Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Anniversary Giveaway!

Today is YA CONFIDENTIAL's ONE YEAR anniversary! A year ago today, we launched this crazy idea of ours, with no idea how it would play out.

We are thankful beyond what we can express in a blog post for all of YOU who have made this blog such a fun place to visit. You've followed us, read our posts, left wonderful comments, sent us your first pages for teen critiques, and participated in our crazy activities.

To say thank you, we're hosting a giveaway. The Operatives have chosen books previously mentioned on this blog for YOU to win. And all you have to do is give us your email address to enter. There's nothing complicated here--no extra tweeting or blogging or commenting or anything. (If you WANT to tweet or RT or blog, we will love you forever. But you don't HAVE to!) No pressure, because this giveaway is for you. We'll be ordering a copy of each book from The Book Depository--so this giveaway is international as long as TBD ships to your address! (Here is a list of all the countries TBD delivers to!)

At the end of this post, you'll find a Rafflecopter. But don't scroll down yet--you still have to know what you can win!

So, what are our prizes and why do we love them so much?

From Katy:
JELLICOE ROAD - Melina Marchetta
Katy says: Jellicoe Road is my very favorite young adult novel, and anytime I'm asked for a book recommendation, it’s the first title that springs to mind. Jellicoe's perfectly layered mystery, super-tight pacing, gorgeous writing, picturesque setting (Australia!), and flawed-but-totally-lovable characters are all-consuming. Johah Griggs? There are a lot of fictional guys I dig, but Jonah… He’s exactly my type. Rugged, brave, stubborn, loyal, sort of crass yet super sweet with protagonist Taylor, who is all kinds of awesome in her own right. *sigh* Jellicoe Road is a beautiful, beautiful book. I hope you'll love it too!

From Copil:
RAILSEA - China Mieville
Copil says: It's no surprise that this has been my favorite read this year, I can't seem to stop blabbing about it. MiƩville's worldbuilding is so evocative. It's like watching Avatar or slipping into a pair of Louboutin's, you just know the creator slaved over every little detail. I loved the setting, the characters, the story and pretty much ALL. THE. THINGS. When I finished reading Railsea, I felt a familiar sadness, similar to what I felt when I finished The Hobbit or Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The only way to recapture the wonder of reading it for the first time is to hand it off to others and see it through their eyes. With that in mind, Railsea is my giveaway (paperback or eBook, please let me know which you prefer). I hope you love it as much as I do!

From Alexandra:
DEARLY, DEPARTED - Lia Habel
Alexandra says: I love zombies. They're gross and creepy and I love them in the same way I love googling weird diseases and old medical superstitions. And I thought it was only my macabre side that would ever love zombies. Until I met Bram from Dearly, Departed. I don't know how she did it, but Lia Habel made a dead and decaying boy sexier than Damon from Vampire Diaries. (If you know me, you know how damn hot I find Damon.) On top of that, she created a really unique background and world for zombieism to exist in. I could go on and on, so to fully understand why I love this book, I'll point you in the direction of my review.

(Unlike Copil, I am still very much on the paper book ship and still do not have an ereader, and further I refuse to acknowledge their existence. If you want to win this book, you'll be getting the paperback. You can thank me in 100 years when nobody remembers what paper is and you can sell it for ton-o-moneys on ebay. (At which point I hope I'm dead.))

From Matt:
THE MARBURY LENS - Andrew Smith
Matt says: This is what I often say about The Marbury Lens: This book is not for the faint of heart. Nor those with weak intestinal fortitude. Or anyone who is pregnant, nursing, or has a low blood-brain volume. The characters are so tender, so honest, and so real, they will pierce your heart, like that adrenaline shot in Pulp Fiction, but the setting is so twisted and terrifying, it will make your head explode like, well, if it blew apart. The lens is dangerous though, once you pick it up, much like heroin, you cannot put it down.

Actually, I've never said it quite like that before, but close.

