brandy says hi.

writer. copy editor. sometimes tap dancer. library addict. my debut novel, POINTE, will be released by putnam/penguin on april 10, 2014.

This utter lack of diversity is gross. It is inexcusable. And it is really, really embarrassing. Book Expo America is the industry’s flagship event, and the statement it is making on the industry’s behalf is that we believe that what readers–the kind of devoted, passionate readers who fork over thirty dollars to spend a summer Saturday in a convention center–want out of a book event is an all-white, heavily celebrity line-up. (See Kelly’s piece for a bunch of terrific links to pieces that address the problem of diversity in publishing with greater depth.)

Readers deserve better than this. It is not hard to do better than this. The wonderful, diverse list of books being given out by volunteers all over the country today for World Book Night is proof.

So what happens now? Book Expo will likely respond with another apology and promise to do better. But it’s too late. The damage is done. “We’re sorry” is no longer acceptable. It is clear that diversity is not a priority for ReedPop and BEA. Either they are not thinking about it at all, or they are actively choosing against diversity because they believe they can make more money with an all-white line-up. These are not our values at Book Riot, and so we will not be supporting, promoting, participating in, covering, or encouraging our community to attend BookCon. We can’t control ReedPop and BEA’s choices, but we can control this. No diversity = no support.

Maya Angelou famously said, “When you know better, you do better.” Book Expo America and ReedPop should know better. It’s time for them to do better, and to do better from the start.

Readers Deserve Better Than BookCon BY REBECCA JOINES SCHINSKY (via tubooks)

(via diversityinya)



ALL THE RAGE is coming out APRIL, 2015!

* Okay, not really LIED per se.  It had been March 2015, right up until this morning.  Sometimes the nature of publishing is these things can change rather unexpectedly but do you know what is great about this?  It is not that much of a change at all—some push backs can be waaaaay longer—AND also April is my birthday month so it feels kind of fated as well. 

I am sorry for the slightly (slightly!) longer wait.  I am sorry if you wrote it in to your March 2015 calendar.  But I hope the wait is worth it.  THANK YOU to everyone who expressed excitement over reading it when I announced it yesterday!  I hope that excitement still stands and that the book lives up to your expectations!  :)

The first duty of the novelist is to entertain. It is a moral duty. People who read your books are sick, sad, traveling, in the hospital waiting room while someone is dying. Books are written by the alone for the alone.

—Donna Tartt, author of The Secret History (via vintageanchorbooks)

(via stephaniekuehn)


"You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can’t, but also knowing that literature is indispensable to the world. The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it." —James Baldwin

"Writing is really a way of thinking—not just feeling but thinking about things that are disparate, unresolved, mysterious, problematic or just sweet.” —Toni Morrison

"The purpose of any piece of writing is its existence before a reader’s eyes. A writer exists when she fills the blank page. A writer fulfills her task when she can be read by readers. The important thing is to write." —Nancy Morejón

"The ability to use language to effective ends, to have somebody read something and see it, or for somebody to paint an entire landscape of visual imagery with just sheets of words—that’s magical." — Yasiin Bey (Mos Def)

"By and large, the critics and readers gave me an affirmed sense of my identity as a writer. You might know this within yourself, but to have it affirmed by others is of utmost importance. Writing is, after all, a form of communication." —Ralph Ellison

"The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart." —Maya Angelou

(via wocinsolidarity)

Q & A with Nina LaCour



What inspired Everything Leads to You?

Several things. I’ve always been interested in writing a book about two girls falling in love, but I don’t typically write love stories. My stories always have an element of romance, but they aren’t love stories. Writing one was a thought on the back burner for a while. So for this new one, I finally decided: I’m going to write that love story.

Then I was invited to a high school in Minnesota in 2011 for my first novel, Hold Still –it had been assigned as a school-wide read. Three thousand students were given a copy, along with the faculty and the librarians. Everyone was so incredible there – they designed a whole curriculum around the book. One of the reasons they chose it was that there was controversy surrounding the school district because nine students during a period of a couple of years had committed suicide. It really shook the community. There was some speculation that at least several of those students had been questioning their sexuality. Part of the controversy was that the school was in a very conservative area and the school had something called the “neutrality policy” which barred faculty and staff from speaking with students about their sexuality. They had to remain neutral around any “gay issues.” This ended up hurting the students, of course, because there were students being bullied and they couldn’t go to anyone to talk or to get resources and help.

In response to this policy there was a faction of open-hearted and inclusive faculty members and librarians who rallied together in support of the students, and then the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Center for Lesbian Rights sued the district on behalf of some of the students and ultimately the school had to change their policy.

