Susane Colasanti Chats Up Her New Book ‘All I Need’ for #IReadYA Week

This week is the I Read YA campaign by Scholastic–promoting all things young adult. And just yesterday, one of my favorite authors, Susane Colasanti, released a new YA love story called All I Need.

Here’s what Susane had to say about her new book, true love (which she finally found!) and her home state of New Jersey.

“You know that feeling you had in high school on the first day of summer vacation? When summer was shiny and new and filled with possibility and your romantic fantasies seemed like they would all come true? When meeting the boy of your dreams at the beach or roller rink or that Italian ice stand felt like an entirely realistic scenario? And you would fall so crazy in love that your long-distance relationship would totally work out?

Yeah. Never happened to me, either.

But that didn’t stop me from believing I’d eventually meet the love of my life. Every summer would begin with an overwhelming sense of longing. Like anything was possible. Forget that I’m from Middle of Nowhere, NJ, where the chances of running into a boy who hadn’t known me since second grade were approximately zero. I kept the hope of meeting the boy of my dreams alive in my heart. And I never let it go.

Two major life events happened for me this year:

1. I turned 40.

2. I met my soul mate. He is the love of my life. He is the boy I was dreaming about all those years ago. And guess what? He lived ten miles away from me in Middle of Nowhere, NJ. We went to different high schools. We didn’t meet back then. But he was there all along. What if we had met as teens?

Writing All I Need was my way of bringing that fantasy to life. Skye and Seth are soul mates. Their instant connection and chemistry are undeniable. When they meet at the last beach party of the summer, they both know they’ve found something real. But their plans to exchange contact information are disrupted. Skye goes home to her junior year of high school and Seth starts college with no way of connecting. They can’t stop thinking about each other. And they won’t stop believing that they’ll find their way back to each other one day.

Choosing to set All I Need in New Jersey was inspired by my own background. Skye is from Newfoundland, a town nestled in the middle of the woods much like my hometown of Peapack-Gladstone. Her family has a beach house in Sea Bright. Although my own Jersey shore experiences largely took place in Asbury Park, Toms River and Wildwood, the name Sea Bright evokes such a sweet, happy tone that I decided to incorporate it. Sea Bright is one of the towns that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The landscape of the New Jersey coast has changed, but memories of summers down the shore will forever live on in my heart. And now those memories can live on in All I Need.

Readers often ask me if soul mates are real. They ask if boys like the boys I write about actually exist. I’m here to tell you that soul mates are real and boys like these do exist. I know what it’s like to meet a soul mate. What it’s like to feel that instant connection. To feel like you’ve already known someone your whole life even though you just met. I want readers to be inspired by All I Need. My hope is that by the time readers finish the last sentence, they will believe in the possibility of true love. The kind of love Skye and Seth have is not easy to find. But it’s possible. ”

That’s the thing about life. Anything is possible.”

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  1. [...] Speaking of summer love and soul mates, asked me to share a bit about my inspiration for All I Need. I hope that by the time readers finish the last sentence, they will believe in the possibility of true love. You can read the guest post here. [...]

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