your soul.


your story.


new worlds.


outside the lines.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

GCC Tours Melissa Walker

What writers do you consider your “sisters”? Are there any published writers that you hang out or tour with a lot? Call? Email? IM?

I have LOVED the supportive young adult author community! I've gotten great advice and many niceties from Carolyn Mackler, Sarah Mlynowski, Beth Kephart, Lisa McMann, David Levithan, Siobhan Vivian, Jolene Siana, Sarah Grace McCandless, Elizabeth Scott, E. Lockhart, Alexa Young, Kristen Kemp, the fun voices of many to name really!

Who do you find yourself being compared to or are often put together with in reading lists or book clubs?

I'm doing a reading this fall with Rachel Maude, the author of Poseur. It's fun because both of our books are fashion-related. Because Sarah Dessen gave me my first blurb, and because we have the same hometown (Chapel Hill, NC) I sometimes get to be associated slightly with her, which is AWESOME.

What writers do you wish would be in your “clique”? (It doesn’t have to be in your genre….doesn’t even have to be living! For example, I’d pick Alice Hoffman, Jodi Picoult, Sarah Dessen, Oscar Wilde, Stephenie Meyer, Meg Cabot, Stephen King and Joan Didion).

In addition to the amazing people I mentioned above (so my dream posse is already huge!), I'm definitely choosing Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind) and Eudora Welty (genius and such amazing dark humor). To balance out a group with opinionated southern women, I think Shakespeare would be a laugh.

What was your “initiation” to writing?

I wrote and edited for teen and women's magazines, so that was where I first got the byline bug. I loved seeing my words in print. I always dreamed of expanding to books one day, so it's the realization of an ideal career path for me.

What was your best/worst memory of high school?

Worst: There were days when I felt invisible, and those always hurt the most somehow.

Best: By junior year, I had a very solid group of friends, and I still love them all today. My best moments were with them, even though we were boring and usually spent Saturday night watching SNL at someone's house instead of partying with the cool kids.

Finally, what can you tell me about your book? Give me a quick run-down about why I’d want to pick it for my own book club.

Violet in Private is the third book in the Violet trilogy, and it ties together a lot of the issues that Violet has been dealing with as a real girl who gets scouted to become a model in NYC and then faces pressures to stay thin and enter the party lifestyle of the fashion world. For book clubs, there's a lot to talk about--especially with teenage members who are fans of America's Next Top Model and Project Runway. In fact, a list of discussion topics is up on this month, so I encourage people to visit there!

Thanks for having me, Megan!

More info about Melissa Walker and the Violet Series:
by Melissa Walker

Praise for Melissa Walker:
“It’s a hard sell, asking readers to muster sympathy for the congenitally gorgeous whose job it is to wear designer clothes and walk. In ‘Violet on the Runway,’ Melissa Walker pulls it off.”
—Holly Brubach, The New York Times

Is there life off the runway?
VIOLET IN PRIVATE (Berkley Jam Trade Paperback; August 5, 2008; $9.99) is the third novel in the series by former magazine editor Melissa Walker about Violet— the wallflower who blooms into an international modeling star—until she realizes there may be more to life than the runway…

Everyone knows her as Violet Greenfield, the supposedly cultured and worldly nineteen-year-old with sky-high confidence because she’s done fashion weeks internationally. But the truth is, modeling has done little for Violet’s self-esteem. And now that she’s finally headed to college, she’s terrified that she’ll turn back into that girl who blended into the walls all throughout high school…

Violet’s friends in fashion are only a two-hour train ride away in New York City, and they all think she’s crazy to stop modeling. But her best friend Roger hopes she’ll go back to being the girl next door. Of course, things have been weird between them ever since they kissed—and now he’s got a girlfriend. So the question is: if she’s not “Violet on the Runway” anymore, who exactly is she?

Melissa Walker has created a character that teens as well as adults can embrace and relate to. Readers have followed Violet through her highest highs and lowest lows in the modeling industry, and are eager to see how she fares as a regular teenager in college. This wonderful series is a fresh take on the real voice of one girl in the designer spotlight.

