follow me on Twitter
  • I read a lot, and I have a lot of opinions, so I can't believe I haven't made a list like this before. If you are even a little bit like me or you want to get a peek into my psyche (you probs don't), these are the books to read.
on Amazon.com
 
 
 

Posts Tagged ‘tandem’

Updates and extras

Posted on January 14th, 2014 by annakjarzab

Happy 2014 everybody! Just dropping by to give a few updates on what’s been up with me, since I realize I have not posted here in a while. Let’s get started!

Thing 1: Books

tandem cvr quote

Last year, Tandem came out! Which is very exciting! Also, The Opposite of Hallelujah is in paperback now, if you like that sort of thing (by which I mean books that are cheaper than they were previously). I also managed to completely rewrite Tether (Many-Worlds Trilogy Book 2) and it just came back from copy editing, which means it’s like 95% done (she says, having not looked at the copy edits yet). It’s currently scheduled for the very vague Spring 2015, which for a Random House book can mean anywhere from January to June (here’s hoping it does not in fact mean June); as soon as I have a firm date, I will make sure to post it everywhere.

2013 was a hard year for me in many ways, but not in the sense of writing productivity. Not counting the two very different versions of Tether I wrote last year, I wrote two other full-length novels. One is adult contemporary fantasy (I don’t know why but I like that term better than “urban fantasy” even though this book, which we shall give the code name FM, is in fact set in New York, and partly in New Orleans) along the lines of, like, The Magicians. The other is contemporary YA in the vein of If I Stay, and I am OBSESSED with it. We shall call that book BYSA. I got the idea for it in very early November. I’m a weird half-insomniac; I usually wake up four hours after I’ve gone to bed and toss and turn for the next four or so hours, which is obviously very annoying since I have a day job to get up for.

Anyway, I was tossing and turning per usual that morning, and then I just got hit with this idea. I got up and went to my computer, jotted down a paragraph of notes, titled it “Might be something”, and went back to bed. First thing in the AM I started reading books for research, taking copious notes, and writing. I finished in early December. I don’t usually write that fast, but this was one of those situations (it happened with The Opposite of Hallelujah, too) where there was no writing friction to slow me down. I’ve revised it once since then, and am letting it sit and settle for a while before going back to it (plus I still have more research to do). But I’m really pumped about it!

Other than FM and BYSA (and Tether), I wrote a Many-Worlds Trilogy short story last year and half of another one (which I’m throwing out and rewriting because…reasons? Even I don’t actually know why), and about 200 pages of a novel called Red Dirt. Which leads me to Thing 2…

Thing 2: Wattpad

In my professional life, I am the digital and social media manager for Penguin Young Readers Group. So if you’ve ever interacted with Penguin Teen on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., it was probably me. I don’t talk about this a lot in these parts because it feels like a weird conflict of interest of sorts? But actually lots of publishing professionals are secretly or not-so-secretly aspiring or published authors, so it’s not that big of a deal. Anyway, I was on a Digital Book World panel yesterday talking about teens and social media and I met a woman from Wattpad, Ashleigh, which reminded me I’ve been meaning to get on Wattpad for some time now. So I went home and started playing around with it. For some reason (insanity), I decided that I was going to post the first three chapters of an original, work in progress novel called Red DirtRed Dirt is unpublished and uncontracted and unfinished. I got the idea the first time I went to Oklahoma for Memorial Day, and started writing it when I got back from Oklahoma the second time I went there. So I assume that after I come back from Oklahoma this year, I will finish it. The WIP document on my computer is 200 pages, with probably about 50 or 100 pages left to go, and while I doubt I’ll be sharing all of it on Wattpad, I decided to put up the first three chapters for fun. This is sort of what it’s about (this is not great marketing copy, but it’s what I came up with yesterday):

Sammy Lester’s had about enough of her life in back of beyond Oklahoma, but family loyalties and uncertainty about the future are holding her hostage. She’s got her ex-con, ex-addict father take care of, and her five-year-old sister, Decca, to think about. And then there’s Brayton Foster, a rich boy just arrived for the summer; for some reason, Sammy can’t resist his charms, no matter how hard she tries.

