Monday, May 31, 2010

Review: The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy

Summary:When the Prom Queen becomes your fairy godmother…


Sixteen year old outsider, Jess Parker, gets the chance of a lifetime: an invitation to join a secret society of popular girls dedicated to defeating the mean girls of the world. The Cinderella Society guides all new recruits through its top secret ultimate life makeover. It’s all part of preparing them to face down the Wickeds and win. Determined not to let the Cindys down, Jess dives in with a passion. Finally, a chance to belong and show the world what she’s made of.


… be careful what you wish for.


Jess’s transformation wins her the heart of her dream crush and a shot at uber-popularity. Until the Wickeds–led by Jess’s arch enemy–begin targeting innocent girls in their war against the Cindys, and Jess discovers the real force behind her exclusive society. It’s a high stakes battle of good vs. evil, and the Cindys in power need Jess on special assignment. When the mission threatens to destroy her dream life come true, Jess is forced to choose between living a fairy tale and honoring the Sisterhood… and herself.


What’s a girl to do when the glass slipper fits, but she doesn’t want to wear it anymore?


Review: When I first heard about this book, I thought it was a great read and I was very excited when I won this book. Then I began reading it.


This book was not what I had been expecting. The beginning was, in one word, boring. There were too much unnecessary detail and things I just didn't care about. I read on and on and it continued to get more boring as I went along. I even had a few yawns, which I thought was just sad.


In another sense, this book was just a self help manual in the form of a book. There was a lot of advice for girls on self-image, self esteem, and things alike. With the occasional dialogue, I thought it would get better. But no, even the dialogue talked about standing up for what you believe and finding the look for you.


The plot was an interesting one but I think it could have been handled better. The Cindys and the Wickeds? The Villains and the Charmings? I mean come on, can you come up with any lamer names? Then why don't you go and add in some Greek and you have the plot line for this book. There were a lot of other characters and I sometimes had to go back and see who she was talking about.


The one thing that was actually good was the fact that the "most-popular-girls-in-school" or the Queens were the kind of girls who helped people. They were nice and sweet and good girls. They went out of their way to help the non-populars aka Reggies (again, what's with the names?). But that was that.


Jess was not one of my favorite characters. I can summarize her in one word: annoying. She begins off as the target for Lexy, the leader of the Wicked (I couldn't have guessed that!), and then she is brought into the Cinderella Society. All this by the way happened without me realizing. I was way to confused to understand at first. She didn't grow out of her self. In a lot of books, the character develops but I think she go worse. She began to wine more and more now that she was a Cindy and she had the power to help the Reggies. She wanted to help others and make it better for them seemed all fake to me. I couldn't really make her stick.


Her relationship with Ryan was one I was looking forward to but I was so dissapointed! I couldn't ever figure out why she liked Ryan and her fantasy with him in the beginning was just stupid. Then when he begins to notice her, she freaks out! OMG RYAN NOTICED ME! Um, no I don't think so. We learn some things about Ryan but it never was clear why he acted so stupid and insecure. I have to admit, there were times when I loved Ryan and Jess together and some of the dialogue was great. But that is the hopeless romantic speaking! It was too cliche for even me!


This was a somewhat disappointing read and I can't really recommend it to a lot of people. But I think we all should give it a try though. An interesting way for Kay to kick off her writing career. I am actually looking forward to her future books! And I hear there is going to be a sequel, so I'm hoping it gets better!


Grade: Go to fullsize image I liked it.


Cover: C, I like the shoe and the boxes under it but I think it could have been better suited for the book!


Overall: A book for all those feminists out there. Also, if you feel insecure or have some self esteem problems, read this book.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Selling not released books on eBay:

you-make-bunny-cry.jpg shame shame shame image by LindiaRox111


Shannon of Shannon Loves Books and Cats (Zombies?) wrote a post today about people who are selling not yet released books on eBay. Not only that, but these people are selling the books for very high prices. 


I think this is very wrong and honestly the first time I heard about this, it was from an author. It was really sad considering an author wrote a book for us readers and someone would go out and sell the book for their own good. Its just wrong.


So here is how to report these eBay sellers:


1. Take a look at the right side bar on the item's page
2. Look under Other Item Info click the link that says report item
3. Choose Copyright and Counterfeit violations on the first menu
4. Next pick bootleg and counterfeit media
5. Next pick copies of unreleased media, etc
6. Click continue and type a sentence describing the issue. I usually write something like: this is a copy of an unreleased novel that is clearly marked Not For Resale


Shannon has decided to make this somewhat like a weekly meme. Here is her post. 

