Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday- Best of Horror

If this post comes out before YA Highway's post it means Sandy has taken my power out...I set it on a schedule just in case. Sorry for any confusion this might cause.

This week's YA Highway Road Trip topic: Halloween! What's your favorite scary book or movie?

First off, I love Supernatural Thrillers and have read a lot of wonderful YA ones, but they don't really scare me.

Scary (for me) is when any character, including the main one, can die at any time.

I don't watch or read a lot of that kind of scary, so for my favorites, I have to go old school:

Favorite Movie: Aliens II

Don't get me wrong, the first Alien movie was amazing. And soooo scary. But the second one, with the child involved, scared me even more.

Favorite Book: Dreamcatcher

I've listened to a lot of Stephen King (they were some of the first books done unabridged in audio). I like his group-of-friends ones the most: The Body, IT and Dreamcatcher. Of those, Dreamcatcher scared me the most. The movie didn't do it justice.
What About You? Which books and movies scared you the most?    
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!           

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday- Lost in Translation

This week's YA Highway Road Trip topic: It isn't surprising that this month's Bookmobile selection, Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone, has sold film rights; the darkly magical world of the Shadow Fold begs for an on-screen translation! But that got us wondering. We'd like to know, in your opinion, what is it that makes some books seem ideal for a film translation?

I'm definitely a the book is better kind of girl...but I appreciate this week's Road Trip because it has made me think about why I feel this way.

Both movies and books have different kinds of restraints in telling a story. They also have different kinds of magic...often, I believe, the way these things mesh and don't mesh in the different medias will  determine the quality of the translation.

Time Constraints:

Most film adaptations suffer, not from what's there but from what's left out. Visually, the Kira Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice is amazing. The acting, equally so. But there are so many glossed over details (ones many Austen virgins would miss) that I still lean toward the six hour A & E version as my favorite.

Some left out elements are sad but understandable, like leaving out Hermione's fight for house slave rights in was one of the longer books in the series.

But I'm still bothered that Katniss didn't get the bread from District Eleven after giving Ru her respectful final send off. That is my favorite moment in the whole book, maybe even in the whole series.

Inner Thoughts:

Which brings us to the next issue. The significance of some moments are in the character's inner thoughts. Katniss considering how much that bread would have cost the people of District Eleven is what makes that moment so significant, but who would have conveyed that info on film? Katniss couldn't mutter it to herself without sounding awkward and/or putting her safety at risk. Maybe they could have flashed to Haymitch finding out about the gift, but even then, who would he share his observations with? Either way, the moment loses its umph without that inner thought (so easily utilized in a novel) to convey the info.

Comedies, I've noticed, get around this inner thought issue by creating characters who tend to say their inner thoughts out loud.

Bridget Jones's Diary is such a wonderful film adaptation because it has the outspoken main character plus her diary entries to convey her inner thoughts.

I don't remember the film version of Princess Diaries using the diary entries as much, and (I think) you lose some of the quirky/outrageous tone of those books because of it.

Scene setting:

I remember vividly my first glimpse of the inside of Hogwarts on film(the moving staircases and the portraits). I felt as if the world Rowling had so brilliantly painted in my head had come to life before me.

Given that example, it would be easy to say that the better the world building, the better the movie result can be. But this theory doesn't work entirely.

The Twilight movies suffer, not from author world building so much as the special effects translation of that world building...sparkling vampires may look good on paper, but on film? It sort of loses its luster (for me, anyway).

Then (also related to inner thoughts), an author's world building is sometimes dependent on character narration.

Rick Riordan's engaging world of demi-gods, monsters and gods turns into a plain old action film (one with major time constraint issues too) without the main character's witty descriptions of his encounters.

What about you? What do you think makes film adaptations work/not work?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Debut Author Challenge #8- What's Left Of Me

WHAT'S LEFT OF ME, by Kat Zhang, courtesy of Audible.

Two souls in one body. Not unusual to be born this way, but Eva and Addie should have settled by age seven...letting the dominant soul take over, letting the other one die.

