Ten Books I Plan to Read in 2017

My last post like this was all the way back in 2015, and it’s funny because I still haven’t read most of those books. But this year will be different, I say, for the fourth year in a row.

Image result for the winds of winter

1) The Winds of Winter, by George R. R. Martin.

That’s right, I’m calling it. This book will be published this year. I know I said this last year and the the year before that, but I mean it this time. I mean, he has to finish it eventually, right?

Right?

Image result for perks of being a wallflower
What a boring cover

2) Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

I pick this book because it’s short, it’s supposed to be great, as well as an easy read. That’s what I love about YA books: they’re all quick to read, even when they’re bad. Plus, Emma Watson was in the movie adaptation, and come to think of it, I haven’t seen her act in anything since Harry Potter, so I hope to watch it after finishing this. 

Image result for extremely loud and incredibly close3) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathon Safran Foer

I remember seeing the trailer to this movie and thinking, “I don’t know what this is about, but I like it.” I never got to see to see the movie, but I heard the reviews for both it and the book were very divisive. It was either the most beautiful, heartwarming novel you’ve ever read, or a three hundred page piece of trash that belongs in the depths of hell.

I will get to decide which it is.

Image result for the kite runner

4) The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

Fun fact, I actually read the first fifty pages or so, and found it fascinating. Sure, the main character was kind of a jerk to his friend, but I assume he’ll grow out of that. Plus I really want to learn more about the history of the middle east. The gist of what I know is this: Afghanistan got fucked over real bad in the 1970s, and I’m pretty sure the Russians were responsible, because the Russians are sort of awful like that. Although I’m sure the U.S. was also at fault in one way or another, because at one point in the novel Henry Kissinger was mentioned, and that guy’s famous for being a bit of a war criminal. Either way, I doubt this book has a happy ending.

Image result for the road book

5) The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

I also read about 80 pages into this book, and I loved every moment of it. Although I do find it kind of arrogant of the author to just ignore the rules of punctuation. “Pff, I don’t need commas or quotation marks,” I can imagine him thinking. “My story is just that powerful.

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6) Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King

I know, I know. It’s been over three years and I still haven’t read this book. However, I recently started getting back into King’s Dark Tower series, after putting it aside for a long time, so I think I’m ready to go back into his work. 

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7) The Price of Salt, by Patricia Highsmith

It’s a romance novel about two lesbians in the fifties, which was recommended to me by Engie from Musings from Neville’s Navel. While I wasn’t a fan of The Maze Runner, I do tend to love most of the books she recommends me. Like A Game of Thrones, or Between the World and Me, or The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Or V for Vendetta.

So intend to get around to reading this book, and the pages will be soaked with my heart-shaped tears.

Image result for life the universe and everything

8) Life, the Universe, and Everything, by Douglas Adams

This is the third book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, and if it’s half as funny as the first two, I will be in for a good time. 

Seriously, though. You know how rare it is for me to laugh out loud when reading a book? Usually I just smile, or exhale out of my nose, but Adams sends me into fits. And then I find myself thinking about scenes from the books months afterwards and I crack up again, and then I have to explain to people why I just started laughing for seemingly no reason.

Image result for i am legend book

9) I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson.

I remember seeing the Will Smith movie adaptation for this, and thinking, “meh, seven out of ten.” But apparently the book is completely different? Also, the book is currently sitting on a shelf in my basement, and no one knows how it got there, which adds quite a bit to its mystique.

10) Maggie Stiefvater’s new book, whatever it is.

Stiefvater’s become one of those authors whose books I would immediately buy the moment they were released. Other authors include John Green, Markus Zusak, George R. R. Martin, and Suzanne Collins. If any of them publish a new book this year, I guarantee I’ll be buying it, no matter what the circumstances.


So what are you planning to read this year? And if you’ve read any of the novels above, feel free to share your (non-spoilery) thoughts. Oh, and Happy New Year!

More Than I Can Chew: A Look Back

Image result for gum cartoon

For those who don’t know, two years ago I started writing an interactive blog story about two identical twins, one of whom had made a business out of selling gum to his fellow high school students. When one of his gum-selling employees decides to go rogue, a series of insane, potentially life-ruining events go down. No one is the same.

