Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What's Up Wednesday (19): Book Crush Edition

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what's up. Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk are the hosts, and we'd love for you to join in the fun! Just hit up their blogs and sign up on the linky. J
What I'm Reading:
 
 
I spent the week with Raven Boys which was pretty much the best reading week I've had all year. J I reread THE RAVEN BOYS first. This girl does not reread books, but last year I kind of sort of DEVOURED THE RAVEN BOYS and I really wanted to go back and SAVOR the story this round. And did I. It was as much if not more phenomenal on second read.  
And while the story's beyond amazing, the Raven Boys? Hoo boy. After the initial read last year, I could most definitely conclude
I have an incredible crush on Gansey
I mean, how can you not? He's loyal, thoughtful. Compassionate. He wears aggressively green polos and "boat shoes." Then there's his passion for Glendower and his car. And oh, his CAR. (PS—there's a line in THE DREAM THIEVES that made my heart kick up ten notches—it's about his beloved Pig—you'll see). And when I reread THE RAVEN BOYS, I was still completely enamored with Gansey. But my reread also taught me
I have a bigger crush on Adam
And I don't know that it's because I have a Gansey need to take care of him. Or because I feel bad for all the crap he goes through. I just think it's HIM.
THE DREAM THIEVES confirmed my crush. I'm not going to lie—it hurt me to realize this. I ranked Gansey up there with Heath Luck and Peeta, but when my heart fluttered and fractured in moments they probably shouldn't have, I knew by the end of THE DREAM THIEVES that

I have an indelible crush on Adam
And I won't say anything else for fear of spoiling the series for you. But if you have read the books, you'll know how my heart's faring right now. Gosh—and now I have to wait A WHOLE NOTHER YEAR for the next book. I don't think my heart can take the wait!
Also, you will notice I am not telling you much of anything about either one of these books (other than my silly little book crushes J) and that's because I don't want to spoil them for you if you haven't read them yet. But I will say just a few things…

1) I LOVE how much a presence Ronan has in THE DREAM THIEVES. I love this boy. LOVE him. And while I have major book crushes on Adam and Gansey, there are some things teen Alison would like to do to this boy that I will not say here. Also, Noah. NOAH. There was a moment in the story where I legit clapped for this guy.
Clearly, I love all the Raven Boys. Even Kavinski sent my heartbeat askew.
2) I can't mention THE DREAM THIEVES without mentioning The Gray Man. And the Greywaren (what an AWESOME concept). And the puzzle box. And the incredible psychics (even Orla. And how I love Calla!) and non-psychic at 300 Fox Way. And how all their stories tie together. And Cabeswater.
Notice, I'm just mentioning these things. You'll have to read the book to see why I love them all SO MUCH.
3) A little while back I read this amazing story called SECOND CHANCE SUMMER. I rated it 20 out of 5 stars and deemed it my best read of the year. I pretty much knew THE DREAM THIEVES would usurp that title, but OHMYGOSH how much! Guys, this story is just . . .  just read it. I just can't even describe it's incredibleness without spoiling it for you. (I know that sounds incredibly lazy, but it's true)
And that wraps up my book review gush.
How about YOU? What are you reading this week?
What I'm Writing:

Um . . . my grocery list? 

Since I finished draft one of the blob last week, I'm on a self-mandated break from it until next Tuesday. I guess I could be writing other things—short stories, flash fiction. But instead I pulled out my baby. That first project (well, in my case second. The first was a fanfiction and that's all I'll say about that J) that is full of not so great writing yet has characters and a story that will forever take up an enormous space in my heart. I'm sure you have one too. Anyway, after having it tug at my thoughts for too long this summer, I decided to take a look-see. It's been a good couple years since I looked at it. Here's what I discovered

1) The writing's not that horrible 

2) The story's kind of awesome. And I'm falling in love with my characters all over again. 

3) It still makes me laugh. It still makes me swoon. It still makes my heart sing. 

4) I think I might  

I'm revising it.

I don't know when (I'm definitely working on the most recent project first) and I don't know how long it will take me (there are some serious issues I need to address and a possible POV  and tense change in its future), but I just can't let this one go.

What are you writing this week?! 