As a former editor at ELLEgirl and Seventeen magazines, Melissa Walker knows first-hand the ins and outs of the fashion world. She hails from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her at, or at

Melissa is available for interview, and can talk extensively about the fashion world from the insider's view of a fashion magazine editor. And as a Young Adult writer who converses regularly with her teenage fans, she also would enjoy giving her take on the effects models and fashion have on teenage girls.

Praise for the VIOLET series:

“Part Cinderella, part girl next door, VIOLET ON THE RUNWAY is a story for any girl who ever wondered what it would be like to have her wildest dream come true.”
--New York Times bestselling author Sarah Dessen

“Violet is a hero for all of us wallflowers out there. A fun, fashion-filled, fast-paced read!”
--Carolyn Mackler, award-winning author of Guyaholic

“On the runway or off, Violet shines.”
--Ally Carter, bestselling author of I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You

“Violet is wonderfully witty and sweetly sensitive. She’s not your typical top model; she’s more like your best friend—only prettier.”
--Kirsten Kemp, author of Breakfast at Bloomingdale’s

"Violet on the Runway is a novel about fashion, but it's also a sensitive portrait of adolescence--simultaneously funny and painful. Walker excels at characterizing those moments that we've all experienced, from bumbling in front of the cute boy to being misunderstood by ones parents."
--NYLON Magazine

"This novel is a perfect read for teens who want to see what lies beneath the glossy veneer of what seems to be a picture-perfect life."
--Family Circle

"Teens will love this fun fashion read."
--OK! Magazine

"Take a peek into a model's life with this hip novel!"
--Teen Magazine

"I couldn't put it down! You're kind of rooting for her to make it big, and kind of rooting for her to just go home before the biz ruins her."

"Funny, engaging, and eye-opening, Violet on the Runway is an addictive read full of all the juicy insights about the fashion industry one could hope for, as well as meaningful layers and observations about the importance of knowing one's self."
--Venus Zine

PS-Click here to check out Melissa Walker's big Violet contest, which will be running until Sept 1st! Don't wait, check it out today!!

For more information about the VIOLET series or Melissa Walker, check out the links below.
VIOLET ON THE RUNWAY, September 2007

Thanks for stopping by, Melissa and good luck with your incredibly addictive VIOLET series! A must read for anyone who wants to know the real story behind the fashion industry from a real fashion magazine insider.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

GCC Tours Stephanie Kuehnert

Debut novelist Stephanie Kuenhart, author of the kick-ass book I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE, was nice enough to tour me on her blog last week, and this week I'm featuring her on my blog as part of the GCC virtual booktour. (All the girlfriends in this network are pretty amazing and I'm so honored to be a part of their group.) Stephanie took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for me about her new book, her writing influences and the unusual path from reading Laura Ingalls Wilder to creating 'zines to a writing a novel about living a punk rock life.

In my debut novel, SISTERS OF MISERY, the main group of mean girls call themselves the Sisters of Misery since they take part in orientation rituals on Misery Island. Here are some questions for you about your own cliques (hopefully they aren't as mean as the ones in my story!)

Do you (or did you ever) have a writing group? Who are the first people to read your book once it's completed?

Yes, I have a writing group that meets once a week made up of my dearest friends from my MFA program at Columbia College Chicago, Katie, Jenny, and Aaron. They are my first readers along with my long distance critique partner Vanessa, who is absolutely brilliant and so insightful. I don't know what I'd do without these people.

What writers do you consider your "sisters"? Are there any published writers that you hang out or tour with a lot? Call? Email? IM?

I'm not sure if I know all of them well enough to call them my sisters, but the female writers that have given me the best advice and I really look up to are Hillary Carlip, Alexa Young, Melissa Marr, Jeri Smith-Ready, Rebecca Woolf, Kelly Parra, and Melissa Walker. I've done events with Alexa, Rebecca and Kelly. Alexa and I set up a huge event together, so we are definitely sisters and have emailed and talked a lot. Hillary has been a role model since I was 16 and she included my 'zine in her book Zine Scene. I see her whenever she's in Chicago or I'm in LA. I have some great guy writer friends, too. Joe Meno is one of my biggest mentors. Irvine Welsh and John McNally are friends/drinking buddies of mine. I read with Frank Portman and had to stop myself from behaving like a total fangirl. I also count Sam Weller and Charley Cross among my friends and mentors. Oh, I feel ashamed, like I'm such a name dropper! But I really do love and admire these people dearly!

