YA Connection: Week of Jan. 11-17, 2009

The YA Connection is a collaborative column collected by Kristi (The Story Siren) and Steph (Reviewer X). In it are links from around the YA blogosphere, including, but not limited to, contests, author blogs, reviews, and miscellaneous news pertaining to the general awesome of YA. They also do weekly contests accompanying these thingies because that’s always fun.

The YA Connection contest is over on my (Steph’s) blog: http://reviewerx.blogspot.com/. It’s to win a copy of Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, which is a March release! The secret word for this week is Kanhopatra.

Both K and S are starving blogger types, so if you’re a publicist or author, we KNOW you can relate: wanna donate a book? :) Nah, but really, anything regarding communicating something you’d like added (like a link of your own) or whatever should be emailed to BOTH of us: thestorysiren at hotmail.com and reviewerx at gmail.com.

Contests
(Compiled by Steph & Kristi)

Brooke Taylor (Undone) is having a Don’t Be A Flake Contest, in which you can win some Jessica Burkhart books! Also, by commenting you ensure Brooke donates a dollar (per person) to a relief fund. So, go do that!

Want a copy of Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty (Sloppy Firsts) before it hits the shelves! She’s throwing a trailer contest!

YA Fresh has a copy of The ABC’s of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro up for grabs! Hurry, this one ends on Sunday.

Heather of A High Hidden Place is having a birthday and she is giving away your choice of one of the following titles: Paper Towns, An Abundance of Katherines, Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft and Just Listen!

Megan at Po(sey) Sessions is having a great birthday contest! Among the prizes is a $30 Amazon.com shopping spree. Happy Birthday Megan!

Jocelyn of Teen Book Review is having a contest to win a copy of the 6th Ranger’s Apprentice book, The Siege of Macindaw. (I’m also having a contest for this book!)

Young Adults (& Kids) Books Central is looking for the next YABC Teen Demi-God or Goddess!

If you have a Contest going on, and we missed it, Please feel free to leave a link in the comments!!

Author Musings
(Compiled by Kristi)

A.S. King (The Dust of 100 Dogs) shares a book trailer for her upcoming release!

Did you know Alexa Young (Faketastic) celebrated a birthday this week?! Happy 25th Alexa!

C. Leigh Purtill (All About Vee) joined the revolution. I mean the V.C Andrews Challenge hosted by Taren and Steph. She posted about her progress and her thoughts on Flowers in The Attic.

Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth) also had a birthday this week. The Forest of Hands and Teeth was also chosen as a Junior Library Guild Selection! Congrats Carrie!

Diana Peterfreund (Rampant) shares the importance of a writing a effective synopsis.

Jennifer Banash (In Too Deep) started a blog and unveiled the cover for Simply Irresistible!

Jennifer Hubbard (The Secret Year) discusses the ease of writing for yourself as opposed to writing for the eyes of others.

Justine Larbalestier (How to Ditch Your Fairy) continues her sessions of January Writing Advice Month, this week she tackled choosing ideas and plotting.

Melissa Walker (Violet in Private) attended a Tyra Show taping and had a Cover Story with Eileen Cook, author of What Would Emma Do?

Check out these horribly disturbing manga heads at Scott Westerfeld’s (Uglies) blog! I’ll be having nightmares for sure.

Group Author blogs you should check out:

Author2Author

Books, Boys, Buzz

Nineteen Teen

Ya Fresh

YA Edge

Author Spotlight

Laura Whitcomb grew up in Pasadena, California in a mildly haunted house. She received her English degree at California State University at Northridge in 1993. She has taught Language Arts in California and Hawaii. She has won three Kay Snow Awards and was once runner up in the Bulwer-Lytton writing contest for the best first sentence of the worst Science Fiction novel never written. In her spare time she sings madrigals with the Sherwood Renaissance Singers and is the props mistress for the Portland Christmas Revels. She lives in Wilsonville, Oregon. http://www.laurawhitcomb.com/

Blogger Blurbs
(Compiled by Steph)

Reader Rabbit reviewed Lament by Maggie Stiefvater: “Overall, Lament is a beautiful story that many readers will enjoy. There’s something for everyone in this lyrical and unpredictable novel; even for those of you who don’t particularly like faeries…”

Taren of The Chick Manifesto reviewed An Abundance of Katherines by John Green: “In the words of the great Randy Jackson, this one was just aight for me, dawg. I read it last night, in one sitting, and now I’m struggling to find things to say about it. It was funny, clever, and different, but I feel as though I’m only writing this as to have some record of it for later in the year when I’ve forgotten all but the most basic details (“uh…there’s a guy in it…and he really likes Katherines…”).”

Lenore of Presenting Lenore reviewed The Dust of 100 Dogs AND did a fantastic interview with the main character, Saffron Adams! “Well I am thrilled to report that it delivered on its high concept, innovative premise (just absolutely not in the way I expected it to) with a rich story spanning four centuries and several continents and featuring two very well developed heroines (who ARE separate entities though they are mystically linked). [...] It somehow manages to be epic and intimate at the same time.”

