Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Best February Read

This Week's YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday Topic:
What was the best book you read in February?

I read two fantastic books this month: Angelfall by Susan Ee and Incarnate by Jodi Meadows. Aren't their covers gorgeous?

Book description from Amazon:

"It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again."

My review:

This was definitely my favorite of the two books this month, though I loved both.  But Angelfall had a sharp, engaging writing style that just carried me through this gritty apocalyptic tale. The characterizations were vivid, and the relationships between the characters were spot on. In particular, the author handled the mental illness (schizophrenia) of Penryn's mother, and its impact on their family with a tremendous sensitivity and grace. This fast-paced quest will leave you wanting more.  Good thing the sequel will be released this summer!

Book description from the author's website:

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.
Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?
Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?"

My review:

This was a beautiful, lyrical tale. I loved the relationship between Ana and Sam, the mystery of why Ana was born and what happened to the one she replaced--Ciana, and the worldbuilding of Heart society and the dangers it faces. Good thing this is a sequel, too, but sadly we have to wait until next year to find out how the story continues...

So, what was your favorite February read? I can't wait to see everyone's picks. I'm sure as we check everyone's answers and blog posts, there'll be lots of books to add to our to-read lists!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tag, I'm it!

Ooh, I've been tagged by Dean C. Rich of The Write Time to participate in a very cool blog hopping meme! Here are the questions, and my answers:

1. What is your dream vacation?

As long as the vacation is with my husband, it will be a dream vacation, no matter where it is. We love cruises, so any cruise to a lovely beach, or to see the sights of Europe, would be wonderful. 

2. Are you spontaneous or do you like to plan ahead?

I'd have to say a mixture of both. In the small things, like date night plans with my husband, I tend to be spontaneous. In the larger things, like finances (e.g. saving or making large purchases), WIP planning, and things like that, I tend to be a planner.

3. Tell us one thing you want to do but don’t dare to do.

Get a real tattoo.

4.  Your biggest phobia?

Fire, heights, and sharp objects.

5. If you were stranded on a desert island – what 3 things would you want with you (not including laptop, or family).

Writing supplies, music, and sunscreen.

6. Name three blessings in your life.

Wow! There are too many to choose just three. My wonderful family, my writing and all the great books out there, my awesome job, my home...

7. What was your nickname in High School?


Mighty Mouse. It was my gymnastics nickname, because I'm petite but powerful.

8. If you could meet the President of the United States, what would you say to him?

People should not be asked to violate their consciences the way you're asking them to do with the HHS Mandate.

9. If you could be any literary character for a day, who would you be?

Hmm, as much fun as it is to read about their fictional lives, I'm not sure there is a character whose life I'd actually want to live for a day. Not even a girl!Harry. I'd rather role play it online or write fanfiction.

10. What is your favorite quote?

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.”
― J.K. Rowling

Ok, now I have to tag seven other bloggers. Those bloggers are listed here, and I'll leave a comment on their blogs to let them know they've been tagged. If you haven't been tagged for this and want to participate, consider yourself tagged as well!

Bailey at Over Yonder
Shannon at Fantasy Fairy
Julius Cicero
Valentina at Letters from Valentina Hepburn
Liz at The English Bad Ass
Robin at The Nook
Rain at Rain-On Sentence

Here are the questions you can cut and copy to use for your own blog:
Blog Hopping Meme

      1. What is your dream vacation?
2. Are you spontaneous or do you like to plan ahead?
3. Tell us one thing you want to do but don’t dare to do.
4.  your biggest phobia?
5. If you were stranded on a desert island – what 3 things would you want with you (not including laptop, or family).
6. Name three blessings in your life.
7. What was your nickname in High School?
8. If you could meet the President of the United States, what would you say to him?
9. If you could be any literary character for a day, who would you be?
10. What is your favorite quote?

Tag seven other bloggers

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Words we Love, Words we Hate

What words do you absolutely hate? Which ones do you adore?


curse words
rutting (but I still love ATU!)
short (I prefer petite :) )

There are probably other words I'm not a fan of, but for now these are the ones I can think of. What about you?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hands off that Idea! It's Mine! Oh,'s Not.

This week's YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday prompt asks:  

What SNI were you psyched to work on, but discovered it was too close to something already done?

Theme song for this post: It's All Been Done by the Barenaked Ladies

What a bummer that would be, to be super excited about a new project, to give yourself to the thrill of the magic you'll create with your words, the beautiful scenes you imagine and just can't wait to get down on paper (or computer)--only to have your hopes completely dashed as you discover your shiny idea is just too similar to another story out there.  My heart goes out to anyone who has had to decide not to go forward with a project for that reason.  We have to come up with something fresh, something original, right? And we don't want to do something that a million others have done.  

But, when do you know that moving on is the best choice, rather than coming up with a new and exciting twist on something familiar?

I have no idea. I've never wrestled with this before. I probably should, though. Maybe elements of The Mirrormasters are too similar to what's already out there--the quest to stop an apocalypse, using mirrors to travel to another world, a love triangle of sorts that just sort of happened without my planning or say-so.  It's not going to deter me from finishing up the edits, but hopefully I'll find enough that's unique and cool that it won't matter how similar some elements are to other fantasy.

What about you? Have you had to shelve a project you were excited about because it was too similar to an idea that's already been done?  When do you think a story should be shelved rather than staying with it and making a special effort to create a unique twist on a familiar idea?    

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Best January Read

What was the best book you read in January? That's the latest YA Highway RTW prompt.  I'd love to hear from all of you, because there are some AMAZING books out there!

My unputdownable read for January was Beth Revis' A MILLION SUNS, sequel to her ACROSS THE UNIVERSE.  I just can't say enough good things about it--the vivid characters, the way the writing brings across the claustrophobic world of a spaceship trapping a couple thousand no-longer-drugged-into-placidness people, the complicated relationship between Amy and Elder...

If you haven't read it yet, you definitely should =).  I reviewed it below, here.

Can't wait to see everyone else's top picks for January! So far, there have been a lot of great reads to add to my to-read list. What about you?