My book club is, for lack of a better word, eclectic. We’ve read everything from Fifty Shades of Grey to a Charles Manson bio. Like I said, eclectic. But also up for anything!
So when we were asked to throw a themed book club for Suzanne Young’s The Program, all 12+ of us jumped at the chance.
My sister from another mister Tara is sharing how the meeting and book club discussion went today on Fiction Folio, and I’m sharing how I handled hostess duties — aka themed food and drinks!
First up: cocktails.
In The Program, a teenage suicide epidemic is sweeping the country. To deal, adults are sending teens to “The Program” to take happy little pills and get their memories wiped. So, of course, we drank “Forget Me Nots.”
Next up: Snacks!
Katie, posing above, was our champion baker of the night! Katie made us cupcakes with candy “medicine” on top, plus Skittles “pills” that match the color-coded, mind-erasing ones from the book. How cute is this?!
Love it! Don’t forget to visit Tara’s site for info on the book itself. Plus, enter below for a chance to win a book club party featuring The Program for your very own club!
About The Program
Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.
Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.
About the author
Suzanne Young currently lives in Tempe, Arizona, where she teaches high school English. When not writing obsessively, Suzanne can be found searching her own tragic memories for inspiration. She is the author of several books for teens, including The Program, A Need So Beautiful, and A Want So Wicked.
Note from Anna: Hi guys! Today author Stacey Kade is on the blog as part of her blog tour for the supernatural book The Rules, and she’s sharing her Alien 101 quiz. And, let’s just say I am QUEEN OF THE NERDS because I got 8 out of 10 right super easily. I only missed two because I haven’t seen Galaxy Quest or The Fifth Element. How’d you do? And don’t forget to enter the giveaway below to win a copy of the book for yourself!
Strange people (or creatures) from strange places often play a starring role in our TV shows and movies. When I was writing THE RULES, which features Ariane, an alien/human hybrid, I revisited many of my science fiction favorites to see how aliens were portrayed. And there’s a lot of variety. Sometimes the aliens are big, scary monsters; other times they’re just like us…with some advancement. Either way, I think our depiction of aliens in entertainment says a lot about us: what we fear or what we aspire to be.
Or, maybe we tell stories about aliens just because it’s fun!
And speaking of fun, let’s see how well you know your aliens! Take this 10-question quiz and see where you stack up in your pop culture science fiction knowledge.
1) The X-Files features two FBI agents, one a believer in aliens and government conspiracies and the other a complete skeptic. They were named:
a) Mulder and Scully
b) Tully and Reinquist
c) Cagney and Lacey
2) In the movie Signs, the element that proves to be the secret weapon against the invading aliens is:
3) Roswell (the TV show, as opposed to the also excellent series of books by Melinda Metz) features an alien, Max, who is love with a human, Liz. She learns his big secret when he:
a) shapeshifts in front of her
b) transports her to his ship
c) saves her from a gunshot wound
4) In the movie E.T., E.T. creates a device to phone home using:
a) a cell phone amplified with a hanger
b) an old Mac computer
c) a Speak & Spell
5) In Independence Day, the aliens communicate with each other telepathically. How do they communicate with the humans?
a) rudimentary sign language
b) through computers
c) taking over a human’s mind and forcing him/her to speak for them.
6) In Star Trek, Spock’s mother is human. But his father is:
7) Superman, possibly our most famous alien, is from the planet Krypton. He was given the name Clark Kent by his adoptive (Earth) parents. What was his birth name?
8) In Star Wars: A New Hope, what is the name of the planet Princess Leia gives to Grand Moff Tarkin as the rebel base (to be destroyed by the Death Star)?
9) In Galaxy Quest, the Thermians come to Earth because:
a) they’re looking for a new home planet
b) they need a beryllium sphere to power their ship
c) they believe the episodes of a TV show they’ve seen from space are real and they need the crew of the (fictional) NSEA Protector to help them deal with an evil warlord.
10) In the movie The Fifth Element, what is the Fifth Element?
a) A piece of mysterious technology that was lost years ago
How did you do?
8-10 correct: All Hail King/Queen of the Universe!
5-7 correct: Intergalactic Explorer
2-4 correct: Starwatcher
0-1 correct: Greetings, Earthling!
About the author:
As a former award-winning corporate copywriter, Stacey Kade has written about everything from backhoe loaders to breast pumps. But she prefers to make things up instead. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Greg, and their two retired racing greyhounds, Tall Walker (Walker) and SheWearsThePants (Pansy). More information about The Rules and Stacey can be found online at StaceyKade.com. She is also on Twitter @StaceyKade and on Facebook.
