12.19.2014

5 Fandom Friday (7)


5 Fandom Friday is a geek-blogger community building project started and hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and SuperSpaceChick. Every Friday, post a top 5 list based on a predetermined topic that can be found on this master post - you can also find more info on the project there. Participate as frequently or infrequently as you like, and if a topic doesn't especially appeal to you, feel free to put your own twist on it.

Don't forget to link up on SuperSpaceChick's weekly post.


This week's theme: My Must See List of Christmas Movies

It's not so much that I have to see these, but these are movies that are either very XMAS-y or they remind me of this wonderful time of the year. Just glimpsing them on TV or in stores is enough to give me a jolt of holiday cheer.

1) ELF


Comedies are hit or miss for me because humor can be so subjective, but I loved Elf when I saw it in theaters and I love it now. Even in its most ridiculous, most obnoxious moments, it retained its heartfelt exuberance for the holiday season. That kind of good cheer is infectious.


2) LOVE ACTUALLY


There have been many imitations of this format, but none are as good as the original. All star cast, adorable intersecting stories, and ALL THE FEELS.


3) HARRY POTTER


Nothing seems more magical than Christmas at Hogwarts. Plus, the books and movies have always had great winter scenes, and the ABC Family holiday marathons have helped cement these films in my brain as movies for this time of year. Not to mention, ALL THE MAGICAL FRIENDSHIP FEELS.



4) THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY



These movies were all released in December, and that's when my friends and I saw them. They were such a part of our high school experience, and we loved them (and love them still). Also, like the Harry Potter movies, the holiday marathons of these movies have also helped strengthen my association of them with Christmastime.

The Hobbit trilogy (why is it a trilogy?) isn't as good, but the friends and I have stuck with tradition and seen them in theater each December they're out. We'll be seeing this last installment this weekend - appropriately in a huge group.


5) A VERY SUPERNATURAL CHRISTMAS (Season 3)


I was going to put something more traditional here like Frosty the Snowman or A Charlie Brown Christmas, but those are kind of no-brainers. They're always shown around Christmastime, and of course, they're very seasonally appropriate and I remember them fondly from childhood.

Instead, I picked for my last entry, this episode of the TV show Supernatural. While it's not one of the strongest monster-of-the-week stories (though I liked the holiday monster twist), it's one of the best character episodes in the show and is one of my absolute favorites. It's funny, clever, sweet, and a little heartbreaking. Basically, it hit all the right notes for Christmas - warm and fuzzy with a hint of melancholy. And we get to see a Christmas with the boys as kids.



Happy Holidays, you freaks!

12.18.2014

YA Superlative Blogfest 2014: Best in Show


About the blogfest: The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest will run Monday, December 15th – Thursday, December 18th and will highlight our favorite YA books published in 2014**. The week will conclude with the lovely hosts Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Alison Miller, and Katy Upperman giving away 2014 books to a few blogfest participants. Click the banner for more info!

If you join in, don't forget to link up at one of the host blogs!

**Disclaimer: I tried to choose books published in 2014 (Alz isn't participating this year because she's been in a year-long reading slump), but I will also have older books since I read A LOT LESS this year & many were not books published in 2014. I'll make a note if the book is NOT 2014 pubbed. In some cases, it was the last book in a series that came out in 2014, but I may talk about the series as a whole.


The topic of Day 4, the final day, is BEST IN SHOW!

Favorite Cover: THE WINNER'S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski / OF METAL AND WISHES by Sarah Fine


I think we're all a bit over the Girl-in-Dress covers, but The Winner's Curse works for me and is absolutely eye-catching. I love the sumptuous image (fancy dresses are part of the story) and the vertical, overlaid type. And did you notice, the girl's hand clutching the P?

I love the Of Metal and Wishes cover for its simplicity and neutral color scheme. I love the type and the kind of romantic atmosphere, and of course, how awesome is it to have such a beautiful cover featuring a non-white heroine? Oh and that plastic-looking tarp? I love that it hints at the meat factory setting.


