Tag Archives: Jennifer E Smith

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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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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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
https://i1.wp.com/d.gr-assets.com/books/1331322901l/11721314.jpghttps://i0.wp.com/d.gr-assets.com/books/1337187623l/10798416.jpghttps://i0.wp.com/d.gr-assets.com/books/1333821470l/11096647.jpg

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.

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