Thursday, June 16, 2011

Breaking up is hard to do!

From my summer reading blog:
I've done it again.
I've done that thing where I convince myself that I
must read this book/article/series and if I don't finish or I don't like it then I'm somewhat subhuman. This time, it was the Mortal Instruments series. As I said in my last post I had walked away from the book before and had recently returned to it. This is my breakup letter. It's over, for good!

Mortal Instruments,
You were fun for the first few pages, after I got past the confusion about the many characters, visible and invisible. Human and not-so-much. But I can't go on!! I'm sorry, Jace and Clary, but I need a break from you and all your werewolf-vampire-rune-spell-shadowhunter drama! Sometimes you just have to walk away for the sake of your sanity and continued reading life. This is one of those times. It's not you; well, yes it is.

Love, Me

I can't waste any more time drudging through this book/series for the sake of saying I read it. I have to keep moving or I'll never get through the rest of the
huge stack of books on my desk marked "to read". There are so many that I've picked up along the way saying And you're not reading this to know what book I'm whining about, are you? No! You're reading because you want to know what I'm actually reading, not pretending to read!

Next on my list is finishing Lauren Oliver's
Delirium, which is wonderful so far. I will definitely let you know when I finish it and give it the review it deserves!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Book Blogging!

I have wanted to do this for so long, but I really couldn't think of a good way to go about accomplishing what I wanted to do. But I think I'm on to something here. At the top of the main screen you should see a new page called Summer Reading 2011.

A colleague of mine had the idea to blog about the books that we read over the summer over on our school website. Sounds like an awesome idea to me! I think it will provide me with the outlet to do the writing AND the accountability to continue to share what I'm reading. So I'm super super excited! I will be sharing those same posts here so that whoever reads the blog regularly can access the book posts all in the same place without having to navigate our school website. Please, leave me your recommendations as the summer progresses; while I do have a wish list of books I want to acquire I'm always looking for something new, too!

Happy reading!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


In the last 6 months or so I've become involved in the twitterverse. You can follow me @lindseylea

Anyway, most of the people I follow on twitter are YA writers. I follow them for 2 reasons: 1) to see what they have coming up with tours, promotions and new books and 2) to keep up with news related to the reading and writing of the books I love so dearly and regularly recommend to my students.

Here's what has happened (literally) overnight:
This article ran in the Wall Street Journal (@wsj) with yesterday's date. The writer begins with a story about a mom who left a B&N completely disheartened because she couldn't find anything to give her 13-year old child to read as a welcome home gift (not that it's my business, but who sends their 13-year old child away long enough that they need a "welcome home" gift?). I digress. Anyway, the article goes on to say that 40 years ago there was no YA fiction, so there wasn't a genre to "deal with." Excuse me, deal with? You deal with bad behavior and you deal with bad situations. You don't deal with books and a teen's need to read them. Yes, I said need.

So. Where do I go from here?
There are a few different statements I need to make as my own response so the three of you who read this blog can be the ones I vent to:

It is not the responsibility of YA authors to censor what a child/teen reads. That's up to the parent. If you don't like the covers of the books, don't buy them. If you don't want your kid to read, keep hiding them under a rock and then wonder why they have no social skills and no contemporary knowledge, but don't ruin YA for the rest of us.

If you want to keep certain things out of your child's hands, then do so. But shouldn't you bother to read what they're looking at? Or ask around? Or read a review online before you cast your judgment. "It's too dark" isn't a justified reason unless you've read the book.

B&N, you've got to do a better job with your employment process. How do you allow a person who has not read any of the books in the YA section to assist customers in the YA section?! I'm just saying: I end up recommending titles to parents and teens alike every time I'm in a bookstore because that's just what happens. I've read the books, making me an educated source.

WSJ, did you even read any YA lit, or did you just stop the first ultra-protective parent who whined to you? If you haven't experienced Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak or Ellen Hopkins' Crank or Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games then you can't pass judgment on them or the genre as a whole. What about the Harry Potter series? Did you even get the point, after thousands of pages across 7 books that good conquers evil and that love is the most powerful force of all? Is that too dark for you? Are you the people who have tried to get that beloved series banned in schools? Yeah, we have to fight battles of evil and sometimes there are sacrifices to be made but you're kidding me if you want me to believe that it's too much for a 13-18 year old person to wrap their head around.

YA authors are pushing the boundaries in fiction because it's their way of saying something that needs to be said. John Green writes incredible books about troubled teens. Looking for Alaska explores suicide, Paper Towns explores teen rebellion, and his collaboration with David Levithan Will Grayson, Will Grayson explores (gasp!) gay teens and their relationships. Ellen Hopkins' books explore drug addiction, teen pregnancy, abuse, divorce, you name it. If no one could connect with these topics, the books wouldn't sell. I admire the nerve and guts these writers have to put this kind of material out there.

Those of us who are outraged by the WSJ article are using the hashtag #YASaves to tell our stories defending the books and authors we love. If you have a story, please join us. YA is just one way for students to connect with each other and with the world around them.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting throught the wind
Wanting to start again
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards
One blow from caving in
Do you ever feel already buried deep
Six feet under scream
But no one seems to hear a thing
Katy Perry, "Firework"

I'm having a tough go of it right now. I'm not going to lie; I feel stuck in a rut. I've spent so much time going to college and taking classes to advance in my field but so far it hasn't gotten me anywhere. My husband and I are ready to move to a bigger place and toy with starting a family. I've thought about and researched PhD programs close to home and some that would require us to move. I can't decide what I want to do. I can't decide what I need to do. I don't know what the next step is, and it's driving me crazy. I'm a planner. I like to know what happens next when I've completed a task, and I like to know so I can prepare. I hate feeling unprepared and what's worse is not having a plan at all. I'm feeling restless and the only place I can seem to find solace is in a book. Isn't that ironic? I don't know how to deal with that particular feeling either; it's soothing and frightening all at the same time.

I know this post seems like a hodge podge of "poor me"; maybe it is. I have so much on my mind that I can't seem to sort out the way I usually do. I just need to find my way out of this rut before too long. Any ideas?