Posts tagged ‘YA’

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things: The Assignment

I’ve been in a very musical mood lately, so when I got my early assignment from Columbia to make a list of my favorite books, I put on my Julie Andrews hat and busted a move–a skip, hop, jump dance move–and started to sing: “WHEN THE DOG BITES, WHEN THE BEE STING, WHEN I’M FEELING SA-A-A-A-DDDDD!”  Obviously, by my use of caps, you can tell that

  1. I was not singing it well
  2. I was singing it loud

But the point is I was so in a Sound of Music mood.  I was Maria…minus the nun thing and that nanny thing and well the boy haircut thing.  But who cares.  The hills were alive (and no they did not have eyes) and I was off making my list of favorite books!

Now, I am sure other people in the program have very deep and significant lists (note: other Columbia Pub Courser Simple Little Bookworm‘s list was quite lovely like mine…no offense to her taste?) that include so many interesting and nice things, but my list was uniquely me and was a Romance List Extraordinaire.  Cause I’m cool like that.


So dearest friends, when your dog accidentally mistakes your foot for a chew toy, you decide that honey is worth the danger, and when you watch anything related to freakin Nicholas Sparks, take a peak at one of my favorite things and then it won’t be so bad…

  1. Crusie, Jennifer. Faking It
    • Fresh, smart, funny, and sexy, Faking It is not about a perfect romance but a crazy, convoluted relationship between two imperfect people.
  2. Gabaldon. Diana. Outlander.
    • As my biffle Amanda said once, “It’s really realistic. It’s about a nurse who goes back in time…” But basically the best example of an epic historical romance.  Plus, I love Scottish romances…
  3. Garwood, Julie. Ransom.
    • A smart and engaging historical romance, this book epitomizes the genre with it’s bold, relatable characters, sharp dialogue, and passionate storyline. Plus…it’s Scottish…I’m seeing a trend here…
  4. Howard, Linda. Mr. Perfect.
    • Along with a well-developed romance, this romantic suspense shines with humor and sarcasm. Jaine is a bitch and I love her for it! Plus, the hero is a cop and I may be in love with cop heroes.
  5. Johansen, Iris. The Ugly Duckling
    • The sizzling chemistry between the characters combined with cleverly crafted intrigue in this book make it a compelling and unpredictable romantic suspense.
  6. Mitchell, Margaret. Gone with the Wind
    • The first book that I could literally not put down. Scarlet is a flawed, selfish, and strong character that is irresistible and completely human. Plus…it’s about us Southern Girls!
  7. Nix, Garth. Sabriel
    • Instead of a heroine who needs saving, Sabriel is a powerful woman who saves her prince and provides a strong role model for young women.  A great YA. Plus, she also has a talking cat which is cool.
  8. Phillips, Susan Elizabeth. Natural Born Charmer
    • This contemporary romance is well-written with quirky characters, passion, and humor, but is different as it deals with family and second chances. It starts off with the heroine (a woman named Blue) walking down a road in a beaver suite only to meet our super hott professional football bad-boy hero!
  9. Rinaldi, Ann. Break with Charity
    • The first book that actually interested me growing up. A combination of history, romance, and a strong female character showed me that books could be fun.
  10. Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
    • Don’t mess with me on this.  This is my favorite Harry Potter book, and I seriously re-read this book every week for a year.  I love the danger, the darkness, the violence, and the mild romance.

So there is my list of favorite things! What would your list look like?


June 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm 2 comments

Angel Amour: Sexy or Sacrilegious?

Hush, Hush

Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush

There seems to be a new and emerging trend in romance novels: the bad-boy angel.  Whether it is Nalini Singh’s “Archangel” series or one of the many teen novels about the Fallen Angel, you see these heavenly, celestial beings popping up all over romance novels.

