Tag Archives: Dan Krokos

2013 YA Superlative Blogfest – Best in Show

C2013 Button

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?


Filed under Bookish, Review, YA Superlative Blogfest

2013 YA Superlative Blogfest – Head of the Class

Well, I set my Goodreads challenge goal at 50 books, and it looks like I’ll accomplish that by the end of the year, but, of course I didn’t get to every book I had hoped I would by the time of this blogfest. As a teacher, I get a LOT of books in during holiday break. 🙂 And, I read a lot of books but a good handful are manuscripts and some were not published in 2013.

C2013 Button

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!).

I love a good blogfest (Lists! Categories! Deadlines!) but apologies in advance if I peg a book as something that it’s not intended to be. Please consider it a compliment. I liked your book. A lot.

Apologies in advance for repetitive choices and/or double selections.

Monday, December 16th: Head of the Class

Favorite Dystopian Allegiant | Veronica Roth
I don’t care what you say, this series is close to my heart. Also, of my, like, three dystopian reads this year, it was definitely my favorite!

Favorite Science Fiction All Our Yesterdays | Cristin Terrill
Tie? Honorable Mention? – The 5th Wave | Rick Yancey
This one snuck up on me! We read the short story A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury in my classes this year, and the kids ate it up. I liked this twist on time travel. It is mildly dystopian, but, even if you’re over dystopian don’t overlook AoY!
I just started this one and am 100 pages in but feel like it’ll be one of my favorites of 2013. Apparently I love a good sci-fi/alien tale these days (and I used to be so adamantly against sci-fi!). 🙂

Favorite Fantasy
The Dream Thieves | Maggie Stiefvater
Honorable Mention: Relic | Renee Collins

Stiefvater’s writing, the twists, the extra look at Ronan’s life & background, and the continued mystery of what will happen with Gansey just keeps this series at the top of my must-read ASAP when available list.

I had the privilege of reading Relic a number of times and offering editorial feedback during its publication process. I have to say, at first synopsis read I didn’t think it would be my thing. This story is set in the Wild West but in world where bones from now-extinct magical creatures can be harvested and used for the powers. It’s full of action and awesome characters!

Favorite Contemporary
Winger | Andrew Smith
HM: Where the Stars Still Shine | Trish Doller
HM: OCD Love Story | Corey Ann Haydu
This book is so wonderful . The voice of the male narrator is witty, the character draws cartoons, he’s a fish out of water in a boarding school, and is confined to O-Hall with the school’s biggest miscreants. The ending of the novel is a bit abrupt, but, I loved the overall story so much it didn’t really phase me.

WtSSS blew. My. Mind. I don’t usually like issue books and early one we’re introduced to Callie, who has a horrible mother and as such, a horrible home life. Callie ends up in her father’s custody and he is my kind of YA book parental figure.

I just finished this! Props to any book that can take what you think to know to be true about a subject (OCD, in this case) and totally rocks them. Bea and Beck are a hopelessly compulsive and adorably smitten, but intriguingly flawed.

Favorite Action/Adventure – Crown of Midnight | Sarah J. Maas
HM: False Sight | Dan Krokos
The action really delivered in this Throne of Glass installment. I liked ToG but loved CoM. Celaena truly kicks ass in CoM as an assassin, liked I’d hoped for in ToG.

I don’t know how else to describe Krokos’ books other than they are totally action-packed! And, as I’ve mentioned before I keep reading these because of an interesting story line for Miranda and the something-for-everyone factor. 🙂

Favorite Comedy
Winger | Andrew Smith

Laughed out loud. Seriously, I was laughing and needing to stifle my laughter because my husband was sleeping next to me but I couldn’t hold it in. 🙂 This book is genuinely humorous.

Favorite Mystery
Golden | Jessi Kirby
The main character, Parker, felt relatable in that she definitely knows something is missing in her life and needs some action, adventure, and finds it in unraveling a mystery surrounding her town’s “it” couple from ten years prior.

Favorite Romance
– Fangirl | Rainbow Rowell
HM: Nobody But Us | Kristin Halbrook
Every time I think about this book I fall in love all over again. I just thought everything about it was great, but particularly the romance element.

These two. Ugh, their story is lovely and so, so gripping. I feel like I need to reread it immediately! A really stunning debut from Halbrook.

Favorite Paranormal
Crown of Midnight | Sarah J. Maas
So many cool paranormal elements in CoM. Maas has built a quite the fascinating, magical kingdom. I mean, the book has a map so that automatically qualifies CoM as great paranormal/fantasy, right? 🙂

Favorite Family Drama –
How to Love | Katie Cotugno
HM: Where the Stars Still Shine | Trish Doller
Oh, Reena’s family. Their dynamics are not puppies and roses and I loved that about them. I loved their best friendship with Sawyer’s family. I loved their religious undertones. So incredibly realistic.

