Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Susan Dennard tackles a truth AND a dare!

Today's guest author is a good friend of mine, the lovely Susan Dennard, who's debut novel SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY just hit shelves a week ago today! I love this novel with a fierce passion. It's equal parts action, horror, mystery, romance, and...oh yeah...The Dead. (If you haven't snagged a copy yet, I encourage you to head to your nearest bookstore immediately!)

Susan was kind (and brave) enough to answer both a truth and a dare for us today.

First up, the truth:

I asked Susan, "What was the hardest (or scariest or most emotional) part of your publishing journey?" 

Without a doubt, the hardest part of my publishing journey--before I was published, and even now after the book has finally reached stores--has been conquering my self-doubts.

Before I had a book deal, it was a trial each day to keep believing I would ever make it. After the fifth revision of SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY, I couldn't help but wonder if I was even cut out for this "crap"--if I had the skills it would take to write, finish, and revise a book that people even wanted to read. By the tenth revision, I was certain I didn't have what it takes.

But I kept going. It's kind of funny in hindsight, but I remember telling my husband on more than one occasion (especially by the time the twelfth revision rolled around and I knew the book still wasn't ready for agents' eyes): "If this book never sells, I'll write another book. And then another...until a publisher finally wants one. And then, one day, I'll self-publish all those unseen manuscripts."

Fortunately, I won't have to do that. :) SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY did sell and it's now in stores. Huzzah! Fist bumps all around!

Except...despite all my dreams "coming true", I still find self-doubt to be a huge piece of my life. A huge hurdle I have to jump every morning when I wake up. Sure, the doubts have transformed--it's no longer, "Will my book ever make it into the world?" but "Will my book survive this world?" Will people hate my book and no publisher ever wants another from me? Or, why does XYZ person have so much more marketing and push--does this mean my book SUCKS?! And why aren't my sales better--oh gaaawd, I am a horrrrible wriiiter!

And goodness, I wish I was exaggerating, but this is a TRUTH post, so I'm tellin' you nothing but the truth.

But--the very shiny silver lining of it all--is that I'm also aware of my self-doubts and aware that they aren't constructive. I've found a weapon that works exceptionally well against crippling fear: being as stubborn and tenacious as a bulldog.

First, I remind myself that even if THIS book isn't the one that people love, I have hundreds more stories inside me to share...and one of those will be the one. I just have to be patient. Then I tell those fears to go where the sun don't shine, and I sit at my computer and work. Everyday I rediscover the love of storytelling that first inspired me to write all those many, many years ago, and I let my passion take control until all those nagging doubts are lost beyond the floodgates.

So, as Corrie ten Boom said, "Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength." Self-doubt may be a part of my life as a writer, but that doesn't mean I have to let it rule me.

So honest and inspirational, right? (I feel like this resonates with querying-and-stressing-Erin just as strongly as it resonates with almost-published-and-still-stressing-Erin.)

And on to the dare:

Post the first draft of the query for your debut novel (as submitted by K. Fotinos-Hoyer). Susan wasn't able to track down the original draft of her query for SS&D, but she found something even better. I'll let her explain:

Okay, so...to preface this query letter. It was THE VERY FIRST I EVER TRIED MY HAND AT WRITING. It's clunky, but that's not actually what's embarrassing about. What's embarassing is that it was for the VERY FIRST BOOK I EVER FINISHED WRITING. Not the first book I ever wrote, but the first I ever reached The End on.  It was also terrible. As soon as I finished it, I KNEW it was bad and I slid it into my filing cabinet, never to be seen again. Then I sat down and started writing what would eventually become SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY. :)

So...enjoy. And promise not to laugh too much.

Dear Dream Agent,
Emma, a 27-year-old sci-fi geek, is wasting away in her ho-hum, Atlanta-life.  Her board games designs meet constant rejection, her bills keep piling up, and her best friend has run out of anything positive to say.  When her estranged mother arrives unexpectedly, all of her pent up frustration suddenly finds an outlet.  But, sorry, Mom; it took Darth and Luke three movies to become friends, so there’s no way Emma’s letting her emotional baggage go in a measly three-week visit.

