Saturday, August 27, 2011

Teen Book Scene: Scars (Tens List)

Introducing Cheryl Rainfield...

I love to read. Books nurture me, helped me survive the abuse I endured as a child and teen. I also love to write. I write fantasy books and edgy, realistic fiction for teens.
My fantasy books often hold hope that I need, and feel others might need, too, while my realistic fiction is gritty, intense, and emotional. All of my books have fragments of the abuse I experienced. I write about some of the harsh things teens go through...things that I think shouldn't be hidden. But I also write about healing, hope, and love, and finding courage and strength.

Top 10 Favorite Things I Do To Relax , De-Stress, and Have Fun

1) Read novels

2) Read comics

3) Watch movies

4) Play with my dog

5) Draw

6) Watch cute and funny YouTube videos

7) Blow bubbles

8) Shop for ebooks, books, comics, writing supplies, and tech stuff

9) Be on Twitter (yes, really J )

10) Talk with a friend

Thank you, Cheryl and Teen Book Scene!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Guest Post and Contest: When I'm Not Writing by Melissa Douthit

Introducing Melissa Douthit...

Melissa Douthit grew up in North County of San Diego, California. After graduating with a Computer Science degree in Southern California, and working for a summer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in New Mexico, she moved to the Bay Area to work at NASA Ames Research Center for a year and then at Lawrence Livermore National Lab for another four years. From there, she moved to Monterey, California, to work at the Naval Postgraduate School on a government project for two years. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, working with the Army Corps of Engineers on another government project. Since high school, she has been a voracious reader of books of all genres, with an emphasis in fantasy and science fiction. Her literary work is strongly influenced by her professional experience and includes many elements of her scientific background. You can find out more about Melissa on her website:

When I'm Not Writing

When I’m not writing, I love to cook and listen to audiobooks, with my favorite coonhound, Copper, laying in the kitchen, hoping to get a bite of whatever I’m making. Just recently, I was in the kitchen cooking pasta and steaks (it was a dual meal - not everyone wanted pasta, especially Copper =o) and I was listening to the Hunger Games for the first time.

It is on a very rare occasion that I run into a book that grabs me so completely and doesn’t let go until I am done with the whole book or series. I was so drawn into this story, I stayed up practically the whole night listening to it, even after dinner was over. =o) The next day, I went in bleary-eyed to work, with my iPod attached to my ear all day and was listening to, you guessed it, the same audiobook. I stayed like that everyday and night until I had the whole trilogy done.

It was amazing. I laughed, I cried, and I whooped when the characters succeeded. The ending was so good - heartbreaking but happy. I loved the whole story. All through the story, though, I couldn’t help but think how similar the heroine, Katniss, is to the heroine of my story, Chalice. I love that Katniss is so strong, fierce and independent. Both she and Chalice share that. They both start off where they are experiencing hardship but they have fighting skills and know how to stay alive. They can survive on their own and they do, easily. I love that Katniss is her own self. What I mean by that is that she has value in and of herself without the need of a man in her life, even though there are plenty of them who want her. Chalice is exactly the same way.

The only differences I saw between Chalice and Katniss was that where Katniss is a bit rough around the edges because she comes from poverty and a hard life, Chalice is more refined, having been raised in a well-to-do community by her grandparents. Where Katniss uses weapons and kills for survival, Chalice does not use weapons, mostly because she is trained in The Way of the Empty Hand fighting art. Therefore, she is more reserved and not so blood thirsty, unless she is extremely provoked or has absolutely no love for the object of her aggression. Also, because the Raie’Chaelia is a fantasy, Chalice has powers that Katniss doesn’t have, which gives her an edge over her opponents.

Lastly, when it comes to love interests, Katniss is a bit tough on both of her men (and I love the fact that she has two! =o), where Chalice is more tender-hearted toward her guy. She is also very faithful. She is a one-man woman. The love story between she and Jeremiah lasts throughout the first book, culminates in the second, and comes to a dramatic finish in the last book (but I don’t want to say too much before the last two books are written). Lastly, I am hoping, when I am done with the second and third books, to take the reader on a roller coaster ride just like Suzanne Collins did, making the reader feel the happiness, the heartbreak, the laughter, and the triumph all the way to the very end.


