Category Archives: Characters

Class of 2014: YA Superlatives Blogfest ELEMENTS OF FICTION

The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest (hosted by Jessica LoveTracey NeithercottAlison Miller, and me) runs Monday, December 15th through Thursday, December 18th and will highlight favorite books published in 2014 using a variety of fun superlative categories. The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest is all about promoting the extraordinary young adult books published this year, so if you haven’t already, draft a post and sign up to participate at the end of this post. We can’t wait to see your favorite reads of 2014!

Class of 2014_Banner

2014 Reading List (starred = debut): The Winner’s Curse, *Let’s Get Lost, *Loop, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, *17 First Kisses, Ashes to Ashes, *The Secret Sky, *Behind the Scenes, Isla and the Happily Ever After, *The Only Thing To Fear, Bleed Like Me, The Bridge From Me to You, *Creed, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, I’ll Give You the Sun, *One Two Three, *Of Scars and Stardust, We Were Liars, *Wish You Were Italian, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Frozen, What I Thought Was True, *The Eighth Guardian, *Pointe, *Push Girl, *Open Road Summer, *Far From You, *The Symptoms of My Insanity, Panic, *The Truth About Alice, *NIL, Complicit, The Summer I Found You, The Evolution of Emily, Into the Still Blue, Heartbeat, The Killing Woods, Brown Girl Dreaming

Elements of Fiction

Most Envy-Inducing Plot


We Were Liars by E. Lockhart kept me guessing (even though there were “hints” about “surprises” all over the Internet), and I thought she pulled off the twists and characterizations beautifully. This one’s one of my favorites of 2014. (Honorable Mention to Caroline Tung Richmond’s debut The Only Thing to Fear — loved her reimagining of the outcome of World War II!)

Most Formidable World


Teenagers get exactly 365 days on Lynne Matson’s Nil, a sort of island paradise that reminded me a little of that Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach. But after those 365 days, you’re out — like, presumably dead. The ticking clock aspect of this book amped the tension to almost unbearable levels.

Most Wanderlust-Inducing


How Kristin Rae’s Wish You Were Italian made me want to travel to Italy! The delectable food, the unparalleled history, the lovely landscapes, and the beautiful boys. I adored this sweet, full-of-voice debut.

Loveliest Prose


Did you have doubts? Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun is gorgeous, full of enchanting imagery and unique metaphors and pretty, pretty prose. I found myself rereading so many passages just to more fully absorb their amazingness.

Best First Line


“She shouldn’t have been tempted.”
Oh, but she was! Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Curse is all about temptation and yearning and torn allegiance. So good!

Most Dynamic Main Character


Theo from Brandy Colbert’s debut Pointe is one of my favorite MCs of 2014. She’s struggling with A LOT of trauma, yet she’s amazingly resilient. She’s a perfect example of the “strong female character” we’re always hearing about because she IS strong, but she’s also layered and complex and flawed. (Honorable Mentions to Sophie From Tess Sharpe’s debut Far From You, Kara from Jessica Love & Chelsie Hill’s debut Push Girl, and Reagan from Emery Lord’s debut Open Road Summer for all the same reasons.)

Most Jaw-Dropping Conclusion


In an effort to avoid spoilers, I won’t say why the conclusion to Stephanie Kuehn’s Complicit made my jaw drop, but I will say that you should read it as soon as possible. (Honorable Mention to E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars!)

Best Performance in a Supporting Role


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – The whole of Lara Jean’s family, plus Peter. I loved this book’s cast so much!

Best Use of Theme

  
Jessica Love & Chelsie Hill’s Push Girl and Elodie Nowodazkij’s One, Two, Three have similar themes of overcoming the loss of an identifying pursuit due to injury (dance, in both cases). I love that while both protagonists struggled with the unwanted changes to their lives in realistic and complicated ways, neither was weak, and neither gave up.

Class of 2014_Button2

Click below to add your name and your Elements of Fiction post link to our sign up so we can hop around and check out your selections. Don’t forget — there will be a new link sign-up each day!

Advertisements

Class of 2014: YA Superlatives Blogfest POPULARITY CONTEST

The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest (hosted by Jessica LoveTracey NeithercottAlison Miller, and me) runs Monday, December 15th through Thursday, December 18th and will highlight favorite books published in 2014 using a variety of fun superlative categories. The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest is all about promoting the extraordinary young adult books published this year, so if you haven’t already, draft a post and sign up to participate at the end of this post. We can’t wait to see your favorite reads of 2014!

