Saturday, October 25, 2008

YA Connection, October 19th-25th

YA Connection
(Week of October 19th - 25th)

The YA Connection is a collaborative column collected by Kristi (The Story Siren) and Steph (Reviewer X). In it can be found links from around the YA blogosphere, including, but not limited to, contests links, author blog links, review links, and miscellaneous news pertaining to the age group. Also, Kristi and Steph hold weekly contests accompanying the column, as well as a book and author spotlight.

If you're a blogger, author or publicist looking to have your links added, please email Kristi at thestorysiren (at) or Steph at reviewerx (at) Any book donations for giveaways are also greatly appreciated. Please note that the spotlights are not up to suggestion, but rather decided by both Kristi and Steph.

The winner of last week's contest for La Petite Four was Teresa W. Emailed ya. Thanks to all who participated!

This week, we're giving away a copy of Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund (hey, D, I totally just spelled that without looking! :)). Same as usual - email with your ADDRESS. Extra entries may be earned by going on Kristi's site to fetch the secret word (+ 1) or mentioning and linking to our contest somewhere (+ 1 for each mention - email us with each of the links).


Contest Inventory
(Compiled by Kristi)

Dominique of The Book Vault is offering five signed copies of Top 8 by Katie Finn.

Lisa McMann (Wake) is having a huge freaking fantabulous contest! For more information head over to her newly established website!

Chelsea of The Page Flipper has a monthly prize pack up for grabs!

Liv of Liv's Book Reviews is giving away a copy of In Your Room by Jordanna Fraiberg.

Carol of Bookluver Carol's Reviews is giving away Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Growing Up or Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Relationships.

Brooke Taylor (Undone) is continuing her Monster Month of Giveaways with Faerie week!

Bookworm Readers has a copy of Popular Vote for one lucky winner!

The Book Muncher has two copies of Moonstone by Marliee Brothers up for grabs!

Kesley of Reading Keeps You Sane is celebrating her b-day and Halloween with a contest.

Author Musings
(Compiled by Kristi)

Author2Author is a compilation blog of five YA authors in various stages of the writing process. This week: Lisa Schroeder (I Heart You, You Haunt Me) blogged about useful networking websites for authors. Kristina Springer shared her creative side! Deena Lipomi suggested dropping of your novel at a waiting room for waiting readers. Emily Marshall shared the joys of the 10 year Class reunion. And finally Kate Fall addressed good vs. evil in YA lit.

The Ladies over at Books, Boys, Buzz posted some embarassing endearing photos of their high school years. You don't want to miss this one people! Books, Boys and Buzz is hosted by the following YA authors: Donna Sarkar-Mishra (How To Salsa in a Sari), Heather Davis (Never Cry Werewolf), Marley Gibson (Sorority 101), Simone Elkeles (Leaving Paradise), Stephanie Hale (Twisted Sisters), Tina Ferraro (How To Hook a Hottie) and Tera Lynn Childs (Oh. My. Gods.).

This week on the 2k8 blog, we were introduced to author Courtney Sheinmel (My So Called Family).

Claudia Gray (Evernight) posted some pictures from her South American Vacation!

P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast (Untamed: A House of Night Novel) shared the cover for Hunted.

Erin Dionne (Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies) is celebrating!! Her novel will be featured in the Scholastic Book Fair!! I know I always blew my allowance at it every year!

Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing) shares some of her adventures on her European Book Tour.

Maureen Johnson (Suite Scarlett) shares "A Typical Day In the Life of a Fabulous Author."

Sarah Dessen (Lock and Key) has been rubbing elbows with celebrities, but what's even more impressive is the cover for her new novel, Along for the Ride.

Diana Peterfreund (Rites of Spring Break) would like to know about your reading pet peeves!! She also blogs about two of my favorite things, besides reading, food and cute puppies.

Justine Larbalestier (How to Ditch Your Fairy) explains how money is not often a perk of being a writer.

Laurie Halse Anderson (Chains) is going on tour!

C. Leigh Purtill (All About Vee) knows the importance of wearing a bra to work, no matter where your office is. I have to say I couldn't agree more.

Author of the Week
Rachel Caine
Rachel Caine has been writing and publishing novels and short stories since 1991. She is a former professional musician who has the distinction of having played with such musical legends as Henry Mancini, Peter Nero and John Williams ... she's also an avid movie buff, a TV-holic, and prefers a good stout Guinness to wimpy American beers.

Rachel recently (finally) gave up her day job as a Director of Corporate Communications for a large multinational corporation, and is now happily writing full time.

