Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Class of 2012: Best in Show (YA Superlative Blogfest)

This has been an awesome week of sharing favorite books and reading about favorite books. One of the things I love most about this online writing community is the love we share for the stories we read. Thanks to everyone for stopping by this week. On to the final category!

Thursday, December 20: Best in Show

  • Favorite Cover: Shadow and Bone I really love illustrated covers, and the way this book's cover combines elements of the story--light and darkness, stag horns, etc.--is absolutely perfect.
  • Cutest Couple: Ana and Sam, Incarnate. 
  • Most Likely to Succeed (Or, pick a Printz Winner.): This one is so, so hard. I think I'm going to have to go with The Raven Boys.
  • Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime (The book you just couldn’t put down!): Insurgent
  • Best Repeat Performance (Your favorite sequel or follow-up.): Insurgent
  • Favorite Finale or End of Series Novel: Didn’t read any of these!
  • Romance Most Worthy of an Ice Bath: The Darkling and Alina, Shadow and Bone. I mean, let's be honest.
  • Breakout Novel (Your favorite book by a debut author.): Shadow and Bone
  • Best Old-Timer (Your favorite read of the year, published BEFORE 2012.): I mostly read debuts this year, but I did start the Mortal Instruments, and I'm loving it. So I'll go with City of Bones.
  • Most Likely to Make a Grown Man Cry: This is Not a Test. If you haven't read it, you're probably thinking, "Liz. It's a zombie book." If you have read it, then you totally get this.
  • Most Pleasant Surprise (The best book you didn’t think you’d like, but totally did.): Pandemonium. I didn’t like Delirium as much as I’d hoped, but I loved the sequel.
  • Most Creative Use of a Love Triangle: Pandemonium
  • Sleeper Hit (Book you found so awesome you wish it had been hyped more.): Incarnate
  • Favorite Outlier (Your favorite middle grade or adult 2012 book): N/A
  • Pick your own category—Favorite damaged character: Ronan Lynch, The Raven Boys. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Class of 2012: Elements of Fiction (YA Superlative Blogfest)

Today is another great category for this blog fest! I'm so excited to see what everyone has to say, and I'm pretty sure I'll be adding quite a few more books to my reading list.

Wednesday, December 19th: Elements of Fiction

  • Most Envy-Inducing Plot (Or, the plot you wish you’d thought of yourself.): This question is so not fair. I want them all! But I think I want The Raven Boys most. I love the mystery of it. And that twist. Oh that twist. Yes, please. Let's rewind in time and have me come up with this one.
  • Most Formidable World (Or, the setting you most definitely would NOT want to travel to.): Pandemonium. A world where love is forbidden? No, thanks! Runner-up goes to This Is Not a Test. While I love zombie stories, I think I'd probably be the first person to die in a zombie apocalypse. Or to kill all of my friends out of paranoia.
  • Wanderlust-Inducing (Or, the setting you’d happily travel to.): Ravka, Shadow and Bone (minus all the scary things in The Unsea), with Heart, Incarnate, as a runner-up. 
  • Loveliest Prose: Incarnate, with Cinder as a runner-up. Just LOOK at this. *swoooooon*
"I must have slept for a little while, because the sky was clear and black, with a dusting of stars like snow."
"New silence, deeper like snow silence."
"Music overwhelmed me, soaked into my skin like water."
"Strings sang, long and warm as gold. Flutes sounded like silver, and clarinets like forests."
"There was a pause where I could have responded, but I left it filled only with starlight and misted breath."
  • Best First Line: The Raven Boys: 
"Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she'd been told she would kill her true love."
  • Most Dynamic Main Character: As far as character growth (since that's what dynamic means), I'm going to have to go with Lena, Pandemonium (for reasons related to the ending of Delirium) with Ana, Incarnate, as a runner-up.
  • Most Jaw-Dropping Ending: Pandemonium. Hands down.
  • Best Performance in a Supporting Role: This is pretty tough, but I think I'll give it to Peter, Insurgent, if only because he never ceased to surprise me.
  • Best Use of Theme: Incarnate. You know--the whole butterfly, new soul, no soul, soul soul soul thing.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Class of 2012: Popularity Contest (YA Superlative Blogfest)

I love today's category for the YA Superlative Blogfest. You don't have to have read a lot of books this year to participate in this one, since there are so many great characters! I really wanted to pull in some of the characters from This Is Not a Test here, but I didn't think any of them really fit these categories. Maybe if we threw in most likely to survive the zombie apocalypse. In fact, let me go add that.

