Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Class of 2012 YA Superlatives Blogfest: Elements of Fiction

Today's topic on the Class of 2012 YA Superlatives Blogfest is Elements of Fiction.  Continued thanks to Katy, Jess, Alison, and Tracey for hosting!



Most Envy-Inducing Plot (Or, the plot you wish you’d thought of yourself.):

 Cinder by Marissa Meyer.  Not only is this an amazing book full of twists and turns, it's the first in a four-book series that she's had plotted out since before this one was published!  I want her to teach a master class on plotting.   









Most Formidable World (Or, the setting you definitely would NOT want to visit.):

 Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.  Being held by the Nazis?  Working on makeshift airstrips in wartime?  Hiding out?  No thanks.  Although I'm sure the girls' homes are absolutely lovely during peacetime.   











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

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard.  Now, ok, really and truly?  I would almost certainly not be happy backpacking around Guatemala.  I want to be someone who would love that kind of thing...but in fact, I freak out easily, travel gives me headaches and upset stomachs, I am REALLY NOT OK with bugs, I love schedules and spreadsheets and being places on time, and I don't like to be grubby.  So it's really a testament to this book that ANY part of me said, "Hey, that sounds awesome!" I guess maybe I just want to read more Kirsten Hubbard? 





Loveliest Prose:

 The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.  I'm thinking this will be a popular answer in this category as it's hard to beat Maggie for prose.  Or guitar-sharpieing.  Or rally driving.  Or baked-good inventing.  (She is a superhero, you guys, have I mentioned this before?  I'm pretty sure I have.)








Best First Line:

 "The Garretts were forbidden from the start."  My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.  I think I like this one so much because it reminds me of A Christmas Carol's "Marley was dead: to begin with."  It throws you right in and makes you wonder where you're going next. 








Most Dynamic Main Character:
  
 Ismae from Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers.  I mean, the ill-treated daughter of a turnip farmer who becomes an assassin nun?  The blindly loyal assassin nun who learns to question her orders?  The woman who hates men (with good reason) but falls in love with Dreamboat Duval (yeah, that's what I call him.  You got a problem with that)?  If that's not dynamic, I don't know what is.






Most Jaw-Dropping Ending:
    
Insurgent by Veronica Roth/The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.  This category could also be called, "Books that made me FREAK OUT when I realized how long I'd have to wait for the next installment."   





 


Best Performance in a Supporting Role:  

The Garrett Family from My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.   It's too hard to pick just one--the whole Garrett clan was well-drawn and totally lovable.  Actually, I really liked Tim and Nan from this book too--as frustrating as Nan could be, I felt like she was pretty realistic.  Sometimes friends get angry at each other for reasons they can't or won't share right away.  Sometimes things just get messy.  This is a big messy book and I love it.





Best Use of Theme:     

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.  John Green is a master at getting his ideas across without feeling in-your-face about it.  TFIOS, which deals with death and love and belief and sadness and so many things that could get so heavy or gloopy or lugubrious, manages to convey big ideas about all of those topics while still staying compulsively readable and often funny.  I guess that's why we all love John Green so much.   

33 comments:

  1. I love the first line in MY LIFE NEXT DOOR too :D and the Garretts' family was amazing. I really hope that Huntley will write a companion book to MY LIFE NEXT DOOR :D

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    1. Ohhh, that would be so much fun! I'd love to read about some of the other Garretts...or Tim and Nan...but probably whatever she comes out with next, I will pick up!

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  2. I wholeheartedly agree with most of your picks (the others I just haven't read yet). I also followed that link to Maggie S's Sharpied guitars. Holy wow! Those are amazing. Seriously, is there anything that woman can't do??? I'm not sure how I didn't think of Ismae for most dynamic character. She really was, wasn't she? You're so right about the opening line of MY LIFE NEXT DOOR too. It feels very much like the opening line of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. :)

    We picked the same books for jaw-dropping ending!

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    1. Oh, Maggie. How do you do it? And more importantly, can't you just put some of it on hold and get the next book out sooner???

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  3. I'm not a fan of creepy-crawlies, but I still really want to shadow Bria's tour of Central America.
    And I agree that the use of theme in TFIOS was masterful.