Prizes--Free e-reader or $100 gift certificate
Enter a drawing and win a free e-reader of your choice or a $100 gift certificate to your favorite store by answering the following question:
What does Melissa like to do when she isn’t writing?
To answer the question go to this link and fill in the information (place answer in Message field):
Contest ends September 10, 2011. Winner will be announced September 12th on Melissa Douthit's Blog.

Thank you for your time, Melissa! And thank you, Teddy for making this Virtual Author Book Tour!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Audiobook Giveaway: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

If a violent battle destroyed the only world you’ve ever known, would you be brave enough to save who was left? Would love be strong enough to survive the fight? Either way, there’s no turning back.

The Empyrean is the only home 15-year-old Waverly has ever known. Part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space, she and her boyfriend Kieran will be pioneers of New Earth. Waverly knows she must marry young in order to have children who can carry on the mission, and Kieran, the handsome captain-to-be, has everything Waverly could want in a husband. Everyone is sure he’s the best choice. Still, there’s a part of Waverly that wants more from life than marriage, and she is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

Suddenly, Waverly’s dreams are interrupted by the inconceivable – a violent betrayal by the Empyrean's sister ship, the New Horizon. The New Horizon’s leaders are desperate to populate the new planet first, and will do anything to get what they need: young girls. In one pivotal moment, Waverly and Kieran are separated, and find themselves at the helm of dangerous missions, where every move has potentially devastating consequences, and decisions of the heart may lead to disaster.

Pulse-pounding and addictive, GLOW begins the most riveting series since The Hunger Games.

All you have to do to enter this giveaway is fill out this FORM. Giveaway is open to US residents only and ends August 31st midnight EST. Thank you, Macmillan Audio!


Friday, August 19, 2011

400 Followers Giveaway!

I just want to thank everybody who has stuck by my blog, read my posts, and left comments about their thoughts. Thanks to all the authors, publishers/publiscists that have made reviewing, giving away, and interviewing possible on my blog for my readers as well. Now onto the giveaway... 

(This giveaway will only be open to followers, so when you enter your name in the form, make sure you put the name you follow under.)

First Place Winner Pack!

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Rich and Mad by William Nicholson
The Ghosts of Ashbury High by Jaclyn Moriarity
Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson (Audiobook)

Second Place Winner Pack!

The Morganville Vampires: Volume 1 by Rachel Caine
Tell Me Something True by Leila Cobo
13 to Life by Shannon Delaney
Kissing Booth by Lexie Hill
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos (Audiobook)

Third Place Winner Pack!

French Kiss (Diary of a Crush, Book 1) by Sarra Manning
Kiss and Make Up (Diary of a Crush, Book 2) by Sarra Manning
The Second Virginity of Suzy Green by Sara Hantz *signed*
Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix

I will pick three winners consecutively and they will win their prizes in that order. 

To enter, just fill out this FORM.
Remember you must be a follower to enter! Giveaway ends September 20th at midnight EST, open to US residents only, no PO boxes.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Audiobook Giveaway: All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight—at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.

One winner will get their own audiobook of All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin, all you have to do is fill out this FORM. Giveaway open to US residents only and ends on August 31st at midnight EST. Thanks to Macmillan Audio!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Audiobook Giveaway: Death Cloud by Andrew Lane

It is the summer of 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is fourteen. On break from boarding school, he is staying with eccentric strangers—his uncle and aunt—in their vast house in Hampshire. When two local people die from symptoms that resemble the plague, Holmes begins to investigate what really killed them, helped by his new tutor, an American named Amyus Crowe. So begins Sherlock’s true education in detection, as he discovers the dastardly crimes of a brilliantly sinister villain of exquisitely malign intent.

To enter for your own audiobook of Death Cloud by Andrew Lane, just fill out this FORM. Giveaway ends August 31st at midnight EST, and is open to US residents only. Thanks to Esther at Macmillan Audio!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Teen Book Scene: Character Interview with Abby

First an introduction to Ordained by Devon Ashley...

