So You Think You Can Dance SEASON 10, EVERYBODY!!!
Be honest, did you think it would last this long? I did. I decided not to blog during the auditions, because, let's face it, there's not much to talk about. I did like, however, that they didn't focus very much on the crazy, horrible dancers.
But a question has been plaguing me and mine, WHERE IS TYCE??? If you know the answer, please tell me in the comments. I miss him and we all hope he choreographs some routines this season.
So, last week we had our Top 20 announced. And I love the way they shuffled between the Green Mile and the live show with the dances. They were all wonderful and unique, and the Top 10 Boys with the sand was pretty dang awesome. In case you missed it, our T20 are:
Aaron Turner (Tapper)
Alan Bersten (Ballroom)
Carlos Garland (Contemporary)
Curtis Holland (Tapper)
Fik-Shun (Hip-hop) Favorite
Jade Zuberi -- I call him Detroit (Animation) Favorite
Nico Gretham (Contemporary) Favorite
Paul Kamiryan (Ballroom)
Alexis Juliano (Tapper)
Amy Yakima (Contemporary)
Brittany Cherry (Ballroom)
Hayley Erbert (Contemporary)Favorite
Jasmine Harper (Contemproary)
Jasmine Mason (Jazz) Favorite
Jenna Johnson (Ballroom) Favorite
Makenzie Dustman (Contemproary) Favorite
Malece Miller (Contemporary) Favorite
Maria Spears (Hip Hop)
So, how did last night's episode go with partners? Let's find out.
Judges: Nigel, Mary, Wayne Brady
First off.... Did anyone else notice that honkin' diamond on Cat's left ring finger? Hmmmm??? That's the second week in a row it's been on there. I'm just sayin'.
I want to come out and say this, which will make this a short post. I LOVED all the routines. I thought everyone did fantastic. Even the routine that the judges weren't too impressed about. So there. And that opening number? Favorite so far. :)
So, without further time-wasting, here are the routines from last night!
(Videos courtesy of IdolXFactor, @idolxfactor1)
Live Group Routine (Nappy Tabs Hip Hop)
Mariah & Carlos (Jason Jive)
Jasmine M & Alan (Travis Contemporary)
Malece & Jude aka Detroit (Travis Jazz) FAVORITE
Jenna & Tucker (Tyce Broadway)
Brittany & BluePrint (Sean AfroJazz)
Mackenzie & Paul (Jason Viennese Waltz)
Jasmine H. & Aaron (Sonya Jazz)
Hayley & Curtis (Chris Hip Hop)
Amy & Fik-Shun (Sonya Contemporary)
This is the only one Blogger wouldn't let me embed. Silly Blogger. Watch it here.
This is a commercial that's currently on the air where I live. I can't help but chuckle whenever I see it. I hope it brings a smile to your face this fine Friday!
I wanted to add an extra Freebee Friday! to today's post, because I'm just so dang excited about this. I hopped on over to Amazon this morning, and this is what greeted me:
Not only is Caste #4 overall for Children's Sci-fi, but it's #1 for their Hot New Releases for Children's Sci-fi! I think this news officially makes this Friday the best Friday in the history of my life.
CASTE has been out for a few weeks now, and I've gotta say, IT'S DOING GREAT! I couldn't be more thrilled with how it's going.
So, to help it out even more and get the word out there, I need your help. I'm doing a $0.99 promo (sidebar: what the heck happened to the cent sign? Anybody? I found it so useful) from tonight midnight (June 18th) until midnight Sunday, June 23rd.
How can you help, you ask? Simple. Reblog this, Tweet it out, Facebook share it, write a review/rate CASTE on Goodreads, Shelfari, BN.com, Amazon, etc (but please, ONLY if you've read the book, and give it an honest review/rating. I don't want to be one of those slimy, underhanded people that bumps their book's rating by cheating), put it on tumblr, etc. Share the links for each of those you do with me and for everyone, you'll get your name put into the pot once. At the end of the promo period I'll pull 3 winners and send you a signed copy of my book!
How does that sound?
