Top Ten

2014 Rewind: My Top 10 YA Reads

Because a picture is worth a thousand top 10 YA reads for 2014:

10. #SCANDAL by Sarah Ockler

9. HORDE by Ann Aguirre

8. FAR FROM YOU by Tess Sharpe


6. DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS by Laini Taylor 


4. HEIR OF FIRE by Sarah J. Maas

3. RUIN AND RISING by Leigh Bardugo

And my TWO #1 picks:

1. WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart

1. I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson

Yes, I cheated and picked two #1 books this year...but they were both so good -- here's what I shared about them both over at the YA Buccaneers:


Jandy Nelson could write one of those uncomfortable brochures you find in your OB/GYN's office and I'd still read it. Seriously. I love Jandy for so many reasons and I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN is one of them. Here's what I wrote about Jandy and her books in our Thanksgiving Giving Thanks post:

I'm thankful for YA author, Jandy Nelson. I loved her latest release, I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN, but THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE -- that one is at the top of my all-time favorites and reminds me every single day what great writing is all about. When I went out on sub earlier this year, I was honored to use SKY as one of my comp titles -- and in September when I got to meet Jandy, I let her know. Her response: she squealed, jumped up and hugged me, then gave me a huge kiss on my cheek. It resulted in the best personalization ever. 


Captain E. Hook, aka Erin L. Schneider: "My favorite read for 2014 was WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart. Full of characters with deep flaws, twists and turns throughout, and an ending that was not at all what I was expecting, this read has it all!" 

Make sure to stop by the YA Buccaneers and check out the rest of the crew's top favorite YA reads for 2014. Plus, we've got copies of I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN and our very own Caroline Richmond's THE ONLY THING TO FEAR up for grabs for our December Reading Muting Challenge!

What was your favorite read from this year?

2013 Rewind: My Top 10 YA Reads

As 2013 comes to a close, I joined my fellow crew over at the YA Buccaneers to look back at my top 10 YA reads for the year:

10. ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD by Kendare Blake

9. SHATTER ME by Taherah Mafi

8. UNRAVEL ME by Taherah Mafi

7. JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman

6. THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey


4. CROWN OF MIDNIGHT by Sarah J. Maas

3. THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas

2. SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo

1. SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo

If you hopped over here from the YA Buccaneers site***, you already know I picked SIEGE AND STORM as my #1 pick, for the following reason:

SIEGE AND STORM by Leigh Bardugo wins my favorite book for 2013, thanks to the compelling story arc and amazing cast of characters. Like many, I'm a huge fan of the Darkling and can't wait to see where Bardugo takes him and Alina in book #3 -- but a new character introduced in this second installment, Sturmhond, was the one I couldn't wait to read more of! This character's quick wit and great sense of humor had me flying through the pages -- and I'm really hoping there will be more of him in RUIN AND RISING. A lot more of him.

So, so many great reads this year, it was hard to pick just ten. Especially since there were many I didn't get a chance to read yet, that I'm sure would've made the list -- like THE DREAM THIEVES by Maggie Stiefvater, RUBY RED by Kerstin Gier, and FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell. Who knows, maybe they'll make my list for 2014!

***Don't forget to head back over to the YA Buccaneers to check out the top 10 lists for the rest of the crew -- and enter to win this month's giveaway to win an autographed copy of ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth!

I'd love to hear, what were some of your favorite YA reads this year?

Blogging from A to Z Challenge: Day 24 - Letter X

Oy vey, we've got X up today, in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge - and my topic:

David Letterman's Erin L. Schneider's Top Ten "X" Words

Because I couldn't agree on one X word for today's post that was "writerly" themed, I decided to offer up 10 fabulous selections - all so others would have options for next year's A to Z challenge. See how that worked there? And totally selfless, too. 

Without further adieu, here's my list of ten "X" words, served up ala David Letterman style:

10. Xerox (n) - the brand of copier in your office that I'm sorry to say, is more intelligent than you'll ever be. Say hello to HAL2000. You'll wanna be nice to HAL2000, trust me. She's known to hold your 9am deadline projects hostage at 8:58am, she constantly gets backed-up, and when she's super pissy, will print only a corner of your 11x17 content on an 8.5" x 11" page, just because she can.

9. Xerography (n) - A process wherein you bribe above mentioned HAL2000 to replicate images and reproduce documents, by feeding it neverending reams of paper, keep said paper free from jamming, and constantly supply a powdery substance called "Cyan", "Magenta", "Yellow", and "Black" - that trust me, you DO NOT want to get on your skin or your clothes. 

8. Xeric (adj.) - Dry or desert-like conditions; having very little moisture - ew, very much so dislike the base form of this word. In fact, that's the worst word in the English language, and it actually makes me twitch, everytime I hear it said aloud (I couldn't even type it - yes, had to cut and paste). I confess, this is my Kryptonite. We'll be changing that word to dampness. Ahhh, much better.

7. Xenophobia (n) - fear or hatred towards foreigners, foreign countries, or anything foreign. Other related words: xenophobic (adj.) and xenophobe (n). Um, weird. Nuff said.

6. Xenon (n) - a heavy, colorless and odorless gas that is found in very small quantities in the Earth’s atmosphere. It is often used in lasers, vacuu tubes and luminescent tubes for electric lamps. I believe this is also what makes the headlights in my car, shine a pretty ghostly blue. Me likes pretty lights. But me also wonders how a gas can be heavy? Huh.

5. Xenolith (n) - a fragment of a rock embedded inside another rock. Kinda like a pregnant rock. Does not make for a good skipping rock, due to it's weight. But never call a xenolith fat. Not nice, she's just fluffy.

4. Xebec (n) - Possibly a made up word, since I've never heard it before. "Supposedly" it stands for a small, three-masted sailing ship once commonly used in the Mediterranean. Not sure if the other bodies of water around the world were biased, but it sure sounds like it to me.

3. Xenoien (n) - The perfect human being, thought only to exist in legend. Although, this is according to, so who knows what kind of bologna this is. Gross, bologna. And I only know how to spell that, because I had to sing the jingle out loud. My dog howled. It's a talent, I know.

2. Xylophone (n) - a percussion instrument with a series of graduated wooden bars that is played by stricking with two small mallets. Not to be confused with the glockenspiel, which has bars made of metal. And also has a way cooler name: glockenspiel, glockenspiel, glockenspiel. Great, I'll be saying that all day now. 

1. Xanadu (n) - an exotic, luxurious place. This word comes from the poem "Kubla Khan" by Samuel T. Coleridge. Also happens to be one of my favorite ABBA tunes. Don't judge. Yes, I love ABBA.

So there you have it, my top ten words that begin with "X", and their meanings. Which I am in no way liable for confirming or validating, if the meaning or the word, actually exists.

X: What fabulous word did you come up with today and what does it really mean?