Normally, the school creates the hunters - not the monsters. 
Abby Sorrensten likes to play rough. Ripping the horns off the foreheads of demons, manipulating lightning and setting things on fire with the flick of your wrist can give you a serious rush. So she probably wasn’t the best choice for the Order’s experimental training program. Thirteen years of isolation, lack of affection and a bruised and broken body from horrendous training sessions creates more than just an exceptional fighter. It creates an evil within - an evil responsible for several deaths the night she left. 
Two hundred years later Abby resurfaces as the very thing the Order trained her to kill: a vampire. A mythical demon has set his sights on the school and only the ordained hunter has the powers to face it. Unbeknownst to the Order, Abby’s their precious ordained one and their only chance for survival. As much as she would love to leave them hanging, she’s not willing to risk the life of Emily, a fellow friend and hunter also fed up with the organization. 
But for Abby, locking herself away in a fortress with angry descendents of those she killed causes suspicions and tensions to run high. Abby must learn the demon’s weaknesses for battle before the Order learns hers.
And now onto the interview...

How do you think The Order got started, and why? 

Blame the Cannibal – vampirism did nothing to curve his appetite for human flesh. He’d nibble a little from someone here and a little from someone there. Since he didn’t nibble enough to actually kill them, they turned into vampires too – and lucky us, they had the same insatiable thirst for human flesh, which then changed to bloody meat, and then changed to the blood straight-up. They multiplied so quickly that my organization (the pure vampires) couldn’t keep the numbers of mutated vamps under control. The gods stepped in and created vampire hunters, and assigned a few men they deemed worthy to train them. Obviously, their descendants are not as worthy.

How did you and Emily officially meet?

Officially? I didn’t meet her until after she died. Yeah, that’s right – Emily’s got a few secrets of her own. I knew of her existence and watched her for awhile, but I never approached her. Truth be told, I needed Emily. I spent centuries trying to track down a demon that killed us hunters on our twenty-fifth birthday. I knew the day would come when Eraticus would seek her out – but I was late, and she died before I got there. Lucky for her, I’ve got a secret card to play when dealt that hand.

Have you ever thought about your father, and why his motives indicated turning you evil?

I try not to think about the [bleep] too often, but I’m pretty sure his only motive was to have his little girl take after him…and use me for the powers I inherited from my mother. Although, I’m guessing he stole my mother’s powers the day he killed her, so who knows what’s going on in that messed up head of his.

What do you think is the motive behind The Order's secrecy?

Who the hell knows what those morons over there are thinking. I mean seriously. You’ve got a demon out there that likes to make snack appetizers out of hunters. Would it kill them to spend some time trying to figure out the demon’s weaknesses? I managed to figure it out how to destroy him…

What is one thing you learned while you were in The Order's domain long ago? 

Watch your back and keep your secrets secret. The advisors of the Order only look out for themselves and they’ll slam a spike through your back in a heartbeat if they think they can benefit off it.

Thanks to Lili for letting Abby rant for a bit (maybe she can go a day without being so trigger-happy now). Don’t forget to stop by my Crazy Dream Blog for a chance to win a copy of Ordained signed with a personalized doodle-graph. Giveaway ends August 20th.

Thanks to Abby and Devon (and Teen Book Scene)!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Giveaway: The Adoration of Jenna Fox + Audibook of The Fox Inheritance

The first giveaway I will be posting this week thanks to Macmillan Audio, is for one audiobook of The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson and my paperback copy of the first book in the series, The Adoration of Jenna Fox.

Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox has just awoken from a year-long coma—so she’s been told—and she is still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. But what happened before that? She’s been given home movies chronicling her entire life, which spark memories to surface. But are the memories really hers? And why won’t anyone in her family talk about the accident? Jenna is becoming more curious. But she is also afraid of what she might find out if she ever gets up the courage to ask her questions. What happened to Jenna Fox? And who is she really?

To enter just fill out this FORM. Giveaway ends August 31st midnight EST. Open to US residents only.

Stay tuned to the blog for more audiobook giveaways this week!


Beastly by Alex Flinn

Audio CD
Publisher: Brilliance Audio on CD Unabridged; Unabridged
Pub Date: June 22, 2010
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1441849661
ISBN-13: 978-1441849663

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright – a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay this way forever – ruined – unless I can break the spell. Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she urn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.


Beastly is the story of a little rich boy that got punished for being so selfish and self-absorbed, that he had to find true love in order to transform back from beast to handsome, young man.

In the beginning, after the impromptu chat with the other fairy-tale creatures and Mr. Anderson in the chatmroom, I came to realize that most of the characters, as they were being introduced throughout the story, were a bit one-dimensional. If you were to see them in real life, you could instantly tell the roles they played in this fairy-tale retelling. I wanted them to have more depth and read about their own interpretations of the tale as the story went on. However, soon after Kyle's transformation into Beast "Adrian", I soon saw more shades of the characters closest to him, Magda and Will, even Kendra.

