Posts tagged ‘2011’

October 8th, 2011

America is a Story that Never Ends – Wordstock 2011

by Madeleine Rex

The first bookish event of the season! I’m attending Wordstock this weekend. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, I recommend clicking the picture above, which will magically transport you to the Wordstock Festival site.

This will be the third year I’ve gone, and this time I’m taking three of my friends (two of whom have gone before). I was anxiously checking the website in hope that I’d find a list of authors, and though it took a while, the wait was worth it! Among others, a handful of fabulous YA authors will be there, such as Maggie Stiefvater, Mandy Hubbard, Scott Westerfeld, Kimberly Derting, and Lauren Oliver (OH MY GOSH!). I am beyond thrilled and have been jittery with anticipation all week.

I am so grateful that Portland has the bookworm population it does. Without them, we’d have neither Powells nor Wordstock. Wordstock particularly is an event teeming with bibliophiles. It’s held at the Oregon Convention Center in one massive room. Booths are crammed around the five or so stages on which the authors give their presentations. The booths include things like literary magazines, fundraisers, fun bookish crafty stuff that I am obviously not capable of explaining well (for example, my first year they were selling jewelry made of old typewriter keys, and last year there were journals made of old book covers).

Essentially, Wordstock is just the sort of event a wordbird needs. It’s held every October, as are PNBA (which I’ll explain later), Halloween, and my birthday. Isn’t October fantastic?

I’d like to end with the note that I am going to be making a bigger effort to blog regularly. Schoolwork is insane. My homework crushes me like a 12-year-old girl crushes a spider. Except I get crushed over and over again. This blog is still something I love, and I sincerely miss all of you. I hope to keep up with the online book community much better over the coming months. Starting with a post about Wordstock after I get home tomorrow!

Have a great Saturday!

December 26th, 2010

Five Challenge: Hopes for YA in 2011

by Madeleine Rex

First, a reminder: I’m participating in Persnickety Snark’s Five Challenge. For the remainder of the year, I’ll post 5 books daily that were the greatest in whatever category. Today’s is 5 Hopes for YA in 2011.

  1. I hope that more people will do what I did back in January – “convert to the YA faith” – and quit considering it as inferior literature, instead seeing it as a source of nutrition for teens and adults. YA has changed people’s visions, inspired them, and taught them valuable lessons, all in a relatable and remarkably honest way. I simply hope that more people will realize this.
  2. I hope that YA literature will improve. Though I love it and write it – heck, I nearly live it – I do believe there’s room for improvement. There always is. We could use more books that, though not preachy, have an implied message. We could also use more books that are uplifting. Not to mention the fact that there are always audiences that need to be reached through specific channels that we have not gone through yet.
  3. I hope that YA will continue to thrive and prosper. The market has simply boomed. I’m so glad when I see the huge YA section at my library (at least in comparison to the other sections). I don’t really mind being the 322ned person with a hold on a book because the mere thought of 322 other people reading it is splendid. I love that my Borders has a beautiful YA section. I love that there are so many YA book blogs. And though it’s all so grand already, I like to think that this is only the beginning.
  4. I hope that young adult literature will affect people’s pasts, presents, and futures. I hope that it will continue to guide, strengthen, and empower teens. I hope that more and more inspiring and admirable characters will spring to life and teach lessons through the sheer force of their personalities and adventures.
  5. I hope that I’ll keep reading and writing YA, that it will continue to effect and brighten my life, and that I will be able to promote and support it… And I hope that my writer and blogger friends will do so, too.

What are your dreams for your favorite genre, whether it be YA or not?

December 25th, 2010

Five Challenge: 5 Most Anticipated of 2011

by Madeleine Rex

First, a reminder: I’m participating in Persnickety Snark’s Five Challenge. For the remainder of the year, I’ll post 5 books daily that were the greatest in whatever category. Today’s is 5 Most Anticipated 2011 Titles. I wish I had five times as many “slots!” There are so many destined-to-be-amazing books coming out next year! I am not including books I currently have ARCs of, such as The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa, Wither by Lauren DeStefano, Where She Went by Gayle Forman, etc (all three of which are great).

Note: Titles are linked to Goodreads. Synopses are from Goodreads as well.

1.Supernaturally by Kiersten White

No synopsis.

Aw, my dearest Paranormalcy has a sister! Or a brother. There’s no judging, as there isn’t a synopsis yet. Kiersten White is on of my favorite people, and her debut one of my favorite books. It makes you feel bubbly on the inside while handling some pretty serious situations. Supernaturally, I hope, will be Paranormalcy on steroids.

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White; Review

2. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

No synopsis.

Naturally, I was excited to read the companion series to The Mortal Instruments, but I was even more pleased to find that The Infernal Devices is just as unique and extraordinary. The first book, Clockwork Angel was fantastic, and the series has so much potential. I can’t wait for the second installment!

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare; Review

3. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels is the fourth book in the bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.

“City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever. Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.”

OH MY GOSH. I have loved this series. I have stuffed myself with it. I cannot wait for this book! My friends and I will definitely be reading it the second it’s released, probably all bundled up in my bedroom. My parents will have to bring McDonald’s up there to keep us from starving. I’ve only reviewed the first book, but I will need to reread the series before this book is released, and I might write reviews for two and three then.

My little brother even loves this series. That’s saying a lot, as he’s not the most enthusiastic reader.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare; Review

4. Bitterblue by Kristen Cashore

“Book 3, tentatively titled Bitterblue and currently in progress, is a companion book to both Graceling and Fire and takes place in the seven kingdoms six years after Graceling. As you may have gathered, the protagonist is Bitterblue. Yes, Katsa, Po, and others from Graceling whom I’m not yet willing to name do appear in the book.” (source:…)”

I’ve loved the other two books in this series (The Seven Kingdoms), Graceling and Fire. Bitterblue is a fascinating little girl, but my excitement really comes from the fact that I’ve loved the characters, world, action, romance, etc in the other two books. Kristen Cashore has a gift. And I’ve heard that the characters I fell in love with in the previous books will return!

Graceling by Kristen Cashore; Review

Fire by Kristen Cashore; Review

5. The Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

No synopsis besides Markus Zusak’s one comment:

For three years now, whenever people have asked the terrifying question – “So what’s your new book about?” – I’ve stuttered my way through a whole range of incoherent responses. I’ve talked about a murderer. I’ve talked about a mule and five brothers, and a girl on a roof.

Of course, everything I just mentioned plays its part in the new book, but not one of them is the heart of it. I guess sometimes it’s easier to tell people what surrounds a story, rather than the story itself.

When all is said and done, I think I finally see that the book I’m writing is actually simple:

It’s about a boy.
His name is Clay.
He’s building a bridge.
And he wants that bridge to be something truly great and miraculous.

Doesn’t it sound fantastic? Delicious? Glorious? I have only read one of Markus Zusak’s books (which is a fact I really can’t explain) – and it proved to be the the best book I’ve ever read, second only to the books in the Anne of Green Gables series. The Book Thief is perfect in every possible way, and The Bridge of Clay has a similar feel about it. How could you resist that simple “It’s about a boy. His name is Clay. He’s building a bridge. And he wants that bridge to be something truly great and miraculous”? It’s much like The Book Thief’s “It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .”

Can we give Printz Awards for summaries? No? To bad.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak; Review

It seems that 2011 is going to be the best year ever. I can’t wait. Only six more days, and we’ll embark on another journey, more fantastical and wondrous than the last.