Class of 2014_Banner

2014 Reading List (starred = debut): The Winner’s Curse, *Let’s Get Lost, *Loop, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, *17 First Kisses, Ashes to Ashes, *The Secret Sky, *Behind the Scenes, Isla and the Happily Ever After, *The Only Thing To Fear, Bleed Like Me, The Bridge From Me to You, *Creed, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, I’ll Give You the Sun, *One Two Three, *Of Scars and Stardust, We Were Liars, *Wish You Were Italian, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Frozen, What I Thought Was True, *The Eighth Guardian, *Pointe, *Push Girl, *Open Road Summer, *Far From You, *The Symptoms of My Insanity, Panic, *The Truth About Alice, *NIL, Complicit, The Summer I Found You, The Evolution of Emily, Into the Still Blue, Heartbeat, The Killing Woods, Brown Girl Dreaming

Popularity Contest

Villain I Love to Hate


“Charismatic” Elijah Hawkins, leader of the Purity Springs community featured in Creed by debut authors Lindsay Currie and Trisha Leaver. Yikes.

Most Likely to Become a Rockstar


Adorable, adorable, adorable Matt Finch from Emery Lord’s Open Road Summer. He’s a songwriter and a musician and he’s already on tour. *swoon*

Favorite Parental Figure

   
Emma’s stepfather from Elizabeth Scott’s Heartbeat. He’s just so present and supportive, and his love for Emma and her mom is palpable. Also, Lauren’s aunt and uncle from Lisa Schroeder’s The Bridge From Me to You, for all the same reasons. I love when parental figures are just unwaveringly there.

Most Likely to Start a Riot


Gray and Bree from Erin Bowman’s Frozen. They’re badass, and they’re pretty much leading an entire rebellion.

Biggest Flirt


Lillia from Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian, because she consciously and constantly uses her feminine wiles to get what she wants, and she’s scary-good at it.

Coolest Nerd


Noah from Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun. He’s an art nerd, and a very talented one. Plus, he’s just all kinds of awkward and endearing.

Fashion Queens

  
Both Reagan and Dee from Emery Lord’s Open Road Summer, as well as Lillia from Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian. I’d happily raid any of their closets!

Character You’d Most Want For a BFF

   
I can’t choose between Leila from Adi Alsaid’s Let’s Get Lost and Claire from Racheal Allen’s 17 First Kisses, perhaps because they both feel so fully formed and genuine. They each have realistic flaws, yet they’re loyal and kind and full of warmth. I’d be happy to BFFs with them both!

Character You Wish You’d Dated in High School


Arin from Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Curse because… holy hotness. He’s serious and sweet and strong and a little bit broken, and he loves oh-so-deeply. *sigh* (Honorable Mentions to Matt from Open Road Summer (musical!), Peter from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (funny!), Gansey from Blue Lily, Lily Blue (all-American!), and Tonio from One, Two, Three (athletic!).

Most Likely to Become President


Gansey from Maggie Siefvater’s Blue Lily, Lily Blue. He was my pick last year too. I’d TOTALLY vote for him!

Quirkiest Character


Izzy from The Symptoms of My Insanity — she’s a nut! She has the most honest, most hilarious stream-of-conscious inner monologues, and she cracks me up.

Class of 2014_Button2

Click the below to add your name and your Popularity Contest post link to our sign up so we can hop around and check out your selections. Don’t forget — there will be a new link sign-up each day!

What’s Up Wednesday

“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’m halfway through Lauren Oliver’s Panic. I’m moving slowly, but not because I’m not enjoying it — I am! It’s just been a busy (and crazy) week and I haven’t had much time for reading. Boo. Panic‘s a trip, though, and I’m very anxious to see how it all plays out. This one’s quite a departure from Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy, but Lauren Oliver’s prose is predictably beautiful. So far, so good.

What I’m Writing: Another revision round’s nearly in the bag. CP and beta notes are helping me so much (it’s amazing what people who aren’t neck-deep in the story pick up on!), and I’m excited about how this draft of Good Girls is turning out. It’s much more layered and cohesive and interesting, and its ending is a thousand times stronger. I’m so happy with my revision progress, in fact, that I decided to go to Disney World.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: No, really — I went to Disney World! My girlie and I took a rather impromptu road trip to Orlando to meet up with some of our favorite friends for a few days and we had an incredible time! I love all things Disney so much. The parks and the magic just never get old…


Obligatory Mickey shot. 🙂

   
These girls had so much fun together! It’s been nearly a year since they’ve seen each other, yet they picked up right where they left off.

