holding up the universe

I was only a few pages in to Holding Up the Universe when I was like, Seriously? Could this book be any more dazzling? Because no. No, it could not have been. The book was already so spectacular I didn’t even know what to do with myself.

This is what I’m talking about. Jack’s 10-year-old little brother is carrying a purse to school and doesn’t care one hang what anyone thinks. Something flew out of Libby’s nose when she was laughing at a cute boy’s joke in class and it landed on his textbook. BOOM.

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Does writing get more brilliant than that? And I mean, this story is incredibly unique with two of the most endearing characters ever. It is fresh and fabulous, written in a style I absolutely adore. As if I wasn’t already fangirling hardcore, with every page turn I fell in love even more. I was like, Are you seriously this awesome, Jennifer Niven? SERIOUSLY?! Because yes. Yes, she seriously is.

Holding Up the Universe is phenomenal on about 73 different levels. This story is stunning. Consuming. Absolutely brilliant. This is one of the best books I’ve read in my entire life, across all genres. As a bonus, if you have met Jennifer Niven in person then you know how sweet and genuine she is. I am beyond thrilled she is writing for teens now and cannot wait to read her next YA novels!

So yeah. Just thought I’d share some book love with you. Read on, friendly neighbors. ❤

grand foyer

So the holiday season is here. For some of you, this is a fun time with friends and family, days off, and general cheer. But for others, the holidays are the most difficult time of year to endure.

I was one of those others.

If you have separated from your family as a survival tactic or don’t have a family to be with, I feel you. You are definitely not alone. I am sending you sparkly positive energy right this second. And also, I hope, sharing some inspiration that might help make the holiday season more bearable. This post also applies to anyone who has big dreams, who is working on achieving goals, or wants to make changes in your life. So, you know. Everyone.

Here in New York City, closet space is treasured even more than an amazing view. Ripping out a closet is unheard of. People buy apartments and build more closets. But after I bought my apartment and was planning a gut renovation, my architect wanted to do something outrageous. Something no one ever does. He wanted to remove a closet by the front door. At first I was waiting for the punchline. Because of course he must have been joking. But he wasn’t joking. He wanted to take out the closet and create a foyer. Note that pretty much anywhere else, a foyer is a large entryway area, measuring about 40 square feet. In downtown Manhattan, an entry space that’s like 2 square feet is considered large enough to be classified as a foyer.

By ripping out this closet, I wouldn’t just be gaining a foyer. I would have a grand foyer. Because there were about 10 square feet to work with.

Here’s what the entryway looked like before renovations.

Grand foyer before

That open door was to the closet my architect wanted to remove. Those slatted doors were to another closet which I kept (but of course had nicer doors made), so I wouldn’t be missing out on a front closet for coats and things. I decided to go for it.

Letting go of something you thought was essential to make room for something even more amazing is a vital part of evolution as an artist. You have to take risks. No matter what you are creating – music, photography, film, books – you have to challenge yourself to grow. To reach the next level in your journey. To keep things fresh and relevant.

I saw the bright potential in destroying that dark space. It was an unthinkable change. But. Look what it allowed me to create.

Grand foyer after

My grand foyer! And it makes me so. freaking. happy.

To make this holiday season more tolerable, perhaps even enjoyable, why not make a change you would have never considered before? Maybe something you desperately want to accomplish that everyone says would be crazy. Maybe something that scares you. Maybe something that you know will be a lot of work and have been putting off taking that first step. When you follow your heart instead of the discouragement of others, you can manifest your dream life. You can create impossible beauty. You can transform darkness into a bright place.

This holiday season I am working on the second draft of a new book. Writing is my happy place. It’s my way of focusing the swirl that could potentially erupt into a downward spiral into a productive activity I love doing that will help me grow as an author. I am feeling all sorts of revitalized, fresh energy with my writing, and am super excited to see where this journey leads. For now, I am enjoying the process of getting there.

Where is your happy place? Where is the darkness you can transform into light?

What is your grand foyer?

Wishing you a productive, exciting journey this holiday season! Much love xoxo

top five, good vibes edition

Happy November! For those of you participating in NaNoWriMo, I wish you much happiness and progress in your novel writing journey. As I am also working on a first draft this month, there is nothing but good vibes up in here. Writing a first draft is the most difficult part of the process for me. So I am surrounding myself with positive energy and warm fuzzies as motivation. Keep going even when things get rough (and know that they will)! The key to reaching your goal is to never give up.

1. I am sort of still dragging after Halloween. It was a wild day of trick-or-treating, then walking in the NYC Halloween Parade. Walking in the parade is so freaking fun I can’t even tell you. For nine years I watched the parade pass by right near where I lived in the West Village, wondering what it would be like to actually be in the parade instead of watch it. So I was stoked to walk for our fourth consecutive year. My fiance got to pick our costumes this year (we alternate back and forth). Perhaps you recognize us.

The Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood

When you walk in the parade, you never know who you’ll get to see walking along beside you. I saw Harry’s Styles, six friends who dressed up as Harry in different stages of his style evolution. I saw a Nasty Woman with a Bad Hombre. There was a huge inflated dinosaur bouncing along. Sometimes we were walking next to him and sometimes we weren’t. He kept fluctuating in and out of our area, which I adored. But when I saw these two guys, I lost my ish:

Michael Jackson and Prince in the NYC Halloween Parade 2016

2. It has come to my attention that there is a Love Wall here in New York. How City Love is that?!

Love Wall NYC

I will not rest until I kiss it. Obvs.

3. Speaking of kisses, Jay Asher’s new book What Light is out in the world. As you can see, I am a major fangirl.

Susane Colasanti and Jay Asher with What Light

You know how some people are not only outstanding at what they do, they are genuinely good, caring, altruistic people? That’s Jay Asher. Congrats on another super successful book launch, Jay!

