Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday

Well. It's the end of November which also means it's the end of the I Love Dark YA Blogfest hosted by the YAtopia crew. Today's topic is "Waiting On Wednesday" where participants are asked to blog about the dark YA books they're most looking forward to. I'm looking forward to hopping around to see what everyone else writes because I love suggestions on books that I should read. Not that I'm ever running low on books to read (my goodness, you should see the number of books I bought at the Borders going out of business sale. I should really have no need to buy another book until 2013 but hell, I couldn't even make it until the end of 2011. I am what I am.) but I still like to add to that TBR pile.

Yesterday, as I prepared for this blog, I was looking over my Amazon wish list and there are a lot of exciting titles coming out in 2012 (get 'em out now before the world ends, kids!) but these are the three dark YA titles over which I am near breathless with excitement:

Have you ever read anything by John Green? I first read his novels this year after reading so many great things about him on so many blogs that he could no longer be ignored. If you haven't read his stuff, you MUST check out Paper Towns, Looking For Alaska and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (co-authored with David Levithan. In an aside, my personal copy of Will Grayson, Will Grayson seems to have gone missing. This REALLY doesn't make me happy.) The Fault In Our Stars will be released on January 10th. Reserve your copy today!

This novel by Lauren DeStefano is the second in the Chemical Garden Trilogy. I read the first in the series, Wither, this year. I honestly didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I did. There was something in the way DeStefano created this story (especially the three sister-wives) that just grabbed me and I really want to know what happens next. Fortunately, on February 21st, I'll get my chance.

Black Heart
is the third novel in Holly Black's Curse Worker series. I read the first two offerings this year and knew instantly that I'd have to read any and all installments that followed. This woman is a master at world building and creating characters whom I just can't help but fall in love with. Black Heart will be available on April 3rd.

Well, that is going to do it for me today. Before I start my bloghop, I just want to thank our hosts for this fabulously fun blogfest:

Kelley York, Heather McCorkle, Christa Desir, and E.R. King.

Thanks for giving me a much needed NaNoWriMo distraction! Happy reading, all.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Weekend Wrap Up

Well, I survived another holiday weekend at The Store. And this time (to the marked disappointment of my fellow co-workers who hovered every time I answered the phone), I even managed to remember where I worked. I also managed to disappoint a customer (yes, just the one) with the following conversation:

Him: Do you sell shoe laces?
Me: I'm sorry, we don't. But if you go down to the other end of the mall—
Him: How long are these?
Me: Your shoelaces?
Him: Yeah.
(customer sticks out his foot so I can see his shoelaces. I have no idea how long they are.)
Me: I'm sorry but I really can't tell just by looking at them.
Him: You're useless.
(customer walks away)
Me: Thanks for coming in today.

But really the highlight for me, personally, besides the lady who gave me permission to look down her pants (for real) so I could find out what size and style jean she was wearing (for real), was the following conversation with my co-worker and actual friend, Ruthie:

I'm quitting next year.
(fantasy #1). I'm publishing my book (fantasy #2) and it's going to sell a million copies (fantasy #3) and I won't have to work here anymore.
No! No, you can't quit! You can't leave me here alone!
I'm sorry but it's going to happen. (fantasy #4)
Nope. Nope. If you publish your book, you know what I'm going to do?
Buy a copy?
Nope. I'm going to protest. I'm going to get one of those sandwich board signs and protest in front of bookstores and tell everyone not to buy your book because it's terrible and they won't enjoy it.
It's adorable how you think my book would actually be found in bookstores.
Well, where will it be found?
Fine. Then I'm going to make one of those YouTube videos and tell everyone not to buy your book because it's terrible and they won't enjoy it. And then your book won't sell any copies and you'll never be able to quit.
Wow. This is the kind of support of which every aspiring novelist dreams.
Hey, will you help me make a video?
You bet.

So that was my holiday weekend. Exhausting and painful (my face still hurts from all that fake smiling) but it's done now and that's all that matters because now I have the rest of the month off (by special request and yes, my phone is off so they can't call me) to focus on winning NaNoWriMo.

I'm close. I'm so close. I'm (checks left hand sidebar) sitting at 47,312 words. That means I have 2,688 left to write. I have vowed not to sleep again until I hit 50,000. Or until Thursday rolls around. Whichever happens first. But let's face it, I'll just fall asleep at my desk again (I've been doing that a lot this month) and wake up later with an imprint from my spiral notebook across my forehead. And no, I won't take a picture of that for you.