Then the unthinkable happens–Sammy’s father disappears. She believes he’s been murdered; the police and her older brother, Denver, aren’t so sure. As the summer marches on, and there’s no sign of Billy Ray Lester, Sammy is forced to question everything she thinks she knows about the people she loves, and to wonder whether it’s even possible to get justice in a place where the very ground is red as blood.

You can read the prologue and the first three chapters of Red Dirt on Wattpad. If people like it (and I’m comfortable) I might post more! But I did make sure to post enough so that you meet the boy. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Speaking of Wattpad! I also posted the prologue and first three chapters of Tandem up there, plus a little bonus essay called “A Brief History of the United Commonwealth of Columbia”, which is probably only of interest if you’ve read Tandem. I have a bunch of extra stuff like this for the series, I just need to find it and make sure it still makes sense since these books have changed a lot over the years. But I will post more when I can.

I also have a The Opposite of Hallelujah short story about Hannah that takes place before the events of The Opposite of Hallelujah called “The Girl in the Well” that I’m going to post, but I need to re-read it for continuity. TBD on that!

I think that’s it. Oh:

Thing 3: I turned 30 yesterday.

I think that’s self-explanatory.

An interview with the Tandem cover designer!

Posted on September 30th, 2013 by annakjarzab

tandem cvr quoteI don’t know about you guys, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cover for Tandem, my third YA novel that comes out next Tuesday (!!!!). If you haven’t seen the interiors of the book, they are also super beautiful. I’m totally fascinated by the process of creating packages for books–it’s a lengthy, and often much-debated process that people outside the industry don’t always get a glimpse into. So I asked Sarah Pierson, the designer of both the cover and the interior design of Tandem, a few questions about this mysterious but very, very important part of making a book.

You are a book designer at Random House–does this mean you design all aspects of the book: cover and interiors? Do you work on all imprints and age groups, or do you focus on YA/novels?
I currently work on all aspects; jacket, interior, and the hardbound case cover. I work on middle grade and YA for the Knopf and Delacorte imprints. I also do paperbacks for the Ember and Yearling paperback imprints.

Once you have a title assigned to you, what steps do you take? Does the editor usually have very specific ideas of what they want, or do you read the book and come up with a proposal of what you’d like to do?

This process varies book to book! I read the most recent draft of the manuscript. It helps me come up with ideas, from big concepts and motifs to small details. Having a strong sense of themes and mood is important to be able to approach the design. After reading the manuscript, I’ll sit down with the editor and talk about how they envision the cover. They tell me what they want the cover to convey and they may ask for specific imagery. Then I start making cover comps based on a few different concepts, either my own ideas, the editors’ or something we arrived at together.
 
How did you become a book designer? Did you go to art school? What made you want to design books for a living?
I went to Drexel for graphic design and I worked at the library throughout college. I’m embarrassed and ashamed to admit that I’ve never been a huge fiction reader! But I loved working at the library because I love books…jackets, paper, ink, bindings, headbands…I love them. I spent way too much time shelving art, design and photography books, stopping to leaf through them. I came across unusual old engineering and science books, and popular fiction was always circulating. I studied everything from a design perspective. Junior year I got an internship at a super cool independent publisher called Quirk Books. A few months after graduating in 2005, I got a job in the picture books group at HarperCollins and have been designing books ever since.
 
What are some other books you designed, besides TANDEM?
Mister Max by Cynthia Voigt, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, The Selection by Kiera Cass, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, Posses by Gretchen McNeil, Wildwood by Colin Meloy. Check out my website.
 
