Really Truly Best YA Ever Polls: ROUND TWO!!!

Greetings, Snobberians! Snobberites? Snobberlanders? Hi everyone! :-D

This is Nerija, from Postcards from La-La Land.  Sj has been super busy these past few weeks with moving and other stressful endeavors, so I offered to take over Round Two of The Best YA Ever contest.

A few administrative notes:

  • This round will go until December 19th.  As before, you can vote once per day.
  • There is a total of 30 polls this time, divided into three pages.
  • Yes, we are aware that we’ve included a book that lost in Round One.  Here is the reason:  in the few cases where two books ended in a 50/50 tie, sj and I decided to let both titles advance.  However, this resulted in an odd number of titles (59, to be exact).  So we decided to advance one more – the book that had lost by the slimmest margin. This turned out to be The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which was just 3.44% behind The Fault in Our Stars.  And so, rejoice, all those who voted for Hugo!  He’s been given a second chance!

And now, to the polls!

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ChrestomancivsGirlInterrupted

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TheTimeQuintetvsLittleWomen

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TheTrueConfessionsofCharlotteDoylevsChroniclesofNarnia (series)

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WheretheRedFernGrowsvsTheCuriousIncident

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H2G2 (series)vsUglies (series)

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PercyJacksonvsFireandThorns (series)

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TheThiefofAlwaysvsTheBookofLostThings

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TheInventionofHugoCabretvsTheLastDragonslayer (series)

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JohnnyMaxwell (series)vsThePhantomTollbooth

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TillermanCycle (series)vsTheDeathofBees

The Things I Want for My Birthday

 

  1. Time enough to catch up on my reading.

    But without his UHEA.

    But without his UHEA.

  2. For the 2 year old (3 in two weeks!) to let me have one hour where she isn’t crying about SOMETHING.

    Always.  Crying.

    Always. Crying.

  3. This Pixies box set that I have been hinting at for FOUR YEARS but no one ever pays attention to me when I ask for things.

    Four.  Years.

    Four. Years. (And I really want the Limited Edition, but I will SETTLE for this deluxe edition.)

     

  4.  Matt Smith to stick around for one more season (without Steven Moffat).

    Megiggles sent me this before I went to bed last night.  Can not stop giggling.

    Megiggles sent me this before I went to bed last night. Can not stop giggling.

     

  5. You all to enter the Zombicorn Short Fiction contest, cos there’s only one week left to get those stories in.zombiecorncontestbanner

  6. A chance to hang out with most of you.

    Cos friendship IS magic.

    Cos friendship IS magic.

5 Book-to-Film Adaptations That Make Me All Stabbity

From a discussion I had with Heather L.

From a discussion I had with Heather L.

My world is sometimes a lonely place.  I get asked all the time why I can’t just LET. THINGS. GO. especially when it has something to do with an adaptation of a book I loved.

But I can’t.  My brain won’t let me.

I’ve already made a list of film adaptations I don’t hate and actually kind of like, so I figure it’s time to lay into the films that make me the angriest.

Ready?

[adjusts rantypants]

Let’s do this.

  1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)I thought maybe I was exaggerating my feelings about this movie, having only watched it when it was in theatres, but our recent viewing for #DrunkHP decided me.  I.  Hate.  This.  Movie.  For many reasons, really, but the worst offense is the BURNING DOWN OF THE BURROW.  It served no purpose and was worthless because, oh – everything’s fine for the wedding in Deathly Hallows!  Ugh.
    ********
  2. The Golden Compass (2007)
    You guys?  This one makes me really sad AND angry.  When these books came out, I was so impressed at how dark and world-weary they were, especially for young adult fiction.  They didn’t play the “look, everything is going to be okay all the time because everything works out for everyone!” line that you see so often.  Lyra Silvertongue was a goddamn hero.   Kids died (or worse than died).  IOREK BYRNISON.  Things were grim.  And…well, the end.  Which I dare anyone to read without crying.  So, anyway, I was really excited about this movie.  I said something to my husband along the lines of “AWWWW, YESSSSSSSSSS, PANSERBJØRNE FOR THE MOTHERFUCKING WIN!”…and then we finished watching and he said “Wait, did we watch the same thing?”  Then he saw that  I was so angry I was ready to cry.  This movie was watered down to the point that it’s not even recognizable.  Afraid of alienating the fundies AND the atheists?  MAKE A MOVIE NO ONE WILL LIKE!  Hey, a kid is separated from his dæmon?  NO BIG!  It’s not like it’s the most horrifying thing anyone can conceive of.  Or…at least not if you’re in the movie.  Double Ugh.  I’m ready to cry all over again.  (Oh, and Nicole Kidman?  COME ON.  She makes EVERYTHING worse!)
    ********
  3. Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)    I’ve done so much ranting about these movies…pretty much everywhere on this blog…that I don’t know how much more I can say about them.  I could have included the first movie of The Hobbit trilogy, but I’m waiting until they’re all out to decide if they’re worse than LotR.  I’ve decided that Peter Jackson reads my blog and is now making these movies out of spite.  For some reason I have an easier time handling these travesties if I think he did it on purpose to piss me off.  Neveryoumind the timing.  I can respect a little trolling.
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  4. Romeo+Juliet (1996)  True story – this movie got me kicked out of the theatre.  My hatred could stem from my intense loathing of anything Leonardo DiCaprio, but that’s not the only thing I hate about it.  THE END!  The end where Juliet wakes up BEFORE Romeo’s dead, and they both get that “Oh, HOLY SHIT!” look on their faces.  UGH.  Like the ending wasn’t tragic enough.  Let’s play this shit up for laughs and comedic timing, yeah?
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  5. Blade Runner (1982)   I know, I know.  I KNOW, OKAY?  And the truth is, I used to love this movie.  It was one of the first sf films I ever loved, which is why it makes me so sad that watching it now basically makes me sick to my stomach.  Possibly because the movie has now become such an integral part of geek culture that the movie has replaced the book?  No one talks about Mercerism, cos it wasn’t in the movie.  Instead people want to talk about whether or not Deckard was an android (or, um…replicant, which isn’t used in the book at all).  Hint:  HE. WAS. NOT.  It’s NEVER EVEN HINTED AT.  The whole unicorn scene that was added back in for the Director’s Cut?  BARF, NO.  Also, Pris and Rachel were the same model-type – just so you know.  There was no need for Daryl Hannah to even be in the damn thing.

Dishonourable Mentions:

The Secret of NIMH (which I loved as a kid…before I read the book)

The Neverending Story (see previous note, although sometimes I can still watch this through kid-lenses)

Queen of the Damned (but I already wrote about that here)

What would you have picked?  Who wants to try to change my mind?

Six Books I Will Never Read

You all know by now that Heather and I are reading ALL THE SK this year, and I’m in the process of finishing up Danse Macabre.  I posted a status update on it earlier, and a friend of mine that had just finished reading Laurell K Hamilton’s Danse Macabre asked me what I thought of it so far.

I answered without thinking, but then realized…HEY!  This isn’t the book she thinks it is!  So I told her which book I was ACTUALLY reading and then texted Heather saying “I’ll read almost anything, but I won’t read that.”  Which got me pondering…what ARE the books I know I’ll never ever read?  There’s a lot of pretty popular stuff on here, so at the risk of alienating – um, everyone – here are the first things that popped into my head.

solemnly swear

  1. The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown
    The Lost Symbol

    For some reason, this cover looks diiiiiiirty to me.

    I know, I know – it’s totes popular to hate on Dan Brown now.  I only read his first…oh, FFS, FOUR(?!) books because my dad made me.  We’d gone over to visit him when we only had one child still and this was before all of the world was super excited about The Da Vinci Code, he handed me a stack of books as I was walking in the door and said “You HAVE TO read these.  I need someone to talk about them with.”  Being the most amazing daughter that I am, I DID read them and then pretended like I hadn’t.  Or I pretended I thought they were better than they were.  Whatever I did, I didn’t want my dad to know that I thought he had the worst taste in the world, so I tried to let him down easily…but I kind of failed because he now knows better than to even bring up this man’s name in my presence.  Score one for sj.  Except, really – I lost.  Because I read those stupid books and that’s time I will NEVER HAVE BACK.  Shame on you, Dan Brown, for making people think you have talent when all you REALLY have is a world class PR machine.

  2. The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
    The Night Circus

    This cover IS super pretty, I’ll give you that.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah – EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU has read and loved this or has plans to read this, but…I already know it’s not for me.  I don’t like circuses.  I don’t like romances.  I don’t like overly florid prose.  This has all of those.  I’ve read excerpts that brought on allergy attacks because they were so flowery.  No.  Thank.  You.

  3. The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks
    The Notebook

    This cover is just as boring as I imagine the book to be.

    A few years ago I had a job that really sucked.  My boss sucked and the job itself was pretty much the worst, but it was at a really rough time for us (I’d been let go from my previous GOOD job and pretty much had to take whatever so that we could afford rent, groceries, etc) so I was pretty much just lucky to have a job at all.  When I was hired, my boss was excited to learn that I loved to read.  I was excited to learn that SHE loved to read.  Until she started going on and on about the crap she read that I had ZERO interest in.  Nicholas Sparks was one of her favourite authors and she sent me home with…one of his books, I don’t even remember which.  Much like with my dad in the Dan Brown story above, I read it so that I could tell her I had, and politely declined her further offers of books.  I don’t give a shit that this movie spawned America’s love affair with Ryan Gosling, I really don’t.  I won’t ever read it, nor will I ever watch the movie.  ROMANCE, BLECH.

  4. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
    Gone Girl

    If I read the book, would this make sense?

