A Life in Books: Alyson Noël

Posted by Goodreads on May 9, 2016
Alyson Noel
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The fantastically prolific Alyson Noël, bestselling author of The Immortals and The Soul Seekers series, unveils her 24th book this month, part one of Beautiful Idols, a thrilling new suspense trilogy set in the glitzy, seamy world of contemporary L.A. nightlife. Unrivaled follows three fame-seeking teens whose attempts to win a high-stakes contest make them suspects in the disappearance of a Hollywood starlet. Expect fast-paced action with hefty doses of glamour, romance, and a nail-biting cliffhanger. Alyson, who also writes Middle Grade fiction, shares the books that hooked and inspired her as a child, her favorite reads, and the new titles she can't wait to devour.

What book hooked you on reading?
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Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. I have such a clear memory of that reading experience—of being swept into the story and crying my eyes out at the end. It was the first time I'd had such an emotional reaction to words on a page.


What book made you want to become a writer?
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Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. I read it back in sixth grade when a bunch of us shared a battered copy, then had earnest discussions about it during recess and lunch. I was completely captivated by Margaret's story. It was so relatable and personal—it felt like it was written for me and my friends and all the changes we were going through. When it came time for me to pass it on, my math teacher caught me in the act, snatched the book right out of my hands, and locked it away in her desk drawer. The next day she stood before us to announce that she'd read the book during her lunch break and had decided it was pure trash, that we shouldn't be reading it, and that she would not return it. That's when I realized just how potent a book could be. The words in those pages had managed to simultaneously enthrall a group of 12-year-old girls and outrage a math teacher. That is powerful stuff. At that moment I decided that someday I wanted in on that, too.



Unrivaled mixes the glamour of Hollywood with a thrilling and dangerous mystery. What's the last suspense book that had you on the edge of your seat?
Lately I've been binge-reading a ton of suspense. The last book I read was The Widow, though some other recent faves are Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, Luckiest Girl Alive, The Fever, Dare Me, The End of Everything, Before I Go to Sleep, Second Life, Big Little Lies, The Husband's Secret, Reconstructing Amelia, Where They Found Her, A Good Killing. Also I reread Helter Skelter and The Stranger Beside Me—both of which I read many years ago.

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What book inspires you?
I'm inspired by a lot of different books for many different reasons. I love how Megan Abbott writes about adolescence in such a lushly reminiscent, dark, and powerful way. I love how Jojo Moyes took such an improbable premise in Me Before You and turned it into a book that swept me away and made me ugly-cry on my couch. Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette had me LOL-ing in public, and I didn't feel the least bit embarrassed about it. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is both validating and inspiring and one I know I'll return to again. And every reading of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho reveals a message I really needed to see at that precise moment. I could go on, but I'll stop.

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What book are you looking forward to reading next?
I have a massive TBR pile, but a few reads I can't wait to dig into are Kimberly McCreight's The Outliers, The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, and The Girls by Emma Cline.

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Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* I enjoyed the answers - it's obvious you're a big reader. I also loved Blume growing up and am still dismayed at some much banning with schools and her stories. She used humor and quirkiness to get attention, but used real issues that so many could relate to and needed help relating to with her work.


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