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It’s been so long since I last posted that WordPress has completely reformatted itself and I no longer understand how to blog. It looks easier, but I am reminded that cliches are cliches for a reason, as looks are freaking deceiving.

Before I get to reviewing, a few changes. I like discussing books. I like recommending books. But reviewing books seems a little weird now, because I Work In Publishing, and I feel as though I can no longer pretend to have an objective voice. YOU may not know what house I work for, but I do, and that affects what I think.

So how about this. I’ll still talk about books, and if I love a book (like the one I’ve chosen to start the year with), I will absolutely tell you. But I’m not going to be super judgy or formulaic anymore. And my posts might be more literary and current events oriented, since I no longer have weekly coffee hours with my advisor during which to talk about anything and everything YA literature related. 

Oh yeah, and for those wondering if I did in fact make it through the crazed, nearly psychotic break inducing last six weeks of my last semester of college, I did.

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So about six weeks ago I decided to graduate in December instead of next May. I was pretty confident about it. It was kind of an anti-climactic moment, actually. I looked at my transcript, realized I only had 13 credits left, and decided to go for it.

I just looked out into the empty space of my room and said, “Yep, I’m graduating in three and a half months.”

And then Life kind of snickered, under its breath.

And I was all, “What? I can do it.”

And Life was all, “No, no, I agree.” But it was kind of suspicious because Life was grinning all weird and popping popcorn and changing into sweatpants like I do before I’m about to watch a movie.

And I was like, “Is there something I’m not getting?”

And Life was all, “It’s just funny, how you think you can just say that and it’ll happen. It’s cute.”

And I just stuck out my chin and was like, “No, really. I’m going to finish my coursework, do my senior colloquium, do well at my internship, babysit twice a week, fulfill my 20 hr/week RA duties, see my friends, keep my apartment clean, get a decent amount of sleep, and keep a blog running.”

And while it is going to happen, and I’ll be entering the real world in about six weeks, I’m also writing this post (first one in a month) in the middle of a horrendously messy room, running on about three hours sleep and I can barely remember what my friends look like. I’m sure Life is enjoying the show.

I will start posting here again, eventually, but for now, read these books:

Crossed by Ally Condie
The Name of the Star  by Maureen Johnson
Legend by Marie Lu
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Hold Still by Nina LaCour
Feed by M.T. Anderson
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Today marked the end of a long journey. Since June, I’ve been slowly working my way throughThe Book Thief, a wondrous story by Marcus Zusak that encompasses everything a book should be.

I realized I could never do a Monday Review for this book. How do you “review” perfection? How would I pretend to be worthy of judging a book such as this?

I have no idea how Marcus Zusak did it, but I can find no fault with it. Nothing I would change, nothing on which to comment.

It’s a story narrated by Death. It is set during World War II, in a poor German village, centered around a poor German girl, who loves and is loved dearly.

Death says, “A small but noteworthy note. I’ve seen so many young men over the years who think they’re running at other young men. They are not. They are running at me.”

Doesn’t your breathe just catch in your chest? Don’t you just want to jump in and sink to the bottom? It happens over and over and over, which is why it took me so long to read this book. Usually I eat up pages, steamrolling my way through, underlining and writing notes and laughing and crying until suddenly, I’m done.

This one I had to digest slowly. It’s the most delicious, dense flourless chocolate cake you’ve ever had. You have to pause every few bites and breathe.

But I kept going back. I kept picking it back up, wondering what was next, marveling at the mastery of character, words, and above everything else, humanity. I have never experienced a clearer depiction of humanity than this.

This, this is what teenagers should be reading in high schools. This is the book I want young adults exposed to. I have been searching and searching and searching and here it is.

There is a word that I think is overused. It is a wonderful word, but it doesn’t often apply. Here, now, I think I can use it easily:

Extraordinary.

So yesterday I blog about Wintergirls and how it should be required reading for girls everywhere, and today it’s selected by the New York State Reading Association to be on the Charlotte Award reading list, a list New York schools use to pick their required and suggested reading! It’s a huge honor for a book to be chosen, and I’m so excited that they picked such meaningful, helpful books for teens to read.

It was definitely chosen because of my amazing superpowers, right?

 

Right.