At the end of each chapter, there’d be poll that would allow the reader to decide which direction they wanted the story to go in. It was a good writing exercise: to write a cohesive story while staying true to the characters, despite having little to no control over the plot.

It had been a long time since I’d so much as thought about More Than I Can Chew, and what reading it over, a few things surprised me. So I decided to write a post about my thoughts on the project, almost two years after it ended, partly for nostalgic purposes but mostly for shameless self-promotion.

Click here if you want to read it!!!

1) Kathy is still cool.

I’m going to be honest: I had no intention of writing an older sister into the story for the first three chapters. The thought hadn’t even occurred to me until I realized that Wyatt was only 15, and he’d need someone to drive him around for this story to work. So I created Kathy, who was technically a plot device, but ended up being the heart of the story. (Or at least, I thought she was the heart of the story. Remember when she took the blame for something Wyatt did, even though she didn’t have to? That was sweet.)

2) A lot of the writing needed work.

There was a bit more telling than there should’ve been, and too many adverbs. I kind of want to go back to those posts and just revise everything, but I won’t. Because the past is the past, and it should stay that way. (Could I sell it as an ebook?)

3) Adrien wasn’t particularly likable in the beginning, was he?

He kept going on about how much he hated his brother, and I was like, “Damn, Adrien. Wyatt barely thinks about you at all. Move on. Get your own hobby.”

Adrien’s unlikeability can be boiled down to two problems:

  1. He was a big ol’ Mopey Gus in the beginning.
  2. He didn’t really do anything, at first. He just went to the bathroom, then got captured. I think Past Me realized this, because Past Me started giving him as much agency as the circumstances would allow, and I think it helped a lot.

4) Things went by a lot faster than I remembered.

So they were both in school, then Adrien gets kidnapped, now Wyatt and Kathy are driving to a park to pick him up. Now Adrien’s in the ER, Wyatt’s smashing furniture, and now Kathy’s managing to drive home, to the hospital, to the furniture store, and back home in record time. The whole story would’ve been about sixty pages long in book form, which is crazy considering just how much went down.

I’m not sure if this was a problem for anyone else, or if it only felt this way because I was reading it in on my phone, but things definitely felt like they were going by way too fast. Maybe that’s just my old age speaking. *shrugs*

5) The ending wasn’t as bad as I remembered.

It was a little abrupt, but not gonna lie, I think I’d be okay with this ending if I were just an unknowing reader. However, I’m a fan of ambiguous endings and most people aren’t, so I understand why some people may have been frustrated, and asking me questions like, “What happened to Diesel?” or “Was the money really counterfeit?” and “Is anyone going to jail? I feel someone should be thrown in jail.”

To which, I finally answer those questions, for those of you who are still around.

  1. Diesel was lying about his name the whole time. When he met Wyatt outside that hockey game back in ninth grade, he told him his name was Diesel because he wanted to see if Wyatt was dumb enough to believe it. Wyatt was. For several weeks prior to the start of this story, Diesel was quietly scheming his way to get the $10,000.
    • You may remember how, at the end, the characters decided to blame everything on Diesel? Well, the police were never able to find a Diesel, because no one in that high school had that name.
      • Basically, Diesel got away with everything.
  2. The money was not counterfeit. That was just Diesel being a criminal mastermind. It worked.
  3. Chances are, Fiona and Conner are going to have to do some community service. Fiona’s probably getting expelled, what with the whole, “organizing a kidnapping on school grounds” thing. I think James might be going to jail, because in order for Adrien not to get in trouble for almost killing him, he’d have to press charges on him for assault, and maybe kidnapping. The American legal system’s tricky, y’all.

All in all, I’m glad I wrote it; I just wish I had finished it within a reasonable amount of time. But hey, that’s my biggest flaw as a writer. I can’t finish. Even when I have the ending planned out, I end up losing interest and moving on to another project. Which, yeah, is a bad idea.

