Because people stopped giving me blog awards for some reason, I have decided to add my post to the Notebook Sisters’ thingamajig that they’re hosting over on their blog– their “Pass the Parcel” game.


(If you don’t know, that has become my new exclamation for whenever I can’t think of anything to type.  There may be quite a few of them around this post.)


1. Name your top 5 favourite YA authors!

Some people believe that you can just have a favorite author, or a top five.  Usually, my list of five favorite authors fluctuates depending on which books I’ve read last.  Fortunately, this only asks for YA authors.  Thus, in random order (because I can’t bear to choose):

  • Cornelia Funke.  (For some reason, many of the books I like most weren’t written in English.  The stories, the prose– the Italian– I love it all.  She got me started on dragons.)
  • Eoin Colfer.  (Imaginative, funny, and heartbreaking.)
  • Brian Jacques.  (Because he wrote the Flying Dutchman trilogy, I can include him.  He is why I still write about immortals today.)
  • Dan Wells.  (Quickly climbing my lists.  After Partials and I Am Not a Serial Killer– review soon– I became a fan.)
  • Rick Riordan.  Or John Flanagan.  (Because it’s too hard to choose between two funny, yet seeming one-hit-wonder authors.)  Sorry, I meant to say Matt Myklusch.

2. What’s the last YA book you read and what did you think of it?

The Ruins of Alder, by Obert Skye.  Book five in the Leven Thumps series.  This could be considered a children’s book, but this is a perfect opportunity to review a book without writing a full post about it.  Basically, the series is funny.  No suspense, no real emotion, except hilarity.  It isn’t the worse for it, but you can only learn one thing from it.  Of course, not knowing this a year and a half ago, I basically modeled a whole novel (never finished) on it, and Rick Riordan’s twists on Greek mythology.  For every one of my characters from that story, there is a parallel in that series.

3. What’s your favourite YA genre? (Dystopian, romance, sci-fi, contemporary, etc.)

Fantasy.  Unquestionably.  Dystopian, sci-fi, occasionally horror– it’s all fantasy.

4. Let’s talk characters! Pick a character you love and tell us why?

I’ll pick two, with the same sort of character type.  Ben, from Castaways of the Flying Dutchman (Brian Jacques), and Death, from The Book Thief.  They’re both immortal, but both wish they weren’t.  The beauty of it is that sadness that pervades all their relationships with other people.  Of course, Death isn’t really that social, but Ben goes around helping people and making friends he can’t keep, all to have them shattered in the end when he hears the angel’s bell and is forced to move on to another life.  It’s the sadness of immortality, added to the inability to stop making friends, that really pulls you in.

5. Top YA villain?


I have no ideas.  I wrote a letter to Sauron earlier this year, but he isn’t my favorite villain– he’s just an example of how to do the far-off evil correctly.  No, I don’t really have many favorite villains.  But Artemis Fowl, who becomes a good guy halfway into the series, is definitely a good choice, if he’s allowed.

6. Top YA couple?



No idea.  I thought I would know.


I’ll go with my default for this post: Ben again.  This time, the couple is from the third book in the trilogy, A Voyage of Slaves.  He falls in love with a girl named Serafina, but since everyone around him is doomed, she’s doomed too.  She dies.  It’s awesome.

7. With dystopian on the decline, what do you think will be the next hot-trend in YA?

There are some things that fluctuate like a barometer during a hurricane, but there are others that always stay the same.  The middle-grade mystery, for instance, will always be the same for the children’s section.  Romance will never die, unfortunately, especially in YA– nor will high-school whatever-they-are books.  Horror?  No; young minds are easily afraid of what has the potential to scare them.  Fantasy?  No, too pervasive already.  It’s going to be an offshoot of some sort, like dystopian was.  Utopian?  Ha!  Too happy.  Truly, I have no idea.  The ways of trends are (Yay!) completely (Yay!) very mysterious.  Yeah.

8. What’s the next YA book on your to-be-read pile?

Well, I’m currently reading The Rise of Nine, which is supposed to be YA.  On my to-read pile, however, I have Finnikin of the Rock (by Melina Marchetta or something), as well as The Hunters (by John Flanagan).  I’m not motivated to read either faster than I’m going to read The Familiars (by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson), which is more middle-grade fantasy.

9. What’s the fastest time you’ve ever finished reading a book in? (And what was the book?!)

I recently read a picture book in about two minutes.  There was a mini-book that I read in less.  But a real novel?  About the fastest I’ve ever read a full-length novel was a day.  I don’t usually time my reading, however.  I read both of Dan Wells’s books in about a day, as well as some of Rick Riordan’s.  Operation Redwood I read in about a day, but only because I had nothing else to do.

