Category Archives: Review

The NetGalley/Edelweiss Challenge

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I’m pretty excited about a reading challenge that I’ve signed up for: The Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge, hosted by Falling for YA! I signed up for Edelweiss a few years ago, because I was part of Simon & Schuster’s e-galley program. Eventually that switched over to Edelweiss and then I signed up on NetGalley, thanks to Jessica Love, who got me wrapped up in all of this. 🙂 She mentioned that teachers are auto-approved for a number of publishers (I think Disney and Scholastic?).

So, you sign up for these sites and as a teacher who isn’t a book blogger, it feels a little dirty if I don’t follow through with at least with a Goodreads review. Sometimes I don’t even get to that, but this challenge will force it, in a good way. NetGalley is making providing feedback easier and easier, where quick feedback like star ratings and checking a box of if I’d adopt it for the classroom or not, are now options.

Enter the Falling For YA N&E Challenge. I now feel like I have a goal for my reading and my blog. I’m going to commit to the Silver Level, which is 25 books read in 2014 from NetGalley or Edelweiss. I’m going to blog at least once a month for the review round-up, and link up at Falling for YA. I have always kept this Excel graph of my e-galleys, but I’ve reorganized it so that it has “first priority” books (those published first) listed at the top. My graph does include the Goodreads rating (I update it probably once a month). I don’t know if that’s totally fair to include that, but, it helps me prioritize sometimes.
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What about you? How do you prioritize and organize your TBR?

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2013 YA Superlative Blogfest – Best in Show

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Thanks, SO MUCH, to Jessica Love, Alison Miller, Tracey Neithercott, and Katy Upperman for hosting this very fun blogging event. If I don’t blog for months, I still try to participate in this blogfest because I very much enjoy those women, and, I also want to do my part to promote great YA. Thanks, ladies!

Thursday, December 19th: Best in Show

Favorite Cover:
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith



Cutest Couple(s):

Callie & Alex | Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Anna & Bennett | Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone
Cath & Levi | Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Josh & Nastya | The Sea of Tranquility
Will & Zoe | Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Most Likely to Succeed (Pick a Printz Winner.):
I don’t believe I’ve read a book that will win, sadly. I don’t really know what the criteria is or how it’s selected! Perhaps I should just go back and read some previous winners. 🙂 Check out the current and past winners, here.

Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime (Book you couldn’t put down.):
Winger | Andrew Smith

Best Repeat Performance (Favorite sequel or follow-up.):
Crown of Midnight | Sarah J. Maas

Favorite Finale or End of Series Novel:
Time After Time | Tamara Ireland Stone
**Let me just say that I’ve been avoiding starting news series when and where I can. So, I think this is one of the only ends of a series that I read! I don’t even know if I can say it was my favorite, but it was… effective?

Romance Most Worthy of an Ice Bath:
Wren & Charlie | The Infinite Moment of Us
Crown of Midnight
Callie & Alex | Where the Stars Still Shine

Breakout Novel (Your favorite book by a debut author.):
The Sea of Tranquility | Katja Millay
Check out Katja talking about her publishing journey. It’s pretty amazing!


Best Old-Timer (Your favorite read of the year published BEFORE 2013.):
This is Not a Test | Courtney Summers
The Great Gatsby | F. Scott Fitzgerald


Book Most Likely to Make a Grown Man Cry:

Winger | Andrew Smith


Most Pleasant Surprise (Book you didn’t think you’d like, but totally did.):
Dare You To | Katie McGarry
This is a bit of a stretch because I liked Pushing the Limits, but didn’t love it. So, I was a little tepid about starting Dare You To. I ended up loving Dare You To!

Most Creative Use of a Love Triangle:
False Sight | Dan Krokos
All Our Yesterdays | Cristin Terrill

Sleeper Hit (Book you found so awesome you wish it had been hyped more.)
Nobody But Us | Kristin Holbrook
Golden | Jessi Kirby


Favorite Outlier (Favorite picture, middle grade, or adult 2013 book):
I read a bunch of New Adult outside YA and it’s hard to say which one was my favorite! I think Unteachable by Leah Raeder was extremely well written and Sneaking Candy by Lisa Burstein was hilarious! Both broke the NA mold in different ways for me.
Required Reading – which series do you think I *have* to start in 2014?
Across the Universe series by Beth Revis
Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi
Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor
Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi
The Selection series by Kiera Cass
Delirium series by Lauren Oliver
Something I don’t even know about, yet?

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2013 YA Superlative Blogfest – Elements of Fiction

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It’s Day 3 of the YA Superlatives Blogfest, hosted by Jessica Love, Allison Miller, Tracey Neithercott, and Katy Upperman! Let’s take a look at some great YA from the Class of 2013!

Wednesday, December 18th | Elements of Fiction

Most Envy-Inducing Plot: The 5th Wave | Rick Yancey
I’m not done with this book–at all–but I am hooked and scared of this alien apocalypse plot. I wish my mind thought like this! Authors are total rock stars.

Most Formidable World: The 5th Wave | Rick Yancey
The future in All Our Yesterdays | Cristin Terrill

Well, yeah. So far it feels pretty hopeless and any survival tale makes me think, Welp, I’d be screwed!
Am I becoming a sci-fi nerd? I’ll own it, if so. 🙂 I just love a time travel story and this is a fresh take on time travel for sure. The Director and The Doctor have definitely made life particularly difficult for the U.S. of the future. What is also interesting is that the states are overtaken in AOY in a few years–not generations or decades, and with technology today, why not? But it scares me!

Wanderlust-Inducing: Just One Day | Gayle Forman
Allyson’s journey abroad, and, more specifically her willingness to take risks and hop a train to the next destination, unplanned, etc. is definitely wanderlust-inspiring.