So I’ll end this post with some advice to all those beginner writers out there: finish your damn manuscripts. I don’t care how bad your first draft is, or if you just came up with a better story and you want to write that instead. Get it doneor you will be a failure, and you will die sad and alone in a tiny house in New Hampshire while everyone you ever loved will have nothing but contempt for you. Or your writing just won’t improve. Whichever’s worse.

Writing About Sex Without Actually Writing about Sex

So it’s been a while since I posted (I blame the government), so I decided to return with a topic that will certainly attract viewers: sex! I’ll try to keep this PG, but I think we all know I’m setting myself up to fail.

As most writers and regular people know, sexuality and whatnot is one of the biggest topics floating through a person’s mind, especially from puberty onward. So in order to write a non-asexual character’s mind authentically, you’re going to have to include some sort of hint of the, uh, you know, the . . .

*starts to make hand gestures, but decides against it.*

The problem for many writers throughout history is that people tend to be squeamish about the whole topic, and it’s not considered appropriate for certain ages. Which, okay, that makes sense. I don’t think there’s any sane person who thinks including graphic sex scenes in a children’s novel is an okay thing to do. But as a result, writers have found clever ways to get around that cultural taboo, by using things like metaphors, similes, and euphemisms.

Even non authors do this all the time. Example, I’m 70% sure that whenever my friends and I are talking at any given time, some sort of authority figure is listening in without my consent. So I have to find clever ways to word my questions. If one of my friends just went on a date last night, I’ll be all like:

  • “Yo, did you seal the deal?”
  • “Did you sheath the sword?”
  • “Did you snuffle her curnufflegus?
  • “Did you huffle her puff?”
  • “Did you dehoney the flower?”
  • “Did you deflower the garden?”
  • “Did you dance to the song of love?”
  • “Did you put your USB cord into her laptop?”
  • “Did you put your pillow into her pillowcase?”
  • “Did you tie the shoe?”
  • “Did you unlock the door?”
  • “Did you slay the mighty dragon?”
  • “Did you use the back side of your hammer to pull out that nail that was stuck in your wall for like, three years?”

Some of them don’t really work too well, I’ll admit, but whatever. The point still got across.

Writers do this all time as well, for different reasons.

When writing for children (such as middle grade books and kids’ shows) writers avoid sexual content, because well, come on, these are kids we’re talking about here.

The young adult genre will often feature sex, but because of fear of censorship and whatnot, you’ll rarely get an actual depiction, and if you do, the ultimate lesson of the scene will probably be that sex is bad, and that you should wait until you’re married, or something. (I don’t actually read a lot of YA these days, so I might be way off here.)

The adult section is the one area where writers are allowed to get away with pretty much anything they want, providing they’re a guy. A female author certainly is allowed to include sex scenes in their novels, but because of reasons that totally don’t have anything to do with sexism, their work isn’t likely to be quite as well respected.

(Theory Time: if a woman had written A Song of Ice and Fire, you could bet your ass it would’ve been labeled “erotica” as at least the sub-genre.)

So how do these authors overcome these restrictions?

My favorite is the technique used when writing for children: including obvious sexual references that would fly straight over a child’s head. These are awesome because it’s harmless to the child and yet hilarious for the adult.

Example: On the show Victorious, which is one of those shows I watch whenever there’s nothing else on, has several moments in which it’s heavily implied that the main characters’ mom is totally having an affair with her husband’s friend, and it is the funniest running gag I can remember seeing on Nickelodeon.

You could also try the young adult genre technique, in which you describe sex scenes so vaguely that it’s damn near impossible to tell if the characters actually did the deed or not. Perfect example being The Fault in Our Stars. Did they really have sex? I know Hazel wrote a venn diagram confirming it afterward, but I’m not too good with diagrams so I can’t be sure.

If you’re writing for adults, there really aren’t a whole lot of limits for what you could write about in terms of sexual content, profanity and/or gore, at least none that I’m aware of. I used to think there were limits in adult books, but then I read Stephen King’s It and quickly realized my mistake. (Not even HBO could adapt that book faithfully.) Still, you should probably use sex scenes sparingly, if at all. I’m not saying this due to squeamishness on my part, but only because sex scenes in general are hard to write well, and aren’t particularly interesting on their own. For example, here’s a deleted scene from one of my Doctor Who erotica fan fiction short stories:

[Scene has been removed by the federal government due to its disturbing content.]

