Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year from YA Confidential!

From all of us here at YA Confidential, we want to wish all of you, dear readers, a very happy new year! May 2013 bring you all the successes you deserve!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Comment of the Week!

Each Thursday we ask a question and invite you to answer for a chance to win something from either The Vault or **NEW** The Book Depository!

The key? I thought you had the key.
Every Saturday we choose our favorite comment and send our winner the item of his or her choice!

This week we asked:

What was your favorite 2012 moment with the YA community?

And our winner this week is (drum roll, please!):

Copil's answer sounds pretty awesome. Wish we could say it was ours too. :P 
Hm, our favorite YA community moment of 2012 is probably. . .going to the Beachy Keen YA author panel at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in the summer. It was so neat to meet and chat with so many awesome authors (Rae Carson, Sarah Rees Brennan, Julie Kagawa, etc.) and see them interact with their fans.
Tha gang over at We Heart YA have been consistent supporters of writers and their fans and it seems only fitting their favorite moment was visiting an event like Beachy Keen! Congratulations, gang! Thanks for taking the time to answer!

Get in touch so we can open up the The Vault or send you something from The Book Depository!

Thanks to everyone who commented!

Copil didn't pay his mortgage because he believed the Mayan prophesy. And apparently "stupidity" is not a sufficient reason for not paying your bills. Trust us, he tried. You can mock him mercilessly on Twitter (@Copil).

Friday, December 28, 2012


Hello, everyone! Welcome back to another edition of Ask-a-Dude!

Remember, you can ask your own questions using the submission form on the right!

Today's question is:

Q: My boyfriend has developed a bromance with my brother. It's getting pretty serious. Should I be worried?

A: Yes. Very. 

Most people see bromances as harmless homosocial relationships among guys. A movie here, some Taco Bell there, maybe a day trip to the local Indian casino for some poker and all-you-can-eat ribs. You may even come to see your brother as a release valve for all the pressure built up by your boyfriend's desire to indulge in lame habits. Do you really want to spend the next five hours watching your boyfriend achieve international ranking in Hitman: Absolution? Of course you don't. But your brother does. Send him in like a disposable bomb-diffusion robot and retreat to a safe distance (like your local mani-pedi martini bar, for example). By the time you get back, your boyfriend's desire for primal male bonding will have been sated and now he's up for the Romantic Rossellini retrospective you've been dying to see followed by the most intense tantric cuddling you've ever experienced, leaving you an exhausted, smiling little snuggle-strumpet.

What could possible go wrong?

Oh, it starts out harmless enough. Your brother thinks your boyfriend is kinda cool and since he's coming around more often it's likely they'll start up a conversation and discover they have a ton in common.

Brother: Oh my God, you vape?!
Boyfriend: Totally! I got into e-cigs after that cool Stephen Dorff commercial.
B: Me too! You wanna go smoke some watermelon-strawberry niquid I just got?
BF: Does the pope sh!t in the woods?
B: *giggle-snort* you're hilarious, dude!
BF: You too, man. By the way, I like the way that hoodie brings out the green in your eyes.
B: You get me.

Saying your brother and your boyfriend have a lot in common is like eating a poppy-seed muffin and then testing positive for opiates. It's a false-positive. They have a lot in common because ALL guys think stupid stuff is cool, it's wired in our DNA. The very first bromance between Oog and Snor probably started with a shared interest in fart-lighting (made possible by Oot's discovery of fire which was originally intended solely for that purpose). It doesn't mean there's a real connection here. If you could program a toaster to randomly spout text from the latest issue of Maxim, your boyfriend would always have warm PopTarts on his camping trips.

The problem isn't that your boyfriend might turn gay (oh my god, you wish). The problem is that his relationship with your brother might become an analogue for your own.

Let me explain. Do you remember that scene in Back to the Future when Doc Brown tells Marty not to reveal anything about the future? He says that knowing about the future could have unintended results and cause a rift in space-time.

Do you want to be responsible for a rift in space-time? Let me answer that for you. No. You do not want to be responsible for a rift in space-time. It's space-time. When you break space-time you don't just get out the extra big tube of SuperGlue.

Here's the most likely scenario. Your relationship will be cruising along like a Tom Hanksian romcom. Things are so good, you don't have memories, you have montages, complete with Carly Rae Jepsen soundtrack and a scene of the two of you running barefoot through the surf.

You live in Nebraska.

But if you look closely, you see a shadow in the background of your montage scenes, a shape that can't be lit by the light of a thousand suns.