Most Likely to Succeed (Pick a Printz Winner): A TIME TO DANCE by Padma Venkatraman


This book is moving, uplifting, and just beautiful. It's one of the first verse novels I've read, and what a great introduction to the medium. The poetry is simple but vivid, painting evocative scenes and drawing out emotions. A Time to Dance is about rising up, growing up, love, and the power of dance/art. Here's my goodreads review for my immediate impressions.

(We Were Liars is a close second, but that book has been everywhere, and I think I've gushed about it enough.)


Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime: MORTAL GODS by Kendare Blake


It was the same with Book 1: ANTIGODDESS. I blasted through Mortal Gods over a weekend because I just needed to know what was going to happen! And then that cliffhanger ending?! Killer! When is the next one out?!


Best Repeat Performance: HEIR OF FIRE / BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE / WHERE SHE WENT

I couldn't choose between HoF and BL,LB because HoF is my favorite of the Throne of Glass books so far, but I LOVE every subsequent book of the The Raven Cycle, probably because I'm just so grateful to be in Henrietta and Cabeswater again.



So to make it really fair, I'm going to choose a follow-up that wasn't published in 2014- Gayle Forman's WHERE SHE WENT, the sequel to IF I STAY. I liked If I Stay a lot, so I don't know why it took me so long to pick up Where She Went. I think I was too afraid it would somehow fall short of the magic that was the first book. After seeing If I Stay the movie, I finally went out and read the follow-up... AND I LOVED IT. I maybe loved it more than the first book, and I just want to hug everyone, but especially Adam and Mia.


Favorite Finale or End of Series Novel: RUIN & RISING by Leigh Bardugo

You must be sick by now of hearing me talk about how satisfying I found this conclusion. Endings are hard, and Leigh Bardugo killed it.


Best Old-Timer (Favorite Book Published BEFORE 2014): WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman


See "Repeat Performance" category for Where She Went reasons. I also really enjoyed Gayle Forman's 2013 pubbed JUST ONE YEAR, follow-up to JUST ONE DAY. It was nice see the other side of the story.


Most Likely to Make a Grown Man Cry: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green

I'm cheating with this one because this book has been out, and I'm just slow getting to read this. Did the book make me cry? Almost but no. Books don't really make me cry, but I watched the movie in theaters like 2 hours after I finished the book, and that was a cryfest. So, yeah. (To be fair, movies are more emotionally manipulative than books for me, AND I was already in a compromised emotional state. You don't do TFiOS back-to-back like that on little sleep. At least, I don't recommend it.)


Most Creative Use of a Love Triangle: OF METAL & WISHES by Sarah Fine

All I can say is that it's kind of unusual, and I believed both relationships.


Sleeper Hit (Novel So Awesome I Wish It’d Been Hyped More): A TIME TO DANCE / OF METAL AND WISHES

I talked about why A Time to Dance is great in the "Most Likely to Succeed" category, so I'm going to tell you about Of Metal and Wishes a bit. Other than the fact that it has a love triangle that works and is an intriguing spin on The Phantom of the Opera (who would think to mash it up with Upton Sinclair's The Jungle?), OMaW has a fascinating political set-up. It has explores class and race divisions and manages to be dark and gory while still maintaining (at appropriate times) a sort of dreamy atmosphere as suggested by the book cover. I'm very curious where the story will lead next, and like The Winner's Curse, OMaW is a vivid fantasy...without actual magic (or is there?).


Favorite Outlier (Best Picture Book): SAM & DAVE DIG A HOLE by Mac Barnett, Illustrated by Jon Klassen


I loved the last book Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen collaborated on, the adorable EXTRA YARN, so I was so excited to find another collab between them. While this book isn't quite as cute or sweet, it's amusing, delightful, and has a twist ending. As usual, Klassen's animals have the best expressions and add a little extra something to the tale.

Honorable Mention: Sparky! by Jenny Offill, illustrated by Chris Appelhans. This book is about a girl who gets a sloth as a pet. It is THE CUTEST.


Favorite Graphic Novel: THROUGH THE WOODS by Emily Carroll


Emily Carroll draws some of the most delightfully creepy and disturbing web comics around like her (in)famous HIS FACE ALL RED. I love her web comics and her art, so I was super excited to hear she had a book coming out this year. The anthology does not disappoint with its new stories and first-time-in-print His Face All Red. Give it a read if you like the kind of fairy tales that are meant to scare you and stay with you.