“What should I use instead?” you ask.

Well, I say. I think you should just use lots and lots of dopey, nonsensical euphemisms. Think back to all those horrible sex scenes you’ve read in the past. How much better would they have been if they’d simply read something like, “James snarsnidioused her har-har, if you know what I mean.”

Before I end this post, I should clarify that neither ‘snarsnidious’ or ‘har-har’ are actually words, although I’m sure you could guess their definitions considering the context.

_____

Hopefully I have just helped my readers write better works of fiction. I probably haven’t, of course, but at least you’ve all learned a few new euphemisms to use. Feel free to make them popular.

(Note: This post was published about three hours before it was actually intended to be published. Apologies for any typos.)

The Rainbow Book Tag

So I’ve recently been tagged in Nevillegirl’s post, “The Rainbow Book Tag,” (Hey look, we both used the same title!) and I was very excited to do it. The subject is LGBTQ+ YA books, a topic I’m not too savvy about, but I’m going to write about it anyway because I don’t think I’ve ever had. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve never written an LGBTQ+ related post on this blog. If someone were to only gain all their knowledge from this blog and this blog only, they’d probably think a homosexual was some sort of exotic fruit, or something.

look at all these homosexuals

But that’s not right. LGTBQ+ rights is an important issue, one that I have very strong investment in, so I should probably mention the subject every once in a while. Hence, this post:

RED
The color of passion and desire

If you could own only one LGBTQ+ YA story for the rest of your life, which book would you choose and why? What makes you desire that particular book so much that you just have to have it on your shelf – characters, plot, author, cover, et cetera?

Well this one’s obvious. The Miseducation of Cameron Post, by Emily M. Danforth, and not just because it’s one of the few LGTBQ+ YA books I’ve read.

If I had to pick my top ten books of all time, this one would be on it, somewhere. And if I had to make a list of top ten books everyone should read, no matter who they are or where they live, this book would be number one. Because the world would be a much better place if that happened.

ORANGE
The color of creativity

If you were to create your perfect LGBTQ+ YA book in your mind, what would it look like? Romance? Non-romance? Fantasy? Sci fi? Contemporary? Historical fiction? Some other genre/genre mix? Novel? Short story? What about the characters – lesbian, gay, bi, trans, intersex, queer, questioning, asexual? Who would you want to write this novel? Would it have a happy or sad ending? Where would it be set? Is it a series or a standalone?

It would be an urban fantasy/thriller written by Maggie Stiefvater. The main character is a lesbian drag car racer with a sentient car. I say this because according this one post I read months ago on Stiefvater’s’ tumblr, she’s apparently planning to write a book featuring a female drag racer of some sort, so if anyone were to write this book, she’d be the best one for the job.

YELLOW
The color of sunshine and sand

Let’s talk beach books! Imagine you are going to the beach with a friend, who is looking for some YA LGBTQ+ books to read there. Which book(s) would you recommend?

Does The Dream Thieves count as an LGTBQ+ book? I hope so, because I’m picking it. It takes place during the summer, it’s a quick read and it’s surprisingly violent, compared to the books preceding it. (Oh yeah, forgot to mention. This is the second book in a four part series, “The Raven Cycle.” It’s one of those rare book series where each book is more gripping than the last.

GREEN
The color of money

If you could get any five YA LGBTQ+ books for free,
which five would you choose?

Well, the first would be Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli, because I’ve heard good things about it, and the synopsis is lit.*

The second would be The Miseducation of Cameron Post, because I’d like to read that again.

Then there’s Cinder, by Marissa Meyer, because who could say no to a retelling of Cinderella that features Cyborgs?

[Edit: I’ve been informed via helpful commenters that Cinder doesn’t actually have any LGTBQ+ themes, and that I had mistaken it for Ash, by Malindo Lo. Twas an honest mistake, I swear!]

Four would be Fans of the Impossible Life, by Kate Scelsa: “the story of a girl, her gay best friend, and the boy in love with both of them.” Well that can’t possibly end well. I’m intrigued.

