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    YA News and Reviews By Trish Milburn (aka Tricia Mills)
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  • Published: May 21st, 2009

Welcome to the first installment of YA News and Reviews. Thanks to the lovely Marisa and Maria here at Romance Novel TV, once a month I’ll be able to share the latest news from the young adult world as well as reviews of new YA novels and some you might have missed.

News from the YA world

The release date for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has been moved back by two days to July 15. Judging by the newest trailers, it’s going to be awesome! The escalating evil, Harry and Ginny getting closer, the teen angst that is Ron and Hermione!  Watch the newest trailer .

For all you Twilight fans, more casting news has come out for New Moon. Never fear, all your favorite vamps are coming back as is Kristen Stewart as Bella. The new castings mainly have to do with the Volturi. I was particularly excited to see Christopher Heyerdahl and Michael Sheen, two fantastic actors. A sampling of the new faces you’ll be seeing when New Moon hits theaters Nov. 20:

michaelchris-heyerdahl

jamie1dakota

charlie1

Christopher Heyerdahl as Volturi Marcus

Michael Sheen as Volturi Aro

Jamie Campbell Bower as Volturi Caius

Dakota Fanning as Volturi Jane

Charlie Bewley as Volturi Demetri

YA Reviews

I wanted to start off my first few review sections by featuring this year’s RITA finalists in the Young Adult category. For anyone who doesn’t know, the RITA is the top published award given by Romance Writers of America®. This year, there are three finalists in YA:

hell-week2

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Hell Week by Rosemary Clement-Moore

How to Hook a Hottie by Tina Ferraro

Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

hell-week1Since I’ll have three columns before the awards ceremony in July, I’m going to feature one finalist each month. First up is Hell Week by Rosemary Clement-Moore.

Since I hadn’t previously read any of Clement-Moore’s books, Hell Week is the second book in a series, and I hate reading series out of order, I actually went back and read the first (Prom Dates from Hell) before diving into Hell Week. Let me just say how much I love Clement-Moore’s heroine, Maggie Quinn. She’s like a wonderful mixture of some of my all-time favorite heroines – Buffy the Vampire Slayer (only Maggie is gifted with the Sight and battles demons), Veronica Mars (always digging for the truth), and Chloe Sullivan from Smallville (Maggie is a budding journalist, as Chloe used to be) while still being her own person. Add to that her best friend, Lisa, who will remind Buffy fans of another character, and Justin, who has a bit of Clark Kent’s goodness/hotness going on, and you have a fabulous trio of characters around which to build a fun series.

Prom Dates from Hell is set during Maggie’s senior year of high school and involves clashes with the popular crowd as well as the not so popular; Maggie’s refusal (at least initially) of her psychic gift, much to her Irish grandmother’s dismay; and one unforgettable (in a bad way) prom.

In Hell Week, Maggie has entered her freshman year of college and is pledging a sorority. But it’s not the parties on Greek Row or a desperate desire to fit in that motivated her to go through Rush. Rather, it’s her journalistic desire to write about Greek life from the inside, expose it for the “outdated system of stratification and false superiority” that it is. But Maggie gets more than she bargains for when she pledges Sigma Alpha Xi and begins to wonder if the reason they’re so popular and lucky is because something Evil (emphasis on the capital “E”) is behind it.

I’m enjoying this series so much that I intend to read Highway to Hell, in which Maggie and Lisa take a spring break road trip, very soon.