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, to share what books you received for review, purchased, or checked out from the library during the past week.
Won:
A prodigal son

A dangerous love


A deadly secret . . . 

I stood back and watched his movements. Daniel had that way about him that could shut me down in an instant. . . . I kicked the gravel a couple of times and worked up my courage again. “Tell me . . . I mean . . . why did you come back? Why now, after all this time?”

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared—the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in blood. But she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night really held. And when Daniel returns three years later, Grace can no longer deny her attraction to him, despite promising Jude she’ll stay away. 


As Grace gets closer to Daniel, her actions stir the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind Jude and Daniel's dark secret . . . and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it—her soul.

When the Prom Queen becomes your fairy godmother…

Sixteen year old outsider, Jess Parker, gets the chance of a lifetime: an invitation to join a secret society of popular girls dedicated to defeating the mean girls of the world. The Cinderella Society guides all new recruits through its top secret ultimate life makeover. It’s all part of preparing them to face down the Wickeds and win. Determined not to let the Cindys down, Jess dives in with a passion. Finally, a chance to belong and show the world what she’s made of.

… be careful what you wish for.

Jess’s transformation wins her the heart of her dream crush and a shot at uber-popularity. Until the Wickeds–led by Jess’s arch enemy–begin targeting innocent girls in their war against the Cindys, and Jess discovers the real force behind her exclusive society. It’s a high stakes battle of good vs. evil, and the Cindys in power need Jess on special assignment. When the mission threatens to destroy her dream life come true, Jess is forced to choose between living a fairy tale and honoring the Sisterhood… and herself.

What’s a girl to do when the glass slipper fits, but she doesn’t want to wear it anymore?


Sydelle Mirabil is living proof that, with a single drop of rain, a life can be changed forever. Tucked away in the farthest reaches of the kingdom, her dusty village has suffered under the weight of a strangely persistent drought. That is, of course, until a wizard wanders into town and brings the rain with him.


In return for this gift, Wayland North is offered any reward he desires—and no one is more surprised than Sydelle when, without any explanation, he chooses her. Taken from her home, Sydelle hardly needs encouragement to find reasons to dislike North. He drinks too much and bathes too little, and if that isn’t enough to drive her to madness, North rarely even uses the magic he takes such pride in possessing. Yet, it’s not long before she realizes there’s something strange about the wizard, who is as fiercely protective of her as he is secretive about a curse that turns his limbs a sinister shade of black and leaves him breathless with agony. Unfortunately, there is never a chance for her to seek answers.

Along with the strangely powerful quakes and storms that trace their path across the kingdom, other wizards begin to take an inexplicable interest in her as well, resulting in a series of deadly duels. Against a backdrop of war and uncertainty, Sydelle is faced with the growing awareness that these events aren’t as random as she had believed—that no curse, not even that of Wayland North, is quite as terrible as the one she herself may carry.

 
Polly Madassa is convinced she was born for a more romantic time. A time when Elizabeth Bennet and Anne of Green Gables walked along the moors and beaches of the beautiful land, a time where a distinguished gentleman called upon a lady of quality and true love was born in the locked eyes of two young lovers.

But alas, she was not. 

This, however, does not stop our young heroine from finding romance wherever she can conjure it up. So while Polly is burdened with a summer job of delivering baked goods from her parents bakery (how quaint!) to the people in her small beach town, she finds a way to force…um…encourage romance to blossom. She is determined to bring lovers, young and old, together…whether they want to be or not.

*Thanks to Cheryl and Amber @ Just Your Typical Book Blog! THANKS LADIES!

I also won:

All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of a victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows.

While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

*I'm not sure where I won this book from....But THANK YOU!

Purchased:
None

From the Library:
None

For Review: 
*They have been sent out but I have not yet received them!

ZAN-GAH: A PREHISTORIC ADVENTURE            ZAN-GAH AND THE BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY
Go HERE to read about both of these books

So what is in your mailbox?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Book Blogger Hop: May 28-31, 2010

It's that time again! The great Book Blogger Hop is back! What is the Book Blogger Hop you ask? Here's a short overview from Crazy For Books, the host.

