Thursday, July 08, 2010

Book Battle Round 4 Winners

Here we are folks! The penultimate Round of the book battle is over, and the judges have made their decisions. So which two books are battling it out in the Final Round? Let's turn to the results and see...

Bracket 22:
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler VS. The Season by Sarah MacLean
Judged by Kristen of Bookworming in the 21st Century and Jasmyn of Jasmyn's Stuff

As we get closer and closer to the ending round in this battle, the decisions get harder and harder. Here we have two books that have been clearly been judging favorites since the beginning. But alas, only one can move on. So which will it be? Here's what Judge Kristen had to say:

"So, it was a tough decision - I loved both of these books, but Jasmyn and I decided we both were leaning towards one."
And so without further ado, the winner is... The Season by Sarah MacLean!

Certainly not the expected winner, at least for me anyway. If someone had asked me when the battle started if I thought The Season would make it this far I would have said no. But there you go!

And here's what Judge Jasmyn had to say about her reasoning:

"While I enjoyed the story of Twenty Boy Summer, I could not relate to or really get behind any of the characters. They seemed a little too extreme, their actions a little too predictable, and much of the dialog seemed forced. The storyline couldn't find it's focus. At first it seemed about grief, then about moving on, then about best friends, then it was all about forgiveness. I know these have a lot to do with each other, but they weren't linked or tied together very well in the book.

The Season had several very typical characters to historical fiction, the ahead of her times females, the overly chivalrous males that try to hold her back, the somewhat oblivious parents, but there was something about the way these characters interacted that had me falling into their world while I was reading. I was glad to see the three girls didn't succeed at everything on their own, but did end up working with their male counterparts to save the day, solve the mystery, and move on with their lives. The romance in the book was at a perfect level. It was there, it was nice to read about, but it wasn't shoved in your face and down your throat."

Bracket 23:
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (Revived) VS. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Judged by Jan from Eating YA Books and Elizabeth from Thinking of Thinking

In this bracket, the Revived title came head to head once again with Before I Fall for a second chance at redemption. Did it beat out it's opponent this time? Here's what Judge Jan had to say about both books:
"Needless to say it was a very difficult decision to choose between these phenomenal debut novels. Both have uniquely original plots, but being from different genres (fantasy vs contemporary fiction) made a decision much harder. While I love Kagawa evocative and poetic prose, and characters, Oliver's realistic setting and authentic YA issues are very appealing too."
And Judge Elizabeth had this to add:
"Before I Fall grabbed my attention immediately with it's interesting topic and twist on the usual story line of popular and unpopular kids in high school. I felt that the characters were well crafted and interesting to read about and I looked forward to see what was going to happen next.I have been a long time fan of fantasy books and fantasy world so The Iron King was right up my alley. I thoroughly enjoyed the twist of the usual fey/faery story line with the addition of a modern take and an environmental concept."
So what was the final result? The winner of this bracket is... Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver!

So once again The Iron King gets left behind, but kudos to it for being revived for this round! If a fan favorite had to be named for this battle, The Iron King would be it, so it certainly receives the popularity award!

So who are the ultimate contenders for the final round? Before I Fall will meet The Season head on in the next round to determine who the judges pick as the Best Debut Book from 2009 (and a little of 2010)! Stay tuned to find out who wins!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Registering for Book Blogger Appreciation Week

I know I'm coming late to the bandwagon, but I've decided to register for Book Blogger Appreciation Week after all. I know the chances of me actually winning anything are pretty slim, but I think it's a good exercise in reflection of your blog as well. So if, like me, you haven't registered yet, check out the Book Blogger Appreciation Week homepage to get started.

I've decided to register in the "eclectic" category, because although my focus is Young Adult lit, I do a lot of other things besides just YA reviews, especially when looking over the reviews I've done in the past year since the last BBAW. And here's my examples of why I feel I fit eclectic:
  • I enjoy doing reviews of graphic novels and/or comics like this one about The Haunted Mansion.
  • I occasionally do children's/middle grade books like this post about the Holly Claus books.
  • I really had fun with this review, which featured not only my thoughts but my family's as well.
  • And of course, I also do Young Adult reviews too, like this one for Never After.
But I also do a lot of other things on this blog besides just reviews. From my LOLcat of the Week feature, to blogosphere memes, to random ramblings. Of course, my favorite example of this right now is my YA Bloggers Debut Book Battle, which is my current project.

So that's my blog in a nutshell, at least over the last year. Here's to see what other good posts we have in store for the next time BBAW rolls around!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy 4th of July (and a video!)

Happy 4th of July to all my celebrating readers! So I kind of have made it a tradition to post a video on this holiday... not sure why but I have. So today I have a new one to share with you!

I actually first saw this back in May, and I've been dying to share it since then. But I waited until today because since it's about the Declaration of Independence it's pretty much perfect for today. So here you are:

Thanks to Katy from A Few More Pages for sharing it first.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Thoughts on Eclipse (the movie)

Yeah, I know your Google Reader is probably flooded with these right now. Sorry about that.

I think I need to start off by saying that I enjoyed the books, and I will probably reread them at some point, but I am not a diehard Twilight fan. I liked them, even loved them, but I don't even come close to obsessing.

That being said, I had no intention of seeing Eclipse yesterday. I didn't really like the first two movies (too much drama and lukewarm acting) and I never see a movie in the first week it opens anyway. But I kind of got roped into it by some friends and somehow found myself headed to the theater.

So now that I'm back, I have to say I'm kind of glad I went. It wasn't anything I couldn't have waited until it came out on DVD to see, but I liked it 100 times better than the first two books. The main reason is they broke up a lot of the drama with some humor, which was a nice change. And it probably shows in my favorite parts of the movie.

***SPOILERS (for those who haven't read the books and don't want to know anything about the movie)***

Best scenes (in my opinion, and in no particular order):

1. When Jacob kisses Bella and she smacks him, followed by the conversation with Charlie afterwards.

2. The tent scene with Jacob and Edward. Because it was so awkward it was funny.

3. When Charlie tries to have "the talk" with Bella.

4. Edwards comment (about Jacob) "Doesn't he own a shirt?"

***End Spoilers***

Anyway, for those of you who are going to go see it, enjoy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.