on display

The good news is that I’m moving tomorrow. The bad news is that my new toilet might not be installed in time. But my contractor is promising that it will be. Because, like, a person needs to use the bathroom. Even if that person will be washing up at the kitchen sink for a few days. So I’m keeping the energy positive on this last day of my packing party.

Yeah, I’m still packing. Not sure how all this stuff fit into my apartment. People are marveling at the towers of boxes in here. It’s mostly books and clothes and more books. But still. I have to go out and scavenge for a few more boxes now.

Before I go, I wanted to share some more good news with you:

Susane Colasanti and the Keep Holding On display at Barnes & Noble

That’s me spazzing over the Keep Holding On Barnes & Noble display. They’re in stores nationwide until the middle of July!

Although I’ve been looking forward to moving for so long, I can’t believe it’s finally time. It’s been a sweet nine years here in my charming West Village brick building. But as the Jeffersons said, I’m moving on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky! The strange thing is that my new apartment is one mile from this place, yet in some ways it feels like 100. That’s the thing about New York neighborhoods. Each one really is its own world. I can’t wait to explore my new world of Gramercy. And of course share everything with you.

See you on the East Side 🙂

three days to go

How long have I been waiting to say that I’m moving in three days?

About three years. Longer actually. If you count how long I’ve been waiting to move into an apartment I own, that would be my whole New York life. Sixteen years.

As you can imagine, it’s been a packing frenzy around here. The last time I packed was nine years ago when I moved into this place. I forgot how many boxes I’d need. Buying boxes is bogus. Reusing materials is much better. Which is why I’ve been hounding the bookstore and teahouse and deli for boxes for weeks, carrying them home a few at a time, constantly banging into them in my tiny living room. I’ve been packing all weekend and am surprised that I need more boxes. Where did all this stuff come from? Why do I have 25 pairs of jeans but only wear five? And don’t even get me started on my massive graphic tee collection.

But with a shiny new apartment (that’s twice as big as this one) comes shiny new possessions. Remember that Sex and the City ep where Carrie registers to marry herself? That was me in Crate & Barrel a few weeks ago. I’d always wanted to saunter around the store with one of those scanners, pointing at all the pretty things I would like. While I wasn’t able to buy all the pretty things, it was fun to select some new kitchen stuff and furniture. People came up to me asking when I was getting married. I was like, “I know, right?” Then I explained that I wasn’t registering for my wedding. It’s a Carrie Bradshaw thing.

Other than moving into my shiny new place and revising book seven, another goal for this summer is to acquire a collection of bracelets like these:

Beach Bag Book Club

Super fantabulous reader Lacey was kind enough to let me document her bracelets at Beach Bag Book Club last week. That was the last event of the Keep Holding On book tour. I loved doing the event last year with Elizabeth Eulberg and Jen Calonita. So I was stoked to be invited back. They always have the BEST cake. And the best accessories:

Susane Colasanti, Elizabeth Eulberg, and Jen Calonita

If you weren’t able to see me on this tour and would like a signed book, Books of Wonder has tons! You can call them to order a copy at 212.989.3270.

Big thanks to everyone who’s read Keep Holding On. Your support and encouragement have been amazing. Your comments and emails have touched my heart. I really appreciate you spreading the word about this book. I’m happy to see that reviews are still being posted, like these recent ones:

Also! RT Book Reviews asked me for this post on abusive teen relationships. And here’s a resource for teachers, librarians, and book clubs: A discussion guide and Q&A for Keep Holding On.

Well, packing calls. And strategizing who to hit up for more boxes…

team unicorn

When foreign editions of my books are published, I really have no idea what the covers will look like until I find them online. Every country has its own aesthetic for teen novels. What works here might totally backfire somewhere else. So it’s always interesting to see what other countries decide will sell. I’m really impressed with the way Indonesia designed their edition of So Much Closer:

So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti, Indonesian edition

What I love the most is how this cover captures the city at nighttime. It portrays the High Line like the original hardcover did, but here we get to see sparkling city lights. I am all about city lights. And how cool are those origami unicorns? The main character, Brooke, loves challenging herself with advanced origami. There’s a crucial scene involving an origami unicorn. This cover delivers on so many levels.

