YA Steampunk at its best! – A review of THE PERILOUS JOURNEY OF THE NOT-SO-INNOCUOUS GIRL


Today, I’m reviewing THE PERILOUS JOURNEY OF THE NOT SO INNOCUOUS GIRL.

Guys, I’ve got to tell you. I’ve had my eye on this book ever since I saw the cover last year. Look at this sweet cover art!

Innoculous Girl

I knew when I saw it I had to read it, so I signed up with Month9Books to get an ARC when they sent them out. I read it in less than two days. This book is everything I would want in a steampunk fantasy.

I rarely ever post the back cover blurbs in my reviews, but if you want to read it, you can find it at the bottom of this post.

Okay, so here are my thoughts.

This is a tried and true love story about two people from different worlds, different walks of life, who are in love with each other. Think Romeo and Juliette. Heathcliff and Catherine. Augustus and Hazel. Gatsby and Daisy. The theme has been done over and over before and this story is really no different as far as that goes. It’s sweet, and let’s face it – girls love romance, especially when there is a cute stable boy, or in this case, a smithie, and a wealthy girl who is full of spunk and determination.

But I don’t think this book would have had any draw for me if it weren’t for the steampunk aspect.

First, let me say I had my hesitations about this book. I’m not one for historical fiction and I really thought I would be bored by the 17th century French culture, but Statham makes it irresistible with her unique steampunk twist and all the gizmos and gadgets. I tell you, there were several times I wanted to jump in the book to see these things up close and personal. It was as if they were really real. I wanted see them, hold them, especially Marguerite’s cricket toy. I could go on for pages over the detail, the imagery. It was completely mind-blowing. I was drawn in right away by Statham’s imagination and her ability to make the reader feel like they were right in the thick of it. I was enthralled. Captivated, and all I kept hoping for was for this book to be made into a movie so I could see how the CGI artists would bring this world to life.

As for the characters, I found Marguerite very difficult to like in the beginning. She’s wild, reckless. Very defiant, but I couldn’t stop reading her adventure. She certainly plays with all of your emotions, but by the end of the story, I loved her. She developed and grew into this amazing individual, and discovering how her relationship with Claude grew and developed was a beautiful journey. Yes, it was clichéd on so many levels, but it was one thing I loved about the story. Statham not only did a wonderful job on Marguerite and Claude, but her secondary characters were well developed as well, with their own arcs, their own growth to achieve. It was quite refreshing.

I give this book a solid 4 stars for its steampunk originality and superb world-building. It added just the right spark to turn this otherwise mediocre, tried-and-true love story into something positively wonderful and delightfully different. I will definitely keep my eyes open for more books from Leigh Statham and I hope she keeps writing about her wonderful gadgets, toys and gizmos. She really is, my opinion, the Steampunk Queen of YA fiction.

A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review 

Link to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18308621-the-perilous-journey-of-the-not-so-innocuous-girl

Purchase Links:

Chapters Indigo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | TBD |

ABOUT THE PERILOUS JOURNEY OF THE NOT-SO-INNOCUOUS GIRL

 Title: THE PERILOUS JOURNEY OF THE NOT-SO-INNOCUOUS GIRL

Publication date: March 17, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Leigh Statham

Lady Marguerite lives a life most 17th century French girls can only dream of: Money, designer dresses, suitors and a secure future. Except, she suspects her heart may be falling for her best friend Claude, a common smithie in the family’s steam forge. When Claude leaves for New France in search of a better life, Marguerite decides to follow him and test her suspicions of love. Only the trip proves to be more harrowing than she anticipated. Love, adventure and restitution await her, if she can survive the voyage.

ABOUT LEIGH STATHAM:

Leigh Statham was raised in the wilds of rural Idaho, but found her heart in New York City. She worked as a waitress, maid, artist, math teacher, nurse, web designer, art director, thirty-foot inflatable pig and mule wrangler before she settled down in the semi-quiet role of wife, mother and writer. She resides in North Carolina with her husband, four children, five chickens and two suspected serial killer cats. If the air is cool and the sun is just coming up over the horizon, you can find her running the streets of her small town, plotting her next novel with the sort of intensity that will one day get her hit by a car.

