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

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

election day

I voted and, as always, got a bit verklempt in the booth. Being part of history and all.

Election Day 2016, voting in New York City

Oh, and then I had to get all Jack Bauer black ops to score an I Voted sticker. Apparently my polling place ran out earlier today. But I asked the right people the right questions and bam! My sticker was scored.

Did you vote today? Then congrats. You are part of history in an election you will be asked about for the rest of your life. Way to rock the vote, friendly neighbors ❤

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

read up

Book festivals make me so happy. Mostly because I get to meet readers in person, which is the best part of my job. Some readers even drive long distances to be there. Like five or six hours each way! It is always an honor to meet you in person at book events, whether you travel from far or near. Thanks to everyone who came to Read Up, a shiny new festival in Greenville, SC that had such amazing energy.

Here is an example of how amazing the energy was.

Susane Colasanti and Jay Asher, Read Up 2016

See, this is another reason I love book festivals. Jay Asher and I had not yet met in person, even though our first books came out close to each other about 10 years ago. When It Happens came out in 2006 and 13 Reasons Why came out in 2007. We even had the same publisher. But for some reason, we just never met at any events over the years. I always felt like Jay was a mentor from afar, an author I looked up to and admired. Now I understand that we were destined to meet at Read Up. Because when I asked him for an ARC of What Light, he had already saved one for me! And when he gave it to me he swooped me up for this fabulous photo! I mean, how awesome is he? Obvs this was the author highlight…followed closely by discovering that Stephanie Perkins and I both ate lunch in the bathroom in high school during our panel discussion. More proof that you are never alone.

Our panel was a blast. Michael Giller, our moderator and local high school hardcore librarian, was a master moderator. He even tweeted a pic before the event with our books and Office paraphernalia because he knew all about my Office love. And then he gave me Dwight’s ID badge and we all got to pick out magnets at the panel! I really enjoyed the southern hospitality of South Carolina, but Michael wins the Most Gracious Host award.

Susane Colasanti and Michael Giller, Read Up 2016

Speaking of awards, M.Judson deserves lots of bookstore acclaim. Like we should just throw awards at them. M.Judson is one of the most spectacular bookstores I have ever seen in my entire life…and I have seen a lot of bookstores! First of all, their entryway is designed from stacked books. So right when you walk in you know you are entering the kind of place you will never want to leave.

M.Judson bookstore in Greenville, SC

There is such an abundance of positive energy at M.Judson it feels like you can bottle some up and take it home until the next time you are in Greenville, SC. Seriously, if you are anywhere near that super cute town, go to M.Judson immediately! You will love the adorable seating areas, the beautiful design elements, the blackboard paint on the walls of the children’s reading room, and tons of natural light making you feel uplifted and refreshed. My only regret is that I did not try one of everything in their cafe, which looked like the kind of place you’d want to be a regular at. Snaps for the magnificent M.Judson!

It was time to leave too soon. I really wanted to explore more of Greenville, which has a total indie vibe and was the perfect place for a book festival. Three seconds after I got there I discovered their dopest coffeehouse, Coffee Underground, and was in mocha mint frap heaven in no time. Too bad I couldn’t snag one more for the plane home. Not that I could take it through security, but the airport had a sweet frap-sipping lounge area that Nova Ren Suma and I immediately commandeered. The airport was so small there was pretty much only room for the two of us…plus our buddy in the background.

Susane Colasanti and Nova Ren Suma, Read Up 2016

Shout-out to festival founder Lee Yarborough for working so hard over the past 18 months to bring Read Up to life! Lee is a fellow organization enthusiast. Which is why the day ran so smoothly you would think Read Up was in its tenth year instead of first. She thought of every detail, including longer handles on our totes because short handles are annoying. I know, right? Lee even had her husband Hubert and daughter Caroline working the festival, too. Hubert was the perfect escort schlepping us from the airport because he is the friendliest neighbor ever! And Caroline managed her group of volunteers like a pro. You could feel Lee’s passion for this event in every part of the day, which made it feel so welcoming and alive. You should def plan on being at Read Up 2017 if you are in the area!

Happy summer reading 🙂