) Everyone says you’re supposed to write what you know, and I don’t really know anything about other cultures/ethnicities.

Um, see #1, particularly the part about serial killers and zombies.

We have two ways of solving the I Don’t Know problem. First, just as we would if we wanted to include a scene featuring a hot air balloon in our novel, we do some research. Read books, find reliable sites on the Internet, talk to people who have done ballooning. We don’t throw up our hands and say, “Can’t write about hot air ballooning, because you have to write what you know.”

If you want to follow that edict (write what you know), then you’d better know more. Learn more. Read about the Roma, the Indian caste system, the Hindu religion (as I did for TANKBORN). If you were writing an SF book that involved cloning, you’d go learn as much as you could about cloning.

The second way of solving the I Don’t Know problem, once you’ve educated yourself, is to put yourself in your characters’ shoes. Imagine what it would be like as them. This is what fiction is all about.

3) The world I’ve built only includes white people. Everyone else was killed in a plague.

Oh, puleeze! This is just a lazy excuse. It reminds me of my biggest complaint about Larry Niven’s THE MOTE IN GOD’S EYE. In his future world, something catastrophic has happened with the human birthrate. So women are coddled and cosseted (because they’re the baby-makers), and as a consequence have almost zero influence on the story’s action. To me, that seemed like a clever way to keep women out of the story. Maybe this wasn’t Niven’s intent, but it kind of soured me on the series.

In any case, creating an imaginary plague that only spares white people is pretty preposterous. There’s no biological difference between races. There might be higher incidences of genetic weaknesses based on ethnicity (the Tay-Sachs genetic disorder that disproportionately impacts Eastern European Ashkenazi Jews comes to mind), but to create a future in which, say, everyone with dark skin is wiped out, is bad world-building.

4) I just don’t see how non-white characters would fit into my book. All the characters in my head are white.

I see this excuse as a crisis of imagination. Particularly if you’re writing SF, often set in a future when anything can change. When everything can be different than it is now. We’ve already seen our first black president. We’ve seen women in ever more powerful roles. Gays and lesbians are coming out in nearly every corner of society, and universal marriage equality is becoming more and more imaginable.

You can’t imagine a black genetic engineer as your main character? An Hispanic lesbian piloting a starship? Then your imagination needs some revamping. You need to start thinking outside the box. Open up your corner of the world to more possibilities.

5) If my main characters are non-white, a publisher (or reader) won’t buy my book.

They bought Justine Larbalestier’s LIAR (although there was the whole #racefail issue with the original cover). Sherman Alexie’s THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN. Malinda Lo’s HUNTRESS. It’s true that there are few enough diverse main characters that we’re still writing blog posts like this one or the one here. But if it’s a wonderful book, publishers will buy it.

And as for readers, this is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. We don’t want to write diverse characters because we’re afraid readers won’t buy them. But readers can’t buy what hasn’t been written. If your story with diverse main characters is wonderful, readers will seek it out.


Karen SandlerGenre-conflicted author of science fiction (the young adult trilogy, TANKBORN, AWAKENING, and REVOLUTION from Tu Books), mystery (CLEAN BURN, a Janelle Watkins mystery from Exhibit A) and romance (fun, sexy romances, indie published). Visit my website, www.karensandler.net.

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Review: Spirit’s Chosen

Note: Today’s review was written by K. Imani. Technical difficulties prevented her from uploading it today, so I took care of it for her.

SpiritsTitle: Spirit’s Chosen
Author: Esther Friesner
Genres: Historical/Fantasy
Pages: 475
Publisher: Random House
Review Copy: Purchased from Amazon
Availability: Hardcover on shelves now

Summary: Himiko’s world is falling apart. An attack by the Ookami clan has left many from her tribe dead or enslaved. And those who remain in the ransacked Matsu village are certain they’ve angered the gods. Amid the chaos and fear, Himiko hatches a plan to save her beloved tribe. Traveling through the treacherous wilderness with her best friend Kaya, their only goal is to free her clan folk from the Ookami. At every turn she encounters other tribes and unforeseen challenges. But just when it seems that she will outwit Ryu, the cruel Ookami leader, she is captured. Held against her will, Himiko starts to realize that not all of the Ookami are her enemies and every step of her unconventional journey has prepared her for something greater than life as a princess. Though she may not see her path as clearly as the spirits seem to, there’s more adventure (and even unexpected love) for this young shamaness and warrior. (Via Goodreads)

Review: After finishing the book a few nights ago, I’m still unsure as to what to think of it. There were parts of Friesner’s novel that I enjoyed and then there were parts where I just kept reading because I knew I had to write this review. One of the reasons why I think I’m blasé about the novel is because the novel I read before this one left a mark on my heart, had me mourning that the story was over. With Spirit’s Chosen, I put the book down and finished cooking dinner. No sadness, no missing of characters or Friesner’s world, just done with the book, ready for the next.