Last night I was doing some late night shopping at my local Walmart–the only store open past 9:00 pm–and I came across a rather large YA (young adult) display of angel romances.  There was Becca Fitzpatrick‘s Hush, Hush, Lauren Kate‘s Fallen, and Alexandra Adornetto‘s popular release Halo.  It was crazy.  All of these books feature angel heroes–Note: Halo actually switches it up with a female angel–and love interests who fall in love with–you guessed it–mortals. Dun. dun. dun! How can it be?!?

So what is the appeal of the angel hero? I mean sure he is hott stuff what with being perfect and able to fly, but isn’t there something a little…shall I say….creepy about a romance novel where the hero is not only another species, but a divine being and holy messenger for God?  Cause, I hate to break it to ya, but the term angel actually comes from the Hebrew word mal’akh, meaning “messenger,” and the Greek angelos, which becomes the etymological root for the English word angel. Historically they aren’t exactly sex-on-a-stick beings. Plus, they were totally androgynous throughout most of history.

Guild Hunter

Singh does sexy archangels in her Guild Hunter Series

Angels–at least biblical angels–really aren’t supposed to be getting down and flirty, falling in love and lust with mortals.  So what is so sexy about a book in which they do?  Books about fallen angels are popping up left and right, and personally, I think it has something to do with the stories of rebellion and redemption. Fallen angels are both good and evil, divinity and humanity.  They are holy and yet they have fallen from grace. Much like the vampire, fallen angels are immortal (or so we would assume), sexy, and have this dangerous edge.  They are in a word–glamorous.

And I get that, but really, are angels the new vampires? Publishers seem to think go. Because of their immortality and heavenly looks, fallen angels have become the new “bad-boys” of YA, according to an article in Publishers Weekly that further states, “YA  angels also appeal because of ‘the intrigue of fallen nobility,’ said Jon Anderson, executive vice-president and publisher of Simon & Schuster’s children’s publishing division. ‘They sat on high and got cast down.’”

Last semester I looked at angel mythology in romance novels–hence the oh-so-pretentious use of Hebrew and Greek and the mini-etymology lesson–and during that independent study, I asked author Lauren Kate–via email on her website–why she chose to write about a fallen angel.  She responded:

“I’ve been writing love stories for as long as I’ve been writing. To me, the most complicated romances make the most interesting narratives, so I’m always looking for new obstacles to throw in my lovers’ paths. When I was getting my masters degree in fiction, I was studying biblical narratives and came across a line in Genesis (6:1-4), which describes a group of angels who fell in love with mortal women. Putting this reference together with a mention in Isaiah and another in Palsm 82, biblical scholars conclude that these angels were actually cast out of Heaven for their lust. Which means—you could say—that these angels chose love over Heaven. I found this to be an endlessly interesting set up for an incredibly complicated romance. I started thinking about what kind of mortal girl it would take to attract an angel’s attention. And what it would be like for her to find herself in this position. What kind of baggage would an angel have? What would her very over-protective parents think? From there, this whole world unfurled in my head with fallen angels, demons, reincarnation, and the war between good and evil all battling for a piece of the action.”

And in her book, angels are sexy. They really are.  Over the past year, I have read a lot of angel romances, and they are all different in their own way.  Michele Hauf‘s angels are bad guys in Angel SlayerNalini Singh‘s angels are sex personified and clearly not human.  J. R. Ward‘s angelic host run around playing polo and talking in British accents in the first of her series CovetBecca Fitzpatrick‘s fallen angel is dangerous, a predator, yet love has the power to make him good.  Sigh.  Even Cassandra Clare‘s popular YA series Mortal Instruments incorporates some angel mythology. It’s crazy and complicated and completely original, but it is still angelic.

But what about you? What do you think about the recent rise in Fallen?  Personally, I think they are fascinating–as long as I don’t stop too long to think about it–but I don’t think angels will ever be able to beat the vamps.  But then again . . . they don’t have to drink blood so maybe they will!

March 29, 2011 at 9:21 pm 3 comments

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