Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Why I Love YA (Rachel)

You guys know who Beth Revis is, right? The author of Across the Universe, which I ramble about here?

She's having a huge giveaway where you can enter to win fifty books.


[insert awkward Fifty Shades of YA jokes here that aren't actually funny or clever]


I AM NOT KIDDING. Go here to find out more!

But please come back here to read my post, because I'm going to talk about books and feelings and it's going to be lots of fun.

Why do I love YA?

Seems like a simple question, right? But my answer requires some backstory.

*flashback to sixth grade*

I'm sitting in homeroom, reading a book. The book is Twilight. After not reading much of anything the previous few years, I'd decided over the weekend to start reading Twilight. I completely fell in love with the story, and after reading the last page, I immediately flipped back to the beginning and started reading it again. That Monday, as I was sitting in homeroom in the process of rereading it, I looked up to see a girl across the room. I'd known her since second grade, but we weren't really friends. To be honest, neither one of us really liked each other.

But when I saw her that day, I noticed there was a book in her hands. That book was Twilight. We started up a conversation about the book (which was basically just like "omg edward is lik super hawt rite?" because we were twelve so shut up) and as we read the next three books of the series together, we somehow became best friends.

That girl was Megan. Four (ish?) years later, we're still best friends, we still love talking about books, and we run this book blog together. If we both hadn't happened to be reading Twilight that weekend in sixth grade, our friendship never would have happened.

For that reason, no matter what the Twilight haters say or what silly things Robert Pattinson does or how ridiculous the robot baby looks in Breaking Dawn, I will always love Twilight because it changed my life.

Oh wow that was like, really sentimental and emotional. Whoops.


*another time in sixth grade, probably sometime after reading Twilight but possibly before*

My aunt, who works in publishing and who has been giving me books for free my whole life, has a friend who works at another publishing company. For whatever reason, that friend decides to send a box of books to her, with a sticky note on the box saying "for your niece."

The box was given to me, and as I started pulling books out, I noticed one name that was on several of the books. That name was Sarah Dessen. I believe that box held four or five Sarah Dessen books, one of which was Someone Like You. That was one of the first books from that box that I started reading, and my first Sarah Dessen novel. I completely devoured the rest of her books in the box, and once I ran out of them, I turned to my local library to find the rest.

I believe there were ten of her books at that point, and I read them all within a few months. Her books made me realize that there was more to the YA world than Twilight, and that maybe I should start expanding my horizons and reading about things other than sparkly vampires.

Her books changed my life. The stories are beautiful and the words are perfect and the characters are easy to relate to (which was important at age twelve because I was all "FINALLY SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS ME"). But the biggest thing that came from my discovery of Sarah Dessen's books was the realization that I wanted to be a writer.

It was something I'd never even considered before. But at some point, when I was reading her novels for like the fifth time, it occurred to me that maybe I should write my own books. It seemed like a cool hobby and potential career.

Without her books, I don't know how long it would have taken me to realize that I wanted to be a writer. A few years later, with a hundred ideas scribbled down on paper and a few half-finished or barely-started books and almost two NaNoWriMos behind me, I've found that writing is one of my absolute favorite things to do. I love creating, and one day I hope to be published and make a career out of it and be a Real Author.

Young Adult books have changed my life. Not only do the books have lasting effects on me, but the community itself is absolutely amazing. I've been able to go to author signings and interact with authors and other readers online and I started this blog and I've made so many friends both in real life and on the internet, all because of YA books.

My entire life revolves around books, and I regret nothing. Knowing that there are so many other people out there who love books just like me makes me more confident. I'm no longer concerned with trying to fit in with the people around me at school. I'm content being the nerdy, eccentric self that I truly am, and it never would have happened without the amazing YA community.

