In Defense of YA: We Need a Rebellion of Our Own

I promised myself a while ago–like, when I started this blog ago–that I would never write a response blog post. I have never wanted to get caught up in any drama. Lord, the drama on the internet, am I right? But two things have happened in such quick succession that I am finally using this blog to say some things.

The first was during the episode of my book club, Bibliomancy for Beginners, that aired last Tuesday. Head over to this link and watch the last six minutes or so. Starting at about 1:04:00 I just … blow up. Seriously. I scare my co-Bibliomancers. Because enough of them have taken enough jabs at the YA genre over the three years that we’ve been doing this that I just broke. (Warning: I say some choice things about John Green. While I stand by my opinion, I recognize that this is my opinion and not some cosmic rule.) So I start shouting in defense of it. Enjoy.

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Top Ten Characters I’d NEVER Want To Trade Places With

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish!

So, even though I do read a lot of stuff with different worlds, I found that most of my answers for the top 10 worlds I’d never want to live in depended a lot on who I would be in that world. Given that, I decided to go with the second topic to make things a little easier on myself. So. Here we go!

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Waiting on Wednesday: “Allegiant” by Veronica Roth

New WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!

AllegiantTitle: Allegiant (Divergent #3)

Author: Veronica Roth

ETA: October 22nd, 2013

Blurb from Goodreads: One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Why: I know this is going to be a popular one in coming WoWs, but I DID just preorder my copy from Amazon, so … now I officially can’t wait!

Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings In Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is actually pretty straight forward. This is a YA blog, and I could say some profound things about world building in YA, but instead I’m going to focus on GOOD world building this time around. Ready? Here we go!

1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

If you haven’t picked this up now, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. I believe I said that in my 5 star review. This world is as fantastically built as Game of Thrones, without all the things I don’t like about Game of Thrones, all the way through the characters and the dialogue. EVERYTHING about this book is amazingly awesome.

2. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Though I made many comments about the characterization in this novel in my review, the world absolutely knocked me off my feet. Russian magic? With clothing that’s describes like costumes you just HAVE to own? FANTASTIC images that pop off the page? This has it ALL. I recommend this to all those looking for a unique read.

3. Divergent by Veronica Roth

Don’t really think I have to explain this to most folks. I mean, is there anyone left on the planet that reads YA but hasn’t read this? Well, for you guys, best dystopian novel out there, hands down.

4. The Girl of Fire of Thorns by Rae Carson

I basically bought this book for a unique world, and I wasn’t disappointed. The characters were awesome and at the end Carson dropped a BOMB OF FANTASTIC on the whole plot line. I loved every little bit of this, and it was one of the first books I reviewed!

5. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

If you missed my review of this, you missed a whole heck of a lot of CAPS. It was just as beautiful as the book’s cover. From the dragons to the city to the notion that love does not depend on gender, Incarnate was a work of art that everyone should read.

6. Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

This one I was reminded of because I’m currently hosting a giveaway for this entire series, but basically it’s a fantasy world made up of shapeshifters that is amazingly awesome.

7. The City’s Son by Tom Pollock

You guys have no idea how much I could link to this review, but it’s not out yet. If memory serves, it’ll be up next week or the week after, since this book doesn’t come out til September. The important thing, though, is that this was the most amazing description of urban fantasy I’d ever read.

8. Eon by Alison Goodman

Japanese based world with huge country and DRAGONS. Seriously, what else do you need? Nothing, it’s nothing. The characters were also just as unique as the setting, which was awesome.

9. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

How many times have I talked about this book? I know it’s a lot, so I’m not going to stay very long here…

10. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Talk about a fantastic world building and a unique concept. I didn’t really like the following two books, but this one was pretty fantastic.

Review: “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth (Click for Goodreads)

5 stars

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.
New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth’s much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Given that I never reviewed Divergent on this blog, I should probably mention that I LOVE THAT BOOK. I love it. Love. Lovelovelove. Which, honestly, is what makes this review so hard to write.

How in the world do I not make it all gibberish in CAPS lock?