And the last would be The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde. I have no idea what its about, but I recognize the author’s name and it’s tagged under LGBTQ+ on Goodreads. So Oscar Wilde wrote a book featuring homosexuality in the slightly homophobic nineteenth century?  That’s pretty ballsy, I gotta say.

Indigo
The color of intuition

An LGBTQ+ YA book that you haven’t had the chance to read (yet) but have a really good feeling about.

Uh. . . Cinder, probably, because I haven’t heard a bad thing about it yet.

VIOLET
The color of dreams

You are hosting a tea party and can invite one LGBTQ+ YA author, two LGBTQ+ YA characters, and three non-LGBTQ+ characters (from any YA book) to any restaurant/place – real or fictional – you like. Who would you invite? Where would your party take place?

I’d pick Loras Tyrell from ASOIAF and Ronan Lynch from The Dream Thieves as my two LGBTQ+ characters, if only because I have literally no idea what would happen if they found themselves in the same room together. I can see their first meeting being either a) a complete disaster or b) the start of something wonderful.

For the straight characters, I’d pick Arya Stark, Sansa Stark, and Jon Snow, if only because I want at least three of the Starks to reunite at some point and I’m beginning to lose hope of that ever happening. It’ll be a tearjerker, I’m sure.

As for the LGBTQ+ YA author, I’d choose Emily M. Danforth, so I can ask her some questions I have about what happens to Cam after that final chapter of TMoCP. I need to know!

And, that’s all for today! Feel free to do your own post with this tag, if you want. Or you could answer the questions in the comments below. Or you could go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather, unless of course you live in a place whether the weather isn’t so great right now, but based off the map on my stats page, I’d say there’s a good chance you don’t. That’s right, I did my research.

*I’m using the tem “lit” now. Get used to it.

More Than I Can Chew: Chapter 10

More Than I Can Chew is an interactive story revolving around two identical twins and the gum-related problems they have to deal with. Except it’s much more interesting than how I just made it sound. Click here for the last nine chapters. 

Wyatt

Sean and I stopped by Nick’s house at around 1:25. In seventeen minutes, my final period class would officially end. “You sure about this?” Sean asked as we got out of the car. He gestured towards the van in the driveway.

“Yeah, I said. “That van’s always here. His dad’s a carpenter or something like that.” We walked into the backyard and I opened up the back door. “No one’s home during the school day.” After taking off our shoes, I told Sean to keep watch while I went into Nick’s mess of a room. I opened up the closet and took out the box, along with the BB gun and the bottle labeled, “0.177 Precision Steel BBs.”

Nick had made the mistake of bragging about his BB gun a few years back and teaching me how to load, shoot, and reload the gun with reasonable ease, so he sort of brought this on himself. Besides, I planned return everything when all this was over. I even left a note back on the box, saying “I’ll pay you back for any possible damages.” 

The best news was, it could actually be confused with a real gun, at least from the perspective of someone with little knowledge of them. The only thing giving it away was the childish orange color of the muzzle.

“Do you have any spray paint?” I asked Sean as we got back into his car.

“What? No.”

“Any black paint?”

“Nope.”

“A marker of any kind?”

“Not on me, no.”

I sighed. “Okay, what about duct tape? Do you have tape in this car?”

“I don’t know; check the drawer.” So I opened the passenger seat drawer and went through all of Sean’s trash, pulling out empty water bottles, scratched CDs and wrappers of gum he probably bought from me, and finally I found a piece of pitch black electrical tape that was perfect for what I needed.

I taped the empty water bottle to the muzzle and looked at it from all angles. You could barely see the orange.

Connor’s house was our first destination, mostly because it had no security system and because I deemed Connor the weakest of the three.

Five minutes before getting there, Kathy called. I answered, reluctantly.

“Why the hell aren’t you home?” she yelled. “Mom and Dad are gonna be here any minute now.”

“So? I’m supposed to be at school, remember?”

She sighed. “They know you’re suspended.” The words hung in the air for a while, taunting me. Finally I replied, keeping my voice steady.

“How?”

“Mrs. Romero was there and ruined everything.” She told me the rest of what happened, from the moment Mom got to the hospital to the moment Kathy left, and finished it off with: “Are you selling drugs?” This again.