10. (And now for the burning question) Do you think books should be sorted according to colour or title? (This matters.)

Neither.  By series, then by order they were written.  If possible, situate hardbacks toward the wall of the bookshelf and paperbacks near the center, so their tops describe a neat upward parabola.  Always give Brian Jacques a shelf all to himself, because the bookstores sure don’t anymore.  If there isn’t any more room, put Suzanne Collins’s books on the floor– they weren’t worth buying anyway.  (Sorry if you disagree.)

Again, the Notebook Sisters’ blog is here.


82 thoughts on “Yay!

      1. So… do you drink caffienne in any form at all or is it just coffee you don’t care for?

      2. I would say you should taste this second cup of coffee I’m drinking, but one, that’s gross and two, I haven’t figured out how to email liquids, yet.

      3. Wait a minute! You share a body in real life, because you couldn’t have ficticiously.

    1. A parabola is an arc, basically. Look it up.

      Yep. Those books taught me why it’s awesome to have immortal characters and kill their love interests. It was the most effective death I have ever read.

  1. What? Ben’s love interest dies?! I’ve only read the first book…Thanks for spoiling the last book for me.

    Now my day has been completely ruined.

    Just kidding. Maybe.

      1. True. But still! I didn’t think he’d fall in love with someone since he’s immortal.

        Well, now I have to finish the series.

      2. Well, he’d only have his heart broken, since he’d keep on living on and on, his age staying the same, while he’d watch his beloved age into an old woman and eventually die. It would be kind of awkward.

      1. I haven’t heard of that one before. I won’t be trying it 🙂 The Hunger Games trilogy put me in an angry/depressed mood for about a week.

      2. The depression ingrained in the Gregor the Overlander series was just unnecessary, as was that in the Hunger Games. There were multiple scenarios where both series would be just as powerful, yet not depressing. That’s called going a little overboard on your character deaths, and when you can’t kill someone, make up a reason for them not to show up anymore.

  2. Ooooh. >_< Burning at the Suzanne Collins comment (but I'll forgive ya, because I'm nice like that). 😛 I did enjoy your summary of Top YA Couple. I laughed. That does make a good couple. Thanks for doing the tag.


      1. I don’t mind if people make fun of stuff I like, as long as they do it well.

        I’m surprised you did the tag, since you don’t like blog awards which are basically the same thing…

  3. Oh, you’ve got your hands on The Rise of Nine? I’d say it was the best out of that series so far, but that’s not saying much. I hated the first one, and the second was mediocre.

    Ah, good, I was worried for a moment when I saw that Matt wasn’t on your favorite author list.

    1. I had a few edits to make after I had hit publish. I wrote it late last night, about an hour after writing that scatterbrained mess I named, brilliantly, Contrast. I messed up Ben’s love interest’s name at first, forgot Myklusch, and I think I might have made some sort of other flop.

      1. Give “The Penelopiad”, “Oryx and Crake” or “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood a go. She’s a feminist, and it shows, but her style is very unique and her dystopian standars is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Bit gory, bit unsavoury in places, but incredibly effective.

      2. “Oryx and Crake”, admittedly, is. “The Handmaid’s Tale” is not as bad as it sounds – it’s written in a very restrained manner, and it’s the psychological nasty that gets you more than the physical. “The Penelopiad” is probably my favourite of them all, though. If you like the style, try “The Robber Bride”, perhaps.

      3. It does deal with nasty stuff, but in a very mature manner. It focusses more on the psychological side, the bigger picture as well as the personal, rather than delving into gorey detail. Seriously, give it a try and see what you think.

  4. “If there isn’t any more room, put Suzanne Collins’s books on the floor– they weren’t worth buying anyway.”

    Blasphemy!!! Suzanne Collins is perfect!! No one can compare to her!!!

    I’m kidding, but I still think Suzanne Collins is a worthwhile author (though flawed), and I’ve been reading some of the comments above and I disagree with what you said about her books being needlessly depressing. In fact, the Underland Chronicles didn’t really start to get dark until the third book, and I never really got the impression that the book was depressing until the fifth book (my personal favorite, but it was very well done.

    Now Mockingjay, I agree was way too depressing for it’s own good, what with Prim and Finnick dying and Peeta being hijacked for most of the book.

    Sorry for any typos here; I’m writing this on my phone.

    1. Suzanne Collins is too absorbed in getting her anti-war message across, and it hurts her endings most of all. That’s why she feels like she has to depress everyone.

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