What Inspires Me Right Now:
Maggie Stiefvater. She crafts amazing stories and develops incredibly layered characters that I can't help but fall in love with and root for and her writing is so incredibly  exquisite and beautiful yet so haunting and so incredibly full of voice. I aspire for even just an ounce of her talent.
Again, if you haven't read THE RAVEN BOYS, I cannot cannot CANNOT emphasize enough WHAT YOU ARE MISSING.
What Else I've Been Up To:

One of my former students asked me to teach her a tap dance and well, I just told her that sounded too awesome and fun to pass up. And it IS fun! I'm choreographing her a dance to "I Can Do That" from A Chorus Line. We just started, but I'm already having so much fun creating and tapping and *sigh.* I really miss dancing.
Also, I'm celebrating Banned Books Week—with a giveaway (Amazon gift card toward your favorite banned book). Click here to participate!

Finally, I received this last weekend

 
My birthday book haul. J It's a little research; a LOT of pleasure. My next couple of weeks are going to be filled with some pretty amazing stories.
What's up on YOUR Wednesday?!

41 comments:

  1. The fall holidays are finishing up this week, and as much as I'll miss the holiday season, it'll be nice to have no holidays again until late November. I'm also doing well so far in my classes, and got 100 on my first paper for one of my classes. And my emotionally unbalanced, drama queen roommate has pretty much left, hopefully soon to be replaced by a much more fitting, normal roommate.

    Good luck on revising and reworking your shelved project! If a book or idea still speaks to you long after you thought you'd put it away forever, it's probably a sign that it was meant to be.

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    1. Thank you! I'm thinking it's meant to be too. We'll see! Glad that roomie situation is working itself out!

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  2. I'm still waiting to get my hands on The Dream Thieves! I think I'll do like you and reread The Raven Boys, just because I don't remember it that well. All I remember is LOVING it!
    Aw, I miss dance too! Every time I watched SYTYCD over the summer I wanted to be on that stage dancing! Have fun with the tap!

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    1. Rereading THE RAVEN BOYS was the best decision I made. I felt like I read it too fast the first time.

      And thanks! I've been tapping for as long as I've been able to read so I'm excited to be doing a little something with it. :)

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  3. My copy of THE DREAM THIEVES just got here yesterday and I couldn't resist diving right in, despite the fact that I've got two other books on the go. I didn't have a chance to re-read THE RAVEN BOYS, but I did find a good summary on someone's blog, so that helped refresh my memory. I'm a Gansey girl, so I'm curious to find out what made you switch your allegiance to Adam. Very curious. :-) That's great that you're working on an older story again. And wonderful that it's capturing your interest all over again. Have a wonderful week, Alison! :-)

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    1. Thanks, Jaime! I don't know when I'll get back to the "baby," but it's tugging too hard on the heartstrings for me to ignore it. :)

      And Adam? I don't really consider it a switch in allegiances. I've always liked both of them. But there were certain things in both reads that made me realize how much more I like Adam. :) Enjoy the read!

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  4. Congrats on a well-earned break after finishing the Blob! You totally deserve it.

    And I had to laugh at your description of your first book. It seems like every writer has one of those. Mine's currently haunting the space under my bed.

    And tap dancing? Whoa girl, where do your talents end? :)

    Hope you have a fantastic week!

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    1. awww... *blushes* :)

      And don't we all have a baby? Mine has been collecting dustbunnies, but there's something about this project that I can't get away from. It's not the first time I've pulled it out of the drawer. :) The thing is - I KNOW what's wrong with it. And I think I'm finally in a place where I want to fix it. So, yay!

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  5. ALLISON...you are not helping my resolve to wait to read THE DREAM THIEVES until after ATBF. Stop it. I am literally putting my shoes on to run out to the bookstore and snag this book. I am obsessed (and not ashamed) with Maggie Stiefvater. I have yet to read a book by her that I did not freaking devour. My excitement about seeing her in Austin this weekend borderlines on manic. I kind of love ALL the Raven Boys too, however, I can't imagine crushing harder on Adam than Gansey. Can't, but oh, dear, I kind of want to know what it's like.

    OK. Sorry. I'm done.

    Glad you are loving your MS on the re-read, and hope your plan to revise begins to take shape.