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    1. I think if I could have, like, a very minor superpower, it would be that no bugs could ever touch me. I don't mind them...except when I think that there is any possibility they might get on me, and then...NO.

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  4. Yours is the BEST description of Ismae I've seen yet! Love it! I was going to pick her for that category too but decided I would only do debut authors for my list.

    I am definitely planning on reading Code Name Verity, the Fault in Our Stars and the Raven Boys and since My Life Next Door is popping up everywhere I might have to add that one too!

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    1. I like the idea of focusing on debut authors! But Ismae is definitely pretty awesome.

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  5. I agree: Maggie Stiefvater is a super hero. She rocks my world all the time!

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    1. I'm pretty well convinced she can fly and time travel and become invisible. If there was a zombie apocalypse, she'd be the first person I'd want on my team. (Remember the Chuck Norris meme from back in the day? That's kind of how I feel about Maggie. I would pretty much believe anything awesome anyone told me about her.)

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  6. Great choices! I'm with you on WANDERLOVE's setting. I wanted to join Bria and Rowan the whole time I was reading. Oh, and the ending of THE RAVEN BOYS... I totally got a shiver when I read that final page!

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  7. I chose Wanderlove for the setting too, ahh I really wish I could go backpacking in Guatemala! And ooh, yes, the Garrett family were awesome ;)

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    1. I tried to pick just one Garrett--but there were too many awesome choices!

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  8. Yeah, Maggie Stiefvater sure knows how to write a book...and END a book!

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  9. I haven't read a Maggie Stiefvater book yet, but I'm thinking maybe I should! THE RAVEN BOYS is on almost every list I've seen.

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    1. Yes! Do it! I also really really loved THE SCORPIO RACES, but that one was more divisive (if you were ever a horse person, I say go for it, though!)

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  10. Really enjoyed those Maggie Stiefvater links. Not sure why I haven't been following her blog, but I really think I need to. And "Dreamboat Duval"? You are so right about that. I only hope we get to read more about him and Ismae even though the next book in the trilogy is about a different character.

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    1. Maggie Stiefvater is second only to Amy Poehler on my list of lady-heroes. (And only because of that video Amy made about dealing with stress, which is actually the best thing I've ever seen.)

      And, um, YES--we need to see some Duval in the next book. Although, I'm sure there will be some swoonworthy guys in that story, too.

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  11. I have the John Green book and I must read it! I'm always super impressed by writers who do big, heavy themes without making it seem obvious, preachy, or heavy-handed.

    Absolutely agree on Maggie's lovely prose, and yeah, WWII Europe is not very appealing at all. It was a runner-up pick for me. I suppose it's all the more terrifying because it was real!

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    1. Ooh, enjoy TFIOS! Have you read anything by him? My favorite of his is LOOKING FOR ALASKA but everything he's done is great.

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  12. The ending of Insurgent would've made me throw my book at the wall, if I'd been reading it as a book instead of on my Kindle.

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    1. I cannot WAIT for book three. Just, like...WHAT?

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  13. I like your alternate category title for the jaw-droppers (and selected the same two!). :-) Also, I agree that Maggie Stiefvater is some kind of wizard-superhero-something.

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    1. Reading can be so infuriating that way! Stupid publishing, taking SO SO SO LONG between books.

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  14. Oh, and I haven't read Code Name Verity. I heard a lot of positive about it, just not sure it's up my alley (which is probably why I SHOULD read it). :-)

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    1. CNV is definitely a divisive book. I just happen to be in the camp that loves it to the point of copious evangelizing. But give it a shot--the worst that happens is that you put it down!

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  15. I like your category title for Most Jaw Dropping plot better :-)

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    1. Every time I read one of those books, I have a moment of complete certainty that I will NOT make it to the next one...that the suspense will ACTUALLY cause me to lose my mind. (And then by the time the next book is out, I've forgotten the first one and have to re-read it!)

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    2. Every time I read one of those books, I have a moment of complete certainty that I will NOT make it to the next one...that the suspense will ACTUALLY cause me to lose my mind. (And then by the time the next book is out, I've forgotten the first one and have to re-read it!)

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  16. Fabulous choices! I have a bunch of these books and I need to find time to read them!

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    1. Well, yeah. Isn't that always the problem? Maybe I should ask for more TIME instead of more BOOKS for Christmas...

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