In this week's edition of YA Wednesday, we talk about undying love, for people, supernatural beings, characters, and, of course, books.
Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith
In Eternal, Cynthia Leitich Smith takes on a new pair of star-crossed lovers, who basically exist in the same reality as her last book, Tantalize. (You know, the parallel world where vampires and were-beings live among us.) When it starts out, Miranda is an ordinary girl who wants so badly just to be noticed. What she doesn't know is that she already has been: Zachary, her guardian angel, is watching her all the time. And it's pretty apparent from the way he talks about watching her in the first chapter that he loves her. He loves her so much, in fact, that he tries to save her life and accidentally reveals himself to her (yes, that's a serious no-no). She disappears, only to resurface as the new princess of the Dracula clan. Stripped of his wings, Zachary re-appears as a mortal, interviewing to be her assistant.
Zachary and Miranda are easy to root for, even in their darkest moments, and there's plenty of vampire gala madness and general carnage to keep it entertaining. With nods to Bram Stoker, Charles Dickens, and Shakespeare's famous young lovers, Eternal plays skillfully with questions of life and death, fall and redemption, and what it means to save and be saved.
Here's the trailer, posted on the author's blog, Cynsations, earlier today ("Will their love for each other condemn them both to hell?"):
Lists! Even more books to choose from...
YALSA released their 2009 recommended lists last week. Their full list of the Best Books for Young Adults, has a whopping 86 titles for kids aged 12-18. Here's their top ten:
It's Complicated: The American Teenager, Robin Bowman
Waiting for Normal, Leslie Conner
Mexican WhiteBoy, Matt de la Pena
Bog Child, Siobhan Dowd
The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Ten Cents a Dance, Christine Fletcher
Baby, Joseph Monninger
Nation, Terry Pratchett
Skim, Mariko and Jillian Tamaki
The Brothers Torres, Coert Voorhees
Other lists include Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, Amazing Audiobooks, Fabulous Films, Great Graphic Novels, Outstanding Books for the College Bound, and Popular Paperbacks.
By the readers, for the readers: a podcast!
The Read Carpet--a new podcast featuring familiar YA bloggers, including many YAW faves--posted their first episode this weekend. According to the intro, a new one will come out "every fortnight" (that's every two weeks... yup, I had to look it up). The segments are fun, and it's pretty weird and great to hear their voices after reading their blogs.
Featured: Flowers in the Attic, Cracked Up to Be, You Are So Undead to Me, Canterwood Crest: Take the Reins, Bones of Faerie, Jellicoe Road, and the Y: The Last Man series--plus, a list of favorite dystopian novels from Lenore at Presenting Lenore (including one of my favorite recent reads, Life As We Knew It.)
They also have a hotline (posted on their website)--so listeners can call and give their take on YA books for future shows.
Reader's Rants reviews Flygirl.
Mia Thermopolis tells the story of "my first sale" at Dear Author.
And there's more more more about The Dust of 100 Dogs, which we reviewed last week. A.S. King is running contests aplenty on her own blog, Dog Fact#9. Melissa Walker talked to King about the book (and showed off her red boots!). And The Book Muncher interviewed King and Emer Morissey, the pirate girl herself! --Heidi