December 19, 2012

Class of 2012 YA Superlative Blogfest: Day 3

Day 3: Elements of Fiction
(All titles are linked to their Goodreads synopses.)

Head on over to the following blogs for more info on this blogfest:
Tracey NeithercottKaty UppermanAlison Miller, and Jessica Love
Okay, this time around I'm going to try really hard not to overdo it with The Raven Boys. Promise.

Most Envy-Inducing Plot (Or, the plot you wish you'd thought of yourself.)

While Cinderella retellings are certainly not a new thing, this particular spin on the fairy tale was so unique to me—Cinderella as a cyborg and all of the other science fiction elements of this awesome story. It seemed like after Cinder came out, I started seeing a whole pile of unique twists on familiar stories cropping up. Also worth mentioning: For Darkness Shows the Stars, a sci-fi spin on Jane Austen's Persuasion. I love when authors put creative twists on stories we know.


Most Formidable World (Or, the setting you most definitely would NOT want to travel to.):

This is a no-brainer. Seriously, who in their right mind would want to travel to a world plagued by zombies?! Not this girl.


Wanderlust-Inducing (Or, the setting you'd happily travel to.):

I could probably travel happily to a few places in Wanderlove and In Honor, but for me there is one destination that I'd hop on a plane to in a heartbeat: London, England. Hubby and I just visited London back in May, but since we were only there for a few days there's still a ton of places left unexplored. Personally, I feel like Julia in Meant to Be needs a do-over on her London trip what with all the hijinks and shenanigans that kind of robbed her of what she expected from her trip.


Loveliest Prose:

While I wasn't quite as into this one as I was Daughter of Smoke & Bone, there's no doubt that the prose was just as awe-inspiring as in Book 1. There's just something about the way she describes things that makes me pause and reread. And then, of course, there's Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys. I'm not even sure I need to say anything beyond this woman's name for you to understand what I mean.


Best First Line:

Oh, looky here. It's only my second reference to The Raven Boys today! With so much emphasis on a great first line, it's kind of funny just how many books have only meh opening sentences. The Raven Boys captured my interest instantly with: "Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she'd been told that she would kill her true love."  Pretty great, right?



Most Dynamic Main Character:

Celaena Sardothian is such a great MC. I liked her from the start when she was an angry, snarly, bloodthirsty assassin, but I loved her just as much when she transformed (returned to?) something a little softer around the edges but no less deadly.


Most Jaw-Dropping Ending:

We have us a tie, folks. Shockingly, this is my first reference to Insurgent this entire blogfest. I won't ruin the experience with spoilers for those of you haven't read one or the other. But let's just say I was left with a feeling of "Well, I didn't see that coming" at the end of both of these books. Needless to say, I'll be queuing up like a boss when the sequels come out.


Best Performance In a Supporting Role:

I suck at choosing only one. Sigh. While Bitterblue was my least favourite of Kristin Cashore's Graceling Realm series, I loved having Po and Giddon return. Roar was one of my favourite characters in Under the Never Sky, though most of my fangirly attention is placed squarely on Perry. And then there's the debut appearance of Ziri*, a seriously sweet (and smoking hot—at least in my mind) chimaera in Days of Blood & Starlight.


Best Use of Theme:

I'm going to stick with simple themes of sacrifice and good vs. evil in Days of Blood & Starlight. Without going into spoilery details, there were a number of instances of characters sacrificing themselves for others, whether it meant putting their life on the line or something perhaps a little less severe. When you get into good vs. evil in this book, everything gets a little murky. We get to see things from both sides of the war between chimaera and angels, and it's difficult not to sympathize with both. In many ways, I think this is very true to life (though not in every instance in the book or in life).



* I had to stop and think for minute about his name. I was all set to type 'Kiri', which had me pausing to make sure I wasn't confusing him with a seriously hot dwarf named 'Kili' in The Hobbit. Managed to finally get it right, though. ;P

28 comments:

  1. Ha, today was a Days of Blood & Starlight lovefest for you. Definitely agree with you on the first line.

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    1. I didn't really realize it, but you're kind of right. The funny thing is, it wasn't my favourite book of the year by a long-shot. But I can't ignore beautiful writing, can I? :)

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  2. I saw on Twitter that you really enjoyed THRONE OF GLASS. It's on my Kindle but I haven't read it yet...Need to soon :D
    Great list again, Jaime :D I loved that first line in THE RAVEN BOYS...and seeing London again through MEANT TO BE means it's definitely a place I'd like to re-visit soon :D

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    1. I thoroughly enjoyed THRONE OF GLASS. It has not one, but two swoonworthy fellas in it (though I'm partial to one of them, of course). MEANT TO BE definitely made me want to fly back to London right away. :)

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  3. Other than THE RAVEN BOYS and INSURGENT, I haven't gotten to any of your picks yet. I need to remedy that!
    I love THE RAVEN BOYS's first line. It's hooky without overdoing it, and that's so hard to do.

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    1. There are just too many books and so little time. :) I've been wanting to re-read a couple books because they were so good, but it's hard to justify when I have so many other unread books waiting in the wings.