Connect with the Author: 

Website |Twitter Facebook | Goodreads

The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl = Steampunk Awesome Birthday!


Today is THE PERILOUS JOURNEY OF THE NOT-SO-INNOCUOUS GIRL’s birthday!!

YAY!!!

OMGosh, I finished this book last night and it is soooo good. I’m not going to say much more because my official review comes out on March 22, but if you love steampunk, and YA historical fiction with a twisty-twist, you’re going to love this one! I mean, look at that cover!  *Sigh*

Innoculous Girl

ABOUT THE PERILOUS JOURNEY OF THE NOT-SO-INNOCUOUS GIRL

 Title: THE PERILOUS JOURNEY OF THE NOT-SO-INNOCUOUS GIRL

Publication date: March 17, 2015

Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.

Author: Leigh Statham

Lady Marguerite lives a life most 17th century French girls can only dream of: Money, designer dresses, suitors and a secure future. Except, she suspects her heart may be falling for her best friend Claude, a common smithie in the family’s steam forge. When Claude leaves for New France in search of a better life, Marguerite decides to follow him and test her suspicions of love. Only the trip proves to be more harrowing than she anticipated. Love, adventure and restitution await her, if she can survive the voyage.

LINK TO TOUR SCHEDULE

There are quite a few peeps out there talking up this ever-so-awesome novel, so if you are so inclined, you can keep up with all of them here.

 WANT TO KNOW MORE? READ REVIEWS?

So, there’s not enough here to entice you to go out and grab a copy of this book? Check it out on Goodreads and see what people are saying.  As for me? I can’t say enough good stuff about this book. Leigh Statham is an author to watch.

Oh wait, who is Leigh Statham? *smacks forehead*.  Yes, well, I suppose it would be polite to introduce you to the author, duh.

ABOUT LEIGH STATHAM:

Leigh Statham was raised in the wilds of rural Idaho, but found her heart in New York City. She worked as a waitress, maid, artist, math teacher, nurse, web designer, art director, thirty-foot inflatable pig and mule wrangler before she settled down in the semi-quiet role of wife, mother and writer. She resides in North Carolina with her husband, four children, five chickens and two suspected serial killer cats. If the air is cool and the sun is just coming up over the horizon, you can find her running the streets of her small town, plotting her next novel with the sort of intensity that will one day get her hit by a car.

Connect with the Author: Website |Twitter Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway Information!!!

Oh, and I forgot to tell you! There’s a Giveaway involved in all this birthday celebration.  Yes, you have the chance to win your very own copy of this awesome book.

Winner will be drawn April 13, 2015

·        Three (3) winners will receive a physical copy of The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl by Leigh Statham (INT)

·        Three (3) winners will receive a digital copy of The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl by Leigh Statham (INT)

How do you enter?  Just follow the Rafflecopter Link

Of course, if you can’t wait and you have to have your copy now, that’s okay, too.  There are all kinds of Purchase Links:

Chapters Indigo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | TBD |

Last but not least, head over to Leigh’s social media site and wish her and her novel a happy book birthday. She’d love to hear from you, and please, after reading her book, leave a review. It can be anonymous if you’re worried about seeing your name out there, but reviews help to spread the word and get other people to love the book as much as you did/do.  Show your author and book love with a review.

The Actuator 1.5: Borderlands Anthology – A delightful Fantasy/Sci-Fi Read


borderlands cover I was approached recently by Curiosity Quills Press to see if I would like to review a copy of The Actuator 1.5: Borderlands Anthology in exchange for an honest review.

I’m not a huge fan of science fiction, but I do love fantasy and this anthology promised to deliver a little bit of both, so I thought, what the heck and asked for them to send it on.   I’m glad I did as all the stories are really good and there is something between these covers for all sci-fi/fantasy fans.  Here’s a bit about the book:

The Actuator 1.5: Borderlands Anthology

Genre(s): Anthology, Action & Adventure, Alternative History, Cyberpunk, Dark Fantasy, Fairy Tales & Myths, Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Steampunk

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Publication: September 11, 2014

Cover Artist: Michelle Johnson at Blue Sky Design

Description: When the Actuator breaks the earth into a patchwork of altered realities, the remaining Machine Monks begin looking for the Keys to put it back. In the meantime, everyone in the world has been transformed without knowing why. This collection tells about some of the people struggling to deal with the change.  Read more here.

