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.

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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…

on the news

Thanks for all of your pub day love! And thanks to everyone who saw the Keep Holding On segment on the PIX11 morning news yesterday. Emilie Woda, the girl who was interviewed, was so open and articulate. I love her confidence. She has the courage to speak up and talk about the things I was too mortified to admit in junior high. I really admire her positive attitude.

Emilie Woda is my new hero.

This pic was taken during the filming with Emilie and her dad:

Susane Colasanti and Emilie Woda

The Studio on the Run bus was so tricked out. I could have chilled there all day. They even had a Keurig, which I didn’t have time to enjoy. So no one should be surprised if I crash a random taping on the bus to get my beverage on.

You can watch the news clip here.