Who do you find yourself being compared to or are often put together with in reading lists or book clubs?

I think I'm too new to be getting comparisons quite yet. Though I have been compared to Joe Meno, which is about the hugest compliment I could get.

What writers do you wish would be in your "clique"? (It doesn't have to be in your genre….doesn't even have to be living! For example, I'd pick Alice Hoffman, Jodi Picoult, Sarah Dessen, Oscar Wilde, Stephenie Meyer, Meg Cabot, Stephen King and Joan Didion).

Francesca Lia Block, Melissa Marr, Irvine Welsh, John Steinbeck, Lisa Tucker, Joe Meno, and Laura Wiess. Oh and I could go on. A lot more.

If someone was going to join your book club, what would be a "must read" in order to join?

Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess and the Weetzie Bat books by Francesca Lia Block.

What was your "initiation" to writing?

Reading Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I got into those when I was five and was so obsessed I insisted that people call me Laura. As soon as I could write, I started keeping a "diary." But my life was never as interesting as Laura's so I turned to writing fiction pretty quickly!

When did you first feel that you'd officially joined the "published writers' club"?

The day that I signed my contract for my first novel. That's when I knew that it was really real and no one could take it back. Actually, no, I was pretty freaked that I'd screw up revisions and take it back. So maybe when I saw my ARCs for the first time. A real book with my name on it. My dream come true.

What was your best/worst memory of high school?

Oh I have a lot of bad high school memories, many the result of a very bad relationship sophomore year that is too depressing to talk about. And I don't know if I have one particular best memory, but I have several moments of fondness. Driving around with my best friend Katie, smoking out the window (which meant she sat on the window and smoked because I couldn't get the smell of smoke in my parents' car), drinking Slurpees and blaring either Babes In Toyland's Fontanelle or Rancid's And Out Come the Wolves. Assembling 'zines in my bedroom with Katie, Polly, and Thea. Nights at Denny's with Katie, Polly, Thea, Marcel and the little boys (Mike, Tom, Dave, and Steve who were all freshman). Cramming all of those people into my Honda Civic and driving through the dark spot (railroad tracks surrounded by a Forest Preserve, that we'd turn the headlights off and fly over. Very stupid but fun). Shows at the Fireside Bowl, moshing and skanking our little hearts out. Even though I was depressed because of the aforementioned relationship, I loved those times more than I realized.

In SISTERS OF MISERY, the last place new members want to go to is Misery Island. But if you had the choice, what island would you go to and what would you take with you?

I'd go to Hawaii. It doesn't matter which Hawaiian island, any will do. And I'd bring my iPod, my journal, my boyfriend, and the top three books on my to-read pile. I don't need anything else.

Finally, what can you tell me about your book? Give me a quick run-down about why I'd want to pick it for my own book club.

Well, the back cover copy of the book describes it best: "Punk rock is in Emily Black's blood. Her mother, Louisa, hit the road to follow the incendiary music scene when Emily was four months old and never came back. Now Emily's all grown up with a punk band of her own, determined to find the tune that will bring her mother home. Because if Louisa really is following the music, shouldn't it lead her right back to Emily?" It's a good pick for your book club because it has something for everyone. It's an obvious choice for music fans, but at the core it is a story about family and figuring out how to grow into your own person no matter what your family circumstances may be.

Here's some additional info about Stephanie and all the AMAZING press and quotes she's gotten: quite a feat for a debut YA novelist. Go Steph! Check out her site, her book, and her blog. That's what I'll be doing!

Blog: and

A raw, edgy, emotional novel about growing up punk and living to tell.

The Clash. Social Distortion. Dead Kennedys. Patti Smith. The Ramones.

Punk rock is in Emily Black's blood. Her mother, Louisa, hit the road to follow the incendiary music scene when Emily was four months old and never came back.

