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 🙂

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

dream big news

To close out January, I have some news to share from the Dream Big Department.

I’ve been working on a passion project for over 10 years. In response to the suckitude of 2016, I made an executive decision in December that 2017 was going to be Year on Fire. As in I didn’t come to play. I came to SLAY. I made a list of goals for 2017 and hit the ground running on Day 1 to make those big dreams reality.

One of my 2017 goals was to collaborate on this project. Which I will tell you all about when I can! Another 2017 goal was to do a deal with Alloy Entertainment. Warner Bros. TV owns Alloy. Guess where I was today?

Warner Bros. TV - Alloy Entertainment

Alloy acquired this project and we are working on it together. Two dream big 2017 goals already checked off! We had a development meeting that was freaking amazing. I can’t wait to share more with you soon.

Here’s to manifesting your big dreams in 2017 ❤

10th annual nyc teen author festival

Has it really been 10 years since superstar David Levithan organized the first NYC Teen Author Festival? A whole freaking decade?

Apparently.

Get ready for the 10th Annual NYC Teen Author Festival, happening March 18-26!

NYC Teen Author Festival 2017

Dude. SO many fabulous authors will be at this thing it’s unreal. I mean, just look at the full schedule of events. How amazing is that?

If you are in the New York City area the weekend of March 25-26, you can totally find me at the festival. Here’s where I’ll be:

Saturday, March 25 – 7:00-9:00 pm

McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince Street
New York, NY 10012

What Is a Love Story? panel with Kayla Cagan, Susane Colasanti, Pete Hoffmeister, Adam Silvera, Sarvenaz Tash, Maggie Thrash, and Nicola Yoon. Moderated by David Levithan.

Sunday, March 26 – 1:30-2:00 pm

Books of Wonder
18 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011

10th Annual Ginormous Signing! With a ridiculous amount of authors! Which you absolutely do not want to miss!

Hope to see you at one of these events, friendly neighbors! xoxo

the female of the species

You know when you read a really good book, maybe one of the best books you’ve ever read in your life, and then the next book you read blows you away too? And, if you are very lucky, the ones after that? So you’re reading a bunch of books in a row that are consuming your soul and every day you look forward to getting back to your current book because you are having so much fun reading it’s like this whole euphoric state with endorphins firing and epiphanies sparking that transports you to another plane of existence because reading is the best drug ever?

Welcome to my world.

I have been on a natural reading high for months now. Why? Because dude. Look around. Have you seen the phenomenal teen novels out there? Specifically what is shining in the contemporary, realistic genre, which is where I live? I mean…wow.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis is what I am talking about.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

First of all, just look at this cover. Have you ever seen a cover like this? No. No, you have not. Because rock star cover designer Erin Fitzsimmons, who also designed my covers for the City Love trilogy, is a freaking genius. There is no way you could look at this cover and not be intrigued.

Then you open the book and Mindy McGinnis sucks you into her vortex of brilliance so stellar you wonder which solar system you are spinning in.

The Female of the Species is extraordinary. There is just no other book quite like it. It is a striking, captivating story that will break your heart and empower you all at once. This book is an outstanding example of YA fiction at its best. I am so grateful that Mindy McGinnis wrote this story. I know it is speaking to a lot of readers and will resonate with many more. I know it is making teens feel less alone.

Shout-out to our publisher, Katherine Tegen, for sending me this book when I fangirled all over Twitter in anticipation. Some books are so good you just know you will fall in love with them even before you’ve read the first word. Basically? MM dropped the mic.

Happy winter reading, friendly neighbors! xoxo

20th new yorkiversary

I’m just going to say it.

2016 sucked every which way a year could possibly suck. Seriously with that ish? What even was that? You know it’s not a good year when you set your alarm clock to NPR every morning at the start of a major news hour so that the second you wake up you can find out where a shooting was and/or who died. I mean…I cannot EVEN.

Focusing on good things helps. One good thing about 2016 (that automatically included lots of other good things) is that January 6 was my 20th New Yorkiversary. I moved to New York City for grad school on January 6, 1996 in a blizzard with no money, no friends, and no job, just big dreams I was determined to make reality. So all this year I have been celebrating 20 years in my dream city, the city that makes me feel alive every day. Even when I woke up day after day to horrifying news, I was grateful to live in the city where I belong. And right now I am relieved that, as of December 22, daylight time is increasing a little every day. That is a very good thing.

Winter solstice

Some good things that happened in 2016? I got engaged. A scene from City Love manifested with Claire Danes on the street. The second book of my City Love trilogy, Lost in Love, came out and Epic Reads did an author fun facts video to celebrate. I got to be Maddy from Nicola Yoon’s spectacular Everything, Everything. I went to YALLWEST and chilled with author rock stars and fangirled all over the place. I made some dorktastic YouTube videos. I shared one of my favorite hidden West Village areas with you. And every day, no matter what sad things were happening in the world, I was feeling the city love. The past 20 years have been filled with magical New York City moments that have shaped the person I am today. I am forever in love with my home and the infinite possibilities it brings.

Something tells me you are looking forward to 2017 as much as I am, if not more. I am here to tell you this: You can turn your big dreams into reality in 2017. How do I know? Because dude. I went from having 73 cents in my bank account in college to becoming a homeowner in downtown Manhattan. With enough kitchen counter space to bake my annual 200+ Christmas cookies.

Christmas cookies by Susane Colasanti

That journey was not an easy one. Anything worth achieving requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and the passion to keep going when it feels like everything is falling apart. And I have to say, time is a wild thing. You are just living your life one day at a time. The next thing you know, 20 years have suddenly gone by. 20 years.

Where do you want to be in 20 years? 10 years? 5 years? 2017?

One technique I have used since I moved here is creative visualization. I picture my goals with clarity, then take steps every day towards achieving them. Try writing down your biggest goals for whatever timeframe you choose. Then write down one thing you can realistically do every day to take steps closer to achieving each of them. This process, the passionate dedication of working hard to achieve your goals, is how big dreams become reality. It worked for me. And if I could do it, you definitely can.

Happy New Year, friendly neighbors! Much love to you from New York City. xoxo

Empire State Building at Christmas

holiday magic from asteroid b-612

If you’ve seen any of my dorktastic YouTube videos, you might have noticed the one in which I fangirl over my Little Prince collection. The Little Prince is my favorite book of all time and I have been collecting all things Little Prince for many years.

Which makes this the best. Christmas present. EVER.

The Little Prince tote bag

A Little Prince tote with the text of the entire novel printed on it!!!

Dude. This bag is seriously ready to dazzle at my next book events. Hopefully I will see fellow YA author Nicola Yoon at one of them so I can share it with her. Nicola is also a Little Prince fan. Which you know if you’ve read her outstanding novel Everything, Everything. I had to rave about her book here. And that video I mentioned earlier? Was one of my Fun Fact and a Book videos featuring Everything, Everything.

So yeah. Lots of fun connections.

Wishing you holiday magic and a beautiful new year. xoxo