Well, what are you waiting for?! Get out there and spread the word and win yourself a book!
I love summer because.....MY FAVORITE SHOW IS ON!!
That's right, So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) is on its 10th season, and it just keeps getting better and better. I haven't been recapping the past 4 weeks because its just been the tryouts, and then the next 2 or so weeks will be Vegas, where they cut 200 dancers down to 20.
Then I'll start talking about it.
But, I can't help but share some amazing auditions that were on the show last night. I've really gotten into Animation dance (Cyrus from Season 9 made me aware of it). To me, that style of dance takes as much skill--if not more--than any classically trained ballet dancer or contemporary dancer. The talent and skill it takes to move the way they do is just jaw-dropping. I could watch it all day.Turns out Wayne Brady agrees with me. :)
So, here are fourfive of my favorites from last night. I hope they make it into the Top 20.
BluPrint from Dragon House
Caleb Brauner (don't underestimate the nerd)
Nicco Greetham (Nigel is such a dirty old man) Blogger couldn't find the video to embed, so there's a link.
Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and
Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town
where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders
if perfect is good enough.
Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary
film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best
of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.
Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger
life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to
realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo
and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving
mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily
familiar world of Colby?
Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from
with where she's going?
First off, I have to say, wow. I really enjoyed The Moon and More. I think what caught my
attention more than anything (other than your talent for telling a story) was
the fact that this isn’t your typical “summer changes everything” book. It’s
not so much about this great romance that has a cosmic impact on the MC’s life, but more of a subtle growing up and
Emaline finding out who she is through a couple different summer romances and complicated
family dynamics. I loved how there was so much going on in her life, but not in
an overwhelming and confusing way. Everything fit together nicely. And even
though it wasn’t your classic romance HEA, I was okay with that.
The feel of Colby, the small island beach town when Emaline
has lived her entire life, was very real and quaint. And the story was
addicting. I’d be reading for a few hours straight, would take a break, and do
nothing but think about what was going on while I wasn’t there, and would have
to pick the book up again.
Dessen has an amazing knack for telling a story. It’s
smooth, effortless, and wholly organic. It’s hard to believe that it’s just a
story that’s been written and not experienced by a living, breathing person.
4.5/5. This book was addicting and so well-written. A great
story to lose yourself in
You know, working for a newspaper as a book reviewer really does have its perks. Besides getting copies of new/awesome books, being exposed to new authors, and having the privilege of introducing yourself as "The YA book reviewer of Such-and-Such Newspaper", I also get the AMAZING opportunity to interview and meet really cool and talented authors.
Like Sarah Dessen. I mean, she's awesome, right? Her talent for writing books and telling stories is out of this world, and I got to interview her! Plus, she's going to be in Boise this coming Saturday (June 8th) for her newest book, The Moon and More (review here). Want to meet her in person? Have her sign your book copy? Make the trip, I promise it will be worth it.
“The Moon and More” is so different
from your other work, what made you want to make this change of direction?
I didn't set out for it to be that
different, to be honest. I'd written before about a girl going to the beach for
a summer and having her life change, and I was intrigued by writing about it
from the inside. What is it like to be permanent in a place that to everyone
else only exists in summer? And this is my eleventh book. I think I have to
change things up now and then, or else I'll just be repeating myself.
What was your inspiration for
I was on vacation in Emerald Isle,
NC, the town that is basically my Colby, sitting by the pool. At the time I was
super-burnt out on writing and really sick of myself, two things that often
happen when I'm finished writing and promoting a novel. I wasn't sure I'd ever
write anything again. (That often happens, too.) But then this pool guy walked
in. He was cute and shirtless, dragging a bunch of hoses, and a real talker. We
said hello and the next thing I knew he was telling me his life story, all
about being from the island and what it was like to live there as a local year
round, his job, his family, everything. When he left fifteen minutes later, I
was like, "Well, there's the next book." It was like he'd just handed
it to me.
