Happy Birthday to Us

by Tee

As of yesterday, our little blog turned one year old. Isn’t that sweet?  Too bad we were too busy obsessively re-reading passages about Michael Moscovitz reading, sleeping and planning my almost six year-old daughter’s under the sea themed birthday party (I know. Why can’t I just go to Chuck E. Cheese and call it a day?  Because I’m crazy, that’s why) to actually plan something for our blogeversary.  In fact, we only noticed it was coming as of Sunday.

Not much has changed in the last year, except that we’ve read a ton of amazing books, fan girled even harder over new authors we love (and the old ones too)  and we’ve made alot of friends.  What remains true is the reason we started this blog: because of our insane, passionate love of young adult books, the hope that they represent and, let’s be honest, a desire to blab about them with people who feel the same way.  So to celebrate, we’re offering up our very first post, all the way back from November 1 of last year. Enjoy and thanks so much for being a part of this awesome ride with us!

Tee & Vee

You know you wish you were eating this.

Once A YAer, Always a YAer

So often I’m sitting at my daughter’s gymnastics class with my latest YA —complete with cheeseball cover (sweet fancy Moses, why are the covers so bad? WHY?)—in hand and I have the urge to hide my book from the prying eyes of those around me.  Or I’ll be having a conversation with someone who thinks they’re all Snootypants McGrownup and I feel sort of self-conscious for getting my books from the Teen section at the library.  It’s not so much that I think YA is bad—quite the contrary.  I know it’s epic—but I hate getting The Look.  You know, the look which basically says that:

1) I’m an idiot (which may or may not be true,  but has nada to do with my choice in reading materials)

2) I’m in midlife crisis mode (which deeply offends me because really? I’m not that old am I?).

Sometimes I just don’t want to deal with the uptight ladies who either don’t read or who are gripping their latest Oprah Book Pick as if by reading that they are somehow channeling the Great One’s awesomeness.  That’s not to put down Oprah’s picks—I’ve read quite a few of them—or to denigrate adult fiction in any way.  In fact, I think there’s a plethora of great books in that category.  It seems that every day there’s a burgeoning fiction writer so gifted I’m tempted to dive into their stories again and again.  So really.  I read adult books.  I even like them sometimes.

Too often though, I find myself faced with books about women who are dissatisfied with marriage and family, men who are cheater pants or people whose misery I can’t relate to.  As I often say to my gal pals, if I wanted to listen to women complain about their husbands and kids, I’d join a Bunco group like all the other moms (sidenote: Bunco kinda rocks.  Crabby housewives, not so much).  Still, what I love about YA has less to do with what is lacking in adult lit and more to do with the merits of the genre as a whole.

YA fiction is full of life.  The authors have tapped into the magic of youth, not only in fantasy pieces like the mother of all book series, Harry Potter, but also in stories about every day life.  And since I have a pretty short attention span, I appreciate that young adult books today are generally fast-paced, emotionally intense and brimming with characters who pack a punch.  The good characters, the ones I want to read about, are the people who make mistakes, who don’t always do the right thing and who make every decision—even the ones that aren’t a big deal in the long run—feel like it’s of immense proportion.  YA shows the heights of the freedom of youth and depths of self-destructive behavior.   It captures first love and the force with which it pounds our hearts.  Perhaps even more important, it showcases the relationships that have what I believe to be the greatest impact on us in our younger years, our best friends. These stories, when truthfully told and well crafted, never fail to move me as though I’m living and breathing those same moments with the characters (and thank the Lord I’m not.  Been there. Done that. Have the embarrassing pics to prove it).

So why do I read YA? Not because other genres aren’t good enough, but purely because it’s good.  Because it’s fun.  Because it’s entertaining and swoonworthy and all that good stuff.  What better reason could there be?

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21 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to Us

  1. Super happy blogoversary, Tee and Vee. Congrats on making it to one year, and loving blogging and reading, and all the things that make you guys and this blog amazeballs! (I don’t think you’re creepy for reading YA, or in a midlife crisis, or an idiot. Those “uptight ladies” are just serious HATERS because you GET it.)

    – Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  2. I’m sooooooo glad you guys are around, because you honestly helped Diana and me think we could blog about YA too! How could I ever repay you for introducing me to the joys of Melina Marchetta? You two are awesomesuce, and we hope you’ll keep blogging for years to come!

  3. Loved the “why you read YA” piece. Fist pumps and high fives galore, ladies. So glad I discovered your blog this year, and here’s to many more years of writing! =) xoxo

  4. Happy blogoversary, y’all! i’ve really enjoyed reading your blog and can’t wait for future posts! It’s good to know that there are other “adults” out there that have that special feeling for YA too. i’m with Dixie on this one: long live YA Crush! 🙂

  5. I can’t believe this blog is only a year old. Seems to me like you guys been doing this for ages based on the awesomeness that is your posts. I thank you for some really great reviews, they’ve made me laugh and they’ve made me want to read some books that I just know will make me cry. Thank You. And please keep being awsome and spread the YA love 🙂

  6. I had a friend tell me about ‘Quarter Life Crisis/es’ once. I rather liked that… Now I’m 27, I’m wondering just how long I plan on living, though!

    I have ZERO issue being seen reading YA on public transport, or in public, or anywhere else, but I get seriously self consious hanging around the teen section in the library! Not so much the bookstore, for some reason?

    So why do I read YA? Not because other genres aren’t good enough, but purely because it’s good. Because it’s fun. Because it’s entertaining and swoonworthy and all that good stuff. What better reason could there be?

    ^^^^ THIS. Exactly.

    • We must have the same friend because I have a buddy who speaks of the quarter life crisis as well (or, at least she did when we were in our twenties. Now that we’re in our thirties it’s a distant memory). I’m totally the opposite about the Teen section at the library…but otherwise I’m tempted to hide my covers at times. I chalk this up to how hideous all the emo faces or headless bodies are on YA covers. 🙂

      • Maybe at some point it just becomes a Life Crisis, straight up? 😀

        The YA cover trend that drives me to distraction is Twilightering them. Like, making Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights look like Twilight.

      • YES! I was at Target one day and they had a Twilightish cover on Wuthering Heights and in the top corner it said, “Bella and Edward’s Favorite Book.” Gag.

      • Oh golly. I happen to know the EXACT edition you’re talking about. It has white and red peonie roses on it, and a typeface so bad it made my eyes bleed.

        I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this, but I clearly remember the conversation between Bella and Edward, and Edward’s talking about how off-putting he found Katherine and Heathcliff. See: not only is it UGLY advertising, it’s FALSE advertising.
        Horrors!
        😛

      • I thought the same thing!!!!! Bella liked it but Edward wasn’t a big fan. I think he later said that he related to Heathcliff. I don’t remember, but still, it was clearly NOT his favorite book. So lame. Also, I think Wuthering Heights is extremely disturbing and is anything but a love story. And as much a I enjoyed Twilight (even though I make fun of Bella and Jacob alot because, hello, look at them. It’s so easy) I can’t imagine my teenage self being dumb enough to buy a book just because the cover emulated Twilight. Teenagers should be offended. 🙂

      • Ha! I agree.
        I actually think it’s more likely the Twi-Mums than the Twi-Teens.

        Here’s a caption for you: ‘They spoke about it New Moon! Buy it, Twi-Hards!’

        I enjoy Twilight like I enjoy junk food. Plus, it is ENORMOUS fun to make fun of 😀

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