And that's it for this year's YA Superlatives blogfest! I can't believe it's over and that 2014 is coming to a close. I hope to read more next year, and I hope this blogfest has added to your TBR piles!

I will mostly be taking a break for the holidays, but I will sometimes pipe in on Fridays for 5 Fandom Friday. Other than that, see you next year! xoxo


2014 YA Superlatives Blogfest recap:
Day 1: Head of Class
Day 2: Popularity Contest
Day 3: Elements of Fiction

12.17.2014

YA Superlative Blogfest 2014: Elements of Fiction


About the blogfest: The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest will run Monday, December 15th – Thursday, December 18th and will highlight our favorite YA books published in 2014**. The week will conclude with the lovely hosts Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Alison Miller, and Katy Upperman giving away 2014 books to a few blogfest participants. Click the banner for more info!

If you join in, don't forget to link up at one of the host blogs!

**Disclaimer: I tried to choose books published in 2014 (Alz isn't participating this year because she's been in a year-long reading slump), but I will also have older books since I read A LOT LESS this year & many were not books published in 2014. I'll make a note if the book is NOT 2014 pubbed. In some cases, it was the last book in a series that came out in 2014, but I may talk about the series as a whole.


The topic of Day 3 is ELEMENTS OF FICTION, and these were my favorite books of 2014 for these categories.


Most Formidable World: INTO THE STILL BLUE



I'm pretty sure I've picked the Never Sky world for this category before and for good reason. Basically, I wouldn't survive because it's a post-apocalyptic landscape, and that's not even taking into account the aether storms and cannibals.

Honorable Mention: This book is not YA, and it's more an anthology of horror comics, but Emily Carroll's collective "woods" in her book Through the Woods are eerily beautiful but NOT a place I would like to find myself wandering through at night...or ever, really.


Wanderlust-Inducing (Or, the setting you’d happily travel to.): BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE

Even with all the murder, magic, and general mayhem happening around Henrietta, I'd still risk it to get a glimpse of the talking trees of Cabeswater. Maggie Stiefvater makes this place seem so real.


Loveliest Prose: BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE

If it's not a Laini Taylor book (which isn't here because I didn't get around to reading Dreams of Gods and Monsters), then it'll be a Maggie Stiefvater one. Maggie's prose is transporting. There's something about the precise description and cadence of it that even if the words aren't flowery or lyrical, they take you magical places.


Best First Line: WE WERE LIARS / HEIR OF FIRE

We Were Liars: "Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family."

Heir of Fire - "Gods, it was boiling in this useless excuse for a kingdom."

Two choices for different tones: We Were Liars for its simplicity. It immediately sets the stage for the rest of the story. Heir of Fire because it's funny and so quintessentially in Celaena's voice.


Most Dynamic Main Character: Alina in RUIN & RISING

Exclusive Ruin & Rising poster for the Grisha Trilogy, illustrated by Irene Koh.
There were a number of choices even with my limited reading this year, but I have to give this category to Alina because this girl has been through a lot over the course of these 3 books. And I have to give her props for being someone I didn't really like in the first book to someone who I respected. Like I said, I loved the conclusion to this trilogy, and a big part of that was because of Alina's transformation.

Honorable Mention: Celaena in Heir of Fire and Kestrel in The Winner's Curse because they both had their worlds turned upside down in their respective books. Celaena was forced to confront her personal demons and own her heritage, and Kestrel was made to question her beliefs, her society, and her heart.


Most Jaw-Dropping Ending: WE WERE LIARS / MORTAL GODS

This is a tie because We Were Liars was, well, it was something else. The whole book is a mystery, so when the big reveal comes at the end, it's shocking to say the least. Mortal Gods, on the other hand, isn't shy about where it's heading, but the cliffhanger this book ends on? I was not expecting it to actually be like a cliffhanger like that!


Best Performance in a Supporting Role: Nikolai Lantsov in RUIN & RISING

Because I adore him, and he brought a much needed lightness to the dire situations of this final installment in the Grisha Trilogy.

