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Becky Yeager
06 December 2011 @ 12:01 am
December 6th is a very good day (and it technically hasn't arrived here yet, but it's December 6th elsewhere in the world).

Larkstorm by Dawn Rae Miller is out!

It's been over a year since I first read this story in one of its earlier incarnations. And my first response was to babble about how I loved it, and how I would have read it straight through if I hadn't started right before bedtime. (Warning: Do not start right before bed. You'll have to tragically decide between rest and reading. It was a battle of willpower and sheer fatigue.) It's one of those books. Where you read and read and WHEN IS THE NEXT BOOK OUT?!

Larkstorm is awesome. YOU HEARD IT HERE.

And yeah, my fanart is clearly not as awesome as the drawing Dawn's son did. BUT IT'S THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS.

Did I mention that I'm incredibly excited at the prospect of finally having people to geek out about this book with? Seriously.
Becky Yeager
10 October 2011 @ 12:42 am

I decided that I should spend a portion of my holiday weekend creating a diagram of my history since graduating college. COLORS! LITTLE ILLUSTRATIONS! And lots of arrows!

It's always quite a bit to sum up whenever a relative or former classmate asks. There is this reasonable expectation the one should be able to provide a simple response. Y'know, like a particular job or whatnot. Or maybe that is less expected these days. \o/ Generation Limbo.

Except, of course, sitting around doing absolutely nothing would slowly drive me mad. I guess I could help Occupy places. They do have some pretty epic signs. Instead, I've gone the route of interning, which offers me countless perks. Such as EXPERIENCE! (I have learned so much in the past year...and almost a half.) AWESOME PEOPLE! (Seriously. Shiny writers, snazzy agents, lovely editors. Basically, lots of charming, funny individuals who love books just as much as me. I adore that I can admit to reading children's and YA books without that awkward, judgmental pause.) And while I wait with bated breath for the day I evolve from an intern into a real human being, I am fairly content to continue learning and reading.

Any way, without further ado, the diagram!

Diagram!Collapse )
Becky Yeager
27 June 2011 @ 08:56 pm
Laura over at her blog, Ink: In All Forms, dictated that folks should write about their summer reading goals. One cannot deny a lady who likes Kenshin. (Man, I need to listen to the opening theme now.)

There are those books you always expect to have to read for school. You recognize their covers, clutched between the fingers of the bigger, smarter kids. Adults say the authors' names and titles with a certain amount of reverence. They're award-winning, changed-the-literary-world tales.

Safely ensconced within the logic that a teacher would eventually assign them; I purposely avoided these books outside of school. Because...re-reading a book for a class somehow takes away from the experience? Or...maybe that's just me. I graduated from college in May 2010 and found myself realizing that there were a number of books that fell into that category that I probably won't ever be reading in class. Oops.

Last summer, I read The Giver by Louis Lowry and A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. (Why yes, I remember being envious of the kids who had read The Giver. I saw that cover and wanted it. But I firmly forbade it, reasoning that my time would come. IT NEVER CAME.) I suppose dystopians never get old. Not really. (Just to be clear, I read many other books in addition to these two. What else do you do in the summer but raid the library for heaps of books? These two are merely the relevant ones.)

This summer, I have decided to tackle several other literary classics that I really should've read but allowed myself to wait for the day it was assigned.

Fahrenheit 451 by Rad Bradbury - I have wanted to read this for ages! There were always posters during banned book week. Clearly, this is a book destined to be read in an English class. And yet...it never happened.

1984 by George Orwell - We read Animal Farm in...sixth grade, I believe. It made sense that we'd eventually get to this book.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - Okay, first, I was thrown off by the fact that I had read a book with a similar title in 8th grade and thought that it was the same thing. Ever since I realized my mistake, I have been dodging spoilers.

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri - Yeah, I have no idea how this happened either. During the special students welcome day at college, there was a course/lecture for parents about this. If even the parents were getting lectured about this, it was clearly only a matter of time before a professor bestowed it upon me.

Paradise Lost by John Milton - I promise you that my education really was well-rounded. We read many things. Just not absolutely everything. Some slipped through the cracks.