PhotoPossibly my new favorite photo. ❤

{There are more on Instagram. Check them out if you’re so inclined.}

What’s Inspiring Me Now: First, an awesome post from my agent, Victoria Marini, entitled On Bones and Knowing Your Characters. It’s about digging deeper and making sure your readers know your characters as well as you do. Also, a post by Corey Ann Haydu called How to Relationship (for Stacked), which talks about all of that crazy-awkward stuff that happens in the shadows between kissing and sex in YA, and how it’s pretty awesome when authors get brave and explore those shadows in authentic ways. (Obviously Corey says it way better than I do.) Highly recommend both of these articles!

Tell me… What’s up with you today? 

2013 YA Superlatives :: Best in Show

The Class of 2013: YA Superlative Blogfest (hosted by Jessica LoveTracey NeithercottAlison Miller, and me) runs Monday, December 16th through Thursday, December 19th. All of our fantastic participants will highlight favorite books published in 2013 using a variety of fun superlative categories. The Class of 2013: YA Superlative Blogfest is all about promoting the extraordinary young adult books published this year, so if you haven’t already, draft a post and sign up to participate at the end of this post. We can’t wait to see your favorite reads of 2013!

Superlatives Banner

My Books Pubbed in 2013 Reading List (starred books are 2013 debut novels): Shades of Earth, *The Tragedy Paper, Just One Day, *If You Find Me, *Nobody But Us, *Taken, Through the Ever Night, Eleanor & Park, Requiem, *Pretty Girl-13, *Uses For Boys, This is What Happy Looks Like, Quintana of Charyn, *The S-Word, The 5th Wave, *Nantucket Blue, *The Sea of Tranquility, Golden, *Strands of Bronze and Gold, Where the Stars Still Shine, Dare You To, All I Need, Out of the Easy, *OCD Love Story, The Dream Thieves, *Canary, The Truth About You and Me, Fangirl, *My Life After Now, September Girls, *Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Dead Silence, Invisibility, Just One Year, *Fault Line, Allegiant, *How to Love, The Beginning of Everything, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, *Unteachable, Dangerous Girls, and *Reclaimed (Covers link to Goodreads pages!)

Here are my selections for Best in Show

Favorite Cover 

       
Erin Bowman’s Taken, Leila Howland’s Nantucket Blue, Katie Cotugno’s How to Love, and Bennett Madison’s September Girls all struck cover gold as far as I’m concerned. (Maybe I have a thing for teal?)

Cutest Couple 

   
Is Rainbow Rowell capable of writing a not-cute couple? I adore both Eleanor and Park from Eleanor & Park (duh) and Cath and Levi from Fangirl.

Most Likely to Succeed (Pick a Printz Winner)

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys is exceptional. It has the “literary merit” the Printz committee looks for year after year. It’s beautiful in every way.

Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime

    
I stayed up way too late reading all three of these. Leah Raeder’s Unteachable, Katie Cotugno’s How to Love, and Katja Millay’s The Sea of Tranquility are all absolutely unputdownable.

Best Repeat Performance (Favorite sequel or follow-up.)

   
I enjoyed both of these follow-ups even more than their predecessors, if that’s possible. Maggie Stiefvater’s The Dream Thieves and Gayle Forman’s Just One Year added so much to their characters’ stories. Loved them both!

Favorite Finale or End of Series Novel


Shades of Earth by Beth Revis is everything I need a series conclusion to be. It answered my questions in a satisfying way while still introducing new twists and characters, and it ended in a way that left me feeling content — thank goodness!

Romance Most Worthy of an Ice Bath

I mean… Is there any other answer? Unteachable by Leah Raeder is far and away the most graphic YA-classified book I’ve read. The main characters have major chemistry and their encounters are described in detail. In fact, if this story’s writing wasn’t so gorgeous, I’d call it smut.

Breakout Novel (Favorite book by a debut author.)

     
  How to Love by Katie Cotugno and OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu are stand-outs of all the books I read this year, not just those by debut authors.

Best Old-Timer (Favorite read of the year published BEFORE 2013.)

      
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, Fire by Kristin Cashore, and Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta are all books I’ve thought about often since reading them, in some cases even months after finishing. All three have lovely writing, dynamic main characters, and fantastical worlds. I highly recommend them all.

Book Most Likely to Make a Grown Man Cry

Fault Line by Christa Desir broke me off. That had a lot to do with the fact that it’s a story about rape told from a male’s point of view. Watching Ben struggle to make sense of his girlfriend in the aftermath of her assault shattered me.

Most Pleasant Surprise (Book I didn’t think I’d like, but totally did.)

The Truth About You & Me by Amanda Grace (Mandy Hubbard) is the story of a student/teacher tryst, subject matter I usually steer clear of. But this story was incredibly well done, full of gray areas and imperfect characters that left me reeling. I think the second-person narration was a stroke of genius.

Most Creative Use of a Love Triangle

I can’t give away too much about Sarah Guillory’s Reclaimed for fear of spoiling it, but let’s just say this is a take on the oft-utilized love triangle that I’ve never, ever seen before. My mind is still turning circles about how it all worked out.

Sleeper Hit (Book so awesome, I wish it had been hyped more.)

        
How to Love by Katie Cotugno, OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu, The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay, and Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller are not exactly under-the-radar books, but in my opinion, they’re so awesome that any and every YA fan should read them.

Favorite Outlier (Favorite picture, middle grade, or adult 2013 book)

   
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini is deep and rich and compelling. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, is clever and colorful and highly entertaining. Loved them both!

And…Katy’s Superlative Category: 
2014 YA Release You’re Most Anticipating

   
Into the Still Blue (Veronica Rossi) / Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Laini Taylor)

   
Panic (Lauren Oliver) / Isla and the Happily Ever After (Stephanie Perkins)

   
Frozen (Erin Bowman) / The Eighth Guardian (Meredith McCardle)

   
Push Girl (Chelsie Hill & Jessica Love) / Open Road Summer (Emery Lord)

   
Bleed Like Me (Christa Desir) / Complicit (Stephanie Kuehn)

   
Side Effects May Vary (Julie Murphy) / The Secret Sky (Atia Abawi)

Among many, many more! 🙂

Don’t forget to link your Best in Show post so I can visit!

Also, Trace, Jess, Alison and I will be randomly selecting four names from those who’ve participated in all four days of the blogfest. Those luckies will each win one 2013 YA book of their choice. Please make sure you’ve added your link for each day of the blogfest you participated in. Stay tuned… Winners will be announced soon!

Superlatives Button

2013 YA Superlatives :: Elements of Fiction

The Class of 2013: YA Superlative Blogfest (hosted by Jessica LoveTracey NeithercottAlison Miller, and me) runs Monday, December 16th through Thursday, December 19th. All of our fantastic participants will highlight favorite books published in 2013 using a variety of fun superlative categories. The Class of 2013: YA Superlative Blogfest is all about promoting the extraordinary young adult books published this year, so if you haven’t already, draft a post and sign up to participate at the end of this post. We can’t wait to see your favorite reads of 2013!

Superlatives Banner

My Books Pubbed in 2013 Reading List (starred books are 2013 debut novels): Shades of Earth, *The Tragedy Paper, Just One Day, *If You Find Me, *Nobody But Us, *Taken, Through the Ever Night, Eleanor & Park, Requiem, *Pretty Girl-13, *Uses For Boys, This is What Happy Looks Like, Quintana of Charyn, *The S-Word, The 5th Wave, *Nantucket Blue, *The Sea of Tranquility, Golden, *Strands of Bronze and Gold, Where the Stars Still Shine, Dare You To, All I Need, Out of the Easy, *OCD Love Story, The Dream Thieves, *Canary, The Truth About You and Me, Fangirl, *My Life After Now, September Girls, *Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Dead Silence, Invisibility, Just One Year, *Fault Line, Allegiant, *How to Love, The Beginning of Everything, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, *Unteachable, Dangerous Girls, and *Reclaimed (Covers link to Goodreads pages!)

Here are my selections for Elements of Fiction

Most Envy-Inducing Plot 

   
It’s a toss up between Abigail Haas’s Dangerous Girls and Jessi Kirby’s GoldenBoth books are exceptional contemporaries. I love the twists and sense of unknowing in Dangerous Girls, and I envy the way Jessi Kirby so seamlessly weaved past and present story lines into Golden.

Most Formidable World

   
Another toss up… The ether storms in Veronica Rossi’s Through the Ever Night terrify me, and the idea of a world without love as depicted in Lauren Oliver’s Requiem is equally horrifying. Come to think of it, there’s not a dystopian setting I’d want to visit.

Wanderlust-Inducing

I’ve not been to Nantucket, but Leila Howland’s debut Nantucket Blue made me want to book a summer house there. She describes the beach and the town and the people and the foods so clearly. I could feel the sand beneath my toes.

Loveliest Prose

I’m not usually fan of dialect in novels, but Emily Murdoch pulls it off beautifully in her debut, If You Find Me… My sister don’t talk much. When she does, it’s only to me, in moth-winged whispers, and only when we’re alone. The entire story is  this gorgeous and evocative.

Best First Line

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys: My mother’s a prostitute. Not the filthy, streetwalking kind. She’s actually quite pretty, fairly well spoken, and has lovely clothes. But she sleeps with men for money or gifts, and according to the dictionary, that makes her a prostitute.

Most Dynamic Main Character

Reena Montero from Katie Cotugno’s How to Love is one of my favorite protagonists ever. She’s can be irresolute which makes her  relatable, but she’s also strong and funny and loving and smart. I’d be her friend in a heartbeat.

Most Jaw-Dropping Ending

I could go with Allegiant, Dangerous Girls, or Shades of Earth here, but the final lines of Katja Millay’s The Sea of Tranquility gave me actual, physical chills. Breathtaking and moving… I loved it.

Best Performance in a Supporting Role

Dee from Gayle Forman’s Just One Day. I had so much fun reading the scenes he shared with Allyson, and I appreciate how he’s more than just the fun best buddy type. He’s got depth and does his own growing as the story progresses.

Best Use of Theme

I love Trish Doller’s Where the Stars Still Shine for its characters and intense emotionality, but I also love it for its messages regarding forgiveness and family and kindness and love, and how it’s possible to recover and start over.

Don’t forget to link your “Elements of Fiction” post below!

Superlatives Button

2013 YA Superlatives :: Popularity Contest

The Class of 2013: YA Superlative Blogfest (hosted by Jessica LoveTracey NeithercottAlison Miller, and me) runs Monday, December 16th through Thursday, December 19th. All of our fantastic participants will highlight favorite books published in 2013 using a variety of fun superlative categories. The Class of 2013: YA Superlative Blogfest is all about promoting the extraordinary young adult books published this year, so if you haven’t already, draft a post and sign up to participate at the end of this post. We can’t wait to see your favorite reads of 2013!

Superlatives Banner

My Books Pubbed in 2013 Reading List (starred books are 2013 debut novels): Shades of Earth, *The Tragedy Paper, Just One Day, *If You Find Me, *Nobody But Us, *Taken, Through the Ever Night, Eleanor & Park, Requiem, *Pretty Girl-13, *Uses For Boys, This is What Happy Looks Like, Quintana of Charyn, *The S-Word, The 5th Wave, *Nantucket Blue, *The Sea of Tranquility, Golden, *Strands of Bronze and Gold, Where the Stars Still Shine, Dare You To, All I Need, Out of the Easy, *OCD Love Story, The Dream Thieves, *Canary, The Truth About You and Me, Fangirl, *My Life After Now, September Girls, *Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Dead Silence, Invisibility, Just One Year, *Fault Line, Allegiant, *How to Love, The Beginning of Everything, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, *Unteachable, Dangerous Girls, and *Reclaimed (Covers link to Goodreads pages!)

Here are my selections for Popularity Contest…

Villain I Love to Hate

There’s a lot of gray when it comes to “villain” in Abigail Haas’s Dangerous Girls, which is why it’s an incredible read. Most of the main characters have seriously deplorable moments, and the real bad guy isn’t revealed until the very end.

Most Likely to Become a Rock Star

Park from Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park is so music-obsessed, I think he’d make a perfect rockstar. Plus, he wears black eyeliner, which is pretty much a rocker prerequisite. (Art by the brilliant Simini Blocker.)

Favorite Parental Figure

Callie’s dad, Greg, from Where the Stars Still Shine is such a loving and supportive and patient father. I loved the scenes he and Callie shared, and the way he helped her learn to trust again.

Mostly Likely to Start a Riot

Ronan from Maggie Stiefvater’s The Dream Thieves. He’s passionate and damaged and a total loose cannon. Plus, there’s the whole dream thief thing — just imagine the craziness he could commence! (Sketch by Maggie Stiefvater, who is way too talented.)

Biggest Flirt

Alex from Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller (I borrowed this image from her WtSSS Pinterest page, which is awesome). Alex may not be the biggest flirt, but I definitely think he’s the best flirt. *sigh*

Coolest Nerd

Toby from Robin Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything. He’s a fun, adorably dorky guy (captain of and spark behind the debate team) who has a knack for awesomely witty puns. My favorite character from this story.