Callie’s life is a mess, which is why her father stepping in was so sweet and spectacular. I love strong parents in a novel (when they’re often absent in YA) and the fact that her mom was such a mess made her dad even better.

Favorite Genre Bender – 
 Time After Time | Tamara Ireland Stone
Is it Science Fiction? Is it Paranormal? Is it a Romance? There are Contemporary elements for Bennett… I’m so confused! 🙂 But I really loved it! A great sequel to Time Between Us. Truly I think Anna and Bennet are two of my YA faves. And I love them together.

Abstention: Favorite Historical Fiction, although perhaps Relic could fit. 🙂

Keep tuning in, folks! I will be doing my best to continue participating throughout the week:
Tuesday, December 17th: Popularity Contest
Wednesday, December 18th: Elements of Fiction
Thursday, December 19th: Best in Show


Filed under Bookish, Review, YA Superlative Blogfest

YA Superlative Blogfest – Head(s) of the Class

Let me start out by saying that I haven’t read half as many books as I thought I did this year! Actually, I read a lot of books but some were manuscripts and some were not published in 2012. I’ve read 30 books released in 2012 and I have a feeling I’m going to be a little redundant this week, but, here goes!

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).

Can I just say that this was a bit anxiety-inducing, when one needs everything to fit into a little box like I do? This is why I’m not a writer and why I love a good blogfest (Lists! Categories! Deadlines!) but apologies in advance if I peg a book as something that it’s not intended to be. Please consider it a compliment. I liked your book. A lot.

Also, you need to know that I am HORRIBLE about making single selections. Sorry, I’m not sorry. 🙂

Monday, December 17th: Head of the Class

Favorite Dystopian – Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Dystopian Honorable Mention – Reached by Ally Condie
After The Hunger Games, I read the The Chaos Walking series. Since then, I’ve been reading the Divergent and Matched books when a new book has been released. I really, really love the characters and the dystopian world in Roth’s books. I enjoyed the plot and prose in Condie’s books.

Favorite Science Fiction – False Memory by Dan Krokos and Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
FM is sci-fi in the traditional sense and TBU doesn’t scream sci-fi, although there’s nothing more sci-fi than time travel, right? While FM has a lot of action, both books are well written, have intricate and interesting world-building, and include intriguing romances (win-win-WIN).

Favorite Fantasy – The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Fantasy Honorable Mention – Throne of Glass
Man, I appreciate good world building and both of these books left no stone unturned. (Can you tell it’s midnight? I just threw in a huge, crappy cliche!) While TRB is set in a modern-day, realistic setting but had brilliant magic and magical worlds, ToG has assassins and castles and kings and beautiful party dresses and magic and…

Favorite Contemporary – Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and The List by Siobhan Vivian
Honorable Mention – The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
I mean, these are all wonderful for very different reasons. LaL was sweet and got my attention early on in the year. It’s a verse novel and I had never read one and was enamored of Tregay’s verse. TFiOS, no contest. It doesn’t get more real than battling cancer while trying to find purpose, find yourself, create meaningful relationships and living with pain while also pondering your role in the universe. This novel breaks all the molds. TL has amazing teen voice. I felt like I was in my high school brain and the brains of my 9th graders. TD is about love, a road trip, and best of all, music.

Favorite Action/Adventure False Memory by Dan Krokos
Non-stop adventure! I read The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore and that action bogged me down or got old, but in FM it kept me engaged and wanting to know more, riiight into the next book, which comes out this year. 🙂

Favorite MysteryThe Raven Boys
Legitimately gave me physical reactions such as occasionally holding my breath or causing my heart rate to increase. So good.

Favorite Romance
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick and Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols
MLND so perfectly introduced first love and a couple that you truly root for–very good contemporary. SaR… Echols… a very fun plot with yet another unique protagonist (a pilot, of all things). Echols is a YA Romance legend and she just keeps on writing and I just keep on buying her books. They’re all so unique and the common thread is great research and great kisses. 😉

Favorite Paranormal
Every Day by David Levithan and The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
I really, really, don’t know where authors come up with this stuff. In ED, the main character wakes up every day in a different body, in a different life, with different parents and hobbies and complications, except that A has fallen in love with just one girl. Throw in Levithan’s poignant (yes, I just said poignant) commentary about love and relationships, and it’s just. So. Good. I’ve fangirled enough over TRB, haven’t I?

Favorite Family DramaThe Fault in Our Stars and/or My Life Next Door
Both of these novels did not exclude parents from their plot lines. I love well written parents, both when they’re lovable as in TFiOS, or when they’re a little less likable, as in MLND. I don’t know that family drama is the central conflict in either book, but the family element adds to the drama for sure.

Favorite Genre BenderThe Raven Boys and Time Between Us
… is it fantasy, paranormal, contemporary (I mean, some people believe in magic, right?), romance?
TBU… sci-fi, paranormal, romance?
No matter what, I love them both.