And then an opportunity for dream-fulfillment appears: Atlanta’s sci-fi convention is hosting a game design contest.  Now Emma just has to get her newest prototype finished in the next two weeks.  Oh, and she did agree to help her young coworker beat off his bully.  Okay, and there’s still that nagging problem of her mother who won’t take “no” for an answer.

In the chatty style of Sophie Kinsella but with a narrator more interested in George Lucas than Louis Vuitton, SCI-FI DIARIES: CONFESSIONS OF AN E.T. will appeal to fans of humorous women’s fiction.  It is my first novel, complete at 95,000 words.

I am an avid follower of your blog, and I love the authors you represent (insert names here).  As per your submission requests, I’ve enclosed (insert whatever the agent’s website asks for).

I’m a member in good standing of the RWA, the Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal chapter of the RWA, and the Chick Lit Writers of the World.  I also host a blog  at http://susandennard.com.

Thanks for your consideration and time,

Susan Dennard

So it may not be YA, and it sounds quite different than SS&D, but I have to admit--the Sophie Kinsella meets George Lucas narration sounds pretty darn awesome. What do you guys think?

A huge thank you to Susan for stopping by today and being such a good sport with our games. Be sure to check in on Friday when Alexandra takes on a truth or dare. (Submit your own for her right here!)


Susan is a reader, writer, lover of animals, and eater of cookies. She used to be a marine biologist, but now she writes novels–and not novels about fish, but novels about kick-butt heroines and swoon-worthy rogues. She lives in Germany with her French husband and Irish setter, and you can learn more about her crazy thoughts and crippling cookie-addiction on her blogtwitter, or facebook

Her debut, Something Strange and Deadly, is now available from HarperTeen!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Shannon Messenger Takes the Truth

Okay, I know I usually vlog--and I know there's some lovely humiliating Shannon-vlog dares that you guys have submitted for me--but with moving and deadlines I just did not have time this week. So NEXT TIME!

And for now, I'm answering this truth that came in:

What were some working titles for your book that didn't make the final cut?

I picked that one because titling LET THE SKY FALL was ... basically torture. 

I'm glad we went through it because I love love LOVE my title and am soooooo glad my editor and I kept pushing until we got there. But getting there SUCKED.

My original title was WINDWALKER, which is another name for the sylphs in the book and sort of the impetus behind the whole idea for me. (part of me is secretly hoping I can sneak it into the series title somehow, mostly because I STILL slip and call it Windwalker sometimes, and then I wouldn't look like an idiot) (but I'm not holding my breath for that).  I knew early on that it would change, because my publisher wanted something more romantic to match the story better--and I was totally fine with that. But finding something that had a romantic feel without reading like a book that needed shirtless Fabio on the cover was NOT easy. 

I sent my poor editor list upon list upon list of suggestions--all of which were rejected. (to be fair--I am TERRIBLE at titles, so they were all pretty much crap). I emailed friends who'd read, begging for ideas. When those didn't help I sent a short synopsis to friends who hadn't read. Still nothing. My publisher and I seriously went through HUNDREDS of options. And as tends to happen, I liked some ideas that they didn't, they liked some ideas that I didn't, and since we were all committed to finding THE ONE, we kept going. For MONTHS. 

So during that stressful process I couldn't help throwing a few fake ones in the mix sometimes, just for giggles (or temporary-thesaurus-induced-insanity). Here's a few of my favorites:

The Fast and the Flurrious
Blown Away
Cold Front
First Drafts
Squall Is Lost

Though my FAVORITE was one I even made a mock cover for (and yes, I sent this to my agent and editor at one point--like I said, temporary-thesaurus-induced-insanity)

(photo credit: layoutsparks)


I mean, it's a fart joke, a wind pun, and a TWILIGHT reference in one!!!!!!

So yeah... this is why I'm not allowed to name my books. (or design my own covers, for that matter)

My middle grade (KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES) was actually titled by my agent's daughter (my editor made a couple of tweaks to her suggestion and viola! After months of me making terrible suggestions) and LET THE SKY FALL was a suggestion from Karsten Knight. I am 0 for 2!!! 

And seeing as how book two of my middle grade series is still labeled "UNTITLED KEEPER 2" I'm guessing I am not going to be much help with that one either. Let the title torture begin!

Thanks so much for reading, guys. And if any of you would like to submit a truth or dare for us to tackle, you can do that HERE. (And please do--we LOVE the awesome things you guys come up with)


Shannon Messenger graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where she learned--among other things--that she liked watching movies much better than making them. So she left LA and moved to suburbia where she would have time to eat too many cupcakes, own too many cats, and write lots and lots of books. LET THE SKY FALL is her first young adult novel, coming in Spring 2013 from Simon Pulse. She is also the author of KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES, book one in a middle grade series launching Fall 2012 (S&S Aladdin). Find her online at shannonmessenger.com.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Meagan Spooner takes the dare!

Today we're happy to welcome author Meagan Spooner who was brave enough to take our dare challenge.

Meagan Spooner currently lives and writes in Northern Virginia, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there's no telling how long she'll stay there. 
In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads. She is the author of SKYLARK, coming out August 1 from Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner Books. She is also the co-author of THESE BROKEN STARS, forthcoming from Disney-Hyperion in Fall 2013. 

Here's how you can visit Meagan:

(Meagan! That was awesome! You can totally sing! And it sounds like you can totally write too, because your book sounds amazing. Check out the blurb at the end of post.)

Here's a link to the original song, which is awesome, and done absolutely no justice by my revamped rendition. Definitely go check it out.

And for those of you who like to follow along, here are the lyrics to the writerly version!

I am writing
All day and night
And I am listening to the click clack
Of the keyboard again
And I am getting
Nowhere with you
And I can’t get it right
And I can’t get through

And my agent is calling and
My editor is frantic and I can’t ask
For more time again
And I’m sure that I can make it
Sleeping is for losers anyway

And past tense
Now try past tense
Oh no I tried this before
I am writing
As quickly as I can and all these
Words that never end and so I say
Let’s start again

I am watching my word count rise and fall
Like that number will save me
From the rest of it all
‘Cause my heroine is Sue-ish
And my plot is a disaster
And I’m ignoring the fact
That nothing happens in this act
In past tense

And still it’s sort of magic when the words start to come
‘Cause there’s lessons to be learned and battles to be won
And I’m writing faster now than I have ever before
 And when I wake tomorrow I will
Erase it all

I am writing
All day and night
And I am listening to the click clack
Of the keyboard again
And I am getting nowhere with you
And I can’t get it right
And I can’t get through

And past tense
Now try past tense
Oh no I tried this before
I am writing
As quickly as I can and all these
Words that never end and so I say
Let’s start again

Her book, Skylark, comes out August 1, 2012

For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley waited for the day when her Resource would be harvested and she would finally be an adult. After the harvest she expected a small role in the regular, orderly operation of the City within the Wall. She expected to do her part to maintain the refuge for the last survivors of the Wars. She expected to be a tiny cog in the larger clockwork of the city.

For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley believed in a lie. Now she must escape the only world she’s ever known…or face a fate more unimaginable than death. 
Lark did not expect to become the City’s power supply.

Thanks again, Meagan for stepping up to the challenge. That was so awesome! Up this Friday to take on your truth or dare: Shannon Messenger! Leave her your ideas here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Natalie Whipple Draws Herself

Before we get to my dare, how about we announce the winner of the 13 books we wish we'd written? Okay? Okay! The winner is:

Kat Vela!!

Congratulations! Please email us at fridaythethirteeners[at]gmail[dot]com and we'll get these books sent!

As for Friday's dare, I decided to take up Candi on drawing a self portrait. In fact, I went the extra mile and drew a couple! First up, we have an anime version of the photo I use online. Tada!

But let's face it, that's not how I really look these days, all perky and done up nice. So I decided to draw me in my usual pose these days—holding baby in the rocking chair. I live here, guys. Thank goodness it's a comfy chair.

And finally, I thought it would be fun if I asked Ninja Girl to draw a picture of me! She is four and already quite the budding artist. As you see, she was nice enough to give me a unicorn horn. Because, why not, right? I could so rock a unicorn horn. She also decided to throw me a birthday party. Ninja Girl is very thoughtful.

So there you have it! My self-portraits complete! Hope you enjoy, and next week Shannon Messenger is up for dare, so leave some good ones for here (or any of us) here.


Natalie Whipple is a YA writer and card-carrying nerd. Her favorite areas of the nerd realm include anime, Korean dramas, good cheese, and playing mmorpgs with her family. She takes pride in writing the weirdest books she can think of, and her novel, TRANSPARENT, will be out Summer 2013 from HarperTeen.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lydia Kang Takes The Dare

Okay, so way back when, April asked me to do a truth or dare, and I picked a dare. This one, to be exact:

Go to a cemetery at dusk and write a poem.

I put it off for months! But the time came, and lo and behold, it was Friday the 13th last week, so it was meant to be. I drove to the Bohemian Cemetery in town, prayed I wouldn’t get arrested or maimed by the dead, and did the deed. Actually, I did the deed several times, as you can see. I also have pictures to prove that I went.  See? (in one of them, I found a 4-leaf clover looking thing. I think the spirit of the Lucky13s was with me. J)

Here are my poems. Yes, I wrote a bunch. The dead, the robins, and the mosquitoes kept me company.

Cemetery at Dusk

In the quiet of the cemetery,
I heard the mourners.

The ones who wept a lake,
and the unmoving, those who screamed inside themselves

for Anna
for Charles
for Vaclav and Mary.

I heard others who laughed with shameful spite
happy to be parted with the freshly dead.

And those who cried because,
they’d wished they’d had more time.

Antonia’s grave

Antonia said she disliked lace.

It makes me sad, she said.
Bury me in clematis vine
in lapis and gold leaf
with a water veil
and the perfume of an angry woman.

And so he did.

A Question of Death

Will you say goodbye
to the firefly and the cicadas,
the angry words and the scent of violence?

To salt and caramel and regret,
To love so keen it bores like a parasite?

I ask you this, knowing there is no answer,
knowing there is no choice.

Lydia Kang is an author. A part-time doc. A salt-lover. A geek-girl. A hyphen addict. She is represented by Eric Myers of the Spieler Agency, and her YA sci-fi novel, CONTROL, will be out with Dial/Penguin in the summer of 2013. Find her awesome blog here.

Next up: Natalie, this Friday. Send her truth and dares.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Happy Friday The 13th!

It's Friday the 13th again and we're celebrating with anagrams and a giveaway! (Bear with us. This will all make sense shortly.)

Not too long ago, one of the Thirteeners stumbled upon this wordsmith site where you could plug in your name, a phrase, anything, and get anagramed results with the click of a button. We started playing with it, plugging in our names (awesome pen name options!) and finally our book titles. 

What resulted, was this fantastic list of truly compelling novels:

Heathen Debutantes & Bedevilled Peewees by Altho Pluckier
La Dude by Peach Seminal
@Ken by N. Amber Wino
A Located Noise Pit by Dabbler Cry Not
Veal Gas by Duenna Lax-Canar
Ninjas Sneer for John by A. Minions
Fat Elk Tell Shy by Gram Nonsense Hens 
Creeper Hypotheses By Hell Eon 
A Damned Hamster Thug by Sane Hangmen
Android Knot Port by Syncing Mind Mi
Vino Tit Pop by Askew Ties 
Tanners Tarp by Lineal Thaw Pipe 
And then, in typical Thirteener fashion, we had to take it a step further by creating things like fake covers and riveting synopses.  I mean, aren't you dying to read La Dude after this writeup and jacket?  

LA DUDE by Peach Seminal

Surf slacker extraordinaire Sam "the dude" Foster is seeking the next big wave in Australia when he takes a wrong turn at the airport and ends up in Paris.  Having no money for a ticket home, Sam must get a job in a Parisian cafe. Soon he's embracing the French way of life, dropping "bonjours" and "au chantes" like a pro. La Dude is the story of a man who loses his way, and finds it again, all with the help of a little ooh-la-la.

And check out these other mock covers. Admit it: you'd totally pick one of these up at your local bookstore.
photo for @KEN by Madeline Yoki and used under Creative Commons

And then you'd be headed straight to the registers, money in hand, if the author had credentials like so:

Yeah. Ahem. Thank you for indulging us.

