What’s Up Wednesday

WUW2

“What’s Up Wednesday” is a fun weekly meme started by my friends Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. You’re invited to join us if you’re looking for something to blog about, a way to let your blog friends know what’s been going on with you. If you’re participating, make sure to link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog each week. That way, others can visit your post and check out what you’ve been up to.And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: I finished Carol Rifka Brunt’s Tell the Wolves I’m Home and I thought it was a beautiful story. That said, it’s not a book that would have normally attracted me, so I’m incredibly thankful for Corey Ann Haydu’s recommendation. I loved this novel! Now I’m (slowly) reading Lauren DeStefano’s Perfect Ruin. So far, I’m super impressed with the worldbuilding, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how the story plays out.

What I’m Writing: I’ve slacked on my revision over the last week, and I’m so bummed about it. I’ve just been so busy with the holidays and my husband’s upcoming grad school graduation and our impending move. I haven’t had time to sit down and focus on what my manuscript needs. Boo. I keep picturing myself all comfy on the couch in our new Florida home with my story document opened in front of me… Can. Not. Wait. In other news, I finished my blog posts for the Class of 2013: YA Superlatives Blogfest, which begins this Monday! Looking forward to sharing my favorite 2013 books with you, and to reading about the books you’ve fallen for this year!

Superlatives Button

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Blah. Need you ask? Organizing, purging, packing. The moving truck comes Friday. We’re loading all weekend. We sign out of our house next Wednesday. I can’t wait to be done with this nonsense.

   
Some girlfriends and I hosted a graduation party for our husbands this weekend. Of course I put myself in charge of desserts. I took a break from packing and instead spent two full mornings baking. I was so happy!


I got the cutest winter mug for #SipSwap a few mornings ago. As soon as I unwrapped it, I fixed myself some tea and ate some M&Ms. Because I am a grown up. Thanks so much to Simon Clark for sending such an adorable mug!

   
My girl is *almost* as graceful as I am. Last week at school she hurt her face on the jungle gym (I still don’t completely understand how), but she’s healing quickly. When I told her to not to pick at the scab on her forehead because it would leave a scar, she got all excited and said, “Really? Like Harry Potter?!” And then I was the proudest mom ever.

What’s Inspiring Me Now: I watched The Descendants over the weekend, and I absolutely loved it. I’d heard it was good from several people and I’ve been intrigued by the trailer since I saw it ages ago (plus there’s the whole Oscars thing), but it’s one of those movies that somehow slipped by me. It’s finally on HBO (yay!) and I couldn’t pass it up. Oh, it was so, so good. Flawed but incredibly likable characters. Poignant, but with moments of perfect humor (Sid! The best!). A gorgeous setting (Hawaii!). And Shailene Woodley — what a talent. She’s going to rock Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars. If you’ve yet to see this one, I highly recommend it. Amazing and inspiring storytelling. Here’s the trailer…

Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

Class of 2013: YA Superlatives Blogfest

It’s time for the 3rd Annual YA Superlative Blogfest! Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Alison Miller, and I hosted this fun and interactive blogfest in 2011 and 2012 as a way of highlighting our favorite YA novels, covers, characters, and story elements, and we can’t wait for another week dedicated to promoting awesome young adult books, as well as getting to know new bloggers.

Superlatives Banner

The Class of 2013: YA Superlative Blogfest will run Monday, December 16th – Thursday, December 19th and will highlight favorite young adult books published in 2013. We’ll conclude the week by giving away 2013 books to a few lucky blogfest participants (more info soon!).

Here are this year’s categories:

Monday, December 16th: Head of the Class
Favorite Dystopian
Favorite Science Fiction
Favorite Fantasy
Favorite Contemporary
Favorite Action/Adventure
Favorite Historical Fiction
Favorite Comedy
Favorite Mystery
Favorite Romance
Favorite Paranormal
Favorite Family Drama
Favorite Genre Bender 

Tuesday, December 17th: Popularity Contest
Choose characters who fit each topic from ANY YA book!
Class Clown
Most Likely to Become a Rock Star
Mostly Likely to Start a Riot
Biggest Flirt
Fashion King and/or Queen
Girl You’d Most Want For Your BFF
Boy You Wish You’d Dated in High School
Most Likely to Become President
Quirkiest Character
Villain You Love to Hate
Favorite Parental Figure
Coolest Nerd 

Wednesday, December 18th: Elements of Fiction
Most Envy-Inducing Plot (The plot you wish you’d thought of yourself.)
Most Formidable World (Setting you definitely would NOT want to visit.)
Wanderlust-Inducing (Setting you’d happily travel to.)
Loveliest Prose
Best First Line
Most Dynamic Main Character
Most Jaw-Dropping Ending
Best Performance in a Supporting Role
Best Use of Theme

Thursday, December 19: Best in Show
Favorite Cover
Cutest Couple
Most Likely to Succeed (Pick a Printz Winner.)
Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime (Book you couldn’t put down.)
Best Repeat Performance (Favorite sequel or follow-up.)
Favorite Finale or End of Series Novel
Romance Most Worthy of an Ice Bath
Breakout Novel (Your favorite book by a debut author.)
Best Old-Timer (Your favorite read of the year published BEFORE 2013.)
Book Most Likely to Make a Grown Man Cry
Most Pleasant Surprise (Book you didn’t think you’d like, but totally did.)
Most Creative Use of a Love Triangle
Sleeper Hit (Book you found so awesome you wish it had been hyped more.)
Favorite Outlier (Favorite picture, middle grade, or adult 2013 book)
Your turn! Pick your own superlative category and post it at the end today’s list. Blog hoppers will drop by and vote for their pick in your comments!

Remember, The Class of 2013: YA Superlatives Blogfest is all about promoting extraordinary novels. Don’t worry if your 2013 reading list is on the short side, but HERE is a comprehensive list of 2013 YA titles in case you’d like to fit in a few more books before December 16th. And don’t worry if you don’t have a book/character/cover/element for each of the categories. We just want you to jump in and participate any way you can!

Superlatives Button

Please do help us spread the word by grabbing our banner and/or button (both designed by Tracey Neithercott, who is brilliant and crazy-talented!).

We hope you’ll join in on the fun!

TAG! A moment in time…

My friend (and Ready. Set. Write! participant) Juliana Haygert tagged me for a fun WiP post. (Hers is HERE and it’s fantastic.) The parameters are as follows:

Search for the words “moment,” “forever,” or “time,” in your work-in-progress, pick your favorite excerpt, post on your blog, and tag others!

Easy, right? Here’s a bit from the contemporary young adult WiP I started a few months ago. I’ll be working on it this summer for Ready. Set. Write!, and I hope to finish the first draft by the end of August…

******

Though eye contact seemed to pain her, the girl managed a sympathetic smile. “Ms. Parnell is a hard ass when it comes to schedule switches after the start of the semester,” she said, her voice soft, wispy. “But I hear flattery goes a long way.”

“Yeah? Thanks for the tip.” Tyler thought about introducing himself with a handshake, but the girl was staring down at her feet again, nudging a rip in the carpet with the toe of her shoe. Were they done already?

“I’m Tyler,” he said in an attempt to recapture her attention. He kept his hands to himself. “New to Clayton City by way of Cleveland.”

She glanced up. Her cheeks were stained pink, and Tyler had the distinct impression that she was thrown by his continued attempts at conversation.

“Oh,” she said. “Well, welcome to Small Town, USA, I guess.” She hesitated, then, like an afterthought, added, “I’m Jenna.”

Jenna. A sweet name. An innocent name. After his time with Kendra, Tyler was starting to think sweet and innocent were the way to go. And it didn’t hurt that this Jenna was a surreal sort of hot. She made him think of the nymphs he’d read about last year in English, shapely and elemental and sort of hypnotic. He liked her hair, its color and its length; he could imagine her thick ponytail wrapped around his hand. He liked her eyes, too, the way she looked at him through her lashes like she was playing at demure. Or, maybe she actually was demure—an intriguing notion. She was wearing a long dress with little flowers scattered about the fabric, and a denim jacket that covered her from collarbone to wrist. She wasn’t baring an inch of inappropriate skin.

Tyler was equal parts fascinated and frustrated.

******

And… I’ll tag Temre Beltz, Tracey Neithercott, and Katharine Owens. I hope you girls play along too!

The Class of 2012: YA Superlatives Blogfest – Best in Show

Ahhhh… It’s our very last day!

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:

Best in Show

Favorite Cover

                  The Disenchantments      Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)
These covers are practically opposites (bright and fun/dark and mysterious), but they both convey the tone of the stories beneath them so perfectly, I couldn’t choose just one.