Now Emily's all grown up with a punk band of her own, determined to find the tune that will bring her mother home. Because if Louisa really is following the music, shouldn't it lead her right back to Emily?

Praise for I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone

" empowering new twist on a girl's coming of age..." - Los Angeles Times

"...irresistible..." and "...acidly incisive and full-out entertaining..." - Booklist

"Debut author Kuehnert keeps the story raw and gritty... the intensity of the characters' emotions and experiences will beguile many teen readers." - Publisher's Weekly

"...a rich, muscular story..." - Bust Magazine

"I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is a manifesto for defiant high school girls, as well as a refresher course for the goddesses they turn into." - Venus Zine

"Emily's coming-of-age story in I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is allusive, real, and honest. Even I, the most non-rock oriented teen in existence, found it overwhelmingly easy to connect with and relate to Emily. It makes no difference if you're a punk-rock chick or a glam princess, I would recommend this book to any ELLE girl." - Elle Girl

"This book could be any real band's Behind the Music, but Kuehnert creates some realistic characters that drag you down past reading it on the shitter. Congrats, Steph, you got me to read a whole fucking book for once. Solid writing, Ms. Lady." - Racket Magazine

"A wonderfully written and evocative story of a mother and daughter parted by circumstance and joined by music. I heartily recommend it." - Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting

"Some books play at trying to be "edgy"; some books try to hit the right notes; but Kuehnert's prose doesn't notice labels. It just is--which is the purest kinda edge. Teeth. Punk. Combat boots. Attitude. Feminism. Family. Girls with guitars. Relationships that jack you up. Sharp things of the not-good kind. Friendships. Love... It's all here; it's all pure and real. I loved it."- Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange

"Kuehnert's love of music is apparent on every page in this powerful and moving story. Her fresh voice makes this novel stand out in the genre, and she writes as authentically about coming of age as she does punk rock. She's titled the book after a great song by Sleater-Kinney, and both that band, and the iconic Joey Ramone, would be proud of this effort." Charles R. Cross, New York Times bestselling author of Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain

"I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is intense, raw and real; a powerful and heartbreaking weave of Emily Black's public dream of making music and the intensely private one of finding her elusive, missing mother. Emily, a gutsy, passionate and vulnerable girl, knows exactly what she wants and strides straight into the gritty darkness after it, risking all and pulling no punches but leaving us with the perfect ending to a fierce and wild ride." - Laura Wiess, author of Leftovers and Such a Pretty Girl

"Stephanie Kuehnert has written a sucker-punch of a novel, raw and surprising and visceral, and like the best novelists who write about music, she'll convince you that a soul can indeed be saved by rock and roll."- John McNally, author of America's Report Card and The Book of Ralph

"Stephanie Kuehnert writes with dramatic flare and all the right beats, as she spins a story with punk rock lyrics, big dreams, and one girl not afraid to reach out to her lost mother through music, while enduring intense journeys in between. A debut like an unforgettable song, you'll want to read I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone again and again." - Kelly Parra, author of Graffiti Girl

Monday, August 18, 2008

Great Publishers Weekly Review! Yay!!

I'm so excited about the Publishers Weekly review of SISTERS OF MISERY in this week's issue that I can barely contain myself. Here is the review. They call it a "standout addition to a popular YA genre." Enjoy!!

Sisters of Misery Megan Kelley Hall. Kensington, $9.95 paper (308p) ISBN 978-0-7582-2679-2

Maddie Crane has always lived in Hawthorne, where a family name means everything and membership in a cruel, all-girl secret society, the Sisters of Misery, is required for social success. When Cordelia and Rebecca LeClaire, Maddie's cousin and newly widowed aunt, move back to Hawthorne, Cordelia's beauty, bohemian style and interest in fortune-telling draw negative attention from the preppy Sisters of Misery, especially their leader. On Halloween Night they subject Cordelia to a brutal hazing on Misery Island (from which the society gets their name)—and by the next morning she has vanished. Wracked with guilt about throwing her cousin to the Sisters, Maddie becomes obsessed with finding Cordelia. While the viciousness of the Sisters of Misery can, at points, seem extreme, the mystery of Cordelia's disappearance is compelling. Hall maintains suspense until the very end. This story's dark, sinister edge, coupled with the clever use of runes to frame each chapter, will satisfy those fascinated by witchcraft and premonitions. Setting up a sequel, Hall will leave readers eager to know what happens next in her standout addition to a popular YA genre. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I just need to share some AMAZING blurbs from bloggers about SISTERS OF MISERY. I've compiled them into one place, but I've provided links to all of the blogs that have mentioned SISTERS OF MISERY recently.

