Tag Archives: allegiant

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

End of Year Book Survey 2013

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Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner posted her fourth annual book survey, and I love a good survey! Although I haven’t posted about books as much as I’d hoped in the last year–like, at all–I did read a lot. And, my reading becomes kind of my essential reading (meaning, books I believe I’ll *really* like) because I have no time. 🙂 So, here goes for 2013!

I am reading fervently so I can squeeze in some books before I blog for the YA Superlatives Blogfest (wish me luck!):
OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu
The 5th Wave
by Rick Yancey
This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman

Best in Books 2013
1. The best book I read in 2013My ultimate fave? The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
Eleanor & Park and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Winger by Andrew Smith

2. Book I was excited about but didn’t love – The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen or Just One Day by Gayle Forman
**HUGE disclaimer–I liked the books, just didn’t love them. I think there’s a lot of hype that deservedly surrounds these authors and with JOD in particular I think I was just not in the right mindset. I don’t know…sorry!

3. Most surprising in 2013 – Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas
I was pretty lukewarm about the first book but LOVED this second in the series!
Can I add that I’m surprised that last year all I did was rave about The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves is nowhere on this End of Year Book Survey. I don’t know what that means because I did love it.

4. Book I’ve recommended the most in 2013 – The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

5. Best series I discovered in 2013 – I am hardcore trying to avoid series if I can help it. My *new* discovery is probably the All Our Yesterdays duology by Cristin Terrill. I thought I was burnt out on dystopian, but I would say that this is sci-fi dystopian and the time travel element is what’s making it fresh for me!

6. Favorite new authors I discovered in 2013 – Rainbow Rowell. I still need to read Attachments, which is poised on a bookshelf ready when I’m ready, but she’s definitely an auto-buy author for me!

7. Best book out of my comfort zone or was a new genre for me – Oh man, I totally stuck to my comfort zones this year (see #21). I feel like I *should* branch out more but I don’t have time for it—sometimes I just need the comfort of something I know I’ll enjoy. (Enter: recommendations from Katy, Rachel, Jessica and Dahlia.)

I was uncomfortable with the topics in Unteachable by Leah Raeder and although I believe it’s classified as YA it most definitely isn’t something I could recommend to a student or put in my classroom. (It’s insanely upper-YA but more realistically NA contemporary erotic romance? There is a mature content disclaimer on Goodreads and I see it is on NA shelves more than YA shelves.) So, that was outside my comfort zone not only because of the romantic situations, but also the teacher-student relationship angle. Really amazing writing, though!  

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book – Allegiant by Veronica Roth. Not totally because of the writing or plot, but just because I read it super quickly and had to know the resolution for these characters that I’ve grown to love!

9. Book I’m most likely to re-read – I’ve already reread a couple of times: The Sea of Tranquility

10. Favorite coverEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith, Winger by Andrew Smith

11. Most memorable character(s) – Nastya & Josh in The Sea of Tranquility, Will from Nobody But Us, Callie from Where the Stars Still Shine

12. Most beautifully written – I have read AMAZING books this year. The most powerful voice for me has been in…
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
How to Love by Katie Cotugno
Unteachable by Leah Raeder
Winger by Andrew Smith

13. Book that had the greatest impact on me – I think Winger by Andrew Smith. The voice of this male 14-year-old is just wonderful and I think (although I was not a 14-year-old prodigy) his struggle to make true friends, his self-deprecating ways, etc. resonated with me. Plus, Joey.

14. Book(s) I can’t believe I waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read – The Great Gatsby! I need to read more classics.

15. Favorite Passage – I can’t even pretend to have a favorite line. I’ll find one and add it later. 🙂 I highlight EVERYTHING–particularly in those books mentioned in #12 above. I’m going to have to start to blog my quotables. I highlight so many great things, and then don’t do anything with them!

16. Shortest & Longest book I read
Allegiant by Veronica Roth – 526 pages
One Week Girlfriend (Drew + Fable #1) by Monica Murphy – 155 pages

17. Scene that had me reeling (WTF Moment, Epic Revelation, Steamy Kiss, etc.) –
Allegiant and Winger. Those two, in addition to How to Love and Unteachable had me shooting off emails to my bookish friends with what did you think?, WTF, and/or  “help me understand!”-like comments. 😉

18. Favorite Relationship – The triad in The Sea of Tranquility. I love to read about strong friendships, particularly between guys and girls with guys, and this trio was fun and intriguing and I wanted to be friends with these beautifully flawed people. 

19. Favorite book from an author I read previouslyTime After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone or Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas. Both sophomore books from each author and both missed the sophomore slump by a long shot! Oh, Dare You To by Katie McGarry would fit here, as well. 🙂

20. Best book read based on a recommendation from someone else – How to Love by Katie Cotugno. I don’t care for stories that include a teen pregnancy and Rachel and Katy were all over telling me to read it and I’m so glad!

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013? YA Contemporary Romance. Like, a lot.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013? Josh in The Sea of Tranquility, Ryan in Dare You To. (But really, there’s only room in my heart for Four from the Divergent series.) ❤

23. Best 2013 debut you readNobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook. So, so good!

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013Relic by Renee Collins. Magical relics in the wild West? YES. I wanted to go to there!