Fashion King and/or Queen

Dee from Gayle Forman’s Just One Day. He’s generally awesome, plus, he’s got gumption and personal style for days. I wish I’d had him for a friend during my freshman year of college. (Art by the amazing Simini Blocker.)

Girl You’d Most Want For Your BFF

Josie from Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. She’s clever and driven and fiercely loyal. She’s got street smarts (and friends in low places) and a kind heart. I’d love to hang out with her in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Boy You Wish You’d Dated in High School

Josh Bennett from Katja Millay’s The Sea of Tranquility because he’s so sweet and protective of the people he cares about. Even though he’s sad, he’s got an enormous patched-together heart. Plus, he’s good with his hands. 😉

Most Likely to Become President

Gansey from Maggie Stiefvater’s The Dream Thieves. He’s my favorite of all the boys, and I think he’d be an excellent president. He’s got the breeding and he’s incredibly diplomatic, yet he’s absolutely sincere, too. (Art by Cassandra Jean.)

Quirkiest Character

Bea from Corey Ann Haydu’s OCD Love Story. Even if you don’t consider her OCD symptoms, Bea’s still an eccentric girl who doesn’t care about what anyone else thinks of her. Love that.


Don’t forget to link your Class of 2013: YA Superlative Blogfest “Popularity Contest” post below! 

Superlatives Button

What’s Up Wednesday

0a7bd-buttonlargenoborder

“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 Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything and while I really enjoyed it, I wanted a different ending for the characters. Totally a personal preference thing, but yeah… Have you read it? What did you think of the conclusion? I also read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, and I thought it was fantastic. Part of me is surprised because it’s a novel about vampires and that’s not really my thing. But then, I’ve heard awesome things about Holly Black’s writing, and this story totally lives up to the hype. Now I’m reading Leah Raeder’s Unteachable (thanks for the rec, Dahlia!) and I’ve gotta say… I’m loving it. It’s a tough story and it’s making me all kinds of uncomfortable, but the writing is gorgeous and the emotion is raw and so intense. It’s unputdownable, and I cannot wait to see how it wraps up.

What I’m Writing: I’ve started to poke away at my revision. It’s extensive, to be honest, and quite daunting, but I’m finding that my early chapters aren’t nearly as bad as I thought they were. There are even bits of unintentional foreshadowing that really work… Win! I want so badly for this story to be the sort of amazing I envision, and that alone is motivating. I love this stage of the process: the sorting out and the tying together and the prettifying.


Quality control.

What Else I’ve Been Up To: House hunting. We’re looking for a place to rent in Awesome Secret City, and it’s really hard! We’re currently very far away, so we have to take what we can get as far as information available on the Internet. I’m not super comfortable signing a lease sight-unseen, but it looks like that might be what we end up doing. And it’s not just the house we have to take into account — we’ve got to consider schools, shopping, commute times, neighborhoods, and a host of other craziness. I forgot what a challenge moving can be.


So… I’ve been baking and drinking! I’ve posted my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe here before, but it’s worth repeating. These are the perfect cookies, guys. Especially when consumed with an icy cold Bud Light (or milk — pick your poison).

What’s Inspiring Me Now: Contemporary YA Week over at Stacked, which started Monday and is still going strong. From librarian/blogger Kelly Jensen: I have a nice array of guest posts from contemporary YA authors. We’re going to travel across the globe to talk about Australian contemporary YA, we’ll talk about mental illness in contemporary YA, humor in contemporary YA, and much, much more. In fact, I have 7 guest posts lined up, along with a host of book lists. I thought that in addition to new posts, I’d rerun some older content, as well, in order to give a huge range of voices and insights into contemporary YA. Fantastic, yes? As a huge fan of contemporary YA, I’m so enjoying this series.

Additionally, I’m finding this post entitled The Four Types of Character Flaws from Writers Helping Writers to be incredibly timely and very helpful. Tons of awesome character-related advice to consider as I tackle my revision. (Also, I love Writers Helping Writers. If you’re not following this blog, you should be!)

And, finally, the mama in me got all teary paging through photographer Jenny Lewis‘s One Day Young series. She captured images of mamas and their babies within 24 hours of birth, her aim being to express the extraordinary bonding, tenderness and strength between mother and infant. The photographs are beautiful and heartwarming, and I hope you’ll check them out.

Tell me… What’s up with you today?