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Friday Five

I woke up to some fantastic news this morning, which arrived in an email from the lovely Laini Taylor. I use the word ‘fantastic’ deliberately, to mean “odd and remarkable,” as well as “extraordinarily good.”

Both of our books (LIPS TOUCH and FLASH BURNOUT) have been named to Booklist’s Top Ten Romance Fiction for Youth 2010.

Er … wha --?!?

Laini’s book I can understand … it’s a collection of stories about KISSING!

But FLASH BURNOUT is a quirky boy book, and I doubt anyone who’s read it ever thought of it as a romance.

Here’s the criteria described by Booklist:

“Whether set in a vivid fantasy world, a contemporary small town, or a country at war, the novels collected here, all reviewed in Booklist in the past 12 months, explore the universal mysteries and dramas of teen romance with uncommon insight.” *

So now it makes more sense to me … FLASH BURNOUT may not be a traditional romance, but Blake does spend a lot of time trying to figure out the boundaries of love, romance, and friendship during the course of the story. He does, indeed, “explore the universal mysteries and dramas of teen romance." Thank you for noticing, Booklist!

You can read the list in its entirety here. Laini and I are list-sisters!

That reminds me.

Booklist gave THE MERMAID’S MIRROR a starred review. I don’t think I’ve mentioned that here on the blog, and some of my friends (hi, A!) only read the blog, not Facebook or Twitter. This is an excerpt of the review:

“With highly imagistic descriptions and savvy dialogue, Madigan offers a rewarding and credible story that uses fantasy elements to bare truths about family ties."

I kind of want to make out with Booklist right now.

One more thing about me! me! me! then we’ll move on, I promise:

Melissa C. Walker, of VIOLET ON THE RUNWAY fame, regularly posts “Cover Stories” on her blog, and she invited me to share the story behind the cover for MERMAID’S MIRROR. Go here to read about it.

I spent a couple of days in the Australian Outback this week.

Okay … not literally. I was reading a book so vivid – STOLEN, by Lucy Christopher – that when I looked up from the pages, I was surprised to find myself still in Portland. I half-expected to see nothing but miles of red sand.

It’s about sixteen-year-old Gemma, who is stolen away from her family and her London life by a man who’s been obsessed with her for years. He manages to spirit her away to the middle of nowhere in Australia, where he intends to keep her forever.

The writing is SO GORGEOUS and the story is SO SCARY and the villain is SO COMPLEX, and … and … just read it! I loved it and temporarily decided to give up writing after I finished it.

I’m not alone in my praise – the book has appeared on several “Best of” lists AND it won the 2010 Branford Boase award, which celebrates the best debut novel for young people published in the UK … sort of like the Morris Award in the U.S.!

Lucy answers 5 questions for readers:

I would love to attend this. I adore Jon Stewart, and I’m one of those “people who've been too busy to go to rallies, who actually have lives and families and jobs (or are looking for jobs) -- not so much the Silent Majority as the Busy Majority.”

* I’ve already told my husband to remember my ‘uncommon insight’ from now on whenever he’s tempted to disagree with me.


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Sep. 17th, 2010 08:05 pm (UTC)
Congrats on 1-3!

STOLEN was so wonderful. I read it in one sitting. Couldn't put it down.

And ditto on the Jon Stewart love, too! (I'm just agreeing with you on everything lately.) I have a big, huge, intellectual crush on him. :)
Sep. 17th, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
"I kind of want to make out with Booklist right now."

LOL -- do you write YA or what?!

Trying to fit the Stewart rally into my schedule, as I live nearby .... Three cheers for SANITY!
Sep. 17th, 2010 09:49 pm (UTC)
Wonderful (and well deserved) news about your books :D I can't wait to read MM!
Sep. 17th, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC)
And Bill Ott, the head guy of Booklist, is from Oregon...

Yay for their good taste!
Sep. 17th, 2010 11:45 pm (UTC)
Yay for the star!
Sep. 18th, 2010 05:27 am (UTC)
Salute, list sister! Yeehaw! Did you notice, by the way, that both our books are mentioned as having been previously mentioned on Booklist's Best Books for Young Adults 2010. Is that something else, or just an umbrella that includes this? I don't know, but I love the sound of it :-) Congrats!!
Sep. 18th, 2010 11:03 am (UTC)
Awesome news!!! Congrats!!!
Sep. 18th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the Booklist mention and starred review! I have about two hours left on the audiobook and I just got to the part where Blake did something I thought would happen but was really hoping wouldn't but then it came and I was going "NO BLAKE NO!" I'm totally sucked in (well, I have been the whole time, but now even more so) And now I need to find two hours so I can listen to the book and finish it! (I would read it, but I let my friend borrow my book copy so audiobook it is)

And I so need to read Stolen-I keep hearing good things!
Sep. 26th, 2010 04:23 am (UTC)
Oh you will love Flash Burnout. Wait till the end, green bean!
Sep. 20th, 2010 06:23 pm (UTC)
random commenter
congrats on your news, making a list like that is awesome!
Sep. 26th, 2010 04:22 am (UTC)
All of this is indeed fantastic with both definitions of.
I agree with Booklist's award criteria. Yours is one of the most thoughtful books on teen relationships and what defines (and defies) those boundaries that I've had the recent pleasure to read.

I continue to recommend Flash Burnout every chance I get, and will certainly do the same with Mermaid's Mirror (when I've read it. Soon! Soon!)

Sep. 26th, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC)
counting down the days until the new book is available.
congratulations on the good review.
will order Stolen right now from the library.

Flash Burnout still remains one of our all time favourite reads from this summer.
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