As part of my trip there, I met with the Gay-Straight Alliance. I was prepared to talk to those students about pretty heavy things since they’d lost some friends to suicide and their school district hadn’t supported them – though, I want to be clear: they had some really supportive teachers and librarians. So I was expecting so much heavy stuff, but then a student asked, “I heard somewhere you might not be totally straight.” And I said, “Yes, well, I’m married to a woman.” And then they had all of these other questions, about whether the students that I teach know that I’m married to a woman, and if my parents know, and just generally, what was it like to be married to another woman. The more I spoke to them the more I realized that we need more affirming and happy stories about all kinds of love. But especially stories about girls falling in love and boys falling in love. After my visit with them I went back to my hotel room and decided that my next book would be about this.

Interestingly, then, Everything Leads to You is a romance between two girls, but two girls having a romance isn’t the “issue” or “problem” of the novel. Do you feel like that’s happening more often now in YA?

I’m sure that it is, but I have found that most of the books I’ve read that have gay characters have at least one of them struggling to come out or come to terms with his or her sexuality. On one hand, I think it makes sense there aren’t as many love stories that don’t have to do with identity, because as teenagers many kids are just realizing they are gay. I’m not saying that I’m doing something ground-breaking at all, either, and I really value those coming out stories, but I wish there were others. Malinda Lo’s Ash is a good example of this, I think. There is sexual awakening there, but it isn’t a crisis. But I do hope that there will be more and more books like this in the future.

Can’t wait to read this.

This book is excellent, and I loved that it was set in L.A.!


For more articles and information on all things YA lit, visit our website, follow us here and on Twitter, and subscribe to our weekly newsletter!

Co-authors Amy Helmes and Kim Askew talk Twisted Lit, Shakespeare and Masterpiece Theatre.
- Megan McCafferty (Jessica Darling) asks authors anything in her new online series.
Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was banned in an Idaho school.
- Laurie Halse Anderson organized #Speak4RAINN15 to raise money for sexual assault awareness.
- HarperCollins released an iPhone app for fans of Kelley Armstrong.
- James Patterson won the Chicago Tribune Young Adult Literary Award.
David Levithan's Two Boys Kissing has been challenged in a Virgina school system based on its cover.
- The Aurealis Awards announced winners, including These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner for best young adult novel.
The American Library Association named the most challenged books of 2013, including Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True-Diary of a Part-Time Indian in third place.
Delacatore Press will publish Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys.
- Jennifer Jenkins, co-founder of Teen Author Boot Camp, sold her fantasy series to Month9Books.
- Egmont USA will publish two new Kirsten Hubbard  novels.
- Mrs. Dalloway’s in Berkeley, California will be hosting Jillian and Mariko Tamaki, Mitali Perkins, Brandy Colbert and Stephanie Kuehn.
- Patrick Ness announced events in Hungary, Norway and the U.K.
- Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, New Hampshire announced that Joseph Monninger, Adi Rule, Geoff Rodkey, Erin Bowman and Page Morgan will be visiting.
- In Dragonrage, editor Nicole Brinkley discusses BookCon’s lack of representation.
- In Once Upon A Tweet, Alison Ng finds the best of authors on this week’s social media.
Keep up with upcoming YA releases.
- Keep up with recent cover releases.
- Keep up with recent excerpt releases.
- List of the week? Shakespeare retellings!

In our next issue, editor Nicole Brinkley will be introducing Five in Five - a newsletter exclusive interview with various YA authors. Five questions, five word answers; a quick interview to get you up to date with the latest in YA. Our first edition will feature Sarah Beth Durst. Don’t forget to subscribe or you’ll miss it!

Next issue: May 4, 2014.

(via yareviewnetwork)

Think about it this way:

There’s a group of us. We’re either whispering quietly because we don’t want to upset anyone, or we’re just out of your sight so you can’t really hear us. And then, all of a sudden, somehow you hear us or someone leaves the group and tells you or someone voices their frustrations to you. And instead of listening, or providing them a space to boost that voice so people in other rooms will hear them, you walk back to their private room and start shouting. And people in other rooms hear you and they say ‘wow this is so great I’ve never thought of this before’ and they keep passing it on.

But we’ve been having this conversation the entire time.

—“I’m Still Here" by Sumayyah Daud (via yahighway)

(via stephaniekuehn)

links and events!

Now that debut-book-release craziness is dying down, I wanted to link to some of the posts I’ve done over the past few weeks, as well as some places you can see that I am actual real, live person who sometimes leaves the house!

And I’ve made a handy-dandy events page on both my Tumblr and my poor little neglected blog, but here are details for some recent events:

Read! Share! Come see me!


I would like to extend Easter greetings to everyone celebrating today with this beautiful photograph of two women in Harlem on Easter Sunday 1947 by the legendary French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004). My favorite fun fact about Mr. Cartier-Bresson is that he and Langston Hughes were roommates as young struggling artists in Mexico in the 1930s. Photo: Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos.


I would like to extend Easter greetings to everyone celebrating today with this beautiful photograph of two women in Harlem on Easter Sunday 1947 by the legendary French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004). My favorite fun fact about Mr. Cartier-Bresson is that he and Langston Hughes were roommates as young struggling artists in Mexico in the 1930s. Photo: Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos.

(via usesforboys)