What differences do you notice
between writing for Young Adult versus New Adult? Do you have a preference
about writing one over the other? Do you have plans to do more New Adult in the
The truth is, I'm not really even
sure what New Adult is! I guess it's post-high school? Post-college? I've never
been one for labels when it comes to what I write. I had a teenage narrator in
my first novel, THAT SUMMER, but never thought of it was YA at all. When my agent
suggested it was, I was really worried about getting stuck in a genre and never
getting out. Shows what I know: I couldn't be in a better place. That said, I
do think that eventually my narrators will grow up a bit more, maybe past
adolescence and into their twenties. A lot has happened to me since high
school. So we'll see.
A lot of people may look at the YA
genre and think that it’s an “easy” genre to write for, but actually, it’s
pretty challenging--collecting all that angst and drama and putting it on the
page in a believable manner for kids actually living that timeframe. How are
you able to do that so well? Do you have specific memories you go back to from
that time period in your life to recapture those feelings/experiences?
I was actually pretty miserable in
high school. I couldn't WAIT for it to be over. And when it finally was, I
remember sitting at graduation with all these classmates getting nostalgic and
emotional already and all I could think was, "Get me OUT of here. I never
want to see you people again." So it's ironic that I now spend half my day
putting myself back there by choice. I think the voice clicks with me, though,
because I WAS so unhappy. Those feelings of inadequacy and confusion...they're
not so easily forgotten. It also helps I still live in my hometown. Most days I
drive past my high school on the way to drop my kid at preschool. So it's
always there, whether I like it or not.
What would you say is the most
rewarding part of writing for the YA audience? Any specific story you've received
from a reader that’s really stuck with you that you’d like to share with us?
The best part of writing YA is the
readers. No question. As adults, we get excited about books, but teenagers are
often JUST having that experience where they connect fully with something on
the page. The greatest compliment I get is, "This is just like my school!
These are just like my friends! How did you KNOW?" I'm also incredibly
flattered when people tell me that the books helped them through high school.
Because of my own experience, the thought that something I wrote might help
someone who felt the way I did when I was a teen...that's huge. It awes
It’s probably pretty hard to do, but
out of the several books you've written, do you have
a favorite? And if so, which one and why?
It's really hard to pick a favorite.
I feel like it isn't fair! And each book represents who I was at the time I
wrote it. That said, as far as the writing experience, THIS LULLABY was the
most fun. Usually writing is a grueling death march sort of thing for me,
peppered with the occasional great day. But that one was like hanging out with
friends. I never wanted it to end. When I brought Remy and Dexter back into
JUST LISTEN, I was really struggling with it, and I just wanted to follow them
back out the door. They were so easy to write in comparison!
What does your writing process look
I normally write in the afternoons,
from about 3-5. It's a holdover from when I first started doing it seriously,
when I had a morning job as an assistant to a local writer and waited tables at
night. It was the only time I had, and I got used to that being when I worked.
Ideally, when I have a book in progress, I write every day, although it's a bit
more challenging now that I have my daughter. I'm very disciplined. It's the
one thing I have going for me. Finally, a use for all my guilt!
Now for the “fun” questions! What
book did you just finish reading?
RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA, by Kimberly
McCreight. It's about a teen who dies mysteriously and how her mother tries to
figure out what happened. I could NOT put it down. I see it being a huge book
this summer, kind of like GONE GIRL was last year.
E-reader or old-fashioned
Both! I usually have one book in
progress on my iPad and another by my bed. Plus another on audio in the car. I
listen mostly to nonfiction, however. I love celebrity biographies while I'm
Editing on paper or screen?
My editor and I still exchange
actual manuscripts, with her edits and comments in the margins. Then I make all
the changes on screen and send them back to her and we do it again, until it's
done. It's how I've always done it. I think I might be too superstitious to
ever get more modern about the process.
If you could co-author a book with
any other author (alive or dead) who would it be and what would it be
Honestly, I think I'm way too much
of a control freak to co-author anything with anyone. I have a hard enough time
writing with myself! I admire people that can do it, but it's not for me.
Although it would be nice, during the harder stretches, to pass it off to
someone else, saying, "Okay! Your turn!" I see the appeal in