But sleep or no sleep, I will finish. I won't have finished back on the 25th like I had hoped, but I will finish. I'm just not very excited about it. At this time last year, I was positively giddy with the prospect of reaching the finish line. I had a real feeling of accomplishment.

But not this year.

Nope, this year I'm more along the lines of "is this thing over yet?" I just want to write the last 2688 words and then go in the other room and shred them all because this is Not. A. Good. Story.

I like the beginning. I like the ending. I just hate the middle.

But I've left it because December is for rewrites, after all. Or, in my case, December is for complete and total obliteration.

Not exactly the NaNo experience I'd been hoping for but, hey, it happens.

So congratulations to my NaNoWriMo Writing Buddies who have already finished their projects. I salute you (even if I am slightly green with jealousy).

And to my writing buddies who, like me, are thisclose to finishing, KEEP GOING!

See y'all on the other side...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

YA Saves

Today is week four of the I Love Dark YA Blogfest hosted by the Yatopia quartet. It's #YASAVES week in which participants are asked to blog about how a dark YA book made an impact in your life.

But I don't really want to.

See, it's true that YA saves. It's true that certain books can make a huge impact in a person's life (a young adult or even a older one). It's true that they can bring eye opening understanding and I want people to know this.

It's just that talking about my personal experience tends to get me a little... emotional, shall we say and me getting emotional usually leads to me being either (a) super surly as I attempt to deny the fact that I have feelings that occasionally makes salt water leak from my eyes or (b) super sad wherein I have to fight the urge to retreat to my bed, crawl beneath the covers and not come out until one of my dogs tells me they have to pee (I have very smart dogs.).

And since I have to go to work today, I can't really do either of these things.

But I will tell you the two novels. I've mentioned them in this blog before. Twice in the last month, both in connection with this particular blogfest. But I mention them a lot anyway because not only are they a master class in how to construct a story and create characters, they had a huge impact on me personally. They are:




Both novels are by the amazingly talented Laurie Halse Anderson. If you've read them then you know what they're about (and you should also maybe know that I didn't have these experiences. Someone very close to me did.). If you haven't read them, you really should. Even if you don't think you like YA.

You hear so much about dark YA ( It wasn't all too long ago that Speak came under fire) and how it's bad for kids to read stories that don't involve sunshine and candy hearts or whatever (though I suppose candy hearts should be considered dangerous...too many of them will lead to cavities after all.) and picture perfect teens who've never been led off (or pulled off) the straight and narrow.

But you know what? Sometimes, bad things happen to good people. All too often does that happen and we need to be able to understand and deal with these things and sometimes the written word can help.

Shit. I'm getting emotional. Time to wrap this up.

I feel very strongly about this. Which is why, back when I was teaching, a miracle on the order of loaves and fishes occurred: I was given the opportunity to order new books for my classroom. I immediately asked for Speak (I don't think Wintergirls had been released yet). My boss asked what it was about and so I told him. Afterward, he was a little reluctant to order the books and was even more reluctant to have me teach it to a group of students.

"Something like that," he said. "You just don't know what it'll lead to..."

"If me teaching that book leads to even one kid coming forth about something that's happened to them," I said (as I was getting a little emotional), "then it's absolutely worth it. If it leads to one kid to have a better understanding what's happened to a friend then it's absolutely worth it."

Because YA Saves.

Monday, November 21, 2011

News, Notes and NaNo

Hey there, Hi there, Ho there. You're as welcome as can be!

And I'm obviously running on very little sleep so if this post has sort of a manic feel to it, you'll know why. Stayed up last night through the wee hours of the morning to work on my NaNoWriMo novel. I had intended to spend most of the day Sunday doing the same thing but I spent it lost in a book that was already written (so much easier, mind you) and so I didn't really knuckle down to work until after I'd watched The Walking Dead and knew I was in no danger of falling asleep any time soon.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Zombie shows are terrifying and gross (Note #1). And also, I hope a walker eats Andrea because she's irritating me (Note#2).

Moving on...

Somewhere this morning, I managed to limp across the 40k line on the NaNo thing (News. Definitely News). No, really. If you look over to the sidebar on the right left (Note#3: must remember to make "L" with hands), you can see that I'm not lying! Go ahead. Look. I'll wait...I'd been doing word wars with a writer friend of mine on and off during the night. She kicked my ass all night long but I still managed a small milestone of my own. The big 4-o. (Still News.)

It's surprising, really. I mean, I didn't start on time. My first few NaNo days were spent not writing. There's really no way I should now be so close to finishing, especially when one considers how pathetic my overall writing production has been all year long. And yet.

It's a Thanksgiving miracle! (news...please inform your local media outlets)

So my goal today is to write the remaining 10,000 words because today is my last day off until after the holiday weekend. Veterans' Day Weekend was another HUGE shopping weekend and that one left me pretty wrecked afterwards. I did, however, manage to get the "most memorable moment" award (News. Of the pathetic variety) when I answered the phone at The Store like this:

"Thank you for calling... [insert rather long, awkward pause as I try to remember where exactly it is I work]...Shit, where do I work? Oh! The Store! I work at The Store! This is MJ and how I can help you?"

In addition to making everyone within earshot delirious with laughter, I may also have gotten a slap on the wrist for my word choice. I'm positive it'll become a line on next year's performance evaluation.

I really need a new job. (Note#4 because this is definitely NOT news to anyone.)

So what was I writing about before I took y'all through another completely unrelated detour through the inner workings of my mind (sorry if I scared anyone)? Right. NaNoWriMo.

The Man has been great this month given all the turmoil. He's nearing his transformation into a NaNoWriMo widower. There are just one small, tiny habit we need to stamp out:


Hey honey, just thought you should know the house is on fire.


Hey honey, they just changed the free song of the day on the new Google music service!

But other than that small transgression (which ended with me glaring at him until he said, "Oh. Did you want me to stop talking to you now?"), he's been great. Seriously, I give The Man a lot of crap (Note #7 because again, that shouldn't be news to anyone. I am a horrible person with which to live) but he's actually a pretty decent guy. But if you tell him I told you that, I'll deny it...

Anyway, I'm going to get back to work. I can't help but feel like there was something else I was going to tell you about (more news, now slipped through the cracks) but I can't remember what and those last 10,000 words are not going to write themselves. Wishing you all a happy and productive Monday.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Still Love Dark YA But...

Well, it's a Wednesday in November and so that means it's time for another installment of the I Love Dark YA Blogfest hosted by the folks over at YAtopia. Today's theme is Music and Movie Fun where participants are asked to create either a soundtrack or a potential movie cast for a favorite dark YA novel.

Right up my alley, right?


But there's a thing.

I'm having kind of a hard time of it lately and while I did set out yesterday to create a soundtrack for Laurie Halse Anderson's novel Wintergirls, I didn't quite get there. Something had to give and it turned out it was this blogfest.

I thought I'd post a few songs anyway. These are some of my current obsession songs and one or more of them likely would've found their way into my soundtrack because, like I said, I'm obsessed with them. Happy listening...

Shelter by Birdy

We Don't Eat by James Vincent McMorrow

These Words by Jed Whedon (yes, as in the brother of Joss) and the Willing

Seven Devils by Florence + The Machine

So that'll do it for me today. I'd like to apologize to the other participants who may be stopping by here today. I really do hate not coming through on commitments. As always, I'll try to do better the next time...

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Noughties Blogfest (The part with the actual post...)

Today's blogfest is hosted by Dave over at Dave Wrote This. The idea is that participants choose one thing from each year from 2000 to 2009, be it a film, a TV show, a radio show, a particular episode of a TV or radio show, a piece of theater, a book, a comic, a piece of artwork, something online or something else entirely, and then tell us what you love about it.

And since there's really nothing more that I like to blog about than television and movies and other aspects of pop culture, I decided to sign up.

And yeah, in staying true to myself, I might have a slight problem with that whole "one thing per year" part.

Consider yourselves warned...

Here's my list:


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
by J.K. Rowling: Read this on a plane from Manchester, NH to Oakland, CA. Finished it before we landed.

The West Wing's episode "Celestial Navigation": Anyone out there love this show? Well, I loved the first few seasons of it and then it kind of lost me completely but this particular episode as long remained one of my favorites. Notable for CJ's root canal and Josh's secret plan to fight inflation.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer's episode "Restless": An atypical season finale for this amazing show but a pretty kick ass outing all the same. There were thrills and chills, laughter, foredshadowing (be back before Dawn), some guy with some cheese and Giles singing at the Bronze. Try not to bleed on my couch, I just had it steam cleaned...

Gilmore Girls: This is the year this amazingly awesome show with the wildly appropriate tag line "life's short, talk fast" premiered.


Buffy The Vampire Slayer's episodes The Body and Once More With Feeling: Episodes from seasons five and six respectively, these two episodes rocked. The Body centered around the (SPOILER ALERT) death of Buffy's mom and contained no underlying score while Once More With Feeling was a freaking musical masterpiece. The video below is from "The Body" because none of them for "OMWF" was good enough.

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring


Firefly: Every single second of every single episode. C'mon. You didn't really think anything else would be listed here, did you? This is the best gorram show in the 'verse and I mourn for its loss every single day. One of these days, I am going to build a time machine out of a Delorian and go back in time and stop the Fox execs for cancelling this show. I might do other things too. Oh, the video below is a little over seven minutes long so feel free to skip it!

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: Still awesome.


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. Hmm... is my list getting a mite predictable?

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King: Betcha didn't see that coming!


Angel season five episodes "Smile Time" and "A Hole In The World": This first is the episode where Angel is turned into a puppet. It's pretty hysterical. The second is the episode where (SPOILER ALERT) Fred dies. God, that episode is heartbreaking. A prime example of how Joss makes you laugh until you cry and then makes you cry until you sob. And I love him for it.

Battlestar Galactica: This reboot of the classically cheesy sci-fi series kicked some serious ass.


Serenity: Raise your hand if you're surprised to see this movie listed here! The Big Damn Movie had to make this list. River Tam's bar fight scene is frakking awesome! I wanted to post a video of it here but the embedding was disable. You can click HERE to see it though.

Supernatural: I heart the Winchester boys and this is the year when it all began.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling: The day this book was released, I was at the bookstore before the people who actually worked there.


Veronica Mars season two episode "Donut Run": The one where Veronica takes on the sheriff and Xena Warrior Princess in order to help Duncan escape with his daughter.

Psych: This is the year the little show about a fake psychic hit the airwaves. Who knew it would last so long or do so well? I'm glad it did though because I find it hysterical.

Stranger Than Fiction: Love this movie. I'm not generally a Will Farrell fan but this movie is the definite exception (that, and Elf). It's amazing and if you haven't seen it, I think you're missing out.

The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory: My goodness, this was a gorgeous book. The end just gave me chills.


Long May She Reign by Ellen Emerson White: This was the fourth book in a series I first read (and fell in love with) waaaaay back in middle school. Just seeing this book made my year. Reading it made it even better.

How I Met Your Mother episodes "Something Borrowed" and "Something Blue": Also known as the episodes where Marshall and Lily get married. It's truly a hysterical hour of television, especially the part where Lily's high school boyfriend, Scooter, puts in an appearance and Marshall shaves his head after he gets his cool guy tips.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling: This book was released pretty much on my birthday. It was a hell of a gift, Ms. Rowling. Thanks for everything!


Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog: The best musical blog really almost ever.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: I know it's been, like, a week since I've brought up this book so I figure I'm due for another mention. BY the way, the first full trailer for the movie is now out for public consumption...


Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater: Oh, I love this book. I love the snark of the main characters. Maggie knows how to write a hell of a story and this is the novel that proved that (Scorpio Races cemented it).

The Vampire Diaries: The TV show, not the books. Yes, the first season is rather silly but DAMN, this has become an awesome show. The bonus is the Salvatore brothers are hot and don't sparkle. Laugh at me all you want. My love for this show has become eternal.

Well, I didn't even blog about music or half the books I'd written down...maybe another time. Thanks to everyone for stopping by... Oh, and I apologize for the wonky formatting happening in parts of this blog. No matter how many times I try, I just can't seem to fix it. Until next time...

The Noughties Blogfest...

Today, Dave over at Dave Wrote This is hosting The Noughties Blogfest...

where participants are invited to say what their favorite things (i.e. film, book, music, tv, youtube video, whatever) from each year of that decade were. Since anything revolving around pop culture is something I want to be a part of, I signed up.

And then I forgot about it until A Daft Scots Lass stopped by to find nothing here... Oops.

And when I say I forgot, I mean, I didn't forget forget. I have a list written out. It's just not in blog form yet. And I would be writing that right now instead of this explanation blog but I have to go to work. Again. It was a uber busy holiday weekend for The Store and today is recovery day. But as soon as I get out of work, I'll be back and posting my list.

So if you care to, please stop back by later. And if you don't care to, just know that Joss Whedon will figure prominently on this list.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Love Dark YA Blogfest, Day Two

Oh hey, before we get to the blogfest portion of this post, I want to say that today just happens to be my favorite brother's birthday. Sure, some of you out there may be saying to yourself, "but isn't he your only brother?" And yes, while that is technically accurate, the fact remains that I am wildly fond of my brother and I'd like to wish him the hap-hap happiest birthday a boy could have.


(We now return to our regularly scheduled blogging...)

The I Love Dark Ya Blogfest is sponsored by the some of the lovely ladies at YAtopia. Last week, participants blogged about some of their favorite dark YA novels.

Today happens to be Flash Fiction day and, I'll be honest with you, I completely forgot about it until this morning when I was getting ready for another action packed day at The Store (the action, in case you were curious, was me beating my head against the wall and crying "why are we listening to Christmas music?"). But I didn't want to not participate so I took my paltry fifteen minute break and scribbled something down. It's not much. It's not anywhere near the five hundred words it's supposed to be. It runs about 150 words but that's all. If I had had a longer break today, maybe I could've hit the five hundred mark. Well, maybe not.


Here is the source of our inspiration:

Here's what I wrote:

The sun is swaddled in clouds but still her light is blinding bright. I think her determined to burn away my flesh. She would tear down the girl to reveal the truth hidden beneath a visage of innocence. She would show all that I am one of the creatures of darkness the priests spent years of my childhood warning me against. How ironic that I am what I am and more ironic still that they do not know. They see only the girl on the outside but not the devil within. For certain I must be a demon gone undetected these sixteen years. How else to explain the workings of my mind? Thoughts so wicked they twist and writhe inside me like eels caught in a barrel. And the spark where my soul should be is nothing more than a pit of ash.

But the sun knows me for who I am. What I am.

I lower my hands from my eyes and gaze at her. Let her do her worse. We shall see who lasts the day.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

In Which I Review Books (October 2011)

Here's what I read last month:

Baby Proof
- Emily Giffin- What a terrible, awful book. I can’t believe I read the whole thing. There was nothing to like about the main character. There was nothing to like about the supporting characters. The ending smacked of Deus Ex Machina and I HATE THAT. The only thing I liked about the whole entire thing is that it did, in fact, end. Just— Ugh. Not a good book.

Anathema- Megg Jensen- An ebook I downloaded for free or for 99 cents from Amazon. Not very good. Entirely too much tell and not nearly enough show. Really more no show. There’s nothing behind the words. Just nothing. There’s no depth to be found in this story. I knew where it was going long before the characters knew where it was going. I knew what the MC’s big secret was before she did. A lot of reviews on Amazon talk about how great a story this is which makes me wonder if we were reading the same book. One said this was a great first draft and while I wasn’t sold on the ‘great’ part, I agree with the ‘first draft’ part.

Lady of the English- Elizabeth Chadwick- Not my favorite but not bad either. In general, I end up liking the male characters more than the female characters because I really like how Chadwick writes them. They possess the same sort of qualities and mannerisms I like in my own male characters. But I found the opposite to be true in this book because I really did like Matilda more than anyone. But then, I’ve always liked Matilda. She’s always been an historical figure of interest for me. I waited the entire novel for her escape from Oxford because I just think that’s a damn cool story.

The Next Door Boys- Jolene B. Perry- A very nice book, telling a very nice story. And I’m not just saying that because the author occasionally graces this blog with her presence. And while the truth is that I don’t usually go for such nice stories with nice characters, I liked this one. And while I want to maintain my tough guy image, I have to admit, the Thanksgiving scene with Leigh and her family got me a little teary-eyed. Maybe even more than a little but you can’t prove it… There were parts I struggled with because I’m not well versed in the Mormon faith. I know the author wrote a blog post about this and so I want to say that while there were parts I struggled with, I liked the fact that the main character didn’t explain things because why would she? I may not be well versed in the tenets of her religion but she is. There are a lot of books, I think, that try to preach certain religions but this novel uses religion as a setting (character trait?) and not a soap box (I hope that makes sense) and that's something I can get behind. I loved the MC’s line “overly perky people made me surly” because they make me surly too. Looking forward to reading more by this author. And I’m not just saying that either.

