Thursday, November 28, 2013

We’re grateful for good books, the authors who write them, and for readers like you!

Congratulations to our giveaway winners!

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson — Faith McLaughlin
The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney — Emily Elizabeth
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis — Bookworm1858

Send us an email to weheartya[at]gmail[dot]com with your mailing information,
and we’ll send your prize your way.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Today the spotlight is on Kristan Hoffman. Why? It's her birthday, which means we get to gush with no limits, no excuse. And that's really important because Kristan Hoffman isn't just your average human. She's the "heart" behind We Heart YA. She's the Gansey to our motley crew with the promise of Glendower in our sights. We simply could not do this writing thing without her. And our reads would be less satisfying without her insight, enthusiasm, and good taste.

Yes, we're saying a good book isn't as good until after you've discussed it with Kristan Hoffman.

Luckily, most of you bloggers out there get a little bit of Kristan whenever our avatar shows up in your comments. We're quite happy to take the credit, but are coming clean to let you know that all of those AWESOME, thoughtful comments on your blog are pretty much Kristan Hoffman in disguise. She cares so much about this brilliant community of readers and writers of YA that she takes the time to read and comment on so many posts. Likewise, on twitter and Tumblr, she's manning our feed like a boss.

Kristan Hoffman, we love your guts!! Have the happiest birthday--you babe of long nights and short days, of wet autumn leaves on the path, cups of tea in hand, of first frosts, roast dinners, and warm fires. You are the change in the world, you make it move that much more efficiently. Your mind is the best adventure!
Sarah, Ingrid, and Stephanie  xx

*cue Beatles music

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
I have to admit that every time I read about someone trying to define what makes a good read for anyone other than themselves, I slowly back away and think happy thoughts until the coast is clear.  Those people are most dangerous for my reading motto:  Books for all, and all for Books!  Catchy, right?

But as much as I avoid them, I'm equally concerned about those lovely opinionated people who are labelled "nice" or "mean."  I mean, THANK YOU for even having an opinion!  Wouldn't it suck if we all agreed?  Oh, you don't think so?  Okay, robot, have a nice life in robotville.

It concerns me when some of you say on twitter that you find it hard to write positive reviews and hate writing negative reviews.  And some of you are scared to say anything at all in case someone gets offended.  Being a reviewer of books is a rare skill.  When I'm out looking for an opinion on a book--not because I want to be told if something's for me or not--I'm looking for discussion.  I'm looking for like-mindedness and Contrary.  I'm looking for truth.  That's what makes a good review for me. 

For instance, this week I finally got around to reading Shannon Messenger's LET THE SKY FALL.  I enjoyed her Middle Grade, KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES.  I didn't think KotLC was particularly original--it had echoes of another famous read.  (In fact, this review is almost exactly how I felt and I appreciate that someone wrote about it).  So I wasn't surprised to find the same with LET THE SKY FALL. 

The plot, rather than the details, reminded me of other stuff.  I can't tell you if that's "good" or "bad" because it's both.  I think some readers like formulaic (my son is one of those) and some like unique (I'm in that camp), but even more of us like a twist.  And that means having a bit of both.  I will say that LET THE SKY FALL is a twist on a genre...and kept me reading by the promise of a kiss.  (A book must be read until the kissing; the rest is optional). 

But something about that story stayed.  I think my son would really like it, even if I do not.  Books for all, and all for Books!

On the other hand, I just started reading THE LAST KINGS OF SARK by Rosa Rankin-Gee, which hasn't debuted in the US yet.  I knew from the first sentence that this book was written for ME.  Going to go right ahead and be greedy.  It is everything, to be specific.  ;)  And I feel giddy when I find a good reading match.  And isn't it perfectly reasonable that this book might not be for you?  It might not tick all your boxes.  I'm not going to tell you that it will or won't.  But I promise that it might.  I can tell you that I have a good feeling about it, spreading out from my center.  And I feel slightly responsible for telling you so.  But the best thing is that if this book isn't for you, I guarantee another one will be. 

Books for all, yo.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Thursday, November 7, 2013
I have to admit sometimes life gets so busy that the only way I get any reading done is by listening to audiobooks. I listen to them while I drive, work, do laundry. They've become one of my favorite forms of entertainment.

Before I got back into audiobooks, my abiding memories of them were of bulky booklets of white cassette tapes, hours worth of dreary monotone voices sure to send you off to slumberland in five minutes or less. But I've found that audiobooks today have a lot of heart. The performances really add something special to the stories.

Here are a few of my favorites:

The Girl of Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson — The narrator may not quite have the voice I imagined for Elisa, but her performance is so good that her voice seems to fade away and the characters speak through her. I especially love her portrayal of the character Storm.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore — This is a full cast recording, and it has a very dramatized feel. There is a distinct voice for every character, and it plays out like an old fashioned radio show.

The How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell — Two words: David. Tennant. I stumbled across these recordings because I'm a Doctor Who fan, and I wasn't disappointed. Each disc is full of his comedic genius.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman — In this audiobook, Neil reads the story himself. There's something magical about his voice, and hearing an author read their own book makes it feel like you're getting new insight into the story.

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor — This is by far my favorite audiobook. To me, the narrator's voice is Karou voice. She captures Karou's wry humor perfectly. And her accents really bring characters like Zuzana, Issa, and Brimstone to life.

Do you enjoy listening to audiobooks? What are some of your favorites?
Tuesday, November 5, 2013

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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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