Find out more about Rachel by reading Steph's interview with her and visiting her website at

Blogger Blurbs
(Compiled by Steph)

Jen Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page reviewed The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King: "The Dust of 100 Dogs is complex and dark (though with flashes of humor). But it's also unique and rewarding, written with a distinct voice, and featuring two very strong-willed female characters. Try this one out on fans of pirate stories, historical fiction, and even YA problem novels. It is not to be missed."

The Chick Manifesto Girls:

talks about those next up on the girls' ongoing Favorite Male Characters list, the FRIENDS's men.

Taren reviewed The Truth: I'm a Girl, I'm Smart, and I Know Everything by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: "The truth: I’m a woman, I’ll be twenty three in a week, and this book royally pissed me off. In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t like to be mean or say mean things. To avoid hurting someone’s feelings I’ll generally find any sort of positive I can and accentuate it. However, with this book, I unfortunately couldn’t find any positives."

Reader Rabbit reviewed Savvy Girl by Lynn Messina: "There's not much to critique for this book...what you expect is what you get. Messina's writing style delivers this story easily. [...] All in all though, Savvy Girl is a quick and fun read!"

Lenore of Presenting Lenore reviewed Chalice by Robin McKinley: "Although Chalice takes place in a fantasy world, the political maneuverings of those in power are very much reminiscent of our own world.It’s a quiet and contemplative sort of novel (in addition to all the politics there is a lot of talk about honey), but the patient reader will be charmed by this story of the power of love to heal."

Alea of Pop Culture Junkie posted new Lookalikes posts! Here's the one for At Face Value by Emily Franklin and Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph. And here's the one for The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King and a 60s pop CD.

Leila Roy of bookshelves of doom reviewed Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman: "The major difficulty I had was that it seemed like most of the dialogue in the first fifty or so pages was expository."

Steph's note: I am in the process of reading this one myself, and when I read that I thought, YES, EXACTLY. Maybe it improves? Hmm.

Khyrinthia of Frenetic Reader reviewed Lush by Natasha Friend: "It just so honest. There's a lot of truth packed in it's 180ish pages; the truth about idiotic 8th grade boys ("Here is the problem with eighth grade boys, though: They don't need encouragement. They just keep going on, anyway." This quote? Much too true. I am so glad I am no longer in 8th grade. Not like the guys I went to school with in 8th grade are any better now that they're in 9th grade.), the truth about how sometimes you can't tell your best friends everything, the truth about how your mom can be so in denial, and the truth about how a fight with your (ex) best friend feels. I think all the truth was why it was so easy for me to really get into the book- and I mean really getting into it."

Becky of Becky's Book Reviews reviewed Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr: "This book was also way more complex than I was bargaining for. The characters had so much baggage, so much depth, so much I don't quite what the right word is. The characters were complicated which made them feel real to me as opposed to feeling that they were flat and lifeless or stereotypical or boring or whatever."

Chelsea of The Page Flipper reviewed Shift by Charlotte Agell: "The first half of this book was excellent. It threw me into the plot and action extremely fast, and I was hooked. [...] But, towards the end, it lost some of its charm for me. Not all of it, but some of it. I just...expected the ending to hold more."

Trisha of The YA YA YAs reviewed Ellen Emerson White's The President's Daughter books: "If Meg were a real person, I’d probably be intimidated by her smarts and strength. But as the main character in a fiction series, she is absolutely, completely compelling. White uses a limited third-person point of view that is more intimate than some books written in first-person, fleshing out Meg’s character and giving her depth, complexity, and a sense of humor."

Kelsey of Reading Keeps You Sane reviewed my all time favorite book, Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld: "Throughout Lee's time at Ault, she grew. She grew so much, it was crazy. Every time a new chapter started, which was not a lot of times considering there were eight chapters and 400 pages in the book, Lee had grown up immensely. And I loved to see Lee grow up, actually I loved to see any character grow up, like through a long period time, in any book. Which is probably why I love the Jessica Darling Series so much."

Vanessa of What Vanessa Reads reviewed Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn: "The plot isn’t really all that special, but Cyd Charisse definitely is. I loved Cyd and her spontaneity towards anything and everything. She just really does what goes through her mind and sometimes I wish I could do that."

Harmony of Harmony Book Reviews reviewed Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell: "Books written in verse are a hesitant choice for me. Those about history are even more so. But upon hearing about this retelling of the tale of King Arthur, I became intrigued. Then, after seeing so many glowing reviews from reviewers I respected, I knew that I need this book."

