Tag Archives: Every Day

2012 Cybils Winners and My Favourite Finalists

It was an exciting week last week, with both International Book Giving Day and the announcement of the winners of the 2012 Cybils Awards on Thursday 14th February.  It’s always exciting to find out which books judges pick as the winners, and it was even more exciting for me as I got to help choose the winner of the Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy category.  You can find out about all the winners of each category on the Cybils website.

I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the Round 2 judges for the 2012 Cybils Awards.  My group of judges had the tough task of choosing our favourite YA science fiction and fantasy book from the 7 shortlisted titles (you can see them all here).  It was a really interesting and enjoyable experience, even though it was tough at times.  For someone like myself, who won’t finish a book if I’m not enjoying it, I had to push through a couple of the finalists and force myself to finish them.

We chose Seraphina by Rachel Hartman as our winner of the Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy category.  Seraphina was one of my top 3 books in the category, along with Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi and Every Day by David Levithan. I think these are three books that all high school libraries should have in their collection, and you can find out what I loved about these books below.

 

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina works as the music assistant to the royal court composer in Lavondaville. Her world is populated by humans and by dragons able to take human form, and for now there is an uneasy peace between them. In fact, the fortieth anniversary of the treaty between human and dragonkind is rapidly approaching. But then a member of the royal family is murdered, and the crime appears to have been committed by a dragon. The peace and treaty between both worlds is threatened.Seraphina is caught desperately in the middle of the tension. Her father is human, and her mother was a dragon in human form.She is unique, and completely illegal – and if she is found out, her life is in serious danger . . .

  • The world building was amazing and I really felt immersed in Seraphina’s world.  The history of the relationship between dragons and humans was explained well, without getting into lots of detail.
  • I connected with Seraphina right from the start and I found her voice interesting.  She’s a character that teen readers would relate well to and they would be routing for her.
  • The mystery and intrigue really hooked me in.  Sure, at times there wasn’t a lot of action, but trying to figure out different people and their motives kept me interested in the story.
  • It was an original dragon story.  I didn’t feel like Rachel had borrowed ideas from other fantasy stories.  Her dragons were captivating and I loved the way that they hoarded knowledge rather than gold.  I think that aspect kind of connected me to the dragon characters.  I also loved that the dragons could shape shift into human form and walk among us.

The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi

Two refugee children, Mahlia and Mouse, are known as ‘war maggots’: survivors who have barely managed to escape the unspeakable violence plaguing the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities. But their fragile safety is threatened when they discover a wounded half-man -a bioengineered war beast named Tool, who is hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers. When tragedy strikes, Mahlia is faced with an impossible decision: risk everything to save the boy who once saved her, or flee to her own safety.

  • Paolo’s real strength in this story is his world building.  He feeds you little details about why the Drowned Cities are the way they are and who the different factions are that are fighting for supremacy. The setting is definitely a character in itself and he describes the Drowned Cities in great detail.  Through his descriptions you know what it looks, feels, sounds and smells like and you wonder how people can survive here.
  • I loved the the characters of Tool, Mahlia and Mouse/Ghost.  If Paolo can make you feel for a killing machine that’s some powerful writing.  The way that Paolo chose to tell the story, switching between the three main characters, really helped to keep the story moving along and I was always wondering what was happening to the other characters.
  • The story is quite dark, but this is why I enjoyed it so much.  You’re delving into this world full of despair and routing for the characters to make it out into a world full of hope.  A lot of the characters are sinister and have been shaped by the world they live in, and you keep reading in the hope that they will get their comeuppance.

Every Day by David Levithan

Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

And then A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

  • It’s completely different from anything I’ve ever read, because usually the narrator stays in one body throughout the story and they interact with the same characters.  In Every Day, A is in a different body each day, so it has to get used to being a different person (on the outside) and acting like that person.  One of the most interesting things about this book is the way that you look at the character of A.  Even though A doesn’t know if it is male or female, I imagined A as a male right from the start.  However, I think each reader will picture A differently.
  • Sometimes it can take you a while to put yourself in the main character’s shoes, but I immediately empathized with A and what it was going through.  You try to understand what it would be like to wake up each day as a different person, but you can’t really grasp how difficult it would be.
  • I loved the interactions between A (in its different bodies) and Rhiannon and you are hoping with all your heart that they can be together.
  • David Levithan’s ending to the story is absolutely perfect, and has to be my favourite ever ending of a book.