So, those are my grown-up goals when it comes to reading. Of course, there are a bajillion other books I have every intention of reading along the way. My shelves are crammed with must-reads. Hrm, I think my classics could do with more female writers though. I should look into that. Definitely.

And maybe, I should finally read some Tolkien.

I have never read any Tolkien. I know, seriously. Excuses time. I was bullied by the kids who read Tolkien. That's right. I was in the lowest reading group for the first three years of school. We were exiled to the basement classroom. There were no windows. Colorful signs about vowels adorned the walls. We read lame print-outs about a fat cat sitting on a mat. And the kids who were loving on Tolkien taunted me. It was all very traumatic.

Sometime between third and fourth grade, something finally clicked in Becky's head. It was partially related to Edward Eager and lots of time spent with a noble tutor named Maria.* I could read, and I read and read and read. I won a reading award in fourth grade.

A teacher even asked me if I could give a girl reading recommendations. That girl had made fun of me in front of the entire class in first grade. It was a beautiful victory. I am so allowed to still feel a thrill of delight even now. And those kids who had picked on me? Told me to read Tolkien. And I said no. I refused. I took all that hurt and turned it against a perfectly innocent author. And I decided that I would read every other book in the library besides The Hobbit and that Lord of the Rings series.

* Edward Eager also made me absolutely terrified of movie theaters. Every time I went to the movies, I was convinced that the entire audience (myself included) would die from a gas leak.
P.S. I decided to read his works because of his name. I was all, HIS LAST NAME IS LIKE MINE BUT WITHOUT THE Y!
P.P.S. He also taught me to be very careful when wishing.
Becky Yeager
15 June 2011 @ 11:23 pm

(This post is essentially spoiler-free! It was difficult to achieve, but I managed! No major plots were harmed.
Except maybe Seb. Drat. Okay, so a majority is stuff you'd learn during the first two chapters of The Demon's Lexicon.)

At its heart, this is a series about siblings. We don’t get to pick our parents. We have even less of a choice when it comes to the siblings. If you’re the older, you can probably recollect the arrival of others. Some little nobody appears, typically loud and demanding, and your world irrevocably shifts. You grow up together. Normally this doesn’t constitute moving from home to home as you flee magicians and demons, but sometimes it does. You fight and squabble, share and steal. Your brother comes out to you, and you accept him no matter what. You turn to each other when your parents aren’t getting along, or Mum’s crazy, or dad died saving you from those aforementioned magicians.

 Each of the three narrators has a brother or sister (or both). Nick has his older brother, Alan. Mae has her little brother, Jamie. Sin has a younger brother and sister, Toby and Lydie. And each of these characters will do anything for their brothers or sisters. It is their driving motivations. Their entire lives are centered on these people.

  • Nick attends school and endures his crazy mother. He makes it clear from the onset that the one living person he needs or cares about in the least is his bespeckled, kind, manipulator of a brother.

  • Alan, in return, quite obviously adores his brooding, little brother. The lengths he goes for the dark-eyed boy who frightens everyone else are enormous.

  • Mae drags her brother to a house with a dead body and two armed boys on the suspicion he might be in danger. Impossible, weird, magical danger. She dances with demons and fights and fights all of his sake.

  • Jamie nobly allows himself to be dragged along by his pink-haired sister, even when knives and the like make him extremely uncomfortable. And he is a wicked dance partner.

  • And Sin will, well, you need to read The Demon’s Surrender to learn about what she is willing do for Lydie and Toby.

 What often drives the magicians to turn their backs on humanity is frequently the lack of acceptance and love they find within their childhood communities. Magician Circles provide not just power and training, but a substitute family. Gerald’s parents blatantly detest him. (And if you haven’t read the short story about young Gerald titled “Sorcerer and Stone,” you should fix that ASAP. Have a nifty link: http://sarahreesbrennan.com/extras/)

 Mum stopped and he almost walked into her, he was walking that close. She looked down at him and his daydream faltered and faded in the cold light of her eyes.
“That was before we knew you’d inherited the curse. After that, I wished you had never been born.”
Gerald lifted his chin. “Of course,” he said. “That’s understood.”
She turned around with a click of heels and a swing of plastic bags. Gerald took his usual place walking several steps behind her.
She’d never held his hand in her life.

