Monday, December 17, 2012

The Superlative Blogfest! Head of the Class


*dusts off blog*

Sorry I haven’t been around much. The past two months have been a little busy. There’ve been a lot of exciting things going on. My husband’s boys soccer team made a huge playoff run, earned an appearance at the State Championship game. And with one goal down and one man out, they came back in overtime to win! It was an incredibly miraculous finish - one I swear I'm putting in a story some day - and super exciting. (You can read more about it here)

My high school’s boys soccer team made their first ever appearance in a State Championship game, and they won too! Then, my high school’s football team won their State Championship game the same weekend my daughter’s soccer team won a tournament in Virginia.

Between all that excitement, I’ve been working insane hours. There’s the full time job and in between getting my kids to and from where they need to be and watching my husband’s soccer games, I tutor about ten different kids sometimes up to twelve hours a week. One week I drove to the Raleigh (about a two-hour drive) three times for soccer games. I pushed sleep to the back burner. I added five-hour energy drinks to the diet.

For a while there I felt like I was just going through the motions, and even with all this really exciting stuff going on, I just didn’t feel like I could enjoy it—I actually found myself in a bit of a funk - like a downward spiral, can't-seem-to-get-happy funk. Usually I can just force a smile, put on my big girl panties and deal with it all, but I just couldn't stop feeling sad about how I was unable to enjoy anything. (I know-I'm depressing) And when my husband had that playoff run, I looked at my schedule, looked at my responsibilities, and I just said, screw it. I’m going to focus on my family. Focus on what’s most important. I AM going to enjoy the ride.

And I did. I lessened some responsibilites. I said "no" to people (gasp). And I hung out with friends instead of worrying about trying to be Wonder Woman. Things were still busy, but I knew the busyness wouldn't last forever. Of course, just when I thought life was slowing down a bit, my eight year old had an emergency appendectomy last Monday. He’s fine. Mom’s fine. We’re all fine. But WHEW

And my little man was SUCH a trooper

totally going in his high school yearbook

There’ve been a lot of highs. Some lows. And I’ve been experiencing the emotional rollercoaster with it. My reading time has suffered. I haven’t read a book in forever, but I have been revising. And writing. And mostly, I’ve been enjoying any time I get to be with my family, which, TBH, is where my heart truly is. And while I’m sad my son had to endure surgery at such a young age, I’m not sad about the time I was able to spend with him. Especially in light of what happened in Connecticut Friday. I hugged my children extra tight that night. I’m sure you did too.

And to be honest, I was a little tempted to throw in the towel on the Superlative Blogfest, but it was one of the most fun things I participated in last year, and just picking out my choices has rejuvenated my love of reading. I think Alison will be catching up on her TBR list over Christmas vacation. Also, I've REALLY missed the blogging community. I've missed YOU. And once I finally get the WIP where I want it, and maybe possibly feel ready to plunge into query waters, I’ll be back more often.

But I am definitely here this week for the Blogfest! And I have really missed popping around and catching up on what you’ve been doing so I am super excited about seeing your choices for each day!

Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about…

The Class of 2012: YA Superlatives Blogfest is hosted by Katy Upperman, Tracey Neithercott, Jessica Love, and me, and is a fun and interactive way to highlight and share your favorite YA novels, covers, characters, and story elements. The Class of 2012: YA Superlatives Blogfest will span four days, beginning today and culminating Thursday, December 20th. And…AND if you participate all four days, you could win your choice of a 2012 book from the Book Depository! (see details here)

The rules for participating are simple:

1. Select books/characters that apply to the superlative topics for each day of the blogfest. Feel free to give explanations for your choices. You can go into as much detail as you like!

2. Add a link to your post on Katy's, Jessica’s, Tracey’s or my blog.

3. Take a few moments to hop around and check out the superlatives of other participants each day.

See? Fun AND easy! But wait, there’s more!

Some additional information:

- Unless otherwise indicated by the topic, stick with books published in 2012.

- Of course we want you to participate in all four days of the blogfest, but if you’re only able to commit to a day or two, that’s cool too! (but…BUT if you do participate all four days, you could win a 2012 book of your choosing. Just sayin’)

- Don’t have a book or character to fit a particular topic? No biggie—just skip it!

- For the sake of continuity, focus on YA books only.

- Pretty please keep your posts spoiler free!

Today’s topic: Head of the Class

Favorite Dystopian: PANDEMONIUM (Lauren Oliver)—honest moment: I was disappointed in DELIRIUM, wasn’t even going to read this sequel, but SO GLAD I did. AMAZING and I can’t wait for REQUIEM!

Favorite Science Fiction: TIMEPIECE (Myra McEntire)—sequel to HOURGLASS from Kaleb’s POV? The story is hooking enough, but that little twist made it fifty thousand times more fabulous.

