Today I have a guest post from author Melissa de la Cruz. This is a part of the Bloody Valentine blog tour, celebrating the release of the latest Blue Bloods novella Bloody Valentine. (Which I will have a review of tomorrow!)
Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.
Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.
She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.
Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).
She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.
Books I’ve Read in 2010: What I Read That I Loved Lately By Melissa de la Cruz
Half Empty: David Rakoff
Funny and sardonic and subtle and cutting, Rakoff writes diamond-sharp barbs at the idiocy of life. I loved his story about Olivia Goldsmith, the author of The First Wives Club, who died from plastic surgery, and how horrible she was to work with, and how she treated everyone who worked for her publisher with such high-handed drama. It’s a reminder of how you’ve got to keep grounded in this business, because everyone will talk about you if you’re a diva.
Rat: Fernanda Eberstadt
About a fourteen-year old girl living in the grimy part of the South of France, and how she journeys to save her brother and find her father whom she’s never met. A great great heroine, very brave, reminded me a lot of Mattie Ross from True Grit. Girls who had to deal with a lot in a young age and be wiser than the adults around them. Just a fabulous book.
I Shudder: Paul Rudnick
Paul Rudnick can do no wrong in my book and “I Shudder” is campy, hilarious, laugh-out-loud, a total riot. I loved the story about the crazy coke-snorting producer in Miami and how “Sister Act” (which he wrote) got made.
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: Ben Mezrich
The movie was great, and I wanted more, so I read this. Great story, Mezrich makes everything so thrilling. Really fun stuff, and I love stories about smart overachievers.
The Privileges: Jonathan Dee
One of those books that stay with you, about a young ambitious couple in New York and their journey to the top of the hedge-fund pile. I love a literary soap opera.
True Prep: Lisa Birnbach
The sequel to the Official Preppie Handbook, a book I read when I was 13, and treated as a guidebook. I had no idea it was a satire, and I grew up in the Philippines, we had no idea what Nantucket was, but we wanted to be part of it. At least I did. I love this update. According to this book, I can now consider myself a preppie (Prep school, Ivy League, check). Success!
Squirrel Meets Chipmunk: David Sedaris
Sedaris can do no wrong, and this is so mean and true and funny you cannot miss it.
Imperial Bedrooms: Bret Easton Ellis
No one does spooky LA noir, deep ennui and Hollywood savagery like Easton Ellis. I loved Less Than Zero, and I love this sequel. Creepy and haunting and beautifully written. He told my agent he liked Blue Bloods, and even tried to option it when it first came out, and I still find it such a great compliment. I’ve forgotten why it didn’t work out but it’s still thrilling to know he liked it. One of my literary heroes. And when I first moved to LA I met the “real” Blair, his high school BFF who inspired the character. She was really nice! I met Blair! Can you imagine? Still tickles me.
Await Your Reply: Dan Chaon
One of the best books I’ve read in ages. The plot is perfect, and it’s rare to read a literary novel that has such a tight structure. Rave, rave, rave. A real masterpiece and a wonderful book about brotherhood, love, loss, the lies we tell ourselves. One of those books you can’t describe because you don’t want to give the secret away, you can only say “YOU’VE GOT TO READ THIS!”
The Maze Runner: James Dashner
I met James at a conference in Texas, and he had the cutest most enthusiastic boy fan and it intrigued me to pick up his book. An old-fashioned cool sci-fi story, told with imagination and gusto. Also from the YA aisle I heartily recommend the highly entertaining books from my friends Ally Carter (Gallagher Girls) and Elizabeth Scott (my favorite is Perfect You) and my fellow Smart Chicks alums: Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series, Alyson Noel’s Immortals, Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers, Kami Garcia and Margie Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures, Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires. So much good stuff!
I have a ton of books on my TBR pile.
I still have to read Franzen’s Freedom, a couple of the new Julia Glass books (Three Junes was one of my favorite books ever). I want to catch up on my Edith Wharton (I never read The Buccaneers) and the new Laura Lippman. I want to read Swamplandia, I’ve heard such great buzz, and I’m looking forward to reading Allie Condie’s Matched and Beth Revis’s Across the Universe.
Thanks so much so the post, Melissa! I know I'll be checking out some of those book recommendations. Especially Rat... doesn't that one sound awesome? And I agree about Across the Universe- I have it sitting on my shelf and can't wait to get to reading it!
Find Melissa online:
(I have linked all of these books to their Goodreads pages.)