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Showing posts from February, 2012

New Releases -- Partials, The Vanishing Game, and Scarlet

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Partials
by Dan Wells
Release date: February 28th
Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the world’s population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity’s time is running out.

When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend’s pregnancy, she’s determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war’s origin that she never knew to ask.

The Vanishing Game
by Kate Kae Myers
Jocelyn's twin brother Jack w…

RTW: Hated and Loved Words

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic:
What words do you absolutely hate? Which ones do you adore?

Like Kody, I also hate the word "panties." I'm not a big fan of the word "moist" either. I don't even like thinking it as I'm writing this post. I also hate the word "loins." I flinch whenever someone says it in a movie or on TV.

I love the word "merge." Say it out loud; it sounds funny. When I was younger, my favorite word was "antidisestablishmentarianism" (which I just finally managed to spell correctly for the first time ever without looking). Part of it's appeal was at the time I believed it to be the longest word in the world (it's not by a long shot).

Footloose: The Old and the New

This weekend my campus did a screening of the original Footloose and the new one and I watched both of them in a row. I've seen the original before but this was my first time seeing the new version.

SPOILER WARNING: There are spoilers for both movies. Though I'm not sure why you wouldn't have seen them yet.

I expected the new version to be terrible, to say the least. The original was one of my favorite movies of all time and I didn't expect the remake to be able to hold a candle to it.

I was surprised. The new version is actually really good. Though in most cases I prefer the original songs better, I'm glad that they just remade most of the songs instead of making entirely new music.

I actually preferred some of the new scenes to the originals. For example, the fight scene before the dance. Ariel was awesome in that scene. I also love the part with the car from the original movie. That scene was great.

On the other hand, I didn't like some of the changes. I didn'…

New Releases -- In Too Deep; Dead to You; Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am

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In Too Deep
by Amanda Grace
I never meant for anyone to get hurt. All I wanted to do that night was make a play for Carter Wellesley. His heartless rejection was mortifying, but people got the wrong idea when they saw me leaving his bedroom, crying. That's how rumors of rape started.
Now girls at school are pouring out their sympathy to me. Guys too. But not everyone's on my side. The school has become a war zone and the threats are getting scary. What began as poetic justice has morphed into something bigger--forcing me to make a terrible choice. Dead to You
by Lisa McMann
Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It's a miracle... at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn't going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pie…

RTW: Unfortunate similarities

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 SNI were you psyched to work on, but discovered it was too close to something already done?
I started one novel awhile ago with the working title of Guardian. It revolved around the idea of a school where teenagers were trained to become either Guardians or Fighters. I got the idea before I got sick of the large number of YA novels dealing with paranormal and fantasy schools.

My first novel was finished two weeks before I found out about a startlingly similar movie, Push. I've rewritten the novel enough times that now only parts of the concept match, but it's still trunked for various reasons.

I also had an idea revolving around a city of thieves. It started partly as a short story…

Asking Friends to Beta Read

I'm seriously reconsidering my policy of accepting beta projects from friends that I know in real life. The thing with beta reading for friends is they see you all the time. The excitement causes them to ask "Have you started yet? How far are you?"

Which is fine. Sometimes. If you're asking every five minutes, you're causing me to take time away from your WiP to answer your questions on how far along I am.

Five guidelines for asking friends to beta read:
Don't constantly ask about progress/what they're thinking right thenIf they don't have time to beta read for you, accept it.
Books are subjective. Remember that.
If you're looking for specific feedback, tell them that.
Give them adequate time. Beta reading takes time. I've done projects in anywhere from a few hours to a month. It all depends on the depth of the critique, my personal schedule, and (frankly) how much the project sucks me in. Do you ask friends to beta read for you? If a friend came to…

Love Story Review

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Love Story
by Jennifer Echols
For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions -- it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a local coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter...so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero in her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret…

RTW - Best Book in January

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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 was the best book you read in January?

Sadly, I didn't get to read very many books last month and even fewer that I really loved. But the clear-cut best book of the month was...

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green
This book made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me think about life in a whole new way. It wasn't my favorite John Green book but it's still one of the best books I've read.
And I'm not ashamed to admit that I've been to three bookstores since this came out and every time I see a copy with the "Signed copy" sticker on it I have to open it up to that page and see if there's a Hanklerfish.