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Every Day by David Levithan

Sometimes you discover a book that you know you are going to love without the book even being published yet.  You hear or read about the idea of the story and it sounds so exciting, clever, and original that you want to read it right now.  David Levithan’s new book, Every Day, was one of those books for me.  It was even more amazing than I had imagined.

9781921922954_large_coverEvery day a different body. Every day a different life.Every day in love with the same girl.

Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

And then A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

Can you love someone who is destined to change each day?

Every Day is one of the most extraordinary, thought-provoking, and emotional stories I’ve ever read.  Even now, 3 days after reading the final sentence, I’m struggling to put into words how much this book has affected me.  It’s completely different from anything I’ve ever read, because usually the narrator stays in one body throughout the story and they interact with the same characters.  In Every Day, A is in a different body each day, so it has to get used to being a different person (on the outside) and acting like that person.  One of the most interesting things about this book is the way that you look at the character of A.  Even though A doesn’t know if it is male or female, I imagined A as a male right from the start.  However, I think each reader will picture A differently.

Sometimes it can take you a while to put yourself in the main character’s shoes, but I immediately empathized with A and what it was going through.  You try to understand what it would be like to wake up each day as a different person, but you can’t really grasp how difficult it would be.  A has been this way from birth, so it has never known anything different.  I thought it would be incredibly difficult for a child to understand what was happening to them, but for A it was just life.  A seems to have figured out what to do each time it wakes up in another body and makes its way through the day.  Every time a new day would start, I’d be wondering, like A, who it would be waking up as.  Would A be a black girl, a gay guy, have a gorgeous body or be incredibly overweight?  Then when A has found  out who it is, how will A use that body and what will A do today.  I could totally understand why A wanted to spend every day with Rhiannon.  I’ve never had a crush on a book character before, but I would certainly want to spend every day with her.  The thing I love the most about A is the way that it respects the bodies that it is in.  A tries incredibly hard not to interfere with the lives of those people, and tries to fix mistakes that it has made while in those bodies.

Ultimately, Every Day is a love story.  A and Rhiannon’s romance is doomed to fail, because even though Rhiannon may love A, she’s not always going to love the person he is on the outside.   I loved the interactions between A (in its different bodies) and Rhiannon and you are hoping with all your heart that they can be together.  David Levithan’s ending to the story is absolutely perfect, and has to be my favourite ever ending of a book.

I was sad to finish the book, because I loved David’s beautiful writing and I didn’t want to let A and Rhiannon go.  Every Day is one of those books I want to carry around everywhere with me and tell everyone I know to read it.  Thank you David Levithan for giving me this story!

5 out of 5 stars

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Win Every Day by David Levithan

9781921922954_large_coverEvery Day by David Levithan is one of my absolute favourite books of 2012.  If I could give a copy to every person I saw I would do, but sadly I can’t afford to do so.  Instead I’m giving two lucky people the chance to win a copy.

To get in the draw all you have to do is enter your name and email address in the form below.  If you’re super keen to get a copy you can even enter every day if you like.  Competition closes Monday 29 October (NZ and Australia only).

This competition has now closed.  Thanks to everyone who entered.

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David Levithan on Every Day

Every Day is David Levithan’s amazing new book, out in NZ and Australia this month from Text Publishing.  I love David’s books and Every Day sounds really interesting and completely different.  I can’t wait to lose myself in the story.

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My Most Anticipated October New Releases

Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate

Evening Spiker is recuperating from a freak accident in her mum’s medical facility. She is healing at a remarkable rate, faster than physically possible. As she grows closer to the hot lab assistant Solo, who seems to be hanging around a lot, she realises that things at Spiker Biotech are not quite as they seem. Joining forces, Solo and Eve uncover a secret so huge it could change the world completely. Spiker Biotech is about more than just saving lives. It’s about creating them.

All the Wrong Questions: Who Could That Be At This Hour? by Lemony Snicket

Author Lemony Snicket is a broken man, wracked with misery and despair as a result of writing A Series Of Unfortunate Events. He spends his days wandering the countryside weeping and moaning, and his evenings eating hastily-prepared meals. But what was he like when he was thirteen years old? Find out in the brand new series from best-selling author Lemony Snicket!