Loveliest Prose: The Dream Thieves | Maggie Stiefvater
Stiefvater’s writing is really just the best, right? There were a lot of great books with amazing voice, which I’m going to say I think is a little different from lovely prose/writing.

Best First Line:
“There will be no awakening.” The 5th Wave | Rick Yancey

“Dying really isn’t so bad after you’ve done it once.” The Sea of Tranquility | Katja Millay

Most Dynamic Character: Nastya | The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Ryan Dean West | Winger by Andrew Smith
Nastya is a perplexing character who is a selective mute, yet is totally dynamic and intriguing.
Oh, Ryan Dean. 🙂

Most Jaw-Dropping Ending: Nobody But Us | Kristin Halbrook
I’m going to assume there will be many Allegiant references on other lists, so I wanted to select something different. I feel like this category is a little spoiler-y, but I want to change it up. So, NBU!

Best Performance in a Supporting Role: Joey | Winger by Andrew Smith
Drew | The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Joey is diplomatic, well-liked, and a good friend to Ryan Dean. He is regularly giving blunt, sound advice to RD, despite RD’s pipsqueak-y, underclassman status. 🙂

Yeah, yeah, I obviously love this book. But it’s because of the characters. They jump off the page and I want to be friends with them all. Drew is a friend to Josh and Nastya, although his friendship with Nastya definitely evolves over time. I think he’s loyal to both and able to separate the relationships when necessary. In the end, he’s there when it counts.

Best Use of Theme: How to Love | Katie Cotugno
I really, really liked Reena’s epiphany at the end of the book. I think it’s so true to life!
There were lots of other possibilities for this category, including Just One DayEleanor & ParkOCD Love Story, and Golden.

Tomorrow is the last day of the YA Superlatives Blogfest for 2013. I don’t know how that’s possible already! Check back in for my Best of Show post tomorrow.

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Filed under Bookish, Review, Uncategorized, YA Superlative Blogfest

2013 YA Superlative Blogfest – Popularity Contest

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The YA Superlative Blogfest is hosted by Jessica Love, Alison Miller, Tracey Neithercott, and Katy Upperman. The goal of the blogfest is to promote and share extraordinary young adult novels (and have fun, of course!).

TWO DISCLAIMERS:
1 – I am not having much luck with formatting so this post may look a mess when it goes live. Sorry.
2 – Part of my formatting woes include not being able to caption a picture. I have included a couple great illustrations from Simini Blocker, who is amazing. She’s loves YA and has brilliant, vibrant illustrations that bring some of my favorite stories to life!

It’s Day 2 of the YA Superlatives Blogfest!
Tuesday, December 17th: Popularity Contest

Class Clown: Ryan Dean West | Winger by Andrew Smith
Ryan Dean isn’t overtly, intentionally funny but I loved his self-deprecating humor.
Most Likely to Become a Rock Star: Kiri | Wild Awake by Hillary T. Smith

This category was a struggle for me! Kiri is a piano player, so maybe someone will come up with a better idea for this one. 😉 I loved how E&P were all about music, and same for Anna and Bennett in Time Between Us. Can that make them rock stars? I think Park could be a rock star.
Mostly Likely to Start a Riot: Tris &/or Four in Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Park | Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell


I mean, for a variety of reasons (actions in the novel, the reactions of the fans after reading the novel) these two are a more controversial than ever.

Park couldn’t incite a riot in the crazy aggressive sense, but I think he’s starting a riot with his father. He’s adorable and inspiring, but in the 80s he would have stuck out and been a bit subversive!

Biggest Flirt: Drew | The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay


Expect to see a lot about this book now that it’s been declared eligible. So, Drew. I LOVED this trio of friends in TSoT and I think Drew’s banter with Nastya and his other classmates felt very high school to me; I knew some of those player kind of guys that everyone loved, and that’s Drew!
Fashion King and/or Queen: Bea | OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

Costume designer wannabe who wears vintage and retro-inspired clothing (that I always thought sounded awesome, but of course makes her a bit of an outlier in her school).
Girl You’d Most Want For Your BFF: Anna | Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone
Anna gets this title two years in a row!
Boy You Wish You’d Dated in High School: Four | Allegiant by Veronica Roth
&
Most Likely to Become President: Four | Allegiant by Veronica Roth

I need some sort of therapy for how much I love this character, I think.
Quirkiest Character: Cath | Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

She’s quirky in what I find to be a cool nerd kind of way, and I feel like we could totally be best friends. 🙂
Villain You Love to Hate: Mr. Gray | The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Sawyer LeGrande | How to Love by Katie Cotugno

I was pretty fascinated by Mr. Gray and ended up rooting for him almost more than anyone in the crew! Does this make me weird?!

Sawyer… not a villain in the traditional sense AT ALL but I’ve learned that some people find him highly unlikable. All I’m thinking of is that scene in A League of Their Own where Marla is singing to Nelson: “With all your faults, I love you still…” 😉
Favorite Parental FigureDad | Where the Stars Still Shine
Uncle (Scott) | Dare You To by Katie McGarry

I think I’ve talked about this one already. I really liked Callie’s dad and how he steps up and does his best with Callie, when she’s used to being a one woman army against the world.

Uncle Scott in Dare You To similarly steps up and provides support in many ways to Beth.
Coolest Nerd: Gansey | The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Ryan Dean West | Winger by Andrew Smith

I mean, there’s always Gansey! THE coolest nerd. I like how nothing seems to rattle him, except maybe for the issues with the ley lines, the mystery of Glendower, etc. But nothing that is meant to, like Kavinsky’s antagonizing.
Oh, Ryan Dean is just adorable. He is totally, adorably clueless.

Wednesday, December 18th: Elements of Fiction
Thursday, December 19th: Best in Show

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Filed under Bookish, Review, YA Superlative Blogfest