I think that's Christoper. Is that you, Christopher? Christopher, answer me!
Soon you notice unfamiliar scenes in your montage. You think they're forgotten moments from your own relationship. Did you really throw Jujubes into your boyfriend's mouth at the Transformers 5 midnight screening?

Wait, that wasn't you throwing Jujubes, it was. . .

Your brother!

Here's where things get weird. Your montage begins to overshoot the present, showing you scenes that haven't happened yet. But they're all from your brother's timeline. Somehow you've crossed the streams. Instead of seeing your own relationship unfold, you're watching something you don't quite understand, like bomblight from a nuclear weapon. Or a Lady Gaga dress.

Sure, there's a lot of nad punching and tequila-induced nudity. You know, stuff you'd expect to see. But now your brother is taking style cues from your boyfriend. He's wearing the same ripped jeans and faded plaid shirt. He's gap-lacing his Chuck Taylors just like your boyfriend does and using the same Axe Body Spray for Dudes. Even his meals are exact replicas of your boyfriend's: one Swanson's Mexican Style Fiesta and eight habanero chicken wings on weeknights (nine wings on weekends).

Your brother not only looks like your boyfriend, he smells like him, too.

The turning point comes when your brother goes into the same Super Cuts your boyfriend frequents and asks for your boyfriend's hair cut. LITERALLY. He walks out with your BF's hair clippings in a sandwich baggie.

Oddly, this isn't the worst of it.

You watch as your boyfriend notices something is off. His first clue is when he sees your brother in a doorway and thinks he's standing in front of a mirror.

Have I always been this handsome?
This creeps your boyfriend out and he starts to distance himself from your brother, ignoring his texts and pretending he has plans when you know for a fact he's home watching the James Bond marathon on TNT. You brother starts showing up places he knows your boyfriend is likely to be. Like Gamestop. And Costco at sample hour.

When your boyfriend sees your brother he starts yelling, telling him to stop stifling him, that having him around feels like being trapped in a cage. Your boyfriend pulls out the picture strip from their trip to the State Fair and tears it up. The pieces rain down in a confetti that turns into snow swirling in a snow globe. You pull back. Your brother's sad face is frozen in the snow globe and your old, gnarly hand is holding it.

This is YOUR montage now. No sunlight. No beach. No Carly Rae Jepsen. Just you, your Howard Hughes-style fingernails and your creepy brother snow globe.

You hear a voice. You turn. It's your boyfriend. He's young. You look back down. The snow globe is gone. You're back to the present.

Before you can figure out what just happened, your boyfriend asks if you guys are still good for Slurpees and go-carts with your brother. 


See, the way your boyfriend treats your brother becomes an analogue for how he might treat you. Forget for a moment that everything you just saw is a figment of your imagination. Come on, you just saw your brother's head in a snow globe. You're not thinking rationally.

Doesn't matter. If your boyfriend can break your brother's heart, it's hard not to imagine him breaking yours and suddenly you're tossing out a perfectly good boyfriend because his bromance caused a rift in space-time and let you see the future.

Look, I know George Clooney and Brad Pitt make it look easy. But they're rich and have Bromance Butlers to keep them from getting too close or losing themselves in one another. Most bromances don't look like that. They look like this:

May-December bromances are the most dangerous
If you insist on letting your brother and boyfriend hang out, make sure you keep a close eye on them and intervene at the first mention of mix-CDs.

And if your boyfriend asks you what to get your brother for their six-month anniversary, you're already too late.

Copil's most torrid bromance ended after a disagreement over whether the flap in men's underwear is decorative or functional. You can cast your vote on Twitter (@Copil).

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Fave YA Community Moments!

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! Whatever we have available: ARCs, signed books, awesome books... OR ***NEW!!*** the book of your choice from the Book Depository!

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 :)

Today's question:
What moment with the YA Community was your favorite of 2012?

Our Answers

Jessica: The day I was asked to join YAConfidential! I am so happy to be a part of this awesome group!

Karen: My fav YA community moments are when my readers send me emails saying one of my books inspired them somehow. Best. Feeling. Ever.

Copil: What moment with the YA Community was your favorite of 2012? I did a writing retreat with some of the YA Confidential ladies and it. WAS. AWESOME. We worked all day and then at night we watched Veronica Mars episodes. F***ing Logan!

