Randomosity on Fridays: End of World/Year

Ah, an epic week has come to a close. We hope you enjoyed reading our YA Superlatives blogfest posts and have found some new books to read. (If any of you pick up the Song of Achilles, I am always up to talk about it. Srsly. Email me if you wish.)

Here's a recap in case you missed it/ if you're curious:
Head of Class
Popularity Contest
Elements of Fiction
Best in Show

Once more, we'd like to thank the lovely ladies Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Alison Miller, and Katy Upperman for hosting this blogfest.

If you participated, be sure to check their blogs to see if you won a book! :)

So, according to some people out there, it's supposed to be the end of the world today. As of now, since there have been no reports of Australia sinking into the sea, I think we're going to be okay. Let's celebrate surviving the Mayan apocalypse, enjoy the holidays, and prepare to welcome the new year!

We'll be taking the last week of 2012 off. So we're going to leave you with December in California and some holiday cheer. We hope to see you all back in 2013!

Headed towards Downtown LA at sunset

Bought us some writers @ Barnes&Noble: Edgar and Mark

Knee-high holiday sweater socks

Puppy playtime: Loki & his BFF Sadie (our cousin's pup)

Festive socks while building a Book Tree

Book Tree success!



YA Superlative Blogfest 2012: Best In Show

This is it, the final day of the Blogfest! We hope you've enjoyed this survey of the books we've read and loved this year.

About the blogfest: The Class of 2012: YA Superlative Blogfest will run Monday, December 17th – Thursday, December 20th and will highlight our favorite books of 2012. This year, the lovely hosts Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Alison Miller, and Katy Upperman will also be giving away books to bloggers who participate in all 4 days of the fest. Click the banner for more info!

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

For the big finale, the theme is Best in Show!

(Disclaimer again, you're going to see a lot of SONG OF ACHILLES.)


Favorite Cover: THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater - The stark illustration of the Raven against the white cover is at once eye-catching and intriguing.

Honorable Mention: VESSEL by Sarah Beth Durst - The image is dynamic and actually relevant in terms of its relation to story content. It's a pretty wash of warm, desert colors and features a lovely POC lady!


Cutest Couple: KORBYN & LIYANA from Vessel - Liyana is a pragmatic and practical girl who was destined to be the vessel for her goddess while Korbyn is a companionable trickster god.  The bond that grows between the two of them is forged not by sand and magic, but by their travels and telling each other tales, sharing what is mythology to Liyana and personal history to Korbyn.

Code Name VerityHonorable Mention: CAS & ANNA from Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares - We loved Cas and Anna and their strange connection to each other. They're a good match, even though he's a ghost hunter and she's a ghost. We would have given them the Cutest Couple title if they had had more actual page-time together in Girl of Nightmares.

Platonic Honorable Mention: VERITY & MADDIE from Code Name Verity - I couldn't leave them out because they are a BFF team for the ages. Verity says this about their friendship:
But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France — an Allied Invasion of Two.
We are a sensational team.
I absolutely agree.

Most Likely to Succeed: CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein (Krispy's pick) - This book has quite a bit of buzz, and it deserves all the hype it is getting. It is a brave novel that showed both the best and worst of human nature and all the shades in between. Refreshingly too, this was a story that featured and focused on the power of love in the form of friendship and one between two girls no less! The narrative is told in an interesting way as well - as a written confession from Verity - and relies on an unreliable narrator. Like I said, a brave novel about brave girls.


WONDER by R.J. Palacio (Alz's pick) - I've already babbled at length in previous Superlative posts about the themes of kindness and cruelty and acceptance and bravery and love and the hundreds of other good, touching things in Wonder.  It explores the extremities and difficulties and extreme difficulties of childhood prejudice, innocence, and guilt, and the treatment of "others", and how it can be that the right answer isn't always the easiest.  A thoughtful, thought-provoking, emotionally charged book.

Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime: THE SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeline Miller - It says something that we've known how this story ends since we were wee lasses (yeah, Krispy's been hardcore reading Greek myth since Elementary school), and yet we couldn't tear our eyes away from this story, from seeing the characters' lives spin towards their ultimate destiny. Krispy stayed up on a work night to finish this book and stayed up even longer having ALL THE FEELS and sniffling on the couch.

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)Best Repeat Performance: INSURGENT by Veronica Roth (Krispy's pick) - While I did feel like Insurgent was a Middle Book/Book 2, I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't suffer from too much from the sophomore slump. Her exploration of the themes set out in her first book continued, and she layered in themes relevant to the consequences of the events from Divergent - namely grief and post traumatic stress. I was also pleased that Tris and Four's relationship didn't stagnate once they were together and that their relationship continues to have complications and continues to evolve. The worldbuilding too is starting to make somewhat more sense. So on the whole, I was pleased.

The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)THE CROWN OF EMBERS by Rae Carson (Alz's pick) - Okay, okay, I have to repeat that I hated the first book for reasons multitudinous, but I also have to repeat that the sequel was a big improvement even if it wasn't a spectacular book by itself.  The heroine made intelligent, informed decisions and performed decisive actions that weren't always right or good, the story made a few revelations that were actually interesting, and the romantic aspect was actually halfway decent.  To go from "hated utterly & full of utmost contempt" to "okay" is a big step in my book.

Honorable Mention: THIS IS NOT MY HAT by Jon Klassen - This isn't YA, and yes, it's a picture book. It is the follow-up but not-really-sequel to last year's very special I Want My Hat Back.

Romance Most Worthy of an Ice Bath: THE SONG OF ACHILLES - While not necessarily sizzling, they have such an epic romance. They do.  We let these quotes speak for themselves:

“And as we swam, or played, or talked, a feeling would come. It was almost like fear, in the way it filled me, rising in my chest. It was almost like tears, in how swiftly it came. But it was neither of those, buoyant where they were heavy, bright where they were dull….
This feeling was different. I found myself grinning until my cheeks hurt, my scalp prickling till I thought it might lift off my head. My tongue ran away from me, giddy with freedom. This and this and this, I said to him. I did not have to worry that I was too slender or too slow. This and this and this! I taught him how to skip stones, and he taught me how to carve wood. I could feel every nerve in my body, every brush of air against my skin.”
“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”

Breakout Novel: SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman - Boy, we're seeing a lot of the same titles tossed around this blogfest, aren't we?  As we said before, and also in our review, and in various other places online and in person, we loved Seraphina's world, its characters, its coldly logical dragons, and its politically-charged plot.

Best Old-Timer (Your favorite read of the year, published BEFORE 2012.): A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness - This book.  It made us feel things.  It was a very sad book and a very powerful one, beautifully written and illustrated, a book about dealing with grief and learning about oneself, including the truths we often don't want to admit.

A Monster Calls

Book Most Likely to Make You Cry: THE SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeline Miller - We know, not YA, but it kind of is thematically for most of the book since it starts with Patroclus and Achilles as children and teens. This is also the book that broke heartless Krispy (WHAT IS THIS WATER COMING OUT OF MY EYES?!) and shook some soul back into soulless Alz. Getting through this book, knowing what was coming, was an exquisite pain.

We never cry at books. Yet this...

2nd Pick: CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein - Since this book is actually YA and nearly made me cry. At the very least, it left me shocked, breathless, and a little overwhelmed by the Feels. I think I'm still processing my thoughts on it.

Cold Kiss (Cold Kiss, #1)Most Pleasant Surprise (Best book you didn’t think you’d like, but totally did.): COLD KISS by Amy Garvey (Krispy's pick) - I'm bending the rules a bit here because Cold Kiss was a 2011 book, but I read it this year. I also borrowed the sequel, Glass Heart, which is a 2012 book, so it kind of counts. I've been burned 1 too many times by YA Paranormal romance, so Cold Kiss was never something I was that interested in picking up. Then I read Erin Bowman's review of it, and the things she said about character and theme convinced me to pick it up. So glad I did because it was such a good read! It was a contemporary about first love and grief dressed just right in a paranormal outfit. So looking forward to reading Glass Heart.