    I don’t caaaaaaare that everyone read and loved this book last year, I really don’t.  I read the synopsis, I read ALL THE REVIEWS (no, seriously – I read so many reviews of this book last year I kind of want to vomit just thinking about it), I even read the first few pages…nope, not for me.  At all.  I’m glad you all found something you could bond over last year, but this is a club I won’t be joining.  Sorry.  Maybe next time (except I know there won’t be a next time).

  5. My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
    My Sister's Keeper

    This one also makes me uncomfortable.

    Gahhhh, Jodi Picoult is another author that the aforementioned terrible boss was in love with.  I read one of her books and was pissed at the blatant attempt to manipulate my emotions.  Horrible Situations + Clichés ≠ Good Storytelling.  This is another author that I know many of you enjoy and I’m really sorry if this hurts your feelings, but ZOMG I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW THIS IS SO EFFING POPULAR.  Like, at all.  Ugh.

  6. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    I actually kind of love this. I approve.

    I’ll admit it.  Having this book on here kind of makes me feel like an asshole.  Because it’s not so much anything that I have against the book or the author, it’s the personal associations I have with the book itself that make me sure I’ll never ever read it.  Have you ever had a friend that was just the bestest friend ever?  And then had that relationship fall apart in such a way that you never wanted anything to do with anything that even REMINDED you of that person ever again?  That’s what this book is for me.  This book is a painful reminder of a failed friendship, and for that reason I know I won’t ever pick it up.

So, there you have it.  Six books I’m 100% certain I will never in this life pick up.  What are the books you know you’ll never read?  What are the things you’re always saying “Oh, I’ll get around to that someday,” but that you actually know you never will?

Am I alone, here?  You’re not going to convince me to pick any of these up, but if you’d like to try you can go right ahead in the comments.

Dear Blogging Me

sj,

You’ve been letting this whole blogging thing get to you lately.  You’re stressing yourself out and comparing yourself to other bloggers, but that’s not fair.  You’re you.  You’re not them, so why are you allowing yourself to feel down when you see that someone whose content you deem inferior (there you go with your snobbery again) has twice as many followers/comments/views as you?  You really need to knock that shit off.

The people who read your blog read it for what you (you, uniquely) bring to the table.  They don’t expect you to be anyone else, because if they did, they would be reading that other blog and not yours.  Remember last year when Mandy wrote her Blogging Manifesto?  You need something like that to remind you why you’re even here.

To make things simpler for you, I’ve compiled a list of things I hope you’ll keep in mind when you’re frustrated with how you think things are going (plus, we both know you love the shit out of lists).

  • Your stats are not indicative of your worth as a blogger, or as a person.  You’ve done so much better lately, I’m proud that you no longer check them as much – but you still freak out when you think you’ve posted something fantastic and you don’t think enough people are reading.  Please stop that.  Just because something resonated with you, doesn’t mean it will push the buttons of everyone else on the planet.  
  • You will stop looking down on people who only post the various weekly memes.  Just because it isn’t for you (because you HATE them) doesn’t mean other people don’t think they have worth.  You are not everyone else, and you can just not participate (like you have been for always).  Don’t be tempted to fall into that trap, though – we both know that if you did, it would only be for the sake of page views.  You’re better than that.
  • You will stop apologizing for absences/breaks from blogging.  Everyone has shit happen to them in their real lives.  They don’t expect you to be any different.  You do not need to explain, and you really need to work on that apologizing for everything thing that you do, anyway.
  • You need to remember the joy you felt when people first started reading and commenting.  Be happy when someone new comments, but don’t be sad when people stop following/commenting.  Not everything is about you.  Maybe they have their own shit going on.  The previous point?  It doesn’t just apply to you.
  • Stop making everything the end of the world.  Seriously.  It’s annoying and you know you hate when you do that.
  • You will STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO EVERYONE ELSE.  Dude.  Even I’m starting to get pissed off at you about this one.  Knock it off.  You’re coming across like a whiny asshole.  Stop it.
  • You don’t have to review everything you read.  You’re doing better about this one this year, but I know you, and I know you’re still looking at all the things you’ve read so far thinking “I really should try to write about that at some point.”  No.  You don’t.  Stop it.  If you force it, it’s worse than just not writing at all.
  • If you find yourself worrying/agonizing about your blog, take a step back.  This is something you need to get better about.  You do this a lot, and you let it get you down.  This is not healthy.  Writing this blog is not your job.  You started this blog for fun (and to get out of NaNoWriMo, but that’s another thing entirely), and when it stops being fun you’re missing the point.   That’s not to say you can’t still write about things that make you angry, just…stop sweating it, okay?  For realsies.

You’re worth reading, but you are worrying too much.  Keep this around to re-read when you’re getting sad/frustrated/annoyed/furious.  No, don’t argue with me, just do it.  But not like Nike, cos you don’t like their shoes anyway.

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