On top of all this wonderful praise, the Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit is touring me this week. I can't tell you what an honor it is to have these amazing and talented writers including me in their GCC Blog Tour. In my next blog post, I'll provide links to all my "girlfriends" in the GCC. (Love them!)

Anyway, here are some of the truly amazing quotes about SISTERS OF MISERY from online bloggers: (This is almost too much to handle...I'm not prepared for all these wonderful things being said about my debut novel. You all rock!)

“On the surface, Sisters of Misery sounds like just another teen drama, but it has a very Gothic feel to it. In the background, the town’s history involving witchcraft hums along, leaving you with a feeling that something disastrous is about to happen. In fact, the town itself is almost a character in the story, with its mysterious, evil persona lurking in the shadows. Teen drama aside, though, Sisters of Misery gave me the chills—and as I neared the end, I was seriously creeped out. It’s a frightfully great read, and when it all comes together, it’ll leave you feeling as if a cold, dead hand were crawling all over your body.

Ms. Hall has definitely renewed my love of the Gothic novel—and I’m already looking forward to the second book in the series, The Lost Sister.”--Nights and

“This modern gothic has everything.”

“More than a fantasy, as gripping as a thriller, Sisters of Misery is superb YA suspense, that delivers on its promise to keep the reader turning pages into the wee small hours of the morning.”--Bookworm (top reviewer)

“There’s no doubt Hall knows how to write one heck of a creepy gothic novel. She pushes the limits with disturbing plot points in this scary, fast-paced story.”--Romantic Times Book Reviews

“The story is good, the plot intriguing, and the suspense nail-biting." Armchair Interviews

Sisters of Misery was fan-freakin-tastic. People, I got chills! There had better be a part two to this book or I will totally scream. The beginning hooks you quickly. I was locked in and wouldn’t let go of the book. The book is full of secrets that had me guessing all the way to the end…Hall had me craving for more. This is the realism of mainstream fiction, but the intensity of a thriller. What an awesome writer! “ J. Kaye Oldner's Book Blog

"My initial reaction is.....Okay, WOW! Megan Kelley Hall where have you been my whole life. This was an incredible novel. I don’t even know where to start….Don’t even try to figure the ending out in this one folks, you will fail miserably! Every one of my theories was shot down one by one! It was that good. And the climax, totally stunned me! I’m still stunned hours later. One word UNFORGETTABLE! I’m more than thrilled to also discover a continuation of the story. The Lost Sister will be available August 2009!!" --The Story Siren

"Sisters of Misery was a truly chilling and suspenseful read. There were so many secrets and twists to the story that kept me perpetually surprised and eager for more. It was incredible how Megan Kelley Hall was able to weave in Hawthorne’s haunting past and its present-day superstitions into Maddie’s story…Sisters of Misery is definitely one of the best stories I’ve ever read, and I eagerly await the sequel, The Lost Sister. Any reader will be able to get attached to this suspense-filled book with mythical aspects, a historical angle, and many, many twists and turns."
--The Book Muncher

"Re-imagine Mean Girls as a gothic mystery and you get Sisters of Misery. And that’s a good thing. But Sisters of Misery isn’t just about fitting in with the popular clique. It is also about legendary town tales, family secrets, and shocking betrayals. Just when you think you may have it all figured out, the author keeps throwing more twists and turns. Teens and adults will like this story and I was happy to read at the end of the book that the author Megan Kelley Hall will be writing a sequel to Sisters of Misery. I definitely am looking forward to it as well as other books by this promising new writer."--Book Room Reviews

