Anastasia Suen

Developmental Editor

Category: young adult (Page 1 of 13)


Tetris: The Games People Play
by Box Brown (Author / Illustrator)

Booktalk: Alexey Pajitnov had big ideas about games. In 1984, he created Tetris in his spare time while developing software for the Soviet government. Once Tetris emerged from behind the Iron Curtain, it was an instant hit. Nintendo, Atari, Sega game developers big and small all wanted Tetris. A bidding war was sparked, followed by clandestine trips to Moscow, backroom deals, innumerable miscommunications, and outright theft.


It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Piper Perish

Piper Perish
by Kayla Cagan (Author)

Booktalk: Piper Perish inhales air and exhales art. The sooner she and her best friends can get out of Houston and get to New York City, the better. Art school has been Piper’s dream her whole life, and now that senior year is halfway over, she’s never felt more ready. But in the final months before graduation, things are weird with her friends and stressful with three different guys, and Piper’s sister’s tyrannical mental state seems to thwart every attempt at happiness for the close-knit Perish family. Piper’s art just might be enough to get her out. But is she brave enough to seize that power when it means giving up so much?

Snippet: I didn’t think our love was supposed to be this confusing, this kind of confusing. My heart felt like when Enzo accidentally pricked me last year, that time he was draping canary-yellow polyester for my prom dress. Except this wasn’t an accident. And it keeps stinging.

Kit reminded me of our plan: We’ll graduate, this will all be over soon. We’ll still go to NYSCFA in the fall. We’ll both meet awesome new guys and change the art world.

I don’t want to say this out loud but I do, I can’t stop myself.

“I don’t want to meet new guys. I want Enzo there with us. He’s the reason I even decided to apply there and not the New School. And we don’t even know if we’re in yet. We could be all stuck here forever.

Tuesday 3/14/2017 vvb32 reads

Wednesday 3/15/2017 Actin’ Up with Books *Giveaway

Thursday 3/16/2017 #kidlit Book of the Day

Friday 3/17/2017 Cracking the Cover

Saturday 3/18/2017 Tales of the Ravenous Reader

Sunday 3/19/2017 Page Turners Blog

Monday 3/20/2017 Stacked

Tuesday 3/21/2017 The O.W.L.

An Interview with Author Kayla Cagan:


Q. When did you start writing?

A. I began writing stories in the 8th grade. I started keeping a diary in 4th grade and still journal to this day.

Q. Describe your writing process.

A. My writing process is writing a minimum of 30 minutes a day each weekday, but usually more than that. I wrote PIPER PERISH by using the following Robert Hass quote as my guiding mantra:

“Take the time to write. You can do your life’s work in half an hour a day.”

I either begin to really write 6am to 8:30am or 9:30 to noon, depending on my schedule and day. I like to charge up my creativity before tuning into the rest of the world and my responsibilities. I’m usually writing at my desk in the guest room, our local library, or a coffee shop near our home.

Depending on where I’m at in the process, I’m either brainstorming, outlining, writing, or revising. Revising and rewriting take up a lot of time, but that’s also where the fun is for me and where I can really get rich and go deep with the characters and plot.

I know there are certain word and page counts that writers use to manage their goals, but I don’t work that way unless absolutely necessary for a deadline.

Q. Tell us about your latest book.

A. My latest book is also my debut book!

PIPER PERISH is the portrait of an artist as a young girl. PIPER PERISH is a novel written as Piper’s journal, so we see her life as she lives it: scattered, unpredictable, sometimes aggravating, sometimes scary, but always creatively inspired. The sooner Piper and her best friends, Kit and Enzo can leave home and go to art school in New York City, the better. Art school has been Piper’s dream her whole life, and now that senior year is halfway over, she’s ready. But in the final months before graduation, life becomes very complicated with her friendships, her family, and even her art, possibly preventing her from achieving her dream.

CONGRATULATIONS on your debut, Kayla!.

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Goodbye Days

Goodbye Days
by Jeff Zentner (Author)

Booktalk: Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. But now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, a powerful judge is pressuring the district attorney to open up a criminal investigation.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a “goodbye day” together to share their memories and say a proper farewell.

Soon the other families are asking for their own goodbye day with Carver–but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these goodbye days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or–even worse–prison?

Snippet: Depending on who–­sorry, whom-­-you ask, I may have killed my three best friends.

If you ask Blake Lloyd’s grandma, Nana Betsy, I think she’d say no. That’s because when she first saw me earlier today, she grabbed me in a huge, tearful hug and whispered in my ear: “You are not responsible for this, Carver Briggs. God knows it and so do I.” And Nana Betsy tends to say what she thinks. So there’s that.

If you ask Eli Bauer’s parents, Dr. Pierce Bauer and Dr. Melissa Rubin-­Bauer, I expect they’d say maybe. When I saw them today, they each looked me in the eyes and shook my hand. In their faces, I saw more bereavement than anger. I sensed their desolation in the weakness of their handshakes. And I’m guessing part of their fatigue was over whether to hold me accountable in some way for their loss. So they go down as a maybe. Their daughter, Adair? Eli’s twin? We used to be friends. Not like Eli and I were, but friends. I’d say she’s a “definitely” from the way she glowers at me as if she wishes I’d been in the car too. She was doing just that a few minutes ago, while talking with some of our classmates attending the funeral.

Then there’s Judge Frederick Douglass Edwards and his ex-­wife, Cynthia Edwards. If you ask them if I killed their son, Thurgood Marshall “Mars” Edwards, I expect you’d hear a firm “probably.” When I saw Judge Edwards today, he towered over me, immaculately dressed as always. Neither of us spoke for a while. The air between us felt hard and rough as stone. “It’s good to see you, sir,” I said finally, and extended my sweating hand.

“None of this is good,” he said in his kingly voice, jaw muscles clenching, looking above me. Beyond me. As though he thought if he could persuade himself of my insignificance, he could persuade himself that I had nothing to do with his son’s death. He shook my hand like it was both his duty and his only way of hurting me.

Then there’s me. I would tell you that I definitely killed my three best friends.

Not on purpose. I’m pretty sure no one thinks I did it on purpose; that I slipped under their car in the dead of night and severed the brake lines. No, here’s the cruel irony for the writer I am: I wrote them out of existence. Where are you guys? Text me back. Not a particularly good or creative text message. But they found Mars’s phone (Mars was driving) with a half-­composed text responding to me, just as I requested. It looks like that was what he was working on when he slammed into the rear of a stopped semi on the highway at almost seventy miles per hour. The car went under the trailer, shearing off the top.

Am I certain that it was my text message that set into motion the chain of events that culminated in my friends’ deaths? No. But I’m sure enough.

Copyright © 2017 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

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