… written by Libba Bray



Libba Bray @ The Scholastic Store in SoHo


After reading the Gemma Doyle trilogy, I was absolutely enthralled with Libba Bray‘s storytelling style. It was imaginative, it was magical, it sucked me in and made me struggle to take my time to savour the tale because I wanted, so badly, to devour it.

Later, I picked up her Going Bovine standalone and was both impressed and perplexed. Perplexed with the surrealness of the story itself (what’s real/what’s in his head), and impressed by her ability to string the absolutely absurd together in such a way that makes you want to keep on reading.

Then, Beauty Queens was released by Scholastic and I was privileged to attend a signing done at the Scholastic Store (pictured above). Beauty Queens was satire and wit. There are a lot of characters, but they never felt flat. It’s definitely absurd, but that absurdity helps to expose the reader to a thoughtful narrative on popular culture, and modern society.

From this point, I pretty much vowed to buy everything Libba released, so when The Diviners came out, I was ready for anything. The Diviners had a lot of things I loved; the roaring 20s, mystery and a touch of the supernatural. Ok, a lot of the supernatural, so much so that I stopped reading this book before I went to bed because it was hard to turn off my imaginings. The main protagonist (Evie) was self-centered, and while I am not a fan of books with main characters like that, she didn’t annoy me as much as I thought she would (though she tried to really hard in the end).

So, after reading an 1800s fantasy series set in England, a surreal dark comedy set in NOLA, an absurd satire, and a 1920s paranormal/historical series set in New York, I think it’s safe to say that Libba Bray is a versatile author; and I’m probably still going to read everything she publishes.


This is Teen – a Scholastics Book Signing Event

The Scholastics Store hosted Libba Bray, Meg Cabot and Maggie Stiefvater for a Q/A session and book signing as part of the This is Teen tour. (Yes, I know, I’m far from my teenage years, but listen, Libba Bray was going to be there and I’ve yet to meet Meg Cabot – who’s Princess Diaries I enjoyed as a teen – and Maggie Stiefvater – who’s books I’ve heard good things about, you would have gone if you were me. Stop judging!)


They shared a few fun things with us; Maggie loves researching, Meg loves writing in her diaries and Libba loves to steal Maggie’s research and Meg’s diaries. Meg has a crush on Hades . (Ok, this is how rumours start, don’t believe a word I said, you just had to be there.)

Then they had the signings. Libba remembered me from Twitter handle – thumbs up my “unique” name – and I have decided to label that fangirl moment #3.

 She also humoured me in holding up a peace sign.

Meg commented on my name – I’ve never thought of my name being different or nice in any way, but I suppose I’ve grown up hearing it often and familiarity causes it to lose it’s uniqueness.

And I caught the tail-end of Maggie’s line as we chatted about her books and the fact that there are only few people whose recommendations we trust. (See those books on the desk? They were being signed, I’m sure the Scholastics Store might have a few signed copies, so go and take a look if you want one.)

I’m looking forward to reading these books – stranded beauty queens, wolves and greek myths retold? What’s not to love!?

I’m a fangirl

Fangirl; n.: a female who supports an idea, trend, company etc, with an intensity bordering crazy.

Here’s the deal, I’m not crazy (sorta, kinda). I just love books, and because I love books, I love the people who write those books. With the entry of Twitter to the world of Social Media, it’s become easy to have a conversation with authors who were otherwise unreachable – except when they tour. So when one of my favourite authors respond to my tweets well, I usually have a moment of excitement, then I carry on with whatever I’m doing.

So when Scott Westerfeld retweeted my Behemoth tweets? *yay*

BTW, the last book in that trilogy comes out this Fall! I hope Mr. Westerfeld goes on tour with his wife!

Then Justine Larbalestier responded to me when I made a comment about her name. I like Justine for a lot of reasons, she’s the reason I got into YA lit as  much as I currently am. I was looking for a Harry Potter fix between books and one of my friends mentioned a controversial book geared towards young people and of course, I had to check it out. After reading Magic or Madness, I decided to read the rest.  It’s also where I picked up the word widdershins. That’s a cool word.

Once I was finished with the Magic or Madness trilogy I found her blog and realised that she was the wife of Scott Westerfeld, whose Uglies books I remembered seeing on the shelves in the bookstores, but always passing them by because the name sounded superficial (yes, I was judging the book by its name). However, realising that Justine was made of awesome, I decided that her husband was probably made of awesome as well and bought the first Uglies book. I’ve been devouring his stuff ever since. Scott is most definitely made of awesome.

Then I started reading Scott’s blogs, and reading the blogs of the authors Justine and Scott recommended and the rest is history.

I’m not sure who did it, but somewhere along the line Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty was recommended. I bought it. I read it. I loved it! Then I became a Libba Bray fan. I don’t know what goes on in the mind of Libba Bray, but I can hypothesis and it’s scary but wonderful. After reading her Going Bovine novel, I wondered if that wasn’t more an autobiography than a work of fiction. She’s insane. She’s funny. She’s ingenius.

Enter Holly Black. I saw her books in the bookstore a number of times, then one day started thumbing through Tithe. I got as far as the title page, I’ve been reading Holly’s books ever since. She’s a master of world crafting, faery lore and now, mobster fantasy. Wow. Impressed. *hat off* *confetti*

This can go on, but I’ll conclude now with …

Two fangirl moments etched into my brain.

2nd moment: I cannot tell you how happy I was that Maureen saw my Ginny European Tour map and loved it! I spent a lot of time on that map and I seriously want to visit all the places she described in her book 13 Little Blue Envelopes. So, to see your work appreciated by an author who worked hard to present a good book? Priceless.

1st moment: Not only did Holly Black say that she loved my steampunkesque necklace during the ZvU debate signing, but Justine Larbalestier, yes, THE Justine, recognised my twitter handle (first name) and even remembered my profile picture. I might have been smiling like a loon, I don’t know, but it was the best. fangirl. moment. ever.