YA Superlative Blogfest: Elements of Fiction

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The YA Superlatives Blogfest is hosted by Katy UppermanTracey Neithercott, Jessica Love, and Allison Miller. It’s a chance to highlight the best, most affecting, most entertaining YA reads of 2013. Get ready to add to your TBR pile!

Most Envy-Inducing Plot (Or, the plot you wish you’d thought of yourself.) —

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The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. This is part me wishing I had come up with this plot, which is totally mind-boggling, another part my desire to write like Maggie Stiefvater, and the rest, embarrassingly, a longing to write Gansey kissing scenes. There is no reality in which any of these things are possible, and my pride (flimsy as it is) will not allow me to write Gansey fan fiction.

Most Formidable World (Or, the setting you definitely would NOT want to visit.)—

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Rural Ohio without water from Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis. First of all, it takes place in Ohio. It’s not a place I long to visit period let alone post-apocalyptically. Second, there is a water shortage, starving coyotes, and a bunch of horny men with guns. Nothing is easy in this world and nothing is safe. Third, it’s lonely and isolated.

Wanderlust-Inducing (Or, the setting you’d happily travel to.) —

burning sky

The world of Mages in The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas. Much like in Harry Potter, this world exists within but separate from our own. It’s a place where magic is real, and controlling the elements is a skill to kill for. It’s set in England, which I am programmed to love from early childhood thanks to The Secret Garden and The Chronicles of Narnia. There’s a magical book that allows you to traverse fantasy kingdoms like a virtual reality video game. There’s a hot Prince…I’m straying from my point…it’s all the things I enjoy about fantasy plus the UK and an all-boys school.

Loveliest Prose —

(A tie and a cheat.)

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The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (not published in 2013, but I read it in 2013). Cadence is a big draw for me. As is atmosphere. As is language choice. More than her other books (which also have all the things I love) The Scorpio Races sings. It yearns. You can feel the wind whipping your face, soaking your skin with soggy air. I never stumbled while reading, I was just swept away.

17

17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma. There are moments when you actually almost think you can smell fire. When the snow crunches beneath your feet. When the whole broken world she’s created just crumbles and you are left unable to pick up the pieces.

Best First Line —

I find this basically impossible to answer. So I will do it multiple times.

Fire was easy.

~ The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

A secret is a strange thing.

~ The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

He’s stopped trying to bring her back.

~ Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

The boy and girl had once dreamed of ships, long ago, before they’d ever seen the True Sea.

~ Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Most Dynamic Main Character —

Art by Cassandra Jean
Art by Cassandra Jean

Richard Gansey (The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater) You could argue there isn’t one main character in these books because it’s an ensemble cast. You can argue that, but for me there would be no Raven Boys without Gansey. The story wouldn’t — no, couldn’t — exist without him. Gansey is their leader, their driving force. If you look up dynamic in the dictionary you will find a picture of Gansey (because I pasted it there to make my point). He is the epitome of dynamic because his depths are unseen by the casual onlooker. (I have a Gansey problem. I’m seeking help.)

Most Jaw-Dropping Ending — 

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I think many of us will say Allegiant. I did the flip backwards and forwards. I did the WTF, Veronica? I did the stare into nothing from bewilderment.

Best Performance in a Supporting Role —

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Nikolai (Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo) Usually you want the girl to love the guy. With Nikolai, I don’t mind if Alina doesn’t end up with him. He’s my love interest. He stands on his own feet, is powerful but kind, a secret brainiac, and an actual prince. He’s not just a game piece in the story, but a person you end up wishing you knew.

Best Use of Theme —

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The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson. Throughout the series, Elisa is faced with a complicated question: Is she powerful because of her Godstone, or is she powerful because she’s intelligent and fearless? I think Rae Carson does a beautiful job of examining the difference between destiny and choice, between being a person of faith and a zealot, between being just and being vengeful.

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14 thoughts on “YA Superlative Blogfest: Elements of Fiction

    1. Rebekah

      I adore him. I honestly don’t care what happens between he and Alina, but do feel like she’d be an idiot not to consider him. And she’s not an idiot, sooooo…

  1. Are you seeking help for your Jon Snow thing too? Hahaha 😛 So many good things to comment on here! I requested THE BURNING SKY from the library and can’t wait for it to show up. (Your comments are just making me more excited to read it.) I read THE SCORPIO RACES this year too! I put THE DREAM THIEVES under that category, but I would have gone with the same choice as you. And every single thing you said about ALLEGIANT is 110% true. Couldn’t agree more. O_o

    1. Rebekah

      Oh, Jaime, I think my Jon Snow thing is beyond help. I’m so deep in it I can’t be fished out. 🙂

      THE BURNING SKY starts off a little wobbly, but once I got into it, I just zoomed through it. Really exciting book. Really sexy Prince, whose also tormented, which is also sexy. And Iolanthe is kind of badass in a British way. I hope you enjoy it.

      ALLEGIANT requires more than a moment of silence. 😦

  2. Margo Berendsen

    I entered Elisa for the most dynamic main character for basically the same reason you picked this book for theme! Works for both, for sure.

  3. Ha, great reactions to ALLEGIANT (I did all those things, too). 😉 Love all your first line choices, as well. I didn’t do much research with that, and I’m loving seeing what everyone else remembered or included!

    I am SO a Gansey girl. I hope he stays consistent. I’ve been seeing lots of love for him over the superlatives. 🙂

  4. I fully support your choice in THE SCORPIO RACES for Loveliest Prose. When I first read the summary of that book a few years ago I thought it sounded ridiculous (blood-thirst horses?). Then I read the novel and fell head-over-heels in love. It’s still one of my very favorites!

    1. Rebekah

      I was the same initially about THE SCORPIO RACES. I just couldn’t imagine being interested. But after reading most of her other books, I had to read it. And, yeah, I was blown away. She has this ability to turn subject matter I don’t think I’d normally find interesting into THE GREATEST THING EVER.

  5. I wish my brain could do what Maggie Stiefvater’s does because ditto on the Dream Thieves for the plot category. Not in my wildest dreams do I think I could come up with a book where the plot is not only strange but remains kind of vague but everything is so fantastic! Also, OMG Scorpio Races!!! I love that book to itty bitty pieces and if I could, I would put it in every category always, haha. Good thing this blogfest is just for books pubbed/read in 2013.

    All my Maggie Stiefvater writing fangirling aside, you’re absolutely right about how visceral parts of 17 & Gone were too. It’s a great book and am glad to see it getting some more Superlative love. 🙂

    I need to read The Burning Sky. I saw it on Tracey’s post the day before and yeah, it seems like my kind of thing. Also randomly, NIKOLAI! I never want to say too much about him because spoilers but I looooooove him!

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