His twin sister, Ashling, makes life miserable for him at school.

“Ashling couldn’t tell people what’s really wrong. She murmured things about defects in the family, dark whispers in shadowed corners, and the other kids looked at Gerald as at any moment if he might explode into boils, produce a withered and terrifying extra limb, or at the very least have some sort of psychotic episode in the middle of the playground.”

Instead of being his advocate and offering him protection, Ashling sides with their parents against him. (You can’t entirely blame her for it. But one can still resent her for her role.) Gerald has no allies among his family members. He doesn’t have friends. All he has is magic, which means normal people all seem to fear and hate him. And when you have no one and someone comes along who cares and offers you everything you ever wanted, would you really turn it down?

Seb lacks a family. I suppose no family is better than a cruel one (I mean seriously wtfabusive, such as Gerald’s bunch), but not by much. He’s gone through multiple sets of foster parents. It hasn’t worked out. That sort of rejection, no matter the reasoning, has to get to a person.

“Yeah,” he said shakily. “Yeah. I was just talking to my foster parents.”
Mae had known vaguely there was something going on with Seb’s home life, that he moved around a lot, but she hadn’t known there were foster parents.
“They all right to you?”
“Better than all right. The last few sets, not so much, but this lot have the works. Great people. Good food. The right address even: They live on Lennox Street.”

Ostracized by the community that readily acknowledges the existence of magic (coughTheGoblinMarketcough), where else is a magician supposed to go? In a world where family (blood-related or not) defines you and essentially provides you with a purpose, going without leaves one in a predicament.

Friends are pretty important too. They make you talk about your feelings and junk.

Have you see the dedication in The Demon's Surrender? It'll kind of make your heart grow a size or two.


Psst. You can still enter to win a spiffy gun charm! That giveaway is over here, and it's open until SRB Week concludes!

Becky Yeager
13 June 2011 @ 09:25 pm

It's third-ish week of June! Which means it's actually Sarah Rees Brennan Week. This is an epic event being hosted by YA Bibliophile and The Reading Housewives of Indiana.

If you had asked me what book I was the most excited about this year, I'd say definitely The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan. It's the way a good series works its way into your heart. The anticipation builds at the prospect of seeing the familiar characters again accompanied along with a twist in your gut as you fear what might await them in the future, especially as you realize that this is THE END. Their lives are far from easy, and there wouldn't be much of a story if they spent the entire book hanging out (y'know, dancing, having sword lessons, and learning dead languages). To be honest, I'd totally read a book about these guys where they did absolutely nothing but chatted while flopped on a giant couch. Heck, they could simply watch a movie and their reactions and commentary would be enough to delight me.

Let us consider the history of Sarah's brilliant trilogy in the terms of the passage of time according to cats.

Once upon a time, in June 2009, three wonderful things came into my life. Two were tiny kittens. And one was a book titled The Demon's Lexicon, a tale of siblings, magic, and demons. All of them quickly enamored me with their charm and destructive tendencies. As you can see, small felines are entranced by Nick and his woobie stare.

"This was just how Alan had looked at the sick kitten he'd taken home so it could grow up big and strong able to bite Nick."

2011: They are all grown up. Mature, pretty darn sexy, and deadly. They also have a habit of completely distracting me with their wiles. Where did the time go?

To properly celebrate of Sarah Rees Brennan Week, I'm going to give away shiny things. The other things are still mysteries at this point.

On the first day of Sarah Rees Brennan Week, honoring a certain Alan Ryves, I shall bestow upon seven individuals lovely gun charms. Firearms may not always work on demons, and these ones will definitely not help protect you from possession, but you can look upon your tiny, metal gun and think fondly of the boy with glasses who lies and loves and reads. Simply comment with what you're most excited about when it comes to the final installment of the series (without spoiling, I will stare at you tragically if dare spoil anything) for the chance to win your own itty, bitty weapon. Nick would scoff you. But he might be grudgingly pleased that you're admiring his brother as long as you avoid barging in on his territory and keep the fawning to a minimum.