Honorable Mention(s): It's hard to pick because I tend to love a lot of side-characters, and some of these books have ensemble casts, who kind of are different kinds of supportive. So to list a bunch of supporting characters I love - Odysseus in Mortal Gods (because I have mentioned how much I love the Odyssey, right?); any of the Raven Boys & the women of 300 Fox Way in Blue Lily, Lily Blue; the enigmatic Factory Ghost of Of Metal and Wishes


Best Use of Theme: WE WERE LIARS



I love a well-crafted literary, and We Were Liars is one of those. I talked about themes at length in my review of the ARC. But I loved how the structure of the book mirrored the themes - about memory and personal narratives and how we deal with tragedy and grief.


Come back tomorrow for the Best in Show category.

Previous 2014 YA Superlatives posts:
Day 1: Head of Class
Day 2: Popularity Contest

12.16.2014

YA Superlative Blogfest 2014: Popularity Contest



About the blogfest: The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest will run Monday, December 15th – Thursday, December 18th and will highlight our favorite YA books published in 2014**. The week will conclude with the lovely hosts Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Alison Miller, and Katy Upperman giving away 2014 books to a few blogfest participants. Click the banner for more info!

If you join in, don't forget to link up at one of the host blogs!

**Disclaimer: I tried to choose books published in 2014 (Alz isn't participating this year because she's been in a year-long reading slump), but I will also have older books since I read A LOT LESS this year & many were not books published in 2014. I'll make a note if the book is NOT 2014 pubbed. In some cases, it was the last book in a series that came out in 2014, but I may talk about the series as a whole.


The topic of Day 2 is POPULARITY CONTEST, and these were my favorite books of 2014 for these categories.

Villain I Love to Hate: The Darkling from The Grisha Trilogy (RUIN & RISING) by Leigh Bardugo

Graphics source: Compelled by Books tumblr
The Darkling wins this category every year because I love him. (It also doesn't hurt that Sean O'Pry is the fancast for him because Sean O'Pry is smoldering eye-candy.) Not love to hate, just love. Like tell me where to sign up for his dark army because I am a-OK with a world enveloped in darkness as long as there's just enough light for me to see his gorgeous face. (Let me have this fangirl moment because the trilogy is finished and this will be the last year I get to do this.) (Also, I would be the worst minion because I'd be way too distracted all. the. time.)


Favorite Parental Figure: Veda's family from A TIME TO DANCE by Padma Venkatraman


While this beautiful verse book is very much focused on Veda and her recovery and relationship with dance, I loved the presence of her family in this book. My favorite was her grandmother - supportive and spiritual and very much the heart of family - but I also loved how Veda's relationship with her mother evolved over the course of the book. So glad I could include this book in the Superlatives today because it's such a moving, lovely read.


Most Likely to Start a Riot: Aedion Ashryver from HEIR OF FIRE by Sarah J. Maas

I don't want to spoil anything, but Aedion is a presence when he enters a room, and he's cocky as hell. He's charismatic, handsome, and absolutely lethal - and I'm sure before the series is finished, he'll incite a riot or three.


Biggest Flirt: Nikolai Lantsov from The Grisha Trilogy (RUIN & RISING) by Leigh Bardugo

I had to crop this fan-edit graphic to avoid (sorta) spoilers.
(Source: something new for every night tumblr)
Things are pretty dire for everyone who is not the Darkling in Ruin & Rising, but darling Nikolai still manages to retain his poise, his sense of humor, and his undeniable charm. This clever prince stole my heart and nearly had me jumping the Darkling ship. Nearly.


Fashion King and/or Queen: Kestrel from THE WINNER'S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski


Normally, Celaena from the Throne of Glass series would take this title, but she doesn't have her usual glorious wardrobe in this year's Heir of Fire. Kestrel, on the other hand, is a high-society lady in the militaristic and Roman-esque world of The Winner's Curse, and oh does she have some beautiful gowns. Just look at the sumptuous book cover!


Character I’d Most Want For a BFF: Blue and the Raven Boys from BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE by Maggie Stiefvater

Because who wouldn't want these people for friends? They're complex, adventurous, fun, and loving of one another. Basically, if you're part of this group, you're golden. I too want to go traipsing around Virginia in search of an enchanted, slumbering king.

Raven Cycle Character Sketches print from Maggie Stiefvater's Society6 page.


