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August 2004
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YA Literature Quizzes

Quizzes on all your favorite teen authors!

Really, you'll be amazed how many quizzes there are here -- some easy, some tough. There are 29 Meg Cabot quizzes! Also on authors like Jerry Spinelli, Patricia Wrede, Caroline B. Cooney, Avi, Ann Brashares, Lois Duncan, and Lois Lowry.

Me, I gave up when I didn't know the answer to anything on the "Lets Go Down the Disco" quiz (about the Georgia Nicolson books, natch). But some of you are bound to actually RETAIN some of the stuff you read, unlike me, apparently. So go test your knowledge.

Audiobook of The Boyfriend List

I just talked to the people at Listening Library about the audiobook of The Boyfriend List. All the footnotes are staying! They are confident they can make them sound good when read aloud.

I am v. excited as I love nothing more than an audiobook. I listen to them at the gym and am currently in the middle of City of Light.
No actor yet, but stay tuned!

Princess in Pink, by Meg Cabot

The fifth in the Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot. I really like this one -- it's more dramatic than books two three & four, and very funny.

I love it that Mia and all her friends are full-out geeks, but they're not traumatized by it, except when dealing with awful highschool hotties like Lara. The rest of the time they're just geeking out, having parties and organizing protests and practicing the violin. And even Boris the mouth-breathing, sweater-tucking-in mega-geek turns out to be a romantic hero -- to more than one girl!

I haven't read Teen Idol yet -- Cabot's newest. But I liked American Girl a lot, so I'll definitely steal it from my little sister as soon as she's done with it. My modus operandi is to buy teen books for her as presents, then snag them for myself once she's finished.

Away Laughing on a Fast Camel, by Louise Rennison

Funny, funny, funny, funny. Did I tell you it's funny?

I saw Louise Rennison read at Books of Wonder and she was marvelous. She said everything is TRUE and really happened to her. She also said that in real life, Robbie the Sex God married Wet Lindsay! A tragedy.

You have to read all the other books first, though, before Away Laughing. Otherwise it won't make any sense. It's not the sort of sequel where you get updated on all the stuff that's happened before. But don't let that stop you. I laughed out loud many times. Yippee for Louise!

Sixteen, edited by Megan McCafferty

I'm in the middle of Sixteen, which is edited by Megan McCafferty, who wrote all the Jessica Darling books (Sloppy Firsts, etc.)
It's so cool!

I haven't read everything, but here are some bits I loved:

"The Alumni Interview" by David Levithan, in which a gay teenager has to face his boyfriend's homophobic father in his college admissions interview.

"Mona Lisa, Jesus, Chad, and Me" by Carolyn Mackler, which is about the end of a friendship -- something that I tried to write about in The Boyfriend List as well.

"The Perfect Kiss" by Sarah Mlynowski, who mainly writes for grown-ups but whose first teen book, Bras & Broomsticks, is coming out next spring. In it, a girl gets dumped by her boyfriend and contracts mono, spending the worst sixteenth birthday ever. But she gets revenge.

Vegan Virgin Valentine, by Carolyn Mackler

Vegan Virgin Valentine is by the author of Love & Other Four-Letter Words and also The Earth, My Butt, and Other Round Things.
I think Mackler's really smart and I haven't really seen a character like Mara Valentine -- she's alphabetized her books, recopies the messy bits of her class notes, and organizes "chemical free" party nights. And yet, we still like her. She needs to loosen up, though -- and she does, eventually -- thanks in part to wild-child V, who comes to live with Mara and her family.

The problems in this book are not earth-shattering and the comedy is low key -- but Mackler is great at depicting small, subtle dilemnas of the heart.

And I love how the boy Mara loves is shorter than her and has a goofy ponytail.