All tagged Megan McCafferty

Podcast: What the hell is "New Adult"?

We're back with another installment of the Clear Eyes, Full Shelves podcast! In this episode we ask a lot of questions about the idea of "new adult" fiction.

Is it a genre? Is it a category? Is it even a thing in the real world beyond the internet? Why are most of the New Adult novels seemingly contemporary romance with 18-24 year old? What types of books would we like to see come out of this trend?

As an added bonus, we both reflect on what we were like during that tumultuous--and hilarious--time in our lives. e'd love to hear your thoughts on what you'd like to see from this trend.

You can listen by steaming the audio in this post, by control- or right-clicking the "download" link or subscribing in iTunes. (If you're an iTuner, we very much appreciate your rating the podcast--it helps us show up in searches.)

Thanks for listening!

List-O-Rama: Celebrating 8 Difficult Female Characters

Challenging, difficult and unlikable characters are a funny thing. When they're done well, they make for some of the most memorable characters in books. 

However, they're often misunderstood as readers tend to want characters to whom they can relate, and no one wants to admit to related to someone who's well, kind of a jerk. It's even tougher for female characters, whom are often held to higher standards than their male counterparts (a subject I intend to write about eventually).

So, I thought I'd use this week's List-O-Rama post to give a shout-out to some of my favorite challenging female characters.

Every character in every book by Courtney Summers. (YA)

Namely, Sloane from This is Not a Test and Regina from Some GIrls Are. These two girls are definitely people people I would not want to hang out with--and neither would even think of letting me be their friend. But Summers is such an adept writer that she makes me care about these girls and want things to be okay for them. I wanted Sloane to want to survive the zombie apocalypse; I wanted mean girl Regina to triumph over the other mean girls. 

This is Not a Test on CEFS / Amazon / Goodreads 
Some Girls Are on Amazon ($4 paperbacks!) / Goodreads

I Love... YA

One of the titles on my profile is “YA Evangelist.” A few (ok, maybe none) of you might wonder what that means.

The thing is, couple of years ago, I found myself in a bit of a reading funk. I’d been an avid fantasy fan for years because I loved being immersed in these other worlds and cultures, and they made me consider my own world and culture and how they came to be. (Hey, I’ve always claimed to be a nerd, ok?) But I found myself burned out on their tendency to turn into Never Ending Series.

I was also over my pretentious phase that most people go through during college involving meta books by authors such as Richard Bach and James Redfield. And Very Serious Literature, the kind of books I was supposed to be thoughtfully reading as a 30 year old…bored and depressed the freakin’ hell out of me. I settled for random books that I found on my library’s staff recommendation table that spanned all genres, but there was no denying that the volume of my reading had decreased immensely. Instead of reading at least 50 books a year, I was down to 15-20 (of which I liked/loved maybe 5). Which for me was sad and unacceptable.

Around the same time, I joined twitter to see what the whole “social media” craze that I had thus far avoided was all about (I still refuse to join the facebook). I soon found myself following fellow Blazers fan Sarah, due to a hilarious tweet regarding the semantics of the “melodramatic” (see what I did there, basketball fans?) trade that sent superstar Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. Eventually, I noticed a frequent tendency of others to ask Sarah for book recommendations. I was all,

“Hey. I can’t seem to find books I like on my own. I may as well read something that a fellow Blazers fan suggests. Since Blazers fans are so well known for their rationality and savvy and all.”

So, against my better judgment upon hearing the weird title, I picked up The Hunger Games at the library. After reading, oh, a chapter or so, I went online and put the other two books in the trilogy on hold.

I Love... YA - On Clear Eyes, Full Shelves

So, I then began scouring Sarah’s timeline for other recs whenever I finished a book. Eventually, I stopped my silly covert searches in favor of proper stalking by actually tweeting her for a personalized list. On that list was Melina Marchetta’s The Piper’s Son, which I adored. A few months later came Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races, which made me—ME!—late for work. Twice.

How has half a year gone by already? Seriously, 2012… slow down!

I thought I’d use this Sunday’s List-O-Rama to round up some of my most memorable reads thus far in 2012—and I am going to bug Laura, Renegade and Sandra to do the same. (We’ll see if they cooperate, the CEFS contributors are not known for their blind acquiescence.)

Published in 2012

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

YA Novels

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler - This is definitely my favorite Sarah Ockler; I definitely connected with dynamics of growing up in a small down. {Review | Amazon | Goodreads}

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - This book has been rather divisive, but I loved it—and I really affected by the TFiOS tour stop I attended.  {Review | Amazon | Goodreads}

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller - SLN is a book I’ve been recommending left and right to people—especially those who are afraid of reading YA. It strikes a perfect note of authenticity. {Review | Amazon | Goodreads}


Tracey, our latest Book Matchmaker victim lucky participant, filled out our extremely sophisticated Book Matchmaker questionnaire in search of recommendations for some fresh reads with romance, but also with strong female characters.

You’d think this would be an easy one—but snooping on her Goodreads profile, Tracey had already read a lot of our go-to recommendations. But we came up with some good ones—or at least we hope so. 

Tracey’s Responses

YA or Adult: Surprise Me
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Multiple POV
Swoon Factor: 4
Gross Out Factor: 3
Smut Factor: 4
Fluff Factor: 4
Likes: “On the Island, loved the character development. And multi-POV. Hunger Games, Graceling, Wicked Lovely, Enders Game, Feed, Divergent! Strong women, romance—but great characters and strong writing are a must”
Dislikes: No quest books, no sagas that need maps and a glossary to keep track of everyone! Bad writing and bad character development. 

The Results

Thumped by Megan McCafferty

Bumped & Thumped by Megan McCafferty (YA)

I know. It’s shocking to think that the government would try to stick its nose in our ladyparts.

This satire by the author of the fabulous Jessica Darling series is recommended by Laura as a great read for someone looking for a something fresh in the cluttered dystopian shelves. 

verse: I love you so

not really poetry but

yet still poetic*

Novel in Verse

Laura and I both have a relatively newfound, near-obsessive love for novels in verse. And, seeing as how April is/was National Poetry Month, we thought we’d usher in May with some love for novels in verse.

This week, we’ll be celebrate all that we love about novels in verse, highlighting some of our favorites and talking about what it is that makes verse novels so very special.

We hope you enjoy Clear Eyes, Full Shelves’ celebration of novels in verse—we’re thinking that we’ll make this an annual tradition of sorts, expanding it next year to include other folks as well. 

To kickoff Novel in Verse Week we have…

Five Truths About Novels in Verse

1. It is a known fact that novels in verse > poems.

Okay, okay… so some folks will probably disagree with me, but hear me out. Poetry is pretty nifty: you have rhyming (sometimes), meter, interesting structures and language plays. With novels in verse—you get all of that, plus a whole story! Plus, novels in verse often play with many different poetic forms in a single novel. (One of my favorites, Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay, does this brilliantly.)