Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Hopefully all of you have plans with friends and family and have many, many things to be thankful for this year.

Your humble Operatives certainly do and we'd like to highlight one of our blessings right now.

Karen Hooper, take a bow!

You know her as Agent K, we know her as Queen of the Awesome. Why? Because Karen has not only put an incredible amount of heart and soul into this site, she's done all of it while under the pressure of getting ready for the launch of her new book, Tangled Tides! If you missed yesterday's post by Fem Fatale, check out her fantastic comic tribute to mermaids! Then head over to for more information about Karen's amazing debut novel!

And be sure to join us tomorrow for an extra-special Ask-a-Dude! dedicated to Karen and her merfolk as well as a chance to win a copy of the book!

In the meantime, we have stuff to give away! As you know, every Thursday, we post a question for our followers--and every Saturday, one of the commenters will be selected to choose a title from our Vault! ARCs, signed books, awesome books... Anything we have--you get to choose.


To enter, follow YA Confidential and please make sure that your email address is linked to your comment in some way! (So we can get in touch with you :)

In honor of the holiday, here's today's question:
What YA book are you most thankful for and why?

Our answers:

Alexandra: There are so many YA novels I'm grateful for because they turned me into a voracious reader and because they exposed me to what became my favorite genre: fantasy. But one novel in particular didn't inspire me just to read, but to write, and that's SABRIEL by Garth Nix. From the very first page I was in awe of the dark world Nix created. I loved that horror mingled with fantasy, that the dead didn't stay dead, and that Sabriel walked the river Styx to find risen dead and bind them. It was the first time I can remember thinking, "I want to create a dark world of my own. I want to make stories. I want to do THIS." (There wasn't really SABRIEL fanfiction online, so my first fanfiction ended up being Harry Potter, but that's a different story.) I'm still in awe of the sheer brilliance of the book, even when I re-read it as an adult (which I do often.)

Karen: Mine was I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenburg. I was around twelve or so when a friend (we'll call her Jane to protect her identity) gave me her copy and said, "I feel exactly like the girl in this book." The book was a about a sixteen-year-old girl with Schizophrenia who had tried to commit suicide, and created an elaborate fantasy world to escape from reality. The story itself was emotional, thought-provoking, and disturbing at times. But to know that my friend felt as lost and crazy as the main character really concerned me. We had lots of long talks about it, and she'd constantly reference the book and ask me what I thought Deborah would do--which was really Jane asking me what she should do. That book gave her a way to tell me how lost, alone, and misunderstood she felt, and many times I wondered if she would have been able to be so open about her feelings if she hadn't read that book and felt such a strong connection to the MC. I'd always loved books for their entertainment value, but it was at that point in my life that I also realized how much books could help people.

Cambria: This is the toughest question because, honestly, I'm grateful for every single YA book on the shelf. The more books out there, the more readers have to read. But that's sort of a cop out answer, yes? So the book I'm most grateful for is Christopher Pike's Fall Into Darkness. I was nine years old and it was the first YA book I ever read before I went on a binge of reading every Pike, R.L. Stine, and Lois Duncan book ever made. PLUS, Fall Into Darkness was made into a TV movie with Jonathan Brandis (ahhhhh!) and Tatyana Ali from Fresh Prince of Bel Air! SO CHEESY AND SO GOOD!

Copil: Lizard Music by Daniel Pinkwater. Until I read Lizard Music, I thought characters had to live in Middle Earth or on alien planets to have adventures. This book not only introduced me to contemporary YA/fantasy/sci-fi/bring-the-crazy, it came off the page and warped my world in a way that made adventure seem as close as my front door. I write for the sole purpose of keeping myself busy between Pinkwater books. 

Cristin: The YA(ish) novel I'm most thankful for is Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. It was while reading The Subtle Knife that I decided that I was done reading boring grown-up books and discovered the amazing new world of YA that had developed since I was a kid. Without that, I never would have decided to start writing novels myself. His Dark Materials also impacted me way beyond my reading habits by giving me a way to articulate my beliefs about the world which I had never been able to put into words on my own, which was a tremendous relief and opened up a lot of doors to better self-understanding for me.

Alison: There are so many YA books I’m grateful for. Books that have inspired me, books that have helped me improve my writing, books whose characters I come to know as friends. But if I have to choose one (jeez), I will go with Maximum Ride by James Patterson. I’ve always read Patterson so for me, reading this series was a no-brainer. But for some reason, after I bought and flew through the fourth book in the series, I felt compelled to read the first three again. And again. That’s when I discovered my love of YA - reading it and writing it. And I haven’t looked back. The past four years have been filled with so many amazing characters and fantastical settings and magical stories, a new thrill every time I pick up a book. I guess you could say it’s been my own maximum ride.

Your turn!


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