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  4. Grinning over the Kili comment. Ah I really loved For Darkness Shows the Stars and now I wish I had remembered to add it to my list, but I was trying to stick to just debut authors since I had SOOOOO many favorites.

    There are so many books showing up on everyone's list during this blogfest that I haven't read yet. Must fix that.

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    1. I think you may be the only person who caught the Kili comment. :) Picking debut authors was a great idea. I didn't have all that many 2012 books in total, so if I'd stuck to only debut authors that might have been a challenge! I've added a good number of books to my TBR list this week. :)

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  5. I love how much love everyone is giving to THE RAVEN BOYS during this blogfest. I think I have it as a winner something like 15 times this week. :) Such a good book!

    Also, the cover for MEANT TO BE is totally swoon-inducing. I need to check that one out!

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    1. THE RAVEN BOYS deserves this much love. :) I need to go back and count how many times it shows up in my lists. (*goes and does that*) I have it listed 11 times, so you have me beat.

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  6. Hmm... I'm seeing LOTS of THE RAVEN BOYS on your list, Jaime. I think we know your favorite of the year. :) And I'm so glad you included Giddon and Po in your Supporting Role category. I loved Giddon in BITTERBLUE so much!

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    1. Darn it. I was hoping that today's RAVEN BOYS lovefest was toned down somewhat. Ah well. That's what you get with such a great book! As for Giddon, I so wanted him and Bitterblue to hook up. :)

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  7. The only thing holding me back on Throne of Glass is that I have the novellas (or short stories? Or whatever they are?) on my Kindle, and I have to figure out what order to read them in. I am such a nerd. But YES to the ends of Raven Boys and Insurgent! I think both of them made me actually yell at the book!

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    1. The novellas are separate from the THRONE OF GLASS novels, if that helps. I think they might be prequel novellas. It's going to be a looooonnnng wait until fall 2013 until the next book comes out, so you've got some time. :)

      I think THE RAVEN BOYS' ending made me do a double take. Like a "Wait. What?" kind of scenario. INSURGENT certainly surprised me, but I don't think it evoked as much of a reaction from me. I'm certainly curious to see where both of the next books go from there.

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  8. Oh man...I totally forgot about INSURGENT's crazy ending!

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    1. It was a totally crazy ending, though I think THE RAVEN BOYS' ending shocked me a little more. With INSURGENT I was waiting for some kind of revelation, but with THE RAVEN BOYS, I had no idea a revelation like that was in store. Can't wait for the sequels in both series to see where they go! :)

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  9. Love the opening line of The Raven Boys. It hooked me in right away. And I completely agree with you on the theme of sacrifice in Days of Blood and Starlight. I know the part you're referring to and though I enjoyed Daughter of Smoke and Bone more as well, that particular sacrificial act pretty much ripped my heart out. :(

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    1. That line definitely caught my attention too. But it was the Raven Boys themselves that held it. :)

      As for that particular scene in DAYS OF BLOOD & STARLIGHT, it was surprising and sad all at the same time. I actually had to change what I wrote about that character under one of the headings because it contained unintentional spoilers. O_o

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  10. Oh, the jaw-droppers. I cannot handle the length of time between novels in a series. I know it's what it takes to make a book right (with Roth even extending beyond her initial May 2013 deadline) but it's such a killer for the heart when you're INVESTED. ;-) Also, I see Days of Blood and Starlight EVERYwhere and I apparently need to read both Taylor's books, stat (I haven't read the first one, either).

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    1. The long wait for all these books is killing me. The problem is, by the time the next book comes out I'm struggling to remember details from the previous book. And it's not like I have time to re-read all of them Gah! As for DAYS OF BLOOD & STARLIGHT, I liked the first one better, but I'm really curious to see where she takes everything in Book 3. :)

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  11. I'm all for a little Kili love. I would've made that mistake, too ;)

    I'm surprised Throne of Glass hasn't gotten more love from me during this blogfest. I thought it was amazing, but apparently not as amazing as some of the other books I read this year...

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    1. Seriously. Kili is one smoking hot dwarf. :)

      I just finished THRONE OF GLASS, so it's nice and fresh in my mind and is kind of overshadowing a lot of other books right now. That's okay because it's a pretty darn good book. :)

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  12. Oh, Perry...

    I am working on Daughter of Smoke & Bone right now, so I really can't wait to get to the next book now!

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    1. Can't wait for some more Perry in January! :D I liked DAYS OF BLOOD & STARLIGHT, but I didn't love it like I loved DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE. I'm hoping Book 3 is totally awesome. :)

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  13. I'm actually pretty surprised that I wasn't the only one to pick This is Not a Test for Most Formidable World! Go us!!

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    1. I thought way more people would pick that one because of the zombies. I guess our blog friends would rather be on the run from zombies than live in a dystopian world. Call me crazy, but that seems crazy. 'Go us' is right! :)

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  14. Omg - LOVE Po! I could've chosen him in that category too. :) And those Raven Boys. *sigh*

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