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013Winger by Andrew Smith is highly entertaining. Laugh out loud funny (or in my case, try to stifle laughter because you’re reading in bed while your spouse is trying to sleep, but failing miserably kind of funny).

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013? Allegiant** by Veronica Roth, Winger** by Andrew Smith, The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler, Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
**True crying occurred.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came OutGolden by Jessi Kirby, Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook – even I probably don’t give them enough love, including on this survey!

Book Blogging/Reading Life
5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
The YA Superlatives in December is a favorite blogfest for a year-in-review. Click here for info (and participate in a week!) and check out my favorite day from last year here.

My favorite author signings/book events this year included the YA Highway event, and then of course Wordstock in Portland. I met so many great authors between those two events (including Veronica Roth, Stephanie Perkins, and Maggie Stiefvater)–I can’t get over how much I enjoy meeting or listening to authors and hearing them talk about their writing and books!
http://novelnovice.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/wordstock-chair1.jpg 9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? I’ve made a more concerted effort to buy from indie book sellers if I’m not buying for my Kindle. I buy from Powells or Third Place Books as often as possible. But, I know I could do better. I need to get IN the stores around Tacoma/Puyallup.

I’ve made my internship and love of books more known to my students. I know that’s weird to say as an English teacher (that I share my love of books more now than ever with my students) but it would take too long to explain here. 🙂 This bulletin board in my classroom has spurred many great conversations:

photo 1This bulletin board was inspired by Pinterest and Page to Premiere. The inside of each book has a brief synopsis and a couple movie screenshots, if available. It was very worth the time and effort!

Looking Ahead
1. One book I didn’t get to but will be a priority in 2014? Ahhhh, so many…
When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

I think I need to read some staples, like:
The Book Thief and Code Name Verity in terms of modern rave review-inducing novels
The Spectacular Now
Harry Potter
Perks of Being a Wallflower

2. Book I’m most anticipating in 2014? Again, so many…
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
The Raven Cycle #3 by Maggie Stiefvater (I think she’s on a pretty consistent fall release schedule?)
Panic by Lauren Oliver
What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols
#Scandal by Sarah Ockler
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Fan Art by Sarah Tregay
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

3. 2014 debut that I am most anticipating?
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel

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YA Book Club – ALLEGIANT

This month the YA Book Club, hosted by Tracey Neithercott, read Allegiant by Veronica Roth. While I’m definitely feeling some dystopian fatigue, this book ripped me out of any feelings of complacency. I really loved being in this Chicago and in the head of Tris, overall. I really love Four. Okay, I mostly just love Four.


There are major spoilers riddled throughout this post, so read no further if you don’t want spoilers!

Let me start by saying I knew bad things would happen because I had seen psuedo spoilers like “Chapter 50—OH MY GOD” on Twitter so I knew something big was coming. Most people seem only mildly happier that what happened was with Tris because, with spoilers, everyone seemed to think that Four was going to be the one on the chopping block. I just thought maybe they’d be broken up because I’m brilliant like that. 😉

My initial reaction: I was mildly traumatized. There were definitely tears. I couldn’t believe the fate of the characters, but I didn’t hate it like everyone else in the world seems to. I don’t know that I felt it was the poetic justice that was intended, but, I didn’t hate it. What made that ending somewhat okay for me was what I felt was poignant moments from Four. I died a little more inside when he has the flashbacks–gosh, my stomach just did flippy flops thinking about him remembering her from her jump. Of course I wanted them to have their HEA.

The love: I’m glad Tris and Four were more loving toward each other in this book. The last YA Book Club that I participated in was for INSURGENT and I started off saying that I was fangirling all over it, which I don’t think is true, now. I think I was just really happy to have another piece of the Divergent puzzle once I’d finished it. Upon reflection, I think Tris was childish and pushed Four away a lot in that book. With ALLEGIANT, I think she showed those shades of immaturity again in this book, but after the early missteps from Four I really thought they were connected again, and I loved that.

Four: What I was more unnerved by was Four’s sort of emasculating behavior in this book: going against Tris and along with what’s her name in a rather flippant way, being so concerned about being “damaged,”–hell, he’s not divergent like his dad (Or mom? Or both? can’t remember), he should be happy, right? I know he needs a character arc and growth but I think I would have been perfectly fine with Four being static. 😉 I did struggle at times with the dual narration. Sometimes I found Four’s and Tris’ voices too similar. No matter what, I still love him and I’m excited to see him portrayed (what I think will be) well in the movies.

I feel that the whole “allegiant” uprising or that title is actually pretty trivial, as was the idea of having damaged genes versus pure genes. Who cares? Or, is it just easy for people like Tris not to care because she’s not damaged? I think that it just felt–to me–like there was some cult-like science club that had a god complex or something. I thought there would be a bigger deal about what was going on outside the fence.

I thought Tris was borderline shrill when she was right all the time and just expected Four to trust/follow/respect her when she had made pretty big errors in the past. I wanted to just think yes, she’s strong, she’s a martyr, she’s selfless and loving and that’s why she dies but mostly I was just sad she made the choice to go in over Caleb. I don’t know that a sibling could be THAT selfless, even in love. A parent, yes. Sibling, not sure. And I LOVE my brother! 😉

Still can’t get over Four. I just want the guy to be content and happy and I think he mostly is at the end, but, I wish it was with Tris. 🙂

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