Tuesday, November 26, 2013

2013 Superlatives Dates and Categories!

Okay, everyone. Katy UppermanTracey NeithercottAlison Miller, and I have nailed down all the dates, we have figured out all the categories, and the ridiculously talented Tracey has designed a beautiful banner for us. The Class of 2013: YA Superlatives Blogfest is all ready to go!

So, mark your calendars! We're going to be sharing our favorite 2012 releases from Monday, December 16th to Thursday, December 19th. 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 to let everyone know you're planning on participating in The Class of 2013: YA Superlatives Blogfest!

--> Finish up all of those 2013 releases sitting on your shelf, or use this list to find more 2013 releases to read between now and the end of the year.

--> Check out our awesome list of categories below and start planning out your choices! (I know I already have some books and characters in mind for some of these...but I also still have a lot of 2013 releases to get through in the next few weeks!)

Monday, December 16th: 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 Family Drama
Favorite Genre Bender

Tuesday, December 17th: Popularity Contest
Choose characters who fit each topic from ANY 2013 YA book!
Class Clown
Most Likely to Become a Rock Star
Mostly Likely to Start a Riot
Biggest Flirt
Fashion King and/or Queen
Girl You’d Most Want For Your BFF
Boy 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 18th: 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 19: 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 2013)
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 2013 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 2013: YA Superlatives Blogfest this year, you guys! And we hope you are just as excited as we are to share all of your favorite 2013 reads with everyone. Now, what are you waiting for? Get reading! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Ryan Dean West is a fourteen-year-old junior at a boarding school for rich kids. He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.

With the help of his sense of humor, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life’s complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what’s important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.

Filled with hand-drawn info-graphics and illustrations and told in a pitch-perfect voice, this realistic depiction of a teen’s experience strikes an exceptional balance of hilarious and heartbreaking.

I remember when this cover was first released, I took one look at it and said...DAMN, that's one of my favorite covers ever. I don't know if I can really explain what I love about it so much. It's just a completely realistic kid looking directly at the camera, and the bloody nose and stitches add this level of interest to the whole thing. How did this seemingly normal kid get these injuries? Did he get in a fight? I need to know!

Amazingly, the words inside this book ended up being even better than the cover. I've been a fan of Andrew Smith on his blog and on twitter for a long time now, but I hadn't read any of his writing before. I'd heard so many good things about this book that I knew it had to be the one of his I started off with, and, oh man, it did not disappoint. The voice in this book? It's amazing. Want to know how it feels to be in the mind of a fourteen year old guy, for better or for worse? Crack this book open, friends. 

Ryan Dean plays rugby and thinks pervy things about his best friend, Annie. But he also has these genuine thoughts and feelings for his friends and for himself that endear you to him immediately. Watching him mature through the course of the book is an amazing thing, and there are parts of this book, things Ryan Dean says and does, that almost bring a tear to my eye now, weeks and weeks after finishing this story. 

This book isn't really what you'd call high concept. It has Ryan Dean's little drawings and cartoons throughout, which are awesome, but what moves the story forward is the character of Ryan Dean himself and his authentic and genuine voice. You want to know this guy. You want to follow him on this amazing and heartbreaking journey he goes on. You want to look that kid on the cover in the face, scars and blood and all, and walk with him onto the rugby pitch. You'll laugh with him, you'll cry with him, and you'll be forever changed by Ryan Dean West. I promise.

Check out what the other Bookanistas are up to today...