Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Class of 2014: Elements of Fiction

Welcome to Day Three of the Blogfest! I hope you all are having as much fun with this as Katy, Alison, Tracey, and I are!

Okay, let's get to today's choices. (And, as a reminder, here are the 2014 books I read this year.)

Most Envy-Inducting Plot (Or, the plot you wish you'd thought of yourself.)
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Maggie Stiefvater's brain is a weird and wonderful place.

Most Formidable World (Or, the setting you most definitely would NOT want to travel to.)
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
I have zero desire to visit anywhere that is being attacked by giant insects.

Wanderlust-Inducting (Or, the setting you'd happily travel to.)
Rome is one of my favorite places on Earth. I'd love, love, love to go back. (And reading this book made me feel like I was there.)

Loveliest Prose
I loved the writing in quite a few books I read, and I feel like those books will get lots of love from other people. In addition to those, this debut really stood out. Writing you want to savor.

Most Dynamic Main Character
Jude and Noah in I'll Give You The Sun
These two grow and change in such compelling ways throughout this novel. 

Most Jaw-Dropping Ending

There were some things I figured out about this book as I read, and there were some things that were complete shockers at the end.

Best Performance in a Supporting Role
(Drawing by the ridiculously talented Maggie Stiefvater)
My love for Ronan Lynch is no secret to anyone who has talked to me about these books for more than 5 seconds. God, what a character.

Best use of Theme
Laini Taylor did such a beautiful job of weaving the theme of hope throughout this entire trilogy.

If you played along on your blog, leave the link to your post below. If not, tell me some of your choices in the comments. And come back tomorrow for the last day of the blogfest! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Class of 2014: Popularity Contest

Thanks for joining Katy, Alison, Tracey and me over here at the Class of 2014: YA Superlatives Blogfest again for the popularity contest! The linky is at the bottom, so add your link and the then hop around to visit everyone's blog!

Now, on to today's categories, where we can pick characters from any 2014 book! (In case you need a reminder, here is what I read this year.)

Class Clown
Kami in Unmade
Even in the midst of complete upheaval of her town and life at the hand of sorcerers, Kami never fails to bring the hilarious one-liners. 

Most Likely to Become a Rock Star
With that voice, it's pretty obvious that Amber is going places.

Mostly Likely to Start a Riot
Vivienne in Camelot Burning
I don't think Vivienne would start a riot on purpose...

Biggest Flirt

Cole in Sinner
This guy never turns it off. He even flirts with his limo driver, and I love him for it.

Fashion King and/or Queen
Isabel in Sinner
Isabel moved to LA and started working in fashion, and she ended up with the hottest leggings in town.

Character You’d Most Want For Your BFF
Reagan in Open Road Summer
I feel like Reagan would take none of my crap, and that's exactly what I need in a friend. 

Character You Wish You’d Dated in High School
As much as I love Etienne and Cricket, I think Josh may be the most "my type" of any of Stephanie Perkins's boys. 

Most Likely to Become President
I vote for Gansey in this category every year, but how can I not?!

Quirkiest Characters

Jude and Noah in I'll Give You The Sun
These twins are both quirky in their own way, and it's glorious.

Villain You Love to Hate
The Greenmantles in Blue Lily, Lily Blue
I kinda want to be BFF with Piper?

Favorite Parental Figure

Kami's dad in Unmade
Kami's dad also wins every year, but that's because he is the absolute best.

Coolest Nerd

Imogen is into theater, and some people think that's nerdy. (I think it's awesome.)

If you participated today, leave the link to your Popularity Contest below...then hop around and see what everyone else picked today! Be sure to come back tomorrow for Elements of Fiction!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Class of 2014: Head of the Class

Welcome to the Class of 2014: YA Superlatives Blogfest, hosted by me, Katy Upperman, Alison Millerand Tracey Neithercott. We can't wait to read about all of your favorites of 2014!

If you are participating in the Blogfest on your own blog, please leave a link to your blog in the linky tool at the bottom of this post. You can find this linky tool on each of the hosts' pages, and be sure you link the individual URL for today's post. And once you link your blog, make sure you click around and comment on what everyone else has chosen!

Oh, and remember...if you participate every day of the Blogfest you are entered to win a 2014 release of your choice!)

Now, on to my picks! (For reference, here's a list of the 2014 releases I read.)

Favorite Dystopian
So, I definitely reached my dystopian burnout point. I didn't read anything I would consider dystopian this year. Not a single book! So, no favorite dystopian for me this year. Womp womp.

Favorite Science Fiction
Sci-fi isn't always my thing...but adorable alien romance totally is!

Favorite Fantasy
The conclusion of this trilogy was about as fantasy as I get, but I absolutely loved it.

Favorite Contemporary
Jandy Nelson's writing is perfect.

Favorite Action/Adventure 
You know a book about a teen girl grifter is going to have some edge-of-your-seat action.

Favorite Historical Fiction
Ok, I admit that labeling a book about a steampunk version of Arthurian legend historical fiction is a bit of a stretch. But it takes place in the past. And England is a real place. And it's fiction. And I loved this book. So this is where I'm putting it. 

Favorite Comedy
I always consider rom-coms in the comedy category. And, honestly, the first few chapters of this book literally made me LOL.

Favorite Mystery
I loved being lost in Cadence's head and trying to figure out what happened to her as she did.

Favorite Romance
This book has a lot more going on than romance (true friendship and self-discovery FTW!), but I have to admit that this romance is one of my absolute favorites ever!

Favorite Paranormal 
Lots of sorcery happening in this final book in the trilogy. (Also lots of Kami and Jared.)

Favorite Genre Bender
This series defies all classification and I absolutely love it. 

Come back tomorrow for the popularity contest, highlighting all of those awesome 2014 characters.
If you have posts for the Class of 2014 Blogfest, leave a link to your blog below! Then hop around and comment on everyone else's choices. Even if you aren't participating, be sure to check out the bloggers who have posts up.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Class of 2014 Blogfest - My 2014 Releases Reading List

With the Class of 2014: YA Superlatives Blogfest starting tomorrow, I thought I would recap all of the 2014 releases I read. (If you are curious about every book I've read this year, or any year, you can check out that list here.

So, here it is. The list of 2014 YA releases I'll be working with for the Class of 2014: YA Superlatives Blogfest. (In absolutely no order whatsoever.)

Blue Lily, Lily Blue - Maggie Stiefvater
Unmade - Sarah Rees Brennan
Sinner - Maggie Stiefvater
Isla and the Happily Ever After - Stephanie Perkins

I'll Give You The Sun - Jandy Nelson
Just One Night - Gayle Forman
Side Effects May Vary - Julie Murphy
The Truth About Alice - Jennifer Mathieu

Dreams of Gods and Monsters - Laini Taylor
Behind the Scenes - Dahlia Adler
We Were Liars - E. Lockhart

Hung Up - Kristen Tracy
The Break-Up Artist - Phillip Siegel

No Place To Fall - Jaye Robin Brown
Trust Me, I'm Lying - Mary Elizabeth Summer
Breakfast Served Anytime - Sarah Combs
Heartbeat - Elizabeth Scott
Grasshopper Jungle - Andrew Smith
Camelot Burning - Kathryn Rose
Liv, Forever - Amy Talkington
Wish You Were Italian - Kristin Rae
Alienated - Melissa Landers
17 First Kisses - Rachael Allen
Damsel Distressed - Kelsey Macke
The Promise of Amazing - Robin Constantine
Open Road Summer - Emery Lord

As usual, I read a LOT of contemporary. So choosing in the contemp categories, as always, is going to be a LOT tougher than, say, the dystopian categories for me. It's choosing between all my favorites!

Tune in tomorrow to see all my picks. And be sure to post yours, too!

How many 2014 releases did you read?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Class of 2014: YA Superlatives Blogfest Info!

Well, 2014 sure flew by. It went so fast that Katy UppermanTracey NeithercottAlison Miller, and I almost forgot about YA Superlatives! So, yes, it's a little late. But better late than never, right? It's time for The Class of 2014: YA Superlatives Blogfest!

So, get ready! We're going to be sharing our favorite 2014 releases from Monday, December 15th to Thursday, December 18th. And we're hosting a giveaway of some of the best books of the year for participants in The Class of 2013: YA Superlatives Blogfest!

What do you have to do right now?

--> Grab this button and stick it on your blog or share on your instagram to let everyone know you're planning on participating in The Class of 2014: YA Superlatives Blogfest!

--> Binge read all of those 2014 releases sitting on your shelf.

--> Check out our awesome list of categories below and start planning out your choices! 

Monday, December 15th: Head of the Class 
Favorite Dystopian
Favorite Science Fiction
Favorite Fantasy
Favorite Contemporary
Favorite Action/Adventure 
Favorite Historical Fiction
Favorite Comedy
Favorite Mystery
Favorite Romance
Favorite Paranormal 
Favorite Genre Bender

Tuesday, December 16th: Popularity Contest
Choose characters who fit each topic from ANY 2014 YA book!
Class Clown
Most Likely to Become a Rock Star
Mostly Likely to Start a Riot
Biggest Flirt
Fashion King and/or Queen
Character You’d Most Want For Your BFF
Character You Wish You’d Dated in High School
Most Likely to Become President
Quirkiest Character
Villain You Love to Hate
Favorite Parental Figure
Coolest Nerd

Wednesday, December 17th: Elements of Fiction
Most Envy-Inducting Plot (Or, the plot you wish you'd thought of yourself.)
Most Formidable World (Or, the setting you most definitely would NOT want to travel to.)
Wanderlust-Inducting (Or, the setting you'd happily travel to.)
Loveliest Prose
Most Dynamic Main Character
Most Jaw-Dropping Ending
Best Performance in a Supporting Role
Best use of Theme

