Copyright © 2017 HollySchindler.com. All Rights Reserved
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Spark Theater / Contemporary / Magic Realism
B&N’s YA Books with Irresistible Concepts B&N’s Most Anticipated May 2016 YA Books
Acclaimed author Holly Schindler writes a compelling contemporary tale with a dash of magic.  The theater comes to life in this story of family ties, fate, love, and one girl’s quest to rewrite history. The local Avery Theater was just a run-down building to Quin—until her mother told her about the tragic love that played out on the theater’s stage many years ago.  Quin is convinced it’s the perfect story to re-create for her drama class.  And when she does, the Avery begins to magically regain its former splendor, clearly setting the stage for her classmates Dylan and Cass to relive the romance from a time before.  Quin can see the spark between them, but it’s up to her to make sure her friends—and the Avery—can both be saved this time around.
“In Quin, Schindler has crafted a quick-witted… protagonist who draws readers into her search for answers about her family’s past as well as the Avery’s. Scenes set in the past are rich with authentic voices and period detail, and Schindler’s crisp prose flows easily between the past and the present.  Even when it seems impossible for the show to go on, Schindler’s imaginative story will have readers rooting for Quin  and her classmates to ‘break a leg.’ A tale of love, family, and friendship, tailor-made for readers who believe in the mystery and magic of the theater.” – Kirkus Reviews “Rooted in magic realism, this sweet story faintly echoes Romeo and Juliet as it explores what it means to be a survivor, a bystander, and a member of a small community.  Schindler’s story casts a shimmering spell.” – Booklist
“An innocent, hopeful, lightly magical romance, ideal for teens looking for ‘clean reads’ and historical nostalgia.” – School Library Journal
Feral Psychological Thriller
A PW Pick School Library Journal’s What’s Hot in YA
The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan in this haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will make you question everything you think you know. It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew. But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it, and vows to learn the truth about what happened. But the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley…. Holly Schindler’s gripping story is filled with heart-stopping twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.
                          “Opening with back-to-back scenes of exquisitely imagined yet very real horror, Schindler’s third YA novel hearkens to the uncompromising demands of her debut, A Blue So Dark… This time, the focus is on women’s voices and the consequences they suffer for speaking… This is a story about reclaiming and healing, a process that is scary, imperfect, and carries no guarantees.” – Publishers Weekly Starred Review “From the opening pages readers will be immediately immersed in this dark story…[which] has echoes of classic Hitchcock.  Issues of cliques, peer pressure, bullying, self-esteem, post-traumatic stress syndrome, teacher-student relationships, and pet abandonment will provide substance for discussion.” – School Library Journal “A heavily gloomy feel pervades this novel that shifts through phases of fantasy, mystery, psychological thriller, and thoughtful realistic fiction dealing with PTSD.”  – Booklist “The book’s central plot is compellingly created. Effectively eerie…will leave some lingering chills.” – Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Playing Hurt Sports Romance
Star basketball player Chelsea “Nitro” Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone’s admiration in her hometown.  But everything changed senior year, when she took a horrible fall during a game.  Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family. As a graduation present, Chelsea’s dad springs for a three-week summer “boot camp” program at a northern Minnesota lake resort. There, she’s immediately drawn to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who’s haunted by his own traumatic past. As they grow close, Chelsea is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend back home. Will an unexpected romance just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain—or finally heal their heartbreak? “Told through alternating narratives, Schindler’s novel reads like a summer afternoon. Both heartbreaking and thrilling, the emotional journey that Clint and Chelsea embark on together is more than a heady romance; the characters are realistically drawn, and the book does not shy away from the reality of the characters’ experiences: anger and grief mixed with desire and yearning.  The book speaks to personal struggles and triumphs and the ability of the human spirit to heal. Playing Hurt is a good read.” – VOYA “The closing staccato chapters play out like the final minutes of a close game… Supporting characters, especially Chelsea’s bass-playing younger brother, are all well drawn. With its rural setting and flirty competitive training scenes, this sexy summer romance will appeal to fans of Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s ‘Dairy Queen’ series.” – School Library Journal “With no slick, happily-ever-after ending, this novel will capture teens with the characters’ guilt, anger, and, especially, the intensity of the young people’s connection.” – Booklist
A Blue So Dark Art / Mental Illness / Contemporary Realism
Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose has been hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since Aura’s dad left them. Convinced that “creative” equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination. Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked—and together may offer an escape from her fears.         “Breathtakingly, gut-wrenchingly authentic...A haunting, realistic view of the melding of art, creativity, and mental illness and their collective impact on a young person’s life.” – Booklist Starred Review “Any story about mental illness will not be an easy read, but a very good one will reward those who stick with it. A Blue So Dark definitely falls in that category, so powerful is the empathy the author has built for her main character.” – School Library Journal “An excellent first novel—a definite must-read. Schindler’s debut novel is a lyrical tapestry...a work of poetry.” – VOYA
Booklist Top 10 First Novels for Youth ForeWord Reviews Books of the Year, Silver Medal IPPY Awards, Gold Medal
I blog with a group of talented YA authors at YA Outside the Lines. Follow along with us as we write about issues specific to the YA genre:
Spark Theater / Contemporary / Magic Realism
B&N’s YA Books with Irresistible Concepts B&N’s Most Anticipated May 2016 YA Books
Acclaimed author Holly Schindler writes a compelling contemporary tale with a dash of magic.  The theater comes to life in this story of family ties, fate, love, and one girl’s quest to rewrite history. The local Avery Theater was just a run-down building to Quin—until her mother told her about the tragic love that played out on the theater’s stage many years ago. Quin is convinced it’s the perfect story to re-create for her drama class.  And when she does, the Avery begins to magically regain its former splendor, clearly setting the stage for her classmates Dylan and Cass to relive the romance from a time before.  Quin can see the spark between them, but it’s up to her to make sure her friends—and the Avery—can both be saved this time around.