As I thought about my ambivalence, I asked myself what caused this feeling? Was it the characters? Was it the world? Was it the style of prose Friesner use? What it the story? What?

And then I realized, there were two main aspects of this novel that rubbed me the wrong way and the main one is the main character, Himiko. Now, I’m pleased that Friesner chose to write a character of color, specifically of Japanese descent, and set the novel in a historical time period. On the other hand, Himiko annoyed me a bit because she is a bit of a Mary-Sue. She is a like-able character and the reader wants to root for her to succeed, but she doesn’t have any faults. None what so ever. She always is able to maintain a positive attitude despite what is thrown at her and is always able to come up with the proper solution that succeeds every time. In fact, at one point when she experiences an obstacle and starts to finally have a breakdown, after she tells Daimu (her love interest) why she is upset, she ends up comforting him! I was completely taken out of the story at that point because it was so unrealistic. I realize that Friesner is trying to promote a strong female character, a warrior, but for a reader to connect, to really believe in the character, she must exhibit some faults or else the reader doesn’t truly trust the main character. I feel like Friesner got so caught up in her sweeping historical fiction with a strong female character that she forgot to give her character, and others, more depth.

Spirit’s Chosen is a sequel to Friesner’s Spirit’s Princess but the way she structures the novel allows one to read this novel without having read the first. Friesner gives tidbits here and there of relevant information, as needed, from the first novel and it doesn’t overwhelm Spirit’s Chosen. Friesner definitely did her history, and visited Japan which she writes about in her afterward, and this level of attention and detail comes across beautifully. The world that Friesner creates is very real and believable, and is what makes the novel somewhat interesting.

Recommendation: If you like epic historical fiction with balanced characters, I’d say skip this one, but if not and you just love historical fiction for the romance of another era, then this one is for you.

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Interview and Giveaway with Sarah Ockler

brokenEveryone, please welcome Sarah Ockler to Rich in Color! We’re thrilled to have her answer some questions about diversity in young adult literature and The Book of Broken Hearts, which is out today. Sarah has also volunteered to give away a signed hardcover copy of her new book! The giveaway ends at midnight (Eastern) on Sunday. (U.S. mailing addresses only.)


Why is diversity in young adult fiction important to you?

This is such a huge, multi-layered question, but on the most basic level, diversity in YA fiction is important because diversity in *life* is important. Our stories both reflect and influence our lives, and life is anything but homogenous (just walk in the woods if you doubt that!). I want all kids and teens to know that they’re important and that their stories — whatever those stories might be — belong on the page. They belong on the shelves. They belong in our discussions and our imaginations. And as authors who write books for kids and teens, we have both a responsibility and a privilege to tell diverse stories, to give those characters voices. Yes, it’s challenging, and when we write about something outside of our own experience, we might get it wrong. But that’s no excuse not to try!

What were some of the challenges you faced while writing The Book of Broken Hearts? What did you enjoy most?

Speaking of challenges…. yes! This was the most challenging book I’ve written — which also made it the most enjoyable. All of my books so far have been contemporary realistic YA novels, but within that category, I love trying new things, which might mean exploring new family relationships, different cultures, totally new plot situations, new places. For this one, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in two different Latino cultures — Argentine and Puerto Rican — and to write about family, history, language, cultural traditions, and even foods so different from what I grew up with was a wonderful challenge that required a good mix of research and imagination.

The other challenge was more of an emotional one — researching the effects of early onset Alzheimer’s on a young family. It’s such a devastating illness, and there were times during the writing that I had to walk away, to take a break and work on something completely different. Throughout the process of writing a book, I often come to know my characters as real people, and I hated putting them through such tragic and painful situations in The Book of Broken Hearts. But I really wanted to tell this story, and it was important for me to portray it authentically — that’s where the challenge came in.

What appealed to you about having a set of sisters whose hearts get broken by a set of brothers?

Sibling relationships are perfect for YA novels because they’re naturally full of conflict and extreme emotion. I love writing about family loyalty, expectations, and the ways in which tragedy can both unite and divide families. So when I was first daydreaming about The Book of Broken Hearts and wondering how the conflicts would play out, I thought… hey. How about *more* siblings! With *more* drama! With *more* broken hearts and questions of loyalty and family history and what happens when one sibling breaks the accepted family “rules”! I wanted to write about a character who was stuck in the past, almost as if she was living the lives of her previous sisters, but who’d have to start breaking away and making her own choices and forming her own ideas about the world and her place in it. Emilio also has his own challenges and secrets, but… no spoilers. 😉

Which aspects of Jude and Emilio’s relationship do you hope readers will swoon over? What sets them apart from characters in your other books?