There are so many different stories I could tell about books and authors and readers, but this post is getting long enough. As I'm writing this, I'm thinking that I should start a feature on this blog where I occasionally share stories about things I've experienced as part of the YA community. I have so many stories I want to share, about author signings and reading Harry Potter for the first time and deciding to start this blog and becoming a nerdfighter and the first time I read City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.

I think it could be a fun feature. If you'd be interested in reading something like that, let me know what you think in the comments, please. :)

Anyway. To summarize: YA books are da bomb. I love them, they've changed my life, everyone should read them, etc.

Again, here's the link to the giveaway Beth Revis is holding. I officially nominate Beth Revis as The Best Person Ever. Who's with me?!

Thanks for reading, and feel free to share why you love YA down in the comments. I'd love to know some of your awesome stories about books. :)


Waiting on Wednesday (13)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.
Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
From Goodreads:
The sequel to Masque of the Red Death, which Melissa Marr called, “Haunting and beautiful.” Araby Worth is poised either to save her city, or to abandon it. In a novel that embodies dark, sexy, tragic, and fearless, Bethany Griffin concludes her incredible, atmospheric reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic short story.
Araby Worth’s city is on fire. Her brother is dead. Her best friend could be soon. Her mother is a prisoner, her father is in hiding. And the two boys who stole her heart have both betrayed her. But Araby has found herself, and she is going to fight back. Inspired by one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most compelling stories, “The Masque of the Red Death,” Bethany Griffin has spun two sultry and intricate novels about a young woman who finds herself on the brink of despair but refuses to give in. Decadent masquerades, steamy stolen moments, and sweeping action are set in a city crumbling from neglect and tragedy. A city that seeps into your skin. Dance of the Red Death is the riveting conclusion to the dark and fascinating saga of an unforgettable heroine.

I completely fell in love with Masque of the Red Death when I first read it. (Remember that time I proposed marriage to it in my ramble? That time was...weird. But awesome.) So of course I'm dying to get my hands on the sequel!

Aren't the covers gorgeous?! These books are going to look so pretty sitting next to each other on my bookshelf. :D

What are you waiting on this week? Leave links to your Waiting on Wednesday posts so I can check them out!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Why I Love YA (Megan)

So remember awhile ago when I rambled about Across the Universe by Beth Revis and talked about how much I LOVED it? Well if not, you can find that here. Anyway, the important thing is Beth Revis is having a CONTEST which I have linked to here.

It is a super special amazing contest in which you can win an ENTIRE LIBRARY of signed books. Yeah. That's right. A library's worth of books that Beth Revis has collected on her various different tours and such with author friends. Just look at all of the pretty books!!

So the reason Beth Revis is having this contest is because she loves YA and wants to share her love of YA books with a really lucky winner. Part of the contest is to share why you love YA books, so I'm writing this blog post to tell a little story about the ways YA books have changed my life.

It sounds totally disgustingly cheesy to say that, but they have. I read a lot of different YA books, and I love a LOT of what I read. If I was going to write this post about all of the YA books that I love, it would be ridiculously long and I don't think anyone wants to read that. Instead, I'm going to focus on three major series that mean a lot to me.

First, let's start where it all began, with a little boy named Harry who lived in the cupboard under the stairs at 4 Privet Drive. That's right. The first book I ever remember reading was Harry Potter. I was five at the time and since the books were too difficult for me to read by myself, my mom read them to me. The first four books were out and I had a paper back box set of the four of them. I was obsessed pretty early on and it made me wonder what other kinds of stories were out there. I started reading everything that I could, and when I couldn't read it myself,  I would have my mom read it to me.

Even after all these years, there is something about the Harry Potter series that makes it the closest to my heart. I grew up with Harry and his friends and I've lost count of the number of times I wished that I could go to Hogwarts instead of my school. Because who wants to be taking Chemistry when you could be taking Potions with Snape? I even went to get the seventh and final book at midnight before preceding to read it in a day.

