As part of Simon & Schuster Publishing’s Summer Lovin’ 2.0 Tour, four YA authors came to the Mission Viejo Library on June 22 to introduce their new books. Still looking for a summer reading list? Search no more. Try out The Treatment, #scandal, Infinite Sky, and Thin Space, by their respective authors Suzanne Young, Sarah Ockler, C.J Flood, and Jody Casella. Here come the next big hits of the year!
All of these books feature teens, as do most YA books these days. The Treatment by Suzanne Young tells of a near future where a suicide epidemic has resulted in the creation of a program that wipes a person’s depression, along with their memories. The only known reversal of the process is the Treatment, a small pill which brings back memories, and it’s over this that our good and bad guys clash. Suzanne writes a very unique thriller, playing on the question: Without our memories and experiences, are we still the same person?
While we are on the memories theme, #scandal by Sarah Ockler reminds us that social media can preserve memories all too well. On prom night, Lucy is photographed kissing her best friend’s boyfriend. When someone posts these pictures to Facebook, things quickly spiral out of control. Soon, Lucy becomes the victim of bullying and shaming at her high school. This book is best described as a mesh of Sherlock Holmes and Mean Girls.
In Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood a band of gypsies set up camp near Iris’ home. She befriends a gypsy boy named Trick, and slowly falls in love. However, the two families clash, as Iris’ father is convinced they only present trouble. Soon, trouble indeed presents itself. When the emotional rollercoaster runs loose, you’ll be reminded of Romeo and Juliet.
Our final book is Thin Space by Jody Casella. It tells of two twins, Austin and Marshall. When Austin dies in a car accident, Marshall is consumed by survivor’s guilt, and begins falling apart. In his desperation, he begins searching for a thin space, where the walls separating the worlds of the living and dead are thin enough to cross. Overall, this book has a somewhat dark mood, like the still silence after tragedy.
Besides showing off their new books, these authors also gave us insight on their writing process. Often times, authors come up with ideas based on their own life experiences, and make a story out of it. Characters can come from anywhere: family, friends, people you meet at the grocery store. Of course, the next step is to actually put the story together. Writing is looking at the wall and daydreaming– until the storyline makes it onto paper. Sometimes, authors work on multiple projects at a time as the publisher reviews the book.
Most of these authors started out as part-time writers and gradually built up confidence. So, to any aspiring writers out there, keep pursuing your dreams, even if it’s in small steps at a time. Did you know Suzanne Young started by writing murder mysteries in sixth grade? Who knows– maybe one day you’ll publish a book for us to review on here.
-Phillip X., 8th grade