Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What's Your Favorite Read(s) of 2010?

So, this time last year I mulled over taking a 100 book challenge....you know, read a 100 books in a year. Since I'm way over the top about rhyming, I thought, "Hey, 110 in 2010! That sounds epic!" And I set about reading 110 books.

I'm at 104 actual "pubbed books" read....however, I'm a voracious beta reader, and I'm pretty much topped my goal by reading more than 10 beta read books for critique partners. And since I'm on Winter Break, and there's still reading time to get some more pubbed books in!!!

My number one pick is The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. Words cannot adequately or eloquently do justice to this book. Emotions surrounding the whirlwind that is grief are so beautifully and accurately captured. I literally could not put it down, and I ended up reading late, late into the night.

Another favorite that comes in a close second is If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Another masterful book of love and loss and learning to live again. Cannot WAIT to read the sequel!!

While the best YA UF's for me was a tie between Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers & Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins.

At GotYA, we wanna know what was your favorite read or reads of 2010.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

CONGRATS to our own Susanne!

We are soooo excited here at GotYA because one of our newest contributors, Susanne Winnacker, has a US book deal!!! Here's the PM blurb:

Susanne Winnacker's THE OTHER LIFE, in which a girl leaves a sealed bunker after years in hiding, only to find Los Angeles devastated and haunted by humans infected with a mutated rabies virus; struggling to save her family, she falls for a boy-hunter who is both their saviour and greatest danger when his desire for vengeance threatens them all, to Robin Benjamin at Marshall Cavendish, for publication in Fall 2012, by Sarah Davies at the Greenhouse Literary Agency (NA).

You can also read about the story on her blog:

Friday, December 17, 2010

Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley --Review

Title: Where I Belong

Author: Gwendolyn Heasley
Paperback, 304 pages
Publication: February 1st 2011 by HarperTeen
Special Note: ARC review

Where I Belong


Corrinne Corcoran’s upscale Manhattan life is perfectly on track—until her father announces he’s been laid off and she’s shipped off to Broken Spoke, Texas, to live with her grandparents. All alone in a big public school and forced to take a job shoveling manure, Corrinne is determined to get back to the glamorous life she’s supposed to be living. But as she grudgingly adjusts—making new friends and finding romance along the way—this city girl begins to realize that life without credit cards and shopping sprees may not be as bad as it seems....

In this sparkling debut that flawlessly balances romance and humor, readers will grow to love sharp and sassy Corrinne as she goes on her totally reluctant but completely irresistible journey of self-discovery.

My Thoughts:

Corrinne is very snarky in the first quarter of the book, which I love, and then as she leans that maybe things aren't so bad in Broken Spoke, Texas she changes. For the better. Her character becomes more down to earth and less snobbish. The side of her that actually loves and cares for the people in the small town she's now living in becomes apparent when her BFF from New York comes to visit her.

I love how Corrinne doesn't revert back to her snobbish big city ways. She actually stands up to her friend when she starts making fun of, or complaining about everything in Broken Spoke.

The last paragraph of the plot listed above describes this novel so well. The cover leads you to believe that this novel is a romance, but it isn't really. I mean, yeah, there is a little sprinkle of it, but it's not what the books about. It's about acceptance and self discovery. And the main character's journey to learn that.

3 out of 5 stars from me.

Read this one if you like YA contemporary books that center more around learning about yourself and figuring out who you are.

For more reviews of YA books and soon to be released novels, visit me at Reading, Writing and Waiting.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Flashback Friday: Homage to Holiday Films


Welcome to Flashback Fridays where the old and new collide on everything from books to movies to first loves to favorite vacations. With a nip in the air and everyone decking the halls, it's the holiday time of year again. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, you can't help but feel a little festive this time of year. So, this week on Flashback Fridays, I wanted to take a look back at some of my favorite holiday movies.

My favorite Christmas movie of all time is It's a Wonderful Life. Sure, you can argue that it isn't really a Christmas movie since only half of the movie takes place on Christmas Eve. However, if you feel that way, you really need to look deeper into the theme of the movie as well as its correlation to "He kept Christmas in his heart all year long" aspect of A Christmas Carol. I think we've all had disgruntled George Bailey moments *cough, cough, the writing biz* where it seems like the whole universe is conspiring against us. And then when things look their bleakest and all hope seems gone, if we can look to our family and friends, we are truly blessed. The last ten minutes of the film from the time George "lives again" up to the Auld Lang Syne ALWAYS has me weeping happy tears. It's just a beautiful movie. I am such a huge fan of the movie that I also have the It's A Wonderful Life Christmas villages that I put out every Christmas!!

A Christmas Story is one of my all-time favorites. I love, love Ralphie and his plight to get a Red Ryder BB gun. I think most of us have had that one gift that we desperately hoped we would get. What a great ensemble cast with the mom and Old Man, Flick and Schwartz and brother Randy who "Can't Put My Arms Down!" Plus, there's the great bully in Scut Farkus...with his red eyes! My viewing pleasure has been enhanced by watching the 24hrs of A Christmas Story on TBS even though I have the DVD at home!

I love the story of a
Christmas Carol, and there are seriously a ton of versions out there. My favorite is a Muppet Christmas Carol. Sure, I love and grew up on the Muppet Show, but there are other reasons why it is such a great version. First, it has a great musical soundtrack. Songs like Bless Us All, Scrooge, One More Sleep Til' Christmas, and It Feels Like Christmas are so awesome I even downloaded them on my iPod to sing along to on the run! Plus, Rizzo the Rat and Gonzo as Dickens are hilarious as they narrate the story.

White Christmas--the movie that gave us one of the best Christmas songs also titled White Christmas! I really didn't gain an appreciation for this film until I got a little older and my appreciation for musical theater blossomed. The film has such a great post WWII message of everyone pulling together to help a deserving General down on his luck. There's other great songs like Sisters and Snow. The costumes are to DIE for too!

I think you'd have to have had your sense of humor removed if you do not find
Christmas Vacation funny. After it debuted in 1989, it has wiggled its way into my family's lexicon in calling overly decorated neighbor's houses "the Grizzwald's". I was a fan of Vacation, but I have to say that Christmas Vacation is the funniest. There are too many great liners that I wouldn't be able to do the movie justice by quoting it!

And some great scenes from the Holiday movies, including the original Grinch! :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Last Sacrifice: Are You Scared to Read?

Okay, everyone—this is it! The final installment of the amazing Vampire Academy series comes out tomorrow, December 7th! That’s when Last Sacrifice, Richelle Mead’s 6th book in the Rose/Lissa saga, hits a store or an e-reader near you!

Here’s the summary:

Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice. Now, with Rose on trial for her life and Lissa first in line for the Royal Throne, nothing will ever be the same between them.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait! Though I’m scared. Very, very scared. I’m scared that

a) something bad will happen to Adrian

b) something bad will happen to Dimitri

c) Rose will either end up with one or neither of them, and not with both of them in a slightly-unorthodox-YA-threesome.


Okay, so maybe that last one is a tad unrealistic. But still. I just have this bad feeling that Dimitri is doomed—and that it has something to do with the title. I mean, hello---Last Sacrifice? It doesn’t really conjure up puppies and rainbows and happily-ever-afters, does it? And I’m both excited and terrified to find out if I’m right.

Does anyone else have any predictions for what might happen in Last Sacrifice? Seriously, we’d love to hear from you! (NO SPOILERS, PLEASE! I know some of you in other necks of the woods have probably already read this book—which, by the way, makes me insanely jealous—so if you have, please don’t ruin the surprise for others! Guesses only! Thank you!)