I have been looking forward to this blog entry for almost a year. In the Debs we do something called DebSwap. What happens is that when a Deb gets ARCs, she offers one up for DebSwap (or he, we do have a couple of guys . . . I'm looking at you Kurtis!!:D). The ARC gets sent from Deb to Deb and before we send the ARC on, we sign it, write a message, leave notes in the text, we even have a super-talented Deb who draws illustrations. It's a really fun thing. Well, last summer, I managed to be the first one on the list for Secrets of Truth and Beauty. And it was the first DebARC I ever got in the mail.
To be totally honest I wasn't that interested in it. I like my fiction with a big scoop of supernatural and I don't read a lot of real-life contemporary. But there was something about a goat farm and goats are cool and it was my first DebARC! So I sat and started to read.
And I fell in love with this book. In. Love. This is an amazing book. So exquisitely, perfectly done. It is a deceptively light book that sucks you in before you realize that you are in a very deep place (and it makes you want goat cheese!!)
But before I gush too much, here is a bit about the book: When Dara Cohen was little, she was crowned Little Miss Maine. That was then. Now Dara's seventeen and she's not so little anymore. That's just one of her many problems. Another is that her control-freak mom won't get off her case about anything. Yet the one that hurts the most is the family secret: Dara has an older sister her parents tried to erase from their lives.
And a bit about Megan: Megan Frazer studied English literature and creative writing at Columbia University. She lives with her husband and baby in Maine, where she is a high school librarian. She loves cheese and cooking, and both of these make their way into Secrets of Truth & Beauty. She was not, however, ever in a beauty pageant.
Seriously people, this is an amazing book about discovering yourself and what family really means. If you love Sarah Dessen, you will love this book. If you love goat cheese, you will love this book. If you love strong, smart heroines, you will love this book. If you love to read you. will. love. this. book. I have been telling everyone I know about this book for months and it was so nice to be able to start telling people last month that they could go out and buy it (because after six months of hearing about a book that is still not available, people start to thing you are *koffkoff* CRAZY!:)) So yes, SECRETS is in stores now, and I recommend that you stop whatever you are doing right now and go out and buy it. Really.
However, if you do feel the need to finish the blog entry before you rush out, there might be a chance to just win it at the end. That's all I'm sayin'.;)
Okay, Feasty Five!!
AP: What kind of soda does your MC drink?
MF: Moxie. She is a Maine girl, after all.
AP: *looks out at the readers in confusion* Moxie? *retreats to Google* Wow! Check this stuff out! Cool!! Anyway, yeah, back to the matter at hand.
MF: *waits patiently*
AP: What is your MC's favorite kind of flower? How about yours?
MF: Dara's favorite flower would be something graceful and dramatic, like a calla lily. I love lady slippers, and I love the smell of lilacs and honeysuckle.
AP: Does your MC believe in magic? Do you?
MF: Dara is too practical to believe in magic. As for me, I want to believe.
AP: Superman or Batman?
MF: I think Batman. I like the idea of someone creating the hero, not being born that way. Although the fact that Bruce Wayne is super rich and that's how he's able to have all the gadgets and stuff, well, that's less impressive to me. I've always kind of liked Spiderman, actually, and the way his mind is so important.
AP: Give us one line from your book. You don't even have to give it context.:)
MF: "So not only was it an ugly unicorn, it was an expensive, ugly unicorn."
AP: Hehe, I love that quote!
One of the things I love about SECRETS, is that it is not your stereotypical "fat girl" book where you have an overweight heroine with lots of problems, who loses a ton of weight and becomes rich, popular, wanted by boys, and admired by all. I hate those kinds of books. Self-confidence comes from the inside, not the outside!! This is a book about loving who you are, insides, outsides, everything.
And in the spirit of that, I'd like to offer a chance to win this incredible book with the simple entry fee of commenting and telling me something you like about yourself. This contest ends when my daughter goes to school on Monday and I will send a copy out early next week.
In fact, if you tell me TWO things you like about yourself, I will give you an extra entry.
I'll even start. I like my hair and my eyes.
And while you are thinking--sorting through the zillions of good qualities I know you all have in order to settle on just two--got check out Megan at her website.