Posts tagged ‘young adult’

And By Camping You Mean Resort?

I hate camping. Oh my god. I hate camping.  It is dirty and filled with nature and bugs and there’s no running water, and you have to sleep on the floor, and if it rains then you’re completely screwed.  Shudders.  Once when I was little my family and I tried the whole camping thing at a state park.  It was tame camping.  Public bathrooms.  Water spouts for drinking.  Plots to put your tent.  There was no hiking.  There was no foraging.  We drove to the site, parked, unpacked, and then pitched our tent right next to my grandparent’s RV. That’s how we roll. And still the experience was terrible.  There was a skunk.  We were in a tent. I never camped again.

The closest I’ve come to camping in the last 15 years would be the time for college orientation my school forced me into the wilderness to “fly fish.” Oh no.  Thankfully, they rented us a cabin on a lake.  It was air-conditioned.  There was a stove. Otherwise, I don’t know if I would have survived. As it was I barely survived.  They. Didn’t. Let. Me. Take. A. Shower. For. Three. Days.

The horror.

So yeah. Two weekends ago, I went with some friends to New Hampshire for a little “get me off campus now!” vacation.  I called it “camping.”  We were in the woods.  We had a fire. It was outside (the fire and the house). And we cooked parts of our food outside.  Camping.  Sure the fire was in a “fire pit.”  And okay, we sat in chairs, with blankets, drinking wine and eating cheese and crackers/chocolate depending on the time of day.  And, yes, the food cooked outside was on a grill, but we were camping…in spirit.

I would not survive!

There I was sitting in a lawn chair on a beautiful deck overlooking some mountains when I realized how GLAD I was not to be in a YA novel right now.  Good Lord, Thank You!  After months of being pestered to read “the awesome” book by family and friends, I picked up a copy of Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins that I found sitting by a bed in my friend’s NH house.

It was EPIC.  It was smart, scary, emotional, fun in an “I am a bad person for enjoying this” kind of way.  The story follows 16-year-old Katniss as she plots, sneaks, and fights to the death in a dystopian future’s version of “Survivor.”  (My review of the book to come later).  But as I was sitting there in my plush, comfy, chocolate and cupcake filled life, I thought: “Wow, if this is a trend in YA then I am super glad that I am not a character!”  First person to die in the Hunger Game? Had I been there it would have been me.

Romantic Question: What do you think of the new post-apocalyptic trend in YA lit?  Are you a survivor or would you join me on the casualty list?

April 24, 2011 at 6:17 pm 4 comments

Deadly New Gossip Girl

Have you ever watched a show, read a book, where you just wished that the characters would stop all their petty fighting and just go for the literal jugular already?  I mean haven’t you ever read a book and thought, “Wow, this would be so much better if they just started beating each other down!”

Well, apparently Cecily von Ziegesar, author of the popular Gossip Girl series, has had similar violent urges.  This September she reveals the darker side of the Upper East with her release Gossip Girl, Psycho Killer.  We once again join those oh-so-wealthy and dramatic New York teens, Blair, Serena, Nate and Chuck, but this time…their privileged life is literally to die for. Psycho Killer follows the same story as the original Gossip Girl book, but along with the cutting words, von Ziegesar adds some things a little sharper–aka knives.  The book starts with:

Welcome to New York City’s Upper East Side, where my friends and I live, go to school, play, and sleep-sometimes with each other. It’s a luxe life, but someone’s got to live it . . . until they die.

While I am not typically a fan of the Gossip Girl series, I really want to read this book!  Tonight, my professor “strongly suggested” –translation: made–our Creative Nonfiction class attend Cecily von Ziegesar’s reading of some of her work.  An esteemed alumnus from my esteemed college, von Ziegesar started the night by reading a section from her recent release, Cum Laude, which everyone will be pleased to know is loosely based off my college.  Whoop, whoop! Represent.

Then after some funny anecdotes about her first book–a Western about dead daisies and some Gossip Girl TV news about her upcoming cameo appearance on the show–she brought out her most recent project: Psycho Killer.  Following the recent literary trend in books, the mash-ups (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Little Women and Werewolves, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter–you know the classics), von Ziegesar and her editor were sitting around talking about what they could do to spice up the Gossip series when she says, “What if they killed each other?”  And thus, this gem of YA fiction was born! And from the funny, clever, and violent excerpt that von Ziegesar read to us tonight: well I’ve gotta say Psycho Killer has the potential to be a diamond!

So what about you dearest friend, are you a fan of the Gossip Girl series? What do you think about the series’ entrance into the trendy world of mash-ups?  And let me know if you want more gossip from my Cecily von Ziegesar reading! Then look for Gossip Girl, Psycho Killer in bookstores this fall!

April 12, 2011 at 9:40 pm 3 comments

Y A Young Adult Book Is Perfect for You!

“Well, I kinda love…well, I kinda love…” My friend Lisa pauses, leaning towards me like she’s about to tell me some great secret.  Taking a deep breath she bluts out, “Ikindaloveyoungadultromances.”

Translation: Lisa loves young adult romance novels. 

And I mean, why shouldn’t she love YA? So what if she is a twenty-something year old? I mean I have a whole bookshelf devoted to some of my YA favs.  Garth Nix’s Abhorsen Trilogy.  Lord, I read those books every year. Gayle Carson Levine’s fairytale Ella Enchanted. Another great fairytale Robin McKinley’s wonderful versioin of the Beauty and the Beast: Beauty.  Cynthia Voigt’s Elske. Then there are the classics like Ann Rinaldi’s historical novels, which are basically the tame version of the historical romance.  I still have my well-worn copy of Time Enough for Drums, the super romantic story of fiery Jemima Emerson, who struggles with family, lotality, and love during the Revolutuonary War.  Back in the day–a.k.a. middle school–that book was beyond sexy (or what I assumed sexy would be), and I still think it is amazing now that I am older.

You don’t need to be a young adult to love YA romances.  Yes, quite of few of their plots deal with issues that young adults face: growing older, falling in love, high school.  But really, at the core of a lot of these novels is a simply great love story that you can relate to no matter what your age.

So for my weekly suggestion: I say talk a walk down memory lane and pick up one of your favorites or a new classic.  The best YA romances are smart, fresh, and sexy.

Y A Young Adult Started Suggestions!

  • Sabriel by Garth Nix–A fun, fantasy novel that follows title character Sabriel who leaves the safety of her school to find her missing father in the Old Kingdom.  Some talking cats, necromacy, and a sexy prince frozen in time. This awesome book is the first of his Trilogy and is definitely worth reading.

    Beauty is pain.

  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare–A unique twist on the angel narrative, Bones is the first in Clare’s series.  A fun read with supernatural tone.
  • A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray.  With romance, history, some fantasy, and a very multifacet main character, Bray’s story is a slightly spooky and engaging read.  I loved it as a teen and still love it as an adult!

April 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm 2 comments


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