Wednesday, January 26, 2011

RTW: In What Universe?

This week's Road Trip Wednesday question is: If you could live within the universe of one book, which would you choose?

Because ultimately I'm going to be so cliche in my answer, first I'm going to tell you which ones I considered. I thought about the universe of HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins, but only if I get to be a witch and go to the school where Sophie goes (so I guess I'd have to be a misbehaving witch.) It just seems like fun. I also considered one (or several) of the many universes in the HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy by Philip Pullman. I want to befriend a giant armored polar bear! And meet strange creatures who don't walk but travel using wheels make of giant seeds! And have a daemon! And then I considered and almost chose the universe from the ABHORSEN trilogy by Garth Nix. It's creepy cool, with the wall that separates normal society from magical society. And all the different types of magic, and the eerie dead things that come up out into the living world and have to be banished back. Of all the things I've ever read, this trilogy has inspired me the most, so it only makes sense I'd want to live there, even if it's a little bit wild and seems to be pretty much in constant danger.

But then.

Then I spotted the seven Harry Potter books on my top shelf, sitting there all innocently, and I'm sorry, but who doesn't want to go to Hogwarts? Especially now that it's all safe and whatnot. Quidditch matches and spells gone awry and fun classes like transfiguration and charms. Delicious magical candy. Quirky teachers. Hagrid's various magical/semi-dangerous pets. Everything about Hogwarts--and all other wizard-related places--is awesome. It is magical and fun and the first time I read HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, I developed this little corner of my heart where I could pretend it totally does exist.

I'm going to keep pretending until proven wrong ;)

So what about you? If you could live in any book universe--contemp or magical or dystopian or other--which would you choose? Visit YA Highway to share your answer!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

RTW: Favorite WIP lines

This week's Road Trip Wednesday topic is: what is your favorite line from your WIP?

Some days I feel extra vain and I have lots of favorites, and some days I want to murder every word. But there are a couple I particularly like, even on the murder every word says. And I like how pretty Kate's post looks with her quotes in fun-fonted images so I'm going to be a copier and do that too. (Plus I haven't had a reason to use PhotoFiltre in a while--I may have gotten carried away. But it could have been worse).

What are your favorite lines from your WIP? Share on YA Highway!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

RTW: Five best books of 2010

The handy spreadsheet I made last year of all the books I read helps me out with this topic. I don't have to dredge up memories of what in hell I read all the way back to last January. I read a lot of amazing books in 2010, but here are five of my favorites, in no particular order:

1. FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK by Melina Marchetta. I adored Jellicoe Road, mainly because of the author's beautiful, beautiful writing, so when she came out with a high fantasy? Hell yeah I was going to read it. And it was amazing. The romance, the world, the characters. She didn't hold back. The world was brutal and real and I love this book.

2. HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins. Technically I read this book in 2009 because I won an ARC from a random twitter contest, but I'm putting it here anyway, since it debuted in 2010--and I did read it twice more, in 2010. This book seriously has everything. I think it's one that crosses reader boundaries between those who prefer contemporary and those who prefer fantasy. It's SO incredibly hilarious, I literally laughed out loud more than once. But it also has substance. The plot's complex and the love interest, Archer, is one of my favorites of the books I've read recently.

3. HOURGLASS by Claudia Gray. I loved EVERNIGHT. And I loved STARGAZER. So it only makes sense that I would have loved this one too, right? This book was unique from the first two in many ways, but it was still so good. And the ending was seriously wow. And separately but relatedly I am so excited for the Balthazar book that's coming out after this series is over. *swoons*

4. MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins. It wasn't perfect, but it was certainly intense. There were some things I really, really liked about it, and I wasn't left with the feeling of burning disappointment I sometimes feel when a trilogy or series ends. And I was satisfied with where Gale ended up in the scheme of things (yeah, SO Team Gale). Plus, this was one of those books that just made people talk. Everyone was excited about Mockingjay. Everyone was reading it. Everyone had reactions and blogged and tweeted and forum posted about it. What is better than a book that no one can stop talking about?   

5. BLUE FIRE by Janice Hardy. I loved THE SHIFTER, so I was excited about this one. Janice Hardy sure does know how to get her poor characters into tough situations where they have to make difficult choices to worm their way out. I love her world building--it's amazing. Something to aspire to, really. And I love the characters, their relationships, the fact that the MC, Nya, has to do tough things and is haunted by her choices, because I don't think anyone could do the things she's had to and not worry if they did the right thing. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this trilogy wraps up!

What were the five best books you read in 2010? Visit YA Highway to read what others said, and to link your own post! Alternatively this week, you can sum up your 2010 with a book title. (I found that too hard!)