Cutest Couple

My Life Next DoorSamantha and Jase… So sweet and considerate of one another, with chemistry that sings. They bring out the best in each other.

Most Likely to Succeed (Or, Pick a Printz)

The Fault in Our StarsThis was a tough choice… I read SO MANY award-worthy books this year. But The Fault in Our Stars seems to most exemplify the qualities “literary merit” that the American Library Association looks for.

Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime

  Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)     Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)
These two… Could NOT put them down!

Best Repeat Performance (Favorite Sequel or Follow-Up)

   Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)       Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)
I was nervous about reading both of these books. I love their predecessors SO MUCH, and I had very high expectations. Luckily, Days of Blood and Starlight and Bitterblue lived up to the excellence of the books that came before them.

Favorite Finale or End of Series

Reached (Matched, #3)A very satisfying conclusion to a trilogy I’ve followed since Matched‘s debut.

Romance Most Worthy of an Ice Bath

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)Echo and Noah have some pretty intense sexual tension, which made their otherwise dark and serious story a lot of fun to read.

Break Out Novel (Favorite Book by a Debut Author)

Lovely, Dark and DeepYeah… This one pretty much blew me away. Beautiful writing, characters I cared so much about, and a romance that had me swooning. Love.

Favorite Old-Timer (Favorite of the Year, Published BEFORE 2012)  

                   The Book Thief   Saving June
I waited far too long to read The Book Thief — now I know why it is so highly regarded. And Saving June, wow… A pretty darn perfect contemporary young adult romance.

Book Most Likely to Make a Grown Man Cry

The Fault in Our StarsThis one didn’t make me cry, but I’ve heard from a lot of others that they had to raid their tissue boxes, especially toward the end.

Most Pleasant Surprise (Book I didn’t think I’d Like, But Did)

This is Not a TestZombies? Eh. But I love the way Courtney Summers writes far too much to pass up any of her new releases. So glad I gave her version of zombies a chance — this book rocks!

Most Creative Use of a Love Triangle

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)I think the love triangle between Blue, Gansey, and Adam will develop further as this series goes on, but so far I’m totally on-board with the dynamic between these three. Maggie Stiefvater is masterful.

Sleeper Hit (Book I Found So Awesome I Wish it Was Hyped More)

Lovely, Dark and DeepI know, I know… I’ve talked a lot about this one. But guys, it’s just SO GOOD! If you like contemporary and romance and serious themes, pick Lovely, Dark and Deep up as soon as possible!

Favorite Outlier (Favorite 2012 MG or Adult Book)

Gone GirlYowza… This story is a total trip. The characters are pretty much all deplorable, but one is such a complete sociopath, she would NOT let me put this book down.

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.

The Class of 2012: YA Superlative Blogfest – Popularity Contest

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 over the last year, 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:

Popularity Contest

Class Clown

Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars, because if anyone can make can cancer funny, it’s Gus. (image source)

Most Likely to Become a Rock Star

The DisenchantmentsWhile Bev from The Disenchantments may not have tons of musical talent, she’s definitely got that irreverent, arrogant aura of a rock star down.

Most Likely to Start a Riot

Tobias and Tris from Insurgent. They’re total badasses, and they both possess the leadership qualities necessary for mobilizing the masses. (image source)

Biggest Flirt

The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightOliver from The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. He’s such an effective flirt, he got Hadley to fall for him over the course of one night. Plus, his flirting is genuine and sweet.

Fashion King and/or Queen

Bitterblue. Not because she cares about fashion, but because of the beautiful way her gowns and hair and shoes are described in Bitterblue. (image source)

Girl You’d Most Want For Your BFF

Time Between UsAnna from Time Between Us because she’s a loyal, relateable girl with goals and dreams. Plus, she’s a runner like me.

Boy You Most Wish You’d Dated in High School

My Life Next DoorJase from My Life Next Door because he’s sweet and attentive and driven, and he has a totally awesome family.

Most Likely to Become President


Elder from A Million Suns. He’s not a perfect leader, but he’s a passionate leader, and he’s an honorable leader. I can’t wait to see how his arch concludes in Shades of Earth. (image source)

Quirkiest Character

Meant to BeMeant to Be‘s Julia has a pencil sharpener in her purse and head full of Beatles trivia, and she travels with dozens of guide books. She’s awkward and sometimes uncertain, but she’s also totally endearing. Loved her!

