Thursday, April 26, 2012
YA literature is juicy, hot, delicious, and filling -- but is that enough?

Whether you’re a young-at-heart adult like us, or a real live bona fide teenager, we could all use some variety in our literary diet. It’s like the food pyramid, but with books: consuming different genres, styles, and subjects will help you grow strong and healthy bones -- er, brains. So if you’re trying to figure out how to add veggies and fiber to your reading feast, we’ve got a few tasty ideas.

(Note: This will be a recurring feature. Probably. Unless you hate it. In which case, we weren’t here and this never happened.)

The Language Of Flowers: A NovelTHE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Recently we stumbled onto this absolute GEM of a book. Seriously, go get it now and be prepared to transform.

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.

You will laugh and groan at Victoria’s social ineptitude. You will scream at her when she is SO FREAKING CLOSE to happiness but still can’t figure out how let herself have it. Your heart will break and mend, break and mend.

Do yourself a favor and read this book. It’s too lovely not to.

Bridget Jones's DiaryBRIDGET JONES’S DIARY by Helen Fielding

Maybe you’ve heard of this one? (Or watched it. Mmm, Colin Firth…) Well, even if you’ve seen the movie, the book is worth a read. But be warned: you might find yourself snorting with laughter, so don’t drink anything unless you’re cool with it coming out your nose.

Bridget Jones’s Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget’s permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement -- a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult -- and learn to program the VCR. Over the course of the year, Bridget loses a total of 72 pounds… but gains a total of 74. She remains, however, optimistic.

In a world full of vampires, werewolves, and fallen angels, not to mention evil governments and brutal battles to the death, we could use an awkward, optimistic heroine. Bella may be wish fulfillment, and Katniss may be a role model, but Bridget Jones is real. Bridget Jones is the everywoman. Bridget Jones is funny, ridiculous, British. What more do you need?

Well, those are our ideas for today. What about you guys? Read any good non-YA lately?
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Congratulations to our Iron Fey giveaway winner--Jessica T! And big thanks to everyone for participating and spreading the word. Also, voting is now closed for the Independent Book Blogger Awards, and we can't wait to see which fantastic blogger won!

It's going to be hard to do a Twitter roundup without saying something about the recent accusations of plagiarism surrounding The Story Siren. Without "choosing sides," the girls at We Heart YA just want to say that plagiarism is wrong. In a community of readers and writers, there's nothing worse than taking someone's hard work and not crediting the source. Sharing good ideas, good posts, good writing is the best part of blogging--linking to each other's reviews and discussions is part of the deal. There's no shame in giving credit where it's due. In fact, that's the humblest and most noble thing to do. It's why we're a community.

(To be clear: communities also try to build each other up, not tear each other down. People make mistakes. Our response should be to correct, educate, forgive, and move on. Not gossip or condemn.)

Adventures in Children's Publishing gets a crown for tweeting these gems:

These gals and guys get a laugh:

These cool cats get respect:

Alright, this post is long enou

Thursday, April 19, 2012
Recently Kristan found this fantastic video, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. It features Andrew Stanton and his talk "The Clues to a Great Story." Andrew is a writer for Pixar (Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Toy Story, Monsters, Inc.).

Okay, it's lengthy, but if you have some time, it's also entertaining and witty...just exactly like his films. But the thing that really struck me about his talk was how he strives to include one basic element in his stories--WONDER. That moment where the audience feels WOW and you're totally willing to go anywhere it takes you.

What was the last story that made you feel WOW? Sometimes I zoom through books because my TBR pile stares at me, and, man, there are just so many good stories out there. I'm like on feeding frenzy and gorging on words. But then I read something that stands out, makes me go WOW I wish I wrote like that. Or WOW I wish I thought of that. Or WOW that author's imagination is CA-RA-ZAY. (Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor was the last read that elicited this response.)

SO, I'll show you mine...

GRAFFITI MOON by Cath Crowley

and TRASH by Andy Mulligan. These are the latest that made me slow down, stop inhaling the words. They made me care. to show me yours?
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Don't forget about our giveaway of Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series 1-3, all SIGNED by the author. We met Julie last summer and she is stupendously cool to chat with. Okay she's got a new book out--The Immortal Rules--which is getting lots of buzz. But this is your chance to get the books that started it all. All you have to do is comment on this post. Winners announced next week!

On twitter last week, writers were getting crazy in the shower:

Perhaps these bits of brilliance occurred whilst showering:

Ryan Gosling saving lives? Need to take a cold shower...

More funny:

Twitter nonsense:

Experienced both, and we'd take the Lego. :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

In support of Teen Lit Day, we are totally droppin' it like it's hot. And by it, we mean books. And by droppin', we mean leaving them in a public place for someone to find and enjoy. This awesome initiative was started by readergirlz a few years ago, and you can learn more at their site.