Author Web site: Rosemary- Clement Moore

~~~

ghostgirlI also recently read ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley. I discovered this book because of its eye-catching cover. Tall, skinny, and black with a silhouette of a girl on a see-through window. The story is about Charlotte Usher, one of the overlooked in her high school. She’s determined to change and get the guy she longs for, but she’s the kind of teen who is invisible to classmates, the type who wouldn’t be missed if she died. And then she does (by choking on a gummy bear, of all things), and is thrust into the afterlife where she can still walk around her school but has to go to an entirely new class called Dead Ed.

But instead of adjusting to her new reality, Charlotte refuses to let go of her old one. And it’s not only affecting her, but also the other dead kids – all of whom must figure out some lesson attached to their old lives before they can move on. At points, I’ll admit that I wanted to shake Charlotte, but she does redeem herself (while making friends) and takes an important step toward accepting who she is in death as she couldn’t in life.

This book speaks to anyone who has ever felt invisible, and I’d venture a guess that’s most of us. The sequel, Homecoming, is set to release July 1.

Author Web site: http://www.ghostgirl.com

~~~

Trish Milburn writes YA romance for Razorbill under the name Tricia Mills (Heartbreak River, April 2009) and romance for Harlequin American under her own name (Her Very Own Family, May 2009).

21 Responses to “YA News and Reviews By Trish Milburn (aka Tricia Mills)”

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  1. Debra Holland
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 2:43 am

    Oops. Look at the previous post for my comment for Trish.


  2. Anna Campbell
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 2:44 am

    Hey, Trish, what a fun column! Maria and Marisa, this is a great idea. The range and scope of what you can get in YA always amazes me. Congratulations to all the RITA finalists!


  3. Vanessa Barneveld
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 4:34 am

    Hi, Trish! I, too, am reading the RITA-nominated YA books. I’ve read Tina’s wonderful HOTTIE, and HELL WEEK is next. You’ve just convinced me to pick up GHOSTGIRL – thanks for the recommendations!


  4. MJ
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 4:59 am

    I just got into reading YA. I finished Ghost Huntress by Marley Gibson and plan to start The Forest of Hands and Teeth this weekend! I look forward to more recommendations!


  5. Phyllis
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 7:27 am

    I haven’t read a YA, well… since I was a YA. But your post has me ordering on these up on Amazon! They sound good!


  6. Patrice Michelle
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 8:50 am

    This is great, Trish! I’m so glad to see YA getting it’s on segment here on RNTV! 🙂 Am currently reading Midnighters: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld.


  7. Jan
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 8:58 am

    Hi Trish! What a great idea for a column. More suggestions for the other readers in my life–my niece and my DIL.
    Scott Westerfield’s Uglies is up next for me.

    And Andi love Heartbreak River!


  8. PJ
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 9:54 am

    Trish, welcome to the RNTV family! I’ll be looking forward to your YA recommendations every month. I haven’t read much YA yet so your segments will help me identify good books to try and also books to buy for the young teen and pre-teen in my life.


  9. Esri Rose
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 9:58 am

    Great column. I love the cover on ‘Oh My Gods.’

    What do you bet Charlotte Usher in ‘Ghostgirl’ gets a second chance at life in ‘Homecoming’? Not that that’s a bad thing. It’s how I’d write it.


  10. Marisa
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 10:00 am

    Hi Trish! We’re so glad you’ll be with us every month to tell us what’s up with YA!

    I’m hoping no one throws a chair at me, but I’ve yet to read the Twilight series or see the first movie. I’m thinking that might be “how I spend my summer vacation”.


  11. Nancy Northcott
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 11:02 am

    Hi, Trish–

    A fun column! I dip into YA occasionally and am always on the lookout for something good. “Cause I always need more on the TBR pile . . .

    Marisa, I haven’t read or seen Twilight either. I’m always too far behind, so it’ll probably be a DVD afternoon for me.


  12. Maria Lokken
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 11:09 am

    OMG! Marisa and I really are twins. I was seriously, no lie, going to write the exact same thing she did – but she beat me to it.


  13. Tina Ferraro
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 12:32 pm

    Thanks so much, Trish, for featuring the YA Rita finalists here at this wonderful blog. I am a big fan of Rosemary’s and Tera’s (and their books!) and feel honored to be in their esteemed company, and to be representing the YA genre.

