Sunday 10 January 2010

PSnarkiversary: ShabbyGeek

The adorable ShabbyGeek wrote me this lovely guest post. Who would have thought that being compared to a household appliance would touch my heart so? This just shows that good friends can be made on twitter....

A Year of YA and Persnickety Snarkiness

Having a career that weaves itself into advertising is definitely interesting. One aspect of my job directly questions my ability of how much I can convince you that one product/service/experience will be sure to make life easier/make you happier/keep you as a repeat customer. This dance of advertising is played out by swank moves that include copywriting, editing, music, animation, and sound effects.

And yet, everyone knows the best advertising for a product is by word of mouth.

For example, I could easily hand you my Dyson DC14 and tell you yes, this vacuum changed my life. Sure, I spent two weeks analyzing, researching, changing my mind, researching some more, and discussing the decision with my husband (who at this point was so aggravated with my indecisiveness that he wanted to go out and buy it himself). I wouldn’t be lying to you because the vacuum is amazing, and I wouldn’t have to sugar coat my opinion, spice it up with particle effects, or create a jingle to tell you that you need this vacuum in your life.

If only Persnickety Snark had been a blog that exclusively covered vacuum cleaners, I wouldn’t have wasted an entire two weeks of my life coming up with that decision.

PS is a button on my Firefox toolbar. Yep, that’s right. I don’t even fiddle with RSS readers. It’s right there, sitting pretty on the same grey bar with Goodreads, Outblush, Amazon, MacRumors, Wikipedia and my bank’s website. This probably makes PS a little more personal and I'm probably just a bit stalkerish.

Just over a year ago I would’ve told you that the Twilight series was the last set of interesting books I had actually read. A brief history of my love for reading and writing in my twenty-seven years involves writing adventure stories in elementary school, joining various book clubs (including the Babysitter’s Club series), becoming unhealthily obsessed with Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and UFOs, more adventure stories, a lot more reading, some poetry writing, and a ridiculously long hiatus from both reading and writing during high school and throughout college.

Persnickety Snark has helped to bring my love for reading back. I say this in all seriousness and sincerity. There are few things in this world that light my brain on fire, and reading is one of those things. Over the past year, Adele has introduced me to memorable worlds and characters created by Melina Marchetta, Elizabeth Scott, Sarah Dessen, Gayle Forman, and Beth Fantaskey.

I’ve read 16 YA novels in 2009 that I bothered to put into my Goodreads list, and PS/Adele put 10 of those books into my grubby little hands. Books that engrossed me by subject matter, beautiful writing, humor, and characterizations – these are books that I’ve turned around and recommended to friends. These are books that my husband has found me reading late on a Friday night, tucked into my favorite corner of our red sectional couch. He’d smirk at me and say, “Bookworm,” and I’d take it as a compliment.

I take comfort in knowing I can shoot a tweet to Adele and give her three qualifications of a story I’d like to read, or a genre I’d like to dabble into related to YA, and she’d be ready with a suggestion that wouldn’t disappoint. When I visit PS, I know I’m getting a strong, grounded review. A review that cares about pacing, realism, characterization, plot devices, and emotional attachments to its characters.

As a trustworthy vault of reviewing an impressive amount of literature, I feel particularly spoiled, not having to wade through piles and piles of mud to find some real gems. You know, the kinds that aren’t covered in sparkles, drenched in perfume, and aren’t being sold by a musician-turned-actress. Gems that sparkle more than Edward does and stories that I’ve thought about and mulled over long after I’ve read them. PS has shown me that the YA genre can be incredibly gritty, heart aching, razor sharp, hilarious, intelligent, musical, thoughtful, and incredibly introspective. And this is why I love YA.

So happy birthday to you, Persnickety Snark. It’s been a wonderful year. Thank you for a year of insightful commentary to some of the best writing YA has to offer. Here’s to another year of fabulous reviews and brain-on-fire reading sessions. You truly are my DC14 of YA blogs.

No comments: