The Espressologist – Kristina Springer

November 28, 2009

High senior Jane Turner works as a barista at a local Wired Joe’s along with her best friend Em. By recording the drink a person orders in her notebook, Jane learns that a person’s favorite drink reflects his or her personality. Soon, she realizes that this can be used to successfully match make people. When Jane’s boss learns of her skills, he does what any competitive boss would do: he markets them. However, Jane’s matchmaking skills soon bring trouble to her personal life…

The Espressologist is not novel that sets out to be an extravagant piece of literature. Instead, it sets out to be a fun, light-hearted book that will warm a reader’s heart, and the novel did just that. Sometimes, I read a novel and wish the novel had more substance. With a poorer writer, the same could have easily happened with The Espressologist. However, Springer wrote the novel with the perfect amount of fluff. Kind of like when baristas find the perfect amount of whipped cream to put on a drink. (Okay, I’ll stop with the coffee analogies.)

With this novel, Kristina Springer takes a clever idea and uses it as the basis for an adorable novel, perfect for lazy days. As I read this book, all I wanted to was curl up in a blanket and drink a cup of coffee. A book has never made me crave coffee as much as this one. The aroma of coffee seemed to waft from the its pages. While most of the characters were predictable, they were also likeable. Some of my favorite characters of The Espressologist were the minor characters who were regulars at Wired Joe’s. The minor characters gave the store and novel an authentic feel. This authenticity will help readers want more of Wired Joe’s and the story.

Overall, The Espressologist is a cute novel, perfect for anyone looking for a light-hearted read.

Related Links
The Espressologist Web Page
Kristina Springer’s Site
Amazon
Powell’s

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Youtube Connection 19

November 26, 2009

Every Thursday, I will post a video (or more) that is somehow connected to a book I’ve read. I’ve also included a Mr. Linky widget at the bottom for anyone that’s interested in posting videos of their own.

In celebration for Thanksgiving, this week’s book is A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. For the video, I have a part of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Bet you didn’t see that one coming. 😛 Enjoy!


Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2009

Happy early Thanksgiving everyone! Make sure you eat plenty of food. 😛


Ask an Author – L.K. Madigan

November 17, 2009

First of all, I totally should have posted this up sooner, but life can get in the way sometimes. Anyway, L.K. Madigan is the author of Flash Burnout, which you should read if you have not already. My review can be found here.

1) Where did you get the idea behind Flash Burnout?

Blake was a minor character in a novel I wrote before FB. I eventually abandoned that book, but I liked Blake’s class clown personality. I thought he might have interesting things to say in a future book … but I didn’t have a plot for him. Then a friend who is a medical examiner (who, sadly, sees a lot of meth cases) asked if I’d ever considered writing about the meth epidemic. Ideas began to careen around inside my cranium. First I thought Blake’s girlfriend might be the one to have an addicted parent; then I realized it had to be his girl FRIEND. Instant conflict!

2) Do you have an interest in photography? If so, how far back does your interest go?

I can remember begging to use my dad’s old 35mm Zeiss Ikon camera when I was in probably the fifth grade. Back then you had to wait till your photos were developed to see if they turned out! I took a lot of blurry photos as I was growing up.  So I’ve always had an interest, but my skill level is just average. I’m better with words than images.

3) Are there any characters in the book based on people you know in real life?

Yes and no.

I think writers can’t help but infuse their characters with traits of people they know … sometimes even people they’ve seen only once across a room! There’s probably a little bit of me in almost every character in the book, too.

I know teenage boys, photographers, the grown child of addict parents, a hospital chaplain, a medical examiner … but none of those people are actual characters in my novel.

4) If you could only use one word to describe Flash Burnout, what would you pick and why?

Heart.

Blake really struggles to be the best Friend and Boyfriend he can. That takes heart.

5) What research did you do for the novel?

I visited a medical examiner’s office.

I read photography books, and took tons of photos. I learned to use Photoshop, and had my manuscript read by a professional photographer to check for glaring errors.

I read newspaper articles and did online research about the effects of methamphetamine use on the body and brain.