Thursday, December 18: Best In Show
Favorite Cover
Cutest Couple
Most Likely to Succeed (Or, pick a Printz Winner)
Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime (The book you just couldn't put down!)
Best Repeat Performance (Your favorite sequel or follow-up)
Favorite Finale or End of Series Novel
Romance Most Worthy of an Ice Bath
Breakout Novel (Your favorite book by a debut author)
Best Old-Timer (Your favorite read of the year, published BEFORE 2014)
Most Likely To Make a Grown Man Cry
Most Pleasant Surprise (The book you didn't think you'd like, but totally did)
Most Creative Use of a Love Triangle
Sleeper Hit (Book you found so awesome you wish it had been hyped more)
Favorite Outlier (Your favorite MG or adult 2014 book)
Your turn! Pick your own superlative category and bloghoppers will weigh in with their choices

Katy, Alison, Tracey, and I are so excited about The Class of 2014: YA Superlatives Blogfest this year, you guys! And we hope you are just as excited as we are to share all of your favorite 2014 reads with everyone. Now, what are you waiting for? Get reading! 

And if you haven't been blogging that much lately (ahem, like me), never fear! Share your picks on any channel you like. Blog not required, we just want you sharing your favorites!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

SipSwap 2014

Share some wonderful, warm, winter tidings with a fellow writer!
(Sign up form is at bottom of page!)
A mug exchange. You sign up and submit your info and address before Saturday, November 8th, 2014 at Midnight PST. You'll be sent a writer's information sometime on Monday, November 10th, and that will be the person you'll gift with a mug. Someone else will be given your information and will shop for you.
You love coffee. You love tea. You love hot chocolate. OTHER WRITERS ALSO LOVE COFFEE, TEA, AND HOT CHOCOLATE!! Imagine the joy you'd feel opening the mail and seeing a cute new mug to fuel your caffinated writing session or hellacious submissions morning. The Writers' #SipSwap is a fabulous way to meet new writing buddies and spread some much appreciated love throughout the community.

You'll go buy a precious/funny/inspirational mug for your swap partner, pack it up, and be sure it's in the mail by Sunday, November 30th!

Enjoy the mug you've been sent, photograph it, instagram it, tweet it, blog about it, and come back for the blog link up starting on December 5th!

To recap important dates...

Sign up by Saturday, November 8th at Midnight PST

Get your swap partner on Monday, November 10th

Mail your partner's mug by Sunday, November 30th

We'll start the blog hop/link party on December 5th

Grab the graphics below for use on your blog or website!
Kelsey Macke and Jessica Love are your SipSwap hosts. Be sure to follow us on twitter:@KelsNotChels and @_JessicaLove and share all of your excitement with the #SipSwap hashtag!
If you have any questions, please email
**We're sad to say that this swap is being organized for residents of the continental US only. We hate to place such a restriction, but hope, in doing so that we'll be able to keep costs and convenience relatively uniform. If you find other international buddies on the sipswap hashtag, feel free to make a friend and set up your own swap!**
Feel free to save and upload the following graphics for your blog/site:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Happy Release Day to MORE THAN MUSIC!

So, my critique partner Liz Briggs is really, really amazing. I'm not joking when I say that I wouldn't have ever written anything of quality without her. She's a plot wizard, and she always knows exactly what to do with my books/writing when I am completely clueless.

I remember when she told me she had a contemporary romance idea - I was surprised because she's always been into sci-fi and fantasy. But her idea sounded SO up my alley and I really wanted to read it, so I cheered her on as she wrote her steamy NA romance set against the background of a reality music competition.

When she sent it to me to read I was FLOORED. It was SO GOOD. I was critiquing it for a few chapters, but then I was so into it that I just gave up and read it for fun. Then the next day I went back and read it again to give actual comments. So, I read it twice in one weekend and I thought about it when I wasn't reading and I told everyone I could "OMG you HAVE to read this when it comes out! I love it so much!"

And now it's out! And it's awesome! (And you can get your own copy here!)

Music major Maddie Taylor seems to have her life all figured out. She's just finished her junior year of college, has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, and plans to go to grad school to write movie scores. Only her roommates know she practices guitar every night and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don't get to be rock stars.

Tattooed singer Jared Cross has a new girl every week, but when he catches Maddie playing one of his songs, she attracts his attention in an unexpected way. His band needs a fourth member for The Sound, a reality TV show competition--and he wants her. Though Maddie refuses to be another notch on Jared's bedpost, she agrees to risk everything for the chance to be a rock star.

Once on the show, Maddie discovers there's more to Jared behind his flirty smile, and with each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore. When the show pressures Jared to flaunt his player image, they're forced to keep their relationship secret, but Maddie can't help but want something real.

As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.

And check out this awesome blurb:

"Sexy, fun, and heartfelt, More Than Music will bring out the rockstar in anyone. A truly passionate love story--both in music and romance. Jared and Maddie's story is a great example of how important it is to be true to yourself and step out onto your own stage." 
- Julie Cross, author of the Tempest series and Third Degree

You will like this book if:

* You like music reality shows
* You like music in general
* You like NA romance
* You like NA romance, but you're a little tired of the characters with a DARK, BROKEN PAST
* You think any of this sounds intriguing:

* This appeals to you in any way:

Happy release day, Liz! I can't wait for everyone to read MORE THAN MUSIC and fall in love with it just like I did!