In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blogger Hop to give us all book bloggers and readers a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! So, I created this weekly BOOK PARTY where book bloggers and readers can connect to find new blogs to read, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start PARTYING!!

So all you have to do is link your blog and hop around and visit other peoples blogs! It's a lot of fun and a great way to discover new blogs, bloggers and more!

So get hopping.

Click HERE to start hopping!

And if you leave your blog URL or a link, I'll make sure to visit your blog as well!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reading Habits

I've been seeing this around for a while and I've decided to try it! Where I have seen it: Potter, Percy, and I and HOME-eBookBlog and Book Crazy


Do you snack while you read? If so, favourite reading snack:
Usually I don't but sometimes I'll eat strawberries or even a sandwich while I read.  


What is your favorite drink while reading?
I don't usually drink when I'm reading. I don't want to get my books wet! 


Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
I DO NOT WRITE IN A BOOK! EVER! 


How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?
Book Marks! I have zillions of them. Some are signed by the author. Some are made by me and friends. 


Fiction, non-fiction, or both?
Fiction. The only time I'll pick up non-fiction is if I have to read it ex. for school. Or if I'm interested in the topic, other wise, I don't read it! 


Are you a person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere?
Most of the time, I read to the end of the chapter. Sometimes though, if time doesn't allow it, I stop right in the middle, though I really hate to do that. 


Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you?
I guess I am. I have been know to do this but most of the time, I'll get rid of the book! 


If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?
Nah. I like to use context clues to figure it out! 


What are you currently reading?
Numbers by Rachel Ward. 


What is the last book you bought?
I honestly don't remember! 


Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one?
I'm a pretty fast reader so I can finish two or three books a day. I have read more than one book at a time! 


Do you have a favourite time/place to read?
Usually at night, before going to sleep, I snuggle in bed and read.


Do you prefer series books or stand alones?
As long as the book is good, I'm good. But a lot of times I like stand alones because I won't have to wait for the next book, as I would in a series. 


Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over?
Well, mostly I tell them books and if an author had more than one good book, than I tell them the author. 


How do you organize your books? (by genre, title, author's last name, etc.)
Authors last name for sure. I'm always adding or fixing books that are in the wrong place!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday (23)



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

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Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter: Book Cover
Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
Hyperion
June 29, 2010

When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn’t know was that the serious, real-life danger would start as soon as her junior year. But that’s exactly what happened two months ago when she faced off against an ancient terrorist organization dead set on kidnapping her.

Now the danger follows her everywhere, and even Cammie “The Chameleon” can’t hide. When a terrifying encounter in London reveals that one of her most trusted allies is actually a rogue double agent, Cammie no longer knows if she can trust her classmates, her teachers — or even her own heart.

In this fourth installment of the New York Times best-selling series, the Gallagher Girls must hack, spy, steal, and lie their way to the truth as they go searching for answers, recognizing that the key to Cammie’s future may lie deep in the past.

I love Alley Carter and the Gallagher Girls so I was very excited to read about this new book in the series! 



Ask Amy Green: Boy Trouble by Sarah Webb 

Candlewick 
August 10, 2010 

Thirteen-year-old Amy Green has a lot to juggle: handling her divorced parents, minding her messy baby siblings, and navigating the snobby popular cliques at school. So when her cool but crazy seventeen-year old aunt, Clover lands a job giving advice for the teen mag The Goss, Amy jumps at the chance to help out as her sidekick. Of course Clover, being Clover, doesn’t just want to answer readers’ letters, she wants to solve their problems . . . personally. From stamping out malicious rumors to giving a cad his comeuppance to creating the perfect web page, the two come up with some clever hands-on schemes that bring happiness to many unhappy girls. But when Amy falls for the cute but aloof boy in her art class — and her own friends start snubbing her big-time — can she find a way out of her own dilemma?

This one sounds like a really cute read!

Almost to Die For (A Vampire Princess of St. Paul, #1) by Tate Hallaway
 NAL TradeAugust 3, 2010

On her sixteenth birthday, Anastasija Parker's present winds up being the shock of a lifetime. When her mom referred to her absentee dad as a deadbeat it was actually half true -- he's a vampire. And a king, no less. A king who wants his daughter to assume her rightful position at his side. But, thanks to Ana's mother, the blood of a witch also runs through her veins....

Too bad vampires and witches are mortal enemies.