Favorite Fantasy: BITTERBLUE (Kristin Cashore)—I read both GRACELING and BITTERBLUE this year and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Bitterblue, Katsa, Po, and everything about this series. I really need to get my hands on FIRE!

Favorite Contemporary: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (John Green)—one of my favorite reads in 2012

Favorite Action/Adventure: NEVERMORE (James Patterson)—finale in the Maximum Ride series. Ended EXACTLY how it should have. J

Favorite Historical Fiction: umm…I read THE CARRIE DIARIES, SUMMER AND THE CITY, and THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER—all wonderful, but no 2012 releases. L

Favorite Comedy: tie: A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHTMARE (Kody Keplinger) and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (John Green)

Favorite Mystery: another tie : AMELIA ANNE IS DEAD AND GONE (Kat Rosenfield) and THE RAVEN BOYS (Maggie Stiefvater)

Favorite Romance: Out of my 2012 reads, there were a lot of romance-y parts of books I enjoyed, but while this book is not in the romance genre, I especially loved the romance in PANDEMONIUM (Lauren Oliver).

Favorite Paranormal: THIS IS NOT A TEST (Courtney Summers)—Red Dawn meets The Breakfast Club meets zombies. And while I’ve never been a huge zombie fan, I LOVE those two movies. And I LOVE this book! BEST read of 2012

Favorite Family Drama: A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHTMARE (Kody Keplinger)—um, mc Whitley certainly finds herself entangled in a romantic, hilarious, and dramatic family snare.

Honorable mention: PERFECT ESCAPE (Jennifer Brown)—love the sibling connection between and the adventure with Kendra and Grayson.

Favorite Genre Bender: THE RAVEN BOYS (Maggie Stiefvater)—mystery, romance, supernatural…I’m sure there are other ways to classify this one. One of my favorite reads of 2012.

Add your name to the linky below and join in the fun! Can't wait to see your choices!


  1. I completely agree with you about Pandemonium versus Delirium, although I didn't pick it as my top dystopian. Your list looks a lot like Katy's :)

  2. Ohhh we have quite a lot in common :D and while I didn't put A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHTMARE in my list yet, I also quite enjoyed it :D
    Glad your son feels better! (and yes that pic really needs to go in his HS yearbook) congrats on everything you've achieved this year, Alison! and for taking the time to be with your family and to enjoy it. It's so important!
    (and thanks for having organized this blogfest, love it!)

  3. Glad the family is okay, and congrats to everyone on the awesome soccer wins! I love your list, and have to say this makes me think twice about picking up Pandemonium! I was hesitant for the same reasons you were, it sounds like :)

  4. Aww, I'm sorry your son had to have surgery, but that picture is totally adorable!

    I really, really liked Delirium, but I LOVED Pandemonium. I can't wait to read Requiem!

  5. Congrats on the many victories, including your son's victory over his appendix! Myra McEntire, Kody Keplinger, and Courtney Summers are three writers definitely on the 2013 TBR list-their books all sound fantastic! Great list!

  6. You have a lot of books on your list that I haven't read yet, so my TBR list is growing. I really need to get around to reading some of them.

    Congrats on the big wins! Hope things slow down a little for you so you can catch your breath. :)

  7. We have quite a few picks in common!

    I also read Graceling, Fire, and Bitterblue this year and Bitterblue ALMOST made my cut.

    Thanks for co-organizing!

  8. This is Not a Test sounds like something I must read ASAP. So many people seem to love it!

  9. I guess I do need to read PANDEMONIUM!

    Congrats on the soccer success, and I am glad that your son is doing well! I've missed your blogging, but I'm glad that you've had more time for family--it is what's most important. :)

  10. How did I not know about PERFECT ESCAPE before now? I must, must check this book out.

    Yay for your son being such a trooper with his surgery. That's never fun, but I'm glad it went so well.

  11. You know...I didn't love DELIRIUM like I wanted to. But you give me hope for PANDEMONIUM! I'll have to pick it up!

  12. Ooh, I'm seeing so much love for RAVEN BOYS - I've got to read it soon!

    BITTERBLUE's my Best Fantasy too - and probably my favorite of the year. But I *love* FIRE. Maybe even best of all 3.

  13. Ah, yes... We do have lots of overlap! I adored PANDEMONIUM and BITTERBLUE... Both so fabulous!

    That photo of your kiddo in the hospital hurts my heart. It's horrible when our little ones are sick. :( SO glad to hear that he's doing better!

  14. I need to read Bitterblue, but I did read Fire this year! It's very good, though I have to say also quite different from Graceling.

    I'm dying to read This is Not a Test and Amelia Anne now because I keep seeing it pop up in the fest. They've been on my TBR but I keep overlooking them! No more!

    I read Perks this year too before I saw the movie. I liked Delirium ok when I read it last year, and other than that thrilling, punch-in-the-gut ending, I wasn't really motivated to read Pandemonium. Given your comments about it though, I might give it a shot. :)


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