Zom-B by Darren Shan

When news reports start appearing of a zombie outbreak in Ireland, B Smith’s racist father thinks it’s a joke– but even if it isn’t, he figures, it’s ok to lose a few Irish. B doesn’t fully buy into Dad’s racism, but figures it’s easier to go along with it than to risk the fights and abuse that will surely follow sticking up for Muslims, blacks, or immigrants. But when zombies attack B’s school, B is forced on a mad dash through the serpentine corridors, making allegiances with anyone with enough guts to fight off their pursuers.

Maddy West and the Tongue Taker by Brian Falkner

Maddy West can speak every language in the world. When she is asked to translate some ancient scrolls, Maddy is excited. But the scrolls hide many secrets. Secrets that send Maddy on a wild adventure with a stowaway ninja, a mysterious monkey, a Bulgarian wrestler and a fiendish witch. And soon Maddy finds herself in deadly peril. Does Maddy have what it takes to save herself and her new friends?

The Crystal Code by Richard Newsome

Gerald, Ruby and Sam are meeting up with Alisha and Gerald’s Australian school friend Ox for two weeks of snowboarding in the mountains of California. It’s a dream vacation.

But soon after they arrive—by helicopter, with Gerald’s butler Mr Fry at the controls, of course—the private chalet is attacked. Gerald and the gang escape through a secret passage, only to be pursued on snowmobiles by men with guns across frozen lakes and into the path of a cascading avalanche.

Could this be the work of Gerald’s nemesis Sir Mason Green, recently escaped from prison? Or is someone else behind the attack? Does the old dry cleaning ticket Gerald found amongst Green’s belongings hold the key? And how does an invitation to join the secretive Billionaire’s Club land Gerald in so much trouble?

Join Gerald and his friends in the USA, the Czech Republic and a tiny island in Sweden for a new thrilling adventure. After all, with all that money, there’s got to be more to the story.

Every Day by David Levithan

Every morning, A wakes in a different person’s body, a different person’s life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
And then A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

Can you love someone who is destined to change each day? YA superstar author David Levithan brings all his trademark insight to a novel that is edgy, romantic and page-turning. Every Day has a touch of the paranormal and a grounding in the real world.

The ACB with Honora Lee by Kate De Goldi

Perry’s mother and father are busy people … they’re impatient, they’re tired, they get cross easily. And they think that only children, like Perry, should be kept busy. On Saturday mornings Perry and her father visit her gran, Honora Lee, at the Santa Lucia rest home, but Gran never remembers them. ‘Who is that man?’ Honora Lee asks when Perry’s father leaves the room. After movement class is abruptly cancelled, Perry is allowed to go to Santa Lucia on Thursday afternoons. She discovers her Gran has an unconventional interest in the alphabet, so Perry decides to make an alphabet book with the help of Honora and the others. Soon everyone is interested in Perry’s book project.

Spook’s: Slither’s Tale

Far from the Wardstone, a new darkness is rising . . . Slither is a haizda mage who preys upon humans, drinking their blood to feed his dark urges. So when a local farmer dies, it’s only natural that Slither should want to feast on his lovely daughters. But then the farmer offers him a deal, and extracts from Slither a promise that will take him on a journey to the City of the Petrified Tree, to a fallen star-stone that holds great power, and straight into the path of Grimalkin, the Witch Assassin.

The Books of Beginning: The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens

It’s been six months since Kate, Michael, and Emma confronted the Dire Magnus, but the trail to their long-missing parents remains cold. Then Michael and Emma find a man who saw them ten years ago—three days after they disappeared. He knows about a map of a distant land, a place shrouded in mystery that may lead them to their parents. Meanwhile, Kate’s connection to the Book of Time is growing stronger and stronger, until a dangerous trick gets her stuck in the past, searching for a friend to help her. Only a perilous quest and a daring risk will help the children to harness the power of the Books of Beginning. But will it be enough to save them?

Ratburger by David Walliams

Things are not looking good for Zoe. Her stepmother Sheila is so lazy she gets Zoe to pick her nose for her. The school bully Tina Trotts makes her life a misery – mainly by flobbing on her head. And now the evil Burt from Burt’s Burgers is after her pet rat! And guess what he wants to do with it? The clue is in the title.

And these picture books…

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