From Alison:
PERFECT - Ellen Hopkins
Alison says: I don’t think it’s a secret that I LOVE me some Ellen Hopkins. The woman writes some serious compelling, RAW, realistic, edgy YA fiction. And she does it all in free verse. Her stories are ADDICTIVE and I haven’t bought one yet that I haven’t been able to devour in under six hours. She has this incredible talent of creating characters who, despite their gritty, dismal and sometimes graphic reality, get under your skin and you just have to keep turning the page to see if things will get better—or worse. Just FYI—her stories are not warm and fuzzy; in fact, I personally bawled for an hour after reading Burned. But I leave her stories mourning the loss of someone who became one of my own. I exit out wanting to correct the injustice of the world. Or sometimes I close the book, breathless, fervently flipping back through the pages because Hopkins just delivered another one of her shocking and highly unexpected endings.

It’s no wonder teens claim that Ellen Hopkins is “the only one that gets me.”

Perfect is one of my favorites, and I think it’s because I can identify with so much of it. Sure, Ellen hits the reader with a surfeit of real teen issues: suicide, racism, stalking, anorexia, rape, sexual identity, but Perfect is more about teens feeling pressured to be “perfect.” By family, friends. Themselves. And it beautifully and frighteningly conveys the exhilaration and the consequences of striving to live up. About being who you are. Instead of who you’re expected to be.

Something I wish I could’ve done a better job of when I was sixteen.

From Jessica:
THIS LULLABY - Sarah Dessen
Jessica says: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen is the book that made me fall in love with YA. It has everything I love in a book: a complicated, flawed main character, a sweet romance with a guy I would totally fall for if he was real (and he's a hot musician to boot...Dexter is a Jess Dream Guy), a fully developed world, and an awesome cast of side characters. This book has been out for 10 years now, but it doesn't feel old at all, and it's the book I always go back to for comfort, like my favorite blanket. HATE SPINNERBAIT.

From Karen:
DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE - Laini Taylor
Karen says: One word: Akiva.
Yum.
No, but seriously, this book was a fantastic mix of magic and romance. I adored the world Laini Taylor created and I still think of this story whenever I see a hand print--or when one of my teeth ache. Although the concept of portal worlds have been done many times, the Chimera made the idea of Elsewhere feel fresh and original. Also, I wanted to meet almost every single member of the Chimera because they fascinated me. Daughter of Smoke and Bones was by far one of my favorite reads of the year. I'm excited to read the sequel, Days of Blood and Starlight.

From Sara:
GRAVE MERCY - Robin LaFevers
Sara says: Two words: Nun assassins.
I mean, really. Do I need to say more?
Ten words: Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?
(That's the tagline on the cover. You KNOW you're sold already.)
My word: Love.
That's it. There is no other word for how I felt about this book other than LOVE. Gorgeous writing with elements, at times, that reminded me of Melina Marchetta, in her Lumatere Chronicles--but at other times stood out with a sharp beauty all its own. The plot is kick-ass. The MC, Ismae, is even MORE kick-ass. I fell in love with this book on the first page and continued to be swept away until I closed it at the end.

From Cambria:
STOLEN - Lucy Christopher

Cambria says: Stolen by Lucy Christopher -- Whenever anyone asks for a book recommendation, Stolen is always my go-to answer. Just look up any one of my Thursday answers and you're sure to see a sneaky mention of Stolen in there. Why? Because I read this book years ago and it still haunts me. Now, I'll admit--not much happens in the story as far as "plot" goes. No shoot 'em up murders. No puzzling riddles. No angsty teen high school drama. But the layers of complexity in the characters are so rich, you feel like you'd recognize them on the street if they passed you. This book, in my opinion, is the greatest example of how to capture the complicated and conflicted relationship between two characters in a setting so remote, they're literally the only people there. I'm so happy I get to give this book away to someone who can experience it (and hopefully cherish it!) for the first time!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you to EVERYONE who has participated in some way in the past year! We would have nothing without you!



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