While the pace was by no means slow, it did have its dull moments that also seemed to be counteracted by brief instances of familial interaction. In a sense, I got used to hearing about these characters so much so that I was pretty much finishing the narrator's sentences at times. What that has to do with the predictability scale is not much but if you've been exposed to the movie because it has been advertised so much you might not consider going back to the book. Some of the events were probably too convenient to progress the story line.

The significance and symbolism of white roses created part of the tender atmosphere when I heard about "Adrian" speaking his mind about the many books he'd read, and the greenhouse he built. As the year passed on, and the countdown for Adrian to find a girl to love him continued, his "voice" and sense of self became beautiful. The way he described the finishing touches preparing the rooms for comfort, the garden of roses, portrayed so much maturity that I could tell in the months that passed he'd grown to love the simplest of things.

His relationship, as it developed, with Linda was a tad superficial for my tastes. At most, I liked hearing about what he got out of it. New appreciations that would never have happened without her help. As a character, Linda was stereotypical but could sympathize with Adrian probably better than anyone else internal-issues-wise. Flinn's writing was heartbreaking and had its funny moments but overall it tied up all the loose ends and was a generally satisfying retelling.

Grade: B-/C+

Source: Won


Monday, August 8, 2011

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Hardcover: 450 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (September 27, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1442421762
ISBN-13: 978-1442421769

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.

She's wrong.


Do you know what's it's like to have your sense of reality questioned? To face such trauma that after a while, you ask yourself, "Am I dreaming or awake right now?" Honestly, that was the feeling I felt as I was reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. It's one of those books that you think is going to be kept hush, hush so everyone in the world can read it and not be spoiled. So everyone in the world can individually have their minds blown without any preparation as to what the contents in this book will do to them. I understand why the synopsis is so brief, they--being publishers--want to draw you in, peak your interest just enough so you could start the book. Then the author takes it from there. Hodkin puts this spell on you as you're reading, just a taste of one to keep you entranced, and as you're sinking deeper into the depth of the're tested. Your mind is tested and you will ask yourself once you've finished, "Am I dreaming or awake right now?"

First of all, the relationship between Mara and Noah doesn't start as anything unique. Mind you, we have another rich boy, man-whore taking an interest in the new girl and you know they're going to end up together. But my goodness, the scathing remarks these two throw at each other was just wonderful to witness. I felt like I needed to keep a mental scoreboard just to keep up with who was ahead in the insult department.If I wasn't doing this review on an ARC of this book, I'd tell you every single one that stood out for me. They got so entangled into each other, emotionally and mentally, it was a definite thrill to see their connection become stronger and more meaningful as the story went on.  I also had three other favorite characters that I could not get enough of: Daniel, Joseph and Jamie. Out of all three Jamie had to be the most rounded because he had his sense of style, of being that I wasn't able to ignore, an in-your-face personality.

Another element I must mention, is that using my hometown as the setting for this book was absolutely brilliant. I am saying this somewhat subjectively but in the end, I thought it worked best to put a girl who grew up with snow and public schools in the polar opposite of an environment and see how she fared. Hodkin's writing style was what made the book's plot so addicting to read, so spell-binding that I had to lock myself in my room for hours on end till I was finished.

It starts as just another contemporary novel with a tragic twist that ends up turning the protagonist's life upside down. It didn't feel slow-going even though it was only after the first 270 or so pages that I started to get the feeling, no matter how many predictions I made I would never figure this book out until I read it the whole way through. I'd feel like my assumptions were set in stone, like there was no way I wrong about what was going on--because I'm smart like that--and the book would just taunt me with every surprise at every corner. In itself, those first 270 pages could have been the first book of the series and all that followed after it, book 2. Those first pages were well-developed and I would not have hesitated to buy the next book, but you don't know how ecstatic and a little insane I felt reading the last third of the thick book. Overall, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer made me feel crazy because seriously, what a cliffhanger.

Grade: A-

Source: Publisher

Random Nuggets:
--This is probably the only book I'll ever find where a guy had a valid reason for being a man-whore; and for those who have read already, do you think it was valid, too?
--Two questions for those have and haven't read this miraculous novel...what would you do if you could think someone's death and have it come true? And who would win in a guilt-contest, the one who did it or the one who couldn't stop it?


