- Blog about SCBWI
- Go through all the business cards I picked up at SCBWI and follow some awesome new people
- Read the entire Across the Universe trilogy; I'm re-reading the first one for the class I'm teaching but now that I have Shades of Earth I'm looking forward to going straight through
- Bake bread and a cake--this cake.
- Write 25,000 words
And of course, I've been keeping up with my February Compliment Challenge! The folks over at The Kindness Project were good enough to let me guest post over there yesterday, so definitely check them out. They're doing some really awesome stuff.
Monday 2/11: I got in touch with the wife of one of my husband's best friends; she had recommended NPR's podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour
to me so I complimented her good taste. (Then I sold her on Grave Mercy! Wooo friends!)
Tuesday 2/12: I told my friend from HS how cute and stylish her infant daughter is in some pictures on FB. I mean, seriously. This kid is adorbs.
Wednesday 2/13: I left a very complimentary (hopefully not creepy) compliment on Maggie Stiefvater's blog when she revealed the title/cover of the next book in the Raven Boys series. Looking back...it looks like the site maybe ate it? That might be for the best. But I tried :)
Thursday 2/14: My husband and I had a very romantic Valentine's Day--he left work in the middle of the afternoon, came and picked me up, and took me to...the doctor's office, where we both had routine physicals. What can you do? (I mean, I did point out that nothing is closer to my heart than my blood, or at least it was until they took a BUNCH of it out of me.) But anyway, my nurse was all decked out--heart scrubs, pink clogs, pink watchband--so I complimented her festive attire.
Friday 2/15: I was lucky enough to be working the day of the school talent show. And like, ok, I've been to my share of HS talent shows. But this one was amazing. These kids are super-talented. I knew a few of the performers, so my compliments on Friday were directed their way.
Saturday 2/16: We went to a great little indoor farmers'/artisans' market, and as we sampled, I complimented. Mini-cupcakes, cool mustards, Korean pork taco, Chinese dumplings--this place was great.
@commutinggirl I love One, Two, Three and I'm still thinking about Nata and Becca! Can't wait till I can buy your book someday! #febcomchal
— Jessica Silverstein(@SilversteinEla) February 17, 2013
And of course--here's What I Read This Week:
Matched by Ally Condie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Re-read for class (but also because I have yet to read Reached.) This was one of the first of the current wave of dystopians that I read, and I continue to enjoy its blandly regulated Society. (One of my students remarked that it reminded her of The Giver and I confess that I will never not be delighted by other books that remind me of that one, my very first foray into dystopia.) Reading it this time (I think my third time through?) it struck me how much is set up that I hope pays off later on. This is a great intro to the genre for anyone just now coming of YA age (or who has been living under a particular kind of rock, I guess.)
Crossed by Ally Condie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I re-read this after my re-read of Matched, on my way through to finally reading Reached. I have to admit that it does have some "second book" baggage but I liked it more than I remembered. I like the new characters who are introduced, for the most part, and the writing remains engaging. It can sometimes be hard to distinguish between Cassia's voice and Ky's voice, but in either case the writing is lovely. There is a very strong sense of place, as the setting here is key. I found the ending frustrating, though, (view spoiler)[ because it sort of felt like, really? Cassia spent all this time and effort and risk getting to Ky, just to voluntarily separate from him again? (hide spoiler)] But I'm definitely still invested in the story and looking forward to reading Reached. Off to do that now, in fact...
Reached by Ally Condie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I finally got around to re-reading the first two books in this series in order to read this final book with the interest and understanding it deserved. I really liked this finale; I managed not to read much of anything about it ahead of time, so I was surprised to find that it moved so heavily into what feels like the characters' adult lives. It's not that they got much older, but suddenly they're working and living independently in real jobs (as opposed to Cassia's work camps and Ky's death camps in book two, which are populated pretty clearly with teenagers who are not yet adults.)
I got really into the evolution of all three characters with regard to each other and also to the Rising. This book could almost stand on its own. I found the whole Plague plot really compelling, as it explored issues of loyalty, ethics, war, and epidemiology--while totally supporting the story of the relationships between the characters.
Overall, I found this to be a moving, satisfying conclusion to this trilogy. I'm looking forward to seeing what Ally Condie does next.
View all my reviews