On Wednesday, April 17 and Thursday, April 18, Jennifer A. Nielsen will be in the Greater Toronto Area in support of the second book in the Ascendence Trilogy, The Runaway King. The question is…will you be there to welcome her yourself or on behalf of the 8-12 year-old readers in your house?
For those who haven’t had the privilege of reading The False Prince, the first book in the Ascendence Trilogy, or who just need a reminder about it’s plot, I’m happy to indulge about a middle grade novel that completely blew me over in 2012. Before I picked it up, I hadn’t read and reviewed many books for the 8-12 age group on YABookShelf.com, but the affection that I had for Sage and the plot twists that Nielsen wrote into the story is a big part of the reason that I want to delve into the MG world a bit further (expect to see a review of Anne Ursu’s Breadcrumbs in the coming weeks here as well as one of both The False Prince and The Runaway King). The False Prince was called “an impressive, promising story with some expertly executed twists” by Publisher’s Weekly, but that isn’t the only reason why you should read it and its sequel. From the very first sentence, the defiant character of Sage will make readers of all ages laugh, gasp, and delight from the things he says, thinks, and the way he behaves. He’s a character with an adventurous spirit and a clever mind, and who treats everyone with the respect that their character deserves, not that which their station demands. In short, he’s a heroic figure who may seem unable to meet the requirements of the challenge put forth by a nobleman named Conner, but maybe that’s why readers are so intent on getting behind him.
Check out my post on Examiner.com for all of the details about the only two Canadian book tour stops for The Runaway King that will be in the Toronto area, and if you happen to be there, please do come up and say hi to me! I’m looking forward to meeting more Toronto-area bloggers, authors and readers at this event.
Yesterday was my birthday, which is a pretty good time to reflect on the person you were, are, and hope to be. (Or let’s be honest, I’m actually writing this on my birthday to post it tomorrow, and if that seems a little overly honest, then think again. Maybe it’s just some distancing tactic – I wouldn’t put it past myself.) Anyway, over the last week or so, I might have thought a lot more about getting older if it weren’t for the fact that I was thinking about who I was, and more importantly, what haunted me at 17 for a guest post on Nova Ren Suma‘s blog in support of her new YA novel, 17 & Gone. (I even had the chance to
Melissa Montovani at 17, or thereabouts.
peek into my old journals for the first time in years and realized just how dramatic I was back then, and I have to say that some veils are better left closed.)
Now, I’m excited to say that my guest post was published on Nova Ren Suma’s blog on Saturday, but I’ve been so busy that I hadn’t had the chance to share the news with you. If you would like to see what haunted me at 17, then please check out the post. My contribution to the Haunted at 17 blog series is one of the first times that I’ve opened up on the Internet in a personal way, and it’s about a situation that I think a lot of people (teens and otherwise) have gone through, even if not in exactly the same way as I did, so I hope it resonates with you.
And then once you do that, definitely go out and read 17 & Gone if you haven’t already (it’s available now). This suggestion is especially fitting if you like slightly creepy, Gothic YA because from past experiences, I can tell that Nova Ren Suma knows how to tap into the consciousness of a haunted teen perfectly. Also, Gothic literature is one of my favorite types of reads, so yeah, there’s that. I mean, even if you aren’t up on all the ins and outs of Gothic lit, you can read it because it’s my favorite type of book if you want. I’ll let you.
What would you do if you woke up one morning only to find that every single one of your blog posts were gone? You’d probably contact your blog hosting service, hoping that they could help you somehow. Then, if that didn’t work, you might try to save all of the posts that you possibly could with a simple ctrl + C, and then paste them back either into your blog back end or on a word document to save the long arduous process for some other time. Perhaps you’d even reach out to your blogger friends to see if they had an idea about how to fix the situation. Hopefully, if you were lucky, it would all be a bad dream, and you’d wake up – for real this time – to see that everything was as you last saw it, so you’d quickly create a backup and breathe a long sigh of relief. Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t a nightmare. Back in September 2012, I woke up only to find that every single one of my blog posts were gone, disappeared into whatever place blog posts go when they’re deleted.