MY REVIEW

It is difficult for me to pinpoint which story I liked the most. Each one was written very well and were quite entertaining, and I enjoyed them all.

There is a common theme that runs through this anthology, and each one of the authors tweaked their characters and their settings around that theme.  It actually seems like each of the stories play off of each other in an odd way, almost as if one can’t exist without the other. I do think some of the stories could have been expanded. Some felt flat. Some ended abruptly. A few left me thinking “huh?”, but overall, it was a good anthology.

Some of my favorite stories were:

Remembering Emily by Sarah Wolf.  I love the author’s voice and descriptions. Beautiful imagery here and the story is vibrant.

Stolen Orchid by Matthew Cox is one of the coolest cyberpunk stories I’ve ever read and it also played with my emotions.

The Austenation by Mara Valdarran was pure brilliance though I do think there could have been a bit more conflict. Jane Austen fans…you’re going to LOVE this one.

Escape by Patrick Burdine gave me the creepy willies.  Seriously, don’t read this right before you go to bed.   Not a good idea.

Halfway by Jay Wilburn. Ok, so this story freaked me out. There are clowns and peculiar lighting and odd people. There’s an Edward Scissorhands feel to the story, and it left me feeling numb. Well-written and freaky creepy.

Fifteen Seconds of Fame by Jason A. Anderson. A great story of one woman’s decision to defy the mob and help a little girl find her mom. Fast moving with an enjoyable, satisfying ending.

These are only 6 out of 20 amazing and unique stories.  While I liked some better than others, I am sure everyone who loves these genres will find something to enjoy.

I give four stars to this anthology.  Thank you Curiosity Quills Press for providing me with a free copy of this anthology in exchange for an honest review.

Star-Holding-Thumbs-UpStar-Holding-Thumbs-UpStar-Holding-Thumbs-UpStar-Holding-Thumbs-Up

Find Online: Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl


It is rare that I find a book that has a cover I could stare at for hours and never tire of.  This book happens to have one of those covers.  It’s just stunning in more ways I can mention.

It’s even rarer still to have the pages within those covers turn out to be just as fantastic as the cover itself.  This one will definitely be added to my printed collection.  I hope you add it to yours as well.

****

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing the first chapter for

The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl by Leigh Statham

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

The Perilous Journey

Lady Marguerite lives a life most 17th century French girls can only dream of: Money, designer dresses, suitors and a secure future. Except, she suspects her heart may be falling for her best friend Claude, a common smithie in the family’s steam forge. When Claude leaves for New France in search of a better life, Marguerite decides to follow him and test her suspicions of love. Only the trip proves to be more harrowing than she anticipated. Love, adventure and restitution await her, if she can survive the voyage.

add to goodreads

Title: THE PERILOUS JOURNEY OF
THE NOT-SO-INNOCUOUS GIRL
Publication date: 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Leigh Statham

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Excerpt

The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl

Leigh Statham

Chapter One

Marguerite held the brass cricket gingerly in her hands. She kept it tucked under the table while she turned it over, her fingers blindly memorizing every feature. She knew it was childish for a sixteen-year-old to have a favorite toy, but she couldn’t help it. The design fascinated her. Occasionally she would trip the mechanism and the cricket literally sprang to life, launching itself against the underside of the table with a loud knock.

“What was that?” Madame Pomphart cried.

Marguerite caught the little metal bug with one hand and tucked it into the folds of her skirts. “Nothing,” she lied.

“I heard a noise.” The sour-faced governess slapped the desk with her pointer and stepped closer. “What are you hiding?”

Marguerite didn’t flinch. “You must be hearing things again. You are getting rather old.”

Madame Pomphart swung her pointer, making sound contact with Marguerite’s shoulder.