Sara:  Retreats, retreats, retreats! The one with a few of our YAC members was amazing, and others with other writing friends. It’s so amazing to get together and bond in real life. So inspirational. And with everything else I’ve had going on IRL, these have been the few times I’ve gotten good word counts for this past half a year. I also love getting together to with local YA writers whenever I can. There’s a pretty big group in DC and they’re freaking awesome. I ALSO love watching the YA community bond online when things seem to go wrong everywhere else. Yay for the YA community! So many big hearts out there.

Matt: Oh geez, I'm so out of the loop. Give me multiple choices for this one.

Alison: I’ve had a lot of wonderful moments within the YA Community. I enjoy doing Road Trip Wednesdays at YA Highway. The Writeoncon conference in August was fabulous, as usual. The Superlative blogfest is now one of my favorite blogfests of the year. But, I most enjoy the IRL moments I have with other YA writers where we can get together and not only talk books and writing and everything else we love about YA, but just hang out and have tons of fun. There’s so much rejuvenation that comes with that. So, I have to say my favorite moment this year was experiencing my first ALA in Dallas and getting to hang out with fellow YA Confidential Operatives and meet and chat with so many writers, authors, editors, and agents, and just rediscover over and over and over my love of everything YA.

Your turn!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Comment of the Week!

Every Thursday we put our heads together and come up with a teen-related question for you all to ponder. Then on Saturday we choose our favorite comment, and the author gets to crack open the vault to peek at what we're hiding inside. (Or pick the book of your choice from BookDepository!)

Just turn it to 12/22/12 on the Mayan Calendar to open.

This week's question:

What's the BEST 2012 release you read this year?

And the comment of the week goes to:


It's so difficult to pick just one, but I think I have to go with CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein. The characters, the writing, and the STORY more than anything had me turning pages as fast as I possibly could. I finished the book while sitting in my college cafeteria, and let me tell you, it took everything in me not to cry right then and there. This book is heart-wrenching. Stunning. Magical. And the worst part? It's almost true. Stories like Verity's probably actually happened. This book wins all the awards in my book.

Thanks so much for your comment, Stephanie! Just shoot us an email and let us know if you want a book from The Vault, or if you want the book of your choice from Book Depository!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Hi, everyone!

Well, no one expected it. Everyone, including myself, thought it was just ridiculous to think that the world would end today. But it did. My bad.

The Mayans sure put on a great show, though, didn't they? I know, I know, they didn't actually bring about the end, they just had it on iCal long before anyone else. But given how much grief they took from people who held them responsible, I think it was a total class move on their part to throw an End of the World Benefit Concert and get ABC to televise it. Ryan Seacrest is everywhere, amirite?

I was lucky enough to get a ticket (did you see the prices on StubHub? OUTRAGEOUS!!) and the show had a ton of highlights. Among them was hearing Elton John do a new version of Goodbye Norma Jean re-titled Goodbye All The Things and having the cast of Glee sing a medley of their most popular covers along with ALL the original artists. Some thought it was a long seven hours but I say, hey, it's the last time you're ever gonna see Mr. Schue and Barbara Streisand on the same stage.

And how about all the reunions, huh? Talking Heads, ABBA, Black Flag, R.E.M., Guns 'n Roses and every incarnation of Van Halen. Seeing Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth hug it out toward the end made me get something in both eyes. And when Black Sabbath finally got on stage it kinda felt like an End of the World Concert is exactly what they'd been waiting for all along.

Probably the only thing that marred the show for me was when all the drunk, angry Aztecs showed up and started tearing up the place. In their defense, it's their Aztec Sun Stone we've been showing for the past year and calling it a Mayan Calendar. It's the end of the world, people. No one thought to do a little background research?

And how cool was it when Suzanne Collins came out to pick up her You Called It award? She looked so cute up there in crushed velvet while space-time ripped itself apart over her head. Better than any fireworks show, and I've been to Illuminations at Epcot, so I know what I'm talking about.
I wanted to stay until the bitter end but by the time the meek rushed the stage and started going on and on about some kind of inheritance, I was all, "give it up people!" and ran to my car in hopes of getting ahead of traffic. But, of course, traffic suuuuuuuucked and even when inter-dimensional beings poured out of the seams in the very fabric of existence and turned huge swaths of I-80 into molten lava, it STILL took me three hours to go ten miles. Ugh. Shoulda taken the toll road.

Still, it wasn't a bad apocalypse at all. Muuuuch better than when the world ended as predicted in 1918, 1941, 1988, 2000, 2001 and 2011.

As you think about all the things you never got a chance to do, be sure to write some of them down. Because as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, I guarantee some nut will read his tea leaves or re-calculate the age of the Earth or see the signs of the Illuminati and predict another apocalypse, probably next year.

It can't hurt to look at the world as a system in a constant state of regeneration.

The world has ended.

What are you doing tomorrow?

The world ended for Copil in 1990 when they cancelled Cop Rock. You can see him thumb his nose at the end times on Twitter (@Copil).

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Best of 2012 Releases

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! Whatever we have available: ARCs, signed books, awesome books... OR ***NEW!!*** the book of your choice from the Book Depository!

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 :)

Today's question:
What's the BEST 2012 release you read this year?

Our Answers

Jessica: If you know me at all, you know it's THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by my boy John Green. I know it's been almost a year since it came out back in January of 2012, but that book is a favorite of all time. Beautiful writing, achingly realistic characters, just the right amount of smart humor, and John Green. 

Sara: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor. Oh man. The prose is amazing and the plot made it impossible to put down. I would do very many questionable things in order to get my hands on a copy of book 3. Just sayin’. If you haven’t picked DOBAS up yet, DO IT NOW. Thank me later. (Seriously--you know who else is completely addicted to this series now? MY MOM. And she's a tough critic when it comes to books, so, yanno, believe me when I say it's amazing.)

Cambria: Sara said this was an easy question to answer. She totally lied. So as consolation, I'm going to pick FOUR favorite 2012 reads instead of one. (See what happens when you fib, Sara?) In no particular order: Keeper of the Lost Cities (favorite MG/Fantasy), Drowning Instinct (favorite YA contemporary), Pandemonium (favorite dystopian), and This is Not a Test (favorite YA horror/zombies!). 

Copil: Without a doubt, it was Railsea by China MiĆ©ville. It's just a great, timeless adventure story, one I can't wait to share with my boys.

Karen: Honestly, as much as I love fantasy and paranormal, my fav read of this year was a NA contemp: Losing It by Cora Carmack. It made me laugh out loud several times, I stayed up late two nights in a row to finish it, and I have the biggest book crush on Garrick.

KatyBITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore. Loved everything about it -- especially Giddon!

Matt: Sanctum, by Sarah Fine.

AlisonTHIS IS NOT A TEST (Courtney Summers)—extremely fast-paced and so amazingly intense and even though it’s about a fictional zombie apocalypse, it’s so incredibly real. For me that story is Red Dawn meets The Breakfast Club meets zombies. And while I’ve never been a huge zombie fan, I LOVE those two movies. And Courtney Summers is simply genius at keeping everything at an appropriate pace, raising stakes, mystery, and she definitely rocks teen voice.

Alexandra: Seraphina

Your turn!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Undercover Wednesday

How is 2013 right around the corner? Seriously... where did 2012 go?! 

The good thing about the new year? Some fantastic books are being released! Here are a few of the kid lit titles I'm most looking forward to reading come January:

Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2)Through the Every Night by Veronica Rossi - It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable. (January 8)

Hokey PokeyHokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli - Welcome to Hokey Pokey. A place and a time, when childhood is at its best: games to play, bikes to ride, experiences to be had. There are no adults in Hokey Pokey, just kids, and the laws governing Hokey Pokey are simple and finite. But when one of the biggest kids, Jack, has his beloved bike stolen—and by a girl, no less—his entire world, and the world of Hokey Pokey, turns to chaos. Without his bike, Jack feels like everything has started to go wrong. He feels different, not like himself, and he knows something is about to change. And even more troubling he alone hears a faint train whistle. But that's impossible: every kid knows there no trains in Hokey Pokey, only tracks.

Master storyteller Jerry Spinelli has written a dizzingly inventive fable of growing up and letting go, of leaving childhood and its imagination play behind for the more dazzling adventures of adolescence, and of learning to accept not only the sunny part of day, but the unwelcome arrival of night, as well. (January 8)

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)Just One Day by Gayle FormanWhen sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance ofTwelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day is the first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon! (January 8)

Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3)
Shades of Earth by Beth RevisAmy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceshipGodspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing. (January 15)

Nobody But UsNobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook - Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts. 

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger.... When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love...and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. (January 29)

The Madman's DaughterThe Madman's Daughter by Megan SheperdSixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood. (January 29)

So... Which January, 2013 books are you dying to read?

(Summaries from Goodreads. Book covers link to each book's Goodreads page.)
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