With her parents gearing up for an all out brawl over her destiny, Ana's about ready to scream. But things get even crazier when a male witch and a brooding bad boy vampire start vying for her affection. Then the barely leashed tension between the vampires and the witches starts to boil over, and Ana has to figure out once and for all if she wants to become heir to her dad's throne. And deciding your eternal destiny is a pretty big deal for a girl who just wants to get through high school.

Review: A Walk To Remember by Nicolas Sparks

Summary:Every April, when the wind blows from the sea and mingles with the scent of lilacs, Landon Carter remembers his last year at Beaufort High. It was 1958, and Landon had already dated a girl or two. He even swore that he had once been in love. Certainly the last person in town he thought he'd fall for was Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of the town's Baptist minister. A quiet girl who always carried a Bible with her schoolbooks, Jamie seemed content living in a world apart from the other teens. She took care of her widowed father, rescued hurt animals, and helped out at the local orphanage. No boy had ever asked her out. Landon would never have dreamed of it. Then a twist of fate made Jamie his partner for the homecoming dance, and Landon Carter's life would never be the same. Being with Jamie would show him the depths of the human heart and lead him to a decision so stunning it would send him irrevocably on the road to manhood...


Review: Sometimes regarded as one of the best books Nicholas Sparks has ever written, A Walk to Remember takes the readers on a roller coaster of emotions: from fear, sadness to anger and resentment.


I loved the book! In the beginning it was slow and I was hesitant to see if I would like this book. But I gave it a chance and I'm glad I did. Being such a short book, Sparks started the book with needed background information. Then he go straight to the story.


Landon Carter is the cocky, rebellious teenage boy who gets in trouble with the law. Jamie Sullivan is the daughter of the reverend, the sweet, innocent girl everyone can't help but fall in love with. But as we read into the book, we see that Jamie is an outcast though she doesn't seem to mind, or in fact, notice. Two character we never expect to see together.


But as Jamie and Landon are forced to work together on a play, Landon realizes there's more to Jamie than meets the eye. As the two spend more time together, Landon breaks the promise he made to her: no matter what, he would not fall in love with her.


We are told a story about falling in love where you least expect it. And when you think nothing can go wrong, reality hits, and in the case of the book, reality hits hard. After finding out the truth behind Jamie's actions and promises and such, Landon does everything in his power to make Jamie's last days on earth the best ones.


This book will make you angry, cry your eyes out, and truly be thankful for what you have. In this book, Sparks does an exceptional job writing about a young teenage boy who learns the true depth of the human heart and goes from a boy to a man.


Grade:Go to fullsize image I really liked it.


Cover: C, I'm not sure how this cover relates to the book!


Overall: A very touching book that will stay with you for a long time! If you haven't read this yet, go get it now!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Book Blogger Hop: May 21-24, 2010



It's that time again! The great Book Blogger Hop is back! What is the Book Blogger Hop you ask? Here's a short overview from Crazy For Books, the host.

In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blogger Hop to give us all book bloggers and readers a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! So, I created this weekly BOOK PARTY where book bloggers and readers can connect to find new blogs to read, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start PARTYING!!

So all you have to do is link your blog and hop around and visit other peoples blogs! It's a lot of fun and a great way to discover new blogs, bloggers and more!

So get hopping.

Click HERE to start hopping!

And if you leave your blog URL or a link, I'll make sure to visit your blog as well!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday (22)


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

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Moonstone by Marilee Brothers
Bell Bridge Books
August 1, 2008

A sickly mom. A tiny house trailer. High school bullies and snarky drama queens. Bad-guy dudes with charming smiles. Allie has problems. And then there's that whole thing about fulfilling a magical prophecy and saving the world from evil. Geez. Welcome to the sad, funny, sometimes-scary world of fifteen-year-old Allie Emerson, who's struggling to keep her and her mom's act together in the small-town world of Peacock Flats, Washington. An electrical zap from a TV antenna sets off Allie's weird psychic powers.
The next thing she knows she's being visited by a hippy-dippy guardian angel, and then her mysterious neighbor, the town "witch," gives her an incredible moonstone pendant that has powers only a good-hearted "Star Seeker" is meant to command. "Who, me?" is Allie's first reaction. But as sinister events begin to unfold, Allie realizes she's got a destiny to live up to. If she can just survive everyday life, in the meantime.


Sleepless by Cyn Balog
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
July 13, 2010


Eron De Marchelle isn't supposed to feel a connection. He is a Sandman, a supernatural being whose purpose is to seduce human charges to sleep. While he can communicate with his charges in their dreams, he isn't encouraged to--after all, getting too involved in one human's life would prevent him helping his other charges get their needed rest.

But he can't deny that he feels something for Julia. Julia, with her fiery red hair and her sad dreams. Just weeks ago, her boyfriend died in a car accident, and Eron can tell that she feels more alone than ever. Eron was human once too, many years ago, and he remembers how it felt to lose the one he loved. Eron has always felt protective of Julia . . . but now, when she seems to need him more than ever, he can't seem to reach her . . .

Sandmen are forbidden from communicating with humans outside their dreams. But will Eron be willing to risk everything for a chance to be with the person he loves?


Both of these books sound great! And the covers are awesome too!




What are your picks? 

*I'm having some trouble with this blog! All of my post seem to come away from the side, as if I centered them when I didn't. Anyone know how to fix it?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday (21)

Waiting On Wednesday
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

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Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
Feiwel & Friends
August 31, 2010


From Goodreads:"Three angels are sent down to bring good to the world: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. But she is the most human, and when she is romantically drawn to a mortal boy, the angels fear she will not be strong enough to save anyone—especially herself—from the Dark Forces. Is love a great enough power against evil?"


Lately I haven't read a lot of books about angels so this is a very refreshing to find a new book! I love the cover too! 
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Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
NAL/Penguin
Release Date Unavailable


In her dreams he’s irresistible—seductive, charming, and undoubtedly dangerous. But when he appears to her when she’s awake—and captivates her just the same—she’s not sure which way is up and which is down.


Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life, not allowed the same freedoms as the rest of the teenagers in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, she feels every urge she’s ever denied burning through her at the slightest glance from Haden Black. Theia knows she’s seen Haden before—not around town, but in her dreams.


Theia doesn’t understand how she dreamed of Haden before they ever met, but every night has them joined in a haunting world of eerie fantasy. And as the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her forward one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear. And as she slowly discovers what Haden truly is, Theia’s not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.


Yet another great looking book. Is it just me or are the covers of books just as great as the synopsizes? Once again, a book I can't wait for!
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Haunted by Joy Preble
January 1, 2011


Joy Preble's Haunted, the sequel to Dreaming Anastasia, in which a girl is being haunted by a mysterious and malevolent mermaid, to Daniel Ehrenhaft at Sourcebooks, for publication in Winter 2011, by Jennifer Rofe at Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (from Joy Preble's website)




I've heard high praise for her first book, Dreaming Anastasia, so this one sounded good too! Plus its about mermaids. Who doesn't love mermaids? 
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Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials by Stephanie Hemphill
Balzer + Bray 
June 29, 2010

Wicked Girls is a fictionalized account of the Salem witch trials based on the real historical characters, told from the perspective of three young women living in Salem in 1692—Mercy Lewis, Margaret Walcott, and Ann Putnam Jr.



When Ann’s father suggests that a spate of illnesses within the village is the result of witchcraft, Ann sees an opportunity and starts manifesting the symptoms of affliction. Ann looks up to Mercy, the beautiful servant in her parents' house. She shows Mercy the power that a young girl is capable of in a time when women were completely powerless. Mercy, who suffered abuse at the hands of past masters, seizes her only chance at safety. And Ann’s cousin Margaret, anxious to win the attention of a boy in her sights, follows suit. As the accusations mount against men and women in the community, the girls start to see the deadly ramifications of their actions. Should they finally tell the truth? Or is it too late to save this small New England town?


Anything that has to do with the Salem Witch Trails is very interesting to me. Finding yet another book about them was great. I really want to know how this author pulls of this interesting part of history. 

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

To all the wonderful mothers out there, Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Book Blogger Hop - May 7-13, 2010

It's that time again! The great Book Blogger Hop is back! What is the Book Blogger Hop you ask? Here's a short overview from Crazy For Books, the host.

In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blogger Hop to give us all book bloggers and readers a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! So, I created this weekly BOOK PARTY where book bloggers and readers can connect to find new blogs to read, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start PARTYING!!


So all you have to do is link your blog and hop around and visit other peoples blogs! It's a lot of fun and a great way to discover new blogs, bloggers and more!


So get hopping.

Click HERE to start hopping!


And if you leave your blog URL or a link, I'll make sure to visit your blog as well!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

What's Missing in YA Lit?