“No,” I said. “I just want to make some money, not ruin my entire life.”

“Then how do you make so much money?”

“I don’t know, my natural salesmanship skills? My smart business decisions? The two add up, I suppose.”

“I’m serious.”

“So am I, mostly. Why are you doubting me now?

“Apparently, some detective spoke to Adrien, who figured ten thousand dollars was way too much money to make from selling gum twenty cents a piece.”

“Twenty-five cents a piece.” I could almost hear her rolling her eyes. “What was the detective’s name?”

“Adrien didn’t say—” Of course he didn’t. Personally I’m surprised Adrien didn’t rat me out. First he sent the photograph to Mrs. Romero, then I inadvertently caused him to be kidnapped and violently interrogated for information he didn’t even have. Top that off with the fact that he didn’t even like me to begin with, and I was all but sure he’d betray me again. “—but I bumped into him as I was leaving the hospital. Detective Roy Thompson, his name is.”

I looked him up on my phone, and found a picture of him. He had a sort of weaselly look about him; he almost reminded me of a con artist.

We got to Connor’s house at 1:40. My final class of the day would be ending in just two minutes. Connor had a large house and strict parents, and I knew he was at least telling the truth about the first part. One of his parents was a highly successful lawyer and the other was some sort of brain surgeon. Forgot which one was which. They both had high expectations for him, which I guess ticked of his rebellious side or something.

No one was home. Connor was an only child and his parents both had busy schedules. So we snuck into the back and decided to hide in Connor’s bedroom, as I tried to recall everything useful I knew about him.

First off, I figured he’d try to get back before school ended, in case his parents called or came home early. Then I remembered, almost facepalming, that he was only in middle school. In our district, the middle school students were let out an hour after the high school students, which would give him an extra hour to celebrate with Diesel and James and whoever the fourth guy was.

Even still, I figured, he should be home any minute now. After they took my money and all, there couldn’t have been much for them to talk about, what with Diesel being almost inhumanly quiet and James being batshit crazy. They probably shared their money and went their separate ways.

We spent a little while talking and joking around. Sean almost stole a bottle of pills inside Connor’s desk before I stopped him. “Why would you want it, anyway?” I asked, reading the label—Xanax. I remembered buying this for him last year. He didn’t want his parents to know.

“Anxiety medication,” Sean said.

“Why would you need anxiety medication?” When Sean wasn’t messing around in class, he was either getting drunk, getting high, or just messing around in general. He didn’t seem to have a care in the world.

“Honors chemistry. It’s very stressful.” He said it like he was half-serious.

“What do you have in that class?”

“An 88.”

“How the hell are you doing better than me?” He shrugged. I kept forgetting that Sean was only stupid when it came to decision making.

Just then we heard the door open downstairs and both of us stayed silent. I gently placed the bottle of Xanax back inside the desk. We waited a while not certain what it was we listening to, and soon the footsteps made their way to the door.

When Connor opened the door, he first looked towards his desk—then he noticed me, pointing a gun at his face.

“What the—”

“Shut up and don’t scream,” said Sean, who looked nearly a foot taller than him, and more than a little intimidating. He shut the door and shoved Connor in a position so he was stuck between me and Sean.

“Is that a real gun?” was his first question.

“Yes,” I said, pleased to find he thought it was real.

“Why is there a water bottle taped to it?”

“It works as a silencer,” I said, “and I’m certainly not above testing it out.” In case he didn’t believe me, I added. “You know, you three gave my brother a concussion. He’s in a coma now.”

“No, th–that wasn’t my idea!” he was stammering and tearing up at this point. “We weren’t planning to pick up your brother.”

“Oh, so you were going to put me in a coma, is that what you’re saying?”

“No! I swear, that was an accident. We didn’t mean to—”

“Listen,” I interrupted him, pressing the end of the water bottle against his chin, one half of me furious and the other half feeling guilty for doing this to him “You will answer every question I ask, and if you don’t I swear to God I will pull this trigger.”

It dawned on me that I could’ve actually killed him, if I wanted to.

Click here for chapter 11.