Coolest Nerd: Gansey from BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE by Maggie Stiefvater

I remember people picking Gansey for this category last year, and I agreed (though I didn't pick him then). He takes the spot this year because I feel like he was the nerdiest we've seen him in this installment of the Raven Cycle series. This was helped by the presence of Mallory, who brought out the folklore and ley line nerd in Gansey in full force.

Come back tomorrow for the Elements of Fiction category.

Previous 2014 YA Superlatives posts:
Day 1: Head of Class

12.15.2014

YA Superlative Blogfest 2014: Head of Class

It's Day 1 of the 2014 YA Superlatives Blogfest! This is like my favorite blogfest of the year.



About the blogfest: The Class of 2014: YA Superlative Blogfest will run Monday, December 15th – Thursday, December 18th and will highlight our favorite YA books published in 2014**. The week will conclude with the lovely hosts Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Alison Miller, and Katy Upperman giving away 2014 books to a few blogfest participants. Click the banner for more info!

If you join in, don't forget to link up at one of the host blogs!

**Disclaimer: I tried to choose books published in 2014 (Alz isn't participating this year because she's been in a year-long reading slump), but I will also have older books since I read A LOT LESS this year & many were not books published in 2014. I'll make a note if the book is NOT 2014 pubbed. In some cases, it was the last book in a series that came out in 2014, but I may talk about the series as a whole.

The topic of the day is HEAD OF CLASS, and these were my favorite books of 2014 for these categories.


Favorite Dystopian: INTO THE STILL BLUE by Veronica Rossi


Granted the only other dystopian I read this year was Veronica Roth's Divergent Trilogy conclusion ALLEGIANT and granted that The Never Sky trilogy is more Post-Apocalyptic than Dystopian, Into The Still Blue still earned its place. I was shaky about the first book but was curious enough to continue the series. Into the Still Blue was a satisfying conclusion to the journey our protagonists set off on, and I very much enjoyed seeing them get there.


Favorite Science Fiction: ODY-C by Matt Fraction / Illustrated by Christian Ward



Okay, this isn't YA and it isn't a book, but it's the only sci-fi anything I've read this year, and I already kind of love it. It's a futuristic, galactic spin on the Odyssey (one of my favorite stories ever) with almost all genderbent characters. The art is bold and colorful, the mythological twists are clever, and I can't wait to see where this series goes. It's probably going to be the first current comic book series I follow! Issue 2 is out around Christmas!


Favorite Fantasy: RUIN & RISING by Leigh Bardugo


This was a REALLY TOUGH category because I read so many wonderful YA fantasies this year, which I'll hopefully get to highlight later during this blogfest. But I had to choose Ruin & Rising because it brought the trilogy to an exciting, satisfying conclusion. The ending felt earned, and we all know, endings are hard to do well too. Though this was another trilogy that I felt shaky with at the start (I was a little underwhelmed by Book 1), it is one that won me over more and more with each book. I'm sad to leave these characters behind, but I'm also so, so excited to return to their world in Bardugo's next series.


Favorite Contemporary: WE WERE LIARS by e. lockhart

Source: We Were Liars tumblr / Text (c) E. Lockhart #wewereliars
I also read quite a few good Contemps this year, but most of them were pre-2014. Even so, I think We Were Liars comes out on top because it's a good mix of family drama, mystery, and heart-wrenching revelations. The prose is spare but vivid, and the exploration of family narratives, grief, growth, and memory are thoughtful and nuanced. The beautiful Sinclairs give us a lot to think about. You can find my more detailed reflection on this book in my review from earlier this year.


Favorite Action/Adventure: HEIR OF FIRE by Sarah J. Maas



Like I said, I read a lot of fun fantasy this year. While Heir of Fire was beat out in the fantasy category, I think it qualifies for Action/Adventure. This installment is my favorite by far and the one that had me truly anxious for the next because now, I feel like a lot of the cards are finally on the table from our characters and that the true story is about to begin. We find Celaena facing up to her past in a far-off land, this one still rich with magic, while at home in Ardarlan, though they aren't adventuring in a foreign land, Dorian and Chaol are facing dangers of their own. There's a lot of growth in character and plot. My thoughts elaborated in my Heir of Fire review from earlier this year.