THE CROWN OF EMBERS by Rae Carson (Alz's pick) - You know what?  I've already said every time this book is brought up that it's way better than the first one (excluding the mess of the first 80 pages) so I'm just going to repost these old fatprincess doodles.

Most Creative Use of a Love Triangle: UNSPOKEN by Sarah Rees Brennan (Krispy's reading this) - I wouldn't expect anything less from SRB. She uses her love triangle to not only develop character and create tension, but she also uses it to question and prod our many pre-conceived notions about characters-in-love. For example, the strongest leg of the love triangle is that way because the characters have a very long and intimate history together. Some might even say the circumstances surrounding this history is fated, a sign of destiny. And the tenderness and obvious regard the characters have for each other make it easy to believe this and make it easy for me to ship them, but as one of the characters asks - does the mere existence of these factors mean we're meant to be together? Or is there another explanation, another option? Good stuff this!

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

Sleeper Hit: VESSEL by Sarah Beth Durst and SHADOWS ON THE MOON by Zoë Marriott - We loved both of these fantasies, set in unconventional fantasy worlds and starring capable women of color. They're excellent reads, well-researched and inventive, with romance and adventure, might and magic. Highly recommended.

Vessel Shadows on the Moon

Favorite Outlier (Your favorite middle grade or adult 2012 book): (MG) WONDER by R.J. Palacio - This book has been getting a lot of hype and it's no surprise why. It has a lot of layers and a lot of heart.

(ADULT) THE SONG OF ACHILLES - Are you tired of hearing about this book yet? Like we warned you, we want to give this book ALL THE AWARDS.

And our self-chosen Superlative categories are...

Tiger LilyBest Retelling / New Riff on Something Old: TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson (Krispy's pick) - Haha, you thought I was going to say Achilles again, didn't you? Well, I wanted to but it's not YA and TIGER LILY is and I thought it deserved a mention. This is a realistic, literary retelling of Peter Pan from Tiger Lily's POV. It's a bit slow because it's very character focused and the magic of Neverland isn't the flashy Disney magic we're used to. Everything in this novel is understated, but it is nuanced and oftentimes painfully real. Tiger Lily is torn between love and duty, her desire to be with her people and her desire to be free. This is a story about flawed people and about growing up and learning sometimes hard lessons. I loved it.

Shadows on the MoonSHADOWS ON THE MOON by Zoe Marriott (Alz's pick) - This is an excellent retelling of Cinderella--or more accurately, it is a Cinderella-inspired story.  Rather than a slavishly faithful rehashing of a tired old fairytale, Shadows on the Moon is so subtly done that you might well read it and not make the connection to Cinderella.  The hints are there (including some cute subtle nods to the original story), and very generally so is the plot, but the book has plot, characters, and direction of its own, making it an original, interesting, and unexpected story that is faithful to the source in spirit while at the same time exploring the facets of the story in relation to Japanese culture.

Overall Favorite Read of 2012: THE SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeline Miller - We are in agreement about this epic, beautiful, tender, frustrating, and devastating story. Part coming-of-age, part romance, part myth - completely squee-worthy.

The Song of Achilles graphic made/source by Allie

Thanks to everyone (and the lovely hosts) for this fun blogfest! It was great seeing everyone's Superlative picks, and we hope we've put some new books on your TBR list. Though the blogfest is over, we will be posting a little holiday cheer tomorrow. So until then lovelies, stay warm!

Q4U: What were your Best in Show? What was your overall favorite read of 2012?

Superlative Blogfest Recap:
Head of Class
Popularity Contest

Elements of Fiction


YA Superlative Blogfest 2012: Elements of Fiction

Welcome to Day 3 of the YA Superlatives Blogfest!