“Pass the Parcel” Blog Tag

I’m joining this Book Blog Party because it looks awesome. And I enjoy talking about book related things. Plus there’s a free giveaway thing which looks pretty fun. Also, you should check out the Notebook Sister’s blog because their blog is cool and cool things are cool.

1. Name your top 5 favourite YA authors!

Markus Zusak (is anyone surprised by this?), John Green, Suzanne Collins, J.K. Rowling, and Cornelia Funke.

2. What’s the last YA book you read and what did you think of it?

I’m not sure what the last YA book I read was (I’ve been busy with Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, which is like, 4,000 pages long), but I think the last one I read was Gregor the Overlander and the Prophecy of Time, by Suzanne Collins.

It was my favorite book of the Underland Chronicles, along with the last and most deadly. For a book featuring talking animals, this series is surprisingly realistic. I like how the book took instances from real war events that happened in the past and connected them with the plot of the books, (Hitler’s anti-jew propaganda, the Coventry Myth), and how strong the character’s personalities were. There will me a much more detailed review of this book in another post.

3. What’s your favorite YA genre? (Dystopian, romance, sci-fi, contemporary, etc.)

I don’t really have a favorite YA genre, since my favorite books include The Book Thief (historical fiction), Paper Towns, by John Green (Contemporary), Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code, by Eoin Colfer (Sci-fi/fantasy), and The Hunger Games (Dystopia). I’m all over the place. But if I had to pick one, I’d probably go with science fiction, particularly time travel, although i haven’t really read much of the genre (YA). One of my favorite adult books is 11/22/63, a time travel book by Stephen King about a guy who goes back in time to stop the JFK assassination.

4. Let’s talk characters! Pick a character you love and tell us why?

Does it have to be a YA character? I’m assuming it does.

My favorite YA character would probably be Margo Roth Spiegelmen from John Green’s Paper Towns. She is the definition of awesome. You should definitely read the book.

5. Top YA villain?

Dolores Umbridge. No explanation necessary.

6. Top YA couple?

I’m going to have to go with Quentin and Margo in Paper Towns, by John Green Although they were never technically a couple, they did have great chemistry, and the first third of the book where the two of them were out at night together causing mischief was one of the best parts of the book.

If Quargo doesn’t count, I’d have to go with Gregor and Luxa from the Underland Chronicles. Unlike so many other YA books, this is one of the only series to pull off a love interest perfectly. Again, you will hear more about this in a review later.

7. With dystopian on the decline, what do you think will be the next hot-trend in YA?

I think that due to the inspiring success of Fifty Shades of Grey, YA Erotica will be the next trend.

I’m kidding, of course. In all honesty I don’t know what the next big trend will be. My guess is time travel, but my guess is just as good as anyone else’s (unless your guess is YA erotica. In that case, my guess is a lot better than yours).

8. What’s the next YA book on your to-be-read pile?

My YA reading list includes:

  • The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (this was recently added).
  • The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer. I can’t believe I haven’t read the last book of this series  yet, since I love the series like  dementors love souls.
  • Divergent, by Veronica Roth. I’m supposed to blog this book series soon, which should be fun.

9. What’s the fastest time you’ve ever finished reading a book in? (And what was the book?!)

Save the Harry Potter books, there are only two Young Adult books that I recall finishing after having read all the way up to 2 in the morning on a school night. The first book was The Hunger Games, which was great, and  Paper Towns, which was even better.

10. (And now for the burning question) Do you think books should be sorted according to colour or title? (This matters.)

Neither, they should be sorted by the font. I have a thing for fonts. For one thing, I can only bring myself to read The Lord of the Rings if I read the good edition of the book in my school library; the book with the fancy font and is in perfect condition. If I’m forced to read the bad edition, I will likely get bored by Tolkien’s overuse of detail and fall asleep. Font makes a difference, people!

They should also be sorted by smell.

Also, I know why they call it pass the parcel. You see, in Polish, “Pass” means “Matthew,” “the” means “is,” and “parcel” translates to “awesome,” therefore, “Pass the Parsel” means “Matthew is awesome.”  Don’t bother looking it up though; just take my word for it.