Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Today is the book birthday for @leahclifford 's A TOUCH MORBID and @oliverbooks PANDEMONIUM. Lauren Oliver has been tweeting lines from her book with the #tweetdeleria hashtag and we have to say it's an excellent way to create buzz. What better advertising than the writing, y'know?

Except for maybe this teaser from Kaz Mahoney:


If you're a writer, this is some good advice by Maggie Stiefvater:


Some more excellent advice:


One event took over the twitterverse for six hours Sunday night...The Oscars (and Angelina Jolie's leg) Although editor Alvina Ling's #fakelivetweeting was far more interesting:


Also trendy news this week...JK Rowling is penning an OA (Old Adult) book:


The topic of Lent keeps coming up:


Okay, too much twitter may suck your life away (like The Machine in The Princess Bride), but there's always good stuff to be found, connections to be made:


And as for this tweet by agent Amy Boggs...no comment :)


What other book releases have we missed? There's been lots of excellent cover reveals as well. Leave a link in the comments for the ones you're most excited about.
Friday, February 24, 2012
As readers and writers, we are often contemplating the likeability (or dislikeability) of our protagonists -- and those in our favorite books. In this recent post, writer Rosslyn Elliott talked about character flaws, asserting that for characters to make lasting impressions on a reader, they must be flawed and their flaws must be authentic.

Very true. I mean, how many times have you read a book and thought: No one is this perfect! Or: Well, she made one little error in judgment, but other than that she did everything exactly right. How boring.

On the flip side, readers often adore books with despicable -- or at least, highly flawed -- characters (think Wuthering Heights and Gone with the Wind). Even little Edmund in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe almost destroyed Narnia with his insatiable greed. Yet we root for him. Sometimes a writer is so good we even find ourselves rooting for a real villain.


There's a no right or wrong way to frame it, but the hero or herione must be real/imperfect in order for readers to deeply feel something. Why? Because that means they're like us. They can change. They can learn. They can grow. They can be mostly likeable people who make some terrible choices. Or they can be decent people stuck in impossible situations. Or they can be wretched people making others’ lives miserable. Many unlikeable characters are extremely passionate about something -- even if it's the wrong thing.


Emma is one of my favorite protagonists. She’s intelligent, but a bit conniving. She’s caring, but also meddlesome. In short, she has authentic flaws.

Who are some of your favorite flawed characters? Do you prefer protagonists who are nice guys/girls, villains, or somewhere in between?
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Okay, normally we'd have a twitter round-up for you and you'd be all like: "We Heart YA is so cool, they collect the best tweets for me so I don't have to waste my precious youth hanging out in a virtual space where everyone is talking at the same time and time is literally sucked from my veins."

We know. It's awesome.

Instead, we want to thank you for voting for IMAGINARY GIRLS in the Mystery Genre battle -- it won the round. And now Dani Nguyen, you are the winner of a pre-order of Barry Lyga's I HUNT KILLERS! Woohoo! Congrats.

The rest of you win a listen to Temper Trap. Let the dancing and merriment commence!

Thursday, February 16, 2012
First things first: Please go over to Fiction Fervor's YA Genre Book Battle today to vote for IMAGINARY GIRLS by Nova Ren Suma in the Mystery Match.

Then come back here and comment on Tuesday's post to be entered into a giveaway for Barry Lyga's I HUNT KILLERS (pre-order, US residents only).

Second things second: Nina LaCour's THE DISENCHANTMENTS is released today! The girls at We Heart YA absolutely loved her debut HOLD STILL. Sarah pre-ordered a copy and will be checking her mailbox obsessively. :)

Third things third: Twitter round-up has been moved to Thursday this week. We're sorry if it's turned your world upside down. It's crazy up in here.

Without further ado...the absolute best hastag this week was #lifelessonsfromYA:


Twitter changed to a new look. For some it caused a sort of vertigo, like walking into a mirrored funhouse. Others thought it was better, duh. Scott Westerfeld thought:


And Cynthia Omololu cleverly pointed out:


Here's what's been happening with authors:


Say it ain't so:


Crafty, crafty:


Trust these authors when they blurb, they have good taste:


No offense intended by language, but this is funny:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

You may remember that one of Sarah's top picks for books read in 2011 was IMAGINARY GIRLS by Nova Ren Suma. When Fiction Fervor announced over twitter that they needed an advocate for IMAGINARY GIRLS in their annual YA Genre Book Battle (see the handy widget in the sidebar), she jumped at the chance.