About the blogfest: The Class of 2012: YA Superlative Blogfest will run Monday, December 17th – Thursday, December 20th and will highlight our favorite books of 2012. This year, the lovely hosts Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Alison Miller, and Katy Upperman will also be giving away books to bloggers who participate in all 4 days of the fest. Click the banner for more info!

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

On the menu is Elements of Fiction. These books did these things best!

(We're also going to apologize beforehand that you're going to see a lot of THE SONG OF ACHILLES on here, even though we're cheating a little by including it. Technically, it's an adult book, but it starts with YA-aged characters and is largely a coming of age story and romance.)

(Disclaimer 2: Krispy never cries over books, except in rare cases involving beloved animal companions - but even that's not a sure thing for tears. Alz never cries at books, period. So when either of us says we were near or in tears, it's a big deal. Many FEELS were involved.)


Most Envy-Inducing Plot: SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman - Ms. Hartman not only crafts a rich and layered world (we're probably most in love with her worldbuilding), she threaded in quite the mystery. While a bit simple on the surface, the murder mystery itself was entangled in a web of politics as well and managed to pull some surprises even on the eagle-eyed, ever-wary Alz!

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)Most Formidable World: UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi - While the aether storms were kind of fascinating and beautiful, we wouldn't want to be anywhere near one, and we definitely don't have the survival skills to make it out in the Death Shop (at least not without the ruggedly attractive Perry, ahem). Also, seriously, the rest of the world outside the Pods is called THE DEATH SHOP. Sound like a place you want to visit? I didn't think so. Inside the Pods don't sound that great either, considering the shady dystopian government...

Wanderlust-Inducing: SERAPHINA by Rachel Hartman - Stately stone architecture, grand cathedrals, mathematically logical dragons, courtly music and royalty--what isn't there to love?  The world of Seraphina is such a real place, rich in detail and grounded in its own history, that we'd love to take a stroll through the kingdom from the palace to the shadier quarters.  As long as we have Orma and Seraphina as our escorts, of course.

Honorable Mention: VESSEL by Sarah Beth Durst - We wouldn't necessarily want to visit the harsh desert environment that the characters of Vessel live in, but Sarah Beth Durst describes it so beautifully. The world is full of golden sand, burning blue skies, and light that reflects off the scales of glass sky serpents.

THE SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeline Miller - Ms. Miller describes Ancient Greece so vividly that it makes us wistful to go. We want to see the Aegean blue waters and chase the characters through the olive orchards and see the peak and forests of Mt. Pelion, the famed dancing women of Scyros, the unscalable bright walls of Troy.

Seraphinab Vessel   The Song of Achilles

Loveliest Prose: THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater - This is something of a no brainer. Maggie blew us away with her atmospheric writing in THE SCORPIO RACES, and she didn't disappoint here. Henrietta felt like a real little town in Virginia, but the prose builds such trembling anticipation into the environment that when magic enters the picture, it seems not just expected but also perfectly at home.

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)

Honorable Mention: THE SONG OF ACHILLES - There is something simple but lyrical and lush about Madeline Miller's prose. It fit perfectly into the spare but vivid tone of Homer's epic poems from which Miller draws her inspiration. Her story clicks seamlessly into the Classical world while breathing new life into these age-old characters.
He was outlined against the painted stars; Polaris sat on his shoulder.

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)Best First Line: SHADOW & BONE by Leigh Bardugo - The line speaks for itself:
The servants called them malenchki, little ghosts, because they were the smallest and the youngest, and because they haunted the Duke's house like giggling phantoms, darting in and out of rooms, hiding in cupboards to eavesdrop, sneaking into the kitchen to steal the last of the summer peaches.

Most Dynamic Main Character: VERITY from CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein (Krispy's pick) - There is something absolutely captivating about Verity. She gripped me with her voice from the first page and never let go. Some have found the beginning of the book slow, but it didn't feel that way to me because I was so invested in Verity's story. She is brave and desperate, funny and flirty and scared, charming but made of steel. She is strong in the face of terrible odds and terrible people, but she is also heartbreakingly vulnerable. I love this girl so much and loved seeing the various facets of her character.

FATPRINCESS ELISA from CROWN OF EMBERS by Rae Carson (Alz's pick) - I'm going to be honest.  I hated Elisa in the first book and wasn't expecting much of her in the second.  Much to my surprise, she displayed a modicum of intelligence, smatterings of statecraft, and handled a fair share of political intrigue and strategical maneuvering reasonably well.  I was blown away.  Granted that's like upping your grade from an F to a C-, but still, it's a considerable improvement, and for that I have to tip my hat to Fatprincess.

Code Name VerityThe Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2)

Most Jaw-Dropping Ending: CODE NAME VERITY (only Krispy's read this) - the 2nd half of this novel is so powerful. It's not really the ending per se that is jaw-dropping; it's more like the entire last section. Elizabeth Wein doesn't pull her punches and she delivers an devastating, incredible story. It left me a little winded and nearly made me cry.

Honorable Mention (because it's not YA): THE SONG OF ACHILLES - We wouldn't call this jaw-dropping so much as ALL-THE-FEELS-INDUCING. This ending DID make Krispy cry.  The heartbreak, grief and sorrow, the merciless hand of the Fates, the power of true love and the devastation of its loss--

Best Performance in a Supporting Role: ODYSSEUS from THE SONG OF ACHILLES or ORMA from SERAPHINA (since this latter one is actually YA). We couldn't not put the wily Odysseus in this category.  He shines with his wit, humor, and quietly revealed depth in all his scenes in TSoA. He is, in general, one of Krispy's Forever Favorite characters in literature/mythology.  Alz knows this well and says that Odysseus is totally Krispy's #1 Greek Man 4Evah.

As for Orma, well, we've said it before and we'll say it again: For a coldly logical dragon, Orma has a sensitive heart and fondness for Seraphina, all very well-hidden behind an implacable mask.

Honorable Mentions: When discussing supporting characters, we came up with too many we loved too much, as you can perhaps tell by the number of honorable mentions...

Shadows on the MoonVessel
The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)Team Human

AKIRA from SHADOWS ON THE MOON by Zoë Marriott - Gotta love Akira for being the best mentor/sister-figure/fairy-godmother-like-person anyone could ever ask for.

KORBYN from VESSEL - He's a trickster crow god still getting the hang of this mortal body thing and trying not to seem too uncool about it at the same time. His humor and charm is infectious!

RONAN from THE RAVEN BOYS - We love this broken, bitter, devoted boy so much!

FRANCIS from TEAM HUMAN by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan - Francis is practically Edward from Twilight but unlike Edward, he actually acts like he was born in an earlier time period, with the nigh-courtly attitudes and mannerisms of a gentleman.  For that, we have to give him props.

Best Use of Theme: THE RAVEN BOYS - We both immediately picked this because Maggie had themes in spades in her book, and even more impressively, she digs into every theme she introduces. Nothing is left to stagnate. Character arcs and plot arcs are interwoven with themes of identity, purpose, choice, destiny, friendship, and the belief in there being something greater out in the world.

CODE NAME VERITY (Krispy's other pick) - I loved the exploration of the nature of courage and duty and the depiction of different kinds of courageous girls in this book. Verity and Maddie become best friends despite their lack of surface similarities, but they're both dynamic, complex characters and strong in their own ways. Of course, there was also the big theme of friendship and the true love in that. And on a more meta level, there were themes about the power of storytelling, connection, and the difference between truth and mere fact, all of which don't hit you until you reach the very end. Ah, I absolute adored it!

Source: goodbooks-smartbitches.tumblr.com

Honorable Mention: THE SONG OF ACHILLES - Love, identity, fate, and choice, the staple themes of classical mythology are well wrought in this book. Madeline Miller makes these subjects painfully real by sketching all the larger-than-life characters of myth as the flawed people they were. The bigger picture of the Trojan War emphasizes these themes as played out by the personal and intimate struggles of Patroclus and Achilles - as they both try to deal with being caught between the mortal and the divine.