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    1. Omg - this comment made me SMILE. Also, jealous. I want to fly to Texas and join you for the book fest! I would LOVE to meet Maggie IRL!

      Have fun!

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  6. I'm currently half-way through The Dream Thieves, and loving it. I don't know if I love it quite as much as you, but I do love it a lot. I think Maggie Stiefvater is a magical mythical creature. Real people can't be that creative/eloquent, it's just not possible.

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    1. It's AWESOME, isn't it?! Maggie is such an inspiration. As are her stories. I'm swooning all over again just thinking about it. :)

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  7. Happy Birthday! What a great haul :D

    ...That's quite a lot of book crushes.

    Have a great time editing your book. It's a great feeling to love an old story all over again.

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    1. Thanks! And it is all sorts of wonderful to fall in love with a story again. I'm looking forward to revising it!

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  8. Dude, I really need to read The Raven Boys! Every blog I've stopped by today is reading the second book. I guess I've been missing out, but that will be rectified! Also, you cracked me up with the grocery list bit. :) I write short stories, too, by the way. Glad to hear you're falling in love with your old project again. Good luck working on it.

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    1. Thanks, Jessica! And YES - YOU MUST READ THE RAVEN BOYS!!! *ahem* It's really good. :)

      I've written a few flash fictions, but man, it's so hard for this long-winded gal. I do have a short story on the brain I know I need to just go on and write - more a catharsis than anything. Maybe in the next few weeks!

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  9. Dude, I really need to read The Raven Boys! Every blog I've stopped by today is reading the second book. I guess I've been missing out, but that will be rectified! Also, you cracked me up with the grocery list bit. :) I write short stories, too, by the way. Glad to hear you're falling in love with your old project again. Good luck working on it.

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  10. I loved Maggie Stiefvater shiver, linger and forever and can't believe I hadn't heard about these latest ones since now. I will definitely be getting them ASAP. Thank you so much for letting me know about them. I have seen them in a few other places these last few days and kept forgetting to add them to my must read list. It's down now though. May have to go book shopping soon :)

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    1. Oh, yes! Please read THE RAVEN BOYS! Have you read THE SCORPIO RACES?! Also extremely amazing!

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  11. OK, so, I don't think you're quite clear here Alison--did you like THE RAVEN BOYS and THE DREAM THIEVES? I'm detecting a bit of ambivalence in this post... ;)

    You know, I've been having similar thoughts about an old novel of mine that needs a lot of editing. I know there's a good story in there, and it might be worth working on. When I'm done with the current WIP, of course. :)

    Have a great week!!

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    1. Ha! No, I don't like TRB or TDT...I LOVE THEM :)

      And yes - my current WiP is definitely getting revised first, but this old project is getting another turn too. :)

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  12. "The blob." I laughed. I like that!

    It seems like I will have to look into The Raven Boys. Thanks for the recommendation!

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    1. Oh, yes! Maggie Stiefvater's books are BEYOND amazing.

      And yes - the blob. It has so many appendages that need to be pushed in or shaped or something. That's next week!

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  13. I need to get hold of The Dream Thieves -everyone seems to be raving about it, and I absolutely loved The Raven Boys! I've been through similar processes with my drafts. It's great that you're back into it. Good luck with the revising! :)

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    1. Yes - get a hold of TDT soon! It's incredible! I really, really love how much Ronan is in this story. Love him!

      And thanks! I'll be revising hard next week and am SO excited!

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  14. I'm so glad you loved THE DREAM THIEVES -- not that I'm surprised. I'm totally a Gansey girl, and that seen with him and Blue on the hilltop... Swoon! I hope you enjoy your writing hiatus. It's well earned! I'm selfishly excited for you to get moving on your revisions. Can't wait to read this story!

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    1. I really think this is one of my new favorite book series. I even told McKenzie the other night that I might maybe possibly yes definitely like it better than...wait for it... THE HUNGER GAMES. But dude - that hilltop scene was the definite confirmer for me. I should have swooned. Not even a prickle. It made me a little sad - I love Gansey - LOVE HIM - but my heart belongs to Adam.

      And so glad you're excited about my story! Makes me a little more confident about it's potential. Hmmm.