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Winner: Airhead + Being Nikki

Factoids: 30 entries, 15 entrants.

Congrats to...


Thanks everybody for entering the giveaway! Hopefully it won't be too long till I have another one...


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Teen Book Scene: Author Interview with Tweets-Beth Barany

Introducing Beth Barany, author of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer...

Beth Barany has been making up fantasy and adventure stories all her life. She writes to empower girls and women with her kick ass heroines who have to save the world against great odds. In her off hours, Beth enjoys cardio kickboxing, stick yoga, reading and watching movies with her husband, author and musician Ezra Barany.

1) What about fantasy and adventure do you like most when you're writing?

Fantasy: I love creating a world where I make all the rules! Adventure: Love that my heroes take action and are brave even if it's hard.

2) Is there another specific sub-genre that you would like to tap into or would love to write more about? Why?

I would love to write more science fiction because I love the notion of living in space, even though it terrifies me to. Yet I'm so curious!

3) What is your favorite mythical creature to write about and why?

I love writing about the mythical qualities of my characters, but i also like writing about the phoenix and the griffin. Transformative!

4) What are some of your favorite private getaways when you're not writing?

I love Paris, France, and San Francisco, CA, and anywhere by the Pacific Ocean. I also love Sonoma, CA, where I grew up.

5) Anything else you'd like to tell my readers about your writing process, or advice for aspiring authors. :)

Keep writing and get feedback on your writing from knowledgeable and kind more experienced writers in your genre. And write some more!

Please comment in 140 characters or less to enter Beth Barany's giveaway. All the rules are HERE.

Find Beth Barany:
Henrietta The Dragon Slayer Summer Blog Tour
Novel available here: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Nook, Smashwords.


Stay tuned readers, for my review will be posted August 11.


Winner: Audiobook Second Grave on the Left

Factoids: 6 entrants, 6 entries.

Congrats to...


Thanks to those who entered and remember to check out my other giveaway that will end in 2 days.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

UPDATED: A New Michael Grant "Transmedia" Experience!

While everything right now is hush, hush, I got an email today (and yesterday :) asking me to spread the word about Michael's Grant's new project that will be a transmedia experience.

From the email itself:
The missing son of a U.N. diplomat... the reemergence of a strange organization... a pair of society twins caught in the middle... this is just the beginning of "Go BZRK," a new transmedia experience from author Michael Grant.

If you're ready to take the plunge in an interactive story like you've never experienced before, visit and register with to take your first steps in a strange and compelling universe.

Filled with video, puzzles, community collaboration, and more, "Go BZRK" put YOU the player right in the middle of the action as you join Nexus Humanus and unravel a mystery that may hold the key to the fate of all mankind.

This winter, Michael has a new series coming out that was conceived not only as a book, but also as a “transmedia” experience. This may not be a familiar term to YA fans, but essentially a transmedia story is an interactive narrative told through the written word, video, puzzles, and more. But most importantly, it encourages fans to become part of the action.

The Future Begins With YOU!

I have already signed up on Nexus Humanus and am psyched to see what "Go BZRK" has in store. Register on the Nexus Humanus page and check back soon for further details into this new "future". Check out this Q&A with Michael Grant to give yourself an insight as to what's to come.

A Q&A with author Michael Grant.

What is “Go BZRK”? Is this a book or some kind of interactive story?

Both. The book comes out this winter, but the interactive part starts now. One leads up to the other, but they're part of a complete package.

Why “transmedia”?

There are different approaches to transmedia. Most people take a single story and reproduce it on various platforms. My philosophy has been to make each element - ARG, app, web, book - a thing unto itself, each revealing some aspect of the world of BZRK. I've been fascinated with this is as a new way to tell stories. The book remains central, but now I can reach beyond the book and create a much more complete world. I can tell stories that enhance the book, and stories that parallel the book, and stories that are offshoots of backstory. I guess the answer to "why" is "because it's fun."

Is this the future of publishing?

I began a few years ago reaching out to publishers and saying we collectively needed to understand that the old models were dead or dying. I want publishing to survive, and of course I'd like my own career to thrive. So Egmont Publishing and my partners and I certainly hope this is a part of the future of publishing.

How long is this running? Is this part of a larger picture?

We'll be running this in several chunks between now and the book release this winter. Because these things have a hard start/stop point, August is a ramp-up phase. There'll be a lot of content coming out, but the experience really gets underway at the end of the month… just in time to distract the kids from their schoolwork.