If I weren’t in the middle of packing, I would totally dig out my origami papers and books and try making one of these unicorns. But I guess it will have to wait. Dude! I could bring my papers to the High Line and make one there! Boom.

packing my bffs

In case you’re wondering what that big L on my forehead is, it might be because the 70-year-old lady in my gym class today was lifting heavier weights than me. Ah, the joys of being back at Square One. I get that I have to build up to where I was before my surgeries (i.e. the bootleg first surgery that didn’t work and the highly successful second one). It’s just hard not to be frustrated. But I know I can do this. For everyone out there struggling at your own Square One, we are in this together. What’s helping me is dedicating the entire summer to working out, cooking with lots of vegetables in my new kitchen, and buying plenty of the summer fruit I love from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, both of which are a three-minute walk from my new apartment. I’m moving in 10 days and cannot WAIT to start making fruit salads with watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, cherries, and all the berries. I love making the ones where you cut out half a watermelon and put all the fruit in there. All the colors!

Fruit salad

Moving on June 28 means that I’ve started packing. Can I just tell you how much I heart packing? So much that I had to force myself to not start packing like three months ago. Most people complain about packing which I totally understand, but dude. Freaking love. IT. Yesterday was devoted entirely to packing my books. Ten hours, a few breaks, and stacks of boxes later, I still wasn’t done. I’ve been selling some of my furniture on Craigslist. Craigslist was a brilliant idea, btw. This really nice guy bought my Workbench bookcases. He’s coming to pick them up tomorrow. Don’t worry – he’s not a weirdo. Parting with my beloved bookcases won’t be easy. But visions of my new glossy white built-in bookcases always soothe me.

I also sold my puffy chair on Craigslist. As soon as I posted the ad with a picture of him looking all puffy and comfortable, I immediately wanted to take it down. There could be a way to justify keeping him in addition to my new 11.5-foot sectional, right? Look how cute he sounded in the ad:

Pier 1 puffy chair

This big, puffy chair is so freaking comfortable. I hate to part with it, but I’m moving and will finally have room for a grownup couch.
Pier 1 chair, soft cream upholstery with dark wooden legs
35″ deep, 36″ wide
Very clean and looking for a good home 🙂

Oh, puffy chair. I makes me sad to part ways. We had lots of good times together. Thanks for the memories.

This really sweet girl from California bought my dresser. I decided to post my furniture at way lower prices than I could have because I wanted to offer good deals to some friendly neighbors. So I’m happy the dresser is going to her.

I’m surprised at these unexpected emotional attachments to furniture. Kind of like how attached I am to my books. People annoy me when they ask if I’m switching to a Kindle or whatever. My books are my friends. Some of them have been with me since I was a little girl. They’ve seen me through the hardest times in my life, have given me hope, and offer support whenever I need it. Books are my BFFs. When people scoff at my ginormous book collection I always want to ask them, “Would you put your BFFs in a Kindle?”

Yeah. I didn’t think so.

The last event of my book tour is coming up on the summer solstice! If you’re out on Long Island, I hope you can be there:

June 20, 2012 – 4:15pm
Merrick Library Annex
2369 Merrick Avenue
Merrick, NY 11566

This is a Beach Bag Book Club event with the lovely Elizabeth Eulberg. As if doing this event with her for the past two years on the summer solstice wasn’t awesome enough, there will be cake. With our book covers on it. Yay summer!

events this week

Woo! This has been one crazy week. This whole month has been crazy. But crazy in the best possible way. The kind of crazy where everything is happening at once and everything is exciting.

I’m moving two weeks from today. My new apartment is completely gutted. I stopped by last night after the workers left to admire the walls, which are being skim coated. I just stood there petting the walls. I can’t get over how smooth they are. I’ve never had perfectly smooth walls before. Apparently, I am fancy now. I’ll fill you in on the progress soon…and maybe even share a pic of my new European toilet. It’s quite the work of art.

Until then, just a quick reminder of three events this week as the Keep Holding On book tour continues! Here’s where you can find me:

June 14, 2012 – 6:00pm
Books of Wonder
18 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
Summer Love panel with Elizabeth Eulberg, Jennifer E. Smith, and Melissa Walker

June 15, 2012 – 2:00pm
Barnes & Noble
Princeton Marketfair, 3535 US Route 1
Princeton, NJ 08540
Anti-bullying discussion and signing

June 16, 2012 – 11:00am
Merritt Bookstore
57 Front Street
Millbrook, NY 12545
Millbrook Literary Festival panel and signing

Hope to see you at one of these super fun events!

front of store

You guys. Barnes & Noble is displaying Keep Holding On for front of store promotion nationwide. When I first heard about this, I was excited for my book to get to play with the grownup books. This is the first time one of my books has been outside of the teen section. I heard that Keep Holding On would be on the adult new fiction table right when you walk into the store. What I wasn’t expecting was to see my book chilling with books by my idols Jodi Picoult and Anne Tyler:

Susane Colasanti signing Keep Holding On on the adult new fiction table at B&N

Jodi Picoult and Anne Tyler have been two of my most favorite authors for many years. I’m honored to be sharing table space with them. Hemingway was also spotted, btw.