Becky Yeager
31 May 2011 @ 05:04 pm
This was my second BEA, which meant that I wisely knew to come prepared. I had a spreadsheet to keep my schedule organized, a giant rolling suitcase to lug my prizes, and plenty of packed snacks so I could I avoid the pricey selection at Javits.

The best part about attending this year was definitely the fact that I knew people. I recognized faces, and they recognized me! And we could chat about books while being surrounded by crowds that adored them. I ran into a number of individuals from past, former-as-I-write-this-post, and current (future at the time) internships. And on the last day, I forced baked goods on many of them. Clearly, sugar is the answer to sore feet. Additionally, I bonded with strangers as we braved never-ending lines. Especially the Chuck Palahniuk line. That was definitely the longest line I waited in. Even longer than the one for Crossed.

Things seemed more settled this year. Yes, the lines were still insane, but they came across as...calmer. People were generally polite and friendly. I endured being the second to last person to not get a book twice, but to be honest, I really didn't mind. I got to chat with the authors and take their pictures. Not managing to get an ARC or a galley is far from the end of the world. After all, the proper book will be out sooner or later!

All right, yes. It probably helps that I returned from the battle with many of the books I really wanted. It's about prioritizing! I couldn't wait to see what happens to Bryn, Chase, Devon, and Lake from Raised by Wolves. I HAD to get the sequel. Obviously. And then, there was Darker Still, which I had gotten to read the first seventy pages at Sourcebooks when they were debating titles. Have you any idea what type of torture that is? I WILL AT LAST KNOW HOW IT ENDS. I dashed and calculated and timed in order to earn my prizes.

These are picture books, comics, and gifts! Some fit into multiple categories. Except for that Doctor Who book. None may have that but myself! Proof that staring adoringly at it and geeking out with the nice man from Diamond who was manning the Dark Horse booth totally pays off.

Tom inspected the goods. Later on, he and Indi claimed the tote bags as ideal nap locations.

Can you tell that I really, really, really like YA?

(Not pictured: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, which I accidentally left on the living room table when I started reading it.)

Goals for BEA 2012: 
1) Attend.
2) Make it to more panels
3) Have a name tag that has my own name on it. Jeff is a fine name and all. But I am not Jeff. And there were several awkward turtle moments whenever someone glanced at tag and had a WAITWHAT moment.
4) Locate one of the following in order to enable myself to be in multiple places at the same time: a) a DeLorean (Flux Capacitor is not optional), b) a TARDIS, or c) a Time-Turner.
Becky Yeager
30 May 2011 @ 09:34 pm

"Apprentices Interns are people who are training for a trade or skill, which means they are usually quite young and bad at what they do. Most of the time they are like nurses during an operation, being there only to hand the master his tools. They seem to have to do this for a good many years before they get to do anything more interesting, and it is therefore not surprising that some of them get restless and either try to do the interesting stuff themselves or simply run away and join the Tour. The Rules sate that if an Apprentice Intern tries to do the interesting stuff on her/his own it will blow up in her/his face. If she/he runs away, she/he will learn all sorts of things very quickly and also probably prove to be the MISSING HEIR to a Kingdom.  Surprisingly, very few Apprentices Interns do run away.  If you have one on your Tour, you are in for an eventful time.” - The Tough Guide to Fantasy Land by Diana Wynne Jones

On a related note, I'd like to point out the Books of Wonder has copies of this book. I mean, they imported UK copies. I immediately purchased one. They also have two shelves dedicated to Diana Wynne Jones. This is why they rock.

Current Mood: amusedamused
Becky Yeager
15 December 2010 @ 06:19 pm

I have a remarkable memory for books. It’s both a blessing and a curse. (In high school, I totally aced those quotations quizzes. Guess who never got to join the epic F Wall we had going on in the senior lounge?) Details stick with me. Plot arcs. The endings. Twists. All of them are firmly lodged in my noggin. The fact is, I can’t reread books until years have passed. Otherwise, everything is too fresh in my memory. Unless the story magically changes, then it becomes kind of bland for me. (One of the things that is awesome about rereading manuscripts for my internship? They get revised! And CHANGE. It’s all sorts of exciting. Except when Kathleen actively encourages for the story become even creepier.)

