Contemporary Conversations

ContempConvos: Why is the YA Thriller/Spy genre underrated and underdeveloped?

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Disclaimer: So this past weekend was my birthday and I may have taken a day or two off. Sorry guys! But here is a discussion post that will make up for my silence this weekend! And yes, I am now 25. SAY WHAT?!

It is time I talk about a very important topic… and that important topic is Why is the YA Thriller/Spy genre underrated and underdeveloped? In other words, Why is it not as BIG as other YA sub-genres?

Think about this. You walk into a bookstore and beeline directly to the YA section. You see YA fantasy, YA paranormal, YA contemporary, YA dystopian, etc., but you don’t see a special section dedicated to the YA thriller/spy novels. Why is that?

First, we all know that there aren’t many YA spy/thriller novels out there to begin with. If we think long and hard about YA authors writing books for this specific sub-genre, there aren’t many. We have Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Ally Carter, Abby McDonald, and Lauren Oliver. But if you try to think even harder, you may come up empty-handed like I do.

I’m a big fan of the spy/thriller genre. I love me a good spy/con-man story that has you constantly at the edge of your seat. And the thing is those novels are not badly written, they are good, but why are they not as big as others from other sub-genres?

It just makes me sad that not many authors explore this sub-genre as much and that might be part of the problem. There are only a few household names when we think of the Thriller/Spy sub-genre.

I personally think it is because not many people want to take the risk of writing a thriller/spy/con man novel without the paranormal or fantasy element. It is much easier to go down the route many have gone than one that many have not passed through.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with me? Are there more YA thriller/spy novels out there that I haven’t discovered yet?

Talk to me! I want to know what you guys think!

Editor Letter, Giveaway

HAPPY 3RD ANNIVERSARY TO THE TALKING BOOKWORM

Guys, I turn 3 years old TODAY!

As I meditate on the birth of this blog until now, I can only see the growth I’ve obtained as both a blogger and an individual. This blog has been with me through many milestones and I am glad this has been a constant in my life.

I would like to thank every single one of my readers and wonderful blogger friends for supporting me and reading my content. I wouldn’t be here today without you guys.

I want to do a little shot out to Emma (Miss Print), Anjie (Love Thy Shelf), Kayla (The Thousand Lives), and Andi (Andi’s ABC’s). You guys have been my rock through the years here in the book blogging community.

Also Liz, my co-blogger, thank you for taking time out of your busy life to do this with me. Don’t know what I would do without you!

And now to the most exciting part…

GIVEAWAY TIME!

*pops champagne*

The giveaway will run from December 12, 2015 12:00am PST to January 11, 2015 11:59pm PST. And to answer the unspoken question many of you have, yes this is an INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY. The prize is 1 book with a maximum value of $15 US dollars. If you live in the USA, it will be shipped to you via Amazon. If you live outside the USA, I will be using Book Depository to purchase the book.

Thanks again for everyone’s support. I love you all!

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Co-Blogger, Editor Letter, Other

Would you like to be a Reviewer/Co-Blogger for The Talking Bookworm?

Hey Guys! I have some exciting news! I’m looking for someone to join The Talking Bookworm family. In other words, I’m looking for a co-blogger.

If you are interested in writing book reviews and becoming a part of The Talking Bookworm family then keep on reading.

You don’t have to be an experienced blogger, but there are some requirements.

Requirements

You are committing yourself to posting a discussion post or book review once a week.

You need to have a twitter!

You must be a YA literature fan.

Genre’s I’m hoping you can cover are:

YA – Fantasy/Paranormal
YA – Dystopian
YA – Historical Fiction

I read a lot of YA Contemporary, NA contemporary, YA Romance, and NA Romance, so those are covered for the most part, but that doesn’t mean you can’t review a contemporary book occasionally.

You will need to participate in Contemporary Conversations in March/April 2016.

If you are interested in joining the The Talking Bookworm family, please fill out the form below. I will be closing out the form 2 weeks from now, on Sunday, November 1st.

**Update: Application has been closed early. Thank you all for applying!**

Contemporary Conversations

ContempConvos: Giveaway Winner!

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It is time to announce the giveaway winner!

First, I want to thank every single one of you one more time for participating either via posting, reading, tweeting, and any other way. You guys made this a really fun event and even though it was a lot of work for both Kayla and I, I think we would do it again in a heartbeat!

Now, what you have all been waiting for… drum roll please… The winner is:

NARA LEE

Congratulations! *throws confetti*

We have already contacted the winner. If the winner doesn’t respond within 48 hours, we will be picking another winner.

THANK YOU ALL AGAIN!

Contemporary Conversations

The Beginning of Contemporary Conversations

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HUZZAH! It is finally time for the festivities to start! I am so freaking excited! I’ve been waiting for this for a very long time.

First of all, add your name and a link to your blog to our linky at the bottom of this post. We would love you forever if you also made a post that announced your intention to participate, and spread the word so more people can join in!

Second, plan your books! Kayla and I may have amounted an insane amount of books to read for March, and you are welcome to do the same! Review as many as you would like.

Third, have fun! We’ll be making lists and writing discussions, but anything and everything goes. Some other ideas include cover hunts, first line guessing games, bingo cards, reading challenges, read-a-thons, author interviews, giveaways… the list goes on!

Last, but not least, use #contempconvos on Twitter. It will help everyone find your posts from the month!

The Challenges:

Many thanks to Shannelle @ The Art of Escapism for suggesting this! We’ll have three challenges this month (not one during “disabilities/mental illness/the hard stuff” week because we have a lot of discussions planned), and we’d love to see you join in!

This week: break out your Frost, Shakespeare, Neruda – it’s time to write some poetry! Book spine poetry, of course. And since this IS an event about contemporary books, you get brownie points from us if your poem is all in contemporary books. And trust me – you want brownie points.

I’ll be posting my poem on Kayla’s side on Thursday, so whenever you post yours (doesn’t matter what day), just remember to stop by and link up!

*drum roll*

This week’s theme is COMING OF AGE STORIES

If you have any questions or need some direction when it comes to “Coming of Age” contemporary books, don’t hesitate to tweet Kayla or I, or DM us. We are here to help!

Posts to come this week:

  • Review of Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
  • Review of The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
  • Checking In on Wednesday’s
  • Emma (Miss Print) talk’s about Coming of Age Stories on Thursday

Don’t forget to link your initial participating post down below and let the fun begin!


If you are participating, don’t forget to enter in the month long giveaway!

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Guest Post

Blog Tour Part 2: Liz Maccie Talks about the Importance of Research

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 For Part 1 of the LINAMA Blog Tour Click Here.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Today I bring you Ms. Maccie’s thoughts on the importance of research when writing a novel. Many of us know research is an important part of the writing process, but sometimes we forget how crucial it is we do it. Especially when it comes to young adult fiction. Many young adult writers have not been teenagers for several years (and sometimes more than a decade) and it is important we immerse ourselves in a teenager environment. Thank you Ms. Maccie for taking the time to write this for my blog. Without further ado, Ms. Maccie:

Ms. Liz Maccie:

Since I had been out of high school for many years once I started writing “Lesson I Never Learned…” it was important for me to do some hands on research.  I had the wonderful opportunity to go back to my old high school and spend an entire day talking to kids and simply observing a day in the life of a teenager.  It’s funny because many things were how I remembered them to be, but then there were other aspects that I didn’t clearly remember.  One of my favorite parts of my day of research was walking back out to the reservoir behind the school.  The way it looked and sounded and smelled was so specific.  I even found a poem posted to a tree stump that I wound up putting in the book.  It certainly isn’t necessary, but since I was essentially writing about my old high school, it was a wonderful thing to get to go back and allow for my memory and imagination tmarry one another.
 
Besides that day, I really spent time looking back into my own past.  There are fragments of my personal experience woven throughout the entire book and in every character’s story.  So I feel there was an element of “personal research.”  I wrote down an entire list of events that had happened to me and deciphered which I most wanted to talk about.  I would say it was pretty obvious to me the issues I wanted to try and tackle right from the very beginning.  When writing a novel, you really need to open your own life up to be examined.  I do think it’s true, we write what we know, but sometimes its beneficial to research what we know.  What I mean by this is that you really have to get honest with yourself.  You have to do some personal excavation in order to tell the truth about things and that isn’t always easy.  
 
I was also lucky enough, at the time I was writing this novel, to be volunteering at a couple of schools with an organization called “The Young Storytellers.”  This is a fabulous group who helps kids find their voice and then write their very own screenplay, which eventually gets acted out by professional actors.  So even though these kids were younger, I think just being around kids was a great way to do research.  Really, when it comes down to it, we all care very much about a lot of the same things.  We all want to matter.  We all want to love and to be loved.  Kids are so candid and real.  It was great research to just be around such youthful honest energy.   

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AUTHOR BIO

Liz Maccie was born and raised in New Jersey and attended Bucknell University.  After college, she moved out to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television writing.  She has had two movies produced, “The Thirst” and “Black and Blue.”  She went on to work at The Disney Channel until she found a home at the breakout ABC Family show, “Make it or Break it.”  She is currently adapting the wildly popular YA book, “The List” for MTV as a television show.  “Lessons” is Liz’s debut novel.

If you would like to know more about Liz Maccie or follow her on social media:

LINKS

Websitehttp://lizmaccie.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizMaccieAuthor

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/Lmaccie

Purchase LINLAMA: http://diversionbooks.com/ebooks/lessons-i-never-learned-meadowbrook-academy

NA Romance, Reviews

Book Review: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

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Goodreads Summary:

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

Review:

Ummmmmm. I do not have words. At all. I am speechless. Absolutely speechless.

Okay, first of all, the first chapter is totally misleading! It had me believing Holder was bad when he is an absolutely, adorable, endearing book boyfriend. I just declared him one of my top book boyfriends. Yes, yes, I know. My list is very long at this point, but I don’t care. I don’t.

It’s been a day since I read it and I cannot find fault within it. Okay maybe the cover is misleading and not the best choice when trying to promote it (and Kayla will probably never read this even though I want her too because she is such a book cover snob. I love you too), but it’s that good.

I have this habit where I get impatient and ruin books for myself (I spoil myself), but I didn’t want to do it with this book so I went into it blindly. Hopeless looks like a NA book, but it’s not. There are no explicit sex scenes. None. Zilch. Nada.

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One of the reasons I love Hopeless so much is that we have a very real character that I can actually see myself befriending in real life.

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That’s basically Sky. We could really be best friends. I can be Five for all I care since six and seven are taken. (You won’t get this if you haven’t read the book. Yes I’m basically forcing you too). One more thing about Sky. That girl can kick some butt! She says what she thinks, she’s brave, and strong, and doesn’t put up with anyone’s bullcrap. I’m so happy I’m seeing strong female characters in books because we need more of them. Lots of them.

I also liked that we were able to see the relationship play out over a period of several months. There isn’t really any insta-love… It’s….Insta-lust!? Even Sky is like WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME! I just loved that the author made Sky like that because it just made things ten times funnier. I feel like Ms. Hoover was totally making fun of insta love. It was great.

This book hits every spot. The recipe for this book is as follows: heart wrenching feels + happy feels + comedy + fangirl moments + a strong kickass female protagonist + a hot strong male character = Hopeless.

Rating: 5/5

Other

Let’s Talk About… Most Owned Authors!

I was recently catching up on my YouTube subscriptions and I saw Katystastic’s (a YouTube Book Blogger) video talking about her Top Ten Most Owned Authors. She went into detail that the authors on her list were not just authors whom she owned the most books by, but also that they were on her auto-buy list (if you want to watch the video, click here!) So, I thought to myself, I should do that too. Why the heck not right?

So today I will be talking about my Top Ten Most Owned Authors that are also on my Auto-Buy list. Here we go!

 

1

 

If you know me really well, this is not surprising. I own 12 of her books. All of the “Vampire Academy” Series and all that is out of the “Bloodlines” Series. I also have in my possession both “Age of X Series” books, “Gameboard of the Gods” and “The Immortal Crown”. Anything this woman writes, I love. Whether it be her paranormal young adult novels or her new adult series that has Fantasy, Dystopian, and Science Fiction themes in it, I read it all. Her writing has the ability to suck me in and make me forget reality for a couple of hours.

2

Now this may come as a surprise to many because I hardly ever mention Ms. Ally Carter. Probably because I read most of her books before I started my blog December of 2012. I own all of the Gallagher Girls Series, and all three books of the Heist Society Series. Total of 9 books. She has a new series coming out soon and I have no clue what it is about, but you can bet I will buy it without reading the synopsis.

3

A lot of people think of her as the YA Contemporary Queen of the early 2000s. Her books were crazy popular with good reason. Although I don’t click with the characters in two of her books, I will buy any book she writes. Her writing is poetic and beautiful. Some of my favorite quotes come from her books. She knows how to write a coming of age story that will sit with you for years.

4

She recently became an auto-buy author for me. The first book I ever read by her was “The Disreputable History of Frankie-Laundau Banks”. That novel was eery and haunting. The emotion was raw and deep. I felt things I never had before reading this book and really brought to light the issues we have with romanticized rebels (or criminals). Two years later, I listened to her read her new book  “We Were Liars” at the LA Times Books Festival and it prompted me to buy it. “We Were Liars” left me breathless. After that I went and bought most of the books she has published. I have 6 of her books in my possession.

5

There was a time in my life where I wanted fun summer contemporaries that still gave me some substance, but I also didn’t want them to be too serious. In comes “The Daughters” Series by Joanna Philbin. She’s another author whose writing just sucks me in. I feel as if I know her characters personally and I am their friend. It’s that intimate. I own 5 of her books.

6

Isaiah & Noah. That’s all you need to know. Okay, okay, just kidding. I’m not ending it there. 🙂

I own 4 of her books because that is all she has published. If she had more books published, I would own them all by now. What I love about her stories is that her characters are real. Their issues are real. You could say she uses the same freaking formula in each book, but she writes it in a way that doesn’t feel like she’s using the same formula to tell the story, and I freaking eat them up. She writes grittier young adult contemporary and she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty when it comes to writing her books. She learned how to drive stick just so she could legitimately write the car scenes in “Crash Into You”. If that is not dedication to your work, then I don’t know what is.

7

We now have Ms. Sarah Ockler. Gosh Darn her stories make me happy. Her stories aren’t really always happy per say (“Twenty Boys Summer” broke my heart), but she writes them so well that I will sob through her books if that’s the price I have to pay to read them. I say she falls in the same category as Katie McGarry’s books with the whole characters dealing with real issues, but Ockler’s characters are a little less rough around the edges. I proudly own 3 of her books (and I need to get my hands on #Scandal as soon as its out! *grabby hands*).

8

My lovely Morgan Matson. How I love her so. I know that sounds a little weird, but I have been a faithful fan of her writing since “Amy and Rogers Epic Detour”. I waited for “Second Chance Summer” for an entire year, and now I have “Since You’ve Been Gone” in my hands. Although the premise for SYBG doesn’t sound as intriguing to me as the other two, I still wanted it and got it (Thank you Kayla you are the best!). Her writing takes me a little bit longer to read, nonetheless it entertains me and makes me happy. Even though her books are seen as sad, I don’t feel sad when I see them or read them. I get all giddy and happy. Yes, I’m weird. Deal with it. 🙂

(proud owner of all three books!)

9

She’s actually a last-minute addition because I didn’t think I owned enough books to add her to this list, but alas I do! I own 3 of her books and a novella. Jessica Park wrote “Flat Out Love” which is one of my favorite contemporaries of 2013. I loved it so much that I went on and read “Flat Out Matt” and “Left Drowning”. I devoured them. I recently purchased “Flat Out Celeste” her newest novel in the “Flat Out Love” world. (Kayla I know you’re gonna be mad, but I bought the kindle version okay! It was only 3.99. I couldn’t resist!!). I think the reason I am so amazed by her is because she is an independent author. She does not publish her books through a big publishing house, but through an independent publisher. Her books are edited so well that I almost want to pee my pants at how happy it makes. She’s an indie author who got it right. It gives me hope for future indie authors and indie books.

10

Surprised to see this? I know I’m not. Why? Because I’m one of those few people who loved “Allegiant”. I loved the Divergent Trilogy as a whole. The world she created, the way she wrote it, the trilogy sucked me in and I never wanted to leave it for the real world. Sadly, I had to, but if she publishes something in the near or far future, even if it sounds boring, I will buy it. I don’t care. I love her that much. (And honestly how can we forget Divergent? That was one of the best first books in a trilogy I have EVER read!) I own three of her books (and soon four! haha get it?! Because the new book is titled Four and it’s the fourth book!!! No… I just think it’s funny… okay… *walks away shamefully*).

11

Lastly, we have an honorary mention because if this woman had published “Isla and the Happily Ever After” sooner, she would have been able to make it on the list officially. We all love Stephanie Perkins and we all know why. I feel like she is the recent Queen of YA contemporary and no one has come close to dethrone her. At least not in my book. Her books are all sugar, sweet, and honey. They make you feel all happy and bubbly inside. BUY HER BOOKS!

 

We have finally reached the end of this really long post for which I apologize, but I did have a lot to say and yet I feel like I didn’t say enough. I’m going to go ahead and tag Kayla over at The Thousand Lives and demand she do this because I want to see what she comes up with, and I think most of you might want to know too! If anyone decides to write a post like this, please let me know and send me the link. I want to read your posts and have discussions about our most owned authors that are also on our auto-buy list.

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WWW

WWW (September 11)

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W.W.W. Wednesday’s is hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along all you have to do is answer three simple questions: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish? What do you think you’ll read next?

1. What are you reading?

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I am about 37 pages into Fangirl and so far I am loving it! I am reading this because I am a part of Tumblr’s Official Book Club which was launched September 10. I am an official correspondent, so I will be writing a official review for tumblr and discussing the book in three parts. Also, I will be posting the discussion posts on here as well.

2. What did you recently finish?

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I recently finished The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. OH MY! I cannot even begin to tell you how much I loved the story and how heart-broken I am. The hype around this book is well deserved.

3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Where She Went

I am going to try to tackle Where She Went by Gayle Forman, the sequel of If I Stay. I hope my heart can take it.

Editor Letter

Update: Blog News

Hey guys! Veronica here.

Sorry the blog has been a little slow for the past two weeks. Both Anjie and I have been really busy and have fallen out of practice with blogging, but fear not, I will try to keep the ball rolling again next week.

I do want to mention that I will be doing a review of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell for the new official Tumblr Book Club. I was one of several book blogs over at Tumblr that were chosen to be official correspondents. For the month of September, Tumblr partnered with Rainbow Rowell, and I can’t wait to see who they partner with for the month of October.

I hope you guys are having a wonderful week and keep on reading!