Queue the theme song to Jaws
Everything that I’d worked so hard for since April 2010 when I started YA Book Shelf was gone, and I had no idea how to get it back. Nor did I have any idea of how it had happened in the first place. I asked someone at my hosting company at the time – though maybe it wasn’t the “right” person – because I was told to check the WordPress forums back then, and more recently, I had a much different response via Twitter. I found as many of my blog posts as I could floating on cached pages from YABookShelf.com and saved copies for them. I even tried installing an out-of-date, but better-than-nothing backup file, but it kept failing. I put a question up on the WordPress forums, describing my situation to no avail. With all of these doors closing in my face, I thought that I’d have to pay someone to get into my site and fix it, especially when I realized that for some strange reason, I could no longer save a draft on my blog. Yes, now you can really queue the horror movie music: Jaws, Halloween, Friday the 13th, or any other one of your choosing would be equally appropriate.
My last ditch effort to find a solution led me to ask my Twitter followers who used WordPress to see if anyone else had run into the same situation. My friend, @CatHealy, responded first, thinking she knew of someone else who had a similar situation and proceeded to check on the WP forums for similar cases. She also had me check for any other users I wasn’t expecting on my blog, and sure enough there was one…so maybe that spammer deleted my content? (I don’t want to ask why because that might lead to seeing that it’s possible someone who was jealous of my blog, or some other such thing that is too depressing to think about right now, did it maliciously.) She didn’t find the answer, but she tweeted about it, which led some other people she knows to tweet about it and ask me for more details, which led to even more people tweeting about it. At one point a computer programmer told me that he’d be happy to help – a complete stranger, who was friends with one of Cat’s friends, offered to fix it at the same time that my webhost told me to send them a direct message with details about my situation. Since more than a month had past since the posts were initially deleted, I wasn’t able to get back all of my posts, but with their help I reset my blog and reinstalled the old back up of my site.
Next thought I had was pure relief.
Sure, I wish that I could get back all of my posts because to be honest, losing all of the posts I wrote from early January 2011 to September 2012 really sucks, even if part of that time I was publishing less frequently than I first did. I do have a few other posts that I can still re-add manually again, including some other reviews and interviews, but it’s not quite the same thing as getting them all restored.
Of course, that was partially my fault because I didn’t backup my content. So, the first couple of takeaways are:
- Back up your blog regularly – about once a week or at least once a month
- Create word or text backups of your content on your local computer and / or in the cloud as an extra precaution
Truth – I’m already implementing both of these ideas and plan to keep doing so without fail now.
And once you take care of this business, do this one thing for me. Go out on your social media profiles and give your friends and followers a big hug and be sure to say, “DFTBA” because awesome they are. After an experience like this one, you’ll renew your love for the Twitter community all over again. Thanks so much to everyone who helped me get back most of my site. I appreciate your help more than you’ll ever know.
L.M. Preston is a YA author with a few published works under her belt and another one, Bandits, set to be released in June 2011. However, writing isn’t the only publishing related work she does. She also considers herself a seasoned writer’s advocate. Not sure what that is? Want to know what inspired her to become one? You’re in luck because she answers all these questions and more on YABookShelf.com today.
Now, without further ado, here is her guest post:
I can’t help myself, I’m an insatiable cheerleader. As a writer, one takes many hits to their self-esteem, art, and sometimes ego. But for some reason we are gluttons for punishment. Becoming a writer’s advocate, aka: cheerleader, supporter, encourager and defender happened strictly by accident. However, if you are a writer, or someone who seeks to become one – find your own cheerleader. Trust me, it will be the greatest lift you need in this difficult journey from creating a draft to chipping away at your masterpiece.
How Did It All Start?
When I first started writing I sought out online communities to support me. I had finished a full manuscript that was … in bad shape I must say, but I thought I was ready for the next step. I started submitting some samples of my work and let me tell you – if I didn’t have tough skin, I would have folded. People on some forums can be sooooooo mean, unsupportive and will rip you (yes, you personally), and your work to shreds. I didn’t give up though; I know my story had great potential. Luckily, I stumbled on a place called Absolute Write. Although, there were some meanies there too, but there were many more supportive writers who encouraged me, gave positive and useful feedback on my work, as well as great advice.
