Teens Meet the Author

Join us for a reading, signing, and Q&A with YA authors Meagan Brothers and Cristina Moracho on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 3:30pm. Meagan will be reading from her newest novel, Weird Girl and What’s His Name about two close friends Lula and Rory. A 2015 Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book, this fresh LGBT YA novel speaks to anyone who has ever felt unwanted and alone, and who struggles to find their place in an isolating world. Cristina Moracho’s new book A Good Idea is about murder, betrayal, and a town with too many secrets.

Registration encouraged. Light refreshments will be provided free of charge.

Meagan Brothers is the author of the young adult novels Supergirl Mixtapes, which was a 2012 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nomination, and Debbie Harry Sings in French, which was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, won a GLBT Round Table ALA Award, and was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. A native Carolinian, Meagan currently lives in New York City. You can find her on Twitter @meaganbrothers

Cristina Moracho is a native New Yorker who received her M.F.A in fiction from Brooklyn College, where the first chapter of Althea & Oliver was awarded the Carole and Irwin Lainoff Award by acclaimed author Jim Shepard. She’s been a fellow at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico, where she did not hear the Taos Hum but did attend a party at a solar-powered radio station. She writes about bad decisions and does all her own research. She lives in Brooklyn, where she works as a freelance writer and editor, is teaching herself to play the guitar and writing her next novel. You can find her on Twitter as @cherielecrivain.

Reviews of Weird Girl and What’s His Name by Meagan Brothers

They are called Weird Girl and What’s His Name Lula because she is from L.A. (an oddity in their small North Carolina town), and Rory because he is a self-described big fat guy who is easily made-fun-of-able. They are also obsessed with The X-Files. And did I mention they are best friends and that Rory is gay? The two are each other’s only friend, in fact, and they tell each other everything. Or so Lula thinks until she discovers that Rory hasn’t told her about his affair with Andy, his 40-something boss. Devastated, Lula runs away from home and toward, she hopes, a long-absent mother who abandoned her when she was 3. Will she find her mother? Will she return home? Will she and Rory reconcile? Answers are found in the book’s two halves: Rory tells the first half and Lula the second. Lula’s half drags, and the book is generally overlong, but the characters are wonderfully likable, the story is smartly written, and what’s this? there’s a possibility for a happy ending? Read and find out.– Booklist

 

Gr 6 Up-Rory and Lulu share an affinity for all things geek: The X-Files, Buffy, and conspiracy theories. When Lulu discovers that underage Rory had an explicit relationship with his divorced boss and hid it from Lulu because of her crush on him, she begins to question her own sexual orientation. After she is rebuffed by her favorite teacher, Lulu decides to hunt down the skeletons in her family’s closet. This buddy/misanthrope novel explores the difficulties in LGBTQ relationships, as well as teen angst in general. While the narrative is uplifting, some readers may have a hard time with the slow burn pace and minimal plot movement. The overuse of The X-Files as a metaphor for character complexity may keep some of the core audience at arm’s length. However, Brothers’s pitch-perfect dialogue and well-polished prose make her an author to watch. VERDICT Recommended for fans of realistic fiction with relationship drama and an LGBTQ focus.-Brian Hoff, Elmwood Park High School, IL, School Library Journal

Reviews of A Good Idea by Cristina Moracho

Gr 9 Up-When her parents split right before she started high school, Fin moved with her mom from the coastal Maine town of Williston to New York City. Now that she’s graduated, she’ll spend the summer, as she does every year, back in small-town Maine with her dad. This summer promises to be nothing like the others, however. Betty, Fin’s best friend since childhood, disappeared the previous fall, and Betty’s ex-boyfriend, Calder, confessed to drowning her but was let loose on a technicality. Soon after arriving in Maine, Fin discovers that everyone acts as if Betty never existed. Everyone, that is, except Serena, a teen who is trying to assuage her pain with pills and alcohol. With Serena, Fin finds both a sexual relationship and a partner to avenge Betty’s erasure. Together with Owen, an older local guy, they try to uncover what happened-and make Calder pay for it. While Moracho’s narrative offers elements of a murder mystery and a psychological thriller, it is not an edge-of-the-seat read. The novel’s real strength lies less in a suspenseful plot than in its subtle look into the dark places that minds, particularly those of teenagers on the brink of adulthood, can go and the different factors that can drive them there. VERDICT While this title will appeal to mystery fans, its best audience will be older teens seeking a well-written tale of a summer of downward spirals and small-town characters. -Jill Heritage Maza, Montclair Kimberley Academy, NJ, School Library Journal

Calder Miller confessed to the murder of Betty Flynn. Yet, as a minor without a present lawyer and the son of Williston’s manipulative mayor he walked free. But Finley Blake, Betty’s best friend, is ready to settle the score. Slitting tires, sparking fires, and doggedly interrogating classmates and locals alike, Finley demands nothing short of the truth: why did Calder do it? While her perilous ploys successfully bring Betty, a mercurial force with a long tarnished reputation, to the forefront of Williston’s clouded memory, they also unearth a series of startling secrets. Finley soon finds herself and those she cares most about haunted not only by danger but also boundless uncertainty. Finley’s brooding first-person narrative, precocious and often deluged with drug use, doesn’t always accommodate deep secondary-character development. Still, Moracho’s setting, a sleepy coastal town swathed in superstition and sea, shines. Edgy, atmospheric, and sometimes steamy, this is a thoughtful portrait of grief and an engaging examination of the risks we take for the ones we love. Ideal for mystery enthusiasts and noir newcomers.– Booklist

 

 

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