She thought: "The more people that read this book, the happier Ruby will be. The happier Ruby is, the more rewards. Probably, the longer they'll live.

Who's Ruby? Okay, maybe she's a girl of Nova Ren Suma's imagination ("imaginary girl" get it?) and one of the two main characters in her book...

Or IS SHE?

Sarah thinks that Ruby is one of those characters that will haunt her for the rest of her life. Flawed, real, fiercely loyal and loving to Chloe (who narrates the book), she literally makes the world go round. At least in their little upstate New York town. Where does that leave Chloe? Both at risk and protected by her older sister. That's some spooky, and messed up stuff. Also an experience to read.

If you, dear readers, feel the same way that Sarah does, please, please, pretty please (you can't refuse when someone says pretty please, it's a rule, yo) vote for IMAGINARY GIRLS on Thursday, February 16 at Fiction Fervor's Book Battle in the Mystery genre.

What do you get? The security that Ruby won't haunt you as well (though it's not so bad, really). And Sarah will throw in a copy of Barry Lyga's anticipated release of I HUNT KILLERS.


Here's the deal: She'll pre-order a copy for one of you (US resident only this time). All you have to do is vote, come back here and comment to say that you voted, and we'll randomly pick a winner. Many thanks!
Thursday, February 9, 2012
A couple of weeks ago, one of the WHYA girls said that the purpose of books is not to change the world. Some of us disagreed, and it was the start of a great discussion.

Of course, not every book is going to have a resounding effect on the world, and there’s nothing wrong with a simply entertaining read. It’s also hard to measure the impact a book will have in the long run. Only time will tell. But if you look back, it’s amazing how literature has shaped history.

The reason Notre Dame is still standing today is because Victor Hugo wrote The Hunchback of Notre Dame to save the cathedral from being demolished. Hugo not only changed the way people saw Notre Dame, but also how they viewed Gothic architecture in general. At the time, Gothic art was considered ugly and offensive, and Hugo made them see the beauty in it.


Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe showed people the horrors of slavery and compelled them to act. It had such an impact that legend says when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe, he said, “So this is the little lady who started this great war.”


The resonance of books today is harder to see. But certainly the Harry Potter series and the Twilight Saga have changed Young Adult fiction. YA has its own section in book stores now. How many teens are reading now who weren’t reading before? How many people have been inspired to write who weren’t writing before?

Think about all the jobs that have come out of this surge of teen literature. In an interview, JK Rowling said, “One of the things I have been proudest of is going down to Leavesden [Studios] and looking at all these people with all these jobs — hundreds and hundreds of people — and occasionally I’ve looked and I’ve thought ‘Oh my god, these people have jobs because I had an idea on a train once.’”


Not every book is going to make a huge change, but I love living in a world where they can. So what books do you think have changed the world? More importantly, what books have changed your world?
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Last week we read this article, and apparently twitter's own users think 2/3 of the content is boring, useless, irrelevant, etc. Basically, not worth reading. At first, we thought, well...duh. It's a (mostly) unedited stream of consciousness. It's a pile of "pay dirt" and you have to filter through to find the gold.

*sidenote: How awesome is Gold Rush on Discovery Channel? What? You mean, a tear didn't come to your eye when Grandpa John Schnabel had a heart attack last week? Your heart needs some gold.*

Then, we thought, these people are not following the right people--WORD people.

Conclusion? We have even more reason for finding that 1/3 of tweets worth your time.

THIS. This. A million times, this:



Secret life of an American teenager (is not so dramatic):


There was this big game over the weekend...



For the record, we love football. What we like as well? Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally. Nice blurb: "There are two fundamental things in this world that baffle teenage girls--love and football. A clever and gorgeously written novel about characters I'd love to see walking the halls of my own high school, CATCHING JORDAN, manages to teach the truth about both." --Madeleine Rex, the Wordbird herself.

Authors: so self-sabotaging, so charming, tweets so worth reading...



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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.


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on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Transparent
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
Bitterblue
The Fault in Our Stars
Pretties


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