I’m also honored to be receiving even more sweet reviews of Keep Holding On. I’m so thankful to those of you who’ve read the book and spread the word. Your support means everything. Here’s a rundown of new reviews:

The emails I’ve been getting from readers who’ve connected with the book have been incredible. It breaks my heart that so many of you are going through such difficult times. I wish I could give you all a big hug and tell you it’s going to be okay. I know it’s really hard to keep holding on. But I survived those hard times. And so will you.

Never give up.

up on the roof

The literary extravaganza that is BEA was so much fun! I had my first signing there and met so many teachers, librarians, and bloggers I knew from online. My signing time flew. I was worried that a bunch of people wouldn’t get their books signed. Fortunately there wasn’t anyone signing right after me, so I stayed late to make sure I got to connect with everyone. Thanks to all of you who waited in line! I was honored that so many of you were there.

Look what I scored at the Penguin booth:

Susane Colasanti with an ARC of Jonathan Tropper's One Last Thing Before I Go

I’ve been a massive fan of Jonathan Tropper ever since Plan B. So of course I’ve been anxiously awaiting his new book, One Last Thing Before I Go. When I found out I’d just missed JT at the booth, I was bummed. But then they were giving out these ARCs like 10 minutes later. The Universe totally had my back on that one.

Even more excitement went down that night. I was invited to the YA Author/Blogger Rooftop Party hosted by Jeremy West of Novel Thoughts, Andye and Amy of Reading Teen, and Liza of WhoRuBlog. Let me tell you something. These friendly neighbors know how to party. Not only did they have the cutest party favors and most incredible decorations (wreaths and flowers made out of book pages by Amy – get yourself on Etsy, girl!), the treats were to die. I am always impressed with attention to detail. Check out these cute book cover adornments on the mini cupcakes:

Rooftop Party cupcakes

As if all of that wasn’t awesome enough, the party was on the rooftop of a 41-story luxury building in Tribeca. The views were beyond amazing. I love seeing my sparkly city of gold from way up high. I rarely get a chance to do that. So the first thing I did when I got to the party was glue myself to the solarium window. Then I went outside:

Rooftop Party view

Can you believe that view? The swirly steel building to the right of center is New York by Gehry. No other building in the world is like it. The building has this ripple effect with windows curving out and swirly lines up the sides. One World Trade (the Freedom Tower) was like right there. I was blown away. I spent a lot of time in front of it just soaking up the energy. This view of the Hudson River and the West Village is pretty sweet. You can totally see my apartment, as I was pointing out to Kelsey of Reading or Breathing:

Rooftop Party view

Big thanks to the hosts of this epic event for inviting me. I am already strategizing how to get back on that roof. And did I mention that my glow bracelets and glow headband were so fly they were glowing right into the next day? Best. Party. EVER.

books and greetings

What up, New Jersey! An epic YA event is coming your way this Saturday, June 9 at 11:00am. You know how Books & Greetings in Northvale does all these amazing events? Check this one out:

Books & Greetings flyer

That’s right. Jen Calonita, Elizabeth Eulberg, Jenny Han, Wendy Mass, Kieran Scott, and Melissa Walker. All in one place. At the same time.

Be there or be a rhomboid.

shining stars

Last night was Penguin’s Shining Stars party at the Top of the Standard. If you ever have a chance to go there, you will not be disappointed. The views are spectacular.

The festivities were just as spectacular. I finally got to meet John Green. I did not freak out. I did, however, sound like a complete idiot after forgetting everything I wanted to say and was standing there babbling like a zillion other fangirls before me. But John Green is gracious. He even took this pic of us! Nerdfighters unite.

Susane Colasanti and John Green at Penguin's BEA party

When I got to the party, Joan Bauer and Richard Peck were right there talking to my editor, Regina Hayes. I would like to note that Regina looked very glamorous. It was an honor to finally meet Joan and Richard. As you can see, I am not as adept with the cam as John Green is. But Richard Peck said he liked this photo of us because he is not bald in it.

