Thursday, May 3, 2012

Jen Calonita

As a Senior Editor at the former Teen People and a journalist for Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, and Marie Claire, Jen Calonita has interviewed everyone from Vanessa Hudgens to Justin Timberlake.

She lives in New York with her family and the chihuahua, Captain Jack Sparrow.

Calonita's new novel is Belles.

Recently I asked her what she was reading.  Her reply:
I have to admit--I tend to go for lighter books. I recently finished Sophie Kinsella's latest, I've Got Your Number, and it was just as adorable and cheeky as her other books. I'm a huge fan of the Shopaholic series and love Becky Bloomwood, and her latest herione, Poppy, did not disappoint. I love how Sophie's characters are always getting into embarrassing situations that they can't get out of. That real, human quality is so appealing to me, especially since I slip up or do something silly on a daily basis (like...almost leaving the house yesterday in my leopard print slippers because I was in such a rush. If my son hadn't pointed out Mommy's Crazy Shoes, I probably would have been at Target in them!). In Number, Poppy's lost engagement ring sparks a series of events that leads her to taking a cell phone that isn't hers and using it to track down her ring. Too bad the sort of owner of the phone--workaholic Sam Roxton--doesn't appreciate Poppy holding on to the phone and intruding on his life and work. I love how Sam and Poppy's lives intersect in the most hilarious ways. I would put Sophie's latest at the top of my Kinsella Favorites list.

Going from something as light as Kinsella to something as heavy as Jodi Picolt's Lone Wolf was definitely a challenge. Maybe that's why I had such trouble getting into it at first. Lone Wolf is my first book club read for a new book group I joined, so I picked it up because I had to read it, not because I wanted to so maybe I wasn't in the right mindset to start this one. I am a fan of Jodi's books and My Sister's Keeper still haunts me, but this time I had trouble digging in. I couldn't quite wrap my head around a story about a man (Luke Warren) who lived and worked with wolves that was set against a hospital battle between his two grown children, Edward and Cara, who are contemplating the best course of treatment for their father who has been in a terrible accident. But I was wrong. Once the story got going, I couldn't put it down. Lone Wolf was definitely a story about family and the ties that bind us and unravel us. The wolf theme--being part of a pact and doing what it takes to help that pack survive or move on--wound up tying in nicely. The book is thought-provoking: who should determine what another person wants for their life when they can't speak for themselves?--and the story has haunted me for a while after I finished.

But now? I'm back to my more comfortable fun stuff! Ally Carter's Out of Sight, Out of Time was my favorite in the Gallagher Girl series so far and put me back in that light, fast-paced state of mind so now I'm turning toward Elizabeth Eulberg's Take a Bow. We head out on tour together in a few weeks so I feel lucky that I'll get to talk to her about her story shortly!
Visit Jen Calonita's website.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Jen Calonita and Captain Jack Sparrow.

--Marshal Zeringue