YA Superlatives Blogfest: Best in Show

Reading Song of the Day: “Best For Last” by Adele

Here it is, folks. The LAST day of our YA Superlatives Blogfest. *sheds a tear* Don’t know what the Class of 2011: YA Superlatives Blogfest is all about yet? Still?? Okay, go here for more info. Also, please make sure to check out our posts from earlier this week to see our other choices.

Of course, we go out with a bang. We pick the cream of the crop, the big enchiladas, the…okay, we ran out of cheesy analogies. But, we ARE picking the Best in Show…so check out our choices below:

Favorite Cover:

Um, really?

Need we say more?

Cutest Couple:

Tie: Sam and Grace in Forever by Maggie Stiefvater and Lola and Cricket in Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. We almost wish we were characters in these authors’ next novels just to have these kind of romances. 🙂

Most Likely to Succeed (Or, pick a Printz winner!):

Tie: Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff and Recovery Road by Blake Nelson. Both male authors. Both kick major prose ass.

Most Likely to Make You Miss Your Bedtime:

Tie: Divergent by Veronica Roth and Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts. We thought about calling into work to finish these books. Seriously.

Best Repeat Performance:

Tie (Hmm, noticing a trend?): Forever by Maggie Stiefvater and City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare. As you can see, Quita LOVED the Wolves of Mercy Falls series–and Pam wants to be best friends with Cassandra Clare.

Romance Most Worthy of an Ice Bath:

Tessa Gray and Will/Jem in Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. That’s right–homegirl got lucky twice. And the scenes were HAWT!

Pair Most Likely to Stay Best Friends Till They’re 80:

Clary and Simon from City of Fallen Angels. Okay, I know we’ve been showing a TON of love for Ms. Clare, but there’s also a TON of love between these two characters.

Breakout Novel (Fave Book by a Debut Author):

Divergent by Veronica Roth and Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts. Both dark, both intense…both we can’t stop raving about.

Best Old-Timer (Your fave read of the year, published BEFORE 2011):

Tie: Boy Toy by Barry Lyga and Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. Umm, why didn’t people tell us how incredible these books were?

Most Likely to Make a Grown Man Cry:

A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young. Because the story IS beautiful…and really makes you not take your life for granted.

Most Pleasant Surprise:

Possession by Elana Johnson. Usually not Quita’s reading fare, but now she can’t wait for the next one.

Most Creative Use of a Love Triangle:

Tessa, Will, and Jem in Clockwork Prince. Yes, Cassandra Clare again–but usually we can’t help but think the girl in the middle of a triangle is a…well, skank. It’s so easy to empathize with Tessa.

Sleeper Hit (Book You Wish Had Been Hyped More):

Recovery Road by Blake Nelson. Quita can’t stop loving on Mr. Nelson, and she wished more people would do the same.

And now we get to pick our own superlative category…

BOOK WE’RE MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2012:

Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Believe us, there are SO MANY books we want to gobble up next year…but we HAVE to find out where the talented Ms. Roth is taking her story next.

Well, that was fun. It was great to look back at the books we loved this year, and now we can’t wait to see what 2012 will have in store. Hopefully, you all know the drill by now. Did we leave any of your faves off our list?

YA Superlatives Contest: Elements of Fiction

Reading Song of the Day: “Elements” by A Fine Frenzy

Okey dokey, Day Three of the YA Superlative Blogfest is among us! Days one and two were full of awesome, so we hope to continue the fun today. This time we’re looking at the elements that make up GREAT fiction. 
Great fiction includes settings that make you want to be there with the characters (or sometimes the setting is done so well you DON’T want to be there), characters who are interesting and finales that knock you back on your ass. All of the books we’ve included here have at least ONE of these elements. Check it out!
Most Envy-Inducing Plot (Or, the plot you wish you’d thought of yourself.):
Divergent by Veronica Roth and XVI by Julia Karr
*Clever, thought provoking, and realistic. We spent HOURS talking about how we wished we created these plots!*

Most Wonderful World-Building:

Divergent by Veronica Roth and Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
*Believable and intriguing worlds that couldn’t have been built from anything other than the minds of geniuses.*

Most Formidable World (Or, the setting you most definitely would NOT want to travel to.):

Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts
*Would YOU want to live in a world where humans are turning into murderous loons? Didn’t think so…*

Wanderlust-Inducing (Or, the setting you’d happily travel to.):

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins 
*Perkins has a true gift for setting–with her sensory details she makes us want to visit every place she ever writes about!*

Loveliest Prose:

Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff
*The book is full of words that move the reader and also move the story along–without being boring.*

Best First Line:

“Lucy hunched over the corpse and felt a tiny bubble of hysterical laughter gurgle up.” From Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari.
*In Pam’s words–this is just “demented” enough to make us intrigued!*

Most Dynamic Main Character:

Kid in Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff
*You don’t know Kid’s gender. Can’t get more dynamic than that.*

Most Jaw-Dropping Finale:

Three Way! Possession by Elana Johnson,  The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, and City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare.
*Each one of these endings had us saying: What the BLEEP? We can’t wait for more!*

Best Performance in a Supporting Role:

Cole in Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
*As mentioned before in yesterday’s post–this dude has may-jah swag. And he played a pivotal role in the end of this trilogy. He also made Quita’s heart go pitter-patter.*
Best Use of Theme:

Divergent by Veronica Roth
*How we react to our fears truly define us–and this book drives that point home. Ah-may-zing!*

That’s it–those are the 2011 books that we felt embodied these elements of fiction. Did we miss something along the way? Let us know so we can add those books to the To Be Read Pile ASAP!