“In Quin, Schindler has crafted a quick-witted… protagonist who draws readers into her search for answers about her family’s past as well as the Avery’s. Scenes set in the past are rich with authentic voices and period detail, and Schindler’s crisp prose flows easily between the past and the present.  Even when it seems impossible for the show to go on, Schindler’s imaginative story will have readers rooting for Quin  and her classmates to ‘break a leg.’  A tale of love, family, and friendship, tailor-made for readers who believe in the mystery and magic of the theater.” – Kirkus Reviews “Rooted in magic realism, this sweet story faintly echoes Romeo and Juliet as it explores what it means to be a survivor, a bystander, and a member of a small community.  Schindler’s story casts a shimmering spell.” – Booklist
“An innocent, hopeful, lightly magical romance, ideal for teens looking for ‘clean reads’ and historical nostalgia.” – School Library Journal
Feral Psychological Thriller
A PW Pick School Library Journal’s What’s Hot in YA
The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan in this haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will make you question everything you think you know. It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew. But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it, and vows to learn the truth about what happened. But the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley…. Holly Schindler’s gripping story is filled with heart-stopping twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.
                          “Opening with back-to-back scenes of exquisitely imagined yet very real horror, Schindler’s third YA novel hearkens to the uncompromising demands of her debut, A Blue So Dark… This time, the focus is on women’s voices and the consequences they suffer for speaking… This is a story about reclaiming and healing, a process that is scary, imperfect, and carries no guarantees.” – Publishers Weekly Starred Review “From the opening pages readers will be immediately immersed in this dark story…[which] has echoes of classic Hitchcock.  Issues of cliques, peer pressure, bullying, self-esteem, post-traumatic stress syndrome, teacher-student relationships, and pet abandonment will provide substance for discussion.” – School Library Journal “A heavily gloomy feel pervades this novel that shifts through phases of fantasy, mystery, psychological thriller, and thoughtful realistic fiction dealing with PTSD.”  – Booklist “The book’s central plot is compellingly created. Effectively eerie…will leave some lingering chills.” – Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Playing Hurt Sports Romance
Star basketball player Chelsea “Nitro” Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone’s admiration in her hometown.  But everything changed senior year, when she took a horrible fall during a game. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family. As a graduation present, Chelsea’s dad springs for a three-week summer “boot camp” program at a northern Minnesota lake resort. There, she’s immediately drawn to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who’s haunted by his own traumatic past. As they grow close, Chelsea is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend back home. Will an unexpected romance just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain—or finally heal their heartbreak? “Told through alternating narratives, Schindler’s novel reads like a summer afternoon.  Both heartbreaking and thrilling, the emotional journey that Clint and Chelsea embark on together is more than a heady romance; the characters are realistically drawn, and the book does not shy away from the reality of the characters’ experiences: anger and grief mixed with desire and yearning.  The book speaks to personal struggles and triumphs and the ability of the human spirit to heal.  Playing Hurt is a good read.” – VOYA “The closing staccato chapters play out like the final minutes of a close game… Supporting characters, especially Chelsea’s bass-playing younger brother, are all well drawn. With its rural setting and flirty competitive training scenes, this sexy summer romance will appeal to fans of Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s ‘Dairy Queen’ series.” – School Library Journal “With no slick, happily-ever-after ending, this novel will capture teens with the characters’ guilt, anger, and, especially, the intensity of the young people’s connection.” – Booklist
A Blue So Dark Art / Mental Illness / Contemporary Realism
Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose has been hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since Aura’s dad left them. Convinced that “creative” equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination.  Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked—and together may offer an escape from her fears.         “Breathtakingly, gut-wrenchingly authentic... A haunting, realistic view of the melding of art, creativity, and mental illness and their collective impact on a young person’s life.” – Booklist Starred Review “Any story about mental illness will not be an easy read, but a very good one will reward those who stick with it. A Blue So Dark definitely falls in that category, so powerful is the empathy the author has built for her main character.” – School Library Journal “An excellent first novel—a definite must-read. Schindler’s debut novel is a lyrical tapestry...a work of poetry.” – VOYA
Booklist Top 10 First Novels for Youth ForeWord Reviews Books of the Year, Silver Medal IPPY Awards, Gold Medal
I blog with a group of talented YA authors at YA Outside the Lines. Follow along with us as we write about issues specific to the YA genre:
Copyright © 2017 HollySchindler.com. All Rights Reserved
Follow Me Online