I know that reviews have been mixed on whether or not this is better than Divergent, and honestly I think that’s because Divergent and Insurgent are two very different types of books. It’s really hard for me to explain it, but–having reread Divergent directly before diving into this one–I FELT it. Depending on your preference, that’s going to influence a lot of opinions.

Personally, I felt that Insurgent was even better. For me, Divergent was a lot like all those other dystopian books where there is this world and it’s falling apart and there is this person that’s different and is having all this self discovery out of a community of sameness and all that jazz. There’s nothing WRONG with that, and I did think the book was fantastic and a cut above all the over books like that, but Insurgent really set it above the bar for me.

In absolutely no way does this book fall prey to second book syndrome. It DOESN’T STOP MOVING. Ever. In the good way. Also a literally way. Tris is traveling all over the place, and I liked being able to see more of the other factions. I loved the suspense underlying everything, because no one’s allegiances were clear and even people I thought I understood came back to surprise me. Every character was diverse and round. A lot of questions were answered, but of course even bigger ones were posed. Basically, I’m pretty sure this book is everything people could have wanted it to be.

Well, maybe that’s not true. There is the lack of Four/Tobias and Tris romance scenes. I understand some people didn’t like the fact that they were at odds for a lot of the book. I … loved it, actually. See, here’s the thing: Tobias and Tris are a real couple. They are in a real, deadly situation and they haven’t known each other for all that long. I love how Tris admits that she has never really seen Tobias outside of one environment, and I love how they take the time to grow together and really trust each other. This couple is REAL. So there was a lack of kissing scenes. *I* wanted to kiss Veronica Roth for giving me REAL romance. (Okay, not really. But a tackle-hug would work.)

To be honest, unless this book has been absolutely horrible, Insurgent already had an automatic five stars from me. There are very few series right now where my inner editor shuts off and I just enjoy the ride, and the Divergent series is one of those. They are action packed, have hints of humor and they are refreshingly REAL. I trust Roth’s world building, I enjoy her characters and I believe in her plot. There aren’t many authors who give me that trifecta.

Excuse me for a moment while my inner crazy fan girl comes out: VERONICA ROTH I COULD KILL YOU FOR THAT ENDING OHMYGOD HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TALK ABOUT A CLIFFHANGER OHMYGOOOOOOOD.

Ahem.

Now, onto the big question: WHEN CAN I HAVE THE NEXT ONE? (It’s slated for a 2013 release, no date or title as of yet!)

Top Ten Books I’d Like To See Made Into A Movie

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Let’s face it. Books-to-movies is a really touchy thing. I even blogged about it once, back when I really couldn’t find many things to blog about, it’s THAT important. 😛 However, I’ll make up this list with the hopes and dreams that studios could get a hold of these books and NOT demolish them. So is my faith in humanity. Some of these books might even have options on them or whatever, but I don’t keep track. I usually don’t even know until the trailer comes out. 😛 So here they are, in no particular order!

1. The Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins

Seriously, I want this to be a thing. I’d be very, very vocal about their casting choices because Sophie and Archer and, er, everyone would have to be JUST perfect, but gah. This would be a beautiful thing. Laugh out loud comedy AND magical action? I’d bankroll the project myself if I could.

2. The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

I know this already has on option on it, thank you very much. I’m even a fan of the movie’s page on Facebook. But that DOESN’T mean that it will actually be made into a movie, so just let me lend it some more support. It SHOULD be. For the only reason that I want to see Dimitri come to life.

3. The Angelfire series by Courtney Allison Moulton

THIS WOULD BE AMAZING. Nonstop action, sarcasm and supernatural butt kicking. This would be a spectacular movie; it already reads like one! I would shave my head to have this happen. (Just please don’t actually ask me to shave my head. That would be awkward. I have an oddily shaped head.)

4. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

How in the world would anyone NOT want to see giant dragons flying around spitting acid, a building that moves and talks AND THAT MASQUERADE. I would do ANYTHING to just see that masquerade come to life. Heck, I’d put one on. Any Incarnate fans want to help?

