The Class of 2012: YA Superlatives Blogfest – Elements of Fiction

Before I get on with my Elements of Fiction choices for the YA Superlatives Blogfest, I’d love to refer you to Kristin Lynn Thetford‘s blog. First and foremost, she just signed with a fantastic agent… Go congratulate her! Second, she recently interviewed me about my writing, my experiences with querying, and my eventual signing with super agent Victoria Marini of GSLA. The interview is HERE if you want to check it out. (You totally should!)

The Class of 2012: YA Superlative Blogfest (hosted by Jessica LoveTracey NeithercottAlison Miller, and me) runs Monday, December 17th through Thursday, December 20th. All of the awesome people who are participating in the blogfest (YOU, I hope!) will highlight favorite books published 2012 using a variety of super fun superlative categories. The Class of 2012: YA Superlative Blogfest is about promoting extraordinary young adult books, so if you haven’t already, draft a post, hop down to the end of this post, and sign up to participate. We can’t wait to see your favorite reads of 2012!

The 2012 YA novels I’ve read, listed in no particular order: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, A Million Suns, The Fault in Our Stars, The Disenchantments, Something Strange and Deadly, Pandemonium, Wanderlove, Under the Never Sky, Ten, This is Not a Test, Happy Families, Insurgent, Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone, Monstrous Beauty, Bitterblue, Time Between Us, My Life Next Door, Breathe, Pushing the Limits, Skylark, The Raven Boys, Live Through This, Bittersweet, Flawed, Ditched, Starters, Reached, Lovely, Dark and Deep, Meant to Be, and Days of Blood and Starlight…

And here’s how I chose to award today’s categories:

Elements of Fiction

Most Envy-Inducing Plot (Plot I wish I’d thought of myself…)

Time Between UsUsing time travel to tell a story of intense, lasting love has been done before, but I especially love the way Tamara Ireland Stone uses Bennett’s  special “talent” to challenge Anna and everything she thinks she knows.

Most Formidable World (Setting I would NOT want to visit…)

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)From Smarteyes and Realms to Aether storms and savages and potentially dangerous air, Veronica Rossi has created a detailed and dynamic world where almost nobody can be trusted.

Wanderlust-Inducing (Setting I’d happily travel to…)

WanderloveAah, beaches and hiking and fun in the sun — this book’s title is spot-on. I’d love to backpack with Bria and Rowan.

Loveliest Prose

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)Or… perhaps Fate laid out your life for you like a dress on a bed, and you could either wear it or go naked. ~ Gorgeous imagery on every. Single. Page.

Best First Line

Amelia Anne is Dead and GoneThe night before Amelia Anne Richardson bled her life away on a parched dirt road outside of town, I bled out my dignity in the back of a pickup truck under a star-pricked sky. ~ The whole book is written this beautifully.

Most Dynamic Main Character

Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)I absolutely adore Bitterblue. She’s so many things: utterly endearing, open and charmingly honest, naive and occasionally brusque, determined and loyal. Over the course of the novel, she faces what should be soul-crushing opposition, but she never, ever folds.

Most Jaw-Dropping Ending

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)Ronan’s confession about Chainsaw’s origins… *shivers* Next book, please!

Best Performance in a Supporting Role

This is Not a TestGrace, Trace, Cary, Harrison, and especially Rhys from This is Not a Test. I loved the Breakfast Club-esque dynamic between main character Sloane and her colorful and carefully fleshed-out supporting cast.

Best Use of Theme

Lovely, Dark and DeepWren’s struggles with unimaginable guilt and grief could have been preachy and cliche, but Amy McNamara handles her protagonist’s troubles with subtle grace, which makes themes of forgiveness and acceptance shine.


33 thoughts on “The Class of 2012: YA Superlatives Blogfest – Elements of Fiction

  1. Elodie says:

    I agree with you on the Breakfast Club-esque dynamic in THIS IS NOT A TEST…This was one of my favorite element of the book. That and the way as reader I was pulled into their world.
    I definitely need to read a few of the books you have up there 😀
    And I had to smile when I saw that both you and Jessica chose TIME BETWEEN US as your Most-Envy Inducing Plot 😀

    • katyupperman says:

      Jessica’s and my matching TIME BETWEEN US pick is not much of a surprise. We’re romance lovers, after all. 🙂 And I’m with you on THIS IS NOT A TEST. I loved the dynamic of all the characters.

  2. Mrs. Silverstein says:

    Oh my god, people have got to stop comparing TINAT to The Breakfast Club–I will not be able to hold out until Christmas! I’m such a sucker for anything like that. Also, zombies?

    And yeah, it’s hard to beat the, um, Chainsaw revelation. WHEN is the next book coming out???

  3. Jaime Morrow says:

    I’ve read all but two of the books on your list today. I picked up AMELIA ANNE, but for some reason didn’t end up getting. I probably should, right? While I wasn’t a huge fan of BITTERBLUE (I liked the others far better), I can’t help agreeing that she was a pretty dynamic character. So much growth and change in that girl over the course of the novel. And can I just ask: was it as hard for you as it was for me not to list THE RAVEN BOYS in nearly every category??? 🙂

    • katyupperman says:

      You should definitely get AMELIA ANNE next time you see it in the store… It’s excellent. And yes! THE RAVEN BOYS could have definitely fit into to most of my categories today (and every day!). Same with BLOOD AND STARLIGHT and BITTERBLUE. Loved both of them. 🙂

  4. Margo Berendsen says:

    You sold me on The Time Between Us. For some reason now I’m interested where as before I wasn’t interested. Have been really enjoying this blogfest and finally joined today!

  5. Rebecca B says:

    Now I want to read TIME BETWEEN US even more. I love time-travel plots, especially when a love story is involved.
    Agree that AMELIA ANNE has an incredible first line! (I think I accidentally missed that one for my post–oops!)

  6. Iffath says:

    I have fallen in love with the first line of Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone! I *need* to get a copy! Totally agree with you on Under The Never Sky!

  7. Krispy says:

    I really want to read Lovely, Dark, and Deep, especially after seeing your and Erin’s reactions to it. It’s pretty too look at too! I also cannot wait to get started on Days of Blood & Starlight and Bitterblue! This blogfest has me so pumped for reading. Not to mention, it’s replenishing my already endless TBR list, haha.

    Laini Taylor got Loveliest Prose from me last year, and I think she would’ve gotten it again this year if I had managed to read DoBaS. I adore her writing style.

    • katyupperman says:

      Ooh, I’m a little envious about all of the awesome reading you have in front of you. I have a feeling you’re going to love LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP, DAYS OF BLOOD AND STARLIGHT, and BITTERBLUE. Some of my 2012 favorites!

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