“Ah!” Marguerite grabbed her shoulder and jumped to her feet, knocking her chair over. She quite forgot about the little toy cricket which launched right at the governess’s face.

“What? Oh!” Madame Pomphart batted the air and stumbled backward, dropping her stick as the cricket ricocheted off her nose and landed at Marguerite’s feet. “How dare you bring vermin into my classroom? Your father will hear about this. Lord Vadnay will not be pleased!”

Marguerite scooped up her prize and ran for the door, grateful for the chance to escape.

“Get back here or you’ll receive double lashings!”

It was too late. Marguerite ran much faster than her teacher and was already halfway down the wide corridor. Lined with portraits of long-dead relatives and her father’s collection of modern weaponry, each display tempted her with thoughts of challenging the governess to a duel. She could easily scoop up one of the automated cat-o-nine-tails and turn back to the classroom. She rather fancied the idea, actually. But it wasn’t the right time or the right way to handle her heavy-handed caretaker, and honestly, she wasn’t quite brave enough to do more than talk back—not yet.

Her fear began to lift as she lightly descended the grand curving stairway to the ballroom, sprinting over the marble tiles and through the large doors to the gardens. The French summer sun blinded her. Marguerite blinked as she continued to run around the fountain filled with automated koi. A servant perched on the edge of the large pool, brass fish in hand. Its tail clicked furiously back and forth as he tried to oil it. The late-summer roses bloomed bright with color all around her. Butterflies seemed to flit merrily on every blossom, cheering her on. Human and automaton servants worked side by side grooming the large hedges … They jumped out of her way and bowed. None of them seemed surprised to see the young lady of the house running out of doors and they all knew where she was headed.

She tried to slip away to the cool shelter of the small glen beyond the lavender fields every chance she could, but since her father came up with the idea that she needed to be a “real lady,” it had become more difficult to sneak away.

At this point, she could have stopped. Pomphart wouldn’t follow her now, but it felt so good to move quickly after being at a table all morning. Her heart beat like an auto-hammer in her chest by the time she reached the work fields. More automatons and human servants stopped and bowed to the master’s daughter. Marguerite paid them no attention.

Finally reaching the small grove of trees, she flopped merrily on the soft grass and took a deep breath, then giggled to herself. She was safe, for now. The wind picked up and tousled the leaves overhead, sending bits of sunlight swimming wildly around her. The grass outside the glen rustled under the heavy thud of work boots: Claude.

“Hullo!” His voice sounded merry as he peered through the low branches that poked and tickled at the earth, surprised to see her there so early. “How’d you manage to beat me?” His wavy, light brown hair was just shaggy enough to soften his strong jaw and angular nose. His cheek was smeared with gear oil, right up to the corner of his smiling blue eyes. He was too tall for his work trousers and his chest had grown too broad for his cotton shirt. The buttons tugged a bit, but he wasn’t the type to care about his clothes. He pulled his welding goggles off of his head and wiped the sweat on his brow with the arm of his shirt.

“I ran.” She smiled wickedly.

Claude flopped down in the grass beside her. “That’s not very ladylike, and Pomphart doesn’t usually let you out till half past.”

“I had to run after this marvelous toy you made for me attacked her.” She held up the cricket like a prize gem freshly plucked from the earth.

“Marguerite!” he cried. “I asked you to keep it safe, not use it to get yourself tossed out of ladyhood!”

“It was an accident. I swear. The lessons are just so boring. I needed something to do, so I had it under the table. She’s such a brute. You should have seen how she hit me with her blasted pointer.”

“She struck you again?” his face turned dark.

“Yes, but it’s nothing, just a welt on the shoulder.” The last thing she wanted was to be the damsel in distress.

“Still.” Claude’s brow furrowed. “It’s not right. Ladies don’t strike other ladies. Please keep good care of that little bug. It took me a long time to build and I didn’t record the plans. I may need to borrow it back someday.”

“All right.” Disappointed at his lack of enthusiasm for her naughtiness, she carried on. “But you should have seen her face! If only I could have a portrait made of that. I’d hang it over my bed and have a miniature made to keep by my heart.”