Honorable Mentions – as Category (I think? Frak!) Benders – Easy by Tammara Webber and Losing it by Cora Carmack
I think the covers tell you something by themselves. But, if this New Adult business is going to fly, and I think it will (or it is?), I am in love with the college setting. That was a good time, right? And NA doesn’t disappoint in the romance department, obvi.

Abstentions: Favorite Historical Fiction & Favorite Comedy

Keep tuning in, folks! I will be doing my best to continue participating throughout the week:
Tuesday, December 18th: Popularity Contest (Choose characters who fit each topic from ANY YA book!)
Wednesday, December 19th: Elements of Fiction
Thursday, December 20: Best in Show


Filed under Bookish, Review, YA Superlative Blogfest

End of Year Book Survey

The Perpetual Page Turner posted her third 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, I did read a lot. Reading for my internship with Entangled Publishing and “reading”/grading for school hinders my recreational reading a bit, but here goes!

I am currently cramming to squeeze in some books before I blog for the YA Superlatives Blogfest (wish me luck!):
Currently reading: Every Day by David Levithan
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Meant to Be by Lauren E. Morrill
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Stealing Parker by Miranda Kennealy
Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Best in Books 2012
1. The best book I read in 2012The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
If you can believe it, I had not read any Maggie Stiefvater until The Raven Boys. I actually had the e-galley, but then purchased a copy in Portland because of the cover love (it’s beautiful and shimmery!). Also, David Levithan talked about editing it and how there’s a love triangle (SOLD!).  I’m a fan of contemporary, which this book isn’t… but it IS amazing great writing and a good mystery. Now, waiting for the other three books, this might kill me.

2. Book I was excited about but didn’t loveFathomless by Jackson Pearce, Being Friends with Boys by Terra McVoy
It’s not that I didn’t like those books, but they didn’t meet the expectations I had. I saw Jackson Pearce speak at Wordstock in Portland (more on this, later) and hearing her talk about a little mermaid retelling was entertaining and intriguing. The book wasn’t as strong as I had hoped.
I thought a book about being friends with boys would be awesome because I’ve had great guy friends in the past and have a brother, etc., but the book was a crushy-crush story. And ended abruptly. It is about music and the characters are interesting–I read it quickly and liked meeting the characters!

3. Most surprising in 2012Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay
I had never read a verse novel and I actively avoid them, in fact. I am just not a fan of poetry. I downloaded this to my Kindle with an Amazon recommendation, not knowing it was a verse novel. It shattered my expectations; I thought characters would be under-developed and there would be less detail than I like and I was wrong. I loved it!

4. Book I’ve recommended the most in 2012The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I mean, John Green. Laughing and crying. Sadness and wonderfulness. Intelligent characters contemplating life and death. I have a number of friends outside Twitter who have read The Hunger Games books and Divergent books and what to know what else is good. I recommend John Green every time. One cannot miss with John Green.

5. Best series I discovered in 2012 – Assuming this question isn’t only about a new series in 2012, I really enjoyed discovering the Jessica Darling books by Megan McCafferty (there’s five, and like The Hunger Games you’d do well to be prepared to read them all in a row–you will not want to wait in between books). The first book, Sloppy Firsts, was published in 2001 and this is when I was in college, so the references to music/news/life and the general disposition and banter of the characters just felt like home to me. Home for the characters, for the record, is New Jersey. 🙂 My favorite new series is The Raven Cycle in terms of a series that started this year. I continued my reading of the Divergent trilogy with Insurgent in May, and can’t wait to wrap-up that series!

6. Favorite new authors I discovered in 2012 – Tamara Ireland Stone, Siobhan Vivian, Maggie Stiefvater
In terms of debut authors, I adored Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone. My interactions with Stone on Twitter and meeting her at Wordstock affirmed that she’s a great author and person–she is gracious and had a fun multi-media presentation, and of course she has written a compelling story. I also read The List by Siobhan Vivian and devoured it. Vivian understands high school and writes with authentic teen voice. She and Stiefvater do an excellent job of elevating the writing with vocabulary and create great tone/mood.

7. Best book out of my comfort zone Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay
See above (#3)!

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable bookFalse Memory by Dan Krokos, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
I *think* I read Before I Fall this year. Maybe last year. Either way, that’s a great one. More amazing high school girl voice and such an original concept. I read Time Between Us and Through to You (and a couple of manuscripts) that play with time travel or time bending but Before I Fall was the original to play with time for me. False Memory has something for everyone: fast-paced action, romance, mystery, etc. and it’s well written. I can’t wait for the second book and I know ARCs are already out there. I am religiously checking Net Galley! And yes, The Raven Boys gets another nod. Deal with it.