Silence- Becca Fitzpatrick- Though I generally like this angel themed series more than Lauren Kate’s Fallen series, they’re far from the best written books I’ve ever read. And, like the Fallen series, I was under the impression that it was a trilogy, right up until the end where it didn’t. End, I mean. Yeah, the book ended but not the story. Whatever. Stop lying to me, books. If you start out writing a trilogy, write a trilogy. The first two books were best sellers? Let’s write three more to make more money! Story be damned! I don’t know if that’s what happened here or if I’m just popping off because I’m awake in the middle of the night with a sleepless German shepherd battling a double infection but that’s what it feels like. But who knows. Maybe she just neared the end of the third and realized the story wasn't done being told yet. I get that. That's happened to me. But parts of this book are just really lame. Three books and there’s a definitely lack of character development going on. Actually, I think the characters might be moving backward instead. There’s also a whole Homecoming detour that doesn’t even fully play itself out that I found to be particularly irritating. But I don’t know. Maybe it’ll be taken care of in the next book. Maybe it won’t. Oh, and then there’s this line: “We walked the rest of the way on foot” which seems to be a real sticking point for me because how else would they have walked? It would be an important detail were the two characters in question circus acrobats prone to walking on their hands or something but they weren’t. It’s a dumb sentence. That’s all.

Outlaw- Angus Donald- A novel of Robin Hood. Somewhere is a review written of this book that states, “this is not your smiling, singing Robin Hood” and BOY were they right. I was at the end of the first chapter when I realized just how much of an anti- Errol Flynn (or anyone else who’s played this famous character) I was dealing with when Robin had some guy’s tongue cut out. In front of an audience. Talk about making an impression. And you should see (read?) what Robin does to a guy who REALLY pisses him off. Whoa. Still, this book told from the POV of Alan Dale, is quite good. Really, really good. I highly enjoyed it and I look forward to reading the next in the series.

The Scorpio Races- Maggie Stiefvater- There are no words to express just how goddamn beautiful this book is. It’s magical and gorgeous. I love her characters, I love the setting, I love how Stiefvater’s words weave together this tapestry of… I want to saw ‘awesomeness’ but to use that word is just not right because I think this book transcends awesomeness. It’s the kind of book that inspires me to write and I shall read it every year from now on. Maggie Stiefvater, I bow down to your brilliance.

Overbite- Meg Cabot- This is the sequel to her novel, Insatiable, that I read last month. It was an easy read, meaning the story just was what it was. Which is fine because not ever novel has to be multi layered and deep. But it helps. That said, I’d read the next in the series if there is one.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Love Dark YA Blogfest, Day One

First, a bit of Housekeeping... yesterday was the first of the month which means I was scheduled to post my monthly book review. But I didn't because sometimes, shit happens and yesterday, shit happened to the oft-mentioned (The)Heather so I was away helping her deal (or trying to, at any rate. I never think I'm very effective at these types of things). She's having a hell of a hard time right now so if anyone out there has any positive energy and/or good vibes to spare, please send some her way. Thank you... The book review, for all those who are interested, has been bumped to Thursday, work schedule permitting. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Today on My Pet Blog, there would normally be a post for Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group as it is the first Wednesday of the month. So, if you're here for that, I certainly appreciate you coming out but I'm taking a pass this month. I had a great post written— well, I had a post written but things are getting jammed so I'll just save it for next time.

So that leaves what I'm actually posting today... Today is the start of the I Love Dark YA Blogfest, brought to us by the ladies of YAtopia. This is a perfect blogfest for me because I do happen to love dark YA.

The first day, today, is all about our personal favorite dark YA novels so here are some of mine:

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins- This should be a no-brainer for anyone who has read these novels. And if you haven't read these novels, what are you waiting for?

Speak and Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson- Again, another no-brainer for anyone who has read these novels. And if you haven't read these novels, what are you waiting for?

Long Live The Queen by Ellen Emerson White- The third novel in her President's Daughter series, this story takes a very dark turn when the main character (my favorite literary character of all time) is kidnapped. Seriously awesome novel by a seriously awesome writer. If you want to know how to create great characters, read this series.

Looking for Alaska by John Green- This book is heart breaking but oh so gorgeous. If you haven't read it, you should do so immediately.

White Cat and Red Glove by Holly Black- These titles are the first two books in her Curse Workers series. I love the story but I love the characters. She writes amazing characters.

Anything by Ellen Hopkins- Holy hell, this woman writes amazing novels.

All right, that's going to do it for me today. I know I'll think of another book I wanted to mention and then spend days kicking myself for it. But that's another post for another day. Tune in on November 9th for part two of the I Love Dark YA blogfest where I attempt to write some flash fiction.