The Light Bulb
Even though Absolute Write was great, I was a YA writer and wanted – no needed – a focus on the type of writing I did. Also, I really desired a more supportive place to hang out. a place where, quite frankly, someone would help me instead of ripping my work to shreds. By chance, I happen to be on Twitter and found this hashtag for yalitchat. Shortly after Georgia McBride took it offline to YA Lit Chat Ning and writers of like minds helped Georgia build a highly supportive and enriching place to hang out.
It was in this environment that I got the thirst to help other writers grow in a supportive environment – some place that wouldn’t tear them down, but would help them create their own masterpiece. I joined the Moderators on the YALit chat site. Thereafter, I got involved in a local writing community, and I became the coordinator for the Editor and Agent recruitment for our conferences. Then I headed up writing internship recruitment, where I was able to be a personal motivator to young writers graduating from college.
Let’s just say – it was the most rewarding, amazing thing I’ve ever done. In doing so, I’ve mentored over five authors, two of which are now published.
How Can You Be An Advocate?
Get involved. Support new writers. Join an organization that has the same purpose and start one of the most rewarding gifts of being a writer – the gift to be able to enlighten and improve another person’s journey, the journey that can make or break a person more deeply than anything else. Being a writer can do that when you get feedback from some beta readers, when your work is rejected over and over by lit agents or publishers. With a mind for blazing your own path, anyone whether a writer or not, can reach the stars with a cheerleader behind them.
Unless I receive something in my mailbox tomorrow, which could happen, this is going to be the last What’s In My Mailbox post for awhile. I’m going to be in Costa Rica for a month, so I won’t have any idea what packages arrive while I’m away. Thanks for your consistently helping me decide which books I ought to read next over the last few weeks. I hope that you’ll bear with me one last time for a few weeks and vote for which of the following paranormal, historical, or middle grade books you’d like to see me read first. Would love to hear which of the following books are most exciting to you!
This week paranormal novels made up a big part of what I’m looking forward to read. Why? Well, between my mailbox and inbox, I received not one or two, but four YA novels in this genre. Crazy, right? First up, I received both Devil’s Kiss and Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda. In case you weren’t aware of these novels, they are book 1 and 2 of the Billi SanGreal series about the only female member of the Knights Templar, soldiers in the ancient battle against the unholy. In the first novel, some of the templar’s ancient enemies are after a treasure that the knights have kept safe for hundreds of years – a mirror with the power to kill all of London’s firstborn children. Sounds like there is lots of adventure, but there’s also a love triangle between Billi, her childhood friend Kay and a new guy named Michael. Rather than the Knights of the Templar, in one of the other novels I received, Angelfire by debut author Courtney Allison Moulton, 17-year-old Ellie finds herself on the front lines of a battle between the archangels and the Fallen with the help of an immortal named Will who is sworn to protect her in battle. I can only hope that this book will be as good as the last angel novel I read, Unearthly.
Finally, I also received the eighth House of Night novel, Awakened. I haven’t read any of the earlier novels in this series yet though, so if you’re thinking of voting for this one, it might be awhile before I get to it. Just sayin’.
Next, if you read my blog regularly, then you probably know that I’m all about the historical novels. No matter what the period – 17th, 18th, 19th, or early to mid 20th century – I really get into a lot of these stories, so you probably realize that when Sherry Shahan asked if I’d like to read her new novel that is set to be released on March 23, 2011 that I was excited. It’s called Purple Daze, which is being hailed “a provocative free verse novel.” From the title, you might have guessed that it takes place in the 60s since it is rather similar to the Jimmy Hendrix song, “Purple Haze.” Written as a series of notes, journal entries, free verse and traditional poems, it chronicles six Los Angeles high school students as the navigate war, riots, friendship, love, rock ‘n’ roll, school, and loss.