When Harry Potter ended, I was a mess basically. I couldn't imagine anything being as good, because I had read plenty of other books and liked them, but nothing was ever the same as HP. One day I was at a friends house and she was reading City of Bones, the first book in a little series by Cassandra Clare called The Mortal Instruments. Maybe you've heard of it? She told me that it was AMAZING and that I should read it. Since I was in a post HP reading slump, I was doubtful and I didn't read it. Until her younger sister said the same thing and started pestering me.

I read City of Bones, and it was clear after the first few chapters that I had found the cure for my slump. Cassandra Clare's characters won my heart with their wit and hysterical one liners just as easily as J. K. Rowling's had. I devoured the entire three book series and just kept reading. Thanks to Cassandra Clare's amazing books, I found that while I might not connect to every book the exact same way that I connected with Harry Potter, I could still read YA and love what I was reading.

The last turning point I'm going to talk about is the Twilight Saga. In sixth grade, I started reading Twilight because I was at the movie theater and saw a trailer for the movie. It looked pretty cool and everyone had been telling me to read the saga for awhile anyway. So I picked up Twilight and started reading it. Now my nerdiness was already pretty evident. There wasn't a single day at school that I didn't have a book with me.

I was sitting in homeroom reading one of the Twilight books when Rachel pulled the same one out of her purse. At the time, we had just upgraded to the point where we were sort of friendly, but we weren't best friends. A few years before this, we had actually hated each other! A conversation started up about the books, which probably sounded something along the lines of "OMG ISN'T EDWARD SO HOT?? I LOVE HIM." And a friendship grew from there that soon included not just Twilight discussions, but discussions about other books too. Eventually we figured out that we are basically the same person and can write the same essays for school without even talking to each other. We finish each others sentences and have a weird way of communicating that can occasionally make us seem slightly insane. (If you follow us on Twitter you have probably witnessed this once or twice)

Without Twilight, I don't know if I would have ever discovered how similar Rachel and I are. I wouldn't have anyone to freak out about books with or attempt to survive Nanowrimo with. This blog wouldn't exist. I wouldn't be a Nerdfighter. And the friendship that Rachel and I have wouldn't be the same without YA books. They're all we talk about and they're all I ever want to read. I will definitely be reading YA books long after I'm not a teenager anymore because there is just something so incredible about the characters, worlds, and stories that YA offers. They are the kind of stories that stick with you long after you finish them and change your life. Without YA, I wouldn't be the same person that I am today.

So that's my story! Want to have the chance to win a library of SIGNED (Did I mention they are all SIGNED yet??) books? Head on over HERE and visit Beth Revis! Share the reasons why you love YA and enter her contest! Or don't because then I can win. No seriously, do. Share the YA love! Let me know in the comments below why you love YA!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Royally Obsessed: Comic Con

(To all our followers: feel free to ignore this entire post. It's for a school project, and we had some issues getting it to work on tumblr, so we're using this blog because why not. You can stop reading this now. Unless you're interested in our project, in which case, keep reading.)
(Our assignment was to do a retelling of Cinderella.)
(Also, sorry about our super long absence on this blog. NaNoWriMo is almost over, and we'll be able to post stuff again starting this weekend! :D)

You guys know how much I love comic books, right? Of course you do. I spend every day obsessing over them right here on this blog.

The limit to which I can talk about comic books?

So recently, I had the opportunity to go to Comic Con, and the experience was…interesting.

Since I don’t usually talk about my personal life on this blog, here’s some back story that will help you understand what I’m about to tell you.

When I was really little, my mom died, and my dad got remarried a few months later to a woman with two daughters. This woman, my step mother, used to be the star of a reality TV show. (No, I’m not telling you which show. It’s way too embarrassing.) She’s really evil, and so are her daughters.

