Thursday, April 10, 2014

Happy Book Birthday, POINTE!

Brace yourselves, people. Brandy Colbert's Pointe comes out today!

Theo is better now.

She’s eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor.
Donovan isn’t talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn’t do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she’s been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse.

I am so thrilled to get the chance to welcome this book into the world. It's beautifully written, hard-hitting, and has some of the most realistically flawed teenage characters I've ever read. Pointe deals with some tough issues, including anorexia and molestation. Yet it never feels sensational or over the top. Readers will cheer for every one of Theo's hard-earned revelations and hold their breath as her long-buried secrets threaten her carefully constructed life and her hopes for a future as a professional dancer.
19 year-old ballerina Michaela DePrince, making the spectacular look easy. Seriously, HOW DO BALLERINAS DO THIS? Photo source: Teen Vogue

This is truly one of the finest contemporary books you'll read all year, if not ever.

I'll leave you with some more images of Theo's favorite thing in the entire world.

Theo always rides the subway to ballet class in the city. Source:
She has been taking ballet ever since she was tiny. Source:
If Black Swan didn't convince you ballet will completely destroy your feet, Pointe will. Source:

What Theo wants more than anything is to dance professionally. Source: The Washington Post

Professional ballerina Misty Copeland. Source: Huffington Post

Dancers from the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Source: DanceTabs
Going pro is incredibly demanding. Source:
It takes hours and hours of practice each week. Source: Education Update

A good pianist is crucial, especially if he's hot and slightly mysterious. Source: The Performer's Warehouse
Michaela DePrince again. This girl is badass, people. You should read about her. Source:
Sorry, I couldn't resist the optical illusion dancer. Is she spinning clockwise or counter-clockwise?
 Now you're curious about the person behind this amazing book, right? Here she is. . .

Photo by Jessie Weinberg
Brandy Colbert was born and raised in the Ozarks—more specifically, Springfield, Missouri—and earned a bachelors degree in journalism from Missouri State University. She worked as an editor for several national magazines and currently works as a copy editor for both books and magazines. She is represented by Tina Wexler at ICM Partners.

Yay, Brandy! Yay, Pointe! All of us at the Thirteeners are so excited this book is out in the world now.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy book birthday to SALVAGE!

We're so excited here at Friday the Thirteeners because today is the publication day for Alexandra Duncan's debut, SALVAGE! Here's a little about this sci-fi feminist book, which explores choice, agency, rebellion, and family:

Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated, conservative deep space merchant ship Parastrata, faces betrayal, banishment, and death. Taking her fate into her own hands, she flees to the Gyre, a floating continent of garbage and scrap in the Pacific Ocean. This is a sweeping and harrowing novel about a girl who can't read or write or even withstand the forces of gravity. What choices will she make? How will she build a future on an earth ravaged by climate change?

SALVAGE was named a 2014 Indies Introduce Pick by the American Booksellers Association, and will appeal to fans of Margaret Atwood and Beth Revis.

Kirkus Reviews said "Duncan's settings and diction are vivid," and that "haunting, colorful environments distinguish this debut novel about a girl fighting for survival in the far future."

Feminism, family, and rebellion, all set in a thrilling sci-fi novel? We're absolutely sold!

Congratulations, Alexa! We're so proud of you and can't wait for everyone to read your amazing book!

SALVAGE is available from HarperCollins' Greenwillow Books, and if you'd like to pick up a copy (which we highly advise!) you can purchase from the following places:

And here's more about Alexandra, our friend and author of the fabulous SALVAGE:

Alexandra Duncan is a writer and librarian. Her short fiction has been published in several Year's Best
Photo by Kristi Hedberg
Science Fiction & Fantasy anthologies and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Her first novel, Salvage, is available now from Greenwillow Books. She loves anything that gets her hands dirty—pie-baking, leatherworking, gardening, drawing, and rolling sushi. Alexandra lives with her husband and two monstrous, furry cats in the mountains of Western North Carolina. You can find out more about her at