Book Chic reviewed The Opposite of Invisible by Liz Gallagher: "Alice's voice is absolutely realistic and compelling to read. Despite this basically being all about a love triangle, it's difficult to put this book down. The romance between Simon and Alice is very sweet and their conversations are a joy to read- they really get along and it shows."

Gabbi of All Five Stars reviewed At Face Value by Emily Franklin: "Although entirely predictable - from Chapter One, even, it's easy to figure out the ending - Franklin's novel is saccharine sweet and a good weekend read. It's not exactly the next modern classic, but the prose is often elegant and the wording is lovely."

Em of Em's Bookshelf reviewed Cycler by Lauren McLaughlin: "I think that the concept of this book was so far in left field that I just couldn't get into it. I mean, a girl that turns into a guy when she's premenstrual? Gross me out. For the first fifty pages, the book didn't move anywhere and I was a little put off by the detailed accounts of Jack's affinity for dirty magazines. Neither of the characters really spoke to me. Jill was in denial and Jack was just a perv."

Steph's note: I was laughing by the "gross me out", hehe.

Jocelyn of Teen Book Review reviewed Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot: "Seriously addictive. It’s typically Meg Cabot in the most awesome ways–witty and smart and sometimes laugh-out-loud hilarious–as well as being a wonderful mystery. Meg Cabot is an amazing YA author, and even though this is an adult mystery, it will definitely appeal to her teen fans."

Amy of My Friend Amy reviewed Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: "I think it was pretty engrossing, I feel as though I need to devour the rest of the books and I keep thinking about Edward and Bella. Sigh. Definitely romantic, whether or not the romance is actually all that healthy remains to be seen. ;) (I wholeheartedly approve of the guy playing Edward by the way...he totally looks like my type. ;)"

Steph's note: I was anti-Rob when he was initially cast but now I LOVE him.

Hope of Hope's Bookshelf reviewed Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky: "I liked this book a lot. Daria wasn't afraid of what people were going to say about her book - she wrote anyway."

Carol of Book-Luver Carol reviewed Paper Towns by John Green (swoon!): "John Green's writing makes me you feel a range of emotions in just a few pages. He doesn't dumb anything down, like a lot of YA books do. "

Book of the Week
The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine
For Claire Danvers, high school was hell, but college may be murder.

Bad enough she got on the wrong side of Monica, the meanest of the her new school's mean girls ... but now she's got three new roommates, all with secrets of their own. And the biggest secret of all isn't really a secret, except from Claire: Morganville is run by vampires.

It's a good thing Claire's friends have her back, and Claire herself is the smartest 16-year-old advanced placement student the town's ever seen. She's going to need all the advantages she can get to survive Morganville ... much less manage a degree.

Our Reviews
Kristi: Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky.

Steph: When It Happens by Susane Colasanti. And I also interviewed Lisa McMann, author of Wake and Rachel Caine, author of the Weather Warden series and the Morganville Vampires series.

Have a nice weekend, everyone!


the story siren said...

looks great steph!

Alea said...


Lisa McMann said...

Thanks for the plug for my Freaking Huge Contest-O-Thanks!

Kelsey said...

Loved it, like usually. The Steph notes were also awesome!

Amee said...

Thanks for the mention! :D

Kristina Springer said...

Thanks for mentioning us at A2A!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for mentioning me! Have I told you how much I love YA Connection? No? Well, I do. You rock.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention! I love reading these, and of course I opened up several other tabs to read, hehe. :)

Khy said...

Yay, thanks for the mention. (:

Lenore Appelhans said...

Oh wow - I followed the link over to Libba's blog and read that she was in the audience of the Petropolis book reading AND I DID NOT EVEN SEE HER!!! Oh man.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Awesome job, once again you all!!! I enjoyed Steph's little comments as well. Quite amusing, I must say.

I TOTALLY forgot to send an email before you all posted this, but next week i'm having a week called "It Started with A Book" and there will be a contest all week, a guest blog by Catherine Ryan Hyde, and hopefully some movie/book reviews, etc.

Anyway, if interested...check it out! :)


Anonymous said...

Woo hoo, YA Connection.

Thanks so much for mentioning me. :)


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Hey! For some reason, this embedded comment form makes most people click twice before the comment is processed and published. It's not you - it's just that it's a new Blogger feature with kinks and all that. (But I adore it and don't wanna get rid of it!) I removed Captcha to make the process easier. You don't have to rewrite the comments twice; just click on SUBMIT twice and it should work. If not, email me. Thanks! -Steph