5. Divergent by Veronica Roth

Quite frankly, I’d be floor if something wasn’t already in the works for this, but hey. I haven’t heard anything about it, so HI LIST! I’d pay good money just to see the scene where they jump off the train. And the scene where their fears come to life. And the scene–er. Ahem.

6. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

This could be the darkest, coolest teen vampire movie ever. At least nothing would sparkle. Plus, those zombie-vamps? That’d be cool to see–especially the fight scenes. Now please?

7. The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare

I know they’re casting a Mortal Instruments movie, but I’m worried that if they screw it up we’ll never get to see the Infernal Devices come to life, which would be upsetting. The Mortal Instruments is awesome, but their supernatural world mashed with clockwork soldiers? Now that gets even cooler.

8. At least ONE of Tamora Pierce’s series

I mean, come on! You could pick anyone and have awesomesauce right there. They’ve been optioned, apparently, but the studio thinks they’d be too expensive to produce. Pardon me? I saw the Hunger Games. I can guess the fx bill for one SCENE. If there is interest, they will make it. HI, HERE’S INTEREST!

9. The City’s Son by Tom Pollock

Though I can’t share my review of this book with you guys until August, I CAN give you guys a teaser here so you know what I’m talking about. While I wasn’t impressed with some of the characterization, I’d pay money just to see this world come to life. Lightbulb people? Steel wolves? Mirror people? Yes please!

10. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Just finished this one, and it’s one of my new favorites of the year. Historical romance with a girl assassin? How can you go wrong? Plus, I’m a sucker for period pieces like this because I want to marry the costume department EVERY time. Can you blame me? Can you see the dress she’s even wearing on the COVER? This is a definite must for me.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Spring To-Be-Read List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish.

Okay, I have to face it, my to-be-read list is SKY HIGH. Picking ten for the spring is going to be … death defying. Let’s give it a try! (All links will go to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.)

1. Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

In case you missed my Waiting on Wednesday post last week, I WANT THIS BOOK. If Amazon’s shipping department wasn’t the worst, I’D HAVE IT BY NOW. But I don’t. And the wait is KILLER.

2. The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges

Really, as far as I’m concerned, you can’t go wrong with this book. It’s historical fiction in the fact that it takes place in Russia circa 1888. It’s fantasy because the main character is both a Duchess and a necromancer. This book’s blurb caught me on the first look, and I can’t wait to read it.

3. Die for Me by Amy Plum

Okay, Anna and the French Kiss maaaay have made me have an instant love of books set in Paris, which I discovered at line 2 of the blurb. Then I read the REST of the blurb and went DUDE. Let’s see if the plotline is cool enough to overcome the star-crossed lovers thing! You can bet you’ll hear which way this one goes as soon as I get my hands on it.

4. Balthazar by Claudia Gray

I’ll admit, my interest in the Evernight series continued to wane as the books went on, but it seems that this one is completley unrelated to the Evernight books and characters except for Balthazar, so sign me up! I was a huge sucker for this guy, and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

5. The Selection by Kiera Cass

Okay, this is one book where I read the blurb and I went I WANT NOW. NOW. I have no idea why, but I just fell in love right there. Plus, the CW is making it into a TV series so DUDE. I have to at least read the book so I can watch how much the series messes with the plot line. 😛

6. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

GUYS. GUYS. CASSANDRA CLARE. THAT IS ALL.

7. Insurgent by Veronica Roth

This is the sequel to Divergent, which I thought actually lived up to a lot of the hype it got. Enough is said.

8. The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

MORE VAMPIRE ACADEMY WORLD. MORE ADRIAN. GIVE ME NOW. If you don’t believe the CAPS is pertinent, read my review of Bloodlines!

9. Grave Mercy by R. L. LaFevers

Girl escapes arranged marriage, becomes assassin. Seriously, do I need to tell you anymore? Also, for the life of me I can’t get this cover to actually show up here, so you’re just going to have to click the link to check it out. 😛

10. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

I am a horrible person who judges books by their cover–only literally, I swear! However, CHECK OUT THIS COVER. Then CHECK OUT THE BLURB. Really interested in getting my hands on this one!