9. Book I’m most likely to re-readEasy by Tammar Webber (I DID re-read) and Time Between Us
Oh, my lordy! Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits) had mentioned this book on Twitter and I thought… I liked her book, I trust her judgement… and, wow! Easy is one of the books that tops New Adult book lists, for those who are interested and vested in that genre. Controversy about NA aside, I love a book that is set in college. The characters were complicated, and, there was some great romance and steaminess! Time Between Us is the book I’m most likely to re-read at this point.

10. Favorite coverMeant to BeThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, Flat-Out Love

Ha, can you tell what’s catching my eye these days? Cool typefaces and color, obvi.

11. Most memorable character(s) – Hazel & Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars
Green is known for writing these elevated, seemingly hyper-intelligent characters. This never bothers me because they belong in the storyline, of course–they fit! And, Hazel and Augustus are dealing with huge life issues well before most people should have to, and their trials, their experiences and their senses of humor are just… wonderful. Transcendent? I think so.

12. Most beautifully writtenThe Fault in Our Stars
I don’t even feel like writing any more about this, you just need to read if you haven’t!

13. Book that had the greatest impact on meThe Fault in Our Stars
I don’t even feel like writing any more about this, you just need to read if you haven’t! 🙂 But seriously, the musings about leaving your mark on the world and wanting to be remembered–I think that everyone feels this way. Ugh, I just love everything TFiOS.

14. Book(s) I can’t believe I waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read – The Jessica Darling series! Seriously, Megan McCafferty herself commented that she’s so glad that readers are still discovering Jessica Darling ten years (!) later. 😉

15. Favorite Passage – I participated for a time in Memorable Monday, where I would share a quote I liked from a recent reading. Check out some of these great ones I posted!

16. Shortest & Longest book I read – Shortest = A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Beautifully illustrated and lovely writing from Ness!

17. Scene that had me reeling (WTF Moment, Epic Revelation, Steamy Kiss, etc.) – The Fault in Our Stars, Love Story & Such a Rush scenes, both by Jennifer Echols
Echols has a gift for swoon-worthy, steamy scenes and both these books that I read in 2012 did not disappoint. TFiOS had some moments, of course (and that’s all I can say about that).

18. Favorite Relationship – Anna & Bennett in Time Between Us, Jacqueline & Lucas in Easy, Samantha & Jase in My Life Next Door, Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie in the Jessica Darling series
I mean, I still remember Anna and Bennett’s names, and their likes, hobbies, adventures, etc. (I had to look up the names of the Easy couple and My Life Next Door couple). And, Bennett is just a favorite YA boy for me of all the YA boys. 🙂 Jacqueline and Lucas had the sexual chemistry but also a great relationship with deep issues to help reveal how much they care for each other. Samantha and Jase… oh, these two are just so sweet on each other. And sweet with each other. Jessica and Marcus? Well, Marcus. That is all. 😉
Echo and Noah from Pushing the Limits would have made this list if Noah hadn’t been all “my siren, my nymph,” etc. through the story. I just pretty sure boys in high school don’t even know what those words mean.

19. Favorite book from an author I read previouslyInsurgent by Veronica Roth
I didn’t enjoy it as much as Divergent but I adore Four (LOVE him) and the cliffhanger ending has me really wondering what’s next for Tris and Four and in their world.

20. Best book read based on a recommendation from someone elseTime Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
Thank you, Jessica Love! I trust your judgement implicitly!

Book Blogging/Reading Life
1. New favorite book I discovered in 2012? Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay
5. Best event I participated in? Wordstock! Check out my post about to greatness that was Wordstock 2012.
http://novelnovice.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/wordstock-chair1.jpg 9. Best bookish discovery (bookish site, book store, etc.)? Author talks, presentations, book shows, etc. in general! I saw John Green with my friend Katy, and saw Gayle Forman, Nina LaCour, and Stephanie Perkins for the YA or Bust Tour with Katy and another friend, Theresa. I adore hearing authors talk about the background of a book, their inspiration, and their writing processes. Every author and every book is a new adventure!

Looking Ahead
1. One book I didn’t get to but will be a priority in 2013? Ahhhh, so many…
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker
If I Lie by Corrine Jackson
In Honor by Jessi Kirby
Live Through This by Mindi Scott
Tahereh Mafi series
Lauren Oliver Delirium series

2. Book I’m most anticipating in 2013? Again, so many…
The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Second book in The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Third book in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth
When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney
The Collector by Victoria Scott
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
Pivot Point by Kasie West
False Sight by Dan Krokos
All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen
The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding

3. One thing I hope to accomplish or do in my reading/blogging in 2013? I just hope to be a better blogger, in general. 🙂 I am now a National Board Certified teacher, so I won’t have that monkey on my back! I do update on Goodreads fairly often when I finish a book, even if just a star rating.


Filed under About me, Bookish, Review