YA Superlative Blogfest – Elements of Fiction


The YA Superlative Blogfest is hosted by Jessica Love, Alison Miller, Tracey Neithercott, and Katy Upperman. Feel free to jump in today and tomorrow if you haven’t participated!

Sorry I’m a rule breaker, kids, and just can’t pick one. I will force myself to do single entries for each prompt tomorrow, I promise. 🙂

Wednesday, December 19th: Elements of Fiction

Envy-Inducting Plot: Every Day by David Levithan
A is some kind of spirit or entity that wakes up in a different body each day. The day provides new questions, challenges, and a fresh lifestyle (good or bad, healthy or otherwise). A falls in love and this creates complications for a person who can’t be attached or anchored to one body or one town. I wish I could have my students read this book. I’m trying to think about how I can get a handful of copies for my classroom for free-reading time. See the last prompt on Theme for more about why this book is so special to me. But really, where do authors come up with this stuff? Y’all are geniuses.

Most Formidable World: The whole planet in The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore, Insurgent by Veronica Roth
I tried to think of the most scary or volatile worlds I experienced through reading and these came to mind. The Rise of Nine is set in present day and the characters are not safe no matter where they are in the world. In Insurgent, it really seems that even thought the main characters have allies and are formidable themselves, you realize they aren’t invincible and their world is only unraveling with each discovery they make.

Wanderlust-Inducing: Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone, Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
In Meant to Be, the England setting lending itself to mentions/appearances of two of my two favorite things in life: The Beatles and Shakespeare. Truly England is a mothership to me, and it’s calling me home!
Yet… if I could appear in any setting in any time I could watch The Beatles live, or, watch Shakespeare performed in the original Globe. 😉 Anna has her own wanderlust in The Time Between Us and the places she and Bennett visit are enviable!

Loveliest Prose
: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
I think my big three books are probably sticking out at this point. While I love Green’s writing, he has that elevated writing and dialog that sometimes makes characters feel like old souls (this isn’t a criticism). The Raven Boys had the vocabulary and language that I love and feel that elevates a novel, and it fits the characters and setting perfectly. The prose didn’t cause any distractions, but felt lovely and flowed nicely. I have the sudden urge to re-read this book. 🙂

Best First Line
There are so many ways it could have all turned out differently. –The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
It was the biggest competition night of my life, but all I could think about was the cheetah bra. –Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler
Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’s been told that she would kill her true love. – The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Most Dynamic Main Character
: Hazel Grace in The Fault in Our Stars or “A” in Every Day
Oh, this is tough. You know… you just think you know how a character will behave when she has cancer. You think that it would be easy for that character to crawl up in a ball and be angry, stagnant. Hazel is definitely not.
You might also think a character who is as worldly as A might not have any growth to experience. Or, that the character couldn’t get so attached and set in his/her ways. You would be wrong.

Most Jaw-Dropping Ending
: This is tough… isn’t it kind of a spoiler alert if someone knows there’s a jaw dropper? 😉 I think Insurgent had me going “Wait, what!? WHAT’S NEXT!?” Definitely The Raven Boys. Both are part of a series, hence the cliffhangers I guess!

Best Performance in a Supporting Role
: Parents & friends in The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Gus would win HANDS DOWN. But every character plays a significant role in TFiOS and they have an impact on Hazel. They don’t have throwaway lines or scenes, but every. Single. Interaction. Helps move the plot along or develop and strengthen the character. At the moment I’m having trouble thinking of secondary characters in other novels that really stick out.

Best Use of Theme
: The Fault in Our Stars and Every Day
No question, right? A book that forces the reader to examine imminent death and the role an individual plays in the universe, but then getting to read “It’s a good life.” I think it’s special that a book written for young adults has been appearing on a number of best fiction of all of 2012 lists.

In Every Day, when you have a character that wakes up in a different body every day, think of the different lives one would get to lead: disabled, diseased, dysfunctional, athletic, über popular, beautiful, hideous, etc. and obviously different races and sexual orientations. I did so much underlining in this book because there were moments like “…we all have about 98% in common with each other… For whatever reason, we like to focus on the 2 percent that’s different, and most conflict in the world comes from that.” And, when the narrator is not a specific gender but falls in love with a girl, the reader is forced to open her mind about relationships and gender or appearance biases. One theme of the book is along the lines of it’s not the package that matters, it’s the person/soul underneath. But as much as I like to think I believe this in every day real-life practice, this book really made me consider it all with a fresh set of eyes.

Tune in tomorrow for the grand finale. I will posting the Best in Show tomorrow!


Filed under Bookish, Review, YA Superlative Blogfest

17 responses to “YA Superlative Blogfest – Elements of Fiction

  1. So basically your post is telling me that I need to read EVERY DAY soon…:D Love your list. Like you, MEANT TO BE revived the desire to go to London as soon as possible. Though, since I live in Europe, it’s maybe a tad easier for me 😛

  2. Hmm… I definitely need to read EVERY DAY. I hadn’t had much interest in it until reading your comments. Now I’m intrigued!

    • I think it would be a quick read for you, too, if that helps inspire you. I think a lot about that whole “we have more in common as humans that what makes us different” thing and there were just multiple things I read that were like, YES.

  3. I need to read Every Day so bad. NEED.

    • YES. 😉 One of my top five for the year for sure. And I don’t know that I would have picked it up if I hadn’t heard him read from it at Wordstock in Portland back in October. I’m fascinated by the man who gets to edit Stiefvater and Collins, and writes Every Day and Will Grayson, Will Grayson, etc.!

  4. I’ve seen a few people say MEANT TO BE has the setting they’d want to travel to–I want to read it now on that alone! I’ve never been to England but I’d love to go someday; in the meantime, I’ll just have to read about it!

  5. I haven’t anything about Everyday yet and it sounds fascinating! Definitely will have to read that one!

  6. How did I forget about the opening line of STATISTICAL PROBABILITY? That line is so good! We have some of the same picks for our categories. 🙂

    • I just scoured my kindle for those first lines, otherwise I wouldn’t have remembered, either, but I loved that book! The books that I have in hard copy never stood a chance! 😉

  7. I need to read most of the books on your list…I’ve been so hung up on the epic fantasy stuff this year I sort of ignored the other genres!

    • I hear ya! I get hung up on the YA contemporary romances and usually only brach out if *highly* recommended… but still has romance. I need to work on that. 😉

  8. I can’t believe I STILL haven’t read Every Day! I went to the Decatur Book Festival back in September and it was his first speaking appearance/reading for this book and just listening to him talk about it and read from it was just awe-inspiring.

    • We have that in common! I don’t know that I would have picked up Every Day if I hadn’t heard Levithan read from it at Wordstock in Portland back in October and I just read it. The Hunger Games are some of my all-time favorite books, so I am fascinated by him as the editor of those books. And now that I’ve read some Stiefvater, that adds to my interest… and these are his *editing* gigs. I am blown away by his talent!

  9. Isn’t it funny how everyone seems to choose THE RAVEN BOYS for so many categories?! LOVE them!

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