Favorite Romance: OF METAL AND WISHES by Sarah Fine



I liked Sarah Fine's paranormal Shadowlands books, but I loved Of Metal and Wishes, which was a little more fantasy and a little more gothic. The story is a beautiful and sometimes brutal retelling of The Phantom of the Opera - if it were set in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle's meat factory. I loved the world-building and the very real class and race issues it explored, but I also quite enjoyed the romance - which was bittersweet, yearning, and perilous. There's a bit of a love triangle in this one, but you'll be surprised by how well it works.


Favorite Paranormal: MORTAL GODS by Kendare Blake



I'm actually not sure if this counts as paranormal, but this series does feature a bunch of teenaged / early 20-ish year old versions of Greek gods and heroes in modern times doing their best to kill each other before they die. It's fun if you're a Classical Mythology nerd like me, but even if you're not, Kendare Blake always writes fast-paced, bloody adventures that are funny to boot. I've loved her interpretations of what the modern-day gods and heroes are like, and I was particularly taken with some of the new characters she introduced in this installment. The cliffhanger at the end though? UNFORGIVABLE. I need the next book asap!


Favorite Genre Bender: BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE by Maggie Stiefvater



I think until this series is over, the Raven Cycle books are always going to rule this category. They are a fantasy/paranormal unlike anything I've ever read - unpredictable and entirely engrossing. Henrietta feels both contemporary and otherworldly, and the characters are so nuanced and endearing. I am always happy to see them again and am always reluctant to let them go when I get to the last page. I can't recommend these books enough.

Come back tomorrow for the Popularity Contest category. These will be fun (expect the Darkling).

12.12.2014

5 Fandom Friday (6)


5 Fandom Friday is a geek-blogger community building project started and hosted by The Nerdy Girlie and SuperSpaceChick. Every Friday, post a top 5 list based on a predetermined topic that can be found on this master post - you can also find more info on the project there. Participate as frequently or infrequently as you like, and if a topic doesn't especially appeal to you, feel free to put your own twist on it.

Don't forget to link up on SuperSpaceChick's weekly post.


This week's theme: Presents I Want Santa To Bring Me

How extravagant are we allowed to get because I can go there... This is just wishful thinking, right? ;)

1) Maggie Stiefvater's Scorpio Races art print.

Source: society6.com/maggiestiefvater
Of the considerable number of YA books I've read in recent years, THE SCORPIO RACES is one of the few that I knew would be a forever favorite when I finished it. It is an atmospheric, longing book set on a fictional windswept island that is also home to the capall uisce - vicious, wild, flesh-eating water horses (perhaps more commonly known as selkies). So obviously, I want this print.


2) Shadowplaynyc's limited-time galaxy hoodies.
Source: instagram.com/shadowplaynyc
It should be no surprise that I love galaxy-print things, and I don't think anyone does them as beautifully as Brooklyn-based Shadowplaynyc does. So when they announced their special, limited line of reversible hoodies, I was super excited. Unfortunately, I've reached my quota on gifts-to-myself this year, but oh, those hoodies are nice to look at.

Over the holidays last year and this year, I took advantage of their sales and picked up a dress and some tights.


3) Vintage typewriter


I love old writing paraphernalia, so I'd love to have an old working typewriter to use when I'm feeling whimsical and to admire on the day to day. I saw one from the 1920s at a swap meet this weekend, and I was a tiny bit tempted - but I have absolutely NO ROOM for it, hah. But what can I say? I'm weird and like old things like books and fountain pens and writing in cursive.


4) Wonderfalls: The Complete Series



I love practically everything else by Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies and Hannibal are some of my favoritest TV), and there was a lot of love for Wonderfalls at SDCC this year that it got me curious. Plus, Lee Pace.

(I should probably watch Dead Like Me too, which friends have suggested I'd like.)


5) Books!

Because one can never have too many (although, someone get me more shelf space first...), and I especially love all the BEAUTIFUL books to choose from like anything the Folio Society prints or these collections from Penguin and Puffin:

Penguin's Drop Caps Classics collection (recently completed)


Puffin in Bloom series


BONUS:

If we're really talking Christmas miracles here, I'd like Santa to bring me some time off. The crush of holidays right at the end of the year really makes it so hard to be at work, so it seems like the best time to have like a 2 week vacation. That's why I think Winter Break might be the thing I miss most about not being in school anymore. No more mandatory winter vacation!