"SISTERS OF MISERY by Megan Kelley Hall: Maddie Crane is a sixteen year old girl who lives in Hawthorne, MA, just miles away from the site of the infamous Salem witch trials. She’s friends with the most popular girls in school, a clique known as the Sisters of Misery. The Sisters are all from families of powerful women in Hawthorne, a legacy that goes back centuries. When Maddie’s eccentric cousin, Cordelia, moves to Hawthorne, Maddie is torn between staying a part of Sisters and relinquishing to the mystical way of life that her cousin and aunt have embraced. Her decision is quickly made for her when Maddie becomes involved in one of the Sisters’ schemes, a plan that destroys her life and the lives of all those that are close to her. While Sisters of Misery is categorized as a YA book, audiences of all ages will be pulled into the gothic style writing of Megan Kelley Hall. I’m impatiently looking forward to more from this amazing debut author." --BookBitch

"Sisters of Misery sent shivers down my spine. I'm always up for reading something out of the ordinary, and according to today's teen literature standards, this is as far from your normal chick lit and beachy romances as you're going to get. And that's not a bad thing, not at all. The thing that attracted me most to the book was how it promised to be something out of my comfort zone. I wanted to read something that would hit me hard and stay with me, and after reading Sisters of Misery, I knew that I got exactly what I had asked for....Megan Kelley Hall proved that she can write. I am looking forward to the next book, The Lost Sister, with great anticipation because the end of the book left off with a serious cliff hanger. I'll definitely be reading anything Megan Kelley Hall has to offer in the future as she has made her mark, in my brain at least. I highly suggest that you go out and pick yourself up a copy of Sisters of Misery. It's sure to grab you tight, and keep you guessing until the very last page."-Liv’s Book Reviews

"Sisters of Misery
is an absolutely stunning debut by Megan Kelley Hall, perhaps the best Gothic novel that I have ever read. Hall knows how to create suspense like nobody else and she isn't afraid to delve into the most horrifying depths of the human psyche, places we don't want to admit exist. Secrets are revealed and mysteries slowly unraveled, with enough plot twists to keep readers on their toes! The sequel, THE LOST SISTER, comes out in August 2009, and I honestly do not think that I can wait that long."-- Amber Gibson of

(SISTERS OF MISERY received a Five Star Review and the Gold Star Award for Excellence from Teens Read Too--super exciting!!)

"This book was so intense I had to put it down a couple of times afraid of what I was going to read. I really liked this book. The plot was electrifying, mystifying, and terrifying. The hairs on my arms were constantly on edge; I couldn’t help but be drawn to the book as I read more and more of its pages. Maddie and Cordelia were the perfect characters that can make a story like this readable." ---Fallen Angel Reviews

"This young adult fantasy will appeal to older readers as well. The character driven tale contains a gothic tone and atmosphere as the main characters are interesting people who have kept secrets for decades. Maddie is a follower; afraid to lead or leave a group she loathes until the Cordelia incident serves as a catalyst to challenge the power of the Sisters of Misery. There are a crop of new girls to replace their mothers as Sisters who control Hawthorne. Fans will find it difficult at first to accept a young girl like Kate is evil because of her age, but will accept the truth as Megan Kelley Halls makes her malevolence seem genuine. She and Maddie are fascinating antagonists who turn the SISTERS OF MISERY into an enjoyable read." --Harriet Klausner

"This book was ah-mazing!!!! I seriously couldn't put it down. It was 2 a.m and I was still reading the book. It was suspenseful, sad, funny, heart-wrenching, thrilling, and mysterious. Maddie and Cordelia's characters were great. I can't believe that this was Megan Kelley Hall's first book. It was so well written and the plot was amazing. There were a lot of twist and turns. It sent chills down my body. The night that Cordelia disappear was so freaky and vivid that I could see myself there, witnessing what was happening.If you liked the Blue is for Nightmares series then you will love this book. I can't wait for the sequel The Lost Sisters.This is a MUST read, buy or get a copy when it comes out July 29, 2008."-BookLuver Carol’s Blog

"All I can say is WOW!!! There is nothing more thrilling than finding an author who has the capabilities of luring you into their story and not letting go. I fell straight in, and didn’t resurface until the book was finished, reading it straight through. .. This was such an excellent read and I am hopeful that the author will honor me by allowing me to review her future books - EXCELLENT!!"
--Amateur de Livre book blog

