forever in love insta giveaway

The final book of my City Love trilogy, Forever in Love, comes out two months from today on July 11.

So of course I am celebrating with a giveaway. This one is on Instagram! (Or Facebook, if you’re not on Insta). Just post a screenshot of Forever in Love on your Goodreads Want to Read shelf, like this:

Forever in Love - Goodreads Want to Read

and tag me in your pic. Here’s the giveaway post on my Insta with all the info.

Two winners will be randomly selected (US only) to win signed hardcovers of Forever in Love, plus another City Love trilogy book of their choosing. This giveaway ends on May 26, 2017 at 11:11pm EST.

Bring on the summer reading! ❤

your dream life in connecticut

Connecticut! I am coming your way on Tuesday, May 16, 6:30-8:00pm at the Meriden Public Library for a presentation of Your Dream Life. Your Dream Life focuses on how to make your big dreams reality starting right now.

Your Dream Life with Susane Colasanti

When I was a teen, I felt like I was always waiting. Waiting for something to happen. Waiting for things to change. Waiting for my life to get better. I didn’t get the memo that, although there were so many things I had no control over, I did have the power to start creating my dream life. I had the power to make some of the changes I wanted to see happen.

That’s why I am doing this presentation. To give you the memo no one gave me.

A Q&A discussion and book signing will follow this free event. Bonus: refreshments will be served. Hope to see those of you in the area there! xoxo

the wonder years

The Wonder Years was my truth in high school. My rock. That half hour it was on every Tuesday or Wednesday night at 8:00 or 8:30 was my favorite half hour of the whole week. My happy place. My sacred time to connect with characters who were my people. A time for the brilliant tone and nuances and writing of that show to break down the walls of my loneliness and depression. I felt validated. I felt understood.

Back then there was no Netflix. No binge watching. You had to wait a week for another ep of your show to come on, and the next day at school all your friends were talking about it. While I love a good binge, I appreciate that my lifetime is spanning both realms of technological advancement so I got to experience old-school TV and the freedom to watch more than one ep of any given show at a time. Patience was required back in the day. Instant gratification was not a thing. There was wonder in waiting a whole week for the next ep of your show to come on. There is always a kind of beauty in anticipation.

But. Now it is 2017, and The Wonder Years is on Netflix. And I’m pretty sure I set a world record for fastest binge watch ever.

Mainly because I wanted to see how adult me would react to the show vs. teen me. I wanted to see if the show still felt as powerful as it did 25 years ago. Also because I never saw the last two seasons. I left for college after Season 4 and haven’t had a TV since (I watch Netflix on my laptop). I was beyond stoked that such an old show, my favorite show, had these unseen lost eps which made those two seasons a new show for me. Fresh eps! One of the first details I noticed was everyone’s glasses. Season One takes place in 1968, when everyone was apparently wearing the square and round glasses that are in (back in, dig that cyclical trend) today. So there was that thing when you realize your new glasses in 2017 are straight out of The Wonder Years circa 1968.

The Wonder Years, Paul Pfeiffer

Rewatching those eps that I cherished in high school plus the lost eps I’d never seen before, all those same feels came rushing back at me like it was 1989 all over again. And new things too, like how Kevin’s parents seemed so old at the time, but now they’re my age. Mind. Blown. I mean, I can’t imagine having three kids in high school and college. My life plan in high school was to get married in my early 20s and have two kids before 30. But I’m grateful the Universe guided me down the path I was truly meant to take. Now I feel like I wanted those things because that was my impression of the only acceptable life a person could have to be considered normal. Fortunately I realized that being weird and happy was more important. Like Ellen DeGeneres said, “As long as you stay true to exactly who you are, you will be rewarded in ways that you can’t imagine.”

Out of respect for 1973, the year The Wonder Years world came to an end and the year I was born, I will end with lyrics from “Bookends” from memory. Not googled. Just what my heart remembers. One of the things I adore about this show is the soundtrack. They feature several Paul Simon and Simon & Garfunkel songs, songs I played in my room constantly in high school. With the exception of a few bands like The Cure and R.E.M., my musical tastes were one generation removed. Paul Simon, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, Cat Stevens…that was my music. “Bookends” is a short, poignant song that intensifies with age. This is how I remember it. And them.

Time it was, and what a time it was
It was
a time of innocence
a time of confidences.

Long ago, it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They’re all that’s left you.

The Wonder Years

top five, book love edition

Greetings, friendly neighbors! I don’t know about you, but I am having the best time with my spring reading. SO many outstanding books to escape into. For example…

1. You know how you and everyone you know binged 13 Reasons Why the second it appeared on Netflix? Well I am still savoring the sweet anticipation of watching the entire season for the first time. Initially it was because I was waiting for a key component of viewing to arrive. Because hello! No way was I watching without my binge box!

