March Wrap-Up

Life-Happening Summary: March came in like a lamb and left like a … Hungry Lamb ? . . .  What a weird weather year we’ve been having. It’s been wonderful! I do like snow for Christmas and December, but that’s about it. Amazingly, my kiddos didn’t have any snow days. The second week of March, I experienced my first SOLO road trip!I had lots of fun singing LOUD, talking to myself, and stopping for coffee whenever I wanted. 🙂  I went to Ohio to visit my sister (it was her birthday!) and to go to THE PIANO GUYS concert! Let me just say: The Piano Guys are AMAZING! If you don’t know who they are, check them out! So much fun and talent wrapped into one show.

Writing Summary: I had an idea last year that I’ve been mulling over. I knew the WHO (Cortland McGraw) and the WHERE (Steampunk Novel), but I didn’t know the WHAT, WHEN, and WHY’s of the story. I had a few ideas but they weren’t taking me anywhere. Then I watched THE LIBRARIANS (LOVE that show!!) and the ideas started to pour over me! I’ve been plotting, researching, and of course, building a Pinterest board all month–still going strong! I love when a new idea hits. The excitement gives me momentum and has me thinking about it all day (and most of the night…didn’t get a lot of sleep this month). For fun, I tried something a little different with the first draft: I wrote it as a screenplay. It’s too long to actually be one, but it was a fun way to just write the dialogue and motions for each scene. Now, I’m going back through and adding meat (and paragraphs) to it!

Reading Summary:

Winter By: Marissa Meyer

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Winter was the last book of the Lunar Chronicles series. It was a great ending, wrapped everything up, gave the main characters their Happily-Ever-Afters. I love when a series ends and my questions are answered. This entire series is one of my absolute favorites!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children By: Ransom Riggs 

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This was such an odd book . . . but in a good, fascinating way! I recently saw the trailer for the movie coming out and it looked really interesting, so of course I had to go get the book so I could be prepared to watch it. I don’t tend to pick up books like this, but I’m glad I did. It was a neat escape from my norm. Excited to see how close the movie keeps to the book!

The Volk Advent By: Kristen Wiks

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Every March-June, I get a box of books in the mail that I get to read, judge and then KEEP! Several years ago I signed up to be a judge for contest/book awards (not saying what contest just yet…shhh . . . ). The Volk Advent was among the  books in the box this year. The cover had me grabbing for it first. It was a quick read, but I really didn’t connect with the characters, and it was hard for me to suspend disbelief for the plot line.

The Young Elites By: Marie Lu

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Really enjoyed this story–fresh and new, with a good twist ending. Very well written!

Lady Midnight By: Cassandra Clare

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This was a BIG book! It was fun being back in the Shadowhunter world…there were things I loved more than the original series, and things that almost felt like a repeat of the original.

The 5th Wave By: Rick Yancey

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I listened to this book as I drove to and from Ohio! It made the time fly by. I really enjoyed the story (although at times it reminded me of Divergent and The Hunger Games)…but it did have some twists and fresh views on things that I really enjoyed. Can’t wait to see this movie either!

The Glass Sword By: Victoria Aveyard

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While I absolutely LOVED The Red Queen–the first book in this serie–this second book didn’t impress me as much. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good story, but by the end I wasn’t dying to get my hands on the next book in the series. This story felt forced and a lot like an X-Men movie . . . I’ll probably check out the third book when it comes out, but I’m not as jumping-up-and-down-can’t-wait excited for it.

Watched Summary:

THE LIBRARIANS: As I said above, I watched Season 1 of THE LIBRARIANS–loved every second!

ELEMENTARY: While some friends cautioned me, telling me to stay away from it, other’s said they enjoyed it. I must say, I am REALLY enjoying it! I love how they made Watson a woman . . . and the twist that Irene Adler is MORIARTY–woohoo! I’m almost done with Season 2.

I watched ANT MAN and GOOSEBUMPS with my boys–both were great!

CHiPs: This month we were all introduced to CHiPs! We’ve been watching Season 1 as a family–so much fun, and it’s family friendly/appropriate. Love to hear my boys laughing…and my youngest hums the theme song non-stop now (it replaced Star Wars theme song…but that movie comes out tomorrow, so I’m sure he’ll be back to the dark side humming…)

PSYCH: Just discovered this on Netflix . . . I know, I’m behind the times. 🙂 It’s a fun show (annoying at times, but that’s what fast forward is for . . .).

POLDARK: Watched the first 3 episodes… *swoon*…hoping to watch the rest SOON!

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My YA List: Top Reads of 2013

The GrimM Legacy By: Polly Shulman

Keeping the Castle: By Patrice Kindl

Mind Games: By Kirsten White

Taken: Erin Bowman

Alice in Zombieland: By Gena Showalter

Legend: Marie Lu

The Selection & The Elite: By Kiera Cass

Etiquette Espionage: By Gail Carriger

The Fault in Our Stars: By John Green

Pushing the Limits: Katie McGarry

Divergent: By Veronica Roth

The Distance Between Us: Kasie West

Dark Triumph: By Robin LaFevers

Everbound: By Brodi Ashton

Cinder & Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles): By Marissa Meyer

*Read so many great books this year, it was hard to narrow it down to these. Can’t wait to get reading in 2014!

I’d Read Again in a Second!

There are so many great YA reads out there. But for a book to make it on MY favorite list, it has to pass the I-Would-Read-This-Again-In-A-Second test & the I-Own-This test (or will be buying a copy ASAP). So, as of today, May 23, 2013, here is a list of my top favorites.

Brodi Ashton: Everneath & Everbound & Neverfall (Novella)

Jane Austen: I’m not sure if her novels count as YA, but ALL her books are on my list, in the #1 spot!

Lisa T. Bergren: Waterfall & Cascade & Torrent

Gail Carriger: Etiquette Espionage

Kristen Cashore: Graceling & Fire & Bitterblue

Rae Carson: The Girl of Fire and Thorns & The Crown of Embers & The Bitter Kingdom & The Shadow Cats

Ally Condie: Matched & Crossed & Reached

Sarah Beth Durst: Drink, Slay, Love & Enchanted Ivy & Ice

Diana Wynn Jones: Howl’s Moving Castle

Jenny B. Jones: So Not Happening & I’m So Sure & So Over My Head & There You’ll Find Me

Robin LaFevers: Grave Mercy & Dark Triumph

Marissa Meyer: Cinder & Scarlet

Stephenie Meyer: Twilight & Breaking Dawn & The Host

Rick Riordon: Percy Jackson Series (This series falls somewhere between Middle Grade & YA, but I really enjoyed it!)

J.K Rowling: The Harry Potter Series

Polly Shulman: Enthusiasm

Scott Westerfield: Uglies & Pretties & Specials & Extras

 

**Well, that’s it for today…I’m sure I’ll think of a few more as soon as I publish this…

What about you? What are your top 5 favorite YA reads?

 

 

Saw this list today, and I have read most of them…might make this my goal, to read all the books on this list. We’ll see… 🙂

http://www.npr.org/2012/08/07/157795366/your-favorites-100-best-ever-teen-novels