"I loved this book. Love, love, loved it! Just a few pages in, I was so engrossed, I completely forgot that the characters were ten years younger than me. It was gripping and chilling and page-turning and all those other adjectives that you're not supposed to use anymore because they've been thrown around like candy. I can't help it, though, this book was truly all of those things. Sisters is the first in a new series that I think is going to get much more heavy into the paranormal realm. For now, this one is nice and gothic-y with plenty of hints of witchcraft and precognition. There's a mysterious secret society, and the town the story takes place in has a sordid history that includes the murders of three sisters believed to have been practicing witches.

Like I said, dying to read the next one and see what happens! Until now, I'll just have to wait, but I highly suggest that you run out and pick up a copy when this hits shelves on the 29th. In my opinion, there's plenty of crossover appeal in this one - I think there are plenty of adults out there who will enjoy is just as much as I did, just beware of random teens stealing it when you aren't looking."
--No More Grumpy Bookseller (Becky LeJeune)

"Sisters of Misery looks innocuous, with a colorful cover and FRENEMIES-esque tagline: Best friends – or worst enemies? Don’t ignore the title. This is a dark tale, the familiar story of the dark depths in a seemingly charming small town. SISTERS OF MISERY incorporates some supernatural elements, and I expect that that aspect of the story will be expanded in THE LOST SISTER. ….SISTERS OF MISERY reaches a satisfying conclusion that resolves many of the smaller mysteries, and one of the larger ones, while still leaving much to the next book. Megan Kelley Hall excels at creating the perfect atmosphere for the story – it’s dark and threatening, with a palpable sense of dread. Even before Cordelia goes missing the reader can sense how much Maddie doesn’t see about her life."--In Bed with Books

"While Sisters of Misery is categorized as a YA book, audiences of all ages will be pulled into the gothic style writing of Megan Kelley Hall. I’m impatiently looking forward to more from this amazing debut author."--Jenn’s Bookshelf

“I read this book, which serves to launch the new young adult line of novels by Kensington Books, while staying up alone at night in a mountain cabin out in the woods. This eerie tale kept me up late, listening to the sounds outside, while turning the next page when I should have been asleep. The concepts were intriguing and veered from the traditional path of magic and paranormal as interpreted by other popular novels of the genre. Overall, it was a decent read that crossed over from purely teenage lit into something appealing for adult readers as well.

The characters around (Maddie) were a bit more layered. I found the familial relationships interesting, such as the antagonistic relationship between Maddie’s mother and Maddie’s aunt, as well as the unusual apprentice-like mentoring relationship between Maddie and her grandmother.

I would categorize the Gothic plot as a “lite” version reminiscent of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. The runic mythology tied to the plot definitely added to the telling of the story, while the group interactions that led to events that wouldn’t have otherwise been carried out by any single individual made for a darkly fascinating dynamic. The unraveling of the mystery itself produced some nail-biting scenes.”--Damian Daily

I have a thing about books , they have to be original. I hate run of the mill books; drama, b***h fights, and the evil character gets stomped out by the good. I originally thought this book was going to be like that too, but i was pleasantly surprised. This book was amazingly well written, and had a wonderful plot. The characters were also very well developed and easy to relate to--or to hate with all your guts. Sisters of Misery is a very very good book, this is definitely a book you'll want to buy when it comes out. --Midnight Twilight’s Book Blog

I was extremely impressed by Megan Kelley Hall's debut novel, especially by her characterization. The Sisters of Misery are not your average mean cheerleaders, especially Kate. She even shows that Cordelia is not just another of the pretty girls you read about in books: she has dark secrets, too. Last but not least, the character of Maddie, the narrator of the story, is complex, a mystery even to herself.

Sisters of Misery is interwoven with mystery, intrigue, drama, and even schoolgirl troubles. I would recommend it to many teenage girls, as well as girls in middle school. I'm looking forward to the upcoming sequel, The Lost Sister." --Mrs. Magoo Reads

"Sisters of Misery is an absolutely disturbing and entrancing YA read! My fingers and eyes were glued to this book the moment I grabbed it.