WONDER by R.J. Palacio - Cruelty and acceptance, tolerance and kindness, perseverance and love and coming of age--all of these themes are explored in Auggie's story.  He is a boy born with severe facial abnormalities and has been homeschooled until he enters fifth grade and encounters a classroom full of children and all their unwitting (and witting) cruelty.  This is a story about reactions and judgment, not always good and not always bad, and how careless words can have the most profound effect. But it's also about tolerance, friendship, and the surprising kindness of which people are capable.


Q4U: What books impressed you with their writerly technical skillz0rs?

Our previous Superlative posts:
Head of Class
Popularity Contest

Tomorrow's the last day of the blogfest! Come back for our last hurrah!


YA Superlative Blogfest 2012: Popularity Contest

And we're back again for Day 2 of the YA Superlatives Blogfest!

About the blogfest: The Class of 2012: YA Superlative Blogfest will run Monday, December 17th – Thursday, December 20th and will highlight our favorite books of 2012. This year, the lovely hosts Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Alison Miller, and Katy Upperman will also be giving away books to bloggers who participate in all 4 days of the fest. Click the banner for more info!

And if you do join in, don't forget to link up at one of our hosts blogs.

Yesterday's post is here: Head of Class

Today's theme is Popularity Contest, in which we pick characters from any of our 2012 YA reads (not just ones published this year) for the categories we think they most exemplify.


The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus, #3)Class Clown: LEO from The Mark of Athena - So this book is more MG than YA, but Leo is definitely a clown of his own volition and statement.  He's always one for a joke and smart remarks are born ready on his tongue, but at his heart he's a good kid who hides his nervousness and secret fears of inferiority beneath a jester exterior.

Honorable Mention: (Krispy's reading this now) the CAST of Sarah Rees Brennan's Unspoken because while not exactly "class clownish," they are laugh-out-loud hilarious. My Sister thinks I'm crazy because I keep snarking at lines like this gem from JARED...

  • "My body is a gift from God. Except for my hips, which are clearly a gift from the devil."
Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

Most Likely to Start a Riot: RONAN from The Raven Boys - Goodness me oh my, where do we even begin?  Ronan Lynch is one of those boys who doesn't so much have a chip on his shoulder as a chunk torn out of his heart, and he fills that void with acid anger and violence.  Boy can start a fight, this one, especially if it involves defending his friends or fighting with his own brother.

Honorable Mention: FIRE from Fire - She's a human monster, which means she's brightly colored and irresistibly beautiful. Her mere presence around people is enough to literally incite a riot.

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)Fire (Graceling Realm, #2)

Biggest Flirt: VERITY from Code Name Verity - Verity is a charmer and a master storyteller, so of course, she's a natural at this flirting game. She does it because she's good at it and it's a way to pass the time.

HOLLY from Unspoken - Holly is hot and she knows it. So she flirts with boys because it's fun and it's an excellent way of wheedling information in her pursuit of journalistic truth on Kami's behalf.

Honorable Mention: Po from Graceling - He's not a flirt per se, but he does have a sort of charming, personable, flirty personality. And he definitely flirts at Katsa.

Code Name VerityGraceling (Graceling Realm, #1)

Fashion Queen: CELAENA from Throne of Glass - This girl is an assassin first and foremost, or so we are told--but from the novel and its prequel novellas, it's quite clear that Celaena is a fashionista to the highest degree, wearing brocade and silk, bustiers and corsets, skirts and gowns of the highest caliber; paragraphs of text are lavished on her wardrobe.  If she ever decides to stop being an assassin, she could pursue a career as a designer.  Or a model.

The Assassin and the Empire by Sarah J. Maas - "She couldn't help a
flicker of smugness as  they took in her dark blue tunic with its exquisite
gold embroidery along the lapels and cuffs..." Source: Uploaded by user
via Sarah J. Maas on Pinterest

Honorable Mention: KAMI from Unspoken - This sassy girl reporter is also a fashionista. Kitten heels, polka dot dresses, red tights! When Kami's not in her burglary-for-journalistic-truth outfit (all black), she's stylin'.

