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Showing posts from January, 2013

New Releases: Nobody But Us, The Madman's Daughter

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Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger....

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

 The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn…

RTW: Road Tripping It

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: In celebration of the release of Kristin Halbrook's NOBODY BUT US (hooray!!) we're asking: Zoe and Will set off on the road to seek a better life and encounter loads of drama on the way. What's the most dramatic road trip you've ever been on?
I expected to have to think really hard on this one (partly because I've never been on a proper road trip), but the answer popped into my head immediately. I go to a university between seven and ten hours away from home (depending on who's driving and how the weather is). Luckily, I have a cousin with a truck that also comes here so I'm all set when it comes to rides home. 
Every break, without fail, we get hit by a blizzard either on the w…

Books that Every High School Student Should Read

I just saw the movie for Perks of Being a Wallflower (amazing movie, by the way, probably the best book-to-movie adaptation I've ever seen) and it got me thinking about all the books that I wish I'd read when I was in high school. Here are a few of the books that I think every high school student should read at least once.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Every Day by David Levithan

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Forever by Judy Blume 

They're all fantastic books with characters that feel absolutely like real teenagers. I shared their pain and it made me see high school in a whole new light. Some of them (Cracked Up to Be, Wintergirls) I did read in high school. Others (Perks of Being a Wallflower, Forever) I didn't sit myself down and read until college.

I actually remember, once, going to the bookstore and seeing Perks on the shelf. I looked at it. I tho…

Why You Shouldn't Room With Your Best Friend

In April, I blogged about how I roomed with my best friend even though everyone told me not to.  My advice to everyone was to think long and hard before deciding to room with your best friend.

Now, a year and a half later, I've become one of those people who says "Do not room with your best friend from high school." Here are a few reasons why.

1. Your best friend is not necessarily the person you'll live best with. There are some things you just don't know about a person until you've lived with them for awhile. Even in the first few weeks or months things will be fine because you'll still be watching to make sure you're doing okay in your new home. After awhile, though, people tend to get complacent with each other and the bad habits really start coming out.

2. Rooming with your best friend doesn't encourage you to get out and meet new people. You still need to get out and make new friends. Living with your best friend can make it too easy to ju…

New Releases: The Archived, The Fairest Beauty, Slated

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The Archived by Victoria Schwab The Archived #1 Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous-it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet…

RTW -- For a Laugh

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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:  
Who is your favorite comedian or funny book and/or movie?
When it comes to books and movies, I'm a huge fan of one-liners over actual comedies (excluding romantic comedies). For example, Avengers: "His first name is Agent" and "Security breach!" and "I don't see how that's a party" and "Puny god" and "Doth mother know you weareth her drapes" and "I was having 12% of a moment." 
My favorite funny movies are Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and Princess Bride. I'm a big fan of older funny movies. 
When it comes to comedians, I'm more of a fan of clean humor. My first comedian love was Bill Engvall, followed …

Week in Short

I'm back at school and classes have started again. Things have gotten really complicated and it's only the first week. Still, I'm really loving my classes right now. In other news, HOCKEY IS BACK! First Red Wings game is tomorrow night and I'm so excited. 

Author's Echo:
Making up fantasy languages

Kidlit:
Situation queries

Literaticat: 
Agent ethics: Schmagents and "pre-shopping"

Navigating the Slush Pile:
Grammar manners: Plural or singular

Querytracker:
Why you should critique other people's queries


Writer Beware:
UK speaker scam
Vanity publisher Vantage Press closes its doors


Writer's Digest:
How to research a novel: 7 tips

New Releases: Uses for Boys, Return to Me, Nobody

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Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt Anna remembers a time before boys, when she was little and everything made sense. When she and her mom were a family, just the two of them against the world. But now her mom is gone most of the time, chasing the next marriage, bringing home the next stepfather. Anna is left on her own—until she discovers that she can make boys her family. From Desmond to Joey, Todd to Sam, Anna learns that if you give boys what they want, you can get what you need. But the price is high—the other kids make fun of her; the girls call her a slut. Anna's new friend, Toy, seems to have found a way around the loneliness, but Toy has her own secrets that even Anna can't know.

