Friday Favourites #20

I know it’s not Friday and I did actually intend to have this post done on time, but I had a hard time coming up with a topic for this week! After thinking it over, I decided that I would focus on a favourite author of mine this week. This author is actually relatively new to me, I only started reading his books last year and I’ve only read one series of his so far, but I enjoyed it so much, it’s one of my favourite series and I cannot wait to read more of his books. This author is of course, Neal Shusterman, author of the Unwind dystology.

neal shustermanAward-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a movie script.

In the years since, Neal has made his mark as a successful novelist, screenwriter, and television writer. As a full-time writer, he claims to be his own hardest task-master, always at work creating new stories to tell. His books have received many awards from organizations such as the International Reading Association, and the American Library Association, as well as garnering a myriad of state and local awards across the country. Neal’s talents range from film directing (two short films he directed won him the coveted CINE Golden Eagle Awards) to writing music and stage plays – including book and lyrical contributions to “American Twistory,” which is currently playing in Boston. He has even tried his hand at creating Games, having developed three successful “How to Host a Mystery” game for teens, as well as seven “How to Host a Murder” games.

As a screen and TV writer, Neal has written for the “Goosebumps” and “Animorphs” TV series, and wrote the Disney Channel Original Movie “Pixel Perfect”. Currently Neal is adapting his novel Everlost as a feature film for Universal Studios.

Wherever Neal goes, he quickly earns a reputation as a storyteller and dynamic speaker. Much of his fiction is traceable back to stories he tells to large audiences of children and teenagers — such as his novel The Eyes of Kid Midas. As a speaker, Neal is in constant demand at schools and conferences. Degrees in both psychology and drama give Neal a unique approach to writing. Neal’s novels always deal with topics that appeal to adults as well as teens, weaving true-to-life characters into sensitive and riveting issues, and binding it all together with a unique and entertaining sense of humor.

Of Everlost, School Library Journal wrote: “Shusterman has reimagined what happens after death and questions power and the meaning of charity. While all this is going on, he has also managed to write a rip-roaring adventure…”

Of What Daddy Did, Voice of Youth Advocates wrote; “This is a compelling, spell-binding story… A stunning novel, impossible to put down once begun.

Of The Schwa Was Here, School Library Journal wrote: “Shusterman’s characters–reminiscent of those crafted by E. L. Konigsburg and Jerry Spinelli–are infused with the kind of controlled, precocious improbability that magically vivifies the finest children’s classics.

Of Scorpion Shards, Publisher’s Weekly wrote: “Shusterman takes an outlandish comic-book concept, and, through the sheer audacity and breadth of his imagination makes it stunningly believable. A spellbinder.”

And of The Eyes of Kid Midas, The Midwest Book Review wrote “This wins our vote as one of the best young-adult titles of the year” and was called “Inspired and hypnotically readable” by School Library Journal.

Neal Shusterman lives in Southern California with his children Brendan, Jarrod, Joelle, and Erin, who are a constant source of inspiration!

I actually discovered the Unwind books completely by chance, I’d never heard of the series or the author before, I didn’t come across the series on a blog or anything like that, I was randomly scrolling through Amazon and it was on my recommended for you list. I was initially attracted to it because of the name and the interesting cover and when I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read it because it sounded so interesting. I had high hopes for the first book, so naturally I was expecting to be disappointed, because that usually happens when I have high expectations for a book, but luckily in this case, it was not. I devoured the whole series relatively quickly and enjoyed all of the books, they’re one of my biggest recommendations on this blog now and definitely my favourite dystopian series, which is enough to make Neal Shusterman one of my favourite authors. I really want to read more of his books, as I liked his writing style and the way he handled the character and world development in Unwind, plus when I like one series by an author, I usually binge read all their other books! I’ve already added all of his other books to my Goodreads TBR, so hopefully, he won’t be a one hit wonder for me and I’ll like his other books just as much as the Unwind dystology.

I will be back with another Friday Favourites next week, but in the meantime, I’m going to try and post my Sidekick Showcase Saturday and Swoonworthy Sunday posts either tonight or tomorrow.

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