YA Worthy Adventures in Everyday Life

I have always been a big reader. And subsequently, always had an adventurous spirit. Whenever I read a book, I am jealous of the characters. The adventures they have, and the relationships that developed because of it. However, one can only get so far lusting away at fictional character’s expeditions. I’ve had one too many book hangover that resulted in weeks of wanderlust inspired depression. It comes to a point where one must take it into their own hands. And for me, that is today. Hopefully.

That’s where my European backpacking trip comes into play. It’d be a trip of a lifetime. Trying exotic foods, hopping onto last minute train rides across the continent, the all around foreign romance of travel. I’m in the process of trying to make my ideal adventure a reality. More than likely, I’m being entirely foolish, filling the ever cliche role of the teen going on a trip to ‘find myself.’ But it’s something that I feel like I need to do. Must be my destiny calling. Maybe I’ll meet a dragon or unicorn on the way there. What is your adventure, and how will that make it happen?

I think that is one of the key aspects to a happy life. Figure out what your adventure is, and make it a reality. For those of you who are muted, introverted spirits like myself, I highly recommend NerdFitness and LevelUpYourLife. Steve Kamb offers a wonderful resource to get you on your journey towards finding that adventure in your life. I also highly reccomebd the films Maidentrip and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. They should both send you well on your way to figure out what your adventure should be.

I would love to hear about your ideal adventures in the comments. What inspired them, and how will you attain them?

 

YA Community – How to Get Involved

I have found the YA book community to be a wonderful sanctuary. I have made many friends (authors and bloggers alike) who have stuck with me since the beginning. However, I find that there is a huge lack of interest from the non-blogging YA readers. One does not have to be a blogger/author/etc to reap the benefits of the online society. It’s not a secret club. I’m going to list a few of the techniques I used at the beginning to get involved.

  1. Twitter. I cannot stress enough how interactive the YA community is on Twitter. This is a great way to start communicating with authors. In fact, I got to know two of my favorite authors (Susan Dennard and Leigh Bardugo) when they were first starting out on twitter. And now they are both NYT Bestsellers, and I still have a contact link with them. Pretty cool! Plus, if you do want to start a blog, Twitter will get you readership. Just tag the author you’re writing about, and they may give you a retweet. famous author retweets you – new readers.
  2. Fan mail – Do not be afraid to send your favorite author fan mail. Chances are, you’ll make their day. Fewer people than you’d expect send authors fanmail, so you have a good chance of a response. I cringe to look bad at some of the fangirly emails I wrote in my early days, but I did get to have conversations with some pretty cool people.
  3. Book conventions – This one is a little harder for some people to attain, but definitely worth it. Book conventions are where a bunch of amazing authors are all in one place for the day, and you typically get to interact with them on a really personal level. Typically book conventions are sponsored by a book store or library. My favorite conventions are TeenBookCon and TweenBookCon both sponsored by the amazing Blue Willow Bookstore in Houston, TX. Just last year I got to spend an entire day with Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket) at TweenBookCon (Best day EVER).
  4. Independent Book Stores. Now, I could gush about independent bookstores (Again, Blue Willow Books is the BEST) all day but that can be an entirely different post. Just, go to your indie bookstores. It actually helps out the authors a lot more (as those are the sales that contribute to their NYT Bestselling ranks) and small businesses. Plus, they bring in authors a lot of signings, and are just generally cool people.

Overall, the YA Community is amazing, and easy to get involved in. I recommend checking it out, even if only a little, if you have any interest in reading. Which, if you’re reading this blog, you probably are. Feel free to contact me with any and all questions – I’d love be your first friend in the YA sphere.

 

Manners and Mutiny

18725742If one must flirt…flirt with danger.

Lessons in the art of espionage aboard Mademoiselle Geraldine’s floating dirigible have become tedious without Sophronia’s sweet sootie Soap nearby. She would much rather be using her skills to thwart the dastardly Picklemen, yet her concerns about their wicked intentions are ignored, and now she’s not sure whom to trust. What does the brusque werewolf dewan know? On whose side is the ever-stylish vampire Lord Akeldama? Only one thing is certain: a large-scale plot is under way, and when it comes to fruition, Sophronia must be ready to save her friends, her school, and all of London from disaster—in decidedly dramatic fashion, of course.

 

This series. This series. It started strong, and ended strong. And wasn’t a trilogy! (And incredible feat in our current YA society). A mix of Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass and Susan Dennard’s Something Strange and Deadly, this series had a little bit of something for everyone. Filled with humor and wit, the young girls of Geraldine’s school were constantly challenged to dangerous adventures, and inspired all readers. It reminded me of a steampunk Gallagher Girls (Ally Carter).

Along with being an enchanting read, this series managed to tackle many social issues of the Victorian era in it’s books. Racial divides between the social statuses(including skin color, but also including supernatural race, giving it a steampunk (but still valid) twist), aristocratic life (think of steampunk Downton Abbey almost), and sexism (interesting how these girls’ main weapon is their sexual appeal. interesting commentary on such a conservative era).

Overall, I highly recommend this series to all YA readers. I could go on for quite a while about the many amazing aspects to the series, but that would be a bit tedious and repetitive. The rating should be enough to explain itself.

I give Manners and Mutiny 4.5 Stars out of 5.

Maddie