I'm thrilled to be reviewing another verse novel--especially one with a layer of music! Before jumping in, I did want to mention that I'll be opining on writing, dancing and bad boys at Novel Novice, in case you haven't had enough of my blog tour ;)
Plot without spoilers…An exceedingly complex family situation has turned Amber’s life into a mess of confusion. In an attempt to sort things out, she decides to run away to the beach—for just one day. But instead of peace, she finds Cade, whose life may be as full of heartache as her own.
Of literary interest…The Day Before is a novel in verse, a form dear to my heart. Beyond this, though, Lisa Schroeder intersperses letters from various past times that give the “day before” greater meaning. I also love the way the novel feels as evanescent, as fleeting, as the time that slips away from Amber and Cade as the story progresses.
Finally, just gotta say…As one verse/chapter title notes, there’s a very big “reveal” toward the end of the novel and I so don’t want to give it away. What I will say is that this novel is full of surprises and texture. I particularly enjoyed the way Cade’s band and its lyrics meshed into the story. And, oh, that romantic night at the beach…!
I'll be signing with Gretchen McNeil and Allen Zadoff at the B&N in sunny Manhattan Beach, CA. We're featuring LIVE TEEN ACTORS (yep, they'll all be breathing) performing scenes from our novels! C'mon out. Or, if you live, say, a zillion miles away you can catch up with me online at Books Devoured.
It's been wild times here since Audition pubbed this past Thursday. I've been bopping round the blogosphere, including this stop at The Well-Read Wife. And today, I'm signing books at Mrs. Nelson's in LaVerne, CA. BUT FIRST, I want to encourage you to read this gorgeous debut novel. The review below does not do it justice but (sorry for the bad pun), it is a virtuosic work of contemporary YA.
Plot without spoilers...Carmen is a celebrated violin prodigy with a recording contract and a place at Juilliard waiting for her in the fall. Then, weeks before the most important competition of her life, she meets a boy who might change everything.
Of literary interest...Like a complex symphony, Jessica Martinez has created a novel with many layers. It is at once coming-of-age-story, romance, and even has a bit of music insider intrigue. At its core, though, is the story of her wonderful main character: the anguished, lovely, wanting-to-grow-up Carmen.
Finally, just gotta say...The author lays bare the quest for artistic mastery and the vulnerability of a girl experiencing her first romance in a novel that is once achingly raw and poignantly elegant.
What are the rest of the Bookanistas rhapsodizing over today? LiLa Roecker hosts The White Assassin blog tour stop – with giveaway
You can win a signed book PLUS a 30-minute Skype visit with an SoP author--use it to discuss your own manuscript-in-progress, work out an author interview, or just get some insights into the writer life and publication process--your choice!
So, a week or so ago, a box came in the mail. Here's what's was inside:
It was a pretty wild feeling but one thing hasn't changed since the day I wrote it: my favorite page. It's not the opening, Sara's moment of realization, or even the end. It's this:
I'm a bad photographer, but it says
"In loving memory of Kevin James Kehoe, Sr.
and Charlotte Elizabeth Eck."
During the time I was writing AUDITION, my family lost two very special members--far too soon. They were very much in my mind and heart as I worked on the novel. And when the happy time came to write the dedication page for the book, I didn't hesitate.
Writing novels is, in its way, the author's grasp at immortality. I won't deny it, there's something strangely satisfying about leaving some kind of tangible proof that I was here on this planet--that I had stories to tell. Still, better than this is sealing in ink the fact that others, who will not have the opportunity to do it for themselves, were here and were loved and mattered so much.
I've heard all kinds of stories from fellow debut authors about how the day is an odd one--both thrilling and depressing. I was super-afraid of this day for a long time. Then, my lovely publisher decided to send me off to the Pacific NW Booksellers Association Convention on this very day. A place to go with copies of my book to sign and other authors to hang out with? Kind of ideal. And then, when I get home, I'll have a glass of wine with the hubs, take a deep breath, and catch up on bad television.
Oh, what am I talking about? I'll get home, drive my youngest to a birthday party, make deviled eggs for the opening night party of two of my other sons' production of Oliver, attend said production, then go home and start cleaning because my parents are coming to visit.
Probably should squeeze in some writing, too :)
And, don't miss all the Bookanista goodness this week:
I'm actually kind of mellowing out at this point. I mean, it's pretty much out of my hands now. That said, I'm looking forward to my signing at PNBA tomorrow night, getting psyched for the October 18th launch part at B&N Woodinville, and putting together outfits for the LA leg of the Stages on Pages book tour. And I'm doing some super-random Tweeting and Facebooking.
If you're wondering where I'm popping up in the cyberverse this week (and aren't totally sick of me yet), here's the hop-along list:
Okay, ever since my chat with the amazing Sara from Novel Novice, I've gotten kind of into vlogging and video stuff. I made the trailer for the Stages on Pages book tour, an instructional video on writing kissing scenes, and a bunch of vlogs for my blog tour.
Now, I'm in the process of making my second "instructional video." I started it ages ago but have been so busy I didn't quite finish. Get ready, though. 'Cause it's kinda ridiculous :)
Well, I just didn't make it. I'm reading a WONDERFUL book right now that I'd love to share with you but I just didn't get to the end. Crazy week. All the same, do hop along to catch the bookie goodness at some of the other Bookanista blogs or hop by The Book Cellar where I'll be talkin' AUDITION with Erica!
The Page Turners Blog is featuring novels
about the performing arts all month in this cool feature:
They're featuring Audition this week and more great arts books later this month.
And, lest we have no midweek fun, check out this New York Times article dishing about writers' dining delights. What's your favorite by-the-keyboard treat?
I wish I could tell you that this beautiful chandelier was purchased with money from a book deal but, alas, it was a 19th anniversary present for my husband. I WAY LOVE art glass and can't wait for this pretty to go into my front hall.
I'll ramble now from chandeliers to another awesome CH word: CHALLENGE. As a metaphor, a plot element, and a lens through which to analyze YA fiction, I'm exploring the term at today's Audition blog tour stop at the ever-awesome YA BLISS. The post also involves ELEVATOR PITCHES and FRENCH KISSES (see, I'm very rhymey after a glass of wine and a night with only 3 hours of sleep!). Now, aren't you curious? And, make sure you check out Sabrina's awesome YA HISTORICAL FICTION CHALLENGE, too!
I'm so excited to be blog touring over at Good Books & Good Wine today and not just because there's a wine glass in her banner that just might be filled with nice Quilceda Creek cabernet! Audition will also be featured this week at the Page Turners Blog where there's a whole lotta dancin' going on!
And, lest you think all this blog tour celebrity is making me other-than-I-am, herewith a picture of stuff I burned while answering blog tour questions this past weekend. Questions, anyone?