That's the kind of time off/free time I want. No consequences, non-work-affecting free time for holiday cheer, reading, crafting, hanging out, sleeping, and Netflix binge-watching. Make it happen, Santa! ;)


What's on your Santa Wish List?

12.10.2014

What's Up Wednesday (54)


What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, so we can check in with each other. To join, just check out Jaime Morrow or Erin Funk's blogs for the link widget and sign up!

WHAT I'M READING
Finishing up The Infinite Sea. I did however get 2 other books under my belt. The first is another delightful picture book with a twist from Mac Barnett (writer) and Jon Klassen (illustrator) called SAM AND DAVE DIG A HOLE.


It's no secret that I adore Jon Klassen's stories and art (his I WANT MY HAT BACK is a favorite book, period), and I loved his last collaboration with Mac Barnett, the sweet EXTRA YARN. So I was so excited to discover there was a new book out by this duo, and it did not disappoint. As usual, Barnett paces the story perfectly, and Klassen's illustrated animals give the best story-telling expressions.

I also read a comic book! It may surprise you (or not), considering my geek proclivities, that I'm actually not that into comics - mostly because none of my friends were ever into comics and there's just so much out there, it's hard to know where/how to start. That said, I've read a few in volume form (mostly Neil Gaiman's Sandman).

But anyway, at the end of November I heard about this new series called ODY-C that immediately set my Classical Mythology-loving heart aflutter. Classic myth is one of my great and true loves; I voraciously devoured Greek myths alongside fairy tales. And The Odyssey is one of my all-time forever favorites - story, epic, poem, book, whatever you want to call it. I love it to bitty bitty pieces, and Odysseus for all his faults is a favorite character of mine. I flail a little every time he shows up in Greek Myth retellings (e.g. another forever favorite of mine- Madeline Miller's gorgeous THE SONG OF ACHILLES; Kendare Blake's fun and bloody YA series THE GODDESS WAR).


ODY-C is a SciFi, genderbent retelling of the Odyssey. It's a space Odyssey, starring a majority female cast. And like Guardians of the Galaxy, it is fantastically, gorgeously COLORFUL. Basically, this series had me in its thrall before I ever opened a page, and a friend who knows how much I adore The Odyssey & Greek myth did the awesome-o thing of mailing me a brand new copy.

So I read that yesterday, and I freaking love it. The way they've spun the mythology to fit the science fiction setting and the now-female characters has been wonderfully clever. I cannot wait for the next issue!


WHAT I'M WRITING
Still messing with that short story, but also writing a few poem snippets.

1 Writing Goal: write a new stanza of the verse story. It's been too long.


WHAT WORKS FOR ME
Writing down the lines and plot points that sometimes occur to me while doing other things. Write them down as soon as possible. You think you'll remember it later, but you won't. WRITE IT DOWN, ALICE.


WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO

1. I am 100% done with holiday shopping. Whaaaaaaaat. Actually, I was done last week. I'm feeling pretty accomplished. On the other hand, I still have not mailed out holiday cards. So that's 1-1 even.

2. I went to Junk Food Clothing's sample sale this last weekend and scored some pretty SWEET nerd-gear for $5 each. Needless to say, I bought way too much stuff BUT I now have a healthy dose of DC in my mostly Marvel dominated geek-closet. And my favorite- MOAR Star Wars!


3. Some of the goodies I ordered for myself during the holiday shopping has started to arrive, including the crimson galaxy Shadowplaynyc tights (pictured above) I've long been wanting.

4. Got my SipSwap mug, and my person was none other than lovely Jessica Love! She ordered me a custom mug, which was completely handmade. It's so cute and very me. I love it! Thanks again, Jess!


5. Since it's December, it's almost time again for my favorite blogfest of the year: the YA Superlatives Blogfest - hosted by Katy Upperman, Tracey Neithercott, Jessica Love, and Alison Miller.


So, it's next week! Click the link or the banner above for the details. I need to get reading, but I hope you'll join! There will be prizes at the end too. ;)


What's up with you?