What was your thought process behind designing the TANDEM cover? Was your first idea much like the finished product, or did it go through a lot of revisions? How did you go about bringing together all of the visual elements (the girl, the bird, the colors, the amazing title treatment, etc.) into the beautiful cover we have now? 
I read TANDEM very closely. It was so good! The story felt intricate and intimate and epic at the same time. As I was reading, I made note of different things could work as imagery for the cover. I had several ideas at first, and one of those eventually became the final cover. I searched for and used stock photography to use to build the image, combining elements in photoshop in a similar manner from the beginning. After initial comps were promising, I was directed through rounds of revisions adjusting the composition and scale, typography, color, and different models and poses for Sasha.
 
tandem cvr comp1a
tandem cvr comp1b
tandem cvr comp1c

These are some of the comps from the first round. The basic concept and all the elements are here, but it took time to get to the end result.

tandem cvr comp2a
tandem cvr comp2b
tandem cvr comp2c

Trying out different girls, sizes of the girl, typefaces, colors, ways of blending the sparrow and girl. I had the basic composition and down. This is just a few of the variations.

tandem cvr comp2d
 

This is when we felt like we had hit it.

 
tandem cvr comp3

Livened it up with some color. I tried several different background color variations at this stage.

 
tandem cvr quote

More color to Sasha’s face, more depth in the background, and some fine tuning. Series title is in place and quote at the top.

Knowing that TANDEM was the first book in a series, did that affect how you designed the cover? Did you design it with how you would create the covers for the other books in mind?

I kept in mind how I would change the various elements. I tried working on the second book along with the first once it was more developed to see how they would look together. The sort of soft glamourous starkness is what I hope will carry over through the series.
 
Okay, let’s talk about the interiors! What was your thought process behind how you did the interior design (which is really quite complex and thought out!)? Do you usually create such design-heavy interiors, or was this out of the ordinary? 
I do not usually design such complex interiors but with its 3 parts, different points of view, and day countdown TANDEM presented a unique chance to do something interesting. At first I was totally stumped about all this! I think I spent a whole week just getting my head around it. I chipped away at it starting with the parts (Earth/Aurora) and then more ideas came out of that. I eventually mapped out the whole structure because it was helpful for me to see it that way.
 
What is your favorite part of the TANDEM interiors (or the cover!)? 
I like the lines of little dots on the flaps, back jacket, under the page numbers…other places too. It’s a small detail but I think they’re elegant and have a little meaning. They represent ‘many worlds.’
 
Is there anything else you’d like to share about the TANDEM cover or interiors? Any designs that didn’t make the cut? 
A part of the interior design was inspired by a music video from 2011! I am pretty sure music videos have less cultural impact these days but I find them to be a really nice source of visual inspiration!

Thanks so much to Sarah for giving us a little insight into how a cover gets made! You should absolutely check out her website, which showcases many of the beautiful book covers she’s worked on in her career, including many I know you’ll recognize.

Book 2 title!

Posted on May 16th, 2013 by annakjarzab

Since BEA is almost upon us (if you’re going, here is a list of where I will be–come chat with me!), and the title of Many-Worlds Book 2 is in the back of the Tandem BEA galley (it’s in the back of the regular galley, too, which I know some people have already gotten, but the release date has been changed so that back ad is slightly incorrect, as you will see below), I thought I might just go ahead and tell you what the title is! Drumroll?

IMG_1512 copy

So yeah, TETHER! It is my intention that every book is named after the thing that causes all the trouble in that book; when you read TANDEM, I think this will make more sense.

I’ve had a book 3 title for ages, but until the book is actually finished, there’s no way to tell with certainty what it will be called. I’ve written a draft of TETHER and my editor has it, so as soon as it goes to copy edits, I can work on book 3 in earnest. I decided that there was really no point in starting a draft of the third book until I knew what was going to stay and what was going to change from my draft of TETHER, but I have been working on some Many-Worlds short stories that we’re going to release digitally.