A nasally voice attached to a pointy-faced, pale girl in bright pink skirts burst through the cool glen. “Whose miniature are you keeping by your heart? You haven’t even had your ball yet.”

“Hello, Vivienne.” Marguerite sighed without enthusiasm.

“Marguerite has just sealed her doom,” Claude chimed in. “She threw the cricket I made her at Pomphart’s face today, so there may not be a ball.”

“That’s rubbish! I did no such thing. It just got away from me and bounced right off her nose.” Marguerite laughed again while recalling the image, but Claude’s words made her a bit nervous.

“Oh dear,” cried Vivienne. “What are you going to do?”

Of course Vivienne would make a big deal out of it, Marguerite didn’t expect anything less from her childish neighbor.

“I’m not sure. That’s why I came straight here.” She turned pointedly to Claude. “I thought you’d want to celebrate my freedom and take the rest of the day off.”

Claude was quick to reply, “I’m afraid I can’t. Lots to be finished at the forge and I am on stall-mucking duty with the bots.”

“What do you possibly have to finish at the forge that’s so important?”

Claude raised his eyebrows at her. “A certain girl’s father has requested automatic serving dishes made of twenty-four-karat gold for her introduction to society.”

“Oh my!” Vivienne drew a dramatic breath. “How elegant. I so wish I were old enough to come.”

“Don’t worry,” Marguerite patted the girl’s knee, “I’m sure you can borrow them for your own ball.”

“Marguerite … ” Claude hissed at her.

It wasn’t a very kind thing to say, but Marguerite had never been very fond of Vivienne. She mostly endured her company because she was the only girl within a hundred miles that was close to the same age and station as Marguerite. That, and Claude had insisted she be kind to her.

“You’re right, Claude.” Marguerite smiled in repentance. “I’m sure your father will have loads of wonderful things for the guests to marvel at when your time comes, Vivienne. Still, it would be nice to have both of you there. I suppose I will be forced to talk to strangers.”

“I can’t believe you’re not excited!” Vivienne chattered. “New dresses! Handsome suitors!”

“I am excited,” Marguerite cut her off, “to have it over and done with! Dressing up might be fun, but dressing up to catch a man is not my idea of a good time.”

“Don’t be vulgar.” Vivienne blushed. “It’s not like that at all.”

Claude cut in, “I’d love to stay and discuss this matter with you girls, but I do have a few chafing dishes waiting for their motors in the shop.”

Marguerite tensed at the thought of not only being left alone with Vivienne, but also being without Claude’s protection should Pomphart come looking for her. “Do you think I could come help you at the forge today?”

“Not if you want me to get anything done.” Claude smiled merrily.

“Stop it! You know I’m a whiz with gear-work.”

“When you are actually interested in the work, yes, but I’m afraid that auto-spoons and brass tureens would bore you to death.”

Marguerite tried to make her eyes look large and beseeching, but she knew it was no use.

“No. But you can walk me there. I forgot my lunch anyway,” Claude said as he reached to help Marguerite up.

“I didn’t exactly have time to grab a snack as I fled the dungeons,” Marguerite quipped.

“Oh! I know!” Vivienne was bursting. “Let’s have lunch in town today. You’re not going back to your lessons are you? And Claude is busy with work. It will be such fun girl time!”

Marguerite sighed, but Vivienne was right. There was no way for her to return to the estate house without being trapped by Pomphart, and she had nothing to do if Claude insisted on finishing his chores. Still, she was uneasy about the idea of being on her own with Pomphart’s wrath hovering around an unknown corner waiting to pounce. The woman was ruthless when no one of importance was watching. She had a way of getting Marguerite off on her own and exacting whatever form of punishment she felt was suitable for the crime. Marguerite tried to complain to her father, but he wouldn’t listen, he thought Marguerite just didn’t want lessons anymore.

Claude knew all of this and sensed her fears in her quiet gaze.

“Come with me, both of you. I have someone I want you to meet.” Claude smiled.

Marguerite jumped up at his tug, tossed her wavy brown hair, and set her skirts aright, glad someone was helping her make up her mind. “Very well.”

