Saturday, March 30, 2013

Saturday Discussion: YA vs. NA

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the difference between Young Adult (YA) and New Adult (NA) because I've started a manuscript that could work as either. So I've been asking myself what the central differences are and I thought it might make a good discussion this week.

So what are the differences between YA and NA?

For me, it all boils down to the central question of the book.

YA is all about discovering who you want to become.

NA is discovering how the person you've decided you want to be fits into the world.

All the YA I books I can think of have the character come to some realization near the end of the novel that allows them to discover who they are. They learn something about themselves.

In The Hunger Games, Katniss does anything to protect herself for most of the novel but when she is forced to kill Peeta to win, she decides they will both kill themselves rather than be forced to kill each other. She learns that she cares for him and that shapes the rest of the series.

In Shatter Me, Juliette feels like she deserves to be locked up because her touch can kill but when she realizes she can't hurt Adam, she decides to see herself differently which allows her to fight for her life.

In If I Stay, Mia isn't sure whether she should let go and die when her entire family dies, but through listening how her friends and family see her, she decides to stay.

All of these stories allow the characters to see themselves in a different light which allows them to become who they are. They discover the type of people they want to become and prove it by actively becoming these people in the end.

I feel like New Adult takes this idea and explores what happens after. How can new Katniss live in the world when she's allowed herself to have more attachments than just her immediate family? How can Juliette learn to live with her power now that she's decided to fight for her life? Now that Mia sees herself as the people she loves does and gets a second shot of life, how is she going to use it?

In YA, the characters recieve the means to grow up. They find the path they want to take. I think NA explores them going down that path. It tests the people they discovered and sometimes it changes them.

I've been holding off my judgement on this emerging category because I wasn't sure it would last but I've decided I don't care. I love that authors are writing stories for the scary time between transitioning from living at home with minimal responsibility to living on your own with all of it. Because let's face it, doing laundry for the first time is damn scary and we need to know about that too.

So what do you think? That are the differences between YA and NA?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Unbreakable and Deception

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where you can post about upcoming books you're looking forward to. This is a wonderful chance for blogger to show off what's coming out soon that they are excited about! Every week my wishlist balloons thanks to this awesome meme.

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

I never believed in ghosts. Until one tried to kill me.

When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn't know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy's room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon -- a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now Kennedy has to take her mother's place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon -- battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.

Suspense, romance, and the paranormal meet in this chilling urban fantasy, the first book in a new series from Kami Garcia, bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures novels.
Unbreakable is out October 1,2013.

Part of the allure with this one, at least for me, is that I want to try and figure out Garcia's writing style separate from Stohl. But I think the plot sounds exciting in this one and I like that we are bringing back supernatural creatures into the dangerous zone.

Deception by C.J. Redwine
Baalboden has been ravaged. The brutal Commander's whereabouts are unknown. And Rachel, grief stricken over her father's death, needs Logan more than ever. With their ragged group of survivors struggling to forge a future, it's up to Logan to become the leader they need—with Rachel by his side. Under constant threat from rival Carrington's army, who is after the device that controls the Cursed One, the group decides to abandon the ruins of their home and take their chances in the Wasteland.

But soon their problems intensify tenfold: someone—possibly inside their ranks—is sabotaging the survivors, picking them off one by one. The chaos and uncertainty of each day puts unbearable strain on Rachel and Logan, and it isn't long before they feel their love splintering. Even worse, as it becomes clear that the Commander will stop at nothing to destroy them, the band of survivors begins to question whether the price of freedom may be too great—and whether, hunted by their enemies and the murderous traitor in their midst, they can make it out of the Wasteland alive.
In this daring sequel to Defiance, with the world they once loved forever destroyed, Rachel and Logan must decide between a life on the run and standing their ground to fight.
Deception is out August 27, 2013.

I'm excited about this one becqause I loved the first novel. Can't wait to find out what is going to happen to Rachel and Logan!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What they say about "One Door Closing"

This week, a door closed for me. Now, when these things happen, I tend to fixate on the negative implications. No matter how many other doors remain open, no matter how many eggs I have in different baskets, I zero in on the one that is suddenly gone. I've always done this. As a kid if I was given 10 M&M's and I decide to eat one, I'd freak out about the one that was gone instead of realizing I have 9 left.

That's why it is difficult for me to be a writer. I don't mind constructive criticism because I've learned to find the gems in it. I can accept that how I write, what I want to say and the characters in my head won't appeal to everyone. I don't even mind if someone doesn't like what I've written.

But what I find hardest to deal with is not focusing on a lost oppurtinity and I don't think I'm alone.

When I was in high school, I was part of a very focused and fantastic choir. We sang together, sweat and cried together and bleed together. We worked hard. Those endless hours of practice and forfeit weekends made us close to each other and our director. At the end of the year, our director gave out awards to all of us for different things and he also gave us a piece of advice. To this day, I don't remember what my award was for (probably for organization or something) but I do remember the advice because it is something I struggle with daily. He said: "Amber, don't sweat the small stuff. Don't focus on the little things you can't help but focus on the big picture and all the things you've accomplished."

These simple words encapsulate my entire delimma today. I have more than enough doors open to me right now. More than I've ever had before and that is something to be proud of. But because I got the news that one of these doors have closed, I'm feeling a little down even though it is something I can't control. Even though it is something small in the big picture.