Tuesday, December 18th: Popularity Contest

  • Class Clown: I had a really hard time with this one. I think I'm going to go with Noah East from False Memory. I mean that whole SPOILER IN WHITE stealing someone's memory thing could be considered a big joke. And he was kind of funny.
  • Most Likely to Become a Rock Star: Uriah, Insurgent. I don't have any reason to justify this. So there.
  • Mostly Likely to Start a Riot: Raven, Pandemonium. That would be so Raven of her.
  • Biggest Flirt: The Darkling, Shadow and Bone. He doesn't flirt with everyone, but when he does flirt, boy does he flirt. Stop me. I'm swooning.
  • Fashion King and/or Queen: Allison Wilcox, Something Strange and Deadly, with Queen Levana, Cinder, as her runner-up (if you can consider creating an illusion of beauty fashion)
  • Girl You’d Most Want For Your BFF: Alina, Shadow and Bone. I'd never be afraid of the dark again. Also, she's hilarious.
  • Boy You Wish You’d Dated in High School: Four, Insurgent (Duh!)
  • Most Likely to Become President: Gansey, The Raven Boys. You know, that whole prep school thing.
  • Quirkiest Character: Persephone, The Raven Boys. This one goes without saying.
  • Villain You Love to Hate: That villain from Shadow and Bone. I LOVE him. And I hate him. But really I just LOVE him. *swoon*
  • Favorite Parental Figure: Maura Sargent, The Raven Boys. I like the way Maura interacts with Blue. She's not a perfect parent, and she's aware of that. It's nice.
  • Coolest Nerd: Gansey (Can I pick him twice?). I just started (gasp) The Mortal Instruments and want to pick Simon, but I haven't made it to the 2012 release yet. Also, I have a thing for guys with journals.
  • Most likely to survive the zombie apocalypse (as chosen by me): Cary Chen, This is Not a Test. See what I did there? I won.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Class of 2012: Head of the Class (YA Superlative Blogfest)

Hello, friends! To kick off my return to blogging and the YA world, I'll be participating in the YA Superlative Blogfest this week--a glorious idea created by Katy Upperman, Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, and Alison Miller.  If you don't know what this is, then you've been living under a rock. But it's okay. Just click the button below to learn more. If you're participating, let me know in the comments so I can keep up with your choices.

Now, on to the superlatives!

Monday, December 17th: Head of the Class

  • Favorite Dystopian: Insurgent I waited and waited and waited for this. I was so excited when it came out, I reread Divergent then jumped right in. If you haven't read this book and love dystopians, you need to get into this series.
  • Favorite Science Fiction:  Cinder Everything from the writing to the characters to the world in this story was absolutely stunning. If you read my review, you know I wasn't surprised by the twist, but the book was so good it didn't matter.
  • Favorite Fantasy: This one was really tough for me. I loved both Incarnate and Shadow and Bone for very different reasons, but I’m going to go with Shadow and Bone.
  • Favorite Contemporary: Get ready for it—I didn’t read any new contemporary this year. (Sorry!)
  • Favorite Action/Adventure: I didn’t really read any action/adventure, but I would definitely say that False Memory by Dan Krokos had elements of this. So that book gets my vote. Also, I couldn’t pick two science fiction. You girls are angels for making dystopian a separate category, too.
  • Favorite Historical Fiction: Something Strange and Deadly (for which I’ll have a review this week or next) was awesome. I felt like I was in Philadelphia in the late 1800s. And, of course, I loved the added element of the walking dead.
  • Favorite Comedy: Didn’t read any
  • Favorite Mystery: Didn’t read any
  • Favorite Romance: I didn’t really read any romance, but I’m going to go ahead and stick Incarnate in this category. I loved the romance in this book and couldn’t have two favorite fantasies. The prose is so beautiful it just makes the romance that much better.
  • Favorite Paranormal: This is Not a Test. Though I'd probably stick this more in the horror category. Did I mention I like the walking dead? Well, I do.
  • Favorite Family Drama: I'm going to give this one to This is Not a Test as well.
  • Favorite Genre Bender: Can I put The Raven Boys here? It has fantasy and contemporary elements, which probably technically makes it contemporary fantasy, but still. :) As an aside, I'll have a review up for this one before the end of the month as well.

In case you couldn't tell, I read mostly fantasy and science fiction. If you have any contemporary, comedy, or mystery novels you'd recommend, let me know!

2012 Releases I Read: Incarnate, Cinder, Pandemonium, Insurgent, Shadow and Bone, False Memory, This is Not a Test, Something Strange and Deadly, The Raven Boys