Richard Peck and Susane Colasanti at Penguin's BEA party

Speaking of shining stars, I got to have lunch with Sarah Dessen while she was here last week. It’s always so good to catch up with her. We have lots in common, what with our love of everything Whole Foods and flip-flops and organization and cupcakes and Friday Night Lights. Sarah even let me see all of her shiny new paperback covers, including this one.

Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti

Sarah was at the party in spirit. Her spirit was really enjoying the view. Also at the party: The lovely ladies from VH1 Celebrity and RT Book Reviews I recently did guest blog posts with. The VH1 post was super fun. They asked for my Top Five Anti-Bully Classics. Ready for some 80s nostalgia? Check out the post here.

VH1 Celebrity Anti-Bully Classics

Girls’ Life also did an interview with me. I’m sure someone from Girls’ Life was at the party. It was really crowded.

Other shining stars: All of the book bloggers who have posted such sweet reviews of Keep Holding On. I was overwhelmed with all of your support on pub day. You guys do an amazing job of spreading the word about my books. I really appreciate all of your hard work and warm fuzzies. Some new reviews on my radar since I last posted a list are:

Will I see you at BEA? I’ll be signing today from 3:30 to 4:00 at Table 25. Of course I’m getting there early to walk around. BEA is the biggest collection of shining stars ever. I’ll let you know which stars I find!

keep holding on playlist

Presenting…the official Keep Holding On playlist!

1. “Keep Holding On” – Avril Lavigne
This song inspired the title of the book. So empowering and encouraging.

2. “Wait Til You See My Smile” – Alicia Keys
On the darkest days, there’s always hope that tomorrow will be brighter.

3. “Everything” – Lifehouse
These lyrics perfectly capture Noelle’s fantasy of the boy who would be her everything.

4. “Not Afraid” – Eminem
In Keep Holding On, Noelle reaches a point where she is done. She’s done with being tormented. She’s done standing by and watching others being bullied without trying to stop it. And she’s done being afraid to start creating a better life for herself. “Not Afraid” is about being done. It’s about finding the strength to pull yourself out of the darkness. It takes courage to speak up when you or someone you know is being mistreated. Taking a stand against injustice isn’t easy. But now is the time to be strong. Now is the time to reach out to others in need. When you are not afraid, you can change the world.

5. “Darkness” – The Police
The hope that I could live a better life one day is what kept me going during the worst time of my life in high school. On really bad days, I would try to find that glimmer of hope. Hope made everything feel wide open. Like all of the possibilities I imagined could actually be my reality if I never gave up. Darkness is not forever.

6. “First Day of My Life” – Bright Eyes
Noelle is waiting for her real life to begin after graduation. But she realizes that real life is happening right now. This is real life, every second of it. And we all have the power to make this life better for ourselves and others.

7. “Today Has Been Okay” – Emiliana Torrini
On the worst days when every minute feels like an hour and every hour feels like a year, it takes every bit of strength just to survive. But when you get through it, when you keep holding on and never let go, the next day comes. And it’s better than the day before. Noelle learns to be thankful for what she has instead of being depressed about everything she doesn’t. Which makes it easier to survive the worst days.

8. “Breathe (2 a.m.)” – Anna Nalick
This song is just so soothing. It makes me feel like everything is going to be okay. Like no matter what happens, everything will work out the way it should. All I have to do is keep breathing. That’s the feeling I want my readers to take away from this book.

9. “Let Me In” – R.E.M.
Julian is determined to make Noelle see how much he cares about her. This is his song.

10. “Promises Promises” – Naked Eyes
Matt makes promises to Noelle that he can’t keep. He doesn’t love her the way she loves him. But Noelle wants to believe he can change so badly that she ignores that feeling deep down telling her he’s not the one.

11. “Sweet Disposition” – The Temper Trap
A song that’s all about living in the Now, cherishing these moments, and finding happiness in the little things.

12. “Just the Way You Are” – Bruno Mars
Noelle can’t believe that Julian Porter would actually like her. How can he even stand to look at her with all her flaws? Noelle’s insecurities make it hard for her to trust that Julian won’t hurt her. When you’re with the right person, they love you for everything you are.

13. “Wonderwall” – Ryan Adams
This song reminds me of when Noelle finally decides to take a chance on finding something real with Julian. I said maybe…you’re gonna be the one that saves me…

14. “Keep Holding On” – Glee
The Glee version of “Keep Holding On” gives me chills. Every time I hear it, I’m motivated to dream big and never give up. Just stay strong…