In the mean time, I’ve finished my adult novel and started work on a new YA that began kicking around in my head at the end of last year. It’s contemporary, but it was partially inspired by the research I did for book 3 in the Many-Worlds series, in kind of the same way that TANDEM was inspired by research I did for THE OPPOSITE OF HALLELUJAH. What’s interesting about the new project is that, while it’s in no way a crime novel or mystery, it is more like ALL UNQUIET THINGS than anything I’ve worked on in a long time (other than the fake AUT sequel, which I play with occasionally but will probably never finish). It also contains vestigial elements of a book I worked on right after ALL UNQUIET THINGS that ended up getting shoved in a way-back, deep, dark drawer (little things like names, and a dog). It just goes to show, no work is ever truly wasted.

A peek inside TANDEM + ARC giveaway winner

Posted on March 1st, 2013 by annakjarzab

A little while ago, I gave everyone a little run-down on the Tandem cover, what the thought process was behind it, and showed y’all the full jacket. But I’ll tell you, if you think the cover is cool, just wait till you see the interiors. They’re my favorite part of the book, because they are so thought-out and clever and pretty and, best of all, actually helpful.

Tandem has a bit of a complicated narrative, so the function of the interiors, besides just looking cool (which they do), is to help orient the reader in the story. If I’ve done my job, you won’t need these little flourishes, because you’ll be able to tell pretty easily who is who when you’re reading, but it can’t hurt to be extra thorough.

Tandem contains three POVs: Sasha, Thomas, and Juliana. Sasha’s POV is first person, and all of her chapters are numbered; Thomas’s POV is third-person, and all of his chapters have titles with his name in them and then most of the time his location (i.e. “Thomas in the Tattered City”); Juliana’s POV is in the third-person, in italics, with no numbers or headers of any kind. Instead, they have a fancy abstract design on the top.

sasha

Sasha – Chapter One

thomas

Thomas Through the Tandem (Thomas’s first chapter)

juli

Juliana’s first chapter

Cool, huh? But it doesn’t end there. Sarah chose a small symbol for each character and put them in the margins of the pages, so that no matter where you are in the book, you can always tell who’s speaking by glancing at the margin.

dots

Each page of Sasha’s POV has a circle in the margins, symbolizing that she is from Earth

star

Juliana’s pages have a star

chevron

Thomas’s pages have a chevron, symbolizing his military background

Clever, yes? BUT THAT IS NOT ALL. There are also a couple of interstitials that tell you when you’re switching universes:

earth

This is the Earth spread that occurs near the very beginning of the novel. That’s the Chicago skyline, upside down (the Earth parts of the book are set in Hyde Park, a neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, where not coincidentally I lived 6-7 years ago). There’s an Aurora spread as well:

IMG_1274

And THEN, when the narrative starts counting down by days until [redacted event], there are more interior pages indicating how many days we have left. It’s a number inside a circle, and the circle widens as the number dwindles.

IMG_1275

IMG_1276

Anyway, I’m basically in love with the interiors of Tandem, and feel so, so grateful that my editor and the designer put so much effort into making the book look this gorgeous, inside as well as out. Can’t wait for you all to read it it! With that in mind, it’s time to announce the winner of my Tandem galley giveaway! The winner is:

Heather Perkinson!

Heather, I have emailed you! I can’t wait to hear what you think of Tandem!

More about the TANDEM cover!

Posted on February 20th, 2013 by annakjarzab

tumblr_mhx3ko6ZR21qcnwa6o1_500

I’ve been so pleased with everybody’s reactions to the Tandem cover (first revealed here on USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog, along with a small excerpt!)–clearly, y’all love it as much as I do. Seriously, you guys, I’m obsessed. I have the cover taped to the wall above my writing desk (along with book 2’s cover, which I already have, and which is also GORGEOUS) and I stare at it any time I need inspiration. I’ve gotten a few questions about the cover, so I thought I’d do a little post about how we got to this look and What It All Means. But first, I feel like I should show you the full Tandem jacket! Click to enlarge.

Tandem-full-jacket

Okay, so! The journey to this cover began with my editor kindly asking (as she always does, bless her) how I imagined the cover looking. Usually, my answer to this is something like “Russian dolls!” (All Unquiet Things) or “I don’t know, but please don’t put a cross on it!” (The Opposite of Hallelujah) i.e. near-useless and not at all inspirational. This time, though, I had a vision. I didn’t know what I wanted the cover to look like, but I knew what I wanted it to say, if that makes any sense. We talk about this all the time at my job–what does this cover say to a reader? And what I wanted the cover to say was this: This book is not contemporary; it is romantic and mysterious and slightly sci-fi. 

I wanted it to be clean and simple and pretty, with a cool title treatment, and I thought it should have both an identifiable symbol and a person on it. I suggested (although I’m sure the designer and my editor were already thinking along these lines) including the birds in some way, and/or the ten-star equilateral triangle called a tetractys, which you can see is ghosted on the back of the jacket. I also suggested that each cover be a color that the aurora borealis can be (blue, green, red, or purple). I seriously wrote a whole email along these lines, far from my usual, “Whatever you think works!” (And, let’s be fair, I’ve really lucked out on covers with this strategy.)

So, if you’ve been keeping track, the cover that was sent to me (this is the only version I saw) ticks literally every single one of those boxes. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Clean and simple? Check. Pretty? UH, CHECK. Cool title treatment? Check! Symbol + person? Check check check! It’s even green/blue/purple, very aurora borealis (cover two is also a blend of aurora borealis colors, just different ones, and so will cover three be). I got my bird, and my tetractys, too! Sarah, the designer, is awesome and obviously very talented, and I so appreciate my editor’s willingness to go with me on this one.

Re: the bird, that’s a starling. It’d be far too in-depth and spoiler-y to say why here, but suffice it to say that you will find out about 50% of the way through Tandem. About that point, you can probably figure out what bird/character will be on book 2’s cover, and as for book 3, well…as Gossip Girl says, I’ll never tell. XOXO

You want to know something super creepy? The day before I saw this cover for the first time (so, the cover was done already), I sent my editor this image. My editor put on her best poker face and was like, “Yeah, neat!” And then the next day I got the Tandem cover in my inbox, looking EXTREMELY SIMILAR. Great minds, you guys. Or fate. Hard to tell.

Don’t forget, you can still enter to win a galley of Tandem, and if you think the book sounds good, I would be grateful if you’d mark it “to-read” on Goodreads. As I mentioned, there is an excerpt from Tandem on USA Today’s cover reveal post, and I’ve posted an additional excerpt on my Tumblr, with this image of Thomas I made because I have, like, too much time on my hands. It’s really worth checking out the #tandem tag on my Tumblr anyway, because as I was doing my first pass pages I posted some blurry pictures (sorry! blame the iPhone) of the very cool interiors. I also posted a little bit about why I wrote Tandem and the Many-Worlds Trilogy in the first place here.

TANDEM cover and excerpt reveal!!!

Posted on February 8th, 2013 by annakjarzab

At long last, I can finally show you the cover for TANDEM, which I’ve been talking a lot about but could not prove actually existed. Don’t lie, I know you had your doubts. 🙂 But now I (or, rather, USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog) can show you the cover AND give you a little excerpt to tide you over until you can read the whole thing on October 8, 2013.

Behold, my darling book!

AND, that’s not all–in celebration of this truly awesome Friday, I’m going to give away a signed galley of TANDEM from my personal stock to one lucky winner! All you HAVE to do is follow me on Twitter (@ajarzab), but you can get extra points for liking my Facebook page as well. Details in the Rafflecopter widget below (this is my first time using Rafflecopter, so I hope I didn’t mess it up). Go forth and enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How I Did It

Posted on November 19th, 2012 by annakjarzab

Just dropping a line to say that the kind folks at Kirkus asked me to write an article about “How I Did It” – meaning, how I got published. The idea was for me to give my perspective as someone who both is published and works in publishing. It was really cool of them to ask me to do this (and to call me a “publishing insider”–if by that they mean “publishing gossip“, then yes, true dat/double true), and I had a lot of fun writing the article! You can find the full text here.

In other news, I’m in the final stages of writing TANDEM 2. It’s so weird to me that I’m on my way to a final version of the sequel to a book that hasn’t come out yet and won’t for another 11 months, but that’s the publishing machine for you. We work ahead. Most of the time. Hopefully. I’ve also been reading a ton of manuscripts for our fall 2013 launch here at my place of employment, which is always fun. I’ve just been reading a lot in general, so I’m planning on doing another book recommendations post soon, but I’m constantly putting “Things I’ve Read That I Loved” posts on my Facebook page, if you’re looking for a good book to read right this minute.

 

TANDEM synopsis!

Posted on October 22nd, 2012 by annakjarzab

I’m not a very patient person, which is annoying, because half of being a published writer is just sort of waiting around for things to happen or people to get back to you or whatever. But I’ve been trying to be better about this as part of a whole self-improvement-before-30 thing. It’s going okay I guess? Anyway, I was trying not to spend the few months leading up to the publication of The Opposite of Hallelujah by talking incessantly about Tandem, which comes out October 9, 2013. I’m so out of control excited about Tandem, but it seemed gauche to ignore Hallelujah (which I also do love, don’t get me wrong!) and keep jabbering about Tandem. Now that The Opposite of Hallelujah is out, though, I feel no such compunctions and therefore I’m going to share the synopsis with you today–because I can! If my self-improvement-before-30 thing was working better, I’d wait until I got the go-ahead to show you the Tandem cover/full jacket, which are SO COOL and YOU WILL DIE and then you will have to order Tandem from Amazon.ghost to read it, but it would be WORTH IT because OMG.

But it’s not working and I’m still impatient and I want to tell you what Tandem is officially about so here it goes:

Sixteen-year-old Sasha Lawson has only ever known one small, ordinary life. When she was young, she loved her grandfather’s stories of parallel worlds inhabited by girls who looked like her but led totally different lives. Sasha never believed such worlds were real–until now, when she finds herself thrust into one against her will.

To prevent imminent war, Sasha must slip into the life of an alternate version of herself, a princess who has vanished on the eve of her arranged marriage. If Sasha succeeds in fooling everyone, she will be returned home; if she fails, she’ll be trapped in another girl’s life forever. As time runs out, Sasha finds herself torn between two worlds, two lives, and two young men vying for her love–one who knows her secret, and one who thinks she’s someone she’s not.

The first book in the Many-Worlds Trilogy, Tandem is a riveting saga of love and betrayal set in parallel universes in which nothing–and no one–is what it seems.

As Ryan Lochte would say, “Jeah!” More soon!

 

The Opposite of Hallelujah is available now!

Posted on October 19th, 2012 by annakjarzab

I really should’ve posted this on, like, October 9 when the book actually went on sale, but I didn’t. Cool story! I’ve just been very busy lately, which I know is a lame excuse because how often does a book you wrote come out? Not that often! At least, not if you’re me. That’s all about to change, though, with TANDEM coming out on October 8, 2013 (THAT IS RIGHT! JUST ONE YEAR BETWEEN BOOKS! I AM A MACHINE LOOK AT ME GO!) and Books 2 and 3 in the Many-Worlds Trilogy following close on its heels with a nine month pub schedule (so Book 2 will be July 2014 and Book 3 will be April 2015–PROBABLY).

It’s taking all the strength I have not to barrel forward and tell you all about TANDEM, which is a project I’m extremely excited about. If you want a sneak peek, the official synopsis is now up on Goodreads. Right now, though, it’s all THE OPPOSITE OF HALLELUJAH! I’m proud of this little book (okay, it’s not little, it’s actually pretty ginormous–almost every review I’ve seen has pointed out how long it is, although usually in the context of “It didn’t feel that long!” or “I wish there’d been more!” which is definitely the context in which you’d like to hear that your book is a bit zaftig), and people seem like they’re enjoying it. Below are some of the extremely nice things people have been saying about THE OPPOSITE OF HALLELUJAH. I’m really quite overwhelmed and humbled by the positive response to this book!

Purchase THE OPPOSITE OF HALLELUJAH from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, or your local independent bookseller.

“I adored this novel’s sharp voice and sweet romance. Just wonderful!” – Courtney Summers, author of This is Not a Test*

“Jarzab packs a lot into this story—questions of faith and forgiveness, science and religion, mental illness, guilt and possible redemption, as well as simple high school drama. But at its heart, this is a story about sisters, and it’s as complex and convoluted as the relationship itself…Couched among the issues are truly likeable people: intelligent teenagers supporting each other through good times and bad; loving, very human parents struggling with how to intervene in the life of a seriously ill adult child, while nurturing their teenage daughter; and a science-nerd priest who is honest enough to admit that he doesn’t have all the answers.” – Booklist, starred review

“Though the author takes many, many pages to reveal Hannah’s secret, it is time well-spent, providing nuanced characterizations of not only conflicted Caro, but of her troubled parents and her kindly, philosophical priest, Father Bob. It’s a rare teen novel that both tackles religion and creates fully realized adult characters, and Jarzab handles it all gracefully. A layered meditation on family and belief that will ring true for faith-questing teens.” – Kirkus

The Opposite of Hallelujah treatment of religion, belief, and religious people is almost perfect. Hannah’s reasons for joining, and leaving, are treated with respect and sympathy; the complexity of religious life is shown. Just as wonderful as the sensitivity with which The Opposite of Hallelujah treats the subject matter is the language…funny and insightful.” – Liz Burns, writing on SLJ.com [full review]

The Opposite of Hallelujah is Anna Jarzab’s sophomore novel, and it’s a memorable one…Months after reading this, I’m still thinking about Caro and Hannah. Although The Opposite of Hallelujah clocks in at over 450 pages, it is an absorbing read — Jarzab has a handle on her story and on her characters, and she anchors them both with great references and motifs throughout…Rarely do I think I’d like more of a book, especially a book already running long, but I would have read another 100 or so pages of this story to get even more out of the faith/grief experiences of both girls. In many ways, this book reminded me of Sara Zarr, especially Once Was Lost, and I think there’s a lot here fans of Zarr’s books will enjoy. I’d be comfortable handing this to younger YA readers, as well as more mature ones. Jarzab gives readers on both ends of the spectrum a lot to chew on.” – Stacked Books [full review]

“I loved this book. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to give a relgious book a try but is afraid of a preachy message. But even if you aren’t interested in the religious aspect, I recommend The Opposite of Hallelujah, since it’s a great sister story and realistic coming-of-age book. With subtle but evocative prose and a main character who’s so real, The Opposite of Hallelujah is dark but ultimately satisfying.” – Paperback Treasures [full review]

“This is a story that I know that I will find myself re-reading and bullying people to read. Its one of my favorite books for the year and I really can’t recommend it highly enjoy.” – Ticket to Anywhere [full review]

“This book is a rare beast—a YA story about faith, honesty, and family that manages to be thought-provoking rather than preachy… I can’t tell you how delightful it was to read a book that features such a thoughtful heroine, and—while it does feature a lovely romantic subplot—allows her the space to wrestle with more interesting questions than who to go to prom with, or which (generally undead) suitor to choose. Caro’s family isn’t “fixed” by the end of The Opposite of Hallelujah, but her growth over the course of the novel left me feeling like there were few problems too complicated for this intelligent and open-minded young woman to resolve.” – Wordcandy [full review]

