Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Must-FUCKING-Reads + a Giveaway

(If you're just here for the contest and don't want to hear my ramblings, scroll down until you see a giant sparkly "CONTEST." )

So, SO, people of internet land. Some of you may know that I've been on vacation, which means a whole hell lot of READING. Which is awesome, because sometimes in my life I forget to sit down with a good book. Things can get crazy.

So I read this mofo:



Bumped by Megan McCafferty. I'd picked it up a few weeks ago, mostly because I was interested in this dystopian that had a very contemporary feel.

I read it in two days. Whoa, WHOA, this thing is... well, it's a BOOK. A FABULOUS book. A supercalifragilisticexpialidocious book. It's the kind of AMAZING, BREATHTAKING, absolutely MIND-BLOWING book that makes me incapable of leaving a review, because the review would only consist of me screaming "BUY THIS BOOK. BOOK GOOD. BOOK MAKE KATIE HAPPY. BUY MANY BOOK."

And as I reached the climax, my heart thumping, sitting literally on the edge of my seat, reading into wee hours into the night, trying to sit close enough to the fire for light but careful not to CATCH FIRE OR ANYTHING, I realized something. This book reminded me of another book. Another book that I read in two days. Another book that was so MIND-BLOWING, BREATHTAKINGLY AWESOME that I still pick it up and re-read it, which ladies and gentlemen VERY RARELY EVER IN A MILLION YEARS HAPPENS.

It happened to be this book:



The DUFF by Kody Keplinger. Again, another book I am incapable of writing a review for because I am unable to take my biases out of the picture.

So what do these books have in common? Yes, they both have fabulous plots and wicked tension that keep readers turning the pages long into the night. They have FABULOUS CHARACTERS! (Oh GOD, Wesley makes me want to MELT, and Jondoe is absolutely adorable! And can we talk about how perfect and real Zen is? Or how about how Bianca totally stole my heart with her no-nonsense attitude? Or the emotional growth and change that Melody goes through? Or how sweet and naive and innocent Harmony is, and her tumble through an alien world?) They have smooth writing which makes them an easy read. Flawless transitions. Fabulous voices that are easily discernible from each other.

All around, these books ROCK. But why are they so special that I feel I need to talk about them? What about these books throws me off my feet and then slaps me with my own socks?

Simple. Kody Keplinger and Megan McCafferty have BALLS.

That's right, you heard me. These ladies talk the talk and walk the walk. They are not afraid to jump on the controversial train. Hell, these ladies are fucking BULLETPROOF. Bring it, psycho parents who think their kids are darling little angels and this kind of literature RUINS CHILDREN AND OMG YOU'RE DESTROYING SOCIETY AND HOW COULD YOU???? Nah, Keplinger and McCafferty take it head on. They talk about teen sex, virginity, teen pregnancy, condoms, the whole shebang.

GASP.

CONDOMS?!?!?!?!?

Yes, that's right. McCafferty's Bumped is a fabulous satire on modern society. In a world where teenage girls are getting pregnant and selling their babies off, the idea of teens having sex for pleasure, because they're in love, is scandalous. Condoms are illegal. The mere mention of teens having sex for something other than reproduction is a horrifying thought. Girls are crying when they find out they're not pregnant after a wild tumble at MasSEX parties.

And in Keplinger's The DUFF, we're faced with a girl who uses sex (with a boy she thinks has more in his pants than in his head) to try and escape the troubles of her home life. These are not virgins bumping uglies for the first time. Both Bianca and Wesley have had sex before. They know what they're doing, and they enjoy it. And boy, do they get at it a lot. But she paints such a real and fresh image of teen sexuality. Yes, we do have the virgin first times. But what happens to the teens who are passed that point? Do they just... stop having sex?

A lot of writers are talking about teen sexuality lately. It's a hot topic. But these ladies don't just talk about teen sexuality (and they do. Kody's blog is a great place for talking about sexuality in literature and in everyday life) they WRITE about it.

YA comes under fire every once in a while. Most recently the Wall Street Journal published the article "Darkness Too Visible" (which I think everyone and their GRANDMA has seen by now) Not exactly about teen sexuality, but along the same lines. This prompted a huge response from the community in the form of the #YASaves hastag on Twitter, which is still ongoing. When they pushed, we pushed back, and it really makes me proud to be part of the young adult community.

That's why these women rock my socks. Because they're talking about teeen sexuality. They're getting their books out there. I'm sure they face their own bit of guff, but they keep going. People are always going to oppose change. We will always have parents or other misguided people who don't understand what we're about trying to shove their ideals down our throats. But we can't back down, because as writers for teens, we speak for teens. We give a voice to a lot of people who don't have one. We tell stories that are gritty, sexy, cute, simple, complex, dark, light, whatever. When we talk about sex, we show teens that it's okay to talk about sex. We show them that it's not taboo, and if they have a problem, or a question, or a concern, they can ask about it.

A world where kids aren't ashamed of themselves and the feelings and changes they can't control is a brighter world. It's one less thing they have to deal with while they're riding the uncomfortable roller coaster of adolescence.

I would chew off my left foot to write a contemporary. I suck at it. I would chew off both my feet to be able to write something half as amazing as The DUFF or Bumped. But, sadly, I'm not there yet, and until I find a magical fairy who will trade feet for contemporary-writing abilities, I'm SOL.

But, I can't stand idly by when I find writers like this. Who are TRUE heroes who are also AMAZING STORYTELLERS. I have to help these writers. I have to spread the MOTHERFUCKING WORD, YO.

So I'm having a CONTEST.

Glitter Words
[Glitterfy.com - *Glitter Words*]


Here's the lo-down, peeps. I'm giving away a copy of BOTH Bumped and The DUFF. That's right, you guys are LUCKING OUT TODAY LET ME TELL YOU.

The contest is international, because I love you guys. It will be open until midnight (mountain time) on August 18th. If I receive over 25 entries before MONDAY, AUGUST 15TH, then I'm going to extend the contest until the 31st. (Because I'm going on holidays AGAIN and I might as well leave it open for many people to enter)

If I get over 50 entries, then I will add ANOTHER prize pack. That's right, a second person will receive a copy of Bumped and The Duff. HOW COOL IS THAT?

And if I get over 75 enteries (I know, I can dream, right?) then I will do something SUPER SPECIAL AWESOMESAUCE. I'm not going to tell you what it is, but it's going to be HUGE, like, PRIZES FOR EVERYONE huge.

Here's how you enter:

--> Comment on this blog (with your email address for contact) in the comment section of this post

--> RETWEET this contest. RETWEET THIS LIKE CRAZY. Every time you tweet this contest, I will enter you again. DO YOU HEAR THAT? YOU COULD TWEET THIS FOREVER AND GET A BAZILLION ENTRIES. (Just make sure for every tweet, you post a comment with the link.)

--> Blog about this topic. Blog about teen sexuality, and you get another entry. You can also post a link for an old blog post that you did (because, you know, you're such hipsters that you guys blogged about this BEFORE IT WAS COOL.)
----> If you mention me, this post, or this contest in your post about teen sexuality, you will get YET ANOTHER ENTRY.

--> If you follow this blog or if you follow me on twitter, I will add another entry. BECAUSE I'M THAT AWESOME.

Also, when I announce the winners I will also post up all the blog posts about teen sexuality, so we can all have a chance to read more about the topic and talk about it more. Because the more we talk about it, the more we'll know.

AND KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE. YEAH.

So go, my minions. Spread the word!

Peace,

-Katie

26 comments:

  1. I loved The DUFF. Bianca is someone I could relate with. Looking forward to Bumped.

    I won't be able to blog about sexuality in YA next week, although it would definitely lead to quite the discussion on my blog. I'm going on vacation soon, but I might just approach it come the fall. After blogging about cutting (something I did in my early twenties), and getting some amazing response (including from teens), I'm certainly open to the idea of discussing sexuality in YA lit.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the contest! I still haven't read any of these books, but I really want them!

    RT --> http://twitter.com/#!/magabygc/status/101601821839204352

    Blog follower as GABY and twitter follower as @magabygc

    magabygc at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great book choices for your contest. I just had Bumped arrive in the mail yesterday, and The Duff looks interesting, too.

    I can move Bumped up on my reading schedule (I'm reading Anna and the French Kiss right now.) and do a review for it with a mention of your contest if you like.

    I can also do a banner for your contest like I did for the one over at Word Thief if that would be helpful.

    Also, I suck at Twitter but I'll see what I can do about putting a daily tweet out for you. :)

    Anyway, best of luck with this. I love when blogs do book giveaways. They're so fun. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Gaby: Thanks so much for entering!

    @Stina: That sounds awesome! Even if you can't do it within the span of the contest, I would be very interested in seeing what you (and your followers) have to say.

    @Kathy: Anna and the French Kiss is a marvelous book! And if you'd be willing to write a review, that would be amazing. You're so helpful. A banner would be SO COOL. This is only my second contest, so I really want to reach out to as many people as possible.

    ReplyDelete
  5. These books look really great! And you definitely get me excited to try them!

    I'm now following your blog, twitter and tweet'd ur post. :) (All under MostlyMisha)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Here you are... One functioning banner for your contest. :) I've done one tweet today for you and will do my best to "gently remind" those that follow me to come and check this out. As for the Bumped review, I'm finished Anna and the French Kiss so I should be able to get moving on reading Bumped. If all goes well the review will go up in a day or two.

    ReplyDelete
  7. And here is my review for Bumped. This is an awesome book. :) Come on, guys! Trust me, you want to win a copy.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow! Thanks so much for opening this contest internationally! I have a copy of The Duff but I want that BUMPED! It takes decades before awesome YA novels arrive in my country so I'm grabbing this chance. Here's my review of The Duff: http://120books.tumblr.com/post/3738579111/march-6-i-dont-know-where-to-start-do-i-begin and I have already followed and retweeted you on Twitter! :)

    @onetwentybooks

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've received Bumped as a gift from my NY friend (me being in Italy. Well, how I envy all the cool events and books signins you have!) and I absolutely loved it. I found it so fresh and funny, but also it made me think a lot. Never read the duff, but would love to win it!

    Follower on Twitter and GFC!

    aliasgirl at libero dot it

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ahh, I've been wanting to read Bumped for so long! And The Duff sounds fantastic. I love your tone in your review :)

    I retweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/alholstrom
    And my email is alholstrom@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow, we love you too (for making this international ;)!

    I've read so many great things about both of these books, I'm dying to read them.

    I'm a new follower!

    ella_press AT live.com.ar

    xo,
    Ella

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks so much everyone for entering. As I've said, this is my second contest ever, so I'm SUPER excited for it. Every new entry means a lot to me. So keep spreading the word! The more people who enter this contest, the more awesome it'll become.

    ReplyDelete
  13. thanks so much these are great choices!

    + 1 GFC- ashley

    ashtreygonesmokeya@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. Tweeted- http://twitter.com/#!/Holt9102/status/102546519328178176

    ashtreygonesmokeya@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Blogged about Teen sexuality and mentioned the contest!

    http://bookcasesiren.blogspot.com/2011/08/is-teen-sexuality-2-exposed.html

    ashtreygonesmokeya@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Awesome post. I think it's great that there are authors out there writing about what's real and often taboo...and I love the peeps publishing them, supporting them, reading them, buying them, etc. etc. :)

    -Lauren
    lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  17. i follow you via gfc as well. :)

    lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I so love the honesty of your post. Both of these books have been on my to-read list for awhile. I just have to purchase them.
    I am now following you. Off to tweet your contest and read some of your older blog posts.
    susanoloier(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I've heard of The DUFF and I would love to read it. I'm not currently blogging or tweeting right now, but I totally get the importance of talking about teen sexuality with openness, honesty, and most importantly tolerance.

    askfreiya-at-gmail-dot-com

    ReplyDelete
  20. LOVE LOVE LOVE When I read Bumped for NetGalley before it came out, i was blown away. Wrote my review months ago. Here is the link: http://witnessingtruth.blogspot.com/2011/03/bumped-by-megan-mccafferty-book-review.html

    IN FACT, it is the most popular post on my blog!!! Cannot wait to read DUFF!!

    I am going to tweet this ASAP. Thanks for the contest opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Love Megan McCafferty's books!

    eyemjusme66@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I tweeted this giveaway! http://twitter.com/#!/OuiParis/status/104025097861468161

    ReplyDelete
  23. THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE FOR ENTERING. You guys are all awesome. I seriously wish I had the funds to just give you all a prize.

    @Sera Great review! Glad to see more Bumped love. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Laura Ann Dunks - GFC

    laura dunks at googlemail dot com

    I tweeted the giveaway here: http://twitter.com/#!/redtoffee/status/104358601514168320

    Laura
    ~X~

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm a new follower and I'm so excited to see YA literature that actually means something, in a world full of half-assed false expectations books that will remain unamed by me and hella popular to many. Fabulous idea for a contest, and I'm so glad I found your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have about both books & I'm dying to read them! Ahhh :)

    This my email:
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    V
    gordaamada@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete