Ava is cool. Ava is confident. Ava is really Rachel Lee who is lying her butt off.
Rachel is visiting her dad at a resort in sunny Florida and is ready for two weeks of relaxing poolside, trips to Disney World – and NOT scrubbing toilets. Until her dad’s new girlfriend, Ellie, begs Rachel to help out at her short-staffed café. That’s when Rachel kinda sorta adopts a new identity to impress the cool, older girls who work there. Ava is everything Rachel wishes she could be. But when the girls ask “Ava” to help add juicy resort gossip to their file, Rachel’s not sure what to do…especially when one of the entries is a secret about Ellie.
Born in Poland and raised in the United States, Anna Staniszewski grew up loving stories in both Polish and English. When she’s not writing, Anna spends her time teaching, reading, and eating far too much chocolate. She is the author of the My Very UnFairy Tale Life series, the Dirt Diary series, and the forthcoming Switched at First Kiss series, all published by Sourcebooks.
Guest Post: Who are your top three favorite authors and why?
People often ask me who my favorite authors are, and after scratching my head for a while, I can usually cough up some responses. The truth is, I read all types of books, so I tend to have different types of favorite authors. But if I had to select three authors whose books would appeal to readers of my novels (because, hey, I have to narrow it down somehow!) these are the ones I would choose.
I love books that are set in the real world but have a touch of magic to them. Even in my Dirt Diary series, which doesn’t have magic, I still think of the story as “exaggerated reality.” That’s where Wendy Mass’s work really shines. In 11 Birthdays, for example, she weaves in a touch of magic while creating believable characters and situations, and that feeling of “reality turned up a few notches” is true in many of her novels, whether they’re fantastical or not.
When I first read Princess Academy, I was in love. Here was a main character who was tough and feisty and had a sense of humor. I adore how Shannon Hale’s books feature strong characters who find themselves in all sorts of scenarios, from the everyday to the fantastical, and who manage to succeed, even against impossible odds. I always feel like I’ve lived through something with her characters when I finish one of Shannon Hale’s books.
I have a wacky sense of humor (something that I think comes across in Rachel’s funny sayings in the Dirt Diary series), so I love reading books that also throw in a good measure of wackiness. Adam Rex writes a variety of books, from young adult novels to picture books, and in each one, there’s a dry, witty sense of humor that’s unexpected and engaging. His novel, The True Meaning of Smekday, had me laughing from beginning to end when I first read it, and it continues to be one of my favorite books to this day.