In a twist of fate, I have an awful memory when it comes to actually reciting quotations. Truly, it is tragic. I cannot do accents. I cannot recollect song lyrics unless the music is blasting, and I am singing along.

There are plenty of books that I will make it a point to read again once enough time has passed. (Essentially, anything by Diana Wynne Jones falls into this category.) And things do change as I grow older. I notice new things. Authors recapture me all over again. Also, writers who do a big twist that I don’t see coming a mile away (coughSarahReesBrennancough) earn themselves a reread when they sneakily hide clues all over the story. So, when you go back knowing the future, you’re just going OH, OH, LOOK AT THAT, WHY DIDN’T I NOTICE THAT?

My friends were discussing how they had forgotten a lot of what had happened in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when they went to see the film. Me? All still there. One friend mentioned in her defense that she had only read that book once. My response? I have only read each book of the Harry Potter series a single time.YEP. That started in childhood, when I privately got upset about the kids who would brag about reading the book six or seven times. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. What was the point? It seemed less about reading and more about…I’m not even sure. They could have read six or seven different books that they have never read before during the time they had spent reading the same book over and over again. Each reader is different though. We’ve all got our own paces and preferences and whatnot.

I have every intention of rereading the series, by the way. More than enough time has gone by that I should be able to enjoy them with a fresh eye.

There has only been a single exception to my rereading rule. The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick. I stumbled across it at the Scholastic store and was completely wowed by the cover. (I know, I know, don’t judge a book by its cover. But this one is entirely captivating. A touch terrifying, yet gorgeous. And holy cow, the opening is amazing. I was a goner.) When I reached the final page of the story, my cheeks streaked with tears, my heart broken, I stared at it unable to process all that had occurred. How could I leave this world? These characters? And then, I did something I had never done before and have yet to do again. I turned back to the first page and started reading. To say the least, this book will always hold a precious place in my heart. (Possibly because it SHATTERED it, and I have merely taped the pieces back together.)

If you haven’t read this book, please remedy this situation ASAP. Dystopian future. Gangs. Leukemia. Anarchy. Homelessness. Epilepsy. …yes, it is something of a dark book, but there is courageousness and humor and a quest. Nobility and “We’ve got miles to go before we sleep. And promises to keep.”

I shouldn’t write blog posts while coming down with a cold…

Right, so, I don’t think anyone actually reads these anyway! First commenter who hasn’t read The Last Book in the Universe and would like to, earns themselves a free copy. \o/

Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Becky Yeager
30 November 2010 @ 01:24 am
In honor of the absurdly awesome video by David Kazzie. (On the unlikely chance you haven't seen this video yet, be sure to check it out: So You Want to Write a Novel )

I couldn't resist making an icon of one of my absolute favorite lines.

Current Mood: amusedamused
Becky Yeager
24 November 2010 @ 02:36 pm
Oh, Livejournal, I have missed you tremendously. I will be honest and admit that LJ is my true blogging home. Wordpress frustrates me. Blogspot has a bad habit of freaking my computer, Bucket, out. As in when I go to close the site, my laptop's response will be something along the lines of !?!?! followed by opening the same page countless times in Internet Explorer. It only does this with Blogspot. Not entirely sure why.

ANYWAY, I'm going to pretend that it is okay to switch back to LJ now that it has gotten all fancy, and people can comment here from other places! That makes it available to more people! Which makes it all right? Right?

Wordpress made me drag my feet when it came to updating. This isn't the case with LJ. So, I'm going to go back and reupload my old posts here. And then there will be no posts. It's gonna be all sorts of exciting.

Currently, I'm Wonder Intern! (And sometimes Evil Intern. I'm sure that it is an affectionate nickname. ... I did provide ample warning before I provided the lovely writer with a link to TVTropes. I swear.)

I am also in the process of locating a new internship, which simultaneously saddens me and makes me super excited. Because I absolutely adore my current internship. It's been everything I hoped and more! But...my time there is coming to an end. (I know, internships end, who knew?) And I think most of my excitement stems from hopefully getting another amazing internship. Prettyprettyplease?

Time to be productive!
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful