This week's featured summer reading author is Alyson NoÃ«l, whose young adult paranormal series, The Immortals, had readers on the edge of their seats last summer for the conclusion of the epic love story between Damen and Ever. Now, there is a new YA series from NoÃ«l to get excited about--The Soul Seekers. The highly anticipated first book, Fated (released yesterday), introduces readers to Daire Santos, a girl whose strange visions are a hint of her ability to travel the worlds of the living and the dead, and Dace, the blue-eyed boy who has materialized from her dreams.
Sounds like the perfect book to start the summer, right?
We asked NoÃ«l to share a little something about summer reading and she sent us the exclusive essay below. You can also read an excerpt from Fated under More to Explore, here, and check out an exclusive video from the author about the book below.
Amazon Exclusive from Alyson NoÃ«l :
If I had to choose a favorite childhood memory, it would easily be the last day of school.
Any last day of school"”they all held equal appeal.
Though I should probably explain that the choice is less about my not liking school (loved the early years"”later, school and I came to the understanding that while we may not like each other, we were indeed good for each other) and more about the onset of summer. The heady anticipation of three deliciously long months sprawled before me like a lazy cat.
As a native Southern Californian, the lure of summer was less about a spike in the temperature, and more about daily trips to the beach, a friend's pool, the couch in my den, or a blanket on the lawn in my own backyard"”always with a book (or two) in hand.
Early childhood reading was defined by The Little House on the Prairie series, and anything featuring a horse on the cover"”Misty of Chincoteague a particular stand out. The early teen years were when Judy Blume's Deenie and Forever, and SE Hinton's The Outsiders, Rumble Fish, and That was Then This is Now, rocked my world.
While required high school reading lists introduced me to some of my favorite authors, particularly F. Scott Fitzgerald, J.D. Salinger, and the BrontÃ« sisters, choosing a book for the pure pleasure of immersing myself in the journey (as opposed to analyzing and dissecting it for class discussion) held far more appeal. And because I came of age at a time when teen books were not nearly the phenomenon they are now, my high school summers were spent picking from my mom's extensive collection of Judith Krantz, Sidney Sheldon, and Stephen King paperbacks.
Since books have played such a prominent role in my life, it comes as no surprise that I made Daire Santos, the protagonist in my new young adult series, The Soul Seekers, an avid reader as well.
When we first meet Daire in Fated, she makes mention of a "water-warped paperback" she's been "lugging around." Although the title goes unmentioned, I imagine that book to be Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale"”assigned reading for her English class. Though, that's not to say she's not enjoying it. If asked, Daire would tell you it's taught her to be less complacent in her life and her thinking. A lesson that comes in handy when she moves to the mystical town of Enchantment, New Mexico and her whole world is flipped upside down.
Adjusting to a new town, getting acquainted with the grandmother she's never met, undergoing a brutal initiation in her training as a Seeker, fighting soul-stealing demons, journeying to mystical worlds, and falling in love for the very first time, don't allow for much downtime. But if I had to assign Daire a summer reading list, it would definitely include all of the books I read and loved as a teen.
As worldly and experienced as Daire is, as exciting as her life has become, I have a pretty good feeling she'd fall for S.E. Hinton's Pony Boy just as hard as I did. -- Alyson NoÃ«l