Villain You Love to Hate


Syrenka from Monstrous Beauty. She can be evil and single-minded and shockingly violent, but she has her reasons. Mermaids need love too, right? (image source)

Favorite Parental Figure

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)I’m going to cheat a little and go with Blue Sargent’s mother and all of the clairvoyant ladies who live in her house. They’re such an eclectic, strong group of women, and each is so unique. Their scenes were a joy to read.

Coolest Nerd

Xander from Reached. He’s got all those medical, scientific smarts, and he’s sort of brooding and mysterious. A perfect combination. (image source unknown)

The Class of 2012: YA Superlative Blogfest – HEAD OF THE CLASS

It’s here, it’s here, it’s here! 

In case you’ve forgotten, The Class of 2012: YA Superlative Blogfest (hosted by Jessica Love,Tracey NeithercottAlison Miller, and me) begins today, Monday, December 17th, and will run 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 all 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!

So, here are the 2012 YA novels I’ve read over the last year, 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 (I totally cheated and named two novels for a few of the categories… there were just too many fantastic 2012 books to choose from!):

Head of the Class

Favorite Dystopian

Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)This novel had it all: Lauren Oliver’s beautiful writing, a crazy-fast pace, a slow-burn forbidden romance, and a world that is both unique and formidable. I’m dying to see how this trilogy concludes when Requiem comes out in a few months.

Favorite Science Fiction

A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2)Once again, life on the Godspeed had me absolutely enthralled. Beth Revis has created a fascinated world and filled it with complex characters and tons of twists and turns. Can’t wait for the final installment of this trilogy!

Favorite Fantasy

Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)Oh, Bitterblue… This novel gave me all the feelings. I laughed, I swooned, I cringed, and I worried. I adored everything about Bitterblue and her complicated world, especially Gideon. If I had to choose an absolute favorite 2012 YA novel, it would probably be this one.

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)One of the most original books I’ve read this year. I loved headstrong Blue, and I loved the complex, realistic relationship between the Raven Boys. This one had a twist that gave me shivers!

Favorite Contemporary

The DisenchantmentsFrom the music, to the road trip, to the colorful characters who populated this novel– not to mention their wild relationships — I adored it all. Nina LaCour has a way of penning imperfect characters who are easy to root for, which I think is this novel’s greatest strength.

The Fault in Our StarsOnce again, John Green has shown that he is a master at lending humor to unimaginably heartbreaking situations. Oh, and he rocks at writing a teen girl’s voice. This novel didn’t make me cry (I’m not an easy crier), but it did make me want to go to Amsterdam!

Favorite Action/Adventure

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)I could have filed this one under dystopian, of course, but because each and every page was filled with heart-pounding action, I thought it would fit well here, too. Oh, Perry… I’d leave the dome for him any day.

This is Not a TestThis is Not a Test was definitely action packed, but it was character-driven, too, a perfect combination. Sloane was at first a difficult character to root for, yet I loved her for her honesty, and I loved the way she came out at the end of this novel. Courtney Summers writes unlikable narrators like nobody else.

Favorite Comedy

Meant to BeThis story is just adorable. It’s not slapstick, silly comedy, but more subtle and refined, something real teens will actually find funny. Julia is a quick, witty narrator, definitely someone I’d want to be friends with!

Favorite Mystery

Amelia Anne is Dead and GoneKat Rosenfeld’s prose is gorgeous and literary and mature, and the creepy murder mystery at the center of this book’s plot kept me guessing until the end.

Favorite Romance

WanderloveBria and Rowan’s relationship throughout the course of Wanderlove progressed believably and sweetly. They challenged each other, yet they had a very clear mutual respect for one another. I was rooting from them from their very first encounter.

My Life Next DoorDoesn’t every teen girl want to live next door to a cute, considerate, attentive high school boy? My Life Next Door fulfills that fantasy with a believable, enviable romance between main character Samantha and boy-next-door Jase. These two are just too cute together.

Favorite Paranormal

Monstrous BeautyMonstrous Beauty is two interwoven stories in one, told in a parallel manner with twists and turns that left me all kinds of surprised. None of the characters in this book are quite who they seem, and the mermaids are creepy and diabolical, a win when it comes to this paranormal story.

Favorite Family Drama

Lovely, Dark and DeepI could have chosen Lovely, Dark and Deep for the romance category because main character Wren’s relationship with older boy Cal is all kinds of steamy, but there’s a lot going on in the way of Wren’s family dynamics too. Whatever the genre, I loved every minute of this novel.