Now, last but not least, I recently won a signed copy of Canadian author Hélène Boudreau’s latest middle grade novel, Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book from those who’ve read it before, so I’m definitely excited about checking it out. Jade didn’t see it coming, but there it is…a mermaid tail…how embarrassing!?! She soon learns that she inherited this “body” from her mom, but if her mom was a mermaid, then how did she drown? Jade is determined to find out, but how does a plus-size, aqua-phobic, mer-girl actually do that? And more to the point…how does she explain it all to her BFF, Cori, and her crush, Luke? This will definitely be a lighter read than some of the books I check out, but maybe when I do, you’ll be able to read it too. Why? Well, the publisher Source Books actually sent me two copies. Look out for a giveaway coming up soon enough!
So which one of these books do you think I should check out first? Leave a comment below with your vote and you just might find your choice reviewed on this blog sooner rather than later!
Today, as part of my How Does YA Lit Inspire You? feature, Priscilla Uppal, Canadian poet, novelist, professor at York University, and member of the Youth Committee for the National Reading Campaign, has generously offered a guest post for my readers. She’s written a great piece about the inspiration behind the National Reading Campaign, what it means for teen readers, and what the committee plans to do to help foster reading for Canadian children, youth, and young adults. While the words she writes are specific to the Canadian reading campaign, the same problems – including a decreasing number of teen readers – happen in other countries as well. Perhaps this message will inspire you to get involved where you live, too. Now, without further ado, I give you Priscilla Uppal’s piece:
The National Reading Campaign has only just begun. Originally, a small group of writers, librarians, educators, publishers, and parents got together to discuss concerns about Canadian reading culture as a whole. Over the last couple of decades, many other countries have adopted national reading strategies and national reading programs to promote reading at all age levels, to build libraries in homes, schools, and other community spaces, and to improve access to books for all, regardless of where someone lives or how much money they have. The group decided that a National Reading Campaign, involving as many educators, policy-makers, librarians, writers, publishers, literary festival organizer, journalists, and, of course, readers, as possible in Canada, would give us all a better sense of where we are as a nation of readers, where we would like to be, and how to get there.
One of the main concerns that have emerged in the National Reading Campaign focuses on teenage readers. The Canadian Heritage Survey, Reading and Buying Books for Pleasure (2005), reports that the number of books read per Canadian per year is declining. And several studies have identified a significant decline of reading at age 13-14, particularly for boys.
Why have studies demonstrated a drop in reading habits during teenage years? Why are teenage boys reading less than teenage girls? Why do so many teenagers find the books taught in classrooms boring and uninspiring?
Those of us already in the National Reading Campaign think these are important questions to address and that we need to involve teenagers more in reading environments that enrich their day-to-day lives.
The main goal of the National Reading Campaign is to foster a nation of readers, to bring together and to cultivate readers from all sectors and walks of life across Canada, especially children, youth, and young adults. Other studies have shown that young people whose pleasure reading is embedded with social contexts (book clubs, online chat discussions, group reading challenges) identify themselves as enjoying reading more, and extra-curricular reading clubs have a positive effect on reading frequency and reading ability.
Teen readers are currently leaders in transporting books from the privacy of a living room chair or an individual classroom into larger, connected technological communities of readers. We want to ensure that the opportunities for discovering books, discussing books, and writing and publishing books in Canada, continue to grow, and to fulfill the needs of teen readers now and in the future.
Teen readers are an amazing and exciting reading community to their own right. They are also the adult readers of the future. Teen readers will define the books that they will read, debate, purchase, recommend to family and friends, and give to their own children. We believe this next generation of Canadian readers deserves as many resources and opportunities as possible to incorporate reading into their lives in meaningful ways.
Here are just some of the teen-centred initiatives advocated by members of the National Reading Campaign:
- More literary festival programming dedicated to teen readers
- More writers-in-the-schools of a variety of genres (young adult readers, graphic novels, poetry, plays) actively engaging with students in the school (and not just in English class)
- More reading and writing camps for teens
- More social reading networks for teen readers and for young adult fiction and non-fiction, including graphic novels, electronic novels, interactive literature
- More online book clubs, blogs, review sites, targeted to male and female teenage readers
At the National Reading Campaign, we believe that reading is a human right. We are actively working to support existing reading programs, social book networks, publishing ventures, literary festivals and more, and to help create new programs and educational and cultural policies that will eliminate barriers to the enjoyment of reading and access to all book-related resources.
We’d love to involve more teenage readers in our campaign itself. This is YOUR campaign too! It’s only just begun. Please contact us to let us know what you would like to see in YOUR vision of an ideal Reading Nation, and how you (or your school or book club) can become an active participant in the growth of reading in Canada.
Over the last eight months since I began YABookShelf.com, I’ve read a lot of books targeted at teens for this site and I’ve come to realize just how much I love these novels. Yay me! For the first time since I was actually a teen myself, I read a lot of paranormal novels, which were really fun and entertaining. I also devoured a lot of historical and historical fantasy novels that fed my love of the settings, costumes, and situations of other centuries. If you’ve been reading my site along with me, then you’ll know I also really got into the dystopian YA novels this year.
So what is missing? In a way, nothing really. I love realistic and dramatic plots, and I certainly read a lot of these type of novels as well. Still…there are some books that I was dying to read that just didn’t make it in the heavy reading schedule I set out for myself. Some of these books are in the realistic genre…most of them in fact. A few are dystopian fantasies or historical fantasies that I was really looking forward to checking out. Most were books that I received for review, but had already been released by the time they ended up in my mailbox. Some got pushed aside to make room for books that I was reading for a blog tour or a special theme week that I was hosting.
Whatever the reason that they slipped through the cracks, I’m so looking forward to reading these books some time in 2011. Now, in alphabetical order by name of author, here are the 10 Books I Wish I Read in 2010:
Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls
Having first discovered Anderson’s Speak and Catalyst this year, she quickly became one of my new favorite authors, so without a doubt, I wanted to read her most recent YA title. Like every other title on this list, this one is on my bookshelf already, so I can’t wait till I have a spare moment for this powerful novel about one girl’s battle with anorexia and the guilt of being unable to save her best friend from her own eating disorder demons.
Elizabeth C. Bunce’s Star Crossed
Earlier this year, I read Bunce’s debut historical fantasy novel, A Curse Dark As Gold, which I absolutely loved (and not only because Rumpelstiltskin was one of my favorite fairytales as a child). Unfortunately, October (the month when Star Crossed was released) was a busy month with blog tours, interviews, and giveaways, so I didn’t have the chance to curl up with this novel. If the characters are as strong as they seem (it’s about a girl who plays lady-in-waiting by day and thief by night), then I’m sure I’ll love this one.
Holly Cupala’s Tell Me A Secret
Holly Cupala’s book trailer was so beautiful and different from any that I’d previously seen that it won me over, so when I learned that the book was available as an audio book podcast, I was quite eager to make it the first book I listened to rather than read. However, I quickly realized that audio books aren’t for me because if I’m listening to something it’s supposed to free me up to do something else (clean, write blog posts, etc), but I tend to zone out, focusing on the task at hand rather than the book. Luckily for me, I won this book, so I can’t wait to read it for real!
Catherine Fisher’s Incarceron & Sapphique
Now I’ve heard a lot of great things about Incarceron and some mixed reviews about the sequel Sapphique, but now that the latter was just officially released, I’m definitely looking forward to reading through these two books back to back. Are these steampunk? Are they dystopian? I’m not sure, but I can’t wait to throw myself into this fantasy.
Catherine Ryan Hyde’s Jumpstart the World
Now, I’ve never read anything by this author yet, but two things intrigued me about this book. First, I’m looking to add more novels to my teen LGBT category, and this book is about a teen girl who only has one friend, Frank, the guy who lives next door – a guy who just happens to be transgender. When Elle learns the truth, it turns her world upside down and makes her consider the true meaning of friendship. Second, I saw the movie version of Hyde’s Pay It Forward when it came out, never knowing it was based on a book, so if I really like this novel, then maybe I’ll read this earlier novel too.