Only Eva has stayed, silent but there. How long can they keep her a secret?

Being a fan of The Host, by Stephanie Meyer, I love the two perspectives in one body. The sister relationship in this one, rather than two adversaries in The Host, added emotional depth to the story for me.

Definitely worth checking out. 

What about you? Read this one? The Host? Any other debuts to recommend?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday- To Write or NaNo to Write

This week's YA Highway Road Trip topic:
Are you doing NaNoWriMo, or have you ever? Does having a deadline inspire you?

Every year, I consider NaNo...for about two seconds. Then reality sets in, and I know I'll be a jealous spectator yet again.

First off, November? Who picked this month? Obviously not someone who might have out-of-town Thanksgiving guests. I vote for NaNo in major holidays, and the weather is sketchy enough to keep us inside.

Then, though I have written rough drafts in six weeks, that was with some editing along the way...I'm not sure I could let go of that and just write. It would be interesting to find out.

Finally, as much as I wish it weren't so, stories inspire me more than deadlines. I can and have met deadlines before, but it's losing myself in the story that gets me there, not dates on the calender or word count goals.

What about you? Doing NaNo? Tried it before? Do deadlines inspire you?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Winners and Debut Author Challenge #7

The good news is, I still have so many ARCs that everyone who entered my How Many Have You Read/Heard Contest will have a chance to pick one.

The top three picks will go to: Elana, Laura and Carrie.

I'll email them today. Everyone else will hear from me after I know their picks:)

Now, for my Debut Author Challenge book #7

UNDER THE NEVER SKY, by Veronica Rossi

In a future where the sky is electric, Aria was raised in a bubble, enjoying many virtual worlds but no real one. When she loses contact with her mom, a scientist working in a different bubble, curiosity gets her thrown out of her safe world.

The world building in this is great. I also enjoyed the dynamic between Aria and Perry, the male protag. It's antagonistic. They both have prejudices to work through and much to learn about each others' worlds.

What about you? Read this one? Any other debut author books to recommend?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Latest Audiobook Love- Every Day

Disney World? Forget it. I want to move to David Levithan World. And live there forever!

I've felt this way ever since I read Boy Meets Boy.
I wrote it in a post after listening to Will Grayson, Will Grayson.
But now I want to shout it from the cyber rooftops after reading Every Day.

A, a non-gendered protag, lives in a different body every day.

Here is a taste of what the protag says when he/she wakes up in a biologically female/male gender body:

If you want to live within the definition of your own truth, you have to choose to go through the initially painful and ultimately comforting process of finding it.

His protag also lands in the bodies of the drug addicted, depressed, suicidal, overweight, bullied, the poor, minorities, a mean girl, and a home-schooled kid...among many others.

As a writer, I'm so jealous. He's figured out a way to write a story from an amazingly unique perspective:

To walk in others' shoes, for just one day. And, most importantly, in the shoes of a person who does it all the time.

Is there anything more powerful?

Every person is a possibility. The hopeless romantics feel it most acutely, but even for others, the only way to keep going is to see every person as a possibility.

What about you? Read this one yet? Any David Levithan? Are you a hopeless romantic like me?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday- Where do you see yourself...

This week's YA Highway Road Trip topic: What do you hope to be writing in one year? Three? Five?

One year?

I hope to be writing more stories for my Cheater Beaters series. And finding time for my sci-fi WIP...the book I've been struggling with periodically for years and still don't have a total grip on.

Three Years?

Still more of my Cheater Beaters series? Could be, but I'll also hope to be done with my sci-fi and struggling with some new project that I'm obsessed with but feels beyond me.

Five years?

A YA historical. I love, love, love historical, but the dialogue especially feels so far beyond me as a writer right now. Maybe in five years I'll feel ready to dedicate the time I'll need to do it up right.

What about you? Where do you see yourself as a writer in the future?

Monday, October 8, 2012

How Many Have you Read/Heard Contest- My September Listens

I had an AMAZING listening month in Sepetember.