“I was completely blown away by The Opposite of Hallelujah. It made me cry and laugh in equal measure. Not only was it a truly spectacular stand-alone read, but it also left a lasting impression on me that will surely not fade away with time.” – Blook Girl [full review]

I’ve been very anxious for a new book from Anna Jarzab ever since I closed All Unquiet Things. I really loved that book and I haven’t read a mystery that captivated me as much since then. The Opposite of Hallelujah is very different than Anna Jarzab’s first book. Honestly, I was just a tiny bit worried that it might end up being a Religious Book, but I’m happy to say that it did not…If you like books about sisters and unique, but realistic relationships, you should definitely pick up The Opposite of Hallelujah.” – Pure Imagination [full review]

“The Opposite of Hallelujah is a touching story filled to the brim with emotions with a sweet yet rocky at times relationship and a strong narrator that I connected with.” – Blkosiner’s Book Blog [full review]

“I have not come across many YA novels that tackle the issue of religion and faith and Anna Jarzab does so with grace. The story is as much about loss, grief, and family as it is about faith, religion, and god. There are so many things that I liked about this story…Teens will be able to relate to any number of issues addressed in this novel. The religious aspect is not heavy-handed, preachy, or off-putting. Teens looking for books about faith will welcome this novel. Teens who enjoy books featuring family conflict and drama will also enjoy this book.” – YA? Why Not? [full review]

” This story was not what I was expecting but absolutely loved it. A really great story about families, sisters and coming to terms with the past.  A fantastic book, I would highly recommend.” – Debra’s Book Cafe [full review]

*As Courtney Summers is probably one of my favorite YA writers, if not my absolute favorite, you can imagine how incredibly chuffed I was to have her blurb my book!!

I like you

Posted on August 14th, 2012 by annakjarzab

I’ll admit: I’m not great on Facebook, personally, for myself. I know a lot about it because I use it ALL THE TIME for work, but I rarely use it for myself–like, to communicate with/keep in touch with/stalk people–and I use it even more rarely for my books. But that’s all about to change! Because I’ve relaunched the Anna Jarzab Books Facebook fan page! I even did some design and coding work on it; at the risk of patting myself too hard on the back, I think it looks pretty snazzy. I’ve posted some outtakes from the ALL UNQUIET THINGS photo shoot on the page (which I poached from the photographer Eva Kolenko’s Tumblr) and the full version of the photo on the cover that even I’d never seen before recently! I’m also going to be putting up some sneak peeks (just a line or two) from THE OPPOSITE OF HALLELUJAH every day or so until October 9th, since THE OPPOSITE OF HALLELUJAH is less than two months from release now, which is BLOWING MY MIND.

It’s so funny, I can’t believe this is only my second book and it’s not even out yet. I’m in the middle of working on TANDEM 2 right now, and an adult book, so in my head I have about five books published–even though actually it’s just the one right now, soon to be two. I am excited to tell you, though, that TANDEM is going to be out in Fall 2013 sometime (no firm date yet, you know how these things go) with, I’m assuming, if everything goes smoothly, TANDEM 2 coming out in Fall 2014 and TANDEM 3 (THERE ARE GOING TO BE THREE!!! Probably) coming out in Fall 2015. But, obvi, who knows? I’ll keep you posted.

I really can’t wait to tell you more about TANDEM. I’ve seen the cover, which is GORGEOUS and THE BEST, but I can’t share it yet, not sure when I’ll be able to. No description, yet, either, except for what you already know, which is that it’s an epic romantic adventure set across parallel universes. I could write my own synopsis, except that I tried and it’s really hard and I gave up. Boo hiss I’m the worst. Instead, I’ll post some photos that helped inspire me while I was working on TANDEM to give you an idea of what it’s about. The below gallery is only a taste; visit my Welcome to Aurora Tumblr to see even more.