Now that we've had our fun, we wanted to offer up some fun for you. Below is a list of books each of us Thirteeners adores and wishes we had written first! (These are novels written either in our respective genres, or novels with similar themes/voice/style to our upcoming books.) 

One lucky winner is going to receive these 13 books:
WHITE CAT by Holly Black and HEIST SOCIETY by Ally Carter (from Natalie)
BATTLE ROYALE by Koushun Takami
(from Elsie) 
PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White (from Shannon) 
WINTERGIRLS by Laurie Halse Anderson (from Brandy) 
THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins (from Mindy) 
ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD by Kendare Blake (from Jenn)
UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi (from Erin)
HOW I LIVE NOW by Meg Rosoff (from April) 
THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX by Mary E. Pearson (from Alexa) 
SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo (from Ellen) 
THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater (from Kasie) 
TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson (from Megan)

Use the widget below to enter the giveaway:


So that's it! Happy Friday the 13th to you all! We hope you've enjoyed celebrating with us, even if the anagrams were a little crazy.  ;)

Next week Natalie Whipple is on the chopping block. Send her truth and dares here. And if you're a published (or soon to be published) author, don't forget you can sign up to guest post with us. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dorothy Dreyer Takes the Dare

Today's guest post is from Dorothy Dreyer, and as you'll see, she wrote a book, and you'll like it!

Dorothy's bio:

Dorothy Dreyer writes young adult books. She's an American living in Germany with her husband and two teenagers. Her debut YA urban fantasy, My Sister's Reaper, comes out May 29, 2013, from Month9Books. The sequel releases in May, 2014. She'd love to hear from you on FacebookTwitter, or Goodreads.

Dorothy says:

I had originally planned on taking the truth. I was all set on writing a serious post about the writing journey, perseverance, etc. But then I read the dares. And I couldn't resist.

I saw the dares "Sing your favorite theme song" and "Sing a silly children's song" and "Write a theme song for your book," and I thought ... wait a minute! A couple years ago, I wrote a parody song about querying to Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl." I dared myself to sing it and make the video for the Friday the Thirteeners gang.

So here it is, "I Wrote a Book." Please forgive me for the over-the-top facial expression and, you know, the singing.

We Friday the Thirteeners think Dorothy is a triple threat: great writer, great singer, and so hilarious! Thanks for that awesome video, Dorothy!

Next up on the blog is a very special post...for Friday the Thirteenth! We try to do something a little extra fun each Friday the Thirteenth, and I think you'll like what we have planned for July 13. And there might just be PRIZES involved!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Mindy McGinnis Takes The Truth

It's time for me to take a truth, and while I'm more of a stretching-the-truth kind of girl, I did find one suggestion in the truths that definitely resonated with me. Follower Orchid F. wants to know if there's anything that scares one of us more than having our book out in the wild for the masses to read. My answer is - definitely.

So what scares me? Watch my fun vlog to find out.


Mindy McGinnis is a YA author and librarian. Her debut dystopian, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, will be available from Katherine Tegen / Harper Collins Fall, 2013. She blogs at Writer, Writer Pants on Fire. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Brandy Colbert Takes the Truth

Thanks for the warm welcome last week, everyone! I am super excited to be a part of the Thirteeners and for my very first post, I picked a truth. Specifically:

What are the novels that made you think? The ones that wouldn’t leave your head for weeks after you turned the last page?

Those that know me well shouldn’t be surprised I chose this one. There are few things I love more than talking up people, places, and things that I love. A friend once told me they were always intimidated to meet my other friends because I talked them up too much. So, yeah. I’m kind of an all-or-nothing type of person, and naturally, this extends to my love of books. I’m sticking with YA/MG novels since we are a group of children’s book writers, but this still proved a difficult list to narrow down. When I fall for books, I fall hard. And these are a few that I can’t stop thinking about/recommending/forcing anyone within shouting distance to read:

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
I picked up this book in February 2011, just a few months after its release. I hadn’t read A.S. King’s debut novel, so I was simply going by the jacket copy and the original, hardback cover (which I continue to love). The thing about this book is that it’s inherently dark, as it deals with the death of Vera’s best friend, Charlie, with whom she was frequently on the outs. But it’s also funny. And quirky. And sad. And damn smart. I loved Vera. Her voice just spoke to me. Felt like I’d known her for years. And I so admire the way King draws on this unique voice to slowly unravel Vera’s story and complicated relationship with her dead best friend. This book is a master class on pacing, tension, and character development, and when I finished I immediately turned back to page one because I couldn’t bear to leave this story. I still think about it all the time, more than a year later, and if you’ve ever asked for a book recommendation, chances are this one was at the very top. 