Susane Colasanti with her 13 Reasons Why binge box

Some post office drama ensued when I did not receive the first binge box sent to me. Jay Asher, who is the sweetest human being ever, had our publisher send me another one. When that one arrived, it became clear what happened to the first one. Someone totally stole it. I mean, the box is printed on the outside with 13 Reasons Why graphics and Jay has like a zillion fans. Obvs someone snapped it right up. But yay that the second binge box arrived, and yay for all the nifty gifties inside, and yay for an upcoming chunk of time dedicated to bingeing what I know will be a phenomenal show because all I hear is how much everyone LOVED it. Thanks, Jay!

2. In other dope packaging news, the ARC of Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith also arrived in a gorgeous box with pretty tissue paper and a sweet note. You guys know I am Jen’s #1 fangirl. Her writing is just so beautiful, so evocative, and her stories always resonate with me. Windfall is an absolutely brilliant story. How does Jen always come up with the best ideas?! Seriously, the girl defines high concept. I loved how Jen dug even deeper with her writing this time around. No spoilers, but she weaves this poignant island / peninsula / landlocked metaphor throughout the story that was incredibly on point. Windfall comes out on May 2, and you will def want to add this gem to your TBR pile.

Oh, and if you’re in the Los Angeles area? You might want to swing by the launch event.

Jennifer E. Smith and Lauren Graham

3. I recently read The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder and just had to give it a shout-out. I love WW’s writing! This is the kind of book that makes you smile on every page. I had an extra attachment to the story, which took place in Middle of Nowhere, NJ. That’s where I’m from, and as it turns out Wendy grew up not too far from me in the woods. Different woods, but all New Jersey woods are connected, so different but the same. There is something about being from New Jersey that automatically connects everyone from New Jersey in a way that is both nostalgic for past experiences we didn’t have and the ones that shaped who we are today. Anyway. If you’re looking for a unique story with outstanding writing, this book is for you!

4. What am I currently reading?

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Oh, I don’t know. Just one of the best books ever written in the history of teen literature.

BOOM.

I mean, can words express my love for Becky Albertalli’s books? No. No, they simply cannot. Becky is inside your head. This girl knows all the things. And she says the things we all know but usually don’t say because they’re too embarrassing or we think we’re a weirdo for thinking them or we just feel too desperately alone. The Upside of Unrequited is taking me right back to all those shiny happy Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda feels. So. Much. LOVE. ❤ ❤ ❤

5. What’s up next? I’m feeling Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner. JZ (see what I did there?) is one of the most interesting people I know. The dude has done so many things with his life, and is still innovating like a mofo starboy. He’s had careers in the music world, legal world, performance world, and of course book world. Jeff is a shining example of living life out loud, taking risks, and being a badass. Can’t wait to escape into his latest world.

Happy reading 🙂

the search for everything

Today is the day, John Mayer fans.

The Search for Everything is out in the world.

As John Mayer’s biggest fangirl, my search for everything ended on February 25, 2010 when I scored impossible front row center seats to his Madison Square Garden show. One of my favorite activities is making the impossible possible. And that was the best. night. EVER.

John Mayer at Madison Square Garden, 2.25.10

I’m celebrating today by kicking it old-school with a mix of Room for Squares / Heavier Things combined with the new album. Our attention spans are so short now (8 seconds on average, while the average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds) that artists are releasing singles in waves before albums because few us of can handle an entire album anymore. Part of me aches with nostalgia for the days when a new album would be released and everyone would go buy it, then take it home and listen to all the songs together. Hearing those songs for the first time, all of them in an order that meant something, was the biggest rush. An album release was something to look forward to. Something to cherish. Something to share with your friends.

But another part of me appreciates that JM released “Love on the Weekend” first. I grooved to his classic musical sound, euphoric that he was connecting to his roots full-circle. Then Wave One came out with “Moving On and Getting Over,” a super fresh jammer, and Wave Two brought us “Still Feel Like Your Man” and “Emoji of a Wave,” a song that always makes me tear up. John Mayer has been playing the soundtrack of my life since 2001, and The Search for Everything brings that history home.

John Mayer at Madison Square Garden, 2.25.10

Oh yeah. I was pretty much sitting on John Mayer’s lap that night. That thing where there are fifteen thousand people in the room but it just feels like the two of you? Is something I’d never experienced before and probably will never experience again.

Which is why I remember that concert so clearly. The pure euphoria of making my big front row center dream reality. Finally there was nothing between us. No heads getting in the way of my pictures. No arms in the air obscuring my view. Jumping up and down to “Bigger Than My Body” as John smiled right at me, knowing that I totally understood every nuance of that song. The charged rush of “No Such Thing.” The swoony spell of “Assassin.” Putting my camera away during “3 x 5” out of respect. Every time I hear those songs, I am right back there with John again.

John Mayer at Madison Square Garden, 2.25.10

Wondering how I made the impossible possible? You can read my blog post from 2010 here.

Wishing you sweet karma for the ultimate concert experience of your dreams, friendly neighbors. Rock on ❤

top five, lucky stars edition

1. The NYC Teen Author Festival was, as usual, amazing. This year 1,500 readers came to see over 120 authors. Many literary funtivities ensued. Oh, and if you heard that this year was the 10th Annual NYC TAF, that was just a rumor. Next year will be the 10th, which I’m sure will bring the level of amazing up several notches.