Then comes Sam. When Anna actually meets a boy who is more than just useful, whose family eats dinner together, laughs, and tells stories, the truth about love becomes clear. And she finally learns how it feels to have something to lose—and something to offer.

 Return to Me by Jus…

RTW -- My Bookstore

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.

Next week:   Imagine you get to open your own bookstore. What would it look like? What kinds of books would you sell?
This was a little hard to do because I know of two local bookstores (one in my collegetown and one in my hometown) that I picture when I think of the perfect bookstore. The first one stocks both used and new books and it consists of two rooms: the first containing all adult books and the second containing mostly young adult and children's books.

The second store stocks all used books and is like a maze of bookshelves. It's beautiful and I feel like I could get lost in there forever. Above the regular books, they stock older volumes that have that beautiful, ancient look of an early edition. 

It w…

Five Reasons Why I Love George R. R. Martin

This post begins with a confession: I'm late to the Game of Thrones party. I just finished A Clash of Kings last week and now I'm starting A Storm of Swords. I'm hoping to be completely caught up on the series this year, but they're thick books and, even more daunting than that, emotionally taxing.

Despite that, I am in love with the series and Martin. He's a truly brilliant writer and I think one of the reasons why I don't rush through the series is because I want to take it slow and savor every minute of it. And here are five reasons why.

1. The characters
Martin marvels me with his ability to introduce a character and then make me feel like I know them personally in just a page or two. My emotions run the whole gamut when it comes to his characters: love, hate, pity, trust, distrust, fury, sorrow, and sometimes confusion. I confess that there are characters that I don't know how to feel about them. There are characters that I love to death, but don't…

College: One Thing No One Thinks About

I'm going to start from the beginning with a story, I promise that this story has a point.

For awhile now, I've been a little concerned about one of my teeth because it appeared to have a crack in it. It didn't seem too worrying and I don't have dental insurance, so I decided to let it go.

And let it go.

Until that crack started to get deeper. And turned into a cavity.

But I still didn't have dental insurance. So, I let it go.

Then, a couple months ago, the pain kicked in. Like couldn't sleep, was sitting around in bed with an ice pack on my face just to feel some relief, kind of pain. It lasted for about two days and then it disappeared. It was close to the end of the semester so I figured it could wait until I got home.

I got home. The pain was gone so I kept waiting. Then, it came back. This time it lasted for five days. I popped pills like tic tacs until even a dose of Advil PM couldn't help me sleep. It stopped abruptly and the relief lasted a couple w…

Week in Short

I'm heading back to school today which means soon I will see how my blogging schedule is going to fit into my class schedule. In other news, first there was winter storm Draco and now there's winter storm Gandolf.

News:
Miss Snark's First Victim announced the early info for the January Secret Agent contest

Between the Pages:
The writer's guide to rocking it on Twitter

Janet Reid:
What does "only query one agent here" mean?

Janice Hardy: 
Guest blog: Things I've learned about writing research
When should you stop revising?

Rachelle Gardner:
The facts vs the story you tell yourself
Guest blog: 5 surprises about self-publishing





New Releases: Crash, Catherine, Just One Day

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Crash by Lisa McMann Visions: #1 Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.

What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode...and nine body bags in the snow.

The vision is everywhere—on billboards, television screens, windows—and she’s the only one who sees it. And the more she sees it, the more she sees. The vision is giving her clues, and soon Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it’s someone she knows. Someone she has been in love with for as long as she can remember.

Catherine by April Lindner Catherine is tired of struggling musicians befriending her just so they can get a gig at her Dad’s famous Manhattan club, The Underground. Then she meets mysterious …

RTW -- New Year's Goals

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.

