Archive for the “Books” Category


I’ve been traveling a ton this summer for work, which means lots of long plane rides and the chance to make a dent in my stack of books to read.  So far my favorite read of the summer has been the YA novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It’s not for the faint of heart (I cried at least twice, possibly 3 times), but it has all the elements of an exciting, thought-provoking, and heartfelt read.

If you have time to read one more book before the end of summer, I definitely recommend this one. I already can’t wait to read the second book in the series Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games), which comes out in September.

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If you love the Harry Potter books and movies, then you may be interested to learn more about the universities throughout the United Kingdom that inspired the story. Want to learn more about the setting for the newest film? Ever wonder who designed Hogwarts, or which British professor was the source for Albus Dumbledore?

Well, you can find the answers to these questions and more on the British Council’s website which features behind the scenes trivia for the latest installment, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, as well as the rest of the series.  And if you’re interested in studying filmmaking, animation, or set design, you can find out which UK universities contributed to the creation of the films.

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“Just in time for summer, Simon and Schuster has launched a new teen online reading community called Pulse It. It’s dedicated to teens aged 14-18 and seems like a cool opportunity to get early access to new books, write and submit reviews, earn points, win monthly giveaways, and interact with featured authors. Right now, one of the featured titles is Pure by Terra Elan McVoy which takes on the hot topic of purity rings. To start reading the newest teen books online for free, join the Pulse It community.

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I get a lot of emails asking me where students can find discounted textbooks, and I’ve written about that here.  And now I have another resource to add to your discount book-finding mission - Better World Books. Not only do they have over 2 million new and used books in stock with free shipping to anywhere in the U.S. (bonus for you!), but this company, founded by 3 friends from University of Notre Dame, believes that education and access to books are basic human rights so every book sold helps fund literacy programs across the globe and in your backyard.

Here’s something cool from their website: “Better World Books supports book drives and collects used books and textbooks through a network of over 1,600 college campuses and partnerships with nearly 1,000 libraries nationwide. So far, the company has converted more than 11 million donated books into $4.5 million in funding for literacy and education and, in the process, diverted more than 6,000 tons of books from landfills.”

For more information about local book drives or to stock up on some summer reads, check out BetterWorldBooks.com. Happy Reading!

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I spent this last Saturday at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and had the chance to sit in on several author panels.  My favorite, by far, featured YA author Lisa Yee who read from her new book Absolutely Maybe which tells the story of Maybe (short for Maybelline, her mom’s favorite mascara brand) who hitches a ride to California in search of her real father.  The novel has already been nominated for a 2009 Teens’ Top Ten award, and if you read the book and like it you can vote for it on the YALSA website. I’m planning on picking up my copy this week.  If you give it a read, I’d love to hear what you think!

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Today I’m featured in an interview with Dan Schawbel, the author of the forthcoming Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success (Kaplan, April 09) and publisher of both the award winning Personal Branding Blog and Personal Branding Magazine. We spoke about how college admissions has changed in the midst of our tumultuous economy, what admissions officers are looking for in applicants, and how social networking factors into the admissions process. Check out the full interview here, and while you’re at have fun looking around Dan’s site.  If you’re just about to graduate from college or thinking about your future career path, he offers some great tips and advice for landing a great job in this tough economy.

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The cost of textbooks can add up quickly, so if you’re looking to save a little cash on your books then check out Chegg.com.  With over a million titles for rent, Chegg helps students save $$ on pricey Biology or Literature Anthologies and delivers those books right to your front door.  Once you’re finished with textbooks, you package them up and send them back with Chegg’s preprinted and paid postage. And if at the end of your semester or quarter, you really can’t bear to part with Calculus 101, Chegg will sell you the textbook at a reduced price. And if that wasn’t enough incentive to rent vs. buy, Chegg plants a tree for every textbook rented which has resulted in over a 100 acres a new trees!  So save some time, some money, and even a little earth just by renting your textbooks.  For more info visit Chegg.com

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I’m really moved by Lisa McMann, YA author of Wake and the forthcoming Fade, and her recent announcement of the Fund Your Dreams Essay Contest.  Inspired by her own challenging childhood and path to college (you can read her story here), McMann and her publisher Simon and Schuster are sponsoring a writing contest where the winner will receive $1000 to further his or her life goals.  To be considered, applicants must answer the question “What is the greatest obstacle you’ve ever overcome?” in 500 words or less.  Contest starts today and the deadline for entries is March 6, 2009.  For the official rules and more information, visit Lisa McMann’s website.  Good luck, and happy holidays!!

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That’s right!  It’s another chance to win a signed copy of my book Seventeen’s Guide to Getting Into College. Five lucky winners will be picked at random once the contest ends at 11:59pm EST on Friday, Dec. 5th.  For your chance to win visit Just Jared Jr., leave a comment on the contest page, and enter as many times as you wish!

Good luck! :)

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Free Book Friday has launched a website for teens–yay!  That means every week they feature an interview with a new YA author and a drawing to win free signed copies of the author’s book.  All you have to do is visit Free Book Friday’s Teen website to enter the weekly drawing.  I gotta work on getting Seventeen’s Guide to Getting Into College on there! :)

Have a Happy Halloween Weekend!

Me & My Pumpkins

Me & My Pumpkins

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