    GHOSTGIRL sounds great, and I’d like to offer up another YA paranormal for consideration that I just read and really enjoyed: IF I STAY by Gayle Forman. If you haven’t read it, check that out, too!


  14. heidenkind
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 3:03 pm

    Don’t forget The Vampire Diaries (based on the YA series by LJ Smith) will premier as a TV series on the CW this fall.


  15. Trish Milburn
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 10:33 pm

    Hey, everyone. So sorry I’m late to my own post. I totaled my car on Saturday and had to spend all day today driving all over Metro Nashville test driving cars. Good news is I have it narrowed down to a couple and hope to make a decision tomorrow. Now, on to the comments…

    Debra, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    Anna, you are so right. There is a breadth and depth to YA now that there wasn’t when I was a teen. Love it.

    Vanessa! Golden Heart nominee in da house. 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading Tera’s and Tina’s books. I think you’ll really enjoy Rosemary’s.

    MJ, those are both on my TBR list.


  16. Trish Milburn
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 10:36 pm

    Phyllis, be sure to tell me what you think when you starting reading YA.

    Patrice, I really enjoyed the Midnighters series.

    Jan, I’m so glad Andi enjoyed Heartbreak River! Westerfeld’s Uglies series is also on my TBR. So many books, so little time!

    Hey, PJ. Thanks for the welcome. I’m thrilled to be here. And hopefully once I get a car and get some early June deadlines behind me, I can come out to play here even more.

    Esri, I’m curious about the story in Homecoming too.


  17. Trish Milburn
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 10:43 pm

    Marisa, you’ll find that the Twilight series is very divisive. Some people (like me) love it. Others, not so much. And there’s the whole manufactured Twilight vs. Harry Potter thing that I honestly thing was created by journalists. (Let me pause for a moment to lament how my fellow journalists often act. Sigh.) I love both series, even though they aren’t alike and the authors styles aren’t alike. And that’s okay.

    Nancy, you need to read some YA because you and another friend have finally gotten me to reading Lois McMaster Bujold. Granted, I’m on like Page 12 of the first of the three prequels, but at least I’ve started. 🙂

    Maria, LOL. My sister and I aren’t twins, but sometimes we have the same thought and will type the same thing into instant messenger at the same time. We say, “You’re in my brain!”

    Tina, congrats on your RITA nomination. That must be incredibly cool. I have seen If I Stay mentioned all over, and it’s getting good bookstore placement.


  18. Trish Milburn
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 10:46 pm

    heidenkind, I didn’t know that about the Vampire Diaries! How did I miss that? Must read the books before then. Thanks so much for mentioning this. I’ll investigate and may feature it in my next column.


  19. Rosemary Clement-Moore
    on May 21st, 2009
    @ 11:54 pm

    Trish– Thanks for talking about the YA Rita finalists in your column, and for your kind words about Maggie et. al. I have to say that you will (also) love Oh. My. Gods and How to Hook a Hottie. They’re great books. (I was already a fan of Tera and Tina, so I couldn’t be more tickled to be in their company.)

    I’ll have to pick up Ghostgirl. It sounds like something I’d really enjoy. I was leery of it’s kitchy cover, but obviously shouldn’t judge by that. (ha ha)


  20. Trish Milburn
    on May 22nd, 2009
    @ 12:18 am

    Hey, Rosemary. Glad to see you pop by. I really do love Maggie. I’m really looking forward to reading Hell Week once I get past my own deadline.


  21. Tera Lynn Childs
    on May 22nd, 2009
    @ 11:15 am

    * arrives late to the party … as usual *

    What a fun column, Trish! I love seeing YA get more exposure in the greater sphere of romance. (As Twilight has proven, adults can love YA just as much–or more!–than teens.)

    And, echoing what Tina and Rosemary already said, thanks for throwing the spotlight on the YA RITA finalists. I’m a gushing fangirl about both of their books, too, and couldn’t be happier with my nominated sisters.