A few days ago, I came across this post by Steph Su:


What's Missing In YA Lit? The Contemporary Edition
One of the side effects of blogging, especially if you're blogging with being an aspiring writer in mind, is that you start to notice trends, of what's overdone, what's missing, things that worked for you, things that didn't.


So this got me thinking. We really are missing some key points in YA Lit these days. As a teenager, I read books where I want to be able to connect somewhat, if not all the way, with the character of the book. But I also want a YA book to be well....YA. There were a lot of points Steph made and I agree with most of them.


1. Parents
As Steph noted, why are most parents divorced, single, dead, drunks, etc? Most of the authors are in good marriages, so why make the parents look so horrid? Why must all the teenage protagonist think that their parents are bad people who don't understand them, don't have time for them, or they're dead? Yes, most teens do have problems with their parents but that's expected isn't it? So why make them look so bad, when in reality, they aren't?



2. YA lit
You want the truth? I'm not sure how many friends I have who are willing to read a Jane Austen book over say, a book of The House of Night Series. So why is it that in most books, we see the classics? In Twilight, there was Wuthering Heights and Romeo and Juliet. A lot of Bronte and Austen. I don't remember the last YA book I read that had the MC read a book of the Vampire Academy, or The Hunger Games, or some other book?


     
3. Homework
What kid in this world can (as Steph mentioned) be in AP classes, honors classes, have 4.0s and get into Ivy League school, and not do ANY homework. I've rarely, if at all, seen a MC worry about homework instead of boys or projects over makeup or a ball game. How can theses characters get around 8 hours of sleep and get into Ivy League? As an honors student my self, that's far from reality. I stay up past midnight, sometimes studying or doing homework. And damn the fact that people say you can get into any schools of grades alone. I've joined clubs and volunteer and play a sport because I want to go to collage. If going to school was based on no homework, I think there would be no reason for school it self. 
4. An ACCURATE portrayal of the college application process
I've actually got a long time before I have to apply for a collage but the teachers and guidance counselors are already hammering down on us to see what we want to major/minor in collage and where we're thinking of going. But my sister had to go through this process and it's not something you can do in about a month, as seen in some books. Other times, there are the characters who get into EVERY SINGLE school they applied for while someone else didn't. I just don't get how this can happen? How can someone have everything every school they applied for is looking for? How can a MC have a perfect GPA, grades, etc for maybe 5-6 school?


5. Realistic romances
You know what's over rated? The story line of the very-shy-girl-who-is-suddenly-the-love-interest-of-some-super-cute-jock-who-has-everything-she-wants. Or where the simple, nice girl falls for the bad boy. THIS IS NOT HOW IT REALLY HAPPENS. Ok, I'm sure there are some people who say this is how it happened for them, but for the rest of us, I don't think so. I don't know a single friend to whom one of these scenarios has happened to. So can we just try and make it realistic instead of a fantasy? Don't get me wrong, I do love reading books like this but sometimes, its too much. 

6. Athletes
I love sports plain and simple. Sure I don't play as much as I did but I still love it. And I love when there is a character who plays a sport. But I don't want a YA book to brush up on the topic. Like Steph said "Though I would like to see some more actual athletic action: mentions or recaps of games, practice, interactions with teammates, bus rides, the like. Basically, I'd love if YA's approach to sports (part of a character's identity, but doesn't define him/her) could be extended to other aspects of YA lit, such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, introvertedness, mental illness... the list goes on and on." I agree with her. There is more to a sport than kicking around a ball, or hitting it with a ball, or making a touch down. There is the pressure, the amount of time needed for practice, being in shape and constantly working out. 

And the last topic:


7. Acne (and other physical "uncomfortableness")
Most teenagers hate their bodies. Most of them have some issue or problem or something with their bodies. So why doesn't YA touch on that? Why have I read so many books where the MC has a model's body, no acne, is 5'10'' and weighs less than 150 pounds? Why can't an MC be a size more than uh, say 1? And diets NEVER WORK so why do so many YA books have characters who are on diets? And then there are the girls who have a metabolism that makes them not gain any weight. Alright, I'll admit, my own metabolism is like this. I'm 5'3'' at the moment and I have never weighted more than 107 pounds in my life. And I have acne. I clean my face of all make up, dirt, etc every night but I still get acne. It's part of life and you just have to learn to live with it. 


Here is Steph's post. I am not trying to copy anything of her's but putting my own two cents into this topic. 
 
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