Favorite Genre Bender

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)Laini Taylor’s writing is absolutely beautiful. She melds romance and urban fantasy and lots of crazy uniqueness so perfectly, her world feels absolutely real. I cannot wait for Book 3!

The Class of 2012: YA Superlatives Blogfest

The Class of 2012: YA Superlatives Blogfest is only

ONE WEEK AWAY!

In case you’ve forgotten, The Class of 2012: YA Superlative Blogfest will run Monday, December 17th – Thursday, December 20th and will highlight our favorite books of 2012. This blogfest (hosted by Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Alison Miller, and me) is all about promoting extraordinary young adult novels, so don’t worry if your 2012 reading list is on the short side. And don’t worry if you don’t have a book/character/cover/element for each of the categories. We just want you to jump in and participate any way you can!

That said, there is an incentive to participating each and every day of the blogfest: Those who do (and who link to their posts via the daily linky lists so we can verify) will be entered to win a 2012 YA novel of their choice! Four winners will be randomly selected and announced December 21st on the hosts’ blogs. There will be a $20 limit, and the giveaway is open to anyone who lives where The Book Depository ships. (Just to be extra clear: It’s okay to skip a category here and there if you don’t have a book to fill it, but you must participate during all four days of the blogfest to be eligible for the giveaway.)

To refresh your memory, here are this year’s categories:

Monday, December 17th: Head of the Class
Favorite Dystopian
Favorite Science Fiction
Favorite Fantasy
Favorite Contemporary
Favorite Action/Adventure
Favorite Historical Fiction
Favorite Comedy
Favorite Mystery
Favorite Romance
Favorite Paranormal
Favorite Family Drama
Favorite Genre Bender

Tuesday, December 18th: Popularity Contest
Choose characters who fit each topic from ANY YA book!
Class Clown
Most Likely to Become a Rock Star
Mostly Likely to Start a Riot
Biggest Flirt
Fashion King and/or Queen
Girl You’d Most Want For Your BFF
Boy You Wish You’d Dated in High School
Most Likely to Become President
Quirkiest Character
Villain You Love to Hate
Favorite Parental Figure
Coolest Nerd

Wednesday, December 19th: Elements of Fiction
Most Envy-Inducing Plot (Or, the plot you wish you’d thought of yourself.)
Most Formidable World (Or, the setting you definitely would NOT want to visit.)
Wanderlust-Inducing (Or, the setting you’d happily to.)
Loveliest Prose
Best First Line
Most Dynamic Main Character
Most Jaw-Dropping Ending
Best Performance in a Supporting Role
Best Use of Theme

Thursday, December 20: Best in Show
Favorite Cover
Cutest Couple
Most Likely to Succeed (Or, pick a Printz Winner.)
Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime (Book you just couldn’t put down!)
Best Repeat Performance (Your favorite sequel or follow-up.)
Favorite Finale or End of Series Novel
Romance Most Worthy of an Ice
Breakout Novel (Your favorite book by a debut author.)
Best Old-Timer (Your favorite read of the year, published BEFORE 2012.)
Book Most Likely to Make a Grown Man Cry
Most Pleasant Surprise (Best book you didn’t think you’d like, but totally did.)
Most Creative Use of a Love Triangle
Sleeper Hit (Book you found so awesome you wish it had been hyped more.)
Favorite Outlier (Your favorite middle grade or adult 2012 book)
Your turn! Pick your own superlative category and post it at the end this day’s list. Blog hoppers will be able to drop by and vote for their pick in the comments of your blog!

So, finish up those 2012 reads and start drafting your posts now! And please feel free to grab our banner and/or button (both designed by Tracey Neithercott) to post on your own blog to help us spread the word.

Questions? Ask away in the comments. 🙂

The Class of 2012: YA Superlatives Blogfest

As you might remember, last year Jessica LoveTracey NeithercottAlison Miller, and I hosted The Class of 2011: YA Superlatives Blogfest, a fun and interactive way to highlight our favorite YA novels, covers, characters, and story elements. We had such a fantastic time promoting awesome 2011 books and getting to know new bloggers, this year we’re thrilled to host…

The Class of 2012: YA Superlative Blogfest will run Monday, December 17th – Thursday, December 20th and will highlight favorite books of 2012. We’re introducing a few new superlative categories (see them all below!), and we’re giving 2012 books away to lucky blogfest participants as just one more reason to join in on the fun (stay tuned for more giveaway information!).