4. October was National Bullying Prevention Month. As someone who was bullied all through junior high and high school, I feel the pain of each and every one of you who has been mistreated, ostracized, or abused. My book Keep Holding On was inspired by my experiences being bullied and is dedicated to Tyler Clementi. So when the Tyler Clementi Foundation asked me to write a guest blog post, I was honored. This piece I wrote is all about survival and the importance of staying strong. You are the change you’ve been waiting for.

Tyler Clementi Foundation + Susane Colasanti

5. When I turned 40, I decided that this decade was going to be fabulous. Every year I’ve been posting a Fabulous at 4_ photo to document. It’s a good way to keep me on point. Especially when I am very interested in cake. This is Fabulous at 43.

Susane Colasanti, Fabulous at 43

Stay strong, friendly neighbors! xoxo

forever in love

I am stoked to share the cover of my new book with you! Forever in Love is the final book of the City Love trilogy, coming out on July 11, 2017.

Forever in Love by Susane Colasanti

Here’s the synopsis:

In this final book of the City Love trilogy, Sadie, Darcy, and Rosanna are facing a bittersweet ending to a summer filled with amazing adventures, personal challenges, and finding love when they least expected it.

Sadie’s brother is back in New York City, forcing Sadie to confront the shared trauma from their past. And Sadie’s relationship with the boy she thought was her soul mate is getting even more complicated. Can Sadie find the strength to accept herself and forgive the boy who broke her heart?

Behind Darcy’s polished exterior is a girl unraveling. When her world suddenly comes crashing down, she faces the most difficult changes of her life. Will Darcy slip back into her wild child ways, or can she figure out how to make it on her own…and let herself accept the love she deserves?

Rosanna’s boyfriend might still be in love with his ex. At the day camp where Rosanna is a counselor, she can recognize the abuse of her past reflected in a girl who needs her help. Will Rosanna overcome her fears to finally become the confident girl she envisions?

Told from alternating perspectives, bestselling author Susane Colasanti’s Forever in Love celebrates three girls who have learned to love themselves, have developed a bond of sisterhood that will never be broken, and will be forever in love with the endless possibilities their futures hold.

You can pre-order Forever in Love on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or IndieBound. And you can add Forever in Love to your Goodreads shelf here!

Want to catch up on the rest of the trilogy? Everything you need is on the City Love and Lost in Love pages of my website.

Epic Reads revealed the cover along with all the other HarperCollins Summer 2017 book covers. Major heart eyes all over them.

Happy reading, friendly neighbors! xoxo

rock the vote

I want to tell you about my first time.

My first time had issues with mechanics. I didn’t really know how anything worked. But there were instructions in explicit detail. So those helped.

There was too much background noise. It was hard to concentrate. Climate control was a problem. It was too hot…or maybe I was just nervous.

As part of the YA community’s #firstvote16 initiative, I made a video telling you all about my first time…VOTING.


Thanks to E. Lockhart and team
for organizing this fantastic Rock the Vote campaign! You can register to vote here and join the convo about your first time on Twitter with #firstvote16.

Do it. Share how you feel about someone special…with the whole world!

java stop

One of the most frequent questions authors get is this: Do you ever put real experiences in your books?

Heck yeah we do.

For example. There is a scene in Lost in Love where Sadie has a meltdown/rant/enraged fit over a new store on Bleecker Street. She grew up in that neighborhood. The West Village is the only home she’s ever known. One of the things she loved about the West Village is how it was a community of artists and musicians, filled with mom-and-pop stores that had been there forever. But the West Village, like a lot of New York City neighborhoods, has changed. It’s no longer the boho creative enclave of the 60s and 70s it once was. Sadie observes that Bleecker Street is kind of looking like an upscale strip mall these days. Case in point: this one artisan soap boutique that has, um, leaves inside.

Bleecker Street leaves

Sadie’s meltdown/rant/enraged fit is sparked by a certain Coffee Shop That Shall Not Be Named. The new coffee shop muscled in after a mom-and-pop record store that had been there for 17 years got pushed out by an outrageous rent increase. Which is why a lot of older stores are closing all over Manhattan. The rents are crazy. Sadie sees the shiny new coffee shop and has what I hope is both a passionate and hilarious fit in front of the store. She even makes a protest sign out of some recycled cardboard and a borrowed marker from Rocco’s. Darcy records Sadie’s rant and they post it online. You’ll see what happens in the final book of the City Love trilogy, Forever in Love, coming out next May.

What does Sadie’s fit have to do with experiences IRL? I had the same exact fit.

I was walking down this block of Bleecker Street I hadn’t seen in a while. When I lived in the West Village for nine years, I walked down that block all the time. But it had been a while since I was right there. And when I saw that our beloved record store had been replaced by the Coffee Shop That Shall Not Be Named, I lost it. I freaked the eff out. Just like Sadie did. Minus the protest sign.

Of course my meltdown/rant/enraged fit had to find its way into a book. The City Love trilogy was the perfect place for it.

At first the Coffee Shop That Shall Not Be Named was named. But my editor made the wise decision to change the name. You know. Good vibes only. So I came up with Java Stop, which I’d never heard of before. Or so I thought. Almost a year later, I was watching Singles, a dope film I hadn’t seen in many years. And what was the name of the local coffee shop?

Java Stop.

Was this another fun non-coincidence? Maybe. Had I ever even noticed the name of that coffee shop before? I don’t think so. But maybe I did and I forgot about it on an obvious level. The brain is a fascinating thing. Our memories are there, just not always accessible. Whatever the reason for coming up with Java Stop, it makes me smile to know that Sadie’s fury over its rampage of bullying smaller shops like a big bad boogeyman is making readers smile too.

Keep smiling. And remember to look up. 🙂