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott 
When I was revising my novel for my agent prior to submission, she suggested I read this book for research. I cringed. I stared at the book for a few days, tucked neatly into my bookshelf. I removed it from the shelf and looked at it a few more days until I finally worked up the nerve to open the cover. The surprising part? I’d already read it. I owned it and I thought it was brilliant—but I never wanted to read it again. If you’ve so much as peeked into this book, you know what I mean. To say it is an uncomfortable read is, perhaps, the understatement of the century. Imagine some of the most horrifying stories you’ve heard about abduction victims, then imagine the victims relaying that time in captivity. In fairly graphic detail. Multiply that by 10 and you have LIVING DEAD GIRL. I’ve read a lot of reviews that cry, “This book isn’t suitable for young adults!” and “It didn’t need to be so graphic!” I completely disagree. Completely. Stories like this need to be told. Yes, they make us put down the book, they give us nightmares, and they make us squirm. But if this book reached even one person who needed to read it, could relate to it, changed because of it? It is necessary. I think about this book a lot and I can’t imagine the places Elizabeth Scott had to go, mentally, to tell Alice’s story. It’s so damn brave and sad, sad, sad. I should also say that my own novel has an abduction storyline, and I don't think I would have had the courage to even attempt to write it if I hadn't discovered this one. It’s necessary.

Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You by Barthe DeClements
Yup. I just took it way back. To 1985, y’all. So, it was technically published a few years before I was old enough to read it, but I discovered this book sometime in elementary school – ordered from the Scholastic Book Club, thank you very much – and I can’t count the number of times I’ve read it since then. (But I do revisit my stacks and stacks of childhood books every time I’m back home in Missouri and I read this one almost every time, if that gives you an idea.) A companion novel of sorts to DeClements’ other MG and YA books, this one focuses on Helen (or Bad Helen, as her classmates call her). She’s great at sports and socializing and prank-pulling—not so great at reading and following the rules. I didn’t exactly relate to Helen, but I think that’s the point. Her ongoing shenanigans and inability to want to help herself were infuriating; thus, she was the first narrator I can remember working very hard to like and understand. I enjoy a relatable main character as much as the next person, but I’ll take a complex and realistic character over “likeable” any day. I also adore DeClements’ spare, almost casual writing style. As a child, I wondered how she was able to tell such a complete story in so few words and now I realize that in addition to being one of my very favorite authors, she was one of my very first influences as well.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Yet another book that I just can’t shut up about because if you haven’t read it, let me assure you it is much better than anyone can articulate. Much. Dare I say it’s perfect? I'll admit I was skeptical to dive in; I'm fiercely protective of the underdog (I mean, I proudly own and often watch the Rocky saga - come on) and I just knew Auggie and his story would break my heart. And yes, there were tears, but they were a surprising mixture of sad and joyful. Books like this are so wonderful (pun kinda intended) because they maintain a strong, valuable message, yet it's so skillfully woven into a compelling story that you never feel like you’ve been beaten over the head with it. Not to mention WONDER is beautifully written, surprising, and timeless. And makes you want to be a better person. So. I loved it. My friends loved it. My mom loved it. You will, too. Promise.

Have you read any of these books? Agree? Disagree? What are the novels that stuck with you? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Thanks for submitting your fun truths and dares, and don’t forget to come back Friday for a post by the fabulous Mindy McGinnis.

Brandy Colbert lives in Los Angeles where she works as a freelance magazine copyeditor, combining her Journalism degree and love of words and grammar. Her debut novel, A Point So Delicate, is forthcoming from G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers/Penguin in Fall 2013. She'd love to connect with you on Twitter, her blog, or Goodreads.