“Hooray! Oh, I know just the place,” Vivienne said. “There is a new little patisserie I saw the other day I’ve been aching to try.” She skipped up the hill ahead of the other two, babbling on about buns and cakes and half sandwiches.

Claude reached for Marguerite’s arm and squeezed a bit. He used this gesture when he was about to chastise her, but she didn’t think she’d been that rude to Vivienne. The girl got on her nerves with every word, but her intentions were good and Marguerite wasn’t cruel by nature, just impatient.

“What?” she hissed.

“I have some news, but I wanted to tell you first.”

“Oh?” Relieved not to be in trouble, but also perplexed, Marguerite wished more now than ever that Vivienne would just skip into oblivion with her bouncy blonde curls and scattered thoughts.

“Yes. You know how we spoke a few weeks ago about my plans?”

“Did you find a position in Paris?” Marguerite could scarcely contain herself. Her friend was so talented, and she knew better than anyone that he was wasted working as a bondservant on her father’s estate. If he could secure an apprenticeship in Paris he could come back to La Rochelle as a master tradesman. Plus she could visit him there. Still, apprenticeships were hard to come by.

“No, I think it’s better than that.”

“What could be better than Paris?” In her mind, crowds of well-dressed ladies paraded down glittering avenues while the latest autocarts passed by in a blur of technology and innovation. Paris was the hub of all things Marguerite admired.

“I’ve signed into His Majesty’s service. As of next week, I’ll be an official member of the Royal Corp of Engineers.”

“You what?” She was stunned. It took her a moment to sort out her emotions. How could he have made this type of decision without consulting her? They had shared everything since they discovered each other as bored children on the estate a decade ago.

“I knew you’d be angry with me for not telling you beforehand, but an opportunity just presented itself and I knew it was right—I had to take it.”

“No, I’m not angry at all. Just shocked. You know how my father feels about the military.”

“But you see, that’s just it. I won’t have to worry about your father anymore, I won’t owe him anything. My first assignment is to New France.”

“Are you two coming or not? I’m starved!” Vivienne had doubled back when she realized she was talking to herself.

Marguerite wasn’t sure she could eat or talk at that moment. She wasn’t sure she could even take another step.

 

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author

L. Statham

Leigh Statham was raised in the wilds of rural Idaho, but found her heart in New York City. She worked as a waitress, maid, artist, math teacher, nurse, web designer, art director, thirty-foot inflatable pig and mule wrangler before she settled down in the semi-quiet role of wife, mother and writer. She resides in North Carolina with her husband, four children, five chickens and two suspected serial killer cats. If the air is cool and the sun is just coming up over the horizon, you can find her running the streets of her small town, plotting her next novel with the sort of intensity that will one day get her hit by a car.

Connect with the Author: Website |Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

The book will be sent upon the titles release.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Button

What is the most popular YA Genre ?


When I started my YA 101 series a month ago, I put out a request for readers, between the ages of 13 and 20 to take part in a not so scientific poll to find out what they like to read and what is their favorite genre.  The results surprised even me.  Below are the questions I asked and below that are my results.

Out of the following categories, what is your favorite genre to read:

  • Adventure (i.e.:  Island of the Blue Dolphin; Harry Potter)
  • Contemporary (i.e.:  Sarah Dessen novels; The Fault in our Stars)
  • Dystopian (i.e.: Hunger Games; Divergent)
  • Fantasy / Sci Fi (i.e.:  Eragon / I am Number Four)
  • Paranormal Romance (i.e.: Twilight, Beautiful Chaos)
  • Steampunk (i.e.:  Cinder; Leviathan)
  • Urban Fantasy (i.e.:  Percy Jackson; City of Bones)

How do you find books to read?

  • Friends
  • Library
  • Parents
  • Book club
  • Teacher

What is the most important element in a book?

  •  Characters
  • Setting
  • Plot
  • Other

 How often do you read?

  • Every day.  I devour books
  • Eh, maybe 2 – 3 days a week
  • More like 2 – 3 days a month
  • Seriously?  Who has time to read?
  • Something in between

How old are you?  

RESULTS

49 people responded.

Ages:    20% were under the age of 17.  The other 80 % were 17 to 20.