Here are this year’s categories:

Monday, December 17th: Head of the Class 
Favorite Dystopian
Favorite Science Fiction
Favorite Fantasy
Favorite Contemporary
Favorite Action/Adventure
Favorite Historical Fiction
Favorite Comedy
Favorite Mystery
Favorite Romance
Favorite Paranormal
Favorite Family Drama
Favorite Genre Bender
 
Tuesday, December 18th: Popularity Contest
Choose characters who fit each topic from ANY YA book!
Class Clown
Most Likely to Become a Rock Star
Mostly Likely to Start a Riot
Biggest Flirt
Fashion King and/or Queen
Girl You’d Most Want For Your BFF
Boy You Wish You’d Dated in High School
Most Likely to Become President
Quirkiest Character
Villain You Love to Hate
Favorite Parental Figure
Coolest Nerd

Wednesday, December 19th: Elements of Fiction
Most Envy-Inducing Plot (Or, the plot you wish you’d thought of yourself.)
Most Formidable World (Or, the setting you definitely would NOT want to visit.)
Wanderlust-Inducing (Or, the setting you’d happily travel to.)
Loveliest Prose
Best First Line
Most Dynamic Main Character
Most Jaw-Dropping Ending
Best Performance in a Supporting Role
Best Use of Theme

Thursday, December 20: Best in Show
Favorite Cover
Cutest Couple
Most Likely to Succeed (Or, pick a Printz Winner.)
Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime (Book you just couldn’t put down!)
Best Repeat Performance (Your favorite sequel or follow-up.)
Favorite Finale or End of Series Novel
Romance Most Worthy of an Ice Bath 
Breakout Novel (Your favorite book by a debut author.)
Best Old-Timer (Your favorite read of the year, published BEFORE 2012.)
Book Most Likely to Make a Grown Man Cry
Most Pleasant Surprise (Best book you didn’t think you’d like, but totally did.)
Most Creative Use of a Love Triangle
Sleeper Hit (Book you found so awesome you wish it had been hyped more.)
Favorite Outlier (Your favorite middle grade or adult 2012 book) 
Your turn! Pick your own superlative category and post it at the end this day’s list. Blog hoppers will be able to drop by and vote for their pick in the comments of your blog!

Remember, The Class of 2012: YA Superlatives Blogfest is all about promoting extraordinary novels! Don’t worry if your 2012 reading list is on the short side (incidentally, HERE‘s a comprehensive catalog of titles 2012  just in case you’d like to pad your list). And don’t worry if you don’t have a book/character/cover/element for each of the categories. We just want you to jump in and participate any way you can!

Please do help us spread the word by grabbing our banner and/or button (both designed by Tracey Neithercott, who is brilliant and crazy-talented!).

We hope you’ll join in on the fun! 

It’s almost that time again…

Last year Jessica LoveTracey NeithercottAlison Miller, and I hosted The Class of 2011: YA Superlatives Blogfest, a fun and interactive way to highlight our favorite YA novels, covers, characters, and story elements. We had a fantastic group of bloggers who signed on to participate, and we had a blast hopping from blog to blog to find out how you awarded your 2011 superlatives.

Jess, Tracey, Alison, and I had such a great time promoting awesome 2011 books and getting to know new bloggers through the blogfest, we’ve decided to do it all over again! This year we’ll highlight 2012 books, we’ll introduce a few new superlative categories, and we’re planning a giveaway as just one more reason to join in on the fun.

There will be lots more information about specifics of the The Class of 2012: YA Superlatives Blogfest in the coming weeks (I can tell you that it’ll take place toward the end of December), but we wanted to give you a heads up now, so you have plenty of time to beef up your books-published-in-2012 reading list (there’s a comprehensive catalog of titles HERE). And we encourage you to revisit our 2011 posts (Jessica’s, Tracey’s, Alison’s, and mine) to refresh your memory on the superlative categories we included last year.

Just like 2011, the The Class of 2012: YA Superlatives Blogfest will be all about FUN and promoting fantastic novels! Don’t worry if your 2012 reading list is on the short side, or if you don’t have a book/character/cover/element for each category; we just want you to jump in and participate any way you can!

Tell Me: Do you plan to sign up for The Class of 2012: YA Superlatives Blogfest?