About the book:
By Stacey Kade
Publication date: April 23, 2013
Disney-Hyperion, 416 pages
1. Never trust anyone.
2. Remember they are always searching.
3. Don’t get involved.
4. Keep your head down.
5. Don’t fall in love.
Five simple rules. Ariane Tucker has followed them since the night she escaped from the genetics lab where she was created, the result of combining human and extraterrestrial DNA. Ariane’s survival—and that of her adoptive father—depends on her ability to blend in among the full-blooded humans in a small Wisconsin town, to hide in plain sight at her high school from those who seek to recover their lost (and expensive) “project.”
But when a cruel prank at school goes awry, it puts her in the path of Zane Bradshaw, the police chief’s son and someone who sees too much. Someone who really sees her. After years of trying to be invisible, Ariane finds the attention frightening—and utterly intoxicating. Suddenly, nothing is simple anymore, especially not the rules…
— Goodreads.com description
You guys. I’m aware that I’ve been a little giveaway crazy the past week or so and that annoys some people.
But as someone who has been on the receiving end of a BIG OPRAH GIVEAWAY, I gotta say, I can relate to the ladies above. IT FEELS GOOD TO WIN THINGS! So I’m gonna keep sharing the book love.
Today, with the help of the books of Penguin Teen and The 5th Wave, I’m gonna do just that…
The 5th Wave
By Rick Yancey
Publication date: May 7, 2013
Putnam Juvenile, 480 pages
The Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
— Goodreads.com description
Interested? Check out the Rafflecopter below! I have to say, I’m going to be reading this one quite soon, as all my friends on Goodreads have given this one four or five stars so far!
Today I’m giving two lucky winners the chance to win copies of Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham, out April 30. Yeah, dudes, THAT Lauren Graham. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, um, get thee to Netflix and look up Gilmore Girls. You will not regret it.
Sure, it’s an adult book, but there are definite coming-of-age themes and tons of YA appeal. I’m gonna do this one the old-fashioned way: To enter the giveaway (thanks to the generous people at Random House), leave a comment on the blog. Do you love Lauren Graham? Favorite author who is involved in showbiz? Favorite books about acting? Leave me something substantial, peeps! Be sure you fill out your email address, as that’s how I’ll contact winners.
About Someday, Someday, Maybe
From Lauren Graham, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, comes a witty, charming, and hilariously relatable debut novel about a struggling young actress trying to get ahead―and keep it together―in New York City.
It’s January 1995, and Franny Banks has just six months left of the three-year deadline she set for herself when she came to New York, dreaming of Broadway and doing “important” work. But all she has to show for her efforts so far is a part in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters, and a gig waiting tables at a comedy club. Her roommates―her best friend Jane, and Dan, an aspiring sci-fi writer―are supportive, yet Franny knows a two-person fan club doesn’t exactly count as success. Everyone tells her she needs a backup plan, and though she can almost picture moving back home and settling down with her perfectly nice ex-boyfriend, she’s not ready to give up on her goal of having a career like her idols Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep. Not just yet. But while she dreams of filling their shoes, in the meantime, she’d happily settle for a speaking part in almost anything—and finding a hair product combination that works.
Everything is riding on the upcoming showcase for her acting class, where she’ll finally have a chance to perform for people who could actually hire her. And she can’t let herself be distracted by James Franklin, a notorious flirt and the most successful actor in her class, even though he’s suddenly started paying attention. Meanwhile, her bank account is rapidly dwindling, her father wants her to come home, and her agent doesn’t return her calls. But for some reason, she keeps believing that she just might get what she came for.
Someday, Someday, Maybe is a story about hopes and dreams, being young in a city, and wanting something deeply, madly, desperately. It’s about finding love, finding yourself, and perhaps most difficult of all in New York City, finding an acting job.
About the Author
Lauren Graham is an actress best known for her roles on the critically acclaimed series Gilmore Girls and Parenthood. She has performed on Broadway and appeared in such films as Bad Santa, Evan Almighty, and Because I Said So. She holds a BA in English from Barnard College and an MFA in acting from Southern Methodist University. She lives in New York and Los Angeles.
Must be 13 years of age or older to enter. Please review my giveaway policy on the right-hand side of my blog. U.S. entrants only.
Bookish friends! It’s spring! (Or so they tell me…it’s still freezing here in Chicago.) What’s that mean? Chirping birds, rain boots, tulips and, of course, spring cleaning.
I did a little cleaning of my bookshelf and I have a stack of 40 — yes, FORTY — books to give away. So how is this going to work?
Step 1: Enter below to win.
Step 2: I’ll send the winner an unblurred picture of my giveaway pile (see above). The winner will pick all the books he or she would like, and I’ll ship them off.
Step 3: If lots of books remain, I’ll pick a second winner and repeat the process. Any books that remain will be donated to a local library.
Good luck, happy reading and happy spring!