I also have lots of ARCs from Book Expo to give away.

Let me know which of my September listens you've read/heard, and you could win an ARC. You get one entry for every one of my Sep listens you've read/heard.

The ARCs I'm Giving away:

Here are My September Listens:

One of my Debut Author Challenge books. I already posted about it HERE.

If you liked this, you might like: Long, Long Sleep, by Anna Sheehan

Okay, I'm usually not a ghost love story fan, but this ended up my surprise fav of the month.

If you liked this, you might like: Shadowland, by Meg Cabot
Goblins and faeries and cat folk, oh my. Loved the puck-like hero in this one.

If you liked this one, you might like, Tithe, by Holly Black


Two different girls from two different worlds. Amazing dual POV.

If you liked this, you might like: Burned, by Ellen Hopkins

 Another Debut Author challenge book I posted about HERE.

If you like this, you should try Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale
 The fascinating dystopian world of Divergent is upended, causing turmoil and split loyalties.

If you liked this one, you might like Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld.

I think, last in his Egyptian God series...I will miss the girl protag, Sadie.

If you liked this, try: Starcrossed, by Josephine Angelino

This second in the series starts some fifteen years after the first one ended...interesting way to construct a series.

If you liked this, try: Rot & Ruin, by Jonathon Maberry

A Debut Author Challenge book I haven't posted about yet.

In this world, you either live in a virtual bubble or under an electrical storm sky.

If you liked this one, you might like: Blood Red Road, by Moira Young
 She knows when people are going to die.

I got a deal on three of this series through Audible. Glad I finally got a chance to hear it.

If you liked this one, you might like: Fury, by Elizabeth Miles
Another Debut Author Challenge book I did post about HERE.

If you liked this, you might like Tempest, by Julie Cross.

What about you? Read any of these? Let me know which ones. Each book counts as an entry to win an ARC.

Friday, October 5, 2012

ARC Contest delayed

I had a wonderful listening month in September...Lots of great books to talk about. And, lots of ARC to give away to those who've read/heard some of those September books.

Unfortunately, I intended to post the contest yesterday, but this week got away from me, so I'll be posting on Monday.

I'm giving away Beta, by Rachel Cohn and Skinny, by Donna Cooner...Plus, many other ARCs. So come back on Monday! 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday-To Everything There is a Season

This Week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic is: How does your writing (place, time, inspiration) change with the seasons?

I am a big seasonal person. I love the ebb and flow of it. The, the older I get the more I love spring and fall with the flowers and leaves and (most important) the mild weather.

As for my writing, for some unknown reason, almost all of my rough draft writing has occured in the late winter/early spring. I never noticed this fact until I was trudging through a rough last fall and something just didn't feel right.

I do love rewriting/revising in the cozy and sentimental. In fact, I broke out my hot pot yesterday and plugged it in beside my computer to keep water warm for a bottomless cup of tea as I wrote. I had a nice chunk of time to write also, which was a refreshing change.

What about you? Does your writing ebb and flow with the seasons?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Nonfiction Audio

As I've mentioned before, I love to read nonfiction about human behavior...why we are the way we are.

This one sites many studies I've heard about in other BLINK, by Malcolm Gladwell...another good book...but Eagleman's perspective is different.

He even questions if we have any free will (gasp)...The evidence is strong that we don't (read book).

I prefer the realistic yet optimistic view that we have less free will than we think we do and that being conscious of this fact can help us gain more free will.'s the wave of the future (I hope).

He also has some interesting ideas on what the focus of our penal system should be.

The most exciting things for me were that he questioned whether or not traditional reductionist scientific thinking will ever answer all our questions about the human brain (or other things). Also, he stated his belief that Occam's Razor (the scientific theory that the simplest solution is usually the right one) limits imagination...I've always believed this, so it's nice to hear someone more educated say they agree.

What about you? Read this or anything like it? What do you think about free will?

And come back Thur for my How Many Have You Read/Heard contest...lots of good reading/listening recommendations and ARCs to give away.