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I Read – I Reviewed – I Conquered: Part II

31 Dec

Book Awards 2011 Part II

Hey all, I know I was supposed to post this yesterday, but unfortunately (or… well fortunately for me) I began reading Wither yesterday afternoon, and I had intended to post that evening. Ha! Right! I spent the rest of the afternoon, and evening (and… admittedly into the deep hours of the night reading Wither) and so, there is my excuse for not posting. Now, onto the post, of which I did not post:

Picking up where we left off yesterday, I’ll be finishing 2011 book Awards (see yesterdays post HERE).

Our first award of the night is:

“The Cutest Couple Award”

I don’t mean to take you all back to your highschool year book, but I had to come to this award. I read too much YA to avoid it, and honestly, you know you have a cutest couple in your head right now. Admit it. Anyway, I’m giving this award to:

Max & Dylan from James Patterson’s ANGEL ( Maximum ride book #7)

I am admittedly a Fang Girl, but book 7 is really turning the tables. Max and Dylan had the cutest chemistry, and honestly I may be going from the dark side to the Dylan side… Scary, yes. Anyway, I really enjoyed the cute, if not awkward relationship between Max and Dylan. It was a nice change from the usual intense infatuation of  YA romance, and if you haven’t gotten around to reading the Maximum ride books yet, you might want to crawl out from under that rock you’ve been living beneath and join the rest of the free YA world. I can’t wait for book 8! *squee!*

Our next award is

“The Teary Page Turner

This award is for the saddest book I’ve read all year, or the book that made me cry the most. Let me tell you, you have to be pretty good to get me going, because I usually don’t cry when reading books (I’m more the hyperventilating type), but I actually had three or four that got to me this year, so it made this decision really hard, but I’m giving this one to:

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

This is the third book in Kagawa’s series, and I won’t say much as not to ruin it, but I just have to say I cried like a little girl at the end. I was actually worked up for a little over a half hour about this one guys. It was made even worse by the fact that I had to wait 6 months for the next one in the series! So if you read this series (which I recommend you do, beware of book 3…  enough said.)

Next, I’m going to be giving the

“Bad to the Bone Award”

This award is for the baddest of the bad. The best (or… maybe I mean worst?) antagonist of the year. After all where would are hero’s be without their bad intentioned brethren?

This was a hard choice for me, but I finally decided upon:

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

The bad guys(and gals)  in here don’t get much badder. I mean what’s worse than kidnapping killers that don’t happen to look any more harmless than your average Joe walking down the street. I mean an average joe with super strength and shape shifting powers! I was scared silly by Pearce’s antagonists, and (unwisely) stayed up into the wee hours of the morning trying not to flinch every time the wind would blow! If Jackson to do anything its scare me!

And now, we have our last two awards of the night (and the year) The BEST and the WORST book I read in 2011.

My Least Favorite Book of  2011:

Num8ers by Rachel Ward

Let me start by saying that this is just MY opinion, and my two cents is only worth as much as anyone elses on the street. But, I honestly could not finish Num8ers. I wish I could say that I found something about it redeemable, but considering I only made it about 150 pages in, I really don’t think I can. I ALWAYS finish books ALWAYS. It has to be pretty bad for me to set something down, and, well, I set it down.

To end on a happy note, My Favorite Book of 2011:

A photo of my personal copy

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

I made a concentrated effort this year to read some classics. I managed to make it through the Odyssey, I’m not exactly sure how, and read some lesser-read plays by Shakespeare that I really liked (The Taming of the Shrew being one of them ‘come and kiss me Kate!’) but I was most surprised and pleased with The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett. As a child, I LOVED the movies. I mean really LOVED them.  I watched them every week (when my mother could stand it) and my love for the movies hadn’t faded with time, so I decided to give the book a try. I was not disappointed! Collin (our snotty and hilariously rude little invalid) is every bit as snotty and hilarious as he was in the movies, if not more so. I was very swept up in the mystery of the mansion and the magic of the gardens with Miss Mary. This will remain one of my favorites, and it’s on my re-read list for this year!

I hope you all enjoyed the Novel Idea awards, and had a very happy 2011.

Wishing you all the best in 2012, enjoy your new year!

Best YA Book Covers: 2011

7 Dec

Hey all, it’s time for NI Awards installment one! The best YA book covers of 2011! There were some stunning covers this year, but here are my top ten. Click on any of the links to learn more about what’s behind the beautiful dust-jackets! After all, sometimes you can judge a book by it’s cover!

10.

Starting off 2011 (on Jan 3.) and starting off our list of covers is Entice by Carrie Jones. I’m a huge fan of the books, and the covers are just as stunning as the content!

9.

Next is Eve by Anna Carey. I haven’t read this one yet, but the gorgeous cover, and promising premise of a  deadly virus, and suspect cure have put it on the top of my to read list!