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  15. I'm with you on your RAVEN BOYS and DREAM THIEVES love. There's way too much that I love about those books to condense it into a decent review. But, I will say, I'm a Gansey lover through and through. I rooted for him in RB and didn't think I could like him any more, but of course I did in DT.

    And yay for falling back in love with an old MS. How encouraging that it's good enough to be worthy of revisions. Good luck on that!

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    1. I've always had the baby on the back burner in one of those "gosh I love this story but it sucks but I love it so much and I should revise it but it sucks too much" kind of places.

      It doesn't suck THAT much. So, yes - revising. It's a really good feeling. Although, that means I may not start anything NEW for a while. I like to draft so... ha - maybe I'll work on three projects at once.

      Yes - I am an overachiever. :)

      And yeah - I hear you on a review. NO WAY I could do those books any kind of justice.

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  16. YES!!! Adam is my favourite and I'm thrilled that you have a crush on him too! Doesn't he just bust your heart in half every time he's in the story? I love how you put that: "a Gansey need to take care of him." Yep, that's exactly it. Like you, I adore all the Raven Boys though, and could gush at length about Maggie Stiefvater right along with you. Waiting for book three is going to suck. Big time.

    Good for you for taking a little break from the blob. You worked so hard this summer and definitely deserve some time off! And that birthday book haul is awesome! Enjoy your break and your reading time! :)

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    1. I am going to have to find fifty thousand things to think about besides Adam and Gansey and the rest of the crew because yeah - waiting WILL SUCK.

      Also, GO TEAM ADAM. (There's still a big part of me that's waving a flag for Gansey too!)

      And thanks! I am ITCHING to revise though. Next week!

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  17. Teen me would have pretty much attached herself to Ronan's side and never left. I love the covers for this series so much and seeing the first two books side by side is a squee moment!

    I dreamed (for like 5 seconds and as children often do) of being a tap dancer once. Although I'm pretty sure all I did was stomp around in a pair of rain boots :)

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    1. I know, right?! I love Ronan!

      Your comment about tapping made me smile. There's talk of a class at the local dance theatre starting up again. I HOPE it becomes a reality!

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  18. I recently got Fangirl at the bookstore and I can't wait to read it. The library recently got the audiobook and I'm interested in listening to it. Sometimes I like to listen to a book while I read along. Yeah, I know it doesn't make sense. Ha! Good luck with your revisions. Have a great weekend!

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    1. FANGIRL is definitely next on my TBR. And I know lots of folks who listen to audio books as they read them. I am not one of them, but it makes perfect sense to me! Enjoy!

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  19. Oh, could you teach me a tap dance too??? It's one of those things I've always hoped to learn someday. So cool you can do it!
    And I KNOW I have to read those books. I so want to but forget when another amazing read crosses my path. Got. to. read. them. :)

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    1. :) Our local dance theatre used to offer beginning classes for adults. SO FUN! I miss it terribly.

      And yes - YOU MUST DROP EVERYTHING AND GET THOSE BOOKS! :) Or ya know - soon. :)

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  20. So I love this blog post, Alison! Reading it totally made me smile. Your enthusiasm for THE RAVEN BOYS led me to add the first book to my "MUST READ" list. So thanks for that. :) And I looove that you pulled out a dusty WIP and fell in love with it all over again. Just hearing about that gives me shivers; it's a special kind of writing magic, to re-read something you wrote (and dismissed) and find good things in it that make you want to jump back into the thick of things. So YAY for that. :) I hope the revisions go well! Happy dancing and revising this week!

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  21. I think I must be the last person on the planet who has not read THE RAVEN BOYS. It will be my christmas present to myself. And tap dancing!?!? You are like nine kinds of awesome. You have to VLOG that! (So whatever happened to your dude story from the contest? I hope good things.)

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  22. I wasn't so keen on Shiver but I hear great things about The Raven Boys. I'll have to try it out sometime. :)

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  23. Oh man, I have GOT to read The Raven Boys. Yours is the second blog I've read tonight raving about it!
    I think it's beyond awesome that you're revising your first book! I wish I could revise my first short story, but sadly it's lost forever. However, now that I think about it, my mind is turning in ways to make me want to turn it into a novel. Hah! We'll see about that. Get in line, story! There's a bajillion others waiting patiently in front of you.
    Ahem. Hope it works out! Keep us updated!

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