Jackie Morse Kessler’s Hunger
Like Wintergirls, Kessler’s debut novel (and the start of a series of four books) is about a young teen dealing with anorexia, but it’s going to be very different than Anderson’s approach to the subject. I know this because Hunger is about a girl who has just been given the job of Famine, one of the four horse’s of the apocalypse. It’s one of the most original ways of talking about eating disorders that I’ve ever heard of, so I can’t wait to read it and the rest of the series when its released.
C.J. Omololu’s Dirty Little Secrets
I’m the first to admit that I can’t watch the TV show, Hoarders, because it’s so sad and depressing to me when it’s really doubtful that the people involved will ever change their ways. Omololu’s debut novel, on the other hand, is I suspect something very different. It’s not only about the issue of compulsive hoarding, but also it’s one of the few books – and I think the only YA novel – about how a parent’s problem with hoarding would affect their children.
Natalie Standiford’s How To Say Goodbye In Robot
Earlier this year, I was completely wowed by Standiford’s Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters, even though I wasn’t sure that it would be the book for me. The novel was funny and quirky in a way that I never would have expected, so I can only imagine that the author’s debut novel will be one I’ll love too.
Carol Lynch William’s The Chosen One
About a 13-year-old girl named Kyra, who has grown up in an isolated, polygamous community, this novel sounds absolutely heart-breaking. Ever since I started watching the HBO show Big Love, I’ve been interested in this type of narrative, so when I had the chance to review this book toward the end of 2010, I was really excited about it. Can’t wait to talk with my other blogging friends about this one when I’ve had the chance to read it!
Have you read any of these books already? Are you looking forward to them as much as I am? Would love to hear your thoughts on my 10 books and hear of any 2010 novels that you’ve just GOT to read in 2011!
Over the course of 2010, there are a number of novels that surprised me in a good way. In some instances, like with Natalie Standiford‘s Confessions Of The Sullivan Sisters, I really didn’t think that the book would be for me based on who the characters were, but boy was I wrong. In others, like Erin Downing‘s Kiss It, I had a feeling that it would be a fun, light read, but it turned out to be so much more. With these experiences in mind, I thought that my Out With A Bang Readathon Mini Challenge should revolve around the books or genres that surprised you the most over the last year.
Perhaps you’d resisted reading a particular book or from a particular genre for a long time. Perhaps it was the hype that a particular novel or genre was receiving that put you off. Maybe you thought it would be one type of book, but when you actually took the time to read it, it wowed you in one way or another because it was entirely different than you expected. Some of you might have resisted this book or genre, but at a trusted friend’s insistence or because you were sent it for review, you gave it a go and wound up loving it. However it came about, I want to hear comments from readers about which book, series, or genre took you by surprise (in a good way) over the last year without any spoilers of course.
What’s in it for you?
Well, anyone who answers the question (and I mean anyone) because this contest is open internationally will have the chance to win a signed copy of Erin Downing’s Kiss It. While the book is the main feature of the grand prize, the sole winner of this giveaway is going to have their hands full with plenty of great, YA book swag as well, including:
- 2 signed Mistwood bookmarks
- 2 unsigned Mistwood bookmarks
- 1 Body Finder sticker
- 1 Desires of the Dead armband
- 1 Evermore postcard
- 1 Claire de Lune bookmark
- 1 signed Losing Faith bookmark
- 1 Team Gabe tattoo
- 1 signed Prophecy of Days bookmark
- 1 Personal Demons bookmark
- 1 Freefall bookmark
- 2 signed Tension of Opposites bookmarks
- 1 unsigned Tension of Opposites bookmark
- 1 Tension of Opposites postcard
- 1 Iron Fey flyer
So that’s one winner, a whole lot of great swag and one great book. All you have to do is leave a comment below to enter, but if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll get an extra entry for each place you follow my site. Just let me know in your comment as well as where you follow me and the name you follow me with, so I can give you your extra chances to win. You have between now and 11:59pm EST on December 31, 2010 to enter, but the sooner, the better!
