Tag Archives: Young Adult Literature

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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Laurie Halse Anderson in January!

Please allow me to fangirl for a second. I about died back in November when Laurie Halse Anderson announced her book tour for her latest release, The Impossible Knife of Memory. Her first two stops will be in Washington State! I was fortunate to receive the e-ARC from Edelweiss several months ago and will start it any day now.

Anderson was in WA a couple of years ago and I missed the tour, but it’s something I’ve never totally gotten over in terms of my book world experiences. That sounds like hyperbole. But, Speak is one of my all-time favorite books, adult or young adult. Anderson’s books are painstakingly researched and therefore are authentic and raw. She handles delicate topics with care and even humor in some cases, calling her books Resiliency Literature (as opposed to Young Adult Literature). In my experience, her books are unisex and about topics that others are afraid to tackle or that others just aren’t able to write about with such honesty and finesse.

As part of my teacher preparation program at WSU, I took a course called Young Adult Literature, and we got to read books that would be popular for young adults–our future students. I wasn’t reading much outside of my school requirements and the books for this course were all books that were accessible and engaging for me, even as someone flirting with the outlying years of being a “young adult,” myself. My favorite book that we read in the course was Speak. The voice of the main character, Melinda, was realistic for a teen. It was the first book where I’d seen capitalization used for monikers that Melinda used, and lists (this is a me thing, and I loved seeing an author use it). I didn’t realize there were books being written like that, for this age group, that weren’t about girls struggling with wearing make-up and getting a boyfriend. The message is clear and important, yet the reader isn’t hit over the head with that message. My good friend (and now department leader!), Sarah, and I would talk about how important Speak is for young people to read–males and females–and hoped it could become part of our future curriculums, where ever we might end up.

Anderson’s books create readers. When Sarah and I did get to incorporate Speak into our Literature Circles unit in 2008/2009, boys and girls listed it as a top choice to read. After completing the book, students wanted to read other books by Anderson. It was a teacher’s dream, because students were excited about books and reading, and were talking about what they’d learned.

I can’t say enough about why I admire Anderson as a writer. I look forward to diving into The Impossible Knife of Memory and listening to her speak on Tuesday, January 7th at South Kitsap HS in Port Orchard, WA. Thanks to Eagle Harbor Book Company for making that visit happen, and for communicating with me about the change in location!

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Filed under About me, Book Event, Bookish, Uncategorized

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

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