8.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi wins spot number eight for it’s unique use of glitter, and a dress almost as beautiful as the prose between the pages. (Win an ebook of Shatter me by clicking HERE!)

7.

Wither by Lauren DeStefano falls into spot seven, for its gorgeous and unique cover. I love the mix of hard geometric lines, that emphasize certain aspects of the photograph. One, I might add, that would of be gorgeous enough by itself!

6.

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan won me over with it’s simplicity. A white background with bold pinks and blues, makes it stick out among shelves of photographed covers.  Not only an interesting mix of colors on the cover, but a mix of sci-fi and fairytale intermingle in this intergalactic tale of sleeping beauty!

5.

As soon as I saw Luminous by Dawn Metcalf I knew I wanted to read it. Warm reds, butterflies, and a striking portrait style pose make this book jump off the shelf.

4.

I read Across The Universe by Beth Revis this past year and was pleased to find that the cover spoke volumes about the contents! This is one of my favorite books of twenty-eleven, with a cover to match it!

3.

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater, slides into the top three. I loved every letter of the “Wolves of Mercy Falls” series, and Forever, with it’s lovely hand-painted-looking cover, and signature blood splatter was no exception!

2.

The hauntingly ‘weightless’ image on the front of  Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma instantly captures your attention. If any picture is worth a thousand words, this one is it!

1.

My favorite YA book cover of 2011 defiantly goes to Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey. The cover art is total ecstasy, from the slightly abstract feel of the model, to the background coloration I love every inch of this cover and it, in my opinion deserves the top spot here on the NI awards! So, congratulations Mary Lindsey, Shattered Souls has just been voted:

BEST BOOK COVER OF 2011!

What was your favorite book cover of the year?

Don’t forget to comment and link to get a chance to win Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi!

Awards Month! SHATTER ME GIVE-AWAY!

3 Dec

December is here, and that means 2011 will be over in less than a month! That also means Novel Ideas will have been up and running for full year! In order to celebrate what an amazingly great year 2011 has been for reading, writing, and blogging alike I will be hosting the first ever Novel Idea Awards (NI Awards).

What will these NI awards be you ask?

Basically, they will be a run down of the BEST and WORST of everything writerly or readerly of 2011. I’ll be doing a best books, and worst books, best novel cover, best blogger, most inspirational blogger, Top ten post on NI, and much more. Right HERE in December! And because it is the season of giving there will be Blog Badges awarded (because who doesn’t want a super cool award badge?) and also a giveaway for an e-book version of the much-anticipated Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. (along with a possible giveaway for a flash fiction contest!)

What do you have to do to get in on this give away? Simple. All you have to do is spread the word about Novel Ideas! For every post during the NI awards that you comment on your name will go into the raffle once. For every link you post to Novel Ideas on your blog, facebook, twitter, etc will recieve TWO entries into the raffle! The person who gets chosen out of the raffle will then win Shatter Me which will be provided through NI via email.

For any links you post, I must have a copy of where the link is located (which you can leave below THIS POST!).

I’ll notify any of those who will be receiving badges, so stay on the look out if I follow your blog!

I hope you all continue to follow Novel Ideas this December. Don’t forget to comment so you can be entered into the giveaway which begins today and ends December 31st  Midnight (EST).

Thanks to all my readers who made this year of blogging wonderful! You know who you are!

Ally

My ‘To Read’ Pile

29 Oct

My to read pile is huge! I’ve been sadly neglecting my reading as of late, and need to go on a book binge to clear all of it. So, before I go off on that little venture I thought I would share with you what is in my ‘to read’ pile as I’m going to start doing book reviews.

 What I’m reading NOW:

The Death Cure (Book #3 Maze Runner)by James Dashner

In The Pile: Wildthorn by Jane Eagland

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Sabotaged (Book #3 in Found series) by Margaret Haddix

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Ripple by Mandy Hubbard

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Entwined by Heather Dixon

A Long Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

These aren’t in any particular order, but I’ll probably be reading the library books first so I can get them all back on time. So I suppose Sister’s Red will be next on my list (I’ve been wanting to read if for a long time).

I hope to have “the Death Cure” review up soon. And as with everything here. It will have some NI spin on it! Because along with every review I’ll be doing a “what you can learn” subheading. In other words not only will I be helping you to find great books, but also showing you what that book can teach you about writing (whether it’s positive or negative)

What do you all think of this? Any good book recommendations? have you read any of the books in ‘the pile? I’d love to hear from you guys!

Books I’m Waiting For (Eagerly!)

2 Sep

Hey all Juan over at TIW has done a post about some awesome novels he is anticipating. I decided to do this same over here at NI and give you some insight into what awesome titles are coming out soon. Enjoy and check Juans list out too!