What if someone wants to follow the story but doesn’t want to participate?

You don't have to do anything. You can do one thing and not another. But the deeper you plunge the wetter you get. I think every part of this is fun, I think people will enjoy the ARG, the app, the site and the books.
App? You've mentioned that a couple times now.

Just wait and see.

What can you tell us about the story? What is “BZRK”?

It's a battle for the soul and freedom of the human race carried out simultaneously in the world we know, and in a world that you're not going to expect. It's a world where if you make a false move, you're going to lose your mind.

Insanity… is this something you have a personal familiarity with?

The line between writer and crazy person is very thin. Both go around holding long, involved conversations with people who aren't there.

What’s this other world thing all about?

Do you really want spoilers? I'll tell you this. We'll be going "down in the meat." It's going to be vast, bloody, and beautiful.

Wait… isn’t this supposed to be for kids?

Adults like to flatter themselves that kids won't get, won't understand, won't be able to handle, more intense, more complex stories. That's nonsense. It's the adults who are easy to creep out or scare. Say the word "biopsy" in a room full of adults. Or "audit." See? Easy to scare. Kids are a tougher audience because kids think they're immortal.

(Now I really REALLY want to buy the GONE series, just to get a heads-up as to what I'm dealing with here. :)


Monday, August 1, 2011

Teen Book Scene: And Then Things Fall Apart Playlist

Introducing the lovely and funny Arlaina Tibensky...

Arlaina Tibensky is the world’s oldest teenager. She lives in NYC where she curates the Pen Parentis Literary Salon at the Libertine Library. Her debut YA novel AND THEN THINGS FALL APART, about how Sylvia Plath and an old typewriter usher a reluctant virgin through the worst summer of her freaking life came out July 26, 2011 with Simon & Schuster. Visit her at Come hear her read at Anderson’s in Naperville, IL on Thursday, August 4 at 7pm!

I have this playlist for And Then Things Fall Apart and it is long. It has 85 songs in it. Maybe it’s not that long but it is too long to go into in great detail so, here’s the top 10 most played songs plus four more that really massaged my brain like a wad of pink chewing gum until it was entirely Keek and Keek was entirely me. Those last 4 songs made Arlaina disappear. Oh! The power of song! Actually all these songs are on Keek’s playlist because they made me feel powerful and contemplative, sexy and open, young and wise- Most like and unlike myself so I could tune out the world and… let Keek take over.

1. Smokestack Lightnin'
Howlin' Wolf
35 plays
This one makes me feel the kind of sad I get at Christmas, which is a feeling I adore.

2. You Know I'm No Good
Amy Winehouse
31 plays
God, this song so open and raw- love it.

3. Stand And Deliver
Adam Ant
Super Hits
28 plays
My love of Adam Ant knows no bounds.

4. Remember (Walkin' In The Sand)
The Shangri-Las
27 plays
This one tears you a new aorta. It reminds me that the passionate turmoil of being a teenager is timeless.

5. Coco & Co
Serge Gainsbourg
26 plays
Keek is kind of a Francophile and I love Serge Gainsbourg. Coincidence?

6. Girl Like You
Edwyn Collins
25 plays
I had a boyfriend that always played this song in his car when he picked me up from the train station. I hear it and I fall in love all over again. We are now married.

7. Free
Cat Power
24 plays
This one makes me breathe deeper and feel like I could fly.

8. Money
Alan Cumming And The Kit Kat Girls
Cabaret: The New Broadway Cast Recording (1998 Broadway Revival)
20 plays
My favorite musical ever. This version of the money song is perfect and raw and features Alan Cumming at the peak of his powers.

9. Love Will Tear Us Apart
Joy Division
21 plays
It’s on everyone’s playlist isn’t it? For good reason.

10. Planet Claire
The B-52's
20 plays
Planet Claire has pink hair. All the trees are red.


1.Cherry Bomb
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
16 Plays
My idols.

2. I Wanna Be Your Dog
The Stooges
Iggy Pop pulling words out of my guts one snarling chord at a time

3. Like Cockatoos
The Cure
18 plays
I hear this song and I am instantly16 and in an attic making out with my hot goth boyfriend. INSTANTLY.

4. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
18 plays
When I was a kid this song was what I imagined sex was like. There. I said it.

Thank you, Arlaina for the awesome insight!