But as each of these doors close, they are teaching me something. They are teaching me that I can handle the small details going wrong and something beautiful can bloom from the next door over. It's teaching me that I have written something that I believe in even if a thousand more doors close. It is teaching me that I don't have to sweat the small stuff. And it has made me richer for it.

So today I am stopping. I'm not going to let myself worry about one small thing when there are so many other things to be thankful for. And I'm not just applying it to my writing. I'm applying it to my life.
So here are the three things I learned today:

1) Sometimes the old sayings are true. When one door closes, a new one opens.

2) You have to believe in yourself or no one else will.

3) You really don't have to sweat the small stuff.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Recommend

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week, they post a subject and the goal is to answer the question with your top ten picks. Once you've done it, link back to The Broke and the Bookish and check out what other bloggers have to say!
Top Ten Books I Recommend
This is an awesome list to make. I love the uplifting ones so I was stoked when I find out that I could talk about some of my favorite books today. Check out my top ten most recommended books!

1) Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling- It's true that I love this book but I don't get to recommend it ery much any more. The reason why? Everyone has read (and loved) it! But when I was first reading it, no one I knew had so I got to put it in the hands of everyone I loved. It's an oldie but a goodie.

2) Divergent by Veronica Roth- As I was reading this book, I was sucked into the world the way I hadn't been in a long time. I was late going to dinner with a friend but I finished the book and brought it with me so she could read it. It took my breath away and I still recommend it to everyone I know!

3) Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi- Omg, this prose is simply incredible. Couple this with amazing characters, a fast paced plot and a little mystery and I had to give it to all my friends.

4) A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray- Really I recommend this entire series. It is so full of magic and I love how wild and dangerous it is. I like my witches to feel just a little off, to have something beautiful feel just slightly off-kilter a la Time Burton and this series excels at it!

5) Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi- I think by the time I read this book, I was a little over dsytopians. I had read a lot of them recently and some really good ones so I was pretty sure nothing would strike me like the others had. I was so, so wrong.

6) The Unbecoming/Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin- This is another book the swept me up by me feet and took me on an adventure. I loved not being able to tell what was real or what was going along with Mara. Now, so do all my friends!

7) The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins- This is another series I don't get to recommend much anymore because everyone has read them but after I finished, I just raved about them. My hubby even read them (and he is not a reader). It was so weird to walk into the house for a few days and see him with his nose stuck in a book.

8) Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer- I know, another uninspired answer but I did really recommend this to everyone I know. Loved it then and though I'm not wild about all the craze that has come with it sense it become a film, I still do like the books.

9) If I Stay by Gayle Forman- This book shook me to my core. The beautiful prose and gripping story lead me through all emotions in one sitting and kept me reading until the last (tear) drop.

10) 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher- This is the first YA contemporary novel I ever read and it opened my eyes. I always thought I liked stories about far off places (and a prince in disguise!) but this made me realize that grounded in reality can be just as entertaining.

Which books made your list?

Friday, March 22, 2013

A (Greek) Fairy Tale in Photos- Athena

Every Friday, I tell you a fairy tale exclusively through photos but now that I'm bringing it back, we're going to the Greek Gods! Get ready for some good times. Each week is a different theme and I search through Deviantart to find you the best of the best--whether they be pretty or spooky. All are welcome here! None of these photos are mine and you can always find a link to the proper owners underneath the photo in the caption area!

This week we are going to war wit hthe Goddess that oversees it. When I was little I loved Athena because she was powerful. After learning more about her misdeeds as an adult, I like her a little less (poor Medusa) but these photos are all awesome.



I was surprised with the amount of gorgeous Athena photos I find. I particularly love photo 6. It reminds me a lot of the old (and better) Nightshade cover by Andrea Cremer. I also like photo 15 a lot too.

Which are your favorites?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I had to buy but are still waiting TBR

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week, they post a subject and the goal is to answer the question with your top ten picks. Once you've done it, link back to The Broke and the Bookish and check out what other bloggers have to say!  
Books I Had to Buy but are Still Waiting to be Read
So here are some books I rushed out to the bookstore for but are still sitting in my massive TBR pile. None of them are because I don't want to read them but rather because I simply haven't had time. It stinks too because so many of these have such strong followings and I've heard nothing but good things about them.

1) Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi- This is top on my list because I loved the first one.
2) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

3) Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

4) The Diviners by Libba Bray

5) Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

6) Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
7) The Fault in our Stars by John Green

8) Just One Day by Gayle Forman

9) The Selection by Kiera Cass

10) Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Those are few beauties that have been sitting on my shelf for way too long. Which did you include in your list?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Divergent Casting News: WE HAVE FOUR!

Ironically, just yesterday I posted on some of the minor roles that have been filled for this movie and then today we get the big announcement.


And he is... *hang on while a fan myself* He is gorgeous and a Brit.

Theo James as Tobias (Four) Eaton
OMG! Seriously, this is the best news, maybe ever. He is smoking hot and perfect for Four. I'd mentioned yesterday that they'd need someone really manly and large to take on Four's role since they casted such a beefy Eric and by God, they got me one heck of a man.

I have not seen anything he's in though he has been a lot of British telly shows so I'm sure he'll be great. I'm a little weirded out that he is so much older than Woodley but at this point I really don't care. Perfect casting. Can't wait!

But since the movie doesn't start shooting til April, I'm going to have to wait. And while I do, I'm going to be looking at pictures and I'll share a few with you...

Yup, gander with me. You're welcome.
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