Alea of Pop Culture Junkie reviewed 3 Willows by Ann Brashares: “All of the stories were engaging, like with the original series, I didn’t want to put down this book. It was interesting to see these friends who had grown apart, realize that maybe they wanted to actually still be a part of each other’s lives and that maybe they still needed each other.”

Brina of YA New York just told everyone to mark their calendars for Diana Peterfreund’s Rampant: “Rampant is fantastic. Seriously awesome. A little bit of fantasy, a little bit of chick lit, and a bunch of unicorns.”

Jocelyn of Teen Book Review echoes that thought: “Rampant is quite a departure from Diana Peterfreund’s other books, and I love it. She’s a great writer, and, just as with her other books, I had a difficult time putting this one down! Astrid is a seriously awesome heroine, and the other characters are well-drawn and complex as well.”

Kelsey of Reading Keeps You Sane reviewed Courage in Patience by Beth Fehlbaum: “This novel was fantastic. Extremely well. Fehlbaum gives a light of hope with all those people out there who have had there troubles and she does so with three-demensional characters and terrific writing, and most definitely, hope. I recommend this novel.”

Allie of Just Listen reviewed Rumors by Anna Godbersen: “Of the two novels in the series, I believe that I enjoyed Rumours more. Instead of waiting for the drama, we are put back into it. We know the characters so much better, we know what they want, who they want and how badly they want these things. This made the novel that much more interesting and swifter.”

Hope of Hope’s Bookshelf reviewed The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Catherine Hapka: “If you are looking for a good, quick, exam-week read, then this is a good one to get. You don’t have to put much thought into the story while your reading. It’s a perfect read for those spare minutes when you’ve finished your exam and you’re just waiting for the bell to ring.”

Khy of The Frenetic Reader reviewed The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty: “I really loved this one. It starts out really light, but soon grows a little more dramatic (but still light and smart) with a Big Reveal that occurs.”

Becky of Becky’s Book Reviews reviewed What Would Emma Do? by Eileen Cook: “I liked The Crucible-ness of it. What I’m slightly on the fence about is the irreverence of elements of the story. Each chapter begins out with her ‘prayer’ to God. It’s not out-and-out disrespectful. It’s casual.”

Liv of Liv’s Book Reviews reviewed Discovering Pig Magic by Julie Crabtree: “It’s a good comfort read. You won’t get anything enormous out of it, but hey, when you were in your preteens, did you want to be hit over the head with deep philosophical novels? I think not. Read Discovering Pig Magic for yourself first and then gift it to a younger sister or cousin. They’ll love you for it, I promise.”

Jen Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page reviewed The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness: “Overall, though, I have to say that even I, someone who is addicted to dark, dystopian stories, found this one a bit too dark for my taste. I’ve tried to put my finger on why that is, and I think that it’s a combination of the immediacy of Todd’s voice and the terrible things that happen. Throughout the book, I experienced Todd’s inner monologue close up. When bad things happened, I felt like I was the one who got stabbed or punched. There was one scene in particular that I found almost unbearable. (If you’ve read the book, it’s the scene getting onto the boat.) A book that could make me feel that way is clearly brilliant. But that doesn’t mean that I enjoyed it, exactly.”

Sophie of Mrs Magoo Reads reviewed Shift by Charlotte Agell: “The plot was great; my only complaint is that the writing was a little dry. If there is to be a sequel, I’d love if the writing was spiced up a bit more- became less impersonal, and more connected with the reader.”

Chelsie of Read, Read, Read is going on a break because her internet is down. :(

Kelsey of Just Blinded Book Reviews reviewed 3 Willows by Ann Brashares: “I still felt myself being engrossed by these girl’s lives and the stories that each of them had to tell. They had such different adventures during their summer, but I still enjoyed reading every single one of them. I really couldn’t say which one I enjoyed the most; they were all so thrilling in their own way.”

Ashley of Books Make Great Lovers reviewed Sea of Love by Jamie Ponti: “I had never read a Simon Romantic Comedy before but this was sure the way to start. The first couple chapters were super boring but once the author got going there was no stopping.”

Carmen Alexis reviewed The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (and then a bunch more in the series): I had actually read The Princess Diaries before. Like, when it first came out… so I didn’t remember most of it. But I’ve been going through this Meg Cabot phase and decided that I was going to read the entire series. Which is why I read the first novel again. And I absolutely loved it.

Book Spotlight

The Fetch by Laura Whitcomb

Calder is a Fetch, a death escort, the first of his kind to step from Heaven back to Earth.The first to fall in love with a mortal girl. But when he climbs backwards out of that Death Scene, into the chaos of the Russian Revolution, he tears a wound in the ghost realm, where the spirits begin a revolution of their own.

Our Reviews

Steph: Forever Princess by Meg Cabot, The Pretty One by Cheryl Klam, Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta and Bloom by Elizabeth Scott.

Kristi: Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson and Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine.