Ally Carter is coming to Hicklebee’s celebrate by winning Insignia

Hey guys! I have an extra copy of Insignia by S.J. Kincaid and Ally Carter is coming to Hicklebee’s and it all spelled contest to me. The main prize is Insignia but I carried a few ARCs out of Hicklebee’s the other night and those will be going in with Insignia as a surprise.

What can I do to win this package of awesomesauce? Go to the Ally Carter page at Hicklebee’s and order a book before the twenty-second. If you want your book signed and personalized YAY FABULOUS even better, just fill out your customization in the ‘comments’ form at checkout. You can also call Hicklebee’s during business hours. Then leave your order number in the comments or email it to me and click the “I did this” on the Rafflecopter below.

May the odds ever be in your favor.

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YA is not a trend, it’s a lifestyle *throws up gang sign*

Young Adult definitely seems to be ‘trendy’ at the moment. Katie Crouch explained why she wanted to write YA (basically cause its not that hard *eyeroll*), there is a brand new movie titled Young Adult coming from the makers of Juno that stars Charlize Theron (the basic plot is YA authors are rich and immature), and a sickening number of celebrity books for the YA crowd (Hillary Duff, Tyra Banks, 50 Cent). What all of these people (and those who publish them) need to understand is that YA isn’t a place where you can make a quick buck. Teens are not as impressionable as you may think, and they see through you completely when you are trying be cool for the sake of cool (trust me I said waddup at teen book club and it wasn’t pretty).

Sure there are tons of adults reading YA now much to the disdain of literary snobs everywhere but there are good reasons to why adults turn to these types of stories. We all lived through a childhood, we all came of age and revisiting those moments in our lives through literature is a fabulous form of escapism and entertainment. Combine all that with the fact that a lot of today’s YA has smart plot, great writing and is character focused you have your reasons to why adults are reading Young Adult.

I like a good litfic, chicklit, romance book now and then, but if I was faced with having to read the over indulgent prose over and over again I wouldn’t be a very good reader or blogger. With YA you are seeing genre after subgenre explored with the same coming of age plot in a myriad of different ways. In the space of a year I can read dystopia, science fiction, chicklit, literary, horror, thriller, and historical books that are all plot driven. Sure YA has a lot of books that are written full of trope like all literary genres do.

So I get that it is profitable and totally trendy right now, but if you aren’t in it with blood, sweat, and tears, if it isn’t your passion, you probably aren’t going to be as profitable as those who are doing it for the love of teen writing. So stop sipping on that ‘wow those are great numbers’ kool-aid, or snobbing those of us who read below our grade level.

Finally, to those authors who are doing it right, you have my upmost adoration and I will champion your books as much as humanly possible.

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Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Goodreads: What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined.

Have you ever read a book and wanted to review it but had no clue what to say? That there is nothing you can add, or no way to get your point across without revealing the twist or the ending? I am having this problem with Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall. I want to scream from the rooftops read this book, alas how do I say it coherently or professionally?

We follow Sam reliving the same day over and over Groundhog Day style. She is the popular girl, the pretty girl with the perfect boyfriend. She is a bully, and she dies. She dies seven times over and is rewound and gets a new chance at making amends. Can Sam figure out what to change in her life and how important her actions are in time?

This book is written perfectly. You know the characters immediately and even if you dislike their mean-girl attitudes, you cannot put this book down. The ending was shocking and poignant. I had mixed emotions. I was in awe, I was angry, then I was in awe again. I never saw it coming.

I love that Sam learns her actions have consequence and bullying is wrong. There is some drinking, there is some drugs, there is some sex. Trust me people your teens aren’t as impressionable as you think. This book is more about discovery, and learning how to treat others.

If you like Laurie Halse Anderson, or Gayle Forman you will love Lauren Oliver!

Book Trailer for Before I Fall:

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Young Adult Community Thanksgiving

Adele from over at Persnickety Snark is holding a YA Community Thanksgiving today where we can post on our lovely community and what we are thankful for. I for one am thankful that I have found Adele’s blog. It is chalk full of awesomeness. Reviews, community education, and brilliant snark. I am sure you have been to her blog, but if you haven’t you might wanna head on over and check it out. I am going to be reading everyone’s posts and commenting on them today by following the linky that Adele has posted on her blog that I linked to above.

I am thankful for all the amazing bloggers I have met this year. Adele mentioned Catherine Haines and I have to give her a mention as well. Amazing reviews, great friend and all around bookish person. I also have found that the YA community tends to be great at educating others who have the misconception that reading YA somehow makes you less intelligent or not such an eclectic reader. YA has such a mix of books, and so many topics are written that you can find just about any subject that interests you.

The YA authors are amazing at promoting their books, being active in bookish communities, and connecting with their fans. It is amazing to see these authors such as Michelle Zink, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Heidi King, Julie Kagawa, and more reaching out to their fans and having real contact with people who have read or loved their books.

I am thankful that books are now being written that touch on the hard subjects. That seek to educate teens on subjects such as eating disorders, bullying, suicide, being gay, and other important issues that teens today have to deal with. I am in a constant state of disbelief and horror that people want these amazing books taken off the shelf. If one doesn’t seek education, especially on the hardship and cruelty of life how can one live and make the right decisions?

I am thankful for the readers of YA who read our blogs and leave comments and find new books to devour. I am always happiest when someone who doesn’t blog comes to my blog and says they read a book due to my recommendation and loved it as much as I did! That is what makes blogging about books worth while.

I love that in our community we can disagree on which books we like, which characters we are in love with and discuss our series predictions. I love that the YA community seems so real, and most bloggers aren’t afraid to give a negative review and if they did give a negative review, it is a thoughtful and understandable look into why exactly they didn’t like the book.

I am proud to be a YA blogger and happy to be in a community that is fun, and energetic and full of amazing people. Thank you Adele for giving me a soap box to stand up on and shout my thankfulness from!

What are you thankful for in YA?

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Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

If I had to sum this review up in one word, that word would be ‘refreshing’. It was pretty awesome to read a new YA that implements a creative writing style and a very interesting plot and story line. I was sent this book last year from HarperTeen, and I devoured it in one day of reading and the story and characters have stuck with me all this while.

With the imminent release I today pre-ordered my hard copy to have on my shelf. The cover art is gorgeous, there is no person, place or thing there to distract me. I got to know the characters in the book in my own way. Kimberly gives you a basis to go on and your imagination can take you on the rest of the journey.

The two main characters Violet, and Jay are so fun. Through-out the book you are practically mentally screaming at them “HE LIKES YOU VIOLET” or “SHE LIKES YOU JAY”. Violet grew up a bit traumatized from finding a body of a girl her age in the woods when she was a small child. Her family and friends looked the other way as she went into the woods behind her house hearing echos of animals and bringing them home to bury properly.

Violet can also sense an echo on the murderer. Most people have some sort of echo attached to them, the more violent the death they caused (I assume even running over a squirrel would mark you) the louder the echo becomes. So when girls start going missing, Violet takes it upon herself to find the killer by looking for their fresh and distinct echos.

The book is fast paced, very fun, as I said refreshing. If you like mysteries, a little fun romance, and a good YA read then I urge you to pick this up.

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