You may recall a certain NYC TAF event last year in which someone you know did a handstand. Although I was hoping David Levithan and I would participate in more acrobatics this time around, I wanted to have a backup plan ready to deliver the dazzle. So when I heard I was going to be on a panel at McNally Jackson with Adam Silvera, of course I had to bust out the silver accents. Because fabulousness.

Susane Colasanti and Adam Silvera at McNally Jackson Books, NYC TAF 2017

2. You might be wondering what happened to Adam’s arm. Let me take you back a couple hours before this photo was taken (by OG booklover Mitali, who knows all the things, including the best angle to take a hot pic). We all went to dinner before our panel. Every time I see Nicola Yoon, I bring whatever new Little Prince collector’s item I’ve recently acquired to show her. Our mutual love for The Little Prince is fierce and unwavering. You can see most of my Little Prince collection in this video, in which I fangirl hardcore over Everything, Everything.

So back to dinner. You guys, it was wild. One second we were eating. I was really into this delicious mint cucumber lemonade that was just so perfectly refreshing. And I was enjoying this big salad (because I always enjoy a big salad) with tofu and sundried tomatoes and the good kale. The next thing I knew, Adam and Nicola threw down some serious arm wrestling action. Naturally I documented for you.

Adam Silvera and Nicola Yoon, NYC TAF 2017

As you can see, Nicola had already done some damage to Adam’s other arm by the time she moved in on this one. Which of course I also documented. But I didn’t want to shame Adam by posting Nicola’s win. In case you happen to see Adam in the near future, please note that he is pretending his injury happened some other random way. Let’s go along with him to be supportive, okay?

3. You know that book events are my fave part of being an author because that’s where I get to meet you in person! Sometimes I even get gifts, which blows my mind. And not just any gifts. My readers give me the sweetest, most thoughtful gifts ever. Like these lucky stars from Ciel. Each one is a warm fuzzy to brighten my day. Just like Sadie would make in the City Love trilogy (and So Much Closer)!

Lucky star warm fuzzies

4. Speaking of warm fuzzies, I am seeking out the warm fuzzy feels by being on the lookout for spring flowers. New York City isn’t quite bursting with them yet, but I will be ready when they bloom, which always seems to happen overnight like a sweet surprise. Spring flowers are the BEST flowers. Tulips, lilies, daffodils, and my fave, hyacinths. Hyacinths smell SO good. I will be sniffing them up every chance I get.

Hyacinths

5. Don’t you love when your mug matches the book you’re reading? This super cute photo from Dana just had to be shared.

City Love by Susane Colasanti

This spring will be all about enjoying the Now, sniffing the flowers, and practicing daily gratitude. Being thankful for the things you do have feels a lot better than being disappointed by the things you don’t. So cherish everything good in your life, and thank your lucky stars for all that makes you grateful.

See you in April, friendly neighbors! xoxo

happy spring, friendly neighbor style

Happy first full day of spring, friendly neighbors! The vernal equinox occurred early yesterday morning, and I wanted to write this post yesterday while I was in full-on first day of spring celebration mode. But my 2017 Year on Fire was en fuego with activity yesterday. I will be writing other posts specifically on my 2017 Year on Fire as incredible news unfolds to illustrate the power of positive energy in manifesting big dreams. For now, this is all about the positive energy of spring.

Mutts by Patrick McDonnell - Spring 2017

Let’s go back to yesterday for a minute. Not only was March 20 the first day of spring, it was International Day of Happiness and Fred Rogers’ birthday. ALL ON THE SAME DAY.

Mind. Blown.

That’s like one of the biggest non-coincidences I’ve ever seen.

I was freaking the eff out. First of all, I could feel the power of spring energy in the air the second I woke up before I even remembered it was the first day of spring. You know that groggy feeling you have when your alarm goes off and you want to sleep for two more hours? That’s me pretty much every morning. But yesterday? I did something I’d never done before. My alarm went off and I actually raised the roof in bed. Raised the roof a second after I woke up because I was wide awake and so happy. And then I remembered it was the first day of spring and I could just feel the positive energy spring brings and I visualized everything this season will manifest. It was the ultimate TGIM wake-up call.

All day I was busting out happy dances and throwing confetti around, as I do. How fitting that it was International Day of Happiness – oh snap! I just realized that connection to feeling so happy when I woke up! – on Fred Rogers’ birthday. As you know, I worship Mister Rogers in a godlike way. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was the inspiration for my whole friendly neighbors thing. Fred Rogers was the OFN (original friendly neighbor) and I love how he taught so many kids about the importance of kindness, compassion, and being exactly who you are.

Fred Rogers, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

I’ll leave you with this quote by Fred Rogers when he was testifying on the importance of educational programming for kids in front of the US Senate to encourage funding for the National Endowment for the Arts:

If we can only make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable, we will have done a great service for mental health. I think that it’s much more dramatic that two men could be working out their feelings of anger than showing something of gunfire.

Wishing you much love and light this spring ❤