Living with these people is so frustrating. I spend every day just like:

My family is super rich and stuff, but since my step mom hates me, I’m the one who has to do all the chores and everything. I spend all day working my butt off, and at the end of the day I just want to collapse into bed like:

But it’s not so bad. I discovered comic books a few years ago, and they completely changed my life. I realized I had a passion for them, and I started this blog so I’d have a place to talk to other people who share my obsession.
So when I found out that Comic Con was going to be in New York City, where I live, my reaction was basically this:

Since I had no money for a ticket, I asked my step mother if she’d buy it for me. I told her I’d do anything, I’d do even more chores or pay her back or whatever she wanted me to do. But she was just like:

And I spent the next few days like:



I was so excited, because I’d actually be able to go to Comic Con!

What was my idea? Well, I stole my step mother’s credit card. At first, I felt bad about it. But after I thought about all the terrible things she’s done to me over the years, I decided that I didn’t actually care. So I bought the ticket and a costume and then returned the credit card without my step mom noticing a thing.

When Comic Con finally rolled around, I was freaking out. Walking into a place filled with people in costumes who all shared the same interests as me was crazy. I spent the whole time just like:


and also:

I’m not going to tell you what my costume was, because I’d like to remain anonymous…

…but let’s just say it was pretty amazing. :)

So anyway, I was surrounded by people JUST LIKE ME, and I made some awesome friends. We were all fangirling over our favorite comic books and fandoms and movies and books and everything and it was amazing!

Then, when I was in line for a panel, this guy who was standing next to me started talking to me. I found out his name is Charlie, and he’s really cute and nice and I was trying to be all cool, like:


But really I was more like:

After talking to him for awhile, we realized we have a lot in common. We found out that we’re part of the same fandoms and we like the same comic books and everything.

On the outside, we were both just like:

And on the inside, I was like:

Because Charlie is kind of perfect! Meeting him was:

We spent the rest of the day together, going to signings and panels and just wandering around and stuff. I went home that day feeling super happy, like:

Because guys!


It wasn’t until I got home that I realized that we never exchanged phone numbers or anything, so I had no way to contact him.

So then I was sad:




We just ran into each other, and I acted all cool and casual, like:

But on the inside I was just like:

We spent the whole day together and it was really fun. Before we left, we made a plan to meet outside the building the next morning so we could hang out the entire next day.

We met each other the next day and everything was going swimmingly, until about noon. I was casually wandering around with Charlie when all of a sudden, my step mother shows up and I’m just like:


She looked really mad, and she was all “DID YOU STEAL MY CREDIT CARD?!”
So I’m all:

And she’s all “Well then who did?” And I’m like:

But she obviously doesn’t believe me because she’s all:

And so I kind of just ran away, like:

I could tell Charlie was really freaked out by this, but in my rush to get the heck away, I didn’t have time to say goodbye.

It was only when I got home and started going through my bags that I realized…


I started freaking out and looking through my stuff again, thinking that maybe it would magically appear.


I dropped my comic book.



And to make the situation EVEN WORSE, my step mom totally grounds me for life and I’m just so angry at the entire world, like:

But after a few days I calm down a little bit, like:

And I kind of accept the fact that the comic book is gone, and also I still never got Charlie’s phone number, so I’ll probably never talk to him again.

I go about my normal, slightly depressing life, which is basically this:


But then.



And he’s all “I found your blog and also I have that comic book you dropped and I want to return it to you.”

My reaction was literally this:


and this:

and also this:

So it turns out he lives in Chicago, and he wanted to mail the book to me.

So he plans this epic road trip thing where he COMES BACK TO NEW YORK just to give me the book back.


Let’s all give a round of applause to the most amazing guy in the entire world!

A few days later, he shows up at my door with the comic book and I kind of attack him, like:

And my step mom sees this but she can’t really do anything to stop it so Charlie and I are just like:


It’s been a few weeks since all of this happened. Charlie is back in Chicago, and I’m still here in NYC. We don’t really get to see each other that often, which is sad. :(

But hey, it’s time to start applying to colleges soon, and Chicago has some pretty great schools.