Thursday, August 7, 2014

Blogoversary Day Seven: Guest Post With Aimee L. Salter

Hello everyone! I have decided to do something a little different this year for the blog's second blogoversary! This year, each day I will have a post or two from authors and bloggers that I ADORE! Many of them will have giveaways specific to the post, as well as the overall giveaway! The big giveaway has tons of prizes, from swag to signed copies of books!

Please welcome, the unbreakable, Aimee Salter!

Guest Post:

Please welcome Aimee, with a guest post about one of HER favorite books!

Happy Blog-o-versary Tween2Teen! Here’s my nomination for BEST BOOK EVER:

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay won't be to everyone's taste. But for this reader it was so close to perfect a knat could starve on the difference.

I'm not going to summarize the plot because, frankly, I suck at that. But, I will say that if you're a fan (or writer) of raw, contemporary YA, then The Sea of Tranquility is a Code Red Must Read. Buy it now. Then start reading it and try to stop. I dare you.

But I don't want to spend today expounding on TSoT (though, trust me, it's tempting). What I do want to do is get my analysis down on why I enjoyed it so thoroughly.

Element of Awesome #1 - Characters We Haven't Seen Before

This is pretty straight forward, but worth noting. As a reader, these characters are very, very real to me. Not just because I loved them, but because the writer achieved what I believe is the perfect balance between recognizable traits, and a unique blend with depth. I haven't seen Josh or Sunshine before. Even Drew, who seems cookie cutter on first appearance, demonstrates actual depth (more on this later).

Element of Awesome #2 - There Are Surprises
The character I mentioned above, Drew, is the primary example of this, but the book is full of them: People or plot points that you think you can anticipate. BUT YOU CAN'T (trust me on this).

Drew walks on to the page in typical Man-whore style -- and lives up to that trope the first few times we meet him. But by the end of the book I just want to squeeze him and sit on a couch with him and bask in the brilliance of who he is. And he isn't even the hero of the tale!

Element of Awesome #3 - Technical Brilliance
There's no way around it, Katja Millay has a turn of phrase, a wit and a vocabulary (on both ends of the mannerly scale) that provide a shiny vehicle for this story. And maybe this is what sets TSoT apart from other stories that have grabbed me by the shoulders and shaken me until I finished the last page: The writing is stellar. It's clever. It's funny. It's emotional. There's no telling. No explanations. No over-emphasis of important points, no faux ex machina. My OCD internal editor didn't even cough.

Element of Awesome #4 - The Plot Vehicles Didn't Rev Their Engines
Let's face it, in every story there are elements of the plot that just can't occur unless some other circumstance is in place. In YA it's usually the marginalization or removal of adult authority figures.

Katja does that too, but in such a way that the removal of those figures drives the entire book. The motives and circumstances of this story aren't just convenient, they're critical. Literally, the story couldn't occur unless these unique circumstances were in place.

And last, but not least: Element of Awesome #5 - Emotion

I'm not sure I can explain this, but I'm going to try.

At one point, about halfway through the book, when the characters were firmly ensconced in my heart, and I was wholly invested in their lives, a very quiet, very unobtrusive paragraph opened a new chapter.

Six or seven lines. Nothing dramatic.

And I wept. Literally.

It wasn't because the author had thrown down a literary gauntlet and pulled the tears from my eyes. It wasn't because a massive, emotional reveal had just occurred. It was because she'd used the pages before that moment to make the characters so real to me, that when one of them told me an anticipated event had occurred, I cried for how I knew the character must feel. My emotions were so completely engaged, I reacted to this character just as I would have a true, dear friend.

I was moved.

Frankly, I don't have a clue how to replicate this impact. It is the part of this book that blows my mind into the next solar system. But I have a feeling it has something to do with depicting your characters in such a way that they look, sound, and act like real people. Like people I could run into on the street any day of the week.

So that's it... those are the things I learned from reading this incredible book, then thinking about it for five days straight afterward.

Like I said, the story itself may not be your cup of tea. But if you're a big reader, or someone who’s writing YA, I'd seriously consider it a MUST READ.

This book rules.

Katja Millay is my new hero(ine).


Every Ugly Word follows 17 year old Ashley who is relentlessly bullied at her high school and by her own mother, and his helplessly in love with her best friend, Matt, who is bullied by his father.

She seeks help by looking to her future self, “Older Me” who supports her through it all and teaches her to love herself. But is she really seeking “Older Me” or is she looking within herself for the answers?

When Ashley looks in the mirror she can see and talk to her future self. “Older Me” has been her support system through her relentless tormentor’s bullying, her unstable mother at home, and her forlorn love for her longtime best friend. But when Ashley discovers “Older Me’s” betrayal, she is targeted in the worst way and impends her last chance with Matt. She’s done with hearing every ugly word.

Author Bio:

 Aimee L. Salter is the author of Every Ugly Word, the story of a high school junior learning to copy with the effects of severe bullying – and who can talk to her future self in the mirror. (Alloy Entertainment, July 2014) Available now. 

You Can Find Her At:


Second blogoversary giveaway extravaganza!

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the giveaway and I accidentally clicked the wrong box and I didn't get to see what I was supposed to comment about. The blog is awesome by the way!! :)