The Scorpio Races

Need I say more? Maggie Stiefvater is one of my favorite novelist, and when I heard she had a stand alone coming out I nearly flipped. I can’t wait for this novel. For a couple of reasons, One, it is a take on a legend that has gone entirely unexplored in YA “water horses” you know the ones that eat people? Yeah those. Two, it’s a stand alone (so unlike some many other books out there I won’t have to wait for a sequel. And, three, its by Maggie stiefvater. If that doesn’t sell you the book go watch maggies stop motion trailer for the book HERE. It is AMAZING! It comes out October 18th 2011 don’t miss it!

Front and back... because I can't pick just one!

The Iron Knight

Second on the list we have Julie Kagawa’s fourth installment (and the last I believe) in The Iron Fey series. If you haven’t read this series yet, first do a nice hard face palm, and then go out (or online) and purchase it immediately! I really don’t know if there are any words to describe these books other than “Oh My God….!” I quite literally paused several times when reading these books and said that. I mean look at the cover, it is gorgeous! What’s not to like? Take a look at it over at good reads, before it comes out October 25th 2011!

The Death Cure

The last installment in James Dashners “The Maze Runner” series is the last one on my list. I loved book one, and two. Dashner has a way with action and his characters are absolutely divine! (Not they’re not gods, they are just amazing!) If your looking for a really actiony, mysterious, “keeps you guessing” series then check these books out before The Death Cure comes out on the October 11 2o11.

Funny…. they all come out in October…. I will need to be thrifty that month. Anyway check out these awesome titles sometime before they are released. Anyone in anticipation of any other titles?

A PAUSE & COVER REVEAL

31 Aug

I’m taking a little writing “pause”. Not a break, a pause. I tried to stress the difference to myself during Science class today.

it’s a pause Ally. Just a little break! This will not turn into a one month lazy streak.

Or so I tell myself. You see, I’m  beginning to understand that I need to work out some major kinks in BTE before I begin draft two. I think that is the reason I decided to scrap the beginning last week.  I don’t know the exact direction of the story. That is a problem. And so it looks like they’ll be a bit of a pause im my writing, a suspension of active word flow if you will. NOT a break.

If I allow myself to think of it as a break I get lazy. It’s like taking a break during track when your running a mile, or pausing to tie your shoe on the side of the track. TOTALLY different things.

intermingled with this plotting pause is a new set of ideas. I’ve got an interesting little plot bunny burrowing away in the back of my brain, and things are getting… interesting 🙂

It’s totally lame that I have nothing else for you guys. So to lighten the mood I’ll be  revealing BTE’s new Title and Cover *YEAH*!

I present, for the first time:

THE SHADOWS THAT FELL

Opinions? Any annoyance at the fact that I’ve changed the title again? haha. How do you all think it goes with the prequel title/cover?

I’ll be back on Friday, hopefully with a Story Weaving on Steroids post. See you then!

Do or Die Time (Plus a COVER)

9 Aug

My laptop came! THANK GOODNESS! I am loving windows 7, and the new office software, but my laptop has brought with it something I’ve been dreading. Do or Die time for BTE draft 2….

I now have no excuse for not writing so any lapse in word count goes 100% on me, and not onto the terribleness of a crashed piece of crap computer. Kind of puts the pressure on. I’m really stressing about it (even though I shouldn’t be). I feel like I’ve hit a block. You know that big wall you sometimes come up against when writing? The one that no matter how hard you look you can’t find a ledge to scale over it, or a door to get through it. Because, for some reason, you can not figure out how to attack the story you’ve got.

Its frustrating, especially since I KNOW the story so much better than I did before edits. I feel like I should just be able to go and, I don’t know, just DO IT! But something (and I don’t know what it is) is stopping me.

Usually when I get blocked it’s because I’m missing some key point, or I’ve written something wrong that just doesn’t click. With in a  matter of days I can have it sorted and picked back up, but this is different. It’s obvious that I’m missing something big, that there has to be some huge gap in the plot that my brain just can’t wrap around (like a black hole or something).

So to shove that frustration into the back of my mind I’ve  turned my attention to other projects. Namely BTE’s “Prequel”. The Prequel to BTE has vaguely been in the works since BTE itself, though I’ve been on the fence about writing it for the last few months the “BLOCK” has convinced me to dive on in.

So for the first time I present to you Before This Ends’ companion novel “A LIGHT THAT SHATTERS”:

(c) novel ideas life of a teen writer

The Title doesn’t seem to be meshing very well with BTE’s title, but BTE is bound to change AGAIN. I know, I know, this is what? The fourth time. I don’t know why, but I’ve had such trouble with BTE’s title. Though A Light That Shatters feels like a keeper. What do you all think?

Until next time I’m off to write!