Wednesday, October 16, 2013

MPIBA trade show: Lauren Myracle, Matt de la Pena & Holly Goldberg Sloan

Last week I went to the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers trade show where I met some of my favorite authors and was introduced to their new books.  Lauren Myracle talked about The Infinite Moment of Us that fits into a new category of YA lit "New Adult" which includes books which have fairly graphic sexual encounters between characters.  Matt de la Pena admitted to wanting to try something new with The Living, the first book in his new action adventure series. Finally, Holly Goldberg Sloan (author of Blue Spruce nominee I'll Be There) shared the inspiration for her new book about a highly gifted girl who struggles with her parents' untimely deaths in Counting by 7s.

In The Infinite Moment of Us, high school seniors Wren and Charlie are an unlikely couple.  She has always been an overprotected  parent pleaser and he is a foster child who has finally found a supportive foster family.  She is attempting to assert her independence by taking a gap year in Guatemala before college, whereas he is thrilled with his scholarship to Georgia Tech. But when their eyes meet at graduation, they fall head over heels in love. In alternating chapters that move between Wren's and Charlie's third-person perspectives, we follow their summer romance, that could just be something more.
Matt de la Pena has had a lot success with his character driven explorations of bi-racial kids, so his decision to branch out into the adventure/survival genre is a departure from his comfort zone.  The Living is actually four books in one: a survival at sea adventure, a global disaster tale, a pandemic thriller and  a social-class drama. Shy Espinoza is working on a luxury cruise liner when a massive earthquake in California causes a tsunami which capsizes the boat and leaves him adrift in a life raft with a spoiled rich girl. Her father heads up a pharmaceutical company that is mysteriously involved in the proliferation of an infectious disease from which Shy's grandmother died. After a harrowing few days in shark-infested waters, the two end up on the company island where even greater intrigue awaits.  This action-packed page turner will leave readers anxious for its sequel The Hunted which will be published in the fall of 2014.
 Holly Goldberg Sloan, whose sons attend a school for the gifted, said she is fascinated by some of the quirky geniuses who attend the school, so she set out to write a book focusing on an unusually gifted kid. Counting by 7s introduces 12-year-old genius Willow Chance, who is obsessed with tending her garden, diagnosing medical conditions and counting by 7s. Her life is turned upside down when her adoptive parents die in a car accident and she is taken in by her friend Mai and her mother and brother, who live in a room behind their nail salon.  When social services comes to call, they move in with the kids' misfit guidance counselor Dell Duke and pose as one big happy family.  As Willow tries to adjust to the new normal, she worries about her upcoming custody hearing and what will happen when she is once again at the mercy of the social services system.  Although Counting by 7s is billed as a middle school read, it will tug at the heart strings of readers of all ages.

No comments:

Post a Comment