6) As a teen, what novels did you like?

Wow – I read anything I could get my hands on. I especially loved “problem” novels, THE BELL JAR, Judy Blume, ghost stories, Stephen King, and Tom Robbins.

7) What is your favorite thing about being a YA author?

My world has expanded – no, exploded (in a good way) – since I sold my book. I’ve met so many other writers, readers, booksellers, and bloggers in the online community, and even BETTER, I’ve met some of them in person. I’m so happy to be an author in the age of the Internet. It seems like it would have been a lonely job even a decade ago.

8 ) Are you in the process of writing any novels? If so, what can you tell us?

I have a second novel coming out in 2010 – it’s pretty much the polar opposite of FLASH BURNOUT. It’s a fantasy about a girl surfer who finds a mermaid. No, really: it is.

9) Is there anything else you would like to add?

Since I’m answering these questions during Banned Books Week, remember to support your local libraries and fight to keep ALL books on the shelves. Other people’s parents should not dictate what YOU (or your child) can read.

Special thanks to Lisa for answering my questions! If you would like more information about Flash Burnout or the author, then go to L.K. Madigan’s site or blog.


Upcoming Books – November

November 16, 2009

These are the November releases I am looking forward to. Each book cover is linked to the novel’s amazon page. 🙂


In My Mailbox Nov. 9-14

November 15, 2009

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi of The Story Siren.

Little Black Lies – Tish Cohen

Sara Black is tiptoeing across a fraying tightrope.

As the new eleventh grader at Anton High–the most elite public school in the country–she sticks out like an old VW bus in a parking lot full of shiny BMWs. But being the new kid also brings a certain advantageous anonymity.

In Anton High’s world of privilege, intelligence, and wealth, Sara can escape her family’s tarnished past and become whomever she wants.

And what’s the harm in telling a few little black lies when it can lead to popularity? That is, until another it girl at Anton becomes jealous of Sara’s social climbing.

With her balance evaporating, one small push could bring Sara crashing down.

The Espressologist – Kristina Springer

What’s your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you’re lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it’s a small decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie. Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls it Espressology. So it’s not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. Like her best friend, Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane’s Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She’s the one who set them up! She should be happy for them, right?


Anatomy of a Boyfriend – Daria Snadowsky

November 14, 2009

Dominique Baylor, a high school senior and an aspiring doctor, has never had a boyfriend. She attends a small private school in Florida, so even the prospects are low. Her best friend, Amy, attends a huge public high school. One day, both friends attend the school’s annual Seniors vs. Faculty football game. At the game, Dominique meets a cute boy, while she is “sprawled facedown.” Through Amy, Dom learns that the boy is Wesley, a cute track star. She then e-mails him, and they immediately have a connection. Before long, Dom experiences many firsts. However, with college decisions, Dom and Wes realize they are headed for two completely different paths. Will their relationship survive?

The Anatomy of a Boyfriend takes mature readers on the journey of Dominique’s first love. Dominique’s authentic voice was easy to relate to. She sounded like somebody I would like to be friends with. Her voice also made the novel a quick read. I finished this book within two days. Mature readers will also appreciate how Snadowsky incorporates sex into the novel, without idealizing it. Parts of the novel made me never want to do certain things. 😛 I also think Snadowsky realistically describes a long distance relationship after high school.

I did not have any major complaints with Anatomy of a Boyfriend, but a few things could have been better. I wish Dominique had more of a basis for falling head-over-heels for Wes. Part of me thinks Snadowsky intentionally wrote the novel so Dom lacked a logical reason, but I’m not really sure. I mean so many girls’ first loves are douches (from my observations at least). The lack of a basis hurt the resolution. Instead of the resolution seeming like the natural flow of things, it made Wes seem like a complete douche, when he was only partially a douche. Ok, I think I’m starting to ramble.

Overall, Anatomy of a Boyfriend is an accurate potrayal of first love that older teens will enjoy.

Related Links
Amazon
Powell’s
Daria Snadowsky’s Website
Build Your Own Boyfriend
(This is fun!)