Hex Hall (Hex Hall, #1)Girl You'd Most Want for Your BFF: SOPHIE from Hex Hall (Alz's pick) - Sophie is smart, snarky, good-natured and self-aware.  She takes good care of her friends and the fact that she has magical powers doesn't hurt, though it might hurt since she's not very good at controlling them.

KAMI from Unspoken (Krispy's pick) - Kami is spontaneous and a force to be reckoned with. Plus, she's guaranteed to make me laugh. She'd also get me in questionable situations, but it'd be fun! Can I just be part of her Scooby gang already?!

Honorable Mention: VERITY or MADDIE from Code Name Verity (Krispy's pick) - Both of these girls are so remarkable that I'd be honored and thrilled to have either of them as my BFF. Verity's personality shines; she's smart, capable, and she loves a good story. Maddie is earnest, brave, and caring. Both of them are fiercely loyal to their friends and family.

Team Human
Boy You Wish You'd Dated in High School: KIT from Team Human - This kid is just endearingly adorable to no end. He's sweet and funny and a little socially awkward in that my-family-is-weird-so-I-don't-get-all-social-conventions-because-TV-is-my-main-reference-point way. We just want to squish him.  Even if he does come with vampire baggage.

Honorable Mention: ADAM from The Raven Boys - We like him a lot. He's smart and hard-working and he's aware of his own potential and ability to do better. He aspires for more and is loyal to his friends, despite their tumultuous relationships. Unfortunately, he comes with a lot of baggage too.

Most Likely to Become President: GANSEY from The Raven Boys - He has the pedigree to become president of something, if not the United States.  If he ever gets his act together.  And learns to watch his tongue.  And stop obsessing over dead Welsh kings.

Alternate choice: VERONICA from The FitzOsbornes in Exile - I (Krispy) picked her last year too. Veronica Fitzosborne is more than capable of leading a country because she's smart, stubborn, and eloquent. She's the Girl Who Would Be Queen if it weren't for her country's pesky rule about girls not being able to inherit the throne. I mean, she practically already ran the place.

Created by: aline  Source: rowleybel.tumblr.com

Villain You Love to Hate: THE NAZIS from both Code Name Verity and The Fitzosbornes in Exile - Yep, both of these books are set in World War II and the Nazis are bastards to everyone in both! You especially get a taste for their chilling cruelty in Code Name Verity in the form of SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden.

Villian(s) We Love to Love: THE DARKLING from Shadow & Bone (Krispy's pick) - I just love him. He's tall, dark, and hot. He's mysterious and powerful, and starts off deliciously ambiguous as well.

LINAY from Plain Kate (Alz's pick) - This guy is tall, albino, and if not hot, starts off creepily ambiguous.  He gains complexity and unexpected facets as his story emerges a hint at a time, and when his actions seem at odds with his ultimate intentions.

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)Plain Kate

Favorite Parental Figure: ORMA from Seraphina - We thought we loved Brimstone from Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but oh my goodness do we LOVE Orma! He's logical and matter-of-fact as dragons are, and though he doesn't show Seraphina his regard for her in obviously human ways, he does so with his actions. He loves her in the ways he knows how, unspoken ways, and it's even more touching because of this.

Coolest Nerd: THOMAS from Girl of Nightmares - Every ghosthunting story needs a Thomas--an endearingly nerdy, very knowledgeable, slightly nervous but very brave boy who's willing to go into the blackest pit for his friends as long as he can strobelight a flashlight around at the same time to look for monsters in the darkness.

SeraphinaGirl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)

We had a hard time picking this year, if you couldn't tell from all the honorable mentions. We just loved too many characters, even if we didn't necessarily love their books, haha.

Q4U: Where would you put YOUR favorite YA characters?

The Superlative Blogfest continues tomorrow! The topic is Elements of Fiction.