Okay, who cares what authors I've seen anyway? I'm only fooling myself if I think any of you want to know who was where and what he/she had to say. Because of that:
So, last Saturday I stopped in at Barnes and Noble in the Pruneyard. As I walk in, there is a table right near the entrance and a man standing and waiting for the next vicitim, I mean customer, to walk through the door. I was that customer. He asks me if I have young daughters or nieces (he was a little too nice to ask if I have young granddaughters - I do). I told him that I might be the wrong demographic for him, but, undaunted, he proceeded to tell me about his book and who his target audience was. It turns out that his name is Peter Adler, writing as A.R. Silverberry, and he has written a award-winning fantasy geared for female YA (young adults). Although I am a 62-year old man with very adult daughters and very underage granddaughters, I listened politely, waiting for my chance to escape and get to the mystery section of the bookstore. We got to talking, and I realized that this was an opportunity to engage in one of my very favorite activities - self-promotion. I told him about my blog and even went out to the car to get him one of my Booksage cards (they are way cool). I gave him that and told him I would stop by on my way out and pick up a book. I figured, what the heck. I always love having books signed by the author. Even if it only gets added to my stash of signed books, I thought it was worth it. I told him that I would get to it some day and let him know what I thought. The next day, I finished what I was reading (Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken, an amazing non-fiction) and decided to read Peter's book.
(Drum roll.........) I loved it! Yes, it's geared for young girls, but it works for adults too. I am not a particularly big fan of fantasy (although I did like Terry Brooks' Landover series - thanks for that, Rich and Leslie), but I thought this was really well done. I liked everything about it. The plot (actually more of a dual plot) was solid, the characters were compelling, the writing was A-one, and the ending wrapped up nicely without being too neat. In fact, there were moments that I got a bit teary-eyed (don't get too excited, Peter - I've been caught crying during a Buffy, The Vampire Slayer episode). No, really. There were some very moving scenes. And I loved that he didn't "dumb down" the book. It was written by an adult for young adults. I never felt like I was reading a book that was written for children.
The two main characters are both teenage girls. During the latter stages of the book, each one encounters some difficulty (how shocking is that!). When Peter switches from one girl to the other, I was disappointed because I wanted to know what happened next to the one he was leaving. This happened alternately with each girl, all the way to the end. My favorite mysteries don't do it any better. I would highly recommend this book, especially to teenage girls. But if you like a tight, well-written, exciting, moving, and, ultimately, satisfying book, then this is for you, regardless of your age and gender.
Finally, a shout out to Peter's wife, Sherry, who I also met at B&N last Saturday. Sherry drew the illustration and did, I thought, an excellent job.
Upcoming authors' events: George Pelecanos, at The Book Passage in Corte Madera, Thursday, September 8. I intend to be there. This guy is really good.