How excited am I for tomorrow? After months of waiting for pub day, All I Need will be out in the world tomorrow.
So. Freaking. Excited.
I’m doing a pub day event (with cake!) tomorrow, May 21 on Long Island. And I’ll be doing an event in upstate New Jersey with the adorable Sarah Mlynowski on Wednesday, May 22. Here’s my complete event schedule.
The All I Need blog tour kicked off today over at Forever YA. Don’t you just love Forever YA? They’re sharing the official All I Need playlist (i.e. my ultimate summer mix tape). Plus you can win a signed copy of All I Need. Dude, you can win a signed copy of All I Need at every single blog tour stop over the next two weeks! How awesome is that? Here’s the blog tour schedule.
Are you on Goodreads? I’m answering your questions today – and only today – at my Featured Author Group. Join the group and ask away.
Growing up in New Jersey, my newspaper was The Star-Ledger. I used to spend weekends and summers at my grandparents’ house. I remember how much I loved the Sunday comics, how we’d pass them around and decide which was the funniest. So it’s especially nostalgic that All I Need was reviewed in the Sunday Star-Ledger yesterday. You can read the review here. I’m not sure how long the link will be up, so I’ve included the review below. A sweet full-circle moment
See you tomorrow, friendly neighbors!
It always comes down to timing — with love, jobs, even what books we feel like reading.
Like so many, I wish I could be down the Shore now, but on a week when work commitments make that impossible, reading about Sea Bright as the backdrop for a young adult novel was good timing.
There’s a sweet earnestness to All I Need, which is neither for the cynical nor those who can’t remember the exquisite pull of first love. In the case of Skye and Seth, it may also be a last love.
They could be that rare couple who meet as teenagers and stay together. The book’s device is to tell the romance from Skye’s perspective and, in the next chapter, from Seth’s. All chapters are song titles, from “Bring on the Night” (The Police) to “I’ll Be Loving You Forever” (New Kids on the Block).
Susane Colasanti, who grew up in Peapack-Gladstone, does a good job of getting inside the head of a girl about to start her senior year of high school and a boy about to go to college.
Lately, young adult novels may have eclipsed memoirs as the must-write book — but like books of any genre, they must be written well to hold readers.
The lightness of this story springs from the fact that Skye is looking for the sort of loving relationship her parents enjoy. If that’s sappy, so be it. There’s nothing preachy about the book, and there are worse things than having a teenager aspire to a healthy relationship.
Here, Skye watches her parents just before the annual end-of-summer party:
“My parents are sitting together on a blanket. They’re staring out at the ocean. Mom leaning against Dad, still happy to be married after twenty-one years. That’s all I need. To find a soul mate to share my life with. To have a love so epic it will never die.”
She grew up cosseted in Newfoundland during the school year and in one of the fancier houses in Sea Bright in the summer. Through most of the book, Seth’s parents are separated. He’s from West Orange and his dad’s place in Sea Bright is more of a shack.
Skye and Seth meet on the beach at twilight; young and gorgeous, they fall in love immediately. But they have to part and don’t get to say goodbye.
They pine for each other possibly the way only teenagers can, though they do get on with their lives. Skye has two best friends; one forever on a diet and an aspiring fashion designer, the other a more caustic, budding filmmaker.
Seth and Skye both become briefly involved with others. He is at Penn, where he has to work to help pay for school. It wasn’t as if the mansions at the beach compared to his ramshackle place hadn’t already taught him the stark realities of money. But being at an Ivy League school, where roommates and friends don’t have to work, accentuates his lack of funds.
Seth and Skye get back together, and though she never flaunts her money, she naturally has it easier. When Skye visits him at school, she takes a taxi from the train station; he always walks and one day thinks:
“Whenever I walk to campus from the train station, an intense feeling floods over me. It’s like this strong sense of coming home. Crossing the Walnut Street Bridge to Center City is powerful, too. If freedom, excitement and possibility all got together and decided to become an emotion, that would be the feeling I get. By the time I hit Rittenhouse Square, I’m buzzing over the potential awesomeness of it all. Growing up in suburbia will do that to you. One whiff of city life and you’re like an uncaged animal running wild.”
Skye, meanwhile, has to navigate that heinously stressful college application process. Her parents, liberal and trusting as they are, are not thrilled that she spends hours each night talking with Seth and traveling whenever she can to see him. There’s some friction, but nowhere near the drama that can explode between parents and teenage daughters.
Though they endure bumps along the way, you know Seth and Skye will make it for all the right reasons. It helps that their timing was excellent — as was Colasanti’s, for setting a novel at the Shore, just when so many of us long to be there again.