I hope readers swoon over the parts that I swooned over while writing — their flirty jokes and banter, the underlying insecurities that surface in sweet little ways as they get to know one another, and of course — the kissing! I think what sets them apart is the fact that despite the “forbidden” relationship (Jude’s sisters made her take an oath when she was twelve to never get involved with Emilio’s family, so… *insert ominous music here*), there isn’t a lot of angst between them. When they argue, they come back together to talk it out. They get to know each other under less than ideal circumstances, slowly peeling back the layers, both of them confronting the legacies of their older siblings. I had so much fun writing their relationship, and I still think about them even now and wonder where they ended up after the summer in the book. Sequel, maybe? 😉

Crystal’s father restored one of his motorcycles in the dining room one winter much to her mother’s consternation. Have you been privy to many motorcycle restorations or did this require additional research for The Book of Broken Hearts?

Wow, the dining room?! So fun! Well, not counting my obsession with the movie Grease 2 (yes, you should watch it! Cool Rider!)… My dad used to rebuild motorcycles when he was young, way before kids and mortgages and all that stuff, so he was totally my consultant on this project! He also used to drive me to school functions on the back of his Harley — something I didn’t appreciate until many years later. You know, the helmet always messed up my hair! But now I love that he did that. I also love that even though I asked him for help and advice on the motorcycle aspects of the story, he totally gave his two cents on the romance elements, too. It was very sweet. 🙂

Why did you set The Book of Broken Hearts during the summer before college instead of during high school?

I wanted Jude to be at a major crossroads in her life, kind of stuck in that floaty space between her past and her future. In many ways she’s still a child — she’s so wrapped up in her sisters’ “rules” and not wanting to disappoint them. But the summer after high school, she’s taking on so many adult responsibilities — caring for her father, helping him restore his motorcycle, trying to cook and help her mother. I wanted to take the naturally confusing transitionary time that so many teens experience, and then really intensify it with her father’s decline, the conflicts with her sisters, and of course… falling in love!

Do you have any high school experiences that would make a great springboard for a YA novel?

Oh, gosh. Don’t they all? 😉 Honestly, I never use my actual high school experiences in my fiction, but I do take the emotional footprint of them to inspire different characters, situations, and relationships. In that way, yes, I have a whole memory bank full of those kind of experiences! Scary thought!

What advice do you have for writers who want to include diverse characters in their books?

Take the leap! Use your imagination. Don’t make assumptions. And most importantly… ask questions! I’ve found that people are often more than willing to answer thoughtful questions, share their experiences, point out potential trouble spots, and help you craft authentic characters and situations. Get out there and talk to people, online and offline. Eat foods from the cultures you’re interested in, listen to the languages if they’re different from yours, learn about the history, check out family traditions, read other stories with similarly diverse characters. Embrace your own sense of adventure and wonderment, and explore! Then, write. 🙂

Which authors have been your biggest influences? Which authors do you look to for great stories about diverse characters?

When I first started writing YA, my big influences were the established contemporary realistic authors like Sarah Dessen, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Deb Caletti, and I still adore their books. The more I learned about YA and the more I read, the more I discovered other writers and diverse stories too — authors like Coe Booth, Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon, Cassie Clare, Matt de la Pena, Justina Chen, Sherman Alexie, Laura Resau, Dia Reeves, Sarah Rees Brennan, Dream Jordan, and Neesha Meminger come to mind.

Who are your five favorite YA characters?

This answer changes for me all the time! At the moment, here are a few of my top faves: Kami Glass in Sarah Rees Brennan’s UNSPOKEN, Kit Cordelle in Dia Reeves’s SLICE OF CHERRY, Blue in Maggie Steifvater’s THE RAVEN BOYS, Annana in Cassandra Rose Clark’s THE ASSASSIN’S CURSE, Jael Thompson in Jon Skovron’s MISFIT. I’d love to hang out with any of them! Well, maybe not Kit — she might be best observed from a distance, since she’s got the whole serial killer thing going on. But yeah, great characters!

Which diverse YA books are you most looking forward to getting your hands on this year?

I’m really looking forward to reading Malinda Lo’s ADAPTATION series — I haven’t read the first one yet, but I’m going to double up when the sequel comes out so I can catch up! I’m scoping out Sarah Beth Durst’s VESSEL and Miriam Forster’s CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS to get my epic fantasy fix. HAMMER OF WITCHES by Shana Mlawski also looks awesome. And I recently made a Goodreads list of the 2013 ALA Rainbow List at http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/740903?shelf=2013-rainbow-list featuring LGBTQ books and I hope to check those out this year too. So many awesome diverse books!

Thanks for having me on Rich in Color, and thanks for continuing to host these important conversations about diversity in YA!

ockler_twitter2011Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of critically acclaimed young adult novels Twenty Boy Summer, Fixing Delilah, and Bittersweet. Her books have been translated into several languages and have received numerous accolades, including ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, Girls’ Life Top 100 Must Reads, IndieNext list picks, and more. Her short fiction and essays will be featured in two upcoming young adult anthologies: Defy the Dark and Dear Teen Me.

Sarah teaches advanced young adult fiction writing at Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver. She’s a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, night person, and bookworm. When she’s not writing or reading, Sarah enjoys taking pictures, hugging trees, and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex.


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