Where did they find their reading material?  

  • 41% from their parents;
  • 18% from friends;
  • 15% from teachers;
  • 11% from libraries/bookstores;
  • 8% from book clubs;
  • 7% from media.

Frequency of reading

  • 61% – every day
  • 21% – 2 – 3 days a week
  • 12% – something in between
  • 6% – 2 – 3 days a month

Most important element of a book: (this one surprised me.  I thought it would be the other way around)

  • 71% – Characters
  • 29% – Plot

And for the big question?  Favorite Genre to read?

  • 37% – Dystopian
  • 35% – Urban Fantasy
  • 21% – Harry Potter – fantasy adventure stories
  • 5% – Fantasy
  • 2% – Contemporary Fiction (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Epic Tales of a Misfit Hero being specifically mentioned)

Do you agree with the results?  If you read YA, how would you answer the questions?

Related articles

YA 101: Steampunk


Hi folks.  Sorry I’ve been away from my normal every day posts.  I’ve been in editing hell for the past few weeks and was trying to focus on that.  I still am not out of the dungeon but at least I’ve clawed my way through the bricks and mortar and can see the light seeping through the hazy windows.

I am going to wrap up my YA 101 series today and tomorrow as well as give you the results of a survey I did among readers ages 13 – 20.

I was going to devote a whole post to speculative fiction but decided not to because really, all speculative fiction is is an umbrella that covers fantastical fiction such as horror, dystopian, fantasy, weird fiction, supernatural, paranormal, etc.  So, if you write anything like that, your story will fall under the ‘speculative fiction’ category.  One of the newer and upcoming sub-categories of speculative fiction is Steampunk.  I didn’t think I’d like this genre, but let me tell you, it’s becoming one of my favorites.

What is steampunk?  First, it’s a sub-genre of science fiction and fantasy.  Settings almost always include Victorian fashions, 1900 technology (think gears, rivets, steam-power machines), and social issues.  And like most YA novels possess, there must be a level of rebellion.  Great thing about this is steampunk can take place on earth or on another planet.  Cool, huh?

Steampunk is a fashion statement.  Take Victorian clothing and add gadgets and goggles (always, always have the goggles!), you’ve got the style.  For women, throw on a corset and a Victorian hat with some functioning robotic gizmos and gadgets and walk your four-legged, gear-driven pet, you’re on your way to some steampunk seriousness.  I have to admit, I find steampunk hot, edgy, thrilling and super futuristic.

I think to write good steampunk, there have to be certain elements involved:

  • Research the Victorian era.  Know your time period.
  • Know your machines.  As machinery and technology are huge components of steampunk, you’ll need an understanding of the technology of the early 1900’s and invent your own gadgets to hold your reader’s interest and be relevant to your plot.
  • After reading a lot of interviews with steampunk authors, planning and devising a plot ahead of time is very important.  If you’re plotter, this genre might be up your ally.  Many authors suggest coming up with the plot first and then figure out how to incorporate the technology aspect.
  • Don’t have your characters speak like Charles Dickens.  In fact, move to the opposite extreme.  Steampunk is futuristic with a Victorian flare.  In other words, know your era, know the clothing, know the social norms…and then rebel against it, taking the best of the time and putting a huge twist on it.  Keep your characters, and their mannerisms original to your time.

What are some of my favorite Steampunk YA novels?

    

Have you read any steampunk?  If so, what are your favorites?

Related Articles

YA 101: the “Alternate History” genre


Welcome to day two of YA 101:  Book Genres.  Today let’s take a look at “Alternate History”.

Alternate History, also known as Alternative Reality, are set in worlds where one or more historical events unfold differently than it did in the real world.    Think Germany wins WWII, Lincoln never gets shot, and the Titanic never sank.  Many times this genre will contain sci-fi, time travel or psychic awareness elements.  If writing an Alternative History novel, the characters should maintain their ‘true to life’ traits, the when and how of the ‘point of diversion’ needs to be believable, and the alternate history must be plausible.

YA books in the genre:

    

Agents and/or Publishers:

Tanglewood Press

Amy Boggs – Donald Maas Literary Agency