YA book giveaway!

Here at Keysmash we love books, and we love awesome authors, so we are pleased to announce we have 3 signed, young adult books to giveaway! All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter widgets below for a chance to win either Sublime by Christina Lauren (NYT bestselling authors of Beautiful Bastard), Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (NYT bestselling authors of the Beautiful Creatures series which is also a major motion picture), or Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick (NYT bestselling author of Hush Hush). Good luck!

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So What the Hell is a ‘New’ Adult?

Today’s guest post is brought to you by Tonya/@awkwordly. Feel free to leave comments for them below and we’ll make sure she sees them!

If you’ve been on the internets in the last couple of years, or follow any bookish peoples at all, you’ve probably heard the term New Adult no less than fifty three thousand times. But what is New Adult, and how does it differ from Young Adult, or Romance, or just plain old ‘Adult’ fiction?

Well. That’s an interesting question, and one that’s caused a lot of debate in the book world.

The term was basically invented in 2009 when the publisher St. Martin’s Press held an open call for “fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an ‘older YA’ or ‘new adult’” submissions. Since then, the category has taken off in a big way.

To put it in fandom terms, New Adult is the published version of college fic. It generally features characters between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five (ish), with themes focusing on the transition between teenager and adult, and is typically heavy on the romance.

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Never Have I Ever…

Over the weekend, my friends and I were talking about old movies, and it came out that one of them had never seen Footloose, or the entirety of Dirty Dancing. [record screeching]. This admission was met with a lot of, “Are you serious?” and, “How is that even possible???” reactions.

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This was my face too, Harry. (x)

However, it got me to thinking. There are many movies, tv shows, books etc. that are considered iconic, or classics, or must-sees that I bet if you were to poll people to give an honest answer, there are plenty of things some of us have never read nor seen. I’m sure right now everyone can walk over to their collection of dvds or bookshelf and find at least a couple things that you bought in hopes to watch or read, but just haven’t quite gotten around to it yet and so they sit collecting dust.

So fess up people, what iconic pop culture/fandom movie, book, fic, tv show have you just never seen? I’ll start. Never have I ever…

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Reading is…

booksareWords on a screen, on a thin piece of paper, or pages bound together into something that travels everywhere with me. Sometimes books are my escape, sometimes books are the arms welcoming me back. Published, unpublished, fanfiction, original fiction; it does not matter to me if it speaks to me. Words fail me at times, but somehow there is always a way to express my emotions, even if it isn’t from my lips, or my fingertips.

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Brunch, Blogs, and Books: Be Proud, and Get Uncomfortable

 

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My philosophy, since moving to DC four years ago is: weekends are made for brunch. What better way to forget about your hellish work week than to go drown your sorrows in eggs benedict and bottomless mimosas?

This past weekend was no exception, however, this time, the brunch served a greater purpose, which was to talk about the art of blogging, and becoming a published author. Tyece, who runs the blog, Twenties Unscripted, put together an amazing event where she got two fabulous bloggers, and one sharp journalist, and let them tell attendees about their journeys in writing, reading, blogging, and more. The panel featured Alida Nugent, creator of the blog, The Frenemy, and author of the book Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse: One Twentysomething’s (Mostly Failed) Attempts at Adulthood, GG Renee Hill, creator of the blog, All The Many Layers, and author of of the book, The Beautiful Disruption: A Soul Story, and Lindsay Deustch, journalist for USA Today.

For a little over an hour, we sat and let them talk to us, and we talked back to them sharing our stories. Though I live tweeted a lot of their advice, I believe what they had was important enough to be talked about again.  

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A Novel Idea

Today’s guest post is brought to you by @thewrongshoes. Feel free to leave comments for them below and we’ll make sure they see them!

I read. A lot. I try for a book a week, sometimes it’s more, and sometimes it’s less, but it works out to between 50 and 55 books a year. I read all kinds of books for all kinds of reasons– from a new release by my favourite author to liking the cover art. I’m not dedicated to any specific genre or type of book, but overwhelmingly, I tend to read what I think is somewhat obnoxiously labelled literary fiction.

I am, by education and employment, an anthropologist which I think is just a way to give street cred to the fact that I am super nosey by nature. I always want to know why people do the things they do and how those things they do relate to everyone else. Literary fiction, despite what the good people at Pulitzer have to say about it, is alive and well and harmlessly fills my need to eavesdrop on people and watch them live their lives.

Books that win prizes and have entered popular culture as classics can usually be classified as literary fiction. But what makes a book a classic? Greater minds than I have lead entire post graduate courses trying to answer that question. From what I gather it boils down to a sense of timelessness, clever and evocative language, and possessing a kind of universality that transcends time and place. For the most part the classics we study in school are overwhelmingly written by DWEMs (dead white European males) and were written 50 to 100 years ago (or more).

So, is there such a thing as a modern classic? Can that be a thing? I think so. And in my mind the following three novels do a pretty good job of staking a claim for a place on that list. They each possess, in wildly different ways, a timeless quality, lush prose, and even though the characters and places in each might not be our own, they allow the reader to inhabit their world and find a bit of themselves in the pages.

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Keymashing The Classics

“UGH, I hate that book!” is a phrase often uttered by people when you mention a classic title to them. Maybe it’s because you were 16 years old and forced to read it over the summer for school. Or perhaps you read it as an adult and it just wasn’t what you remembered. Or maybe, it’s just really a crappy book that simply defined the era in which it was written, but really doesn’t have much else to offer. Alternatively, how many times have you said, “What an amaaaazing book!” about one of the classic pieces in literature when in reality, you’ve only ever read the cliff notes (or wikipedia), when you got tired of reading the actual book. C’mon, fess up. We won’t judge…hard.