YA Superlatives Blogfest: Popularity Contest

Reading Song of the Day: “Popular” by Lil’ Wayne featuring Lil’ Twist

It’s the SECOND day of the AWESOME YA Superlatives Blogfest! You can still join in the fun! Click here for more info on what needs to be done to participate. Also, if you missed out on Day One, check it out here.

Okay, now that all the logistics are out of the way…let’s go ahead and discuss popularity plus high school/teenagers. They kinda go hand in hand, right?? The YA novels in 2011 definitely gave us characters who fit into the standard superlative categories for popularity–and we’re gonna prove it!

Alright, enough talking, let’s get right into the Popularity Contest!
Class Clown: 
David Gershwin in How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain
*Dry and witty–and so likable. We’d sit next to him in every class!*
Most Likely to Become a Rock Star: 
Mandarin in Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard
*She goes by her own rules.*
Mostly Likely to Start a Riot: 

Puck in The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

*He’d be the most amused by it.*

Biggest Flirt: 
Chloe in Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
*And she doesn’t even apologize for it!*
Fashion King and/or Queen: 
Lola in Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
*She wants to be a fashion designer-duh!*

Girl You’d Most Want For Your BFF: 
Tie between Gretchen in Sweetly by Jackson Pearce and Isabelle Lightwood in City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare.
*Gretchen is strong & faithful to friends & family/ Isabelle kicks a** and she’d stick up for Pam in a fight*
Boy You Wish You’d Dated in High School: 

Tie between Cole in  Forever by Maggie Stiefvater, and Cricket in  Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins.
*Cole is the epitome of rock star sexy–he just has swag/Cricket is nerdy & sensitive…and just awesome!*
Most Likely to Become President: 
Tie Between Meghan Chase in The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa and Aries in Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts.
*For Meghan–Duh, look at the title of the book!/Aries took control in a dire situation.*
Quirkiest Character: 
Lola in Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins.
*How many other girls do you know who want to wear a Marie Antoinette dress to their school dance?*
Villain You Love to Hate: 
Nate Gray in Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare.
*Ok, this guy has no redeeming value–he just made a bada** villain.*
Favorite Parental Figure: 
Tie between Luke Garroway in City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare and Geoffrey Beck in Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
*Luke loves Clary just like she’s his own- awww!/Beck was smooth, intelligent, and did what he had to do for his family.*
Coolest Nerd: 
Seth from The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker
*He  does whatever he can for Kate to help her solve the mystery (computer nerdery is involved)…and he was so flipping SWEET!*

Popularity Contest done! Did we miss someone–overlook the person that you KNOW deserves to win one of the above categories?? Let us know!

YA Superlatives Blogfest: Head of the Class

Reading Song of the Day: “Best of You” by Foo Fighters

Happy Tuesday, lovelies! I hope everyone is well-rested and well-fed from their holiday festivities. We couldn’t wait to get to zumba class to shake off all of those Christmas cookies–and we still have New Years Eve to indulge. Gulp.
Anyways, today we get to start the uber-fun, uber-awesome YA Superlatives Blogfest! You may have remembered Quita mentioning it here. The topic today? Head of the Class–or our fave books in each genre. Enough yapping, let’s get to the books:

Favorite Dystopian:
Divergent by Veronica Roth. Hands down. We didn’t even have to argue over this choice.

Favorite Science Fiction:
Across the Universe by Beth Revis. We admit it–we didn’t read much sci fi this year. But we’re pretty sure we’d still choose this one.
Favorite Fantasy:
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater. This is considered fantasy, right? Right?
Favorite Contemporary:
Recovery Road by Blake Nelson and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. Drastically different. Equally awesome.
Favorite Action/Adventure:
Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts. A page-turner if we’ve ever seen one.
Favorite Historical Fiction:

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. The setting, the language…the awesome.
Favorite Comedy:
How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain. Hilarity ensued.
Favorite Mystery:
The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker. Nobody does whodunnit better than these sisters.
Favorite Romance:
Lola and the Boy Next Door. Pam never swooned so much in her life.
Favorite Paranormal Romance:
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare and Forever by Maggie Stiefvater. These ladies almost make you want to fall in love with someone not quite human.
Favorite Family Drama:
Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff–AKA, Pam’s new favorite author.
Favorite Genre Bender:
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. We have NO CLUE how to define this book. Other than it kicks ass.