Even though 2010 isn’t quite over yet, and I’m still plugging away at a bunch of books that I want (and need) to finish before 2011 begins, when I heard that Jaime from The Perpetual Page-Turner was hosting a fun end of year survey on books that bloggers read over the last year, I knew I wanted to participate. In 2010, I not only really got into the YA genre, but also I started this blog, which has been a real joy over the last 8 months. I’ve read so many great books, even some that were outside of my comfort zone, and I’ve met some amazing book bloggers and authors, who “get” how much I love reading. Connecting with you over some great books has been more than I ever imagined it could be, so thanks for stopping by, reading my blog, and participating when the mood struck. You’ve all made it so worth while.
1. Best book of 2010? I’m not sure if this is supposed to be the best book written and read in 2010 or the best book I read in 2010, so with that in mind, I’m going to give two answers. The best written in 2010 book that I read is Monsters Of Men by Patrick Ness, and the best book that I read in 2010 is Nina LaCour’s Hold Still.
2. Worst book of 2010? There were a few books that I didn’t like this year, but the WORST book of 2010 is a label that is a little to harsh for me to give any novel. I for one want to stick, mostly, with the positive, so I’ll have to pass on this question.
3. Most disappointing book of 2010? I fell in love with romantic and fairytale-like plot of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater when I read it earlier this year, so I couldn’t wait to read the sequel, Linger when it came out. For an paranormal/urban fantasy novel, however, it was really heavy, and I, personally, had a really difficult time getting into the teen angst of the first half of the book. Isabel and Cole really grew on me, but their strength and ingenuity couldn’t combat the heaviness that this novel left me feeling.
4. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2010? Definitely Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford. This novel made me laugh AND get over my prejudice about books about privileged rich girls.
5. Book you recommended to people most in 2010? This would be a toss up between The Hunger Games and Lucy Christopher’s Stolen.
6. Best series you discovered in 2010? Definitely Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy.
7. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2010? Laurie Halse Anderson, Jill Murray, Lucy Christopher and Nina LaCour were all new to me authors that made my year.
8. Most hilarious read of 2010? Again, I’d have to say Natalie Standiford’s Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters.
9. Most thrilling, unputdownable book of 2010? Becca Fitzpatrick’s Crescendo
10. Book you most anticipated in 2010? Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay without a doubt.
11. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2010? Michaela MacColl’s Prisoners In The Palace is absolutely stunning looking with a mix of modern and period-reminiscent design. I also really loved the look of Jane Eagland’s Wildthorn - there just is something about corsets that draws me in even as I resist the idea of them.
12. Most memorable character in 2010? Caitlin from Nina LaCour’s Hold Still and Kate Malone from Laurie Halse Anderson’s Catalyst really spoke to me in 2010, and I have a pretty good feeling that these characters will stay with me for a very long time.
13. Most beautifully written book in 2010? Hold Still by Nina LaCour and Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson tie in this category as well.
14. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2010? Hold Still by Nina LaCour
15. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2010 to read? The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
Have you read any of these books either in 2010 or in the past? Would any of them make your list if you already have or were going to fill out this survey? Let me know your thoughts and whether you’ve participated in this fun 2010 survey as I would love to see how other people answered them as well.
My post on Saturday about favorite holiday movies garnered a lot of attention from other bloggers, many of them shared with me their favorite movies as well. One of them – Aylee from Recovering Potter Addict said that the Muppet Family Christmas Special was the holiday movie that she loved most.
Why is that significant to me? Well, this movie first appeared on TV the year I turned 7, and I watched it with my family. I remembered it being a magical movie with all the characters that I loved as a child – the Muppets, Sesame Street, and Fraggle Rock puppets – but I hadn’t seen it for years. It was one of those movies that formed what I like to think of as a beautiful piece of my childhood, but I hadn’t seen it in so long that I’d nearly forgotten about it. Aylee shared with me a place where I could watch it, and now I’m going to share it with you.
If you’ve been wanting to watch this series, you can view it in five parts, right here on YA Book Shelf. Call it my Christmas gift to you, my readers. Call it whatever you will, but know that watching this TV special again after all these years brought a lot of smiles to my face and joy to my heart.
Muppet Family Christmas Special – part 1:
Hope you enjoyed watching this 80s holiday classic as much as I did! And more than anything, I hope that the holiday spirit finds you not only over the next couple of weeks, but also for the rest of the new year as well.