"Don’t look now at the faces three,
The Witch Sisters of Misery.
Close your eyes and hold your breath
Witches of Misery will bring your death.
Shut your windows, doors up tight,
The Witches of Misery come tonight."

Sisters of Misery mixes the supernatural, witchcraft, and gruesome hazing to reveal how black the brightest people can be on the inside.

I was riveted by the character’s depth and the intricacy of the plots and subplots. The settings were eerie and wonderfully descriptive. A great debut novel from Megan Kelley Hall! I believe there are two sequels planned for Sisters of Misery. The first sequel, The Lost Sister, is scheduled for an August 2009 release. Mark your calendars."

--E.M. Reads

BTW, for those keeping track, SISTERS OF MISERY is 34,820 on Take that, Stephenie Meyer. Sure you're still holding strong at numbers 1, 5, 6, 11, and 24, and yes, you're dominating the top 25, but I'm getting closer!!! :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Midwest Book Review

Amazing review in Midwest Book Review!

Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall

I believe every young girl dreams of being a member of the 'in-club' in school. You know the one that all the pretty girls belong to, the girls who have the best clothes, the most popular friends. But for fifteen-year-old Maddie it never felt right, even though she had 'hung' with this group all of her life. After all, her mother worked hard to make sure Maddie belonged, pushing her daughter to fit in, but something inside of her just didn't click. Something was always wrong.

When her beautiful cousin, Cordelia, and her mother came to live with the family things started to get really strange. Maddie knew the group would never accept her cousin, after all, she was different and Maddie knew they would be jealous of her beauty and her free spirit. She was right. After the girls spent Halloween night on Misery Island, Cordelia disappeared. The town pretended that Cordelia merely ran away from a place she considered boring, but Maddie knew better. She knew something evil was behind her cousin's disappearance, but she didn't know what. Was she dead or alive, and if she were alive where was she?

This book is quite a read. It is full of mystery, and magic, secrets and unanswered questions that only loom larger as you continue on with the story. Who is the enemy, or is there even one?

What are the many secrets that are barely being unfolded in Maddie's family and where does she and her cousin fit in? If Cordelia is alive and well why has she decided to hide herself, and is Maddie the one who is really in danger? So many questions and so few answers.

"Sisters of Misery," definitely stirs your soul and keeps you reading hoping to find some conclusion to so many mysteries. However, many questions are left unanswered and the mysteries are piled one on top of another waiting for yet another time to be revealed. Interesting! Sisters of Misery is a story that will grab you and not let go. You will be anxiously awaiting the next book in hopes that many of your questions will be answered. We will have to see. Good job.

Shirley Johnson/Senior Reviewer

MidWest Book Review

Friday, August 1, 2008

Breaking Dawn #1, Sisters of Misery #214,852 on

Hey, I'm just saying....

I'm super excited about Breaking Dawn,'s not even out yet. And what better way to spend the next day anxiously awaiting the final chapter of Bella, Edward and Jacob's lives than to start a new series like um...well...hmmm...I don't know....perhaps, Sisters of Misery? I'm just throwing it out there. Just off the top of my head.

And I have nothing but wonderful feelings of admiration for Stephenie Meyer despite the fact that her book is 214,851 spots ahead of mine. No worries. No ill will. No jealousy (well, yes, a little jealousy because her characters talk to her and make her life easier while writing. My characters pretty much blow me off and let me fend for myself. I hate it when my own characters are too cool to even include me in their conversations. It sucks. But, I digress...)

I'm REALLY looking forward to reading Breaking Dawn and seeing the Twilight movie. And yes, Stephenie, you're welcome for me mentioning it here in my blog because I don't know if anyone is aware that Breaking Dawn, the last in your Twilight series, is coming out on August 2nd, 2008. I mean it's not like anyone is live blogging about it or going all Harry Potter stay-open-till-midnight parties in bookstores across the country. This is just one YA novelist helping out another get the word out her books.

You heard it here first Twilight fans.

Breaking Dawn hits shelves in under 24 hours. Just sharing the love.