So, there it is. Our first installment for the YA Superlatives Blogfest. Do you see any of your faves in there? Anything we should have chosen instead? 🙂

Someone’s WINNING…And What’s to Come

Reading Song of the Day: “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Kahled Ft. T-Pain

We’re on the third day of our two week winter break from the day jobs. WOO HOO!!! We’re planning to read, write, read some more, write a little more, and then well, read some more. What else are a couple writers gonna do while they have an extended break?

Notice that blogging was not included…yeah, this week we’re not gonna blog. BUT next week, we’re returning with some fun end of the year type stuff. We’re joining Katy Upperman and pals Jessica Love, Tracey Neithercott, Alison Miller for the CLASS OF 2011: YA SUPERLATIVES BLOGFEST!

If you’re interested in joining the Blogfest, here’s a little information from Ms. Upperman’s blog:

The Class of 2011: YA Superlatives Blogfest is a fun and interactive way to highlight and share your favorite YA novels, covers, characters, and story elements. The Class of 2011: YA Superlatives Blogfest will span four days, beginning Tuesday, December 27th and culminating Friday, December 30th.

The rules for participating are simple:

1. Add your name to the Google form below.
2. Select books/characters that apply to the superlative topics for each day of the blogfest. Feel free to give explanations for your choices. You can go into as much detail as you like!
3. Schedule your posts to go live on the days indicated.
4. Add a link to your post on Jessica’s, Tracey’s, Alison’s, or my blog.
5. Take a few moments to hop around and check out the superlatives of other participants each day.

If you want more info and are interested in signing up, go to either of the blogs mentioned above, or click on the link for the CLASS OF 2011: YA SUPERLATIVES BLOGFEST!

Okay, now to the order of business we need to take care of: The winner of our pre-order for Jaime Reed’s debut Living Violet. Without further delay, our winner is:

ATHENA FRANCO!!!

Congratulations!! Send an e-mail to cuzwewrite@gmail.com with your mailing address and we’ll order your book ASAP!

Happy Holidays, all! See ya next week!!

Gchat Review: Living Violet by Jaime Reed…AND a CONTEST

Reading Song of the Day: “Violet Hill” by Coldplay

So, I was fortunate enough to win an ARC of Jaime Reed’s debut paranormal novel: Living Violet (The Cambion Chronicles # 1). EEEK! Me and Pam were so excited to read this novel, and we must say it did not disappoint! We took turns reading the ARC and finished it in about a week and a half. BOTH of us read this ONE copy in no more than TEN days. That’s a testament to how engaging the story was.
Here is what Goodreads has to say:

He’s persuasive, charming, and way too mysterious. And for Samara Marshall, her co-worker is everything she wants most–and everything she most fears. . .

Samara Marshall is determined to make the summer before her senior year the best ever. Her plan: enjoy downtime with friends and work to save up cash for her dream car. Summer romance is not on her to-do list, but uncovering the truth about her flirtatious co-worker, Caleb Baker, is. From the peculiar glow to his eyes to the unfortunate events that befall the girls who pine after him, Samara is the only one to sense danger behind his smile.

But Caleb’s secrets are drawing Samara into a world where the laws of attraction are a means of survival. And as a sinister power closes in on those she loves, Samara must take a risk that will change her life forever. . .or consume it.

Sounds like good stuff, right? We know!
This time around with the DAC we’re doing things a little differently. We have two separate lists, which you can check out here. However, some of the books show up on both our lists. For those books, Pam and I are going to “chat” and then share our discussion about the book with you all–because we know you’re just DYING to know what we think.
So, without further adieu here was the chat we had about Reed’s Living Violet:
Did you read that, right? YEP! We’re giving away a copy of Jaime Reed’s debut novel Living Violet. What do you have to do to enter? You MUST be a follower of our blog, a US resident, and leave a comment on this post by MIDNIGHT on Tuesday December 20th, 2011. We will choose one winner at random and pre-order a copy of Living Violet for you. Need something to talk about in the comments??? Well, tell us your favorite baked good. That should be fun!
**DISCLAIMER: We did not have this chat in front of the Statue of Liberty. Instead, we used Gchat. We know, not very glamorous 😀 The picture is from our trip to NY last year.**

12 Days of Revision: A Christmas Carol!

Carolling Song of the Day: Check out the one below!

We’ve bought all our Christmas presents, put up our tree, and are about to begin our holiday break from the day jobs. Needless to say, we’re feeling a little festive. So we decided to share a little carol that only writers can appreciate:

The 12 Days of Revision!!
(Sung to the melody of…well, you know)

On the twelfth day of revisions, my beta gave to me…

12 packs of Post-Its

11 sugar comas

10 songs for musing

9 friends assuring


8 hours “Scrivening”

7 authors tweeting


6 coffees brewing

5 A-HA MOMENTS!!!

4 colored pens

3 synonyms

2 fingerless gloves

And a port-a-ble PC!!!!!!

So, did I leave anything out fellow writers? Please leave your thoughts below. Oh, and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!