So if you're in the Cincy area (specifically around Loveland) keep an eye out for these:

Going Bovine Stupid Fast

If you're not in the Cincy area, we'd still like to "drop" a little something for you. Think of it as a thank you for all your support/votes in the Independent Book Blogger Awards. (Psst: Voting is open through April 23rd. *wink wink*)

Anyway, how would y'all like SIGNED copies of the Iron Fey series, books 1-3?

The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1) The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey, #2) The Iron Queen (Iron Fey, #3) 

ONE winner will receive ALL 3 books. If you would like to be that winner, please enter by commenting on this post by April 23rd. If you rocked the drop, tell us which book(s) you set free. If you didn't rock the drop, tell us which book(s) you'd love to find in the wild.

Winner will be announced on our Tues, April 24th post. Must have US mailing address.

Also, this isn't a requirement, but we'd love for you to spread the word about our giveaway. Thanks!!

- the WHYA girls

PS: Kristan did a really fun interview about blogging, books, and diversity for the All Things Asian celebration. She's also giving away 2 copies of her ebook TWENTY-SOMEWHERE, about 3 best friends tackling life after college. Check it out, yeah? Man, we're all about the free books today. ;)
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Some of you might have heard about the thingo happening at Goodreads: Independent Book Blogger Awards. If you're a blogger and you've signed up then you know it's time to vote. The big prize is a trip to New York for Book Expo America. It's pretty cool, we're pretty excited. If you like our blog, please vote for us. Either click on the widget on the sidebar or Vote for us here!

P.s. it's so nice to see everyone over there! 321 YA book bloggers and counting...whoa.

What's been going on in the twitterverse lately? Talk of villains:

and heroes:


Not going to miss this, though:

Some classic silliness:

Some classic writer stuff:

Judge you? Doesn't everyone listen to Bon Iver while writing? We might judge you if you were listening to polka or Garth Brooks, but, no, not Justin Vernon. :)

Friday, April 6, 2012
"Everyone should be allowed to dream, and we writers are architects of dreams."
One of my favorite Shakespeare plays is Twelfth Night. It's ridiculous, it's romantic, and it has cross-dressing. I mean seriously, what could be better?

Cross-dressing isn't the only way to play with gender in stories, though. Girls in boy clothes (and vice versa) make for great entertainment, but girls in boy roles (and vice versa) make for a great statement.

In THE HUNGER GAMES, Katniss is the hunter, the emotionally clueless bumbler, while Peeta grew up in a kitchen and is very in tune with his feelings. In CATCHING JORDAN, the star high school quarterback is a girl who knows more about throwing passes to boys than making passes at them. All 3 of these characters are breaking stereotypes, yet they're still believable and compelling. Why? Because gender has nothing to do with it.

Catching JordanPeeta isn't "girly" simply because he makes cakes and bread. Remember, he can throw a 100 lb. bag of flour across the room like it's a pillow. And Katniss isn't "butch" just because she can shoot and skin a deer. Jordan... well, okay, she IS a tomboy, but what's wrong with that? Nothing, nothing at all.

Because gender has nothing to do with her ability to throw a perfect spiral or evade a tackle on the field. And gender has nothing to do with the way she and her teammates stick up for each other. And gender has nothing to do with her longing for her father's approval.

Gender doesn't define Jordan, unless we let it.

Okay, yes, in this day and age, a female quarterback is statistically unusual. But is that because girls can't play football, or because they don't try to? And if they don't try, is it because they don't want to, or because they think they're not supposed to?

Those questions are the reason that characters like Jordan and Peeta and Katniss need to exist. So that people will realize their gender doesn't have to define them -- doesn't have to limit them. It might be entertaining to dress girls in boys clothes (or vice versa) but entertainment isn't enough. Books need to show a wide variety of experiences for both boys and girls, offer them a full spectrum of choices.

A full spectrum of dreams.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
When spring comes early, bad things happen...

Where there's clueless marketing, bad things happen...

Step on a white tile? Bad things happen...

If you don't follow your urges...(bth)

Sounds fantastic, but just so you know...(bth)

We warned you, I mean put these two together and...(bth)

Good things happen when you stick to some basic truths:

AND good things happen to those who wait...Disclaimer: We have not been woo'ed by The Jay Kristoff, but for the record, EVERYONE ELSE HAS. And since his tweets and his brand spanking new cover amuse us, well, we thought we'd give him a little spot in our twitter roundup (seriously, congrats!):

(Such a flirt)

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about us

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



on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
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
The Fault in Our Stars

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