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Friday, December 30, 2011

Year in Short

Note: This is going to be an abbreviated Year in Short because I didn't do Week in Shorts all last semester.

Looking back over the last year, I realized that so much has changed. My life now is so different from my life this time last year, in so many ways. In some ways its for the better and in others, it's not but it's been a very good -- if not crazy -- year.

The writing and publishing world has also seen some major changes in the last year. E-books are growing in popularity and piracy is becoming an increasingly larger topic of conversation. We also saw the bankruptcy of Borders (I still can't drive past their empty storefronts). Rowling also contributed with the creation of Pottermore which I have to say is probably the best thing since Harry Potter itself.

Writing:
The truth about the Mary Sue
How to dig out of the Pit of Despair
When it's okay to quit

Querying:
Too many agents, not enough gin: the truth about multiple offer situations
Still your itchy trigger finger: why you should wait before hitting send
Choosing the wrong agent
Handling revisions from an agent
Thrashing in revisions
Agent edits
Reminder to always follow up

Publishing:
Rejection insights from an editor
"Free" books aren't free: the implications of illegal downloading
How book-based movies happen

Social networking:
10 things authors should know about Twitter

Other:
The power to choose
Sexual politics, women's rights, and becoming an adult
Sex vs relationships in YA
Phoebe North on Sex Positive YA
False memories: source confusion and suggestion
Hannah Moskowitz calls for more characters like you
Why the n-word matters

Hope everyone had a great 2011 and that 2012 is even better! Have a great weekend and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

RTW: Best Books of the Year

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic:
What were your top five favorite books of 2011?

This was a great year for books for me. I read 53 books this year and had a lot of trouble narrowing it down to five favorites. Here are my top five, in no particular order, and excluding those books that I read in previous years and reread this year.

1. The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
I was a little late getting to this series. So far this is the only one that I've read but I have Demon's Covenant in my "Must Read Over Break" pile. It was a fantastic start to a trilogy and despite the fact that I had the largest plot twist spoiled for me, I absolutely loved it.

2. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
This is one of those books that I wish I'd read years ago. It's a fantastic book with beautiful writing. Every teenager should it -- not in spite of the subject matter -- but because of it.
3. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green
This is one of my favorite books. I tore through it in a few hours and I can't wait to read it again. It was a different experience reading a book written by two fantastic authors and I really enjoyed it.

4. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan.
Thanks to WG, WG I decided to check out more of Levithan's books and this was the only one I was able to track down in the library. I have to admit it did not let me down. This is a great book that even cured my post-Potter depression (this is the first book I read after seeing the final movie).


5. Divergent by Veronica Roth
Usually it takes me some time to read a book of this size, but this one I absolutely tore through because I couldn't stop reading. I can't wait for Insurgent!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Week in Short

Song of the Week: Holdin' Onto Heaven by Nickelback

Must Read:
10 things authors should know about Twitter

News:
Barnes & Noble accidentally shipped out copies of The Fault in Our Stars
Spanish novelist Lucia Etxbarria quits writing in protest of piracy
Link
Elana Johnson:
Give yourself permission

Janice Hardy:
How kids' games can make revisions fun
3 tips for writing romance in YA by Kody Keplinger

Laura:
In defense of libraries

Querytracker:
Dissociative amnesia/fugue

Romance University:
Sara Megibow talks about the newbie mistakes she made as an agent

Merry Christmas! I'll see you on Monday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

IF I LIE Cover Revealed!

If I Lie by Corrine Jackson has a cover and an official release date!

**drum roll**

Isn't it beautiful?! I love the roughened edges and the black and white picture. Can't wait to have this one in my hands!

Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in thei
r small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.

If I Lie debuts on August 28, 2012.

For more information check out Corrine Jackson's website.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Clockwork Prince Review

***WARNING: There will be spoilers from Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Angel in this review***

Clockwork Prince
by Cassandra Clare
#2 in Infernal Devices series
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.


Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?


As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

First things first: I love this book. I never thought a book could top City of Glass in my heart as a Clare finale, but I have a feeling that Clockwork Princess could be that book. This one is probably my second favorite Clare book ever.

Typically, Clare's books start a little slow and then turn into the world's largest rollercoaster in about the last third, but this one definitely broke that trend. The last third was still a rollercoaster, but I'm happy to say that it didn't start slow. I was hooked from the first chapter and I would have read it all in one night if I could have.

Usually it's easy for me to pick sides in love triangles, but this is definitely one of those series when that's impossible for me. Officially, I am Team Will but I love both of them so much. My heart almost broke when I found out that the reason why Will is so mean to everyone is because he's afraid that if he lets them love him, they'll die. I wasn't expecting that. Now that his fears about "the curse" have been lifted, I absolutely love the new Will. On the other hand, Jem is the sweetest boy ever. I love when Jem spoke Chinese to Tessa and then told her it meant her hair is coming undone when it really meant "You are beautiful." The kisses in this book (those with Jem and those with Will) were definitely some of my favorites. I still can't believe Jem and Tessa are engaged. That was a twist I definitely wasn't expecting. I feel so bad for Will...

I'm still in shock over the concept of Tessa being a child of a demon and a Shadowhunter, but it does make sense. The offspring of a demon and a Shadowhunter is death. If Tessa really is immortal, then she's the opposite of death. One thing that I still don't understand is someone said that because Nate died that they can't learn anything more from him. If they need to know more, why couldn't they just ask Tessa to turn into him? She's done it before so she doesn't even need to be touching anything of his in order to do it.

Overall: 9.5/10 I'm dying to get my hands on Clockwork Princess.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I'm Back!

Sorry about the long dry spell of posts everyone. College turned out to be a lot more of a time suck than I expected, but my first semester is officially over and I'm at home. Hopefully this means I'll have plenty of time and inspiration so I can start blogging again. I'm going to start by resuming Week in Short posts starting next week. For now, I'll probably continue posting three times a week and if I have enough inspiration I'll try to up it back to five times.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and I'll see you on Monday!