Thursday, December 29, 2011

Superlative Blog Fest! Elements of Fiction

It's Day Three of the Superlative Blog fest! If you want to join in the fun, click here for a recap of the "rules" and hop aboard!

Todays Topic:

Elements of Fiction

Most Envy-Inducing Plot (Or, the plot you wish you’d thought of yourself.): The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler.

The premise: It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present.

Go ahead. Admit it. You wish you thought of it too.

Most Wonderful World-Building: Divergent by Veronica Roth

The story may take place in future dystopian Chicago, but I was totally there. The factions and their inner-workings and intra-connections. The world of the Dauntless. Yep. I was there too.

Most Formidable World (Or, the setting you most definitely would NOT want to travel to.): Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

You couldn’t pay me to live on that island. You could guarantee me an agent and a publisher tomorrow and I still don't know if I'd go live there.

Okay, maybe for that I'd visit.

Wanderlust-Inducing (Or, the setting you’d happily travel to.): Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

The story takes place in Prague. The Charles Bridge, the Poison Kitchen, the maze of streets that seem haunting yet beautiful. And did I mention the story takes place in PRAGUE? My brother’s been to Prague twice and I’ve always been jealous of his Czech travels. After reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I really want to start saving for my own trip.

Loveliest Prose: Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi

My life is four walls of missed opportunities poured in concrete molds.

I always wonder about raindrops.
I wonder how they're always falling down, tripping over their feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It's like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn't seem to care where the contents fall, doesn't seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.
I am a raindrop.

He's paranoid, though with good reason. But then he's patient and impatient with me. Excited and nervous all the time. He's a walking oxymoron.

Killing time isn't as difficult as it sounds.
I can shoot a hundred numbers through the chest and watch them bleed decimal points in the palm of my hand. I can rip the numbers off a clock and watch the hour hands tick tick tick their final tock just before I fall asleep. I can suffocate seconds just by holding my breath. I've been murdering minutes for hours and no one seems to mind.

I wish I had just an ounce of Mafi’s brilliance.

Best First Line: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

There is nothing more humiliating than being topless in the backseat of your boyfriend’s car when someone decides to throw an egg at the windshield.

Heck yeah, I’m reading on. Here’s just a few more lines.

Wait. Scratch that.
Having your boyfriend jump off of you, climb out of the car, and chase after the guy, completely forgetting that you’re still half-naked—that trumps it.
And there is one thing even worse than that.
Having it happen repeatedly.

LOVE that book.

Most Dynamic Main Character: Emerson (Hourglass by Myra McEntire)

Emerson's biting sarcasm, her ability to take care of herself, her quick wit. She can’t help but blurt the truth (her edit button’s broken). When she learns someone can see her “hallucinations” too, what does she do? Punches him in the stomach. Emerson’s loyal and has no problems putting the needs of others before herself. She can be so loving one minute, and blow up the next. And the girl spouts out words like Shazam. And geez a lou. And describes her new circle of er…friends as “Team Freak. Wonder if we could get jerseys.” Um…did I mention how much I love her? She’s totally adorable. When If I ever grow up, I want to be just like Emerson Cole.

Most Jaw-Dropping Finale: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Okay, so maybe the ending wasn’t completely jaw-dropping, but I can’t stop thinking about it.

Best Performance in a Supporting Role: Miss Nebraska aka Mary Lou aka Queen Josephine (Beauty Queens by Libba Bray)

A country girl with a feral heart. She was the most authentic and most relatable character and probably grew the most over the course of the story. And, well…I loved how she went from being all innocent and not sure she should go for it to uninhibited Bodacious Pirate Queen.

Best Use of Theme: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

The story’s basic premise is a sex strike by girls who want to stop the civil war between the soccer and football teams. And without preaching, the book tackles sex stereotypes and overall feelings towards sex. Um…and in case you didn’t get this—it’s about sex. Enough said.

So, what would YOUR choices be? Don't forget to add your name to the linky list if you're participating!


  1. Oh've been busy. I've taken a vacay from my blogging. Will be posting who the next hot man of blogs will be tomorrow.

    And yeah, that Facebook idea was great. Come on brain! Why can't you think of something like that?

  2. LOL about Miss Peregrine's Island. I agree. Not rushing off to visit any time soon...

  3. Super selections, Alison! I think Future of Us will go down in history as the book with the most enviable plot. It's one of those that if I'd thought of it, I'd have kept totally mum and rushed as fast as I could to get it written.

  4. I need to read FUTURE of US stat! It seems so good. These are great choices--thanks for sharing some of SHATTER ME :D

  5. Good choice of Shatter Me. I read the first third of that book, essentially inside one character's mind, thinking, Wow, how can she maintain this for an entire book? Mafi did a wonderful job of developing the characters and the plot but still maintaining that voice.

  6. This is a wonderful rundown of the things that you love and don't love in the books that you read. I wish that this wasn't a blog post. Rather, I wish that I and the other commenters and you were in a coffee shop and could just discuss openly all of the books we read and why we loved or hated them. That would be so much fun.

  7. I'm reading Shatter Me right now, and you're completely right about the prose. It's amazing.

  8. Ooh, I forgot about MISS PEREGRINE for Formidable World. You're right: That island was absolutely miserable!

  9. My good friend moved to Prague over the summer and I was dying to visit her anyway, but after reading DoSaB I HAVE to go. It does make me sad to know that the Poison Kitchen isn't real, though. I would love to have lunch there.

  10. I have to agree with you on a number of these (the others, I haven't read yet). I've been to Prague, but DAUGHTER just makes me want to schedule a trip right now to the Czech Republic! Great list, Alison :)

  11. Laini Taylor's PRAGUE is just...well, it made me wish I had a lot more free time and a lot more cash right now.

    Definitely agree that Tahereh Mafi has some amazing prose. Her metaphors frequently left me stunned.

    Also, I think I need to add SHUT OUT to my TBR asap.

  12. Oh, just found this or I totally would have participated. There are so many books you listed that I'm dying to get my hands on. New follower :)

  13. I haven't read The Future of Us yet and before your post had kind of forgotten what it was about. This makes me want to read it even more. Thanks for the reminder!

  14. SHATTER ME does indeed have some wonderful prose -- very lyrical, almost like reading poetry. It was so much fun to get lost in!

  15. I picked Prague as my wanderlust-inducing setting, too! I've never even given Prague a second thought, but after reading Laini Taylor's beautiful passages about the city, I totally want to hop on a plane. Thanks for the snippets from Shatter Me - wow! I have to add that one to my "to read" list, too.

  16. We have a lot of the same choices. Clearly we both have awesome taste. I liked your choice of Shut Out for best first line too.

  17. I keep seeing future of us everywhere - I soooo need to read that.


Yay! I LOVE comments!