Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Collection of Insanity and Awesomeness

No blogging from Friday-Monday due to my aforementioned weekend of roller derby insanity/awesomeness, so enjoy this post while I take a mini hiatus!

First? The Good...

I have SO. MANY. AWESOME. BOOKS TO READ! I'm midway through Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando, and seriously? What a gorgeous book. So literary. So exciting. I also started the new Sara Zarr book, How to Save a Life (thanks to the School Library Journal for sending me the ARC!), but had to set it aside because I had way too much going on to read two books at once. Also, I wanted to give it the attention it deserves (because after only chapter, I can tell you it's GOOD). But the best news? I just picked up a copy of Sisterhood Everlasting from my local library! I love love LOVE the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books, which is part of the reason why I was so psyched to work with Wendy Loggia (who edited them!). And now I get to catch up with four of my favorite characters after ten years! So much for not reading two books at once...

And now? The Bad...

Because people never seem to tire of hating on the YA community, there was an awesome(ly bad) blog post from the Santa Cruz Journal. Everyone hold onto your copies of Twilight, because we all know what a taste-maker the Santa Cruz Journal is ... if you can't tell, I can barely dignify this silliness with a critique. I mean jeez, the writer should have just called the piece "Hey book bloggers! Get off my lawn!" Also, she thinks children's literature is flighty, e-readers are the end of society, and everyone who reads YA is also a "mommy blogger" (*checks uterus ... yup, still empty*).

There was also a minor kerfuffle over this piece on writing YA, written by two newly-minted YA authors: Katie Crouch and Grady Hendrix (who jointly penned The Magnolia League). A lot of people read it as if the authors were mocking YA ... but really I think they were just mocking themselves as a desperate way to sound hip and with it. Sort of like when a kid starts at a new school and totally misjudges her audience by mocking the most popular girl in school. Yeah, they missed their mark. Their desperation to jump on the YA train was a little thick. Do I really think they find YA to be shitty and awful? No... in fact, I think they were actually giving props to teen readers for getting psyched about books and stories. Sadly, it just read as "teens don't care what you give them, so just give them crap."

That's my take on it, anyway. And besides, the Santa Cruz Journal piece was WAAAAAAY more incendiary (and don't even get me started again on the Wall Journal debacle). I realize that this article can be taken as insulting (and many others just ARE insulting), but it might be time for the YA community to start developing a thicker skin. Meghan Cox-Gurdon came after our books, saying we shouldn't be writing them and we're ruining children. That's actionable. But people tossing off silly diatribes about YA in general? Sticks and stones, people...

And the best part of the whole thing is we're going to get to read an awesome mea culpa here in a few days, when Katie Crouch (who has written adult literary) realizes that she may have seriously damaged her book's sales with what she thought was a fun, silly romp on

But wait! There's more!

Ok, enough of that business ... on to some reviews! I've read some great books lately that I haven't had time to really review, so here are a couple micro-reviews for your Friday reading pleasure:

My Life Undecided 
by Jessica Brody

This book is a fun little romp that I burned through in about a day and a half. It was cute, it was funny, and I enjoyed it. Definitely think I'll add Karma Club to my TBR list as a result. Just a fun little beach read that I recommend to anyone looking for a cute, funny story!

Gimme A Call 
by Sarah Mylnowski

I wanted to read this when it came out last year, and totally participated in the Twitter hashtag campaign. Sadly, I was on a book-buying moratorium (I had just left my job, hadn't sold the book, and was POOR), and the library wait for it was omgsolong. But I found it on the shelves the other day, so I finally get to jump on the (totally late) bandwagon. Another cute, funny beach read. Shockingly, this was the first Sarah Mylnowski book I've read, and Gimme A Call definitely made me go and get my name on the list for her newest book, Ten Things We Did. 

Imaginary Girls 
by Nova Ren Suma

Let me start by saying THIS IS NOT A BEACH READ. Why? Because I think a beach read is something you can read while children are screaming and waves are crashing and seagulls are dive bombing you, and you're just in your happy little bubble ignoring the sand creeping into your bathing suit. This book is not like that. This book demands something of you as reader. You have to be IN. IT.  And that's awesome. I read another reviewer describe the experience of reading it as not really knowing what's happened to you until it's over, and I'm pretty sure that's an accurate description. All I can say is it's as beautiful and haunting as its cover, and I totally recommend it. (digital ARC provided by NetGalley)

And finally ... 

There's not much going on there, but you can go add Meant to Be on Goodreads! Seriously? Like, for realz it says I have a book coming out? Holy wow, that's kind of awesome. So if you want to read Cyrano DeBergerac, but with text messaging on a class trip to London (read: hilarious travel romp with romance and mistaken identity!), then you should definitely throw it on your to-read list.

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