Archive | March, 2013

If You Find Me Giveaway!

20 Mar

This week I’m reading two great St. Martin’s Griffin releases, Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell on audio and If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch. The former title is a sweet story of first love set in the 1980s. The latter is a debut YA novel about a teen girl, abducted by her mother as a child and hidden away in the woods for years, who is forced to reenter society when her mother goes missing. If You Find Me will be celebrating its release Tuesday, March 26. To help celebrate we’re offering a giveaway!

A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Griffin, we have 2 advanced reader editions of If You Find Me to share with Love YA Lit readers! Enter using the Rafflecopter entry form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit author Emily Murdoch’s blog to learn more about her life and her books!

The Bird King: An Artist’s Notebook

10 Mar

Shaun Tan is best known for his unique and touching wordless graphic novel, The Arrival, and the three story collection, Lost and Found. Through his surreal illustrations and visual storytelling he explores themes such as immigration, colonization, depression, discovery, and friendship. The Bird King: An Artist’s Notebook is a peek inside his creative process and his artist notebooks. The book features short essays by Tan introducing collections of images grouped by theme including untold stories; book, theater, and film; drawings from life; and notebooks. In one of the introductory essays, Tan writes:

“My stories generally begin with images rather than words, modest sketches drawn in a fairly aimless way. One of the joys of drawing is that meaning can be constantly postponed, and there is no real pressure to ‘say’ anything special when working privately in a sketchbook. Nevertheless, interesting or profound ideas can emerge of their own accord, not so much in the form of a ‘message,’ but rather as a strangely articulated questions. A scene or character seems to look back from the page and ask, ‘what do you make of this?’ A drawing feels successful to me when it is both clear and ambiguous, something I try to underscore by adding an equally ambiguous title. While there is no set meaning in any of these drawings, there is an invitation to seek one (for myself as much as any other audience).”

This is really how I “read” this book – open to ambiguity and constantly asking myself, “what is happening here?” Because the images have limited text attached to them – the ambiguous title he mentioned in the above quote, a footnote perhaps at the end of the book – the reader can explore the image and create their own meanings, their own stories. It is rather thrilling. For those familiar with Tan’s work, images in the “book, theatre, and film” section will likely be familiar, and the footnotes often prove especially interesting here. The book is rather small in shape, especially in contrast to other Shaun Tan books, and so while the content feels well suited for a place at the coffee table, it stands out as something quite different. While the main audience for this book will likely be those already familiar with (and enamored with) his work, I believe that this book will also appeal to those interested in the artistic process or who are looking for some creative inspiration.

Em’s rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Author: Shaun Tan
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (February 2013)
Note: ARC received from publisher for honest review