Next week:   What are your goals for the new year---for reading, writing, or other?
I've never been one to actually fulfill my New Year's resolutions (or remember what they are half the time) so this year I have decided to set goals instead. Thinks that I can measure and accomplish. Because that's the problem with resolutions. They can't really be measured.  So, here are a few of my New Year's goals: 
1. Read 100 books I've been keeping track of the numbers of books I read for the last three years. The first year I went for 100 and just hit 50. The next year I went for 75 and hit 53. Last year I went for 50 and only hit 48. This year I want to shatter those records. 
2. Read 10 classics
I haven'…

Don't Believe Everything You Read

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There's a part of me that can't believe I even have to say this, but I'm going to say it anyway: Don't believe everything you read on the Internet. Before you pass anything on as true facts, double-check. 

This post is provoked by a recent video that appeared on my Facebook news feed passed on by a couple of friends.


The post featured this video and claimed that the rider is both deaf and mute.

Now, I am a huge horse person and the friends that shared this video and information were not. I recognized the video immediately. This is Stacy Westfall and she is neither. 

Another example would be the multiple celebrities whose deaths were falsely reported on social media sites. To the point where now, months later, my roommate actually thought that one of them was dead. The moral of this story is just be careful what you believe from the Internet. If something seems off (or even if it doesn't), do a little background research.

Hex Hall Review

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Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters. 
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mys…

Week in Short: January 4th

They're back! I'm pretty sure I say this at the start of semester, but I'm going to try to keep them going this time. Really. I'm serious. 

Anyway...here's the first Week in Short of 2013!

Must Read: 
Susan Adrian: Notes on writing advice

News: 
Vickie Motter is retiring from agenting

Author's Echo:
The problem with self-imposed deadlines


Glass Cases:
Year-end stats

Janice Hardy:
Dealing with the passage of time between scenes

Literaticat:
Girl books, boy books, or just plain great books?

Pub Rants:
Year-end stats

And a question for all of you: Are there any blogs that definitely shouldn't be left out of my reading list?

New Releases: Teeth, Falling for You, The Fire Horse Girl

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It's my first new release post of the new year!

Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz Rudy’s life is flipped upside-down when his family moves to a remote island in a last attempt to save his sick younger brother. With nothing to do but worry, Rudy sinks deeper and deeper into loneliness and lies awake at night listening to the screams of the ocean beneath his family’s rickety house.

Then he meets Diana, who makes him wonder what he even knows about love, and Teeth, who makes him question what he knows about anything. Rudy can’t remember the last time he felt so connected to someone, but being friends with Teeth is more than a little bit complicated. He soon learns that Teeth has terrible secrets. Violent secrets. Secrets that will force Rudy to choose between his own happiness and his brother’s life.

Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder Rae's always dreamed of dating a guy like Nathan. He’s nothing like her abusive stepfather—in other words, he’s sweet. But the closer they get, the …

RTW -- Best Book of December

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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 is the best book you read in December?
So...I have a confession to make. I only read one book in December. In my defense, it was a large book and it was during finals week and then I spent the rest of the month working my way through A Clash of Kings which is an amazing book, but also very large.  However, that one book was definitely worthy of a 10 and so I don't feel guilty. 
So, the best book I read in December was...
...The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. It's the third book in his Heroes of Olympus series and well worth my wait to read it. I'll probably still be in shock over the ending in October when House of Hades comes out. My decision to read it during finals week was eith…

Most Anticipated Books of 2013

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Happy New Year everyone! There are definitely a lot of great books to come this year, including the long-awaited final installments of a few amazing series. If you know me, you know that I have very little self-control when it comes to acquiring books. Here are a few of the ones that I can't wait to get my hands on this year.

Crash by Lisa McMann - January 8
I've been a big Lisa McMann fan for years, ever since I read Wake. I still remember the day that Gone arrived and I curled up at the foot of my bed and devoured the whole thing in hours. I'm so excited for the first installment of her new series!

Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.

What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode...and nine bod…